Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Dear Mom!

That's my grandmother holding my mother in 1916.

My mother would have been 97 years old today.  She died when she was 78 years old in 1994 and still appeared young to me then. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Horse and Chariot Meditation / Morning Light with Birds Singing

(drawing you may have seen before, from childhood, by am)

April 28 (from Eknath Easwaren's Words To Live By)

Know the Self as Lord of the chariot, the body as the chariot itself, the discriminating intellect as the charioteer, and the mind as the reins. The senses, say the wise, are the horses, selfish desires are the roads they travel. 
  – Katha Upanishad
The Upanishads say that your body is like a chariot drawn by five powerful horses, the five senses. These horses travel not so much through space as through time. They gallop from birth towards death, pursuing the objects of their desire. The discriminating intellect is the charioteer, whose job it is not to drive you over a cliff. The reins he holds are the mind – your thoughts, emotions, and desires.
This image is packed with implications. For one, the job of the intellect is to see clearly. The job of the mind is to act as reins. When everything is working in harmony, our highest Self makes all the decisions. The intellect conveys these decisions to the mind, and the senses obey the mind. But when the senses are uncontrolled, they immediately take the road they like best: personal satisfactions, mostly pleasure. Then we are not making the decisions; the horses are.

(Johnny Cash appears, too)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Flower Clouds by Odilon Redon

Thanks to wood s lot for bringing my attention to this painting.

Just finished a 3-day break from the internet.  Looking for balance.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sending love to runners and their families and friends in Boston and all around the world

“For me, running is both exercise and a metaphor. Running day after day, piling up the races, bit by bit I raise the bar, and by clearing each level I elevate myself. At least that’s why I’ve put in the effort day after day: to raise my own level. I’m no great runner, by any means. I’m at an ordinary – or perhaps more like mediocre – level. But that’s not the point. The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday. In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.” 

 Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Monday, April 15, 2013

Listen: 48 years ago / Something Beautiful

Watch for the faces of the people in the audience.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

he ping / 和平

 Listen:  和平

For some time now, I've been slowly reading Red Pine's translation of Lao-Tzu's Taoteching, which has the Chinese characters next to the translation. Gradually I am learning to recognize some Chinese characters. In particular, I've been looking for 和 because I have a small framed calligraphy of the characters 和平, with the word "peace" below it. I had noticed 知 (knowledge) because it looks similar to 和.  Finally, in the 55th verse, I saw 和 in a line translated as "knowing how to be balanced we endure." Just now I was able to figure out, via the internet, that the framed calligraphy is made up of the characters he 和  and ping 平.

Yesterday we had snow mixed with rain in the morning and exquisite sunshine illuminating the clouds to the east in the late afternoon.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rainy day series, part 3 (coming soon, I hope)

For some reason, I can't get any more rainy day videos to upload.  I'll try again later.  I have three more that I'd like to share.  I thought that maybe putting only one video per post would work.  Nope.

Rainy day series, part 2

Rainy day series, part 1

"One of the attractions of being in the Northwest is the rain.  If I don't feel good or I don't feel creative, if I can get near the water something might start to happen." (Dale Chihuly)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Morning Sky And Bird Show / Something For The Mind To Hold Onto

There is a Hindu story comparing the mind to the trunk of an elephant – restless, inquisitive, always straying. In our villages in India, elephants are sometimes taken in religious processions through the streets to the temple. The streets are crooked and narrow, lined on either side with fruit and vegetable stalls. Along comes the elephant with his restless trunk, and in one sinuous motion, he grabs a whole bunch of bananas. He opens his cavernous mouth, and tosses the bananas in – stalk and all. From the next stall he picks up a coconut and tosses it in after the bananas. No threats or promises can make this restless trunk settle down. But the wise elephant trainer will give that trunk a short bamboo stick to hold. Then the elephant will walk along proudly, holding the bamboo stick in front like a drum major with a baton. He doesn’t steal bananas and coconuts now, because his trunk has something to hold onto ...

(from Eknath Easwaran's Thought for the Day for March 31)

Monday, April 8, 2013

"Always be proud of who you are and what you are" (Lummi man speaking on April 6, 2013, at an Idle No More gathering )

As I drove towards downtown Bellingham on Saturday morning, I noticed a group of people from the Lummi Nation gathered at the side of the road at the entrance to the Lakeway Holiday Inn where a conference associated with the CERA was taking place.  This morning I found the above video of their brief peaceful protest of the conference.

I did some Google research and found this:

Both the CERA and the CERF are made up of white owners of Indian Reservations lands. The CERF and CERA members are third and fourth generation descendants of the people who profited from acquiring Indian lands.  What alarms them these days is that tribes are re-acquiring some of these lands in order to build an economic base for their people again.  The hate groups can't stand the idea that Indians would get some land back, no matter now it happens.
(from Racism in Indian Country, by Dean Chavers, published in 2009).

It would be worth your time to listen to the voices of some of the Lummi people whose reservation is next to the town of Bellingham, Washington.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Raining Quinces

On Sunday morning, having recently read solitary walker's newly published book of poetry, Raining Quinces, I noticed several flowering quinces in containers at a nearby nursery.  Sensing there was some synchronicity involved in the unexpected appearance of flowering quinces that day, I bought and planted one next to where the golden day lilies will bloom on my little porch in June. I'm not much one for writing book reviews, but I can recommend his book if you are a person who lives with gratitude and awareness, in both levity and gravity, walking down as many paths and trails and roads as possible, both on foot and in the heart and mind.

Today's view from the porch, looking east toward the light: