Friday, May 24, 2013

Celebrating Bob Dylan's 72nd birthday today

My heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothin' but affection for all those who've sailed with me
-- Bob Dylan (lyrics from "Mississippi")

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Solace in all troubles

I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
(Anne Frank)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In memory of a dear friend to many in our community

Here is a man who found forgiveness in his heart and carried a message of love.

In his memory, please listen:

Friday, May 17, 2013

Listening for an owl before dawn / Hearing a train

If you would like to hear a train and don't have time to listen to birds, go to the end of the video.  My goal was to record the sound of what I thought might be an owl.  The owl remained silent, but at the end of the video, you will hear the sound of a train from three miles away.

I am reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret after having watched Martin Scorsese's "Hugo."  There are trains running through that story, and from that story I have a new appreciation of trains, train stations, clocks, automata, books, children, silent films, Paris in 1931, World War I veterans, writing, drawing,  adventure ...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Just like a wheel / Mousie Brown's ingenuity

Does anyone remember this childrens' song?

He ran up the candlestick
The little mousie brown
To steal and eat some tallow
But he could not get down.
He cried, "Mama, do come quick!"
But Mama was in town
So he rolled up just like a wheel
And rollee-rolled, rollee-rolled,
Rolled himself right down.

I know I don't have the tune exactly right, but that is close to what I can hear in my mind.  As a child, I was not allowed to sing in the Glee Club in grade school or in the Glee Club in junior high because I have trouble carrying a tune.  The part of my brain that carries tunes doesn't work as well as the part of my brain that allows me to draw, and I've always been ashamed of not being able to carry a tune.  Today I can hear that I sing like a child who is still learning to sing, and I'm not ashamed of my voice.  

When I looked around on YouTube, I found a different version with a different tune and a grandma instead of a mama.

Here is the Chinese Mother Goose version:

As a child of the 1950s and to this day, I am boundlessly delighted by Mousie Brown's ingenuity.  

Ain't it just like a wheel to play tricks when you're trying to be so quiet?  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Remembering my mother on Mother's Day 2013

Although I am not a mother and was never even pregnant, I am moved by Rachel Barenblat's essay on motherhood.  If I had read an essay like that when I was younger, I would not have been so afraid of being someone's mother.

These two photos of my mother and me were taken by my father, probably in 1950.

My guess is that the photo below was taken in the early 1980s, if not late 1970s.  I remember first seeing that photo and thinking that my mother looked younger than I did.  My sisters and I all grew up to be taller than our mother. That is one of the few photos of just my mother and me as adults.  I can only think of one other.  The photo was taken by my father at Anchor Bay, California, a few miles up the coast from where my parents lived after my sisters and I had grown up, and my father had retired.

Beginning in the late 1980s, my relationship with my mother underwent stresses that were not worked out before she died in 1994. Now I understand that she had a similar relationship with her mother.

As I was watching "Hugo" a few days ago on DVD, I thought it was something that my mother would have enjoyed seeing:

Friday, May 10, 2013

2005 / Thich Nhat Hanh's First Time in Vietnam since 1965

One day when I was in Paris as a representative of the Vietnamese Buddhist Peace Delegation, to be present at the Paris Peace Talks, I received a phone message from Saigon, telling me that four social workers had just been shot and killed.  I cried.  It was I who had asked them to come and be trained as social workers.

A friend who was there with me, said, "Thây, you are a kind of general leading a nonviolent army, and when your army is working for love and reconciliation, there will surely be casualties.  There is no need to cry."

I said, "I am not a general.  I am a human being.  I need to cry." Six months later, I wrote a play about the deaths of these students, titled The Path of Return Continues the Journey.

(Quoted from For a Future to Be Possible (2008), by Thich Nhat Hanh)

(The play mentioned above can be found in the book Love in Action: Writings on Nonviolent Social Change (1993), by Thich Nhat Hanh)

Martin Luther King, Jr., with Thich Nhat Hanh in 1966.

Thich Nhat Hanh visiting in Hue, Vietnam, in 2005:

Read about Nobel Peace Prize 2013 nomination campaign here.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da from Japan

Many thanks to Doonesbury's video archives.

Wish I could play my ukulele and sing as well as this young man.  I'm working on it (-:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Whatcom Falls Park 5-Mile Walk Meditation

"Of all the pitfalls in our paths and the tremendous delays and wanderings off the track I want to say that they are not what they seem to be," writes Agnes Martin. "I want to say that all that seems like fantastic mistakes are not mistakes, all that seems like error is not error; and it all has to be done. That which seems like a false step is the next step."

(quote from here)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Another view from my yoga mat

(from the 2013 Yoga Cats Calendar, by Daniel Borris, "Triangle Pose Variation")

While in Chaturanga Dandasana, a part of my variation of the Sun Salutation, I noticed the moon in my field of vision and made this little video:

If you turn up the sound on the video above and listen closely, you will hear music and chants of India, from a CD produced by George Harrison in 1997: