Friday, March 28, 2014

Talking Cricket During The First Days of Spring

Jiminy Cricket was billed as "the only conscience with a sense of humor."

Funny how the mind works.  I looked at Jiminy Cricket's top hat and thought of this:

Coincidence? On March 28, 2007, on his Theme Time Radio Hour, Bob Dylan played "I'm No Fool," by Jiminy Cricket:

Chop the water
Pump the hay
Shoe the eggs
Water the pump
Butter the cow
Water the milk
Churn the horse
Milk the grain
Sow the shoe
Pitch the field
Water the plow
Chop the eggs

which reminded me of this:

It is spring again.  The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.
(Rainer Maria Rilke)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Something I can say in black and white and grey

Perhaps the truth depends upon a walk around the lake.
(Wallace Stevens)

A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart.  We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves!  Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or a bear's, cover the soul.  Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.
(Meister Eckhart)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Rainy March Day / Black and White and Grey

When I looked outside at the rain falling on Scudder Pond a little while ago, I noticed that there was a curious dividing line of dark and light on the water.

I came to a high place of darkness and light.
A dividing line ran through the center of town.
(Bob Dylan, lyrics from "Isis")

You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was. 
(Irish Proverb)

Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí.  
(Irish for "Praise the young and they will blossom")

Everything was grist to the Mind’s mill; therefore they destroyed nothing.  Neither did they foster anything.  They seem not to have interfered in any way with any other species.

Metals and other raw materials needed for their physical plants and technical  experimentation were mined by their robot extensions in poisoned areas or on the Moon and other planets; this exploitation seems to have been as careful as it was efficient.

The City had no relation to plant life at all, except as it was the subject of their observation,  a source of data.  Their relation to the animal world was similarly restricted.  Their relation to the human species was similarly restricted, with one exception:  communication, the two-way exchange of information.
(Ursula K. Le Guin, writing about the "City of Mind" in Always Coming Home)

When I saw this video recently, I thought of the "City of Mind":

Love takes up where knowledge leaves off. 

(St. Thomas Aquinas) 

Monday, March 17, 2014

My Dad and Barney Google

My father was Norwegian and German, not Irish.  My DNA shows that I am 13% Irish.  He died of congestive heart failure at age 89 on St. Patrick's Day in 2003. While looking for an image with which to honor him today, I came across the above photo among his slides that had been transferred to a computer disk.  I don't recall ever seeing this particular photo before.  I thought I had looked closely at all of his old photos.  Odd how everything is tilted.  My father and I had a difficult relationship, although I know he was very proud of me.  I am his firstborn daughter and was named after his mother.  I am the only daughter who inherited his blue eyes.  Like him, I needed glasses beginning in grade school.  In many ways I was unlike him, and there was conflict. When I was very young and playing on the floor, I heard him say proudly, "She is going to be a lawyer like her grandfather."  I thought to myself, "I won't be a lawyer."

He was fond of these words:

"This the day the Lord has made.  Rejoice and be glad in it."

He said that the best movie he ever saw was "The Ten Commandments," with Charlton Heston.  

He loved gardening and archeology and playing Solitaire and traveling and good food and baseball and puns and Snoopy.  He loved his wife and his daughters and our dog, Star.  He was proud of the work he did as a systems analyst for Chevron.

I just remembered that he used to sing this song which he must have first heard as a 9-year-old boy:

He sang this song, too, from that same era:

When I remember my father singing these songs from his childhood, I feel some peace in connection with him.  I hope he found some peace in connection with me.  

I am grateful that my last visit with him was a good one.  I lit a candle for him today.  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Totem Pole / No self and No not-self

I'm just average, common too
I'm just like him, the same as you
I'm everybody's brother and son
I ain't no different from anyone
It ain't no use a-talking to me
It's just the same as talking to you

I was shadow-boxing earlier in the day
I figured I was ready for Cassius Clay
I said, "Fee, fie, fo, fum,
Cassius Clay, here I come
26, 27, 28, 29, I'm gonna make your face look just like mine
Five, four, three, two, one,
Cassius Clay you'd better run
99, 100, 101, 102, your ma won't even recognize you
14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, gonna knock him clean right out of his spleen ...
-- Bob Dylan, from 1964, "I Shall Be Free No. 10"

A sage has no self, yet there is nothing that is not himself.
-- Shih-T'ou (700-790)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Survival Prayer / Talking About Raven

"Survival Prayer"

Recently I discovered and bought a copy of this splendid film directed by Benjamin Greené.  I'm not sure, but my guess is that he grew up here in Bellingham, Washington.

From his website:

"Benjamin Greené studied Neuroscience at Oberlin College and co-directed a documentary about the struggle for shelter and community in post-Katrina New Orleans.  After college, he spent two years in a brain-imaging laboratory before leaving academia to pursue filmmaking.  He went on to co-direct Bury Me in Redwood Country about the tallest and largest trees on the planet.  Survival Prayer is his solo directorial debut.  Benjamin is a 2012 graduate of Werner Herzog's Rogue Film School and an IFP Fellow participating in the Independent Filmmaker Labs.  He loves the process of turning ideas into films, leaning into the light, actualizing dreams."

(Gouache and watercolor, "Spectrum Series:  Green," painted in spring of 2007 by am)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

"Yas" and Talking 37th Dream with Rainbow and Two Birds

The above photo and video were taken from my porch early in the morning this last Wednesday. We've had snow on the ground for about a week now.

Yesterday afternoon, despite another snow warning, I drove across town to visit a new friend who weaves story blankets.  When I arrived, she was sitting and talking with a friend of her husband.  I sat down at the kitchen table and joined in the conversation.  Her husband's friend is Navajo, and it turned out that he is a fluent speaker of the Navajo language.  My friend is a retired teacher of English to non-English speakers.  We were talking about the light snowfall, and the Navajo man told us the word for snow.  I asked him for the word for "stars" and "moon." I was moved by the beauty of the words but found it difficult to pronounce them correctly.  The Navajo man said that he had once known some of the Crow language, but that was long ago.  After a little while, the Navajo man left on his bike, and my friend and I continued to talk, and she showed me her beautiful story blankets.  Her husband arrived home some time later as it was snowing harder and getting dark.  He said that the roads were still clear.  The snow turned to rain sometime last night, but the air is still cold, and there is still snow on the ground.

Early this morning I found a splendid website with pronunciations of Navajo words and phrases.  I found this video about the Navajo word for "rainbow":

If you look closely at the photo above, taken from my porch this afternoon,  you will see at least two birds.