Friday, November 28, 2014

Listen to this from "The New Basement Tapes"

Wow! Rhiannon Giddens singing! Lyrics from 1967 by Bob Dylan.

Have also been listening to the "The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 11." It's a treasure.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

True Names and the Door of Compassion

Please Call Me by My True Names

Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow – Even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: every second I am arriving. To be a bud on a Spring branch, to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings, learning to sing in my new nest, to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, to fear and to hope. The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that is alive.

I am a mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river. I am the bird that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am a frog swimming happily in the clear water of a pond. And I am the grass-snake that silently feeds itself on the frog.

I am a child in Uganda, all skin and bones, my legs as thin as bamboo sticks. And I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat, who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate. And I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo, and plenty of power in my hands. And I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to my people dying slowly in a force-labour camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth. My pain is like a river of tears, so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names, so I can hear all my cries and laughter at once, so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names, so I can wake up and the door of my heart could be left open, the door of compassion.

Thich Nhat Hanh
This poem was written in 1978, during the time of helping the boat people 

(From this website)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

One Breath At A Time With Thich Nhat Hanh

Our own life has to be our message -- Thich Nhat Hanh

I am thankful for Thich Nhat Hanh.

The Mockingbird Society

What are you thankful for?

I learned about the Mockingbird Society through the Mockingbird Society inserts in the paper copy of Real Change that I buy weekly from the Real Change vendor who sells his papers near one of the doors of the Bellingham Community Food Co-op.

Today I'm thankful for these young people.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

An interview with Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin is one of my favorite writers. Reading The Wizard of Earthsea when I was 21 years old brought light into that dark time in my life. Most recently I read her novel, Lavinia.

The interview is here.

A Real Change vendor sells this newspaper near one of the doorways to our Community Co-op. Coincidentally, we have the same birthday, although he is much younger than I am.  He grew up in the same neighborhood in Minneapolis that my father did.

I first heard about Real Change in connection with Bob Dylan. As I understand, he donated the proceeds of "Christmas in the Heart" to Real Change.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day 2014

So long as the human spirit thrives on this planet, music in some living form will accompany and sustain it and give it expressive meaning.
(Aaron Copland)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sunrise Before Wind and Rain and Darkness Totem: 6 November 2014

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with objects it loves. (Carl Gustav Jung)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Learn By Heart

According to the tenets of Ayurvedic medicine, memory's wellspring is in the heart. The more one loves, the better one remembers. Thus, we say "learn by heart."

(p. 16, The Essence of Yoga: Reflections on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, by Bernard Bouanchaud -- 1997)

I've been reading The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind, and Body which I heard about here. The music below was composed by Vissarion Shebalin, who lost much of his language function because of strokes, but retained the ability to compose music. I have been listening to this over and over again and find it deeply moving.