Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The dreams and creativity of our young people / Rain has never been more welcome / Alive Alive-O / Against all odds / Three generations / "... the sapling was glowing."/ People Have The Power

"Children's Art Walk Children’s Art Walk is a cherished Bellingham tradition. This year even with everything we are currently enduring in the world we could not bring ourselves to call it off. We are excited to present our first-ever virtual Kid’s Art Walk tour. Once again we partnered with Cedar Tree and Samish Woods Montessori’s and had their 4th through 6th graders pick the most imaginative dream in their dream journals to inspire their creations. All of these works will be showcased on our website during May along with stories to describe their work. We found local and regional artists to pair up with each student and reinterpret their work in their own medium. In total this show features over 100 artists between the students and the working artists to create a dreamy and eclectic overview of work." (MAKE.SHIFT May Art Walk: Kids Art Walk - Beyond My Wildest Dreams)

Yesterday morning

This morning after the first debate

Nearly 50 years ago I bought a pair of glasses, inspired by John Lennon, and then never wore them but have kept them all these years.  A few weeks ago, I took them to my optician and asked if she could put new lenses in them.  I am wearing them now.  They help me to see well enough to draw

(I lied about my weight.  I had an eating disorder.  120-125 pounds was my goal weight.   I actually weighed a "healthy" 135 pounds that I achieved by restrictive dieting and found impossible to maintain.  I was 5'7" tall, but my goal weight was based on thinking I was 5'6" tall and wanting to be at the lowest "healthy" weight possible.  I was bulimic and anorexic, binging and throwing up, constantly on a diet, obsessed with restricting my caloric intake and compulsively exercising from age 10 to age 37.  This 1971 photo was taken just before my life took a dark turn.  The 13 years that followed were a mostly a nightmare I thought would never end.  This month marks 33 years since I learned that it is possible to be free of compulsive overeating and endless dieting.  I am  within a few ounces of what is considered "overweight," but it is a truly healthy weight for my current 5'6" (loss of height due to normal aging).  I don't diet.  I don't worry about my weight anymore.  I don't have a scale in my home.  The only reason I know what I weigh is that I was weighed in a doctor's office a few weeks ago.  In my opinion, the charts for "normal weight" are inaccurate.  I would still be at a healthy weight for me if I were to gain 10 pounds.  In order to be at the low end of what is considered "healthy" for my height, I would have to starve myself.)

Patti loves Fred:

Thank you to beth coyote for posting this.  I can't resist posting it here, too.  Together, Patti and Fred wrote this beautiful song in 1988:

Tomorrow will be my 71st birthday.  Patti Smith will be 74 years old in December.  My only nephew will be 27 years old in January 2021.  My grandnephew will be 6 years old in May 2021.   


Ava Johnson 
Glowing Sapling
Inspired by Zander


By Zander:

I was surrounded by vines, leaves, and trees.  The trees were beautiful:  Oak and maple, at least 200 years old.  But in the middle of the clearing was a tiny, tiny sapling and, strangely enough, the sapling was glowing.


People Have The Power

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Faith and Climate Action / The teaching of a Lummi elder in September 2020 / Listening and taking heart / Gospel singers / "20 Feet from Stardom"

Although I am not a religious person, I take heart when I listen to religious people who are committed to doing what they can to help heal that which has been so deeply wounded in our world.  I am moved today by listening to Douglas James in September 2016 and September 2020.

And by this:

Thank you to Elizabeth for bringing "20 Feet from Stardom" to my attention. That documentary is one more good thing that has led to so many other good things. Now I can recommend it, too.

Note copied from YouTube page for the above video: Originally released in 1969 on Ode Records, this rare and sought-after album finds the California collective covering a clutch of Dylan classics in the era's revolutionary gospel style. Produced by Lou Adler, soon to work his magic on Carole King's mega-successful Tapestry, and arranged by Gene Page, noted for his work for Motown, the performers were largely unknown, but many went on to find great acclaim. Merry Clayton, the powerhouse singer best known for sparring with Mick Jagger on Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" (and star of the recent documentary 20 Feet from Stardom), appears here, as does Edna Wright of The Honeycones and Gloria Jones who recorded the original version of "Tainted Love" in 1965.)

Saturday, September 19, 2020

With Gratitude To Ruth Bader Ginsburg (update on September 23 with video embedded)


Constitutional Oath:

“I, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

(The following is copied from The Posen Library)

Thank you, Chief Justice. Mr. President, distinguished guests, colleagues, and friends. Not yet two months ago, President Clinton announced his intention to nominate me as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. I said then that if confirmed I would try in every way to justify his faith in me. I renew that pledge this afternoon in the presence of people I hold dear: my family, colleagues, co-workers, and treasured friends.
There is one in this audience whose presence I want specially to acknowledge. She is my wonderful mother-in-law, Evelyn Ginsburg. She was always there when I needed her. She sensed without ever being asked when that was. She constantly held up my spirits when the going was rough. “This too will pass,” she would say. (am's emphasis in green:  In yet another synchronicity for me, the words "This too will pass" came to mind early this morning as I thought about the mounting challenges we are currently facing.  Thank you, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for your continuing strong presence which I will now connect with those words.)  I am overjoyed, Mother, that you are with me today.
This weekend I attended a celebration of women lawyers in New York. The keynote speaker was our grand Attorney General, Janet Reno. It may have been the best attended; it was certainly the most remarkable event at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting.
Awards were made in the name of Margaret Brent, a great lady of the mid-1600s, celebrated as the first woman lawyer in America. Her position as a woman, yet a possessor of power, so confused her contemporaries that she was sometimes named in court records not as Mistress Margaret Brent, but as Gentleman Margaret Brent. Times are changing. The President made that clear by appointing me and, just last week, naming five other women to Article III courts. Six of his total of 14 federal bench nominees thus far are women.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor recently quoted Oklahoma Supreme Court Jeanne Coyne, who was asked, “Do women judges decide cases differently by virtue of being women?” Justice Coyne replied that in her experience, a wise old man and a wise old woman reach the same conclusion.
I agree, but I also have no doubt that women, like persons of different racial groups and ethnic origins, contribute what a fine jurist, the last Fifth Circuit Judge Alvin Rubin, described as a distinctive medley of views influenced by differences in biology, cultural impact, and life experience. A system of justice will be the richer for diversity of background and experience. It will be the poorer in terms of appreciating what is at stake and the impact of its judgments if all of its members are cast from the same mold.
I was impressed by the description of women at the Bar by one of the 1993 Margaret Brent prize recipients, Esther Rothstein, an attorney in private practice in Chicago. Esther said she found women attorneys to be tough, yet tender; wanting to win, but not vindictive; cautiously optimistic, with the sense to settle for victories that do not leave one’s opponent bloodied and bowed; willing to be a link in a chain that is strong, yet pliable.
In my lifetime, I expect there will be among federal judicial nominees, based on the excellence of their qualifications, as many sisters as brothers in law. That prospect is indeed cause for hope and its realization will be cause for celebration.
Thank you.

For some reason, I can't find a way to embed her swearing-in ceremony from 1993:

(Could New Blogger be the culprit?  I didn't want to use New Blogger, but it appears there is no way to avoid using it, despite the fact that the impression was given that we have a choice.  Mysterious, too, is that the title I gave this post does not appear in the Preview but does appear when I publish it.)

I have figured out how to embed videos on New Blogger! When I click on "insert video" in the task bar, one of the options is "YouTube."  

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Timely and Timeless / "... We didn't perish that day in November 1972 ..." / Canoe Journey Anthem


 (if you wish to listen to an excerpt)

“Expansive in scope and feeling, The Mountains Sing is a feat of hope, an unflinchingly felt inquiry into the past, with the courageous storytelling of the present.”

Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

As I was reading a novel obtained from our public library, The Mountains Sing, by Nguyễn Phan Quế Maiduring this past week while confined indoors due to the smoke from the fires that continue to burn on the West Coast of the United States, I was reminded of Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, Sandra Cisneros, Linda Sarsour, Louise Erdrich, Anna Akhmatova, Virginia Woolf, Ursula Le Guin, Jacqueline Woodson, and Thich Nhat Hanh and how so many of the circumstances that we are experiencing currently have been experienced throughout known history and that human beings have survived against all odds, continuing to be challenged to find ways to live in the present moment with complexity, grief, paradox, uncertainty and song:

Canoe Journey Anthem:

Saturday, September 12, 2020

In the time of fires / Mandala #50: Sabine and her Bicycle (A meditation on bicycle spokes, suns, moons, stars, planets, skies, mountains, oceans) / More of one thing leading to another / Talking about spiritual energy and the children of 9/11

Update:  Since I posted this morning, the air quality here has steadily diminished to the Unhealthy range with severely limited visibility.  The sky is a sickly pale yellow, approaching pale orange.

As I was downloading the above video, YouTube suggested this video:

Which led me to:

I make a distinction in the book between physical energy and spiritual energy. I don’t mean spiritual in the form of religious sense; I mean the sense in which you are high spirits or low spirits. (click on this if you wish to read the article)

Which led me to pause and look up and out my window to see the sun for the first time this morning, its light dimmed by the fires, near and far, that are raging on the West Coast of the United States, and to know that high spirits leave and return, over and over again.  Low spirits are still spiritual energy, dimmed like the sun is today until the fires subside and the sky does its work of clearing itself, as the sky has done since long before we were here and will continue to do so after we are gone. 

Which brought me back to what I had planned to post today, a song by Bruce Springsteen:

"The Rising" was written as a response to the terrorist attacks in the USA on the 11th September 2001. The song tells a story of a firefighter climbing up the staircase at the World Trade Center.

"Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine 
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight"

I've been saving this for a day like today:

"The Children of 9/11 are About to Vote"

Thank you to Sabine on your bicycle for the inspiration.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

" ... this need ..."

Denise Levertov

Of Being

I know this happiness
is provisional:
the looming presences –
great suffering, great fear –
withdraw only
into peripheral vision:
but ineluctable this shimmering
of wind in the blue leaves:
this flood of stillness
widening the lake of sky:
this need to dance,
this need to kneel:
this mystery: