Monday, October 26, 2020

IN BEAUTY WE WALK / That the 11-year-olds who saw this film in 2007 are now 24 years old and are voting in unprecedented numbers is heartening / THE HEARTACHE AND THE BEAUTY

Hmmmm ... In the midst of current events, I became aware of an odd resemblance to characters in a film I watched some time ago.

This morning I followed up on my intuition that the character (played by Nicole Kidman), who is accompanied by a disturbing orange creature who reminds me of a certain presidential candidate," looks very much like a certain woman who has been nominated for a position as a Supreme Court justice.

"... The film depicts the adventures of Lyra Belacqua, an orphan living in a parallel universe where a dogmatic ruling power called the Magisterium opposes free inquiry ..."

Clouds and light in the October sky in the coastal Pacific Northwest in the early morning:

Walking in Beauty: Closing Prayer from the Navajo Way Blessing Ceremony

In beauty I walk
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty above me I walk
With beauty around me I walk
It has become beauty again
Hózhóogo naasháa doo
Shitsijí’ hózhóogo naasháa doo
Shikéédéé hózhóogo naasháa doo
Shideigi hózhóogo naasháa doo
T’áá altso shinaagóó hózhóogo naasháa doo
Hózhó náhásdlíí’
Hózhó náhásdlíí’
Hózhó náhásdlíí’
Hózhó náhásdlíí’
Today I will walk out, today everything negative will leave me
I will be as I was before, I will have a cool breeze over my body.
I will have a light body, I will be happy forever, nothing will hinder me.
I walk with beauty before me. I walk with beauty behind me.
I walk with beauty below me. I walk with beauty above me.
I walk with beauty around me. My words will be beautiful.
In beauty all day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons, may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With dew about my feet, may I walk.
With beauty before me may I walk.
With beauty behind me may I walk.
With beauty below me may I walk.
With beauty above me may I walk.
With beauty all around me may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
My words will be beautiful…

"The way we hold both the heartache and the beauty," (Abigail Reyes)

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Morning / The Reed Flute's Song (Rumi) / Rona Yellowrobe


Listen to the story told by the reed,
of being separated.

"Since I was cut from the reedbed, 
I have made this crying sound.

Anyone apart from someone he loves
understands what I say ..."

-- Jalaluddin Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)


Friday, October 16, 2020

Early morning beauty

Before the storm arrived later this morning, there were Crepuscular rays and cloud shadows just before sunrise.  Listen for red-winged blackbirds.  Watch for flocks of birds just before the earth turns toward the sun.  May need full screen to see them.

Sending love near and far.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Waking up to the true freedom of the human spirit against all odds

"I Have a Dream" is a public speech that was delivered by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in which he called for civil and economic rights and an end to racism in the United States. Delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the speech was a defining moment of the civil rights movement and among the most iconic speeches in American history. Under the applicable copyright laws, the speech will remain under copyright in the United States until 70 years after King's death, through 2038. Sorry for audio-video sync problem"

(above is the accompanying note on the "Rare Facts" YouTube channel)


"... but we would dishonor those heroes as well to suggest that the work of this nation is somehow complete. The arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it doesn't bend on its own ..."
(President Barack Obama)


Early this morning, the words "free at last" appeared in my thoughts and led to this post.

At the beginning of April 2020, a few days before the anniversary of the day Martin Luther King, Jr., was murdered in 1968, I woke up from a horrific nightmare of mindless violence which included abject isolation and fear.  We all have dreams of freedom, and we all have unspeakable nightmares.  During these past months, it is a series of nightmares that have shown me what I cannot ignore when I am awake.

Some dreams and nightmares are over.  Some follow us into all of our waking moments.  We do not have to live in fear.  This morning I remembered this message, also from Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968:

"... And then I got into Memphis, and some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out of what would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers. Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place, but I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will, and He's allowed me to go up to the mountain, and I've looked over and I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the Promised Land. So I'm happy tonight, I'm not worried about anything, I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors - the dreams of our old men, given them in solemn hours of the night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.

Chief Seattle

Monday, October 12, 2020

We are not alone / Our pain / reborn / reality /The dream is over / "Self-Portrait with Brothers of Mercy and Night Falling from the Sky" (Mourning Meditation) / a new morning in mid-October 2020


God is a concept
By which we measure
Our pain
I'll say it again
God is a concept
By which we measure
Our pain
I don't believe in magic
I don't believe in I-Ching
I don't believe in Bible
I don't believe in tarot
I don't believe in Hitler
I don't believe in Jesus
I don't believe in Kennedy
I don't believe in Buddha
I don't believe in mantra
I don't believe in Gita
I don't believe in yoga
I don't believe in kings
I don't believe in Elvis
I don't believe in Zimmerman
I don't believe in Beatles
I just believe in me
Yoko and me
And that's reality
The dream is over
What can I say?
The dream is over
I was the dream weaver
But now I'm reborn
I was the Walrus
But now I'm John
And so dear friends
You just have to carry on
The dream is over

"... I'd like to live to ripe old age with Yoko only, and I'm not afraid of dying.  I don't know how it feels at the moment, but I'm prepared for death because I don't believe in it.  I believe it's just getting out of one car and getting into another ..." (John Lennon, 1980)

"... if there is a God, we're all it ..." (John Lennon)

"... I'd like to live to ripe old age with Yoko only, and I'm not afraid of dying.  I don't know how it feels at the moment, but I'm prepared for death because I don't believe in it.  I believe it's just getting out of one car and getting into another ..." (John Lennon, 1980)

Believe it or not, after I published this post and then turned to the tiny bundle of cards that sits next to my laptop and has quotes from around the world -- quotes that I read on most days -- the card that was uncovered for today had these words from Chief Seattle on the subject of death:

"There is no death, only a change of worlds."

Then I discovered that Chief Seattle also said in the same speech:  

"... Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We will see ..."

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Clouds: Like waves, a manifestation of water



Unborn and indestructible,

beyond time and space--

both transmission and inheritance

lie in the wonderful nature of the Dharmadhatu


"... The Dharmadhatu is all that is manifested from the Dharmakaya, having Dharmakaya as its essence, just as all waves are manifestations of water.  The Dharmadhatu is neither born nor destroyed.  It has no previous existence.  Its existence is beyond time and space.  When we understand this truth of existence with our whole being, we will begin to transcend the fear of death, and we will not be disturbed by unnecessary discrimination.

(from Present Moment, Wonderful Moment:  Mindfulness Verses for Daily Living, by Thich Nhat Hanh, 1990)



Friday, October 9, 2020

Extended Meditation: John Lennon on his 80th Birthday / Key West / John L. Hill / "Roll on, John" / Yoko and John / Vote

Thanks to Tim Williams:

Thanks to John L. Hill 

and to Bob Dylan for "Key West (Philosopher Pirate)" and "Roll on, John":

Roll on, John

Doctor, doctor tell me the time of day
Another bottle's empty, another penny spent
He turned around and he slowly walked away
They shot him in the back and down he went
Shine your light
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John
From the Liverpool docks to the red-light Hamburg streets
Down in the quarry with the Quarry men
Playing to the big crowds, playing to the cheap seats
Another day in the life on your way to your journey's end
Shine your light
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John
Sailin' through the trade winds bound for the south
Rags on your back just like any other slave
They tied your hands and they clamped your mouth
Wasn't no way out of that deep dark cave
Shine your light
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John
I heard the news today, oh boy
They hauled your ship up on the shore
Now the city gone dark, there is no more joy
They tore the heart right out and cut him to the core
Shine your light
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John
Put on your bags and get 'em packed
Leave right now, you won't be far from wrong
The sooner you go the quicker you'll be back
You've been cooped up on an island far too long
Shine your light
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John
Slow down you're moving way too fast
Come together right now over me
Your bones are weary, you're about to breathe your last
Lord, you know how hard that it can be
Shine your light
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John
Roll on, John, roll through the rain and snow
Take the right-hand road and go where the buffalo roam
They'll trap you in an ambush before you know
Too late now to sail back home
Shine your light
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John
Tyger, tyger burning bright
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
In the forests of the night
Cover 'em over and let him sleep
Shine your light
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John


and to Yoko and John:

and to 37 Paddington for posting this:


Thursday, October 8, 2020

In celebration, with immense gratitude to Louise Glück who has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature / Long ago many of us were wounded and many of us have been healed by this poem

Nobel Prize In Literature Awarded To U.S. Poet Louise Glück | NPR News |  ideastream

(1914 -- during my father's first year)


Long ago, I was wounded. I lived
to revenge myself
against my father, not
for what he was—
for what I was: from the beginning of time,
in childhood, I thought
that pain meant
I was not loved.
It meant I loved.

-- Louise Glück

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

An American voice that can be trusted


Three New Mornings

Third Morning

(that bright spot at the bottom of the photo is the sun reflected in Lake Whatcom)

Second Morning

First Morning


(On the Third Morning, the first thing I noticed was the sun reflected dramatically in Lake Whatcom.  When I was out on my porch trying to photograph it, I noticed the sun itself shining through the fog, gradually becoming brighter but not as bright as its reflection in the water.  The autumn birds were singing)

Listen to "Hear Comes The Sun:

Saturday, October 3, 2020

More of one thing leading to another (an older post that I somehow never posted)

Note:  I just realized that I never published this.  Never too late.


While wandering into the internet this morning after looking at robin andrea's extraordinary photo of a vulture and thinking of Lew Welch, I discovered Louise Steinman's blog which had a post about  meeting Lew Welch many years ago and a post about a visit to an exhibit of works by Kerry James Marshall.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

"... She had horses Who danced in their Mother's arms ..."

She had some horses.

She had some horses she loved.
She had some horses she hated.

These were the same horses.

(Joy Harjo, lyrics from "She Had Some Horses")