23 October 2016

Ghost Road Song by Deborah Miranda

I need a song.
I need a song like a river, cool and dark and wet,
like a battered old oak; gnarled bark,
bitter acorns,
a song like a dragonfly:
shimmer – hover – swerve -
like embers, too hot to touch.
I need a song like my father’s hands:
scarred, callused, blunt,
a song like a wheel,
like June rain, seep of solstice,
tang of waking earth.
I need a song like a seed:
a hard and shiny promise,
a song like ashes:
gritty, fine, scattered;
a song like abalone, tough as stone,
smooth as a ripple at the edge of the bay.
I need a song so soft, it won’t sting my wounds,
so true, no anger can blunt it,
so deep, no one can mine it.
I need a song with a heart wrapped in barbed wire.
I need a song that sheds no tears,
I need a song that sobs.
I need a song that skates along the edge of black ice,
howls with coyotes,
a song with a good set of lungs,
a song that won’t give out, give up,
give in, give way:
I need a song with guts.
I need a song like lightning, just one blaze of insight.
I need a song like a hurricane,
spiraled winds of chaos,
a snake-charming song,
a bullshit-busting song,
a shut-up-and-listen-to-the-Creator song.
I need a song that rears its head up like a granite peak
and greets the eastern sky.
I need a song small enough to fit in my pocket,
big enough to wrap around
the wide shoulders of my grief,
a song with a melody like thunder,
chords that won’t get lost,
rhythm that can’t steal away.
I need a song that forgives me my lack of voice.
I need a song that forgives my lack of forgiveness.
I need a song so right
that the first note splinters me like crystal,
spits the shards out into the universe
like sleek seedlings of stars; yes,
that’s the song
I need,
the song to accompany you
on your first steps
along the Milky Way,
that song with ragged edges,
a worn-out sun;
the song that lets a burnt red rim
slip away into the Pacific,
leaves my throat
healed at last.

22 September 2016

Autumnal Equinox musings

We have all the Elements within us…Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Spirit.
At this turning from summer to autumn, let our spirits shine...let us come together with strength and forgiveness, remembering that we are a community of people and that the golden rule applies in all cultures...more powerful than any commandment.
"And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself." Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. (Baha'i)
"This is the sum of Dharma [duty]: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you". Mahabharata (Brahmanism)
"One should seek for others the happiness one desires for oneself." (Buddhism)
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." Luke 6:31 (Christianity)
“What I do not wish men to do to me, I also wish not to do to men." Analects 15:23 (Confucianism)
"Do not to another what you would not yourself experience." Manco Capoc (Inca)
"None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." (Islam)
"What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary." Talmud, (Judaism)
"All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One." Black Elk

11 September 2016

Project for a New American Century and 9/11

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 attacks were Saudi citizens, two from the UAE, one each from Egypt and Lebanon. None from Iraq. There was no known operational relationship between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.
A bit of history about the Project for a New American Century (PNAC)
PNAC members held key positions in the White House, Defense and State Departments, among them Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Elliot Abrams, Lewis Libby, and John Bolton, along with others in lesser positions. William Kristol, writer for the conservative magazine, the Weekly Standard, was chairman of the group. They called for the waging of "multiple simultaneous large-scale wars" and one of their first orders of business was always the removal of Saddam Hussein, thereby giving the US a toehold in the oil-rich Middle East. What was needed for America to dominate through a "Pax Americana" securing the world’s resources, it said, was “some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor”. The attacks of 11 September 2001 provided the “new Pearl Harbor”, described as “the opportunity of the ages”.
I weep that there were many people killed and continue to suffer, perhaps because of some global domination scheme...
To all the first responders, and to all that lost their lives on that fateful day...we will remember.

17 August 2016

How to recreate the world

"...Our teachers, parents, friends, (entertainment/news) and peers contribute to the on-going story. They give us only the description of the world they know - their perception of the world. It may not be how the world really is. We ourselves contribute to the story of the world every moment of our existence by thinking and believing in what we have been told.
The stories we tell ourselves form our social and cultural values. This means that our stories, tales, fables, anecdotes, parables, proverbs, and colloquial expressions are the backbone, the building blocks, of our society as a whole, and our modern culture on the planet Earth.
For the last few thousand years, the stories that have dominated our consciousness, in most modern cultures, are the stories of mankind’s rule over the natural world, of the sense of separateness from nature and from each other, and of our self-gratifying pre-occupation with our ego-mind.
No matter how simple and seemingly insignificant, our stories are the real cause of many global social and cultural problems such as war and violence; fear of the natural world and separation from nature; pollution, environmental destruction, and the loss of wildlife habitats; over-consumption and materialism.
Imagine if most of our stories were teaching us some virtuous value, or encouraging us toward a positive action.
“Kill two birds with one stone” would be “Feed two birds with one seed.”
“It’s a dog-eat-dog world” would be “It’s a happy-dog-splashing-in-the-pool world.”
“Take as much as you can, before someone else will” would become “Take only what you need, leave the rest for others”.

15 July 2016

Been awhile since I posted, but I can't remain silent on this issue confronting us and the world.

I grieve for the deaths of innocents. The latest in Nice...families with small children celebrating their equivalent of our fourth of July, watching fireworks just as we would here...gathered as a community not suspecting that a lorry would jump the curb and mow through fragile bodies for nearly a mile...killing 84 and leaving another 50 in critical condition, clinging to life.
"Terrorism is a threat that weighs heavily upon France and will continue to weigh for a long time," Prime Minister Manuel Valls said after the emergency meeting. "We are facing a war that terrorism has brought to us."
We must assess our role in the recruitment of young, disenfranchised men and women who feel threatened by our rhetoric...and are bolstered by Daesh's propaganda which plays into their fears...the anti muslim rhetoric in this country could well cause more Orlandos...a young man, unaffiliated, swore his allegiance to both ISIS and Hezbollah before dying...not even knowing their history well enough to understand these are warring factions...one Sunni, one Shi'ite...It doesn't matter...the tipping point was reached in many ways with this man...and with people in France and Belgium, and all across Europe. We are protected by a large expanse of ocean, but ginning up hatred and exploiting fears by using our own "leaders" words against them helps to recruit lone wolves who can very easily find a crowd and use a truck to plow into them...perhaps a truck filled with explosives. Daesh's goal is to divide America and set us at each others throats. They're already doing a bang up job.
Donald Trump, being chosen as the head of the Republican Party, could cause a split in the nation wide enough for civil war to break out. “They love him from the sense that he is supporting their rhetoric,” Rita Katz, an expert from the SITE Intelligence Group states. “When Trump says, ‘No Muslims should be allowed in America,’ they tell people, ‘We told you America hates Muslims and here is proof.'”
Today the parties have swapped sides from the days of Lincoln, but the pattern is the same. Political leaders have for years used inflammatory rhetoric to bolster a system that favors the very wealthy. Once again, their rhetoric has created an insurgency that they cannot control. Once again, that insurgency appeals to Americans who have never actually had to grapple with what it might mean to fight for an ideology.
It is this kind of self-implosion that ISIS in America may hope to inspire and exploit. We must find it within ourselves to come together and end the divisiveness.

01 April 2016

A Spring Ditty...

Started seeds for tomatoes (14 varieties) peppers (11 varieties) and eggplant (2 varieties) yesterday. With the cooler days and sunshine I hope to cloche a couple of the insulated raised beds this morning with greenhouse poly and let the soil warm. Preparing for direct seeding of brassicas, ie broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, turnips, kohlrabi, rutabaga, collards, brussels sprouts...and for carrots, beets, and assorted other greens...yes, gardening season is upon us, even with our cooler temps. April through October and into November we could have edible plants outdoors. That's a good 7 months plus of growing season here in the Siberia of the United States.
When the tomatoes, etc get ready for their first transplant it will be directly into the pit greenhouse bed...where they thrive until I set them out around Memorial day. I've learned not to set out tenders too early...all I end up doing is fussing and covering, late frosts are killers. Go with the flow. The direct seeded plants in cloches can have remay cloth pulled over them to protect from light frosts and even short freezes.
Hope you all are enjoying the spring. A good friend spotted a red throated loon on her lake yesterday...I've had herons, both great blues and greens, and numerous water fowl on our pond...and the birds are singing the trees and plants to come out of their dormancy, but not too soon, please. Rhubarb is covered with pots to force them to stretch their stalks seeking sunlight...small leaf, long tender stalks.

Kudos to Walt Whitman

In the 70s I spent a great deal of time with a group of people who were adherents to the Sufi Islam tradition, one of whom I was particularly close and intimate with. In the 80s I spent 2 months at a remote hot springs in the mountains of Mexico, practicing asceticism...mostly because I was in extreme poverty, although I wanted for nothing. I met three Gnostic Christians, two initiates and one teacher...the two intiates were preparing for their life together.
I followed the principles of Taoism, especially just before and for a number of years after Cheryl and I joined in union. She, too, was on the same path.
I mention these people because they are all adherents of different philosophies, religions if you will...and yet were beings of great peace and wonder, of celebration of the physical world and bodies into which we've been born. No jihads, no condemnation, no threats of violence nor judgments...
Be in peace and wonder, feel your body pass through the air, smell the scents all around, listen to the birds singing spring alive. Smile and fill your hearts and souls with wonder.
~A song for myself, of myself

Partly Truth, Partly Fiction

The cooperative model, living near or where you work, using human power to get from point A to point B, building soils in a permacultural manner, cluster housing for community and cooperation...all are possibilities. (all of which we've been doing for the past 3 plus decades) But, here I am typing on a piece of electronics which has so much embodied energy in the extraction, production and transportation (many of the pieces parts "blood diamonds"), does it really matter that a beam of sunlight is powering it? We are all walking contradictions, partly truth and partly fiction...

12 March 2016

Thinking of summer and changes.

I've lived for times in villages, Central America, Mexico, SE Asia, which had communal wells far from the village, there would be a morning pilgrimage to them. Mostly the women with buckets or some types of containers carried on their heads. Cheryl and I had "walking" water here for decades (still do, but have added an electric pump driven by the sun), a hand pumped well in the kitchen, during periods of drought (when rainbarrels were empty) we'd pump five gallons at a time and carry them up to the garden. I recall one year when we put a 100 gallon galvanized stock tank into the bed of the pick up and drove down the township road to a stream crossing. From there we did a bucket brigade from the stream into the tank...we garnered a lot of 1 gallon plastic jugs from various places (empty milk containers from the dump), filled them with water and poked a pin hole in the bottom of each...we placed them each next to their own plants to trickle water over the course of the day....access to water is our most important need (along with shelter, food and love)...
A Hopi Elder says about these times:
"You have been telling the people it is the eleventh hour, now you must go back and tell the people, this is the hour, and there are things to be considered. Where are you going? What are you doing? Are you in right relation? Where is your water? Do you know your garden? It is time to speak your truth. There is a river flowing now, very fast. It is so great and swift, there are those who will be afraid. They will hold on to the shore, and they will suffer greatly. The elders say, 'Push off of the shore into the middle of the river, keep your eyes open and your head above water.' And I say, 'See who is in there with you, and celebrate! For at this time in history your are to take nothing personally, least of all yourselves. For the moment that you do, your spiritual journey has come to a halt. Gather yourselves, banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that you do must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. We are the ones we've been waiting for.' "

Shelter from the storm.

When I lived at an old schoolhouse the next township to the west, I chose to not go to town for a full year. I did go to a small store in a village near me, and I'd go to an old "resort" bar to play trivia on Friday nights. Bicycling distance. I'd also keep my dollar labor local, biking distance, repairing screen doors, doing general maintenance at lake homes...Consequently I had very little "money", but a lot of time. A bundle of cast off slab wood from the local mill, costing 10 dollars, built a barn for two milk goats, a dozen chickens, storage for hay and my garden tools. It also fenced a large corral for the goats...which kept them from wandering. It also fenced my garden, along with a length of 1" chicken wire which someone gave me. Here's an example of what very little money can get you...shelter from the storm. This is not my build, but a good visual. The second photo is me in front of my garden at the time, with the slabwood fence and gate...

28 February 2016

Earth and Fire

All the materials are readily at hand without major extraction or damage to the environment...the natural world provides. This and wilderness basket making, simple elegance.

Our Thoughts Make the World

Change requires action, but the place within which that action comes from is most important.
“We are what we think, all that we are arises with our thoughts, with our thoughts we make the world.” – Gautama Buddha
Physics is pointing to the fact that the observer shapes the reality. The way we think and perceive could be responsible and play a vital role in the physical construct we see in front of us.
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” – Unknown
Let's try to remember this in all our social constructs. Our thoughts do make the world.

As the world burns

Vietnam: As an advisor and liaison I lead native troops but nonetheless was looked upon as the "supreme local power", way too muc...