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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Poem I Keep Hearing in my Mind

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How my clay is made the hangman's lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

Dylan Thomas

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Shoulda Known ...

When I made the decision to get the new computer with Vista OS it was because hp assured me that the computer would be compatible with all my peripherals. What they did not realize was that my peripherals are old, man, like maybe even SEVEN YEARS OLD (gasps of horror from the geeks/nerds/techies in the audience).

The printer had to be replaced because it uses parallel (serial port) cables and the new computer requires USB port cables (nya nya from hp ... "we already have the money, honey").

Now I was crawling around under the desk looking at the cables for the scanner (11'x14" flatbed with slide/negative scanning adapter), and realized I had already hooked it up because it does use USB cable. Well, you would think that meant *YIPPEE* no new scanner to buy, but noooooo! I plugged in the power cord and Windows said put in the disc baby. I had no disc and said so. It searched for drivers then said "Windows Vista does not support this moldy old scanner you idiot, you will have to get a new one and that is gonna cost you."

Well, that is not an exact quote, but that is the subtext.

For a measly $300 I can get a new one, but I did not really plan on spending all this on top of buying the new computer. Yes, yes, I know. I SHOULDA KNOWN.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


When I was in an abstraction class, I did this painting titled, "Joy, Passion and Frustration", out of my frustration with not grasping the principles of abstraction. The assignment was to paint an emotional state.

My teacher told me it was not a good painting, so I painted over it. I really like it, personally, and so did some of my classmates. It is gone forever now, and I wish I had it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Dish Rag I Made this Afternoon

I whipped out the ole needles and whipped this up in a flash, but I had to take time out to work on the computers ....

So it goes out in the mail tomorrow morning.

The lovely solid color surprised me ... I usually get the flecked colors. For this pattern, it really shows off the stitches.

We are dead last ... poor tortoise knitters ...

Dish Rag Tag Box Arrived Today!

YAY! Deb of California sent me this great little box with my treat, that red knitted flower pin, two skeins of cotton yarn, and a knitted dish rag. She also included the lovely card saying I am IT.

I had better knit fast!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Goodbye Mr. Chips ...

Because Bear and Chip were not compatible and fought more and more as time went on, I have let Chip go to our trainer. I know he will be happy there, and we are back to being a one-dog household. It is amazingly quiet and peaceful!

I will see Chip every Saturday at the Dog Socialization Park, so this solution is a very happy one all the way around.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

New Front Garden

OK that is it for this year ... barring unforeseen emergency changes, we have upgraded our house enough for now.

This is our new front garden. You can't see it but there is a border of good-sized river rocks next to the house. You can see the planting and the cut rock edging on the walk.

All the plants are low maintenance, dought resistant, and will never get terribly tall. WHEW no more shrub trimming in the front!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai is the founder of the Green Belt Movement, an environmentalist, a civil society and women's rights activist, and a parliamentarian. You can read about her life and her organization through her two books, Unbowed: A Memoir and The Green Belt Movement. You can read condensed versions of her life and achievements, including being awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, at You can also read an interview with Ms. Maathai at Parabola Online, in the article titled Tree of Life.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Paradise - #1 of the Trilogy of the Earth, by Suzanne Duranceau. is devoted to environmental art and artists of all kinds. These amazing people have taken the next step of combining their love for our planet with communities and their conceptual and traditional art skills.

A Short Treatise on Visualization

Yes, I know you already know how to visualize ... but the main trick is, visualizing what you want, not what you do not want. I realized this once again after receiving an article about how bad things are in the United States government, and that they could even be headed in a worse direction. That may be the case, and if it is, we will all have to deal with the consequences of our apathy.

However, the point of this post is visualizing what we want! So, what do we want?

Here is my partial list of what I would like to see happen in the future:

peace between all nations
fair trading and ethical manufacturing practices
health care for everyone with a good living for doctors
good education for everyone
care for our mineral, plant and animal kingdoms
beautiful architecture and gardens for all areas
freedom to live as we wish without interference as long as we do no harm to others
religious freedom for all
political freedom for all

How would our world look? With healthy soil, water, air, land ... healthy people ... beauty ... true freedom (not simply your choice of brand names) ... reverence for our planet and all its inhabitants.

I visualize this future. This is our future ... now or later ... the choice is up to us.


This is an image from an old dream journal.

Ponderings on Osprey's Post on Karma

I read Osprey's post on Karma this morning, and it spawned a whole set of thoughts on that concept.

In particular, I also believe karma is based upon action, but some actions are very subtle ... thoughts can be actions, in my view. A stray thought or image about killing or having sex or how horrid someone is ... I don't believe those things have much impact outside ourselves. It is focusing on the thought, expanding it, imagining what it would be like, making it real and vivid in our minds. That generates karma, I think.

I guess to see a strong thought or image as having karmic repercussions, one must believe in telepathy, and I have experienced that function in animals, plants and humans too often to discount it.

Like everyone I have destructive thoughts. The trick is to move away from them and release them. The memories of what I felt was harm being done to me could generate fantasies of revenge, but I try to keep away from that and focus upon what will be positive for my future.

Obsession is the extreme result of persistent thought and imagery on a subject, but there are many degrees. Controlling our thoughts is one of the admonitions of The Wise. I try and fail, and try again. There is no other way to work with it but to keep trying.

Still Reviewing Sketchbooks

This sketch of the coast of Washington State was done in May of 1978, according to my notation at the bottom. I recall a misty pale green day driving down the coast through the rain forest to this open stretch of coast in a reservation.

I took this trip just before I moved to Brooklyn. I moved because wanted to experience the big city, and believe me, I did! If I went back to this place now, it would be a different place ... in time, and in my understanding of the world and people.

I am culling sketches that I still find appealing and destroying the rest, as I am also doing with paintings. I think this is part of preparing for death. We never know when it may arrive, so it is best to be prepared.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sketchbook Faces

In 1978 or 1979, I sat at a gallery in Brooklyn, as I recall, and sketched people as they walked past ... clearly everyone was facing approximately the same way. I was very shy and would not show the drawings to anyone.

I like the sketches very much now.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Accused

This man was accused of killing his estranged wife's lover. I did the sketch from a newspaper photo. The sorrow in his face!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Old Painting

I did this small (8" x 8") oil painting while I lived in the Coburg Hills near Eugene, Oregon, in the 1970s. I called myself Sundown at that time, in true hippie fashion, and lived in a commune. There is (or was) a companion painting of a waterfall inside a cave, also with a lot of greys, the only color being the waterfall. The word "Sundown" is my signature, not the image.

I loved living there, but I did not have the means to commute to work, and finally moved into Eugene and went to Lane Community College while working as a dishwasher and fill-in waitress at Snappy Service Cafe #3, near the old railroad station.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Blondie ... Good, Bad or Ugly?

I have begun referring to Bear as Blondie. You will understand why as you see this latest photo of him.