Friday, February 27, 2009

signs of spring to come

Most of the wild animals stay pretty hidden on the cliff. But when the asparagus start to pop up, the night time feasting begins. I guess the only way I am going to be able to get any is put a tiny wire fence around the whole raised bed patch. Whoever has been eating them wasn't deterred by the bird netting we had used. We know we have had bobcats and the stories of mountain lions any where in the area are oft repeated. The stone walls keep most of the deer out, but occasionally we see the hoof prints of a visitor. Once a beautiful doe appeared in the forest in elegant slow motion. As soon as she saw me in my window, she broke gaze and bound, her hooves clearing stones and shrubs in graceful leaps. Raccoons we have and squirrels. Birds of many kinds visit in numbers, and then there are rats and mice and voles and gophers and moles. There may be some rabbits too, but we do have a dog. Why do I think I'm going to get any of my garden? We have been eating broccoli, chard, kale, lettuce, red peppers and green onions. But thus far, my asparagus crop seems to be spoken for just before I think they are tall and plentiful enough to harvest. I am working on changing this.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Last Light before the night...

Looking west over the Pacific

On February 26, 2009
the sun hadn't been much in evidence all day
so it was no surprise that it left so quietly.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Can't REST all week WORK if you CAN.

There are so many songs about the working man blues...
but for a lot of folks they just don't cut it right now.
n/n Lots of People Singin the Not working at all Blues n/n
~Women definitely not excluded in this plight~
Remember the old folk song: "Where did all the flowers go, long time passing?"
Now it's " Where did the money go?"
Some of it had to have been actual, so where's that part?
There is a saying in systems theory that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

But you have to have all the parts and them working for things to work.

To quote Bob Dylan...which may describe the ECONOMY'S WOES as well as any Economist:
"The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handle."
Here's to everyone wanting and willing and needing to work,
Hope your assets and abilities and efforts are all adding up to keep you well.


Sunday, February 22, 2009


From the writings of Abraham Joshua Heschel
"Rest as if all your work is done..."
"Labor is a craft, but perfect rest is an art-the result of accord in body and mind and imagination."

and to paraphrase John David Schofield
~In these tumultuous times, when resources are limited and needs are so great, what a terrible mistake to think that we are too busy, too pressured to rest or that rest is a luxury for those with no cares rather than a necessity to become the human beings God has created us to be. ~
and from me...
May you find your rest.... take your rest
I'll say no more, I leave the rest up to you.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Chicken, Chard and the Chimpanzee Cartoon

Perusing my notebook diaries today, you know the kind, fast hot scribbling from some odd position in bed; I found an entry back in July 2007 where I was thinking about starting a web log. So apparently I thought about it and then waited another 18 months before venturing into the public sphere.

In any venue, I question the value of my writing, it takes a lot of time and writing feels dangerous. If I write without restraint it could create liabilities. If I write with restraint, I fear a lack of meaning and vitality. I shrug off writing for periods of time but I always come back to the act as I find that writing is, in and of itself, a valuable process. Perhaps to write with restraint is the benefit. Pen in hand, aware I am creating a document, as the ink begins to flow, a signal touches me, to curb myself, refine my thoughts, check my assessments of dynamics and interactions. I experience a primal benefit flowing right out of my pen.

Yes, writing definitely helps me work things out, answer a few of my questions and usually stimulates more of them. Today while cooking, I realized the hive of thoughts buzzing me was going to require some writing. It's this chimpanzee business. I always hated it when former President George W. Bush was referred to as the “Chimp in Chief ” and I also don't like the recently published, protested and apologized for cartoon showing a dead chimpanzee and two policemen, captioned "They will have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." So here I am, having finished chopping the onions, stuffing chard leaves and popping a chicken in the oven, writing in my web log.

The cartoon is said to connect two current news stories. It wouldn't occur to me to connect the tragic story of a wild animal who was used and retired by the advertising world, coddled by a person deeply attached to him, sickened by a disease, fed psychiatric meds, who ends up being shot dead to end his brutal attack on a visitor, to the on-going painful economic meltdown and the 647 page bill that just moved through the American House of Congress. They are both hard stories. I didn’t get Cartoonist Delano’s expressed intended message or Critic Sharpton’s interpretation. I just didn’t like it. I understand that pasquinades, satires and lampoons have long been with us and are an accepted part of the larger conversation, but I’m too hungry for civil discourse to find much meaning in them.

I wonder how broad the public conversation on meaning and intent will become? Is the person who created the cartoon responsible for its meaning and is its meaning related to his intent? Or is the cartoonist responsible for the interpretations others make of his cartoon? If one factors in that intent and full-orbed consciousness are not always linked and that the hulk of unintended consequences is often shadowing us, it seems the more ambiguous an offering is in any particulars, the more room one has left for each and any viewer to attribute their own particulars of significance to the meaning of any creation. In linking these disparate events, Mr. Delano left considerable room for confusion and misunderstanding.

So I cooked the chicken too long while I was writing out these thoughts, but it helped me to write them down. I think in any form, especially in these days of global information sharing, one should work hard to be civil and to share their intended meaning with an understanding that they will have a certain degree of responsibility for the effect of their work on society. A good part of communicating is anticipating some of the myriad meanings any offering will have to others.

No wonder I am blog shy, a bit of a chicken. Well, I'm going to try and keep these civil communication hopes in mind. I hope you will too.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Opportunities 86,400 seconds a day

Listening to the radio as I wound down the coast to the dentist office in town this morning, I heard a car ad appropriating axioms as if they were apt analogies for rushing out and buying a new car. They used the old classic, "He who hesitates is lost." But the one that really caught my ear was, "Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them."

I wasn’t interested in buying a new car, I like to make autos last as long as possible, but I did want to know who this unattributed quote was from. Back at home, I made a " google search" and learned of a man who is apparently oft quoted, William Arthur Ward (1921 – 1994).

He is also responsible for: "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." If he were still with us today I think he would be realistically concerned about the economic meltdown of our time and just as quick to remind us to take a much longer and deeper view of life. "Wise are those who learn that the bottom line doesn't always have to be their top priority."

I missed sunrise this morning, but I feel like I "got a message" and it lurked in me while I went about my day. I’m not buying any new cars, but I sure enjoyed the sunset tonight and I hope you did too.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Page from my father's notebooks...

My father died on February 13th 1989, 2o years ago. I have a stack of his hand written journals. He had many interests : math and physics, telescopes, watch and clock repair, bonsai trees, camping by rivers, tales of buried treasures, biographies, music and tennis matches on television when he no longer played himself.

He admired and studied the art of calligraphy. He liked the feel of ink and paper and sometimes would save a piece of junk advertising mail if he felt any quality of rag content and use the blank parts of it to practice handwriting styles.

This page is written in a yellow faced spiral bound notebook. He was just scribbling words...longing for them to be both visually beautiful and communicate. People and communicating were my father's underlying and enduring interests. I miss him.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Lilies in the Rain

It's raining. There are actually puddles.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I haven’t shared much in “my profile” here. I find I have a deeply rooted resistance to filling in lists in boxes. For one thing, I don't always remember what would go in the boxes if I were totally willing to fill them in. But sometimes, quiet times, it's as if I feel unseen hands on my shoulders turning me to take in a view I might have missed as I remember the words, or the impact of the words, of a friend I met only through their writing. So this morning I have entered a favorite book in my profile because this morning I remembered Victor Frankl.
It's been many years since I read him. In Man's Search For Meaning he wrote: "We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

Someone asked me why I chose to call my web log “Bread on the Water." It’s a phrase from the 11th chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes. “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.” Perhaps bread on the water calls up an image of feeding ducks or soggy loaves, but as real as bread and water are , they are also symbolic. "Cast your bread upon the water," I don’t know if I know what it “means” in the context of Solomon’s purpose, but I hear in it an openness: to do, to risk, to give, to care, to trust. Even the word cast is a power of imagery. I see lines cast in rivers to draw forth fish, sowers casting seeds across the fields of the world.

In San Francisco 1960s bread was often slang for money, as in “you got any bread man?” Bread, Money, Energy…cast your bread upon the waters. I think that’s what a blog is all about, a little giving into the unknown, to unknown others.
That’s quite an image that Frankl shares…men giving away their last piece of bread. I’ve never done that, but I have been given a lot. I've received a lot: a lot of bread, a lot of love, a lot …. so I hope to share a little here. As my banner says, I'm not sure what the topics or direction of this blog will be from week to week, but I’m here to cast a little bread on the water.