Saturday, December 30, 2006


The three massive blue white stars, Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka, in the belt of the constellation Orion. This is how they might have looked about 1,500 years ago. The plate is a composite from shots taken between 1987 and 1991 by one of the telescopes at the Mt Palomar observatory and shot through a series of color filters.


This is a suggested prayer to ask for healing for the human spirit. Creator knows we need it.

Our Mother Earth, Great Lady of Creation, you who have given birth to every land and all creatures and plants, and all peoples we call upon you. We know that you can heal and restore the balance of nature, as you have done before. We know that after every human catastrophe, you have clothed the land again, in flowers. After each abuse, or after war, you break down poisons. Over years, you cover buildings and battlefields with plants and creatures and bring back the beauty. We ask you to change us, restore us, within our spirits. Let your wise magic make us new in harmony, that we may live in peace, and creativity, and in adventure, with harm to none. Bring us to wisdom.  


by Rae Beth

Monday, December 25, 2006


Spiral galaxay NGC 4526 with supernova remains in the lower left hand cornor. The galaxy is part of the Virgo cluster. Shot was taken in 1994.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Another journal posted the lyrics to this song too. It's the wonderful "Ring Out Solstice Bells" by the group Jethro Tull in their album Songs of the Wood . It came out back in the seventies. And I'm looking for the cd to replace my old vinyl.

Ring Out, Solstice Bells

Now is the solstice of the year,
  winter is the glad song that you hear.
Seven maids move in seven time.
Have the lads up ready in a line.

Ring out these bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.

Join together beneath the mistletoe.
  by the holy oak whereon it grows.
Seven druids dance in seven time.
Sing the song the bells call, loudly chiming.

Ring out these bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.

Praise be to the distant sister sun,
  joyful as the silver planets run.
Seven maids move in seven time.
Sing the song the bells call, loudly chiming.
Ring out those bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.
Ring on, ring out.
Ring on, ring out.

So ring out those bells, the sun will be coming back. We should have some crocuses by the end of January. The elder is budding, and the winter heather is blooming. The fields around town have greened up and are so bright when get that rare sunny day. Go ring a bell. :-)

Monday, December 18, 2006


Mary Barker's Heather Flower Fairy

Although this is the darker time of the year the heather is just beginning to bloom. Not a very warm time of the year for the little fairies. I think ours may be wearing their long johns instead of those cute little shorts.  

Brightener of Darkness, hail!
    Keeper of Clearness, Opener of the depths.
        Gifts of plenty are arising,
            Winter wonders, white snows fall.
Joyful be the hearts within us,
    Open wide the guesting door,
        Wisdom waken in abundance,
            Warm our beings to the core.

by Caitlin Matthews in the Celtic Devotional

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Bide the Wiccan Law ye must, 
In perfect love and perfect trust,
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill, 
An' ye harm none, do what ye will,

What ye send forth, comes back to thee, 
So ever mind the Rule of Three,
Follow this with mind and heart, 
And Merry Meet and Merry Part!

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Working on Ernest Callenbach's Ecotopia Emerging. An excellent book (in my opinion). What's scary is that it was first published in '81 and set around the turn of the century. It's not as bad as the book, yet. But it's interesting to see how on the mark the author was. Mr. Callenbach wrote this version of the Ten Commandments in 1990.


Thou shalt love and honor the Earth for it blesses thy life and governs thy survival.

Thou shalt keep each day sacred to the Earth and celebrate the turning of its seasons.

Thou shalt not hold thyself above other living things nor drive them to extinction.

Thou shalt give thanks for thy food to the creatures and plants that nourish thee.

Thou shalt limit thy offspring for multitudes of people are a burden unto the Earth.

Thou shalt not kill nor waste Earth's riches upon weapons of war.

Thou shalt not pursue profit at the Earth's expense but strive to restore its damaged majesty.

Thou shalt not hide from thyself or others the consequences of thy actions upon the Earth.

Thou shalt not steal from future generations by impoverishing or poisoning the Earth.

Thou shalt consume material goods in moderation so all may share Earth's bounty.

Ernest Callenbach


Monday, November 13, 2006


I am your mother: do not neglect me!
Children protect me-I need your trust;
my breath is your breath, my death is your death,
ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
I am your nurture; do not destroy me!
Love and enjoy me, savor my fruit;
my good is your good, my food is your food,
water and flower, branches and root.
I am your lodging: do not abuse me!
Tenderly use me, soothing my scars;
my health is your health, my wealth is your wealth,
shining with promise, set among stars.
The Creator is our maker, do not deny,
challenge, defy or, threaten this place;
life is to cherish, care, or we perish!
I am your mother, tears on my face.
Adapted from a prayer by Shirley Erena Murray 1996
I found this in a little booklet my mom's Methodist Women's group used last year. All the songs and poems were by women.

Monday, November 6, 2006


The newest “gay” scandal.


Please go here first.


And before we get into this, I have always had a problem with the whole Mega church phenomenon. There is something inherently strange about belonging to a church that has far more members than the town I grew up in. Especially churches that put larger than life size pictures of the pastor in the hallway outside what appears to be the sanctuary. What the ?????????????????????


Someone posting on the boards wanted to know why the media was all over this individual like a swarm of flies on rotten meat. (My image, not theirs)


I think this is the posting that started that thread, but it’s hard to tell.


All I have to say is JIM MCGREEVEY!!!!!

I don't understand why the news media gets such pleasure about finding out who is gay and who is not. What is the big deal? These things should be kept under the rug and not brought into the public light. The liberals and news feel that everyone's personal life is everyone elses business. They are so wrong.


Altogether now, repeat after me “Bill Clinton.” Certain conservatives thought his private business was their business and held up the public’s business for nearly a year while they put him under an electron microscope. What’s sauce for the goose and all that.


That said, this was my posting on that thread. Mine’s in bold.


Because the sharks smell the blood in the water and the feeding frenzy is on. We've got a scandal to drool over. It wouldn't matter if the people involved were gay, het, bi, or into multiples as long as it gets ratings and it sells advertising.


At this point I think the prophet from Nazareth would be looking for a good old fashioned walking stick and getting ready to clean out the forecourt of the temple. Again. It never ends does it? There's enough blame to go around for all of us.


I suspect his targets now would be similar to the good men of business who had turned the temple courtyard into a refuge for shysters and cheats. When he's not shaking his head and thinking "Dad told me there would be days like this."


It’s so tragic when these things happen. Just some thoughts on the whole mess. We don’t come in discrete heights, weights or skin colors. Is just possible that we have a range in sexuality that goes from totally heterosexual to strongly same sex? I suspect that the folks who end up towards the middle can swing either way and get through their lives on a fairly even keel. This could account for those who go through the “treatments” that claim they can “cure” homosexuality.


The reverend Haggard isn’t the first person following a conservative religious life style to try to hide a fundamental piece of their identity. And what were the results?  Personal humiliation for himself. Scandal for his family. Another bloody media feeding frenzy. Accusations and counter accusations that are starting to border on the absurd. Suspicion on one side that it’s all a set up. Certainty on the other that one strand of Christianity is the whole knitting project and it’s all unraveling or full of holes. And in the mean time, so much else that needs our attention goes totally ignored.


And the problem isn't gay sex or non gay sex. I just realized that I haven't seen any postings that really go to the heart of it. When people choose to spend their lives together in that special bond that marriage is, they make promises. They make promises to themselves and to that very, very special person who will be sharing their lives. He broke his promises. If you can break that promise what other promises will you break?


Saturday, November 4, 2006


The quote is from Garden Witchery by Ellen Dugan.

I believe anyone who plants anything is also planting a little bit of hope. But especially trees. The person who plants a tree will probably never see how it finally looks after fifty or a hundred years, but they plant them anyway. So, believe in the future and go get dirty. If you don't have room for a tree, plant some bulbs, lavender, anything.

Well, almost anything. LOL

Wednesday, November 1, 2006


The Celtic winter has arrived. This the beginning of the season of Samhain.

I am the Hallow-tide of all souls passing,
I am the bright releaser of all pain,
I am the quicken of the fallen seed case,
I am the glance of snow, the strike of rain.
I am the hollow of the winter twilight,
I am the hearth fire and the welcome bread,
I am the curtained awning of the pillow,
I am unending wisdom's golden thread.
Caitlin Matthews in The Celtic Devotional
This the beginning of the dark time of the year here. Within a couple of weeks I'll be going out the front door in the dark in the morning and coming through the door to the welcome light at the end of the day. From now until the end of January when it starts getting brighter. Everything is tucked in, the grass fields plowed and reseeded and beginning to show a little green. And if we hae a mile year, the crocuses will be showing leaves about the middle of January. And probably wishing life came with a rewind button. Now eastern Oregon and Washington? It really gets freakin' cold on the other side of the mountains.



Sunday, October 29, 2006


These don't look like much now. We went back out to Johnsons's yesterday and came back with three more potentillas, AKA shrubby cinquefoile. The brighter green one will have tiny yellow flowers and will look something like this.

The lighter foliage plant in the front is called "pink whisper" and has flowers that should look something like this. They're only and inch or so across. The leaves are tiny and resistant to drought. We don't have problems with deer but they're supposed to be good to plant where deer are a problem.

Man I love the net, I can combine my shots with what's available on the internet.

Anyway mom got the first two in last week and while I was moving blocks out back she was pulling the last big lavender. We both worked on getting the first shrub in to replace the lavender. We pretty much decided where the other two would go while we were at it.

 So, this morning while she was at church, I crossed my fingers, stepped into the mists and started digging. Had to take time to lift some autumn crocus bulbs and put them aside in pots to rest until we can put them back in a little different place. Surprised myself with two completed, if muddy holes. Took the both of us less than half an hour to get the other two in their new homes. Made her very happy to get them out of the way so she has more time to work with the easier plantings, They're very hardy, so short of an extended freeze in January they should come through just fine and be raring to go in the spring.

Actually I have an eye exam to tomorrow afternoon and I took Tuesday off in case I don't have time to fill my new perscription Monday. So, I can probably give her some help Tuesday, too.

My knees are a little stiff this evening but it's been a long time since I could do something like this that I'm feeling a little proud of myself. I'm in no danger of breaking my arm patting myself on the back.


View from the side door of the enclosed deck towards the new six foot wide deck. It runs the width of the back yard. About twelve feet or so. The concrete blocks came from a half assed planter that was put in several years ago. Mainly to use the blocks. I spead the bark yesterday and took the planter apart. I really still can't believe I did it. Wonderful what losing about a hundred pounds can do. The blocks will be bases for oblong wooden planters. We saw some great combinations out at Johnson Brothers nursery the last couple of times we were out. Combos of grasses, herbs, perrenials and annuals. Spectacular ideas.The shrub is a volunterr forsythia that will probably be replaced by one of the native wild roses. Several varieties, all pink.

Back by the fence There will be an area using these plants.


The tall plant in the back is a variety of flax. It will probably get five feet or so tall. They didn't have any dusty miller left, but they did have an herb called silver santolina which has the same silvery color and also has yellow flowers. It will be about a foot and a half tall and wide. The fine green striped plant is a Japanese reed grass. The blue green grass is blue fescue. It will mound beautifully and everything should blend in very well.

We'll put a path through the middle. Combined pavers and the old bricks from the barbeque. Mom is visualizing grasses and using ferns that we already have. Just lift part of the fern, plant it and you're in like Flynn, And the smaller lavenders will work very well too.


Years before we bought the place, the old owners turned it into a rental. There's a retaining wall in the back and between the sections of the retaining wall was a brick barbeque. One weekend so the story goes, it got trashed during a drunken party. We put in some wooden steps that lasted about twenty years. We're still diggig up old boken bricks.

This replacement uses the blocks from my old block and board bookcases. (I had a lot of them) And guess who did the lions' share of the work?  My eighty year old mother. She did most of it during the week while I was at work and it took her the better part of a month. But, she darn well did it! She filled in the patterns with sand and we'll put some of the pretty white marble chunks on top. Just plain old bark nuggets on top. There's an enclosed deck with a door at the base of the steps. Much easier to get up now than trying to get up at the end

Saturday, October 28, 2006


This is a Hubble Telescope shot of two galaxies, NGC4038 and 4039, in the constellation Corvus. The two are about 63 million light years away, and are known as the Antennae Galaxies because of the stream of matter between them. Astromomers believe that at some point the galaxies collieded or at least came close enough to be a near miss. All that wonderful bright blue is from clusters of new stars created by the matter being exchanged as the two pass each other.

At 63 million light years, the light captured on this 1997 photo started out about the time the dinosaurs were dying out and flowers were becoming more common. I wonder what these star flowers look like now. Since blue white stars are the hottest and burn out the fastest, some of these stars may have already gone nova and given birth to another generation of stars.

I stumbled over this as a black and white shot accompanying a story about possible repairs to the Hubble telescope next year.  

Sunday, October 15, 2006


This is the entry I started with. It turned into a two parter when I remembered that not everyone shares my love of all things Tolkien. Thank heaven I didn't have to go any further back in Tolkien's creation to explain who and where these people are in the story.


If you can rent of the extended versions of the three Rings films, do it. It’s probably as close as any of us will get to old fashioned, in your face, up close and personal warfare with swords, daggers and clubs. Actually second and third films are loaded with ancient weapons and battle engines. Catapults, trebuchets, ballistas, battering rams, you name it the bad guys have it. Remarkable how much damage you can do with machines that aren’t mechanized. It’s intense, dirty, bloody, and brutal.


Theoden’s despair as he faces what defeat at Helm’s Deep will mean for the women and children who’ve taken refuge in the caves behind the fortress and Aragon’s desperation as he tries to find a way of escape for at least a few are heart breaking. There is a path into the mountains, but a surviving member of the kings’ guard tells him “they will not get far.” The berserker’s charge down the causeway by the survivors in the great hall is led by an old man who has fought many battles over the years, a man who may be a king, and fueled by desperation and hope. The hope that not only will a wizard be on time but that Gandalf will have more to work with than a good horse and a really cool staff.


Defeating Saruman's Uruks at Helm's Deep is only the first step. Gondor is an old ally and desparate for support. For many if not all of Theoden's riders this may be their last ride and it reminds me that while we’ve been told we’re in the battle of the century, very few of us have been asked to do more than keep buying SUV’s, shopping at Wal Mart, upholding the tax cuts for the rich, and staying scared. The lines of riders facing the enemy on the plain before Minas Tirith include a old king who leads from the front, the nephew he trusts to pick up the banner if he falls, more than one grey beard, many horses that look more suited to the plow than a cavalry charge, one very stubborn young woman and one hobbit, who suddenly looks very small.


And the decision to ride out in spite of the odds reminds me that Americans aren’t the only ones with courage to keep fighting even if you may not win. If we can cheer for the good guys when they keep going in spite of the odds, why can’t we understand that those we call enemies are capable of the same desperate courage.


The extended cut of Return of the King has something very few films have. The scene after the battle. And it’s just enough to get your imagination to fill in the details. Blood soaking the grass, bodies of friend and enemy piled on each other, dead horses, the search for the wounded and the numbering of the dead.


The screams of the new king of Rohan when he finds someone who wasn’t supposed to be on that field kept echoing in my memory for a long time. It was that very stubborn young woman, his sister Eowyn. She survives in the end and in the novel version finds some measure of happiness. And there is also a desperately successful search by a little hobbt for his cousin and friend. A search more imagined than shown, that lasts from the end of the battle sometime around mid day until well into the night. There is also a glimpse a strong thread in the third novel. That the returning king will not only be a warrior but a healer. Not unexpected from the devoutly catholic Tolkien. But something that is very rare in those who claim to be leaders on any side in this world. We see many who claim to be warriors, dismiss those who try to be healers, and end up being neither.


We attack, the insurgents and the Taliban counter attack and the civilians are caught in the crossfire. Everyday one person or ten has to crawl out of the rubble, crack open a door, slip out a window and try to make sense out of the carnage. We know how many of our troops have been killed or injured in the last three years. Nobody seems to know how many Iraqis and Afghans have been killed or injured. Each light in this universe is unique and irreplaceable. Let’s extinguish as few as possible.


My last entry and a late night session with Return of the King sort of got together and this is one of the results. I know that not everyone is familiar with either the films or the books so here is a link to an online reference called the Encyclopedia of Arda. The link is sort of the lazy woman's answer to trying to explain the whos, the wheres and how they fit together. If you scroll down to the bottom of the frame at the left you'll get to the index.

But the relatively short version of the whos and wheres is this.


The peoples

Elves-immortal beings sort of. They don’t age, they don’t get sick but they can be killed by accident, in battle or by despair.


Men-exactly that. Human beings of all shapes and sizes with all their faults and heroism.


Dwarves-shorter than men and taller than hobbits. Miners and craftsmen. Very handy with an ax, or two or three.


Hobbits-also known as Halflings. They live in the Shire, farm love good food and plenty of it, but can get by on short rations if they have to. Don’t travel much and stick mainly to farm tools and the like.


Wizards-old men of great age, mysterious origin and uncertain temper. The two in the stories are Saruman who hangs out in a very tall tower with many sharp edges called Orthanc. Saruman’s curiosity has gotten the better of him. The other is Gandalf. A wanderer with a reputation for showing up only when he’s needed. Also creates fantastic fireworks displays.


The One Ring-a piece of bad news jewelry. Lost by it’s creator, Sauron who created it in an effort to control Middle Earth. Lost the ring in a great battle centuries before. Since he allowed much of his power to enter the ring. Sauron is currently visible as great flaming eye. The ring was lost in battle, landed in a river, was found by creepy character known as Gollum and dumped him for a hobbit named Bilbo who left it (very reluctantly and with a lot of persuasion from Gandalf) to his younger relative, Frodo. The ring leaves you not the other way around.


Orcs -creatures of uncertain origin and extremely nasty dispositions. One real draw back-they don’t do well in sunlight. Saruman claims they started as elves who were twisted by this universes’ version of Lucifer. I think the fallen equivalent of what we would call an arch angel who tried to claim all of Middle Earth ages ago, and almost succeeded. Basically sword fodder in the films. The sword fodder also includes Uruks. Created by Saruman they are bigger than orcs with even worse dispositions and an ability to function in daylight.


The where’s


The shire-think rural <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />England without the lord of the manor. Basically the yeoman style farmers. Hobbits don’t travel outside the Shire very often. Since an average size person won’t fit in a hobbit hole or house, they don’t get many visitors. Lies to the west of the Misty Mountains.


Gondor-A kingdom of men to the south and east of the Misty Mountains. The survivor of two kingdoms. The northern kingdom, Arnor fell centuries before as did the royal house of Gondor. Currently governed by a series of hereditary stewards.


Rohan-plains country, home to a people modeled after a cross between the old Anglo Saxons and the Scandinavians with horses instead and ships and much friendlier than the old Vikings. The Rohirram don’tsend their summers raiding their neighbors. Small communities scattered across thecountry. Led by a king.


Mordor-the one place in middle earth you don’t want to visit. Rocky, black, twisted, almost impossible to get into and even harder to get out of. Main landmarks include waterless plains, a volcano where Sauron had his forge, channels of lava and a huge black tower with that flaming eye on top.


The main characters that show up in the second half of this entry.


The Fellowship


Includes four hobbits-Frodo, Merry, Pippin and Sam. Two men, Boromir from Gondor and Aragorn. Boromir is the older son of the current ruling steward. Aragorn is the last of the line of the northern kings. Better than great with a sword, older than he looks and haunted by the failure of his ancestor to destroy that cursed chunk of gold when he had the chance. The other three members include an elf, a dwarf and Gandalf. By the end of the first film Frodo, Sam and the ring are headed to Mordor on their own, Merry and Pippin are in the ungentle hands of Saruman’s Uruks. Gandalf literally fell out of the picture in the ruins of the old dwarf kingdom of Moria only to return better than new.  (It’s hard to explain without sounding totally off the wall. Let’s just say that Gandalf is more like a lesser angel and leave it at that.) Boromir fell trying to protect Merry and Pippen. The remaining three are pursuing the Uruks-on foot.


Theoden king of Rohan, his nephew and heir Eomer and his niece Eowyn.  Saruman is very good at mind control and Theoden is his current victim. Eowyn, well lets just say that watching the uncle she loves turn into a mindless shell and dodging the attentions of his slimy advisor, appropriately nicknamed Wormtongue, do not make her day. Frankly she’d rather join her brother in battle. A duel of minds between Gandalf and Saruman that plays better onfilm than in words results in a healed Theoden. Unfortunately he’s up to speed just in time to lead the retreat to an old fortress in the mountains. The man who is a king and the warrior who may become a king if he manages to live long enough lock horns a time or two over strategy. Gandalf and Aragorn counsel that warriors try to lead the enemy away from the city. Theoden prefers to lead the entire population in a retreat to Helm’s Deep. Definitely more defensible. Trouble is it’s at a dead end. The only real way out is the way they came in. Which is where part two comes in.


This did grow didn’t it? Check out the website when you have time, it’s kind of cool.



Another tempest in a large teapot. As you'll see from the story she made her post to MySpace last spring, she took it down on her own when she found out it was against the law and the Secret Service didn't show up until just before this falls' election. A coincidence I find more than a little interesting. So, please go to this story first.

Jesus said at some point in the gospels that telling someone you hated them was tantamount to murder. Wicca teaches that whatever you do to someone else will come back to you. And that what comes back will be stronger than what you sent out. Some say three, others say seven or nine. And then there’s the scriptural seventy times seven. Now there’s an incentive to keep your actions on the kindness side of the scales.


So just some thoughts from someone who seldom posts to any boards and is probably hopelessly optimistic.


One, to the teen-answering the violence of war with an ill considered picture with a threat of violence of any kind doesn't solve the problem; it only adds fuel to the flames.


Two, one poster said this will follow her all her life. AWOL Bush disappeared from his guard service, never was held accountable, and managed to get elected governor of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Texas and president of the US, so I don't think this will really be a problem.


Third, to all of those who think a 14 year old should be hauled out and shot for treason because some other country would do the same thing, this isn't other countries, this is the United States. Incidentally, what do you call lying to the people you were elected to lead, trashing our country’s reputation, repudiating treaties and getting us into the wrong war, for the wrong reason with no plan to get out of the swamp? If we’re going to start down that road I suspect she’d have plenty of company.


Finally, call it the last judgment, conscience, karma, the Golden Rule or the Wiccan rede all that hate and threats you are spewing won’t just go away. You will have to listen to those words and relive those emotions over and over at some point. As good a reason as I know for thinking about what you're going to say or write in the first place. It's hard swallowing cold crow. I haven't found anything that makes it go down easier, and that's as it should be.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006



The Golden Rule according to the followers of



Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself.



Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.



What is hateful to you, do not do your neighbour. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary




One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated.



Do not do unto others whatever is injurious to yourself.


Native Spirituality

We are as much alive as we keep the earth alive.



In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for thisis the law and the prophets.



I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.


The Tao

Regard you neighbour’s gain as your own gain, and our neighbour’s loss as your own loss.



One word which sums up the basis of all good conduct…loving kindness. Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.



Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.



This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.


From a handout from mom's Methodist Women's group. The Wiccan Rede is very similar: An it harm none, do what thou will. Now if we could all just follow the blessed things no matter what tradition we follow.





It may be no coincidence that all the sayings are so similar. All the traditions lie withiin the complex of the ancient network of caravan routes called the Silk Road. From Rome and Egypt and the west to the cities of China in the east goods and ideas traveled back and forth at donkey and camel pace for centuries.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006


Well, congress went and did it. The detainee bill has been passed and to my shame the Republican senator from Oregon voted for it. Not only foreign suspects can be seized and potentially disappeared with no right to a trial or hearing or even to know what the charges are against them. American citezens are subject to the same treatment.

To anyone who believes that it will stop here this poem is attributed to Martin Niemoller, a German, a Lutheran pastor, an man who narrowly missed execution for treason at the end of WWII. A war he spent in the concentration camps of Sachsenhausen and Dachau. There are many versions, this is one of them.

First They Came for the Jews

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the social democrats
 and I did not speak out
because I was not a social democrat.

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller


Sunday, October 1, 2006


Enough in the papers and on the news this weekend to depress a terminaly optimistic hyena so I went looking for something more hopeful.

Paint a picture of tomorrow

With gentleness, in your mind,

Tinting it all with feelings,

Every creation of humankind.


Be willing to feel every heart,

And the desires it contains,

Including every nuance,

The joy, as well as the pain.


Don’t forget to use all colors,

The pastels, tints, and hues,

That represent the wholeness

That Great Mystery can imbue.


Then sculpt the shapes of destiny,

The patterns great and small,

Weaving dark and light in unity,

Yet unfolding within the All.


But what is the difference

In this world and Yesterdays?

Is it the final ingredient

That changes our former ways?


Jamie Sams in Earth Medicine


Monday, September 25, 2006


The promise of tomorrow
Depends upon the way
We honor all the blessings
That are ours today.
Can we hear the voices
Of the children yet unborn?
Do they call to us with gratitude,
Or do we hear their scorn?
Are we so wrapped up with taking
That we forget to give?
Wasting every resource
That allows the future to live.
Have we killed the promise
Of tomorrows yet to be?
Or will we stop the plunder
Of our greed's insanity?
The children of the future
Sing out in the night.
Their song asks for mercy,
A release from their plight.
We can make a difference,
We can show we care,
By honoring all the blessings
Of fire, water, earth, and air.
Jamie Sams in Earth Medicine

Friday, September 22, 2006


Like I said in the last entry. Amateur philosopher thinking in public. Beware of the fallout.


I splurged on a couple of new books , titles later after I’ve gotten beyond the first chapter. I’m not sure I agree with everything the authors claim but it has stirred things up and that’s good.


One author I’ll be exploring claims that Jesus didn’t exist. That it was a name given to stories about Gods born of virgins that was centuries old two thousand years ago. Well, somebody put new wood on the fire under the spiritual pot in Palestine and it boiled over about two thousand years ago. It may have been a teacher named Jesus. It may not.


If it was, I’m not sure Jesus talked about anything new or really radical. If it had been too new no one would have been listening. The old stories had been bouncing around for centuries. Some how the old teachings came alive in a way never seen before. It was a new way of seeing each other. It was a new way of treating each other.


That he claimed to be God made physically manifest doesn’t really matter to me. This does. He claimed that when the Creator sets the table and gives a party, everyone is welcome whether they believe they’re worthy of the invitation or not. And that it will be a hell of a party.


So of course we’ve been trying to limit the guest list ever since.


Keep being an irritant and who knows how big the final pearl will be.


I was rereading the entry this sentence was part of. And I got to thinking. Warning amateur philosopher at play.


Jesus told the story of the merchant in search of pearls. How the man found one that was the very best of all and sold everything he had to posses it. And I got to thinking about how pearls are made. What begins as a tender oyster’s attempt to protect itself from something that hurts becomes a jewel that is precious to us. So, try this out on the next person who says that we all need to be neat, orderly, follow our leaders without question and color within the lines.


“I am a pearl beyond price. I’m just not finished yet.”

Sunday, September 17, 2006


This is from the Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook. While this has a definite traditional Christian flavor I suspect that it is adaptable, very adaptable. All traditions try to help us pass along our beliefs to the generations that will follow us. Some are “gentler” than others.




As I write this recipe there is bread “raising” on my hearth and children “raising” in my home. Neither progeny is finished, but the ingredients have been carefully selected, measured and blended. The good recipe book promises; “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is grown he will not depart from it” (Proverbs, 22:6). Having experience in following that recipe book, I trust the author.


Measure into a home, parents who love, followed by a few children (use own discretion on number-we prefer 3).


Add, stirring constantly, the yeast of the faith in God, the wisdom from God’s word, your previous training and lots of common sense. Add the truth you need for consistent results, simple portions of patience, and large volumes of kindness. Soften gentleness before adding, along with discipline measured with fairness in a clean container. Add a full measure of love that has been shaken together, pressed down and overflowing the cup. Knead in as much laughter as possible and let permeate throughout the whole batch.


All ingredients should be measured using a container of prayer (no substitutions please). For excellent eating and preserving quality keep dough as soft and pliable as possible, not sticky-just so you, with God’s help can handle it.


Mix until smooth and elastic (about 18 years). Place in a greased bowl (symbolic of life’s struggles) and cover with a damp cloth (we learn through failures as well as victories). Let rise in warm place (the temperaturefor “raising” is very important) until double in size (about four to eight years after high school).


Dough will be ready to be divided and made into al shapes of beautiful young men and women for use as the Staff of Life in other people’s lives. Guaranteed-wonderful results!


Submitted for the Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook by Naomi Rhode.


I have my own story to add about these books. When the Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul came out several years ago mom and I went looking for a copy as a gift for one of my sisters. Naturally we went to the local “Christian” bookstore only to be told that they didn’t carry it. The book had “Buddhist” tendencies. Whatever the ##$%%^% he meant by that. Years later while watching the Mythos programs that Joseph Campbell I learned that Ashoka, the first Buddhist emperor of India had sent out missionary monks. Some of them made it as far as Egypt. So it’s entirely possible that there’s a “Buddhist” thread or two or three in the Middle Eastern religious tapestry. We could do a lot worse.


Being mindful of how our intentions, speech, livelihood, and other actions impact others is the only way we’re going to survive. Imagine how this world would be if we could all try to work some of this into our lives. It carries the label of one spiritual path, but it’s the foundation of all of them.


Maybe it’s time to throw the bastards out. All of them. Not only the elected “hired help” in the state and national capitals but too many of those standing behind the pulpits. Like so many politicians forget that “we” are the government (and don’t remind us when they do) too many religious spokesmen forget that the church (whatever it is and wherever it is) would exist without the buildings, stained glass and vestments. Hmmmm, as usual I’ve ended up where I didn’t expect to. Good.


I have some things to think about on this and some time to put in on the treadmill. Back later.

Sunday, September 10, 2006



Wear a smile and have friends-plum.

Wear a frown and have wrinkles-prune.

Found this in that little fund raiser cookbook. I chuckled over it, like I was supposed to and then I got to thinking. I get the frown part but, big but. The prune is a much maligned fruit. And the usual comparison is to some one wrinkled, and sour. Somebody you don’t want to be around.

But, maybe prunes are kind of like life. Most of the time you have to look below the surface to see what's really there. The road you end up on may have more potholes than you expected, a lot more. A bounce that would bruise a fresh fruit will be just that for a prune. In fact it may not only bounce it'll roll under the table and you'll have to go look for it. But, it will still be sweet, very sweet, often much sweeter than its smoother sister. . Even the tougher ones can be softened up with a little extra attention. By the way, if that extra attention involves orange juice and a little heat the results are fantastic.

Plums, like most of the summer’s fresh fruits don’t last long. You have to use them, lose them or (for the right ones) turn them into prunes Years ago my dad delivered fruit to the local cannery. He was surprised when the guys on the receiving dock to him that the plums he was hauling in would be going out as Italian prunes.

Under the wrinkles the plum is still there. Grandparents, moms and dads, aunts, uncles and the old codger down the street are a lot like that. I look at my mom. She’s eighty now. She’s a little shorter than she used to be.Her face has become a road map of her life. I look at her wedding picture or pictures from the early years of my parents’ life together. The plum is still there. It’s been through a lot. But, it’s still surprisingly soft and sweet under the wrinkles.

Saturday, September 2, 2006


Blanch one broken friendship

That’s been separated well in two.

Blend a real kind word

To start it anew.


Fold two hands together

And express a dash of sorrow.

Marinate it over night

And work on it tomorrow.


Chop one grudge in tiny pieces,

Add several cups of love.

Dredge with a large sized smile

Mix with the ingredients above.


Dissolve the hate within you

By doing a good deed.

Cut in and help your friend

If he should be in need.


Stir in laughter, love and kindness

From the heart it has to come.

Toss with genuine forgiveness

And give your neighbor some.


The amount of people served

Will depend upon you.

It can serve the whole wide world

If you really want it to.


Lucille Shamley.


From a cookbook put out by the Friends of the Hosanna Children’s Center Cookbook. A very small privately published cookbook that mom got about twenty odd years ago. It’s the kind of book that’s easy to tell the favorites. Just look for the pages with the most splatters and smudges.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


This is from the last volume of The Lord of the Rings. Bilbo, in his very old age recites it to his younger cousin before the younger hobbit leaves Rivendell to return to the Shire. I think it resonates more as I grow older than it did when I first read the books as a senoir in high school.

I sit beside the fire and think...
by J. R. R. Tolkien

I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


These nebulas are known as the North American and the Pelican. Both are located near the star Deneb in the constellation Cygus.

Yeah, the one really does look like the Gulf coast but I'm about to go cross eyed looking for the bird in the "Pelican." They are spectacular.

I'm sure they don't look nearly as colorful in real life. Isn't long term exposure and color enhancement wonderful?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

This picture is from my favorite Astronomy site. It was taken in Colorado in 2000. The meteor is one of the Perseids that fall every August, actually about this time of year. It was taken near dawn with a moonlit sky and the Aurora Borealis. So a shot with a lot of things working in it. Meteor, Colorado mountains, the break of dawn and an Aurora. Spectacular.

The poem excerpt is from Earth Medicine by Jamie Sams.

Saturday, August 5, 2006


I know posting has been a little eratic this summer. One it's summer. More time outside less time inside. Two I had to switch back to prescription medication for my blood pressure. That meant about a month or so of feeling like a zombie while my body adjusts to this crap. God I hate this stuff. A breain full of cotton really puts a damper on creativity. Doesn't make working with numbers very easy either. Naturally I work in the accounting department where I work.

I've finally figured out that you treat these drugs like a tool. It helps keep you going while you get your act together. You use it as long as you have to and work like heck to get to a point where you take as little as possible. None would be ideal, but we'll have to see. I'm very lucky that I have insurance that covers drugs.and co-payments. A lot of people don't. I really count my blessings on this.

It helps that I had dental work done last year and I can actually chew the stuff that's good for me. Also we've been adapting our diet for the last couple of years so the rest of the changes haven't been as hard to make as they could have been. And we can cook. Makes it easier to adapt things. Just keep repeating, I love fruits and vegetables, I love fruits and vegetables. Although, when I sampled a bite of vanilla ice cream when we had the boys over the other night, it was like "God, when did this stuff get soooo poisonously sweet. I'm outa here."

Which led to more time walking and research into how to use the weights that have been gathering dust in the closet since my last experiments. That little experiment led to a bum shoulder and six months sleeping with my arm on a pillow, lots of Alleve and a heating pad. Anyway, I've been more careful this time, taken it a little slower and so far I've managed to avoid damaging myself. Looking at fitness tapes can be so depressing if you aren't careful. I've been spending a fair amount of time trying to adapt excercises and stretching routines into something I can do. So far so good. And it's actually working. The range of motion in my neck and back has improved. It's take a piece from here, a chunk from over there, a couple of bricks from this routine and see what you can build on.

Next goal. Getting next to some of my Tai Chi materials. I can do some of the upper body routines now, but I have to be really careful with my knees. I am not in the market for any kind of knee surgury.

I guessI need to get in touch with my inner tortoise. Slow and steady will get me where I'm going. Sure it'll take awhile. So what if it takes a year or so. Where would I be at the end of that time if I didn't. I'd stll be a year older. Too bad I can't shoe horn an extra hour or so into the day.

Oh, and I started out at close to 400 pounds four years ago. I'm down to about 303 so naturally I'm stuck. Slow and steady, slow and steady, just keep repeating my new mantra.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


From oceans to muffins. What a trip. I usually take a whole grain muffin (a cupcake sized muffin, not one of those behemoths they sell in the vending machines) in my lunch. This little experiment worked out pretty well today.


Combine in a large mixing bowl:

2 Cups all purpose flour

1/2 Cup bran

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped nuts-walnuts, hazelnuts, or pecans. You can chop them as finely or coarsely as you like. If you like a little spice in your life you can add

1 teaspoon cinnamin, nutmeg or allspice

Combine the dry ingrediants thoroughly

Core and thinly slice two apples. Leave the peels on, puree in a food processor and add;

2 eggs

1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil. (I prefer butter, the taste and texture are better)

2 tablespoons brown sugar (yep, just two tablespoons) if you like it a little sweeter add

1 teaspoon vanilla

Blend in the food processor (we're talking a  four cup or so size processor bowl) and add to the dry ingrediants. Stir until just blended and spoon in to twelve cupcake size muffin cups. Bake in a 350 degree oven for twenty to twenty five minutes.

The puree takes the place of any other liquid in the recipe. They turned out pretty well for a first time experiment. Barely sweet and more like a bread than those glorified cupcakes they sell in the stores. (personal opinion guys)


Friday, July 21, 2006


I don't think it's a secret that I admire the work of Jacques Cousteau and his son Jean-Michel. And I've loved John Denver's song since I heard it the first time.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


The star clouds of Rho Ophiuchi. This is beautiful but it's almost a Rorshach ink blot. I look at this and see several different pictures. It's almost as if my mind is filling in the blanks. It's about five hundred light years away.

Saturday, July 8, 2006


For the second layer, there are two ways to go. The easiest is to open the background layer, set the color you wish for the second layer and draw the shape you want on the first layer using the rectangle or oval tool. The shape will fill with the color you've chosen. The second layer will look something like this.

I like a little extra interest. Go to the Filter>Texture>Grain on the main toolbar. And you get something that looks like this.

Add a bevel effect, in this case the Inner Ridge again, and you get something like this.I do like that effect. When it's finally done, it looks kind of like a picture frame that's been built from several smaller frames.

Or like this.

This one is kind of pretty, I think.



Just for the heck of it I thought I would do some entries on how I created the last couple of entries. I don't claim to have a lot of experience with Photoshops Elements, but I sure am having fun learning.

For the first layer, open a new file, set the size you need and choose a white background. For this one choose Layer Styles>Patterns>Angled Spectrum. And this is what you get.

And then you can go to Layer Styles>Photographic Effects>and choose the tint you like. In my case because I wanted use blue for the text, I chose blue.

Sepia is nice too. It's a nice brown and while it isn't a wood grain it makes a nice frame. The purple is nice too. It ranges from a nice pale purple to dark blue violet. For the final step, to give the picture a little depth, go to the bevel section of Layer Styles. The one I chose for this one is the Inner Ridge.

I think is kind of nice. For a bit of a thrill, go straight to bevels after you fill with the angled specturm and choose wacky metal. Very different, yes?


Tuesday, July 4, 2006


From Jamie Sams Earth Medicine. Gentleness is a gift we can give each other....and ourselves.

Saturday, July 1, 2006


The poem is by Jamie Sams in Earth Medicine.  With a lot of help from Photoshop Elements.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


There's a nice park about six blocks from where I live. It's right on the river. Years ago there was a sawmill at the edge of town and the old, cleaned up mill race rejoins the river at the edge of the park. It's a bonsai sort of a stream, with noisy little waterfalls and rapids.

There's a nice little path with some overlooks.

On one side there's wonderful shade, cool green and rippling water. There's even places where you can sit down. Very good for the soul.

And less that a hundred feet away there's a busy street. Everbody knows what a car looks like who need s pictures.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


 Shot of lavender, poppies and violas from our front yard. Perfect for Solstice. Since Beltane begins summer in May, this is really mid-summer. Works for me since I always thought that the longest day of the year is really the middle of summer, not the beginning.

Glory of the Day-Star hail!
Lifter of the Light, Burnisher of the Sky.
Gifts of love to earth are bringing,
Summer's shimmer, dew's delight.
Dancing be the heart within us,
Open be our souls to bliss,
Courage vanquish every shadow,
Greet midsummer with a kiss.
From Caitlin Matthews Celtic Devotional.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Currents of the River

The currents of the river
Take me 'round each bend,
Over white water rapids,
Until I begin to blend
With the Water Spirits.
As we journey on our way,
Past the shores of memories
The sun dawns on today.
The flow of life engulfs me,
My passage, the river's sounds,
The currents take me safely
'Til I stand on sacred ground.
The songs of the river
Still ring within my soul,
Asking me to sing with them,
As I stand upon the shoal.
"Allow all those around you
To follow their own trails,
Finding their uniquenesses,
And telling their own tales.
Every current is different,
Every lesson will unfold,
And the flow of each river,
Brings lessons to the soul."
From Jamie Sams Earth Medicine. We're very luck to have the Willamette riiver running between Eugene and Springfield. And even luckier to have a fantastic network of bike trails and parks running along the banks. Mom and I have been doing some exploring the last couple of weekends. It'll probably take all summer just ot explore a small portion of them. Great for walks and picnics.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


From the Celtic Devotional. I think we all have sleepless nights these days. This is kind of nice.I like the picture of a master weaver at a loom weaving dreams for sleepers.

My heart has been turned from home, for I am wakeful.
As the desert hours stretch out to the stars,
As an exile banned from the native land of sleep,
I offer this prayer for all who are wakeful and alone.
In torment and in danger, in fear and in despair,
In grief and watchfulness, in worry or in care,
May the Thatcher of Sleep make a roof for the wakeful soul,
May the Weaver of Dreams lend a garment to cover the wakeful,
May the Womb of Night become a cradle of rest for the restless,
May the exile be restored to the house of sleep.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006


This is from Caitlin Matthews Celtic Devotional. I figure I can use all the help I can get. The feeling that wherever you walk you are protected and blessed the world around you. I'm fortunate to be in an area that's closer to the natural world than many in this country.
May you go forth under the strength of heaven,
under the light of sun,
under the radiance of moon;
May you go forth under the splendor of fire,
with the speed of lightning,
with the swiftness of wind;
May you go forth supported by the depth of sea,
by the stability of earth,
by the firmness of rock;
May you be surrounded and encircled,
above, below, and about,
with the protection of the nine elements.

Friday, June 2, 2006


In Jamie Sams stories of the Clan Mothers, the one for this moon cycle is the Storyteller. She makes the point in the intro selection that we have to listen to the stories of all who share Creation with us. But, how can we become aware of the stories of all who share this little world with us when we won’t hear the stories told by our own kind?


Troops from the Oregon National Guard put in their tours of duty in Iraq. The local paper made a point to tell the stories those who lost their lives in the line of duty. There were more than a few letters in the paper accusing those who publish the paper of being “Un-American” and undermining national security by telling their stories.


If you are going to support a war you have to accept some of those who serve are going to die. Acknowledging that cost isn’t telling the ones who killed them something that they don’t already know. Hell, they were the first to know. If you support a war, but don’t want to face the human costs, then hypocrite is the kindest word I can use. There are others, but this is a family blog.


I realize that Viet Nam is part of this. And I think that’s why the Viet Nam Memorial is such a powerful symbol. Those who visit it know that behind every name there is a story. No, not just one story, but the stories of everyone that was a friend, class mate, co-worker, or relative. And by looking at those names and wondering about the story behind the name, we become part of the story too.


Just because we ignore the stories doesn’t erase them. The story is still there whether we want to hear it or not. In a strange way I feel that by denying the stories of the ends of their lives, we unravel the rest of that story. The damage doesn’t stop there, it unravels the whole tapestry.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


We;ve been having a medium sized tempest in a teapot in my neighborhood. There are a couple of newspapers run by students from the U of O. They aren't affiliated with the university, but do recieve some student activity fees. They may also have bulk mailing privileges but that's suddenly open to interpretation. Anyway, one is self proclaimed conservative and the other is, well if the name Student Insurgent suggests that this is tends to be a bit on the liberal, ok anarchist side of the fence you'd be right.

The self proclaimed conservatives published the infamous Mohammad cartoons from Denmark. The Insurgent responded by putting out a request for cartoons about Jesus. I've only seen two of them and yeah, they're pretty offensive. I'm not sure how many of the papers actually made it out the door becuase the university suddenly announced that the paper had been using the wrong bulk mail permit or something and held up seven hundred copies. 

Anyway, the battle was joined. You'd think this is the absolute worst thing to happen in the last 2000 years. Several of the letter writers on the "you wouldn't do something like this to anybody else and get away with it side" don't seem to understand why no one else is as upset as they are. The U of O has been attacked by spokesmen for the Catholic church in Boston and by none other than Bill O'Reilly of Fox (That's almost a badge of honor) among others.

I don't know if this will end up in the local paper, but this is the text of a letter I wrote on my break this morning.

"Is it possible that those of us who call ourselves Christians would get more sympathy when we claim discrimination if we hadn't already shot ourselves in both feet over the centuries.

Constantine legalized Christianity within the Roman Empire and we haven't allowed each other a peaceful day since.

We've hurled heresy charges against each other in the early centuries. Split the church between Roman and Orthodox in the Great Schism. Preached a crusade against our own in southern France in the 1200's, followed by the Inquisition, and the European wars of religion. Protestant denominations have split and split again over perceived purity of doctrine, or the lack of it. The Southern Baptists are the latest in a long line to purge their own from any position where they can preach or teach.

Perhaps if we showed more charity and understanding for each other, we'd receive the same from others."

One good outcome from thesejournals is that I finally feel like I can express myself well enough to even send in a letter, much less hope it might appear in print.

Monday, May 29, 2006


Pope Benedict visited the remains of Auschwitz during his visit to Poland. He spoke eloquently of the horrors that happened there and asked the eternal question, “why didn’t God say anything.


I have something to share, for what it’s worth.


I have a copy of the series World at War. The set includes an extensive documentary on the Holocaust. There are several detailed stories from survivors of the camps describing what they experienced. Some of them asked the same questions. “Where was God?” “Why didn’t He say something?” “Why didn’t He do something?” “Why didn’t He stop this?”


I believe God/dess however you conceive Him/Her tried. We are the eyes, ears, hands and voice of the Creator. Many tried to stop what was happening. More than a few of them died trying or joined the people they were trying to save in the same anterooms of Hell. More spoke, shouted, screamed and cried trying to get the message out.


Those who could have stopped what was happening weren’t listening or seeing. And since they didn’t see their victims as human beings, if they had heard they would have insisted that the message didn’t apply to them.


Too often it’s impossible for God/dess to be heard of the crash of bombs and the screams of the wounded and dying. Even worse He//She can’t be heard over the justifications of ambitious politicians who are too eager to send others where they won’t go themselves. Or perhaps worse, there’s a sort of censorship from those who have the job to report the news but pull back for fear of losing advertising dollars.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I don’t know if I’ve told this particular story before, but it ties into my last posting so here goes. Back in the eighties I taught a Sunday school class of 4 and 5 year olds. I’d started out helping my sister and sort of inherited it when her life got too busy to continue. And I was very thankful to find a stack of old brown around the edges paper in the stock room. I immediately appropriated it. It takes much longer to work through a lesson from scratch than it does to just fill out the workbook. Oops. Slightly off topic.


One week I did the story of Jesus healing the blind man at Bethsaida. I was doing my schtick with the “there are still miracles, sometimes they aren’t as obvious,” when out of the mouth of a five year old came this. “Some people are blind with their eyes open.” After I picked my jaw off the floor, I very carefully asked enough questions to realize that the kid knew exactly what he was talking about.


Talk about out of the mouths of babes.

Monday, May 22, 2006


I owe a lot of this to Joseph Campbell. Joe, wherever you are, I think someone just wiped the grime off that little pane of glass over in the far corner.


Christian apologists find something special in “God entering history” at a specific time and place. Somehow, this is unique and never to be repeated. That is, on a certain date and in a specific part of the world a specific person we now identify as God entered time and space. To enter the world, the Creator would have to have been absent, and I’m not sure the Creator was ever out of the world. Was a Gone Fishing sign left over the door or something?


This discrete identity doesn’t make the Creator any more accessible. In fact I believe it cuts us off. By confining a manifestation of the Creator to a discrete time and place, you get a freeze frame. THIS IS IT. THIS IS THE END OF THE STORY. IT’S FINAL, UNALTERABLE, AND NEVER TO BE QUESTIONED. This to a species that pokes, prods, touches, sniffs, tastes, takes apart everything in its environment, and (this is the irritating part) asks why. And as soon as one why is anwered another one pops up. At least until the world of the big people convinces you that this “just isn’t done” or “we don’t have time for this right now.”  Not only are we confined to a specific time and place but to one face of Creation.  We are told by too many who claim to speak for this unique face of creation that we are no longer free to find the other faces of the Creator in the here and now. And I believe we’re choking on it.


By claiming that this is what God said for now and all time, too many have put blinders on themselves and limited their freedom to perceive the changing face of Creation and left no room for any other creatures at the inn. Not only do they put blinders on themselves, they insist that the rest of us have to wear them too.


Now that I think about it, this is a powerful metaphor. I got what I can only describe as a jolt when I realized this. Talk about no room at the inn. Not only no room for Mary and Joseph, but no room for the rest of Creation either.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Speaking of the more spectacular sisters. These azaleas are side by side. They will look better viewed larger. The tiny pink ones look like the tiny silk rosebuds they use for bouquets. I swear I almost expect the garden fairies to be using the purple ones for trumpets.


I've never gotten a shot of the English daisies before. At least not a close up like this. And the little ground cover geraniums are a treat. Their robes aren't as spectacular as some of their sister's but still a gift of creation.


I was taking pictures in another part of the yard when I spotted one of the Mother's smaller children using the day lily as motel.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


 If I could find a card to send to the mother of us all, I'd hope it would have verses like this one from Earth Medicine by Jamie Sams.

Earth Mother teach me of my kin,
Of Hawk and Dove and flower,
Of blinding sunlight, shady knoll,
Desert wind and morning showers.
Teach me every language of
The creatures that sing to me,
That I may count the cadence of
Infinite lessons in harmony.
Teach me how to honor
The Sacred Spaces of all,
Gently melding with the whole,
Answering the whippoorwill's call.
Steamy tropics to glacial ice,
To thundering ocean tides,
In every grain of desert sands
Your beauty forever abides.
Oh Mother of every kingdom,
Let me claim my family's love,
From the whales of deepest oceans,
To the Winged-ones high above.
To bad honoring our Mother the earth gets dismissed as Nature worship. We wouldn't be here without her and this is one mother we'll never outgrow. So Happy Mother's Day to Mother Earth. Thank your for all my brothers and sisters.