Thursday, April 28, 2011


Three years ago I bought mom a lilac for mother's day. It was labeled a white lilac. It had white flowers on it for cryin' out loud. Didn't know that potted lilacs need a year or two to get comfy in their new homes before they bloom in the ground. Well, that puppy IS blooming this spring. However, the lilac is lilac. I'm waiting to see if the blooms whiten up as they mature. I mean, it's not like I'm going to take it back or anything, it's just hello is there something about lilac genetics I missed out on?

On another note all the irises I transplanted last year are up, looking forward to finding out who is where. All the daylilies are up, the snails are happy.


The dogwood is finally blooming, very late. We're watching NW Headline News forcasting snow in the Cascades for the next couple of days. For the Celtic calendar Beltane begins Saturday at sunset bringing in summer. The weather talking heads are forcasting good weather for Sunday. I'd say summer can't come to soon, but we haven't even had spring yet. Unusually chilley even for this part of the country.

Thoughts and prayers for the folks living in Tornado Alley. Blessed be.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


These little guys are new to our yard this year. New as in sticking around for longer than a day. Had a half dozen scurrying around under the feeders this morning. They visit the feeders but spend almost as much time on the ground. I got this picture off the net, because these little guys weren't staying put long enough to get a decent shot. I think our yard and the yards around us have reached the point of looking like the open bush land they like. They look so cool with their "racing stripes."

Friday, April 22, 2011


To walk the wildwood that sings in our souls. To be the voice of the tree roots, deep pools, the ocean depths and mist drenched headlands. Who speaks for the woods and fields. For the hills and valleys. For the salt marshes, waves and tides. For the deserts, plains and canyons. And who also speaks with the voices of those close to home. With the voices of the mouse, eagle, wolf or salmon. Who speaks in cadences that go beyond the darkness, the stars, all that which cannot be measured as this world takes its measures. One whose nature sings with the voices of the spirits in nature like reeds at dawn in a pool where trout swim.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


While some of you were watching John Muir, we were watching a rerun on the National Geographic channel on the conspiracies surrounding 9/11. Actually I think the Muir program came on later in our area. We had the Roadshow at eight and then a program from OPB on Oregon Oystermen. Anyway, back to the conspiracy theories. The program was interesting. I was aware of the various “theories” floating around but was not aware of just how impervious the truthers are to any attempts to prove that they just might be a couple of stubbies short of a six pack. Along with the birthers, deniers (climate change), and worders (Biblical literalists).

At least until I ran across this. It might have been The Parish blog or researching something I read on Greg’s blog. There are at least two ways people organize information. There’s the “give me a chance to study the facts and I’ll adjust my world view to fit them.” This world view gave us scientists like Galileo, experimental science and the Enlightenment.

“Everybody” just knew that if you dropped a one pound ball and a two pound ball from the same height the two pound ball would fall twice as fast. So Galileo took two balls up to the top of that tower in Pisa, probably yelled the Italian version of “look out below” and dropped them. Which was followed by “?????????” when both balls hit the ground at the same time. Which was probably followed by sending an increasingly tired assistant down to retrieve the balls so he could do it again. Which led to the knowledge that falling objects accelerate at the same speed no matter how heavy they are as long as wind resistance is the same. A one pound feather might not drop as fast as a one pound ball of lead because the shape is different.

Then we have the other group. They are the poster children for “my mind is made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts.” Except that they aren’t confused; confronted with what the rest of us call facts, they simply refuse delivery. The 9/11 program took up each objection. Scientists or engineers used computer models or designed experiments to test their objections as best they could, presented the information and were hit with “it couldn’t have happened that way.” They don’t really know how the towers came down, except that it was a huge government conspiracy and they aren’t changing their minds any time soon. In spite of the fact that any of their scenarios would have required so much time to set up and so many people to pull it off that somebody, somewhere would have set up shop in a country without extradition treaties with the US, written a book, made a fortune, bought a house with a state of art security system and hired a very competant crew of body guards.

We see the same attitude the birthers. It doesn’t matter how many people examine the information the state of Hawaii has released and swear on a stack of Bibles that the president was born in Hawaii, they won’t believe it. Ok. They’re several degrees off plumb. It’s distracting and/or infuriating but they aren’t really hurting anyone else….at the moment.

But, those other two groups. Hey, I’m somewhat open minded. Maybe all of the climate change we’re seeing isn’t caused by human intervention. Sure is funny how the CO2 levels started spiking around the time the Industrial Revolution started though. And how industrial level livestock operations give off more green house gasses than our cars. Think that just might be hint that you can't treat steers like widgets? Yes, CO2 levels were much higher in the past. Say about 250 million years ago when Siberia literally erupted and kept erupting for millennia. Before it was over most life on the planet was extinct. The atmosphere was full of CO2 and sulfur dioxide. The seas warmed, currents that brought cold, oxygen rich water to the surface collapsed and the oceans nearly suffocated. The earth survived, cleansed itself and life recovered. Uh, guys, the earth will survive. We, most or all of us cantankerous humans, might not.

Then there are the Worders, the folks that believe that the Bible must be taken literally. And that those who don’t agree with this and their interpretation are wrong. Not just wrong but heretics and apostates. I wouldn’t mind that so much except that some of these folks put environmentalists, even Bible believing environmentalists, and their attempts to clean up our messes on their lists of heresies and apostasies. As best as I can understand their beliefs, the Second Coming is just around the corner. The earth will be renewed. Jesus will take care of it. At this point words fail me. Frankly I didn’t stick around, I got the heck out of Dodge as quickly as possible.

Yes, the Deniers have freedom of speech, and the Worders can claim freedom of religion. But, in the famous words of Mark Twain “your freedom to take a swing at me ends where my nose begins.” Your right to your opinions and beliefs ends when it endangers the lives and safety of others. Don’t expect us to sit by in silence.

P.S. Just realized I left out the whole Intelligent Design crew. Heck, lump them in with the Worders. They pretty much overlap. Ran across a copy of a page of coloring book put out by these (fill in with description of your choice, nuts springs to mind) with Jesus riding a velociraptor complete with saddle and bridle. Again, words fail me. Unfortunately I may have some relatives that fall into this camp.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


On a much more cheerful note. Just watched the Norwegian guy on New Scandinavian cooking turn a quart of extremely fresh cream and about half a pint of sour cream into fresh beautiful butter using a hand mixer. With sheep baaaahing in the background. Critics, what do they know?

Beat it until the butter separates out from the butter milk, add some salt and pack it in a mold. It looked like he got about half a pound. Then they put it on artisan bread fresh out of a wood fired oven. Grainy mustard and Jarlsburg cheese. Yum. Thanks guys, I really needed that.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Looks like I’m going for a posting record today. When it has to come out it has to come out.

The articles about animal treatment and food contamination intersected with what I’ve been reading and produced a hell of a what if.

Christian mystics and pagan believers teach that our souls stretch out far beyond our physical bodies. And if plants and animals also have souls that also stretch out far beyond their physical bodies; please see earlier entry that referred to Tom Cowan and the souls of flowers. What happens when our souls intersect with the souls of the animals crowded into feedlots, egg producing chickens confined to tiny cages, or poultry raised in huge warehouse style barns never to see the sun or get a chance to chase bugs. I wonder if some of their insanity is bleeding over to us. Also, if their stress hormones are elevated (If? Mine would sure as hell be elevated)what if that carries over to the consumers eating the meat and poultry?

It would go a long way to explain the current state of insanity we see around us.


There are small groups of believers who identify themselves as Christians and Pagans. The folks I’ve run across tend to be non theistic Quakers who follow the silent meditation/wait for inner inspiration tradition of worship.

And if that inner spirit leads them just as often to Brighid, Hern the Hunter or the Green Man as it does to Jesus, well so be it. If the spirit leads them to a drum circle instead of a Bible study, there must be something they need to learn from it. If the spirit that guards your path into the Otherworld shows up looking like a fox instead of Saint Michael there’s probably a reason. And the whispering you hear under the oak might be the wind rustling the leaves. Or it just might be a prayer. And even if I didn’t spend time as an oak centuries ago, their souls and my soul touch and intertwine.

As you can imagine this is going over really well in fundagelical circles. Ah, for the power to coerce, those were the days.


I’ve spiraled back and forth for years. I don’t have many answers; still searching and bless me if what works for me will work for anyone else. Maybe that’s the way it’s meant to be.

I sincerely believe that somewhere along the line what we call Christianity got twisted. Maybe when believers decided that it was more important that Jesus died than that he lived (if he lived). But hey try and prove that ninety nine percent of the people alive two thousand years ago actually lived. Hey, it’s not like they were issuing birth certificates in first century occupied Judea.

Maybe it was when teachers and bishops like Irenaeus began telling their congregations that believing was the most important, no matter what. That questions should be neither encouraged or tolerated. That clergy who didn’t toe the line were to be marginalized or driven from the hierarchy. That an emperor called the first church council in Nicea and only a small minority of the bishops were present to make decisions that would be considered binding on all believers. That all believers are supposed to believe the same thing.

Even the Protestant reformation resulted in the same attitude. You must believe what we tell you to believe. Or else. That’s where the early Anabaptists and the Quakers ran into so much trouble. They claimed the right to listen for the promptings of the spirit speaking directly to the believer. Of course once you accept that, control goes out the window. And it’s all about control.

There are mega churches that preach more sermons on financial planning than they do on the Sermon on the Mount. Churches that drop anywhere from 50K to over 200K on holographic equipment so the preacher can appear at more than one “campus” at a time. Worship services that have more people present than lived in my home town and a Starbuck’s in the foyer. If the Pentecostals only knew where all the repetitive rock music, repetitive singing, laying on of hands and speaking in tongues really came from. Kind of looks like core shamanism to me.

I don’t know and to tell the truth, I’m tired. What did I find on AOHell this morning. Arizona had decided to require birth certificates for candidates. All based on materials that are so far out they’re on the moon. Geeze, God invented Google for a reason, use it to do your own research. Rush Limbaugh has pushed buttons again and everybody starts acting like Pavlov’s dogs.

In the meantime, Iowa and Florida are considering laws that would make it harder for undercover workers to obtain evidence of animal cruelty in the meat and poultry industries. In spite of the fact that most states have Common Farming Exemptions that already allow the industry to treat animals with what amounts to cruelty as long as they’re intended to be sold for food. WTF? Why in the name of all that’s holy do you think we quit eating beef months ago? Why would I want to have anything to do with any of those poor, miserable creatures?

For extra icing on the cake there’s a story from the AP in the paper and on the net giving details on some FDA studies of staph contamination of supermarket meat and poultry. Contamination rates range from twenty five to fifty percent depending on the study and include MRSA. Oh, joy. Statement from the head of the American Meat Institute? "Despite the claims of this small study, consumers can feel confident that meat and poultry is safe," said James H. Hodges, the organization's president.

The marshes in the BP spill area in the Gulf are still reeking of oil. Dolphins and sea turtles are washing up on the beaches. We had plenty of wild bees in the garden last year, but almost no bumbles or domestic bees. The weather east of the Rockies has been brutal this year. Perhaps it’s Gaia weeping bitter tears. Hope seems very far away this morning.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Back in ’06 I was spiraling back over to the non traditional side of my attempt s to understand what’s going on inside my head. One of the books I bought was by a self described Wildwood Mystic with Wiccan overtones named Rae Beth. There may be a touch of the shaman in her beliefs, also. She appealed to me because I am a hermit at heart and she has a lot of sympathy for those who work best as solitaries.

Most shamen and wildwood mystics work with familiar spirits who may take the forms of birds, animals or people. Rae Beth wrote of one of her familiars, an old cunning man who lived in Britain over a thousand years ago. He spoke to her of what he called prayers, what we might call mantras. That some prayers are meant to be shared and some are meant to be kept private. That to know a place we must know all the prayers of all that is around us. The dreams of sparrows and gulls, of deer and bears, grass and cattails, of every headland, trickle and glen.

What does water dream of and pray for? Does the water in a tiny brook remember when it was part of a mighty ocean? Does it remember being a snowflake, a glacier, or a tiny drop of rain? Does it remember another tiny rivulet? Flowing from rivulet, to stream, to overflowing river and finally to the sea. Of being caught up by the warmth of the sun only to become a raindrop again. Of the endless fall to earth and another stream.

What does a stone remember? Does it remember when its atoms were part of the primal lava flows? Does it remember further back when the atoms were formed in the death throes of a super nova? Do the atoms remember their lives in a cliff face being ground down by relentless breakers? Does it remember the endless pressure as the sandstone became rock to be thrust again into daylight or carried down into the heart of the earth to become molten lava once more?

Trying to imagine the dreams of a gull or a coyote is difficult enough for a human. But, we normally see water or grass or stone as inanimate, unaware. Trying to imagine their dreams or prayers; that is a mystery.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


There will be a slight detour today.

First, if I haven’t said hi to the folks who follow my sometimes confused attempts at making sense of the world, my bad. Hello and welcome.

Second, feel free to comment. Feel free not to agree with me. Honest, I won’t mind. Any flames will be used to toast marshmallows.

And finally, to the newest follower. I read your entry on the bombings in Beloruss. I don’t have an answer. Americans are probably the last people to tell others how to deal with terrorism. Too many of us forget or prefer to ignore that the cliché location, location, location is everything. Canada is friendly and Mexico is semi friendly. We’re safe from the north and south. And you can’t beat at least three thousand miles of open water as a buffer.

The last time, that I know of, that the continental US was invaded was the Brits during the War of 1812. Everything else? We’ve pretty much done to ourselves. The domestic terrorism in Kansas and the border states, especially Missouri was bloody by our standards. Sherman took his troops south from Atlanta and went to Georgia, South Carolina and parts of North Carolina like a dose of salts. They weren’t joking when it was said that a crow needed to carry its own rations after Sheridan’s troops marched out of the Shenandoah Valley.

And once the Civil War was over, just about all the violence our troops have been involved with has taken place someplace else. In spite of the hyperbole from extreme ends of the political spectrum in this country, we’ve been spared the horrors of invasion, occupation, massacre and reprisal.

Oregon was actually one of the few places in the continental US to come under fire during WWII. Fort Stevens at the mouth of the Columbia was fired on by a Japanese submarine, damaged the backstop on the baseball field. In 1942 a small seaplane based from a Japanese sub dropped incendiary bombs in near Mt. Emily near Brookings on the Oregon coast. Then in May, 1945 six people were killed near Bly in southern Oregon when they found a so called balloon bomb which exploded when one of the party got too close. And that boys and girls is the extent of the war on the west coast. Yes, there were black outs and rationing. Yes, families lost loved ones who were killed overseas. But, we came out of the war with out cities and industry intact.

It’s easy to shout to the world how courageous we are when we have two relatively friendly neighbors and two oceans on out borders. Yes, September 11 was a bloody wake up call, but it’s not like we have to wonder if the subway is going to blow up the next time we need to use it. It wouldn’t hurt us to remember that “there but for the grace of God……and location,location, location.”


Spent some time outside this morning, then camped out on the front porch for a bit. Just watching the breeze in the trees and listening to the birds. Closed my eyes, steadied my breathing and drifted a bit visualizing a valley I was gifted with a few years ago.

I found myself on a dirt road, it looked well traveled. There were smaller tracks leading into the trees and undergrowth. I couldn’t hear anything besides the forest sounds but could see smoke rising-households or farms at the other side?

Then I heard water and found myself next to or in a stream or pool surrounded by trees, bushes over hanging the water and water grasses on the edges. I could see the rocky bottom through the dappled water so I think it was shallow enough to cross but I couldn’t see a path on the other side, so I didn’t feel invited to cross. I’d heard splashing sounds when I heard the water but wasn’t invited to see more than that.

Okaaaaaay. I wasn’t thinking about water when I started, but now that I think about it, this has happened before. I’ll start on a road or path with no water in sight or sound and suddenly I’m next to water. And I’ll admit that a favorite haiku is the one that reads in it’s most basic version. “Old mossy pond, big frog, the sound of water.” And I was reading Tom Cowan’s version of Cormac and the Salmon of Wisdom. Sooooo. I guess somebody’s hinting that I need to explore water and what might be in it or around it. Must explore.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


A few years ago I invested in the 1990’s Cousteau River Journeys DVD’s. Four of the episodes followed the Danube from headwaters to the Black Sea, with emphasis on the environmental degradation along the river in the former Soviet states. Chemical plants that dumped untreated waste into the river. The dangers of aging nuclear plants that weren’t that well built in the first place. Run off from contaminated ground water along with gas leakage into the atmosphere. Local economies based on fishing and farming were stressed out by the pollution.

The diversion of the river into man made channels to improve navigation, while destroying local economies based on the wetlands and marshes.

So, where is the soul of a river? Is it just the river? Or does the river and its soul stretch beyond the channel and the meandering blue line on a map. The river is the ocean that gives up its moisture to the rains and snows. The river is winter ice and summer sun. The river is snow, rain and hail. The river is the animals that depend on it for water and forage, the trees that shade the banks and shelter the birds.

The river is the disappearing marshes and the migratory birds that nest in the reeds. The canals are the river and so are the drying wetlands that used to hold back the floods. The dams we build are the river and so are the fish blocked from their native spawning grounds. The river is the disappearing fish and the villagers and fishermen who depend on them for their livelihood. The river is the untreated chemical waste that leaches into ground water. It’s the sewage from overburdened, aging city systems. The river is the rain falling through air contaminated with radiation from nuclear plants that couldn’t be built to withstand every possible risk.

The last episode ends with a group of children including one of Cousteau’s grandchildren flying kites along the river bank to remind us that they will have to live in the world we are creating.

(Words fail me sometimes. I have the vision in my mind but can’t find the words to express what I see)

Friday, April 8, 2011


If space means little or nothing to our souls, the same may be true of time. Perhaps past, present and future are all but meaningless. If that is true then; do you remember?

There was nothing and then there was…everything. A universe was born in an instant. The first blast of light faded and elemental particles came together. Hydrogen, gravity and time. The hydrogen atoms pooled together in great clouds; danced and danced again. The clouds, whirled and swirled almost invisible in the endless dark. Clouds combined, condensed under gravity’s power and grew again. The final threshold was passed; hydrogen atoms fused, became helium and light returned to the universe. Pinpoints became glowing beacons in the endless night.

You danced in the starlight. Blue white giants were born, filled the universe with light for a few million years and died in a blaze that dwarfed thousands of their smaller sisters. You rode the bow waves of gas streams carrying iron, carbon oxygen and all the other elements; starseeds for an endless garden.

New generations of stars were born. Smaller, slower burning, almost boring after the blue white giants. But their light was reflected by growing worlds. Some formed too far from the parent star, destined to follow an almost endless path through cold, lonely darkness. Others formed too close to their sun. They also faced a lonely future. Bare and blasted, baked on one side, frozen on the other. Some had no place to stand, their stony cores buried under thousands of miles of swirling gas.

You danced again on the solar winds and began to hear new voices above whispers of the hydrogen clouds between the stars. You followed the voices to a glowing spiral arm of a slowly spinning galaxy. And on a small spinning planet you found something different. It was white and blue and green and alive with voices to banish the loneliness.

(I know what I was trying to do, I'm not sure I accomplished what I visualized)


Danger: Entering Jackie's rant zone.

I posted this on my original (now retired) blog. I've been searching for something else, but ran across this. With the clock counting down to a government shutdown I believe we have an epidemic of a previously unidentified disease. I can't claim this. It was in a letter to the editor in my hometown paper. Drum roll please.

Cranial Rectal Syndrome: The condition of having your head so far up your ass you can see the light beyond your tonsils.

Color me disgusted with the whole crew.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


There are a few of you out there that have sort of followed along on my blogging journey since I started. And you know that I have a, shall we say, somewhat “different” view of the universe at times.

I wrote a little litany using candle imagery for myself a few years ago. I couldn’t always have a candle so I tried to imagine one. To make along story short, I didn’t get A candle. I got a friggin’ roomful of blazing, somebody turn off the smoke alarm candles. All I have to do is close my eyes, open up and there they are.

That would be amazingly weird enough but things got a little stranger. The author of one the blogs I followed had some problems and I was saying a short prayer for him, visualizing my candles, and one of those little bright lights took off. Heading east for Kansas. I sure didn’t imagine it happening beforehand. And it’s happened since then.

So imagine my surprise when I finished the section on flower souls when group of little pansies picked themselves up and headed out the garden gate in all four directions. Bless their little flowery hearts.


The poet Taliesin names the four ancient elements of earth, air, fire and water; and then adds three more; mist, flowers and southerly wind. Mist is air and water, wind is air and fire. Flowers? They’re the most spectacular combination of earth, water and fire and air carries their scent, their soul if you will, into the world around them.

Tom Cowan takes the old philosophy class stand by of the falling tree in the forest a step further. He asks “if there is no one to smell the perfume, does a flower still have a scent?” Of course it does, he says, and that eventually the soul of the flower will reach out and enfold you. Even if it has to cross half the world to find you.

There is an old Irish poem about the winds;

Wind from the west, fish and bread,
Wind from the north, cold and flaying,
Wind from the east, snow on the hills,
Wind from the south, fruit on trees.

So the west wind brings basics for survival; fish and bread. The winds from the north and east can bring hardship; cold, a wind that cuts right through you and snow that makes travel even harder than it already is in a society that depended on muscle power to get anywhere. But the south wind? That brought leaves to trees, perfume from the blossoms and fruit to delight the eye and help that fish and bread go down a little easier.

Cowan goes on to say that “Mist, flowers, and southerly wind defy the distinctions and dualities of the elements by reminding us that the elements merge and flow into each other like Celtic braid work. Each of these three is a combination of elements with air being common to all. Is this because air like soul, is always both in and around us?”

We are mist, flowers and southerly wind. We are the oaks in the grove and the oaks are us. We are the rivers and the rivers are us. We are the clouds and the clouds are us. We are the headlands and breakers crashing below and they are us. We are sunlight, moonbeams and starshine. And they are us.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


It's not one o'clock in the afternoon yet. And so far it has rained, showered, sunshined, hailed and thundered. That leaves snow. But, hey the day isn't done yet. LOL

Evening update: more rain and hail. They're sort of predicting snow for tomorrow. Probably not here, but it's supposed to April, isn't it?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


It's not that much warmer,but we're adding a few more minutes of daylight every day. Some things are really beginning to pop; besides the weeds. They make it through anything. The lupins we transplanted into the front are up and growing like crazy. The day lilies are a little taller every day. Now, if we could just get three or four days of NO rain; maybe I could get the garden spots spaded; get that clover I planted last fall turned under so it can do some good. Get that dirt starting to warm up.

At least the treatment and therapy mom had last year is still holding and she can get out and get in the dirt. She's much happier with a little dirt under her finger nails.

I think, hope, the whitle lilac I got mom for Mother's Day three years ago will finally bloom. I know it's white, it had blooms on it when we bought it. Didn't find out until the next year, when it DIDN'T bloom that the root system has to reach a certain point before it'll bloom after transplanting. And I dug a really nice, big hole for it with plenty of lovely compost. Now they tell me! LOL

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Immanence; from the Latin in manere – “to remain within” – usually refers to theories in philosophy, metaphysics, or theology of the presence of the divine. Often it seems to be understood that what we would call the spiritual world and the physical world overlap in some way. Or perhaps as Tom Cowan suggests in Yearning for the Wind, that the soul or spirit of Creation is all around us. And that if we are very, very lucky we can sense the soul that we inhabit and that surrounds us.

I believe I have experienced immanence. But, it’s almost always been when I’m outside. I get this feeling when I’m near old trees, standing on good fertile earth, or braced against the wind on an overlook at the coast that someone or something is trying to speak to me. Just out of range or just beyond the ability of my physical ears to hear or my eyes to see. If I could just get “inside” the tree, become one with earth, or spread myself out on the wind maybe I could finally understand what the whispers almost to soft to hear or finally see the shadow at the edge my vision, but it disappears when I try to look at it.

God/dess I love the coast. Not the beach, the cliffs. Sky above, fire born rock under your feet, waves breaking on the cliffs, the wind so loud in your ears it blows everything else away. Maybe the mist drenching the cliffs is just mist and maybe, must maybe it’s a doorway into the Otherworld.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


One thing leads to another, or one post leads to another sooner than usual.

There’s a quote from an episode of Blue Bloods on CBS. A character is talking about making a that turned out to be tougher than he’d anticipated but that “somehow you don’t have to talk yourself into the good ones.” In the script the character had made what would be considered a good decision. He chose not to promote an old partner who turned out to be cooking the books. Most of us would agree that the choice was a good one. Even if the choice cost him an old friend.

What’s scary is wondering how hard it was for the Quran burners to talk themselves into what they did. And how hard it was for the extremists who took over the demonstrations in Afghanistan to turn them into riots with fatal results? Too bad there’s no way to guaranty that all those choices will guaranty choices that the majority will agree with.

Hmm, as usual I start in one place and find myself heading somewhere else. I’m sure we all have at least a book or two we’d like to toss on a bonfire. My choices tend to run to anything by a mega church pastor and the entire Left Behind series. There’s some New Ager’s that don’t float my boat either. They don’t rise to book burning levels though. Those Left Behind books those. I’ve read just enough (sis has some of them) to look very longingly at the shredder. But, somehow most of us grit our teeth and admit that “if I don’t like it, I don’t have to read it” and that’s pretty much that.

The closest most of us come to a mob is posting something nasty on Facebook and requesting those who agree with us to “like” what we’re saying. The nuttier groups on the fringe have heart attacks over “wardrobe malfunctions” try to organize boycotts, and the like and…..fill in the blanks.

And we pray to whomever we believe has some say in the matter that our neighbors who may believe that the books we want to shred are just dandy thank you, will accord us the same privilege.


Ok. Now that I’ve had a chance to practice my deep breathing, om chanting, semi relaxation techniques for a half an hour or so, here’s some of the latest on the insanity front.

Remember last year when Terry Jones, pastor of an obscure Florida church that nobody ever heard threatened to burn a Quran and backed down? Well, a couple of weeks ago he “assisted” Wayne Sapp, pastor of another obscure Florida church that nobody ever heard of, hold a trial of the Quran. The book was found guilty and burned; inside the sanctuary.

This would barely register on the Richter scale of American religious…….sorry this is a semi family blog. Trouble is word got out, as it was probably meant to and resulted in mob violence in Afghanistan. End result? Cars and trucks burned. Shops shuttered. Death toll rising. Several dozen people arrested. Seven of the casualties worked for the UN. Four were Nepalese security troops, I’m going to assume that the Nepalese were Buddhists. The other three came from Sweden, Norway and Rumania. They could have been Protestants,could have been good universe respecting agnostics. And you know what? It doesn't matter. They put themselves in harm's way.

They probably knew what they were risking and did it anyway. They're the heroes; not those self congratulating idiots in Florida or the "freedom fighter" who look for any reason to kill.

So, a small group of self described Christians living in Florida burn a book considered holy by over a billion people. This incites a mob half a world away Afghanistan to attack and kill foreign aid workers working for the UN; none of them Americans.

The “pastor’s” reaction?

In Florida, Wayne Sapp, a pastor at the church, called the events "tragic," but said he did not regret the actions of his church.

"I in no way feel like our church is responsible for what happened,"

Yes, these are the actions and reactions of extremists or illiterate peasants. The mainline American churches can’t do squat about the idiots in Florida and the mega churches are F’ing useless. Moderate Muslims can’t seem to do much in that part of the world without risking their lives. I can’t help believing that something very fundamental got twisted centuries ago. Maybe we can salvage the best and fuse it with the best of the reclaimed old religion, build something new that challenges to live our best, not kill our best.

Right now, I think I need to go find a tree and hug it really, really hard. Too bad we don't have any really big herkin' oak trees in the neighborhood.

Friday, April 1, 2011

IT'S APRIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the sun is shining, birds are singing, weeds are growing and it's almost warm. We did our grocery run early this morning and everyone was so cheerful. It's a La Nina year in the Northwest so the weather has been cooler and damper than usual. According to the paper there was maybe four days last month when we didn't get at least a trace of rain. I know I'll miss the rain when we have to water in July but right now, we're on a two day dry streak. LOL Only in the Northwest would we call two dry days a "streak." Hey, ya go with what ya got.