Even in absurdity, sacrament. Even in hardship, holiness. Even in doubt, faith. Even in chaos, realization. Even in paradox, blessedness
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"Life expands or shrinks in proportion to one's courage." ~Anain Nin
"The Happy Wanderer"
And so, I'm off... possibly to Graveyard Fields, maybe to Mills River. We'll see. I'm all fired up and eager to catch up on 'mountain time.' What am I packing? Water, wine, coffee, nuts, and peace of mind. After a fitful sleep of errant dreams, I feel light and breezy, and not particularly drawn to dragging out my time in 'civilization.' It's only an overnight in the Earth's cradle, but these experiences always last me much, much longer.
Here's a polka we sang today at church... appropriate enough:
The Happy Wanderer
I love to wander by the stream
I wave my hat to all I meet
Oh, may I go a-wandering
New species uncovered in Venezuela
New species uncovered in Venezuela Among the new discoveries, revealed by US-based Conservation International, was an armoured catfish whose spiky head earned him the nickname "punk" and a piranha that eats fruit as well as flesh.
Voting and impropriety? Quelle surprise!
Voting and impropriety? Quelle surprise! The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."
Baghdad Burning is Riverbend's 'girlblog'
Baghdad Burning is Riverbend's 'girlblog' from Iraq. Increible firsthand reportage.
Feast of history found No
Feast of history found No one tidied up afterwards, which was fortunate, because the remains of the ancient Gallic feasts were still in Le Puy de Corent, in the central Auvergne region, when the site was searched by archaeologists led by Matthieu Poux.
A mythical bird no longer
A mythical bird no longer After 60 years the Chinese crested tern -- nicknamed the "mythical bird" for its elusiveness -- is a myth no more.
Ancient stone circle discovered An
Ancient stone circle discovered An ancient stone circle, buried for thousands of years, has been uncovered by archaeologists at a site in the Outer Hebrides. Experts say the discovery is second in importance only to Stonehenge.
"Crossroads of Destiny"
Thy love lives at the edge of a wing,
Tom Feelings, an African-American illustrator,
Tom Feelings, an African-American illustrator, author, and historian, has passed. "I had used the functional form of a narrative without words, it is open to all people, especially those who have difficulty visualizing what Black people describe as racism from the past and its lingering presence in the present."
I met him last month during a discussion on Haiti and slavery. Simply a wonderful human being who has brought much light to a dark subject.
Crossposted to MeFi
Robert Anton Wilson For Governor
Robert Anton Wilson For Governor First order of business on assuming office: Fire 33% of the legislature [names selected at random] and replace them with full-grown adult
Sage herb 'can boost memory'
Sage herb 'can boost memory' Centuries-old theories that the herb sage can improve memory appear to be borne out by modern research.
Oh dear, here we go
Oh dear, here we go again: Photo shows elderly Elvis Professor David Perrett and Dr Bernard Tiddeman used ageing software to reproduce the natural effects of ageing, taking into account changes in skin texture, hairline and hair colour.
Mike May regains his sight
Mike May regains his sight after 43 years of blindness I suddenly realised that I could look out of the window, so I did.
THe Universal Giggle: Appreciation of
THe Universal Giggle: Appreciation of humor doesn't change with age
Toward the 'synthetic human:' Machine
Toward the 'synthetic human:' Machine Thinks, Therefore It Is
Justify my craving: Dark chocolate
Justify my craving: Dark chocolate may be good for you
Ooooh, this will be big:
Ooooh, this will be big: US Republican Party outsources fund raising to India via MeFi
We took the kids to the baseball game today. McCormick Field was packed with endless variation of bobbing heads for the uniquely American spectacle of baseball ritual. The mascot was adored and jostled by a sea of cotton-candy sticky fingers, home runs were hit, and everyone went away happy.
One moment sticks out for me though; bottom of the 5th, there's a huge black butterfly with an iridescent blue fringe that lazily bounced and cruised the wind. I watched it for a timeless five minutes, as it skimmed across unnoticing fans glued to the tally of runs hits and errors. It would come to a slow glide, and nearly alight on a baseball hat, then surge upwards, and weave curiously around.
Then the magic moment... it flies into the press box, and everyone- the announcer, the stats people, maybe even the press, stopped to watch as it ambled through, then out, and over the stadium to infinity. The sound of thousands of children and the ubiquitous din of a stadium were for that fleeting flight lost to me, as the upturned gaze of the pundits and aficionados tried to asses this new player... what might she bring to the team? I couldn't help but wonder if this was a scout for some celestial Big League, sizing things up and reporting back to HQ.
Who is ready to cocoon? To metamorphose? Who wants to fly?
While the Asheville Tourists gave the Hickory Crawdads a run for their money, I would have to say that the butterfly scored a grand slam for the Visitors. It was her odd flight of familiarity, the out-of-placeness of her oversized wings and slow careless saunter through the hallowed pastime that stole my bases and ran straight to home.
My client asks me "What are you starin' at, Mr. Jay?"
"Oh, you know, all the fans."
Not long after, I watched an insect approaching from the outfield, to become a huge grasshopper, to land on my shorts, hang out for a minute, and dash off to land on a little girl's head. Those visitors sure are a wild team.
Arnold gets smutty I'm only
Arnold gets smutty I'm only going to give a tame snippet here: I was living in Munich at the time, hanging out with night people--entertainers, hookers, and bar owners--and I had a girlfriend who was a stripper.
Anything to say about moral highgrounds, Arn? Not to say I disapprove, but I do disapprove of politicos that drone on about ethics and morality when their own slate is at least a bit smudgy. Lord knows mine is. But gee heck, Arn, sexual free-for-alls with bodybuilders?
(No, I've never even considered it).
Resident Bush's forays into grey
Resident Bush's forays into grey and dark legal areas: Not Up to Code? Embellishing the Flag, Then the Web Site "It's inappropriate. It's a government Web site. It's the use of government property for political work, which is illegal. They have to be careful."
Hubble Captures Mars Close-Up
Hubble Captures Mars Close-Up The Hubble Space Telescope's newest picture of Mars shows summer on the Red Planet just as it makes its closest pass by Earth in 60,000 years.
In a Long Presidential Race,
In a Long Presidential Race, Dean Sprints The staggering, seemingly spontaneous crowds turning up to meet him — about 10,000 in Seattle on Sunday and a similar number in Bryant Park in Manhattan last night — are unheard of in the days of the race when most candidates concentrate on the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire...
We begin small
The End of Evolution? Given
The End of Evolution? Given all the possibilities for human evolutionary change, it is hard to know which path our distant descendants will be constrained to tread.
Roadmap to Peace
Burning Man rises again... I
Oh, you pretty thing: Skywatchers
Oh, you pretty thing: Skywatchers wait for Mars encounter Mars and Earth are about to pass closer together than at any time in almost 60,000 years.
Defining Dean ...any rivals for
Defining Dean ...any rivals for the Democratic nomination hoping that he would soon implode -- through inexperience, or overconfidence or the weight of his supposed liberalism -- wouldn't have found much encouragement.
What day is it? Depends
What day is it? Depends who you ask... how we measure the passage of time varies in wonderfully elaborate ways worldwide, past and present. Some folks want to create a uniform calendar, and you may recall Swatch's quixotic attempt at "Internet Time." Colorful heuristics aside, there's always timelessness as an option.
Crossposted to MeFi
Overheard in the London tubes,
Overheard in the London tubes, via MeFi
This eternal truth is above the logic of force, the concept of environment, or the terminology of society. Go figure.
She was at the party when an ant fell out of her nose. No-one knows where it came from.
I am composed of thousands of tiny pixels.
Everything Morrissey predicted in the 80s is coming true.
That girl in the leather coat has an Adam's apple.
Questionable Weirdom: this month's odd
Questionable Weirdom: this month's odd searches from the referrer logs:
and my personal favorite,
But curiously, one of my top referring sites, at 107 visits, is the International Atomic Energy Agency. Odd.
For Sale: How King Shaped
For Sale: How King Shaped the Dream Occupying 20,000 square feet — nearly one a floor — of the auction house, the sprawling exhibition opens to the public tomorrow and runs through Sept. 8. Sotheby's is offering the collection for private sale — not at auction — on behalf of the King estate.
'Peace' orchestra makes Arab debut
'Peace' orchestra makes Arab debut An orchestra made up of young Israeli and Arab musicians is to play its first concert in an Arab country shortly.
New Moby Dick? Boat crasher
New Moby Dick? Boat crasher a rare white whale The 14-meter-long cetacean, known as Migaloo, is thought to be the only known albino humpback whale.
Neuroscience Art Gallery Images from
Neuroscience Art Gallery Images from the edge of 'sanity.'
Hola, Huya: New planetoid named
From the ‘Song of the Open Road’ By Walt Whitman
FROM this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Here is the efflux of the Soul;
All parts away for the progress of souls;
Taboo The aim of this
Taboo The aim of this activity is to tell you something about your moral intuitions.
The Surrealist Compliment Generator
Deans' WSJ Op-Ed When companies
Deans' WSJ Op-Ed When companies cut back on health-care benefits and guaranteed pensions, workers are hit hard. Studies by scholars, including Karen Kornbluh of the New America Foundation, show that families compensate by running harder, and that stress can become unbearable. There are elderly parents to care for, children to educate, and the need to save for a secure retirement. Married couples now work 10 weeks longer each year than they did in 1968, and live with an accumulation of debt that threatens financial disaster.
This is a retort of my previous crankiness. My headache was gone within an hour, I didn't have to work 'til 6, barely 'had' to smile and the socialites were nice, and the soymilk and oj are fully thawed. I'm rarely cranky and whiny, but I suppose I had to get it all out of my way.
Waaah. I've got a headache and I work all day today. Waaah. My soy milk and orange juice was frozen solid this morning. Waaaah. I don't want to deal with socialities. Waaah. This is the one job where I have to smile and be perky all day. Waaah. There's that damn rooster again. Waaah! I hate whining. Waaah? ? ?
Oh freedom, you elusive waif. Wait a minute.... I'm off at 6. That's only 9 hours from now. Jaybird, you sillyhead. Get in the shower.
Howzat for voyeurism, folks? No flowery essay, but gritty late for work reality. Feels good to vent, but I promise this won't be a regualr feature. No, I'm not crossing my fingers, either.
Birdonthemoon.com Build No. 2.0
Damn, this has been annoying but it works... less load time for dialups, slightly more efficient interface. We'll see. Time for a beer. Comments, anyone? Look alright? Do tell!
Agayuliyararput: Our Way of Making
Agayuliyararput: Our Way of Making Prayer
Wow, those conservatives sure are
Wow, those conservatives sure are compassionate! Guantanamo may free children "three children - aged between 13 and 15 -" Sick and wrong.
"One Step, One Breath"
We could gaze upward and see a swath of starlight
Could it be that our own desire to perceive is a veil?
Acting on a hunch, on a dare,
Here are we,
Pulling back the mere fabric
To reveal ourselves without explanation, or reason.
The Hopi prophecy of Pahana
The Hopi prophecy of Pahana "My people await Pahana, the lost White Brother, [from the stars] as do all our brothers in the land. He will not be like the white men we know now, who are cruel and greedy. we were told of their coming long ago. But still we await Pahana."
"We feel that the world is good. We are grateful to be alive. We are conscious that all men are brothers. We sense that we are related to other living creatures. When you go out of the house in the morning and see the rising sun, pause a moment to think about it. The sun brings warmth to the things that grow in the fields. If there’s a cloud in the sky, look at it and remember that it brings rain to a dry land. When you take water from a spring, be aware that it is a gift of nature."
My So-Called Universe - Our
Quantum theory says that nature is discrete, so the visible universe we inhabit is characterized by a finite amount of information; if space is infinite, this informational pattern is bound to repeat at vast enough distances. A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that there should be an exact copy of you around 10 to the 10 to the 28th light-years away.
Thai man dies while laughing
Kevin Kling's Circus Tale was
Kevin Kling's Circus Tale was on NPR tonight and was pure delight. Real Audio format
STUPID: Taco Bell launches it's
STUPID: Taco Bell launches it's Recall Poll. Buy a taco, exercise democracy? Please.
The most 'average' place in
The most 'average' place in England: Just an average day in Average Town
MoveOn.org called in to help
MoveOn.org called in to help exiled Texas democratic senators fighting right-wing redistricting effort.
I am writing to you from a hotel room in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where I and 10 of my colleagues in the Texas Senate have been forced to reside for the past 20 days. If we return to our homes, families, friends, and constituents, the Governor of Texas will have us arrested. I know, it sounds more like a banana republic than the dignified democracy on which we have long prided ourselves. We are effectively exiled from the state due to our unalterable opposition to a Republican effort -- pushed by Tom Delay and Karl Rove, and led by Texas Governor Rick Perry -- that would rewrite the map of Texas Congressional districts in order to elect at least 5 more Republicans to Congress.
Mural Arts Program: Mural Gallery
Mongolia's cult of the great
Mongolia's cult of the great Khan Bursting on stage in the middle of the national stadium is the unmistakable figure of Genghis Khan, the Mongol warrior who built a vast 13th Century empire.
"Prosecute acts of terror" by
"Prosecute acts of terror" by stopping the illegal guvmint of George the Pretender and Ashcroft the Fowl from putting up partisan political websites like Preserving Life & Liberty
Giant gerbils infest China An
Giant gerbils infest China An explosion of gerbils...
Cultural history of the night
Cultural history of the night Festive and frightening: In history, nocturnal urban darkness was the norm
"God in the Neighborhood"
God is in the neighborhood this week. One of them at least, or one of God's many guises. The little Baptist church across my driveway is having an outdoor revival, and around 7pm every night, I can hear a chorus of "Praise God!" intermingling with the sounds of breezy leaves, crickets, and the occasional burst of Tejano music from the apartments across the way. Oddly, the rooster was quiet this evening.
It's entirely outside, and still it seems voyeuristic to watch. While the same breeze blows between us, it may as well be a nation apart. I thought of going over and 'blending in,' which would be quite an effort. I'm just curious how people do what they do and believe what they believe. Our spiritualities are what you might call in the south 'a far piece aways' from eachother, yet there's something to watching the faces of the devoted while in rapture... of Baptists, Muslims, Hindus, of lovemakers, hayrakers and Siddhus. When people are in the 'God zone,' no matter how they get there, there's a certain universal glow that no artist has yet succeeded in capturing, though many come valiantly close.
The thin asphalt lane that separates us is a ribbon that thins to nothingness the higher we go. Our conception of God can be expressed in the same language but with vastly different implications. It's feasible to imagine that if I were to reveal to the Preacher a few bones from my ossuary/closet, that I'd be set on a theological rollercoaster that debarks in a rather hypothetically warm place indeed. Yet if I let myself I could analyze their take on The Whole Deal and file it away under "misguided notions of guilt and power," I'd be doing the same thing and the whole lot of us would be simmering in the rank juices of our mutual ignorances.
So, it's easier for me to watch and listen, leaving the rights and wrongs out of it as faces turn skyward in rapt attention, hands flailing in the knowledge of one of God's infinitely various guises. Birds sing slow summertime songs as the sunset trickles red and gold through the leaves of these knowledgeable apple and plum trees. I'll mow the grass and be thankful for my own weird little story of the Universe and the dream of Whatever It Is This All Means, listening for the hymns of praise uplifted by cardinal and lightening bug, Amen.
On Getting Along by Howard Zinn
You ask how I manage to stay involved and remain seemingly happy and adjusted to this awful world where the efforts of caring people pale in comparison to those who have power?
It's easy. First, don't let "those who have power" intimidate you. No matter how much power they have they cannot prevent you from living your life, speaking your mind, thinking independently, having relationships with people as you like. (Read Emma Goldman's autobiography LIVING MY LIFE. Harassed, even imprisoned by authority, she insisted on living her life, speaking out, however she felt like.
Second, find people to be with who have your values, your commitments, but who also have a sense of humor. That combination is a necessity!
Third (notice how precise is my advice that I can confidently number it, the way scientists number things), understand that the major media will not tell you of all the acts of resistance taking place every day in the society, the strikes, the protests, the individual acts of courage in the face of authority. Look around (and you will certainly find it) for the evidence of these unreported acts. And for the little you find, extrapolate from that and assume there must be a thousand times as much as what you've found.
Fourth. Note that throughout history people have felt powerless before authority, but that at certain times these powerless people, by organizing, acting, risking, persisting, have created enough power to change the world around them, even if a little. That is the history of the labor movement, of the women's movement, of the anti-Vietnam war movement, the disabled persons movement, the gay and lesbian movement, the movement of black people in the South.
Fifth: Remember, that those who have power, and who seem invulnerable are in fact quite vulnerable, that their power depends on the obedience of others, and when those others begin withholding that obedience, begin defying authority, that power at the top turns out to be very fragile. Generals become powerless when their soldiers refuse to fight, industriaists become powerless when their workers leave the jobs or occupy the factories.
Sixth: When we forget the fragility of that power in top we become astounded when it crumbles in the face of rebellion. We have had many such surprises in our time, both in the United States and in other countries.
Seventh: Don't look for a moment of total triumph. See it as an ongoing struggle, with victories and defeats, but in the long run the consciousness of people growing. So you need patience, persistence, and need to understand that even when you don't "win," there is fun and fulfillment in the fact that you have been involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile.
Okay, seven pieces of profound advice should be enough.
Dean Soars To Top
Republicans have changed...
Republicans have changed...
"Joslin et al vs. Devil Rooster, Part the Third"
LATE BREAKING DEVELOPMENT:
The neighbors of Jay Joslin, the blogger besieged by the crowing of a rooster from hell, have replied to his last communique. Near his mailbox, was his last letter returned, these words were written on the outside:
Moon colony 'within 20 years'
Moon colony 'within 20 years' "To actually live on another world would be quite a test of technology as well as human physiology. We don't know what the long-term effects of living in a low gravity environment would be."
Reporters Fault U.S. Troops in
Reporters Fault U.S. Troops in Iraq Death Fellow journalists accused U.S. troops of negligence in the shooting death of a Reuters cameraman, saying it was clear the victim was a newsman when soldiers on two tanks opened fire. Press advocacy groups called for an investigation.
Arrests don't deter naked
Arrests don't deter naked walker crossing Britain His 847-mile trek has been hampered by eight arrests, an examination at a psychiatric hospital and several nights in jail. This week, he's starting over after Scottish police shipped him back to his starting point in Cornwall for a court appearance.
Kamikaze: Sequoia Crushes SUV In
Kamikaze: Sequoia Crushes SUV In National Park
US notches world's highest incarceration
US notches world's highest incarceration rate More than 5.6 million Americans are in prison or have served time there, according to a new report by the Justice Department released Sunday. That's 1 in 37 adults living in the United States, the highest incarceration level in the world.
Neil Armstrong - The Truth
Neil Armstrong - The Truth What he really said on the Moon.
This is totally amazing: Zombie
This is totally amazing: Zombie Infection Simulation
'How to be Gay' course
'How to be Gay' course draws fire at Michigan I totally support academic freedom and this class should be taught on the grounds of free speech; but, this is the same thing I was talking about yesterday... being gay, as I understand it, is not something you do but something you are. I am left handed, and did not require any classes to learn how to be more left handed, I just am. Same thing with 'gayness.' IMHO.
I made this comment on
I made this comment on a
UPDATE: The originator of the thread meant no harm and wasn't baiting. Hw was hoping to be harmlessly funny. Well intentioned. I think.
Crikey! Britain is running low
Crikey! Britain is running low on beer Brewing giant Carlsberg-Tetley was forced to ship in emergency supplies of lager from abroad because of this summer's heatwave, it emerged today.
"Love is Being, Love is Waiting"
Somewhere, lights on the dancefloor
Two potlucks in one night!
Two potlucks in one night! I'm staggering (not for the beverages) my visits to one and a half hours apiece.
Underwater, an account of the
Underwater, an account of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtse.
Watching the river rise is like tracking the progress of the clock’s short hand: it’s all but imperceptible. There is no visible current, no sound of rushing water—but at the end of every hour another half foot has been gained. The movement seems to come from within, and to some degree it is mysterious to every living thing on the shrinking banks.
A Bioethicist's Take on Genesis
A Bioethicist's Take on Genesis The snake is, he writes, ''an embodiment of the separated and beguiling world of autonomous human reason,'' a voice of ''rationalist mischief.''
"Joslin et al vs. Devil Rooster, Part Deux"
It’s been about two weeks since I last wrote concerning the rooster. So far, the rooster continues traveling and waking me up between 4:30 and 5:30 in the morning. I'm a very light sleeper and the crowing makes getting back to sleep almost impossible (I rented this place for the peace and quiet). This morning it started at 5:15 and went at it for over two hours. I cherish my sleep and because of this bird I’m only getting 4 to 5 hours per night.
Since no one (including Sander’s Court residents) is claiming responsibility for this animal, it must be assumed that it is a stray. Therefore, the best option is to involve Animal Control and report a nuisance or have it taken to a farm animal sanctuary (there’s one off of Brevard Rd.). I’m ready to consider either option as a remedy to this problem.
Believe me, I like roosters and all birds. But this is a quality of life issue. If you really don’t own this bird, than surely these two options are the best route and the least harm done to anyone. I would greatly appreciate your help.
Your Neighbor Who Chased the Heathen Incubus Around the Perimeter of his House in Pajamas at Six O'Clock A. M. for Half an Hour with a Stick Trying to Make it Shut the F*** Up or Hop the Fence Back to Your Lovely Ranch Style Home Where You Call the Demon "Your Lil' [sic] Pookins" or Some Such Drivel and Feed it all Kinds of Yummy Treats; But Lemme Tell Ya if it Comes Back and Wakes Me Up Again I'll Invite You Over For Dinner... I've Got a Wicked Barbecue Sauce.
Off to this place to
Microbe breaks temperature record The
Microbe breaks temperature record The single-celled microbe grows at higher temperatures than any other known lifeform, according to scientists...
How can I keep my
How can I keep my soul in me, so that
~Maria Rainer Rilke
Baghdad Blogger lays it down:
Baghdad Blogger lays it down:
As you go into Baghdad from the west there is graffiti on the walls that says "Welcome to the Republic of Darkness and Unemployment".
Who needs a constitution? Defiant
Who needs a constitution? Defiant chief justice vows to keep Ten Commandments monument The Alabama chief justice locked in a fierce battle with a federal court vowed Thursday that he would not remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the state's judicial building's rotunda.
What's up, Doc??? Cloning Yields
What's up, Doc??? Cloning Yields Human-Rabbit Hybrid Embryo
Thank you for taking my
Thank you for taking my call! is a website mentioned by a caller on ABC news tonight (during the Mighty Mohawk Power Grid Drama) that links... to prank calls?
MeFi's breaking coverage of the
MeFi's breaking coverage of the New York power outage
All about the Cathars. All
Post quick, jaybird! Library closes at 8!
Meanwhile, please keep fingers crossed for speedy resolution to my comp probs... my techie is, as usual, stumped.
Arnold's stupid movies kept off
"Finding Future's Wings"
I am here. My computer is elsewhere, under anaesthesia and in pain.
Yesterday, the most amazing thing happened. Granted, the world is a continuum of most amazing things happening, randomly and sequentially, but that is a story too large to tell and is best experienced without attempts to explain It. This particular most amazing thing, a moment's microcosm of the eternal macrocosm, a distillation of magic from the eternal Magic Trick, blew me out of the allegorical water. It was at water's edge it happened.
My work is with 'at-risk youth.' The youth I work certainly has his issues, but he might be at-risk of Buddhahood as well. I shadow him in school, which has been one interesting trip that has jostled memories long festering and undigested. After school, we go to the library, the pool, and yesterday, we went to a creek to 'hop on rocks,' the ultimate processing activity.
We skipped along the creek, catching fleet shimmers of minnow and shadows of darting crawfish, pulled along by butterflies and a breeze so fresh and golden it might have blown in from Nirvana. Imagine the echo of a ten year old giggle with the gurgle of an old stream, carving the grantie boulders that cradle it's meander... voices old and new bouncing off the other, rippling outward and onward. Imagine the smile my face makes when at once it relives a ten-year old's mutable and numinous mindscape, where the borders between worlds are porous and everywhere. Hopping on rocks just for the sake of it, straddling islands because we can.
We came to his destination; a large boulder with an old noble tree fallen over it. We looked into the pools for signs of life; of course, life stared us back in the face... amoebas, polychaete, algae, snail trails. Then, as I looked away, following a bluejay's swooping blur...
"Mr. Jay, Mr. Jay, come and look at this, quick!!!"
And I was a little at loss to explain it. Coiled at the bottom of a shallow pool, a black and yellow dead something. At first, I thought it might have been some larval stage of damselfly, but it was too big. Using a stick, we found that this was a drowned caterpillar. "Quick, we've got to get it out!" I explained that it was dead, and part of the natural cycle for the dead insect to become food for other organsims... the dead form the delicate matrix of the living. "Get it out anyway, I want to see it!"
Using my hand, I scooped the caterpillar up with my hand and set it's drenched and stiff body on the rocks. The boy gazed into the creature with wide eyes. "There's gonna be one less butterfly in the world." "Yes, that's true, but nature must have intended it." "But Mr. Jay, sometimes we need to help nature, right?." "Right, but in this case, there's nothing we can do."
Using a thin twig, he touched it tentatively. What had appeared to be a lifeless body twitched. "It's alive Mr. Jay! It's alive!" I was awestruck. "Now, there's gonna be one more butterfly in the world!" I'll be damned. He was right. The caterpillar was now fully revived, and soggily made it's way along the rock. A miracle? The thing looked utterly devoid of life, I felt it was hopeless. Within a minute I was proven utterly wrong, and the revived life crawled on it's way to become a butterfly as I stood in slack-jawed wonder and the boy, affirmed and strengthened by his call to save it, hopped along and over the clear current.
The most amazing thing... intervening in nature's process, the drowning caterpillar, the amazed boy, the revival, the spreading of future wings. I had to turn my head so he wouldn't see my tears. Could this simple gesture be the 'sign' I've been looking for, a validation, a miracle, a serendipitous splash of holy water and wet sneakers? Could be. Something so simple, something so sweet, illumination as sparkling as sun bouncing across creekwater, as a ten year old boy and a thrity year old man meet at the still place in the flow, supported by the same stones, finding future's wings.
Life may be concealed in the most hopeless of shapes, but may be rekindled by the most hopeful of eyes.
Impact forces following the unexpected
Kansas Is Flatter Than a
Kansas Is Flatter Than a Pancake This obvious question “how flat is a pancake” spurned our analytical interest, and we set out to find the ‘flatness’ of both a pancake and one particular state: Kansas.
Might be posting for a
Might be posting for a while from the library and such.... computer really needs to go in. Windows explorer is crashing every time I go through the file system, making back-up impossible.
Meanwhile, with no action taken of the rooster by the neighbors, I might have to take more extreme measures, such as forced repatriation to deeper country, or worse (muah-ha-ha-ha). Don't want to hurt it but I can't take this any more.
My namesake is a junior
My namesake is a junior cowboy in Oklahoma. His namesake is a blogging weirdo in North Carolina.
"Our family Raises Cattle at Snow Oklahoma
"No Accidental Meetings"
There are no accidental meetings;
Oh sweet golden sun kissing my face!
Anti-War Reservist Fights Court-Martial A
Anti-War Reservist Fights Court-Martial A Marine reservist facing a court-martial says he's being unfairly prosecuted for criticizing the military at anti-war rallies and for publicizing his application for conscientious objector status.
Seeking answers to big 'mystery
Scientists speculate that the hitherto unknown primate may have designed Windows XP.
WMD, con't... Napalm update: A
WMD, con't... Napalm update: A 1980 UN convention banned the use against civilian targets of napalm, a terrifying mixture of jet fuel and polystyrene that sticks to skin as it burns. The US, which did not sign the treaty, is one of the few countries that makes use of the weapon. It was employed notoriously against both civilian and military targets in the Vietnam war.
Cannibals! Hubble spies big galaxy
Cannibals! Hubble spies big galaxy gobbling little one
The 'Ole Family Ranch'
The 'Ole Family Ranch' in Crawford is a Set Completed the Same Day the Election Was Stolen Alas, the Crawford ranch is a symbol of the utter corporate phoniness of this administration. The whole scenario reminds me of those type of sophisticated con artists (like the ones who recently convinced several investors they could turn sand into gold! ) who blow into town, rent an upscale office space just long enough to give them enough credibility to hoodwink investors.
Tokyo Temple Ceremony Honors Pinball
Tokyo Temple Ceremony Honors Pinball Machines In Friday's solemn ceremony, Buddhist monks in purple robes chanted sutras in front of a candle-lit, brocade-draped altar adorned with a golden replica of a pachinko machine.
DeanSpace is an open development
DeanSpace is an open development community providing powerful web-tools, quality support, and expert advice to Howard Dean's grassroots supporters. Our goal is to better interlink existing web activism, bring new citizen participants into the political process, and assist individuals to network and organize for taking action in Howard Dean's presidential grassroots campaign.
Surprised? Bush Misuses Science, Report
Surprised? Bush Misuses Science, Report Says ...has repeatedly mischaracterized scientific facts to bolster its political agenda in areas ranging from abstinence education and condom use to missile defense...
6-year-old holding George W. Bush
6-year-old holding George W. Bush Elite Force Aviator Doll hostage Boy’s home is surrounded by Secret Service and Homeland Security-coordinated SWAT forces
Injured Dog Amazes By Taking
Injured Dog Amazes By Taking Self To Vet Scooby... somehow walked miles to a local animal clinic and was waiting on the doorstep when employees arrived for work. After proving just how smart he is, he is petitioning to change his name to something less stupid.
Smelly Mystery Blob Takes Over
Smelly Mystery Blob Takes Over N.J. Town It might be outgoing EPA Chief and former NJ governor Christie Todd Whitman, an offical was reported as saying.
Ashcroft does Orwell: U.S. Backs
Ashcroft does Orwell: U.S. Backs Florida's New Counterterrorism Database It would let authorities, for instance, instantly find the name and address of every brown-haired owner of a red Ford pickup truck in a 20-mile radius of a suspicious event.
Espresso Tax? Have they lost
Espresso Tax? Have they lost their minds?
California 'recall election' officially
California 'recall election' officially a joke: Arnold (Total Recall) Schwarzenegger, Gallagher the Watermelon Smasher, Larry Flynt, porn star Mary Carey, Gary Coleman, and My Big Toe (left foot) step in to run for Governor. Enjoy your state.
Is anyone planning on selling popcorn on Election Day? I'll ontinue updating the list as further likely govs emerge.
Robot insect walks on water
Robot insect walks on water The team, based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, were testing out a theory about how one family of foraging insects performs the same trick.
Dean on King
Is it really starting today?
Is it really starting today? My client begins school this morning, and today will be the first day I've entered a public school in over ten years. Gulp.
Scare Tactics - Why
Scare Tactics - Why are Liberian soldiers wearing fright wigs? Indeed, some of the more fully accessorized soldiers in Charles Taylor's militia even tote dainty purses and don feather boas.
Flynt: National Prayer Day for
Flynt: National Prayer Day for Fox News Channel blowhard Bill O'Reilly's death. Check out graphic at bottom.
Power from blood could lead
Power from blood could lead to 'human batteries' Three words in this story really tweaked my ear: sugar-fed robots.
Jaybird Makes Up His Mind for 2004
I've made my decision... it's time to support Howard Dean for [legitimate] President. I've signed up to support him, and just in case you haven't, here's how...
Why? Not only has he proven his ability to mobilize and thus generate interest in lieu of apathy, he doesn't dilly-dally, trying to appease every last lobbyist, and the Governor stands by his principles. I find it amazing for me to say myself, being someone who would rather subvert the dominant political paradigm and such who tends toward the Kucinich / Moseley-Braun left, but look at the storm that a Vermonter has kicked up. This kind of momentum, with continued exposure, has a thunderous chance to unseat our current neo-fascist overlords. So could Kerry or Lierberman, but what would they replace it with? Another centrist, wimpy, band of poll-ocrats. Dean is exciting, and it takes a lot for me to support someone from that party (in lieu of a Green) but in this case, we must and will without reservation. Go Dean!
The last time Mars was
The last time Mars was this close to Earth was 60,000 years ago The last time the two planets were so close our ancestors were living in caves and struggling to survive the extreme conditions of the Ice Age. Who knows what will have happened by the time they are as near again -- 284 years into the future?
"Whims of Very Lucky Numbers"
Sometimes the expected becomes entangled in scribbled lines of the miraculous,
There's a story to all this, but I'll have to tell you later.
PS: Happy Birthday, Amigo, whereever you are.
US anti-war activists hit by
US anti-war activists hit by secret airport ban After more than a year of complaints by some US anti-war activists that they were being unfairly targeted by airport security, Washington has admitted the existence of a list, possibly hundreds or even thousands of names long, of people it deems worthy of special scrutiny at airports.
Dowd: Butch, Butch Bush! Last
Dowd: Butch, Butch Bush! Last time I checked, we had separation of church and state, so I don't know why the president is talking about sin, or why he is implying that gays who want to make a permanent commitment in a world full of divorce and loneliness are sinners. And a gay political reporter goes on to say "Everything else about him just shouts `Butch, butch, butch!' But to throw Bush a metrosexual bone, whenever you see him walking off Air Force One with that little furball Barney under his arm, that canine puff of air that most drag queens wouldn't be caught dead with, it's like he's halfway to a Chanel rabbit fur handbag."
Eureka! It's the structure of
Eureka! It's the structure of creation. This is the quantum oscillator: a wave generator that gives the universe wings on which to fly.
Another step ahead: Episcopalians approve
Another step ahead: Episcopalians approve gay bishop
Mrs. Tony Blair a
Mrs. Tony Blair a Techno Diva @ Ibiza An impromptu sing-song by Cherie Blair to Chinese students has become a surprise dance hit among British clubbers in Ibiza and Cyprus.
"The Universe Tree"
My little home is marked on all sides lush stands of old trees. Pine, oak, apple, cherry; even our names for these upward yearning beauties are gentle... the words roll off the tongue like a twilight breeze that stirs the branches. I am thankful for them, and the cicadas they presently harbor, for both give the day and night a kind of rhythm, of rustling and murmuring. Their presence comforts, the offery density and continuous summertime happenings; wrens chastising inquisitive cats, mourning doves in courtship, a lone mockingbird in jazzy solo.
I watched in wonder today as rainwater beaded on the leaf of a red bud tree. The leaf held it as the sun made a jewel of it, bright enough to star my eyes. Then it slipped away, on to nourish soil and roots. Leaves really do something for me; touching them, feeling them as I pass by, shaking hands of a consciousness I cannot grasp. Once recent evening, as a mild encounter with wine loosened the stones of my synapses, I bent down to kiss a leaf. I don't remember the exact tree, but I do remember the response. It was my breath on the intake, a reminding that this leaf is a fountain of oxygen. Breathe deeply, and for a brief but ever replenishable second your lungs become the repository of untold verdant giving.
As for a particular tree that has grown roots in memory, it would have to be that maple in the schoolyard in sixth grade. I remember a distinct awareness that this being, sheltering the back of the socially awkward and befuddled me, was alive. Downright alive, coursing with an intelligence that questioned not and did as it did. Each branch that tickled that child-giggled sky was an adaptation, each bird that alighted there some far off sage. That tree stood for, in sixth grade cosmology, that this place, nestled under it's canopy, was safe. Whole worlds can pivot off of such graces. I sat at that tree everyday... many times it was refuge from bullies, but more often it was an unraveler of imagination. It gave me dreams, drifting peace where all the hubbub and turmoil of middle school melted into other worlds as I held onto the trunk of something sure. It's ecosystem, rooted there in that worn sneaker-trod earth, taught gently and without admonishment. Sometimes, it was my only friend. In a way that it's taken me a long time to consider, it was my own personal Yggdrasil, the Universe tree. From there, in those shaded recess reflections, seeds grew that made me who I am today.
Perhaps I'll never know quite how that tree worked it's magic. Perhaps I have more to learn. Just think of the teaching impact trees have: Buddha and his Bodhi tree, Newton and his gravitationally impaired apple, Washington and his fabled cherry, and those are just the history book names. We are a world teeming with vast ripe minds, and there's enough shade to cover them all and enough upward yearning to pry them from their worries. No wonder the Kabbalists place such value on the Tree of Life.
Not far from my first home in New Castle, Delaware, there is a tulip tree that surpasses generations of our industry and technology in age. At it's base is a semi-circular bench that was placed there an eternity ago. The builder of that bench had the right idea; sit here, lean back, maybe even close your eyes and release your cares in a sigh... the tree will take your exhalation and from it make a future's inhale. Like the strong embrace of a friend, it will hold you up, as your wonderstruck eyes attempt to fathom the sky that the branches so easily uphold.
This post was inspired by a discussion over at EcoTone Wiki. Go and see.
How's about some full strength
How's about some full strength irony: Sunscreen blamed for cancer
Very misleading article... Teen arrested
Very misleading article... Teen arrested at Logan for alleged bomb threat in his bag Here's the note: ''[Expletive] you. Stay the [expletive] out of my bag you [expletive] sucker. Have you found a [expletive] bomb yet? No, just clothes. Am I right? Yea, so [expletive] you.'' Here, the kid explains: ''I can explain this. I wrote a note in my bag asking if there was a bomb in it and telling them to stay out.'' Read the article and you'd think he was making an actual threat. Just like the title of the new Alterman book, "What liberal media?"
Phenomenal: "They were like two
Pung is a word IPung is a word I came up with while trolling through the realm of the fantastic with my ol' companero Jason to explain a unique form of synchronicity. How exactly something is "punged" is too delicate to relate here, but meanwhile, as life becomes ever crammed with random stimuli and inventiveness, coincidence is bound to be rising. Just yesterday, while fretting over sound effects for a play we're doing about Elvis, I left the house and was followed by a car with Elvis tags. Stopping at the gas station, guess what was playing inside? This odd arrangement of data... what does it mean? Is it utterly meaningless, or is synchronicity a language of space-time that humans are just becoming slightly aware of?
Thus sang the Police:
"It's so deep, it's so wide
"The French Broad"
Oh, what a lazy Saturday. For the first time since the last time, I've no work to do at all and likewise none tomorrow. With the cats I sprawled on the porch in the blazing sun, made an intricate breakfast, and simply gazed out the window watching the breeze bend the branches and a wandering hummingbird momentarily became the center of the Universe.
Once the sun is further down the horizon, I'll head off to the river and take a trail or two. The French Broad is rather muddy from all the rain, a northward flowing band of bronze. It's one of the few northward flowing rivers in the world, right up there with the Nile. Our pyramids are the worn domes of ancient green mountains, still heaving in passionate embrace with forces deep below your rock-hopping feet, but to a tune even slower than molasses in January, even slower than the spin of galaxies overhead. Our rafts that ply upstream are thrill seeking craft that dart inbetween churning rapids and vexing currents. Our temples are former mills that crumble brick by brick into the moist Earth like the economies that once necessitated them. The Priests and Priestesses are all wandering, out of work, as spires topple and the crows perch atop esoteric ruins. We flood sometimes and the tobacco crop, our papyri, whithers into dust. On bumper years, that crop may mature to record success, and the few remaining farming families scroll out another generation. The rhododendron is our lotus.
If it weren't for the French Broad, these mountains would have no backbone... she's the spiritual spine of the landscape from which rise the muscles of rock that drive us onward and upward. I used to live in Flatland, and the only bumps on the horizon were ones that we made. Here, the mountains remind us, by obscuring that line between heaven and earth, of who made what. This, a container and clarifier of ambition. Maybe that's why mountainfolk are so spiritual... there seems, in certain valleys, only up. To the natives, the Cherokee, the whole place was a living cradle, with as much wisdom below, and without, and within as above. They may have been largely supplanted by our hierarchies and the domineering commerce of ideology, but the radiance of the river and the larger, quieter flowing she crosses still speak that wisdom. As gravel trucks roll by you can hear it still as the air converses with pine and oak and red bud. You can feel it as your fingers dangle in the trickle of cold, clear streams. You can see it as a blue iridescent butterfly alights on the river bank to sip nectars older than a million of her generations.
That said, it's time to go. If I'm lucky, I'll beat the thunderstorms. On the other hand, I might get lucky and be drenched. That's one way to know a river... to for a moment remember the water that meanders within, to be flotsam upon it, and be fed by the sky.
I've finally gotten around to
I've finally gotten around to setting archive and category templates. Someday I'll even work on the silly comments thing.
Work party. Inexplicable indulgence. Hilarious consequences.
Oh holy piss, there's a
Oh holy piss, there's a website rating the Top Ten Urinals. The internet is now full. No more conent is needed. You can go home now.
The Resident-in-Chief continues sidestepping on
The Resident-in-Chief continues sidestepping on Iraq with increasingly incoherant jingoism.... yawn.
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i am jay joslin: a spirit-fed mountain hopping lover of everything, an ordained lefty-veggie-homo, and bon-vivant go-go dancing with all the messenger mockingbirds of morning.
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Keep it even,
"Not all who wander
You contain everything
Everything contains you
If you desire the Infinite,
look no further than the window.
Ten Considerations for Being Well n this Goofy Universe
0. If you find yourself
wonderstruck, don’t forget to return the favor. 1. Always be of service to
the whole and the Holy. You’ll find that the Holy will reciprocate by being
of service to your becoming Whole. 2. You will be called upon
to use your mind and your vision in ways I cannot possibly glimpse. Never
turn down an offer to shine that light so uniquely yours to help others in
their darkness, and you’ll find that when it’s your turn to be in the night
that there’ll be someone along the way who happens to have a little glow to
share . 3. The rewards of being
true to yourself are infinite, even when outwardly your efforts are met
with nothing. 4. You’ll also see that
knowledge and wisdom will come from within yourself through your own
struggle and curiosity... your loved ones may guide you to insight, but
yours is the power to choose it. 5. You’ll find that some of
your choices could’ve been better, or at times were downright stupid. That’s
okay... I have a closet full of reckless decisions, but without making them
I wouldn’t have the slightest idea of what a good one might feel like if I
tried it on. 6. Your growth will be a
mysterious, comic, ecstatic and sometimes scary ride, and I pray that you
strive to savor each minute of it, even the most difficult or embarrassing
minutes. Don’t count on second chances. 7. In those times when
everything collapses around you, and what’s left won’t go right, don’t
forget your chances of being alive in this solar system, in this galaxy, are
a little on the slim side. So slim in fact that it could be called a miracle
to breathe this air, drink this water, and have whet ever predicament you’re
having no matter how you shake, rattle and roll it. So go with the cosmic
flow and always choose something over nothing, while remembering that
there’s a little of each one hidden in both. 8. Respond as best as you
can with love to adversity rather than reacting with fear... Love, in any
situation and being the primordial source and essence of ALL THIS STUFF,
leaves / enters us with the most possible ways out / in. 9. Whatever you’re doing,
celebrate the process of doing as much, if not more, than what you’ve got
when you’re done. Magic lives in the action. 9 ˝ . All matter is energy.
All energy is infinite. We are but raindrops falling to the ocean, a short
time in this shape until we’re reunited with the expanse from which we came.
Your delicate yet sturdy, resilient body is a temporary shelter of energy
that has swam the universe eternally and will continue eternally. You are a
sudden crystallization of the infinite. One must ask themself, therefore,
why be bored? 9 3/4 . Choosing to live in
the moment is courageous but becomes effortless once you begin...feeling
obligated to survive in the past or future is dangerous and is difficult to
continue. It’s one of the few risks I’d recommend not taking, right up there
with trusting icons and shrugging off coincidences. 10. The Universe itself it
not confusing, we humans just like it that way. Do frogs seem bewildered ,
butterflies befuddled and amoebas addled? Nope, just us, my child. So,
whenever things just don’t make sense, just take a deep breath and laugh as
best you can, because that’s what you get for choosing this goofy,
unpredictable place called Earth to embody yourself upon.
0. If you find yourself wonderstruck, don’t forget to return the favor.
1. Always be of service to the whole and the Holy. You’ll find that the Holy will reciprocate by being of service to your becoming Whole.
2. You will be called upon to use your mind and your vision in ways I cannot possibly glimpse. Never turn down an offer to shine that light so uniquely yours to help others in their darkness, and you’ll find that when it’s your turn to be in the night that there’ll be someone along the way who happens to have a little glow to share .
3. The rewards of being true to yourself are infinite, even when outwardly your efforts are met with nothing.
4. You’ll also see that knowledge and wisdom will come from within yourself through your own struggle and curiosity... your loved ones may guide you to insight, but yours is the power to choose it.
5. You’ll find that some of your choices could’ve been better, or at times were downright stupid. That’s okay... I have a closet full of reckless decisions, but without making them I wouldn’t have the slightest idea of what a good one might feel like if I tried it on.
6. Your growth will be a mysterious, comic, ecstatic and sometimes scary ride, and I pray that you strive to savor each minute of it, even the most difficult or embarrassing minutes. Don’t count on second chances.
7. In those times when everything collapses around you, and what’s left won’t go right, don’t forget your chances of being alive in this solar system, in this galaxy, are a little on the slim side. So slim in fact that it could be called a miracle to breathe this air, drink this water, and have whet ever predicament you’re having no matter how you shake, rattle and roll it. So go with the cosmic flow and always choose something over nothing, while remembering that there’s a little of each one hidden in both.
8. Respond as best as you can with love to adversity rather than reacting with fear... Love, in any situation and being the primordial source and essence of ALL THIS STUFF, leaves / enters us with the most possible ways out / in.
9. Whatever you’re doing, celebrate the process of doing as much, if not more, than what you’ve got when you’re done. Magic lives in the action.
9 ˝ . All matter is energy. All energy is infinite. We are but raindrops falling to the ocean, a short time in this shape until we’re reunited with the expanse from which we came. Your delicate yet sturdy, resilient body is a temporary shelter of energy that has swam the universe eternally and will continue eternally. You are a sudden crystallization of the infinite. One must ask themself, therefore, why be bored?
9 3/4 . Choosing to live in the moment is courageous but becomes effortless once you begin...feeling obligated to survive in the past or future is dangerous and is difficult to continue. It’s one of the few risks I’d recommend not taking, right up there with trusting icons and shrugging off coincidences.
10. The Universe itself it not confusing, we humans just like it that way. Do frogs seem bewildered , butterflies befuddled and amoebas addled? Nope, just us, my child. So, whenever things just don’t make sense, just take a deep breath and laugh as best you can, because that’s what you get for choosing this goofy, unpredictable place called Earth to embody yourself upon.