Sunday, March 31, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

I Miss Christopher Hitchens

Beautiful sentences pop into my head. Beautiful sentences that aren't always absolutely accurate. Then, I have to choose between the beautiful sentence and being absolutely accurate. It can be a difficult choice. 
-Christopher Hitchens

This week I ordered Arguably. Last week I watched the Four Horsemen discussion on YouTube. I guess I'm missing Christopher Hitchens.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, March 24, 2013

Faded peach light making a ring over the other hill. The sun cannot be far behind. The stillness is the story
this morning. Not a branch moving outside. Still cold out there. Chimney smoke coming out of rooftops in the distance. Cat took over the bed. She appreciates a good warm spot.

Easter is fast approaching.  Living with mom means the stuffed rabbit collection dominates the livingroom and there are enough decorated eggs, chick figurines and easter themed decals and flowers around to rival any bunny lane attraction. My contribution? A huge lily with five buds. My tastes run much less adorned, but for now at least, this is how it is. I retreat to the basement  a lot where I am going to start my seeds this week, now that the growing lights are all set up. 

This week I found myself in the absurd situation of picking out Easter cards for another person (mom, who is home bound) to give to someone else, even though mom is not religious, and the other people may or may not be religious. Hmm. I tried to pick colorful, happy looking cards, mostly spring themed as a compromise.

 In the end, I had too many bunnies and not enough Jesus.  I had to go back and get a few more religious ones, because mom sends religious cards to the religious, and bunny and flower type cards to the others. 

Easter, to me,  is a time of looking forward to the new season. A renewal of life after a long winter. Eating a good ham, and enjoying home made pierogies. Treating yourself to a chocolate bunny or grabbing a half dozen jelly beans when you walk past the candy dish. Its ritual. It's familiar and good. Its daffodils and crocuses and the robins are back. I saw one this week near the dump looking for worms in the soft ground.

I saw the footage of our President in the Holy Land this week and it made me sad. I saw the beauty of the ancient cities he visited, and was truly impressed at what wonders man can build. Without the use of modern machinery, too! 

But  I also saw the works of "modern" man, too.  The  150 foot wall of steel Israel is putting up to wall itself off, in the midst of continuing battles with their enemies.  A pity. 

I couldn't help wondering....if any of these people, any of them, of any religion....Christian, Muslim, Jew...actually believe a wonderful afterlife awaits them, why aren't they happy? The course of human events should seem trivial to them, merely passing issues compared to their glorified afterlife. If they KNOW, really have their "faith"....why wouldn't they be content with that? Why kill people over land? 

I'll never know.

Celestial Soda Pop

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, March 17, 2013

Darkness still over the valley and I've been up a couple hours now. Waiting for the Sun.

Slogging through March. When did it get like this? Fog-rain-snow-gloom-cold. I remember March as a kid as the start of Kite flying season. Blustery and fresh....spring... light jackets, mud.

So here we are. Too cold in March to pay good money for expensive kerosene for the greenhouse. Walking the aisles of Lowes with an old man who works there showing me options for grow lights to put in the basement. Perhaps if I can invest less than 50 bucks I can figure out a way to grow some seeds to the point
6 weeks from now maybe when the greenhouse won't freeze everything dead because of cold nights.

This mini iris bloomed one year ago on this date. Spring will come eventually.

Raglan Road- Chieftains and Van Morrison

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Song for the Pope, Rickie Lee Jones

When I'm Dead and Gone

The Sunday Morning Muse, March 10, 2013

Good morning. A bit tired today with daylight' savings time and all. No sunrise for the cat yet, staring into darkness out the window.

Yesterday was, to me, the first day of spring. It's not spring yet officially of course, but I saw the first crocus, the daffodils are up a few inches, and I pruned the blueberry bushes. It was 50 degrees and the sun shone brightly. The Greenhouse was 70 degrees inside. The cat laid in the sun. Period. Just laid there and put her nose in the breeze. I could almost share her thoughts.

The house seemed dank and airless when I came back inside. It's time to close the book on winter.

This week I went to the cemetery to take Dad's poinsettias off the grave. (I know, I'm a procrastinator.) The cemetery is in terrible condition right now and I realized that instantly as I turned off the main road. Wreaths are strewn like forgotten frizbees everywhere. Most plastic flowers are still on the graves, but some are horribly weathered, tattered, scattered and just a general mess. The ruts in the roadways back to to the graves are so bad I almost lost a tire. In short, I was pissed off right from the start. Isn't this supposed to be a respectful, serene, even hallowed place? Don't these people make enough money to pay someone to clean up? It's MARCH.

I was ruminating in all this when I got out of the car and noticed immediately that someone had to be clawing
their way out of here, because no one was supposed to be buried in Aunt Dorothy's grave. In a word, I was flummoxed. In the row below dad, Dorothy's husband has been occupying his grave quite alone since the 1980's and a double tombstone clearly marks the empty space where someday.... not today...his wife will
be laid to rest beside him.

I stood and stared. You know the feeling when something totally unexpected happens, like when Suki's bed started to shake in the middle of the night and she ran all sorts of possibilities in her head....Exorcist-type thoughts, burglars.... (under the bed??!!)... but it didn't occur to her it was an earthquake until later.

Well, this was similar. First thought...some terrible subsidence. Look, isn't the headstone sagging there? And the ground doesn't look disturbed as much on top, a few ruts maybe...but hell, it looks like someone....was put IN THERE. There's fresh mud, a bigger hole opening up along the side, but clearly the ground is very much disturbed here.  Hmmm.  (Keep in mind, this cemetery is looking pretty shoddy at best right now, perhaps a clerical error of some sort....another  Dorothy....buried here. I just didn't know.) But a bad gravedigging none the less. Subsidence, PLUS another body. Possible?

Or what about the sinkhole on TV the other night. Man eaten by the earth itself while in his bed. Hmmph.

Either way, I knew I had to make a phone call. And I was dreading it.

I ran a few trial conversations in my head when I got home. A tender way to tell her that she had to look into this, and in the mean time I would tell her about the holes in the road...and the wreaths and how bad it is here, too. Just because this would help my cause when I call and complain later on.... but those complaints were minor now compared to the possibility of... what went wrong with her grave.

So do I just dart to the end and tell what happened?

Well, there was this half price vault sale.... and a while back she signed up for it, and the gravediggers just got around to putting it in a few weeks ago. So, yes, subsidence is an issue. But no, there is no one clawing their way out, and no one buried in the wrong place. She did call and complain about how bad things look, so that's something.

I don't think I want to be buried at all.


The Sun is coming up now. And it's time for some fresh air.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, March 3, 2013

Light snow falling, no sunrise today...snow covered roofs, an inch or so on the driveway. Birds huddled in the bushes. Cat is oblivious to it all. I'm reading a book by Steve Hagen, Buddhism Plain and Simple.  It was really nice to be in my bed with a book, cat by my side, fake fireplace glowing, and just staying put. I love Sunday mornings.

So far the book is what it says it is. I want to know what Buddhism is and what it is not. I have become familiar with some of the teachings over the years. Now I want to learn more and see what it is really about.

 Present moment living is a big part of it. And also trying to escape the suffering that we as humans endure--a lot of it our own making. Haven't we all had the experience of worrying about something in our life, fearful of how this particular thing will play out? Oftentimes our own dreamed up concept of what is going on, or what will occur, turns out to be something far different than the reality that plays out. We all live in the present moment, and it is really all we have. I don't say that with any sense of loss, I say it with the thought in mind to
try and wake up and experience this beautiful life here and now.

Second mug of coffee. You see, here is an example: I don't think I even tasted the first cup. Truly. I am so absorbed in the morning ritual around here, that actually sipping the coffee instead of gulping it, tasting it and appreciating the aroma of it, doesn't really register. So... in honor of my new awareness, right now I took a piece of chocolate, took a sip of coffee with it and swished it around in my mouth. There. That is being in the moment.  And really liking it!

Einstein Said...

The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.

~Albert Einstein~

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Poke at the Pope

With the Pope calling it quits and all, I thought I'd pull out Donovan's song from  1970 or so, Poke at the Pope.  Growing up I listened to the Open Road album a lot. This is NOT about Pope John Paul II...he came
in the late 70's.

If you study the map, my bet is looking pretty good.  I still feel the next Pope will be from Italy. However, the actual odds on favorite is Peter Turkson....but that is a scary thought itself because it plays into the Malachi Prophesies. I guess we will all know when the white smoke rises.