Friday, November 10, 2017

Listening to the River

I love living near a river, with all it has to teach me, and this poem is a perfect example of why William Stafford is one of my favorite poets.

Ask Me
Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.
I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.

~ William Stafford

The photograph is mine.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Finding Balance

When I took a break from Twitter a few weeks ago, I thought I might spend more time back in Bloggerville. But, as time goes on, I find I'm spending less time on the computer. One of the things that caused me to look at social media and my computer time more closely was a segment on 60 Minutes a few months ago that talked of smartphone apps, which are also found in different versions on laptops. One of the creators of these social apps talked of their addictive nature, how they create a sense of loneliness, anxiety, and other things associated with addiction. Most notably, they can actually rewire your brain. Yes, rewire your brain.

Then, I read an article from The Guardian which also covered this topic and offered more insight into this flat screen phenomena. There were statements in this article that were real wake up calls for me. This was one:

"It is revealing that many of these younger technologists are weaning themselves off their own products, sending their children to elite Silicon Valley schools where iPhones, iPads and even laptops are banned."

As with all things, one can argue for balance. But, the nature of addiction is such that we have trouble identifying "balance" with any real measure of honesty. I have had to look at my own computer use with an unflinching eye and have made some major adjustments. Here's the article in case you are interested in learning more about this:

Friday, October 6, 2017

Taking a Stand

Time is precious and I know some folks don't want to click on links, but I wanted you to to know there are those who are taking a stand for this beautiful old world, for what is right and good. This is Joel Clement's Letter of Resignation from the Department of the Interior. Reading it made my day.

Watercolor: Kingfisher and Turtles in Pond
19th Century

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Unsung Third Stanza

There's a great deal of talk right now about the National Anthem, to kneel or not to kneel. I am a big fan of Colin Kaepernik, not just because of his political stance but for all the philanthropic work he is doing for those at the margins of life.

This morning, I came across this poem and found it dovetails with my own thoughts, though this poet has so perfectly and so beautifully stated them

A New National Anthem

The truth is, I’ve never cared for the National
Anthem. If you think about it, it’s not a good
song. Too high for most of us with “the rockets
red glare” and then there are the bombs.
(Always, always, there is war and bombs.)
Once, I sang it at homecoming and threw
even the tenacious high school band off key.
But the song didn’t mean anything, just a call
to the field, something to get through before
the pummeling of youth. And what of the stanzas
we never sing, the third that mentions “no refuge
could save the hireling and the slave”? Perhaps,
the truth is, every song of this country
has an unsung third stanza, something brutal
snaking underneath us as we blindly sing
the high notes with a beer sloshing in the stands
hoping our team wins. Don’t get me wrong, I do
like the flag, how it undulates in the wind
like water, elemental, and best when it’s humbled,
brought to its knees, clung to by someone who
has lost everything, when it’s not a weapon,
when it flickers, when it folds up so perfectly
you can keep it until it’s needed, until you can
love it again, until the song in your mouth feels
like sustenance, a song where the notes are sung
by even the ageless woods, the short-grass plains,
the Red River Gorge, the fistful of land left
unpoisoned, that song that’s our birthright,
that’s sung in silence when it’s too hard to go on,
that sounds like someone’s rough fingers weaving
into another’s, that sounds like a match being lit
in an endless cave, the song that says my bones
are your bones, and your bones are my bones,
and isn’t that enough?

~ Ada Limon

If you're not familiar with Ada Limon, here's a link to her site:

Saturday, September 23, 2017

There is a Light

Well, it's been a while. I hope you are all doing well. Life is good here. Buddy and I are still hanging out together and life feels pretty peaceful, as long as I don't spend too much time thinking about the current administration in the White House.

Blogger has always seemed to be a kind, gentle place. I appreciate the friends I've found here. I'm not sure yet what I will do, but it will probably involve poetry, music, and art, plus an occasional personal story, as I did in the past. It's good to be here again.

"There is a light within our soul
that burns brighter than the sun."

~ Basith, Autopsy of the Seasons

Image: Albarran Cabrera, The Mouth of Krishna