Archive for May, 2008

The Gift

May 16, 2008

“Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say ‘Why not?’ ”

Robert Francis Kennedy, based on a quote by George Bernard Shaw in Back to Methuselah

The Post – A Balance: The New and Improved Admiral Byrd

May 15, 2008

I just couldn’t close out my day on such a negative note as Spiro Agnew. I felt the blog needed a positive influence, even if humble. I give you the “New and Improved” Admiral Byrd.

I’d noticed he was in seclusion in his cave a lot lately. I figured it was simply that with both ladies (Scarlett O’Hara and Melanie Hamilton) being pregnant, he was just lonely…and remodeling his cave with the new tunnel exit.

However, yesterday I looked in the tank to see “bits of Admiral Byrd” strewn about everywhere. A claw here, a couple of legs there, a torso behind the cave. No, he’s not dead…just his molted self ended up torn apart and scattered all over the tank.

He has since retaken his spot on top of his cave and is now claw-waving up a storm. After all, he is newly “re-shelled,” and thus, bigger, better, and ready for action. And Melanie Hamilton is no longer pregnant so, opportunity awaits.

Scarlett O’Hara is pregnant AGAIN. She had been living in the water filter for a week. I’ve come to understand that when Scarlett takes to the water filter, pregnancy soon follows.

The Post – Spiro Agnew

May 15, 2008

One last trip down presidential memory lane in this election year. If anyone is interested in a contrasting approach to reaching the American public, there is a recording of an interview with Spiro Agnew. It is on the same blog that carried the Robert Kennedy interview done by Sir David Frost. Apparently both of these recordings were on old LPs the blog author found in a used record shop in London.

I listened to as much of Spiro Agnew’s sarcasm as I could. I will simply say that while Kennedy’s speeches gave one hope for a way out of the messes of that time, a real vision for the future, listening to Agnew leaves me depressed.

To see the polar opposite of hope, vision, and respect for one’s fellow citizens, especially those who don’t agree with you, I give you Spiro Agnew on Jackthurston.com: The Man Who Put the Vice into Vice President

If ever there was a striking example of today’s gift saying by Marianne Williamson, this one is it. We came here with love. Listening to Agnew, it’s obvious, we learned fear here.

The Gift

May 15, 2008

“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.”

Marianne Williamson, author of A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

Her Wikipedia entry describes her as a “spiritual activist, author, lecturer and founder of The Peace Alliance, a grass roots campaign supporting legislation currently before Congress to establish a United States Department of Peace. She is also the founder of Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area.”

The Gift – Extra – Goslings

May 14, 2008

Just a quick gift to all. I just looked out the back window and saw the two geese parents carefully, slowly watchfully, ascending the bank behind our house, with 5 wobbly new goslings stumbling along behind them.

We live on property that backs up to a pond. For the last month, a lone male goose has been standing a lonely vigil, guarding the pond. He sits all day, quiet, watchful. At dusk, and in the early morning, he flies up over the trees behind the pond, drops down, and checks on his mate who has spent the last 12 or 14 hours sitting on a nest.

He escorts her back to the pond and watches over her while she eats and bathes. The two then take off for a short flight to give her exercise, then he escorts her back to the nest. That done, he returns to the bank of the pond near our house and spends those same hours…protecting the territory for her.

Now that they are born, he leads his family up to my platform feeder in the back yard, to introduce his offspring to cracked corn. He will stand guard over them all while they eat. He eats last. He will drive away any other geese, and watches for hawks. When they take the newborns for a swim, the babies will follow in a line, sandwiched between dad and mom.

Perhaps people don’t like geese because they can be messy and there’s so many. But I always have to appreciate and respect the way they treat each other as mates, and how they nurture and look after their offspring. In watching them interact as a family, if I could apply three words of description, they would be:

“present” “serene” unhurried”

I don’t know about anyone else, but as a hurried, often unserene person racing around, I have to wonder which of us has got it right?

Will try to get photos…..

The Post – Bobby Kennedy and the Two Thurstons

May 14, 2008

In the course of reading the June 2008 Vanity Fair article about Robert F. Kennedy, “The Last Good Campaign,” I came across two Thurstons.

The first is the author of the book excerpted in that magazine article, Thurston Clarke.

The book is:
The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America.

A few quotes from the book, give a good sample of the flavor of the book and the man:

1) RFK asked a friend if she thought he was crazy to run for president. He told her “my brother thinks I’m crazy. He doesn’t like this….but then we’re two different people. We don’t hear the same music.” He told another friend: “I can’t be a hypocrite anymore.”

2) “The only kind of sense that Kennedy’s decision made was moral sense. By charging that the tactics being employed by the Johnson administration in Vietnam were immoral, and that the war had inflicted grave wounds on the national soul, he had made it impossible for himself to support Johnson while maintaining his honor. Forced to choose, Kennedy chose honor.”

3) “He would run on issues his brother had seldom raised and in a manner his brother would have found undignified.”

4) And lastly- when a group of Kennedy press corps members were having a meal in the Kansas City airport, reporter Jimmy Breslin asked them if Kennedy has the stuff to go all the way.

The prophetic reply by John J. Lindsay:

“Yes, of course he has the stuff to go all the way…But he’s not going to go all the way. The reason is that somebody is going to shoot him. I know it and you know it. Just as sure as we’re sitting here somebody is going to shoot him. He’s out there now waiting for him…And, please God, I don’t think we’ll have a country, after it.”

In some ways, I think that comment was right. Something changed in 1968. To me, it’s never felt right since. Maybe it was the people who came to power after that. I often felt that the word “power” was their motivator. Honor, maybe not. Except for Jimmy Carter. A skewered presidency, an honorable man. I often wondered if the behind-the-scenes powers at the top of our government didn’t set that man up to fail…. For 40 years I’ve watched government with a sense of despair, cynicism, distrust, and dread. Until now. Perhaps now, 40 years later, in another vibrant young candidate who speaks to a similar hope for something better in this country, there is chance for a fundamental change?

The second Thurston is Jack Thurston, who’s blog provided the link for the Sir David Frost interview with Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 that I wrote about in my May 8th blog entry: If You Want to Hear a Thoughtful Politician. He will be offering an interesting comparison to that “thoughtful approach” by RFK, something to contrast it with. His comment elaborates:

“I’m glad you found that interview interesting, and inspiring too.

Given the sheer heat of the public debate in 1968 it’s all the more amazing that Kennedy was so thoughtful and considered.

Strangely enough just a few days ago and in the very same local secondhand record store here in London I came across a record of Spiro Agnew, VP to Nixon. Listening to the anger and bitterness of Agnew makes Kennedy’s approach seem all the more impressive.

I’ll transfer the LP to digital and post later on this week.”

So if this is of interest, later this week, a taste of anger and bitterness in a politician.

A bit of info on Jack Thurston, from his blog:

“I am a London-based policy analyst, writer and broadcaster. Most of my policy work these days relates to food, farming and international trade….I think that two of the world’s greatest inventions are the radio and the bicycle. I combine passions for both in The Bike Show, a radio programme about cycling on cycling that I present most weeks on London’s experimental art radio station Resonance 104.4 fm.”

So, just some interesting quirks of names intertwining with the soul of history……

The Gift

May 14, 2008

From the May 13th entry in God Calling:

“…Never judge. The heart of a man is so delicate, so complex, only its Maker can know it. Each heart is so different, actuated by different motives, controlled by different circumstances, influenced by different sufferings. How can one judge another? Leave to Me the unraveling of the puzzles of life. Leave to Me the teaching of understanding. Bring each heart to Me, its Maker, and leave it with Me. Secure in the certainty that all that is wrong I can set right.”

As an added gift, there is a God Calling website so that anyone who does not have the book, can go to the website and get that day’s reading. The readings for the evening companion volume, God at Eventide are there as well. Just click here or on the entry in the Blogroll on the right side panel of my main blog page.

The Post – New England Seascape pics…Have I Outwitted the Photoshop Demon?

May 13, 2008

I am trying to root out the source of my Photoshop problem crashing, and am testing something before going to the onerous task of taking it off the computer and reloading. So with any luck, here’s a couple closeup pics of the wharf details on my New England seascape painting :

The water has since had more details of foam and surf added, and I’ve added reflections in the water since then as well, of the rowboat, ladders and building. The painting itself is almost done as I’ve moved forward, finishing the waves, surf, foam, and front rocks. The rocks now have black and green algae coating, wave spray, small seashells, barnacles and blue mussels. Still some front details to go yet, but getting close.

Anyway, since this test worked, I am hoping it was the folder the pictures were in that was the problem and not Photoshop  per se. I’ll try some other pics soon, including some I have of the map of my Under the Pier town. Stay tuned.

The Gift

May 13, 2008

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

The Buddha

The Gift

May 12, 2008

“War and peace begin in the hearts of individuals.”

Pema Chodron, from her book, Practicing Peace in Times of War