Saturday, December 30, 2006

"Yeah. It was subtle. That's what was good about it."

--Passing street voice

Friday, December 29, 2006

A child on a child-size unicycle seems steadier than unicycling adults I've seen. She is thinking "Go here, now go there," not "Don't fall." What is learned at eight seems as easy as fate.
It is not unusual for old-fashioned men to places where the only people present are men and talk about how they are not gay. They do this by making nasty jokes about gay men. They seem nervous.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

In one of C.S. Lewis' Narnia books, the children from England are in Narnia and meet a star, who is an old man with a long silver beard.

One of the children says, "In our world, a star is a flaming ball of molten gas." The old man says, "Even in your world, that isn't what a star is, but what a star is made of."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Medieval kings didn't like tournaments.

Medieval kings headed small, weak central governments that had only a tiny standing army. The army they used for war was the knights who spent most of their time out living their lives, heading up farms, collecting rents from tenants, getting bored.

When the knights got bored from slow rural life they were ready and eager for tournaments, play war.

The biggest, best loved events at tournaments were team conflicts that really were a lot like war. Men got killed. Men got injured. Men got maimed for life.

Kings didn't like their army out there doing each other serious injury for fun.

However, kings knew they couldn't stop tournaments. Participants and audience liked tournaments. If kings outlawed, they'd happen anyway. There were no cops, and Europe had lots of empty space.

So kings went along with tournaments because they had no choice.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

On Christmas Day fewer people are walking outside. It is noticeable that a fairly high proportion of the people walking look like they have to walk every day in order to walk at all. They take little steps. It isn't easy. They seem to be dealing with stroke or heart attack aftermath, or joints freezing up.

They must be around every day. They don't show so much in the general bustle, but they are there--bravely, persistently walking slowly down the sidewalk.
Sun when rain expected but still enough rain. It keeps being like that.
We could bless things now while it is quieter.

Some spaces that are usually filled with people dealing with the way things are are empty now as the people take a break.

We could invite blessings to move into the space and make the way things are different and better.
To find out what this day is, this particular day in the commons, walk around.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The people in front of one of their second story windows have Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus in small, bright colored lights. It flashes off and on often. I like that they do that because I never would. If I were going to have the Christmas family in lights, my earnestness would keep me from having it flash off and on.

Another house has an elf figure lit from the inside about the size of a human child who has just learned to walk. The elf is center in the middle of about twenty much smaller lit from inside snowmen. It's like a snowman choir directed by a giant.

Folk art is something everyone knows how to do. Combing pre made Christmas stuff to decorate with is a folk art--everyone who wants to do it knows how to do it, and everyone who wants to do it wants to do something at least a little bit different.

It is Christmas Eve Eve. I'm at a library computer. The computer table is decorated on the edge with a paper chain of purple, red, and yellow. No green, a nice touch. When I walked in and saw the usual table decorated with an outside paper chain stapled together by an adult, I did in fact feel something along the lines of cheer. Do the same thing different, brighter, flashing and it works. It's already getting lighter.
The majority of events between humans are non-violent. I think. But I'm not sure.

If someone has spent much time around violence, they may be in an interaction that seems non-violent from the outside, but may feel violent to them.

They may, based on experience, feel the possibility of violence in many contacts. That may make them scared; it may make them emit the possibility of violence to whoever they are interacting with.

There's a lot of that going around. What percentage of all human interactions are truly non-violent, inside and out?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Buddhism started in India. Christianity started in southwest Asia.

Buddhism and Christianity are two of the world's big religions that aren't big in the area where they started.

Christianity was adapted by the Roman Empire and for a while surrounded the Mediterrean, southwest Asia and all.

Then there were intense and nasty fight about what Christians believed, usually about how Jesus did or didn't combined being God and being human.

In these long fights, the people from around the area where Jesus lived lost. The central authorities, to the west of them, in Rome, decided they were wrong. The people who walked where he walked and maybe knew somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody who knew him were more likely to go light on the God part, and say he was more of a guy.

They lost and then, along came Islam. They were ready for a religion that wanted them.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Many plants grow from the ground up. Many orchids do not.

Orchids in tropical rain forests found that the amount of light on the ground was not enough. So the evolved into growing from up higher. A crook in a tree might have caught in it some soil and rotting plants, and orchids can live on that. They grow from a point where there is enough light and enough nourishment. Might be a bump in a tree or a rock. Start there, proceed, live life above the ground.

Orchids that evolved in temperate climates, not tropical, usually do the usual ground up growing. They are called terristrial orchids.

The other kind, high grower, are called epiphyte orchids. Epi- from the Greek for on. They live on the plant or rock. They use it as a lift. They don't take life stuff from it, so they aren't parasites. They are just looking to the tree for location, not food.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Fabian Society and the unions were the parents of the British Labor Party. The Fabian Society was intellectuals who tried to get very specific about how socialism would work, since socialism didn't exist anywhere when they started. They were enormously influential in what he Labor Party did when it got power, partly because they were all worked really hard, turning out papers filled with specific research on problems and specific ideas about how to heal the problems.

Early in the society's history, in 1884,George Bernard Shaw, a leading Fabian, produced a resolution about how society in general should be, Fabian Tract 2, "A Manifesto" It included this:

"That men no longer need special political privileges to protect them against Women, and that the sexes should henceforth enjoy equal political rights."

--George Bernard Shaw quoted by Anne Freemantle in the book "This Little Band of Prophets: The British Fabians," page 33 of 1960 US paperback edition.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Think clearly. Right. Imagine hugely and in detail. Left.

Left. Right. Walk in a circle which becomes a secret garden.

Gardens can be partly secret from wild gardeners who don't know what they're growing until it grows.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

There was a long, many-parted event called the Cold War. It might also have been called Flirting with the End of the World.

Now we are in the Flirting with the End of the World After Party. It's very late. It's very early. That's the way of after parties. Dance to joggle all the parts together, and as the light before the light before the dawn breaks, think of something new. Only not thinking, because of how all the parts are joggled together and it's not just head time, but everything. Everything wants to go on.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

On the broad downtown sidewalk, the man walking about a fourth of a block ahead of me was wearing on interesting jacket.

It was black with a gold falling triangles on it--triangles with rounded edges and an interior pattern like snowflakes. It was pleasant to look at, and I enjoyed looking at it.

The man wearing it looked backwards fast to see if someone was going to hurt him. I was too far away to say, "Good jacket." No one was close to him at all. We kept walking.

Friday, December 15, 2006

It is important to notice when one is not running for head of state or mass producing objects.

When doing those things, one much take into account the feelings of many people. If you just want to make moments or objects at the scale that it is easy for a small human to do, you don't have to average out your efforts so much. If it's legal, if it's fairly quiet, you can go ahead and do it the best way you know how.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I pushed down the piece of tape, and the book was surrounded on four out of five sides by gold paper. I felt at the moment the book become a gift.
Being a snob or a bigot means whatever it is or whoever it is, you never need to know anything else about them because you already know they are lesser.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The magazine "Architecural Digest" goes well with the biography of Edwina, Lady Mountbatten, because she grew up living that kind of life.

"Architecural Digest" is often about the looks of the interior of the second or third home of someone really rich.

Edwina, Lady Mountbatten grew up as one of the two children, both daughters, of one of the richest men in Europe. She didn't have one home; she had several and was rotated frequently among them.

The result was that when she was an adult she couldn't stand to be in one place for long. One place as in one country. She was still rich, so she didn't have to stay in one place for long, and didn't.

Since reading her biography, when I look at the houses of the very rich in "Architectural Digest," I think of the kids, who are in some cases being trained at great expense to be restless.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

On the steps, there is water from the rain that stopped an hour ago. On the steps, there's water and blue sky.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The area in front of City Hall is waving its historic U.S. flags today. The first one I noticed is dark blue with white letters that say, "Don't give up the ship," which I take to mean that today persistence is good.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A nineteenth century young man was first known for being one of the top shooters of birds in his area. He killed hundreds. Then, not much later, he became a leader of the local Audubon Club, dedicated to looking at birds and saving them and saving the areas they can live in.

The Audubon Club was new, and someone in it knew how to talk to this man and change his minus sign on birds to a plus sign.

"I see that you are interested in . . . and here is another way of being interested in. . ."

Learning how to say that. First, knowing that it can be said and sometimes works. Finding a way to honor the intensity of the interest and to know that the direction of the interest is not necessarily permanent.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Learning to learn from the time of getting darker. The NASA photos from space that show one side of the Earth wholely lit are the ones we see the most. There are many others of half lit Earth, three quarter lit Earth (like the Moon) that we don't see so much. I don't think NASA would mind--it's what we the people ask for. The Earth is always partly in the dark.
Maybe you hear better when words don't interrupt.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Carolee Schneeman did fierce painting with lots of strength and action on the surface of the painting. She made constructions, 3-D and textured. She did performance art--videos where sometimes she wasn't wearing clothes.

Those last four words, not wearing clothes, are remembered more than some other stuff. I found a book of her art which has exactly one picture of her not wearing any clothes. I noticed she looked really strong as well as having in more conventional ways a great body. The great body, beautiful breats, for example. thing has not always for women been associated with physical strength. When she was making her performance videos was before very many women exercised much.

To leaf through this book and see that all her art is strong, the oils, the collages, her body, makes me know I can be stronger though right now I may not know all the ways.

The book is "Carolee Schleemann I. Early Work 1960/1970 II. Carolee Schleemann Recent Work" published by Max Hutchinson Gallery/Documentext in 1983 and 1984. It looks like it was originally two books, but in the version I have its one. There's a quote from Schleemann in it that goes like this--the ellipsis [. . .]is the way it is in the book:

"From childhood--without any break--I felt myself a part of nature, saw the world as animate, expressive, alive and sometimes responsive to my own desires; but always the natural world was intoxicating. . . .The sense of my own physical life and of making things within that were united." --Carolee Schleemann

There are more ways of being strong and more people being strong than have sometimes been noticed.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Inside are things you can't talk about, different in each culture. Maybe at 1 a.m. when the creation of the way it is quiets down, maybe then you can talk about different parts of inside that are dangerous to say other times.

Things that are dangerous to say in one way are dangerous to not say in another. Dangerous to say because you get hassled, as the way it is tries to protect itself. Dangerous to not say because that's the knowledge we need to move beyond the way to it to something better and larger.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Magna Carta, the Great Charter, was signed, the king under pressure, in 1215.

So we've got from here about nine years to plan the 800 year party which might be called Saying No to the King and Those Who Want to be Kingly in a Bad Way. It could celebrate the whole series of pieces of paper backed up by people's practice that say to the king and those who want to be kingly in a bad way, "You can't just go ahead and do whatever you want. There are rules, and there are we the people watching, and wisely not trusting."

It would have scary stories. It would have the scary stories aspiring bad kings tell to get more power. It would have times when the people fell for the stories for a while--very scary. And times when people got over falling for the scary story. And times when we didn't fall for the scary story at all.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

One of my better public transportation times was sitting next to a quiet, glowing women and her quiet curious young beagle toward the rear of a Muni Metro car.

The dog was against the rules and almost invisible inside her coat. It looked out at the world that was fairly new to its experience with the assurance that comes from being held well. The woman looked at the dog and also didn't need to look at the dog because she was so attuned. I hadn't seen the dog when I sat down next to the woman. I was lucky to be on the edge of the planet of love they made for each other.
Despair. However.

Good reasons for despair around all around. All that lives dies. Elective viciousness is frequent. Pettiness abounds.


That life goes on at all implies that there is much however on the other side against despair. Living part time in the however is possible. Making the however bigger can happen, and is an interesting way to pass the time in this odd place.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The woman standing on the asphalt path amidst the grassy park threw a tennis ball straight up in the air. As it came down, she kicked it for her down to fetch, as it did with small dog intensity and gusto. When she got the back back, she threw it up again and kicked it again. The situation didn't require precision, but it felt like she was putting the tennis ball exactly where she wanted it, give or take a grass blade.