Thursday, December 30, 2010

If I'm asking to be shielded and protected from this and that, often it turns out that this and that aren't that bad. Shield me from my overreactions. Send some of my prayer power out to places I can imagine that could use it.
The atmosphere of hope.

You can move, and that might make a good difference.

You can sit still, and that might make a good difference.

Muscles that are relaxed enough to be imaginative get easily through openings your mind can't see but your muscles can feel.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Taking inaccuracy and running a bunch of emotions through it doesn't make it accurate.

People have alot of emotions running around inside, positive and negative.

Some leaders mine the negative emotions by selling the idea that these emotions are about people in a particular group.

The leader promises to protect people who follow him from the group he says is bad.

People feeling these emotions feel like they are authentic, and they are authentic about something, just not about the alleged bad group.

One thing a leader who takes this approach is offering is a way to not notice and not take responsibility for their own unpleasant emotions.

Meanwhile, stars and people who sell stars are mining in the opposite direction--convincing people that positive emotions come from the star, not from a normal person's normal share of good feeling.

It's difficult to hear the mirror say, "You're all that."
I can get to know you in darkness.
Why scrape the sky?

Because we have a lot of office work to do. What a weird reason.

Work I've done in a skyscraper didn't feel like it was answering the sky. It felt like it was answering the question that didn't need to be asked.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A day when the sun looks like a sundog. A week when the sun looking like a sundog seems like a lot of sun.

It will probably rain later.
The people attending the convention of the American Geophysical Union are different than most convention-goers, in that they dress in different styles. Most conventions, the attenders share a style.

Neurosurgeons wear suits that are serious, dark, and expensive- looking. Educational researchers look rumpled in cotton. Which would imply that we as a society put some big money in fixing hurt brains but less money in figuring out how to teach well brains. But we knew that.

The American Geophysical Union people have three styles. Ready to attend the board meeting of a large corporation. Ready to go out for casual Saturday morning coffee. And ready to go rock climbing, right now.

I guess if you were going to a big meeting that you knew had some rock climbers and you wanted to connect with them, that would be a good way, and as direct and concrete as rock climbing itself.

It's a real neighborhood event, the AGU conference, where they have papers on what's up with the oceans on this planet and what up with buried frozens oceans on moons of Jupiter. This year they had papers on the problems made by the Iceland volcano eruption which halted air traffic and which humans didn't cause and the problems made by the BP oil platform explosion, which humans caused.

The convention seemed to be filled with people, you could tell by looking at the list of papers and posters to be presented, who know all the time that we are walking between the lithosphere and atmosphere. So for a break from thinking a wording, some of them climb the lithosphere higher into the atmosphere.

The AGU people, suited and casual, would seem to be likely to know everything that isn't human is much bigger than humans but we can still mess up some of it massively, while studying humbly parts we can't mess with, like frozen underground oceans on distant moon.

Monday, December 20, 2010

If birds get covered in oil from an oil spill, what probably killed them was being too hot or too cold.

Feathers in their natural form on birds provide insulation. Then oil covered, the insulation is often gone. So the birds, they of little bodies even when they are big for birds, get too cold in the night or too cold by day.

The National Geographic special issue on the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill has a photograph of pelicans, natually white, brown with oil, grooming themselves. I don't know how they did in terms of percentage in that picture who lived.

In that same issue, October 2010, is a tribute to Jane Goodall 50 years after she started studying chimps.

It points out that she made two big discoveries in her first six months of noticing. Chimps use tools, and chimps make tools.

Used to be people who thought about it thought only humans did that.

BP oil spill one of the things that makes it look that higher primates, the highest, aren't so very good at using tools. Eleven people on the platform dead, just for starters.

On one side of Market Street it's First Street, and on the other it's Bush Street. There's a marker there saying this is where the San Francisco Bay started when gold was discovered in 1848. It's maybe seven blocks from where the Bay starts now. They didn't need elaborate tools to fill it.

Near, a few steps from, the marker of where the Bay used to start is a stature in honor of the mechanics, which would mean in general men who did skilled manual labor, and specifically, guys who work with stuff with gears.

They look willing to use tools to do whatever is happening. Fill the bay, whatever. We need to think better than chimps.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Humans, with their certainties, roll on. Reality, with its uncertainties, roll on. Odds are there will be a bumping into of each other.

Reality seems to be mostly non-verbal. The words humans wave at each other create no allegiance among the non-verbal.
We have many stories about what a city is, but it goes ahead and is what it is anyway, without reference to our thoughts.

A city has many neighborhoods, including the ones people now here grew up in that are far away.

Do the flowers that are all planted overnight in front of some buildings care that they are planted over night, or are they as okay with it as if they grew in a meadow or a yard and stayed there?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's glum. There is glumph. We're about a week from the longest night, so it's doing it's job, but still I go harumph.
If you want a miracle in everyday life, it helps to do what you know to be best practices. Then the miracle provider doesn't have to waste energy doing what care could do.

Non-miraculous care makes a sprung floor for the leap of faith.
You've got to listen to the smell. The smell knows a lot.
Silently and very, very slowly.
***[new words at the end] "Dulce" is a Latin word for "sweet." It lingers on directly and centrally in European languages that come from Latin.

In Spanish, "dulces" equals sweets as in candy. In Latin and languages from Latin, "dulce" goes deeper than candy more often than in English. "Dulce compania" is how Spanish says guardian angel. In the Fellini movie "La Dulce Vita," (The Sweet Life) sweet means something deeper that sweet means in English, deeply pleasurable. "Dulce" in that title, given the content of the movie, also implies corrupt. We went through all these sufferings like in the Fellini movie, "La Strada" (The Road) and the road has taken us to sheer self-indulgence.

In English, "dulc-" for sweet is on the periphery. The dulcimer has sweet tones and is not a high-impact instrument, cultural-wide. It is relatively easy to make and easy to play, as musical instruments go, and came in the United States from the poor, beautiful mountains where people were isolated and had to make their own everything. It came from little isolated hollers in the AppalachianMountains where it was one of the only instruments, maybe the only one in a given home, so the sweetness of all instrumental music could be heard in it in the deeps between the quiet green hills.

"Dulcet" can be used to describe a sweet voice in English, but at this date is likely to be used sarcastically, and in writing. Saying someone is speaking in dulcet tones is likely to imply they are running a con, speaking a self-serving non-truth is a voice too good to be truthful.

The officers in the British army in the war that started in 1914 would have known the Latin dulce words and many other Latin words readily. Many had gone to exclusive boarding schools, called public schools, where Latin and Greek were taught much from the beginning and all the way through.

If they saw a Latin saying they could probably often understand it directly without translating in their heads into English. They had also seen many Latin sayings before. They may have picked up the Italian peninsula implications of sweet, profoundly the right thing, very good, pleasurable in a deep way.

They would have known right off in reading, and probably already knew the Latin saying that in English says, "It is sweet and fitting to die for your country."

"Men Who March Away" is a book edited by I.M. Parsons that collects some of the poetry written by men who fought in the first world war. There was a great deal for him to choose from as people at that time, especially the highly standardly educated, thought in terms of writing poetry, knew how to do rhythm and rhyme, and routinely wrote poetry when they felt deeply.

The poems are printed in chronological order, so we can feel the men change, individually and as a group as they experience combat.

People who march away to combat do not, if they live, return the same person. If they wanted to go to combat, they may have wanted to go so they could be changed. The changes they get are not necessarily the changes they wanted, or the kind of changes they wanted.


Men can be very sweet. They probably wouldn't like that word for it. They can notice ways to make things better and take action to make the betterness happen, a sweet impulse backed up with work.

Sweet, a person being sweet sounds kind of little. Sometimes guys really want to make thing better in a large way. This is not always good for them or others.

Rupert Brook always wanted to be a poet, was a poet, and wrote, young, a poem about being in a war that was a hit poem, in a time when a poem without music could really be a hit.

He became massively famous because of the poem. He died in the war.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

They are on a package tour of Turkey, and he is taking a long time looking at everything, especially old art. She is very impatient. She wants to sit someplace, drink something, and watch the passing scene in a non-intent way.

She doesn't think about him, her husband, being a visual artist, a painter, who is looking at a whole other way of looking at things. She's just impatient.

--It happens in the novel "Blaming" by Elizabeth Taylor, the British novelist.
Can important people be trusted?

How did they get important? What did they decide to ignore to stay important?
It would be cool if, when they were both adults, the little drummer boy, now larger and capable of more complicated riffs, played at Jesus' events. An opening drum solo to imply, here come healing words, here comes healing.
"Hey, Mom. I'm going to hang up. I'm going to hang up, and let you figure it out. Have a good time!"

--Woman on her phone walking down the sidewalk. Tone of voice: pleasant, firm.
I like to watch the whites change color.

I like to watch yellowish whites turn to blueish whites as LEDs shine on.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Lately the sky has been threatening to rain and not raining or threatening to rain and then raining.

Right now, it's not like that.

Streaks of subdued blue, subdued by being overlaid with grey. Streaks of grey-touched white. Streaks of grey.

A water colorist could paint it fast. A subtle person could take it in. I can't really take it in, but "Hi, Sky" anyway.
Read a little bit about the BP Gulf oil spill. Looked at some pictures. October, 2010 "National Geographic."

Looked at a map of drilling and of damage in the Gulf of Mexico.

Feel a little sick, slightly poisoned, not good. Cars move all around me.

I wonder if I'll be strong enough to read the whole article and look closely at each photo of oil touching life.

The shrimp in the enlargement is about as long as my hand. In read life it's smaller.

"A shrimp the size of a staple swims amid dark brown globules of oil. The effect of the spill on the eggs and larvae of shrimp, crabs, and fish, all keys to the local economy, remains unknown."

Eco from the Greek word for home. Economy, ecology, are we home yet?

--Quote from "The Gulf of Oil: Is it worth the risk?" "National Geographic," October, 2010.
We're supposed to get good at being peripheral. We rage and tear and kill trying to be the center.
The center of the Earth and any part of the Sun are places we couldn't live--too difficult to get to and too hot.
Sometimes I hear the angels low, like in rocks and roots.
November 17

The man playing an electric keyboard in the plaza downtown was playing something that sounded a little classical, like Mozart with fewer notes.

It sounded a bit like it was being played on chimes, as if his keyboard had a chime dial that went from zero, no chime sound, to ten, pure chime sound, and he had it at three and a half.

On this mid-November day, I felt he was breaking me into Christmas music gently.

I like more Christmas songs at the beginning of the Christmas season than I do at the end. Repitition creates that "Go away!" feeling. Then they do go away for about ten and a half months.

I always like "God rest you merry, gentlemen. Let nothing you dismay." It's in relatively low frequency of playing compared to "Jingle Bells," so there isn't the exhaustion factor, but I also just like it.

I think it's the puncuation. It's not "God rest you, merry gentlemen." It's "God rest you merry, gentlemen."

It's like "Let God let you take a break, and while you are at rest, feel merry."
Let dismay go. Let comfort and joy arrive with bouncy seriousness, like the melody of the song.

It's getting darker. Rest merry.

November 26

I've been lucky in Christmas music so far this year. The first time I heard "Silent Night" this season, it was on the sidewalk, played live on a tenor saxophone, sexily. "Sleep in heavenly peace."

December 3

The first time this season I hear "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus," it's being played on a fiddle blue-grass style in a BART station, with many fast notes between the notes that make the melody.

December 4

A chorus singing outdoors in Yerba Buena Park sings "Jingle Bells" in more than four-part harmony, maybe eight. The layers and the fact that this chorus obviously practices a lot gives the song a bit of dignity and depth. They sing unaccompanies, so, no bells.

December 4

On a busy shoppers' sidwalk two guys are playing not a tune. Not a Christmas tune because not a tune at all.

One is playing a drum that has a head about the size of a dinner plate, is brown, and looks like it was used around some ancient wisdom campfire. He playing a fast, improvised-sounding rhythm, and it sounds like a snare drum, high and tight. He's sitting on the sidewalk, and the man next to him is playing a long wooden horn that goes several feet from his mouth to the ground.

He is playing only one note, in rhythm. It's rhythm that is slower than the ancient snare drum rhythm and goes with it.

The fast high rhythm is how people are moving through space and down their lists. The slow rhythm is the underlying--"There's meaning. Something about love. Maybe God and family and friends, maybe just family and friends, but it's getting darker and we get ready to celebrate it getting lighter by quickly buying surprising concrete forms of 'I love you,' fast and slow."
Stripes, dots, zig-zags, plaids, paisleys, floral prints--no.

No wind-blown clouds skimming around your body.

People around here who have jobs with power dress themselves in solid colors. The gender who can wear a small strip of cloth that might have a pattern is men.

When you walk into that room, you need to look a certain way in order to be taken seriously.

In order to not get depressed, you need to take seriously the parts of you that mustn't show as you walk through the important door--your inner repeating flowers, the polka dots near your core, the detailed embroidery of your dreams.

Months pass.

Felisa Wolfe-Simon, the lead scientist in the study of a Mono Lake bacteria that shows that maybe the building blocks of life are different than we thought--maybe arsenic can sub for phosphorous--at her press conference she wore a patterned blouse with a dark top over it. But the pattern was pretty bold and showed.

The finding was bold and about patterns. Before scientists knew for sure that six elements were necessary for life to exist and one was phosphorous. But this study shows it can be the usual other five and arsenic instead of phophorous.

Save Mono Lake used to be a standard bumper sticker for the greenish. Meaning save it from being pumped out of existence by human water needs. Now, we saved it and it had something interesting to teach us.

Friday, December 03, 2010

David Montgomery writes that as more people got the vote, a greater percentage of the population, in Europe and the United States in the 19th century, the power of the government to control business decreased.

That is the people caqn vote on some things, but not on how money is made.

This was somewhat less true, Montgomery writes, in France, which had almost one hundred per cent of men voting before other countries did.

France has contained business to leave people with time to have a life more than many countries.

In a book about women scientists, a American woman scientist said that the time when working as a scientist wasn't strssful and tearing her in two directions was when she worked for a while in France. No monomania required, unlike in the US. Everyone's life was structured for them to have time to haqve a life. So a women scientist would spend time with her family without seeming like a lazy wimp.

--information from "Citizen Worker: The Experience of Workers in the United States with Democracy and the Free Market During the Nineteenth Century" by Davic Montgomery

The name of the book about women scientists to come, I hope.

I should add that women in France didn't get the voted until after World War II, mid twentieth century. UK and US women got the vote, after long struggle, after World War I. You've got the mvoe hard during the crises times when many things are changing, or everything settles down to the same old, same old.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Oh, no! A partial victory. I'm confused. I may have to think or something to know how to deal with it.

Maybe thanks for goodness gained would be a start.