Monday, December 31, 2007


The Feast of Aunt Clara

Tanner Update

December 30, 2007 at 10:51 PM MST

I was thinking today about how in 6 weeks we will mark 2 years since Tanner was diagnosed with cancer. How in the world has it been that long ago? It seems like yesterday...but at the same time, it seems like forever ago.

Tonight I happened to turn on the tv to the BYU channel. There was a devotional about coming to KNOW God. My heart has been very touched tonight. I am grateful that through our challenges we have the opportunity to come to Know God.
I just wanted to share part of it with you.

"Of all the illustrations of faith in the Lord, few stories are more powerful than that told of the pioneer who years later stood to defend the decision of the Martin Handcart Company to start for the Salt Lake Valley late in the year of 1856. He had been one of the nearly 3,000 Saints who walked from Iowa and Nebraska to Utah between 1856 and 1860 in one of 10 companies pushing and pulling handcarts loaded with their belongings.

In a Sunday School class, there was sharp criticism of the ill-fated Martin and Willie Handcart Companies, which met with tragedy because of their late start on the trek to the Salt Lake Valley.

An elderly man arose and said: “I ask you to stop this criticism. You are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historic facts … give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the Handcart Company out so late in the season? Yes. But I was in that company and my wife … too. We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but … we became acquainted with [God] in our extrem[i]ties.

“I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it. … I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there.

“Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company” (as quoted in David O. McKay, “Pioneer Women,” The Relief Society Magazine, January 1948, 8)."

The Price I pray to become acquainted with God is a privilege.
Love and hugs, Megan

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sorry About Your Birthday, Jesus


One can only imagine how disappointed Jesus was with his birthday this year – but He’s probably used to it by now.

Despite his wish list being quite small, and consisting of things that require little effort and even less expenditure, He awoke on Christmas morning, his birthday, to find only token presents – wrapped gaily in insincere good wishes and empty rhetoric – instead of those items that would have warmed His heart.

The saddest part of it all is that there is no excuse for not giving Him what he really wanted. He’s been asking for the same things for over two thousand years. And ironically, it is those who claim to know him best who continue to ignore what He most desires, year after year.

Unlike most Christmas gift recipients, Jesus would have been happy with socks and underwear – given to those who need such basics, like the homeless and the truly poor.

He would have smiled with pleasure at the sight of a stuffed animal, a small toy, a doll – placed in the hands of a child whose parents can’t afford to buy such luxuries for their little ones.

He would have gladly done without hearing the words Merry Christmas if he could have listened instead to the words, “Tell me how can I help you, and I will do what I can,” spoken around the world in every language.

He wanted us to remember that as we do to the least among us, so we do unto Him. What He got was people gorging themselves on expensive meals while food banks ran out of donations and had to turn the hungry away.

He wanted us to be our brother’s keeper. What He got was our brothers being kept in places like Gitmo, continuing to be tortured and abused even on the holiest of days.

He wanted us to keep His name in Christmas. What he got was shopping centers full of people spending their money only in stores that displayed cheap, light-bedecked nativity scenes, smugly insisting that was sufficient to honor His name.

He wanted us to mark His day by giving to those in need. What he got was the homeless sitting on cold street corners, holding out their empty hats, unnoticed, as shoppers scurried from one store to another purchasing gifts meant to impress rather than demonstrate the true spirit of giving.

He wanted us to celebrate His birth by sharing whatever largesse we may have with others. What he got was yet another round of pink slips for workers, while CEOs gleefully banked their multi-million-dollar year-end bonuses.

He wanted those who have sinned against Him with their hypocrisy, their arrogance, their greed, their war-mongering, their intolerance, their bigotry, their hatred, and their corruption of His Word to vow to change their ways, and go and sin no more.

What He got was a reinterpretation of His Word to include these things as having been part of His teachings all along – teachings that have simply been adjusted to allow for the sanctioning of torture, the waging of war, the slaughter of innocents, and the glorification of the Almighty Dollar above all else.

For those who still remember them, the words delivered to the world on the day of His birth were, and still are, something to strive for: Peace on Earth, and Goodwill Towards Men.

Unfortunately for Jesus, and for the rest of us, many of His so-called followers just don’t approve of this message.

Nance Greggs

Thursday, December 27, 2007

For a Grandson. . . .


The Turkey Shot Out Of The Oven

The turkey shot out of the oven
and rocketed into the air,
it knocked every plate off the table
and partly demolished a chair.

It ricocheted into a corner
and burst with a deafening boom,
then splattered all over the kitchen,
completely obscuring the room.

It stuck to the walls and the windows,
it totally coated the floor,
there was turkey attached to the ceiling,
where there'd never been turkey before.

It blanketed every appliance,
it smeared every saucer and bowl,
there wasn't a way I could stop it,
that turkey was out of control.

I scraped and I scrubbed with displeasure,
and thought with chagrin as I mopped,
that I'd never again stuff a turkey
with popcorn that hadn't been popped.

~Jack Prelutsky



I Wanna Grow Old With You


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


And a small prayer of kindness, light, and warmth for the four-leggeds.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Monday, December 24, 2007



..........................for the one who knew

Is there one who is
moon and stars to me?

Rest at the end of a long trail?

Sun warming the nape of my neck?

Soup at the end of winter's day?

Spring's first flower?

A fine rain falling on crisp leaves?

Song heard at a distance?

Drum of my heart?

Hand in my hand?

Joy in my joy?

Garden in August?

Fleet sweetness on tongue?

Brass band?


Oh, yes.


funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tanner Update

That's his grandmother to his right; unknown nurse to his left.

307 December 23, 2007 at 09:46 AM MST Tanner's labs this month look great, other than kidney numbers...darn! BUT, his AFP is 3.6, which is perfect!

Merry Christmas everyone, Megan

Celstial Mechanics

[39.jpg] Dec. 23, 2:51 a.m. EST

The Full Cold Moon; among some tribes, the Full Long Nights Moon. In this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and the nights are at their longest and darkest. Also sometimes called the "Moon before Yule" (Yule is Christmas, and this time the Moon is only just before it). The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long and the Moon is above the horizon a long time. The midwinter full Moon takes a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite to the low Sun.



This beautiful whiteness
the stillness of this house
the moisture needed
the quiet falling
safe inside
only thoughts reach out
trust in peace

The snow falls steadily
fine as spider webs
tensile strength
the fire within
kept alive
struggling to understand

We are not fixed
done with change
ensconced among our things
how time seems infinite
in our finite forms
but it moves
as we move
however reluctantly,
breathe dear one,

As the snow falls
as the sky fills
with whiteness
provides a mirrored world
as you reside
wondering within
your imagined walls

Link with the snow
the molecules of you
and water iced
are not separate
nor even distinct
you are snow
the quietness
the constancy
the life of whiteness
and all that it includes.

~~ Pat Maslowski

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Jellyfish Nebula


the coalesced dust (so massive the core melts) spins

was our water from the cosmos hurled as snowballs

from a playful creator

and then caught at the poles so we could share in the fun

as they come down in season

or sing silent night with the snow angels

yes we are snow and rain

and dust and ether

and sunshine

blessed sunshine

tip back good earth

and warm us

~~ Phil Specht




Physical condition of soil, especially in relation to its suitability for planting or growing a crop. Factors that determine tilth include the formation and stability of aggregated soil particles, moisture content, degree of aeration, rate of water infiltration, and drainage. The tilth of a soil can change rapidly, depending on environmental factors such as changes in moisture. The objective of tillage (mechanical manipulation of the soil) is to improve tilth, thereby increasing crop production; in the long term, however, conventional tillage, especially plowing, often has the opposite effect, causing the soil to break down and become compacted.

Tomorrow will be 0m 4s longer.

Just past the last of light leaving
the wait for spring begins
each day, seconds more light

first month holds that return, secure
second, even more
third, among the new and struggling green
holds the girl, herself

seeds stirring in still frozen ground
hope running in the sap
blossom dreamed
. . . . and you


The Longest Night

Winter Solstice

Sat., Dec. 22, 2007, 1:08 A.M. EST (06:08 UT), marks the solstice—the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere

Friday, December 21, 2007

So. Which twin has the Toni?


Solstice is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please to put a penny in the old man's hat
If you haven't got a penny, a ha-penny will do
If you haven't got a ha-penny than God bless you.

Solstice is coming. . . .

Length of Day

9h 28m

Tomorrow will be 0m 0s shorter.

Waiting for the light to return. . . .



You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. ~~ Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Personally, I think it may be open source. . . . Which the grownups, by and large, don't *get*. . . .

From the Desk of David Pogue

I've been doing a good deal of speaking recently. And in one of my talks, I tell an anecdote about a lesson I learned from my own readers.

It was early in 2005, and a little hackware program called PyMusique was making the rounds of the Internet. PyMusique was written for one reason only: to strip the copy protection off of songs from the iTunes music store.

Readers fired back with an amazingly intelligent array of counterexamples: situations where duplicating a CD or DVD may be illegal, but isn't necessarily *wrong.* They led me down a garden path of exceptions, proving that what seemed so black-and-white to me is a spectrum of grays.

I was so impressed that I incorporated their examples into a little demonstration in this particular talk. I tell the audience: "I'm going to describe some scenarios to you. Raise your hand if you think what I'm describing is wrong."

Then I lead them down the same garden path:

"I borrow a CD from the library. Who thinks that's wrong?" (No hands go up.)

"I own a certain CD, but it got scratched. So I borrow the same CD from the library and rip it to my computer." (A couple of hands.)

"I have 2,000 vinyl records. So I borrow some of the same albums on CD from the library and rip those."

"I buy a DVD. But I'm worried about its longevity; I have a three-year-old. So I make a safety copy."

With each question, more hands go up; more people think what I'm describing is wrong.

Then I try another tack:

"I record a movie off of HBO using my DVD burner. Who thinks that's wrong?" (No hands go up. Of course not; time-shifting is not only morally O.K., it's actually legal.)

"I *meant* to record an HBO movie, but my recorder malfunctioned. But my buddy recorded it. Can I copy his DVD?" (A few hands.)

"I meant to record an HBO movie, but my recorder malfunctioned and I don't have a buddy who recorded it. So I rent the movie from Blockbuster and copy that." (More hands.)

And so on.

The exercise is intended, of course, to illustrate how many shades of wrongness there are, and how many different opinions. Almost always, there's a lot of murmuring, raised eyebrows and chuckling.

Recently, however, I spoke at a college. It was the first time I'd ever addressed an audience of 100 percent young people. And the demonstration bombed.

In an auditorium of 500, no matter how far my questions went down that garden path, maybe two hands went up. I just could not find a spot on the spectrum that would trigger these kids' morality alarm. They listened to each example, looking at me like I was nuts.

Finally, with mock exasperation, I said, "O.K., let's try one that's a little less complicated: You want a movie or an album. You don't want to pay for it. So you download it."

There it was: the bald-faced, worst-case example, without any nuance or mitigating factors whatsoever.

"Who thinks that might be wrong?"

Two hands out of 500.

Now, maybe there was some peer pressure involved; nobody wants to look like a goody-goody.

Maybe all this is obvious to you, and maybe you could have predicted it. But to see this vivid demonstration of the generational divide, in person, blew me away.

I don't pretend to know what the solution to the file-sharing issue is. (Although I'm increasingly convinced that copy protection isn't it.)

I do know, though, that the TV, movie and record companies' problems have only just begun. Right now, the customers who can't even *see* why file sharing might be wrong are still young. But 10, 20, 30 years from now, that crowd will be *everybody*. What will happen then?

Visit David Pogue on the Web at

Okay, one last potato post. . . .


How a Honda employee bakes a potato:

*Buy a high quality, fresh potato

* Preheat new, high-quality oven to 350 F

* Insert Idaho potato

* Go do something productive for 45 minutes

* Check for doneness, then remove perfectly baked potato from oven and serve

How a Ford employee bakes a potato:

* Have buyer do a market study to find the cheapest supplier of

* Demand that supplier get potatoes from China or Korea in order to reduce price

* Buyer decides to purchase old potatoes as a cost savings measure. Buyer demands that there is a 10% price reduction due to eyes growing on potatoes.

* Ford employee cleans eyes off potato (45 minutes) plus 15 minute break time

* Send potato (Now starting to mold) to supplier

* Instruct an Idaho potato supplier to preheat the oven to 350 F

* Demand that the supplier show you how he turned the dial to reach 350 F, and have him come up with documentation from the oven manufacturer proving that it was calibrated properly

* Review documentation, then have supplier check the temperature using a sophisticated temperature probe

* Demand that supplier show documentation of at least 20% minority owned components were supplied in the manufacture of the stove.

* Direct supplier to insert potato and set timer for 45 minutes

* Realize that Ford did not ship potato to supplier yet

* Send potato to supplier (15 minutes)

* Demand that potato be done within the original timing plan, even though 15 minutes was wasted already

* Since supplier is now late, demand that supplier turn off oven and go to meeting to discuss how timing can be improved

* Supplier refuses, threatening to stop shipment of potato. Ford
finally gives in.

* Supplier heads back to start over and turns oven on again.

* Have supplier open oven to prove potato has been installed correctly, and request a free study proving that 45 minutes is the ideal time to bake a potato of this size

* Check potato for doneness after 10 minutes

* Check potato for doneness after 11 minutes

* Check potato for doneness after 12 minutes

* Become impatient with supplier. Why is this simple potato taking so long to bake??? Demand status reports every five minutes.

* Check potato for doneness after 15 minutes...

* After 35 minutes, conclude that potato is nearing completion.
Congratulate supplier, then update your boss on all the great work
you've done, despite having to work with such an uncooperative

* Remove potato from oven after 40 minutes of baking, as a cost save without loss of function or quality versus the original 45 minute baking time.

* Serve potato

*Customer receives potato, complains about quality of potato

* Ford responds that these are the best potatoes available

* Customer complains to Govt. Govt forces Ford to recall moldy potato

*Ford instructs supplier that they will not pay for potato failure, and they are canceling supplier's contract and awarding business to new supplier

* Wonder aloud what on earth those Japanese folks are doing over there to make such good, low-cost baked potatoes that people seem to like better than Ford potatoes.


“You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live. Now.”

~ Joan Baez

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sorry 'bout that. . . But I can't claim I've ever been famous for my moderation, in anything. . . .

"best black woman," "best red woman," "makes the daughter-in-law cry," "like a deer's white tongue," "red shadow" and "like an old bone"


Peru Celebrates Potato Diversity

The Associated Press
Sunday, June 24, 2007; 2:17 PM

AYMARA, Peru -- The humble potato puts on a dazzling display at 13,000 feet above sea level.

Along the frigid spine of the Andes, men and women in bare feet uproot tubers of multiple shapes and colors _ yellow, red, blue, purple, violet, pink with yellow spots, yellow with pink spots; round, oblong, twisted, hooked at the end like walking canes or spiraled like spinning tops.

Their names in Quechua, the ancient language of the Andes, evoke an intimate human connection: "best black woman," "best red woman," "makes the daughter-in-law cry," "like a deer's white tongue," "red shadow" and "like an old bone," to name a few.

Respect for the many variations of potatoes is so profound among Aymara's 650 villagers that it was a natural place for the world's agronomists to produce seeds for a gene bank to preserve their diversity. The cold climate also protects against parasites that infest low-lying potato farms.

In their annual harvest this year, the villagers of Aymara gathered more than 2,000 types of potatoes from a 2 1/2-acre field. Scientists from the Lima-based International Potato Center were there to replenish their bank and provide more seeds to Andean communities.

The center was founded in 1971 as a nonprofit, internationally financed research institution to improve production of potatoes and other root crops in developing nations. It maintains the world's largest collection of tubers _ 4,500 types, including 3,000 from Peru. They are kept as tiny plants in test tubes or in cold chambers.

It's one of some 1,500 gene banks around the world responsible for helping maintain biodiversity of food sources. Their scientists search for plants with certain traits _ such as resistance to cold, drought, insects and diseases _ that can be bred with commercial varieties.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, for instance, keeps more than 2,500 apple varieties in Geneva, N.Y., adding to them regularly with new types of wild apples from Kazakhstan's forests, where botanists believe the apple originated.

The potato center's scientists have discovered dozens of varieties of wild potatoes and rescued hundreds of types of domesticated potatoes from oblivion after they had been abandoned by farmers.

Researcher Carlos Ochoa, dubbed the "Indiana Jones" of the potato world for risking encounters with Shining Path rebels and other hazards in remote Andean regions, has alone found more than 80 types of wild potatoes.

The potato originated in the Andes near Lake Titicaca, 12,500 feet above sea level, in what is now Peru, and has been eaten for at least 8,000 years, according to the center. It fed Incan armies as they expanded their empire along the Pacific coast of South America, and Spanish conquistadors brought it to Europe, said William Roca, a geneticist at the center.

The potato became the world's fourth most important food source, after wheat, corn and rice, proving so vital that it provoked a national famine when Ireland's potato crop was wiped out by a blight in the 1840s.

The Lima center, which provides seeds to communities that have lost their potato crops to diseases, freezes or a leftist insurgency, began helping Aymara improve its potato stock in 1990s.

"Our production was not good," said village leader Carlos Hidalgo, who himself grows about 180 brightly colored and oddly shaped varieties. "We said the soil must be tired. We did not realize it was the seeds."

Like other villagers, Hidalgo and his wife each eat an average of two pounds of tubers at every meal. Their four children eat almost as much. That's about 15 times what Americans consume.

Sometimes, she prepares them in a creamy soup, adding boiled eggs, dried lamb meat and crumbled Andean cheese. Usually she just boils them, choosing from dozens of varieties to produce a savory mix of flavors and nutrients. And during the harvest, the village women steam potatoes between layers of lamb in a communal underground pit called a "huatia."

"There are communities that live off only potatoes and people are healthy," said Walter Amoros, another gene researcher. "The potato is not a completely balanced food, but it has the basics for good nutrition."

Aymara's villagers complement their starch-heavy diet by loading up llamas, donkeys and horses and traveling to lower-lying communities, where they trade their prized crop for corn, barley and wheat.

Meanwhile, the women of Aymara rely on their ancestral knowledge of each tuber's virtues as they sort through hundreds of potatoes at harvest time, deciding which to eat, sell, store for seeds or trade to diversify their stock.

"Our parents and grandparents have taught us since we were children," said Susana Hidalgo Avila, a mother of six. "The knowledge is part of our nature."


On the Net:

International Potato Center:

© 2007 The Associated Press

So, Imagine: Once again our stoopid white azzes is about to be saved by some Native Peoples. . . .


Bullfrog Films (clicky)

Big Spuds, Little Spuds

The impact of climate change and monoculture on one of the world's staple food crops.

52 minutes
DVD-R version available
Grade Level: 9-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1999
Copyright Date: 1999
ISBN (VHS): 1-56029-792-1
ISBN (DVD): 1-59458-432-X

Produced by Christoph Corves and Delia CastiƱeira

"A significant contribution. It is important (it) be widely viewed." Gordon Smith, Director of the Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria

BIG SPUDS, LITTLE SPUDS takes a close look at the potato to examine the effects of climate change and monoculture on one of the world's staple food crops. With half the planet's population dependent on rice, wheat, potatoes, and corn, to what extent are pests and disease - often exacerbated by climate change - threatening world food security?

The people of the Andes in Peru have raised more than 5,000 varieties of potatoes. During the Green Revolution of the 1960s they were urged to adopt a handful of new high-yielding varieties, that proved to be highly vulnerable to the harsh mountain weather, and to pests and diseases. The new varieties also require massive inputs of chemicals and water.

In 1997 El Nino had a dramatic impact on the climate both in Peru, and Idaho, home of the US potato industry. In Peru, El Nino brought drought and killer frosts to the highlands: in Idaho, it brought persistent rains. With the wet weather came the blight that caused the Irish potato famine. Idaho's potato farmers were totally unprepared.

The film looks at traditional methods of potato farming where Andean families grow their own varieties, practice crop rotation, and utilize a minimum of inputs. In sharp contrast is the industrial method of production used in Idaho, and increasingly in Peru, where just a few high-yielding varieties are grown, where soil fertility decreases, pesticides lose their effectiveness, and campesinos wind up working as laborers on their own land.

But there is a new pride in the old varieties of potatoes. People are documenting the characteristics of different varieties in an attempt to preserve genetic diversity, and with it perhaps world food security.

Wendell Berry. . . .


Ironic that as an English Major and poet, I did not come to Wendell Berry from that road. Rather, when 13 years ago I began the journey to What Joy Farm from a small cabin in the redwoods, I knew I was going to WV, and to a place of my own, but the preparations needed took several months to bring about. In the meantime, much as I loved living in the redwoods, I also wished to prepare for what was to be.

There was a lovely little organic gardening enterprise in Sebastopol, and among its other enticements was a very good book section on organic gardening and farming. I filled my time with reading and dreaming. Among the more arcane books I acquired at that time was one named The Gift of Good Land by Wendell Berry. It was one of those books which literally change your life.

(In the Peruvian Andes) "I wanted to see ancient American agriculture that has been carried on continuously for...4500 years... (on) steep, rocky, and otherwise 'marginal' land." "What seemed so alluring and charmed then, and seems so hard to recover now, is a live sense of contrasting scales. The scale of that landscape is immense....This way of farming that has obviously had to proceed by small considerations. It has had to consider dirt by the handful. Every seed and stem and stone has been subjected to the consideration of touch - picked up, weighed in the hand, and laid down."
There, he also spoke of the dangers of farming in Peru. . . . One of which was: a farmer may fall out of his fields. . . .

And there, I discovered his poetry, which is every bit as grand as his farming, eh? Later, on the Dean blog, I came to know a farmer in Iowa, whom I love, who is also a fine poet who knows, has met and talked poetry and farming with him (Phil Specht, some of his poetry has been published here). As we say: the internets have made a small world even smaller.

To see some other pretty stunning pictures of Peru, click here.

The first year I lived here, after a session with wasps and anaphylactic shock, and a visit to the local clinic to get a prescription for an Epi-pen, I met a young doctor from Peru (working off college loans by working in a rural setting for a few years). He allowed as that bees and wasps did no such things in Peru, and he must needs consult with his head doctor at the clinic. When he returned I asked him if he didn't miss, say, blue potatoes here, since the varieties available to Americans is poor at best? (Peru has over 5,000 varieties. . . ) An then I felt guilty, because the inquiry brought such a look of overwhelming homesickness across the young doctor's face.

Hovenweep, solstice and the Anasazi


Tower functions are subject to speculation, as they have limited access, contain few windows and many have narrow slots or peepholes placed in the walls. Towers are often linked to a kiva, generally through a tunnel, suggesting they may have been used for ritual functions. The slots and doors of Hovenweep Castle, in Square Tower Group, have been shown to define an apparent solar calendar. The building is aligned so that light is channeled through openings into the building at sunset of the summer solstice, the winter solstice and the spring and fall equinox.

In Search of Solstices


Casa Rinconada, built between 1070 and 1110 AD, sits on an isolated hill about one-half mile across the canyon from Pueblo Bonito. One of the six great community kivas in the area, the structure is about 20 meters across and four to five meters deep. A 1970s survey of the area found this site to have precise solstice and equinox alignments. The main axis of the kiva is aligned through doorways on both the north and south sides. Modeled on a perfect circle, niches in the interior form an east-west line. Scientists who measured the alignments of these features found the accuracy of the north-south alignment to be within 45 arc-seconds or three-quarter of a degree while the error in the east-west alignment is only eight arc-seconds. Solar alignments occur on the winter and summer solstices when sunlight entering the kiva falls upon one of six irregular niches. From a given niche, the sun framed in the narrow window could be seen.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007



. . . an October Reuters/Zogby (RZ) opinion poll with George Bush at 24% that tops Richard Nixon's worst showing of 25% at his lowest 1974 Watergate point.

Be humble, for you are made of earth.

Be noble, for you are made of stars.

~~ Serbian Proverb

I wish I had written this; I wish I *could* have written this. . . .

The Country Of Marriage


I dream of you walking at night along the streams
of the country of my birth, warm blooms and the nightsongs
of birds opening around you as you walk.
You are holding in your body the dark seed of my sleep.


This comes after silence. Was it something I said
that bound me to you, some mere promise
or, worse, the fear of loneliness and death?
A man lost in the woods in the dark, I stood
still and said nothing. And then there rose in me,
like the earth's empowering brew rising
in root and branch, the words of a dream of you
I did not know I had dreamed. I was a wanderer
who feels the solace of his native land
under his feet again and moving in his blood.
I went on, blind and faithful. Where I stepped
my track was there to steady me. It was no abyss
that lay before me, but only the level ground.


Sometimes our life reminds me
of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing
and in that opening a house,
an orchard and garden,
comfortable shades, and flowers
red and yellow in the sun, a pattern
made in the light for the light to return to.
The forest is mostly dark, its ways
to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed,
provided we stay brave
enough to keep on going in.


How many times have I come to you out of my head
with joy, if ever a man was,
for to approach you I have given up the light
and all directions. I come to you
lost, wholly trusting as a man who goes
into the forest unarmed. It is as though I descend
slowly earthward out of the air. I rest in peace
in you, when I arrive at last.


Our bond is no little economy based on the exchange
of my love and work for yours, so much for so much
of an expendable fund. We don't know what its limits are--
that puts us in the dark. We are more together
than we know, how else could we keep on discovering
we are more together than we thought?
You are the known way leading always to the unknown,
and you are the known place to which the unknown is always
leading me back. More blessed in you than I know,
I possess nothing worthy to give you, nothing
not belittled by my saying that I possess it.
Even an hour of love is a moral predicament, a blessing
a man may be hard up to be worthy of. He can only
accept it, as a plant accepts from all the bounty of the light
enough to live, and then accepts the dark,
passing unencumbered back to the earth, as I
have fallen time and again from the great strength
of my desire, helpless, into your arms.


What I am learning to give you is my death
to set you free of me, and me from myself
into the dark and the new light. Like the water
of a deep stream, love is always too much. We
did not make it. Though we drink till we burst
we cannot have it all, or want it all.
In its abundance it survives our thirst.
In the evening we come down to the shore
to drink our fill, and sleep, while it
flows through the regions of the dark.
It does not hold us, except we keep returning
to its rich waters thirsty. We enter,
willing to die, into the commonwealth of its joy.


I give you what is unbounded, passing from dark to dark,
containing darkness: a night of rain, an early morning.
I give you the life I have let live for the love of you:
a clump of orange-blooming weeds beside the road,
the young orchard waiting in the snow, our own life
that we have planted in the ground, as I
have planted mine in you. I give you my love for all
beautiful and honest women that you gather to yourself
again and again, and satisfy--and this poem,
no more mine than any man's who has loved a woman.

~~ Wendell Berry

Solstice IS coming

[54131main_Winter_Solstice.jpg] [54131main_Winter_Solstice.jpg] [54131main_Winter_Solstice.jpg]