Friday, November 29, 2019

Friday Music: Calm and Meditative After The Fire

I had a different song picked out for today, but the phone rang and the music plans changed. It was a very dearly loved family member calling. She was crying and sounding as distressed as I've heard her sound in years. I could hardly make out what she was trying to tell me. I stayed calm. I said, "Please take a breath, tell me what's happening." She cried and sobbed out the words that there were firemen at her house, her stove had caught on fire, the flames were shooting out of the oven into the kitchen. She had been baking some of our family's most traditional Thanksgiving dishes when it all went wrong. The firemen put out the flames, but had to take the stove outside into her backyard. The dish was ruined by fire extinguishing, and the Thanksgiving dinner that was supposed to take place at her dining room table had to be rearranged. The firemen were incredibly kind to her. She thanked them all (ten of them!) for coming on Thanksgiving. They told her not to worry. They said, "You're just the first stove fire of the day." The stress of hearing her sob with such emotional pain was overwhelming for me. I had to find music that would calm me down. So I went to my music of choice. Lifescape Music for meditation. Ah yes, I listened to that.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Counting Geese

I was going to do a post about going on a blogging hiatus. I'm so distracted by the current state of affairs in the United States and on our planet I can hardly think about anything else. But then I noticed all the geese. They are flying over our neighborhood every morning, honking their songs from the sky. Yes, I run outside to see them every time I hear them. In fact, I was on the phone with my sister the other day when I heard them. I went out and held the phone up to the sky so she could hear them 700 miles away, honking honking honking. She said that even her great dane Lilly heard it through the phone and started to growl. I was so surprised. It did make me think about that impeachment testimony about Sondland holding the phone away from his ear and other people at the table could hear Trump talking loudly. He must sound like a huge flock of honking geese (no offense to the geese). I wonder if the people at the table growled as well. Anyway, I lost my train of thought. See what happens when I try to think about anything else. LOL.
Whenever I see the geese I wonder, "How many are there up there?" Is that a hundred? Five Hundred? A thousand? Well I set out to answer that question. There was a small section of a flock flying overhead when we were on our morning walk. I clicked a photo with our iPhone. Take a look at the above picture. What would you guess? How many?
I outlined the flock in colors and counted each set. It was ridiculously tedious, but I was on a goose counting mission, and I prevailed. I came up with 177 geese in this photo. So, extrapolating from those numbers, I can safely say that there have been days when a flock of 1000 geese have flown over our house.

I'm going to try to keep posting here on the blog, but I did just read a headline that Rick Perry thinks Trump is "the Chosen One." I may have to hunker down and go into silence mode, or I could count the number of leaves that have fallen to the sidewalk from our neighbor's huge weeping willow. I'll let you know.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Music Friday: I Carry Your Heart

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it(anywhere i go you go, my dear;
and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

A dear friend sent us this song a few years ago and we have loved it ever since. When I googled around to find out more about it I was so surprised to find that it is actually a poem by ee cummings. The musician Michael Hedges wrote the music and turned it into this beautiful song. A couple of months ago I sent this to another dear friend who had just lost her husband to cancer. She wrote back and asked me if I recognized David Crosby and Graham Nash singing the backup vocals. No I had not! What a beautiful surprise that was.

Here is a link to ee cummings actually reading this poem. I love the internet for all of this!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Two Bows

I had been wondering what I could possibly post about on the blog. It's been dark and dreary foggy for days. I looked through the very few photos I've taken in the past week. Oh yeah, I tried to capture what the sun looks like covered by a thick layer of fog. It looks a bit like a washed out moon. Not all that interesting. I also photographed the beautiful bit of blue sky clouds I saw when the fog parted briefly. Ah, so that's what I've missing I thought to myself. Not all that interesting, although I loved it immensely. Then I noticed the photo of the rainbow we saw last Friday. It was surprising because it hadn't rained or even drizzled but was merely damp. Still there was a rainbow, so I photographed it.
When I looked at the photo I saw something I hadn't noticed when I shot it. There is a faint bow above it. But it doesn't look like the usual double rainbow. It has no color. It looks like a cloud bow or fog bow.
So, I photoshopped it to show a bit more of it. There really is no color in that bow. It made me so happy. I'm going to send these images to my dear friend Les Cowley at Atmospheric Optics to see if he confirms that I'm seeing what I think I'm seeing.

What do you think?

Because I can't resist, here is that hint of blue skies and cloud in a brief parting of the fog.
And then it was gone.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Music on a Friday

This is a song that my brother sent to us. I fell in love with it. The music and the lyrics, and also because it is written by Luciana Zogbi a 25 year old woman. There is something so compelling about a young person singing about a departed soul who has been wandering for 10,000 years unable to cross the River Styx.

Down by the river
where the angels and the devil meet
Where endings come to meet beginnings
And pay Charon's fee
Ten thousand tears you've roamed alone
While drunken prophets on the way
Stopped you to say
By the way
All that's in the milky way
By the way
All the oceans are for you
The moon
For you
Down by the river
Thirsty sailor's kisses line the shore
Where mermaids come to hear
The sweet lies of troubadours
Ten thousand years
You've roamed alone
While drunken prophets on the way
Stopped you to say
By the way
All that's in the milky way
By the way
All the oceans are for you
The moon
For you
The moon
For you
Down by the river
Where the angels and the devil meet

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Words On A Wednesday: Birds and Clouds

There haven't been many photographic opportunities lately. So when a flock of American Avocets showed up at the marsh, I was delighted.
And when the fog finally retreated after a week of bleak grey skies and revealed a cloud against the bluest of blues, I was jumping for joy.
These brief moments of beauty are the balance to all else.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Paved With Good Intentions

We do whatever we can to protect our environment. We're pretty conscious of the products we use. We recycle whatever is recyclable. We practice the mantra of Reduce Reuse Recycle. We make contributions to the organizations that work to help keep our planet livable and protect the other species we share it with. I write checks to Greenpeace, Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Audubon, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, etc. We are absolutely glad that we can help, but we also regret it every time we open the mailbox and find stuff. And truly that's ALL THE TIME!! I simply don't understand how this is okay. The use of so much paper and stuff that has to be recycled. Our recycling bin is full of it every month. I'm not sure how to make them stop. We've gotten four beautiful 2020 calendars already. Those started coming in August. We give them to the grandkids who appreciate the photos and make lovely collages with them.

I'm going to continue to make contributions, but I think I'm going to start sending it with a note begging them to stop sending us stuff. Sure would be nice if they would just email us, wouldn't it? Those calendars sure are pretty though.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Music On A Friday

I've been thinking lately about posting some of the music that Roger and I listen to all the time. Music is such an integral part of our lives. If you search on the word "music" on the blog, you would be surprised by how often we have posted about music over the years. I don't know if you, dear readers, listen to music much, but if you do I would love to see posts of what music you are listening to these days.

Today I'm posting the song we listened to most while Notre Dame was burning last April. "Was It This Lifetime" by William Ackerman. A song that truly tugs at our hearts.

My twin brother sends us links to music all the time. He loves finding new young musicians and song-writers. Their sounds are so full of hope. I will be posting some of those over the next few Fridays, and some oldies as well.

Music is a good balance to the times we are living in. Let's rejoice in song.

Monday, November 04, 2019

The Whale Story

You can hardly see it, but the whale and the scientists are in the upper right
I wanted to share this story before it's long forgotten and covered in the dust and ash of time, fires and power outages. A few days before the power was cut here a Humpback Whale beached itself about eight miles from our house. It was still alive, but was tangled in fish netting all over. A group of Marine Mammal science professors from the local university and a group of people from California Fish and Game went to the beach to inspect the whale and see what could be done. They spent hours and hours cutting the netting from the whale until it was finally freed. It would be several hours before the high tide came back in, so people came to the beach to watch and hope and pray for this whale to make it back into the ocean.

We didn't go to the beach. As much as we wanted to go, we didn't want to interfere in any way with the hard work in helping this whale get free. We also didn't want to see it struggling. We followed the story closely on two local websites. We all knew what time the high tide would get to it. We were hopeful, but also worried that it might not be enough to lift it buoyantly back in.

As it turned out, the tide did not lift it.

There was still some hope for the next day that it might work out. The scientists explained that a whale's body is not meant to be stranded on a beach. Its own weight actually crushes its internal organs. They need the ocean to survive.

By the time the second day came, hope had pretty much diminished. There were a lot of opinions. A lot of bickering. A lot of second guessing. A lot of anguish everywhere. But it was determined by the several rescuers, scientists, and others that this beautiful humpback whale was not going to survive. It was struggling. So, it was euthanized that evening.

We went to the beach the next day. I brought a flower from our garden. An offering from our hearts. An apology for the tragedy that fish netting and humans caused this whale. We brought our tears. By the time we got to the beach though the marine scientists and students were performing an autopsy. I will spare you the photos. But we watched and grieved.

It's the closest we've ever come to a whale. I asked the main person in charge if I could please touch it, and she said "No." We looked in each other's eyes, this marine science professor and me. We had tears. We touched each other's shoulders in sorrow. It was the closest I've ever been to a whale, only one degree of separation, between that humpback and me.

If you go to this link, you will see truly beautiful photos of this humpback whale.
Please let me know if you want to see the photos of the autopsy.