Friday, July 31, 2020

Friday Music: Rishi's Garden

Here is a song that comes up on our iPhone music when we play songs that begin with the letter "R"-- we don't hear it often and when we do we always say how much we love it. We've been listening to it for many, many years. This live recording comes with a lovely story at the beginning. Mellow, beautiful, uplifting, and good for these times.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Nothing But The Moon and Venus

We gave up trying to see the comet Neowise. It's been mostly foggy here in the night sky and even if it hadn't been, our view to the northwest where it might have been visible is blocked by houses and trees. That didn't stop me from trying in the beginning, running across the street after dark and standing on my tiptoes hoping for a glimpse of that object zipping by in its near parabolic orbit near our earth. Nope. Not a single thing. It reminded me of all the times Roger and I ran out to see Hale-Bopp in 1997. I can't even remember if we saw it, just remember trying to see it.

On the morning of July 18th I opened the blinds a little after 5:00 am. There was a small possibility that Neowise was going to be visible in the eastern sky. It was a beautiful clear sky just before sunrise. I ran out there on that very cold clear morning.  I waited. I scanned every part of the horizon I could see, but nothing. Well, nothing but the moon and Venus. I loved the view that morning even if Neowise ignored my supplications. That's when I gave up trying to see it.

So, did you get to see Neowise? I'd love to hear about it.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Friday Music: Morning Dew

We were out for our afternoon walk and noticed how quiet the streets were out there. We didn't pass another human for our two-mile loop. It was a little eerie, and I said to Roger, it reminds me of the song Morning Dew. Not the happiest of songs especially knowing its history, that it was written by Bonnie Dobson as a post-apocalyptic folk song after watching the movie On The Beach. Well on that cheery note, here's the song done by The Grateful Dead.

Walk me out in the mornin' dew my honey
Walk me out in the mornin' dew today
I can't walk you out in the mornin' dew my honey
I can't walk you out in the mornin' dew today

I thought I heard a baby cry this mornin'
I thought I heard a baby cry today
You didn't hear no baby cry this mornin'
You didn't hear no baby cry today

Where have all the people gone my honey?
Where have all the people gone today?
Well there's no need for you to be worryin' about all those people
You never see those people anyway

I thought I heard a young man moan this mornin'
I thought I heard a young man moan today
I thought I heard a young man moan this mornin'
I can't walk you out in the morning dew today

Walk me out in the mornin' dew my honey
Walk me out in the mornin' dew today
I'll walk you out in the mornin' dew my honey
I guess it doesn't matter anyway
Well I guess it doesn't matter anyway, no no
I guess it doesn't matter anyway

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A Funny Zucchini Story

This is one very funny-looking zucchini that Roger harvested the other day, but the story I want to share is about a different zucchini. It was the first zucchini I ever grew in the very first garden I ever had. It was back in 1972 when my twin brother, his partner Kathy, our dear friend Martin, and I left California and moved to Portland, Oregon. We ended up renting an old house on 14 acres of land in a little rural town called West Linn. It was our "back to the land" dream come true.

Back then we were all reading Alan Watts immersing ourselves in The Way of Zen. We held hands before dinner and may have even chanted a few Zen-like things. We were vegetarians. We were spiritual. We were gardening. We were making our attempts at an awakening.

As luck would have it, we read that Alan Watts was actually coming to our neck of the woods, about 40 miles away to a small town college in McMinnville. Of course we decided we should go and hear him speak. What an unexpected thrill that was going to be. So before we left for the event, I went out to the garden and picked the biggest zucchini I could find. Oh it was big, it was HUGE! I didn't know anything about zucchini back then, I figured bigger was better. I brought that zucchini with me to the gathering.

I wish I could remember all the things that Alan Watts said that day. I don't. I actually don't remember a single word of it. What I remember is afterward asking someone if I could give Alan the beautiful big zucchini I brought him. They actually said, "Yes!" So I went up to Alan Watts and looked deeply at him and handed him the zucchini like I was handing him the gift of enlightenment. I said, "Do you know what this is?" He said, "Yes, I do." I said, "We grew it in our garden." I actually gave him that zucchini.

I am laughing as I type this. I love remembering my naive 20 year old self. And that's my funny zucchini story.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Friday Music: Gordon Lightfoot on Canada Day

Looking for something else on youtube I discovered this. Roger and I were so moved watching it, we thought it should be shared here. Gordon Lightfoot on Canada Day. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

In The Eyes of the Beholder

Sitting out front on our little wooden bench, enjoying the sunshine. I looked over at Roger and saw our flower garden reflected in the lens of his sunglasses.

In these days of sheltering in place, we have to remind ourselves of love and  beauty whenever we can.

We hope you are all doing well and staying safe.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Friday Music: Like Lightning

We love this song even though we're not completely sure we grasp the meaning of the lyrics. We'd love to know what you think. A new song by Joshua Lee Turner.
Stay with me, oh sweet clarity
Certainty like lightning
Companionship a rarity
Oh stay with me, my clarity

Of an evening so far afield
A firefly he guided
In deepest dark he made our way
Then on my arm alighted

Stay with me, oh sweet clarity
Certainty like lightning
Companionship a rarity
Oh stay with me, my clarity

The light on the wall from the dormer through the shade
Was slatted, agitated
It drew him to and he could see his grave
And all the street lamps faded

The last one ended candidly:
He said, “In love you don’t fear dying,”
And she said, “It’s only that I loved you so I know you to be lying.”

In the hedges we heard a sound
A black-eyed dog to haunt you
But the worst of that's over now
We can go where we want to

So stay with me my clarity
Certainty like lightning
Companionship such a rarity
Oh stay with me, my clarity

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Hay Bales

It's hay bale season here. All the pastures have been mowed and bundled. This is what it typically looks like. Yes, the Great Egrets appreciate it.
So imagine our surprise when we saw this. Stacks of hay bales in piles three bales high. Hadn't ever seen them stacked like this before, and had never seen bales as big as these.
I called it Haybale Henge. A brief but historical moment in hay bale history.

Yes, we are bored OUT OF OUR MINDS and easily amused!

Monday, July 06, 2020

Visiting During A Pandemic

Dear sweet family members drove up from southern California to see their son/brother who lives here in Humboldt County. They called to see if we could perhaps meet and do our appropriate distancing for just five minutes. We hadn't seen Tsilla in quite a while and had never met her daughter Shanee before. With our masks on and our appropriate social distancing I tried to explain to Shanee how we are related.

This is how far apart we stood and shouted out our stories. Tsilla is married to my 2nd cousin Gabi. Gabi's father and my mother were first cousins. Gabi's grandfather (who did not survive the Holocaust) and my grandmother were brother and sister. My grandmother came to the US in 1921, while her brother (my mother's uncle) stayed in Leipzig. So, in our muffled voices I tried to tell Shanee how she is my 2nd cousin once removed.
Here is a link to a post I did three years ago about how we are related.

So here we are in the time of a global pandemic, a crazy fascist in the White House, neo-nazis walking around with swastikas and guns. Wearing our masks and trying to make sense of a truly senseless world.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Friday Music: A Story and a Song

Forty-five years ago my twin brother and I were living in Santa Cruz. We liked to go out and listen to music and found a musician who played at local venues. We became acquainted with him and even went to his house on occasion for some reason or other. One night at one of his shows, he had a guest with him, a visitor who was staying at his house. Some time during intermission he asked us if we would give his guest a ride home to his house. We said yes, and thus began our short time driving the author Tom Robbins to his destination. Michael and I had both read Another Roadside Attraction and were quite thrilled to be spending time with the author. We started a conversation though, that I will never forget. I think it was about a particular paragraph in his book that we disagreed with. Here is the paragraph:
“The most important thing in life is style. That is the style of one's existence the characteristic mode of one's actions is basically ultimately what matters. For if man defines himself by doing then style is doubly definitive because style describes the doing. The point is this happiness is a learned condition. And since it is learned and self generating it does not depend upon external circumstances for its perpetuation. This throws a very ironic light on content. And underscores the primacy of style. It is content or rather the consciousness of content that fills the void. But the mere presence of content is not enough. It is style that gives content the capacity to absorb us to move us it is style that makes us care.”
We wanted to know how style could be more important than content. It made no sense to us. Although these days in the modern world we do see how style takes up way more space than content ever will. It still does not rise to importance of content. Style did not get us to the moon, but it did get us doing a moonwalk dance! LOL!

Let's just say the conversation did not go anywhere significant. It was awkward and silly, but I'll never forget it. In retrospect I'm a bit embarrassed that we actually did this, but when we're young it's easier to say whatever is on our minds.

A few years later the musician came out with an album that has the same title as the book Tom Robbins published in 1976. So, here is that song, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues. The book was later made into a movie directed by Gus Van Sant in 1993.