Jan. 13th, 2010 07:25 pm
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The Bodhi Tree is closing.

In the 1980's my coven/s would make holy treks from Santa Barbara to Melrose Street to visit the store. There was nothing else like it. I can still picture the jewlery cases, the center displays, the tall skinny pagan racks in back. There, I first found the Feri books... and put them back (so skinny, so expensive, so kinda crazy, and yet..). ! The pagan books were self or small press published, with simple or garish covers. They were treasures. To buy a pentacle - ! Likely that's where I heard about the first pagan gatherings, where literally all of us would gather in a room and chant together...

I am greatful for the founders, and their many years of community service and retail goodness.
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I've been thinking a lot lately about the wisdom of our bodies. Bodies are such informative, useful avenues to most or even all human experience. I notice that we/our culture doesn't believe or act on this much at all. Strange.

Any how, I loved this [ profile] podcast from the Get It Done Guy on finding your life purpose/north star. His stuff is always fun, and often really useful.

I remember reading the view that we should focus on what we're not good at, in order to get better at those things. Tried that. Decided that happiness comes from using the abilities (aka gifts, interests, loves, etc) that seem to be inherent to me. Getting better at stuff rocks, learning is excellent... self-torture, not so much. It amazes me that my body carries so much information. I wonder why it amazes me?
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There's an area where I often see the turkey flock, when it is turkey time of year. Like now. Been wanting to stop and look for feathers. Why? For crafts, for my fondness of wild feathers.

Today is Friday, a good day for a slightly longer bike ride. Very warm out, but a brush of coolness now and again. Water is being released from the little dam; I don't know why. Rain in the Sierras I haven't heard about? Last year's snow pack making its way down at last? 

On the way back, I stopped at the area, just past an underpass, on a steeper area of bank. Shade and deep leaves to hunt through. Did require leaving my bicycle alone as I disappeared over the bank edge, but not many folks are out there, let alone getting off their bikes. Safe enough.

I was quickly rewarded with a couple interesting squared-off feathers; slightly iridescent at the tip, which surprised me. And lots of downy feathers. Oh yeah, and a subset of the flock of turkeys! They walked off in a brisk but not terrified fashion. 

I kept looking, and was rewarded with a couple of long quills. Both are of the brown striped variety.

Interesting how beautiful the feathers are, away from the silliness of turkeys. :-)  

go boom

Aug. 28th, 2009 06:59 pm
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Well it's been some days of basics going boom. Like, yesterday my computer decided to randomly restart over and over, going back in time with restore points. So after much tech support and hardware tests, I wiped the drive and am now in the process of downloading masses of files from mozy. Yea for having mozy.

And before that was the late-breaking news about needing a therapist letter. Got that one in the bag (though the letter won't come for a week or more; timing).

As the capper (I sure hope), my car just massively overheated. All fine, then drive in the driveway, and verily, the sound of water gushing. Open the hood. The sound of water boiling. The temp gauge never got particulary high. Mysterious. See if I can't get it into a shop tomorrow. Know a great cooling system repair shop in San Jose? Hopefully this will stay in the three digits for repair.

Time to do laundry, make a cold supper, make a very cold vodka tonic. Or perhaps margarita... I did make fresh salsa yesterday...

Another day in the neighborhood.


Aug. 11th, 2009 04:00 pm
lobolance: (My Boots)
snagged from [ profile] ladycelia 

... [M]ost everything that Jesus taught can be distilled down to one simple, if not a bit vulgar, statement: "Life is hard, we're all in this together, don't be a dick."

I think the world might be a better place if people stopped wearing clothing and jewelry with "WWJD" plastered on it, and replaced it with "DBAD".

* Let a car into traffic. She's been sitting there for a while and she probably has to be somewhere soon, just like you do.
* Smile at someone. They're probably having a shitty day and could use some positive energy. If they're not having a shitty day, it won't hurt to keep their good mood going.
* Thank the barista, the cashier, the bag boy, the lunch lady, the crossing guard, the guy that empties your office trash, and the telephone operator. I don't care if it's their job to serve you. We all serve someone.
* Find someone (or more than one) on your LJ Friends List that you haven't commented to in a while. Post a comment letting them know that you're glad they're on your List.
* Make it a point to compliment someone today. On anything. Everyone has something worthy of praise and admiration.
* Tell *everyone* you love exactly that. Life is short, shit happens, and the people who are important to us need to know they've had a positive effect on someone else's life. It's entirely possible that our own lives are measured solely on how we affected others.

Here's today's project: if you're in agreement, and are so inclined, post "DBAD" in your LJ today, with a link back to this entry.
joining the faking of it crowd, and just posting the whole thing. good for non-link followers anyhow!

a poem

Jul. 8th, 2009 09:22 am
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I've been struck a lot lately by the commonality of human experience, all spiritual/physical/intellectual applied systems aside...


By: Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

lobolance: (Default)

The unforgettable Commencement Address 2009.

By Paul Hawken

When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a simple short talk that was “direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful.” No pressure there.

Let’s begin with the startling part. Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation... but not one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement. Basically, civilization needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.

This planet came with a set of instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water, soil, or air, don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really good food—but all that is changing.

There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn’t bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says: You are Brilliant, and the Earth is Hiring. The earth couldn’t afford to send recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here’s the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.

When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. The poet Adrienne Rich wrote, “So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.” There could be no better description. Humanity is coalescing. It is reconstituting the world, and the action is taking place in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, campuses, companies, refuge camps, deserts, fisheries, and slums.

You join a multitude of caring people. No one knows how many groups and organizations are working on the most salient issues of our day: climate change, poverty, deforestation, peace, water, hunger, conservation, human rights, and more. This is the largest movement the world has ever seen. Rather than control, it seeks connection. Rather than dominance, it strives to disperse concentrations of power. Like Mercy Corps, it works behind the scenes and gets the job done. Large as it is, no one knows the true size of this movement. It provides hope, support, and meaning to billions of people in the world. Its clout resides in idea, not in force. It is made up of teachers, children, peasants, businesspeople, rappers, organic farmers, nuns, artists, government workers, fisherfolk, engineers, students, incorrigible writers, weeping Muslims, concerned mothers, poets, doctors without borders, grieving Christians, street musicians, the President of the United States of America, and as the writer David James Duncan would say, the Creator, the One who loves us all in such a huge way.

There is a rabbinical teaching that says if the world is ending and the Messiah arrives, first plant a tree, and then see if the story is true. Inspiration is not garnered from the litanies of what may befall us; it resides in humanity’s willingness to restore, redress, reform, rebuild, recover, reimagine, and reconsider. “One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice,” is Mary Oliver’s description of moving away from the profane toward a deep sense of connectedness to the living world.

Millions of people are working on behalf of strangers, even if the evening news is usually about the death of strangers. This kindness of strangers has religious, even mythic origins, and very specific eighteenth-century roots. Abolitionists were the first people to create a national and global movement to defend the rights of those they did not know. Until that time, no group had filed a grievance except on behalf of itself. The founders of this movement were largely unknown — Granville Clark, Thomas Clarkson, Josiah Wedgwood — and their goal was ridiculous on the face of it: at that time three out of four people in the world were enslaved. Enslaving each other was what human beings had done for ages. And the abolitionist movement was greeted with incredulity. Conservative spokesmen ridiculed the abolitionists as liberals, progressives, do-gooders, meddlers, and activists. They were told they would ruin the economy and drive England into poverty. But for the first time in history a group of people organized themselves to help people they would never know, from whom they would never receive direct or indirect benefit. And today tens of millions of people do this every day. It is called the world of non-profits, civil society, schools, social entrepreneurship, non-governmental organizations, and companies who place social and environmental justice at the top of their strategic goals. The scope and scale of this effort is unparalleled in history.

The living world is not “out there” somewhere, but in your heart. What do we know about life? In the words of biologist Janine Benyus, life creates the conditions that are conducive to life. I can think of no better motto for a future economy. We have tens of thousands of abandoned homes without people and tens of thousands of abandoned people without homes. We have failed bankers advising failed regulators on how to save failed assets. We are the only species on the planet without full employment. Brilliant. We have an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy earth in real time rather than renew, restore, and sustain it. You can print money to bail out a bank but you can’t print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product. We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it. We can either create assets for the future or take the assets of the future. One is called restoration and the other exploitation. And whenever we exploit the earth we exploit people and cause untold suffering. Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.

The first living cell came into being nearly 40 million centuries ago, and its direct descendants are in all of our bloodstreams. Literally you are breathing molecules this very second that were inhaled by Moses, Mother Teresa, and Bono. We are vastly interconnected. Our fates are inseparable. We are here because the dream of every cell is to become two cells. And dreams come true. In each of you are one quadrillion cells, 90 percent of which are not human cells. Your body is a community, and without those other microorganisms you would perish in hours. Each human cell has 400 billion molecules conducting millions of processes between trillions of atoms. The total cellular activity in one human body is staggering: one septillion actions at any one moment, a one with twenty-four zeros after it. In a millisecond, our body has undergone ten times more processes than there are stars in the universe, which is exactly what Charles Darwin foretold when he said science would discover that each living creature was a “little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and as numerous as the stars of heaven.”

So I have two questions for you all: First, can you feel your body? Stop for a moment. Feel your body. One septillion activities going on simultaneously, and your body does this so well you are free to ignore it, and wonder instead when this speech will end. You can feel it. It is called life. This is who you are. Second question: who is in charge of your body? Who is managing those molecules? Hopefully not a political party. Life is creating the conditions that are conducive to life inside you, just as in all of nature. Our innate nature is to create the conditions that are conducive to life. What I want you to imagine is that collectively humanity is evincing a deep innate wisdom in coming together to heal the wounds and insults of the past.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.

This extraordinary time when we are globally aware of each other and the multiple dangers that threaten civilization has never happened, not in a thousand years, not in ten thousand years. Each of us is as complex and beautiful as all the stars in the universe. We have done great things and we have gone way off course in terms of honoring creation. You are graduating to the most amazing, stupefying challenge ever bequested to any generation. The generations before you failed. They didn’t stay up all night. They got distracted and lost sight of the fact that life is a miracle every moment of your existence. Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn’t ask for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hope only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.

lobolance: (Default)


This is an animation by James Jarvis for Nike Running. ! It'll make you smile.

Onwards from akqa on Vimeo.


Apr. 9th, 2008 10:53 am
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 "Why do we focus so intensely on our problems? What draws us to them?
Why are they so attractive? They have the magnet power of love:
somehow we desire our problems; we are in love with them much as we
want to get rid of them . . . Problems sustain us -- maybe that's why they
don't go away. What would a life be without them? Completely
tranquilized and loveless . . . There is a secret love hiding in each problem
. . . ."

- James Hillman, *The Essential James Hillman: A Blue Fire,* edited
by Thomas Moore


Mar. 4th, 2008 11:51 am
lobolance: (Default)
This is a prank on a "grand" scale.  Over 200 people gathered at Grand Central Station in New York to pull off a 'frozen in place' act.  The on looking travelers who weren't part of the act were mystified as to what was going on.

Click Here: Check out "Frozen in Grand Central Station - Video"
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I hitched a ride with laurie girl up the memorial. It was really good to have some conversation time with her.

A lot of people showed up for the celebration of life for Tie. Including a bunch of family members, and Tie's ashes. Turned out that this celebration WAS his memorial. A whole lot of us spoke, sharing touching and funny memories. Honestly, it was a 'wow'; so many good stories painting a picture of a talkative, loving, open, hard-working, messy, humorous man. I swear, if that many folks show up at my memorial when the time comes, I will consider myself blessed and honored. There were an awful lot of red eyes in the place. It's been more than a month since we go the news of his passing, but the emotions were running pretty freely. Tie touched a lot of people.

I was terrifed to get up and share my very personal story, but I felt driven to do so. Tie was the first leatherman to approach me right after transition, asking questions. And then flirting. Offering kisses and an open heart. I can't express how much gratitude I have for that man.

I am really happy I got to meet Michael, the man he spent the last couple years of his life( in Palm Springs) with. He seemed a big hearted guy as well. And the number of family members that were there among the leather crew, accepting us and moved along with us. Wow. -- Michael told me that he knew of me, that Tie had spoken of me. I am still so blown away by that.

Cheers, Tie! Laughter and love and gratitude to you.
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snagged from [ profile] boymeat.


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