Thursday, May 31, 2012

Roses are...
Roses are...
Roses are...
    not always red.
          I don't know much about violets.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

“Sometimes confusion is more interesting than order,” is not an old Chinese saying.  Neither is "May you live in interesting times" a Chinese curse. I guess it only sounds as if it should be. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

...Across the Landscape of Reality

Reading  Recommendation:  The May 28th issue of Newsweek's  cover story is "New Secrets of the Universe" by Brian Green.  For a couple of years I have been seeing speculative references in science digests to the possibility, some would say likelihood, that we will soon be thinking in terms of multiverse as well as universe.  You know, of course, that our little planet, which makes our existence possible, is a tiny speck in a minor solar system consisting of a relatively small sun and several other planets and their satellite moons.  Our solar system is one of billions (the estimate ranges up to 200 billion) in The Milky Way galaxy.  Our closest neighbor galaxy, Andromeda, is around two and a half million light years away and is estimated to have at least twice the number of stars as our own galaxy.  Besides The Milky and Andromeda, our universe is made of around 200 billion other galaxies. I don't pretend that I can get my mind around any of these statistics... or the news that our universe may not be the only one is an incomprehensibly larger cosmos.  the number of possible universes is incomprehensibly large.  If other universes exist, observable evidence to prove their existence is not possible; so scientists speculate and build theories on what they know about our own universe... black holes, for instance... and microwave background radiation and dark energy. 

One phrase that got my attention in the Newsweek piece  was, "across the landscape of reality."  The Landscape of my reality is exactly what this BLOG explores.  There is nothing, no idea whatsoever, that I am willing to dismiss without at least giving it further thought.  I like what Albert Einstein said when he was asked whether our universe is the only possible universe. In his characteristically poetic way, he said, "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in creating the world."  Rather than rushing to a matter-of-fact statement of believe about the possibility of a multiverse, Einstein settled for affirming only his own curiosity.  I like that.

Monday, May 28, 2012

I remember once trying to make blue my favorite color, but I finally settled back into considering green the color that I like best.  I was fifteen at the time and had read that blue is almost everybody's favorite color; for at least a week I wanted to be like most other people.  I got over that soon enough.  Green is the color of life, so I've stuck with that ever since... But blue... I can easily see why it's the favorite color of most people.  The sky is blue.  The ocean isn't blue at all, but reflecting the sky, it looks blue. It's an attractive deception. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

This hummingbird chick getting ready to leave the nest in the Davids' back yard
is my photograph for today.  It has nothing at all to do with this day's journal writing. 

Pentecost commemorates the early church’s receiving the gift of the Spirit.  Throughout Christendom many sermons will declare that the gift of the Spirit is Love. One wonders what Pastor Charles Worley of Providence Baptist Church will say in his sermon today.  He's the North Carolina preacher who proposed in a sermon a couple of weeks ago that all the world’s homosexuals should be put in to big pens and left to die He said,  “I figured a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers.  Build a great, big, large fence — 150- or 100-mile long — put all the lesbians in there . . . do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals, and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out. “Feed ’em, and you know what?” Worley continues. “In a few years they’ll die. Do you know why? They can’t reproduce.”

Something the now notorious Pastor Worley in North Carolina has obviously failed to understand... a critical failure that almost surely cripples all his relationships...relationships with his family... with his church... with probably just about everybody in his present and especially in his past life. Pastor Charles Worley's failure runs deeper and is more damaging especially to himself because it involves an idea, a concept, on which his professional life depends.  Worley misunderstood the most important idea, the central theme, the very heart of the Gospel.  He thinks love and sex are the same thing.  His problem is not a mere linguistic confusion.  He thinks love is something like a kiss or a connection of other body parts. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I rode my bike down along San Diego's waterfront this morning and that got me thinking about Joseph Conrad's stories... remembering his remarkable thinking and writing, especially The Heart of Darkness, and "The Secret Sharer"... and that got me thinking again about that ridiculous North Carolina pastor who proposed putting all the world's gays and lesbians into pens and surrounding them with electrified fences and leaving them there to die. I skimmed once again The Heart of Darkness and then reread slowly Conrad’s short story, The Secret Sharer.  Wow!  Conrad says, “The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it much.” I posted a note on Facebook a couple of days ago... Here it is again: 

Providence Road Baptist Church's Pastor Charles Worley at age 71 has obviously missed the whole point of the Christian Gospel.  What a pity!  It's hard to understand how such bigotry and hate can exist anywhere, but it's especially unsettling to see such monstrous ugliness in a church.  Many people have expressed outrage at his suggestion that all gays and lesbians should be put in a place that could be surrounded by an electric fence and left there to eventually die.  I am not outraged so much as I am deeply saddened that such a pitiful creature as Pastor Worley could have survived in the "world of church"... not just survived but that he is applauded by some in his congregation for his ignorance.   He is neither scholarly theologian nor learned historian.  First, he has somehow completely missed the point of the life and teachings of Jesus, a Jew; and he apparently doesn't know about that other man-turned-monster who administered a project three quarters of a century ago to round up all the Jews in Europe first and eventually in all the world and surround them with electric fences and guards, and kill them.  Adolph Hitler, with complicity of millions of Christians, who also obviously didn't understand the Gospel, managed to kill five to six million people (Jews and homosexuals and dissenting German Christians) before his project was stopped.  The world mourned.  We are still mourning... and along comes another monster looking for all the world like a nice old grandfather.  Pity.  The man who says his life is dedicated to saving souls has lost his own.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Now don't get me wrong when I say I was reminded today
that taking the time to look even at the backside
of things is rewarding.
Click on the image.

I particularly like the emphasis in Buddhism on awakening... on being awake.  The short Buddha teaching that I like perhaps the best of all of those that I have heard is this:  “Those who stay awake live in a state of constant amazement.” 

Of course, rest and sleep are essential prerequisites for wakefulness.  I very much like the idea of sleeping deeply, which I must surely do because when I wake up in the morning, I almost always feel rested and ready to get up and get on with the day. This morning the first thing I did after I got up was check the epiphyllum to see how many blossoms were fully open... almost a dozen.  Wow!  

I'm more than a little late with the photograph for Thursday.
I went to the wedding
of a special couple... 
Kristina and William are married
and because the attention
of the groom
was appropriately
on the
was my

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The population of the United States was 313,544,041 as of May 14 of this year.  82% of us live in cities and suburbs...  Four million more women than men... People under 20 make up over a quarter of the population, and people 65 and older make up one-eighth.  The nation still has a White majority.  In 2011, for the first time, non-white babies outnumbered white babies.
I love America.  I was born in America.  I expect to live out my life as a citizen of the United States of America. I am keenly aware that I am also a citizen of the world; but, of course, I do more closely identify with other Americans than I do with resident citizens of other countries. America is my home. I am fortunate to be a citizen here. I have enjoyed certain distinct advantages  because my birth certificate proves that I was born white and male in America.
I was listening to a Public Radio call-in program today when a self-identifying white man called to complain about “all those foreigners coming into the country demanding change.”  He went on to say that if “they don’t like the country the way it is, they should go back to where they came from.”  He apparently hadn’t noticed that many of the people hoping for change aren’t people who just got off the boat (or plane... or who just risked death crossing a hostile desert to get here).  I want change... now... here in America.  I long for a time when no child will suffer from malnutrition and hunger because of poverty. I am uncomfortable knowing that not all citizens have adequate safe shelter.  I am embarrassed that there are citizens of my country who, through no fault of their own, don’t get health care when they need it... and some of those citizens are children... and some are old people.  
I am as nostalgic as the next guy about the good old days.  I find myself telling younger folks about the time when cars didn’t have seat belts; about a time when a pleasant lady... a real, live lady in real time with a voice not digitized...  asked, “Number Please,”  when I picked up a telephone receiver (that was back when telephones had receivers that were distinct, separate instruments from the main body of the telephone); about a time when bare-headed children raced down hills on their bicycles; about a time when... It’s easy for “senior citizens” like me to come with dozens of examples of the way things used to be.
I like change. I don’t want to go back to the way things used to be... most especially to the ways things used to be that kept some people because of their race or ethnicity or gender from the privileges that I began to enjoy from the moment of my birth. I’m willing to give more to pay for those changes... and I’m willing to work to elect fellow citizens to political offices when they make it clear that they want equity and justice for all citizens as much as I do.

You've got to click on these two photographs to see them larger.  Looking closely makes a difference.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

House on Sixth Avenue

This is the parent epiphyllum of the one on our back porch.
It belongs to Ruth and Bill.  
epiphyllum |ˌepəˈfiləm|noun ( pl. epiphyllums )a cactus with flattened stems and large, fragrant red or yellow flowers.[Genus Epiphyllum, family Cactaceae: several species, in particular the night-flowering cactus (E. hookeri).]ORIGIN modern Latin, from epi-upon +Greek phullon leaf.
Last night four new blossoms opened on our porch.
Tonight... at least three more.

While over at the entrance to San Diego Zoo
my favorite rainbow eucalyptus 
stands sentinel.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Photography reveals, illuminates, mystifies.  Photography is a very private medium.  Because anybody can do it... and sometimes a casual photographer captures an image that's every bit as "good" as anything a famous professional does.., The difference is that the professional people seem to know what it is they want, and they go for it... and they often get it. Sometimes I stumble onto the elements of an unusual image, recognize  the potential, and try to make the image happen in the camera... But when I get home to the editing software, I find that I didn't manage the light well or that the depth of field is wrong and what I wanted to be in focus is blurred; but that's O.K. because I'm not pretending to be professional.  I'm going for what pleases me... occasionally.  Today, I fooled around with a shot I got yesterday... at church... not inside but outside looking back and up.  It's nothing but lines and shapes.  I'm pleased with the image... It isn't bad in color, but I think it's right in black and white.

The photo du jour had to be one that I actually snapped today, so the strange flower, black and white... and color has to be the one that goes into the book of 356 for 2012.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Friday, May 18, 2012

obsession |əbˈseSHən|nounthe state of being obsessed with someone or something: he was committed to seeing everything with an interest bordering on obsession.• an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person's mind:he was in the grip of an obsession he was powerless to resist.DERIVATIVESobsessional |-SHənl|adjective,obsessionally |-SHənl-ē|adverbORIGIN early 16th cent. (in the sense siege): from Latin obsessio(n-), from the verbobsidere (see obsess.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


The anorexic beauty undulates
her hungry body out onto the runway
into popping flashes and smooth reassurance
that the dress she is wearing will change everything.

                                                      The truth probably lies
                                   with the abandoned girl sleeping
                         between the darkness of predawn and
deeper merciless black of relentless night coming on.