|24 Jul 2006 @ 12:23|
What you see with your eyes closed is what counts.
---Lame Deer, Lakota sage
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest human battle ever and to never stop fighting.
What do you want to get enlightened for? You may not like it.
Once upon a time four guys decided to start a singing group, just for the fun of it, as any four folks have done since time began. Creation likes to sing and harmony is one of those things humans stumbled on. It's a gift from God. This story starts in Milwaukee where 2 fellows found themselves singing in the same choir and became buddies. It was the 1940s. Bob Strasen went off to Japan with the Army and led a male chorus there, but Gene Puerling got a job as a disc jockey back home and formed a couple singing groups on the side. In 1951 he moved to Los Angeles, as did lots of musicians from all over the place. There was work there: TV now, as well as movies and record companies. He needed to share an apartment with somebody, and along came Clark Burroughs, a guy with a sky-high voice, impeccable intonation, and a knack for hilarity that got him a few acting jobs too. Clark was from LA, was schooled and even had sung with the Roger Wagner Chorale. Now he was in a sort of novelty quartet called the Encores that sang on Billy May records. Billy was from Pittsburgh, had been in the bands of and arranged the jazz tunes for Glenn Miller and Charlie Barnet, but now had been doing children's records at Capitol and only lately had been convinced to start a dance band and take it on the road. In the Encores was Bob Morse from Pasadena, who came from a wildly musical family, with brothers who played and arranged for Stan Kenton and Johnny Richards. Morse sang baritone in the Bob Eberle crooner style and could solo well. In 1952 Clark and Puerling, who'd been working in a record store, got the idea to start their own group with Bob Morse. Gene would sing bass and he called Milwaukee, since Strasen was back, and talked him into coming to LA to sing tenor. Clark would handle all the notes above that, which was not yet a sound you'd hear out of a man who wasn't in the Ink Spots. Vocal quartets everywhere have a tradition of choosing catchy silly names for themselves and our guys were no different. These were The Hi-Lo's. More >
|15 Apr 2006 @ 11:39|
A photo of a churchyard in Lascun
How can I construct my humble hut right here in the midst of Oxford Circus? How can I do that in the confusion of cars and buses? How can I listen to the singing of birds and also to the leaping of fish? How can one turn all the showings of the shop window displays into the freshness of green leaves swayed by the morning breeze? How am I to find the naturalness, artlessness, utter self-abandonment of nature in the utmost artificiality of human works? This is the great problem set before us these days.
---D.T. Suzuki, addressing a conference of world religions in London, 1936
Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always.
---Rainer Maria Rilke
Winter having come,
the crows perch
on the scarecrow.
Ilona is in the Pyranees this Easter weekend, where snow may cover the mountaintops all the time...so Kikaku's observation may not be completely inappropriate today. Besides, the cross is something of a scarecrow too...and in the winter of our discontent the crows sit on it and caw away.
No more sermons today in this quiet day of expectation and hope---unless I can't help it. The 6:00 morning here was utter mystery. We have a new pup that Jeroch rescued, as his chain had become entangled in a bridgepost. He must have broken loose with no ID, so we've welcomed him in. We named him Jacques in honor of Ilona's school quarter in France...and that was before the vet told us he's mostly Jack Russell terrier. Down the hill he went after a herd of deer breakfasting in the meadow, waking the late risers among the bird population. More >
|9 Mar 2006 @ 09:57|
Each second is a universe of time.
Modern civilization is largely devoted to the pursuit of the cult of delusion. There is no general information about the nature of mind. It is hardly ever written about by writers or intellectuals; modern philosophers do not speak of it directly; the majority of scientists deny it could possibly be there at all. It plays no part in popular culture: no one sings about it, no one talks about it in plays, and it's not on TV. We are actually educated into believing that nothing is real beyond what we can perceive with our ordinary senses.
A trout leaps;
clouds are moving
in the bed of the stream.
The photograph is of Earth's Shrinking Antarctic Ice Sheet and was featured yesterday as NASA's photo of the day. The explanation asks, "Is the continent at the end of the Earth slowly melting? For millions of years, Antarctica, the frozen continent at the southern end of planet Earth, has been encased in a gigantic sheet of ice. Recently, the orbiting robotic GRACE satellite has been taking sensitive measurements of the gravity for the entire Earth, including Antarctica. Recent analysis of Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data indicate that the Antarctic ice sheet might have lost enough mass to cause the worlds' oceans to rise about 1.2 millimeters, on the average, from between 2002 and 2005. Although this may not seem like much, the equivalent amount of water is about 150 trillion liters, equivalent to the amount of water used by US residents in three months. Uncertainties in the measurement make the mass loss uncertain by about 80 trillion liters. Pictured above is an iceberg that is a small part of the Antarctic ice sheet. Future research will likely focus on trying to better understand the data, take more data, predict future trends, and understand possible effects of these trends on the future climate of our entire home planet." [link] More >
|29 Sep 2005 @ 08:15|
To see into impermanence, to actually see impermanence...this is the mind which determines that I must wake up for the benefit of all beings.
---Dogen, describing his experience as a small boy
The center is everywhere. Bent is the path of eternity.
I cannot come nearer to God and Heaven
Than I live to Walden even.
I am its stony shore,
And the breeze that passes o'er;
In the hollow of my hand
Are its water and its sand,
And its deepest resort
Lies high in my thought.
---Henry David Thoreau
The photo, Sept. 24: part of the massive turnout for the three-day D.C. antiwar mobilization.
Since Mr. Gore, in a political panic, was denied the presidency, many in the United States have worked tirelessly---and with increased vigor this past year, as Mr. Kerry found himself in a sort of rerun---to point out errors and alleged crimes that initiated and have carried on our horrifying decline. Obviously some of us have lost sleep (it's 3AM) over stupefying Yankee blindness. My own writings have become increasingly aggressive, and I have lost favor with some...who prefer my essays about Nature and humorous reminiscences. I haven't kept up with editing my online logs as I used to, but what has piled up here may provide some kind of record at least of one family's re-involvement with American grassroots political process. Sometimes lately I have felt the hopelessness of despair that the real promise and hope of the United States has been lost forever in the decay and fall of another Western civilization. And worse, I have feared we're taking the planet with us. Crash, explode and burn is a popular deathwish. Here in the countryside rarely does an evening pass by anymore that some neighbor or another isn't out on his hillside target-shooting with an automatic weapon. More >
|8 Jun 2005 @ 19:17|
Love the pitcher less, and the water more.
No one can live your life except you.
No one can live my life except me.
You are responsible. I am responsible.
But what is our life? What is our death?
The point is to perform every activity, from playing basketball to taking out the garbage, with precise attention, moment by moment.
From the free wallpapers at [link]
Saturday evening we went to a party at the home of some new friends at Ohio University. Our host is from Bangladesh, and he and his wife, of Irish descent, had brought together a most diverse group of individuals, tentatively to warm their new house and check out the construction of his wine cellar...as well as its contents. There were couples from Bengal and Serbia, the local rural counties around Athens, and teachers at every level of education, many hailing, like me, from the Northeast. Faizul teaches in the College of Business, and some of his colleagues were invited. Dana and I agreed we wouldn't be talking politics in there. This would be a social occasion and we'd be on our best behavior. More >
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