Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hellborus foetidus (italics needed)

Finally! Helleborus foetidus finds a home in Sister Garden. I have tried and failed to introduce this cool plant for the past 3 years.

Sister Garden: Winter 2010

Sister Garden and I formed an alliance about 10 years ago. She is a 20 x 40 plot of earth that I sought to conform to my design, and quickly realized it was the other way around. I have learned patience, gratitude, amazement, as well as periodic frustrations along the way.

All of the Sister Garden tags will chronicle a year in the life of Sister Garden and her gardeners.

p.s. Most of the flower photos show her inhabitants

Jeremiah and me

NYT Book Review essay 3.28.10 American Jeremiad: A Manifesto

· Jeremiad: American writers have “taken their cue from the biblical prophet Jeremiah and the particular form of Puritanical sermon - at once lament and indictment of the community’s sins and exhortation to return to the true faith – that bears his name. Americans aren’t supposed to write manifestos. We write jeremiads.

· I write jeremiads as well. My blog is a jeremiad and this became more apparent when I read what Harvard scholar Scavan Bercovitch said, “American writers have tended to see themselves as outcasts and isolates, prophets crying in the wilderness. So they have been, as a rule: American jeremiads, simultaneously lamenting a declension and celebrating a national dream.”

· I am crying in the wilderness, to the wilderness, about the wilderness. Although in my outcasted and isolated state I am even more ambitious because while I lament the decline of civilization, I am celebrating a universally beneficial dream.

· Move over Thoreau. It is time for my lamentations and dreaming.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

we are losing the human race

Part 1:
I just finished reading What is the What, by Dave Eggers. The journey of the lost boys from Sudan to America. This story is an affirmation of unflagging hope and an iron will.

It is the story of Valentino Achak Deng. He continues to pursue his dream of aiding the educational pursuits of Sudanese students.

Part 2:
Early this morning, during my coffee time, I read this in Harper's.

Fatheralong By John Edgar Wideman (Harper's Magazine)

Shared via AddThis
"Race is a myth. When we stop talking about race, stop believing in race, it will disappear... In a raceless society color wouldn't disappear. Difference would disappear. Africa wouldn't disappear. In post-race America "white" people would disappear. That is, no group could assume as birthright and identity a privileged, supernaturally ordained superiority at the top of a hierarchy of other groups, a supremacy that bestows upon their particular kind the right perpetually to rule and regulate the lives of all other kinds."
Hope springs eternal.

Part 3:
The hope was dashed when I read this in

What Makes the Arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. So Tragic

"Gates is invested in black life, black history, black art, and black literature, but he has managed to achieve a largely post-political and even substantially post-racial existence.

Then he was arrested in his own home.

In a moment of overzealous policing a young officer in Cambridge managed to handcuff and detain the living embodiment of post-racial possibility."
Because Harvard professors are destroying the fabric our nation.....obviously.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Human Being. Not a Human Doing.

Meditation challenges my insect mind.

A few years ago, an experience in the Peruvian Amazon revealed the interconnectedness of all living things. Plants, animals, single celled organisms, we are all connected on an atomic level.

I always suspected this interconnectedness and am attracted to spiritual beliefs that tap into this as a universal truth.

So I started meditating.

I need a DVD to do it - with yoga poses, and a guide telling me to breathe and not to think and the occasional sound of waves or gongs chiming. But I'm doing it. Not the once a year painful vision quest when I sit down in the middle of the night in front of a burning candle and wait for the big revelation (never came), but a short, consistent meditating for folks with insect minds.

The whirring and clicking stops. The buzzing diminishes and I actually relax. I am not doing anything but breathing - yet I can check it off my list as a task completed. And what a task! Expanding consciousness to lose myself and blend into the universe.

The post meditation feeling is of peace, quiet and just being. By doing nothing, I accomplish quite a bit.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

No More Fighting For Peace

Gaza. It's breaking my heart.

"Israel has a right to defend itself from attack", cries the editors of The New York Observer, The New York Times, The New York Daily News among others.

Many groups joined together to purchase a full time advertisement in the New York Times railing against the disproportionate Israeli attack, and bringing a new fact to light - the Hamas were retaliating against 6 Palestinians that were killed by Israeli soldiers.

For me, the argument stops here. Both sides have merit. Both sides are right. Now what?

In his inauguration speech, President Obama vowed that he would not resort to the false choice between liberty and security.

Hope is alive.

Does this mean we will do what is right and good for all the world?

Does this mean we can stop fighting for peace?

Let's assume that peace is what is right and good for the world, then in Gaza and in Israel, both sides will have to shift their stance to give up their optimal choice, and move toward a mutually beneficial position.

It is mutually beneficial to end the conflict, although because some nationalists will want to continue the fight, it is difficult to believe a solution will come soon. But let's look again to
President Obama's inaugural speech for words of hope.
"To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect."

A recent New York Times Op-Ed, Muammar Qaddafi offers a plan for peace.

The United States has wrestled with its' own oppression and unrest, and President's Obama's election has given the people some comfort that we can overcome our past differences and unify for the greater good. It took many strong people and much conviction to get there.

But there is a glimmer of hope.
As the president said "... a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath."

Times can change. It is time to change.

Thursday, December 4, 2008