Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sacred Time/Sacred Space: Happy HolyDay!

Prayer is good, as is meditation–but we also need prompt action!
~the Dali Lama

In the coming few weeks ExxonMobil hopes to parade its monstrous modules past my home. If the Idaho resistance weren't battling so bravely they would already be passing. Our home is passive solar. The south-facing livingroom wall is double-paned glass from floor to ceiling. A wide eave keeps sunlinght out in the summer, when the angle of the sun is high; but lets sunlight all the way through to the interior north wall in winter. The design serves us well—but we've had to learn to close the Venetian blinds in some seasons, to keep birds from flying into the glass. In mating season, when males are setting up territories and chasing each other around in a blind passion, we still have a few collisions.

When my daughter Celia was eleven, a pine siskin flew into the window, then hung upside down in the bushes below, looking dead. She ran out and fetched it. The bird was still breathing. I sat down and showed her a sort of "procedure" I've learned from a life of bird-worship. My Warm Springs Indian friend, Liz Woody, discovered the same procedure, and had recently described it to me: when a bird hits a window and is knocked unconscious, you improve it chances if you hold it to your heart. Right up against the beating of it. (That's right, Syncrude; this is what it takes to actually serve a living bird.)

You hold it against your chest (I showed my daughter where, and she sheltered the little siskin). Then you promise the bird–silently or aloud: I prefer aloud—to be its steadfast guardian. And you have to mean it. You vow to sit still for as long as it takes, no time limit, letting the unconscious bird feel your pulse, your determination, your solid protection. You wish the little bird soul well no matter which world it decides to enter, ours or the other.

As Celia held the siskin I emphasized that it doesn't matter how busy you think you are. The bird's helplessness changes that. Unless someone is going to die while you're guarding it, don't worry. Give yourself completely to that bird. If we claim to 'love nature,' anything less is hypocrisy, because anything less is not love. I have been such a hypocrite, I told my daughter, and I have also been faithful. Faithful to me means: you sit with the bird in a gateway that leads beyond time and let the Unseen decide which way it will fly.

Last spring I held a male Downy woodpecker I felt sure would die. It smashed the window so hard I checked the glass for breakage. I went out, gathered it up, cradled it, then sat in a chair on the back deck—in bright early spring sunlight—holding it to my heart. I began breathing my favorite prayer word onto the bird. Murmured spontaneous stuff, too. I told it was okay to die, if that's what needed to happen, but that it's also beautiful to be a woodpecker. As I spoke, its tongue was lolling—and a Downy's tongue is a marvel. It is striped, black and off-white, and nearly three inches long though the entire bird is only seven inches long. What a tool, you realize as you gawk at the thing. No grub or beetle stands a chance.

The Downy's eyes stayed shut for close to an hour. Its neck looked ruined the whole time. But as it lay up close to my heart, warm in my hand, it kept breathing. So I worked with it, said my prayer word, held steady in the gate.

Then felt something. A slight quickening. The bird's being arrived from who knows where. It happened so fast. The limp body turned electric, the brid sprang back to consciousness, and its ruined neck—suddenly, impossibly—was fine.

I didn't even have time to stand. I just opened my hands. The Downy took one look at me—totem red, black and white, obsidian eye, a lightning look—then was off like a shot.

My daughter, too, held steady in the gate that day. And after a quarter hour her pine siskin filler her hands with the quikening. Opened its eyes.

Celia opened her hands. Received the lightning look. Away the siskin flew.

And my daughter's face as it winged away! When a bird falls into the unknown, lies against your heart, wakes and returns, flies from your hands, something in you quickens, awakens, and knows it too can fly.

~The Heart of the Monster David James Duncan (61-63)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


it's about time . . .

(need a Key?)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

end of term

ORIGIN Middle English (denoting a limit in space or time, or (in the plural) limiting conditions): from Old French terme, from Latin terminus ‘end, boundary, limit.’

The end of term is quickly coming upon us. Will you have your Theseus ready by the deadline? Or, have you been spending all your time on the 3rd floor commons playing Hearts?

"The End is Nigh!"

does it seem that we're just going in circles?

*these are the books that will help you out of the labyrinth, to get us to The New World . . .

11:12:11 -- 1339

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


October 10 1988
(twenty days remain)

-"I can show you the way."~Frank
"You know, I love that movie, the way they shot it. It’s so urm… like futuristic, you know?"~Donnie Darko

We need to talk a little today about where our Masters of Sync program is headed. I stumbled on to something today pretty cool and want to let you know that this is the likely direction of the program for a time . . .

So this morning I discovered Adam Frank (of course after watching Donnie Darko the night before).

Anyway, Adam Frank, writer and astrophysicist, has put together a tremendous blog series on NPR's "Cosmos & Culture" blog site. The four pieces touch on the subjects of my deepest interests (modernity's relationship to myth, cosmology, time, and reality):

In considering where we are headed in relationship to the books that we've discussed, I will likely be spending time considering how modernity "sees" reality--it's lens, i.e. the clock and the image. These are the books we'll be looking at likely:

The shot of the bike ride to Grandma Death's house is an homage to Steven Spielberg's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), in which, Drew Barrymore also starred.

Back To The FutureThe movie takes place in 1988.
The world ends in 28 days, 06 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 secs.
If you add these numbers, the sum is 88.
When Samantha asks when she can have kids, Donnie says: "Not until 8th grade."
Donnie mentions to his therapist his dog died when he was eight.
According to the television reporter, the fire at Jim Cunningham's house was extinguished "sometime after 8:00 last night.".
Donnie mentions the DeLorean car, which was used for time travel in Back to the Future (1985).
In Back To The Future the DeLorean had to reach a speed of 88 mph to travel in time. ~(Dan Smith)

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Mr. Fox and a heart of darkness . . . .

Monday, September 19, 2011

out of control

"You will not have peace until you do away with all banks and hedges, and exchange the garden for the wilderness that is unwalled, that wild strange place of silence where 'lovers lose themselves.'"~Evelyn Underhill

wilderness |ˈwildərnis|noun [usu. in sing. ]an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region.a neglected or abandoned area of a garden or town.figurative a position of disfavor, esp. in a political context : the man who led the Green Party out of the wilderness | [as adj. ] his wilderness years.PHRASESa voice in the wilderness an unheeded advocate of reform (see Matt. 3:3, etc.)ORIGIN Old English wildēornes [land inhabited only by wild animals,]from wild dēor [wild deer] + -ness .
My power to protest this takeover is limited to a language known as English, a feeble prospect at first glance, I admit. But for all its rough and hypocritical edges, English is a wild sonic animal, dynamic, alive, thoughtshaping. And there is an old British word that Americans creatively hijacked, commandeered, and refined to express the well-nigh inexpressible: the word "wilderness." The etymology derives from Old English "wildéor," a combination of "wild" and "deer," and in England, and in colonial times here, the stock of this word was very low. For generations of Manifest-Destiny-spewing china-tipping tea-sipping "Empire builders," the root word "wild" mean out of control, uncivilized, savage, uncultured, rude, pagan, dirty, unreliable, bloodthirsty, bad-smelling, sexually nasty, and low grade–and the innocent word "wilderness" was deemed guilty by association. (John Bunyan: Woefully I walk the wilderness of the world! Shakespeare: Jailed by a wilderness of sea.)How hard it would have been for the ExxonMobils, Shells and BPs if things had stayed this way. But the world "wilderness: underwent a transformation in America, and that transformation had done nothing but bear fruit for two centuries. It thrills me in a patriotic, darned near flag-waving way that the meaning of "wilderness" is one that Americans, as a nation, almost singlehandedly managed to transform. Starting with Thoreau, Emerson, Whitman, and the closet wild salmon-lover Emily Dickinson ("Exaltation is the going of an inland soul to sea"), achieving a more physical but still spiritiual fervor in the rhapsode John Muir, taking on "domionionists" and embracing stewardship via the fearless Rachel Carson, revealing the cathedral-like allure of mountains via the version of Ansel Adams, increasing in groundedness but maintaining reverence in the Zen hippie Gary Snyder–love of the wild has spread to the grassroots via the voices and work of more writers than I could name in a day. But even more, the love of the wild has spread through direct experience of the American wild itslef. As John Muir put it, "Nothing can take the place of absolute contact, of seeing and feeding at God's table for oneself ...The Lord himself must anoint eyes to see, my pen cannot. One can only see by loving." The inhabitants of this continent, wandering through its beauty, fell so in love with their particualr wild places en masse that they began, under the visionary (Republican!) leadership of Teddy Roosevelt, to preserve the best of our wild places as no nation ever had. What's more, when Americans tossed the old, suspicion-ridden definition of wilderness back at Europe, a lot of Europeans cried, "What ze hell were we senking? Vive le Jean Muir!", and began restoring the wilds of their own nations.What is the revamped definition of wilderness? I heard David Brower sum it up rather nicely, just before he died. He said that thanks to the lifelong influence of the wild, at age eighty-six he was still "just a gee-whiz kid." He then described his incredulity the first time he saw a wilderness spring at age six. He was so mesmerized by the sight of what he called "all the clean clear water coming up out of dirt" that, eighty years later, he still sounded gee-whizzy as he exclaimed, "I couldn't understand how it could do it!" Like so many wilderness lovers, he couldn't contain himself: "Who invented all this life?" the old man rhapsodized. "All this beauty and mystery! Every wonderful thing that's out there! How did it all happen? Not in a civilization. In Wilderness."~The Heart of the Monster David James Duncan

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The New World

Q'orianka Kilcher

"Q'orianka Waira Qoiana Kilcher (born February 11, 1990) is a U.S. actress, singer and activist. She is best known for her role as Pocahontas in the 2005 film The New World, directed by Terence Malick."


Kilcher was born in Schweigmatt, Germany. Her name Q'orianka means "Golden Eagle" in Quechua. She speaks English and some German. She learned some words of the extinct Powhatan language, an Algonquian speech, for her part in the filmThe New World.

Her father is of Quechua-Huachipaeri descent from Peru. Her mother, Saskia Kilcher, is a human-rights activist of Swiss genes, born in Alaska and raised in Switzerland. Q'orianka has two brothers, Kainoa Kilcher and Xihuaru Kilcher, who both work as actors and stunt performers. Kilcher's mother's father was Ray 'Pirate' Genet, a famous Alaskan-born mountaineer, and her mother's cousin is Grammy-nominated singer Jewel Kilcher.[1]

When Kilcher was two years old, she and her mother moved to Kapaa, Hawaii, where her brother Kainoa was born. Her father, from whom she is estranged, was absent for much of her life. Growing up in Hawaii, Kilcher was inspired by the local society and started hula dancing at the age of five years. She also trained in Tahitian dance and West African, as well as ballet, Hip Hop and Modern Dance. In 1997 Kilcher won Ballet Hawaii's Young Choreographer Award at the age of seven years.

She was selected to compete at the international Tahitian Dance Competition in San Jose, California in 1996 and 1997. She performed in over fifty professional dance performances island wide. As member of the Waikiki Singers, she was chosen to be the Soprano Soloist, performing Schubert's Mass in G and Amahl and the Night Visitors by Gian Carlo Menotti. At the age of six years, Kilcher was the first child to study classical voice at the University of Hawaii with Laurance Paxton. She also studied Drama with Bill Ogilvie at the Diamond Head Theater. At six years, her mother booked her at venues as featured singer and opening act to some of Hawaii's greats, such as Willie K among others.

In 1999, her mother moved the family to California. Kilcher started to showcase her talent busking on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.~Wikipedia

Bird of Jove by David Bruce

"This 1971 volume relates Bruce's training of a Berkut-a species of [golden] eagle-named Atlanta. The text is part falconing manual and part natural history, with doses of humor thrown in. This remains "a real experience to read" (LJ Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.)"


Abe's Axe is a symbol. Like the firey wand of Hermes, it is the conduit for bringing into action manifestations from the creative imagination. He is not killing vampires so much as freeing living dead men. The great emancipator would like to bring you into the 4th dimension of consciousness. He is going to have to kill you to do this, though. Or, actually, just annihilate your ego to transport you. In this instance, his axe is the craft. A craft is both a transport and a skill. The magician's wand is both. A pen can be mightier than the sword. What's your craft? Use your symbol well. . .

Heal The King!

Heal The King!