Monthly Archives: October 2013

divest.

That Will to Divest

Action creates
a taste
for itself.
Meaning: once
you’ve swept
the shelves
of spoons
and plates
you kept
for guests,
it gets harder
not to also
simplify the larder,
not to dismiss
rooms, not to
divest yourself
of all the chairs
but one, not
to test what
singleness can bear,
once you’ve begun. – Kay Ryan

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22-window

http://www.aprairiehaven.com/?p=2901

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the sweetness of dogs.

“The sweetness of dogs (fifteen)

What do you say, Percy? I am thinking
of sitting out on the sand to watch
the moon rise. Full tonight.
So we go

and the moon rises, so beautiful it
makes me shudder, makes me think about
time and space, makes me take
measure of myself: one iota
pondering heaven. Thus we sit,

I thinking how grateful I am for the moon’s
perfect beauty and also, oh! How rich
it is to love the world. Percy, meanwhile,
leans against me and gazes up into
my face. As though I were
his perfect moon.”  – Mary Oliver

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pain.

“The unending paradox is that we do learn through pain.”  – Madeleine L’Engle

 

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Mount Patterson

Mount Patterson

http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9577

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“Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim–letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor.”  – C.R. Strahan

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who.

“Michaelangelo was asked how he sculpted the magnificent classic statue of David. “I looked into the stone and saw David. Then I simply cleared away everything that wasn’t David.” Our work is exactly the same. We do not have to create who we are……we just need to discover what about our life is not who we are, and let it go.” – Alan Cohen

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Rawhide Mountain

Rawhide Mountain

http://www.summitpost.org/rawhide-mountain-nv/783754

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“Who am I?”….sincere, consistent inquiry into this most important question will eventually reveal that many of the things we identify with, are not who we are. When all of our illusions are peeled away, only divinity remains.”- Alan Cohen

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Ward Mountain

Ward Mountain

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/59905230

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“Who are you? You are not your name, which could change.  Your identity goes far beyond your relationships. You are not your bank account, which rises and falls. You are not your house, from which you come and go. You are not your job, which is temporary.  You are not your emotions, which wax and wane.  You are not your religion, which is a mutable belief system. You are not your body…You are not even your thoughts, which vacillate and turn in all directions. If you are not any of these things that you commonly identify with, who are you? We are spiritual beings, and any other identity detracts from the majesty of our true essence.  Let go of false beliefs about yourself, that the true you may shine in all its splendor.” – Alan Cohen

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insight.

“Everything can change in a heartbeat; it can slip away in an instant. Everything you trust, and treasure, whatever brings you comfort, comes at a terrible cost. Health is temporary; money disappears. Safety is nothing but an illusion.

So when the moment comes, and everything you depend upon changes, or perhaps someone you love disappears, or no longer loves you, must disaster follow? Or will you-somehow-adapt?”  – Margaret Overton

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Olympic Peninsula Evening Sky

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“There are patterns in everything, in the whole of Nature, from the way the stars turn in the heavens to the whorl of a shell or the petals of a flower and the way leaves arrange themselves about a twig. There are forces, hidden forces. If I can discover what they are, how they operate, I will have my hands upon the levers of creation and can work them myself.”  – Celia Rees

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sensitive souls.

“In a college psychology class, I was required to read a book subtitled, “The Mental Institution as a Last Resort”. The book’s thesis was that many people in mental institutions are not crazy, but just more sensitive than most people in society.  The authors suggested that many mental patients are simply too fine tuned to fit into the mainstream, and an institution is a safe place – similar to an ashram or monastery – where they can be who they are without having to adapt to a society that is in many ways more insane than they are.

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kings canyon

kings canyon

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/California/Kings_Canyon_National_Park-753470/General_Tips-Kings_Canyon_National_Park-TG-C-1.html

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“Hilda Charlton noted that souls who are particularly fine-tuned emotionally, artistically or spiritually are often unable to cope with the heaviness of the world, and so they turn to various addictions to escape.  Alcoholics, drug addicts and many mental patients are highly evolved souls who cannot find comfort, acceptance or a forum for expression in their worldly circles, so they sedate their sense of homelessness with chemicals or insanity. Indeeed, many great artists, musicians, thinkers, inventors and visionaries have sought to take refuge in addiction or illusion.

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Deadman Canyon, Kings Canyon National Park

Deadman Canyon, Kings Canyon National Park

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/77200510

* * *

“…..we do not need to escape from the world we see, for it is not a place of truth…..In the Hindu culture, holy men and women are revered and cared for by the society. Saints and mystics are not tested, prodded, poked, cross-examined, rationalized, written-off and shunned as they are in the West. In that culture, genuine visionaries are supported to do their spiritual work… Let’s honor our sensitivity and create a supportive space for talented souls to express their true selves..” – Alan Cohen

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desert.

“Everything that ever happened to me that was important happened in the desert.”  – Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

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Land Vernon AZ

Land Vernon AZ

http://www.landsofarizona.com/arizona/land-for-sale/50-acres-in-Apache-County-Arizona/id/1073650

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“He’d always had a quickening of the heart when he crossed into Arizona and beheld the cactus country. This was as the desert should be, this was the desert of the picture books, with the land unrolled to the farthest distant horizon hills, with saguaro standing sentinel in their strange chessboard pattern, towering supinely above the fans of ocotillo and brushy mesquite.”  – Dorothy B. Hughes

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near Pinetop AZ

near Pinetop AZ

http://www.city-data.com/picfilesv/picv27054.php

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“The fire. The odor of burning juniper is the sweetest fragrance on the face of the earth, in my honest judgment; I doubt if all the smoking censers of Dante’s paradise could equal it. One breath of juniper smoke, like the perfume of sagebrush after rain, evokes in magical catalysis, like certain music, the space and light and clarity and piercing strangeness of the American West. Long may it burn.”  – Edward Abbey

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National Parks: Shutting Down America’s Best Idea

Grand Canyon North Rim

Grand Canyon North Rim

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grand_Canyon_-_North_Rim_Panorama_-_Sept_2004.jpg

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http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131002-national-parks-shutting-down-americas-best-idea/

National Parks: Shutting Down America’s Best Idea

The parks are essential to the country’s well-being.

A U.S. Park Police officer watches at left as a National Park Service
employee posts a sign on a barricade closing access to the Lincoln
Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

Kenneth Brower

National Geographic

Published October 2, 2013

Yesterday, as the U.S. government shut down, all 401 of our national
parks closed their gates. The campers and visitors inside were given
two days to leave. It was no great surprise.

We had gone to sleep the night before knowing that time had run out;
there would be no last-minute return to sanity in Congress, no daring
White House maneuver that might avert the shutdown. The sequester of
last March, with its closing of selected parks, national monuments,
and historical sites, had given us a preview and some degree of
preparation for bigger hits this time. Yet one word in my morning
paper stopped me in mid-paragraph and made me bristle: “nonessential.”

Of all federal endeavors deemed nonessential by the government, I
learned, the national parks are at the top of the list. Really? I
found myself questioning priorities. Many of the choices made in the
present crisis do make some sense: The military will not be
furloughed, nor will Social Security workers or air traffic
controllers. Some of the shutdowns are even to be celebrated, if you
happen to share my values: No new oil or gas leases will be contracted
on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, and IRS
offices are closing here and there around the country.

Mark Weekley, superintendent at the National Park Service’s Lewis and
Clark National Historical Trail, affixes the edges of a sign
proclaiming the facility closed due to the federal government
shutdown, in Omaha, Neb., on Tuesday.

There are gray areas in between, of course. Just now, in writing this,
I heard the postal van and walked down, as usual, to meet my mail
carrier on the driveway. I was glad to see her unfurloughed and losing
no pay. And yet. It was one of those junk-mail days, with not one
piece of actual correspondence, not a single letter addressed to me. I
walked the envelope of coupons from Valpak.com and the sales fliers
from Lucky, Safeway, Subway, and ADT Home Security straight to the
recycling bin. Was this sheaf of cheap print really more essential
than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion, Acadia, and Glacier Bay?

“The best idea we’ve ever had,” Wallace Stegner wrote of the park
system. Ken Burns, in making his documentary on the national parks,
recast the phrase as”America’s Best Idea.” Stegner, in his famous
“Wilderness Letter,” went on to make the best case for the wild
terrain that is the quintessential core of many of our national parks
and forests. “We simply need that wild country available to us,” he
concluded, “even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look
in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as
creatures, a part of the geography of hope.”

The national parks hold the landscapes that formed us as Americans.
The long vistas, the possibilities over the horizon, the purple
mountains’ majesty, distinguished our experience from that of the
Africans, Europeans, Asians, and islanders that we were before we
came. The national parks are where we go to renew contact with that
experience. Can there be a connection between the partisan hostility
of the moment, the governmental paralysis, and our loss of contact
with those roots? Is it possible we were not meant to live like canned
sardines?

It was in wilderness that we became Homo sapiens. Our evolution was
not in the Information Age, or the Space Age, or the Atomic, or the
Industrial. It came long before the invention of agriculture or fire.
We evolved as hunter-gatherers in the wild landscape of Mother Africa.
It is in wilderness that we meet ourselves face to face.

It is easy to take for granted what a remarkable creation the national
parks are, and what a great slice of Creation they contain. The
National Park System spans 82° of latitude, from Gates of the Arctic
National Park at 70° N, to American Samoa National Park at 12° S. It
spans 90° of longitude, from Katmai National Park on the Gulf of
Alaska (and American Samoa National Park 7,500 miles south on the same
meridian) to Virgin Islands National Park in the Caribbean. The
highest point in North America is the summit of Mount McKinley, at
20,320 feet in Denali National Park. The lowest is Badwater Basin, at
282 feet below sea level in Death Valley National Park. The coldest is
Mount McKinley, where in 2003 the wind chill reached minus 118.1
degrees Fahrenheit (47.8 degrees Celsius), a North American record.
The hottest is Death Valley, where at Furnace Creek, on July 10, 1913,
the temperature reached 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56.6 degrees Celsius).
Death Valley, no surprise, also scores as the driest, with just 1.8
inches (45.7 millimeters) of annual rainfall.

The tallest tree on Earth, the coastal redwood Sequoia sempervirens,
grows in Redwood National Park in California. The biggest, the
redwood’s inland cousin, the giant sequoia Sequoiadendron
giganteum—the most massive organism ever to live—grows in Kings
Canyon, Sequoia, and Yosemite National Parks. The longest cave system
on Earth lies in, or under, Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.
The deepest lake in the United States, at 1,943 feet (592 meters),
fills the caldera of Crater Lake National Park. The tallest dunes in
North America, 750 feet (228.6 meters) from base to crest, march
across Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.

The National Park System, expansive in space, also spans great gulfs
of time. A mile deep in Grand Canyon National Park, in the inner gorge
of the Colorado, the river has cut into a basement layer of rock 1.75
billion years old. A river-runner floats by walls of metavolcanic
Brahma Schist laid down when the highest form of life on Earth was
blue-green algae.

In Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, the rock is brand-new. Kilauea
Volcano, in the middle of the park, has been in continuous eruption
for the past 30 years. Shield your face against the heat of one of
Kilauea’s molten streams, dip the point of your geological hammer in,
and you will come away with a glowing gob of lava at the tip. In
seconds the glow fades. The gob blackens. In a minute it is cool
enough to touch. Newborn basalt.

The last of the tallgrass prairie, which once covered 140 million
acres of North America, is preserved at Tallgrass Prairie National
Preserve in Kansas. The largest stands of saguaro cactus are protected
at Organ Pipe National Monument and Saguaro National Park. The last
wild bison herds roam Yellowstone, Theodore Roosevelt, and Badlands
National Parks. Florida panthers, the last cougars in the eastern
United States, take refuge in Everglades National Park and two nearby
reserves. Big Bend National Park in Texas, Grand Canyon in Arizona,
and Noatak Natural Preserve in Alaska preserve the beauty and
integrity of the nation’s finest stream courses.

Manassas National Battlefield Park, Gettysburg National Park, Little
Bighorn National Monument, and dozens of National Historical Sites
(Jamestown, Andrew Johnson, Fort Bowie, Harpers Ferry, John Muir,
Truman, Martin Luther King Jr., Brown vs. Board of Education) preserve
American history.

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument (from the Archaic period of Pueblo
civilization), Chaco Culture Natural Historical Park (from the Pueblo
II period), Mesa Verde National Park (Pueblo III), and Pecos Natural
History Park (Pueblo IV), preserve American prehistory, as do
Petroglyph, Aztec Ruins, Montezumas Castle, Bandelier, Wupatki, Walnut
Camp, Navajo, Hovenweep, and assorted other national monuments.

Dinosaur National Monument in Utah, with its fossils of
Allosaurus,Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, and Stegosaurus, along with
Badlands National Park in South Dakota, with its fossils of rhinos,
horses, and saber-toothed cats, and Petrified Forest National Park in
Arizona, with its fossil cycads, extinct conifers, phytosaurs, and
crocodylomorphs, all preserve American pre-prehistory, the
paleontological record of our land.

The National Park System is, in so many ways, the measure of our place
and of ourselves. If anything good comes of the shutdown, it may be
that it gives us the opportunity to see how we like it without our
parks, and to see what they mean to us.

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fun.

“That does it,” said Jace. “I’m going to get you a dictionary for Christmas this year.”
“Why?” Isabelle said.
“So you can look up ‘fun.’ I’m not sure you know what it means.”  – Cassandra Clare

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Karen GC

* * *

“We lusty bibliophiles know that reading, unlike just about anything else, is both good for you and loads of fun.”  – Kevin Snokler

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Nothing you can do, Average White Band, 1974

* * *

“In terms of days and moments lived, you’ll never again be as young as you are right now, so spend this day, the youth of your future, in a way that deflects regret. Invest in yourself. Have some fun. Do something important. Love somebody extra. In one sense, you’re just a kid, but a kid with enough years on her to know that every day is priceless.” – Victoria Moran

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That’s the Way of the World, Earth Wind and Fire, 1975

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“We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything, than when we are at play.”  – Charles Schaefer

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