Friday, December 25, 2009

a poem to end revels with no end at all = an end of ending

Revels re-revealed

For just a few short seasons of mundanity
Our village will disperse and disappear
But this will not result in dire calamity
For what was once belov’d is ever dear.

We celebrate the circle, not the silly line.
As fire stays the same the while it burns,
And each year’s summer’s air is warm and feels divine,
So time stops (in a sense) as time returns.

Here is a law of paradox on our dear earth:
All things that come around remain the same!
Of course there is an otherness in their rebirth
And every play and player must stake claim.

A spring is a spring is a spring as we all know
And Revels will reveal how this is ever so.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

revels season

i know i should post all sorts of stories about backstage revels interactions, but i shall not. backstage is offstage; and what is onstage is public.
this year's show is set in bavaria, so we FINALLY get german music in the revels! we will sing beethoven's ninth symphony as an audience sing-along. this should be the height of fun for the show. strangely i had never sung the Ode to Joy before...

the recurring theme is saint nikolaus, and how he is not quite the same as santa claus. as always the revels will look fabulous, sound great and invite everybody into the village for seasonal songs and a heartfelt blessing.

december 11-20 at the scottish rite center in their glorious hemidemispherical theater... right on the lake in oakland.

Friday, November 13, 2009

glowing buildings

another of my favourite accidental artworks: the setting sun reflects off of buildings in the distance.
this ephemeral moment is among the reasons i love to carry a camera.

aeolian panpipes

the guardrails around Hawk Hill in the marin headlands have little holes in them which the wind blows across, turning the set of rails into a giant panpipe. it is an amazing sound. i have heard an installation of pipes built by a french artist, which used a similar technique to harness wind to make a panpipe play.
i am pretty sure that this result was accidental in this case, but the sound is still magical!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

miko in san francisco with SF icon

just in case anybody was doubting that i am back in my home turf: here i am with the bridge that says "i left my heart in san francisco". about forty minutes after this photo, i was cycling in the marin headlands on a trail which is hiding in the greenery just behind my gesturing fingers.

goddess of peace

this goddess of peace overlooks the golden gate bridge, blessing all who pass through the region.

here is the olive branch which symbolizes peace.

here is my offering to Her.
may peace prevail on earth!
paco regu sur la tero!

not fresh, but still current: homage to gandhi-ji

this man is my greatest hero: maha-atma = great soul.
peace was his goal. let it be.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

chinese magic wand

this magic wand is on display at the asian art museum in san francisco. magic is art; art is magic

some sculpture on display in santa fe

these twisting forms remind me of infinity. two infinities = cozmic!

Monday, September 21, 2009

no post is new post is no post

since nobody much reads or comments, i have been neglecting this site.

here is an update: lots has happened. more to follow.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

so long, santa fe!

it's been a great extended visit (short residence?) in the land of enchantment.... and now i must roll onward to new adventures. whither away? je ne sais pas....

this morning i cycled my last local trip: out to el dorado by the direct route, to compare it to the dirt trail which i had followed thither a few days ago.. the road up and the road down are NOT one and the same....

Monday, August 10, 2009

rant about (im)morality of war

i wrote this in response to a conservative christian editorial piece which my brother had sent me. i will give the link below in case anybody cares to see the silly propaganda which the religious right-wing is producing. anti-gay, anti-stem-cell-research... you know the drill...


as long as we are considering moral issues and rejecting apathy, may i propose that we consider the moral implications of war? the USA has spent over a trillion dollars of our tax money to fight two (maybe three) wars in the middle east. the retributions from these wars will certainly last decades. i propose that it is immoral to kill people based on political views. i think it was immoral for the USA to invade vietnam to stop them from choosing communist leaders; and it was immoral to invade iraq because they might possibly have some weapons which they didn't have; and it is immoral to occupy afghanistan to influence their political development.

as long as the middle east is full of foreign (american) soldiers, the radical conservatives among the taliban will have a cause around which to rally their support.

as long as american citizens are apathetic about our overseas violence, we will continue to reap the fruits of violence. the citizens of afghanistan and pakistan whose relatives have been killed by american air strikes are NOT apathetic: our war efforts are creating enemies by the thousands.

"he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword." (Matthew 26:52 ) i believe it is time to put down the sword.

today is the anniversary of the SECOND use of nuclear weapons against human targets. we have become frightfully apathetic about these terrible weapons. we have been convinced that "the cold war is over" and so we have stopped thinking about what will happen when somebody decides to use nuclear weapons in war or as a terrorist attack. this is IMHO the biggest threat to humankind, which utterly dwarfs any other problem we face. and yet we are completely apathetic about it.


opposing stem cell research or same-sex marriage is just petty distraction compared to nuclear war.

if you plan to end your apathy through action about something important, look at the nuclear sword of damocles which can nullify all other issues.

if you actually believe that the government should decide who is allowed to marry, and that this is an important moral issue, by all means reject apathy about this and do something, but consider the moral implications of encouraging our government to DENY rights of couples who seek domestic tranquility: this strikes me as counter-productive. shouldn't we encourage love and stable relationships based on love?

and if you really oppose stem cell research, think about people you know who are in wheelchairs or suffering diseases which might be cured as a result of this amazing medical development...

but really, people, look at the BIG picture. the article was correct that apathy reigns and has drained us of our will to improve things. what can we do for our children and grand-children? we have to start by figuring out a way that they will not be burned up in a nuclear war. as long as those horrible weapons are armed and aimed, the threat of annihilation of all human life is quite real.

we cannot afford to be apathetic. do something. anything.


since i am receiving error messages regarding the URL of the article, i will just cut 'n' paste it here:

Rejecting Apathy
The Church and American Civilization

August 7, 2009

Many Christians, once motivated by protecting the sanctity of life, religious freedom, and traditional marriage, seem inconsolable—as if the fight is over and there’s nothing we can do about it.

But embracing this attitude is a certain prescription for disaster.

I received last month a newsletter by Don Reeverts of the Denver Leadership Foundation. In it he gives the following quote, often attributed to an 18th-century Scottish writer:

The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence...from bondage to spiritual faith...from spiritual faith to courage...from courage to liberty...from liberty to abundance...from abundance to selfishness...from selfishness to complacency…from complacency to apathy...from apathy to dependency...from dependency back to bondage.

These are sobering words. This question of where America is in the cycle should be extremely important for Christians. That’s because I firmly believe that culture is nothing but religion incarnate—that when we see a culture losing its moral footing, it’s because believers have failed to bring Christian truth to bear in society. We haven’t been, as Calvin put it, making the invisible kingdom visible.

So what stage are we in? Reeverts thinks we are entering the stage of apathy. And I hate to say it, but I agree. I am finding growing apathy among believers.

Apathy manifests itself in how people dress, how they talk, how they care for each other—and how concerned they are about the great issues of the day. It resembles what the Greeks called acedia, a languidness, a torpor, in which we stop caring about anything.

Apathy inevitably leads to dependency. And once we become dependent on Big Brother, we are back in bondage. Can anybody really watch the dramatic growth of governmental power and not be alarmed? For the fact of the matter is that the more government acts as God, the less people depend on the one true God.

Your congressmen and senators are home now for summer recess. Have you contacted them?Are you angry about what’s happening in this country today? Things like the elimination of the conscience clause for medical professionals, or embryonic stem cell research, or the advance of gay “marriage,” or threats to religious liberties, or government making life-and-death decisions in health care?If you’re not upset about those things, you’ve succumbed to apathy already.

I can’t imagine anybody sitting at home, comfortably watching us slip into a state of dependency without getting outraged, and then without expressing that outrage.

If we value our liberties, if we believe in the most fundamental principles upon which our civilization is based, then we owe it to our God and to future generations to speak out.

Institutions aren’t going to change the course of America; but great movements have changed the course of the nation and will again. And what better network to fuel a movement than the Church? Rejecting apathy and trusting in God, firm in our belief in human dignity and our God-given liberties, the Church can ignite a fire in this country.

Do we get it? I pray that we do.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

graduation day

it's official: i can add M.A. after my name.
but so what? will a degree in asian philosophy & literature help me find a job?
stay tuned!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

hail the day!

it is almost the last day in july, and we have a HUGE hailstorm today. hailstones of almost an inch diameter are BOUNCING two feet up off the car hood and off the astroturf in the back yard... and last night we had to wear sweaters against the chill.

some wanker stole my camera yesterday, so i can't post photos of this amazing event. the front yard is solid white from the accumulated iceballs.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

if one is good, two are better

uncle sam and mini-uncle-sam.....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

uncle sam waving a flag: ain't he cute?

this was on the hood of an antique car on display on independence day in downtown santa fe.

Friday, July 10, 2009

NM skull

this seems suddenly appropriate somehow.... it's HOT today!

Monday, June 22, 2009

southwest pieta

this is on the campus of arizona state university in tempe. this image is quite common in mexico: an aztec warrior cradles a dead maiden, who is honored by the snake and eagle.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

a wee bit o' dance

these fellows are hopi, but they dance and sing in a north-plains style. this is normal in the post-modern world of native culture.

ancient isis

hansa is pointing to the isis temple, a formation in the grand canyon. there is also a buddha temple, a temple of osiris, a shiva temple, etc. this is a HOLY place! a fitting response to the profoundly ancient carvings: the rocks are up to a billion and a half years old, while the carving is "only" a few million years old; and it is (of course) still a work in progress.

hoop dancer at grand canyon visitor center

the native people do a good job of maintaining their culture under the current circumstances. even though this style of fancy dance has roots in the northern plains, the hopi people tell THEIR stories during the presentation, and inform the tourists of some of the local history from THEIR point of view.

en route to the wild wild west

i confess i like the old wagons and such that litter the tourist sites along route sixty six. this is near the petrified forest, so they sell all manner of stone logs.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

astronomy alert!

in the early morning (pre-dawn) sky, venus and mars are doing a brilliant dance which will show them conjunct on solstice morning june 21. but this thursday and friday, the crescent moon will join them for an even more spectacular trio-dance. don't miss it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

vacation report (more to follow)

hansa and i have just returned from three weeks in and around california. we stopped en route to visit my brother and some pals in phoenix, stared in wonder at the grand canyon, stopped briefly in las vegas, visited friends in yosemite, spent several days with mom & dad in miwuk village and then headed down to the bay area, which provided amusement and distraction a-plenty, and a job interview which seems to be about to bear fruit....
too much driving! over three thousand miles, including a mad dash oakland ==> santa fe in two days.
photos and comments to follow in a day or three.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

santa fe police car

these guys got CLASS, n'est-ce pas?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

another archive photo from india: illiterate monkey!

this fool either can't read the sign, or he is just a rebel...

archangels in a row

here in the city of the Holly Faith, there are many angels: here are some of my favourites. there are seven of these archangels in a row alongside the santa fe "river" park, which river only occasionally has water in it.... they bless passers-by, whether walking, biking, driving... many of those blessed are tourists who didn't even know that this was why they had come to santa fe: to receive drive-by blessings in the city of the holy faith...

buddha in chains

there is a frequent image in buddhist writings of freeing oneself from fetters. i love the literalness of this photo.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ganesha already lived here

as many of you readers know, i am quite fond of lord ganesha, remover of obstacles, inventor of writing, singer of AUM, etc etc

this picture of him was already hanging on the side of our house: no wonder we got to live in this sweet little house!

a left-over photo: last summer's trip to NL

i like this photo so much i just decided to post it here rather than going back to stick it into proper chronological order, where it would be missed by any reader just checking the most current posts....
this is carved on the wall of a cave outside of maastricht in southern netherlands. i wish i could hear these guys play!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

yet ANOTHER spring!

maybe this time it will be the real deal, instead of a little interlude to trick the trees into blossoming early...
that's santa fe for ya: maybe there will be bushels of apricots and peaches, and maybe there will be none.

Friday, April 10, 2009

winter fashion

this matching ensemble of hat and stole was all the rage: a fashion statement for the return of winter.

this mermaid looks less like a fish out of water now that she is covered in water crystals... was she just following fashion? or was her skin thirsty for moisture?

other pix from last snow storm

the snow won't kill the ivy: it is WAY too tough for a few days of frost to be threat.... and ain't it pretty?!

and these two buddhas have such self-control that they are not even perturbed a bit by their chilly blanket.

Monday, March 30, 2009

a return of winter = welcome to santa fe

this is not unusual: the buds had all decided it was safe to come out, since it had been warm here already for weeks... but then a blip of a storm survived the journey southwards and dumped four more inches of snow on us. the blossoms will not survive. there will be little fruit on the trees at the height of summer. but the bulb-flowers have survived: there are still tulips and daffodils!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

it's spring!

today is the first day of spring, and santa fe is FULLY in bloom. the pollen count is so high that most people with any tendency to allergies are wheezing and sniffling, but i am free from that curse, so it is pure pleasure for my eyes and nose. the air is scented with a dozen natural perfumes. and i just repaired my roller skates, so there is a new dimension to my daily program of fun.

Friday, March 6, 2009

uncle sam still advocating peace

here i am at cerrillos road and st francis, one of santa fe's busiest intersections. there is a peace vigil there every friday at noon. i participate pretty regularly. i am standing next to ken mayers from who also participates regularly. we get a LOT of positive feedback, and the occasional redneck paranoid nonsense.

Monday, February 9, 2009

happy new year!

it is the first FULL MOON of the new year. gung hay fat choy!

here is a Tarot card which i picked to represent the energy of the coming year... may your cups overflow with happiness and joy!

Monday, February 2, 2009

sculpture sculpture everywhere

we live quite near to canyon road in santa fe, where there are an amazing number of art galleries, many of which specialize in sculpture. this is a scene from one of my favourite sculpture gardens: it is a large (four meters or so) quan yin flanked by aolian harps, which hum when the wind blows through them. celestial music for the bodhisattva of compassion!

here she is from closer.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

back to school: sanskrit, krishna & buddha

i am glad to be back to being a student, rather than a teacher. i can drink in knowledge rather than helping others get their share.

Friday, January 9, 2009

a little backing up: i visited st john's in annapolis when i was in DC

here i am on campus: i had never been to annapolis before. i regret i did not make more time for this quaint town, and especially i regret not allotting enough time to experience st john's as deeply as it deserves...

here i am with the astrolabe. why am i still dressed as uncle$am? this is thanksgiving day, for goodness' sake!

this is my friend louise and i in front of the Great Hall.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

life in santa fe

here is where we live. this classic adobe structure was built in the 1950s by the parents of our landlady who lives next door in the other half of the house.

this is our back yard.

it was snowing quite a bit when we arrived, but rather little since then. there is still quite a bit of snow in shady spots, but the sun has melted it mostly away.

i am still spending most of my time trying to remember sanskrit grammar. and there are still a lot of little jobs dealing with pots & pans, bicycle tires, and of course SHOPPING.... there are two health food stores nearby: wholefoods and a local co-op, which we joined. the town is still in post christmas recovery mode relative to the arts, so we haven't been to any concerts etc.

soon the college will re-start so we can go to dance lessons and lectures etc up the hill.

realistically as soon as classes start, i will be studying FULL-TIME so i will not desire entertainment. i have my books and my poetry to protect me...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

happy new year!

we went to a ceremony of green tara in which ten tibetan monks finished and blessed a sand-painting mandala, and then they destroyed it!

may there be peace and compassion and love throughout all creation!

om tare tuttare ture soha!