Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Fun Free CD and Coloring Book

 Blog fellows Todd Baio (aka Ukester Brother Sonny) and Jenny Stevning recently held a first-come, first-served Fun Free CD and Coloring Project give away on their blogs. I was the first responder.

I won!


A few days later my letter carrier left an envelope in my mailbox containing a CD by Todd and a coloring book by Jenny and Todd.

I listened and sang along to Todd's CD ("Mama's Little Baby Loves Shortnin, Shortnin, Mama's Little Baby Loves Shortennin' Brayd") on my short drive to the Russian River yesterday for another afternoon of sublime paddling.

And today I got out my Prismcolors to begin coloring. (The kindergartners will soon return, so it's good to start back into coloring!)

As Louis Armstrong sang,
"What a wonderful world!"

The Russian River downstream of Monte Rio, a quiet paddler's paradise.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dr Seuss Quote

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

—Dr. Seuss

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Standing Up for Blogging

My neighbor told me that sitting is bad for you. His comment piqued my interest, so I went online and came across several items about the harmful effects of sitting too much. Here's one of them:

Sitting is Bad for You

I cannot claim to have any expertise on this matter, but my subjective experience agreed with what my neighbor had to say: My body feels its worst after prolonged sitting—something that occurs most frequently when I'm on the computer.

To remedy this problem, I've moved my blogspot. Now I must stand to use my computer.

My "Blogspot" looks like this:

My blogspot. 
On the floor are speakers playing the Pandora station du jour, usually jazz. 
The open door lets in California wine country breezes and light.

I suspect that standing for long periods of time isn't good for one's health either.

That's okay: standing at the computer is self-limiting—I can't "stand it" for more than about 10 minutes at a time.

Soon I walk away from virtual reality into actual reality.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Grateful Cinquain

first people's gift
bequeathed to float us home
graceful grateful paradise still
here now

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dialogue Haiku: Complete

If only you knew:
You are already complete.
You just don't know it.

Dialogue Haiku is a form of collaboration, this one over time and space. Two authors contribute to it. I composed the first line. The second and third lines were written by Zen Master Seung Sahn.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Contemplating the First Precept

The first Buddhist precept is non-harming.

Each fall my classroom is invaded with hundreds (maybe thousands?) of common house flies. Our school's out in the country and there are cows and horses around. Lotsa flies, too. I have swatted countless flies. During my career, I've become an accurate and efficient user of the fly swatter, but each year it's harder and harder for me to do it..

I know the flies I swat just want to have a good day. They're going about their business, not meaning me any harm. I'll admit that they give me plenty of unwanted attention from time to time. Especially right before they die off, around Thanksgiving. That's when they can get really pesky and land over and over again somewhere on my head.

When I kill them, I feel like a murderer. Am I alone in feeling this way? Please, someone tell me I'm not too weird, not alone in this feeling.

 Here's a Haiku:

please do not swat me
let me clean myself in peace
we'll all fly away

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Small is Beautiful!

Trathen Heckman is a friend of mine and he's featured on this video. I've met Jay Shafer and have been through his Tumbleweed home. It's very appealing to me.

It makes me wish I lived in a smaller house than the small one I live in. (With apologies for the intrusion of advertising from Cheerios on this otherwise advertisement free blog.)

Haiku by Issa

oh, do not swat them
unhappy flies forever
wringing their thin hands


Friday, July 16, 2010

Let Me Be Beautiful Like Sea Glass

Sonoma County's Poet Laureate, Gwynn O'Gara graced us with her poetry last weekend at our backyard party kicking off Sarah's reelection campaign for City Council.
  Gwynn, in straw hat, reciting her poetry.

Gwynn kindly recited this poem twice at my request.

I love the sibilance of the waves in the opening three lines and the wisdom in the final line. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Let Me Be Beautiful Like Sea Glass

Let my edges that cut be stroked by sand and salt
let my slick surface coarsen till it’s crushed to bits
let my colors soften as they scrape the bottom
let the waves love me in their rough way
let me be changed by that love
let me not forget I held another
yet fully inhabit my particularity
let me be smooth enough to be rubbed by small fingers
and slipped inside a pocket or a bowl
let me prove that beauty is born when something breaks

—Gwynn O’Gara

This poem was published in Arestes, Spring/Summer 2009

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Canoe Haiku

sitting at anchor
on the floor of a canoe
wave meditation

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kindness by Jim Wilson

My friend, poet Jim Wilson posted this poem on his blog the other day. He gave me permission to post it here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.



We walk this earth.
We have
But a short time.
We resemble grasses;
Green in the spring,
Brown in the summer heat,
Withering in the winter wind.
Those who understand this
Put aside their useless quarrels.
The cosmos is unfathomably vast.
The human mind is very small.
An act of kindness is never wasted;
It is the gateway to the deathless and unborn,
It is the exultation of the heart.

--by Jim Wilson
Shaping Words

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Paddling Upstream

paddling upstream
longing to find the calm mind
before climate change

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gratitude July 6, 2010 Happy Birthday!

Today "Anonymous" left a welcome comment on a post I did more than a year and a half ago. The post was one in the series of currently neglected gratitude posts. Anon must have intuited that I've been feeling a little blue lately, probably because I'm not getting the recommended daily allowance of five year-old energy that keeps me going during the school year.

So it's time to turn my attention towards gratitude, and what's a more obvious place to direct feelings of gratitude than the birthday boy. He's not 5; he's 75!

Happy Birthday, and thanks for all presents and presence you've given to the world!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Etheree Etheree

This is a poem about a form of poetry I enjoy writing:

Etheree Etheree

as oaks
or poppies
unfold slowly
from a simple seed
so, too, do Etherees
little bit by little bit
gradually reveal themselves
homespun, modest, elegant, complete
in ten lines and fifty-five syllables.