Friday, October 31, 2008

tricks or treats

Trick or treat, smell my feet.
Give me something good to eat.
If you don't, I won't be sad.
I'll just make you wish you had!

on the back porch is a bin that contains peanuts for the backyard wildlife. normally the bin is stored underneath a bench. I was in such a rush yesterday when I left the house I forgot to push it back under the bench. when I got home I walked up on the porch and saw the porch littered with peanut shells and then discovered this guy in the bin! when he saw me, he calmly jumped on the bench and proceeded to eat the peanut just inches away from me. as I was coming home, I had my bag with me and so of course had the camera - whipped it out and snap. this little fellow has gotten mighty tame. I wouldn't be surprised if one day I hear a knock and find one of the back yard squirrels there -- chastising me for being behind on getting the treats out! anyone familiar with squirrels know they can be quite insistent!

speaking of trick or treating. tuesday ms t and lil b discovered the bin with e's old wigs. we had fun playing with them. ms t took her favorite one home with her so she could wear it tonight when she goes trick or treating - of course, she's going as a fairy princess!

lil b's ma said she'll be holding on to the pics in case there's any need to blackmail b when he gets to high school!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

light and shadow

across cultures, religions, and time, altars exist as special places upon which offerings, rituals, and ceremonies take place. an altar can be erected anywhere - in temples, churches, shrines, homes and even street corners or mountain tops.

a few snaps of altars captured around and about ....

The dead are not gone forever.
They are in the paling shadows,
And in the darkening shadows.
The dead are not beneath the ground,
They are in the rustling tree,
In the murmuring wood,
In the flowing water,
In the still water,
In the lonely place, in the crowd:
The dead are not dead.
Birago Diop (1906-1989) Senegalese author and veterinary surgeon, this poem was adapted into a song by sweet honey and the rock

Lamps make oil-spots and candles need snuffing; it is only the light of heaven that shines pure and leaves no stain.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German playwright, poet, and novelist

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
Buddha (563-483 B.C.E.) Hindu prince, teacher, philosopher

The greatest difficulty is that men do not think enough of themselves, do not consider what it is that they are sacrificing when they follow in a herd, or when they cater for their establishment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) philosopher, poet, essayist

But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
Luke 2:19

There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.
Aeschylus (525-456 B.C.E.), Ancient Greek dramatist

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) Danish philosopher and theologian

notes on photos:
1) dia de los muertos (day of the dead) altar, cleveland, ohio, october 2007
2) st. mary's church, mcadoo, pennsylvania - this summer st. mary's has closed it's doors may, 2008
3) tibetan buddhist altar erected by monks from namgyal monastery, cleveland, ohio, september, 2005
4) altar at the ruins of palenque, chiapas mexico (yes, that is me lying on the stone) august, 1974
5) altar to our lady of guadalupe, cathédrale notre dame de paris, france, october, 2005
6) street corner altar in honor and memory of a young girl, cleveland, ohio, october 2008
7) home altar, october 2008

lisa gerrard of dead can dance performing sanvean- I am your shadow from her first solo album.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

perennial favorites

The highways of life are full of flat squirrels who couldn't make up their minds.

much better to be a fat squirrel than a flat squirrel!! thanks paula for sending this quote - according to our local library october is squirrel awareness month, this mouse thinks it's a good to be aware of our furry friends every month!!

the squirrel nut zippers with ghost of stephen foster - from their album perennial favorites. a hilarious music video featuring all sorts of rodent hijinks

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


tony hillerman
may 27, 1925 - october 26, 2008

Everything is connected...The wing of the corn beetle affects the direction of the wind, the way the sand drifts, the way the light reflects in the eye of man beholding his reality. All is part of totality, and in this totality man finds his hozhó, his way of walking in harmony, with beauty all around him.
jim chee speaking in ghostway, a novel by tony hillerman (1984)

on sunday writer tony hillerman died. for a quarter of a century I have been been a fan and avid reader of anything by the lyrical and captivating tony hillerman. his mysteries feature the stoic navajo police lieutenant joe leaphorn and the endearing and spiritual tribal police sargent jim chee. hillerman has done much to educate the public on the ways of the native peoples of the southwest. along with providing insights into the culture and values of indian culture, all of hillerman's books - fiction and non-fiction, celebrate the beauty and unique landscape and ecology of this part of north america. marilyn stasio in yesterday's new york times wrote a wonderful and informative tribute to mr. hillerman - in case you missed it go here.

if you have never read any hillerman, I'm sorry - you don't know what you missed. by the way three of mr. hillerman's books have been adapted as movies for television. I've seen them all, although not as good as the books they aren't bad. I expect they are all available as dvds.

hágoónee' is how to say goodbye in navajo

photo: warrior mouse, a kachina that lives in our house.

better way

yesterday I did vote early and let me say what a rush! and if the line we encountered yesterday is indicative of what we can expect on tuesday - WOW! maybe the era of voter apathy and low voter turn-out will be finally over!! let's just hope and pray that this year voter turnout is so high and the vote for obama so strong that there will be NO WAY that certain forces can steal another presidential election.

top 10 reasons to vote early (the following is from here)

1. Why put off the most important act one can do as a citizen until the last minute? What if you get hit by another car at an intersection on your way to vote? What if you have a horrible case of diarrhea and can't leave your house to vote? Unlikely? Maybe. But these things or other things will occur that cause people who intended to vote for Obama to miss there chance. To bad those folks didn't vote early. Those are lost votes that can't be gotten back. Voting early means more votes total, in the end, for Obama.

2. It makes life so much easier for all the staff and volunteers. When you vote, your name is crossed off the list. The campaign doesn't have to put valuable time and resources into knocking on your door and calling your phone making sure you vote if you are already voted. It means we get more votes.

3. It makes it easier for other people to vote. Less people at the polls on the 4th means shorter lines and more people voting faster. Means Obama gets more votes.

4. If you vote early you can devote all day on the 4th to helping turnout others to vote

5. If you want change but are unwilling to change your voting routine to maximize the chance to win, then how badly do you really want change? Ask yourself.

6. Voting early feels exactly the same as voting later. Except it's better, because it maximizes our chances to win.

7. Voting early helps ease traffic congestion. It helps fight global warming.

8. Voting early scares the crap out of the GOP. They have attempted to shut down and limit early voting all across the country. Scare the GOP. Vote early!

9. Voting early is a statement of intent to win. If you want to win, vote early.

10. Voting early shows you are ready to be a part of something bigger than yourself. It's a commitment to team Obama and it says, 'Obama asked me to vote early if at all possible. So I did.'

ben harper's infectious tune better way - today is ben's 39th birthday! happy birthday ben - ben, can I call you 10 for today?

Monday, October 27, 2008

drivin' 5 to the polls

last night I returned home from a trip down to metro dc to visit my folks in northern virginia. it was a spontaneous trip, a friend told me she was driving down for a conference, so I took advantage of essentially a free trip - free is definitely for me. I had planned to go down early november, so I go down a little earlier than planned. now that my parents are in their eighties I really like to see them as often as I can - gotta make sure everything is copacetic - and there's always a little batch of things around the house that can benefit from an an extra set of hands. I'm happy to report mom and dad are better than just 'hanging in there' and when I left they were in good spirits and holding their own.

the trip down on wednesday was smooth - beautiful weather and until we hit the washington beltway, traffic just zipped along and even when we hit the traffic on the beltway at least we moved. yesterday was a different travel story. the trip started out wonderfully - as evidenced by the photo above which was snapped at a scenic overlook in maryland. but no sooner than we got back on the road than bam, this was the speedometer looked like for most of the next hour and a half - there were times when we did reach a record breaking 5 mph:

finally we reached the scene below and the highway parking lot made sense. I hope the truck driver wasn't hurt when his rig went down the ravine.

visiting metro dc and northern virginia less than two weeks from the presidential election was intense. I thought the media assault here in ohio was bad, but I think in metro dc it is even worse. on television it was back-to-back advertisements. then there were the signs. there seemed to be a different ethos in northern virginia regarding yard signs than here - or maybe it is just a whole lot easier for folks to get signs for their candidates down there than it is in the cleveland area. in the neighborhoods one would occasionally encounter a sight like that on the right of a house divided. I have yet to see that in my neighborhood.

median strips on major roads were packed with signs - often twenty to thirty of the same sign or an equal number of signs for opposing candidates - it was wild and seemed meaningless, wasteful, and aesthetically disturbing .

we have signs in my neighborhood as evidenced below but not quite as many as in northern virginia. I'm pleased with what I see as the obama signs clearly outnumber the mcsame signs in my hood.

well speaking of the obama and mcsame - I just got a text from e - she's on her way to pick me up - we have a date with other friends this morning to head down to the board of elections and vote early!!

thanks everyone for thoughtful comments on the post on flow - sometimes when I'm on the road, it's hard to keep up on my replies!

a vid from one of sing out the vote ohio concerts. jim miller of what's up northeastohio filmed both the cleveland and kent concerts and is sharing the songs on youtube. thanks jim it' been great to relive the concerts and I hope the songs entertain and inspire others!

emma's revolution (sandy O sings & pat humphries) and the rest of the crew at the kent stage on october 21 singing drivin' 5 to the polls.

Friday, October 24, 2008


last friday I went to see the documentary flow. I have been meaning do a post on the film in order to give my enthusiastic thumbs up and urge everyone concerned about the health and survival of our species and our planet to try and find a way to see this very important film.

this probably is not a flim that will be coming to the local megaplex (unless you live in burlington, vermont). however, it is now playing in select theaters all over the u.s. I hope it will be released as a dvd so it get get wider distribution. the issue is global, and the film should be seen all over.

among the issues raised in the film are the problems connected with the growing privatization of the world's dwindling fresh water supply. water is our planet's most essential resource, but because of the dominance of for-profit interests water has gone from being a public good to become a major industry (in fact the third largest industry). the privatization of water has contributed to a multitude of social and environmental problems.

in 1948, the 30 articles of the universal declaration of human rights were ratified by all the nations of the world. these 30 articles guaranteed a broad sweep of human rights across many human endeavors. today human rights activists recognize that access to clean and potable water is fundamental and should be included in the universal declaration of human rights. currently over a billion people across the planet lack access to clean and potable water and that millions die each year as a result.

since today is united nations day, it seems only fitting to have 31 as our number of the day.

there is a movement underway to add a 31st article to the universal declaration of human rights.
Article 31:
Everyone has the right to clean and accessible water, adequate for the health and well-being of the individual and family, and no one shall be deprived of such access or quality of water due to individual economic circumstance.
if you feel that water is fundamental and access to clean potable water is a vital human right, sign the petition to call upon the united nations to add it to the declaration.

waterfall by cris williamson waterfall is on williamson's album the "changer and the changed" released in 1975 by olivia records.

photo: water pump outside family homestead lofty, pennsylvania may, 2008.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

step by step

this week's topic for 'theme thursday' was inspired by a challenge junk posed earlier this week in his post 'show me yours, I'll show you mine' junk posted a photo of his neat, organized and tastefully appointed workspace and challenged readers to post photos of their workspace.

I love looking at people's workspaces. in fact I find it quite thrilling and inspiring to visit the studios and homes of artists and writers.

like many folks I have multiple home, my workspaces include the space pictured above - this space I use for pursuits involving words and images. this room is where my computer and internet connection is located (since I have yet to advance to a laptop I'm still anchored to a particular location at home when interfacing with cyberspace). you have heard of 'a room with a view' this is a room with a purr - if there is a human in the room, there will also be at least one cat, but more likely two or even three.

there are two very special pieces of furniture in this room - one is the green desk, a small part is seen on the right. my grandfather made this desk. the desk resided in a corner of my grandmother's large eat-in kitchen for as long as I can remember. this was where the checkbook lived, the bills to be paid were stored, and it was where my grandmother kept her special papers - she always had a pile of clippings with news about friends or the community, a stack of holy cards, her address book, a box of greeting cards (for all occassions) and a cache of stamps and stationery; most importantly on this desk was where the telephone was stationed. in all practicality this simple green desk was the center for communication with the outside world. when my grandmother had to leave her home and was moved into a nursing home I 'inherited' this desk - I treasure this desk as much as if it were an antique chippendale piec e - in terms of family memory it is priceless. the second special piece in my workspace is a new addition. this is the white chest pictured behind the green desk along the wall. I just received this piece from a friend who is moving from her home of 40 years to an apartment. the move means she has to downsize and is seeking homes for some of her furniture with family and friends. this piece of furniture is another handcrafted piece which was made specifically for her mother. I don't know if I'm alone in this but I find there is so much power imbued in such objects as my grandmother's desk and mj's mother's chest - the power of memory and handcraftsmanship.

then there's the space pictured below (which actually is above the space which is shown above). this is the space I refer to as 'my studio' I use it when I am playing - I mean working - with cloth and/or children - the east end of the room is devoted to quilting and the west end to kids. this room also has two very special and powerful pieces of furniture. the first is the bench in front of the sewing machine. I sit on this bench when I sew with my sewing machine. what makes this bench so beautiful and powerful for me is that it is the very same seat that my grandmother used to sit on when she worked on stitching her quilts. unlike me who uses a sewing machine for piecing, my grandmother did all of the work on her quilts by hand - no machines! the second special piece of furniture is the rocking chair - a bit of it can be seen in the last photo. this rocking chair was my mother-in-law's chair. we brought it home the year she had to move into a nursing home. when I sit in either of these chairs, I often find myself thinking of these two wonderful women who I loved and cherished so much and who both taught me much. I hope they can feel my love and prayers for them when I sit in these seats they once occupied.

I like when my workspaces are neat - but unfortunately neatness is always a very transitory state.

can you find tsuki in the photo above? below ms t dressing up and happily occupied by whatever thoughts occupy the mind of an imaginative 3 year old!

at monday's concert the song 'step by step' was sung.... ever since the concert, this song has been an earworm.... even if there is no one in our workspace but ourselves, we are far from alone....for we are all steps, stones or drops......

the number of the day - 8 as it is junk's favorite number and remember you 8 never alone!

Step by step, the longest march can be won, can be won
Many stones can form an arch, singly none, singly none
And in union what we will, can be accomplished still
Drops of water turn a mill, singly none, singly none

step by step written by pete seeger & waldemar hille and performed by jackson browne.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

rise up

as everyone knows ohio is considered one of the key states in the upcoming presidential election; as such we have been subjected to more than our share of targeted ads, phone calls, and door-to-door canvassing. being the focus on all this activity can be overwhelming; however, when some of this attention comes from an eclectic group of talented musicians there are moments when being the focus of so much attention isn't so bad and in fact is downright invigorating and joyful!

last night a very joyful noise was being raised at pilgrim church in tremont. holly near and eighteen other singer-songwriters are conducting a whirlwind 11-day tour in nine ohio cities to encourage early voting and get out the vote! not all of the artists will be in every city - but every stop will feature holly near. the tour began on saturday in toledo and will end on october 28th in dayton. a visit to holly's website provides information on the tour and who will be playing at each stop.

halfway through the concert, john mccutcheon announced that there was a special guest in the audience and welcomed dennis kucinich to the stage. dennis spoke for a few moments - reinforcing the evening's message of encouraging folks to vote early and extending a thanks from all of the audience to the musicians for taking the time to help ohio at this critical time in our country's history.

today's number of the day is 14 - 14 days to the election of 2008!

photos: top~ (blurry) action shot - sorry I don't like to use flash at concerts: bottom (from left to right) john mccutcheon, vanessa torres, deborah van kleef, tamara torres, dennis kucinich, kiya heartwood (of wishing chair partially hidden by dennis), roy zimmerman, laura love, sally o, pat humphries, and holly near

Monday, October 20, 2008

it's all make believe*

I've mentioned before that I'm a total sucker for these internet quizzes. this afternoon e asked if I had read her recent post. at the time I hadn't. she then went on to say that her post concerned one of those quizzes I'm so fond of, the results of which stated that she was an ingrid bergam. last week I took a quiz that blogging bud megan had a post on, and it said I was katharine hepburn - I assumed it was the same quiz, but e's quiz was different. according to this quiz, I am a 'marilyn' - I just noticed that these folks also have a quiz called 'what kind of cat are you' I think I'll go do that now....meow!

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Marilyn!

You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."

Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Be direct and clear

  • * Listen to me carefully

  • * Don't judge me for my anxiety

  • * Work things through with me

  • * Reassure me that everything is OK between us

  • * Laugh and make jokes with me

  • * Gently push me toward new experiences

  • * Try not to overreact to my overreacting.

What I Like About Being a Marilyn

  • * being committed and faithful to family and friends

  • * being responsible and hardworking

  • * being compassionate toward others

  • * having intellect and wit

  • * being a nonconformist

  • * confronting danger bravely

  • * being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a Marilyn

  • * the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind

  • * procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself

  • * fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of

  • * exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger

  • * wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right

  • * being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

Marilyns as Children Often

  • * are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn

  • * are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger

  • * form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent

  • * look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel

  • * are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

Marilyns as Parents

  • * are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty

  • * are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence

  • * worry more than most that their children will get hurt

  • * sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

*the full marilyn quote is "it's all make believe, isn't it?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

3 is a magic number

Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.
Helen Keller (1880-1968) author and educator

faith, hope and charity are recognized as the the 3 theological virtues of christianity. the world would certainly be a much better place if all of us embraced the meaning of these 3 simple words.

as I look at the presidential candidates I believe that obama embraces the these 3 virtues the best. the obama campaign is using one of these virtues - hope - to empower and mobilize the citizens of these united states of apathy....

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds. . . to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1965) 16th US president

We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.
Woodrow T. Wilson (1856-1924)American 28th President of the

blind melon's version of 3 is a magic number - the music doesn't kick in until at least 3x3 seconds into the vid - there are other versions without the lag, but I like blind melon's rendition the best!

photo: autumn light cleveland heights, ohio october 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

black eyed dog

1993 -2008

sweet, sweet olivia was called home yesterday, october 17. all of us on avenue c will miss her terribly.

during the summer of 2007, olivia and her human, lin, moved next door. they instantly became part of our family as we became part of theirs. olivia was a 15 year old mixed breed, but whatever her mix, it was apparent that she was of herding stock. until recently she was an active and athletic dog, until july she routinely took 3-5 mile runs with lin. then wham old age hit ( she would have been over 90 in human years) - and when it, it hit hard - first arthritis which put an end to her running days and then her vision, at the end being completely blind. but active or senditary, olivia loved to stand sentry over her charges - whatever species ( in particular, human or canine, although she was interested in the cats, they were not much interested in her). olivia was wonderful with children and tolerated whatever exubant loving ms t or lil b showered on her.

hugs and comfort to lin - be assured that olivia is still standing watch over all the critters she loves.

I'm growing old and I wanna go home
I'm growing old and I don't wanna know
I'm growing old and I wanna go home.
- lyrics from black eyed dog by nick drake

this song is for olivia, nick's soulful and touching song, black eyed dog

photo: olivia watching the presidential debate 15 october - she asked me to pass on her last request is that everyone vote and when they vote they for obama!

the number of the day is 15 - for olivia.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

bakers dozen

to celebrate today's theme of baked goods I have concocted a baker's dozen of images (6) and quotes (7) for you to nibble on. a baker's dozen consist of thirteen items and has it's origins in 13th century england. sometimes a baker's dozen is also called the devil's dozen because in some circles 13 is considered an unlucky number.

Bread is relief for all kind of grief.
Spanish proverb

Would ye both eat your cake and have your cake?
John Heywood (1497-1580), playwright and poet

It may seem strange than any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces.
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1965) 16th US president

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.
Carl Sagan (1934-1996) astronomer, writer and scientist

When we cast our bread upon the waters, we can presume that someone downstream whose face we will never know will benefit from our action, as we who are downstream from another will profit from that grantor's gift.
Maya Angelou (b. 1928) poet, actor, activist

Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.
Barbara Jordan (1936-1996) attorney, congresswoman, activist

Two things only the people anxiously desire - bread and circuses.
Juvenal (1st century) roman poet and author of The Satires

notes on photos:
1) pâtisserie, paris, france ~ october, 2005
2) a basket of bread, breadsmith lakewood, oh ~ october, 2008
3) sweet life pâtisserie, eugene, oregon ~ april, 2006
4) bread cart, provence, france ~ october, 2005
5) cookies at breadsmith, lakewood ~ october, 2008
6) nina in front of le musée de la boulangerie, bonnieux, france ~ october, 2005

guitarist muriel anderson performing 'bakers dozen'

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

blog action day: poverty

one issue, thousands of voices - today thousands of bloggers are participating in blog action day. this year's topic - poverty. last year was the first of these annual nonprofit blogging events. the goal of blog action day is to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day in order to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion. last year the topic was the environment and this year poverty. these topics are huge complex issues that face our world - issues that must be discussed and addressed!

poverty is a world wide problem. however, the definition and measure of poverty varies widely. in the united states, national poverty data are calculated using the official census definition of poverty, which has remained fairly standard since it was introduced in the 1960s. under this definition, poverty is determined by comparing pretax cash income with the poverty threshold, which adjusts for family size and composition. in 2006, according to the official measure, 36.5 million people, 12.3 percent of the total U.S. population, lived in poverty.

however, the 'official' definition or determination of the poverty level has been widely criticized. I'm of the group that believes the official level actually under counts the extent of poverty in the united states. just consider the experience of living in accordance within the federal definition -- according to the official definition of poverty for a family of three the federal poverty line is $16,530.

I happen to live in a city which has the distinction of being one of the poorest cities in the united states. not only has cleveland been considered one of the poorest cities, according to the u.s. census bureau, we have had the shameful distinction of being ranked as the #1 poorest big city twice in the last three years. there are multiple reasons why cleveland has reached (or descended) to this position - since the 1990s the city has been crushed by not only a loss of its manufacturing base but it has lost several other large employers who in the past few years moved their corporate headquarters out of the cleveland area.

according some of the latest census information 27% of the population in cleveland lives below the poverty level. also, cleveland's median household income of $26,535 is listed as the lowest (another #1 position) among the nation's big cities and well below the median income of $44,532 for the state of ohio. in addition to the persistence of concentrated rates of poverty, census data reveals population shifts in the region which are, in part, a result of the loss of manufacturing jobs and other socioeconomic changes. as better educated and younger population groups leave the area, there is a corresponding rise in the percentage of older and poorer citizens who are left behind.

cleveland has been a bellwether of the current economic crisis. the number of foreclosed homes and it's experience with predatory lenders is another arena of holding the shameful distinction of being #1.

although cleveland does have a problem with homelessness, fortunately we not #1 in this category. unfortunately cleveland has jumped on the mean campaign of discouraging people to give to street people. however, no sooner than this campaign not to give began, resistance from poverty and homeless activists also began.

the causes of poverty and homelessness are complex and the culture of greed and standing tall on the backs of other has only fueled the problems of poverty in the united states and elsewhere. since the 1980s the gap between the haves and havenots has grown.

despite the fact that cleveland is struggling with a high rate of poverty we are by no means a city without hope and action. in terms of spirit and promise - another type of indicator of "wealth"- I consider cleveland to be #1. there is no spirit of complacency about the current economic situation and from private academia to public academia to local government to various private and public community agencies there is community commitment to improve the situation in cleveland.

Poverty is the worst form of violence.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) philosopher, activist

p.s. in doing some research for this post I discovered this wonderful blog devoted to "the struggle of the poor around the world. half the world -- nearly three billion people -- live on less than two dollars a day"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

eight miles high

The Noble Eightfold Path describes the way to the end of suffering, as it was laid out by Siddhartha Gautama. It is a practical guideline to ethical and mental development with the goal of freeing the individual from attachments and delusions; and it finally leads to understanding the truth about all things. Together with the Four Noble Truths it constitutes the gist of Buddhism. Great emphasis is put on the practical aspect, because it is only through practice that one can attain a higher level of existence and finally reach Nirvana. The eight aspects of the path are not to be understood as a sequence of single steps, instead they are highly interdependent principles that have to be seen in relationship with each other.
to read up on all eight aspects of the eightfold path go here.

the bryds, an early vid of their 1966 classic eight miles high:

photo: view of downtown cleveland from the 8th floor of metrohealth medical center. metrohealth is not eight miles away, but you can count at least eight tall buildings! october 2008.

Monday, October 13, 2008

stray cat blues

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life, music and cats.
Albert Schweitzer(1875-1965), musician, philosopher, physician

I had so much fun with the alphabet series, I thought I'd finish up the month of october by attempting another series this one I call the number of the day, those familiar with sesame street know that count von count hosts the sesame street segment - seems a fitting way to wrap up october.

with the number of the day series, I plan to return to using song titles as post titles (I missed this practice during the blogabet). today's title comes from the rolling stones 1968 song stray cat blues

photo: gwen sleeping on the encyclopedia of rock and roll (this pic was not staged!) october 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

z is for zebra

around here we don't have any zebras but we do have zebra swallowtail butterflies! in the days to come we will be seeing fewer and fewer butterflies. in fact, come to think of it I haven't seen a butterfly in a while. those that migrate have probably already passed through and those that don't migrate have already done whatever they do when the temperatures drop.

z is also for zeppelin.

some friends recently purchased an old house in need of much renovation. when they pulled up the carpet in the living room, underneath glued to the hardwood floors were sheets of newspapers from the 1930s. above is a notice which advertises 2-1/2 days to europe. if you look close you will see the ad is for passage on the hindenburg - a commercial airship, or zeppelin. between march, 1936 until it's tragic last flight in may 1937 the hindenburg completed 17 round trips across the atlantic ocean.

old ads and articles are fascinating. I think examining newspapers can provide a wonderful view into the zeitgeist of the times.

well all things must end. it took a little longer to get from a to z this trip than the first time the mouse did the alphabet journey; but it was just as much fun.

the alphabet certainly is a lot of fun. fans of star trek and/or jean-luc picard (aka patrick stewart), may particularly enjoy this vid:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

these hands

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.
Anne Frank (1929-1945) writer and wise child

Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), minister, abolitionist, and writer

Whatever thy hand findest to do, do it with all thy heart.
Jesus (7–2 BC/BCE—26–36 AD/CE), prophet, teacher, activist, radical

Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful not to be neutral.
Paulo Freire (1921-1997) educator, philosopher, and activist

I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker. The example of great and pure individuals is the only thing that can lead us to noble thoughts and deeds.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) physicist, philosopher, peace activist

A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.

There are many who are living far below their possibilities because they are continually handing over their individualities to others. Do you want to be a power in the world? Then be yourself.
Ralph Waldo Trine (1866-1958) philosopher and mystic

Begin doing what you want to do not. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand - and melting like a snowflake.
Francis Bacon, Sr. (1561-1626) philosopher and statesman

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
Buddha (563-483 B.C.E.) Hindu prince, teacher, philosopher

Put your hands to work and your hearts to God.
Mother Ann Lee (1736-1784), religious reformer and philosopher

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus.
Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) inventor and educator

The fragrance always remains in the hand that gives the rose.
Hada Bejar (1640-1689) British Playwright Poet

Love is a fruit in season at all times, and in reach of every hand.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997) activist and founder of order of the missionaries of charity

johnny cash singing 'these hands'- the best testimony to hands in a song that I've ever run across!

a brief note on the photos - until this week I never realized how important hands have been for me as a photographic 'subject' - the pics above are just a few of the photos I've snapped in recent times which feature hands. a couple of the photos have been featured before on the mouse (specifically photo #2 and #3), but I thought what they 'say' is worth repeating. when I started musing about hands one of the things that struck me was the life cycle and how much our hands change over time - but also how much they stay the same. many of the photos above feature the hands of my loved ones - mother, father, daughter, grandmother and an array of fictive kin.

another photo challenge... the first person who responds correctly and identifies the person connected to the central pair of hands in photo #9 will receive a special prize from the magical mouse studio.