It makes absolutely no sense to run "word verification" on your blogs, unless you are a hard core hippie and wish to have everybody have a flashback of psychedelic times. The thing is useless, shut it off. I did run my blog for six or seven months now without it and never got advertisement or spam. Just consider turning this thing off for a week and see what happens. You see, I am just tired to type in a warped code before I can post my comment, it is annoying. This would actually be one of the reasons why I did not frequent your place lately.
Happy New Year!
Tuesday, December 30
Sunday, December 28
It is probably one of the more (or most) complex scenarios which happened in 1967.
First I am going to argue for Israel.
The six day war in 1967 was warranted and a success. Israel had at that point been attacked and then responded with surprising force and determination. All good you think, but maybe not.
The mistake after the just victory Israel made is such. It seized water rights originally originated on Arab territory feeding people in need, destroyed olive trees and fruit plantations dating back to the birth of Christ, and worst of all, sprinkled illegal settlements all over to make the occupied territories look like an Ementaler Swiss cheese.
And then they started to build "the wall" to protect those settlements right through Palestinian territory. Reminds me of the wall the Russians build way back then in Berlin...
Now, Hamas in Palestine is and has been understandably mad, so are many people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. So what can they do? In their despair they launch hand made rockets continuously and shoot them to bordering Israel or the enclaves of settlers within their own land. Fair enough but not very successful. I understand their rage, I would be outraged too if I lived there. But it is futile to oppose the 4th strongest military power of the world with "Molotov cocktails".
So the tragic melodrama continues with no end in sight. Israel pounds onto the lands and people that have been there for centuries, before even a Jewish state was ever in site (just an other invention of the Brits for all your smooth talk doubthers).
What's the solution?
Israel will have to take down all the illegal settlements, rip down that "Berlin" wall, let people travel freely to and fro within their orchards and settlements, restore the water and land rights, and then - only then - bomb the living shit out of Hamas and it's cohorts if they still choose to shoot homemade rockets.
but as some of you already have commented, "my" solution will never happen. Palestinians will never aspire a state above martyrdom, and Israel will never give up lands they already have acquired. So there you go, a perfect concept for an endless conflict and war. Hallelujah!
Friday, December 26
I had this dream,
and then I was lost
underneath rubble unforeseen.
The pages turned unpredictable,
movements that scattered the air scarcely made a difference.
Life is a loom where butterflies interfere at random, remind us to sway
run away from the gloom of eternal boredom that society uses on us every day.
But we always seem to miss this straight path and instead take that windy road.
So if that sparkle in your eye is still valid
that tear that drops is heartfelt and not a fake commotion
then my dreams will come true
that you and I will fill this cavity
and bestow an essence of light
to spaces that live in darknes.
Thursday, December 25
OK, first I have to admit something. When I turn on the computer and then go to my "homepage" - it directs me to the BBC news. So far so good. They have a well organized web-front-page, not too much commercials, and graphically pleasing (compared to others, like CNN). So while I have my morning coffee, I browse through the head lines. It's all right, somewhat informative for a news junky like me.
But lately I noticed a bias, or a trend in the British newscast. The focus was dominantly directed towards reporting the misery in Africa, most of them former colonies or protectorates of the British Empire. This got me thinking a bit.
Why is it that wherever the Brit's tried to rule in the past, the countries after they left and "found" independence turn into chaos and quagmire? What is it with these English conquistadors, that all they can do is leave chaos behind?
There is something very sick about this. The collateral damage that the Brit's infused all around the globe is pretty heinous, they are actually responsible as well for the dilemma in the Middle East, as they were the ones who sliced up the cake, drew the borders for essential countries around the rivers of Euphrat and Tigris, the tribal area which once was known as the greater Persia.
It is this time of year where the Christian world calls for peace and celebrate Christmas. That is all very well. But it makes you wonder what this festival means in past and present tense. The ghosts of past misdoings, and I particularly mean the British (former?) Empire still haunt us to this very day. The artificial borders drawn up during and after WW2 became the reason for the rivalry of peoples both in Africa and in the Middle East, hence the killings, the grotesque stubbornness between tribes, the looting and so on...
I wish that some day the queen will take of her crown, stand in front the House of Commons (or Lords, who cares) and admit that the so Great Brittan has utterly failed history. In essence say: Wherever we previously had a colony, our mandate has failed and was only dictated by greed. And the countries we once occupied are therefore suffering and in utter chaos.
So BBC, I am tired to hear about famine, tribal slaughter, government incompetence and all the other details. It is the British Empire who brought it up unto themselves. Instead of lamenting - fix it!
Wednesday, December 24
Tuesday, December 23
Sorry, haven't finished my real Christmas card yet, a block print with three angels on it holding a chalice of light. I hope it turns out alright, I am sort of picky these days.
Will be done tomorrow or so... according to the "master-plan".
If you intend to receive an original hand made print, let me know by e-mail. But as I sensed before, there is a good bunch of people among you who don't care about this event.
I do understand very well, that Christmas has turned into a commercial zoo over the years, replacing shopping instead of giving heartfelt presents of trust and beauty, little pebbles to make known to the beloved that you care for someone beyond the borders of egotism.
I am sorry that it turned out this way, but there is still time to change it around. Perhaps the latest economic global crisis will assist you in this and nudge you to reconsider how you deal with festivities like this.
In any case, Merry Christmas to you all!
As you all know, I am not a big fan of organized religion, it always smelled like trouble to me. But I am a big believer that each persons individual path can lead to spiritual enlightenment.
And consider this, it is presently the turning of the year of 2008 to 2009 - a turning point. A turning point in the respect that over 2000 years ago a so called god gave his life in form of a human being, a remarkable deed indeed. Did it alter the course or destiny of karma of the earth? I do believe it did... in many ways, Even the world of Islam recognizes this event and uses to this day the "Christ Calendar" as we speak.
So now, when we celebrate this festival of the "Jesus-baby-born" , with all the wrapping paper, the food, the candles, the unnecessary obese presents and the electronic gadgets we supply to each other, it is worthy to remember that someone died to resurrect in order to convince the ones who would not be easily assured. It is that deed of Christ as a human, that sacrifice, which eventually made him a god to the peoples of this earth.
The churches obliterated this being, stigmatized it, run the fake imagery for power purposes, propaganda and profit. But that is not what we celebrate this year. The compassion of my heart knows no limits. It is easy to become a person who believes in nothing these days, or just "spirits" who haunt the woods. But is this really the answer?
PS. Sorry for being so "dense" - but I had to get this out of my system
Sunday, December 21
Despite the one foot of snow yesterday, I decided to join the locals at "happy hour". Sipping on a Bloody Mary...
My niece Jess showed up with her male-friend John, the electrician; and a to me unknown local dude separating the two.
Jess is a lovely woman who I once taught woodcarving when she still was a kid and I still was employed as a teacher at a Rudolf Steiner School in Great Barrington. Now she has evolved to be an excellent landscaper, beautifying the surrounding of these houses of the riches.
Lately she is complaining about a sore back and wishes to become a secretary of sorts. I guess we all slave and overdo it.
A quick shot this morning. Pico is excited about the snow, but since she is a prairie dog of more southern hemispheres, she doesn't "last" very long in the cold before begging to get back into the somewhat warmer climate of my studio.
Saturday, December 20
I was never a big, big fan of the Rolling Stones, but I did pick and choose and really liked some of their songs. But what might have fascinated me most was their professionalism, endurance and dedication to whatever they did.
Keith Richards, the guitarist of the Stones, turns 65 today. Pretty crazy how time flies by! I think that one of Keith's virtues was to be able to "serve the band", blend in ... instead of being a selfish egomaniac.
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Tuesday, December 16
check this out this is cool, simultaneous life cast around the globe, synchronized by some freaks with a mixing board somewhere in the US, everybody is chipping in, all the tramps and street musicians, a choir from Africa, a cellist from Russia and many more... (uTube link)
This is pretty amazing stuff...
Sunday, December 14
As some of you might know or heard about, there are an estimated 500,000 households without electricity here in the North East of the US, affecting millions of peoples life. People are running generators (the ones who have one) others who are fortunate enough to have a fireplace are burning wood.
OK, so gradually the mess of this ice-storm is being cleaned up. But it is a slow and cumbersome process. A few ten thousand homes have their power back by now, others will have to wait until next Wednesday at least, using candles as their main illumination source. That's a week in deep freezing temperatures without electricity.
Last evening we were invited to friends to eat "Sauerbraten" and even the main County road was like a major slalom obstacle with fallen down trees, downed power lines and all. When I drove home in the dark, it was even more challenging. Later I found out that the county had declared a state of emergency and had imposed a non-driving curfew after dark... Wish I had known!
I am lucky like something. Our little town was spared out as if it was an oasis. Four miles away chaos, here we have electricity and all to run the oil burners and the water pump.
So it is approaching Christmas, and all the churches have closed. That's odd. The generators are running out of fuel, because there is no fuel to be pumped at gas stations around, unless you are willing to travel some unusual distances. Pretty messy all around.
I pray for the elderly people who have no clue what to do. I hope that this event will spur amongst others, that what I always preach: Community solidarity!
On an other note, Pico the prairie dog got a winter coat. Pretty, don't you think?
Friday, December 12
by Joseph Enzweiler
Because we wanted much that year
and had little. Because the winter phone
for days stayed silent that would call
our father back to work, and he
kept silent too with our mother,
fearfully proud before us.
Because I was young that morning
in gray light untouched on the rug
and our gifts were so few, propped
along the furniture, for a second
my heart fell, then saw how large
they made the spaces between them
to take the place of less. Because
the curtained sun rose brightly
on our discarded paper and the things
themselves, these forty years,
have grown too small to see, the emptiness
measured out remains the gift,
fills the whole room now, that whole year
out across the snowy lawn. Because
a drop of shame burned quietly
in the province of love. Because
we had little that year
and were given much.
"Christmas 1963" by Joseph Enzweiler, from The Man Who Ordered Perch. © Iris Press, 2004
All I try to say, don't spend a bundle on what you don't have anyway just in order to please your uncles and your aunts. Maybe "giving" will arise to a new level, a finer product, a heart gesture ... if we start to make presents again with our own hands... may it be cookies, cut out origami-style stars, self-made candles, a food basket, little things - a gesture!
Contentment is not bought by shopping in malls, joy begins with the touch of your hand, your hand that is connected to your heart.
Wednesday, December 10
I look at my kale and cabbage plants who are still sort of alive after several deep freezes. Problem is, I am tired of eating those greens. There is just so much you can handle.
The weather has been weird in Upper Hudson Valley of New York. Yesterday mild and springlike weather, today pouring rats and ass like crazy, gradually turning into sleet and snow. Tomorrow a snowstorm is in the forecast. Lots of it!
Was at a jury selection for a second degree murder case the last two days. Fortunately I was tossed out of the pool of jurors in the second round because I personally knew the defense-lawyer. Made me to be too biased I guess. I am glad though, my nerves don't assimilate brutality and gory details well these days.
You know, I had in mind to write something about the billions going to the big car companies again, but now I lost interest in it while I was rambling about my own surroundings.
So, this is a meager post, not much content, something you can fly over quickly and then dismiss it. And now, I am going back to carving...
Monday, December 8
So there he comes, running around the bend, unnoticed - still my friend. Picks up one of my guitars, starts playing a tune that sounds very sweet, a bit of blues - some portions of knowledge included. Age matures the mind, like well kept Parmesan cheese in the fridge. Bernt left me three songs, one of them I will put out here ... for you to hear.
We used to play together, and we played that night. He is living in Europe now since a while. It's a stretch to get there on a midnight call...
But unexpected droplets of nectar are precious. I love it when those donations do happen.
press play button to listen!
I switched off auto-play
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Friday, December 5
The governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger made a great statement the other day:
"Hwui must invest in the future, the infrastructure of this country. For four decades nooothing has been done." He is right!
So here I go, listening to my local Public Radio station, and the speaker announces that Vermont might shut down AMTRAK services because the states budget has no money left to subside the train. This is a sad move - and a bad move.
Why is it bad? Because the United States of America has forgotten how to invest into the future. The trains, once a viable network and grid, now appear to be in shambles.
Same with the roads and bridges, serving the "big three" and not the country, the automakers, who presently are begging for billions in Washington just like stupid little boys who got caught steeling lollipops. What will they truthfully get arriving this time in their hybrid cars in DC instead of private jets at the first meeting? It's a joke. Did they fly with their private jets anyway and "planted" their hybrids at the airport? Wouldn't surprise me. What is their bargaining chip anyhow, now that we all know that they let us down so many times before!
I don't want to sound like a "sensationalist" or a fiend of negative (re)evolution. But something has to be done now to shift this cooperate short term greed and transform it to a long term investment for the people, by the people. Otherwise this recession, that has merged into a depression, will swallow us all.
In the mean time, I don't give a rat's ass about GM and Chrysler. I care about Ford, because I drive their pick up truck. But this is just a sentimental statement and has nothing to do with factual values.
Monday, December 1
Natalie Portman and Hillary posing. Pico the dog I'm dog-sitting, showing off. All three are females no doubt. One is elected to be the Secretary of State by Obama today. The other is a fine actress with "fame" all written over her, and the last one is Pico, a girl that hunts moles and squirels.
They have one thing in common - they all are ambitious, hunting down the avenues of glory and adventure by avoiding to become prey themselves.
I just hope, that Hillary Clinton does not fall into the trap of "power-management" as Secretary of State. She is a tough cookie and an intelligent person. Nevertheless, most of the troubles aching US politics are framed in the Middle East (and now also the Far East). A woman will have a tough time to sit down with Arab leaders. Their culture is not very woman-friendly, tea maybe, but no diplomatic concessions. So, I wish all these woman good luck as they hunt Bin Laden, moles or fame.
On a personal note, I cleaned up major parts of my studio, eradicated trash and tidbits on my work bench, did a few other things that help me to breathe. So maybe, sculpting and carving will become my "Christmas passion"....
P.S. Don't you think Natalie is sort of gorgeous, the Hippie Tree Huger from Hollywood? Ah, nevermind...