No big or large stories today. You all know what is going on, either in your personal life, or the global community.
On my own threshold I do something that could be described as micro-management. What is that? Well, I got my new job taking care of war veterans. That is one aspect. Besides of working 12 hour shifts three times a week, the employment is brilliant. What makes it work so well, is that the staff, the boss and the "resident clients" are wonderful people. So, despite the fact that my pay is a third of what I used to earn, I am content.
And so, as long as I get by somehow and find people who are able to put a smile on my face once in a while, the world and my work is a good place to embrace. Hovering here still around freezing temperatures, but crocuses on the lawn saw the day of light.
The bitching and moaning about politics, the postings of sensual ladies, the updates of real time musical jams, the serious contemplations of environmental issues, poems and such - and don't forget, the mundane, will continue. Don't worry, just stick around.
I wish you all a good week (speaking on Tuesday, my day off)
Tuesday, March 31
Tuesday, March 24
So I finally secured and accepted, committed to - what have you not, a new job.
It is music to my ears!
The people I work with seem to be truthful, dedicated and open to creative input, and so on.
So yes, I am excited.
Their pay is not exuberant, but the schedule is totally fair, so I will still be able to do other things (like music and sculpture) on the side.
Just installed a new rack above the piano in the studio to hang up instruments. We'll see how that goes.
Be well all. Beware, my posts will become sluggish in the near future, sentiments will focus on personal things at hand and not this blog (unless I get whiled up and feel the urge to talk anyway...).
Will still visit my favorite blogs now and then, don't worry!
Saturday, March 21
An investor at Wall Street, New York
ate his pork with a knife and a fork
when stocks went a tumbling
he started some fumbling
and killed himself just like a dork
(just a silly example of mine. you'll do better)
Basically five lines. Lines three and four are shorter, constructed of two anapests each and again rhyming with each other. Thus, the overall rhyme structure of a, a, b, b, a, with the beat pattern
a:da-da-daah da-da-daah da-da-daah
The three winners (randomly picked) will receive a hand-painted simple postcard on quality watercolor paper.
cart in disarray in Vinalhaven Maine
Friday, March 20
by James Tate
A loon woke me this morning. It was like waking up in another world. I had no idea what was expected of me. I waited for instructions. Someone called and asked me if I wanted a free trip to Florida. I said, "Sure. Can I go today?" A man in a uniform picked me up in a limousine, and the next thing I know I'm being chased by an alligator across a parking lot. A crowd gathers and cheers me on. Of course, none of this really happened. I'm still sleeping. I don't want to go to work. I want to know what the loon is saying. It sounds like ecstasy tinged with unfathomable terror. One thing is certain: at least they are not speaking of tax shelters. The phone rings. It's my boss. She says, "Where are you?" I say, "I don't know. I don't recognize my surroundings. I think I've been kidnapped. If they make demands of you, don't give in. That's my professional advice." Just then, the loon let out a tremendous looping, soaring, swirling, quadruple whoop. "My god, are you alright?" my boss said. "In case we do not meet again, I want you to know that I've always loved you, Agnes," I said. "What?" she said.
"What are you saying?" "Good-bye, my darling. Try to remember me
as your ever loyal servant," I said. "Did you say you loved
me?" she said. I said, "Yes," and hung up. I tried
to go back to sleep, but the idea of being kidnapped had me
quite worked up. I looked in the mirror for signs of torture.
Every time the loon cried, I screamed and contorted my face
in agony. They were going to cut off my head and place it on
a stake. I overheard them talking. They seemed like very
reasonable men, even, one might say, likeable.
"The Loon" by James Tate from Return to the City of White Donkeys. © Ecco Press, 2004.
I am always amazed and startled when I see posts or signs like this, like this one planted at the ferry-terminal in Vinalhaven Maine. We can do things, then we can't. We can move forward but first have to take steps backward before moving on. We create music, and only then we learn to listen. We aim for "green-solutions" - but toxins will forever haunt us, nevertheless - solutions come, solutions fade. We have a chance today. Smoke is not the way I'll say, no cigarettes, nor SUV's, not even the unregulated factories. No aftershave on a bald shaven chin, no wasted fried oil from old "Burger King".
"Old MacDonald had a farm - hiah, hiha hoohh". And on this farm were piglets new, hiah, hiah how...
And oh my Lord, one of them, one of them is you...
So what are you gonna do, just stand by, push the pause button on the remote?
What we need to emote, is more enthusiasm for creative solutions today. Participation highly recommended. You think my liturgy is a blobbing blab of nonsense. Fair enough, your hesitation to respond is understandable. But do you really care?
SMOKE is not the evaporating puff of a cigarette when standing on a forlorn corner anymore, smoke is the demon in your head because you don't know where to go in the first place.
It was never physical yesterday, it became metaphysical nowadays!
The pollution of our planet is not due to smokers, but instead fostered, executed and delivered by the greed of leeches such as bankers, lawyers and insurance folks. Those are the true culprits of "smoking" our assets away, while the politicians smile and support their ways.
I find this depressing - where is my medication?
Perhaps I'll have a cigarette...
Monday, March 16
Stop looking at my repulsive graphics
my maps and charts - from where the world is ruled
it means little, since we all have become acquainted and still seem to know little at all
the fall is not the gesture but the pinch, the last little twitch that kills the head of a tick
maybe that is the rescue, the remedy - it could be seen that way
that we eliminate the itch by twisting heads, some might snap
what's all about that, persuasion was never gentle, so breathe
and find little issues that bridge the gap, you know - that gap.
Saturday, March 14
Ministers from the G20 group of rich and emerging countries are to meet in England amid growing rifts over how to tackle the worst downturn in decades.
The ministers, joined by central bankers, are to discuss stimulating their economies out of recession.
Since when do the rich care about the poor, unless there are substantial personal gains to be made. The representatives of the G20 are just such a bunch, a horde of fat old guys who demise equality and love self-serving enrichment on the backs and shoulders of us all. But you know, the bright side of this recession is that common folks will stick together more than ever. No blow job by cooperate gangsters will turn that course. I am mighty tired to hear the words over and over again about "injection", "stimulation" and "erection", may it be about the economy or other issues. Time is here to create, not to stimulate or erect...
If you thought this was funny, it is not. I am dead serious.
Friday, March 13
Bettina started this folly and then Sera followed suit. Now it's my turn.
Use a random pic from Flicker as image - a random entry from Wikipedia as band name - a random quote as title, paste it all together.
And voila, you get yourself a CD cover. All that is now missing are the songs ... we'll work on that! the "get together" with Bernd was actually fun, revived some old songs where the lyrics were half lost; what a dilemma - improvise!
Oh, "uppland county" is the area north of Stockholm, now called Uppsala. Can't remember what "all his friends hate him" quote was all about in the random quote search. Despite Sera's cheers, who's CD cover design was actually great, I still am discontent with mine. I guess this is true designer desease, a virus out of control. So I will go back to the "drawing-board" and update that sleeve, just give me a minute...
Wednesday, March 11
It is of course possible to fix my rusty wheel-wells with Bondo or some kind of other epoxy based smear that plugs into rusty holes. Trouble is, it will only last a year or two. After that, the culprit will reacquire. Rust wins, no matter what, unless you galvanize your assets.
Same applies to the present economy, no "smear" or stimulus will prevent decay. We have to be more inventive than that. Maybe even go to the place where we re-invent the wheel
Sunday, March 8
We "spring" forward each year, for about an hour
it just happened to be so yesterday night
and on my flight to see more light
I am confused by the change
a gray bureaucrat pushed into place.
Time is determined by the sun, a real revelation
the equinox of spring and fall, nature's breath
so who are we to make the call of change
and switch the blades of time
just for the fun to screw up our own mind.
The political arena is a Zoo, includes Obama too
no one has a clue what to do, and you just faint
by the imagery of collapsing ailing coasters
all the card houses that were temporary,
never ment to withstand Katrina's storm or a saint.
Well spring is near, and times do change by the hour
instead of forwarding my watch, compromising such
I will take that time that does remain
by planting a garden, sowing seeds
and after that, I do not aspire much,
we'll just have to wait an see what actually will happen
and then reverse our thinking, depending on our needs.___________________________________________________________________________
the pictures: snow is melting, spring is around the corner, the neglected silo and the neglected chair cry for something, maybe "spring rejuvenation"
Friday, March 6
Nato ministers agree to resume formal ties with Russia, with a call to tackle the challenge of Afghanistan. (BBC news)
This is ironic, "tackle Afghanistan" - what a blast. Didn't the ten year USSR occupation trigger the sponsorship of the Mujaheddin by the US (aka the freedom fighters with the name Osama Bin Laden attached to it?) And now the Brits (oh yeah Nato) wish to regain territory, all the precious poppy-fields, the narcotics, the borders they had clustered in that region during the 1800's, trying then to establish capitoned countries of some kind which would come to haunt them now, more than two hundred years later?
If I would be doped with soccer, the Liverpool legends, the crying fields of the common man, the dose they drug you with to be silenced, the poppies that never bloomed in England... I'll be darned to have to carry that inheritance.
Two airlines in South Korea are to re-route flights after North Korea said it could no longer guarantee their safety.The North's threat follows its warnings that a US-South Korean military exercise due to take place next week, could trigger a military clash. (also BBC)
So what's the issue? After Iraq, the South Korean peninsula has the largest deployment of US troops abroad. If they do want to do exercise some funky military actions there, don't be surprised that the North Korean regime starts to be ancy.
Wednesday, March 4
All right then, here is an counter idea and also a response to the worn-out educational system, may it be "private" or state endorsed.
Two years ago I was still able to attract 12 students to pay $500 Dollars to attend a seminar for a week, excluding food and overnight stay. That was extra at the College I taught.
Yes, why don't we shift the gears around and drop the cozy cushion that colleges can provide. What if I would offer instead a $300 Dollar a week course and people can congregate and learn from each other without institutional limitations. Now, this thing would be set up like this:
1. Create a changing environment, different locations
2. Start with just a one or a two week course during the summer in 2009/2010
3. Make the "location" the theme
4. For practical purposes, it could be in Vinalhaven, Maine - for stone carving. My own studio for woodcarving, Amherst Massachusetts for clay-modeling and painting, and so on... There are even possibilities on the West Coast, or even in Europe. Dream it up, and I will consider all possible avenues.
The grand plan is to create a "traveling-school" that is affordable, unique and sensitive to its physical location, may it be urban, country, island ... or whatever else. I am grateful for your feedback, post your suggestions.
Sunday, March 1
Like these seals, we all were floating on some kind of rigs during the 90's, not clearly knowing the extend of our confinement and the rigid posts we were still tied to invisibly. All we did then was to consume what was given to us without asking pivotal questions of how our life purpose could extend beyond the parameters of a crowded pier.
Human society has in many respects a disadvantage when you compare them to animal-world. Animals are happy when they find their prey, get fed, lurk around and mate. Humans have made their own life miserable by adding a component of "consciousness" to the multiple pallet of existence. This dwells in the background of every move we make. Some of us even strive to reach enlightenment despite all odds, may it be through meditation, a change of life-style, a focused orientation on a path towards compassion, or even an enhanced understanding of all the wonders and secrets to this very nature that surrounds us. However, this "human urge" to find clarity and "consciousness" is both a blessing and a curse. How many of you would't like to take Solomon's sword and see the tied knotted riddle cut in half, thereby exposing the truth of the matter... and solve it?
In respect to Waldorf Schools, and perhaps also the so called other independent organizations in the educational sector, this time we live in represents a wake up call.
As you all know, civic human life is categorized/organized into three main sectors, law, free spiritual activities (for example education/ arts) and economics. It is so, even if you don't comprehend or acknowledge the issue, it really still remains a reality and will exist no matter if you want to see it or not. These three categories need to function independently from each other, thrive autonomous, otherwise there will be even more trouble on the horizon in the future if continued "prostitution" across floating platforms breach boarders and are indiscriminately allowed to blackmail each other. Today we see this happening all the time. Politicians are the lackeys and servants of economic/corporate interests who dictate the lawmakers to create laws in their favor, politicians dictate the rules of how schools should run their programs, streamlining people to be part of the project - and the "free" spiritual life of schools have no say in it. So the three ideals of equality in the "rights sphere", liberty in the "economic sphere" and freedom in the "spiritual sphere" have been severely compromised. Unless we untangle consciously the dependency from one to the other, our lives will be ruled by the very few, those who could care less about equality, liberty and freedom in the first place and only strive to promote personal gain, their own personal agenda.
To view this in a more practical manner, the demise or "downfall" of Waldorf or any other private school with a mission is simple. They give in into the illusion that diversity will create more enrollment by scrapping the foundations they originally stood for. As an example I name Sunbridge College, the institution I worked for over ten years. For the last five years they have striven to schmooze with the state of New York, spend horrendous amounts of money to be compliant, including a person who's sole function was to run around campus smiling, and meeting with state officials now and then. That position was $65,000 or so, wasted cash that could have been spend on improving educational programs. This is just one example. It all went sour thereafter because you can't just "schmooze" the system, that is a illusion only acceptable to a con-man.
Same thing is presently happening in front of my own eyes, at the school where my wife works. Low enrollment, and as a result substantial cuts in programs. Bad choice. In the crisis we experience right now, the emphasis should not be on cutting, but strengthening the things we already have in place, enhance the "product" at hand, if you wish to put it that way. The technique of bowing down to unknown entities that might or might not be helpful are a waste of time and resources. There is no bail-out package available for schools that are truly free spirited. That would be against the very grain of what the establishment stands for. Independent thoughts and an education towards a liberated and free mind was always a thorn in the eye of the political, and mostly the economic apparatus, no matter if it happened in the east, west or at a somewhere altogether different location.
So the survival kit I propose, is that educational institutions (who rightfully belong to the sphere of free spiritual activity) reorganize and focus their mission on grounds they once cherished when they started, invigorate the impulse that inspired them to begin with and then rejuvenate the life-seed that was planted in the past. Only then, by focusing on your original mission, without watering down what you have to offer, only then you will have a chance of survival in our trying times. (this sounds almost "religious" I know, but I did not place it that way...)
One positive aspect of this present recession/depression is, that all of us have to reinvent ourselves, dig deep into the coffers that we carried around, unopened for years, find that little genius tucked away, like the genie of the fairy tale who needed to escape the confinements of the bottle. By raking through these assets, a crisis can turn around and become an opportunity to lift our very life existence to new levels of being. May YOU be on your way!