Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Always Ourselves We Find in the Sea

maggie and millie and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

millie befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea.

e. e. cummings (1894-1962)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Happiness is . . .

. . . football on the beach

. . . running down dunes in childhood

. . . butterfly-filled skies

. . . toes in the tide

. . . a hammock and a good book

. . . no rain while tent camping

Photos: Pismo Beach, Thanksgiving weekend 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

All Fall Down

The beauty of my favorite season passes too quickly for me. The tree in our front yard produces brilliant yellow leaves that appear golden against the blue autumn sky. I can't get enough of that beauty. Sadly, it seems that in a week to 10 days after it reaches its full glory of color our tree is completely denuded of leaves, and only the bare skeletal branches remain.

Won’t you come and see
loneliness? Just one leaf
from the kiri tree.

—Basho, 1692

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of Thanksgiving, I want to share one of my blessings with you: the laughter I enjoyed in reading the following post by my brother-in-law Dan who lives in Micronesia.

Among so many other blessings, I am thankful for Dan, for blogs which allow a sense of closeness even at great distance, for Dan's writing talent, and for the gift of laughter.


I gave Serlinda, my maid, some extra money yesterday for her birthday.

She responded with a full page note explaining that her birthday isn't until next week.

Within the note was this cryptic sentence:

"Also, Dan could you pay another bush for the toilet powl."

So, with respect to her request, I've been offering money to shrubs, but none of them have offered me powls of any kind.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


God can make use of all that happens. But the loss is real.

from Perelandra by CS Lewis 1898-1963

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Color of Water

The universe is an amazing place, but what I think of as one of the most fascinating marvels may seem quite commonplace to most people.

When I think that God came up with the idea of water, I am awed. Have you ever sat by a river and just contemplated the nature of water? Who would have thought of such a thing?

There is a color in water at certain times in certain places that is my favorite color. I don't have a name for it. It's not really blue, and it's not really green, and it's not really blue-green. It's translucent and sort of aquamarine but not quite aquamarine either. It's bright but not flashy; it has depth, but it's not dark. I know it when I see it, but it is not something I can always find when I go out looking for it.

I guess that's the way with a lot of things in life. The best things are often the things that show up by surprise and take your breath away but can't necessarily be found when you seek them out.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Back to the Future?

I'm already IN the future.

. . . at least according to my youngest son (9). I'm trying to figure out what that means, but there is no sense asking him, because he doesn't engage in discussion about his comments, which is but one of his many quirks.

My youngest has always had quite a sense of humor, and that has now been combined with a very hyper stage that he has recently entered. He was being particularly hyper and funny a the dinner table the other night - a bit too much so, which caused me to comment that I could not wait to meet his future wife, who would certainly be a very special woman!

I then extended it and said I couldn't wait to see all of us in the future; he then made the statement, "Mom, you're already IN the future."

Coming from him, I don't know how to take that.

It might mean I'm "old" and as an adult am already in MY future. It might have a more philosophical meaning as in, "A moment has passed since you stated that, so you have moved into the future."

With him, you never know, and that is why I have to ponder this. He is the same child who at age 7 said, "Mom, it's really hard to think about when God started." On another day he began another statement by dismissing it before saying it: "Never mind, Mom. I was just going to ask you what you thought it would feel like not to exist, but then I realized I wouldn't be here to feel what it was like not to exist."

Having a bent towards the metaphysical myself, I get very excited about such ideas and want to converse with him, but when I ask him leading questions after such statements he will not go further with it, which drives me crazy! I sometimes think God is teasing me by having sent me a son whose mind is intrigued by the same kinds of thoughts as mine but who is unwilling to go beyond a single comment.
To further illustrated his personality, here is his idea of posing for a photograph:
Should he marry, his wife will certainly be a special person - as is he!

Back to "The Future:"

. . . was my son calling me old or was he being philosophical? Since he'll never tell, I think I'll assume the latter.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

temporary wierd stuff

Something is goofy with blogger. I've been trying to post lovely pictures to my last entry ever since I put it up. I've finally made some progress trying to get images to appear using html on my own rather than using blogger's non-functioning template, but you can see the messed-up results below, and right now I have to put fixing that in a holding pattern to get back to my homework.

I want these lovely pictures to illustrate the timelessness I spoke of, but I remain trapped in time . . .

. . . so for now, back to my research paper on what can be done to fix all the ills in math education in America!

Stay tuned (but it might be a while!)

Post Script:

Um . . . never mind. I got it to work. Procrastinating from writing a paper allows one to accomplish many things! I still haven't solved the ills of mathematics education in America, but now that the images are up (although somewhat imperfectly) I'll either have to get back to my paper or find some housework to procrastinate with instead. (I'm thinking the ills of math education in America will be solved first! - sorry Dave :-)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Eternal Now

Have you ever had such an experience of transcendence that you felt you had to say to the world, “You’re going to have to hold my place until I get back because I’m totally out of here?”

I think, if we are TRULY living beings, for each of us there is (or can be) something that brings us into the eternal now, something that takes us out of the world but at the same time makes us one with The World - with people of all times and places - with the heart of all things.

My transcendent experience is annually parceled out to me once a week for 5 weeks in November and December as our little local oratorio society practices and then presents Handel's Messiah.

For me it is the very real presence of Heaven on earth. As I participate I feel I leave my small world and in doing so become part of something much larger. I become part of all creation, of the very rocks of which would cry out if we were not praising God. I feel I become a part of every person who has ever sung this piece and that I become a part of every place where it has ever been sung. I feel like I am a part of every other person singing with me in that sanctuary as our different voices become one telling the story of the reconciliation of God with man, of a love for us so profound that God gave His own life to reconcile us to Himself, and of a time when we will all be in an eternal now in His presence.

Time and space disappear for me.

I’ve heard there is no time in Heaven, because Heaven is outside of time, so I imagine this is what Heaven will be like.

Today, as our annual practices began once more and I exited my small world and its concerns and entered paradise I made the same request as e.e. cummings (1894-1962)makes in his poem: "really unreal world,will you perhaps do the breathing for me while i am away?"
as any(men's hells having wrestled with)
man drops into his own paradise
whole and the green whereless truth
of an eternal now welcomes each was
of whom among not numerable ams

(leaving a perfectly distinct unhe;
a ticking phantom by prodigious time's
mere brain contrived:a spook of stop and go)
may i achieve another steepest thing--

how more than sleep illimitably my
--being so very born no bird can sing
as easily creation up all sky

(really unreal world,will you perhaps do
the breathing for me while i am away?)
Is there something that makes you truly alive, pulls you out of your little world, and leaves you so breathless that the world has to go on doing your breathing for you until you return?

I hope so. There’s nothing like it!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Some High Window

who are you, little i

(five or six years old)
peering from some high

window;at the gold

of november sunset

(and feeling:that if day
has to become night

this is a beautiful way)

e. e. cummings (1894-1962)