Wilderness — A Meditation

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Donald Trump - satirist extraordinaire

What'sup with Trump? He's playing with your mind! That's what. No billionaire I've ever read about is as silly, as inarticulate as Trump has been in the past two weeks. He sounds more like a dumbed down Stephen Colbert than like a serious politician. Take note of the information below and see if maybe you can agree with me that it is satire, not politics, that motivates Comeover Man.
p.s. click on the title to today's blog entry to go directly to the source of the quotation.


"Billionaire Donald J. Trump, an early presidential favorite among tea party activists, has a highly unusual history of political contributions for a prospective Republican candidate: He has given most of his money to the other side.

The real estate mogul and “Celebrity Apprentice” host has made more than $1.3 million in donations over the years to candidates nationwide, with 54 percent of the money going to Democrats, according to a Washington Post analysis of state and federal disclosure records.

Recipients include Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), former Pennsylvania governor Edward G. Rendell, and Rahm Emanuel, a former aide to President Obama who received $50,000 from Trump during his recent run to become Chicago’s mayor, records show."


"The most notable Democrats to receive Trump’s money include Hillary Clinton, Charles Rangel, Harry Reid, Max Baucus, Charles Schumer, Joe Lieberman, John Kerry, Chris Dodd, and the late Edward M. Kennedy."

Monday, April 25, 2011

An Easter Wish - Just For You ;)

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to
the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the
clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral
valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets'
towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys
howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of
red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless
stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where
bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the
white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon
the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more
full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you—beyond the next
turning of the canyon walls."
> - Edward Abbey

Thursday, April 21, 2011

David Foster Wallace

Below is a clip from Wallace's 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College.

I've just discovered this fellow. Thought you might enjoy.

Click on the title to today's blog entry to read the entire speech.

His main point is important to me because what he contends is what I believe is the most salient purpose of public education in America.

The last line of his address is: 'It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive, day in and day out.'

'A huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded. Here's one example of the utter wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of: Everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute center of the universe, the realest, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely talk about this sort of natural, basic self-centeredness, because it's so socially repulsive, but it's pretty much the same for all of us, deep down. It is our default-setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth. Think about it: There is no experience you've had that you were not at the absolute center of. The world as you experience it is right there in front of you, or behind you, to the left or right of you, on your TV, or your monitor, or whatever. Other people's thoughts and feelings have to be communicated to you somehow, but your own are so immediate, urgent, real -- you get the idea. But please don't worry that I'm getting ready to preach to you about compassion or other-directedness or the so-called "virtues." This is not a matter of virtue -- it's a matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural, hard-wired default-setting, which is to be deeply and literally self-centered, and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self.'

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Margaret Oiley - An Inspiration

Woke this morning to snow and light - just a dusting of each. Downed my first cuppa whilst solving a soduku. The next item on my early agenda is 'email'.

What to my wondering eyes should appear but the winner of the Archibald Prize - for those of you NOT in Australia, the Archibald is awarded each year to the painter of a portrait.

In past years wandering through the gallery perusing the faces of Australia has involved moments of awe as I realized just how much talent exists in the world.

This morning with no gallery to attend except for the highlight of snow on still bare brush with background birdsong, I am thrilled to share with you this amazing portrait.

If you click on the title to today's blog entry, you will go to Ben Wiley's web page where there is more information about his relationship with the rather amazing, although according to Wiley, humble subject - Margaret Oiley.

She catches my attention because Wiley has given me her eyes. Once I read his commentary on her artistic accomplishments, I realize that she is the perfect example of Eric Ericson's 7th stage of life - Generativity vs Stagnation.

You go, gurl! An example for all of us 'oldies'!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bugs Invade!

Despite the bluster outside of my house, some damned ole parasites caught me in the middle of the night. As soon as I recognized their presence, I headed for the Boiron Oscilliccoconum, downed a vial and sat for a couple of hours solving sudoku puzzles hoping to bore them into submission.

No luck. Took my second dose of homeopathics this morning when I struggled out of bed.

Will take the third and hopefully final dose in a few moments.

In the meantime, let me assure you that I hate being sick so much that I'll do most anything to avoid this state of being. The nordic trak has arrived and been busy this morning. If I can't homeopathic the damned virus to death, if propolis won't kill off the bacteria, and sudoku won't bore it into submission, I'll sweat the damn things into oblivion.

Wish me luck..

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wanna Come to America in Late August?

Well, I thought I'd share a little of what I've been working on lately. Tried publishing on page 99, a web site that allows a writer to share page 99 of a manuscript on which other writers comment. The real issue being, 'would you turn the page', 'would you buy this book' based on what you have read in this one page. It's a huge ask.

Let's let today's post be a page 99 experience. Would you be interested in turning the page after you read what is below? You may comment yes or no and offer any other comments that seem pertinent after you read. Thank you in advance for taking the time to do so.

And as an extra note, spring really has sprung on the prairie. We wake to birdsong and listen to Canada geese love making all night long. During the day it is inspirational to watch the couples take flight from Stoney Run. The Swenson's hawks ride the thermals and glide into the rushes after their lunch, the robins and finches are building nests. I love the sun breaking the horizon at 7 a.m., the golden prairie just waiting for seed, the rippling of the breeze on the waters. Glorious, just glorious.

page 38 — Two Hemispheres: Wilderness Inside and Out

‘I’m worried about June snow.’

‘No problem, Annie.’ Shrugging her shoulders, Marcy stirred her chai and added, ‘snowshoes, we’ll take snowshoes along and plenty of rope in case we run into high creeks.'

‘Could we wait until early September? Then the snow is melted and the streams have returned to normal?’

‘You can’t take a week off right after school starts.’

‘Yeah. I guess this is the only time. I am worried about the snow cups, though. Last time I had to walk through those egg carton snow banks, I thought I’d die. Promised myself I’d never do that again.’

‘Listen, if you want to cancel, do it now. I’ll see if I can find someone else. I do wish you had found some fellow to join us. A little male strength might make you feel safer.’

‘I think I may have found a mountaineer, Marcy. I’m just not sure he can come with us in June. Wanna wait for July. He’s talking about coming to America then.’

You know I can’t take time off in July. My work schedule is just too heavy. You have to trust us, Annie. We can do it.’

‘Yeah, sure,’ I nodded, knowing full well that the strength on this trek was going to belong to Marcy. ‘I hate over flowing mountain streams. Haven’t met one yet that I haven’t fallen into.’

‘Yeah, you’re right. How many times have I either pulled you out or steadied your hand on a log crossing? Remember that time it took all day to dry out your pack after you fell ass first into Hass Creek? Yoga might help your balance, ya know.’

‘Ok, ok. You’re right. Anyway, I did buy those discount tickets to London for mid July. I set aside nineteen days to search for the Grail in Devonshire and Wales.’

‘Ah, yes, I wish you luck in all things spiritual. You still planning on meeting that Australian fellow? Maybe he can come after you return.’

Later that evening I jotted a note to the Australian. ‘Wanna come to America in late August?’

Knowing his response before he even wrote, I resigned myself to one more failed romance even if I wasn’t sure an online email exchange could be called a romance. Certainly none of my friends would agree with me on that definition. I kinda liked this fellow and was sad that we would never actually meet. Too bad he hadn’t bothered to write me before his last visit to California.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Mind that changed mine

Jean Houston has a new blog.

Click on the title to this post to see what she has to say.

Jean's is the mind that changed my perspective on almost everything I used to believe. In 1981, when she was president of the American Association for Humanistic Psychology, I met her for the first time at a conference in Los Angeles.

Since that time I have read most of her published works, followed her around the world as traveler in waiting, and used a good deal of her work in my own teaching.

Hers will be a blog worth reading. I recommend it to any who seek enlightenment. Hopefully Jean's larger than life sense of the absurd will come through her blogging. It is with a well tuned sense of timing and a not so subtle sense of humor that she does her best work.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

A little snowstorm on 8 April 2011. Did I mistakenly believe that winter had fled? Chalk it up to being a newbie on the prairie.

Those who know advised that at least one more serious snowfall would occur before warm winds would replace the shivers.

Anyhow, enjoy the weather in your world - it's got to be warmer and more inviting than ours ;)

Friday, April 08, 2011


Well, it's been a few years or maybe a few decades since I was jazzed about seeing a robin, but this morning the first red breast was sucking up worms from my front lawn and I was jazzed!

The geese have been here for a week, the ducks were frolicking on Stoney Run yesterday, and a pheasant flushed herself from a nest near the fir tree in the afternoon. Bird life is harbinger to spring here in our prairie world. I'm happy to say we are watching carefully and enjoying the shenanigans of our feathered friends including the roadrunner who sped across the dirt farm road we took home from the fitness center in the late afternoon.

The honking geese compete with the train whistle as it zooms through town; the mating geese being a better way to awaken in the morning.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Spring has Sprung

The geese are back.

Huge V formations fill the skies as the late fliers zoom in a catch up endeavour to the main flock.

Honking can be heard from the tap dancing geese as they huddle on Stoney Run just waiting for a cracking of the now rotten ice that will allow them to access the mosquito larvae and other delicious morsels caught below.

We are thrilled to have our feathered neighbours close at hand again. A pheasant trundled through the tall grasses near the edge of the Run this morning. The black capped chickadees, 12 month residents of the prairie, congregate around the bird feeder. A snowy woodpecker comes to the suet hanging close to the back door.

Sun streams through our east facing windows at 7:10 a.m. Surely the soil will soon be thawed - to the bottom of the 8 foot freezing depths. The roads are full of tractors and seeders headed for farmlands surrounding us.

The next huge change will be the greening of the deciduous shrubs and trees. I am loving the idea of spring. Soon we will be in the midst of its actuality.

We are so in love with our prairie house which has sheltered us through this last hoorah of winter storms. The sump pump works steadily to keep the ground water in the ground and out of the basement. Soon it will be warm enough to return to the attic to finish the insulation of the roof and to open the floor to our new stairway to the heavens.

We may be old, but the goddess has once again given us hope for the future. Mother earth is a wise seductress - calling us once again to enjoy the affirmation of planetary life forces.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Wisconsin Recall - You Go Teachers!

BREAKING NEWS: Wisconsin Democrats just announced that local activists submitted over 100% of the signatures needed to "recall" Republican state senator Dan Kapanke from office!

Friday, April 01, 2011

40 F...

Aye..what a day we've had today!

40 degrees - lovely sunshine - clear dry roads - a trip to Papsmear to buy nuts and bolts.

Chinese for lunch with a long convo with the owner of the restaurant for dessert. She and her husband came from China to NYC..and from there to Papsmear? Will have to return for another luncheon feast to find out why?

After shoving all the groceries we bought into the door of the refrigerator, I ambled over to the Memorial Hall to see how the Aussie was coming with the melting ice run off that was invading the basement kitchen of the Hall.

Ice was about six or seven inches thick and melting fast. With no place to go, it seeped under the doorway into the kitchen. Graham chopped ice with a pick and I sopped up the standing water with a mop. He put a sump pump attached to a long hose on the running water near the outside of the door.

Eventually, he chopped a run off sluice to carry the water out to the road..about thirty feet of it.

Working together was fun in the 40 degrees of sunlight. Wish I had had gloves, but my fingers have recovered.

We have snow predicted for Sunday; the slough has puddles on the top of the ice and the stubble in the fields is higher than the snow. Canada Geese are tap dancing in the puddles. Spring is here. Happy sunny days hopefully for the next couple of weeks.