Wilderness — A Meditation

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Guardian

The sentinel of the Sierra, a Ponderosa, guards the trailhead to the mother of all mountains - Whitney - at 14,500 feet, the highest peak in the lower 48 states.  In the spring of 1986 I caught this scene one mid morning on my way to Lone Pine Lake, a mere two and a half miles up the trail.
Since then, this photo reminds me of the halcyon days when my then 44 year old legs would carry me into the back country of some of North America's most pristine wilderness.  This lovely pine has served as a reminder of the peaceful, regenerative wilderness that is so important to those of us who are often far too busy to take time to breathe high country ambiance, a joyful reminder of why being alone can be a celebration.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Goldman Sachs Rules the World

Is this trader for real?
Check out this video and see what you think.
As for me, I'm about to do some Google searches on 'how to make money from a bear market' cause I prefer to hedge my bets.

And then there's this response to the interview:

I'd be interested in what  you think about the video if you feel like posting below.

Otherwise, I do hope the comments give you pause to consider your own financial provisions for the future.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

— Mind —

Quietly, desperately he searches
            His rational mind attempts reconstruction of previousity
                                    while brain waves snag on hillocks of stress.
Kookaburra gargles.
Butcher Bird whistles.
Fig bird flits among the tiny fruit.
The rational ONE has forgotten the automatic gesture that stored glasses in a
safe place beneath the right node
over the middle dendrite!
Who remembers such a circuitous route? In the careful walk back over the previous route, no glasses reflect the sun.
Loriketes mimic screaming brain searching for memory
Not half way,
            only at full bore,
                         the amazing human brain hides us from ourselves.
A frustrating companion,
            a partner in deception,
                         it secrets  ‘need to know’ confidentialities in deep crevices
                                    where lost items are stored within the information revolution
topsy turvey
instantaneously connected to the present by tenuous tendrils
cross referenced 
and silently lost in the labyrinth of gray matter,
stored in no apparent  rational order.
The  automatic system refuses to cooperate with conscious Intention
No rationality in this filing system,
                  Only the unconscious knows where the glasses await their owner.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Wenger has a blog that, among other things, discusses Meyers/Briggs Personality Preferences and writing styles.  Great information for teachers and for singular individuals who know who they are on the Personality Sorter and more importantly, care what that means about themselves and others.

Enjoy. . . Enjoy - - ENJOY!! :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Yard Guys

Dueling weed wackers greeted the dawn!  Urgh..what an awful way to greet the dawn.

Not to be outdone, the noisy leaf blowers came in for the finale'
As I stood in my pjs on the front veranda hissing remarks across the street, waving my arms like an orchestra conductor, the yard guys just laughed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Knack for Bashing Orthodoxy

Ah, NYTimes, you've done it again.  An excellent article on Richard Dawkins, bane of my favorite science writer, Stephen J. Gould who died of cancer in 2002. 

You may wish to take a look at this included herein.

A couple of quotes to whet your appetite:

"From that experience he drew a dislike of the current establishment insistence — bordering on mania — for standardized tests and curriculums. (He views this as antithetical to true learning.)"

"Our glory as a species is that we can overcome our genetic impulses, he says, acknowledging that the book’s title “perhaps lent itself to misunderstanding.” The Selfish Gene

“Religion teaches you to be satisfied with nonanswers,” he says. “It’s a sort of crime against childhood.”

"But it would not be a school for atheists. The idea horrifies him. A child should skip down an idiosyncratic intellectual path. “I am almost pathologically afraid of indoctrinating children,” he says. “It would be a ‘Think for Yourself Academy.’ ”

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


You thought I had disappeared?

Well, it rained and you know about the big wet and witches! I melted!!

Now, the sun has come back out and dried up all the drains and witchetty grub me has re-formed again! How's that for an international story?

Anyhow, today while I was busy playing solitaire on my computer waiting until it was time to head off to lunch, I heard a male voice calling, 'Hellooo,' from the front of the house. I live in this rather large Queensland Colonial and my office is in the very back on what becomes the second story because our house is located on a hillside.

I knew that my housemate, Emily, was sleeping cause she worked the graveyard shift, so I scurried down the long front hallway to see what the racquet was all about.

Leaning on my front gate with his arms spread from one gatepost to the other was a square man with a Tongan accent. 'We're working in the area today. Would you like your palm trees trimmed?'

 He waved both of those long arms to encompass the four very tall palm trees growing in the front garden. All four had window dressings of palm nut bundles all tied up in a date like arrangement, ready to fall to the ground where I would later be picking them up.

Below the palm nut bundles hung dead yellow seven foot palm fronds. An underdressing that would also  eventually fall in the next big wind and bounce off the fence or topple one of the lovely shrubs growing beneath them in the garden.

From the top of the front veranda stairs, I asked, 'How much would you charge me for all four?'

'Humm, that one is extra high, more than a 25 feet, cost more to climb up that one. $180 for all four and we'll take it to the dump.'

I really wanted those palms trimmed, but that was just too much money.'

I thought immediately about the old dying mango tree in the side garden. I might be able to get a deal from him for taking it down too.

'Do you trim other trees?'

A nod of his head. 'We may be able to trim these for $150.'

Monday, September 19, 2011


So, the dr. has prescribed a white bread and puffed white rice diet for me.  Yikes! 

I think I prefer to have the disease/irritation.

Instead I bought rice cakes and rice crackers.  Can't even imagine a brekkie of puffed nothingness.

Will try boiled eggs instead.  Still, seems a waste of calories, doesn't it.

I'll report later to let you know whether it makes any difference at all.

His last cure didn't have any effect on my system.  I think he knew it wouldn't.  He prescribed it just to convince me that I need steriods.  I'd rather be sick than take steroids.  Really, I would.  Well, right now I would.  We'll see how I react in a few days.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I love Government - Paul Begala - Newsweek

With everyone from Rick Perry to Barack Obama bashing Big Gummint, the time has come to defend it.

Wildfires have consumed 3.6 million acres in my home state of Texas since December 2010. That’s about the size of the entire state of Connecticut. At least 700 homes have been destroyed, and four people have been killed. Of the 10 largest wildfires in Texas history, six have occurred this year. Think about that.

Now think about this: Texas governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry has cut funding for volunteer firefighters, who are the first responders to 90 percent of all wildfires in Texas, by 75 percent.

Conservatives talk about government as if it were something foreign, alien, or extrinsic when in fact the Constitution says it truthfully and simply: “We the People.” Government is us. It’s capable of true greatness, real nobility, and majestic triumphs. I’d go further: the U.S. federal government is the greatest force for good in human history. Period.

The federal government freed the slaves and defeated Hitler. It built the interstate highway system, won the Cold War, integrated the South, put men on the moon, and killed Osama bin Laden. By the way, it also created the Internet, with Al Gore’s leadership. So there.

And yet the demonization of government persists. Sure, when the fires rage, Perry praises “the brave men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to protect Texans’ lives and property.” But even as the wildfires burned he hotfooted it to the Reagan Library on Sept. 7 for some good old-fashioned bashing of Big Gummint.

President Obama argued against the GOP's antigovernment assumptions in his Sept. 8th speech to congress., Jim Young / Reuters-Landov
Even President Obama sometimes adopts the antigovernment premise, like when he killed his own administration’s air-quality standards. As if cleaner air, less asthma, and lower cancer rates would cause massive layoffs. But he got it right in his Sept. 8 speech to Congress, pummeling the notion that “the only thing we can do to restore prosperity is ... dismantle government, refund everyone’s money, let everyone write their own rules, and tell everyone they’re on their own—that’s not who we are. That’s not the story of America.”

The president is right. The truth is many of our problems were caused by too little government, regulation, and taxation (at least of the rich). Wall Street was deregulated, and when the casino went bust, taxpayers bailed out the gamblers. Regulators cozied up to oil companies, and 11 working men were killed in the Deepwater Horizon tragedy as BP’s well gushed millions of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico. After 29 miners were killed in the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in West Virginia, an independent investigation found that the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration “failed its duty as the watchdog for coal miners.”

The media have a responsibility here as well. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie bashes retired teachers for getting an average pension of about $35,000 a year, why does no one point out that they’re worth it? Or that New Jersey students have the highest AP test scores in the nation? Because that wouldn’t fit the antigovernment narrative.

The truth is teachers didn’t cause our recession; firefighters didn’t cause layoffs; nurses and cops didn’t turn a record surplus into a record deficit. Politicians and corporate greedheads did. And yet government remains the villain.

There has always been a tension in the American character. We are at turns intensely individualistic and deeply communitarian. But right now the only side that’s speaking out is the individualists’. Why doesn’t some Democrat point out that our Founding Fathers, so revered by the Tea Partiers, gave us a motto: e pluribus unum—from many, one? They did not choose canis canem edit—dog eat dog.

Some of this country’s bravest and best work for the government. Yet in the GOP debate at the Reagan Library, Perry simultaneously praised the Navy SEALs who killed bin Laden and claimed government doesn’t create jobs. Precisely whom does he think those SEALs work for? Enron?

If Perry hates government that much, maybe the next time his state’s on fire he can call a CEO.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spiritual Masters - Not for Me!

What I've Learned from the Spiritual Masters

'So what is life's purpose? A grand enterprise shared by all humanity, it is the achievement of God-consciousness or Divine awareness.'

My response to Dr. McSwain includes my contention that his assertion is the 'selling point' of all major religions..the way they market their product, the way they make their money.

Instead, I assert that life's purpose is to act in such a way as to assure the continuation of our species.  The other stuff is just window dressing that somehow makes us seem like we are more important than in fact we actually are in the natural scheme of things.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's a global world.. to prepare youngsters to operate in that world it is essential to have a "global classroom"- Kathleen Norris

Tuesday, September 06, 2011



Myriad green scripts
on brown papyrus soil
written translation impossible
patterns older than human letters,
Meadows  create art everywhere.

Wide high Sierra duff,
Guyot Flats,
brown pine needles,
soften foot fall at 10,000 feet.

Wider yet, Tuolomme green grasses
peppered with stark blues, red, yellows, oranges
of short lived  wildflowers seeded by deep winter snows.
Keep to the trail
protect delicate August blossoms.

Looping off to the horizon
Utah meadows filter through red rock monoliths
sparse sage and  salt bush hold tenuous desert cement
in meadows
as winds sweep extreme afternoons.
Coolness crosses the landscape with stunning  sunsets

Is there a meadow I love  best?

Potted with clear blue lakes,
Ponderosa and white pines filigree the edges,
Cotton Wood Meadow, home of Dragons
who wander the earth protecting the riches of meadows everywhere.

Ah, and the meadows of the mind,
relaxing, verdant moments
when one  wanders unbeleaguered by the pressing issues of the day,
stepping round the hillocks of color,
breathing the fragrance of the unfiltered common space  in the collective unconscious;
aware that the skies above and the earth below
                                                      have created  meadows of reverie.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Laurel - The Girl Who Read Books

"Perhaps, that is the crux of the issue, maybe that is the story that needs telling, the story of she who has everything right here in her lap and still feels jilted, deprived because somehow earlier in life there was not enough."

          The second grader marched through the marble halls of the massive elementary school. On her way to the library, she was. Books made her happy. They were her refuge against the world when it was missing cosy. Cosy existed high in the elm tree in her aunt Delores' front yard. There was very little grass growing beneath the huge elm, the shade from the tree somehow kept grasses from blooming in that space in the old Flint working class neighborhood.

It was a book that she kept stored in her pocket when she climbed up to the crook in the tree level with the chimney in their frame house, the home of her mother’s brother and sister in law.

 There were two other children living in the house, Phyllis and Karen; they didn’t read much. Happy girls, social girls, they were more apt to be found with dolls, cut out paper dolls playing in the bedroom. Her aunt Delores was ever sure just how to handle Laurel. She was a quiet child, right in between her two daughters in age. The three children shared a bedroom, a bedroom the two Smith girls might have had to themselves if their cousin hadn’t arrived on the scene. They tolerated Laurel, but she seemed strange; quiet and a bit introverted.  She read books all the time, even in between chores.

Laurel was caught in the throes of Little Women or Annie York, Girl Detective. Her aunt had called the girls in to set the table, to feed the dog before Laurel had finished the chapter where she was caught in an attic, about to discover some amazing clue to solve the mystery of The Tallest Elm.

           When it was time to wash dishes after supper, Laurel might be found sitting still at her place at the table, having pulled her book out of the back pocket of her denims, reading while the adults finished their meal.  The other two girls would long ago have been excused from the table to return to their paper dolls in the bedroom. Lavishly redressing their pretty cut outs, the girls manufactured parties and adventures for their dolls, interacting in the most boisterous social manner.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Sierra Snow Scene

sunlit snowfalls -

tiny avalanches

shifting pine limbs burst from white sky scrim

forest green boughs laden with large dollops of collected snow,

shifting and sliding,
join the pristine snow blanket below


Friday, September 02, 2011

Puter Problems - A good laugh

As we Silver Surfers know, sometimes we have trouble with our computers.

I had a problem yesterday, so I called Eric, the 11 year old next door, whose bedroom looks like  Mission Control and asked him to come over. Eric clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem.

As he was walking away, I called after him, "So, what was wrong?"

He replied, "It was an ID ten T error."

I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless enquired, "An, ID ten T error? What's that? In case I need to fix it again."

Eric grinned .... "Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?"

"No," I replied.

"Write it down," he said, "and I think you'll figure it out."

So I wrote down: ID10T

I used to like Eric, the little bastard.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

New Zealand - Te Anu

New Zealand Track

Clouds bolt across blue skies,

Alder trees shimmer in the wind,

Twisting, the track follows the long fiords of Te Anou.

Fern filled beech forests

escallop edges of aquamarine rivulets

snaking in the red

tufted meadows.

Ridge lines of Red Beech cling to steep walls rising from the Sound.

~~~~~~~Massive waterfalls skim the tops of hanging valleys,

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~sweep over towering glacial faces, plunge,


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~over ferocious walls