If you would like to hear a train and don't have time to listen to birds, go to the end of the video. My goal was to record the sound of what I thought might be an owl. The owl remained silent, but at the end of the video, you will hear the sound of a train from three miles away.
I am reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret after having watched Martin Scorsese's "Hugo." There are trains running through that story, and from that story I have a new appreciation of trains, train stations, clocks, automata, books, children, silent films, Paris in 1931, World War I veterans, writing, drawing, adventure ...
I know I don't have the tune exactly right, but that is close to what I can hear in my mind. As a child, I was not allowed to sing in the Glee Club in grade school or in the Glee Club in junior high because I have trouble carrying a tune. The part of my brain that carries tunes doesn't work as well as the part of my brain that allows me to draw, and I've always been ashamed of not being able to carry a tune. Today I can hear that I sing like a child who is still learning to sing, and I'm not ashamed of my voice.
When I looked around on YouTube, I found a different version with a different tune and a grandma instead of a mama.
Although I am not a mother and was never even pregnant, I am moved by Rachel Barenblat's essay on motherhood. If I had read an essay like that when I was younger, I would not have been so afraid of being someone's mother.
These two photos of my mother and me were taken by my father, probably in 1950.
My guess is that the photo below was taken in the early 1980s, if not late 1970s. I remember first seeing that photo and thinking that my mother looked younger than I did. My sisters and I all grew up to be taller than our mother. That is one of the few photos of just my mother and me as adults. I can only think of one other. The photo was taken by my father at Anchor Bay, California, a few miles up the coast from where my parents lived after my sisters and I had grown up, and my father had retired.
Beginning in the late 1980s, my relationship with my mother underwent stresses that were not worked out before she died in 1994. Now I understand that she had a similar relationship with her mother.
As I was watching "Hugo" a few days ago on DVD, I thought it was something that my mother would have enjoyed seeing:
One day when I was in Paris as a representative of the Vietnamese Buddhist Peace Delegation, to be present at the Paris Peace Talks, I received a phone message from Saigon, telling me that four social workers had just been shot and killed. I cried. It was I who had asked them to come and be trained as social workers.
A friend who was there with me, said, "Thây, you are a kind of general leading a nonviolent army, and when your army is working for love and reconciliation, there will surely be casualties. There is no need to cry."
I said, "I am not a general. I am a human being. I need to cry."
Six months later, I wrote a play about the deaths of these students, titled The Path of Return Continues the Journey.
(Quoted from For a Future to Be Possible (2008), by Thich Nhat Hanh)
(The play mentioned above can be found in the book Love in Action: Writings on Nonviolent Social Change (1993), by Thich Nhat Hanh)
Martin Luther King, Jr., with Thich Nhat Hanh in 1966.
Thich Nhat Hanh visiting in Hue, Vietnam, in 2005:
Read about Nobel Peace Prize 2013 nomination campaign here.
"Of all the pitfalls in our paths and the tremendous delays and wanderings off the track I want to say that they are not what they seem to be," writes Agnes Martin. "I want to say that all that seems like fantastic mistakes are not mistakes, all that seems like error is not error; and it all has to be done. That which seems like a false step is the next step."
(drawing you may have seen before, from childhood, by am)
April 28 (from Eknath Easwaren's Words To Live By)
Know the Self as Lord of the chariot, the body as the chariot itself, the discriminating intellect as the charioteer, and the mind as the reins. The senses, say the wise, are the horses, selfish desires are the roads they travel.
– Katha Upanishad
The Upanishads say that your body is like a chariot drawn by five powerful horses, the five senses. These horses travel not so much through space as through time. They gallop from birth towards death, pursuing the objects of their desire. The discriminating intellect is the charioteer, whose job it is not to drive you over a cliff. The reins he holds are the mind – your thoughts, emotions, and desires.
This image is packed with implications. For one, the job of the intellect is to see clearly. The job of the mind is to act as reins. When everything is working in harmony, our highest Self makes all the decisions. The intellect conveys these decisions to the mind, and the senses obey the mind. But when the senses are uncontrolled, they immediately take the road they like best: personal satisfactions, mostly pleasure. Then we are not making the decisions; the horses are.
“For me, running is both exercise and a metaphor. Running day after day, piling up the races, bit by bit I raise the bar, and by clearing each level I elevate myself. At least that’s why I’ve put in the effort day after day: to raise my own level. I’m no great runner, by any means. I’m at an ordinary – or perhaps more like mediocre – level. But that’s not the point. The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday. In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.”
Hello and welcome! Thanks for visiting my blog, which began as "Old Girl of the North Country" in December of 2006. The photo at the top of the page was taken in the summer of 2011, looking to the east from the porch of my home in the far northern corner of Western Washington.
"OLD GIRL OF THE NORTH COUNTRY" (the earliest name for my blog) was created in early December of 2006 so that I could post a 40-year retrospective of my paintings and drawings. As of March 2013, my blog is now titled "TALKING 37TH DREAM (RUMORS OF PEACE)."
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Enjoy every sandwich -- Warren Zevon (1947-2003)
Not in God's wilds will you ever hear the sad moan, "All is vanity." No, we are paid a thousand times for all our toil, and after a single day spent outdoors in their atmosphere of strength and beauty, one could still say, should death come — even without any hope of another life — "Thank you for this most glorious gift!" and pass on.
-- John Muir (1838-1914)
Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do? Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well. Hugh Fennyman: How? Philip Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery.