Listen

Listen.

That’s good; now listen some more.

Good. Why is it
that when you focus on listening,
it seems to get quieter?

Maybe it is your self that quiets.

wallup.net

(ear: kidshealth.org.nz; horizon: wallup.net)

Posted in Consciousness, Humans, listening, Poem, Quiet, Wisdom | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Barry Lopez Essay

Please read this, if you love the world. It’s from Orion Magazine ~Jim Stewart

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Haiku: Wind Aria

The sea paints the shore
as the rain lashes my face;
the wind sings a hymn.

(waves: Jim Stewart)

Posted in Haiku, Ocean, Oregon, rain, Uncategorized, Water | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Omniscience

I can handle my liquor, but
fall on my face;
My intelligence is genius, but
misinterprets the problem;
I see all obstacles, but
step into the hole;
My kindness is legendary, but
my words bring tears;
I am a great driver, but
the bicyclist has to miss me;
I am forthright and brave, but
hide from the truth.

My omniscience is suspect.

(image: magic.wizards.com)

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Haiku–Patient Rain

Steam rises from the
fence; the sun hangs high and round;
rain waits patiently.

(Sun: ifa.Hawaii.edu; Fence: youtube.com)

Posted in Haiku, rain, Sun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Do Spiders Dream?

Wind rises;
trees bend and stretch;
webs ripple and tear.
Drops as big as she
engulf delicate weaving
as she tries respinning the damage,
but the maelstrom says no.

She retreats to a cup of leaves to endure.
Her dreams are calamitous.
I understand.

(web: study.com)

Posted in Dream, Endurance, future, Hurricane, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Haiku–Adorning Ink

My decorations
are only for the world and
everybody.

(photo: musely.com)

Posted in cleavage, Haiku, Humans, Narble Furt, Poem, tattoo, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Water Wonder

We pack water around everywhere we go. We are veritable bota bags of water. We humans are roughly sixty to seventy percent water. Since learning these factoids, people have been fond of comparing our water mass to that of our planet, which is about 70 percent water. It’s a nice correlation, sure, but vanishes when we contemplate drinkable water. Only about two-and-a-half percent of the water adhering to our oblate spheroid is fresh and drinkable. The rest of it is saltier than the glass rim of a Bloody Maria. And there is probably another ocean’s worth of water in the mantle of the planet. It all adds up to something like 326 million trillion gallons that we live above, below, and around. That’s a number with eighteen zeros. When I attempt to parse a number like that I feel like a hamster trying to comprehend a fork.

Let’s go back to the water we can drink for a minute. We Americans take it for granted, yes? Much of the two-and-a-half percent that is fresh water is locked up in the polar ice caps. The arithmetic, then, says we have less than one percent of all the water on earth to hydrate us land creatures, including the plants with whom we share the land. That’s still a lot of water but it’s a useful perspective to have when thinking about human population and the survival of life as we know it. In the United States, the aquifer levels have been depleted by a volume equal to two Lake Eries. And that trend continues unabated. Perhaps all the people with their heads stuck in the sand should look for potable water while they’re down there.

When water shows up where it’s not wanted, it is mind-bogglingly powerful. Just ask Midwest folks or the people living in New Orleans. Last year alone, USA flood damage ran into billions of dollars. We can redirect water or block it behind a levee or a dam, but when containment fails it will go wherever it wants to with no respect for any of us, fitting exactly whatever container it fills, be it a glass, a riverbed, a house, or a city.

Perhaps the most fascinating characteristic of water is its surface tension, defined by Webster as : the attractive force exerted upon the surface molecules of a liquid by the molecules beneath that tends to draw the surface molecules into the bulk of the liquid and makes the liquid assume the shape having the least surface area. It’s why drops are round, why water striders can dance across the surface of a stream, why needles can float, why after a spill beads form on your kitchen counter, and why kids can delight in the magic of soap bubbles floating on the breeze. It also serves to help your eyeballs (cornea) stay moist. How cool is that?

Yep. Aside from being essential to life, water is the universal solvent, the patient carver of rock into spectacular landscapes, the carrier of rich nutrients onto farm land, and the enabler for me to sit here thinking about it. If I sit and think about it for twenty-four hours, I will have exhaled about a cup of water.

I think we have to be better giving back than that.

(Top: from PixelStalk.net; Bottom: Gearhart beach from the author)

Posted in Conservation, Uncategorized, Water | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Losing the Lease

A short rhymer. jrs

The only home I’ve ever known
Is this body in which I’ve grown.
Like any house, it sometimes needs repair
And you can’t get parts just anywhere.
It’s a miracle of gut and brain,
Of bone and sinew that sadly wane.
So when the mortgage payments cease
We all must surely give up our lease.

(Mexico sunrise: the poet)

Posted in end-of-life, Humans, Life, Poem, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Rumbling About

I can sit on my motorcycle, rumbling down Coast Highway 101, following my front tire to Seaside. As long as there is road, sometimes it isn’t possible to discover a reason to stop.

Clustered memories can explode into other years and other roads, where I didn’t know what the horizon was hiding. Each revealed plain offered a new mystery to unravel, a different place to wonder about.

It’s all about the seeking when the finding leads to more seeking, building an atlas of memory that will sustain the stories that help define my life. I can see from 101 to Burns, from Burns to Elko, from Elko to Whitefish, from Whitefish to Revelstoke, from Revelstoke to Port Angeles, place to place all over western North America.

These are selfish memories. It’s just me on the iron magic carpet. The thunder on which I ride is a mantra that frees my heart to love the world. The gratitude runs through me, buoys me, and renders me a comet of hope burning across the heavens of my everyday routine.

Coast Highway gets me where I need to be, where I used to perform my due diligence so my family would have shelter, warmth, food, and peace. The gratitude for that more than equals the wild freedom I’ve enjoyed and keeps me snug and free of having to master urban camping.

I remember not knowing where dinner was. I knew it was somewhere until it became breakfast, then lunch, and then dinner again. Going to sleep hungry, even during my direst youthful economics, was not terribly common for me, but it happened. For many in our community here in Oregon, it is still a daily travail. I’m glad I no longer have to experience that. My situation allows me the ease of knowing where dinner is, AND breakfast, AND lunch. I’m awake. I’m intelligent. I’m lucky.

My motorcycle is a luxury. To more than eighty percent of the humans on our planet, I live a luxurious life. When I go to Mexico I am perceived as a wealthy gringo. If I travel to La Jolla, my collar is perceived as blue. Sometimes, it’s like my very skin is the only disguise I need. It offers me the white privilege of being fairly safe most anywhere I go. Money in my pocket has nothing to do with it. But even mostly blending in, humans will still label me. It’s a leftover survival mechanism. People of color, in neighborhoods where they are the exception rather than the rule, know this very well.

It’s all relative, isn’t it? I am staunchly middle-middle class here in America. To a starving Somali family or a homeless person anywhere, I am rich beyond comprehension. I become the stereotypical ugly American. Do I deserve that? Depends on who’s looking. In my own mind I am a kind man who cares greatly for the vibrant cultures all over the world. But that caring is not universally perceived. At the bottom line, I really can’t alter the perceptions that follow me wherever I go. All I can do is accept them, try to understand them, and move through my own life, sharing positive energy as best I can. Sometimes, that will be with a rumbling wind in my face.

(Motorcycle: 123RF.com)

Posted in Absolutes, American history, family, Harley Davdson, Humans, Life, Motorcycles, Open road, Oregon, Perception, Uncategorized, White privlege, Wisdom | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments