Sunday, September 30, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

He wrote them a letter and he wrote it so kind. He put down in writing what was on his mind.

from Bob Dylan

(Sent to the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee
after he received the Tom Paine Award at the
Bill of Rights dinner on December 13, 1963.)

to anybody it may concern...
mr lamont?
countless faces I do not know
an all fighters for good things that I can not see

when I speak of bald heads, I mean bald minds
when I speak of the seashore, I mean the restin shore
I dont know why I mentioned either of them

my life runs in a series of moods
in private an in personal ways, sometimes,
I, myself, can change the mood I'm in t the
mood I'd like t be in. when I walked thru the
doors of the americana hotel, I needed to change
my mood... for reasons inside myself.

I am a restless soul
perhaps wretched

it is hard to hear someone you dont know, say
"this is what he meant t say" about something
you just said

for no one can say what I meant t say
absolutely no one
at times I even cant
that was one of those times

my life is lived out daily in the places I feel
most confortable in. these places are places where
I am unknown an unstared at. I perform rarely, an
when I do, there is a constant commotion burnin
at my body an at my mind because of the attention
aimed at me. instincts fight my emotions an fears
fight my instincts...

I do not claim t be smart by the standards set up
I dont even claim to be normal by the standards
set up
an I do not claim to know any kind of truth

but like an artist who puts his painting (after
he's painted it) in front of thousands of unknown
eyes, I also put my song there that way
(after I've made it)
it is as easy an as simple as that

I can not speak. I can not talk
I can only write an I can only sing
perhaps I should've sung a song
but that wouldn't a been right either
for I was given an award not to sing
but rather on what I have sung

no what I should've said was
"thank you very much ladies an gentlemen"
yes that is what I should've said
but unfortunatly... I didn't
an I didn't because I did not know

I thought something else was expected of me
other than just sayin "thank you"
an I did not know what it was
it is a fierce heavy feeling
thinkin something is expected of you
but you dont know what exactly it is...
it brings forth a wierd form of guilt

I should've remembered
"I am BOB DYLAN an I dont have t speak
I dont have t say nothin if I dont wanna"
I didn't remember

I constantly asked myself while eatin supper
"what should I say? what should I tell 'm?
everybody else is gonna tell 'm something"
but I could not answer myself
I even asked someone who was sittin nex t me
an he couldn't tell me neither. my mind blew
up an needless t say I had t get it back in its
rightful shape (whatever that might be) an so
I escaped from the big room... only t hear my
name being shouted an the words "git in here
git in here" overlappin with the findin of my
hand being pulled across hundreds of tables
with the lights turned on strong... guidin me
back t where I tried t escape from
"what should I say? what should I say?"
over an over again
oh God, I'd a given anything not t be there
"shut the lights off at least"
people were coughin an my head was poundin
an the sounds of mumble jumble sank deep in
my skull from all sides of the room
until I tore everything loose from my mind
an said "just be honest, dylan, just be honest"

an so I found myself in front of the plank
like I found myself once in the path of a car
an I jumped...
jumped with all my bloody might
just tryin t get out a the way
but first screamin one last song

when I spoke of Lee Oswald, I was speakin of the times
I was not speakin of his deed if it was his deed.
the deed speaks for itself
but I am sick
so sick
at hearin "we all share the blame" for every
church bombing, gun battle, mine disaster,
poverty explosion, an president killing that
comes about.
it is so easy t say "we" an bow our heads together
I must say "I" alone an bow my head alone
for it is I alone who is livin my life
I have beloved companions but they do not
eat nor sleep for me
an even they must say "I"
yes if there's violence in the times then
there must be violence in me
I am not a perfect mute.
I hear the thunder an I cant avoid hearin it
once this is straight between us, it's then an
only then that we can say "we" an really mean
it... an go on from there t do something about

When I spoke of Negroes
I was speakin of my Negro friends
from harlem
an Jackson
selma an birmingham
atlanta pittsburg, an all points east
west, north, south an wherever else they
might happen t be.
in rat filled rooms
an dirt land farms
schools, dimestores, factories
pool halls an street corners
the ones that dont own ties
but know proudly they dont have to
not one little bit
they dont have t be like they naturally aint
t get what they naturally own no more 'n anybody
else does
it only gets things complicated
an leads people into thinkin the wrong things
black skin is black skin
It cant be covered by clothes an made t seem
acceptable, well liked an respectable...
t teach that or t think that just tends the
flames of another monster myth...
it is naked black skin an nothin else
if a Negro has t wear a tie t be a Negro
then I must cut off all ties with who he has
t do it for.
I do not know why I wanted t say this that
perhaps it was just one of the many things
in my mind
born from the confusion of my times

when I spoke about the people that went t Cuba
I was speakin of the free right t travel
I am not afraid t see things
I challenge seein things
I am insulted t the depths of my soul
when someone I dont know commands that I
cant see this an gives me mysterious reasons
why I'll get hurt if I do see it... tellin me
at the same time about goodness an badness in
people that again I dont know...
I've been told about people all my life
about niggers, kikes, wops, bohunks, spicks, chinks,
an I been told how they eat, dress, walk, talk,
steal, rob, an kill but nobody tells me how any
of 'm feels... nobody tells me how any of 'm cries
or laughs or kisses. I'm fed up with most newspapers,
radios, tv an movies an the like t tell me. I want
now t see an know for myself...
an I accepted that award for all others like me
who want t see for themselves... an who dont want
that God-given right taken away
stolen away
or snuck out from beneath them
yes a travel ban in the south would protect
Americans more, I'm sure, than the one t Cuba
but in all honesty I would want t crash that
one too
do you understand?
do you really understand?
I mean I want t see. I want t see all I can
everyplace there is t see it
my life carries eyes
an they're there for one reason
the reason t see thru them

my country is the Minnesota-North Dakota territory
that's where I was born an learned how t walk an
it's where I was raised an went t school... my
youth was spent wildly among the snowy hills an
sky blue lakes, willow fields an abandoned open
pit mines. contrary t rumors, I am very proud of
where I'm from an also of the many blood streams that
run in my roots. but I would not be doing what
I'm doing today if I hadn't come t New York. I was
given my direction from new york. I was fed in
new york. I was beaten down by new york an I was
picked up by new york. I was made t keep going on
by new york. I'm speakin now of the people I've met
who were strugglin for their lives an other peoples'
lives in the thirties an forties an the fifties
an I look t their times
I reach out t their times
an, in a sense, am jealous of their times
t think I have no use for "old" people is a betrayin thought
those that know me know otherwise
those that dont, probably're baffled
like a friend of mine, jack elliott, who says he
was reborn in Oklahoma, I say I was reborn in
New York...
there is no age limit stuck on it
an no one is more conscious of it than I

yes it is a fierce feeling, knowin something you
dont know about's expected of you. but it's worse
if you blindly try t follow with explodin words
(for that's all they can do is explode)
an the explodin words're misunderstood
I've heard I was misunderstood

I do not apologize for myself nor my fears
I do not apologize for any statement which led
some t believe "oh my God! I think he's the one
that really shot the president"

I am a writer an a singer of the words I write
I am no speaker nor any politician
an my songs speak for me because I write them
in the confinement of my own mind an have t cope
with no one except my own self. I dont have t face
anyone with them until long after they're done

no I do not apologize for being me nor any part of me

but I can return what is rightfully yours at any
given time. I have stared at it for a long while
now. it is a beautiful award. there is a kindness
t Mr Paine's face an there is almost a sadness in
his smile. his trials show thru his eyes. I know
really not much about him but somehow I would like
t sing for him. there is a gentleness t his way.
yes thru all my flounderin wildness, I am, when it
comes down to it, very proud that you have given this
t me. I would hang it high, an let my friends see in
it what I see, but I also would give it back if
you wish. There is no sense in keepin it if you've
made a mistake in givin it. for it means more'n any
store bought thing an it'd only be cheatin t keep it

also I did not know that the dinner was a donation
dinner. I did not know you were gonna ask anyone
for money. an I understand you lost money on the
masterful way I expressed myself... then I am in debt t you
not a money debt but rather a moral debt
if you'd a sold me something, then it'd be a money debt
but you sold nothin, so it is a moral debt
an moral debts're worse 'n money debts
for they have t be paid back in whatever is missin
an in this case, it's money

please send me my bill
an I shall pay it
no matter what the sum
I have a hatred of debts an want t be even in
the best way I can
you needn't think about this, for money means
very little t me

so then

I'll return once again t the road

I cant tell you why other people write, but I
write in order to keep from going insane.
my head, I expect'd turn inside out if my hands
were t leave me.

but I hardly ever talk about why I write. an I
scarcely ever think about it. the thought of it is
too alarmin

an I never ever talk about why I speak
but that's because I never do it. this is the
first time I am talkin about it... an I pray
the last
the thought of doing it again is too scary

ha! it's a scary world
but only once in a while huh?

I love you all up there an the ones I dont love,
it's only because I do not know them an have not
seen them... God it's so hard hatin. it's so
tiresome... an after hatin something to death,
it's never worth the bother an trouble

out! out! brief candle
life's but an open window
an I must jump back thru it now

see yuh
respectfully an unrespectfully

(sgd) bob dylan

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lilac Wine and Doc Martins

Victorian Flowers
(These are the ones I want)

Shore Ditch
(or maybe these)

Dr. Martens

"Dr. Martens is celebrating their 50th anniversary, and Blind was invited to join the party. Dr. Martens asked 10 artists to record their version of a cult classic track that represents the spirit of the people who’ve worn DM’s over the past 50 years. One of the songs selected was Cinematic Orchestra’s rendition of the classic, “Lilac Wine,” made popular in the early 90s by Jeff Buckley.  Blind was asked to direct the video, which would not include talent, but was given no other creative parameters." 

"Lilac Wine" lyrics:

I lost myself on a cool damp night
I gave myself in that misty light
Was hypnotized by a strange delight
Under a lilac tree
I made wine from the lilac tree
Put my heart in its recipe
It makes me see what I want to see
And be what I want to be
When I think more than I want to think
I do things I never should do
I drink much more than I ought to drink
Because it brings me back you...

Lilac wine is sweet and heady, like my love
Lilac wine, I feel unsteady, like my love
Listen to me... I cannot see clearly
Isn't that she coming to me nearly here?
Lilac wine is sweet and heady, where's my love?
Lilac wine, I feel unsteady, where's my love?
Listen to me, why is everything so hazy?
Isn't that she, or am I just going crazy, dear?
Lilac Wine, I feel unready for my love,
Feel unready for my love.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Virgin and Unicorn, (1604 – 1605), Farnese Palace, Rome.

Domenico Zampieri, October 21, 1581 – April 16, 1641)

The unicorn is a legendary animal from European folklore that resembles a white horse with a large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead, and sometimes a goat's beard and cloven hooves. First mentioned by the ancient Greeks, it became the most important imaginary animal of the Middle Ages and Renaissance  when it was commonly described as an extremely wild woodland creature, a symbol of purity and grace, which could only be captured by a virgin. In the encyclopedias its horn was said to have the power to render poisoned water potable and to heal sickness. Until the 19th century, belief in unicorns was widespread among historians, alchemists, writers, poets, naturalists, physicians, and theologians.

Unicorn Lore

Cosmas Indicopleustes, a merchant of Alexandria,  who lived in the 6th century, and made a voyage to India, and subsequently wrote works on cosmography, gives a figure of the unicorn, not, as he says, from actual sight of it, but reproduced from four figures of it in brass contained in the palace of the King of Ethiopia.  He states, from report, that
 "it is impossible to take this ferocious beast alive; and that all its strength lies in its horn. When it finds itself pursued and in danger of capture, it throws itself from a precipice, and turns so aptly in falling, that it receives all the shock upon the horn, and so escapes safe and sound."
Biblical Unicorn

An animal called the re’em (Hebrew: רְאֵם‎) is mentioned in several places in the  Hebrew Bible,  often as a metaphor representing strength.  This animal was often depicted in ancient Mesopotamian art in profile, with only one horn visible.
 "The allusions to the re'em as a wild, un-tamable animal of great strength and agility, with mighty horn or horns (Job xxxix. 9–12; Ps. xxii. 21, xxix. 6; Num. xxiii. 22, xxiv. 8; Deut. xxxiii. 17; comp. Ps. xcii. 11), best fit the aurochs (Bos primigenius). This view is supported by the Assyrian rimu, which is often used as a metaphor of strength, and is depicted as a powerful, fierce, wild mountain bull with large horns." 
The translators of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible (1611) followed the Greek Septuagint (monokeros) and the Latin Vulgate (unicornis) and employed unicorn to translate re'em, providing a recognizable animal that was proverbial for its un-tamable nature.

  • "His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth."—Deuteronomy 33:17
  • "Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?"—Job 39:9–12
  • "But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of the unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil."—Psalms 92:10
The classical Jewish understanding of bible did not identify the Re'em animal as the unicorn. Instead, the Tahash animal (Exodus 25, 26, 35, 36 and 39; Numbers 4; and Ezekiel 16:10) was thought to be a kosher unicorn with a coat of many colors that only existed in biblical times.

Unicorn in Poetry


She’s out
galavantin’ around
patching predominant circles
with three-cornered pieces of pie.
The day’s symposium
leaks all over Wall Street
regrettably alive
with sooner or later collateral.

Lucky the loon
with vertigo teeth
sinking like anchors
into the avarice.
“Who dunnit?” she asks
as she passes the cop on the corner.
“Not I,” he replies
slicing his lemon meringue.
She knows he’s on the take.
Fumbles in her pocket
Places in his outstretched hand
three golden turds
from her unicorn.
(by Leo)

The Unicorn

A long time ago, when the earth was green
and there was more kinds of animals than you've ever seen,
and they run around free while the world was bein' born,
and the lovliest of all was the Unicorn.

There was green alligators and long-neck geese.
There was humpy bumpy camels and chimpanzees.
There was catsandratsandelephants, but sure as you're born
the lovliest of all was the Unicorn.

But the Lord seen some sinnin', and it caused him pain.
He says, 'Stand back, I'm gonna make it rain.'
He says, 'Hey Brother Noah, I'll tell ya whatcha do.
Go and build me a floatin' zoo.

And you take two alligators and a couple of geese,
two humpy bumpy camels and two chimpanzees.
Take two catsandratsandelephants, but sure as you're born,
Noah, don't you forget my Unicorn.'

Now Noah was there, he answered the callin'
and he finished up the ark just as the rain was fallin'.
He marched in the animals two by two,
and he called out as they went through,

'Hey Lord, I got your two alligators and your couple of geese,
your humpy bumpy camels and your chimpanzees.
Got your catsandratsandelephants - but Lord, I'm so forlorn
'cause I just don't see no Unicorn.'

Ol' Noah looked out through the drivin' rain
but the Unicorns were hidin', playin' silly games.
They were kickin' and splashin' in the misty morn,
oh them silly Unicorn.

The the goat started goatin', and the snake started snakin',
the elephant started elephantin', and the boat started shaking'.
The mouse started squeakin', and the lion started roarin',
and everyone's abourd but the Unicorn.

I mean the green alligators and the long-neck geese,
the humpy bumpy camels and the chimpanzees.
Noah cried, 'Close the door 'cause the rain is pourin' -
and we just can't wait for them Unicorn.'

Then the ark started movin', and it drifted with the tide,
and the Unicorns looked up from the rock and cried.
And the water come up and sort of floated them away -
that's why you've never seen a Unicorn to this day.

You'll see a lot of alligators and a whole mess of geese.
You'll see humpy bumpy camels and lots of chimpanzees.
You'll see catsandratsandelephants, but sure as you're born
you're never gonna see no Unicorn

Sheldon Allan Silverstein

Unicorn in Fiction

The Unicorn in the Garden
Once upon a sunny morning a man who sat in a breakfast nook looked up from his scrambled eggs to see a white unicorn with a golden horn quietly cropping the roses in the garden. The man went up to the bedroom where his wife was still asleep and woke her. "There's a unicorn in the garden," he said. "Eating roses." She opened one unfriendly eye and looked at him. "The unicorn is a mythical beast," she said, and turned her back on him. The man walked slowly downstairs and out into the garden. The unicorn was still there; he was now browsing among the tulips. "Here, unicorn," said the man and pulled up a lily and gave it to him. The unicorn ate it gravely. With a high heart, because there was a unicorn in his garden, the man went upstairs and roused his wife a gain. "The unicorn," he said, "ate a lily." His wife sat up in bed and looked at him, coldly. "You are a booby," she said, "and I am going to have you put in a booby-hatch." The man, who never liked the words "booby" and "booby-hatch," and who liked them even less on a shining morning when there was a unicorn in the garden, thought for a moment. "We'll see about that," he said. He walked over to the door. "He has a golden horn in the middle of his forehead," he told her. Then he went back to the garden to watch the unicorn; but the unicorn had gone away. The man sat among the roses and went to sleep. 
And as soon as the husband had gone out of the house, the wife got up and dressed as fast as she could. She was very excited and there was a gloat in her eye. She telephoned the police and she telephoned the psychiatrist; she told them to hurry to her house  and bring a strait-jacket. When the police and the psychiatrist looked at her with great interest. "My husband," she said, "saw a unicorn this morning." The police looked at the psychiatrist and the psychiatrist looked at the police. "He told me it ate a lily," she said. The psychiatrist looked at the police and the police looked at the psychiatrist. "He told me it had a golden horn in the middle of its forehead," she said. At a solemn signal from the signal from the psychiatrist, the police leaped fro m their chairs and seized the wife. They had a hard time subduing her, for she put up a terrific struggle, but they finally subdued her. Just as they got her into the strait-jacket, the husband came back into the house. 

 "Did you tell your wife you saw a unicorn?" asked the police. "Of course not," said the husband. "The unicorn is a mythical beast." "That's all I wanted to know," said the psychiatrist. "Take her away. I'm sorry, sir, but your wife is as crazy as a jay bi rd." So they took her away, cursing and screaming, and shut her up in an institution. The husband lived happily ever after. 

Moral: Don't count your boobies until they are hatched.

James Thurber

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Language of Flowers

I was thrilled to find these roses blooming by my side door last Monday morning.  I'd planted the little bush in the Spring, it never really took off, time went by, I forgot all about it until the other morning when I went out to put the recyclables into a bin.  The little yellow rose bush was being crowded out by weeds and tangled up in Morning Glory vines.  You can see the blight on the bottom leaves.  I haven't been able to do much weeding or gardening because the mosquitoes have been horrendous this year.  Fortunately it was a cool windy day and I was able to pull out the weeds and the vines without being bitten.   If you've read my blog of Sept 6th, you'll understand why I was so happy I was to see these roses.

According to the The Language of Flowers , yellow roses symbolize:
  • friendship 
  • jealousy
  • infidelity 
  • apology 
  • a broken heart 
  • intense emotion 
  • dying love
  • extreme betrayal 
Oy, sorry I asked.  Oh well, I'm not superstitious.  Poppycock!  Wish I had an eye-rolling smiley.

 The language of flowers, sometimes called floriography, was a Victorian era  means of communication in which various flowers and floral arrangements were used to send coded messages, allowing individuals to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken. This language was most commonly communicated through Tussie-Mussies, an art which has a following today. “Tussie-mussie” is a quaint, endearing term from the early 1400s for small, round bouquets of herbs and flowers with ­symbolic meanings.

The nuances of the language are now mostly forgotten, but red roses still imply passionate, romantic love and pink roses a lesser affection; white roses suggest virtue and chastity and yellow roses still stand for friendship or devotion. Also commonly known meanings are sunflowers, which can indicate either haughtiness or respect – they were the favorite flower of St. Julie Billiart for this reason. Gerbera (daisy) means innocence or purity. The iris, being named for the messenger of the gods in Greek mythology, still represents the sending of a message.   An Anemone signifies unfading love. A pansy signifies thought, a daffodil respect, and a strand of ivy fidelity and friendship.

Inevitably there are geographic variances; for example in Texas yellow roses represent true and undying love.
Yellow Roses (Ry Cooder)

I just received, sweetheart, your yellow roses
You tell me that they mean that we're all  through
You tell me  that tonight your heart is broken
But you should know I was never untrue

I'll place them near your photograph and as the petals fall
They'll  hide from you my lonely tears that shouldn't fall at all
Then they will slowly fade away and die
But I still love you though yellow roses say good bye

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A loaf of bread, the Walrus said, is what we chiefly need: pepper and vinegar besides are very good indeed.-- Lewis Carroll

Charles Webster Hawthorne 
(January 8, 1872 – November 29, 1930) 

“If a man finds himself with bread in both hands, he should exchange one loaf for some flowers of the narcissus, because the loaf feeds the body, but the flowers feed the soul”
Muhammed, Prophet of Islam


 We had an exchange student from Kazakhstan living with us for almost a year.  While here she graduated with honors from our local high school.  I had to argue with the principle of the school to allow her to wear a cap and gown and recieve her diploma along with the rest of the graduating class. She, Tina, told us many wonderful stories about her home and family.  One that I found particularly beautiful, and I will quote her:

 "My mother said that bread is so holy that it is okay to stand on the Quran in order to reach it on the shelf."  Tina

Motherhood Triumpant

"Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave."

"The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr."

 Phrophet Muhammed

Sunday, September 9, 2012

6 am

You're in your mother's womb, sitting on a bench in the terminal, waiting for the bus that will get you out of this burg .  You've been looking forward to this day for a long time.  You've got no particular destination in mind, you just want out. You go to the help desk and ask the attendant, "Which route should I take?"  In a very nonchalant manner, as if your question has no gravitas at all, she says, "It doesn't really matter, they're all going to the same place."  You're confused, anxious, annoyed, so you ask the obvious follow up question, "And where's that?"  She looks up from the stack of papers papers that she randomly shuffles, rolls her eyes, sighs an exaggerated sigh, and says in a tone that implies you are just one more idiot, interrupting her trance,  breaking the rhythm of her data shuffle, "The big wide world."  

What a snot, you think, what a fooking snark this woman is, and you go back to your bench to wait.  You think about writing a big long letter to the department of transportation, you begin drafting it in your head and simultaneously you dream a weird little dream.  You are sitting in a high chair, munching on a hairball.  Not exactly a hairball, a wadded up tissue entwined with strands of dark brown hair.  A depressed woman is sitting next to you, her head hung, her body slack.  You notice she is wearing a campaign button that says "Mother".  You ask this mother person, "Where did this hairball come from anyway?"  She tells you, "The trash."   You throw it away in disgust and ask her to get you a clean one, one that doesn't come from the trash.  She looks up at you.  You see her face for the first time and realize she is the paper shuffler.  It all begins to make sense.  It's a setup.

(work in progress) 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Listen - 阿基耐 / Ajinai

 阿基耐 /  Ajinai  - Fine Horse

According to the Chinese zodiac, I was born in the year of the Horse.  Ajinai's music is said to embody the spirit of the horse.  Maybe that's why it moves me, makes me want to move. I love their sound.  It lifted my spirit immediately when I heard them this morning for the first time.  I think their music has great potential to heal body and mind.   It made me want to dance.  That's saying quite a lot as I haven't felt like dancing in a long time.   
For almost a month, I've been dealing with lower back and groin pain that sometimes spreads into my legs.  In fact, I was going to make a trip to the university hospital this morning, but the idea of dragging my body up to the train station and then walking through the city was not the least bit appealing so I decided to wait a little longer and continue using the principle of Mary Baker Eddy's Divine Science, along with meditation and other alternative methods of healing.

Ugh & yuck.  My sweet daughter just handed me a glass of vinegar water to drink.  Not just any vinegar, but Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar with the "Mother".   It's supposed to have wondrous  properties for healing all kinds of troublesome conditions.  In order to give a more accurate description of this product I went to the Bragg Web Site .  Believe me, this is not an infomercial, I am not trying to push vinegar on anyone.  This is just one more link in a story that keeps getting more and more amazing to me as I write it, or it writes itself.  Connections and symbolism are coming in leaps and bounds.

When on the Bragg site, I noticed on the right sidebar of the page (which I linked above), this:

 So what, you might say.  I will tell you "so what".  A week ago I stopped over to my sister-in-law's house, at her request, to pick up some old family photos.  Her name is Patricia.  It was the anniversary of her mother's death.  Her mother's name was Rose.  Patricia adored her mother who died in her arms four years ago.  As I was leaving, almost out the door with my pictures, she said "Wait, I almost forgot.  I have something for you."  It was a key chain; a gold cross with a picture of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux in the center, and it was attached to a prayer card printed with a novena to the saint.  According to religious tradition, when you ask for the help of  Saint Thérèse,  you will receive a rose as a sign that  your prayer has been or will be, answered.
St. Therese, the Little Flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love; ask God to grant me the favor I thee implore and tell Him I will love Him each day more and more. Amen
 Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin, was a French Carmelite nun. She is also known as "The Little Flower of Jesus"
Back to my story.  That night my pain kicked into high gear.  I couldn't get to sleep, in addition to the unrelenting pain was the fear of what awful disease or condition might be causing it.  I know that fear intensifies pain, and, according to Divine Science, is the basis of all disease.  I'm not sure if I'm ready to believe that all disease is caused by fear, but I'm also not ready to rule it out ... but, that's for another blog, (I bet you just can't wait).  Let me get back on course here.   In a last ditch effort I grabbed the key chain and said the novena.  "Please, take away this pain and any condition responsible for it."   I went to sleep finally, hoping I would get a rose from Thérèse.  The days went by with no rose.  Until today when I was invited to walk through the Roses by a woman named Patricia who's business is healing.  So what if they are virtual roses, a rose is a rose is a rose.

So.  That's my story.  It took me a long time and many interruptions to write it.  Right now, as I sit here at my desk, I'm aware that the pain is still with me.  But, I have greater hope that it will be gone tomorrow.  It's a wonder, isn't it, that today I have so many words when only yesterday I had none, only an old photograph of a sweet and beautiful grandson who at the age of twenty-one was taken suddenly from us by a fatal car crash.   The medical examiner assured us that he died immediately upon impact and that he felt no pain. 

1986 - 2007

 亲属的精神  : kindred spirit  

Another curious connection has just occurred to me.  Yesterday I posted a picture of my grandson, Aaron John, lovingly known as AJ.   The first two letters of the band that makes the wonderful healing music that found me today is also AJ.   Just a coincidence?  Maybe.  But then I remembered,  after my prayer to Saint Thérèse that night, I threw in a few more prayers to my other favorite saints for good measure, ending with one to AJ.  Not really a prayer, more of a comforting ritual I do from time to time; picturing him in my mind, in the many stages of his life,  telling him I miss him, asking him to put in a good word for us and to please watch over my daughter, his mother. 

"Ajinai Band inherited Mongolian spirits from the nature to inspire fresh musical creation, to feel happy. They are like Mongolian horses in the ancient war. They will always sing of horses, love, life and growth in nature on their way of music."

Morin Khuur (horse head fiddle), Amne Khuur (mouth harp), Tobshur (two-string Banjo), Hoomei, Tsuur (flute), vocals: Hujiltu
Long Song, vocalization: Azi
Bass, Electronic affects: Ye Peng Gang (Da Peng)
Drum, percussion: Zhang Yang

"Think Mongolian music, and lively throat-warblers Hanggai will most likely spring to mind. But Beijing’s Mongolian contingent is far, far bigger than just one band, even if Shanghai doesn’t get to see too much of it on a regular basis. Ajinai, who play at Yuyintang this month, are just as worthy of attention and play a more experimental sound than their more famous cohorts.

Consisting of multi-instrumentalist and throat-singer Hugjiltu (formerly of – you guessed it – Hanggai), bassist and electronic whizz Ye Penggang, backing vocalist Azi and percussion expert Zhang Yang, this charmingly diverse group have an eclectic selection of songs.

They are all highly skilled and experienced musicians too, with Ye Penggang also a part of Xiao He’s brilliant folk collective Glorious Pharmacy. Their debut album, released last year, brought their ability and experimentalism to the fore with an even split of tracks between their own compositions and experimental covers of ancient Mongolian folk songs.

Yet while their most interesting moments often come with their reinterpretation of Mongolian classics, it’s done in a respectful way and their heritage is at the core of Ajinai's philosophy. Even their name – which means ‘fine horse’ – has a connection to Mongolian history, as Hugjiltu explains: ‘Mongolian horses are known for their stamina and ability to keep cool in chaotic battles, especially when they ran alongside our heroic king Genghis Khan. All these characteristics are what we want for our band, not only in music but also in life.’ "

Wang Ge Time-out Shanghai
"It has been said that Mongolian folk has the ability to transport you to places you’ve never been before."  A Great Review of Ajinai

Monday, September 3, 2012

Long Distance Horatio

Horatio, most trusted friend
I see you from the distance
on the borderline
coming and going
over, under, beyond
repeating, receding
a ghost, a host,
in all the old haunts
I hear your song
when the day is bitter
and the night is long.

Across The Borderline

Theres a place where Ive been told
Every street is paved with gold
And its just across the borderline
And when its time to take your turn
Heres one lesson that you must learn
You could lose more than youll ever hope to find

When you reach the broken promised land
And every dream slips through your hands
Then you'll know that its too late to change your mind
cause you've paid the price to come so far
Just to wind up where you are
And you're still just across the borderline

Up and down the rio grande
A thousand footprints in the sand
Reveal a secret no one can define
The river flows on like a breath
In between our life and death
Tell me who's the next to cross the borderline

En la triste oscuridad (in the sad darkness)
Hoy tenemos que cruzar (today we have to cross)
Este ro que nos llama ms all (this river which calls us further away)

But hope remains when pride is gone
And it keeps you moving on
Calling you across the borderline

When you reach the broken promised land
Every dream slips through your hands
And you'll know its too late to change your mind
cause you pay the price to come so far
Just to wind up where you are
And you're still just across the borderline
Now you're still just across the borderline
Este ro que nos llama ms all (this river which calls us further away)

But hope remains when pride is gone
And it keeps you moving on
Calling you across the borderline

When you reach the broken promised land
Every dream slips through your hands
And you'll know its too late to change your mind
cause you pay the price to come so far
Just to wind up where you are
And you're still just across the borderline
Now you're still just across the borderline
And you're still just across the borderline

O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

Hamlet: And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Soul Urge Number: 22 People with this name have a deep inner desire to express their own power in a concrete manner and thus achieve something great for humanity.
Expression Number: 5 People with this name are excited by change, adventure, and excitement. They are dynamic, visionary and versatile, able to make constructive use of freedom. They fight being restricted by rules and conventions. They tend to be optimistic, energetic, intelligent, and to make friends easily. They may be changeable, restless, untidy, and rebellious.

Fritz Scholder - Indian / Not Indian

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Frida and her Freudian Monkey / Banana Therapy

This is how I spent a good part of my day. 
 Hours upon hours trying to make a monkey that looked like a monkey.  
My monkey insisted on looking like a man.  
I finally gave up and decided it is what it is. 
 Hey, this is no sexist statement.

 "Yes! We Have No Bananas" is the title of a novelty song by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn from the 1922 Broadway revue Make It Snappy. Sung by Eddie Cantor in the revue, the song became a major hit in 1923 (placing No. 1 for five weeks) when it was recorded by Billy Jones, Arthur Hall, Irving Kaufman, and others. It was covered later by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra, , Spike Jones & His City Slickers, and many more. 

 Yes! We Have No Bananas
Songwriters: Frank Silver, Irving Conn

There's a fruit store on our street
It's run by a Greek
And he keeps good things to eat But you should hear him speak!
When you ask him anything, he never answers "no"
He just "yes"es you to death, and as he takes your dough He tells you
"Yes, we have no bananas
We have-a no bananas today
We've string beans, and onions
Cabashes, and scallions,
And all sorts of fruit and say
We have an old fashioned tomato
A Long Island potato But yes, we have no bananas
We have no bananas today

Business got so good for him that he wrote home today,

"Send me Pete and Nick and Jim; I need help right away"
When he got them in the store, there was fun, you bet
Someone asked for "sparrow grass" and then the whole quartet
All answered "Yes, we have no bananas
We have-a no bananas today
Just try those coconuts
Those wall-nuts and doughnuts
There ain't many nuts like they
We'll sell you two kinds of red herring,
Dark brown, and ball-bearing
But yes, we have no bananas
We have no bananas today"

He, he, he, he, ha, ha, ha whatta you laugh at?

You gotta soup or pie?
Yes, I don't think we got soup or pie
You gotta coconut pie?
Yes, I don't think we got coconut pie
Well I'll have one cup a coffee
We gotta no coffee
Then watta you got?
I got a banana!
Oh you've got a banana!

Yes, we gotta no banana, No banana, No banana, I tell you we gotta no banana today

I sella you no banana
Hey, Mary Anna, you gotta... gotta no banana?
Why this man, he's no believe-a what I say… no… he no believe me…
Now whatta you wanta mister? You wanna buy twelve for a quarter?
Well, just a one of a look, I'm gonna call for my daughter
Hey, Mary Anna You gotta piana
Yes, a banana, no
Yes, we gotta no bananas today!

The new English "clark" (a.k.a. "clerk"):

Yes, we are very sorry to inform you
That we are entirely out of the fruit in question
The afore-mentioned vegetable Bearing the cognomen "Banana"
We might induce you to accept a substitute less desirable,
But that is not the policy at this internationally famous green grocery
I should say not. No no no no no no no
But may we suggest that you sample our five o'clock tea
Which we feel certain will tempt your pallet?
However we regret that after a diligent search
Of the premises By our entire staff
We can positively affirm without fear of contradiction
That our raspberries are delicious; really delicious
Very delicious But we have no bananas today.
 A banana  shortage caused by a banana blight in Brazil is usually suggested as the inspiration for the song. The town of Lynbrook on Long Island, New York, claims the songwriters composed it there and that the catchphrase  "Yes! We have no bananas" was coined by Jimmy Costas, a local Greek American greengrocer.  However, a 1923 article in the Chicago Tribune  stated that the phrase originated in Chicago  in 1920.  Cartoonist Thomas A. Dorgan  (1877–1929) is also credited with inventing and/or popularizing the phrase.

The song was the theme of the Outdoor Relief protests in Belfast in 1932. These were a unique example of Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland  protesting together, and the song was used because it was one of the few non-sectarian songs that both communities knew. The song lent its title to a book about the depression in Belfast.

The term has been resurrected on many occasions, including in Britain during World War II,  when the British Government banned the importing of bananas for an entire five years. Shop owners put signs stating "Yes, we have no bananas" in their shop windows in keeping with the war spirit.

The song also appeared in the popular Archie Comics  and was mentioned in the 1939 film Only Angels Have Wings and the 1954 movie Sabrina.  It appears as a leit motif in The Comic, often to underscore serious moments in the life of the film's protagonist (played by Dick Van Dyke). In The English Patient, a few verses are sung as a joke. The song was also subject to parody in The Muppet Show, sung by various anthropomorphic fruits and vegetables. A German version, "Ausgerechnet Bananen", was featured in Billy Wilder's 1961 slapstick comedy One, Two, Three, played by an over-the-hill dance band at a drab East Berlin hotel bar. In the 1970s, Harry Chapin used this phrase in the chorus to his song "30,000 Pounds of Bananas". 

Thirty Thousand Pounds of Bananas
The Incident:
 On March 18, 1965, a 35-year-old truck driver,  Gene Seski, was on his way to deliver a load of bananas  to Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Seski, an employee of Fred Carpentier, who operated a small truck line in Scranton, was returning from the boat piers at Weehawken, NewJersey where he picked up his load. While the exact information is somewhat lost in time, the load was clearly destined for the "wholesale block" on the western edge of Lackawanna Avenue in Scranton, thein Scranton, the local A&P Warehouse or to Halem Hazzouri Bananas, the premier banana purveyor in the area at the time. Seski was driving a 1950s Brockway diesel truck tractor with a 35-foot semi-trailer and was headed down Rt. 307 when he suddenly lost control. The "two-mile" descent extends from Lake Scranton down to the bottom of Moosic Street, a 500-foot drop in elevation in little more than a mile, where the truck eventually crashed at the southwest corner of Moosic St and S. Irving Ave. For some reason, the truck cruised into Scranton at about ninety miles-per-hour, sideswiping a number of cars before it crashed, killing the driver and spilling bananas everywhere when the rig came to rest. The road was then closed for cleanup as Johnson's Towing Company helped out in the recovery. Trucks over 21,000 lb (9,500 kg) are no longer allowed to travel that route.

Song Content:
 A young truck-driver is driving "just after dark" during his "second job" to deliver a load of bananas to Scranton, which is described as a "coal-scarred city where children play without despair in back-yard slag piles," the population of which consumes about 30,000 pounds of bananas daily. While approaching Scranton, he passes a sign he "should have seen" reading: "Shift to low gear / a fifty dollar fine my friend" because he is too busy thinking about seeing his wife after his trip. He begins to travel down the "two-mile drop" road to the bottom of the hill. Suddenly, the truck begins to go faster down the hill and driver tries to apply the brakes, only to discover they aren't working. He says, "Christ!" who ironically is "the only Man who could save him now" as the load of bananas push against the truck causing it to pick up speed. Cruising into Scranton at "about ninety miles-per-hour", he almost hits a passing bus. The driver then prays twice to God to make the event all a dream before he "sideswiped nineteen neat parked cars / clipped off thirteen telephone poles / hit two houses, bruised eight trees / and Blue-Crossed seven people." He is decapitated in the accident and 400 yards of the hill is smeared with his load of bananas.

The song's epilogue tells the story how Chapin first heard of the event coming on Greyhound bus out of Scranton some months later. An old man sitting next to Chapin implores him to imagine "30,000 pounds of mashed bananas."

Going Bananas

"I'm Going Bananas"

Hola! Ese bato loco!

I'm going bananas,
And I feel like my poor little mind is being devoured by piranhas,
For I'm going bananas.

I'm non compos mentes,
And I feel like a tooth being drilled, a nerve being killed by a dentist,
For I'm non compos mentes.

Who knows?
Could be the tropic heat
Or something that I eat,
That makes me gonzo.
I do carry on so, for I'm going bananas,
Someone book me a room in the hot haciendo with all my mananas
For I'm going bananas.

I'm going meshuga
All day long there's a man in my brain incessently playing "Booga wooga",
But I'm going meshuga.

There's bats in my belfry.
Won't you make sure this straightjacket's tight,
Otherwise I might get myself free.
Yes, there's bats in my belfry.

Who knows?
Could be the wine I drink
Or it's the way I think,
That makes me gonzo.
Oh, Doctor Alonzo says I'm going bananas,
Someone get me a bed in the "Casa de Loco" for all my mananas,
For I'm going bananas.
Yes, I'm going bananas.
Si, I'm going bananas.
( "I'm Going Bananas" from Madonna's I'm Breathless Album,
written by Michael Kernan and Andy Paley )

I'm Chiquita banana and I've come to say
Bananas have to ripen in a certain way
When they are fleck'd with brown and have a golden hue 
Bananas taste the best and are best for you
You can put them in a salad
You can put them in a pie-aye
Any way you want to eat them
It's impossible to beat them
But, bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator
So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator

Tell me my friend, did you ever see
Bananas growing on banana tree?
Well you may see seven or you may see three
But you'll never see one alone

Just count one banana, two banana
One for me and one for you banana
Count three or four or even more banana
But banana can't grow alone

Well Miss Banana, she's a pretty sight
She wear a yellow dress in the bright sunlight
She got her friends and neighbours to the left and right
Cuz banana can't grow alone

Just count one banana, two banana
One for me and one for you banana
Count three or four or even more banana
But banana can't grow alone

Well I think banana is like you and me
Needing friends and neighbours and a family
Let us take a lesson from banana tree
Cuz banana can't grow alone

Everybody sing!
Just count one banana, two banana
One for me and one for you banana
Count three or four or even more banana
But banana can't grow alone

Very softly now!
Just count one banana, two banana
One for me and one for you banana
Count three or four or even more banana
But banana can't grow alone
No banana can't grow alone

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Wonder Woman - Gods of Gotham

Batman has told Wonder Woman to stay out of Gotham. But when Penelope has a vision of forces of panic and discord rising in Gotham she and Artemis arrive just in time to help Batman and Huntress take on the Joker, Scarecrow and Poison Ivy. But those three villains are all actually possessed by the children of Ares: Deimos God of Terror, Eris Goddess of Discord, and Phobos God of Fear.
In "Avatars," Wonder Woman and Batman have been drawn into their enemies' trap, unaware of the true power they were confronting. Now the Amazon Princess and Dark Knight Detective find themselves overwhelmed by the awesome power they face, and the hatred behind it! Their only hope: Nightwing and Troia. But Dick Grayson and Donna Troy have their own terrifying adversary to defeat before they can come to the rescue!  
OverviewPart 3 of the 4-part "Gods of Gotham!" Wonder Woman's mission to rescue Gotham City from the God of War's evil offspring has turned into the greatest challenge of her life. Even with Batman, Nightwing and Troia by her side, there seems to be no way for the Amazon Princess to match her foes' Olympian omnipotence. But as the hideous partnership that the Godchildren have formed with the Joker, Scarecrow and Poison Ivy begins to unravel, Diana and the Dark Knight see their one slim chance at victory.

Part 4 of the 4-part "Gods of Gotham!" The Earth-shaking conclusion to co-writer/artist Phil Jimenez's first story arc arrives as Wonder Woman and Batman struggle to defeat the Children of Ares! As if Deimos, Phoebos and Eris weren't dangerous enough in the bodies of the Joker, Scarecrow and Poison Ivy, now the situation turns critical as Phoebos picks a new host-body. And the God of Fear's new pawn is the most fearsome imaginable!