Monday, October 31, 2005

Hallow's Eve

EVE'N on a Monday, we scored.

Orange lights on, speakers out the front window playing Harold Budd's creepy "Knife Strike Sparks."

They came innocently at first, then by the van load, a few gouls, goblins, princesses and cheerleaders (dead and alive) who said they'd been to our house last year, but HUNDREDS of people of all ages we'd never seen before.

Final count before lights off at 10 (later than most to let the teen-dragging stragglers shuffle in): 366.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

An American Monk, Dropping In

Standing in the yard, looking up at the eves and up at the sky, I stand there, and my time is like prayer.

I am wondering how to wind up to the pitch about this secular monk thing I've got going on. Yes, it is a sort of "dropping out".

But those attuned to less "Western" pursuits ("the rat race"), less Type-A get ahead-aholism and workaholism and God's-Country-Americaholism, more in synch and in sympathy with the easier ways of "Eastern" thought, what we might call Zen awareness, peace and self-dependence, self-satifaction, thinking for oneself as one thinks of all others, these people have called it "dropping in".

Living a life of principle, even one not of passivity but of action, has as much to do with what one does not do as with what does.

Not driving so many miles, not having many if any children, not arguing, not even "trying to get ahead" but letting the others go. That is acceptance. That race of rats is how most people are, not so far removed from rats themselves, even when they go tearing around trying to "save" the world.

Sometimes be. I am finding some substantial solace in being.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Getting Ready

Getting ready to fill in the gaps here - just need some hours.

And is it just me, or is the world really going to hell in a handbasket while I've been away convolescing and coalescing?


Let me know what's good out there, what's going well.

Thanks, Lawrence

Friday, October 21, 2005


Sometimes Friday is like five o'clock, especially to those who are depressed. You wake up in the morning, just barely, and it takes twenty minutes or two hours to crawl out of bed and shuffle around, wondering why the world goes on, not sure if you're at all glad that it does go on. And on it goes. You think, ok, if I can just make it to five o'clock, to get off work or get to happy hour or dusk and night and sleep again....

Friday can be like that on a bigger scale: ok, I made it to the weekend. No one expects as much from me for a few days. I can disappear. I can sleep in. I can be by myself some more with less guilt than during all the alone times I spent during the week, M-F, 9-5.

The weekend is a lighter load, two days of more peace, more quiet, more time. Then comes Monday, and the cycle starts all over again, thinking there's always next Friday and some little saving grace in that.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

absolutely getting to it!

[filling in the gaps, new and really quite "must-reads" coming soon]

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

yep, soon!

[filling in the gaps, new and really quite "must-reads" coming soon]

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

coming soon!

[filling in the gaps, new and really quite "must-reads" coming soon]

Monday, October 17, 2005

(Not Quite) Back in the Saddle

The blogger's saddle, that is.

I suffered a third degree burn a week ago, my phone is out, and did I mention that creeping disease of keyboard addicts, carpal tunnel? Torn rotator cuff?

Yep, the left arm is tingling, and as of right now, I'm supposing it's not a heart attack. If it is, I'll give you a belated update. So... I took last week off not only from the blog but from e-mail. Ten days without any news or e-mail. It was a little frustrating but mostly bliss. I'm back in that un-American monk mode. I will be (and now have been) filling in the gaps.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Love, Regular & True

Love mixed with animosity is desire mixed with fear of love.

We talk about true love. What is the difference between true love and, um, 'regular' love?

True love is closer to our ideals for love. And what are the essential ingredients of true love? Acceptance, first of all, and above all (I know, I know, I've said it before) - peace... (PEACE: a sentiment but not a priority in this country. We're more interested in SAFETY than PEACE.)


What frustrates us and escapes us about love?

We need/it would be good to be more accepting, but to be accepting means resisting any strains of impatience. It means resisting rapid changes and refusing to consider a vast array of options and outs.

We need a way IN to love, not a way out.

But Americans are into our options and their mobility. Thus, we love escape hatches and escape clauses more than we really want to work at committing ourselves to virtuous concepts that stand higher than any of us as individuals.

We so desire "something bigger than ourselves," but we invent supernatural specters so much more easily than we accept higher principles FOR OURSELVES as the things that are really bigger than we are.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Hoodlum Nations

No cognitive dissonance here: Is the United States the most corrupt AND powerful nation on Earth?

I mean, sure, there are some real hoodlum nations out there, but it seems their crimes against humanity are paling these days compared to those of the world's "only superpower."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

On Giving Advice

When acquaintances and even friends act on their urges to give me advice, what I usually see up behind the scenes is the box in which they want to fit me.

If they give me advice very well, I see the softer side of their superiority complexes.

And if they don't give advice very well, meaning meekly or at least lovingly and humbly, then I see, well, their own aspirations at best, at worst, arrogance.

Control - or should I say the pursuit of or illusion of control? - can't make a person geunuinely feel safe. The only thing that can is the opposite, really - offering nothing but humility, affection, acceptance and PEACE.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Divorce is like abortion.

It should be safe, legal and rare.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Defining "Being Responsible"

Those who tend to insist that the basis of responsibility is financial have a good long ways to go along the spiritual journey - and the ethical journey as well.

Friday, October 07, 2005

It's a Fox Hunt: Coulter Cuts to the Chase

On Monday, President Bush may have handed us most of the rest of his remaining "political capital" on a platter.

I am not surprised by much in human nature or its more power hungry side, politics, but even I am astonished at the meltdown on unity we are seeing on the right. And it's not just the underlings this round. The big guns of the Old Cons and the Neo Cons are firing off their cannons right over the bow of the White House.

Trent Lott, George Will, even Rush Limbaugh (no ditto this time!) and now, of all people, that luscious babe of Vicious Fascism, Ann Coulter, is just out and out slamming Ms. Miers and Mr. Bush. I'm not alone in thinking she just didn't have it in her. She's rabid. The powdered whigs in Washington are barking up most every tree, but Coulter is foaming at the mouth. This is good.

Energy bills (and profits) might be going up this fall, but so might some of our more altruistic (and patriotic) spirits soar if we got to spend the holiday season saying "I told you so" while wagging our fingers at these down and dirty dogs as they turn on each other like a pack of pit bulls.

And since the dimwad (sp?) Dems haven't been able to beat them, they might as well join 'em, join the fray, all in good time, with epithets and elbows out, all in good time. And if the Neocon Rule Book (published by Halliburton Press) is any guide, that good time is NOW, ASAP. And don't let 'em even come up for air.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

A Tale of Two Women

OK, maybe we can't start out with "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Maybe we can say, "It was just about the worst of times, but things were looking up just a little bit."

Here's my take. In 2005, two women have done more to turn the tide the bully presidency of George W. Bush more than an electorate, a nation, any court or war have done up to now.

OK, make that three women - all within weeks of each other.

First came Cindy Sheehan, with the right mix of earnestness and righteousness, seasoned to perfection. August may not be the Oscar-winning month for news and people paying attention to anything beyond the duldrums of summer, but Sheehan owned the brunt of the month of August.

Now comes along the similarly earnest but not as warm and fuzzy Harriet Miers. But let's not blame Ms. Miers in any way. For her appearance, we have Mr. Bush to thank himself. She's surely a better lawyer and cozy loyalist than most, and many of us about now, wanting to grab the steering wheel of this careening nation, would take the president up on the same offer ourselves, come hell or high water.

And speaking of high water, why of course, there's that third woman, the imperfect (but not far off) storm named Katrina, which laid bare for CNN (and even FOX!) to see the seedy underbelly of Lady Liberty's call... "Bring me your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me."

Now how will Mr. Bush get us to believe that he and his are truly the ones to lift up their lamps beside the golden door?


Monday, October 03, 2005

Harriet Who?

Harriet Miers. Is that sort of like Michael Brown?

Oh the cries of cronyism are going to fly thick and furious until (and long after) these confirmation hearings are over, win or lose.

Just goes to show, when in doubt, according to the Doctrine of Bush's Brain, go with an insider, and don't tell 'em anything you don't have to. In fact, don't tell 'em much at all. Say it's their job - and of course never really help them do it. Never mind that seems to go against the very idea of "public" service; Bush isn't sure what "public service" is anyway, excepting as a pawn of private service.

Is it just me, or does Ms. Miers seem a lot more like a secretary than a Supreme Court justice? Sort of a vastly watered down Karen Hughes? (We'd probably be more impressed if Bush had nominated Hughes, who at least seems to be a force of sorts.) And funny thing is, secretary was Ms. Miers' first job at the White House. Bush wanted to bring her up to DC from Texas (where she was heading up the Texas Lottery Commission) but wasn't quite sure what to do with her. So she started out in the West Wing as a secretary. Next thing we know, Bush will be choosing Dick and Karl's hairdressers to be cabinet secretaries of some sort.

Well, Bush sure didn't want a fiesty firebrand Ferrari like Hughes or a circuit court dragon lady Lexus he didn't know "personally" since way back when, so he got a... Chevrolet? They love those C words around the WH: conservative "and proud of it," cautious, calculating, crabby, conventional, conscious (as for heaven's sakes opposed to conscientious).

Harriet Miers seems to be a bright lady and all. She's got a pretty impressive resume... for a lawyer - and a resolutely LOYAL lawyer at that. As smart as she might be, we wouldn't expect her to be any sort of loose canon, a la Scalia or Souter. And that must be the attribute Bush put at the top of his list for this, what he's been TOLD could and probably WOULD be a highly contentious round of confirmation hearings.

First, get a woman, so the enemy can't afford to come across as big bruisers - and if they want to bruise her to her face, they'll have to compromise (if not shame) themselves to do it - Democrat or Republican. Then get a woman who's got a bland or blind record. And don't release whatever records you don't want to release. All she's got to be is smart enough to know when to do two things: when to conduct herself with the utmost congeniality and when to keep her smile open and her mouth shut.

This isn't the first time a lawyer who has not been a judge has been nominated to the Supreme Court. Even the much admired William Rhenquist had not been a judge. And in a parallel to her possible successor, Sandra Day O'Connor had not been a federal judge before joining the high court.

Bush says a president should reach out, across the country and across the aisle, but really it doesn't seem like he even crosses the hall. Mentally, Bush is still just a Jett Rink wannabee, stuck wildcatting in the oilfields with a few friends. He is the most parochial of presidents.

Still, in a stubborn sort of way, Bush is a ballsy kinda guy, running his country club the way he does, even in the wake of cries of croneyism regarding the strange inappropriateness of getting muck-it-up Michael Brown to head FEMA. Bush is joining to keep on keeping on his wag-the-dog way in his wag-the-world frame of brain drain.

Let's just hope the whole country doesn't go down that same drain right along with him. Seems the only thing that can really improve this situation is let the clock run out on this guy, pre-Crawford return.

That or step up the impeachment heat.