Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Remember these beautiful little girls? On August 7, 2006, four-year-old conjoined twins Maliyah and Kendra Herrin made history. Want to put your blog on the give-away list for a free copy of this book? Just visit Not Entirely British before Wednesday, May 6th to learn how!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Jake and I were working in the back yard yesterday morning, and as the day warmed, the ants began to stir and climb out to let a little sun shine on their winter-stiffened legs and backs. I work a little, and rest my own winter-stiffened legs and back a little, and then work a little more. I was resting when Jacob ran to me with the news, "The ants are having a party!" He kneeled down for a closer look. "I wonder whose birthday it is?" He pointed to various ants in turn. "Is it yours? Is it yours? Is it yours? Look!" he said. "The ants are dancing!" And, in fact, they were.
We do not step on these remarkable little beings at our house. We figure that the earth is wide enough and room enough for all of us to live together peacefully. The Farmers' Almanac (where I found the picture) says if you want the ants to stay out of your house you can use a natural ant repellant, like catnip, mint, cucumber peel, or tansy. I have no idea what tansy is, but I intend to rub a little cucumber peel on my door frame if they decide to party in my house.
Happy Earthday to us all! Party on! And, may I have this dance?
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Spell for a Poet Getting On
May your hipbones never die.
May you hear the ruckus of mountains
in the Kansas of your age, and when
you go deaf, may you go wildly deaf.
May the neighbors arrive, bringing entire aviaries.
When the last of your hair is gone, may families
lovelier than you can guess colonize
the balds of your head.
May your thumbstick grow leaves.
May the nipples of your breasts drip wine.
And when, leaning into the grass, you watch
the inky sun vanish into the flat page
of the sea, may you join your lawn chair,
each of you content
that nothing is wise forever.
I just spent a fun week-end with poet Lola Haskins, listening to readings, workshops, giving and receiving awards for local poets. Stayed for a night in the white, king-sized bed at the Airport Hilton, ate dinner and lunch, embraced a lot of old friends and made some new ones. I learned that not every line in every poem you write is from heaven, and that most poems start too soon and finish too late. Thanks, Lola, and the Utah State Poetry Society for a grand time! When I go deaf, may I go wildly deaf, content that nothing is wise forever.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Whan that April with his showeres soote
The drought of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every vein in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendered is the flower;
Whan Zephyrus, eek, with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tender croppes, and the yonge sunne
Hath in the Ram his halve course y-runne,
And smalle fowles maken melodye
That sleepen all the night with open ye
(So pricketh hem Nature in his corages),
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages. . .
Saturday, April 11, 2009
My favorite Mormon hymn, all jazzed up! Text by W.W. Phelps (1792-1872), music by Ralph Vaughan, sung by Kirby Heyborne. Enjoy!
(Kolob, a word of Egyptian origin, is supposed, in Mormon theology, to be "the place where God dwells," mentioned in the Book of Abraham, possibly at the core of the Milky Way galaxy--a place of enormous energy, a high density concentration we now call a Black Hole. Sir Fred Hoyle and his associate Jayout Vishna Norlikar, have proposed... "the sheer amount of positrons [electrons with a positive charge, which occur in antimatter] observed toward the galactic center...[suggest] the existence there of some sort of exotic object." Kolob?
For you Battlestar Galactica fans, Kolob is also the inspiration for the planet Kobol, the distant motherworld of the human race, and the planet where life began. In Hebrew, Kokob = Star. W.W. Phelps grave marker is inscribed There is no end to matter/ There is no end to space/ ...etc.)
For all my family and friends: GOOD WISHES FOR A HAPPY EASTER! (Please click! Then choose Words and Music)
Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and feet. (Luke 24:39-40)
Nelson Mandella, in his second inaugural address.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are more powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous. Actually who are you not to be? You are a Child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us, it's in everyone. As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Thanks to Patty Butts at Healing Body and Spirit.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
My son Marc tells me that Jacob informed him, "Anyway, Dad, I just thought I would tell you that the Easter Bunny is made up." Marc said, "I asked him how the candies and eggs got hidden?" Jake said, "Some stranger in a bunny suit."
Some stranger in a bunny suit! Now that is really SCARY! :0
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Taking the long view
This poorly titled but really worthwhile story at NPR discusses how the religiosity of Darwin's wife and the death of his youngest child may each have affected his great work.
Death Of Child May Have Influenced Darwin's Work
NPR by ROBERT KRULWICH
EXCERPT: In November 1859, Darwin finally published his revolutionary book, On the Origin of Species. Biographer Lyanda Haupt says you can see the influence of Annie's death in his shaping of that book. "He knew so deeply and so personally and viscerally what death was now after Annie's loss," Haupt says. And, yet, in his writing "you see him affirming over and over this circle, the endless unfolding of life."
In the last pages of On the Origin of Species, some say Darwin confronts the meaning of Annie's demise. Darwin takes his readers to a beautiful forest, rich with trees and birds singing everywhere, and reminds us of the beauty we see every day, in things like butterflies and flowers. And he demonstrates, especially, that humans, who can contemplate and love these things, are all products of millions of years of competition, struggle, famine and death — and that this struggle will continue. So, life will keep evolving new forms and new shapes.
Darwin is stating what "we now call the existential dilemma," says Gopnik in his biography. He is saying there are two things that are true: One is that everything dies, and things die for no reason and to no apparent end. And their death is painful. And, that process of living and dying produces something amazing and beautiful and astonishing.
And, Darwin himself writes, "There is grandeur in this view of life … from so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."
# # # #
From Sterling M. McMurrin's book The Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion: "Religion is a matter of faith and hope, or perhaps of mystical experience. It is, to again borrow the words of one of my teachers, Professor Montague, the faith that 'what is highest in spirit is also deepest in nature,' the faith that the things that matter most are not ultimately at the mercy of the things that matter least. And he has said, it may be that there is no God, that 'the existence of all that is beautiful and in any sense good is but the accidental and ineffective by-product of blindly swirling atoms,' that we are alone in a world that cares nothing for us or for the values that we create and sustain -- that we and they are here for a moment only, and are gone, and that eventually there will be no trace of us in the universe. 'A man may well believe that this dreadful thing is true. But only a fool will say in his heart that he is glad that it is true.'"
I, myself, choose to believe that there is meaning and purpose in all this grandeur, that there is an ultimate order behind a system that includes both the incredibly large and the unimaginably small. I choose to blow upon the spark that keeps "a perfect brightness of hope" burning in me. I choose to believe that 'the things that matter most' are forever.
(Thanks to my son Slick for posting the original review of Krulwich's thoughts on Haupt's book on his blog, KnownUnknowns.)