Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Warm Welcome To My Friend The Cunning Runt

The two of you who read my blog ;-) may have seen comments to some of my posts from the cunning runt. He is the author of the blog Little Bang Theory.

The Cunning Runt and I have known each other for 25 years. We were love partners for four years, then husband and wife for eighteen years, having and raising two incredible children together. The last two years have seen a loving friendship emerge from our long and often painful, connection. CR is a lovely human being: smart, multi-talented and original. He is also a hell of a good father and loving and loyal friend. I am honored to add his blog to my list.

Check out Little Bang theory. It's full of CR's breathtaking, original photography and insightful writing, with samples of wit, charm and candor. I love this blog and cannot resist visiting daily to see what CR has captured not only with his camera's eye but with his heart.

The Pagan Sphinx

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Yo! What happened To Peace?

A few weeks back, while searching for anti-war art on the internet, I came upon this site Yo! What Happened To Peace. If you care about ending the war and all of the unique ways people all over the world are trying to express themselves about it, please have a look at this site. I always feel stronger when I go there.

The image posted here is a photograph of a mural found on a wall in Barcelona. It was taken by Dr. Case and posted to the Yo! blog from Flickr. The image falls under Creative Commons Attribution Code which allows its distribution.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"gays are infiltrating our city councils..."Listen To This!

We're Listening

I found this letter in my email today, from the Friends Committee Human Rights Campaign:

I honestly think it's the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam."

That's from an Oklahoma lawmaker's speech about gay people.
You heard right. A secret recording has just emerged of State Rep. Sally Kern speaking to a Republican group in January, where she equates both sexual orientation and religion with terrorism.

She thought no one was listening. Now hundreds of thousands are. And despite her refusal to apologize, we won't let her get away with this.
Tell Oklahoma's governor and top legislators to publicly denounce Kern's remarks.

This recording, first released in a video by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, is all the more troubling given the recent spate of hate violence against gay and transgender youth.

Last month in California, a 15-year-old boy, Lawrence King, who suffered taunting and bullying by his classmates because of his sexual orientation, was killed by one of those classmates – a 14-year-old boy. The week after Lawrence King's death saw the murder of another teen, this time a 17-year-old transgender youth in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Words matter. Especially words from elected officials. Rep. Kern's private feelings towards homosexuality and Islam are one thing. But public statements that encourage disrespect or violence towards those with whom she disagrees are completely unacceptable.
Write to Oklahoma's leaders immediately and tell them Kern's remarks must not be tolerated.

Here are a few more completely unfounded claims from her speech:
"The homosexual agenda is destroying this nation."
"No society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted for more than, you know, a few decades."

"What's happening now is they're going after, in schools, two-year-olds."

Kern must be held responsible. Please send this message to your friends and ask them to join you in taking action.
Thank you for speaking out at this critical time. And special thanks to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund for exposing this anti-gay bigot. To add your name to the Victory Fund's open letter to Rep. Sally Kern, click here:

My thoughts:

It's interesting that an elected official of Oklahoma, which was the target of a terrorist attack by a white, christian, American heterosexual male, should equate terrorism with homosexuals and lesbians. There you go, please. This is what these twisted, perverse, hateful people feel about their fellow human beings.

Portugal, Matriarchs and Girls, Girls, Girls

I ended up in the states in 1967, when I was eight years old. The only words of English I knew were a few lyrics from a Beatles tune or two. My parents, older brother and I had been living in the U.S. for twenty years when my parents decided to move back to their home country of Portugal. I've visited many times since. My last two visits happened last summer. I went first in June to help my mother Maria, 78, with her recovery from gastric cancer surgery. In the last two years, she's suffered through the loss of my father, open-heart surgery and the recent stomach surgery.

The second visit, In August, my daughters, a.k.a The Girls, came with me to spend quality time with their grandmother, whom they adore. The solace of family and community kept us going. My aunt and cousins and their children visited daily and helped in countless ways that I may never fully be able to thank them for. The number of visitors to my mother's house to give her hope and strength through her recovery seemed endless. Everywhere I went in this busy Portuguese village - the farmers market, the pharmacy, the bakery, the bank, people knew who my girls and I were and that we'd come to take care of my mother. When I gave them a report, they all seemed genuinely interested. They showed empathy and concern and I recieved more sincere good wishes than it was possible for me to accurately pass on to my mother. Offers to help abounded, even from more casual friends. In Portugal, the "good folk" don't send a Hallmark card and call their duty to the ill and elderly, the grieving ,done. They visit and spend time with a neighbor, an old elementary school friend, a co-worker. They do things that matter. Once, when I had too large a load to walk back with to my mother's house from the farmer's market, my favorite produce vendor there insisted on keeping my packages for me and delivering them to the house at the end of her day. When she did, she also brought a bouquet of fresh cut flowers. The next time she was able, she said, she would come for a visit and tea. And she did.

Through all she's endured, our beloved mother, grandmother and recent great-grandmother, is more beautiful, more loving and wiser than she has ever been. She has chosen to remain at home in her own country despite pleas from my brother and me to come live with us and be near four grandchildren and two great-granchildren (my brother's son and his wife have two new babies). Since my visits last summer, I have altogether stopped asking my mother to return to the states. And if you call a place like that home, why would you ever want to leave it ever again?

Girl #1, Maria, Girl #2 & cousin Susana, also a Great Girl

Super Girl #2, age 19 & Snoopy, my aunt's pooch, age unknown

Super Girl #1 - age 20

My mother, Maria, Matriarch Extraordinaire

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Homage To Blue

Blue Train, John Coltrane, Blue Note Records

Blue Nude, Picasso

Blue Nude - Matisse

Album cover for Blue, Joni Mitchell Reprise Records, 1971

Blue...songs are like tatoos, you know I've been to sea before
Crown and anchor me or let me sail away..
~ Joni Mitchell

Amerian Heritage Dictionary


blue (blōō) Pronunciation Key n.
The hue of that portion of the visible spectrum lying between green and indigo, evoked in the human observer by radiant energy with wavelengths of approximately 420 to 490 nanometers; any of a group of colors that may vary in lightness and saturation, whose hue is that of a clear daytime sky; one of the additive or light primaries; one of the psychological primary hues.

Blue Iris

"Now that I'm free to be myself, who am I?
Can't fly, can't run and see how slowly I walk.

Well, I think, I can read books.

"What's that you're doing?"
the green-headed fly shouts as it buzzes past.

I close the book.

Well, I can write down words, like these, softly.

"What's that you're doing?" whispers the wind, pausing
in a heap just outside the window.

Give me a little time, I say back to its staring, silver face.
It doesn't happen all of a sudden, you know.

"Doesn't it?" says the wind, and breaks open, releasing
its distillation of blue iris.

And my heart panics not to be, as I long to be,
the empty, waiting, pure, speechless receptacle.

-Mary Oliver

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