Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames

Check this out!  It is a film that in about 10 minutes takes you to the farthest outreaches of space and down to our smallest level of understanding.  Totally worth 10 minutes of your time.

 

John

There is nothing I can say to offset the tragedy of that day.  I am no less over him now than I was 30 years ago.  Although, I understand the world a little better than I did as a 13 year old.  Well, maybe understand is the wrong word.  I am less emotional in my 40s than I was when I was a teenager.

I heard the news via radio as I did my homework.  As word of his death sunk into my mind, I found myself weeping.   Even now, I can’t help but cry.  The voice that gave us “Imagine” should not have been unnaturally silenced.  John‘s music has influenced me throughout my life.  Born in 1967, I am part of a culture that, for  me, never didn’t have The Beatles.  My dad used to sing “Michelle” to me.  We heard them on the radio, a lot.

I remember being in the backseat of our neighbor’s Cadillac and hearing “Imagine” as we went for ice cream.  I think it was 1976; I know it was Summer; we were all in swimsuits.  Everyone was quiet, eating and listening to the music.  I was just nine years old, but those words had a big impact on me.  With that song, John planted a seed in me that has grown into my practice of Daoism.

I started today listening to the single “Watching The Wheels” and its B-side “Yes, I’m Your Angel”:

 

 

Don Gato and The Underdog

I am still thinking about a post on the 3 treasures, but in the mean time, these 2 songs occurred to me this week.

Don Gato is a song from my childhood.  Someone on Facebook called their cat Don Gato and the song popped into my mind.  All I could remember was the first line, “On a roof Don Gato sat,”  but that was all Google needed.

I heard Spoon’s “The Underdog” on the college radio station.  Saturday night I found it for Eben – I was hoping he would like it.  He did.  He started playing it and had 3 of the chords down before he asked me to google the actual chords.  We sat there and he was playing trying to keep time with the song.  He told me to start singing.  I did.  We had a lot of fun with this.  It made us both happy.

Total blogger’s block for me.   It has been so long since I wrote anything for my blogs.  I did just complete a post for Misha’s Needle about a quilt I finished in August.  Sigh.  I spent the summer socializing and reconnecting with friends and making new friends.  Even now, I am having trouble figuring out what I want to say.

The last new to me song I found was a few weeks ago.  I heard it in my car, from start to finish, but missed any info about it.  All I could remember was, “She asks are you cursed?”  Google found it, of course.  Yay!  Called “The Curse,” it has a charming little video to go with the song, which still, I find enchanting:

There are a few blog posts I have in mind, but my writing time has gone to socializing.  Last week, I got a very nice comment on this blog and that got me thinking about giving this blog more attention.  I am in the middle of making a quilt and am somewhat obsessed with that right now.  It is for a friend who may be moving to Chicago and I am on a deadline with it.

I have also been having a very important to me conversation with Cloudwalking Owl, whose Diary I recommend you read.   We are thinking of publishing this conversation, perhaps as a book, or a blog.  He and I have lately been writing about the 3 Daoist’s Treasures.  I will share my take on these in another post.

I have for the past couple of months been “baby sitting” a friend’s 11 year old so that she and her boyfriend can have a date night.  This summer I hung out with other children a few times.  I had not really talked to a child in like 6 years.  The kids have helped me be a better Daoist, and have awakened a sleeping sense of fun I had forgotten.

I guess I should try to make writing for this blog and the other one more of a priority now.  I need to figure out how much time per week can I regularly devote and make writing for them part of my routine.  I think I want to do that, because if I don’t schedule it, it won’t happen.

I will try to make more time for writing and thinking as soon as I get to a point with my quilt that gives me a break.  Right now I am fully focused on getting the block sewn together.  Once that happens I like to try different layouts and that will give me some time for writing, hopefully about the three treasures.

We had a loverly autumn here in Saint Louis, but winter seems to be coming now.  I really enjoyed the warm days we have had.  I love the seasonal changes of the mid-west.   Well, onto my quilting!

 

Mrs. Vandebilt with Variation

Hi, y’all!  I know it has been awhile since I posted anything.  I have been busy doing summer things.   Lately, when I am on the computer, I have been listening to Mrs. Vandebilt by Wings and various covers of it.  I can’t stop, especially the original version from Band On The Run.  It was released in 1974, but not as a single in the US.  This is one I discovered in the 80s.  I always loved it, and it has really got me right now.  The music is so fantastic – that bass is sooo freakin’ awesome, and the melody is really good too.

I am glad there were some covers available.  I like hearing varied renditions of songs.  This one is from somewhere in Paris, I think.  Here is another charming version.  Both of those are strummed and acoustic.  Here is an electric cover from a band.  If you are looking for a demo of the bass, you have a choice.  This one is good, but short.  Here is the complete bass played out to the song – really amazing bass playing, very worth watching.  I don’t play bass, but I was mesmerized.  Here is Paul in Quebec playing live.  And this one is acoustic and fingerpicked – really awesome!

Eight versions – all of them good.  Have fun.

Chapter 77

The Rambling Taoist is posting a commentary of the Dao De Jing on his blog.  I am attempting to do a commentary for Chapter 53 & 77 from Ellen Chen’s translation

The way of heaven,
Is it not like stretching a bow?
What is high up is pressed down,
What is low down is lifted up;
What has surplus is reduced,
What is deficient is supplemented.
The way of heaven,
It reduces those who have surpluses,
To supplement those who are deficient.
The human way is just not so.
It reduces those who are deficient,
To offer those who have surpluses.
Who can offer his surpluses to the world?
Only a person of Tao.
Therefore the sage works without holding on to,
Accomplishes without claiming credit.
Is it not because he does not want to show off his merits?

Her general comment is:

Heaven promotes equality, whereas humans are the cause of inequality in the world.

Nature acts as a pendulum – never swinging into irreversible excess.  Man goes too far to excess and causes deficiencies.  Global Warming is a blatant example.  We may be sowing the seeds of our own extinction with our over use of the planet’s resources.  Nature will recover; we may not.

It is better to not have more than you need and to not go to excess.  It is better to let your accomplishments speak for themselves, than to build up your ego claiming merits for what you do.  Nature claims no credit; we are all here in Nature.  We must learn to live within the Carrying Capacity of the planet.

Chapter 53 of the Dao De Jing

The Rambling Taoist is posting a commentary of the Dao De Jing on his blog.  I am attempting to do a commentary for Chapter 53 & 77 from Ellen Chen’s translation

If I have a little (chieh-jan) knowledge (chih),
To walk the great path (Tao),
I shall fear this:
The great path (Tao) is very flat and easy,
Yet others (jen) are fond of bypaths.
The courts are very neat,
The fields are very weedy,
The granaries are very empty.
Wearing embroidered clothes,
Carrying sharp swords,
Being surfeited with foods and drinks.
To accumulate wealth and treasures in excess,
This is called robbery and crime.
This is not to follow Tao.

Chen’s commentary says this chapter is referring to rulers and government.  Her general comment is:

In the spirit of the uncarved wood, Taoists are physiocrats who favor farming as the economic basis for the state.  Taoists like to see wealth spread among the people.  A splendid court and undue accumulation of wealth by the ruling class signify an empty granary and state treasury.

This chapter doesn’t require much commentary.  One can easily see how our government and the culture at large is not following Tao.  One can also easily apply this chapter to their own life.  To have more than one needs when others don’t have enough is not in harmony with Tao.

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