Saturday, November 11, 2017

There is a Meadow in My Perfect World

There's a meadow
in my perfect world
Where wind dances
the branches of a tree
Casting leopard spots of light
across the face of a pond
The tree stands tall
and grand and alone
Shading the world beneath it.
There will come a day
when I rest against its spine.
And look out over a valley
where the sun warms, but never burns.
I will watch leaves turn
Green, then amber, then crimson
Then no leaves at all.
But the tree will not die.
For in this place,
winter never comes.
It is here, in the cradle
of all I hold dear,
I guard every memory of you.
And when I find myself frozen
in the mud of the real
far from your loving eyes,
I will return to this place,
close mine
and take solace in the simple
perfection of knowing you.

- from Wind River featuring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen

Monday, September 11, 2017

Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds

“Humans consider themselves unique, so they’ve rooted their whole theory of existence on their uniqueness. “One” is their unit of “measure” — but its not. All social systems we’ve put into place are a mere sketch: “one plus one equals two”, that’s all we’ve learned, but one plus one has never equaled two — there are in fact no numbers and no letters, we’ve codified our existence to bring it down to human size, to make it comprehensible, we’ve created a scale so we can forget its unfathomable scale…Time is the only true unit of measure, it gives proof to the existence of matter, without time, we don’t exist. “

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I Never Let the Truth Get in the Way of a Good Story

When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now, and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. - Mark Twain (1924)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Rightness of Trust

Life is about trust.
Trust isn't always rewarded, but on the other hand, if you make decisions based on trust, they always seem to have a sort of rightness to them.

- Johnny Worricker

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Papa Was a Rolling Stone

It's an important question you ask. But one, I think, with a simple answer. We have this need, you and I, from the time we are little, to peek over your neighbor's fence. And once we do, we see there's wonder waiting on the other side. Every step you take brings the world one step closer. You'll narrow the influence of narrow minds. You'll bridge continents. Puncture prejudice. And keep peace. You may not always know it at the time, but one day you will look back and see that you've made this world a better place. So, the question you asked me, what is the key? 

It's you.

- Trans-Siberian Railway 
   Travel the World Better

Monday, April 03, 2017

The Downfall of the Forth Estate

“If you wish to see the truth, then hold no opinions"
- Hsin Hsin Ming

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Perfect Circle of Death

“Have you ever seen the aftermath of a suicide bomber? I have. I was meeting two associates at a restaurant in Tel Aviv. As my car was pulling up, a twenty year old Palestinian entered the restaurant and detonated a vest wired with C4.
The shockwave knocked me flat, blew out my eardrums; I couldn't hear. The smoke.. it was like being underwater. I went inside – a nightmare. Blood, parts of people.. You could tell where he was standing when the vest blew. It was like.. a perfect circle of death.
There was almost nothing left of the people closest to him. 17 dead, 46 injured. Blown to pieces. The closer they were to the bomber, the more horrific the effect. That's every suicide. Every single one.
An act of terror, perpetrated against everyone who's ever known you. Everyone who's ever loved you. The people closest to you, the ones who cherish you, are the ones who suffer the most pain, the most damage. Why would you do that? Why would you do that to people who love you?”

- from The Blacklist
James Spader as Ray Reddington

Sunday, September 20, 2015

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

-T. S. Eliot

Saturday, September 05, 2015

A Well-Deserved Rest, on the Sabbath

An excerpt from “Sabbath”:
In December 2014, I completed my memoir, “On the Move,” and gave the manuscript to my publisher, not dreaming that days later I would learn I had metastatic cancer, coming from the melanoma I had in my eye nine years earlier. I am glad I was able to complete my memoir without knowing this, and that I had been able, for the first time in my life, to make a full and frank declaration of my sexuality, facing the world openly, with no more guilty secrets locked up inside me.
In February, I felt I had to be equally open about my cancer — and facing death. I was, in fact, in the hospital when my essay on this, “My Own Life,” was published in this newspaper. In July I wrote another piece for the paper, “My Periodic Table,” in which the physical cosmos, and the elements I loved, took on lives of their own.
And now, weak, short of breath, my once-firm muscles melted away by cancer, I find my thoughts, increasingly, not on the supernatural or spiritual, but on what is meant by living a good and worthwhile life — achieving a sense of peace within oneself. I find my thoughts drifting to the Sabbath, the day of rest, the seventh day of the week, and perhaps the seventh day of one’s life as well, when one can feel that one’s work is done, and one may, in good conscience, rest.

-From "Sabbath" by Oliver Sacks 

Rage Against the Dying of the Light

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

-Dylan Thomas, 1914-1953

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Ernest Hemingway

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

― Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Capture Beauty

"It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing and there's this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. Right? And this bag was just dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. That's the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video's a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember... I need to remember... Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in."
- Ricky Fitts (Wes Bentley) in American Beauty

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Progress or Extinction

"Our economic systems were formed when the planet and its air, rivers, oceans, lands, all seemed infinite.
They evolved long before we first saw the Earth as the tiny organism that it actually is.
They're all alike in one respect they're profit-driven, and therefore, focused on short-term gain.
The prevailing economic systems, no matter what their ideologies, have no built-in mechanisms for protecting our descendants of even 100 years from now, let alone, 100,000.
In one respect, we're ahead of the people of Ancient Mesopotamia.
Unlike them, we understand what's happening to our world.
For example, we're pumping greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere at a rate not seen on Earth for a million years.
And the scientific consensus that we're destabilizing our climate.
Yet our civilization seems to be in the grip of denial; a kind of paralysis.
There's a disconnect between what we know and what we do.
Being able to adapt our behavior to challenges is as good a definition of intelligence as any I know.
If our greater intelligence is the hallmark of our species, then we should use it, as all other beings use their distinctive advantages to help ensure that their offspring prosper, and their heredity is passed on, and that the fabric of nature that sustains us is protected.
Human intelligence is imperfect, surely, and newly arisen.
The ease with which it can be sweet-talked, overwhelmed, or subverted by other hard-wired tendencies, sometimes themselves disguised as the light of reason, is worrisome.
But if our intelligence is the only edge, we must learn to use it better.
To sharpen it.
To understand its limitations and deficiencies.
To use it as cats use stealth before pouncing.
As walking sticks use camouflage.
To make it the tool of our survival.
If we do this, we can solve almost any problem we are likely to confront in the next 100,000 years."

- Neil DeGrasse Tyson from Cosmos, Season 1, Episode 11

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.  The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists; whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. 

I will dispense this advice now: Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth;
Oh never mind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You’re not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; Or worry, but knows that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts.
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy.
Sometimes you’re ahead; sometimes you’re behind.  The race is long, and in the end it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, and forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters.
Throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what to do with your life; The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year old's I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. 

Be kind to your knees; You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either - your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body; Use it every way you can...don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance; Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions; Even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines; they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents; You’ll never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise.  Politicians will philander.  You too will get old; and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders. Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time its 40, it will look 85.

Be careful who advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Crazy world
Full of crazy contradictions
Like a child.
First you drive me wild,
And then you win my heart
With your wicked art.
One minute tender, gentle,
Then temp'ramental as a summer storm.

Just when I believe your heart's getting warmer,

You're cold and you're cruel,
And I, like a fool, trying to cope,
Trying to hang on to hope.

Crazy world,

Ev'ryday the same old roller coaster ride.
But I've got my pride,
I won't give in,
Even though I know I'll never win.
Oh, how I love this
Crazy world.

- Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria is a musical with a book by Blake Edwards, music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and additional musical material (music and lyrics) by Frank Wildhorn

Sunday, September 29, 2013

This love letter to New York is an excerpt from "My Home Town," an essay Dorothy Parker   wrote for McCall's magazine in 1928.

It occurs to me that there are other towns. It occurs to me so violently that I say, at intervals, "Very well, if New York is going to be like this, I'm going to live somewhere else." And I do—that's the funny part of it. But then one day there comes to me the sharp picture of New York at its best, on a shiny blue-and-white Autumn day with its buildings cut diagonally in halves of light and shadow, with its straight neat avenues colored with quick throngs, like confetti in a breeze. Someone, and I wish it had been I, has said that "Autumn is the Springtime of big cities." I see New York at holiday time, always in the late afternoon, under a Maxfield Parish sky, with the crowds even more quick and nervous but even more good-natured, the dark groups splashed with the white of Christmas packages, the lighted holly-strung shops urging them in to buy more and more. I see it on a Spring morning, with the clothes of the women as soft and as hopeful as the pretty new leaves on a few, brave trees. I see it at night, with the low skies red with the black-flung lights of Broadway, those lights of which Chesterton—or they told me it was Chesterton—said, "What a marvelous sight for those who cannot read!" I see it in the rain, I smell the enchanting odor of wet asphalt, with the empty streets black and shining as ripe olives. I see it—by this time, I become maudlin with nostalgia—even with its gray mounds of crusted snow, its little Appalachians of ice along the pavements. So I go back. And it is always better than I thought it would be.

I suppose that is the thing about New York. It is always a little more than you had hoped for. Each day, there, is so definitely a new day. "Now we'll start over," it seems to say every morning, "and come on, let's hurry like anything."

London is satisfied, Paris is resigned, but New York is always hopeful. Always it believes that something good is about to come off, and it must hurry to meet it. There is excitement ever running its streets. Each day, as you go out, you feel the little nervous quiver that is yours when you sit in the theater just before the curtain rises. Other places may give you a sweet and soothing sense of level; but in New York there is always the feeling of "Something's going to happen." It isn't peace. But, you know, you do get used to peace, and so quickly. And you never get used to New York.

Monday, September 02, 2013

“A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue. That’s why there are so few good conversations: due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.”
— Truman Capote 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"The brain may take advice, but not the heart, and love, having no geography, knows no boundaries: weight and sink it deep, no matter, it will rise and find the... surface: and why not? any love is natural and beautiful that lies within a person's nature; only hypocrites would hold a man responsible for what he loves, emotional illiterates and those of righteous envy, who, in their agitated concern, mistake so frequently the arrow pointing to heaven for the one that leads to hell. ” 

 ― Truman Capote, Other Voices, Other Rooms

Sunday, August 11, 2013

"The Veteran"
by Dorothy Parker

When I was young and bold and strong,
Oh, right was right, and wrong was wrong! 
My plume on high, my flag unfurled,
I rode away to right the world.
"Come out, you dogs, and fight!'' said I,
And wept there was but once to die.

But I am old; and good and bad
Are woven in a crazy plaid.
I sit and say, "The world is so;
And he is wise who lets it go.
A battle lost, a battle won--
The difference is small, my son.''

Inertia rides and riddles me;
The which is called Philosophy. 

Thursday, August 08, 2013

"Superfluous Advice"
Dorothy Parker

Should they whisper false of you.
Never trouble to deny;
Should the words they say be true,
Weep and storm and swear they lie.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

"So What's Your 'Type?'"

William Shakespeare

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”

Monday, August 27, 2012


After awhile, I no longer remembered
why I was being punished, and after that
I was not sure it was punishment at all. There was enough
to do with checking the weather each morning,
selecting the right clothing—waterproof for rain,
my slatted sun hat for bright afternoons, a heavy shawl
pinned round my shoulders on frosty mornings. Then a bite
to eat, choices there too, oat cakes or bread, honey
or marmalade, so many decisions
before starting the work of the day. And each day
was different. There were small blue flowers
breaking through the cracks when the weather warmed,
huge dusty turtles I had to swerve to avoid,
the occasional passerby, too far for conversation,
but close enough to study the new styles
of hat and jacket, each one’s way of walking,
a shuffling gait, a jaunty step. And then
the rock itself was never the same. My fingers
would penetrate encrustations, caress
slopes worn smooth as powdered skin,
its touch remembered these many years,
dimly remembered, like morning rain
find sparking grains that embedded themselves
in tiny dimples. But always, behind the flux,
keeping confusion in check, that constant cycle,
that slow plod upward, that weight against my chest,
measuring my muscles, my soul, inevitably followed
by a wild mad dash to the bottom, the moment
of joy, of mad release. I was often overwhelmed
by the complexity of it all, and only rarely
had a recollection of something
I had meant to do, a time when I had said
When I reach the top, then…but I could not find
anywhere, in my mind, what I had intended.

- by Judy Barisonzi

Chasing Rainbows and Tilting Windmills

I'm always chasing rainbows
Watching clouds drifting by
My schemes are just like all my dreams
Ending in the sky
Some fellows look and find the sunshine
I always look and find the rain
Some fellows make a winning sometimes
I never even make a gain
Believe me, I'm always chasing rainbows
Waiting to find a little bluebird in vain

- I’m Always Chasing Rainbows; music by Harry Carroll, adapted from Fantaisie-Impromptu by Frédéric Chopin; lyrics by Joseph McCarthy; published in 1917; introduced in the Broadway show Oh, Look!, March, 1918

Sunday, August 12, 2012

e.e. cummings - somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look will easily unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

Crazy Faith

I lit my love and watched it burn;
asking nothing in return
except the lessons I would learn
holding crazy faith.

I've been touched by that bright fire
down to the root of my desire,
while the smoke it rises higher
on crazy faith.

'Am I a fool for hanging on?'
'Would I be a fool to be long gone?'
'When is daylight gone to dawn
on my crazy faith?'

The questions will not let me sleep;
The answer's buried way too deep
at the bottom of a lovers' leap
made by crazy faith.

Love your losing; lose your love.
Let the hawk fly from the glove
and do not search the skies above;
search your crazy faith.

Love is lightning; love is ice.
It only strikes the lucky twice:
once, so you will know the price;
and once for crazy faith.

You're not asking if I love this man...
I know you don't; you don't believe you can.
Yet I've seen love open like a dancer's fan.
It's crazy I know;
but my faith says so-
it tells me.
by Allison Krauss and Union Station
on New Favorite

Of Appreciation and Disappoinment

Tonight I’ve watched
The moon and then the Pleiades
go down

The night is now half-gone; youth goes; I am
in bed alone
It is clear now:

Neither honey nor the honey bee is to be mine again


Sunday, August 05, 2012

Private Island Getaway

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

- John Donne

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Neutral Is Not My Color

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
- Elie Wiesel in his Nobel Acceptance Speech, delivered in Oslo on December, 10, 1986

Saturday, July 14, 2012

So We Say What's Mine is Mine and Not Yours

These are the days of the open hand 
They might just be the last 
Look around now 
These are the days of the beggars and the choosers 

This is the year of the hungry man 
Whose place is in the past 
Hand in hand with ignorance 
And legitimate excuses 

The rich declare themselves poor 
And most of us are not sure 
If we have too much 
But we'll take our chances 
'Cause God's stopped keeping score 
I guess somewhere along the way 
He must have let us all out to play 
Turned his back and all God's children 
Crept out the back door 

And it's hard to love, there's so much to hate 
Hanging on to hope 
When there is no hope to speak of 
And the wounded skies above say it's much too much too late 
Well maybe we should all be praying for time 

These are the days of the empty hand 
Oh, you hold on to what you can 
And charity is a coat you wear twice a year 

This is the year of the guilty man 
Your television takes a stand 
And you find that what was over there is over here 

So you scream from behind your door 
Say what's mine is mine and not yours 
I may have too much but I'll take my chances 
'Cause God's stopped keeping score 
And you cling to the things they sold you 
Did you cover your eyes when they told you 
That he can't come back 
'Cause he has no children to come back for 

It's hard to love there's so much to hate 
Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of 
And the wounded skies above say it's much too late 
So maybe we should all be praying for time

- "Praying for Time," lyrics by George Michael
Released of Epic Records, 1990.