Sunday, November 21, 2010

William Blake said / A multitude of holidays

"You never know what is enough until you know what is more than enough."

Dear blog friends,

From tomorrow until New Year's Day, I will be on a blog break and will not be posting or commenting on my blog or on anyone else's blog.

Which brings me to the thought that if there ever was a film about fierce grace, it is "Big Bad Love." I'm not recommending it but just want to say that it spoke to me in a way nothing else could have. When I was looking for a photo for this post, I came across the above photo which shows who and what the film is about.

Richard's sister, Dorothy, sent me two CD's of acoustic guitar music by Nori Tachibana, currently of Northern California. She said that Richard wanted me to have them. That's what I'll be listening to as fall and winter deepen into the multitude of holidays that may be celebrated in late November and throughout December if one wishes. I'll be listening to holiday music from a variety of religious and spiritual traditions, too, including Bob Dylan's "Christmas in the Heart."

Must Be Santa
Debe ser Papá Noel
Moet de Kerstman zijn
Doit être le père noël
Sein muss Weihnachtsmann
πρέπει να είστε Άγιος Βασίλης
Deve essere il Babbo Natale
Deve ser Papai Noel
должен быть Санта Клаус
산타클로스는 이어야 한다

Little Drummer Boy

May love bless and keep you during the holiday season!

Kind wishes from your blog friend,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

B-R-A-U-T-I-G-A-M / Your Catfish Friend

I just finished re-reading You Can't Catch Death: A Daughter's Memoir by Ianthe Brautigan. After I read these words, followed by a quote from her father's last book,

"I'm glad I had the courage to wander alone with sharp objects tempting the release of a pain that has resided in me for so long. I have found that from my walking in painful places long enough, the knife edges, formerly so sharp, become dull. All they are good for, in the end, is to spread butter on toast for breakfast I will eat with my child. My flesh is safe. My father is safe. My words are safe in this pale new dawn that I share with my father.

"Where did that kid go, Mother?"
"I don't know, Father."...
"I don't see him anywhere."
"I guess he's gone."
"Maybe he went home."


I went to a bookstore to find that book. When I asked the young clerk if they had any books by Richard Brautigan, she asked me how the name was spelled. I spelled it for her. She said, "Hmmm. There is one book about places to visit in Orange County." I asked her what spelling she was using.

She said, "B-R-A-U-T-I-G-A-M?

So we tried again and found two books, each a collection of three of his novels and one including his last novel.

I mentioned this experience in the company of a group of friends this morning and one proceeded to quote this poem:

Your Catfish Friend
by Richard Brautigan

If I were to live my life
in catfish forms
in scaffolds of skin and whiskers
at the bottom of a pond
and you were to come by
one evening
when the moon was shining
down into my dark home
and stand there at the edge
of my affection
and think, "It's beautiful
here by this pond. I wish
somebody loved me,"
I'd love you and be your catfish
friend and drive such lonely
thoughts from your mind
and suddenly you would be
at peace,
and ask yourself, "I wonder
if there are any catfish
in this pond? It seems like
a perfect place for them."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Birth and a Return and Picasso in November

Every Saturday morning at 7 a.m., I meet with friends for breakfast at a nearby restaurant. Today there was especially good news from three of the youngest. One announced the birth of his first child, a son. The other talked about a celebration the night before of the return of one of his friends from Afghanistan. Another spoke of his teenaged son's long-anticipated visit to the Picasso exhibit in Seattle. There was much talk of love and hope and gratitude from these young men in the midst of the many sorrows of our times.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day 2010

The true end of a war is the rebirth of life;
the right to die peacefully in your own bed.
The true end of war is the end of fear;
the true end of war is the return of laughter.
(Alfredo Molano)

I am so tired.
I am so very tired of this war.

(From Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam (published 2002), by Walter Dean Myers, a Vietnam veteran)

My thoughts today are on veterans of all wars and their loved ones and are especially focused on veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and their loved ones. May they find the true end of a war. May we all find the true end of a war.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"Seeing the Divine in the Human"

Listen to Luxman (Lakshman) Das (to the left of Bob Dylan)

Listen to Purna Das (to the right of Bob Dylan)

Listen to Bob. I think I hear their influence in the sound of his voice here.

(Quote from YouTube's "King of the Bauls." Close-up from the cover of my vinyl album of "John Wesley Harding" from 1968.)