Mouse Poop

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Merry Autumn

It's all a farce,—these tales they tell
About the breezes sighing,
And moans astir o'er field and dell,
Because the year is dying.

Such principles are most absurd,—
I care not who first taught 'em;
There's nothing known to beast or bird
To make a solemn autumn.

In solemn times, when grief holds sway
With countenance distressing,
You'll note the more of black and gray
Will then be used in dressing.

Now purple tints are all around;
The sky is blue and mellow;
And e'en the grasses turn the ground
From modest green to yellow.

The seed burs all with laughter crack
On featherweed and jimson;
And leaves that should be dressed in black
Are all decked out in crimson.

A butterfly goes winging by;
A singing bird comes after;
And Nature, all from earth to sky,
Is bubbling o'er with laughter.

The ripples wimple on the rills,
Like sparkling little lasses;
The sunlight runs along the hills,
And laughs among the grasses.

The earth is just so full of fun
It really can't contain it;
And streams of mirth so freely run
The heavens seem to rain it.

Don't talk to me of solemn days
In autumn's time of splendor,
Because the sun shows fewer rays,
And these grow slant and slender.

Why, it's the climax of the year,—
The highest time of living!—
Till naturally its bursting cheer
Just melts into thanksgiving.

---Paul Laurence Dunbar
Sun, September 30, 2012 - 8:13 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

For September

Our True Heritage

The cosmos is filled with precious gems.
I want to offer a handful of them to you this morning.
Each moment you are alive is a gem,
shining through and containing earth and sky,
water and clouds.

It needs you to breathe gently
for the miracles to be displayed.
Suddenly you hear the birds singing,
the pines chanting,
see the flowers blooming,
the blue sky,
the white clouds,
the smile and the marvelous look
of your beloved.

You, the richest person on Earth,
who have been going around begging for a living,
stop being the destitute child.
Come back and claim your heritage.
We should enjoy our happiness
and offer it to everyone.
Cherish this very moment.
Let go of the stream of distress
and embrace life fully in your arms.

from "Call Me By My True Names" The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh.
Sun, September 2, 2012 - 9:36 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

Goin' Home

I wrote this last year and like it so much I'm posting it again. I leave for the Burn this Thursday Aug. 23rd and will return Sunday Sept. 2.

What is it that so obsesses us about Burning Man? What is it that motivates 50,000 people to spend often thousands of dollars to go out into the Nevada desert every year? To a place without running water that is sometimes hot as hell, sometimes freezing cold and nearly always dusty?

I know what it is for me, personally, that keeps me going back for more. This will be my 5th year. After waiting to go for 11 years, I finally got to in 2007. I was hooked immediately.

What does it for me? A number of things. The wonder I experience there is perhaps the biggest draw for me. Riding across deep playa late at night and looking back at the city--the lights--the sounds--the colors. I never grow tired of looking at it like that. Or the wonder of wandering through a neighborhood, no particular one and rounding a corner to run into a camp where everyone is dressed in tux and ball gowns, waltzing gracefully to music in the mid-day sun. Or seeing a troupe of women AND men dressed as french maids merrily passing by, "dusting" everything in sight and laughing endlessly.

The glee that I often see on people's face. The merriment. The wonder. Burning Man allows us, allows me, to let loose the child inside that can still find delight in an artcar that looks like a giant birthday cake. Or in riding on a giant teeter-totter. Or just running pell-mell across the dry lake bed, to fall in a heap, laughing.

There is an innocence to Burning Man still, despite what some would say. A vast and deep innocence. We are all there to experience joy together, to share with each other, to play. We hug each other though we are often times complete strangers. We cuddle together in piles and heaps, in large groups and in tiny clumps. We joke and laugh with people we've never seen before. We paint our faces and bodies, dress in costumes as wild as the desert winds so that we all have something fun to look at as we pass each other by. We dance, we sing, we cry and shout and dance some more.

Burning Man is the most imaginative place I have ever been. Theme camps of astounding creativity and artistry line the streets. People with amazing talents sing, dance, play instruments, do acrobatics, perform theater, juggle, spin fire and mesmerize. I am awe-struck every year by the art that people pour their heart, soul and hard-earned cash into and bring out to the desert, only to burn it a week later.

So many things fascinate and pull me back, year after year. If I get tired of one thing, I need only explore or try something else. New experiences wait around each corner.

And then there are the people. The citizens of BRC, my fellow Burners. Amazing, frustrating, wonderful, twisted, creative, maddening and endearing. The community of BRC is real, and can change lives. It's changed mine. I've met some of the best people I've ever known because of Burning Man, both on and off the Playa.

I don't know how many years I will return to Black Rock City but I feel blessed to have been able take part in this experience even once in my lifetime.

And I can't wait to go Home.
Mon, August 20, 2012 - 1:04 PM — permalink - 2 comments - add a comment


So live your life that the fear of death can never enter
your heart.
Trouble no one about their religion;
respect others in their view, and demand that they
respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in
your life.

Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
even a stranger, when in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only
in yourself.

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

----Chief Tecumseh 1768-1813 Shawnee Nation
Thu, August 2, 2012 - 7:34 PM — permalink - 2 comments - add a comment

Tired of Speaking Sweetly (For August)

Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.

If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room
By your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.

Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth

That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,

Causing the world to weep
On too many fine days.

God wants to manhandle us,
Lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself
And practice His dropkick.

The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:

Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.

But when we hear
He is in such a "playful drunken mood"
Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town.

From: 'The Gift' by Hafiz
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
Sat, July 28, 2012 - 10:32 PM — permalink - 1 comments - add a comment
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