Monday, July 30, 2007

holy planefest, batman!

peep this beautiful slideshow of planes that you can see (and maybe even touch!) in Tucson.
as if i needed any MORE reasons to want to go to Tucson. . .

sad news for cinephiles

Ingmar Bergman has died.

Sure wish i had some of his movies on dvd, instead of just a couple on VHS. . .i would have liked to hold a tribute marathon.


7/30/2007 3:16 AM


Having succeeded for many years in the semi-conscious quest not to fall in love with a woman I hardly know (or one who plainly does not and will not feel the same way), and having thankfully experienced a (possibly related) significant decline in the frequency of (remembering) dreams wherein I am happily in love . . . it was all the more powerful and heart-quaking when I woke from just such a dream today.

Incidentally, this was also the first dream in MANY years to feature Nicole Marie Polka.


Backstory: I am in high school.  I believe this was one of those relatively frequent dreams where I actually go BACK to high school at my CURRENT (or at least recent) age, or at least with my current-age mind.

I do not recall if my friends & classmates were in a similar situation.  Bob Heinrich, Tom Rausch and possibly Mike Starr were present at some point(s).  Interestingly, I had recently developed the ability to levitate; I could will myself slowly up to any height I desired, as well as rotating my body into any position I liked, and I think I could even move slowly from place to place.  Each movement against gravity was very closely linked to my breathing; I think I had to concentrate on any given inhale/exhale cycle during which I wished to make a movement, i.e. going up a little bit, or twisting my body a bit.  That is to say, that particular breath cycle required much effort and focus in order for the movement to be executed just as I wanted.


I just realized the rarity of this particular dream or sequence thereof . . . while a dream involving high school, a superhuman ability, OR a love interest is not at all uncommon, I don't know that I've EVER had one that featured all THREE elements.  Of course, this serves to make it all that much more memorable.



So.  After demonstrating to my class(mates) this fantastic skill, and presumably reaching the end of the class period, I floated out of the classroom and into the hall, whilst approaching from another direction, who should appear but that high school sweetheart of mine.  At this point we were definitely present-day-aged.  Nicole had two broken legs.  I'm not sure of her stage of recovery, whether she had crutches and/or casts and/or some bizarre thing one tends to find only in a dream (but finds quite normal whenst dreaming).  Come to think of it, I believe that her being in that condition made her more approachable to me!  As if her being unable to excel in athletics (which she certainly did in reality, being a varsity member of both basketball and tennis all 4 years) made her less interesting/popular/accepted, and therefore closer to me in social status.


Some words must have been exchanged between us, though I've no recollection of them.


The next dream/sequence I recall took place in something like a large banquet hall, a single room at least the size of a very large high school gymnasium.  I believe I was still engaging in levitative (?) behavior at this point.  It seems to me that this may have been a high school reunion in fact, as my impression now is that our entire graduating class was present.  In fact, given the size of the room and the number of people present, there would have to have been a LOT more people there than the 80 or so that comprised our class.  Whatever the event, it took place in the future, sometime in our 40s or even early 50s I'd guess.

This, too, is very rare in my dream experiences.  Ergo, much harder to forget or allow to fade.


Again, most of the specific dialog escapes me, but Nicole was at my side as spouse or committed partner, and I/we were chatting casually and comfortably with our alums.  The one phrase that echoes in my mind was something to the effect of ". . . and to think, this is the girl I was in love with for 6 years!  No, actually, it was 7."  Actually, it was 4 ½ at most, but mathematics (like physics and other aspects of reality) seems terribly unfixed in the land of somnus.


Oh, wow.  I've remembered another scene tied into this whole storyline.  I don't know if it was before, after, or actually PART of that whole "reunion" scenario.  There was definitely karaoke, or something quite like it.  I was performing before a fairly large crowd (larger than the reunion group), at some point doing at least one DC Talk song . . . and also fearlessly trying to pull off octaves and/or vocal equivalents of instruments that I KNOW are well beyond my abilities.  I remember holding the microphone much closer to my mouth than is advisable. 


Yet another scene, also before/after/during that last one . . . I am something like a leader of a worship service, in a small arena-type setting, and a very unconventional service too.  Just walking around in the main area as well as up and down some of the steps, speaking and/or singing.  I THINK Nicole also played a part in this episode, perhaps providing me with support and courage?


I guess the bottom line is that a significant chunk of the whole dream series takes place in THE FUTURE, after Nicole and I have been together very happily for several years, and the feelings and sensory impressions left by THAT are so much stronger and more immediate and more important than all of the details (who/what/when/where) combined.


Then of course upon waking, one cannot help but give credence to the possibility (despite its infinitesimally minute nature) that she and I CAN meet again someday and finally be able to relate to one another . . . find enough common ground to develop a relationship . . . and ultimately become so content and fulfilled in each other that we don't even think about – let alone regret – all those intervening years between NOT getting to know each other in H.S. and living out our lives apart, before finally embracing the beautiful fate of togetherness.  4 ½ years of unrequited (and inexplicable) love (or a reasonable facsimile thereof), 20 years of distance so great that they might as well have been light years.

Then ultimately, whatever amount of time we might have together, being so joyous and magnificent as to essentially erase any negative aspect of the past.


Has anyone who ever lived dreamt a more beautiful dream?


If you can only remember and try to live by 1 verse from each Testament of the Bible, try these:
Deuteronomy 6:5  "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."
Matthew 6:10  "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

International Grandmothers Council

[ copied with utter disregard for all legal copyright protection and related AP warnings/threats ]

Int'l Grandmothers' Enviro Movement

Jul 29, 3:06 PM (ET)


HOT SPRINGS, S.D. (AP) - Several times a day over three days, 13 women from around the world, several in their 80s, gathered around an open fire as each led a prayer ceremony unique to her native tribe.

After each outdoor gathering they moved into a convention center auditorium, where they exchanged ideas and learned about problems that plague the Oglala Lakota who live on the nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Among them: high unemployment, suicide, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, diabetes and contaminated water.

The women share a common vision and mission to spare future generations problems that now vex much of society.

"It's hard to be proud of your cultural heritage and traditions if every day you face extinction," Debra White Plume of Manderson told the women.

The women, formally called the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, come from Africa, Asia and the Americas. Their languages, cultures and traditions are as different as their lands.

"They're not women of politics. They're women of prayer," said Jeneane Prevatt of The Center for Sacred Studies in Sonora, Calif., who goes by the name Jyoti.

The indigenous grandmothers hope to ease war, pollution and social ills by teaching traditional ways that served their people long before the birth of modern peace and environmental movements.

Roughly every six months, they visit each other's homelands, most recently in June here in the southern Black Hills, near the Pine Ridge reservation that's home to two of the women, sisters Rita and Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance.

During the prayer ceremonies, they spoke very little. Often the only sounds were the crackling fire and traffic on a nearby road.

"We're praying for peace, which is not only the wars but in our homes and in the schools. We need that peace amongst children," said Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance, who believes social problems on the reservation are a direct result of people abandoning traditional ways of life.

The group first met in October 2004 in New York. So far their effort has earned them a meeting with the Dalai Lama and a relationship with the Bioneers environmental group.

The 13 women next plan to meet in October at San Rafael, Calif., for the annual conference of the Bioneers, who share the indigenous grandmothers' belief that there's a spiritual aspect to life and more to environmentalism than preventing pollution, said Nina Simons, co-executive director.

"We will never have environmental sanity and health while there are so many people living in abject poverty," she said. "We can't expect people to care about the environment when they're worried about feeding their children."

The grandmothers and Bioneers also believe that natural solutions can fix many modern problems, such as using a type of mushroom to digest petroleum spills, Simons said.

"Part of our challenge is to learn to have a relationship with nature that makes it healthier and stronger instead of weaker and depleted," she said.

The Black Hills conference attracted people from the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Spain, France, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, Nepal and Brazil.

Among the roughly 250 people attending the gathering was Jan Rhine of Newberg, Ore., who was raised in Africa by missionary parents. She said the grandmothers movement makes her appreciate a simpler way of life.

"As technology has grown, along with the gifts it brings, we've lost our roots to nature, to mother earth and to each other. And what they are doing is bringing back these old ways that they and their tribes have carried throughout the centuries, bringing it back into this new modern technology to help us remember who we really are and what this planet is really about," Rhine said.

- - -

i've gotten fairly excited the last few years by the growing "Evangelical Ecologists" or "Green Christians" movement in America. to wit:
Evangelical Ecologist
Evangelical Environment Network
National Religious Partnership for the Environment
Planet Ark: Interview
Republicans for Environmental Protection (you read that right)
USA Today article...
...and another
Washington Post article
Reuters articles aplenty!

- - -

On the Net:

Grandmothers Council:

Grandmothers Film:


Sacred Studies:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


due to the excess of right-margin content, and dearth of posts, i'm going to hunt through some of my old writings and post those. then, perhaps, at some later date, i may find the inspiration and wherewithal to put fingers to keyboard and enlighten/amuse you, gentle reader.


i have joined the blogging masses.
intense, i know.