a moment of change

Why don’t we do a moment of action? Why don’t we do a moment of change? Kelly Clarkson

There have been too many moments of silence this year, at too many schools, for too many students, and too many teachers, for too many lives lost senselessly.

At the 2018 Billboard Music Awards Sunday, television viewers were prepared for the traditional recognition of the tragic school shooting in Texas two days earlier. Instead, Host Kelly Clarkson called for a moment of action, a moment of change.

Oz tries to stay in the background, off stage, and out of the limelight. Some subjects are taboo, touching off visceral reactions, even rage. Gun control is one of those.

But as Kelly says, it is time, long past time, to do something and change the course America is on.

Please, won’t you be part of the change?

 

pray

 

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Warriors’ Dreams

A wilderness of summer grass
hides all that remains
of warriors’ dreams.
Matsuo Bashō

all that remains of warriors’ dreams

Setting out on foot in the spring of 1689 from Edo with his disciple Kawai Sora, Matsuo Bashō (松尾 芭蕉, 1644–1694) traveled some 1,500 miles, for 5 months in the north of Japan. Along the way he became ill and contemplated dying far from home. Recovering, Basho and his companion proceeded to Hiraizumi to view the spot where the legendary samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune of the Heian Period (794 to 1185) had fallen.

There Basho composed the above poem.

the stuff of dreams

This thought is echoed by William Shakespeare in The Tempest, through Prospero, Act IV, Scene One.

We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

ladybug

a field of dried grass

Basho returned to Edo where he lived another 5 years. In the summer of 1694, he made one last trip before arriving in Osaka. There, he became sick with an illness in his stomach and died peacefully in bed, surrounded by his disciples. His last know poem follows:

falling sick on a journey
           my dream goes wandering
                          over a field of dried grass

ume ga ka, 梅が香, plum blossom scent

blossoms-2

The plum blossom scent

The plum blossoms (ume) scent
Chased again and again
By cold

Japanese

梅が香に 追いもどさるる 寒さかな

Ume ga ka ni/ Oimo dosa ruru/ Samusa kana

Meaning of Basho’s Scent of Plum Blossoms

Who does not recall an early spring, the scent of the plum blossom, chased away by the cold, again and again? Until, it is spring at last.

Line two, 追いもどさ is a bit of a struggle for me. Chased, pursued, run after, driven away are all candidates as the action verb. るる may be translated as continuously, but I have chose “again and again”.

This simple haiku’s beauty lies in the ending rhyme of the three lines:

kani – ruru – kana

The ume is the Japanese plum tree, symbolizing the start of spring, because of its early blossoms that typically flower in February and March.

Here in Oz we have our own flowering trees, which though beautiful and heavenly in their smell, too soon begin to stink.

blossom-bird

Reality Check

From time to time, Oz needs a reality check.

We all need a morning compass, something  that points the direction that we need to go. Why morning, because that is the beginning of the day, the start of the journey, and by night we need to rest.

Life is beautiful

Oz’s daughter says, “Life is beautiful.” That and a cup of coffee is a good way to start the day. Focus on the positive and good will come. Oz likes that.

Dakota County Highway 42

The answer is 42

Oz is off to Dakota County 42. He is just not sure if it is North or South Dakota, or Minnesota.

Oz is also a big fan of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (HG2G) by Douglas Adams. Earthling Arthur Dent is having a very, very bad day. His house is about to be bulldozed, his best friend is an alien, and, did I mention, in five minutes, Planet Earth is going to be demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

Survival means hitching a ride on a passing spacecraft to who knows where. Does anybody really know what time it is?

Arthur and his companions have no compass, but along the way they learn that “42” is the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything”, figured out by a supercomputer named Deep Thought over 7.5 million years. Unfortunately, no one knows what the question is.

So we are off in search of the question.

Reality is a slippery thing, especially in a digital world.

Whispering Tree

Soft as the voice of an angel, wind that whispers in the tree, of thoughts known only to God and to me.

Robyns Lake House

Now that it is spring and the weather is nice, Oz is spending a lot more time at the lake. Actually, it is Robyn’s Lake House, a new website featuring items for the lake house. These items include lamps, rugs, furniture, decor, and pictures.

Here is one picture I particularly like. It is a tree and yet not a tree, an artist’s dream-like rendition of a golden tree. As I look at it, the melody from the song Whispering Hope by Alice Hawthorn, and the above thought comes to mind.

You can visit robynslakehouse.com and see this beautiful tree.

golden whispering tree

You are what you think

“You are what you think,” my daughter said and smiled.

snl-7724_smile

Such a simple thought

Smile and the whole world smiles, such a simple thought, an idea that is contagious. Something that always makes us feel better. It is just what the doctor ordered. Besides, they say, it takes less effort to smile than frown.

Oh, doesn’t a smile on your face make everything fall into place?

So smile and brighten someone’s day. (You don’t need to be Irish, but it helps.)

I got no job

sheep lamb

If you are lucky, very lucky, no, very, very lucky, when you grow up you won’t have a job.

You will have a calling.

And if you are one of the lucky ones, then you will know what I mean.

sheep lamb

In the beginning

In the beginning, we all worked.

Even in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve gathered the fruit that they ate and built the shelter in which they slept. It got worse after their expulsion. Since then work has been part of the human experience. It defines us. It makes possible the good life.

Back in the day, work and jobs were passed down from father to son. A trade was something you learned from dad, and if not from dad, then some uncle.

Education changed that. Go to a university, learn something, contribute to society. Thus, doctors and lawyers filled the earth. And there were hospitals full of patients and courtrooms full of plaintiffs and defendants.

Ouch!

Then Oz had this thought: Artificial Intelligence is making possible another Paradise on Earth. Imagine machines manufacturing things, machines driving cars, cooking food, doing all the things we used to do.

Let’s hope it doesn’t turn out like H.G. Wells dystopian vision in The Time Machine.

All this talk about work reminds Oz of what his father used to say:

Find a job you like and you will never work another day in your life.

The Calling

Gotta go…, Oz hears his wife calling.

Cinderella

After the battle, when the bombs quit falling, an American soldier in World War I takes a moment to entertain a little girl with the story of Cinderella. Even Hell has its tender moments, and in the midst of despair, there is hope.

Nous savons comment l’histoire va.

 

In a far, far away, long, long ago kingdom, Cinderella lived happily with her mother and father until her mother died. When Cinderella’s father remarries a cold, cruel woman who has two daughters, Drizella and Anastasia, Cinderella becomes a servant suffering in her own house.

One day the King announces that there will be a fancy dress ball…

 

He is Risen

Yellow, the color of sunshine, hope, and happiness, and, as this is Easter Sunday, a sign that He is Risen.

yellow-morning-oil.jpg

If I think I am, am I?

The subject came up this morning when Oz’s daughter tried to quote scripture. ” ‘You are as you thinketh,’ Jesus said,” she said.

Looking it up, Oz found this:

Jesus says in Mark 7:15-16, “There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!” Jesus is explaining that we are what we think. Proverbs 23:7 backs Him up: “For as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he.”

This is a good shout out for the theory of positive thinking. So, get rid of that stinkin’ thinkin’.

You gotta believe.