Archive for April, 2009

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When I am liberated by silence,
when I am no longer involved
in the measurement of life, but in the living of it,
I can discover a form of prayer in which
there is effectively no distraction.
My whole life becomes a prayer.
My whole silence is full of prayer.
The world of silence in which I am immersed
contributes to my prayer.

~Thomas Merton~
20th century American contemplative
monk, prolific writer, poet and social activist

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Misty Morning


I forget that I twitter and even though I lost my twitter virginity awhile ago,
I’ve never officially posted a tweet, it’s always been about blogging.

So here goes…

After a couple of days of uncharacteristic summery warm and sunny weather,
I find it a comfort to wake up to a cool, gray and misty morning.  It feels all
soft around the edges now.  Everything glitters in the sunlight but it has it’s
harsh quality, too; nothing escapes it, for instance.  Pacific Northwest you
continue to grow on me and perhaps, me on you.

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I Want

In honor of Earth Day, it just had to be Mary Oliver that I would select, who reflects here on the foundation of Earth Day, being in partnership with our Earth


I want to be
in partnership
with the universe

like the tiger lily
poking up
its gorgeous head

among the so-called
useless weeds
in the uncultivated fields

that still abide.
But it’s okay
if, after all,

I’m not a lily,
but only grass
in a clutch of curly grass

waving in the wind,
staring sunward: one of those
sweet, abrasive blades.

Poems by Mary Oliver

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That Day


It’s gotten to the point that I quiver a little when I know I’m opening a package from Amazon.com that contains a new book of poems.  Have I told you all lately how much I love poetry?  I adore it.  It is one of life’s essentials.  That along with water, chocolate, music and oh yes, laughter.   What I think I love the most is when someone puts into words what my heart has felt or even better when they put a slant on something that never would have occurred to me, skew my vision and turn it upside down; that is true artistry.

This poem I’ve selected is by William Stafford.  He is often referred to as a poet of the Pacific Northwest, as he lived off and on in Oregon which also became his final resting place.  He did not begin publishing poetry until his late 40s and eventually published over 50 volumes of his poetry.  So take heart any of you who thought you couldn’t write poetry or did when younger and would like to revisit it.  It’s never too late to start any thing, no matter what it is.  Something new and fresh is always calling us forward.  Any day is a good day to answer the call – which is the perfect segue to this poem…

That Day

Have the phone ready;
then right where time touches the edge
have the phone ring and it be —
well, it could be only Yusif or Arabella
telling when they’ll arrive.

But maybe that ringing goes on
even when you lift the phone.
Maybe the sound wanders away
outdoors and along the street
into the country.

And it won’t stop. It takes you far
toward the trees where they wait
for new light, for quiet. They won’t answer.
Then mushrooms will speak:
the soft answer you need.

Then you can come back, breathing.

~Even In Quiet Places~
Poems by William Stafford

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These Days

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whatever you have to say, leave
the roots on, let them

And the dirt

Just to make clear
where they come from

~Charles Olson~

Excerpted from The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart:
A Poetry Anthology

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Here’s To The Crazy Ones

Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine.
They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
are the ones who do.

(Advertisement for Apple Computer)

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Easter Miracle

As your resident purveyor of feel good news on the planet :) – I found this today:

By Chris Umpierre, The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A tragedy thankfully didn’t turn into a disaster Sunday when a passenger successfully landed a small airplane at Southwest Florida International Airport after the pilot had a seizure 20 minutes after takeoff.

The pilot died before the plane landed.

The Beechcraft King Air two-engine turboprop plane, with five people on board, was flying from Marco Island to Jackson, Miss., when the pilot was stricken for unknown reasons.

Neither the pilot’s nor the passenger’s names were released by authorities.

Although the passenger who eventually landed the plane was a licensed pilot, he wasn’t certified to fly a high-performance turboprop aircraft and had never flown a King Air plane, according to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

A Fort Myers air traffic controller, whose name also wasn’t released, talked the man through the landing by calling a friend in Connecticut who was familiar with King Airs.

“We’ve had situations where passengers land airplanes before, but this is the first time I actually heard a controller actually tell the passenger to push this button and turn this knob,” said Steve Wallace, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers in Miami. “It’s a heck of an Easter story.”

Wallace was working in the Miami air traffic control center when his air controllers couldn’t reach the plane’s pilot at 2 p.m. Sunday. The Miami center deals with planes at high altitude — 10,000 or more feet — in South Florida.

“We tried a couple times and didn’t hear anything,” Wallace said. “Then all of a sudden, we hear a passenger say, ‘This is November 55 Niner Delta Whisky and my pilot is passed out. We need help now.'”

Despite dealing with 15 other planes in the air at the time, the Miami air traffic control center helped the man disengage autopilot, turn the plane around and descend to Fort Myers.

Fort Myers air traffic controllers then helped him land the plane thanks to an assist from a Connecticut pilot. The man in Connecticut pulled out a King Air manual and read off a checklist for landing, which the Fort Myers air traffic controller then relayed to the passenger-turned-pilot.

“The passenger was a certified pilot, but not in this plane, so he needed this help,” said Alex Caldwell, spokeswoman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. “It’s not the like driving a Ford Focus and an F-150. There’s a big difference with planes.”

Wallace said the passenger deserves all the credit for the safe landing.

“I was watching him on the radar and he was able to hold the airplane level, make the turn and land on his first shot,” Wallace said.

“When he landed, our heroes over here got a nice applause and a pat on the back. It’s not often controllers fly plane by proxy.”

The plane, which was built in 1982, is owned by White Equipment Leasing in Archibald, La. according to Federal Aviation Administration records. The owner couldn’t be reached for comment.

“This could have had a truly horrible outcome,” Caldwell said. “It’s a real Easter miracle.”

© Copyright 2007 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

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