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Soaring. May 19, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
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7 comments

Ah, the ecstasy of it!

Me, arms outstretched,

Elbows locked, eyes wide with wonder,

Gazing down at your wind-swept beauty,

Supported, surrounded, engulfed by

 

You, gliding smoothly below,

Holding me, bearing my weight,

Thrusting me upward,

Upward,

 

Upward, until I disappear into

The miracle of

Your Love.

One Of My Favourites May 18, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in music.
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2 comments

(With apologies to Pagan Sphinx)

No, really, she loves this stuff, but I stuck in the British “u” just to see if she’d notice ­čśë

Yes indeed, a consummate performance by the talented and bizarre Tom Waites to round off your otherwise sane weekend:

Enjoy, or at least develop an insidious twitch.

Beginning A Dialogue. May 18, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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22 comments

Last weekend as I sped through the heart of our local Teeming Megalopolis┬« of Greenfield, I paused at the light in the Heart of the Theater District (well, ok, there’s only one movie theater there, so let’s go with “center of town” instead) to give a “thumbs-up” and a thank-you to the weekly anti-war protest on the common (Saturdays, 11am ’till noon,) and noticed a counter-protest across the street – a few gentlemen with large and, to my cardboard-and-crayon mind, impressive signs with somewhat inflammatory messages like, “Want to piss off a Liberal? Try defending your country!”

Well, not being one to shy away from conflict, and having spent altogether too much time in the last year commiserating with like-minded individuals about our disdain for King George The Lesser and our disgust for the direction his idiotic ideologies have taken Our Country in the last seven-plus years, I decided I’d go back this weekend and see if they’d be there again.

You know, for a little friendly get-acquainted chat.

Well as 11 o’clock rolled around, the Peace-niks began to assemble on the town common, many meandering out of the weekly Organic Farmers’ Market where I’d just purchased some heirloom tomato plants and a few other goodies for my (soon-to-be) garden. I’m sure you’re familiar with the scene- Birkenstocks, pony-tails, braided armpits (j/k) and Sunflower Sparkle-Pony serenading the crowd with a guitar and a lilting trill, something about peace and love and shit.

I’m actually not a big fan of folk music, but hippy chicks give me wood, and I can put up with quite a bit of Sonic Pablum in deference to my Little Man.

Anyway, at The Appointed Hour the anti-war protesters came…

…and came…

…and came…

…and in fact, the number grew considerably as time passed, though this was the last picture I took of them.

Meanwhile, and more to the point of my foray, the anti-Anti-War-Protesters protesters had set up their counter-demonstration across the street:

On this particular occasion, it appeared at first glance that four guys and six five-gallon pails of sand were deeply disturbed by the Un-American Activities going on over on the town common.

But first impressions can be deceiving, and besides, four guys had given the middle of their sunny Saturday over to expressing their views, indeed, defending their viewpoint, and I thought they deserved a fair hearing. So after a lively round of how-ya-doin’s with the Peace Folks, several of whom I know and love, I headed over to the other side of the street to get to know the Anti-Anti’s.

They were at first understandably suspicious, having no doubt just watched me hugging other men, fer Gawd’s sake, but I began the interaction by thanking them sincerely for taking the time to represent their views in this decidedly “blue” venue, asking them if any of them were veterans, and thanking the one who was for his service. And in the interest of full disclosure, I told them that I disagreed with pretty much all of the viewpoints espoused by their signs.

But before they got to taking that too personally, I also shared the reason for my being there: my belief that what we have in common far outweighs what separates us.

What followed was a half-hour conversation between them and me, during which they expressed their frustration and anger at being misquoted, misrepresented and made to look like idiots by the local press (this I believe, as the local print media are indeed self-righteously liberal to a degree which far outpaces their national counterparts) and got to summarize their primary beefs with their counterparts across the street, those being that 1) protesting the war is unsupportive of our troops in Iraq at a time when they need our unequivocal backing, and 2) Us Lefties® are socialists, and socialists are bad, antithetical to The American Way.

And while I disagreed with them on both of these points, I bit my tongue and listened. And that earned me the right to ask them some pertinent questions.

Like, How come the rest of the First World Nations can provide Universal Health Care to ALL of their people for way less money than Americans spend on health insurance which doesn’t even cover all of our children?

Like, how can we defend prosecuting a war of aggression against a country which never attacked or even threatened us?

Like, why are we believing that high gas prices are The Arabs’ fault while Exxon-Mobil logs all-time World Record Profits quarter after quarter after quarter?

Like, where have all the patents for 100mpg carburators gone?

Like, why are American CEOs making hundreds of millions of dollars a year while their employees are losing their jobs in cost-cutting maneuvers?

And many others. It’s presently late, and I’m losing steam here, so I’ll cut to the quick:

We need to talk to each other. Not just to people who see things as we do, but most especially to people who see things differently. Because these people are Americans too, and they truly care about their country, our country, just as you and I do. And it serves no purpose to assume they’re idiots because we think they’re ill-informed. They VOTE based on what they believe, on what they think they know, and if they’re wrong, their children, our children, will have to live with the consequences.

I hope to make it back to the Other Side of The Street next Saturday, and the Saturday after that, and the Saturday after that, for as long as we can talk to each other, listen to each other, get to know each other as Real People who want to make the world a better place for our kids.

We have an awfully long way to go; perhaps we ought to get started.

Friday Kitteh Blogging! May 16, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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23 comments

Yes, after a brief hiatus, we get back in the swing with some Llama-kittehs I spied near today’s bridge:

I loves meh some kittehz!

Images From My Day. May 16, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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14 comments

I’m currently working on a bridge in Williamstown, a pretty little northern Berkshires spot which just happens to host a well known college as a major player.

It’s pretty here, and though I seem to recall using the adjective “bucolic” within my last ten posts, it’s certainly appropriate as a description of the rolling countryside which comprises the landscape where I’ve spent the last week:

That’s an orchard in the mid-foreground, with young blossoms setting:

Later this evening and closer to home, the same dramatic light illuminated a herd of dairy cows in neighboring Colrain as I took a “long cut” to the supermarket:

Sorry about the sky in this last one, it was a hand-held quickie without filters, as the cows were moving in the low light.

But it looked good to me, so I shot it!

A Couple Little Things, And Some Bigger Ones May 14, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Uncategorized.
4 comments

a.k.a. “Images From My Day:”

A Jack-in-the-pulpit:

The fertile fronds of an interrupted fern, heavy with spores even as they unfurl on a cool Spring day:

Blossoms reigning over Rolling J Farm in the absence of their masters:

A bucolic detour through Cheshire on the ride home, with Lake Onata leering in the background:

The Best Use For a Budweiser: May 14, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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5 comments

A pair of sparrows says it all:

Yes, that’s a birds’ nest on a Budweiser can.

No, there’s no problem rotation happening here.

Taken under a bridge I’m currently working on, with a beer can protruding horizontally from the concrete fascia beam.

On Bronzed Wings May 13, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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5 comments

The ribbon road runs westward, winding winsomely along the verdant valley floor.

On the right, fields flow by, hay fields with their nascent sprouts, cornfields tilled but as yet unplanted, roadside barns, gravel drives aiming anonymously toward neighbors you know but don’t know, nameless people you say hello to at the Post Office, the gas station, the general store.

On the left, a thin screen of maple trees unfurl their prayer flags in the steepening rays of a setting sun, celebrating their own arrival with a symphony of lime and chartreuse.

Beyond that runs The River, down and back to your upward and ahead, contrary to your Mission Homeward and simultaneously central to the world which you inhabit, an irrepressible canvas of blue light and pink noise, the sight-and-soundtrack of a riverine existence.

And above it, appearing and disappearing between the ecstatically budding trees, an undulating patch of bronze parallels your journey, catches your eye, connects with something deep inside of you.

You forget the road and focus on the bronze, and it becomes an Eagle, wings rowing effortlessly through it’s own ethereal stream, the long, low rays reflecting first off its smooth uppers, then off its dense lowers, seeming to propel it forward with every beat of its heart, every breath, every tick of the odometer.

For a thirty second eternity you move through time together, siblings on a journey, Destination Unknown, stripped of every intention other than being, watching each other exist and not exist through the shadows and light of the intervening reality, your windshield reflecting the same setting sun which warms its brilliantly white head, the powerful hook of its golden beak, its glorious tail splayed in aerodynamic perfection as it appears, disappears, appears, disappears, and finally fades into the night.

Thank you, Father Sky, for sharing another of your children with me.

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

I’m sorry I don’t have photographs; it was all too brief, and I was all too mesmerized.

Images From My Day. May 11, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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4 comments

Got to Hawley Bog by mid-morning, in time to feed the black flies. Yes, it’s May here too, and May means Mayflies, blackflies, les mouche noires. Voracious little bastards who will find a way through any discontinuity in your clothing to exact their pound of flesh (well, ok, a “pound” is exaggerating a bit, but they take a piece away and leave a bloody hole, so I’m not fond of them.)

But I got down on my belly and I took some pictures anyway:

I don’t know what kind of plant this is, but it was valiantly attempting to erect a solar collector above the saturated plane of the sphagnum moss, and Little Plant, I Salute You!

Then off to deliver Ultimate Spawn to her Mom’s house for a couple days, with a return trip through pastoral Shelburne. Here’s a view of a mowing field with violets erupting in a sea of dandelions:

…and along the way, a patch of Marsh Marigolds in a wetland, with a guest thinning out the pollen:

It was a beautiful day despite the bugs.

No Higher Calling. May 11, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
7 comments

The Mother of All Roller Coasters is the Roller Coaster of All Mothers.

From the beauty of conception to the angst of watching a jet plane recede into a vast and pitiless sky with your grown child on it, from the radiant wonder of a chubby child clutching buttercups for Mommy in a dimpled fist to the turbulent indigos of teen meltdowns, from the holding of tiny, trusting hands to the letting go as their lives and choices become fully their own, there is no greater joy, no deeper sorrow and no higher calling than being a Mother.

Thank you, Gina, for twenty years and counting of doing that which only a mother can do.

Love Always,

Ralph