Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Idée d’jour

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
– Isaac Asimov

Friday, November 17, 2017

Idée d’jour

Through others, we become ourselves.
– Lev Vygotsky, psychologist (17 Nov 1896-1934)

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Idée d’jour

We have probed the earth, excavated it, burned it, ripped things from it, buried things in it, chopped down its forests, leveled its hills, muddied its waters, and dirtied its air. That does not fit my definition of a good tenant. If we were here on a month-to-month basis, we would have been evicted long ago.
– Rose Bird, Chief Justice of California Supreme Court

I think Brother Dave would have agreed with this.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Idée d’jour

The only thing one can give an artist is leisure in which to work. To give an artist leisure is actually to take part in his creation.
– Ezra Pound

Monday, October 23, 2017

Idée d’jour

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.
— J. Robert Oppenheimer

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Idée d’jour

A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life.
-R.K. Narayan [via Word-a-Day)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Idée d’jour

Music is a means of rapid transportation.
— John Cage

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Idée d’jour

What greater gift than the love of a cat?
– Charles Dickens

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Idée d’jour

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
– H.G. Wells (via Word.a.Day)

Saturday, September 09, 2017

How to make a hurricane

Not with your lifestyle;
Not with your hairstyle;
Not with who you love
nor even with who you hate.
Not with your worship
or lack of worship of nobodaddy.
Not with your wife or husband
or lack of mate.

Just take some warm water,
some strong winds, and add
some flat terrain.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Idée d’jour

I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.
– Edith Sitwell, poet (7 Sep 1887-1964)

Thursday, August 31, 2017


Eclipse clipped crescents into the leaves
Wind rippled across the sidewalk

Idée d’jour

Sometimes I think I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
– Diana Britt

Friday, August 25, 2017


Why is it so hard to let go of a resentment?

One of Padre's less attractive traits was a tendency to hold a grudge.  I remember he was upset by Sears and decided to boycott them.  I never did learn what the underlying issue was, but he boycotted that store until his death.

I have the same tendency.  "Holding a grudge" is another way of saying "Holding on to a resentment."

I suppose it to be a form of pride. It's a way of saying I'm right, and everyone else is wrong.  And no evidence to the contrary will dissuade me. Which means, I suppose, that I'm a typical specimen of the human race.

Another way saying this, of course, is to say that I find it hard to forgive.  And, in a fit application of spiritual algebra, I find it challenging to forgive myself those times when I fall short or make a mistake.

It's easier, now that I'm in the elder years, to forgive.  But that lack of forgiveness is a hard habit to break.  I still backslide into lonely self-righteousness.

Sometimes, on a good day, I can laugh at myself. That's the best cure for self-righteousness.  Sometimes, when I make a mistake – one I've made many times before – I can say “There you go again” (helps if I hear Ronnie Raygun's voice).

Sometimes, when someone has wounded me, I can see things through their eyes.  Strive to see the situation from the most charitable point of view possible.

Sometimes, on a good day, that works.

Right now, today, I find I'm still clinging to the ghost of a resentment.  I hope that time will cause that ghost to fade – though, like the ghosts in a Henry James story – time tends to strengthen the hold of this particular resentful ghost.

I keep coming back to a basic notion, one that seems naive on the surface, but still is probably best for my mental and spiritual health: Everyone is doing the best they can with the tools they have.

The person who offended me is doing the best s/he can.  Her motives were well-intentioned.  I'm doing the best I can to forgive.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Idée d’jour

It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.
– J.K. Rowling