Saturday, November 16, 2019

Friday, November 15, 2019

of a day

Prison group, shut in visit, poetry in nursing facility, Friday evening conversation.

We are graced to be able to spend Friday in such good company.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

just sorrow

Once, Thursdays going to school were ordinary.

November 14, 2019 at 5:40 p.m. EST
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — A 16-year-old student pulled a gun from his backpack and opened fire on classmates at a high school north of Los Angeles on Thursday morning, striking five people before turning the gun on himself, law enforcement authorities said. Two students, a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, died at a hospital. 
The shooter, whose attack unfolded at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita in front of surveillance cameras, survived his self-inflicted gunshot wound and was in grave condition at a hospital, authorities said at a news conference shortly before noon local time. Police said he turned 16 on Thursday. 
(—Two dead, at least 4 injured in shooting at a Los Angeles-area high school; suspect in custody (Washington Post)
Once, a birthday, turning sixteen, was reason for celebration.


Just sorrow.

in dialogue with a student



After watching all the videos, especially the PBS documentary, my perspective of certain things has changed. I am surprised to learn about things that have simply passed by the radar of some of us.

            In “The age of genetic wonder”, I was disappointed by how largely a field of genetic modification has taken root. It doesn’t really matter where it has started and where it has taken place but the fact that we are unsatisfied with letting nature run its own course is one of the saddest aspects. I believe that at least in the health sector it may be valuable to mass produce vaccines.  If we can do that then why are we not helping third world countries? We could do it. Are we (The US) that selfish?

            Then again why are we doing genetic modification in the first place? The truth with genetic mutation and genetic modification is what happen to the original species of plants, animals etc. I have watched another film on the effect of GMO seeds and the fact that they mix items like human DNA with seed DNA then plant, grow it and then sell it… It is REVOLTING!  You could be unknowingly committing cannibalism.  Finding non-GMO seeds is becoming more difficult as well. Yet the whole modification of the code of organisms, no matter where they fall on the classification system and food chain, is more common now than ever and it is still gaining power. 

The TEDx talk “Ethics in the age of technology” was a very interesting clip. I was not overly surprised by how much technology has changed the way our standards have changed as the world has industrialized. However, is it sad that some of the old-fashioned morals have disappeared as the world advances with technology? One fact is we no longer seem to hold ourselves to the standards that we would have even a generation ago. 

            Have we with technology really changed the world that much? I believe that we have. Looking at the way the world was even just at the time my grandparents were born it is amazing how much has happened. The way that the world has changed for technology. My parents have said that when they went to college, they still had rotary phones in the dorms and wireless (land line) phones were not as popular as they are today.  Many homes today do not even have “land lines” but are completely overrun with cell phones. 

            Computers are another example. They have and always seem to be shrinking in size. I know that many can find it difficult to believe that computers used to be a whole room in size. 
A third example is as Juan Enriquez mentioned, is to look at biology, or even how some are redefining sex. The world has changed and is still changing. This is an unavoidable fact. 

            The last film “In the Age of AI”, was probably my favorite out of the three we had to watch. I myself am not a huge fan of AI replacing many of the jobs that we do. I do understand that AI can make jobs be completed more efficiently but then you lose the human touch. Of course, there are businesses such as Amazon that never had the human touch to begin with. Yet, if all the bigger companies that don’t have the human touch buy out the smaller ones, we’ve lost the human touch. 

After if/when the larger company switches to AI you’ve laid off more people then when you just bought out the smaller company. Furthermore, with large companies switching to AI you have just raised the unemployment rate. Computers and AI are always improving and with that more jobs become viable to be taken over by AI and “outsourcing” humans all together. Do we all become couch potatoes except for a few unlucky ones that hold a job? If we are mostly laid off people how can we continue to afford the bare necessities? 

I know that there are a few companies who do not believe that this is a concern. Mainly this is the companies creating the AI and the robots and the like that are programed with AI. Anyways, AI is artificial after all, why should we be concerned? It reminds me of what I learned in CIS class called the “Axe Maker’s Gift”. This concept is very similar to Newton’s 3rd Law “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”, meaning that a tool meant for good can also be used for bad or evil.  My opinion in all this is that this is also true with AI and could end badly for the human race as a whole.

...   ...   ...


RE: Changes

1. " the fact that we are unsatisfied with letting nature run its own course is one of the saddest aspects."
2. "Yet, if all the bigger companies that don’t have the human touch buy out the smaller ones, we’ve lost the human touch."
3. "AI is artificial after all, why should we be concerned?" (nc)

I like your post.

1. Some make the point that nature running its course does not exclude human beings with their tools -- first sticks to reach things further away that their arm-length, the wheel to move things without having to carry them, the telephone for when shouting can go only so far. Their argument is that our tools, or technology, are extensions of our creativity and imagination, and hence part of us. Even Rene Descartes (1596-1650)") divided things into res cogitans and res extensa.* He was dualistic. He did not think that physicality had any connection with mind or thought. 

2. Yes, the human touch could seem to be vanishing. Surveillance and categorization of people as types and potential antagonists of either profit capital or state control does seem to abstract the mere human being living day today with concerns and dreams. The more we quantify people and classify them the less we are inclined to care for individuals as they are in themselves. The qualities of compassion and caring are (annoyingly) necessary for the cultivation of any kind of loving community.

3. "Artificial" is a word we should keep tabs on. Dictionary has it as "made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, especially as a copy of something natural." We consider intelligence natural -- it develops and emerges from lived experience with its bumps and bruises, curiosity and hard work of feeling/thinking. The word "artifice" is defined "clever or cunning devices or expedients, especially as used to trick or deceive others." This might be the task we have before us -- to try to ensure that the copying of something natural does not fall prey to trickery or deception. 

Our technology -- if closely aligned with a proper human spirit of assistance and well-being for the planet, the various species, and our human participation in the emergence of what is coming next -- should be a companioning extension of our good heart and clear mind going forward. If hearts and minds become jaded and clouded, our technology will be used in unwholesome and nefarious ways (as indeed already experienced -- bombs, guns, tyrannical control) -- and we will be in deep trouble.

It seems to me we are thrown back to the individual human being** cultivating qualities that are, if you will, spiritually and morally wholesome, embracing wide inclusion, and seeking only the best for all (not some) sharing this existence at this time in this place -- going forward.

(thanks for the prompt)

* Descartes introduced res cogitans and res extensa which is generally translated as 'thinking substance' and 'extended substance'; but it's in the notion of 'substance' by which dependence is not an possibility - thus from here, directly we have mind/body dualism; in the sense of being entirely distinct and without effect on each other." (Stack Exchange)

** "Better worlds (I suggest) are born, not made; and their birthdays are the birthdays of individuals. Let us pray always for individuals; never for worlds." (e.e.cummings, NONLECTURE TWO, in six non-lectures  via LiveJournal)

what matters

No opinion, just facts —

Two witnesses tell what they heard, saw, know

So refreshing—

Of course, truth matters

Of a wednesday afternoon

Walking Ellsworth train track path

Three miles, new sticks

One man passes — 25° sun shining

Impeachment hearing through earpods

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

now you may dismiss your servant

At end of day, at compline:
READING, 1 Thessalonians 5:23
May the God of peace make you perfect in holiness. May he preserve you whole and entire, spirit, soul, and body, irreproachable at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is a good time to have such a prayer/reading.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

divine being with enlightened sword in hand

Justice is a sword in the hand of enlightened being.

Not of vengeance. Not of punishment.

Justice is a sword that slices the narrow seam between evil and the doer.

Separating one from the other.

Not damning the doer, but severing that which burdens him, call it evil, from the person.

It's why vengeance is mine, says the Lord.

Humans do not understand justice.

Only the Lord -- the wise gaze -- knows what to do with justice.

Humans only want retaliation, only can think of revenge.

Justice is a being that sees what is truly there and severs that which is illusory, misguided, and hateful.

Pray for justice. It is a divine being with enlightened sword in hand.

As for human solutions, cry for the sorrow they effect, cry over the tragedy they cause.

A day will come.

A day will come when we tire of stupid verdicts, despair over foolish punishing outcomes.

Pray for that day.

Sail away into that deep horizon.

Let go.

Be gone.

Monday, November 11, 2019


That you went to war — condolences.

That you made it back — congratulations.

War is a thing that brings sorrow and confusion — during, and long after.

what returns

Broken, yes, things and people easily break.

But that is one side.

On the other side, things and people find continuance, reclamation.

Two sides?


One reality, two stages, a circle of continuity.

To break is to reclaim.

To see is to be blind.

Hello is goodbye.

As birth is death.

Do you desire something?

Let it go.

Do you reject someone?

Draw them to you.

Let it come; let it go.

When you learn to do so, you've met what used to be known as God.

Let God go.

What returns is your silent joy.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

no hospitality this morning

Saskia on medical caring duty somewhere south of Thomaston.
Enjoy "the green freedom of a cockatoo" from your favorite tea-drinking window seat.  

Sunday Morning

Complacencies of the peignoir, and late 
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair, 
And the green freedom of a cockatoo 
Upon a rug mingle to dissipate 
The holy hush of ancient sacrifice. 
She dreams a little, and she feels the dark 
Encroachment of that old catastrophe, 
As a calm darkens among water-lights. 
The pungent oranges and bright, green wings 
Seem things in some procession of the dead, 
Winding across wide water, without sound. 
The day is like wide water, without sound, 
Stilled for the passing of her dreaming feet 
Over the seas, to silent Palestine, 
Dominion of the blood and sepulchre. 


Why should she give her bounty to the dead? 
What is divinity if it can come 
Only in silent shadows and in dreams? 
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun, 
In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else 
In any balm or beauty of the earth, 
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven? 
Divinity must live within herself: 
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow; 
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued 
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty 
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights; 
All pleasures and all pains, remembering 
The bough of summer and the winter branch. 
These are the measures destined for her soul. 


Jove in the clouds had his inhuman birth. 
No mother suckled him, no sweet land gave 
Large-mannered motions to his mythy mind. 
He moved among us, as a muttering king, 
Magnificent, would move among his hinds, 
Until our blood, commingling, virginal, 
With heaven, brought such requital to desire 
The very hinds discerned it, in a star. 
Shall our blood fail? Or shall it come to be 
The blood of paradise? And shall the earth 
Seem all of paradise that we shall know? 
The sky will be much friendlier then than now, 
A part of labor and a part of pain, 
And next in glory to enduring love, 
Not this dividing and indifferent blue. 


She says, “I am content when wakened birds, 
Before they fly, test the reality 
Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings; 
But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields 
Return no more, where, then, is paradise?” 
There is not any haunt of prophecy, 
Nor any old chimera of the grave, 
Neither the golden underground, nor isle 
Melodious, where spirits gat them home, 
Nor visionary south, nor cloudy palm 
Remote on heaven’s hill, that has endured 
As April’s green endures; or will endure 
Like her remembrance of awakened birds, 
Or her desire for June and evening, tipped 
By the consummation of the swallow’s wings. 


She says, “But in contentment I still feel 
The need of some imperishable bliss.” 
Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her, 
Alone, shall come fulfilment to our dreams 
And our desires. Although she strews the leaves 
Of sure obliteration on our paths, 
The path sick sorrow took, the many paths 
Where triumph rang its brassy phrase, or love 
Whispered a little out of tenderness, 
She makes the willow shiver in the sun 
For maidens who were wont to sit and gaze 
Upon the grass, relinquished to their feet. 
She causes boys to pile new plums and pears 
On disregarded plate. The maidens taste 
And stray impassioned in the littering leaves. 


Is there no change of death in paradise? 
Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughs 
Hang always heavy in that perfect sky, 
Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth, 
With rivers like our own that seek for seas 
They never find, the same receding shores 
That never touch with inarticulate pang? 
Why set the pear upon those river-banks 
Or spice the shores with odors of the plum? 
Alas, that they should wear our colors there, 
The silken weavings of our afternoons, 
And pick the strings of our insipid lutes! 
Death is the mother of beauty, mystical, 
Within whose burning bosom we devise 
Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly. 


Supple and turbulent, a ring of men 
Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn 
Their boisterous devotion to the sun, 
Not as a god, but as a god might be, 
Naked among them, like a savage source. 
Their chant shall be a chant of paradise, 
Out of their blood, returning to the sky; 
And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice, 
The windy lake wherein their lord delights, 
The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills, 
That choir among themselves long afterward. 
They shall know well the heavenly fellowship 
Of men that perish and of summer morn. 
And whence they came and whither they shall go 
The dew upon their feet shall manifest. 


She hears, upon that water without sound, 
A voice that cries, “The tomb in Palestine 
Is not the porch of spirits lingering. 
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.” 
We live in an old chaos of the sun, 
Or old dependency of day and night, 
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free, 
Of that wide water, inescapable. 
Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail 
Whistle about us their spontaneous cries; 
Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness; 
And, in the isolation of the sky, 
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make 
Ambiguous undulations as they sink, 
Downward to darkness, on extended wings.
This is the later and more definitive version of “Sunday Morning.” To read the first published version of this poem, which appeared in Poetry magazine, click here. In 1915, editor Harriet Monroe asked Stevens to cut several stanzas for Poetry, and Stevens would later restore these cut stanzas when he published the poem in book form in 1923.

this also can

Wanna talk?

What about?


Just a conversation.

I don't know what to say.

That's ok. I don't know what I'll hear.

(Nescience abounds!)

How lucky

Are we?