Tag: earth

Return to Earth / Ash Wednesday Group Writing

 

“Remember, man, you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Or, in the torrential rains of this premature spring, mud. Clay. Rivers of filth. Clumsy clods. We fight our dull, earthen nature, presuming to overcome it, only to slip back into the mud and mire. And sometimes it seems the more we struggle to escape, the deeper we sink.

In movies, sometimes you’ll hear sublime music playing while watching something awful happen. Turns out that happens in real life, too. As the Baroque brass, orchestra, and antiphonal chorus reached its climax, my mother was busy having a stroke. A few minutes later, as we walked off-stage, I remarked, “Thank God that’s over.” Nor was I blaspheming to offer such thanks: I had every reason to thank God for the week being done. The week had been a grueling, disappointing one – among the worst conventional wisdom tells you to expect – as I knew it would be. And it was finally over. Or so I thought. Little did I know.

Music for me is never not a struggle against a body that won’t cooperate. Why I keep at the struggle is hard to say sometimes, since I’ve never perfected the illusion of not struggling, an illusion vital if you expect anyone to want to listen to you. Always the understudy, never the bride, so to speak. But it’s no one’s fault but mine, or God’s – if it’s anyone’s fault at all – that I can offer no assurance my bodily clay won’t work to suffocate me at the last minute, or even contain itself properly. Whatever progress I make in keeping the struggle for control inaudible is just not quite enough.

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Okay – it is my turn to provide today’s group writing. I had a really neat one planned, but reality grabbed me by the throat. It is the 25th and I have not even started it. So, let me use this as an escape. I used to post Rudyard Kipling’s poetry regularly until “improvements” made it […]

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“The Seasoned Land”

 

This planet — this Earth — because of its axial tilt, has “seasons.” Some of us are blessed to live at latitudes where they may experience the wonder and beauty of all four.

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The topic is earth. It immediately conjures up images of soil in my brain. I come from a couple of generations of farmers. They grew food for cows and chickens and pigs, who, in turn, generated food for us to eat and sell. (Granted, the pigs were more deeply invested in the “food production” than […]

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He stood there, if it could be called standing, and surveyed the horizon. Pristine. The sunlight warmed his face and every exposed surface – radiating layers of warmth to various degrees even beneath the superficial layers of the earth. Oxygen atoms danced through the air like children newly released to a playground, unconstrained, in absolutely […]

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Earth: Enjoy It While You Still Can

 

I wrote this at 12:01 am on Feb. 16, 2017 — the end is near. I’m impelled to post this now, because I don’t know how much longer I have. Disaster is approaching (fast). Don’t make too many long-range plans. And, for Pete’s sake, don’t buy any green bananas.

What on Earth am I talking about? The start of the “Nibiru Cataclysm,” of course.

Also known as Planet X, the idea that our world, or very large portions of it, will soon end in this collision between Mother Earth and a large planetary object has been around for a little over twenty years, and was first postulated by Nancy Lieder, a “contactee” and communicator of the “Zeta message.” Nancy writes of her participation in the “hybrid program,” and of her “hybrid” children, here. (Warning: The ick factor is strong with this one). Her website, ZetaTalk will, it promises, “lead you through the vast amount of information being relayed by the Zetas in answer to questions posed to their emissary, Nancy Lieder.” So if you have unanswered questions after reading this post, please check back with Nancy.

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The Dutch settlers arrived here in the late 1800’s.  A lot of farmers newly come from the Netherlands, bringing their families, plows, and a Bible.  Their Calvinism was reinforced by the Domine from Holland, and the prairies of the heartland gave them a place to settle in, freedom to make a community. The plows cut […]

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I was a third grader, the new kid, in North Beverly (MA) Elementary when John Glenn orbited the Earth, the first American to do so. Three times he circled the world, travelling at 17,000 per hour. We all saw the pictures, taken from the tiny oval window from which Glenn could see the planet surface race […]

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This month’s Group Writing series is on Earth. Previous topics included Wind and Fire. I’ve covered both Wind and Water with the Typhoons of World War II  and Fire in Firestorms: Hamburg vs. Dresden, so naturally I considered writing on the four major Classical Elements. And it’s fascinating how long Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water have been […]

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Group Writing: Earth, a Eulogy

 

The sky was dark and spitting snow.  The earth at first broke and then went soft under the swing of my pick axe.  The wind was biting and cold as I slowly hacked out the shape of the hole I needed.  When I finished the initial work with the pick axe it was the turn of the spade to go into the earth.  The soil was rich and dark, like nearly all the earth in the Alazani valley, and as the dark earth welled up on the spade it made me think about growing things, new life and food.  But I was digging to plant life but instead to lay life to rest.  A few feet from me lay my dog Pirate a brave and loyal companion for 12 years who was now dying in the cold and mud of a Georgian winter.

Something had gone wrong in Pirate’s brain.   It started the day after New Year when Pirate had something like a stroke and nearly died.  We nursed him back to heath and for a few glorious weeks he seemed back to his old self but obviously older and a bit feeble.  Then just 8 days ago it happened again and Pirate no longer ate and drank only with great difficulty.  He could not sleep and would just walk back and forth on his chain pulling it as tight as he could and banging his head on his house at one of the chain or a tree on the other end.  We took him to several vets but nothing could be done for him.  The vets suggested that we let him go and let him wonder off alone to die because, “Dogs like that.”  We took him home and tried to make him as comfortable as possible.  We finally found a doctor that gave us a medicine that would let Pirate sleep and I gave him a heavy dose and let him rest.  His heart stopped once but started again and now his breathing was really slow and I knew the time was approaching and I was digging a grave.

Group Writing February 9: Earth to Me!

 

In 1979, back when my parents were large in my life, my dad had a curious habit. Each evening as we sat in the kitchen after dark, the green linoleum tabletop reflecting the light of candles and kerosene lamps, he would stare off at nothing. In between the whine and squeal of the shortwave radio, we heard the evening news from Voice of America–boring talk, I thought. But there must have been something important in it, because I remember him often leaning against the kitchen counter glassy-eyed and doing a funny thing with his mouth. He’d pull his jaw from side to side and tap his top and bottom teeth together, and stare, and squint sometimes.

His habit made an impression on us. One day, my little sister stood on the porch working on her jaw moves. I vaguely remember asking my mom what my dad was doing.  He was thinking about something, I was told. It didn’t make sense to me at the time, but I see now that he was in what’s called a brown study. We can get so engrossed in thinking that we shut out the activity in our environment and stop noticing what our eyes are seeing. The classic reaction to someone else’s reverie is to say “Earth to you!” Besides the rudeness of such a call, I wonder if it’s interrupting a productive process. Having time to focus and think deeply might help us sort out life, create things, and solve problems. I wonder whether our modern technology prevents us from “leaving earth” in our minds as much as we used to.

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When I was a middle-school kid, I loved botany. I studied those diagrams in my A Beka Science book for hours. I dug up my parents’ side yard with the intention of planting a garden. I made sketches of girls gardening and collected every new seed I could find in a little, blue, glass angel […]

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It’s nearly time to reveal the March topic, but there are still some dates open in February.  Please sign up.  The topic is “Earth”; dirt is but one of the many topics you can spin off of that.  To see existing posts for some inspiration, and to sign up, go to the month’s page here. […]

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On the matter of whether I need to feel guilty when disposing of garbage in plastic bags, my intuitive reaction is a resounding “no.” But why? My imagination is as open as the next fellow’s. I can see in my mind’s eye the garbage truck and its massive pile of billowing polymers, and the landfill […]

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Heroes by Yusef Abonamah, click the picture to purchase a print or plenty of other things, found on Facebook. Here is a picture I found on Facebook, superficially an ideal thing to show the fan of DC Comics and local refugee resettlement in your life. But a moment’s thought on the labels suggests a problem: […]

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I’ve found that when it comes to bands I have a soft spot for the album that introduced me to them. I can later find albums that I like better, but the original never really loses its spot in my musical heart. Sometimes that works out okay. For example, though I find The Unforgettable Fire […]

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This is a notice that Group Writing for February has a bunch of open dates.  Most of them.  Please sign up, there are so many ways to approach the topic.  Just spend a minute, say the word a couple times, and see what comes into your mind.  Sign up for a date first, though. Preview […]

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