October 2, 2013
September 25, 2013
And I believe it could be, something good has begun
Oh I’ve been smiling lately, dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be, some day it’s going to come
Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country, come take me home again
Now I’ve been smiling lately, thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be, something good has begun
Oh peace train sounding louder
Glide on the peace train
Come on now peace train
Yes, peace train holy roller
Everyone jump upon the peace train
Come on now peace train
Get your bags together, go bring your good friends too
Cause it’s getting nearer, it soon will be with you
Now come and join the living, it’s not so far from you
And it’s getting nearer, soon it will all be true
Now I’ve been crying lately, thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating, why can’t we live in bliss
Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country, come take me home again.
September 14, 2013
“Just as a painter needs light in order to put the finishing touches to his picture, so I need an inner light, which I feel I never have enough of in the autumn.”
Autumn has always been my favorite season. And yes, I realize that we are a couple weeks away from it’s official arrival, but these past couple days surly felt like it. It’s an introspective time for me; it always has been. I don’t know why, it just is. A sort of meditative melancholia, but in a good way (if that makes any sense). In the same way that spring brings renewal, I believe autumn does too, but in a different way. Things change…some things end and some begin. New schedules (my second year at seminary begins soon), new–or diminished–light in the sky, and a sort of preparation for things (both physically and spiritually) of what’s to come with the starkness of winter which will surely follow theses next few months. I had a sort of odd week at work, and a busy last couple of days, so I took a brisk and cleansing walk last night (which ended with stopping for a couple beers). It felt good to have the cool breeze on my face; it drizzled a little and that felt good as well. I could smell wood smoke in the air, and I too started a small but brief fire in my wood stove to take the chill off the house when I got home. The change of season feels good to me…needed. Anyhow, I thought I’d share these tow photos I took while walking; click either for a larger view.
“Aprils have never meant much to me, autumns seem that season of beginning, spring.”
August 22, 2013
Open unto me – light for my darkness.
Open unto me – courage for my fear.
Open unto me – hope for my despair.
Open unto me – peace for my turmoil.
Open unto me – joy for my sorrow.
Open unto me strength for my weakness.
Open unto me – wisdom for my confusion
Open unto me – forgiveness for my sins.
Open unto me – love for my hates.
Open unto me – thy Self for my self.
Lord, Lord, open unto me!
July 31, 2013
On the bike…a box containing nearly a full sandwich loaf on its way to a local food pantry.
I live fairly close to most things that occur within the realm of my average daily life (but what is average). I’ve consciously and gradually changed my life over the past decade to make this happen. This is one of the reasons–likely the biggest reason–I have been able to go car-free. But still the miles/kilometers add up just within daily travel. And this is a good thing as it provides exercise and really interesting views from my handlebars. Here’s an example of how I traveled today (distances are approximate).
.75 mi/1.2 km to work this morning.
1 mi/1.6 km to the food pantry
1 mi/1.6 km back to work
.75 mi/1.2 km home after work
1.25 mi/2 km to the community center
1.25 mi/2 km to home again
1.5 mi/2.4 km to meditation group meeting
1.5 mi/2.4 km to a favorite bar for a beer
2.25 mi/3.6 km home for the evening
In total today I rode a bike for more than 11 miles (11.25 mi/18.1 km) and it was just a matter of getting from place-to-place. How often, I wonder, do some wish they had the time to get to a gym and ride a stationary bike for 11 miles? And this is not to mention all the interesting things I saw while doing it. Yes, I realize that on this blog I am likely preaching to the choir, but I was thinking of this as I pedaled and coasted home tonight on a truly lovely summer evening. I’ll get off my little soapbox now.
June 26, 2013
“Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.”
~ Mark Twain
“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.”
~ H.G. Wells
“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man’s convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man’s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.“
~ Elizabeth West
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.”
~ Ernest Hemingway
“The journey of life is like a man riding a bicycle. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. We know that if he stops moving and does not get off he will fall off.”
~ William G. Golding
“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammelled womanhood.”
~ Susan B. Anthony
“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”
~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
“I began to feel that myself plus the bicycle equaled myself plus the world, upon whose spinning wheel we must all learn to ride, or fall into the sluiceways of oblivion and despair. That which made me succeed with the bicycle was precisely what had gained me a measure of success in life — it was the hardihood of spirit that led me to begin, the persistence of will that held me to my task, and the patience that was willing to begin again when the last stroke had failed. And so I found high moral uses in the bicycle and can commend it as a teacher without pulpit or creed. She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life”.
~ Frances E. Willard
“The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.”
~ Iris Murdoch
May 1, 2013
I have a luncheon which I’ll be cooking and serving tomorrow and the guest requested either watercress or mache in their salad. When I called my produce purveyor they told me they had neither available but they did have a couple flats of beautiful microgreens, so I took them instead. When they arrived and I opened their cases I was immediately struck by their natural beauty so I snapped a few photos…they taste pretty good, too.
April 20, 2013
I’ve posted this in the past but not in a while so I thought I would re-post it. This is one of my favorite Asian recipes. It is really easy to make and really delicious (and nutritious, too). The only difference in the recipe pictured and the one written below is that I used a variety of vegetables (instead of just broccoli) and didn’t blanch them before stir-frying. Anyhow if you are a carnivore you wont even miss it not having meat (well, maybe).
April 16, 2013
Yes, I know I said five quotes, but here’s ten. Could have gone on much longer, really inspiring…
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”
“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”
“The most common form of despair is not being who you are.”
“Once you label me you negate me.”
“If anyone on the verge of action should judge himself according to the outcome, he would never begin.”
“If you want to be loathsome to God, just run with the herd.”
“A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.”
“The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.”
“It’s better to get lost in the passion than to lose the passion”
More Five Quotes.
April 4, 2013
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”
“Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.”
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”
“I do not trust people who don’t love themselves and yet tell me, ‘I love you.’ There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”
“I believe we are still so innocent. The species are still so innocent that a person who is apt to be murdered believes that the murderer, just before he puts the final wrench on his throat, will have enough compassion to give him one sweet cup of water.”
To read five quotes from other people that inspire me, click here.
March 28, 2013
On the bike…boxes of food (quiche, dinner rolls, muffins, etc.) on it’s way to a local food pantry.
So okay, I generally love the snow, I really do. But (always a but), this is going on a bit too long this year. If you are reading this from the same area of the world in which I reside (the northeastern US) you likely remember last winter were it–for all intense purposes–failed to snow the entire winter. Now this winter just keeps going. Notice the white diagonal streaks in the photo…those are tiny sharp little hail balls (really tough on the face and eyes while riding), which of course was the precursor to a brief lake effect snow. Nonetheless, I did enjoy it (I like the challenge of riding in it; the sense of accomplishment of using my own power to get myself and other stuff from point A to point B). It’ll be summer be for we know it…
March 6, 2013
I was at meeting at our church tonight and was feeling overwhelmingly exhausted for some reason; I didn’t stay for the entire meeting. I hopped on my bike and rode slowly; it was a cold and cloudless night. The cold–at first–felt jarring. But then as I pedaled and coasted I warmed up and it felt good (as it often does) to be on a bike pedaling through the city at night. I was on a side-street so there was no traffic, and at one point (when there was a slight decline in the road) I coasted and took my hands off the handlebars, leaned back, and looked up. The sky was incredible. I coasted like this–hands free while looking up–for half a block or so. I felt small. I still do. Sometimes things overwhelm me. Life is good. And it’s good on so many levels (for me, anyway) to be on a bike. I’m just sayin’…
March 4, 2013
A canvas bag containing two books and a few pens, an empty dough rising bucket, a canvas bag containing an extra camera and charger, and two freshly baked loaves of whole wheat bread.
February 24, 2013
On the bike…more than $100 in groceries and sundries.
About the weather…the weather today was fine. Seasonably cold with light flurries; the roads were dry. But what I wanted to mention is something that I noticed…not so much about the weather itself but more so about awareness of it. The reason I mention this is that I was having a conversation with someone last night (while we were outside) and commented on what a nice evening it was. “I suppose,” they replied. I also added what a roller coaster ride this winter has been this year…freezing cold, then snow, then rain and wind, etc. They told me they didn’t notice that much. But what I did notice–or what dawned on me–is that when you live without a car you are likely keenly aware of the weather conditions. Whether you walk, take the bus, or ride a bike, the weather makes a big difference in your day. I’m just sort of thinking aloud via my keyboard and thought I’d pass this along.
February 19, 2013
“This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries. At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities…. The truth is that male religious leaders have had — and still have — an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter.”
February 16, 2013
This was one of those days when it was such a joy to be on a bike and out in the open air. It was crisp and nice; no precipitation and not much wind. It felt so good to be using my own energy to propel not only me but my bike (and a few other things) as well. Anyhow, here’s a morning shot (above) that I took on my way to work, and an evening shot (below) which I took just after leaving the health club this evening.
February 13, 2013
A 3ft (.91m) mirrored coat rack.
February 10, 2013
“I feel safe in the midst of my enemies, for the truth is all powerful and will prevail.”
“Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.”
“It is the mind that makes the body.”
“Truth burns up error.”
“That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne five children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?”
February 7, 2013
Okay. So a few things first. This dish is so easy to make you won’t even have to think about it. It is really, really delicious. But it’s also really rich (every so often is ok, right?). The image above is the recipe in large quantity; I made it today for 120 people (in that recipe there is 4lbs butter, 4 lbs brown sugar, an entire bottle of rum, and 65 bananas). Also in the recipe above the bananas are sliced crosswise, rather than the traditional lengthwise (which I recommend, but a crosswise is easier to handle with a large batch). This dish was invented at Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans in 1951 to honor Richard Foster, who at the time lead the New Orleans Crime Commission and was a good friend of Owen Brennan and a regular at the restaurant. Anyhow, here’s a recipe for four servings.
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 medium bananas, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup dark rum
4 scoops French vanilla ice cream
Heat the butter and sugar in a large skillet; stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the bananas and cook them for a minute or so, until they begin to brown. Carefully stir in the rum and allow it to flambe. Spoon the bananas and sauce over the ice cream.