naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (autumn bountiful harvest)
The sunrise is really beautiful again this morning. For the past year or more I've been quite the night owl, but over the past few months I've been waking just before dawn, and enjoying the sunrises.

The sky is really, really gorgeous just as the first tinges of orange line the horizon.

Right now I'm sitting near an east-facing window with my laptop and a mug of hot chai... now that I'm at home more I'm experimenting with a few types of chai trying to find one with comforting/addictive properties similar to the sort I used to buy at Broad Cafe every few mornings or so.

I've gradually been importing all of my music CDs into iTunes, and from there to my iPod, so my laptop is currently shuffling through my Battlefield Band tunes.

I adore the Battlefield Band. I have ever since I heard one of their appearances on A Prairie Home Companion when I was in middle school, listening to it on WFYI with my parents. They played a handful of strathspeys and reels and had folks practically dancing in the aisles, and played some mournful ballads, and their sensibilities blended so well with Garrison Keillor's own particular brand of humor... each of the musicians introduced himself, and explained what musical instruments they played... traditional Scottish tin whistles, traditional Scottish drums like the bodhran, traditional Scottish bagpipes, traditional Scottish synthesizers... made from traditional Scottish plastic...

And then they announced that they were going to play a surfing song from the Outer Hebrides.

There was a dramatic pause.

Then, they launched into Bad Moon Rising, on the fiddle and the bagpipes.

I adore it. Dad had made a cassette tape of the broadcast, and I made a copy... I listened to it so much I wore the cassette out. And I made another copy.

I still have it here in my two tubs of cassette tapes. But I also have a large number of their CDs, including On The Rise (Amazon will let you listen to a snippet here if you have Windows Media Player), which has Bad Moon Rising on it, along with After Hours, another of my favorites. Their music is also available direct from Temple Records' online web storefront, which has a bigger selection of their CDs than Amazon, as well as a number of free MP3 downloads.

I've yet to find a Battlefield Band song I dislike. Some are very mellow, others are dancably peppy, others are melancholy to the point where if I'm having a really down day I don't want to listen to them or they'll worsen my mood, but I love them all.

I only wish more of the recordings of their music had Alan Reid's introductions to the songs. He has the most amazing sense of humor...

A dear friend of mine went to extraordinary effort to remind me to attend their recent performance at Beckman Auditorium on November 5th. I'm so grateful, because the joy I found within myself during the performance has rattled around in my head and... I don't know... maybe the echoes are reverberating in my soul. Or something like that.

By the way, the Battlefield Band's website says that they're going to be appearing on A Prairie Home Companion again on November 26th. :-)

Lately I've been... I don't know what the right word is... transforming, awakening, reawakening... and reconnecting with what brings me real joy. Some little things, some big things, some nostalgic things which have been present in my life before and now are returning in a new form, some things which in the past I've known I wanted but for various perfectly reasonable reasons set those insights and desires aside temporarily, and some new things which somehow feel like I'm returning home when I find them.

In some climates, autumn is a time of harvest and endings, of the world going dormant and resting as the temperature drops and the soil rests. The plants and animals conserve their energy for the rough, dark months ahead, or hibernate through the winter. I know those lessons. But here in southern California, in the urban jungle of Los Angeles, the bulbs I've planted in the pots on my porch are just sending up new shoots, and the fiery colors of the gum tree leaves are falling onto the brightening green of new grass.

I've said this before elsewhere, but something about this place, this climate, makes it difficult to note time passing. If the turn of the seasons is as subtle as it is here, and the bright sunshine and seventy-two degree days come one after the other after the other, people's time-sense can become so skewed. Some things from a decade ago feel as though they happened yesterday, and it is so easy to put off large goals until tomorrow because yesterday was so like today.

But watching the stars and planets overhead during the dark nights, far above the twinkling of the city lights and the neverending flow of the freeways... watching the sunrise as day after day the sun springs over the horizon in a slightly different spot, watching the plants and listening to the change in the wind... time speaks differently here, but it is speaking, just as it speaks everywhere.

I'm also starting to experiment with podcasts... one of my favorites is another gem I first found on National Public Radio... Stardate is a short astronomy update. You can now listen to it online or as a podcast, or you can read it daily via an RSS feed (here on LiveJournal it's available via [livejournal.com profile] stardateorg).

Somehow I'm fitting my song of new beginnings, farewell to endings, and insights into myself and the world into this sunny autumn. The horizon's orange edge has brightened to bright pale blue, and the sun rises, accompanied by fiddles and bagpipes.

Good morning!
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (autumn bountiful harvest)
I fell asleep last night to the sound of thunder, and occasional cloudbursts dumping down onto the roof.

This is a big deal... it hasn't really rained in Burbank since... um... last spring sometime. April? I think?

The streets are slick with the summer's oil and whatnot, and of course the freeways are a bit of a mess. In the city areas where there aren't enough actual soil and there's just too much pavement and concrete, the city smells... kind of an industrial-modern-tired smell. And I'm worried about the ceiling of my bedroom, where the new roof the apartment complex put on a year and a half ago leaked during last year's rainy season. (So far, there's no leaks, but I'm going to watch it like a hawk for the next few days!)

But here on campus where there's green areas everywhere possible, the plants and the soil and the misty air just smell lovely... like earth waking up.

It's wonderful.

For the past week or so there was a change in the air, a change in the smell and sound and feel... autumn is coming.

Of course, I couldn't miss that fact for other reasons... with all of the new students arriving on campus, and I've trying to get all of their computer accounts set up and their orientation information ready etc etc etc, but... the natural cues of the season change speak louder to me than the man-made schedules.

The wheel turns, and it's wonderful.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (path less traveled)
Walking across campus this morning a combination of scents on the wind created such nostalgia that my breath caught. Fresh-cut grass, some sort of woodsmoke (it was chilly last night in Pasadena), and some sort of exhaust (there's construction going on in three or four places on campus), a misty rain from blue-grey clouds hanging close over the mountains to the north...

Suddenly I was at steam engine days, like when I was a child. I'm likely remembering a combination of shows in Wisconsin and Indiana, perhaps in Baraboo, Wisconsin, or perhaps Rushville or Rockville, Indiana... but there are events all over the place.

The little steam engines are really neat, amazing technology and all, but there's just nothing on the planet like the larger engines and threshing machines.

If you've never seen one, you cannot imagine how it feels to stand near a Phoenix Log Hauler when it rumbles past. These things were behemoths... picture a steam engine of the sort which would pull a full-sized train, but with caterpillar treads on the rear wheels and either small wheels or sled runners on the front. The earth shakes as it passes you, the sound vibrates deep in your chest, and the rumble of the engine is so very tangible as wood or coal is turned into usable energy.

Go to the Wisconsin Historical Society and click on the photo "Phoenix Log Hauler, 1914" for what one of them looked like hauling logs in the snow. The town of Wabeno, Wisconsin has a working Phoenix pictured on their page in its summer configuration.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (spring valley)
... and nature decided to mark the day by making me sneeze my head off.

Maybe she's ticked off because I haven't finished reading that book about peak oil I'd planned to?
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (spring valley)
I'm currently having a pot of Burnside Winter Frost, from Infusions of Tea. I brew it fairly weak... if I make my black teas too strong you'd be peeling me off the ceiling before lunchtime. :-P But gosh, I love this stuff. I got this Burnside a year or so ago. Every single tea I've ever bought from them has been utterly fabulous. My favorite is still Tidal Wave, but... I left my window open last night and woke up a bit chilly, so today, it's this lovely black tea that tastes vaguely... well, to me, anyway... like curling up under a quilt in front of a woodstove, as blustery grey clouds chase each other across the horizon. I popped some wildflower honey from last summer from Bill's Bees into it, and ahhhhhhhhhh.

Of course, the sun is rising and it looks like it's going to be another 72-and-sunny day in beautiful downtown Burbank, but that's just fine, too.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (spring valley)
I'm really glad the Caltech community managed to prevent the big metal sculpture from bisecting Beckman Lawn.

The sky is amazingly beautiful right now, graduated blues so vibrant they almost have a taste, with clouds chasing each other across, here and there spatterings of raindrops. The foothills are brightening green to the north, and the tops of the mountains shrouded in grey-white cloudbanks. The breeze across Beckman Lawn has a scent I can only describe as "spring sunshine over fresh grass and awakening earth" and it's simply fabulous.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (winter wonderland)
Solstice Afternoon
by Adele Shakal

The winter sun shines pale and clear
the sky crisp-blue with year's ending,
new-born hopes and dreams
resolved, resolute, resolving.

Craziness and bustle pauses to think,
how many cycles have turned,
how many times the sun closens and leaves us,
how many wheels within wheels the cosmos dances.

The longest night has passed again, and
in its leaving, again
begins its approach, steadily
pacing a year from today.

The wind chases memories across the distances.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (autumn bountiful harvest)
Been meaning to update here more often, but...

...if wishes were horses then beggars would ride, or something like that, right?

Had a lovely holiday weekend. We roasted four whole chickens over the past four days, made five different kinds of stuffing, and had a total of three Thanksgiving dinners that couldn't be beat, not counting the leftovers noshing. I listened to Alice's Restaurant. We had friends over. We boiled the remains of the roasted chickens and made homemade soup stock to stash in the freezer. We took down our autumn, Samhain, Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations, and began putting up our winter, Yule, and Christmas decorations. I saved more holiday music from my CDs into my home 'puter, and moved the subwoofer and one set of speakers from my bedroom to the living room, so now I can pipe playlists there, which is especially good since my stereo out there is on its last legs. The stereo up in the loft still works nicely, of course, but there's something to be said for programming a playlist of many, many hours of custom-mixed music, you know? I love the holiday music I have on CD...

I started getting organized for The Holiday Card-Mailing Adventure of 2004. I'm really glad I keep buying cards in January every year... I have a sizeable stash of them, though it's taken me a few months to figure out where I'd squirreled them all away this time, since 2003 was pretty much utter chaos, the few years before that weren't all that much better, and moving last April just let the disorganization reign a while longer.

Which reminds me... if you suspect that I may have lost your current address, or never had it to begin with, please email me at adele @ shakal.org so I have a chance at keeping my rolodex thing up to date!

I actually went to Fry's early in the morning on Black Friday because one of the friends we had visiting this weekend is very good with computer hardware installation and repair, and I needed a few specific bits for the project I needed her help with. It wasn't bad... well, I had fun, anyway. It was a chill, foggy morning, and Fry's opened at 6am. I got there at 6:30 and spent about 45 minutes waiting in line to get into the store, a half hour finding what I wanted, and another 45 minutes waiting to check out. I thanked every retail worker I bumped into for working that day. In retrospect, I should have worn my santa hat. That would have been even more fun! Then I stopped at Trader Joe's to replenish provisions for one of the feasts, and picked up a lovely and lovely-smelling wreath for which I still need to get an over-door hanger. But it smells really great!

I started working on my wishlist for this year, since Thanksgiving is the time my parents and I always did that when I was younger. I'm almost done with it; I'll probably post it tomorrow.

I spent some time on my projects-and-purchases gift list for others, too. Wow, do I need to do a lot of crocheting this month...

I spent some time going through three boxes of computer-related clutter in my room, though I'm still working on the Great Decluttering and Simplification of 2004. I did a bit of work, too, because I didn't get to all of the items on last week's to-do list for work, and deadlines are looming.

Oh, that's right... I didn't mention my latest effort to get organized at work here! I've been feeling really, really swamped lately, and last week, after being inspired by [livejournal.com profile] yesthattom's time management tutorial at LISA, I took all of the random lists and scraps of paper and random things I've been worrying about for work lately, and made a big list of all of it. Then I shuffled things around according to importance and deadlines and broke it up into weekly lists from last week until the end of December, and monthly lists for all of next year. Yes, I was carrying around an index of some stuff I need to do next year in my head! Yeesh. No wonder I've been feeling miserable.

Anyway, it turns out to be eight pages when I print out the HTML file. But that's OK. At least it's not rattling around in my skull making me miserable. I printed it out and chopped it up into the weekly and monthly lists and stuck it up on my bulletin board at my desk, and kept last week's list on the desk right beneath my monitor. I got almost everything on last week's list done (except for the items I took home this weekend), which was rather shocking, actually. So now I'm just finishing the things I took home and did some of this weekend, and then starting in on this week's list.

I used to do this sort of thing all the time. I don't know when or why I fell out of the habit, but I'm going to do the 21-day habit-forming thing and get back on the wagon.

After all, there's a saying in Dad's family: "Hitch your wagon to a star, bust your butt and there you are!"

I had apple-cranberry pie for breakfast, and now I have hot chai tea, which smells and tastes wonderful, I'm listening to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and I know exactly what I need to get done at work today.

It's a good morning!
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
Lately I've just not been feeling rested, even though I've been (trying to) sleep enough. I've had too many things chasing each other around in my brain, I guess. But things sort of crested last week and I've finally started making headway on the half-started and half-finished things I've been wanting done at home, and I took some time for myself and for fun, and I'm feeling a bit better.

Clearing physical clutter that has been bothering me for a while seems to have the effect of clearing mental clutter in the process.

And a wonderful, refreshing trip to Descanso Gardens didn't hurt, either. :-) Roommate and I had done a quick trip the weekend before last, but we'd gotten a late start that day and the garden was one of the final items on our list, so we only had about twenty minutes before closing. This weekend we went to the gardens in the late morning and early afternoon, and had plenty of time to wander around. It's wonderful to get out into the fresh air, surrounded by growing things, seeing the seasons turning right in front of you, stopping to smell the roses and watch the koi.

After that, we stopped at Min's Kitchen for the best Thai food anywhere. :-)

I had been thinking about going down into LA, but since it was already nearly evening and we were both stuffed full of really, really good Thai food, we decided to finish my errand to the outdoorsy store, and then forage at the local independent grocer instead. We brought home all sorts of goodies, including some wonderful Granny Smith's to make pie of.

On Sunday I wandered over to get my hair trimmed, and ended up getting sidetracked afterwards browsing in Cost Plus and brought home a few bags of goodies. I have to say that their Pumpkin Ale is one of the stranger beers I've tasted, but it's good. After that, we walked over to Market City Caffe for really, really, really good ravioli, and we watched little trick-or-treaters go past on the sidewalk.

The clocks changed this weekend, which is always disorienting for me. I grew up in the middle of Indiana, where the clocks never change, ever. I usually drag my way through the entire week or two after the change feeling like I've got jet lag, without the fun of even going anywhere.

I've been waking just before dawn the past few days, and watching the sky lighten and the sun begin to rise. It's a nice feeling, even if on Saturday I needed to nap midmorning before we could run our errands. I've really made a dent in the decluttering and organizing I've been needing to work on since we moved in April. I lost count of the number of times I scampered out to the living room saying, "Hey, look what I found! I knew it was buried in there somewhere!"

My new mantra is "I do not need to keep decades-old phone bills to prove that I exist." Yay for pitchfits!

Tonight it's a stop at the bookstore, and then to Target for a new muffin pan on the way home, and then some baking if I have the energy, and then last-minute research on local politics and the last of the California Propositions. I'm planning on voting first thing tomorrow morning.

Voter Registration Information
Voter Information
Election and Voter Information
The Official Voter Information Guide (Principal and Supplemental) for the CA November 2, 2004 Election
California propositions

League of Women Voters's site for Democracy.net Election 2004: Candidates and Information lets you type in your zip code for information about your specific candidates and ballot measures.

Democracy For America
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
I love this time of year!

Here is my entry from a year ago.

This season, I find myself thinking not only of those who have gone before, relatives, friends and strangers, who have inspired me or given me guidance or simply made me think... but also of the parts of me which came before, the facets of myself which found expression during the past year, the facets which caused me pain, the facets which brought me joy. I'm trying to learn from them all, and I bid farewell to the aspects which are waning, hoping my path is clearing some of them this turn along the circle yet knowing I'll miss others. I myself try to clear the way to greet aspects waxing... some I am hoping for, anticipating, looking forward to, trying to encourage... and at the same time I try to be open to unexpected surprises.

There's a joyful chorus going on.

The veil between past and present, between what was and what is and what may be, shimmers this night, this season. Apple pies and pumpkin bread and spiced cider and scones with berry preserves and golden honey celebrate the bounty of the year's growth.

The wheel turns.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
...a purring cat

...Traditional Medicinals herbal tea

...the feel of yarn sliding between my fingers

...a smooth crochet hook

...handknitted socks (Roommate makes the most comfortable feet-shaped socks I've ever worn using Plymouth Yarn's Sockotta)

...comfy dry Birki-clogs for tramping about in puddles without getting my feet wet (they're a dozen years old and get worn every rainy season)

...a relatively calm drive to work (surface streets from Burbank to the 134, skipping the 5 entirely) in a dependable car

...a cinnamon-raisin bagel for breakfast, and a blueberry bagel for brunch

...comfy Birkenstock sandals to wear in the office (that reminds me, I need to seal the cork on them again, and get them re-soled)

...a soft mock-turtleneck with printed leaves all over it

...an autumn walk under a cheery umbrella

...water lilies blossoming, surrounded by ripples from raindrops on the water

...being able to see my breath in the chill air

...shining water droplets clinging to the underside of agapanthus leaves

...a cup of warm chicken chili soup from Broad Cafe for lunch

...the fresh smell of earth under drizzling rain

...seven years of working at ITS

...and a snug cozy home waiting for me.

ETA: And online traffic speed maps to figure out the best way home.

ETA later: And wow, homemade chicken soup with onions and carrots when I get home. What an amazing day.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
I got a bit of inspiration last Tuesday, and asked Roommate to celebrate autumn with me...

Harvest Moon Soup

Sizzled in the bottom of a Really Big Soup Pot:
chopped leek
garlic
dash of olive oil

Then added:
small bit of water
onion flakes
chopped carrots

The moon was rising yellow in the dark clear sky over the mountains east of us as we were chopping.

Steamed in the microwave in a covered casserole after being lopped in half and cleaned of seeds:
one harlequin winter squash

Dumped into the Really Big Soup Pot after the onion flakes looked happily hydrated:
tomato puree
water
handfuls of baby orange lentils
big dash of paprika
dash of coarse ground black pepper
dash of dried basil
dash of celery flakes
tiny dash of savory
tiny dash of thyme
two bay leaves
chicken bullion to taste

While the pot was working its way to a good boil, I scooped the cooked squash out of its skin and popped it into the blender with a bit of water to puree. Then I added that to the pot and let it simmer for a bit.

Sliced into rectangles and cubes and presented in a really big bowl:
potato-rosemary bread
sun-dried tomato bread
another random herby bread that had looked good when I'd stopped at Berolina's on the way home

The thick, hearty soup didn't look like it had quite as many colors as I'd wanted, so I added frozen vegetables (mostly corn and peas), and brought that back to a quick boil only briefly so the peas didn't lose their bright color.

We served it in our huge soup bowls using the bread cubes for garnish and dunking, with Martinelli's apple-cranberry in sparkling wine glasses. By the time we sat down to eat the moon was shiny and bright, and clouds were moving in, looking beautiful and mysterious. It was a marvelous cozy evening at home, and around midnight I wrote...

Autumn sweeps in
a silent wind high above
dancing past the clouded moon.


Here's to autumn!
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
I got my brochure for LISA 2004 this week, and finally had time to look through it last evening. I haven't been to LISA in a few years for various reasons. I'm not looking forward to so much travel in November, but dang... it looks fabulous. Gotta try to get into [livejournal.com profile] yesthattom's sessions.

[livejournal.com profile] src just posted a cool mention of the comic strip User Friendly. I don't read it regularly, but I love that comic. I went backward to this strip from August 21st to find the beginning of this story arc, and then read forward. Hee! Penguins and parachute drops and SP2 in Antarctica! Whee! And it's even more cool knowing that the caricatures of folks depicted there are in some way based on the real people that are working there.

About a week ago, Roommate and I made a mushroom/onion/asparagus soup which turned out very tasty and very interestingly colored. We've named it Tourmaline Soup and here's how we made it (I've already forgotten some of the details, but I don't want to forget any more)...

Sizzled in the bottom of a big soup pot:
large bits of chopped purple onion
chopped leek greens
garlic
dash of olive oil

Added water, large bits of chopped mushrooms (we used oyster, baby portabello, and white button, I think... most were fresh from Ranch 99 but some were Trader Joes freeze-dried, which needed to be soaked briefly in water before chopping), a dash of dried basil, thyme, and celery flakes, and a bit of chicken and beef bullion to taste. I can't remember if I dropped in a bay leaf or not.

We had a bag of frozen asparagus spears and the mushrooms looked lonely, so we cut those to about two inches long and added them. I also popped in some enoki mushrooms. Simmered briefly to make sure the asparagus cooked to just-crunchy-to-bite-into... we didn't want soggy spears!

The asparagus turned the broth greenish, and the onions and mushrooms soaked it up so their color turned into odd purple-and-green stripes. Hence the reference to tourmaline.

I think we served this in our giant big bowls over separately cooked noodles, and we had some leftover cheese... German butterkase or baby Swiss bits looked pretty as garnish sprinkled on top.

I need to type up how we made our Harvest Moon Soup, too.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (path less traveled)
Out through the fields and the woods
  And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
  And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
  And lo, it is ended.

The leaves are all dead on the ground,
  Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
  And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
  When others are sleeping.

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
  No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
  The flowers of the witch hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
  But the feet question, "Whither?"

Ah, when to the heart of man
  Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
  To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
  Of a love or a season?


Change is hard.

I'm going to have to think about this one a lot more and then post about it again at some point. Gosh, Frost's work is amazing.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (cascade)
When I was young, we dwelt in a vale
  By a misty fen that rang all night,
And thus it was the maidens pale
I knew so well, whose garments trail
  Across the reeds to a window light.

The fen had every kind of bloom,
  And for every kind there was a face,
And a voice that has sounded in my room
Across the sill from the outer gloom.
  Each came singly unto her place,

But all came every night with the mist;
  And often they brought so much to say
Of things of moment to which, they wist,
One so lonely was fain to list,
  That the stars were almost faded away,

Before the last went, heavy with dew,
  Back to the place from which she came--
Where the bird was before it flew,
Where the flower was before it grew,
  Where bird and flower were one and the same.

And thus it is I know so well
  Why the flower has color, the bird has song.
You have only to ask me, and I can tell.
No, not vainly there did I dwell,
  Nor vainly listen all the night long.


We learn the most amazing things when we just... listen.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (reflective)
My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
  Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
  She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
  She talks and I am fain to list:
She's glad the birds are gone away,
She's glad her simple worsted gray
  Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
  The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eyes for these,
  And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know
  The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
  And they are better for her praise.


Each season has a beauty of its own, and each feeling has its own strengths to savor, the bitter with the sweet, the bustle of busy projects, the fallow calm, the warmth of healing hearth, the promise of things to come...
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (together with earth usgs)
[livejournal.com profile] sclerotic_rings linked to Astrobiology's article about the asteroid Toutatis, which will pass within four Earth-to-Moon distances of Earth on Wednesday. Cool stuff if you've got a telescope or set of binoculars handy.

And the harvest moon is tonight. Last night I caught a moonbeam shining into our living room. The moon was just beautiful. I should find my binoculars before dusk tonight.

Folks over in the [livejournal.com profile] geology community are talking about recent and ongoing earthquakes up at Mount St. Helens. They've linked to a Yahoo! News article with some pretty pictures, and the USGS Earthquake Hazards site has a special bulletin about recent activity, and the USGS Volcano Hazards site is also full of interesting stuff.

On the political front, [livejournal.com profile] yesthattom excerpts from The Unfeeling President, an article by E.L. Doctorow.

And now, some tea, because I'm having trouble getting vertical this morning. It's been steeping while I've been catching up on my LJ reading. MMmmm, Fiji, from Infusions of Tea, with orange honey from Bill's Bees. Mmmmmmmmm...

Last night I read the first section of a book of Robert Frost's poetry my Mom gave me. A few of the poems in A Boy's Will (published in 1913) really resonate with me. I think I'll be posting some of them here. I woke up this morning with fragments of John Greenleaf Whittier's In School-Days running through my mind, too.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (cascade)
There were clouds and fog and general overcastness this morning when I left for work. Wondrous damp air and cool temperatures. Ahhhhh.

Wow, do I have a lot to get done at work this week. I'd really like to not work late each night, and I need to take my cat to the vet as soon as I can schedule it. Back to work...
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (autumn bountiful harvest)
The harvest moon is on September 28th. That's a good reason to remember to come home on time Tuesday night.

I also want to remember to get home early enough in October for the full moon eclipse, which we ought to have a decent view of from the apartment starting at dusk. Alternatively, I'll end up on the roof of the building where I work, which is where I watched the last lunar eclipse I managed to see.

From links at Fusion Reaction, I found some interesting links for geek volunteerism, from geekcorps.org. Wow.

I'm checking and revising the offsite links in the sidebars on the shakal.org website and the shakal.livejournal.com journal this morning. I also have some webpage updates for shakal.org, but those come after the link-checking. I detest linkrot.

I'm a few days behindtimes, but upon reflection, I think I'm marking my own celebration of Mabon today. Looking forward, looking backward, noting what's left to finish (and start) before Samhain, and what to look forward to after it.

Maybe I'll make an apple pie or oatmeal cookies.

Sequoia

Sep. 19th, 2004 08:46 pm
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (skyward)
This was written back when I was in high school. My parents and I came to California for the first time, and on that rather amazingly busy trip, we stopped at a few groves of sequoias. I don't know how else to properly introduce this poem, other than to say that forests and wild spaces deeply affect me. But then, you probably already knew that.

Sequoia
by Adele Shakal


I
saw them
ancient, enduring
sentinels to the ages
shooting upwards, branches lifted
to the sky
unchanging through the aeons.
It was then that i
realized
how very small, of such inconsequence,
my little life and its experiences
truly are.
Simply the blink
of an eye and
i
will be gone,
with few to know
that i passed this way.
But Them -
Their senses
have stood witness
to the centuries -
could They but speak to us,
that we might possess
a bit of Their wisdom.
And yet...
i feel that, could They speak,
Their deep chuckles would roll
like thunder, across the hillsides,
as They spoke, with one Voice,
explaining that, aye,
They remember aeons,
and aye,
Their lofty limbed spires lift
ever upwards to the heavens,
but telling that we each
have our parts
in this ultimate play,
and that their lifetimes are,
as ours,
but a blink
in the eye
of the
eternal
Universe.

February 2017

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