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The River we live on is Flooding!

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Our home is right on the Iroquois River and, currently, the river is rising to a record high.  It is going around 23 feet above normal, and we are due for even more heavy rains.  Flood stage is 16 feet above normal.  The engineers have said that if it rises 8 more inches — which is possible, as it has not crested yet — the cement bridge (that we live adjacent to) could float away.  We are lucky so far, as we are on very high terrain… but the water is getting precariously high and close; neighbors, to the south especially, are lower down; unfortunately, they are getting inundated.  

A little humorous poetry from Art Carney (from the Honeymooners Show many years ago) cheers me up a bit at this dangerous time:

When the tides of life
turn against you,
and the current upsets your boat,
don’t waste tears on what might have been,
just lay on your back and float!

 

 

Flooded River (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Flooded River (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Glas Kristall Garten

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When lucid ways mutate into wing
             in a glass crystal garden
there
             where four legs not six legs cling

Only a short mayfly shimmer of time
             in a lush limpid garden
where
             fragile crystalline things hang and delicately rhyme

If all of the mirrors vases and glasses went crashing
             in a perfect world so wonderfully and glaringly clear
there
             would always be your beaming beauty ever so smashing

 

 

 

Crystal Winged Mayfly (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Crystal Winged Mayfly (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Short Video of me Curling at the Winter Olympics

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I take Curling very seriously.

Even my potato chips are into Curling.

So far i am in line for winning Silver… a silver set of hair, that is!   🙂

Notice that my sweeping technique is not top-notch Gold; (i am not foolish enough to let Marla think that i am good at sweeping!)

Besides, who needs to sweep if there is a Roomba in the area?!

 

 

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Depression and Sorrow

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Many people suffer from depression and sorrow. Many take pharmaceutical antidepressants and regularly go to clinics to receive therapy. Most, when they were much younger, did not have such issues; in youth, they were filled with wondrous curiosity and inner, refreshing vitality.  Many, as they age, become jaded and unhappy, bored with the same-old-things and with the gray monotony of it all.

A large part of the problem lies in wrong education. Most, throughout their education, were not encouraged to be keenly aware of their own minds… to be aware of the essence of thought and thinking and to explore beyond the realm that thought and thinking manifest as. Most, from society as it currently is structured, were taught to cherish and exclusively dwell in (and “as”) the process of thinking; it was taught that the more thinking and the more reaction… the better.  Few were encouraged, in their youth, to question everything and to be free from mere standard ways/procedures. These days, almost all of us are immured within the walls of thought/thinking. Many exclusively dwell in (and “as”) thought/thinking… and very few value going beyond that very circumscribed domain. Most have put all of their eggs into that one basket; in that, they dwell.  (Ironically, though most everyone exists as “thinking,” few are in a direct, intimate relationship with such thinking, such that they can go beyond it; they see “thinking” as what some alleged independent center is “using from some sort of internal distance.”)  Some delude themselves, by others’ methodologies, into practicing going beyond thinking (which is, in reality, an extension of thinking and, each time, a self-imposed hoax); a concocted silence that is part of a perpetuation of backward and spurious ways is not any kind of legitimate silence at all, though many believe that it is.   

As one has said so many times before, thinking is always symbolic, always second-hand, limited, and merely representational. Yet so many cling to thinking and unquestionably exist almost exclusively as what it is. Even when most of us look at things, we are looking with (and through) the screen of thinking; such thinking involves labeling, categorizing, classifying, identifying, and pigeonholing. When many look at things, they are mostly looking with the memory bank (i.e., through retained knowledge). Such a memory bank is from the past and is always old, always of stored data. Many look with (and from) the stored (old) past… and they inevitably get bored while they feel stale and full of the mundane. With this situation, antidepressants and clinical so-called experts can only help so much.  The selfish “I” is created via concocted psychological distance and learned walls of demarcation; this distance and these very walls are an incarceration that ensures that suffering will continue.  

A mind of constant thinking is a mind of sorrow.  A mind of deep awareness, however, can often perceive without merely using  (and being) the storehouse of old and stuffy memory. To perceive without relying on the storehouse of dead memory and to perceive without depending upon the stale patterns of remembrance is a living art.  There is no method or blueprint-oriented practice to this art. It does not involve old patterns that you can absorb to improve yourself with over time.  It does not involve intentionally sitting crosslegged for long periods of time, mesmerized by some kind of self-fabricated so-called silence.  Being aware (without method) throughout each and every day, being “thinking” when it is necessary but often effortlessly going beyond it, the wise mind sagaciously realizes that profound bliss is not a mere remembrance.  Profound joy is not labeling everything and then looking at everything through (and “as”) dead labels. To perceive without the burden of the past is real living. Real living is not the past perpetually relabeling things (with endless symbols) into, and through, the present and future. The mind that goes beyond “perception through mere symbolism and fragmented mental constructs” is a liberated, whole, caring, free mind… full of joy.

 

 

 

Family Photo (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Family Photo (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

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Knowing Yourself…

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There have been blogs, by others, wherein they write all about themselves.  They write about their likes, special preferences (such as favorite foods, books, and movies), social relationships, and so on and so forth.  Others write about the need to love oneself; they write about the beauty of really caring about oneself (first and foremost).  

What is oneself?  Most of us, one suspects, were educated to see the self as we were all programmed to see it.  This education is often very similar to the education that other countries have stuck to in the past, even the one which Adolf Hitler emerged from (who, by the way, loved himself dearly and who passionately encouraged others to adore him too).   

So, what is the self?  Is the self an autonomous entity separate from the environment, the whole, the rest of mankind, the animals?  When a person says that he knows himself, what does he — actually — know?  Is such knowledge a lot of recalled patterns of bygone preferences, tendencies, opinions, images, and methodologies that have occurred in (and “as”) the past?  Recalled patterns (of the past) are from the storehouse of memory.  Recollections, from (and “as”) that memory, are always old (i.e., of the past), limited (i.e., snap-shot-like), partial, and (therefore) incomplete.  Those recollections of self, additionally, are heavily influenced by the past education and culture in which one was raised.   One’s fundamental conceptions of self were poured into one (and absorbed) during one’s youth.  Recollections and labels “about the self” are always of the past.  They are images or linguistic symbols from (and about) “what was.”  

Many people feel empowered by an elevated sense of self.   Many are enamored about themselves and they write about themselves a lot (either positively or negatively), or they are very obsessed about their physical appearance.   However, the self may not necessarily be what society has had each of us accept and take for granted.   There is a very good chance that a lot of primitive miseducation has taken place for many years.  

Unfortunate is the man or woman whose self is a fenced in, segregated, walled-off conglomeration of past images and symbolic thoughts convinced that a special space isolates what they are (or what “one is”) from the rest of life on earth.  Being walled-in is a surefire recipe for depression, no matter how financially fortunate one’s life has been, no matter how wonderful one may (superficially) think one appears physically.  To have private dominion apart from the rest of life, as something special and separate, is no cup of tea that real perception is interested in sipping.   It may be that real liberation does not come from coddling and worshipping the isolated self, as so many immature and egocentric people tend to do, but (instead) comes about when the self is understood and joyfully transcended.   The circumference around an egocentric mind is always limited, primitive, self-concocted via absorbed patterns… and is standardized, mediocre, and regimented.  Most people are very immersed in (and “as”) such a circumference; very few of them will care anything whatsoever about prudently going beyond it.  A limited, walled-in circumference inevitably brings sorrow.  All of the psychological therapy and superficial entertainment in the world will not put an end to that sorrow.

Instead of coming up with notions about “oneself,” go out (for an enlightening change) and perceive without the separative boundaries and isolated perspectives that were implanted in (and “as”) the past.  Is the perceiver so very separate from the perceived?  Walls of delusion may experience a lot of things; however, walls of delusion will never understand and see the uncontaminated truth and the eternal.   Real understanding, bliss, and balance are not of dead limitation, stale recognition, and segregation.

From the poetry of Stephen Crane:

 

The sage lectured brilliantly. 
Before him, two images: 
“Now this one is a devil, 
And this one is me.” 
He turned away. 
Then a cunning pupil 
Changed the positions. 

Turned the sage again: 
“Now this one is a devil, 
And this one is me.” 
The pupils sat, all grinning, 
And rejoiced in the game. 
But the sage was a sage. 

 

 

Super Thin Model (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Super Thin Model (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

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Two Different Minds

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When wily mediocrity mingled

           impressing dozens of cadaverous friends

When superficiality stagnated

           content with parts and very dead ends

 

Where innocence’s insight fully flowered

           near caring doubt’s entwining now

With timelessness everlastingly

           not separate from the whole of life somehow

 

 

 

 

Soldier Beetle in Chives (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Soldier Beetle in Chives (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018