Monthly Archives of: June 2015

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Congrats to many regarding Supreme Court’s ruling on Same Sex Marriage…

4 comments

.

Two_________female

antswish

____ing

to

share________________ the same

flower for

ever

Whoever says that they should not

is out of the blossoming

.

[Added note:  My sister-in-law is married to another woman; both she and her spouse are very sweet, caring, and kind; they are far better parents than mine ever were.]

Someone's aunts on Stella D'oro. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Someone’s aunts on Stella D’oro. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

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The Confederate Flag needs to go… (Multi-Photo)

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My heart goes out to those in Charleston, South Carolina who lost their lives or loved ones.  The Confederate flag needs to go.  To many, it (justifiably) represents repression and hatred.  Personally, one doesn’t care to wave flags of any type.  If you are a global citizen (i.e., a true citizen of the world), then separative flags have very little meaning.  Flags tend to reinforce the feeling of separation and indifference regarding “those at a distance.”  Many think that their country or area is superior to “that” country or “other” place… or is superior to “those other people.”  During war, so many feel that “God” is on their side… as if God takes sides in violent, separative confrontations!  A truly perceptive mind realizes a profound truth that places it in a common bond (united) with all living creatures.  Separative flags (of any kind), which promote boundaries and divisiveness (and they pretty much all do), have little significance to a mind that is truly in such a bond beyond demarcations. 

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/the_confederate_flag_needs_to_go_loc/?bqntMib&v=60732

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[This baby snapping turtle was in the backyard, running about.  The adults lay their eggs in the ground; when the babies finally hatch, they need to quickly get to water (or else they get eaten by raccoons, coyotes, foxes, or crows and such).  After taking a few photos, I carefully tossed this little guy into the river that we live on.]

Baby Snapping Turtle (1). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Baby Snapping Turtle (1). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Baby Snapping Turtle (2). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Baby Snapping Turtle (2). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

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The beauty of the unknown exists beyond the confines of that nest… (Multi-Photo)

15 comments

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When we are young, we are like fledglings, depending on the those who are more mature to help us to do well and survive.  However, at some point, we (if we are to really soar in life) have to leave the nest.  As human beings, many of us never actually leave the nest; we continue to depend.  We cling to the ideologies, patterns, religions, politics, traditions, and habits imprinted upon us by others; and so we never really independently soar.  Most of us “feel safe,” nested in their ways and traditions.  For human beings, however, true enlightenment is never merely within the circumscribed confines of a limited, little nest (or prepared space).  Most of us are afraid to take the plunge, to let go of all the habits and traditions that we have been nesting in.  Most merely cling to symbols, words, representations, ideologies, and learned concepts of (and including) a central “I”… and never ascend from being supposedly “safely nested” in those limited conceptions.  That is why most never soar, and it is as simple as that.

Hatched and Hatching. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Hatched and Hatching. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Unhatched. Photo by Thomas Peace c.2015

Unhatched. Photo by Thomas Peace c.2015

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Animal – Parrot Intelligence…

15 comments

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Before I retired, I used to (as a hobby) keep and breed macaws.  Now that I’m older and retired, I have 3 pet parrots… two that are macaws, and one that’s a Yellow Naped Amazon. 

Parrots make great pets but, because of their intelligence, you have to give them a lot of time and stimulation.  In many ways, they are a lot like dogs… except they can talk.  I exercise all of my birds daily… taking them out of their large cages and moving up and down with them many times (as I simultaneously exercise).  They have their own high definition TV in their room, where they like to watch things like The Muppets, Sesame Street, and Rock’n Learn (learning/phonics) videos.  

Their intelligence is phenomenal!  Makes me glad I’m a vegetarian… though I realize that certain birds, like chickens, don’t even come close to the intelligence of parrots.  There are many other intelligent animals, including pigs and dogs.  Tweety Pie, the bird pictured here, talks in complete sentences.  She creates and makes up her own sentences and has great comprehension.  Some birds just mimic; others have comprehension.  For example, when we put on our coats or jackets to go outside, Tweety would ask: “Are you going to go bye-bye now?”  … or “Can I go too?”  We never taught her those questions; she came up with them herself; she says them with the right intonation for a question.  She sings complete songs, like the “Oh what a beautiful morning” song  and other songs including one by the Backstreet Boys.  (I don’t even know the lyrics to that Backstreet Boys song, thank goodness.)  Once, when I was in the living room and couldn’t get the Playstation to work, she said, “What seems to be the problem?”  I said, “I can’t seem to get the TV to work right.”  She then said, “Can I help?”  Something else!  Last night I kept the birds up a bit late because I was cleaning aquariums in their room.  On two separate occasions I told the birds that they could “sleep in late”… (by me not turning on lights or opening window shades until later in the morning); after each of the two times that I told them that they could “sleep in late in the morning,” Tweety Pie” said “Thank You”!  The night before, I asked the birds about which video they’d like to watch; I said, “What do you want to watch… Children Singing, Sesame Street, or The Muppets?”  Tweety said, “Muppets.”  So The Muppets were put on.

I tried to do videos of Tweety, but she won’t talk in front of a camera (at all).  Once, when I worked (before retiring), I recorded her conversations on an audio recorder, took it to work for people to listen to, and people were totally amazed.  (I included a couple of YouTube videos here — of other people’s parrot friends — for people to see, so that they can observe just how intelligent these birds can be; the ones in the videos are not against being video recorded.)  Many of these birds don’t just mimic.  Some, especially, have great comprehension.  One of our macaws, Scarlet, talks and has great comprehension.  When I was younger, I took her to work with me (to my classroom for the multiply handicapped); she would sit on my lap in the car, as I was driving, and was perfect in behavior in the car and in the classroom.  Sometimes Scarlet calls for me by name, saying “Tom, come here,” and Marla, my wife, says that it sounds like I have another wife!  Just last night, I had been playing a learning-video for them about colors, shapes, and counting, and as they (on the video) demonstrated counting to ten; Scarlet then, after they got up to ten, said “eleven.”  

(See the videos below.  The one of the African Grey Parrot, named Einstein, is one of many; to see other of her – she’s a female – videos, do a YouTube search on “Einstein Texan Talking Parrot”; there are other videos of another bird, that’s a show bird, named Einstein… but I like Einstein from Texas best.)

Tweety Pie. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Tweety Pie. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Birdhouses are for the birds… (Multi-Photo)

8 comments

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In my birdhouse 

we take shelter from the rain

In my birdhouse

we sleep well,without pain

 

In my birdhouse  

we are safe from violent wind

In my birdhouse

we are born,we come in

.

 

[Note:  Birdhouses at my sister-in-law’s (Mary’s) and brother-in-law’s (Gary’s) place.  They were constructed, homemade, by Gary…. painted by Mary.]

 Birdhouse (4... At my sister-in-law Mary's place.) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Birdhouse (4… At my sister-in-law Mary’s place.) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Birdhouse (3... At sister-in-law Mary's place). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Birdhouse (3… At sister-in-law Mary’s place). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Birdhouse (2... At sister-in-law Mary's place.) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Birdhouse (2… At sister-in-law Mary’s place.) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Birdhouse (1... at sister-in-law Mary's place).  Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Birdhouse (1… at sister-in-law Mary’s place). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

 

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Time and Timelessness… Quartet #1: Burnt Norton

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BURNT NORTON  (by T.S. Eliot)
(No. 1 of ‘Four Quartets’)
I

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
                              But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
                        Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.
There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting.
So we moved, and they, in a formal pattern,
Along the empty alley, into the box circle,
To look down into the drained pool.
Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged,
And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

II

Garlic and sapphires in the mud
Clot the bedded axle-tree.
The trilling wire in the blood
Sings below inveterate scars
Appeasing long forgotten wars.
The dance along the artery
The circulation of the lymph
Are figured in the drift of stars
Ascend to summer in the tree
We move above the moving tree
In light upon the figured leaf
And hear upon the sodden floor
Below, the boarhound and the boar
Pursue their pattern as before
But reconciled among the stars.

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
The inner freedom from the practical desire,
The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded
By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving,
Erhebung without motion, concentration
Without elimination, both a new world
And the old made explicit, understood
In the completion of its partial ecstasy,
The resolution of its partial horror.
Yet the enchainment of past and future
Woven in the weakness of the changing body,
Protects mankind from heaven and damnation
Which flesh cannot endure.
                                          Time past and time future
Allow but a little consciousness.
To be conscious is not to be in time
But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.
Only through time time is conquered.

III

Here is a place of disaffection
Time before and time after
In a dim light: neither daylight
Investing form with lucid stillness
Turning shadow into transient beauty
With slow rotation suggesting permanence
Nor darkness to purify the soul
Emptying the sensual with deprivation
Cleansing affection from the temporal.
Neither plenitude nor vacancy. Only a flicker
Over the strained time-ridden faces
Distracted from distraction by distraction
Filled with fancies and empty of meaning
Tumid apathy with no concentration
Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind
That blows before and after time,
Wind in and out of unwholesome lungs
Time before and time after.
Eructation of unhealthy souls
Into the faded air, the torpid
Driven on the wind that sweeps the gloomy hills of London,
Hampstead and Clerkenwell, Campden and Putney,
Highgate, Primrose and Ludgate. Not here
Not here the darkness, in this twittering world.

    Descend lower, descend only
Into the world of perpetual solitude,
World not world, but that which is not world,
Internal darkness, deprivation
And destitution of all property,
Desiccation of the world of sense,
Evacuation of the world of fancy,
Inoperancy of the world of spirit;
This is the one way, and the other
Is the same, not in movement
But abstention from movement; while the world moves
In appetency, on its metalled ways
Of time past and time future.

IV

Time and the bell have buried the day,
The black cloud carries the sun away.
Will the sunflower turn to us, will the clematis
Stray down, bend to us; tendril and spray
Clutch and cling?

    Chill
Fingers of yew be curled
Down on us? After the kingfisher’s wing
Has answered light to light, and is silent, the light is still
At the still point of the turning world.

V

Words move, music moves
Only in time; but that which is only living
Can only die. Words, after speech, reach
Into the silence. Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.
Not the stillness of the violin, while the note lasts,
Not that only, but the co-existence,
Or say that the end precedes the beginning,
And the end and the beginning were always there
Before the beginning and after the end.
And all is always now. Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still. Shrieking voices
Scolding, mocking, or merely chattering,
Always assail them. The Word in the desert
Is most attacked by voices of temptation,
The crying shadow in the funeral dance,
The loud lament of the disconsolate chimera.

    The detail of the pattern is movement,
As in the figure of the ten stairs.
Desire itself is movement
Not in itself desirable;
Love is itself unmoving,
Only the cause and end of movement,
Timeless, and undesiring
Except in the aspect of time
Caught in the form of limitation
Between un-being and being.
Sudden in a shaft of sunlight
Even while the dust moves
There rises the hidden laughter
Of children in the foliage
Quick now, here, now, always—
Ridiculous the waste sad time
Stretching before and after.

The Rose Garden. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

The Rose Garden. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

 

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“The sky is falling!”… said Chicken Little (Multi-Photo)

2 comments

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Birds are a type of feathered dinosaur.  Now many paleontologists are contending that all dinosaurs were feathered to some extent or another, just as all mammals have fur.  Meat-eating theropod dinosaurs were very feathered, had stereoscopic vision and had chicken-like feet.  They didn’t all go extinct after that massive asteroid impact. That asteroid was six miles across, and its impact was equal to the energy of 300 million nuclear weapons; it created temperatures hotter than on the sun’s surface for several minutes.  If we don’t stop having wars and ruining the environment, we may well follow in the footsteps of those that didn’t survive.  We need to do much better.  

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Stereoscopic Vision. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Stereoscopic Vision. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Theropod-Dinosaur-like Feet. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Theropod-Dinosaur-like Feet. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

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Looking with the antiquated past… (Multi-Photo)

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Don’t fall into merely accepting hand-me-down thoughts, beliefs, and systems.  If you do (absorb and become them), you’ll see what you are programmed to see… which (though seeming comfortable and safe) may not really be seeing whatsoever.

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Mostly Yellow. (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Mostly Yellow. (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Mostly Yellow. (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Mostly Yellow. (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

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For Goodness Sake…

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Just because you are good does not mean that only good things will happen for (or to) you.  True goodness is not for some later prize, but exists as its own effortless beauty.  True goodness is far beyond the norm; it is beyond what “mostpeople” subscribe to and unexist as.  True goodness involves an immense awareness that exists independent of group ideas, traditions, and values.  The ideas, traditions, and values of others are often binding and limiting.  True goodness, like real creativity, is causeless and effortless… and merely following the patterns of a system or group nullifies profound creativity and independence.  Interestingly, true goodness does not merely cling to being in patterns of experience.  Habitually clinging to “needing experience” is another form of dependence.  A mind twisted up in psychological dependence and in habits is not capable, for the most part, of being intrinsically good.  Goodness exists beyond descriptions and learned concepts.  Most are unwilling to cut themselves off from dependence… dependence on governments, nations, religions, philosophies, ideals, hypnotic effects, learned concepts, experience, and false habits; therefore, real enlightenment and profound goodness eludes them.  Only what is free, independently wise, and whole can be visited by what is immensely sacred and profound.  It cannot, and will not, enter into what is distorted and corrupt. 

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Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

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Beyond learning from the old past… (Multi-Photo)

2 comments

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Instead of going

out

and seeing a tulip

go out

look at everythingtogether-

withoutseparateformslabelsnames-

andwithouttherebeinganyseparation-

fromwhatyouactuallyare

 

or

you can

go

and

with a very

sep

a

rate

ego

see

what 

you 

were

taught

by

sep

a

ra

tion

.

Whatever. (1)  Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Whatever. (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Whatever (2). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Whatever (2). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015