Earth Day tardiness

This is a testament to the sheer riches available to us on the web if we’re aware. It’s also a testament that there is no way I can keep up with those riches. So, offered here, are links to an April 2020 Earth Day meditation by Jim Friedrich, who blogs as The Religious Imagineer.
The meditation is a mix of wonder and worship mixed with a dash of hope.
Excerpts from Richard Powers’ “The Overstory,” the Psalms, Erazim Kohak, Richard Fern, Wendell Berry (whom I read with pleasure) and The Brothers Karamozov (another of my favorite reads) are weaved into the piece, making it a powerful invitation no matter the occasion.

On another side note. I discovered this week the music of The Fiery Furnaces, “Duplexes of the Dead” from the album Widow City, and the goofy tune “The Philadelphia Grand Jury.” There’s a little rough language in the second tune, so be aware.

I like the group’s willingness to fly off in different musical directions, a playfulness not found in popular playlists. Reminds me of the music of Frank Zappa and others who have stretched musical boundaries. Vocals are right up front, too, befitting the voice of Elinanor Friedberger.


Children step into their second,
While I navigate my third.

I send wishes:
Keep the verve with which you played your games.
Nurture the curiosity snakes, grasshoppers,
pups, cicadas and flowers kindled.
Express that which piano, dance and art
birthed as we parents fussed.
Keep climbing trees and ropes and
flinging yourselves with abandon
in the winds and sun and seasons.

Looking now, after your first third
and my second, there is beauty,
desire, wisdom and grace still
waiting, in abundance,
just pitched and slanted
to invite embrace

in each portion.

For Those Lost

Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes, composer/pianist/vocalist in the jazz tradition, isn’t afraid of music and sociopolitical issues. One composition is the short piece here from the album Black Spring.

Pinderhughes studied jazz at The Juilliard School, is director/creator of The Transformations Suite and authored projects The James Baldwin Essay, Examining the American Dream Narrative; Meditations on Jacob Lawrence; and Bily Strayhor: the Suther Period.

The Transformations Suite uses music, theater and poetry to explore resistance in the communities that arose from the African Diaspora.

Pinderhuges is also a member of Blackout for Human Rights, is a musical director for at least a couple justice groups, has scored the documentary Whose Streets? and wrote music for film.

Promise me I’ll be alive, when I leave my home.
Promise me I’ll be alive, when I drive, alone.
Stoplights could be murder.
Movements could be murder.
Conversations be murder.

Promised Land

Minding his Ps and Qs in the heyday of Chuck Berry paid off for that artist, carefully sculpting lyrics to not offend, concentrating on celebrating the joys of the free life. Indeed, Berry charged on stage and earned the moniker “The Father of Rock and Roll.”
Considering the whole of Berry’s lyrics, there are hints of the discrimination felt during the years of touring. Take, for instance, this tune. Berry was not even close to being a saint but paid the prices for indiscretions and violations, not to mention racism, the corruption rife in the performing business and the temptations that the lifestyle brought.
Berry wrote in his autobiograhy “”Remember that my view, the only true view I can see with, is through the black eyes that I have.”

Somebody help me get out of Louisiana.
Just help me get to Houston town.
There are people there who care a little ’bout me,
And they won’t let the poor boy down.

Not sleeping for thinking

How can I know?

That person speaks with certainty,
another with caution,
another not at all.
That leaves me
with just a
strand of
a web
ever so
slightly now
and then with
hints that there
is much beyond me
and all those people who
insist on talking of or wanting
me to read their minds about the truth.

Under pressure

Freddy Mercury, David Bowie and Queen partying resulted in this rock and roll classic aimed at all of us folks in the streets. As expected, the emphasis is embracing love as we work through the challenges of living as a society.

Because love’s such an old-fashioned wordm
And love dares you to care for
The people on the (People on streets) edge of the night,
And love (People on streets) dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves.

Kicking back, a Friday-night rarity

For a Friday evening, it’s a rarity to not have an assignment to photograph a football game.
So, a little yard work in a long-neglected lawn and leaf-shedding trees was invigorating.
Our annual mouse harvest in our home’s interior is complete. Every year we trap two or more before finding the holes around our foundation.
Climbed on the roof just before October got under way to brush the leavings from last year’s heating season from our wood-stove chimney.
While waiting for the nearest stove dealer to find their way to our home (90-plus miles) for a service, impatient me went to work.
Chimney soot clustered on top of stove firebrick needed to be cleared away. Cleaned the glass of the stove door. It fairly sparkled.
Then, today, an overcast sky, a cold northwest wind and temps in the lower 40s prompted the first fire.
So, tonight, it’s a delight to stare into the stove and savor a little time to myself.

Earth Odyssey

The kinetics of dance by these artists from a number of countries countered the paralysis that the coronavirus brought to our lives.
Their moves to the music of Asaf Avidan show that artistry, if not an antidote, is at least a resistance.

(Sung over a chorus of “no’s.”)
The world is spinning under.
And, everybody’s singing till they’re grey.
And, the world spinning on and on and on.
We’re already sent to the point of no return.
Keep singing like there’s no tomorrow.