“Everything’s already been said, but since nobody was listening, we have to start again.”
My Grandfather made this, by his hand, from locally sourced renewable materials. Circa 1920 SE Iowa.
Eighteen seconds pouring 31.5 grams is too quick I do admit. Need to adjust the grind!
Over a freshly made cappuccino this rainy April day I thought of and reread T.S.Eliot’s masterpiece, the mystical poem Four Quartets. “Midwinter spring is its own season” (the opening lines of No.4 Part 1 of Little Gidding) . . . like today half spring, half winter.
But the excerpt below is from the first of the five sections of No.3 Part 1, The Dry Savages, where, I believe Eliot begins to address our human pain which is connected to the way we think of ourselves and act as goal-driven, greed-driven, self-obsessive individuals instead of as part of a larger whole, a much larger whole . . . letting go of our ego is a death, a small and continuous dying, a challenging process.
“The poem discusses the nature of time and what humanity's place is within time. Life is described metaphorically as traveling in a boat and humanity's fixation on science and future gain keeping the travelers from reaching their destination. Within the poem, Eliot invokes the image of Krishna to emphasize the need to follow the divine will instead of seeking personal gain. . . Krishna's and Arjuna's discussion from the Bhagavad-Gita on acting according to the divine will along with allusions to Dante's Paradiso, the philosophy of Heraclitus, and the Book of Common Prayer. In regards to these allusions, Eliot would mark up his own editions of the works to note where he used quotes or allusions to lines within his work. In particular, his edition of the Mahabharata included a page added which compared battle scenes with "The Dry Salvages.” Wiki.
I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god—sullen, untamed and intractable,
Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges.
The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten
By the dwellers in cities—ever, however, implacable.
Keeping his seasons and rages, destroyer, reminder
Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated
By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting.
His rhythm was present in the nursery bedroom,
In the rank ailanthus of the April dooryard,
In the smell of grapes on the autumn table,
And the evening circle in the winter gaslight.
The river is within us, the sea is all about us;
The sea is the land's edge also, the granite
Into which it reaches, the beaches where it tosses
Its hints of earlier and other creation:
The starfish, the horseshoe crab, the whale's backbone;
The pools where it offers to our curiosity
The more delicate algae and the sea anemone.
It tosses up our losses, the torn seine,
The shattered lobsterpot, the broken oar
And the gear of foreign dead men. The sea has many voices,
Many gods and many voices.
The salt is on the briar rose,
The fog is in the fir trees.
The sea howl
And the sea yelp, are different voices
Often together heard: the whine in the rigging,
The menace and caress of wave that breaks on water,
The distant rote in the granite teeth,
And the wailing warning from the approaching headland
Are all sea voices, and the heaving groaner
Rounded homewards, and the seagull:
And under the oppression of the silent fog
The tolling bell
Measures time not our time, rung by the unhurried
Ground swell, a time
Older than the time of chronometers, older
Than time counted by anxious worried women
Lying awake, calculating the future,
Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
And piece together the past and the future,
Between midnight and dawn, when the past is all deception,
The future futureless, before the morning watch
When time stops and time is never ending;
And the ground swell, that is and was from the beginning,
T. S. Eliot Four Quartets: The Dry Savages 1941
Eliot then goes on to end the poem with these lines:
And right action is freedom
From past and future also.
For most of us, this is the aim
Never here to be realised;
Who are only undefeated
Because we have gone on trying;
We, content at the last
If our temporal reversion nourish
(Not too far from the yew-tree)
The life of significant soil.
Give me call, text or eMail and stop by the shop to share a cup of coffee, tea or filtered water . . . and freshly shared conversation.
“The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen to the art.”
31:March Morning Piece
The moveable feast needed to be fixed to a date and so there are the Meridiana Lines and pinholes in the ceilings of churches like the Gnomon of Saint-Sulpice . . . light, the movements of the earth and sun, and spring. It was careful observation of a pinhole of light across a meridian line that allowed Johannes Kepler to understand that the planets in our solar system move in ellipses, not circles.
“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
“Seeds have the power to preserve species, to enhance cultural as well as genetic diversity, to counter economic monopoly and to check the advance of conformity on all its many fronts.”
Michael Pollan | Second Nature: A Gardener's Education
Corn Seeds 2017
‘OH, MY POLITICAL POSTS ARE ANNOYING YOU? Sorry, I assumed the future of THE EARTH was worth discussing.’
The Magna Carta Of American Environmental Law Is Under Siege . . . “Citizens need to stop being passive. They need to put pressure on their elected officials, letting them know they are aware that selfish interests and greedy gluttons are pushing an agenda that is not in their best interests or that of their children’s best interests and they are not going to stand for it anymore. What does America desperately need? There needs to be a #MeToo movement started for the environment.” —Michael V. Finley
The Bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™ :: end of February
“People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they'll go to any length to live longer. But don't think that's the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you're going to while away the years, it's far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that's the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me. . . I believe many runners would agree”
Haruki Murakami | What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
My favorite shoes, moccasins, to touch the earth gently underfoot.
Spring of 1968 48.9 440yds.
Summer 2013 Lake Superior 50M Ultra.
Autumn 2014 Blue Mountain 30K.
I’m on the letterpress printing Year of the Brown Earth Dog postcards. If you don’t get one in the mail shortly please be sure to eMail me with your current address and I’ll get one sent.
Design, layout and photopolymer plate for letterpress printed postcards
“Francis of Assisi says in his Testament that when he kissed the leper, “What before had been nauseating to me became sweetness and life.” He marks that moment as the moment of his conversion and the moment when he “left the world.” The old game could not, would not work anymore. That seems to have been the defining moment when he tasted his own insufficiency, and started drawing from a different and larger source - and found it sufficient - apparently even more than sufficient.”
Richard Rohr | Falling Upward
Meena the Cat getting ready to read the morning paper; Support The Nation.
“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.”
Andy Warhol | Andy Warhol in His Own Words
Meena the Cat often escorts me, making sure I stay in line.
Mixing ink and ink draws
There is always something new to stop and read on the bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™
Recently I’ve not been successful on the press and after another difficult & stressful day of disappointments Meena the Cat came into the pressroom, got on my shoulders, and nuzzled, kissed and comforted me as I was cleaning up. We go on with the practice, the effort, with making the unknown known.
“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.”
“Being grateful does not mean that everything is necessarily good. It just means that you can accept it as a gift.”
Roy T. Bennett
The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™ . . .
Winter walking & running is dancing of a sorts.
We take a cat nap together.
“We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening. To use our own voice. To see our own light.”
Hildegard von Bingen l from Selected Writings
Christmas Shirts and Ties
“Inside the river there is an unfinishable story and you are somewhere in it and it will never end until all ends.”
Mary Oliver | “What Can I Say,” Swan: Poems and Prose Poems
When you eat locally grown, in-season food, you make an impact far beyond your local market.
There’s more to organic gardening than just swapping one kind of input for another. It in fact requires you to change the way you think about the soil, air and water, how your choices impact your local ecosystem, and how this way of growing affects the person who eats the plant. Which is usually you and your family. It involves a completely different way of thinking, called “ethical living”. When we practice ethical living, we make decisions locally which create as little impact as possible on our environment. These local decisions can have a very long tail. Many reading this page grew up gardening with chemicals, myself included. In those days the idea was to blast every garden insect you could find with insecticide and add huge amounts of petroleum-derived, nitrogen-based fertilizers to your plants so they grew ginormous fruits and vegetables. We know now that this was a recipe for disaster and completely unsustainable. We were warned in 1962’s Silent Spring and again in 1971’s Diet For A Small Planet, but thanks to massive marketing and PR campaigns from the Big Ag companies, those warnings were largely drowned out. Now we’re faced with the hard truth that insects have become resistant to the pesticides invented to kill them and so much synthetic fertilizer runs off farm fields that green algal blooms consume thousands of square miles of the world’s waterways …. This is the unfortunate side effect of trying to increase crop yields as arable land decreases, the world’s population increases, and the standard of living rises in what used to be known as third world countries. These consequences of technology now make it imperative that we support local growing and farming and eating in-season food as often as possible. For we gardeners, that includes growing as much of your own fruits and veggies as you can in an organic garden, the very definition of ethical living.
Todd Heft | Big Blog Of Gardening
by Patricia Fargnoli
If you have seen the snow
under the lamppost
piled up like a white beaver hat on the picnic table
or somewhere slowly falling
into the brook
to be swallowed by water,
then you have seen beauty
and know it for its transience.
And if you have gone out in the snow
for only the pleasure
of walking barely protected
from the galaxies,
the flakes settling on your parka
like the dust from just-born stars,
the cold waking you
as if from long sleeping,
then you can understand
how, more often than not,
truth is found in silence,
how the natural world comes to you
if you go out to meet it,
its icy ditches filled with dead weeds,
its vacant birdhouses, and dens
full of the sleeping.
But this is the slowed down season
held fast by darkness
and if no one comes to keep you company
then keep watch over your own solitude.
In that stillness, you will learn
with your whole body
the significance of cold
and the night,
which is otherwise always eluding you.
“What matters is precisely this; the unspoken at the edge of the spoken.”
Virginia Woolf | from a diary entry, 21 July 1912
“Beauty is something that burns the hand when you touch it.”
Yukio Mishima | Forbidden Colors
“—I have drunk fresh, cold little trickles of silence.”
Federico García Lorca | Meditations and Allegories on Water (tr. C. Maurer)
“Under your skin the moon is alive.”
Pablo Neruda, “Ode to a Naked Beauty”
“With one long breath, caught and held
in his chest, he fought his sadness over
his solitary life. Don’t cry, you idiot!
Live or die, but don’t poison everything . . .”
from an early draft of Herzog by Saul Bellow
“Always go too far, because that’s where you’ll find the truth.”
May 4th 1970, The Kent State Massacre
An emotional Governor Rhodes, yelling and pounding his fists on his desk called the student protesters un-American, referring to them as revolutionaries ”…They're the worst type of people that we harbor in America. Now I want to say this. They are not going to take over [the] campus. I think that we're up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America…..” and then the Kent State massacre … the shootings of unarmed college students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio …The shootings were ordered by members of the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, agitated by an undercover FBI agent. Twenty-nine guardsmen fired approximately 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.
Crossing the Chewelah - Colville River Valley before sunrise Easter Sunday
Crossing the flooded Colville River sunrise Easter Sunday
Just a few more times to run in the valley. I made a nice circumambulation this morning, 7 miles and stop’d to watch the mists lifting effortlessly off the fields and dance away. Mid-sixties with little savings and no jobs we are nevertheless blessed with many strengths, even a nice studio space, and faith that the Joy and deLight and the miracle of life and beauty will cary us on.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein
"The most intimate thing we can do is to allow people we love most see us at our worst. At our lowest. At our weakest. True intimacy happens when nothing is perfect.” Amy Harmon, The Song of David
“When spring comes, go to the flowers — why keep on sucking wax?” Antonio Machado
“Love one another or you perish . . . . We have reached a decisive point in human evolution, at which the only way forward is in the direction of a common passion, a ‘conspiration.’” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“I and all beings are of the same essential value.” Zhuang Zhou
"Fear narrows the little entrance of our heart. It shrinks up our capacity to love. It freezes up our power to give ourselves." —Thomas Merton, from his essay, "Ash Wednesday"
“Scrape the surface of language, and you will behold interstellar space and the skin that encloses it.” Velimir Khlebnikov
“Despite all our accomplishments we owe our existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.” Farm Equipment Assoc. of Minnesota & South Dakota
"There are crimes that no one would commit as an individual which he willingly and bravely commits when acting in the name of his society, because he has been (too easily) convinced that evil is entirely different when it is done 'for the common good.'" Thomas Merton
“Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.” Joseph Campbell
“There is no difference between the Divine and the one who desires to see the Divine.” Papaji
“There are stars in your dark side brighter than the sun.” Andrea Gibson, Hook Line
analemma for toMAKE™ February 10th ©steven r holloway
“I came to this world to protest.” Maxim Gorky
snow at the parsonage in chewelah 2017 ©steven r holloway