Sunday, June 24, 2007

Some thoughts on Truth...

"Speak few words, but say them with quietude and sincerity
and they will be long-lasting".
Lao Tzu

"But such is the irrestible nature of truth
that all it asks, all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.
The sun neeeds no inscription to
distinguish him from darkness."
Thomas Paine

"Better than a thousand meaningless words is one word of sense
which brings the hearer peace."
The Dhammapada

"A truth that's told with bad intent,
Beats all the lies you can invent."
William Blake

"Deceptions cease in the realm of truth.
There are no boundaries to be seen".

"Love truth and pardon error."

"When a great truth once gets abroad in the world,
no power on Earth can imprison it,
or prescribe it's limits, or suppress it".
Frederick Douglass

"The truth is to be lived,
it is not to be merely pronounced with the mouth.
There is nothing to argue about in this teaching".

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sunset Summer Solstice 06/21/07

Sun going down on the Pacific on Summer Solstice between the two Monterey Cypress Trees
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sunset Summer Solstice 2007

The mini-digicam doesn't do this sunset justice, but with a little help from Picasa
and color saturation, it comes pretty close.
The sun just went down smack dab in the middle of the two Monterey Cypress trees
right behind my back porch.
Happy Summer Solstice from The Edge!
I am having a daily problem of going back to see my blog and seeing that the pictures are not viewable. Being the Luddhite that I am, I don't really have a grasp of the little red x in the top left corner where my picture once was. So I have been going back and re-entering them through Picasa again. If anyone reading this knows what I am doing wrong, please email @

Happy Summer Solstice, Y'all!
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Shards and Remnants

This is an old table that (some previous staff person left behind ) 2 years later I go back to insert this picture and the table popped back to the newer post but this is the picture of the austin mosaic i was looking for)and was given
to me last week. I am undertaking the fourth mosaic of my life . The first was a round paver and the third was a hallway floor in the apartment that I lived in on the Hilltop of Columbus, Ohio
for seven years.
I sometimes go to Harvey West Park in Santa Cruz
to swim or walk or look at the historic gravestones and arboretum
in Evergreen Cemetary there. Every time , I drive past this tile
and floor discount place and see a yard of stacks of different
kinds of tiles, all locked up and lonely. I have had the urge to continue
the contemplation involved in undertaking any mosaic for quite a number of years now. The last was the floor project.
During my seven years back in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio my landlord Charlie was going to tear out the hallway that had some tiles that were cracked and put in some gaudy orange shag carpet instead. The tiles he was tearing out were of a beautiful light pink with antique white flecks. I asked him if I could break them up and make a mosaic ( 5'x5' landing on the top of the staircase landing to my second-floor-of-a-house apartment). He said "yes" and was even willing to let me take $60.00 off on my rent to do it. I had been inspired to do large scale mosaics by a couple of beautiful garden- goddess- women, Linda and Marilee who live up in Sonoma County, and of course by every little mosaic book that I scanned in at the library during my short stint there.
The other two completely floored me ( no pun intended) with the transformative powers latent in creatity and the arranging the edges of randomly broken river and ocean wave tumbled shards of somebodies old plate, cup, jug or porcelin toilet. I also spent some time as a gardener in Columbus and worked in one of the old neighborhoods called Italian Village and would find old pieces of Italian pottery in many places. So I have had a stash, but they are in a million boxes stuffed into my vwvan in storage.
So, the other day I stopped in there and was promptly shown "the bone pile" and picked up $9.00 dollars worth to add to the pieces I found by the American River last spring and here by the ocean.
Today is my 1 year anniversary working here at the Lighthouse and I have been working on this mosaic for 3 days. It is being done over someone else's beautiful sun that you see on the western edge. The middle piece is a rectangular tile with what seems like Mayan design done on Italian tile. I just may have to go back and rescue a few more of those. There are a few pieces left over from the floor project that somehow got tossed into the back of my truck back in 2005 as well as some cool other pieces that also made it out here that I had picked up in Florida or German Village( also in Columbus). I have had a couple of extremely trying weeks emotionally ( aside from the seeing friends over past few weeks) and art like this saves me every time.
Hopefully you will come have tea on my backporch when the table is done.
We are all one big random edged mosaic. Someday in my octagon strawbale house, I will have a completely mosaic shower....and garden .

I almost forgot the one I did ( the second) during my attempt to live in Austin, Texas again during 1998. My friend Jodi who lives there knew a place where there were lots of those big beautiful Mexican floor tiles all over the ground in pieces, so we drove there and asked them if we could pick some up...and they said yes, for free. So I hauled a bunch of them into my backyard there in Austin and made a pathway on the Avenue B sandy clay hallowed ground. Grass eventually grew in the cracks during my 3 month stay there. Most of my California seeds collection bolted and died without even going to seed, but the mosaic looked pretty cool and I have pictures of it...somewhere in a box.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Some more timely quotes and poems

Out beyond ideas of
wrong-doing and right-doing
There is a field
I'll meet you there
When the soul lies down in that grass
The world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase,
each other
doesn't make any sense.

Jelaluddin Rumi translated by Coleman Barks

"Nobody sees a flower , really-
it is so small-
we haven't time,
and to see takes time,
like to have a good friend takes time".

Georgia O'Keeffe

"The secret of making
something work in your lives is,
first of all,
the deep desire to make it work:
then the faith and belief
that it can work:
then to hold that clear definite
vision in your consciousness
and see it working out step by step,
without one thought
of doubt or disbelief".

Eileen Caddy

Sunny Skies, Good Folks!

This has been a phenomenal few weeks of mostly sunshine and alot of hooking up with good folks that I either just met, or have known for a long tiime and have not seen for a while. This picture is looking off the back side of the hostel towards my favorite "wave splash" rock.

The day that my Uncle Mike and Aunt Nancy came by the Lighthouse while out here for a graduation.

This is Uncle Mike and Aunt Nancy from Ohio.

These are two of my favorite people in the world, Felicia and Zak. Zak and I were Naturalists together at one of the residential Outdoor Education programs (SMOE in Jones Gulch ) and Felicia came along a few years later to the same program while I was living at the Hiker's Hut and subbing for SMOE. They are a few of the people I have kept in touch with over the past 16-18 years and they are just incredibly wonderful human beings. Trish the Treefrawg was also here on Thursday night, but wasn't around for our morning photoshoot.
This past weekend was very social, and social comes in waves for me.
Here's my weekend backwards, or eddy-like...
On Sunday afternoon I got to spend time listening to AMAZING live local music ( THANK YOU to Dave Elias and the Casual Tees, Jeff Ring and the Lighthouse Band , Perry the soundman,Lisa Kelly Band, Gary Gates , Mark Reid Band, Curtis Turner and a band that is new to me that is absolutely amazing---Jerry Logan and Friends). I was blessed to spend the afternoon with Cathy ( now Perry's wife ) and their son Ellis and Michelle, who just returned from a year travelling around the world. After I ask her permission, if possible I will add it to my link favorites her pictures and stories are really amazing. Michelle and Cathy are two other "valley" Naturalists from 14 or so years ago . Kristen and Teresa, friends that I have known for a while, have been reunited with for a year, were there it was really nice for me and alot like "OLD HOME WEEKEND".
I also got to spend some time on Saturday afternoon with some brand new people ( Peter Garrett and family and the folks who built the beautifully placed and artistically done new staircase ,picture posted below) relaxing, eating, playing music and drumming in Whaler's Cove.
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Sunday, June 10, 2007

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"The divinest things-religion, love, truth, beauty, justice-seem to lose their meaning and value when we sink into lassitude and indifference...
It is a signal that we should quit meditation and books and go out into the open air, into the presence of nature, into the company of flocks and children, where we may drink new health and vigour from the clear and full-flowing fountains of life, afar from the arid wastes of theory and speculation; where we may learn again that it is not by intellectual questionings, but by believing, hoping, loving, and doing that man finds joy and peace".
John Lancaster Spalding

Whaler's Cove 06/09/07

Friday, June 8, 2007

"When You Are Inspired By Some Great Purpose,

some extraordinary project,
all your thoughts break their bonds:
Your mind transcends limitations
your consciousness expands in every direction,
and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world.
Dormant forces, faculties and talents,
become alive
and you discover yourself
to be a greater person by far
than you ever dreamed yourself to be".


Whitehouse Canyon Road

I spent some time sitting on the side of Whitehouse Canyon Road this afternoon soaking up some sun. I sat and watched a few Red Tail Hawks, a pair of ravens, looked down on Ano Nuevo Island , the Ocean and a long windbreak ( and sunblock) of eucalyptus trees. After a few minutes I heard some strange barking noises and discovered that with the wind just right, you can hear the dog cousins, Stellar and California Sea Lions calling out to each other down on the island. They have taken to living in all of the houses out there. Later, I could have sworn I heard the yelping of coyotes.
This land looks much like it did back then when the Villa de la Casa Grande (Village of the Big House) was a destination point. The locals back then gathered roots ,stems, berries , pulp and seeds, leaves and flowers of all of the plants for food, shelter,medicine, aromatherapy, dreams, spirituality,rope, baskets and multitude of other purposes. The row of euks was planted by ranchers, most likely for a windbreak.
This region was the land of abundance and remains still. Of course, not to the degree, but many of the jewels of this region are hidden. It is rebounding and recovering from pesticides from farming and dairy ranching, and and from the logging industry thanks to the activism of people and organizations such as The Peninsula Open Space Trust or P.O.S.T.

It has alot of hidden secrets, but among one of the knowns is that the Gaspar de Portola Expedition passed through these parts in 1769. The Spanish called the folks who had resided here for the past 10,000 years " Costanoans" . Descendents of these people call themselves "Ohlones". From one of the best books regarding the cultural and natural history of this region that I have seen, The Natural History of Ano Nuevo Edited by Burney Le Boeuf and Stephanie Kaza, we see a glimpse into this era through the perceptions the eyes of Miguel Costanso : Monday October 23rd, 1769

"We moved the camp a distance of two leagues ( about 10 km) from the Canada de la Salud ( Waddell Creek), and camped near an Indian village, discovered by the scouts, situated in a pleasant and attractive spot at the foot of a mountain range and in front of a ravine covered with pine and savin, among which descended a stream from which the natives obtained water. The land appeared pleasant; it was covered with pasture, and was not without firewood. We traveled part of the way along the beach; the rest, from the point of rocks previously mentioned, to the village, over high, level land with plenty of water standing in ponds of greater or less extent.

The Indians, advised by the scouts of our coming to their lands, received us with great affability and kindness, and furthermore, presented us with seeds kneaded into thick pats. They also offered us some cakes of a certain sweet paste, which some of our men said was the honey of wasps; they brought it carefully wrapped in the leaves of carrizo cane, and it's taste was not all bad.

In the middle of the village there was a large house, spherical in form and very roomy; the other small houses, built in the form of a pyramid, had very little room, and were built of split pine wood. As the large house so much surpassed the others, the village was named after it".

Above are some views from Whitehouse Canyon Road looking down on the ocean. Yep, that's a Fog Bank approaching . For more on the original inhabitants, read The Ohlone Way by Malcolm Margolin.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Thistle bliss....

I love living in the artichoke capital of the world (well you know, for the usa anyway). This artichoke arrived here before I did. Last year after we allowed the beautiful deep purple flowers to come to fruition, I cut it back to a nub. A few weeks later it came back more beautiful than ever. I have watched it , cut it back more, loved it and a few days ago was surprised to find that it had put out three new artichokes during a two week period of my non-attention! Artichokes are just giant thistles, and I have always loved thistles.
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""Peace cannot be achieved through force, peace must be achieved through understanding" Albert Einstein

I have been working for Hostelling International for almost a year now. It was always something that I knew I wanted to do "someday" and someday arrived last June. The first hostel I ever stayed in was in Portland , Oregon in 1986. I was living in Austin, Texas at the time. I had made my first "roadtrip" on my own and flew into Portland to hitchhike and walk out to the coast. I am not sure who exactly was the catalyst for my exploration into the world of hostels, but I am thankful to this day.
They have an inspiring history, that I you can find by going to or
The mission and purpose of HI hostels today is as timely as it was in the 1930's and 40's. Back then folks saw a need to provide low-cost or work-exchange lodging to those who travelled under "their own steam" via hiking and bicycling. They had seen some of the hostels in Europe and wanted to create something like that here in the USA. They also understood that if people of different cultures come together in a place such as a hostel, cultural understanding would occur, in turn causing Peace to prevail. Now the mission statement is something like this :
" To help all, especially the young, gain a greater understanding of the world and it's people, through hostelling". We Americans are the last to find out about the hostels in our country.
Well, over this past year I have met loads and loads of just really incredible people . Yesterday I was inspired to start photographing "The Willing" with the tiny digicam and some fun stories.
These guys stayed with us a few days ago and inspired this new portion of my blog . The two on the left are a couple of long-time friends who grew up in the bay-area and stopped here along their "reunion" way. The other picture is Paul from Hawaii. Paul is a delightful spirit on a new path. Over this past year many more highlights are etched into my memory.
Everyday, I mean EVeryday....I see, up close and personal....that we all really are, just different parts of each other.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Coloma Staff 2006

There was Gold in them thar hills....

So, I took the other picture off and put this one on. This is what I looked like in the spring of 2006 working with kids, hiking on the American River in Coloma. It was our job to teach them about the Goldrush. It was a powerful lesson for all of us about what greed can do as well as an amazing glimpse into the cultural diversity of a town where it all started. The greed that is....'cause the Miwoks and Maidu and various other folk who had their own names and labels, were there for quite some time.
We are all dressed up to try and look like 1849-50 era goldseekers. Read the works of Dame Shirley, of Rich Bar for more on that. I had alot of fun with kids there and the river, music,people, laughter, rocks and stories transformed me.
For those of you who know me, you know which one I am, and for those of you who are related to me but I have not yet met face to face ( thanks to genealogy and the internet), you can probably guess .
This was truly an extraordinary group of people for this staff and I have been so very fortunate that way in the field of Environmental Education and Natural History Interpretation.
The South Fork of the American River canyon was/is now truly a very special spot. That might sound a bit contrived, but it really is. If you ever want an amazing place to hike, stop in both the Marshall Gold State Discovery Park (whew, that's a load a'words sorry if I mis-arranged them) and the American River Conservancy. Both are in the heart of town and can give you directions and maps to the hiking on their "parcels".
Say hello for me to Zen and Smudge and Sara and Erin and John the Blacksmith and Shining Star and Mary and Sarah and Spencer and Cassie and Dana and Phil and Janelle and Howard and anyone else there really, so many touched my heart. The bakery and Sierra Nevada House and the Good Food Store (that is sadly closed, I heard) all in Lotus, truly ROCK. Gotta go sleep.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Foggy days off are good for doing stuff like staying inside and listening to public radio and doing art, and that's a cover statement for any place I have lived. I want to invent my own profile question: What public radio personalities have made the most of
a positive impression upon your life?
My short list is Maggie Brennan of Global Village 12-3 m-f (est ) and Roots and Offshoots Sunday nights 9-11pm at out of Columbus, Ohio. My waves are not emanating from that radio you see in the picture...but my laptop.....I thank The Great Spirit for the miracle of streaming.
My second favorite and timely dj is the person who has introduced me to the most new music back out here in Cali....since I have been back....Gary Wells of alternate Sunday mornings 7-9 am at out of Nevada City, California. His playlists are a wonderful meandering river. I thank them both as well as well as John Ailey ( whose last name I cannot remember to spell) of KUT in Austin, Texas...the public radio station that introduced me to an entire new universe of music from 1983-1988. KUSP , here locally in Santa Cruz has let me know in oh so many ways that I am in the right place, at the right time. How soon we forget.
I also Thank Musician, Singer, Songwriter one, Kate Wolf, whose voice and music have touched so many lives and helped to open so very many hearts. She contributed much to the world of public radio.
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The Fog has moved in, the wildflowers linger and War is Barbaric!

My blog will most likely be tangental ( I make up my own words, grammar etc causing the " well dressed librarians" of the world to faint) like this , but all eddies eventually return to themselves.

Every year this time, when it starts to heat up east of Skyline Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the heat seeking fog covers all of us in a blanket of cool refreshing greyness.

We were fortunate this spring to have a summer a few months ago, sunshine for weeks.

I both love and hate the fog. On one hand it is cool and refreshing and provides us with lots of negative ions. Negative ions cause feelings of elation and happiness in humans. Waterfalls, ocean waves, fog. On the other, like the overcast of central Ohio, it starts to get to ya after a while. So I drive, to Santa Cruz, up Pescadero Rd, up the Gazos, anywhere to try to glimpse the giant star that we all revolve around. The wildflowers bloomed later and still linger. Irises, trillium, lupines, California poppies, evening primrose, California buckwheat, hedge nettle and many many others have reminded me just why I wanted to come back here.

Here's a few ironies for you: I parked my volkswagon van for many years to avoid driving and free my hands of the blood of this war. In the last year of being back in California, I have more than made up for it. How do we truly wean ourselves from this madness? Time to go "BOB"( back on bike).