Back To The Northlands…

Arrived late yesterday from picking up Rowan from his 2 weeks in Ashland… some 600 miles of driving over the weekend. I-5, does not improve with age… Driving no longer holds much attraction for me. Way to much traffic. We saw 2 terrific accidents; one heading south, and one coming north. People are driving way too fast!
It was nice being back in the Siskiyous… and suffice to say, Rowan came back a transformed young man from his 2 week intensive. (More on this tomorrow) The details are really something…
Bonus: We did get to spend time with our friends Randy & Deidre and their daughter Baylie in the hills above Medford. We all had a most wonderful time! From swimming under the stars, watching the Leonids streak across the sky… to sitting by the outdoor fire pit watching the deer parade back up the hills….
Randy and Deirdre recently moved south from Portland (well, last August) and moved into their new home in March. They have some 5 acres up to the north of Medford along a wonderful ridge line. Supremely quiet, and some of the best views of the Siskiyous to be seen.
Gotta hop, more later. (with Pics!)
On The Menu:

The Links

Relying on Joy

Poetry: Algernon Charles Swinburne
The Links:

How Bronze Age man enjoyed his pint

Ancient forest found in Hungary

She’s behind you!

Relying on Joy

At the time of Buddha, there lived an old beggar woman called “Relying on Joy”. She used to watch the kings, princes, and people making offerings to Buddha and his disciples, and there was nothing she would have liked more than to be able to do the same. So she went out begging, but at the end of a whole day all she had was one small coin. She took it to the oil-merchant to try to buy some oil. He told her that she could not possibly buy anything with so little. But when he heard that she wanted it to make an offering to Buddha, he took pity on her and gave her the oil she wanted. She took it to the monastery, where she lit a lamp. She placed it before Buddha, and made this wish:”I have nothing to offer but this tiny lamp. But through this offering, in the future may I be blessed with the lamp of wisdom. May I free all beings from their darkness. May I purify all their obstructions, and lead them to enlightenment.”

That night the oil in all the other lamps went out. But the beggar woman’s lamp was still burning at dawn, when Buddha’s disciple Maudgalyayana came to collect all the lamps. When he saw that one was still alight, full of oil and with a new wick, he thought,”There’s no reason why this lamp should still be burning in the day time,” and he tried to blow it out. But it kept on burning. He tried to snuff it out with his fingers, but it stayed alight. He tried to smother it with his robe, but still it burned on. The Buddha had been watching all along, and said, “Maudgalyayana, do you want to put out that lamp? You cannot. You cannot even move it, let alone put it out. If you were to pour the water from all ocean over this lamp, it still wouldn’t go out. The water in all the rivers and the lakes of the world could not extinguish it. Why not? Because this lamp was offered with devotion and with purity of heart and mind. And that motivation has made it of tremendous benefit.” When Buddha had said this, the beggar woman approached him, and he made a prophesy that in the future she would become a perfect buddha, call “Light of the Lamp.”

So it is our motivation, good or bad, that determines the fruit of our actions.


Poetry: Algernon Charles Swinburne

For A Picture
That nose is out of drawing. With a gasp,

She pants upon the passionate lips that ache

With the red drain of her own mouth, and make

A monochord of colour. Like an asp,

One lithe lock wriggles in his rutilant grasp.

Her bosom is an oven of myrrh, to bake

Love’s white warm shewbread to a browner cake.

The lock his fingers clench has burst its hasp.

The legs are absolutely abominable.

Ah! what keen overgust of wild-eyed woes

Flags in that bosom, flushes in that nose?

Nay! Death sets riddles for desire to spell,

Responsive. What red hem earth’s passion sews,

But may be ravenously unripped in hell?

O Love! what shall be said of thee?

The son of grief begot by joy?

Being sightless, wilt thou see?

Being sexless, wilt thou be

Maiden or boy?

I dreamed of strange lips yesterday

And cheeks wherein the ambiguous blood

Was like a rose’s–yea,

A rose’s when it lay

Within the bud.

What fields have bred thee, or what groves

Concealed thee, O mysterious flower,

O double rose of Love’s,

With leaves that lure the doves

From bud to bower?

I dare not kiss it, lest my lip

Press harder than an indrawn breath,

And all the sweet life slip

Forth, and the sweet leaves drip,

Bloodlike, in death.

O sole desire of my delight!

O sole delight of my desire!

Mine eyelids and eyesight

Feed on thee day and night

Like lips of fire.

Lean back thy throat of carven pearl,

Lest thy mouth murmur like the dove’s;

Say, Venus hath no girl,

No front of female curl,

Among her Loves.

Thy sweet low bosom, thy close hair,

Thy straight soft flanks and slenderer feet,

Thy virginal strange air,

Are these not over fair

For Love to greet?

How should he greet thee? what new name,

Fit to move all men’s hearts, could move

Thee, deaf to love or shame,

Love’s sister, by the same

Mother as Love?

Ah sweet, the maiden’s mouth is cold,

Her breast-blossoms are simply red,

Her hair mere brown or gold,

Fold over simple fold

Binding her head.

Thy mouth is made of fire and wine,

They barren bosom takes my kiss

And turns my soul to thine

And turns thy lip to mine,

And mine it is.

Thou hast a serpent in thine hair,

In all the curls that close and cling;

And ah, thy breast-flower!

Ah love, thy mouth too fair

To kiss and sting!

Cleave to me, love me, kiss mine eyes,

Satiate thy lips with loving me;

Nay, for thou shalt not rise;

Lie still as Love that dies

For love of thee.

Mine arms are close about thine head,

My lips are fervent on thy face,

And where my kiss hath fed

Thy flower-like blood leaps red

To the kissed place.

O bitterness of things too sweet

O broken singing of the dove!

Love’s wings are over fleet,

And like the panther’s feet

The feet of Love.

Love and Sleep
Lying asleep between the strokes of night

I saw my love lean over my sad bed,

Pale as the duskiest lily’s leaf or head,

Smooth-skinned and dark, with bare throat made to bite,

Too wan for blushing and too warm for white,

But perfect-coloured without white or red.

And her lips opened amorously, and said–

I wist not what, saving one word–Delight.

And all her face was honey to my mouth,

And all her body pasture to mine eyes;

The long lithe arms and hotter hands than fire,

The quivering flanks, hair smelling of the south,

The bright light feet, the splendid supple thighs

And glittering eyelids of my soul’s desire.

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