Constitution: Article 1 §2.4

To better understand this political system we have inherited, I’m making a careful study of the Constitution. I’m sharing here in case others similarly engaged might want to discuss it. At the very least, making my study public holds me accountable to stick with it. After all, in a functioning democracy we should all be Constitutional scholars. Continue reading

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Look Where You’re Going

Whether it makes all the difference or none, the path you’ve chosen is better than the path passively followed.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Seattle Opera Confronts the Ugly Side of Madame Butterfly

Seattle Opera Panelists
“Asian Leaders Respond to Madame Butterfly”

I was excited to hear that Seattle Opera was performing Madame Butterfly because I love Puccini’s music and Butterfly is one of the most famous operas ever written. I didn’t know the opera was controversial for its racist depiction of the Japanese – especially its promulgation of the stereotype that Japanese women are suicidal, subservient sex puppets – until I heard about Seattle Opera’s free community panel discussion “Asian Arts Leaders Respond to Madame Butterfly,” moderated by Frank Abe, co-founder of Seattle’s Asian American Journalists Association. Continue reading

Slow Flow

Here’s what a glacier looks like when shot from a vehicle speeding down the highway. The car moves faster, but the ice is moving, too. It’s flow is just a little slower, but no less powerful for that.

FIDELITY by D H Lawrence

Fidelity and love are two different things, like a flower
and a gem.
And love, like a flower, will fade, will change into some-
thing else
or it would not be flowery.

O flowers they fade because they are moving swiftly; a
little torrent of life
leaps up to the summit of the stem, gleams, turns over
round the bend
of the parabola of curved flight,
sinks, and is gone, like a comet curving into the invisible.

O flowers they are all the time travelling
like comets, and they come into our ken
for a day, for two days, and withdraw, slowly vanish again.

And we, we must take them on the wind, and let them go.
Embalmed flowers are not flowers, immortelles are not
flowers;
flowers are just a motion, a swift motion, a coloured
gesture;
that is their loveliness. And that is love.

But a gem is different. It lasts so much longer than we do
so much much much longer
that it seems to last forever.
Yet we know it is flowing away
as flowers are, and we are, only slower.
The wonderful slow flowing of the sapphire!

All flows, and every flow is related to every other flow.
Flowers and sapphires and us, diversely streaming.
In the old days, when sapphires were breathed upon and
brought forth
during the wild orgasms of chaos
time was much slower, when the rocks came forth.
It took aeons to make a sapphire, aeons for it to pass away.

And a flower it takes a summer.

And man and woman are like the earth, that brings forth
flowers
in summer, and love, but underneath is rock.
Older than flowers, older than ferns, older than fora-
miniferae
older than plasm altogether is the soul of a man under-
neath.

And when, throughout all the wild orgasms of love
slowly a gem forms, in the ancient, once-more molten
rocks
of two human hearts, two ancient rocks, a man’s heart
and a woman’s,
that is the crystal of peace, the slow hard jewel of trust,
the sapphire of fidelity.
The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love.

Maybe D.H. Lawrence is the reason I saw a heart in the ice?

 

Public Like a Frog

 

I’m nobody. Who are you?

Are you nobody, too?

Then there’s a pair of us. Don’t tell!

They’d banish us you know.

How dreary to be somebody,

How public, like a frog, to tell your name the livelong day

To an admiring bog.

To be fair, this frog was just minding his own business.

A Very Rivendell Christmas

I usually post on Sundays, and this Sunday is Christmas. A holiday themed post is required. But to be honest, I’m not really feeling the holidays this year. 2016, globally speaking, has been a dumpster fire. Personally, it’s been a mixed bag in which even the many good things were still very hard. After the election, I felt compelled to make the holidays extra joyful this year, but only managed to wear myself out. Judging by the number of Mordor-themed memes in my social media feed, I’m not alone in this.  Continue reading

Weekends

image c/o Gratisography

image c/o Gratisography

Remember the line from a Primus song that goes, “Funny thing about weekends when you’re unemployed. They don’t mean so much, except you get to hang out with your working friends”? Well, in that way, freelancing is like unemployment. The internet is loaded with TGIF gifs and memes, but they have rarely resonated with me. Unemployed or freelancing, Friday is equally likely follow a day off or precede a work day. Those times in my life when weekdays necessarily meant work and weekends freedom have been few, and have almost never been happy.

It is great to take a break from work, and it’s great to have work to take a break from. But for too many people TGIF means “Finally I can get back to my life,” and in that case I’ll skip it. I can appreciate some separation between work and family, but I want to be living when I’m at work.