ray's blog

Once again, about beauty

I am sitting at a table in a coffee house, regarding a small vase with a couple of blossoms in it. The flowers before me are not concerned with being beautiful...their hunger is to follow their life's path to grow and reproduce. Their appearance is meant to facilitate that; beauty is something outside of their motive and purpose...as is most beauty outside of its owner.

MISSING SOMETHING

May 13, 2014
I was at the Miller Hill Mall today. While waiting for my bus to take me back downtown, I regarded a forested hillside across the highway. There were no edifices among the crowded birch trunks and not-yet leafed trees. It was as if such a place, or awareness of it, with all its north country - Sigurd Olson - Lakota wisdom ramifications and deeper meanings should carry a message or some kind of revelation for me. But there was nothing.

THE GREAT MAN HAS GONE

MADIBA
            On December 6th, 2013, a great man named Nelson Mandela died, at the age of 95. I will not rehash his biography here. That is not my purpose. The media is doing a fine enough job of that anyway, and it is all well-deserved. In an age of George Bushes and Maggie Thatchers, and generally the entire dogpile of politicians of the era, he stood handily above them all as a world statesman.

THE NEW GUY

THE NEW GUY
            My folks raised me in the Roman Catholic church, and until I turned 22, reaching what George Carlin called “The Age of Reason”, I was practicing the sect with slowly diminishing enthusiasm. When I finally walked away, it was in full awareness of Catholicism’s less-than-stellar history, which included some of the recent popes.

CROSS COUNTRY

CROSS COUNTRY
 
            There is something I want to tell you here, and maybe you already think this message is true and obvious, but our recent experience moving out to Duluth from Washington DC makes me think it is important enough to say again.

DC Farewell

DC FAREWELL
June 1, 2013
 
            Haven’t been saying much lately, but this is the Eve of our departure for Minnesota; (a week away) to seek retirement space. Friends and family out there anticipate us; they actually sound encouraging.

THE GUN SUPERMARKET

THE GUN SUPERMARKET
 
         On the day of President Obama’s announcement concerning efforts at gun control, significantly I received, unsolicited, a shooter’s catalog in the mail. And I’m not talking about rapid-drunk bar drinks, or big-boobed girls. No, it’s a catalog for people that own, collect, have emotional affairs with, and fire guns. I’ve never ordered anything like that, so why this catalog was sent to me is a mystery.

SAVE YOUR CONFEDERATE MONEY

SAVE YOUR CONFEDERATE MONEY
 

PLAYING WITH TOYS

          This may seem frivolous, but I admit to frivolity at times. I am embarking on a project, the finish of which I do not see yet. This project will satisfy a long desire to do something about this topic. I am planning to write a long essay (perhaps an illustrated book) about the value for each person, adult or child, of play. I am primarily concerned with the use of toys (as opposed to video games,) of both the self-constructed or the store-bought kind.

Integrity and the Arts Business

Integrity and the Arts Business
 
            I recently came across a copy of a letter I had sent to a friend in 1989. I wrote to him about the arts business, as lovingly reported by a now-defunct arts magazine that used to be published here in Washington DC, one of the nation’s major cultural treasure troves. For a time, I had contributed to this magazine.

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