Keep Watching the Sky

  • Posted by ray on Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 22:21.

          I was sitting alone last Spring in the new lunchroom of the Plaza Super One, looking out on a beautiful afternoon on the Big Lake, when a feeling came over me. (A feeling often does, looking out on the Big Lake,) I am not sure if Ii can put this feeling into words, but I want to try. It was the shank of the afternoon, and there was no one else around. I was simply killing some time before I was to attend an unpleasant social event - thed kind of gathering for which I am not particularly well-designed.

  • Posted by ray on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 17:04.

    I know it has been a bit of time since the last blog - busy, you understand. For the benefit of the CIA, the FBI, and anyone else, public or private who gives a damn about what I have to say, herre goes:
               I was just thinking about humasn ignorance, especially including my own. I thought that all the national systems and procedures (created by mankind, of course) worked like they were supposed to. Oblivious to history, I never thought that these systems could be so easily corrupted, and work against a secular democracy.

  • Posted by ray on Sunday, November 15, 2015 - 22:29.

    I was hit with a serious, awful realization today. It is dispiriting and frightening to watch as the world marches ever closer to another international conflagration. This one that’s coming will be worse than anything yet seen. Few of us will walk away from it. There will be no winners; only ugly death. For one thing, it is an evil god that commands its subjects to kill others for not joining the club. Thus any god so directing is evil, and it produces chaos and barbarity. I sit here watching the news reports about today’s slaughter in Paris.

  • Posted by ray on Sunday, May 24, 2015 - 20:34.

    SERENDIPITY
    It’s funny how things can come to you sometimes. Unexpected light can shine through years of opaque memory. One of my Friends Meeting colleagues was scheduled to give a talk about the development of his spiritual path after meeting today. He titled it “This I believe”, without an awareness of the Radio show and two volumes of like-titled international essays. What a talk it was! His life, as he eloquently and perceptively described it, touched similar points in mine all along the line.

  • Posted by ray on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 18:20.

     3/24/15
    A Little Natural Miracle
                I witnessed a miracle today. Oh, this was no God-changing-nature supernatural thing. It’s too hard to swallow one of those water-into-wine fantasies. One does not need to see the Red Sea parted to follow a path. It was more a sign – or a message – of the dawning of a new season.

  • Posted by ray on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 13:13.

    Where the Light Comes From
    Sunday, January 18
    Something a little more positive to begin the New Year:
    I was recently overcome with a feeling of spiritual and – was it moral? – or ‘Service to Others’? – impotency. It is a regularly-occurring feeling of mine, but this had a specific source. I was reading the obituary notices in Friends Journal, the Quaker magazine, of Barbara Nokka.

  • Posted by ray on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 00:12.

    SEASONAL THOUGHTS, End-of-Year Rant 2014

  • Posted by ray on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 15:02.

    VISUAL MUSIC (July 1, 2014)

    After enduring long days of oppressive, hopeless fog, sunrise finally arrived to the land. The warmth and the bright daylight reminded me of things I have said in the past, concerning the holiness, the sacristy of music in our lives. And Mother Nature always provides.

  • Posted by ray on Saturday, June 7, 2014 - 21:22.

    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.

  • Posted by ray on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 20:42.

    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.

  • Posted by ray on Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 00:01.

    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.

  • Posted by ray on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 10:45.

    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.

  • Posted by ray on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 17:17.

    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.

  • Posted by ray on Saturday, June 1, 2013 - 15:30.

    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.

  • Posted by ray on Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 10:06.
    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.
  • Posted by ray on Thursday, November 22, 2012 - 10:27.

    SAVE YOUR CONFEDERATE MONEY
     

  • Posted by ray on Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 10:56.

              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.

  • Posted by ray on Monday, August 27, 2012 - 09:51.

    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.

  • Posted by ray on Sunday, April 29, 2012 - 21:04.

    THE END OF THINGS
     
                Look. It isn’t my intention to upset anyone, or ruin a perfectly beautiful day. I just think it’s necessary to speak of a couple of things.

  • Posted by ray on Sunday, April 29, 2012 - 21:03.

    A  SHORT QUAKER THOUGHT
    The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) holds as a central tenant of belief that there is that of God in everybody. Is it thus incumbent on us to love everyone? I’m not sure. Some people do not make themselves too loveable. I don’t think it is our mandate to love everyone. I think it’s more of an attitude to have. I explain it this way.

  • Posted by ray on Sunday, April 29, 2012 - 20:56.

    Announcement of Exhibit
    This is to let you know that I am participating, as one of 2000 artists, in ARTOMATIC 2012. The exhibit s taking place between opening day, May 18 through June 23. It is in a huge former government building in Crystal City, at 1851 South Bell Street, very close to the Metro. My exhibit is in a room near the elevator on the 4th floor, and I will be on-site at various and unpredictable times. In the future, I will post on the gallery here some of the prints not already here. This is my first time participating, and I am excited!

  • Posted by ray on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 13:51.
  • Posted by ray on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 13:44.
  • Posted by ray on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 13:41.
  • Posted by ray on Saturday, March 31, 2012 - 17:51.

    March 31, 2012
    Readers of this blog are encouraged to view my print, "Duluth Harbor", part of the juried exhibit at MFA Circle Gallery in Annapolis, Maryland, until the end of April. It is the same print that is visible in my gallery file here. you can even view the entire show there by going to this link:
             www.panoramastreet.com/live/Demos/mfa_3-2012/default/
    It' a good show, and I am honored to have been accepted there.

  • Posted by ray on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 23:03.

    SACRED MUSIC

  • Posted by ray on Monday, October 10, 2011 - 21:47.

    Friends and Family
     
                I responded strongly to a recent conversation that happened in my presence. It was all about friendship, family and love: love seeping out, love flowing in; love falling on us all from God above. It only made me realize how hard it is to define such terms as love, friendship, and for that matter, family.

  • Posted by ray on Monday, August 22, 2011 - 21:23.

              Some mornings I get up, maybe too early, and stumble through my kitchen in the process of 'creating' a cup of coffee for myself and my wife. Not fully awake, I'm likely to imagine almost anything. And under such circumstances, and even being a creative artist, (with all the license that gives me,) I could not have been prepared to confront eternity in my cup.

  • Posted by ray on Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - 07:40.

    BLUES, HERE AND THERE
    (An Observation, June 18, 2011)
     

  • Posted by ray on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - 13:41.

    Flowers in Guatemala
              I once was on a retreat with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in one of the most beautiful settings in the world, Lake Atitlan in the Guatemalan highlands. The retreat house looked out over the lake, ringed by four volcanic peaks and a dozen shoreline villages. While the Quakers were occupied with meetings to discuss the issues on their agenda, I had the freedom to hike along the cliff's edge, seeking inspiration for some drawings, and some meditative peace for my own thoughts.