Keep Watching the Sky

  • Posted by ray on Friday, February 1, 2019 - 13:23.

    He was a man, this I knew;
    The visitor with Down Syndrome;
    A vital human being inside his handicap.
    Though his eyes separately roamed
    And his thoughts were all scrambled
    He had an urgent message.
    I listened to him intently
    He hoped I could understand.
    I did not lsugh; made no assumptions
    Like his affliction was some kind of joke.
    But clearly it was vitally important
    And his eyes went everywhere
    And he struggled, mouth wide open,
    Trying hard to form words into an idea

  • Posted by ray on Sunday, June 17, 2018 - 22:24.

             I was reminded this morning of something by my wife which concerned our cat Conner. We sent him on his way around last Christmas; he had stopped eating and was wasting away. There was nothing we could do but summon the Vet. He had been in our charge most of the fifteen years of his life.
             That was not the memory, though. This went back to when we first got him. He had been brought in from a farm where he was born, and we accepted responsibility when he was approximately a year old.

  • Posted by ray on Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 19:00.

             It's funny, isn't it, how simple events or actions can trigger profound thought? I was shapening a fistful of pencils to begin working on another creative project. As I ground their points to sharpness, it occurred to me that I regard a pencil as a sacred object; as a culturally sacred - what is it? - icon?

  • Posted by ray on Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 16:27.

              Look, I frequently see this world through music. It is an elemental art form, and I deal in art forms. It is a basic part of all human cultures, sunk deep in our DNA. It is one of the distinguishing characteristics of being humsn.

  • Posted by ray on Sunday, August 13, 2017 - 14:31.

    August 14, 2017
              I love the Blues. It is my preferred form of music, and not because of any over-identifying with Black culture. I love it because it is the music of survivors, and it literally sings American history.

  • Posted by ray on Sunday, July 16, 2017 - 19:51.

    March 26, 2017
    (late in getting this aboard)
              With the month of March, it is time to ruminate on some things; things like an amazement at what turns my path has taken in recent months...and years too, I suppose.

  • 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.

    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.

    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 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.

                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.

                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.

                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.

    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.
             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.


  • 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.

                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.

    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.