Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I don’t know sometimes. Why am I so stubborn? I don’t get it. Why, when I know what to do, do I avoid it and then do what I want, all the while knowing I’ll be ripped to shreds?
I guess it may go back a ways. I’m not going down memory lane looking for that magical moment when all went to hell in a bucket. But yet...?
And yet here I find myself, sleeping under the stars, seeing the band of the milky way like never before, that strip of stars that almost seem to perforate our tiny piece of cosmos. Out here in the desert, on a moonless night, the stars are so bright that it almost makes my brain hurt. Our ancient brothers and sisters saw shapes and visions in the stars, a dot-to-dot realization of the creator’s power.

But now, in the post American century, it’s hard to see shapes or characters or signs in the stars. Now, in the so-called post-Christian era, it’s hard to see the hand of the creator pushing spots of light through the sky.
As knowledge heavy and sophisticated as we are, why do we overlook the obvious? How come we are so jaded in this daily walk? I know I’m not the only one seeking, searching for that magical place, that place to call home. I’m not the only one looking for the mystical place of origin.
And then again, if I found it, would I know what to do once I got there?

The Aztec origin myth says that they emerged from the earth and settled in Aztlan, a place without physical description. In their language (Nahuatl), the roots of Aztlan are the two words: aztatl tlan(tli) meaning "heron" and "place of," respectively. The connotative meaning, due to the plumage of herons, could be construed as “Place of Whiteness”.

Many of my fellow white Americans fear that Aztlan is some sort of codeword used by our brown brothers, a suggestion of revolution or rebellion. They fear the immigration that's now occurring in the southwest is some sort of attempt at taking over the United States. Me? I don't know. I just know we all look for that place called home, whether we be white or black or brown, Palestinian, Israeli, gypsy, no matter who we are...

“You can't run and try to hide away
Here it comes, here comes another day
If you're long down that highway
No matter where you are
You're never really far
Good morning Aztlan”
-David Hidalgo/Louie Perez

Monday, August 28, 2006

Gadsden Hotel, Douglas AZ

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

american guru

This is Freedom Road. The name, he says, was given to him by the angels. Freedom lives in the purple truck. He is approximately 80 years old. He is a strict vegetarian and performs yoga to absorb energy from the Earth. For his meager material needs, he uses his Social Security check. He loves the city park and cannot fathom why people would wear shoes there. He takes showers at the community pool. Freedom plans to relocate soon either to California or Barcelona, Spain. Also, he has received word from the angels that it is time for a name change. Earth Angel is now his name. He changes his name about every 16 years. He has an interesting spiritual reasoning behind this, but I will not attempt to explain it here.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Old Photos and Old Thoughts

I keep on telling everyone exactly the same thing. When you feel the urge to show old photos and relive the halcyon days of youth, you gotta keep it all together and publish the mess. Maybe no one buys it, but when you can riffle your thumb through 75 pages of "YOU", it's a real hoot!

This tome, by the way, is available for purchase at: for a mere $10.99 plus shipping and handling. I'm sure Pig and Foghorn have a ton of this kind of stuff. Let's go. As the used to say in the old TV cop shows, "No one moves, no one get's hurt".

Monday, August 07, 2006

our man in black walking the line

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Mean Mr. Mustard

In response of sorts to the Chronicler's last post, and out of necessity since I can't post on the PONDERING PIG'S BLOG, I come here, from the beer halls and intellectual centers of the southwest to teach a lesson on the color of mustard.

Why, you ask? Easy. The
PONDERING PIG doesn't have the time and I have nothing but time. Exile will do that to you, but that's another story. Anyways, Brer Pig has been predisposed in a search for new digs and I thought I'd help him understand why mustard is yellow, a question that seems to come to the forefront of his porcine mind from time to time.

Sooooo, here's the mustard story in a nut, or seed if you perfer.

Mustard is an indigenous plant in any part of the world where things grow out of the ground. I guess, from reading, that it doesn't grow abundantly in Greenland, Iceland, Siberia, or other higher arctic regions. But, in the end, if you got dirt and water, you got mustard nearby.

Ninety percent of the world's supplies of mustard seeds are produced in Canada, just not up north too high too much. Maybe our blog friends in the upper part of North American knew that, maybe not. It's just a statistic.

Yellow mustard seed originated in Europe. The seeds are pale straw yellow colour and about 3mm in diameter. The taste is mild and "eggy" - not pungent.

In any event, people who consume yellow mustard are predominantly of Euro descent, while the rest of the world consumes more of the brown or black mustard. Dijon is yellow, but they use different vinegar when preparing it. I read where, in England, they call that "made" mustard.

Well. anyhow, most of the rest of the world went for the darker mustard seeds, for the more pungent flavors. Maybe because the meat tasted bad and maybe because they like more spice than the Norther Euro brothers. In any event, the whole damn world eats mustard, yellow on "Nathan's Hot Dogs" from Coney Island to damn hot mustard on oriental cooking of all sorts.

Me? I prefer the damn hot stuff.

Mustard has been grown and traded and cherished for many millennia. Consider the power of the little seed.

Jesus, in teaching the value of faith, used the tiny seed for analogy, telling his disciples that if they had faith he size of a mustard seed they could do marvelous and wonderful things. This thought, more than the yellow color has intrigued me for a long time.

Dig. First is the obvious size thing. This seed the size of near nothing produces huge and abundant plants. I know this for certain. When I moved to the desert southwest some 20 years ago, my first attempt at a desert garden included mustard, for the greens. When I moved from the rented house I was living in, I told the landlord that I'd planted the year before and some stuff might sprout the next season. He pretty much blew me off.

Then, the next year, there were no tennants on that property and the yard grew wild for most of the year. It grew and seeded and grew and seeded... until today, 20 years later, there is mustard growing in every yard for almost 3 blocks and uncontrollably wild in the vacant acreage behind where we lived.

The other lesson is in the power in the tiny seed. That source of new life has flavor that just don't quit. Jesus, when telling the disciples about mustard seeds was re-iterating the knowledge they already had. It was, basically, that the little seed of no consequence had a kick to it and they should culitvate that kind of faith in people that followed after. I think they did that in many over the centuries. Some like Dietrich Bonhoffer, Mother Theresa, and M.L. King come to mind because of their affect on my life personally, but I know other people know others who let that little seed spice their lives to the extreme. They are our heroes, our saints, our models for life.

The little seed is sufficient.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

"The blogosphere is half forensic lab and half tavern."

-- Michael Cornfield, political management professor, George Washington University, 2005

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