• Category Archives Science
  • Matters Astronomical

    Spring and the waning crescent of the Purim Moon

    Shabbat gratefuls: Joanne. My blue silk tallit that she made. With the shema on it. Lunch at Nana with her. Parsha Shimini. Kate’s Creek. High Winds today. My Lodgepole companion dancing. New workout. Going well. Zornberg on the Golden Calf. The Navajo. The Beauty Way. Joanne among the Navajo. Cernunnos. Candle lighting for shabbat, for writing.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Mountain Winds

    One brief shining: Joanne handed me a blue silk bag with a drawstring, opening it I found neatly folded a tallit, a prayer shawl with tzitzit, knotted fringes, which I removed and unfolded, the shema hand-embroidered on its collar, but I did not know how to put it on and she showed me, a quick pull with the right hand crossing over the left shoulder so the shema turned inward against my neck.



    Shabbat has changed with Great Sol. When I began observing it, the candle lighting ceremony, which happens eighteen minutes before sundown, took place around 4 pm. Yesterday it was 7:11 pm. Shabbat then extends until 8:11 pm on Saturday. Shabbat lasts 25 hours. I had not expected shabbat observance to ground me in seasonal change, but now I see that’s an inevitable and welcome part of it. Rosh Chodesh likewise. This is a monthly ritual which observes the coming of a new moon and with it a new Jewish month.

    The three pilgrimage holidays of Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot also have seasonal significance. Pesach, which celebrates the Exodus, the liberation of the Hebrew slaves, corresponds to planting season. Shavuot, which celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, is a first fruits holiday with loaves baked from new grains offered for sacrifice. Sukkot, the festival of booths, is a harvest celebration. Pilgrimage festivals were the high points of the Jewish year during the Temple periods when all Jews came to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the temple.

    There is a profound resonance in Jewish festivals and our lunar calendar with the Great Wheel. One this pagan appreciates as a Jew.


    Just a moment: Hawkeyes win! In a nail biter. Two close games in a row for Iowa. Now on to the championship.

    On August 20th of 2017 Kate, Ruth, Gabe and I drove north to Driggs, Idaho in a motorhome. Kate’s favorite mode of travel. On the 21st we sat on BJ’s porch eyes covered with Great Sol strength dark lenses and experienced the last total eclipse in the U.S. One arrives again on Monday, almost seven years after our wonderment in Driggs.

    Last one I can see here in the U.S. Unless I live another 21 years and make it to 98. Not impossible, but not at all probable. Glad I got to the one in Driggs. Good friends Tom and Bill will have a chance to see it in Dripping Springs, Texas at Bill’s daughter Moira’s home. Weather forecast does not look friendly.

    I checked it out, but the local Holiday Inn wanted $859 for room rates on and around the eclipse. Nope. If I hadn’t been to Driggs, maybe. But I had.



  • Biden needs to step away

    Imbolc and the Ancient Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Myself. Mark. His student, Shayim. Hafar. Alan, still recovering. Luke in Grandby for shabbat. Working on his art. Leo there, too. Floaters. Dusting of Snow. A Mountain Morning. The Mule Deer Yearling and her friend. The Ancient Brothers. On folks that made a difference. My son. Kate, of blessed memory. All the Dogs we loved. Becoming.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Healing

    One brief shining: My fingers move and words spit out on the screen where before only white space existed, giving evidence to some electrical activity in my skull, not guided, not followed, not sure how it happens or why, a real mystery, a miracle that suggests intention more than demonstrates it, something I do not grasp.


    What I mean is this. I’ll have a general idea, right now this mystery of words formed by my fingers on a keyboard. Yet as I write I don’t think before I write: Oh, now I should write I don’t think before I write. If I did, I’d never get anything on the page. See that just came out. No forethought. Imagine yourself in a conversation. Do you consider the words you’re about to say? Sure, sometimes, but I mean in casual, ordinary situations. Just chatting. Oh. Now I should say, I’m not thinking about what I say. The point is that if we stopped to consciously choose each word we write or say, then we’d never write or talk. Not sure why this is a big deal to me. But it is.

    Yes, and a further mystery. The words usually cohere. Thoughts form. We understand each other as if we had carefully crafted what we said. That’s the point, btw, not that you don’t think-hardly-rather that the expression of your thinking comes fluidly and quickly. Not confident I’m saying this well.

    Now I am forming each word as I write. Ha. Became self-conscious. Oh, damn it!


    Just a Moment: Biden’s age. A majority of those who voted for Biden in the last election now thinks he’s too old to be effective.  63% either strongly or somewhat agreed in a recent NYT poll. At 77, the orange one’s age, and closer to 81 than 70, I have mixed feelings about this.

    In spite of my prostate cancer I feel that my health is very good to excellent. No, I can’t run a mile anymore or walk as far as I could without pain, but can my mind function clearly and decisively? Of course. At least I think so. You, reader, may be a better judge. Even so my stamina is not what it once was. Not even what it was ten years ago. Age does matter, but it matters differently for each person.

    So I resist the ageist impulse behind Biden’s detractors. In spite of his many critics, he’s passed major legislation, kept the country engaged but not embroiled in two potentially explosive conflicts in the Ukraine and Israel, been a steady hand on the tiller. And don’t downplay the value of that last piece. Compare him to 45. I’ve seen no evidence that his mind is not up to the task. (He’s a stutterer and makes the occasional gaffe. So what?)

    On the other hand perception is nine tenths of the law in politics. For whatever reasons, ageism one of them, even those who support him have not only begun to doubt but gone full throated about his inability to do the job. I think he needs to step aside. Not sure how that happens, but this election is too important. We have to win it. And I don’t think he can do it.


  • Travel, Dreams

    Imbolc and the full Ancient Moon

    Shabbat gratefuls: Bereshit. Tetzaveh. Rashi. Creation stories. Becoming not being. Seeing things as they are. Finite. Decaying. Impermanent. Loosely tethered. Entropic. Dreams. Dreamers. Irene. CBE. The Socrates Club. Tom, feeling better. PSA. Testosterone. The truly ancientrail of cancer. Shabbat. Relaxing. No agenda. Reading, always reading.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Dreams

    One brief shining: Buddy Mark as Mario and Elizabeth as Babette in Nice for Carnival, a bawdy parade with barbed floats critiquing world leaders, later a trip to a Picasso pottery museum, and an archaeology museum with a generous estimate of human habitation in Provence, taking Mark says calculated risks, for instance, a portrait class next week. Go, Mario and Babette!


    I admire my friend Mark’s travel jones. Every once a while he has to get up and get outta here. Road trips. Trips to Asia. Mexico. The Caribbean. Nice. I have some of the same urges, yet I mostly let them rise and fall away. Hoping once the possibility of snow passes that I’ll get on my pony and ride, ride, ride. Guess that’s up to me, eh?

    My son may make a short visit to Arizona in the next month. If he does, I’ll get down there to see him. I can motivate myself for family. I’ve driven from Arizona to Colorado before. Doable.


    Yesterday got back into the dream group that Irene has run for years. She’s a member of CBE and coordinates an online dream group and an in person dream group at CBE. Often has dreamers (as Irene call us) from far away. Yesterday Jane in England and Scott in Harlem. Marilyn and Irv are in the group, too. They introduced me to it.

    A session runs two hours. Irene puts the names of those who have dreams in a hat and pulls one out. One dream per hour so two folks get a chance. The dreamer reads or tells their dream then we discuss it using the conceit of saying “In my dream I…” This means we’re not interpreting the dream for the dreamer, but offering insights as if the dream were our own. Sometimes someone will say, “My projection is…” Jungian influenced. As you might expect.

    I find it both fun and psychologically intense. A chance to go deep into yourself and into another person’s dream world.


    Two other stories I’m following. The Alabama supreme court’s designation of all embryo’s as children. Wowzer. Trump and the Senate Republicans all of a sudden all over IVF. As a good thing! This underlines my observation yesterday that Roe v. Wade’s demise will play a significant role in the Presidential election. GOP bad. Democrats good. C’mon. Nobody’s fooled by those attaboys for IVF.

    Odysseus. The moonlander. On its side, antennaes not pointed toward home, but still broadcasting. Alive, but injured in the landing. We can all relate, right? Reminded me of Bella the sushi delivering robot at Sushi Win. Endearing to think of a compromised machine struggling valiantly to complete its work.

    We’re entering a new phase in our relationship with machines. Uncharted. Strange. Not to mention, A.I.






  • The Future is, again, Now.

    Imbolc and the Ancient Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Old friends and newer friends. CBE’s beginning and its flounders. Sushi Win and Bella, that cute robot waitress. Tom. Happy Camper. Conifer Cafe, 80 decibels. Yikes. Naps. New Mexico. Arizona. Utah. Colorado. Short trips. Israel. Hamas. Gaza. Two-state solution. The Moon in the Sky like a big pizza pie. Amore! Love.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Jews

    One brief shining: Hold your phone up to the bar code, press the link, up pops the menu, consider it while using the physical menu, order, then enter credit card data, press send, and a bit later Bella comes trundling out from her charging station with plates, Water, and glasses, wait a while longer and here comes spring rolls, tempura shrimp, and a pot of green tea, followed after another short wait by Bella’s return with a sushi roll, my hamachi carpaccio, press finish on Bella for the third time and she rolls away, her fetching backside complete with an LED sign reading Sushi Win that flashes across her darling metal shoulders.


    The future rolled up on Tom and me not in Silicon Valley or the tech wise Denver suburb called Tech Center, but in a sushi place trying to continue surviving. I met Bella last week on Valentine’s Day when I ate at Sushi Win with Luke. Tom and I share a fascination with scientific and technological breakthroughs, so we had fun meeting Bella, considering her potential future impact. We both took videos.

    As I wrote a week ago, many restaurants have experimented with new ways post-pandemic. Covid was hard on people, yes, but on restaurants, too. Fountain Barbecue has computer screens where you order and pay, wait until your order is done, then pick it up yourself. So last millennium.

    Each of the three times Bella came to our table, I found myself wanting to say hello, thank you, and good-by at the appropriate times. And, I did. This cued me in to a robotic future where our responses to the new machines in our lives vary by context. I responded to Bella as I was familiar to responding with a waiter. But a robot in my living room serving tea or cleaning floors would probably elicit a different response. Oh, excuse me. Could you be sure to get that area where the dog hair is? Thanks. Could you get me a beer and a hot dog? Yes, you can clear this up now. Different yet again. Could you hand me a 3/16th? Hold the car up here while I work on the tire. Sweep out the garage and return to your charging port. We’ll cut the grass tomorrow.

    Oh, the wonders we’ll see. The future rushing, leaping into our lives, coming soon to a restaurant table near you.

    Of course, A.I. Shifting the workplace yet again. Hitting some knowledge workers this time. Maybe covering school board meetings, reporting on last night’s football game, making travel plans and reservations, polishing or even writing that essay or think piece for work.

    Not to mention our machines headed to the moon, to low earth orbits and high. DNA editing. Zoom. Smart phones. Dumb users. Electric and self-driving vehicles. Gee whiz, Buck Rogers.


  • The Technocene

    Imbolc and the Ancient Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Luke. Sushi Win. Birthdays. Feeling seen. Darkness. Reading. Mussar. Fountain Barbecue. Their Chicken wings and pork ribs. Fingers. Toes. Heart. Mind. Lev. Exercise. Alan and his funny ecard. Weird Al Jankovich. Sympathy for the Devil. Rolling Stones. Beatles. And, Beetles. The Who. Credence. Jefferson Airplane. The Doors. Led Zeppelin. Early Music. Gregorian chant.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Sushi Win

    One brief shining: Ordered green tea yesterday at Sushi Win, waited a bit for it to show up, when it came it was on a delivery robot which rolled up to Luke and mine’s table with a smiley face, a button that said finish, and a pot of green tea, two cups, styrofoam plates for our order, chopsticks, and wasabi/soy sauce mixers; when Luke pressed finish the robot smiled, said thank you, and rolled away back to the place from which it came.



    Robots. AI. Space based nuclear weapons. Private sector launches from NASA launch sites. Private sector Moon projects. We have suddenly, yet chaotically (not slowly but surely) moved into a new era. The technocene. (my neologism. at least I thought of it just now.) OK. I looked it up. Though original in my head, several others got there ahead of me.

    What I mean by it. Our technoworld today surpasses almost everything I saw in science fiction movies as boy. Have you seen the robot do back flips? Or the new one that can learn from a video of a human doing a task, then improvise? Even, silly as it is, that delivery robot at Sushi Win? Properly programmed it could replace a wait staff. Order from your phone. Which Luke and I did. Wait a bit, here comes the food. These are not tomorrow. These are capacities that have made it into the retail level of robotics.

    AI. Can you say Kurzweil? The Singularity is near. I find it useful. Its capacity to summarize and simplify complex material amazes me. It’s fast, too. But again this is the AI that you can access through Bing or ChatbotGPT. It’s not the stuff that’s in development. Where serious arguments over sentience have become common place.

    Space based nuclear weapons. Banned fifty years ago it looks like Russia has a satellite killing nuclear weapon they could or have deployed. Of course, nobody commented on whether the U.S. has a similar capacity in waiting. Or, China.

    Private sector space. Colorado School of Mines offers an asteroid mining degree. Several private companies have attempted, all unsuccessfully so far, to land on the moon. The most recent launch happened early this morning. See video above. Remember the Coca-Cola in 2001? Or, Bruce Willis taking oil drilling technology to prevent an asteroid from hitting Earth in Armageddon?

    Others. Recent advances in nuclear fusion. The incredible space-based telescopes. CRISPR. Smart phones. Zoom and its ilk. Video phone calls! Self-driving cars. Electric vehicles. You can add your own items to this list.

    If there was an anthropocene, it will have been brief. Perhaps a hundred years when we burned dead ferns and dinosaurs to heat our homes, generate electricity, power our cars and airplanes. Fateful, perhaps apocalyptic yes but much like Hobbes describing human life: nasty, brutish, and short. Now we hope to rely on the wind and those giant windmills. Or the tides, or geothermal or Great Sol directly. Now the world shaping ideas and catastrophes are in the realms of computers, robotics, renewable energy.

    We have no idea how they will impact us or the planet we live on. Why? Because as humans, we go one step further than we can understand. That’s the genius of our species and its curse.


  • Days of Yore, Days of Chips

    Winter and the Cold Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: Shirley Waste. Great Sol. The Middle East. Israel. Hamas. Gaza. The West Bank. Hezbollah. Lebanon. Iran. Iran proxies. Soldiers for the U.S. in the Middle East. The Ukraine. Russia. Yes, even Putin. The Black Sea. Brother Mark and Saudi sunrises. Mary and 9 foot long Monitor Lizards and 10 foot reticulated pythons. Monkeys, too. North Korea. South Korea. Japan. China.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: A new friend, Gary

    One brief shining: When Tara came on my Zoom window for our Hebrew lesson, I saw large tropical Plants in the background, yet she lives, I know, on Kilimanjaro Drive, just off Jung Frau and the calendar still says January; I had my lesson beamed from Shadow Mountain to somewhere in Costa Rica, my halting Hebrew sent to a Spanish speaking country while I took my teacher’s notes in English spoken in Central America. Gosh.


    Our world is so much more complex than the world of my childhood. Only the telephone, the dial telephone, connected my small hometown of Alexandria, Indiana to friends and family in distant places. And the further away the more expensive. Remember person-to-person calls?

    Sure we got Ed Sullivan and the Lone Ranger and I Love Lucy on often finicky TV screens. And, yes, there were those moments of catastrophe: the death of John Kennedy, the shooting of Jack Ruby when the breathless commentators came on interrupting regular programming. Or, the moments of glory, especially the U.S. race to put a man on the Moon. One small step, one giant step.

    Those special televised experiences united us. We saw one news anchor, often Walter Cronkite, with one view of the facts, no MAGA, no chest thumping yellow backs. And when they faded away we went back to our lives in towns and cities and countrysides.

    Now I can take something so mundane as a Hebrew lesson in real time even though my teacher and her husband decided to fly to Costa Rica and work remotely from there for a few weeks. In a few minutes I’ll go online with my buddy Tom. He’ll be in his home near Lake Minnetonka and I’ll be here on Shadow Mountain. I follow the war in Israel through Israeli newspapers that I can access with the click of a mouse button.

    The oddity of all this connection by fiber and phone line and satellite, the irony of it, lies in its isolating effect. Go into any coffee shop anywhere and you’ll instantly know what I mean. Most of the people in the coffee shop will not be in conversation with a person near them, but they might be speaking to a friend on their phone. Laptops will be open. Phones in front of faces. An electronic rapture has lifted the souls in the room up, up, up into clouds of whizzing electrons and packets and i.p. addresses.

    We find news sources, information sources now that meet out preexisting biases. We silo our knowledge on web pages devoted to whatever interests us.

    No. I’m not a technophobe. I’m posting this, aren’t I? And no I’m not even really complaining. Our world is not worse, simply different and infinitely more complex, so much more connected than the quiet days of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. How has this changed us? God, I don’t know. But the impact is profound, that I do know.






  • Wisdom is where you find it

    Winter and the Cold Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: Tara. Rabbi Jamie. Great Sol, seen again. Taoism. Acupuncture. Needles. Meridians. Jill. Spinal stenosis. Theodicy. All is one. The one is all. Yet I am. Tom. Diane. Ginny and Bo Yi. Fan Kuan. Taiwan. The National Palace Museum. Korea. My son, Seoah, Murdoch. Joanne. The Mountains. Crisis of confidence. The Hazel Miller Band. Alan. Gary. Torah study. Shadow Mountain.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Jazz Sax

    One brief shining: Wondering if there’s one place that provides music to acupuncturists and massage therapists that only has one recording which includes whale songs and related noninstrumental music, what I heard while resting face down, torso and feet bare as Jill needled my lower back and feet, the also not to be missed wallpaper image of the Milky Way rising in the desert.


    My maiden visit to the world of Chinese medicine. In a small strip mall not far from home just off 285. Near the Snowpack Tap Room. Jill shares an office with a chiropractor who looked like an ex-boxer. In the area that adjoins the restrooms some wag put up a skeleton with a doctor’s white coat. Not sure about the message of that. Bones? From Star Trek?

    Yes, it was an odd visit. And yet. My back feels better this morning. How bout that. Jill got a good sense of what I wanted. Trying to nail down methods to keep me traveling. Acupuncture as one modality. So she had me lie down next to the Milky Way, whale song filling the air, and proceeded to place the needles.

    I went to Medical Acupuncture on a whim, sort of. That is, Sue Bradshaw agreed with me that cortisone injections and back surgery were bad juju. Which leaves, she said, physical therapy, lidocaine patches, acetaminophen and the very occasional NSAID, and acupuncture. The only one of those that was new to me was acupuncture so I decided to try it out.

    In spite of my feelings about the context, a bit too latter day hippie for me, I think the needles will become my friend. Chinese medicine is an ancient art and science with wisdom we Westerners most often ignore. As with most of Asian culture for that matter. As my friend Bill wisely said, if you turn your back on a form of treatment it will do you no good. Well, then again. I turned my back on this treatment. Ha.

    So. P.T. exercises daily. Lidocaine patches, perhaps for touring days when traveling? The occasional pain med. Regular resistance work. And acupuncture. Keeping this old body rolling, rolling, rolling.

    I feel pretty good about this. A problem surfaces in Korea. Gets diagnosed and calmed down. Thank you, Mr. Lee. Western doc refers me to p.t. Mary the adopted Korean physical therapist helps me further along the road. Now Jill the acupuncturist introduces Chinese medicine as a prophylactic. And I have pushed myself back to three sets of resistance work. It takes a village and a couple of different cultures to get me to a good place. Worth it.

  • Expectations

    Winter and the Cold Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Alan and Cheri. Joanne. Denver. Downtown living. Down the hill living. Shadow Mountain home. Domo. Buckhorn. Sushi Den. Jerusalem. Ali Baba. The Bistro. The Fort. Bread Lounge. Angry Chicken. Katsu Ramen. Fountain Barbecue. Restaurants. Meals out with family and friends. Chamber music. Charlie Parker. Thelonius Monk. Herbie Mann. Dave Clark Five. Dazzle.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Shabbat

    One brief shining: Bought a weighted blanket last summer and in these now cold winter nights it’s part of the layered system that keeps me warm; some mornings of late I’ve taken to enjoying not sleeping in but lying in, wrapped in those layers and happy with my head in the cold, just right, wondering why it all felt so good and I realized the other day it was the embrace of that weighted blanket.


    One of the reasons I’ve taken to these occasional surrender moments, to being awake but staying in bed, is the time it gives me to think. To ponder without distraction. I can follow a thought down an ancientrail and back again. This morning the notion of expectations had me going.

    Over the last couple of weeks in mussar we’ve been discussing an example given by Rabbi Toba Spitzer in her book, God is Here. Which I highly recommend, btw. Her example comes from a silent retreat, an annual event for her. She sits down to lunch, imagining the taste of the food, enjoying the view, settling in for a pleasant lunch. A man sits down near her and begins to eat an Apple. Each bite explodes in her ear. She’s completely thrown off the wonderful lunch she’d imagined. She ends up with a ruined lunch. The obvious culprit here is her expectation of how her lunch would go. As long as she held onto the quiet, contemplative meal, she experienced torment from the Apple eater.

    Taking the learning here. Expectations can sabotage our experience. Bad expectations. Bad. Down expectations.

    Then I began to wonder. What are expectations? The shorthand we use so we can navigate our day. Cars will stop at stop signs. Eating two eggs, bacon, and home fries will not only taste good, but satisfy my hunger. Leo will make me happy when he comes to stay. The stove will turn on. Expectations help us by routinizing parts of our lives. So we’re not always thinking through what’s going to happen next.

    Then it hit me. Expectations are the mental habit behind curiosity. Not obvious, right? Why? Because when something happens that defies or upsets our expectations, we have two choices. Choice one. Do our best to return our experience to its anticipated path. Which makes sense if the stove won’t turn on or we decide to wait out the guy who just ran the stop sign.

    But even in those mundane instances we have to stop and consider the second choice. Why? Why won’t the stove turn on? Why did that guy run the stop sign? In these cases the answers will probably not rock our world.

    However. Imagine that you assumed the earth was the center of the universe and you expected the data from your telescope would confirm that. Or on a less exalted plain. Traffic had caused me to stop beside three large Willow Trees. I looked at them, all gnarly and twisted, thick, old. Then I thought. Wait a minute. These are Willows. There’s no creek here. What’s going on? I’ve never seen Willows up here except by a stream. I don’t know the answer. But I’d like to.

    Here’s the aha. Curiosity arises when something breaches our expectations. Why did she say that? What’s going on with my dog? Why is she limping? Why has the climate begun to change? What would happen if I put this and this together rather than that and that? Does the Apple eater have to ruin my lunch?

    What this suggests to me. Greet breaches of your expectations with wonder. With awe. Because the world and your experience has given you a chance to learn something new.

  • A Bold Return to Giving a Damn

    Winter and the Winter Solstice Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Tara. Her new puppy. Cold. Snow. Sleep. Gabriella. A Bold Return to Giving a Damn: One Farm. Amazon. New Phone. Wallet. 2024 on the way. Poetry. Road Less Taken. Lines Written at Tintern Abbey. Kubla Kahn. Notes on a Supreme Fiction. Circles. Leaves of Grass. Ozymandias. The Raven. Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. The Wasteland. Song of Myself. The Second Coming. And so much else.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Poetry

    One brief shining: The end of another year approaches, our penchant for deciding calendar dates as the always orbiting Earth’s journey around Great Sol continues, brings us to Pope Gregory XIII who chose in October of 1582 in his well known Papal bull: Inter gravissimas to change the rules for leap years to prevent the Julian calendar’s drift away from the solar holidays, oh you didn’t know, well neither did I but Wikipedia did.



    Gabriella. My adopted Axolotl. She’s swimming in the chinampas canals along with other wild Axolotls who will repopulate the ancient waterways of Xochimilco. I get excited about this project because it’s both the reintroduction of a wild species into its former habitat (see the five Timber Wolves released a week ago in western Colorado) and a project that supports indigenous farming methods healthy for the chinampas themselves. This kind of work will enable our grandchildren to have their best chance to adapt to a warming World.

    A Bold Return to Giving a Damn: One Farm, Six Generations, and the Future of Food relates the story of Will Harris and his disillusionment with Big Ag 30 years ago. The successful transition of his family’s farm to regenerative farming makes compelling reading if you care about the source of your food. This farm is in southwestern Georgia, but it’s an example, not singular.

    The USA Regenerative Agriculture Allliance, Inc trains farmers in regenerative practices. Yes, it’s about good food, food raised without pesticides, fertilizers and other “inputs” that defy the natural cycle and deplete the soil. But, it’s also about how to live in a warming World. Someday regenerative agriculture will use the perennial grains and other crops under development at the Land Institute.

    Want to volunteer in the work of Ecosystem restoration? Look at the Ecosystems Restoration Communities website. They do restoration projects all over the world. The expertise and practical knowledge developed as these organization go about their own individual missions will become the Seedstock for a World that can no longer afford any depletion of natural capital.

    What’s natural capital? An accounting method. That’s right. Accounting. The Natural Capital Project at Stanford University develops accounting methods that define the value of Ecosystems, Oceans, the Water cycle, Forests. Why is this important? Regenerative agriculture is a good example. Corporate farming, by far the dominant model in the U.S. and in most of the World, treats Soil, Crops, and Animals as so many widgets to be manipulated for increased profits. Their accounting methods do not have to take into account the value of the Soil, the Rain, the need for dna diversity in both food Crops and Animals. They don’t have to reckon with the future costs of ruined Soil, the dangers of monocultures in such critical crops as Corn, Wheat, Rice. Maybe they’re not as profitable as they think.

    OK. I’ll stop. For now. But I will return to these adaptive approaches that will help Ruth and Gabe survive in a much changed world.


  • A Philosophical Day

    Samain and the Summer’s End Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Kippur, Rich’s new Dog. Leo. Kepler, my sweet boy. Kate, my sweetheart. Rich, a good friend. Joan. Ron. Marilyn. Tara. Jamie. Alan. Ruth. The solar Snow shovel. Dry needling. Mary. Spinal stenosis. Ruby. Dry roads. Mostly. Safeway. Ice cream. Shadow Mountain. Shadow Mountain Home. Starlink. Sushi. Crackers. Salmon. Sleep.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: My CBE family

    One brief shining: Went to Rich’s office yesterday to sign Powers of Attorney and met Kippur, the five-month old black and tan puppy Rich got as a foster and who bounced back as a rehome, Kippur came up as I sat on the couch, pawed me, licked my hand, looked me in the eyes, jumped up on the couch, put his head in my lap, then settled with his body snug against my left leg.


    First off. Buddy Tom and I got to talking yesterday. About weirdness. Quantum mechanics and agreeable electrons and photons. The lack of solidity in all things.   And how about that spooky action at a distance. The narrow sensory spectrum of human senses. Multiverses. Multiple dimensions. We didn’t wander over into time. But we did mention death. And the sacred. And how limited our grasp of things really is. How much we don’t know. How much is hidden from us. Could the sacred be the occasional glimpse into  quantum reality? Or, another dimension? Or, a multiverse? Sensory data beyond our capacity?

    And these are matters that have solid scientific data and theories behind them. Not some guy reading gold tablets on one side of a curtain. Or Mohammed listening to the angel. Yet they are all also as strange as salvation, heaven, a God. As strange as the Quran or the Tanakh or the New Testament. That was the morning.

    In the afternoon I went over to Rich Levine’s office to sign durable powers of attorney naming Joseph overall and Rich for Colorado. That’s when I met Kippur, the wonderful puppy. All puppies are wonderful, I should also say. Anyhow Rich and I got to talking about whether humans are hard wired for symbol making. A woman philosopher he learned about Tuesday night thinks so. She convinced Rich. Not sure at this remove what the implications of that were but Rich thought it was important.

    Rich teaches constitutional law at the Colorado School of Mines in, he said, “A country that no longer honors the constitution. We’re living in a post-constitutional time.” We also discussed Israel and Hamas. The sadness and dismay at being Jews given the way Israel is acting in Gaza. And yet…

    Also had a p.t. session with Mary in which she said, alarmed, “What’s that around your neck!” I thought I had a creature somewhere on me. Turns out she’d seen the flashing of my Medalert pendant. I usually turn it so the light flashes toward my chest, but apparently I hadn’t that time.

    Finished the day with MVP discussing the character trait, or middot, of silence. My practice for this month is to ask myself when am I? More on that at a later time.