Sunday, September 30, 2012

all things must pass

including this incarnation of my blog! yes, i've been gone, but not gone gone. if you haven't been automatically re-directed to my new site/blog, click here
in case you're curious, this is graffiti from ruins of  the maharishi's ashram in ram jhula, near rishikesh, india. for those of you old enough to remember, this is where the beatles went to hang out back in the '60's. it's in ruins now, but you can access the 14ish acres and wander around at will. the main meditation hall's walls were covered with(what else) beatles-related graffiti. we explored for hours - the dorms, halls, meditation "eggs", the grounds, and we had the place mostly to ourselves. here's a nice write-up and more pictures...see you at the new blog!  ja

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

he was just here a moment ago...

Felix C. Alfano
1917-2012

he loved spaghetti and meatballs with warm, crusty italian bread on sundays,
and strawberry shortcake whenever he could get it.
he loved for everything to be where he last left it.
he loved shoes, especially if they were on sale.
he loved music, especially mariachi music, which may come as
a surprise to some - it did to me.
he loved the eloquence, the subtly, and precision of language, and
he loved to make a shorter toast into a longer toast.
he loved a glass of good  scotch.
he loved the game of golf and the promise of the first tee on a cool summer's morning
he loved his family and he loved his friends, and most importantly,
he loved us when we made it easy, and he loved us when we made it hard.

thanks, Dad, for showing us how to love.




Sunday, January 1, 2012

a thought for now


The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character;
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings...

As the shadow follows the body, as we think, so we become.

- The Dammapada

Saturday, December 31, 2011

one autumn eve


none goes along this way but i,
this autumn eve

- basho

Friday, August 26, 2011

the single best invention of life

interesting confluence of thoughts today on my morning hike. steve jobs has been in the news, with the usual slew of articles, quotes, retrospectives and the like. i came across some excerpts from a stanford commencement address he gave in 2005. decided to follow his advice - in admittedly a little way - here. i've been sitting on a number of shots from various old cemeteries i've visited as part of my berkshire wanderings for a few years now. these cemeteries are fascinating to me - being in one evokes curiosity, memories, emotions, and eventually a special kind of quiet. i've never shown any of these images, based on my own observations that people just don't like to be reminded of the whole death issue, in spite of all that we know to be true. maybe the best invention of life, but not high on list of photo subjects for most. here's one of my favorites anyway. 

jobs had the courage to talk about death as a part of his personal story and as a motivator and seemed to me to speak to the truth of it - with his buddhist perspective shining through. a couple of the quotes:
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true."

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
 

Monday, May 9, 2011

musical immersion

is what any time in new orleans is about, but even more so when you go there for the jazz and heritage festival. the people, the food, the music, oh my. the city is consumed by celebration as much as it is still consumed with the aftermath of katrina (with much justification, sadly). we were there with friends, and made more (of the local type), who kept us focused on what was most important - who to listen to, and when, and what to eat, and where. nice. the last morning, we wandered the french quarter, making a point of staying at least 2 streets away from the notorious "bourbon" when i came across this music store. reflections such as these are always a challenge, but when you get it right, they can be rich with layers of images which blend the real and the reflected realities in ways that help to show "not simply what something is, but also what else it is". my favorite quote is from miles davis: "do not fear mistakes. there are none."

Friday, April 8, 2011

as cold as it looks

found myself in rockport, ma this past january. it was between storms, which was lucky, but it was squeaky-snow cold. walked the pier and around the harbor before the wedding we were attending. had a fabulous brunch with friends at the tiny "red skiff" diner. in real life this dinghy is red, and reminds me of that day. in black and white, it's just cold.