Sunday, November 22, 2009



scather my life,
break my psythe,
flinder my self,
exscind my ambitude,

and hold me free.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dum spiro spero

Morning, and stars
lay down their
aery chourse to
the universe.

There, see, night
lifts up his
fenestral latch to
the light.

Doubt, so thick,
dissolves with its
cheerless light to
the life.

Hope, heare again,
take up my
breath, til I hold
the morning.

Monday, November 16, 2009

the edge

the problem with enjoying the sunshine is that you miss it when it gets dark.

but it is beautiful between day and night.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Delights of life

Touch of Sunlight on the edges of the day.
Hot Tea in a lonely dorm room.
Shivers when listening to music.
Early morning smiles.
Eyes of a friend.
Grass on bare feet.
Spruce air breath'ed deep.

They are windows into heaven.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


As I was practicing in the music building this morning, it struck me that it is possible to crudely categorize some of the practicing I hear in the basement.


These pianists play a thudding/wandering style of music. They should be commended for their musical focus: they seem to meditate on a single refrain for hours. Years.

The virtuous orchestra members who practice their parts. I have only praise for this group: there are a lot of things that would be more fun to practice.

The singers who never seem to progress beyond the warm-up phase. "AAaaahh-ah-ah-ah-ah-a-e-ooooooooo, aeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooeeeeeeeeeea" Shriek Shriek.

Usually a small congregation of talents-- destined for Vespers, or Afterglow, or Not. They have to practice that little solo refrain... ("One more time, One more time: Aaaaaaaaa")

These people dazzle me with scherzic glissandos, lush vibrato, and the extraordinary gift of never-ever sounding bad. Sometimes I feel like rushing off to call Deutsche Grammophon.

Bach, Bloch, Brahms, Bartok. Oh, blast, what about Mozart? All in 5 minutes.

"Never stop. Not until you've played the last note. "

"Never finish a phrase. Micromanaging is key."

... enough for now.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

how not what

"... You learn that what matters is how you get there, not what you accomplish."

-- Yvon Chouinard

John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams.

“If slavery be the destined sword of the hand of the destroying angel which is to sever the ties of this Union, the same sword will cut in sunder the bonds of slavery itself. A dissolution of the Union for the cause of slavery would be followed by a servile war in the slave-holding States, combined with a war between the two severed portions of the Union. It seems to me that its result might be the extirpation of slavery from this whole continent; and, calamitous and desolating as this course of events in its progress must be, so glorious would be its final issue, that, as God shall judge me, I dare not say that it is not to be desired.”

Written four decades before the Civil War, in Adams' diary. Source:

  • Born 1767
  • Harvard College, trained as a lawyer.
  • Minister to the Netherlands at 26.
  • Elected to U.S. Senate at 35.
  • Minister to Russia at 41.
  • Secretary of State under Monroe: engineered incredible diplomatic triumphs. Authored the Monroe doctrine.
  • Elected President of the United States at 58. Is a terrible (principled) politician, and is soundly thrashed by Andrew Jackson in the subsequent election of 1828.
  • Elected to the House by the Plymouth (MA) district at 63. He served in this capacity for the remainder of his life (til age 81)
  • In the House, Adams fought ceaselessly against the "Gag rule" -- achieving its repeal after 8 years, and argued pro bono before the supreme court on behalf of the spanish slaves in the Amistad case -- he won too.
Adams knew both the founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln. Adams is the only president to serve in the House after his presidency. We owe a lot to Mr. Adams.

Facts Source:

Thursday, November 5, 2009


My tube of toothpaste has been running on empty. I can squeeze just enough out to brush my teeth with. Every time, 2-3 times a day, for the past 14 days.

About a week ago, I noticed that my tube seemed to inflate a little bit between uses. Now it inflates to a degree that would be difficult to miss. And I'm still getting just enough toothpaste out...

Maybe there are some paste-generating bacteria in there... that would explain the gas.

I hope so.