solar panel-bicycle

photo: 2-sitter tandem bicycle powered by solar panels. Image

 2 cyclists rode this bike at the Cycle4sight/Rotary Ride for Veterans held today in Napa Valley,California. Proceeds go to the Enchanted Hills, Scholl of the Blind and to the Pathway Home in Napa Valley, a program for veterans who returned from Afghanistan and Iraq with PTSD.

freedom of the heart

I have a habit of digressing from the books I’m currently reading. I look up and read the writings of one of my three favorite writers: Albert Camus, Thomas Merton, and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
“I don’t envy anyone anything, which is my right, but I am not always mindful of the wants of others and this robs me of imagination, that is to say, kindness…
But all I want to emphasize is that poverty does not necessarily involve envy. Even later when a serious illness temporarily deprived me of the natural vigor that always transfigured everything for me, in spite of invisible infirmities and new weaknesses this illness brought, I may have known fear and discouragement, but never bitterness…
In the end it encouraged that freedom of the heart, that slight detachment from human concerns, which has always saved from resentment..
I feel humility, in my heart of hearts, only in the presence of the poorest lives or the greatest adventures of the mind.
Since these pages were written I have grown older and lived through many things.I have learned to recognize my limits and nearly all my weaknesses.
There is no love of life without despair of life…
…Yes, nothing prevents one from dreaming, in the very hour of exile, since at least I know this, with sure and certain knowledge: a man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.”
excerpts from : Preface, The Wrong Side and the Right Side, Lyrical and Critical Essays, Albert Camus.

travel by foot, kayak, bicycle

A book,The Circumference of Home by Kurt Hoelting, caught my attention while I was browsing the Friends of Library’s shelves on my way out of the library. I deposited my $2.00 worth of bills in the box and took the book home.

In the book’s introduction I read: “For the coming year, I will travel exclusively by foot, bicycle, kayak, and public transportation inside this circle, with a portion of each month devoted to explorations under my own power.”

It has to compete for attention with 5 other books I’m reading.There is time to read but there many books to read, not a complaint but a statement of gratitude.


“Modern man, for Baudelaire, is not the man who goes off to discover himself, his secrets and his hidden truth; he is the man who tries to invent himself. This modernity does not “liberate man in his own being”; it compels him to face the task of producing himself.”

“Modernity is distinct from fashion, which does no more than call into question the course of time; modernity is the attitude that makes it possible to grasp the “heroic” aspect of the present moment. Modernity is not a phenomenon of sensitivity to the fleeting present; it is the will to “heroize” the present.”

from: What is Enlightenment? by Michel Foucault

One of the assigned readings in my eCourse, The Moderbn and The Postmodern, is this essay of Michel Foucault.This an enlightening course for me.


In June,coming home

from Erie Canal, Lockport Locks, 

where the river’s dream flows to the sea

nieces, aunt, uncle, parents, we

were playing the children’s game- 

porcupine, piano, palaces-

naming words that start with p

sing song voices, ascending and fading

the water filled and emptied, 

the boat rose and fell

one sequential stage to the next 

the key and lock in minutes.


Reaching home voices

voices diminished to whispers-

physics paints parallel

points-a heavenly lullaby

in utterance and sleep, 

a different sound of peace.


One Saturday everyone joined

to hike a mountain. The children

leaped and climbed boulders

strewn in disarray everywhere,

hid behind trees, inside crevices,

read the rock’s faces with

astonishment and laughter

cupped their shadows in the stream,

the forest more than a vast

playground they imagined.


We were old shepherds

looking for renewal of youth within

to define performance

in language and play.


Time promised us a gift-

the joy of encounter, the way

to divine the proximity,

the presence.



what to leave out

“I thought that if I could put it all down, that would be one way. And next the thought came to me that to leave all out would be another, and truer, way.
clean-washed sea
The flowers were.
These are examples of leaving out. But, forget as we will, something soon comes to stand in their place. Not the truth, perhaps, but–yourself. It is you who made this, therefore you are true. But the truth has passed on
to divide all.
Have I awakened? Or is this sleep again? Another form of sleep?”

from: (opening lines) The New Spirit, one of the three prose poems in the book, Three Poems by John Ashbery

I like the randomness, the “shape of the new merging”, “drink the confusion, sample that other.”



homeless heart

“When I think of finishing the work, when I think of the finished work, a great sadness overtakes me,a sadness paradoxically like joy. The circumstances of doing put away, the being of it takes possession, like a tenant in a rented house. Where are you now, homeless heart?”

from: Quick Question, John Ashbery


“Insist on yourself;never imitate…Abide in the simple and noble regions of thy life, obey thy heart and thou salt reproduce the Foreworld again.”

from: Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m reading Emerson’s Self-Reliance for my eCourse in Modern and Post-Modern.

For my contemporary book reading: Quick Question, a book of poems by John Ashbery.

perfect rest

“Labor is a craft, but perfect rest is an art. It is the result of an accord of body, mind and imagination. To attain a degree of excellence in art, one must accept its discipline, one must adjure slothfulness. The seventhday is a palace in time which we build. It is made of soul, of joy and reticence…

There is a word that is seldom said, a word for an emotion almost too deep to be expressed: the love of the Sabbath…Love was knighthood’s service; it was loyalty and devotion; it was the noblest human giving. It was also the spring of excellence, the inspiration of high deeds.”

excerpts from: The Sabbath, Abraham Joshua Heschel