Let letter E be remembered
shepherd senses deepest needs
feed sheep, shelter eggs.

Let redeemer prevent the herd’s hell descent,
let them seek new precepts:
strengthen the feeble, serve the helpless.

Seven helpers needle medley scenes:
green ferns fence seventeen trees,
ten red hens flee the bees,
blessed blesses the meek,
teens pell the bells,
elders redeem the perplexed,
chef selects relentless freshness,
rebels revel helter-skelter mess.

Let eyes see depth, essence, key elements,
let speech cheer, weep, refresh
let excellence emerge.

note: I’m learning how to write a lipogram.

Monday walk to the river

You cast your line and wait
I eye the clouds and their leanings
river flows unimpeded.

note: Mrs. Abstract and I gave each other a smart phone for Christmas. Both of us never had one. I’m learning how to use the camera. The phone also counts steps. Yesterday I passed the day’s 10,000 steps.

How do we find what is already there?

How do we find what is already there?

Mrs. Abstract ad I stayed overnight with our son and his family on Christmas eve. Following day (Merry Christmas) , we hiked a fairly steep hill near their house.


view from the ridge

2 days later I walked to Napa River which usually takes me slightly more than an hour since I detour to a nearby shopping center on coming back.


a path to Napa River

Not that far anymore (New Year), I thought I should start a walk to the river as a daily health resolution. I don’t have to discover a trail and don’t have to drive somewhere.The walk will be a prayer, a time for solitude, for reflection.

It’s not just a health promise but a corollary to a daily quest, finding God. Richard Rohr ( writes: “Both God’s truest identity and our own True Self are Love. So why isn’t it obvious? How do we find what is supposedly already there? Why should we need to awaken our deepest and most profound selves? And how do we do it? By praying and meditating? By more silence, solitude, and sacraments? Yes to all of the above, but the most important way is to live and fully accept our present reality. As James Finley says, ‘The greatest teacher of God’s presence in our life is our life.’  And Richard Rohr adds: “But the edges of our lives–fully experienced suffered, and enjoyed–lead us back to the center and the essence, which is Love.”

To be healthy in all fronts is not just devotion but faithfulness.

relate art to life?

I’m taking an eCourse:

Modern Art & Ideas
by The Museum of Modern Art

with the lecturer: Lisa Mazzola
One of the readings is about the value of the museum in education and the concept John Dewey’s continuity of experience: the educational value of experience should lead the learner to future educational experiences.


The students should relate art what they see in reality, in every day life they experience at home, in the streets, with fellow students. Art should not be learned just as an isolated experience but should be part of a web of experiences. It should be viewed by a non-dualistic eye.

I think there is also a separate joy that one experiences in viewing art that is hard to explain.

a pilgrimage

I arrived late. The train had left the station.
The moment I realized I lost a fortune
Driving home is like  weaving baskets underwater.

I can hear the sounds of her absence
In the kitchen, in music, the zest
Of activities I’m now missing.

Nuances of misunderstanding are slivers
Under the fingernails that became forever
A word missed, engagements broken.

“To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow”
My heart feels a strong ocean undertow,
A longing I’ll always have to grasp.

To bring her back will be a pilgrimage
A true pilgrim with an offering, an homage
Not of devotion but faithfulness.

note: the quotation is from Marilynn Robinson’s Housekeeping.The poem is my first attempt, maybe a crude one, of a rhyme poem.

old simple Christmas decorations

note: The manger, 60 + years old, is handed down  from Mrs. Abstract’s grandmother.

A friend of ours gave us the wreath 40 years ago when we lived in Michigan.

The Christmas tree is a collapsible tree which  we bought 5 years ago. The lights are already wound around the tree. Mrs. Abstract put the trimmings.IMG_0015


if winter comes

Fresh snow has fallen on the mountains
skiers will colonize the roads for days
we prefer to stay in the lowlands
visit cafes, sit in the communal table,
have literary discussion with others
about the fresh gossip of the day.

We don’t mind the mild chill of winter.
When we get home
I like the way you banish
our scarves and light layers
with incantations.

What is a good life?

“ “The human good turns out to be the soul’s activity that expresses virtue.” (Aristotle) The good life, the flourishing life, is an ongoing activity…One doesn’t arrive at a good life. The telos of human life is not an end result, where one becomes something and then spends the rest one’s life in that condition that one becomes…It is an ongoing expression of who one is.”-Todd May, A Significant Life,
Human Meaning in a Silent Universe

What am I missing in art?

“For me, a consequence of my drawing was a new appreciation of the visual arts. When possible, I would study a painting’s content-⎯that is, its cultural, social, and historical context⎯which enhanced my artistic appreciation and understanding. But I came to realize that my relative neglect of form⎯the internal dialogue brushed into the canvas or carved in the sculpture⎯had deprived me of a fuller aesthetic experience of art.”

-J.R. Leibowitz, Hidden Harmony, The Connected Worlds of Physics and Art