May 3rd, 2007

I steer my bark with hope in the head, leaving fear astern.     – Thomas Jefferson
A brilliant man, who lived in a hopeful time. The young nation was full of possibilities, without the scars and traumas of middle aged politics.. in a world where communication took weeks, and horrors and atrocities were not facilitated by technology. Global annihilation by any number of means didn't hover constantly in his consciousness.
I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.- Jefferson
Interesting that he would choose the altar of God, when there is so much hostility and tyranny engendered by intolerant religion.
I am hopeful for the French elections, hopeful for the turning political tide.Segolene Royal is a hopeful person.

Meanwhile, back at the farm, long days on Wednesdays teaching from 9 am to 9 pm: college students all day, and a fabulous group of adults in the evening. Dedicated to their work, eager for info and technique, it is a balm to the weary muse to work with them.
Now the week is mine, wholly mine, from today until next Wednesday, to paint and work with clay. Except for a FEW other commitments and obligations.
Tonight I painted watercolor with my class… So much fun, such a re-entry into a celebration of color. New Gamboge, Orange, opera and permanent magenta create such vibrant and intense reds. Energy and flow made visible. Thomas Jefferson would have loved it.

Spring beckons, FINALLY! The seasons are shifting: spring is later…everything is later. Everything is unpredictable, unreliable.
Friends dropped off two tiny bloodroot starts from their forest garden, resilient starshaped blossoms atop the slender orange stems. They sat in rainy mist last night, and tomorrow I will put them in a cozy spot in our woodland and hope they are happy enough over the winter to re-emerge next spring.
Now to drive home under the full moon..

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One Response to “Distinctions”

  1. Tom Myers says:

    [content-free response:] I dunno, Liza; there were horrors and atrocities enough, including the possibility of an end to the newly-formed republic, and I think Thomas J. was quite conscious of the need to fight intolerant religions — after all, well before his Presidency, he and Adams were told in 1785 by the ambassador from Tripoli to England that
    "it was written in the Koran, that all Nations who should
    not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their
    right and duty to make war upon whoever they could find and to make
    Slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman
    who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise." So he studied the Koran (the one that Ellison recently took the oath on) and as
    President, he declared war, right? And the outcome was not really
    marvelous, but it was indeed filled with hope.

    And we have lots of grounds for hope, today as on many other days; today I see the Adept Quattro robot as a part of a chain of events that will make everything everywhere cheaper than T.Jeff could have imagined (including, in the end, the remediation of environmental messes); there's the Dow's best winning streak since 1955, registering the world's no-longer-all-that-gradual increase in wealth (a post-T.Jeff process, mainly). All over the place, I see a still-all-too-gradual focus on things that actually work, whether you like them or not, like maggots in medical care. That's hope, yes; maggots being tested in medical care make me more hopeful, because it means that stuff is being tried, and that says something good about the culture that tries it. Even religious stuff, as T.Jeff tried his own version of the Bible with the superstitious stuff (i.e., the miracles) excised. Everything needs to be tried, and everything is always unpredictable, and that's good. It gives stuff for art to be about. (And maybe computer programs, too. My co-author is in England, and he has probably finished his first-of-several demos using code some of which I wrote this morning, and which will be tried for teaching English in Kabul and recording disappearing languages in Dagestan, and so the world goes round…predictably in a few ways, but mostly not. For the next demo there will be more code, which I should be writing. Are you really sure you want to admit to Vox that a randomness like me is a family member?)

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