Rising in Beauty

Rising in Beauty
Sky over North Park

Just Learning

Just Learning
Kitchen Studio

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


No, not a newly discovered movie by Alfred Hitchcock!

Compulsion is betrayal from within a person. It usually seems to be coming from outside a person, from some other will or force. It's very frightening.

A saying: "First the man takes a drink. Then the drink takes a drink. Then the drink takes the man."

Substitute any behavior for "takes a drink." Cut-throat business dealing. Seduction. Stealing. Overeating. Binging and purging. Gambling. Behavior repeatedly carried to an extreme that endangers or destroys self or others, alienates family and friends, causes loss of jobs. Behavior a person hides from those who are not part of it. Behavior a person hides from his or her own consciousness. Behavior a person has decided to change, then finds he or she does it again, against reason, against self-interest, against self-respect.

People experience compulsion in less dramatic ways, of course. The milk goes on the left side of the top shelf in a refrigerator. Always put both socks on before putting on a shoe. Habits make life convenient, saving the effort of perpetual decision-making. Habit has moved into compulsion when minor adaptations make us very uneasy; when finding the milk in the "wrong" spot can trigger a family argument.

Compulsion can be overcome with help.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

At the Zoo

Overheard at the San Diego Zoo: Dad: "Look, look, the baby siamang did a flip!"
Unimpressed 7 year old boy: "I can do that."

A three year old asked why two orangutans had paper bags on their heads: "Well, maybe those are party hats," says a parent. "They're having a birthday party!"

The Absolutely Apes area with its shade trees and brooks was pleasant for people as well as apes. The orangs munched fresh romaine lettuce. Josephine evaded the frolicsome baby siamang and crossed the area stiffly, eating lettuce. She has arthritis and at 47 is elderly for an orang. She found a cool spot in the little dell and curled up with a paper bag over her head.

I enjoy the visitors as much as the animals. I left smiling.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

They Fall Out of the Sky

Oh! They fall out of the sky
One of a thousand parts has failed
Rotors which rivalled the dragonfly
Suddenly lethal, scythes
in the hand of the Reaper
My beautiful machine that
conquered distance in air
Now tons of metal sitting in the sky
Rush back to earth
Burrow back into earth
Bringing rags of flesh with them.

Make It Rhyme

These are some old writing warmup exercises I did:

Legs strengthen
Steps lengthen
Not long
Still strong
Leap the hedge
Pull the sedge
Make a wedge

Eyes guaging
Tears assauging
Coming home
Coming home

Greasy garage
Needs lavage
Oily water
Hadn't oughter
Sludge down pipes
And reach the beach

The judge
Ate fudge
Held a grudge
Wouldn't budge

Warriors clank
Rank on rank
Lift sword
Pause, awed,
Tigris banks
Full of tanks
Tanks full of Yanks
Gas masks
Sergeant Asks -
Elephant totem?
Scratches scrotum
Squints at light;
"On! We fight!"

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Why did the chicken cross the road?

Painted Threads

Painted Threads is Judy Perez's blog on creative process, quilting, painting, kids. The exciting photos of her work inspire me to want to make something, right now.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Farmer's Market

Yesterday my neighbor and I went to the Farmer's Market in North Park. Supper last night was a chocolate crepe shared with my neighbor, then sharp cheddar, crackers, a red, red, sweet tomato, salty black olives, and garlic stuffed olives, while gazing at a single spray of purple orchids in my favorite vase.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Wedding in View

My son and his girl friend announced they are getting married!

What's more, she's good enough for him, and he for her.

Life can be very good.