Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday, June 30th 2014

Yosemite & Heroes

The U.S. government set aside scenic land for
all people to enjoy on this day in 1864.
Abraham Lincoln had a vision for the future
of our country even though he was in the midst of a
terrible war.


The great poet Czeslaw Milosz
born in Lithuania on this day in 1911 wrote:

"We don't know who the person next to us is.
He may be a hero, a saint, a genius."

                               Also one year ago today, 19 firefighters died 

in Yarnell, AZ.

May they rest in peace with our gratitude.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday, June 29th 2014

Prince & Egret

Antoine de Saint-Exupèry, the writer 

and aviator was born on this day in 1900.

He wrote The Little Prince in 1943. 

A small book with big thoughts and

bigger questions that we still ponder today.

Perhaps your friend is an egret instead of a fox.

You watch the Snowy Egret for many 

long minutes hoping to understand

his "quiet  sweetness."

"What saves a man is to take a step. 

Then another step."

                 -Antoine de Saint-Exupèry

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday, June 28th 2014


Do you ever feel blue?

Everyone loves the color blue, but no one
would choose to feel blue.

You may meet someone who is feeling sad, or lonely,
or depressed -- and you take the softer way of
trying to help them by inviting the word blue into
your conversation

Music can share emotion with songs like:
Blue On BlueMidnight BlueMr. Blue

Blue flowers live

on our blue planet. . .

       Share them  and . . . 

"Let no one ever come to you
  without leaving happier."

                       -Mother Teresa

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday, June 27th 2014


Do you ever have a day when everything in life
seems serious and all you want to do is have
a little fun?
Sometimes when we are working, we forget
the pleasures of creation -- making something

How many sunsets have you captured? (Hundreds at least, 
if you carry your camera with you.) 
+Find a photo of a sunset. Some of your favorite colors? 
+Be sure to save the original image.
+Go to the photo program you use.
+Now just start playing. Really.
+All those tasks you've never tried -- try them now:
  stitching, cutouts, special effects, touch up, etc.

What did you create?

Our lovely sunset is now telling us that even the night has eyes 

for those who choose to see !

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thursday, June 26th 2014

Green Fields

A picture is worth a place in the sun --
and the proverbial thousand words.
Think of some place you recall vividly.
Think of how it has changed.
Maybe an empty field where wildflower
seeds were planted, arrived, and then
never re-seeded due to lack of water.
Think California drought.

"Once there were green fields kissed by the sun . . . "
                                        -The Brothers Four 1960

But then something changes. One day you see a
young person in that empty field practicing his trumpet.
That field is no longer empty.
The very air has flowered.

Yes. Change is the very air we breathe. 

Are you open to change in your life?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday, June 25th 2014


On this day in 1950 the people's army of
North Korea invaded South Korea.
It was the beginning of a conflict that would
cost the lives of 5 million people.
Many felt at the time that this war was a
war to stop Communist aggression.

Korea is still a
divided country 

The television show "Mash" was 
an attempt to reveal something of
the conflict in Korea.
War stories are still being
remembered and told today by
the men and women who were there.

If you ask you will get the real story . . . 

                             -County Kerry
I am the woman photographer
and you, the priest.
We meet in a storm-beaten cottage,
the air full of Irish blood pudding
and aromatic peat.
You speak of Heartbreak Ridge 
the Korean War.
As the fireplace spits
you bow in supplication. 
“I did not drive the Jeep,
or I’d be dead.”
Your spirit seems unredeemed 
like something left behind
in a pawnshop along the quay.
After you leave, I focus on you
through the misty window.
When the film is developed,
it is not you,
but my steady hand reaching
through a pane of glass.

                             -Kathleen Gunton 
                            ÓFree Lunch #32
                                     Winter 2004
R.I.P Tom
June 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday, June 24th 2014

Our Brothers -- John, John, John.

John the Baptist was born 6 months before Christmas.
He became the messenger preparing the way for Christ, "the
voice of one crying in the wilderness." He was beheaded
for speaking the truth.

Living in the desert prepared
John for his mission.

Saint John of the Cross was born on this day in 1542.
He was a Spanish mystic, priest and poet, famous
for La noche oscura del alma (The Dark Night
of the Soul), in which he describes the growth
of the soul toward God. John was imprisoned for
his attempts to reform some Religious. 

John Ciardi, the poet and educator was born on
June 24, 1916. His famous textbook on poetry,
"How Does A Poem Mean" is still in use today.
He is also know for some of his delightful children's

"The poet cannot know where he is going: he must
take direction from the poem itself" -- wise advice
from Ciardi.

"I am in Rome,
Vatican bells tolling/
a windowful of God
and Bernini."
           -John Ciardi

What fills your mind, alone in the quiet room . . .                      -John Ciardi

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday, June 23rd 2014


It was on this day in 1868 that Christopher
Lathum Sholes obtained the first patent on
a commercially successful typewriter.
He called it a type-writer.
His QWERTY keyboard is still in use today
as the standard English version.
When asked,  many writers clearly recall the first
typewriter they owned.

Do you remember the first piece of creative
writing that passed through your fingers and
into type on paper?

"Once Upon 1913"
     cover image
California Quarterly
Vol 38, Numbers 1&2

And because someone typed the story . . .

We know that on June 23, 2000
an oil spill off the coast of South Africa
was responsible for great damage to
wildlife nesting nearby. The numbers are
staggering: over 20,000 oil-soaked penguins
were rescued, although 2,000 did not survive the
efforts of 45,000 volunteers who cleaned
and fed them.

We are a better people
for the true stories that
are typed and shared --
and remembered.

   Why do you share your stories?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday, June 22nd 2014

Anne Morrow Lindbergh & Child

Anne Morrow Lindbergh and her first child Charles, Jr. shared the same birth date. She onthis date in 1906 and her son in 1931.The term "mother of sorrow" comes to mind when her story is told. 

After her first-born was kidnapped and killed, 

Anne bore five more children and became a 

best-selling writer with her book, Gift From the Sea

She published eleven book during her lifetime of 94 years.

"Patience, patience
 patience is what the
 sea teaches."
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

"Arranging a bowl of
flowers in the morning
can give a sense of quiet
in a crowded day -- like
writing a poem or saying
a prayer."
 -Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Maybe  you will find one of Anne's books
and read it, learning first-hand what she believed:

               "Writing is thinking."

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday, June 21st 2014

Art Quest

Do you recognize yourself 

in the following:

An old painting hangs on the wall.
A religious subject.
A friend has the same picture and  says,
"I'd love to know the title or the artist."

You take on the search with delight.

You check out images
on the Internet and
find some information --
but you want the entire
story. Your research
takes the full afternoon.

(But that's OK. This is
the longest day in the
Northern Hemisphere;
this is the Summer Solstice.)

You've exhausted the computer source.
You turn to your own bookshelf and take down 
The Norton Anthology of Poetry (First Edition
1970) from your college days. 
Inspiration often arrives just from "sipping" a page
here and there.
Suddenly, you come across "Fra Lippo Lippi"
a dramatic monologue by Robert Browning.
Yes! In the words of Browning's Fra Lippi
your business is     

"to paint the souls of men."

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday, June 20 2014

The Magic 1/2 Hour

Tonight you're invited on a 30-minute
walk -- the walk happens during
(what photographers call)
the Magic Hour.
Camera used: Canon PowerShot SX500 IS

Begin 7:23 p.m.

Native plant  7:25 p.m.


Santiago Creek 7:31 p.m.

Time to head home
       7:52 p.m.

Now your turn. Have fun!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 19th 2014

The Wager

Blaise Pascal was born in France on this day in 1623.
He is known as a physicist, inventor, writer, and
apologetic philosopher among other talents.
Most famously, he invited a wager on the existence
of God:

"Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering thatGod is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain,you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing."

In writing on faith Pascal said, "In faith there is enough light
for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind
those who don't."

                          The wisdom of  Blaise Pascal.

Pascal had many things to say about God and
human nature and he wrote them all down before he 
turned forty. He died at the age of thirty-nine.

How many life (& death) thoughts do we entertain? It's never too late to consider the big questions.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wednesday, June 18th 2014

Killing Beauty

Today in the news we are told that peacocks 

are being killed in a certain neighborhood.

   There are many ways we kill beauty . . .

           The Beauty of Language

Language is murdered every time a word is used
to degrade another human being. At one time
4-letter words were not spoken. Now, sadly,
even elementary school children know them.

Here are the ten most beautiful words in the
English Language according to Wilfred J. Funk.

Dawn, Chimes, Golden,

 Hush,  Lullaby,  Luminous, 

Melody,  Mist,  Murmuring, 


Maybe you will share them?


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tuesday June 17th 2014

Why Music Today?

On this day in 1818, George Gounod the composer
was born in Paris.
Using a melody from Bach (1700's), Gounod composed
one of the most beautiful versions of the "Ave Maria."
(Gounod was paying tribute to Bach as "the master of masters.")

An image for "Ave Maria"
taken in the church that
Flannery O'Connor attended.

Also of note: George Gounod at one time thought of
becoming a priest. Later, he wrote what was to 
become the amazing music for the Vatican ( Papal) Anthem.
       . . . and now thanks to YouTube,
                 you can listen today.

Vatican City - National Anthem "Inno e Marcia Pontificale" Lyrics [LAT/ENG]

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday, June 16th 2014


Today in the Literary world, the novel Ulysses by James Joyce
takes the spotlight.
The events of  June 16, 1904 are the subject of Joyce's
novel. Leopold Bloom travels the streets of Dublin on that day. 
(Therein lies the source of this annual celebration.) 
Joyce shaped a story of the adventure, taking over 700 pages to
accomplish the task.
If you read Ulysses in college -- and actually 
finished it, you also get to celebrate today!

Quote on the outside of The Bachelor Inn, Dublin.


Happy Birthday today to Joyce Carol Oates!
If you have never read her work, you have more
that a few choices, since she has published fiction,
essays, poetry, plays, etc., -- more than most will
read in a lifetime. 

"But follow the words of  J.C.O. and you will care.
Blood and bones and souls make her people."
                                      -Kathleen Gunton
                quote from: "A Sestina for J.C.O."
                        Tucumcari Literary Review

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday June 15th 2014


Today is Father's Day.
We honor all those men
 who sacrifice their own
own comfort for love of a child.


Dads give their
children a view
of the world that 
will remain -- even
when the dad is no
longer there.

Checklist for dads & children:

Did you share laughter?
Did you share questions/answers?
Did you share a love for life--even
with its ups and downs?
Did you share the idea that God is
your first Father, who loves you beyond
what can be imagined?

Congratulations! Enjoy your special day.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saturday, June 14th 2014

One Nation Under God

On this day in 1954, President Eisenhower signed
the order (by a Joint Resolution of Congress) that
the words under God be added to our Pledge of

Today is Flag Day. What do you think of when you see it waving
in the wind?

. . . or maybe just a hand over your heart with gratitude for 
One Nation Under God.

Friday, June 13, 2014


William Butler Yeats

                 Rest in peace 

                 with your name
                spelled correctly! 

Friday, June 13th 2014

This Day

Did you receive your daily bread today?
Then today was a good day.

For some though, it was a day of superstition.
Fear of Friday 13th gained strength in the 
20th Century for many reasons. Everyone
has their own history with this date.
Many cultures embrace the idea that other certain
numbers and days of the week are unlucky.

William Butlers Yeats was born on this date
in 1865. As it happens he did have strong
leanings toward magic and numerology.
But the better point for us today is that he
wrote some beautiful poems. 

End your day on a peaceful note.  "Cloths of Heaven" is
now in the public domain. You can read it on the Internet.

                           Tread softly . . .

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thursday, June 12th 2014

Summer Recess

You may have noticed that little by little
schools are letting children out for summer.

In 1963 Nat King Cole made famous
these lyrics:

"Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days

of summer . . . You'll wish that summer

could always be here."

Judges call a recess
in the courtroom and
Congress must take
their recess in summer,
but children just want
to sleep in and go to
the beach and ask the
question: What are you
doing this summer?

Children, have fun! 
Summers do come to
an end too soon.

Today the Library of Congress announced that Charles Wright
will be our 20th Poet Laureate.

"Every true poem is a spark, and aspires to the condition
of the original fire . . . "  -Charles Wright


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wednesday, June 11th 2014

Cups & Kindness

Do you ever wonder why so many sports
 these days seem to be about the CUP. . . 
Stanley Cup
World Cup
America's Cup

We forget there is another cup in the world:
The Cup of Kindness.

We often teach our children
to be kind and then forget
that the cup should rest on
our lips also.

"You cannot do a kindness too soon,

for you never know how soon it

will be too late."  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

If today you are inclined to kindness, you might share
your story at  RAK.(Randomactsof

The poet Robert Burns wrote,
 "we'll take a cup o' kindness yet . . ."

Is today that day?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday, June 10th 2014


"In all things of nature there is something
of the marvelous."  -Aristotle

Many would amend the words of the ancient 
philosopher by saying:  

"In all of nature there is something of God."

Have you ever taken a day to disconnect from
the news and events of the world and just gone
for a walk in the early morning? 
You might find . . .

All cacti are succulents,
but not all succulents
are cacti.

Mallards search
wherever they 
must in order to find 
their breakfast.

It seems trees tell
something about 
their age -- and the
times in which they
live and die.

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have
my senses put in order."  --John Burroughs, Naturalist

Note: if you are a photographer (though you have heard it
before) always carry a spare battery for your camera!

            Here's to you -- and the gift!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday, June 9th 2014

Locks of Love

Today the BBC reports that a piece of the fencing on a bridge
in Paris has fallen due to the weight of the padlocks that lovers have
attached. (Keys are then tossed into the River Seine.)

Perhaps, France needs Doris Day to come over and sing her
Academy Award winning song, "Secret Love."

The song shares the story of one who had a secret love that
"became impatient to be free." Anyway, lovely Doris tells the
stars and then, sooner or later she . . .

"Even told the golden daffodils."

In many ways the weight of Love can be heavy. 
We need ways to share our feelings.


If you have lots of love and hair and you want
to share, why not make a donation to Locks of Love.
This organization makes hairpieces for children.
Children who have lost their own hair due to cancer
or an auto-immune disease.

Will you Share Love today? 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday, June 8th 2014


Fifty days after Easter the Holy Spirit was sent 

in flames of fire upon the followers of Jesus.

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit include: 
Wisdom, Counsel, Understanding, Fortitude,
Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.

The Bible is believed to be the inspired word of God. Yes! . .  
but how many interpretations have you heard in your lifetime?
The Third Person of the Trinity gives inspiration for the task
because as Thomas Merton once said,

    "Our idea of God tells us more about
            ourselves than about Him."

Here are two writers who may inspire you, if you
are one who finds the interior life and its meaning
important in your life:
Jessica Powers, cloistered nun and poet 
Frederick Buechner, novelist and nonfiction writer

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Saturday, June 7th 2014

The Race

"There are a thousand ways to lose
and only one way to win" or so the
saying goes. 

                                                               Looking & Seeing

Were you one of the thousands who
watched the 146th Belmont Stakes 
California Chrome had everyone
cheering for that infamous breathing strip,
as well as their own nine million plus bets.

No doubt the trivia about this day will
be included in future books about racing.
Were you counting the seconds, the minutes,
and the hours as you waited to finally view
this race?

Well . . . on this day in 1989 you might have counted
the seconds of the clock for a very different reason.
At one small point in time on that day, you wouldhave read: 1:23:45, 6-7-89.

For another view of a racetrack, you might go to
the movie, My Fair Lady and watch Audrey Hepburn
at the horse race. With her grace and civility and humor
she wins!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday, June 6th 2014

 1944 Echoes

Today it is difficult to look at the water's edge and not think of
what took place on five landing beaches 70 years ago. The Allied
invasion of Normandy became a great time of prayer. 
President Roosevelt lead the nation with words of faith and hope.

". . . Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, 

this day have set upon a mighty endeavor . . .

to set free a suffering humanity." 

If you take time to read the entire prayer you will be inspired and
grateful to those soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Forces.

A different body of water, but still an ocean, inspired Robert Frost
and it seems a fitting day to invite the reading of  "Once By The Pacific."

"Great waves looked over others coming in
And thought of doing something to the shore. . . "

      Do you find that prayer and poetry often hold hands?


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thursday, June 5th 2014


"The desert and the parched land will exult:"
                            Isaiah, Chapter 35, Verse 1

                                              "The desert will bloom."

On this night in 1968 when Robert Kennedy
was assassinated in Los Angeles, many
believed that justice and beauty
and hope were lost once again.
Kennedy had just won the California primary
and was leaving the Ambassador Hotel
when shots rang out.

"Some men see things as they are and say why, 
I dream things that never were and say why not."
                                                 -Robert Kennedy

Words can be more powerful than weapons.

What words do you live by?
If you try to bring beauty into the wilderness
with words you are doing something fine and good.
Keep doing it!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wednesday, June 4th 2014


Henry Ford tested his first automobile on this day in 1896.
It was the beginning of a form of transportation that
continues today on freeways & city streets & backroads all
over the world. We are still trying to perfect the car.

A real test by pro-democracy demonstrators took place
on June 4, 1989 in China, when government tanks
 rolled into Tiananmen Square. Many people died
for their beliefs that day.

"America's support for human rights and democracy
is our noblest export."  -William J. Bennett

And in our democracy, on this day in 1919, women were
finally guaranteed the right to vote when The U.S. Senate
passed the 19th Amendment.

            Antique Roses for Remembrance   

. . .  including Paul & Milrea who are celebrating
their 70th wedding anniversary. 

Take today and remember something beautiful.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tuesday, June 3rd 2014


"To everything there is a season, and a time 

to every purpose under the heaven."  -Ecclesiastes

In the news we hear that the Hurricane Season is officially here.
From June until the end of November be aware, especially from 
North Carolina to Texas.

Mother Nature is certainly unpredictable!

This is the season for tomatoes also. Did you plant an Early Girl
or Big Boy only to find yellow teardrops peeking out from the
branches? It happens. Nature is full of surprises. Just smile.

Or today you might "Howl." Allen Ginsberg, the beat poet was
born on this day in 1926.
Ten years later the author of "Lonesome Dove" was 
born Larry Jeff McMurtry.

"Nothing good ever comes without a price." -Larry McMurtry

Do you agree with Mr. McMurtry? 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Rejection & Thank You

Rejection happens to every artist. That simple fact does not make it any easier.
The writer, painter, photographer, or actor sends work out into the world.
Then editors, gallery owners, and film directors take control.

However . . .

One day if you are truly blessed, someone will approach you and ask for your
work. At that moment you will feel as though the greatest gift has just been
given to you!  

A request for your work is never forgotten -- the person, the
place, the time -- all become very special in your growth as an artist.

Thank you becomes the thought and the word for that day!

May such a moment happen to you.

Remember the words Thank You.

(You know who you are . . Thank You.)

June 1st 2014 continued

Yesterday & Today

When this blog came to be something on a page,

the idea was to work in words and an image each day. 

Yesterday (due to a computer problem)
no image appeared for exercise.

Presenting today for yesterday: 

Some happy feet caught at a Triathlon yesterday.
Now run. . . because,  it's now today!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June 1st 2014


If we believe that each human being is born with a mind a body and a spirit,
then if follows that to be fully human we need to keep all parts in good
working condition.
Some random quotes on the subject of exercise:

"An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day."
                                                       -Henry David Thoreau

"Faith is the muscle of the spirit . . . strengthened through study,
prayer, and meditation."    -Geard de Marigny