helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
The University of Maryland Department of Communication offers a minor in Rhetoric (College Park Campus). They started offering it in 2005.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Unlike most nights, last night I had a dream I remembered. Instead of walking, I was bounding weightlessly forward in great, slow motion arcs, and I was Singing. It was beautiful, clear singing, the like of which I couldn't hope to reproduce while awake. The surroundings were not memorable, but the song was pure joy. Some of the high notes I reached don't even exist here I don't think, and could possibly rearrange atoms or Make Things. It reminded me of infinite fractals whose outer edges become tinier and more detailed, and each tiny offshoot of the fractal retains the shape of the whole (sort of like a hologram only different). At one point, I decided, why touch the ground at all... and elevated into flight. A flying dream! I flew for a bit, and then the dream faded into something else.

I have flying dreams so seldom, but when it happens, wow. I've never had a singing dream before. I hope I have more of those...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Idea spawned out of an early morning laughfest with [livejournal.com profile] rialian after finding our book on the uses of Kudzu: Carnivorous Invasive Species Permaculture Garden (complete with self-sustaining cycles), which would, among other crawling horrors, contain the product of splicing a giant venus flytrap with kudzu...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
It's almost 2008. May this year be better than 2007. May we have enough frigid winter weather to kill off the mosquitoes and bacteria and refreeze the poles (but not enough to have an ice age). May Bush be replaced in a legal, unrigged election with a good, competent person who can restore our civil liberties and promote local empowerment of the individual worldwide (and may they be protected from all harm for the duration of their term). May people at all levels fully acknowledge the planetary temperature shifts that are causing the poles to melt, and figure out what to do about it now. May humanity as a whole learn respect for and love for nature and the patterns of nature. May they leave vast tracts of undeveloped land, because this is the immune system of the earth. May the buildings they do create be beautiful and speak the pattern language of nature. May I and those I care for enjoy good health, prosperity, and love. May we find the home we're looking for.


Apr. 27th, 2007 11:15 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Safety and familiarity are fading.

These can no longer be found at my mother's house, which is no longer my mother's house.

Nor can they be found at work, where my department was eliminated, and what remains is a skeleton that continues to shrink.

Nor in government, whose embarrassing addictions to fear and power have cost it its social life.

Nor at home, where the changes are good, but they are many, and they are rapid.

Nowhere is familiar anymore. Or perhaps Nowhere is becoming more familiar.

There's a sense of freedom in this..

I guess this is why people pay to jump out of airplanes - it feels, ahm, exhilarating!!


Jan. 18th, 2007 10:00 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Excerpt from some book Rialian was reading a few days ago:

"People don't look at their watches to see what time it *is*. The look at their watches to see what time it *isn't*."

Maybe that's why I never bother to wear a watch or reset my clocks. There are many clocks in the house, but that's mostly because other appliances have clocks built in (microwave, four computer clocks, three alarm clocks, three car clocks). There is also one wall clock.

However... Many of these clocks contradict each other. For example, my car clock shows 12:00 when it's actually closer to 10:00. The wall clock is approximately an hour fast because I don't bother to reset it from DST to EST. The CD alarm battery died and it reset itself to midnight during a power outage. The cat wakes me up, though, so no problem.

I believe time units are constructs of humanity - the only real clock is the rising and setting sun, the moon, and the position of the sun with respect to the celestial bodies. If we'd stop polluting the damn place so much, we could see and read the clock like our ancestors did.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I see the energies flowing well
I hear us doing and being what sings
I feel the house as a gateway to joyful, magical places



Nov. 21st, 2006 11:53 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I just had an interesting vision. Cities as rings. In the center was an area designated as completely wild and untouchable. Outside of that was parkland that could be visited but not otherwise disturbed. Outside of that were edible forest gardens - miles and miles of them that anyone could care for and partake of. Then outside of that, right at the edge between the garden and the dwellings, were more gardens that needed a little more sun. Then finally, the outer ring was the city, and outside of that, the same sequence in reverse. Each Ring was far enough away from the next one to accommodate the sequence. The city was able to entirely support itself from the inside out, instead of importing from the outside in. It was no longer a parasite, but rather a steward and symbiote. The forest at the center was not owned by anyone. It was its own Being, at the center of which were the Old Trees and they were Left Alone. We were there with its permission, not the other way around...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I'll never make a farmer or a permaculturist. I want to let nature run wild and free and do whatever it wants. Who are we to tell nature what to do. Such a lofty creature is man. Right - that's why everything he touches crumbles to loathsome slag. I don't want to help people. I want most of them to disappear before they destroy the last vestige of beauty on this planet and put the earth's heart in a steel cage.

Some girl in the class was ranting about 'underpopulation'. I wanted to smack her. She was visulaizing 30 people having parceled out the Heathcote land, so every inch of it was being turned to some useful work. God forbid that the land should remain untouched and in a state of natural beauty, serving nobody's purposes but its own. It exists for its own sake and the sake of those creatures who dwell there. Who came up with the idea that nature is there for us to use, there to serve us?? If we foraged as the rest of the creatures do, and were subject to the same population controls, we would probably do no harm at all and create great fertilizer. Unfortunately, none of that is in place. My concept of elven permaculture (see end of post) is to assist in our own foraging capability - NOT to set up some sort of farm. The largest livestock I'd be interested in having would be wild mallards in a pond somewhere, from whom I'd ask to borrow a few eggs now and then.

The same "use every inch" malady (and the lack of any aesthetics when constructing a building) seems to afflict the planners at Four Quarters. Permaculture defines "Wilderness" as a "useful function" fortunately (Zone 5), but that is usually visualized as far away from the house, not something of which we are a part. But at least they consider it to be necessary, which is a grand step up from the rest of society. I guess at 4QF, "Turtle island" would be their Zone 5.

Why do they think this way? It's that old Work Ethic (TM). Things are never allowed to just play free for their own happiness. They have to be serving a useful function. Have you experienced how powerful the wood can be if JUST LEFT ALONE??? That's what I'm talking about. If things can be done without disturbing a place,I think it would yield a lot more and actually give back of its own accord. Think "visiting dignitary" rather than obligation. If you treat the land as if it is obligated to you, it will fight back. If you treat it like royalty from another realm, then maybe it will treat you better. Maybe not, but it's worth a try. Some of permaculture is like that. But as applied by the people in the class, no. They tread WAY too heavily, and are very human-centric.

No wonder Mollison was an alcoholic.

Feel free to trash this post if you disagree.

Edit - in reviewing this, I think I could live with an elven version of permaculture. If you must build, use structures that are aesthetic and whose contours and lines meld with the land, and hardly show. Use contours rather than harsh corners. Disguise things behind trees. Plant edible food where there are natural clearings in the forest rather than clearing vast tracts for yourself at the expense of everyone else in the forest.

And lo and behold, that's exactly what [livejournal.com profile] rialian has been doing for a year.

I realize that permaculture disturbs the land far less than any other farming method, especially if it employs edible forest gardening. It's just that I don't see most of its proponents as having a reverence for nature as it is. What they are trying to do is to serve humanity and avoid its mass extinction, which I suppose some people would find admirable. They at least want to form a relationship with nature, which is more than most.

But the problem remains that they see nature as something whose proper place is to serve them, instead of seeing themselves as an integral part of it.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
From "Tai Chi Beginning Practice with David Dorian Ross":

"In the beginning there was Nothing. All that existed was the great void. The Chinese called this void the Wu Chi. Nothingness. After a time, the Wu Chi gave birth to its opposite - the Tai Chi - the everything. But then the Tai Chi began to move, and divided itself into Yin and Yang or This and That. From this division came the Ten Thousand Things."

Yin and Yang simply means "This and That"?
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
While thinking about how the ambient mental vaccuum prevails over reason much more often than it doesn't, I chanced upon an elevator door that showed my reflection. A rather bitter person stared bitterly back at me. I, in turn, stared back at her. Finally, I had to say something, so I said, "lighten up, Helen, ok?? Damn! Just... lighten up, for krissake. Kay? Lighten up!" She gave a half smile and walked off as the elevator doors opened.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
The Attack of the Archons - a Gnostic take on astrology (in other words, people who want to be outside of time talking about the study of time)... I found the article when searching for Yaldaboath, which I'm pretty convinced is the god some Zionist extremists were praying to when they did this...

Interesting stuff...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Hey, so it's just about 7 generations since 1492.

No particular significance, just sayin...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Or "How we spent our 4th of July". We figured that writing an article about ways to achieve true independence would be a good way to spend Independence Day.



Jun. 25th, 2006 11:57 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Browsling around http://www.deoxy.org (always thought-provoking).


Dimitri's opinion of work...

Don't get me wrong. I am not ready to give up my job and play for a living. I don't know if I'll ever be ready for that (it was trained out of me from a very young age). Besides, my owners employers treat me better than any I've had before. But I've always envisioned a time when I actually do something else. Will I wait until I'm too old to enjoy it, like most people? Will I think of something before that? If so, what? I've always thought in terms of selling a product (like opening a little store). But is that really the way to go? For the past several years we've been studying concepts such as "sustainability" and "permaculture" as means of self support. But who among us has the space to build a wonderfully huge compost pile and grow enough food to feed ourselves and others?

In light of http://www.climatecrisis.net, do I have a choice? Personally I think the answer is no.

But (wistful sigh), whatever happened to getting a neat beach place and spending my last years romping on the boardwalk and toasting lazily by the shore and eventually catching (or being caught by) a Perfect Wave? Yes, folks, dark confession time. I am a desert-loving, sun-craving beach bum at heart. Yet here I am, living with a bunch of Wood Elves, which is probably the main reason I do not have skin cancer. Yepyepyep, this is my life. What to do now.

Maybe I'll grow prickly pears. I love those things, and you can eat them, and they grow in Maryland. And get a pair of ducks. That's really all I need to survive.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I often perceive mundane objects in terms of numbers and generic types of objects rather than the actual items. For example, suppose I leave the house carrying an item of the specific type Purse but generic type Bag. Then I go to Borders and buy a book and bring it back with me -- in a bag. Now I have two items of generic type Bag. When I get home, unless I pay attention to the 3-D surroundings, I may pick up generic type Bag #1 but leave generic type Bag #2 in the car, because my mind has fulfilled its requirement of "you left with one generic type Bag and so you must now collect at a minimum one generic type Bag before you go inside." I call this "living in bookmarks". When I detect it, it's time to do a mental uncluttering. The uncluttering process consists of paying attention to each thing as though I have never seen it before. I wonder what I'll see today...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
After observing the state of the world for a number of years, I suddenly arrived at the possibility that God is Pregnant. What this means in terms of universal morning sickness and pain, quality of life, how everyone feels from day to day, who survives the "hormonal" shifts, and what happens when the due date comes around, is playing itself out as we speak...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
The night was dark as my platoon moved silently along the beach, our submarine having anchored a short distance from the shore. Nothing was stirring, not a sound but the chirping of crickets. We melted into a nearby wood and took positions guarding one another's backs, weapons on the ready. Then I realized that some of the night noises didn't sound quite right... but before I could warn my buddies they were upon us, the enemy. They ambushed us and took us by surprise, and all were dead before they knew what hit them. I was mortally wounded, but one man of the enemy saw my face. I was young, perhaps about 17. He was not much older than that. Maybe he saw in me one of his school friends, or perhaps a younger brother. But instead of bayonetting me and killing me, he approached me. By this time I was viewing this from a vantage point somewhere a few feet above, for I was fast fading. I heard him say, as I was fading toward a place where the War was a distant memory, "I am indebted to you, for because your life ended, mine can continue". The next thing I knew, I woke up in a crib. I didn't call him "Daddy" until a few years later...

Fun Guy

Mar. 31st, 2006 11:33 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
After spending some time reading the book "Mycelium Running" by Paul Stamets, I began comparing certain technological developments to the growth of a a mycelial mat. Take cell text messaging, for example...

It's largely silent and invisible. It occurs any time and anywhere there is a signal (optimal growing conditions). Mostly hidden from outer view or hearing (buried about an inch or 2 underground), little messages (mycelial tendrils) come together to form larger planned events (a solid mycelial mat). The hidden accumulation of messages (underground mycelial mat) is there long before the event (fruiting bodies/mushrooms).

Open source development has the same feel, with several independent open source projects sometimes coalescing to form an event, an application, a distribution, whatever.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I was thinking about holidays and new years and such, and looked up the Chinese New Year to see how their calendar began. Wellp, I found out that they measure time beginning with the reign of the Yellow Emperor. Huang Di is historically remembered as a dragon because some scholars believe that the Huang Di used a snake as his coat of arms....

April 2010



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