friends and enemies

and the winner of the polaris music prize for 2012 is…feist!

2012-09-25 tu strange day. from lows of dental delay and hot coffee spill to highs of fresh clothes from friends and beauty weather for community gardening. serious stuff from syria and fluff on the ceeb. in between, life.

on october 22, 2012, ‘over 80 leaders from Canada’s business, First Nations, environmental, labour, academic, medical and artistic communities [will join greenpeace in victoria to] launch the Defend Our Coast sit-in, where we will send a clear message to political leaders in Victoria and Ottawa that our coast is not for sale. We want a future that respects First Nation rights and leads us away from the climate crisis, not deeper into it.’

and what’s happening with the mega quarry? thought you’d never ask. ‘In addition to various speaking engagements, legal and specialist investigations, local tours, interviews, farmers’ markets, news & internet updates, merchandise sourcing & distribution, we have been working on two highly anticipated endeavours: (1) Artists Against the Mega Quarry (October 18-21st) at Essentia on Queen Street East in the Beaches, Toronto.  Opening reception 7pm-9pm. ( (2) Soupstock (October 21st) at Woodbine Park in east Toronto…. We need YOU to get involved.  There is no Dictator, Boss or Master organization.  We all know the goal and we are all individuals doing what we feel needs to be done.  We ask You to do the same.’–Donna Baylis–Come Celebrate the Land, Food & Water

2012-09-26 we–watched a doc (the animal house) about birds, beavers, prairie dogs, ants, and termites who build homes. when they eat all the food or fill all the waste, they move on. except the prairie dogs. they starve. explicit reference was made to human animals.

Hubble captures deepest-ever view of the universe

Called the eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF, the photo was assembled by combining 10 years of NASA Hubble Space Telescope photographs. (NASA/ESA/G. Illingworth/D. Magee/P. Oesch/R. Bouwens/HUDF09 Team)

Is the cosmos losing its ability to inspire awe? Vote here.

united church minister gretta vosper calls for ‘Faith Without God‘ and writes, ‘Our call is to develop places within the church where what we have read, studied and know can be seen, heard and celebrated. We will seek to remove language that upholds theological perspectives that are no longer relevant and develop new ways to speak of that which is sacred. We need to stop … put[ting] all the responsibility for the world in the hands of a deity somewhere “out there,” even if everyone already in the church has long-since rationalized the words to mean something else, for we must begin to acknowledge the weight of our own responsibility for ourselves, each other and the world. It is time to … hold ourselves accountable to those scholars who have gone before us, whose work has informed us and continues to open before us new and exciting ways to be in relationship with the world and all that is sacred within it.’

theologian karen armstrong says: first, you are what you do, then you discover what you believe. the golden rule–‘do to others as you wish they would do to you’–ideally, friends and enemies alike–is at the core of every great religion. her wish is for a charter for compassion–‘The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions…. [It] impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour [all].’

the dalai lama, in his commentary on the 1st verse on training the mind, writes (my emphasis), ‘other sentient beings are, in a sense, the true source of our joy, prosperity, and happiness. Basic joys and comforts of life such as food, shelter, clothing, and companionship are all dependent upon other sentient beings, as is fame and renown. Our feelings of comfort and sense of security are dependent upon other people’s perceptions of us and their affection for us. It is almost as if human affection is the very basis of our existence. Our life cannot start without affection, and our sustenance, proper growth, and so on all depend on it. In order to achieve a calm mind, the more you have a sense of caring for others, the deeper your satisfaction will be. I think that the very moment you develop a sense of caring, others appear more positive. This is because of your own attitude. On the other hand, if you reject others, they will appear to you in a negative way. Another thing that is quite clear to me is that the moment you think only of yourself, the focus of your whole mind narrows, and because of this narrow focus uncomfortable things can appear huge and bring you fear and discomfort and a sense of feeling overwhelmed by misery. The moment you think of others with a sense of caring, however, your mind widens. Within that wider angle, your own problems appear to be of no significance, and this makes a big difference. If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficult situations and problems. With this strength, your problems will seem less significant and bothersome. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm. This is a clear example of how one’s way of thinking can really make a difference.’

fergettaboutit or fix it–what would you do? ‘Rather than revealing an apocalyptic eschatology, which instructs his disciples to prepare for the end of the world, the fellows [of the jesus seminar] argue that the authentic words of Jesus indicate that he preached a sapiential eschatology, which encourages all of God’s children to repair the world.’

got beth orton‘s sugaring season (from the cbc) on the speakers and gould playing bach and later joe strummer & the mescaleros’ ramshackle day parade (from the diving bell and the butterfly courtesy of cindy) in the headphones and really old e-l-p doing copland’s rodeo.

our mayor, gord mckay, is quite the writer. every week he begins his news from the town with observations of the changing seasons in weather and gardening. this week he writes, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen,  October comes to us with the radiant colors of autumn on the ascent.  These special days really showcase the beauty of our area. Now if I just didn’t have to cut the grass.’ i found out the hard way, you gotta cut the grass, else the by-law officer gets nasty. but if you’re able-bodied you can get exercise and not pollute so much using a push mower and a scythe–win-win! (save money, too!) (remember, electric uses nuclear, which pollutes too, as does carbon-based energy. * s i g h *. when you’re seven billion-strong, nothing is pure. even push mowers are made of plastic and metal.)

2012-09-30 su s to tor yesterday. today, c ran in ‘the cure for cancer’. ku and the golden goofball came over .

Training the Mind: Verse 1

with a determination to achieve the highest aim
for the benefit of all sentient beings
which surpasses even the wish-fulfilling gem,
may i hold them dear at all times.

more on burn-out–vanier writes, ‘Many people get burned out because, perhaps unconsciously, some part of them is rejecting the need to relax and find a harmonious rhythm of life for themselves. In their over-activity they are fleeing from something, sometimes because of deep unconscious guilt. Maybe they do not really want to put down roots in the community and stay for the long haul. They may be too attached to their function, or too controlling, or want to appear perfect. They have not yet learned how to live; they are not yet free inside themselves; they have not yet discovered the wisdom of the present moment, which can frequently mean saying “no” to people.’–vanier, community and growth, 177

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