Category Archives: Uncategorized

Melancholy

I haven’t been very active on this blog lately. It was the holidays, but also something more…or, more accurately, less. I haven’t been taking many photos of late. It’s too dark and it seems like everything is dead. Nothing looks good.

Melancholy is an old fashioned word that sounds a bit like the feeling. I don’t feel sad, or depressed. Those words have an ugly edge to them. Also, the definition of melancholy includes gloom.

This winter has been dark and gray, and I can’t seem to strike a spark, let alone get a fire started.

Little items from our past Christmas’s and Grandma’s cache.

I put up the Christmas decorations, and for the past few days I’m taking them down, slowly. It doesn’t feel like there’s any rush, because there isn’t a next coming along.

There’s nothing really wrong. It’s just winter, and spring feels a long way off. Many winters we don’t have a complete die off. As early as now we might see buds, even a few precocious blossoms.

Last January 12th.

But the cold snaps, snow, freezing rain and wind storms have chased the natural world into hibernation more thoroughly than most years.

January 2020, rumors of a strange illness were just starting on the Chinese message boards.

January 30th marks 3 years since we bid our son farewell in Auckland, as he headed back to China for work…but, as it turned out, lock down, opening up, then lock down, again and again. After enough bouts of disappointed optimism, I am beginning to wonder if we will ever see him again. Nothing dramatic: he is alive and healthy, we didn’t have a fight and now hate each other, but it feels like things are never going to work out.

A small dog bravely preparing to cross a creek that is big by comparison.
A cheerful little dog undaunted by a big world.

Yesterday morning when we awoke our little dog, Asta, had passed away sometime in the night. She was a cheerful, and cheering, little soul, and it’s one more downer.

I just wanted you to know why I’m only half here right now. The days are getting longer now, so maybe things will become less gloomy soon.

Provoking a lack of thought

This post is a response to Fandango of This, That and the Other’s Provocative Question: Whether or not you have a Twitter account, how do you feel about Musk’s takeover of Twitter and the changes he’s made so far. Do you care one way or the other? If you currently are on Twitter, do you plan to continue actively using it?

I’m more than a little sick and tired of hearing about Twitter and Musk, as well as being annoyed that it probably does matter.

I do not now, nor have I ever had, a Twitter account. I cannot foresee any circumstance that would change that.

In the beginning…

When Twitter first started I thought: “what a bad idea! It’s sole purpose is to make people write little provocative blurbs. Way to kill thoughtful discourse!”

A while ago I wrote a post on a similar subject: This is not a Tweet. It was before the takeover. In it I point out that the whole “public square” idea is marketing, not reality. And that decisions would be made to optimize people staring slack jawed at the screen.

Since the takeover…

In a way I was wrong: Mr. Musk hasn’t been very business-like.

Continue reading Provoking a lack of thought

Autumnal Wabi-Sabi

Autumn is the season of wabi-sabi.

Wabi-sabi is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of appreciating beauty that is ‘imperfect, impermanent and incomplete in nature.’

definition from Wikipedia

Illustrations of wabi-sabi from this morning’s walk.

For Nancy Merrill Photography Change of the Seasons, and Cee’s Mid-week Madness: Autumn Colors.

Shockingly similar

This was on today’s New York Times cover:

This is photo of the Taliban in 2021:

This past few days I’ve been impressed by the similarities between the supported of the former president and the Taliban, a jihadist group of insurgents. The images are certainly similar but so are many of the tenets.

We need to recognize this and call out the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers and Boogaloo Boys and similar groups as what they are: jihadist insurgents. They are anarchist terrorist gangs.

They are not “nationalists”. They are anti government. They are not “conservative”. They are radical reactionaries. They are not Christians either; they do not follow the teachings of Jesus. If you don’t believe me, read the book of Matthew Chapters six and seven, a.k.a., the Sermon on the Mount.