The Perseids: As though to breathe were life (a revisiting)

(This is a revisit to a diary I wrote last year. We’ve passed the peak of the Perseids for this year, but if you have a clear night, you will see random meteor showers. If you are patient. I watched at least three fall by tonight, between the clouds, as they chased the dark aside. Make a wish now.)

Perseids - August 2004 From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things

Unchained stars, released from the bonds of eternity, flailing and burning their way through the universe, past our eyes, but visible if we but keep eyes wide open, staring outward, staring upward. Sometimes staring slightly off-center of what we want to see.  Looking at stars is like that – sometimes you cannot look directly at a star to really see it. 

Will we see a death of elements, or a burgeoning of life encompassed in light, a changing of matter into energy? Will we see the souls that stars become, the souls of people long gone, long passed from here and now there, so far up there?

As though to breathe were life.

I’m certain souls attach to stars that burn bright, then fade, then fly away and back around in patterns of time too complex to understand, even as we plot and calculate orbits and speed. As meteors, rocks of flame and heat, our souls might cross the sky and blaze the message so quickly bright, “we are never gone, we will never die”; it all occurs within an arena so cold and still and contains spectators of infinity as stars in the field fall apart and spread their own integral elements across a void.  The earth right now has a front row seat to a great show.

Archive story link: Make the most of the meteor shower

The Perseids are raining again. It’s time for the meteor shower that occurs each year and I want to exhort anyone who can see the sky with a modicum of visibility – not too many city lights, no rising full moon – to step outside sometime in the next 48 hours at late twilight or early dawn or the middle of the night. Just wait, if you can, and you will see a falling star. It’s not really falling, you know – a star has no understanding of “down”.

Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are.

Most say the Perseid shower won’t be that spectacular this weekend, due the brightness of the moon.  For comparison and an interesting description of why Perseid is Perseid, follow the link below to the Astronomy Picture of the Day site picture from last year’s shower on August 15, 2005 – (need bandwidth and click on picture to see animation):

August 2005 Perseid link: Perseid Meteor Shower 2005

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas.

When I was a kid, I could walk to the edge of a cliff near the Pacific Ocean and watch at twilight for falling stars. The setting sun competes with other mysteries of the universe at that time of day, and the reflections from restless waves often battle with opposing lights from space as the horizon glows gold and pale blue and fades.  And so, I was not often fortunate to see my favored falling stars. Sometimes there would be the strange and eerie presence of dancing and floating phosphorescence on the water, an anomaly of ocean sea creatures much like green lightning bugs in a swarm hovering over the inky ocean waves, or an aurora on the water.  I thought this was the breath of whales when I was young.

And this grey spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

Stars have saved my life.  When I’ve been down and ridiculously depressed and perhaps a lowly Wellbutrin away from worse, stars have grabbed me by my mental ears and given me a shake, “look, you; all this and we’re up here, too, so vast and all-surrounding as to make the biggest earthly care insignificant.”

The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

I have my favorite constellations. The Big Dipper. Some nights, I’ll watch the Dipper pour out other stars flung out into the galaxy, our worries that have gathered in the concave and tilting cup. Orion’s belt compels me to trace his figure in the darkened sky with an admiring eye and imagine the bearded Hunter on his hunt. I fancy the Milky Way, too, and memories of reading Sendak’s “In the Night Kitchen” to my daughters come to mind:

In the Night Kitchen Milk in the batter!
Milk in the batter!
Stir it! Scrape it!
Make it! Bake it!

I’m no scientist or major astronomy buff; I take a passing interest and every-so-often fleeting obsession in what goes on in space. I’m a regular observer of shuttle launches, a habit left over from growing up on Gemini, and Apollo, Kennedy’s drive to put a man on the moon.  I understand why JFK looked to the stars for a goal to reach for, succeed at, and best the competition. It wasn’t just about getting there first; it was also a lot about comprehending the depth and breadth of what lies beyond our earthbound existence. We are such insular creatures, otherwise.

One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

If you can, go out, look at a star and maybe a falling star, or even a shower of star lights if your darkness is just right.  They say it may be “a dud”. Don’t believe all you hear. I spent 15 minutes outside – right now at 2 AM PST – and I caught ’em, I caught my fallings stars.  White light painted by a rapid hand against a dark silk canvas. An extraordinary experience and once again, I am in the Night Kitchen.

Think of this as you think of all of us – the stars and planets are in the same sky that everyone on earth can see, regardless of what nation, what state, what province, what county, what continent in which exists our human condition. Even if you miss a Perseid, you will still see the sky and the stars. It is the same sky, the same comet that passes by on its continuous trip around our part of the universe. Only the earthbound can see the constellations. We all can see stars from wherever we are, whoever we are in the galaxy.  Go outside, look up, watch and breathe.

Meteor across the sky smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.

…that which we are, we are.

(excerpts lifted from “Ulysses” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

Thank you for allowing my reindulgence.

Pie.

As I can not resist selecting “pie” for everything, I may find myself rating things as “pie”, not for nefarious reasons, but because, well, I can’t NOT choose pie if it is an option.

So……..if anyone gets a rating of “pie” from me, just know that it is a labor of love.

Of course, if that means autobanning, then I will have to reconsider the default setting I have as well.

With that, best of luck with the site and I am looking forward to seeing how it evolves.

Oh yeah, and enjoying my #23 UID (which is my favorite number as well….)

Just to say hello

Woke up this morning to see message from Buhdy, so I came over here and set up an account.

Am quite busy this morning, and am not working on a diary for today (although if you go read the Derrick Jackson in today’s Boston Globe he explains how dog fighting is only part of the abuses – he used to own a rescued greyhound). 

Congratulation on getting the site up, and I will keep an eye on it.  And I will post when I can, but this is not only a new school year – it is soccer season and it elections for Virginia General Assembly. 

Peace.

Structure

Wondering what you all think about scheduled time slots. Ek mentions this in some comment, somewhere, but it seems important enough to put it up top.

First, I think we should figure out how long a front page diary stays up top- 2 hours, 3 hours? We should pick time slots and length of stay based on how long the FP diarists can hang around for comments. Not all the DK FPers do that, and it’s part of why popular non-FP diarists so often have so many more comments. We want all FPers to engage with their audiences. Builds the community.

I suggest we mix in a news roundup/open thread every third diary or so. That will keep people coming, to get their daily news digest. It might even be a good idea to set up a phpBB2 site, where we can discuss meta, ask people to fill in if we won’t be available for our slot, and also compile news links for the roundups. Someone should oversee each roundup (we can do that with random volunteers), but everyone should chip in stories, as they find them.

Now, if there’s some huge breaking news story, while someone’s in the middle of their FP diary, we can add just a banner headline up top, so people can click it for the story and thread, but the FP story stays essentially on top, too.

Any thoughts?

This Is Not A Diary

Because change is good.

Circumcision is a Zionist Plot Against ErrinFuckingF, Buhdy!

And Ron Paul is really neato!

Look And Feel

Yes.  I am Jimmy “J.J.” Walker.

DinoMeta.

I have hijacked On The Bus’ excellent invocation to bitch and moan about the spacing of the ‘Subject:’ and ‘Comment:’

Amazingly enough my prayers were heard.

Problem solved!

I am encouraging a more high contrast link color out of purely selfish reasons- my eyes are bad.

Also I think people should be motivated to look at links and color is a way to do that.

I’m putting this diary up as a way for people to talk about the detailed “look and feel” of the site from a mechanical standpoint so we are the best and easiest to use site on the web.

BannerEvolution

How the banner developed. 

I thought you guys might find this amusing…

I’m a PhotoShop n00b and interpret things way too literally. Buhdy told me his ideas and I would cut & paste and lay things out – after a certain point, it was time to get OPOL’s pro touch.  We are thrilled to have our resident PS master artist to render the vision.  The banner you see up top is not a final version.  The tree and the fonts will change, and I think it needs to be a bit smaller maybe 1000 x 150 or 200 at most.  The look & feel of the blog is still very much a work in progress. 

Here’s what buhdy sent me to start with. 

OK – animals in circles 

Different animals; add a tree; try different backgrounds


Now we go with a cream background.  Different tree (there’s a story to this one – we want OPOL to change it back).  Circles around ponies changed to orange.

Tree goes into the bubble.  Decided on the blog name; played with fonts

Cancel the cream. Make it stars. 

Add yin/yang on tree. Fonts glow. Circles on horses change to black.  Tiger changed to mirror the hissing dragon. 

Tree background changed.  Blue circles around everything.  Yin/yang smaller and centered.

Sent this mockup to OPOL.  Help!

This is what he sent back – in addition to the banner up top.

Now that’s cool!  I prefer the blue version though. 

I ♥ OPOL.  Hope Mom is feeling better.  Looking forward to hearing from you dude. 

Pedophilia rawks!

Okay, so no, pedophilia doesn’t ‘rawk’, exactly.  But it was the only thing that budhy said we couldn’t write about here.  And now that he is “the man”, I just had the irrepressible desire to “stick it to him”. 

Congrats on being “the man” now, budhy.  Cheers.

(This diary brought to you by the Libertarian Party. -Turkana, who’s going to enjoy abusing his power…)

Filling Space

The Final Frontier.

Just checking out the bells and whistles.

Welcome, Elite Bloggers of the World, to Docudharma

(Bumped! ….because I can! – promoted by buhdydharma )

Howdy Folks, and welcome!

Let me start off by saying that to start off we have no real idea of where we are going….but isn’t that always true at the start of a new journey?

Where we are hoping to go and where we ultimately end up may be very different, so let’s talk about where we PLAN to go. What we would like to see happen….and who knows, it might even come to be so.

All of us here love Daily Kos, and I would guess most of us love it best for the creative and community aspects of it. And while we all know that the stated purpose of electing Democrats is not SOLELY what it is about, that stated mission ….plus other factors….does impose some limitations on the Great Orange Playground.

Here we are hoping to provide/create the same type of community – albeit slightly less crowded – but with far fewer limitations and restrictions. And if possible, even more creative thought.

I want to stress that even though my name is (sorta) on the masthead, I want this blog to belong to ALL of us here. Input is VERY welcome on all levels. I would very much like this to be about US blogging the future,and thus in our small way, helping to create it. I will surrender to consensus as much as possible, but I have found that someone has to have the last word and take responsibility…that someone is me. But… I do NOT ‘own’ the community.

That being said, NO ONE will will you what you cannot write about here….including for example theories on 9/11….though I trust we are all too intelligent for much of that kind of stuff. Pedophilia is about the only thing that will draw objections, lol. The point being that no subject matter nor speculative thought is, to coin a phrase….off the table.

So please, take your shoes off and relax and let your creative juices unlimber and flow. Go where thou wilt. Being us, we will talk a lot about politics and the current idiocies occurring in the world around us….I’m sure we will resemble dkos quite a bit in that regard. But fiction is welcome, as is poetry as is just about anything else you want to try. I am not guaranteeing a you will get a positive response, hahaha, I am just saying you will not be reproved for trying it or banned for going out on a limb. (Speaking of which, the first subject for community discussion can be our moderation system….input is very much wanted there…but more on that later.)

The very, very general concept is providing a vision of what the future can be….and to keep us a BIT reality based, how to get there from here.

Allow me to reprint the Mission Statement.

Passion, politics, poetry, prose and ponies. Silliness, snark and a serious effort to frame the future. A river of words, thought, philosophy and action that nourishes and transforms the political cultural and social landscape through which it passes. That is the spirit behind this “place.”

In practice…write whatever the hell you want! There are no rigid restrictions here, it is a salon and a laboratory and a place to create a new reality. A reality based on compassion, empathy and caring for the people and the planet, while acknowledging the harsh realities of the world we live in and the difficulty of the tasks ahead. The complexities of greed, corruption and the petty politics of ‘human nature’ in the face of climate crisis and seven billion souls …will not be overcome by black and white solutions or electoral processes, but by becoming the change we wish to see and helping others to do the same. Not through top down enforcement, but through people working together, a model of cooperation, not competition.

In other words….Hey Kids! Let’s put on an evolution! This is a place for each of us to do our 1/seven billionth of that together, and hopefully speed the process of change along through a synergy of our ideas, intentions  and actions. Now let’s get out there and change the world!

We know that the country and the world NOW is in a lot of trouble. We know that Congress ain’t gonna do much about it before the next election….Though of course we are all working to modify that!

So that leaves us some time to think about how to create a world that is NOT in so much trouble…and we certainly have the brainpower gathered here to take a good stab at it!

And along the way have some fun, share and create some community spirit, and explore new and exciting ways to express ourselves.

Ready, set……GO!….okay, well not quite yet but we should be open for registration and commenting tomorrow morning…..and then……GO!

Blog Blessing



May your words be eloquent, truthful, and wise.


May your pictures be witty, imaginative, and inspirational.


May your energy be a source of activism, encouragement, and transformation. 


May your spirit be transmitted to hearts and minds with peace, compassion, and cosmic awareness.


May your blog sparkle with insight, justice, and freedom. 


May your world become a better place – land, sea, and sky – for all life on Earth.

Load more