I’ve been stuck in a family’s surgical waiting room since November 3, 2020. Today as I wait for the results of the Electoral College I fear that a widespread uncritical acceptance of questionable concepts is tearing our county apart.

I’ve also come to fear that the foundation of our democracy was built from a “gentlemen’s agreement” and not upon laws as this anxiety-filled waiting now extends to January 6th when the the vice president, as assigned by the Constitution, tallies the Electoral College results and declares a winner.

Putting aside uncritical acceptance, laws, and gentleman’s agreements would there be a coming together of beliefs so that we may begin to heal in unity if our leaders practiced the qualities listed below?

▪ Charity — Willingness to sacrifice one’s interest for the good of the people.

▪ Morality — Maintaining a high moral order in one’s personal conduct. 

▪ Altruism — Generosity toward people, avoiding selfishness.

▪ Honesty — Fulfilling one’s duties with loyalty and integrity. 

▪ Gentleness — Being kind and gentle, never arrogant. 

▪ Self-control — Performing one’s duties with dispassion. 

▪ Non-anger — Remaining calm in the midst of confusion. 

▪ Nonviolence — Being nonviolent, not persecuting the people

▪ Forbearance — Practicing patience in one’s duties. 

▪ Uprightness — Respecting public opinion, promoting harmony.

Just saying as I wait, wait, and wait ….

Nikon D750   f/4.5  1/400s 85mm  1400 ISO

“…is it the wish—the dreamlike, bombastic wish—to stand once again at that point in my life and be able to take a completely different direction than the one that has made me who I am now?

“There is something peculiar about this wish, it smacks of paradox and logical peculiarity. Because the one who wishes it—isn’t the one who, still untouched by the future, stands at the crossroads.  Instead, it is, the one marked by the future become past who wants to go back to the past, to revoke the irrevocable. And would he want to revoke it if he hadn’t suffered it. …it’s the absurd wish to go back behind myself in time and take myself—the one marked by events—along on this journey.”  ~P Mercier (Night Train to Lisbon, pp. 51-54)

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” ~ Heraclitus

When my heart came to rule
in the world of love,
it was freed
from both belief
and from disbelief.

On this journey,
I found the problem
to be myself.

When I went beyond myself,
the pathway finally opened.
~Mahsati Ganjavi     

initially posted in November, 2018


self isolation 69th day

excerpt from Plato’s Phaedo

“… We have found, they will say, a path of speculation which
seems to bring us and the argument to the conclusion that while we
are in the body, and while the soul is mingled with this mass of evil, our desire will not be satisfied, and our desire is of the truth.
For the body is a source of endless trouble to us by reason of the
mere requirement of food; and also is liable to diseases which overtake
and impede us in the search after truth: and by filling us so full
of loves, and lusts, and fears, and fancies, and idols, and every
sort of folly, prevents our ever having, as people say, so much as
a thought. For whence come wars, and fightings, and factions? whence
but from the body and the lusts of the body? For wars are occasioned
by the love of money, and money has to be acquired for the sake and
in the service of the body; and in consequence of all these things
the time which ought to be given to philosophy is lost. Moreover,
if there is time and an inclination toward philosophy, yet the body introduces a turmoil and confusion and fear into the course of speculation, and hinders us from seeing the truth: and all experience shows that
if we would have pure knowledge of anything we must be quit of the
body, and the soul in herself must behold all things in themselves:
then I suppose that we shall attain that which we desire, and of which
we say that we are lovers, and that is wisdom, not while we live,
but after death, as the argument shows; for if while in company with
the body the soul cannot have pure knowledge, one of two things seems
to follow-either knowledge is not to be attained at all, or, if at
all, after death. For then, and not till then, the soul will be in
herself alone and without the body. In this present life, I reckon
that we make the nearest approach to knowledge when we have the least possible concern or interest in the body, and are not saturated with
the bodily nature, but remain pure until the hour when God himself
is pleased to release us. And then the foolishness of the body will
be cleared away and we shall be pure and hold converse with other
pure souls, and know of ourselves the clear light everywhere; and
this is surely the light of truth. For no impure thing is allowed
to approach the pure. These are the sort of words, Simmias, which
the true lovers of wisdom cannot help saying to one another, and thinking. 
You will agree with me in that?”

cited: Phaedo by Plato Trans: Benjamin Jowett. The Internet Classics Archive

skycape photography: contemplating sunset with…plato Nikon D750 f/8 1/50s 200mm 400 ISO edited in Capture One and Color Efex Pro 4

Phaedo by Plato copyright information available online at
http://classics.mit.edu//Plato/phaedo.html

Nikon D750   f/4.5  1/400s 85mm  1400 ISO

“…is it the wish—the dreamlike, bombastic wish—to stand once again at that point in my life and be able to take a completely different direction than the one that has made me who I am now?

“There is something peculiar about this wish, it smacks of paradox and logical peculiarity. Because the one who wishes it—isn’t the one who, still untouched by the future, stands at the crossroads.  Instead, it is, the one marked by the future become past who wants to go back to the past, to revoke the irrevocable. And would he want to revoke it if he hadn’t suffered it. …it’s the absurd wish to go back behind myself in time and take myself—the one marked by events—along on this journey.”  ~P Mercier (Night Train to Lisbon, pp. 51-54)

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” ~ Heraclitus

When my heart came to rule
in the world of love,
it was freed
from both belief
and from disbelief.

On this journey,
I found the problem
to be myself.

When I went beyond myself,
the pathway finally opened.
~Mahsati Ganjavi     


In this world, time is like a flow of water, occasionally displaced by a bit of debris, a passing breeze.  Now and then, some cosmic disturbance will cause a rivulet of time to turn away from the mainstream, to make connection back stream. When this happens, birds, soil, people caught in the branching tributary find themselves suddenly carried to the past.   ~A Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams

Reality in itself is a stream of life, always moving.  ~Thich Nhat Hanh, The Sun My Heart

Cartier-Bresson’s photograph of children playing in the rubble of war…may become a metaphor or symbol of hope. The image over my desk of a grieving mother and child after an earthquake in Armenia, made by my photographer friend Mark Beach, symbolized for me the sorrow and tragedy that is part of life.  An image I once made of the source of the mighty Susquehanna River–a spring flowing into a bathtub in a field that serves as a water tank for cows, then spilling over to begin a stream–reminds me that the restorative juice “river,” with which I am associated, has many small sources.  ~H Zehr, The Little Book of Contemplative Photography

…our minds can seem like such a ragged and disorderly place, disturbed by the slightest sound, thought, or impulse. Seeing the moving, restless character of the mind is the first step toward…concentration, mindfulness, tranquillity, insight, oneness.
~Tulku Thondup, The Healing Power of Mind

perspective-natgeoyourshotweb
the eye that is penetrating sees clearly,

the ear that is penetrating hears clearly,

the nose that is penetrating distinguishes odors,

the mouth that is penetrating distinguishes flavors,

the mind that is penetrating has understanding,

and the understanding that is penetrating has virtue. ~ CHUANG-TZU

branchweb

For a table to exist, we need wood, a carpenter, time, skillfulness, and many other causes. And each of these causes needs other causes to exist. The wood needs the forest, the sunshine, the rain, and so on. The carpenter needs his parents, breakfast, fresh air, and so on. And each of these things, in turn, has to be brought about by other conditions. If we look in this way, we’ll see that nothing has been left out. Everything in the cosmos has come together to bring us this table. Looking deeply at the sunshine, the leaves on the tree, and the clouds, we can see the table. The one can be seen in the all, and the all can be seen in the one.

Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching