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Tuesday
Sep252012

typewriter man

My office is outside the postal building. I am fast, clean and efficient.

People show up. They ask me to write a letter. They talk. I write. 

Sure I say. I roll blank white 8x11 paper into my heavy duty, all purpose magic machine and off we go!

Dear _______,

I am in Trabzon. It is on the Black Sea. It's really blue green. It's big, deep and cold. I don't know where the color Black came from. Perhaps from a lack of light or enough photons.

It is famous for hospitality, fish, jokes and ancient stories. 4,000 year old stories include pre-Greeks, Romans, Laz dialects, Marco Polo, Thespians, Ottomans, Herculean tasks, romantic voyages and 15 (anxious) brave intrepid university students majoring in medicine and engineering practicing for English speaking tests this week after having developed personal courage to open their head heart and mouth. Say ahhhhh.

I am lucky I found a writer. He is lucky I needed help to get it down now and try and make sense of it later. It was an overcast day and, as you can see he was free. I like free don't you? He was so happy to meet a complete perfect stranger he wrote down his name and address on a clean white envelope so I can send him this picture.

It's grainy. Don't ask me why. It's the camera's fault. Maybe the ISO was too high, in the 800 range. It's about 52 KB here and now. The texture and subject and composition is ok. It's not going to win a Pulitzer Prize for photojournalism I can tell you.

You get the picture.

What else can I tell you in this letter? I already mentioned the weather. It was overcast but mostly blue sky. It rained one afternoon. Clouds assembling for a meeting gathered above southern mountains. They opened their release mechanism and gave us poor humans a drenching. Weather threw in some thunder for good measure teaching us a lesson in auditory significance. Someone said the sky gods were bowling.

Makes sense to me.

Other than weather the food here is various and tasty; fish, cheeses, olives, fresh bread, meats, lentil soups, tomatoes, manti-ravioli, salads and, can you believe it, they grow cabbages bigger than children. If I grow up I die said one cabbage patch kid. No lie butterfly.

After paying for all these words I will buy an envelope from the writer and then walk into the post office to stand in line for a couple of centuries and hopefully get a stamp.

I hope they have one with orchids.

The writer can scribble my General Delivery return address on the back so you can pen me a word. I'll be happy to hear from you. 

Take care of the broken walnuts.

Love,

Orphan

Saturday
Sep222012

blind walk

 

 

two strangers 

one going up

one going down

passed each other

one morning

sensing steps

following sound

touching stone

finding their way

alone

 

Wednesday
Sep192012

The Blind Photographer

...“That biblical story about the seven good years and the seven bad years? That happened to me,” Ms. Soberats, 77, said in an interview at her home in Jackson Heights.

“I think their sickness helped me cope with my blindness. Because I wasn’t thinking about that. I was thinking about them. How much they were suffering, how much they were going through.”

...“I feel your face, your hair, then I’ll ask you: ‘Are you light-colored? Or dark? Is your hair blonde or brown or black?’ ” she said. “So with asking and touching, then I’ll get an idea of what I have to work with.”

“It surprised me that the human mind can do whatever it wants if we work toward it,” Ms. Soberats said.

Read and see her vision on LENS.

Tuesday
Sep182012

Mindfulness

Mindfulness gives you time.

Time gives you choices.

Choices, skillfully made, lead to freedom.

You don't have to be swept away by your feelings.

You can respond with wisdom and kindness rather than habit and reactivity.

- Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English

Saturday
Sep152012

ice Girl, 5

The River of Darkness overflowed with extended tedious years of silence singing a slow meandering song before being punctuated by random acts of violence, gunfire, and exploding land mines swallowing eternal cries for mercy as innocent men, women and children were slaughtered in fields, homes, and villages along twisted dirt jungle paths or murdered inside animist cemeteries wearing crude carved wooden faces remembering the dead with ceremonies, laughter, animal sacrifice and rice wine hearing the low dull roar of high altitude B-52 bombers releasing enraptured napalm canister lightning bolts through clear skies rendering humans, mountains and jungles obsolete, accompanied by the steady rhythm of a girl sawing ice.

Someone said there was a war, she said. My mother saw a plane. She thought it was a bird. She wove the image into indigo cotton with yellow, blue and red silk thread. All the women weave here. Men don’t have the patience. They love hunting and killing. Mother saw a whirling bird, called a helicopter. She wove it with our traditional motifs of weavers, people carrying water, harvesting, dancing, playing music, sitting, resting, flowers, fields, cows, chickens, ducks, birds, banana and palm trees, rivers, sky and nature. She weaves our long story. Before writing after cutting and selling ice I weave.

Animists believe in the natural world. Every living thing has spirit energy.

A shy woman shaman smiled after performing a family ceremony and healing sacrifice near the river. She smeared chicken blood over a sick infant’s stomach. Villagers are superstitious and trusting.

Bored dead eyed humans wandered red dust.

One prolific business in Banlung is mechanical. Along and adjacent to the single east west paved artery were brown wooden homes and shacks of rusting corrugated tin.

Single men or teams of laborious boys hammered, welded, and pried, manipulating iron and steel, adjusting belts, guided grinding gears, solidifying particles, firing cylinders, filing metallic blisters, reworking tired 125cc engines and formatting hard drives as spokes on crude machines sang.

Repair and restoration work implied basic life skills using eye-hand coordination, communication theory modules with colleagues, decipherable brooms, grease, balloons, laughter and a high degree of universal understanding and empathy.

Freedom worked 24/7. Under a broiling sun tempered by a soft breeze they carried buckets of cement over boards, pouring it on red dirt. Freedom shoveled 21 muscular sandy efforts into a wheelbarrow. Freedom pushed it to a new world order construction site filled with profound expectations and poverty’s paradoxes.

After dark Freedom caressed a hungry $10 passive lover inside a plywood shack along a dirt road removed from neon, Zircon and the tooth fairy. Dirt floor, bed, and OK condom.

Her clothes hung on rusty nails embedded in exploitation. Stale perfume, lip-gloss and mascara sang lost memories. Her dead eyes said, plow my field with no emotional connection. She stared at a brick wall as Freedom assaulted heaven’s gate grinding desire. After 15 minutes longer than forever she joined five girlfriends sitting around a fire below stars. See who shows up, said one, the night’s young. We are tools, said another. We are fools, said one applying gloss. I don’t give a shit, said a sad one remembering her mother and siblings upriver. Fuck it.

The fat male mafia moneyman slouched in a porch hammock watched reality reruns under a red light special.