Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Spring Wind

I had some moments of down time the other day. I sat in a comfortable chair on an outside deck and just listened.

The deck sits high above a three-acre meadow festooned with a small stream and pond. The deck is high enough so that I am higher than some trees and even with some others.

An easy breeze was blowing at a gusting clip. It was more than enough to move the meadow’s pines into a weaving choreography of synchronized dance.

Three tall polls of Buddhist prayer flags flapped their applause to the gusting display.

There was sound too. The pines and needles split the wind into thousands of audio spikes. In unison they schussed and hissed into a soothing sound that both comforted and mesmerized.

Wind is one of nature’s elements that can play all characters in the daily drama of weather. It can be the fierce movement of the gods, the deus ex machina of a Greek play. It can be a gentle ingĂ©nue, a zephyr of sensuous and pleasing innocence, or it can be a silly comic like Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream as it moves invisibly across the landscape.

The wind is both rogue and jester, but it is never the fool.

I enjoyed my time in the chair.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Beholders Eye

A few years ago, in Salem, Oregon, there was a late night cable access television program where the host could be seen dancing nude and even defecating on camera. His actions, however offensive, were called expressions of art and protected from censorship.

Within each of us is a vast potential for individualized creative expression. We all have a choice of how we manifest our expressions, our art.

Under the umbrella of art, comes a plethora of expressions: paintings, from oils to illustrations; music, both composition and performance; literature, with its story and poetry; film and theater with its drama and comedy and form, from sculpture to carvings, but the most important expression of all is our individual appreciation of things beautiful that stir the soul.

Perhaps there ought to be a litany of requirements that before anyone may use the public airwaves or public space to express prurient, voyeuristic and lewd creations as art, they must first demonstrate a knowledge and appreciation of the other arts that express the beauty and grace of humankind.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Bench

I suspect most of us have a bench in our lives or minds where we can go to be alone in a crowd or in pristine nature with our private thoughts.

Benches serve as nature’s pew before the flickering altar of comforting light. One can find darkness in sunshine and one can find light on a moonless time of the soul. It’s a personal choice. The experience is always growth. The experience is always unconditional for benches real and imaginary allow us to touch the heart of All That Is.

The Bench
©2001, 2013 Rolland G. Smith

Though the bench appears as empty,
Old memories are seated there,
Held for a time with dignity,
Surrounded by the salted air.

Go now and sit and be at ease
With its imagined imagery
That lingers on a virgin breeze
Above the ocean’s harmony.

There’s Lovers’ squeeze and idle chat
And, of course, appreciation.
There’s worries’ stare and quarreler’s spat
And some silent meditation.

All those who sat and held aside
Their memories and feelings here
Left room for yours and more besides,
No other's thought can interfere.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Like all of you or most of you who watch professional sports or music celebrities I have seen the tattoo’s on these people and I am disgusted by it.

I know it is somebody else’s body and they can do whatever they want with their body, but perhaps they forget that the rest of us have to look at the disfiguration as part of their action or performance.

I like what the first family has encoded into their family ethic. Here is what the President said on NBC’s “Today” in an interview that aired yesterday.

“What we’ve said to the girls is that ‘If you guys ever decide to get a tattoo, then Mommy and me will get the exact same tattoo, in the same place, and we’ll go on YouTube and show it off as a family tattoo,’”

Good going first family. I like the parental input.

I also liked what my wife Ann said while seeing a ball player’s arms and neck covered with tattoos.
“ His Mother gave him a beautiful body and now look at what he did with it.”

The only tattoos I can sanction are the ones that one needs for cancer treatment. They are little tiny dots on the body that help medicine’s technology align radiation to the right spot for treatment.

Faces, names and barbed wire don’t work for me.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Nation of Laws

We often call ourselves a “nation of laws.” What it means officially is that we collectively agree to follow specific sets of rules in order for our society to function fairly, honorably and routinely in life and through mercantile exchange. Congress take note.

Under this banner we do not say that all laws are perfect, absolute or immutable. What is right and just for one generation may not be so for the next, or the next, for attitudes, requirements, conditions and values change. Congress take note.

The founding fathers provided a framework wherein changes through the will of the people are to be made peacefully by a representative democracy, applying the art of compromise and compassion. Congress take note.

We are the only nation on Earth that has made the legal process an art form and who calls that art, the practice of law.

What we might choose to do now is to simplify the understanding and the administration of law so that timely adjudication does not get bound up in a complex bureaucratic system and partisan rancor that often requires more money than sense to get a resolution. Congress take note.
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