Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

25 December 2010

Merry Christmas

Christmas Star Pictures, Images and Photos

On this day, we celebrate
his birth --
He whom so many call
the Savior of the World

While making cookies
tonight, I listened
to all the same old songs,
sung by aging rock n' roll artists
again, and I thought about
the mystery they celebrate:

If you can get past
the flashing lights
and the department stores,
it is a baby they celebrate:
an innocent child,
and this holiday nearly
the purity and truth
and innocence
of a newborn child.

Our favorite songs
speak of glory and majesty arriving
with a tiny child

But the problem with babies,
and Jesus was no exception,
that they grow up.

Jesus continued to answer
with the blatant, even brutal honesty
of a child.
Through the stories we tell of him,
the grown-up Jesus
  has become the embodiment
of being strong enough
to stand up for what 
is good and true.

And His Life is theembodiment of how
the world will squash that,
over & over again.
Those who say the truth,
do it at the risk
of their own lives.

Most humans live a life of lies
and anyone who challenges
them to be more honest
is more of a threat
than a savior.

In the world today,
you're best to kill the honest one
than you are
to follow him
or her.

And so it was with Jesus:
the man who challenged us
to be true to ourselves
and to our neighbors.
The man who challenged us
to love
and forgive
all --

if we met Jesus on the street
could we tolerate
the honesty we'd confront
in the penetrating mirror
of his gaze?

Or would we kill him
Over and over
would we kill him?

indeed, we do


On this day, we celebrate
his birth --
He whom so many call
the Savior of the World
And yet
we keep killing Him
again and again
in the vicious circle
of human history.

 Each year the celebration
of His birth comes around
and brings with it
the challenge
t truly live by His words

And we always abide by that challenge
for a week or two,
then return
materialistic lives,
poised to annihilate
or discredit
any Jesus
who dares to challenge us

I've asked this before;
I'll ask it again --
because our time
is growing short:

why can't we truly 
listen and live
by the words of Jesus?

This Christmas,
why can't we
do it differently,
and truly put on his robe
and walk

24 December 2010

A Christmas Diva

When I think of Christmas,
I think of many voices,
but especially this one --

here's my Christmas wish to you:

22 December 2010

Ghost Radar

So I have this thing called
"Ghost Radar"

on my iPhone.

whether or not it's a legitimate way
to find ghosts
is under some debate.

However, mine is quite active.

What it does, see,
is it spits out words.

I can fully understand the critique
that the thing is just
"spitting out random words."

It does appear that way.

Though I will admit that
on more than a few occasions,
the Ghost Radar
has responded to the situation

for instance, 
the time I sat down to eat
this delectable lamb chop
and salad and rice,
and the Radar was on,
and it said:

Or the fact it keeps
identifying itself
when I turn it on at work
as the man whose
tenure track line
I filled.

He vacated it
by dying,
by the way.

Oh, well,

Several months,
while I was sitting
and playing
my guitar,
I had the radar out,
and it spat out these words:


Now, what the hell is that?
You might wonder.
Random words.

Random or no,
I used them as the basis for a poem
(by me)
and here that poem


Broke ourselves in two
consonant to the power
of the jet that propelled us,
                                               with no glances
                                            the last ones
                                                                                that we shared.

I believe there was
something real
                         the odds stacked against us ---
I believe there was
                             like neither of us
                       felt possible.

(by Makropoulos --

if you're going to cut
& paste that,
please keep the line
by Makropoulos!)

* * *

The words after that,
by the way,


Now honestly,
I could do nothing
with them.

Random Words

early christmas wishes, bittersweet

from another great diva:

13 December 2010

Human Clock

I love this website

(click on "View The Clock" and look at both analog & digital.  Watch it for awhile.)

I've posted this link before;
I'll post it again;
we should all take a turn
at playing the game
of performing
the ever changing 
of time.

Sun Explosion

10 December 2010

12/10/2010: Channelling from 12/2/2010

please note:
I originally received this
on December 2,
or 3rd,
but didn't have time to post it.

So here goes:
hold onto your hats.
This one's a wild one:

NPR just explained,
very neatly
how language evolves.

Think of this word,
and pronounce it to


Can you say it?

Here is how our beloved
tells us to pronounce it:

/ˈkɑːtɑr/  or kə-TAR

 But the truth of the matter is:
we're saying it wrong.
Because no one who
only speaks English
can say this word
they say it like
what the Announcer on NPR said:
"when they told us
how to say it, they said
'say simply:


So that's how anyone who spoke
both English and Arabic told people
to say

In other words:
is what some old stinky English dude
whose parents had the cash
to put him through years of Arabic lessons
thought he heard
when he heard the word:

Well, anyone who really
looks at that word
can see:
you don't say it like "guitar."
You say

How do you say "Qatar"? from Northwestern News on Vimeo.

Now, this
is where this all gets
kind of strange:

The problem with guitar,
is that it's based on a representation
of a sound,
but the sound
is only
a representation
of a code.

The written word is the first representation
that we ever had
of what
Originally occured


the written word
is like a camera;
it is the apparatus through which
we see
the first utterance
ever made

which was a sound.

The first utterance
which was also
the first representation
was a sound,
the sound
came through our being,
this tiny shell
of our being, our bodies --
the sound came --

This is really strange:
as you read this, think
in a line like this:

the first representation
produced by the Creative Being
when it sought to produce
Something Other Than Itself
was a sound,
a sound,
in order to be heard
had to move
through an apparatus.

And that apparatus
aka: the material world
was produced as a
byproduct of
the first action of
production ==the reproduction
of the immaterial, and
that first reproduction
of the material world
went like this:

details right 'chere

I know this sounds
absolutely insane,
but try to imagine a scenario
in which
there was nothing,
and nothing sought to produce
but in order to be able to
produce something,
needed an apparatus of communication
aka: the material world.

The impetus of that
initial production
this way:

The physical
is like a
pair of glasses
through which
we perceive
the initial production,
which is

that which has been produced
(aka: the represented)
has to use the Material World

 ( Moore'sLore )

to present itself back
to the force that produced it,
in the first place,
so that force
might see
yes the represented
has to project back through
the apparatus
an impression of
what the perfect 
looks like
so the perfect can see it.

Try To Think Like This:

This is an image of
the represented
in its quest to show
the unrepresented
what it
sought to see.)

* ! *

Notably, there's a problem
if the apparatus
(read: The Material World,
aka: Life, the Earth, the Universe & Everything)
is new.
A new apparatus doesn't
understand how to represent
the represented,
because the represented
is so abstract.

Generally, in the case of new apparati,
when asked to represent the initially represented,
it gets all hung up on
the representation
of itself (ie: the Material World)
that is all
it can talk about,
when in fact
the realm of the unrepresented
wants to learn more:
wants to learn all
that is conceivable.

It is the job
of the representable
 to give it to them:
the representable has to render
into the language of the
exactly what it sees.
That's right:
exactly what it sees.

But the problem is:
the first thing we saw
occurred exactly at
the same time
the first sound we heard,
and notably 
the first representation
was not
of a visible;
it was of
an audible.

The visible came second
because we needed
the visible
to see
the representation we produced
the first representation
was a representation
of the audible:

But actually,
we hadn't conceived of any
of those symbols
at the beginning;
the best we could do


or something like this:
or this:

That was the first
the apparatus through which
the represented needed
to travel
in order to communicate what it perceived
back to its origin.

That, only that,
the fragile
written word, or
the subtle, sung
or the trembling, absolute
the drawing or
the painting or
the photograph

all serve to show us
every absolute dimension
of both the created,
material world,
(and its creator),
this is where it gets hard:
it has to be heard,
because the first representation
was the word.

There was only one word,
only one language
for a long time:

the real problem for us today
occurred at the moment
of Babel --
when the world broke in half,
and new words and pronunciations
the further away we got
from the soure,
and we reached a point where we
couldn't understand each other, anymore.

For awhile, we (our different nations) were
talking only
to each other
and pronunciations changed
so radically
over time
that when one of us
on this side of the word
met those of another place,
and heard them say:
"I'm from Qatar"
we wrote down,
the best we could
what we thought we heard,
and told others to just
pronounce it

is pronounced

M - I - S - S - I - P - P - I
is pronounced

That's just all there is to it.

In the realm of all that is represented,
the written word
comes first,
the sound
And Knowledge
is the embodiment
of the ineffible.

So, repeat
after me:

Q - A - T - A - R,


better yet,


07 December 2010

The Age of the Digital Reproduction (oh where, oh where, has the Original gone?)

I was teaching a class today,
and some of my students were doing
a presentation on Allen Ginsberg's
They were excited.
So was I.
They told me they had videos of Ginsberg


the video they showed was a trailer
for a current movie called

It was not Ginsberg; it was
a representation of 
"But it's so good," they said,
with eyes sparkling 
with the energy of students
who have just discovered
the Beat Generation.
"And besides,"
they added, eyes
still sparkling,
"James Franco is so cute."

I found a video with Ginsberg,
a zany, crooked-eyed,
aging hippy,
and showed it to them.
"You should at least know what 
he looks like,"
I insisted
 "He's an icon of an age."

And everyone wrote that down.

After class,
I went to my office,
by a student who has missed
almost 1/3
of the semester.

(Right now, 
I love opening
my office door; I have
a live wreath in there,
and whenever
I open 
the door,
I get a blast of pine scent,
and it reminds me of youth,
and the fact that somewhere,
people actually have the time to get ready
for Christmas.)

I opened the door
and I and
my student entered,
and she said,
"Oh, it smells just like one of those
scented candles."

No, she did not say
"It smells like pine,"
didn't acknowledge
the needles dropping on the floor;
she said
it smells like something
built to reproduce
the scent of pine.

I said nothing.

She showed me a draft
of a paper
that was late,
and almost
totally plagiarized,
cut and pasted
from every website
she could find
in a quick Google search,

and for a moment, I silently wondered:

is it really worth
chastising her?
She is, after all,
a child of the age
that revels in 
as long as the reproduction
is performed well. 
In such an age,
is copy and paste
really a sin?

But I pointed out to her
that I would probably google
a sentence out of each
of her paragraphs,
and I would probably 
what she copied,
and she got really quiet.

Walter Benjamin foretold it
when he recognized his age
as the Age of Mechanical Reproduction:
we live in the Age After
the Age of Mechanical Reproduction;
we live in the Age
of Digital Reproduction,
where the Original
is a nostalgic
black and white film clip
by someone who hadn't even been born
when the original 

And can we really criticize it?
If the reproduced performance
produces a resonance
in the heart 
that is real and Original,
is it really
all that bad?

The Original
somewhere near the edges
of the reproduction,
and the closest we can get to it
is the voice,
is the trace,
of the untraceable.

~ ~ ~

04 December 2010

12/4/2010: Channelling from 11/21/2010

I imagine my entries
are aggravating,
as I sit and write
the visions I have
as my energies channel through me.
For instance:
the following, 
which I actually wrote on 11/21/2010,
but I thought it was way out there,
and then I went to write again
last night
and liked what I wrote
but realized
I have to post this one first,
(if you dare believe I'm receiving 
some special insights as I channel,
and if you dare believe
I'm 425 years old)
it appears 
the messages are coming
in some kind of order.
And so it begins:

Oh, sometimes
I imagine my entries
are aggravating, as I sit here
channelling my energies;
sometimes they're just
channeling, and there's
nothing coming through.
Just pure energy.
It pulls sideways on my
the energy I channel,
like one of those long heavenly beams of sunlight,

(fatjohnnysfrontporch  - scrumptuous blog!)

That's kind of what the channel
I'm connected to looks
We're all connected to channels,
wide open impulses
from our source; they
tell us how to move,
how to act;
they are like rainbows;
mine is shaped like this:

They generally say good things,
but sometimes a spot of blue,
or that which we interpret as blue,
passes our spectrum, and
our spectrum dulls,
and so too
does our spirit.

The beam pulls down;
it pulls, in my case,
from the upper right,
and down my side,
              and sometimes,
                                   it seems to be pulling me up,
pulling me toward it.

What I'm feeling when that happens
is the compulsion
that pulls us from life until death;
it shoots us
and we
and we
and we
                        start trying to get back,
but it says
you can't come back yet,
you're not perfect yet.
You can't come back until
you feel you're perfect,
can't come back until
you perform at your very
highest level,
in the skill in which
you're required to perform.

You can come back when you're perfect.

It just so happens that
this particular draw
is getting harder right now for everyone,
I demand you
I require you
to be good -----
             if you cannot be good,
well, either you're going
         to carry on
       here on earth
in pretty grim conditions,
or not at all.

So learn to live on this earth properly,
in collaboration with her,
if you intend to stay on her.

That is the word I receive right now ---
profoundly and clearly:

Learn to live on this earth,
with these intended earthmates
if you intend to stay here.

If you're fighting; if you're
arguing; if you're
not talking; if you're
raping; if you're lying; if
you're stealing;
if you're doing any such thing,
this is the time
to stop.
I tell you right now:
this is the time to stop.

The consequences of stopping:
an effortless transport to the
next realm of humanity.  And you don't
have to do anything more
than be fucking good.
You don't have to put
a dove in your front yard,
or a bumper sticker on your car;
you don't have to vote democrat or republican,
labor or conservative,
you don't even have to blog;
you don't have to picket;
you just have to be good,
and absolutely honest
with yourself and the rest of the world.

You don't have to wear
tennis shoes and drink
Kool Aid,
just keep being good;
the transport is
prepared, just

be the best you can be,

and your journey to the next level will be easy,
more or less,
like Space Travel.

if we're being awful
at the end of time,
we'll feel it like a searing
hot --
poker isn't a strong enough word --
but it'll hurt like hell.

For those of us who
haven't been good at all,
the searing hot pain will last
 a very long time,
if we're lucky
we'll come out the other
end of it
kind of unscathed.
Kind of.

We're going to look like
but there we'll be,
yet again.

If the earth survives
the end of this cycle of time as we know it,
we'll live on earth.
the earth survives
at all.

That's really up to us.  The earth
is our only vessel.
There may be other vessles
like ours
with other creatures
on them,
all waiting
to return to
our shared source
and all doing it
in their own special way.

~ ~ ~

Now, there is another concept
I've talked about before:
the idea that we are all already occupying
right now.
Each avatar is designed to protect
and preserve
the aspect of the eternal
it is its duty to house.
Humans are, by nature,
beings of spirit;
the spirit
is one of our essences.
We enter the physical plane
in a most peculiar way, through
these lovely
physical beings;
we're all really sort of like
on our earth's core,
off of her.  If we
feed her well in return, she will live,
could live

That was the magic
of the Garden of Eden:
Adam, Eve and the Gang
all knew that they were
just part of
the organization;
they were
the intellectual part
of the organism,
but they knew
their place
and their duty, and
they kept to it,
did it.

Since one of their essences
and part of knowledge
this particular group of avatars
- Adam, Eve & the Gang -
had a tendency to occasionally decide
they were the only extra-special avatar,
and when humans decided
we were the only ones,
we ushered in the reign
of the material world.

As long as humans believed
that the material world
was made FOR them,
to SERVE them,
as long as humans believed
they were the greatest
creature on the earth,
the material has reigned,
and humans
have reveled in it,
like a pig in shit.


Anyway, so we live
in the Material World
as we feel we possess it,
and as long as we feel
we possess it,
we will continue to live
in time
(and we'll continue to experience
the cycle
of birth, life and death)

However, the second
we realize
we are required to live
in harmony and cooperation
with every other sentient being
on this planet,
when we accept the fact
we're not the only ones,
and instead,
we're all in this together
(and when I say
I mean:
when we realize we're all meant to work
we'll move out of the realm of the
United States of Materiality
and into a true

02 December 2010

Makropoulos' Theme Song

I've posted this before,
with Annie Lennox singing it,
and doing a damned good job,
but here's the man who wrote it,
doing an equally damned
good job:

Yes, that is my theme song.

. . . and while I'm on 
a little Jimmy Cliff thing,
let me please share this, too
to brighten up 
all those winter days
that have started, all across
the Northern Hemisphere: