Five Branch Tree

  • From the essay 'Against Mastery' found at The Hedgehog Review, voicing a rarely heard critique of modern medical science:

    How, for one, will we make sense of death if it comes to be viewed as something with no intrinsic meaning, but chiefly as a piece of bad luck, a matter of bad timing?the misfortune, for example, of contracting the disease before the march of inevitable medical progress had caught up with it? Or worse, how can we ever be reconciled to death when it becomes understood as something almost entirely accidental, and largely preventable? 
    Do we imagine that complete control over our biological fates will necessarily make us happier? Perhaps it will. But one can as easily imagine that there might be little room for uninhibited joy or exuberance in such a world. More likely it will be a tightly wound world, saturated with bitterness and anxiety and mutual suspicion, in which life and health will be guarded with all the ferocity of Ebenezer Scrooge guarding his money. Growing mastery means growing responsibility, and the need to assign blame, since nothing happens by chance. Some of the blame will be directed at the parents, politicians, doctors, and celebrities who make plausible villains, or conspiracy theories that explain why someone else is always at fault. But much of the blame will devolve upon ourselves, since in being set free to choose so much about our lives, we will have no one else to blame when we make a complete mess of things.  
    No, there is good reason to fear that the more our lives are prolonged and powers extended, and the more death becomes seen as an avoidable evil whose precise moment should be ?chosen,? rather than an inherent feature of human life, the more common it will be to encounter people who live imprisoned by their fear of all risk, since the possible consequences of any risk will seem too vast, too horrible, and too fully avoidable, to be contemplated.  
    That such a world would drain human life of dignity and spiritedness is not hard to imagine..... 

    [via wood s lot]


  • For me there is no materiality to apparent materiality. In our bodies, 3 billion cells a minute are dying and being reborn. So our bodies look solid, but they aren't. How many minutes have just gone by and how many cells have died and been reborn? We're like a fountain. A fountain of water looks solid, but you can put your fingers right through it. Our bodies look like things, but there's no thingness to them. 
    -- Li-Young Lee

    [via return to the center]

  • kid

    Andrew & Noah Band

    Brown Rice Family


    The Duhks


    Dixon's Violin

    ....magic eye art....


    ...magical totem art... 

    Felix Y Los Gatos

    ...main stage foxtrot...

    Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate

    Josh Davis

    Peter Rowan

    Sekou Kouyate

    wall art
    [34th Annual Blissfest Music Festival; Harbor Springs, MI]

    Many, many other great performers and artists! Photos 
    are limited to what I could pull off with my portable 
    Nikon camera during a fun filled and dusty loose weekend.
    Names of performers include active links to their websites.

  • Ancient Subterranean Fires
    --Elizabeth Willis 
    When I crossed the road, I burned with the heat of its traffic. Time as movement, a government of rushes. All those itching satellites, blind among the dreaming guns. A bee in its lace is the author of something. Easy work is out there, just beyond the mines. A cab into heroic legend, the first of its kind. To look back on gasoline as hoof and leaf. A moving eye, scrolling through the weeds. Just another carnivore frozen at the spring. As dirty as heaven, a skeleton key.

  • Verses Omitted By Mistake
    --Elizabeth Willis 
    Were I invited
    to draft that flower 
    an unfixed wilder thing
    would fix upon my palm 
    Those wolves are numbered
    to a government rifle 
    If Lucy rules
    the castle of indolence 
    I joy to dream
    a more fortunate planet