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“This is what Democracy looks like.”

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Beach I Ching 14

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#21 Shih Ho    Justice

Justice
the search for truth
insisting on fairness
develop balance in all things
order

Balance
in proportion
everything connected
conscious awareness in circles
center

Essence
fundamental
cutting out illusions
exposing the center of truth
the heart

Aware
alert mindful
truth and integrity
actions lead to consequences
insight

Insight
looking deeply
wisdom decides action
everything is connected
vision

Lucent
thunder lightning
destruction and cleansing
rise up and cast out negatives
blazing

Alive
breathing growing
keep making connections
use power for the good of all
kinship

Honest
the quest for truth
stop speaking and listen
light revealing unobstructed
open

The truth
integrity
eyes open light shining
seeing through illusion and lies
exposed

I’ve been considering this hexagram since August.  The classical name for it is “Biting Through”, and the classical interpretations are all about punishment.  But the words “justice” and “truth” kept popping up as I searched through different translations and commentaries, and I think those words are closer to the spirit of the lines.

“The Quotable I Ching” actually called it Justice in one of its posts, suggesting that a look at the tarot card Justice would also provide insight.  And it did.

The cinquain cycle is a compilation of ideas from the various commentaries on Shih Ho that I read though and thought about as I looked at the hexagram.  As seems to be always the case, its wisdom is needed in the time and place the world is inhabiting right now.

You can see all the Beach I Chings I’ve done so far here.

15 years

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My brother wanted to go to the 9/11 Museum.

We paid our money and waited in a long line of tourists for our timed entry to the steel and concrete underground crypt, complete with a gift shop (which we steered well clear of) and endless tape loops replaying the day’s events.

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The new glass and steel monuments to commerce surrounding the plaza, with its beautiful pools, enclosed the space above the museum.

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I found this ad  from the NY Times of May 29, 2015, when I was cleaning a few weeks ago.  I must have saved it, intending to do a headline haiku, but it got lost in the shuffle.  Having visited the site, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

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There is nothing “free” about the Freedom Tower, or the museum.  Is this the best way to remember this day and those who died?

time
it lingers
in the dazzling morning sky
cloudless
voices
like air
surround this opening

remember to breathe

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Let there be light, and air, and songs, and sky, and running water, and the living earth and new growing things.  That’s what I think.

Words courtesy of the Magnetic Poetry oracle, for the Elusive Trope’s Magnetic Poetry Saturday Challenge.

Monday Memories

A classmate of mine put together a video of my class (Eastside High School, Paterson, NJ) which I got a real kick out of. Oh, some of those hairdos! As one classmate put it “the world is like a teen age hairdo–a blown up mess”. The world was a lot simpler then. No technology and the only girls’ sport was bowling. Still, we learned a lot and all got along well. Here’s my yearbook photo. 

Hope/#PoetsForPeace

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“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”
–Lady Bird Johnson

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“If you could
have three wishes, what?”
Number one–
always “peace.”
I’ve been repeating that word
since I was a child.

What is peace?
Easy to say what
it is not–
not guns, not
bombs, not hate or violence.
Not this destruction.

There are seeds
but they need sunlight–
fertile soil
to nourish
growth, to send roots; open space
to reach for the sky.

This is not
complicated.  This
happens if
we let it–
the Earth can teach us if we
can’t find our way home.

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Despite the way we mistreat it, the Earth still shares with us its bounty.  As it does each summer, the Rose of Sharon tree is blooming, surrounded by concrete and the sorrows of our world.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge Theme-“Hope” #WQWWC

Join in with your poem here.

Degas: A Strange Beauty Indeed

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My dentist’s office is just a few blocks from the Museum of Modern Art, so after my appointment yesterday I spent some time there before I went home.  I wanted to see the Dada exhibit, and it was fun, but the Degas exhibit overshadowed and overwhelmed it.

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The exhibit explored Degas’ process, starting with his extensive use of monotype printing.  He was able to get quite a lot of detail using copper plates.

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He also did some prints using celluloid, the photography film of the day.

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But then he started adding color to his monoprints with both pastel and watercolor.  Wow!  It’s impossible to fully control this type of printing, so maybe that’s the secret to the other-worldliness of so many of his pastel works.

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The exhibit then went on to talking about how all this work influenced his drawing and painting.  This is a good lesson for all of us perfectionists.

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A page from a sketchbook shows Degas exploring.

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And here’s a look at how a sketch became a painting.

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My favorite part of this show was the room of landscapes though.  Here Degas used oil paints when printing, in colors this time.

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He used pastels over the printing on some of these as well.

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The labeling for this exhibit was also excellent.  It’s only there a few more weeks, but if you happen to be in NYC…be prepared for the crowds, but highly recommended.

degas quote

Beach I Ching 13

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#38 K’uei  Opposition

There is really no “us and them”–it’s all “us”.
–The Quotable I Ching

“The reverse side also has a reverse side.”
–Japanese proverb

no
movement
possible
diverging parts
dance of opposites
each becomes the other
the small looms large balancing
blinding light with silent singing
reconciliation in wonder

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It’s been quite awhile since my last Beach I Ching–last December in fact.  I took more photos at the beach this year, but I haven’t even gotten to the ones I took in 2015.  Still working on the arrangements from two years ago.

But they always seem to hit the spot.  Plenty of opposition to go around in the world right now.  K’uei is a good meditation for these times.

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The poem uses the Secret Keeper’s prompt words from this week
| MOVE | SMALL | WONDER | DANCE | PART |

You can see all of the Beach I Ching posts here.

Embrace That Sky

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Doug, The Elusive Trope, challenged us to go to The Magnetic Poetry site and create a poem.  I’m a bit late to the fair, but here’s my contribution for the week.  Since he posted the link, I’ve tried it a few times, and it’s a lot of fun…check it out!

Even the Statues are Texting…

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…or at least that’s the way it looked when we entered this room at the Met.

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I don’t know, even when I know what she’s actually got in her hand,

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it still looks like she’s checking out the screen to me.

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Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, June 2016

Northward

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home
northward
winter wanes
the year quickens
clouds sparkle the sea
awakening stories
following imprinted light
profound murmurings of feathers
caravan reaching for horizons

questing spirits shifted beyond form
aerial synchronicity
opening splintered paths
gathered into song
returned to the earth
wayfarers all
nourished by
water
wind

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Claudia McGill has been doing some monoprints, which reminded me I wanted to try some myself…it’s been a long time.  You may remember my crow series, which actually I never finished; there are still some printed pieces I haven’t collaged or stitched on yet.

For the snow geese I had the idea to print out some of my photos from the beach and make images on top of them.  These are the two I liked best…I wasn’t that happy with the results.  Although I like the idea.  What happened wasn’t what I had in mind, but if I had less in mind to start, it could go somewhere interesting.

snow geese

Above is the inspiration image, from Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge this week, which also included the words:  Aerial, profound, murmur, splintering, spark

Snow goose is the animal totem for the Earth Renewal Moon of the winter solstice on the Native American Medicine wheel.  Nina may be interested in the fact that the birch tree is also associated with the Earth Renewal Moon, as well as the Turtle Clan.

These beautiful birds appear in stories and myths from many cultures.