Category Archives: Dan Writings

Beauty in the photographs details: Lily B&W

Below is the original photograph, and the final edited photograph of the lily.

I wanted to emphasize the gorgeous nature of the Lily, eliminate the distraction of the background, eliminate the orange of the stigma, and make the background black. What remains is the awe-inspiring shapes, curves, and texture of this amazing flower!

Beauty in the photographs details: Hollyhock Chair Boat

There is so much in this photograph that I love.

The place itself I love. It is the Hollyhock Retreat center on Cortes Island in British Columbia, a beautiful, remote, and Magical, Transformative place, especially in the summertime. I first went there in 1978 And attended a 13 week long Resident fellow program with a different workshop each week. I attended a dream workshop where I learned that I was Dan, Dan, The rainbow man, a healer and a teacher. And for the last 45 years, I’ve lived being a Healer and a teacher. I learned about Quan Yen (or Kuan Yin),The bodhisattva of compassion. I learned it from John Blofeld, that Very British China convert, Who wrote so beautifully about Quan Yen (or Kuan Yin), and also  translated the I Ching. John Blofeld so enjoyed his afternoon tea :). I learned about the I Ching, and Tarot cards. And I learned from the wind, the trees, low and high tides, I learned from the lapping of the water, BJ, Whiskey and orange juice, early morning sunshine, the wonderful gardens, and even more wonderful vegetarian meals. I learned by working with Bill Glackman, now a lifetime friend, doing handyman work around the then COld Mountain Institute.

But what do I love about this picture! I love the early morning light, with the side-light and long shadows. I love the empty chair and the empty boat, both waiting for us/me/you.

I can feel myself sitting in that chair, with my eyes closed, warm, with the sunshine on my face and arms in the cool morning, and ever so gently, I feel a slight breeze. With each breath, I breathe in the light, salty smells of the sea. I hear the gentle lapping of water on the beach. I hear the bird calls of morning,  welcoming the new day. That chair is a place to simply be, mindfully and appreciatively.

The empty boat, red and white and waiting, Is not about mindfulness. The empty boat is about adventure awaiting! Come,Let us row away to adventure! Morning is the time for both contemplation and beginning of adventures! I love that in this photograph.

I love the colors, the greens of the grass and the tree. I love the shades of blues in the sea, and in the mountains across the sea.  I love the bands of lighter color blue on the water.

I love how small I am in that early morning light, And how big that quiet sea is,  and how the shrouded mountains are at the top the photograph.

I love the lines of the small waves, lapping towards the shore.

I love the juxtaposition of the living Green tree, the stump, and the wooden chair. Three stages of existence?

I love the variations between the rocky shore, The tidal zone with it’s small rocks and mud , and the two big rocks In the nearby shallow water.

When I look at this picture, I feel gratitude, the hopes of a new morning, The beckoning of mindfulness and adventure, and the sheer beauty of it all: colors, bands of blue and green, and waves, sea, trees, shore, chair, boat, and distant mountains… and ME!

Our first daffodil of Spring 2017

Our first daffodil of Spring! It reminds me of the quote from one of my favorite movies, “City of Angels” where Nicolas Cage reads the following from Hemingway. Cycles, and even pain, end, as flowers bloom once again.

“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Access and sharing of Beauty: 1970 IBM 360 versus the Iphone 6s Plus

I’ve been thinking about the amazing ingenuity and creativity in the area of computing since 1970 that makes access to, and the development of, beauty possible. In Spring quarter 1970 I took a computer programming class using Fortran. I now have an iPhone 6S Plus. Below are the comparisons  between the two machines That I collected online from Wikipedia. The differences in computing are  amazing!

The IBM 360 required Punch Cards for each line of code. If you made a mistake you would have to retype each punch card with a mistake on it.  I would submit my stack of punch cards in the morning, and pick up a printout in the afternoon. Usually there were mistakes in my coding, and I’d have to redo my punch cards again and submit again. The programming was only in Fortran.  There was no other input or output available to me as a student.

Wow, what a difference now! my iPhone, that fits in the palm of my hand,  is 111 times as fast is that  IBM 360, and has 16000 times the storage. The IBM 360 cost $253,000 in 1970; My iphone cost $750 in 2015. The Iphone has voice recognition, fingerprint recognition, Multi-touch touchscreen display, triple microphone, Apple M8 motion coprocessor, 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer, digitalcompass, iBeacon, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, Touch ID fingerprint reader, barometer (from Wikipedia 2/20/17) 2 cameras, internet, and email. I also can dictate and have it converted to text files.

I can, and do, access  great art from museums around the world  and other places on the internet. I also can share my blog, my art, and my writing and poetry, which is immediately accessible to anyone with internet access anywhere in the world.

I only wish that the ingenuity and creativity  could have helped us become more compassionate and appreciative  and supportive of each other as humans and sentient beings on this amazingly beautiful planet Earth.

 

  IBM 360 (1969) at Western Washington University My IPhone 6 Plus 2016
cost $253,000. For a typical system $750
input IBM punch cards, tape Multi-touch touchscreen display, triple microphone, Apple M8 motion coprocessor, 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer, digitalcompass, iBeacon, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, Touch ID fingerprint reader, barometer (from Wikipedia 2/20/17)

2 cameras, internet, email, also can dictate and have it converted to text

Speed of cpu The 1967 IBM System/360 Model 91 could do up to 16.6 MB instructions per second.[4] (from Wikipedia 2/20/17) 1.85 GHz dual-core 64-bit ARMv8-A[2][3] “Twister”

(My iphone is 111 times as fast as the IBM 360!)

Space and weight Took up a whole floor of a building at WWU and weighed 6.8 ounces, fits in the  palm of my hand
storage up to 8 MB of main memory … 512 KB, 768 KB or 1024 KB was more common (from Wikipedia 2/20/17) 128 gb (the iphone has 16,000 times the storage that the IBM 360!)
output Line printer Screen, telephone, internet, email, social media, photos, videos

 

68th Birthday and the Joy Grandchildren bring

Today is my 68th Birthday, and although I love teaching, one of my greatest joys is spending time with grandchildren, seeing them grow, and watching their joy and wonder in the world! Lincoln’s absolute awe at the beauty of the bubbles, and Grayson and Dallas so much enjoying the making of bubbles, makes me very happy.

 Also feeding Baby Parks as Tyler and Dallas look on, and the warmth and smell of a baby, are truly times of great contentment.

Sacred Places: Esalen Institute

Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California.

For me this is a sacred place that I viscerally feel and know everytime I am there. My photograph is at sunset. People meditate, listening to the sounds of the crashing sea, fully, amazingly, peaceful.

The Big Sur area is incredibly beautiful, with mountains crashing directly into the sea, and waves roaring into the shore.

Carbon dating of artifacts found on Esalen date from 2600 BC. Esalen played a key role in the human potentials movement in the 60’s and provides week long and weekend workshops and focuses on humanistic alternative education. I took 2 workshops there on mindfulness. I believe that the place itself is holy and healing, not to mention the wonderful hot spring hot tubs next to the crash in sea!

 

Sacred Places: Kamakura Buddha

The Great bronze Buddha of Kamakura , Japan

Very moving, very sacred. A notice at the entrance to the grounds reads:

Stranger, whosoever thou art and whatsoever be thy creed,

when thou enterest this sanctuary

remember thou treadest upon ground hallowed by the worship of ages.

This is the Temple of Bhudda 

and the gate of the eternal,

and should therefore be entered

with reverence.”

A stanza from the Five Nations by Rudyard Kipling:

But when the morning prayer is prayed,

Think, ere ye pass to strife and trade,

Is God in human image made

No nearer than Kamakura?

The bronze Kamakura Buddha statue, on top of a hill, dates from 1252, has survived two storms in 1334 and 1369, a tsunami in 1498, it weighs 93 tons, and is 48 feet tall.

Reassembling Part 5: Tyler’s gifts of leaves and twigs

We celebrated Tyler’s 2nd Birthday while we were in Texas! His often quick and cherub-like smile always melted my heart. And  he was such a very busy boy! Among many other things, every time we were outside he made it a deliberate point to often, and delightedly, bring to “Poppa Dan” a handful of leaves and twigs and Fall dirt. I was honored to receive such gifts!
Below are 2 photos of Tyler OF his most recent gifts. One photo is while “Momma Stu” and “Poppa Dan” were having their picture taken. The second photo is of the breathtakingly beautiful and uniques wood twigs in my hand that he had shared with me. Each twig is gloriously small, and worn, and unique, and gorgeous. Treasures that I would not have seen in my sorrow. Great gifts indeed. Thank you Tyler!

Reassembling Part 4: Stark limbs, flowers in sunshine, dad and son

The following quote rings so true to me “We are remade in times of grief, broken apart and reassembled.” from The Wild Edge of Sorrow by Francis Weller 2015 page 1

This series is how our trip to Texas to visit Bryan and Sarah, and our grandchildren Tyler and Colin, was/is such a precious part in my slow “reassembling.”

I am Yin and Yang, I am the paradoxes where the two contradictory parts of me are both true. The stark dead limbs of tree against a blue sky, and the beauty of flowers in full gorgeous bloom, both true, both me. Both are parts of me reassembling.

I think of God as my Good and Loving Father (interesting that Good spelled another way is OGod). And that reminds me of Bryan who loves and protects his son. In the picture below Tyler needs his dad to help pick up a too heavy pumpkin. Makes me smile 🙂

Yin, Yang and Good Fathers.

 

Reassembling, Part 3: Baby Colin and New Baby Warmth and Closeness to Heaven

The following quote rings so true to me “We are remade in times of grief, broken apart and reassembled.” from The Wild Edge of Sorrow by Francis Weller 2015 page 1

This series is how our trip to Texas to visit Bryan and Sarah, and our grandchildren Tyler and Colin, was/is such a precious part in my slow “reassembling.”

There is something primordial, and peaceful, and reassuring, in that warm puddle of warmth that is sleeping baby Colin on my shoulder.
It makes me smile when I see the picture below of Susan, my love, holding baby Colin, enjoying that warmth and loving that baby.
And I have deep sensory memory of my holding Colin, of his radiating warmth,  reassuring, and deeply tranquil. And I love his new-baby smell, and the softness of his skin as I gently kiss his head. And I too, protect and love him. This, is also a wonderful gift of grace, helping me reassemble.
But there is a wisdom, and a still-closeness-to-heaven that I know but cannot prove. But I know it and believe it to my core.
I see evidence of that in the picture below of Bryan and Colin. In that moment, in that precious and passing moment, there is a wisdom that shines and communicates between Colin and Bryan. Do you also see that baby Colin wisdom, shining in the baby’s eyes, in that moment of connection?
I also see evidence in the picture below of Colin looking at me as I take his picture. His hand in that moment reaches out to me, there is a wisdom and compassion in his eyes. A gentle proof to me of his still-closeness-to-heaven. That moment passes, but for that instant it was there.
The wonder of a world that I only partly perceive, and the warmth, compassion, and beauty  of baby Colin, help reassemble me. Thank you God, thank you Colin.