aeddubh: (dream)
So, today was the last live broadcast of the Diane Rehm show.  For thirty-seven years this show has been one of the best things in radio journalism.  She was and is a model of integrity, compassion, kindness and insight; she welcomed the whole range of opinions and viewpoints onto her show and was a model of fairness and open-mindedness.  But there has always been a core of steel to her- she insisted on truth, politeness, and forthrightness from her guests and callers- one of her signature lines to an evasive guest (often delivered with increasing asperity) was "But you still haven't answered my question!"  Her show was the epitome of hospitality, with rules for host and guest alike- and as the show's motto said, one of her guests was always you.

She expressed a lot of hope for the country and our democracy, but it was predicated on her belief that we should engage with each other, recognize that, no matter how much we may disagree with each other, we should "listen with an open heart, and try to understand".  I think that's vitally important. Yes, we need to fight, but we also need to remember that our opponents are people too.  Not everyone who voted for Trump is in the "basket of deplorables".  Demonizing and "othering" people you don't agree with- that tactic poisons everything it touches.  Disengage from the "Internet Outrage Machine".

Of course, sometimes our understanding will be that we need to walk away.  Trolls, hateful people, conspiracy theorists- some people are wasteful to even engage with.  Compassion and understanding doesn't have to mean acceptance or indulgence.  We have to choose our fights.

And (to use another of her favorite phrases) stay curious.  Get out of your silos- read, watch, and listen to things that challenge your assumptions.  Beware of confirmation bias and epistemic cocooning. Learn to recognize fake news and refuse to spread it.

I'll miss her on NPR, but I'm glad that Ms. Rehm will be continuing to be active with a new podcast; and she will no doubt be involved with other causes.  I have great hopes for 1A, the replacement show.
aeddubh: (solstice)
So the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

- Susan Cooper
aeddubh: (ghede)
So, we went on this tour in October/November.  It was wonderful!  We:

- visited three different cemeteries and laid flowers on/lit candles at some of the untended graves
- went to a parade where we weren't spectators, we were participants
- took a cooking class
- ate a lot of good food (and in my case, a grasshopper)
- visted a traditional weaver and a mezcal factory
- visted an ancient Zapotec site
- went to many museums

...and took many many photos!


Dec. 5th, 2016 08:40 pm
aeddubh: (dream)
Papa Legba, Guardian of the Gate
You who travel with dogs, open the gate.
Mighty Anubis, Lord of the Sacred Land, hear me.
Wepwawet, Companion of the Soul, hear me.
Bran and Sceolang, Hounds of Fionn, hear me.
Blessed St. Roch, patron saint of dogs, hear me.

Accept Your child Judy Bats into Your presence.  Bless her and heal her and keep her.  Guide her off into Outbakistan to walk the land like Caine... maybe she'll finally catch a squirrel,,, maybe she'll know what to do with it when she does...

She was a good dog. Let that be known through all the worlds.

It was no surprise, really.  She was gettinng slow and creaky and confused, starting to dwindle away, and we knew that we wouldn't have her when we got back to the cabin this spring.  She took a sudden decline this past week, and this evening it was manifestly clear that it was time to send her off into death.  She was surrounded by love and was in no pain when she went.

It hurts, and it will for a while, but we'll be all right.

Hail and farewell, Judy.  We'll miss you.
aeddubh: (dream)
This is only of interest to people in the DC area, but I'm not limiting it to that friends group (since someone out of the area may know someone in the area...):

"Close Up is looking for engaging Program Instructors to deliver our exciting programs in Washington, D.C. by teaching and leading diverse groups of students from schools nationwide through our structured civic-education curriculum.  Program Instructors instill students with an understanding that a healthy democracy is absolutely dependent on an informed and engaged citizenry. Instructors utilize the city of Washington, D.C. as their classroom. In addition to functioning as educators, Program Instructors help manage the total experience for students, many of whom are away from home for the first time. To apply visit:"
aeddubh: (dream)
Mainly for me to reference every once in a while, but enjoy:

10 Simple Facts To Make You Feel Better About This Election

aeddubh: (dream)
Something I entered in a contest a few years ago.  This past weekend made me think of it...

Snow Emergency Rules )
aeddubh: (brigid)
I don't do resolutions, but here are some things on my "to do" list for 2016:

- Write at least one non-free verse poem per month, without repeating the form.  Longer than a haiku, more serious than a limerick or double-dactyl.  It doesn't have to be something I haven't done before (so a Shakespearean sonnet and a terzanelle are likely), but I would like to try out some new things (like a pantoum).

- Make more eraser-carving art.  I want to see if I can put together enough to illustrate another book of poetry, probably devotional.

- Write more for XPI.

- Write more on my religion/spirituality/devotion blog.

- Start learning Egyptian hieroglyphs via an online study group that a colleague turned me on to.  I have the book already, and my dear friend [ profile] anubisgrrl is also doing it, so I'm just waiting for things to start in February.

- Finish the drawing of Bastet on our basement stairway wall.

- Work on this steampunk gun prop project that I've been kicking around.
aeddubh: (jack santa)
I know I've posted this in the past, but it can't hurt to do it again:

"I salute you!  There is nothing I can give you which you have not got; but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.

No Heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it to-day. Take Heaven!

No Peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take Peace!

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is Joy. Take Joy!

  And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you; not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem, and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away."

- as adapted by the Christmas Revels from a piece attributed to Fra Giovanni Giocondo
aeddubh: (darth)
Saw it last night.  The "mistake" in this post's title is intentional.  There are now four movies in the series for me.

I may do a little more ruminating on it later, but I have to see it at least once more first.
aeddubh: (solstice)

Have a safe, happy, and peaceful Yule!


Dec. 21st, 2015 02:04 pm
aeddubh: (dream)
"...comments sections are like backyard swimming pools: if you don’t fence them in and keep them clean, you’re creating an attractive nuisance that will allow vermin to thrive."

- Annalee, a commenter on this post on John Scalzi's blog...
aeddubh: (jack santa)
A poignant meditation on the dead and the living:

It's actually 15:1 now.  Things change.

From this lovely compilation.


Dec. 3rd, 2015 12:48 pm
aeddubh: (drinks)
"Morning is the tool of the oppressor"- Ursula Vernon
aeddubh: (dream)
R.I.P. Ed Walker, host of WAMU's "The Big Broadcast"

For the past several years, we made a point of listening to his show, often on the way home from our cabin.  Usually just our favorites, which were the traditional opening pieces- "Johnny Dollar", "Dragnet", and "Gunsmoke".  I also appreciated his admonition to forget about the cares of the week just past and the cares of the week to come...

We knew last night was his last show, and listened on the way home as usual.  I also took a moment to listen to the end of the show at 11:00, and hear his characteristic signoff.  He died only a few hours after that show aired... I guess his work was done here.  A life well lived.

Ave atque vale.


Oct. 14th, 2015 02:42 pm
aeddubh: (dream)
Steve Janger, the founder of the Close Up Foundation (my workplace), passed away last Saturday.

He was a man of great vision and commitment, with a passion and a dream.  I didn't work closely with him, but I saw him as inspirational and devoted to the Foundation.  I didn't always agree with him on the details, especially as the world moved into the Internet age, but I respected him.

ETA:  C-SPAN did a lovely tribute to him.  Steve helped found a long-time partnership with C-SPAN, one that benefited us both greatly.

Ave atque vale, Steve.  I hope we continue to make you proud.


Oct. 13th, 2015 02:04 pm
aeddubh: (dream)
The Myths Retold author holds forth on chivalry. (As always with his stuff, NSFW for language)

I usually read Myths Retold because the writer is a remarkably intelligent and insightful teller of tales who makes me laugh. This piece is insightful, intelligent, lucid and passionate.
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