Wednesday Reads: “I weave freely today, as always.”Posted: March 19, 2014
I am excited. Today a FedEx truck will come up my driveway bringing a 15 pound box that found its way from Japan to Louisiana to Memphis to Banjoville. Inside that box is a chrome Piccolo Saori Loom that I have been slowly making layaway payments towards since Thanksgiving.
It is a little loom but it has super big possibilities…
You may remember my big Glimakra countermarche loom is broken down and packed away in storage.
Ugh, all over “away in storage.” The loom is too big anyway to fit in the house we are living in now, so this baby should be perfect.
Under the moonlit sky,
people enjoy dancing,
casting shadows of different shapes.
Misao goes on to say that the haiku:
…implies that once born in the world, we are destined to live different lives.
She grew up following others and had become one of the majority. It was not until it finally hit her and she:
…became aware of the importance of developing a path of my own. I crawled up against a stream and found a beautiful flower garden unfolded before me. In that flower garden I learned that kansei* is inherent in everyone.
kansei*– Misao Jo use of word “meant the significance of an intuitive sense of beauty existing inside of us.”
All flowers are beautiful, even though each individual flower is different in form and color. Because of this difference, “all are good”. Because everything has the same life, life cannot be measured by a yardstick. It is this individuality that makes everything meaningful and the uniqueness of each thread that creates the tapestry of life.
Misao Jo, Founder of SAORI
So…that should give you enough information on this new path I am starting on. If you would like to see some pictures of woven Saori, look here:
More images here: Weaving Saori and Around the World Weaving on Pinterest
Okay, the rest of today’s post will be your usual newsy stuff…after the jump of course. Oh, and the pictures, woodblock, painting you see are various Japanese artwork featuring weaving or spinning. (That includes the tattooed women! Tattooing among Japan’s Ainu people .)
There has been a lot of speculation about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Terrorism, hijacking, meteors. I cannot believe the analysis on CNN; it’s almost disturbing. I tend to look for a simpler explanation, and I find it with the 13,000-foot runway at Pulau Langkawi.
We know the story of MH370: A loaded Boeing 777 departs at midnight from Kuala Lampur, headed to Beijing. A hot night. A heavy aircraft. About an hour out, across the gulf toward Vietnam, the plane goes dark, meaning the transponder and secondary radar tracking go off. Two days later we hear reports that Malaysian military radar (which is a primary radar, meaning the plane is tracked by reflection rather than by transponder interrogation response) has tracked the plane on a southwesterly course back across the Malay Peninsula into the Strait of Malacca.
The left turn is the key here. Zaharie Ahmad Shah1 was a very experienced senior captain with 18,000 hours of flight time. We old pilots were drilled to know what is the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise. Airports behind us, airports abeam us, and airports ahead of us. They’re always in our head. Always. If something happens, you don’t want to be thinking about what are you going to do–you already know what you are going to do. When I saw that left turn with a direct heading, I instinctively knew he was heading for an airport. He was taking a direct route to Palau Langkawi, a 13,000-foot airstrip with an approach over water and no obstacles. The captain did not turn back to Kuala Lampur because he knew he had 8,000-foot ridges to cross. He knew the terrain was friendlier toward Langkawi, which also was closer.
The already bizarre saga of vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went farther down the rabbit hole Tuesday. Thai officials say they didn’t report a radar blip because Malaysia never asked; Chinese relatives are threatening a hunger strike.
Speaking 11 days after the Boeing 777 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, Royal Thai Air Force spokesman Montol Suchookorn said radar showed an unidentified aircraft tracking west toward the Strait of Malacca at 1:28 a.m. on March 8.
Flight 370 stopped communicating with air-traffic controllers eight minutes earlier. Suchookorn said the Thai military doesn’t know if the plane on the radar was Flight 370.
He said “we did not pay attention to it” because it did not enter Thai airspace. He added that the information was not shared sooner because Malaysia’s first request for information was imprecise.
Tensions between the West and Russia over events in Ukraine have cast a shadow over the second round of talks set to begin on Tuesday in Vienna on a permanent nuclear agreement with Iran.
Although the talks have no direct connection to Ukraine, their success hinges on solidarity among the so-called P5-plus-one countries — the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, which include Russia, plus Germany — in favor of a tough agreement with Iran to drastically scale back its nuclear program.
If Russia signals that its cooperation with the West has weakened, that will reduce pressure on Iran to make concessions, said experts knowledgeable about the talks, which began last month with three days of meetings involving senior diplomats from each of the governments involved.
After the euphoria of Crimea’s secession referendum, pro-Russian Crimeans now look to Moscow and the prospect of outright annexation. They may be disappointed as Moscow’s elites may have to think twice about what they’re doing in the face of Western sanctions
Fears were growing that widespread violence would erupt in the aftermath of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, as former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned of growing regional tensions.
Clinton called Russia’s move to annex Crimea “illegal” and “a violation of international law” and said that other countries near Russia could also face aggression if President Vladimir Putin is allowed to get away with his actions in Ukraine.
“If he’s allowed to get away with that, I think you’ll see a lot of other countries either directly facing Russian aggression or suborned with their political systems so that they are so intimidated that in effect they are transformed into vassals, not sovereign democracies,” Clinton said at an event hosted by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal at the Palais des Congres.
Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that the conflict between Russia and Western allies over Crimea is a “clash of values” and that it’s up to Russian President Vladimir Putin whether there’s “another Cold War.”
“I hope there is not another Cold War,” Clinton said during the question and answer portion of an appearance in Montreal. “Obviously, nobody wants to see that. I think that is primarily up to Putin.”
Meanwhile back in the states…and our own war…War on Women that is:
A package of bills in Minnesota that would enhance women’s economic security by raising the minimum wage, providing paid family and sick leave and addressing the gender pay gap makes women “look like whiners,” a state GOP lawmaker said last week.
“We heard several bills last week about women’s issues and I kept thinking to myself, these bills are putting us backwards in time,” State Rep. Andrea Kieffer (R) told colleagues at a Wednesday hearing on one of the measures. “We are losing the respect that we so dearly want in the workplace by bringing up all these special bills for women and almost making us look like whiners.”
The progressive group Alliance for a Better Minnesota has posted the audio recording of Keiffer’s remarks and circulated a petition asking voters to denounce it.
Legislation that would bar the state employee health insurance plan from covering abortions in most cases received final passage Tuesday from the Georgia Legislature, sending it to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature.
Senate Bill 98 passed after both the House and Senate agreed to changes made to the bill in committee. House members voted first, 105-64, to approve the measure. The Senate then voted 36-18 to do the same.
The bill makes no exception for rape or incest, only allowing consideration of a medical emergency involving the life of the mother. It doesn’t make any medical procedure that is legal today illegal. It instead dictates how medical care involving abortions is paid for through the state health plans and through insurance exchanges offered via the Affordable Care Act.
In a recent article in Slate, legal expert Emily Bazelon detailed how many of these amicus briefs, filed largely by religious conservatives, voiced arguments from a bygone era when it comes to reproductive rights. Bazelon wrote, “If it sounds like I’m describing a 1960s enraged sermon about the pill, I guess that’s the point[.] I could be”:
[T]he American Freedom Law Center, which says it “defends America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values,” sees contraception, instead, as Pope Paul VI did in 1968. In its brief, AFLC quotes the former pope like so:
“It has come to pass that the widespread use of contraceptives has indeed harmed women physically, emotionally, morally, and spiritually — and has, in many respects, reduced her to the ‘mere instrument for the satisfaction of [man’s] own desires.’ Consequently, the promotion of contraceptive services — the very goal of the challenged mandate — harms not only women, but it harms society in general by ‘open[ing] wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards.'”
“the documented negative effects the widespread availability of contraceptives has on women’s ability to enter into and maintain desired marital relationships. This in turn leads to decreased emotional wellbeing and economic stability (out-of-wedlock childbearing being a chief predictor of female poverty), as well as deleterious physical health consequences arising from, inter alia, sexually transmitted infections and domestic violence.”
And so, as the AFLC argues, contraceptives of all kinds aren’t medical or related to health care at all. They are “procedures involving gravely immoral practices.” Protected sex demeans women by making men disrespect them. (Just as Pope Paul VI did decades ago, the AFLC presents this as true inside marriage as well as out.) By separating sex from childbearing, birth control is to blame for the erosion of marriage, for the economic difficulties of single motherhood, and even for the rotten behavior of men who beat their girlfriends and wives. Birth control is the original sin of modernity. Its widespread availability changed everything, for the worse.
While these amicus briefs don’t necessarily represent either the litigants or society at large (the actual plaintiffs in the Hobby Lobby case aren’t Catholic, and American Catholics appear to have rejected the “immoral[ity]” of birth control), they are reminiscent of right-wing media’s long opposition to the contraception mandate.
For example, in a recent segment on Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Elisabeth Hasselbeck hosted Ralph Reed to expound on how the policies of the Obama administration have put the nation on a path towards “moral decay.” Reed specifically complained that Obama’s policies, like the contraception mandate, are “openly hostile to Christians and their right to speak in public”…
Video and more examples at the link.
I will end with this essay written by Steven Heine and Taigen Dan Leighton Published in “Kyoto Journal,” No. 39, 1999 Dylan And Dogen: Masters of Spirit and Words
Oh, it is good…and I think you will really find it an interesting looooong read!
Steven Heine, scholar of Eihei Dogen, the great 13th century Japanese Zen master and author, once remarked that he would like to be buried with the collected works of a great spiritual writer whose name has five letters beginning with “D” and ending with “n,” but who was not Dogen. Another American translator of Dogen, Zen priest Taigen Dan Leighton, has been known to mention his gratefulness to be living in the same time as Bob Dylan. After 35 years of songwriting Dylan recently released the critically-acclaimed album Time Out of Mind, and received appreciation with the Lillian Gish and Kennedy Center honors and three Grammy awards. During conversations sharing their high esteem for Dylan’s work, Heine and Leighton noted the striking parallels between Dogen and Dylan as spiritual writers who demonstrate a remarkable ability to use the tropes and idioms of everyday language to convey profound spiritual truths. This article is a product of that dialogue.
Enjoy…and share any links you have below in the comments.