Break in Bulk

Longshoremen Leave AFL-CIO Partnership Over Obamacare

– Creative Commons

Having attended another simple but significant memorial service yesterday, I’m trying out a new nom de plume on an old poem…

Break in Bulk

A break-in-bulk point is a place where goods are transferred from one mode of transport to another, for example the docks where goods transfer from ship to truck.

The thriving town

Between power and sound

Grows rich on the bounty of friction

Til supplies and demands

Across foreign lands

Slows to a trickle of fiction

 – Babe Simple

Wisdom for the New Year

2005 Labor Day Weekend 033

Photo by Ned Olson

Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Finish Every Day

The old order changeth, yielding place to new, and God fulfils himself in many ways, lest one good custom should corrupt the world.

Alfred Lord Tennyson, Morte d’Arthur

The discovery of new values in life is a very chaotic experience; there is a tremendous amount of jostling and confusion and a momentary feeling of darkness.

Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands (author’s note)

Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.

Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism

One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

Andre Gide, The Counterfeiters

Old houses mended, cost little less than new before they’re ended.

Colley Cibber

Your public identity is a contract you renew every day.

George DeMarest

The commonplace is shot through with new glory…

Howard Thurman, Deep is the Hunger

If everything were to turn out just like I would want it to, then I would never experience anything new; my life would be an endless repetition of stale successes.

Hugh Prather

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past

Every person born into this world represents something new…

Martin Buber, The Way of Man

A mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

[the poet] unfixes the land and the sea, makes them revolve around the axis of his primary thought, and disposes them anew.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Idealism

What goals would you be setting for yourself if you knew you could not fail?

Robert Schuller, You Can Become the Person You Want to Be

Each change of many-coloured lite he drew; exhausted worlds, and then imagined new;

Samuel Johnson (of William Shakespeare)

We live our life into a new way of thinking, not think our life into a new way of living.

Steve Buitrago

…there is nothing new under the sun.

The Preacher, Proverbs

Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,and gives the crutch the cradle’s infancy.

William Shakespeare, Love’s Labors Lost

Science involves groups of people sharing observations, making predictions, checking the predictions, and then making new and better predictions — all the while living in a universe that tolerates this sort of behavior.

Lucas John Mix, Life in Space

To live communally in silence is to admit a new power into your life.

Kathleen Norris, Dakota

I’ve never learned anything new from someone I agree with.

Dudley Field Malone, The State of Tennessee vs John Thomas Scopes

The more you leave behind, the more room you have to find something new.

William Bridges, Transitions


The Sin of Perfection

Just sharing a few words to the wise from my friend Momen…

What we often seek in perfection is freedom from the discomfort of making mistakes. In return for that freedom from discomfort we trade our curiosity, our flexibility, and the room to grow.

We can consider the trade: Do we want to live the rest of our lives in our well-defined little world, safe but perhaps stifled? Or do we wish to venture out into the unknown, take a risk, and reach for everything life has to offer?Gasworks at Dusk 1

Julian of Norwich Prays the Twelve Steps


Step 1: I pray that I may triumph over temptation.

Steps 2 & 3: I pray Your will be done.

Steps 4 & 5: I pray that I may be healthy in body, mind and spirit.

Steps 6 & 7: I pray that my flesh and spirit be nourished.

Steps 8 & 9: I pray that I may love and be loved.

Step 10: I pray that I may live in peace and harmony with all Your creation.

Step 11: I pray that I may live in You in this life and with You in the life to come.

Step 12: I pray that I may be Your faithful servant.

Julian of Norwich (died ~1416) is credited with being the first woman to publish in the English language.

A Cynic’s Paradise

What exactly would a cynic consider bliss? In particular what would such a person consider eternal bliss? This could be a very important question for me.

As I ponder my eyes fall upon a pair of wedding candles…

wedding candles

These were lit briefly by my late parents-in-law in 1950. Sometime in the last year or two my wife burned them. No. This is not a staged photo. There they sit on the kitchen counter – only occasionally sharing the neighborhood with cleaning supplies.

Why did my wife burn them? I guess because candles were made to be burned, as perhaps lives and relationships are eventually meant to be.

I happen to believe these persons and their unique yet not at all uncommon relationship to be somehow eternal. Yet whatever earthly purpose they may have fulfilled is now history. Their effects on the earthly plane have been spent. Any eternal effects are quite beyond my true knowledge. Nobody there complained to see the candles burn that night. Everyone present seemed to think the sentiment of the event rather lovely.

I really do have no idea why these candles fall under the heading of A Cynic’s Paradise. Yet the question remains. Might there be a special purgatory for the cynic, and if so, how exactly might the typical cynic distinguish the place from Paradise?

I just may find these questions to be very important to me.

Cats Are Bilingual

Cats are nearly universally bilingual. I realize this is not news for many, least of all our friend Beau…

armchair beauphoto by Caleb Olson

Of course Beau’s first language, being from around these parts, is English. Since his ear has been clipped, I can only assume that he was at one time, before making our acquaintance, conversant in the feline lingua franca commonly known as Caterwaul. Since coming to live with us I like to think his skills in that tongue are rather unpolished. He does sneak out on occasion for a night on the town, and a buddy or two have come calling, but his command of English would seem to indicate the kind of no nonsense practicality which makes any Beau-initiated caterwaul seem highly unlikely.

Being so practical, of course, he has little need for more than a few words of English. In extremis those few words may be delivered with an amazing range of emotion and nuance, with each new inflection jam packed with one clear meaning. That word, or rather phrase, would usually be, “Feed me!”

The rest of Beau’s English consists pretty much only of the phrase, “Let me in!” He may well know the phrase, “Let me out!”, but being officially designated an Indoor Cat, even if he knows these words, he is far too cagey to ever use them.