Archive for February, 2007



May your trails be crooked,

winding, lonesome,

dangerous, leading to the most amazing


May your rivers flow without end,

meandering through pastoral valleys

tinkling with bells,

past temples and castles and poets’ towers

into a dark primeval forest where tigers

belch and monkeys howl,

through miasmal and mysterious swamps

and down into a desert of red rock,

blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and

grottos of endless stone,

and down again into a deep vast ancient

unknown chasm

where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled


where deer walk across the white sand


where storms come and go

as lightning clangs upon the high crags,

where something strange and more beautiful

and more full of wonder than your deepest


waits for you –

beyond the next turning of the canyon


                            ——Edward Abbey


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Meadow butterflies…

meadow butterflies–
the cow also
-Issa, 1806

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“My first lesson in animal rights was taught to me by a small white rat that I took home from the college psychology lab.   …

‘Ratsky’ lived for some months in a cage in my bedroom. And in her cage, she behaved the way I assumed rats behave. But when I started leaving the cage door open so she could walk around, I began to see things I hadn’t anticipated. After several days of cautious sniffing about at the cage door, she began to investigate the world outside. As she explored my apartment (under my watchful eye), she took an interest in my friends and me.

She gradually became more and more friendly. If I was lying on my back reading, she would come and stand on my chest. She would wait to be petted, and if I didn’t pay her enough attention, she would lightly nip my nose and run away. I knew her sharp teeth could have gone right through my skin, but she was always playfully careful.

Like a cat, Ratsky spent hours grooming herself. Given food, water, and warmth, I found that rats are friendly, fun, and meticulously clean. …”


“When I was a student headed for a medical career, I witnessed and even participated in numerous experiments on animals. But after I took one of the rats home from the lab to nurse her back to health, ‘Ratsky’ became a beloved companion who clearly felt pain and joy, and expressed curiosity and affection. It was this little being who helped me see the inhumanity and futility of cruel experiments on animals. …”

Neal D. Barnard, M.D.
Physicians Committe for Responsible Medicine www.pcrm.org

(The above quotes are excerpts from a letter from PCRM that I received in the mail today.)

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 Altogether elsewhere, vast
 Herds of reindeer move across
 Miles and miles of golden moss,
 Silently and very fast.

W. H. Auden  from “The Fall of Rome”

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“An optimist isn’t necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy, whistler-in-the-dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something…”

“The Optimism of Uncertainty” by Howard Zinn in

Hold Hope, Wage Peace  edited by David Krieger and Carah Ong

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