Sunday, January 28, 2007

San Francisco Peace March

A few little impressions of the 27 January 2007 Peace March as it happened in San Francisco...People gathered at Powell and Market...The Raging Grannies sang...

We heard from Carolyn Ho, the mother of Lt. Ehren Watada, whose court-martial is about to begin for his refusal to serve in the Iraq War.

A support rally for him will take place 2-4 p.m., 4 February 2007, Civic Center Plaza.


Lordy, lordy, I never expected to agree with a comment by Ayn Rand! "We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force." -- Ayn Rand, The Nature of Government.

For the barely known story of resisters to the American War in Vietnam, catch the documentary, "Yes Sir No Sir." For more information on the case of Lt. Watada -- and the host of other resisters: and

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"TRANSPARENT" by Cris Beam

Dan and Meredith Beam let people know that their daughter, Cris Beam, would be reading at A DIFFERENT LIGHT bookstore in the Castro District. About to begin her reading, spontaneous feelings burst out (as someone who had blossomed as a young woman into her true nature as a lesbian): "It feels wonderful to read here. I was raised in San Francisco, and when I was a teenager it felt so good to come here and hang out in this bookstore, although I didn't buy anything and I was afraid they might kick me out!" Wonderful to know that Cris had a place where she did not feel like an outsider -- instead of living in some place where confused and isolated gay and lesbian teenagers resort to suicide. Cris read from her book "TRANSPARENT, Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers," a very warm account of her seven years working with gender-confused teenagers in L.A. Cris captures the reality of her conversations with troubled chiildren. There is some possibility that a film will be made of the book as she defines the different personalities and speech mannerisms of her clients, and describes how some got through their changes, escaping neurosis and juvenile deliquency, and others did not, ending in prison. If I understood her correctly, she became the foster mother of one of youth (while, to me, she still seems very young herself). Also present, contributing to the question and answer period, were some of the transgender people who work with transgenders locally, as well as some going through the process. All said they avoid representations of transgenders in the media: One of Cris' transgender friends (her foster child?) had an ironic comment on a new transgender character on the soap opera ALL MY CHILDREN, "Why would they name the character 'Zarf' -- because, of course, transgenders are from outer space."

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Currently at the De Young Museum...

...California Impressionists and a show of Ruth Osawa's work -- conveyed here through inadequate photographs.

Granville Redman's Morning Light, Poppies, 1932:

Arthur Matthews, The Oaks:

Thomas Hill, Budd Lake and Cathedral Peak:

Some of Osawa's Work:

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's Day 2007

As in previous years, a group of us accepted Jane Baker's invitation to spend the afternoon of New Year's Day at her home...

...each person bringing something to recite, ranging from verses to recipes to philosophical musings. Specifically, Jack Eiman read from Esther and Jerry Hicks' The Law of Attraction and passed around around Busting Loose from the Money Game by Robert Scheinfeld, and also mentioned a Esther and Jerry Hicks DVD, The Secret.

Jane's pug, Otis:

Afterward, I wandered around the city and the Castro District
with writer friend Don --- Moon over the Castro:

Then I drove Don to the place where he lives.
Don is feeling a positive change coming into his life.

Fragments from Jane's current art projects:

Monday, January 01, 2007

To be.

Excerpts, "The Latest Freed Man," by Wallace Stevens:

Tired of the old descriptions of the world,
The latest freed man rose at six and sat
On the edge of his bed. He said, "I suppose there is
A doctrine to this landscape. Yet, having just
Escaped from the truth, the morning is color and mist,
Which is enough...."

It was how the sun came shining into his room:
To be without a description of to be,
For a moment on rising, at the edge of the bed, to be,
To have the ant of the self changed to an ox
With its organic boomings, to be changed
From a doctor into an ox, before standing up,
To know that the change and that the ox-like struggle
Come from the strength that is the strength of the sun,
Whether it comes directly or from the sun.
It was how he was free. It was how his freedom came.
It was being without description, being an ox.
It was the importance of the trees outdoors,
The freshness of the oak-leaves, not so much
That they were oak-leaves, as the way they looked.
It was everything being more real, himself
At the centre of reality, seeing it.
It was everything bulging and blazing and big in itself,
The blue of the rug, the portrait of Vidal,...the chairs.

Joyce Umamoto informs me that this is the Year of the Pig in the Chinese zodiac -- the last year in the latest 12-year cycle, so perhaps, on the brink of a new cycle, we can wobble the wheel into some path better than the one we had to follow in the last cycle.