Tuesday, July 31, 2007


A different bud, in slightly better lighting. I'm fascinated by the pattern of the wrapped petals.

Monday, July 30, 2007


The next few days continue my fascination with the Rose of Sharon. This bud is growing on a bush in my back yard, along the fence line. I have not noticed this bush in previous years, which may partly explain my fascination with it.

It is a beautiful flower, as we will see in detail over the next few days. It's a name which figures prominently in the Biblical Song of Songs, and is the name of a character in Grapes of Wrath. Those associations also haunt me, in a manner of speaking.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Your correspondent, shortly after getting a crew cut.

Friday, July 27, 2007


I took this picture yesterday (26 July), along with many others, on the university campus where I work. You may see many of those other pictures posted below (posts 201-206).

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I took this shot last Saturday (21 July); this bud may have bloomed by now. It will become a Rose of Sharon blossom.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

207/365 - Anglican Rosary

This is an Anglican Rosary, with a Celtic Cross. It was given to me by a friend. I thought this friend was mad with me. So, it surprised me when the friend offered it to me.

All the beads are polished stone. The cross appears to be silver.

The Anglican Rosary, unlike the Rosary used in the Roman Catholic tradition, does not have a prescribed set of prayers to say. There are a number of suggested ways to pray the Anglican Rosary, but there is no one "right" way.

I think of it as a "do-it-yourself" rosary prayer.

There are three large beads (called gauds) within the circle that are typically used for the three spiritual virtues (faith, hope, and love). Sometimes they are used to the sacraments.

Between each gaud is a set of seven smaller beads. Again, you may use any prayer you like on these beads. You could pray the Hail Mary. You could pray the Our Father. You could pray "Om Mani Padme Om". You could pray for the well-being of all creatures, especially those you are in conflict with.

My friend gave me these beads because he remembered I once led a program on the Roman Catholic Rosary. I thought he was mad with me, but maybe he never was. Or maybe he's forgiven me by now.

I avoid conflict, so I never asked him directly. I know he was hurt, and I know I did not intentionally inflict the hurt. But, with hindsight, I recognize that I might have felt hurt if I had been in his place. By e-mail, I asked for a visit; but I was never brave enough to ask face-to-face.

To be honest, I was upset with him as well. The whole story is complicated and muddy. It's not worth detailing. Besides, I'm trying my best to protect my friend's identity.

Though he never asked - and he probably never knew I was upset - I did forgive him. As I say, with hindsight I could understand what might have motivated him.

Let us say we both did the best we could with the information and skills we had.

My friend doesn't know it, but just the offer of this rosary felt like a shadow had been lifted. I truly was sad, soul sad, that I had hurt this friend.

Maybe my friend didn't mean this as a token of his forgiveness. It could mean many other things. But that is how I will hold it.

And I will pray that his life be blessed. That wholeness fill his body like a clear rushing stream. That all worries will be lifted. That his life be blessed. I will pray that we forgive, as we are forgiven.


A variation on one of the pictures below. The text reads, "Rose, where did you get that red?", which is the title of a book by Kenneth Koch, about teaching poetry to young children.

The book was a follow-up to his first book on this topic, Wishes, Lies, and Dreams. Rose discusses the use of classic poetry as a tool in the elementary grades. The title comes from poem one of the students wrote in response to William Blake's poem, "The Tyger".






Saturday, July 21, 2007


We go round and round and round
in the circle game.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Wednesday, July 18, 2007


My first physical therapy session was yesterday. There was an endless amount of paperwork to complete, at least eight pages worth, which included a page where I indicated whether I wanted to see a social worker.

The physical therapist's name was Mark. He recorded a history of my accident and pain. Right now, what I categorize my physical sensation as “constant discomfort”, rather than pain. There is occasion pain, associated with different activities – such as playing the guitar fretboard close to the box, or driving for long periods. As I mentioned, I'm sure that if I had to type all day, that would begin to hurt as well.

He gave me a sonic massage. I could actually hear the hum, now and again, in my right ear. As I type this, my muscles actually ache a little more than they did before the massage.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I had what is, for me, an unusally busy weekend.

Friday night, I went to a poetry reading. It's probably been a year since I last went to a poetry reading. This was a reading of the Woody Guthrie Poets. I was one of about 30 people who read. I sang "Unfaithfully Yours" and read "I Am Not I". They were well received.

From 7:30 Saturday morning until 17:00 Saturday evening, I was Chief Proctor for an exam. Ten hours of watching 46 people take an exam is not scintillating entertainment, but I was getting well-paid for it. The extra money will definitely come in handy.

From there, I drove to Okemah to meet a few of my Woody Guthrie Poet friends - Carol and George, in particular. We met at the Grape Ranch, which is about ten miles south of Okemah. We listened to the Farm Couple, a excellent local husband and wife singing/performing team. George and I played bocce ball (sort of an Italian cross between shuffle-board and bowling).

Sunday morning, I read the second lesson at church. I also provided the music (and slight direction) for a presentation after church. I went home, took a nap, then went back to church for an evening program.

There you have it, a whirlwind tour of my weekend.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


The original of this shot is unbelievably small - about two inches square. This is Padre, probably in his teens, posing with his mother. Her grandchildren all called her Gran.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Padre and playmate circa 1935. He would have been around six years old when this shot was taken.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


This is a historical image of the Colcord Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. I posted a modern image on June 6.

You might be able to see a figure on the roof, where the two sections of the building meet. This figure is wearing a dress and a cap popular in the 1920s. I therefore assume this shot was taken in the late '20s or early 30s.

This shot was also among the group sent by my youngest cousin.


This began as a composite of three different photographs, which were then spun, twisted, and tweaked until I found a design pleasing to my eye.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


This buckeroo is Padre, my father. I have no clue when this picture was taken, or how old he was at the time. I just received this shot along with several others in a package from my youngest cousin.


Prospectus for movie-review series now posted at "Love During Wartime".


This picture was taken during the Vacation Bible School we hosted in Watonga, OK. I'm probably singing a Baptist-type hymn, as this is the likely background of most of the kids.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


An out-door reception had been planned for Sunday, July 1. However, as you may have heard, it's been raining in Oklahoma. July 1 was the 18th consecutive day that it rained.

So, the reception was moved indoors, to the church's meeting hall. An indoor bower was created, with donations from OCU's local theater department.

Monday, July 9, 2007


New poem posted at "Love During Wartime": I Am Not I.


I've probably posted a picture of this buffalo at some point in the past. This fiberglass statue is among a group sold or leased to businesses (and groups) around Oklahoma City about two years ago. As I recall, this was a fund-raising effort by the Nature Conservancy. The Tulsa Zoo had a similar fund-raising effort, involving penguins; one day, I hope to share a picture of Fr. Penguin, who resides at a church in the Tulsa 'burbs.

Anyway, this fellow was given the punny name "Episcobull" (he was purchased by an Episcopal Church). In this particular shot, he is sporting a Pendleton Blanket.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


Some of you may wonder why I haven't posted any pictures in over a week. I have taken a lot of pictures, as the "official" photographer for my church. I estimate I've taken almost 300 pictures over the past four weeks.

I feel somewhat limited in which of these pictures I can share.

Many of them are of crowds of people - not very artful, but significant to the occasions I was recording. I doubt this type of picture would be of interest outside my state.

I guess I shouldn't really put the word "official" in quotes; I'm getting paid for my work. Technically, this means I'm a professional. Whether the pics are professional quality are another question entirely.

I will share some of these pictures which I think will be of broad interest.


I recognize some people may be wondering about the aftermath of the minor fender-bender I described in my previous post. I realize I’m far behind on my daily entries (a goal I had set for myself).

First things first: aside from residual tense muscles, I am fine. The doctor examined me Tuesday morning, and did not find anything broken. Given the situation, I doubted that I had sustained serious injury; I doubt the yellow cab could have been driving more than 5 miles per hour. I went to see the doctor as a precaution.

She did order x-rays, and said she would call if she found anything serious in them. She has not called, and I’m taking that as good news.

As for the car, the only visible damage is some scratched paint on the rear bumper. A friend at work recommended a collision shop, and I took the car to them on Friday. They did not do as thorough an inspection of the car as I expected – the rep said they’d have to actually be commissioned for the work to do that. I did get sticker shock when I saw the estimate on retouching the bumper – almost $500.

The yellow cab driver had asked I get an estimate on the damage prior to reporting it to insurance. His job might be on the line. He said he’d pay it if he could afford it; otherwise, we’d turn it over to the yellow cab company’s insurance company.

So I called him, and explained the estimate was for the visible damage only. I repeated what the rep had said: it seemed unlikely there was more damage, considering the low speed involved, but there was no guarantee. I think the yellow cab driver was as shocked by the $500 estimate as I was; what he said he didn’t want to risk it costing more than that. So, we’re turning it over to his insurance company.

Now, I admit I should have taken the car in on Monday or Tuesday of last week. Thing is, Monday I was waiting for the clinic to call to set up an appointment. I could have gone Tuesday afternoon, but I got consumed by inertia. Or maybe just by the headache.

I failed to mention the doctor prescribed Flexeril – a muscle relaxant – for the muscle tension. I’m sensitive to downers, so I’ve only been taking them in the evening. The doctor also suggested that I relax, or take it easy. So I took off Thursday and Friday, and sat around like an inert lump of flesh.

I did not take a Flexeril last night, as I need to chair a meeting at church this morning. As this entry may suggest, my energy has returned. Who knew I would be so susceptible to downers?

Anyway, I do have some tension in my left shoulder – echo of a car wreck back in the ’80s. Otherwise, I feel OK.

Monday, July 2, 2007


I was rear-ended on Saturday, June 30. Everything else related to the day was colored by this.

I had just gone to see "Disturbia" at the discount ($1.25) theater. It was a little after 7 pm. I was driving west, in the left lane, mentally aiming for the highway exit.

I hadn't seen a speed limit sign, so I was driving 35 mph - which seemed a safe rate to maintain until I did see a sign. A pizza delivery person passed me just before the stoplight. A yellow cab station wagon was immediately behind me.

By the time the pizza delivery person had passed me, the light had turned red. Our three cars waited. I had allowed a little over a yard between myself and the pizza person. I didn't really notice how far back the yellow cab was.

The light turned green. Oddly enough, the pizza person didn't blaze out from the starting gate. But someone else was ready to go.

Yellow cab driver. Although he did not hit my car hard enough to push forward any discernible distance, he did hit my car with enough force to make my head bounce on the head rest once.

Not surprisingly, I uttered the immortal phrase, "What the

I had enjoyed the movie. I recommend it. I'm not sure seeing the movie was worth getting rear-ended.

I've had a headache, a constant dull headache, ever since. I see the doctor in the morning.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


The Rose of Sharon
  at the side of the road
   was eaten by my horse.
— Basho