Wednesday, July 29, 2009

peculiar palm

"It is good to know the truth, but it is better to speak of palm trees." - Arab Proverb
I spotted this tall boy on one of those recent rainy mornings we've been have lately. Excuse me, did I say tall? There are a lot of tall palms around town but this guy was really up there (I'm talkin' nosebleed seats!) and set off all by himself so I couldn't really be sure where that long thin trunk was planted.

What caught my eye were the orange coconuts looking very dayglo set against that vague, grey daylight. The coconut caught my eye, but the fronds got my interest. I've never seen anything like them. They look like a Southern Palm and Northern Oak hybrid.

Then, as I was setting to take the picture, I noticed how low the nuts are hung. Not just below the vegetation, as on other coconut palms, but another foot or so (I reckoned) down the tree's trunk.

If anyone knows what species of coconut palm this might be, please share. I'd like to know too.
A very peculiar palm.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

over head, under foot & somewhere in between

Over head is Spirit. The source, the energy in the ether. Whatever we name it, it's the pure awareness of being that compels us to move forward along our self-prescribed karmic paths.

Under foot lies the path itself. Our odyssey, adventure or course of action offering an alternating landscape of experiences from shadow to light as we journey along into a future we can't see.

Somewhere in between is the common thread that binds the two; our hearts and minds. Perceive the path with will inspired by Spirit, learn from the landscape with curiosity and kindness. Follow into the future with faith and know it's all good. More often than not, small gifts of grace will be shown to you.

Monday, July 20, 2009

it was forty years ago today. . .

I'm old enough now to have been young and impressionable at the start of the American Space Program. The school I was going to at the time had televisions in the classrooms so when Alan Shepard took the first 15 minute sub-orbital ride, we got to watch the whole event. By the time the flight was over, I was hooked.

For the next 8 years I followed all the Mercury, Gemini and early Apollo flights as best I could, in spite of excellent distractions like the Beatles, the Stones and my inevitable, adolescent discovery of girls.

40 years ago today, I was working my 4 - 11 shift at a turnpike rest-stop that also had televisions and when the "Eagle" landed, it had my (and everyone else's) undivided attention.

Today I'm having 2 thoughts. . .
Damn, that was a long time ago already and, why on Earth did we ever stop doing such cool things?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

ashe street, old town

Lord, I believe that I live on one of the most beautiful blocks in Old Town. . .

Sunday, July 12, 2009

artman's alphabet - T

coming or going?

We hear it all day long. From 6am to 10pm, the sound of flight in the day or night skies over Key West. Single engine props, turbo props and jets - mostly commercial and sometimes navy.

I think the reason the sound is so much more noticeable here than in London, Warsaw or New York, is that "normal" island life is much more quiet and wherever you live on this rock, the airport is less than a few miles away. So when, every hour on the half hour (or whatever the schedule is), a plane of some sort comes flying by it'll get my attention and I'll sometimes play a little head game with myself to try to figure out whether the sound is in-coming or out-going.

I imagine there are a few clues to consider. . .
The direction of the of the sound in relation to the wind, the rolling echo of the engines on the ocean or gulf (especially from the navy jets) and the length and loudness of the doppler effect.

Of course I never really know for sure but it's a little exercise for the brain and a somehow comforting reminder that, whatever else I'm doing as I live through this life, I'm at least still paying attention.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"a little rebellion now and then. . ."

The other day, I re-watched "The Obama Deception".

Now I know what you're thinking and you're right. . .
I've been waxing borderline political a little more often lately and it might be a bit annoying, even to me, but when you think about it, what with all the banksters, parasite pundits, politicians and preachers screaming for our support of their new-age ponzi schemes on their 24/7 news-cycle, while all the rest of us are left hanging on to the ever shortening end of the stick, how can any thought any of us have, not be shaded by their self-serving deceptions?

Alex Jones', "The Obama Deception" is not so much an indictment of Barak as a crooked politician (and believe me, I have every hope for the guy), as it is of his groomed posture and position as a puppet, serving the interests of a global ruling class whose influence is far and beyond the powers of his presidential office.
"The Obama Deception" makes a good argument, with a lot of verifiable information and is really worth the watch for any and all thinking American women and men.
My most recent watching of it reminded me of an old axiom I first heard while I was doing the college thing in New York City. And my White Ibis friends here, offered to help me make the point. . .

One mind, however brilliant and inspired, has the power of just that. One mind;

Two minds, concentrated on a single issue, have the power of three minds;

Three minds, focused on a common cause, have the power of five minds and, five minds can overthrow a government.

In 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote, in a letter to James Madison (the 4th president of the United States), ". . . I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

Maybe it's time for "we the people" to put our heads together.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

new kid in town

I'm sure I've mentioned, somewhere along the blog,that I don't watch television, (let's face it, life ain't a spectator sport) but that I do enjoy a passion for talk radio. NPR, Air America and WOR (out of New York) are the usual staples and then one way or another, about a month ago I "stumbled upon" something new. . .

KONK - 1680AM, Key West community radio. It's kind of cool, 12 hours a day of talk radio all about Key West and all by Key West personalities, many of whom are friends and/or neighbors of mine.

I just wanted to give them a quick mention and offer up a link where Key West the Blog followers can give them a listen.
KONK - 1680AM

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

the fifth of july

Just another lazy Sunday in Paradise; nothing much to say.

Across the asphalt streets and concrete sidewalks, between the homes and houses, around and through the fences and safe from the cars and mopeds; under the summer sun, the city is a garden.

And mostly, that's what keeps me here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

happy 4th. . .

Because it's 4th of July, I thought I'd think out loud about the Declaration of Independence. . .

Like how the document was written, principally, by Thomas Jefferson but that he was backed and badgered by a committee that included John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. And how, each time that committee would make changes to the original draft, Jefferson would get a bit cranky about it.

And how the Second Continental Congress actually voted to approve the "resolution for independence" on July 2nd but due to the nature of any Congress, the wording of the declaration was debated, again revised and couldn't be rolled out for another two days.

Or how most folks think the Declaration of Independence was signed by the Congress on July 4th when the reality is that most of the delegates didn't sign it until August 2nd and the British government didn't even find out about it until August 30th.

And how the handwritten and signed copy of the declaration (the one we all recognize) is not Jefferson's handwriting but that of Timothy Matlack.

Or how Jefferson and Adams (at first friends, then political enemies, then friends again) were the only two signers to be elected president and that on the 50th anniversary of the declaration (July 4th, 1826), both Jefferson and Adams died within hours of each other.

"Holiday Hammock", digital illustration, © 2009 Arthur A. Winstanley

. . . But I'm not gonna do that. I think, instead, I'll just lay back in the hammock and relax with a Mexican cerveza and a pound of Canadian bacon and try to figure out why any American would even consider taking such an amazing history and trade it in for a North American Union.



Thursday, July 2, 2009

tenting tonight

A week or so ago, my good friends and very best next door neighbors Eddie and Eric let me know that they had a termite problem and were going to have their home "tented". Now, if you're living in the Keys you know exactly what I'm talking about but for the rest of my readers, "tenting" is a process where a half dozen guys show up, cover an entire building with a tarp, seal it (as best they can) and fill it with something like Zyklon B and let it sit overnight to kill all the termites.

Well now the reason my good neighbors gave me the heads up was so I could take special care that Max (the cat) wouldn't get in harms way. Curious cats have a way of getting into places we dumb-ass humans think we can keep them out of and, it's a fact that cats and other critters have found their way to termination by "tenting". So when the crew showed up late this afternoon, it was time to cut off Max's access to the great outdoors.

Now my girl Max, generally has free and uninhibited access to anywhere she wants to be so, when she found the screen door not propped open for her ingress and egress, she was, quite honestly, pissed. (A cat lover friend told me that if I just explained the situation to Max she'd understand and be alright with it.) Well I tried and guess what. . .
Even though I'd explained my sorry ass off and then resorted to bribing her with StarKist (her favorite junk food), she still wasn't talking to me.

An hour or so ago, while I was cooking dinner, I let me mind spool through the day's events (up to and including Eddie and Eric's overnight "tenting") and an old Civil War era camp song, "Tenting Tonight" came into my head. It seemed a bit twisted, but appropriate so I let it roll on. . .

"We've been tenting tonight on the old camp-ground,
Thinking of days gone by
Many are the hearts looking for the right
To see the dawn of peace.
Tenting tonight, tenting tonight
Tenting on the old camp-ground."

Well, I've known that melody from a younger time in life and started half humming/half singing the diddy. Don't you know, Max came out of her cloistered corner and sat back with me in the kitchen as talkative as ever.

Maybe it's the power of music and love. Maybe she knew I was cooking up a filet of Snapper.

key west after-party