Friday, December 27, 2013

The Bus to Abilene

Twenty-Thirteen!  It comes and goes, shakes and snows and again then here we are!  What a conclusion!  I hope your twenty-thirteen reading experience was a majestic unfolding of thought for fruit and nourishment to heart and mind.  

The Second Annual Book Thanksgiving has already come and gone and with perhaps even more success than the last!  All in all we had about 10 book enthusiasts show up, including one person from across the country! 

In the past few weeks I have been reviewing my notes from many of the books I read this year, reflecting and musing, it has been a great year of reading.  I discovered many new things about myself as a reader, learner and listener, as well as all kinds of fascinating facts, histories, stories and beauties.  I am nearly overwhelmed by the new worlds book open to me, it is truly humbling and inspiring.  I pray I may honor the information and authors I read and listen to, in word and in deed, till death due us part.

And with all that said, here is my annual book poem, composed of quotes and paraphrases from books I read this year.  I included a few book review links which were inspired by books I reviewed on OneBookWiser,  Enjoy!  And if you wrote a book poem, I would be honored if you shared it in the comments section of this blogpost!

In 1790 only 3% of Americans lived in cities,
And only 3% of those Americans likely knew it, 

In 1816 the world experienced 
"The Summer that Never Was" 
which would have been a difficult 
year to understand that
The sun can make you take off your coat 
more quickly than the wind,  

An ample supply of wood is imperative 
when a single ship may take 
as many as 75 acres worth of trees, 
but skin does so much in so little space,

Because of photography 
there is a whole territory no longer being painted
And if Flattery is telling the other person 
exactly what he thinks of himself,
a photograph may be more 
"flattering" than a painting is,

If the only material that can withstand 
the unheard-of stress and heat of gunpowder
is metal, what does that say 
about the time we keep in metal circles,
facing up on our bony wrists,
illumined by the circle in the sky,

Just as a good reader is demanding of himself,
so too the Warrior uses Silence as his art, 
and meditation as his sword, 
to cut through illusion, 
for if you know yourself and your enemy, 
you will not lose one in a hundred,

We have dropped in the ocean,
Many plastic bottles we still carry,
and we produce more trash in our houses 
when we own cans that can house more trash, 
but Observe the moonrise and sunset long enough 
and you will be able to predict a lunar eclipse.  

Although there is considerable evidence
that depressed people, though sadder are wiser.
The heart is like a parachute 
it only works when it is open
So also, the way to know thyself 
is to love someone else

If Aristotle proved the earth was round,
by pointing out the curved shadow 
cast on the moon by the earth, 
and The Stethescope was invented 
due to one mans modesty, 
why was the Eifel tower 
saved because it could make
 a great radio tower,
while The pony express 
went bankrupt in less than one year, 
even though the horses didn't?

We have developed the convention of reading silently, 
this allows us to read widely, but less well, 
so how are we to understand 
when we read that In the West, 
The "Hellburner of Antwerp" was the first time bomb, 
While in the East silence was golden

Just as the mind imposes tension on the body
so do we make our own sandwich 
when we pack our own lunch
and a great deal of the world's wisdom
 is contained in manure

The shepherds presence changes the behavior of his flock,
so also Mother Teresea recovered the image of God in people.
and We should be at each moment a living flame of prayer
Therefore may we read books, not too fast, not too slow 
And if birds are hitting your window, draw a hawk silhouette on it,
 to save them.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Planet Walker

The Ragged Edge of Silence     John Francis     272 Pages    2011
Planet Walker     John Francis     288 Pages    2008

A BOOK BLESSING  -For Reading Aloud-

 ay we be blessed to know the silence which comes in calm and collects in twilight all the musical notes of joy filled up and rolled home into one, dropping at the doorstep of one step then two step, which can so step you too, cross a continent to come crystalize many empty walls of communication with bright light watercolors wordlessly flavored in rhythm and rhyme of an action which knows the golden silence which follows all action acted upon.  When our words do not speak the action we speak of we will be met with silence, when our silence speaks into our action we will be met with faith.      

WHAT'S IN IT  - In Summary

S eventeen years of silence.  Twenty-two years of walking.  Thousands of watercolors painted.  Millions of steps taken.  Hundreds of hearts inspired.  I am overjoyed as the writer, to know how much little speaking I will need to do after writing such statements.  But here we have it, Dr. John Francis.  He has a PhD without speaking, and continental travel without jet, jetpack, or native 4 wheel steel.  If that wasn't enough to give to the world we as fortunate readers have his auto-biography.  And Mr. Francis still has his banjo, which he also carried.  

hen John Francis witnessed an oil spill in San Francisco in the 1970's he decided now was the time to act.  He wanted to do enact gifts of peace toward the environment, and so he did.  In a brief few moments he made the decision to no longer ride in motorized vehicles.  This lasted 22 years.  Several weeks after his decision he decided to make an experiment of silence, he was tired of debating others, and desired to see if perhaps indeed his silence was more effective.  This lasted 17 years, and lead him into an inner journey of joy, peace, and listening.

must admit to a great deal of captivity in reading his journey, to the point that I simply read through into his next book, after reading through his first book.  They are both listed above, and both highly recommended for proof of the power silence speaks and listens, breathes and glistens.  He is also a great practitioner of the Haiku, which was a star gazing moment of enjoyment.  A final admittance must be that while I do occasionally ride in vehicles, for nearly the last year I have not owned a car, simply choosing bicycle and walking step by step.  Thus I found a great friend and inspiration in Mr. Francis writing.

f you like Irony, and being flabbergasted by how much stranger life can be than fiction.  You will thoroughly enjoy in awed exclamation what happens the day after Mr. Francis breaks his vow of silence.  In fact it is just pure awed wonderment like the kind that could sculpt the Pyramids and tip a world axis. 

TAKE FIVE  -Book Samples

PW pg 116 - Observe the moonrise and the sunset long enough and you will be able to predict a lunar eclipse.  Watch the clouds gather and listen to the songs of birds and you will be able to foretell the weather.

PW pg ? -  In the Evening sky
                     New moon makes a sideways smile
                     Above the River

TRES pg 41 - When I began writing from silence I started by describing the weather.

TRES pg 51 - Silence...dwells between our words and sentences.

TRES pg 51 - When we listen closely, the silence lays a fabric to clothe our thoughts.

PAIRS WELL WITH  -Further Resources

  1. Stillness
  2. Gordon Hempton on Silence
  3. John Francis TED talk

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