Friday, July 31, 2020

Too Many Walls

When I was a kid, my buddies and I would ride our bikes many miles down to the Ohio River and explore.  We were looking for beer cans to add to our collections; mostly we just wanted to escape to a foreign land.  Our most favorite site was under the twin bridges that connect Indiana and Kentucky (Evansville to Henderson). 

Turn the page decades: Yesterday I was filling up the truck with cheap Kentucky gas at the Trocadero Plaza (north side of bridges, but technically in Kentucky) and decided to hike down to that forgotten, foreign land. 

Today's thought:  We build too many walls and not enough bridges.     -- Isaac Newton

Carpe diem Life,

David Kuhn

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Banjos, Fiddles, Whiskey, and Social Media

The paragraph comes from an old banjo instruction book:

These banjo and fiddle bands were an important part of rural society.  When the community would pitch in at a "working" such as a log rolling, a barn raising or a corn shucking, whoever was hosting the working would make sure to invite local musicians to play for a dance. . .   More often than not, these musicians were "paid" with homemade moonshine whiskey.  No wonder that fire-and-brimstone preachers often accused banjo and fiddle players of being "the devil's stalking horses." 

The devil's stalking horses?

Never heard that one before (But, I think I'm going to make that my first banjo tune if I ever learn to play the darn thing).

Turns out, a stalking-horse is a horse behind which a hunter hides while stalking game.  Something serving to conceal plans.  And, a fictitious reason that is concocted in order to conceal the real reason. 

Is it possible that I've been seeing a lot of "stalking horses" on social media lately and didn't even realize that it's been a real thing for centuries?

"He uses his folly like a stalking-horse, and under the presentation of that he shoots his wit." -- William Shakespeare

Off to write a banjo tune.  Need a word that rhymes with a horse, of course. 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Hear, Speak, See

Just something that I saw in a gift shop window. 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, July 20, 2020

I once received a fortune cookie . . .

I once received a fortune cookie that read, "You see pictures in poems and poems in pictures." 

Here is a picture from this weekend's adventure.  I was looking for an interesting shot of storm clouds moving in on us at the Johnson Country, Indiana 4-H Fairgrounds.

A poem might start something like:

Country Music blared from . . .

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, July 17, 2020

A few days off

I'll be taking a few days off away from "normal" life.  Plus, I'll have a heavy work schedule next week. 

One parting thought:

"The greatest need of our time is to clean out the information rubbish that clutters our minds and makes all political and social life a mass illness.  Without the house cleaning, we cannot begin to SEE.  Unless we SEE, we cannot think."  -- Thomas Merton.

I don't know when that was written, but Thomas Merton died in 1968.

Thomas Merton OCSO was an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion. On May 26, 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name "Father Louis".    
Clean out > information rubbish > clutters the mind > makes political and social life a mass illness!

A mass illness (again, written decades ago). 

True, I tend to get so much information -- and misinformation -- all day long that I lose connection of my common sense.  

It's good to take time to hunt cicada shells, look at rare comets such as C/2020 F3, NEOWISE, listen to bluebirds sing (wow, that sounds very Disney-esque).  

Anyway, going to take some time this weekend to spend time with people I love(with masks), and SEE, and THINK.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, July 13, 2020

First Find of the Season

Words can't explain why, but I still get excited when I find one of these guys:
My first find of the season.

This year it's a reminder that no matter how crazy this world is (when has it not been) I can still find child-like joy in nature. 

Here are some other random thoughts:

How do you keep going?  Take one day at a time.

The only thing you can control is how you spend your time. 

"None of us know what will happen.  Don't spend time worrying about it.  Make the most beautiful thing you can.  Try to do that every day.  That's it." -- Laurie Anderson 

"Turn on, tune in, drop out" is a counterculture-era phrase popularized by Timothy Leary in 1966. In 1967, Leary spoke at the Human Be-In, a gathering of 30,000 hippies in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and phrased the famous words, "Turn on, tune in, drop out".

Writer Austin Kleon has a new phrase for these crazy times, "Log off. Mute all. Carry on." 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kunn  

Saturday, July 11, 2020

I will not argue with strangers (or friends) on the internet.

"Think for yourself!" goes the old cliche.  But, as Austin Kleon writes, "But the truth is: We can't.  We need people to help us think.  Interacting with people who DON'T share our perspective forces us to rethink our ideas, strengthen our ideas, or trade our ideas for better ones."

I can't tell you how many times I've recently found myself typing a comment to someone's post on the internet.   "Listen, you idiot . . ." is how they usually begin (at least that's the hidden meaning when I literally start with, "With all due respect . . .").

When you think about it, thinking independently of other human beings is impossible.  Thinking is social.  Everything you think is a response to what someone else has thought and said.

Maybe, instead of like-minded people, we need to start hanging out with like-hearted people?  People who are open, have the habit of listening, who are generous, kind, caring, thoughtful . . .

Writer and thinker Alan Jacobs suggests hanging out with people who, when you say something, actually think about it -- rather than just simply reacting.

Reacting.  I've been doing a lot of that lately.  And, fortunately, hitting the delete button.  Time for me to CHOOSE to seek out the people with whom I feel a like-hearted connection.

All the others?

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn


Monday, July 6, 2020

Early Morning Walk

 “An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”
― Henry David Thoreau

Decided to take a walk this morning before I did anything else.  I had a motive.  

Yesterday, I noticed that the neighbors up the hill have a “crop” of unique mushrooms growing in their yard:  Fairy Rings!  And, I wanted to snap a photo before they were mowed down. 
My Research Department (Wikipedia) says:  A fairy ring, also known as fairy circle, elf circle, elf ring, or pixie ring, is a naturally occurring ring or arc of mushrooms. The rings may grow to over 33 ft. in diameter, and they become stable over time as the fungus grows and seeks food underground.

Just something beautiful to take notice of today. 

Mind the Fairy Rings!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Daylilies Take 3

I thought I was finished writing about daylilies.  After all,  they're not that interesting.  But . . .

I thought today would be just another average June day.  And maybe it is, but it's awesomely foggy out there this morning.  You know, one of those mornings where you walk up, look out the window and think, "Wow, that's different."

So, I just had to go back and take one more shot of the daylilies (they're not yet awake this morning).

Also curious, the yard is full of these delicate-looking spider webs (at least I guess they are delicate and I guess they are spider webs -- what do I know). 

Just a couple of observations.  Treasures.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Daylilies Take Two

Shortly after I posted yesterday's blog, this happened:

Now, this is the creek in its "normal" state:
 And, surviving underneath all that floodwater -- once again:
A tree with strong roots can withstand the most violent storm, but the tree can’t grow roots just as the storm appears on the horizon.     
Dalai Lama

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn