something about plankton living in the water in the tops of ancient redwood trees. the kind of plankton that whales like. and worms living in the soil created by the needles of the trees as the needles fall onto the arms of the trees and eventually decompose. worms living in redwoods hundreds of feet up. and plankton living there too.

hmmm. i must be not getting this quite right. i believe the part about worms. a wholely new type of worm found in the trees that are not on the ground.

but plankton? don’t they need sea~water?

tell me if you find out anything about this because i am extremely intrigued.

it’s not at all googleable, as far as i can tell.


a la Johnny Baker

March 12, 2007

I wrote this back in early February****

Back in December I wanted to see falling stars so badly I could hardly stand it. Somewhere I had read that there was a great chance of seeing the Geminids in mid-December if you could get far enough away from the city lights. They were supposed to be really big and bright and colorful. Once or twice I’ve seen a really colorful shooting star, so when I read that these ones could be green and yellow and blue I was even more intent on seeing them.

    My mom was in the hospital the nights they were supposed to be falling and I was so tired and I would’ve had to have driven really far to escape the city lights so I didn’t see them.


  I read that there were shooting stars, the Ursids, that you could possibly see around Dec 22. But that week it rained and the skies were so cloudy, so of course no stars. Which was fine, we need the rain.On Christmas Eve, my friend Nick gave me Sufjan Steven’s Christmas CD. There’s a song on there called Star of Wonder. Its’s swirling and gorgeous, like the Milky Way*.     Here are the words to it:

  I call you
From the comet’s cradle
I found you
Trembling by yourself
When the night falls
Lightly on your right-wing shoulder
Wonderful know-it-all
Slightly where the night gets colder
Oh, conscience,
Where will you carry me?
I found you
Star of terrifying effigies
When the night falls
I carry myself to the fortress
Of your glorious cause
Oh, I may seek your fortress
When the night falls
We see the star of wonder
Wonderful night falls
We see you
We see you
I see the stars coming down there
Coming down there to the yard
I see the stars coming down there
Coming down there to my heart
[Repeat x 10]

I see the stars coming down there
Coming down there to the yard   

Sufjan keeps singing the chorus over + over + over for a long time and he uses instruments like harps and bells and banjos and triangles.** I hope you get to hear the song some day. It’s absolutely star music.  It sounds like stars. It sounds like when young Prince Caspian was up in the tower (the old tower that never got used) with his tutor and he realized that his tutor was not a regular human being after all but actually maybe a dwarf(!) and he started wondering if there could have been any truth to all those old stories his nurse used to tell him about Old Narnia.   That night, Christmas Eve, after eating with my friends and getting this wonderful music from Nick, I drove around the city. I wanted to go to a Christmas Eve service. I drove to Trinity Cathedral downtown. It was around ten and the service had proly started at 9 and I didn’t have the courage to walk in so late, so I just stood in the bathroom listening to their music. They have a huge organ there and the sound was huge, I could hear it even though I was locked in a little room.     I still wanted to go remember a long ago night with people so I drove up Central Ave to a Methodist church. They were between services and  people were outside around a fire and mingling in a side room eating from tables covered with cookies, punch, cheese and crackers and those little quiche things that I hear you get at Costco that taste so good.

   Hi, I imagine myself saying, I don’t know any of you people and that makes me feel lonely, but there are enough of you here that you don’t notice me and it is Christmas Eve, so I’ll take another quiche-thing if you don’t mind. Mmmmm, tasty. Mind if I have another?

   So I went to sit down in this big old red velvet vaulted ceiling church and looked around at the people. There was an old white-haired lady near me by herself. I got this idea in my head the second I noticed her: she’s a widow, she’s here alone. Her husband will not be at home when she goes back there tonight.(Of course, who knows, maybe not…..)

   The service hadn’t begun yet, I was sitting there with my candle and suddenly decided I just couldn’t be there and so I got up and went out into the courtyard and headed to my car. It was going to be lonely sitting there and I was exhausted and I was going to have to drive home 30 miles afterwards.

   I feel at this point I should tell you I did grab another quiche or two, before I zoomed off….. 

   Okay, so what does this have to do with worship? Or with meteorites….?

   Yes, well, I’m not that good a writer. Go read Dry Bones Dance or old Junkmail for Blankets if you are looking for well-connected thoughts….anyways…

   Right after Christmas, my co-worker showed me an article online about how there was another chance to see falling stars. If they happen they happen for at least a couple nights and already people in Cave Creek had seen them. Real live meteorites! The Quadtranids! 

   This time I was really going to go see them. I would get up at 3 am, drive to Cave Creek and be at work by 7.3 am came and of course I reset my alarm and fell right back to sleep and was kinda relieved to learn later that the skies clouded up anyways that night.

   I so wonder what it would be like to lay back on the cold ground wrapped in all my blankets and staring up at the cold, crisp clear winter sky. So snuggly in blankets, a billion stars……and all the anticipation and expectation of seeing falling stars…see it’s really kinda hard to describe because experientially I can barely remember what it’s like.

   Where do you live? Do you know what I mean? How far would you have to go to actually see the Milky Way? I’ve read that our sun is too young and  too cool*** to manufacture any element heavier than helium and since helium is number 2(?) on the periodic table, that leaves 90 plus elements that were not produced in our solar system. We are made of stars. We’re star remnants. But not from our star.

   I picture going to a remote place, laying down on the ground and staring up as being more worship than anything I’ve ever experienced in church. Do you know what I mean? Holy, holy, holy. Billions of stars, billions of years old. And too many spacey mysteries to delve into if you lived a billion years.

    A little before I got obsessed with going out to see meteorites I read this post (  ) by Real Live Preacher. Some people got disgruntled by RLP’s f-word, some people started debating stuff, others goo-goo gaw- gawed over RLP’s writing and I got this idea in my head after reading it:


  Once I went to a museum where they placed models of the planets at different sizes and distances to represent them. You started with Mercury, the size of a golf ball and then walked like a hundred feet and got to Venus the size of a baseball and then walk a couple hundred feet to Earth, the size of a small bowling ball or something like that. By the time you get to Pluto, it’s a mustard seed way on the other side of the hill, so far away you forget what you came for and head back to the gift shop.

   So I thought, I bet you could make something like this yourself. I looked online and found some resources like this:

   And then I decided I wanted to make something like this in my neighborhood for my friends. Maybe I would use chalk and draw Mercury on my sidewalk and then further down all the other planets. I would love to draw Sarturn and Jupiter. Oh my gorgeousness, you know? Especially the rings and the storm. I would look up planet facts on the internet and then write down pretty words about them (for example: Since Neptune was discovered in 1846, it has not yet completed a single revolution around the sun.)

  Then, as we walked to the places where the chalk planets were, my friends could read their little papers. Maybe I would use scrolled up paper tied with ribbons and type everything out in some pretty font. Maybe we would do this at night and I would use glow in the dark chalk. Maybe we could have food and drinks when we got back to the house.I was only thinking about it for a bit when I also started thinking about Johnny Bakers Alternative worship tricks. It seems like something that he would add to his list.  *I

  *I saw the Milky Way once in Zion National Park in Utah. June 1995.  ** Well maybe not exactly those instruments. *** and maybe just a little too hip?

  **** At this point, I have to say that I actually did go out to the desert-mountains with 2 friends last night and there were stars. Oh my, were there stars. I could write more about that later, but all I will say for now is that next time I go, there will be no making of fires and absolutely no flashlights, they blot out the stars so badly and we are too dependent on having light when actually star light would have been all we really needed.

Three Sisters: I went to a gardening class at a coffee shop last week. The man teaching the class suggested experimenting with this form of gardening:

Corn in the middle, squash and beans planted once the corn gets 6″ tall, corn provides a trellis for the beans or squash.  One plant cools another and when one of them dies, it provides nutrients for the other. You have to plant enough corn though because they pollinate each other, but only if there is enough wind, otherwise you might have to do it yourself by brushing corn silk or tassels (or something) on the other corn, the man said. This man had dreadlocked hair down to his waist.

There were 12 people in the class. Two older ladies named Pauline and Julia. Pauline told me that she didn’t actually have a yard and so she couldn’t do anything but a little bit of container gardening, but she liked to help other people with their gardens.

There was one couple with a small child and the rest of the people in the class were men about my age. They were all married. The way I know this is because they were all wearing wedding rings. Later a woman around my age and her mother came in.

The teacher said we need to attract bees to our gardens and told us ways to do it. Some people lamented that they never see bees and then they talked about the nation-wide decline in bee populations. May be due to genitically modified foods,  I had heard on the radio.

I didn’t really want to brag that I have 2 bee colonies at my house, so I kept quiet and began to realize that I really need to baby my bees. Blessed enough to have bees around, I really ought to do something for them.

The teacher metioned something called the eco~hood. I looked it up and found out it’s people committed to moving into a neighborhood and making their homes and lives sustainable. Making their homes green and energy-efficient, creating community with their neighbors and growing food to share and trade. Using solar power and collecting rain water and using grey water.

It’s near Pierson and 7th Av.

Around March 1st is supposed to be a good time to plant here. I have this crazy dream of planting so much food that I could reduce my consumption of bought food to maybe 10-20%. I’d grow so much food I would share it with my friends and co-workers. Eventually I would grow so much that I would sell it to area restaurant and stores. And that’s the way I would make a living.

There’s a family in Pasadena who does this. They have a house on only a fifth of an acre and yet manage to farm intensively and get great results.

 I love the idea of cutting down all the oil that is used to get me my food. The more I think about it, it seems so incredibly not at all a good idea to be eating food that had to travel 500-1000-1500 miles to get to my plate. Or more. I shouldn’t be eating blueberries from New Zealand like I did the other day.

Ok, well I didn’t even plan to write anything here and now I just did. Once again I was going to try to go see Pan’s Labyrinth tonight with my friend and once again I am so incredibly exhausted. Friday night but all I want to do is sleep. I think my job is just too un-sustainable—-it’s just too incredibly far from where I live—-I just can’t think of what else I would do and I like it there. But I leave when it’s dark, I get home when it’s dark. The only way to garden would be to quit!

what would you do?

February 19, 2007

I think my room is messier than it’s ever been before. I know I should just go in there and get to work on it. I think I am literally afraid of it. I tried to clean it last week, but I couldn’t, I was so exhausted, so I just started shoving everything in the closet. Then I did all the laundry I could, but when the laundry was dry I just dropped it on my floor and went to bed. Then this past week when I couldn’t find my soccer shirt, I started pulling everything out of the closet. Same thing when I needed shoes to wear to Baby Varun’s birthday. So there’s a layer of clothes under mounds of stuff.

I was thinking right now of calling Nick up and see if he wants to go see Pan’s Labrynth. I’ve seen all the other good movies slated for awards created by Mexican directors that I don’t want to miss out on this one too. I keep hearing radio interviews of the director which makes me want to see it even more, although it might be scary.

But it couldn’t possibly be scarier than my room and if I go see a movie, I will put off cleaning til man~ana. (Heh, picture the tilde over the “n”, would ya?)

Ahhh, look at the cute pony, Deepika said.

Mom, it’s not a pony, it’s a horse, Vidi said, waving the wand I gave her at her new toy.

The plush horse with the rainbow bright yarn hair stood in the center of the room and we were all staring down at it. Christine and I sank to the carpet. My ex-boss’s boss and his wife stared down at it. So did my sister.

 Then, pretty much, every body said their goodbyes and left.

(There were at least 50 of the birds in this tree and surrounding trees and flying overhead), we drove towards the astronomical observatory. I forget its name. I really wanted to go there but it was up the mountain up a dirt road and the last thing I wanted was to somehow get stuck out on a dirt road in a rental car with my parents as night was approaching. Know what I mean?I_know_you_cant_see_them_but_there_are_a

It is time to go to bed and i just got home. Here is a poem I came across that I like because of the last line.


Deep midwinter, the dark centre of the year,
Wake, O earth, awake,
Out on the hills a star appears,
Here lies the way for pilgrim kings,
Three magi on an ancient path,
Black hours begin their journeyings.
Their star has risen in our hearts,
Empty thrones, abandoned fears,
Out on the hills their journey starts,
In dazzling darkness God appears.

Words: Judith Bingham

 Eh, here’s another one:

Henry Vaughan
109. Ascension-Hymn
THEY are all gone into the world of light!  
    And I alone sit lingring here;  
Their very memory is fair and bright,  
    And my sad thoughts doth clear.  
It glows and glitters in my cloudy brest          5
    Like stars upon some gloomy grove,  
Or those faint beams in which this hill is drest,  
    After the Sun’s remove.  
I see them walking in an Air of glory,  
    Whose light doth trample on my days:   10
My days, which are at best but dull and hoary,  
    Meer glimering and decays.  
O holy hope! and high humility,  
    High as the Heavens above!  
These are your walks, and you have shew’d them me   15
    To kindle my cold love.  
Dear, beauteous death! the Jewel of the Just,  
    Shining no where, but in the dark;  
What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust;  
    Could man outlook that mark!   20
He that hath found some fledg’d birds nest, may know  
    At first sight, if the bird be flown;  
But what fair Well, or Grove he sings in now,  
    That is to him unknown.  
And yet, as Angels in some brighter dreams   25
    Call to the soul, when man doth sleep:  
So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted theams,  
    And into glory peep.  
If a star were confin’d into a Tomb  
    Her captive flames must needs burn there;   30
But when the hand that lockt her up, gives room,  
    She’l shine through all the sphære.  
O Father of eternal life, and all  
    Created glories under thee!  
Resume thy spirit from this world of thrall   35
    Into true liberty.  
Either disperse these mists, which blot and fill  
    My perspective (still) as they pass,  
Or else remove me hence unto that hill,  
    Where I shall need no glass.