Autumn on the North Coast of California is an odd time. Our climate is a Mediterranean-style cycle of winter rains and a completely dry summer, and the transitional seasons are subtle in character. In fall, we experience the hottest period of the year, as while summer mornings are characterized by ocean fog that cools most days to temperate comfort, the weaker sun of September and October cannot drive the fog system so effectively. As a result, these months bring lengthy stretches of days in the nineties, parching lands which haven’t seen rain in months to what feels an aching dryness, as empty creek beds and golden-brown hills attest. We do have oaks and other deciduous trees whose leaves turn colors in the crisp nights, and the harvesting of wine grapes and apples and pumpkins reminds us with certainty that this isn’t really summer. But as we put up apple butter [...]
Let me start here: it really is a dangerous old world out there. The United States does have legitimate strategic and economic interests around the globe; there are those who would very much like for us not to have them. And the biggest military power in the world does bear some responsibility to weigh in when something ghastly is going on, like chemical warfare against civilians or genocide. So I am not going to argue here that the U.S. is always the Black Hat, or that we are a maniacal imperialist juggernaut, or any of the other standard left castigation of American usages of power. I have done so about specific instances of such usage, such as the disastrous Bush Iraq con job/fiasco. Nearly every American use of military force during my lifetime has been a tragic mistake, in my opinion. But I’m not going to argue–nor do I believe–that [...]
I’m happy to announce that I have been asked to write a monthly column for the blog Humanistic Paganism. My column will be entitled An Atheopagan Life: Musings and Observances of an Earth-honoring Atheist. I’ll link new columns here so the Green Dragon crowd is aware of them.
Pleased to report that my poem An Atheist’s Prayer ran today on the Humanistic Paganism blog: Praise to the wide spinning world Unfolding each of all the destined tales compressed In the moment of your catastrophic birth Wide to the fluid expanse, blowing outward Kindling in stars and galaxies, in bright pools Of Christmas-colored gas; cohering in marbles hot And cold, ringed, round, gray and red and gold and dun And blue, pure blue, the eye of a child, spinning in a veil of air, Warm island, home to us, kind beyond measure: the stones And trees, the round river flowing sky to deepest chasm, Salt and sweet. Praise to Time, enormous and precious, And we with so little, seeing our world go as it will Ruing, cheering, the treasured fading, precious arriving, Fear and wonder, Fear and wonder always. Praise O black expanse of mostly nothing Though you do not [...]