Next thing you know you've lost your whole life in bars playing on weekends.Thu, 25 Dec 2003
The irony of taking Gilgamesh to Filipe's funeral in Chile not knowing that Craig was already dead.Mon, 22 Dec 2003
Today the sun (sol) stands still (stice). We know the mechanics of the solstice - the earth tilted on its axis orbiting the sun. But how is it explained in Ptolemy's geocentric system? I looked for a simple and clear explanation by searching Google and came up empty-handed. If you know of a good description please send it to me.Sat, 13 Dec 2003
Four white robes with bald heads (except for one small patch on top) kneeling before the black-robed Roshi. A single candle burning near the Buddha behind him. Surrounded by black robes seated on cushions on mats.
Three bows for your parents and family.
All black chanting a monotone, "be one with the Sanga honorable for its harmony - the Buddha as been revealed." Punctuated by wood block claps. "I vow to refrain from talking about other's errors and faults."
Window open letting in the cool winter air to offset the heat of all the seated people.
"You will receive assistance putting on the robes. Since your a baby Buddha you must be dressed."
"Each of these times were hand-stitched."
"Only the Buddha can cut the last piece of hair on the top of your head."
The cushioned bell. Another chant.
"Cutting one's hair is cutting the root of human attachment."
A certain repetition and monotony seems to be built into the ceremony from my nanosecond 21st century perspective.
- beads - bell - bowing -Sat, 06 Dec 2003
He listened to the water's slow drip while studying the board. He used a clepsydra to time his moves. He made his move before the water ran out. Then he would write his move on a piece of paper and mail it to his friend.
While waiting for the response he would not look at pieces even though the chess board was set up on a small table in the middle of his living room with chairs on each side as if his friend was there in person playing the game. The board was the center of the room, the center of his Ptolemaic universe.
His friend used the dripping sand of an hourglass to measure his moves. He liked to make his moves at night in candlelight. It reminded him how much as changed since before there was time---before sundials, water clocks, sand clocks, pendulums and all the rest. He preferred the rhythm of the sun and moon to the ever finer subdivisions of the day and night. Still he worked like everyone else. Five days a week with the weekend off. He was well aware of the astrological origin of the week and the measurement of its seven planets leading to mathematics, science and time. He fantasized on living his life by the measure of the moon.
While his friend played with time he cleaned his clepsydra and kept his house in order, occasionally letting his dog in to romp through the house. One time the dog's tail caught the edge of the board and knocked the pieces over. Not being able to put them back in the current configuration he wrote his friend to ask for the layout.
The day after sending his letter he received a letter from his friend---too soon for a response---describing a minor earthquake which threw the books of his friend's shelves and the plates from the cupboard. Fortunately no one was hurt. But his house was a mess and the chess-board a disaster. Even a couple of the glass pieces fell on the floor and broke. He had already replaced them and was writing his friend to tell him of the event and to ask for the layout so they could continue their play.