May heavenly light illumine my thoughts.
I meditate on the auspicious, godly light of the lord sun; may heavenly light illumine my thought flow in my intellect.
May heavenly light illumine my thoughts.
I meditate on the auspicious, godly light of the lord sun; may heavenly light illumine my thought flow in my intellect.
In the culture I live in, good ole US Americano, justice only knows punishment. Use of punishment only is destruction. Destruction of another’s life is NOT justice. Retribution is the reality of the so called justice system we have here in the US.
JUSTICE is made up of THREE actions – Punishment, Forgiveness, and FORGIVENESS. When Punishment is linked to Forgiveness the form of punishment is transformed.
We need to punish and forgive, and FORGIVE the same way we would do to someone we love or to ourselves. As an example, lets say you treat someone poorly. You go to them an apologize, then forgive yourself. Or someone steals from you. Your tell them how bad it makes you fell then forgive them. Thats it. Its in the forgiveness, the love, transformation of the person to someone better occurs, NOT in the punishment. All you have to do is observe a child who is only punished and not forgiven or loved to see the reality of punishment only policy. As adults its the same. When we do this to those we DO NOT KNOW, we have improved civilization.
Its the punishment we inflict on ourselves and the the lack of forgiveness of ourselves which is most profound. Focus on forgiving yourself. You will be better for it!
I am a peaceful man – I mean no harm. Please don’t confuse my interest in your well being, my passion for love for gain or for harm. I am a loving man. I mean no hate. Do you suspect otherwise? you are in error. Accept my peace and love – its real.
Manhattan KS a.k.a “the little apple” is the home of Kansas State University. Its mostly a University town with a rather large Army Fort (Riley) near by. I did not notice any Army rats but I am told there here. Manhattan located in a hilly area filled with trees, rivers/water, and super resepectful people. Its very clean, like in I have not seen ONE piece of garbage. Its what I dreamed UC Davis would have been but wasn’t – its quite, uncrowded, easy going pace, mix of old and new architecture, low costs of living, open spaces, with great hiking and running places.
Kansas State University,K-State, spreads out over +100 acres, has a Castle like Architecture, and has about 30k-students. It looks like a fortess from medieval times with a newest feel. K-state ws founded in 1863. Maxwell is in Vet Med school and loving classes, the location, and the people. Seems to be an ideal place for academia. I visited the Lab with all kinds of carcesses. Wow! this place is cool.
Hale library is is located in the middle of similiar Castle looking buildings in the middle of the campus.
On the outside the library is real large white brick with streaks of what may be black mold. Its a multi-storied castle older looking building.
On the inside its like most libraries I’ve visited except for one thing glaring sparse – books! I can see maybe a few hundred books scattered about. This makes alot of sense. Having a computer (and of course with its requisite internet connection) is a requirement to attend K-State. Given that all but the die-hard profit-centered-text-books are ebooks, what is the point anymore of having a library were space is occupied by books? The space within this library is filled almost exclusively with study stations with/without computers, power connections, long wood tables with stiff chairs, cushy drab stripped couches and matching material.of.funk lounge chairs. I just looked at the carpet. Its low cut pile yuk grey with swirls of beige. If the goal for the design of the place was neutral, not memorable, they nailed it. Oh yes, there are remarkable number of healthy live ficus trees on the east end of the building. I’m not sure why the tables have been arranged to minimize the window views.
Its quiet and very few people are here. Its Saturday. I notice a young student, maybe 19, at a table in front of me has changed from doing some type of research to Netflics. Probably good bandwidth here. She looks around, looks a me, then picks up her companion tech thing – most likely a smart phone of the iPhone gene type. I notice her movements are cyclic – Netflics for 1 minute, look around library for 3 seconds, then to iPhone for 30 secs. I verify the cycle with a stop watch – almost the exact task for the same time. Over and over. Shes waiting for some kind of prompt on the iphone. Oh yes, its text messaging. When she gets it the iPhone task changes from 30 to 60ish seconds. I think of how movie theater which allows texting would be attractive. Why just watch a movie when you can text too!
All said I think this place, maybe libraries in general, are becoming a quiet place to hang out provided its not end of term. Certainly this is a another option to just hanging out alone in the cave we call home. Is this more of a Metro-Social thing?
Well, Max just called so I’m off to pick him up from the lab. We are headed to Kansas City for some BBQ!
Maxwell in the Lab. This place is very cool!!!
View from Maxwell’s Condo. Its a beautiful place. Him and John are living large! Congrats Son!!!
Mr. Maxwell Happy Beal with straight A’s at Statue in front of Kansas State University School of Veterinarian Medicine. It’s where future Doctors hang. Wow!!! I was impressed. I was is awe!
Slipped in a pic of the Rental Car I had in Houston on Biz trip with Chevron prior to visiting Maxwell. Did the Chevron thing Blah Blah Blah…
In Kansas City at the WWII Memorial – Very cool and so tall!!! Said goodbye to Max until Thanksgiving here. Had a wonderful 2 days!!! Thanks Son!!! Oh yes the BBQ was the best I’ve ever had in my Life!!!!!
Bakersfield to Sacramento California on Amtrak.
Its 7am. The train station is new in Bako. I park the Dodge pickup in the unlimited days parking lot, grab the wonderful Strawberry and Kefir smoothy Heidi made, and head off directly to the train. I pass by a ball about two meters in diameter made to look like the earth. It floats on a stream of water. OK. I find a seat in the upper deck, get out the iPad, kick back, and relax.
Heidi in teaching in her Studio all weekend, and I am visiting Alicia and Conway in Sacremento. Its already Conways second birthday. Looks to be an excellent time to visit, rest, and write.
The San Joaquin Valley is a beautiful place, especially after a cleansing rain.
Left Bako promptly at 7h15 on the Train named the San Joaquin, trip #701. Very comfortable. Ticket cost – $45us. I’m on the upper deck setting in a high back chair at a table. Nice. We’re picking up speed as we leave the city. Ah yes, the train whistle. The conductor just scanned my ticket via the Amtrak iphone app. Seamless.
I’ve not been on a train in the US since I was six. This was a long time ago. Heidi and I travelled extensively in India by rail which was excellent. These trains are much newer and sterile. This is the land of sameness, and the train is very much the same – each car identical. They lack the character of the India trains, and most certainly the class diversity. Everyone on this train would be consdiered rich by India standards. The trains there had what many would call here cattle cars crammed with waves of people. Heidi and I were just observers of this. For the most part we travelled in relative luxury, in first class – very old private rooms with sleeping bunks and room service. The next time we go to India I think we need to at least experience 3rd class once – its all about the adventure.
The morning is clear and crisp from last nights rain. ~13 degrees C. Dawn is just beginning – no sun yet. Grey clouds spread and wane from last nights storm. In the north the storm still looks very active. Haven’t seen rain in Bako for seven months.
The city quickly gives way to the great farm land of the big valley. Right now we are passing through a vast stretch of almond groves.
The train has slowed for unknown to me reasons. The track is straight and smooth. Hmmm…
OK, were off an running again. I would say ~70km. The rail parallels the cross valley highway.
The sun has risen adding white edges to the otherwise grey clouds and reflecting from deep space openings of blue sky.
We pass by thousands of sheep eating the post harvest corn crop. Sheep migrate to the SJV every winter.
Grapes covered in plastic, Alfalfa Hay, more almonds.
The vast farms are broken up by small towns. We’ve stopped at one – Wasco. There are one room apartments strung along the rail side. Not so much better than Shanties of the recent past I presume, only so much more costly. Mom and Pop stores service these towns.
North of Wasco the farms turn multi-colored – commercial fields of Roses, lilac, and sheets of cotton, then back to almonds.
The ubiquitous train whistle reminds of the early morning sounds at our house only a mile from the main train through-fare in Bako. I wonder away for a moment to laying in bed with Heidi – close, so very close. Warm. Love.
More sheep, cotton, and yep, almonds. Look over there – its one of the many Prisons – it looks sterile and windowless and its huge. Maybe holding +10,000. A place for mostly border line retards, or worst, killers – maybe, but for sure the unloved. California has more people in prisons than any other state in the US. The whistle blows – I wonder if the whistle is automatic or just part of the engineers childhood fantasy realized – toot toot.
The train is very peaceful – smooth, quite. Very few other passengers. With the sun tucked behind the clouds the morning is shadowed by the clouds. I feel very rested.
Another little town looking the same as the one before. Small houses, older houses. Not much new. I suppose the people who live in these places have similiar life stories – born, work the fields, love, hate, laugh, frown, die. I wonder if anyone in these places has travelled, even if just in California. I can see the coastal mountain range to the west and the great Sierras to the east – have these worker bees seen these places? I have and there glorious. So close. Maybe the blades of grass in their own yards are just as glourious – I would not know.
Tree farming has turned to open field and row farming. Theres a huge chicken ranch – thousands, hundreds of thousands of chickens, and of course the large feed grain bins. Theres another huge dairy farm – thousands of cows. The manure is covered with white plastic with old tires holding the plastic in place.
Wow! another train is passing by. The effect is an apparent speed of more than 250kph. Wooh!
The conductor stopped by “the passenger count is low. If you want to put your feet up in the adjacent seat, put something under your shoes.” I do not know how these two things are related. I said “Sure thing. Would socks only be OK?” He paused then said perhaps a little on the reluctant side “Yeh. Alright”. The guy is purposeful. Taking exception to his “recommendations” would probably have me off at the next stop. No biggy as his words make sense. He takes his black monkey grinder looking hat off when talking to the ladies. He takes his job seriously.
Now in Hanford. Must be a bigger little town – I can see a few Box Stores and no mom and pops (although I’m sure there are plenty here).
Farming has turned to almost all grapes. I think we are passing through the rasin belt. The trees are walnut or pecan and citrus. Many barren fields dot the landscape.
The train is now paralleling Hwy 99. Theres a huge vehicle junk yard, then a forkclift junk yard, then a solid line of building for god only knows what. The train has slowed and all the sudden its bumpy. We’re entering a large rail yard, thousands of cars, 20 abreast. Its Fresno. Bako’s sister city 100 miles north. Fresno is all about farming. Bako is more indistrially diverse (oil, manufacturing). Blue sky is gone. 100% cloud cover. A light rain has began. We stop for four minutes. The conductor says in his now normal stern purposeful tone “you can step off for a minute or so for fresh air, but stay close. Make sure a get back on when you hear All-aboard!” The announcement sounds like a threat. The already near empty train empties even more, then about the same number of different passengers board. The train is now about as equally empty as when we arrived.
More grapes. This is the home of Gallo – the largest marketer of grapes in the world, or there abouts. The grape leaves are about half green and brown going dormant, as winter approaches. And then more trees, peaches maybe?
The train slows and speeds up regularly. Very smooth transitions. We mostly go faster than slower. The trip to Fresno took two hours – not much more than if done by car. Maybe fifteen minutes slower.
The landscpae is flat, filled with farming and irrigation infrastructure. Stopped in Madera. Its a little new place – its an almost porta-potty sized station. The stop is more of a pause – maybe one minute. Like all the stations, this one too has many cameras. I suppose just in case an intinerant graffiti person gets motivated to put some character to an otherwise sterile station, the train cops can call the city cops to arrest him and throw him in prison. Where are the taggers when I need them? I remember one time I saw a person tagging in red on otherwise boring sign. He turned around and had fresh paint all over his face, mostly around his mouth – he was a idiot sniffer – poor shit.
Its raining much harder. We have traversed the valley and are riding flat close to the foothills of the Sierras. The mostly black clouds are low and fill the whole sky. The train chugs on. Except for the whistle and the constant whirl of the fan, this is one quite ride. I’ve put my jacket on. I small boy whispers to his mother? behind me. Very mellow. I’m going to close my eyes for a bit.
I’m back. Sleeping on the train is a challenge. The seats have one position – slightly titled. No recline. Slept 5 hours last night so I suppose I could have napped standing. Very restful.
We’ve passed through countless little towns, Modesto, Stockton, and now we are waiting at Lodi. The buildings are more brick and less stucco. Older. Much greener. No rain. Mostly large puffy clouds. Listening to Erin Karamazov on the iPad. We pass over tree and tent city lined rivers. This is a land of contrast, but mostly a land of abundance. Sure there have alots and have enough but very little has very little.
I’m looking forward to seeing Alicia and Conway!
The farming continues. Grapes, groves of peaches(?), and so much more water. The landscape is scattered with little farms, ponds, oaks, sycamores, cell phone towers. Looking a little closer I notice many many Oaks. Probably valley oaks. These trees are non existent in the south.
Past by a cemetary – its a picture perfect view of the ultimate last grift. It is where stupid dead people part with there money in hopes of vane remeberance. People buy into stupid shit all the time but this one really reeks. The whole burial thing was solely invented by the grifter. I just heard a story about where flooding had caused coffins to float up and then down a river. The things were gathered up and taken to the dump. No one cares for dead carcesses – the soul has fled. Can’t the world simply get that?
Its getting more industrial, more warehousey as we approach Sacramento. It dry but still very cloudy. Theres a small gas refinery. Off in the far distance is an abandon Nuclear Power Plant. Theres a big garbage dump. House after house after house. Box store central. No more farming. All commercial and communmity. Freeways. Theres the city with its new and old tall buildings. It looks like most other cities in the US, but more trees then LA.
This has been fun. Enjoyed my time. Would do it again. Will have a wonderful day with Alicia and Conway and be back on the return to Bako tonight working on the Novel. Thats it for this journey. On-On.
Oh yes, a little more.
The visit with Alicia and Conway was excellent. So wonderful to see them. Happy Birthday Conway!!! 2 years old a so beautiful and strong! And what a wonderful mother! Alicia has proven to be a wonderful person and a great daughter! Thank you darling! It was a perfect day for a visit – clear and cool! What a privilege.
I had to take a ride on a bus from Sac to Stockton. It was dark and cramped. I’m so happy I opted out of an entire bus ride back to Bako!
On the train now. Much better. Really dark outside and really bright in the cabin. I’m looking at my reflection in the window. My hair sure has gotten long. I like it! Well, it back to Bako by midnight. Can’t wait to get back to Heidi and give a big huge!
I’m ALL in!!! Hmmm… just where the hell am I? left fresno 15-30 minutes ago… into the dark. All I see is little white lights flashing buy and the reflection of some reflective dude in the window with long hair dreaming of loving his great wife… Wooh! Thats me! and that great wife, well THATS Heidi!!!!! I need to get the F#$% home!
When we are completely and totally in the state of silence, we are in the realm of truth. In fact there is nothing more for a human being to achieve. In the moment of silence we consciously gain vitality and glory – we are living in total awareness of god.