my darling little octaped
dangling from your glistening thread
into your lair i have been led
to your web i’ll soon be wed
please don’t land upon my head
or you or i might soon be dead

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The Five Senses

How well do you know the five senses? How do they shape your reality?

Does cilantro taste like one of the most delightful herbs ever, or does it taste like soap to you? For about twenty percent of humans, cilantro tastes like soap. For the other eighty percent, it may taste delicious. Cilantro that is, not soap.

“Fully-sighted” people sense about one ten-trillionth of the electromagnetic spectrum with their eyes. Do you think what you see is reality? Do you see the world as it is?

When you eat at home or when you eat out at a restaurant, do you go for the buffet of many items, or do you eat just one dish per meal? What about when you try a new cuisine for the first time? Perhaps you try the sampler platter so that you can try small amounts of different dishes or maybe everyone at your table gets a different dish to share. I would like to offer you a sampler platter of something that you have probably known all your life—information about the five senses.

The TED Radio Hour program The Five Senses provides a sampler of interviews and snippets of TED Talks about hearing, taste, vision, smell, and the sense of touch. TED Radio Hour (The FIve Senses). If you don’t see The Five Senses at the top of the list, scroll or search for that episode (dated January 20, 2017). I hope you enjoy it.

For more information, you could watch a video of each of the separate parts. Here are some links (click on the names):

Did you learn anything? What were the most interesting aspects of the overall program, or of each of the presentations?

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some people seem
like sandpipers
chasing the waves
out to sea
with their flock
flowing like the trailing edge
of the waves themselves
skittering back to shore
chased by the waves
living their lives
with the ebb and tide
pecking at the sand
searching for prizes
in the brief time
of those swooshing moments
between the waves
which wash away
their footprints
like writing in the sand

sandpipers lives confined
attached to the edge of the sea
to flow like the tide
needing the waves
to remind
when to chase
when to run away
hopeful for what they’ll find
secrets in the sand

we toil to build elaborate walls
in which we become invested
these walls we think we need
until we cannot see beyond
cannot bear to build outside the box

we imagine we are smarter
than the average fox
everything pigeonholed in binders
while we hide behind our blinders
shackles for the mind
cannot see beyond the stocks

we devise the greatest gadgets
of polished sand and magnets
myopic doggerheaded traps
compartmentalized ‘til it snaps
unwilling to look outside
or learn to live beyond the locks

we herd together in our flocks
huddle in our leaky boats
tie them tighter to the cleats
afraid to brave the tempest’s seas
neither do we go to shore
nor dare to dream beyond the docks

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fabric of space

they wore the black of night
they were dressed
in the blackness of space

within the firmament
of their clothing
the stars burned within the black

precious gems of fusion fyre
breathing forth
blessings and burning

like cosmic rhinestones bright
star studded
garments adorned with light

in their celestial eyes
glowed galaxies
resplendent irises delight

within the folds of fabric
their jewels shone
blessed black smiled back

as they danced both night and day
they were dressed
in the fabric of space

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Happy New Year 2017

Happy 2457754.5 ≤ t < 2458119.5!!! (i.e. Happy New Year 2017! (for the Gregorians))

With hopes that you have a healthful, happy, prosperous, productive, plentiful, bountiful, blessed, splendiferous, scrumdidliumptuous, super spectacular next orbit (year) ahead!

(NB: See http://www.nr.com/julian.html for a converter, or search for “Julian Day Number” if the date-time values don’t make sense. Or just ask.)

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let it rain

oh the weather out here is awesome
and some flowers are still in blossom
i shouldn’t have to explain
let it rain, let it rain, let it rain

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Why do you write?

A friend recently posted a question: “Why do you write?” Here is a copy of my reply. What about you? Why do you write?

When I meditate, I let go of my attachment to follow the would-be train of thoughts. But the sensations that could be thoughts do not cease, and are quelled not for long. 

I can relax my breathing a hold my breath for moments, but when I go about the day, my mind and breathing diverge. 

I can let my heart slow its tempo, but hopefully it does not stop for many years to come. 

I can hold my tongue for hours, or possibly be silent for days. But soon I will end up singing, or crying, or laughing, or speaking. 

When I cannot find a pen, pencil, or keyboard the words from my hands never cease for long. Writing is not merely a desire. It is a need. It is an inalienable duty of my mind and body to write, whether spelling words with my hands or feet in the air, forming written words and symbols within my mind. But before long I will caress any surface with letters and words, or write and draw in the dirt or sand. I forage for paper or cullable photons and search for a pen, pencil, or willing layer of light beneath the glass. It is an undeniable need. I must write, for the thoughts and stories, the code and poems, the software written in the wind, bubbles up from my very core and percolates through my soul. If I were to try not to write, the pressure would build up and drive me mad. 

I write because I must. To not write is a kind of death of the spirit and the mind. To write is an inalienable right. 

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