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A Great Day at the Garden

Another sleepless night
A concrete paradise
Sirens screaming in the heat
Neon cuts the eye
As the jester sighs
At the world beneath his feet

It's a gutter ballet
Just a menagerie
Still the orchestra plays
On a dark and lonely night
To a distant fading light



Click here and listen to some gentle world music while we take a journey to the garden. Imagine stepping out into the day, into your world and feel the sun streaming down upon your shoulders, on the back of your neck. There's a breeze blowing through the trees. The Spanish moss moves lazily to and fro like a horsetail swatting flies. Like a sleepy Argentine tango dancer late at night, just as the lights dim to close the doors. The bottle's still out though. The glasses are on the bar. The wood is worn smooth by countless wrists resting on the edge, conversing, relaxing, imbibing, just inhaling the energy from the people lounging, creating atmosphere.

Marble Bengal

Listen to that bird singing in the distance. It sounds phase shifted in the breeze, a repetitive rhythmic song lilting up and down, over and over as the wind rustles the leaves in the trees around you. Your eyes are drawn to some movement near the picket fence. There it is, by the lemongrass bush. It's a feline friend, purring, stalking, intent on its prey. Focused, the feral creature stalks, then pounces on a grasshopper only to toss it playfully.

Cat and mouse
Come and take pot-luck with me. My heart is warm, my friendship's free...

You look at the cat, the cat looks at you. There's a connection. You hear the low frequency purr, feel the fur slide next to your pant leg, and reach down to stroke your friend's back as he casually walks across the garden to find his next prey.

Cat and mouse

What is it that draws you here? Obviously, the fresh air, the sunlight, the smell of rosemary, the passing traffic, the scene. It all combines to an atmosphere that soothes and caresses your inner being. It calms. It provides what you lack. It's indiscriminate, unknowing, senseless, unfeeling, yet it draws you out like a litmus.

8th Ave Bike and Coffee

There are elements you understand, like the tool tower you're not supposed to feed.

"Don't feed the Millhouse", the sign reads.


Look up. There she is, beaming, smiling, happiness spewing forth in the sunshine, blue skies. You can't deny it, as you smile to yourself.

Regardless of the news, nevermind the media. It's a beautiful day. Just nevermind. Turn it off. Throw it out the window. Make it into art.

8th Ave Bike and Coffee

There's a bulletin board draped in prayer flags, calling out various messages. Call me, attend me, learn from me, think about me.

A Great Day at the Garden

Can you smell the fruity Champa incense from Bangalore?

Looking down, you see a blue flower, morning glory with delicate petals so deep blue you can hardly believe they're real. The light seems to melt into its fragile loveliness, as it has for all time.

McRorie Community Garden

If it's love you're running from
There is no hiding place
Just your problems no one else's problems
You just have to face

If you just put your hand in mine
We're gonna leave all our troubles behind
We're gonna walk and don't look back
Gonna walk and don't look back

Now if your first lover let you down
There's something that can be done
Don't kill your faith in love
Remembering what's become, oh no...


Blue Moon over the Swamp 2009
The light fades and again, it happens. It happens each day:

Like a silent ray of sunlight catching in my eye
Like a bird sea-goin' coasting on my sky
It happens each day you're away from here

A bunch of friends are missing from this tapestry
I remember kissing do you remember me
It happens each day you're away from here

Like a disembodied spirit watching over me
Like a sister sailing ship dead against the sea
It happens each day you're away from here

-The Byrds

A Great Day at the Garden

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Comment by Lois Hudson on January 30, 2010 at 2:52pm
So great to remember and remember what we can see every day. How beautiful the flowers and friends! Thank you, Mike
Comment by Michael Levin on January 27, 2010 at 10:22pm
Sh'mal, I heard something very interesting the other day. A friend told me that he listened to certain music when he exercised. For example, he listens to "Stairway to Heaven", by Led Zepplin and "Free Bird", by Lynyrd Skynyrd because the music builds to a crescendo. We all know that environment influences us to some degree. So, getting out, being in nature, chatting with friends, creating gardens that produce delicious, useful food we can share and eat, all makes for an environment that brings us peace. I loved it the day I found the garden and I continue to!
Comment by Sh'mal Ellenberg on January 26, 2010 at 3:46pm
Mike a beautiful display of our natural world, with words that are poingnant to our deepest feelings. So good to see and read all that you are beholding and sharing with others. It's an inspiration. That river in Colombia amazing. I sent the pix to Batina for her to maybe eventually work on those colors.
Interesting your posting about Pir Zia coming to Sarasota. My son Jacob, a good friend of the young Pir, will be there. More so. I read this morning a small magazine called The Message that was sent out in 1982. It was a every other month publication from the Sufi Order. In this issue were speeches given on the 100 birthday celebration of Pir Zia's grandfather, Hazarat Inayat Khan. Pir Zia was about seven and received from his father the torch to carry on the teachings of Murshid Inayat Khan. Although Zia's father assured him he would be around for a while. Pir Vilayat died about three years ago. Zia is doing it, as his father did. BEing out here in Seattle, I"m getting to be with more people who are following the teachings of love, harmony and beauty, the prime teaching of Murshid. If we get that down and live our life accordingly, all would be great in our world, unfortuantely, too many believe that only their way is the way, so conflict unsues. We know better. There is no right and wrong way of loving and sharing and giving. All religions and spiritual teachings can come together with the teachings of the One Creator. We have been given some work to do. You may want to consider going down to Sarasota. You'll get to meet Jacob and Shahabuddin the head of the center in Sarasota. Blessings, Sh'mal


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