Yard Pumpkins

Commuter Buddhist
by Jeffrey Harrison

I'm learning to be a Buddhist in my car,
listening to a book on tape. One problem
is that, before I've gotten very far,

my mind gradually becomes aware
that it has stopped listening, straying from
the task of becoming a Buddhist in my car.

I'm also worried that listening will impair
my driving, as the package label cautions,
but I haven't noticed that, at least so far.

In fact, I may be driving with more care.
There's a sensation of attentive calm
that's part of becoming a Buddhist in your car.

A soothing voice drones on until the car
is transformed into a capsule of wisdom
traveling at high speed, and you feel far

from anywhere but where you really are ...
which is nowhere, really. The biggest problem
is getting the Buddhism out of your car
and into your life. I've failed at that so far.

Fruits and vegetables have changed a lot since the onset of agriculture 10,000 years ago, as generation after generation of farmers artificially bred crops to select for more desirable traits like size and taste. But that change can be hard to visualize. So James Kennedy, a chemistry teacher in Australia, created some terrific infographics to show just how drastic the evolution has been. T

Here's what 9,000 years of breeding has done to corn, peaches, and other crops

Slumps are like a soft bed. They're easy to get into and hard to get out of.
---Johnny Bench, American baseball player

Signs of Autumn

Wordsmiths like me...

I share a birthday with Oscar Wilde, Eugene O'Neill, and Noah Webster.
The secret emotional lives of 5 punctuation marks.
Punctuation is the homely, workaday cousin to the glamorous word. It works quietly in the background, sweeping up and trying to keep the information flow tidy, while words prance around spilling thought, meaning, and feeling all over the place. Punctuation marks accept their utilitarian roles, but they too carry feelings, and they express them in subtle ways that are sometimes easy to miss.

Her elders foretold this time would come.

In Betty Browers memories, there is always ice. Even in the summer, when the sea around Barter Island was open, she could look out and see the jagged shapes of icebergs on the horizon ... Polar bears used to spend time on the ice far from shore hunting seals, she said. But when the ice vanished, they began ambling on land more often than before. Soon villagers were seeing more of them than anybody could remember, especially the last few years.

Bear Town USA As ice vanishes, big changes in a small Alaskan village

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

---e.e. cummings, poet, born on this day in 1894

Last night the waiter put the celery on with the cheese, and I knew that summer was indeed dead. Other signs of autumn there may bethe reddening leaf, the chill in the early-morning air, the misty eveningsbut none of these comes home to me so truly. There may be cool mornings in July; in a year of drought the leaves may change before their time; it is only with the first celery that summer is over.

A. A. Milne: A Word for Autumn

Life is just a short walk from the cradle to the grave and it sure behooves us to be kind to one another along the way.
--Alice Childress, playwright, author, and actor (1916-1994)



Everything has a beginning and an end. Life is just a cycle of starts and stops.
There are ends we don't desire, but they're inevitable, we have to face them. It's what being human is all about. - Jet Black