Tuesday, February 28, 2017

21 Days 'Til Spring

Dateline: Stonyford, California...

Rosemary blossoms (sans honey bees -- warm enough, but missed them for some reason...)

Budding Bradford Pear

Unidentified local wildflower

Rainy season has almost ended (but boy, what a rainy season! Lots of standing water that's not draining away, and what about all those floods down by Maxwell? Anyway...), and it's really getting close to renovation time. Not only will we want to get under the house to get a thorough assessment of the joists and subflooring and such, we may want to double check how level we are -- do we  need to shore up the East and South sides of the house? (We could be looking at a higher fundraising goal than we thought...)

(As always, Gofundme, or send donations to: WILLIAM R WAY PO BOX 206 STONYFORD CA 95979 -- inquire at william.robert.way@gmail.com about our renovation fundraiser, or any old thing that comes to mind...)

Saturday, February 25, 2017


"The strength of your mind lies its conviction in the importance of its own actions, its ability to stick with what it knows is skillful; its qualities of mindfulness, concentration and discernment. These are the qualities of mind that determine how you’re going to deal with issues in life as they come up. The more mindful you are, the stronger your concentration, the more likely you are to deal in a skillful way because you’re coming from a position of strength. You not only know what the skillful action is, but you’re also strong enough to actually do it.

"Often we know the right thing to do but we just simply don’t have the strength to do it. And if that’s the way we live, imagine what it’s going to be like when we die. The body will be a lot weaker, the mind will be distracted by all kinds of things -- your thoughts of this, you’re going to miss this and miss that, you’ve only a little time left for this or that. The people around you are all in a turmoil. The mind has to be really strong to put up with a situation like that and not buckle under. And the shape of your mind at that point is going to have a huge impact on how you are reborn. The life you’ve lived is going to have a huge impact as well.

"They compare dying to falling asleep and dreaming, except that in this particular case you can’t come back to the body anymore. When you fall asleep, a little dream world will appear in your mind and you go into it: That’s your first dream. Now the nature of that dream world could be something realistic or something totally fantastic, pleasant or unpleasant. The nature of the dream world that appears has to do both with your past actions -- issues that have been weighing on your mind for a long time -- or your current state of mind.

"The principle that applies as you go to sleep applies at the moment of death as well, except at that point the mind does tend to be a lot weaker, a lot more desperate. It will jump -- especially if it’s untrained -- it’ll jump at anything. If you can train the mind to be more mindful and alert to what’s going on, then if you see something unpromising coming up, you don’t have to jump for it. You realize that you’ve got the choice, and if you learn how to keep in mind the good things you’ve done in life, that makes it easier for good dream worlds to appear at the time. But regardless, the important thing is that how you die is determined by how you live. That’s the issue right now. And so you need the meditation to develop these five strengths..."

- Thanissaro Bikkhu

URGENT House Renovation Campaign - Gofundme...

...Or donations can be mailed to:  WILLIAM R WAY PO BOX 206 STONYFORD CA 95979

Friday, February 24, 2017

Trump L'oeil

Over a month in, and though I feel for the man himself, knowing he is not commensurate with the position, I can't help but wonder what's in that cheap-looking suit that doesn't turn around when boarding Air Force One, and is twelve times more expensive to transport than the former President Obama...

URGENT House Renovation Campaign - Gofundme...

...Or donations can be mailed to:  WILLIAM R WAY PO BOX 206 STONYFORD CA 95979

Monday, February 20, 2017

Analects 2.9

The Master said, "I can talk all day long with Yan Hui without him once disagreeing with me. In this way, he seems a bit stupid. And yet when we retire and I observe his private behavior, I see that it is in fact worthy to serve as an illustration of what I have taught. Hui is not stupid at all."

URGENT House Renovation Campaign - Gofundme...

...Or donations can be mailed to:  WILLIAM R WAY PO BOX 206 STONYFORD CA 95979

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Good, The Bad, And The Not-So-Bigly

My Mom, at her high school in Lincoln in the 60s, was an avid artist, and did cartoons for the Clarion -- it was her thing, her nickname: Quick Draw. After graduation she moved to San Francisco and was even briefly a student at the Art Institute on Chestnut St., a starting point for many modern luminaries, before she moved on to studying for her B.S. from Berkeley. She nevertheless continues to be an artist in spirit...

My Dad? Well, a competent enough draughtsman who could adequately sketch any renovation or carpentry project he'd set his mind to (until he started getting rather wacky in his later years...) His best work was probably the plan for the house that he and his friends, and me and Eric together constructed for my Grandmother in Century Ranch. Turned out quite brilliantly, at least until the pipes in the attic froze one winter, flooding the new construction.

I myself have been as susceptible to the charms of the visual arts as any other human; I have a solid aesthetic sense, a good eye. I doodled in my youth like many, and dabbled in studying how to draw. In my early 30s, I began to put my experience in melting my brain with drugs and alcohol to good use, coming up with the artwork that would decorate my last apartment in San Francisco, and that also found its way into friends' homes, and even into the collection of Tenderloin Art Lending Library (TALL), managed and curated by my good friend Mr. Rick Darnell...

Here are a few pieces I have pictures of from that era of 2010 to 2014 (heartfelt and important bleg after the cut...):

Still raising money as best as I can for the renovation project (donations may be sent to WILLIAM R WAY PO BOX 206 STONYFORD CA 95979); three more pics of why we need to do it: