Thursday, July 30, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Odd Fellows Cemetery

I took this shot this weekend at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in California. I think it was the name that attracted me the most, but the cemetery is beautiful in it's own way. The grounds are so dry that the leaves from the trees crunch underfoot like in the fall. It's like walking through a dessert with small oasis of green that are freshly planted graves. Tell me what you think

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Something I Wrote Long Ago That May Still Hold True

The People Who Know Me
And just who would that be? How well do I think anyone knows me? The answer is simple; No one knows me and no one cares to really know me.
The only time people care is when I happen to upset their happy seemingly unknowing world. Please do not patronize me, saying you care about me, worry about me and the minuet something happens that you don't know how to deal with, you turn tail and run.
People don't know that sometimes the last thing you want is to be left alone. And yet that is all people seem to know what to do with me when I am upset. No one so much as attempts to stay around or get me to talk. I suppose it's all too convenient to just walk away and tell themselves that they tried.
It seems most people are just waiting to hear "Go Away!" so they can say "Oh, you want to be left alone? OK bye." and run out without ever trying to figure out what is actually wrong or another way to help.
People do not even stay long enough to prove themselves friends. I can not count the nights I spent consoling my friends when I really would have liked to be elsewhere, but never the less I did it. I stayed when they said they wanted to be alone, all the while silently pleading with their eyes. I did it for them, but does anyone do it for me?
No one says "No, I'm not leaving, even if you want me to, because you need to see that I care and that I want you to be OK. I'm going to ride this out with you, like you do for me when I am upset. No matter how much you cry and scream, you won't scare me off and when this is all through, I will love you just the same. I will still see you as the person you have always been to me. No matter how bad things seem, I will help you get through it."
Does anyone ever take the initiative to call me or see how I am doing? Does anyone ever press past the typical "I'm fine" response?
People could, but that doesn't mean they will.
I get so angry, the least people could do is try. Do people seriously think that it is easy for me to listen to their asinine stories and fake interest? It's not, but I try.
There is no number for times I've heard "You are so funny!" To which I respond "I'm being serious". No one seems to take me seriously. Perhaps it is that they do not want to believe how serious things can be with me. Everyone just wants me to remain their fall back crutch, the person they go to when something is wrong. Yet no one seems to want to reciprocate the actions, feelings, concerns, not any of it, or at the very least, not enough. I do not believe this is selfish, it is simply wanting the same courtesy extended to be that I give.
I have decided to give no more. It's not worth it. Most people are not worth it. There really isn't anyone you can trust but yourself. Only you know how you are feeling and only you can deal with it.
In the end, no matter what poems or songs say, everyone is alone. Everyone deals with their problems alone. Everyone dies alone.
I have been saying for years that I have no friends, that I hate most people and I'd rather be alone. It's not easy to be this way, but it is easier. I've been disappointed too many times by people who say they are "friends" to count on anyone. It is easier to take yourself when you don't have people you thought you could trust running for the hills whenever you feel upset, or thinking something is wrong with you. It is easier to turn inside and deal or ignore and continue on when all you have is yourself.
If in the end we are all alone, then I have a head start, for I have been alone all my life.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Griffith Memorial

In honor of the man who gave Los Angeles a park, an amphitheater, the Greek Theatre, and our beloved, recently renovated Griffith Observatory.
Colonel Griffith J. Griffith (horrible name I know) purchased Rancho Los Feliz (near the Los Angeles River) in 1882. He donated 3,015 acres (12.2 km2) to the city of Los Angeles on December 16, 1896 which became a city park.
Griffith was kind of a bad ass though, and in 1903 an incident resulted with his being tried and convicted for shooting and severely wounding his wife. When released from prison, he attempted to fund the construction of an observatory, planetarium, amphitheater, a girls camp and boys camp in the park. His reputation in the city was tainted by his crime, however, so the city refused his money (what his money wasn't green enough?). So much for "paying your debt to society".

In 1912, Griffith designated 100 acres (0.4 km2) of the park, at its northeast corner along the Los Angeles River, be used to "do something to further aviation." The Griffith Park Aerodrome was the result. The aerodrome passed to the National Guard Air Service. Air operations continued on a 2,000-foot (600 m)-long runway until 1939, when it was closed.
From 1946 until the mid-1950s, Rodger Young Village (was a public housing project, set up to provide temporary housing for veterans returning to the Southern California area following the end of World War II.) occupied the area.
Today that site is occupied by the Los Angeles Zoo parking lot, the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, soccer fields, and the interchange between the Golden State Freeway and the Ventura Freeway.
Film pioneer D.W. Griffith (no relation to Colonel Griffith) filmed the battle scenes for his epic Birth of a Nation in the park in 1915. Over the years, a number of films were shot in the park.
Griffith set up a trust fund for the improvements he envisioned, and after his death in 1919 the city began to build what Griffith had wanted. The amphitheater, the Greek Theatre, was completed in 1930, and Griffith Observatory was finished in 1935.
Griffith is interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I felt after all he did for Los Angeles, it was the least I could do to take a few shots of his memorial. Thank you so much Mr. Griffith, we can finally see the stars in Los Angeles without being hindered by bright lights and smog!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dalai Lama

Truth cannot shine if we fail to accept truth or consider it illegal to tell the truth.
Responsibility for working for peace lies not only with our leaders, but also with each of us individually.
Peace starts within each one of us.
When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around usNo matter how new the face or how different the dress and behavior, there is no significant division between us and other people.
It is foolish to dwell on external differences, because our basic natures are the same.

Providing for equality under law, everyone is entitled to equal rights and freedoms without discrimination of any kind.
Peace and freedom cannot be ensured as long as fundamental human rights are violated.
Similarly, there cannot be peace and stability as long as there is oppression and suppression.
It is unfair to seek one's own interests at the cost of other people's rights.

I believe that at every level of society - familial, tribal, national and international - the key to a happier and more successful world is the growth of compassion.
We do not need to become religious, nor do we need to believe in an ideology. All that is necessary is for each of us to develop our good human qualities.
Ultimately, humanity is one and this small planet is our only home, If we are to protect this home of ours, each of us needs to experience a vivid sense of universal altruism. It is only this feeling that can remove the self-centered motives that cause people to deceive and misuse one another.

Whether we are concerned with suffering born of poverty, with denial of freedom, with armed conflict, or with a reckless attitude to the natural environment everywhere, we should not view these events in isolation. Eventually their repercussions are felt by all of us. We, therefore, need effective international action to address these global issues from the perspective of the oneness of humanity, and from a profound understanding of the deeply interconnected nature of today's world.
At birth, all human beings are naturally endowed with the qualities we need for our survival, such as caring, nurturing and loving kindness. However, despite already possessing such positive qualities, we tend to neglect them. As a result, humanity faces unnecessary problems. What we need to do is to make more effort to sustain and develop these qualities. Therefore, the promotion of human values is of primary importance. We also need to focus on cultivating good human relations, for, regardless of differences in nationality, religious faith, race, or whether people are rich or poor, educated or not, we are all human beings. When we are facing difficulties, we invariably meet someone, who may be a stranger, who immediately offers us help. We all depend on each other in difficult circumstances, and we do so unconditionally.
We do not ask who people are before we offer them help. We help because they are human beings like us. -Dalai Lama

As a child I attended a private Catholic school (I know, I know, I'm sorry too). I never agreed to calling the visiting Cardinal "Your Excellency" but I think I would use the words quite freely with his Holiness The Dali Lama. One of the greatest minds the world has ever known

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence and Freedom

next to of course god america i
love you land of the pilgrims' and so forth oh
say can you see by the dawn's early my
country 'tis of centuries come and go
and are no more what of it we should worry
in every language even deaf and dumb
thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
by jingo by gee by gosh by gum

why talk of beauty what could be more beautiful
than these heroic happy dead

who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
they did not stop to think they died instead

then shall the voice of liberty be mute?