Monday, October 22, 2007

The Dalai Lama Comes Down to Georgia

I saw no sign of Charlie Daniels or Richard Gere. But I did see the Dalai Lama himself, post W., if from some distance. I saw him once before, almost thirty years ago, when I lived just above the Tibetan Monastary in Berkeley, but this was from my window and he stepped out of the limo and was quickly escorted into the lovely wooden building.

At Emory, the Dalai Lama performed a sangha, and I went with sweet Amy. He entered while monks sang in the traditional throat style, sat, chatted and joked a bit in English, then started the lesson in Tibetan. Another man, seated near him in a business suit, interpreted, and we listened to a lesson on mindfulness and emptiness and achieving the kind of awareness that may lead with much practice to enlightenment.

This blog, however, composed as it is out of the fishnet of words, is firmly grounded in the samsara, so I won't burden you with a spiritual discussion just now. I would just like to put in your mind the image of half a dozen Tibetan monks in their maroon and saffron robes after the event eating pizza at a tavern across from the university. I remember wondering where they keep their wallets. Meanwhile, someone outside protested David Horowitz's Islamophobic events and people drank and watched as Byron Leftwich became the latest Atlanta quarterback/victim and Amy and I and her parents and our friend Anna sat and waited for food, or, in Anna's case, a ride.

We had come down from the mountain where Amy's folks now live, after hiking, moving boulders, killing a scorpion (my scorpio soul winced), buying and drinking fine wine (Buying='03 Sociando Mallet; drinking=Talley Pinot), eating great Thai food at N'ham in Alpharetta, driving and driving in the cooling autumn air and enjoying a fine weekend outside of wet, swampy Valdosta, where the drought has abated a bit of late. Om, mane padme, Om; Oh, dharma, keep on spinning. . .

Friday, October 19, 2007

George's Random Ten and the Dalai Lama

I refer you today to George's weekly random ten + 1 songs for a lesson in ultra-cool music history, because I'm off to see the Dalai Lama at Emory University Sunday morning. (If I have the chance, I'll try to talk him into putting up his own list next week, George. )

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

On not blogging

Is it because I have little to say? No. I wrote a blog and buried it, because instead of whining about a local political issue, I decided to make direct contact with someone concerned hoping to effect change more directly. We'll see how that goes. At any rate, I'll be talking about appropriate responses to Virginia Tech at the upcoming AWP Conference in New York, and I'll have more to say later.

I have a few other ideas, fits and starts of them, but I need some pictures for a couple of them.

Local band Ninja Gun is having success getting songs on Friday Night Lights. I'd give them some kudos, but I hate that word. So, ya'll will have to accept my mere congratulations.

Oh, and vote for Night Driving in Small Towns, our local Rolling Stone-approved indie/blugrass band selected as a finalist in zigzaglive's contest. Hit the "Vote for Bands" button and vote for their song "Cast Your Love Around." Do it now. Both of you.

Friday, October 5, 2007

October Already

and the Cubs are blowing it again and I can't really care too much for baseball as I used to when the Dodger's pitched and ran and I pretended to be Don Sutton or Claude Osteen or Bill Singer or Jim Brewer in the ninth twisting screwballs into Joe Ferguson's glove, or Davey Lopes stealing second or the Penguin (Ron Cey) or Steve Garvey hitting one out or Bill Buckner making the play at first base (as he did with great regularity before he became unfairly stigmatized for the one cursed play with the Red Sox). Manny Mota was the greatest pinch hitter ever (remember that old guy stealing home? Might be my favorite baseball moment), and Walt Alston managed the team like an old law professor waiting for the right answer. It was Vin Scully's fault, really, because I'd rather listen to the game on the radio than watch it, though I watched plenty, watched Al Downing give up an unasterisked 715 to Hank Aaron and was happy for them both, watched Steve Yeager stabbed by a broken bat and it scared me and scarred him.

But now the Dodgers have collapsed and the ex-Dodgers (Mets) even more gloriously and I don't know their names anymore, haven't since a few years after Kirk Gibson hit that one-legged homer out. I don't know why. Steroids? Selig? Players changing teams so often it's hard to feel the word "team" after baseball anymore? All of it? At any rate, you'll likely have to watch the world series without me. Mr. October's cameoing in bad movies and the game has lost any sense of grace.