Saturday, July 2, 2022



   “Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom" Francis Bacon  

       “The color of the mountains is Buddha's body; the sound of running water is his great speech".  Dogen  

I cannot remember exactly how long I have been sending out these newsletters and missives to Dukes Fans. Something tells me that I started this around 2008, but that could well be just my faulty memory. I like doing them; I like the sense of connection with Dukes fans, and I like looking at how and where my thoughts and sense of connections to the world around are at certain times. Usually writing these is fairly straightforward, if not always easy. I get an idea, think about it, string a couple of sentences together, and then I am off, tracking my thoughts and sharing them with you. There are times, however, when nothing seems to be working. The brain is too tired, too overloaded or too crazed to allow me to develop a solid t rain of thought which I can ride somewhere. I get stuck.  

At those times I often go back to the trove of things I have written before, looking for ideas and inspiration. I generally look for something around similar dates from years ago, as many of my missives deal with things that are calendar related, celestial, or theme related. That is what happened today, and I looked back at things written at the end of June or early in July. I am so glad I did that. I came across a newsletter I had sent out in 2013 that had to do with connections and links that turned me on to something I had not known about, got connected to, and then in the craziness of the last few years, unfortunately fell away from. I am happy to be aware of it again. And It all started with connections; connections ignited by a conversation with my late wife, Penny:   

    “This all came to me after a conversation with my wife, Penny. She mentioned a piece she had heard on Natural Public Radio about the wildlife sounds at a National Park-I think it was Olympia National Park. I love things that talk about sounds and silence-I am a musician, after all, and I love walking in the woods and listening to nature. So I attempted to find the story. I couldn't find it, but I stumbled onto something called "Eavesdropping On America's National Parks"-an entire project by the National Park Service devoted to collecting sounds from the parks. I spent time listening to and reading about that, which led me to the National Park's "Natural Sound and Night Skies" Program, which led me to a whole page and video on the sound project, which led to teacher resources on working with kids and sounds, which led to reading about the crisis faced by bats, which led to the discovery of something called, "World Listening Day." That is correct-a day in which people all over the world are asked to pause and to spend serious time listening to what is around them. That sounded great and blew me away. It is a profoundly simple but wonderful idea. July 18 is World Listening Day, and I think I will find a way to get involved.   

  So those connections- that way the mind can work on its own to find patterns and forge links-is still a part of how I try to approach life. And it takes me to new places, new thoughts, new discoveries, and new awareness’s that I had only scarcely imagined. Sometimes the most amazing trips we take are the ones we take internally, without even going anywhere.  They can truly be both fascinating and enlightening!”  

 (The web links for the pages on Sounds in the National Parks and World Listening Day-  

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