Tuesday Open Thread ~ See How the Light Dances on the Sea


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“I have been feeling very clearheaded lately and what I want to write about today is the sea. It contains so many colors. Silver at dawn, green at noon, dark blue in the evening. Sometimes it looks almost red. Or it will turn the color of old coins. Right now the shadows of clouds are dragging across it, and patches of sunlight are touching down everywhere. White strings of gulls drag over it like beads. It is my favorite thing, I think, that I have ever seen. Sometimes I catch myself staring at it and forget my duties. It seems big enough to contain everything anyone could ever feel.”
~ Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

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Good Morning!

Welcome to Tuesday’s Open Thread. Well, I had planned to drive up the coast with a few friends on Memorial Day Weekend and spend some time in Big Sur and Monterey, but that was cancelled months ago when a highly contagious virus descended upon our land. Disappointing to say the least. Had my bucket and pail all ready to go. Back in the old days, when I was but a young lass, I used to do a lot of sunbathing. These days not so much. But I do like to sit under an umbrella and listen to the sound of the waves tumble on the shore. Altogether soothing and mysterious, I’ve always had great awe for the secrets of the sea, but much prefer to do my musings on land. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all up for a sunset cruise around the harbor in a sailboat with champagne and friends, but traversing across the open seas for days on end leaves me feeling very vulnerable. The sea is a world unto itself. Beautiful, powerful, primal and unforgiving. It’s been a part of us from the beginning of time. Maybe that’s why so many artists are drawn to it?

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The Ocean

Nathanial Hawthorne ~ 1804 - 1864

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The Ocean has its silent caves,
Deep, quiet, and alone;
Though there be fury on the waves,
Beneath them there is none.

The awful spirits of the deep
Hold their communion there;
And there are those for whom we weep,
The young, the bright, the fair.

Calmly the wearied seamen rest
Beneath their own blue sea.
The ocean solitudes are blest,
For there is purity.

The earth has guilt, the earth has care,
Unquiet are its graves;
But peaceful sleep is ever there,
Beneath the dark blue waves.

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To the Sea

Philip Larkin ~ 1922 - 1985

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To step over the low wall that divides
Road from concrete walk above the shore
Brings sharply back something known long before—
The miniature gaiety of seasides.
Everything crowds under the low horizon:
Steep beach, blue water, towels, red bathing caps,
The small hushed waves’ repeated fresh collapse
Up the warm yellow sand, and further off
A white steamer stuck in the afternoon—

Still going on, all of it, still going on!
To lie, eat, sleep in hearing of the surf
(Ears to transistors, that sound tame enough
Under the sky), or gently up and down
Lead the uncertain children, frilled in white
And grasping at enormous air, or wheel
The rigid old along for them to feel
A final summer, plainly still occurs
As half an annual pleasure, half a rite,

As when, happy at being on my own,
I searched the sand for Famous Cricketers,
Or, farther back, my parents, listeners
To the same seaside quack, first became known.
Strange to it now, I watch the cloudless scene:
The same clear water over smoothed pebbles,
The distant bathers’ weak protesting trebles
Down at its edge, and then the cheap cigars,
The chocolate-papers, tea-leaves, and, between

The rocks, the rusting soup-tins, till the first
Few families start the trek back to the cars.
The white steamer has gone. Like breathed-on glass
The sunlight has turned milky. If the worst
Of flawless weather is our falling short,
It may be that through habit these do best,
Coming to the water clumsily undressed
Yearly; teaching their children by a sort
Of clowning; helping the old, too, as they ought.

~

Waters

Award Winning Oral Poetry by Brave New Voices

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Well, that about wraps things up for this week's edition.
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What’s on your mind today?
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Raggedy Ann's picture

Living in a land-locked state, a high desert one, at that, makes me yearn for the sea.All beach destinations were disrupted by a small virus. My March trip to San Diego was canceled in March. My June trip to Port Hueneme was canceled in April. My July trip to NYC and Boston was canceled in May. No sea for me this year. Thanks for bringing it to my computer.

I loved the youth voices. It brought a tear - especially in these times.

Stay positive, live in the present, live in love.

Have a lovely day, everyone! Pleasantry

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"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

Anja Geitz's picture

@Raggedy Ann

Very powerful piece. I knew immediately when I ran across it I had to post it here. I’m so glad you watched it. They were truly wonderful.

Speaking of the times we live in, a 6pm curfew was implemented here in L.A. County since Sunday which meant all the Trader Joe’s stores had to close early. It’s like we are a community task force these days in addition to being a retailer, changing operating procedures with each new emergency as it comes. No mean feat since a lot is involved addressing each critical situation. Yeah, boy, it’s been a very stressful year so far.

The cancelled trips. I feel ya. I was looking forward to getting together with you when you came to California. Another time.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

I immediately think of local ocean in terms of Galveston, with particularly filthy waters and beach.
My toe in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, now those are magic memories.
In anticipation of the arrival of my Dear One, I thought it would be nice to spray air freshener in my living room. I didn't notice I had the spout aimed at me until I had sprayed myself. Perfume is often overrated.
I will have "that talk" about social distancing for as long as it takes me to bat my eye, then let the games begin.
I want to join a protest.
I have no problem starting a fire, as long as that fire is in someone's heart.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@on the cusp

Marbella, on the coast of Spain was probably the most beautiful beach I’ve been to so far. White sands and a blue ocean. Not to mention very good looking guys from the hotel I was staying in bringing you drinks. My Sister loves going to Hawaii. I’ve never been. Yet. The first year she went, back in the 1980’s, the pictures she took of the beach looked like a professional had touched them up, the colors were so gorgeous. Paradise indeed.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Azazello's picture

Don't get there near often enough anymore.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Azazello

Reminded me a little of the Flamenco. Surfboards in the background were a nice touch too. Thanks!

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Azazello's picture

@Anja Geitz
I've been watching Jamie O'Brien videos lately. Jamie is a North Shore native, lives right on the beach at the famous Banzai Pipeline. This was shot in Mexico.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Azazello

Well, now I’ve seen everything.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

dystopian's picture

@Azazello GREAT piece AZAZ, spanish surf music, with a side of Lemmy! Wow, that rocks! Very cool. Thanks! Your great taste in music never ceases to amaze me... Wink

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

enhydra lutris's picture

@Azazello
by The Cornells, off of their Beachbound album. A bunch of Hollywood brats, and unfortunately, very little of their stuff is on You Tube, including their version of Miserlou. Here's the 45 rpm version of Beachbound:

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

very, very large assortment of relevant tunage here. Choosing only a couple is difficult indeed. Nonetheless ...

A. What a score: JB with Lady Sarah, OMFG

B. And then this beauty (EDITED: to swap in a nice sunny outdoor performance):

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

What a lovely duet. You always manage to find things I’ve never heard before. And every once in awhile I’ll hear one of those songs on the radio and think to myself, I know that song now. Got any sailing songs?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz
I posted beneath the Buffett tune (which is my all-time fave Buffett song, from the terrific, pre-fame album A1A, but I'd never seen that duet with SM.).

No, really, lots n lots. Just a list of titles off the top of my head:

Marie Christine (Gordon Lightfoot)
Nova Scotia Song (Traditional? Or not? Nobody is sure.)
Barrett's Privateers (Stan Rogers)
Sailing (Rod Stewart)
Sail Away (Neil Young)
Son of a Son of a Sailor (Buffett -- his Grandfather was a sailor from Newfoundland!)
Southern Cross (CSN, and sometimes Y ... I can't believe that's the first time that phrase ever occurred to me, I'm ashamed of myself.)
Wooden Ships (Jefferson Airplane, CSNY)
Sailing Up, Sailing Down (Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie)
Bell Bottom Trousers
What do you do with a Drunken Sailor

etc.

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8 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

is that something you listen to with a bottle of rum?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz
it originated as a work song, for such tasks as "weighing anchor" -- thus the eventual evolution of the chorus to, "Way, hey, and up she rises". Definitely preferable to be sober at such moments.

But I will refer you to wikipedia

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6 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Sorry, couldn’t resist. Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz
After she dumped her drummer/husband she briefly dated a former NHL'r who happens to be almost the same age as me, proving once and for all that I really should have worked harder on my crossovers and slapshot.

up
6 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Anja Geitz's picture

@UntimelyRippd

If for no other reason than Sarah.

Speaking of which, I have a slightly amusing anecdote about Sarah’s music; when I was riding out Superstorm Sandy with one of my neighbors, the topic of music came up and I mentioned the lovely Sarah. To my surprise my neighbor replied, “I hate her music”, which all things considered seemed a bit, I dunno, extreme. Curious, I asked why. “It’s so depressing”. Ah, yes. Well, I guess what’s “depressing” to some, is lyrical and moving to others.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

dystopian's picture

Where is QMS? Maybe on a boat?

One of my favorite 'sea' songs:

The sea is the thing I miss the most in socal. For years I spent up to a couple weeks a year out there leading bird & whale tours. Often far offshore, not the typical whale watch local inshore stuff. A few times have been out 5 days. I loved it out there with the albatross and albacore. Have seen some amazing things out there. And been out there a couple times when I wished I wasn't.

be well,

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

Anja Geitz's picture

@dystopian

Care to elaborate? Sounds like a story there Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

dystopian's picture

@Anja Geitz @Anja Geitz

The key is you want the duration or period between swells to be much longer than the height of the swell. One of the most wonderful rides I ever had out there was what is called slow rollers. Big massive swells, these were 12-18', but with a 20 second interval. It was gorgeous. Plus the big swells move so much water there is a standing wind wave in front of them, so even if dead calm the birds have wind to fly on. It is a beautiful smooth ride even though huuuuuge swells. Interval is everything.

Worse is a 4' swell with 4 second interval, or 10' with less than 10 second interval. Which I think were the conditions the few times I fed the fish personally. Its like being in a washing machine on a potato patch. Once we were 100 miles west of Ventura, went out in calm, and Santa Anna offshore winds picked up and we were in 10' with under 10 second interval, you could hear the timbers creaking in protest, hoping they weren't cracking. We turned around and could only make 4 knots against it. Doing fuel calculations you didn't think you would have to consider.

Once someone demanded we call the coast guard to helicopter him off the boat. Captain said that'll run you 10-20k when you get the bill. The guy said fine, no problemo. Shuts most people up. Then the Captain had to explain there was no hoisting off the deck in 10' seas
with a 8-10 second interval, he would have to be thrown overboard, and that wasn't going to happen on his boat. I got lots of these stories... bet ya QMS has more better ones... Wink

I have been leader on trips where we had to lock everyone in the cabin. No one outside, never more than for a few hours... These are mostly 65-75' sportfishing type boats. Once you get far enough away from Pt. Conception it calms down, but as they say, at sea, that place makes it own weather. It is where norcal and socal meet. I ran a lot of trips out of Santa Barbara and Ventura. The Pacific is not always.

But what you remember is the albatross, the albacore sandwiches for everyone for lunch, the Red-tailed and Red-billed Tropicbirds, Long-tailed Jaegers and Sabine's Gulls, watching a pod of Orca make a kill, seeing 3 kinds of Beaked-whales, and a million other things like that. 100,000 Red-necked Phalarope one day, another with 50,000 Black-vented Shearwater, and so on. Watching a Peregrine Falcon take a vagrant Bobolink out of the sky 50 miles offshore in CA. Or have a Black-throated Blue Warbler land on the boat offshore in CA. Having a Short-eared Owl flying over the boat, lost in the fog 20 miles offshore.

Like any outdoor excursion, the discomfort, like mosquito bites, goes away, and you don't much remember that part much really.

I used to make birding listserv posts about seabirds with my sig: See ya asea!

edit - lower to longer - sorry was in a hurry - you want interval much LONGER than swell is tall. 10 foot with 20 second interval is great, with 5 second interval you are seasick.

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

Anja Geitz's picture

@dystopian

I can taste the fresh seafood now! But I gotta tell you, I’m a big ass chicken when it comes to riding out the swells you mentioned. Won’t say I have a deathly fear of the ocean, more like a respectful one, because like you say, the ocean has its own weather.

Thanks for taking the time and telling your story!

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

enhydra lutris's picture

@dystopian

I was on a Lindblad whale watching and nature cruise in the MV Sea Lion, I think, or sister ship, about 44 meters. We rounded tip of Baja into Sea of Cortez and hit Gorda Bank right in the teeth of a hellacious storm, so monster steep swell from change in depth. Pretty much all passengers and most of crew, including ships doctor were big time seasick. I was fine, up on what should've been the focsle deck in old times, up on the point of the bow taking in the show. At one point a humpback went hurtling out of the water perpendicular to and across our path and close ahead, it was astonishing and there was nobody else there to see it.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

dystopian's picture

@enhydra lutris Love yer story EL! Whales up close are something else. Breeching is the bomb! It is that inner ear that can save, or ruin ya out there. I generally did the opposite of all the rules, and only a couple times got sick. Greasy foods and alcohol, you name it, whatever they said not to do. To me being out there is like being on a playground.

Those scopalomine patches seemed to work good for many folks. Accu-pressure wrist bands work for some too. I had to rip a patch off a guy once that went hallucinatory on it. He was seeing stuff I wished we were seeing. I have a friend said when he was a Marine and crossed the Atlantic everyone was sick but him. I have been the only one at the bow a bunch of times and especially when big swells it is easy to see something quickly and that is it, you can't whistle it back or turn around. Of course we chummed for birds and sometimes you can bring them in, squid is magic for albatross. I was the guy that boarded with the tube of wasabi.

Thanks!

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

enhydra lutris's picture

and art, so evocative of the coast and ocean. We normally spend a lot of time visiting it, picnicking, birding, camping and just hanging out and watching the ocean etc. Many trips already not taken and a 4 day camping trip at Morro Bay State Park starting 6/21 just canceled by the State Parks. We miss it a lot, so this was especially apropo. To have it so near that it is routine, and yet somehow inacessible is something of a PITA, and somehow this column makes it better and more tolerable. Mysterious.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

Went up there for the first time a few years ago visiting a family friend with my Sister. Enjoyed it greatly. Remember thinking to myself how lovely it would be to camp there. You have my sympathies. Spending time at the beach is just so relaxing and good for the soul. Something we actually need more of right now.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

This is where I'll be after this life.

Thank you Anja for the beautiful images and thoughts in this essay.

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smiley7's picture

Thank you. Love the Brave voices and your poetry, the comments and music.

Hope your day is as lovely as your OT.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@smiley7

Must’ve been electric in person. Live performances can be such a visceral experience. Especially ones with such a moving theme. Brave new voices indeed.

Glad you stopped by Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Pluto's Republic's picture

The art, the music.

I honest don't remember anything coming through like this interlude to sweep me so completely away.

Thanks, Anja.

(And all you music magicians.)

I don't have enough music in my life.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

Anja Geitz's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Glad you enjoyed. Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

...I just found this, some of you may find it edifying (if you'll forgive the understandable-but-annoying presence of a certain empty chair): https://www.reddit.com/r/wholesomebpt/

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

Because I'm on a loaner laptop, without access to many of our photos of the coastline along the Eastern Shore (AL), thought I'd share this stock photo of local piers.

Have to admit, though--any photo which doesn't include a shot of all the gorgeous flowers that bloom native to the area--Camellias, Azaleas, Magnolias, to name a few--doesn't even come close to doing showcasing the beauty of the region.

IIRC, a couple years ago, I posted a slideshow of the gorgeous Bellingrath Home and Gardens (which is down the road in another town) at EB. It was stunning. And, many of the same flowers and shrubs that populate BG, grow profusely all over a tri-county area.

Some of the loveliest beaches are down the road about 60 miles in Pensacola, FL. Still, the overall beauty of this area is second to none. (IMO, that is Biggrin )

Hope you're doing well, and, not experiencing any damage or destruction to your immediate neighborhood. Last night, we attended a local candlelight vigil--remotely. It was very moving, and, peaceful.

Stay safe; be well.

[Edited: Corrected typo - poetry, not poety]

Mollie

"Those who choose the lesser of evil, tend very fast to forget they have chosen the evil."
~~Hannah Arendt, Philosopher

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.”
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Anja Geitz's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

Hey Mollie,

Sounds like a gorgeous picture. When you’re back on your computer I’d love to see where you live. Glad you could stop by!

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

enhydra lutris's picture

and I blame it on you. I saw that first picture and accompanying poem, and this song has been stuck in my head ever since.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

Great song. Really made me think of the sea. Nice.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

enhydra lutris's picture

and I blame it on you. I saw that first picture and accompanying poem, and this song has been stuck in my head ever since.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

@enhydra lutris

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --