Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Marco's bronze horse sculpture

Posted: 23 November 2011

 On Saturday, November 19, 2011, Pat Oviedo delivered her husband Marco's bronze stallion, which Birgitta fell in love with at first sight last August in Chimayo. Last week she dreamed of receiving it. It was clearly time to bring her dream into reality!

Marco is one of the Hispanic artists that have agreed to contribute to the Hispanic spiral of the Los Alamos Story Tree.

Marco A. Oviedo

The Carthusian monks at Jerez de la Frontera, province of Spain, bred the best Iberian horses for the last 13 centuries to arrive at the purity and character of the Spanish horse of today. “Jeresano” refers to being of Jerez. In Spain, any good wine is aged in oak barrels and is called 'Il de solera' or 'of good origin' and made in the properly aged way. Hence the name, Jeresano de Solera, an elegant name which describes this beautiful Spanish stallion floating on air with character and flawless movement and a long-standing noble heritage. Jeresano de Solera pays homage to the French impressionist masters who saw the horse floating in the air, but could not prove what they saw until the first high-speed camera was invented in 1881."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

THRIVE, the movie

Posted: 22 November 2011;

THRIVE, the movie
Last night Birgitta and I viewed the THRIVE movie on the DVD, which we bought. It was released on 11-11-11 for dramatic effect, if not for mystical reasons. The scope and intensity of the movie was wondrously compelling and must be seen to be appreciated.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Posted: November 17, 2011;
Updated: 11 November 2012.
QUOTATION OF THE DAY. (We're not secretive. And we're not scared of what people think of us. If you don't recognize the problem, you can't solve the problem. If nobody tells you you have spinach in your teeth, how would you know? "STEPHEN B. ALLEN, who is in charge of a campaign by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to change public perceptions of Mormons. 
There is a vast difference between the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" (or "Mormon Church") and "Mormons", just as there is between any religious institution and its individual members. Having twice been involuntarily excommunicated by Mormon Church leaders, I have a question for these leaders at all levels: Are you capable of acknowledging your potential for "unrighteous dominion"? In other words, does the Mormon Church believe its excommunication process is above reproach? 

 IMHO, this is the more important question. It's considerably more important than pointing to spinach in the teeth.

If the institution cannot respond to, let alone acknowledge, this question, as have other Christian institutions in recent years (notably the Orthodox Church in America in summer 2008), then they deserve the increasing criticism they are experiencing in the press as the presidential race brought it into the spotlight during the recent national debate.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cal's call made my B/Day!

Posted: November 17, 2011; Updated: 20 November.

On Thursday, November 17, I turned 78. Half my kids called or emailed or text-ed me as well as two grand kids. I always wonder how many will check in as a measure of how my family is doing these days. Two of my six living children have stopped talking to me for the time being, which saddens me. But I've been on the outs with everyone of them at one time or another over the past several decades. Sometimes the impasse is over in weeks. Sometimes years. It comes with the territory of taking on the dual roles of father and trying to become an authentic person.

But the high point of my day was a surprising call from an old best friend, Cal Wood. We had been out of touch for decades, but today he sang me the happy birthday song! It was like old times when we were young!

Cal and I first met at the Berkeley First Ward of the Mormon Church when I was an engineering undergraduate student at UC Berkeley in 1958-60 and he was a graduate student in physics. I sat in back of him at church one day and he heard me singing. Since he was a pianist we soon collaborated on performing singing concerts for church services and other events.

Years later came a great impasse, which I won't detail here except to say we both went through an existential crisis, ending with leaving the Mormon Church and joining with other main line Christian churches.

I look forward to renewing that long-ago relationship in a new way.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Singing "S nami Bog" with Unitarian Church choir

Event: 13 November 2011


It was thrilling to sing the old Slavonic chant "S nami Bog" (God is with us) with a choir. The last time I had sung this chant with a choir was at the Army Language School in spring 1955, just before leaving for Berlin.

When Unitarian Church choir director Alicia Solomon viewed my YouTube performance in 2007, she invited me to sing it with her choir. It took a while to develop a choir version with the help of Cary Neeper who helped me download the music from my memory into a singable choir version. (I can sing, but am no composer.)

So, the chant with choir finally happened. I can hardly express my gratitude enough for the opportunity. Orthodox priest Fr. John Hennies was there with his wife, Matushka Ana Lea to hear it sung in both early and late morning services.