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Diary of a Worm’s Life in a Home “Growing Power” Box and Garden

Rain Garden July 31, 2009

Front Lawn Garden 08/09

Garden 08/02/09

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Time Out - Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Diary of the Worm is taking a ‘time out’
and will resume March 11th.

In the summer I have the gardens to keep me grounded. I was hoping to do more growing in the winter in the sun room, but without getting the solar heating system I was hoping to build I did not spend much time growing. We had some things, like the arugula in our salad tonight, but not nearly what the room is capable of with more heat and light.

Besides working in the gardens, another way to keep grounded and keep life in perspective is to retreat from everyday life and take some time for new experiences, quiet and reflections. So from tomorrow till March 11th I will take a ‘time out’, doing some traveling, listening and conversing. After ‘time out’ experiences such as these I have come back to my daily life inspired and renewed.

Maybe March 11, we can start an early spring, with at least enough light and heat in the sun room to start growing again. Like the child at heart I seek to be, it is time for a ‘time out’.


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No Violence - Friday, February 26, 2010

Prayer Vigil 2010

Today my friend Marna called to say she had updated the 2010 Homicide list for the web page Mothers Against Gun Violence. I take pictures at some of the prayer vigils and then post them on the site. I did not get the pictures posted tonight but on the news heard a report of a triple homicide, a mother and two very young children and the death, suicide or homicide, of a fourth person of interest in the triple homicide. A fifth person involved in these events, a 6 week old baby, was found in the cold outside of a Church. Now in one day we go from 13 to 16 or 17 homicides. When will the violence stop?

In a few weeks I plan to redesign the Nonviolent Action side of the web page, I was thinking of breaking up the material on this side of the web site into two parts: No More War Spending and Teach War No More. Now, after the homicides today, I am thinking of a third breakdown under nonviolence dealing with the daily violence we face in our society. This year many of the homicides have been domestic, killed by friend or family member. Efforts of groups like Mothers Against Gun Violence or WAVE have been no match for the gun lobby.

Last night I saw in the news that a 19 year old teenager was sentenced to 80


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Big and Small Experiences - Thursday, February 25, 2010

After I drove my friend Ella to the post office today to pick up her mail from her P.O. Box, I took a few pictures of her latest patch quilts for her web page Ella’s Patch Quilts. Also Ella, famous for her homemade corn bread muffins, gave me some spicy homemade corn bread dressing, which I had for dinner tonight. With the patch quilts, memories of corn muffins and corn bread dressing, I felt some southern comfort on this wintery day in Wisconsin.

This small experience is a reminder of how with a few mementos, patch quilts and homemade stuffing, one can, by imagination, transfer oneself to any place.

Next week I am traveling on a G.A.T.E., Global Awareness Through Experience, trip to El Salvador to experience the culture and the people of this country. Memories of martyrs, Father Oscar Romero, Jesuits and their housekeeper and her daughter, the women religious and the many men, women and children who died during the long civil war flood my mind. This will be a larger experience than corn muffins and will give me a lot to ponder, write, reflect on and picture.

Experiences of life comes in all sizes, big and small. It is up to us to make the most of each experience.


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One Good Quote Leads To Two More - Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A friend called early today and said he had a good quote for me. It was: “God can do tremendous things through the person who doesn’t care who gets the credit.” Thinking about this quote later in the day I called him back and asked him for the exact quote and where it came from. He had been told it was in the Bible, Romans 12:12. That is not exactly what this passage in the Bible says but it is still a great quote, at least for me.

It relates well to a definition of Gandhi’s nonviolence that I like: “striving nonviolently to the point of sacrifice rather than fighting to attain one’s vision of truth.” Both lessons, sacrificing not reacting, and not worrying about being given credit, are two things I need to work on. It is interesting that this lesson comes in any early morning phone call just when I need it.

In fact the quote I looked up in Romans 12:12 led to a deeper understanding of these points: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Romans 12:12–16} One good quote leads to two more.


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Dark Side of Technology - Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I will let the author of books like Animal Farm and 1984, do the talking tonight. Although Orwell died in 1950 his words ring true today:

The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.

Yesterday I had what I would call an Orwellian experience. Someone who I had never met or communicated with acted like she knew me. I asked the person how she knew me and she said I read your emails. I said I never sent her an email but she said someone had forwarded parts of my personal emails to her and that anything on the web is fair game. She is right but it made me stop and think that I should be more careful what I write in emails and who I sent them to. I already know how easy it is to be misunderstood in an email. Now I realize how public they are even when they are private.

Technology makes possible continuous or endless war and the invasion of personal email. Technology can mean power but like power can be used for bad or good. George Orwell, like Thomas Merton or Mahatma Gandhi, saw deep into society and warned us of the dark side of technology, war and ‘big brother’ watching us.


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Winter Garden - Monday, February 22, 2010

Winter Garden

The winter garden does not produce food but it looks great. Mother Mary, now Queen of the Snow, still stands in the middle saying “Let it be, Let it be.” Beneath the snow covered mound in the back of the yard I know my worms are warm, alive and well, eating and casting. A small wet snow fell last night. It is easy to work with and brings beauty to the garden without any burden.

A meeting with a politician today went well. A meeting with peace people tonight did not. With the politician we talked about the major issues of war and peace. At the other meeting we talked about minor issues, like corrections of minutes, who can work on a committee and not, and other petty issues.

I choose the winter garden, clean, white and beautiful over the mess of petty politics.

Mary Queen of Snow and Winter Garden help me to take insults and injuries and not react but keep clean, white and at peace.


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Good Friends Or Great Enemies - Sunday, February 21, 2010

Today at my friend John Gillman’s book signing “Footsoldier for Peace and Justice: The Story of John Gilman”, it occurred to me how those in the movement for human rights and to end war and violence has changed since the 60’s when I first knew John. I remember discussions and conversation in which we had strong disagreements. However, when it came to action we were always united and always supportive of each other.

I saw some friends from those days at the book signing. One of them still active in peace and justice efforts told me, when I pressed him for support of our efforts for No More War Spending and our efforts To Teach War No More at Marquette University, that these were “my issues” which he respected but he had his own issues which I needed to respect. When we worked together with our common friend John in the 60’s there was no talk of “my issue” and “your issue.”

As my friend reminded me there are many issues today and only so much time in the day, but still I cannot understand why on major issues where we can make a local difference we cannot stand united. In the 60’s as well as today I do not think that any particular political or social issues were “my issues”. It seems to me we just worked on what was in front of us and it came naturally as the right thing to do.


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Three R’s - Saturday, February 20, 2010

John Gilman

For the last few days I have been thinking that I need to pull back from politics, especially talk-not-action politics. After spending part of the morning at a meeting to prepare for a private meeting with Representative Glen Moore next Monday, I went to my first Green Party meeting in the afternoon. Tonight I updated the web page No More War Spending to reflect the fact the reason we were given for canceling the public meeting with Rep. Gwen Moore was false, and to show some of the research on the great increase in war spending since the Democrats came into political power in D.C. Tomorrow I am scheduled to attend a book signing of an old friend John Gilman, who in the 60’s bailed me out of jail when I was part of the Milwaukee 14. John’s Book is “Footsoldier for Peace and Justice: The Story of John Gilman”.

These latest ventures make me realize that I need to return to the three r’s, research, reflection and writing. I will remain open to direct nonviolent actions but, for someone who talks too much anyway, the politics of talk and playing games, as most politicians do, is not for me. However, I enjoy doing research, am a decent writer and need reflection. If I can do it, focus on the three r’s, I will have more time for growing renewable affordable food (G.R.A.F.) and being a friend to people in need.

Yes it is time to go back to the basics, the three r’s of research, reflection and writing.


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