Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Oya-Yansa is the Yoruba Queen of the Winds of change. She is feared by many people because She brings about sudden structural change in people and things. Oya does not just rearrange the furniture in the house -- She knocks the building to the ground and blows away the floor tiles. She is the cyclone and the earthquake. Oya fans Her skirts and blows the branches from the trees; should She choose to cry, torrential rains fall on the earth. She is the Mother of Mind. She can impart genius, restore memory, or slap you with insanity. Oya opens Her mouth, flicks out Her tongue, and lightning strikes.... No one can be certain of Oya's movement; no one can capture Her smile. She is the mistress of disguises. yesterday Oya was a gentle lamb; today, a buffalo trampling the earth beneath Her feet. Tomorrow She'll be a rainbow -- maybe.
--Yoruba/Santeria priestess Luisah Teish in "Jambalaya"

I heard they exploded the underground blast
They say its gonna happen - gonna happen at last
That's the way it appears
They tell me the faultline runs right through here
So that maybe that may be
What's gonna happens gonna happen to me
They tell me the faultline runs right through here
Atlantis will rise, Sunset Boulevard will fall
Where the beach used to be won't be nothing at all
That's the way it appears
They tell me the faultline runs right through here
So that maybe that may be
What's gonna happen's gonna happen to me
They tell me the faultline runs right through here

--Mama Cass Elliot, "California Earthquake" 1968

When I behold the heavens in their vastness,
Where golden ships in azure issue forth,
Where sun and moon keep watch upon the fastness
Of changing seasons and of time on earth.

And when at last the mists of time have vanished
And I in truth my faith confirmed shall see,
Upon the shores where earthly ills are banished
I’ll enter Lord, to dwell in peace with thee.

--"Oh Mighty God" 1925 Christian Hymn

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.


In a highway service station
Over the month of June
Was a photograph of the earth
Taken coming back from the moon
And you couldn't see a city
On that marbled bowling ball
Or a forest or a highway
Or me here least of all
You couldn't see these cold water restrooms
Or this baggage overload
Westbound and rolling taking refuge in the roads

--Joni Mitchell, Refuge of the Roads, 1976

(Photos of the ruins of the 1972 Managua, Nicaragua, earthquake taken by me in 1986.)


  1. So, is this just one of those random events, brought about by the imperfections of planet Earth? Or is God trying to tell us something? I dunno. It's a worthwhile exercise to pause and think for a while, at any rate. Excellent photos, btw.

  2. I read a terrible comment elsewhere speculating that Japan is suffering karmic payback for killing whales and dolphins. I find that kind of fundamentalism abhorrent.

    I guess my point was that we think "it's all about us" when the world (including God, if you will) just goes on doing what it does, which sometimes includes moving around things that we presumed weren't moveable. I think of my/our normal reverence for Mother Earth...which could seem a little trite in the face of such terrible force.

  3. UN approves no-fly zone with all necessary measures. That doesn't sound good.

    Today the world caught up with me and I felt so depressed, usually I can find some small thing to laugh at, but not today.

    So how did I handle it? I took it out on the Irish and refused to cook my corned beef and cabbage waiting in the fridge. Now that small protest did make me laugh. Bring over your green beer tomorrow and well make up for it.

  4. Well Annie I tried to figure out what to write last night and I also got deeper into the funk. HOw terrible is it BOTH That the Libyan people are going through all that AND we're on the verge of some new horrible meddling. No easy solutions for anyone. And read about Bahrain. The US is strangely silent about that. So I thought about things and figured I'd just say the world keeps on spinning. Tonight's post yet to come. We'll see how I do.

    Down with corned beef!!!! I'll be over at 10.

  5. This is a good read from Andrew Sullivan:


  6. That is a good article. Thanks. Especially coming from Sullivan who once supported that war.

    And my new post is up.