Americana

Back in the middle 1930’s, Beryle Shinn, a San Francisco store clerk was picnicking on the beach north of the Golden Gate Bridge. He found a corroded brass plate measuring five by seven inches. There was some old writing scratched on it.

Shinn sent the piece of brass to Dr. Herbert Bolton at the University of California. He carefully cleaned it and read it. It was dated June 17, 1579. In old Elizabethan English it read it part:”…in the name of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of England and her successors forever I take possession of this kingdom now named by me and to be known unto all men as Nova Albion.” It was signed Francis Drake. So where is Nova Albion or New Albion?

Historical accounts of Drakes travels put him in what is now California in 1579. Drake reported he landed near “white banks and cliffs.” There were no landmarks like that near where the brass plate was found.

Scientific and scholarly analysis eventually authenticated the plate as real, accept, where were the “white banks and cliffs.”

Enter William Caldeira. He convinced authorities he was telling the truth. He said he found the plate four years earlier at Laguna Beach, thought it was Chinese writing, kept it for a while and eventually cleaning out his car, threw it away near where Beryle Shinn found it.

Laguna Beach where Caldeira allegedly found the brass plate has white banks and cliffs.

Spirituality

Spirituality is an experience of depth in life.

Being spiritual is acknowledging a conscious, loving presence as part of our being and knowing it is in harmonic resonance with all things.

Religions and their dogma, on the other hand, are the process, the belief systems, by which they choose to express their spirituality.

In my view, religions have forgotten their specific, but ultimately collective spirituality, and what they think they do remember it, they confuse with dogma.

Do we need to fix it? No! It will balance in the illusion of time.

The Media

So the media is the enemy of the American people! Let’s clear up just what and who is the media.

Most people think of “media” as radio, television, and print.

It is that and much more. It is billboards and flashing signs. It’s the Internet and blogging, twitter and emails. It is video recorders, copy machines, faxes, photographs, newspapers, magazines, letters, and telexes.

The media is cell phones. It is music, movies, dance, poetry, and art. It is shared dreams, signal drums and graffiti, books and even T-shirts. Just look at the variety of messages put on T-shirts today. Media is any form of communication. That’s one big enemy.

Michael Real, in his book Super Media, suggests the term “media,” “refers to the technological extensions of the human sensory apparatus. The bowed heads of teenagers and adults today constantly working their cellphones amplifies the definition.

Tree Truth

I often drive to a lot of places in the New York City area, but lately I chose to go by rail. It is an expansive experience.

The environment is a predominant observation on my rail sojourns. The window is my seatmate. I see trees in winter storage or fully leafed and growing in the most inhospitable places between track and fence, between rail and stone, between cement and junk. Amazing.

These trees set an example of service to all humans. They stand not in a place to display their leafy or naked glory. They are tucked behind buildings and sheds and few people ever see them even though they may look at them.

In their growth and growing place they are deformed by the proximity to man’s fences, walls, and concrete surfaces, yet they stand to serve in the simplicity of a symbiotic relationship. Our CO2 for their O2.

What a gift of life.