Rising From Marsh Mud

“I rose from marsh mud
algae, equisetum, willows,
sweet green, noisy
birds and frogs.”
Lorine Niedecker

There are times when only a good marsh soothes and centers, showing true north clearly once again. Tavasci Marsh is not the blue/black boot sucking mud tidal marshes of the Delaware Bay; or the aloof… frigid… moving ice, scattered sedge, and reindeer, of the Spitzbergen.

Tavasci Marsh is a fresh water marsh, with no tidal interface or brackish/salty water, located in the high desert region of the Arizona Southwest. There is a delicious sense of time thinning, stretching, going fluid at Tavasci Marsh.

Toozigoot, a pueblo built by the Sinagua people around 1000 AD visible on a nearby hilltop, the sound of the Verde River, rustling reeds, and birdsong invites the mind, body, emotions, and spirit to join together again… to desire a vision of something good and new and engaging in the going forward. Indeed, there is a pleasure, peace, and promise, that comes of lingering with the not quite solid ground of a good marsh.

 Peace and Blessings to Each and Everyone.

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A Grand Gift Of Silence

“You have a grand gift for silence, Watson.
It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.”
Sherlock Holmes via Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A recent day of shared silence… hiking the  Little-Horse Trail #61 to Chicken Point in Sedona Arizona. A hike which I now share silently with you in Photographs:

In response to WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

New Oxford American Dictionary-
Origins: Middle English: from Old French, from Latin silentium, from silere be silent.                                                                                                                            
silence–  | ˈsīləns | noun complete absence of sound: sirens pierce the silence of the night | an eerie silence descended over the house.                                         the fact or state of abstaining from speech: Karen had withdrawn into sullen silence | she was reduced to silence for a moment.                                                    the avoidance of mentioning or discussing something: politicians keep their silence on the big questions. •                                                                                       the state of standing still and not speaking as a sign of respect for someone deceased or in an opportunity for prayer: a moment of silence presided over by a local minister.

verb [with object] cause to become silent; prohibit or prevent from speaking: the team’s performance silenced their critics | freedom of the press cannot be silenced by tanks. (usually as adjective silenced) fit (a gun or other loud mechanism) with a silencer: a silenced .22 rifle.

PHRASES in silence without speech or other sound: we finished our meal in silence.

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A Safe and Peace-filled weekend to each and everyone.


News/Music: Simon & Garfunkel- Sounds of Silence

The Tranquilizing Drug Of Gradualism

“This is no time
To engage in the luxury of cooling off
Or to take the tranquilizing drug
Of gradualism.
Now is the time
To make real
The promises of Democracy.”
This morning  I read that old inspiring civil rights stump speech still so relevant today,  “I Have A Dream.”  Spoken  at The March On Washington in August of 1963 by Reverend Martin Luther King. These words still inspire and remind me to the marrow what a gift and privilege I have experienced and benefited from by growing up and living with a functioning Democracy as the system of Government. This speech reminds me of the constant vigilance and participation by every one of us that is needed  to maintain, protect, and grow that Democracy. Here’s the speech in it’s entirety, given to a crowd of over 250,000 people from all over the country gathered in our nations capital to demand their voices be heard and their rights acknowledged  and respected. This is a speech to read aloud to your Sons and Daughters, Grandchildren, Students, and Kin. We honor a true Patriot and important American  today in our honoring Reverend Martin Luther King.


I Have A Dream

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

These photos are from a display I photographed at the Fort Verde State Park – Camp Verde Arizona on the history of the Buffalo Soldiers, created following the Emancipation Proclamation. Reverend King referenced in his speech.

A safe, joyous, and courageous week  for each and every one.

News/Music: Dion- Abraham Martin & John, Senate Judiciary Committee Testimony  of Glen Simpson- Full Transcript, Steele Dossier- Full Document, Facebook Finagling Increasing Fake News -New York Times



“You Can Observe A Lot By Watching”

“You Can Observe A Lot By Watching”

A quick curving ascent of pavement above the City of Flagstaff Arizona, just before dusk.  A visit to the  Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona on the day of the Geminoid Meteor Showers.

Here is how the Lowell Observatory describes itself:

Lowell Observatory, founded by Perceival Lowell in 1894, is a private, non-profit institution dedicated to the research and education in astronomy. Home of many important astronomical discoveries including the first evidence of the expansion of the universe and discovery of the planet Pluto., Lowell Observatory continues as an active major research observatory today. Sharing our founder’s conviction that scientist bear an obligation to convey their work in a way that all interested people can appreciate, the Observatory also offers educational programs to school children, and the general public.

Here is how I describe the visit to the Lowell Observatory:

A day to savor as a time so filled to the brim, overflowing with wonder and  cool.  Of humans embracing and chasing curiosity, talent, and the very universe. Being at the Lowell Observatory opened me to both remember and consider anew about just how much bigger the Story unfolding is than my own experience.  A day full up with a strong infusion of inspiration

First we attended lectures on The Solar System, and another Stars and Galaxies. The young women who presented  were knowledgeable, well spoken, and passionate about their love of space and exploration. Learned so much, including that the, much photographed by me, moon was once a part of the earth and broke away;  the three qualifications to be considered a planet are : It is in orbit around the Sun. It has sufficient mass to assume hydro-static equilibrium (a nearly round shape). It must also  “clear the neighborhood” around its orbit which means it is  gravitationally in charge in its vicinity in space.

Next visited, the Putman Collection where the Science Library, artifacts, and collections are offered. Just a glimpse of a few of the displayed treasures:

Including the  centerpiece in the lobby –  Percival Lowell’s 1911 Stevens-Duryea automobile. “Big Red” was Lowell’s state-of-the-art “horseless carriage” which still appears in local parades:

Then to the telescopes to see what is currently in the sky!

The McAllister Telescope, a reflecting telescope with a Cassegrain optical system featuring a 16- inch primary mirror. The largest telescope I have personally ever seen.  The dials and mechanics mesmerize and dare me to figure out how they work together to show the very stars. Once again a Guide to knowledgeably/ enthusiastically explain, and assists in using the telescope. Adrenaline push and a happy dance;  then yet another look  into timelessness  with gratitude and high spirits step out into the cold fresh high altitude pine scented Flagstaff air. A short  walk to The Clark Telescope Dome:

The Clark Telescope Dome was built in 1896 by local bicycle repairmen Godfrey and Stanley Sykes. There is much local Ponderosa Pine in the construction and has the look and feel of love, artistic attention as well as sustainability of  Italian Cathedrals.  The Clark Telescope surprised me with it’s size, dwarfing,  the just minutes ago largest ever I”d seen,  McAllister Telescope. The Clark Telescope built in 1896 was the instrument used when the first evidence of the universe expanding was discovered. To have the opportunity to not only photograph this beautiful piece of equipment, but to watch it in motion as the dome is opened. Consider the Sykes brothers as chains, wheels,  and gears smoothly swing the scope into the place and yet another set of instruments to be adjusted and set. Then the  Guide offers a look, and there I am gone clear through space to see clear to turquoise blue Uranus. That’s right ! No words to use to describe to you the positive sea-change shift that such a look into space gives. Using the telescope that was used to discover the expansion the universe. Can you give me an Amen!

The night continued with a careful drive down Oak Creek Canyon with raccoons,deer, and skunk on the move and the Geminid Meteor Shower in dazzling full swing overhead. The energizing fullness and wonder of this visit to the Lowell Observatory remains.

I wish to take this time to thank you for your support, kind words, and interest in the success of JoHannaMassey.com in 2017. I enjoy visiting with you here, and on your websites whose quality challenge me to do better, teach and inform me daily, surprise me and make me laugh and provide a very real sense of a global community through WordPress. Such a diversity and exchange of ideas and people to appreciate and consider. May each and everyone  of you experience and share Joy and Peace during  this Holiday Season. Again, thank you. – JoHanna

Music/News- Alex Cross- Mad World, What the United States Could Have Done With Trump’s 1.5 Trillion Tax Cuts for the Rich…

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“Beep Beep”

“Beep Beep.” Roadrunner

Road Runner showed Herself this week, and certainly is cheeky, in my  anthropomorphic opinion.

Two foot long, strutting about wearing a demure crested crown on Her Royal Head, then choosing to run away at an average eighteen miles per hour sprint with those long strutting legs now appearing parallel with the ground. Flirtatiously, She shows a glimpse of Her white tipped tail used as a rudder, an  air-brake, and for balance often the only proof  She gives of Her presence .

Forget tracking Roadrunner. She has two toes pointing forward and two backward, making it impossible to know, once vanished …if she has come or gone. Roadrunners distinctive X footprint is featured prominently in Tribal and Mexican designs and stories as warding off evil. Roadrunner is said in story/legend to embody resilience, courage, strength, endurance and of course speed.

Roadrunner thrives in feathered desert camouflage throughout the Southwest of the United States, but I have seen Her in the depths of Louisiana, a snake hanging from Her beak, the feathers beneath Her chin fluffing to cool her body down.

Road Runner may only weigh in at an average of a pound, but during Her maybe six year lifespan, She will consume thousands of grasshoppers, lizards, snakes, and small mammals, poisonous or not irrelevant, with no toxic effect when swallowed properly. Water can be, and often is  scarce in the desert. The moisture in Roadrunner’s  food supplies needed fluids. , and physical adaptations allows Roadrunner to secrete salty solutions from a duct under Her eyes, rather than in the larger amount of fluid lost through her kidneys.

Roadrunner has been teasing me for several weeks, a peep here, a ‘BEEP BEEP’ there, never really showing herself, until with no explanation, She strutted out in full view, looked me square in the eye, and jumped lightly to the corner of the garden wall where Fox paused just a week or so ago, and allowed an astonished me to get several photos, then the cheeky  gal was……gone.

In response to WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Cheeky

A safe and most excellent weekend to one and all.

New Oxford American Dictionary

cheeky | ˈCHēkē | adjective (cheekier, cheekiest)-  chiefly British – impudent or irreverent, typically in an endearing or amusing way: a cheeky grin. DERIVATIVES cheekiness | ˈCHēkēnəs | noun


Related: What You Have Tamed

There’s Hope

There’s hope
It doesn’t cost a thing to smile
You don’t have to pay to laugh
You better thank God for that”-
There’s Hope: India Arie

Getting out that door to witness and be part of this sunrise on the morning walk about felt baptismal.


A safe and excellent day to one and all.

Instant Illumination

There are very few human beings
Who receive the truth,
Complete and staggering,
By instant illumination.
Most of them acquire it
Fragment by fragment,
On a small scale,
By successive developments,
Like a laborious mosaic.
The Aspen leaves  were certainly singing and dancing high above our heads, and the entire forest was filled with their music. I’ve never scaled an Aspen Tree.  Soft wood, many of these tower above over  80 feet, live 150-200 years, and reproduce by seeds or roots sprouting and creating colonies of clones.


Lots of people were up at the Snowbowl in Flagstaff Arizona to view the Aspens this year, and a full school bus number of children were in the midst of a shared ecstatic experience, rolling about in the golden leaves, hugging the trees, laying with arms and legs stretched out,  gazing upward singing along to Aspen tunes. Laughing out loud , carefully selecting fallen leaves to pocket –   talisman’s for their journey.

Wishing an excellent week to one and all.

New Oxford American Dictionary:
verb [with object] 1 climb up or over (something high and steep): thieves scaled an 8-foot fence.2 represent in proportional dimensions; reduce or increase in size according to a common scale: (as adjective scaled) : scaled plans of the house.[no object] (of a quantity or property) be variable according to a particular scale.3 North American estimate the amount of timber that will be produced from (a log or uncut tree).