an ode to sunflowers. . . and a crying question

a sea of sunflowers

yawn into the light

of the great blue sky above

my eyes sweep across

bright yellow fields

splashed with

black seed centers

i look upward


into wavering radiation

melting sky gas into

an azure ocean

of windy waves


in clouds of




i need to ask a question: is it okay to stand by silently as someone, one of you, gets bludgeoned verbally?

i have never stopped loving this place. it was a transitional home. i needed it. i am always grateful for having had it.

i love docudharma. and i love the thing in buhdy and OTB that was able to create it.

i love it enough to ask: ek and OTB is okay to be silent? we talk about how awful the world is and how awful torture is and how much we want better for the entire planet.

how can this be achieved when we stay silent in real time. i am no fan of NL, but I stand against the treatment she received here. it was wrong. wrong.

i applaud undercovercalico for stepping up.

if we want better, then we need to be better. imo.


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    • pfiore8 on July 12, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    exist together

    i don’t know why it is. it’s just that i can not help but be who i am. and fight for the things i love.

    i am tired of fighting against things.

    • dkmich on July 12, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I have no idea what it was really all about.  I have even less of a clue what happened with OPOL.  All I can say p8 is that the conflict makes me sad, too; and my guess is that the same is true for those directly involved.  

  1. I checked in this morning (on my way toward weeding the garden) and discovered this essay. I found it distressing. I have no idea what happened that provoked the second half of it.  I tried to find out, to search various places and essays, to follow the links, but I didn’t succeed in uncovering it.  So I still don’t know about it.

    I guess I’ve been lucky.  I managed yet again to be oblivious to what appears to be more sorrow that has been added to the vast ocean of human suffering.  Put another way, sometimes when a fight breaks out in a saloon, you’re lucky to be passed out in the corner.  Sadly, thus goeth the way of the blogs.

  2. I’m with davidseth on this one; I have no idea what you mean.  Can I have a link?  Or, do you not what to perpetuate the fight?  Either way, I’ve been gone for a while and I have missed it here very much.  You are one of the people I missed most.

  3. on some of it, but not nearly all of it.

    I have been the people on both sides of these arguments at differing times.

    Feeling like an outsider for having opinions outside the “group consensus”… which feels mostly like being the scapegoat of a HS clique, ridiculed every time you open your mouth. I became oversensitive, felt angry or hurt. Said stupid things. I felt piled on, for there was always the 10 other posters rushing forth to tell me over & over how wrong I was, instead of either not reading me, or once I knew their opinions & mine differed, could agree to disagree.

    I’ve also been part of a larger consensus, and had one poster always shoving their different opinion down my throat, and felt angered or hurt because I felt they were hijacking a larger point I was trying to make among my allies. I could get pretty nasty as that person too.

    Humans are pretty emotional beings, and writing about one’s beliefs is like exposing a piece of your soul. For me, anyway.

    Its very hard for even adults, liberal, reasoned adults not to lash out when their soul feels restricted, hated, or abused. On either side.

    But its the nature of our lower beasts, and hard to be both OPEN and PROTECTED enough to manage rising above.

    All I can take away from this is a rather ugly look at myself and my own past a vow to do better in my own unrelated world.

    • Joy B. on July 12, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    …that is a dim echo of Us vs. GOP now that the GOP is as popular as the Libertarian, Green and Socialist parties, and it’s the supposedly ‘progressive’ blogosphere guarding the status quo. This means those of us who really are on the left side of centrality and bipartisanship (an oxymoron) no longer belong to the center-right Obama and the Dem Congress really represent. Campaign promises be damned (who’s stupid enough to believe those these days?), we’ll get precisely zip of what those Dems used to get themselves elected. With our help.

    So now we’re eating our own, which is the sort of petty distraction politicians have always used to hold power when they don’t deserve it. Divide and Conquer – oldest trick in the book.

    If we were smart and well-organized, we’d be working toward a real opposition party to take the place of the now-marginalized ‘Pugs. A Progressive Party that actually represents the left-center who actually did take the power from the ‘Pugs in 2006 and 2008 on a loudly voiced demand to end these bullshit oil wars, stop spying on us for no reason, stop torturing and disappearing people, do something about health care that doesn’t just make insurers richer and meaner, and re-regulate the economy so we who work for a living can make a living.

    It has always been the broad middle – and independents – who decide elections in this country. That middle has been trending left ever since GW got himself appointed in 2000 so his friends and family could rob us blind. Again. Everything you hear about center-right is bullshit. The people who decide elections have abandoned the GOP. Now they’re seeing nothing remotely resembling the ‘Change we Need’ and will abandon the Dems as well if they’ve another option. All this in-fighting is an insidious way of preventing that. If we fall for it, we’ll have no one but ourselves to blame.

    • RiaD on July 12, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    on a different blog a very good description of blogging, imho.

    i’ve thought about it a lot since i read it.

    i share it here, without link, because it was a different (but similar!) situation

    This is a community blog which revolves around politics. Almost everyone that posts here has an opinion. And there’s an opposing opinion on most every issue.

    If you’re going to share your opinion, about ANY subject, you are inviting others to respond. If you don’t want anyone else to respond to your comments, then don’t post them on a community blog. Read that very carefully. I am NOT telling you to shut up. I am NOT telling you not to share your opinion. But if you are going to share your opinions, be prepared to support them. Because they are likely to get picked at, dissected and questioned.

    I WANT you to change my opinion. If you provide me with compelling evidence that your view is better than mine, I win, not lose. It makes me smarter than I was yesterday. So if I can’t question why you think the way you do, without being falsly accused of wanting to shut you up, you bring nothing to the table. Your opinions are of no value. But if you can defend your opinions, or better yet, defend your opinions better than I can my own, then you become an extremely valuable participant.

  4. 47.  And when you feel the wish to move about,

    Or even to express yourself in speech,

    First examine what is in your mind.

    For steadfast ones should act correctly.  

    48.  When the urge arises in your mind

    To feelings of desire or angry hate,

    Do not act!  Be silent, do not speak!

    And like a log of wood be sure to stay.

    49.  And when your mind is wild or filled with mockery,

    Or filled with pride and haughty arrogance,

    Or when you would expose another’s secret guilt,

    To bring up old dissensions or to act deceitfully,

    50. Or when you want to fish for praise,

    Or criticize and spoil another’s name,

    Or use harsh language, sparring for a fight,

    It’s then that like a log you should remain.

    Shantideva “The Way of the Bodhisattva“, Chap. 5 verses 47-50 (translated by Padmakara Translation Group).

  5. if we want better, then we need to be better.

    Yes we do.

    And that starts with honesty.

    So I will be honest.

    I very much wanted DD to be about all of us, a group effort. I very much wanted it to be about a new approach to blogging an to the world and to personal relationships. I wanted it, and still want it to be about The Unifying Principle, about Love.

    But apparently my version of Love, which includes the essential, core principle of honesty, is too harsh for some people. People who confuse love with being nice, people who value civility above truth.

    And people who think that their personal issues are what this blog is about.

    So they project their personal issues on to me, because I am the “daddy figure’ of the blog. The blog isn’t supposed to be about me, it is supposed to be about politics and changing the world.

    Two people who I gave the platform of the Front Page to have, in my honest opinion, abused that privilege…..and in the process abused the purpose of this blog.

    Pfiore is mad at me because I would not let her be dishonest. NL is mad at me because I would not let her be dishonest.

    I have gotten, being merely a human and NOT some infallible Daddy, very angry at both of them. Honestly Angry, because they used the blog not for it’s intended issues, but to act out their dishonest anger. Dishonest becuase in the first place, they don’t even know, or at least have never been able to articulate, what they are angry about.

    They made participating at this blog about their personal issues…and about…me. But instead of going away, they come back to take shots at me.

    As in this essay. Pfiore could give a shit about this blog, as she has proved many many times by her destructive behavior here. She and NL…and others…..nearly destroyed this blog in what was in retrospect, a personal fight between them that they sucked others….and me…into.

    I guess I should have just banned them both, to save time, lol. But honestly, I was to nice, lol, to do that.

    So the other night, NL came back to take a shot, a dishonest, disguised shot, at me. Pfiore is taking a shot at me now.

    They are both good writers in their own way, so they are VERY good at disguising their anger at me (which I have tried hard to work out with them personally and privately, btw, investing hundreds of hours in both of them in fruitless e-mail) SINCE they are both good writers they have been able to confuse folks as to what the real issues are.

    Pfiore pretends it is about civility, even though she is uncivil….but in a nice way. NL pretends it is about Obama.

    That is bullshit.

    It is about their feelings for me. Yeah that sounds egotistical, but I am just being honest. Obviously I attract people, again that sounds egotistical, but it is true.

    My theory is that I attract people because of that core of Love that was imbued in me back in the Haight and that I have tried to develop and share.

    But hey I am just human too, I get angry too.

    In fact, I happen to think anger is a good thing, I am VERY angry at the world and the fact that there is not enough Love in it. As the paraphrased saying goes, If you are not angry, you are not paying attention.

    But I try to use that anger, as I was taught by my Spiritual Teachers, as a force for good.

    I try to focus it on the people it deserves to be focused on, torturers and the politicians (and occasionally, MUCH less importantly and admittedly self-indulgently, the bloggers at Dkos) that enable them, for instance.

    I learned a lot from Pfiore, back when she and NL were trying to tear the blog apart because they didn’t like each other. I learned that I have a responsibility to the blog, as its “leader” not to indulge that here. Because for one thing, it only feed the “Daddy Complex.”

    Well guess what, I, a human being, have, it turns out, somewhat of a problem with my Mom. Who just died. I have a bit of anger at her death, and I have a bit of anger at some of the things she “did to me” in life.

    When NL came in to the thread after what I considered a personal betrayal….and after I had had a couple of shots of vodka to try to deal with both the physical pain and the emotional turmoil I was in, I lost it.

    I apologize to the community for doing that in public.

    But Pfiore…….you can FUCK RIGHT OFF for bringing that up in this deeply dishonest essay that has NO other real purpose than to try to hurt me.

    In a time when I am weak.

    It is perhaps the most dishonest and cowardly thing you have ever done and that is saying a lot.

    You don’t care about this blog, you just want to take a shot and get some of the attention you crave so much.

    In conclusion, I am far from perfect,, but I try to do my best to make a positive difference in this world……yes, including getting angry.

    If anyone here doesn’t like that, or thinks that I should be perfect because I run a frikking blog…..


    You can fuck right off too. No one makes you come here.

    I have never claimed to be perfect, but at least I am frikkin honest, which is more than I can say for either Pfiore or NL. But at least NL has the guts to admit she is a coward, and the honesty to leave. Pfiore doesn’t even have that.

    So here we go again. I was going to use what little energy i have today to write an essay that i would have liked to think would have made the tiny difference in the world.

    But instead we are all using our energy on this petty, gossipy, retributive shit.

    So let’s go for it.

    NL come on back and put in your two cents as well. Might as well, as long as pfiore felt the need to kick the hornets nest. I do not ask for civility, and never will, because dishonest civility is part of the problem, not part of the solution, as you two seem to think it is.

    I only ask for honesty.

    IF you are capable of it, pfiore, which so far, and as which this essay proves yet again, you aren’t.

    Give it a shot, you might like it.

  6. when people who are part of a community get caught up in games that whether intentional or reactionary seek to disrupt, hurt, or justify their own emotional problems? When you come upon an emotional crisis of a member, that has been growing behind the scenes and you don’t know the back story don;t know the give and take that has gone on, in the interaction between the parties, you tend to focus  your compassion and your anger on the information and experience you personally have experienced.

    Conversion is a different matter and intention then free exchange of ideas. The pain between two people who worked together and are separating is real. I feel that NL sensed Budhy’s personal emotional state and pounced. She has been I guess, as I missed this round but have been scorched by her in the past,  actively waging a war against this site. It is painful to be called a racist, a sexist, or a negative when your fighting as well as you can given your own history your strongly held beliefs. I think reactions were provoked and all involved were wronged. Casting stones is LN,s MO not Budhy’s. She got what she wanted justification for her behavior.

    I too applaud undercovercalico, I trust her she has always been of good spirit. She does not try to convert, subvert but speaks from her mind with honesty. I hope the flames from this flare up of emotions does not drive off the members who are diverse and seek to share their differences and keep us honest as we need in order to be a community, a place to be compassionate and understanding as well as feeling free to express our unique perceptions of the larger world we reflect and live in.

    Politics are personal and when it becomes in your community a struggle for power it quickly turns ugly. So we ourselves have our own issues that we play out on our little corner of the big political stage. For me I don’t have to stand with any individual but I do stand for being excellent to each other and that takes forgiveness as were all only human and quite emotional or we would not be here. Again for me control and manipulation disguised as civility just ignites my head, then again who among us is really rational when cornered, and ignited.                                

  7. not mine, credited to Lord Buddha…

    The Fool

    Long is the night to one who is awake.

    Long is ten miles to one who is tired.

    Long is the cycle of birth and death

    to the fool who does not know the true path.

    If a traveller does not meet with one who is better or equal,

    let one firmly travel alone;

    there is no companionship with a fool.

    “These sons belong to me, and this wealth belongs to me;”

    with such thoughts a fool is tormented.

    One does not belong to oneself;

    how much less sons and wealth?

    The fool who knows one’s own folly,

    is wise at least to that extent;

    but the fool who thinks oneself wise is really a fool.

    If a fool is associated with a wise person all one’s life,

    the fool will not perceive the truth,

    any more than a spoon will taste the soup.

    If an intelligent person is associated with a wise person

    for only one minute, one will soon perceive the truth,

    just as the tongue does the taste of soup.

    Fools of little understanding are their own worst enemies,

    for they do wrong deeds which bear bitter fruits.

    That action is not well done, which having been done,

    brings remorse, whose result one receives crying with tears.

    But that action is well done, which having been done,

    does not bring remorse,

    whose result one receives gladly and cheerfully.

    As long as the wrong action does not bear fruit,

    the fool thinks it is like honey;

    but when it bears fruit, then the fool suffers grief.

    Let a fool month after month

    eat food with the tip of kusha grass;

    nevertheless one is not worth one-sixteenth

    of those who have understood the truth.

    A wrong action, like newly drawn milk, does not turn soon;

    smouldering, like fire covered by ashes, it follows the fool.

    When the wrong action, after it has become known,

    turns to sorrow for the fool,

    then it destroys one’s brightness and splits the head.

    Let the fool wish for reputation,

    for precedence among the mendicants,

    for authority in the convents,

    for veneration among the people.

    “Let both the householders and the mendicants

    think that this is done by me.

    Let them always ask me

    what should be done and what should not be done.”

    Such is the wish of the fool

    of increasing desire and pride.

    One road leads to wealth; another road leads to nirvana.

    Let the mendicant, the disciple of Buddha, learn this,

    and not strive for honour but seek wisdom.

    ~Lord Buddha


  8. The man just loses his mother, is goaded into losing his temper over a situation you know nothing about, and you get to judge that he’s wrong, you have the right to judge, you have the right to put him down at his own blog.  And out of love, you say.

    I’m sure you believe yourself.  You always do.

    What this really boils down to is gossip.  You want to know what happened, you think you have the right to demand that the admins. here explain themselves as to why they didn’t interfere.

    You don’t have that right.  All you have is the opportunity — and you only have that because buhdy is decent enough not to have banned you, nor has he banned NL.

    Hope this made you happy.  You got him to exhaust himself after already going through so much pain.  And UCC got to use her overdone and ridiculous dick swinging line, which was just plain posturing bullshit.

    I understand that most of the folks on this thread really care about buhdy and just want to help and I’m not judging anything said by anyone in that vein.  But if I never see a diary like this again, it’ll be too soon.

  9. But one of the most powerful is something he said here in a comment New Year’s Eve. I can’t tell you how many times in these last 6 months I’ve gone back to it to remind myself what this blogging is all about.

    In this environment we can’t in good conscience and in accord with the purpose of blogging agree or disagree, take stands or back down, just based on worrying about hurt feelings.

    In the ‘Real World,’ feelings may indeed be the most important thing. Here, imo, ideas are. This is where we fight for what we believe and this is where we should be working through the feelings that ideas bring up in us. If we have the strength to do that without trying to destroy each other instead. I think hurt feelings are inevitably part of that. As is gaining the strength that comes with overcoming that hurt and pressing on with the ideas and causes that are important to the whole world, not just our individual feelings.

    We can of course try to balance those concerns with the understanding of others feelings, ALL others feelings, but we can’t sacrifice ideas in order to not upset people.

    This is something I know I haven’t lived up to. But I appreciate the inspiration to try.

  10. Means also to carry within ourselves the ability to see when others lack the tools to “be excellent” occasionally.

    It means understanding in a group full of passionate, brilliant people, there are going to be times when that passion misfires. Heat of the moment, artist types. Forgiveness. All that and more.

    I’ve always really liked you, pfiore8, and I see the intent of this essay as heartfelt and certainly a call to rise above in general. What it is not, imo, is TIMELY.

    Not that we all don’t carry our personal hells behind these fonts, I certainly do… but we have to be able to give each other a pass occasionally too… especially when aware that a person has had a recent devastating loss.

    I remember at another blog, where I was admin, people expecting me to be held to a different set of standards, when all I am is just another human typing. I have good days and bad days. The community thought they could rail, insult and curse me and I was not supposed to reply in kind.

    I can see where budhy feels you are asking the same of him, and truth be told, budhy often does hold a higher standard than most bloggers in general. He stopped at least one of those posters from following me here to make unrelated ad hom attacks on me in my essays.

    The worst thing about blogging, is that people tend to rate or respond to every comment EVER made, not the comment at hand, and read into it all the baggage of the past. People change their minds from moment to moment, and it is hard to be dispassionate enough to try and figure out what someone is saying in the NOW.

    So let this point go for a moment. You planted a seed we all heard, even those who are angry with you right now. You cannot force-fuck it into growing immediately.

    It will root in its own time.

    So for now, let this go dear. Budhy is in mourning.

    Trust the ripples, sometimes it takes weeks for them to reach the shore, and the right soil for a seed to grow, to badly mix my metaphors.

    Right now, I think we should forget our pettier stuff, and support our brother in his loss.

    Just as you all supported me when I was struggling not to lose my roof.

    That is truly excellence.

  11. …in all my Buddhist books, I think it was in Lojong teachings, I read that one of the biggest obstacles to growth and awareness was the need to be right.

    I frequently suffer from this obstacle.

    Blessings to all for healing, awareness and growth.

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