Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Via NYTimes // Larry Kramer, Playwright and Outspoken AIDS Activist, Dies at 84



Larry Kramer, Playwright and Outspoken AIDS Activist, Dies at 84

He worked hard to shock the country into dealing with AIDS as a public-health emergency. But his aggressive approach could sometimes overshadow his achievements.

Via White Crane Institute // From Oscar Wilde’s DE PROFUNDIS

From Oscar Wilde’s DE PROFUNDIS
I don't regret for a single moment having lived for pleasure. I did it to the full, as one should do everything that one does. There was no pleasure I did not experience. I threw the pearl of my soul into a cup of wine. I went down the primrose path to the sound of flutes. I lived on honeycomb. But to have continued the same life would have been wrong because it would have been limiting. I had to pass on. The other half of the garden had its secrets for me also. Of course all this is foreshadowed and prefigured in my books. Some of it is in THE HAPPY PRINCE, some of it in THE YOUNG KING, notably in the passage where the bishop says to the kneeling boy, 'Is not He who made misery wiser than thou art'? a phrase which when I wrote it seemed to me little more than a phrase; a great deal of it is hidden away in the note of doom that like a purple thread runs through the texture of DORIAN GRAY; in THE CRITIC AS ARTIST it is set forth in many colours; in THE SOUL OF MAN it is written down, and in letters too easy to read; it is one of the refrains whose recurring MOTIFS make SALOME so like a piece of music and bind it together as a ballad; in the prose poem of the man who from the bronze of the image of the 'Pleasure that liveth for a moment' has to make the image of the 'Sorrow that abideth for ever' it is incarnate. It could not have been otherwise. At every single moment of one's life one is what one is going to be no less than what one has been. Art is a symbol, because man is a symbol.
It is, if I can fully attain to it, the ultimate realisation of the artistic life. For the artistic life is simply self-development. Humility in the artist is his frank acceptance of all experiences, just as love in the artist is simply the sense of beauty that reveals to the world its body and its soul. In MARIUS THE EPICUREAN Pater seeks to reconcile the artistic life with the life of religion, in the deep, sweet, and austere sense of the word. But Marius is little more than a spectator: an ideal spectator indeed, and one to whom it is given 'to contemplate the spectacle of life with appropriate emotions,' which Wordsworth defines as the poet's true aim; yet a spectator merely, and perhaps a little too much occupied with the comeliness of the benches of the sanctuary to notice that it is the sanctuary of sorrow that he is gazing at.
I see a far more intimate and immediate connection between the true life of Christ and the true life of the artist; and I take a keen pleasure in the reflection that long before sorrow had made my days her own and bound me to her wheel I had written in THE SOUL OF MAN that he who would lead a Christ-like life must be entirely and absolutely himself, and had taken as my types not merely the shepherd on the hillside and the prisoner in his cell, but also the painter to whom the world is a pageant and the poet for whom the world is a song. I remember saying once to Andre Gide, as we sat together in some Paris CAFE, that while meta-physics had but little real interest for me, and morality absolutely none, there was nothing that either Plato or Christ had said that could not be transferred immediately into the sphere of Art and there find its complete fulfillment.

Via White Crane Institute // RACHEL CARSON



L to R: Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman
1907 -
Marine biologist RACHEL CARSON was born on this date. She was born in Springdale, Pennsylvania and spent the majority of her life outside of Washington, DC with summers in Maine. She is best known as the author of Silent Spring, which is considered one of the foundational documents for the modern environmental movement.
Silent Spring, published in 1962, awakened society to its responsibility to other forms of life. Carson had long been aware of the dangers of chemical pesticides and also the controversy within the agricultural community. She had long hoped someone else would publish an expose' on DDT but eventually realized that only she had the background as well as the economic freedom to do it.
Silent Spring provoked a firestorm of controversy as well as attacks on Carson's professional integrity. The pesticide industry mounted a massive campaign to discredit Carson even though she did not urge the complete banning of pesticides but called for research to ensure pesticides were used safely and to find alternatives to dangerous chemicals such as DDT.
The federal government, however, ordered a complete review of pesticide policy and Carson was asked to testify before a Congressional committee. As a direct result of that review, DDT was banned. With the publication of Silent Spring, Carson is credited with launching the contemporary environmental movement and awakening concern by Americans about the environment.
She died from cancer in 1964 at the age of 57. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service named one of its refuges near Carson's summer home on the coast of Maine as "the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge" in 1969 to honor the memory of this extraordinary woman.
In the early 1950s Carson moved with her mother to Southport Island, Maine and subsequently began a extremely close relationship with a neighbor Dorothy Freeman. The relationship would last the rest of Carson's life. The two women had a number of common interests, nature chief among them, and began exchanging letters regularly while apart. They would continue to share every summer for the remainder of Carson's life, and meet whenever else their schedules permitted. Carson and Freeman knew that their letters could be interpreted as a lesbian.
Freeman shared parts of Carson's letters with her husband to help him understand the relationship, but much of their correspondence was carefully guarded. Shortly before Carson's death, she and Freeman destroyed hundreds of letters. The surviving correspondence was published in 1995 as Always, Rachel: The Letters of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman, 1952–1964: An Intimate Portrait of a Remarkable Friendship, edited by Freeman's granddaughter.

Via White Crane Institute // WILD BILL HICKOK

This Day in Gay History
James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok
1837 -

WILD BILL HICKOK is born in Troy Grove, Illinois. His real name was James Butler Hickok. Like many men in the wild west, Wild Bill really was wild with the men on the frontier and used his Lesbian buddy, Calamity Jane as a blind.

Few people ever knew the pair's secret, and in the movies about their lives, not a mention was made by either Doris Day or Howard Keel. The American West of the nineteenth century was a world of freedom and adventure for men of every stripe—not least also those who admired and desired other men.

Among these sojourners was William Drummond Stewart, a flamboyant Scottish nobleman who found in American culture of the 1830s and 1840s a cultural milieu of openness in which men could pursue same-sex relationships.

William Benemann’s recent book, Men In Eden traces Stewart’s travels from his arrival in America in 1832 to his return to Murthly Castle in Perthshire, Scotland, with his French Canadian–Cree Indian companion, Antoine Clement, one of the most skilled hunters in the Rockies. Benemann chronicles Stewart’s friendships with such notables as Kit Carson, William Sublette, Marcus Whitman, and Jim Bridger. He describes the wild Renaissance-costume party held by Stewart and Clement upon their return to America—a journey that ended in scandal.

Through Stewart’s letters and novels, Benemann shows that Stewart was one of many men drawn to the sexual freedom offered by the West. His book provides a tantalizing new perspective on the Rocky Mountain fur trade and the role of homosexuality in shaping the American West. For more: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13594189-men-in-eden

Via Daily Dharma: What You Discover Through Buddhist Practice

Practicing Buddhism is about discovering ourselves to be in a great, flowing river of continuities.

—Roshi Joan Halifax,“Giving Birth to Ancestors”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Via Ram Dass - Love Serve Remember Foundation // Words of Wisdom - May 27, 2020 šŸ’Œ


"Being conscious is cutting through your own melodrama and being right here. Exist in no mind, be empty, here now, and trust that as a situation arises, out of you will come what is necessary to deal with that situation including the use of your intellect when appropriate. Your intellect need not be constantly held on to keep reassuring you that you know where you’re at, out of fear of loss of control.
Ultimately, when you stop identifying so much with your physical body and with your psychological entity, that anxiety starts to disintegrate. And you start to define yourself as in flow with the universe; and whatever comes along—death, life joy, sadness—is grist for the mill of awakening."

- Ram Dass -