Not Meant to Last – Blink and You’ll Miss It

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White variation of a Red Trillium – Trillium erectum var. Alba – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

City silence is relative… Sound is a product of heat…
When the streets get hot people take to their feet…
Thunderstorm rumble can’t cover up the past…
A neighborhood is temporary… It’s not meant to last…

Endless parade of status… Gawking single file…
White and well dressed… Dollar sign smile…
Marching against the poor to finally repent..
Divided class rising… Dead presidents represent…

We all stand up and march against the violence…
Yet the problem is the cause… The cause is silence…
The poor are nothing more than the con of the rich…
Living on minimum wage… Being a corporate bitch…

Breezy evening dreaming… Life is always in the air…
Feet on the sidewalk and clean without a care…
Classifieds because of the church… Meeting of commons…
The rich get a bill… The poor get a summons…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Contemplation

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“Aster on Goldenrod” – Soergel Orchards – Wexford, PA

Everyday I contemplate suicide…

Genocide… Elimination of a people…
Elimination of those born under the church and steeple…
I was born a lamb… Meaning born under god…
Our entire culture is nothing more than a fraud…

Belief is a product of the depths of imagination…
Evolution is natures response to societal regeneration…
Population booms will guarantee catastrophic loss…
Nothing can save us… Not even the cross…

I have faith… My faith is rooted in nature…
The herbs will heal me… The trees are my savior…
Ashes become ashes… Dust becomes dust…
Nature is the only god I can openly trust…

Follow the moon to the earths distant edge…
Sail the rivers through the channels we dredge…
At the end of the sky sits a savior numbered one…
Sing praises to the stars and worship the sun…

Today is my 2 year anniversary of blogging on wordpress… I wanted to take a second to thank all of the readers that give me the inspiration to continue writing… So… Thank you… Just knowing that a few people enjoy my blog has been mind-blowing… Your comments regularly make me digitally blush… Even the occasional negative comment inspires me to keep on going… So as I celebrate 2 years… I thank you… You are the reason I am still here…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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“Butterfly on Aster” – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

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Ashes to Ashes – In God I Trust

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“Ashes to Ashes” – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Summer 2013

Set out across the winter landscape…
Among the skeletons of sleeping trees…
Gracefully striding in leaps and bounds…
Silent night among the sleepy sounds…

Steady mind for the journey ahead…
Better things to do than lay in bed…
The evening shadows creep and crawl…
Occasional bursts of white snowfall…

Grace the path to promised lands…
Take a breath and raise your hands…
Heaven is the land in front of our eyes…
Expect the unexpected occasional surprise…

To creep on up when you think your down…
Raindrop flood and we eventually drown…
These same drops make my garden grow…
Combine with sun to get a full rainbow…

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“Dust to Dust” – Tennis Way – Wilkinsburg, PA – Fall 2013

Another week back to the steady grind…
Take a day off and see what you find…
Works not meant to consume our life…
Shouldn’t be the object of constant strife…

The days get shorter than the night is long…
A lack of birds means a lack of song…
Too many clothes to feel the cold air…
Not enough sunlight to really even care…

Waiting for spring so my gardens grow…
Flowers bloom and sunshine flows…
With our hands we draw and render…
Garden dreams and paradise splendor…

Heaven is a garden on physical land…
Sown in our minds but created by hand…
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust…
God and nature are the only things I trust…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Mountain State of Mind

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“Standing Tall” – © chriscondello 2013 – Coppers Rock State Park – West Virginia – Saturday morning hike on Ravens Rock Trail… I almost skipped this photo as I thought it was of nothing… After a second look… I realized it summed the entire hike up perfectly… I can say I saw very little on the ground… As my head was in the trees the entire time…

Head in the trees… Mind is up high…
Sandstone cliffs and clear blue skies…
Old growth forest scent and smell…
Mountain laurels cast their magic spell…

Even the birds get it… The deer and the bees…
All are made possible thanks to the trees…
Only when we all learn to get along…
Natural harmony… Creates a natural song…

So today we put feet to a mountain…
Climbed to the top… A sandstone fountain…
Stood on the edge feeling powerful forces…
Yet power lines manage to cross these gorges…

You heard me… Wires through my view…
Unfortunately seen by only a few…
How did the power company afford this?..
Vista views… Surrounding are priceless…

And in the middle of a state park?..
Someone must have surely been in the dark…
At least they didn’t fence off this scenic spot…
Eliminate visitors… What city folks call hot…

Sometimes we simply live with the beast…
Money can buy a forest or a feast…
But somehow we all need to play nice…
Before the earth is covered in ice…

Global warming leads to global cooling…
Think about it… I’m not really fooling…
Heat makes the ice pour into the sea…
A deadly formula for you and me…

Well… I guess it’s more about you…
I’ll be dead and gone before that comes true…
I’ll probably be south of heaven…
Eternally working a ghetto 7-11…

Unless I put my money in the churches can…
Illegitimate… Extortionist… Son of man…
Wait a second… I went off track…
This is about trees… Let me bring it back…

Died on a cross… A cross is made of wood…
How is that supposed to make me be good?..
If god can’t stop destruction… Then man will…
But god will take credit… Like man just stood still…

He will ask for your money… 501-c3…
Then act like his services are totally free…
10 percent is the fee for a heavenly favor…
Ask for forgiveness from our lord and savior…

Because Eve made Adam eat the forbidden fruit…
Because if I designed a paradise…
I would include one fruit that would damn all of eternity…
And tell you not to eat it…
I call that a dick move…

But I get it…

An ode to the mountains of West Virginia… Proof that… When you meditate on something the size of a mountain… Though you may be able to keep your feet on the ground…

Like the mountain… Your head will be in the sky…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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The Pope is a Bad Ass

Pope Benedict XVI

RESPECT

Whether or not you appreciate the catholic religion, you have to admit that despite all of the controversy, the pope is one of the coolest religious figures in the world.

The simple fact that Pope Benedict XVI was man enough to admit that his age, and failing health would get in the way of his “job” is a radical move in its own right. The last pope to step down was Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and the only reason he even considered stepping down was just an effort to end what is called, the “Great Schism” where two men were claiming the papal throne.

In 1941, Josef Ratzinger, 14, and his brother, Georg, were enrolled in the Hitler Youth when it became mandatory for all boys. Soon after, he was let out because of his intention to study for the priesthood. At the age of 16, Ratzinger was drafted into the German army. In 1945 during World War II and at the age of 18, Josef deserted from the German army and was a U.S. prisoner of war… They took him to a camp near Ulm, Germany where he wound up living under the open air for several weeks, surrounded by barbed wire.

The pope also happens to have his pilot’s license for the papal helicopter and liked to fly from the vatican to the papal summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, but the pope does not have a driver’s license as he has never learned to drive a car… Bad ass right…

Weideneder Brau Vertriebs GmbH (?), a family owned brewery in nearby Tann, Germany, has created a special brew called Pabstbier/Pope Beer. The label reads, “Dedicated to the great son of our homeland, Pope Benedict XVI.” Bad ass right, What do you think Jesus would do?

Pope Benedict XVI is fluent in German, English, Italian, French and Spanish and has knowledge of Portuguese. Naturally, he can also speak classical Latin… Again… Totally Bad Ass…

The Pope is also a relatively computer savvy individual, being the first Pope to have a Twitter account, and sending the first Papal tweet. The man also has six email addresses, each one beginning with the name Benedict… He is even the first Pope to own an iPod…

And Finally, if this doesn’t say bad ass… I don’t know what does… The Holy Father loves cats and has two of his own… One was a stray which he found in Rome!..

Now, I’m not a religious person by any scale, but you have to admit that the Pope is one bad ass man. He is multilingual, a pilot, a P.O.W. and a beer namesake just to name a few. I guess what I am trying to say, is do your own research when it comes to religions, don’t let anyone else choose your spirituality… Your soul is not for sale…It is important to explore all religions… Take what will help you and what interests you… Absorb and digest it… And expel the waste…

He was the Pope, and he’s still a man…

find what works for you – chriscondello

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Apples – The Forbidden Fruit

Urban Apples on Whitney Avenue

Apple trees don’t get the respect they deserve, a quick way to become my enemy is to say “Just an apple tree”. When it comes to storied fruit trees, the apple is king! I am going to try to convince you to plant apple trees, and I am going to do it without ever mentioning the cool fact that you can eat them. All you have to do is tell me something is “forbidden” and I’m on board, but other people take a little more convincing.

Apple Tree – Malus domestica – Rose Family

The modern-day apple finds its roots in the mountains of central Asia where it can still be found growing wild today, Turkey is commonly thought to be the center of diversity. Cultivation of the species has progressed over a long period of time and permitted a secondary introgression of genes from other species into the open-pollinated seeds, including such a large amount of gene exchange with the crabapple, that current populations of apples are more related to those of crabapple than to the more similar progenitor Malus sieversii.

The apple tree was perhaps the earliest tree to be cultivated, and our modern-day fruits have been chosen through thousands of years of selection. Alexander the Great is credited with finding dwarf apples in Kazakhstan in Asia, those he brought back to Macedonia might have been the progenitors of dwarfing rootstock.

Apples were brought to North America with colonists in the 17th century, and the first apple orchard on the North American continent was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625. Apple varieties brought as seed from Europe were spread along Native American trade routes, as well as being cultivated on colonial farms. Prior to this the only apples native to North America were crabapple, which were at one time called “common apples”.

Apples appear in many religious traditions, often as a mystical or forbidden fruit. One of the problems identifying apples in a religion, mythology and folktales is that the word “apple” was used as a generic term for all foreign fruit, other than berries, but including nuts, as late as the 17th century.

The apple was considered in ancient Greece, to be sacred to Aphrodite, and to throw an apple at someone was to symbolically declare one’s love; and similarly, to catch it was to symbolically show one’s acceptance of that love. This is thought to be the precursor to our modern-day tradition of a ring being used in modern marriage proposals, imagine if all you had to buy was an apple…

Though the forbidden fruit in the book of Genesis is not identified, popular christian tradition has said that it was an apple that Eve coaxed Adam to share with her. This was probably the result of Renaissance painters adding elements of Greek mythology into Biblical scenes, though it is much more likely to have been a pomegranate. As a result, in the story of Adam and Eve , the apple became a symbol for knowledge, immortality, temptation, the fall of man into sin, and sin itself.

In Latin, the words for “apple” and for “evil” are similar (mAlum “an apple”, malum “an evil, a misfortune”). This may also have influenced the apple becoming interpreted as the biblical “forbidden fruit”. The larynx in the human throat has been called an Adam’s apple because of a notion that it was caused by the forbidden fruit sticking in the throat of Adam.

Some of the old world apples are beginning to be rediscovered, many of which have been in cultivation for hundreds, if not thousands of years. If you are looking to grow an exotic species of fruit, Google “Victorian Apples” and consider one of the old world varieties that have been recently brought back into cultivation. Many of the apples of the past, though they may not have had the shelf life of todays apples, were actually much better tasting… The chance of them ever being cultivated in mass is pretty slim, so it will be up to “us”, the home gardeners and micro-farmers to keep them alive…

grow forbidden fruit – chriscondello

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An Evolution Manifesto

So man made bullets… Then who put your name on it?.. God?.. Buddha?.. Natural selection?.. And if something like life can be so great… Why is it so short?.. I find solace in nature… No being controls my life… No one thing… Just me… Fighting natural selection… Fighting your God… Fighting your Buddha… Fighting with me…

Who chooses who lives and dies?.. God?.. Man?.. Nature?.. All of the above?.. Or are they all just easier to relate when we attribute them to a higher power?..  I often wonder if religion is just an ages old method of making people be good… If you are good you will go to heaven… If you are bad you will get poked by red guys with pitchforks… While you burn in a pit of sulfur… Genius…

I would rather believe nature chooses… Natural selection… Only the strong survive… I find it logical… And I find it reasonable… But they are both only theories… Evolution… Creation… Neither has been proven… The big bang and creation seem similar to me… Who cares… Means nothing to me… Right here… Right now… What I immediately see…

People are hungry… People are cold… People are desperately breaking the mold… Small people do great things… Put them together nature sings… Sings a song for you and me… Sings a song from land and sea…

Life is so short… But can be so profound… Change one… Change a million… Makes no difference… Just make a difference…

making a difference in one persons life is saving the world – chriscondello

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