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Early Spring in California

Back in 1978 we lived in Heidelberg for two years, and when we came home to pick up our stuff from a warehouse in Louisville, we heard the Beatles song, “Back in the USSR” on the radio in a Winn-Dixie parking lot. Lennon [Whoops, reader Paul Reiners tells me it was McCartney] has this great, authoritative, Elvis-like voice in that song, “You don’t know how lucky you are boy, back in the, back in the, back in the USSR.”

Mutatis mutandis, lucky to be back in California. It rained a lot while we were gone. On the cut bank above the road, each pebble has a rain-shadow beneath itself in the sandy dirt.

It’s more or less spring now. There’s this one vine we always notice, it’s a wild cucumber that eventually bears fruits that look like spiky green ball-sacks, like chestnut pods.

The tendrils are wonderfully curly. Reminds me of Bernoulli’s spiral, and a slogan I often inscribe in the sand at the beach, “EADEM MUTATA RESURGO”, which is Latin for “The Same, Yet Changed, I Re-arise.” The mathematician James Bernoulli (1655-1705) had this inscribed on his tombstone in Basel along with a picture of the logarithmic spiral. I mention this in Frek. The plant, the same yet changed, rearises is the same spot each spring. Springs forth, bearing springs.

Beautiful nature, the same forms occurring over and over. The same computation classes.

The flow of energy in a growing plant is in some ways like the flow along a candle flame.

As above, so below.

One reason I’m going all mysto here is to get my mind off all the discouraging speculations I read in the Sunday Times yesterday about the Chimp's plans for the next four years.

Today’s Martin Luther King’s birthday, and I’m hearing him on the radio, admiring the power of his approach: non-violent protests against unjust oppression. I’m visualizing immense non-violent protests over the impending attacks upon the common people, maybe that could work.

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