Chastity Stick

This is an object of high and strong social significance in a certain culture. The name in its actual language is untranslatable, and carries a wealth of meaning. 

We can call it a "Chastity Stick."

It is customary for young men and women to be chaste before marriage. When they are courting there is even a prohibition on holding hands. Instead, the "Chastity Stick" is used. The young man holding one end; the girl, the other.

The example shown is a rather detailed carving, usually intended for a couple who are near marriage age. Younger girls and boys would get one with less erotic symbolism. 

Even as simple and uncomplicated as a twig with a burl, or even a spoon.

Farmers Market


When I was a boy (some would suggest I was never anything but) my mother cooked mainly from scratch, and my parents shopped for fresh fruits and vegetables every Saturday at a nearby farmers market in Poletown, Detroit. You could get everything seasonally fresh, supplanted by imports such as citrus from Florida. Sometimes even, a kitten or a pup.

Alas, the Chene-Ferry Street Farmers Market in my hometown Detroit is no longer anything except an abandoned ruin.

But, the historic Eastern Market is a very thriving affair located in the city's main wholesale food distribution center near Downtown Detroit.

And, in New Jersey where we are currently residing, we shop the local Farmers Market in Paterson most Saturdays in the growing season.

Besides fruit and produce at its freshest at good prices, I also shop for smiles. Also in abundance, as you can see. . .

Angels from Tabernacle, New Jersey

A True Jersey Tomato . . . Princess

"No squeezing the tomatoes!" But, we're tempted.

 Rockin' the radish.

Dad's best helper.

Boyfriend's away at college. Life goes on.

Undaunted by the cold weather.


It takes a tough guy to grow tender chive blossoms.

The "Dolly Parton" Tomato

 Chrysanthemum Queen

Spring 2013
(He's smiling. Really.)

Spring 2014

Notice Any Resemblance?

Spring 2015

 Some Farm Animal

Another Farm Animal

Wedding Bells Will Be Ringing

Exchanging Pickling Techniques (and Blessings) 
with Beautiful Hungarian Lady

Growing a Crop of His Own

Ms. Jacinta on Her Sofrito Recipe . . . with Lots of Love

Michele T. Fillion 

Wronski - Fillion Duo

Antonio Vacchiano Montclair Framer's Markets Spring 2015

Ricky Himself 
(THE Radish Connection) 

Danny Adickes

Growing Up On the Farm (Summer 2015)

This lovely Muslin lady of Turkish descent blessed us with her presence and her eyes. 

We started our conversation over the question of whether the zucchini was grown with hormones since some were so large. Fact is zucchini will grow and grow until you pick them. The old joke is, "You know who your friends are if you grow zucchini in your garden." [It can be so abundant you have to give it away. And give it away. And ... You get the idea.]

The Tradition Continues ... 2016

She Knows Her Onions

Imhotep’s Secret

Imhotep is the designer of the very first pyramid. He was also a master of medicine. A great public official. High priest. Arguably, the very best of the ancient world.

Still the question we all want answered is just how they made the pyramids. Whatever your pet theory, surely at the heart of it, it still settles into mystery. Unknown, and unknowable. At least, in conventional technical scientific terms.

It may be the stuff of the kind of higher knowledge the ancients took with them to their graves. Or, to wherever a civilization goes when their development and technology enable them to exercise the option to transcend this dimensional world. 

Some insight from Nisargadatta Maharaj: The world had all the time to get better, yet it did not. What hope is there for the future? Of course, there have been and will be periods of harmony and peace, when sattva was in ascendence, but things get destroyed by their own perfection. A perfect society is necessarily static and, therefore, it stagnates and decays. From the summit all roads lead downwards. Societies are like people — they are born, they grow to some point of relative perfection and then decay and die.

As you contemplate that sculpture of a seated Imhotep, surely it becomes apparent the great man himself embodied the very core principles to which the enduring pyramids stand in mute testament. Write your own words. It will be a list of the very best of human aspirations and virtues. And, a long one.

Imhotep. There’s more to it. A rare story. A secret. Something so startling and fantastic you will think it is made up. So that you don’t lose sleep over it, or unnecessarily trouble yourself wondering about the implications of such things … yes, let’s say it is just a story.

So the story goes.

Inside that very first pyramid of Imhotep dated to the 27th Century BC is a secret room. Until recently, the very existence of such a room was itself a secret. 

Inside that room is a single object. One solid piece of Lapis Lazuli. And, of only the purest form and quality. As blue as the midnight sky. Only without even a speck of sparkling golden Pyrite. Amazing for any sized specimen, only this one measuring 3 meters along its length.

It could be described as approximating the attenuated shape of the human form. A perfectly rounded base, graduating to a slender pillar suggesting of legs, then a torso, and a perfectly round head. Three meters, and carved in its entirety with unique glyphs which have no correlates to any known forms of writing. 

Each inscribed glyph is inlaid flush to the stone with pure gold and surrounded by an inlaid gold rectangle. All of it perfectly smooth to the surface of the stone itself. 

At the very top of the head and the very bottom of the round base, 16 glyphs are arranged into circular pie wedges.

There is some conjecture the glyphs may represent the known range of human postures. Sort of a graphic statement of human physical motive potential. Perhaps. But, now, only for someone to decode the information.

The room — a sealed vault, really — which guards this immeasurably precious object is itself completely inaccessible. There's no passageway leading to a sealed entrance. Nothing. Not even a tiny portal(s) for viewing. We can imagine they needed a way in to construct the thing in the first place. How come, there's no way out? A mystery compounded in more mystery. Unknowable. For now, anyway.

That chamber is measured symmetrical to surround the Lapis figure with 3 meters of clearance at the top, and at all four sides. If there were a chance to look inside and bring light into that eternally dark space, the walls are as smooth and reflective as mirrors, the dimensions of the room proportioned perfectly to view every part of that Lapis and gold monolith from any angle and position in the room.

Those walls, as are the ceiling above and floor beneath, lined entirely of the purest jade. Transparent as glass, deeply green and mirror smooth. In squares exactly 10 centimeters to the side, and 1 millimeter thick. Each set and backed with gold surrounds. All flush to a glass-like precision.

The rational mind must by now be asking … why? For what purpose? This particular room with its content presents an enigma even more inscrutable than the pyramid form itself in which it is encased.

One supposes the speculation and implications about this mystery and its meaning would be as varied as is human motivation. Archaeologists would salivate over the prospect of such a career making discovery. Museum curators or collectors of antiquities would be covetous. The more crass pecuniary types would see a once in a lifetime pay day. The vain, jewelry. The merely curious, a sight seeing side trip. The mystic — the True Mystic, anyway — might hear of it and turn back inward and not give it another thought. The artist, certainly a wealth of inspiration. The designer and engineer would smile in simple recognition of the central tenet of all sound construction: Balance in obvious observance of the dictates of the Law of Gravity.

The decision to seal that chamber must've taken into account such human factors. For the truly insightful, the fact that it is forever sealed in itself communicates everything. As they say, this is one bone buried deep so the dogs won't get at it.

Truth be told, and most amazing of all, that perfect figure stands balanced at only the precise center of its vertical axis. Stop and contemplate that. It stands, literally, on a dime! Even, if that. Moving, if at all, perhaps only in sub-microscopic variances in harmony with the movements of the Earth. 

Nothing for support save the exquisite symmetrical and level proportions of its own composition. Even the density of the ground substance Lapis Lazuli must be homogeneous to ensure such perfect equipoise. To say nothing of the incalculable logarithmic calculus encoded into those glyphs; what with the thousands of them each uniquely different, and with each a different portion of gem substance excised, along with the corresponding, and also unique weights of the gold fills. One can only now imagine how such infinitesimal precision could only be possible in such a completely sealed environment; the least hint of air flow — maybe even a glimmer of light — would insult the ineffable grace and ease.

And, of course, the ponderous stability of the pyramid itself. Words fail. Stand next to it. And, know.

So here we have the secret to the pyramid itself? Or, a clue. Somewhere in its core, supposedly at its very center of its core, this minutely balanced figure … holding everything in place. So fragile a thing, really. Yet, perhaps also so strong. Powerful enough even, maybe to hold the Universe together.

So it goes.