Notes to Poem:
Moments to Cherish

Peter Y. Chou

Preface: A friend's "Mindfulness" class had an assignment of listing their happy and sad moments. She said "You lost your 12 GB USB containing 16 months of work without backup. Then you lost your best friend Connie passing away. These must be tragic sad moments. Have you had any happy moments recently? I pondered awhile, recalling a dozen happy moments during the last three months, that led to this poem "Moments to Cherish" (12-9-2016). The Notes to the Poem were completed four days later (12-13-2016) on the 16th anniversary of Dad's passing.

Commentary on Poem "Moments to Cherish":

Zipoli's Elevazione is playing on KDFC
a day after my best friend Connie died—
this music was one of her favorites.

Gordon Hunt album Elevazione

Elevazione Sheet Music
Domenico Zipoli (1688-1726) was an Italian Baroque composer who worked and died in Córdoba (Argentina). He became a Jesuit in order to work in the Reductions of Paraguay where he taught music among the Guaraní people. Gordon Hunt playing Zipoli's Elevazione (1716) on the oboe became my favorite classic music piece. Wrote about it in my poem "Ascension" (10-2-2007) and Notes. In 2016 KDFC's Classical All-Stars, listeners voted Elevazione #23 on its top 100 list. Connie liked this music too, and I'd phone her whenever KDFC plays it on the air. When Elevazione played at 10:01-10:09 am on Saturday, Sept. 10, I rushed to phone Connie. But she died at this time a day earlier. Listen. Photo Sources: Gordon Hunt: Elevazione album (; Elevazione Sheet Music (;

Emails from Cay, Susan, and Anita
consoling me of Connie's passing—
good friends are our real treasures.
Wrote poem "Memories of a Best Friend for 26 Years" in honor of Connie (9-10-2016). When I sent it to Cay, who hiked often with Connie, she sent her poem "With Connie on the Trail" immediately in response (9-11-2016). Susan's Sept. 18 email told me she burst into tears when I told her at Cubberley Pavilion ballroom dancing (9-10) that Connie had died. After I emailed my poem honoring Connie, Susan wrote “You were Connie's "angel" friend and a blessing in Connie's life.” Anita's Sept 20 email "I can only imagine your sadness losing such a special friend. I am deeply moved by your caring and loving kindness towards her. Connie blessed many lives but I think she was blessed by your friendship. May your treasured memories of Connie bring you comfort always."

Waverley Writers poets liked
Mary Oliver's "When Death Comes"
& my reading of poem honoring Connie.
On Friday, October 7, 2016, Waverley Writers gather at Quakers Friends Meeting House for poetry reading. I read Mary Oliver's "When Death Comes", my poem "Memories of a Best Friend for 26 Years", and Cay Horner's poem "With Connie on the Trail". Several poets came up to me afterwards telling me how touched they were when I shared these poems with them. Mary Marcis, editor of Waverley Writers' Fresh Hot Bread included my poem in their December 2016 issue.

Columbia friend Richard sends email
on "Aerial Views from Drones"—
Now I have bird's-eye view!

Dubai Aerial View of Skyline
taken with Drones (AirPano)

Taj Mahal, India
taken with Drones (AirPano)

Arc de Triomphe, Paris
taken with Drones (AirPano)
Richard Hanauer and I attended Columbia School of Engineering (1959-1963). We liked chemistry more than engineering, and went to graduate school for Ph.D. in chemistry. He majored in organic chemistry at University of Wisconsin, while I majored in physical chemistry of proteins at Cornell. We went on a hike at Muir Woods (11-21-2009). Last year, he and his wife Arlene came for a visit to Apple Campus 1 and 2 in Cupertino (10-28-2015). Although the new Apple campus were blocked from view, we found aerial footage from drones to share with each other. Richard's simple email on 3-14-2016: "Pi Day— 3.14.16" inspired the poem "Einstein's 137th Birthday" (3-14-2016). Richard's latest email (9-27-2016) had 20 aerial views taken by Airpano drones. I felt like a bird after viewing them, and count it as a recent moment to cherish. Photo Sources: Dubai Aerial Skyline (; Taj Mahal, India (; Arc de Triomphe, Paris (

Cornell & Brandeis friend Steve
& housemate in Cambridge sends
email of visit to Paris Opera House

Academie Nationale
Opera House, Paris

Paris Opera House
Photo by Steve Gould

Marc Chagall Ceiling (1964)
inside Paris Opera House
Steve Gould and I went to Cornell University for our doctorates, he in organic chemistry and I in physical chemistry (1963-1970). We both did our post-doctoral research at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. However, we lived in Cambridge and were housemates at 11 Walnut Avenue (1970-1971) and took the Boston & Maine Railways to work. Steve recalled the year we lived together fondly, and reconnected with me via email. He sends me photos of his museum visits that inspired several poems— "The Universe is Made of Stories" (12-10-2010), "Hands Holding the Void" (2-20-2013), "Angel with the Sudarium" (1-25-2015). His photos of a recent visit to Paris made me very happy. Photo Sources: Academie Nationale, Paris Opera House, Marc Chagall Ceiling— photographed by Steve Gould (emails Oct. 3 & Oct. 5) which I cropped and brightened in Adobe Photoshop.

reminding me of similar visit
from Dad in 1979 where we
had cup of coffee at Café Paix.

Dad & Me (August 1979)
at Paris Opera House

Dad having cup of coffee
at Café by Paris Opera House

Dad in Paris: Column
Vendôme in background
The National Science Foundation and Centre Européen de Calcul Atomique et Moléculaire awarded me a travel grant and complete living expenses for six weeks in Paris (July 16-August 30, 1979), where I did research at the "Protein Folding Workshop" at the University of Paris, Orsay. I lived right next to the Sorbonne University at Hotel Sorbonne on Rue Victor Cousin. Dad visited me from August 16-30, and we had a two lovely weeks together when I finished work and on the weekends. While we were having breakfast in my room, Dad peered out of the window and said, “This view of the Sorbonne University looks familiar. This place used to be a dormitory. I may have even stayed in this room 50 years ago.” Photo Sources: Dad & Me, Paris Opera House (; Dad at Café Paix (; Dad & Column Vendôme (

Breakfast with Al and Robert
discussing sacred geometry
and secrets of the Freemasons.

Secret Teachings of All
: M.P. Hall (1928)

Secret Destiny of America
by Manly P. Hall (1944)

"G" in Compass & Square
Freemason Symbol

George Washington as Freemason
Fredericksburg Lodge #4, Virginia (Oct. 1752)
On Sunday, October 2, 2016, Al Guzman drove from San Jose to pick me up at my apartment in Mountain View at 8:15 am; then drove to Fremont (Eggers Drive) to pick up Robert Slack for breakfast at Santa Clara's HomeTown Buffet (2670 El Camino). We then went to San Jose's CineLux Theatre (2306 Almaden Road) where Astronomy Professor John Beck joined us to see "The Magnificent Seven" (2016) starring Denzel Washington. This was a remake of the 1960 Preston Sturges' western classic The Magnificent Seven inspired by Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. A few years ago, I told Al about Manly P. Hall's The Secret Teachings of All Ages: An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy (1928) which I bought a hard-cover edition for $10 during Tower Books 30% off sale. Al bought a Kindle Edition for only 99¢ at I told Al about Manly P. Hall's The Secret Destiny of America (1944) which I read at Stanford's Green Library. Ronald Reagan cited passage in this book in his Commencement Address at his alma mater Eureka College in 1957. Reagan said "This is a land of destiny, and our forefathersfound their way here by some Divine system of selective service gathered here to fulfill a mission to advance man a further step in his clmb from the swamps." Reagan then retold (without naming a source) the tale of Hall's unknown speaker. "When they turned to thank the speaker for his timely words," Reagan concluded, "he couldn't be found and to this day no one knows who he was or how he entered or left the guarded room." Paul Brunton told me during my meetings with him in Switzerland (1976, 1978) that when he visit Anthony and his students at Wisdom Goldenrod (1978), he would also pay a visit to Manly P. Hall in Los Angeles. Photo Sources: Secret Teachings of All Ages (; Secret Destiny of America (; "G" in Compass & Square (; George Washington as Mason (

Autumn maple leaves scattered
everywhere in my neighborhood—
here's one to share with a friend.

Autumn Maple Leaf

Fallen Maple Leaves

Maple Leaves on Skyline to Sea (9-21-2008)
In the Hindu sacred text Bhagavad Gita 9:26, Krishna says: "He who offers to me with devotion only a leaf, or a flower, or a fruit, or even a little water, this I accept from that yearning soul, because with a pure heart it was offered with love." When I saw many maple leaves scattered around my apartments, I picked up two colorful red, orange, and green maple leaves. Sandwiched them in a library book, and shared one with a friend. Photo Sources: Autumn Maple Leaf (; Fallen Maple Leaves (; Maple Leaves on Skyline to Sea Hike (

Mac computers not removed from
Foothill Krause Center saved me
trips to new Sunnyvale campus.

Foothill College Computer Lab
Middlefield Campus, Palo Alto

"Apple Think Different" Posters
Inside Middlefield Computer Lab

Krause Center of Innovation
Foothill College, Los Altos Hills

Mac Computers
Krause Center of Innovation
Foothill College occupied Cubberley Community Center at 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto for 30 years. I took journal writing & poetry workshops here (1987-1995) & computer classes (1991-1997) as well as being Computer Instructor & Lab Consultant (1996-2007). Since I don't have a computer at home, I'd use the Mac Computer at Middlefield Campus Lab, Monday-Thursday, 12:30 pm-9:30 pm. Al Guzman the Student Coordinator would close the Lab and give me a ride home. On Friday (1-6:30 pm) & Saturday (1-4:30 pm), I'd use the Mac Computer at Krause Center at Foothill's Los Altos Hills Campus. On Sunday, I'd use the Dell Computer at Los Altos Library (1-5:50 pm). Foothill College Middlefield Campus moved to Sunnyvale Center at 1070 Innovation Way, Sunnyvale in September 2016. My friend Jack told me that Krause Center owns all the Dell Computers. However the 21 Mac Computers belong to the Fine Arts Department, and will be moved to the new Sunnyvale Campus. As I lost my 12 GB USB with 16 months of solid work and no backup on August 28, 2016 at Los Altos Library, there's so much work to reconstruct. Going to Sunnyvale, will be an extra hour trip on the bus. When I came to Krause Center on October 3 at 1:30 pm, and found the Mac Computers still there, I jumped with delight. Wilbur, the Lab administrator at Krause Center, told me they got new computers at Sunnyvale Center, and decided to leave the old Macs at Krause Center. Photo Sources: Foothill College Computer Lab (; Inside Middlefield Computer Lab (; Krause Center of Innovation (, Mac Computers at Krause Center (

This Labradoodle gazed at me
by Shoreline Safeway's door
with such soulful eyes.

Labradoodle Puppy from Australia

Labradoodle with Soulful Eyes
I've never owned a pet because I had asthma when young and was allergic to dogs and cats. My Mom was afraid of dogs as she was bitten by one when young. I only took care of my sister's parakeets Mimi & Fifi when she was away. However, on Friday, October 21 (4:35-5:35 pm), a friend drove me to Shoreline Safeway shopping. As we approached the door, there was a cute labradoodle looking at me with such soulful eyes, that I patted him on the head. I didn't have my camera with me, so had to find a labradoodle photo in Google Images that resembled him. Photo Sources: Labradoodle Puppy from Australia (; Labradoodle (

Two Pepper Trees greet me
each day on Montebello Ave—
"Lion of Courage" & "Platonic Λ".

Pepper Tree 1
Montebello Avenue

"Lion of Courage"
on Bark of Pepper Tree 1

Pepper Tree 2
Montebello Avenue

Platonic Lambda Λ
Branch (closeup)

Platonic Lambda Λ
Branch with Lamp Lit
I walk down Montebello Ave and Montecito Ave to catch Bus #40 on Rengstorff Avenue to Foothill College Krause Center in Los Altos Hills every day. Wrote two poems— "Four Friends on Montebello Ave" (7-13-2014) and "A Pepper Tree Stops Me Cold" (7-20-2014). I stop and say prayers to five trees on Montebello Ave, whom I regard as spiritual friends. To the "Lion of Courage" Pepper Tree, I place my hand on its nose: "Oh Lion of Courage— May courage be with me in all my endeavors. May I join the Warriors of Light and fight the Evil of Darkness and Ignorance to bring Illumination to the world." To the Platonic Lambda Λ Pepper Tree, I raise my hand in the wisdom mudra pose, direct it to the Lit Lamp under the Λ and pray: "O Platonic Lambda Λ— Soul of the Universe— O remember, remember, remember, the Soul is the Origin of Things. It's the Soul that creates us, sustains us, and nourishes us. Blessings from the Soul! Blessings for All!" Photo Sources: Pepper Tree 1, "Lion of Courage", Pepper Tree 2, Platonic Lamba Λ Branch (; Platonic Lambda Λ Branch with Lamp Lit (

Gratitude time at Thanksgiving—
and PB's postcard in his bedroom
of Millet's L'Angelus warms my heart.

Paul Brunton (1898-1981)
visit in Vevey (Sept. 1979)

Millet' L'Angelus (1859)
Postcard in PB's bedroom
Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful. Wrote a poem "Thanksgiving Prayer" (11-22-1979) and composed web pages on "Gratitude". Cay Horner invited Connie and me to her house near Alum Rock for Thanksgiving (circa 2005). It was one of the loveliest Thanksgiving we had with a wonderful dinner. Cay loves music with a library of hundreds of CDs. I requested listening to Beethoven's Symphony #3: Eroica, wondering why it was a breakthrough in symphonic music. While I listened to this one-hour symphony, Cay showed Connie her hike photos in another room. I composed a web page on Beethoven's Eroica Symphony a year later (9-22-2006). Recall fondly Sally's Thanksgiving Potluck Parites (2006-2010) where she had some 50 guests. However the most memorable moments to cherish are the 14 meetings with the sage Paul Brunton in Switzerland (1972-1979). In September 1979, PB showed me a postcard of Millet's L'Angelus in his bedroom. PB said “Look at this couple— simple farm folks, yet how humble, thanking the earth for their daily food. We should keep our heart always simple and sincere just like that.” Photo Sources: Paul Brunton (; Millet's L'Angeuls (

— Peter Y. Chou
    Mountain View, 12-13-2016

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P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (12-13-2016)