Left, Right, Wrong

Conflict makes me cringe.  I’ll avoid it with a passion.  I just want peace and harmony.    No surprise that this was my favorite commercial while I was growing up.

Political debate: I hate.  Musicians spats: leave me cold.  Lover’s quarrels: detestable. Religious conflict: breaks my heart.  Irrational idealist?  That might be me.

In a normal day, I hear people frequently voice their opposition to something or some one.  I do this too.  Why?   Thought doesn’t seem to play nearly as large a role as feelings in why a person believes what they do.    I constantly hear statements that can not be made unless there is real proof.  The difficulty that any one of us has in acquiring definitive proof that something is true is mind boggling.  Just because some one we like says it’s so doesn’t make it so.   Even if they cite scientific research, be very careful.  Biases are real and follow the money.  Who funded the study and what they have to gain by the outcome matters.  It matters more than truth or fairness.

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Keeping God Real

More about the movie, Sons of Perdition can be found here: http://sonsofperditionthemovie.com/Sons_of_Perdition_Home.html

Yesterday, I watched a documentary called the Sons of Perdition.  It’s about young teens who escape a polygamist Mormon Settlement.    The leader of the little tribe is arrested and convicted of arranging marriages between underage girls and older men.  He continues to lead from jail and he continues to have faithful followers.   Next, I watched a documentary called Audience of One.  A Pentecostal minister in San Francisco feels called by God to make a movie.  At first, it doesn’t seem like such an outlandish idea.  God has asked people for some pretty amazing things that defy logic.  Yet, as the film about a film unfolds it gradually becomes more and more obvious that this man’s calling is really “out there”. Talking about establishing a colony on the moon was the tipping point for me.  It’s not that God couldn’t establish a moon colony.  It is about the messenger who has appointed himself and some how managed to leave God out of it without even realizing it.  The deeper he got into his project, the farther from God he seemed to drift.  Ego and God are like matter and anti-matter.  I”m convinced they repel each other.

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Blink is the name of a book by Malcolm Gladwell.  It’s about thinking without thinking.  Maybe there is room for a book called Blank.  It would be about not thinking without not thinking.  That’s what I’ve been doing lately.  Blank pretty much describes it.  It’s not that I haven’t had thoughts or inspirations or creative ideas but holding on to them, sorting them out, confining them with words has been a bit beyond me.  My mind has been a huge swimming pool and I’m floating on top in one of those comfy air mattresses.  You know, the kind with the fancy cup holders and arm rests.  While out on the water, I have fallen asleep.  If you listen closely, you can hear me snore.  Actually, you probably don’t have to listen closely at all.  I snore very loudly.

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The Place Without Words

Some times I travel in the place without words.  It is a land of unexplored dreams and desires, a land of heartache and pain, a land of survival and victory.

In my mind, I sit alongside a dusty road.  It’s summer.  The sun is directly over head.  I’m barefoot and covered with dust and dirt.  Tears stream down my face, tiny rivers of dirt.  My sorrow is primal.  It can’t be hidden. I wait for sympathy in the form of a ride.  I want to be rescued.  No one comes.  Finally, I moved to the shade of an oak tree.  A nice breeze makes the leaves rustle.  Fall will come soon.

Drying my tears with the back of my arm, I get up and walk.   As I walk, memories drift in and out like sunlight and shadow casting shifting patterns on my soul.  I re-member myself into being in this place without words.  My story captures my attention.  In the light and shadow, I write without words. Rainbow colors fly out of me into the center of the sky.  I stand on my head to get a better look and then I fall.  I fall into the story.  I am lost.  I am found.


The two things I miss most about San Diego are the weather.  It is perfect. . . well as perfect as it gets on this planet. . .and The European Cake Bakery.   http://www.europeancakegallery.com/

Today, on my 54th birthday, if I were in San Diego I would be eating one of these:

If there is a perfect cake on earth, then it is found at the European Cake Bakery.  If only there were a cure for Southern-Californian-Lifestyle Syndrome.  Then again, not.  Everyone would live there and the planet would be totally out of balance.  Balance, not cake,  is my real topic for today.  I’d rather talk about cake but balance lasts longer.

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Love What Is

Stumbling out of bed at 8:20 a.m., I’m not loving what is.  Maybe, I’m still dreaming.  Life doesn’t feel real yet but then again it doesn’t feel very real very often.  Something is missing.  It’s a something that has been missing for a very long time.  This morning I see what that something is.  It’s me!

Sure, I’m conscious.  I’m functioning.  Odd, how one can be alive but not fully present.   I haven’t given this much thought.  Haven’t wanted to . . . until this morning amongst the inspirational reading I get in my e-mail box I read these three simple words:


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Arctic fox images found on a google search did not include foxes who had just eaten. 

Seriously.  It’s time to get serious about my quest for fun.

Not long ago I wrote about a personal discovery:  This girl just wants to have fun.  While that objective hasn’t changed the path getting there has.  Some times solemnity slaps me across the face like a cold wet hand.  It did this weekend.

Enjoying life and having fun is important to me, so important that I have been ignoring a simple fact:  Having fun often involves effort, some times even blood, sweat and tears.

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Beside the River

On  a Sunday, not long ago, we went fishing.  My son is not yet a fisherman.  He did spend a lot of time and energy digging a hole in the sand.   Easier to focus on the hole in front of you than try to make out the shapes in the fog.

He is no longer a little boy.  His world keeps getting larger, bigger, more intimidating.  He used to cry about the idea of growing up.  He said he wanted to be a little kid forever.  He embraces this desire like a favorite stuffed animal.  He is not like most boys of 12.   He clings to childhood with a fierce dependence.  Childhood is more predictable.  Less is expected of you.  It’s easier to get by on good looks, quirkiness and a certain measure of charm.

Nothing stops the march of time.  All are carried by the years.   Wishing to remain a child forever is a wish that is only fulfilled in fairy tales.    My private fairy tales give me back a truth wrapped in fiction that I can carry around inside me like a seed.  It sprouts, takes root and fills me with branches and leaves.  I climb inside.  Some times, I dig holes in the sand.  I want to plant my fairy tale tree alongside a river.  I my fairy tale wishes to come true.   I want to remain innocent and young forever.

Maturity takes this pretty tree from me.  It presents a new life, a new way of being, a landscape with no room for trees.  Maturity demands personal responsibility.  It gives me power over my own life.   Sometimes, I’m afraid of this.    I’m sure this power frightens my son.

At times, I travel back in time through the portal of memory.  Grasping for an innocence and simplicity that I can not have again but don’t want to let go.   It is no wonder that my son mimics some of my sentimental desires.   These little trees are ours.  We fear letting them go.  We wonder what will take their place that can be better than our little fairy tales.

Maybe one of the most important lessons life is trying to teach me is that “I have to let go of what I have in order to “get” anything.”

Every day is a new chance for me to learn how to let go.   Life prepares me for the final surrender.   I can not control time, or aging.  I can not control the process of change.  I have no power over physical death, natural disasters, the price of bread or what fairy tales other people believe.

I can only control how I rise to the occasion, how I react, how I respond.   Each day, I’m given the opportunity to look into the mirror and acknowledge the person who looks back.  Each day, countless times a day, I make the choice whether I escape by wishing away the realities of life or if I embrace them and see them as special opportunities meant only for me.  It sounds better than it feels.  Special opportunities can feel like nasty burdens or handicaps.  Seeing an opportunity within can be painfully difficult.

My son’s desire to be a kid forever. . . well I can really relate.   Fortunately, I know that it really isn’t in his best interests or in mine.  I know how valuable maturity is and how I still struggle to achieve it.  My words to him will always be less powerful than my actions.    I must see my fairy tale for what it is.  I must stop digging holes in the sand by the river.   Through the fog, I hear a call from a distant shore.  I continue the journey, hoping my son will follow.

What Do I Know?

It’s no secret that I have friends that cover the political spectrum and beyond.   A tight rope stretches across many issues and topics.    Humans, as a whole, strike me as a pretty contentious lot.  Conflict wears a suit of armor.  I run and hide.

While I’m hiding, I do make some time to read.  Reading is like eating to me.  Both provide comfort and love.  Reading is something I have to do and there are so many delicious books begging to be tasted.    Lately, I read a biography:  Mike Wallace: A Life by Peter Rader.   I also read about the “grooming” or packaging of the information we receive from journalists.  My suspicions about investigative reporting were confirmed once again.  Or is that what I expected to discover?

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Sometimes, it’s good to forget.  I’ve forgotten more than I have ever known.  It’s been said that “knowledge is power.” I’m not so sure. Forgetting might be where the true power lies.    The ability to let go of the parts of my life that cause me too much pain, that hold me back, that hinder  me from becoming all that I might be seems like a skill that I could practice.  Ah, but that’s just my wishful thinking taking me prisoner.  What I describe is denial.  Denial is putting a wonderful, tasty frosting on a dirt clod and passing it off as a cupcake. I’ve eaten a lot of dirt clod cupcakes over the years.

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I am the person behind the words printed here. I write because my heart will not allow me the option of NOT writing. It has taken me half a life time to discover this basic truth, but now that I have, writing is as natural as breathing. This is where my breath takes the form of words.


I am reading

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
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