Thursday, February 28, 2008

Please Meet Me

I’ll not meet you side the highway,
Nor in the halls of commerce,

Where serenity and quiet,

Have no home … nor can be found.

I’ll reserve for us a table,

With a window on the bayside.

Softly draped, with cloth of linen,
Weaved by noble Peasant hand.

We will sup with wine by locals.

Label known not to the merchant.

We will dine on fare from labours,

Of attentive, gentle care.

We'll be slow about our speaking.

Of each other we are learning.

Of each other are becoming,

More as One, no more, the Two.

We are learning, and accepting,

All that is our inner Beings.

All within us … all that makes us …

All defining … who we are.

Can we cling to, save this moment?

Can we hold it to our bosom?

Will it nurture and uphold us?

When our outside worlds, we face?

‘Tis most certain that we cannot.

For life’s swirling all about us.

This, the fledgling bond between us …

Life would pull and tear apart.

So please meet me, ere you wander,

In your busy life and duty,

At our table … by that window.

Where our union … knits once more.

25 February 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


With gratitude to the Enchantress whose grace and silent eloquence lifted the Muse's veil this morning, setting "Inspiration" free ...


Wishes, Faith, Hopes, and Dreams

All lie just beyond.

Distant enough to elude my grasp,

Teasing as sunlight to Dawn.

Moving me onward, when my past says "Stop!"

Urging me ever to go.

Canceling fears, hesitations, and pause,

Ignoring the "I just don't know!"

Don't try to dissuade with logic and sense;

Offer not, reason nor fact.

I'm empowered to fly; to run; to dance.

Inspiration was all that I lacked.

27 February 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


OK … brace yourself! This is another of those Muse-abused mornings. (She can be so unrelenting!) Awakening all fresh and empty of either thought or concern, I was feeling GOOD! To which that devilish little inner whisper said “Here’s something to occupy that ‘blank slate!” And all through work, the trickle of thought grew to a torrent of words that required, yet another, fresh cartridge in the Waterman, and cup of coffee at the remote corner in Mickey D’s.

Here, I present a gut-wrenching (for me) personal insight. “So, why do you do it?” Your rational and completely natural question could be. And the answer to that, totally appropriate, question, would be … the very point of this message.

So. I would have you stop … and focus your customary page-skimming eyes … and allow your Self to absorb what is, arguably, the most crucial reality in our human interactions. We are different! Yes, You and I … You and many with whom you work, live, worship, play, and even sleep … are different. “No shock Sherlock! Of course we are different. Tell us something that we don’t already know.” you defensively reply. Yet, whilst you profess a knowledge of this fact, you will, in all probability, become frustrated with … bothered by … irritated with … and, in all likelihood, confused by, the words or actions of someone in your life today. They will simply fail to do something, or react to some stimuli, in a way that you deem “appropriate” or “right.” Their behavior just will not “make sense” to you.

You will notice that I excluded myself from that response. Though I sometimes waiver, my many years studying and applying the principles of differing temperaments and personality types, have made my acceptance of all sorts of behavior, a habit. It is now, for me, an automatic reflex to see the behavior of others through the prism of their innate “type.” I accept, even embrace the mechanisms that cause us to sense life in sometimes radically-different ways. And, as is my usual, I will give you a living, breathing, real-time example to illustrate and (hopefully) illuminate my critically important message for You (though I know neither your personal identity nor circumstance.)

Inasmuch as I am defined as one of the small minority of strange (some would deem ’weird’) folk having been “blessed” with my funky temperament type … (check the number of solitary Shaman, introverted Writer/Poet, isolated Medicine Man, types you know of) … I could no more sense life’s stimuli as You do (given the likelihood that you are “normal”), than I could grow gills and assume a life beneath the waves. Our differences are truly that great. And, inasmuch as we have all been mystified and enchanted by the plight of lovers depicted in the “Little Mermaid” and other similar tales, there is a legitimate sub-conscious reason for our fascination with this genre that plays out in a “Two Different Worlds” conflict … it is REAL.

Yes, indeed, we can … and often do … love Another who is of “another realm.” The primary demonstration of this reality, in my life, is the relationship between myself and my now-grown daughter. (I told you that this would be “gut-wrenching” for me!) She hates her Daddy! (If it made you cringe to read it ... imagine how it felt to write it.) But, that summarizes our deal to date. She and I are diametrically opposite in EVERY imaginable way. Where my natural, instinctive impulse is to “give it all away,” hers is to take all that she can get (a completely “normal” and acceptable survival instinct.) There is absolutely nothing inherently right … or wrong … with either of these inborn impulses. They are stamped into our individual psyches from conception (or at whatever stage of development such things are instilled.)

For her, life’s unyielding burden is to be a responsible and efficient Achiever. To garner all of the successes, accolades, honors, rewards, and material goods (that Life has blessed her with potentials for acquisition of) is her motivation. So you can see how she finds it impossible to understand my burden (and, yes, it can be and sometimes does become burdensome), in my making certain that the sun does not set on any property, resource, word, or inspiration, that I might have given to Another, that day. We both possess tremendous potential to be astronomically obnoxious in our compulsions. While my giving is endearing to its beneficiaries, it is perceived as an outrageous exercise in irresponsible extravagance to those who (like my daughter) see me giving what they KNOW, in the core of their very being, should rightly be theirs. My open and unrestrained generosity of spirit spurred my daughter’s “Well, Daaaaaaad, (parents know the inflection all to well) you have a beautiful family too.” in response to my excusing myself from our table; crossing the restaurant; and saying, to the man dining with his family, “Please forgive my intrusion, my friend (‘thank you’ Leo Buscaglia, for teaching me this magical device) but I could not help but be impressed and touched by this beautiful family that you are so blessed with. My compliments to you Sir.” Whereupon I quickly turned and returned to my own table.

This (very normal and usual [for me]) behavior was cause for the irritation to, and resulting remark from my daughter. In her eyes, I had just given some of my attention, and in fact some of my Self, to someone else. And her natural bent is to see that “giving away” as my dispensing something to which she expects sole claim. My response to her was, “I have no need to have the beauty of my family brought to my awareness. I noticed that family, and that gentleman who was displaying his indifference to and disregard for them. My Spirit spoke to me and encouraged me to encourage him. To awaken him to the wonder and beauty of those who were alone … in his presence.” With an unreceptive sigh accompanied by the ever-famous “rolling-of-the-eyes” (don’t we all just loooove that treatment!?), she replied, “Does everything have to mean something?!”

I then, in my insensitivity born of ignorance of the whole “temperament, personality type” thingy, and acting on my perceived imperative to teach and inspire my child (I can be so stupid! … and have I mentioned “obnoxious” … sometimes) I answered with, “Everything does, in fact, mean something Sweetheart (wasn’t that a nice touch?). And it is our choice to either see life’s meanings, or let them pass us by … unseen and unknown.” (I know … stop yelling at me … I can be a complete pain in the ass when I am on a roll in my natural personality/temperament mode of an Idealist/Romantic.)

Therefore, it came as no great shock, when she squared her shoulders and declared (at some point toward the end of her college years), “You are an embarrassment and a humiliation to me!” What was a shock (as I stood there in her Mom’s kitchen … just her and me) was the immediate thought processes that I responded with. First, the recognition of how humiliating it must be for her to meet her college classmates … particularly her sorority sisters … and have to come up with a response to “ … and what does your father do for a living?” What kind of a social-enhancement could she spin in explaining that her Dad had (as she has ’delicately’ put it) , “dropped out of life.” He had left the glossy towers of commerce, the thousand dollar suits, the seminars presented, meetings managed, personnel and clients dealt with … to deliver newspapers. Would the fact that he had made that choice ... to allow himself to be able to spend his daytime hours … teaching rudimentary reading and sequencing skills, motor-skills coaching, social-skills imparting in coffee shops and restaurants, physical training at the YMCA, for her older brother, who had no other resource for overcoming the challenges of his cerebral palsy … make it any easier to present herself with an upwardly-mobile image? The answer, of course, was “no.”

But the second of my inner reactions to her cutting proclamation was most amazing to me (and I was lost in wonderment even as she stared at me in her anticipation of a response.) I was proud! That’s right! I was proud and happy that I had created an atmosphere of safety and confidence that gave this young woman the inner-assurance necessary to make such a statement to my face. (If I had ever said anything even remotely like that to my Dad, I would be picking myself up somewhere in next week. For that’s how far he would have sent me.) “Wow! I am a good Dad! “ was how I felt. (The shattering despondency hit as I drove toward my little one-room cottage.)

I could go on and on with examples, illustrations, and demonstrations. But my point would drown in the stories. So I will stop all of that and summarize with this. My daughter reached a point in her disdain for my Personhood (with the encouragement of a second parent who delighted in the alienation of her affections), that has eliminated me from her life. No invitation to college graduation. No invitation to her wedding. Nothing! And, I have accepted her election with a distanced, yet respectful, peace. Much as one does with a death.

For, you see, I have learned (thanks be to all that is Holy!) that I am a part of an infinite and eternal Reality that supersedes all of these daily details. I answer to Life, my Creator, God, Allah, The Numinous … by whatever label or name … I answer to the eternal and without limitation. And I enjoy a daily celebration of my awareness that I am giving every bit of all that is Me to the betterment of all that is in need of whatever I have to offer. I live in a certainty that all that has happened … all happening … and all that is to come, is choreographed to render ultimate beauty and harmony. I like being part of that!

Including our amazing … and often vexing … DIFFERENCES.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Unstoppable Love

She’s no respecter of distance.
Life’s blockades cause her no pause.
She surmounts every challenge.
Love is an unstoppable Cause.

She conquers Detail and Hurdle …
Melts walls of hindering cares.
Percolates through every barrier …
That Circumstance would put there.

She has no concern for a “This” …
Or a “That” put in Her way.
Love has thrived through history’s turmoils,
And will blossom for us today.

25 February 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Speaking the Unspeakable

Today I write with difficulty. Not like most days (as in yesterday … when I couldn’t even make it home, from work, for fear that my stream of thought would be broken and I would lose all that my Muse [that still, small whisper that is Life’s voice to my Spirit] was giving me. So I had to stop at McDonald’s …have a cup of coffee in the most remote booth … take out my wonderful Friend (my Waterman fountain pen) and write like a crazy man.) But not so today!

For today I am speaking to you from a reluctant heart. Not reluctant because of any reservation or doubt about my message. But, instead, hesitant because of a lifetime of ingrained and indoctrinated mental bondage. Today I am going to speak of what is quieted in every man that I have ever known. What is kept locked behind the impenetrable door of “A Gentleman does not speak of such things.”

And it is the doing of a new reader and, I trust, a new friend (Jeanne) who wrote a lovely Email to me yesterday. In her gracious note, she said (in part) “I want to encourage you to continue to put your feelings and thoughts out there for those of us who are not as able to tell others how we feel.”. And that statement set my mind to work. Upon awakening, this morning, I was visited by my Muse’s nudging imperative “You MUST speak to this! There is someone who needs to hear it … today!” So, My patient and forgiving Reader … here ‘tis.

Jeanne’s statement stirred a long-simmering and sometimes-boiling-over burden on my soul. That being our woefully-inadequate and usually-stilted efforts to know (in our own minds) and/or communicate (to those, who matter most to us) our truest feelings. Fear of “sounding stupid,” “appearing awkward,” “saying ’the wrong thing’,” “REJECTION!,” and myriad hang-ups, of all sort and description, keep all (and I freely say “all” because the exception is so rare as to be listed on the registry of extinct species) silent and unwilling to permit so much as a thought to ourselves about the genuine nature of our feelings.

I can best tell you what I need tell you by relating to two who will remain anonymous and a third who will be painfully revealed (Me.) The first that I will mention is an acquaintance who, in his later years (he is now deceased) spoke often to me about his miserable relationship with his wife of many decades. He was beyond unhappy. He was bitter and angry. “She pats my leg, as we get into bed, then turns over and goes to sleep. Just like I am some little house-pet that gets a little “nice doggy” before being dismissed. She is content that I am there … where she wants me to be … and that is all that matters to her. Well! That is not what matters to me.” he continued, “I am a man! And, damn it! I want to be respected and treated like a man,”

But had he ever had this discussion with his wife? Was the door of receptiveness open with her? No, to the first. And another No, to the second. For … My Darling Reader, the topic was simply pushed away with the broom of “A Gentleman does not speak of such things.”

He made it quite clear to me … in no uncertain terms … that he wanted (oh my, I am going to say it!) … s e x . He was as aware as anyone … MORE aware than anyone … of the reality of his impotence. That was not the issue. The issue was in his stated “I am not her little house-pet! I am a man!” but he had no skills … no confidence … no common ground for intimate conversation … no respectful, trusting, accepting basis for opening himself to suggesting, to her, that … maybe … perhaps … just suppose … there were alternative ways for them to exchange expressions of still-alive passions and desires. How tragic!

The second of my illustrations is in someone brought to my attention by an acquaintance. The grandfather, of this acquaintance, was (at age 84) eagerly and anxiously anticipating his soon-scheduled wedding. When the person known to me, asked his grandfather what the hurried rush was all about, the grandfather replied with something in the order of “when you discover that “things” that you had not known, for many years, are working … you, at my age, do not delay the use of those “things.”

Now, that would seem to be (and indeed was related to me as )a “cute” little story. But what I find troubling in the account is the stark fact that this man … far along in his journey … was unaware of his own locked away desires and needs for “many years.” Why? Because “A Gentleman does not speak of such things.” And he was (he is, also, now deceased) beyond all else “A Gentleman.” Leaving him and all of those men with whom he shared weekly get-togethers over coffee, fishing trips, social and lodge meetings and gatherings, absent a healthy exchange of very basic and humanly fundamental discussions, because “A Gentleman does not speak of such things.” To all of that I say (with every element of eloquence I can muster) “Horse Dung!!”

Hence I get to the third of my illustrations (Ouch! This is already hurting [in the vulnerability and self revealing way]). I must, first, (yes … I am stalling) say that … I am in love with “someone.” She is a remarkable “Someone.” And, No! We are not going to be “getting together.” The combined circumstances of our separate sets of requirements and commitments will not permit that happy end-result. We have both acknowledged that painful reality. Yet, we are, in our silly, almost-adolescent giddiness, quite in love with each other. And with that comes the inevitable (and altogether delightful) lustful passion familiar to lovers. And here is where I must not only cross … but trample into the dust of oblivion … the walls of “A Gentleman does not speak of such things.” Because, you see, we both want to express our affections to each other in terms that are beyond propriety. We have a craving to make known to each other the depths and intricacies of our secret and most-guarded yearnings. She is at a marked advantage in the fact that (our male-dominated) society quietly endorses the Woman’s knowledge of, and ability to speak of, the Man’s “equipment.” But, to the extreme contrary, The Man is expressly forbidden to have even an at-a-distance knowledge of the Woman’s corresponding anatomy. (I think that I am doing fairly well so far … don’t you?) Therefore, motivated by my respect for this Lady’s right to have me speak of all of the ways in which I would want to give her pleasure, I was compelled to Google “anatomy of female genitalia.”

I want you to know, beyond question, that as hard as it was to type those words just now … it was at least equally difficult for me to type them into that anonymous “search window” at the top of my browser. I had the overwhelming sense of skulking in shadows and slithering along the gutter scum of some gutter in a neighborhood where I had no business being. But there before me was a depiction of something lovely, delicate, all together as deserving of all of the poets’ attempts to describe womanhood in terms of flower petals and blossoms of joyous description. And I had willfully entered the mystical realm of where “A Gentleman does not speak of such things.” And I am pleased that I have ended three-score years of wasteful ignorance.

And, Dear One … I GUARANTEE YOU … most of the men reading this message have not made it even this far on the page. Hence my point. We are all made in a glorious and beyond-description beautiful way. To hide the magnificence of our feelings … the wonder and magic of our desires … the intricacies and mystically fulfilling magnificence of our bodies … from our Selves … or the ones who we care most for and desire most to be part of … is a foolish waste of a gift beyond measure.

There! I’ve said it! And if you want to have me remove your name from my Email mailing list … simply send me a “please discontinue Emails to me” note … and I will respectfully comply. But if you are the struggling One for whom I have willed myself to open my most private and personal Self to today … Please take some tiny step of healthy “wall removal” from your life. Begin, this moment, to dismantle those barriers impeding your comfortable knowledge of your own feelings, needs, and desires … and those of that special Someone in your life. Perhaps consider giving a copy of this plea to your Someone … that they too can begin to understand that Gentlemen and Ladies, alike, have a respectful obligation … borne of a trusting and caring concern for the fulfillment and happiness of each other …to know … accept … embrace … and celebrate with your Loved One all … I repeat … ALL , that is available to you for your very best life.

I humbly thank you for your indulgence in my efforts at your encouragement.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


There is nothing attractive
In the unblemished.
There is neither allure,
Nor seduction in perfection.

Give me the wounded …
The bruised and tried.
For, in her testing,
Legitimate beauty is born.

In her wounding, her palette
Of “life-colour” is opened.
The texture of her “life-tapestry”
Has depth and contrast added.

In her wounding, the One
Being prepared for Me,
Is making responsive choices
That give rise to awe-inspiring Character.

My yearnings will never be placated
By image or performance.
These are quickly diluted
Under my unflinching gaze.

While the rich breadth and depth,
of her trial-created hues, will become brilliantly clear.
And her election to assume humor and mirth
Will gladden and inspire my heart.

I will know an enveloping comfort and rest,
In the contrasting and harmonious textures of her dimensions.
As I cloak my spirit’s desires, for warmth and serenity,
In the folds of that fabric, woven of fibers of her pained past.

All made possible for and available to us,
By our individually known litanies
of conflicts, battles, neglects, and agonies.
Made possible by our yesterdays … and our today.

We are, even now … being made ready for each other.
And I pray Life’s provision of ultimate reward for the Wounded.
As well as safety, respite, and encouragement,
For her … in her struggles.

That we may both know
The serene bliss and joys
Of a shared future, lit by the promise,
Of the consummate love of One … also wounded.

23 February 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Life's Harrow

I readily accept the cutting edges of someone else’s ideas.
For I understand that they are Life’s harrow.

Breaking up the soil of my mind, saving me from hardening my thinking …
Aerating and freshening me in a cycle of preparation.
Dislodging the old and stale… lest my Vision become infertile and barren.

Making me open and receptive to the planting …
Of new seeds of perspective and thought.

That I may yield a harvest of insights, understandings, and awareness …
For the sustenance of myself and the World that I touch.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Driving Skills

I am so proper … so measured and discreet.
Time has tempered my expression … and Propriety , my voice.
Yet, today, as I worked, I wondered …
Is it only me … or are there many others?
Men and women, who knew the freedom of bench seats in cars;
The liberation in an absence of seat belts;
Access to and even the expectation of,
One’s date sliding across from the passenger side.
Yes, I wonder, how many … from those pre-seventies time;
Still think back on the excitement of His arm around Her, as they go?
Her leaning against Him as though to say
That all of her immediate and future contentment was in Him alone.
How many men, of that time, relive, with me today,
A present and alive awareness of those times of private travel?
When, if She and He were at that place of trust and commitment,
She would place Herself in his arms.
Yes, I recall well, holding Her in my right arm
As my well motivated left hand attended to every demand
Of steering that huge wheel, shifting those gears,
Implementing all required signals of turning and lighting.
So that my right arm could attend to Her comforts and desires.
An attending that invited the hand to burrow beneath that fleecy sweater,
Urged those fingers to release, with all of the skill and dexterity,
Of a fine surgeon … that tiny clasp on that lacy bra.
And all the while, He is motoring along some highway
And, I remember well and accurately, that He was in complete control.
He exhibited skills in navigation and driving that I envy today.
Just as I envy the joys known to his other arm.
Ah, the rapture and delights known to His touch …
How magical the sensations created by Her full, soft, and inviting breast;
How exhilarating, and all consuming, the symphony …
Generated by Her ecstatic responses to His finger-tips.
As though He played the keyboard of some magnificent instrument
With alternating lightness of touch, or a firmness of purpose,
Their passion evokes murmurs and movements …
Equaling Wagner’s most powerful, or Mozart’s most playful.
How many, from those years passed, have such recollections, I wonder?
So, for them … whoever they may be … and in whatever circumstance
I decided to let down my wall of propriety today …
And let Him … or Her … all of them, or even, perhaps, just the one,
know that …

You are not alone!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Time and Place

It is right that I‘m here,
At this place … at this time.
For I’ve come here by choices,
That, solely, were mine.

‘Twas not circumstances;
But responses, you see;
That have guided me here.
Not unknown Destiny.

So you’ll hear no bemoaning;
Nor cries “could have been.”
Too much fun celebrating,
This time and place that I’m in.

20 February 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008


When I’m expecting something,
Disappointment is what I get.

While, when anticipating nothing,
Everything ... is better yet.

18 Feb 2008

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Blossom or Manure

If I chose to be the Blossom
I could garner the praise of Men
Mine could be the prizes …
Many ribbons could I win.
But only once, just that one time …
then never, ever again.

But if I choose to be the manure,
Unseen, unknown, without glamour,
I could nurture the dreams of many
Not once, but over and over.
To be admired and win the prizes,
Again, and yet again.

16 February 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008


I find great hope and solace …
Even inspiration and encouragement …
In the knowledge that somewhere;
Perhaps around the next corner;
Or on the calendar’s next page ...
Perchance in the morrow’s post;
Maybe with the next ring of the telephone;
Or even in a comment from a Friend;

There lies a world of possibility ...
Yet unknown to me ...
Awaiting my discovery.
Now still, silent, and beautiful in its promise.
Just as is true of the denizens of The Deep …
Unaffected by all of the cacophony of other worlds …
Alive and ripe with their own particular potential.
And all that I need do is awaken, and discover, what is ...

IMAGE: John Natoli, Reef Check, BBC News

Thursday, February 14, 2008

my Valentine Prayer

With all of the Web awash in images depicting myriad interpretations of this moment given to speaking of Love …
this image of a Kenyan boy displaced by yet another of our sad world’s loveless conflicts, touched me most.

May this sweet Soul know the fulfillment and peace of Love, in all of its promise; as his own experience …

is my end-of-day prayer.

IMAGE AP photo, from BBC News

At Nightfall

At Nightfall

I need so much the quiet of your love
After the day’s loud strife.
I need your calm all other things above
After the stress of life.

I crave the haven that in your dear heart lies,
After all toil is done;
I need the starshine of your heavenly eyes,
After the day’s great sun.


IMAGE [public domain] Darkroom11

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


For The Many, being ROMANTIC is something ...
that they occasionally do.

For The Few, ROMANTIC is their state of Being …
not something done.

As one of The Few, I am delighted to accept the labels of “Unrealistic,” “Dreamer,” “Idealist,” and “Sentimentalist” ...
affixed by The Many.

For I live in the joyful ecstasy of knowing ROMANCE …
in every one of life’s Happenings …
and in those with whom they happen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Picture of Optimism

We can only salute his Spirit of Optimism

About You

I have always … from the earliest recollections that I can summon … had an awareness that I am not here … wherever ‘here’ is, or has been … for myself. I have known … even when I didn’t know what the definition of this core foundation was … that my life’s interest and intent is about You. Perhaps the most profound confrontation with this awareness came when I was in the “getting to know you” phase of a working relationship with Joe, my psychologist and, ultimately, a friend. Joe was dismissing me from our visit, and said “Before you go, I want you to look at me and say ‘I deserve to be successful.’” I couldn’t bring myself, after several attempts and with Joe's coaching and encouragement, to say those words. Joe summarized that moment with “We are now at Square One.”

He, of course, meant what anyone in that environment would have concluded from my behavior. It would seem “obvious” that I saw myself as unworthy of success. But I knew, in my gut, that this was not what held me back from the affirmation of my belief in my worthiness for success. And it took many years (in the solitude of private reflection) for me to come my present understanding of the dynamic in play on that long-ago day. You see, Dear Friend, I simply find all that is this world’s definition of “success” to be repugnant. I detest all that is promoted as “success.” And I had absolutely no clue ... even in the remotest ... as to what I could embrace as my own individual definition of success. I now know that to be in the intimate, romantic, and idealistic pursuit of what is best for You.

This has been my innate, inborn, natural and core inclination from birth … due to my particular temperament/personality type. There is no noble election or choice, on my part, involved. It is, simply, what I was born with. No more a matter of my doing than the colour of my eyes. The Creator made me this way … and so, that is my deal. And, to make that natural inclination even more concrete, in my unspoken but always present value system, I was raised in a fundamentalist evangelical environment that espoused the condemnation of all of those “material” things that are “this world’s riches” … and endorsed the ultimate value and worth of those spiritual things that are eternal and never depreciate in worth. How's that for a double whammy? So I was as unfit for a place in the “material world” as anyone could possibly be when I found myself “out there.” Hence, many years of conflicts in careers and business endeavors. And, I now understand what all of those years of stresses and struggles were all about. Now, that I carry the tiny bit of resulting baggage ... (also the legacy of parenting a child with extraordinary challenges, a non-marriage, and other ‘life-stuff’) ... known as “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.” Oh well! At least I now have a comfortable working relationship with … my Self. And that is just so cool that I can not begin to express the joy of it.

And, Dear One, I am now able to exercise those instinctive urges, desires, motivations and impulses that have as their focus and intent … You. You, in your desires to enjoy your life more by having a tiny window of encouragement and hope opened into the walls of your life’s domicile … By offering my stories, poems, reflections, songs, photos, and the pleasant diversions, that I feel may have some potential for benefit to you. You, in your efforts to understand those around you … and the place that you share in one another’s lives … By bringing insights into, and rudimentary explanations of, our differing temperaments. You, as you seek a place to comfortably include those persons who challenge what you hold to be true and right … By bringing some tools for enabling your acceptance of and respect for their “right to be wrong.” Yes … I am now comfortably enjoying this, my little ’virtual monastery of spiritual retreat”, and offering an invitation to all who have even a fleeting sense of need or desire to share it with me.

So, today, I present this bit of insight into myself in the hope and understanding that it might just have a beneficial purpose for You … if You are that one prepared by Life for what I share today. If it is so for you … I would be so pleased for you to let me know. I do love You, you know … I always have … can’t help myself. [smiling]

Sunday, February 10, 2008


As pollen finds its way to the still-slumbering petals of the blossom …
So my lips linger on the moist and tender delicacy of your skin.
Awakening the slightest of movement … not sure of dreaming or dawning ...
So like the tiniest tremors of the petal as morning breaks.
Then, the inevitable rising of the sun brings its warming and drying breath.
And the petal releases the pollen, to be blown away into the new day.
As the cares and concerns of another daybreak eclipse our moment …
And all memory of my visit is stolen away by life’s insistent demands.

(10 February 2008)

IMAGE is the wedded talents and generosity of Jon Sullivan,

Saturday, February 09, 2008


I spent a few moments, this morning, with photographs of a new friend. And, though I am not, in any remote way, a Poet ... this is the expression of my heart, in response to the stirrings brought by that Friend ... right now.


Far too often, I hear it said …
That we can find respite only when dead.
To this suggestion, I have my reply …
“My repose will not wait for that day, when I die.”

No, Dear Friend, respite will not be found ...
When they lay me, still and cold, into that ground.
Respite, for me, is from day to day …
In shelter and care found, along this life’s way.

I find her in the smile of a passer-by …
In the voice, or thought from friendship prized.
I find my respite in a song’s sweet refrain …
In a note of encouragement that eases my pain.

My respite resides amongst struggles ... even, strife.
Found in intimate comfort with each moment of life.
And I celebrate her presence in all that I do …
And pray her discovery … right now … by You.


09 February 2008

Respite: peace, ease, peacefulness, quietude, stillness, calmness, serenity, tranquility, peace of mind
(Oxford Thesaurus)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Disposed to Intimacy

It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy;
it is disposition alone.

Seven years would be insufficient
to make some people acquainted with each other,
and seven days are more than enough for others.

Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility (1811)
Vol.2, Ch.12

IMAGE: ClearCutMedia.TV

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Life ... the Scamp!

Life is such a Scamp! Let me save you the bother of looking the definition of that one (Scamp) up (in case you haven’t been using it recently.) “ Mischievous in a likable or amusing way” is the perfect description of how She (Life) has been playing with me since the first of this year. Some of you have made mention of a few of my little sojourns down “memory lane” in the past few weeks.

Not of my design, nor, certainly, with any intent on my part, my Muse (Life’s little voice within my awareness) has been whispering quiet comments into my consciousness … drawing refreshed pictures of past encounters, feelings, emotions (oh yes!, lots of emotions) … and I have been doing what I always do. I share them with you … here … with the understanding that what I express may enable you to express what lies just beneath your surface layers of hesitation.

But today, I see other possibilities in the game. For, today, I am awakened to the likelihood that my recapturing of yesterday’s treasured sensations … then expressing them on this page … thereby awakening a stirring in the core of another … who, in turn, responded with an open and enthusiastic awakening of my very present desires … which we can only realize and enjoy in the abstract and virtual (within the confines of our secret 'snow-globe') because of the limitations of her present circumstances and commitments … leaving me AWARE (because of recollections of my yesterdays) … ALIVE (in the immediacy of today’s energies) … and now, just today, conscious that it all awakens me to, and sets me up for, my being READY for my tomorrows (triggered by my receipt, today, of an application for the pension that will enable the next chapter in my book of life.)

All a seemingly well-orchestrated program visited upon me by a force and power that has an intimate interest in my future happiness and fulfillment. And, yes, My Dear Reader, I do, indeed, have a working knowledge of the legitimacy of that Being, that Force, that Power. For my experience, through myriad events, and over the course of many years, has validated, beyond any remote question or doubt, the ultimate reality of Life‘s involvement in my life‘s story.

So, while I always encourage our being “in the present moment,” I must allow for our remaining open and receptive to all of that accumulated music, and those magical lyrics, rehearsed in the past … then orchestrated and directed through this present … into a symphony to be performed in our future. Such is my awareness at this moment of my candid and open sharing of this .. my life-walk … with you.

Isn’t Life just the most adorable Scamp though!?

Giving Self

Verily I say unto you; Blessed is the man who, seeing his neighbor labouring in a barren field, gives himself to the task of labouring beside his neighbor … knowing, all the while, that the fruits of their efforts will be in the shared heat of the day, and weariness of body, only … for they mutually understand that there will be no material harvest to be realized from their invested efforts.

Yet, I say unto you, that man who so gives of himself, in the knowledge that there will be no benefit, of either property or goods, to be later shared … but gives himself solely for the encouragement and sustaining of his neighbor’s spirit … will have a harvest of eternal nourishment in his own soul’s gladness. And his neighbor will enjoy a harvest of eternal reassurance that he is neither alone, nor uncared for, in his struggles.

The gospel according to Life’s speaking to John-Michael


Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Did you hear about Tuesday's election primaries? ...

Anyone ... are you listening?
They say this is IMPORTANT! ...

HELLO!! ... HELLOooooooo... helloooooo.....

"Did I hear someone say something?"

IMAGES are the united talent and generosity of Jon Sullivan,

"Did You Hear..."

"Did you hear about Tuesday's election primaries?"

"No, thank God, I didn't!"

IMAGE is the united talent and generosity of Jon Sullivan,

Sense of Wonder

When did we first try to express our sense of wonder

I don't know, it has been a while now.

"What brand and variety of Faith or belief System was it?"

I don't think that there were any Franchises established yet.

It was just between Us and the The Source.

IMAGE is the united Talent and Generosity of Jon Sullivan,

Monday, February 04, 2008

Loving Her

I didn’t want to use her … I wanted to love her … and that is still, on this very day, at this exact moment, what I want. I am fully aware … know exactly … have complete knowledge and understanding of her perception of what is required of her to be accepted and have worth. And she was, and is right in the great majority … yet, so wrong in me.

Yes, Dear Friend, I am fully aware of my shift from the past tense to the present. For, you see, I knew Her … then. And have met Her, yet again, now. I yearned, then, to communicate my devotion to Her … my adoration of all of the Person … the individual, tender, sensitive, and fragile creature that my senses knew Her to be. But neither She nor I had any preparation for … any knowledge of how to respond to … any skills to allow us to communicate an understanding of the depth of what was born between us … even if we had, miraculously, been capable of such an understanding. We were reduced, through the limitations of our ineptitudes, to frantic, clumsy, awkward, and ultimately frustrating attempts to express the inexpressible.

I knew Her in the persons of two distinctly separate individuals, then. Two who had no similarities in any circumstance, save their twin core spirits. And now, today, I have a renewed acquaintanceship with that very core spirit … in another. And, just as was true then, I have fallen in love. The significant difference today being … I understand … I know … I am fully responsible for my opted-for response. And, just as was true then, She is unable to recognize the merits of my love for her. Hence She is robbed of the benefit of a peaceful rest in and celebration of a love that requires no “return on investment.” She has only Her previous experience to serve her as reference for a way to interpret what I have given Her. And that experience, sadly, falls immeasurably short of what I give.

So, you might ask, how do I find any encouragement for my own spirit in this obviously (to the uninformed and not-understanding) doomed placement of my affections. And I can (and do, even as I write this account) smile and rest in my knowledge that She was, after some forty years, able (in both if Her past personifications) to know and appreciate the depth and quality of my unending love for Her. She was able to reach past all of those years, beyond all of those ensuing circumstances and experiences, and share with me Her satisfaction with the legitimacy of my indelible love. And, tonight, as I give vent to my soul on this page, I have a quiet and trusting awareness that She, of today’s encounter, will, when it counts … when it is most needed … find solace and pleasant comfort in an understanding that She is then (whenever that someday might be) just as unwaveringly loved as on this present day.

If all of this seems “other-worldly” and mystical to your reading … that is completely proper and appropriate. For, Dear One, I love in an “other-worldly” and mystical way. I know love to be something eternal … of the spirit and soul. And I choose to open myself to a trusting confidence in the Host, of all things eternal, to validate the worth and authenticity of my loving.

Funeral Cortège

They are two distinctly different ways of perceiving. Neither is more “right” than the other. And both have an equal potential to be “wrong” in practice. They exist as a result of the innate characteristics of our organic personality and temperament types. And … if we can accept the premise that what has been designed, and created, by a Creator exercising a plan of meaningful balance and purpose … the reality of these schools of perception is something easily embraced.

What is a documented fact is that we all share an equal ability to accept the premise that we are responsible for, and are held accountable for, how we manage the daily transactions of our lifetime. The difference between us begins with the fact that over eighty percent of the human population operates from an inner understanding … neither taught nor imposed … that their accountability is judged by, and is recorded in the accumulation of possessions, achievement of status, garnering of awards, and balance of assets that are credited to us at any point in life. The Less-than twenty percent of our population, who share this world with the majority, operate from a view of their daily responsibilities that measures the worth of their enterprises by the degree to which they enhance the quality of the lives, environment, and circumstances of the world in which they live. Theirs is a much-less easy life to audit for value. For the value and merit of all that results from their lives’ engagement, is in the lives and situations of others.

My earliest awareness of this disparity in perceptions is recalled in my memory of my grandfather’s assessment, of the worth and merit of someone’s life, by the funeral cortège that followed that person’s hearse on its journey from a place of memorial service, to the cemetery. Granddad would always manage to situate himself in a place that afforded him the ability to count the number of vehicles (a number that he would remember and quote to you on any later recall of that persons passing away), and the intrinsic value of those vehicles (so that the evident status of the deceased could be estimated.) This accounting, was to him, a fair means of estimating the value of that persons life on earth. How many, and of what station … this was what meant merit to him. And I always felt a cold and distant sense of alienation from him in those moments of his sharing of his estimations.

Do you see? He was of the majority perception. And I of the minority. But I did not, until much later in my life, know that such distinctions existed. So, I was left to always feel that I was defective … lacking … failing in my ability to see life realistically and responsibly. For, in my estimation, to see the attendees at a memorial service, for one who has departed this plane of eternity, with tears of sadness accompanying smiles of recollection of, and appreciation for a life meaningfully lived … would be the signs of that life having been invested well and successfully. Even if all of those attendees came to, and went from, that memorial service … on foot.

So, Granddad and I did not engage in any conversations about such matters. For, to him, my views would have seemed quite flighty, unrealistic, and irresponsible. And, because of his station as the Authority and symbol of what we, as a family, were to aspire to … I would have felt foolish and without merit in my estimations. Yet, we shared a love and respect for each other that, while sometimes strained, endured until his parting in his ninety ninth year. (I did not attend his memorial service … he understands.)

I share these thoughts with You, My Dear Reader, to open the eyes of your awareness … hopefully earlier in your pilgrimage that it was my experience to know. So that you may benefit from an understanding of this small slice of the diversity in life perception that our Creator wisely instilled in us … the Created. There is a marvelous balance here. The Accumulators and Measurers of the population maintain a healthy commerce and trade in all of those things that make comfortable living possible for us all. Whilst the Givers and Healers contribute those elements that enhance the spirit and quality of our shared environment. In the knowledge that we all have a particular, meaningful, and appropriate place in each others’ lives … I am peacefully pleased. I do hope that my sharing of this thought does the same for you today.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

A Tale About an Ordinary Man

Once in a great while, Life steps into this tiny place that is my world, and validates my Soul’s theme song.

Such is my blessed experience, right now. For, you see, My Dear Reader, Friend, and Spirit Partner, I have just immersed myself in the experience of a motion picture that cradled all that is Me, in the reassuring arms of affirmation. Affirmation and renewal of my comfort with and commitment to those life-values that are the core of all that I am. Relationships … Caring … Embracing … Serving … Touching ... all that I hold dear.

I watched … in this, the quiet and solitary confinement of my tiny chamber, my “monk’s cell” (if you will), of a home … the movie “The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn.”

I do not recommend it to you … for your viewing enjoyment … for not everyone would be of a temperament that will find harmony with its theme. But, if upon taking a peek at a summary of the story, you think that you might have a place for it in your musing … I heartily endorse it to you.

I am going to wash the tear tracks from my face now … I love you … Yes! You! And I am asking You to do Me a favor (this is the first and only time that I ever have.) Please be gentle with your Self. I feel the real and definite need to ask that of You … right now … in this moment … as a favor to Me. I thank You for that.


I invite you to ... an INTERLUDE ...

Definition: a composition inserted between the parts of a longer composition; a break in continuity

IMAGE is Talents and Generosity of Jon Sullivan,, brought together

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Magic Touch

There is something wonderfully powerful in the word “touch.” Consider, with me, the significance stirred by such phrases as “It was very touching” and “I’m touched by ___” or “I think that I am a bit touched in the head sometimes”. Do you see what I see in this little word’s weight? It communicates a “getting through the barriers” or “cutting to the core” even “affected at the most sensitive.” And I am one who is forever a fan of “The Magic Touch.” (allow me to refer you to , where you will meet one of my favorite-of-all-times groups performing [if you download it] this very song (You've Got the Magic Touch) ... go ahead DANCE and sing along ... I am!)

I can easily recall “the talk” that was quietly whispered amongst my family members as they (Mom and her peers) would speak of one of their cousins who had a way about him that was dramatically different from all others in the clan. He hugged! That’s right … imagine … him, a big State Trooper … all Man … and a tactile Being. Quite the thing! (But they all liked it, and spoke of him with a certain revering and admiring attitude.) But, as a child, I wondered what the big deal was. And (in the natural order of life) as I grew up, I had a predisposition to be suspect of this “touching thing.” I am so very glad that I conquered those crippling bonds.

For, you see, Dear Reader, I now understand that not all of us are designed with a nature that is hospitable to or comfortable with touching. This is a psychological/physiological fact. So, please do not beat up on yourself if you are hesitant to touch, or be touched … and, just as importantly, please do not feel, or ,especially, show disrespect to one whose natural temperament is disinclined to tactile communication. But I believe that we can all benefit by enhancing our awareness of, and comfort with, the wonder and magic of touching available to those who have the gift of reaching through the barriers of separateness… who can cut to the center of core emotions not available to the spoken language … and touch.

Now, I am, mind you, just your ordinary slice of untrained and unschooled individual who has nothing more than a few score years of observation and only limited experience in these matters. But I feel the topic worthy of raising as a matter for thoughtful consideration and hopefully, some communication between all of us who have significant others. Others, in the form of family (children, uncles, aunts, grandparents, cousins, and certainly spouses or lovers) who have the potential need for communication beyond the verbal. Then we have friends, associates, neighbors, and passing strangers whose spirits could possibly be bolstered by a “high five” (or other respectful physical expression) on occasion. Recognizing, appreciating, respecting and responding to the gifts of each individual person in our lives is what I am addressing today.

A grasp of the hand in a way other that the habitual handshake can convey sentiment and significance that words would never be able to “touch.” A squeeze of the shoulder of one dealing with the pain of loss or despair “says” more than a box full of greeting cards. Fingers lightly placed against the cheek accompanying silent eye contact “speaks” volumes of understanding and empathy. These and many other forms of expression, through our touch, are resources that I fear languish in disuse to the detriment of our better knowing and appreciating each other every day living. And it is my wish to bring this neglect to the surface of our awareness … if but for this moment.

I cannot think of touching without reflecting on my favorite painter of old. Rembrandt cemented a place in my heart when I learned, through a PBS documentary, of his use of touch in painting the love of his life in his last years. He was, I was told, passionately and fervently in love with this young woman who went from a role as his housekeeper, to his model, then to his common-law wife. He doted on and adored everything about her and his sentiments (by all record) was reciprocated. He loved to paint her image… every feature of her was an inspiration to him.

And the fact that won me over to his camp as an ardent admirer of him as a man, was the method used by him to translate her image… the details of all that he adored as he gazed upon her… onto the canvas. He applied the oils with his fingers. Think about that. The sensing touch that so craved the feel of the love of his life as she modeled before him… that force that drew his hands to an appreciation of every line, curve, and element of the object of his desire and joy… was expressed on the canvas through the oils that he blended, spread, and textured there. Now, you can see why I have written this article interspersed amongst his paintings of her. And perhaps you too can appreciate, with me, his communicated messages in his work with a fuller depth of satisfaction.

So… My Dear Reader… you have, before you, some new material for your contemplation. I do sincerely hope that my sharing some of the nuggets of my interests serves to open the windows of your mind and soul to new and stimulating breezes of possibility.

And, perhaps you will, in the words of an old telephone company advertisement, “Reach Out And Touch Someone”…

IMAGES: Top (hand); Maria Brandstetter, BBC: Rembrandts; Public Domain

Friday, February 01, 2008

Life's Encouragements

During my twenty years of self-imposed “responsible confinement”, I was sustained by infrequent, but always timely, encouragements from Life. And, you will note, that is Life, with a capital ’L.’ Signifying that Power, that Source, that One in whom we all have our disparate beliefs centered. As I was blessed to learn from the late Joseph Campbell, the famous scholar, teacher, and author; regardless of secular nomenclature, all of mankind has, over all recorded history, acknowledged its recognition of The Numinous, the I Am.

And that One, that Father of us all is, as my experience has taught me, loving, compassionate, and ultimately kind. And experience, My Dear Friend, is the consummate affirmation of that truth. When Joseph Campbell was interviewed by Bill Moyers, for a series that is often presented by Public Television, he responded to Bill Moyers’ question “Are you a Believer?” with “A Believer is someone who has not experienced that in which he believes. I am fortunate to be experienced, so I do not have to rely simply on belief.” And, therein, My Friend, lies the foundation for my appreciation of the goodness of The Almighty. For, in my experience, when despair was at my doorstep and hope was beyond sight, there would appear … unbidden, unexpected, and without any initiation on my part, an Angel of kind mercy to lift me from that muck and mire that I felt myself sinking into … and set me on a firmer footing of encouraged and renewed hope.

While those of secular religious practice, of varied description, would decry my declaration that the Creator of the universes and Author of their various texts and scriptures, would reach into my miseries and lift my soul’s despair by means of what they would consider condemnable … my experience has taught me that the One who is the Author of “every good and perfect gift” knows, beyond my simple abilities to comprehend, what is best for and most needed by my spirit. And I am humbly grateful for, and eternally honoring of those rare, but timely, rescues of my spirit, from unbearable anguish. And it would be irresponsible, and an act of dishonoring ingratitude, if I failed to share the encouragements of my experiences with you. So … consider it done.
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