Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Confessions of a Thirty-Something (39.99999..)

What I have learned in my brief 39 years.....

1. People want and need to think kindly of others.

2. Life is too short to buy small shrimp and drink cheap wine.

3. Almost everyone can stand to have one more laugh in their day.

4. There are more people than we can ever realize who hold us in their thoughts and prayers.

5. A smile needs no translation.

6. Becoming a husband and then a father is the best thing that ever happened to me.

7. Most people like it short and sweet.

8. Wisdom and freedom is in knowing what you can do without.

9. Spending time among rivers and mountains, oceans and woods is never wasted time.

10. Good music and good writing never grow old.

11. Kids need to get caught doing good things too.

12. Everyday, average people commit extraordinary, selfless acts that mostly go unrecognized.

13. There are no secrets- everything is in divine order.

14. I am "too gentle to run with wolves" (I'm just now figuring this out.)

15. I've still got a lot to learn.

16. Getting pissed at others (especially drivers) is really all about you- not the other person.

17. Existence continues; age is only a number.... you are as young as you allow yourself to feel.

Signing off on my last full day as a Thirty-something.... it's been great so far and I expect only bewilderment of the grandest, always (God, I still feel like such a kid!)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Yellowstone Blues

My wife, Cathy is away with her parents and sister-in-law on a trip to Yellowstone. They've rented a cabin in the park and hired a guide to take them exploring. So far Cathy tells me they've seen eight bears, several moose, elk, and witnessed a pack of wolves bring down a large elk.

Tomorrow, Cathy and Danielle are taking a guided kayak trip down the Yellowstone River.

Ah- I'll be working.....

Yellowstone River photo by: Kevin Ebi

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Having It All

My email in-box says I've won a new car, a new computer, a vacation get away to Hawaii, unlimited access to any prescription drug of my choice, a variety of gift cards, a doctorate degree of my choosing (no need to attend college!) and any credit card I desire with 0% APR until December 07, ways to remove unwanted body hair, ways to add wanted hair, THE absolute lowest mortgage rates, free pizza, solicitations from Nigerian businessmen who desperately need to move large sums of money out of the country through my back account....on and on...

My mail box is constantly filled with checks for $47, 000 and upwards to be applied towards a home equity loan, checks to use toward the purchase of a new car or a timeshare in Asheville, NC or Myrtle Beach, SC, discount vacations in Orlando at Disneyworld, American Express credit card offers with a trazillion dollar credit limit...on and on....

Wow- who knew one could be so desirable!

What I really, really want..............?

A whole day with my wife and son spent laughing and playing until the sun goes down.


What do you really, really want?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

This Just In.....

''Nothing activates as many areas of the brain as music.''

''Music makes you smarter because it helps you understand yourself as a human being and your relationship to the world.''

"....Disproving earlier assumptions that musical activity takes place in the right hemisphere of the brain, the activity occurs with equal vigor in the left - or rational - hemisphere. Music is an emotional and intellectual activity that engages all the brain. Almost.

During performance, there is almost no activity in the frontal lobe, where conscious thought takes place. When Yo-Yo Ma is playing his cello in concert he's not thinking. All the thought took place earlier and if he were to think now it would impede his playing. He is simply performing, much like a highly trained athlete."

''Music is always a physical activity. Musicians are small-muscle athletes. And not just the performer. A listener sitting still in a classical concert hall is having the area of the brain that controls motion stimulated."

"Like mathematics, music is a necessary way of understanding the universe.''

''No music exists asocially.''
Researcher Donald A. Hodges

"....A person with brain damage from a stroke may not be able to speak, but can sing because the area that controls music is not damaged...."

"Music can help us unblock the search for our inner self.''
Theresa Lesiuk, who teaches music therapy at University of Miami

Excerpts from "Notes on the brain: Does music make you smarter?"
Knight Ridder Newspapers

Image by Chuck Ivey

Monday, May 22, 2006


This past weekend I took my son, Tommy on his first visit to Atanta! We stayed downtown at the Westin Peachtree, the tallest hotel in the US, on the 55th floor and explored downtown and Midtown.

For some reason or another Tommy wanted to have dinner at Hooters (really, it was his idea). Little did he know the waitresses were going to make him the "Man of The Hour" and sing "You Are My Sunshine" to him! He was elated to say the least!

Tommy "Om-ing" out in the Westin's pool.

Sights downtown.

The Georgia Aquarium- the largest Aquarium in the world!

Met my good friends Brian and Jeffrey and we all took in an amazing exibition at the civic center called "Bodies". Real human bodies, preserved through an innovative process and then respectfully presented.

Had a great weekend with my son- he's really an awesome kid and I'm lucky to have him as a son!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Getting It

When you "don't get it"- you've got it!

Friday, May 12, 2006

False Alarms, Puke & Dirt

I went off my rocker last night and this morning. I can say I’m consistent in forgetting the lesson of “shit happens” and in making no progress towards being calm, cool and collective when things upset my little reality. Boy, one day- probably not anytime soon, I might just get it. I know this would please my wife immensely (I love you!)

12:30am: "FIRE!!!!" All five smoke detectors go off in the house jolting me and my son from a sound sleep. Every nerve in my body is electrified- I could light up New York City with the electricity shooting through my body. Where am I? What is happening? “The House is on Fire!” No- the house isn't on fire. The alarms are all linked together and have been doing this every so often because............ they are PIECES OF CRAP!!!


1:45am: The smell of cat shit drifts from the litterbox in the bathroom smelling like, well- cat shit! Get up, scoop-scoop and toss into the garage…spray Lysol. MMMmmmm, cat shit & Lysol…Springtime Bouquet cat turds…..

2:30am: The alarms go off again! DAMMIT, DAMMIT, DAMMIT! Worthless pieces of shit!


3:00am: Alarms Again! Fuck! This time I grab “How The South Lost The Civil War” and read until 3:30 (I NEED TO BE SLEEPING!!!)


4:15am:Chucka-chucka-chucka-chucka-chucka- hurl!” Our cat, Weezer, pukes beside the bed…pukes again by the TV, pukes again in the hallway. I let it be and seethe for 10-15 minutes until I fall back asleep.

Too tired to Om-

6:30am: What a night!?!?! My God! I walk into the living room and see that our cat, Lovey, has been in the plants again. Dirt, moss, and foliage is scattered indiscriminately in the living room, dining room, kitchen, furniture….lots of dirt, moss and foliage. Lovey is curled up in the rocker asleep. Nice job.

What is one to do but go off! So, I go off! And it feeeels sooooo gooood! I go off on my son- I call my wife (who’s away babysitting her bosses kids while they are off on their SECOND CRUISE IN A MONTH!) and go off on her. Then suddenly, there’s nobody left to go off on- so I go take a shower.

So, how was your night and morning?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Thoughts On A Thursday

My friend Miriam writes about her experiences in Iraq as a peacebuilder at her blog, Pearls of Iraq. She seems so discouraged right now. If you get a chance stop by and send her your thoughts and well wishes- let her know others are thinking about her and that she and the people of Iraq are not forgotten. Her work in Iraq is selfless and inspiring.

Pearls of Iraq: Whisper of the Pearl
Shhh! quiet…listen
Whispering from a Pearl...
Speak louder, I can not hear!

“Oww! I whisper loud!
Do not ‘hear’ but listen…listen.

Listen and tell them.
We are here, we are Real.
We feel pain. We feel love.
We feel emotion. We think intelligently.”

Shhh, please be quiet, the pearls are whispering.
Whispers from a Pearl.

“Tell them we want peace.
Tell them about the baby Pearls.
Tell them it is our time to shine.
Please let us to shine!”

I have listened to you, but…
Who are you?

“I am an Iraqi Pearl.”

by Miriam

A couple of quotes below from Wahiduddin's Web courtesy of a link from my friend Sadiq.

"All those who are unhappy in the world are so as a result of their desire for their own happiness. All those who are happy in the world are so as a result of their desire for the happiness of others.

"O, friend! Nobody veils you, but yourself. In your path there is no thorn or weed, but yourself. You said: Shall I reach the Beloved or not? Between you and the Beloved there is nobody, but yourself.
Awhadoddin Kermani

Here's another inspiring and beautiful meditation site, The Way of Delight Meditation Room, also courtesy of Sadiq.

My friend Meredith has just returned from a journey to the East. You can see some beautiful pictures and read about her travels at her site, Graceful Presence.

Shanti Thursday!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


"The reality of religion is something far beyond people's concept about it. The so-called intellectuals of all religions have taught people about a religion that they themselves have created; a religion corresponding to their own ideas, which has little to do with true religion and its essential principles.

They fool the people by making them follow only the external aspect of religion, and never the internal. If the internal oneness of religions were to be revealed, their own importance would be greatly diminished and they wouldn't be given any more attention. This is the reason why they highlight only the external differences.

Otherwise their egos will starve, which would be unbearable to them.

Also, since they, themselves, are stuck in their own intellects, they cannot assimilate the real principles of spirituality; and if they have not imbibed those principles, how can they teach anyone about spirituality?"
Amma, from Awaken Children, vol. 7

Friday, May 05, 2006


Had my follow up with the chiropractor this morning and reviewed the results of the x-rays with the doc., “considerable degeneration of the C4-5 and C5-6 discs” (hey, I already knew that!) Says I have the neck of a 60 year old man (why thank you!)… and that I’ve shrunk about ¾ of an inch.

I spent an hour of heavenly bliss in complete relaxation while having a massage this afternoon. Having never had a massage before I didn’t know what to expect except that it couldn’t help but alleviate some of my symptoms.

My therapist is trained in Jin Shin Jyustu energy healing and before he started we did a few rounds of deep breathing and visualization. As he worked on my upper body I could hear him breathing rhythmically while the soothing sounds of oriental flutes and chimes mixed with the trickling water flowing from a crystal fountain. Several times he used hot stones across my back and shoulders and would gently tap upon the heart charka with each pass.

It was exhilarating and I feel so relieved.

If you’ve never had a body massage- what are you waiting on?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Body Electric

I haven’t been the most pleasant person to be around lately. Just ask my wife.

I’ve been snapping at her (hey, we really only take it out on those we truly love) wearing a horrendous face at times and basically laying low as much as possible, all due to a flare up of an old condition rearing it’s ugly head.

Several discs in my neck are in need of replacing, or so I have been told by “those who know” about such things and who have studied various scans of my skeleton, and truth be told I wouldn’t mind if they were to be replaced right now, whatever to alleviate the pain, pressure and numbness from my neck- down to the tips of my fingers in my left hand.

I saw a chiropractor yesterday and he put me on the rack and cracked me every which way possible. I'm sure he’s going to prescribe a “series” of treatments tomorrow morning when I see him again. I may just buy into the notion this time, besides- my insurance doesn’t cover any treatments whatsoever as the whole matter has been deemed a “pre-existing condition” (don’t ‘cha hate those things!) Perhaps a massage or two and some Reiki energy work will come next (I hate spending money on myself!)

The design of the body and the spinal chord is nothing short of divine- the load it carries, the maneuvering, twisting, turning and abuse we put it through, no wonder it often fails to live up to our expectations. For years I have been practicing what Myrtle Fillmore, one of the founders of Unity, practiced when she discovered her tuberculosis- a “blessing” and “thanking” of the organs and their design, acknowledging the perfect creation we are and our birthright into wholeness. It comforts me to “thank” my discs for their burden, for their Being, and for the ways they have held up after all the mistreatment in the past.

If you can spare some healing energy perhaps you might send a little my way over the next couple of days. It appears I’m running a little low right now…but I expect that will change here real soon.

Be good to your body and thank it daily for putting up with all the crap we do to hinder its perfection.

"I sing the body electric
I celebrate the me yet to come
I toast to my own reunion
When I become one with the sun
And I'll look back on Venus
I'll look back on Mars
And I'll burn with the fire
of ten million stars
And in time
And in time
We will all be stars."

from Fame, The Musical

Energy Body II (1998)
by Debra Weier

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Palm Heart

Sooner or later, resulting from both our bliss and our despair, we begin to see emerging something greater than ourselves, something we cannot begin to put into words- we witness it, we feel it, and we live it…and there’s the exclamation, “It has always been right under our noses and we’ve chosen to walk right by without a thought!”

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

First Love

He says, “Mom can you help me write a note to my girlfriend, well… this girl I want to be my girlfriend and help attach this necklace I want to give to her to the note?”

Mom says, “Sure I can.”

Off he goes to school carrying with him the note, the necklace and the pangs of first infatuation smothered with the fear of a “yes”, or worse, a “no.”

I do hope for you, my son, she says “yes.” But try not to be too disappointed if she says “no.”

She says “no.”

He comes home and cries on mom’s shoulder. Mom just holds him.

I wish I could spare you the crying, spare you the heartaches and disappointments… but I cannot. This is your life and you are only on loan to us for a brief, glorious moment.

Be a little boy for a few more days…

Monday, May 01, 2006

No Expectations

I don’t mind what happens.”

I experienced an important realization, perhaps a brief moment of Satori Saturday night playing Texas poker (there’s a name to the game…can’t recall it right now- ‘hold ’em’ or something like that). It was only the third time I’ve actually played the game with our group of friends…I’m usually working when they’re playing, so it was a treat to be able to spend some time with my wife and nine friends.

The night ended four hours later with me taking first place ($120 bucks) and beating out some very experienced players. How did I do it? Well, a lot of luck, some skill and the truth be known….I didn’t mind what happened. I wasn’t in the game to win or lose- I just wanted to play, learn to play better and have a good time, so I didn’t "invest" emotionally anything into the game, especially expectations of winning.

Now it certainly wasn’t a stupendous round of poker playing mind you, I barely knew what I was doing especially when it came to counting my chips…but I won, basically by staying with hands that others told me later they would never have kept…because they felt right- and, the cards turned in my favor more times than for the others.

I know this doesn’t mean much in the scheme of things, but I did learn that not minding winning or losing let me play the game without any expectations and that, in itself created a certain amount of freedom in which to play.

How can I use this simple, fun lesson to shed light on certain areas of my life that seem to be invested with so much expectation? What would be the outcome of living as many moments as consciously possible not caring what happens…meaning, not assigning “good” or “bad” to what unfolds? I’m just like most people- I want good in my life, but there comes a point where "good" and "bad" become confusing, easily interchangeable and then eventually fall aside all together into moments of clear being.

Anyway, I’m the “newbie” who has won this week and I’m supposed to play again Friday (defend my title, as they say). I’m really not expecting to win, but it will be fun to play again. It was a “good” lesson for me.

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