Wednesday, December 9, 2009

His Love is a Tall Ship

Somewhere out over the North Sea our son sails tonight. Just as here, it's windy and cold; the first wintry days. Out on the North Sea tonight, both the air and water are around 45 degrees; the seas are fairly calm - as are his parents; both are subject to change!

After almost a year of building this brigantine tall ship, they set sail this week, beginning their journey as a green cargo ship. They are heading to Copenhagen to the Climate Control Conference for their 'unveiling' as an eco-friendly form of shipping, relying entirely on wind, sail and strong hands on deck.

His labor of love of this past year is complete. He says: "She sails great! She's fast and smooth!" This year he's lived in the Netherlands as a volunteer working/living with a team of 15-20 international, mostly young people. Everything you see has been cut, carved, varnished, sewn, rigged by their own hands - everything. His work has been as assistant rigger, learning to construct from trees, build masts and yardarms, blacksmith metal parts, sew sail, string lines, shrouds and ratlines - and now, she's complete. Now, he gets to enjoy the fruits of his labor, test her strength and his own.

This will be some of the toughest sailing he's ever done. He knows it - as best as anyone can know what awaits them in an unknowable adventure. It's not easy watching your child go off into the unknown, particularly a large, serious unknown - one serious enough to have life or death consequences. But then they all are, really; life lived fully is full of risks. As his parent, I remind myself he's a man, a man who must find his own, and I find comfort in Joseph Campbell's words about "following your bliss":

"The adventure is its own reward - but it's necessarily dangerous, having both negative and positive possibilities, all of them beyond control. We are following our own way, not our daddy's or our mother's way. So we are beyond protection in a field of higher powers than we know. Trials and revelations are what it's all about."

And with that, we place our trust in our son and in his higher powers that any trials he meets lead him to more and more revelation. At this point, the son is teaching the father; I watch with awe and try to have just a little rub off on me - that courage to leap forward into the unknown, to face the night with little more than the strength of will to remain standing through trials and storms and the exuberance to find joy in this adventure of living life to the fullest!

Godspeed, Tres Hombres.

Good luck, son. Tiahui! Follow your bliss!

And Happy 21st birthday! It's official! It's December 10th - your 21st birthday in the middle of the North Sea!

Blessings on your journey; our love goes with you - always.

Best viewed full screen: Tres Hombres maiden voyage.

by Jimmy Crowley

My love is a tall ship and a sweet brigantine,
One of the old girls seldom now seen,
And she heaves to the wind, boys. See how she flies
With stars in her hair, boys, and mist in her eyes.

My love is a tall ship. No finer was seen,
For many's the ocean my true love has been,
And the wind in the rigging it whispers her name,
While brace on the bows watches over the main.

So blow your breezes; blow a fair wind to the Asgard,
And see that lady go o'er the dark rolling sea.

Haul on the sheets, boys. Make up the downhaul,
And step on the oars, lads, and mind you don't fall.
Stand by to brace, boys. Unfurl the topsail,
And we'd soon make her home on the watery main.

So blow your breezes; blow a fair wind to the Asgard,
And see that lady go o'er the dark rolling sea.

My love is a tall ship and a sweet brigantine,
One of the old girls seldom now seen,
And she heaves to the wind, boys. see how she flies
With stars in her hair, boys, and mist in her eyes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Place at the Table

My recent absence was partly due to my attention being elsewhere with four folks I know passing over these past few weeks. Grief and loss being a large part of navigating the emotional seas, I offer this in honor and memory of Tom, James, Ann & Robert [and many others].

A Place at the Table

how did this come to be?

that you would cross my path

at this particular time -

this time like no other time

entering as an old friend walking through

the back porch screen door with the tear in it

that the cats go through.

and there you are standing in my kitchen

looking for your favorite coffee cup

the one with The Incredible Hulk on it -

and your seat at the morning table with the view

overlooking the side yard.

it’s all so neighborly familiar

only thing is usually the neighbors aren’t

that friendly here but you

you’re another story with your

1970’s gigantic glasses still worn by

you and Carol Channing only

your odd quiet ways both comforting and discomforting

at the same time

your powwow hat with the chemo sucks button challenging those

who’d rather not talk about that cancer of yours

that cancer that never could own you

but in the end hovered over you and whispered

in the night that it would not be going away -

not until you went away also

and when that night finally came

and your breath exhaled:




coyotes wailed

owls hushed.

we didn’t realize that you’d gone

and would not be coming back.

but you are gone

gone gone


but still

when we set the table

we try to remember to give you the cup

with the Incredible Hulk on it

and the seat with the view

of the side yard

and the peony


Monday, November 30, 2009

A Little More Delusional Optimism

Excerpted from "Quantum Psychology" Chapter 7 - Taking the Mystery out of "Miracles" by Robert Anton Wilson:

According to Brain/Mind Bulletin (May 1988) John Barefoot of Duke University has found a negative correlation between suspiciousness and longevity. In a sample of 500 older men and women whose health he monitored for 15 years, Barefoot discovered that:

(a) those who scored high on suspiciousness, cynicism and hostility died sooner than all others;
(b) this high mortality remained constant when compared by age, by sex, by previous health, by diet and even by "bad habits." [Those who smoked and remained generally optimistic lived longer than those who smoked and worried about it.]
(c) those who scored highest on hostility had a death rate more than six times higher than others.

In a related study (Brain/Mind Bulletin August 1988) Shelley Taylor of UCLA and Jonathon Brown of SMU refuted the conventional idea that those who score high on "mental health" generally have a fewer number of illusory beliefs. Among the most common illusions of the mentally healthy:

(a) overly positive views of themselves;
(b) convenient "forgetting" of negative facts about themselves;
(c) illusory beliefs about having more control than they do have;
(d) "unrealistic" optimism about themselves;
(e) "unrealistic" optimism about the future in general;
(f) "abnormal" cheerfulness.


Kinda puts a different spin on what might be viewed as mental health; this might be called Survivor Emotional/Mental Health.


"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude." - William James; 19th century pioneer of psychology.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Please Pardon the Mess - Under Reconstruction

This is a sign I've felt could be tattooed to my forehead in recent years. As I told someone the other day who was warning me with concern about the Great Armageddon coming in 2012 [or a theater near you]: when you've survived your own personal Armageddon you tend not to fret over possible 'End of the World' scenarios. I've fought bigger battles. I'm still standing. I'm not special. I know others just like me.

The 'end of the world' can come in many forms: death, illness, divorce, job loss, estrangement - collapse of the world as we knew it. In this world of the temporary, we've all experienced and will experience many more endings of the world as we know it; that's how this place runs - endings and beginnings. Cycles. One era ends just in time for something new to begin. In between the ending and the new beginning is difficulty and challenge; it's messy. There's debris, old and new boards, nails, tools and a film of construction dust covering everything. It's not attractive or even of sound construction - yet.


el poquito is a trickster. He'll say 'yes' when you expect 'no', 'goodbye' when he greets you and 'hello' as he leaves. Since the day he arrived at my door he's been playing his tricks on me. Most recently was when I was writing here about 'Restoration' - a conception of healing. I thought this would be written quickly. I had it all mapped out 1-2-3, a project that after having spoken most of it hundreds of times in various ways, I thought I could complete with ease.

I was in the midst of writing about the Emotional quadrant of the Restoration Wheel when teaching became learning from deep inside the lesson; lessons that I thought I already knew well. Hah! Guess I was going to be given a review -- boot camp style.

Life lessons are never easy, especially when they involve endings. Without enumerating my own recent ones, I'll just say it's been challenging times and I had no words to express emotional restoration. I was in the midst of being buffeted by various storms and felt I knew absolutely NOTHING about emotional balance; to write on the subject seemed fraudulent, misleading and arrogant. Plus, all I could do was to try and keep my eye on my own road. The best I could do was to document for myself and for you the miracle of transformation - the Monarchs.

It's all metaphor: the endings of one stage; the leap forward into the unknown chrysalis into the dark; the waiting and the more waiting; the restless waiting, the anxious waiting, waiting for things to change, to get better, to be something different than they are - and then finally, the birth of something completely new and different. The monarchs say it all, everything that I have no language to express about the journey we all must walk, the emotional labyrinth of being human. In some ways, when in the midst of the throes of emotional upheaval, worries and fears, we seem as fragile as a monarch butterfly. But then the metaphor continues. The beautiful, gorgeous, newborn butterfly that seemed so fragile, makes this huge act of courage, flying thousands of miles; a ridiculous act of delusion, a delusion their very survival depends upon.

All I can give you is metaphor and the concept that much of my navigation through is also the result of a delusional optimism that my very survival also depends upon. Perhaps oddly, my emotional navigation has two flags I sail under: Delusional Optimism and a tough, no-nonsense Pragmatic Realism. The QUALITY of the survival is dependent upon that: Delusional Optimism joined with Pragmatic Realism - a tough match - a bridge between the heart and the mind. Emotional restoration, it doesn't happen without the pragmatic tool of the mind at the helm. As best as I know, wielding the power of the mind is the surest way to add ballast in the emotional storms. More on that as we enter into the next quadrant - the mental.

More lessons, courtesy of el poquito: Yes means no; no means yes. Goodbye, it's nice to see you again. Hello, I'll be going now. ; )

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Kings of Optimism

The kids went out on a sunny day last week to release the last of the newly hatched monarch butterflies. Gathering around the aquarium, they lifted the screen top off of it, the breeze tickled the fresh wings, and for the first time they flew into the open air.

To catch a glimpse of a group of children freeing a flock of butterflies on an autumn day in Michigan - well, it doesn't get much better than that.

Hopefully, the brilliant, regal Butterflies will make it south before the north winds push down upon them from Canada.

There's a lot to be learned watching monarchs grow through all their changes - transforming into an ultimately beautiful, and both strong and delicate creature. They're vulnerable to the cold, the rain and wind. Their odds aren't necessarily the greatest. That something so delicate flies thousands of miles through adverse conditions homing in on a place its never seen before is nothing short of amazing - worthy of being called a miracle. From a 'reasonable' point of view, the hope and optimism such a journey requires is beyond the imaginings of most. Yet year after year the journey continues - and many do make it. But of course, some do not.

Such is life.

One chrysalis of this group never hatched. Perhaps a draft got to it, but then why did the others hatch? The little caterpillar died before its final transformation. Of those that did hatch out of their chrysalis' to stretch their wings, some sat on the bushes, not ready to make a move; others took to the skies immediately, quickly lifted up and flew higher and higher above the treetops.

You can imagine which ones will make it to Mexico and which ones will eventually end up covered by the falling autumn leaves.

There's a lot to be learned from these ambassadors of change - fragile, yet strong and persistent. Delicate fierceness.

what is hope?
what are wishes?
what is a prayer?
a monarch flies south against the odds
defining optimism
or delusion
or both.

My friend Marco called today from Texas. A big ol' monarch was in his flower garden gathering nectar and resting as we talked. It had been a long flight from the North. He was one of the ones that made it - that little delusionally optimistic creature. How does he even come to think such things are possible? How ARE such things possible?

I guess it's one more mystery to add to that Big Ol' Pile of Mystery a.k.a. 'The Great Mystery'.

I want to be a good student of the monarchs. A creature that has earned a royal moniker probably has something to teach us. I try to cultivate their internal compass of delusional optimism. I'm pretty new at it; kinda clumsy sometimes. Too easily, with a knee-jerk reaction I revert to old habits of doubt, worry, fear and a boatload of other useless pursuits that don't aid my journey south [or forward] one bit. It seems a worthy challenge to try to emulate their innocent trust in the instinctive process - the bold transformation whose outcome is partially beyond our control. They show us the persistence required: that with will, consistent hard work and not giving up - that maybe - just possibly, with a defiantly, delusionally optimistic and unrealistic attitude, I might one day find myself also in a southern flower garden for the winter.

Seems worth the effort, yes?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pleasure Haiku

first taste of flower

first wind under her fresh wings
nectar on the tongue

>!< >!< >l< >l<

tender monarch feet
mariposa newborn breath
ever so lightly

>!< >!< >!< >!<

flower nectar joy
fills ecstatic wings lifting
now levitate home

>!< >!< >!< >!<

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Emergence: spreading wings

As the monarchs come close to emerging, the chrysalis darkens, turning quite black like they're sapping the last juices out of it; remember, they haven't eaten in a couple of weeks.

And then....

Suddenly they emerge in their new form. This one has just stretched his wings out for their first time. He hasn't pumped them up strong yet; the wings hang limply as he still clings to what once was his secure protection where his transformation took place.

The rain has broken here finally; sunny skies and fair winds prevail; they're eating nectar and exercising their wings getting ready for the long journey south.

Soon, open skies.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Metamorphic Magic

Harvest Moon.

Figured you're all some folks who'd appreciate this not only as the extremely cool window into nature that it is, but also that other window of metaphor of the chrysalis.

Today we went up to la po's 'home for shorties' to check in on the monarch butterflies her class has raised from tiny larvae to plump and juicy, big-time poopin'-machine caterpillars, to pupae hanging in chrysalis'. They start out feeding on exclusively milkweed leaves - and lots of them, hence, the immense quantities of poop. They fatten up big, then attach themselves hanging upside down in a 'J' shape.

Next, the really trippy stuff happens: they split their backs open. They don't manufacture their chrysalis like a cocoon, they SPLIT THEIR BACKS OPEN!!! Somehow the chrysalis emerges from out of their big ol' juicy backs and wraps around and encloses them. The bright green chrysalis' then develops gold drops decorating the edges. They are truly one of those golden-magical corners of nature:

They've been growing in there around two weeks now; you can see in the single chrysalis below, the butterfly wings faintly showing through the stretched surface.

They will emerge this coming week, pump their wings, pumping fluid [butterfly blood?] through the wing frames. The wings stiffen up and then take flight.


more info: Journey North Monarch Butterfly Migration

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Sitting by this river, my mind slows; spirit follows. Jaw unclenches; breath eases, deepens, and becomes full.

The rivers speak - the Kalamazoo, the Huron, the Rio Grande - waters moving through, pouring their wisdom of time and patience - their never-ending song, into me.

Quietly, my mind unwraps itself from around the every small thing it thought was important, crucial and urgent.

None of it was.

None was more important than this quiet peace and solitude I too easily give away.

Turning away from your screeching, screaming, self-important machinations of nothingness, I turn toward true Nothingness - the one that fills me with rushing river, scent of dry autumn and touch of warm breeze, carried here to me from somewhere more fully aligned with human soul; soul no one can define or describe, but that is felt rising above heaviness like the lotus rising above mud.

I am the mud. I am the lotus. I am the rising.

Those secrets the river spoke?
They are mine.

Now go - --

find yours.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Hushhh,” the river said,
“leave your fretful, worried mind
here among the reeds.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Four Circles Around the Sun:
Four Haiku

First Year: YaY!

precious, precious life
no one will turn down the light!
not ever again!


Second Year: Admission

autumn chill falls hard
memories flooding the ground
life never the same


Third Year: Fighting

live strong, viejo
build the new man from within
your labor's not lost


Fourth Year: Redefinition

write a new story
paint a color not seen
recreating 'here'


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Estuary: A Haibun

Twenty-six hundred years ago, Old Lao Tsu passed the gatekeeper of northern China on his way to the desert to die. He was finished, sickened at heart over the ways of the world.

Before he passed through the gate, the keeper persuaded Old Lao Tsu to put down in writing all that he had learned in his long life. In very few words he left his instructions to his children, and his children’s children, and his children’s children’s children: how to live in prosperity or equally in misfortune; how to yield without fear or clamor of the soul; how to accept, without giving up; how to find peace in the heart.

All these many years later, that are only a blink of the Universal Eye, I ask you Old Lao Tsu, how long does it take for water tumbling over rock to turn boulders into fine grains of sand, traveling the river to the sea? Where is that Ocean Old Lao Tsu? Did you ever find its estuary? Does it exist, where the fresh water flows into the salty sea? Is there a beach born of boulders of our sorrows tumbled down into fine, sugary sand?

I hope you made it through those cold desert nights – and kept going till you found that shore, that restful place of peace.

We hear the distant lapping of waves and smell the salt of that Great Ocean on the breeze. It carries hopeful knowing deep into our souls, that all rivers flow to that peaceful shore where the hardened stone of our hearts breaks down into fine grains of sand - small, insignificant and common - sand on the shore.

hardened memories
softening as they are washed
turning stone to sand

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Inspiration in Unexpected Places

There are folks who appear in life from out of nowhere unexpected. I came upon one the other day while shopping for a new computer. The last thing I expected was to be taught life lessons from an angel disguised as a computer salesman, but I'm grateful my ears were open enough to hear him. This one's for you Michael S. Thank you.

"How Light Shines Through Cracks"

My life is being devoured,
yet I remain whole.

I will not feed myself on scraps;
I am an invited guest to the banquet -
to the feast.

I who come
with fruits and flowers
songs and poems

I who come to the banquet
bringing you gifts,
I beg you --

Do not linger in the suffering.
Do not be reduced to scraps.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Future

"We didn't come here to fear the future. We came here to shape it."

President Barak Obama - 9-9-09

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Song of Being Empty

by Jelalludin Rumi; translation - Coleman Barks


A certain sufi tore his robe in grief, and the tearing
brought such a relief he gave

the robe the name faraji, which means "ripped open," or
"happiness," or "one who brings

the joy of being opened." It comes from the stem faraj,
which also refers to

the genitals, male and female. His teacher understood
the purity of the action,

while others just saw the ragged appearance. If you want
peace and purity, tear

away your coverings. This is the purpose of emotion, to
let a streaming beauty

flow through you. Call it spirit, elixir, or the original
agreement between yourself

and God. Opening into that gives peace, a song of being
empty, pure silence.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ripples - clarity and disclaimer

Clarity is something el poquito lacks at times - a constant piece of work for me; more on that when I get to the 'mental quadrant'. Meanwhile, I wanted to clarify something about working with the wheel. Of all the suggestions, or ideas you come up with on your own, pick one thing - just one, to maybe nudge that barometer a tiny bit. We're not going for overhaul here. We're going for loving kindness toward self. What's just one thing in the physical area and one in the emotional that you could easily implement [if you want]?

Which leads me to the disclaimer. Get your salt shakers out. Take it all in, add a few grains of salt, consider, use as your own IF that is what resonates in you. Something that may be useful for me might be totally useless for you. Put bluntly: this is not Jonestown; there is no kool-aid - oh, and uh, there are no 'answers' - sorry - other than your own.

Why do I write all this then?

I dunno.

I write because I have to write. I'm writing THIS because it wants to be written. It's really nothing more than a travelogue of sorts of one man and then his allies who comment, offering their points of view. Turns out there seems to be a few more folks following this travelogue than I realized. They're coming through, quietly sitting at el poquito's table. That's fine and I welcome that. Truthfully, it kind of surprises me, but then, I have wanted to write more than just to myself - although I do recognize writing to myself as a big piece of this 'Restoration Project'. I also recognize the responsibility in having readers - which leads me to again say, "take it all with a major grain of salt." Use what works, toss the rest. It's only ripples on the water - my thought ripples crossing with yours.

I appreciate any and all feedback. You help me hone in. You help me find the ever elusive clarity. <--- guess that could be the Loch Ness monster hiding out with Bigfoot. Thanks for helping me find better clarity and thanks for coming by.

Good day to you all,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Restoration: Emotional Flexibility

The next quadrant of our Restoration Project is the Emotional. How’s your nervous system? How’s your wiring? Frayed? Solid? Feeling at peace or ready to behead the next idiot who wrongfully crosses your path?! Or does it depend on the day and where the mood swings are at?

Our emotions aren’t as simple as good or bad feelings, but rather a complex series of interrelated events and the co-ordination of hormones, brain chemicals, nervous system and mental/cognitive functioning, or lack of – taken all together, leaving us with the experience of our perceived feelings of good or bad; happy, sad, angry or whatever.

Our emotional well-being is complex. It works intimately with what we think of as our physical and cognitive selves. It’s difficult to separate it out from the others as they work synergistically as a whole. But through the workings and expression of our emotions in our day to day activities we can see a barometer, a window into our whole being.

So what does that mean? And what the heck IS emotional well-being and while you’re at it could you please describe your experiences with Bigfoot? In this day, emotional well-being looks just about as elusive and your guess is as good as mine, but here’s some thoughts to get you started.

What I imagine emotional wellness might look like would be a free and full expression of ALL feelings and emotions, appropriately expressed in the moment; engagement in daily activities and relations; a sense of being ‘present’ or ‘awake’ in the moment; and a resiliency and flexibility. But that’s just my take on it.

I do know that there’s an intimate link with our frontal brain cognitive abilities and our emotions, including the ability to apply the brakes to strong emotions. Otherwise, we are all too easily swept downstream by a runaway torrent of feelings. Our emotions don’t stand alone. Our frontal lobes apply the brakes to our mouths and actions when we are under the influence [of our emotions], operating a complex network of chemical actions and activity that have a lot to do with how well or poorly we feel. The level of endorphins and neuro-receptors in this brain-soup of ours makes a difference in whether the glass is perceived as half empty or half full.

One way that you might evaluate your emotional well-being is by answering this one question: How flexible are you?

Flexibility and resiliency in attitude, in our response to challenges and the veers on the road of daily living, are a very good barometer of our emotional quadrant of our being. Think about it: when you’re feeling rigid, threatened, like everything is out of your control and you’re freaking out, is your emotional range full and flush, or are you ready to snap, have a breakdown or climb a tower with a gun? How flexible is your emotional body?

One to ten; pick a number for your self-perceived level of emotional well-being. If choosing a number to assess yourself is difficult, picture holding a branch in your hands. This branch is you. Bend it. How much bend does it have? How brittle and dried is it? At what point does it/you snap? This is only an honest self-assessment to place you within context of yourself and your history of ‘feeling good or bad’. Write it down in the ‘emotion’ corner of the wheel. Try to be honest with yourself; nobody else will see. If you find yourself on the lower end of the scale – don’t despair – any tiny, small bit of improvement will soon feel like huge gain. And it is.

I could go on and on about brain chemistry and emotional well-being; or how isolation aggravates our deficits in the emotional quadrant; or how a sense of hopelessness over our lack of control in situations damages our health, emotional and otherwise; or how fear and worry slowly erode our emotional foundation, but I think I’d rather end this thinking about the remedies.

Simply put, what are some of the things that bring you a feeling of being relaxed – not under threat? What helps you lower your hackles? What puts a smile on your face? [primate code for pleasure] That one bears repeating: What puts a smile on your face – what can help you budge that number up a half a degree? or eight? Here’s a partial list to get you started:

Good food
Pleasurable Sensory Experiences: smells of cooking; art; song; poetry; dance; creative activity. Think pleasure in sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.
[add your own]

We are living as human mammals in a sensory, animalistic, earthly experience. If we feed and nourish the biological animal of ourselves, we in turn feed and nourish ALL parts of ourselves, including our emotional bodies. One of the gifts of being human is knowing and experiencing that full range from biological animal to Creative Intelligence. We humans ARE the whole range – and perhaps moving just a tiny step closer toward recognizing and becoming that, we can discover, explore and enjoy our HEALTHY emotional selves – so far as ever elusive as Bigfoot.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Haiku For the Gym-Rat and more....

'Rat with Torch' by graffiti street artist Banksy

Haiku For the Gym-Rat

we plug along babe,
march or die! are the orders;
living strong, we rise.


Yeah, it's that clear-cut for me. "Use it or lose it," has become more than 'in theory' and over the past year I've officially become a gym-rat. Weird. I never expected to ever be one of those folks with cartoon legs spinning fast, going nowhere. But here I am, sweatin' for my life. It's worth it.

It's time to wrap up this quadrant of the 'Physical' so we can move ahead to the next corner of the Restoration Circle - the Emotional. In remembering and cultivating the Physical Quadrant, the simplest way to remember is to attend to the four basic elements that make this place and body: earth, water, fire and air.

Earth - nutrition; building; grounding; gardening and being IN nature,

Water - drink plenty; sweat; keep the lymphatic waters moving [which they only do through either exercise or massage, having no pump on their circulation, but rather, dependent upon muscular contraction or manual manipulation to move the lymph along]

Fire - exercise [burns energy, creates heat]; sun; digestion [inner fire transforming fuel to energy]

Air - Breathe! Fully inhale and exhale - oxygenate. All the body's systems are dependent on this. Air feeds fire.

It's all right there in the four basic elements, so basic, so simple, we can easily overlook these that are free in our search for physical cures to purchase. The lack of expense doesn't reflect their value - these are the same building blocks that have grown our species for thousands of generations. The basic plan remains unchanged. We still need decent nutrition, water and air; our bodies still need to move and be used. Despite our evolution into the modern homo-sapien, our bodies still run on the original, basic plan.

Speaking of nutrition, on one last note here, I'd like to direct your attention to the blogroll at the bottom of this page where you'll find Diana Dyer's blog. She describes herself as: "an organic gardener, Registered Dietitian, author of the book 'A Dietitian's Cancer Story' and the website "In between all that and more, I am a multiple-time cancer survivor. My website focuses on nutrition information for cancer survivors, thoughts about life as a cancer survivor, food and nutrition, gardening, recipes, our environment, and the urgent need for developing food systems that promote health not disease, ecological sustainability, and social justice."

Her info isn't just for cancer survivors, it's for everyone, and seeing as approximately 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men will develop cancer in their lifetimes the preventative information she provides is pertinent to us all. She's easy to read and learn from; not a 'food fascist' by a long shot. Check her out.

Ah, the physical realm! What a challenging, lovely, frightening, exciting, worrisome, pleasurable and painful place to be. No place quite like it and this physical body with its five  lovely senses [or six if you include the mind] - our sensual, temporary residence. What a wonderland! Enjoy it! There's no place else like it with its sunrises and sunsets....

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I mentioned to y'all in the last post, creative pursuits as a tool for 'Restoration' - how the theme or idea was born out of poetry shared between two 'strangers' on an on-line forum for folks trying to find their way through. The word 'Restoration' struck a nerve over there, some good, some not so good. Art should strike a nerve and stir the soul - and sometimes it brings surprises such as forging bonds between like-minded souls trying to move a mountain. These are the two original poems of forging 'The Restoration Project' between myself and the 'unknown stranger' who is now my close compadre and ally, shoveling side by side on the mountain of Restoration. This is where it all began.

><><><><><><><>< ~ RESTORATION ~
by el poquito

Do you know which way I went?
I remember seeing me the other day
talking with the homeless woman
about her missing child -
the auto accident -
and the curse...
and noticing how she
folded and unfolded
the origami change purse
she held nervously in her hands...
telling me her story,
that was my story too,
about the tragedies that had
broken her,
and broken her again
into a pile of human shards
scattered across the land...
unrecognizable from the fine
strong vessels
we once were

Yesterday I was high in the mountains
crossing a dangerous pass -
Dead Man's Pass...
It was too long a journey.
I was so tired...
Last I recall I was looking out the window of the train,
looking out upon the savanna --
The light and heat were beating down upon us
and the gazelles were running swiftly away
fleeing from the hard-breathing animal
that snaked it's way through the plains.
Did you see me come by here yesterday?
Do you know which way I went?

Later I remember seeing me
methodically shoveling the dirt.
How do you move a mountain?
One shovelful at a time...
Restoring hope can take time that way -
like moving a mountain
with a shovel.
It can be done.
I've seen it happen
many times.
But renewal does not birth easily.
Did you catch a glimpse of me?
Do you know which way I went?

~>>>> <> <> <> <> <> >><><><><><< <> <> <> <> <> <<<<~ Variation on a Theme

by mark-shark

It's not brand new,
but not that old
I moved here as a baby.
I crawled on this floor.
I stared at the ceiling on my way to dream.
I barely remember now.

I try to forget the earthquake
that rattled the pictures in the hall,
broke glass,
shook the foundation,
cracked the walls.

I survived.
I picked up, swept, cleaned,

I try to forget the flood
that washed away my flowers,
left snakes under beds,
carved the carpets in mud.

I survived.
I picked up, swept, cleaned,

That time
I thought I wouldn't make it.
But I did.

I try to forget the storm
that swirled a black cloud overhead,
ripped the roof,
shocked the shingles,
roared with rain,
and carried away
my precious hair.

I survived.
I picked up, swept, cleaned,

The neighbors heard my tools
and looked the other way.

No matter.

And Now, I plan a new addition,
And Now, I make drawings,
call for quotes,
touch samples,
consider colors,
wood, marble, granite, oak.

And Now, I stretch string
to define a magic garden,
think about Art
for that old cracked wall.

I plan for the future...

despite the rough location,
despite the unusual weather,
despite the fragile shell
and the history of damage
and things unplanned...

Because Someone Lives Here.

And plans to continue.