Saturday, October 1, 2016


The savannah grasses blew hot and dry across the plains. ChiWara who had separated from the herd, stood, nose to the wind, graceful antlers piercing the relentless blue sky. He knew that, before long, Kolomatambe would make his presence known. He could feel him, even now, stealthy in the tall grass, moving as a Noh player, in inches across the plains.

Kolomatambe was the best of the warriors, tall and well-muscled with a fine broad nose that tilted to the wind, nearly as sensitive as ChiWara.

Kolomatambe had been watching ChiWara for some time--nearly half an hour now. Why had the great antelope not bolted long before, he wondered. But, no, ChiWara  stood resolutely, nearly in the same spot as when the stalk began. In 23 years of hunting--for Kolomatambe had been combing the plains since he was nine years old--the warrior had never seen an antelope, not only alone, but standing still for so long.

Puzzled as he was, the man crept forward, his dark skin dusted for the hunt and blending with the grasses and the dirt, nearly imperceptible.

In a bit, Kolomatambe would be near enough to stand tall and take careful swift aim. But ChiWara waited just a bit, his flanks shivering in anticipation, his neck high and curved. At just the right moment he would turn and look into Kolomatambe’s eyes and speak his thoughts. 

And so it was. And strange indeed, for Kolomatambe certainly did not expect that moment.
Had his eyes not been so keen, the warrior wouldn’t have seen so clearly into the deep brown resonance of ChiWara’s gaze. It came upon him just as he was drawing the spear back to loose it.

The antelope and the man met there in the savanna, on quite a different plane, both standing ground, staring intently at one another--into one another actually--and then Kolomatambe let fall his spear and walked forward, toward the beast, larger against the sky than he, yet somehow blending.

Kolomatambe simply moved forward to meet ChiWara, who became at one with the sky and the grasses and the heated breeze. There was nothing to think about, really, because everything was happening at once and all with connectedness. Thus, there was nothing to contemplate or figure out--but, more appropriate, much to experience.

As Kolomatambe approached, ChiWara lowered his delicate face to the earth and pushed his great hooves into the dry ground. With the strength of his matte black antlers as a tool, ChiWara began to dig up the savanna grasses, tossing them to the wind like feathers. He continued this for some time, while Kolomatambe stood a bit away, not out of fear, but allowing room.

In time, ChiWara had cleared a small patch in the savanna, upon which he began to dance in all grace, great hooves beating upon the ground, smoothing the burrows of uprooted grass into an unruffled pattern of well-tilled earth. What a graceful dance it was, the sturdy amber legs flying about, scraping, kicking, scuffling. And before long, Kolomatambe began to clap and soon ChiWara and the warrior were in flight on the vast savanna, with only the cosmic wind, the lightening clap-clap rhythm, the thunder of beast upon the earth.

By and by Kolomatambe awoke, not having known, even, that he had been asleep, or for how long or how. The sun had settled now along the horizon, sending pre-twilight gentleness to the plain and Kolomatambe could see before him the choreography of ChiWara’s dance. A small section of cleared land, now empty of grasses, squared against the sky. It was quite perfectly level. Only by the long, narrow rows, broken by the scraping of matte black antlers against the dirt, broke the pattern. Kolomatambe stared, enchanted by the beauty of this created place and he did not return to his tribe until night fell.

He spoke to no one of this adventure, but, instead, confined his hunting to birds and smaller game.
And when spring came and the great rains had spent themselves, Kolomatambe returned to the patch. And he was amazed, for growing there in perfect contentment were rows of small plants, more orderly than any nature Kolomatambe had ever seen.

And he understood what ChiWara had showed him and he now was ready to show the others.

Friday, September 16, 2016

What People Say When You Tell Them Your Troubles

©CC "Boredom" courtesy of Rob Oo

Do you need to tell somebody your troubles? Chances are enormous that -- whomever you choose --he or she will respond like one of the following six people.*

1. The Shover ... explains that “everything happens for a reason” or, “It’s darkest before dawn.”

2. The Comparer … Nods while “listening,” as if your pain confirms something she already knows.

3. The Fixer … Is certain your situation is a question directed to her ... and she knows the answer.

4. The Reporter … Is so curious about the details of your “shattering;" her eyes glint and flash as she peppers you with questions.

5. The Victim … Has heard your news second-hand and needs consoling because she is “hurt” you didn't call to tell her personally (or first).

6. The God Rep … Believes she knows what God wants for you, and “feels led” by God to “share.”

The seventh person is my favorite. She is stranger... a stranger, maybe …with nothing to prove and no wisdom to impart, kind of like your psychotherapist, only with genuine feeling.

7. The Expressionist … Keeps saying, "Holy Moly … Holy S*** … Oh My Gosh … Really?! … Egads! … Ouch! Why? … I'm so sorry." Because, really, what else can she say?

*Acknowledgement and gratitude: The first six people identified come to us via the wisdom of Glennon Doyle Melton, who describes them in her book, the Love Warrior.  

Saturday, September 3, 2016

15 Realities That Come With Getting Old

I almost titled this post "15 Realties That Come With Aging," but realized "aging" is a minced word. What we're talking about here is what nobody -- at least nobody in contemporary America -- ever wants to talk about: getting old.

We have lots of ways to circumvent the topic. We become cougars, or long-distance runners, or the most interesting man in the world, or wise women and wise women and (blessedly) wise women.

But what about old men and women ? Nobody seems to want to be "old." We get oldER, or we "age," "get on in years," and become "not as young as we used to be." And yet, with a lot of luck, we'll get beyond all of those and, quite simply, get old.

Sayings like: "Age is just a number" or "You're only as old as you feel" are the wisdom of the "New Age majority." But when you "get old" you know this stage of life is different. After all, everybody has been a child, a teenager, a twenty-something, or middle-aged. After that, we use other ways to describe our point in the generational time-line. But somewhere along the way, some of us are lucky enough to get old. Here's what that lucky group might tell you.

Fifteen realities await those who "get old."

1. Easily discern, but can't tolerate posturing, bravado, shallowness.

2. Highly sensitive to energies, both negative and positive.

3. Realize that contemporary society repudiates wisdom of experience.

4. Accept that we will be dismissed by society based on age alone.

5. Acutely aware that, like it or not, we are captive in our physical bodies.

6. See the futility of the "forever young movement."

7. Know that, as we age, few people see us and even fewer understand us.

8. Struggle with a growing sense of physical vulnerability.

9. Face a growing sense of "losing," including many we have known longest and best.

10. Understand that, as we move to death, younger adults seek greater distance from us.

11. Bent to pondering WHY people are mean, destructive, evil, prejudiced, intolerant.

12. Increasingly value the natural: animals, plants, nature, the unvarnished.

13. Believe that we have learned a great deal about life on earth, and yet almost nothing about the universe.

14. Experience a deepening sensitivity to children, including what they notice, see, and feel.

15. Embrace a growing certainty that organized religion has nothing whatsoever to do with truth and is, in fact, an impediment to man's ability to live a loving life.

Finally, I share the following quote with you, along with many other exquisite poems that say so much about being old.

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made.
 -- ROBERT BROWNING, "Rabbi ben Ezra"

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Medicine Wheel

Summer had a dream that night.
            Pudge stood in front of her, a round figure, shorter at eight years, even than her own six. It was July. The sun had fried the grass to ochre and the glare from the suburban sidewalk made her squint. But she saw the spider there clearly, motionless in Pudge’s outstretched hand.
            “Go on, Injun. He likes you.” The boy’s teeth hid behind a narrow smile.
            The young girl looked at the large tarantula, which nearly covered Pudge’s palm. It’s furry knees were red.
            She wanted to get away, wanted to run in reverse, so as not to turn her back to the unpredictable Pudge. If she reacted quickly enough, she could pick up speed and escape, fast and far. Inexplicably, though, her feet stood riveted, though her heart was beating wildly.
            Pudge thrust his hand at her again, this time chin high. The black hairs and glistening eyes of the spider now were close enough that she had to refocus to take in the dark countenance, just inches from her face.
            “Take him!” Pudge ordered.
            The child of Summer’s dream knew it was too late for retreat. If she tried to run, surely Pudge would throw the spider onto her bare neck, which was well exposed in the thin, cotton shirt. In fact, if she moved at all, the spider likely would startle and leap to her skin.
            The girl felt a wave of panic and the beginning of tears swelling painfully in her throat. The volcanic summer air burned around her feet and she felt faint. Trees in the distance, houses, cars parked along the street—all grew light. Even Pudge’s sweating face misted out of the girl’s vision. Only the spider remained, as close as a part of her own being.
            In the dream, Summer heard her grandmother’s voice, whispering. “Each person must travel around the medicine wheel, Summer. Each must learn the way the world looks from each direction.”
            It was hopeless, then. A moment with this fearsome animal —a moment with fear itself— was upon her.
            The child of Summer’s dream made strong fibers from her heart, as grandmother had taught her. She sent the strong reeds on her voice, beckoning to the wind spirit. “I welcome you,” she said softly.
            Her tormentor’s voice cracked through the spitfire. “Did you say welcome, Injun?”
            But, though she heard, the girl no longer cared. Instead, she gazed into the eyes of the spider, which reflected her face in multitude through its eight orbs. Her image floated free within the spider’s spirit, like the points of a twirling medicine wheel. Together, their fears blended into nothingness.
            Before Pudge could stop what was happening, the girl extended her wrist next to the shocked boy’s palm. She invited the spider to move at once onto the back of her hand. The animal’s feet were soft and grateful.
            Without turning back, the young girl carried the spider with her, in the summer dampness, down to the rocks and crevices of the creek. There, among the small lizards and tree frogs and beetles, she set him free.


            When Summer stirred from the dream, Precious was perched on the pillow, green eyes looking intently into Summer’s face. Summer drew back a bit and took stock of the watchful cat.
            “Yes, Precious,” she sighed finally. “Something is coming—coming along my medicine wheel.” 


In her dream, Grandmother Harmony was floating on a log through the tunnel. Grandmother stood firmly on the circling tree trunk, well-balanced despite the current which carried her along. Smoke (or was it mist?) settled all around the old woman and the night air was damp. Grandmother sailed farther into the distance.

            “Wait!” the child cried. “Wait. I can’t keep up.”
            “It’s not time for you to come, Little One. You need to wait awhile yet.”
            “But I can’t stay here alone, Grandmother.”
            “You never are alone.”
            “I’m afraid without you.”
            “Remember to pay attention, Summer. Remember to walk into and through your fear.”
            The child tasted tears on her mouth. “Why are you going away, Grandmother Harmony? Don’t you love me anymore?”
            “My child, you only notice the change now. But it always has been so.”
            Straining her eyes through the tears and the mist, the child could barely see Grandmother Harmony’s visage.“I don’t like you changing.”
            “Hear me in your song, then, as I have taught you. And use your vision well.”
            Summer tried to reach inside for the passion joy. Only heartache greeted her. “My song will not come, Grandmother, will not come without you beside me.”
             But her words drifted away aimlessly into the night sky, along with Grandmother Harmony.

            When Summer woke up, her face was soaked. A dull ache was spreading throughout her center pathway. In the dark room she couldn’t read the clock, but she knew the date already was June 21, summer solstice, her seventh birthday.

            She threw the covers aside, pressing her barefeet to the floor. “Grandmother, grandmother,” she whispered, running down the hallway.

            The door to Harmony’s room was shut and the metal of the large black door handle felt icy as it twisted open in Summer’s small hand.

            Grandmother wouldn’t mind her coming in like this. Many of their best talks happened when Summer padded down the hallway at night, fearful from a dream or maybe just sleepless with a wondering about something. Grandmother was always sitting up when Summer entered her room. Without saying a word, she’d reach out and enclose Summer in the lavender fragrance of her spirit. They’d laugh and whisper secrets until the child fell peacefully back to sleep.

            Tonight though, Grandmother Harmony lay perfectly still. Her hands were folded across her heart and her black hair streamed along the moonlit pillowcase. It was true, then. The movement had come in the night, while Summer slept.  

            Realization of the change was more than the child could bear. She sobbed and fled her safe harbor.

            In the days that followed, Summer opened her galaxy and sent the passion joy flowing out in monstrous waves. In the flood of change, her vision too was swept away. She did not allow the gift of sight to return for many years, though all the while Harmony and the Old Ones patiently watched over her and waited.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Mitchell did not yet know he was Mitchell, but he knew who he was and, also, who he always had been. Now he was simply floating, weightless and formless in the vast.
         There was no sense of light or dark, no sense at all. Simply a drift of being, sailing on a sea of eternity, aware of The All.
         It wasn’t that Mitchell didn’t know anything, because he knew everything. But he was formless now, though ready to become form at the moment of calling. All things were happening at once, so he didn’t need to wait. It was more like shifting -- or coming into -- where cause and effect intersected.
         The fabric was limitless and the intersections multiple beyond infinity. Mitchell simply floated, rested and balanced, embodying every duality in no body at all.

         And it came to pass, as they say, that Mitchell floated upon a certain energy and it attracted him. And from the multi-dimensional fabric, a thread of energy manifested and became a pinpoint of light and he rode that light into existence, taking the Whole of Himself and the Whole of The All with him
         And then he was confined.

         His being continued to soar and float, but now he felt the familiar boundaries, as the form shaped itself around him. He would wait here a bit, becoming more comfortable in the form and matter, adjusting to the denser energies, growing himself into Mitchell.
         In that pinpoint moment -- and for many months yet to come -- he would remember the floating of Before, remember fully who he was Before  ... and know, too, that in time and for a time he would forget. But only for a time.

         And as the earth time passed, Mitchell grew denser in form and also he developed the senses he would need to perceive and function in the denser earth energy.
         By and by he came to hear the voices that had been taken by those he already knew... the softer mother voice and the less frequent, yet deeper, father voice.
         He knew already that She would pass as he came. It had been decided. But for now this did not trouble him, for their Spirits would glide by one another, a kiss of light and formless energy exchanged, a fracture of unconditional love, so effortlessly traded in that space with no thing.

         Mitchell felt the rocking begin and the pressure on his form intensified until the total of his focus was taken with the squeezing and the movement. In earth time, it went on endlessly and it was violent on his form and not pleasant. Had he recalled anything of the Body on Earth, he would have been afraid. But there were no emotions now, only physical feelings, for in coming, he had decided to experience all physical things anew, and that included emotions.

         So Mitchell merely was one with the rocking and the squeezing and the shifting and the narrowing.
         And when there was an intense brightness and a strange chill upon his flesh, he gave it no name. Nor when his chest expanded with a fullness, did he call it air. Only different and of the moment.
         His body did things, but especially his mouth, which reached out and opened and wept and drank and moved rhythmically, even as he slept.

         Another One came and he knew this Spirit in completeness and he was at home with it. And the Spirit came often to be with Mitchell and his body craved the body feelings that the Spirit brought and Mitchell was comforted.
         And, in time, Mitchell’s eyes sought out the Other’s eyes and the feel of the Other’s hands and he came to anticipate and know the touch and the sight and the smell and the sound and the taste of the Other One. And Mitchell only knew his own body in this way.

         Sometimes he would drift and his own Spirit would remember The All. But when he was not drifting, his body was no body without the Other.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Let me get this straight? You want a writer/designer/interviewer/video editor ETC for HOW MUCH?

The world has gone mad -- at least on Craig's List. See this despicable ad, below (my highlights in red plus my comments in purple.. the color of the very Royal "Kiss My Patootie." Lord help anybody unlucky enough to already be working here. Super BOOs to the overseers who want more slaves.

In-house Writer/Designer for B2B Magazines (That's right, guys, more than one magazine).

(No Freelancers) (waving garlic and brandishing a cross)

$35K (but not really THAT much; see salary-waffle language below)

(Metro Center) -- All those $$$$ and downtown traffic, too. 


So here's what they really want:

Applicants must be local and available to start immediately. Must be comfortable with tedious assignments. (I am not making this up...)

Ideal candidate has expert AP Style and phone voice (and the background for these two skills would be... what? "Project Runway" experience?), in addition to some knowledge of InDesign, webcasting/video editing (just a little Final Cut Pro between snacks, huh?), website CMS and blog interfaces (say WHAT?)
Be prepared to conduct phone interviews with C-level executives of $1M-$50B companies and write corporate profiles and project spotlights. Must complete at least 3-4 stories week (at approx 1000 words each). (You can squeeze your blog interface and video editing in at lunch time, but you better not give "bad phone" to those C-level execs, EVER!).

Other tasks (oh, for the love of Pete... there's MORE??????) include: peer editing, copy writing/slugging, design/layout editing, occasional advertisement design, scripting for webcasts, attending trade shows/conferences.

Knowledge of the following industries is helpful:
(design-build, engineering, interior design, etc.)
(residential, commercial, mechanical contracting, post tensioning, etc.)
(solar, nuclear, wind, geothermal, natural gas/oil, fuel cells, etc.)

Location: Metro Center.
Hours: 9-5 (strict)
PAY: $35K w/bonus ($24K base plus qtrly bonus) NON NEGOTIABLE (Okay, this now borders on something for OSHA to investigate. All THIS for the very most definitely, profoundly, NON-living wage of $24K -- and don't you DARE work anywhere else or freelance; just give up food. But, don't fret, if WE think you deserve it, we'll give you a bonus.. how's that workin' for ya, Schmuck!) 

TO APPLY: email resume, cover letter, 3 writing samples and any other video/graphic samples, if applicable. Don't hold your breath.