Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Secrets aren't secrets

This is a longish article, but well worth a read. And then, another read.


Yep, this is sometimes good advice. Take it from Rev. Steve...

Circle of life

Inspiration is innovation, and innovation is inspiration.


You always hear stories of someone losing a ring, then later, finding it again.

If you lose something, you can always, somehow, some way, find it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Down deep

There are times when I wonder how much I can give. I want my roots to go deep, but can I go down where they are? Then, I get the answer.


Stop. Stop where you are. Whatever you're doing, put it done. Sit up. Close your eyes. Breathe in deeply. Exhale fully. Where are you?

Rocket, yeah...

There's a group--duo--called the Karminsky Experience, and on one of their songs, "Exploration," they sample an astronaut with this 60s backbeat/Indian-inspired song from Les Baxter. Here's what the astronaut says...

"Well, I look at it myself as the beginning really, of an exploration. That's the reason we are exploring; you don't know what you'll run in to on an exploration... what the sky looks like, what the stars look like... will they still twinkle, or are they a steady light when you get outside the atmosphere..."

A primer...?

Some updates made to the tumblelog, including...

  • how to find stillness
  • how to be resilient
  • how to be good to yourself
  • how to be good to your ears

At the edge of the ocean

There is so much to say, and so much to do, and so much to learn. To not say, to not do, to not learn, leaves a hole.

Eyes open

Five years ago, I saw Herbie Hancock in Brussels. He and his band were on tour in Europe, promoting his Future 2 Future album. It was one of the better shows I've seen, and not just because I was stand about 20 feet from him. I loved the album, loved its vibe. I especially loved the song, "Be Still." On the album (but not at the concert), it was sung by Imani Uzuri, who has such a lustrous and wonderful voice. I had seen her a couple of years before, and was taken by how rich her voice was. This song, which I'm listening to now, always, always gives me goosebumps. ("Be still, and know, that I am"). The ending of the song moves me, now more than ever. It's a Zen saying...

From the withered tree, a flower blooms, now I can see more clearly.

Keep walking (or lateraling till you hit paydirt)

I love this video. This came out the way they it, right? Chalk one up for our old friend, perseverance.

3-2-1 contact

Just because you haven't sent up flares, flags, or send morse code, doesn't mean that you don't think of, care for, worry about, or love someone. You do. They stir.


There is something that, while not visible, is present. A pull. Toward something. The pull leaves me sad, but it wraps around me like a warm blanket on a chilly morning. Such is the nature of life? I don't know.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Time time time

Tonight, I sat quietly for a few minutes, eyes closed. Just sitting, not trying to accomplish anything. I allow thoughts that floated in my head to just float. Images of beauty and tranquility came, and went. Questions and answers, too. Enjoyed the silence of a fall evening, pierced only by the whistle of a train or the bark of a dog. And, for a precious moment, I lost track, sense of time. I didn't fall asleep (though I 'm tired), but it was as if for a too-short while, I left. So, I'm back now.

My cup shouldn't runneth over

Here is a famous parable. You can find various forms of it on the Web...

A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor's cup to the brim, and then kept pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself. "It's overfull! No more will go in!" the professor blurted. "You are like this cup," the master replied, "How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup."

To receive, you have to be empty. I want to remain empty enough so that the lessons of life have a place to go.


I decided Friday not to blog this past weekend. This is the first time I've touched my blog since then. I stopped (mostly) from checking email, RSS feeds, IM, and the news. They got backed up, but I can live with it. I wanted to fast, give up some things for awhile.

Why did I do this? I wanted to rest. My meditation on passion was more than a list. I wanted to see what was inside of me, draw it out. I've seen it. There's more around, but it's out there now. Now, it's what's next. Next, a respite. Drawing everything inside me: the happiness, the joy, the pain, the suffering--drawing them in me, and releasing them. Like a breath--inhaling, then exhaling. Becoming my breath, becoming me.

Why fast? It is a cleansing of the spirit, an opening of the spirit, to receive more. It is looking inside, to see what is there and what remains to be gathered. To go down inside, to come back out again.

I don't what to be selfish in the things I do in life, but here, at least, I want to and need to be. This has been for me, and me alone. If others take something useful from it, all the better.

I rested to give myself a breather. To rest my fingers. To rest my head and recharge it. I wanted my thoughts and feelings to float, stir, marinate, appear, disappear, reappear. Just be. Roam, play, wander, without having to go anywhere. Ask questions without worrying about answers. Get answers, and not care about where the questions came from. Give up writing--for awhile--and pick it up again. So this may ramble a bit.

My body was tired from a long workweek. My soul and spirit needed a rest. I gave all of them what they wanted and needed.

Fasting takes faith. Faith in yourself to keep the promise you made to yourself. That in itself is a test. Sometimes a blog, or email, or RSS feeds can be distracting from yourself. The noise of everyday life can be overwhelming, to the point where you lose sight of yourself and where you are and who you can be. This weekend helped bring me back to center.

Questions come up without those distractions. Questions of passion, love, faith, hope, sacrifice, friendship, pride, manhood. What lessons remain for me to learn? Is the journey hard on purpose, to see what we are made of? What forms does love take? What sacrifices must I make to be happy? Why do I have to ask so many questions?

Fasting is not a place for self-pity or wallowing. It is a place for reflection. To plumb the depths of your soul. Root around, to see your strengths, and to polish what has become dull, darkened. Fasting is a workout, a spiritual one, to build muscles there, but sometimes not seen.

I've realized over the past few weeks that while my spirit can be knocked about, it is ultimately indomitable. I want what is best for me, and I am trying to achieve it. That is part of the journey I am embarking on. I've been down many roads, but not this one. I know the ultimate destination, but I don't have a map. The routes are foreign. The road not smooth. I wonder can I make this endeavor. What will be there for me at the end? Am I even in the right place?

I have talked a little bit about stereotypes before. Is it arrogance to not what to be like everyone else, to know what you have already? I hope not. I am a black male. Society thinks I need to be certain things, most of which I have little use for. The roles and the values I seek and want are much stronger and deeper than that. I understand what manhood is, true manhood; it's not what is shown on a video. It is so much more, so much deeper, than that. I tend to march to my own drummer. Which makes me different, gives me another perspective on life. Am I less of a man to have embarked upon this journey? No, to be a man, to be a human, you have to face moments like this. Moments where it is you and you alone. And move ahead.

Love. I have been asking myself what is love, and what love can be. Love is compassion. Love is selfless. To give and give until I can't give anymore. And then, give more. It's not about control. I can't control anyone. Sometimes, I've had to let love go, and it hurt deeply. Especially when the person gave freely as much as I gave. I have to give the full measure of myself in everything I do. If I can't, I tend to walk away. I will be hurt, and the other person will be hurt, but I don't know how to be there less than fully. It is something I haven't learned yet. Maybe this journey will teach me that. Maybe this journey will teach me more about love than I think I already know. If I hang on, linger, it's not because of clinginess, or desperation. Only because it's good. I want to pass on the goodness that has been given to me, let it flow back to that source. Allow it to flow. When I have reached inside of me lately, I have not found anger, I have only found love. True and deep. Even if it has meant separating myself, walking away
from something I value deeply. Walking away is difficult. I should empty my cup.

What about friendship? Can friendship co-exist if desire exists on one side, and not the other? Is true friendship true love? Can friends remain friends after tumult? How does the nature of friendship change after that tumult? How deep are the roots of friendship? How strong can friendship be? This I can say--friendship is compassion. I am grateful to have seen this, to be awakened to it.

And back to love--is one kind of love more worthy, more special than another? Simply, I don't know. And that is fine. I have to find out. Again, questions.

The heart is a glorious device, physically and emotionally. It gets stressed, strained, broken, but it can repair itself. Mine is repaired, and stands ready.

I have let go of control. I have let things be. Let things go. Breathe them in, then exhale. Let go of my ego. Relaxed my grip.

Is love in places unseen? Are we awake to see these places?

I wanted to be empty this weekend. Empty of thoughts and feelings, even if it was only for seconds at a time. Most people are scared of emptiness, stillness. We feel a constant need to be going, going, going. We are not the Energizer Bunny. We need a recharge. To be still, and for even a few moments have nothing stirring inside, even as the world churns, bringing perspective. It makes you ready for the world again.

Sunday morning, I meditated. I just decided to lie down flat, palms outstretched, eyes closed, and just lie there. Allow thoughts and feelings to come inside, and then flow out. To breathe in, and breathe out, in silence. The music that usually plays in my head was stilled. It was a relevatory experience. At one point, I crossed my hands on my chest, feeling my heart beat, and feeling the blood, life, coursing through me. Some questions were asked, and a few answered. Some were not. And that is fine. Everything can't be answered in 40 minutes. It was good to find a place of peace.

Life is a journey of discovery. There are aspects you want to see, and aspects you wish you didn't. But you learn along the way. And, consciously or subconsciously, we help each other discover. We take, and we give, and vice versa. To be aware and awake. It's hard to find out that you really don't know as much as you thought you did. That's why you have to keep learning.

Life is a wondrous thing. Sometimes you try so hard to give someone what you hope, pray, they want and deserve. Sometimes, you fail. But sometimes, in the bargain, you give something wholly unexpected. And it works in reverse. Someone gives you more than they ever expected.

Life sometimes is not linear. Sometimes, it looks more like a child's first attempt at drawing. A mash, mess of squiggles that at first blush looks like nothing. But it is an attempt to experiment, to see what can happen. And to keep trying.

I feel that my roots are deepening. The foundation is becoming stronger. I want my roots to spread, and never stop growing. I want, and need, rain, metaphorical rain, to continue to grow. I want to always feel my soul, I want it to be ever-present, never go away.

I have fasted, I think, to prepare for this journey. To where, I have to put my canoe into deep water.

I am grateful for this journey. It won't be a walk in the park. I am grateful to be tested like this. It sounds odd, but unless you get tested every so often, how do you know what you have?

To be naked in the world is difficult. Again, this has been solely for me. Even saying this, I want to release the I and me. And try try try.

If anyone takes anything positive from all this, I will be glad.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I am traveling on a journey, to a place where I've never been. Will I make it?

More roads

Passion is a test, and a journey.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Passion is...friendship.

On the road

This road of discovery is one where I want to continue on. Not knowing where it will lead. I'm scared, but hopeful.

Salva mea

Passion is saying I'm sorry.


Passion is...frozen grapes.

A list

Passion is ...
  • stillness.
    a door.
    tears welling up in the middle of the day.
    wanting to be in a million other places than this one.
    feeling young, even when you're old.
    your heart in your throat.
    letting someone know, you remain in the heart
    a heart stirring.
    a protector.
    wanting to be there.
    music in your head.


Passion is a goodnight kiss--that lasts for a hour, and makes the neighobrs envious.


Passion is a pull, invisible, yet ever-present.

A smell

Passion is the lingering scent of a memory.


Passion is wishing somone didn't have to go anywhere.

So near, so far

Passion is face-to-face, eye-to-eye, lips-to-lips, hand-in-hand.

In there

Passion is commitment--spoken, and unspoken.

Out of the box

Passion is surprise. Gentle, spectacular--and everything in between.

From the sky

Passion is standing in front of a window, watching the rain fall down. With a woman in your arms.


Passion is memories of what happened, thoughts of tomorrow, longing for what should have been.

From inside

Passion is selflessness.


I've had at least three epiphanies in life, moments where the clouds parted and everything--everything--was clear. Epiphanies are glimpses into how life can be. One was of an intimate nature--no need to discuss it here. The other was in Paris...

One night, I was coming of le Franc Pinot, a jazz club on the Ile St. Louis, in the middle of the Seine. It is this great, small basement club--very intimate and classically Paris. Instead of taking the shorter route to the next club, I decided to walk through the island. It was a cold night, the lights washing over the narrow street. Then, I noticed something falling from the sky. I looked closer into the light--it was snow. Falling gently, until the entire street, quiet, hushed in the late night, was illuminated in flakes. I stopped to survey the scene, take it in. And thought, this is the way that life can be. The peace I felt in that moment was something I've rarely felt.

The other? If I spend time with someone, I usually feel this urge, pull for away time, for me to be alone. This year, one time, I stayed. I didn't feel like going. I wanted to stay.


Passion is a security guard tapping on your window, telling you and your lady friend to move along. As soon as the windows clear.

Full measure

Passion is not selling short anything. Or anyone.


Passion is goodness.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Be still, and know

Preternatural calm never precludes passion.

Words to drift by

Passion is saying, good night.


Passion is a warm bed, and a warm body waiting for you.

An ancient art

Four years, I was back home, a little dejected about the coming change in my life. I was scouting around for job prospects, in a hotel, and watching ESPN. They were showing repeats of the World Series of Poker. I thought, you must be kidding--who the hell is going to watch guys sitting around a table playing cards? But sit in front of the TV for a few minutes, and it's mesmerizing. All these people feeding off the table, and playing independently, banking on their skill, but hoping for a little luck. It was fascinating to watch the back-and-forth.

Zen has fascinated me for a while, its tenets of calm and peace, its universality. Meshing the two makes for something special. Larry W. Phillips wrote two books on the subjects, tying together two things that don't seem easily bound. I loaned out Zen, but still have the Tao. Either book is great for a quick lesson in how to be a card sharp, or to find a missing piece of life's puzzle. Turn to any page, and you'll find a nugget, a gem, to carry. Such as in Tao...

"When the opponent expands, I contract; and when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, I do not hit, it hits all by itself."--Bruce Lee


"Throughout your life advance daily, becoming more skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today. This is never-ending."--Hagekure, by Tsunetomo

These are applicable everywhere. Seriously. At home, or in the casino.

Dance dance revolution

Passion is dancing around the apartment, listening to this, this and this. And breaking a sweat doing it.

A wee rant

I love sports. Especially one team in particular. But if there is anything I disclose about sports is that the pregame shows and the hype surrounding it drives me bananas. I know you have to set the table for the World Series-fine, no complaints there. But slice the pregame in half and start the game earlier. And leave the radar reports to the experts.

T'aint skeert

Passion is fear. And letting go of it.


Passion is watching blue-gray storm clouds hovering over the horizon, with someone in your lap.

Busy bee

Over the past few weeks, I've been pumping out a lot of words here. I'm feeling a lot of things lately, and they have to be out. It's been a prolific month. I write mainly for me, but put things out into the world. I hope people take something from this, but you never know. I'd love to hit a home run with a post, watch lightning strike. In the end, it's me and my thoughts. Naked. Mostly...


Passion is a hot shower for two.

Sweet nothings

Passion is a whisper in the ear. Then the wet sensation of a tongue, searching for something.

Stand pat

Passion isn't running away. Passion is there, even if it's at arm's length.

A knock on the door

Passion is a dinner party, where the police bang on your door and tell you to stop dancing so loudly. At 3:30 in the morning.

Dinner time

Passion is a truffle salami, parmasan and Spanish red wine--even if it's taken alone.


Who said a leopard can't change his spots?


One thing I would never do to someone I love or am close to is kill their spirit. I want them to blossom, experience, feel life. My wish and hope is to always aid, be there, in that journey. Never would I stymie someone, shut them off. I want to see them blossom, like a flower.

The fix is in

There are things about me that I know call for fixing. I see them in the mirror everyday. And they are certainly correctable. And certainly nothing that should hold me back from the places where I want to be.

It's an exploration

The past few days, I've been meditating on passion and its forms. Where does it come from? How long can it last? What sustains it?

I can ask the same questions of this meditation. I don't know where this is going, or how long I can do this. If I feel it, I write it. Who am I aiming this toward? To anyone who feels moved by it. Why am I doing this? To see where I am, and to see where I know I can go.

Winding road

Sometimes along the path, there is wavering, and wondering. The journey becomes rocky, day becomes night. You want to rest. You question where you are and where you want to be. Doubts creep in. You contine on through the night. Why? Because there is always a dawn.


Passion is wondering how much further you can go. And then going there.

Seeing clear

Passion is cutting through the fog of the morning.


Passion is consciousness and awareness, sensation.

Chat away

Passion is not being able to talk to someone--but still being able to talk to someone.
Passion is giving and giving and giving--and not knowing if anyone is taking.


Passion is seeing an angel in the morning.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A tip

Passion is a woman's touch, soft, yet full of anticipation.

Night lights

A couple of weeks ago I drove home right after work. I usually wait until the next morning, but I needed to be on the move; I couldn't be still. It wasn't like I was running away from anything, but if my soul is stirred in a certain way, it needs to move to release that energy. Even in the darkness, there was light. The lights of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, high and off in the distance, moving light on still lights. The lights of Charm City, and the home of crab cakes. The lights of the cars on the interstate, snaking through the night, destinations known and unknown. Off in the distance, from the Wilson Bridge, more lights, of grace and power. Further south, the lights of the highway dance as you race by them. On the horizon, an orange glow signifies another capital city. Then finally, from a new perspective, a place called home.

Snippets of crickets

Passion is the sound of crickets hoping for one more warm night, as the fall finally appears.

The road ahead

Passion is accelerating up an on-ramp, gaining speed, and then, at the top of the ramp, meeting life in its full-throated roar.

The fire this time

I'm watching the news now, and the fires in California dominate. This number is incredible--540,000 people have been evacuated. More people are on the move than in the evacuation from Hurricane Katrina. The largest peacetime movement of Americans since the Civil War. A number, a stat that gives me chills. I can't imagine how people feel as they find some place for shelter, wondering if they have a home to return to. As you watch, you wish to give something more than prayer.

Throwing a curve

Once upon a time, a friend asked me if I'd ever done anything spontaneous. I had trouble thinking of anything, no doubt leaving some question marks in the mind of my friend, thinking I was some sort of stick-in-the-mud. It certainly wasn't that I had never done anything spontaneous before, or being reticent. I had done them, and then moved on to the next thing. Trust me, the memories don't fade. They always remain. And always ready for new ones.


Passion is nearly getting kicked out of a restaurant for making out.

In the morning

Passion is lying beside someone as the darkness slowly turns to dawn.

A square

Passion is dancing in an empty square in a foreign city at six in the morning.

The everyday

Yes, passion can be as mundane as a hello, how are you doing this morning. Simple.

What's in the bag?

Passion is the faith, belief and confidence an underdog always carries close at hand.

Taking measure

How big can one heart be? Even after facing stresses and strains? Bigger than one can imagine.

What's more

Passion is perseverance, depth. Oceans of depth.

What gives

Passion is giving more than one thinks you can give, exceeding boundaries known and unknown--and being given the time to surpass them.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Passion is stuffing yourself with pasta and pizza with good friends.


Passion is moonlight streaming through puffy clouds.

More questing

The quest continues. What can you do when you thought you reached your goal, but the goalposts weren't where you thought? Keep moving toward the goal. What else can I do?

Revise and extend

In any legislature, any member has the right to revise and extend their remarks on the floor. Usually they bloviate and prattle on about something that doesn't really matter. That's not what I want to do...

I talked about stereotypes earlier, and my, ahem, dislike of them. I've never fallen easily into boxes society places out for me. I've wanted to be guided by ideas and principles deeper than that. If you see me, and think I'm only 1, 2, and 3, just remember that numbers go on for awhile. It's a process of discovery that's hard to pull off in a short period of time. Sometimes, I even surprise myself with what I discover about myself. There's nothing wrong with a little surprise.

I am more that what the surface shows. A box can't possibly know what I have inside, or define me.

In/out, out/in

That feeling I had earlier, the one that scared me. It shouldn't have. That feeling returned this afternoon. Intially, the fear was there. Then I just allowed it to course through me. I felt it do its thing in me. And then, that was it. In and out, out and in.


Every move, thought, emotion, I have right now is light. I'm not weighed down. By saying what I have to say, it's released. The soul, the heart, the spirit, remain abundant.


What bounds the heart? What unbinds it? Can the energy be sustained? How can it be replenished?

Can be

Passion can be two bodies intertwined in an naked embrace. Passion can be footprints in the snow.


Can passion be rain, drumming against a window, beating against bare skin?


Where can passion go if it cannot fill a vessel?


Passion is not a surface emotion. You have to dive deep to find its source.


What I write about is not directed back inward to me. Instead, they are directed outward, toward the world. Toward an audience that will take these words in and reflect on them.

Look out

Old Macky is back in town. And he feels really good. Brighter than the sun.

A question

Does passion have only one form? Can it take others? Is anyone more right or wrong? Proper or improper?


There is something I need to meditate on, here, for a while. It'll be coming over the wall. What, praytell? The forms of passion.

The mirror

Coming face-to-face with yourself and seeing your failings is never easy. Your shortcomings are laid bare. So, then what? You have to remember the concept of kaizen, but in a personal sense. You are never standing still. Never.


Every so often, I check off with myself to see how I feel. No delusions, no mirages. Right now, I feel good. All systems are good. All systems are ready for more. I am thankful that my soul remains strong, eager and willing.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What else makes me feel good?

The things my heart and soul have been given.

One thing

I feel sad about is missing the target. But my soul feels full, knowing what it had to give. And what it still has. Which is so much.


I walk back into the office after an interesting period. I return changed, transformed. For the better.

What's in my head now

Images of water, swimming, movement, standing on a mountain in the sun, letting the wind wash over me. My heart, soul, feel good about their places.

A mantra

It seems like I have been repeating myself over the past few days about speaking to my heart and soul. As if I have nothing else to speak of. I do, but I have things, feelings, stirrings inside that I have to release, let out. My heart and soul are my strongest possessions. Speaking about them, even now, strengths them more. They refuse to be buried, silenced. They have to bear witness to the world and everything it has. They want to flow freely, to search for the vessel in which to pour themselves. And then grow and blossom more. They have much, want much, want to give much. They will always remain in the world.


A few times over the past week, I've felt something weird. A strange sensation in my body. Where my insides seem to move and shutter. The feeling last a couple of seconds. It scares me.


Herbie Hancock has dipped his hands into many musical endeavors. Straight-ahead jazz, 'real' fusion, the dawn of the video age, chill-out electronica. He's done it all. He's also a Nichiren Buddhist. Beliefnet has a great interview with him and how he practices Buddhism and how it infuses his music. He says that at the center of everything he plays and does, he is a human being, even with the other hats he wears. At the core, he knows who he is. And what he has to contribute.

Saturday drive

I had a great drive yesterday. Too short, but great. A narrow two-lane mountain road cutting through a forest of changing leaves. Every few seconds, a tough corner to negotiate that took concentration to navigate. Then back on the throttle for more speed, kicking up leaves along the side. Another twist, more diving into corners, more acceleration. And then, civilization. I have to drive this road again.


In the situation I find myself in now, it's hard not to feel lonely, and I do. But the hardest thing is not to be able to put my heart and soul somewhere. It's out there now, but it wants someone more tangible to put it in. Spiritually, I feel bigger than my five feet 11 inches let on. To not share it fully...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I'm there

I think there is a little bit of misconception about meditation. To me, it's not just sitting cross-legged on a carpet quietly as Tibetan chimes sound. Yes, a peaceful picture. But it's also sex, driving, writing and eating a damn ham sandwich. It is being in the moment, right there. Present. There. It may look like you're just taking out the trash. But you're not doing it (or shouldn't be) doing it mindlessly. But mind-lessly. Do you hear that? Do you feel that? If you're there, you're there. No fanfare, no parades. Just there. But that doesn't diminish from the experience. Trust me here, kids, it doesn't.


This is a koan from
Zen Koans by Venerable Gyomay Kubose. It's subtle, yet all-encompassing at the same time...

Manjusri Enters the Gate

One day as Manjusri stood outside the gate, the Buddha called to him, "Manjusri, Manjusri, why do you not enter?" Manjusri replied, "I do not see myself as outside. Why enter?"

No small measure

Nothing about me is little. Heart, soul, spirit. It's all there. They're big, expansive. Daniel Burnham said, Make no small plans, for they have no power to stir the soul. My plans have been big. The things, thing, I want in life ain't little. It's the grandest prize anyone can desire. It is something that I am deeply passionate about.

More water

Toots Thielemans is the most celebrated jazz musician in Belgium. Most Americans haven't heard of him, but they've heard his music (Most famously, in the show Moonlighting.) Whenever other famous musicians come to Belgium, he always plays a set with them. Once, he was preparing to play with pianist Kenny Werner. And Toots said to Kenny...

Kenny, throw me into the deep end of the pool. Just don't let me drown.

Meaning, play what you want, but help me play my best along with you.

More to give

We all have something unique and special to give to others. Not material, but spiritual. And those gifts, or that gift, is so unique, that only one person can hand it out. The type of gift that doesn't dims or burns out. That's the magic of the universe.

Friday, October 19, 2007

There is a place...

In Brussels called Le Corbeau. It's just off the Rue Neuve shopping street, and during the day, it's a rather unremarkable restaurant. But on weekend nights...DJs spin all kinds of great music, and the place is utterly heaving with people. So much that you have to dance on the tables. Shimmying around on a sticky table next to somebody, with a glass of Stella Artois in your hand. Another reason to miss the old town.

Sage words

From a wise friend, as the rain falls down...

You have to find faith somewhere, even if it's in a doorknob.

Right now

My heart feels warm and abundant, wrapped around me like a blanket, still, always ready to give freely. There's little that could make me happier at this moment.

What's in a name?

A lot.

I named this blog so because of a deep belief in myself. It's not one of ego or arrogance, but I believe in myself too much to count myself out. That persistence has gotten me trouble. But the persistence isn't out of malice, or spite. It comes from knowing what's in my heart is true and bountiful and willing to share. The feeling in my heart now is a wonderful feeling. It's never too late to feel that.


I had a profound impact on someone. Profound and deep. But not the total impact I hoped for. It makes me feel melancholy.

A fool in the rain

Finally, after weeks of hints and teases, it came. Luxurious droplets of water from the sky. Such sweet thunder has never been heard. The dash to the car was wonderful as the rain hit me and spotted my clothes. I got in the car and drove, and the sound of the rain against the roof was utterly delicious. A beautiful, sonorous chorus. I drove past my place, wanting to feel and experience the gray, hear the tires splash against the wet surface.

When I got home and out of the car, the heavy rain hit me, as if to give me life. The feeling was blissful. I gasped for air, wanting to take it all in. Putting my things down in my apartment, I went back outside to stand in it, to gasp, to soak it all in, to feel its life. To wash me clean and make me whole. I came back in, soaked to the bone, but refreshed. The warmth I feel now feels better because of it.

It's no wonder why I loved Brussels so much.

Tried and true

My soul, my spirit, has been tested the past few weeks. Even though I have failed in an heartfelt endeavor, my heart remains open and expansive. In the face of adversity, right now is fine.

(I know I am repeating myself, but the waters of life feel good. I want to swim in them.)

Deeper, deeper

There are some things that I feel deeply about. Which are hard to let go of. Matters of the heart is one of them. If something, someone, has touched my heart, even if the feelings aren't duplicated, it's hard for me to let go of something I feel is special. I treat it like gold. Which it is. It serves to reinforce what I have inside, and what I have and want to give. I often wonder why, how, I can let go of something so unique and so special. When I feel expansive like this, I don't want to close it up, hide it. I want it out there, in the world, even if it's not returned equally.

It feels like

This morning feels like Belgium. Not as chilly, mind you, but just as damp, cloudy. Days like this remind of the place I miss. Years after I left there, scenes of the streets, the views. To walk the streets, see the people, side-step the dog poo. To sit in a cafe, eat a croque monsieur, watch the rain fall and see the people dodge raindrops. Simple pleasures.

Channeling James Brown

Like the Godfather of Soul, I feel good this morning. For the simple reason that what I know, has been reinforced. The center holds. I understand keenly what I have, and what I have to give. And how much of me I can give. Simply, everything.

Joe Cool--2

I've always admired Joe Torre's grace and dignity, especially in New York, with the media and one George Steinbrenner. So the news of him leaving the Yankees was somewhat surprising. Somewhat. Being like Mike is one thing; being like Joe, that's a different kettle of fish.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The lights of the city burn brightly for me, guiding, pushing me onward.

The best teacher

Life has to be experienced in all its forms. Even when it hurts.

Making the effort

I put a lot of effort and time into the things I do, and want to achieve. Most of the time the effort pays off. Other times, not. There is something where I put a lot of effort into achieving, but fell short. And it hurts to have failed. But this effort, this part of journey, I would willingly, joyfully, embark upon it again. Even if it means paying the same costs and suffering the same fate.


Can two people, who are not in the same place, still, truly, need each other? How is it possible? And what about the feelings that surely remain? What becomes of them? What will time do to them?

A question

Why do I have to relinquish something that I feel deeply inside? Most things I can compromise on. Except for a couple of things. Giving less of me, I can't do it.


I dreamed about Paris last night. A friend and I were driving about St. Germain, pointing out all the great cafes there. The sun was out. The day was glorious. What more could you ask for?


Coaches say you carry losses longer than victories. There is one victory that would last longer than any loss. But right now, the loss stings badly.


My soul got some rest last night. But I did wake up up in the middle of the night. My soul feels sad, lost. It knows what it knows, knows what it wants, yet can't reach it. It stirs, searching for that missing piece. It will find it, but hopefully sooner and not later.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

All around

Rubber soles crunch fresh powder
Hot breath streams into the cold air
Change falls from the sky
A landscape, a heart, is transformed

Swimming pool

My mind keeps going back to this. How wonderful, how joyous, it would be, to dive into this pool with someone. One of the most beautiful dreams I ever had was when I was a teenager. I dreamed I was in a bathtub of the warmest, clearest, most soothing water I had ever felt. I was naked, completely submerged in it (mind you, I don't swim), but I had never felt anything so wonderful in my life. It was so calming, I didn't want leave it. Even now, I remember it so well. I want to feel that warmth, that soothing comfort, again.


The spirit is a remarkable thing. As many hits as it can take, it never collapses. Its strength lifts you if you allow it. It pulls you up off the deck after getting knocked down. And most importantly, its light shines, even through the thickest fog.

More more more

Today has been rather remarkable. I've produced a lot of posts, and put my deepest, heartfelt thoughts out to the universe. I can't have this burst of energy everyday, but I want to see what tomorrow holds.

Dreaming while you sleep

I hope. Over the past few nights, I've had trouble sleeping. Instead of using this and this, I've used this. I feel like I need words instead of silence. The emptiness of the room is a tad too much. I feel ok. I need to laid my soul down, rest it for a bit, an overnight. Then the journey will continue.

Stretch play

Lately, I've been stretching my arms, stretching them high above my head, toward the sky. As though I am ready to receive something from the heavens. Maybe I will. Maybe something in a different form. We'll see.

A hop, skip and a jump

Back when I was in elementary school, I had the hardest time skipping. Seriously. That's bad, I know. But soon enough, I skipped down the Yellow Brick Road.

Back when I was little, I had a devil of time learning to tie my shoes. I just couldn't get it right. Until, one day, my little hands got it right.

Back when I was a kid, it took me the longest time to learn to ride a bike. I couldn't trust myself to balance on two wheels. Until, I just did it. Then, only the wind could catch me.

Starting out hasn't always been easy for me. There's been an anxiety, a wanting to perform so well that I stumble to the ground. But I've always come back and met the challenge. No, I've never been perfect. Far from it. But I have been persistent. The failures I've had, in obvious and mysterious ways, give me confidence.

Redemption song

Sometimes, in the course of a task, or activity, we fall short. It's not on purpose, or out of malice. We stumble when we shouldn't. We don't want to disappoint those we love and care about. In our moves to please, we don't quite make it through. And we carry the burden of not completing within. We feel lower in the eyes of our friends, let them down in some way. We want our friends to understand we want to make them happy. We want to make it up, to redeem ourselves. To show that we are more than that singular moment. To show the fullness of ourselves. Inside and out.

Experiments in photography

Finally, a photo for the blog. It's a simple one, but it says a lot. A lot about a mother's love, and how love can manifest itself, even in the most mundane of things.

And the soft-shelled crabs were great.

Plus de merci beaucoup

More on the theme of thank-yous...

Even in the midst of sadness and sorrow, you have so much to be thankful for. That sadness makes you aware of what you have, and what is present, even through tears. And, what is possible. Though it's old, this letter stands strong in the test of time. (the link is safe). Just the act of saying thank you in the face of adversity is empowering. It emboldens you, builds your courage to face what comes next on the journey.

Roles and missions

I've never been fond of stereotypes, even though there is a grain of truth to them. Human beings are much too complex to to be placed into simple boxes. But we sometimes allow ourselves to. Societal pressures, familial pressures, can conspire to make us become a shadow of ourselves. I want to be me, warts and all. I don't care about the roles that society wants me to play, to conform to rules that may be questionable. I want to do what is right, by me and by the people around me and who I care about. This is what should be important.


This may explain some things. My heart feels bad, and good, all at once. It's sad, but full of abundance at the same time.


That someone is on my mind. This person wants, with everything they have inside of them, to flow their words to me. I am not purposefully blocking them. I need to breathe a little.

This person should know they are special to me. Always. I have not abandoned you. Now, as ever, this special person, their words and their spirit, give me nourishment.

The one thing

Is there anything you've truly, truly wanted in life? No, not a car, a boat, or a house. But something closer to you, your soul?

For me, it's this. To give everything I have inside of me to that one special person. My heart, my soul. Everything that I know I have inside. My heart and soul want to flow freely to someone. Let them bathe in the warm waters of the river that is me. Support them, nourish them, watch them be happy. To share in the journey of life. My heart and my soul are abundant. They are waiting, willing to give and to share.

A new job, a new car, can't do these things. Only the heart and the soul can.

Cutting through my fog

I want my thoughts, intentions and actions to be clear and seen. But, if I'm in pain, a fog rolls in. The pain speaks louder than I want it to. I fight through that fog so people will understand what is inside of me. I want people, especially the ones closest to me, the ones in my heart, to see all that's inside. I want them to understand what I see and feel. And I want them to know that I care about them. My ways can be subtle, but they always have lots of feeling, of empathy. My intention is never to confuse anyone. And if I do, I want to clear it up so it's known where I stand. I want them to see the light, the best inside of me. Always.

The big D

I love the quote at the top of this blog. Right now, that is me, though it seems the universe is not conspiring in the way I want. Or is it? Maybe, in the infinite wisdom of God, this very personal journey I find myself on is setting up for something different. But what? And when? And why isn't now good enough? This universe, I want to dive joyously into it. And reach what my heart desires.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A mighty hunter

If I have an Achilles heel, it's possible being a half-step slow in matters of the heart. I think it's only because I want to protect it. But if there's no risk, there's no reward. But when my heart gets moving....look out. It's hard to stop, like a train. It knows what it wants. It runs and runs until it gets what it wants or it hits a wall. The wall hurts more when the heart knows, knows, what it wants.

A parable...of soft-shelled crabs

I'm back.

Every time I make the journey back, my mom always sends me off with food. This time, as in the past few times, it's been soft-shelled crabs. But something a little different this time around. She packed the crabs in a small cooler, and just gave the cooler to me. I was a little surprised, as I thought she would need it somewhere down the line. But she gave it freely and willingly. And that's today's lesson. You can give and love unconditionally. This is a lesson I am continually learning.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Center reach

As difficult as it can seem sometimes, in the midst of life, I can always find the center. I know where it lies, and keeps me pointed where I should be.

Such wonderful words

I love these words from this blog. They are a great reminder of the journey....

"Every Warrior of the Light has felt afraid of going into battle.
Every Warrior of the Light has, at some time in the past, lied or betrayed someone.
Every Warrior of the Light has trodden a path that was not his.
Every Warrior of the Light has suffered for the most trivial of reasons.
Every Warrior of the Light has, at least once, believed he was not a Warrior of the Light.
Every Warrior of the Light has failed in his spiritual duties.
Every Warrior of the Light has said 'yes' when he wanted to say 'no.'
Every Warrior of the Light has hurt someone he loved.
That is why he is a Warrior of the Light, because he has been through all this and yet has never lost hope of being better than he is."

The ecology

In honor of Blog Action Day, just a few words on the environment. Even if you don't agree with Al Gore and everyone driving a Prius, you have to know that something funky is going on when it's mid-October and it's in the mid-70s. The question of global warming is daunting--how can one person save the world, when the problem seems so daunting? Like anything in life, the small things count. Turn your computer off at night. Don't keep on all the lights in the house. Cut down the amount of driving you do. Consistent, small steps can make a huge difference. If you are paying attention.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Sometimes people give you things when you least expect it. Someone has done this for me. This special person has expanded my heart, and my soul enormously. This person has reminded me of all the things I can give to someone else. And to see the joys and wonders of a child. My fervent wish is for this special person to know how much they and their gifts truly mean to me and my spirit and my heart. And to give these special gifts back to this very special person. If not now, soon.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Night lights

Another skyline, another light shining down. I went to visit an old friend, my dad, this evening. It was good to take in the lessons of a man who's seen a lot. He always gives me pointers on the twists and turns of life. But while driving through that skyline, and on the road back, there is a question in my mind. I have to work on it on my own for awhile. It's one I haven't asked in a long time.


In this moment
Lying on the beach
The waves lap against my soul


The storm roils inside
Outside, the sun's rays warm
I wait for the clouds to part

Friday, October 12, 2007

Plus ca change

I'm home, and it feels ok. Just ok. It's changed much in the year I've been away. New entrances to town, new homes, new faces. But there are the same homes, and same faces as well. It's comforting, somewhat.

Something is weighing on my mind. How can I let go of something I care deeply about? Is that possible? Is that right?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The thunder rolls

the heavens open

the garden blooms


The road ahead is dark
My spirit is filled with light
The way forward beckons

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The road ahead

Tomorrow night I start my holiday, a much-needed one. About this time, I should be circling Washington, hurtling through the darkness toward eastern Virginia. My folks and my friends are worried--I'm leave right after work. I assured them I'll be ok. I won't take any foolish chances on the highway. There's too much for me to still do to run dumb risks. I'll play it safe and smart.


A foot cautiously steps out on the ice
The heart gives support
The sun bears down

I am the warrior

I really enjoy receiving these letters every week. There is always in them to take away, ponder and take to heart. The prayer in the first item is wondrous and thought-provoking, and a little cheeky. Enjoy, and keep it close by.

Something different--2

I'm trying something a little different. I'm trying to right small, three-line zen poems, similar to these. These are baby steps, but steps forward nonetheless. Another way for me to stretch myself, my mind and my heart.

Something different

Mind wants to race far
Heart says right now
I close my eyes

The breath of the wind
The stillness of the heart
The flowing of the waves

Pieces of the puzzle

Symmetry has been on my mind a lot this week, the way things in life fit together. A small example--this morning, I woke up a little too early, thoughts swirling in my mind. I couldn't calm them. I turned on the radio, and hear this beautiful song, lead by a great piano. It lifted and calmed me, putting my mind at ease. Then I listened to the chords a little more closely. Ah, that's what it was. John Coltrane's Naima, which earlier had the same effect on me, at about the same time of morning. This time around, it was McCoy Tyner, a one-time bandmate of Coltrane, playing. (On the original song, Tommy Flanagan has piano duties.) There's some comfort in seeing how the pieces of the world's jigsaw puzzle fit.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It's not just a war dance

YouTube is an extremely dangerous website. You hear one tidbit on the radio, and you spend an hour fiddling around. But in the bargain, you learn something. I've heard of the All Blacks, New Zealand's rugby team, and the dance the team does before each match. A lot of people think the haka is a war dance, but it's not all it is. Yes, it looks and sounds intimidating. But look at the history and the lyrics, especially the Ka Mate. It's a song about the celebration of life over death. Every time I've seen it tonight, I've gotten goosebumps. It's awe-inspiring.

Plus de pluie

I miss a bunch of things about Brussels, but right now, I miss how the rain used to hit my apartment. I had a small duplex a 15 minute walk from the city center. The bedroom was upstairs, and on usual rainy days, the raindrops would dance on the windows, a sweet lullaby. I used to open a window, staring out at the rain and the low murmur of the city, thanking my stars I was there.

Let it rain down...

The persisent crackle over the AM radio signaled what this area desperately needs: rain for the grass, and the corn that have been staring heavenward for sustenance. The pavement is beginning to glisten, and the wind is stirring. Brussels spoiled me for rain. It seemed that all I had to do was look up, and a raindrop would poke me in the eye.

And there, in the distance--the clarion call of thunder. I can't remember the last time I heard it. The wind has brought in cooler air, and hopefully with it, fall. Mother Nature is making everything right.

Addendum, or, Fantastic finsh

As a quarterback, Tony Romo last night had as bad a night as you can have. Five interceptions. Five. At one point, the Cowboys were down 24-16. And still...

Wade Phillips, the coach, said to Romo, "
Wouldn't it be amazing if we won this game?" Romo was thinking the same thing. "I'm always thinking that we're going to go out and score on the next drive," Romo said.


The sequence was incredible, but then came the finish. Kickers rarely get any credit, especially if they fail. Nick Folk, the rookie kicker for the team, wasn't nervous as he tried to win the game in the dying seconds. Wasn't nervous as the Bills called a timeout, negating his first attempt. And certainly wasn't nervous as the ball sailed through the uprights on the second attempt, clinching the win. Simple confidence. When asked if that was that was the biggest kick he's made, he said simply, "For now."

The Cowboys had no right to win a game they played so poorly in. Classic trap game. And yet. They never gave up on themselves. They knew they had a chance. They gave themselves that chance. And they succeeded.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Trap game!

In sports, there is a nasty little devil called the trap game. It ensnares good teams that overlook bottom-feeders and look to the big game against the big dog on the block. I fear this has happened to my beloved Dallas Cowboys. As I write this, America's Team is losing to the hapless, injury-riddled Buffalo Bills. That big game ahead for the Cowboys? The 5-0 New England Patriots. I'm certain my guys can turn the thing around. Right? Update in the morning.

Peace be still

As the warm night air here is still, so are my mind and my heart. Still, and warm. The universe feels fine, and still itself.

No matter what

How do you spell confidence? The ability to return to your center, no what happens. We all grow, adapt, evolve. We all get hurt, feel sad, stub our toe. But the center of me, the soul, the spirit, is strong. Strong, and light.

Lesson plan

The best teachers I've had have never made is easy for me. They've push me harder, higher, than I would have gone on my own. They've never allowed me to settle for less that what they believed I deserved. They've always been benevolent, compassionate, caring. They've dusted me off when I've fallen, and not allowed me to stop, no matter how tired I've been, or hopeless things have seemed.

The best teacher I've had though, is experience. The failures of the past are just steppingstones for the next adventure.
The urge to walk away, leave it because the failures seem so hard, is tempting. But you keep moving, because it's right to do. And those failures shine a bright light on what is right when it comes. And it does comes.

Reincarnation is not supposed to be about becoming a butterfly, or a bird, or a tree, but becoming a tree. It's about becoming your best self. That is a good lesson to keep.

Rescue me, or Joe Cool

For one night, at least, he's safe. Joe Torre still has a job, and the Yankees fight to live another day. The one thing I've always admired about Torre is no matter what Steinbrenner throws at him, no matter what the New York media throw at him, he is unflappable. He knows himself. Simple as that. He's not defined by the vicissitudes of others. Quiet strength, like another coach.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Flight time

I sat outside for awhile this afternoon, enjoying the last vestiges of unseasonably warm weather. Storm clouds were rolling in from the west, pregnant with much-needed rain. Over my head, soaring, playing, were eagles. They didn't have anywhere in particular to go. They rode the wind, the thermals, using Mother Nature to tell them where to go. They floated along, on invisible currents, to land somewhere distant. Over the horizon, I spot a much-larger bird, ferrying its precious cargo to an airfield. I wanted to be up in the air today. Sometimes, up there feels safer than down here.

No pressure

No pressure at all. When you boss says your job is on the line, you better deliver. When your boss is George Steinbrenner, and your name is Joe Torre, your margin of error is tiny. The Boss called out Torre, saying he'd better win tonight, avoid a sweep by the Cleveland Indians, or you'll be singing "Happy Trails." Any thoughts of the Boss being incapacitated, not knowing what's going on, were swept away. He understands drama, how to motivate. It's a helluva way to do it, but it can be effective.

A million times

I've heard this song, but it still gives me goosebumps. Whether he's selling trucks or not.

Remember one thing

Ten or 11 years ago, I went to my dad's church. To spend time with him, and for a class assignment. I don't remember anything the pastor said, except for one thing. Tough times call for tough saints.

Ghost of a chance

I had a weird dream this morning. I was in the second story of a buidling in my hometown. Some of my co-workers were there, and we were rummaging through the place and eating lunch there. Then some of us got the idea to see what was behind this door. Somehow, I took the lead. I grabbed a broom handle, knocking away cobwebs as we moved cautiously forward. Then, there it was--a ghost coming at us. Everyone screamed, panicked. Except for me. The apparition came closer and closer, pointing at me. When it came up to me, I poked at it. Its face gave a little, then it was gone.

That gave me strength, a lift. More gas for my tank.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Comforts of home

Where is home? Anywhere I am. What are those comforts? A warm room, filled with people. A songstress singing about surrey with the fringe on top. A TV that won't work properly. A delicious salmon steak. Cold Italian beer. Coffee that reminds me of nights in strange hotels. A cool breeze with the windows down, to comfort and caress my soul. Kids singing on a patio about a splintered man with splintered dreams (how would they know!). Crickets and stars on an unusually warm night. The heart of someone far away, but still so near.

To the limit

A TV show just aired something called the Newton Triathlon/Duathlon. The participants try to run as many triathlons as possible. In 24 hours. You stretch yourself to the limits, to the breaking point. How far can you go? How deeply can you reach inside of yourself? Can you push past your breaking point, when your goal is still ahead of you? Yes, you can.

Merci beaucoup

Sometimes a little thank you can set a day back to its proper balance. Something so small can carry a big impact. Even in a difficult situation, you can have something to be thankful for.

Weather forecast

The fog that has enveloped the area for the past few days is trying to lift. It's felt a little like Brussels here--but without the beer and frites. Should I take that as a metaphor? The sun always, always comes out.

Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier--Colin Powell

Friday, October 5, 2007


Heading south into the city, traffic slowed. I couldn't tell why. I opened the windows, and the breeze flowing in was refreshing, as if it knew what I needed. The lights snaked and danced, as if a ballet was being performed. I then headed to the bridge. Usually I feel jittery making the uphill climb, but tonight, no jitters. Smooth. I headed for the airport, to turn around. Driving through, seeing people waiting to see loved ones again, the noise of the planes, the lights--my soul felt light. I felt like a kid walking into a toy store, with the world laid out for me.

Through the haze of the early night, many of the city's skyscrapers were lit in red--urging the Phillies on. Urging me on.

Looking up through the sunroof, I saw some stars out. Giving me another lift. A boost for the spirit. A place to aim for.

Gonna fly now

Philadelphia is a city of underdogs. Fighters. The city's sports teams haven't won a title since 1983--the Curse of Billy Penn. But they keep trying. Keep fighting through. Kep hoping. The Phillies are down 2-0 in the playoffs, and in danger of losing a short series. But they move on. After all, the Mets had a seven-game lead with 17 games to play. And they lost out.

I'm going to ride down to the City of Brotherly Love a little later. To feel the lights. The speed. Play chess at 65 mph. To feel some of that spirit. Get in touch with my inner underdog.

(Yes, I've run up the steps. The view of the skyline is amazing.)

Out of sight

What the hell? Can you imagine a ship without a captain? A mayor without a city? That's the situation in Atlantic City, NJ, now. Amazing. Simply amazing.

At the car wash

Finding moments of zen, of stillness, of emptiness, is hard to achieve. But there I was, in the car wash, watching the squeegees move over the car. And for five seconds, there was stillness, nothingness. Not long, but noticeable. And a relief.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Instruction book

This link gives nine lines of inspiration and instruction (mid-page). All good points to remember.

Confidence man

I've had a very trying day. But I'm happy. By all accounts, I should be miserable. But I'm happy. Confident and self-assured for the simple reason that I am comfortable with myself. My goodness. My heart. My soul. It's a recipe that may not produce fireworks, but it's a formula built to last. Strong, durable. Attractive, if I may be so bold. And worth the trouble. The formula should plain to see, but for some, it's been hard to grasp. Amazing, isn't it?
It's amazing what strength you can gain from adversity--confidence, self-assuredness. It's a great feeling.

The fog of the morning

I hate waking up early. Especially if I haven't slept much. I've had a lot on my mind overnight. Another storm hit. This one will blow away, but I really want it to stay. But it doesn't see it that way, a shame. You give of yourself, freely, willingly, joyfully. But still, it is not enough.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My soul needs

a boost. Please forgive a repeat performance...

Here's a quote from Albert Murray's book "The Hero and the Blues" ...

Nevertheless, the image of the sword being forged is inseparable from the dynamics of antagonistic cooperation, a concept which is indispensable to any fundamental definition of heroic action, in fiction or otherwise. The fire in the forging process, like the dragon which the hero must always encounter, is of its very nature antagonistic, but is also cooperative at the same time. For all its violence, it does not destroy the metal which becomes the sword. It functions precisely to strengthen and prepare it to hold its battle edge, even as the all but withering firedrake prepares for subsequent trials and adventures. The function of the hammer and the anvil is to beat the sword into shape even as the most vicious challengers no less than the most cooperatively rugged sparring mates jab, clinch, and punch potential prize-fighters into championship condition.

Heroism, which like the sword is nothing if not steadfast, is measured in terms of the stress and strain it can endure and the magnitude and complexity of the obstacles it overcomes. Thus difficulties and vicissitudes which beset the potential hero on all sides not only threaten his existence and jeopardize his prospects; they also by bringing out the best in him, serve his purpose. They make it possible for him to make something of himself. Such is the nature of every confrontation in the context of heroic action.

One step back, two steps forward

Life is full of compromise. Give and take. Push and pull. Yin and yang. To get something, you have to give up something sometimes. We tend to be scared to make that sacrifice of giving up, because we tend to think what we have is too precious to surrender. Little do we know that by opening up our arms, just a little, the reward will exceed anything we possess on our own.

The dream of the blue..rabbit?

This may bother me today. I took a quick nap this morning, and had a quick dream. There was a rabbit (black and white, not blue) and a frog, sitting on the living room floor. It startled me. What does it mean?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Walk on by

Letting the cares and concerns of the world float by can be difficult. From seemingly trivial to the most heart-wrenching, to be hypnotized by the news, to be seduced, memorized by it, is all too easy. But it's just as easy to walk away. Go outside and stop being bombarded by the constant noise. I've been amazed by how easily I can disconnect from the stream, go off somewhere and find myself again. The abilityto just walk on by gets to be second nature after awhile.


It's never a good idea to out-think the room. You should feel the vibe, the flow of the room and swim with it if the current is good. Swimming upstream for its own sake is foolish and wasteful.

Addition by...addition

Lots more good stuff on the tumblelog, including....

  • cheating on sleep
  • what do you when nobody loves you
  • finding time for what matters
  • leaving for paris in 56 minutes.

Go take a gander...


This is a smart take on the whole Apple iPhone unlocking/bricking. The religious view gives it an interesting twist. IPhone fans and hackers are up in arms that Apple released an update that disabled much of the stuff they downloaded that wasn't authorized. We can argue whether Apple should or shouldn't open up the phone to third-party hacks.

The episode points to something amiss in society. People want what they want, and they want it now. They, we, aren't willing to wait for a better version of something, knowing it will come. We want it right, straight out of the box. And we're treating the device--as cool as it is--as this world-changing thing, when all it is, is a phone. That's all. By itself, it won't solve global warming, the situation in Iraq, the situation in Myanmar. If we only attached the same amount of significance to those areas, imagine what could be accomplished.

Monday, October 1, 2007

What goes up, must come down

An example of the way the universe balances itself out. On one end of Interstate 95, jubilation. On the other end, despair. The Philadelphia Phillies were seven games back in baseball's National League East division with 17 games to go, looking up at the New York Mets. Then the Mets fell apart. Last week was horrendous for them--losing six of seven to two awful teams. Meanwhile, the Phillies kept plugging away, winning a few, losing one or two. They never gave up, even in late innings. The Mets, though, wilted, letting a sure thing slip through. The two lessons: victory is fleeting, but you should never give up.

Velvet rope

I hate velvet ropes. I hate places with velvet ropes. I always feel inadequate passing by some place using a velvet rope to keep (most) people out. I like a place--bar, jazz club, whatever--where I can go in, sit, have a drink, or a coffee, with no drama. Simple, elegant.

I've been waiting for months for an invitation to Joost. It's an internet TV application that has a ton of free programs. They've been quite parsimonious with the invites--at first blush, to keep out the rabble. But it's likely it was to make sure their servers were ready for the pounding they'd take today, when they opened the doors to everyone. It was worth the wait (CSI!), despite those damn ropes.