Friday, November 30, 2007
Here where I sit, the sky is clear, with stars dancing in the dark. The air is still, peaceful as the air filled with snow.
About this last point--Read the quote in the middle. Now, the thought is the antithesis of the way Western society operates. We are raised to always have goals, something to strive for. But sometimes we suffer. Is it because of the striving? Maybe, I don't know. I do know it's hard for us to just be. Just be.
Kenny Werner wrote a book called "Effortless Mastery." If we have one goal, maybe it's this--our lives should be effortless, flowing.
The morning commute is rarely seen as a thing of joy and beauty. It's too early, you didn't eat enough breakfast, you're tired, the traffic is awful, the weather bad.
Then, there you are, driving on the turnpike, in the outer lanes, near the airport. Traffic's moving well, and you sense something different, something--beautiful, amid all the metal and the concrete. Coming around a curve, you are moving at one with the traffic, with the earth. And the goosebumps form.
And the feeling stays with you all day.
A couple of people in my company died recently. One had cancer, and the other had a heart attack on the subway. One of these people I knew slightly; the other I'd never met. For whatever reason, I'm feeling their loss. The slight knowledge of one, and the suddeness of the other, I suppose. It's a reminder of the tenuousness, impermanence of life, and the preciousness of each moment.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Blue light dolphin, gliding through the wave
I've never figured it out. That's fine...
Postscript--one of the best concerts I saw was K&D at Irving Plaza in New York. It started at midnight, ended at 3, and visually and sonically, unlike anything I'd seen.
This probably puts me at odds with most of the world, and that's cool. My drums beat differently. And this doesn't make me unambitious or lazy; quite the contrary. My ambitions are present, just merely in a different form.
I am not a robot. I want and need stimulation in everything I do. It is a search, a quest. Part of life.
As Vince Lombardi was famously screamed, what the hell is going on out here? You couldn't hear about a rock bond without tales of drugs, drink, groupies and sex. There was/is a hotel in Los Angeles, the Hyatt House, that was rechristened the "Riot House," as inebriated rock stars chucked TV sets out of the hotel's windows.
Now, they are looking for yoga and organic coffee.
Is this a sign of maturation, the corporatization of rock, or the times we live in?
I'm not glorifying binges or anything, but there seems to be little interest in becoming a legend, having stories to tell. It's about being good. I'm all about being good. But I want stories to tell, too.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Where I am now, it's socked in with fog. Seeing it, straining to see through it, brought me back to those nights gazing out of the back of a taxi, or sticking my head out of my bedroom window, just taking it all in.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
A couple of months after I got to Brussels, I went to this champagne party (the hostess had a thing for the bubbly). I met a woman there who had only intended to stay in Brussels a couple of years. It was her 10th year there. I was blown away. What kind of a place was this? Where had I landed? If you're of an open mind, Brussels can pull you in. Weather, taxes, and bureaucracy be damned. I have a thing for quirky places, and Brussels fits the bill. This article shines a light on why and how that place can pull people in, and not let them go. I bet that woman is still in Brussels...
Saturday, November 24, 2007
In life, many thoughts are born in the course of a moment, an hour, a day. Some are dreams, some visions. Often, we are unable to distinguish between them. To some, they are the same; however, not all dreams are visions. Much energy is lost in fanciful dreams that never bear fruit. But visions are messages from the Great Spirit, each for a different purpose in life. Consequently, one person's vision may not be that of another. To have a vision, one must be prepared to receive it, and when it comes, to accept it. Thus when these inner urges become reality, only then can visions be fulfilled. The spiritual side of life knows everyone's heart and who to trust. How could a vision ever be given to someone to harbor if that person could not be trusted to carry it out. The message is simple: commitment precedes vision.
From Hobbes (this one, not the other):
I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each others dreams, we can be together all the time.
The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.
What are you dreaming about on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon? Something? Someone? Whatever it is, keep dreaming.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
We should give thanks everyday, not just one special day. Everyday is special. We need to treat them as such.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Now, saying that, you can find a gem in that catalog. Successories has a couple of pages of motivational items in there. Most find them treacly. There's one I saw on the way to Brussels that spoke volumes to me.
"He failed in business in '31. He was defeated for state legislator in '32.He tried another business in '33. It failed. His fiancee died in '35. He had a nervous breakdown in '36. In '43 he ran for congress and was defeated. He tried again in '48 and was defeated again. He tried running for the Senate in '55. He lost.The next year he ran for Vice President and lost. In '59 he ran for the Senate again and was defeated. In 1860, the man who signed his name A. Lincoln, was elected the 16th President of the United States. The difference between history's boldest accomplishments and its most staggering failures is often, simply, the diligent will to persevere."
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
What will the next six months bring? I don't know. And I'm looking forward to the unknown. It scares me, the uncertainty, the unknown. But I have to continue into the forest, to see what is there.
No matter the weather, it's fine in Brussels. Sun, or cold, gray leaden skies. The city means a lot to me because I grew up and moved forward in the three years I was there. It showed me there was a huge world outside of what I previously knew. I am grateful for the time I spent there. I am grateful for each trip I take back there.
Monday, November 19, 2007
If you go to Brussels for the weekend like I did, you better be ready to handle the jet lag. Woooo momma, it's hitting me now. My body has caught up with me. But was it worth it? In a word, yes. Brussels is like an old pair of jeans to me. They fit well, even after a year of not wearing them. It was bright and cold there, unusual for that place. But, that place is unusual, quirky, a little mysterious. And enchanting and special.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
And then, it hit me. As fetching a talisman of the age as it is, it's hardly a substitute for what is truly important in life. This thing I hold in my hand, it's a nice gift. But greater gifts are waiting to be given, and received.
My spirit and my heart feel incredibly strong, and at the same time, incredibly light.
Yes. While the storms life may bring seem daunting, overwhelming, you must be on the journey. And you must love to be there, for the lessons to be learned, and the treasure that awaits at the end.
I could feel my heart, weakened by darkness and anger inside me, lift, become stronger. Overcome the worst parts of my soul. Overcome the sadness and the hurt.
Then, I felt a vision come over me. I was standing under a starred-filled sky. I reached into my body and removed my heart. I then lifted it above my head, towards the heavens, a sacrifice, an offering to the Great Master. I gave it willingly, freely, joyfully. There was joy in my soul, joy in my heart.
My heart beats strong. It is an active seeker.
My heart holds joy and happiness, and wants to release it.
My heart always wants to bear the fruits of faith, hope and love.
My heart sometimes bears fruits that don't reflect its true nature.
My heart forgives, and seeks forgiveness.
My heart mourns for what it has lost.
My heart yearns to give, to receive, to love.
My heart seeks to always grow.
My heart keeps me awake at night.
My heart is always strong.
My heart risks, loses, and gets up and keeps trying.
My heart continues to risk.
My heart wants to turn failure into success.
My heart perseveres.
My heart is expansive, it wants to remain open.
My heart sometimes runs wild.
I sometimes wish I could tame my heart, calm it, soothe it.
I ask God to stay with my heart.
My heart wants so little, and yet, so much at the same time.
My heart pierces the fog that lies silently over the morning.
My heart is strong through sun and rain.
My heart seeks.
My heart leads me.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
There's nothing wrong with knowing you need to learn more.
Help me tame my desires. Help me to want less. Help me to set down my burdens. Help me to overcome my failures. Help me to overcome my losses. Help me become my better self. Help me to see it. Help me to live it. Forgive me for my weaknesses. Forgive me, for I have harmed others. Help me to heal them. Help me to give them strength. Help me to see the strength that lies inside me.
Monday, November 12, 2007
One passage rings familiar...
The Warrior of the Light unwittingly takes a false step and plunges into the abyss.
Ghosts frighten him and solitude torments him. His aim had been to fight the Good Fight, and he never imagined that this would happen to him, but it did. Shrouded in darkness, he makes contact with his master.
"Master, I have fallen into the abyss," he says. "The waters are deep and dark."
"Remember one thing," replies his master. "You do not drown simply by plunging into the water, you only drown if you stay beneath the surface."
And the Warrior uses all his strength to escape from his predicament.
Do I have the strength to swim, and not drown?
It's raining now. Maybe the rain can wash me clean, and make me whole again.
Hear my prayer.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
"If you're going through hell, keep going..."
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
A beautiful, cold winter's day. You stand on the edge of a frozen lake. A hundred yards away, an island. A retreat. A foot steps tentatively on the ice. the other follow. Step, step. Then, the sound of a crack from below you. You look down, and a slight crack appears. What do you do now?
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Life is too precious to be without wonder and mystery, the whys and hows. We should crawl through it like kids at a playground, discovering what's new, fresh and exciting. Even in the mundane and everyday.
No matter what takes in my life, good or bad, my nature is such now that I always try to find the center.
At certain points in life we all need a buddy to slice through the fog life blows in. Someone to latch onto with their lights on to guide you through. And then, you can lead the way for someone else who needs a bright light in the pea soup.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Though I think the Pats will win today (their offense is rocket-powered), that doesn't lessen my admiration for Tony Dungy, the Colts' coach. He's one of the few black coaches in the league, has a Super Bowl title, and devised a defense that most teams in the league utilize. And he's developed a coaching tree comparable to legendary San Francisco coach Bill Walsh. All without being the stereotypical head coach--hard-driving, irascible, motivating by fear. He's a nice guy in a profession that doesn't mint nice guys. The thing I admire about him is that he knows himself, and with everything that is going on and swirling about him, he remains true to his core. His sense of himself is strong. He loves football, but it's not the only thing to him.
He's simply a good man. And a great coach.
There was a stretch last month when food tasted better than it had in awhile. For four days, I ate so well, it was like I was in a dream. The best burger, the best soft-shelled crabs, the best lamb, the best fried macaroni, the best breakfast. Ok, they may not have been the world's best, but my taste buds know good when they feel it.
Why was it so good? Again, I don't care. I needed it. My soul needed it.
A couple of days ago, I received a picture from a friend. This photo, in its sheer, incredible beauty, moved me, too. Stirred me up and filled me with an incredible lightness and desire. It floated me, carrying me off to the place of this beauty.
The soul knows what it needs to not only sustain itself, but to nourish it, feed it, grow. You may not know, but that's fine. Your soul finds the way to move. To be moved in these ways, and more, is such sweet joy.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Tonight, while driving around, I saw one of these.
I don't know how, but a beautiful woman and a hot car always make me stop and stare. The eye and the mind are naturally attracted to beauty. The reaction is so visceral, so raw.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
The other was that the teacher didn't want his students to be little brown jugs, only receiving information, and not interacting. It made sense then, but now I wonder, shouldn't our jugs be empty to receive? Can we truly receive if we are constantly interacting? I'm not saying interacting is bad--it's good. But you can't fill yourself up when you're full.