Wednesday, October 3, 2018


I read something recently that has altered my thinking about technology and of about life.

One article suggested that detaching ourselves from our technology gadgets and apps would connect us instead to our real selves because that is what we are looking for in the mesmeric fog of addiction to our devices.

I had to think about that for a day or two. I agree we want to know who we are. So many of us believe that the connections to anyone and everywhere will help us find the personal grail of awareness and thus complete our quest into finding our place in the human gestalt.

The passage when on to say that what we are indeed looking for in our quest is our atavistic connection to the earth; Mother Earth, Gaia, an ancient moniker of the sentient earth. An Earth aware of itself, of us and our actions and the consequences of our actions.

It suggested that to find our passage to a personal understanding of self, we must stop the constant electronic connections, i.e., cell phones, computers, television, etc. and spend the day alone with ourselves, listening to our hearts, to our spirit, and to our souls.

What do you think?

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Memory Triggers

I haven't been hiding, just contemplative.

I listened to some music of the fifties and sixties the other day and it brought back many wonderful memories of hops, high school dances, summer jobs and puppy loves and fun times with friends.

I tried to remember if my parents talked about the music they listened too in the late twenties and thirties. Performers like Guy Lombardo, Cab Calloway, The Mills Brothers, Tommy Dorsey, Bing Crosby and the profound Ella Fitzgerald. I couldn't recall, but I’m sure they did.

Music is the great remember-er of happy times or sad times, of lost loves or just of younger times, especially when one is older and listens, by chance, to a song that invokes an emotion long gone in the mind but lifted to the conscious surface of thought with a knowing smile.

For me sometimes flavors are like that too. I cooked some fresh green beans the other day and I tasted one raw before it when into the pot. The flavor brought back memories of family holiday dinners and the goodies on the kitchen counter.

Music, tastes and aromas are the sensory catalysts of memories. Sometimes the aroma of a Pot Roast cooking in the oven will take me back to childhood. The ancient dusty smell of a long-used stage will bring me to plays and performances I saw or performed in as a young man. 

The sound of a trickling and gurgling mountain stream moves me to atavistic memories of lazy days fishing and hiking; even the occasional pipe smoke one comes across these days will remind me of my Dad. Other aromas invoking memories from the past are cut grass, summer rain, dust from a pillow fight, fresh cut lumber, farm barns, familiar perfume, stale smoke, and coal gas in the morning stoke of the furnace.

Spiritually, I suspect that many of us hear the divine din of the universe when we take the time of let go of all the holding thoughts that keep us from knowing who we are.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Hurricne Florence

Hurricane Florence

The images of devastation coming out of the Carolinas are powerful.

         Along with the flooded and crumbled homes and bodies, come the tears of the living. Sometimes they come in sobs, sometimes in wails of disbelief. The old cry for the loss of memories, hoping for the strength to start again. The very young cry not fully understanding what loss is they  just know something is wrong.

         There is worry from all, especially from the children whose bed and toys vanished in the winds and rain of Florence.  Parents do what they can to comfort the little ones, but the eyes of worry mirror the heart.

         Right now, North and South Carolina are states that scream, you can feel it, as victims search in the puzzle of rubble and find yesterday's peace is tomorrow's uncertainty.

         As we hear the stories of those in need, as we become numbed by the statistics of loss, we cannot feel secure because we have normalcy, because we have shelter or we have food, or because it didn't happen here.

          Real security, only comes from giving.  Instantaneous response to need defines true service so that others know they have not been forgotten by the collective healing spirit of what we call community. What we call America.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


I had the pleasure to kayak in a river near my home. It was an eight miles run as the crow flies, but probably about ten miles with the winds and bends of the river in a point to point paddle.

It was peaceful, calm, mostly quiet and deeply spiritual. The weather was perfect, a zephyr or two here and there, but mostly sunny with a few puffy clouds festooning the blue dream of sky.

In the serene glide of still water, I watched the life that lives on the flotsam of the surface. Insects marooned on leaves and on pieces of bark and wood will flow for miles to a damn and a falls. What their fate will be I know not, but in the meantime their float was gentle.

Water spiders skated across the smooth glassy surface and often exceeded my paddled glide as I conversed with friends and enjoyed the companionship and the natural external balance of the river. In some ways, the river is an insulator between the gravity of the earth and the minds freedom to soar into places of magic and realms unknown.

At one point I thought about all the life that lives in places we rarely think about. On the leaves and debris I just mentioned, but also the bacteria in and on our bodies, the living organisms that we breathe in and out with every breath, the microbes beneath the sea and the ones that sail on the particles of dust in the high atmosphere.

Life is everywhere, and if you accept that premise, then so is love. All we have to do is be aware and acknowledge that each is connected to the other in the sustainment of all life. It is never the singular life of the other; it is always the collective life of us ONE.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Rain Drops

Today I spent some time away from the acclaim and the disdain of news and sitting outside I watched the rain come down. I was protected only from the wet.  I felt the rain’s sibilant sounds, the damp, and the constant mesmeric rhythm of nature’s symphony. I felt the divine singularity of a timpani drip and the clap of drops on leaf. It enveloped my whole body with a splash of wonder, and I watched the forest cleansing from the detritus dust of humankind.

What a glorious moment to a dark day to open the poetic muse.

Rain Drops
© 2018 /Rolland G, Smith

The drops, the mist, the pour of rain
In drizzle’s damp and wet refrain
Become the crystal ball of thought
And set a web where dreams are caught.

To watch a drop move down a leaf
And catch a limb with some relief,
Then move, with patience, to the source
As man should do with no remorse.

And once the drop is on the ground
It sinks below without a sound.
To feed the roots of growth above
For me, I call it, Nature’s love.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Recuring Thoughts

I’m wondering where we are going as a society these days and even as a global humanity.
It seems to me there are more deceptions, disagreements, and more contentions within our common exchanges of thought and action. Daily transactions often end in arguments over innocuous issues. Negotiations over important issues in the chambers of government and corporate boardrooms lack conversational courtesy and completion.
What has happened to us? Are we so cemented in blind opinion that we refuse to consider another thought or idea as valid? Are we so busy, so tied to the construct of time, that we cannot read a little more, research a little more and even change the channel once in awhile to hear another viewpoint?
My career as a reporter, writer, and producer in broadcast television began and was sustained in the era of fairness and strict rules. There were and are always more than two sides to every story and you were not a good reporter unless you sought out and checked all conceivable sides to the story and reported only the facts as you discovered them. If you didn’t, there was always a solid, experienced senior editor who demanded you verify your facts and eliminate conclusions or the story did not run.
These old editors where not just sticklers on facts and fairness they were curmudgeons on grammar and spelling. Find that today in the television newsrooms of America.
A great writer-reporter friend of mine once told me about a time an editor said to him after submitting a story. 
“All A’s” It’s all A’s.”
My friend was thrilled, he was new at the job and he knew the old editor didn’t give out compliments.
As my friend started to walk away from the editors desk, glowing in the compliment, the editor said, “When you spell Manhattan, it has all “a’s” in it.
I see more opinion in news stories today than ever would have been allowed in my era and should not be allowed today.
Opinion should be left to the certified experts and not to the reader or reporter of the story. We, as free citizens, have the responsibility to inform ourselves by listening, reading and watching widely. To listen to only one station, read one newspaper, or read one magazine you are narrowly informed about as much as a flashlight bean lights the whole darkness.
How do we as a society, with a multitude of informational choices, get back to informational accuracy and fairness and back to social and intellectual civility?
I think if society embraces courtesy and civility first, the media will have no choice, but to follow. The media today is a reflection of all social mores. 
Perhaps it will take an individual change of heart! Perhaps it is the ascension of a conscious and benevolent choice of our hearts into the mind choices of life and remembering the “do unto” ethic that is a tenant of all beliefs.
We hear a lot about unconditional love these days. Maybe combined with our heart’s authentication and authorization that’ll work. I hope so.
Unconditional love is unencumbered, undefiled by emotion.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The number 13!

Today is Friday the 13th.
Some thoughts on Tristadecaphobia.

The fear of the number thirteen.

The superstition is ancient; it may have been enhanced during the time of Christ.  There were 13 people at the last supper before Christ was betrayed.  Also, it is believed the crucifixion took place on a Friday, so the combination of the number and the day became a bad omen.

In American history, however, the number thirteen is esoterically prominent.

Take out a dollar bill.  Look at the back side.  In the two circles, you will find both the front and reverse sides of the great seal of the United States.

Look at the eagle. In the left talon, he holds 13 arrows.  In the right talon, an olive branch.  On it, 13 leaves and 13 berries.  The ribbon in the eagle's beak contains the Latin phrase " E Pluribus Enum."  Count the letters.  Thirteen.

The other side of the seal shows an unfinished pyramid.  Count the steps.  Thirteen.  The inscription "Annuit Coeptis" also contains thirteen letters.

Perhaps thirteen is not unlucky by its nature. Maybe it responds to the energy we give it.  Like so many things, our response to something or someone is directly related to the quality of our input.

Being positive or negative is a choice.

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