Friday, July 30, 2010


Maybe we shouldn’t mind the new 46-cent stamp. After all the Post office folks say they need it. The new two-cent increase will take place in January. Actually each increase in postal rates takes us back in time and some people have said that's not such a bad idea.

The last time it cost in the neighborhood of 40-cents to mail a single sheet letter was 1847. Then, you could send a letter coast to coast for 40-cents. In the early 1800’s the letter carrier eared two-cents for every letter he delivered. At those rates, to earn what the average postal worker makes today, the horseback letter carrier would have had to carry over two million pieces of mail a year.

The oldest known postal system goes back to the ancient world. In the 2nd millennium BC in Egypt and in the 1st millennium in China, message relay systems were established using riders on horseback.

Perhaps the best early postal service was the Persian system, established around 529 BC by Cyrus the Great and it still is considered one the great achievements of the ancient world. On the Sardis-Susa road alone, 111 relay stations connected population centers 1-thousand, 600 miles apart.

Rome used a similar system to keep in touch and trade with their conquered territories. When Rome collapsed so did the postal system and it wasn't re-established until the Renaissance. Then the University of Paris inaugurated a postal service that lasted five centuries. It was begun to carry letters and money between students at the University and their parents throughout France. Things haven't changed much have they?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tisquantum a.k.a. Squanto


That was his real name, but the Pilgrims called him Squanto. It is a story based on fact, but its telling through the centuries may have altered some of the events. Nevertheless, here is the story of Tisquantum, Squanto.

It was 1605 and the new world was just beginning to be explored by the great adventurers of Europe. An English crew under the leadership of Captain George Weymouth kidnapped Tisquantum, a Pautuxet Indian. He was taken to England and exhibited as a curiosity, often being led through the streets or placed in a cage. For nine years Squanto endured his capture and then was allowed to return to the new world with Captain John Smith's fleet in 1614.

His freedom was short. Most of Captain Smith's fleet returned to England, but one ship, the Orion, stayed to trade with the Indians. Its captain and crew were short on scruples and again kidnapped Squanto and several other Indians and made sail for Spain where they sold the Indians into slavery.

Squanto was given to some friars and as their salve they converted him to Christianity. Eventually he escaped, made his way to England and again returned to the New World with Captain Thomas Derner.

Six months later another vessel arrived on the shores of Massachusetts. It was the Mayflower. Squanto considered it his Christian duty to help and greeted them in English. We can only imagine their surprise.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

K. Mockingbird

Not too long ago I had the pleasure of reading one of my poems at a presentation in Sedona, Arizona. The experience embraced a live performance collaboration with K. Mockingbird of the Reed people. He was raised on the DinĂ© tah where he ‘listened much to the Wind and spoke to the Stars’ and had the pure joy of learning to play his first flute given to him by his Uncle.

Since then, he has been performing professionally on the Native American flute for 20 years and has recorded 9 CDs. His album “Spirits in the Wind” received a Grammy nomination for Best Native American Album in 2003; in that same year he won the award for Best Native American Duo at the Native American Music Awards.

He says and I agree…

“We are only a single note lingering in this cosmos, but as one people we make a strong chord in Harmony with the Universe.” ~ Mockingbird

Here’s his website:

If you'd like to hear his music while you read the poem I read that day go to this link.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010


To frack or not to frack is a big controversy in my area. It seems good. Quick money, needed money and all you have to do is lease your land to the natural gas seekers and they do the rest. They pay you upfront and you’ve got cash in hand. It’s a good deal in this economy. Right? You’d better read up on the horror stories. Better yet, see the documentary “Gasland.”

If you sign a gas lease agreement, eventually they (the gas people) come on your land with a drill derrick and high tech equipment and plunge into your land for a while and then the drilling takes a turn and carves a bore a good distance horizontally. I don’t know exactly how far, but it’s not a few feet.

The Marcellus gas shale is a strata of rock that extends from the Catskills in New York, through Pennsylvania, portions of Ohio, most of West Virginia and into a little bit of Kentucky. It has been known about for decades, but new techniques have made the gas more recoverable.

Next comes a high-pressure earth enema filled with millions of gallons of your ground water, sand and caustic chemicals most of which are considered carcinogens by the DEP and EPA. The pressure creates a minor earthquake and cracks or fractures the shale rock structure to release the gas.

The problem is “residual waste,” toxic wastewater that is supposed to be carted away for disposal, BUT…not all of it goes away. It stays within the fractured zone and in many cases pollutes by seeping into your aquifer, polluting your land, your drinking water and even your surface water for livestock and pets.

In one place in Dimock, Pennsylvania, where fracturing has been going on for some time, the ground water has turned brown, people got sick, livestock started loosing their hair, the stories go on and on.

This missive is not going to tell you what to do. Check it out yourself. I’m no more skilled on this than you are. I make no judgment in whatever choice you make. It’s your land. I don’t live on it, but there are definite consequences.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Along The Road

We often forget just how fortunate we are in our ability to see beauty everywhere.

The other day I was stopped at a crossroads waiting to pull out onto another road. I had the window of the car open. I looked down at the side of the road and there festooning the dusty dirt and grim that edges the side of all roads was a collection of Queen Anne’s Lace and the blue blossoms of wild Bachelor Buttons. It was beautiful. Then as I drove on the country road for a few miles to my destination I noticed hundreds these two flowering plants gilding my way. What a treat.

Along the Road

© 2010 Rolland G. Smith

Bachelor buttons and Queen Anne’s Lace

Astride the ways to every place.

Crocheted in white the doily blooms

Beside the lanky Bachelor Plumes.

Both thrive where few would like to be

Along the road for all to see.

A gift of grace for passers by.

Their whites and blues reflect the sky.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Clinical Dreams

It's been suggested that ancient man sometimes had trouble distinguishing between reality and the dream world. It's possible that when the "gods" told him to go plunder and pillage, he was simply, in a very real sense, "thinking out loud".

Most of that internal debate has been ended. The brain of modern mankind, usually, has a firm grip on reality. Except when we sleep. Sleep can still be the playground of “what if’s.” No barriers, no limits, it is what you imagine it to be.

Most of us don't keep track of our dreams, though maybe we should, since dreams are supposed be symbolic. Sometimes revealing our deepest self or our supra-consciencesness. The people who study these sorts of things have come up with some statistics about dreaming.

It seems that most of our dreams focus on individuals. Only 30% of the dreams recorded have a large cast and the choice of characters is important. We generally include ourselves in just about every dream. Men tend to dream more often about other men. In fact, as they get older, men tend to dream about men three out of four dreams. It's also interesting to note that more than half the time we dream about strangers or at least people we don't know in our waking state.

We also keep emotions out of most dreams. But when they creep in, worry takes the lead. We seem to expect problems more than we anticipate joy. 40% of the time, the emotion remembered in a dream will be fear. Happiness trails behind at 18%.

There are some who say that dreams are only a reflection of what we are. If only 18 percent of our dreams are happy and 40 percent deal with our fears, maybe it's time to change our thinking.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Foyer of Wonder!

A friend and teacher once wrote:

There is not a poem that has come from the "foyer of wonder"

That has not borne the tantalizing fragrance of the wonders of

The Other Side."

Dr. Kenneth George Mills.

What, I think, the late Dr. Mills means is that all creativity, no matter in what form of beauty it appears or is expressed comes from a dimension that is both within our being as well as beyond our conscious time and space. It comes from a place called “Wonder.” Wonder is the catalyst between the divine and the physical.

All of us wonder how profound poetry or literature comes into being after we read or hear great prose and say, “Wow”!

We wonder how beautiful music comes into being as we are moved by its divine crescending melodies and tonal poems of peace and joy.

We wonder where sculpture and art get its free flowing form, its softness and empathetic expression. It may articulate through trained hands and mental acuity of the artist, but its source is the Other Side. And how does the wonder of appreciation well in the intellectual heart and express itself as personal and profound awe.

The Other Side that Dr. Mills talks about is what we all seek. We seek to know it for it lessens whatever illusionary fears we have created. We expect to go the Other Side in some future moment of time, but it requires the most difficult forgiveness in our world. The forgiveness of self. A singular wonder in itself.

Dr. Mills says, "Man is a song." I would add as a subtext to his axiom. Man is also a poem.


The poet's eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.

Look to the foyer of wonder and open the door. Embrace the aroma from places you’ve never forgot. You cannot forget what and who you are.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Semper Fi"

Zachary Ryan Snow has sued the U.S. Maine corps because he suffered heat stroke during recruit training. He claims he was forced to exercise on a hot summer day thereby causing his heat stroke in Texas. He alleges the corps failed to supply him with an adequate amount of cool, fresh water in 100 degree heat.

I don’t know what will happen in the courts with this kind of frivolous litigation, but I hope the judge throws it out and says to Mr. Snow, “You wanted to be a Marine. What did you expect feather beds, air-conditioning and coddling?”

If Mr. Snow knew anything about the Marines he would have joined the boy scouts. (Sorry boy scouts, no offense intended to you. Most of you have a stronger physical ethic than Mr. Snow).

Nobody sued the Marines for atrocious conditions at Iwo Jima, Pork Chop Hill or Khe Sahn in Vietnam. Marines are special. They are not more important than any other branch of service, but they are trained for extreme hardships and they are hard-forged to endure and improvise in all battle conditions.

Mr. Snow take your lawsuit, put it between your legs and hide behind the grave markers of Marines and all the other services buried at the side of America’s patriotic road. You are not worthy of the motto, “Semper Fidelis.”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cats, Kittens and Compassion

What is it about cats and kittens than gets humankind so focused on survival?

Several days ago there was this story out of Pennsylvania where a kitten was stuck in a sewer. People tried to coax and get the kitten out of the sewer for two days before they called in a local RotoRooter company to help.

They discovered the whereabouts of the kitten with a fiber optic sewer cam and then decided in which pipe they would find her. A guy, who says he's an animal lover, descended into the sewer system and got the kitten. Somebody named it "Lucky" and it is now waiting adoption.

I remember a similar story a several years ago; the rescue of Molly the cat trapped behind a deli basement wall in New York City.

There was some criticism of the New York media then for spending too much time on the rescue of a cat and not on other stories. The story, however, was important because it symbolized and validated the sanctity of life, any life. Why else would so many people, spent so much time, energy and effort to save a stranded cat behind a wall or a kitten wandering a sewer line. It took two weeks to finally rescue Molly who was stuck behind a concrete wall.

Molly and Lucky remind us that the essence of life is cooperation, concern for the other and compassion for the sustainment of life.

Given humankind's penchant for violence and indiscriminate destruction of each other we have much to learn about where we focus our loving efforts.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Weekend

So here is Monday morning and a time of reflection. I asked myself what have I discovered, learned, and embraced over the weekend.

I discovered that locally grown sweet corn is just as I remembered from last year and from the buttered and salted flavor as a child. My Dad loved summer sweet corn and would sit down before he ate anything else and devour six or seven ears.

I learned that deer love plums. Just off my covered portico, nestled within our Buddha garden, is a mature plum tree that is filled with the ripening fruits. I know the squirrels and the chipmunks love them, as do the birds, but there is one doe who braves her natural fear of humankind to enjoy the growing sweetness. She is constantly not more that fifteen feet from my door.

This Doe and her friends chew all the plum flesh off the pits and then spit them out. My driveway, which is adjacent to the tree and garden, is speckled with fallen plums and clean pits.

What I embraced this weekend was the hot and humid warmth of summer and the morning delight of fleeting coolness before the rising sun had a chance to bake the house and gardens into a natural radiating oven.

If I put the entire discovery, the education and the embracement together I get an epiphany moment of joy and a powerful exultation of nature.

What more could one ask?

I hope you weekend was just as profound.


If you read Friday's post you know from where I write.

A puppy keeps you young and tired out. I love it.

Friday, July 16, 2010


The puppy is now ensconced in our home. Her nature continues to teach us that the expectation of what a new puppy is is not necessarily what a former puppy was.

Puppies are puppies and nary the twain shall meet to paraphrase an old and valid saying.

This little one is precious. Eleven weeks old and weighs in at two and a half pounds. McGee is her new name and she will probably max out between six and eight pounds.

OK, why a puppy now? I’m not sure, but I think we were ready after five years without a dog. We’ve had several throughout the years. We’ve had mutts and mixes and pure breeds and they were all both physical as well as spiritual companions.

I do believe in a symbiotic relationship between species. I believe other species, whoever they may be, are more attuned to our physical well being than we are. Some trained dogs can sense where an illness lies in a human body. Perhaps cats can too, but I have not read any literature on the feline detection in a human of an internal disease.

I do know that cats are sensitive. When my son was dying of brain cancer he had a cat that loved him, but in his last days the cat would not even go into his room. Within moments of my son’s death, the cat howled and bounded onto his bed wanting to play the way he used to with my son.

I think his cat was able to see my son’s spirit in the wholeness of its being and wanted to play the way they used too. the cat did not see any difference between the spirt and physical. I do not either anymore, but I do miss the physical presence of my son and know that he is doing more now for the betterment of humankind that he ever could while in form.

I have no proof of this. No scientific control to establish the beginning of a proof. I do have the experience of observation and that is what happened. The cat saw something that I did not until coincidence and meditation led me to know more!

Too many things have happened in the years since my son's death that can be dismissed as coincidence. Songs played when they shouldn't have. Serendipitous experience that is/was a direct reminder of my son's being. The discovery of feathers or other knowledge of his likes and dislikes, his hobbies and his educational gifts to the world.

I believe that nature provides these proofs and circumstantial evidence all the time for us, but we busy humans are neither not aware, nor are we observant enough to see more into it.

I also believe we can change it by choosing to do so.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nature and Puppies!

The morning sun awoke me with its rays shining through my bedroom window. I squinted through sleepy eyes and knew it must be just after six for that is when the bright bores through my easterly windows. It would be earlier, but a ridge a few miles away keeps the bright away until just after six.

I am fortunate to live in a house of windows. The bedroom has 16 different glass panels most facing east. At the Vernal Equinox the sun raises at the left most side of the window wall. At the Autumnal Equinox it raises at the right most panel. It is the first house I ever lived in that allowed me to watch the sun’s arc from the longest day to the shortest day and back again.

The profundity of the sun’s rising reminds me of the cyclical existence of my life. I awake. I live. I sleep. It goes on and on each day that I am privileged to experience this thing we call life.

In the part of the day that I am active on a conscious level I am presented with phenomenal opportunities to learn, that is not to say that sleep does not offer similar opportunities, but in a different awareness.

By observing carefully and patiently one can watch other life and if you let it, it teaches.

Squirrels, in my area are ubiquitous. I suppose I have encouraged their presence. I have numerous bird feeders and that’s cotton candy to the intelligent tree rodent.

Yesterday morning early, I sat on a deck chair, coffee in hand, and watched a young squirrel creep by me on his/her way to a hanging feeder. He or she was not more that two feet away from my chair. I spoke softly to it saying it was OK to pass. It would turn and stare me down until its mental safety mechanism or its hunger for the delicacy of sunflower and thistle seeds released it from its stare and it moved toward the feeder.

Once the Squirrel finished breakfast and left the feeder, the Finches, the Goldfinches, the sparrows, a tufted titmouse, a small woodpeckers, not the big palliated kind, and the Chickadees move in with their darting flight that seems so fast I cannot understand how they can light, without crashing, onto the small metal bars of the feeder. We have lots of Wrens and Bluebirds here too, but they seem to prefer other feed.

The Red Finches and the Gold Finches have their pecking order. No pun! They do. Chickadees grab a beak full and go someplace else to crack the seed and savor the nugget inside. The Finches eat the whole seed and chase others, not of their clan, who invade their territorial table. A little flight squabble ensues and the one of them perches on a nearby branch to wait for a turn.

Life’s like that. Sometimes we have to wait for a turn.

Oh Yeah! And then my wife and I went out a bought a puppy. Her name is Amber. She looks like a three pound Ewok. Now the puppy will get me up earlier than the sun. Some of us never learn.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Names and More

I’ve been thinking about nomenclature. The names we give in civilized society for certain groups or organizations. I saw one headline the other day that called the suicide market bombers in Uganda, “militants!”

76 innocents died from the dispassionate cruelty of terrorists and anarchists and we choose to call them militants. We need to start calling all of these kinds of evil slugs and groups exactly what they are and tell them in the global media that they are doomed to receive whatever they perpetuate.

“Militants?” These uneducated life forms are no-where near the sopistication of militants. They are worse than demons and devils. They are sycophants of the lowest order whose character, if we want to call it that, only exists in the sub-slime of humanity. They are delusionary imbeciles who think control and power only comes from hidden torture, bombing and carnage. It is most unfortunate that humankind still thinks blood is the catalyst for change.

We often need to remind our own government that progress from the depths of ignorance comes from discussion, logical persuasion, compassion, intellectual compromise and devout listening. It does not come from contention, controversy, rhetoric and partisan control.

Hello!! Congress!! Condemn the worst and embrace the overall best. That is the only reason you were elected.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Sometimes our minds wander to inane thoughts and we wonder about them, but rarely take the time to check the origins or history of the thought in question.

I don't know why, but I was thinking about silk the other day. It's genesis was probably a new silk tie I bought. I wondered about how humankind and a little worm could produce such beauty.

So I did some research. To wit:

A long time ago someone discovered that the tiny threads of a silkworm cocoon, two to three thousand feet long, could be unraveled and then twisted into strands of fiber. Who it was has been lost in history, but there are legends.

Going back to three-thousand BC, the Chinese say silk culture or sericulture was discovered by Hsi-Ling-Chi, the 14 year old wife of the mythological Emperor Huang-Ti. For centuries the Chinese only allowed nobility to wear silk and they regarded the art of making it as top secret.

It wasn't until 552 AD that two Persian monks, who had lived in China, stole the secret and brought it to Constantinople. They hid silkworm eggs and their prime source of food, Mulberry seeds, inside hollowed out bamboo canes. The silkworm thrives mainly on the leaves of the Mulberry tree.

Under the emperor Justinian I, the city of Constantinople became the occidental center of raw silk production. The Greeks, Syrians and the Arabs then learned the silk art in that famed city.

Many attempts have been made to introduce silk culture into the United States. The first U.S. silk-weaving mill was built in 1810 and in the 1830's, Patterson, New Jersey, called itself "The silk City of the World", but an American domestic silk industry failed. The mulberry trees needed to feed the worms didn't grow well in the North American climate.

Maybe tomorrow I'll think of contentious elitists or congress. Whoops, I guess that's redundant.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Noise! You know the kind that spills onto your sanity and disturbs your inner peace because it grates upon the divine din of the Universe.

The world today is filled with noise. It used to be filled with melody and music, with harmony and tonal pleasantries, and with the profound presence of quiet, but now it's unfiltered and unadulterated noise of shouts, argument, discords, and the scratch and screeches of contentious life.

I’m not sure how noise usurped the thing we once called “peace of mind,” but it did and we suffer its loss with every fleeting moment of quiet that reminds us of our natural state.

Every once in awhile I get to re-experience the calm that comes from quiet. Meditation often leads to that experience. It is a wonderful calming balm that holds me in a moment of peace.

I know there is more, I just have to stay quiet long enough to get there.

Friday, July 9, 2010


People have been spying on people since the biblical times. I wonder why we are so surprised when a country, or a company detects that an individual or a group of individuals are soliciting information for another country or company.

Every country does it to someone. We are in the information age and information can give one an advantage in diplomacy, in politics, in business, in war, in manufacturing and even in sports by learning the signals of an opposing team via binoculars.

The notable spies of history: Nathan Hale, Belle Boyd, Mata Hari, Alger Hiss, the Cambridge Spies – Burgess, Blunt, Maclean and Philby, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, Aldrich Ames, Giacomo Casanova, Klaus Fuchs, Major John Andre, and Richard Sorge.

Some specifics from the People’s Almanac:

Moses ordered Joshua to lead a band of 11 spies into the land of Canaan.

In 334 B.C. Alexander the Great intercepted the outgoing mail from his soldiers and literally spying on them.

In 878 A.D. England’s King Alfred the Great disguised as a wandering poet-singer, sang through the Danish military camps and got enough information to defeat the Danes at Edington.

During the “cold war” it was a touch more dramatic to catch a spy in either the United States or in the then Soviet Union. Not so today.

The recent press articles that ten Russian spies were ousted in New York and New Jersey stirred some headlines, but not much else. Now we have an exchange of captured and incarcerated spies who are being repatriated to their spy-homeland.

In Many ways spies are disguised soldiers. They gather and disseminate information for the advantage of their country. It is barbarically interesting that because spies do not wear the uniform of their country they can be summarily executed. Fortunately businesses do not have the right to terminate a life. There are probably some company individuals who would like that option to keep their proprietary information intact.

Spying not much different from voyeurism, Peeping Toms, table listening or eavesdropping. The information may be less threatening to national security, but it is spying nonetheless.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Native Nobility and Savagery

Over 200 years ago a Seneca Indian prophet, named "Handsome Lake", made a dire prediction. He told his people:

"There will come a time when the good water that we use to cook our food, cook our medicines, and clean our bodies will not be fit to drink....and the waters will turn oily and burn....the cool waters that we use to refresh ourselves will warm and heat up...our misuse of this water will turn it against us and people will suffer and die..."

In 1855 Chief Seattle of the Duwamish tribe wrote a letter to President Franklin Pierce. The letter was in response to a government request to buy Indian land.

Chief Seattle wrote:

"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls also the children of the Earth."

Sitting Bull:

"See brothers, spring is here. The Earth has taken the embrace of the sun and soon we shall see the children of that love. All seeds are awake and all animals. From this great power, we too have our lives. And therefore we concede to our fellow creatures even our animal fellows, even to every living thing, the same right as ourselves, to live on this Earth."

I am reminding myself of these profound and powerful words alleged to have come from the translators of Sitting Bull, Chief Seattle and Handsome Lake.

I do so as I read a disturbing book called: Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and fall of the Comanche. It is descriptive in its savagery of what both sides committed upon each other in the southwest from the 1600’s to the mid 1800’s.

It is also an accurate account of conflicting cultures as the east moved west and the Spanish south moved north and as the Republic of Texas abandoned morality and civility in order to survive on lands commanded by the Comanche.

I am hopeful that when I finish the book my mind will return to the nobility of the native cultures rather than images of its savagery.

I’ll let you know.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

HOT! 101

Since it was well over a hundred yesterday and today is supposed to be the same, I thought I'd reprise a post from January. It might make you feel cooler. To wit:

'It’s morning. Temperature is six degrees with a light snow falling. I have a fire going and feeling safe after a cold winter’s night.

The warmth of a long ago sun spreads into my room as a log fire dissolves its way to ash giving back the heat and light of many seasons' growth. Fluid flames dance in a flickering grace of form and orange light. Heat is the result. Light a soft byproduct.

A few feet away is the cold. It is a stinging cold with only a window glass to hold it back. It’s double glass, a bulwark of silica that another temperature and time turned into a transparent glazing of clarity and protection.

I grew up in old houses with single panes of flawed glass. Frost would decorate the panes into a translucent crystal of art, but not now. Modern houses are too tight for nature’s cryogenic beauty to seep in and paint the panes with a cameo of cold. Too bad! How many kids today will miss the vision of feathered frost on the inside of a windowpane where they can scratch their own design into the thin sheet of ice crystals.

Just beyond my outer pane is an astringent cold that if you stepped outside without protection it would burn with negative degrees, blister the skin, blink the eyes to tears and tighten the inner nose when breath is necessary. It’s an arctic tight. Not a tight of clothes and layers, but a tightness of breath. It’s like an invisible contorting serpent; a tightening Arctic snake that constricts with every breath. Its tightness smothers and suffocates in a vapor of ever constricting cold.

But I’m inside and warm and I feel safe. Proximity to potential danger seems to do that. Other dangers will evoke a similar feeling. High winds, flooding, blizzards, and even summer heat can harm, but if we feel safe, protected while near the danger, then the rest of the feeling and fear basks in the comfort of illusion for safety is only as good as the protection that holds back the danger.

The glass in the window keeps me feeling safe and sustains my sense of comfort. The cold on the other side sets a tension for possible attack, but cannot penetrate the timid barrier of wood and glass. It is the knowing fierceness of potential danger that keeps me in the fort of comfort.

Damn it’s cold outside!"

Double Damn, it's hot outside.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Do we really think that a loving God sits up there, out there, in there, wherever your mind can place the Divine and looks at each of our actions and decides based on what we have chosen to do in our lives that we go to heaven or hell; or that we can be granted indulgences to purify the spirit?

I think the Divine, however you try to personify it, is truly All That Is and in that "isness" there is unconditional love and that means no judgment whatsoever. It does not mean there are no consequences. With every choice we make there are consequences. It is the immutable Divine Law of balance.

I also think that our innate, basic nature is unconditionally loving, but we don’t choose to be it very often because we have forgotten that we are part of a loving presence along with the powers that go with that understanding.

I think the Divine created us out of love to be part of its glorious self; to be a personalized expression of All That Is so that the free will experiences we choose is the Creator experiencing its God-self as us.

I think that we are the individuation of the indivisible.

I am tired of one religion or another saying my God is the true God or my belief is better than your belief or my God’s name is the real name. God has every name that ever existed, including yours and mine.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Fourth!

Way back when, long before the time of today’s conscious memory, an idea became the child of freedom and democracy. At its birth, on July 4th 1776, they named her Independence.

It was a hard pregnancy. The energy of violence was prevalent until the last British ships sailed out of New York Harbor. Then came the task of tolerance and the faith of forgiveness for 4-thousand, four hundred and 35 new American citizens died before the birth of Independence was possible.

Independence was a normal child with endemic growing pains and problems. She fought against others in 1812 and deep within her own family in 1860 as she struggled to keep herself together.

Through the years into maturity, Independence traveled many paths. Old tired ones of war and new jubilant celebrations of peaceful success. Along the way there was boom and bust in the quest for comfort and the persona of independence made its share of friends and enemies, but she always carried the olive branch of reconciliation.

So congratulations Independence on this your birthday. May all your other names of Liberty and Freedom be forever tied to virtue, to tolerance, to honor, to integrity and to the God We Trust.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The 4th celebration begins

Some thoughts on America's birthday. I know it not until Sunday, but America's ethic has enough to talk about until the middle of next week. At least, I think so.

On this holiday of Independence, in a time of tension and terrorists, we ought to ask ourselves what do we stand for and why.

The words of our constitution are certainly appropriate, but we are a people of more than words and patriotic symbols. We are a people of tolerance, courtesy and compassion.

America is an ever expanding idea that embraces freedom and liberty so we can become our choices.

It doesn't mean each of us will always be successful.

It means we can try.

It doesn't mean we won't make mistakes.

It means we can correct them.

America is the dream of patriots.

We are and we have always been what we pass to our children.

We are a nation of self evident truths.

We are a people with unalienable rights.

We are individuals who hold the ideal of America firmly in our hearts and share it with family, friends and even foes, for freedom to do, to be, to speak belongs to all and is as valuable as life itself.

America does not celebrate its oneness this weekend. It celebrates the diversity within the oneness.

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