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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Lost Voices

"Each man/woman has the infinite in their soul, so, keep on looking for it." - Nicholas Ray

"Self interest and self preservation are the death of the poet." - W.B. Yeats

"Personal clarity, in my opinion, is the first law of the day - that plus a true and real search for personal identity." - Clifford Odets

"What is art? Fuck art! Art is what you're doing. What is politics? Fuck politics! Politics is living." - Abbie Hoffman

Monday, May 30, 2005

"I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to." - B. Dylan

An open space this morning. A day off. I'm not going anywhere, except maybe later to get an iced latte, just to feed the monkey. I put three cds in the player and the music washes over me and I realize my picks have great meaning.

Mahalia Jackson, one of my Grandmother's favorites, singing Gospel, a stirring soulful sound, reminds me of my Grandmother's powerful faith, her smiles and laughter. She was a great, beautiful woman, all soul, forged in a life of loss and heartache, which she never showed except for a quiet and humble grace.

Bob Dylan - am I the only person in the world who was introduced to Dylan by my mom? She was the one who purchased Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits and brought it into the house. I was the one who put the "pschedelic hair" poster on the wall of my room. Dylan's great and beautiful lyrics (I think this is what attracted my mom) delivered by this harsh, edgy, midwestern voice (the jangly edginess attracted me). Mom ended up playing Rachmaninoff much more often, while I played Dylan over and over until his voice became as familiar to me as my own heartbeat.

Ray Charles - I think I saw him first on TV - Carson, or Dean Martin, or Laugh-In, or Ed Sullivan. A blind, black dude, swaying side to side on his piano bench, he could not contain his energy, his joy, his soulful fire. Amazing, inspiring, he could sing and play any song and make it his own.

These three are playing now. I'm listening, thinking this time is my own, by mixing these three powerful and great voices, I fill up my own life with a joyful noise. What a strange, beautiful alchemy. What a strange, beautiful life.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Guitar Porn

I heard a story this morning about a guy in search of the ultimate guitar. I'm on the same quest, although, I'm not necessarily looking for a handmade instrument. I have gotten it into my head, that I really deserve a superior guitar; it's a luxury, an extravagence, kind of my Eldorado, my Porche, my nubile, curvaceous young blond. You see, I'm approaching the half-century mark this fall, and it dawns on me, that there's probably more years behind me, than in front of me, so why not?

I have been playing quite a lot, both on my own and with the band. I own two guitars already, one an acoustic guitar that I've had for over 25 years, a big, clunky, Japanese-made, hollow-body guitar made by Hohner (famous for their harmonicas, not their guitars). It's like a part of me, not perfect, not fancy, but kind of like my arm, part of who I am, where I've been, where I've come from. Then there's my electric Fender Telecaster Slimline (made in Mexico). It's a dream to play, beautiful action, fast, sleek, light, I've actually been in a torrid love affair with it the last few years. It totally re-charged me on music and I wrote and performed the soundtrack for "Another Korea Revisited," with it.

So, yesterday, at Guitar Center, on a mission for something else (an xylophone for the Lovely Carla - it's all show biz), I scoped out a couple of my ultimate candidates. I'm really hooked on buying a Gibson Les Paul Standard, the preferred instrument for such guitarists as: Jimmy Page, Duane Allman, Peter Green, Neil Young, Mike Bloomfield. It entails some serious cash, so I'm not gonna just plunge into this, I need to make sure the money flows in before I let it flow out...but, I'm thinking when we're back from Edinburgh, working on the next play (I'm gonna do a soundtrack for sure) me and a Custom Shop, AA Maple Top, Les Paul Standard may be meeting up on some enchanted evening, and the notes will rock out sweet, and beautiful.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Kicking Stones

A long weekend. I'm hoping to totally submerge into a different world, working on my new play, playing with the band, knocking about, kicking stones in my path, playing Huck Finn. There's sunshine and greenery outside my window, birds flitting about, discs spinning on the player, music in my ears and my heart. Think I'll just kind of coast along, see where the wind blows me. I heard this on the radio this morning (in reference to a bullfight, sounds like a decent life), "I'm hoping for a good fight, and a quick, clean, kill."

Friday, May 27, 2005

"Heaven is in the Mind." - S. Winwood

I'd say hell is in the mind too. I guess in some ways, it's all in our heads! There's the world, then there's what we see, feel and think about it. We perceive through our senses five, what we perceive is then interpreted by us, for us. OK, sounds like a human thing. So, this morning, for me, it's all sunshine and music. The lake has this incredible shimmeriness that makes me kind of dreamy and happy and...well...it's like a glimpse of the eternal, the great cloud of unknowing...the beauty and the mystery. I find all of this to be validating, reassuring, hopeful...and kind of cool. Most of the best moments, can't be shared. This is a gift and a curse. To be alone and to not be lonely. To experience it all: the good, the bad, the ugly. To survive it. To share it, (the laughs the tears), even if there are no takers for the sharing.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

"If that 's All There is My Friend, Then Let's Keep Dancing." - P. Lee

Yesterday everything was coming up roses. All my conversations seemed to point to good news. Instead of endless chasing, things (people, ideas) came my way. It was all so positive, I actually thought, "it can't last." Big plans, small plans, everything seemed to be moving forward nicely, the things I've created finding life in the universe. I think I had a brief glimpse of what "enlightenment," must feel like.

The "it can't last," is proof that I am no Zen Master. There's still that doubt, looking over the hedge, thinking something is coming that will blow it all away; I will be found out, discredited, humbled once again. Seeing the flaw, the darkness, the doubt is a good thing. I know there is a snake in this garden, and it resides inside me.

Let me charm that beast with a little laughter and music. Make that sucker dance!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

"The Water is Wide, and I Can't Cross Over."

Did you ever have that feeling that you woke up, and for one day, you're living in somebody else's body, living somebody else's life? Well yesterday, I found myself living in an alternate universe. I was driving down Green Bay road, in a little silver Mini Cooper (vroom, vroom, it's groovy baby!), heading to Gurnee. Now as soon as you tack away from the Lakefront and head west, dear pilgrim, you find yourself leaving the shimmering lake, the shady green of wise, old trees and heading into a vast suburban sprawl, not quite country, not quite city, just a pseudo land of shopping centers, parking lots, Six Flags amusement, IHOP, Country Kitchen. Lots of America looks like this, and it ain't pretty!

I had an appointment with a man, to talk about a deal. We sat at table at an IHOP trying to decipher the code. It was a dance, two guys, trying to figure is there a way to make money or is this another blind alley? To be continued...

So, I'm back on the road, taking the reverse course back to where I started from. I'm playing Dylan on the CD player, he's singing with Joan Baez, and the top of the Mini Cooper is open and the sunshine is pouring in and I'm zipping along, and I'm coming back to hang with the wise old trees, and the lake is still shimmmering, like a satin sheet, and it's a beautiful, late afternoon and I actually have tears in my eyes its all so perfect. I'm thinking Dylan and Baez started out, two kids together, then they parted for many years, so many years have come and gone, for me too, and I've got a million questions, they're all swimming around in my head, and Bob and Joan are singing the words, the old words, their two voices snaking around each other, Dylan's voice rough and edgy, Baez's voice beautiful, resonant, and they of course remind me, that the answer is blowing in the wind, and I'm thinking that's good enough for now.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

"I got a handful of lightening."

The Lovely Carla and I once took a scene study class at Victory Gardens. We did two memorable scenes, one from "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (martial, marital combat) and the other from "The Rainmaker." The movie version featured Burt Lancaster and Katherine Hepburn (typecasting?!).

It went something like this:
The Lovely Carla: Big Man, where ARE you going?
Sunny Jimmy: I don't rightly know.

Monday, May 23, 2005

SURF'S UP!

One must be careful of general sweeping statements...but I'll venture this one: it's all about energy. Do the things you do and say and think and feel, enhance your energy or deplete it?

"It was the best of times and the worst of times." Charles Dickens. Maybe the best first line ever written? I think it could always, every day, be considered "true."

My new "Socrates," is the filmmaker (long dead) Nicholas Ray (his most famous movie - "Rebel Without a Cause.") Here are a few gems from Nick:

"Learn your limitations and take advantage of them.

Don't turn away from possible futures before you're quite certain you have nothing to learn from them. You're free to choose another (different) future, another past.

There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in it's hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.

Anyone worth knowing is a little odd."

Sunday, May 22, 2005

East of Eden

A nice day yesterday. We rented a car, drove around, did chores, listened to music, had a good Thai meal, went to a backyard party. I was at peace, no "needing, wanting, grasping," just a gentle, quiet, optimism. We sat around tables surrounded by lush green, little birds fluttering about, young kids bouncing on a trampoline, sat back and listened to other people's plans, hopes, travels. There was no struggle, no strife, just a group of human beings all on different paths, coming together for a few hours exchanging smiles, laughter. Everyone seemingly happy to be alive. A late spring idyll.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

"That'll Do Pig, That'll Do."

I was on the EL, the Red Line, making the long trip downtown. There are (this is an exaggeration) about a million stops along the way. It's an odd place, riding in an EL car in the middle of the day; you get a real diverse, cross-section of urban humanity. It was a gray day, many of them are, and the crowd too seemed to be made up of infinite shades of gray. Dosen't anyone believe in color?

I was in an expansive mood, taking in the scene, marvelling at the sound and fury of the train, the endless flux and flow of people in and out of the little rolling room. Who's coming in now? People of every age, shape and size. Men with babies in strollers, women with tatoos, sports-bar people, old-timers, hip-hop kids, business-types, street people.

I sat in meditation mode, straight-backed, shades down, breathing deep and freely. I looked up and saw a bold, colorful poster which asked the question: REMEMBER WHEN YOU WANTED TO SAVE THE WORLD? There was a picture of a little African-American kid, about six years old, in a swimsuit, googles, wearing a towel tied around his neck like a cape. He looked up at the camera with a smile of friendly optimism. He was a little Superhero, ready to do good.

I thought to myself, yes, I remember, in fact, I still want to save the world. If I had superpowers I'd immediately halt global warming, repair and replenish the rainforests, cleanse all the oceans, eradicate AIDS, halt all wars, defuse all bombs, feed, clothe and house all human beings everywhere, spread love and good cheer across the planet. Kind of an ambitious program.

Instead, I sat in that little car, waiting for my stop. I looked around at the humanity all around me. I broke into a grin, thinking my job wasn't to judge the modern world, but to participate in it with heart and soul. Not exactly superhero stuff, but it would have to do.

Friday, May 20, 2005

An Alternate Version

There is the great mythical mirage of America that I love. Expansive, sloppy, contradictory, rambling, rolling, overwhelming. It's spirit can be found in the pages of Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Allen Ginsberg, Nelson Algren, Jack Kerouac...the music of Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson...the art of Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keefe, Keith Haring, Robert Raushenberg, Jackson Pollock...the movies of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Woody Allen, Orson Welles, Frank Capra, John Ford, Nicholas Ray...the streets of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, New Orleans... the great and beautiful places of Big Sur, the BadLands, the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona, Big Sky of Montana, the mountains and forests, rivers and streams...

Robert Hughes, an Australian art critic, speaking of Robert Raushenberg: "This...is the artist of the American Democracy, yearningly faithful to its clamor, its contradictions, its hope and its enormous demotic freedom..."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

"Politics is like trying to screw a cat in the ass." - C. Bukowski

Slow to blog this morning. I've been reading the political news and it's all so stupid. How is it we've all gotten so dumb? How long will we let wealthy, corporate-hack, assholes continue to lie to us?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

"Fame was a shining, bright and most uncertain thing." - T. Wolfe

Why write? The act itself is rewarding; to put down words, to try to articulate thoughts, feelings, emotions, to describe the world. It's a challenge and a calling. It's a way to experience, and re-experience a life (because I can?!?). Just like meditation, or running; the act of doing it, changes the one doing the doing.

It's about communication too. Putting words on paper, passing them to another pair of eyes. These things would not be said in this particular way, without sitting down and tapping them out on a keyboard. If everything is flowing, words come out, sentences take off, and the writer too, is suprised by where the words lead, by what they add up to.

Then there's the idea, vague, unformed, but out there: these words will live, maybe in someone else's head for a brief time, maybe for a long time, see Shakespeare, Beckett, Melville, Kerouac. Can some magic sequence of words lead to fame (overrated?), fortune (fools gold?), some kind of immortality (you gotta be kidding!)?

I'm hip to that, although, I feel like I have taken a much more Zen approach to my writing. Write and damn the consequences! Write and be a writer. Write and change a life. Just shut up, and fucking write!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

"Watching the River Flow." - B. Dylan

Well, at least its good sleeping weather! I've added a new step to my morning routine (remember in routine - enlightenment!), I start with my private blog first, then I pop over here (after doing a quick perusal of blogs around the globe). I've been trying to hone Allen Ginsberg's "first mind, best mind," concept. It takes practice, to be able to sit down at the keyboard and let it flow. Seems contradictory; discipline, leads to spontenaity. The goal (maybe shouldn't have a goal?) is to do "good work," without "working." Usually the best stuff, is the stuff that comes easist. So, I'm on the banks of a river, looking for the spot to enter the flow. It takes discipline, persistance, dedication...and then there's a rush, a blast of inspiration and SPLASH, I'm in the stream of consciousness! Let it flow.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Hard Machines

I came across this quote from one of my favorite filmmakers (see his film "Underground," it's one of the most powerful films you will ever see!), Emir Kusturica, describing Hollywood: "What you have now is a Hollywood that is pure poison. Hollywood was a central place in the history of art in the 20th century: it was human idealism preserved. And then, like any great place, it collapsed and it collapsed into the most awful machinery in the world."

Hollywood was/is, the Dream Factory. What does it mean when the dreams wither and die, and all that remains are the nightmares of the hard machines?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

"Everything that Lives is Holy." - Wm. Blake

I love it, when I hear a phrase or definition that for a moment, changes everything. For instance this: "unmixed attention is prayer."

I think this works well with the Zen idea that everything we do; meditating, mowing the lawn, bouncing a ball, singing a song, writing a poem or play, painting a picture, running on the lakefront, taking the next sip of coffee - done with complete unmixed attention/awareness - can be transcendant.

It is up to us. What do we bring to what we do? If we open ourselves completely, focus on all that surrounds us, take it in without preconception, with total clarity, can we transform ourselves and the world that we live in?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Putting on the Persona

I've been blogging in this space for over a year now. My intent has been to keep a "record of one mind." I have tried to write in the moment, putting down my thoughts, observations, the history of my days, putting things down quickly, "off the top of my head," without editing, or preconception.

If I go back over some of my previous entries, I'm suprised too by what was in my head on a particular day. I have thought of "killing" this blog off, but instead, I've started a "private blog," for my creative work. I realized, I needed to have a safe place for my creative output that was not ready for the light of day.

In both blogs, I realize I have assumed a persona, this one (sunny/dumps) is close to the bone, kind of reflecting the duality of my existence. The other blog has started as a complete "alter ego," built on fiction. I assumed one of the names that Bob Dylan has used when he chooses to be anonymous. I believe that this persona is the prime voice for my new play, novel, or whatever it eventually turns out to be.

This is all very liberating. There's me, walking around day to day, there's the sunny/dumps persona, and now there's what I'll call "Mr. Las Vegas." I think we are all more than we think we are. There's mind, body, spirit, in a dance with the universe, everything in movement, changing, evolving; each of us with our own unique path, our own unique energy and genius.

Last night I brought out two old music books (Neil Young, Bob Dylan) and I learned some new songs on my guitar ("Oh Sister," "This Wheel's on Fire," "Acapulco," "Needle and the Damage Done"). It was a real kick, to play those chords, to sing those words. In a way, I felt like I was conjuring another persona out someone else's genius. I played these songs alone, in the kitchen, the words and chords bouncing off the appliances, the walls. I put on the mask and opened new doors to new possibilities.

Friday, May 13, 2005

"This is a train..." - V. Morrison

Some get the Burning Bush, some the Virgin Mary, some St. Augustine. My visionary message came from the Belfast Cowboy. Yes, that's right, last night, I had a dream where that great Irish mystic, that wide little Leprecaun, Van "the Man" Morrison visited me. Van was in our living room, singing a song, he had an elaborate act, he worked all kinds of tumbles and rolls into his performance. He sang only one word, (it's the title of one of his songs) "ENLIGHTENMENT!"

I woke up thinking enlightenment is not just a moment, it's a process, a way to live. I read an article about the artist Chris Olfili in the Sunday NY Times and he described his daily routine of painting a simple watercolor of a woman (variations on a theme) every morning. There was this line about Zen monks: "They have their routines, because they think that within routine, and only within routine, enlightenment comes."

Message received.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Are We, What we Do?!

Some dazzling new info on the "brain." Recent research points to two independant "minds," the left and right hemispheres. What's interesting is that sometimes the left doesn't know what the right is up to, and vice versa. So a shizophrenic nature maybe be built into us. A correctly functioning brain navigates between both hemispheres, but what we know, may not be what we can say. What we see, may not be what we are able to verbalize. We may not "know" all that we "know."

Plus there's this: neuroplasticity. Brain scans of London cabbies showed that detailed maps they had built up in the course of navigating their city's complicated streets were apparent in their brains.

Brain scans also showed this: Buddhist monks who had spent more than 10,000 hours in meditation, showed brain function that was strikingly different than other people. Activity in the left prefrontal cortex, the locus of joy, overwhelmed activity in the right prefrontal cortex, the locus of anxiety. Meditating on compassion, the monks brains were itching to go to the aid of those in distress.

Brains may be altered by driving a cab for years, or by long-term meditative practice. We are in a dance with the world, what we do, may alter us in the most fundamental way we can imagine!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Perfection is an Illusion

Yesterday was easy, perfect. The road trip to Milwaukee was fine. Everything is po-ten-tial! Later in the afternoon, I found myself driving down Clark Street, with the sunroof open, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Revue blasting out "The Water is Wide," "Sara," and an exquisite version of "Knocking on Heaven's Door." The "positive energy," was coursing through me, it's amazing how sometimes everything just clicks, the world seems beautiful, complete, and you no longer feel like a "stranger in a strange land," instead you realize this wacky, wonderful world really is home! I capped off the evening with a rousing jam session at Peter Jones with the Telepaths (minus one). It's been awhile since we played, and it felt like we took things into the stratosphere. I don't know if we're as good as we sounded, but it sure felt right. I got home late, still jazzed up. Up early, feeling great, still riding the Telepath Vibe!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

"Slip Sliding Away" - Paul Simon

Today up early, a road trip to Milwaukee scheduled. Physcially a little creaky, but brimming with, well, if not enthusiasm, I'd say at least, anticipation. Just waiting for the next thing. These last few weeks have been a flurry of plots and plans, but must be careful not to let the days slide by looking forward to future events. It's important to "be here, now." We can fill ourselves with the future, and the past, but then there's no room for being "in the now." The wise men have told us, it's really only now, this moment, where and when our lives of possibility resides. If we are to "make no small plans," at the same time we must not miss the simple step by step, the tick-tock, of each tiny moment of a life.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Skeptic

As my life proceeds, I'm becoming more and more skeptical (adopting a doubting or questioning state of mind). This attitude (or philosophy) opens the door to an endless hall of mirrors, reflections on reflections of reflections, leading me to fundamental questions such as: "Is there really any such thing as absolute truth?" This can make any conversation a difficult process. If you start from this vantage point (remember who we are, where we come from) any definitive statement seems false, shallow, more reflective of the person making assertions, than the world they are trying to describe.

Simple declarations, or sweeping statements begin to look completely absurd. So then, in order to not join in the absurdity, the skeptic feels compelled to try to hedge bets, to offer partial definitions, to urge caution. This may come across as argumentative, (which in a way it is), which is not necessarily the prime motive. Still throwing doubt into someone's space is not necessarily a productive exercise!

So, everyone has a point, an opinion and the mirrors just keep multiplying! It seems to me, that the only sure way forward is to remember questions like: who am I, where am I going, what's "good," how does this help me on my path, what if I'm wrong, is this really my vision, am I seeing the world with clarity? It seems to me that all you have are questions, to guide you through the maze.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Dead Man's Boots

The last few days I've been dealing with my own private "energy deficit." It seems like everything has been going out, nothing coming in, like I'm giving it all up, getting nothing back. So, nourishment hasn't been nourishing, rest hasn't been restful.

I decided to do "everything different." Take a couple of days off from running (where am I running to? who am I running from?), try new foods (drop the chocolate, add Luo Han Kuo tea - "used since at least the early Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) to enhance immunity, promote respiratory health and support vitality and longevity."), sleep in a little later, (let the sun rise first!), walk backwards, sit in silence, wear a different hat, return to the Dead Man's boots (I wore them in "Another Korea Revisited"), etc.

Finally, this morning, I seem to be coming around (I found a new coffee brew - Organic Wild Blend -- it is heart-warming, delicious!). I'm going to take it slow, kind of bounce on the periphery of the day, like a little rubber ball ("will it float?") riding the stream. I've been listening to a new band, The Mars Volta (they are really weird, strange, progessive - echoes of Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, Yes, Led Zeppelin, Sonny Rollins, a weird hybrid of Latino/Heavy Metal/Jazz Fusion). Not my usual cup of tea, but really, I haven't been my usual self really, so why not be different?!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

A Hard Beauty

On a radio program this morning I hear this question: truth or beauty? Let's say you had to choose. I'd choose beauty. Somebody once said, (exploding the question): 'truth is beauty.' Once you get past the tautologies: "Truth is what is true," "Beauty is what is beautiful," things start getting fuzzy. The classic defining statement: "I know it when I see it," says it all, and also begs the question.

It seems the most fundamental, important things in our lives are those that we "know," but have a hard time defining. Reminds me of Wittgenstein's: "what we can say, we can say clearly, but we cannot speak of the most important things." (Or something like that!).

So, yes, a life without beauty is unimaginable, life without truth, seems like the typical human enterprise! In fact, much of our existence seems to be an avoidance of truth, or of all the minor and major truths we'd rather not face! Of course, there's something beautiful about truth too. Maybe a life well-lived is a life filled with the beauty of hard truths learned and integrated into our humble, fallible, ephemeral existences! (Or something like that!).

Friday, May 06, 2005

"Get it Together, Man." -- Billy to Wyatt in "Easy Rider"

Make no small plans... Last evening, we re-constituted the "Free Henry Goobar," cast and did a read-through at a little coffee house under the El tracks. It was weird to hear the familiar lines coming out of all these strange and wonderful people once again. The Lovely Carla passed out maps of Edinburgh, Scotland with everyone's Bed and Breakfast accomodations. It's all starting to sort of get 'real,' we really are taking our little show to the Edinburgh Fringe Fest this August.

Talk about jumping into the great unknown... On the one hand, it's odd to be 'blowing up,' our usual picture, we've been doing one major show at Peter Jones for the last four years. I guess there was kind of a 'comfort level,' about what, and where, we were doing our ittle theatrical experiments. Now, we're committed to a completely new level of experience.

There's much work to do, but I think it's great that we've opened up the group to new possibilities. I think it's only this group, this time, that this trip is even feasible. It's odd how things have been rolling out in front of us. What's that line from "My Own Private Idaho?" - "Every road is like a fucked-up face." You've got to love the fucked-upness of it all. Strange and good things are on that road!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Microscopic Moments

Often, I find myself in anticipation of a some earth-shattering, cataclysmic event that will transform my existence - The Big Deal, The Bolt of Enlightenment, The Pulitzer Prize, etc.

Often, I find myself experiencing, tiny, microscopic moments that somehow accumulate over time and then, mysteriously, subtly, everything kind of shifts: new perspectives, new ideas, new circumstances, etc.

This is how a life goes...

I rely on a simple, straight-forward practice: A long run on the lakefront, a deep meditation, a good meal, a conversation with a friend, a finely-honed curiosity to discover something new, something unexpected.

I find it's not what I 'believe,' that's important, but what I 'do.' Stay awake, be aware, listen to the universe as it expands into the void.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

In A Dither?!

I'm in a dither this morning, or do you say, "I'm dithering?!" It turns out spring in Chicago, is simply a series of shades of gray, so it is up to us to become connoisseurs of the state of shady blandness. Not so easy, but of course, who said it would be?

I read a little blurb this morning about how it has always been assumed that the U.S. won the Cold War with the U.S.S.R., and it leaves us with the provocative question: "What if the Cold War actually had two losers?" Could People Power (see Venezuela, Chile, Mexico) in Latin America portend the beginning of the waning of the U.S. Imperium?

Could People Power (a government reflective of the people) come knocking at our door too? Are we actually seeing the early death rattles of a significant re-alignment as manifested in the inflated arrogance and bluster of BushCo? Is it always darkest before the dawn? Let me dither in the gray over that little morsel of a thought for awhile!

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Surprise!

Yesterday, I was 'low energy,' I treaded water, kind of floated through the day without really doing anything. I read the newspaper (most of the news seemed pretty bad), watched a basketball game, made a nice meal, nodded out pretty early. Today, I'm expecting a day of action, but I'm not really sure. I'm ready for anything: the highs, the lows, the in-betweens!

So, there's this expectation that something is coming my way. I'm determined to be open, flexible, willing to tackle anything head-on. The universe is like one big, Cracker Jack box. Wonder what little surprise is lurking in the bottom of the box?!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Religion is the Root of All Evil!

It's Sunday, as good a day as any to bash religion. Here's Richard Dawkins, famed evolutionary biologist, telling us how we'd all be better off embracing the remarkable story of evolution, and abandoning the virus-like, delusional, and supremely destructive, mind-set of religion:

"We'd all be freed to concentrate on the only life we are ever going to have. We'd be free to exult in the privilege -- the remarkable good fortune -- that each one of us enjoys through having been being born. An astronomically overwhelming majority of the people who could be born never will be. You are one of the tiny minority whose number came up. Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one. The world would be a better place if we all had this positive attitude to life. It would also be a better place if morality was all about doing good to others and refraining from hurting them, rather than religion's morbid obsession with private sin and the evils of sexual enjoyment."

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