Category: Uncategorized

forever harold

Recently, outside of an old arthouse cinema in Los Angeles, I spotted Bud Cort’s hand prints. He’s surely had a varied creative career but, to me, he will forever be Harold, the misfit teenager who falls in love with life by falling in love with Maude.

I remember my Mom taking me to see Harold & Maude in an arthouse cinema when I was a kid. I was reintroduced to it at age 15 by a new high school friend. The movie and the music felt profound to me, certainly more profound than anything I was watching on television at the time.

Last year, I introduced my teenage friends to the movie during an overnight visit to my apartment. It was like passing along a treasure, initiating them in an experience. They were both quite moved by it, too.

One day, I hope my young friends watch it with people who aren’t even born yet. A story about a guy falling in love with life has to keep being shared, don’t ya think?

back to the buck rogers and now

As we enter 2018, we are almost 3 years past the future in Back to the Future 2 but not quite to the future of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Back in their day, both of these were imaginings of what the future might be. We all do that — imagine what our future might be. But it’s always worth remembering that we are creating our future by the steps we are taking on the path we are on right here and now.

So how does your path look?

Have a great year.

welcoming a warbler

“Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

On a recent afternoon, a bird flew into my open door and fell to the ground. He seemed to be in shock more than physically harmed. I held him. I spoke to him. I attempted to feed him. I gave him a safe space to recover. And, after thirty minutes or so, he flew away from me, healed and strong again.

What I remember most about the experience is the opportunity to experience something delicate. I usually take my mind’s certainty and my body’s power for granted. This little bird knocked me into a different experience, one with vulnerability and smallness.

When have you gratefully welcomed a warbler (of some kind)?

i choose a foggy mind

As I write this, I’ve been going for a fair number of walks in foggy conditions. Which has led me to two observations:

(1) Sometimes the fog is heavier than other times, but there’s always at least a little bit you can see directly around where you are. It is a physical reinforcement of staying in the present moment.

(2) Sometimes the dew from the fog collects and makes things visible that would normally be quite hidden. A physical reinforcement that a change of perspective can often bring new insight.

With these 2 observations as guideposts, I’m perfectly happy to have a foggy mind. You?

animal trees

Sometimes I personify objects. We all did it in childhood, I suppose, with dolls and stuffed animals and such. Even now, my car has a name. Heck, even the GPS in my car has a name. And there’s a statue that I inherited from a loved one that I simply couldn’t put in my storage unit so I asked my sister to take care of her for awhile. So, yes, I’m capable of the occasional personifying of objects.

What was a new experience for me recently was animifying. (Is that a word?) I looked up at these palm trees at sunset and could only see giraffes.

Have you ever animified anything?

making the common word a proper name

This is one of the cats that I took care of in Italy. He’s an outdoor neighbourhood cat who gets his breakfast and supper at the home where I was staying as I wrote this. The owners introduced him to me as Micio. That is his name. What I came to learn, however, is that “micio” in Italian means pussycat or tomcat. So we have a cat named Cat, more or less.

A word in one language is a commonality. That same word used in the context of another language becomes a proper name. Same thing seen through different views.

This seems to me to be the cornerstone of mindfulness or of living and working with intention. The small details which we all tick off without thinking — the exercise becomes to actually focus on and enjoy those small details. Do them with intention. Own them. It doesn’t take any longer, but it does make the whole experience of your day just a bit deeper.

Whether it’s a task or an experience or anything else, do you have a micio that can become a Micio in your life?

needy world

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  
– Howard Thurman

I am one of 7+ billion people on the planet at the moment. What I know is… that the planet is greatly in need of TLC. What I don’t know is… what the world needs of me. I truly have no idea. How could I? I’m one of 7+ billion.

Howard Thurman’s words reframe this sense of helplessness. His words provide a challenge. His words empower. Because, when it really comes down to it, I am the only one, the only one… the only one among the 7+ billion who knows what makes me come alive.

Same goes for you.

night owl in the early morning

I am a night owl by nature. If I had my druthers, it would be late to bed & late to rise all the time.

I am also a nomad, currently wandering the world (taking care of all of my wonderful clients with the help of strong internet connections). As part of my wanderings, I’m doing a lot of pet and house sitting. Due to the needs of many of the animals I care for, I have to get up early. (In some cases, very early!)

I may never shift to being an early riser when I’m on my own, but there is something about doing it for some other living creature that makes it ok. Having the need come from outside myself makes a massive difference.

And sometimes, you see an arrow in the sky pointing your direction on your early morning dog walk in rural Italy. 🙂

Have you ever done something for someone else that you wouldn’t normally do yourself?

a short long journey

I’d walked labyrinths and mazes, always appreciatively, but it wasn’t until I was 27 that I received specific instruction. “Before you enter, name the question that is on your mind and heart. Walk slowly and carefully to the center of the labyrinth. Sit there. Take whatever time you need. Then walk slowly and carefully out of the labyrinth. You will return to the place where you entered with an answer.”

I’m quite a fast walker. I could zip through a labyrinth in a few minutes if I attempted to do so. But fast walking is for exercise or for reaching a geographic destination. Labyrinth walking is for changing perspective. It’s for pondering. It’s for welcoming the possibility of an epiphany or clear inner guidance. It’s for returning to the place you started with a willingness to be changed.

Perhaps just the physical presence (or image!) of any labyrinth, whether walked carefully or not, serves as a reminder that a new perspective is always available. The new perspective reminder in the photo is in Jackson, Wyoming.

What question would you ask if you were to step into a labyrinth today?

a snail’s pace is just fine

Snails seem to love crossing the sidewalk in places where they risk getting stepped on. (To be fair, there aren’t many places without that risk for the snail!)

And yet they move ever forward.

Slowly & steadily forward despite the imminent risk of being crushed.

I need to remember that the next time I’m scared to move forward on something. There will always be the risk of defeat. But, if I don’t move forward like the snail, I’m already defeating myself.

I don’t see the snail stepping on him or herself, so why should I?