Sanctuary

A house that offers sanctuary, that embraces family and friends alike with comfort and warmth, becomes a refuge from the world outside—a truly peaceful home and haven that soothes the senses and refreshes the spirit. — Ann Rooney Heuer I believe this body is my sacred space. Wherever I am, it is a place of refuge …

Systems

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Sometime during the late ninety's I read the Biography of William Blake (1757-1827) by Peter Ackroyd. Prior to this, my only connection to Blake was in college where I read his Songs of Innocence and Experience. I saw Blake as a visionary, poet, and gifted artist who chose to be detached from the affairs of …

Freedom

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It's time to write about freedom! I shied from this topic for a long time because it was not something I had experienced in this body before. I believed as Antoine de Saint-Exupery that freedom was "of the mind" because that was the only experience of freedom I have had. There is not an adequate …

Growing Old

Growing Old When, halting in front of it, I look at the reflection which is in the depths of my clear mirror. It gives me the impression of meeting an unknown old gentle man. — Hitomaro The biggest problem with growing older in my physical body is that in my mind I am still in …

StoryTelling

Who are we, if not measured by our impact on others? That’s who we are! We’re not who we say we are, we’re not who we want to be — we are the sum of the influence and impact that we have, in our lives, on others. — Neil deGrasse Tyson Life is a continuum, …

Live Your Life

I watched a film a while back named "13 Assassins." During the closing scene, the dying father and leader of the group of thirteen says to his son,  "Live your life." These are powerful words particularly when coming from a dying father to a son who was trained as a samurai but never totally embraced …

Why I Write

I was not born a writer. I write because I am a lover of words. I like to breathe life and meaning into these symbols of thought. I want to lift the word from the mind or page, give it air to make a sound, then shape and mold it into meaning. I write because …

Responsibilities

“You are the responsible one,” my mother would tell me when I would wine about having to reheat dinner for my brother and father when she left for work. “I know you will do it,” she would say. The responsibility of being responsible started early for me. I was eight years old. When mom and …

The Hour Of Man

The Hour Of Man I wrote down the quotation below in my composition pad some years back before the time of personal computers, and although my research on the man who made the statement, Harold Maine, did not yield any results, I still find his words relevant today. Please see note below.* I want to …

Beliefs: Part I

Beliefs: Part I In the battle of beliefs. Who wins? Might? Wisdom? Gods? Beliefs are always right of course, at least to those who hold a particular belief. Why would anyone believe something they do not believe is true? We are conditioned to believe what we believe. The course of this planet's existence following the …

Beliefs: Part II

Beliefs: Part II Every act is a statement of your beliefs. What you believe is so ingrained with the consciousness and with the body that you and its reflection are one. A man cannot be separated from his beliefs any more than he can be separated from his soul. A change of belief can occur …

A World Of Lies

Constraints on the abuse of power are being weakened internationally and nationally. This cannot continue. Those who can must speak out plainly – and truthfully – or be complicit in a world of lies. David Miliband (July 15, 1965 -) The other day when starting to write this essay, the original title was Truth, but …

Why Ecuador?

Why Ecuador? My first conscious exposure to Ecuador came in August of 2012, when the small South American country granted asylum to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. I thought at the time how brave of this small nation to stand up against the larger and more powerful nations of the world including England and …

Seeing

Seeing It is not a race to see who can have the most experiences before we die because everything we do can be a new experience if we are able to see it with fresh eyes. My friend Arnie Nybak taught me that. During the two years I was his house companion, almost every day …

What Goes Up…

What Goes Up... Analysts will tell you they did not see it coming, the growing crisis in the financial markets, but who are they kidding? The brokers at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae saw it coming and pulled out their investments before the companies crashed. The executives in the auto industry saw the pending doom …

The Golden Age

The Golden Age This is not something anyone can tell you for if they do, you probably won’t believe them. In my 20’s, I thought I knew everything, and I did from my perspective as a twenty something year old. I was the first in my family to graduate from college. I had survived the …

Land Of The Free

Land Of The Free Almost seventy years ago George Orwell published his futuristic dystopian novel, "1984". The main character, Winston Smith, works in the Ministry of Truth where he rewrites history according to the Party's platform. Winston is a citizen who is overwhelming frustrated by the totalitarian control of the government over its citizens. Everyone …

Reading

Reading Reading is another one of the four things, along with writing, thinking, and dreaming, I have done for myself most of my life. I have always found books to be easier to be with than people. A book can engage me the way few people can. People generally want to be right whereas a …

I Am Selfish

I Am Selfish. I stand alone from the crowd and guard that aloneness and love for solitude with my very existence. I do this to preserve me, myself. Without it, a different me comes into being. A being that placates to the wishes and desires of others before my own. I know this other person …

Entelechy

Entelechy |en?tel?k?|noun ( pl. -chies) Philosophy - the realization of potential.• the supposed vital principle that guides the development and functioning of an organism or other system or organization.• Philosophy - the soul. ORIGIN late Middle English : via late Latin from Greek entelekheia (used by Aristotle), from en- ‘within’ + telos ‘end, perfection’ + …

Acedia

Acedia There are times when I have not wanted to be of this planet. In truth, I have grown weary with the world, the politics, and the unending changelessness of things. A presidential campaign lasting for more than two years. The power and wealth of the few and the continued suppression of the many. The …

What Matters?

What Matters? Ten things that matter most to me in this life are: Love — It is the most precious of gift of all. Nourishment — Air, Water, and Food — These are necessities. Life must have access to clean air, clean water and food to sustain itself. Free Speech — Ideas must never be …

Happiness

Happiness I have wanted to write about happiness for a few day now, but I didn't know what to say. I know happiness exists. I know it to be a major source of joy in my life. I know it exists as a part of my being. It is my general nature. I am happy …

CrossRoads

CrossRoads I am here and once again find myself at this cross of roads. They appear in my life, I think randomly, but I am not sure. I do not know how many times I have come to this place. This place, where the road I am traveling intersects another road and becomes a crossroads. …

Simplicity

Simplicity The smaller you live (materially-speaking), the bigger you can live (creatively-speaking). — Elizabeth Gilbert I wish I had known these word earlier in my life, but then I would not have had the experiences to make the words valid. Living a small simple life provides me the freedom to live my life the way I …

Know ThySelf

Know ThySelf From the time I was a small boy, the words "Know ThySelf" have reverberated like an echo throughout my life and consciousness. I remember first reading these words in the Book of Knowledge, a set of encyclopedias my mother purchased from a door to door salesman for my brother and I to expand …

Let Us Not Forget

Let Us Not Forget But apparently man loves to kill things, the fleeting deer, the marvelous gazelle, and the great elephant. We love to kill each other. This killing of other human beings has never stopped throughout the history of man's life on this earth. If we could, and we must, establish a deep long …

Proust Questionnaire

Proust Questionnaire Since July 1993, the back page of Vanity Fair has been devoted to the Proust Questionnaire, in which a noteworthy person answers a series of personal questions. The questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust (1871–1922), the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in …

New Beginnings

New Beginnings There is a lone mountain in the view from my bedroom window. One might think it is not a big deal except for the fact that every day it is different. The same way each day and each minute is different from the last. I can look out of my bedroom window 100 …

Sunday Mornings

Sunday Mornings I love Sunday mornings for the same reason I am attracted to the painting by Edward Hooper titled Early Sunday Morning. It is the absence of activity. Nothing and everything happens. What in art is referred to as negative space. In writing, it is what the words dance around but never say. I …

On Being Human

On Being Human I am and have been a philosopher, poet, artist, revolutionary, student, mystic, teacher, listener, father, grandfather, brother, traveler, prophet, husband, son, child, man, writer, dreamer, lover, and friend. I have never been an enemy of anyone, nor have I the desire to be. At different points during this span of life, I …

Family

Family “I am a horse for single harness.” I have always been and will probably be until my death a loner. I have loved and been loved to the greatest heights and depths of feeling humanly possible. My life has been enriched by extraordinary people and wonderful friends but I am still alone, by choice. …

Date With Solitude

Date With Solitude In her book Quirkyalone* Sasha Cagen says those who seek solitude are distinct individuals, as complete and potentially happy alone as with our families and loves. She defines quirkalone (kwun kee. uh. lohn) n. adj. as “a person who enjoys being single (but is not opposed to being in a relationship) and …

Hate — The Word

Hate — The Word The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less. — Eldridge Cleaver *hate —  feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone) : the boys hate each other | he was particularly hated by the extreme right. • have a strong aversion to (something) : he hates flying | [with infinitive …

A Brief Encounter

A Brief Encounter The only available seats were the two next to her. I took the one against the wall leaving an empty stool between us. Her posture was erect. She must be a student of yoga, I thought a second before the bartender approached and I ordered my drink. She was young, beautiful. and …

Faith And Hope

Faith And Hope I believe hope is part of our existence. I personally don't like to spend a lot of time living in hope because I think to much hope causes one to not take action on his own behalf. My greater self is life. My presence here is a miracle. We can contribute that …

Habits

Habits The Renaissance teaches us that the book of knowledge is not to be learned by rote but is to be written anew in the ecstasy of living each moment for the moment’s sake. Success in life is to maintain this ecstasy, to burn always with this hard gemlike flame. Failure is to form habits. …

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. — Abraham Lincoln I don’t celebrate any day for which Hallmark makes a card. It’s the commercialization of the holidays that turns me off. Don’t get me wrong — I enjoy ritual and have …

Invisibility

Invisibility Does what goes on inside show on the outside? Someone has a great fire in his soul and nobody ever comes to warm themselves at it, and passers-by see nothing but a little smoke at the top of the chimney. — Vincent Van Gogh The mountains outside my bedroom window are always there standing silently …

Integrity

Integrity We join groups primarily for survival, strength in numbers, and because of similar language, and ideologies. Each time we join a group or organization we surrender some of our individual freedoms to that group whether it is a corporate structure, a political caucus, a religious organization, or a country. This is not necessarily a …

Thinking

Thinking Thinking is reading my thoughts aloud to myself, and is one of four things I have done for myself most of my life along with reading, writing and dreaming. I love thinking first of all because it does not require any tools like writing, or props like reading and unlike dreaming, thinking can be …

Unplug the Machine

Unplug the Machine Sorry, but I unplugged the answering machine a while back. I've been following my questions. Questions always lead me to the deeper space within. Lingering, unanswered, like the scene where Alice falls down the rabbit hole. Tumbling and tumbling until her path eventually leads to a caterpillar, sitting on a mushroom, smoking …

Killing

Killing But apparently man loves to kill things, the fleeting deer, the marvelous gazelle, and the great elephant. We love to kill each other. This killing of other human beings has never stopped throughout the history of man's life on this earth. If we could, and we must, establish a deep long abiding relationship with …

Who Am I?

Who Am I? I am a philosopher, poet, revolutionary, student, mystic, teacher, listener, father,  grandfather, brother, traveler, prophet, husband, son, writer, dreamer, lover, and friend. At different points during this span of life, I have played all of these roles, often times collectively. I grew into all of these parts of me. I walked in …

RoofTops

RoofTops Creative space isn’t about putting up walls or hiding from the outside world, nor is it a simple desire to be away from people. Creative space is about finding solace and silence in the external world, so that we may adequately listen to our own minds. This can mean different things to different people: …

Gratitude I

Gratitude I To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. …

Routines

Even in the best of circumstances, happiness is elusive. We seek pleasant sights, sounds, tastes, sensations, and moods. We satisfy our intellectual curiosity. We surround ourselves with friends and loved ones. We become connoisseurs of art, music, or food. But our pleasures are, by their very nature, fleeting. If we enjoy some great professional success, …

Patience

Patience Having decided to leave his castle home to explore the world outside his protected environment, Prince Siddhartha sought a means to support himself in his new life. Upon meeting the merchant Kamaswami, Siddhartha was asked, "What is it that you've learned, what are you able to do?" To a prince whose needs had been …

Music

Music Loja is the musical capital and an important cultural center of Ecuador. The motto here in Loja is: The one who does not play the guitar can sing a song; the one who does not sing a song can write a verse; the one who does not write a verse reads a book. Although …

Meditation

Meditation I have returned to the practice of meditating each day since my move to Loja. It has been a part of my life for many years but never part of a routine until now. It is the second thing I do in the morning after relieving myself. Before I put the kettle on for …

Mad As Hell!

Mad As Hell! I always thought representing the concerns of the people was the purpose of a democracy, but 68 years of living in one has proven otherwise. The so called representative democracy of the United States has been taking more and more control over our lives, leaving us with fewer and fewer true freedoms. …

Walking

Walking I am one of those people who absolutely enjoys walking. Although it is a wonderful exercise for my body, I walk because walking takes me outside of my physical world. It forces me to be aware and present. In the moment, each moment. I can live in my introverted world for days on end …

Love Simplified

Love Simplified I don't believe love ever ends. Once having loved you cannot, not love. I still love everyone I ever loved. It is just the tense of the word that places love in the past. It is our language which complicates love more than our emotions. Love is an absolute without tense. It is …

ThanksGiving

ThanksGiving To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do. -Victor Marie Hugo (February 26, 1802 – May 22, 1885) No one is immune to poverty. War, weather, the economic or political arena can change the faces of …