July 31, 2008


I thanked the peaceful slumber as it retreated… there had been times when I could have no slumber.
I thanked the growing light that had chased it… the birth of a whole new day… even though I had never gone sleep-to-sleep without one.
A delicious shiver smiled through me… as my body began its automatic isometrics to stir what flows in me… and I thanked it.

I thanked the faint smell that twitched my nostrils with the invitation to come closer. I thanked the familiar tunnel that guided me leisurely to the exit.
As I neared the top of the shaft… the smell became stronger, the light became stronger, and I became stronger. I thanked stronger.

I emerged and thanked the bright spot as I immersed and reveled in its warmth.
I thanked the green shelter above me and I thanked the food nearby. The food thanked me for giving it purpose… and then thanked something else.

I rolled over and closed my eyes against the bright source in the blue beyond. Perhaps that was what it was the food had thanked.
I thanked it also.

July 21, 2008


It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then to loosen up. Inevitably though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker. I began to think alone - "to relax," I told myself - but I knew it wasn't true.

Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time. I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't stop myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?"

Things weren't going so great at home either. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's.

I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me in. He said, "I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another employer." This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking..."

"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently, and she began to cry.

I'd had enough. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche, with NPR on the radio. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors... they didn't open.

The library was closed. To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.

As I sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster.

Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed... easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.

Soon, I will be able to vote!

July 16, 2008


I awaken each day to a choice, which takes form with my focus and voice…
Surrounded by pleasure… and likewise, by pain… rewards beyond measure and challenges again…

Even though I would choose pleasure… neither can be ignored. Pain is opportunity to learn… Pleasure denotes reward.

“Damn the pain!”, I cry in vain… “What evil brings you here?”

“Like the tide, I abide,” it replied, “deep inside… I am yours, I am fear.”

The pain does subside… once the fear has died… and the energy of Healing manifests a better feeling.
Life can now be tasted while no energy is wasted on that which does not exist… again I learn, once more I grow… I persist.

There was the fear I would no longer be here… and all I hold dear would no longer be near…
But should I fear each tomorrow because some will hold sorrow… while the others are miraculous days?
Should I fear today because of what others might say?
Would I be what they wish?
Would I abandon my way?

July 10, 2008


It has been reported that you have received one or more "bad" days. In the interest of service and quality control, we appreciate your feedback.

Only good days are manufactured and shipped... but some do carry a learning bonus... like the crossword puzzle in your daily paper... it sharpens your talents.

After investigating a large sample of reported "bad" days... it has been discovered that those days contain as much life, beauty, and marvel as the other days.
In all cases so far... the bonus adversity created such a distraction... that the rest of the days marvels were not noticed nor acknowledged.

To redeem your credit for any legitimate "bad" day you were sent, simply remove any pain, desire, expectation, and any other extra bonus... and indicate which remaining quality... such as life, beauty, and marvel... was unsatisfactory.

If the bonus features you received detract from the quality of your day... simply ignore them.

If you did not receive your day at all... please disregard this... you are on a different list.

July 6, 2008

Reading, Righting, Wrathmatic...

The skills that serve our survival and success are simple.

First, we “read” each moment as it presents itself… becoming aware of all the opportunity and adversity it contains… as all moments do.
We notice what makes us vulnerable to opportunity… and open to it as much as we can.
We are also aware of the adversity and know something is not right.

Righting is the second step. We use our wisdom to determine what is out of balance and needs correcting… and we use our ability to correct it.
Of course, since we have little control over any imbalance but our own… our efforts are mainly to correct our own steps or attitude.
An objective view is as necessary as awareness in correcting a misstep or imbalance… but our objectivity is often inhibited by fear and anger.

Wrathmatics is the logic skill of controlling the wrath of rage and insecurity… to allow a more practical and objective decision.
No one can make us angry or afraid unless we give them that power.

July 3, 2008


The highway overpass rose high above me as I stood behind the warehouse below. I couldn’t see the traffic up there but the noise washed over me in waves as the stoplights created crests and valleys in the flow of vehicles during noon rush hour.
My lunch break was short… so I grabbed a couple of the junked and broken pallets by the dumpster and trudged toward the overpass.

My friend fed the wooden refuse into his fire while I admired his spacious home. The floor rose gradually to meet the majestic ceiling, nearly 40 feet above us… creating levels of different environment. The wide highway roof was open on both sides… but its expanse was great. Even the most severe weather still left spots of shelter among the supports. The large flat area at the bottom fell into a drainage creek… which spawned the overpass in the first place. The runoff was always either fresh water or no water at all.

“Folks told me I could be whatever I wanted to be…” he said as he prodded the hot coals. He looked at me and smiled with his whole face… “but it took me a while to get here.” I sat down on the plastic crate I had brought him previously. He sat back on its twin and continued…
“When someone told me that… I didn’t understand they meant I could be anyone they would have me be. I was told I could be someone who has enough money. So, I got enough money… and they said I should have more.”
He looked at me curiously and asked… “Why should I want more than enough?”

“I was told I should have a companion… but to have a companion you must be one. You can’t just be a companion… you must be the companion… measured by a partner’s image.” His voice trailed and I could see him retreating into his private world. I spoke to bring him back…
“What about the danger?” I asked, “Your protection is mostly from the weather.”

“The danger is not mine…” he mumbled. He gathered himself and took a breath. “If I don’t feed a conflict, it doesn’t belong here. If someone has a conflict, they brought it as a burden from somewhere else. It causes them to be unbalanced and shift their weight from one leg to the other… they are unstable in those moments. I stand firm and balanced on two legs… who do you think will topple quickest?”

I was concerned with his naiveté as I looked around at his open and vulnerable lifestyle. “… but what if someone is bigger, or meaner, or a crazed drug addict, or…”
“Threat comes from fear,” he interrupted, “I am neither. I will only be fear if that is all they can see.”
“But what if they have a weapon?” I insisted.

He seemed to ignore me as he stirred the fire… then he looked straight at me. His normally warm friendly eyes pierced me with an icy stare. I had no doubt he was sincere when he said…
“I’m sure I can figure out how to use it.”