Monday, September 29, 2014

"Live the life in front of you.'

      "A myth is an image in terms of which we try to make sense of the world."                 
                                                                                      -Alan Watts


     When our inner dialogue creates the myth of how our greatest achievements are in the past we need to remind ourselves immediately that we are indeed living in the past. It is easy for the mind to conjure up memories of supposedly happier times. This type of nostalgia is notably reflected in the character Uncle Rico from the movie " Napoleon Dynamite". He tries to recapture his high school quarterback glory days by ordering a time machine from the Internet. All of us have a tendency to romanticize the past especially when we are unsure of the future or uncomfortable with our current situation. When we begin to speak and think in past terms our mind is no longer in the present moment. We are robbing ourselves of precious time in the here and now.

     Do you recall a scene in the comedy classic, "Arthur" where Sir John Gielgud's character unpredictably slaps Dudley Moore in the face after he complains about being unloved? 
"You spoiled little bastard! You're a man who has everything, haven't you, but that's not enough. You feel unloved, Arthur, welcome to the world. Everyone is unloved. Now stop feeling sorry for yourself. And incidentally, I love you." 
    Figuratively, every one of us needs the Hobson slap on occasion to remind us we are not the center of the universe. Life altering events occur in our later years but the unexpected can occur at any moment. Parents experience Empty-Nest Syndrome or grown children move across the country and lose a sense of togetherness. Sadly, you may lose a spouse or significant other. Perhaps you move  a long distance after a job loss or start fresh in a new city after divorce. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Love yourself. We can't expect others to love us if we are not capable of understanding and loving our own true nature. If we feel unloved, ignored or unimportant we should begin to examine, explore and rediscover what we actually need to feel fulfilled. Learn to be comfortable alone. Embrace moments of solitude. There is no one more deserving of your love than you. Most importantly, find a way to comfort and serve others who really need you. Live with compassion. It may not be family, a spouse, a lover or your own children you help but their is a way your love, strength and wisdom are valued and greatly needed in our world.

      Start a new career. Go to school. Take a boxing class. Run a marathon. Adopt a shelter dog. Pose nude for a portrait. Dance until dawn. Learn a new language. Travel. Write a blog. Eat a gallon of ice cream in your underwear. Save the world. It's YOUR LIFE. And it is happening right now. Too many people under forty consider themselves old.  They have their entire future career path streamlined to retirement. When we are concocting all the charts and graphs, analysing data and saving for the stereotypical "old age" mindset, where is your NOW? Are you enjoying life now ? Why do people believe they will be happy in the future if they are incapable of being happy in the present ? Human beings have the desire and capacity to accomplish so much more than we allow each other. We are developing new skills and challenging ourselves at every age. Don't ever let insecure people tell you, YOU ARE TOO OLD. When your spirit is being drowned in a sea of cynical pessimism, it's time to reevaluate the people surrounding you.
     Truth in life's advertising. You can't stop the aging process. But  you can't stop dreaming. Sure there are entire industries of doctors, pharmaceutical companies and beauty product campaigns dedicated and thriving on keeping our society self-conscious about sexual performance, grey hair or sagging skin. People will always choose procedures or "quick fixes" if they truly believe it will make them happier. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel good or more confident. Do you have to rely on them? The most beautiful people I know or have known accept that we are all aging. It is natural. It is life. Like all things, we too shall pass. Beauty and grace shine in the wisdom of our acceptance.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Only from the heart can you touch the sky.

"Only from the heart can you touch the sky." ~Rumi

The true person is
Not anyone in particular
But like the deep blue color
Of the limitless sky,
It is everyone,
Everywhere in the world.

                       -Dogen Zenji

Monday, September 22, 2014

"All the rage back home."

"I'll bring you when my lifeboat sails through the night.
  That is supposing that you don't sleep tonight."- 
                    Interpol- song "Leif Erikson" from Turn On the Bright Lights
                                                                   lyrics by Paul Banks

     This week's Top Ten albums includes New York City's own Interpol.  Their latest release El Pintor (Matador Records) continues to rise since its debut earlier in September, now at number "7" on the Billboard charts. Owning all of Interpol's previous albums and having seen them perform live, I was excited about the launch of  El Pintor. Similar to previous CD's such as "Turn On the Bright Lights, "Antics" and "Our Love to Admire", the more you listen to an Interpol composition the more you uncover a previously neglected melodic mystery or peel back an insightful lyrical layer. Sam Fogarino continues to be one of the best drummers in indie rock. Guitarist, Daniel Kessler magically creates his powerful haunting riffs. Guitarist, lyricist and vocalist Paul Banks mesmerizes at the helm, offering us his eerie yet alluring charisma.

     Critics agree that the premiere track from El Pintor titled "All the Rage Back Home" is the most memorable offering. The brooding "My Blue Supreme" and the driving "Ancient Ways" may soon follow.  The Spanish word "pintor" can be interpreted as painter, decorator or pavement artist which one should keep in mind when transforming this evocative auditory canvas into alternative shades of harmony and reverberation. "Tidal Wave" washes over us with a masterful rhythm. Paul Banks nautical infused lyrical references have beguiled many Interpol fans from "Leif Erikson" to "Take You On a Cruise" and on a current track "Anywhere"-  "the ocean I could go anywhere. I could go anywhere. So free, its my nature to want." Lovers of Interpol will want this emotive sound wave too.

Billboard Top Ten ending the week of September 27th:

10. Lullaby And...The Ceaseless Roar-  Robert Plant
 9. Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Volume 1. Soundtrack
 8. Where It's At - Dustin Lynch
 7. El Pintor -Interpol
 6. Seen It All-The Autobiography - Jeezy
 5. I Don't Dance - Lee Brice
 4. Ryan Adams- Ryan Adams
 3. Souled Out - Jhene Aiko
 2. V- Maroon Five
 1. Anomaly - Lecrae

Thursday, September 18, 2014

"Our passion for learning is our tool for survival."

"We live in a world that is full of problems, and we are the solutions to those problems."- Julia "Butterfly" Hill- author, environmentalist


     Many people feel overwhelmed with political questions, time constraints and money issues when it comes to contemplating ways to help save our planet. So put your worries in perspective, without a planet to live on, time and money don't matter. The simple fact is there are hundreds of ways all of us can contribute to healing our Earth. This weekend global and religious leaders, activists, teachers, scientists, artists and ordinary citizens from around the world will take action with the People's Climate March and Mobilisation   

What if you're unable to attend the march or organize an event? Think of what you CAN do rather than what you can't.  The following is a list of ideas that you, your family, your business, community, state and local government can start today.  All of us share the responsibility to act.  Vow to make a positive impact on our environment going forward, not only for your family but for all families and generations to come.

Once a week- GO VEGETARIAN - Did you know it takes approximately 2500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef?  By skipping meat at least one meal per week ( Meatless Mondays) you are saving the planet and helping your own diet, not to mention saving the life of an animal.

RECYCLE ALUMINUM AND GLASS- look for recycle bins in your area, if they aren't available in your neighborhoods and communities ask why?

STOP USING PLASTIC BOTTLES AND BAGS -plastic is not biodegradable. Each year the US uses almost 84 billion plastic bags- a significant amount of the nearly 500 billion used worldwide.  Reusable cloth or paper bags are the way to go.

TELECOMMUTE- make arrangements with your employer if possible to work from home at least once a week or more. You will save money on vehicle wear and tear, gasoline, transportation fees or fuel. Fewer emissions is better for our air.

GO PAPERLESS- Pay bills online.  Stop paper statements.

TURN OFF LIGHTS -SHUT DOWN YOUR COMPUTER WHEN NOT IN USE- Most people don't realize they can save a significant amount on their energy bills by turning off their computers rather than allowing it to go into sleep mode. You save 4 cents a day by turning off the computer or 14$ dollars a year.

SHOWER OVER BATH TIME- SHOWER WITH YOUR PARTNER- Conserve water and save money on energy bills. Cut down on lawn watering and car washing.

DON'T LEAVE THE WATER RUNNING WHEN BRUSHING YOUR TEETH. You will smile at the money you save and the water you conserve.

DON'T THROW IT AWAY, GIVE IT AWAY-  Before you decide to toss an old lamp in the garbage or throw away clothing find out if someone else can use or recycle the item. Go to


HOW DO I HELP PROTECT ANIMALS FROM POACHING AND BECOMING ENDANGERED? Join the National Wildlife Federation or check out World Wildlife

We can all do much more than we ever realize. Even the smallest action is better than no action at all.  Just begin. 

"Our passion for learning is our tool for survival."- Carl Sagan, American astrophysicist,  author, astronomer

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"What you do makes a difference..."

"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference. You have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."- Jane Goodall- author, anthropologist



Friday, September 12, 2014

"Gathers all things to his heart for ever."

"Silence is round me, wideness ineffable;
White birds on the ocean diving and wandering;"

                                   Ocean Oneness -Sri Aurobindo

Ocean Oneness

 Sri Aurobindo

Silence is round me, wideness ineffable;
White birds on the ocean diving and wandering;
A soundless sea on a voiceless heaven,
Azure on azure, is mutely gazing.

Identified with silence and boundlessness
My spirit widens clasping the universe
Till all that seemed becomes the Real,
One in a mighty and single vastness.

Someone broods there nameless and bodiless,
Conscious and lonely, deathless and infinite,
And, sole in a still eternal rapture,
Gathers all things to his heart for ever.

In loving memory of my Aunt Eloise who has passed. My heart and thoughts are with my Uncle Charles,  cousins Jim and Eric. As I recall she was raised near peaceful waters, delighting in the beauty of ocean waves and the calmness of sunlit beaches. She cherished her family, adored her dogs. For many of her former students, friends and colleagues she will be remembered as a lover of  language, a great and patient teacher of words. May we feel her spirit in our moments of silence and know her gentle presence when we speak of her memory.

Monday, September 8, 2014

"It Always Seems Impossible Until It's Done."

“When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money.”
-Native American Proverb

     Earth is our home. It's our only home. We don't have a back up planet. We don't have a  "Planet B". That's why finding solutions for how we can prevent further damage to our Earth and how we all play a part in our Earths healing is so critical. Climate change occurs when long term weather patterns are altered by human activity. Global warming is just one way we can accurately measure drastic weather changes. Scientists, global leaders and concerned citizens on every continent understand climate change in no longer up for "debate". It's a fact. 

       What can you do right now? Contact your local and state political representatives. Contact your local media and inform them you want immediate action on climate change. Remind them that by reducing greenhouse gas emissions we build healthier communities, promote economic innovation and create new jobs.  Most importantly, the next time you're at the polls, vote for politicians who actively support effective climate policies.

On September 20th and 21st join Peoples Climate in mobilizing Global Action. For more detailed information about events in your area and around the world go to

Friday, September 5, 2014

"Hope costs nothing."

“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.” ― Veronica Roth, Divergent

          With a screenplay by acclaimed writer Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River ) and an incredible international cast featuring the captivating Swedish actress, Noomi Rapace ( Dead Man DownThe Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), the UK's remarkable Tom Hardy (Warrior, Inception) and the late superbly talented James Gandolfini (The Soprano's)  THE DROP is one of the most anticipated films of 2014.  Michael R. Roskam, the Academy Award nominated director of Bullhead  exposes the dark, seemingly hopeless underworld of Brooklyn gangsters in his new crime drama opening September 12th. THE DROP captures the despair of an isolated bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) through his own neighborhoods dangerous scam of illegally funneling money to local bar mobs  or "drops". Together, Saginowski himself along with his intimidating, protective employer/ cousin Marv (James Gandolfini) find themselves caught up in a crippling heist.
     THE DROP is based on a story Lehane created called "Animal Rescue" which was actually the original title of the movie. A secondary sinister story line unravels a plot of  rescuing tortured and abused animals or mainly the adorable puppy you see in the photo and preview above.  Rated R for mature audiences,  clocking in at 1 hour 46 minutes, Fox Searchlight has limited theater release for enthusiastic fans but hopefully this cinematic payoff will drop in a neighborhood near us all!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"Sings by itself for nobody."

"Let no one touch this gentle sun
In whose dark eye
Someone is awake."

Song for Nobody 

by Thomas Merton

 A yellow flower
(Light and spirit)
Sings by itself
For nobody.

A golden spirit
(Light and emptiness)
Sings without a word
By itself.

Let no one touch this gentle sun
In whose dark eye
Someone is awake.

(No light, no gold, no name, no color
And no thought:
O, wide awake!)

A golden heaven
Sings by itself
A song to nobody.