A Walk on the Wild Side

Walking nude through the woods

With sister breeze egging me on

Tawny pulling at the leash, nose to the ground

Above is the canopy of firs in congregation of prayer

Birds sing. Birds caw. Birds chatter to celebrate the day

Legs not as strong

Heart laboring

Toes numb

I parade with the help of my bamboo walking stick

Thoughts flee

Stillness comes

Peace comes

Gratitude comes

My spirit soars

– Small town boy


A time of decay

There is decay everywhere

Beneath the trees in our rain forest are trees in decay.

Politics and politicians have decayed beyond belief

Schools, countries, churches, all in decay.

Do you see?

My mind is decaying: dementia, I take pills for it and wear patches.

My heart is decaying, laboring up the hill, losing loved ones, no longer ‘necking’ in the car as I did in my teens.

My body is in decay as I notice my legs, hips, and feet suffer the slightest incline, not to mention internal organs.

My spirit has decayed. Once Interested in liturgy, ceremony, church, now its meditation, mandalas and medicine wheels.

It’s a fact of living: as we get old we decay, yes!?

But I have studied systems and cycles.

Decay is only part of a cycle.

A cycle, especially in the rain forest, that includes birth, life, decay, death and rebirth.

Also in my life.

Nurse logs provide the perfect place to start a new forest, in a straight line even.

Mulch is going on everywhere, death feeding the living.

The purpose of decay is to feed the next ones, and the next.

Decay brings obligation, to offer sage wisdom, comfort, and encouragement to the new growth.

My wife is great at this, nurturing children (ours and other’s), grand children, and great grand children. And me.

So what am I to do.

I think I’ll go mulch.

There’s still a lot of me left to decay, recycle, repurpose, reuse.

I still carry all the love they have given me, and it’s stronger everyday.

Peace, love and life.

– Small town boy

If you’re up now

It’s early and everyone is asleep:

Mamaw, daughter and her children, son and his son,

And Tawny, the golden retriever who just returned from an early morning walk in the park.

But, if you’re up now, we can talk.

How are you doing? I’ve missed spending time with you. Are you well?

I’ve been working on lots of personal stuff in my four month hiatus at the beach.

I’ll share a few of my insights:

First, the Medicine Wheel which combines as many as 7 of my recent personal, spiritual, and ecological insights. I suggest you go to YouTube to learn more and follow the path.

I have built three of them for meditation and inspiration.

Next is the mandala, drawing while meditating and interpreting the results to see what your subconscious has to say, your higher self.

I have learned that I have a strong, solid, crystalline (rigid?) core and a soft loving empathetic, compassionate exterior.

That’s good, right?

Well it’s been great talking with you. Let’s go have breakfast .

-Small town boy

A bald eagle sat on the beach

This morning, on the beach, in the morning fog, sat a big beautiful bald eagle.

It was not the first time I saw him/her on the sand in the early morning darkness.

I know there is a nest east of here, toward Cloverdale.

But why was it sitting on the beach?

Looking for food? Shallow pickings near the surf.

Looking for fish? There was nothing out of water, though I have often seen crab shells which I presumed were left from gull banquets.

So I went to Animal Spirits, Shamanism, who tell me what the animal wisdom is for each animal who appears before me:

Bald Eagle’s Wisdom Includes:

• Swiftness

• Strength

• Courage

• Wisdom

• Keen sight

• Illumination of Spirit

• Healing

• Creation

• Knowledge of magick

• Ability to see hidden spiritual truths

• Rising above the material to see the spiritual

• Ability to see the overall pattern

• Connection to spirit guides and teachers

• Great power and balance

• Dignity with grace

• Ability to see the “big picture”

• Connection with higher truths

• Intuitive and creative spirit

• Respect for the boundaries of the regions

• Grace achieved through knowledge and hard work

Eagles are big medicine: the spirit guide from the east, the sunrise, and the wind.

I have been studying the Medicine Wheel and this eagle message was in tune with that work.

Spirit guides, boundaries, spiritualism, balance, were all things I have been working on.

Thank you eagle brother.

As I watched you leave eventually, flashing white tail feathers, I knew you came to help me along my chosen path.

Thanks to the Great Spirit, the wind, and the eagle.

– Small town boy

Wind Shadow

There are ripples in the sand in the wind shadow made by the stump and the wind and the sand.

The wind shadow grew nearly twenty feet past the stump in a pennant-like plume of ripples and dark sand where it was protected from the wind by the stump.

Th railroad tie, sitting askew of the wind showed me its wind shadow first, and then my old friend the stump showed me a larger version.

As I walked south, away from the stump, I saw what found itself in the lee side of the stump, benefiting from the calmer area of a very windy beach.

Crab shells were in the wind shadow, and jelly fish carcasses too, peering out of the sand, desiccated as they were.

Pieces of bark, stones, and dried kelp, like bleached rope resided there in the wind shadow behind the stump on the beach on the morning after a windy day at the beach.

Sand shrimp and crabs left behind uneaten shells and legs and pincers, because no one wanted to eat them, all meat already consumed by the gulls.

Dark oily sand was there too.

So the question came to mind, “What is sheltered in my wind shadow?”

My past.

My family.

My career.

Places where I lived in Nebraska, Colorado, and Oregon.

Places I’ve traveled in Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, Central America and the USA.

I guess at my age it is interesting to see what memories have survived in my own wind shadow of decreasing memories.

Look behind you. What is in your wind shadow?

-Small town boy

The Hot Wheel and the Cell Phone

The Hot Wheel and the  Cell Phone lay on the living room floor,

Amid the detritus that the baby left about.

“La la da da la la da da da da de da!” Said the 1.5 yr old boy,

Just after his first trip to the playground at the park,

First swing, first slide, fine time with his 28 yr old father.

“La la da da la la da da da da de da!”, said the grandpa,

And the baby looked at his father, like, What’s wrong with grandpa. Why is he speaking gibberish?

And the father rests on the couch, after the playground field trip,

And the child wonders about talking into  the  wireless phone, with batteries removed,

And then tries on two of grandpa’s hats, discarding both as too big,

One a black Pendleton cowboy hat, and one a leather baseball cap.

Off he goes, full of energy tapped and sapped from adults in the house,

And charges across the floor with a wooden car, saying “”La la da da la la da da da da de da!”,

Which means the car  is running, engine loud, and look out!

The dog hides behind the couch with me, out of the way of the speeding auto,

And the energetic young boy.

How has the boy learned all  this in 18 months of life?

What else will he pick up and try to understand and try to explain/interact with others?

I wish another pre-verbal would be here.  Would they understand each other’s jibberish?

He’s a Jabberwocky! (Not from Star Wars or Star Trek, that’s a combination of Jabba the Hut and The Wookie.)

He’s his own inner child.

He’s the center of the universe.

So who minds picking up all the mess?

– Small town boy

How to be an old man

No one told me, and now I’m 76, and I think you should know:

-You are not going to die tomorrow, or anytime soon.

-Those aches and pains are not going to kill you, they are just aches and pains.

-You can’t do everything you could when you were younger, but you can do somethings. Do what you can.

-so you are alone and lonely, maybe this is a good time for that? There are still friends and family around, but you have time to think now, plenty of time.

– Get to know yourself and appreciate what has brought you to this point. You have been with you for a long long time. You know yourself best, so trust your intuition in this.

– Move ahead with out expectations, and let go of connections and the past.  You will die, alone, it’s a journey you only can take.

– Plant some flowers.

– run around the house naked, you know you have always wanted to.  And by the way, is there anything else  you have been  putting off?

– Love everyone, including youself, including those you don’t like, but especially those you do.  And I mean LOVE them with all your heart.

– Take time each day to meditate, in solitude, in a special place, and listen.

– While you’re nakid, dance. Dance by the light of the moon. Dance while you are cleaning. Dance with your dog. 

– Don’t worry about your memories, they will still be there, so think about the now. Be present in each second remaining. You have nothing left to achieve, but each moment, each day contains something special just for you.

– Eat what you want. Your body knows what it likes and  will tell you.

– Take time each day to create something.  It can be art, cooking, gardening, a new friendship, or a new hike.

– When you get a hug, take it and hold it and feel it. It’s for you.

– Don’t try to kiss pretty women. they don’t like it.  If you are able to kiss someone, kiss them on the forehead just between the eyebrows, the third eye, the pineal gland.  That is where it doens the most good.

– Turn off everything and just sit, or go outside, or take a nap.  This is the very best time for naps.  You can takes as many as you want, as often as you want, and whereever you are. A short nap will perk you up better than a cup of coffee.

– Journal.  Leave your thoughts for you to read later. You will be surprised at what you wrote, or drew, or thought, or the places you went.

– Dream. don’t bother writing a dream journal. It doesn’t make sense later. But sit and think, where would i like to be? What would I like to be doing? Who should I share my love, my day, my dream with.

– Talk to God, however you perceive Him/Her to be. And then listen.

And finally, listen to Doris Day.

– Small town boy

Teens today

The magic kids taught me something during the March for Lives. Not about gun violence, though I agree with them in that. No, it was about teens and their promise to America and Democracy.

As a former high school teacher, I have worried about the world we were leaving them. I am worried no longer. Sure problems are rife, sure there are almost insurmountable problems too, and for sure the world teeters on war, again.

But what I realized is that these kids are super capable. It is to my discredit that I forgot what kids are capable of. My heart soared like an eagle when I saw the numbers, the intelligence, and the motivation for change through the democratic process.

Be aware that this is the start of something big, not just gun control, you would underestimate their power if you marginalized them in that way.

They will march, protest, vote, support candidates, oppose others, and make America Great again but this time following democratic principles. Teachers, congratulations, they were listening and now they are ready as the times demand that someone takes a stand.

They are the children of America and they know what to do and are unafraid to do it.

Get out of the way, salvation is at hand. God bless them, each and every one. I ain’t worried no more.

My dog doesn’t meditate

It’s a dog’s life, right? Tawny thinks so.

I don’t see her meditating, often begging or looking humble, but not deep in thought.

She drinks out of  mud puddles, rolls in dead birds or dead fish,

And she’s nuts about rocks.  She tosses them on the sand and digs craters around them.

She’s sleeping now.

It’s rainy and windy at the coast today, but

She’s a water dog and she goes out to pee or dump or smell the smellls.

Maybe it’s her acute sense of smell that allows her to be mindful and in the moment.

Her only anxiety is when I get the ball and the flinger and head for the beach,

And then she dances, right if front of me all the way to the beach..

Is dance anxiety? Or the way to remove anxiety.

For her it’s cathartic

I used to have dogs that dreamed and legs a flying and muffled barks to accompany,

But I don’t think Tawny dreams. I could be wrong about that.

If she would meditate, would that mean she has chakras? Seven of them? A third eye?

I don’t know what she would be doiing with  them, she barely understands when I’m meditating; she just wants to be with me.

Does she have a sixth sense about this?

What is her vibration? 4th dimension? Her former lives? Has she always been a dog?  Was she a dung beetle before, or a prince? Does she have spirit guides? Or is she my spirit guide. I’ll have to think about this.

OK, I may be wrong. Perhaps part of her napping, like me, is meditation, guided or no?

I often wonder what she’s wondering about me?

I think it’s, “When are we going to play on the beach?”

-Small town boy

Today He was a Seal.

Today he was a seal,

Yesterday, a huge black bear.


Edgar the Glorius (he told me his name)

Guardian of the beach here on the Oregon Coast.

Edgar is a stump, charred by beach fires that didn’t consume him.

Left from who knows what tree, or from where, or why.

Now Edgar is my friend, and I go down to the beach daily to see how he’s doing.

The trip down to the beach, around Edgar and back is about the same distance as going around the park with my dog in corvallis.

Oh, yeah, my dog, a golden retriever, red in color, 12 years old, named Tawny goes too.

She’s not there to visit Edgar, she’s there to dig craters around the rock she threw in the sand,

Over and over. It’s easy to find my way back. Just follow Tawny’s craters!

But that’s another story.

Now just look at him, up close and personal.  The fires have brought out his best side, his history, his true grain, his inner structure.

Gaze a while and see the beautiful veins of his body now wasting as driftwood, each summer burned a little more.

Sometimes I will see tracks of his deer friend.

When he first came, he was not charred and had a tall friend acting as sentinal.  The little man on my walking stick stood in awe.

But this tall fellow didn’t have the staying power and though I would resurrect him when I went to the beach, I fear he fell victim to the beach fires or washed again out to sea.

This morning the tide was around his waist. This afternoon with a -1 tide, it was a football field away. I check on these things, daily. He is my landmark.

I was talking to him today since the tide was so far away, and I thanked him for the only seat on the beach.

And then I told him I would write about him when I got back to the beach house.

So that’s what I did.

Tomorrow I will read it to him, to show my respect and gratitude.

When the tide goes out again.

-Small town boy

PS Go back and look at him again.  See the black bear?