No clothes on

If you want to know how it feels, then take your clothes off.

Feel it? Skin’s a tingle?

Find a mirror and take a look.

What do you see?

This is the vehicle God gave you to walk around in.

Lots of special features:

Eyes that can see and transmit to the brain.

Ears likewise.

Tongue is not much different, things taste the same with or without clothes.

Nose likewise.

Feeling is greater, more exposed now.

What’s the other sense? The sixth sense?

Oh yea, it doesn’t change much either, in less new insight into being clothes free counts.

Now go do something: wash dishes or laundry, sweep or vacuum.

Feels good, yes?

The nervousness that someone might see you is cultural shame. Pretty strong, I admit, but with practice, it lessens.

Fix something or build something or, as I am doing just now, write something. Things seem to work better, with some titilation that helps the job go better.

Sitting in front of a computer or Television does note seem to be enhanced, unless you are folding clothes at the same time.

Reading is better when you’re more alert, sensitizing, feeling everywhere on your body.

Tasks are easier, go quicker, and are more fun when the clothes are off.

Social nude recreation is not the point in this discussion. If you are interested find a nudist club or nude beach.

What I’m working here is just between you and… well you.

As you feel more comfortable being clothes free, you will find opportunities to go outside.

Now your skin really feels a difference.

I recommend sandals if you are walking or hiking, having tender feet myself.

This is a good time to center yourself.

Calmness is helpful when naked.

It just feels good, sans textiles.

Eventually you will consider being naked in the company of others, it’s not only for sexual reasons that we undress.

Calmness is helpful here also.

Wow, no big deal, after some initial discomfort.

We are all naked apes.

We need to recognize that and honor our God given bodies.

Well, have fun.

Love,

-Small town boy

Trees fell down

There are trees down in the forest.

Some fell, but mostly as a result of storm damage.

A natural end to life in a vertical posture.


Now I lay me down to sleep…

No!

Prematurely, not due to any weakness in my limbs,

I am fallen to die,

And then, after a time,

Resurrection, just as Christ died on a tree and was resurrected after being placed in a cave on the ground,

I, laying here on the forest floor,

Will become a nurse log for others to grow from.

The cycle continues.

I m fallen, but others will rise 

With my help.

From

My life comes the life of others,

Standing in the sun.

Amen

– small town boy

The Ocean

God is like the ocean.

Powerful, beautiful, and dangerous.

S/He ebbs and flows with lunar cycles.

One can stand at the edge and watch or enter the surf and feel the power, straining against it.

In warmer climes, one can swim in the salty waters, until one is  out of their depth, but stll able to stay afloat, because of belief in the ability to float and swim.

There are boats on the water, large and small, some fishing the depths, some transporting cargo to unknown places.

There are animals near the shore, birds, crabs, sea lions, and sand shrimp, all occupying there own niche, all a part of the oceans ecology.

Am I part of God’s ecology?

In the depths, where I can not see, live giant whales, sharks, fish, octopi and squid, and so much more: diverse in nature but adapted to life in the sea, each having its own part to play, each a part of the food cycle.

Am I part of the spiritual food cycle? Whom do I prey (pray) upon, and who preys (prays) on me?

The sea has been here before me and will be here long after I’m gone.

As I stand here naked before it, arms upraised, willing myself to resonate with its roar, I await the day.

Resistance is futile, harmful, and not in keeping with why I was made, not in keeping with my basic, fundamental nature.

Being open and working with the forces present allow me to ride the crest of the wave, to receive the power offered, and to live with a force stronger than my own and feed as my soul requires.

Thank God for the ocean and it’s abundance.

The ocean is great and reaches far away past the horizon to where others stand by it and marvel at its grace, beauty and power, my brothers and sisters on this globe,

A planet, when seen from afar, is notable because it is blue,

Blue because of the ocean.

Let me sail forth today, find the spirit of God, and fish for the sustenance offered me.

Let me be with other sailors riding the wind and the waves, going together on life’s journey today.

Amen

– Small town boy

Winter is filled with geese and frogs

I know, it’s not winter yet, but it feels like it today.

The wind is blowing, scattered showers, and dark skies.

Leaves are falling, some leaves have already fallen, gynkos are in the midst of leaf drop.

As I walk my red golden retriever, Tawny, around the park in an effort to stop sitting around, we hear frogs and geese.

Frogs are loud though they are small and my dog is confused, especially in the backyard. to bark or not to bark?

I think they take turns. Frogs then geese and then frogs again.

Geese fly over the house in their gaggling style, each encouraging the other; each calling out their position in the Vee, as they fly from Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in the west to Findlay Wildlife Refuge in the south and Basket Slough Wildlife Refuge in the north. Grass, new, fresh, and succulent is everywhere. Scaregooses do little to prevent their settling into a field and gobbling grass.

There are twenty little birds in the dying birch in my backyard, waiting for me to go back inside so they can feed at the bird feeder uninterrupted. Their songs are sweet and cheerful, finches and juncos mostly.

Little tree frogs croak to attract females and discourage males, yes?

But do they sing to each other, geese and frogs?

Is there something the frog wants to say to the geese flying overhead?

What would a goose tell the frog on the ground, safe in my backyard?

“Winter is coming!”

The frog tells the geese to get out of the sky and find a safe warm place to be for the winter. The goose says, “You need to get out more often.”

The goose tells the frog that there is lots to eat in the field next door, but frogs are not interested in grass, fresh or no.

Many other conversations go on in my backyard and in the park across the street, but I don’t have access to them.

But I hear the message that winter is coming, and go inside and wonder 

If there will be snow this winter?

My dog says, “What is snow?”

– Small town boy

November Rose

The rose of November is the prettiest, the sweetest rose,

The one I love the most.

I have lived with her a while now,

From when she was a bud, through her summer years,

Among the other roses who have by this time given up in fear of the oncoming winter.

And yet, my rose younger gets,

And holds the baby roses on her knee and fills them with love,

And grows younger by association.

I would not cut this November rose and put her in a vase to show her beauty,

Because her beauty is evident daily in her garden of green and brown.

From where does she come this miracle of nature?

From North Dakota where the winters are cold and harsh;

No wonder she thrives on this moderate climate of the Willamette valley.

Though truth be told, she’d rather be at the beach.

Her birthday is November 25, my November Rose.

– Small town boy

Half Moon

5 a.m. Dark. The half moon is out next to Orion’s girdle.

At the beach, away from city lights, it all becomes.

I get my half-moon tan and do my half-moon dance in the half-moon light.

My daughter’s favorite place, a place of romance is Half-Moon Bay.

I do not regret the unfullness, but marvel that it can still do what it did when it was full.

Can I say the same?

At 75 am I half full, but still able?

Or am I overfilled, and reflecting His brilliance?

I see the half moon and realize it is still whole, but half obscured.

Am I half ibscured?

I love the moon and she loves me, even by half.

I see my half-moon shadow, still leaping and hopping,

Still worth the dance.

How I miss dancing; holding you in my arms; while the music croons.

So I will dance the night away in the arms of my half-moon,

Half-caste of universal love,

Half a life till it next recovers its fullness,

Again.

– Small town boy

The Mouse, the Louse, and the blue nosed pig

Said the mouse to the louse, Let’s get out of the house,

And go see the pig with the sky blue snout.

I dont know why, you need  to see the pig,

Is this frivolous or is it something big?

I want to se the marvelous pig,

Not because he does a jig,

Or because he eats a fig, no

It’s something we share.

Have’t you noticed?

You haven’t the remotest,

There’s something about us,

It’s something we share,

Something deep inside us,

Something others may not see,

You don’t see it in Me, but

Because he realizes it in him,

Discerns something of the universe, something kind, some empathetic response,

I see it brightly in him,

He sees it loudly in Me.

I love him and he loves me,

We just feel better when we’re tigether, you know?

Do you have someone like that? Said the mouse with an orange tail.

I do, said the louse, it’s you.

Then come along and we will go see the pig with the blue snout.

OK, I ‘ll come, but first I must paint my toenails yellow.

– Small town boy


There’s Something in the Park

There’s something in the park today, something green.

It’s bigger than a bread box (google it) and it is not vegetable or mineral.

I don’t know where it came from, the children have been talking about it for weeks,

But it was only today that I saw it, in the morning sun, grazing on the grass.

I forget what it is called (there’s some controversy about its name) but it is big, huge, bigger than a house,

And longer too, and taller, and heavier.

I don’t know where it came from, the children have been  talking to it for weeks,

And they say it’s not going anywhere.

They like to ride on it, but as large as it is and as small as the park is , it doesn’t go far.

Better, they like to slide down  it’s neck and, after walking across its back, continue to slide down its tail.

It came from an egg, I think, but it’s not going anywhere.

It shits really big piles of poop, which I and all the neighbors scoop up and  put in our composite bins (nearly filling them up).

It’s better than elephant poop (Zoo Doo) for gardens and planters and such.

It makes no sound, its small brain is totally consumed with walking and eating and pooping.

It can’t sing, but the children sing to it.

They sing happy songs, fun songs, songs about home and hearth, and it smiles.

Yes, I said it smiles, and then the children smile too,

I even catch myself grinning occasionally, you know.

I asked my grandchildren what it is and they said “It is a Marjorie.”

“A Marjorie?” I ask.

Yes they say, she told us so.

Who am I to disagree?  It keeps them out of the house and from underfoot.

It stops the constant barrage of, “Grandpa, watch this.”

But it doesn’t stop them from going to school.

Actually she encourages school, and reading, and math, and exercise,

Because she has no children of her own, she helps raise ours.

I love Marjorie.

I don’t know where she came from, an  egg I think, but I’m glad she’s here and

I thank the children for introducing me to her.

= Small town boy

Nothing to say

I have nothing to say to you.

I listen quietly for your voice. 

I clear my self tip to toe for what will come. 

Hush mind. Hush my heart. Body be quiet with your complaints. Spirit drop your expectations.

I am here at the end of the day hoping for a message to end the day like the one that I began with you this morning outside picking up the paper in my bathrobe.

Remember? We looked over the roofline hoping to see the rest of the moon, the leftover after its waning in cloudless skies.

The morning was breathless as I saw trees in the park allowing their bright yellow to be seen, as their green evaporated and they fell panting to the ground in colorful abundance.

Such a start to my day, our day.

I happily walked grandkids to the school bus with Tawny, my red golden Retreiver. She was happy.

I felt so good walking today that I continued past the park down Summerfield where all the new houses are complete or started, save one. Over half are sold and most of them occupied in houses not yet a year old. 

No birds, no redwing blackbirds, sang in the wetland next door to the new houses. To early? Too late? Come back after the rains.

The day has been filled with chats with my wife, and touches, and food fresh from the garden that is lowering my glucose levels in the morning.

Planes are heard outside my window tonight after the warm day, because the airport is only a few miles away.

My dog is tired of being thrown off the bed and sleeps by the door. She will join me later in the night and cuddle me off the bed.

I eagerly await  our new meditative time early in the morning. I expect nothing but I’m all eyes for what new thing I might see.

So since I have nothing to say, I’ll just say goodnight.

Thanks for today.

I love you

– Small town boy

Life Quilt, row 5, #1 – bicycling the Oregon Coast

So many stories, so little time.


My first time on the Oregon Coast (Hwy 101) was during the first Cycle Oregon in September, 1988, right in the midst of my dissertation. 


I remember the strong headwind we faced out of Mapleton on the way west to Florence. I remember learning to draft (riding closely behind the rear wheel of the rider in front of you for wind protection and cadence).  Each rider took the front for a spell and then the leader rotated back to the end of the line. BTW coastal winds generally flow from north to south. Smart cyclists take that into account and travel north to south as we did.

After Florence came Sea Lions Cave, North Bend, and nightfall in Coos Bay.

then Bandon, Port Orford and Gold Beach.

And last Brookings. 

Well, that was not actually my first ride along the Pacific coast. That ride occurred in about 1983 when my son John and his two friends Maureen and Leslie camped at Cape Lookout (see above) and then rode the Three Capes scenic route in two days.

It was then I first saw what would become our beachhouse in Terra Del Mar. When we returned from the trip a letter was waiting for me. Bike Gallery, where we had gotten parts in preparation for the ride, had drawn my name and I got a free Brookstone touring bike.

I would ride this road from Tierra del Mar to the top of Cape Lookout and back often as a training ride.  When I rode across Wisconsin, each day someone would say, “Wait til you get to THE hill!” None of the hills compared to this climb.  Initially with John and friends we had to walk our bikes over the top, both ways.

It was 100 miles from my home in Portland to the beach house in Tierra Del Mar, but there was a shortcut.With the advent of Max light Rail in the Portland Metro area it made riding to the beach much easier. By taking your bike onto the MAX train from Lloyd Center to Hillsboro you chop off 24 miles, urban miles, with hills, on a four lane highway.

Then by riding the backroad from Hillsboro to Forest Grove and Banks to US 6 which will follow the Lewis river you can climb 7 miles and go down 24 miles. The shoulder is nice and the traffic is not bad.  Jack rode with me after he got his new touring bike. Then it’s a short 20 miles to Tierra del Mar.

Side note: my great grandson found a giant spider in the house!


A western Hobo Spider, not toxic.