Why can’t Christmas Gorilla go to the Beach?

The little gorilla loved Christmas at the beach, but he wasn’t allowed to go down to the sandy beach.

The little gorilla had on his red and white Santa hat, and

The little gorilla had on his bright red boxer shorts, but

There was a winter storm out there.

Rain and 13 mph winds out of the SSW.

The Christmas Gorilla didn’t want to get his special Christmas costume wet and sandy.

So, he sits on my desk with that look in his eye that Tawny (my golden retreiver) gets when she wants to go outside, eyebrows and all.


See what I mean? How can I ignore that silent plea?


This is Tawny waiting for me to take her down to the beach.

And that’s where the problem lies, with Tawny’s obsession.

Rocks. Rocks the size that would fit into your hand.

Tawny has a game she plays with these stones.

She finds a good one on the gravel road in front of the beach hoouse and carries it happily in her mouth the 50 yds or so to the sandy beach.

Whereupon she runs out on the playa, stops, and tosses the stone into the air.

And then digs, spraying sand out behind her like snow from a snow blower.

My grandchildren love this and encourage her.

She needs little encouragement.

She makes a crater, and then another one a little further down the beach, until a trail of craters is left behind us, marking our path home.

Finally, she carries her stone back to the beach house and hides it in the beach grass withher other stones and an occasional tennis ball.

She also does this in our backyard in Corvallis, until

We put in garden boxes.

So, how is that the little gorilla’s problem? Well let me tell you:

1 – Tawny gets sand all over the Christmas Gorilla

2 – The Christmas Gorilla wants to dig too

3 – Water (rain and ocean) are not good for a, pardon if I say it, a little stuffed Christmas Gorilla

4 – There are birds on the beach,  crows and gulls, that would like to snatch the little guy

5 – I’m afraid tawny, in her frenzy, will bury the little gorilla.

See, my arguments are well reasoned.

Oh, well. Let’s go.

– Small town boy

PS – to my Australian friend, since I graduate from both OSU and UofO (masters @ Beavers and doctorate @ ducks) my daughter says I’m a duckbill platypus!

Advertisements

Christmas Gorilla 

Once upon a time there was a small gorilla who believed in Santa Claus.

And so every Christmas he would put on his Santa hat and his bright red boxer shorts.


Each evening during Advent, he would sit down with his iPad and write a letter to Santa:

Dear Santa, (He would begin)

I am writing you a letter on behalf of someone I know who really needs a Christmas present.  She has everything she needs of course, but I”m sure you can come up with an appropriate gift.  Look into her heart and see what she has always wanted, please.

Sincerely, 

The Christmas Bear

Santa was confused, of course.  He was used to Christmas letters requesting toys, video games, bicycles, dolls and such, but this was a new one. The Christmas Bear? (He looks like a little gorrila in the picture above) And who was this little girl who was to receive this precious present? where does she live? How do I find out what she dearly wants?

So he wrote him back asking these questions.

Dear Christmas Bear,

I received your letter filled with warmth and love, but who is this little girl? Is she someone close to you? Someone you obviously care for and have empathy and compassion for. I must know more about her to be able to identify what she has always wanted.

Yours,

Santa Claus

The little gorilla pondered this letter from Santa and worried about how to tell him about this wonderful woman (50 years old) who had suddenly made such a difference in his life.  She was 9,000 miles away. She was a single mom of 4 children and took time to help the world on YouTube!

She knew about fitness, sleep meditation, yoga, healthy diet and much more that she shared in her YouTube vlogs, her blogs, her books and herself on several social internet sites.

She was like, OUT THERE!

So he wrote back,

Dear Santa,

It’s me, the Christmas Bear again. In answer to your questions,

Yes, I am intimately acquainted with her through something called ASMR, a whispered meditation, and she always talks directly to me; never too busy to ask how I am doing: how I’m sleeping; how I’m getting along in my relationships, how I’m decluttering and setting up happy rituals at bedtime.

She has come back from a traumatic divorce, takes care of her kids like a guardian angel, and still takes time to talk to me.

I live in Oregon. she lives in Australia.

Sincerely,

The Christmas Bear

Now Santa was intrigued. He was having some fitness and diet issues as well as some trouble sleeping. Again he wrote back to the Christmas Bear,

Dear Christmas Bear,

Boy Howdy, does your friend sound like someone special.  Yes, I can deliver to Australia. If you tell me her name I will watch some of her YouTube videos so I can get to know her too. 

Could you tell me her name?

Yours,

Santa Claus

The little gorilla felt like he was manifesting a Christmas surprise!

Dear Mr. Claus,

Her name is Lauren Ostrowski Fenton, wait let me check the spelling. No, it’s correct (I often get it wrong).

We are close personal friends, I just know it.

Thank you for all your help. It’s in your hands now.

Love,

The Christmas Bear. 

PS I just hope she will come to America sometime.

– Small town boy

Live in the moment

I subscribe to Lauren Ostrowski Fenton

Who does deep meditation and

Life counseling on YouTube.

She, and others, tell me to live in the moment, not the past, not the future.

As part of the work I’ve been doing with myself and meditation over the past few years, this makes sense to me.

But,

I noticed this morning, as I drove back from the grocery,

My moment is moving,

Through time and space!

When I try to focus on a moment, to enjoy with all the senses the delight therein,

It is gone, and replaced by another.

So I start again, quieting my mind,

Relaxing (not too much as I am driving),

I smell the smells of the moment,

I hear all the sounds of the moment,

I taste, I feel, I see !

And then poof,

It’s gone

And I find myself in a new moment.

This one’s a little different from the one that just went past.

I’m beginning to get a little giddy.

I find delight in greeting each new moment.

I await without expectation what the new moment will offer.

Just this moment I’m filled with love for you.

Just this moment I’m filled with love for me too!

Oh God! What a moment I’m having!

-Small town boy

The Foolish

The fool archetype:

The Fool/Jester archetype urges us to enjoy the process of our lives. Although the Fool/Jester can be prone to laziness and dissipation, the positive Fool/Jester invites us all out to play–showing us how to turn our work, our interactions with others, and even the most mundane tasks into FUN.

http://www.uiltexas.org/files/capitalconference/Twelve_Character_Archetypes.pdf

If I am foolish,

I jump out of the box,

I push the envelope.

I am creative.

Humor is my life’s blood.

Shame has no place in my foolish world.

To be quiet is not foolish.

You’re not foolish when you are in a rut.

The foolish are shocking, startling, and unexpected.

Share your foolishness with others, with the world.

I cannot love foolishly, for with each effort I lapse into sincerity, obligation, and deceit.

Who loves a fool ? Everyone.

Who wants to appear foolish? No one.

Let go! Let go! Let go!

Do one foolish thing right now.

I am writing a foolish poem right now.

I’m smiling and feeling happiness.

I love the fool in me, and all the things he does, right or wrong.

Do you think me a fool for telling you this?

– Small town boy

Somebody else

I’m not writing this.

Somebody else is.

I’m not thinking, I’m just writing, typing for her.

Monica.

My spirit guide, one of them.

I told her I would let her write.

She wants you to know that it will be alright.

(Do you know what she’s referring too?)

She knows it will all work out in the end.

(Got that?)

In the mean time don’t fret,

Look inward. What do you see? Turmoil?

Calm your turmoil and the external turmoil will dissipate.

Sit for a moment without electricals.

Be self sustaining for a moment.

If you want something, ask for it.

Do good deeds.

She wants you to know she knows that it isn’t easy. It’s hard. And you think soft is weak.

She says it’s the other way around.

It is easy, and soft is hard.

Give up those thoughts that have gotten you and everyone to this point,

And listen without words.

What do you hear?

My heart is filling up as I do this for her.

Mine is not the only spirit guide, you have one too.

Where did I meet her and learn what her name is and what she looks like?

On YouTube!

Try it.

– small town boy and Monica

If I said that I love you…

If I said that I love you
I would be wrong,
Wrong headed,
Wrong thinking.
Because it would imply that I have strong feelings for you,
Feelings I would have called love.
My feelings that became strong when you are around or,
When I thought of you.
Let me suggest that love is not a feeling that I have, but
Something, some force, that has me, always.
So when I say that I love you,
What I mean is that my love acknowledges you as one it desires,
And jumps to my attention so that I must tell you.
And when your love acknowledges me and my love,
We, both of us, are IN love, together.
And so, when we are admonished to love one another,
I think it means for each of us to recognize the love that exists in the other,
And act on it.
We don't acknowledge gravity by falling.
It exists whether we do so or not.
Love is like that.
Love exists whether we feel it or not.
So?
So respect it, acknowledge it, and act on it.
Love is for us all, you, me, that person over there and the person next to you.
You can start by giving them a gift:
Listen.
And then give them another:
Speak your truth.
And feed them and hug them and offer safety and comfort.
I'm not kidding.
Love demands this of you.
You are the only you in the whole of creation.
You are the only one who can do what you do.
The only one who sees what you see.
When you love, you share this uniqueness with another, an other.
And they share with you.
So, I'm not saying I love you anymore.
I'm saying that I share my love with you.
Yes?
– Small town boy

My love receiver

If you were me

I'm stymied, I guess.
I haven't written for a while,
After criticism and censorship.
The problem I have is this:
Each word, each thought has been dug up,
Dug up from the internal (and eternal) junk pile that is my recollection.
These thoughts are mine, I own them, and yet…
I permit the criticism of others dear to me to destroy my writing; my decision.
And so I approach each new thought with their censorship in mind; don't dig too deep.
Ok, so maybe I didn't think through enough the offending thoughts.
Maybe they were right, but still I must admit a stricture on my thinking.
And so now I begin again to write.
Unable to keep these thoughts buried, I must present them to you.
You have a right to your opinion.
I have a right to mine.
But should I publish for all the world to see?
Do I needs/must take into account the effect on others,
Or do I only have obligation to my Self to write what I feel?
Who reads this stuff anyway?

– Small town boy

Security or Balance?

I noticed, when going downstairs while using the handrail,

That I don’t cling to it for safety/security,

But I lean on the handrail,

For balance.

And, as always, I seek the metaphor for life, my life.

I think security/safety is important for a stable life, but

It is balance I seek for a meaningful life.

Balance is often thought of as a teeter totter between two members of a dichotomy:

Good/evil, fit/unfit, religious/atheist, etc.

But there are no dichotomies; there are three or more forces involved in each problem.

As a physics teacher, I believe in force vectors, in which the sum of each force AND their directions determines your movement.

Unattended, forces are exerted, causing movement.

And so what reaction to these forces do you perceive?

A. Nothing, I am blown by forces not of my making.

B. Resist the impinging forces by my own personal strength.

C. Seek balance, seek to balance forces with other forces that act in opposition or in replacement of forces arrayed to place stress in my life.

For me this balance comes in the form of meditation, jigsaw puzzles and bike rides.

Walks in the beach, turning off cable news, spiritual practices, walking with the dog etc. offer balance to my stressors.

Hugs, cuddling, touch, kisses, are powerful forces in this regard.

And so, instead moving according to forces I don’t control,

I sit quietly as the whirlwinds if life,

Not fighting,

Just leaning 

In a direction that

Gives me balance.

It is this balance that sustains me in the face of trauma,

Like death of a loved one, illness, surgery, motor accident, addiction, and so on and so on.

Balance, and God,

And my wife of forty five years.

Love is a great balancing agent.

I see others, people who don’t have balance,

And I can’t give them balance,

I can only be sure that I am balanced.

Can you see?

That I am balanced?

And not teetering?

Sometimes, sometimes, I teeter,

When I teeter I know what to do,

Seek balance, find equilibrium,

And go on to the next event.

– Small town boy

Healing/Greiving

I had surgery on Tuesday, and now I am in the healing process.

Healing is like grieving, you can’t hurry it.

Both are recovery processes.

Both trying to repair the body,

from trauma.

The mental body, the emotional body, the physical body, and the spiritual body.

We’ve been given the necessaries for this process,

And though we grow impatient,

they work, after a fashion.

Seeing it in others or helping them see it,

Doesn’t help much when it’s you that is healing.

Small steps, some backwards, some forwards,

Like the frog in  the well: two forward, one backward.

Oh, how we take for granted the uninjured self.

When we’re whole our minds, hearts, bodies and spirits

Are involved with other things, not suspecting

What’s around the corner.

What is the good of trauma? It shakes me up, like an earthquake,

That allows rebuilding of fundamental structures, 

Allows change to occur.

Things I thought were important, aren’t so important now.

Things I had forgotten were important, become important once again.

Grief and healing; healing and grief,

Once thought too painful,

Now seen as brief.

bless me father.

-Small town boy


My doctors, Brant and Wang.

Breath

I breathe.

Again.

I breathe,

And with each breath

My lungs extract life

In the form of oxygen 

And send it to refresh my heart.

My heart thus refreshed

Sends it on to my brain,

And the cloud on my spirit lifts

Just a little.

More breaths, more breathing,

More refreshing,

And I can go on.

Simple, slow recovery.

I just keep breathing.

Thank you Jesus,

And all those tiny angels

That I sent to my friend last year in her grief,

They have returned to me.

Their job is never ending.

Their job is to give us strength and courage

And hope.

Take a breath, take another, and another.

Recovery is slow 

But hope is eternal.

– Small town boy