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

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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

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

In the Dark of the Morning

In the dark of the morning,

In the cool of the night,

My life begins anew each day.

My heart searches you out

To be reassured that you will

Be with me today.

You are not a morning person, I know,,

And I believe in early to bed and early to rise

Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

So your day ends after mine,

And my day begins without you.

Be that as it may, I enjoy the dark morning,

Hoping the sky is clear and the moon is out

And Orion is walking the skies.

I am alone now, but soon

You will wake and ask for coffee

And a NutriSystems little bag of granola,

And my day will begin again,

With you in it.

A touch, a smile, a joke, a text,

Or an update on world events,

And we are synched again,

My heart beats with you,

And I feel you with me

As I go to Fitness Over Fifty

For my morning exercise,

Leaving you to see the grandchildren off to school.

I’m not with you tonight,

But this dark morning, in the cool of the night,

My heart finds you,

Sleeping,

And dreaming of when

We’re together again.

– 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

Waiting

I’m waiting in the garden.

For what? For who? For when? For where?

I don’t know.

Like Waiting for Godot.

I’m beginning to see

Not what I’m waiting for,

But how I wait.

I wait with more presence,

I’m more here here.

I wait without expectation,

But I’m not disappointed.

When I’m not waiting I feel edgy;

I have to find something to do with myself.

By when I’m waiting, I have purpose,

And intent, and focus.

Wait with me won’t you ?

And we’ll see what turns up.

-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

I would be lying

I would be lying if I said I didn’t care.

If I said it didn’t hurt.

I would be lying if I pretended not to notice you there.

Lying to myself, because it is readily apparent to you

That I love you.

I don’t know how you know and how it’s hidden from me some days.

Each day begins with you; you’re on my mind and in my heart, so

I guess I know too that you love me.

Why would I be lying if I spoke roughly to you?

How would I be lying if I said some unkind word?

When would I be lying if I didn’t tell you each day how much you mean to me.

Let me not wait till you’ve gone to state my truth to you each waking hour.

Let me not lie to myself that I am without you.

Let me say how much you do each day for our family, our marriage, our home.

Let me not lie.

There is no time for it.

– Small town boy

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