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It’s been a while…

It’s been many months since I last posted on this blog. A hiatus for many reasons: failed retirement (went back to work); entranced by music (piano practice); didn’t make the time; etc.  Now, I have retired again.  After 4 years of part-time, then half-time, then full-time work with my favorite Juneau non-profit (REACH), I have done what I could in the work world. It’s time to enter my final years head on.

Last week we left Juneau around noon, Tuesday, on the ferry Kennecott and after stops in Yakutat, Whittier, and little Chenega Bay, arrived in Kodiak soon after dawn.  We are here for 10 days while I contemplate my navel, detach from REACH, and figure out what’s next.  As if on cue, an old passion has resurfaced.  To the piano practice, birdwatching, hiking, reading, and cooking magnets on my mental door, a new one has appeared.  Writing stories.

I remember November, 2007.  We began the month in Morro Bay, California, and finished it in Austen, Texas. During that time, sitting at my computer in sweet Clemmie, I accepted and completed the NaNoWriMo challenge. Wrote a 50,000 + novel in 24 days.  Yes I did.  Then I put it away, unread, unreviewed, unedited.  For almost 6 years.  Ten days ago I powered up the laptop, moved the cursor ’til I found the file, clicked off the electronic dust, and printed it out. 106 pages, by golly.  Gingerly, began to read it – could barely recall the plot, certainly not one thing about how it ended.  Surrprised to find it held my interest. This is reasonably well written, I thought. Got half way through it before we got on the ferry, and left the remainder to be finished when we get home next week.

I’m going to do more writing.  Not sure how, or where.  Stay tuned.

Moving Over

Since I haven’t made any new posts here, but am posting regularly in the Juneau Journal,  I decided to move everything over there.  So please go there to read what’s happening with me/us nowadays.

An “Aha!” Moment

I’ve had several “Aha!” moments in my life – seconds when all of a sudden I see something in a totally different way.  My awareness shifts, and I feel it reflected in tingling and openness through my whole body. Afterwards, I’m not quite the same person I was before.

Today I write about three of these.  In chronological order.

  • Yesterday I heard a presentation by Eric Brown, founder of Impact Games. I consider myself pretty technically savvy and aware of the incredibly fast rate of new things, concepts, and methods erupting via the Internet.  But something had gotten past me (what else has?)  I had a stereotype in my head of “video games” based on Nintendo, the WII, and video parlors.  x$W%*zk@#/&?…. Throw that viewpoint out the window, Pat, video games are fast becoming a new media for news, social change and education, as well as mindless (entertaining?) violence.  A whole new way of informing ourselves.  After doing a bit of research, I am dumfounded by what’s happening, my mind is boggled.  Please, go and PlaytheNews or Darfur is Dying to get a feel for what’s out there.
  • I love lying in bed in the dark.  I lie on my side and kind of meditate.  I feel my heart beating.  If I’m relaxed and unstressed (how lucky I am to experience that fairly often) I see in my mind’s eye pictures of suffering around the globe.  About 3-4 four years ago, at one of those moments, all of a sudden I experienced a rush of warm energy emanating from my heart towards those pictures. x$W%*zk@#/&?…….   This is what love is I thought.  It’s being, noticing, awareness…  Not doing.
  • Back in 1979 I gave myself a new TRS80 computer for Christmas.  I installed the suite of software that came with it:  Scripsit (word processor), VisiCalc (spreadsheet) and Profile (database.)  I’d prepared by learning how to program a 128 step Texas Instrument calculator, and was keen to find out how a computer worked. Disc drives weren’t yet available, so I had a tape recorder ready to use for storage.  After the setup, I was completely hooked.  I installed the software, poured over the instructions, and began to try them out.  I started VisiCalc, made two columns of numbers, and then typed in the formula for column total at the bottom.  The math was correct.  Wow – it shows the total.  Then…..    I changed a number in one of the columns, hit the Enter key, and x$W%*zk@#/&?……  The total at the bottom magically changed.  This happened automatically! Things have never been the same since – and now we take that profound change for granted.

Death Struggle

I’m death-fightfollowing the news about the horrifying struggle in Gaza on the edges of Israel. The humanitarian situation of the people of Gaza is heart breaking, and it seems that Israel has been pushed by Hamas to the ends of patience.  So how does this end? And what can a person do to Continue Reading »

I keep a little set of “Self Mastery” cards on my desk, they’re about 1.5 by 4 inches. Each one has on the back a word and an affirmation of insight, a zen thought.  I like to look at a new one every morning and chew on it through the day. Today’s card says: Continue Reading »

Piano Practice

I love my Yamaha YDP-160 digital piano, bought in a box right before we began our journey to Juneau from the east coast. I acquired it as a result of one of those “going to the store to buy a loaf of bread” situations* – the details of which I won’t go into here. Continue Reading »

F…. It Or Kill It

Ken Wilber neatly described the human dilemma (one “l”, two “m”s) as the problem of testosterone.  “F… it or kill it” is how he put it.  Certainly explains our mindless drive to fight ridiculous wars as exemplified in a headlines in today’s CBS news feed:  CIA Wins Over Tribal Leaders With Viagra. Continue Reading »