Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

First snow
--white cotton candy
----winter's muffled call
On second thought...

"Remember the past, plan for
the future, but live for today,
because yesterday is gone and
tomorrow may never come."

Tuesday Thought: First is Not Always Best

"The early bird gets the worm, but the
second mouse gets the cheese."

--Steven Wright

Monday, November 29, 2004

On second thought...

"A word of encouragement during
a failure is worth more than an
hour of praise after success."

Monday Thought: Listen to Hendrix

"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom

--Jimi Hendrix

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Full Moon Meditation Walk
By Don

Under a chilly November full moon sky,
From the labyrinth we sought advice from on high,
We walked in silence, snaking our way through,
Not exactly sure what we should do,
Off in the shadows Runningwolf stood,
Watching over us as we did what we could,
In the eye of the sacred circle I left behind my fear,
Too long I've run scared just like a frightened deer,
In my return from the center an insight came to me,
Something I desperately needed to see,
A voice inside me whispered "trust your love,
Don't for a moment question the dove,"
Further it said "let your love lead you,
Let it touch everything in life you do,"
With both eyes closed I continued my walk,
I stumbled my way back where we sat to talk,
Inside the tepee we sat with our shaman master,
Who took us on a journey that made our hearts beat faster,
I shared what I learned that night under the full moon,
I knew within me something was about to change soon.
On second thought...

"The Great Spirit is in all things,
he is in the air we breathe. The
Great Spirit is our Father, but the
Earth is our Mother. She nourishes
us, that which we put into the ground
she returns to us.... "

--Big Thunder (Bedagi),
Wabanaki Algonquin

Sunday Thought: Our Earth

"Treat the earth well: it was not
given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our
Ancestors, we borrow it from our

--Ancient Indian Proverb

Saturday, November 27, 2004

A Birthday Wish for Mary
By Don

Blessed are you with another year,
One filled with love and great cheer,
May you find all that you truly seek,
Climb sunset mountain to the peak,
Allow the little girl inside of you,
Be with you no matter what you do,
Use your ancient wisdom for some good,
Help animals and flowers as you should,
Hold those you love close to your heart,
Never forget them from the start,
And on this special day for you,
Under an Arizone sunset may we rendez-vous.
Haiku Moment
By Don

Sunset point
--aglow in vibrant fleeting color
----tempting the heart to beam with love
Haiku Moment
By Don

Arizona sunset
--raging orange ball of fire
----slipping fast into Heaven
Saturday Thought: Rich Heart

Without a rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

One second thought...

"How far you go in life depends on
your being tender with the young,
compassionate with the aged, sympathetic
with the striving and tolerant of the weak
and strong. Because someday in life you will
have been all of these."

--George Washington Carver

Friday, November 26, 2004

Thanksgiving Sunset
By Don

Early signs a Thanksgiving sunset does make,
Away our thankful hearts it does take,
Through an Oriental garden we behold,
Magnificient beauty quite untold,
Streaks of orange, salmon, and red,
With each stroke our hearts are fed,
Through the dark outline of disappearing trees,
We watch the sunset move toward the seas,
Something inside us changes as we inhale its bloom,
Somewhere out there a new tomorrow looms,
An Arizona sunset is a promise to keep,
One that lives on even in our sleep.
Friday Thought: Change

"Only the wisest and stupidest
of men never change."


Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanksgiving Morning
By Don

Thanksgiving sunrise in Carefree,
Red boulders stretch toward a pale blue sky,
A morning fire paints yellow laughter on the casita walls,
Opaque shadows linger and dance across the room,
In the nearby junipers, the birds are awake,
Their sweet voices rise with the cherry orange sun,
In the distance, the mission church bells remind us...
To ring true to ourselves on this special day,
Deep inside we know...
Thanksgiving always blooms where grateful hearts abide.
Haiku Moment
By Don

Row boat
--making way
----not waves
Thursday Thought: Give Thanks for Important Stuff

"The ideals which have lighted my way,
and time after time have given me new
courage to face life cheerfully, have been
Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite
subjects of human efforts, possessions,
outward success, luxury have always
seemed to me contemptible."

--Albert Einstein

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

--in living
----purposeful being
Haiku Moment
By Don

--hanging from a cliff
----taking flight from time
On the other hand...

"A brief candle;
both ends burning
An endless mile;
a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all a part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird You're free at last.

--Charlie Daniels

Written en route to the funeral for his friend, Ronnie Van Zant of the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Wednesday Thought: The Future

"The best thing about the future is
that it only comes one day at a time."

--Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

Exercise your heart
--open it to others
----extend your love to the world
Tuesday Thought: Gratitude

"At times our own light goes out and
is rekindled by a spark from another
person.Each of us has cause to think
with deep gratitude of those who have
lighted the flame within us."

--Albert Schweitzer
A little story passed along by my wife...

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the
country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live.
They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be
considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the

"It was great, Dad."

"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.

"Oh yeah," said the son.

"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.

The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they had four.

We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a
creek that has no end.

We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.

Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.

We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go
beyond our sight.

We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.

We buy our food, but they grow theirs.

We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to
protect them."

The boy's father was speechless.

Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."

Isn't perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen
if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about
what we don't have.

Appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends!

Happy Thanksgiving Friend!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

Giving thanks
--living thanks
----thanks being
Haiku Moment
By Don

--born anew
----relearning who you are
On second thought...

"Common sense ain't common."

--Will Rogers
Monday Thought: Conscious Responsibility

"A man who becomes conscious
of the responsibility he bears
toward a human being who
affectionately waits for him,
or to an unfinished work, will
never be able to throw away
his life. He knows the "why" for
his existence, and will be able
to bear almost any "how."

--Victor Frankl

Sunday, November 21, 2004

On second thought...

"It takes a very long time to
become young."

--Pablo Picasso
Sunday Thought: Art

"Art is the lie that makes us
realize the truth."

--Pablo Picasso

Saturday, November 20, 2004

On second thought...

"All that is gold does not glitter;
not all those that wander are lost."

--J. R. R. Tolkien
Saturday Thought: Courage

"Courage is grace under pressure."

--Ernest Hemingway

Friday, November 19, 2004

On second thought...

"If you banish fear, nothing terribly
bad can happen to you."

--Margaret Bourke-White
Friday Thought: Learning from Fools

"Wise men learn more from fools
than fools from the wise."

--Marcus Porcius Cato

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Thursday Thought: Defining the Problem

"The greatest challenge to any
thinker is stating the problem
in a way that will allow a solution."

--Bertrand Russell
Lessons from a Butterfly
Author Unknown

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly
One day a small opening appeared
He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours
It struggled to force its body through that little hole
Then it seemed to stop making any progress
It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could
And it could go no farther.

So the man decided to help the butterfly
He took a pair of scissors and snipped off
The remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily, BUT,
It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings
He continued to watch the butterfly
He expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge
And the body would contract
Neither happened!
In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling
Around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
It was never able to fly.

The man acted with well-intentioned kindness
But he didn't understand the consequences.
The restricting cocoon and the struggle required to get
Through the tiny opening, were nature's way of forcing fluid
From the body of the butterfly once it achieved it's freedom
From the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life.
If nature allowed us to go through life without any
Obstacles, it would cripple us.
We would not be as strong as we could have been
And we could never fly
Have a great day, great life, and struggle a little.
Then fly!

A Relationship is like a Rose
By Rob Cella

A relationship is like a rose,
How long it lasts, no one knows;
Love can erase an awful past,
Love can be yours, you'll see at last;
To feel that love, it makes you sigh,
To have it leave, you'd rather die;
You hope you've found that special rose,
Cause you love and care for the one you chose.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

By Don

always now.
One more...

"What you do speaks so
loud that I cannot hear
what you say."

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
On second thought...

"Whenever I draw a circle,
I immediately want to step
out of it."

--Buckminster Fuller
Wednesday Thought: Unlearning

"The most useful piece of learning
for the uses of life is to unlearn
what is untrue."


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

In Your Dreams
By Don

Lucid dreams of truth,
Linger long after the night,
Memories of who we are becoming,
Even before we get there,
Recollections of pasts we know
but have not experienced,
All this, and more,
in your dreams.
One for the road...

"When the sea was calm all
ships alike showed mastership
in floating."

--William Shakespeare
On second thought...

"One of the nice things about
problems is that a good many
of them do not exist except in
our imaginations."

--Steve Allen
Tuesday Thought: Intelligence

"Intelligence is what we use when
we don't know what to do, when we
have to grope rather than using a
standard response."

--Jean Piaget

Monday, November 15, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

The mirror reveals
--only what the eye can see
----look past the mirror
Haiku Moment
By Don

Helter skelter
--rushing here and there
----simply be wherever you are
One more...

"You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one, I hope
someday you will join us, and
the world will live as one"

--John Lennon
On second thought...

"Ah! what a divine religion might
be found out if charity were really
made the principle of it instead of

Monday Thought: Look Within

"What lies behind us and what lies
before us are tiny matters compared
to what lies within."

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

We seek
--eventually we are

----without seeking to be
Spirituality in the Workplace
By Martin Rutte
(Reprinted from
CEO Refresher)

The nature and meaning of work are undergoing a profound evolution. Two forces are helping to catalyze the momentum of this process — fear and the emergence of both a more personal and widespread spirituality.

The fear is about losing our job and having to do more with less. And the emergence of spirituality in the workplace points to the desire that there be more to work than just survival. We yearn for work to be a place in which we both experience and express our deep soul and spirit.

Fear in the Workplace

There are several factors causing an increase of fear in the workplace. The first is massive corporate downsizing. The benefit of downsizing is that it does increase profits. Moreover, it cuts the fat and the excess while streamlining the organization. But downsizing also has a downside. It causes pain and suffering. In addition to the pain felt by those people who have been let go, those who are still left are asked to increase production with less resources, in the same amount of time, and for the same pay.

They feel stressed out and bone-tired. They are anxious about the security of their job and often are resentful. And most painful of all, they don't see any light at the end of the tunnel.
Downsizing works in the short-term; in the long-term, what's lost is loyalty, engagement, experience, creativity and the full expression of spirit.

A second factor is that more work is moving offshore. Years ago, it was just manufacturing work. Now it's also service jobs. India and Israel, for example, are becoming key sites for the development of computer software. We thought that there were certain types of work that would always remain in the developed world — that these were "our jobs," like service and new technology development — it's just no longer so.

And what about successful companies laying people off? That's never happened before. The understanding used to be that when a company was in fiscal trouble it would lay off people and when the company was successful, it would keep and even hire people. But with re-engineering and new advanced technology, there is a need for less people, so successful companies are downsizing.

When you put all these factors together, you're taking the work contract — the implicit agreement that I would come to work for you for life, the belief in security of employment — and smashing it. The message is crystal clear, "You don't have a secure job anymore." And that causes insecurity, it causes anxiety, and it causes fear.

There is a growing sense of "dis-spiritedness" in individuals and in the overall workplace. The spirit has been shut down. It can't fully express itself. There is a sense of dis-engagement. It may not be completely quantifiable, but people can and do feel the lack of spirit in their workplace.

All of this doesn't need to paint a completely bleak picture. We can look at these very same factors from another, more useful perspective — the spiritual. The security we thought we got from the corporation is a myth. Real security comes from a connection to that which is truly secure — the spirit. We are in the process of moving from "dependent children" at work, with the parental company looking after us, to really coming into our full, adult Selfhood. From this new reality we can begin exploring and expressing more of our true spiritual selves.

The Emergence of Spirituality

In addition to fear, there is a compelling inner longing for spiritual fulfillment. There are several factors present in society reflecting the emerging desire for personal and collective spirituality.
The baby boomer generation is now entering its 50's. People are reaching mid-life and looking at those issues that are characteristic for this age – issues such as: "What is my legacy?"; "What are the long-term values that I want to leave behind?"; "In what other arenas of life do I want to invest my energies now that I've reached the peak of my career?"; "What is really important to me as I begin to see my parents, aunts and uncles start to die?" These kinds of thoughts are usual for people in mid-life. What is unusual, however, is that the baby boomer generation is so large. When it begins to think about these issues, then society follows. As spirituality emerges for baby boomers, the whole of society is affected.

Concern and involvement with the bio-environment also reflect an emerging sense of the spiritual. The environment is both life supporting and gives us an awareness and consciousness of the whole. It reveals to us how we are interconnected and interdependent. And when you think about that, that's a very spiritual metaphor.

"When the concept of human spirit is understood as the mode of consciousness in which the individual feels connected to the Cosmos as a whole, it becomes clear that ecological awareness is spiritual in its deepest sense." — Fritjof Capra

Yet another factor is the maturing of the scientific paradigm. We thought we could solve all the world's problems with science. We thought we could eventually understand everything through science. But the more we know, the more we find out we don't know. Science has been divorcing itself from the spiritual for several hundred years. However, science without spirituality is like a wave without the ocean. A growing number of scientists realize this and are moving more into spiritual exploration.

These three factors are indicative of the overall emergence of spirituality in our time. Popular culture also reflects this in the growing number of books, movies, and TV programs about spirituality. And spirituality in the workplace is part of this phenomenon.

What Is Spirituality?

I've found that when people ask me the question, "What is spirituality?", what they're really concerned about is, “Will I have 'the Answer'”? or some other dogmatic response. They're afraid that I've already got spirituality defined and that they will disagree with my definition, which will then cause separation. People are afraid that I (or anyone else speaking about spirituality) will shove a particular point of view down their throats. This approach offers the listener no opportunity to search for his/her own truth.

The journey is not about spirituality as "the answer," but about spirituality as "the question." A question allows you to look more deeply. It allows you to search for what's true for you, and in so doing, deepen your own experience. But ultimately, what moving from answer to question does is make it safe and permissible to explore this territory in a way that is useful.

What is spirituality for you? Where is spirit or spirituality not showing up in your workplace? Where is it flourishing? Explore these kinds of questions, at work, for yourself, your relationships, your division and your company. And in this questioning, in this exploration, notice the deepening of your own experience of spirituality at work.

Spirituality in the Workplace

What would a more spiritual workplace mean for people? It would mean that work would move from merely being a place to get enough money to survive — from just earning our daily bread — to being a place of livelihood. By livelihood I mean a place where we both survive and are fully alive. We are alive in that our spirit fully expresses itself. And through our contribution, we allow other people's spirits to be nourished and to flourish. Livelihood has, at its core, three meanings for work: survival (you're alive), enlivening of the individual Self (you're aliveness), and enlivening of the collective Self (their aliveness).

What are the benefits of a more spiritual workplace? One of the primary benefits is that people are more in touch with the Source of creativity. As business people, we realize the value of creativity and innovation. Creativity is a cornerstone of business. It allows us to come out with new products and services that really are of service. It allows us to do more with less. In essence, creativity leads to more efficient contribution.

As we move more into a service and technological economy, we want to continually expand innovation and creativity. But you can't demand that of people. "Human capital" has to be treated differently than "financial capital." You have to create an atmosphere in which creativity and innovation flourish; and that is accomplished through the bountiful expression of spirit. When we are more in touch with the Source of creativity, there is also revitalization, renewal and resilience.

Another benefit is increased authenticity in communication. A lot of the work I do as a consultant is to create a "safe space" in which people feel permission to talk about their truth without fear of reprisal. Businesses aren't accustomed to doing this as a matter of normal everyday practice. However, when the truth is allowed to be safely and respectfully spoken, old problems clear up, new possibilities emerge, and people feel more aligned. They work together in a trusting team.

Increased ethical and moral behavior is yet another benefit. But who cares if a company is ethical? Isn't business just a place where you see how much you can get ahead? In a word, no. An important value of ethical behavior for a business is the development of trust. We trust people who operate in an ethical framework. Employees trust employers. Employers trust employees. And customers who trust a company stay customers longer.

Spirituality in the workplace also promotes the expression of talent, brilliance and genius — talent in the sense of our Divine gifts; brilliance in terms of our intellect and the intensity of the light we have to shine; and genius not as a scarce commodity, but as something that everyone has. Our true job is to connect with that genius. And moreover, spirituality in the workplace also leads to increased self-fulfillment, contentment and a deep sense of belonging.

In most businesses today, spirit and spirituality aren't talked about. The first thing that needs to happen is to make it safe and permissible to talk about it, as normally and as naturally as the many other conversations we have at work, such as: profitability, innovations and personnel issues.

We start this simply by beginning. Talk to those you trust, talk to others in business, talk to your colleagues, but begin to talk about it. There may be an initial fear, but after a while, the momentum will be unstoppable.

Managing in the New Spiritual Workplace

Today, we live in the transition period between the old definition of work as survival and the new definition of work as livelihood. New management techniques and new organizational structures are needed to handle this emerging context.

Management in the survival mode has been based on command and control. The way you get people to produce is by telling them what to do and making sure it gets done. But in a spiritual workplace, productivity is achieved through nurturing the expression of the self and the spirit. Our job, as leaders, is to facilitate the discovery of spirit, to esteem it, to celebrate it, and to hold others accountable for their expression of it. Support your employees and colleagues in being clear that part of their job responsibility is to fully express their spirit, their life purpose, and their gifts.

A senior vice-president of a large utility company told me that one of the roles of companies in the future will be to help employees discover their life purpose and to make sure that their work is consistent with and demanding of that purpose. “Imagine what would happen," he said, "if you had a company in which all the people were doing their life's work. You would have more loyalty, more resilience, more creativity, more innovation, and a deeper sense of self-reliance, self-renewal and self-generation."

Another new management function will be helping people unleash and express their full, creative spirit. One of the ways to do this is to reconnect people with their artistry, whether that's music, painting, dancing, poetry or cooking. Poet, David Whyte, author of The Heart Aroused, goes into companies and reads poetry. Boeing Aircraft is one of his ongoing clients. The managers he works with begin to realize other aspects of themselves. Poetry helps them delve more deeply into their creative self, and it helps contribute to new insights, both personal and corporate. (Another great way for you and your employees to reconnect with your creativity is to read and do the exercises in The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron.)

An Invitation

The next phase of the evolution of work has begun. Spirituality is becoming more openly recognized as an integral part of work. If this is something that speaks to you, that you want more of in your workplace, I invite you to jump in!


Martin Rutte is a speaker and consultant on spirituality in the workplace. He is committed to reconnecting business with its natural source of creativity, innovation and genius. As President of Livelihood®, a management consulting firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he explores the deeper meaning of work and its contribution to society. Visit
http://www.martinrutte.com for additional information.
Sunday Thought: Religion Versus God

"If God is one and if spiritual awakening
across all cultures and all religions is the
same, then why do we have so many religions?'

One to think about for all of us.
Haiku Moment
By Don

Higher being
--seek yours
----in your heart
Haiku Moment
By Don

--is not your essence
----you are

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

--not giving what we have
----giving what we are
Haiku Moment
By Don

--a thief stealing joy
----mice eating life's seed corn
On second thought...

"Information is not knowledge,
knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom
is not truth, truth is not beauty,
beauty is not love."


Makes you wonder what's what!
Saturday Thought: Non-Doing

"Besides the noble art of getting things done,
there is the noble art of leaving things undone.
The wisdom of life consists in the elimination
of non-essentials."


Friday, November 12, 2004

In Praise of Poets

This week's picks are
William Wordsworth
and Robert Frost. Both
were blessed with the
special gift of painting
pictures with words,
and then evoking feeling
with those pictures.
Haiku Moment
By Don

Song bird
--filled with love
----sings to his heart's content
Others First Today
By Don

Through this world we walk,
Often we fail to walk our talk,
Peace and happiness wait within,
Don't be afraid to give in.

So much we pretend that we know,
So little love we really show,
Take a moment in this day,
Help someone else find their way.
One more...

"People take different roads seeking
fulfillment and happiness. Just because
they're not on your road doesn't mean
they've gotten lost."

--H. Jackson Browne
On second thought...

"The best way to cheer yourself up
is to try to cheer somebody else up."

--Mark Twain
Friday Thought: Happiness

"If you want to be happy, be."

--Leo Tolstoy

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Happy Choice
By Don

So long we walk
though life with sorrow,
So long our tears
prevent a happy tomorrow,
A glass half empty
when more than half full,
In search of words
that make heart strings pull,
The difference lies
in how we choose to be,
That little decision
can truly set us free.
One more...

"Wisdom ceases to be wisdom
when it becomes too proud to
weep, too grave to laugh, and
too self-full to seek other
than itself."

--Kahlil Gibran

Comment: Wow! I really like
this one.
Thursday Thought: Let Yourself Wonder

"Wonder is the beginning of wisdom."

On second thought...

"I prefer the errors of enthusiasm
to the indifference of wisdom."

--Anatole France

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Closing Cycles
By Paulo Coelho

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end.

If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents’ house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?

You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that.

But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away.

That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts – and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.

Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the “ideal moment.” Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person – nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust.

Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.
Yielding to Myself
By Don

On foot I hiked across the field,
To no transient pleasure did I yield,
For I must find my heart's desire,
Surely before I do retire,
The sun shines bright upon my head,
In quiet I walk, no word was said,
A clearing comes within my view,
Just then I knew what to do,
I climbed a tree to the perfect place,
And toward the sun I did face,
Younger days rose up inside of me,
For from my tree, I now could see,
A part of me that had been lost,
One I must know at any cost,
Until the sun went down I did sit,
An illuminating fire within had been lit,
Sometimes we need to get away,
And find ourselves in the day,
When darkness fell I headed home,
The sky above a star-filled dome,
On foot I hiked across the field,
Finally, to myself I did yield.

I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud
By William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
The stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee;
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company;
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth to me the show had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

On second thought...

"Destiny is not a matter of chance,
it is a matter of choice; it is not a
thing to be waited for, it is a thing
to be achieved."

--William Jennings Bryan
Wednesday Thought: Victim to Creator

"When you shift your orientation from a
victim to a creator, your life ceases to
frighten you and becomes interesting."

--Gary Zukav and Linda Francis,
The Mind of the Soul: Responsible Choice

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

My Father's Geography
By Afaa M. Weaver

I was parading the Côte d'Azur,
hopping the short trains from Nice to Cannes,
following the maze of streets in Monte Carlo
to the hill that overlooks the ville.
A woman fed me pâté in the afternoon,
calling from her stall to offer me more.
At breakfast I talked in French with an old man
about what he loved about America--the Kennedys.
On the beaches I walked and watched
topless women sunbathe and swim,
loving both home and being so far from it.
At a phone looking to Africa over the Mediterranean,
I called my father, and, missing me, he said,
"You almost home boy. Go on cross that sea!"
One more...

"Why love if losing hurts so much?
We love to know that we are not alone."

--C.S. Lewis
On second thought...

"Each friend represents a world in us,
a world possibly not born until they
arrive, and it is only by this meeting
that a new world is born."

--Anaïs Nin
Tuesday Thought: Compassion

"A human being is a part of the
whole called by us universe, a part
limited in time and space. He experiences
himself, his thoughts and feeling as
something separated from the rest, a
kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.
This delusion is a kind of prison for us,
restricting us to our personal desires and to
affection for a few persons nearest to us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from
this prison by widening our circle of
compassion to embrace all living creatures
and the whole of nature in its beauty."

--Albert Einstein

Monday, November 08, 2004

Looking back...

Sometimes I wonder if anybody cares about
the same things I care about. Blame it on my
nostalgic side, but for me it is important to
reflect on the past at times.

For example, click here and find out something
about our next door neighbors in Martins Ferry
in the 1950s.
The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Put It All Together
By Don

small doses,
small cures,
small answers,
Put them together...
a life that truly matters.
Monday Thought: Wisdom

"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom

--Jimi Hendrix
On second thought...

"Our character is what we do
when we think no one is looking."

This one never gets old...

"God grant me the serenity to accept
the things I cannot change, courage
to change the things I can, and wisdom
to know the difference."

--The Serenity Prayer

I first encountered this prayer in 1969
when I graduated high school. A plaque
with this prayer was given to me by a
neighbor in St. Clairsville, Mrs. Styles, as a
graduation present.

At the time, I thought it was silly because
at 18 I was dead-set on changing the world.
The older I get, the more this small prayer
has come to mean to me.

Dear Mrs. Styles, Thank you from the
bottom of my heart.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Autumn Poem
By Mary Oliver

In the last jovial, clear-sky days of autumn
the mockingbird
in his monk-gray coat
and his arrowy wings

from the hedge to the top of the pine
and begins to sing — but it's neither loose, nor lilting, nor lovely —

it's more like whistles and truck brakes and dry hinges.
All birds are birds of heaven
but this one, especially, adores the earth so well
he would imitate, for half the day and on into the

its ticks and wheezings,
and so I have to wait a long time
for the soft, true voice
of his own glossy life

to come through,
and of course I do.
I don't know what it is that makes him, finally, look

to the sweet spring of himself, that mirror of heaven,
but when it happens —
when he lifts his head
and the feathers of his throat tremble,

and he begins, like Saint Francis,
little flutterings and leapings from the pine's forelock,
resettling his strong feet each time among the branches,
I am recalled,

from so many wrong paths I can't count them,
simply to stand, and listen.
All my life I have lived in a kind of haste and darkness
of desire, ambition, accomplishment.

Now the bird is singing, but not anymore of this world.
And something inside myself is fluttering and leaping, is

to type it down, in lumped-up language,
in outcry, in patience, in music, in a snow-white book.

"The creation of something
new is not accomplished by
the intellect but by the play
instinct acting from inner
necessity. The creative mind
plays with the objects it loves."

--Carl Jung
Sunday Thought: Wisdom

"Never mistake knowledge
for wisdom. One helps you
make a living, the other helps
you make a life."

--Sandra Carey
On second thought...

"Water is fluid, soft, and yielding.
But water will wear away rock,
which is rigid and cannot yield.
As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft,
and yielding will overcome
whatever is rigid and hard.
This is another paradox:
what is soft is strong."


Saturday, November 06, 2004

James Wright Festival, 2005

Is it on your schedule? It should be!

This is the 25th annual festival to celebrate the poetry of James Wright in Martins Ferry, Ohio, which is his hometown and mine, and my buddy Dan Shimp in Santa Fe, .

Check it out here.

Haiku Moment
By Don

Plunging deeper...
in the moment,
time stands still
On second thought...

"For a long time it had seemed to me
that life was about to begin--real life.
But there was always some obstacle in
the way, something to be gotten through
first, some unfinished business, time still
to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life
would begin. At last it dawned on me that
these obstacles were my life."

-- Alfred D. Souza
Saturday Thought: Seeking the Spiritual Fire

"Just as a candle cannot burn without fire,
men cannot live without a spiritual life."

-- Buddha

Friday, November 05, 2004

Road Poem
By Don

Braving the highways of life,
Six AM,
Numbing radio talk...
just idle chatter,
I-80 eastbound...
Mercer just behind me
Clarion just ahead,
So many 18-wheelers
this rainy Thursday morning,
Memories of old times
in Martins Ferry...
drift by like butterflies in clouds,
Dreary morning...
thinking alone,
before my coffee.
Friday Thought: Vision

"Your vision will become clear
only when you look into your
heart. Who looks outside,
dreams. Who looks inside,

--Carl Jung
On second thought...

"When you argue with reality,
you lose - but only 100% of
the time."

--Byron Katie

Thursday, November 04, 2004

On second thought...

"Reality in our century is not
something to be faced."

--Graham Greene
Thursday Thought: Happiness in Life

"You will never be happy if you continue
to search for what happiness consists of.
You will never live if you are looking for
the meaning of life."

--Albert Camus

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

On second thought...

Believe nothing just because a so-called
wise person said it. Believe nothing just
because a belief is generally held. Believe
nothing just because it is said in ancient
books. Believe nothing just because it
is said to be of divine origin. Believe
nothing just because someone else
believes it. Believe only what you
yourself test and judge to be true.

Wednesday Thought: Belief

"There are two ways to slide easily
through life: to believe everything or
to doubt everything; both ways save
us from thinking."

--Alfred Korzybski

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don

Lingering clouds...
...lazy morning
...raindrops beat softly
Haiku Moment
By Don

Truth needs...
...no window shades
...or dressings
Haiku Moment
By Don

Insignificant mole hills...
...seeking to become
...stupendous mountains
On second thought...

"Be who you are and say what
you feel because those who mind
don't matter and those who matter
don't mind."

--Dr. Seuss
Tuesday Thought: Being You

"Always be a first-rate version of
yourself, instead of a second-rate
version of somebody else.

--Judy Garland

Monday, November 01, 2004

Monday Thought: Honesty

"Don't ask me what I think of you,
I might not give the answer that
you want me to."

--Fleetwood Mac, Oh Well
On second thought...

"All lies and jest, still, a man
hears what he wants to hear
and disregards the rest."

-- Simon and Garfunkel, The Boxer
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