Tuesday, May 31, 2005

What Archetypes Are Calling You?

Click on this link and it will take you to an online survey that will help you figure which archetypes seem to play a role in your life. This is really quite insightful!

In case you are interested, Don Iannone is moved most by the "Explorer", "Sage," and "Magician" archetypes.

Archetype = A symbol, usually an image, which recurs often enough in literature to be recognizable as an element of one's literary experience as a whole. Carl Jung used the term "archetype" to refer to the generalized patterns of images that form the world of human representations in recurrent motifs, passing through the history of all culture. Since archetypes are rooted in the collective unconscious, they may be conceived through the psychic activity of any individual, be it in the form of dreams, art works, the ancient monuments of religious activity, or the contemporary images of commercial advertising.
Dark Nights of the Soul
By Thomas Moore

I did an earlier post on this wonderful book, which I am currently reading. This is a book written for anyone you know going through a major life crisis, including yourself.

"This is the secret: Even if you can't be liberated physically, you can still emerge with self-possession, vitality, and character. You can do this with divorce, the death of a child, a serious illness, or a failure in creativity. You can survive morally even if you die physically."
Written in Early Spring
By William Wordsworth

I heard a thousand blended notes
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What Man has made of Man
Tuesday Thought: On Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

--Robert Frost

Monday, May 30, 2005

Stilling the Waters
Copies are still available.

To learn more about the book, please click here to download the book cover and read what reviewers had to say about the book. Click here to download the book's table of contents and a couple poems from the book. Finally, click here to download the book order form.

Contact the author Don Iannone by email at: diannone@ix.netcom.com; or by phone at: 440.449.0753, if you have any questions about the book, purchases, or related matters.
Memorial Day Poem
By Denise French

We walked among the crosses
Where our fallen soldiers lay.
And listened to the bugle
As taps began to play.

The Chaplin led a prayer
We stood with heads bowed low.
And I thought of fallen comrades
I had known so long ago.

They came from every city
Across this fertile land.
That we might live in freedom.
They lie here 'neath the sand.

I felt a little guilty
My sacrifice was small.
I only lost a little time
But these men lost their all.

Now the services are over
For this Memorial Day.
To the names upon these crosses
I just want to say,

Thanks for what you've given
No one could ask for more.
May you rest with God in heaven
From now through evermore.
One to ponder...

"Came but for friendship, and took away love."

--Thomas Moore, Irish Poet
Monday Thought: Seasonal Wisdom

"Every season hath its pleasure; Spring may boast her flowery prime, Yet the vineyard's ruby treasuries Brighten Autumn's sob'rer time. "

--Sir Thomas Moore

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Aug. 29, 1969

TIME Magazine

THE baffling history of mankind is full of obvious turning points and significant events: battles won, treaties signed, rulers elected or deposed, and now, seemingly, planets conquered. Equally important are the great groundswells of popular movements that affect the minds and values of a generation or more, not all of which can be neatly tied to a time and place. Looking back upon the America of the '60s, future historians may well search for the meaning of one such movement. It drew the public's notice on the days and nights of Aug. 15 through 17, 1969, on the 600-acre farm of Max Yasgur in Bethel, N.Y.

What took place at Bethel, ostensibly, was the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, which was billed by its youthful Manhattan promoters as "An Aquarian Exposition" of music and peace. It was that and more—much more. The festival turned out to be history's largest happening. As the moment when the special culture of U.S. youth of the '60s openly displayed its strength, appeal and power, it may well rank as one of the significant political and sociological events of the age.

By a conservative estimate, more than 400,000 people —the vast majority of them between the ages of 16 and 30 —showed up for the Woodstock festival. Thousands more would have come if police had not blocked off access roads, which had become ribbonlike parking lots choked with stalled cars. Had the festival lasted much longer, as many as one million youths might have made the pilgrimage to Bethel. The lure of the festival was an all-star cast of top rock artists, including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and the Jefferson Airplane. But the good vibrations of good groups turned out to be the least of it. What the youth of America—and their observing elders—saw at Bethel was the potential power of a generation that in countless disturbing ways has rejected the traditional values and goals of the U.S. Thousands of young people, who had previously thought of themselves as part of an isolated minority, experienced the euphoric sense of discovering that they are, as the saying goes, what's happening. Adults were made more aware than ever before that the children of the welfare state and the atom bomb do indeed march to the beat of a different drummer, as well as to the tune of an electric guitarist. The spontaneous community of youth that was created at Bethel was the stuff of which legends are made; the substance of the event contains both a revelation and a sobering lesson.

From a strictly rational viewpoint, which may be a dangerous and misleading way of looking at it, Bethel was a neatly symbolic choice for the festival—the Biblical town of that name was a center of idolatry denounced by the prophets Amos and Hosea. To many adults, the festival was a squalid freakout, a monstrous Dionysian revel, where a mob of crazies gathered to drop acid and groove to hours of amplified cacophony. In a classic example of its good gray mannerisms, the New York Times in an editorial compared the Bethel pilgrimage to a march of lemmings toward the sea and rhetorically asked: "What kind of culture is it that can produce so colossal a mess?" But even the Times can change its tune. Next day, it ran a more sympathetic editorial that spoke kindly of the festival as "essentially a phenomenon of innocence."

There were, of course, certain things to deplore about Bethel. Three people died—one from an overdose of drugs, and hundreds of youths were freaked out on bad trips caused by low-grade LSD, which was being openly peddled at $6 per capsule. On the other hand, there were no rapes, no assaults, no robberies and, as far as anyone can recall, not one single fight, which is more than can be said for most sporting events held in New York City.

The real significance of Woodstock can hardly be overestimated. Despite the piles of litter and garbage, the hopelessly inadequate sanitation, the lack of food and the two nights of rain that turned Yasgur's farm into a sea of mud, the young people found it all "beautiful." One long-haired teen-ager summed up the significance of Woodstock quite simply: "People," he said, "are finally getting together." The undeniable fact that "people"—meaning in this case the youth of America—got together has consequences that go well beyond the festival itself.

For one thing, the Bethel scene demonstrated more clearly than ever before the pervasiveness of a national subculture of drugs. At least 90% of those present at the festival were smoking marijuana. In addition, narcotics of any and all description, from hash to acid to speed to horse, were freely available. Perhaps out of fear of rousing the crowd to hostility, police made fewer than 100 arrests on narcotics charges. By and large, the U.S. has accepted the oversimplification that all narcotics are dangerous and thus should be outlawed. The all but universal acceptance of marijuana, at least among the young, raises the question of how long the nation's present laws against its use can remain in force without seeming as absurd and hypocritical as Prohibition.

More important, Bethel demonstrated the unique sense of community that seems to exist among the young, their mystical feeling for themselves as a special group, an "us" in contrast to a "them." The festival was widely advertised, but the unexpectedly large crowd it attracted suggests that the potential significance of the event was spread by a kind of underground network. "If you were part of this culture," said one pilgrim back from Bethel, "you had to be there." In spite of the grownup suspicions and fears about the event. Bethel produced a feeling of friendship, camaraderie and —an overused phrase—a sense of love among those present. This yearning for togetherness was demonstrated in countless major and minor ways: the agape-like sharing of food and shelter by total strangers: the lack of overt hostility despite conditions that were ripe for panic and chaos; the altruistic ministrations of the Hog Farm, a New Mexico hippie commune who took care of kids on bad trips. If Bethel was youth on a holiday, it was also a demonstration to the adult world that young people could create a kind of peace in a situation where none should have existed, and that they followed a mysterious inner code of law and order infinitely different from the kind envisioned by Chicago's Mayor Daley. In the end, even the police were impressed. Said Sullivan County Sheriff Louis Ratner: "This was the nicest bunch of kids I've ever dealt with."

Hippiedom Lives

Youth's sense of community is an ad hoc thing: it is suspicious of institutions and wary of organization, prizing freedom above system. In this, as in many other ways, the youth of Bethel displayed adherence to the prevailing spirit of the hippie movement. It is true enough that the manifestation of flower power in Haight-Ashbury and the East Village became a bad scene of gang rapes, deaths from malnutrition and too much speed. It is equally true that most of those at Bethel were not hippies in the commonly accepted sense: a good half of them, at least, were high school or college students from middle-class homes. But at Bethel thev exhibited to the world many of the hippie values and life styles, from psychedelic clothing to spontaneous, unashamed nudity to open and casual sex. Youthful imaginations were captured, most obviously, by the hippie sound: the driving, deafening hard beat of rock, music that is not just a particular form of pop but the anthem of revolution. The Jefferson Airplane, one of the first and best of the San Francisco groups, sang out the message at Bethel in words of startling explicitness:

Look what's happening out in the streets

Got a revolution, got to revolution

Hey, I'm dancing down the streets

Got a revolution, got to revolution.

In its energy, its lyrics, its advocacy of frustrated joys, rock is one long symphony of protest. Although many adults generally find it hard to believe, the revolution it preaches, implicitly or explicitly, is basically moral; it is the proclamation of a new set of values as much as it is the rejection of an old system. The values, moreover, are not merely confined to the pleasures of tumescence. The same kind of people who basked in the spirit of Bethel also stormed the deans' offices at Harvard and Columbia and shed tears or blood at Chicago last summer—all in the name of a new morality.

To Historian Theodore Roszak, the militancy of the student New Left and the dropped-out pacifism of the turned-on types are two sides of what he calls a "counterculture" by which almost everyone under 30 has been affected. Like the poor urban black, this counter-culture is an alienated minority within the Affluent Society, even though it is made up primarily of the sons and daughters of the middle class. They have seen suburbia, found it wanting, and have uttered "the absolute refusal," as New Left Guru Herbert Marcuse calls it, to modern urban technology and the civilization it has produced. With surpassing ease and a cool sense of authority, the children of plenty have voiced an intention to live by a different ethical standard than their parents accepted. The pleasure principle has been elevated over the Puritan ethic of work. To do one's own thing is a greater duty than to be a useful citizen. Personal freedom in the midst of squalor is more liberating than social conformity with the trappings of wealth. Now that youth takes abundance for granted, it can afford to reject materialism.

It is easy enough for adults to reject the irrationality and hedonism of this ethic. But the young are quick to point out that the most rational and technically accomplished society known to man has led only to racism, repression and a meaningless war in the jungles of Southeast Asia. If that is oversimplification, it is the kind around which ringing slogans are made.

Youth has always been rebellious. What makes the generation of the '60s different, is that it is largely inner-directed and uncontrolled by adult doyens. The rock festival, an art form and social structure unique to the time, is a good example. "They are not mimicking something done in its purest form by adults," says one prominent U.S. sociologist. "They are doing their own thing. All this shows that there is a breakdown in the capacity of adult leaders to capture the young." Some other observers agree that the youth movement is a politics without a statesman, a religion without a messiah. "We don't need a leader," insists Janis Joplin. "We have each other. All we need is to keep our heads straight and in ten years this country may be a decent place to live in."

At least two national figures have been able briefly to capitalize politically on the idealism of the young. The knight-errant campaign of Eugene McCarthy was, his enemies said, something of a Children's Crusade. Bobby Kennedy, like his brother Jack, was also able to speak to the Now Generation in language that it heard and heeded. Clearly, the passions of the Bethel people are there to be exploited, for good or ill. It is an open question whether some as yet unknown politician could exploit the deep emotions of today's youth to build a politics of ecstasy.

The rock festival has become, in a way, the equivalent of a political forum for the young. The politics involved is not the expression of opinion or ideas but the spirit of community created—the good vibrations or the bad ones, the young in touch with themselves and aware. If Bethel is any proof, this kind of expressive happening will become even more important. "This was only the beginning," warns Jimi Hendrix. "The only way for kids to make the older generation understand is through mass gatherings like Bethel. And the kids are not going to be in the mud all the time. From here they will start to build and change things. The whole world needs a big wash, a big scrub-down."

The Hunger of Youth

Psychoanalyst Rollo May describes Bethel as "a symptomatic event of our time that showed the tremendous hunger, need and yearning for community on the part of youth." He compares its friendly spirit favorably with the alcoholic mischief ever present at a Shriners' convention but wonders how long the era of good feeling will last. Other observers wonder about future superfestivals, if they become tourist spectaculars for adult hangers-on. The Hashbury began to die when the bus-driven voyeurs came by and the hard-drug addicts took over.

It is beyond argument that the generation attuned to rock, pot and sex will drastically change the world it grew up in. The question is: How and to what purpose? Columbia Sociologist Amitai Etzioni applauds the idealism of the young but argues that "they need more time and energy for reflection" as well as more opportunities for authentic service. Ultimately, the great danger of the counter-culture is its self-proclaimed flight from reason, its exaltation of self over society, its Dionysian anarchism. Historian Roszak points out that the rock revolutionaries bear a certain resemblance to the early Christians, who, in a religious cause, rejected the glory that was Greece and the grandeur of Rome. Ultimately, they brought down a decaying pagan empire and built another in its place. But the Second Comings of history carry with them no guarantees of success, and a revolution based on unreason may just as easily bring a New Barbarism rather than the New Jerusalem. As Yeats so pointedly asked:

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?
One to ponder...

"By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity."

--Vernon Howard
Sunday Thought: What Else...Nature

"Nature, like a kind and smiling mother, lends herself to our dreams and cherishes our fancies."

--Victor Hugo

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Saturday Thought: Real Joy!

"Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures."

--Saint Thomas Aquinas
Retrospective: LSD and Dr. Tim

TIME Magazine
Mar. 29, 1963

For a couple of freewheeling years, two young Harvard psychologists have carried on wide-ranging experiments with mind-altering drugs. At the university's Center for Research in Personality, they sent their graduate-student subjects floating off into other-worldly visions of new and fantastic forms of "reality" and a new meaning of life. Now the cosmic ball is over. Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, both Ph.D.s, are being dropped from the Harvard faculty because university authorities agree with the medical profession that the drugs they used are too dangerous for campus experiments. But the two psychologists are acting blithely unconcerned.

In Boston's newest medical building on Emerson Place last week, they were settling into plush offices with the ostentatious title "International Federation for Internal Freedom'' on the door. They sounded as euphoric as any of their experimental subjects still under the influence of psilocybin, their favorite "consciousness-expanding" drug. Said Alpert, who has taken the drug himself 50 times: "Two years ago, dismissal from Harvard would have frightened me very much. But now, with deeper, intuitive understanding of myself, I'm perfectly comfortable." Said Leary: "This is much more important than Harvard."

Potential Hazards. "Our research has almost limitless possibilities for the expansion of the human mind." say Leary and Alpert, and they plan to pursue that expansion through their federation as long as their supplies of psilocybin hold out. Before Harvard cracked down, they had already given 3,500 doses of the drug to 400 subjects, mostly graduate students in psychology and theology, plus a smattering of M.D.s, artists, and inmates of a state prison.

The controversy that has flared over the Leary-Alpert work and similar studies at the International Foundation for Advanced Study in Menlo Park, Calif., is largely a result of the extraordinary potency of the drugs. Psychiatrists, who have been using them for a dozen years and are fully aware of their hazards, call them hallucinogens (giving rise to hallucinations) or psychotomimetic drugs (mimicking the psychoses, the most crippling of mental illnesses). There are three in wide use.

? MESCALINE, the oldest, is extracted from the tops, or buttons, of peyote, a cactus common in the Southwestern U.S. and Mexico. The buttons are used as a communion host by the Native American

Church, which claims 200,000 Indian adherents. They are taken for kicks by beatniks and hipsters, from San Diego to Greenwich Village, whenever they are available. The effect on the user is a widescreen, three-dimensional vision, usually in Technicolor, with the dimensions of time and space distorted.

? LSD-25 (short for D-lysergic acid diethylamide), by far the most potent, is a chemical relative of the ergot drugs, synthesized in 1943 by Swiss Chemist Albert Hofmann. As Discoverer Hofmann found, and countless psychiatrists have since confirmed, a dose of LSD-25 can be so small as to be almost invisible and still destroy a man's mental equilibrium, at least temporarily. As little as four-millionths of an ounce is sometimes enough to throw an emotionally wobbly individual into a mental hospital. One victim, ill for months, was a psychologist who was trying out LSD himself.

? PSILOCYBIN, which Hofmann first extracted from Mexican mushrooms and then synthesized in 1958, has much the same effect as the other two. It apparently falls somewhere between mescaline and LSD in potency.

Unqualified Buddies. Just who is entitled to use the drugs has long been a difficult legal question. They are not narcotics. The Food and Drug Administration has authority over the manufacture and distribution of LSD and psilocybin, which it has cleared for investigational use only. These two drugs are produced only by Sandoz Pharmaceuticals of Basel, with U.S. offices in New Jersey. Sandoz has supplied them to dozens of investigators, mostly psychiatrists, and to clinical psychologists working closely with psychiatrists. But some imported supplies of all three drugs, and especially LSD, have appeared on the black market. A competent organic chemist, with the proper raw materials and the know-how spelled out in patents, could make LSD in his own lab.

By last fall, it became clear that some psychiatrists and some investigators who were supposed to be experimenting only with animals were slipping LSD to unqualified buddies, who were using the drug for kicks. In Los Angeles, beatniks and assorted addicts lapped the stuff up, buying (for $1 apiece) lumps of sugar in which a drop of the potent raw material had been absorbed. Leary and Alpert, in their Harvard days, got a supply of psilocybin from Sandoz. Then, under last October's amendments to the Food and Drug Act, came stricter control. Sandoz, in an earnest effort to keep the drugs out of unlawful channels, promptly cut down its clientele to animal experimenters and scientists who are getting federal or state grants for research with human subjects.

Kaleidoscopic Future. According to some psychiatrists, all three drugs are useful, but only if they are given in small doses under the strictest supervision. Then the drugs sometimes speed up psychotherapy by increasing insight, and LSD has been acclaimed as a trigger mechanism that enables many alcoholics to face the emotional bases of their addiction.

But psychiatrists and other physicians in general are solidly arrayed against non-medical application of such potent drugs. They report many cases of mental illness precipitated by their unwise, unprofessional use. Clinical psychologists, who are on the borderline of qualification to use the drugs, are themselves divided. The Los Angeles Society of Clinical Psychologists has gone on record resolving that "no psychologist shall collaborate with a physician in the use of any experimental drug, such as LSD, except for research purposes in a hospital or university setting."

To Leary and Alpert, though, the controversy represents a power struggle over the control of human consciousness. They accuse psychiatrists of being behind the times and interested only in mental illness. (But I.F.I.F. has a medical director, Dr. W. Madison Presnell, a qualified psychiatrist, who now supervises the giving of all drugs.) They see a kaleidoscopic future for men with expanded consciousness.

Soon Leary and Alpert plan to set up a Utopia in an old hotel in Mexico, billed as a "community of transcendental living.'' Within staid Massachusetts, they hope to have "multi-familial transcendental living" in big old houses—if they can get around current zoning regulations. They dream of perfecting an "experiential typewriter." to record the pink elephants, rampaging musical waterfalls and the other phenomena their subjects experience—"so far beyond our normal experience that they cannot be expressed in our language."

"If anybody shows us a better road to happiness," says Leary, "we'll drop our research. But we don't think they will."

Friday, May 27, 2005

Remembering B.S.&T.

From Pillar to Broom
TIME Magazine
Friday, May 9, 1969

Listeners who come unawares to a new LP called Blood, Sweat & Tears may be as confused as the blind men discovering an elephant in the familiar folk parable. One blind man feels the elephant's leg and says that.the beast is a pillar; another feels the tuft of its tail and declares the elephant to be a broom, and so on. Depending on which tracks of the record listeners happen to touch upon, the recording group—which is also called Blood, Sweat & Tears—sounds like many different bands. In Smiling Phases, it is a hard-chugging blues-rock outfit with a fillip of modern jazz. In Blues—Part II, it is a modern jazz combo with a streak of contemporary classical dissonance. In Variations on a Theme by Erik Satie, it is a chamber ensemble with pastoral flutes, Bartokian brass and a buzz of electronic sound effects.

Reactionary Package. These days, such eclecticism is usually considered avantgarde, but Blood, Sweat & Tears modestly describe themselves as reactionary. "All these things have been done before, and been done better," says Lead Guitarist Steve Katz. "But they've never been put together better before. We play primarily to a young audience, and we're saying to them: 'You've forgotten about sounds that have gone before—big bands, Delta blues, Charlie Parker, classical.' We're presenting them all in a rock package." It makes a powerfully appealing package. The LP has sold more than 600,000 copies since its release in December, and last week was No. 2 on the pop charts.

Reactionary or not, B.S.&T. is a new kind of rock group. It is the first major group to be spawned on the East rather than the West Coast. Five of the nine members (ages: 21 to 26) are native New Yorkers, and all nine, Katz points out, "have spent some time playing in bands around town or scuffling in Greenwich Village." The pace and aggression of the city flash through their tensile, hard-edged sound. With its five-man horn section, the group is also the most successful attempt yet to combine jazz-flavored brass and reeds with rock guitar and rhythm. The musicianship displayed in its complex arrangements and lithe, leaping solos is second to none in the rock world. In an era when more and more rock is being introduced into music, B.S.&T. is introducing more music into rock.

Considering the backgrounds of the B.S.&T. musicians, matters could hardly be otherwise. Three of them are products of top-rank conservatories (two with M.A.s). Another two have at least some music-school training, along with a wide experience in jazz and commercial bands. One grew up almost exclusively in the jazz tradition. The remaining three served their apprenticeships in folk, rock and blues outfits.

The group and its name were the brainchild of Al Kooper, an organist and singer who was a member of the Blues Project until it broke up in 1967. Kooper recruited Katz, a colleague from his old band; Katz brought in a jazzman, Drummer Bobby Colomby, who in turn found Jazz Saxophonist-Pianist-Arranger Fred Lipsius. With the addition of Dick Halligan, a classically trained trombonist-organist-arranger, and Rock Bassist Jim Fielder, the nucleus was formed. The band made a debut LP for Columbia, and things began falling into place. The musicians also began falling out. The problem was that Kooper was a born leader but not an elected one. A year ago, he veered off for a career as a solo performer and record producer, complaining that "they wanted to do more of a jazz than a pop thing, and I didn't want to fight about it."

All Types. After Keeper's departure, some pop observers felt that there was nothing left for the group but sweat and tears. It found new blood in Singer David Clayton-Thomas, who had previously led his own blues-rock band in Canada, and in three seasoned brass men: Trumpeters Lew Soloff and Chuck Winfield and Trombonist Jerry Hyman. As it started a steady climb to its present eminence, the group began to function as an egalitarian democracy. Now it does nothing unless all nine members can agree on it at periodic "repertory meetings." Says Clayton-Thomas: "Everybody's suggestion is listened to as valid. We've all fallen into our one-ninth roles. We're trying to encompass every type of music that each of us knows and loves."

In the effort to bring together so many personalities and styles, the stitching sometimes shows. But, as the total impact of B.S.&T.'s album makes clear, the group's music is often much more than what it seams.
Haiku Moment
By Don

for we stood watching
over the wall of sorrow
happiness appears
A Noiseless Patient Spider
By Walt Whitman

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.
One to ponder...

"Problems do not go away. They must be worked through or else they remain, forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit."

--M. Scott Peck
Friday Thought: Emotive Art

"A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art."

--Paul Cezanne

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Gratefulness Website

Marines Bruckner from Austria called my attention to this wonderful online resource. Thank you Marines!

Haiku Moment
By Don

escaping inside
while searching for a lost dream
deeper truth unfolds
On gardens...

"Connection with gardens, even small ones, even potted plants, can become windows to the inner life. The simple act of stopping and looking at the beauty around us can be prayer."

--Patricia R. Barrett, The Sacred Garden

"I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."

--Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Reflections on the 1960s

"Yet the dominant life-styles of the decade were set by middle-class white youths—along with their adult admirers and imitators—who, like the 19th century romantics, rebelled against a society they felt had become overregulated, oversystematized, overindustrialized. Like their predecessors, they railed against rationalism for destroying all spontaneity, and they urged, instead, the uninhibited release of emotion. They revived the romantic faith in human nature and blamed the institutions of society for corrupting it."

Source: TIME Magazine, December 19, 1969 (Subscription required.)
Thursday Thought: Happiness from Giving

"Why do exercising gratitude, kindness and other virtues provide a lift? "Giving makes you feel good about yourself," says Christopher Peterson at the University of Michigan, . "When you're volunteering, you're distracting yourself from your own existence, and that's beneficial. More fuzzily, giving puts meaning into your life. You have a sense of purpose because you matter to someone else." Virtually all the happiness exercises being tested by positive psychologists, he says, make people feel more connected to others."

Source: TIME Magazine, January 17, 2005 (Subscription required.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Do everything with a mind
that lets go.

Don't accept praise or gain
or anything else.

If you let go a little you will have a
little peace;

if you let go a lot you will have
a lot of peace;

if you let go completely you will have
complete peace.

Source: Ajahn Chah
One to ponder...

"The individual may be understood as one particular focal point at which the whole universe expresses itself - as an incarnation of the self, or of the Godhead, or whatever one may choose to call it."

--Alan W. Watts
Wednesday Thought: Can You Forgive?

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

--Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Stilling the Waters

Copies are still available.

To learn more about the book, please click here to download the book cover and read what reviewers had to say about the book.

Click here to download the book's table of contents and a couple poems from the book.

Finally, click here to download the book order form.

Contact the author Don Iannone by email at: diannone@ix.netcom.com; or by phone at: 440.449.0753, if you have any questions about the book, purchases, or related matters.
By Rayn Roberts

This is not still water
nor glass
but a looking
of mind
into the true face~

Fresh air
food, work
assigning fear
to oblivion
allowing a calm meadow

Life is not
nearly so hard
nor mysterious
at all.

It only takes time, time
we all have that
to know
then love
who is looking

and who
is looking back.
One to ponder...

"A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it."

Tuesday Thought: Work and Play

"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both. "

Source: Unknown

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Emperor of Ice-Cream
By Wallace Stevens

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal.
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.
On second thought...

"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."

--Anne Lamott
Monday Thought: Your Daily Temple

"Your daily life is your temple and your religion. When you enter into it take with you your all."

--Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Sunday Thought: Your Reach

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp. Or what's a heaven for?"

--Robert Browning
One second thought...

"A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten. Some of us are gourmets, some gourmands, and a good many take their images precooked out of a can and swallow them down whole, absent-mindedly and with little relish."

--W. H. Auden
Haiku Moment
By Don

disappear in thin air
leave behind your karmic baggage
time for the next step

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Haiku Moment
By Don

mountains of seashells
heaping joy into my life
make the right life choices
Haiku Moment
By Don

walking on the beach
releasing what holds me back
the waves splash new hope
One for the road...

"A person who trusts no one can't be trusted."

--Jerome Blattner
Saturday Thought: Who You Trust

"Nobody believes the official spokesman... but everybody trusts an unidentified source."

--Ron Nesen

Friday, May 20, 2005

A Blessing
By James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.
On second thought...

"No legacy is so rich as honesty."

--William Shakespeare
Friday Thought: Honesty

"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

--Mark Twain

Thursday, May 19, 2005

By Karen Yelena Olsen

I love the hour before takeoff,
that stretch of no time, no home
but the gray vinyl seats linked like
unfolding paper dolls. Soon we shall
be summoned to the gate, soon enough
there’ll be the clumsy procedure of row numbers
and perforated stubs—but for now
I can look at these ragtag nuclear families
with their cooing and bickering
or the heeled bachelorette trying
to ignore a baby’s wail and the baby’s
exhausted mother waiting to be called up early
while the athlete, one monstrous hand
asleep on his duffel bag, listens,
perched like a seal trained for the plunge.
Even the lone executive
who has wandered this far into summer
with his lasered itinerary, briefcase
knocking his knees—even he
has worked for the pleasure of bearing
no more than a scrap of himself
into this hall. He’ll dine out, she’ll sleep late,
they’ll let the sun burn them happy all morning
—a little hope, a little whimsy
before the loudspeaker blurts
and we leap up to become
Flight 828, now boarding at Gate 17.
On second thought...

"Every civilization is, among other things, an arrangement for domesticating the passions and setting them to do useful work."

~Aldous Huxley
Thursday Thought: Passion

"Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Sacrificing Reason
By Victor Gonzalez

How does one judge what is right,
if morality has no rational sight.

Decisions are made based on a whim,
never questioning the screams that come from within.

Deep in the mind, lie two demons,
one of passion, and one of reason.

Confronted with a situation all too rare,
he must decide which cross to bare.

He leads with his heart, his mind left aside,
decision are easier if it feels good inside.

Later he finds his decision short sighted,
it’s now too late, what was wrong can’t be righted.

He gave an inch and now they want more,
but how does he know when even is the score.

Irrational the decision in thinking of others,
now behind the eight with all their druthers.

Give more they say, you must change your ways,
but how does one judge with a heart that plays.

A tune of acquiescence, the melody airs,
thinking of oneself is not it declares.

The general consensus is as such,
that your mind can do little, and heart does much.

The end is now open for those who’ll demand,
to keep on giving or deviant is his brand.

They keep on asking ‘cause he can’t say when’,
guilt is their weapon whilst trapped in their den.

Submit to their needs, their plan, the goal,
he opened his heart, since his mind they stole.

For the mind knew when to end it all,
but he dicarded the tool that built the wall,

He now puts others before himself,
his needs now dusty upon the shelf.

Give in he did for that was the way,
for the users of life, an endless prey.

With his last breath on the day that he died,
“I lived for me!”, to himself he lied.
Wednesday Thought: Serve First

"The first step to leadership is servanthood."

--John Maxwell
Inner Leadership First

"The chief cause of organizational and community leadership's unraveling is inadequate inner leadership by those who lead."

--Don Iannone

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Marks We Leave
By Mark Sanborn

As time goes on and we reflect
On the things we’ve said and done;
The places we’ve been, the people we’ve met
And we think of all the fun.

We realize the marks we leave in life
Aren’t made of stone or steel
But rather of the lives we’ve touched
And how we make folks feel.

For people are far more valuable
Than achievements great and high,
Than cars or planes or space shuttles
Or buildings reaching to the sky.

You and I can leave our mark in life
By doing all we can
To serve and praise and uplift
The lives of children, women and men.

On second thought...

"Great necessities call forth great leaders."

--Abigail Adams
Tuesday Thought: Great Leaders

"A good leader inspires others with confidence in him; a great leader inspires them with confidence in themselves."


Monday, May 16, 2005

One for the road...

"To lead people, walk beside them ... As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate ... When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves!"

— Lao-tsu
Monday Thought: Leadership

"Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time in leading yourself—your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your peers."

— Dee Hoc, Founder and CEO Emeritus, Visa

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Along the Beach
Author Unknown

To walk along the beach,
The sun against your face,
Feels every bit as sweet,
As the warmth of an embrace.
Sunday Thought: Peace

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, May 14, 2005

One for the road...

"The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea."

-- Ann Morrow Lindbergh
Saturday Thought: The Beach

"One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach; one can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few."

--Ann Morrow Lindbergh

Friday, May 13, 2005

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When the summer fields are mown,
When the birds are fledged and flown,
And the dry leaves strew the path;
With the falling of the snow,
With the cawing of the crow,
Once again the fields we mow
And gather in the aftermath.

Not the sweet, new grass with flowers
Is this harvesting of ours;
Not the upland clover bloom;
But the rowen mixed with weeds,
Tangled tufts from marsh and meads,
Where the poppy drops its seeds
In the silence and the gloom.
On character...

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

--Abraham Lincoln
Friday Thought: The Whys

"All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire."


Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Geranium
By Theodore Roethke

When I put her out, once, by the garbage pail,
She looked so limp and bedraggled,
So foolish and trusting, like a sick poodle,
Or a wizened aster in late September,
I brought her back in again
For a new routine--
Vitamins, water, and whatever
Sustenance seemed sensible
At the time: she'd lived
So long on gin, bobbie pins, half-smoked cigars, dead beer,
Her shriveled petals falling
On the faded carpet, the stale
Steak grease stuck to her fuzzy leaves.
(Dried-out, she creaked like a tulip.)

The things she endured!--
The dumb dames shrieking half the night
Or the two of us, alone, both seedy,
Me breathing booze at her,
She leaning out of her pot toward the window.

Near the end, she seemed almost to hear me--
And that was scary--
So when that snuffling cretin of a maid
Threw her, pot and all, into the trash-can,
I said nothing.

But I sacked the presumptuous hag the next week,
I was that lonely.
And one for the road (Really for the road)...

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.

--Robert Frost
Thursday Thought: Travelers

As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own.

--Margaret Mead

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

By Robert Bly

Some love to watch the sea bushes appearing at dawn,
To see night fall from the goose wings, and to hear
The conversations the night sea has with the dawn.

If we can't find Heaven, there are always bluejays.
Now you know why I spent my twenties crying.
Cries are required from those who wake disturbed at dawn.

Adam was called in to name the Red-Winged
Blackbirds, the Diamond Rattlers, and the Ring-Tailed
Raccoons washing God in the streams at dawn.

Centuries later, the Mesopotamian gods,
All curls and ears, showed up; behind them the Generals
With their blue-coated sons who will die at dawn.

Those grasshopper-eating hermits were so good
To stay all day in the cave; but it is also sweet
To see the fenceposts gradually appear at dawn.

People in love with the setting stars are right
To adore the baby who smells of the stable, but we know
That even the setting stars will disappear at dawn.
One for the road...

"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 Thought: Joy

“Joy, rather than happiness, is the goal of life, for joy is the emotion which accompanies our fulfilling our natures as human beings. It is based on the experience of one's identity as a being of worth and dignity.”

~ Rollo May

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Stilling the Waters
By Don Iannone

I want to thank all of you who have purchased copies of my new poetry book, Stilling the Waters. So many friends have requested copies. Some have even order multiple copies of the book as gifts. I am surprised how fast the grapevine works on something like this. People from all over have requested copies.

Price: $12.95 per copy plus $2.00 postage and handling per copy.

Email Don at:
diannone@ix.netcom.com if you'd like to place an order.
A Dream of Trees
By Mary Oliver

There is a thing in me that dreamed of trees,
A quiet house, some green and modest acres
A little way from every troubling town,
A little way from factories, schools, laments.
I would have time, I thought, and time to spare,
With only streams and birds for company.
To build out of my life a few wild stanzas.
And then it came to me, that so was death,
A little way away from everywhere.

There is a thing in me still dreams of trees,
But let it go. Homesick for moderation,
Half the world’s artists shrink or fall away.
If any find solution, let him tell it.
Meanwhile I bend my heart toward lamentation
Where, as the times implore our true involvement,
The blades of every crisis point the way.

I would it were not so, but so it is.
Who ever made music of a mild day?
One for the road...

"Be true to your work, your word, and your friend."

--Henry David Thoreau
Tuesday Thought: Honesty

"To make your children capable of honesty is the beginning of education."

--John Ruskin

Monday, May 09, 2005

Leaves before the Wind
By May Sarton

We have walked, looked at the actual trees:
The chesnut leaves wide-open like a hand,
The beech leaves bronzing under every breeze,
We have felt flowing through our knees

As if we were the wind.

We have sat silent when two horses came,
Jangling their harness, to mow the long grass.
We have sat long and never found a name
For this suspension in the heart of flame

That does not pass.

We have said nothing; we have parted often,
Not looking back, as if departure took
An absolute of will--once not again
(But this is each day's feat, as when

The heart first shook).

Where fervor opens every instant so,
There is no instant that is not a curve,
And we are always coming as we go;
We lean toward the meeting that will show

Love's very nerve.

And so exposed (O leaves before the wind!)
We bear this flowing fire, forever free,
And learn through devious paths to find
The whole, the center, and perhaps unbind

The mystery

Where there are no roots, only fervent leaves,
Nourished on meditations and the air,
Where all that comes is also all that leaves,
And every hope compassionately lives

Close to despair.
Haiku Moment
By Don

still the mind with peace
fill the heart with trust and love
live a soulful life
On second thought...

"People should think things out fresh and not just accept conventional terms and the conventional way of doing things."

--R. Buckminster Fuller
Monday Thought: Creativity

"Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns to look at things in a different way."

--Edward De Bono

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Haiku Moment
By Don

morning coffee smells
the day breaks gently on us
hearts stretch in the sun
Haiku Moment
By Don

early morning sun
shadows fall across the yard
blue sky through the trees
Ponder this...

"The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos."

--Stephen Jay Gould
Sunday Thought: Smile

"If God wanted us to fly, He would have given us tickets."

--Mel Brooks

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Haiku Moment
By Don

from the inner depths
let character bubble up
give heart to your life
One for the road...

"Dreams are the touchstones of our character"

— Henry David Thoreau
Saturday Thought: More on Leadership

"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant."

— Max DePree

Friday, May 06, 2005

By Clinton Lee Scott

From the East comes the sun,
Bringing a new and unspoiled day.
It has already circled the Earth and
Looked upon distant lands and
Far-away peoples.

It has passed over mountain ranges and
The waters of the seven seas.
It has shown upon laborers in the fields,
Into the windows of homes,
And shops, and factories.

It has beheld cities with gleaming towers,
And also the hovels of the poor.
It has been witness to both good and evil,
The works of honest men and women and
The conspiracy of knaves.

It has seen marching armies, bomb-blasted villages
And "the destruction that wasteth at noonday."
Now, unsullied from its tireless journey,
It comes to us,
Messenger of the morning.
Harbinger of a new day.
Friday Thought: Live in Expectation

Expect to have hope rekindled.
Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways.
The dry seasons in life do not last.
The spring rains will come again.”

--Sarah Ban Breathnach
Haiku Moment
By Don

sharing life with friends
light shines upon our path
we are never lost

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Nature, the Gentlest Mother
By Emily Dickinson

Nature, the gentlest mother,
Impatient of no child,
The feeblest or the waywardest,—
Her admonition mild

In forest and the hill
By traveller is heard,
Restraining rampant squirrel
Or too impetuous bird.

How fair her conversation,
A summer afternoon,—
Her household, her assembly;
And when the sun goes down

Her voice among the aisles
Incites the timid prayer
Of the minutest cricket,
The most unworthy flower.

When all the children sleep
She turns as long away
As will suffice to light her lamps;
Then, bending from the sky,

With infinite affection
And infiniter care,
Her golden finger on her lip,
Wills silence everywhere.
Haiku Moment
By Don

silent meditation
joy grows where there was sorrow
suddenly set free
Haiku Moment
By Don

sudden inner shift
the mind empties and goes blank
joy appears in the heart
On for the road...

"Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power."

- Tao Te Ching
Thursday Thought: Stillness

"There are seasons when to be still demands immeasurably higher strength than to act."

- Margaret Bottome

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

On leadership...

"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way."

- John C. Maxwell
Wednesday Thought: Get Enthused

"None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm."

- Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Haiku Moment
By Don

Tuesday tears find you
struggling to see yourself
somewhere else--not here
Tuesday Thought: Get Real

"If you live the sacred and despise the ordinary, you are still bobbing in the ocean of delusion."

Tzu Shiou (Practicing Compassion) ...
By Karan Gardner O'Neill, Arizona

Let your faith be one of reliance upon Other Power --
one of gratitude that includes no legalism or moralism
that would support your comparing yourself with others
to demonstrate your spiritual superiority.

Let your faith offer insight but not impose.
While it may be missionary, let it not be insensitive
to the views and values of others.

Maintain respect for the dignity of each individual.
Never condemn others or ridicule them.

Religion is not a matter of externals nor of judgment
and measurements, but a deep inner condition which leads
a person to reflect realistically on life and relationships
with others.

The teacher does not stand above the disciple. All are on the
same footing, sharing in the same truth and life. Neither priest
nor layman, neither teacher nor disciple...

We must all confess our own bombu condition and then spend our lives
expressing our gratitude for the gift of compassion.

So let it be written; so let it be done -- quiet your heart, and just be.

Namu Amida Butsu
Lunch Break On The Edge of Town
By Eamon Grennan

Overhead, a mile up
from where we share
our sandwiches and soft drinks,
five slow hawks
lazily gyre on the blank
blue page of haze, loving
their air and elevation.
They see the two of us, maybe,
as the slow mobile dots
that they are, our motions
among April's tattered hedges
as otherworldy and deliberate
as theirs. Faintly
we hear the song sparrow
or the yellow warbler
lost in solitary sweetness
among the phallic cattails
behind the radio station.
Elegant as Calderwork,
the slim masts steel
to a great height, beaming
the most recent hits
into cars and flowered kitchens
all across the Valley. From
their own imponderable height
the hawks look down, their bleak
wild eyes on fire. They murmur
little gritty, companionable
queryings to one another
between deaths. We finish.
In front of the car
as we drive away,
the arch tan body of an otter —
his beige raised tail
trimmed in black — crosses
the gravelled gray road
between ditches. He bears
the light of day
at the twitching tips of his pelt
as he takes himself
delicately over a bank
beginning to green, into
the glittering familiar shadow
of his trees near water. We drive
in silence, by the first houses.
The Oar in the Sand
By Linda Gregg

He sailed to wherever the sirens were,
surviving by lashing himself to the mast.
An image of stalwart resistance, or weakness.
And the singers mere angels.
And heaven only desire, simply the illegal.
Sailed into the not-quite world.
Or returned home to slay the suitors
who had been feasting there for years.
What about afterwards? We never talk
of that. What if he goes on looking?
What if there is no place to go

Monday, May 02, 2005

One final thought...

Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit.

--Jeremy Taylor
Morning Glories
By Mary Oliver

Blue and dark-blue
rose and deepest rose
white and pink they

are everywhere in the diligent
cornfield rising and swaying
in their reliable

finery in the little
fling of their bodies their
gear and tackle

all caught up in the cornstalks.
The reaper's story is the story
of endless work of

work careful and heavy but the
reaper cannot
separate them out there they

are in the story of his life
bright random useless
year after year

taken with the serious tons
weeds without value
humorous beautiful weeds.
Haiku Moment
By Don

birds build nests in Spring
new life is born each moment
rejoice in rebirth
One for the road...

"Poets are like baseball pitchers. Both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things."

~Robert Frost
Monday Thought: On Baseball

"Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer."

~Ted Williams

Sunday, May 01, 2005

One for the road...

"What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories."

~George Eliot
Sunday: On the Family

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."

~Desmond Tutu
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