Treading lightly the path to enlightenment.

Posts tagged ‘relaxation’

Rural Zen: Winter

 FEB2010snow 020

As the door swings open, Chuy races past to be the first outside. He pauses just a moment as he sees the new fallen snow, ten or twelve inches deep, then leaps headlong into it. A few rolls on his back, paws nearly straight in the air, a gleeful snow bath. Then the nose digs deep, sniffing out some industrious rodent eking out a life below the snow. Then he’ll pick the snow up on the top of his nose and throw it into the air and try to catch it in his mouth. Finally, a look over his shoulder at me, as I clumsily move through the door and down the step wearing snowshoes.

And we’re off! Chuy leaps and makes turns in the air, frankly somewhat remarkable for a twelve-year-old, seventy-five pound Akita mix. “Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch” sound the snowshoes as they make their way across the yard, past the apple tree, past the barn. The sound tells us it’s very cold, certainly below twenty degrees. The snow makes a certain sound when temperatures are far below freezing.

Blizzard of February 11

Fifteen-mile-per-hour winds whip up snow devils and try to drive the cold and flakes into the carefully sealed places around my neck and head. The bright, full sun’s rays can barely be felt on the skin, hardly registering as warmth.

We trek eastward, walking the side of the runways, crossing to the rifle range trail. Birds flit about, diving and perching, singing as if it was spring. How can those tiny things be so oblivious to the cold and wind?

Crystalline snow drifts and piles at the edges of footprints, paw prints, rock walls and shrub lines. Flakes dance like diamonds before me, as shiny as gemstones, reflecting the sun. A glittering field of snow unfolds before us as we reach the top of the trail and turn north.

It’s wearing on me now. After the first quarter-mile my legs remind me that they don’t often wear boats on their feet nor try to trod through foot-deep sand. As muscles call for more oxygen, the top buttons are loosened, the scarf comes off. Even at fifteen degrees, the hike starts heating the core, demanding ventilation. The blast of icy air freezes perspiration on the skin, yet the relief from overheating is welcome.


The last two hundred feet rises steadily to the top of the hill. Another thirty feet in elevation, another hundred steps in fluffy drifts driven by the wind. The lines, arcs, swirls and swells decorate the hill, cover our path in three-foot deep crests. By now Chuy, typically insistent on leading, is behind me. The first half mile requiring him to leap off the ground to take the next step is wearing on him. Now I am breaking trail for him with the snowshoes, and he’s satisfied with second place for a time.

Ten more steps, five, three. Each one is a bit of labor now. One more. Then one more. Then one more.

And alas, we arrive at the top of the hill. There is no sound but “the sweep of gentle wind and downy flake.”.

Here at the top, I’ll pause and rest. Three hundred degrees of views (60 are pines), all below me, radiate vast expanses of bright white. Here and there are patches of green, tangles of gray-browns, distant visages of human encroachments; barns, a road.

The wind seems to pick up, sweeping two miles from the lee of Victory Mountain to the west. Rolling down the steep grade and plummeting into the hills and hollows of Engleville, and all its 26 residents (and their pets).

It’s not really uncomfortable, though the only exposed skin on the face reminds us it is brutally cold. Five layers of fabric and a workout helps. I can feel the wind pushing on me, making me sway like a sapling. This is visceral and tangible and exciting and real. I could shout at the top of my lungs from here and be heard by none other than Chuy.  I take another moment, another 300-degrees drink of the pristine snow, the stark landscape dotted with naked deciduous trees, frozen grapevines and pines that scoff at winter.

Chuy comes alongside. It can’t be more than five minutes since we reached this place, our summit, our beautiful, silent private place. Our alter. He’s too encumbered by the deep snow for the usual twenty-minute exploratory escapades over to the tree line, back toward the woods, down the slope behind Maggie’s pond.

He looks up at me as if to say “Well, I suppose…”

The wind is whipping up the hill, blasting us in the face as we turn westward and toward home.

As we pass the pines, without thinking, I speak aloud.

“The woods are lovely. Dark and deep.”


As the evening sky turns February Gold and January Blue, it seems the greens and yellows of our Mays and Junes are but a distant memory, a folktale, a myth.

Yet there is in this moment, in this cold, in this wind-driven snow, a sense of peace and belonging. 

As shadows grow longer, we brace and bear down into the wind.

Well, one of us does. The other is throwing snow in the air with his nose, and catching it.

“Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch…”



You can predict the future!

Winter menagerie

Winter menagerie

People say “you can’t predict the future”. I disagree.

Folks talk about living in the moment, but you can’t stop yourself from living in the future.

Think about it. Imagine if you just started walking and didn’t think about anything except that next step, truly living in the moment. Well, suppose the next step is right off a cliff? Before you pick your foot up you’re bound to predict a certain future here, and you know what? That’s good, or we’d all be dead.

The human brain is not thinking in the proverbial now, but always in the next.

Is there ground beneath me to support my feet?

If I stand will I strike my head on a ceiling?

If I breath in now I can avoid suffocation, things like that.

Animals predict the future, too, so don’t start with that Most Highly Developed species attitude.

Think about the constant and complex physics a bobcat is dealing with chasing a zig-zagging rabbit through the snow.

Imagine a bird of prey closing on a rodent moving through thick grass.

We flat-out count on a lot of presumptive predictions of the future. Maybe this seems obvious or even silly to some, but if you grasp this idea it helps us to understand the subconscious workings of our minds.

In “Think Not-Thinking” (ACZ Archive, 3/21/11) the process of meditation is examined. Meditation is intended to quiet the mind, to reduce stress or anxiety. When effective, it can allow you to turn down the subconscious future-telling.

This is important because your brain can’t stop living in the future, can’t stop checking the to-do list and planner. Even the Most Highly Developed Species can’t turn off the engines of instinct.

So don’t beat yourself up because you feel you can’t “live in the now” all the time. Your brain is looking out for you and those depending on you, even in your sleep, every minute of every day. It’s normal for your mind to be ruminating or mulling or planning all the time, and we’re glad about it.

Otherwise, we’d all freeze and starve.

If we didn’t walk off a cliff first.

Be at peace,


Rural Zen: Autumn

October Maple

I’ve been doing this Armchair Zen blog a bit over a year-and-a-half now, and it’s been a great experience so far. As so many on WordPress, Blogspot and other blogsites, my approach to blogging was that it was a way to practice writing. Organizing the actual content for an inspirational book was the lofty goal of those heady times. This has served as more of a compositional scratchpad and journal, and has helped usher along the idea and concept.

In other ways, it’s also been a great Armchair Zen lesson of its own. Trying to live and preach a detachment from the overloaded overconnectedness of our modern world is a difficult premise to present via mass media. Also, as noted in a post, there comes with blogging a certain scent, an attraction, a quality to covet that can become something of an “intellectual intoxication”, and that is, essentially, an “audience”. While the whole idea of blogging is to share your piece with “the world”, it can be titillating to find someone liking your work and responding to it. It’s a long way from the old days, when a snail-mail submission would take months to appear in print, and anyone the least bit interested in contacting the author would have to undergo a search worthy of Livingstone to find your name and address to send you a note.

Chuy. A main character on Rural Zen.

That brings us to now.  ACZ has developed a little character of its own. A certain tone and language we can recognize as familiar. A propensity to make posts worthwhile and hopefully helpful to someone seeking the famous “path”, as well as being standalone entries that address a subject without need for the context of chronology. (That’s some sweet phrasing and I’m proud of it. Of course it just means you don’t have to read all the posts in order.)

So, I’ve been working on a secret project. Okay, I guess it’s not really secret, it just exists in a different blogosphere for purposes of trying to keep ACZ true to its roots. It’s called “Rural Zen” and is self-described as existing to “share the experiences of a life lived simply and appreciated fully.” which are credited with providing  “Much of my sense of peace…drawn from living in one of the prettiest places I know.”

Frost’s road

 Two main differences between ACZ and Rural Zen. The first is that Rural Zen is a journal, and therefore chronological. In fact, the sights, sounds and smells of the changing seasons are often the highlights of entries, as that’s how the “rural” part intersects with the “zen” part. Secondly, Rural Zen is peppered with illustrations showing the places, events and characters described in the text.

 So the new challenge is to combine the best of both. Here we have a portrait of Chuy, my tireless companion, and in Circle of Seasons we see a photo of my granddaughter Elizabeth, as well as a photo from a day of ice fishing with grandson Max. The intent, as stated, is to share the experiences of a life that supports the pursuit of the path of peace.

  It just seemed that previous posts talk about the path but never show any pictures! Maybe, in a vicarious way, others can also benefit from this life “lived simply and appreciated fully”.  Sort of a modern Walden only without the isolation or the pond. And with illustrations.

Neversink waterfall

The fall season is a sensory overload, especially for someone chasing a child-like sense of wonder. In many ways it’s the prettiest season of the temperate zone, and really the shortest. It’s also the “biggest” in a way. Changes are drastic, on a daily basis. A tree that’s green one day is orange and red and yellow the next. A tree that was orange and red and green yesterday is naked today, just sticks reaching in vain toward the sky.

Grand Gorge

Searching for Red 23

The “flowers” are from a dinosaur age. A big, yellow blossom thirty feet wide and sixty feet tall! A wall of orange stretching a tenth of a mile down a treeline carpeted with green grass, their glowing golden leaves in the millions, piled two feet deep at their feet. You can look across a valley and pick out a brilliant fire-red oak, as if it was a candle on the mantle across the room.

Everywhere, the landscape changes. Tree-covered slopes now reveal rock ledges and hidden streams. There’s a pond where two weeks ago only a forest of maples could be seen.

Autumn glow

Vast, ordered rows of corn stood seven feet tall, gold hair adorning their fruits, tassels waving in the wind, where now there are vacant fields with a lone cornstalk appearing here and there, a brown, stubbled wasteland.

Spectrum of leaves

 And so, on to the next phase of this adventure, seeking the path of peace, and seeking to share the path with others. Here’s hoping the narrative and photos of a simple and beautiful world will help to inspire, or keep you grounded, or simply bring you a little snapshot of the peaceful path.


Ultimately, the peace and beauty brought to us in this world are in the eye of the beholder. The vast cosmos is filled with wonderments of all kinds, and one of the most fascinating is the human being. They’re also often overly-complicated, and tend to over-worry about things that are far from important.

Road Seven

Take time to relax, take time to wonder, and take time to drop me a line. Share your own observations, or the things that help you to pursue the path to peace in your life. Or just say hi! Let me know if you have any thoughts on the formats, old or new!


Be at peace,



Maybe you’re not ready for this.

Trying to formulate a way to relate this concept: I wasn’t ready to truly experience Armchair Zen 20 years ago. Maybe I should say I thought I was trying to live a type of zen life, but it was more like boot camp. I was doing drills and following directions though I had no sub-conscious competence.  Still, my mind and focus were filled with and attached to  the material world, the manufactured society world, the looking-glass world humankind scurries around in.

Training wheels off.

My brain desired all the elements of ACZ. Coveted them. Fought for them. Judged those that would fail to desire them or stand in the way. Isn’t that ironic? To be in a fully realized state of Armchair Zen, one must put all selfish thoughts aside. One must never judge another existence in a Universe you neither control nor fully understand. Fighting is right out.


So, give me a break, and give yourself one, too, if you’re me of 20 years ago.

Controlling the money to get the thing was the myopic goal.

Forget things, and you’ll find they take a very comfortable place all around you, and you may enjoy one another without conflict.

“Keeping” “Someone” from interfering with my life, forcing me to do what I wanted not.

No one can really force you, now can they? Perhaps you may have to work to stay on your path. Perhaps you may have to abandon fear and need for control, control itself, power, worry, and predicting the future. Sure, humankind has taught you a lot, but learning to discern the subtleties between good lessons and bad is not easy.

If I do this and this and this it will equal three. Damn, why isn’t this working?

You didn’t finish primary education in a year, or college in a week or pregnancy in a day. Seeds planted yesterday just look like wet dirt. Life has a waiting game because it takes that long. Period. No reasoning, nothing deep. If you prefer to paraphrase it you could say “Because that’s how long it takes.”, or “It takes that long because it does.” or any number of catchy enlightened phrases.

The gentlest push

Listen, in spite of popular opinion, life, for the majority of us achieving the dubious distinction of an average one, is very long, punctuated with frequent and sometimes lengthy periods of boredom, life in the trenches. Call them ruts if you choose, but work is happening in trenches. Work that needs to be done, and somebody needs to step up and do it. Work that benefits many more people inhabiting the level ground above.

I equate this time with the several decades of marrying and raising children and working jobs and all the living, breathing moments tied up in the busy work required of living and breathing. Brains are only so large, and have a limited capacity, and when you overfill them, things spill out to make room for more. Just keep breathing.

So you’re learning. You’re working towards something. You’re discovering something. (Ready or not. Discoveries can come at the most surprising and sometimes inopportune times.) You’re gardening in your head and caring for all the little sprouts and trying to deduce which are weeds and which are glorious flowers.

How will you know when you’re ready? Well, I think different areas will be ready at different times.

One year you’ll be ready to fully realize the relation of possessions to our lives. Valuable, but fleeting and not truly important.

One year you’ll let yourself be lost in the magical inebriation that is great wonder. Once it starts, it grows increasingly more encompassing, like a ringlet on water.

One year you’ll fully realize forgiveness when you catch yourself being forgiving.

First you will understand how to forgive everyone else.

Ultimately you’ll realize that without judgement, there is nothing to be forgiven, and that goes for you, too.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.

Off you go, little one

In the meantime, cut yourself some slack. You weren’t expected to do algebra in kindergarten, were you?

Okay, okay. You’re not required to live a peaceful life in harmony with the buzz of the cosmos.

You’re welcome to hang on to all that strife and worry as long as you want. Liberty. It’s your life.

Whenever you’re ready.


Be at peace, (or study for it),



The power of blue & green

Perro linda

There’s some theory, some studies somewhere about how the color of a room can affect its inhabitants.

Red makes people aggressive, they say, pastel yellows are calming. Deep browns are warm and comforting.

I don’t claim to know anything about that, but I do know that green and blue are my favorites, and I’m talking about the green of Earth and blue of the sky. I suppose white fits in there, too, to include clouds and snow. Then again, both clouds and snow are really capable of producing the whole spectrum of color, being made of water droplets, like the ones that produce rainbows, sun dogs and coronas.

Being outdoors and casting my gaze upon green flora, upon the deep blue of infinite space beyond our atmosphere I find calms me, lifts my spirits, helps clear my mind. I’m beginning to believe there is some science behind this, and it probably relates to the “color theory” of interior paint schemes.

These are the natural colors of light that our eyes evolved in, that our brains evolved in. This is normal for eye and brain and mind. Not fluorescent lights and mission white walls. Not burgundy carpets and patterned wallpaper. Perhaps these things are just excessive stimuli. No wonder so many people seem to be wound so tight, so many people looking for ways to relax, to unwind, to get away from it all.

It would be tiring just to write the number and variety of stimuli we face in an average day, a number far beyond that which our brains evolved under. Varieties that are so far flung from the natural world that it’s unimaginable that the brain could process them. Ringing phones, driving cars at 60 miles an hour on a freeway, electronic screens with characters that must be deciphered into symbols that are abstract representations of thoughts and things in the real world.

Just writing that paragraph (and re-reading it) makes my brain pressure rise.

Get out. Get outdoors. Get outdoors as soon and as often as you can, preferably someplace away from buildings and cars and phones and incandescent lights. 

I’m most fortunate to have a very dear friend, friends for over eleven years now, and he loves to get out as much as I do. He and I walk the trails and fields behind my home almost every evening in the summer, and as often as possible in winter. His pace is as relaxed as mine. We have no schedule and we’re not walking for excersize, per se. We’re likely to stop and eat blackberries or marvel at the tiny mouse tracks in the snow, or watch mile-long flocks of starlings fly overhead. We almost never speak. We use gestures and eye contact to sign “This way.” or “Come on!”, or “Are you ready to move?”.  This is a perfect blend of solitude and companionship!

Of course, Chuy is a dog, and a quiet one at that. I may speak out loud once in a while, but frankly I prefer not to, and in fact rarely need to on our walks. I think he’s more comfortable in all the natural elements, the blue & green, and all that goes with it. I think he has helped me to see that I am more comfortable out there, too.

There’s some truth, some actual scientific facts behind old ideas about “the mountain air” being good for you. There are chemical compounds in the air of ancient woods that are found no where else. Perhaps it’s some instinct that leaves me feeling at comfort and at peace with myself and the world when I’m actually out in it. Maybe some of that science applies to the whole “wall color” theory.

Frankly, I prefer no walls at all.

What do you do to connect with the blue & green? Pehaps you live in a crowded city. Maybe a physical handicap keeps you from it.  Even if blindness denies you the colors of the blue & green, you can still have the quiet, the smell of the air, the “sixth sense” that you are not bound by walls.

Here’s hoping you can get “in touch” with the power of blue & green, and experience this natural wonder for yourself.

Be at peace,


Zen in our Techno-Monetary society

Sunset Moon

It wasn’t easy choosing a name for the blog Armchair Zen, though that’s how I’ve referred to my personal philosophy for some time. Names like “Zen in the modern world” and “Everyday Zen” and the like seemed to be taken. I guess everyone has the same idea.

Mostly the idea of ACZ is to share thoughts and philosophy with those that want to seek enlightenment, peace in their daily lives, harmony with the world, nature, the cosmos and life itself. It’s not about achieving perfection or some higher plane or a place in the next life or eternity. It’s about understanding our capabilities and limitations in this life, it’s about acceptance, understanding, compassion, forgiving and letting go.

As it says in About, these things are nothing new. Applying them to today’s world is not always that easy. We live in a world I term a Techno-Monetary society. We’re surrounded by wonderful technologies from life-saving medicine, global communications, electronic entertainment, space exploration and productivity greater than mankind has ever known, bolstered by the machines and artificial intelligences of our modern world.

In ancient times and old days, individuals and whole communities were isolated, and did not have the benefit of the vast volumes of knowledge mankind has compiled since. Their lives were filled with strife, at the mercy of the elements, filled with superstitions, fears, and lack of understanding of things that seem simple to us today. The sun, the solar system, what makes rain, thunder, tornadoes. They had more time, and perhaps a greater need, to seek peace within their lives.

We are also slaves to the monetary system. In all the developed countries (probably 90% of the globe), we need to work at something to earn money for rent, taxes, clothing, food, transportation, and the list goes on. This is really not new, nor does it strictly apply to developed countries or societies. Go back a couple thousand years and we find people did not live the simple agrarian lives we might imagine. Subsistence farmers & ranchers, mountain-men and even minimalist communities of today need to barter goods or trade cash for the things they can’t make. Cooking kettles, sewing needles, broadcloth, tack supplies, sugar, salt, bacon.

Finding our personal zen and peace within our lives seems like a considerable challenge after negotiating traffic, signing in at work, talking to customers, clients or co-workers that are not seeking enlightened ways, and any number of non-zen, non-nature, non-peace-encouraging things we must do.

Still, I find my ACZ to be pervasive. It hasn’t always been that way. I was “Two Jakes” for many years, seeking solace in nature and creative expression during my precious evenings and weekends, and turning off the peace machine when going to battle with the world. After some years of concentration, practice and informal self-cognitive behavioral therapy, the zen has spread to all hours of the day.

Nowadays there are few interactions with others wherein the conscious-competence of ACZ does not rule. Filter-monitoring, managing emotions & reactions, thinking forgiveness & acceptance, seeking to navigate all situations for the best outcome of all under the guidance of enlightened thought & behavior. Spread loving compassion by being loving and compassionate. Spread forgiveness and acceptance by being forgiving and accepting. Appreciate the beauty of the world around us by opening our eyes and minds and truly seeing. It’s not always easy, but it’s always simple!

That’s really all for this post. Perhaps it’s not a lot of meat, but an encouragement to those that may be seeking the path to peace. Sure, it takes a little time and concentration, but it can be done without extensive training or effort or money or social status or massive brain power.

You don’t have to be rich, you don’t have to be beautiful, you don’t have to be perfect. Everyone is welcome.

The cosmos, and I, love each and every thing without judgement.

That includes you!

Be at peace,


The quiet mind

Pine Point

The quiet mind is a peaceful place.

It’s easy to get your mind filled with noise, especially during the distractions of the day that occupy our senses.

Work, getting kids to school, balancing the checkbook, visiting the sick uncle.

It’s like your mind is a big factory, all the machines running, trucks driving in & out, people moving everywhere, the lunch whistle, the fire whistle.

Good to get away from it. Think “Not-Thinking”. Seek refuge whether in the woods, on the water, or within one’s own mind.

A little diddy about escaping the madness. You may note it’s a bit dated, from the 90’s. (Last century).

A Moment’s Peace


What I seek is solace, just a moment’s peace.

Need I sail to Aruba? Need I fly to Greece?

The home phone, car phone, answering machine,

Pager, email, voice mail…What does it all mean?


Does it mean I am IMPORTANT? Does it mean I “MUST BE REACHED!”?

If I cannot respond instantly, will some agreement be breached?

Will the U.N. go to war? Will the President sit & wait?

Will Saint Peter need to confirm with me before opening the gate?


I am going fishing now, with worms in a cup.

Don’t bother trying to call me.

The machine will pick up.

Happy Independence day tomorrow, for all you fellow Americans, and a belated Happy Independence day to all our Canadian neighbors to the north.

Take the time to make yourself independent from the noise of our modern world, the chatter and distraction, the hustle & bustle, the go-go-go that is most of our society.

Break yourself free from the TV and the phone and your laptop/tablet/mobile device/PDA, and all that constant manufactured connectivity.

Liberate your mind and soul to a natural state, whether it’s in the park, on the roof or in your head.

Take the time to let your mind clear, and engage in the simple wonderments of the world around us.

Connect with something real and infinitely more precious than all the rest.

Connect yourself with Real You.

Be at peace,


Life is not a highway


Funny thing about driving on the highway, and that’s people going as fast as they can. Now I don’t mean folks are holding their foot to the floor and going 120 miles an hour down Chestnut Street. Well, maybe once when I was younger…

Folks will go as fast as they’re allowed to. Somewhere just slightly over the speed limit. Most will change lanes or make for toll booths with the shortest lines. On city streets it’s the same, folks trying to go as fast as they’re allowed, tailgating others, honking horns, passing on the right.
Okay, so this isn’t a traffic safety session. Folks seem to do a number of these things “as fast as they can”. Fast food for lunch, looking for the shortest line at the checkout, googling stuff.
In my Armchair Zen world, I try to go at the pace I choose. I go as fast as I want to, not as fast as possible. Sure, power walking for cardio is good for your cardio, but for sightseeing, it’s not the same.
Do we realize how the relaxed-pace sightseeing walk can lower our blood pressure (especially if accompanied by an endearing dog).
Do we realize that we’re getting stressed (and increasing our blood pressure) by fretting over waiting in a longer line at the checkout or toll booth? Do we realize we’re stressing over seconds? Most of these things rarely will amount to as much as a minute, and extremely rare is the case where you can count more than a couple of minutes.
I’m setting my pace to that which suits me. It’s a peaceful pace, and relaxing. It’s not slow. Most folks describe my walking pace as quick, and there are lots of things I like to do quickly (a throwback to commercial kitchen work). I can zoom through a grocery store and have just what I came in for in three minutes and be in the checkout line.
What do you do once you’re in the line, or a traffic jam, or the line of cars at the toll booth or the line of traffic trying to exit the fireworks display all at the same time?
These are great places to practice simple patience. Moreover, actively decide you won’t be stressed out over these things. What can be done about it? How much time will you gain by jumping lines or weaving through traffic? Five seconds, ten?
There’s a reason retailers place a whole rasher of stuff at the checkouts. It’s called “impulse merchandise”, but I use it as entertainment and distraction. Read all the magazine titles. Look at the nifty gadgets or the newest SuperSized candy bar. The same can be done on the road. Look at the clouds (well, not while driving too much, eh?) There are birds and trees in most places, and there are always cars, trucks, boats, all kinds of things to look at.
And when moving, YOU decide the speed you want to travel. Not the speed limit or the highway traffic or that guy tailgating you.
There are times when I need to hustle, and do, without compromising driving safety or courtesy.
The rest of the time, I set my own pace.

I call it “the speed of Zen”.

Be at peace.



Beauty, significance, worth…

Ugliness, insignificance, worthlessness…

All a matter of perspective.

Why do we think fields of grass are pretty? Why do we think amber waves of grain are attractive, and cattails in paintings…but if our lawn goes unmowed we think it looks disheveled?

Beauty by whose standards?

A trash dump…an eyesore to some, a buffet lunch for a bear.

A dead fish floating on a pond…gross, or lunch for a mother eagle and two hatchlings?

What does a crow think when he sees a skunk dashed to pieces on the road, entrails akimbo?
Yum! Fresh meat!

Wait…don’t we as humans like fresh meat? Being omnivores, it’s normal.
Don’t some folks like their beef rare? Ever heard of folks that like to eat raw ground beef? I have!

Why, then, are skunk entrails not a delicacy to us?

I’m not promoting the consumption of skunk entrails, raw beef or floating fish, just trying to illustrate how our own inner persepctives and perceptions can shape our view of the world.

In a book about sea animals, my grandson and I noted the illustrations of alligators and crocodiles attacking people and their pets! We speculated as to the narrative when taken from the alligator’s perspective.

So, what does a fly say when he sees poop?

All a matter of perspective, my friend.

Be at peace


December 30 first

December 30 firstAll around lie the remnants of summer and fall,
These dry brown grasses, the tall and the small.
Each conifer stretches, the low and the high,
Each stretches, in vain, its limbs to the sky.

The sun hangs low in it’s arc, non-chalant,
Neglecting her earthbound petites enfants.
Cold comes to slumber and lumber around,
Packing the earth to hard frozen ground.

Smoke from chimneys dances and twirls,
Having never seen the summer world.
I shutter the window, and put logs on the fire,
As I patiently wait for the year to expire.

As into the pink night sky sets the sun,
Another year ends, as another’s begun.

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