Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Silence is GOLDEN; words over-rated

quiet time

...it is my silence that billows like the ocean's thunder; not sugary speeches of insincerity...

Wow! It's been a spell since I got to let the brain leak. I was just thinking about how good silence really is and what can be gained from it. It is in this chasm of non-clutter that we might actually discover not only ourselves; but our own genius. Like an anchor in the sea, we can still our ship and really appreciate the stars, as well as gain a better understanding of our location and destination. I LOVE my silence as much as I love my alone time. In the stillness one learns how to move and in which direction with the effectiveness of now; not someday.

I have fond memories of my old college roommate and I sitting in a dark room with a candle and something on the rocks and absolutely no words...just the occassional whisper of a sip or movement of a flickering candle...enjoying company alone...ahhh nice! I still have his poem he wrote and had framed for my wedding 6 yrs ago...still very treasured. Thanks S*@!Fish.

Silence is really valuable when everything else in our lives is roaring and rumbling. Wisdom is often not accompanied by noise; but silence; thick winter blankets of it.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Shine!

blooming trees

One more beautiful day AND its Thursday too! Had a delightful drive with my wifey into the city and the sunrise was fabulous! I can only wonder how spectacular the sunrise and sunset would be from different places in the world. There is just something about the morning air thats so thick and fresh in the early morning. The air has a dense humidity at least here in Tennessee that keeps everything so calm and honest. Busy, busy, busy; thats the kind of month its been. I enjoyed grilling steaks last night in the backyard as the blooming trees swayed in the evening breeze. It one of the best times of the year...not too hot....not too cold...just right

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hats OFF!!!


The fantastic air temperature and the warm brilliance of the sunlit day make some dream of hiking in the deep woods littered with hills and valleys. I can imagine sitting on my deck watching the sun rise envelope the cool morning with its warm yellow tints. I love to watch the sunlight play with the dew drops, the way the colors swirl and change as the light dances around and through the transparent breasts of moisture hanging from the leaves. It's really nice when a slight breeze from some invisible giant walks across the the long grass, arching it in fields of waves, first one foot then the other.

Its Wednesday and I am hard at it with my trusty Macintosh blazing through a QuarkXpress document with Photoshop chuckling in the background. Today's blog I will dedicate to an act of kindness I was witness to from my perch above the city. I arrived early this morning and as custom, I stand in th shadow of the Batman building watching the city below; what fascinating ants they be. I watched a man in a wheelchair painstakingly try to climb a long hill. I watched the string of cars that passed him, glanced at him, glanced away from him and some that just ignored him. Chances are that he had navigated this hill many times before; but he would not have to today. My coworker exits his vehicle. I was curious to see what would happen. I could tell from the furrow in his brow what I anticipated he would do; now I would see first hand. I watched the thoughts zing back and forth through his mind, trying to rationalize his decision to or not to help. I knew when I saw him place his bag on the ground that he indeed would attempt to assist. I watched him gingerly stroll up behind the struggling wheel-chair bound man fighting the downhill gravity. I could tell that some greeting was given and an offer of assistance. Clearly the man was thankful and very obliged. I also noticed the line of cars filled with people who were watching just as I was considering whether to or not to assist. Its funny how we react to some things. Some were proud of the simple human kindness; but others were frustrated. I dont know if it was from the guilt of not doing it themselves or the need that it needed to be done by someone or even worse; the disgust that they were forced to even notice what they would have casually blotted from their attention.

In some conversations with the homeless, they speak of the invisibility they experience. Continued probing revealed a-not-unpredictable human experience from a homeless perspective; but more accurately, a human perspective. We ALL want to be noticed, to be cared about, to not be forgotten, to matter. We spend all our lives attempting to achieve any and all of these pretending that none of them matter to us. Its like the kid with the mohawk that acts offended when people look at him funny at the funeral. We see so many things that we feel powerless to effect that we would rather look away or pretend it doesnt exist. Thats how strongly we need all of those things we dont need. We would like to believe that what we have is because of what we do or deserve or how good, special or talented we are; but the truth is far less aloof. In fact, any of us could have just as easily been born in another country as quick as being homeless or handicapped etc. Sure some circumstances bring on some of these conditions; but they could have been your conditions.
hats off

Anyway, hats of, pensive one, for a deed well done on this sunny anything-better-to-do day that you could so easily have decided to "let somebody else help day." It is the mark of a man that his actions unnoticed are still noble.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Time is a windchime

...if Time stopped moving; would I be frozen without motion?
If the wind were Time, would I look windblown?
If I could ride the winds of Time, would I become too tired for Eternity?....."

It would seem I have been at a loss of words for the last couple of weeks; as if they were all used up. Actually we have been kind of under the weather a little. (hmmm...how do you get "under" the weather...) I have plenty to blog about actually everyday; but its easy to get too busy and side-tracked if I dont get it out in the early morning. Oh well. Please accept my apologies. None-the-less, ( I suppose thats the cousin of none-the-more...) I am getting this little blitter out.

Everything changes; change is the only thing that doesn't. Its going to be the year of change I had asked for afterall. I am sure I will get deeper into that as time arrives. Besides, if you're going to bother changing; it might as well be drastic. Why get a haircut of only a few centimeters when a shave would have been the same price....so go all the way!

Its a beautiful day here in sunny Nashville and everyone is roaming from here to there. I had enjoyed my drive in with wifey. It was a beautiful day to commute for a whole lot of good reasons. It would have been an ideal day for hiking, canoing or just a woodsy walk. Unfortunately we hadn't been to the gym for 2 weeks and tonite probably wouldnt be any different. With dinner already home; the evening is open to be unwrapped. Its the kind of day that great summer outdoor yard work would be excellent; but not yet. Two funerals have gone by already; one with a white hearse, the last was a black hearse. Each was escorted by sirens and headlighted cars. Spring and winter are the opposite sides of a coin.

We are surrounded by doors. As we enter or exit, someone else does the same. There is no way for a "one way transaction." Something enters, something exits. That is the code of the universe. The wind from my tiny fan tickles my face on its way to the window and plants behind my chair. Its a beautiful day here in sunny Nashville and everyone is roaming from here to there.

Monday, April 07, 2008

ZORB again!!!!

zorb, zorbing, zorb ride

It would seem that each of us has an age or a date of time in mind that we "should have" or "should own" certain things by. There are some ages that we mark in our minds such as "turning 30, or 40, or 50, or 60 etc." There comes a point that you either give up or just decide that now is the time and you wont wait any longer on maybe's. This weekend was an early celebration with my BFF (Tiny). We all loaded into the vehicle and headed to Pigeon Forge, TN, the destination of the only "zorb" facility in TN. Of course, Tiny had all the maps, hotels, dining arrangements, gps navigation, sites and happenings mapped out — she's really in the wrong business. She will be turning 40 July 12 and this was one of the things on her "bucket list." As she easily admits and sometimes brags, "You (I) have been there everytime she has almost died;" so of course, I opted in again for another great adventure.

Our history is littered with great adventures. Over several dining occassions and during the drive, we retold some of our funniest stories to my highly entertained wife Pickle. Of course they were all funny ...at least now. Zorbing would be another great adventure that we would all remember. Tiny was completely committed to this event. We were often second guessing the weather conditions and the chilly temperature; but she would not be deterred. The three and a half hour drive went easily by over laughs and stories.

Upon arrival: I drove down the winding road along the massive hill. I knew the butterflies now laughing in my stomach were paying attention to the size of the hill. In the distance, we could all see a row of 4 large zorb balls. As we drove closer to the base camp, it was obvious that the hill reached deeply down into the valley, which meant that ball was going to be rolling FAST! Even better; they were taking photos that we could also purchase at the end. It was pretty funny watching the 3 of us jump through a tiny hole into a bubble inside a bubble; but we did it. Once we were all in, they added about two gallons of warm water and closed the hatch. Now there was no turning back; all the chicken was fried. I heard us each inhale deeply as the ball was rolled backward then shoved over the hill. Yeeehhaaaa!!!!!! Nashville coming thru!!! Three giggling friends are transported back to childhood while the roll down a hill with their arms interlocked. What a celebration. We couldn't wait to see the pictures commemorating the turning of 40! Unfortunately, there were no pictures; we had only our memories. The photographer had accidentally erased them in the transfer from camera to computer. I asked her to check twice. I saw the people before and after; but no us. We were bummed. I STRONGLY suggest that you leave nothing to chance, take your own photos as backup. They offered to send us back down the hill; but it wouldn't have been the same. Besides we were now dry. Matching t-shirts might have been nice; but they seemed slightly unconcerned. :( So off to the next adventure...

There's a great quote "Get busy living or get busy dying..." delivered by Morgan Freeman in one of his best movies....and thats what we did. To make the moment even more memorable; a very nice guy from The New York Times was there to interview us and catch it all on film. Boy, am I glad my hair wasn't all over my head. We still have minature hopes of seeing some clip that will make us laugh beyond the memories.


Of course we went on to other things. Eating, laughing and then to the WonderWorks, an exercise for the mind. Oh boy....we had a blast. We walked through this rotating tunnel to get in and all got stupid dizzy, hanging on to the rails as if we could fall thousands of feet (maybe 12 inches in reality); what an illusion! We did everything we could fit on. The most fun was a two seated bicycle that you could pedal and go upside down in a 360 spin; kinda like a circular rollercoaster. The girls did virtual rides while I looked at some Echer prints and met some new people. I could hear their squeals most places I walked; they were having a blast. Needless-to-say; a lot more people got in line after them. It was a great weekend. ...boy, wait til we turn 50!!!!!!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Gone for the Weekend!


Sometimes people say things that they didnt literally mean. Sometimes they say things they did mean but not that way. Sometimes, its fun to NOT try and understand. Communication is powerful and Good Communication is priceless. I hope to get out of town this weekend and get in some stressfree thrills. I wont tell you in advance; just in case something goes wrong. So I will see you Monday. :D

...but I will say this....there could be snow involved; there could be dear involved; there could be round balls involved; we may not make it back in one piece. Some things we discard are very valuable to others.

Meanwhile, here's something to snack on while you ponder these and other world-changing thoughts.

Friday Fixin's!

Salsa Burger




2 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup pincante sauce (mild or hot to your liking)
1/3 cup (1 1/3 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Form
mixture into 6-8 patties; layer patties in some aluminum
foil and refrigerate to firm them up. Broil, grill or
bake to desired doneness.

Yield: 6-8 patties

Thursday, April 03, 2008

You're Gonna Miss This

Well it no secret that I might be accused of being odd. I am listening to a powerful and very well written song, "You're gonna miss this," by Trace Adkins. It is a very comfortable mix of country soul and life memories. If you've ever stopped during your day and remembered little things that nobody but you and one other person might understand; whether its mother and child, husband and wife, brother and sister, best friends; you'll understand. Sometimes its just the slightest little upturn of a smile from someone you love. Sometimes it may be the little rhythm in the middle of a song or even some unforgettable pancakes that filled you up for 3 days (...of course I cant tell you that story; but trust me, only one of us needs to remember; just smile and keep readin'). Its funny how time passes and we eventually hear ourselves say something that parents used to say or some kid addresses you as "sir" or "old" without hesitating like you remember saying about somebody you thought was "soooo old." Some of us can name music groups that nobody has heard of and after the shock of going through all the melodies and hook lines and reenacting the video, it dawns on you, "they werent even swimming upstream then...." Anyway...I think you got my drift. Check out thsese lyrics....

You're Gonna Miss This Lyrics

It's amazing how little things count for so much for so long. The sound of your mother's footsteps, the raise of an eyebrow, hearing your whole name called loud, smelling your favorite dish cooking and of course, the hugs of a lifetime....you're gonna miss this. Having seen Trace in person, HE is an imposing figure. I was impressed by how well he sounded and managed himself. He recently appeared on Celebrity Apprentice. He certainly represented Nashville well as well as fatherhood and the real down-home-people of America that just aint interested in a bunch of stuff you cant take with you. There's no price for pride in your child's eyes when they stare back at you. Yeah, thats something to be missed. Great song. Great artist. Great memories. Thats real "soul food!" Thanks Trace.

Thursday Flash!

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

...much more...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Turn This Bridge Out!

Tuesday was another exciting night!

REWIND: So here we are at Tuesday. Tonite should be very interesting. In our house-hunting antics, we encountered some ministry folks who have night service under the bridge in downtown Nashville. Of course, that raised an eyebrow and I inquired for more details. "They weren't looking for voyeurs, there will be things to do," the slender but happy man replied while smiling from the side of his mouth. "Good," I retorted with my own smirk, "that sounds real to me. I'm in." I was told to be prepared for anything; miracles, drunks and wonder! Dress down and prepare to serve and share...what a cutline. Anyway, I am sure it will be food for a note-worthy blog later. I did find this great blog on Nashville Under the Bridge, I think.

It was another amazing Tuesday nite for the Bridge Ministry folks. I knew I had committed to going to the two guys I prayed with the week before. Why did it look gloomy most of the day? Why did rain appear to be a sure thing? Surely they would understand if I bailed or even worse; just didnt show. Besides, they probably wont be there anyway if they even remember me. These were the thoughts that taunted my mind all day. It had been a long work day and yes, "home" sounded pretty good to me. But maybe that was just it. The bridge or the tnets of Tent City were home to someone. Realizing that some of these folks actually walked a couple of miles just to be there knowing it would be dark when they walked back was humbling. Who was I to make an excuse of being tired or wanting to be warm and relaxed. As the evening kicked off, the singers piped out their voices as the warm food crawled into the stomachs of the listeners, making comfort for the message to come. It is hard to guess which was the dessert or the main dish; everyone had different needs. One thing was for sure, noone would leave hungry either physically or spiritually. As I listened to the soul-stirring songs I couldnt help but notice the sound of the cars and trucks going by overhead. I wondered how ironic it was that people on their way somewhere were driving over people on their way somewhere beneath them. A bridge is always required to join to estranged locations. The good news tells of Christ being that bridge between God and man; but you already know that.

As it turns out, one of my guys did come. Perry made it back and had good news to tell. I watched the hope flicker in his eyes as the chilly wind glazed our faces. I listened to how the progress of our week apart had unfolded. Indeed, he was quite hopeful and the news sounded very promising. In fact, he had shared his news with others who had confirmed that he wasnt dreaming...this really was good news. His friend that didnt make it had also sent words with him of good developments. I was happy to see them at least looking and considering a new direction and poise. I met another guy from North Carolina who now lives in the projects. We chatted on for 30 minutes. I noticed that some were receiving prayers and it had been apparent that he knew his scripture pretty well. I asked him what he wanted. He replied he didnt know. I responded with "then you wont miss it when you dont have it." We chuckled. I looked deep into him and asked again with, "your intelligence tells me that you DO know what you want and you know what the scriptures say of two agreeing on something in the spirit." I watched him flinch with a slight laugh. Yes, he softly replied, I want to be married again with a nice house and maybe a kid." We laughed together through the wind and tears, agreeing that this was quite possible. He replied that he believed but I retorted Faith without works is dead; you must act! Start small, build your momentum and you will go faaarrrr grasshopper," as I he smiled at my Karate Kid pose.

It was a tremendously powerful evening, packed with friends, family and fellowship. Cool doesn't even begin to describe it all. I cant even convey all the surprises of the evening. The coolest part is how things that seem perfectly incidental to us are all a part of the big plan masterfully crafted by one far greater than we. Blog BONUS: I found this site while seaching for information and pics of Nashville's Homeless. Its very well done.