A Grateful Gratitude List

FullSizeRenderWhat’s in a number? So much and simultaneously so little. When my girlfriend and I were eight, her mother told her that she could invite as many friends to her birthday party as she was old. We immediately thought ahead and realized that meant she could have 21 friends at her twenty-first birthday. We never imagined birthdays without parties or days where we didn’t rely on our mother’s to provide them. Yet, here I stand on the cusp of another birthday and I know my mother would approve that I would invite more friends than my age and they would all provide me with the gifts that keep me celebrating life: loving kindness.

I am humbled at times for all the good I have been given and in what has become my tradition, I offer my annual gratitudes – all 50 of them.

Continue reading “A Grateful Gratitude List” »



IMG_4148Here in the states we have begun to experience the time of the year that follows winter: Road Work Season. This means detour signs will be aplenty and our regular routes may be upended. The common use of the detour sign inclines me to think: inconvenience. However, after a recent trip across the pond, I am reminded that other words – with the same purpose – strike me differently. Perhaps this is just the Anglophile in me projecting, but I like the English use of Diversion. What is a diversion, but a detour? Yet to me, diversion suggests an opening for opportunity.  Continue reading “Diversions” »


Spring Inward

IMG_3828Spring is the perfect time to be re-invigorated. Whether it is the offering of warm weather to get outside and move more or the sweetness of sitting on the front porch at first light to listen to the birds. At this time of year, those birds sound like old classmates who have come together for a reunion and chatter away. All of them seem to have tales to tell or concerns to voice: Where are the best needles to be found for our nests? Did you see the old oak came down in the winter storm? Perhaps that is my overactive imagination at work, but after spending sacred moments listening to the lyrical chirps, I couldn’t help but give them dialogue. Continue reading “Spring Inward” »


The Art of Friendship

IMG_1634To be a true friend to someone means being fully present in their life, even if miles separate you. Growing up, friends were created by proximity of where I could ride my bike and through school activities. For most of us, college or our first jobs widened our selection of friendships that introduced us to new perspectives and new experiences. Continue reading “The Art of Friendship” »


49 Gratitudes

IMG_1975Forty-nine on the periodic table is the chemical element indium, a soft metal that is malleable and easily fusible. While opinions may differ on how malleable I am, I can be flexible and open to others and to new experiences. In the year ahead indium seems like a good touch stone – or metal base – to keep in mind. I am a part of the earth’s crust, but fluid enough to bend, shape, and open.

As has become my tradition, I offer my annual enumeration of gratitudes. While no number will capture all the gratefulness I hold in my heart, I smile and begin with these. Continue reading “49 Gratitudes” »


Inside Out

IMG_1711Road maps and directions provide semblance of order. They get us from point A to point B and are often necessary to assemble a bookcase. But when we approach something new we should rely just as sincerely on instinct as directive. And when we look back on an experience, we may find that our greatest insights and growth came without road maps or directions.

A couple of years ago I camped my way across the U.S. My routine became packing and unpacking my tent, sleeping bag, camp stove, and various accoutrements. This was a trip about exploration, not delineation. At trip’s end the odometer calculated 12,941miles from coast to coast and back. Continue reading “Inside Out” »


The Necessary Law of Rest

IMG_1341Well-being spreads like honey into every corner of your consciousness.
~Elizabeth Lesser

Newton’s famous law provided that a body in motion tends to stay in motion unless external forces are applied. Today, it seems like an obvious observance, but in the intervening three centuries there has been little conviction to apply outside force in order to allow our bodies to rest. In modern life, true rest is rare. We take rest in those hours when we finally turn off the lights at the end of day or land on a beach for a week’s retreat. But the rest we are missing is the rest that comes when we fully surrender, put aside the strain of toil, and be calm in the spaces that exist every day. Continue reading “The Necessary Law of Rest” »


The Naked Bulb Burns Bright

Hanging-Bulb-6-BW-OC-300pxThe lampshade was created to soften the brightness of the exposed lightbulb and give dressing to home décor. In fashion, the shade is a nice accessory, but once removed a noticeable difference in brightness occurs. For esthetics the shade is preferred, but for clear illumination, the naked bulb is brighter.
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Beyond, Where Beauty Lies


This morning the winter rain and wind beat down on the roof. The day promised more wet than dry and more gusts than calm. Rain does not stop plans in southeast Alaska. Here in the rainforest environment, folks know the only issue with poor weather is poor dressing. Wear the right clothes and not much can impede the day’s plans. Similarly, in the southeast of the U.S. a good snow or ice storm raises havoc, but locals know that the only issue for poor weather is poor planning to get enough milk and bread.

Beyond the expectations of weather, there is an expectation in life to go somewhat as planned, as dreamed, and as prepared for. Yet, life like weather can change dramatically and there are times when the only issue becomes, how do I see beyond this place? Continue reading “Beyond, Where Beauty Lies” »


You are the REAL Thing

IMG_0558The use of the adjective real has come to my attention—not like the popular use of the word cool to describe something of agreeable interest versus a degree of weather. Rather, I contemplate the use of real to accredit someone for what they have done or accomplished. Besides the commercial use of the slogan, I have trouble reconciling its connotation. It seems that you are only real in our society if you are the best, or you are at least quite successful at what you do. But, to be real is to be authentic, is it not? And, to be authentic do you have to be the best—above everyone else? Continue reading “You are the REAL Thing” »

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