I hope you don’t see this until tomorrow – the 5th – or later. I hope you spent all day  – on the 4th – visiting with friends and family – attending parades. Most of all, I hope you were witness to a great fireworks show.

Here’s a ramble, updated from sometime back – a reminiscence, offering a perspective most are not fortunate to be part of. A story of The Fourth of July from a Pyro’s close up view, our dance with fire. Fire destroys. Fire sustains life and brings people together. And sometimes, fire ignites imagination!

As a very young child my transcendental intuition was literally ignited by fire on Independence Day. In small town Lakeview, perched on Oregon’s high desert, residents came together for a community picnic. Later, the fireworks displays were held at a drive-in movie theater.

I was three, no more than four years old when following the films, (there were always two back then), I watched as an aerial shell rose into the air on a column of purple fire – a comet tail tracing the shells path until the moment it broke – exploding across the sky with such beauty that this memory continues to burn the retina of my mind’s eye.

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Late one rainy afternoon in the parking lot of my bank I dropped a gold nugget. It had been in a wooden box with several old pieces of jewelry. Rings, one raw nugget and a nugget studded stick pen.

There were also tie clasps and cuff links from another era and an assortment of broken chains and other bits and pieces, some solid and others gold plated. They were things that I had no use for but which still held sentimental value  and with the rising price of the metal I’d decided to put them all in a safe place.

Getting out of my car and turning to close the door, the box slipped off the top of a stack of papers I carried. Being November and just before closing time, daylight was already slipping away as the little box slid off into the air. I could only watch as it sailed forward and hit the asphalt, its contents flying away from the point of impact. Continue Reading

“Open your heart,” he said, at the same time using both hands to pull from the center of his chest – as if pulling ribs to expose – to “open” his heart. I watch unmoved by the words and gesticulated reminder of Hanuman – mythological Hindu deity who rips his chest open to reveal Lord Krishna seated in the mystical heart.

Smiling now, he does it again while repeating his words. Hands posed as if gripping, pulling. Ribs parting, tearing flesh, bending bones. Intention without reservation. “Just open your heart!”

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New York City, The intersection of Greenwich and Liberty. We’d just walked through the Twin Tower Memorial. The recessed fountains, rimmed as they are with brass – engraved with the names of the dead. Water ever flowing, down and down again. Now the new tower stands with all it’s shifting angularity. Like others, I stood in place looking up. It’s an out of town’er thing, but who cares, I couldn’t resist. It compels those standing at it’s base to stare up and farther up toward it’s spire’d top, obscured then visible again as clouds drift, directed by shifting currents, winds I couldn’t feel. Continue Reading

The Wooden Bowl Revisited

I beg your pardon, if I’ve I dropped my fork. Smile with me please, as my feet stumble and I trip over a word and miss when reaching for a thought! What follows is a story and the same story revised, such that you may have heard parts before. Together, they leave the reader with a mixture of feelings, depending upon your point of view – your own thoughts and actions.

The original is attributed to a great man, Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy. Intending no disrespect, I’ve added some thoughts that turn his tale upside down at the end. Tolstoy’s version goes like this: Continue Reading

CensoredEU and Facebook Censor Woman Warning Others of Risk Of Rape
Hate Speech redefined – Censoring women warning others of a growing danger

At a September 2015 UN Summit, seated with Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, Germany’s Chancellor, Frau Merkel did not realize her microphone was “hot.” and was heard asking for Zuckerberg’s help. Unaware that microphones allowed others to hear her words she asked what could be done to restrict people writing things on Facebook which were critical of her migration policy. ‘Are you working on this?’ she asked him. ‘Yeah’, Zuckerberg replied. Continue Reading

The postman left a box yesterday but I was napping on the couch and didn’t hear the screen door open or close. So it was not until this morning when I gathered the nerve to brave the morning chill and ran to the car for a book that I had left, that I noticed the delivery – a package sitting on the porch. Passing it on the way out the door… mentally, I ran through the possibilities. I was not expecting anything ‑ nothing ordered. Nothing left in Sandpoint that had to been mailed down. Then it came to me. It was the week after Thanksgiving ‑ There was a fruitcake waiting on my porch! Snatching it up on my pass back through the door I used a knife to slice away tape, freeing the box flaps and foam packing. And there it was, protected and perfect with a card on top.

Christmas cards are nice, and yours was the first, waiting neatly on top of your ‑ I mean ‑ my fruitcake! But not an ordinary greeting card. This one was hand made and featured that old, black and white photo. Continue Reading

HERITAGE – An Award Winning, Cinematic Short – Written and Directed by Davy McCall
A Review and Commentary.

It’ short – short like a knife. Yet, seventeen minutes tell the story of countless generations. The story of a family divided by their misdeeds. One family – now two distinct cultures, and still together – bound to each other by conflict. In seventeen minutes, Heritage tells the story of two men – each driven to violence by acts of violence. McCall uses a mixture of his characters individual experience and collective, cultural history of loss to bring two men and the audience to a startling realization – one that changes everything. It’s an understanding that could reconcile bitter enemies. However, this realization is fragile, easily subverted by anyone with anything to gain from violence – those who hide themselves and silence their enemies with guns and knives. Continue Reading

This past Sunday afternoon, refreshingly candid, humorously irreverent – teacher and counselor, Eva Marice conducted the first of three classes for people like myself who felt a need to brush up on their public speaking skills. “You must love yourself” said Eva. You must first of all, love yourself if you want to connect with an audience. This somewhat surprising – almost counter intuitive insight is the basis of compassionate expression, Eva explained. Loving yourself allows you, as a public speaker to give the audience your full attention. A person who love’s them self – is much more relaxed and sensitive to those seated in front of them – sensitive to the needs and shifting mood of their audience. Continue Reading