Saturday, October 30, 2021


         Such a short, simple, and commonplace word – here– but so powerful in its suggestions for me. It implies the idea of ‘always and forever’, because here is always here, and will forever be here, precisely and continuously right where I am. It also suggest ‘only’, because here – wherever I happen to be – is the only reality. I can daydream about other places, but I’m always doing it here, at this exact place. All of this suggests the preeminence and prestige of wherever I am. If I’m sitting here, at my desk, as I am now, this ‘here’ has a greatness that can never be fully described or appreciated. Here, in this exact spot, be it at my desk or at the sink in the kitchen or on a trail with Delycia or sleeping in bed at 3:08 a.m., is glory and flawlessness. Here, in this particular place, there’s always thoroughness and satisfaction, if only I can notice it. Fulfillment will always be available to me today in the marvelous, heavenly here, which is anywhere I might happen to be.


If you go to Giving, Oregon,
you’ll see sharing everywhere.
The air lets you have a hand in its good life
by freely giving you breath for your body,
and sunshine divides itself equally among everyone.
Any wind generously lets all
the trees participate in it equally,
and peacefulness finds a way
to divide itself up among flowers and vivid birds
and even noisy streets and sorrowful folks.
When you visit here, you will also see
fun measured out uniformly
among the young and the sick and the old.
Even stores seem pleasantly amused
as they share their goods in Giving.

Here’s our chalkboard poem for yesterday …

And here’s my sweetheart taking a photo during our walk yesterday morning on Napatree Point (RI) …


Thursday, October 28, 2021


         When it comes to falling, cats apparently understand the principle of taking what is known as ‘the gentle way’, and I’m hoping to learn more about that approach to life in these elder years of mine.  For most of my life, I’ve taken what I would call ‘the harsh way’, a path that uses bravado and hard-heartedness to basically beat up on life so it does what I want it to do. The gentle way, as I understand it, employs kindness and consideration when faced with obstacles, and thus helps a person slide around or through the obstacles, sometimes revealing that an obstacle is actually an asset.  

From what I have read, cats use this gentle way in dealing with falls. When a cat starts falling, it doesn’t resist the fall, doesn’t stiffen and start fighting the situation, but actually loosens and even assists the fall, just easily floating with whatever is happening, which somehow prevents the fall from being harmful. It’s as if a cat says to a fall, ‘Come on, fall, let’s see how much fun we can have together’, and the fall becomes almost an amusement. 

         I’d like to be more like cats. I’d like to ‘let go’ more often, just freely ‘fall’ and gently allow problems to present their solutions to me.    

(about Shay M., 91, Blessings, CT, USA)

Shay's become a soft touch in his elder years. 
He softly touches problems
and they easily dwindle away,
and fears always fall victim 
to his easy-going touch.  
He lightly strokes his worries
as if they're his friends.
and they slowly fade off with smiles. 
If he smoothly rubs a sorrow,
 it whispers its wisdom to him,
and sometimes stays for weeks 
as his special instructor. 
At the gentle age of 91, 
Shay's spoken words have a soothing touch,
as if you could stroll with them 
and softly toss away your worries.   

Here are our Halloween pumpkins for this year, Delycia’s on the left …

… and some scenes from our sunrise walk on River Road this morning …


Wednesday, October 27, 2021


         Each moment today has the potential to be very rewarding. They won’t all be to my liking, or exactly what I hoped for, but they could all be satisfying. I could take a deep, grateful breath each moment and say, “Yes, this is precisely what I need.” The key is getting my small, pesky ‘self’ and its pestering desires out of the way so I can clearly see the prizes offered in each and every moment.

(about Bill M., 87, Blessings CT)

His grandchildren are growing up,
but at the same time,
their Grandpa Billy is growing down –
and grateful to finally be doing it.
Instead of reaching for higher achievements
and superior status
(which he spent decades doing),
he's walking down into the sweet valley
of satisfaction.
Instead of climbing toward ever more knowledge,
he's resting with the easy wisdom
that comes with contentment.
Instead of higher and better awards and rewards,
He's searching for the commonplace prizes
presented by every present moment.
The sight of a small toad
hopping down in the grass 
means way more to Bill
than reaching some lofty goal
or accomplishing some tricky task.
He says let kids be the ones who grow up.
This elder citizen is growing down
into the friendly fields
     of fulfillment.  


Tuesday, October 26, 2021


         We all search for something stable in life – a safe, solid ‘rock’ that can’t be shaken by even the worst of life’s storms – and actually, we all have one. It’s simply the ever-present, ever-sturdy present moment. Whatever happens today will happen in the now. I may think a lot about the troublesome past and the worrisome future, but all that thinking will happen in the immovable present. Try as I might, I will never be able to push the now away and replace it with the past or the future. After my strongest labor, the present moment will still be there, steadfast and serene – and smiling. All my ‘what ifs’, no matter how persistent and persuasive, will never remove, or even slightly shift, the durable and abiding present. My life – and all of life – rests on an unfaltering foundation that has no top, no bottom, no borders whatsoever – a basis bigger and broader than the endless sky – and the wonder is that it is simply the here and now, the ever-present present moment.  

         Today should be a day of perfect peace for me, for under me is an endless and stable basis that can never be broken – the long-lived and reliable present. 


All days are steady and stable.
They always dance, one way or another,
throwing themselves into life 
like flowing rivers that love to drift.
There are forces in all days 
that think they’re beautiful, 
and they are,
so beautiful that they find 
small fortunes for us in every moment.
All days bring balance with them, 
and durability, 
which enables them 
to be available for us 
for 24 hours.

And here’s our chalkboard poem for yesterday …


Monday, October 25, 2021


         When I was a boy, I loved reading comics and books about ‘kingdoms’, those far-off realms of royalty and splendor, and now, at the age of 79, I see that I have always dwelled in the most glorious kingdom of all – the infinite domain of the present moment. I truly am surrounded, at all times, by boundless solemnity – the stateliness of brand new thoughts gracefully arising before me, the magnificence of fresh sounds and sights ceremoniously appearing as if out of nowhere, the majesty of new moments suddenly presenting themselves like shining personal assistants. I’m truly living a fabled, fairy-tale life, where the magic of peace and love rules all. 

         Trouble is, I usually don’t see this kingdom of quietness and accomplishment that surrounds me. For some reason, I usually see only troubles and worries all around me. Wickedness seems to shine far brighter than wholesomeness, and fear seems far more forceful than love. 

         But I know that the kingdom of the present moment – the kingdom of kindness and care – is the true realm of the real, and sometimes I am able to enter that blessed land. Then I feel like I’m once again reading a comic book, and it’s called Real Life In The Real Present – and I settle back to enjoy the adventure.  


These are the glories 
of getting up early: 

candles caring for you
in the morning darkness -

your thoughts 
journeying with joy
 through the day’s possible adventures -

lights across the street 
unfastening your life -

silence sending peace 
to the hours and centuries ahead - 

cinnamon spice tea 
making life fresh 
at five-thirty a.m.  


Sunday, October 24, 2021


         It’s so easy for me to fall back into the belief that life, and everything in it, is completely finite. I spend many hours each day lost in the dream of limitation. I usually see myself as a small, isolated, easily definable ‘object’ in a universe packed with countless similar, separate ‘things’, all bumping against each other with warnings to stay clear. Obviously, it’s an unsettling way to live, and yet I must honestly say that’s it’s been my mode of thinking on most days for most of the years of my life. Fortunately, though, in the last 30+ years I’ve been able to catch marvelous glimpses (though short-lived) of another view of life, one that sets aside all boundaries and presents a life that’s unreservedly boundless, and therefor unreservedly free. In this view, I can see, with joy and relief, the absolute togetherness of everything – no separations whatsoever, just simple and everlasting inseparableness and companionship. I see then that I am a breeze in the fathomless wind of the universe, a ripple in the measureless ocean called ‘life’. When I have this wonderful view – when it comes to me, I should say, as it has this afternoon – all fears and concerns somehow settle down into immeasurable spaciousness,  and life lifts me up as easily as winds lift the limbs of trees. 


In Infinite, Florida,
residents say their minds seem boundless,
as if inside them 
a limitless range of secret skies
continuously spreads out. 
Their lives feel like 
panoramas of uncountable possibilities,
and they know their futures 
are as unfathomable
as bottomless oceans.  
One man said life 
left him innumerable gifts each day,
so great that he often 
held his arms up in astonishment. 
A woman said
her satisfaction was enormous, 
as inestimable as the sunset, 
and then she shouted 
and pointed to a sunset 
that she said was as huge  
as her happy life. 

Here we are on a walk yesterday morning on Napatree Beach in Watch Hill, RI …

And here’s a slide show of some scenes from our walk this morning in Elm Grove Cemetery …


Saturday, October 23, 2021


         I realize, more and more, how much I don’t know – how often I say to Delycia, and to myself, ‘I don’t know’. I used to think I knew a lot, but more and more I see that the knowledge I thought I had was as insubstantial as mist, and the closer I looked, the more swiftly it disappeared. Now, at age 79, I say ‘I don’t know’ to myself many times each day. I don’t know why this thought just came to me. I don’t know why I’m right here, right now, at this time and place in this year in this century. I don’t know where what I call ‘me’ begins and where it ends. I don’t know where the present moment starts and where it finishes.

         But actually, I do know something. I do know that life is a total mystery, and I do know that this mystery is something to be appreciated and embraced, not  run from.  I do know that every single moment is infinite, since it has no beginning and no ending, and I do know that all boundaries and limitations are illusions formed by the mind, and that reality is a boundless and blended mystery.   

         I love both my don’t knows and my do knows. I consider myself lucky to have both.  


Friday, October 22, 2021


         This will be a superior day. Each moment will be a first-class one, ready to give me the finest gifts possible. It’s like, right now at 5:10 a.m., I’m setting off on the finest adventure of my life, a unique escapade called “October 22, 2021”. From one point of view, it may be just an ordinary, average day, but from another, wider perspective, it will be a day of the highest quality, when each moment will be like a choice plum chosen just for me. My thoughts and feelings, whatever they might be, will be of vintage quality. Sad thoughts will be perfectly sad, and worries will be as if carefully chosen. When I’m sitting in a chair, even the sitting will be of the first order, and my wobbly walking from room to room at home will be wobbly in a flawless way. I simply can’t avoid greatness today. It’s built-in to each moment. Mastery is what this autumn day is made of, and I am part of it. How lucky can a 79-year-old dude get?


One Wednesday, 
all the ball fields in town looked exalted,
and the stylish trees beside his house 
seemed pleased to be stylish. 
Lofty feelings came to him
side by side with prestigious thoughts. 
Even the dust on his desk 
was distinguished 
in the way it sat so silently and imposingly, 
and the streets near his house 
seemed superior to all others. 
On this day, 
he did a higher-level kind 
of sitting in his lazy-boy
and looking out the window.  

Three cairns on our sunroom windowsill …

… and sunset from our patio last night …


Thursday, October 21, 2021


         Today will be perfectly prepared for me. Each moment will be all set to show me exactly what I need to be shown, completely equipped to present the appropriate wonders and miracles. 5:02 a.m. and 9:25 a.m. and 2:31 p.m. and 8:23 p.m. will be ready and waiting for me when I arrive. All the thousands of moments today will be available for me, on hand to help me experience the mysteries of life. Even sad moments, even strained and strenuous ones, will be poised to present precisely what I need to see and hear and feel.

         And I also want to be prepared. I want to be willing to accept whatever this day is waiting to offer me. I want to be entirely ready to meet the moment-by-moment surprises as they appear, geared up to get the most out of each and every hour. I want to be sharp and shrewd, primed to appreciate what this day will present to me.

         Today, like all of them, is ready and eager to teach me, and I hope I’ll be keen, discerning, and well-prepared to learn.

the moon last night at 7:34 p.m. …

… and this morning at 5:29 a.m. …

… and this morning at 6:04 a.m.

And here’s a slideshow of scenes from our walk in Elm Grove Cemetery this morning … and our chalkboard poem for today …


Wednesday, October 20, 2021


            I’ve spent most of my life believing that everything is measurable – capable of being set apart, analyzed, and appraised. Life, to me, was an object, or a series of objects, all of which had a beginning and an end, and thus could be accurately plumbed and quantified. Most importantly, I believed the person called ‘me’ had a start and a finish, a front and a back, a top and a bottom, and therefore was able to be set apart and objectively considered as a separate ‘thing’ – but also was able to be attacked and injured – and even destroyed – by other separate, measurable ‘things’. Life, for those early years in my life, was a scary proposition, filled with measurable ‘objects’ competing with other ‘objects’. 

            Now, though, I rest in the wonderful understanding that all of life is immeasurable. There are  no beginnings or endings – none whatsoever – but just the endless flow of endless life. I still sometimes fall back into the habit of measuring things – Has this been a ‘good’ day? Do I have ‘enough’ money? Is my patience large enough to handle any adversity? – but more and more now, I am able to step back and see the boundlessness of everything. It’s like life is a shoreless, bottomless, and surfaceless ocean, and the phenomenon called ‘I’ is simply one of its countless stunning and measureless ripples. When I see life like that, as it truly is, then living becomes a free-flowing and risk-free adventure – not something to be analyzed, measured, and worried about, but simply stared at in wonder, appreciated, and loved.


Into the night he sailed. His sorrow
was simply another star in the sky,
another sound of the summer night.
The only cause of sorrow is separation,
and that had disappeared as soon
as he slipped past his selfishness
into the immeasurable ocean of the present.
An impressive life had been looking for him,
and he felt it had found him
on this night of swimming stars.
His mind wore a loose yellow shirt
as he sailed along, his sorrow stretching
behind him like disappearing lights.

Yesterday, we had a wonderful lunch at Cafe Flo, on the Lieutenant River, and here is our view from our table on the lawn …

And here’s our chalkboard poem for today …