Thursday, November 25, 2021


            I would like to be careless today. 

            I know the word ‘careless’ carries mostly negative meanings, suggesting recklessness and negligence, but I’m thinking of it as simply meaning less care – fewer worries and fears and regrets.  The kind of carelessness I’m speaking of is the kind I imagine winds having as they blithely blow among trees in a forest, or rivers as they casually sweep over stones and around boulders and among downed trees. This is the kind of carelessness that could carry me along as easily as clouds are carried across the sky, or as hours unceremoniously pass by from dawn to dark. Maybe today I could say “I don’t care” more often, as in “I don’t care if I’m always happy today”, or “I don’t care if I get what I want”.  Maybe my kind of carelessness simply means stepping aside and caring less about what happens and more about simply observing, understanding, and appreciating what happens. Maybe the carelessness I’m speaking of is about simply accepting life rather than scuffling with it.  

            I want to work hard today and be watchful and sympathetic, but I would also like to be with life in a care-less and lighthearted way, just letting it flow – and learning all I can from the flow.  

And here’s a poem from a few years back on a similar theme …


One day, everything seemed large,
like large-scale love,
like a sizable breakout from ordinariness -- 
a substantial present
presented, it seemed, just to him. 
There were considerable blessings everywhere, 
and ample profits full of pleasure, 
and expansive ideas spreading everywhere, 
and fluidly and gracefully flowing 
for him.

Some lovely dried leaves seen on our walk this morning …

And our newly reorganized sunroom …


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 …


Sunday , July 18, 2021

            In my experience, a lot of guys get satisfaction from saying something like “I can do this, man!” It might be “I can lift this 100 pound weight!”, or “I can climb this mountain!” or “I can do the Boston Marathon in my wheelchair!” However, I don’t recall hearing a guy shout something like “I can accept failure!” or “I can handle being hurt!” Many males of my generation grew up with the idea that toughness means always defeating something – overcoming a towering obstacle, or beating incredible odds, or crushing some enemy or other. Life is a battle, we were taught, and better to take the winner’s ribbon than the loser’s shame. Luckily, in my 79 years I’ve slowly learned a different definition of male toughness. I’ve seen that there can be as much heroism in defeat as in victory, as much gallantry in welcoming and learning from loss as in taking pride in triumph. Growing up, I was taught that being vulnerable was a sign of male weakness, but now I see that there’s bravery in staying open to being hurt, in allowing myself to live, and learn from, a full life, complete with big wins and ruinous losses. Guys who accept vulnerability with poise are prepared for a gallant kind of victory. Men who can make honest failure a badge to wear and a teacher to learn from  have the truest kind of toughness.   


In Tough, Florida, 
the mornings are always resilient, 
ready to take your troubles 
for a carefree stroll by the shore. 
Freedom, in this stout town, 
is found even in every problem, 
even inside the prison of sorrow.  
Even weakness is indestructible in Tough. 
The frailest hospital patient 
can carry fear like it's a little feather,
and old, wobbly people 
are as powerful as the stalwart surf. 
If you think life is harsh, 
come to Tough
and see how unbreakable kindness is, 
how sturdy and solid patience can be.