Travel and You Will Grow?

Kathmandu, Nepal. Meditating yogi in front of temple

I used to say, “Just travel, you will grow. It will change you.  It’s the best education on Earth.” I wonder now.  There is  definitely something to be said for simply getting out of your routine, but accomplishing that can be as simple as putting your left leg in your pants first instead of your right. Continue reading Travel and You Will Grow?

Writing Every Day, Pre -Post Trek

I have been writing every day since I reached Kathmandu before the trek, May 7th. I didn’t want to lose those fleeting thoughts that occur when the mind is free like it was during this trek.  I’ve felt an undercurrent of internal change for the past year. Becoming is a vague, invisible process. I’ve been quietly hungry to end the strange stupidity that has me be anything I’m not.  Simply Me.  Haha. Great title to a book set surprisingly in the land of Zero Ego. Ha! That’s the best I can do: be who I am. Simple it sounds, but there are no manuals worth a shit written on the subject. There’s lots of writing, noble, beautiful, honest writing, but nothing works the same way twice. I am the one to discover what’s to be. The line between banal and profound is a tenuous, wiggly thing.

I’ve lived too long, trying to not give offense to others. I’m probably still a nice guy who will be happy to open the door for you and smile, but I don’t have time to always be nice or to worry if you will think bad things about me. I’m not in a hurry for anything right now. I just spent two days sitting on the deck looking at the gardens and hills, listening to the hawks screech, and writing. I’m happy. I have a lot to be happy about, but this happiness is groundless.





I have spent my few weeks at the Folk’s house as Dad was dying and finding photos, keepsakes, papers, and awards in the file drawers and boxes in the garage, as Dad was completing his life in preparation for the day.  I was driven to pull albums down from the highest shelves to look at the photos and records.  I didn’t understand the compulsion, but went with it.  That urge is over since last night.  There are many things untouched, but no pull to open them now. Continue reading Dad

Dad’s Last Weeks

Through the sunny days and cool nights of Southern California’s October and early November 2007, I watched Dad’s withdrawal from life; his losing weight, talking less and less, then not at all; eating less, than not at all; drinking less, then not at all. I knew his last two bites of ice cream were indeed the last food he would eat. He was disappearing from life, pulling inward, hour by hour, until he participated only in the inner world unless disturbed or called out for a minute or two by a visitor or upon hearing something like Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto, a long time favorite. Continue reading Dad’s Last Weeks

“I’m Still a Boy”

At 22, Putu is the youngest of the staff that cares for the Bali house. He is invariably happy and full of good will. He dashes around the villa whether cleaning floors, making beds, running up to open the front gate or serving breakfast. He’s always ready to serve with puppy-like eagerness. Everyone who comes to the villa, whether for an hour or a week, falls in love with Putu. He possesses an elf-like, unselfconscious, pure innocence that disarms and attracts all. Continue reading “I’m Still a Boy”

A Thousand Sunsets

Each of the thousand sunsets I’ve seen reflected on the same old granite mountain captures my heart.  A primal urge must kick in, and I’m helpless in the face of this sunset’s ever-changing, yet eternal beauty.  I can’t wait for the color shift to happen.  The mountain first turns from full light, to gold, to pink, to gray, and back to pink and gold again during the afterglow. Continue reading A Thousand Sunsets

Old People’s Car

On this weeks NPR comedy show, “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me,” the Buick Regal was referred to as an “old people’s car.”  I was vaguely insulted. These days I’m driving a brown 2004 Buick Regal.  My Aunt Ruth died a year ago and I inherited her Buick.  The odometer reads 25,000 miles and it runs like new.  She was an old person I guess.  She was in her late 70’s when she bought it new.  What do I care if I drive an old persons car?  Half the time I don’t really notice what I’m driving.  It works or it doesn’t.  A smooth ride, lights, power steering and brakes, adjustable seats, plus heat and A/C.  Not that different from my new Lexus 350 SUV. Continue reading Old People’s Car


I thought that seeking more comfort in life was associated with growing older. We stop sleeping on floors while traveling, we tent-camp less and buy smoother riding cars. These creature comforts seem to gain more importance as we age. A conversation with a 25 year-old who just quit his banking job to seek a less comfortable more authentic life woke me up to the deeper, more pervasive wish for comfort in our culture. He realized the comfort and security of his banking job was slowly killing him. His spirit dimmed and his expectations for life of adventure faded bit by bit as he sought, then slid into a comfortable predictable future. An hour after we met, he texted me a quote, “Success lies outside your comfort zone.” I would add “joy, growth and discovery” to “success” in that quote as well. Continue reading Comfort