Walking. With Georgia.

It was Sunday morning. 4:50 a.m. 68° F. Morning Walk @ Cove Island Park. 432 consecutive days, like in a row.

My “observations” from my Sunday walk led to yesterday’s Monday Morning Wake-Up Call post — a quote from Janwillem van de Wetering, about being proud of his awareness, proud of his awareness of his pride, being clever to know that he is stupid, etc. etc.

The quote landed. My cup of awareness (I thought) runneth over, and I have a vice grip on all that I don’t know.  But this observation seemed to bottom out.

This spring, with the increase in seasonal park traffic, garbage cans were planted throughout the Park — electric pink — surely colored to encourage patrons to dump their sh*t in the can. I did notice the green cans, but they seemed fewer in number. And for 100 straight days, I walked by these cans, tossed trash in these same cans, and zero light bulbs turned on.

Until Sunday morning.

They were wearing headlamps, lights bobbing up and down as they approached.

Her head was down, averting contact.

His head turned to me in response to my “Good Morning”.

“Good Morning, Sir” in a Spanish accent. There we go again. Another human being calling me ‘Sir.’  Respect? Or do they see a Retiree? Either way, de-stabilizing.

They kept walking. I took a few steps in the opposite direction, stopped, and turned to look back. [Read more…]

Lightly Child, Lightly

desert-nambia-walking

People are not, for example, terribly anxious to be equal (equal, after all, to what and to whom?) but they love the idea of being superior. And this human truth has an especially grinding force here, where identity is almost impossible to achieve and people are perpetually attempting to find their feet on the shifting sands of status.

James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time.


Notes:
  • Photo: Dennis Wehrmann via Banshy
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Yes to Less

things,materialistic,peace,want,need,money



It’s all that matters

chair on stage

I couldn’t get comfortable. It was a straight back chair. I’m infused with a dull, throbbing haze. The prior evening included two cocktails, a late night dinner and four hours of sleep short of requirements for base level performance. A modest change in daily routine – having a disproportionate impact on operating equilibrium.

I’m sitting. Sort of. Restless. The metal bars on the seat back are leaving tracks, the comfort of r-bar. Rough, cold steel on skin.  I’m twisting.  Trying to find a comfort zone. Those seated behind me zig when I zag. I cross my leg one way. Then pull it back and scissor it over the other. I sit upright. I slouch. I throw my right arm over the back of the chair. Then the left. And then go through the cycle again.

I glance around. The room is fidgeting.

He walks onto the stage. He sits in a panel chair. He takes a drink of water. And waits for the interviewer’s first question.

He’s successful.

No.

He’s wildly successful.

A Horatio Alger story. He grew up in a family with modest means. His Father worked in government service. His Mother at home with the children.

The room is quiet. Locked-in.

His energy fills the room.  His mind is whirring.

He shares his view and insights on a wide swath of territory. Domestic policy. Economy. Government. Immigration. Social issues. Philanthropy. The Arts. Conservation. His Love of Country.

And without breaking stride, he injects self-deprecating experiences.

We’re in his web.

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: I’m 6x years old. My Father passed away about this age. When you are 50, you believe you have another half to go. When you turn 60, there’s a keen realization that 2/3rd’s is gone.  A shift from a ‘lot to go’ to ‘what’s left’. I don’t know when…when my mind or body will no longer permit me to keep up the pace. But I have a lot that I want do…a lot I need to accomplish.

He pauses. Reflects. And continues. (The wildly successful man continues…)

A: What I really worry about is getting “that call” at night on one of our children. He shakes his head. Let’s set that aside. I worry about my children growing up with appropriate balance, with the appropriate values, given that they have been surrounded by great wealth. That is why I plan to give most of it away. At the end of the day, I want my children to be happy.

That is all that matters.

That is all that matters to me.


Riding Metro North. A break in rush hour.

MetroNorth Train
It’s a brisk morning. 45F.

I board the 5:59 am Metro North train to Grand Central.

I settle in with the morning news. Rifling through the papers. Eyes scanning headlines. Going no deeper. Distracted. Then annoyed at my lack of focus. I turn to my work papers to prep for my late morning meeting. Mind wanders again.  I toss them in my bag in frustration.  I lean my head against the window. Close my eyes. And listen.

There’s no conversation. No disturbance of the clickety clack except for the periodic rough jostling of the rail cars on uneven rails. This being no high-speed train.

Conductor breaks the rhythm.

Tickets. Tickets please.”

I pull the ticket out of my shirt pocket.

Conductor stops five rows up.

Sir, these tickets are for non-peak rides.”

Soft voice responds but words are undecipherable.

No, sir. You will need to purchase Peak ride tickets.”

Other riders now rubbernecking to check out the break in morning routine. [Read more…]

A war on want

Chogyam Trungpa

“Compassion is the ultimate attitude of wealth: an anti-poverty attitude, a war on want. It contains all sorts of heroic, juicy, positive, visionary, expansive qualities. And it implies larger scale thinking, a freer and more expansive way of relating to oneself and the world. It is the attitude that one has been born fundamentally rich rather than that one must become rich.”

Chogyam Trungpa (1939 – 1987)


Credits: Image.  Quote: Thank you Whiskey River



Sleep. China. Leisure. Marx. Judging.

senior woman in black and white

Potpourri of articles that have lingered with me…and have fired up the thinking gene:

1) Extend our conscious life span by 150%.  The End of Sleep. (Aeon Magazine)
(DK: I need to get some of this “medicine.” Or, maybe not.)

2) Not Doing Better Than Our Parents. And Loving It. (The Umlaut.com)
(DK: Just what my kids need to read.  I can hear it already.  “See Dad. You have it all backwards.”)

3) Choking on China.  The Superpower That is Poisoning the World. (Foreign Affairs)
(DK: I’m not Mr. Green.  But, this.  This is frightening.)

4) A Man of His Times (Karl Marx). (NY Times)
(DK: Hard left. Hard Right. We’re all human. )
“He is an intensely loving father, playing energetically with his children and later grandchildren, but also suffering what would now be diagnosed as a two-year depression following the death of his 8-year-old son Edgar.”)

5) Change Your Thoughts About People For a Better Life. (Steve Aitchison)
(DK: I set a modest goal after reading this post.  No judging for 1 day.  Outcome: Fail. I’m workin’ it. First step in recovery is recognizing…you know the line…I’m on step 2.)

6) The Happiest People Pursue the Most Difficult Problems. (Rosabeth Moss Kanter @ HBR Blog Network)
(DK: “It is hard to feel alone, or to whine about small things, when faced with really big matters..” YES.  Period.)


Image Source: GagaBoss Studio

Seneca Speaks from 49 A.D.

black and white, relax, chill,live, chill

Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman philosopher. He wrote the essay “On The Shortness of Life” in 49 A.D. That is, over 1900 years ago.  Seneca figured out busyness and multi-tasking thousands of years ago.  Clanking through my head – – the more things change, the more…

Here are two excerpts from Ed Batista’s excellent post titled “On The Shortness of Life“:

3. …No one is to be found who is willing to distribute his money, yet among how many does each one of us distribute his life! In guarding their fortune men are often closefisted, yet, when it comes to the matter of wasting time, in the case of the one thing in which it is right to be miserly, they show themselves most prodigal… What, then, is the reason of this? You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last… You will hear many men saying: “After my fiftieth year I shall retire into leisure, my sixtieth year shall release me from public duties.” And what guarantee, pray, have you that your life will last longer? Who will suffer your course to be just as you plan it? Are you not ashamed to reserve for yourself only the remnant of life, and to set apart for wisdom only that time which cannot be devoted to any business? How late it is to begin to live just when we must cease to live! What foolish forgetfulness of mortality to postpone wholesome plans to the fiftieth and sixtieth year, and to intend to begin life at a point to which few have attained!… [Read more…]

%d bloggers like this: