Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Or A Metaphor for Meta

An acorn rests on the soft dirt…Nature blankets it with leaves; rains on it; warms it with sun; covers it in snow…It sinks into the earth and sleeps…

Somehow it takes root…one day it sprouts…eventually it is a sapling…It grows over time with Nature’s care:  her sun and wind; her summer showers and winter snows…

Years pass.  Roots deepen.  Soil nourishes.  Leaves appear and disappear with the seasons.  Cycles cycle.

Birds and squirrels, and insects attach and detach from the tree…It grows.  Its acorns form and fall…

It grows tall.  Beautiful. 

One day it is felled.

Lightning or Man?   It lies on the ground.   This is not the end of the cycle…The acorns of this tree repeat Nature’s work…and the felled tree becomes a desk, a door, a chair, a picture frame, a gate, a table…something useful, important, loved…

This is a metaphor I made up for myself---having been felled, I reincarnate, re-purpose, return…

Thursday, October 18, 2012


"There is always a gap between the impulse to step into the unknown and the realization that one has..."
Mahrud ad Nil

I spent a day hovering over the gap.  I had put one foot forward (a brave, foolish, or optimistic, foot...I didn't know which) and as that naive foot hovered over future ground, I trembled inwardly.  What if I become lost in the gap---the dark "nether place" that follows impulse and intention but precedes any sort of resolution or success...Ah, the unknown.  Suppose the gap is so wide that I do not find footing on the other side.  The other side---of the problem, puzzle, idea, intention, belief.  I am drawn to the unknown, while at the same time, I am discomfited by the absence of knowledge that hovers before it.  Drawn and discomfited!  Although not dissuaded...I hasten to say. 

It seems that my tried and true formula for living---for most of my life, that is---is composed of one part imagination, one part declaration and one part risk.  I spring forward.   I leap--often without looking!  I commit.  Commit to what?  To adventure?   To love?  To dreams? (perchance)?  I commit to Life.

"I will drink Life to the lees...
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honored of them all;
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untraveled world."                           Alfred Lord Tenneyson Ulysses  (1842)

I am going around the world---and soon.  And there are gaps in my plan:  money, itinerary, arrangements for my house and pets...and, still:  I am going around the world...and I am leaving in December.  And I am minding the gaps...

Soon I will be seventy...This forthcoming trip is a gift, a challenge, and my celebration of the wonder of it all.
Seventy!  I am inspired by a quote attributed to  Oliver Wendell Holmes.  At ninety, he is said to have said, upon seeing a beautiful young woman...
"Oh, to be seventy again." 
That's worth remembering, as I "mind the gap"...and step forward!!


Friday, October 5, 2012


(see Part 1 might want to read it first)

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

                                                                                                   -----Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

Oh, yes!  I definitely know I can do this.  The dream is real.  I'm bold.  I will summon the genius, the power and I will manifest the magic. 
Although, in my last piece, I claimed that I would go to seven countries and travel by seven modes of transportation---this may not be so.  It seems a bit contrived--even to me.  Thank you JZC for pointing that out! The exact countries I will visit are part of the unknown which will unfold as choices and possibilities present themselves. I will embrace those unknowns as they appear on my solo journey.  Oh, and the part about all the "M" countries...I don't know.  As I twirled the globe in my library, those countries kept popping out at me.  Initially.  Now, having continued to  spin and spin that globe, other countries have begun to call me:  Sri Lanka...New Guinea...Laos...The point is the circumnavigation of Mother Earth.  I plan to travel East and to breathe my way from Santa Fe all the way East to Santa Fe again.  In seventy amazing days.

I am beginning to gather the funds for this endeavor:  twenty thousand dollars should do it.  TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!!?!  Where will I get that much money in two months??

"Money is the seed of money, and the first guinea is sometimes more difficult to acquire than the second million."
                                                                                                                       ---Jean Jacques Rousseau

(I already have the first "guinea"!

I have never asked for money for a project of mine.  It feels strange.  Uncomfortable.  So, to assuage the guilt (or whatever), I plan to give something of equal or greater value (than the amount contributed) to each supporter.  My first step is to contact former clients and collectors from the old gallery days.  I have decided to offer the choice of a drawing from my collection worth in excess of the financial gift.  For example:  a $1200 original drawing by John Connell (R.I.P.) for support at the $1000 level.  Plus: acknowledgement in the book.  THERE WILL BE A BOOK.  And perhaps I will dedicate a chapter to the contributor.  And more.  I am already grateful.

I want to contact my "friends of means" first.  Time is short.  Intention is deep. My willingness, ability, creativity, and compassion are in alignment with the Times and the Stars and...This I Know.

Soon I will say more about  the Peace and Wonder parts of my journey...


Monday, October 1, 2012


...seventy days, seven countries, seven modes of transportation, seven completed journals...

Before I celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I will celebrate my seventieth birthday.  This is totally (and wonderfully) incredible to me...Imagine, seventy years on this small, remarkable, blue marble of a planet!!  Amazing! 
As I review the places I've been, the people I've met, the things I've seen and discovered, I become more and more conscious of the fact that I have been using and investing my days well...I have been daring and wise and foolish and lucky and optimistic.  And I have been curious about what happens next...What can I discover?  How can I share my abiding love of discovery with others?

I have a plan!

In my past travels, I have explored many countries and cultures.  It has always been awesome to catapult myself into the unknown...Who am I when I don't know the language and customs of a country?  How do I make friends?  How do I embrace the people?  How do I absorb their Art, their landscape, their foods, their celebrations?
I have been half way around the world many times...however:  I have never breathed my way ALL the way around the World!  That is what I want to do.  It has been a dream of mine for half a century.  I remember, in the early 60's, when my friend John Allen returned from his circumnavigation of our planet...He grabbed my shoulders, looked in my eyes and said, "I've been around the fucking world!!"  That sentence has stayed with me for all these decades! 

I will leave in December of this year!  I plan to go to Malta, Morocco, Madagascar, Mauritius (and maybe the Seychelles), Malaysia, Myanmar and Mexico!  I know..."M"'s a partial accident.  My exact itinerary is subject to change.  I plan to stay warm.  Perhaps, when I'm seventy-five, I"ll do the snowy countries!

In the next two months, I will raise $20,000. to make the trip.  I will: sell Art from my personal collection; write to clients for support; get an advance from a publisher; create a Kickstarter Project...

This is my initial declaration.  My ideas will become more concrete soon.  Stay tuned.  I know I will need lots and lots of good wishes and prayers...