Thursday, July 25, 2019

Getting Over The HUMP

The path of life has many humps to get over.  Some of the humps are mountainous. Getting over a hump requires a climb over and hopefully a slide down the other side. 

Man O man! A climb over a hump can be really hard to start. We have an enormous "helper" at our disposal. That helper is the PRESENT MOMENT. Redirecting our awareness to the present moment is hard when we have things to do  (which are in the future) or we are fretting over things we did or didn't do (which are in the past). 

When I have to get over the hump, and I'm having difficulty getting started, I step outside and shift my awareness to the gifts that are out there. I look at the flowers.

I remove my shoes and put my bare feet on the grass. I feel the texture of the leaves on the rose bush or the guava tree. I listen to the birds or look down at the rolly pollies in the garden. 

If it is late enough for a sunset, I watch, breathe, and give thanks for its beauty. 
This exercise pulls me into the immediate present moment. I give thanks, breath deeply and then I come back in and start the climb, whether it be to write, to pay bills, wash the dishes, whatever. 

If this doesn't work, I go for the big help. I go to the beach and ask the Spirit of the Sea to help me. She reminds me that everything comes in cycles, in sets, in its own rhythm. And then she feeds me her energy as I watch her waves roll in against the shore.
 If I am closer to a mountain, or a wilderness area, (even a small one) I go there and ask the Spirits of Nature for help. 

Stress depletes our energy. Nature restores it.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

My Life Is a Procession

My life is a procession From one learning to another. Each and every arrival, Each and every there, Ceases to be a termination, Because it is an established Determination That There is no getting there. Because every arrival Is a new starting point With new tools, New lenses though which To see anew The world that we are creating. The only "there" that exists Is the ultimate there. And we really don't know where Or what "there" really is. So long as I am here And not there, l choose to learn and re-learn, I choose to move Into the practice of practice, As I continue to practice The art of learning.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Father's Day Comes With A Sharp Barb

Father’s Day comes

with a sharp barb

ThAT pricks my chest

with a thorn

That turns into a wasp

Who stabs his stinger,

That burns and stings

All the way to my heart.

Where is our son

Who died too young,

Too young for me to be

A grieving father

On Father’s Day?

I sat, this morning,

Alone in the kitchen

Drinking my latte

Tears sliding, dropping,

Plopping on the counter.

Each one whispering,

“He’s dead.”

I miss our son.

Long gone,

are His hugs,

and his voice Saying,

“Happy Father’s Day, Dad”

Saturday, June 08, 2019

First Boat

I remember when I was about 5 years old and we visited my Aunt Elsie and Uncle Gile (pronounced Ggee le) on their farm in the Bosque, in Bernalillo. An irrigation ditch ran the length of the farm. On one of our visits, my cousin, Rose and I put the remains of a red wagon (with no wheels) into a ditch. We got in and floated about ten feet before it sank. We emptied the water and floated another ten feet. Then we got yelled at for getting our clothes wet and dirty. Our mothers put Rose and me into a round metal tub and gave us a bath.

I was 8 years old the first time I was in a real boat. My father drove onto the ferry from Terminal Island to San Pedro. It was a very short ride.

When I was 11, I won a free ride to Catalina Island for selling the most Independent Press Telegram subscriptions that month. I went by myself. I met a boy. about my age, on the island. He had a dingy and invited me to take a ride. He took me to his parent's sailboat that was anchored in the harbor. Then he took me back to shore.

When I was 20, I sailed around the world in a 250-foot-long Destroyer Escort. That is when La Mare, captured my heart. I loved being out at sea. The Viet Nam war stifled my enjoyment. But when we were not fighting, La Mare filled me with awe.

When Denise and I moved to Albuquerque, I bought her a 10-foot-long aluminum Jon boat. We rowed it down the Rio Grande in a race and came in second place. We take it out and row around the Naples canals. It's not stable enough to take it out of the marina or canals. It is really just a larger version of the red wagon we put in the ditch when I was 5, except this one doesn't have holes in it that makes it sink after 10 feet.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

MOM Means Mother Of Mine

MOM means Mother Of Mine
And that is just fine
By me.
When my time
Within her belly
Came to an end
Death wrapped his
Blubbery white thighs
So very tight
That try as I might
I could not
Get out
Death laughed
At my mother’s pain,
At her fright, and fear
That she and me
Would die,
While men
Took their sweet time
Considering what could
Or should be done.
In the eleventh hour
The knife sliced through
My mom’s belly
Cutting her and me,
Setting me free
To breath and cry
I am alive!
I am alive!
My mom and me
Share a scar
That marked me
Belonging to her.

Friday, May 03, 2019

I Am Grateful For My Body

I am grateful for my body,
Just the way it is,
And is not.
We, my body and me,
Have conquered Seven
Experience filled decades
That have been gifted
With the sweet and gentle
Touches of Tenderness
From parents, siblings,
Lovers and our children.
My body brought me pain
Each time it broke, or tore
From a crash, a fall, and
The terror and guilt of war,
I am grateful for my body
That held the tiny hands
Of our baby boy,
And then held his hands again
As he lay dying.
I am grateful that my body can cry
And wail
And tell my sad story.
I am grateful that my body
Can still climb mountains,
Swim and ride a bike a 100 miles,
And hold the tiny hands of my grandson.
I am grateful for my body
That can sit quietly listening
Filled with pride
As our daughters and son
Play music.
I am grateful for my body's ability
T0 hear the heartbeat of my mate
As we continue
Loving and living
In our seventh decade.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Jump by Jeremy Montoya

Our son, Jeremy wrote this essay less than 9 months before he died.

Essay 2 January 26, 1992

I’m more scared than I have ever been in my life. Here I am standing with my toes hanging over the edge of a bridge one hundred and forty feet above the water rushing through the gorge, wondering what in the world I’m doing here.

The day had started beautifully, with the warm sunlight streaming through my window and without a cloud in the sky, which was a real treat in Whidbey Island, Washington. My friend and I decided to get ourselves into some trouble, but the little town was still asleep. We had heard from a fellow trouble maker that we could pay to go bungee jumping up in Canada, so we thought we would go up there and try it out.

It was a long ferry ride to the green forested island of Victoria, shrouded in clouds, approaching us majestically through the water. We drove for what seemed like forever, through beautiful aspen forests with moss growing on the rock cliffs shearing off overhead and sunlight streaming through the trees creating a patchwork of shadows on the highway. As we approached our destination, the shadows grew longer, and the day became darker.

We drove up a gravel road to a sign that read “You are now entering the BUNGEE ZONE,” and my friend and I exchanged an excited grin as we parked the truck. We were deep within an evergreen forest, and the air was cold. The sun was being kept prisoner by the tall branches of the trees overhead, and there was a cool wind blowing against us as we hiked up the mountainside. We came to a clearing, and in front of us looked a huge metal bridge traversing a gorge cut into the mountainside, with a large crowd of people standing at the railing by the gorge looking up at the bridge. An excited murmur went through the crowd, and I followed their gaze to the thrillseeker standing at the center of the bridge and crossing himself before jumping off with a terrified scream. The crowd roared with appreciation.

My friend pulled me towards the concession booth, where we paid our money and signed a two-page disclaimer which mentioned the word death at least once in every paragraph. With renewed confidence and my ticket in hand, I walked straight to the outhouse conveniently placed between the ticket booth and the stairs to make sure I wouldn’t embarrass myself later. This done, I approached the stairs which reached into the sky and seemed much wider than before. I sat down on a chair at the top of the bridge and talked to the guy who was strapping my legs together. He told me no one was going to push me, and I could back out anytime I wanted, and if I backed out no one would call me a sissy or a pansy or a candy-ass pantywaist woose girl or anything like that.

Now as I stand looking down at the water I feel a chill running up and down my spine. I think someone must have made a mistake – I must be at least three hundred feet above the water. I look down at the throng of people standing at the railing with their cameras in hand, and I get a round of applause and a few shouts of encouragement. The temperature seems to have dropped a few degrees, I can feel the icy hands of fear grab my guts and give a good squeeze. The instructor yells, “ONE TWO THREE… BUNGEE!!!” and I jump.

The first half second I’m in shock, and the next half second I can feel the vampire of fear sucking the marrow from my bones as I feel pure, stark terror for the first time in my now shortened life. In this instant my eyes slam shut, every muscle in my body cramps, and I stop breathing. In the next instant I open my eyes and scream with delight as I float through the air, and everything is silent except for the rush of cool wind in my ears and the birds singing and the wind blowing through the trees and then the creaking of the bungee cord as it stretched to its limit, gently and deftly pulling me away from the water, five feet below me.

After I’m lowered to a raft in the river, I climb the winding staircase up the side of the gorge and emerge triumphant, sharing a smile with the members of the staff. – I have become a member of the club.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Cloud Wisdom

I am water. 
Can you see? 
I am moist 
As I hoist 
My very essence 
High into the sky 
To change my form, 
My shape, 
And my weight 
While I wait 
Floating slow,
Shining my glow 
Of blazing white, 
Day and night. 
I tell stories 
That I find 
Buried deep 
Inside your mind, 
Not always sweet, 
Nor always kind, 
But always ready 
To be revealed. 
And maybe thus 
Your heart'll be healed 
As you stop 
Your perpetual glancing back 
And jumping forward 
Without realizing 
You and I are only, 
Ever only, 
Here now. 
Look up. 
I am water. 
Can you see? 
Stop and just be you 
Watching me 
Being me.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Children Arrive With an Owner's Manual

We often say, "Our children did not come with an owner's manual." Why not?
Or did they? Did we not see it before our eyes and make use of it? Our parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles, and siblings with children are "the owner's manual." Do we access them for advice often enough? Are they readily available?

In days of old when multi-generational families lived in close proximity, their experiences and wisdom were easily accessible.  Now that we are such a mobile society, and so rarely live in multi-generational households we need a different way to pass down information and wisdom.

Create a notebook to record the raising of our children. Write down what our children to and our reactions. Write down how we solved problems, how we cleaned up messes. Write down advice that others give you. Be sure to write down any memories from your own childhood that our own children's actions conjure. Those memories will let your adult children know that you survived and learned from the struggle. 

When we do not record our processes of raising our children, when we don't write down what our children do that delights us and drives us crazy, we do our children and grandchildren a disservice.

The "Owner's Manual", your notebook, can be paper or digitial. When your grandchildren arrive, give a copy to the parents so that they may have the wisdom and experiences of their elders and be better informed of what is coming.

Thursday, January 24, 2019


I am grateful 
For the beauty at my feet. 

When I stop 

And just be 

In the present moment, 

Beauty graces me eyes,
And I am blessed.
The clover smiles.
The grass blooms.
And I am grateful.
Sunlight shines for me
To see the beauty
All around me.
I only need to stop,
And just be
In the present moment.

Sunday, January 13, 2019


Why did Nero blame the Christians for the devastating fire in Rome in 64AD? 
Historians can't agree on a reasonable explanation. Fiction writers can find the reason. Purchase Koln Letters to find the answer.