Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Always rushing.
Always about doing something.

Always busy.
Always fifteen things that needs doing.

"I need to be here."
"Can you stop and do this?"

Wondering if ever
you can get to the truly important.

Taking a moment
to stop and breathe.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Turning a Caber

The air is warm and the sun beats down as I settle the caber against my shoulder.

It is our local city games and we are throwing the challenge caber, a 12 foot 65-75 pound blue plug of wood.  If you turn the caber - get it completely end over end- you can advance to the next level.  This is my great challenge - in three years and 20 plus games, I have never legitimately turned a caber.

I keep working my way my way down the shaft of the caber, fingers locked together and the caber standing almost straight upright.  My head is locking it into my neck and my legs are out to the side as I bend lower and lower.  The caber shifts back and forth with the breeze or my actions and I have to wait and settle it back into position.

Finally I get to the near the bottom.  Proper technique is to get your hands to the bottom, give a short lift with your head and shoulder, and scoop your hands under the base.  I cheat this a little bit:  I pull up and then get my hands in position.  Fortunately the caber is light enough and forgiving enough that I can get away with it.  My hands are not locked but are on the bottom.  Close enough.

I pull up and stand up, remembering to mash it into my shoulder the way I was told to do.  The base of the caber is now up at waist level, the head probably 15 feet in the air.  The Athletic Director who is announcing has said something and the crowd  is making some noise but it is all background noise to me.  My world is now a blue piece of wood I have to make fly.

I start running forward.  There is no defined dostamce except that you have to demonstrate forward motion.  I cannot tell how far I have run but I do not think it is far.  I stop.  The caber starts to fall forward.  I take my hands and pull them up to my crown as the caber head falls.  The end of the caber rises and the head hits the ground.

And I start yelling.

All of my frustration for three years of trying, all of the times I said I could not or believed I could not, all of the times circumstances were against me when they should not have been - all of this I channel into my yell, willing the caber over with my sonic emotions.

And over it goes, making a small "poof" of dust as it hits.

The crowd breaks out into cheers.  My fellow athletes - especially the ones who know how I have struggled with this - cheer.  I am jumping up and down, screaming like a madman.  And not caring.

Today I turned my first caber.

Today was a very good day.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Autumn Quail

White and brown puff balls
burrow into hay and dirt,
chirping at bug snacks.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Closing Doors

There is nothing quite as hollow sounding as the sound of a door closing in life.

We go through multiple door closings of course, be they with friends or interests or careers.  Life moves on, we move on.  Things change.  This is simply a part of life that we acknowledge.  And as a part of that flow of life, doors close.

They are doors of different appearances, leading different places.  At one time they may have ushered us to a friendship that was deep and abiding and seemed as if it could go on forever; at another one may have been that interest that consumed our lives.  The career we thought we wanted was behind this door, while over here was that one thing that we were convinced would revolutionize our lives and our understanding of ourselves.

And now we are going through, closing them behind us.

They may not have been bad.  They may have had their purpose at the time.  The door closing may not have even been our idea.  But the time has come - after all, a hallway with nothing but open doors makes it confusing to understand what doors we should continue to go through and doors which no longer serve their purpose let heat and light leak out for no purpose.

We pull the handle.  The door comes to the sill - maybe we have to pull a little bit harder because humidity has made the door swell or maybe it closes too quickly versus the strength we put into it.  Either way a hollow "thuk" sounds as it closes.

It may have been for the best of reasons.  It may be necessary.  But there is still nothing quite as sad as the sound of a door closing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Uncertainty is the killer.

It is one thing to definitively know what the course is.  It is another thing to waver between the two, never really sure which direction one is advancing in.  It is disheartening because one never really has the sense of making progress; instead, one hovers inside of a sort of limbo bubble, drifting here and there as the bubble bounces from one random event to the other.

Decision is different.  Decisions is cut and dried, course set, moving fully speed ahead.  To decide is to have the course mapped out and be moving ahead.  To decide is to be done and moving on.

Uncertainty is something else.  The longer it goes  on, the more one is paralyzed in place.  Potential plans are all put on hold because no plans can be made.  The stress and discomfort levels rise because there is no clear path, only the possibility of two or more paths which are theoretical, not actual.  There is no forward progress, because no true progress can be made in the absence of a decision.

What to do?  Decide, of course - except if you cannot.  Then your only choice is to manage the not knowing - until the uncertainty is resolved.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Autumn Front

Summer a memory
as the bright dawn stars twinkle
in the cool dark breeze.

Monday, October 13, 2014

All Knowledge

Sometimes I wish we had access to all the knowledge we needed.

It is difficult working in a vacuum, especially when we know that the decisions we make every day have impacts not just on ourselves, but on those around us and even sometimes those we do not know.  We try to come up with the best actions, of course - but I too often find that my even best actions do not work out the way that I had intended.

"You can chose your actions but you cannot choose the consequences of your actions" is attributed to Ayn Rand and usually in the negative sense of decisions - but it is just as true for the good that we try to do as well.   Our best thoughts sometimes work no better than if we had never planned at all.

Would more knowledge help?  The back of my head tells me that it would.  Somehow, it tries to convince me, if only we knew more, we could make informed choices do things that would incline towards better results.  If only I knew all, I convince myself, I would take the best actions.

That is a fool's notion, of course, because that is predicated on the fact that having all knowledge is the same as knowing the future, which none of us can do.  "Always in motion is the future, difficult to see" said Yoda - and it is true.  We act based on the future we see, only to discover that the actions and decisions of others make the future we thought we saw very different.

Is there a solution?  Not really - except, if possible, to abandon the belief that we need all knowledge to act or decide.  Rather, we need to simply accept that we will do the best with what we have and make do with that.