Jan 28, 2010

Energy to stay up late

Look out world - Professional Rick is awakening. After a year and a half of 'retirement', i've plunged back into the community by launching FreeRange Consulting. Initially out of financial need, it's quickly emerged into a re-emergence of parts of me that flourish and thrive.

I have skills that are needed in this community - how to raise funds sustainably, how to set a clear vision and achievable strategic plan, how to structure a board and organization to get the job done. And I still have a deep desire to serve, to bring these skills where they can truly help. That drive is reawakening me and bringing a new, different energy.

I also love being involved in the community. Wednesday night I started at "Green Drinks" - a monthly gathering of eco-activists at the local pub - then moved on to a community forum on child and family services, then wound up sharing stories at an open mic night. It feels good to be off the farm for a night, to be out in the world and making connections, weaving together the various strands I've collected and learned.

And beyond any genuine do-gooder drive is the pure thrill of mastery and excellence. I stayed up past midnight last night after finally making a breakthrough in how to structure my consulting website (to be unveiled soon). Whether it's running a training workshop or figuring out my bookkeeping system, there's a linear thinking from problem to solution to Done that I don't get in the cyclical rhythm of farming and parenting.

There are definite drawbacks to letting this professional beast back out of slumber. Writing, renos and napping have taken a blow. I have to dress a bit better a bit more often, and even shower more than once a week. Twilight farming time will be in competition with late-night grant proposals. The kids see me disappear to the computer more frequently. Once this start-up phase is past I'll have to do some careful, intentional limit setting to make sure that all I've gained and learned in these other new realms don't suddenly become a quaint "I used to be a slowed-down in-touch stay-at-home dad/writer farmer" memory. I don't want to have to change the tagline on this blog, just add another descriptor.

So, watch for my grand launch announcement next week, watch me explode creatively on the community, and please watch out in case I lose my balance and need to be gently or forcefully reminded of priorities and family and person. This is yet another brave new experiment, a new piece that I hope fits well into this puzzle we've been creating for the past 18 months. Thanks for helping me find the fit.

Jan 25, 2010

A Simple Sixth Birthday

Zekiah's sixth birthday continued to be a benchmark of alternating out-of-control and with-it-nesss, ending up more in the healthy latter category.

Thanks to a flu bug and friends travel, only 3 invited boys came to the party. That's going to be our new rule - 3 kids - it was beautiful, easy, fun, like a themed playdate instead of a hectic bash. Instead of paying some high-stim pool or laser tag for entertainment, we just had fun at home with boys who are the right age to just have fun. Started with an improv story about the greedy Grand Poobah of Ptianderdorfendal, who sequestered all the jewels of the land only to have them stolen away under his nose. When the grant proclamation came for brave knights to scour the land and find them, the boys jumped into their boots and charged out the door on their quest, aided by rather obscure poetic clues scattered about that led them to the budding snow-drops, the neighbour's bonfire, the well, linden tree and deep into the forest to finally find the jewels.

Triumphant young knight stormed back to the house to open three (3) presents that were all lovely, natural and non-electrified, all with hand-drawn cards, then quickly turned their energies toward selecting beads and making necklaces. Some home-made star-shaped bread with butter sustained them, then fresh cherry juice from last summer and a vegan chocolate cupcake with caramelized condensed milk rewarded them. As parents came back 2 hours later, they found their wild ones quiet and wide-eyed on the purple couch listening to how the new Grand Poobah of Ptianderdorfendal had created harmony in the land by allowing people to redistribute jewels to their neighbours.

Key ingredients to a party that had young Liam exclaiming repeatedly "This is fun, isn't it!" :
- $5 of junk jewelry and string from Salvation Army
- $5 worth of home-baked bread and cupcakes
- only 3 guests and a grandma
- a bit of creativity and faith in the boys' own creativity
- a whole 15-minutes of party planning and story conceiving in bed the morning of the party

The time may come when a home party is not enough, when the bowling alley or go-kart track is deemed necessary to keep up with the Jones' boy. But for these 6 year olds, a fun, focused and slightly organized time together was all the birthday magic they needed.

Oh ya, our presents for our dear 6-year-old child? A 6' length of bamboo to use for channelling water in outside play, and a maple branch that we will together cut and finish to be checker pieces. Simply six.

Jan 22, 2010

Lousy Dad

From Super Dad to Lousy Dad in one crashing forgotten birthday. Parental immortality is so temporary.

One of the many beautiful Waldorf traditions is the celebration of a child's birthday in the kindergarten. The teachers weave the story of the child's development and birth into a magical journey, culminating in "coming over the rainbow bridge" with one chosen angel. It sounds a bit flaky in writing, but you gotta be there, you'd have tears.

But over-busy me (yes, too busy) forgot until this morning to write up the details about Zekiah's arrival, so his sad teacher called me from school at 7:30 to say we would have to postpone the party. As I was breaking the news to Zekiah, she called back again to earnestly assure that she "holds no judgement" about it.

Bless her heart, she knows that we parents hold enough self-judgment that hers would be unnecessary. How on earth could my business launch, woodpile, writing, organizing the office, and cleaning the house for mom's visit have been more important than creating magic around my 6-year-old's celebration? We still haven't even sent out invitations for his party in 2 days (sound familiar?).

His teacher may be evolved enough to somehow suspend judgment, but I sure aint. It's inexcusable, it sucks. The only consolation is knowing that Zekiah is so resilient that he will adjust well to the new plan (he's already trumpeting about the 3 days he now gets to celebrate instead of 2), and the renewed resolve to use the next 2 days to create a great party on Sunday.

Sarah's Mama Renew classes rightly teach women to not judge themselves harshly, to accept that we're doing the best we can. And while it may be unhealthy and unproductive to sit wallowing in self-recrimination for the rest of this long morning when I should have been in magic birthland with my child, it would be dishonest to pretend that I was anywhere close to my best this week (ironically a week when I was trumpeting my powers in other blog posts).

So we beat ourselves up a little, vow to better, and move on. I look this lousy Dad moment straight in the eye, acknowledge and learn from it, and hope that somewhere beneath his sunny disposition these little failings don't plant seeds of sadness in my beautiful birthday boy. He deserves more than I gave him this week, and I deserve a little judgment.

Jan 21, 2010

Life really is this good

Well, not always. But you don't want to hear about that, do you?

Last week I posted two writings about how "easy" life can be when we focus on the present, devote our full energies to what we are doing and not worry about what we are not doing. The Super Dad day I wrote about was real, the principle is real, and the results are real. But I don't pretend it happens every day.

Other days I'm just as overwhelmed as any stay-at-home parent, or working parent, or pretty much anybody. I start doing dishes and think about the computer, get onto the computer and think about kids I'm ignoring, play with the kids and think about the woodpile running low. It's brutally counter-productive, sapping my energy and contentment, making me less efficient and less Joyful. It's just stupid, a self-defeating spiral that's too easy to fall into, and happens far more often than this blog might make it sound.

So, am I lying? Am I misrepresenting myself and my life? No. I'm trying to stay conscious about what this blog is meant to do, both for the reader and for myself. The goal is to explore ideas, to lay out the best of intentions and energies for myself and others to aspire to, or be inspired by, or at least challenged by. There are enough people and blogs out there propagating negative energy - the Julie/Julia moaners - that I don't need to add to it. There are times when I share sincere worries and insecurities, but only when there's some universal truth to it, some hope that in sharing it we can all feel some connection and some hope of working through it.

Put another way, this blog isn't meant to be a picture of me. If you want more of me, let's go for hot chocolate or a hike. This blog is a sharing of the pieces of me and my life that I believe can touch others. There are plenty of good and bad happenings that my wife thinks (or worries) will make it here, but are just personal. The fact that my very very cute son made a fantastic, imaginative cardboard money-collecting-truck yesterday is just a cute story; if there's something about how his creativity was enabled by the simple presence of a big cardboard box and tin cans and the absence of a tv and clutter, then that might be worth writing.

The preponderance of positivity is also a deliberate writing (and living) style. I could have written about an out-of-control day then ended with a plea for mindfulness; instead I chose a good day, a day when I did pull it all together, and put that out into the world as an example of how it can be. It made the same point, but without the negative energy.

There are several personal dangers to this positive approach to communicating. One is that people can have a distorted view of me, which can get in the way of personal friendships. For that I have to trust that friends will understand and seek out other parts of me that don't make it to the screen, and I must also take responsibility to continue sharing other parts of me and my life in more personal ways. I got just as much dirt under my nails as anybody, can relate to and empathize with and hold my friends in their dark times, even if this blog makes it seem like I'll break out in an inappropriate Annie "The sun'll come out tomorrow" burst of sunshine.

Another danger is an appearance of arrogance, of "I've got it so perfect that I'll tell you how you should be living." The best safeguard for this is to see if I'm truly learning and exploring while writing. I'm often surprised at what these fingers type out, and those tend to be my best writings. I don't sit down with a high and mighty truth to preach; i sit down with a question, and then share my inner workings. I didn't know where this posting was going this morning; I just knew that a good friend wrote, "But do you ever need cheering up, Rick??" and I wanted to explore it.

My wife reads my blog to find out what I'm thinking; i write it for the same reason. When she asks, "Why didn't you tell me you were feeling that?", I can honestly answer, "I didn't know I was until I wrote it."

So, dear virtual friends, if this blog gives a distorted view of how together I've got it, I guess that'll just have to be. Know that my intention is not to look good, but to share my deep belief that we all have this good inside us and as a potential in our lives, and to share my own journey in trying to get there. Life isn't always this good, but it sure can be.

Jan 15, 2010

3 Steps to Stop Being "Busy"

Life's too short and too rich to be busy. So I quit being "busy" simply by dropping the word from my vocabulary.

I did used to be busy, too busy, overloaded - these were the words that would confront you if you asked how I was. One day I realized just how often I complained to other people about how I had too much to do. That's what they knew of me, that was my defining characteristic. Not the most romantic epitaph: "Here lies Rick - gosh he was busy!"

My first step was, therefore, a very superficial but significant one. I simply stopped telling people about how busy I was. That freed up space to tell them about what I was engaged in, made me a much more enjoyable person to talk with. Probably helped our social life too - why on earth would anyone invite us over to dinner knowing that we were already too busy?

Step two was to take the power away from the word "busy." It's just an adjective, not a noun. It's an interpretation, an internal label that we can control, not a state of affairs buzzing around us like a swarm of To-Do lists. I started using positive words like "full" or "energized" or "active," anything to remind myself that I'm involved in a lot of things that bring Joy and meaning to my life.

Step three came logically from step two - make sure the things we're doing are indeed making us happy, feeding us and the world. All commitments and activities are measured by this criterion; any that don't fit should be dropped. As long as the ways we invest our time and energy fit this definition, they're not "busy" things getting in the way of what we want to do; they are what we want to do, they're the stuff of life.

Magazine articles usually start and end with the commandment to reduce your commitments, pare down activities to be less busy. That just never works - the space fills up again. I am not a person who's happy doing nothing. I'm just as active as a stay-at-home dad/farmer as I ever was as a city-dwelling Executive Director. I just work at being mindful day by day, minute by minute, of how my energies tie into my vision and dreams.

I used to be busy. These days there's just not enough time to be "busy" - there's way too much I want to do.

Thanks to The Art of Non-Conformity blog entry on busy-ness for inspiring this reflection

Jan 13, 2010

Super Dad

It's 9:23am and I haven't got a lick of work done yet. All that's been done so far is: boys washed, clothed, fed, brushed, rainproofed & walked to school; two playdates arranged; lunches packed; dinner chicken thawing; bed stripped, 2 loads of laundry washed and hung to dry; yesterday's clean dishes put away and this morning's dishes stacked; cats and cows and chickens fed; fire lit.

Remember long ago when I bravely stated that things go smoother when my wife's away? Well it's still true - this same stuff would have been done but by two adults instead of one. Housework expands not only to the time allotted but also to the people allotted.

Part of my unspoken new year's resolution is to step it up another notch of responsibility in the house. Instead of looking at the dishes, just quickly do them - last night it took just 22 minutes to clean a full day of dishes, including Sarah's Mama Renew class. Cook more dinners, sweep more floors. If I can do it so easily when she's gone, I can darn well do it when she's here.

Anyways, it's now 9:31am and I've got until 2:30 to do Me stuff - webpage design, basement reno, emails, yoga... After that I'll be full-on dad - pick-up, bike repairs and bouncing zekiah's new ball from the dentist like we planned this morning, animals, then inside for the usual dinner-bedtime routine. 22 minutes of clean-up and I'll be a free man once again by 8:00.

Could it really be this easy?
2.5 hours in the morning plus 5.5 hours after school of full-attention parenting and housekeeping, plus 5 daytime hours and 3 nighttime hours for Me/Us stuff? If I can stay intentionally in one or the other realm for each block of time, not flitting back and forth between roles, perhaps I truly can do each more efficiently and fully and Joyfully. Perhaps, just perhaps, the key to achieving balance is to just do it.

Jan 12, 2010

Missing: One Man-Cave

I love photos on the walls. I love going to friends' houses and seeing what and who matters to them, what journey they've been on, what they find worthy to display of themselves and their world. So why are there no photos up in my own house?

An online article about "The Decline of the Male Space" contends that
the pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other; instead of creating a world that’s friendly to both male and female space, we’ve created one that benefits female space at the expense of male space.

I left the article to wander room to room, looking vainly for anything of mine on the walls. Any African paintings on recycled cement bags, childhood or travel photos, Guatemalan tapestries, carved wooden masks, even ski posters with inspiring quotes - things that had adorned my life for the 25 years since I was strong enough to push a tack into a wall. I found things I like, things we've created together, our wedding vows, but nothing that is Me. Just a lonely nail where my dream-catcher, given to me by dear Aunt Sally in my rocky adolescent days, was removed yesterday when Sarah finally revealed that she loathes its heaviness in our bedroom.

Just walked around again, counting 9 (nine) wall hangings that are Hers. I do like most of them, but that's not the point. The point is that the author is right, that men have lost their power in the home, settling instead for a mutual agreement practice that ends up usually with the man ceding to the woman's "better taste." Just ask any man who's been asked for his "input" on paint colours.

This is why I get belligerent about not accepting input about my reno projects, my outdoor projects, MY projects. With a chainsaw or a cow or a sledge hammer, I'm in my realm, I'm the boss, I can just Do it, follow my vision and passion without checking in with the other half or my boss or the board. Down comes that tree, just where I'd planned (OK, a bit closer to the chicken coop than I'd planned), and in flows the sunlight just as I'd envisioned. Me and my pitchfork just go ahead and scoop up that manure and lay down fresh straw, and only the cows know. My home may no longer be my palace, but gosh darn it I'm the undisputed King of the Cowshed.

I suppose I could be stronger, demand that the dream catcher and photos etc go up. It's half my house dammit and I should get my own nine hangings. But the reality is that I love my wife and the harmony we have in our shared home, and if an item truly oppresses her then it can't make me happy. If upon reading this she offers to put the dream catcher back up, I'll have to refuse - not out of bitterness, but I could genuinely not feel Joy from it anymore knowing how she feels about it.

So I guess it's time to finally organize my workshop and re-hang all my treasures there, as they have been in the garage or basement or laundry room of all our other homes. I don't need an escape, don't need to drink behind the woodshed or cuss and spit at an all-men's gym. Just need a space (other than my wardrobe) where I see my corny, outlandish, awkward and even sometimes tasteless Me-ness expressed freely. I need my man-cave.

Jan 10, 2010

In Praise of Wasted Creativity

I was deeply, grievously wounded today. Our friend had the audacity to forget to come pick up her milk. Instead of the usual "oh i suck" email or phone message, she shared a considerable amount of energy, talent, and time (probably the same time it would have taken to pick up the milk) to write the hilarious email copied below.

What a pure treat to have a friend who takes the time to just be fun. No need to maximize the impact or spread of her work (ie, blog), no question of whether it's worth the effort to tap that creative energy for a seemingly unimportant communication. She felt a creative spark and just went with it, not caring what it ignited. And in the process made us feel cherished and entertained and deeply deeply impressed.


Lets down family and friends

Associated Press
January 7, 2010
Duncan, Canada

In a development that surprises no one, Chantell Foss, to all appearances a typical Canadian housewife, has revealed the depths of forgetfulness achievable by a truly scatterbrained specimen. Having confirmed her milk pick up no less than 4 times with her associates the Juliussons and her husband, she could not explain to reporters how she managed to forget her three substantial jugs of valuable, farm-fresh local milk. “I had carpooling today! It’s our first day back to school! It just slipped my mind, okay?”, said Foss as she tried to get her younger child out of a minivan with his lunchbox and mittens.

A disappointed Justin Straker, Foss' husband and partner of many years, just shook his head when confronted with events. “Well, it’s happened before… so no one really… counts on having milk around here…”, he revealed when pressed.

Sarah and Rick Juliusson, whose standard-size kitchen fridge is currently burdened with Foss’ milk overload, couldn’t be reached by phone for comment. However, we received the following text message from an unconfirmed source calling himself “Galen”:“Y no room 4 my pickles? Mummy 2 sad 2 play.”

Duncan mayor’s assistant Yasmeen Coco Figwit-LeClerc made this statement. “Elected officials and community members are appalled. We take this kind of thing very seriously around here, rest assured. After the rain flooding we had in November, we are very concerned with the renewed threat of level three flooding in Cowichan Station and are monitoring developments closely. If Foss does not retrieve her milk within 24 hours, we will feed it directly to the Juliusson’s cows.”

- Rita Skeeter

For this compulsive blogger, this was a good reminder that I write not just to share, but primarily to write. To bring my insides out, shake them up and dust them off, then put them back in a new order, to a new place of understanding. In my first ever blog entry I wrote, "hoping and believing that these disparate splashes of paint will all come together into a portrait with meaning, with hope, and above all, with questions." Four months later I was already questioning "What/Why am i writing?", wondering if it would all turn into a book or something worthwhile. But along the way I've learned that merely writing is worthwhile. Just developing and exploring these parts of me and our shared experience has been a rich, growing personal journey. Sharing it has been an equally beautiful journey, and gives it a different flavour and light, but is not the necessary nor even necessarily the primary focus of writing. That would miss the point.

One of the random books that survived our purge yesterday made the same point about farming - a point that I discovered and embraced much faster in farming than in writing. In "EarthLight", Brian Swimme talks about being ready to bask in the beauty of being human in this universe:
If a person is working with food and agriculture, say permaculture, and the primary motive is to produce the food, then there's something missing. The primary motive has to include the opportunity of being stunned by this amazing reality in which we're dealing.

So thank you to my dear friend for reminding us to just Be, to just Create because we can. I share her email with my narrow bandwidth of the world because she and her work deserve a spotlight, because it made me laugh, because she reminded me once again of that lesson from the Indigo Girls song, "and the best thing you've ever done for me is to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life after all." And also because i'm utterly defeated in my intention to actually write a worthy come-back (It would start with a letter to her husband, "Dammit, I'm still holding your wife's jugs...").

Jan 7, 2010

Cherishing and Clearing our Bustlings

We're clearing. Again. Sarah's been on the rampage wanting to get rid of things, so I figured I'd better get on the bandwagon and agree to eliminate 5 items per day for the month of January. "Only if I can blog about it" was my deal.

This isn't new, this decluttering. We offloaded about 3/4 of our worldly possessions when fleeing the Dubya regime and claiming refugee status in Canada. Then after making the deadly mistake of buying two successively bigger homes (the latter of which we filled with five newly donated couches on move-in day. Five.), we once again downsized to a single 20' moving truck to come to the island.

That process was made easier by the intention of living for a year in a yurt. We held each item up and said, "Will we need this in a yurt?" If the answer was no, the next question was, "If we can live without this for a year in a yurt, do we really need to store it for when we buy a bigger house?" There are precious few things that can stand the double-edged yurt test.

Instead of a cosy yurt, we spread our few surviving things out around this 1300 square foot house, plus the dangerous out buildings for non-essential storage. But we honestly haven't re-accumulated that much, so the idea of shedding 155 items was a bit daunting. OK, not so much daunting as unnecessary, or not where my energies really felt needed. For me at this point, decluttering/simplifying means getting some major projects off the list. Like finishing the luxurious 49 square foot basement office for Sarah so we can reorganize our living space up here. Finally laying that plastic down in the crawlspace. Finishing the foundation wall insulation to get our eco-audit rebate. Those are things that will free up my energies much more than saying goodbye to an extra egg beater or unworn sweater.

As it turns out, the process has been creative, freeing, and bonding in the quirky way that Sarah and I always come together when organizing (on our second night ever together, I helped rearrange her bedroom furniture, and in that moment she Knew i was Mr. Right). We zone in on a shelf or cupboard or collection, waltz together through the memory or energy each item holds, then either release it into the sunlight behind us or place it back down with conscious intention into the ongoing flow of our lives. Then we pat each other on the back as we gaze lovingly onto the cleared, clean, clutterless space we've created.

Tonight was book night. 17 books gone. Some we'd intended to read since as far back as 1998. Some well-meaning gifts we never intended to read, and some that would be good but we just don't need to read (atleast not as much as the ones we did retain.) Then a reshuffling of the survivors into front-room books to remind/inspire us daily, and back-benchers in the office for reference or future indulgence. Not only does it look and feel better, but I feel a renewed desire to read, and renewed clarity about where to start.

In the process we re-opened some old classics, sorted through files of beautiful letters and scribblings, and made the first hand-written entries into our boys' journal since 2006. We also found a Quaker philosophy book that describes this whole obsession of ours in a beautiful phrase, "avoid bustlings."

Ah, still curious about which 17 books are about to be released? OK, I'll leave you with the list, while I go snuggle up on the couch with either "Gardening at the Dragon's Gate" or "Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep."

Buddha Mom; The Wars; Living Simply with Children; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Momfulness; The Bhagavad Gita; Classic Ghost Stories; Draft Faith and Practice; From Poverty to Power; Grow It!; The Time Traveler's Wife; The Upanishads; 10 Principles for Spiritual Parenting; Race Against Time (Stephen Lewis); Breeder: Real Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers; Love in the Time of Cholera; Between Interruptions.

Jan 4, 2010

Simply Swimming

The new Duncan pool has it all. Slides, floating river, waves, squirt guns, music, trees... It also has all the people, the noise, the stress and over-stimulation that leaves our whole family exhausted afterwards.

Today we chose the little hotel pool in Cowichan Bay. Little as in 10-front-crawl-strokes end-to-end. No games, no balls, no nothing except water, edges to jump off, and a papa ready to play with his boys.

And play we did. In the big fancy pool I'm trying to keep up with the kids as they bounce from attraction to attraction like Disneyland first-timers. Today was pure quality family time: cheering as they showed off their strokes and tricks, holding Zekiah as he learned to paddle, catching crazy divers, marvelling as Galen learned to swim underwater between my legs, fixing goggle straps.

Why are we so excited about a big pool that distracts us from being together? Why do we want to pay twice as much for half the family value and twice the overload?

This was the simple, basic pool of my childhood, and I was my frolicking playful dad. The boys have announced that it's now their favourite pool. Mine too.

Jan 3, 2010

a Barry Manilow new year

Started this new year with two smashing lessons about attitude and openness. The first came at 7:04 when Galen burst into the bedroom and said "There's broken glass." Emerged bleary-eyed to find an impressive round hole in our heritage-glass front window, and a sad Zekiah explaining that his home-made tinkertoy catapult invention had shot backwards instead of forwards. Too tired to be angry, I found the bright red tucktape to cover it up, then the beautiful origami star from our neighbour to beautify it. So we start the new decade with a bright red star sparkling in the middle of our living room window.

The second came when I took our friends 10km up the mountain to the historic Kinsol Trestle (highest wooden train bridge in the British Commonwealth), the only mud-splashed car in the little parking lot, then out of nowhere a man appeared on the path. A man with a speech impediment, cognitive/social challenges, and a medical marijuana card he proudly showed me. I understood about half his talk about Vietnam and hippies, but tried to respectfully connect then disconnect with him so I could focus on my children and friends.

But walking on the same narrow mountain path makes it difficult to politely ignore a man who desperately wants to talk to his "bro", so I had to let go and try to enjoy what I could of him, and let my friends at least enjoy their walk in Peace.

Then as we neared the bridge the sun poked through the rain. I exclaimed something thankful, and he broke into an operatic cover of Barry Manilow's "I made it through the rain." Being one of very few people ever to hike that trail who knows all the words, I instantly joined in. We finally connected, laughed, and saluted brother sun who'd miraculously come out to greet us for the first time in 2010.

Then just as miraculously, when we reached the bridge he said, "Happy New Year" and turned back up the path. All that time I'd been afraid to engage because he wouldn't ever detach, and really he was the one who knew just how to connect and when to end it. He walks that path every day, and as I said, "I'm sure I'll see you up here again," I meant it.

Will this be a year of being open to what life and accidents and strange mountain men have to teach me?

Jan 1, 2010

Naked New Year

The year ended in a hot tub with three beautiful women, under a full "blue" moon and a meteor shower. It's a good life.

Well, almost. At 11:45 the reaction to walking in the cold rain across the garden to the tub was mixed. After a minute in front of the mirror literally mouthing the words "Let Go", I did indeed let go of the need to push friends beyond their limits as my last act of the decade. Instead, we four dear friends gathered in front of the fire and blew out the candle on the tree of life, kissed our partners, and drank in another year of beauty and growth and - at least once in a while - knowing when to just accept and be thankful.