Sunday, December 27, 2009
There's so much about Mary. Depending on your denomination I guess she ranges from Queen of Heaven to "just a woman." You can read about her words spoken in the bible, her position - or lack of position. But for me, it's intriguing to stop for a moment to just ponder in my heart who "she" was. A very young woman with a beautiful heart who has served and loved God from her earliest days. A thoughtful and contimplative woman. Listening more than speaking. Humble. Obedient and willing to do whatever her Lord requires of her. And this...this was a pretty big deal! An angel appears and tells her she's about to be pregnant. She travels while "great with child." The manger. The angel again. The angelic choir. The shepards...and all the while Mary simply treasures these things, and ponders them in her heart. That's what I wanted to know...what were those things she pondered?
In Seneca Falls, NY - two miles from my home, there's a sign. "Well behaved women seldom make history." They might be wrong. Merry Christmas...
Monday, December 14, 2009
I know Kenny Rodgers has overdramatized the song, and everybody in the world sings it these days. But the next time you hear 'Mary did you know,' pause and reflect... "Mary, when you kissed your baby's face you kissed the face of God." Prepare your heart for a Mary, I mean Merry, Christmas.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
It's those moments that really make it worth while...discovering myself. Today was one of those days, I chased a cached called the catecombs at RIT. The place was pretty cool, students painted the tunnels with whatever moved them. And so I wandered for ever, turning right at star trek, finding the Wolverine, so many themes. While I walked though, I realized that no one spoke my language. I heard grunting, screeching, unusual sounds - and hand gesturing. The deeper I went, the more pronounced it got. Somewhere I began to understand that I was among the deaf. I was the lone voice, the minority - and they were at home. Talking, moving, gesturing...and I would be unable to communicate with them. I was the one who was uncomfortable. For those minutes while the cache placer was illuding me, I stood in a world that was outside of my comfort zone, and I'm a better man because of it. I don't know what the lesson was/is, but I know there is one and I'll wait for it to be revealed. Until then, I remain thankful for that trip through the labrynth.
Geocaching...it's what I do.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Ever since I saw that awsome movie (except for the predictable language), I've pondered my bucket list. Scuba dive - Check. Dozens of times...more than that. Pacific Northwest. It was amazing. Jump from an airplane. Check...more than 60 times. Find and marry a trophy bride. Check...did that at 2o something - figured I'd get it out of the way early! See the world. Does the Western Carribean on a Disney Cruise count? Write a book, find a thousand geocaches, buy a Harley...see Auschwitz. See Auschwitz. Can you feel the gravity of those words? I can barely breathe right now. It's heavy.
A friend of mine just returned. It crushed her for some moments...the shoes, the glasses, the hair, the chambers and the stack. The sunshine. Those words struck me. "It was a perfect sunny day," She said. "The sun isn't supposed to shine at Auschwitz." Like her, I had always imagined Auschwitz as it's supposed to be: gloomy, eternal black and white like so many photos, dismal, overcast and dreadful. But it isn't true, is it? The sun shines on Auschwitz, on Birkenau. Is it possible that even amidst the horror, that some found tiny slivers of joy in the sun when it shined? I guess I'd like to believe so. Words are not usually difficult for me... I don't know what to say. I'm thankful for that short vicarious visit through the eyes of a friend. I'm thankful for this deeply reflective moment. And I wonder this one more thing...on 9/11 after seeing Auschwitz, can a person whisper "Never Forget" the same way again?
Something lighter next post...I promise.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
You can even park in the rear!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
From '84-87 I was in an airborne unit stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington. We were LRRP's. The unit was eventually deactivated and life went on for me for the next 22 years. But last month I "met" a cacher from Idaho whose son is now in combat. In our discussions we agreed that a travel bug I created to honor E Co. 109 should be placed in Afghanistan. Now it's there! And yesterday we agreed that the bug should remain with the Troop until their return home. I'm honored. I'm proud. And I'm proud of that young man who carries this tribute to my old unit as an encouragement to his unit.
Log into http://www.geocaching.com/ and put TB27GWP in the "search trackable items" box. I'll update as I learn more.
Friday, July 24, 2009
I was debriefing a meeting with a recently found friend and she asked, "how was your trip." I veered away from business... "I was a Brookgreen... it's beautiful... and the best part is this path flanked with ancient live oak trees. It's just such an amazing place to stand, reflect and find yourself - or whatever it is that you're looking for." Her reply caught me off guard, though it shouldn't have, "So, what did you find?" My answer was lame, "I found an hour with no responsibility." We both laughed, and went on with our business - but my mind, or perhaps my heart, never left.
What did I find this time in my beloved allee? Peace and wonderful aloneness that some probobally call solitude. Communion with God that most would call nature. And a wonderful sense of my mortality...that knowlege that life is so much bigger than I am, and somehow that thought brings me peace. The knowlege that everything is going to be OK. That I love and am loved. That I matter, and there are those who matter to me. That life matters and that my contributions make a difference even if to only one at a time. Those trees, if they had souls, could tell me of the hundreds of men and women who have stood there before me, pouring out their hearts silently into the wind. Perhaps that's what give life to these ancient live oaks? Life is hard sometimes, it's supposed to be, but if she were to ask me again what I found, my answer would be a little more precise, "me." I hope you all have this experience in that place that's called yours, wherever it may be. And I hope you find that in it all, you matter.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
This tree was planted by Nazi's during WWII with great pomp and circumstance to honor Hitler on his birthday. Hitler sent the seedling from his hometown to be planted here, and likely many other locations. Bands played, a ceremony was held and the tree took root. Two years later the Nazi's were forced out of the town that the left in ruin. The tree however, survives...and it's in the way. In the way of progress - a traffic circle. And in the way of putting autrocities behind. Some say it's not the trees fault (as if it has a soul). Some say burn it to the ground and spit on the ashes. My burning question is this... "What would the Lorax do?"
Follow the link for the story
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
It's a struggle. I've got one of those senses of humor that enjoys a crazy photo with a thought provoking note that invites you to use you immagination, ponder absurdity, throw your hands up in hysterical confusion. I even tried a few on for size... WOE (what on earth), OMG (oh my gosh), etc. None of them really work. So let me leave you with this as I ponder what the civil engineer was thinking when he/she designed this thing somewhere over Baltimore, on the approach to BWI...
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I think you should listen to this young woman. The music is beautiful and moving and really quite amazing. What always amazes me (in not such a good way) is the need in others to criticize instead of celebrate wonder. I decided to post the following comment on the Youtube site...in case it's too far down the list when you see this, here's my contribution. I hope I recieve hate mail!
"Loser prima donnas. Her talent is amazing and the piece is amazing. Appreciate it for what it is and keep your criticisms to yourself. Didn't your mothers ever tell you that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?"
Sunday, June 14, 2009
My friend gets it. And he's got the t-shirt to prove it. He's got girls, and they dance. The girls dance, the dads hang out and act cool while waiting to pick them up. At least that's how it was. this year my friend talked the dads into doing a number...you know, a routine...the dad's got up on the stage and performed for the girls. Choriography, costumes, practices and actual rythm (I'd of failed miserably!). Businessmen, engineers, truck drivers maybe - I don't know. What matters is they got up there and got involved in the lives of their kids...their daughters. Sons are easy (I think - I don't have any). But girls are wired differently. Girls take some figuring out. They're meant to be cherished and pursued and a little wrestling never hurts ;-). So if you ever run into a guy with a shirt on that reads, "Been there, done that...got the shoes" get a visual of him in costume with ballet slippers (tutu optional!), and then pat him on the back and say, 'nice job!'
Monday, June 8, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
My wife cried with joy (probobally relieved she wouldn't have to put up with another month of study!), and my kids... "Yeah dad, can we watch TV now?"
Friday, April 17, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
6 minutes 35 seconds. I calculate in my head and jump on the clover leaf. I've been watching the hints of sunrise in the rearview mirror since we left the house...there's time - Barely. No traffic, the car whips to the wrong side of the road and we stop overlooking the lake and let the morning take our breath away. Roll, roll, roll - snap - window back up and we're off again; still enchanted.
We got to the cache easily. Finding the box was a little harder however...in shorts...in 30 degree weather, laughing at the random flakes of snow falling. My gosh, it was cold. But we found it - signed the book and dashed home. "E," I said, show me the coin! "You've got it," she said. Have you ever tried to argue with an 8 year old?
I smiled, and remembered on this wonderful day, He has Risen!
PS-We went back and found the coin that she lost!
Captain trades himself for crew...strategic bishop move.
Pirates take captain on life boat...pawn move #2
US crew retakes ship...strategic knight move
Lifeboat runs out of gas...pawn move#3. Pirates are clearly playing move to move.
Navy SEAL team had parachutes in and takes up positions on the Bainbridge's back deck...CHECK,
The on-scene commander responds appropriately and decisively to clear and imminant danger by authorizing lethal force. The SEAL's deliver from 75 feet, with night vision on the rolling seas...CHECKMATE.
Appartently the negiotations ended at that point. Pirates flip the board over screaming that somehow they were cheated and that revenge will be taken. Good luck next time - Not.
Admittedly I stole this, and tweaked it. As a chess player I love the analogy. I love when the good guys win. And it really irritates me that the real tragedy here is the Myth of Jack Sparrow is being tarnished by these clown!
Monday, April 13, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
The flags were all tipped, we straightened as many as we had time for and then moved on...moved by beauty and reverence and patriotism. Tonight we met Captain Jon and First Mate - but that's a story for tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I have three girls. My friend has two. Close in age...all five adorable. The get along - five girls who all get along; how amazing is that?! Breakfast is our thing, and we invite guests anytime we can recruit them. I managed to twist my friends arm to bring his Dad, the girls were a bonus! I wrestled with the place for a long time - it had to be right. Charlies Frog Pond in Rochester was perfect. We met on the street and headed in, my friend immediately took control of the place. Getting and arranging the table like a military operation. With all my good Army training, I'd never seen anything like it...at least not at breakfast. We all sat, the men on the outside, the five girls like sardines by the window. The sang and talked and acted silly. We were much more refined, doing "Top Gun" stories and carrying on. We looked at the girls suspiciously - they looked as us and whispered. It's good to have a healthy distrust of the opposite sex...especially when they're under 12 (or over 40)!
The grandfather was strategically place between us, and the girls. That way he could divide his attention as grandparents seem so able to do. And then it happened. The old stories. The old memories. A story my friend heard for the first time. One of those moments you put in the memory jar to keep forever. I learned about hope and perseverance and forgiveness. About prejudice and overcoming. I learned about love, and a little about magic. The girls are special...really special. But sometimes, just sometimes, it's the grandfather.
(Photo withheld to protect the innocent)
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Louis I. Kahn was charismatic. Talented. Passionate. I should like one day to experience one of his buildings. I find them brutal and ugly and bulky. Not attractive. Dated. But I suspect that like the man himself, they have a nuance and a depth and intricacy that must be felt, not just seen. To experience a building you have to come with your heart - not just your eyes. But is L. I. Kahn and Icon? (Can't resist the play on words). I deeply suspect not. Kahn was a liar. An unfaithful man. A man who placed no value on family or committment. And a man of deep desire, but no committment. He had three families. Three women who idolized him - but none of whom he was committed to. He didn't comprehend night and day. Family. The stuff that matters. But he was provocative. He illicits deep emotion. I think I would have liked him, but I also believe I wouldn't have respected him. From a distance he would have bothered me - Close up I would be intrigued...even fascinated. But I also believe that the upon leaving his company - like I immagine leaving his building will be - I would find myself disturbed by his lack of fullness and committment.
Tomorrow I'm going to take my family to an intriguing building. I'm going to teach them to listen, and then I'm going to listen to what they hear. I'm going to chose the place carefully. Buildings do speak to us - but maybe not all of them are worth listening to?