01 January 2015

The Unfolding Next Round - 02/17/18


Greetings,

This is the most current set of ponderings in process, posted here in case something beyond repair happens to this imaginary Me-My-Self-and-I.  It changes a bit every few daze, so stay tuned as interest allows.  At the close of 2018, they will be filed in their respective Breadcrumbs zones – Leftovers, Soundbites, Possible Titles, Corollaries, Possible Last Words & Epitaphs, or Breadcrumbs – and then, if the last quarter-plus century of personal history is any indication, another round of ditty-festing will likely relatively quickly blossom from this a-scribing mind.

The last three years worth of wordplay can also be viewed at:

Breadcrumbs & Other 2015

Breadcrumbs & Other 2016

Breadcrumbs & Other 2017

Enjoy in joy as best ye may.


Ciao ciao,


M

LEFTOVERS


When were you born?
When you exited your mother’s womb?
When you were conceived by the union of sperm and egg?
When the etchings of life first began in some long, long ago primordial puddle?
When the quantum mystery first began forming into the universe?
And what makes you so sure you were ever born at all?
What makes you so sure you are anything more
Than an imaginary dream of mind?

* * * *
Why have you never even once seen your face,
And how many ever-changing faces do you really have
Across the indivisibility of your quantum infinity?

* * * *
There are consequences to action or lack of action.
There are consequences to yes, to no, to maybe.
There are consequences to every turn of the card,
To every roll of the dice, to every spin of the wheel.
Every cause becomes effect, every effect becomes cause.
Creation becomes destruction, destruction becomes creation.
There is no end to the kaleidoscoping wheel of quantum persuasion,
But through awareness that eternity is but an unending ephemeral moment.

* * * *
What to do when meaning and purpose have lost their exuberant sheen, their raison d'être?
Examining the writings of seers and philosophers across all time and space,
It can be seen there is naught but arbitrary rhyme and reason to the many conclusions,
So the answer is, as is so often the case in the vain ways of the monkey mind: Whatever amuses you.

* * * *
It can be very challenging to be responsible for your actions
Without being a puppet of duty, of obligation, of compulsion.

* * * *
The universe without is confabulated by the machinations of the universe within.
A quantum tapestry; the cotton candy of imagination spun from practically nothing.

* * * *
Death while living is the end to the incessant becoming
Born of the intertwining dance between desire and fear.

* * * *
There is only one eternal moment,
And it is ever the prior-to-consciousness awareness
Of the ephemeral right-here-right-now.

* * * *
Without desire there is no fear; without fear there is no you.
Fear is the confabulator of all self-imagery, of all delusion.

* * * *
Wanting something from the other, something of the other,
Is but fear’s endless quest to fill nothing with everything.

* * * *
Dead poets and such will undoubtedly influence many a thinker’s existence,
But allow them to run it from the grave?
No.

* * * *
Only the rare few get inexorably drawn down the rabbit hole less traveled.
Most mind their P’s and Q’s and hold fast as close as possible
To whatever thoroughfare their minds allow.

* * * *
What has science become but the cataloging of unending, mind-numbing minutia.
How far can it go before all its technologies finally leave it with nothing to grasp.

* * * *
Imaginary universe.
Imaginary world.
Imaginary you.

* * * *
Even in the inexorable face of complete and unutterable annihilation,
It is more than likely the greater portion of human beings
Will fervently cling to their idolatrous notions
Of one illusory deity or another.

* * * *
Behavior codes are as whimsical as dress codes.
To be constrained by any limited mode of thinking
Is but the conditioning of a mind imprisoned in time.

* * * *
What is never born never dies.
Only consciousness endures the illusion of birth and death and life between.
Only awareness is timelessly, immortally changeless.

* * * *
Aging begets an ever-unfolding set of consequences
For which compromise and adaptation are requisite.

* * * *
The subtlety of truth is that it can never be grasped in any way imaginable,
Because it is prior to time, prior to space, prior to consciousness.
Utterly, indivisibly, timelessly, flawlessly absolute.

* * * *
rhetoric | ˈredərik |
noun

the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing,
especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques.

• language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience,
but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content:
all we have from the Opposition is empty rhetoric.

* * * *
A dubious assumption.
Another dubious assumption.
Yet another dubious assumption.

* * * *
desultory | ˈdesəlˌtôrē |
adjective

lacking a plan, purpose, or enthusiasm:
a few people were left, dancing in a desultory fashion.

• (of conversation or speech) going constantly
from one subject to another in a halfhearted way;
unfocused: the desultory conversation faded.

• occurring randomly or occasionally:
desultory passengers were appearing.

the desultory interest you have in your child's welfare is appalling:
casual, cursory, superficial, token, perfunctory, halfhearted, lukewarm;
random, aimless, erratic, unmethodical, unsystematic, chaotic,
inconsistent, irregular, intermittent, sporadic, fitful.
ANTONYMS  keen.

* * * *
What are you but immortal awareness
Encased, ensnared, in a corporal container,
Playing out a temporal meme born of imagination.

* * * *
So it goes.
Too bad.
So sorry.
Oh well.
Deal with it.
Get over it.
Move on.

* * * *
Food is just food when the tongue is just a tongue.
Whether you live to eat, or eat to live,
Moderation is ever key.

* * * *
There is nothing more to become
Than what you are, have ever been, will ever be.
All else is imagination.

* * * *
Maybe tomorrow.
Maybe the day after tomorrow.
Maybe next week, next month, next year, or maybe never.
What matter, really?

* * * *
Imagination.
Nothing more.
Nothing less.
Nothing but.

* * * *
It is the mind no longer enticed by the sensory paradigm,
Done with the dreamtime fabrications of imagination,
That returns to the immaculate eternal awareness
That it is … has always been … will ever be.

* * * *
To be an explorer of consciousness,
You must be an intrinsic part of the experimental process.
The observer and the observed, the perceiver and the perceived, are one in the same.
There is no other.

* * * *
The Faceless One is the one who looks within
And unequivocally perceives the indivisibility of all creation.
The one who pierces through all illusion, through all space, through all time,
And logically, rationally, without doubt, discerns there is no other.

* * * *
What is temporal consciousness but a contraction,
A wrinkle, an oscillation, an ebb and flow,
In the infinite totality of awareness.

* * * *
An unfathomable whodunit, an unfathomable whatdunit,
An unfathomable wheredunit, n unfathomable whendunit,
An unfathomable whydunit, n unfathomable howdunit,
Inexplicably, insolubly, impenetrably come to life.
An unfathomable nodunit all the while.

* * * *
What is death but the dissolution of consciousness,
The dissolution of all light, all dark, all pleasure, all pain,
All confabulations of the mind born of imagination.

* * * *
All these seers, mystics, prophets, teachers, call them what you will,
Would whatever they say have ever occurred to you on your own?

* * * *
We all gotta be born somewhere.
We all gotta exist somewhere.
We all gotta die somewhere.

* * * *
Hearing that they are far more, far less, than their fictitious little egos,
Is not something most have either the capacity or interest in fathoming.

* * * *
The indivisible-timeless-changeless is the only reality.
It never happened if it does not happen every moment.

* * * *
As insignificant as a particle of dust on a grain of sand
On a dry cow paddy in the middle of a barren desert,
That no deity worth his brackish would bother about.

* * * *
There is no point,
There never was a point,
Nor will there ever be a point,
No matter how hard you imagine it so.​
So it goes, deal with it, get over it, move on.

* * * *
The world, the cosmos, all form, all light, all shadow,
Is but a temporal perception of the mind born of mystery,
In which the quantum ground every moment seamlessly weaves
An ever-changing eternal tapestry of creation-preservation-destruction.
An eternal play to which you are center-stage witness in every form imaginable.

* * * *
Human beings have five senses dialed into their central processing unit.
Even if there were more or less, it would only expand or lessen the perception
Of an always timeless, always temporal, always illusory holographic dream of time.

* * * *
You woke up again this morning with the same mind-body as yesterday.
Same thoughts, same gender, same language, same surroundings,
Same programming, same self-imagery, same appetites, same endorphins.
Mesmerized, you suited up, put on the game face, and stepped out into the dream.

* * * *
How can a dream, as tangible, as substantial as it may seem, ever be measured?
Even science, incisive as it for all practical purposes appears to be,
Is ultimately little more than another fallacious creed.
The mystery is the mystery is the mystery,
Eternally inscrutable,
No matter how penetrating the mind.

* * * *
What to do today: Watch, listen, taste, smell, feel,
Whatever light and sound the fairy dust of the mystery may churn,
And try not to get all wrapped up in the mind’s hobbling propensity for desire and fear.
Let go all you think you know, and just be the awareness you truly are.

* * * *
The mind is a ravenous creature,
And the awareness you truly, timelessly are,
Must discern the wisdom of self-control to reign it well.

* * * *
You think, therefore you think you exist.
You think, therefore you think you are.

* * * *
How challenging for the mind to switch off its endless quest for security,
For more of every this, every that imaginable in its temporal sensory play.

* * * *
What has been, has always been, and not been.
What will be, will always be, and not be.
All nothing more than quantum essence come to life,
Playing out an ever-streaming, temporal dream of space and time.

* * * *
Right now … What are you seeing and hearing and tasting and smelling and feeling?
What are the eyes, the ears, the tongue, the nose, the skin, but sensors of the carbon-based kind.
What is real, and what is not real … And need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

* * * *
Shopping, shopping, shopping, shopping.
Buying more than you are well beyond needing.
The never-ending rapaciousness of the insatiable mind.

* * * *
Seek out there in any manner for as long as you please,
You will never find it until you look very deeply within.

* * * *
What is it to be civilized, and are you?
And what would you be, and what would you do,
If you were not conditioned, if you were not domesticated?

* * * *
How can anyone wander through their existence not trusting their own mind?
Their own observation, their own inquiry, their own ability to ponder critically?

* * * *
Looking back at the long and winding rolodex of perception of your dreamy existence,
Did it ever really happen, is it really happening right now,
And what makes you so sure?

* * * *
The weight of your world, of your universe,
Is but a sensory-laden, imaginary one.
Atlas shrugged, and you can, too.

* * * *
What Now?
What Now!
What Now!?

* * * *
We are all very much alone in our own little cosmos,
Peering out from a mask that can never be seen,
A dreamy mystery that can never be known.

* * * *
What is that which is called god by so many names but an impersonal all and nothing,
An implausible totality so absolute, so timeless, as to be everything and nothing all the while.
An eternal quantum mystery so intrinsic as to be and not be simultaneously in every pointless point.
How is it humankind is not genuinely, beyond doubt, humbled by its relative insignificance?

* * * *
It matters much less what is going on out there
Once you discern what is not going on in there.

* * * *
Is it the hardwired, programmed, conditioned consciousness,
That spawns intelligence, that contrives all thought and action?
Or the awareness that underlies all forms throughout all creation?

* * * *
What is power? What is fame? What is fortune?
But enticing sirens to vanity’s rocky shoals and cliffs.

* * * *
Chance are just about everything you really think matters,
Everything involving your petty, narcissistic me-myself-and-I paradigm,
In reality does not ultimately matter even one iota in the grand schemelessness of it all.
Your significance to the electromagnetic spectrum is null and void diddly-squat.

* * * *
The mystery of awareness peers out through the creations of its quantum theater,
Interacting in every way imaginable as the given patterning and scenario dictate.

* * * *
Awareness is the silent om of the universe.
From it all sentient beings arise and abide.

* * * *
Another Buddha.
Kill it, holmes.

* * * *
To be the immortal essence you truly are and are not, die to it all, let it all go.
Death while living is to be finished with what is not, never was, will never be.

* * * *
Your cosmos is whatever you perceive it to be,
And no one else’s will ever, or can ever be the same.
You are very much alone to the abyss of your awareness,
No matter how zealously you may long for it to be otherwise.

* * * *
The ancient world that is all life’s foundation,
Did not necessarily arrive at this moment in time
Through political correctness or ethical consideration.

* * * *
In the very timeless awareness sense,
What might you be doing right now
That would really be any different
Than what you are doing right now?

* * * *
How easy it is to fall into a descending spiral of self-pity over one’s lot in life.
To stay strong, to stand tall in the bittersweet winds of fate, is ever a challenge.

* * * *
There ain’t no dark side, there ain’t no light side, there ain’t no side at all.
There just be a streaming dream of awareness that ain’t no dream at all.

* * * *
arbitrary | ˈärbəˌtrerē |
adjective

based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system:
his mealtimes were entirely arbitrary.

• (of power or a ruling body) unrestrained and autocratic in the use of authority:
arbitrary rule by King and bishops has been made impossible.

• Mathematics (of a constant or other quantity) of unspecified value.

1  an arbitrary decision: capricious, whimsical, random, chance, unpredictable;
casual, wanton, unmotivated, motiveless, unreasoned, unsupported, irrational,
illogical, groundless, unjustified; personal, discretionary, subjective.
ANTONYMS  reasoned, rational.

2  the arbitrary power of the prince: autocratic, dictatorial, autarchic,
undemocratic, despotic, tyrannical, authoritarian, high-handed;
absolute, uncontrolled, unlimited, unrestrained.
ANTONYMS  democratic.

* * * *
There is no end to the “what if’s” of any historical contemplation, no matter the scale;
Be it individual, group, world, cosmic, or whatever else any mind might attempt to fathom.

* * * *
Each and every one of us in the human paradigm is a true believer to one degree or another.
The fact that we collude our identities real, assume time real, is the first and last self-deception.
A byzantine complicity to which our kind is genetically and culturally bound for the rest of mind.

* * * *
Inside the eyes, inside the ears, inside the nose,
Inside the tongue, inside the skin,
Where are you?
And where does the boundary
Between inside and outside begin and end?

* * * *
Your perfection is in everything imagined.
Your perfection is not in anything imagined.

* * * *
What are sight and sound and taste and smell and feeling,
But vibration interpreted by the mind steeped in illusion.

* * * *
fortitude | ˈfôrdəˌt(y)o͞od |
noun

courage in pain or adversity:
she endured her illness with great fortitude.

courage, bravery, endurance, resilience, mettle, moral fiber,
strength of mind, strength of character, strong-mindedness,
backbone, spirit, grit, true grit, doughtiness, steadfastness

* * * *
How is it even remotely possible
For anyone to be as asleep and undoubting at the end
As they were in the beginning?

* * * *
resilience | rəˈzilyəns | (also resiliency)
noun

1 the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness:
the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions.

2 the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape;
elasticity: nylon is excellent in wearability and resilience.

* * * *
Nothing any day before that.
Nothing the day before.
Nothing yesterday.
Nothing today.
Nothing tomorrow.
Nothing the day after.
Nothing any day after that.

* * * *
How free is the individual in any meme?
How free is the individual in any group?
How free is the individual in any mind?

* * * *
This right-here-right-now is all that matters.
Everything before, everything hence, means nothing.
All is but a passing dream to which you may subscribe or not.

* * * *
Chances are, that wherever you journey, no matter how far, you will always be you;
With all your assumptions, all your behaviors, all your prejudices, all your boundaries;
All filtered by time-bound consciousness timelessly streaming through pristine awareness.

* * * *
So, you are totally open, totally inclusive, totally loving,
Except all those many times when you are not, eh?
Such a tough show pretending to be so perfect.
What intermittent cronies, heart and mind can be.
We all suffer from one variety of miasma or another.

* * * *
The clear space of awareness is the enigma, the paradox, the irony,
The aloneness, the indivisibility, the absoluteness, the limitless,
The totality, the infinity, the infinitesimalibility, the solace,
The oblivion you truly are, have ever been, will ever be.

* * * *
In every inclusion, some exclusion.
In every exclusion, some inclusion.

* * * *
ineffable | inˈefəb(ə)l |
adjective

too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words:
the ineffable natural beauty of the Everglades.

• not to be uttered: the ineffable Hebrew name that gentiles write as Jehovah.

1  the ineffable, surging joy of the Beatles:
indescribable, inexpressible, beyond words, beyond description, begging description;
indefinable, unutterable, untold, unimaginable;
overwhelming, breathtaking, awesome, marvelous, wonderful, staggering, amazing.

2  the ineffable name of God:
unutterable, not to be uttered, not to be spoken, unmentionable, forbidden, taboo.

* * * *
Why would you need to believe in,
To worship, to venerate, to adulate, to idolize,
Some imaginary, iconic, dualistic, on-high Olympian deity,
When you can linger in non-dualistic awareness,
When you can simply be the entirety,
Timelessly transient.

* * * *
You create your own yoke – heavy or light or nonexistent –
It is up to you and the level of attachment to your dreamtime.

* * * *
What is the persona but a defensive psychic shield against the harshness of your universe.
An imaginary identity with which you daily manage your world as it fashioned you.
Alas, what happened to the courage with which you wandered your childhood?

* * * *
And why again do you keep coming back?
What world, what sun have you not wandered
That you must repeat it again and again and again?

* * * *
The corporal body is but a means to a dream,
A temporal reverie of the three-dimensional kind.

* * * *
That most primal thing, fear, has been key in molding this imaginary you,
A conditioned identity that you every day wake up believing real and true.
A state of mind, a state of attachment, a sword by which you live and die.

* * * *
Is it an electromagnetic spectrum?
An electromagnetic matrix?
Or anything at all?

* * * *
To care or not to care you every moment decide.
Choose yes, choose no, consequences ever ripple.

* * * *
What no one knows is generally much easier to forget.
If you want a secret kept, best keep it to yourself.

* * * *
Your sense of significance is highly exaggerated, highly overrated.
As all-important as your path to glory likely theaters out in that temporal head,
It is at best barely a twitch of a vibration on the Richter scale of the electromagnetic matrix.

* * * *
Effing the ineffable.
More effing the ineffable.
Even more effing the ineffable.

* * * *
Gobbledygook.
More gobbledygook.
Even more gobbledygook.

* * * *
Human drivel.
More human drivel.
Even more human drivel.

* * * *
Mind gorp.
More mind gorp.
Even more mind gorp.

* * * *
Much ado about nothing.
More much ado about nothing.
Even more much ado about nothing.

* * * *
Dogma.
More dogma.
Even more dogma.

* * * *
Glory.
More glory.
Even more glory.

* * * *
Vanity.
More vanity.
Even more vanity.

* * * *
Chaos.
More chaos.
Even more chaos.

* * * *
Absurdity.
More absurdity.
Even more absurdity.

* * * *
Rules.
More rules.
Even more rules.

* * * *
Laws.
More laws.
Even more laws.

* * * *
Power.
More power.
Even more power.

* * * *
Fame.
More fame.
Even more fame.

* * * *
Fortune.
More fortune.
Even more fortune.

* * * *
Concepts.
More concepts.
Even more concepts.

* * * *
Done.
More done.
Even more done.

* * * *
Scourge.
More scourge.
Even more scourge.

* * * *
Mind doodles.
More mind doodles.
Even more mind doodles.

* * * *
Human drivel.
More human drivel.
Even more human drivel.

* * * *
Déjà vu.
More déjà vu.
Even more déjà vu.

* * * *
Metaphors.
More metaphors.
Even more metaphors.

* * * *
Consequences.
More consequences.
Even more consequences.

* * * *
Meaninglessness.
More meaninglessness.
Even more meaninglessness.

* * * *
Purposelessness.
More purposelessness.
Even more purposelessness.

* * * *
Me, myself, and I.
More me, myself, and I.
Even more me, myself, and I.

* * * *
Cute.
More cute.
Even more cute.

* * * *
Entitlement.
More entitlement.
Even more entitlement.

* * * *
Duh.
More duh.
Even more duh.

* * * *
Doh.
More doh.
Even more doh.

* * * *
Future past.
More future past.
Even more future past.

* * * *
Say whaaaat?!!
More say whaaaat?!!
Even more say whaaaat?!!

* * * *
Tool-making.
More tool-making.
Even more tool-making.

* * * *
Home invasion.
More home invasion.
Even more home invasion.

* * * *
Deception.
More deception.
Even more deception.

* * * *
Civilization.
More civilization.
Even more civilization.

* * * *
Savagery.
More savagery.
Even more savagery.

* * * *
Delusion.
More delusion.
Even more delusion.

* * * *
Confusion.
More confusion.
Even more confusion.

* * * *
Lone Ranger.
More Lone Ranger.
Even more Lone Ranger.

* * * *
Pleasure.
More pleasure.
Even more pleasure.

* * * *
Pain.
More pain.
Even more pain.

* * * *
Death.
More death.
Even more death.

* * * *
Killing.
More killing.
Even more killing.

* * * *
Desperation.
More desperation.
Even more desperation.

* * * *
Problems.
More problems.
Even more problems.

* * * *
Solutions.
More solutions.
Even more solutions.

* * * *
Answers.
More answers.
Even more answers.

* * * *
Questions.
More questions.
Even more questions.

* * * *
Punctuation.
More punctuation.
Even more punctuation.

* * * *
Words.
More words.
Even more words.

* * * *
Food.
More food.
Even more food.

* * * *
Sustenance.
More sustenance.
Even more sustenance.

* * * *
Pathos.
More pathos.
Even more pathos.

* * * *
Anguish.
More anguish.
Even more anguish.

* * * *
Tragedy.
More tragedy.
Even more tragedy.

* * * *
Joy.
More joy.
Even more joy.

* * * *
Sorrow.
More sorrow.
Even more sorrow.

* * * *
Misery.
More misery.
Even more misery.

* * * *
Grief.
More grief.
Even more grief.

* * * *
Drugs.
More drugs.
Even more drugs.

* * * *
Sickness.
More sickness.
Even more sickness.

* * * *
Technology.
More technology.
Even more technology.

* * * *
Engineering.
More engineering.
Even more engineering.

* * * *
Science.
More science.
Even more science.

* * * *
Buzz.
More buzz.
Even more buzz.

* * * *
Noise.
More noise.
Even more noise.

* * * *
Knowledge.
More knowledge.
Even more knowledge.

* * * *
Plagiarism.
More plagiarism.
Even more plagiarism.

* * * *
Civility.
More civility.
Even more civility.

* * * *
Vulgarity.
More vulgarity.
Even more vulgarity.

* * * *
Boorishness.
More boorishness.
Even more boorishness.

* * * *
Incivility.
More incivility.
Even more incivility.

* * * *
Coarseness.
More coarseness.
Even more coarseness.

* * * *
Bullying.
More bullying.
Even more bullying.

* * * *
War.
More war.
Even more war.

* * * *
Revolution.
More revolution.
Even more revolution.

* * * *
Unrest.
More unrest.
Even more unrest.

* * * *
Strife.
More strife.
Even more strife.

* * * *
Hunger.
More hunger.
Even more hunger.

* * * *
Hoitytoityville.
More Hoitytoityville.
Even more Hoitytoityville.

* * * *
Craving.
More craving.
Even more craving.

* * * *
Contentment.
More contentment.
Even more contentment.

* * * *
Planet of the Apes.
More Planet of the Apes.
Even More Planet of the Apes.

* * * *
Something happened.
More something happened.
Even more something happened.

* * * *
Serenity.
More serenity.
Even more serenity.

* * * *
Eclectic.
More eclectic.
Even more eclectic.

* * * *
Mystery.
More mystery.
Even more mystery.

* * * *
Birth.
More birth.
Even more birth.

* * * *
Paths to glory.
More paths to glory.
Even more paths to glory.

* * * *
Whining.
More whining.
Even more whining.

* * * *
Pap.
More pap.
Even more pap.

* * * *
Space cadet.
More space cadet.
Even more space cadet.

* * * *
Being.
More being.
Even more being.

* * * *
Becoming.
More becoming.
Even more becoming.

* * * *
Thinking.
More thinking.
Even more thinking.

* * * *
Quietude.
More quietude.
Even more quietude.

* * * *
Desire.
More desire.
Even more desire.

* * * *
Fear.
More fear.
Even more fear.

* * * *
Dread.
More dread.
Even more dread.

* * * *
Abyss.
More abyss.
Even more abyss.

* * * *
Serendipity.
More serendipity.
Even more serendipity.

* * * *
Illusion.
More illusion.
Even more illusion.

* * * *
Non sequitur.
More non sequitur.
Even more non sequitur.

* * * *
Endorphins.
More endorphins.
Even more endorphins.

* * * *
More.
More more.
Even more more.

* * * *
Soma.
More soma.
Even more soma.

* * * *
Babbleon.
More babbleon.
Even more babbleon.

* * * *
Twitteron.
More twitteron.
Even more twitteron.

* * * *
Dittoheads.
More dittoheads.
Even more dittoheads.

* * * *
Twitterheads.
More twitterheads.
Even more twitterheads.

* * * *
So it goes.
More so it goes.
Even more so it goes.

* * * *
Food for words.
More food for words.
Even more food for words.


* * * *
* * * *
* * * *


SOUNDBITES


Past and future are but vanity projected upon any imaginary timeline.

* * * *
Good god, look in the mirror, play your gray.

* * * *
Trying to justify your existence is a rat wheel in the mind.

* * * *
Yet another universe created by imagination.

* * * *
Another day of pretend underway.

* * * *
There is no good guy in a home invasion.

* * * *
Religion foments dogma, dogma foments disharmony, disharmony foments destruction.

* * * *
Does anybody really die until you do?

* * * *
Consciousness is an ever-changing show of imagination.

* * * *
Nothing exists for less than a moment.

* * * *
Is anything ultimately any more than a relatively brief synergistic exercise in temporal perception?

* * * *
Dream on, Dreamer.

* * * *
Another day of wandering and pondering about in the ethereal manifest.

* * * *
Reject everything; abide in nothing.

* * * *
There are no scriptures, only writings.

* * * *
There is only one mystery in this dreamtime; one mystery with many faces.

* * * *
Forgiveness is its own redemption.

* * * *
What is all this longing for more, more, more, but an emptiness that can never be filled.

* * * *
Every truth a lie unto its Self.

* * * *
The intensity of passion is the source of all pleasure, all pain.

* * * *
A leader cannot lead where followers will not follow.

* * * *
To die every moment while conscious is an meditation worth exploring.

* * * *
What need hath the void for light or sound, or even dark or silence?

* * * *
Spies can be handy, especially if more inspired by loyalty than coin.

* * * *
So many ways to suffer; so little time.

* * * *
There is usually more to most stories: listen closely, ask questions, avoid rushing to judgment.

* * * *
Do not assume a life successful when founded upon greed, violence, corruption, and lies.

* * * *
Every seed is born anew, each filled with the same ever-present, indivisible, undying essence.

* * * *
A leader who does not value honesty runs greater risks of failure in any long run.

* * * *
Truth is not a thing, nor is it a non-thing.

* * * *
Illusion is all.

* * * *
What is small, what is large, in calling something short or tall?

* * * *
Words are such incomplete, tenuous assumptions.

* * * *
The universe without is but a reflection of the one within, as infinite as it is infinitesimal.

* * * *
What is death but evaporating back into stardust.

* * * *
Philosophy is the solace of those who have not sought out the greater vanities.

* * * *
A new discovery every moment.

* * * *
The flames of power, fame, and fortune singe many an envious wing.

* * * *
The mind is but an obscure eye.

* * * *
Congratulations on holding true to your meme.

* * * *
Objectivity is a myth to which science subscribes, but can never grasp.

* * * *
Vanity rules us all.

* * * *
The monkey mind is very adept at waylaying any doubt.

* * * *
Art is the remedy for the peaks and valleys of the creative mind.

* * * *
Even blind or deaf or mute or anosmic or numb, you are it and it is you.

* * * *
Yet another clinging to what was as if it matters.

* * * *
All politics is but rhetoric; do not seek truth in the abyss between two or more.

* * * *
Soooo … How is a god man or god woman supposed to behave?

* * * *
Lean air up in them ivory towers.

* * * *
Even the greatest pharaohs, the greatest kings, were nothing more than pawns of fate.

* * * *
Purpose and meaning … Say whaaaat?!!

* * * *
The most likely reason for your cause of death is having been born in the first place.

* * * *
Packaged and repackaged as fresh again and again and again, it is, it is, it is.

* * * *
There is no past, there is no future, there is only this moment unending.

* * * *
Are you full yet?

* * * *
The obvious is not obvious to all.

* * * *
Education is only as meaningful as the mind that gives it attention, full or otherwise.

* * * *
Born again or born anew?

* * * *
Embrace your insignificance.

* * * *
Insidious stuff, water, that it can both create and nurture life, and destroy it, too.

* * * *
One of us is the other.

* * * *
Embrace the meaninglessness; embrace the purposelessness.

* * * *
Oh, very Tao, what will you leave us this time?

* * * *
We all suffer from one variety of miasma or another.

* * * *
So it goes, too bad, so sorry, oh well, deal with it, get over it, move on.

* * * *
The meaning of life is that it lacks any ultimate meaning, whatsoever.

* * * *
Necessity is perhaps the greatest teacher.

* * * *
The challenge is to not be your own worst enemy.

* * * *
Is any other creature any more enthralled with their genitalia than we primates are?

* * * *
You are the mystery.

* * * *
Hope for the best; plan for the worst.

* * * *
All else is imagination.

* * * *
Once Was Enough

* * * *
A Dollop of Doubt

* * * *
Abide in Transience

* * * *
Tabula Rasa

* * * *
Beyond Ineffable

* * * *
Same old monkey.

* * * *
Bring in the clowns.

* * * *
It is never easy being imprisoned in a fading rose.

* * * *
It is all pointless, both literally and figuratively.

* * * *
To call it the heart of awareness is not about some willy-nilly emotional state.

* * * *
Your dream is whether it is all about yesterday or today or tomorrow.

* * * *
It is all so superficial.

* * * *
What has science become but the cataloging of unending minutia.

* * * *
Yet another thing you have a hard time wanting to care about.

* * * *
Philosophy is the refuge of untitled kings.

* * **
All differences are but vain notions fabricated in the mind’s eye.

* * * *
Are you a human being or a human becoming?

* * * *
The timeless prior-to-consciousness moment is where its at, has ever been, will ever be.

* * * *
Fate is about what price you are willing to pay.

* * * *
There it is again; there it is not again.

* * * *
Only you know your unabridged story, and even that not completely or accurately.

* * * *
A secret is not long held by more than one set of lips.

* * * *
Another day of slaving away for DNA.

* * * *
Nothing is real and true but for the programming that assumes it so.

* * * *
You are ever the same as before as during as after.

* * * *
Perception is an erstwhile taskmaster.

* * * *
How much bother will you be required to endure today?

* * * *
Like it or not, what you really are and are not is, for all practical purposes, forever.

* * * *
Is happiness really about happiness, or is it more about not being miserable?

* * * *
A species that deserves to go extinct if ever there was one.

* * * *
The mystery born anew, born you.

* * * *
Without memory, did anything ever really happen?

* * * *
Another day a-streamin’ in the dreamin’.

* * * *
Ever since inception, the body has every moment endured its diminishment.

* * * *
Yet another case of something happened.

* * * *
What is nationalism but tribalism on steroids.

* * * *
The mystery wakes up to another day.

* * * *
Abide in transience.

* * * *
The key ingredient to discerning the ultimate reality is a heady dollop of doubt.

* * * *
Dare to know; dare to not know.

* * * *
Peering out from a face never seen, a universe never known.

* * * *
Absolute power does not corrupt the absolute.

* * * *
Another day in the genitalia wars.

* * * *
Look to your awareness to see the truth of you in all.

* * * *
Abiding in stillness, existing without label, without definition, now that’s nirvana.

* * * *
As if it matters.

* * * *
Embrace the aloneness, embrace the sovereignty, embrace the infinity.

* * * *
Everything is forgotten in one sooner or later or another.

* * * *
Generation after generation must learn anew who they can and cannot trust.

* * * *
The best solution to either wealth or poverty is a richness of spirit.

* * * *
You have been locked in a struggle with death since the moment you were conceived.

* * * *
Absurdity from dawn to dusk, and all the dark hours before and after.

* * * *
To meet your fate with a full breath inspires the greatest courage.

* * * *
To break with history, with the chains of time, is the only true freedom.

* * * *
How long can virtue withstand the winds of fierce and bitter consciousness?

* * * *
Discontent is best remedied by regular, sustained breathing.

* * * *
The struggle of existence is ceaseless from first breath to last.

* * * *
To die to time, to suspend all memories, is to be free, to be born anew in the given moment.

* * * *
Consciousness does not easily relinquish its imaginary universe.

* * * *
The garden is still very Darwinesque, despite all the safety nets we pretend will save us.

* * * *
Being trapped in the body-mind can often be very trying.

* * * *
No matter how many rocks you turn over, beneath each and every one is the same mystery.

* * * *
As if all your opinions mean diddly-squat.

* * * *
Do not be usurped by gossip, and by the way, it is all gossip.

* * * *
Truth or delusion, you decide.

* * * *
How much more don’t you desperately need?

* * * *
The times and places and names and faces may change, but the mystery is ever the same.

* * * *
Party on, the Reaper is but a breath away.

* * * *
Yabba-dabba-doo.

* * * *
How useless the critic who does not use his/her wit to discern beyond personal prejudice.

* * * *
Life is a marathon, not a sprint, or at least not all the time.

* * * *
Judgment requires an intensity that often burdens the accuser as much if not more than the accused.

* * * *
What is any given cosmos but a sensory body, a brain, and a mind imagining it so.

* * * *
Only so much anyone can do to waylay the inevitable.

* * * *
What a strange thing to follow anyone; what a strange thing to be followed by anyone.

* * * *
Something happened, more something happened, even more something happened.

* * * *
Planet of the Apes, more Planet of the Apes, even More Planet of the Apes.

* * * *
Meaninglessness, more meaninglessness, even more meaninglessness.

* * * *
Entitlement, more entitlement, even more entitlement.

* * * *
Savagery, more savagery, even more savagery.

* * * *
Confusion, more confusion, even more confusion.

* * * *
Lone ranger, more lone ranger, even more lone ranger.

* * * *
Dittoheads, more dittoheads, even more dittoheads.

* * * *
Babbleon, more babbleon, even more babbleon.

* * * *
So it goes, more so it goes, even more so it goes.

* * * *
Punctuation, more punctuation, even more punctuation.

* * * *
Hoitytoityville, more Hoitytoityville, even more Hoitytoityville.

* * * *
Effing the ineffable, more effing the ineffable, even more effing the ineffable.

* * * *
Purposelessness, more purposelessness, even more purposelessness.

* * * *
Consequences, more consequences, even more consequences.

* * * *
Deception, more deception, even more deception.

* * * *
Serenity, more serenity, even more serenity.

* * * *
Illusion, more illusion, even more illusion.

* * * *
Questions, more questions, even more questions.

* * * *
Non sequitur, more non sequitur, even more non sequitur.

* * * *
Thinking, more thinking, even more thinking.

* * * *
Problems, more problems, even more problems.

* * * *
Mind gorp, more mind gorp, even more mind gorp.

* * * *
Concepts, more concepts, even more concepts.

* * * *
Fortune, more fortune, even more fortune.

* * * *
Gobbledygook, more gobbledygook, even more gobbledygook.

* * * *
Human balderdash, more human balderdash, even more human balderdash.

* * * *
Food for words, more food for words, even more food for words.

* * * *
Solutions, more solutions, even more solutions.

* * * *
Power, more power, even more power.

* * * *
Glory, more glory, even more glory.

* * * *
Rules, more rules, even more rules.

* * * *
Pleasure, more pleasure, even more pleasure.

* * * *
Tool-making, more tool-making, even more tool-making.

* * * *
Answers, more answers, even more answers.

* * * *
Laws, more laws, even more laws.

* * * *
Done, more done, even more done.

* * * *
Anguish, more anguish, even more anguish.

* * * *
Tragedy, more tragedy, even more tragedy.

* * * *
Serendipity, more serendipity, even more serendipity.

* * * *
Future past, more future past, even more future past.

* * * *
Sustenance, more sustenance, even more sustenance.

* * * *
Déjà vu, more déjà vu, even more déjà vu.

* * * *
Dogma, more dogma, even more dogma.

* * * *
Fame, more fame, even more fame.

* * * *
Joy, more joy, even more joy.

* * * *
Chaos, more chaos, even more chaos.

* * * *
Vanity, more vanity, even more vanity.

* * * *
Scourge, more scourge, even more scourge.

* * * *
Human drivel, more human drivel, even more human drivel.

* * * *
Absurdity, more absurdity, even more absurdity.

* * * *
Misery, more misery, even more misery.

* * * *
Cute, more cute, even more cute.

* * * *
Sorrow, more sorrow, even more sorrow.

* * * *
Desperation, more desperation, even more desperation.

* * * *
Say whaaaat?!!, more say whaaaat?!!, even more say whaaaat?!!

* * * *
Boorishness, more boorishness, even more boorishness.

* * * *
Incivility, more incivility, even more incivility.

* * * *
Coarseness, more coarseness, even more coarseness.

* * * *
Bullying, more bullying, even more bullying.

* * * *
Doh, more doh, even more doh.

* * * *
Sickness, more sickness, even more sickness.

* * * *
Technology, more technology, even more technology.

* * * *
Engineering, more engineering, even more engineering.

* * * *
Science, more science, even more science.

* * * *
Buzz, more buzz, even more buzz.

* * * *
Grief, more grief, even more grief.

* * * *
Duh, more duh, even more duh.

* * * *
Civility, more civility, even more civility.

* * * *
Vulgarity, more vulgarity, even more vulgarity.

* * * *
Metaphors, more metaphors, even more metaphors.

* * * *
Home invasion, more home invasion, even more home invasion.

* * * *
Knowledge, more knowledge, even more knowledge.

* * * *
Plagiarism, more plagiarism, even more plagiarism.

* * * *
Unrest, more unrest, even more unrest.

* * * *
Noise, more noise, even more noise.

* * * *
Fear, more fear, even more fear.

* * * *
Soma, more soma, even more soma.

* * * *
Delusion, more delusion, even more delusion.

* * * *
Dread, more dread, even more dread.

* * * *
Strife, more strife, even more strife.

* * * *
Killing, more killing, even more killing.

* * * *
Mind doodles, more mind doodles, even more mind doodles.

* * * *
Civilization, more civilization, even more civilization.

* * * *
Quietude, more quietude, even more quietude.

* * * *
Abyss, more abyss, even more abyss.

* * * *
Desire, ore desire, even more desire.

* * * *
Pain, more pain, even more pain.

* * * *
More, more more, even more more.

* * * *
Eclectic, more eclectic, even more eclectic.

* * * *
Twitteron, more twitteron, even more twitteron.

* * * *
Words, more words, even more words.

* * * *
Food, more food, even more food.

* * * *
Death, more death, even more death.

* * * *
Endorphins, more endorphins, even more endorphins.

* * * *
Twitterheads, more twitterheads, even more twitterheads.

* * * *
Revolution, more revolution, even more revolution.

* * * *
Hunger, more hunger, even more hunger.

* * * *
Mystery, more mystery, even more mystery.

* * * *
Birth, more birth, even more birth.

* * * *
Paths to glory, more paths to glory, even more paths to glory.

* * * *
Whining, more whining, even more whining.

* * * *
Pap, more pap, even more pap.

* * * *
Space cadet, more space cadet, even more space cadet.

* * * *
Being, more being, even more being.

* * * *
Becoming, more becoming, even more becoming.

* * * *
Drugs, more drugs, even more drugs.

* * * *
War, more war, even more war.

* * * *
Pathos, more pathos, even more pathos.

* * * *
Craving, more craving, even more craving.

* * * *
Contentment, more contentment, even more contentment.

* * * *
Me, myself, and I, more me, myself, and I, even more me, myself, and I.

* * * *
Much ado about nothing, more much ado about nothing, even more much ado about nothing.


* * * *
* * * *
* * * *


POSSIBLE TITLES


The Filament of Mind

* * * *
The Filament of Time

* * * *
The Filament of Light

* * * *
The Filament of Sound

* * * *
The Filament of Taste

* * * *
The Filament of Smell

* * * *
The Filament of Vibration

* * * *
The Arbitrary You

* * * *
The Objective You

* * * *
The Arbitrary-Objective Everything-Nothing

* * * *
Goodbye Absurd World

* * * *
A Quantum Tapestry

* * * *
The Eyes of Innocence

* * * *
The Eyes of Age

* * * *
The Eyes of Agelessness

* * * *
The Rabbit Hole

* * * *
The Rabbit Hole of Mind

* * * *
The Rabbit Hole Less Traveled

* * * *
Word Hoarder

* * * *
The Soul's Furnace

* * * *
Vanity Rules Us All

* * * *
Full Steam Ahead

* * * *
Running Out of Steam

* * * *
The Rolodex of Imagination

* * * *
The Rolodex of Irony and Paradox

* * * *
The Rolodex of Absurdity

* * * *
The Rolodex of Inanity

* * * *
Happy Hallmark Holiday

* * * *
The Genitalia Wars

* * * *
Happy Genitalia Day

* * * *
You Are the Mystery

* * * *
The Old Man and the Sea

* * * *
The Desultory Life

* * * *
The Purposeful Life

* * * *
Same Old Monkey

* * * *
Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst

* * * *
All Else Is Imagination

* * * *
The Human Being

* * * *
The Human Becoming

* * * *
Yet Another One

* * * *
So Sayeth the Savage

* * * *
Rehashing Old Hash

* * * *
Embrace Your Insignificance

* * * *
Corporal Time Machines

* * * *
The Obvious is Not Obvious to All

* * * *
Are You Full Yet?

* * * *
The Consumptive Life

* * * *
The Pawns of Fate

* * * *
A Tool-Making Predator

* * * *
Hunting Grounds

* * * *
Migration

* * * *
Food and Sustenance

* * * *
Ugatz

* * * *
My Take

* * * *
Dream On, Dreamer

* * * *
Symbiosis

* * * *
The Electromagnetic Matrix

* * * *
The Reaper

* * * *
The Neuron Universe

* * * *
The Cosmic Neuron

* * * *
The Is and the Is Not

* * * *
The Sleepwalkers

* * * *
The Dreamwalkers

* * * *
The Rolodex of Perception

* * * *
The Troublemaker

* * * *
Nationalism: Tribalism on Steroids

* * * *
The Mystery Awakens to Another Day

* * * *
The Metaphorical Constituent

* * * *
Dare to Know

* * * *
Dare to Not Know

* * * *
A Born Again Agnostic

* * * *
Peering Out from a Face Never Seen

* * * *
As If It Never Happened

* * * *
Life in Babbleon

* * * *
Life in Twitteron

* * * *
The Dittoheads

* * * *
The Twitterheads

* * * *
Babbleheads in Babbleon

* * * *
Twitterheads in Twitteron

* * * *
Dittoheads and Twitterheads

* * * *
A Time of Consequences

* * * *
The Furrowed Brow

* * * *
The Timeless Now

* * * *
Spreadsheet Madness

* * * *
The Man Who Would Be God

* * * *
Death Rules Us All, The World Wags On

* * * *
Truth or Delusion, You Decide

* * * *
As If All Your Opinions Mean Diddly-Squat

* * * *
How Much More Don’t You Desperately Need?

* * * *
The Futile Game

* * * *
One in the Same

* * * *
The Conspiracy of Mind

* * * *
Fence Rider

* * * *
A Fountain of Bullshit

* * * *
The Identity Games

* * * *
Slaving Away for DNA

* * * *
A Profitless Prophet

* * * *
Save the World? Maybe Tomorrow

* * * *
Illusion is All

* * * *
The First and Last Meaning

* * * *
The First and Last Purpose

* * * *
The Fiasco

* * * *
The Dance of Consciousness

* * * *
Light and Shadow

* * * *
The Signature Move

* * * *
The Great Whatever

* * * *
Riding the Irony and Paradox

* * * *
The Alonesome Cowboy

* * * *
The Nothing-Really-Matters Mind

* * * *
The Golden Rule

* * * *
The Golden Tablets

* * * *
The Mystery Come to Life

* * * *
The Immortal You

* * * *
The Litany of Desire

* * * *
The Litany of Fear

* * * *
The Quest for More

* * * *
The Ever-Distractible Mind

* * * *
Quantum Fairy Dust

* * * *
As If It Matters

* * * *
No Judgment

* * * *
Misery Loves Company

* * * *
Death While Living

* * * *
The Mystery Born Anew, Born You

* * * *
The End of the Hungry Mind

* * * *
Comfortably Numb

* * * *
A-Streamin’ in the Dreamin’

* * * *
How Can A Dream Be Measured?

* * * *
Quantum Tales

* * * *
Manifest Destiny

* * * *
Unmanifest Destiny

* * * *
Taking Care of Business

* * * *
Everything is Forgotten

* * * *
Rogue Buddha

* * * *
The Dastardly Deed

* * * *
In God We Dust

* * * *
The Bane of Consciousness

* * * *
Light Dancer

* * * *
Shadow Dancer

* * * *
Yabba-Dabba-Doo

* * * *
Embrace the Mystery

* * * *
The Hungry Mind

* * * *
The Hunger Games

* * * *
A Dubious Assumption

* * * *
Another Dubious Assumption

* * * *
Yet Another Dubious Assumption

* * * *
A Whiff of Vanity

* * * *
The Day Before

* * * *
The Day

* * * *
The Day After

* * * *
Of Becoming and Being

* * * *
Unbecoming

* * * *
What to Do When All Meaning and Purpose Has Ended

* * * *
The No-Mind No-Monk

* * * *
The Feral No-Monk

* * * *
There Is No Good Guy in a Home Invasion

​* * * *
The Miasma of Mind

* * * *
The Lazy Man’s Way

* * * *
A Wander in Awareness

* * * *
The Ghost of Quantum Present

* * * *
The Ghost of Quantum Past

* * * *
The Ghost of Quantum Yet to Come

* * * *
Effing the Ineffable

* * * *
More Effing the Ineffable

* * * *
Even More Effing the Ineffable

* * * *
Gobbledygook

* * * *
More Gobbledygook

* * * *
Even More Gobbledygook

* * * *
Human Drivel

* * * *
More Human Drivel

* * * *
Even More Human Drivel

* * * *
Mind Gorp

* * * *
More Mind Gorp

* * * *
Even more Mind Gorp

* * * *
Much Ado About Nothing

* * * *
More Much Ado About Nothing

* * * *
Even More Much Ado About Nothing

* * * *
Dogma

* * * *
More Dogma

* * * *
Even More Dogma

* * * *
Glory

* * * *
More Glory

* * * *
Even More Glory

* * * *
Vanity

* * * *
More Vanity

* * * *
Even More Vanity

* * * *
Chaos

* * * *
More Chaos

* * * *
Even More Chaos

* * * *
Absurdity

* * * *
More Absurdity

* * * *
Even More Absurdity

* * * *
Rules

* * * *
More Rules

* * * *
Even More Rules

* * * *
Laws

* * * *
More Laws

* * * *
Even More Laws

* * * *
Power

* * * *
More Power

* * * *
Even More Power

* * * *
Fame

* * * *
More Fame

* * * *
Even More Fame

* * * *
Fortune

* * * *
More Fortune

* * * *
Even More Fortune

* * * *
Concepts

* * * *
More Concepts

* * * *
Even More Concepts

* * * *
Done

* * * *
More Done

* * * *
Even More Done

* * * *
Scourge

* * * *
More Scourge

* * * *
Even More Scourge

* * * *
Mind Doodles

* * * *
More Mind Doodles

* * * *
Even More Mind Doodles

* * * *
Human Drivel

* * * *
More Human Drivel

* * * *
Even More Human Drivel

* * * *
Déjà Vu

* * * *
More Déjà Vu

* * * *
Even More Déjà Vu

* * * *
Future Past

* * * *
More Future Past

* * * *
Even More Future Past

* * * *
Say Whaaaat?!!

* * * *
More Say Whaaaat?!!

* * * *
Even More Say Whaaaat?!!

* * * *
Me, Myself, and I

* * * *
More Me, Myself, and I

* * * *
Even More Me, Myself, and I

* * * *
Cute

* * * *
More Cute

* * * *
Even More Cute.

* * * *
Duh

* * * *
More Duh

* * * *
Even More Duh

* * * *
Doh

* * * *
More Doh

* * * *
Even More Doh

* * * *
Metaphors

* * * *
More Metaphors

* * * *
Even More Metaphors

* * * *
Consequences

* * * *
More Consequences

* * * *
Even More Consequences

* * * *
Meaninglessness

* * * *
More Meaninglessness

* * * *
Even More Meaninglessness.

* * * *
Purposelessness

* * * *
More Purposelessness

* * * *
Even More Purposelessness

* * * *
Mystery

* * * *
More Mystery

* * * *
Even More Mystery

* * * *
Birth

* * * *
More Birth

* * * *
Even More Birth

* * * *
Paths to Glory

* * * *
More Paths to Glory

* * * *
Even More Paths to Glory

* * * *
Whining

* * * *
More Whining

* * * *
Even More Whining

* * * *
Pap

* * * *
More Pap

* * * *
Even More Pap

* * * *
Space Cadet

* * * *
More Space Cadet

* * * *
Even More Space Cadet

* * * *
Being

* * * *
More Being

* * * *
Even More Being

* * * *
Becoming

* * * *
More Becoming

* * * *
Even More Becoming

* * * *
Tool-Making

* * * *
More Tool-Making

* * * *
Even More Tool-Making

* * * *
Home Invasion

* * * *
More Home Invasion

* * * *
Even More Home Invasion

* * * *
Deception

* * * *
More Deception

* * * *
Even More Deception

* * * *
Civilization

* * * *
More Civilization

* * * *
Even More Civilization

* * * *
Savagery

* * * *
More Savagery

* * * *
Even More Savagery

* * * *
Delusion

* * * *
More Delusion

* * * *
Even More Delusion

* * * *
Confusion

* * * *
More Confusion

* * * *
Even More Confusion

* * * *
Lone Ranger

* * * *
More Lone Ranger

* * * *
Even More Lone Ranger

* * * *
Pleasure

* * * *
More Pleasure

* * * *
Even More Pleasure

* * * *
Pain

* * * *
More Pain

* * * *
Even More Pain

* * * *
Death

* * * *
More Death

* * * *
Even More Death

* * * *
Killing

* * * *
More Killing

* * * *
Even More Killing

* * * *
Desperation

* * * *
More Desperation

* * * *
Even More Desperation

* * * *
Problems

* * * *
More Problems

* * * *
Even More Problems

* * * *
Solutions

* * * *
More Solutions

* * * *
Even More Solutions

* * * *
Answers

* * * *
More Answers

* * * *
Even More Answers

* * * *
Questions

* * * *
More Questions

* * * *
Even More Questions

* * * *
Punctuation

* * * *
More Punctuation

* * * *
Even More Punctuation

* * * *
Words

* * * *
More Words

* * * *
Even More Words

* * * *
Food

* * * *
More Food

* * * *
Even More Food

* * * *
Sustenance

* * * *
More Sustenance

* * * *
Even More Sustenance

* * * *
Pathos

* * * *
More Pathos

* * * *
Even More Pathos

* * * *
Anguish

* * * *
More Anguish

* * * *
Even More Anguish

* * * *
Tragedy

* * * *
More Tragedy

* * * *
Even More Tragedy

* * * *
Joy

* * * *
More Joy

* * * *
Even More Joy

* * * *
Sorrow

* * * *
More Sorrow

* * * *
Even More Sorrow

* * * *
Misery

* * * *
More Misery

* * * *
Even More Misery

* * * *
Grief

* * * *
More Grief

* * * *
Even More Grief

* * * *
Drugs

* * * *
More Drugs

* * * *
Even More Drugs

* * * *
Sickness

* * * *
More Sickness

* * * *
Even More Sickness

* * * *
Technology

* * * *
More Technology

* * * *
Even More Technology

* * * *
Engineering

* * * *
More Engineering

* * * *
Even More Engineering

* * * *
Science

* * * *
More Science

* * * *
Even More Science

* * * *
Buzz

* * * *
More Buzz

* * * *
Even More Buzz

* * * *
Noise

* * * *
More Noise

* * * *
Even More Noise

* * * *
Knowledge

* * * *
More Knowledge

* * * *
Even More Knowledge

* * * *
Plagiarism

* * * *
More Plagiarism

* * * *
Even More Plagiarism

* * * *
Civility

* * * *
More Civility

* * * *
Even More Civility

* * * *
Vulgarity

* * * *
More Vulgarity

* * * *
Even More Vulgarity

* * * *
Boorishness

* * * *
More Boorishness

* * * *
Even More Boorishness

* * * *
Incivility

* * * *
More Incivility

* * * *
Even More Incivility

* * * *
Coarseness

* * * *
More Coarseness

* * * *
Even More Coarseness

* * * *
Bullying

* * * *
More Bullying

* * * *
Even More Bullying

* * * *
War

* * * *
More War

* * * *
Even More War

* * * *
Revolution

* * * *
More Revolution

* * * *
Even More Revolution

* * * *
Unrest

* * * *
More Unrest

* * * *
Even More Unrest

* * * *
Strife

* * * *
More Strife

* * * *
Even More Strife

* * * *
Hunger

* * * *
More Hunger

* * * *
Even More Hunger

* * * *
Craving

* * * *
More Craving

* * * *
Even More Craving

* * * *
Contentment

* * * *
More Contentment

* * * *
Even More Contentment

* * * *
Serendipity

* * * *
More Serendipity

* * * *
Even More Serendipity

* * * *
Illusion

* * * *
More Illusion

* * * *
Even More Illusion

* * * *
Non Sequitur

* * * *
More Non Sequitur

* * * *
Even More Non Sequitur

* * * *
Endorphins

* * * *
More Endorphins

* * * *
Even More Endorphins

* * * *
More

* * * *
More More

* * * *
Even More More

* * * *
Soma

* * * *
More Soma

* * * *
Even More Soma

* * * *
Babbleon

* * * *
More Babbleon

* * * *
Even More Babbleon

* * * *
Twitteron

* * * *
More Twitteron

* * * *
Even More Twitteron

* * * *
Dittoheads

* * * *
More Dittoheads.

* * * *
Even More Dittoheads

* * * *
Twitterheads

* * * *
More Twitterheads

* * * *
Even More Twitterheads

* * * *
Food for Words

* * * *
More Food for Words

* * * *
Even More Food for Words

* * * *
Serenity

* * * *
More Serenity

* * * *
Even More Serenity

* * * *
Planet of the Apes

* * * *
More Planet of the Apes

* * * *
Even More Planet of the Apes

* * * *
Eclectic

* * * *
More Eclectic

* * * *
Even More Eclectic

* * * *
Something Happened

* * * *
More Something Happened

* * * *
Even More Something Happened

* * * *
Thinking

* * * *
More Thinking

* * * *
Even More Thinking

* * * *
Quietude

* * * *
More Quietude

* * * *
Even More Quietude

* * * *
Hoitytoityville

* * * *
More Hoitytoityville

* * * *
Even more Hoitytoityville

* * * *
Desire

* * * *
More Desire

* * * *
Even More Desire

* * * *
Fear

* * * *
More Fear

* * * *
Even More Fear

* * * *
Dread

* * * *
More Dread

* * * *
Even More Dread

* * * *
Abyss

* * * *
More Abyss

* * * *
Even More Abyss

* * * *
So It Goes

* * * *
More So It Goes

* * * *
Even More So It Goes


* * * *
* * * *
* * * *


COROLLARIES


Jason Brown (circa 2017):
I just don’t ‘like’ women anymore.
Yaj Ekim’s Corollary:
Certainly not as easy once the overpowering delusion of that lower brain diminishes.

* * * *
Roland Russel (circa 1973):
Mike, why don’t you write poetry, it’s kind of fun …
Yaj Ekim’s Corollary:
“What would have become of me if I hadn’t?” he wondered.

* * * *
Philosopher George Berkeley (circa 1710):
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Yaj Ekim’s Corollary:
Even if a tree falls in a forest surrounded by a throng,

Did it, or they, ever really exist is the question.


* * * *
* * * *
* * * *


POSSIBLE LAST WORDS & EPITAPHS


Goodbye Absurd World


* * * *
* * * *
* * * *


BREADCRUMBS


Oh, for a time machine from which to view all creation, all dissolution.
Alas that dreamtime does not exist as more than imaginary filament.

* * * *
I be a born again agnostic.

* * * *
I be not bound within by any law fashioned of human conception,
For I abide in nature’s realm, and no other shall stand before it.

* * * *
Been there, seen that; the wheel of creation and destruction rolls on and on.

* * * *
Happy Birthday, oh, Happy Birthday …
Sickness, sorrow, pain, and despair …
People dying everywhere … but …
Happy Birthday, oh, Happy Birthday.

(Sung to Russian tune)

* * * *
​ A good friend is content with your cordial attention.
A fair number of women seem to expect your soul, too.

* * * *
Bookstores and libraries and boxes of books at yard sales always make me drowsy.
Something to do with the overwhelming concentration of consciousness, methinks.

* * * *
A walkin’-talkin’ fountain of gibberish, I am, I am.

* * * *
I think, therefore I think I exist.
I think, therefore I think I am.

* * * *
If you do not care, why should I?

* * * *
Another day: More food for words.

* * * *
Don’t have to care anymore, so I try not to as often as mind allows.

* * * *
Save the world? I think not.

* * * *
Save the world? Maybe tomorrow.

* * * *
Worn enough hats to know they would all fit if I had the interest and capability.

* * * *
What an absurd, pathetic hoax the human drama has become.
What is the cosmos to me anymore but a muse for more thoughts,
More thoughts than anyone but myself will ever even begin to peruse.

* * * *
I think, therefore I think I am.
I exist without labels or definitions.
What others think of me means nothing.

* * * *
Having never followed, having never imitated anybody,
Why would I ever insist that anyone follow or imitate me?

* * * *
Rest assured, the depths to which my cynicism flows, have yet to be fully plumbed.

* * * *
It is the long and winding journey
Through so many different frames of reference
That has spiced up this seemingly endless collection of thoughts.

* * * *
A hodgepodge of banterings with Len Howard of Henderson, Nevada, during our online relationship that began through Facebook in 2012.  Not in any particular order.  He several times commented on how much I’d written, and that he was surprised that I wasn’t better known, to which my answer is a better-someone-else-than-me so it goes.

Facebook: Len Howard

-----
Hey, hey, Len,

Thought I'd touch bases and see how things are going these daze.  You seem to be hanging pretty regularly online.  Still, hopefully, in reasonable health for the sand still wafting away in the hourglass.

As you implied in one of your comments, I've been on the non-caring side of things as far as all things wordy goes.  Been a lot more quiet in a good portion of the daily wander.  More and more into the Ramana Maharshi approach to the mystery of it all.  Writing down all the ditties that have come to mind these last twenty-plus years has been great fun, but there has definitely always been an ebb and flow to the interest level.  As Lao Tzu said, "A strong wind does not blow all morning."  And right now, this wind is very definitely in low-ebb mode.

Most everything I've written has been posted in one online zone or another.  Finally getting down to the dregs in the transcription/editing process.  Only four or five hundred pages to go, and relatively few new ditties pumping out in any given day.  So, if it has any value to the future -- which I think we both agree is not going to be very pretty; certainly not a world to which I'd want to return -- I leave it to others to pass it on, or not.

-----
All I can say is I certainly didn't seek this out.  Pretty amazing considering that I didn't even come from a religious background, or any reason to believe or not believe in anything.  Quite content from the get-go just to be.  Just a small town farm kid with an orchard out back and a canal across the street.  Things just sort of happened -- an endless series of adventures here and there that streamed to further adventures there and here -- and the words just sort started coming, and kept coming, and keep coming.  And believe me, I am in as much awe as you.  

Nice being anonymous, though.  The thought of being known wherever I go, of being onstage chatting it up with the crowd, or having to put out some polished package, or accidently create some dogma, would be even more bother than it already is.  Fortunately, there are plenty of very insightful people out there who are far more eager than I to do such things.  Me, I get to sit in coffee shops and bars, walk beaches, valleys, mountains, city streets, and run occasionally, randomly, into unsuspecting strangers who have eyes to see and ears to hear an anonymous stranger.  And then I wander on, still anonymous.  It isn't about me.  Perfect.

And as far as this body goes, I'm just getting underway in the fourth quarter, and it don't look pretty.  My Mom has had several eye operations for cataracts and glaucoma.  She's 85, hasn't done much harm to her body, and has good insurance.  Me, I ain't got nothing but a decent toss in the genetic lottery.  Had one of those radial keratotomies back in the 90's that's gradually going south.  The knee is wobbly from a foolish slip off a curb, and the rest of the body is snap-crackle-popping its way to oblivion.  The time of time of consequences is underway.  Waaaah!

When I think about how things have happened in this life, much of it is because I had no big agenda, no definite calling.  Came from unambitious, humble peasant stock -- farmers, preacher and teachers is how I've heard us called -- and there was nothing I desperately wanted or needed out of life.  Everything has generally always come or happened of its own accord, and I tried very hard to participate as fully as possible in what I now call a touchy-feely three-dimensional dream.  Though I attempted many times to foster one ambitious mode or another, generally the path of least resistance has been the one most often taken.  Accepting whatever was offered or suggested or came to mind if it was at all interesting.  Moving on whenever I was done with it, or picking myself up, dusting off and finding another horse if it had tossed me about, which many an adventure has.  Nothing really spectacular or extraordinary or at all magical, just an natural-born aimless, relatively anonymous wanderer who somehow, through the quirk of all things mystery, gradually, without fanfare, began the long and winding journey within.  If I was young and met myself now, there would likely not be a hint of recognition.

"Woke up again this morning" and "Well enough" are among the pat answers to "How's it going?" these daze.

I figure the final and biggest challenge in life is being content with however it's played out.  Looking back it certainly seems like many, many lives were packed into just this one.  The rolodex of memories is beyond counting, even with all the ones that have been lost, or so faded as to leave me unsure whether or not they even happened.

-----
No worries.  There's so much out there already, so whatever you pass on is good enough.  As I've said before, I don't have much ambition for playing the marketing game, so probably the only way it's going to get dispersed is through you and a few others who've found it interesting.

Am slowly fiddling with putting together another book using a good-sized chunk of the 600-page monster I sent you a few weeks ago.  Lots of editing to be done, and new stuff still dribbling out daily.  It'll probably start off being a downloadable PDF posted on my website and Facebook page like I did with "The Stillness Before Time."  Would probably self-publish it through Lulu.com to sell on Amazon.com and other online booksellers once I get it all formatted good and proper.

Eventually, if I last so long, I'll put the whole 3,000-plus page compendium on the Return to Wonder blog for time to do with it what it will.  About a thousand pages is already posted in ten-page chapters, though I wouldn't mind re-editing it, too.

The Return to Wonder
http://thereturntowonder.blogspot.com/

Lots more to do before the worms get me, that's for sure.  A quiet little hobby while there's breath to do it.

Enjoy the weekend.

Ciao, ciao,

M

-----
Women are indeed amazing creatures.  Often joke about thanking god every day that I was born a man.  Many are called, but only half of us are chosen in this genetic lottery.  Ergo, beauty parlors, malls, and two-story, five-bedroom mortgage pits.  Have attempted a variety of relationships -- some of them quite torturous -- but never really had a strong call to play out the domesticated life.  Women confine you with their many security-oriented limitations is how I've come to see it.  No way could I have lived the life I have with a female, kids, a house, and a nine-to-five in tow.  Love 'em, but only occasionally, and from a distance ... :]

My approach to existence -- without ever having planned it -- seems to have been to eat, drink and be merry until it no longer owned me.  A drink-wine-eat-chocolate-until-you-puke philosophy.  A narcissistic hedonist -- as I think we all are, I should note -- I did everything, bought everything, imbibed everything, and grabbed for the next vine when I was done.  No bucket list because I just did whatever occurred to me to want to do.  Free will looking forward, fate looking back.

Heavens and hells or reincarnation or oblivion, I wouldn't really pretend to know -- agnostic is the only honest answer in my thinking -- though I am inclined to predict it is the latter, that the essence is immortal, but this form is just a one-shot deal.  Didn't ask to be here, ain't praying to be staying is my glib answer to it anymore.  But if I was offered a return ticket to this theater of the absurd, the only thing I might consider would be to be a sailor capable of going solo around the world, but only after making enough money as a professional hunter-seeker middle linebacker to buy the boat.  Mercenary, assassin, and/or spy might also be enticing ... :]

Above, you talked of feeling like a sham at times, but I frankly could say the same.  This mystery we're exploring leaves us all somewhat schizophrenic is my thinking,  We all get splinters from straddling the fence in our trial-by-fuck-up lives.  From what you've shared of your existence, I think you've done some amazing things.  You've witnessed all sorts of interesting people, played out all sorts of adventures, enjoyed a fulfilling relationship, and your postings reflect a great deal of insight about it all, so I certainly wouldn't say you've anything to feel a lesser buddha about.

As for my writings being known, it all seems so passé anymore.  So many have already said so much, and many much more eloquently.  The world at this point is so full of babble that relatively few are inclined to look up from their dumb phones to hear anything true.  Perhaps all my jabber only proves how earthbound I am.  Consider myself more a peon scribe playing out the Johnny Appleseed template than any full-on buddha.  Amusing myself by toying with history, mirage that it is.  Have given away hundreds, perhaps thousands of copies of the original work, and everything  will be available for free online if I don't get snuffed out before wrapping things up.  Relatively anonymous, no followers, no group, and hardly anyone knows anyone else, so the the potential for dogma is minimized.  Yes, I am very much a part and particle of this very laughable nothing-new-under-the-sun absurdity ... :]

-----
I read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" eight times in ten to fifteen years during the twenties and thirties, and each time it was a new book with parts I had absolutely no recollection reading anytime prior.  An amazing, brilliant work by my reckoning.  It has often been in my thoughts in the years since.  Took it with me on a flight across the country a couple weeks ago, and enjoyed just doing the ye old open-it-up-anywhere-and-start-reading mode.  I've decided it's one of my travel books for the foreseeable future.  Am not sure why I never sparked with "Lila," but I probably should sit down and give it another go, too.

-----
They just keep drip-drip-drip coming.  All online in one place or another at this writing, to what I-know-not-care-not end only time will tell.

-----
Regarding “The Stillness Before Time” book published by Lulu:

Lulu: The Stillness Before Time

Hah!  It's been out I'm not sure how many years now, and I'm still anonymous (Thank GOD) and less than $40 richer.  Fortunately, it ain't about the money, or the notoriety.  I just like writing and putting together little projects that come to mind.  Can't even imagine how many thousands of hours I've spent on it all.  What we do with our lives.

------
Feel free to share anything you like.  I'm not looking to ever make any money on anything I've written.  Just tossing it out into the vapor to whatever end.

-----
I've been told by a few publishers, including Ram Dass's, that this sort of aphoristic thing doesn't really sell well.  And me a total unknown to boot.  But if you think your sister-in-law might see
it differently, I say send it to her.  There's over twenty years worth in the hopper if anybody's interested in tapping into it.

-----
It's a sad truth that a good dollop of cynicism always cheers me anymore ... :]

-----
It's a curious thing how seemingly every heterosexual man in the world – me included, of course – has it in their head that they are god's gift to women.  It's almost embarrassing anymore to go out to a bar
scene, or even a coffee shop, and watch even the greying, fat, bald, and toothless ones playing out their fantasies on the sweet young things, to whom -- unless power, fame and fortune are in the mix – they are all but invisible.  Life is harsh, boys, get over it.

It's actually something of a relief to be done with the insanity of the brain below the belt line.  Put myself in way too many more than foolish situations with some real characters, to put it nicely, and shudder to think what would have happened if the Apollo had ever landed.

-----
I've been back in the home zone since 2000 so that I could help the parents through their endgame.  Dad passed in February last year, and Mom is still going strong.  I’ve been blessed, I can assure you.

-----
It's that state of mind thing.  The dark side only touches you if you let it.  But it is interesting to witness the whole show.  I have many times wandered Walmarts and other nighttime resorts just to watch the minions of the night.  One of my favorite jobs was a six-to-six taxi driver shift up in Chico back in the 90's.  A lot of interesting characters out there in the wee hours.  No doubt a pretty safe stint compared to one in New York City, but there were a few iffy rides, to be sure.  Made it to age fifty-eight, so I'm feeling pretty good about things.

-----
As for the future of our kind and the world, this is something I wrote recently to an old girlfriend:

I figure the human drama will just continue to get more and more absurd.  My guess is that you and I will probably be out of here long before it really hits the wall.  Humankind is a cancer that the world, irrevocably changed on its face, will passively abide until we hit the edge of sustainability.  Oil is still the most significant factor in my mind, and to keep it flowing at the pace it is, we will will do anything and everything possible to tap whatever's left.  So who can even begin to accurately predict when what I call the Great Fall will actually come.  Malthus was no doubt ultimately right, it's just that our genius at tool-making has thus far always been able to expand the limits, and keep that dike from bursting.

But the apex of what the world offered our plundering nature is undoubtedly behind us, and the human paradigm will at some point, quickly, steeply, harshly decline.  I suspect the pandemic so many fear will just be good old starvation.  Every dystopian scenario imaginable will likely play out somewhere across the planet.  Those who survive, if any do -- impossible to be sure mammalian life will even make it with all we've done and are doing to change the balance -- will wander the ruins scrabbling in whatever way the given geography allows.  Those who currently live as their ancestors did, or quickly rediscover how to work with whatever nature still allows, will persist far longer than those clustered in what we so vainly call civil-ization.  Whatever happens, it won't be pretty anywhere is my suspicion.

This is a book I read back in the college years

Earth Abides
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Abides

And from it the Ecclesiastes 1:4 quote:  Men go and come, but Earth abides.

Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-apocalyptic

Wikipedia: Thomas Robert Malthus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Robert_Malthus

Wikipedia: Malthusian Catastrophe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusian_catastrophe

Wikipedia: An Essay on the Principle of Population
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Essay_on_the_Principle_of_Population

Wikipedia: Human Overpopulation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_overpopulation

-----
Not sure what your views on the endgame are, or what you will be open to enduring before you get out of here, but this is a link to a variety of Final Exit articles that I have posted on my Facebook page.  My little Kevorkian bit.

Final Exit and Related Links
https://www.facebook.com/notes/michael-holshouser/final-exit-and-related-links/10151914308010912

My preference is completely alone at midnight with a helium tank, or my Colt Python with a weight tied to an ankle at the deep end of a pool or lake ... High on something very nirvanic, after a most excellent steak and lobster dinner, a high caliber bottle of Zin, and several shots of something fine whiskey.​  I aim to be as close to immortality as mortality allows, unless, of course, the seatbelt won't unbuckle and the flames get to me first, in which case, as Bokonon (a.k.a. Kurt Vonnegut) wrote in Cat's Cradle: "Expect a very human performance."

-----
I do appreciate your passing it on.  Guess I call it babble because I've been writing down pretty much everything that comes into mind for the last twenty-plus years.  Spend a few hours of most days transcribing and editing, and at this point it all seems sort of enjoyably ho-hum.  There are well over three thousand pages worth on the computer at this writing, and several more ditties as I call them often percolate onto paper on any given day.  A lot it of it is just wordplay as far as I’m concerned, but there are, as you’ve seen, a fair share of thought-provokers in there, as well.

Haven't quite figured out what to do with it all other than to give it away.  This sort of thing isn't especially marketable according to any publishers who've gotten back to me.  It’s not Harry Potter, I always say.  And as I'm a relatively anonymous character by default, it would be very challenging to make a traveling salvation show out of it.  Beside which, there are so many high-powered, slick marketing machines out there already, that anything I have to say would be redundant and much less polished.

So it's become more of a pleasant hobby than anything else.  I just post some of it on my home-brewed website, a couple Facebook pages, a few blogs, and then head out for long wanders with index cards and pen in tow.

If you're interested, I'll shoot you a PDF copy of the almost six hundred pages that have bubbled up the last couple years.  There's still a lot of editing to do, but you'll be welcome to take a look at it and share anything you like.

-----
I didn't date much in high school.  Less than a handful of times, actually.  Too shy at the time.  The first time I partied with the peers was graduation night in '72 on our little small town main street.  I was the first date for one who recently contacted me on Facebook.  She evidently had quite the crush on me, to which I, of course, was quite oblivious.  Told her she was lucky to have met the guy she did.  I would have never worked with me.  She was a staunch Christian and never left Hughson.  Raised three kids, and is as pleasantly parochial as you could imagine.

Anywho, this is what I wrote her when she asked if I'd ever considered marrying and having children:

At some point in the late twenties, I kinda-sorta of thought to myself that if I met someone who I really liked, and they wanted children, I might consider venturing that direction.  But I was never very good at settling down for long in a domesticated scene - too many adventures out there calling me this way and that - and at this writing I have absolutely no regrets not bringing innocence into this world with the direction our kind has take it.  In fact, I'm quite pleased that I didn't.  I have often jokingly said that I love my kids too much to bring them here.

-----
All  I have to say about the snappin' and cracklin' and poppin' anymore is, "This getting old is sure getting old."  And what a wearisome thing it is to hang with too many shriveling whiners anymore.  I moan and groan enough in my own head without having to hear everyone else's endless patter of woe.

And as far as all them words go, they keep coming of their own accord.  I just carry paper and pen, and wrtte 'em down when they bubble into mind.  I could stop doing it, but I ain't go nothing better going on, so what the hey, it fills some of the time.

-----
Michael … your brilliance will last a lot longer than will we … I am so happy that you learned the alphabet … and that you are truly my friend:

​Along with a moderate ABC education in small rural town Hughson, California, y​ou can also thank Roland Russell for nonchalantly suggesting in early already mind-shaking college: “Mike, why don’t you write poetry; it’s kind of fun.” There was also a brief stint running the Waterford News early out of college, where I quickly learned to always have pen and paper and camera at hand as I wandered through the small town metropolis and surrounding countryside searching for newsworthy fare.  As for any brilliance, it seems to be more about being something of a receiving unit with the discipline to write down most the things that come to mind, along with a certain knack for word association, coupled nicely with an adroitness with word processing, greatly aided by the spellcheck and thesaurus functions.  As to whether what I’ve written will ever well known, or make any real difference in the future of humankind or the welfare of the planet and all our fellow earthlings, I have many doubts and no time machine.  A little too late to make the difference I would be seeking, anyway.  I’m afraid we are a little too whacked out at this stage of the game to turn the Titanic a less toxic direction.  So, I have come to consider it an enjoyable diversion that fills some of the existential reverie, and am content that a few people in the here and there like yourself find it interesting.

* * * *
Response to an article from cousin Steve Hunt:​

Mothers who regret having children are speaking up like never before
http://www.macleans.ca/regretful-mothers/

I feel sorry for anyone who brings children into this screwed up world.  What effort and bother it requires, and for what?  It has been rough enough, but I shudder to think what this life would have been like if I'd landed a seed or three in one womb or another back when I was in the chase.

* * * *
Response to an article from cousin Steve Hunt:​

CES Was Full of Useless Robots and Machines That Don’t Work
https://www.thedailybeast.com/ces-was-full-of-useless-robots-and-machines-that-dont-work

What a stupid fucking world we've created.  I pine for old school.

* * * *
Response to an article from cousin Steve Hunt:


Attitude is all, but finding or creating an empowered lifestyle just isn't going to happen for all of us.  Takes a lot of inner fortitude and resilience to endure the whacko world we have created.  Soma may waylay some of the pain, but doesn't change the underlying form.  And what makes us think we should always be happy in the first place?

* * * *
Response to an article from cousin Steve Hunt:

Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media

It's just a friggin' whacko world. When it comes to power and fame and fortune, consciousness can be an insatianble beast.  Like you, I'm quite happy to live simply, anonymously, and free of human bullshit as often as possible. Too much money would be a total ​drag.  No way would I want to have to play the philanthropist role.  It would be a cruel fate to have to bang heads with the hoity-toity's playing all their stupid hoity-toity games.

* * * *
Response to a video link from cousin Steve Hunt​:

"Of course ... But Maybe"

Oh My God - If Murder Was Legal

​These are classic​.  Two thumbs up.

* * * *
Response to an article from cousin Steve Hunt:

The issue with millennials isn't narcissism but our depressing culture of mass consumption

It's a ruthless friggin' world – always has been, always will be – and everybody pretty much has to figure out how they're going to deal with it on their own.  Ultimately, nobody can save you but yourself.

Everyone is doomed sooner or later, anyway, and so is the earth, and so is the universe.  So the faster anyone can reign in all the dread fired up by their imagination, and live as fully as possible in the present, the higher level of self-actualization they will play out in their existence.

I'm just playing out what’s left as quietly and peacefully and minimally as possible.  Got no DNA in the bother ahead, so it's just watch and wait for whatever quality-of-life time remains.

* * * *
Brainstorming response to Chuck Hooper’s “Fifty-Nine Minutes to Great Storytelling” series:

Amazon: Charles E Hooper

FIFTY-NINE MINUTES

59 Minutes to Me, My Self, and I
59 Minutes to Truth or Consequences
59 Minutes to Diddly-Squat
59 Minutes to Okey-Dokey
59 Minutes to Eternity
59 Minutes to Oblivion
59 Minutes to Laissez-Faire
59 Minutes to So It Goes
59 Minutes to Fearlessness
59 Minutes to Timelessness
59 Minutes to Truth
59 Minutes to Born Anew
59 Minutes to Nirvana
59 Minutes to Passé
59 Minutes to Godlessness
59 Minutes to God
59 Minutes to Rationalism
59 Minutes to Existentialism
59 Minutes to Annihilation
59 Minutes to Common Sense
59 Minutes to Discernment
59 Minutes to Critical Thinking
59 Minutes to Gumption
59 Minutes to Grit
59 Minutes to Resourcefulness
59 Minutes to Imagination
59 Minutes to Inventiveness
59 Minutes to Creativity
59 Minutes to Wit
59 Minutes to Born Again
59 Minutes to Ingenuity
59 Minutes to Enterprise
59 Minutes to Reality
59 Minutes to Absurdity
59 Minutes to Humility
59 Minutes to Hopelessness
59 Minutes to Minimalism
59 Minutes to Evermore
59 Minutes to Hedonism
59 Minutes to Discipline
59 Minutes to Narcissism
59 Minutes to Ecstasy
59 Minutes to Heaven
59 Minutes to Hell
59 Minutes to Buddha
59 Minutes to Null and Void
59 Minutes to Emptiness
59 Minutes to Nothingness
59 Minutes to Now
59 Minutes to Here
59 Minutes to Here Now
59 Minutes to Negation
59 Minutes to Anarchy
59 Minutes to Skepticism
59 Minutes to Cynicism
59 Minutes to Pessimism
59 Minutes to Doubt
59 Minutes to Nihilism
59 Minutes to Bullshit
59 Minutes to Om
59 Minutes to Quantum
59 Minutes to Abyss
59 Minutes to Agnostic
59 Minutes to Atheism
59 Minutes to Freethinking
59 Minutes to Belief
59 Minutes to Death
59 Minutes to Eternal Life
59 Minutes to Nonbelief
59 Minutes to Illusion
59 Minutes to Delusion
59 Minutes to Matrix
59 Minutes to Craving
59 Minutes to Satisfaction
59 Minutes to Contentment
59 Minutes to Immortality
59 Minutes to Solitude
59 Minutes to No Other
59 Minutes to Detachment
59 Minutes to Singularity
59 Minutes to Totality
59 Minutes to Absoluteness
59 Minutes to Indivisibility
59 Minutes to Success
59 Minutes to Failure
59 Minutes to Happiness
59 Minutes to Sorrow
59 Minutes to Joy
59 Minutes to Oneness
59 Minutes to Ecstasy
59 Minutes to Infinity
59 Minutes to Infinitesimalibility
59 Minutes to Peace
59 Minutes to Freedom
59 Minutes to the Beyond the Pale
59 Minutes to Perfection
59 Minutes to Imperfection
59 Minutes to Tranquility
59 Minutes to Bliss
59 Minutes to Meditation
59 Minutes to Contemplation
59 Minutes to Acuteness
59 Minutes to Obtuseness
59 Minutes to Heaven
59 Minutes to Hell
59 Minutes to Perdition
59 Minutes to Brahman
59 Minutes to Samadhi
59 Minutes to the End of Time
59 Minutes to the Beginning of Time
59 Minutes to the Success in Failure
59 Minutes to the Failure in Success
59 Minutes to Future Past
59 Minutes to Serendipity
59 Minutes to Dharma
59 Minutes to Artha
59 Minutes to Kama
59 Minutes to Moksha
59 Minutes to Go
59 Minutes to Pause
59 Minutes to Stop
59 Minutes to Separation
59 Minutes to Unity
59 Minutes to By Golly
59 Minutes to Manifest Destiny
59 Minutes to Unmanifest Destiny
59 Minutes to the End Before All Beginnings
59 Minutes to the Beginning After all Ends
59 Minutes … To Be Continued

* * * *
Response to a video link from cousin Steve Hunt​:

New Rule: Distinction Deniers

The world is many shades of gray.  I have a penis, and it has caused me to do many things I might not do again, but I refuse to feel guilty about it.  Minnie Driver and the PC collective will just have to deal with it.

* * * *
Response to an email from Bruce Styles on his current health status:

Tough news about your brother, and g​ood news on the back, but that blood pressure​ is definitely dicey, especially the top number.  I'm sure you've caught one of my standard quips​ more than once​: This getting old is getting old.  Got a helium tank and sundry firearms at the ready is all I can say.  I have no intention of putting up with a bunch of torturous bullshit in dealing with the inevitable.  Quality of life is all.


And ​regarding Trump and this world goes​, as I've said before, ​I've pretty much ​given up on bothering about it anymore.  The human race isn't heading any direction I'm interested in watching up close and personal.  Too friggin' crazy to think there's anything but more and more horror and ​absurdity ahead.  Not worth getting worked up about at this stage of the game, especially for those of us who haven't cast our DNA into the future dreamtime.

Thanks for the overview on Medicare.  I turn 65 in November, but am pretty ignorant about the process at this writing.  Someone told me a few daze ago to be sure to get Plan F, so your mentioning A and B and D is another good tidbit.

Two questions:

Should I sign up online,​ or go live​ into the Social Security office?

As a former insider to the game, a​re there any particular insurance providers you would recommend?  My mother uses United Health Care, which is what I'll probably lean towards unless I can find something that covers me with low or no payments. If you can offer any good info, let me know. 

​Good luck with it all, El Dude.

Ciao ciao,

M​

* * * *
Back and forth with cousin Steve Hunt on an article I sent:

Father lunges at Larry Nassar in court before being restrained
https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/02/us/larry-nassar-attack-court/index.html

Moi:  How is any parent not paying very close attention to any adult who spends a great deal of time around their children?  How is any parent not empowering their children to speak up when something unacceptable is happening to them?  If those were my daughters, you can be sure Nassar's balls would have been flushed down the toilet a long time ago.

Steve:  I'm assuming it was the aura of the mythical Medical professional.  Same thing hapoens with Catholic priests ...

​Moi​:  When it comes to your children, trust no one, especially fucking Catholic priests.  Pedophile, Inc. I call the Vatican anymore.

Steve:  ... but they're messangers of God ... so it must be God's Will ... right?

​Moi​:  What a delusional world .. I'm so over us …

Steve:  There's a video of a woman stating that its Gods Will that Trump got elected ...

​Moi​:  Implying that we and all the other critters are nothing more than mindless chess pieces.

​Steve​:  If this mess is Gods Will ... I'm not impressed …

Moi:  Just watched "The Unbelievers" last night.  Pretty good.  Amazing that rationality is losing out to absurdity, but oh well.

The Unbelievers
https://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/The-Unbelievers/70293728?trkid=201886046

Steve: Yeah ... so much so ... you can go on tour preaching reality ...

* * * *
Back and forth with cousin Steve Hunt on an article I sent:


​Steve​:  People who actually believe that a database like this will tell you anything about under the radar criminals with guns ... are too stupid to be making policy ... and should be automatically removed from office ... overnight ..... and it should be a felony to be that stupid ...

​Moi​:  That is one of the big reasons I refuse to be bothered by all these gun laws that Sacramento keeps spewing out.  I'm not the guy they have to worry about intentionally hurting anyone, and if they want to waste taxpayer money sending me to jail for having things that were legal when I bought them, then so be it.  If something was to happen that puts me behind bars, I'll just look at it as another adventure in my already very shades-of-gray sixty-four years.

* * * *
A letter sent to my sister and brother-in-law, Ann and John Christensen, while reinstating my teaching credential with a Cultural Language Acquisition Development (CLAD) Certificate at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, in 1999:

Hey, A & J,

Until your note the other day, I for some reason I thought you were already moving into your new workplace.  Didn't realize all the financial prep is still happening.  Dad just mentioned something about you having a reorganization bid accepted by a bank.  Sounds like "big-time" to me.

When you last wrote you mentioned something about my getting out of teaching because I didn't feel I was a good teacher, which is not the case as I see it.  I've always thought I was a good teacher … was so full of pep and enthusiasm in those mid-thirties … brought so many things into the classroom that no one ever did for you or I.

But what I was, after two years in Ojai, was incredibly "world-weary"; a major case of burn-out.  Oak Grove had sucked it all out of me.  I just didn't have any more energy for artificial school settings.  I was bored with teaching, done with idealism and martyrdom, done with Southern California, suffering more pain than I would ever want to deal with again, reading Hindu writings for the first time, exploring hallucinogens for the first time, buying guns and learning how to shoot, doing whatever it suited me to do, and beginning to have an awful lot of thoughts pour out.

In retrospect, a major factor in it all was that my body took a nosedive into an all-time low because of general the wear-and-tear and the cumulative consequences of a variety of work and play-related injuries.  In the ten years since leaving Ojai, I've probably spent at least 30 grand out-of-pocket, plus two or three work comp claims.  Have spent a good deal of time in waiting rooms and laid up in bed.  It is amazing what a person will go through to continue on.

And there were just a bunch of other things I felt drawn to do: Move back to Northern California, write a bunch more aphoristic silliness, buy and shoot more guns, read all kinds of military and strategy books, experiment with even more drugs, work a bunch of different jobs, and spend a whole heck of a lot of time wandering about, sitting at coffee shops chatting with all kinds of people, reading, writing, sitting, watching, thinking, dreaming … doing nothing in particular and everything in general.

Then came carpel tunnel at Kinko's, and here I am … in Arcata … back in school … starting a "new phase" as one former employer called it.  Who knows where it will lead this time.  Am just sort of wandering as I always have through whatever comes my way … no real agenda … lots of potentials.

It ain't over till that last whispered breath eases out of me.

And that's the way it was … and is … in my view of things, anyway.

Hope you guys blast off.  Keep in touch when you've got time.

Take care,

Michael

* * * *
An all-purpose letter sent to a few friends in Chico after moving back to Stanislaus County to work for Creative Alternatives in 2000:

Hey there.  Thought I’d let you know what’s up since I last saw you.

It’s been one of those years filled with change, but things are finally stabilizing nicely.
Am living in Turlock working for Creative Alternatives, a residential and foster home organization I worked at before going into teaching over a decade ago.  Am about three months into playing Administrative Assistant in the foster home program.  Started in February as a roving child care worker in the group homes, upgraded to running a classroom at the Reyn Franca special education school in April, and landed the current position a little over three months ago.

After the cool, moist air of Arcata, it was something of a shock returning to the area where we were raised.  Hot and smoggy and crowded.  The trade-off is that it's been pleasant being closer to family, and interesting connecting with old friends.  Going back into places you’ve spent a lot of time in always brings back lots of memories.  Feel like I’m traveling in a time machine sometimes.

Am living in a nice little studio apartment practically right next to the office where I'm working.  A pleasant little stroll and I'm there.

Spend free time puttering about, as is my nature.  Always seem to come up with plenty of dinkabout projects to keep amused.

Hope all is well.  Keep in touch and get in touch with me it you get down this direction.

Take care,

Michael

P.S.  Have "The Stillness Before Time" website back up at a different address.  Added a bunch of new material in a random push-button design I'm calling "The Matrix".  I've designed it so that I can add, delete and change it quite easily.  If that sort of thing interests you, see the link in the signature below.

* * * *
After sending Gianni Grassi​ of Carmel the Ashtavakra Gita links below, he asked:  I am curious how scriptures approach you, how you meet them and then how any change occurs.

Wikipedia: Ashtavakra Gita
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashtavakra_Gita

The Heart of Awareness (Byrom)
http://theheartofawareness.blogspot.com/

Ashtavakra Gita (Marshall)
http://theashtavakra.blogspot.com/

Bitten by the Black Snake (Schoch)
http://bittenbytheblacksnake.blogspot.com/

A Duet of One (Balsekar)
http://aduetofone.blogspot.com/

Ashtavakra Gita (Richards)
http://anotherashtavakragita.blogspot.com/

Astavakra Samhita (Wood)
http://astavakrasamhita.blogspot.com/

Ashtavakra Gita (Vedic)
http://ashtravakrageeta.blogspot.com/

Ashtavakra Gita: I Am Shiva
http://ashtavakragitaiamshiva.blogspot.com/

Everything just sort of happenstances into my awareness in a variety of ways as I wander about.  Nothing organized about my journey, or what I've written.  Very eclectic, very shoot from the hip, very much a chameleon.  Have never belonged to any group, never followed any dogma, never sat with any guru.  I always say the universe is my teacher.  Things just sort of happen.  Running into you is an example.  I wandered over to Monterey, bought a cup of coffee, there you were at a nearby table, we talked several times, and I walked away with a few more goodies in my bag of tricks.

And any changes in perception just sort of happen, too.  Not sure I can really state there have been any great flashes of insight, other than to say, if something makes sense, it makes sense, and it gets absorbed into my little play of consciousness, my little dreamtime, and intertwines however it will.

* * * *
A response to a letter from Linda McFelter in Chico after moving back to Turlock to work for Creative Alternatives:

Hey, Linda,

Sorry to hear things aren't going so well for Cliff.  Was thinking he had more of a regular thing going with Dan at Chico State, but I guess that didn't work out has he'd hoped.  Too bad he never got in with Bill Graham or some other big-time concert outfit.  Sometimes our callings are hard to come by.

Hadn't realized Gypsy was in Washington DC.  What an experience, I'm sure.  I think she's going to have an interesting life.  Has quite a head on her shoulders, and has seen and done so much more than many kids her age.

You asked for more details about my work.  Am mostly in the foster family side of things at Creative Alternatives, but have a few fingers in the group home and non-public school pies as well.

By "eclectic" I mean: advertising, personnel intake and exit paperwork, first aid/cpr training, foster parent training, client transportation, helping create the intensive therapeutic care program, organizing special events, re-designing forms, updating the web site, newsletters, digital photography, computers, tracking a variety of managerial type things, editing for others, possibly researching grants, general support, input, problem-solving and whatever else needs to happen.

It suits me.

And I have a little corner office with a view.  Very nice to have such a job at this point in my life.  

A very quiet, pleasant evening at this end.  Took a bit of a nap after work, and after eating, went down to the gymkhana horsing events at the County Fair.  The actual fair doesn't start till Friday, but they always do the horse stuff (FFA, 4H, English and Western) the week prior.  Did the photography for it and the Fair for a couple years, years ago.  The people running it are old friends from the early post-college Waterford News era.

After that I came home, sipped a beer out in the patio, wandered across the street to the club jacuzzi, and am back on the patio sipping another beer.  Pretty quiet, as I said.  The day was on the mild side weather-wise, and right now there's a bit of a breeze, and it's just downright perfecto mundo.

Tomorrow morning it's chiropractor time.  The body's a bit tight, but the month-plus of back bother I've been enduring has past (Wallahoo!)  Will probably head into Starbuck for a coffee and some work time prior to the appointment at nine.  Have to whip together a newsletter by next week, and haven't been able to focus in the office because so many other project are pulling me every which way.

Hope all's well enough.

Michael

PS  Still do string figures once and awhile, but not regularly since I'm out of teaching.

* * * *
A response to a letter from Mikki Larrick, a friend from the Waterford years:

Hey, Mikki,

Yes, I got the snail mail, but hadn't responded yet because it got put in the mixed up with some other stuff for a few days.  Just found it again last night.

Yes, I remember well the journey north and the Portuguese diesel.  We've got a lot of good memories together.  All the horse rides, Greeley Hill, walks along the canal bank, photography expeditions, times with your family … it was a great time in my life.

The spiritual thing is a constant for me.  It has been like wine gradually aging my whole adult life.  Am always flipping into awareness of the mystery we play out.  Have almost 1700 pages of aphorisms transcribed in my computer, and another twenty or so notebooks waiting, waiting.

Created a web site for the original work, "The Stillness Before Time," while at Humboldt State, and just put it up at a new dot-com address in the box below.

Have stopped by the horse show a couple times.  Ran into your clan, of course, and will probably go down Sunday afternoon to watch the branding competition.

Was hoping you'd be coming down, but looks like not.  Be sure to let me know when you do.

Take care,

Michael

* * * *
A 1979 memory of a cattle branding with the Johnny and Betty Roen clan of Waterford written in 2001:

THE GATHERING

It was long ago, and how they had come to be there, I cannot clearly recall. Perhaps we had gathered them that morning in the surrounding foothills, or maybe they had been collected the day before.  But somehow a small herd of mothers and their children had been gathered and placed in a holding pen.  They were nervously making the sounds cows make as they milled about in their temporary lock-up.

The holding pen was connected to a smaller corral.  We had all collected there for the past hour or so, and were waiting to begin.  It was a moderate group of men, women and children of all ages.  The men in cowboy hats and spurs, some on horses some on foot.  The women in trim blouses and tight jeans.

The area outside the fenced area was littered with pickup trucks and horse trailers.  There was a relaxed festivity in the air.  These were all friends, and this was a gathering, an annual tradition in their world.

At some signal I did not see, several men on horses entered the holding pen and began with sure, regulated precision to separate the children from the mothers.  The nervousness erupted into panic as the separated couples began to bawl their fear.

Without much ado, there were now two groups.  The mothers were driven to an area further away, and held at bay by the men on horses.  The calves were driven toward the entrance of the main corral, their panic increasing, though they were as yet unaware of the horror awaiting them this day.

Within the pen, men both on horses and on foot were patiently waiting for their entry.  In a smoking fire pit in the corner of the corral were a handful of metal brands turning a bright reddish-orange in the coals.  A variety of other tools, including knives, needles and medicine bottles were laid out on a small bench nearby.

Outside the corral the women and on-lookers along the fenceline gossiped about their lives and each other.   The children watched or played nearby.  There was earnestness punctuated by occasional laughter.  After a bit they would begin preparing lunch, which would be served on the tailgates of several pickups.

As soon as all the bawling calves were in the pen, the morning’s work began.  In some sort of unspoken, tacit agreement understood by men who had done this all their lives, the two cowboys on horseback picked out their first mark.  A lasso twirled in the air.  The lead cowboy aimed for the head, and after a try or two, had the creature by the neck.  The other cowboy now whirled away, aiming for both rear feet, though one would do.

At that, the two horses began backing up as they had been trained, the ropes wrapped around the saddlehorns, pulling the bawling creature into a defenseless position.  The ground crew now rushed in, and using twists, pulls and pushes, wrestled it down on its side, and sat on it in such a way that it was completely immobilized.  The man at the head pulled the noose off the neck and put it on the front legs.

At this, the cowboys signaled their mounts to back up until the heifer was stretched out into as vulnerable a position as any four-legged creature could ever imagine.  What was before a frightened bawl, now became a piercing scream of absolute terror.  The other calves in the corner shared the fear with their own cries.

Now, as the cowboys and horses held their position, other members of the ground crew, including me, quickly headed from the corner with the point of this day.  A needle or two filled with various immunizations were quickly, one might say unceremoniously, jammed into the haunch.  A red-hot brand, whoever’s these calves belonged to, was held for several seconds against the rump as the hair and flesh sizzled, popped and smoked.  The stench of the burning wafted throughout the corral.

If the young calf was so unfortunate as to be male, the next minute made the first a walk in the field.  Its horns were clipped with some device akin to bolt cutters, and to stop the gushing blood, another glowing metal rod pushed harshly into the head to cauterized the wound.

And then the most ignoble act any male can ever imagine, a ground worker’s hand grabbed its maleness, and with only the briefest pause, used a sharp blade to slice off the testicle sack, irrevocably changing the creature’s destiny to that of a steer whose future was to play out as a slab of meat in one grocery store or another.  The sack was unceremoniously tossed onto the ground for the dogs, and the testicles into a bucket near the branding iron pit.

For the remainder of the morning, this scene played out over and over again in the dusty pen,  How many calves were branded on that  day, I cannot be sure.  Perhaps over fifty; perhaps as many as a hundred.  Cowboys took turns on both horseback and as ground crew.  There was, of course, a sense of friendly competition to see who was most proficient with their horses and lassos, and who could wrestle down the creatures with the least effort.  There was laughter and joking throughout the earnestness of the work.  At no point can I recall anyone even noticing the terror of their victims.

We broke for lunch at noon.  Sandwiches, chips and whiskey, and the delicacy we had all that morning worked to harvest, fried and seasoned as tasty as anything I’ve ever eaten.  Mountain oysters some call them.  With the screaming still ringing in my ears, I ate several.

It was a harvest celebration of sorts, shared by friends as the came together to help each other accomplish the annual deed in the hills and fields wherever they had cattle grazing.  These men and women had spent their lives doing this.  It was as normal a rite as harvesting peaches and walnuts had been for me on a small farm a different universe only fifteen miles away.  Their horse was my tractor.  They graded the calves in the pen as I had peaches in the field.  They ate dust and poured sweat as ranchers no differently than I had as a farmer’s son.

And yet, in all my youthful work I had never once heard a scream, nor inflicted pain upon another life form in quite that way.  Yes, I had BB-gunned birds, gigged frogs and fish, terrorized cats, wrestled dogs, and squashed insects as any boy might.  But somehow that day was as indelible for me as anything I have ever witnessed.  It may well have continued into my dreams for several days, and though the details have faded, as all details do in time’s passing, I have never forgotten the essential horror I had for the first time witnessed.

A year later, about the same time but a different location, I joined my friends for another branding.  And that day, and on all since, I too, did not hear the screams.

* * * *
A response to a letter from high school friend Tom Carson:

Tom,

Sounds like all is going pretty well for you and yours.

So you're up in Davis.  Do you ever run into Bruce in Sacramento?  Had lunch several months ago on one of his Stan State days.  Visited Warren when Dave and Carol were in town.  Ran into Cathy and Nick at Barnes & Noble.  It's been interesting seeing people over time now that I'm back in the area.  So many tangents we've all taken.

You asked what I've been doing, and I realize I'm not sure exactly when I last saw you.  Figure it must have been in the time period when I left Creative Alternatives in the mid-80's to get a teaching credential.  After a summer at UOP, I interned teaching a 5th grade at Hughson Elementary and subbed the next year. Moved down to Ojai to teach 5th/6th at Oak Grove School, a private school started by Krishnamurti, a philosopher I whose work influenced my thinking in the post-college era.

After a couple years in Ojai, I realized I was running on empty as a teacher.  After a stint as a morning bread baker in Ojai, I moved up to Chico where I spent the 90's in a variety of jobs including sales, stock and custodial work at a downtown office supply business, partnering up with another fellow in an almost-successful attempt at starting a head-injury residential care business, fixing ATM's and deposit pulls for Wells Fargo Armored, working graveyard production line and then Express Area at Kinko's, and a little part-time barista work at Starbucks on the side.  Even drove a taxi through the nights for six months or so.

Got myself a sobering case of carpal tunnel at Kinko's, and after a year on disability, Work Comp Rehab sent me over to Humboldt State for a semester to dust off the teaching credential with a CLAD Certificate.  Wasn't sure what I'd be doing next.  Was just waiting for the wind to gust one direction or another.  Thought it might even be teaching English in Asia, but hadn't really come up with a definite plan.

When I came to see the parents the Xmas of '99, I called up Blane Franca to get together for a  drink.  We had become good friends running the Foster Family Agency during the CA years.  He's now Executive Director, and though it hadn't even occurred to me to come back to CA, he offered me a job.  Thought it would be nice to be closer to the parents and said yes.  After some time in the group homes and teaching special education at the non-public school in Denair, I'm now back in the Foster Family Agency multi-tasking away administratively in a corner office with a view.

Life is rather strange, Tom.  Though I never would have dreamt it back in high school, it's ended up that I've lived a very haphazard, exploratory life.  Lots of people, lots of jobs, lots of travels, lots of thoughts, lots of experiences most people don't ever contemplate, much less do.

Don't know if you'll find it interesting, but I've also put together a little philosophical work, mostly aphoristic, that should be coming out on a website in a couple weeks: www.thestillnessbeforetime.com.

So that's it in a nutshell.  Not the life anyone might have expected of a little old farm boy coming out of a dusty, small town in rural California, but it's certainly been interesting.

Hope to run into you sometime.

Take care,

Michael

* * * *
A Poem For Michael

His goals are few,
with no worries to pursue.
A life well-stirred,
as variety is to stew.
Branching from his native view,
He's learned a thing or two:
How to handle a machine that spews,
Managing a newspaper crew,
How a lens can capture you,
Writing philosophy of the zoo,
Even joined a staff or two,
To teach others what to do.
Now he speaks with a clue,
Of how he's gained his world-view.
There's nothing left to misconstrue,
He's living life impromptu!

Rhonda Allen, 2002

* * * *
A letter of inquiry about getting The Stillness Before time published:

Michael J. Holshouser
1112-4 Cedar Creek Drive
Modesto, CA 95355-5213
(209) 668-5732 (H) 634-9736 (W)
mholshouser@creative-alternatives.org

Editorial Department
Workman Publishing
708 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

June 14, 2001

To Whom It May Concern:

Enclosed is a work written several years back.  You might find some aphorisms suitable for “The Little Zen Calendar” or another of a similar nature.

There is a great deal of additional material as well.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Holshouser

P.S.  No need to return it if you are not interested.

* * * *
Response to an email from Barney Barbour of Chico:

Hey, Barney,

Happened to go into my Hotmail account and discovered your latest note.  Don't often check that realm anymore, so you might want to just use the work one (mholshouser@creative-alternatives.org).

So you wanted to hear from me instead of all the little email forwards.  Count your blessings that I just send on the more interesting stuff.

Well, what is happening is not much, really.  This life seems to be running on the edge of an unassailable monotony.  Do lots of different things, but at this point in life, they’ve all been done far too many times before in one form or another.  I think if you were to mesh the three lead characters in Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, Narcissus and Goldmund, and Steppenwolf, and Albert Camus’s The Stranger, you’d have a pretty good idea what it’s like to be me.

Have actually had a pretty fair year, though.  Work is tolerable, though not as interesting as it was in the early days.  Routine has always been my challenge, so I’m pretending enthusiasm best I can.  At this in point in life, the money and benefits is worth the trade-off.  Have had too many adventures in this life to remember anyway.

To be rich or dead, that is the question.  Too rich to be bothered, or too dead to care.

Took several quick trips this year: Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Monterey, and a couple to Chico.  A long one in November was a week down Highway One from Carmel to North Los Angeles.  Very pleasant.  One of the nice things about being down this hellish Central Valley zone is its two hour access to both the coast and the Sierras.

Just got the annual exam, and most the numbers are hanging in there.  This 48-year old body’s holding up nicely compared it to what many of peers have going on. The liver numbers, however, are a bit high, so the doctor is having me come in for a hepatitis panel.  Who knows, might be in your boat before long.

Shannon came down the other day for a quick, pleasant visit.  Definitely the most comfortable woman I’ve ever hung with.

What else do I do with my time?  Putter and wander.  Sit in coffee shops (we now have a Starbucks just down the street), watch three or four movies at a time in the local multiplexes, read books and magazines both real and fictional (with increasing difficulty telling the difference), write and transcribe my silliness (yes, it still dribbles out in it’s own fashion), work out at home and gym on a pretty two to three times a week, wander the retail world (for things I don’t really need), clean the apartment (and finally throw out stuff I never really needed), chatter occasionally with strangers and friends (often times preferring the company of strangers), see the parents every week or two, go out drinking sometimes with a few of the buddies at work (see liver concerns above).

Only thirty years to go barring an unexpected visit from Joe Black.

Take care,

Michael

* * * *
A Letter to the Editor to Time Magazine:

HARSH REALITY

After a lifetime watching countless “special reports” of idealistic yada-yada about “How to Save the Earth” (August 26, 2002), all I see anymore is more forests being cut down to sell advertising and keep college-educated yuppies employed.

The down and dirty harsh reality is that we as a species are never going to voluntarily turn around the cataclysm toward which we are madly racing.  Technology cannot forever fend off the statistical reality that with every rise must come a fall.

All the “problems” we face boil down to one fact: there are too many human beings on this planet breeding and consuming as mindlessly as fruit flies.  Unless there is a major die-back of five to six billion, one Easter Island scenario or another will be this planet’s fate.

Every garden needs a pruning, and ours is long overdue.  Whether through environmental collapse; a meteor from the abyss of space; a tiny predator out of the jungles of Africa; or some sort of final solution by a religious zealot, a rogue state, or an MIT lab tech, the human population needs to be drastically reduced if the diversity of this planet is to survive.

Meanwhile, keep spinning the ‘we can save the earth” fantasy as much as you please.  Useless as it is, regurgitation of the same-old-same-old sells papers, pays for the SUV’s, and may even get that future lab tech into MIT.  Just don’t expect everyone to buy into the delusion.

Michael Holshouser
Turlock, California

* * * *
Back and forth with high school friend David Hughes on an article I sent:

Moi:  All's well enough in the so-it-goes at this end ... Still drinking coffee and JD, writing my babble, catching what zzz's I can, watching our Brave New World spin down the craps table ... I've been backing away from social media and other online time​ more and more ... The human paradigm only makes me weary anymore ... Getting back to old school, the analog world, whenever possible … Spend a fair amount of time at Club Brenda right across the street from Studio 101, keeping this life-torn cadaver in the game as best as possible ... Mom is doing very well in her 88th year; spend quality time with her at least once a week ... Ann and John are also hanging in there ... How about you and Carol up there in Lincoln Town?

David:  Howdy doo, Mr. Holshouser.  I see we're getting off to a cheerful start in 2018.  Things are going pretty well, actually.  Plenty to keep us busy.  Too much time on the internet is making me a bit crazy.  Other than that, good.​  Skimmed through that just now, will read it more thoroughly later. Seems compelling at first look. I know I'm addicted to that dopamine loop; psychologically. FB gives you the illusion of being connected, of maybe even influencing things.

* * * *
Back and forth with Cher Matthews, store manager while I was at Kinko’s in Chico:

Cher,

Sounds like you're still going as strong and enthusiastically as ever.  Was thinking you'd left Tri-Counties several years ago to follow your star, but maybe I'm just lost in time as per usual anymore.

Hadn't thought about enneagrams for years.  Had a girlfriend back in Ojai in the late 80's who was into them.  I believe she had me pegged as a nine; just looked it up online, and it seems to fit.  She'd lived in a Gurdjieff community at some point, and was pretty well-versed in a variety of spiritual arenas.

So, with a birth date of November 14, 1953 . . . in horoscope lingo, I'm a Scorpio . . . in tarot, I'm a Charioteer . . . in whatever you call the Chinese model, I believe I'm a Water Snake.  Am not sure about any other such systems inspired by time and space, but they all add to the amusement inspired by this label or that.

No, I haven't read Tolle's "A New Earth" yet, and I'm kind of doubtful I'll ever more than browse it.  Reading the jacket summary online, I'm thinking he's not really saying anything I haven't already read or written who knows how many times.  And, frankly, I don't really feel the need to read all that much anymore.  Once and a while I'll pick up one of my favorites, or peruse a few books while at a book store.  But these days, a good walk, a cup of stained water, some sitting time, and a bit of puttering about, is about all that's required.  Whatever ambition I may have once had, not that there was ever much, has, I'm afraid, long since dissolved.  I may be a light, but I'm evolving -- or devolving -- into some sort of manana-enjoy-a-nap-on-the-grass mode.

As far as humanity awakening in our lifetime, I'm not at all that confident that our kind as a whole will ever wake up to an enlightened paradigm.  Too many people, too much self-absorption, too much delusion, too much ignorance, too much attachment to the mind-made concoctions of time, too much everything, and not enough resources (i.e., oil) or time (i.e., global warming) to pull it together anytime soon, if ever.  Individually, yes, there will perhaps be a fair number who discern the bigger picture, but six, seven, eight billion all at the same time?  Highly improbable.  I'll be happy to be wrong, but the leading indicators in this field of vision are not pointing in an optimistic direction.  Call me Eyeor, I suppose, but, oh well.

Anywho, enough of my cynical, dark flavoring.  It's good to hear from you!  I'm glad you're doing well.  I've always appreciated your boundless energy and good intentions.  Good luck with your transformative work.  And keep in touch.

Ciao,

Michael

-----
Cher,

Buenos good morning!

Oh, I don't know if I'm all that present all the time, either.  It is, indeed, more than a little challenging to be in the world and not of it. But the "work" is staying present, and I give my self over to that which cannot be named whenever the thought comes to mind.  Depends, I suppose, how distracting the noise of the world is in any given moment.  So, do not think me as free as my chatter might both wish and pretend.

More on the humanity's potential paradigm shift:  My view is that the change in consciousness of which we're speaking requires a world-wide disaster of biblical proportion.  This "Great Fall" as I've come to think of it, is the tsunami of all the things we as a species have wrought, including over-population, mass extinction, global warming, pollution, resource depletion, all the divisiveness of mind, et cetera ad infinitum.  In my vision, we are obviously in the early stages of this coming avalanche, and I think it will accelerate into full collapse for the remainder of this century.

I believe that if there's to be a mass wake-up, it will only come after we hit the wall, and only by those who are able to re-formulate a healing, right-relationship with nature.  I just don't see a paradigm shift happening until everything we have created up to now is ripped from our self-absorbed little fingers.  And even then, given my observations of humanity across the board, I'm doubtful enlightenment will ever fully reign.  Superstition, tradition, general ignorance, lack of discipline, and just plain foolishness, are just too powerful for most minds to discern, much less overcome.

The challenge for those of us who would entertain a more enlightened world, is to individually, indivisibly play out our own process, and to continue doing what we can to help others who come into our sphere of influence awaken as they are able, and then to witness whatever unfolds with a certain air of detachment.

But, my cynicism notwithstanding, I will, as I said previously, be more than happy for your optimistic prediction to be right, and mine to be wrong. 

One of my favorite quotes is by Ambrose Bierce from his work "The Devil's Dictionary" is the "Definition of a cynic: A black-guard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be."

So, enough of my silliness, where are you living these days?  Still in Redding?  I've pretty much let go of anything past friendship.  How's your love life?

Ciao,

Michael

PS  I like the word "incinerate," and good old Ram Dass re: parents is right on once again.

* * * *
Response to a letter from Selena Mitchell Quan of Chico:

Selena,

Gosh, 15 years, so many adventures.  Not sure exactly what was going on when you graduated and left town.  What year was that, anyway?  Somewhere 93-ish?  Am thinking I was still taking care of Hugh, the head-injured fellow.  Such a fog of memories.  Lost in time, I am, I am.  Well, that whole attempt to start a head injury residential care business kind of fell apart, after which I did a variety of odds and ends things before getting out of Dodge 1999-ish.

The main sources of income from ‘93 or so included ATM tech for Wells Fargo Armored, taxi driver for Eagle Taxi, part-time barista at Starbucks, selling Corian cutting boards at craft fairs for Meraz & Associates, and key-op and express coordinator at Kinko’s.  Also fixed up for some old friends what had deteriorated from Grandma’s one-bedroom cottage on Oleander Avenue into a pretty battered drug hovel.  Slowly brought it back to life, and had some interesting times in the five or so years I spent there.  All very blurry and mixed as to the what-happened-exactly-when, but a good stage for many adventures, nonetheless.  Like I said, lost in time.

In 1998, I developed carpal tunnel syndrome at Kinko’s, and used the rehab opportunity to leave Chico and go over to Humboldt State for most of ‘99 to brush off a teaching credential with a CLAD certificate. Through the usual serendipity that runs this existence, I came back in early Y2K to the home area near Modesto to be near my parents and work for Creative Alternatives (http://www.creative-alternatives.org/}, a homegrown group home/foster family/nonpublic school outfit I’d spent a couple years with during the mid-80’s.  Am currently at Reyn Franca School, a K-12 special education school for emotionally/behaviorally disturbed kids the public schools can’t handle.  The job description at this writing includes transportation, company-wide training, and jack-of-all-trades support of whatever needs happening.  Something of an insane asylum to be sure.  Very crazy what’s up and coming, but I guess it’s what they call job security.

So, anywho, it’s a fairly low-key existence at this writing.  Will be turning fifty-five in November.  Still a solo act despite a few attempts at relationship here and there through the years.  At this point, I’ve pretty much finally realized it just ain’t my cup of tea.  I’m just too content to hang out with a cup of stained water and a book, mixed in with long, wandering saunters whenever possible.  Live in a studio apartment a block south of Stanislaus State in Turlock, within easy walking access to most of the necessities of modern living.  Guess the inherent frugal nature inspired by being raised in a rural setting without much money by parents and grandparents who endured World Wars I & II and the Great Depression fits in nicely with the latest carbon footprint craze.

Still writing, of course.  Ye old aphoristic silliness keeps on bubbling away, oftentimes almost camera ready.  Over 2650 pages transcribed from all those notebooks and scraps of paper onto which I’ve been scribbling for the last nearly 20 years.  An undated journal of random thoughts about anything that came to mind through all the whatever.  Nothing that’s setting the world on fire, of course, but an amusing, effortless inclination that’s held up to the test of time when most other things fell to the side.  Don’t know that you have time or interest, but a downloadable copy of “The Stillness Before Time” and a link to a blog titled “The Return to Wonder” is online at a website that I put together while attending Humboldt: http://www.thestillnessbeforetime.com/,  Along with a longer booklist and more movies, there are a few things that were written after your departure that you might enjoy.

Anywho, that’s enough about the life and times of Michael for now.  What’s your story!?  All I think I know is that you and Doug headed back to San Francisco, got married, and voila, evidently split up but still keep in touch, and there you are in Fresno with a different last name, and an unanticipated but I suppose not unsurprising occupation.
 
Inquiring mind want to know.

Ciao,

Michael

P.S.  Was that contact info on Brian Cohen of any help to Doug?

* * * *
Back and forth with high school friend Esther Osborne that began with her comment: I know that you sense my "madness", do you suppose others do?  I try to hide it, but it comes out once in a while.

Moi:  I don't think comes off that bad.  Just a zero-tolerance for bullshit, which I think is par for the course for having survived the world to the ripening old age of "fifty-four, thank god there ain't much more."  We've both been through a lot in our own way, and some things just get more than a little tiring.

Esther:  Yes, my patience is just about played out.  Sometimes, I feel like I can't breathe and have to force my self to breathe with big sighs.  You amaze me with your intelligence, insight, and observation abilities.  I have difficulties with people that have little thought process and are able to get through life caring about who wins a damn ball game, who is who in entertainment, or to me is just trivial shit.  Maybe, I'm just jealous because I'm unable to do that, or that I'm not able to relate to those people.

Moi:  Oh, I don't know that I'm always as patient as you might think.  Believe me, I can rage as well as you.  You only see me at Geerbucks after I've done my hot bath, deep breathing, and whatever other tools of detachment that I can muster to take on the world yet another day. Also, in my wanders far and wide, I have mastered the zen poker face, which has stood me well many a time.  And I gotta say, other than in a cursory way, I'm not all that interested in the silliness so many people think is important. I just sort of watch this inane world in wonder most of the time.  People like us are just aliens here, and, I suppose, just need to relax and enjoy the show as best we may.  Take more long walks, sit alone, let go of the silliness, enjoy the things that matter to you, discover the infinity within.

Esther:  Well said. I'm just trying to figure out the relax part.  I've been surrounded by so much family for so many years that I have difficulties being alone.  Do you ever feel lonely??

Moi:  Okay, you asked for it.  I'm going to wax philosophical; do my mystical vision thing.  Forgive me if I'm overstepping my bounds, but this sort of thing is what my life is really about.  Big difference between lonely and alone.  The reality is, in my view of things, that we are all very much on our own from beginning to end.  Whether alone or in a crowd, we are each in our own little bubble of awareness through which our individual consciousnesses play out.  What we're typically taught to do in our part of the world is avoid looking at it, even to run from it, to keep busy gathering things, or achieving this or that.  To make ourselves dependent on others for our happiness.  I think we are sort of taught, even encouraged to feel lonely.  In other parts of the world, people are taught to examine their inward nature through techniques like meditation, yoga, martial arts, and the like.  However you approach it, essentially what you're doing is observing your mind, your body, your senses, your version of the world, whatever it may be.  Eventually, if you're fairly observant, if you're fairly earnest, if you're fairly detached, you may even learn to embrace the infinity, the totality, the clayness of which we are all equally created.  There is nothing that is truly separate.  We are all connected at the fundamental, essential, holographic, matrix, quantum level.  We are all of the same oneness, the same singularity -- which is the aloneness, the source of all creation.  In other words, we all very much alone, together.  The most simple thing in the world to see, but probably the most challenging, arduous journey anyone can ever undertake.  So, do I feel lonely?  No, I don't think so.  Not like when I was younger.  I enjoy being around people, but I also very much enjoy wandering here and there alone.  I think, as unlikely as it is to ever happen, that if I was never to see another human being for the rest of my life, that I would do just fine.  So, I don't know if that helps, but it's the best I can offer up.

* * * *
Back and forth with former Chico girlfriend Shannon Rooney:

Hey there,

Well, I generally haven’t been into all this online stuff.  I have enough computer time at work, and with transcribing all my philosophical banter.  Fiddled briefly with social networking a few years ago on MySpace, but then got bored with chatting with people I’ll never meet, and deleted it sometime back.   But, at your prompting, I’ve just upgraded the Facebook page for friend and family viewing.  Not interested in it being open to strangers, so you and two others should be the only viewers at this writing.  I think I’ve got the walls and moats in good order, and will just tinker on it, and invite in people I know in real-time as the mood strikes.  I guess, on the whole, I just prefer the real three-dimensional virtual reality.  A walk, a drive, time at the gym, writing my philosophical silliness, puttering with all my other little hobbies and interests, chatting with friends and acquaintances at coffee shops, watching a bit of everything through Netflix -- are far more enjoyable to me.  Will probably be adding family photos that I’ve been gradually scanning, one of my many projects, so stay tuned if you want to see the family, friends, Dad’s artwork, and other silliness gradually appear.

What a drag that CCTC want to create more bother for you, but that’s what happens when we play with fire.

And, yes, happiness that Obama will get his chance to save our world.  I’m also an absentee voter; have been for many years, so I cast my ballot several weeks ago.  Not expecting him to be able to accomplish much, given the nature of the world, but at least he’s intelligent, articulate, pragmatic, and, as far as my awareness of politics goes, grasps a larger view than any leader we have in our lifetime seen.  Interesting times, in the curse sort of way, that’s for sure.  As far as I’m concerned, the human drama has passed through the apex of its potential, and the decline of our species, whether quickly or slowly, is underway.  Certainly, our portion of the world is undergoing a major metamorphosis as the new generation comes of age.  With all the tsunamis of our creation surging towards us in time, I think the middle class will begin a rapid decline as the stresses of overpopulation, the battle for resources, and our innumerable imaginary differences, come to a head.  John may call it negative thinking, as you say, but reality has a way of ignoring wishful, hopeful, idealistic thinking.

So batten down the hatches, watch your back, and enjoy the show as best ye may.

Ciao for now,

Michael

-----
Hey there,

Interesting, but I’m never sure how seriously to take all these conspiracy theories.  And the trouble with the lizard-brainers behind the veil, is that they and their descendants will ultimately pay the same price as the bottom-feeders.  And if we as a species can’t pull it together, and we are obviously not, then, so be it and oh well.  You and me, we got ours.  We’ve walked many forests, sat by who knows how many rivers, swam in an ocean or two, and had the opportunity to participate at a level of existence that no generation heretofore ever has, nor will relatively few hence ever again.  Those who survive, if mammalian life doe survive itself, will both despise and envy what our time has had, and spent.

And as one person said to me recently, “Could it have been any different?”

So, enjoy the day as best ye may.

Ciao,

Michael

-----
Shannon,

It is all so silly anymore.  Every morning I wake up, put on my game face, and just putter away as I always have.  We've all got to do something to get through the day-to-day, and, whether deep or shallow, everyone has what calls them.  Will probably continue this existence for as long as I feel like enduring whatever pain the body has in store, but other than getting through it as reasonably as possible, I have no agenda worth a tinker's damn.

As far as putting pen to paper goes, I don't consider myself a great writer by any means, and only do it because thoughts -- field notes, I sometimes call them nowadaze -- keep coming to mind and I enjoy the linguistic exercise.  Yes, I put them out there in cyberspace, and sometimes make up hard copies to give away, but would probably write even if no one was around to read them.  Although I've joked in the past that I'm toying with history, in reality the world is far too confused to hear anything I have to say, and I neither expect nor care that anything ever comes of anything I've ever written. 

So, as far as your writing goes, I say if you enjoy the process, then great.  If not, stop, eat more food, drink more wine, watch more movies, and take more long walks with le Blue.

Ciao, ciao for now.  Enjoy the day as best ye may.

M

-----
Hey, hey,

Yuppity-yup on your first paragraph.  An amazing one-time light show that often requires more than its share of stoicism.  It is you, you are it.  Ain't no two or more ways about it.  And it will all be over for both of us relatively soon.

When I wrote about John still being in your corner, it's more about him not booting you out.  I'd hate to see you having to live in that nice new car or push a grocery cart around.  I certainly don't expect that you two will ever be much more than roommates.  How you ever even got together is in fact a great curiosity to me.

And as you might well imagine, I've always considered marriage counseling to be something of a joke.  My view of relationship at this writing is that you either get along, see eye to eye, so to speak, or you don't, and no amount of trying to work things out is going to change that.  You play out who you are, he plays out who he is, and the only decision to be made is whether you want to continue being a part of of each other's dream.  John offers a safe harbor, so, given your alternatives, in my mind it seems pragmatic to endure it as best you are able.

As far as your physical security goes, are you at all eligible for disability anymore?  And have you worked enough to get Social Security when you hit 62 or beyond?

Regarding your wrist issues, I strongly suspect it may well be too much tension in the neck and shoulder areas around the spine, and, though I understand insurance won't cover it, highly recommend either chiropractic or heavy duty massage if you can somehow manage it.  Below are some health-givers I went to before leaving for Humboldt.

Russ Kalen and his CranioSacral technique might be very helpful, especially given your head injury:

Russ Kalen

Jenny Fitton introduce me to what I call gentle chiropractic, officially known as Directional Non-Force Technique:

Wellness.com: Jennifer Fitton

Directional Non-Force Technique

Michael Tonettii had a great set of hands back when I was putting money into my body:

Health Grades: Michael Tonettii

Dealing with Gravity

And as far as the printer goes, I hope you realize that I bought it to help you get out of teaching and writing into a more enjoyable livelihood.  Your Rock On! entrepreneurial effort seemed like an idea worth pursuing, a fun little project for me, as well, and it was unfortunate that natural ingredients couldn't hold up to weathering.  At this writing it's obviously way more technology than either of us will ever need given our ambitions for this world.  I would prefer the money to the possession of another thing, but am ready to write it off and take it off your hands, so that you can focus on your health and other more important things.

Had some brake and alternator work done on the van yesterday, and plan to get up there mid-October.

So, see you in a few weeks.

Ciao, ciao,

M

* * * *
Facebook Messenger response in 2015 to Lilianna Bava after her sons Chris and Mark were killed in an automobile accident:

Just watched the YouTube trailer.  I knew Chris was doing a lot of photography, but didn't really click that it was for a documentary, and so powerful from the cut of the trailer.  What a hell it is for so many people.  And why wouldn't Charles Shaw give Chris credit for credit due?  What a world.  I am so weary of humankind at times.  Netflix doesn't have it on disk at this writing, so I will hook up on streaming to watch it in the near soon.  Glad you brought it up.

I don't know if you will remember, but my only memory of Chris on East Pine Street was the time he accidently kiboshed me with a golf club.  He was practicing his swing out in your front yard.  My own dang fault, of course.  He told me to get back, and I didn't understand what was going on.  The backswing caught me above the forehead hairline, and I ran home screaming.  Don't know how old I was; probably anywhere from three to five.  I'm pretty sure he felt really bad, and brought bed-ridden me a nice little gift as an apology, probably your doing.  Have always treasured that little battle scar.  The hairline has receded enough to barely see it  ... :)

* * * *
Facebook Messenger response in 2015 to Clay Barth from the Class of ’72:

Hey, Clay,

The 45th reunion, assuming we do it, will be in 2017.  Don't know where it will be – Kathy's place in Denair worked out great last time, and I'm thinking she might go for it again – but with all the email addresses and Facebook pages, we're pretty well dialed in on getting the word out whenever it happens.

This getting old thing is definitely getting old as far as I'm concerned.  It's been an interesting life, but there's sure a lot of snap-crackle-pop going on in this body with all it's been through.  Am in reasonably good health as far as the numbers go, but I'm not tossing it around near as much as I used to, that's for sure.

As far as relationship goes, I've had a number of girlfriends through the years – even had a few pop the question to me – but always enjoyed my solitude too much to settle down.  Men and women are different species as far as I'm concerned, and good friendships have always suited me best.  A sociable loner is how one friend labeled me.  That said, it seems like you've had a couple of pleasant marriages while they lasted, and a nice collection of offspring to show for it, so good luck to you on running into someone that clicks.

Don't know if you ever get out to California to visit your clan, but if you do, we should get together for some catch-up.

Take care,

M

* * * *
First email to Sarlo in 2008:

Sarlo's Guru Rating Service

Sarlo,

Was online looking up Ram Tzu, and somehow ran into you.  A very interesting set of reflections you've mustered! 

I am neither master nor wannabe.  Below is a link to an aphoristic work that came out of the day-to-day since 1990-ish.  Lots more in the can.  Not all that known, and don't really need for it to be, but thoughts just keep bubbling to mind in any given daily wander, and I, for the enjoyment tinkering with words gives, just keep jotting them down.  Usually share a spiral-bound hard copy or website address in serendipitous fashion with friends, acquaintances and strangers who seem open to pondering such things.  No followers, no organization, no bothers.

The Stillness Before Time

I'm hoping maybe you, who has obviously taken a pretty serious look at things, can knock some sense into me, tell me to give it up, so that I can get on with my life, such as it is.

Thanking you in advance.

Ciao,

Michael

* * * *
Letter to Chuck Chojnacki regarding the debt owed from the failure of our brief Chico Hedway partnership:

Michael J. Holshouser
1112-4 Cedar Creek Drive
Modesto, CA 95355-5213
Cell: (209) 988-6271  Work: (209) 668-8594
mholshouser@gmail.com

January 4, 2010

Charles Chojnacki
2316 Masterson Court
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Dear Chuck,

Hope this finds you and yours healthy and happy in the opening days of the new decade.  I’m doing well in a low-key way over in the Central Valley where I was raised.  Still working for Creative Alternatives wearing a variety of hats.  It’s not the geography I’d favor living in if I had my druthers, but it’s close to my aging parents in a tolerable zone, so I’m relatively content.

It’s been over fifteen years since you promised to pay your half the debt that I covered out of my retirement savings in our close-but-no-cigars residential care attempt.  It was an interesting time, full of possibilities.  I think we had a good partnership going for a good purpose, and have always wondered what would have happened if Marge and the State hadn’t pulled the plug.

I haven’t made an issue of it so that you would have an opportunity to create a secure haven for yourself and your children. I’ve always hoped that at some point you would have the means, either through your own effort, or through inheritance, to make things right between us.

In the rural roots I come from, the mark of a man is his word.  As Seneca said a couple thousand years ago, “Nothing deters a good man from doing what is honorable.”

Hope to hear from you.

Take care,

M

* * * *
Letter to Larry Ellison after watching the America’s Cup in San Francisco:

Michael J. Holshouser
1112-4 Cedar Creek Drive
Modesto, CA 95355-5213

Larry Ellison
Oracle Corporation
500 Oracle Parkway
Redwood Shores, CA 94065

July 15, 2013

Larry,

While perusing the America’s Cup online site, I segued over to Wikipedia to read your biography – which says you came out of your youth a religious skeptic – and thought I’d send a little philosophical work written twenty-ish years ago, on the off chance it might ring true for you.

Also, bon voyage in San Francisco.  Quite a thing to have the America’s Cup in our back yard.  These catamarans you folks have designed are amazing.  Am looking to get over there a time or three for some wine-and-song viewing from the shoreline.  Had a San Francisco Pelican years ago – which I foolishly let go as I headed off for a new adventure – that taught me just enough on a couple nearby Sierra foothill lakes to dimly appreciate what goes on out there.

Am also reading Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series – the fictional books upon which the movie “Master and Commander” with Russell Crowe was based – and highly recommend a look-see if you haven’t ever picked them up.  O’Brian’s articulate view into the world of sail, the play of history during the Napoleonic era, the early years of the sciences exploring the unfolding panorama of the planet, along with the seemingly endless foibles of human nature, is a wonder to read.  A number of resource books and online websites – O’Brian has quite a following – are available to add spice to the reading.  It was disappointing the powers that be in Hollywood didn’t see fit to follow-up with a sequel.

Congrats, by the way, on a most interesting life.  You’ve certainly gleaned a no-holds-barred statistical sample of what this mortal theater offers.  Best wishes and keep on enjoying as best ye may.

Ciao, ciao,

M

* * * *
Email to Robin Slovacek:

Hey there,

As far as the second book goes, I got as far as the first sixty pages, and then – between all the distractions I manage to come up with in the retired life – moved back to working on getting the bulk of everything else, what I call the compendium, edited and uploaded.  Another 70 chapters of ten pages each to go on that little project. 

Essentially, the big picture is that everything that's been written since 1990-ish, an undated journal of thoughts, will be posted online in the three components below for the dream of consciousness to do with whatever it will or will not.  All no charge, as I am not interested in marketing it, or creating some traveling salvation show.  My solitude is far too precious to surrender to that sort of on-stage silliness.

So anywho, this is a general sketch at this writing of how it will all be organized:

The website for the original book of 50 pages of aphorisms, essays, and lists of movies and books, with links to everything else:

The Stillness Before Time

The second book, currently 60 pages posted, with a vague intention to gradually get it up to 100 to 200 pages before it's over:

The Ponderings of Yaj Ekim

And the compendium of everything else, probably well over 3,000 pages once everything's uploaded:

The Return to Wonder

So, it is for you and others to share or not.  Plenty of other silliness already out there – as Sandra Ma says, lots of babble – so I sure wouldn't be surprised if it goes largely unnoticed in the annals of whatever time remains in this unfolding dystopian drama.  The memes are strong, and every day stronger.  So it goes.

Enjoy as best ye may.

Ciao, ciao,

M

* * * *
Email to Misty Jones:

Hey there,

The thing about the Central Valley is that it is fairly dense as far as free-thinking goes.  The memes are strong and stronger every day.  There are some nexus points where people explore awareness if you are ever willing and able to make the move, but meanwhile, alas, you must carry on, stiff-upper-lip-it, so to speak, in chameleon mode.  It is doable if you hold to the inner clarity that in this asylum of a world, where absurdity reigns, it need not be you who wanders about babbling inanity.  Though ever a challenge, it can be endured if you stay true to your Self.

Meme

Groupthink

Brainwashing

Propaganda

Catch-22

* * * *
Response to an inquiry from Ingrid Koch on Facebook:

Hey, Ingrid,

Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner.  Must have missed your original message.  Yes, the name Holshouser (We pronounce it Holtzhowzer) is German in origin.  I believe it means wood house.  As far as I understand it, my father's side came through England in what is now South Carolina during America's colonial period.  After the Civil War, younger sons headed out to Texas, and my father was two years old when my grandparents moved out to Hughson – a small rural town in Central California – just before the Great Depression.

My mother's side is also German – Kurtz is her maiden name – was also pre-revolutionary, but came through the North via Pennsylvania on into Ohio.  My understanding is that they were Brethren as far as religion goes.  My mother's parents, both from Ohio, attended college, married, and had my mother in Southern California.  They moved up to Modesto – about ten miles away from Hughson – before World War II.  Mom and Dad met at the wedding of mutual friends, and married a few years later during the early 50's.

As far as Facebook goes, many of those thousand are people I actually know, and many are cyber folk I've run across through internet travels.  I use Facebook to connect with people who are inquiring into the world on a deeper level.  I use my page to post a variety of interesting links and graphics, as well as my own thoughts.  If you work your way down my wall, you will find a wide variety of things to ponder.

And I believe the distance between Switzerland and California is about nine time zones apart, so for all practical purposes your day is my night.  It's just past 16:00 hours at this writing.

Take care,

M

P.S.  I was also going to mention we don't know much about our European ancestry because most records were destroyed during World War II.  Most likely migration to the New World occurred because of a combination of religious persecution and economic opportunity.  It's rumored that the Holshouser side had a big land grant in South Caroline through its years in England, but I haven't felt all that inspired to dig into it more deeply.

* * * *
Email to Gina Vance of Integrative Wellness in Modesto after a reflective meeting on my writings:

Gina Vance

Gina,

Well, that was quite an unexpected adventure!  Very insightful in many ways.  Afterwards, I hit a burrito truck, and then headed out to the Mall, where I just sort of wandered on empty.  Came home, crashed, and now I'm up in the wee hours, straightening up the studio, prepping for the work day, and full of the thoughts below.  Hopefully, I'll get a few more hours of sleep before hitting the road.

So, I looked at the Yellow Pages in the current phone book, and found web designers on Page 664.  I also googled, and see there are a number free sites available where you can design your own website with web tools they provide, including geocities.yahoo.com.

Free Web Pages

Was also thinking you might consider utilizing Facebook and/or MySpace, which would also both be free.  Seems to be a popular venue for musicians and other artists, so why not you and your crew?  Not sure if it's as professional a the website you already have, but it would certainly be less expensive.

Speaking of which, don't know how much further you really want to delve into my existence, but a couple friends recently enticed me into setting up a Facebook site (I'd played with, and shut down, one on MySpace a year or so ago -- didn't find chatting with "friends" who I would likely never meet all that interesting -- generally prefer the real virtual reality), so I'll be sending you an invite in the very soon.  Features a variety of photo albums of myself, family and friends that I've gradually been scanning these last six months.

Also, here are a set of blog links from an alter ego with a German last name you'll recognize from our afternoon introspection.  I've been on quite a creative roll of late:

Uncle Sam Says

Uncle Sam Says Archives

Of A Philosophical Nature

The Return to Wonder

Jester Amok

The Lizard-Brainer Awards

Yes, I am easily distracted from my true avocation, whatever that be.  Maybe we should call it the no-agenda agenda.  But, then again, isn't the this-and-that of the day-to-day the nature and definition of philosophy.  Besides which, it makes for more material to burn in the furnace of the Soul (Sounds like another possible title: "The Soul's Furnace" or some such thing.  Yes, somewhere I keep a list titles)

Hey, it was great fun -- completely unexpected, serendipitous in a most delightful painful way -- and I'm looking forward to spending time with you in the now and then, as you have time and inclination.

Ciao,

Michael

PS  I'd be interested, if you're open to it, in making copies of the pages you were reading in those reference books.  Some pretty amazing, insightful stuff.

* * * *

Email to Susan Warren of Chico:

Hey there, hi there, stranger.

Just thought I'd let you know your painting, probably the only original work I'll ever own, is a centerpiece favorite in my apartment.  The other day when I was looking at it, it occurred to me to google your name, and see if you were out there in cyberland,  Found your website pretty quickly – the picture of Katie and her boyfriend was the eureka moment.

Looks like life is going well in your school career, and your paintings are pretty impressive by my eye.  I re-framed "Empty Offer" a few years ago when the original plastic version gave way to time, and the abuse of my transience.  I've always been very fond of it because the message so well reflects my mystical cynicism.

For some reason I pictured that you were in Marin County.  I vaguely remember you mentioning Oakley and the name of your Free-something school, but didn't realize it was just on the other side of Stockton.  I'm down in Turlock south of Modesto, near where I was raised on a peach and walnut ranch in smallburg Hughson.

Am still working for the same outfit, Creative Alternatives, out at Reyn Franca School, our nonprofit special ed site in Denair.  Life is low-key and stable for the time-being.  Will be hitting 55 in November, and, although ye old back has its debilitating moments, the measurable numbers seem to be holding up well enough.

The philosophical ramblings are still a-bubbling up in the here and there.  Not likely they'll ever get published, but it's been one of those enjoyable little pastimes.  Don't think you were ever that interested in them, but a website with a blog link that runs through my workplace server is below if you're inclined, or know somebody who might be.

The Stillness Before Time

Anywho, hope that you're healthy and happy, enjoying life, and that the boys, who must now be in their 20's (time and mind being what it is, I've lost track), are also doing well.

Take care,

Michael




-----
Susan’s response to the email above, intertwined with my responses:

Hey there,

Friday morning, and I’m at a coffee shop next to the garage where the school van is getting an oil change and a brake check.  The teachers and aides are having what we call an “Articulation Day” today, and since my current role is organization-wide training and school transportation these daze, I get to kick back a bit and take care of details, including a couple pints of joe, maybe some lunch, and a good deal of catch-up and other thoughts interspersed in your email below … :)

Susan:  Hi Michael,
I have a little time at home while my dinner cooks to write a few more lines.  I just finished a yoga class and will dash off to eat as soon as it it done – I worked hard in class and I'm hungry!

So yea … those boys … Jay is going to be 30 in July (!!!) and has been married for 4 years to a woman I adore.  They just moved from Seattle to a suburb in Houston TX (culture shock for all of us) …

Moi:  Yeesch, I just don’t think I’d be wanting to make that sort of switch.  Have spent a lot of travel time in the Southwest through the years, and I’m afraid the desert climate is not too high on the list of zones I’d be wanting to live in whatever time is left.  Not that the Central Valley is high on that list, either, but here’s where the parents and job are, and so I’m committed for the time-being.  More on that below.

Susan:  … and John is 26, living in AZ working for Southwest Air...(I like to joke and tell everyone he is a pilot--he is a baggage handler).  They both moved to be with their dad in AZ when I got the job at Freedom 13 years ago (that was a dramatic change).

Must have been real sudden shift in your reality.  No kids in the nest, all alone in a very different reality from Chico, a new career, and not a friend much closer than a hundred miles.  More yeesch.

Susan:  John has stayed in AZ with all of his high school buddies and Jay just recently followed his dad to TX to help with his swimming pool business.  Jay really got into the Rave scene (yes and ALL that) where he met his wife Beth.  They seem to be outgrowing some of not so great stuff around that scene and he mainly focuses on DJ-ing as a hobby and avocation.  They moved to TX when his wife lost her job with a sub-prime mortgage company.  She is now having an identity crisis that I am trying to support them through.

Moi: We had a lot to deal with when we were young, too, but I think everything that’s going on in current times would be even more overwhelming.  I’m not sure what I’d do if ye old genetic lottery time machine had dropped me off at this point in human history.  Amazing how much has happened in this last half century, and, of course, the century or so of industrialization before that.  Life has never been easy for any human being, but humankind is definitely treading new ground in our little interactive dream of consciousness.

Ah, poor Beth, a cog in the sub-prime fiasco.  Can’t believe the “experts” allowed this mess to happen.  My only advice to anyone young or old is to work hard and well, and try to enjoy whatever you do, but don’t let it define you.

Susan: John came out here for awhile after high school but really missed his friends and moved back after a few years.  He was with his high school sweetheart until recently and is really starting to blossom now that they are moving on...taking akido classes and looking for more creative outlets in the future.

So that's the kids.

So me in a nut shell....I lived in Bethel Island in a quiet little place that I loved (and hated) for 9 years.  Some good living and learning there.  B.I.'s motto is that it is a drinking town with a fishing problem.  I kept to myself and really learned how to enjoy being alone and connecting with nature--I lived right on the water--it was very beautiful.

Moi: Looked up Oakley and Bethel Island on Google Maps, and it does kind of look like an interesting place.  Have never spent much time on the Delta; it’s definitely a hole in my California experience.  Seems like mosquitos might be a bit of a bother, but I would think it would be pleasant to have a kayak or small motorboat to putter about.  Not much of a fisherman, I’m afraid.  My grandfather and father did quite a bit before I came along, and together we did some trolling on a lake or two, but my father was so involved with trying to survive as a farmer that he didn’t have the energy or inclination take off much for such things.  He had great artistic potential as a outdoor sculptor, as well, but was never able to spin into a moneymaker, and so let everything drift into the back yards of several family members.

Susan:  I also really focused on being the best teacher I could be – what a tough job!!!  It took me some time to figure out how to manage (I am STILL doing that to a certain extent) but I think my students and the staff like me – aw shucks … they gave me a teacher of the year twice – imagine that!  I can picture retiring here.

Moi:  Gotta tell you that your being considered a most-excellent teacher doesn’t surprise me at all.  My sense is that you have always given your best foot forward to everything you do.  Excellence, quality –
 “arete” the Greeks called it according to Pirsig in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” – seem to me to be fundamental aspects to your character.  Although I faded from your life, you were very much a presence in the Chico zone, and I have a number of memories of watching you participating with dance groups and gatherings that were so much a part of the Chico scene during that time.  Don’t know if all that is still the same.  It seemed to evaporate in the mid-to-late 90’s, but maybe it was just me pulling back, and going other directions.

Susan:  I moved away from Bethel Island to be with a fiery Argentine man ... almost married him but my friends and family intervened – thank god!  We all agreed that I dodged a bullet!

Moi:  Always amazes me how women are drawn to that passionate flame, and often pay a price of one sort or another – sometimes an unwitting child, sometimes a black eye.  Another woman friend up in Chico did the same thing a few years back with a guy from somewhere up north, and his jealousy and temper really took her on a ride she was happy to end.  Can’t tell you how many women friends I’ve known through the years who’ve lived to regret marrying and mating the guy whose whole repertoire was being able to throw a football, drive a hot car or motorcycle, or supplying the drugs.  I’m sure it’s the reason some cultures mandate arranged marriages.  So, my conclusion is that passion can be great fun, but, as I think is written in the Tao te Ching, a hard wind can’t blow all morning, or something like that.

Susan:  I have lived in Concord for going on 3 years now in my most favorite house ever – a cute little brick back cottage built in 1947 with a big yard for a garden.  I just had 11 raised beds put in and all I want to do is garden these days.

Moi:  Looking at the map of that whole Contra Costa geography, Concord looks like a bit more of a commute for you than Bethel Island, but probably closer to a less delti-esque fishing and drinking mindset.  The gardening option sounds good these days to me, too.  As much as I’m still drawn to it, I’m more than a little weary of this racing mind-made world into which our species is careening.  Was raised on a small 30-acre farm, but it was peaches and walnuts, and my parents weren’t into raising vegetables or livestock on the side.  I’ve helped start a few gardens with others – my specialty is prepping the soil – but have never really tilled anything to fruition on my own.  Sometimes I’ve thought about retiring up to a small community like Harbin Hot Springs, where I spent some time years ago, and taking up with the garden crew.  But I ponder a lot of possibilities, and that retired portion of life is not in the immediate telling.

Susan:  But – no can do.  As well as working full time I am now a full time student in a yoga teacher training program put on by my local yoga studio.  So I am a busy girl.  At 49, I have put the African dance behind me somewhat … Zydeco is about as close as I get … or the occasional Samba at a party to show off.  Yoga seems to be much more my speed.

Moi:  Alas, these meat machines do slow down.  Immortal soul, mortal body – is how I call it.  Recently I heard or read, can’t remember which, “The hard part about growing old is remembering you were young.”  But yoga is a good thing – used to do it quite a bit in the post-college years – and “busy girl” that you have always been, why not teach it?

Susan:  How long have you been in the Modesto area?  What is your work like?  I know now to stop keeping my eye out for you in when I visit the Chico coffee shops.

Moi:  Like I said in original email, I’m from the Modesto zone originally, and through a series of serendipitous events, my wandering star brought me back in 2000.  Had a lot of different jobs in the years I was in Chico, and the last one at Kinko’s disabled me for a bit with carpel tunnel syndrome 1998-ish.  Can’t remember the exact timeline, but there was between a year or two of disability.  Went over to Humboldt State for eight months of State-paid rehab to brush off the teaching credential with a CLAD certificate.  Wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it – didn’t really have a desire to go back into the day-to-day of a classroom -- but it was the only empowering option the rehab process allowed.  As fate would have it, just as things were wrapping up in December 1999, I happened to email an old buddy, Blane, at Creative Alternatives, where I’d worked a couple years in the mid-80’s, about getting together for a beer when I next got down there visiting family at Christmas.  He wrote back that he was now executive director, and that I should come back.  So, being the natural born “path of least resistance” practitioner that I am, here I am.

Creative Alternatives is a moderately-sized, homegrown non-profit that got its start 30-plus years ago (http://www.creative-alternatives.org/).  It currently has three programs: group homes, foster family agency, and non-public special ed schools.  When I was there in the mid-80’s, it was still mom and pop in size and mindset.  By the time I returned in February 2000, it had transformed under new leadership into a more corporate entity.  Eclectic character that I am, I’ve worn a number of hats in these eight-plus years.  Worked at first for a brief while as a child care worker in the group homes, then ran a junior high classroom at Reyn Franca School for a semester, and then moved over the main office where I worked in the FFA in a variety of functions including certifying new families, facilitating organization-wide training, instructing first aid/cpr, fundraising for the emancipation scholarship program, taking pictures of special events, creating a variety of forms and spreadsheets, putting together the silent auction and Christmas party, acting as inhouse Notary Public, and whatever other little projects needed a go-to guy.

However, California’s hemorrhaging budget has been impacting our taxpayer-funded agency, and the industry in general, pretty harshly, and it’s forcing our management team to cut and splice in whatever way doesn’t impact their own paychecks and perks.  The initial change put me back out at Reyn Franca School in a coordinator position for the last year and a half at the same salary.  But, alas, in a series of personnel moves that subverted the need for my role as coordinator, I was recently downsized pretty drastically to an hourly training/transportation position.

A key factor in all this is Blane, my executive director buddy, being sidelined by health problems for the last six months, leaving his second-in-command in interim charge.  Although Joey and I get along very well, personal loyalty doesn’t carry the same weight as it did with Blane in better times.  Though I’m sure the downsizing was carried out with his knowledge and reluctant blessing, it might not have happened if he’d been face-to-face at the helm.  Anywho, after re-configuring the retirement deductions that I was feeding the full percentage possible, it works out to be about the same take-home disposable income.  Though I’m still contributing to a company matched 403B, the 401K that I’ve been stoking full-steam these past eight years is now adrift as is in our lackluster economy.

And, as you might well guess of moi, I’m actually “so it goes” fine with it.  I have done a great deal of largely unappreciated work by the powers-that-be in my time here, and was growing weary and somewhat bored with the mad pace of everything that had over time accumulated on the plate.  The current job description is much more laid back, and suits my philosophical wander-about inclination.  Am still making more than anything than I had going in Chico, and there are excellent health benefits, good vacation, holiday and sick leave, and a few other perks that make it worth staying.  Don’t know what else I’d do anyway – no major adventures are calling out on the horizon, pretty content just to be anymore, and starting over just isn’t as appealing as it was in the younger daze.

Am not real hot about the Modesto zone, either, but it’s been an interesting experiencing coming back to the original area after so many years elsewhere.  Chief among the pluses, is that it has allowed me to be closer to the parents as they transition through their end game years.  Good son that I am to good parents they’ve been, my intention is to see them through whatever’s to come, and after that, I’ll probably put myself into out-in-the-pasture mode.  Dad, an ambulatory but frail 81, with the distinctive signs of minor stoke-driven dementia and/or early Alzheimer’s, has all but lost short term memory and the ability to logic out much of the day-to-day.  Mom, 77, a mild-mannered low-key woman, is still doing pretty well.  She plays a lot of bridge with a variety of groups, participates in a sorority called PEO, and, barring something unexpected, probably has a fair number of years left on her calendar.

I usually get up to Chico every year for a week-ish.  The first several years, it was at Halloween, but when the powers-that-be quashed the masked ball festivities, I switched to the greener spring.  I think that’s when I ran into you to at Bidwell Perk.  Wish now that I’d spent face-time catching up with you on life and times, but I was booked to chat with the guy you saw me with, and blew the opportunity.

Chico’s really the zone where I have the greatest sense of connectiveness.  Kind of a curious thing that I left, I suppose.  Had a great time in the not-quite ten years there, but the horse got shot out from under me job-wise enough times that I guess I was ready to get out of Dodge.  And carpal tunnel was the ticket.  Didn’t know where it would lead, but, for whatever reason, that’s the way I do things.  Not very pragmatic, I suppose in retrospect, but, thus far, the life and times of Michael have been a pretty interesting wander.

Susan: You know … Empty Offer was and is one of my favorite works of art.  I don't think I can explain it but that image just really spoke to me and I had to paint it.  I am glad I did and I am so glad that you own it and appreciate it!

Moi:  Empty Offer is a great piece for my point and purpose, and I imagine it will be with me until the last wheezing breath.  One of these days, if you’ll deign it, I’ll have to buy you a bottle of wine to get your signature on it.

Susan:
Thanks so much for getting in touch :]
I am off to eat some dinner.
I look forward to hearing from you again,

Susan

Moi: Well, that’s probably more than enough for now.  The van’s still not ready, but I suppose I’d better move on to a few work-related things while I’m on the clock.

More another time soon-ish :]

Ciao for now,

Michael

PS  Picked up this Apple MacBook a couple months ago.  Used to have a company laptop, but it crashed and burned a year or so ago, and the boys in the band are switching most everyone back to desktops.  So well.  Anywho, these new versions have a quaint little camera, a new novelty in ye old little techno zone, so, for vanity’s sake, a snapshot of my favorite coffee mug is attached :]

* * * *
Response to an email from Joseph de Nicola:

Hey Joseph,

Thought I'd shoot you some thoughts about your comment: "Reading your The Stillness Before Time I don't get the impression of you as a cynic."

At this point, it seems like there's a bit of every label in me.  And just because I write what I write in The Stillness Before Time doesn't mean I'm in denial about where we're heading as a species.  Even if everyone suddenly woke up and started paddling furiously, by all the indicators in my vision, we'd still be drifting in a very strong current towards the falls.

I'll be glad to be wrong, but we're on new ground in the historical movement of our little human drama, and I'm not as optimistic as you seem to be that technology can keep us from the brink for much longer.  Too many people, too much greed, too much ignorance, too much insanity, too much everything ... And the reality, from a statistical perspective, harsh as it may be, is that everything that goes up must eventually come down.

So, I suppose the compromise between us is to hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

And enjoy the day as best we may.

Ciao,

Michael

* * * *
Response to an email from Shannon Rooney:

Hey there,

John doesn't seem to be a perfect fit for you, but, then again, who is for any of us at this stage of our lives?  All our lists of what we don't like about others grows daily longer, I'm sure.  At least he's in your corner, and you have a roof over your head for the time-being.  You may not need that security if your Mom leaves you a decent inheritance, or the rock enterprise become lucrative, but for now it's a safe, pragmatic haven.

Speaking of relationship, it may be premature to bring it up, but before you hear it from someone else, I thought I'd let you know that Susan Warren and I are kind of hooking up in a distance relationship of sorts.  I don't even know if you know who she is, but I met her in Chico in the early 90's while she was raising a couple boys and going to school.  Nothing happened back then, but we've reconnected on Facebook, and have spent enough face-time to warrant bringing it up out of respect for what you and I had, and in many ways, at least in my mind, still have together.

She lives in Concord, and works teaching art at a high school in the Antioch area.  Her boys are all grown up and in worlds of their own.  Not sure where it might end up, but early indicators are strong that we may be hanging out quite a bit as time and distance allows.  She's got a personality and intelligence that resonates nicely, as did yours, with my own.  She's rather idealistic in a Buddhist sort of way, so some of my predispositions towards things that shall not be named are a bit rough for her to comprehend embracing.

So, like I said, it's perhaps premature to bring it up, but since you were the most successful relationship I've had in my life, thus far, I just felt you should hear it from me first.  Kind of a surprising turn of events, and nothing I would have expected given my often stated, and rather negative views toward male and female relationships, but, as is often said, never say never.

Anywho, enough of that.  I'm sitting in a coffee shop waiting for some tire and brake work on the school van to be completed at the garage next door.  The day is cooler than the last few, so it's pleasant set of moments to get paid to sip coffee and ponder the mid-life reverie.

Hope things go well with your Mom.  Sounds like she needs to stop resisting residential care, or at least surrender to live-in assistance.  What a bother the endgame is.  At this end, Sister Ann and I are going to meet with a lawyer next week to be sure Mom and Dad's trust is set up for all the contingencies we may be facing before it's over.  Ugh!

So good luck, and enjoy as best ye may!

Ciao,

Michael

* * * *
Letter sent to several politicians regarding changes being considered to the California Worker’s Comp Program:

Michael J. Holshouser
1112-4 Cedar Creek Drive
Modesto, California 95355-5213
Home: 668-5732 Work: 634-9736
mholshouser@creative-alternatives.org

August 27, 2003

The Honorable John Burton
California State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Mr. Burton:

It has come to my attention that a 15-visit cap to chiropractic care in Workers Comp situations is being considered by the Workers’ Compensation Conference Committee, and I want to express my concern about such a limit.

In 1998, while working as a key-op at Kinko’s in Chico, I came down with a disabling case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  I was forced to leave that line of work, and in the next year or so went through a period of rehabilitation, which I am pleased to say has allowed me to return to the workplace

The return to reasonable health has been a long and winding road.  The initial use of medication was ineffectual, and included unpleasant side-effects.  And as I considered the option of surgery, it became clear that success was not always assured.  Several people I talked with that had undergone it were still suffering from the condition, as well as the often very painful results of the operation itself.

So in my own loosely scientific way, I chose to explore other routes before undergoing an irreversible procedure.  My goal was to somehow overcome this very depressing disability, and to return to a suitable, satisfying line of work.  In the four years since being sidelined, I have explored a number of alternatives including acupuncture, acupressure, cranial-sacral therapy, massage, and stretching.  I even toyed for a brief time with such unlikely remedies as magnets.

Although each in its own right produced interesting results, none proved so effective as a branch of chiropractic care called Gentle Chiropractic.  This approach is much more subtle than traditional chiropractic care in that it focuses on the soft tissues of the body to align the skeletal system rather than the reverse.

Gentle Chiropractic has allowed me to return to the working world, and to continue as an involved, contributing member of society.  I currently work in an administrative and training role for Creative Alternatives, an organization that operates foster homes, group homes, and non-public schools in Stanislaus and Merced Counties.

A 15-visit limit on chiropractic care for Workers’ Comp cases would not have made this possible for me, and I fear many others who are likewise motivated to remain in the workforce, but be unable to because such a return might require several years of rehabilitation.

I realized the State of California is facing a tremendous budgetary crisis, but a I do not believe a 15-visit limit on chiropractic care will be in the best interest of its work-injured citizenry in the long-run.  Rehabilitation can be a lengthy process, and injured employees should not be forced to take medication and undergo invasive surgery that offers no guarantee of success.  Responsible, dedicated, tax-paying workers should be allowed to heal themselves in whatever way is in their best interest.

I hope you will bear in mind these thoughts in your consideration of the matter.

Respectfully,

Michael J. Holshouser

* * * *
Response to a woman named Kathi on MySpace, who spotted my foster care coordinator role at Creative Alternatives, and wondered about my views on foster care:

Kathi,

I'm with one of the many private non-profit agencies out there that are overseen by the State of California to certify foster parents.  We are probably middle-sized as things go, with an average of 100 foster children ages 0 to 18 in about 60 foster homes.  We also have 17 group homes with just under 140 children ages 6 to 18, and have a couple special education schools with somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 students.

Re: the foster care system.  Could be better; could be worse.  And frankly, I'm not sure what could really be done to make it all that much better.  Nations across the world handle what I call the throw-away kids in a variety of ways, and some I've heard about are a lot less pretty than ours.  Don’t know how true it its, but I’ve heard that in China and Russia they have centers that are like concentration camps.  In some of the larger cities in Brazil, I’ve heard there are kids running in feral gangs, and sometime the police shoot them.

What's really too bad, of course, is that people bring kids into this world that they can't or won't raise well.  And then there are the many places in the world where wars are raising children as refugees, and others where culture are being decimated by AIDS, famines and other horrors.

Like anything in the human service sector, the effectiveness of any given system boils down to the people who get involved, and to what level they are capable of doing the right thing.  Foster parents, social workers, counselors, management and support staff -- what we do is a very bureaucratic exercise, and the day-in-day-out is very much a never-ending marathon.  And, unfortunately, there is no shortage of kids being taken away from their families for every reason imaginable.

Trouble is, once a child is twisted by abuse and neglect, it's really hard for them to ever get back on the track they would have been on if they had gotten a fair shake in the first place.  Factor into that things like genetic issues and substance abuse, and the whole thing spins even further a-field.  Although there are probably many exceptions, the future for many of these children, and the future of our culture as a whole, is not likely to be a pretty sight.

My particular role in all this is fairly eclectic.  The primary job duty is to bring aboard new foster parents, but I'm also in charge of training, some scholarship fund-raising, and a variety of special projects and sundry needs that come up now and again.  As I said above, a challenging marathon.

Anywho, hope all this isn't too depressing.  It seems to be my nature to be a little too serious about things.  And in my vision, the world seems pretty darned mad these days, and is only getting zanier every day.  But despite all the confusion, we as individuals can still be good caretakers in our own little zone.  So, being a good mom to your children, a good caretaker to all those animals, a good friend to all your friends, and a good human being in general, will be as good as it gets in your part of the world.

Enjoy the day.

Ciao,

Michael

* * * *
Response to an inquiry by Nancy Moore of Santa Cruz about my perspective the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center complex in New York City:

Nancy,

I pretty much put everything in a big picture historical-anthropological context.

I feel compassion for the people who are enduring this at a personal level, but in my view, this is a cause-effect thing that reaches back far into the imagination of time.

It ripples from the mythological differences between the major religions that sprang out of the Middle East, all the conflicts in that region that happened before and since, the creation of Israel after World War II, oil, the Cold War in Afghanistan, the bombing of Libya, the war between Iraq and Iran, the on-going containment of Iraq, and all the countless slights that slap back and forth in anything connected with that area of the world.

The United States is the current Rome, and any Rome has countless enemies that seek its downfall.  Terrorism is the only means the powerless have to wage war on the guy with a biggest club.  The big guy calls the little guy a cowardly barbarian, but I'm not sure there's really a difference between a cruise missile targeted from hundreds of miles away, and a bomb left in a backpack in a cafe.  Both evoke terror and suffering.

The small group that pulled this ingeniously simple act off, whoever they may be, has set in motion a tsunami in time that will ripple across the world in many ways for years to come.

It was bound to happen sooner or later, and my only surprise, frankly, is that it didn't happen sooner.

And it will, I am sure, happen many times in many ways for the rest of human history.

And I'm sorry to say that I think that we may well see things down the pike that will make September 11 look like a walk in the park.

It's the nature of the beast.

Michael

* * * *
Letter of inquiry about getting The Stillness Before time published:

Michael J. Holshouser
1112-4 Cedar Creek Drive
Modesto, CA 95355-5213
Cell: (209) 988-6271  Work: (209) 668-8594
mholshouser@creative-alternatives.org

April 2, 2007

Editorial Department
Att: Black Sparrow Books Submissions
c/o David R. Godine, Publisher
9 Hamilton Place
Boston, MA 02108-4715

To Whom It May Concern:

While watching Factotum a few weeks ago, I was inspired to send you folks an unsolicited work a la Bukowski.

The Stillness Before Time is also online at the website: http://www.thestillnessbeforetime.com/

More recent ponderings are at a blog titled The Return to Wonder:

And if such aphoristic fare ever proves to be of interest to a paying audience, there’s plenty more in reserve.

As I have no agent, if you should be inclined to publish, you can either recommend one, or we can deal directly with a fair formula contract and handshake.

Ciao,

M

* * * *
A couple letters to Arthur Braverman, the Japanese teacher during my two years teaching fifth-sixth grade at Oak Grove School in Ojai, author of several books on several Japanese Zen masters:

Amazon: Arthur Braverman
1112-4 Cedar Creek Drive
Modesto, CA 95355-5213
Cell: (209) 988-6271  Work: (209) 668-8594
mholshouser@creative-alternatives.org

January 3, 2007

Arthur Braverman
45 Taormina Lane
Ojai, CA 93023-3627

Arthur,

When you gave me Nisargadatta’s I Am That in my world-weary state at Oak Grove in the late 80’s, it was a crystal seed that precipitated a wild ride in the 90’s.  Lots of adventures, and an outpouring of thoughts that still have their moments.  Enclosed is a short work that came together for a few publishing inquires that never materialized, but is meanwhile a nice once-and-awhile give-away to people open to such things.  In retrospect, I sometimes joke that it should have been called The Silliness of Time, but the more serious-sounding title beat it to the punch.

Your name popped in my head a few weeks ago, and when I googled, lo and behold, you’ve been busy.  Will be looking forward to seeing what you’ve put together in your most recent work when I get the incoming Amazon order.  I still recall all the time you spent sitting in the Pavillion and up on the hill.  Am afraid I’m still not much good at anything so disciplined, but once and awhile I give it a lax shot.  Went to one of those 10-day Vipassana retreats in the Yosemite area a few years back.  Enjoyed it quite a bit, but I suppose you could call me zazen-challenged as far as being regular in the day-to-day goes.

Anywho, thanks for being one of the many catalysts in my little life journey.  Had read all sorts of Taoist, Buddhist, and a variety of other philosophers up until that point, but for some unknown reason hadn’t touched on the Bhagavad Gita and other Hindu writings.  The next few years were a real avalanche up in Chico, where I spent the 90’s in a variety of jobs and living situations.  Lots of coffee, walkabouts, and who knows how many notebooks full of scribbling.  Anthropological field notes, I sometimes call them.  Over 2400 pages transcribed, so far.  It does get old at times, and I don’t consider myself that great a writer, but the random enjoyment of stream of consciousness aphoristic wordplay, coupled with the discipline of running a newspaper pre-Oak Grove, keeps pen and paper at the ready.  And the thoughts keep rolling out, so much the same, yet each so different in its own little way.

Moved back to the original geography in the Modesto area in Y2K, where I work a bureaucratic job for a local nonprofit, spend time with the parents, and wander relatively anonymous about the sundry.  Not sure I’m really any less world-weary and bemused at times, this manifest realm is not always easy on mind, but so it goes.

Hope this finds you and Hiroko both well.

Thanks again,

​M​

-----
Michael J. Holshouser
1112-4 Cedar Creek Drive
Modesto, CA 95355-5213
Cell: (209) 988-6271  Work: (209) 668-8594
mholshouser@creative-alternatives.org

March 31, 2007

Arthur Braverman
45 Taormina Lane
Ojai, CA 93023-3627

Arthur,

I’ve very much enjoyed reading Living and Dying in Zazen.  I knew you had spent quite a bit of time in Japan, and met Hiroko there, but getting more details about the many adventures of yourself and other foreigners, as well as hearing about the Zen teachers whose paths you crossed, was all very interesting.  It has even inspired me to sit a bit more to “watch my delusions,” though I’m afraid I prize my still-reasonably-healthy-but-aging knees far too much to even think about trying the lotus position.

Don’t know if you found my aphoristic work of much interest, but I wanted to let you know it has gone through a pretty significant editing, something I’ll probably do every once and awhile in whatever years are left.  Mostly vocabulary, punctuation and grammar, along with a few clarifications – the essential point, of course, remains the same.

A downloadable copy is available at the website if you’re inclined.  Hope it’s okay that I added your title to the booklist.

Take care,

​M​

The Stillness Before Time

The Return to Wonder

* * * *
Letter of recommendation for ex-girlfriend Shannon Rooney:

Michael J. Holshouser
1112-4 Cedar Creek Drive
Modesto, CA 95355-5213
Cell: (209) 988-6271  Work: (209) 668-8594
mholshouser@creative-alternatives.org

June 9, 2007

Shasta County Superior Court
Courthouse
1500 Court Street
Redding, CA 96001

To Whom It May Concern:

Shannon Rooney and I were very close during the late 90’s in Chico where I met her while working for Kinko’s.  Our two-year relationship came to a gradual close when I suffered a carpel-tunnel disability, and moved to Arcata in 1999 to attend Humboldt State to re-certify a teaching credential.  After obtaining a CLAD certificate, I moved back to the Modesto area to be closer to my aging parents.  Since February 2000, I have worked for a nonprofit organization called Creative Alternatives in a variety of administrative roles.  Currently, I am at Reyn Franca School, a nonpublic special education school in Denair near Turlock.  During my eight years in the Modesto area, Shannon and I have remained close friends through emails and time together when I visit the Chico area.

Shannon and I both shared an ironic sense of humor, and our time together was almost always enjoyable in a casual sharing of thoughts and observations of the world around us.  Our interests were very simple, including making meals, sitting in coffee shops, and walks in Bidwell Park and the nearby foothills of Forest Ranch and Cohassett.  While I was in Arcata, she and I often met at the half-way point in Weaverville, where she grew up and lived during her early adult years.  We usually stayed at her mother’s place, and I was able to meet many of the people, and see many of the places that had impacted her early life.

I consider Shannon to be a very intelligent, personable woman with a great aptitude for verbal and written communication.  In her earlier life, she was a prolific poet, and in the years we were together, and since, she has done a great deal of column writing for the Chico News & Review and other print media.  While we were together, Shannon was attending Chico State to earn an English degree.  To this she added a teaching credential, which has given her an opportunity to teach English at Butte College, and also at a variety of area elementary and high schools as a substitute teacher.

Because I have continued to be one of her confidants in the years since our break-up, Shannon has kept me abreast of what happened in April in Redding.  Being caught and charged for shoplifting was a very real wake-up call for her, and she has since pursued help for what she calls an addiction from a number of sources including counseling, a 12-step program and an online support group.  She is both embarrassed and remorseful for her actions, and has every intention of never allowing it to happen again.

Regarding Shannon’s emotional and health issues, I can say I have witnessed first-hand a woman who has repeatedly endured a great deal of hardship from a variety of fronts throughout her life.  She was an unexpected child born after the adoption of two older siblings, has endured a very debilitating chronic autoimmune condition, experienced a very harsh divorce, and has since had an often difficult time raising their son due to court battles repeatedly initiated by a vengeful ex-husband.  These, along with a variety of other challenging life experiences have, I believe, contributed to a chronic depression, which may have played a part in the shoplifting activity, the consequences of which she now faces.

From what I understand, I think there is little question that Shannon is guilty of the charges she faces.  The question is what consequences she should pay.  The two things that I would ask the Court to consider in making this decision are her fragile health and what she has to offer society.  Rather than have her serve time in jail, I would encourage the Court to have her do some sort of work release program or community service, or a combination of both.  This might include writing or speaking about her experience to individuals, groups or the community in general.

I would also encourage the Court to find a way, if at all possible, for Shannon to retain her teaching credential.  It is the most viable way for her to earn a livelihood, and a very real way for her to contribute to the overall benefit of society.

My sense is that Shannon is a generally good person who got herself immersed in an activity she now deeply regrets; one that she will never do again.  I believe, if given the opportunity and motivation, she will use her many skills to wield this experience into something that will benefit many individuals and the community at large for years to come.

Respectfully submitted,

Michael Holshouser

* * * *
Response to Mark Bava, a fellow K-12 Hughson Class of ’72 alumni, as well as one of the neighbor kids on East Pine Street up until age seven, when we moved out to the peach ranch on Hatch Road:

Mark,

Came back to the Valley in 2000 to work for Creative Alternatives, and be closer to the parents as they wander through their end-game.

Yes, I did read your centennial piece.  It was great.  Brought back all sorts of similar memories.  That commonality is what has been fun about spending time once and awhile with Esther and Marcia.  Esther just emailed me that this Sunday, Russell Wallers wants to join us.

Wondered how the restaurant adventure would work out for you and Chris.  It sounded like an interesting plan, but not an easy line of work, that's for sure.

Sounds like we've both lived Peter Pan lives.  Still am at this end, I suppose, but I think the worst of the mid-life crisis part is pretty much behind me.  No regrets about not having a partner or children.  Never really felt a strong calling for it.

And for you, the artist's life, it strikes me that there are worse things.

Doubt you have much reason to travel over here, but if you do, feel free to call and we'll do some coffee or brewskies or whatever.

Ciao,

M

* * * *
Emails to Marge Brooks, a Hughson Union High School English teacher and occasional contributor the Modesto Bee, thanking her for all her good teaching:

Mrs. Brooks,

Hey there!  Glad to see you're still around and writing.  Thanks for all the good teaching and other memories way back when the way it was, was the way it was.

Michael Holshouser

-----
And a follow-up email to her response that she didn’t realize I was back in the area:

Marge,

Sorry not to get back to you sooner.  The filter routed you to the spam folder, and I only check it once and a while to make sure I'm not missing someone important.

Came back into the area in 2000 after a couple years teaching in Ojai, ten odds and ends years in Chico, and part of another doing rehab for carpal tunnel at Humboldt State in Arcata.  Have been working for Creative Alternatives for nine years wearing a variety of hats -- the current one is out at the Reyn Franca School special education site in Denair.

Have also, of course, spent a fair amount of time with the parents.  Dad just come home from a stroke that we originally didn't think he'd survive.  He's still ambulatory, but his mobile-but-weak-and-uncoordinated right arm is starting rehab.  He's had several TIA's and seizures these last several years, which have taken away his short-term memory and ability to logic out much.  Along with being very deaf and completely toothless, I'm afraid he's well into that challenging time of life.

Anywho, on the personal front, it's been quite an existence, so far, filled with a healthy statistical sampling of life experiences.  Literally no stone unturned if there was a glimmer of interest.  Will be turning 55 in November, so it's been nearly two score since the HUHS years started.  Pretty amazing how far ye old mindset has traveled.

Probably one of the greatest ironies is how much of this life has been spent writing, taking pictures and putting together things like newspapers, rodeo programs, yearbooks, newsletters, brochures, flyers, weddings and other special event photography.  Considering I never did anything much extra-curricular like that in high school, it's one of those curious things.

Also ended up being something of an aphoristic philosopher with a little work titled "The Stillness Before Time" online at the address below.  Don't know if it will be your cup of tea, but its reflects the journey that started in little old Hughson.  Nothing that's all that popular at this writing, but there's a fair number of people who've found it matches their thoughts on life and times.

The Stillness Before Time

Hope all's well for you.  Just wanted to say again how much I appreciate everything you offered as a teacher and well-intentioned soul during those years our lives crossed.

Take care,

Michael

* * * *
Response to a letter from Merritt Hulst, a friend from the Waterford years:

Michael J. Holshouser
1112-4 Cedar Creek Drive
Modesto, CA 95355-5213
Cell: (209) 988-6271  Work: (209) 668-8594
mholshouser@creative-alternatives.org

May 5, 2008

Merrit,

Finally getting this to you.  Not sure at what point in the 90’s that I sent whatever version you already have.  It’s been an evolving, serendipitous process, and I figure this latest update will have a few more sections, additions to the book and movie lists, plus a fair amount of editing of vocabulary, grammar, spelling and the like.  Though articulating ye old thoughts has always been an enjoyable pastime, my linguistic abilities, as much as I would desire it otherwise, alas, have more than a few limitations.  So this little philosophical work is always getting tinkered with in this way or that whenever I bother to take a look at it.  Probably will until the last wheezing breath.  And if you go to the website and link to the blog titled, “The Return to Wonder,” you’ll get a sense of how all these little ditties just keep on bubbling up in the day-to-day.  I often ironically call it “The Silliness of Time” rather than the more serious-sounding title that popped into mind early in the game.

And if you do take a peek at the blog, what you’ll find is just a fraction of the compendium of all that’s poured out since things started percolating, in what I sometimes call my mystical uprising, 1990-ish.  Over 2665 pages digitally transcribed so far from who knows how many notebooks and scraps of paper.  Of course, what I’m saying doesn’t seem to be all that appealing to most folks, and will probably never be officially published, which is fine.  Such things are not all that marketable (i.e., it’s not Harry Potter).  It’s really more of a pleasant diversion than anything that’s going to change anything.  Nothing that hasn’t been put into words somewhere in the boggle of human history, I’m sure.

But it’s been an interesting, amusing process, nonetheless.  Have passed it on to a number of people through the years.  Some toss it, some ignore it, some return it, some argue it, and those for whom it is written, sometimes inhale it like a breath of fresh air.  Some, including three retired spiritual bookstore owners, have bought copies for their families and friends.  So who knows what’s to come of it in the long haul.  An unanticipated life, of that there can be little doubt.  Free will looking forward, fate looking back -- is how I’ve come to view it.

Seems like being a part of a Quaker church is a good fit for you.  What little I know of the their interpretation, they’ve always seemed like one of the more reasonable approaches to what Jesus was trying to get across about community and relationship before he got himself crossed.  Sure would have been interesting to have seen what his teaching might have flowered into if he hadn’t wandered – intentionally by the hand of god, or naively in his own arrogance -- into martyrdom via Jerusalem’s power elite.  I, as you might well guess, think the latter.  But, whatever the case, in the crap table of the human drama, his roll of the dice have played out in every way imaginable across the board, and here we are, the theater of man, exponentially accelerating in every way mind and technology allow, far and away more confused and conflicted than it could have possibly been 2000-plus years ago.  Why hasn’t he come back to redeem his many followers?  To this fine mess . . . Would you?  If there is a supreme being in some sort of Zeus-like persona, he/she/it probably isn’t as much dead as exasperated to tears and unutterable boredom with all our vain free will patter.  Just one life of all this inanity has been enough for me to oftentimes be world weary to the extreme.  Can’t imagine having to endure it for the rest of time.  Suppose you might call it creator’s remorse, or some such thing.

And, of course, it doesn’t surprise me that you’re still the handyman ministering to friends and strangers alike.  All those hours we spent working on your house, chatting away while you made signs, and who can recall how many other little escapades, are fond memories upon which I have often reflected.  Tried contacting you when I first came back to the area sometime post-Y2K.  Got a hold of David – Sorry for your loss, by the way.  Missed saying something to you when we talked on the phone.  In my few interactions with him, he seemed to be everything that was said of him in the Modesto Bee obituary – and he gave me Analise’s phone number.  Left a message, but didn’t follow up when there was no response.  Just kind of figured you had moved on to new adventures, and let it go at that.  Only decided recently to give it another try by mail to David’s address, which you seemed to have received, as you say, in a rather unfortunate turn of events.

Took a look at Analise’s updated website, by the way, and it’s pretty impressive.  Quite a whirlwind of creative talent you’ve hooked up with.  Must take you on many adventures outside the realm of the Waterford daze.

Anywho, I’ve babbled on enough for now.  It’d be good to see you again someday.  Doubt I’ll get down to San Diego anytime soon, I’m afraid.  Am less of a traveler than in the younger days, and am somewhat adverse to Southern Cal and all it’s urban zaniness.  It’s often overwhelming enough in the Modesto/Turlock zone without seeking it out in spades down there.  Lived in Ojai a couple years while teaching at Oak Grove School, and, although it was an interesting experience, it was enough to put anything south of San Luis Obispo behind me.  Currently live in an apartment a few blocks from Stanislaus State, and -- despite its many man-made ponds and some architectural designs that would have Ayn Rand’s Howard Roark spinning in his fictional grave -- long, solitary walks several times a week have become one of the favored pastimes.  So, hopefully, you’ll wander up this direction in the not-too-distant future, and have some time to ruminate on life and times, and all our many adventures over a few cups of stained water.

Keep on enjoying.

Ciao,

P.S.  Since you played a significant part in the younger daze -- amazing that it’s been 20-ish years, how quickly it all passes, such a mirage of memories, not exactly sure when or how I drifted on -- I’m also enclosing a life resume that I keep for kicks that will give you a snapshot of some the things that have happened along the way in this rather oblique existence.

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Breadcrumbs: Life Resume

Michael J. Holshouser

1112-4 Cedar Creek Drive
Modesto, CA 95355-5213


EDUCATION

Cultural Language Acquisition Development Certificate
Humboldt State University, Arcata

Multiple Subject and Single Subject Social Studies Credentials
University of Pacific, Stockton

Bachelor of Science, Business Administration
California State University, Chico

Associate of Arts, Business
Modesto Junior College

TIMELINE

Turlock - Retired April 1, 2011

Aimless wandering and any general puttering that comes to mind in whatever time is left In the magical mystery tour for this aging sack of flesh and bones.

Turlock - 2000 to 2011

Employee & Foster Care Training Coordinator and RFS Student Transportation –
Residential Care, Foster Family Agency & Reyn Franca School, Creative Alternatives, Turlock and Denair
RFS Coordinator – Reyn Franca School, Denair
FFA Coordinator – Foster Family Certification and Training, Turlock
Administrative Assistant – Creative Alternatives, Turlock –
Foster Parent and Employee Training, FirstAid/CPR Instructor, Advertising, Interim Human Resources Coordinator, Transportation Coordinator, ITFC Program Coordinator, Notary Public, Graphic Arts, Grace Bishop Scholarship Chairman, Christmas Party and Silent Auction Chairman, Special Projects Coordinator
Instructional Aide – Reyn Franca School, Creative Alternatives, Denair
Child Care Worker – Residential Care Homes, Creative Alternatives, Turlock
Technical Support – Sandpiper Technologies, Manteca

Chico - 1990 to 1999

Express Coordinator, Machine Operator, Copy Consultant – Kinko's
Sales, Craft Fair Coordinator – Meraz & Associates
Barista – Starbucks
Security – Grass Valley World Music Festival - Maple Creek Presents
Taxi Driver, Dispatcher – Eagle Taxi
Sales – Christensen Designs, Manteca
Author, Publisher, Website Design – "The Stillness Before Time"
ATM Technician – Wells Fargo Armored Service Corporation
House Restoration – 1111 Oleander Avenue – Lee Hoffmann
Security – Chico World Music Festival - Maple Creek Presents
Security – Shakespeare in the Park - Maple Creek Presents
Clam Shucker, Dishwasher – Annual Bravo Opera Ball - Zephyrs
Auction Aid – Public Estate Auction – Mansfield Auctioneers
Operations, Teacher, Partner – Residential Care – Chico Hedway Programs
Sales, Ferry Harvest Farmers Market – Mountain Fruit Company
Social Security Administration Payee – Patrick Dauwalder
Sales, Stock, Custodial, Inventory – Sierra Stationers
K-12 Substitute Teacher – Butte and Tehama County Schools

Ojai - 1988 to 1990

Morning Bread Baker – Ranch House Restaurant
Housesitting/Caretaking – Various Ojai Homes
Fifth-Sixth Grade Teacher – Oak Grove School
Summer School Director, Bus Driver, Yearbook Advisor, Options Instructor,
Drama Lighting Director – Oak Grove School
Waiter, Host – Franky's Restaurant, Ventura
Arts and Crafts, Trail Riding, Counselor – Gold Arrow Camp, Huntington Lake

Hughson - 1983 to 1988

Fifth Grade Teacher – Hughson Elementary School District
Child Care Worker – Creative Alternatives, Turlock
Assistant Social Worker, Foster Home Program – Creative Alternatives
Photographer – Weddings, Special Events, Portraits – Self-employed
K-12 Substitute Teacher – Stanislaus County Schools
Forklift Operator – Martella Walnut Huller
Publisher, Sales, Layout – La Grange Rodeo Program
Animal Trail Naturalist – Old Oak Ranch, Columbia
Word Processing Instructor – Alpha Com
Editor, Columnist, Photographer, Sales, Layout – Hughson Chronicle
Children's Program – Strawberry Bluegrass Festival, Yosemite
Teaching Aide – Modesto Montessori School
Hired Hand – Roen Ranch Right Fork Cattle Company, Waterford

Los Gatos – 1982

Consultant – California Commission on Violence Prevention, San Jose
Sales – Chanticleer Children's Bookstore
           
Waterford - 1980 to 1982

K-12 Substitute Teacher – Stanislaus County Schools
Forklift Driver – Martella Walnut Huller, Hughson
Publisher, Sales, Layout – La Grange Rodeo Program
Home Reconstruction & Caretaking – Merritt Hulst

Waterford - 1978 to 1980

Editor, Columnist, Photographer, Sales, Layout – Waterford News
Yearbook Advisor – Waterford Elementary School District
4-H Photography Instructor – Waterford 4-H Club
Sales – Combined Insurance Company, Merced County

Sacramento, Reno – 1977

Department Manager, Home Division – Weinstock's, Sacramento and Reno

College Years – 1972 to 1977

Industrial Specialist, Engineering Branch – Alameda Naval Air Rework Facility
Waiter, Busboy, Dishwasher – Sizzler Steakhouse, Alameda
Swimming Instructor, Lifeguard – Ceres Recreation Department
Forklift Driver, Weigh Station Master, Sample Machine Operator, Bin Tagger
Joan of Arc Field Station, Hughson

The Early Years – 1953 to 1972

Farm Hand – Holshouser & Son (Family Farm), Hughson

SKILLS, HOBBIES, INTERESTS

Writing, problem solving, organizing, systems analysis, marketing, sales, human resource development, training, special events, bookkeeping, computer software, coding, copy machines, automatic teller machines, inventory control, form design, photography, drafting, housesitting, caretaking, general mechanics, bus driving, forklift driving, and other agriculture-related equipment handling.

String figures, knot tying, origami, paper planes, calligraphy, drawing, perceptual activities, military history and technology, trap and target shooting, archery, chess and other board, card, and dice gaming.

Walking, bicycling, swimming, racquetball, gym time, cross-country skiing, backpacking, spelunking,    car camping, campfire design, sailing, paintball, four-wheeling, horseback riding, traveling, massage, yoga, macrobiotics, dancing, plants, reading, philosophy, channel surfing, aimless wandering,                and general puttering.

Personable, articulate, disciplined, meticulous, punctual, eclectic generalist.

ADDITIONAL STUDIES

Learn to Sail in Four Days – J World Sailing Courses, San Francisco Bay
First Aid/CPR Instructor – American Red Cross, Stanislaus County
Notary Public – California, Stanislaus County
InDesign, Entourage, iPhoto, PageMaker, Photoshop, QuarkXPress, Eudora,
Communicator, Palm Desktop, Graphic Converter, ScanWizard,
iView MediaPro, PageMill – Creative Alternatives, Turlock
Michael Meade Mythology Workshop – Mosaic Multicultural Foundation,
Community Church of Mill Valley
10-Day Vipassana Meditation Course – California Vipassana Center, North Fork
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), HTML Web Design –
Humboldt State University, Arcata
Windows 98, Netscape, Internet Explorer, Regular and Color Copiers,
and other related technologies – Kinko’s, Chico
Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s) – Wells Fargo Armored, Chico Area
Appleworks, Quicken – Chico Hedway Programs, Chico
Hunter Safety and Self-Defense Firearms Training – Safer Arms, Chico
Inventory Control – Sierra Stationers, Chico
Hand Drumming – California State University, Chico
Joel Kramer Yoga Workshop – Northern California
Macrobiotic Workshop – Macrobiotic Center, Harbin Hot Springs, Middletown
Tri-County Math Project – University of California, Santa Barbara
Bill Martin Language Workshop – California State University, San Jose
Right Side Brain Drawing – California State University, Long Beach
Great Books Leader Training – Junior Great Books, Santa Barbara
Direct Instruction – California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock
How Children Learn – Ottawa University Extension Class, Modesto

WEBSITE AND OTHER ONLINE CREATIONS

Website & Book

The Stillness Before Time
Reflections from a Fellow Sojourner

A 50-page PDF can be downloaded at:
http://www.thestillnessbeforetime.com/stillness.pdf

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Blogger: Michael Holshouser

Twitter: Michael Holshouser
           
Main Blogs

The Stillness Before Time

The Ponderings of Yaj Ekim

The Return to Wonder


Odds and Ends


The Blind Men and the Elephant
http://theelephantandheblindmen.blogspot.com/

The Joyful Curmudgeon

Of A Philosophical Nature


Le Fichier Circulaire de Michaël

50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School
http://50ruleskidswontlearninschool.blogspot.com/

12 Rules You Can Live By
http://12rulesyoucanliveby.blogspot.com/

How to Work in Any Environment
http://howtoworkinanyenvironment.blogspot.com/

Seven Translations of the Ashtavakra Gita

The Heart of Awareness (Byrom)
http://theheartofawareness.blogspot.com/

Ashtavakra Gita (Marshall)
http://theashtavakra.blogspot.com/

Bitten by the Black Snake (Schoch)
http://bittenbytheblacksnake.blogspot.com/

A Duet of One (Balsekar)
http://aduetofone.blogspot.com/

Ashtavakra Gita (Richards)
http://anotherashtavakragita.blogspot.com/

Astavakra Samhita (Wood)
http://astavakrasamhita.blogspot.com/

Ashtavakra Gita (Vedic Scriptures)
http://ashtravakrageeta.blogspot.com/

Translations of Other Ancient Writings

Ashtavakra Gita: I Am Shiva

Tao Te Ching: Verse One

Tao Te Ching (Marshall)
http://theperennialway-taoteching.blogspot.com/

Yoga Sutras (Marshall)
http://yogasutrasbypatanjali.blogspot.com/2014/03/unity.html

Dhammapada (Marshall)
http://buddhasdhammapada.blogspot.com/

Avadhut Gita (Shastri)
http://avadhutgitabydattatreya.blogspot.com/

Song of the Avadhut (Abhayananda)
http://songoftheavadhut.blogspot.com/

Atma Bodha (Chinmayananda)
http://theatmabodha.blogspot.com/

The Essence of the Ribhu Gita (Ramamoorthy & Nome)
http://theribhugita.blogspot.com/

Yoga Vasishta Sara (Ramasramam)
http://yogavasishtasara.blogspot.com/

Crest-Jewel of Discrimination (Madhavananda)
http://crest-jewelofdiscrimination.blogspot.com/


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More soon ... Of that there can be little doubt for as long as these mortal lungs are still drawing air … So stay tuned, you Wascally Wabbit …