Amazing.  I just got back from a cruise up and down the beach on the ATV, parking it for a little bit to meander on foot verifying the identification of the tree I had hugged while walking in the dark the night before last- American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis).  Good to know my tree ID skills haven’t waned much since I was a teaching assistant for dendrology back in college.  It is a behemoth at least 2 feet dbh and soaring upwards of 60-70 feet in height next to an abandoned building at the county park.  The lake is nearly smooth as glass with temps hovering in the low 50s, what a gem of a day.

There is something undeniably therapeutic about the lake and I’m blessed to have such immediate access with the beach house, particularly during this “traumatic” episode in the wake of my job loss and dissolving marriage.  It’s funny to me to even consider this period “traumatic” as I ponder the myriad servicemen and women returning from battle overseas minus a limb, or eyesight or their wits as a result of traumatic brain injury.  So while things may be in great upheaval for me, the circumstances pale in comparison to their ordeal.  A Michael Franti quote comes to mind, “I don’t believe there will never be war but I do believe we could learn to kill each other a lot less of the time.”

One of my Occupy Buffalo friends texted me that she’s in DC for a protest.  I reckon I could partake in such festivities with this newfound “spare” time on my hands; however, I do have some irons in the fire that require turning locally and I’ve never been one to be overtly in protest against anything.  Sure there is much in the world I find abhorrent, yet this path I’ve embarked upon always returns my grievances about the world back inward for exploration and integration.  I like to think of it as the “inprotest” and if you break down the word pro-test it can be interpreted as “for test.”  In this solitude I’ve been granted I have ample time to be “in for test.”  I have a golden opportunity for self and life mastery right now.

I notice that writing is flowing for me of late.  There is a definite correlation between my compulsion to compose and times in my life when the shit hits the fan, or at the very least when there is a much lesser degree of perceived stability and routine (…hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way).  In this regard it is something of a therapy for me too.  Many folks will pay a professional hundreds of dollars per session and may go for several years without much progress.  There is certainly value in having a sounding board to reflect back to you what’s going on within your psyche, and I suspect many a shrink has had their hands full with those who refuse to see the benefits of life’s various and sundry adversities.  My journey has led me to those off the beaten path, so-called alternative practitioners, or what some consider “gurus” if not “teachers.”  I’ve distilled many great insights with their assistance and remain open to the lessons going forward.

My inner child enjoyed opening up the throttle on the ATV as a heavily eroded shoreline exposed outcrops of oily shale.  I had it up to 55 mph in one stretch before coming upon the mouth of a distributary from some larger source upstream.  With the calm waters a receded depth permitted me to navigate through to the other side, certainly no deeper than when we had launched the Jet Ski in wavy conditions over the summer.  I continued on until I came to a sign “private beach”, opting to honor its message doing a 180 back toward the access road.  With just a fleece and a headband and gloves I was plenty shielded from the head winds and one would swear it was late October, not mid-January.

My Uncle Mike reached out to me earlier today and we chatted on the phone for a bit.  He’s often been there for me during adversity, including years ago following an eviction he offered up a 2 bedroom unit in Amherst to call home until I got my feet on the ground.  It wound up being 4 ½ years as a tenant until I moved out to shack up with my wife in Hamburg.  That was a profound stretch of time for me going from broke and living off credit to securing employment that allowed me to pay off my debts and start a savings account for the first time in nearly a decade.  In this respect, I’m back to square one with accumulated debts and depleted savings; however, I’m a much greater soul now than I was then.  I’ve grown immensely and anticipate financial hardship to be a thing of the past in the not-too-distant future.

Before packing up and leaving the house earlier I popped into the online instant chat at my ex-employer’s website to wish my former co-workers well on achieving their enrollment goals.  I would imagine that seeing my name in the queue elicited some mixed reactions.  Julie took the chat and we exchanged pleasantries.  She was one of the 12 (there’s that number again) with which I had good rapport.  I got along with all the reps, yet there was always a degree of dissonance due to the competitive nature of the position and department.  It reminds me of playing poker and not showing your hand.  I’ve never been one to gamble other than a handful of visits to casinos and with the guys from work for a round of Texas Hold-em.  I’d much rather work as one cohesive unit toward a common goal of student success than bragging rights for enrolling the most bodies.  It is this attitude that contributed to my demise and I accept responsibility fully.  I chose not to compromise my integrity and am the better for it.

I just came out of a “dive,” and no I did not run down to the beach, strip off my clothes and plunge into the cold lake.  Instead, I put on the headphones and loaded a disc into the laptop entitled “Holosync” that my good friend Matt burned for me about a year ago.  I’ve only dabbled with it a couple times and in this instance I noticed a good deal of mind chatter as kaleidoscope-like patterns of light circulated the right side of my brain.  I’m quite certain that it is an indication of increased activity in the creative mind center, in stark contrast to my predominately left-brained orientation.  I’m often concerned with results over process, and as I undergo this latest phase of ascension, it is imperative that I open myself to the present moment in balancing with more of an emphasis on process over results, or product.  The finite, plotting and goal-oriented left brain serves its purpose well in a world dominated by duality, and as we enter this next age of unity there will be a greater role for the creative, infinite right brain that has no concept of linear time or material forms.

Yes, I’m immersing myself in the process and letting go of the neurotic need for results.  In my email today was a motivational quote from Nightingale, something to the effect of “Failures are interested in tension-relieving and winners are goal-achieving.”  Rubbish.  What has one achieved if there is constant tension in their process?  From my perspective, nothing at all.

Awake my Soul,