June 20, 2012

A huge bird and a tiny bird


Ah, the joys of the open road: who will I try me out on today?

The Manic TailGaters, Parking Space Hogs, Not-too-SmartPhoners, Pro Roadblockers, Comatose TollTakers, Passing Lane Kut-off Krazies, Jaywalking Suicides, hearing-impaired LeftLane SlowPokes — a vast assortment of psychos, clones, morons and drones…


Maybe today, everyone I encounter is a visitor.

Maybe each visitor comes with a story.

And if we don’t have time to chat — maybe I’ll invent one.


October 4, 2010


Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the road of happy destiny”…

Monday mornings are… well, they’re Monday mornings, aren’t they? I could list for hours the components that make up the “up to my ass in alligators” feelings I heap on myself on most Monday mornings.

Luckily for me, I’m blessed to have a wonderful barrier placed between my blessed Sundays and my often overwhelmed or fearful Mondays: a special and intimate scheduled phone meeting that starts every Monday. It’s a rampart, a shield against the “How can I possibly get all this done?” thinking that can pervert and paralyze my best intentions.

In this morning’s conversation a fellow traveler reminded me that it’s not my job to get it all done, or even figure out how. I was blessed to be reminded of the wonderful lines from Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return to Love. I call it the “Who are you not to be?” quote… *

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’

“Actually, who are you not to be?

“You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.

“We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Happy trails!

* This quote has been widely misattributed to Nelson Mandela, who was quoted as saying he wished he had said it. Instead, I offer this Mandela quote which I think is also to the point: “In my country we go to prison first and then become President.”


Bee Afraid

April 16, 2010

Fear of Bees

Bee Afraid

Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the road of happy destiny”…

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

I admit it: I’m scared of stuff. As some may remember, underwater weeds pose problems for me. Also, the dark: I’m a big boy, but not a big fan.

But nothing compares with how I feel about bees. I don’t know why. It’s not like I’m allergic. I was swarmed by yellow-jackets as a camper — maybe 12 stings on a nine-year-old will do it. All I know is, bees turn my pulse into a jackhammer, I salivate like Pavlov’s favorite dog, and my legs start running without asking me which direction.

I understand, at least intellectually. I have “apiphobia.” I get it. Bees typically only bother humans who disturb them. Bees are blessed creatures. They’re important to the planet, they’re endangered. I like their honey, too. And, I think they’re amazing and beautiful.

Perhaps I could probably find treatment that might help. But that won’t cure all the other stuff that freaks me out…

  1. Fear of going broke
  2. Fear of crashing the car
  3. Fear of getting cancer
  4. Fear of being abandoned
  5. Fear of feeling embarrassed or foolish
  6. Fear of dying alone in a nursing home in a puddle of pee
  7. Fear of being paralyzed from the neck down
  8. Fear of being paralyzed from the neck up
  9. Fear of being misunderstood or falsely accused
  10. Fear of a heart attack
  11. Fear of Fox News becoming “the most trusted name in news”
  12. Fear of having the Red Sox win another series

The list goes on and on. I feel my throat constrict, the hairs on my neck stand up, and chills literally go down my spine. So what’s a boy to do?

I read the other day that there are twelve steps designed to help with fear. I understand that the fourth one (which reads “4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves,”) has a special slot reserved for fears: a column just to the right of “resentments.” Huh?!? What’s that got to do with moral inventories? But as I begin to I write them down, I engage in a time-tested process — of change. Maybe that leads to a lessening, or even an end to these fears.

I heard someone once say, “Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”

Are these extravagant promises?

[What do you think?]

Happy trails!