29 March 2012

Inspiration and how not to be a dragon

The first step to receiving inspiration from something is to simply watch it.

Observe it closely as if you were a child again. Children have no pre-conceived notions about the laws of the universe and are pleasantly surprised by everything that happens.

Every experience is a novelty and a date with adventure. As we grow older, we become set in our ways. We get callouses on our eyes and ears and filter reality through dirty glasses. We grow scales that in time harden.

More scales. More time. More hardening of the heart and soul.

We turn into dragons. We forget our true nature as soft fleshy creatures with a passion for things unknown. We lose our curiosity for mystery and adventure and retreat to our caves. We horde over beds of gold we call treasure.

The Creator of Life wants us to shed our dragon skin and become real humans. If you ask Him, He will be more than happy to remove it for you. But be prepared. Removing dragon skin can be quite the lengthy process and be a bit uncomfortable. But after the scales are removed, you will be free to travel and discover again.

Picture is from the Xinwei Ancient Life Fossils Museum in Anshun, Guizhou, China.


Sometimes I think God made the stars to be used as points of direction. Connecting the dots will lead directly to Him. And then...

A Letter to a Friend

All things were once thinks, but not all thinks become things.

To think and not do...to merely daydream...is like promising your girl a vacation window-shopping along the streets of Paris but never buying the plane ticket.

A maker of things from his own thinks is called an artist and a writer.

To think and construct is to reveal the hidden things of reality that the Creator has secretly revealed to your spirit. This is the purpose of the artisan and lover of words.

Not everyone has this gift. It is rare, and like gemstones hidden in the bowels of the earth, quite valuable.

They see pictures in their minds and transfer the abstract reality to the concrete world of atoms and molecules and in doing so, reveal a tiny part of the complex personality of God. The world, even in their fallen nature, recognize their broken-ness, perhaps are not able to articulate exactly why they are broken...they just sense something is terribly wrong within them and things can and should be much better, and are attracted to the works of the artist/writer and hence to the Creator.

You are more important than you think you are.

28 March 2012

Workin' Man

As you can tell by the picture I'm hard at work now.

Actually I'm finished and munching on tacos and watching the thunderstorms roll in whilst Zeus throws lightning bolts around to liven things up a bit.

27 March 2012

Fortunes in sugar and flour

'Don't pass up a once-in-a-lifetime offer'

This was in the little fortune cookie I received this afternoon.

I'm in Berkeley Springs, WV for a couple of days this week for work. Tiny town. One main street and some side streets. It's sandwiched in between two state parks and some Civil War battlefields. Its peaceful here. Quaint. Rustic. Homely. And there is a small castle nearby to boot.

Castles are the perfect homes. As long as they're properly furnished with rugs, tapestries, libraries, statues, paintings...

I'd like to be married in one--someday.

26 March 2012

picture from wallpapervortex.com

Christians are a different species of man. And this may sound spooky, but they glow. They radiate light from their spirit. It's true. You'll have to ask somebody who studies theology more than me to explain why, but here's what I think happens. When a person gives up (and this can be nearly impossible without help) their life to God--completely--their spirit somehow gets re-ignited--hence the glowing. After a time, the spirit of a man gets restless and turns naturally towards the purpose he was created. He cannot help but do otherwise. He will also be drawn towards others whose calling is similar to their own and desire to walk in parallel with them along Life's journey.

The Artist: Evelyn Underhill says in her book 'Mysticism'...stick with me here...the purpose of the mystic is to 'actualise within the world of time and space, perhaps by great endeavours in the field of heroic action or by small ones in the field and market, that more real life, that holy creative energy which the world manifests but indifferently.'

I like this. She also goes on to say...and I'm paraphrasing from the last chapter of the book...and have made it a sort of motto for life.

-work for mercy, order, beauty, and significance
-mend where you find things broken
-make where you find the need
-bring the Real Presence from it's hiddenness and exhibit it before the eyes of men

'For the teeming life of nature has yielded up to your loving attention many sacramental images of Reality, it is far more significant than what you supposed. So proclaim by your existence the grandeur, the beauty, the intensity, the living wonder of that Eternal Reality within which, at this moment, you stand.'

When I read this yesterday, I hurriedly scribbled down the words (since I felt like she was speaking to me) and consider it good and useful advice. It's one thing to wander about all creation like a hermit, seeing things others don't. But some time sooner or later you've got to use your talents lest they dry up and turn brittle.

Life Lessons

Some lessons in Life are hard to deal with. One of the lessons I've learned is that if you gaze at a beautiful woman long enough, she turns to stone.

Another thing I've learned is tyrants do not respond to words alone. Force must be used.

A third thing I have discovered is this: one must practice one's talent, and practice, and practice. For the day may come when somebody will need help that only you can provide. And if you are rusty and dry the other person may go to sleep before their time.


“Eternity is with us, inviting our contemplation perpetually, but we are too frightened, lazy, and suspicious to respond; too arrogant to still our thought, and let divine sensation have its way. It needs industry and goodwill if we would make that transition; for the process involves a veritable spring-cleaning of the soul, a turning-out and rearrangement of our mental furniture, a wide opening of closed windows, that the notes of the wild birds beyond our garden may come to us fully charged with wonder and freshness, and drown with their music the noise of the gramaphone within. Those who do this, discover that they have lived in a stuffy world, whilst their inheritance was a world of morning-glory:where every tit-mouse is a celestial messenger, and every thrusting bud is charged with the full significance of life.”

― Evelyn Underhill, Practical Mysticism: A Little Book for Normal People


Pecking at the possible is the fare of mediocre men, but God expects us to be diners at the table of impossibility.

Day 5

This is the fifth day since I have been taking Levothyroxin (synthetic thyroid hormone) and I haven't noticed any significant changes. I do feel a slight bit better but this may be because I know I'm ingesting a chemical my body doesn't make much of anymore. I am also decreasing my daily runs to every other day and walking or bicycling the other days.

Does this mean I will have to cancel my big Seattle marathon plans in June? I think not. I may run the half-marathon instead...or simply run half the standard marathon and walk the second half. That will be a game day decision.

One effect I have noticed is the ability to concentrate better. Its a little odd knowing you've spent the last few years constantly forgetting small things like the location of your car keys. Once I even lost a pair of shoes...

I thinking writing every day helps mentally. Putting words down on paper exercises the brain and forces it to make neuronal connections that would otherwise never existed. Its like going out into the woods with a bulldozer and building new hiking paths for future explorations.

More later...

24 March 2012

Repeating History

"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers."

--Socrates...2,400 years ago...apparently history does repeat itself

23 March 2012

Marriage = Man + Woman

'Gay marriage' to me is like having a surgeon surgically implant a tail on somebody's backside so they can change their species from 'man' to 'ape.'

Hoppers and Snakes

3:11 P.M.

Just returned from another 7 mile run/walk/slog through the Virginia countryside. I saw the first grasshopper today and a second dead snake in the road. This definately confirms the arrival of Spring.

I also discovered yesterday I have pretty bad hypothyoidism and have started taking synthetic hormones to replace the ones my body has decided to stop making. This would explain my somewhat depressed behavior the last few years and my extreme lethargy where I would feel like I was camping out on Mt. Everest. Hypothyroidism means your metabolism is basically half that of normal. Even thinking is hard. (Hopefully) the thyroid hormones work and the fogginess lifts from my brain. I don't promise these posts will become more normal though. I still intend them to be quirky...and hopefully more lucid.

22 March 2012

Read the Bible

Contrary to popular opinion, Noah's wife was NOT Joan of Arc...

21 March 2012


Running is hard.

No doubt about it.

I ran 7 miles today and coughed nearly the entire way. I'm training for a marathon see. Twenty-six miles and 385 yards on foot on pavement through downtown Seattle in June. I have been running and walking for a minimum of 1 hour/day. Believe it or not, I've not lost any weight. This is somewhat a mystery to me as I only eat twice a day.

Tomorrow I've a doctor's appointment to see if I have hypothyroidism. This is an underactive thyroid gland. Some symptoms include low red blood cell count, high cholesterol, depression, lethargy (like you're living at 15,000 feet altitude), and a very low metabolism. I hope this isn't the case, but if it is, it certainly is not the end of the world.

It's also the first day of spring. I can tell because yesterday I saw the first dead snake in the road for this year. Dead reptiles are generally how people in Virginia tell when Old Man Winter goes north for the next 9 months.
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."

--Zig Ziglar, as seen in one of my daily work e-mails

19 March 2012

Rune Stones

I discovered these strange runes last week whilst hiking on the Appalchian trail. I have no explanation.

13 March 2012

The Eve of the Eve of the Ides of March

In celebration I ran 7 miles on a hot dusty road bordered by grassy fields that smelled of cow manure and fertilizer under the watchful eyes of many horses and a herd of dairy cows.

And for those of you who still read this blog...I ate two cinnamon pop tarts stuck together with peanut butter and a half quart of pomegranate-flavored green tea for breakfast. And for lunch/dinner I ate a plate of whole-wheat spaghetti using turkey as the meat instead of hamburger.

And if you still are here, reading or clipping your nails, I am wearing black adidas pants with a black long-sleeved cotton shirt and chewing blue gum.

I'm procrastinating, of course, and simply am posting these words until a wave of inspiration hits me in the back of the forehead...or the front of the forehead or...

I just remembered. I read the last half of Lance Armstrong's book It's Not About the Bike this morning.

OK. Times up. I'm through procrastinating.

01 March 2012

One March Twenty-Twelve

Once upon a time I used to update Puddleglum's Wigwam with something close to regularity. Then I got writer's block which is merely another name for linguistic constipation. The l.c. caused my cerebellum to undergo a depression in which all looked dark and bleak, with the sun a mere memory. I purchased some fluorescent bulbs to stimulate my neurons into believing I was vacationing on Mercury.

This did not work.

Fluorescent bulbs only emit light along a small wavelength...like a laser, not actual daylight, and the depression continued. I grew more depressed and considered my life in this great cosmic consciousness called the Here and Now.

"I have come quite a ways since the There and Then," I said to my Id. "And what do I have to show for it? I have been grokking merrily in circles in 4-D reality and seemed to have come to a dead end."

A book of quotes told me a dead end is a rut and a rut is a trench and a trench is a coffin with both ends cut out. I thought long and hard about this maxim and briefly considered a career in professional luging. This is the sport where you lay prostrate on a piece of metal and careen madly down a long icy rut until you come to a screeching halt into the nearest Coke machine.

I chose not to pursue this field.

I considered joining a Buddhist monastery and meditating in the lotus position for eight hours...channeling and focusing...trying to reach bliss. Bliss is another name for Nirvana. They say its the spot you come to after you completely empty your mind of all thoughts. They also say Nirvana is not all it's cracked up to be, in fact, its a little like Cleveland during winter. Nirvana also sounds uncannily similar to watching late night infomercials...with all the channeling and focusing.

Not good.

The journey continued.

I explored facial yoga. One of the exercises required me to hold the toothbrush in a stationary position with the bristles resting against my teeth. Then, I proceeded to defy all societal norms,(with the notable exception of this neat little alchemical society in Luxembourg I discovered later), and rotate my jaw bone to and fro like a jig-saw.

Dizziness ensued.

According to Martha Stewart Living, the magazine-not the actual Martha Stewart, the best cure for dizziness is ginger root. The root, sold in powdered form at Wal-Marts everywhere (thank Sam!) is taken orally by mouth or mixed with herbal tea 2-4 times daily. The result is a complete lack of dizziness and a whole lot of sleepiness.

I tried it. I liked it. And shall continue to use it.

Even if it does make one feel like Cleveland...in summer.