A welcome to readers

As a resident of this planet for more than four fifths of a century, I have enjoyed both successes and disappointments in a wide variety of vocations, avocations, and life experiences. This blog satisfies my desire to share some thoughts and observations--trenchant and prosaic--with those who are searching for diversions which are interesting, poignant and occasionally funny. I also plan to share recommendations about good/great movies I've watched and books and articles which I've found particularly mind-opening, entertaining, instructive. In addition, I can't pass up the opportunity to reflect publicly on how I am experiencing the so-called Golden Years. Write anytime:

Monday, March 26, 2012


How incredible an experience it must have been for James Cameron to descend [solo ]into the bottom of the Mariana Trench, a place where no human has ever been. [Correction: two men, Piccard and Walsh as part of the Challenger Deep Mission  made it in a bathysphere in 1960.] The Trench is the lowest spot on the surface of the earth, over seven miles below the surface of the Pacific, just East of Guam. At the bottom of the Trench, Cameron's underwater vehicle experienced over 8 tons psi of pressure on its surface. All went well and Cameron saw and experienced a place--and probably feelings--that none of us will ever have in our lifetimes.

From another perspective, if Cameron had ventured up rather than down, his voyage would have been totally unremarkable--since airliners routinely ascend to this altitude on a daily basis. The difference, of course, is the "alien" environment of water and its weight which increases with depth, while air decreases in weight as one ascends.

In any case, thinking about being where no one has ever been before returned me very quickly to many childhood fantasies that I entertained as a youngster. I spent lots of time hiking through Kentucky woods, playing explorer,  and amused myself by wondering if any human had ever seen what I was seeing exactly as I was seeing it at that moment, or if anyone had put a foot down exactly where my foot was planted. Surely, somewhere in my ramblings I must have been the first to touch a piece of ground or see a particular vista or tree or stream.

As a young man, being first was actually more important to me that the actual quality of the experience I was having. I wonder what was most important for Cameron. This world places such a high premium on being "first" that he may have been seduced by that motivation. Or it may have been fame, money, or as several observers noted,  the self-aggrandizement of a "rich leftie" who didn't mind spending $50 million to toot his own horn.

As for me, right now I am satisfied with exploring mostly safe environments (art museums, the Botanic Gardens, Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde, relationships, etc.) and letting others do the "deep diving" and "heavy lifting" off earth's surface.  The only unsafe environment I enjoy exploring these days is the abyss of my "Unconscious" which I do each week with my Jungian therapist guide. My interior life, I find, is bottomless, and exploring it provides me with quite enough in the way of excitement and thrills to keep me more than satisfied... and in my place. And yes, for sure, I am the first to set foot in this particular wilderness.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I love the spring equinox-- even though the autumnal equinox is celebrated on my birthday in September. For the next three months, the days are getting longer. My spirits are getting higher. Here's a lovely poem to celebrate today written by one of my favorites, Mary Oliver.


    a black bear
      has just risen from sleep
         and is staring

down the mountain.
    All night
      in the brisk and shallow restlessness
         of early spring

I think of her,
    her four black fists
      flicking the gravel,
         her tongue

like a red fire
    touching the grass,
      the cold water.
         There is only one question:

how to love this world.
    I think of her
         like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
    the silence
      of the trees.
         Whatever else

my life is
    with its poems
      and its music
         and its glass cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
      down the mountain,
         breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her—
    her white teeth,
      her wordlessness,
         her perfect love.

"Spring" by Mary Oliver, from New and Selected Poems. © Beacon Press, 1992. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)


The bold headlines in the Denver Post, page one, today blazed out: "Changing Horses." And so, with hardly a second thought, it's in with Peyton Manning, and out with Tim Tebow.  And that also means that Tebow Time in Denver, on and off the field, apparently is over.

However,  in my own memory Tebow Time will not be over. Why's that, you ask? Because Tim has meant something important to me. Yes, I like Tim, really like and respect him. I applaud his work ethic, I like his positive "can and will do" attitude, his ability to avoid the Monday to Saturday drama that infects so many other players (nightclub fights, spousal abuse, drugs, DUI arrests, gambling losses, etc.), his absolute unwillingness to give up even when the circumstances seem most dire). I like and appreciate his prowess as an athlete who is a winner, on and off the field.

I  also appreciate Tebow because he represents to me an example of what hard work and commitment to a worthy goal can achieve. He was at practice before and after his team mates each day, and his disciplined and exhausting work ethic continued off-season as well. He did not live an ostentatious lifestyle, parade around with beautiful models or high profile celebrities, or appear in photos on the front page of the Post's Sunday society section attending  black tie charity balls or extravaganzas showcasing the rich and famous. Why? Because Tebow lives his beliefs to a degree that most of us cannot or will not.

During interviews, he repeatedly ducked  efforts of the press to lionize him at the expense of the rest of the team. He understood his role in each contest and always went out of his way to make sure that other players and coaches got the praise they deserved. Unlike so many of Tim's colleagues, he kept the game of football in perspective, never for a moment hinting that playing or even winning was his  life's summum bonum. Yes, he was a winner, but not at "any cost," and for him, football was only a part of his life, never the whole enchilada

He always had the needs of others in the front of his mind. I like the way that Tim, at the end of each game, whether he was judged to be as a hero or a chump, would choose to leave the spotlight and go immediately to share his personal aura and notoriety with a kid, or someone sick or injured, or, in short, with one of the "poor and downtrodden" of this world.  The looks on their faces which told the whole story of the importance of Tebow's visit to them often moved me and choked me up.

I like the fact that Tebow used a chunk of his mega-bucks salary to set up a charitable foundation which has the following Biblical quote from St. Paul as its core belief: "whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things... and the God of peace will be with you."

I think that Tebow is an unusually good human being, exemplary as a model for boys and men, girls and women, young and old, who follow his life and career. In his time in Denver, Tebow converted many people into "believers," and not primarily religious ones--both on and off the field. By being who he is, and doing what he did, Tebow brought hope to a city in football despair, and this hope rippled out across the city and into the lives of lots of our people. Incredibly, the Tebow phenomenon was not limited to Denver.  All over the country, indeed all over the world, people of all ages and conditions were wearing NUMBER 15 on their jerseys and, apparently, many "Tebow Values" in their lives as well.

In your quiet moments, consider the impact that this one good man, a genuinely good man, had in a world so accustomed to, and sickened by, the tawdry, dirty, underhanded, selfish, greedy, dishonest, self-serving types who normally grace the  headlines and blabber meaninglessly on talk shows. As St. Paul said, meditate on these things...

As you meditate, you'll see why Tebow Time will remain embedded  in my personal memory even if   Peyton Manning were to lead Denver and our Broncos to an undefeated season and a Super Bowl victory next year.