“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” —Dinos Christianopoulos, often attributed as a Mexican Proverb

bury-seedsThere is some conflicting attribution to this marvelous saying, but regardless, I post this in hopes of replies…WHAT DOES THIS SAY TO YOU?

For me, resilience. We’ve all seen green shoots sprouting through concrete, testimonial to the clarity of purpose, the strength of the genetic code, the irresistible forcing its way past the immovable.  It also suggests discipline, focus to avoid straying from the target.

Here you can learn more about the Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos.

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I recommend this before your 50th birthday

diagram-of-the-large-intestineI just endured my third colonoscopy today…since turning 40.  I started this periodic diagnostic voyage to my bowels earlier than most, due to a family history of cancer that attacked colons first. My father passed at 53, his father not even 47. I have that gene, albeit latent to date.  But the doctor recommends you show up in the fetal position for your exam by age 50, male, female, family history or not…get scoped!  For me, hearing him proclaim the verdict of NO POLYPS was a new gift of a clean slate. And after 30 hours of preparatory fasting…a clean intestine to boot.

(kick in Uncle Tupelo 1994 St Louis)

But what I really want you to know about is those 30 hours before the procedure, starting the fast upon waking Thursday morning.  No special schedule that day, a typical weekday at an NPR station, beginning with a 45-minute cardio workout in my basement, followed by the ol’ shit/shave/shower, then my morning grounding/gratitude meditation…and off to a full day of public radio work.  But THIS day was different from others; a choice was upon me to NOT EAT.  Clear liquids. Then at 6pm a 16-oz highball of SUPREP, a tonic so vile I had to awaken at 5:30 the next morning for a second cocktail, just to be confirmed in my belief of how distaste-full it is. But at least I got to spend much of the evening in the privy.  A few hours later the taste changed more pleasantly as I was treated to a micro-dose of  “Twilight” anesthesia. Don’t remember.

However, let’s put this digression aside so I can get us on track.  The choice to NOT EAT. Well, I’m expanding the usage of “choice” here.  I did choose to volunteer for the colonoscopy, but that entailed a mandatory fasting so the medical team could keep the camera clean for the real-time video adventures. Think of this cleanse as an enema from the top down.

But the satori that struck me, mid-afternoon on the fast day, is how much I eat and how often I eat thoughtlessly.  Literally, eating without thinking. Without even experiencing hunger.  To prevent the act of popping a bite, I cleared my work space of all edibles. In doing so, I realized that I often blindly dine…if there’s food there I Hoover it up.  If my  metabolism was any slower I’d be rotund!

So…takeaway…I’ll try a fast, regularly, one day a week, perhaps Monday. Not for dietary purposes , but to enhance mindfulness.  By nightfall Thursday I really wasn’t so hungry. Ditto this morning.  After the procedure, en route home, we stopped in the freshly opened Creole Kitchen, Chef Henry Butcher’s new dining room on Mt Vernon. I ate, but I could have just as easily not.  My body felt good, closer to the bone and more aware, each cell knowing well its own neighborhood.  And I am so reminded of how we behave on automatic; I want to rein that in. I want to get back to mindfulness. mindfullness

 

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an·tic·i·pa·tion anˌtisəˈpāSH(ə)n/

anticipation

1965 pro football “Bonus Baby” Joe Willie Namath eventually contracted a ghost-written autobiography titled, “I Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow … ‘Cause I Get Better-Looking Every Day,”which speaks to my overall application of the noun, ANTICIPATION.

Much more than the Carly Simon hit, or the Heinz  commercial viewed by millions of  sitcom watchers in the ’70s, for me, anticipation is that ephemeral tingling one skates on before  sleep, the precipice of unbound joy, Christmas eve, first sex.

Looking forward to local music events in early 2017, I cannot stand the fright that I might experience in the possibility of missing Jay Farrar’s only  Ohio appearance, Thursday, April 13 at 31 West in Newark.

Tuesday, March 7, on the 73rd anniversary of the birth of Townes Van Zandt, Eric Nassau will assemble scores of Columbus musicians for TVZ-11, the tribute show, again at Dick’s Den (Why Not) and again as a fund raising benefit concert for WCBE 90.5 FM Columbus NPR.

Finally, continuing to jog through TimFerriss’ new compendium of positive tactics, routines and performance-habits, TOOLS OF TITANS, my springboard into 2017. tim-ferriss-tools

 

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When do you strategize resolutions for the new year?
Do you intend for these self-improvements to begin January 1?                                12:00:01am?
What is it with this calendar thing so much of humanity worships?

As many do, I operate with this construct, the passage of time, and the planning of our future, using clocks and calendars as an agreeable life hack. Throughout my existence I have fallen submissive to time’s demarcations. In my attempt to both observe and ignore this flight of time’s arrow, I’ll depart tradition and start this annual ritual of my daily life tune-up on December 31.

My son Nathan gifted me Tim Ferriss’ latest publication as a Hanukkah present.

tim-ferriss-tools

As we played our annual family round of dreidel, I rolled a “Gimel,” thus grabbing all the Hanukkahgelt as well as my new copy of Tim’s TOOLS OF TITANS.  This is an accessible collection of interviews with about 120 experts about how they enhance their life performances, how they became, and how they maintain their HEALTHY & WEALTHY & WISE stasis. And upon arriving home that night I began consuming this coaching. A joy for me is that this digest need not be read linearly; one can just pick it up and open at random to a particular post.

I publish this resolution, this promise to myself, now,  explicitly to crystalize the pledge, to put it public, to treat my intention with more resolve.  My capacity for emotional intelligence and my history of behaving indicates that I require personal reminders to stay positive, to keep filling my glass. Returning to a daily habit of reading inspiration off the physically-printed page is my chosen path.

 

 

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Fluxus in our time

index.jpg fluxusThere was, and is, a distinction between ego-attached “look-at-me” hijinks and the performance, or placement, or identification of art. Art for no sake other than its own. Ephemeral. Left to experience. Left to memory. Gone.

We remember Fluxus, a precursor to the fountain of conceptual art, and “happenings” to follow. Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, LaMonte Young, Joseph Beuys, Dick Higgins…musicians, painters, sculptors, writers…following the lead of George Maciunas’ 1963 manifesto. Different from but influenced by Marcel Duchamp & John Cage and elements of Black Mountain College relocating to New York & San Francisco.
Consider Larry Marotta’s contribution- God, Lipgloss and Meat.

So, what, where, and when Fluxus now?

Indeed.

Whatever event inspires, whenever, from the banal to leap through a wall of consciousness and softly whisper…

LOOK!

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Terror Is Winning

TERROR is winning so far. IslamicInfiltrationsign620x465-vi-300x225

I won’t comment on the merits of this Virginia school incident; one version is reported for us in the Washington Post. I wasn’t there so readers need to determine the veracity of the news outlets.

But let’s look at the reaction. This micro-pebble tossed into the mass media pond didn’t merely ripple the surface, it surged choppy waves, necessitating a decision to shut down schools in the entire county, not just the one high school where the class met. We are reacting in superficial knee-jerks to incidents that start with one click, one phone message, one package left at a bus stop and result in effects such as the closing of LA city schools. It doesn’t require much to generate such a result.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO SHUT DOWN THE SECOND-LARGEST SCHOOL SYSTEM IN US?

There must be rejoicing in Raqqa, Syria, the de facto capital of ISIS. No terrorist need fire another round. Save radical extremist explosives for blowing up historical religious antiquities instead of suicide vests. The West, notably United States, squanders more resources in reacting to false positives than in trying other means toward creating solutions.

“We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

Here’s my concern, and a question: what is this COSTING America in terms of productivity?

This is a chess game, not checkers, and it may be that terrorist strategists have a long game plan, one that employs attrition as the primary weapon, not bullets and boom-booms.

How much has the warfare US laid in the Middle East cost us?
And how much more will it cost as veterans require extensive medical and psychological treatment, many for the rest of their lives?
How about the suicides, the substance abuse, contributed to in part by experiences of those defending our freedom?

What is being ignored because this country chooses to load up the defense & homeland protection budget at the cost of fundamental needs?
Checked infrastructure lately in the cities? Sewer/water/highway/bridges? Are they maintained & repaired.
Where does US rank in healthcare among the developed world?
Where are the jobs that keep workers earning middle class paydays?
Is the quality of primary & secondary education allowing young Americans to prepare for global competition?                                                                  You’ve heard the meme: “If you think education is expensive, consider how much a lack of education cost.”

I see this as a war of attrition, with the West, specifically our United States at risk with more to lose. This shouldn’t be measured in terms of 2016 dollars, but in REAL COST over the decades to come.

“This is the way the world ends…not with a bang but a whimper.”

TERROR is winning so far.

 

 

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Notes following “the theater is a blank page” by Ann Hamilton and the SITI Company

Sharon & I left Mershon Auditorium/Wexner Center for the Arts just over an hour ago, guided out the back door after a shared experience of the theater as a blank page as directed by Ann Hamilton and Ann Bogart and created and performed by the SITI Company.

It was apropos that we stopped in North Market for a bite before the show, as that’s where we first became acquainted with Ms Hamilton back in the ’90s when she arrived in Columbus and shopped frequently for fresh chicken at our Red Rooster Poultry stand.

After a few minutes converging in the Mershon lobby we were escorted to a section of seats in the upper, upper balcony to accommodate the 120 guests of the audience. The other 2300 seats in the theatre were covered by a light muslin and inaccessible. As we filed in and sat at almost the length of a football field above the stage we viewed the pedestrian activity of members of the SITI Company performing backstage tasks- the theater as a blank page had begun.

From here it’s just sensory impressions I absorbed as they emoted some cognitive reflections. Let me add, this piece was influenced by selections of Virginia Woolf’s TO THE LIGHTHOUSE, in which a company member read aloud throughout the performance, and with which the participatory audience actually handled the written word, printed on cloth ribbons and passed from seat to seat, the long linear line of language as magnified silhouettes overscale mundane movement mesmerized among volleys of non-haiku “a moment longer…time ran short” as we share amusement with ribbons of strangers with ribbons of text with the Q the tyranny of the alphabet the R the majesty of backstage litter the cloud of curtains the shreds of text falling floating grooming fabric a muslin mandala adding dimensions only to transform like Kali like a puppy like a pajama party on a boat covered in sleeping bags as layers of forgotten events lift from the cocoon of sentiment.

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