Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Full Time Benefits of Part Time Employment

I find the more I work as a part time employee, the less I desire full time work. It seems collectively there is something short of a hidden obsession with working full time – almost as if we don’t work full time, we cannot afford the things we need or love; and, in this, surely we could do other, productive things with our time that contribute to our lives. Say, like grow a garden, build a cabinet from second-hand wood, take a child outside, read a book, sew a button on a shirt, or volunteer at a local nonprofit. Surely, one on the part time work train won’t be making bunches of money compared to their full time counterparts, and what you gain in personal revenue is hard to notch on a board of comparison.

Yesterday was Monday; nothing unusual about this Monday at work aside from a few offices sat darkened, as their inhabitants took coveted vacation days (“10 a year, with no rollover”!) If there was to be something unusual about this Monday, it would be that energy and motivation to accomplish work was low. Now, why could that be? A number of factors strike me when I consider the situation: a) the boss was out – she, herself, on a vacation of her own; b) it was a superb summer day, and through their transparent windows, full time workers could only salivate about what they’d be doing with this summer day if  they weren’t working; and, c) let’s be honest, unless you are managing an active project that needs daily tending (like a garden or a child), you probably are just wasting time at work, waiting for either 12 noon or 5pm, piddling in the work you need to do that really isn’t pressing yet. So it begs to ask, what’s the benefit of working 40+ hours a week for an average salary with average benefits, just so you can afford to live in that above average house, and drive that above average car?

I recently had a conversation with my partner about how we, in the future, could have enough, but not too much. She seemed initially puzzled by this question, as it seemed to come from nowhere (which is usually true), and pausing to think, I could tell she was mining gold in her brain. She is a recent graduate with her Masters in Human Resources, and other peoples’ work, to her, is her job. She takes joy in helping others find meaningful work in their lives – something I applaud about her. Though this is her first real “big girl” job, working that nine to five, five days a week. Tis too early to call it a challenge for her, for she is ripe in the game of full time employment. Perhaps there is a honeymoon period for some folks, a time when they are still enchanted by that which they call work, and to me, it’s a needle in the haystack, fortunately found by very few. When I think about the unlikely affinity that some folks call their relationship with work, I know they must be the exception, and they’ve truly found a niche for themselves. My guess is others are married to their jobs because of what it provides them additionally in life.

I’ve had the fortunate experience of working one full time job in my life, and the benefits and pay were not exactly what you’d expect. While I worked 36+ hours a week – considered full time to most employers, State and Federal workers aside – I found that I simply didn’t have the motivation, nor concentration to plug away at work for that many hours in a day or week. I was employed with a small nonprofit food project, working as an AmeriCorps VISTA. To those unfamiliar with this program, these are one year positions that place you in/near impoverished parts of a local community, so that you can experience and work with these folks as you try to generate ideas, funding, and ultimately programming to help alleviate the injustice and cyclical pull of poverty. Generally speaking, AmeriCorps pays just above the poverty line, and if you are fortunate to have housing provided, then you can consider yourself “living large.” For those without provided housing, a second job may be required; which was my case.

Before and during AmeriCorps I worked at a small grocery store, owned locally by a kind and giving Deadhead. It was the perfect job for me at the time: a van-dwelling, life-living dirtbag. When I came back to that remote part of Western Colorado, I was looking for the easy life – no serious full time job, no big responsibilities, just time to work and earn enough to pay my bills. Taking time to recreate and be a part of the community by being in and involved in the lives of others. A few years prior to this, I had thru hiked the Appalachian Trial from Maine to Georgia after graduating with my Masters degree, and that experience imprinted on me the importance in being instead of doing. So when the opportunity came along to work with those around me that were experiencing hardships I’d only dabbled with voluntarily as a dirtbag, I felt it was time to take on additional responsibilities beyond the easy life.

The honeymoon period for me in my AmeriCorps job lasted for the first three months, maybe four. I started in Spring, and when working for a food project, the summer growing season is your boom time. As the coordinator of volunteers and seasonal garden staff, I was alive with purpose and projects to manage. It was quite a different experience than the laid-back hippie-esque grocery store I worked at 4 days a week prior. An experience that pushed me to accomplish tasks not for personal financial gain, but for the greater good. I was a classic case of volunteerism. And while the thrive of it was good, the good of myself wasn’t thriving. It had been a 90 degree turn from what I was used to, and I couldn’t justify the increased hours by uttering “at least I’m making more money.” When push came to shove, a self-reflection assured me that this was what I had signed-up for: a more meaningful take on work and giving in my local community; also, this experience was just for a year, and short of sounding like a privileged yuppie, it was good for me to be pushed beyond my self-serving comforts. I was used to thriving by trending that medium line of fineness, not working too much to be over-stressed, and working just enough not to be under stress. So while it was an insightful and meaningful experience with people in real need, I eventually, after the buzz of purpose wore thinner, uncovered a recessed desire to work more part time and less full time come the future and my next job beyond AmeriCorps.

Volunteers in the a community garden

To calculate how much work is enough, the equation seems complex and highly personal. And really, maybe a bit of soul searching is essential before even considering inputs into the equation. And, there is something to be said about the benefits one can gain by working part time. If only we had a clearer portrait as a society of what it meant to be employed part time, and engaged full time in purposeful, life-enhancing tasks. You’d wonder if our overall health would improve; if our reliance on fossil fuels would decrease (no more daily commutes in the metal box!); if we’d realize the value in doing things for ourselves and those we loved – if only we could remember what it meant to be a tradesperson, to cultivate life in a garden, to produce our own, rather than always consuming; to be challenged though present in working through financial shortcomings. These seeds of ideas may never take hold in ripe soil, unless of course the idea of working full time was no longer viable, nor purposeful. Like hamsters in a hamster wheel, we’ll collectively continue to chase that which is always just out of reach, again and again, and when we realize we are chasing that same thing day after day, perhaps we’ll give thought to the possibilities outside of the endless cycle. Though, the requirements for full time living don’t come easy to those whom are part time employed, and thus, some could never conceive how to make it work without those digits and decimal places in their bank accounts. And, if we’d just try…

I think back to my colleagues working their full time obligations in the office. Would they rather be enjoying a casual morning, sipping coffee, or a confining office with dictates and expectations? Correct me if I’m reading this differently, and my impression of those working the full time life is you work more to pay more. This idea baffles me, and as I sit here, I intend to not experience this – though maybe it’s just what people see as their option; you know, the American Dream. Work hard, work diligently, and you’ll be rewarded…eventually...maybe. And for me, I’m not really into that version of the American Dream; I guess it just boils down to how hard I work when I’m not at work. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what brings separation from those in the full time employment game from those seeking the innumerable, sometimes irreplaceable, benefits of part time employment.

We, as an American Society are a diverse bunch, and there seems to be a secret driver to our lives: some may call this clandestine operator work, others may call it family priorities or life goals; yet, even more may call it absolute necessity; survival. Either way, the tides are shifting, and will continue to. Just like more Millennials are realizing that the hardwork and steadfast dedication of their parents or grandparents isn’t how they will go about work in today’s world, there are motivators that ultimately bring likeness to some and division to others in our society and world. Like our preference of what to do with a day off from work, we are so very diverse and unique that truly a life of part time work may never be for the masses. In which case, just like the self-chosen life of a dirtbag, there is a niche for everyone – and in this, I’m happy to call my part time affiliation with the world of work just that, part time; it dispenses more opportunity to be full time as a human being, not a human doing.


I would describe myself as privileged in opportunities and fortunate in choices to pursue the counterculture lifestyle. I am gainfully employed part time, allowing me to write and reflect, build wooden pieces of furniture/cabinetry around the house, and wander aimlessly in the woods. I profess to mean well in my writing, and feeling disturbed or challenged by what I write is exactly in line with the point of intellectual conversations and individual expression. Beliefs you hold ought to be tested, for change in life is ripe when we water the roots from which it comes. Comment below or browse my expression as a creative writer.  Respectful disagreement and discourse are welcomed – as we all have something to learn from one another!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Three I's: Intelligence, Information, and Intuition - a Three Legged Stool of Logic and Decision Making



There are times in our lives when we are tasked to solve and answer complex problems, sometimes pushing us to what feels like wit's end. In this, we engage in a compound process of arriving at the solution. Sometimes this is purely logical, as in simple math (2+2 = 4). Other times, we quickly can solve the quandary in front of us based on experience. Say for example, like today, it is raining AND it is cold - a logical solution, based on information fed to our higher cognition and logical intelligence, is to wear a rain layer with perhaps some insulative pieces for warmth. This, though easy to our adult brains, is not straight forward to necessarily a child, whom in their inexperience has yet to gather and store information about what pairs with what, and how the pieces of life form a more complex, yet logically embraceable conclusion. And of course Intuition, that hard-to-put-your-finger-quite-on-it-answer that arrives somewhere between our higher minds and our information-gathering bodies and beating hearts. It is sometimes described as the subtle whisper that is generated just under the level of our consciousness, so in some ways, we could posture that this is our subconscious - that connection to other realities, other dimensions - call it the Unknown: a place where ceaseless mystery and magic beyond our fathomable grasps lives. It is a positive attribute that we don't have entire access to our subconscious; in the Unknown lives products for personal gain, as well as a great, vast maze of dark forms, dark creatures, and complexities beyond our most intelligent understandings. So, in essence, you could liken our subconscious to the filter on the fish tank - it brings in fresh air bubbles necessary for life, though without it, we can still survive, because there exists the essential chemical compounds already in the water tank, albeit a massively immense tank (think of the world as a giant fish tank).

So, the Three I's: Intelligence, or what is generated at the higher level of our consciousness; Information, or the body's way of gathering input from the natural environment around us; and Intuition - that which arrives between the body and higher mind - call it our subconscious. These Three I's derive how we gather information, make informed decisions, and trust our gut on choices that are seemingly more complex than we can comprehend from our higher mind's viewpoint alone.

Envisioning these in action can be difficult. I would phrase this as a process that has evolved throughout our lives, and that to some individuals, there is a highly functioning pattern of decision making already imbedded into our daily doings. We could say that these individuals possess high levels of complex intelligence; meaning they can utilize a mix of emotional, cognitive, social and spiritual lenses to forge meaning out of what is directly in front of them, or in some cases, looming ahead - like a dark cloud on the horizon threatening rain. Furthermore, this isn't quite so linear - meaning, that while some individuals can frame and focus through these lenses, they aren't always able to, based on non-linear rhythm pulses (read: the seeming randomness in life that throws us curve balls). Though, when it is linear and true, we arrive at conclusions and solutions to complexities without having to blink or falter in our subtle processes. Why and how is that?

You  are sitting inside, looking out at the rain and wind; you feel cold across your skin and without thinking intently know you have some options: put on a layer, turn up the heat, do jumping jacks, light a fire, take a hot shower, etc. These choices might be overwhelming to a child, for example, because of experience. The more experience we gain, the more we make decisions without conscious thought; almost as if we arrived at the answer cognitively near the same time our higher mind recognizes our action physically in process (read: basal ganglia decision making). This would be an example of symbiosis - the body and the mind working together to achieve the end goal - warmth for the being. So, how does this seemingly mundane process translate to say intuition and higher cognition?

Let's fancy a scene, perhaps one you've enacted at some point in your life: it is a busy day about town. You are making the rounds completing your errands and thus engaged in solving somewhat complex problems (which store to stop at first; what side of town should you go to next; what is for dinner; reminder to call your mother, etc.). So, in processing all of these cognitive riddles, your body is almost on autopilot - receiving input from the director (your mind) as you go about completing said errands. You approach a busy intersection and based on experience know that the logical and safer method for crossing is via the pedestrian crosswalk. Responding to a text message from your partner, you enter the crosswalk half-looking at the street ahead of you, beckoned by the yellow box across the street with an illuminated stick man showing white; halfway across, mid-stride in foot and fingers and deep in cognitive thought, you receive a random and subtle whisper to halt! Without thinking further, you adhere to the subtle murmur only to have a car making a right turn on red almost run you over. How was it possible to arrive at such a decision to halt with the body tasked in movement and the cognitive mind encumbered with problem-solving? Enter the mystery and beauty of the subconscious - our Intuition!

This perhaps is the most difficult of the Three I's for our perceiving minds to grasp. It is the unexplainable mystery, the question mark to our most confounding quandaries. And in this, I feel there are things we don't need to necessarily know. Much like the flow of this writing, I can logically move from piece to piece, and then there are parts where I can't exactly postulate; instead, I have to go on intuitive trust - whims, vagaries, inconsistent inconsistencies. And in this I arrive at a smile of complex confusion - though not the type that hurts my mind, like solutions to riddles on the tip of your tongue, but a disposition of contentedness, acceptance. It is not for me to know, and it is for me to discover. This premise is based on continuing forward, linearly or not, to arrive at the next junction in my day or life that may yield information, intelligence, and intuition from the source of mystery - the Unknown. 

Smiling, as I exhale a pursed breath through my nose, I chuckle and shake my head subtly from gentle left to gentle right. I appreciate this colossal puzzle piece in life, with no clear delineation as to where it goes, or to where the puzzle even is at. Forever, I hope, the mystery and magic remains hidden; nodding and smiling again, I realize this to be truth.

To you in your day: complex and yet simply aware; may you experience and recall the Three I's and further the processes of how you arrive at decisions. Giving corresponding consideration to each component of the three legged stool of logic and decision making.

Smiles,
Alan


Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Power to Choose - a swirly morning discourse

The sun, low in the morning sky, begins to illuminate a cold and crisp morning. The dew of evening having turned, through a subtle process of change, to a frozen form upon all the grass and low-lying objects – man-made or otherwise. With each passing minute again a subtle change reversing towards the other end of the spectrum; night becomes day, day becomes warmth, frozen becomes liquid movement. In this, an absence of what feels like direct choice – a process exacting each day, fluctuating with the seasons, though typically consistent and seemingly bereft of individual expression in the matter (they are plants after all; and non-complex and/or nonexistent is their thought).

We, as human beings, however, experience a process each day all together similar, and just as powerful, often seemingly absent from registering on our developed and conscious minds – I speak of the process of choice and the power it contains for highly intelligent life forms, like humans.

To choose – “selecting from a number of possibilities; to prefer or decide; to want, desire.” These are our actions each and every day, many times a day, moment after moment. And yet, is there recognition in the immense power that results from our actions of choice?

My body stirs; it is earlier than I would have anticipated, though late enough that the early morning light begins to shape the surroundings – what were once dark forms without defined edges now are shapes and objects familiar to my conscious mind. It has been a cold night in the van and I am grateful for down sleeping bags and covers in which to cocoon myself for warmth. My choice would be to sleep a little longer, not intensely wishing to arise at this early and chilly hour, though my body communicates another wish – to awaken and commence a bodily processes of elimination. In this, an action based on a choice – to choose from the possibilities and commit to an action; verbs in motion. And, do I even realize how my choice informs the moments throughout my day?



I have heard a spin on the popular phrase the grass is greener that incorporates a perspective on choice: it goes the grass is greener where you water it; meaning to me that a choice exists – it is there for our use, should we acknowledge it. Call it another layer, something that, as we evolve in this life and beyond, we experience because there is no other way to view it without incorporating a new, sequentially elevated experience. Like riding a bike, once we learn something and begin to develop consciousness and understanding around it, we no longer see it from the basis of limited information (i.e., the child that has no concept of how to ride a bike vs., the child that has learned). We now, whether we acknowledge it or not, have come into the presence of new information that we can no longer disregard as foreign – a piece of the unknown becomes known, and we expand and evolve our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

A long-winded way of getting back at choice: this seemingly inconsequential and sometimes disconnected exercise carried out both through conscious and unconscious actions – some resembling practiced responses, others knee-jerk reactions. And to see both the former and the latter as derivatives of choice is to acknowledge the immense power in choosing. Imagine a life where choice is intentional; where such is practiced to exact a higher expectation result of all humanity – what could the world be like then?

The sun continues its rise in the sky, higher with each passing moment, though not necessarily perceptible to my immediate detection. With this ascension, the roof begins to drip – condensation that was once frozen now becoming liquid. Should that condensation have a choice in what form it chooses – frozen, liquid, or gaseous – would the world all together be different, or the same, knowing that there exists a reliance “downstream” from this?

Do actions of a higher consciousness, a greater system of understanding built around choices designed for a higher purpose than the individual parts or beneficiaries, have an impact on those, such as us humans, in our ability to be and evolve? In other words, if all things earthly had choice (plants, animals, inanimate objects, etc.), would we also experience the freedom to choose? Is there order within choice?

So many questions – perhaps too many to grasp with one hand, or even two; though, a perplexing question with perhaps greater clarity than we choose to acknowledge – and my hope would be to engage in consciously choosing and actively engaging in intentionality. It is not that we all are impeccable in our choices, quite far from it; but that we all are capable of impeccability in our decisions – even though we may never reach this ideal before death claims our physical bodies and minds. And that is higher understanding in action.

To a bright day: aware of choices that exercise themselves around us every moment and the power we have in choosing our responses and controlling our reactions – for the greater purpose of all kind, human and otherwise.

Blessings,
Alan


Thursday, December 18, 2014

With the snow fall: waxing thoughts

Morning time, the snow falling - thoughts about skiing in powder, and then what I might do instead. The clock ripens, demonstrates that it is time to wake up the little man - my lady friend's son, Kaiden. He needs to be at school in an hour and I am the oldest one responsible between now and the walk to school. Toast, cold cereal and tea - two cups for me, please - a quick, whirlwind tour of some Beatles songs whilst ingesting, Lego play on the dinner (breakfast in this case) table, and a spinning tornado of a quick wardrobe change leaves K-dawg and I out on the driveway, top-of-the-foot deep in fresh powder. Looking up,  I see the butte, proud and pointy, its rock outcroppings dusted with snow, basking in the morning glow - one of its corner systems on the south eastern face slicing the difference between illumination and darkness. What if the rest of the world looks like this?, I think to myself.

What if everyone had the opportunity to wake up to fresh snow in the winter, a mountainous landscape surrounding; heck, what if they even were fortunate to wake up to a warm house, running water and flushing toilets, cereal in the cupboard and milk in the fridge. What kind of world would we be living in if this kind of access to the basics was parallel across many different boundaries and cultures? How would this impact my understanding of the positivity that I am privileged to experience 9 times out of 10 in any given day? And, how does this place, call it currently a winter wonderland, feed me?

Questions, ponderings, circular thoughts with two dimensional answers - the dualities: heat/cold, love/hate, life/death...

Kaiden and I follow separate, yet intertwining bike paths, running parallel to one another along the length of the sidewalk. He remarks about walking upon all of the bike tracks as two more trails, evidence of someone else's recent movements, join the fray. I think aloud, half addressing him, half addressing myself - my questions about this place, and what the rest of the world may be like - settling on the expression I've heard and said many times: it's all relative.

Relative, proportionate, corresponding; near, with respect to, connected. Tracing the outline of these synonyms in my mind, I associate thoughts in my head, with a general, overwhelming theme of privilege, and gratefulness for the former. Wow. Perhaps, that is where I'll depart this thought - at this point, this juncture in the tracks.

I am thankful for this current expression of love and living; for snowy walks down sidewalks with young minds, caring and aware souls, and this place we call home. Thank you!

Alan


Friday, December 12, 2014

Reverie's Dialogue: sitting by the river

Before sitting down to type, I sat by the river, taking it all in: the sun cresting the ridge above town and as the rays warmed the ground and river bank around me, I noticed a subtle breeze moving about in the green grasses yellowing with winter's movement into the Animas Valley. I saw the plants regain some of the vitality that the cold night may have sapped; I witnessed the sun's reflection in the ripple of the river; the relative silence of my conscious thoughts, and the subsequent foresight of my insecurities, future-tense, displaying on the walls of my mind. 

Sitting long, longer in silence the lay of the ground in front of my seated form seems to fold closer, no longer does the river feel further away; I am nearing its edge - the roll of the water on its course. A course that has carved our natural landscapes for hundreds of thousands of years, uniformly and unmolested by industrial creep and human desire. The progression unfolding, meeting resistive objects with a general sense of nonviolence and nonchalance in most given moments of time. 

How is it, then, that when nature's destructive coercion roars its necessary head, altering en-mass any and all objects in its path, that we feel obliged, necessitated by a sense of status-norm, to return our presumptions of the natural environment and society's boon to what they were before, pre-ruination? Is it fear that holds us in patterns of the known? 

I notice my tendency to judge, to predict - as to unconsciously prepare a reaction - should such things occur, future-tense. I then consider how, through peer feedback and introspection, my energy, my truth is less for the deception of my judgments and more for living in the moment and observing the dialogue that precludes an open and sound right to entertain living love-forward first. 

I recognize through contemplation that sometimes I wish, in a subconscious space bubbling forth into higher cognition, to heavily influence what I'd like to see happen. I wonder where this comes from? Was it born or bred into my behaviors? Was it something I've studied and perfected in order to get what I selfishly desire? I tip my hat to acknowledge thoughts about my Ego's conveyance of desire, surely it knows what it wants to the point of confusing, distracting and belittling other higher thoughts of sense and cognition. And what of intuition's loving encouragement, parceled out between and sometimes just under the louder volume of created thought? Where does it fit into this wish to heavy-hand the outcome before me? 

And what of the heart?

The rhythm disturbing the air near my ears courses through my body - like an electric current in rapid transport - mirrored in the tap of my feet on the floor. I regard this movement as energy and recognize this other part of me; the body. Within this resides a highly complex and coordinated system of movement and structure, input and output, and energy - always transferring amongst the tiniest of imperceptible molecules; for we cannot create nor destroy - only use what is there, existing in the universe. 

Brings me back to the heart, the universe, energy; all of these 3 inter-relying on one another. The complexities of it all. With heart lending truth to our concepts of ourselves and others and the world around us, the universe providing the opportunities, and energy serving as the direct link between my heart and yours, and our universe. Prosperity and achievement - call it an evolution of love over Ego and selfishness - resulting. 

Though, does it not bode best when we are responsible for our energies, dualistic or multiplistic? Our actions or inactions? Our desire to change, to judge, to feel powerful and demonstrative within ourselves and around others? 

A blue heron flying over head disturbs my thoughts. I blink once, twice, noticing that some cars move on the far bank of the river. Had I not noticed them, nor their sound, before?  Readjusting in my seated position, I look side to side, up into the clouds of sky above stretching and appreciate the beauty around me and within the shared thoughts of consciousness. Sitting down finally to type, to share, to paint upon the canvas that is expression of life and living. 

Alan 


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Autumn Reflections

The morning snow falls, down from the sky, the clouds overhead, lightly landing on the grasses green and leaves yellow. It is October 1st and already a snowy landscape is being painted here in the interior mountains of Colorado. I, in the bliss of season's change, am entering an introspectively reflective space. With the snow comes some biological change, germinating from inside out.

The sun peeks out of the clouds every now and again in the early morning sky, smiling as it does todos los dias somewhere, always. At and adjacent table, in the coffee shop where I write, a couple in their late 50s attempts conversation, while a beautiful young lady passes, nabbing my attention for a quick second in one passing swoop. Easily distracted and similarly reminded, I focus on writing. Somehow, the couple reminds me of the delicate balance and compromise that is required for a long-term relationship to thrive. Observing the man's body language with no ear for what is being said, I percieve his disinterest in his wife's conversational pieces. That, or I am projecting how I, in some manner or another, have been in those shoes - either directly, or through seeing my own father and mother interact, and the lack of complete interest and engagement. A swift feeling of sadness wells up inside, enough for me to notice its internal uttering.

Jimi's guitar and words, synchronized with his heart and soul, play in my ears and dance on my heart...
it's only a dream, I'd love to tell somebody about this dream: the sky was filled with a thousand stars, while the sun kissed the mountains blue, and eleven moons played across the rainbows above me and you... 

This stomach of mine grumbles, not enough fuel of solidity has entered this morning. Choosing coffee over tea this morning, plus a singular banana, has not been enough to quell the internal hunger riot forming in my innards. My hands are cold, though not nearly as chilled as they were the night before as I sat beside my bed in the van - bearing the cold evening air, not yet filled with snow particulate, to finish a book - The Celestine Prophecy. Powerful were its messages, the most prominent for me was about control dramas - ways we manipulated for energy, attention, since we were children, and how these dramas still remain consciously true in our adult lives. Again, I think of the man and woman couple, his aloof drama combined with her poor me drama; they both desired energy, attention, and in the complexity of their shared lives, they may have forgotten how to tap into the universal love that is all around us. Instead, when narrowly focused, we attempt to subtly control others for their energy, so that we can be filled again.

I notice how, while listening to Jimi play and sing, that I feel filled - energized by the beauty that he shared with the world and I wonder how else in my day I will tap into universality. I love this feeling, that life is a huge mural, with real consequences, interactions and experiences, upon which we paint our mutual existences. I pray that this never changes.

Thinking of my own morality, reminded by the chill of seasons changing, I grasp how I'll go about making the most of this visit to Earth that I am blessed with - living love forward. That sounds a solid approach plan.

The sun warms the ground through the clouds and those upon it. The mountains, too, warm the heart with their illustrious grandeur, all dusted in white. Thank you for this perspective; for continually loving!

In the spirit of change that autumn reflections bring,
Alan

Sunday, September 28, 2014

I flirt with the edge between fulfillment and failure, teetering on it - feeling the figurative wind blow up from one side of the precipice and down the other - wondering what it would be like. Something gives and there I am in free-fall...

...space drops away, thoughts float, feelings, too. Nothing physically is recognizable for this thrives on in another realm, a spiritual one. Things surface, not from below but from within; stuff, experiences, memories that have been sitting with and on my heart and mind, laying in wait for sense to accompany outward. Intuitive indications of how to proceed, feeling grounded in its guidance.

This is how it feels as I land today, this morning. Waking up to the blessing of rain dancing and drumming on the roof top of the van, and lots of it - accompanied by the winds of Autumnal change that blow the rusting leaves right off their tender tetherings - I am not sensing how to feel or what to think, rather, experiencing it all as it comes. Bit by bit, smiling in a space of contentedness for what is given, for what I am blessed with, and for the care I experienced and continue to feel around me. Grateful am I, too, for what is is I already have!

I imagine another; the landings of thoughts and feelings - of self with just self; the challenge, the reward, the journey forward.

As Janis Joplin plays the rain continues to pour, my inner processing flows outward in the form of abstract wording; I am what I make of myself. Perhaps this is healing in motion...coming back into a loving space, shedding self-limiting notions that rob us of personal power, power for love in our moments, some past, many future, and only one current, here and now.

Thank you for your continual support; for your love and care.

Alan

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Wisdom in the Wilds

"With great responsibility comes great power..."

So it has been said, and in the same vein, does it hold true that, with great wisdom comes great responsibility?

In the last few weeks, more so the recent week, I've been diving into myself - into the things that make me me. Exploring the emotional energy I've been carrying since who knows when. "Stuff" I've had since I was a child, since adolescence, and especially things from who I acted as when I was in my early 20s. I am glad and grateful to have the space in my life to take this literal time-out in my day or week, to be absorbed in my "stuff," and thus have friends and strangers to open-up and share with. To relate to others as having a similar experience, with the unique nuances that come with each individual's life path, inherent challenges and journeys, etc.

I've found the beauty in these mountains of the interior Rockies to be expansive, larger-than-life reminders of the positivity evocable in this world. Of the amount of love that is out there, tugging at our consciousness to be acknowledged, admired, and interred. For when I leave those vast spaces, those spaces where complex processes are going-on with simple components, I am filled with joy and a love that encourages me to face the challenges of the other parts of the world quite unlike those in the wilds, and to experience myself reacting and responding to the stimuli and triggers around me. Being objective about fear, and not consumed by its subjective distraction.

I am grateful for this duality, just like sitting in the cool shade looking at the sunny warmth a mere foot away, and perceiving then experiencing how the shift from one extreme to the other changes the way I think and feel - much like the wilds to society.

It is my hope that more people experience this, and in such a way that societal things fall away as they travel up and into the mountains - or wild places that intrigue and fill them with awe and wonder. Leave the camera, the car, and certainly the phone - as I have come to understand, we are already exactly suited for this adventure; all we truly need is the essentials and a conscious thought to go without our habitual comforts for a short, satisfying smidgen of time.

This is my hope.

Love to you in your days, in your minutes of free time, and to the seconds that permit us a chance to be blissed and blessed in the moment at hand, mind, and heart that may never come again.

Accepting and loving that thought,
Alan



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A month in speed; a mind in space

The way in which the world flies by, I in it - enveloped by its surrounding. The speed of summer, its heat in July, our reluctance in accepting its upcoming end in August, the tell-tale chill of Fall in September.

Knowing this, what would you change now? What would I change?

Not a thing.


The pull of the mind, distracted by alternative motivations - perhaps preservation of self? - tugging us aside, off-track. The lull of the open space, its sweet intoxication - registering first as the absence of sound in the ears, travelling further inside, down the spiral, to land in a warm place of heart.

The beauty of everything, and nothing all together, intermixed, enriched naturally, and perfectly palatable.

Thank you for this.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Perch of the Wallflower

The buzz is stimulating, perhaps too much so. Their characteristics a smorgousboard of much and many - worth thousands of words combined; long minutes to the individual.

The scene is lively, bursting with energy - perhaps the buzz has them, too? A lady waters flowers, a small girl plays the sad card to her mother; older women chat their gossip about what intrigues their taste for drama as the older man group – regulars at the morning's weekday frenzy – disbands and goes about their day.

Outside, men discuss over plans of the physical sort, referring to different things with their hand gestures. With the onset of June comes a shift, perceivable and recognizable. Do you feel it?

A pregnant woman walks in – nothing unusual and yet there is a kinder regard for her, as if she holds something important.

Like a typical buzz, artificially induced or not, there reaches a point when you level-off and mellow-in. This is where the vibe is. The ladies pour on, leaning in to listen intently to what the others are saying – conveying real interest. The older man group, in a surprising shift of tides, grows instead of dwindling. When one leaves, the lazy Susan keeps rotating to reveal a new face to the group. Bikes with people on them come and go, as do dogs on leashes – some with their mouths tied close to prevent biting or chiding.

A blonde Jackie O comes in the door – complete with the lacy trimmed dress and stylistic Jackie O sunglasses. And on and on...this buzz will continue to climb and level, eventually reaching a climax for most, though the inevitable burst of late bloomers will hit at their premeditated rise to the top within the hours of the day they see fit. Perhaps this is getting on with what it all is: the freedom to choose.

Just maybe, possibly, this is the most intoxicating – even more than the buzz we imbibe, swallow, inhale, inject, snort, gurgle, lick, suckle, apply etc. And, do we know this?

Do the individual sums in the total understand their gravity in the mathematical arithmetic? Their butter in the cake batter, chip in the bingo game, or teeth in the cogged machine?

Do I even understand? I, the man alongside the outside boundary, reasonably comfortable in my perch; soaking up the refracted rays to photosynthesize these words – the words of a wallflower amidst the daises, dosies, floozies, flimbos, and snuffleupaguses. Of all shapes, though mostly white, like I. And perhaps that drives the nail home into the wood: this is a racially sterile environment, a greenhouse in which one can flourish – day after day.

Fortunately, when I was created, I was not confined to be bound to the pot of existence, yet exited the womb of life to walk upon legs. As I'm doing as soon as I finish this sentence.

See you in the sun,

Alan

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Spinning

May 31st, go to bed - say a prayer to a higher power, thanking them for your life, your physical and mental capacities - your friends, your van, your family, and the fact that you do not have to work day after day to eat and live.

June 1st, wake up, appreciate something else...

Sit in the seat at the coffee shop, looking out through eyes of privilege at all that surrounds. Take in the morning sky, the beautifully bright blue of Colorado summer. Greet a friend and appreciate their smile, the care they show in the moment, despite the schedule of their day. Sip your tea, type on your keyboard - seek a deep breath, feel it fill your lungs, hold it...a bit more...let it out.

How do you feel?


The last 20 hours have felt like I've been floating. I perceive my body to be grounded, and yet my mind floats - attached through pendulous threads to what is below. Look down, then up quickly and see the world spin in mild disillusionment.

I cannot quite pinpoint the onset, the beginning of this spin-y floating. While belaying my dear friend Luke up a climb at Lemon Lake yesterday, I must have strained or hyper extended my neck whilst looking up at him and now mild vertigo is present when I turn too quickly in any direction. It feels as if my body responds to bring me back into balance, and that my head, my mind, instead, is caught in a spin - not quite in real time with what is going on for the rest of me.

This is what I perceive; maybe it is really part of the plan. And, I am grateful still. I feel trusting that this is part of what I am to experience - the unknown, the unknowing. To experience another lens in which to perceive the world, and in my perceptions foster patience for what is unfolding, minus judgement of myself and certainly others.

The wind it does blow: a gentle breath upon - the trees, us, every and any that will receive and acknowledge it. It feels true, I am motivated to write when I feel I have experienced the bug of gratefulness. And the what ifs: what if my life was continually like this - mild, peripheral spins when I turn too quickly, a sense of disillusionment from what I am, was used to. Then, I think I would feel thankful still for what I have: feet that walk underneath and with me, a mind that thinks and processes, and a heart the loves and beats within a rhythm of life's own flow.

June 1st, go to bed, ...


Thank you again and again. I love you and appreciate your care in my life.

Alan


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Intiution, oh how I greet thee

Led to the spot, not by his own thought, but alas a voice, an utter, a whispering;
Trusting in space, without great haste, he enters the coincidental moment;
With Spring in the air, the love of life's share, he smiles, he appreciates the calling. 

 What can be said that already has not? Much to process, a bit at a time - no rush on this - boy, I feel grateful.
Spacey are his thoughts, in and amongst his grand jaunts - from mountains to plains and beyond.
There is, for me, this invisibly tangible string that pulls me along. No rail or line that I must follow, yet a free medium in which I can flow - any way, side-to-side, up and back. Indeed, grateful be thy name!

Fortuitous are my experiences when I am privileged to not work and instead roam a path I have put intentional thought into wandering. The people I meet, the reconnection with ones I know; all is in this grand suggestion of life and living less in an overarching plan of control and contrivance and more in the unknown!

Thank you for this, oh Life and its Creators. I, too, am indebted with a running tab being paid in moments of opportunities, here and today.

Alan


Friday, April 11, 2014

How to Make Love Stay...

"When the mystery of the connection goes, love goes. It's that simple. This suggests that it isn't love that is so important to us but the mystery itself. The love connection may be merely a device to put us in contact with the mystery, and we long for love to last so that the ecstasy of being near the mystery will last. It is contrary to the nature of mystery to stand still. Yet it's always there, somewhere, a world on the other side of the mirror, a promise in the next pair of eyes that smile at us. We glimpse it when we stand still.
The romance of new love, the romance of solitude, the romance of objecthood, the romance of ancient pyramids and distant stars are means of making contact with the mystery. When it comes to perpetuating it, however, I got no advice. But I can and will remind you of two of the most important facts I know: 
1.) Everything is part of it.
2.) It's never too late to have a happy childhood."

-Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker



Friday, February 28, 2014

Pearly's been true

Thoughts in the windows of time flashing,
Sitting, standing - however it may be,
The middle of the room not quite middle enough

Creep to the edge of dreams,
A finger in a mouth - picking about,
Tapping time away - looking down

Sunlight peeks through the curtain of clouds,
Steam trails rising - cups of warm mediums,
Dust collects the friends of neglect on all we are

Music plays - ripples of sound in time,
Hearing, heard, hardly,
Stands to hold the contents of our lives

Thoughts - again the loving lassoing of the fleeting,
Bodies coalescing - reminders of flesh's mortality living upon us,
Harmonizing lines blending the energies of two or more

These things I do see,
See these things do I,
Eyes do not - and the heart will.












Monday, February 17, 2014

bliss In blossom

I feel compelled to write today, this morning. Those that know me see a non-serious side in my daily doings. Those that read, perhaps this blog, get a sense of a serious side, spiritually evolving in its discourse.

As I eased into a content space post-breakfast at a local cafe favorite of mine, I was drawn to the television. On it the Olympics were unfolding. Generally I am avoidant of overtly sensational on-goings, and yet the way the figure skating pair moved spoke passion to me, my perceiving and curious consciousness. I was transfixed. There could have been a fire in the corner of the cafe and I would have looked, shrugged indifferently, and returned to the flowering plant of passion on display.

The way he moved and she followed, begging a transition to her lead and his following. Their bodies, speaking words only partially explainable in terms of written English, coalescing over and past one another - mirroring a beautiful process in blossoming flow. The enraptured look on their faces as they completed a series of complex, rehearsed movements, the euphoria it conveyed - temporarily invulnerable - appearing to be in a state of shared bliss.

Bliss, that undying fervor in singular pursuit of that which entices. The way it follows, cascading down the hill, skidding to stand erect and confidant upon the doorstep of opportunity: mind tucked and heart open. Risk, a non-thought easily set-aside for the juncture that could ensue. This is me, to a degree, and you as well? Are we all not driven by some sort of passion? Some put-your-thumb-on-it-and-know-it-to-be-true situation we would gladly throw ourselves into.

I pause, remarking at these statements, the facts I say are true for me. I am a passionate person, yes. And, while I have an easy-going nature going-on with my general demeanor, I am deeply driven to explore the caverns of a shared vein of rapture with a woman. Trusting that they will meet in parallel ways and in the resulting explosion of colorless sights, liberated emotions and bliss, that all will be right despite the world's propensity to implode around us.

Perhaps this is what blinds me to the energy I give, often expecting nothing in return, knowing that I have been given to, and thus I can give, give and give again to feel still full and content. Though, where is the line, the burst in the pipes, the breach in the dike? And, how shall I negotiate it?

A habitual line-crosser, I feel I have a large expanse of comfort for being out there.

"He lives in a van down by the river." Kevin, the security guy at the hotel attached to the building I work in, says. He enjoys announcing to bystanders that I live in a van, which is subsequently close to the river, yes, though not quite by it per say. Alas, the zeal and thirst for what life contains, explored through the medium of a movable, metal rectangle on wheels, this is what I crave.

It feels like I could explode some days, with joy, with a fucking awesome feeling of love for the opportunity that I have. Sitting here, I realize I wake up each morning and that I'm am so fucking fortunate to be alive again! Sure, we control a portion of our lives, and then, there is this undetermined, trusted part that is. Intuition speaks, and I'm learning to trust as my listening and understanding to the wisdom being shared in whispers under my conscious thought evolves.

Last night, as I was rushing to change after work, mentally tick-tocking the timer of performance's measurement, I noticed a subtle, guided assurance that I would have time, despite the clock - human's feeble tracking of the mundane. Caught-up in my fury, my tornado of faux Ego-derived expectations, I finished my wardrobe adjustment and was on a quick jog down the hall to catch the shuttle bus down the mountain only to find it hadn't arrived yet. I heard and I didn't fully trust.

Such is the unfolding joy of another night, another day of living. I sit here, supposing I'll never be short of opportunities to marvel at the magnificent proportion of life that I can and never will control. So much is out of my fathoming - what a relief! Thank you for this bliss.

Your love continues, day after day - despite me, my faults, my erroneous lenses - and through your love I am learning.

Thank you again,
Alan