Monday, January 20, 2020

How To Be Good

Waning Crescent Moon

Today is one of those days in America set aside for us to reflect on the life of a national hero. So here goes.

I think the young man in this photograph has it just right: "Dr. King was good." This kid is good, too. How did they get this way?

You may have heard the idea expressed in one form or another that children were not born hating other people, or something to that effect. They have to be taught to hate or to reject other people on the basis of a superficial difference. Kids will goof around with each other and have fun for hours as long as they don't get too banged up or bloody and even then, after a good cry and a band aid, they act like it never happened. That's because they are good. Inside, where their hearts are, they are good.

Somewhere along the line, kids get fed info, however well-intended (or not), like look, Junior, those other kids are not like you - they are bad, they will hurt you, you don't want to get hurt, do you? Keep away from those kids, keep away from kids who look like those kids, keep away from the kids who don't go to your school, keep away from the kids who don't go to our church, keep away from the kids who don't eat what you eat, keep away from the kids who don't talk like us, on and on and on. 

So some kids become less good, because they are taught to be less good. They are taught to ignore the place inside, where their hearts are, and to confuse being good with separating themselves from other kids. It's a slippery slope from there to hate.

Nobody is perfect. Dr. King wasn't. I sure am not. But the good kid in the picture is right. Dr. King was good. And I am sure, with all that he went through in standing up for the rights of all people, Dr. King had to work at it. There were probably many trying moments in his short life (39 years) when he despaired and wanted to give in to all the hate. But he was good. He knew he was good. All the way until the minute that hate drilled a bullet through him, he knew he was good and he believed that we are, too.

So how can we tell? How can we tell we are good? How can we believe we are good?

I can do it. I can set aside a little time every morning and sit where it is quiet. I can listen to my breath, listen to my heartbeat, listen to the stillness, and feel something stirring inside me, feel something glowing. It's the real me, untouched after all these years, coached by my loved ones, nourished by my heroes, but alive and beating before I met any of them. I am good. Hate can't touch this. I am good. 

I raise my  hands and I stretch my fingers to the sky. I feel that goodness shine. I send it out to everyone and everything. Rays for all. Oh my goodness, thank you, Martin, and thank you to all the children everywhere. 

Peace, Love, and Shine On,

Thursday, January 16, 2020

2020 in 2020 Challenge

Third Quarter Moon

In the spirit of self-improvement and capricious, willy-nilly New Year's decision making, I have decided to hike 2,020 miles in the year of Why Hast Thou Forsaken Us 2020. I am calling it my #2020in2020Challenge and inviting anyone who wants to join in to join in. There are no rules other than it has to be something healthy and you have to do it 2,020 times between now and the end of 2020. It could be hiking, in which case you have to average ~ 5.6 miles per day, or bicycling, or pushups, or handstands (be careful), etc. I assume no liability for your decisions. If problems arise, contact my crack legal team at Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe.

I believe my incredibly positive and very good friends Lisa and Nancy at Big Blend Radio (see side bar) intend to incorporate something similar into their new, burgeoning web creations, so if you need further inspiration, bookmark The Big Blend Community, sign up, and await their much more creative/ambitious version of this project.

Meanwhile, hiking everyday here on the Central Coast of Californ-eye-ay is pretty fun and will keep me out of trouble. I have been doing daily 5-6 mile hikes on the De Anza Trail, at Brigantino Park in Hollister, in and around San Juan Bautista, and at the beach since the first of the month - nothing extreme, just consistent and mildly challenging.

I highly recommend fueling day hikes with the Palomino snack of champions, the humble and cheap Peanut Butter and Banana Sammie. Power food. Con agua, por favor.

I have become somewhat obsessed with trees and clouds lately, but you are free to choose your own fixations, haha.

I realize that not everyone can go to the beach on a regular basis, so I will take the liberty of posting gorgeous scenes from Monterey Bay once in a while. You can always splash around in the bathtub or play in puddles.

Across the road from my camp there are farm roads that lead in all four directions. Most of the time, I can goof around and find a barn or an animal to go full on nature-boy-wahoo with. I am at my zenith point of happiness when I can do that. Your mileage may vary.

It's okay if you choose not to play in my #2020in2020Challenge thing, but whatever you do, enjoy yourself. You are not forsaken.

Peace, Love, and Happy Feet,

Friday, January 10, 2020

This Bleepin' Week

Full Moon

My head nearly exploded this week trying to understand exactly why Americans are putting up with what passes for leadership in this amateur hour White House. Lie after lie after lie. These people are living examples of the exact opposite values my parents, and probably yours, too, taught and modeled. Not to mention the engravings on those simple stone tablets described in the Book of Exodus. Please let this end soon.

Fort Ord Dunes State Park in Seaside, CA is a forty minute drive from my camp. I spent sacred time there the other day clearing my head and praying for peace. I don't know if it will do any good for the rest of the world, but for those precious minutes, I was closer to Creation and calmer in my heart.

Peace, Love, and Return to Sanity Soon,