Saturday, June 30, 2007


This is a picture of Carlos in 1984, my parents had a garage sale and he decided to have a fashion show to drum up business....I told you that he is my most fun friend! I smile whenever I think of his energy. Love, Michele

"Do you really want to look back on your life and see how wonderful it could have been had you not been afraid to live it?"
Caroline Myss

Infinity of the Human Soul

Sad Eyes by Michele

And when we look into the face of another person, we look into the infinity and the mystery of the human soul, and when we look into the mystery and the infinity of the human soul, it mirrors the infinity and the mystery back into our soul, and that’s what connects us with this infinite field of universal love -Jean Watson


My mom and dad

This is a picture of my parents. They will celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary in August.
They met on a blind date 50 years ago.
Anyway, tomorrow they leave for an African Safari for a month. They fly into Johannesburg and then will be off to Botswianna, Nimbia, Victoria Falls and Zambia. They are going with my uncle Dave and his son, Will. This trip is Will's graduation present. I guess they are not aloud to go anywhere without an armed guard. Have a great trip mom and dad.......I love you!!!

Friday, June 29, 2007

On our growth

This is our friend Kato Kailin....remember him? We met him in the L.A. airport just after the famous O.J. trial...He rode the "red-eye" home with us because he was scheduled to do a radio interview that next morning in Chicago.....weird that is the exact same time as the Rwanda Holocaust....but our eyes were pealed on O.J. and Kato Kailin.
Life is sometimes absurd. Love, Michele

No person is your friend who demands your silence,
or denies your right to grow.
-Alice Walker

How to really live

Look I think I made a waterfall......."filling up and spilling over....its an endless waterfall."
the below note was written about David Lytle....below is the link.
very cool!!! love, Michele

David Lytle 2/21/68 - 6/16/07

Tonight I write in memory of my cousin, David Lytle.

David's life might not have been so significant had it not jumped course when he was 24. That was the summer he moved to Georgia and, being new to the area, allowed his friend to drive him home. His friend plowed the car into a concrete barrier, and David never walked again.

At first, David lost hope when the doctors told him the extent of his injuries. But, after only a few days, he realized he had two choices. He could sink down into self pity, or he could live his life beyond his perceived abilities. David chose the latter.

There was only one word that did not exist in David's vocabulary, and that word was "can't." David had a way of making his wheelchair invisible. He went skiing after his accident, learned to drive a modified van, and went skydiving. He travelled Europe, went on the most terrifying rollercoaster at Cedar Point in Ohio, and forever changed the lives of the people he met along the way.

Back home, David became a motivational speaker for others with spinal cord injuries. He gave hope to others by showing them that if he could pursue his passions, they could, too. He became an inspiration to able-bodied and differently-abled alike.

Over 600 people attended David's wake. Visitation hours had to be extended over two days, and yet the funeral home still stayed open two hours late on the last day to accomodate all the visitors. Sterling, the company he worked for, sent his coworkers in shifts to pay their final respects. David was an activist, a friend, and a truly beloved man, all while being sarcastic, side-bustingly funny, and a great ass-kicker.

David had three words he lived by - Move Your Ass. David's passing made me realize how petty all my bullshit is and just how long I've been sitting still. It's time to get my ass moving.

The are three phrases that describe a wasted life - could have, might have, and should have. Like David, I will strive to live so that those words cannot be applied to me. Nothing's too big, nothing's too hard, and not one thing has the power to hold you down unless you let it.

Thank you, David, for making me see - M

P.S. Go to to see a clip of David in support of his best friend, Kassie, and her fight against lupus.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


you like my picture? Have a great day! Love, Michele

We were talking
about the space between us all
and people who hide themselves
behind a wall of illusion
never glimpse the truth
then it's far too late
when they pass away

We were talking
about the love we all could share
When we find it
to try our best to hold it there
with our love, with our love
we could save the world
if they only knew

Try to realize it's all within yourself
no one else can make you change
And to see you're really only very small
and life flows on within you and without you

We were talking
about the love that's gone so cold
and the people who gain the world
and lose their soul
They don't know, they can't see
Are you one of them

When you've seen beyond yourself
then you may find
peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come
when you see we're all one
and life flows on within you and without you

--George Harrison

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Macy dancing at relay for life. do you like the song below???? One of my favorites. Love, Michele

by John Lennon

Love is real, real is love,
Love is feeling, feeling love,
Love is wanting to be loved.
Love is touch, touch is love,
Love is reaching, reaching love,
Love is asking to be loved.
Love is you, You and me,
Love is knowing, We can be.
Love is free, free is love,
Love is living, living love,
Love is needing to be loved.

Love is Alive!!!

below is a memorial that my friend Paul created for his late wife, Donna. And below that part of a speech that he made to the graduating class of Saint Mary's grade school when presenting the Donna Whalen Memorial award to the two students. As you read below, you will see why Paul is such an amazing person to me. I am so grateful for his friendship and for his insight into things.

Thank you Donna, you are the one who flipped the switch for me. I am not where I want to be but at least I now recognize the journey I am on.

This appeared on her birthday, 6/17, fathers day.



Let me give a bit of insight into my wife’s character. Perhaps it will give you something to reflect on and be a guide in your journey.
"When I think of the dark days that surrounded all of us near the end of Donna’s life I also have to think of how my wife was strengthened because of her faith, her belief in a God that is pure unconditional Love. I am reminded not only how that belief sustained her but actually transformed her. Here she was her body completely destroyed, she was wholly dependent upon others to assist her in all of her physical needs. And yet while all this was occurring to her, the love she held for others soared, she illuminated the room with her presence, touching all those who came near her.......................................For when everything else is stripped away, only love remains. In the end its about love."-Paul Sherlock

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What is the end....What is the beginning?

Good Day!!! Above is a picture that was in my high school from October 1981.
We were in this club called Y.A.R.C. (I think youth association for retarded citizens???)
Anyway, we went to the achievement center a lot. (this school /workshop for special needs kids/adults) We sponsored different parties and dances for the people. This was a Halloween party.
Leslie and I are in the center being cowgirls I guess. Leslie is one of my very dear friends. I met her in the 7th grade. Through the years of our friendship as teenagers, Leslie was always the level headed person...and I was always the crazy manic we had a good combination which allowed for a lot of fun but never went too over board....well except for the time I threw a glass of water on a motor cycle guy and he chased us all over town and kicked Leslie's parent's car and dented it and I tried to get out of the car to apologize and he wanted to choke me and Leslie had enough common sense not to let me out.
Leslie's spirituality is found in connecting with nature. She started bringing me up to Chautauqua lake with her since the 9th grade and she has such a connection with that lake that it was contagious. She is also a very creative soul....Her tastes are very unique and she can make something out of nothing!!!
She was my maid of Honor.....she married Mark's room mate/friend, Steve. We are still close.....Steve and Leslie have two beautiful kids. Her son Matthew is good friends with Marko. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the poem of my favorites.

Love, Michele

“What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.”

“We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall and the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for but heard, half-heard,
in the stillness between two waves of the sea.”

~ T.S. Elliott, excerpts from Four Quartets: Part IV Little Gidding

Monday, June 25, 2007


Kuhar Rockers 11/02


Everywhere we go, we must be creators and guardians of sacred space.

Our communities are ravaged by spiritual famine.

And we must remember and recall for our communities what we already know:

that there is nowhere where Spirit is not to be found.

For thousands of years, we have had this one thing in common:

that we join in this one practice of performing ordinary worldly acts as worship.

We know, when we pull a baby into the light of the world, it is worship.

When we cradle a dying man in our arms, it is worship.

This is easy, and almost anyone could see it.

But we also know:

when we sweep the floor, it is worship.

It is worship when we dance, when we sing, when we light candles.

Weeding the herb garden, settling disputes, cooking rice, cooking rice again

-- all these things and a million more we have practiced,

always searching for the light of the Beloved within each moment,

always questioning, is it here?

Yes, it is. And here? Yes, here too -- And here -- and here --

Perhaps in ancient times there did exist "spiritual professionals," but we know that for contemporary priestesses/priests, the sacred work is interwoven,

as it must be, in their daily living.

Everywhere we go, into every common action, we weave golden threads of devotion and prayerful remembrance. It is not what we do that is holy, but the attitude, the spirit, with which we do it.

[These lines are paraphrased from "The Voice of the Priestess."]

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Let It Go

Hope you like the poem below.....I made the picture above when I was at work as an art project with the kids on the unit. have a great day! Love, Michele

Let It Go

let it go - the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise - let it go it
was sworn to

let them go - the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers - you must let them go they
were born
to go

let all go - the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things - let all go

so comes love

~ e. e. cummings ~

(Complete Poems 1904-1962)

The path of nonresistance

This is a picture of Mark and Carlos outside of my apartment at Ohio State.
I laugh whenever I see this picture. I love the note below...hope you do too Love, Michele

Sydney Harris, the distinguished news columnist, tells of visiting a friend for a weekend. Each evening, he would walk to the corner with the friend to by the evening newspaper. The man would be cheerful and pleasant but the newsie would always reply with a grunt.

Harris commented one night, “He is a mighty unpleasant fellow, isn’t he?” The friend replied, “Oh, he is always that way.” But why are you so nice to him?” The answer is a classic that reflects a deep understanding of nonresistance. The friend said, “But why should I let him determine how I am going to act?”

Here was a man who knew that his chief responsibility in life was to act the part of his divinity. Why should he let any man on the street cause him to lower his consciousness and thus reduce his whole experience of life?

Remember, you may not be able to change or control the people around you, but you can determine the level of consciousness on which you meet them and react to them. This is one of the most significant discoveries that man can make.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Restful Sleep????

This is a picture of Jim Thome holding Marko when he was a baby......Marko smiled and laughed in his arms.
Marko came to me last month, when we were starting to open the windows at night and he was waking up to "Scarey noises", and said the following:
"Mom I think that I am going to need some of that Lunesta to sleep better."
I asked him where he heard about Lunesta and he told me about a commercial that he saw on television for Lunesta.....He talked about a butterfly that touches you and helps you sleep.

Weird......Marko gets only 2 hours of technology per day. (technology= video games, television or webkinz) The commercials are doing their job to help Marko fall asleep at night....that is very comforting to know!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

why we create

Here is a watercolor picture I like???
Namaste!!!- Michele

There is for me no legitimate reason for drawing, painting, sculpting, other than in this intensified awareness of the eye awakened from half-sleep.
-Frederick Franck

The wisdom of not having to Know

This is a hazy morning at the Berea quarry taken a few years ago....Mark and I lived in Berea for about 5 years before kids. .....kinda illustrates what Maya Angelou says below......just observing the mysteries of the world and not needing to know the "why" or "how" of anything.....just falling into the wonder.
Good Day!! Love, Michele

Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. We need hours of aimless wandering or spates of time sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops. - Maya Angelou.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Advice to Beginners

Above is a picture of Macy on the beach at Hilton Head. This is where she learned to walk. (5/98) Have a great day. I hope you enjoy the poem below. Happy first day of Summer!!! Love, Michele

Advice to Beginners
—Ellen Kort

Begin. Keep on beginning.

Nibble on everything. Take a hike.

Teach yourself to whistle.

Lie. The older you get the more they'll want your stories.

Make them up. Talk to stones.

Short-out electric fences. Swim with the sea turtle into the moon.

Learn how to die. Eat moonshine pie.

Drink wild geranium tea.

Run naked in the rain.

Everything that happens will happen and none of us will be safe from it.

Pull up anchors. Sit close to the god of night.

Lie still in a stream and breathe water.

Climb to the top of the highest tree

until you come to the branch where the blue hereon sleeps.

Eat poems for breakfast. Wear them on your forehead.

Lick the mountains bare shoulder.

Measure the color of days around your mother's death.

Put your hands over your face and listen to what they tell you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Jim Kelly (or uncle Jim Bob) as the kids call him .....and I at a Grateful Dead Concert a few years ago. (BLH.....before long hair.) Have a great Day! Love, Michele

that someday, sometime, you will be somewhere, maybe on a day like today--a berm overlooking a pond in Vermont, the lip of the Grand Canyon at sunset. Maybe something bad will have happened: you will have lost someone you loved, or failed at something you wanted to succeed at very much.

And sitting there, you will fall into the center of yourself. You will look for that core to sustain you. If you have been perfect all your life, and have managed to meet all the expectations of your family, your friends, your community, your society, chances are excellent that there will be a black hole where your core ought to be.

Don't take that chance. Begin to say no to the Greek chorus that thinks it knows the parameters of a happy life when all it knows is the homogenization of human experience. Listen to that small voice from inside you, that tells you to go another way. George Eliot wrote, "It is never too late to be what you might have been." It is never too early, either. And it will make all the difference in the world.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rest in Peace David

David Lytle died this past weekend. He is my second cousin. He was a beautiful soul who did not let his handicap get in his way....He was a quadriplegic for the past 13 years after an accident in Georgia.
He never let the accident get in his way.....he still kept reaching out to others.
read the below obituary and the article about him. He started a research fund in honor of his personal attendant that died from lupus.
I guess his family was worried about him because he did not come home from work on Saturday....they sent the police out to search for him and he was found slumped over in his van........Rest in Peace David.......You are an inspiration to us all!
I bet he is running and jumping where ever he is and feeling the joy of moving his legs and arms again.

David wrote this letter below and appeared on the today show for the Lupus Foundation.

"The Today Show" on NBC this morning aired a beautiful segment on Mary Katherine McMullin Biglow who died from Lupus complications.

Since 1999, "TODAY" has raised nearly $400,000 for charity with the Green Room Book project. Past beneficiaries include the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance, the Hospice of Palm Beach County, America's Second Harvest, The Boys and Girls Club of America, Project A.L.S. and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. This year, we asked our viewers to nominated an organization they wanted to see as the beneficiary of this year's charity auction event. Hundreds of entries were received, and ultimately the Lupus Foundation of America was selected thanks to the following email.
My story begins 13 years ago when I suffered a Spinal Cord Injury that left me a C5-6 Quadriplegic. I have been using a wheelchair ever since. My particular charity is the Lupus Foundation. This is very important to me because my dear friend/personal care attendant passed away last October, one day before her 31st birthday leaving behind a loving husband and her 10 month old baby. Mary Katherine McMullin Biglow made what I did daily--easy. She never complained about her chronic illness. There are so many worthy charities that need our attention, however, Lupus doesn't have an identity. Kassie, as we called her, wanted to create awareness and she would have been a formidable leader. She had a lively spirit and definitely a joy to be around. She inspired me and she made tomorrow a place worth checking out. - David Lytle

David E. Lytle David E. Lytle, 39, of Litchfield Township, passed away suddenly Saturday, June 16, 2007, in Medina. He was born Feb. 21, 1968. David was a supervisor for Sterling Jewelers. He attended Ohio State University ATI and Kent State University. He was a former greenskeeper for Peachtree Country Club in Atlanta. He attended St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church. He was vice president of the Spinal Cord Association at Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center. He is survived by his parents, James and Carol Lytle of Litchfield; sisters, Tracy Lytle of Lodi and Barbara (Michael) Lawson of Lexington, Ohio; aunt, Jean (Michael) Sheehan of Chicago; nephews, Shawn and Tim Reinke; cousin, Michelle Rihawi of Aurora, Ill.; niece, Dana Lawson; and godchild, Leo Raffo. Mass of Christian Burial: 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, 1800 Station Road, Valley City. Father Norman Douglas will officiate. Burial: St. Martin of Tours Cemetery. Visiting hours: 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p
m. today and Wednesday at Waite & Son Funeral Homes, Medina Chapel, 765 N. Court St. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Mary Katherine "Kassie" McMullin-Biglow Research Fund in David's honor, c/o the Lupus Foundation of America, 2000 L Street NW, Suite 710, Washington, DC 20036.

read this link.

Haunted Tunnel ( Moonville Tunnel)

Above are pictures Mira took of the Moonville Tunnel......located near Lake Hope State Park.
We hiked out to the tunnel which was very beautiful, but we never saw/felt any ghosts, but I guess that lots of people below.
Have a great day!!


Now I have heard many different stories about the ghost of the moonville tunnel,
but the stories go back as far as 100 years ago. Many people believe that
there are two ghosts that haunt the area, not just one. The most popular
versions of the stories are of a headless figure who walks around inside
the tunnel and around the area waving a yellow lantern in an effort to stop
the train. The other story is of a woman in a night gown seen wondering
around the area of the tracks at night.

On my visit to Moonville, as we were about to cross the raccon creek, I
encountered a forest park ranger and interviewed him on my camcorder, he
told me that the ghost of the man who haunts the tunnel was a train conductor
who was drunk and fell in front of the train and was decapitated. Another
theory says that the conductor was having an affair with the brakeman's
wife and he was pushed out of the train and ran over.

Another local told me a story that Moonville was strucken with small pox,
and sent thier most healthy person to the tracks to walk and get help, the fellow
approached the tunnel, he was apparently sick and delerious from the small
pox and staggered in front of an oncoming train waving his yellow lantern,
and was decapitated.

As for stories about the woman, there are documented cases where a woman was
killed about a mile from the tunnel while walking the tracks in 1886. and
though this ghost story is not as popular as the headless ghost from the
tunnel, the park ranger I interviewed did say that people have talked of
a ghost that resembled a woman in a blue'ish night gown wandering around
waving his lantern and then dissapearing.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Feel what is Real!!!

You'll be pure spirit some day, but darling, for today
drink a lemonade take a nap in the shade
Trust what you feel, what you feel is real.

...Ray Manzarek The Golden Scarab, a rock trip through Egypt

Sunday, June 17, 2007

listen to your heart

You like Mark's shirt????

Below is a quote from Marlee Matlin's commencement speech she gave last week. I think that they are beautiful words of encouragement and I hope you enjoy them too.

have a great day!!! Namaste, Michele

Marlee Matlin


Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Our society today is plagued with too many people who are not willing to entertain the "could be's, the maybe's, the might be's." Instead, they are focused on the "can't be's, the won't be's, or the nevers." As a woman growing up deaf, who wanted to be an actress, despite what others may have thought was impossible, I know firsthand what wonder there is if we consider what is possible. And I know the same is true for you....

Make sure you are more than what people think you are and much more even that. With that comes a responsibility to help others who may not have achieved that understanding. Along the way, don't forget to volunteer, to love, to laugh, pay your taxes, but most of all, never forget to listen. Listen to your hearts.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The emptiness that makes us whole

Old Man's cave....beautiful....ehhhh?-Michele

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole that makes the wagon move.
We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable.
We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.

-Lao Tsu, 1988

Friday, June 15, 2007


Is this beautiful or what????-Love, Michele
The extraordinary teacher, Pema Chodron, taught me, via cassette tape, Tonglen practice. Knowing how to do this ancient practice of taking in pain and suffering and sending out peace and light, has been a wonderful gift to the medicine bundle I carry in my life. One of the slogans in the Lojong teachings that accompany Tonglen is: Be grateful to everyone. Be grateful to everyone. How beautiful is that! Because everyone is a teacher. Everyone brings us something of value, even if it seems totally negative to us at the time we receive it. I would add to that, and the Buddha of course already did so: Be compassionate to everyone. Don’t just search for whatever it is that annoys and frightens you, see beyond those things to the basic human being. Especially see the child in the man or woman. Even if they are destroying you, allow a moment to see how lost in their own delusion and suffering they are. It is only this insight into brutality and any form of meanness and cruelty that lessens the pain of being oppressed and in so many cases on this planet, senselessly annihilated. -Alice Walker

What we truly Desire

In *Maldoror and Poems,*
the French poet Lautréamont wrote about holy
disguised as mournful complaint.
"Whenever you hear the dogs'
howling in the fields,"
his mother told him as a child,
"don't deride what
they do:
They thirst insatiably for the infinite,
like you, me, and the rest
of us humans.
I even allow you to stand at the window
and gaze upon this
exalted spectacle."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

what would love do?????

I really liked this article.....but sometimes hard for me to follow what love would do because I forget to loose the ego and I buy into the illusion.......oh well, I will keep trying.....hey stare at the picture above.....doesn't it give the illusion of movement????

have a great day.......hope you enjoy the note below.




Ever asked yourself that question? Want to see your life change, in a flash?

Starting now, see how your day is transformed when you live out that question. How would Love make breakfast? What would Love say to the people you meet today: to your beloved, to your family, to the dog, the bird, the people on the street? The guy who drives you crazy at work? The beggar on the corner? Love might give her change, or maybe just smile and acknowledge her as a human being - Love is not guilty or dogmatic. Love knows what to do, if you let it guide your steps.

The next time the phone rings, take a breath, and ask yourself: how would Love answer? Then, let love answer, no matter who is calling. Love always knows what to say.

Love is not a wimp. Love stands up for justice, for truth, for dignity, and sometimes that means being Fierce. Fierce Love, Fierce Compassion, Fierce Gentleness. Fierce Sensitivity. Don't insult Love with a hallmark imitation. We're talking about the real deal here. Love is able to remain loving, unconditionally, in every circumstance, without exception. That's fierce.

Sound like too much work to be Love all day? Then wait until it's really needed-the moment irritation or anger or fear arises. Stop for a moment before you respond. Look at what it is that's really triggering you - is it this particular person, or event, or is it really an old pattern from the past. Is it just a web of projections and past injuries and dissapointments that you have superimposed over your eyeballs, until you can no longer see whats really in front of you? Can you approach this problem with freshness, with aliveness, as it is, not with a big bundle of pre-conceptions that stops you from seeing the other as a real human being, someone who suffers and dreams, just like you?

Before you respond to anyone or anything, ask yourself: what would Love do?

Awaken yourself to Love-in a flash.

~Velcrow Ripper

(maybe related to Velcro boy)

There are no manuals to read

Or rules to follow

Other than the open book

Of the heart.

Everything is a teacher

An understanding heart in everything is a teacher, and cannot be esteemed highly enough.
One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers,
but with gratitude to those who touched our human feeling.
--Carl Jung

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Jimiller Band!!!

Here is a link to Jim Miller's new myspace. There are some of his songs on the site. He is awesome.

Monday, June 11, 2007


You can understand and relate to most people better if you look at them
-- no matter how old or impressive they may be -- as if they are children.
For most of us never really grow up or mature all that much-- we simply grow taller.
O, to be sure, we laugh less and play less
and wear uncomfortable disguises like adults,
but beneath the costume is the child we always are,
whose needs are simple, whose daily life is still best described by fairy tales.
--Leo Rosten

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Velcro Boy

I Like this quote below. Above is a picture of Marko at relay for life.
He is in a velcro suit and Mark threw him against that wall.
Have a great day!!!

“Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.”
Anthony Robbins

Saturday, June 9, 2007


the above picture is of Marko.......and below is a link that our friend Bill sent us.
Way cool guitar player....thanks Bill!

Friday, June 8, 2007

How do you like the view???

This is a frog that Marko and his friend Matthew caught in our lake. They named him Kermie......he is back at home now in our lake, but spent some time with the boys....Hope you like the blurb below......have a great day! love, Michele

Well, you can learn all those things, out there, if you get a real life, a full life, a professional life, yes, but another life, too, a life of love and laughs and a connection to other human beings. Just keep your eyes and ears open. Here you could learn in the classroom. There the classroom is everywhere. The exam comes at the very end. No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time at the office.

I found one of my best teachers on the boardwalk at Coney Island maybe 15 years ago. It was December, and I was doing a story about how the homeless survive in the winter months. He and I sat on the edge of the wooden supports, dangling our feet over the side, and he told me about his schedule, panhandling the boulevard when the summer crowds were gone, sleeping in a church when the temperature went below freezing, hiding from the police amidst the Tilt a Whirl and the Cyclone and some of the other
seasonal rides.

But he told me that most of the time he stayed on the boardwalk, facing the water, just the way we were sitting now even when it got cold and he had to wear his newspapers after he read them. And I asked him why. Why didn't he go to one of the shelters? Why didn't he check himself into the hospital for detox? And he just stared out at the ocean and said, "Look at the view, young lady. Look at the view."

And every day, in some little way, I try to do what he said. I try to look at the view. And that's the last thing I have to tell you today, words of wisdom from a man with not a dime in his pocket, no place to go, nowhere to be. Look at the view. You'll never be disappointed.
-Anna Quindlen

The Optimist Creed

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself -

  • To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  • To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
  • To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
  • To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
  • To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect on the best.
  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
  • To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
  • To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have not time to criticize others.
  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Many have found inspiration in The Optimist Creed. In hospitals, the creed has been used to help patients recover from illness. In locker rooms, coaches have used it to motivate their players.

Optimist International adopted this creed in 1922. It was originally published in 1912 in a book titled: "Your Forces and How to Use Them." The author was Christian D. Larson, a prolific writer and lecturer who believed that people have tremendous latent powers, which could be harnessed for success with the proper attitude.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


so much beauty at Hocking Hills State Park!!!-Michele

........ What I discovered is that there’s a powerful impulse within me to possess everything that I desire. To own it. To clutch it. To consume it.

The media constantly teaches us that we can buy the things that are most valuable to us. You know, we’re set up to believe that if only we could purchase that hot little sports car, we’d be young and attractive again. If only we could afford a weekend at that fancy spa in Sedona, then we’d be fully realized, spiritual people. If only we could get that SUV, then we’d have the freedom to roam the great outdoors. Have you noticed that all of the ads for SUVs are shot on some Alpine mountaintop? All the SUVs I’ve seen are stuck in rush-hour traffic on the highway with everyone else. We’re sold an illusion.

But it’s a powerful illusion that we’re being sold. It convinces us that somehow we have control over our happiness. Krister Stendahl was a Dutch theologian who taught for many years at Harvard Divinity School. He once wrote: “The colonialism and imperialism of the American mind thinks that the only way you can honor something else is to have it yourself. But to really rejoice in that which you do not have, that is what we need to learn.” To be able to savor something from a distance. To love, but not to possess.

It’s as though we’re the little child who has to be taught that when she holds the ladybug in her hands, she must hold it gently, or she’ll crush it. We sometimes unwittingly crush the things that we love. We want to possess them, when instead we should be savoring them. What’s called for here an ethic of presence and mindfulness in the face of beauty, and at the same time, a kind of non-attachment. An ability to let it go. To let the beauty return at its own will, in its own time.

This kind of savoring reminds me of the lines from Wendell Berry:

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

To rest in the grace of the world. To relish the beauty of things I cannot own. To savor, and not to consume. To desire, but not to covet. Slowly, I’m learning to love with a lighter touch.

-Robert G. Hardies


Therefore be at peace with your god, whatever you conceive him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life. Keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. - Max Ehr


Rare indeed, is the relationship in which the other is not cultivated
for what one can get for oneself.

-Anthony DeMello

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


This is the quality we need most: gentleness,
tenderness, mercy, loving-kindness,

a love which is a little oblivious to morals,
which is concerned not with what people deserve

but with what will help them grow into their best selves.”
-Malcolm Sutherland

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Life is good...just ask Marko

It's ironic that we forget so often how wonderful life really is. We have more time than ever to remember it. My grandparents had to work long, long hours to support lots and lots of children in tiny, tiny houses. The women who worked in factories and sweatshops and then at home too, with two bosses, the one who paid them, and the one they were married to, who didn't.
It was tough life. I still remember the narrow groove worn into one of my grandmother's front teeth, the groove that appears there when you've used that tooth for years and years to bite off your thread from your sewing machine.

There are new generations of immigrants now, who work that hard, but those of us who are second and third and fourth generation are surrounded by high tech appliances, nice cars, family rooms, pools-the kinds of things our grandparents thought only rich people had. Yet somehow, instead of rejoicing, we've found the glass half-empty. Our jobs take too much out of us and don't pay enough. Our children are an awful responsibility. We're
expected to pick the kids up at preschool and run the microwave at home.

C'mon, let's be honest. We have an embarrassment of riches. Life is good. I don't mean in cosmic way. I never think of my life, or my world, in any big cosmic way. I think of it in all its small component parts: daffodils, the azaleas, the feeling of one of my kid's hands tucked inside mine, the way my husband looks when he reads with the reading lamp behind him, fettuccine alfredo, fudge, "Gone With the Wind," "Pride and Prejudice."

The fuzz on the edge of my daughter's ear. Everyone who has ever read to an AIDS patient, or cuddled a boarder baby, or taken flowers around to someone who hasn't had a visitor that day, knows that this is true.

Life is made up of moments, small pieces of silver amidst long stretches of tedium. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the one most of us lead now, that won't happen. We have to teach ourselves how to live, really live.
-Anna Quindlen

Monday, June 4, 2007


The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.

~Elie Wiesel


Do you see the Rainbow in the picture above? Mira took that last weekend on our way home...
My friend Barb sent me this story is really beautiful. Barb is such a wise old soul. I love talking to her because she knows what is important in life and is so nonjudgemental.
I used to work with her. She is a chemical Dependency Councelor...and a really good one I hardly see her anymore, but we keep in touch via email.
I miss you Barb......Hope you are having a great day everyone!

This is a nice little story by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing.


My father never drove a car. Well, that's not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car. He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.

"In those days," he told me when he was in his 90s, "to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it."

At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in: "Oh, bull----!" she said. "He hit a horse."

"Well," my father said, "there was that, too."

So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars -- the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford -- but we had none.

My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines, would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home.

If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.

My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we'd ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. "No one in the family drives," my mother would explain, and that was that. But, sometimes, my father would say, "But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we'll get one."

It was as if he wasn't sure which one of us would turn 16 first.

But, sure enough, my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown. It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn't drive, it more or less became my brother's car.

Having a car but not being able to drive didn't bother my father, but it didn't make sense to my mother. So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving.

The cemetery probably was my father's idea.

"Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?" I remember him saying once.

For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps -- though they seldom left the city limits -- and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.

Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn't seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage. (Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)

He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin's Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish's two priests was on duty that morning.

If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home. If it was the assistant pastor, he'd take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests "Father Fast" and "Father Slow."

After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he'd sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio.

In the evening, then, when I'd stop by, he'd explain: "The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored."

If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out -- and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream.

As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, "Do you want to know the secret of a long life?"

"I guess so," I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.

"No left turns," he said.

"What?" I asked.

"No left turns," he repeated. "Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic. As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn."

"What?" I said again.

"No left turns," he said. "Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that's a lot safer. So we always make three rights."

"You're kidding!" I said, and I turned to my mother for support.

"No," she said, "your father is right. We make three rights. It works." But then she added: "Except when your father loses count."

I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing. "Loses count?" I asked. "Yes," my father admitted, "that sometimes happens. But it's not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you're okay again."

I couldn't resist. "Do you ever go for 11?" I asked.

"No," he said. "If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can't be put off another day or another week."

My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90. She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102. They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom -- the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)

He continued to walk daily -- he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he'd fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising -- and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.

One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news. A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, "You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred." At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, "You know, I'm probably not going to live much longer."

"You're probably right," I said.

"Why would you say that?" He countered, somewhat irritated.

"Because you're 102 years old," I said.

"Yes," he said, "you're right." He stayed in bed all the next day.

That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night. He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said: "I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet."

An hour or so later, he spoke his last words:

"I want you to know," he said, clearly and lucidly, "that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have." A short time later, he died.

I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I've wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long.

I can't figure out if it was because he walked through life

Or because he quit taking left turns.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Make Bobby Shave!!!!!

RatDog and Bobby Weir Monday July 16th Time Warner Cable Amphitheater at Tower City (Formerly Tower City Amphitheater) Cleveland, OH

Born in 1947 and adopted by a rich California engineer, Bob's dyslexia gave him trouble at school. He was labeled a troublemaker and shipped off to boarding school, where he met future songwriting partner John Perry Barlow. After being kicked out of the school, Bob returned to the Bay Area, where he bummed around the burgeoning folk scene and came into contact with musicians like Jerry Garcia, New Riders on the Purple Sage founder David Nelson, and Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen. A series of jug bands eventually morphed into the electrified Warlocks who, in turn, became the Grateful Dead.

Bob developed his odd rhythm style playing between the sweet, articulated lead guitar of Jerry Garcia and the avant-garde bass lines of Phil Lesh. Like a jazz guitarist, Bob was often not evident in the mix, but still a profound shape on the sound.

Bob's earliest songwriting efforts mirrored those of Garcia and Lesh, though less successfully. By the early '70s, he had crossed paths with Barlow again and the two began their creative relationship in earnest. Soon, Bob was producing songs in his own distinct style—a blend of Americana and the odd voicings he specialized in. As the health of Dead frontman Ron "Pigpen" McKernan waned, Bob found his rich baritone increasingly at the center of attention and developed a stage personality to match it. His first solo album, Ace, released in 1972, featured Bob backed by the rest of the Dead.

Through the late '70s, and especially during the Dead's year off in 1975, Bob toured and recorded with a number of groups, including Kingfish and Bobby and the Midnites. As Jerry's dependence on drugs increased during the Dead's later days, Bob found himself increasingly in the position of de facto bandleader.

When Jerry died in 1995, Bob had recently formed RatDog. In addition to consistently touring with RatDog since then, Bob reunited with several former Dead bandmates for tours in 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004. He continues to play with countless artists of varying styles and talents.

What if you slept, and what if in your sleep you dreamed,
and what if in your dream you went to heaven and there
plucked a strange and beautiful flower, and what if when you
awoke you had the flower in your hand?
Ah, what then?
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Plan for Your Awakening

Hiking at Hocking Hills State Park.

Everything that happens to you is part of the plan for your awakening, including those challenging events that force you to shift out of your inertia and self-limiting behavior patterns.
From the depth of your soul, you call out for growth. You pray to be released from your burdens and to discover and express your gifts.

-Paul Ferrini

Saturday, June 2, 2007

...and did the monks get mad???

wow what if everyone reacted this way? stay in such a place of balance..nothing is permanent....don't grasp and try to hold on to the past....what lessons..Have a great day!
Love, Michele

Toddler's dance destroys monks' intricate sand painting

Talk about a test of faith.
Eight Tibetan monks spent two days cross-legged
on the floor at Union Station, leaning over to
meticulously create an intricate design of colored
sand as an expression of their Buddhist faith.
They were more than halfway done.
And then, within seconds, their work was
destroyed by a toddler.
Monks are bald,
so they couldn’t rip their hair out.
But were they angry? Did they curse?
No. They simply smiled and started over.
“No problem,” said Geshe Lobsang Sumdup,
leader of the group from
the Drepung Gomang Monastery in southern India.
“We didn’t get despondent,” he said Wednesday
through a translator. “We have three days more.
So we will have to work harder.”

That the monks were able to shrug off their
setback can be attributed to their religion.
“It teaches us that nothing is permanent,”
said Staci Olsen, a volunteer at
the Rime Buddhist Center in Kansas City.
Sometime Tuesday after the monks
had finished their labors for
the day a woman with her small
child visited the post office inside
Union Station, near where the
design was being created.
The child, apparently attracted by the pretty colors,
wandered over to play with it.
“He did a little tap dance on it,
completely destroying it,”
said Lama Chuck Stanford of the Rime center.

The mother did not report the incident,
but a security camera at Union Station captured the moment.
“She summarily picked the child up and boogied,” said Bob Smock, security manager for the station.

Jampa Tenzin, one of the monks
who can speak a little English,
said this was the first time on
this tour a mandala in progress
had been destroyed. But the monks
know the child was innocent.

“They have meditated so long
they have developed this equanimity,”
Stanford said. “Regardless of what happens
— if a kid dances on your sand mandala
— it’s OK. If everybody in the world
had that kind of stability of mind we’d be better off.”