The Miracle of Laughter

As I get older and count my blessings everyday for the choices I’ve made and the paths crossed and taken. I’ve come to appreciate The Miracle of Laughter. I would never consider myself to be a funny person, although I’ve always thankfully had the ability to make my wife laugh. Life is serious, really? Does it always have to be? Yes, there are many difficult and challenging aspects to modern life, and many people I know are struggling with various issues.

If you’re foolish enough to watch the evening news every night, you can hardly feel anything else but gloomy, afraid and pessimistic. My friends that make me smile and laugh the most these days are struggling with various hardships, as I am, some more some less, but if it’s personal, it’s important. Making each other laugh and smile has unknowingly helped rise us up from feeling defeated. Out of darkness into The Light.

Over the last four years I’ve had what some may call a Spiritual crisis or awakening depending on how you view it. While I’ve been visited, by countless, unexplained visitors of the heavenly realm, I’ve felt my grip on trying to live in the old ways lesson. Life is just different for me now and I’ve seen with my own eyes that when I’m dancing, painting, writing or listening to music the Angels are responding in kind. I know that God is equal parts Divine leader, Loving thunderbolt right between the eyeballs Teacher and Harpo Marx.

For the last few months more and more people who make me laugh have been coming into to my life. The ones that don’t are rapidly leaving. Brett Ryan Stewart cd Tilt a singer/songwriter friend cracks me up daily on Facebook. My writer friend Niall Williams last spring published the funniest book I’ve read in years History of the Rain. I feel that to laugh or make someone smile and laugh is like that crack of sunshine on a cloudy day. Probably why the Irish call a good laugh Crack. I vow to work harder at taking myself less seriously and making more of my loved ones laugh and allow them to see the joyful spirit that’s in me and hope that more and more show me that side of them.

I was in a store yesterday and they had a display case with these novelty wrist watches, I smiled and laughed to myself when I came across one that was titled Ministry of silly Walks it had John Cleese’s body at the Twelve o’clock position his legs were the minute hand and the second hand. I vowed to save up and get that watch.

We have three dogs and they make me smile and laugh everyday. I often tell people there is no accident that Dog is God spelled backwards. Their humor, joy and rambunctious spirit fills this house and lifts my spirit in kind. Over the Holidays, two of the three must have eaten mushrooms or something that made them so sick that they almost died three weeks apart. I realized as I saw them in such a dark place that their spirit was on the verge of leaving them and it was heartbreaking to see.

As, I was walking them this morning and writing this post in my head, a rainbow appeared, in the direction I was going. Home. So, I’m laughing more, I’m telling the ones I love that I love them more. I’m thanking God, Jesus and the Angels for their companionship, Love and guidance over the last few years. Get use to it world, this is me. It’s only just the beginning. I say this in case a sixteen ton weight happens to land on my head at any moment.

So, beloved blog readers whoever you are, make people laugh, hold the ones that make you laugh and smile close and lovingly, peacefully stay clear of the ones that don’t. With that I’ll leave you with a bit of Harpo…God Bless


The Poetry of Knowing

Our home when we moved in was an almost brand new house in the middle of a hay field. The tall field grass brushed against the newly painted siding. The previous owners horse had chewed some of the boards on the back deck. The back of the house looked onto a tangled mess of Blackberry vines, overgrown Apple trees. At first we barely went back there, it was so difficult to move around. A sense of exploration into a wild place came over me when I began to climb through it all. But, evidence that it had once been a working Apple Orchard was obvious the more I visited. So, bit by bit my work to make a home in the country began. I dove into to the task of creating an idyllic nest and push back the Wild. The property was a blank canvas and I attacked it with virtually non-stop effort. Now, I’m getting to a point where I look around and begin to see the results and its shocking. I mean, I was so into the creation, with my head down to the effort, that now as I walk around with the Dogs, I’m being greeted every moment with a reward, a gift as opposed to another thing to add to my work list. It’s been a real struggle in so many ways over the last few years to live, to survive. But, the land and the work to do, steered me clear of an overwhelming feeling of doubt, anxiety and fear. I’m learning to Detatch, to disconnect from things I can’t control. I guess living close to nature, amongst other living things teaches you that. Animals have the gift of knowing exactly who they are and why they are here. With that knowledge and sense of they display Grace…It’s comforting being around creatures that display the poetry of knowing. Every so often you encounter a human that displays this and it’s inspiring. I guess that’s why we are so drawn to celebrities and sports figures. When they are doing what they do best it’s powerful to watch. They make living look so damn easy. When I started to paint, by necessity but not consciously I had to find work that would allow me an exit if my Art took off, or so I thought. For years, I worked by myself sawing wood, remodelling peoples houses, painting at night after looking after my family. The solitude was very beneficial and was not unlike clearing the weeds, pruning and clearing the vines of my property. I was clearing my inner landscape. I was gaining confidence in myself and my abilities to be a good human being. I have a ways to go, but my goal is to be like the Owls, Coyotes and Hawks I see everyday, there in the present and safe in the knowing of who they are and what that have to do. As the New Year approaches, I resolve to live even more true to myself and my life’s purpose…I Know!


I got a thing about Blackberries

I always enjoyed eating Blackberries…We would collect them at our local park when the kids were small…my son called them “Baboos”, don’t ask me why he was 3 years old. We still call them “Baboos” for about a four week period. Really, the month of August is Baboo season. It’s all about blackberries. It’s the only time of the year that I enjoy being close to these vines. Seriously, our property, much like anywhere in Washington state is overrun with “Rubus Armeniacus”…Himalayan Blackberries. If I were to stop fighting them back during the winter and spring months and suddenly lay down in my field, having suffered a stroke or a heart attack from the battle. By summer my corpse or skeleton would be forgotten, lost and completely buried by the vines. In our climate they grow 6-9 feet a year. The front five acres of our property has a hundred year old farmhouse that contains untold mysteries, garbage and treasures beneath an awe inspiring growth of Blackberries. That battle looms large for another day. But, it’s August now and as I walk my dogs every morning and grab handfuls of berries to stuff in my mouth. As I enjoy the consecutive pieces of Blackberry pie after dinner, I can’t help feeling grateful. The sun is shining on me, the dogs are happy and I’m chowing down on this amazing fruit.

I looked up the health benefits of Blackberries the other night. It’s astounding, from what I’ve read, if a human ate two cups of Blackeberries everyday all our problems would be solved, health wise. Its weird and probably has a spiritual parallel with many things in life, that something so thorny, aggressive, aggravating, obtrusive, intrusive, destructive can for a short time in our life be so beneficial and good. We’ve got tons of Blackberries on our property and at this time of year I can only feel blessed… photob


IMG_1203 copy 2The big night of the ending of the Mayan calendar and the Winter Solstice, was spent sitting beside a dying dog. Our dog PO. It wasn’t completely unexpected, she was old and suffered from a variety of ailments, mild dementia and hip displesia. We had been telling ourselves, the end is coming, we just need her to give us a sign. The sign came at 1:30am, I could hear her in the next room panting and moving around. I padded over to her in the dark room across from the wood stove. She was not in her usual spot, instead she was by the back door. I grabbed my jacket and walked out onto the deck to let her do her stuff. She would’nt if I did’nt stand guard.

We have just come through about 30 days of intense rain and I remember being stunned by how clear the sky was. The stars were plentiful and one in particular stood out, because it was huge and glowing. I mildly cursed myself for never learning to read the stars, one day I thought.

I brought PO back in and tried to settle her down and went back to bed, only to be awoken again by her movement. She was back by the door and so I let her out again. She slipped on the deck, her hips gave out. She could not get up. Carrying her back in I spent the next 5 hours waiting and trying to settle her, make her comfortable. The vet doesn’t open till 8am, was the message on their machine. Many thoughts ran through my mind as I saw her obviously in pain. I admit to thinking about shooting her, but, those are the crazy thoughts of stress at 3am. Having never shot anything but tin cans in my life, I thought better of starting on my dog.

I got to the vet and we let her drift in a deep sedative and then the miraculous cocktail of whatever that took her to the other side. The vet checked her heartbeat and confirmed that she was gone.

It’s amazing how deep a pet can get in to your life, your families soul. She came to us at a time of massive change and was one of the joys of our life as we brought her along on our modest adventures. PO was a constant source of laughter  and we will miss her greatly. She filled a space in our lives and we owe her a debt of gratitude. Thirteen years of memories of a husband, a wife and two young kids trying to figure it all out are surging back for all of us tonight. I guess dogs or pets are like sign posts in our life that mark a time, a way of life, then they move on. I like to think that her last year was good for her. The move out of the suburbs to the country. The first day here I unclick her collar, packed away her leash and she was free to roam at will.

God bless you PO…May 20, 1999 to December 21, 2012…po1