What to do when the Muses are quiet


Fine. If the Muses won’t talk to me, I’ll learn something new.

And I’ve decided to learn American Sign Language this year.

In March a distant cousin got in contact with me after she found me on a DNA match. She had been adopted and was looking for relatives, and so we were a match. Sadly she is losing her hearing, and we want to meet in early September. She doesn’t sign yet either so I thought it would be a worthy endeavor for us to learn together!

Back in college I took a Signing Exact English course and enjoyed it, but it seems ASL is used more often. So I have downloaded an app and have been watching YouTube videos. I have signed up for a free ASL class but it is only Tuesdays in August from 6pm-8pm, and I thought I’d give myself a head start.

It will be fun to learn together I think, and I am looking forward to it!

The Lightning and the Rainbow


photo: Just a Smidge of This and That

Which would you rather be–the lightning bolt or the rainbow?

Both are fleeting in their beauty. One is violent, sudden, potentially destructive. The other is gentle, delicate, disappears as silently as it appears.

These two natural phenomena evoke awe in the human spirit, reminding us there are greater forces at work all around us. They have inspired poets since the dawn of humanity,

I like to think I relate the ethereal rainbow, but I wouldn’t exist without the spark of Divine Light.

So as a student of the Tao, I strive to embody both, in perfectly balanced duality; Yin and Yang.

And maybe that is why I am here.



Who are YOUR (s)heroes?

Whom do you admire most? Today we are bombarded with celebrities clamoring for our admiration and adulation, but in my opinion, 98% of such folks don’t deserve the admiration heaped upon them.  Given I am not a big sports fan, it’s beyond me how a man who kicks, throws, or catches a ball for a living could be anyone’s hero.  But, to each their own.

Several years ago I became of aware of a remarkable lady who went by the name of Peace Pilgrim.  A young woman whose name I don’t remember came to speak at a church service I attended, and afterwards she passed out these little blue “Steps Toward Inner Peace” booklets. This was my first introduction to Peace Pilgrim, and reading that little booklet was life-changing.

Peace Pilgrim, aka Mildred Norman, started out protesting the Korean War in 1953 and for the next 28 years criss-crossed the North American continent over 5 times ON FOOT.  Without so much as a sleeping bag or backpack (she only carried a comb and toothbrush), she trudged along solely on faith that good people would listen to her “little peace message”. She vowed to walk until given shelter and fast until given food (she never begged and only accepted what was offered to her).

When I first read her little booklet, I was filled with so much admiration she soared right to the top of my Most Admired. She slept on the bare ground many nights, not even with a blanket. That alone baffles me. According to her writings, she never got discouraged. I get discouraged shamefully easily, and just her endurance and perseverance alone has me flabbergasted.

Later in her journeys she accepted rides and sadly was killed near Knox. IN, on July 7, 1981 while on her seventh cross-country walk, 11 days before her 73rd birthday.





Back in the days before the prevalence of email, I was an avid letter-writer. Very often I would sit in front of the TV, pen in hand, and just as I was about to write a word, someone on television would speak it! And I don’t just mean adverbs, prepositions or pronouns found in every sentence; I mean 4- or 5-syllable words like “misunderstanding,” “deliberations,” or “evocative.”

Or, for a fleeting moment, a random thought of someone I hadn’t seen nor heard from in a long time pops into my mind, and then the next time I’m in the grocery store or doctor’s waiting room, there that person is.

Before Caller ID, many of us experienced intuitive moments when the phone rang and we’d know, without a doubt, who it was.

Does this sort of thing happen to you? And if it does, how often?

It occurred frequently enough for me to think surely there must be something to it. What are the odds of mere coincidences to happen that often?

This blog post was inspired by a recent bombardment of such spontaneous occurrences, and I would love to hear what experiences (if any) you have had. Please feel free to comment!