What You See Is What You Get
Holmes and Watson are on a camping trip. In the middle of the night Holmes wakes up and gives Dr. Watson a nudge. "Watson," he says, "look up in the sky and tell me what you see."
"I see millions of stars, Holmes," says Watson.
"And what do you conclude from that, Watson?"
Watson thinks for a moment, "Well," he says, "astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and we are small and insignificant. Uh, what does that tell you, Holmes?"
"Watson, you idiot! Someone has stolen our tent!"
February 11, 2008
It's Hard to Write a Blues Song in Jamaica
It's hard to write a blues song in Jamaica
Or any island in the tropics
With all those mangoes and papayas
I can't seem to find the topics,
Yeah, it's hard to write a blues song
In a place that's always sunny,
When you're thinking 'bout your tan
You can't worry 'bout your money.
Life is so simple down by the sea
When you're laying in a hammock strung between two trees.
Nothing much to do here, but watch the clouds float by
And the only highs and lows are coming with the tide.
It's hard to write a blues song on vacation,
Spending all day in your shorts,
Readin' night skies like a Haitian.
Not no quarterly reports,
The only thing that's blue here
Is the blue that's in your eye
With no one in the red
And no one asking why.
Life is so simple when you're drinking your rum punch,
Goes with absolutely everything except a power lunch,
There's nothing much to say here sitting still beneath the moon
Feeling yahmon with your maker, not no business tycoon.
Oh, it's hard to write a blues song in Jamaica
When the sunset's turning red
And you're eating a banana
Not thinking bout the fed
The only thing that's blue here
Are blueberries in your cream
And those troubles way back home?
They be fadin' like dream.
Life is so simple when the fisherman at sea
Ain't fishin' with no internets and nothin starts with "E"
There's nothing much to know here and nothing to forget,
If there's an uptight rasta man, I sure ain't met him yet.
Forget About the Box, Get Out of the Cave!
See the caveman to your left? That's Og. He's the protagonist of my new book, Awake at the Wheel: Getting Your Great Ideas Rolling (in an Uphill World). The word "protagonist" is not in Og's vocabulary. Never was, never will be. Even I don't use the word "protagonist" all that much -- though I have used it three times in this paragraph.
Hmmm... That's pretty odd.
Then again, the experience of inventing the wheel was pretty odd, too. Which is what Og did. 24,000 years ago. Long before Game Boy, i-Pod, or Starbucks. And yes, long before the Mesopotamians -- the people who usually get all the credit for the wheel -- some 20,300 years after my main man, Og.
Hey, when was the last time you used the word "Mesopotamian?" That's another word not in Og's vocabulary.
Actually, Og didn't need a big vocabulary. He had something else going for him: Neanderthalic genius. Stone age brilliance. Originality.
Og, you see, was the first innovator. Intrinsically motivated, he was. Fascinated. Inspired. Mojo-driven. And while he was not without imperfections, he needed no attaboys, cash awards, or stock options to follow his muse.
Back in Og's time, when men were men, and stones were stones, even the idea of an idea was unthinkable. And yet... somehow, he had one -- an IDEA, that is -- and not just your dime a dozen variety. Nope. A GREAT idea, a BIG idea, or what I like to call an "out of the cave" idea: The wheel.
Ah... but I go on too long. If Og were here, he'd be frowning by now, shrugging his stooped shoulders, wondering in his delightfully pre-verbal way what other new ideas and discoveries awaited his wonderfully hairy touch.
Want to order the book now? (Og gets 10% of every sale). Go ahead. Help him put bear meat on the table.
February 06, 2008
The path is simple,
but not always easy,
kind of like a teenage boy
on his first date
who discovers he has a pimple
right before he goes to kiss
the girl of his dreams, who,
as it turns out,
is in love with someone else --
a nice enough fellow, or so I'm told,
but with a wicked temper
and a red '63 Corvette.
The Big Game
A few weeks ago, I watched the NY Giants beat the Green Bay Packers 23-20 in an NFL championship football game. I watched it with eight friends. As always, we had a fantastic time -- an experience that our wives (no matter how wonderful they may be) have never been able to fathom. Our viewing behavior, to them, is a merely a parody of the American male: two-dimensional, woefully predictable, and absurd.
That assessment, however, was not my experience as I watched the BIG GAME. No way. On the contrary, my experience was noble, ecstatic, tribal, and divine. Beyond the pretzels, popcorn, chips, and beer something else was happening.
At the risk of making a mountain out of a football game, allow me to share a few observations about the experience and, by extension, the experience of millions of men huddled together before the Big Game. In that sacred act of viewing, NOTHING ELSE WAS HAPPENING! Zero. Nada. Zilch. No work. No bills. No back taxes. No car repairs. No war in Iraq. No recession. No primaries. No relationship issues. No cholesterol. No this and no that. Only THE GAME. Pure immersion it was. Spontaneous expression. Presence. Unbridled emotion. Liberated laughter. And the kind of concentration most yogis would gladly trade their third eye for.
What, you may ask, has any of this to do with love, longing, and letting go -- the supposed topic of this supposed blog? Plenty. The state of mind (no, make that state of being), of the BIG GAME-watching, pretzel-munching men noted in the paragraphs above is exactly the state of being required of anyone wanting to have even the slightest chance of experiencing something glorious.
OK. Let's go to the slow motion, video replay of that last sentence: I'm talking focus, friends. I'm talking compelling goal. I'm talking feeling, humor, fun. The experience of uncensored delight. And the realization that anything is possible.
Please don't get me wrong. I'm not talking about the common garden variety trance experience induced by watching TV or a movie. No. I'm talking about the BIG GAME. The "All In" moment. The Full Monte. The No Turning Back. The This Is It. The There's No Tomorrow. And all of it sprinkled with a healthy dose of pepperoni and celebration even before anyone knows the final score.
Yes, I admit, the eight of us didn't deliver anything as a result of watching the BIG GAME -- no output, no product, no proof that we had used our time well. But so what? When you're eating chips and experiencing the Unified Field of Consciousness on the day the Lord rested and time stops as your team huddles in the freezing cold, against all odds, to gather together one more time, focused on the goal and absolutely free of constraint, doubt, and delusion, what is there left to say except:
Giants 23, Packers 20. (And in overtime, yet!)
Seeding is Believing
I have recently been accused, by one of my friends, of writing overly long blog entries. At first I got a bit defensive, but then I realized how right he was. And so, it is with great respect to the blogospheric code of brevity, that I ask you all to contemplate one, simple, non-hyperlinked question today: Where do you find the seeds to grow seedless watermelons?