stories

Thought for the Day: Would You Rather Be a Cow? — Goodnight, Apollo

What a weird question. I recall saying nothing, but wondering why I had been asked this strange question – in the first place. The answer may surprise you. It surprised me. I was shown a cow, and a large pasture. It was beautiful. The cow had acres to run through, and a little creek towards […]

via Thought for the Day: Would You Rather Be a Cow? — Goodnight, Apollo

A Dog Story (repost)

Copy of raventhedog

Everybody loves a dog story . . . right? Well here’s my latest one. It happened yesterday.


I arose from my reading and looked out the front window. The sun was beginning to brighten the hilltop across the narrow country lane and Raven, who was watching my every move, knew it was walk time. I knew she was about to go into her, ‘super dance for a walk,’ routine so I calmed her with a nose bump (pitbulls like that) and got things together for the walk outside to Max’s pen.

Every morning without fail, as soon as they see each other, both dogs break the silence by yelping and barking at one another when Raven attempts to play ‘attack’ with Max. It’s no big deal though, because there are no closeby neighbors. Anyways, once lined up and moving in a straight line things get quiet again and we are on our way down the middle of the lane for our daily trip to the head of the valley and back.

I generally spend my time daydreaming and looking for herbs alongside the road while the dogs try and see how many of those herbs they can pee on before I get to them. The lane itself winds gently through heavy woods and is always scattered with various animal scents, so along with herb hunting I spend my time cajoling, pleading, and pulling at the the dog’s leashes, one in each hand like a guy driving a mule team trying to keep the whole thing going in a straight line. One more big, strong dog and I will be skating on the soles of my boots.

All is fine until I get about a half mile from the cabin when I begin to see a blood trail on the road. ‘Wow, someone must have hit a deer’, I thought at first. Then I glanced over at Max and saw that he was the guy bleeding . . . not just beeding . . .  HE WAS GUSHING BLOOD! . . . Bright red blood that was squirting from his front pad in a long thin stream.

I quickly went to my knees in the middle of the road and grabbed the foot in order to apply enough pressure to stop the bleed. As I did, Raven, probably thinking it was play time dove on Max and would not stop no matter how hard I tried or how hard I yelled. . . she went totally nuts when she smelled the blood that by this time was pooling around us. I had to stop her!  I HAD TO STOP THE BLEED! . . . I only had minutes until my beloved old Max would be dead. It was imperative that I react quickly and take charge of the situation, but how? I had absolutely nothing to work with. No phone (it’s on the table back home). No med kit ( in my room back home) No help (as there are few folks in this valley and only about ten cars a day go up this roadway).

First things first . . . I jerked Raven free, pulled her across the road and tied her leash to a tree. Went back to where Max by now was laying quietly in the road and grabbed his foot and applied pressure with one hand while taking off my boot with the other . . . I ripped out the string, tore off my sock and made up a tourniquet by wrapping the sock around the leg at the point where I thought the artery was and tied it tight with the shoe string. The arterial bleeding slowed to a trickle. In my favor, (and his) Max was very good during all this.

Back across the street, I went for Raven who was by now totally wrapped around the tree and choking on her special choke collar. Seeing the uselessness of trying to get the leash free I pulled my knife and cut it leaving just enough for me to grab hold of. Once free I began running back to the cabin with Raven in tow. My goal was to run the half mile back get Raven in the pen, get the pickup and drive back to Max and get him to the vet.

Now I’m 75 years old, and believe it or not that is a huge liability when it comes to doing stuff like this. Regardless, heart attack be damned . . . I’M SAVING THIS DOG’S LIFE! So off I go trotting up the road when I heard a vehicle slam on it’s brakes and slide in the gravel behind me. . . SHIT!! . . . Someone just hit my dog!

Looking back, I saw the red pickup of my neighbor who lives up the street coming towards me. Mike stopped, “What the hell’s going on? You need help?”

Yes! . . .Go back and get Max! . . . I need to get this damn dog (Raven ) into a pen and Max to the vet . . . she’s bleeding out if I don’t!

“OK . . . . take it easy man, your gonna have a heart attack, slow down! I’ll get Max and be right back.

Zoom . . . off he goes . . . Zoom . . . off I go. Just as I got to the house Mike pulled in with Max sitting in the bed of his truck. I gave him a hero’s welcome and a thousand thank you’s as I dove into the house, awaken my wife to call the vet, grabbed my med kit, fixed Max up proper by exchanging the sock for a pressure bandage, got him into my truck blood and all, (something good can be said about old pickups) and headed to the vet’s office.

The vet got squirted in the face and arm, but found and stitched the cut artery in time to save Max. Now he has a custom pen on my front porch where I feed him and doctor him until he gets better.

Moral of the story . . . you never know when a disaster will hit. Carry a med kit! I have enough first aid stuff for a whole platoon and yet when I needed it, it was tucked away in my bedroom and I had to rely on a dirty sock and a shoelace. You don’t need a large cumbersome pack, either. I’d suggest making your own and putting stuff in it that actually come in handy, a lot of junk you’ll never use is sold off in the pre-packaged kits. Maybe later on I will post a good small kit for a day hike or a chain sawing accident, etc. . . . . . . JW

 

Thich Nhat Hanh

One of the few men I truly admire on this planet. Unlike so many, here is a man who actually walks within his words.

by Thich Nhat Hanh: The Order of Interbeing (Tiep Hien) was formed by the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh in the mid-1960’s… at a time when the Vietnam War was escalating and the teachings of the Buddha were desperately needed to combat the hatred, violence, and divisiveness enveloping his country. On the full moon day…

via The 14 Principles Of Engaged Buddhism – Thich Nhat Hanh — Awaken

Mind Over Matter – Consciousness and the Nature of Reality — Waking Times

I thought this essay was so good and so relevant that I interjected it into this ‘Tao Te Ching’ series…

Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.
— Socrates . . .

 

Jeff Street, ContributorWaking Times Reality is not what it appears — the ancients knew it, pioneering physicists of the early 2Oth century knew it, and current leading edge scientists are proving it — all is mind. The Big Questions and The Modern Scientific Worldview Throughout the ages, Mankind has been trying to answer the big…

via Mind Over Matter – Consciousness and the Nature of Reality — Waking Times

The After Life . . .

the afterlife

After having a conversation on the internet with a couple of born again Christians about the afterlife I began to wonder how many people there are on this planet who believe the party line when it comes to Heaven and Hell and the afterlife. I figure there are probably zillions, but I’m not one of them. Even during my ‘balls to the wall’ Christian days I never believed a lot of the mainline Christian doctrine. So, what am I saying? Simply that from the very beginning of my search for reality, the Christian religion has led me down a steep and winding trail.  

I came impulsively into religion because I was seeking meaning and safety in a life that was quite frankly steam rolling out of control. I was an American therefore I chose Christianity. Had I been born and bred in Afghanistan I would have chosen the Muslim religion. Born elsewhere I may have become Hindu . . . Buddhist . . . etc.

Now, on the social level I have no doubt the church is an important charitable organization. It does many worthy things such as feeding the poor and homeless. It instills hope in depressed and dependent people. It is a beacon of light to the drunk, the druggy, the true believer . . . and so on. I honor her for that, but . . . and especially after seeing how the christian right is flocking to the  disjointed ramblings of Donald Trump and his war on immigration, she’s turned a lot of people off, especially the young, and us old folks who have enough experience under our belts to see the fallacies in that kind of belief system.

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Free Your Spirit . . .

free your spirit

The Tao of Coffee

Two scholars spent the better part of an afternoon in a local Portland Starbucks arguing the theories of Evolution versus Creationism. Getting nowhere, they took the advice of the Chinese guy working there and decided to drive to the beach near Astoria to visit a sage named Chung Lee who reputedly had the answers.

The following morning they took off for the beach. Upon arrival, they soon found his cottage hidden amongst the coastal dunes. Although the cottage was empty they spotted the old sage not far away sitting on a high dune facing out to sea.

After approaching him, the old man turned, directed his eyes upon them and asked, “Where’s the coffee?” (more…)

Open Your Heart . . .

OpenHeart

Everybody at some time in their life has a moment of truth, a life changing experience where they begin to see things differently than before it happened. Sometimes it is a huge catastrophic event, while others it may result from the simplest of things.

I have had a few monster awakenings in my rather chaotic life, but the following is way strange for a guy like me, at least for the guy that I perhaps pretended to be. . . .

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Beauty In The Night . . .

 

ghost

This story is true . . . I swear.

It was late Friday evening and I’d just walked in the door after a hard afternoon shift at the local factory. I don’t remember exactly where she got the idea, but as soon as I sat down on the couch Patti pulled a game board out of a shopping bag. “Want to have some fun?” she said.

”What’s that?”

”A Ouija board.”

“Ouija board?”

“Yeah, you sit across from each other and ask it questions. You hold one side of this thing, (she held a small rectangular pointer with three legs in her hand) and I hold the other,” she explained. “Then you ask it a question and it will move around the board spelling out an answer from the spirit world.”

“Ok, let’s see if it works,” I said halfheartedly. (more…)

Get A Job . . .

job

The importance of this little story is not to tell you why I am a carpenter. It goes far deeper then that.

If you are young and rebellious and discouraged as I was when I left the military and joined the work force, fear not. There is a place for you. All you need to do is not be afraid to search and find it.

When I was a young man I quit every job I had within a very short time. I never had a deep love for money and I hated to go to work because it interfered with my partying. I said, “the hell with that, “I’ll be a bum,” . . . and I pretty much was.

But I was also too proud to take handouts . . . so I reluctantly became a working bum. I worked odd jobs, took care of myself, never asked anybody for anything, but in my heart I didn’t have what it took to be a bum. I didn’t know what I wanted actually, and for the few years before and after 1970 I just existed.

Then one day after taking an odd job I discovered how much I loved pounding nails and building things. From that time on I was a carpenter. . . and proud of it.

I enjoyed getting up early in the morning and driving to the job site. I enjoyed the ruggedness, the camaraderie, the long hours in freezing temperatures or baking in the hot sun. . . it was me, it was mine. I had found my path.

They told me that in order to be to be a journeyman carpenter I had to join the union and become an apprentice for four years. I said, “the hell with that.”

I went to the library and spent one whole Alaskan winter studying the craft of carpentry. The following Spring when building picked up, I bull shitted my way onto a framing crew building houses and never looked back.

I worked hard, continued my studies, and after a lot of on-the-job training, I learned all the various phases of carpentry and became a home builder in my own right. I started my own company and built houses for many years . . . then I moved to furniture, music instruments, and various other things.

Today as a retired gentleman of leisure, I still enjoy building stuff and I swear one day I’m gonna go back in the woods and build myself a tree house. . . . may next Spring.

That’s just me. That’s what I did because it fit my personality, but that was my bliss . . . and believe me, following the money trail is a dead end street regardless of your portfolio’s size. Life is only worth the effort if you, like Joseph Campbell said, follow your bliss.