Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In search of Jamie; the day before she arrives...

I don’t think it ever leaves you; why did Mom and Dad divorce? Although my three year old mind wasn’t old enough to digest the impact it had on her life, I know what he did; he created a new family.

“We come from the family that doesn’t talk about it,” so says Susan the sister I grew up with. “We always knew Kenneth was active but how many lives did he affect?”

The more Susan and I thought about it, the harder it became to keep silent. The physical journey to locate, mend fences and mind your manners is a process that incubated in the souls of both sides of the fence.

Kenneth’s first of three wives (that we know of) walked up to Susan at my Grandmother’s funeral and congratulated her on taking the necessary steps to being called a true family member. Being second in line on the family tree came with no cushions which meant every word, thought or belief not only hit you but left indentations.

Attending Kenneth’s funeral was horribly rough because we were locked in a room with people that looked just like us but none of us knew why. Then Susan located the hidden away blanket that featured every grandchild’s name on it. As painful as it had been with the first family, the destination arose that she would work through her friend Liz to locate Jamie and Irene.

I was brought into the vision after Liz uncovered the miles that had been worn but through incredibly careful commands by Susan nothing was supposed to unwrap until she knew there wouldn’t be pain.

First came the Face Book connection with Jamie; I stared at her photos for days trying to feel the family magic. If the universe truly wanted this to be I needed to hear Casey Kasum sharing a long distance dedication followed by Nazareth’s song Love Hurts. Nothing…not until an FB path met in the middle of Irene’s gallery and me. She was the girl I saw at my father’s funeral.

You can stare at yourself in the mirror your entire life and never come up with the answers as to why your parents split. The moment you step away each eye exposes a new story; you’re now 48 and you’ve yet to meet the continuation of music.

I ask myself fifty times a day, “Why is this so important?” There are no answers only words typed out on a Face Book page or a Midwestern accent on a cell phone strong enough to be radio ready and you can’t help but wonder, “How did Kenneth’s voice sound? She knew him longer than me? Might she know what it’s like to have a father? Could there be something she holds that ends the silence set free in each of our hearts?”

Tomorrow…Jamie, Susan and I will meet for the very first time.

They say what you do on New Years Eve will echo through the next fifty two weeks. If that urban legend proves to be true; let the melodies of three separate chapters melt into one song and let it be strong enough to open the door, window and heart to take the next step toward finally meeting Irene.

Sadly, this story happens everyday in almost every walk of life. Children are searching for the other children hoping to one day invite inner peace to the blank pages kept hidden away because too people many want to take their family secret to the grave.

www.findyourfamily.com Amazon has multitudes of books based on locating the unspoken.


See the pictures on face book

Monday, December 27, 2010

In search of Jamie continues...

Today is the day Susan arrives from Montana; it’s been five years since oufr last gathering. Jamie makes her way into town on Wednesday; we’ve never met. I couldn’t do this without Susan, an event so large that it can’t sit alone in the hands of a single brother.

Susan and I were the challenge seekers, the daredevils, the answer survivors in a daily search for reasons beyond a solid purpose. I love my stepfather Joe with all my heart but there comes a time when what’s been looked upon as being invisible is given outlines that resemble shape.
The harder you push it aside the darker the image becomes eventually gaining enough strength to stretch shadows.

I don’t know what to expect in the hours yet unborn. I haven’t a clue what paint will be used to fill the valley floor with flowers and tree roots that somehow will connect to other families and is this really where I want to be taking this? Do I truly want to know more about Kenneth the true father?

I’d rather find peace in knowing that it truly doesn’t matter. He is gone, his history has been bent so many times the idea of believing any story is a newly discovered river of fantasy. So here we go…not a mask to carry or to hold in place so that it might hide the identity of what I was supposed to become because it really doesn’t matter. I’m tired of chasing rainbows.

It took over half my life to reach this week and how dare I allow fear to wreak havoc on the destination of a plan that time put into motion years ago. I’m only a player, a piece of a loosely knit puzzle set free to roam through the tip of a poets writing instrument.

I’m not out to write, paint, sing, holler or pour into a cup the emptiness each of us has felt; the strings of this musical instrument have lived and will continue to live in a way that sharpens the presence of a more suitable harmony. Let it fly with the leaves that have fallen from the trees and blow across the land building places of warmth for invisible frogs and soon to be shadows.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A more successful you...

Friends and family, the neighborhood and career…no matter where you travel you’ll never be able to please all the people all the time; a tough thing to face in world where being accepted means keeping up with the Jones’.

I grew up with a kid named Neil who never felt the need to waste tremendous amounts of energy trying to win a popularity contest. His motto, “The best don’t mess.”

Within the grounds that made up Optimist Park, being the best didn’t mean having the fastest Schwinn ten speed bike or the most decorated Levi jacket featuring rock band patches from Kiss, AC/DC, Led Zep and Marshall Tucker. In Neil’s world, the best was all about having the right attitude.

High school and middle schools try to teach the fine art of sharing a proper attitude but its long forgotten in the chapters that make up a lifelong career connecting to what’s left of the family life.

Praise and blame control the atmosphere between the Christmases’. Approval ratings skyrocket during times of giving but quickly evaporate the moment your eyes lock onto the intended gift.

According to Dr. Richard Carlson; not one person shares the same evaluation of life. Ideas rarely match which invites tremendous amounts of struggle. Without a doubt we get angry, hurt and frustrated with the way others treat us.

The invisible dilemma is: you will never win the approval of everyone you meet. The very second you accept it the easier life becomes. Stand ten feet from the perfect family and every child looking up at their parents seeks one thing; approval. Why does the preacher’s kid always make the biggest mistakes?

The other day a client made it a point to clearly state, “I don’t want Arroe’s voice on my commercial.” Thirty years ago I would’ve been crushed. Stealing from the wisdom of Julia Cameron; when you display your art you learn to ignore criticism.

Your daily goal should be to say, “That’s perfectly fine…what voice would you like instead?” Within in seconds the situation became a success story.

Praise and blame affects everything. Your dogs, cats and the birds you feed on cold winter days. Nothing shatters my soul faster than an unexpected glance from my Chinese Crested Sophia that feels I’m giving Sami more attention than her.

A massively successful client sits across from me this past Tuesday, from out of nowhere he wants to know how I turn every bad situation in something extremely positive. Everyday he faces employees that don’t want to work, managers that fail to lead and sales that can’t be predicted which creates even more depression and doubt.

Borrowing from Oprah’s self touted book The Secret; I proudly said, “Know what your product is doing to the people that count. You have a business that requires two destinations…a company that creates a product and a buyer that believes owning the product would make their life better. When you put focus on how your presence has the ability to change peoples lives, the journey becomes inner peace.

The author of a book pours their soul into the pages, fighting everyday with editors and printers never realizing the reader will never know of their struggles and yet what was written helped heal a wound or brought a smile to a cloudy day.

I love watching employees behind a cash register; they are the true stars of retail success. How you are greeted and treated can determine if you’re coming back. It doesn’t matter how much money you save on a flat screen TV or pair of shoes…if the process of taking your cash isn’t a good one, your spirit is shot to hell. I get a high off buying things. Imagine going to a kegger and the man putting it on is a buzz kill. Where’s the fun in celebrating if the team that keeps winning is filled with ego driven maniacs?

It’s completely natural to demand approval over disapproval. Nothing crushes a workday faster than a boss that lazily forgets to praise and when they do you feel like they’ve just attended a John C Maxwell convention and it’s too late to help heal what’s already been done.

Jokingly I’ve always said it’s a Southern Tradition to complement first then go for the kill, “I love the way you put yourself into the end result. Nobody does it better. Hey the client said it sucks, we need someone else to lead the dream team.”

You can only believe it once before you begin to take cover each time a coworker comes near your cubical. I’d say stop complimenting but for God’s sake it’s the only praise most people get in a years time.

Try something new…stop reacting or if you feel the need to express do so with a positive outlook. A radio station wants me to cut a commercial for them in Wisconsin the name of the business is Mueller. How would you say it? A revision is time, time isn’t always openly available. Now toss in Scholfield. How do you say it? Instantly most would shoot back a faceless email that exclaims, “Get your stuff together!”

Very calmly I called the physical business to hear them say it, “Miller in Skoa-field.” No feelings hurt.

That doesn’t mean I don’t fall off the wagon. I feel like hell when it does then quickly begin taking handwritten notes on how I can better the situation during future confrontations.

The age old Momma knows best trick of counting to ten before reacting is too far in the past to bring up during times of blame. Social networking has made us punk kids with smart out of control mouths never realizing how being open on the web has turned us into the same character face to face. Shots are being fired without somebody being held accountable. Our choice is to blame.

Something for you to resolute…try a newer way to walk while inviting peace into your personal gain: understand the rules of praise and blame.

I will always believe in you first…


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The beginning starts with what you think...

When you hear of someone having an imagination; its natural to believe they’re creative in thought or have the skills of taking an idea and breathing life into its physical presentation.

What exactly is this thing called imagination?

According to the book Powers Within, the imagination is a power of formation. Without the use of the imagination there’s no mental point of view, you’re incapable of giving a concrete power to your thoughts. The imagination means action. If you’re having pain your imagination can make it disappear.

People ask why I dedicate so much of my life to writing; it cleans out the imagination. It’s like standing in front of a giant walk in closet overflowing with ugly beat up shoes, weird summer shirts, unworn pants and cardboard boxes filled with trinkets and junk that should’ve been tossed out ten years ago. The most incredible lesson I learned from studying with Julia Cameron’s process of putting the artist first was learning how to clean out the closet.

Did you know your hair grows faster if you imagine it being as free as the wind while brushing it? Picture it being long strands of winter wheat kissing the sky while dancing freely upon an open plain of possibility.

The imagination is also a recording device. It documents everything, good, bad, creative and too hot to hold. The abstract mind lifts the imagination to levels of performance that can turn a trickle into an out pouring that many become connected to through art, music, motivation, science or a personal need to capture something as simple as an expression.

The imagination constantly creates images and or power sent from you into the awaiting universe. What you see, feel, hear or taste is picked up quickly by family members or people you’ll never see again. Signals are sent in the way your cell phone roams passing out information to anything and anyone willing to receive it; which pretty much paints the picture of the Face Book generation.

Mark is the maker of imagination collecting.

The book Power Within wonders what would life would be like if each of us could see the massive amounts of energy collected by the power of the imagination. We’d see atmospheres, battlefields, waves, onsets and retreats. If we imagine hard enough Yoda might physically exist.

The imagination is a power of formation. Feel the force while taking note of what you’re doing with what could be someone’s first step of a brand new beginning. Control anxiety by keeping a firm grip on what your imagination is delivering. Being aware of what you think, say and share is a valuable art that can invite peace of mind into the heart and the arms connected to it.

Ask yourself, “What’s the function or use of my imagination?”

If you learn how to use it, you’re gifted with creative flow on the inside as well as out. I know I think too much. The world held inside is vividly loud with Rock n Roll and features free Chinese food every hour on the hour.

As 2011 becomes our ritual for the next fifty two weeks like the day of the week you’ve got to keep moving. Your imagination is the fuel. Do all you can to keep it from being a knife.

I write to teach the imagination trust. At the same time, I’m the biggest hypochondriac you’ll ever meet. Through writing and opening the imagination I’m able to talk to the person who baths in fear. Developing trust releases anxiety much safer than a bottle of wine, six pack of beer or whatever other drug is hot to attempt in a world made of false hopes and crazy paths that’ll quickly get you to the horizon.

The imagination…ask it questions then watch your eyes light up like a Christmas tree.

I will always believe in you first…


Monday, December 20, 2010

What if bosses began the process of believing again?

There’s always something entertaining in the way we move; no step is taken without there being a journey willing to be shared. Even during times of embarrassment, the shadow generated has enough staying power to make someone laugh, giggle or cringe in the years you never assumed would approach so quickly.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono are piecing together Double Fantasy; she’s convinced her side of the bargain should be recorded in ¾ time. A studio musician hired to play guitar heard differently making it 4/4 instead. Yoko voiced her discouragement. John calmly stepped up to her and whispered, “Let’s take a walk.”

Once free from the pressure cooker John turned to Yoko and said, “Never bring judgment against the musicians.”

Yoko bit hard into her lip; trusting John was extremely important. Once the project was complete he turned to her and asked, “Is everything alright?”

Yoko still wasn’t happy with her song not being in ¾ time. They returned to the studio and remixed it then compared the creative piece to the selection the guitarist put into motion. Side by side Yoko couldn’t just see but felt what John was sharing; never bring judgment against the musicians.

In ¾ time the song was too predictable. Making it 4/4 allowed the listeners imagination to explore.

There’s always something entertaining in the way we move.

No job, no start up business partnership, no family layout or relationship with a friend is complete without this incredible tool from Mr. Lennon. In most cases the musician in question might be a coworker whose personal experiences lend to a successful conclusion but because the majority of us believe we’re fully capable of doing it ourselves any act of attaining a higher level of play is cut off in the middle because your vision proved to be the more solid path and nobody has the power to pull you away from the dream.

An art gallery in New Orleans blessed me with an opportunity to display my pieces but to make the agreement valuable for both parties the works had to feature what I painted in Charleston, SC. I didn’t understand. Nobody in New Orleans will purchase something from our side of the fence. Verbally I came across as the typical artist with an ego.

“People in this part of the world love structure and your art gives that to me. They won’t see Charleston or New Orleans; they’ll feel progress combined with flow. Take it or leave it.”

The experience reminded me so much of Andy Warhol’s dislike for Canadians; anyone north of the boarder didn’t nor chose to understand American culture yet they constantly invited him to shows where he would sell nothing. The galleries failed to listen to the musician.

Not one painting sold in New Orleans, the only thing I got for accepting her challenge was a brutal letter about how ugly the material was and how dare I come across thinking I had what it took to be an artist.

I don’t set out to win wars. The goal is to locate rivers that meander into larger bodies. It takes several streams to generate a reason to search for an ocean.

In Julia Cameron’s book The Artist Way at Work she opens your eyes to the thought of utilizing the presence of all the players in the room. Just because Kevin likes to text over listening to proper direction doesn’t mean he couldn’t show you how to better use the forces of Social Networking.

The companies that are winning are the collection of leaders that have reignited the energy of being a great listener first. We’ve stopped seeing the entire picture because the only downside of the mission is wasting unheard of dollars on a dream team thought to be better than what you already have. Who better to know your product, ambition to achieve success and ways to deliver it to clients than those your heart chose to turn on because new visions suggest you constantly feed new players into the plan.

Never bring judgment against the musicians.

Innovation means nothing if you’re stuck training people how to do your job. Even if you don’t believe in making New Years resolutions, be original and begin the process of believing in your worker bee team again. There’s a lot to be said about good old fashioned experience.

I will always believe in you first…


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thinking too much is extremely healthy...

How important is a thought? Ideas begin with a thought. Bridges can’t be built without an origin of thought. Economies don’t heal themselves unless someone has thought it first.

Standing on the outside of this human shell its safe to assume the inner core of your being puts a lot of trust in the act of feeding energy into the creation of thought. Use it up! The system will make more!

According to the book Powers Within a thought is an instrument of becoming. You become what you see in yourself. If your thoughts suggest that you can do then you shall become. This is what they mean when they say, “You need to have faith in yourself.”

You are ultimately in control of what one will be if one wants to be.

How often do you find yourself ignoring the image in the mirror? The very face you share holds tightly onto the dreams you refuse to let escape. Being happy to you requires a ship capable of sailing across an open sea and during these modern workday morals and ethics who has the time to locate the fire in the eyes of the image staring back at you?

Not admitting destroys aspiration or the creation of truth.

For several years I served as the moderator of several poetry circles tucked away in the dimly lit corners of extremely large book stores. No week passed that we weren’t introduced to the timid, fear filled writer who couldn’t believe they located the courage to lift their stories from the hidden halls of creative flow and let someone they’ve never met hear their rhymes and rhythms.

I saw it as the birth of art, which is an extremely dangerous place to hang time. It’s too easy to let opinions in. Creative people are always going to be sensitive. It takes guts to put thought on paper, a canvas, into the lens of a camera or to fill a room with your voice used as a tool to inspire and influence movement.

The majority of your thoughts appear then disappear. You become what you see in yourself until you give someone permission to tell you otherwise. From every point of view it’s bad to put concentration on what you don’t want, what one has rejected or refuses to be. By doing so you are denying the image in the mirror the right to be seen as well as heard.

I am not a fan of constructive criticism. Just because you see 300 movies a year doesn't make you an expert. I play thousands of songs on the radio and after thirty two years of working with some of the biggest talent in the industry I will not aircheck another radio on-air talent. Creatively we develop a relationship where your view is just as important as mine and through an effort I call John Lennon and Paul McCartney there’s harmony. As sick as it might come across I give peace a chance.

Thoughts are tools of execution. If you think it…it will become. If someone in your life constantly screams that you’re a failure, not a good member of the family, a weak link on the monkey tree. If you think it…it will become.

More writers dropped from our circle of word flow because spouses, friends and family recognized the birth of a budding artist and couldn’t handle the positive changes because it no longer served their personal purpose. Sadly we are the generation that allows other peoples happiness to be more important than the smirks we share with the image in the mirror.

Why do I write everyday? Because I know you’re brilliant at what you do. I can only give you a brick at a time to build a bridge over the valleys beneath your feet. No day shall pass that you feel empty because through every storm the image in the mirror will always remain and it’s into those eyes you should always say, “I’ll always believe in your first.”

Thought gives you new lyrics to sing…


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is there too much talk or aren't you listening?

Some say they are while most say, “No way!” Those that do claim they are while very few have no clue. Being a good listener is an incredible tool to carry but being effective in the art of listening will be the handle that’ll never break.

Effective listening is taking the subject at hand and not interrupting those speaking. It’s being content to listen to the entire thought without impatiently searching for an out.

Wow! Sounds like the speech received from the morning show television producer, “Arroe…you’re missing out on the best questions because you’re too focused on the things you wanted to ask; effectively listening scores incredible answers from those being interviewed. Not only that but you need to wear more red…everybody wears red in television!”

Sadly the truth about listening requires you to become a full time babysitter without pay. Having sympathy gives off the scent of compassion and understanding but having control of empathy turns you into a better leader.

In an age of overworked multitasking please get me through this day attitude; a lack of listening on the coworker front has made being at work a true to life game of survival. It’s you against them with no real payoff in the end…

An act of listening is no different than a martial artist handing his notes over to a student from a different school. Now tell me why you can’t win even a bronze metal at the Tae Kwon Do tournament. Listening requires you to participate, meaning you’ve been trusted to hold onto their chapters; in return you’ve got to give up a secret. Like any marriage, it can always come back and bite you.

Effective listening keeps both parties in line without having to become the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. The moment you stop treating communications like a verbal race…time allows common sense to create enough gaps to plant seeds that’ll quickly grow. Another words, take turns listening to each other without playing the oh yeah I’m better than you game.

When you slow down your responses you become a more peaceful person. The pressure of having to shoot back a response is gone. When you seriously think about it, having a conversation requires a great deal of energy. From cell phones to texting to physical words any act of thought exchanging takes from the pool of energy which is often replaced with chocolate, power drinks, ten cups of coffee, hitting the web and or anything else that can easily become addictive.

Teach yourself the difference between empathy and sympathy. Gain control of the time spent talking about nothing. Locate the reasons why you can’t find the time to listen yet you expect others to pay close attention to your presence and performance. Social media has allowed us to toss out everything we’ve got which allows the receiver to blurt back through writing which means there isn’t any eye to eye contact and or body language blessed with the true inflection required to better understand the message shared.

I confess, I’m not a good listener! The only excuse I hold is a thirty two year radio career that has me on this side of the microphone and you somewhere out there. Thanks to social media on air talent finally have the opportunity to hear from you which makes being an effective listener easier to achieve.

This is where my closest friends will tell you, “Yeah if you can get what you need to say said inside a single paragraph…anything more he won’t read it.” Busted!

That’s called the failure of being a radio disc jockey where artists give us only seven seconds to share a single thought over the songs intro and it better include the weather, a big sale at Wal-Mart, the artists history, the call letters of the station and lets toss in a point between the numbers because it adds rhythm.

Having excuses make me a horrible listener. Would I ever listen to my own radio show? Ouch!

Being an effective listener makes you a more patient person, it enhances the quality of your relationship. I’ve yet to meet the human who doesn’t love having someone they call friend near them…how truly close are you to those you keep next to your heart?

A great book to read is Don't Sweat the Small Stuff from Dr. Richard Carlson. No listening required...just reading.

I will always believe in you first…


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Forget the stars...wish upon yourself...

The most difficult part of the holidays is giving yourself permission to endure what so many push themselves through; the art of comparing what they have and don’t have with those we constantly assume will always have.

For instance, I will never live up to my stepfather; his house may not be a southern style mansion overlooking a valley of horses and big ole fluffy sheep but that guy that hangs out with Mom knows how to publically display his love. From opening the car door to holding hands at a restaurant to pulling off a slow dance at a nearby lake on the beach with the only music playing is what he hears in his heart.

Christmas shopping is no different. I find it extremely fascinating to stand in long lines eavesdropping on conversations about how Kelly’s getting this because Rhonda’s parents gave her permission to do that. And what about Kevin with that fancy cell phone that’ll do everything for him except flush the toilet…but give the makers of Droid another week…they can do anything.

I can’t help but wonder if snowflakes with their unique appeal and appearance have just as much zest to be recognized?

Author and nationally recognized social media guru Seth Godin explains that everybody, including your bucked toothed neighbor Jimmy the funky chicken Waterman has everything they need to build something far bigger than yourself.

Think about that…

If who we are today is willing to change, what’s keeping us from achieving bigger, better best by the weekend? What row did you say that’s in at Wal-Mart?

Technology is evolution. We’ve grown into a people that know something better is always a fingertip away and expect someone daily to take us to the newly designed promise land. We depend on others so much we’ve totally forgotten how to do it ourselves.

This is why it hurts so bad when our favorite professional sports teams keep losing, “Fix it! Fix it now! Where’s that receipt so I can take it back?”

Most retail stores allow you to bring back jersey’s, plastic bowls that once held potato chips and rubberized footballs that resemble Super Bowl textures but I’ve yet to meet the manager that’s gonna hand over the dollars spent on the physical team. The only way to win in the wonderful world of sports is to bring your game.

Everybody has everything they need to build something far bigger than yourself.

A wanna be video junky from Goose Egg, Wyoming can walk into his homemade studio above the garage and mix down pictures that Youtube can wrap around the planet two hundred thousand times moving entire nations to adopt everything from a new fad to putting focus on laws that offer peace of mind.

Godin uses the example of a teeter totter…on one side is a 300 pound wrestler being lifted without hassle by two kids playfully laughing a few feet over.

Without change we’d be hairy as can be Geico looking cave people trying to figure out how to warm up food.

It’s not difficult to redesign a path it’s holding true to the purpose that rips your efforts to shreds. How many projects do you begin that suddenly become fixtures in a box sitting in a closet, garage or the crawl space? Getting where we want to be versus where we need to be requires six cases of self support, love and three hundred years of belief. Hey American Idol is back in less than two months! Yes! What were we talking about?

In May of 2009 a stupid book idea hit me while cruising to the studio at four in the morning. That book is published and available worldwide which inspired me to pretend I was Bryan Adams and write a movie soundtrack. Ten songs deep into the sessions the studio producers have started inviting me to sketch out the lyrics to songs they’ve written. It doesn’t matter if I have success as long as the process allows me to have enough space to smile a real smile believing in real dreams.

I was completely blown away to learn that singer Kimberly Locke spent her childhood singing along with her battery operated Care Bears and believes harmonizing with those toys invited wishful thoughts of being live on stage in anyplace USA or the world. To which I ask you…what single most important thing did you do as a kid gave you tremendous amounts of happiness but because of peer pressure and a drive to be something that only rich people become you set it aside and now you’re spending your adult years wondering why you aren't happy?

I had a blue acrobatic elephant but you don’t see me working for a zoo. Oh wait I’m in radio! Truth is…I would grab my sister Margaret’s 8-tracks and 45’s and pretend I was a radio disc jockey like Major Dan Miller, Alan Moss and Kurt Anthony on KOOK. The only reason why any of this happened was because Lonnie Bell at KOYN said yes to the child with a humungous way way out there dream to speak one on one to someone who might be tuning in at this very moment. Instead of saying, "Here's another four in a row," I calmly asked, "What can we do to make your day better?"

Thirty two years later I marry couples.
Everybody has everything they need to build something far bigger than yourself.

I will always believe in you first…


Monday, December 13, 2010

Ink stains on your fingerprints doesn't equal a journey meant for you...

The most odd ball thoughts fall from the tips of our pens before the sun rises from it hiding place on the eastern horizon. The term “odd” is usually determined by a first level critic; self. Far worse than most bosses, easily entertained for three point two seconds then let the hacking begin. Words from the within are crunched, munched or deeply scratched off of the surfaces that which reveal only the things we wish to release.

All too often we give permission to writing to be nothing more than an act of letting go. Love letters are what you find on the web or wanna-be Hallmark cards you picked up ten for buck plus tax. The physical instinct of retraining yourself to find wisdom, travel and design in the words you hide is so 1999.

While at Levine Children’s Hospital I was allowed to gently rub my fingertips over the prayers parents placed in a book when having such communication was the invisible needle in an extremely large haystack. I could feel their impact dug into the surface of an unexpected day.

As the reader, I was pulled into the paragraphs like a Disney time machine classic that shoved my feet knee deep into a chapter I knew nothing of yet the unperfected relationship between the parent and my eyes felt much warmer than a freshly built fire on an extremely cold and snowy day in Carolina.

A picture presented in writing will always make it to the soul intended.

My mother still uses a blue Bic pen…her slightly slanted to the right cursive style is the type of music required to help heal the most common of colds while laying nifty cool toys under a Christmas tree decorated on one side because Dad is too lazy to reach around to the back.

The single completely unrehearsed thought that lifted its dorky head from the ink stains on the tip of my favorite writing instrument was, “Don’t be happy for Christmas…just be happy.”

Enough said…would love to write more but the level one critic sits way too close to my writing hand.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Too much work is what we do best...

Was there ever a time when job performance was based solely on doing one thing? Johnny is paid to think. The marketing department likes Johnny because what he thinks about helps them build bridges to new clients. Johnny can think happy things, motivational, inspirational and stuff that makes you perspire. Once Johnny’s eight hours of thinking are over he picks up a paycheck and goes home.

Radio on-air talent are sternly taught to share one thought per break, “Don’t give listeners a reason to tune out.” Yet CNN has five different things plugging away on a single screen. I can watch the Stock Market, hear the latest news and catch the hometown weather all within seven seconds of viewing.

Walked into my favorite convenient store this morning; the cashier was stocking the shelves while preparing to grab the broom and dust pan to hit the parking lot for a clean up at gas bay number four. I find pleasure in studying busy people. How they act, react and keep it together is nothing more than an open book of lessons to be learned. I told her, “It’s my dream to one day be on your side of the store…” She laughed the laugh that pretty much says, “You wouldn’t last ten minutes.”

Outside the NBA, NFL, Pro Bowlers Tour and men’s Monday night basketball at the YMCA there’s an ongoing act of movement common folk share called multitasking. I've nicknamed it The Unrecognized because every CEO, GM, business owner and wanna-be leader no longer sees it as the gift or talent it is because somewhere along the lines of history it’s evolved into the expected.

Evolution claims man came from monkeys what has progress turned us into?

Who is responsible for inventing the fine art of multitasking?

Shockingly it’s nothing from the 80’s 90’s or today. Take a good long look at the statues in India; figures with multiple arms with completely separate actions.

Dr. Monica L Smith a historian from UCLA claims multitasking is what makes us human. No other animal has the ability to do several things at one time. Once the human agreed to stand up straight his or her eyes shot out to the horizon locating every opportunity even if it meant putting them in danger.

Every manmade object you touch today is the result of multitasking.

The thought of doing one job at a place of business is nothing more than a Disney fantasy. The recession forced companies to stop negotiating and begin the process of telling. And it didn’t stop there. I remember my Master in Tae Kwon Do gently explaining how the school would be moving in a new direction and if you didn’t agree with it he guaranteed no hurt feelings if you located the door.

Businesses thrive on multitasking multi-taskers. We’re spending so much time at work a U.S. Senator will one day introduce a tax break that claims having a job is a second family and coworkers are dependents that can be written off. Yeah right.

Take another look; just this week I lost two friends to breast cancer. Last year three of my radio friends suffered massive heart attacks. The common cold is a world wide epidemic; the sound of someone sniffing snot should be labeled a weapon of mass destruction.

Is there a way to survive? Step inside the gym I belong to and you’d think catching a work out has become a new religion. Pumping, grunting and replenishing the mind, body and soul with running, lifting , squatting, twisting and eating right has elevated itself to the sanctity of inner peace, rebuilding and solitude.

There’s a much prettier name for it than working out or taking a sweat bath; mindfulness.

When you stop to realize how everything in our lives is related, from the well being of your family, job and the essential elements that give you motion…the art of mindfulness becomes the visible path in a world once filled with too much work and not enough time to pee.

How often do you get lost in a pile of expectations? Turn it around and become aware of it. What? Being 100% aware allows you to become fully alive. I find tremendous peace in helping a sales rep create an advertising campaign. To be part of a new beginning is incredibly inspiring in the way of becoming a brick on a sidewalk leading to and from other people’s happiness. A listener wants to have a safe drive to their family this holiday season and need to purchase a new set of tires. Mike the mechanic owns a tire store. Advertising connects…

A couple of days ago I interviewed former Carolina Panther Mike Minter, a loyally dedicated to the community leader that continues to work closely with the Levine Children’s Hospital. I was deeply inspired by his words because everything was based on a guarantee to never stop sharing. Through his efforts others feel motivation to participate creating energy that influences another set of players to hit the field. While 80% of the city snarls about their favorite song being interrupted by a story or experience the end result will always be a child’s life will be affected in an extremely positive way.

Mindfulness…being aware of what you do and how it affects everything you do. Try using your other hand more than what you already do. Using the entire self is a foundation made of rock. I can’t imagine how many backs are whacked out of place because it seems more natural to always use the stronger side yet for a drum beat to be complete the underlying tone is always the opposite side measuring the rhythm.

A simple pouring of tea, coffee or water can be a place of peace. Beginning, middle and end. A circle that invites multitasking to do what humans have done forever while being aware of its reason and or purpose.

I will always believe in you first…


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The world still belongs to you...

It’s not your imagination…happiness isn’t running wild on the hillsides of modern day Corporate America. Hitting the Wal-Mart or convenience store at 6am I’m given a bird’s eye view of what you’re feeling before those two feet hit the pavement leading through the front doors.

Something’s seriously wrong when the orange suited inmates at the local prison shack seem to have it a lot easier.

Stop! There’s no need to whip out and bust open a can of law breaking. That’s the last thing you need to get tangled up in your family history.

Initiative equals happiness. I didn’t say it…author and motivational speaker Seth Godin preaches it.

Fresh, stylish, remarkable and new lead to marketplace rewards. Putting forth the required energy that creates an initiative acts as a guide like that of Willie Wonka showing off his giant chocolate factory to Charlie and his uncle. The candy maker’s life had become long, drawn out and boring until the day he began to hide incredibly large golden tickets inside yummy to the tummy chocolate bars.

Willie took what he knows and made what he owns better.

Seth Godin points out the fastest growing churches are the newest ones. The best selling books are always surprise hits that come out of nowhere. Tax shelters are always based on the latest rulings.

But how can you be fresh, stylish, remarkable and new at a place of business that doesn’t allow you to stretch your hidden away creative wings? I’m always amazed at the number of people who can’t see their image in the bathroom mirror. The moment you stop taking note silence is given permission to grow.

It’s too easy to stop believing in yourself. The most difficult journey of your life is trusting the heart, brain and the legs that have gotten you to where you currently stand. Most of the time the only thing we see are the faces of defeat followed by an easy to convince personal drive that reminds you to stop by using only two words, “What for?”

I openly admit my confidence level dropped dramatically the day I no longer saw my image practicing 2,000 year old martial arts moves in class. When we’d quickly turn and that face would hit the mirrored screen, my eyes instantly shot to the floor sending my shoulders inward which gave permission to my legs to cramp out. Having no faith in a future that comes at us every time the clock ticks turned me into a stale piece of bread that refused to dry up and blow away with the wind. The spirit of martial arts was kept alive but I allowed it to be eaten up by self delivered mold and mildew making any initiative too heavy to carry.

Correcting the situation required me to retrieve what I already own then deciding to make it better. I’ve always hated running. Without it I was weak. I couldn’t win Tae Kwon Do tournaments if the system was willing to give out 45 seconds into a match. Since September I’ve patiently turned a hatred for heart rate risings into a nearly polished tool that can be used in the art of making me a better martial arts student. The techniques of breathing, holding the body, pushing the mind taught at school keep me motivated to reach through the running wall with an end result that’s trimmed 15 pounds off the frame while giving me a noticeably stronger positive appearance in every hallway I walk.

Take what you know and own and make it better. Initiative equals happiness.

But once again, what about places of a business that continuously steal the air from your lungs almost never giving you the opportunity to invite fresh, stylish, remarkable and new to their landscape? It’s their way or the highway. Trust me 32 years of radio broadcast I know where you’re coming from. The last time I had an original idea was the moment I chose career suicide over getting another paycheck.

Life is a business and should be treated as such. Take what you know and own and grow. If the company you work for looks away each time you share an idea, stay cool while being true to you. I’ve yet to meet the man or woman that sits on the edge of their final breath complaining about not catching a break at Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory.

When you start with you…the rest of you will follow. Initiative equals happiness.

In martial arts they teach us wherever the attackers head is…so goes the body.

I will always believe in you first…but not today. This is your day to believe in you first. I’ll be back here screaming, “Yes! I knew you could do it!”


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The forever romance...

Author Brian Andreas writes about his Grandmother’s most famous quote, “Of course I believe in Heaven…there’s got to be some reward for living with your Grandfather all these years.”

In an age where marriage is no different than a summer dress or warm jacket you can return to Wal-Mart…soon to be lost will be the golden words of the people who brought us to the party.

If time could give me a machine to race back to a childhood I’d spend the entire day asking my mother’s parents adult questions. You can’t help but wonder if you’ll be like them during that moment when love separates the rules between birth and death and one of you walks in. Grandpa Dobrenz swears his wife stopped in to visit him everyday. What is it like to be so much in love that death doesn’t sever the strings that played the romantic music flowing through the air like a gentle breeze?

Indifference is the opposite of love and when you’re not jacked up on that rush the automatic thing to do is hit the dump button.

Couples married twenty five plus years come with magic powers—no one is prone to the unpredictable measures of here, there and nowhere in between…but within the unwritten chapters of heart beats and invisible songs we sing…those who’ve been married longest tend to use Harry Potter dust on the areas of life where living seems dry.

Teens, twenties and thirties we’re convinced having vocal volume is the secret to getting what you want. Something mystical unwraps its mighty forces along the way when being who you are is extremely important without having to waste the energy required to keep you what you are. There’s no need to use vocal strength when the color of your eyes motivate more motion. All Mom has to do is flash a look from the corner of her eye and Dad’s rockin the joint.

I once asked a married couple of sixty two years what drove their love toward the winning homerun at the World Series; while he jokingly replied, “You learn to do everything she says…” Like a true Hollywood starlet she glanced up at her guy with the most innocent smile and didn’t say a thing. Instantly he got lost in her eyes.
Love is harshly tested every year at this time. The closer we get to the 365th day the more difficult it becomes for some to see past the calendar. Therefore decisions are made that ultimately control the rest of your life. I don’t know what the secret of love is and if I were to ask the emails would be endless, each answer being just as unique as the hand held that unforgettable day when the minister mumbled, “Until death do you part.”

There’s either a lot of dying going on or such words now carry a newly defined meaning…

Personally I wouldn’t know what to do without my best friend and wife Lee. I often wonder what she did wrong before she met me to be sentenced to a lifetime of having to put up with a poet that never sleeps while chasing the craziest of dreams. That’s the book I want to write next; the success of belief. Somewhere in the channels of a river there’s always a sliver of water that wishes to one day make it to the ocean only to be picked up by a passing cloud and tossed back down on a mountain side to do it all over again. You’d have to be in love with rocks, ugly tree roots, a child’s toy boat and a billion other things to pull this off because at any given moment…a single drop can be pulled from the stream and laid out to dry in what eternity calls forever. And it’s my belief the trickle of a stream would spend the rest of its days calling out to the one that told the tale of this single body of something special called the ocean.

If time could give me a machine to race back to a childhood I’d spend the entire day asking my mother’s parents adult questions.


Monday, December 6, 2010

I salute you with a hearty Ho Ho Ho!

I salute you with a hearty Ho Ho Ho!
Monday 12-06-2010 12:11pm ET
Actor/Comedian/Grammy Award winning musician and now published Author Steve Martin wastes no time to sputter what others mutter on the subject of reaching reasons why we play with possibility.

The list is endless of those who loudly shout, “I have a purpose! I’m here for a reason! I won’t stop until I locate the answer!” Only to be overshadowed by the leaky gloom, severe lack of gleam and unfriendly, “But now I’m tired so I’ll set what it is I’m supposed to do aside for another day to playfully chase a channel of three hundred on a television set already moving.”

Steve believes people create to build an audience.

Stop! Say it again! People create to build an audience.

Me being me…I could spend an extremely long week writing, thinking, bending, blogging, Tweeting and Face Booking on such a subject. In doing so I’d be forced to release the name of other creative’s that have the gift to speak, paint, interpret, meander, convince, seize and set free to sail across an open forum of other thinkers already lost in the worlds they manage like a Wal-Mart greeter.

People create to build an audience.

We workout at the gym to build a better body so others see us as being fresh and energetic; we’ve grown into a nation of 12 hour workday employees because we’ve creatively come up with ways to take the money we don’t have and make ourselves look bigger than what we are because being accepted is one of the major human needs in the art of surviving.

You don’t have to be in radio to be creative. You don’t need to be named an Art teacher to earn the label of being creative. Once a December sun sets on a cold to the bone day in Carolina a single whisper of wind unveils some of the most brilliant displays of creative flow of the year…Christmas decorations.

Go ahead slam that stick in the ground to keep the Santa inflatable in place...its your signature. Your house can be ugly as sin when the ball of fire climbs no higher than twelve noon but once a shadow kisses the step nearest your front door…dreams become a winter wonder land of blinky blink blink blink.

Today I stand up and cheer for Christmas tree decorators so often accused of taking it way too serious! I salute the father’s who grew up hoping to have a front yard brighter than a lunar landing on the moon! I pour lots of pride into the hearts of the brave souls who risks their lives leaping onto ladders connected to their roofs just so they can strap another string of lights to the siding only to find a bulb is out and they’ll spend the next three hours trying to figure out which one it is!

People create to build an audience.

Complain all you want about stores selling Christmas items way too early! Notice the holiday decorator never says anything about lawn tractors, plants and swimming pool supplies being readily available year round.

I salute the big bright and beautiful homes and yards that have torched the electric bill. That’s ok you have eleven months to pay it off. I’m proud of the skinny guy that dresses up as Santa and stands outside his house waiting for a slow moving car to pass while kids leap toward the window like wild dogs that spotted a squirrel.

No matter how cold the day or bitter the night, Christmas decorators brave the worst of conditions to hold in their hands that single moment when someone they’ve never met comes up and says, “Dude…love what you do every year. When I was a kid it was the only place I could find happiness. I’d look out that window knowing how rough life had been the entire year only to feel something warm in my heart coming from your vision of sharing something as simple as Christmas lights.”

When I was a child the stepfather figure was completely addicted to setting our house on fire with a storm of lights. He always told us. “I’m doing it for you mother! She calls it her winter time Fourth of July celebration.”

One year I complained and complained about crawling up on top of our two story house. It was horribly Montana cold and my fingers were too numb to remember whose hands they were connected to. The stepfather kept asking me to be still, “Your mother doesn’t need to hear you talking like this.” Being weak in his reasons I elected to stand up on the roof and belt out a few out of control thoughts. I slipped and fell from the roof landing directly in the stepfather figures arms. He laughed like Santa Claus, a cheer so loud it woke up the neighbors. Thinking he was mad and bent out of shape for having to listen to my wild mouth say evil things he calmly said, “I’ll catch you every time you need me. Which happens to be the second most important thing on your Mom’s honey do list.”

People create to build an audience.

I will always believe in you first!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Learning to love the rock band Rush...

Embarrassingly I admit I’ve never been a fan of the Canadian rock group Rush until the poet fell off the stool holding up the drummer. Neil Peart may not be comfortable meeting fans but the ink smudged into his fingerprints is leaving a mark on generations he’ll never meet.

The little Neil things that make you go hmmm, “If you choose not to decide, you’ve still made a choice.”

Neil also wrote, “When you turn the pages of history, when these days have passed long ago—will they read us with sadness for the seeds we let grow?”

“You don’t get something for nothing. You can’t have freedom for free. You won’t get wise with the sleep still in your eyes no matter what your dreams might be.”

CBS is capitalizing on the power of one person’s single thoughts. They’ve taken daily Twitter Tweets and turned it into the hit sitcom Bleep My Dad Says.

Its itty bitty wacky stuff like this that totally motivates the accent people share on a journey toward continued growth. Who needs a lengthy Time, People or Rollingstone magazine drama when newspaper printed comics require four blocks or less to affect your mess?

The Neil Peart quote that shot me off the tread mill was an open minded confession of why you almost never see him at Rush autograph session, “It’s ok to have fans but that doesn’t mean we have to be friends for life.”

A strong confident follower of The Who, Peart jokes about not going all out nuts over taking the time out of his life to shake the hands of Pete Townsend and Roger Daltry. Although success is based on being seen with those currently owning the scene, it’s never been Neil’s thing.

Writers, poets, chefs, cake designers, pottery experts, fashion police and those who put us in the shirts and shorts we wear never come from the same mold yet creative people are constantly criticized for being moody, out of touch, weird, too far out there to understand and the worst…a loner.

To which I reply, “How about those creative geniuses in the banking industry that shot this nation into a recession that should’ve been called a depression making it the most successful marketing campaign of our day.”

Every walk, stroll, run, jog, trip and stumble carries with it a seed to give birth to creative flow. Through choice we elect to paint it a different face. By doing so anyone who has a brilliant idea, comic release, calming tone or visionary experience is labeled different and usually stuffed in an office with a Nerd note taped to the center of their back.

Is WikiLeaks an act of terrorism as suggested by the government or a collection of courageous toss away computer Nerds simply unveiling hidden truths held in the hands of other creative’s who’ve assumed control?

No day passes that we aren’t affected as well as infected by the path of another brain generating waves. When you take the time to break away the surface of the skin society has toughed, unveiled are the Neil Peart’s of the animal pyramid whose passion and purpose in life is anything but ordinary.

I can’t help but wonder how many deer, sheep, squirrels and Doberman Pinchers gather each day to locate the proper note to sing. Native American Spirituality teaches us that it was the human who walked away from that circle of communication believing he or she could live out a much better life not being associated with the other fuzzy’s of the world.

How many bombs does Russia have pointed at us right now? Please tell me again which mammal is winning the communications race?

So where’s the daily motivation or affirmation in this all this? You have the power to change people…how are you doing with your end of the agreement? Grab a pencil sometime and jot down a thought or one thousand and twenty one. You never know who you’ll touch one hundred years after this day.

I’ll always believe in you first…


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More ho ho in the hole...

Why does everything at work come across a national crisis? Quick! I need it now! You're the final step!

That’s when I kick in with a dirty nasty habit…laughing. A trick I picked up from Superman and Aqua man who never buckle under pressure. They look at the situation and grin.

I recently caught a Wal-Mart employee pulling off the same trick; couldn’t wait to get in his long Black Friday line to catch the cause of his unstoppable vibe. His response, “There’s no reason to freak, no matter how fast I move only one customer checks out at a time.”

I’m not crossing the line when the words slip from my fingertips claiming this is the absolute worst time of year. The holiday spirit in America is based solely on reaching another day off that took 200 hours of unpaid overtime to reach.

If there was a large wooden ship waiting at the harbor promising to sail to a new world…would you get on board?

That isn’t going to happen…me being me…there’s got to be a solution.

From the incredible wisdom of Dr. Robert Carlson’s book Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff…the muscle we need to exercise is the inner voice that repeats over and over again, “Life isn’t an emergency.”

The average person justifies the current state of the world as being a major failure and how dare that happen on their clock. I know! We’ll work and work until it gets better! Only to learn being middle aged inside the boarders of the 50 states is the most dangerous time to be available for work—heart attacks, strokes, cancer, pneumonia are folding the workforce in half. How many people do you see wandering the halls with legs in braces and hands tied up in knots because of computer abuse?

My friend Alan is horrified of stepping outside his door until he’s 55. That’s the number most men reach to start living again. He read somewhere that guys between the ages of 42 and 55 can drop at any time. In the last five years I’ve lost four of my radio friends to heart attacks and suffered one myself on July 21, 2009. We’re killing ourselves! And for what reason?

Because we’ve turned living into a national crisis. It costs money to live and we’ll do everything to make it work.

Dr. Carlson advises, “Tell yourself over and over…life isn’t an emergency.”

As easy as it is to turn the smallest thing into a total melt down rather than counting to ten blurt out the words, “Life isn’t an emergency.”

Stop beating yourself up because you didn’t reach the deadline. Stop falling into the fire pit of coworkers who are drowning themselves in self pity and fear. You can help someone through a situation without jumping in the hole because once they’re out, what are the real chances they’re going to turn around and lift your tail back to safety?

Being aware of your mood swings is a brilliant first step. All too often we jump onto Face Book or an old fashioned email and cast out the shadow. Great! That’s what the world needs. We abuse each other so much we’ve stopped flinching.

Captain Positive Arroe isn’t always in costume. Being a spiritualist opens too many doors to being beat up but you learn to rely on the lessons of meditation and motivation to serve as your tools to climb off the war torn tank and keep walking toward a horizon that’s blanketed with more smoke and debris than the paved streets of gold so many brag of.

Life isn’t an emergency! Say it to the eyes in the rearview mirror. Tell it to the naked person stepping out of the shower in the morning. Like a martial artist perfecting the perfect front kick, it’s got to be done over and over again so that when you’re hit by a coworker or family members I need it now! You have the inner strength to endure the added pressure so that tonight you can survive the big fight.

I’ll never forget the doctor looking at me during the first visit to the hospital after the heart attack, he asked, “How many have you had so far?”

What? I’m 47! How many have I had? What’s the going rate? This is one gang I don’t want hit the streets with!

I don’t care how much you hate working out make it part of your plan; proper breathing techniques releases stress. I don’t care how many times a beer commercial tells you that life begins at a bar or at home in front of a game…the bigger the gut the more you can’t putt. Life isn’t an emergency. Sting and the Police didn’t sing every breath you take I’ll giving you something new to do.

Rediscover the Carolinas! Find new places to explore. There’s a lot more to our soil than the Civil War! Life isn’t an emergency.

The biggest disappointment I had about my heart attack had nothing to do with the doctor telling me something wasn’t right…the frickin ambulance didn’t turn on the siren. If my heart wasn’t emergency enough to crank up that monster…then why are you wasting so much time being unhappy at a place of work that legally has the right to treat you any way they want because you get insurance and health coverage?

Nobody but you can save you. I will always believe in you first.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yes you can and be successful at it...

Authors and Artists have a funny way to communicate what it is they do and don’t do and still have enough common sense to realize it’s how they react that feeds the soils surrounding the dreams for other thinkers and doers participating with the process of accepting creative instinct.

The architect of the Artist Way Julia Cameron voluntarily broke out of the norm when convincing the average person that being locked up in a creative closet was no place to locate true love and happiness. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you currently stand from birth to death people fear their untouched happiness because of what others think.

I’ve been to the poetry circles that served as safe zones where everyone in attendance was taken back by the most incredible raw talent. Being a recording studio is no different. I'm constantly being introduced to those that should've made it but fate had a better plan.

Rather than observe an artists works hanging in a gallery, it’s always been my quest to walk with the person pushing the brush, to listen to their journey while understanding what stops the music.

Thirty two years of radio broadcast…sad aren’t the on-air breaks where the talent makes mistakes but lost is the entire process of learning how to fine tune the musical instrument taught to influence city blocks to participate.

Learning gain access to confidence without it seeping over the brim into your heart and head is a willingness based on awareness. All things start with thought. What you think can be your new reality.

Julia Cameron teaches you to put faith in fascination. Start with painting the room. Dear Diaries and daily journals are a cool thing to do in high school but true free wheeling is an act of courage. Free Wheeling is what Mark Twain called a spoken narrative. Mr. Twain had a horrible time being real on paper. He had allowed his storytelling capabilities to consume the very art that turned him into a published author.

It’s not just a writing thing. Southern BBQ is no different. The thought of leaving the old family recipe behind to generate your own design is completely unheard of. How dare I think of changing Great Grandma Wooky Snooky’s Christmas cookie recipe!

Mark Twain bluntly told his stenographer Josephine Hobby to be true to his skill by setting free her personal thoughts about the writing of his autobiography. Because Twain didn’t see himself as a free wheeling writer it was extremely important to him to surround himself with people safe enough to say if his works were dull or not interesting to the point of being boring making readers want to commit suicide.

Blogging has reshaped the world of writing. Editors and professionally trained English majors are going ballistic with the ways and methods of communication shared on today’s modern pages.

Because I’m a poet first…the accent or rhythm of my writing doesn’t match the official rules put into play by third grade teachers. Combine that with Arroe depth of subject and 99.9999 percent of anyone reading this hogwash gets lost two sentences deep into a paragraph. But I refuse to change my style; constantly arguing with editors whose vow is keep the literary world clean of such laziness and yet if I were a true southern gentlemen complete with a genuine Charleston, South Carolina accent that would be acceptable.

Writing should be no different. A passion to write and or create shouldn’t be overshadowed by the way you paint a room.

All too often we race to book stores, art galleries and concert venues to meet the performer but never the artist. I once wrote a book called And So…This is Radio. It will never make it to publication because the companies that do that thing with their handpicked editors can’t figure out who the reader is therefore marketing it would be impossible.

Self publish right? You don’t need a bookstore to milk a cow. Nor do you need a chocolate bar to catch a sugar buzz. The seeds already been planted. Who in the freak is the freak I wanna freak? Radio people don’t need another book about radio and listeners never want to destroy the image of the voice their imagination has played out for them. I still remember the day I saw Casey Kasum on the Hardy Boys and have never forgiven myself for destroying that mental image of disappoint.

Writers, painters, chefs and farmyard animals carry with them a level of mystic that one day needs to be shared with a passerby who softly asks, “What was it like?” Not what went into a particular project but the entire process from the birth of art to the beginning of your dreams reaching a corner of the world rather than another empty page.

I can’t make you famous. I don’t have what it takes to make you a brilliant writer and or radio talent trying to be one of the 3,000 available for the only position open. It’s my goal to teach you how to recognize the difference between who and what you are compared to what everybody else has made you.

The first lesson is to paint a room. Do what Mark Twain couldn’t…free wheel.

And So…This is Radio. I love the title. You’d hate the story.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I can't just say it...

Thanksgiving weekend!

The thought of reminding you to drive the speed limit is wasting your time. You don’t require my fingertips to send out vibrations that repeat the same ole message don’t text while driving. The last thing you need to hear is how dangerous power drinks are and how quickly the body reacts when the magic wears off.

This web page is your happy place. Bad Arroe for being a Thanksgiving celebration buzz kill!

I assumed the lines on a long drawn out highway were used to inspire people like Johnny Cash to write songs or to keep slow moving grandparents and Dad’s scolding wild kids in the back seat on the right side.

One look at the recent reports shows how stupid I am because the new American fad is to cross those lines.

I often wonder how many sets of eyes behind the steering wheel realize those on the other side have family and friends too.

Everybody’s so freaked out about getting the big nasty pat down at the airport that we’ve forgotten about the other methods of over the river and through the woods.

I won’t even bring up holiday stress and what it does to the average person on Monday’s. High blood pressure is nothing more than a doctor’s way of scoring brownie points with drug companies. I know! It won’t happen to you!

Let me shout out, “Happy Thanksgiving!”

Whoa…that wasn’t so bad. Why do I always take the long way to sharing something positive? If we spent less time worrying would highway life lines become peace signs?

I will always believe in you first…


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stop saying, "I can't!"

It’s the single most creative time of the year; from electronic front yard inflatable’s decked out with built in lights and Santa’s that leap from secret hiding places to unforgettable trees garland and mistletoe…being fun with creative flow is no different than a leaf slowly flying from the limb it'll forever love toward a forest floor where it’ll share its compassion with Chinese Writing spiders requiring blankets to keep warm.

As Cub Scouts our Masters would haul in the boxes of wood and nails and from it we’d unmistakably create more noise than art; but it didn’t matter because Mom or Dad would display it proudly on the living room wall until the holiday was over.

Heart shaped, packed with stuffing, ceramic meeting a child’s ambition to blend impossible with acceptance…we’ve arrived in the zone where art won’t leave you alone. It’s in the air you breathe and the songs you sing; to create something new, different and totally one hundred percent without a doubt something that’s incredibly you.

And then it goes away…which might explain why the month of January is looked upon as being long, dreary, lifeless, dull and stinks like rotten eggs set out for Santa and the secret field mouse that snuck in your house hid it behind the sofa.

It’s not human nature to hide your ambition to be art filled. Art isn’t a mood or a season…it’s every reason of blending what’s inside with the walls that make up your reality.

I laugh while reading Andy Warhol’s handwritten journals…he loved his expressions so much but Canadians never got it. They endlessly invited him to their tall big and wide northern cities but nothing would sell. It hurt him deeply, because says ouch more than art that sits and sits while the curator grunts while spinning their fingers inside empty pockets.

The act of sliding into despair rather than take one small exploratory action is no different than ignoring your children. The only difference, it doesn’t matter how loud your soul screams you own a Radio Shack purchased device that allows you to tune out the wants, needs and demands of a self that still wants to find positive vibrations in the art of living.

Art isn’t just something you hang on a wall. Some people build motorcycles, make cakes that taste so incredible your eyes pop out and before you grab another pair your fingers are diving into new recipes promising to put serious amounts of love in your tummy.

Frank Lloyd Wright turned windows into an art. I’m accused daily of putting too much art into the way I share conversation on the radio, “Stop being so passionate about your delivery!” Some people locate art in politics, designing new drugs to help family and friends get over the common cold, turning a smile into a storytelling adventure with an inner city school that doesn’t have a budget to purchase a library so they bus their kids uptown believing art can be see as well as heard.

When you slide into despair rather than take one small exploratory action you're keeping from the world the songs you sing. I sing horribly but my producers Jimm and Alan call it unique. Van Morrison is unique. So was Jim Morrison and I don’t think Neil Young or Bob Dylan have ever been in tune but their poetry will live longer than the average summer breeze.

Why do I believe so much in the act of art? Because it’s never given me reason to doubt. Peoples opinions combined with my own bring injury not the act of art. Not being featured at Wentworth Gallery or shoved onto the shelves of a giant bookstore run by larger than life CEO’s and former librarians offers a place to swim in silence but with the internet a writer is gifted with a much louder voice to send toward South Korea, India, Russia and Butte, Montana. I laugh like a child on a Christmas cookie rush when the official reports come in that someone from Vietnam chose to read what my writing instruments shed one morning on a clean sheet of paper. I used to call it a once living tree but in reality…like a leaf, a tree continues to breathe if you place thoughts on it. Ask Mark Twain what it’s like to have new reader’s everyday picking up something he jotted down over 100 years ago.

Art keeps showing up at my door, knocking until my face shows up in the window.

Hear that? It knows your name too! Now we have something in common. Two ships sailing across a southern horizon whispering jokes heard on Jay Leno, Letterman and Jimmy Fallon. Comedy isn’t real. It a reaction to something you can relate with. So during your darkest hours and most horribly horrific holiday moments that seem endless, mean and unloved…never forget that art grows in every corner and will forever be with you no matter how many times you blow snot out of your nose.

Art is created then shared. When you hide it from the world you’re missing out on the opportunity of sharing a smile with someone in Ireland. It’s not about knowing names and seeing how many pictures you paint, flowers you grow or speeches you deliver to young adults stuck between taking drugs and staying clean. When you slide into despair rather than take one small exploratory action…the end result will be left in the hands of those we elect and we all know what big business has done to that.

I will always believe in you first…


Monday, November 22, 2010

Just tell me where I need to be....

Author Brian Andreas makes two incredibly clever comments; I’ve always thought I was taller than I looked and I’m not so good at taking my own advice but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s right.

Two of the biggest subjects covered while taking a second to glance at the person in the mirror.

I find great enjoyment watching others on that specially designed sheet of glass. From this side of the fence it always comes across like the man in the mirror is in total disbelief of their true size. Only to be followed by the attitude of I live out here in the real world and genuinely know how to take care of myself.

Although he never physically said it Mark Twain had a horrible time gaining the strength to look in a mirror. The written words featured in Mr. Twain’s books shared was his image, readers unwrapped the ingredients from the chapters that shaped the fingers that held the writing instrument. But asked to write an autobiography? I think not!

Turn forward the hands of time to modern waves and valleys and those positioned on the outside waste no time jotting down their journey on Face Book, Twitter and regular Blogging and what we see are the same two extremely tired eyes staring at a soul wearing the same clothes. It’s as if we’re visited daily by Salvador Dali with his mind boggling pieces parts and curves that tend to tease more than come out and say.

Recently heard a quote, “Insanity is when you keep doing the same thing over and over thinking something will eventually change.”

How much of your past is locked in a box then set free every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas?

The paper protecting the soon to be hanging bulb is slowly pulled back revealing an object so shiny smiles from your childhood still live inside. What seemed ageless were the corners of your eyes giving life to vigor and empowerment, a sip of rule breaking, age and experience is the object in a rearview mirror that never appears as its actual size.

What are we really doing? Of all the planets to be invited to, what were the chances that you could’ve been a single drop of water on Mars?

One of the greatest stories the Dahli Lama shares is how each departure is a new beginning and how you act today might affect where you stand tomorrow. He paints the picture of a brilliantly rich man with everything to his name…the next go around he becomes a beautiful tree seedling with bright leaves of green, a stem that will one day be several collected circles telling the tale of good winters and bad. This seedling is so precious; its energy felt several feet away from the roots that will keep it stationary for maybe a century. Then a passerby jots down a few notes: This tree is the only one that remains after the horrid forest fire that consumed the entire mountainside. It will take decades for life to get back to normal.

I’ve always thought I was taller than I looked and I’m not so good at taking my own advice but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s right.

The holiday presents too many stages whose foundations are cemented together by ample bricks made of quick judgment. Oprah has proved multiple times how indifferent love is and will forever be. During this week where family and friends spend more time together than any other time of year; pleasantly I remind you that nothing changes by choice.

Taking the time to write in my daily books while comfortably sitting on a bench at Charleston’s Historic Battery yesterday; the imagination found value in savoring the presence of twenty five years of why this small southern town is the only place on earth that continues to steal air from my lungs. The silver tipped nib connected to the poets writing hand used eyes to study the rugged wall that kept the harbor waters tamed, they lightly followed the straight lines each weathered cannon of past chapters continued to make as they invisibly taught visitors of a time in American history that was truly worth holding forever. In the left corner of my eye the Ravenel Bridge shoots above all things considered the past shaking free the strength to continue believing in dreams. As we welcome the rising sun to a future filled with endless journeys so shall the love stories that make up the songs we hum on long highways leading to a place of escape only to wonder if the image in the mirror would approve of such childish behavior while holding a writing instrument next to an imagination that still thinks it’s a kid.

I’ve always thought I was taller than I looked and I’m not so good at taking my own advice but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s right.

Two of the biggest subjects covered while taking a second to glance at the person in the mirror.

I will always believe in you first…


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Written words last longer than a simple thought...

From the book One Man’s 1021 Thoughts: July 26, 1999…I wrote, “I see last week as a starvation period—it’s my goal, my wish and deepest dream to encourage poets, painters and other creators to come out of hiding. Your purpose is to create…when you don’t—starvation consumes the true self.”

Eleven chapters later in 2010…I still believe art isn’t a world of lets pretend but rather I believe.

What silences art more is the person holding it back? Art was a class you were forced to take in school. We’d dibble, dabble and spin the paper around. We’d cut, paste and look out the window for rivers of inspiration. A chunk of wet clay dropped on the table captivated the curves of a child inside sending drug like shivers through a system that was constantly told to shut up and pay attention.

Rarely is a person pulled aside and given reasons of explanation to the spaces the imagination finds air to breathe in.

In adult clothes an artist’s shoes carry a scent invited by the dust covered trails that constantly invite a writer, designer, landscaper and chef to places of flow only to find themselves stepping back every so often wondering, “How did this happen? Where did it come from? I can’t tell you where I’ve been the past two hours.”

During an age when answers are required to be instantly found…if nothing comes to mind…art is set aside for a different day that often never arrives.

What pushed Agatha Christie past page one of Murder on the Orient Express? If Mark Twain truly hated the idea of writing an autobiography what were the exact feelings felt the moment his heart said, “Ok…we begin today.” Was Evil Knievel insane or a master of flight? What if Harry Potter didn’t make it past the original editor would JK Rowling still be hiding?

The artist in me once wrote: Your purpose is to create…when you don’t—starvation consumes the true self.

I’m not searching…I’m only inviting you to find yourself so the rest of the world can hold what you’ve kept hidden away.

I will always believe in your first…


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stop hating your mother for not remembering...

I don’t know if I should feel embarrassed or allow the imagination to constantly create new excuses as to what’s happened.

Attended the premiere of the new Sean Penn and Naomi Watts film Fair Game last night; a period piece 2002 and 03. I spent three quarters of the flick trying to convince myself that I was alive during those years. If that’s true, where’s the swag and everything else we’ve tagged to our luggage during other decades?

How did we get to 2010 so quickly?

My good friend Steve has spent countless hours trying to explain that the human memory system is no different than a Del or IPad…the more you shove in, the less you digest.

I write everyday. Two books currently sit on Amazon based on a single man’s thoughts during a decade that was deposited but my mind body and soul don’t seem to be spinning out a return. So today, I share with you, from www.totallytopten.com it’s the Top 10 News Events of the Decade We’ll Never Forget yet for some reason it went by way too fast to wanna display it on the fireplace mantle.

The September 11th attack on the World Trade Center
The Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami
The war and occupation of Iraq
Hurricane Katrina
Swine Flu epidemic and SARs
Barrack Obama elected President of the United States
Michael Jackson passes away
Forty shootings at schools including Virginia Tech
The U.S. Healthcare debate

I do remember being there…its impact has reshaped the generation once inspired by four mop top musicians from Liverpool while gagging the American dream in its aftermath. The term I remember where I was…is more alive today than any other time in history.

My Mom’s general reaction is and always has been, “The only thing we can do is pray.”

In the film Sean Penn’s character Joe Wilson challenges a group of young adults to name an event the government has performed and they can’t. When he asks them to name his wife they all say Valerie Plame…the CIA agent that was illegally ripped from secrecy because of particular members of a leadership we vowed to trust.

The top news story has become our latest fad.

When was the last time you thought about Haiti? Remember the earthquake this past year and the outpouring of hard to locate dollars and human compassion that ran to their side? Until NBC, ABC and CNN broke the story about cholera did the horrid conditions that remain ever cross the paths we make?

Did you know that worldly known musician Wyclef Jean, born and raised in Haiti, who loves his homeland like Nelson Mandela in South Africa was told he can’t be the leader of a nation that’s fallen below its knees. The constitution states you have to live in the country for five consecutive years. Music took his dreams to other corners of the world costing him and the people an opportunity to be heard through influence and inspiration.

What will we feel in 2020?

The 60’s were vibrant with voices vowing to be heard. In the 70’s fashion and music consumed our American Culturalisms. Ronald Reagan and Duran Duran dominated the 80’s making way for Hip Hop and Gangsta a decade later. Once locked into the new millennium The Wall Street Journal couldn’t have been more clearer when admitting today’s generation no longer lets music be its voice—teens have adopted the very tunes their parents held dearly. For the first time music no longer has a generation gap.

So we've given permission to the media to create new fads: News…and lots of it.

If the human memory is truly like a Del and IPad…in which folder have you stored the stuff that really counts? How often do you put the curser on Start then right click for search? That’s what I did today because I have no clue as to what happened during the first decade. I needed a swift kick in the ***


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Speak without using words...

Do you believe in the theory if you’re thinking about someone distant from your current step…you have the power to communicate with them from afar?

Speed dial right?

Let’s take it beyond mechanical devices and step toward a horizon some describe as channeling or occultism. Can the average person have a conversation with someone in a galaxy far, far, away?

Quickly we say yes, who isn’t blown away by a single thought coming out of two different peoples mouths at the same time? A daily jaunt with a brother or sister, best friend or mother and each of you have thought about the same subject all day.

The Dahlia Lama explains we’ve lived this life before; to know is to already have lived.

Through human nature, not everything we think is always based on keeping it Sesame Street positive. Native American spirituality teaches us not to practice what's is seen as black magic because to send out requires you to live through and or experience first.

Can writing an email, text or blog affect another thinker miles from your computer without ever hitting send? It’s too difficult to argue. To locate the proper answer would require arbitrators and peacemakers with no connection to either side.

Writing is the action after a thought’s been given air. Experts say movement immediately exists after a thought, it creates vibrations that shoot from your core affecting the path of those you come in contact with and those you’ve never met.

Ever walked through a crowded mall and an oblong frown with green and yellow colored eyes sent your great day straight into the cellar? Not one word was shared yet the presence of someone you’ll never see again took your tail and tossed it onto a busy highway with no stop signs or red lights to signal those behind you that an accident has come into play.

According to the book Powers Within; words serve only to draw attention of the other consciousness. Just like a laser, your vibrations go until they hit someone or something.

Which easily explains how pets know about your wild day at work and out of control mood the moment you walk through the door? Through unconditional love and compassion they’ve volunteered to harness control of your circles before it reaches the corners of the room where a thought lives and breathes like a silent wolf until called into action at the least likely moment.

The most fascinating thing about the brain is how it serves the body connected to it. At times it wants to act as a giant radio antenna fully capable of broadcasting until the energy source is gone. Interestingly enough, unlike a radio tower the brain also receives. When the pictures aren’t clear, vague and mixed up like a child’s collection of Crayons…the impression left in the walls of proper delivery become dented with confusion, cloudiness and assumption generating a new set of vibrations instantly shot from the tube above your shoulders. At least radio antennas come with a blinking light at the top to warn airplanes and wild Canadian geese that something isn't right.

From a distance experts claim each of us resemble distorted mirrors.

The daily goal, hourly mission, minute by minute play by play should always rest in the open palm of thinking clearly. Try to think without words. It helps you locate a peaceful place to stand.

The holiday season is by far the roughest most verbal outlet for families, friends and coworkers. Thoughts, actions, reactions and everything in between and that follows carries with it a weapon of mass destruction. Social media is nothing more than another way to your heart. By learning how to calm down the thoughts before they become motion…the laser beam your body is sending will be less damaging.

Julia Cameron teaches a valuable lesson in office play by eliminating the bullying that takes place. Bosses have their hard workers, coworkers have their support staff, the cleaning person knows who put the seat down and the receptionist is always the only person in the building making a true human connection to the outside world and how you act, react and play is picked up by their receiver and it doesn’t matter how good of an actor you are…the visitor can spot a fake deciding within seconds if being part of your plan is an action they need to follow up with. Stop playing the I am king game and start respecting every department. Utilize the strength of each member by allowing everyone to have a voice.

If someone sends you a vibrating email, text or voice message…simply thank them for trusting you to be so incredibly open with their emotions. Play the game of customer relations and build a better rest of today and tomorrow. If someone feels violated by something you’ve written, spoken or sent through the windows of your soul, lesson the impact by becoming aware of how your antenna is blasting the signal into their circle.

Think without words…


Monday, November 15, 2010

Giving Phil Collins room to breathe...

Do you remember Phil Collins? Drummer for the recently inducted Hall of Fame group Genesis then like most great actors on a primetime sitcom he spun off to hoist his flag over a land of incredible solo success; Against All Odds, In the Air Tonight, You Can’t Hurry Love, Sussudio, One More Night, Groovy Kind of Love and Separate Lives from the movie White Nights.

Fame for Phil has reached a point of no return. He looks in the mirror everyday wishing none of it would’ve happened. His current love interest has been instructed to never refer to him as Phil. He’s publically made it clear that he wants no part of the persona that helped shape many of our love lives during the Ronald Reagan years.

Fans of the group Genesis have never forgiven him for stepping in where Peter Gabriel left off. Female adult contemporary radio listeners immediately lost interest in their music man when he was rumored to have divorced his wife by sending a fax and yet to this day its never been proven.

Jokingly I’ve always said your twenties are spent doing everything you wanted to do as a teenager, your thirties are blessed with mopping up the mess and at forty…you begin to discover the dreams of a new person in the mirror and for some weird reason you like them better than everybody you’ve been over the past three decades. The problem is, nearly everyone you bump into is an itty bitty pieces part of a chapter you wish would melt from the pages of history.

Being in radio it hurts to see Phil lost in a dull ache. Being human I want to reach out and shake his hand for being honest about his change in life. Most men bottle it up and become grumpy old guys who want nothing to do with their children’s children and having a career is something you did when you were walking in the shoes of that other person that cost you more than you made.

The problem with change is it happens. It’s not like we’re suddenly thrown in to a game and poof Milton Bradley releases a newer model with different rules. I’ve yet to meet the motivational speaker that doesn’t flat out say you were born to die…and somewhere in that channel of A plus B the average person has an extreme difficult time coming up with what it equals.

With wind the mountain changes. No large stack of boulders holds back rain and snow; it acts as if it uses them as tools.

The man dubbed stepfather caught up to his midlife crisis at the birth of my teenage testing of the waters. Spending time in the high school principal’s office was a vacation in paradise compared to being at home. Closed mindedness opened each path to begin the process of running.

You’ll always catch me laughing when someone admits to being a runner. In my mind I see the human spirit taking the players and pieces of the game created and yanking the board from the table then hitting the path. To them it’s a jog, a way to strengthen the heart, a mental getaway like pumping weights or performing martial arts.

In the case of Phil Collins no longer wanting to be the man who invited so much incredible music to the chapters that make up the stones on the roads we walk…it’s as if he’s saying, “I’m tired of running. I want to be me and only me and that guy is not the person looking back at me in the mirror. It’s a past I can’t change. Please let me become who I truly want to be.”

Wow…just saying that shot these finger prints back to the hidden away reminders of my Grandpa’s Bakken and Dobrenz, both lovers of the land, people at farmers markets and church but not so friendly on the front featuring tiny eyes, ears and noses that sort of look like the ones they were carrying. No wonder I spent so many summers standing ten bails high on a stack overlooking the open prairie in the state of Wyoming—this thing called change made me into a runner.

But there was never anybody around to explain it.

I remember Grandma Bakken once telling her husband, “I wish you’d hurry up and get over this…you’re grand children are missing a lot from the man that taught me how to love all things!”

He suffered a heart attack…I never got to meet him while wearing a pair of adult shoes.

I’m anxious to touch the words of other readers of the Phil Collins story; to see if they’re just as forgiving. Let the music maker find a tree to sing his lyrics, let him touch the wind before it slips between the mountains, whisper a tune from the depths of your passing day and allow it to fall onto the plate of a man who’s obviously very hungry to create in different light.

Every house, home, hut or collection of voices comes with a man in the middle of change. Be forgiving in the midst of his new dream. Like a child he’s vowed to explore. Like an adult he’ll locate the invisible chunks of mud then begin to pour the valuable wines that which he has always carried making what he brings something to savor during times when looking into his eyes might be extremely difficult but through peace and understanding it’s more priceless than the day that will come sooner than later when you’ll be locked into a moment created by the art of looking back.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

I love it when you shout, "I'm bored!"

I’ve never liked being friends with “Time.” “Time” isn’t my enemy nor is it my neighbor. We’ve never looked into each others eyes with the idea of the final presentation being anything more than a selfish plan. Basically meaning we’re like two spoiled rotten brothers one step from screaming, “Mom!”

What makes me disgruntled isn’t that “Time” doesn’t have a face. “Time” always seems to be in a race; constantly refusing to let me catch up.

And then it occurred to me…boredom. Good old fashioned in your face really super long with no break in the middle boredom. The kind of stuff that hurts so bad that your guts feel like they’re being ripped out; if only you could hit the mall, a hardware store, go bowling or pick up a game of air hockey at some cheap hole in the wall arcade…boredom.

“Time” can’t stand boredom.

Look around you…rarely do you catch someone standing still unless it’s a boss creatively coming up with new ways to score more energy from your source. Dad used to bop me on the head while shouting, “Stop moving!” At 48…I get it. He knew before I did how important boredom was and still is in the department of learning how to turn 2010 into a 365 day year that feels like a decade.

If you haven’t done it already you will. You’re introduced to a moment in the mirror when the curves in your eyes no longer resemble the vigorous self you once held. Your pace through the mall isn’t locked on window shopping it feel more like get it done. Your dog, cat, gold fish Kevin and bird named Riverboat tend to lean and the thought of crashing into a pile of dried leaves has turned into a maybe tomorrow type attitude. Then without notice your heart shatters the moment your brain types into it’s built in computer system, “You’re getting old.” So you ask, “Where did the time go?”

Life isn’t supposed to feel like an episode of The Waltons.

Boredom gives you time to breathe. Cell phone conversations give permission to “Time” to move you through 5 o’clock traffic. Motown’s greatest hits put you in the past that “Time” uses to shove your booty through the needles eye. Taking the time to download the lyrics and studying the poetic edge Smokey Robinson shared with the world slows “Time” down.

Dr. Ronald Mack from Wake Forest University demanded that I stop painting on a canvas and learn more about those who’ve pushed a brush into the pages of history. Then he shoved my nose into other books called On Writing Well and the autobiography of Truman. As he aged all too quickly he could see the same in me and did all he could as a doctor to teach me how to slow down “Time.”


This isn’t a legal license to flop down on the sofa or stop raking leaves in the backyard. A creek lazily strolls through a forest floor collecting only what it can handle. Then one day it rains, its banks swell, twigs are tossed, bugs begin to surf, meandering becomes a flooded afterthought. Once the rain stops, the slow moving out of the way creek returns to being simple and low key, so slow a slithering snake stops by, kisses a bubble made by the plunk of a rock a kid ten feet up the stream tossed in. The snake laughs at his reflection then takes his happy mood back to the other slithering things that make humans totally freak.

Understanding boredom is the key to locating enough space to stop the race. That and a brave poet with a pen that isn’t afraid to admit, “You aren’t getting “Time” back. Even if you're reincarnated…it’s never the same life twice.”