Friday, July 30, 2010

Messages between the lyrics of your favorite songs...

The four sturdy corners that make up the fingerprint stained mirrored covered walls that keep the roof above our heads in Tae Kwon Do are slipping from all things associated with a journey, change is the natural progression of continued success.

Slowly I walked through the presented place of study last evening gathering memories I had hidden away for those times of struggle when quitting lit the minds light more than reaching the invisible line that constantly congratulates you even when your best front kick was ranked 400th on a list of I can do this.

The large metal and glass front door where everyday I touched my heart while entering—a way of showing respect, bowing to the keeper of the temple…a simple gesture to remind me to leave my ego there while looking forward into the miles of open space for the journey to pick up a few extra bars of harmony to add to a song only I could hear.

The chest high counter where I stood countless times determining the distance between martial arts expectations and a body that was quickly falling into the ranks of middle aged; I continue to hold the memory of stopping at the desk the night I was having a heart attack staring at the giant letters that read MAU…I didn’t see a challenge to kick, hit or block but rather the underlying tone of the greatest lesson taught is to constantly remember our motto, “Winning is a choice.”

Standing alone in the locker room, the water bottle that had been with me through each black belt test and the arrival of my 3rd degree prep classes was placed in a bag for that one day moment when I'd hear the calling to step out and forward leading this mind body and soul into and onto the next level of learning—junk in another’s eyes, a tool that kept me cool during some of the most brutal hours on a martial artists day of celebration.

I listened to others speak of their personal journeys while strolling through the original dojang (place of study) The paintings on the walls were brought to life by past students and each who arrived to learn how to grow stronger took with them the roots of what it’s like to build from within into a world each of us has the ability to constantly change.

The Black Belt wall…one in a hundred make it, one in a thousand walk the path leading them higher, each rank becoming an unfound needle in a haystack we assume exists. The eyes and challenged faces of those who traveled before and during with me may be gone but their name remains and it’s that shadow that forever holds the energy that guides the white belt to yellow, green and so on.

This week has been extremely difficult, letting go of the physical evidence of each memory gives purpose to the story behind the song The Green Green Grass of Home: Then I awake and look around me, at the four grey walls that surround me and I realize that I was only dreaming. For there's a guard and there's a sad old padre - arm in arm we'll walk at daybreak. Again I touch the green, green grass of home. Yes, they'll all come to see me in the shade of that old oak tree as they lay me neath the green, green grass of home.

Leaving last night I didn’t turn back…there weren’t any sports fanatic tears or Casey Kasum promising a long distance dedication; what I carried was the knowledge of knowing my final class inside those four walls with fingerprint stained mirrors that keep the roof above our heads were now part of the mental envelope labeled change. I poured so much sweat into that floor last night it’s a wonder the weather guys didn’t send out emergency signals on TV warning people of a flash flood.

The final class had to be my best…or I wasn’t walking a Black Belt path.

Grabbing my ego impatiently waiting by the door, we walked forward knowing that tomorrow would present it self all too quickly…starting Monday...a new school.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

You won't read this until it's almost too late...

Ok…you elected to show up for work. Getting completely caught up is a different story. You’re there…enough said…right? During an average day, how often do you putt up the hallway to fetch a pail of water? Wait that’s me gulping that much clear stuff.

Walking…how much walking do you do around the office, at home after work or during the weekend when life has delivered you a 48 hour period of nothingness but to physically focus on it would mean you’ve truly done nothing and you start to feel guilty?

This is my new game: I can name those twenty questions in two notes.

Spent some time last evening walking in out and around downtown—while most enjoy gazing at unforgettably tall skyscraping mountains or evenly paced waves crashing against Carolina shores connected to harbors, lakes and other big, big bodies of water; I locate peace in the fine art of people watching.

I’m completely fascinated with the way people walk; there are no two strides the same. You have every right to impersonate, emulate and or carry your leg like your parents when they were you’re age but in the end, just like the prints on your hand…unique and one of a kind are the name of the walking game.

What I find interesting is the way we walk. Look beyond the rush, rush of your own world and you too will quickly notice that outside of a few middle aged mall walkers, placing the right foot in front of the left may look, smell and appear to be walking but in reality…you are carrying.

When you carry…you are not free. Free means letting go and or no longer holding onto.

Your mind is completely clogged with a past you can’t change, change you’d love to shove into a parking meter but to stop because it would require change, nobody likes change so you keep carrying.

More time is spent regretting the past then pursuing fifteen minutes of happiness. Seriously! Look around you! Grumble mumble, kick stumble, we buy brand new because its like changing shoes, the goal is to create enough wind to sack the black cloud above your head; the one that’s easily convinced you of having the world’s worst day and luck.

Practice the power of getting back to yourself.

Oh oh…that sounds pretty darn selfish in a world led by parental figures and Grandparents that force us to share or else. Interestingly enough, when the decision is made to come back to yourself, the rocks and moss that once kept water from spilling over the banks on the mountains you keep in your heart tend to become fresh again, sending shivers of oh wow and neat oh skeet oh through your system of acceptance.

Julia Roberts is set to return to the screen in a film based on a single woman searching for the right man and what she discovers while uncovering is herself. Any act of mindfulness is far better than licking your lips and decorating your tongue with two freshly opened BC Powders.

Paul McCartney unknowingly demonstrated mindfulness last night at his show. The Mozart of our time spoke softly of how difficult it is to play a musical instrument and remember the lyrics of songs while fans are waving banners in the stands. He knows how much energy went into each piece of your art only to realize his creations face defeat if mindfulness isn’t practiced…so he’s trained himself to look forward.

Concentration is the key to the missing link in the monkey chain.

Don’t just drink Southern sweet tea…enjoy it; nourishing yourself with something you find pleasure in gifts your present moment with a positive and not the hell bent past that honestly means nothing to anybody but the self you keep staring at in the mirror.

Concentration is used as a knock on the door…it introduces your dreams to breakthrough. Depression, despair and fear break up their 24/7 poker game and head for the open window.

When was the last time you truly concentrated? On something other than what you did in high school and the chapters you kind of agreed to put together while in your twenties. Concentration teaches us to be aware of the present while taking fear out of the future.

McCartney performed a song that he had written after John Lennon had passed. The songwriter/performer explained that he always wanted to say something to his one time partner in art, “I love you…”

Tomorrow is always going to be too late. As much as we complain about the voices in our head, truth is…we are not separated selves. Concentration is the tool you find when not trying to buy. It’s the hand that seems to reach out and hold yours when in doubt. Concentration is a Hollywood movie played like a world premiere and your walk down the red carpet is savored like chocolate meeting taste buds.

Concentration leads to insight…maybe its time we stop carrying our day and locate better and easier ways to walk.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

If winnings a choice...what's giving up?

Attempting to sneak peeks outside the large sheet of clear sand that makes up the window sheltering my plans from nearly every weather condition known to man; the unrehearsed arrival of the awakening sun falls flat on performance due to an exceedingly high amount of condensation invited to the parade by strong thunderstorms that passed nearly twelve hours ago.

The initial assumption from a passerby is that without that giant window my constantly out of control vivid imagination is stuck.

Stuck? What is stuck? I’ve buried a few cars in heaping amounts of icy wet snow usually ripping its soul from the engine before finally gaining enough traction to back into another bank of irritating white fluff. I’ve suddenly and unexpectedly stopped in the center of Tae Kwon Do fighting off the mechanisms that make your memory fade while climbing closer to old age. Being a daily writer of radio and television commercials, blogs and journals, long form stories and always having room for a shot in the arm filled with poetry…getting stuck is completely natural and getting free is easy when you stop thinking everything you do sucks.

In his book Tribes: We Need You to Lead, Seth Godin reveals the facial images of others who’ve become stuck: bankers and financial brokers who keep waiting for the economy to crack, textile families who can’t figure out how and why outsourcing is looked upon as being legal, employees who’ve been hired by bosses that constantly nag about research therefore creating mountains of insider fears, dreamers who have ideas but lack the confidence to share the thoughts believing the process will become their past and part of someone else’s success and the list goes on and on.

Seth writes, “Fear is now our enemy. It’s the one thing that stands in our way of gaining access to accomplishment.”

Even more shocking is Seth’s assessment of the current working conditions of paycheck collectors stationed on American soil, “People who like their jobs are the one’s doing the best work, making the greatest impact and making necessary changes.”

Basically meaning, having passion for what you do creates an end result that enables you to see through cloudy windows on the morning after torrential downpours.

No week, no month and several times during a single season I bump into check collectors who sing the song, “I can’t seem to locate my true fate; gotta run, need more fun, not a snob, just wanna love my job.”

In every office a cubical village is set up for doer’s and the ok if I have it do it’s. Two completely different teams with individual aspirations about what is and isn’t going to happen within the wall of hours that make up the typically average workday; how can you have so much opposite and still find attraction?

Leadership…and I’m not talking about the GM, OM, Department Head and the custodian who guarantees clean potties by 6 am. We raced so fast through high school that we forgot to pay attention to the greatest lesson taught: nerds versus jocks versus straight A school boys and D minus girls versus Glee club taking on the German club while making room for the heavy weight deep thinkers in art class.

Until recently, everyday average Joe and Hillary Smith’s gathered in corners, hallways, outside the restrooms, near the coffee pot and water fountain, the hidden away smoker’s section, the office lobby and in office’s that scream cool. Today the places of unity outside of the web are Meet Up groups in restaurants, libraries or movies; groups of mom’s to be, overworked dad’s that think they’re going crazy, poets, fanatic lovers of red wine, fans of Barry Manilow, brides, grooms, bird lovers, banana pudding chefs and more!

The reason why we constantly hear how much others hate their job is based on a single thought: we all have a gig (I can’t believe I wrote that but it’s only to clarify a point.) Through relationship we compare notes. Our working lives are no different than the front cover of The National Enquirer, People and US Weekly; we feel better knowing somebody’s always doing worse.

Gobin’s book is based on figuring out newer ways to free yourself from self pity, doubt, bouts with pouts and the infamous sympathy versus empathy warship. Be a leader in the department of you and succeed by leading other’s who are like you out of an already dug hole that doesn’t require a lean on me post to pull you free but rather an escape from the other person, places and things we marry in life but never free ourselves from. It kills me deeply to hear comedians joke that our national divorce rate is over 50% yet I bet the other changes we make in our lives is ranked near 2 to 5%. What did love do wrong?

Julia Cameron couldn’t have said it best: If you love wrestling with puppies while taking snap shots of their fuzzy faces to make others laugh…build your happiness around a career that involves dogs. If the idea of travel ignites smiles larger than the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston create a website that showcases an inside view to traveling that isn’t spoiled by businesses who pay big bucks to talk about tourist attractions that can afford to buy advertising.

Get yor head out of the idea that money will buy you happiness. It makes you lazy, hateful and dead determined to leave this life not getting what you think you deserved.

I write to write. I don’t write to see my name on or to walk into Barnes and Noble and stare at the bookshelf. Nothing kills a writer more than falling witness to their works not moving. I’m not reaching back 33 years into a book I pasted together while in the tenth and eleventh grade because it would make a great movie…the writer in me is screaming for the opportunity to complete a project that’s been fogged over by another passion that’s consumed me…radio.

I’ve spent hours talking to music producers who know the vocals given to me at birth aren’t Robert Plant, Adam Lambert or Harry Conick Jr. We continue to create together because adventures aren’t always found on mountainsides with too many bears and bobcats. There's no better feeling than hearing music in your head then transforming it into a realm of reality. The rhythms and harmonies may be off but who cares...isn't that what Jazz is about?

Once you find you…the words, “I hate my job,” will fall from the path you walk. If you are discouraged by the morals and ethics your place of business might be presenting…you aren’t alone. Be a leader and locate quality versus quantity in the way of eliminating sympathy from your fogged over window. Grab a fricken paper towel and wipe the moisture off. There! Now you have an entire world to uncover.

Locate your tribe…discover happiness.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just because...that's why!

How many times during the average lazy hazy days of summer do you mindlessly wander into Michaels or Hobby Lobby believing you’ve been blessed by the almighty creative bug and this will be the year that the angels of inner peace and outwardly involvement have been patiently waiting for?

I’m constantly accused of having too much on my plate…being the owner of this outlet I’d say you’re judging the book by its cover. I’m not ashamed or too shy to admit that I’ve got the courage to endlessly open new doors to an arena that’s available for all to play within but the idea of mastering any or just of them is flat out too complex and brain cramping boring.

I’m completely guilty of being a rusher.

Whoa! I want a rose garden in the front yard so the mailman can have something positive to hold onto during their mundane drive through cookie cutter Home Depot designed neighborhoods. I grab the shovel and start digging holes; no research on which rose would best enjoy the endless amount of pouring down sunshine; not even a desire to fortify the soil with fertilizers and other beads of feed that would make each rose want to leap from the Georgia clay and kiss a passing cloud.

The artist in me is always in a big hurry.

I want so badly to be the spoiled kid with twenty five snotty nosed brothers and sisters and totally point my mud covered index finger at radio. Ha! Talk about judging a book by its cover! Thirty one years in the biz and I’ve yet to attain the origin first put into play while being a stinky butt record collector who at the ripe old age of fourteen told his parents to drive him to Laurel, Montana for my first radio job or I’d become their worst nightmare. While unlatching his belt Dad said no and proceeded to explain that he had the upper hand on who would become the worst nightmare if such conversations elected to continue.

Artist’s who rush their projects are silencing desire.

Artist Way author Julia Cameron might actually have the equation as to why it’s rush, rush, rush then poof…we’ve rolled over and fallen quickly to sleep. Your body creates endorphins. The very endorphins you use during heated moments of passion are also put into play while creating. This isn’t a case of one plus one making two…it’s more like one minus one leaving you with nothing.

Your love life sits still when the artist within has nothing. Taking too much from the endorphin pool on either side of the white picket fence ends up being a stale pale day unpleasantly displayed on a canvas that’s been colorized by your judgment and not the ones you feel are constantly attacking.

Rushing your creative self is no different than dumping twenty gallons of gas into your car then hitting the highway at 110 mph. The first convenience store stop is pretty cool because you load up on Snickers bars and chips…but eventually the kidneys don’t have to go and the only thing you’re truly trying to accomplish is locating more fuel for an engine you feel should be up and ready 24/7.

Tae Kwon Do could very well be the feeder line to my passing of time. It wasn’t until I woke up one day a red belt that I realized, “What the hell have I learned?” The answer kept coming up…nothing. But hey! I have a red belt! Which won’t buy me electricity to run the refrigerator nor will it dig for fossil fuels so I can go 112 mph on my creative freeway of love.

From the introduction of your foot meeting the cracked sidewalk circling the elementary school to college, martial arts, cooking classes and driving school for those whose choice was to exceed the limits printed on road signs…every human brought to this planet is taught to be who they want and need to be way, way too quickly then expected to fly without hitting brick walls, mountains or invisible trees.

Through nature we learn to eject…the project crashes but we don’t burn up.

I’ve decided to bend the pages of the book and hook something unique to the cover of this faceless collection of words meeting eyes. My greatest challenge isn’t creative flow it’s teaching myself that the odds of me getting another 48 years to test drive this machine called me comes with no guarantee. I’ve not entered a state of lazy learning but have become wise in knowing nothings being accomplished with fast talk and shove it down your throat perceptions that claim the human mind can handle more input.

I walked out of a recording session this past Saturday horribly disappointed with the way the writing, singing and mixing project was going: I’m no different than anyone else; the best part of being creative is watching the suns rays’ race to an innocent cloud turning it into an array of two billion colors. Sadly, if the ball of fire falls too quickly the only thing we’re left holding is a whisper that says, “I’m done…move forward.”

Alan keeps telling me, "Stop rushing...enjoy the process of music coming to life."

I took that ill fitted mood into Tae Kwon Do last evening…rather than fight the system of speed reading and kicking, the decision to pace myself infected the instructor’s methods of delivering. Ten minutes into the education not just my mind but nearly every person in attendance began to let go…only to hear fellow black belts reprimanding the younger minds for not paying attention. It’s too easy to point a finger when the easiest and best way to fix a broken pipe in the Gulf of Mexico isn’t to rush into rash decisions but rather to heal the leak by trusting time for what it is….everyday, which out change, never a doubt…its always going to be 24 hours, 60 minutes in every hour, 60 ticks to make one minute and even that is too slow for runners and sports fanatics whose addiction is to collect the most gold.

When you purchase a new freezer why doesn’t it instantly make ice? Why do songwriters continue to make four minute pieces when the majority of us find more pleasure in hitting the arrow that never says NEXT…we just do it?

What if you slowed down your way of bringing creativity to the surface of reality and physically, mentally and spiritually became connected to reasons why your system of choices has gifted you with the opportunity to do what you do? Do you know why we can’t? Fear of failure.

Until you change…enjoy your creative silence.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thank you for 100 years of quality leadership!

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the United States Boys Scouts; straight from the handbook I share with you the tiny but extremely important particles that become the bricks firmly placed in one of the strongest foundations in American history.

Boy Scout Oath or Promise:
On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

The Boy Scout Oath has three promises: Duty to God and country, duty to other people and duty to self.

DUTY TO GOD AND COUNTRY: Your family and religious leaders teach you to know and serve God. By following these teachings, you do your duty to God.

DUTY TO OTHER PEOPLE: Many people need help. A cheery smile and a helping hand make life easier for others; by doing a Good Turn daily and helping when you're needed, you prove yourself as a Scout and do your part to make this a better world.

DUTY TO SELF: Keeping yourself physically strong means taking care of your body. Eat the right foods and build your strength. Staying mentally awake means learn all you can, be curious, and ask questions; being morally straight means to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character.

Boy Scout Law…A Scout is:
and Reverent.
Boy Scout Motto: Be Prepared!
Boy Scout Slogan: Do a Good Turn Daily!
The Outdoor Code: As an American, I will do my best to -
Be clean in my outdoor manners
Be careful with fire
Be considerate in the outdoors, and
Be conservation minded.
I’ve met very few men who didn’t give the Scouts a try; each leaving for self guided reasons. My brother Teddy and I loved our weekly meetings only to be tossed around from group to group because locating a long lasting Scout Master that lived nearby in itty bitty teeny weenie south Billings, Montana was extremely difficult…we learned early how Mom’s lead very busy and extremely tight scheduled lives, in my part of the village we never had male leadership.

I often believe we would’ve had more success in the FFA (Future Farmer’s of America) but the stepfather constantly refused to purchase us a cow. We had the chickens, pigeons, rabbits, cousins who had horses and sheep in Wyoming and a sister who was always in a bad mood…there had to be a group designed for our chunk of the punk kid network.

Truth is…such a brotherhood wasn’t lived out until the book of life read: Chapter 40. Getting into martial arts and abiding by the hardcore rules written by a people of great strength and leadership over 2,000 years ago is enough to make any kid or adult sit up straight at the dinner table. But kicking, punching, blocking and tossing aren’t what we’re putting focus on today…

The United States Boys Scouts have turned 100!

The highest honor is Eagle Scout…getting there is a journey, achieving it is an honor, living the life of the highest rank takes courage, inner strength and a willingness to take what you’ve been taught and share it with those outside your circle.

In my book, anyone who earns the rightful position of being saluted and looked upon as being an Eagle is a famous individual; A wall honoring every child turned adult needs to be built on the soils of this nations greatest corner with each name deeply dug into the surface of granite signaling to a passerby that no matter how high the mountain or heavy the challenge…tomorrow can’t and won’t happen without leadership, skill, loyalty and determination fed by the mind, body and soul of strength and the willingness to share wisdom.

There’s no such thing as a former Boy Scout…you are and shall be called upon in a future you didn’t design but because someone took the time to teach you in the pages of growing up…how you handle your present is based on the experiences delivered by Scout Master’s, Father’s and Mother’s who opened that large wooden door and said, “Walk through it…dare yourself to be prepared.”

Today I salute every Scout! As difficult as it was to be a kid wearing a thick blue or brown shirt complete with a bright yellow bandanna style necktie and badges that honored animals and their stories to school, the end result is pride and I’ve yet to meet the Scout who isn’t blessed with the seeds that make up the unseen path he or she would locate if all that is…suddenly changed.

Happy 100 and more!!!! Be a leader and make today and tomorrow 100% better because your leadership is part of it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Foster parent of art...

An Artist is said to be a visionary. As much as we tend to live in the past, when there is art we are playing with the present then giving it to a passerby we’ll bump fists with in the future. Medicine men from once powerful nations would constantly walk the long dirt covered trails connecting hide covered homes searching for the one who could peak into a future not yet born. Medicine Men and Women weren’t always the ones holding the key secrets to medicating the mind…someone had to know where to go when food became lesser and lesser or take unsent invitations that invited unwanted warriors to the pages of their present and prepare for unexpected change.

Today, banks, department stores, stockholders, colleges and the medical field fork out billions of dollars for research, survival is based on visualizing the future and seeing the tiny places in the world the average Johnny Joe and Wild Wilma walk beyond until American Culture says it’s ok to purchase. That’s their art!

But serious, during this day of constant criticism and lack of support…what is art?

It’s the middle of summer and there’s a bald tree in my front yard that I see as being the most gorgeous piece of art in the forest. It’s not dead…it just doesn’t pop out leaves. It’s bald!

Art can be the way you speak. Art can be something you drink. Art is the way you walk, dance, design and find things on the World Wide Web. Art can be found in writing, sliding down giant chunks of plastic at a county fair or being the one putting passion in a colorful bag of cotton candy or putting a golf ball into a hole the size of your fist.

The problem with art is admitting you’re an artist. I mean, you don’t really have to come out and say, “Hey! I am creative!” But it’s nice to tell the face behind the ears that you enjoy being creative. If you don’t see it how can the rest of us pick up on it? If we aren’t reacting the way your imagination perceives its rightful place in creativity…the weirdest thing begins to happen…you go silent.

Shutting down your outlet makes you feel bloated and constipated, I’m talking about the point of gotta go but nothing moves? There’s nothing wrong with switching dreams. When radio isn’t giving me what I want…writing books does. If the words aren’t pouring out like it belongs on the front page of a fancy magazine, I’m painting, sketching, doodling or making funny faces at people I don’t know just to make them laugh, point fingers or think, “Gotta go this one is making me nervous.”

You weren’t built to do one thing or you’d be the lonely person stuck behind the counter at the bowling alley shooting Lysol into the toes of used shoes. Even that’s art…to lay down a line of smell so good and continue reaching for the next pair of shoes is all about passion baby.

I’ve always wanted to be the voice on the loud speaker that says, “We have a pin jam on alley 5.” Or the announcer at a ballgame that calmly says, “Up next is #5 Phillip the Turnip Michaels whose batting average is two but that’s ok…he’s on the home team!”

I do though…suffer from a horrible disease I call Picasso-itis. Pablo Picasso loved to paint. He had a passion to sit and listen then allow the winds of change invite colors to chase the thin strings that make up a canvas…as much as one would believe he was in total control, I tend to argue because within his twists and turns and brush strokes so vivid there always sat a single, “What if?”

How do I know this? He had horrible amounts of problems with giving the art to its rightful owner. He clung onto it for weeks, years, months…always telling the owner, “When it is ready, I’ll share it with you.” Oh my God! This is so me! And we are far, far, far away from being the lone Lysol user at the counter of the bowling alley on this one.

Creating is the addiction. Setting it free is the foster parent that can’t let go.

One of the single most important hand painted portraits brought to the surface of the places I like to paint sits the image of a man and woman who are deeply in love, they are slow dancing, her smile resting next to his soul while his eyes calmly sing the words of a piece of poetry I had written to go with it:

How do I say goodbye when leaving is the new beginning?

How can I raise my hopes when everyday is something I can’t control?

Our time was a passage, time that was true.

Time opens the heart each day, sharing gifts in the songs we sing.

We’ve been through Heavens gates, been to Hell and home again.

Time is lost and found each day, an angel’s forgiveness in your soft kiss.

We’ve been through Heavens gates been in love and best friends.

Hey…let’s do it again.

Don’t take so long to find me…I’ll be the one holding kisses…kisses in the wind.

The ocean sits within our reach, her shores made of the sand of once living mountains. Time painted the path that which we now meet, set inside a sunset, where there’s nothing but music. Unmasked, we swim into the lost horizon, knowing one day, we will meet, on a mountainside, in a stream, preparing for the next journey. In our wings we shall hold, the lyrics of an unexpected dance…two wandering hearts we are no more, we have passed the tests of time and shall fly into an unborn tomorrow, never promising for everything we’ve been and shall see is a river fed by a guarantee…to dance.

Our time was a passage, time that was true.

I shall build a rainbow, made from God’s best colors, your eyes. Time is no uncaring fool, gave me a final dance to share with you.

I shall write in your absence, the words of two hearts vowing to dance. Before we’d sleep we’d always laugh…now its time for the final dance.

Hey…open your eyes…lets do it again…

Don’t take so long to find me. I’ll be the one holding kisses…kisses in the wind.

Arroe 1/30/10

And I don’t have the courage to take it from the walls to which I sit between to share it with the rightful owner. By writing about it and sending the words outward…it becomes my vision as an artist to grasp the reasons and or purpose of it being as real as a rainbow to hang in the heart to which it belongs. I only know how to promise Matt that it’s still on the way. Being the artist, I lack the inner strength to let go. gets inside you and poof creativity is born. Don't be Picasso and hold onto something that might bring a smile to a passerby's day. Your job is to pass the message not horde it. As I let should you and in the end there's going to be more room to create more art.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

While you were sleeping or typically ignoring the rest of the world...

Did you know the subconscious mind perceives time in the present? The only path your invisible inner self can see and or follow is connected to now, which means everything it feels, hears, smells and tastes is 100% unconditionally timeless.

Introducing…the always assumed prepared; horribly decorated landing strip for two of the world’s largest most out of control emotions; fear and jealousy. Tack on some heavier than normal memories and the mind, body and soul are brimming with seared cells that wreak havoc on the core energy source.

Welcome to another workday filled with blah, blah and blankety blah, blah. What gives? How can you be incredibly happy driving into the position you hold but the moment your feet touch the well behaved black tar that makes up a farther than normal parking space…Mighty Mood Mouse consumes every breath you take.

You cherish the people you work with! Ok, a few of them get under your skin but it’s so much better than other chapters you’ve written. What keeps you from growing? Is it something you’re doing at home? Is it the scent of fresh hot coffee sending your memories back to a more innocent time? The elegance of life is knowing the scent of each day is meant to never be the same.

If the subconscious mind perceives time in the present and highly trained think doctors believe the only path a subconscious mind is connected to is now…how important is the term timeless?

In his book Talking to My Selves: Dr. David Quigley teaches us about the doors hypnosis has opened taking those in question into a far, far away universe fed by rivers of high hopes that could unlock what’s kept them blocked for a year, decade or the entire span of a life they’d love to one day own.

Are the items of past choices stored in your subconscious mind currently making giant ocean sized waves on the white sandy beaches on the one you call self?

One of the main battles behind the lagging decision to add more profits to unemployment benefits were the genuine fears lawmakers had on the concept that extended stays away from the workplace physically taught people how to stop searching. It’s easier to receive than it is to earn. There were voices that stood out when saying, "Jealousy will clean the way for people to turn unemployment is a profit maker."

Fear and jealousy...

Boldly printed in the first paragraph of today’s U.S. Money Talks, it reads: After passing the unemployment extension of benefits through the Senate last night, many people are wondering when can they expect to start receiving their reinstated benefits. Talk about feeling like we’ve just been catapulted back to middle school and the only place to move is one step forward in the cafeteria line?

If Dr. Quigley is correct in his unveiling of the subconscious mind and how it devours only the present then acts as a feeder line to jealousy and fear…what did we just give to the future?

The last thing I am is political. Not my game in the world of things you can’t change. Being one who studies human behavior, I’m deeply influenced to participate by walking peacefully toward a shaded tree with incredibly green underbrush, to which I will sit within like a patient white haired Wolf with barely a growl yet being the Cancer I am, there’s always that dull roar of worry that stares into the actions and reactions of the passer by.

Mind sets, mood swings, brother and sister battles four decades thick…nothing suddenly appears on a map—like the Great Wall of China, each of us carry bricks, branches and crates of mud that seem like it could make a thousand pots and dishes only to learn it only made more mud.

Native American’s teach us: What you do today will affect the next seven generations. How you are today probably isn’t something you’ve done but was planted in the soils of challenge and survival and somehow it landed in your ear of corn, which is why I cherish every opportunity to watch popcorn explode…after all those years of being trapped inside a journey you couldn’t escape…boom! Let life begin.

I remember standing on the unforgettable manmade designs of South Beach in Miami thinking about the view of the world the unbelievably talented Versace had—everyday thousands of beach dwellers, party animals and extremely famous slowly paced by his giant pink home…they’d stand outside the gate looking up, around and through their imaginations believing something would touch them by way of inspiration. A white feather floated through the air during my time there…chasing it like a child, I raced to hold an object that literally appeared from out of nowhere…then it occurred to me…South Beach is where the final wind blows before being set free to chase new dreams in lands farther away than your in laws.

If what we do today affects the next seven generations…what has a simple breeze stolen from you on its journey toward South Beach? What timeless message did you slide into the bottle now floating on the surface of an ocean decorated with BP oil, trash from NYC, tossed away beer cans, sandwich baggies and a beach ball a little boy named Kevin thought he packed away but discovered when he got home that the only thing that kept him from boredom on the family vacation no longer has a connection to his current ticks on a wall clock.

Lawmakers didn’t bypass the bill; by passing it the unemployed now have an extension…I see the good and fear the bad. What did we just give the future?

Oh…before I forget: If you’re one who is incredibly happy driving into work but the moment your feet touch the well behaved black tar that makes up a farther than normal parking space…Mighty Mood Mouse doesn’t have to consume every breath you take. Snap a photo of your car and put it on your desk…when you’re beginning to take a nose dive like a kid discovering the deep end of a swimming pool…look into that photo like a white haired Wolf and watch the passer by (You) reignite.

7 generations is longer than a lifetime...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wal-Mart doesn't sell this stuff...

Every computer features one, usually tucked away in the lower right hand corner. All makes and models of cell phones are created with an easily accessible one. The moment you walk into a working environment, you can’t help but notice one on a desk; you might even have one loosely attached to a cork message board in the kitchen or bedroom…and if you still use them in this world of constant digital change, there’s always one somewhere in your checkbook.


I’ve never been a fan of the word. A first grade situation, “Come on little Arroe…sound it out.”

I failed to see two consonants between the letters A and E therefore it should be Cale-n-dar as in car. I had the same troubles with Wednesday. If it’s Wins-day…then spell it that way! Bucket is bucket. Tail versus tale taking on they’re, their and there completely kept me out of radio until someone finally felt sorry for me at the horribly old age of sixteen.

I once worked with a brilliant comfmercial writer and producer who taught me, “A calendar does nothing more than advertise another twenty four hour period filled with choices that 90% of us set aside.”

I’ve always wondered who pays for that space on a once living tree swiftly turned into a sheet of glossy paper. Advertising isn’t free…If a calendar is nothing more than a brilliant marketing tool…where are the pause, rewind and fast forward buttons? If I don’t write stuff down…it’s long forgotten. Wait…I write daily, there are times I return to a page four years after shaping ink into passing inside view and I wonder, “Oh God…What was I thinking?”

Gene Simmons of KISS had nothing to do with the calendar or it would be more user friendly. The Master of American cultured junk would release two more full days of play…some would choose to throw a ball, sit by a lake, visit racetracks or BBQ chickens…I personally need another 48 hours to figure out how to slow down those tiny boxes and numbers that bark at me like a dog impatiently waiting for a treat.

When did it suddenly become 2010?

I’ve grown into this person who looks into the eyes of someone born after 1985 and calmly whisper, “You waited in line too long. You should’ve demanded to be created much, much earlier.”

What? Even at 48, I soak in the suds of other people’s dreams and experiences connected to Frank Sinatra, Elvis and The Beatles. I completely didn’t get to participate with John F Kennedy becoming this nation’s youngest decision maker or the Chicago scare that turned Al Capone into a household name. Many times I’m disappointed to learn that I didn’t hop on board the ship that sailed into the Charleston Harbor during the days of vivid imaginations and every reason to explore the shores like John Lawson who sat in a pub one day and challenged himself to truly discover America by documenting every tree, plant and un-tethered wind that raced from the sands of Foley Beach toward the mighty mountains that make up hideaways named Hendersonville and Asheville.

We have a way of trying to manipulate the presence of a calendar by constantly living in a past we can’t change. I’ll never forget discovering what happens when you place a sharp object connected to a long metal arm onto a sheet of black plastic spinning on something that resembled the merry-go-round without the horses. Although I spent many years dropping pennies, nickels and dimes onto the same turntable just to watch them fly in any direction…uncovered that day was my first date with recorded music: On a farm in Ranchester, Wyoming, the Monkees singing I’m a Believer.

It took no time to learn that anything and everything with grooves isn’t blessed with lyrics to sing. I would tape sandwich baggies to the turntable and set the needle on it. What the? I grabbed cardboard boxes and cut them into circles and tried to create sound. Totally not my fault! Alphabet cereal put those Archie characters on there singing Sugar Sugar...and Mom was too good to let us have that much sugar in the morning...I assumed all cardboard could sing!

I became so addicted to the record player I refused to accept cash for babysitting. I made deals with the neighbors, “I want the stereo and speakers.” Before long…my stepfather Joe had reason to walk into my homemade radio station and yank out 28 speakers, six eight track tape players and five turntables. He was afraid it would start a fire. I became so angry that I took a walk toward Ponderosa school and discovered a tiny red building with the letters KOYN proudly displayed on the outside, “Oh my God! They have record players!”

Then something went unexpectedly wrong way, way, way down the road. I wrote in my book Another 1021 Thoughts, “God whispered so softly it stopped my heart.” Ever been there? At 6:15 pm tonight that moment will light up my calendar far brighter than this child’s first discovery of music. Everything that once was…was no longer important. I had a new map to follow: to heed the words of the doctor who traveled farther than any other human…physically in my heart. While laying on the table watching them on the big screens above, the well educated fixer upper said, “Give me two more minutes and I’ll get you back to living.”

And living is what I’ve been trying to do for the past 52 weeks…harder than any other day, year or month that fell into those ugly black lonely boxes that keep showing up on the calendar with no way of capping the well in my Gulf of Arroe. I’ve never been a fan of celebrating birthdays but something’s really different about an Alive Day.

Birthdays are selfish…Alive Days are the result of faith, chance, hope and the desire to take what you’ve just been handed and teach it to someone whose headed down the same path you stood before being nearly shoved into a box. I’m not the only one whose walked to the edge of the horizon and swiped a sneak peak at the vista calling your name…but I might be the only one who challenges you write about it. During an age of constant communication very few seem to be talking until something hits them unexpectedly and there’s nothing on the bookshelves at Barnes and Nobles that says, “Give me two more minutes and I’ll get you back to living.”

If the marketing geniuses continue to create calendars you might as well fill them up with at one positive per day, a simple thought jotted down that will wiggle and squiggle its way through time and when you least expect it…that single line scratched into the surface of something so incredibly smooth will no longer have anything to do with your current page but it will be the light at the end of someone’s extremely dark day.

Everyday is your Alive Day until further notice. Don't wait to be reminded.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Berlin Wall has fallen in the world of writing!

“Occasionally, never, when I’m in the mood, if I’m moved, only if I remember,” when it comes to writing I hear every excuse as to why you don’t…and yet, each experience improperly and untimely laid out during this daily adventure has the ingredients that could, may, might, quite possibly invite influence or inspiration to another person’s tough time or bad day.

Justin Halpern lives with his 74 year old father; something about getting old gives you a legal license to say whatever you want, whenever you want. Justin’s decision was to share with the world. Not only did **** My Father Said not only turned Social Media wanter’s into Twitter users but this Fall the book becomes a sitcom starring William Shatner.

The Meryl Streep film Julia and Julie began as a weekly blog; a common everyday woman who found pleasure in cooking challenged herself to bring Julia Child’s eloquent dishes to life then document it on the World Wide Web.

In the past five years Blogging has become a writer’s paradise; an avenue of release without having to worry about editors, publishers, bookstores and walking through a flea market and spotting your work now selling for a nickel. Blogging has very delicately welcomed the shy, easily embarrassed, the timid, fearful, the ghosts and over willing into a theater of: This is me and I’m going to shove every rule about writing to the side and write like I speak. Mark Twain is a great example of why you should always be you as a writer.

Having such a place to perform has unlocked lives. Feel creatively constipated and bloated? Write! Had a great weekend filled with love or misguided adventure? Write! Can’t believe the way your boss is treating you and it’s turned you into a drug abusing alcoholic with no hope for tomorrow? Write! On the opposite end of your writing instrument isn’t a sheet of paper I call a once living tree…there’s a pair of eyes that need to know they aren’t alone.

Julia Cameron couldn’t have said it better when she penned out, “You were born to write. You have the right to write.”

Blogging is an incredible new beginning. It’s a platform to display your art so you can learn to ignore criticism. (Another Julia Cameron-ism)

Because writing is becoming a valuable tool again…what can’t be lost are the stories you wish to share. Those are the tiny torn pages from a notebook you used in school uncaringly thrown into a box now sleeping in the attic. Sleeping not dead. But! But! Who would want to read my stupid childhood chicken scratches? Who would want to travel along with the imagination belonging to a timid half witted hard working employee who writes every now and then because it’s like getting lost in the words of a great novel except you’re the creator of the final page? and have paved the way for authors, performers, singers, songwriters and other creative outlets to make it to the shelves of where reading is going…digital.

The Ipod’s of books isn’t just the Nook and Kindle…your cell phone can latch onto a free AP that’ll connect you to a world of storytelling. Now you can be a part of it. The walls of discomfort have fallen. The reasons and purposes that forced you to hide your works of writing art no longer have silence to look forward to.

In 1977, while fighting hard to stay interested in high school I wrote a Rock n Roll novel called Halloween 78; the original handwritten in pencil collection of words about a teenage garage band who makes it famous due to a stupid stunt sits heavily protected in a weather proofed box because I knew one day it would be released but because of my addiction to radio, the writer in me was forced to think only of 30 and 60 second commercials you tune out of.

My first book published wasn’t the one I wanted to be remembered for but I was playing a game called, “Publisher wants…publisher gets.” Although the book has been read by people from India to Russia and somewhere in central Carolina…the joy of writing and getting published still hasn’t set in. In fact it’s blocked me from keeping future work from reaching bookshelves.

I still wrote but just like 48 billion other writers, the written was quickly hid totally forgetting the idea that writers and what they create isn’t supposed to be about me but a willing passerby who needed something to push them through the next level of play. It doesn’t matter what you write, every word that moves through you has the strength to make it to those wandering eyes.

When my books began to appear on it seemed like, “Whoa…is this dude just writing to write?” No…this dude’s had these books sitting in a farm yard barn ready for publishing for three decades completely bathed in goober amounts of the same fear that keeps artists away from displaying their unexplained reasons for writing.

Now that digital books have begun to make their way onto a readers path…the new journey has grown wings allowing writers who’ve been hidden for a lifetime to step outside their normal way of breathing to share what could become the next great novel.

After 32 years, two marriages, nine radio stations, eight dogs, a cat and several birds I call my Jazz singers…Halloween 78 will be released this fall. It’ll sit next to the multitude of self help books that carry my name for no reason other than to say, “It’s time to give away what doesn’t rightfully belong to me…a story.”

If you write or want to write then do it but don’t be like an artist who puts paint on a canvas and expect to charge astronomical amounts of money for something that was given to you for the sole purpose of sharing with the universe. I’ve been at war with the music companies of the world for charging $17.99 for a compact disc then $100 for a concert ticket. In this age of new beginnings for writers…be a true pioneer and keep the prices extremely cheap because the more readers you collect, the bigger the chances one of them will reach into the future to change another life.

You are the messenger and the day of bringing what you hear to life for the world to see has arrived. I am so proud of the words you’ve written and hidden but its now time to let it go for the world to hold. Now you can finally get back to breathing and from it new words will begin to play with your imagination and that’s where a writer's life begins.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Don't beware your present....just be aware of it.

If I stop…I’ll drop. There’s no better way to explain how my engine works.

Unlike a car that softly purrs at your fifteenth red light in ten minutes or a cargo ship that shoots through algae stained ocean waves that reach to the sky to grab sunshine then shares each ray with the murky sandy floor below…I push and push until a brick breaks in the wall so tall only to discover there’s less and less air to breathe so I elect to sleep.

You know there’s something wrong with America when the cost of power drinks is more expensive than a tall icy cold can of beer.

I arrived an hour early at Tae Kwon Do… “Perfect!” I thought to myself, “I’ve been gifted with the opportunity to grab the Kindle and read. No! I’ll hit this button so it can read to me.”

Out I went.

On a ninety three degree day, a passerby took note of a middle aged man slouched over in the front seat of a parked car that had been idling for over thirty minutes…

Tap, tap, tap on the driver’s side window, “Sir is everything alright,” the neatly dressed police officer asked.

The ordeal reminded me of a story Thick Nhat Hahn shared in his book The Art of Power. He describes the Power of Mindfulness as being an energy source governed by the minds eye being connected to the present moment. When you are fully present, you are fully alive which invites incredible natural energy to the events that keep you ticking.

A great example: A weekend family BBQ, you feverishly bust tail to make the day in the sun as close to perfection one’s tiny heart can design…the moment its over…you can’t remember flopping down on the sofa to land in a classic well deserved two hour cat nap. By being in the moment your system created energy…once set free, the idea of capturing another breath of fresh air was completely out of the question.

The Power of Mindfulness helps you know what you should do and more importantly what you shouldn’t do. Think about it…although laws state that we aren’t supposed to text while driving, most do. What is your body’s natural reaction when caught up in a story? Rest, relaxation, sleep...

Mindfulness or putting energy in the present moment helps you avoid difficulties and mistakes; it protects you.

Thick Nhat Hahn writes: Mindfulness means recognizing things for what they are. I left the car on to feel the chilly air conditioning. If I had fallen into a deeper sleep and cuddled up to the gearshift, I might have slipped the car into a different gear shooting it forward. I was no longer in control.

Although I recognized something positive in getting the rare opportunity to have sixty minutes to read, nourished weren’t the elements of the moment. If I was in a city park under a tree, everything would’ve been beautiful…but my decision was to read on a blazing hot summer day in a parking lot located in a not too decorated part of town…by releasing myself from reality I set too many things in motion that could’ve gone wrong.

Sure it controlled my mental ability to pay attention in class! A police officer was called to check out Sleeping Beauty. Ha! The lack of Mindfulness created a negative but that didn’t require the day to be over. Through the same lessons taught by Mr. Hahn, one who suffers from anger, such as Mel Gibson and his latest adventures in the Paparazzi, by exercising the Power of Mindfulness, being aware of the current moment, all things that come across as ill-fated and torn can easily locate peace.

Our connection to money destroys mindfulness. The ways we make it then quickly spend it totally takes us off track, destroying our true dreams which are connected to the multitudes of others along for the ride.

When we walk, we don’t walk…our legs carry us. We are not free. The hardest thing to digest are the chapters of our personal pasts. Try this the next time: Live in the present by recognizing what’s currently making up the moment. From where I sit at this very moment I don’t see layers of work waiting for me to create…the slow rising sun from the eastern sky is lighting up the trees begging to be seen outside the radio station window. Butterflies dart through the air like a wild rollercoaster ride while a woodpecker attempts to shove its head into weathered bark where termites are watching Howie Mandel wait until the last four seconds to announce the winner on America’s Got Talent.

Life isn’t moving fast…you are. There’s always been 24 hours on the clock and the ticks that make up a minute don’t move any faster than what they did in the year 285 A.D.

In radio, there are very few who live in the present; we’re deeply addicted to the future. No on-air jock thinks of the now, it’s always twenty minutes from now, after the next song, two hours from now, from timing into the news, to getting mentally prepared to shake hands and kiss babies with the public at an event three days away...being available for the present has never been that important. Show prep is done to serve as a map but once you get there…you’ve entered a completely different state. That’s why the majority of the interns who step into this world bolt before their 400 hours…there’s nothing real inside the four walls that make up our plastic smiles because what we accomplish is not done in real time.

I don’t know how many times I’ve come off the air feeling like I’ve been onboard a nonstop overnight five hour flight to California. One step off the giant jet and its like, “Wow! Where’s that Carolina heat and humidity?”

Have fun with Mindfulness, don’t beware your present. Be aware of it. It’s amazing what you’ll discover while being in touch with those you love. Live in the energy that invites you back to being yourself…and I’ll stop sleeping in running cars on hot summer days in not so safe neighborhoods. It’s asking a lot but oh well…through mindfulness you can finally locate happiness.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

If you could be a tree...which would you be?

How often have you sat staring at the long slender trunks of a wind collecting tree wondering how and why they got stuck feet first in a chunk of bright orange Georgia Clay or sloppy Montana mud?

Trees are like humans, we love to gather, huddle up, to keep the horizon full of surprises and continuously allow ourselves to be pawns in a game of chess with Mother Nature.

In a round about way, that’s how a poet opens the door when trying to explain Seth Godin’s book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us.

Large groups of people instantly send my imagination back to the rolling hills of Wyoming where farm houses are heavily protected by up to two or three hundred trees. The Wild and Wonderful state is wide open until you leap off the highway toward the cattle and sheep ranches that feature endless amounts of fresh laid eggs and cats waiting to get warm milk shot between their purring lips by a playful ranch hand who’s first job in the morning is to make sure Sugar has her feed and there’s cream to be churned to make butter in the kitchen.

While riding horses I’d constantly stop and stare at the giant dots on the distant hills like a child who scans the sky every night for a universe they may one day touch.

Looking deeper into the soils that make up the paths we trample…it’s become our way of life to be a tree whose stuck feet first in a clump of energy called Mother Earth. It’s not such a bad place to be until you want to create motion. If the average dog year is seven human years…how long does a tree wait for a summer breeze to move its knees?

Seth Gobin calls large groups of people Tribes. Because of my spiritual beliefs, we’ll see them as Nations. It’s nothing new when we hear people get stuck, like a tree, somewhere between the right and left coast. When motion stops it tends to drown out other people connected to other people and more people then there’s a whole lot of nothingness.

Being in the Broadcast industry I’ve been invited to participate in multitudes of new beginnings; visions presented with extreme importance placed on making a profit for a non-profit organization. I’m such an easy sell but hurt like hell when the process put into motion barely lasted three months or a year. A great idea that lost its steam before the locomotive engine was designed to make more.

If only I could have been more than the music maker or the speaker who introduced those holding the gold plated shovel—

Seth writes, “A movement is thrilling. It’s the work of many people, all connected, all seeking something better. The introduction of the web makes it extremely easy to get involved with more peoples lives. All that’s missing is leadership.”

First and foremost…I am a tree farmer. My passion for these incredible creatures has inspired me to dig so deep, the roots of my everything are three inches from popping out on the opposite side of the planet. In my studies I’ve never met the tree that wants to be called King. One might be taller, thicker, features more leaves, drops it colorized rainbow by the end of August or features the prime landing spot for a passing completely out of air buzzard whose eyes refuse to stop looking for fallen squirrels and whatever else keeps their muscles pumped and moving forward. But not a single tree screams, "I am King!"

There’s more opportunity for human involvement today than during the days of manmade posters and signs that protested wars, voting and civil rights and later Presidents and lawmakers who couldn’t decide for themselves so they tossed it to a higher court.

According to Seth, today’s Tribes (Nations) aren’t quite so squishy because Social Media gets the word out. The majority of today’s technologies are designed to connect Tribes…to amplify their purpose. Finally! We can stop being trees stuck feet first in a chunk of mud living outside a house in Wyoming!

Yeah right…

PC’s, IPads, Kendles, Nooks and your car engine don’t move without leadership. They need someone to tap a key, push the gas pedal or download books from a website that only appears on screens that lead to your reality.

Desire makes things happen. It’s people like Seth who get into the heart, mind, body and soul of a passerby and give them permission to be something more than a tree. Don’t get me wrong…I love trees! I hug them tighter than my favorite childhood stuffed animal named Mumbo Jumbo but a tree can’t build The Ronald McDonald House…it can only help protect it from extremely hot sunny days or blistering snowy moments with flakes by the millions floating to earth like oversized feathers from a pillow you just slammed into your brother or sisters face during a fun filled laughter saturated attack that’s been brewing for weeks but Mom and Dad never left quickly enough.

This isn’t a call to action designed to greet your street with too much energy for your feet…leadership is what we all have the power to do...don’t do it just to do…do what you do by leading. is one such Nation…or Tribe. Authors around the world are receiving emails today asking how the website can help them reach a bigger set of eyes. If you write, have written, want to one day write…your “desire” has put you in the right place at the right time. You don't need an overpriced publisher with snooty noses and bookworm straight A students to put your thoughts in places that can be read.

There’s an audience or Tribe waiting for your imagination to blossom like wild roses sending out scent waves to a passing deer begging to munch down a piece of natural candy.

It’s time to give yourself permission to grow…find a Tribe or Nation and take the first step of your brand new beginning.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A tool shed is never full....

Have you ever watched people in the television department at Sears or Best Buy? Every so often one of the larger than life flat screens will be connected to the real world which instantly stops a passerby; it’s as if we keep looking for the great Economic Messiah to return with plenty of good times and cheers for American businesses and their employees.

What you don’t see on the front page of newspapers is how nothings changed. The first rule of positive thinking is to fake a smile, eventually the rest of you will catch up. It’s ok to be nervous just don’t let the rest of the world see The United States sweat.

Wanna know why I love America?

During the days of Benjamin Franklyn, holding a metal key during a lightning storm did more than ignite the lights inside a constantly thinking mans head. Benny was everything to a lot of people. He was this nation’s first master of invention. If given another ten minutes Mr. Franklyn would’ve developed the IPad, Iphone and Netflicks connection to your Wii system.

More than anything, he loved to write. Over two hundred chapters later in the book called The Life and Times of Turtle Island (Native American description of our country) Historian’s have confessed that Ben Ben fanna fanna fo fin was the worlds first Blogger. He didn’t rely on corporate printers to back him up or publishers to edit out personal struggles and temptations. BF was a BF to the people….(Ben Franklyn was a Best Friend) because he wrote in ways that kept this budding group of dreamers abreast of what was goin down in the hood.

Thanks to Social Networking, Face Book, emails, Blogging, texting, The Kindle, Nook and anything else digital…unmasked has been the soul of a true America.

In the past five years the lost art of communicating through writing has resurfaced which is giving an authentic voice to radio talk show hosts who’ve adopted the idea of putting pen to paper, fingers on keyboards and writing news and reviews for those who need more than on-air propaganda.

Remember the movie Good Morning Vietnam? Robin Williams walks into the studio to read the latest news headlines and the majority of the story is blacked, blocked and punted out of the picture. The only word heard by millions of our brothers, sisters and fathers and mothers was what high ranking military leaders wanted them to know.

It’s like walking into a car dealership…the only thing they tell you is what you want to know not what you need to know, which is why you should always get in touch with Carfax before pulling the dough from your money maker.

Elizabeth Hyland is another wave maker…her book Surviving the Unemployment Roller Coaster rips the curtain off the wizard and flat out freaks out the beast who took you down because it teaches you how to get back up.

Just incase you’ve channel surfaced out of the national news, they’ve spent the past few months covering the tight tales of elected officials who are gaining strength in the idea that, “American people are lazy! They love the idea of not working! It’s the new welfare!”


Elizabeth Hyland’s new book comes from the bowels of hell with a message that says, “Yes you can still do it.” The modern day Ben Franklyn not only feels the heart beat of a willing America but has done the necessary homework to help refine and tune up your hard working engine.

She writes, “One of the most difficult things about being unemployed is dealing with all of the unanticipated feelings and the stress of staying on top of your job search. A positive attitude diminishes, your emotions get out of control and you begin to learn how to ignore your feelings.

Lets be honest...we don't need the 11 o'clock news to tell us when life is going to be better, you’ll know when the economy is back on line when libraries are open seven days a week, teachers are no longer county and state pawns in a game of financial chess and city lights will shine bright late at night. Get up at 3am and take stroll, your favorite daytime place to drive is dark, dark, dark at night…can you say the perfect place for crime?

A North Carolina Broadcast Hall of Fame inductee once said to me, “Play everyday like it’s your final day…you aren’t in control of your destiny which is why you should be prepared for the next chapter of your book. Always leave through the back door; it makes it more difficult for managers to find you.”

The hidden message is simple: take ego out of the game plan and play like you’re on the bench. Load your passion driven dreams with valuable tools not for the present but for tomorrow when something unexpected becomes the path you walk. Elizabeth’s book is the hammer to pull the metal from the board after you’ve been nailed.

In the meantime…write about this current state of American emotion. Don’t let your footsteps be lost prints in the sand. How we survive determines the fate of the future. Use Social Networking to connect. Face Book doesn’t have to be about taking a trip to the grocery store…take your experiences and teach those who are waiting to learn. Book stores are filled with paperbacks that sell and all too often what’s being printed is the world’s largest fake smile.

Is that truly what you want to take to the generation after your grand children?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Who's following you?

I’ve spilled ink on more fingers and clean sheets of white paper than most people spin from spools an arms length from the stool. Hello, my name is Arroe and I’m addicted to the intertwined thin shreds of a once living tree during an age of texting, emailing and Skyping.

Absolutely it’s because of the multitude of voices constantly heard inside the thickness of my thinker. Think I’m alone…or we’re alone? Prove to me there’s only one of you stuffed into that giant human of a shell. Not gonna believe it.

We hear them speak while driving, folding clothes, shopping at the mall or itty bitty flea market. The voices interrupt our workday begging you to locate a reason to go home early, tell you to drink more wine or beer, ask politely for you to dump more BBQ sauce on your plate of beef or chicken. You hear words when confronted with bills that need to be paid. One look at your parents or family member and quickly you’re driven across a speed bump because of an event that unexpectedly unraveled three decades ago.

You can hit control, alt, delete ten billion times and just like a computer…your mind, body and soul never dump what the FBI and CSI can always find.

Debbie Unterman has released a book that dives into a pool of water a snot canal deep, revealing the identity of the voices so often heard even while trying to sleep. Talking to My Selves: Learning to Love the Voices in Your Head gently explains the ins and outs and whoa so way out there twists and turns that reek havoc until you’re willing to give them a name and face…therefore your identity won’t be part of its theft.

She says, “Decide if any of the voices are likely to be external characters. Allow yourself to divide them up.”

Arroe is a writer, producer, performer, musician, artist, worrywart Cancer, husband, radio addicted geek, dreamer, Wal-Mart shopper, heart attack survivor, animal rescuer, Native American spiritualist, black belt martial artist, works for movie companies and blah, blah, blah. None of these voices have anything but my two eyes and booger filled nose in common.

Through 48 chapters of life…I’ve given each person a voice, identity and place to escape.

Debbie’s next goal is for you to locate the source of where your voices come from. When you hear the inner mingles of thoughts on the loose, is there someone or has someone in your life been the key source of making that voice happen? For an example; my drive to succeed is my mother. My hardcore tell it like it is way to teach future Broadcasters and Tae Kwon Do students is 100% stepfather World War II Vet Joe. The passion to perform on any stage available to hold my frame is owed to The Osmonds, The Brady Bunch and the Partridge Family…I loved music so much as a child, to see them perform on television forced me into a state of mind that I too could do it. When I paint I hear Peter Max still talking to me. Sharp pointed anger? Let’s save that for a different blog. It’s nice and juicy and who wants to mess up this picnic table?

According to Debbie, hearing voices in your head isn’t a bad thing. We hear heroes, words of wisdom from Grandparents, teachers who opened new avenues, a boss that believed in you, neighbors that shared more than their shovels and backyard pool.

Clarity is key…

The daily goal is to protect the core of your system from accidental visitor’s who have stopped in for a mental visit and you can’t shake them free from your living tree. They want one move in and mess up your life nice and good, better, best.

Marriages shatter because those we love remind of us of the paths crossed years earlier and you guaranteed the many selves you are that it would never happen again. Friendships collide, working conditions worsen, doctors visits become frequent, self doubt sets in, life gets boring, holy cow God…when are you going to ring the dinner bell for me to come back home?

Mountain’s on both sides of the coast and around the world withstand winds of many change and passing storms can be violent or as peaceful as spring and they still have the energy to make the human say, “Wow…”


A single mountain has many personalities with centuries of chapters written about who, what, where, when and how. Like an old house whose paint has cracked and the stairs weeble and wobble like a old time carnival ride…its history might speak in the way of many languages but for some oddly shaped reason…its character enhances the location of self love, for if it didn’t cherish the ground to which it stands…there wouldn’t be a shadow on the west side of an eastern sunrise.

The reason why I can be in so many places at all hours of the day and night isn’t an ego stretching its self thin…I have a lot of friends all baring the same last name…Me. When you stop to take care of Me first…those connected to “You” become important too.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

You can, you did, you heard from the critics and now you're silent...what gives?

Thanks to the help of my writing mentor Julia Cameron….unveiled on the face of your favorite place to hide are five incredible reasons why you’ve convinced yourself to avoid making art:

First! We’ve got to stop by and see what the word “Art” physically means. Seriously! What you see as art compared to what your neighbor hangs on the wall can easily be two separate paths. Now toss in your mother’s addiction to making bright yellow yarn doilies, your Aunts backyard flower beds, sisters desire to sing on America’s Got Talent and the creative world is spinning so fast the idea of stopping to ask for directions is completely out of the question.

Art: the quality production, expression or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

Did a lawyer write this?

No wonder Michaels and Hobby Lobby have smokin hot sales in the center of summer; make the mediums that bring air to art cheap so that the average doodler can exercise their vivid imagination. The object isn’t to huff and puff your way into a self generated high abusive court system that decides if and what you do is truly art.

The long slender blotchy yellow and brown neck of a goober looking giraffe is art. The maker of that piece definitely has a cool sense of humor. Toss in the Hipo and the Duck Billed Platypus and we’ve got the world’s first episode of Last Comic Standing.

One of the top reasons why an average Joe with ten toes takes his eye off the “Art” game is because the project is too big. I’ll never forget trying to put in a backyard pond complete with exotic water plants and oversized gold fish. My first and second attempt was washed away by torrential Carolina downpours that picked up the plastic oblong chunk of inner solitude and threw it down the yard like a whiffle ball searching for a homerun. I failed to take my time to do it right because…they can do it inside an hour on HGTV.

Reason number two: Artists instantly put enormous price tags on the products their heart and soul delivered. I’ve been kicked out of many galleries for making two types of noise, “You want what for that? Tell me who they are. Give me an incredible reason to believe it’s an incredible investment.”

Because I refuse to slap an unheard of dollar amount of a canvas ignited by my fingertips, a gallery in New Orleans shut down my show because they weren’t making enough money. That moment in Arroe ego history completely collapsed my willingness to paint. I’ve reached two years without a brush in my hand.

See what “Art” does to us! Grrrrrrrr! Wait…that’s the third reason to avoid art. Rather than let the spirit of presentation flow through you…the avenue chosen is an act I call being a two year old who doesn’t get his or her way. By being without the scent of acrylic what am I trying to prove…oh I can win? I’ll show you! Blah blah blah! The way I’ve reintroduced unperfected lines and rainbows of colors back onto my path is allowing others to doodle in front of me. I study their love for letting go which inspires these persnickety fingers to dive nose first into a vat of Elmer’s Glue.

Hot dog! We’ve made it to reason number four: Art is avoided by sound. What? If it’s not perfectly quiet the one doing the masterpiece begins to pout. I totally get it! There must be shhhh in the womb. Then I walk through a festival and catch the brilliant artists painting or crafting with billions of people and interruptions around them completely inspired by their ambition to keep focused.

How can you beat sound? Write or create in a coffee shop. Set up your place of escape in a park and feel the breeze of a passerby as they whisper, ‘Man I wish I could do that.” When I write and practice sharing wedding vows it’s my goal to make the process extremely public because where else am I going to be when passionately delivering them?

I stood in the forest one spring day bringing life to the words printed on a once living tree and up walked a whitetail deer. I’ve stood in offices where the phone constantly rings, rooms where people are tugging on you…uninterrupted art must be practiced not once but often. Radio station Program Director Mike came across as being a total jerk when he’d stand next to me live on the air and punch me, move my papers, rearrange songs on the air then explain, “A true professional will learn to tune me out.”

Reason number five: Art is avoided because those doing it become addicted to teaching it introducing that solid core of creative vibrations to something called burnout. I loved being a black belt in Tae Kwon Do so much that I stopped being the student. I raced to teach others how to perfect their front kick, outside block and form. From the sidelines I’d open the eyes of a lower belt explaining how a student’s front stance was off and if they continued that way balance would be something they’d never own. I honestly thought I was going to be the next great Master and I bit too much off the head of something unforgettable.

Once you’re burned out…the most difficult task isn’t getting back on the horse but rather finding someone to mentor you in the way of healing the invisible pain you can’t explain, it’s just there and it hurts to move in any and every direction. So we give up…or continue to swim in personal pity by asking students to stop referring to you as an instructor. That means every ounce of energy poured into the spirit of a 2,000 year old martial art no longer seems important…rather than fix the problem, you elect to swim in it.

Why do we purchase virus programs for computers? To protect and to fix. How can you mend a broken artist? Forgiveness…

Art is whatever you make of it. If it requires time to close your eyes and dream first...welcome it with open arms but please don't beat it up if what you say behind those eyes doesn't match the object created. Art is a series of mistakes that shape movement. Take the word master out of your piece and let there be light in a cloudy corner of impossibility.

Even silence can be looked upon as being art but something tells me being silent keeps you from being happy. Make noise in the name of art and discover a self others never assumed.

I'll always be your biggest fan!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yes you can!

I remember racing home from Ponderosa School with a pocket full of neatly folded magazine pages baring the souls and rich colorful faces of nicely aged antique cars and the wheels that got them to their place in American history.

I stole the pictures…saw them in a Weekly Reader Book Club order form magazine sitting on the teachers desk and couldn’t shake the vision or vibration from the normally extremely clean path and life my seven year old legs led.

Mrs. Keefe, my closest friends David Brown, Derek Mullins and Joe Kakowski nor I had a clue what would protrude from the vividly clear but hauntingly too abstract painting tossed at me like a water balloon; all I heard in my head was, “Go home and write…”

Write? I hated reading! On purposely I flunked tests so I wouldn’t have to make my way to thicker thoughts about Huck Finn, Romeo and Juliet and later in life Hamlet, 1984 and eleventh grade Current Events. My first comic book was slammed together by Gene Simmons of KISS but I never read it. Today it sits untouched in the very bag the store clerk put it in…

Talk about feeling out of place!

If you weren’t diving into Batman, Superman and The Archies and couldn’t find enough imagination in your skull to walk into Dr. Seuss’ theater of the mind—the only thing left was to write your own ten act play then quickly hide it in the third cardboard box to the right in the very dark and damp attic above your bed.

I’ll write it ten thousand times; Mrs. Keefe was the first to recognize my mental disorder. Rather than report me to the principal and child welfare, the aging woman so many cherished embraced my weakness by taking this unknown passion to write and giving it to the heart that screamed to bring words to life.

She gave me the names of the characters from the books they studied and softly asked, “Will you please write me a story about these people? This is who they are, what they look like and how they’re accepted or not accepted by the other characters in the book. After you picture them, take your pencil and write…I want to hear how you as an author bring them into the world so others in this room can see what you feel.”

Not all teachers believed in the concept. I wasted twelve long years of a free trip toward something successful on being an invisible head strong wild child that had no clue how to get the energy out…so I soaked in
creative flow with no place to go. By the 5th and 6th grade Mr. Barone had me copying dictionary pages because it was the only way my imagination felt challenged enough to succeed in a world oversaturated by teachers with big bright red pens that said, “You suck.”

The only way to free myself was through music. How dare I think of writing! With writing comes harsh judgment from brothers and sisters, moms and dads and those you thought were your friends. I would never put a pencil on paper in public…so I’d race home to quickly fall asleep, believing if I controlled what I dreamt, it would be equal to an author giving life to a page that once belonged to a living tree. Music put me to sleep. Take it to the Limit and New Kid in Town from The Eagles were my drug. John Denver pressuring us to believe in a Rocky Mountain High painted pictures in ways Mrs. Keefe introduced.

I know! I want to be a radio Disc Jockey! I’ll sit beside the greats of music and help them bring their creative outpourings to the forefront of a listeners next thought. I’ll be Wolfman Jack and Casey Kasum mixed in with Kurt Anthony of KOOK. Why read books when radio people tell stories? Making it even more difficult to turn my back on broadcasting was a radio serial called Chicken Man and every night on KGHL they featured Radio Mystery Theater.

I had finally found my oasis.

Every radio show, every television and or radio commercial written and produced by me today carries the very vision Mrs. Keefe planted in my field of corn. None of it has calmed the roar my heart bakes into the footprints of always changing sands. It doesn’t matter how much air I pump into the tires holding up a thirty one year old radio career, it’ll never support the system meant to be displayed.

Secretly and silently I’ve written since the second grade; every word rushed to an impatient shadow…

People constantly ask why I speak so much about daily writing—because I’m not the only super soaker of thought becoming a rhyme or tale, nourishment for personal growth or an adventure through measures of mediums called blogs, Books on Demand and Kendle, Nook and IPad. You don’t need a publishing company to hang your gallery of pictures painted by an imagination you’ve carried all these years and the only thing you’ve ever offered it is a single thought, “You suck!”

The day has finally arrived; its time to give yourself permission to write.

I can’t explain in words what it feels like to hit and see two books written by these tattered and torn fingers that have spent an entire lifetime scraping away mountain sized walls that kept me from doing what I’ve always had the right to do…to write.

Why wouldn’t I want to take what Mrs. Keefe gave me and place it someplace special for you to steal it? Grab the pictures and race home! If you see it, feel it, taste it, hear it smell it…there are words in your heart waiting to describe it.

The greatest gift you can share is your imagination…

Friday, July 2, 2010

History isn't a you share it is...

Quotes my folks never said but the “Heart” Dr. did:

“You’re the guy that does those loud annoying car commercials? Let me hear you do one now…” 7/21/09 while being prepared for surgery.

“See this area…that’s your block…give me a couple more minutes and I’ll get you back to living.” 7/21/09

“You need to listen to me…these pills are not drugs. See them as your map to succeed another day, week and we can all hope another lifetime. I don’t care how clean you claim to be…if you want to live, you need to guarantee me that you’ll never miss a day.” 7/23/09

“No you can’t go back to Tae Kwon Do! You’ve got to accept that you’ve injured the inside of your body and there’s not enough air in the world that will heal it faster than time!” 7/30/09

“The only way I’m going to clear you to return to martial arts is if you pass a Nuclear Stress test. Please listen to me, people three weeks from having a heart attack don’t do what you’re attempting to do.”

“I’ve never had a patient wear their martial arts uniform to a checkup before.”

“If you had gone only three minutes you’d be in cardiac rehab. When you didn’t stop after nine minutes I took your name off my list to see once a month. How you made it beyond 13 minutes is every reason why you should always remain loyal to being a black belt in martial arts.”

“I asked you not to do pushups and you did. I asked you not to return to Tae Kwon Do and you did. You completely ignored me when it came to taking time off from work. It was your choice not to listen and because you walked into this with a winning attitude I’d say the most recent pictures of your heart creates the words I can’t seem to come up have no physical scaring or evidence that you had a heart attack. In golf they call that a mulligan. In the world of medicine…you are what we call a miracle.”

“Even after a year, I’m still in shock this happened to you. There’s nothing in your family history that sends out warning signals. This leads me to believe the events of July 21, 2009 are based solely on eating habits. Get rid of the Chinese and fast food and you’ll never have to see me again.”

“You’re too young to be on this many pills. On July 21, 2010 you’ll begin the process of letting go. By October, I fully expect you to be 100% off all medications. You’ll be back to where you once stood. Don’t give me any credit for this…this was all you.” 7/1/10

July 2, 2010:

The journey that tilted the axes of my world is far from over...I feel like I’m fifty two weeks behind schedule. I grasp the idea that you can never catch up on lost sleep…turning dreams into reality is a different concept and story. Weeded will be the wars I once cared for. To feel peace you must learn to walk in peace. My couple of minutes are up…it’s time to get back to living.

Out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind…silence is for people who say, “I quit.”

Steal my art….