Saturday, February 08, 2014

The Olympic Reality

Every four years, the Olympics comes to town. Not really in my town but in the town of Socci for this year's Winter Olympics event of 2014.  And in the town of our backyards as communities and families gather to watch and celebrate the moments of this great spectacular graceful movements through space and time.


One word can describe the olympics and that is love.  And during the same time as the Olympics, our country is celebrating the arrival of the Beatles 50 years ago to America and John Lennon's song of Imagine ties in well to the olympic dream where we are asked to imagine a place where there is no hatred and no war at all.

What is also wonderful is how the paralympics uses the same facilities from the official games and they claim it as their own to face their challenges on their own scale.

The pageantry always fascinates me as there is a preamble to the ceremony when there is  a foretaste of the artistry that is to come.  Then a few moments later there is the great pageantry of the world being featured lined up on the continents displayed on the ocean like floor and the presentation of dreams of an 8 year old child is brought before us. While London had the beds of children,  Socci had a child floating above the crowd and later walked amongst the stage floor.

Then the Olympians can walk in to the stadium with all of their colors and the flags waving in front of them.  They are talking and communicating with one another. Yet without borders of fences and security lines. They are people who embrace one another. Embrace their dreams and cross over into other countries to train and be part of their team as well.

I would love to see that in our world today on a more regular basis.



All of that pageantry and pomp. That celebratory force that a country once tucked in the corner of the world has now found its voice and is on the world stage.

Then there is the pain that some of the Olympians feel when they suffer and endure injuries. Yet the game and show does continue to go on.  Many times the athletes do not show those grimacing moments but carry on to display their fortitudes of courage.  Going down the mountains and on the ice rink.  Moving at fast lightning speed as they attempt to go faster, higher and stronger.

When I think of the Olympics, I also think of the word Transformation. Transformation comes in three forms.  It comes with the general facilities of where the athletes are competing, then it comes in the form of bringing forth a director's creative dream and then the spectacular competition of the athletes as they compete for their medals.

There is an athlete's village where everyone gathers in and mingles and lives in a harmony.

And the beauty is that every 2 years, we get to witness this on a global stage whether it is winter or summer.  And as they always say, Let the games begin.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fully completing the Loop

Falling Up the Mountain
Gracefully going toward the medal stands
Taking it to that next level.



I watched on NBC Shaun White as he attempted to do a triple loop on the pike and the slope style obstacle course.

some thoughts emerged as he attempted to land some challenges amid some injuries and set backs.
Sort of an anecdote for life in a way.

fear drives us sometimes
frustration blocks us up
but being driven by an inner desire and a coach and mentor propels us forward.

Nothing in life is guaranteed.

This week I tried to break what was blocking me by sending out 3 inquiries of potential jobs.
I may get a few no's my way but I learned that "Yes does live in the land of no!"

We need to break that seal that can bind us in that fear.
   To open up that package and make new things happen in our lives!

To be challenged to take our sales to a new level. To a level not reached before.

Sometimes we can not contain ourselves.
  We  need to  give ourselves away to others.
That ultimately is where joy comes from.

     That in reality is what that moth becomes when he goes into the cocoon.
      He comes out as that beautiful butterfly.

Also reflect back to the manger:
   Born to us an infant babe.
   Emerging from the cocoon
      A world leader
      A personal revolutionary
      Set to change the world
       Standing in the cross and
        Emerging triumphant
          just like that butterfly.

We can all do that!!!

Where that waterfall can flow over the rocks and amaze us.
Or that ultimate Niagara falls that keeps on flowing.

Or Old Faithful that spouts each and every day!!!!
Coming from that inner core of the earth-
that molten magma coming through the crust of the earth.
  That very truth learned in the 6th grade during science class at Osborn Hill School.

Hope you have been blessed by some random wanderings of my life in thought.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Idea Factory

District 53, I have a problem.  I volunteered to give a speech for Jan Jam.  Yet I have no idea of where to begin.
Have you ever found yourself to have this problem?  In the next 5 to 7 minutes, I am going to help you find ways to take something that may be in your mind and you never knew it before.  To have this be effective, I am going to need you to put on your thinking caps.  These will come in handy in that they will capture the ideas that are going to come from your idea factory that is going to put into work right  now.
As part of this process, it is real important that we examine how this factory of your brain is assembled.
It is divided into two hemispheres-the left and the right.    In our left hemisphere, we can describe it as logical, detail oriented, mathematical and deals with science and practical reality.
In our right hemispheres, we have the elements of feeling, seeing the big picture, and employing fantasy and risk.
As we look at the left and right hemispheres, it will help us to see how ideas can be created by answering a few simple questions.

First, when we use the left hand side of our brain, we need a map and a direction for which our ideas can be created and laid out.  It is best to jot them down. Once Ralph Waldo Emerson expressed that "we need to look sharply after our thoughts. They come unlooked for and like a new bird can be seen in your trees but if you turn your head they will just plain disappear."

It has been said that when an idea hits our head, it is almost like a light bulb that goes on. For this to happen, we need to have power.  Remember that our brains are a great powerhouse for ideas to be created and stored. And the end result can be of power, impact and persuasion.


Many of us have ideas that are all around us. I could call it an idea factory.  The key is to discover them and unlock them.  I have here a secret weapon that  we all possess. From our pockets, we have a common ingredient that we all must have to be successful: The household key.  How many times have we opened a door without thinking about it.
Each of our keys are uniquely created with its own pattern of the key.  It is the secret which will open us up into the world of the mind.

Now on this factory floor, there are a variety of workers that are going to be creating something beautiful.
That new prototype which we can carry about our lives.
These ideas form from the simple building blocks of the alphabet which are just 26 letters. And there are a myriad of combinations-well past a billion.  We just need to mix them up and find what works for us.
Second, these ideas can be very detailed and form a mosaic when they are put together. It forms a puzzle which we can look at and when hung, we can see other possibilities emerge.
Finally, our ideas can take us on a course of adventure.  At times, we may be comfortable sitting in our seats at the arena before a great boxing match but when it gets exciting is when the 2 boxers come out on the stage and start fighting and exchanging their fists.


As a result of our time here together this morning, i hope that you have discovered your own factory floor where you can assemble some awesome ideas together to bring back to your home clubs or your world to share.
Remember to take your ping pong rackets and create a tremendous volley of ideas back and forth.
Enjoy where that white ball takes you.
And remember to unlock your mind to new ideas as you enter that world of thought.  Who knows where that next big idea may take you.

Have fun.  We have just scratched the surface.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Looking into the scenes of our lives

Frames
Stanzas
Paragraphs
Choruses
Scenes

All of these above words are fractured pieces of a whole that we can grasp reality around.
Have you ever looked at a movie and seen a scene from it and could look at its beauty or its thoughts and be transcended and mesmerized by it.

I like to look at the world in this way.
These fragmented pieces that break off are easier to digest and wrap our minds around as we figure out how life can work for us!!!


Saturday, November 09, 2013

Identity

This poem below was read at the 5th annual Art Trail for an Open Mic Poetry Night Nov 9th:

One
Two
Three
Four

Hands Patting on one's knee.

Identity shifts
   Within light and darkness
      We are never alone with our shadows that accompany us on our paths.

Walking through the grocery aisles
   with a cart that has a mind of its own.
Packages promising Instant Happiness
Candy positioned in aisle #7
   on the other side and never looked at before.
Violations at instant check out of 12 or less.
  Not prosecuted but accepted without question or defense.
Bagged to supply several days of nutrition.

Be careful of our words
   For they are building blocks of thought
   Easily toppled or
     firmly cemented as the concrete of our lives.
    Becoming digested within our minds
       to recall at a moment's notice.
     Or as Richard Fewell shared:
      words gone by are then swooped up by someone else for their use.

Rivers slowing down in our lives
   And mirrors serving as a reflected memory of what is going on.
                                    9-11  11-9

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Octopusses

Good afternoon world and a special dedication to my dad who has been gone from us for the past 4 years. For you took a trip as you announced to the hospice nurse that you were packing your bags  to get ready to go on a trip.

As I was listening to a conversation between a child and his mom, I overheard the word, "Octopus" and many good impressions come from dwelling and meditating on the word.

First, octopusses have to be rather flexible as they glide through the waters.
Next, they have firm footing as they stay glued  to the underbelly of a rock.

These octopusses have been known to be floaters who glide along the water.
They have that special ability to get out of a sticky situation by squirting their ink in defense to the sea above.

Our family has met one of these "octopuses" in Maine in our fishing encounters.
When my dad and I went fishing on our 16 foot motorboat, we caught a sea squid that had its 8 tentacles and then we released it back into the water.  I caught one or two of these and they were rather memorable but as a younger boy, I relied on my dad to take out the hook and release the critter back into the water.  Something that takes delicate and calm hands to safely maneuver the hooks out and not be sprayed.

And reflecting on those delicate and calm hands, my dad expertly released several racoons and even a skunk with the have a heart traps that Audobon provided us when we had our struggles with our woodchuck family which we shared our garden with. It seemed to be the Woodchucks who got to our goodies before we ever got to.

And my dad's hands were able to expertly guide companies as they went through their mergers and acquisitions.  Being able to calculate on the balance sheet their net worth and determine the tax consequences of a purchase related to accounting law.

Lessons that I am currently in the process of learning as I move along in life guided by the Hand of the Lord of what I am to do with my life.
That need to be flexible.
That need to have fun.
And the need to know when to let that ink fly in the sky above me.

So I thank you, Dad, for knowing how to do all the things that you did for me such as teaching me to drive a motorboat, to playing gin, being able to have fun with a calculator in Mr. Fuller's office, and how to be a man.  And to stay on course through life and as you told me last before you went home to "stay the course and keep on trucking." 
Very valuable words in our society today!

Kiva to a great man!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Devotion as the crown jewel to the early church's success.

Amazing the impact that the local church had on the world.
I am amazed even today at my friends and their devotion to the word of God.
When I read an interview with my friend Chip, he stated that he read the Bible 3 to 4 times a year through. Now that takes commitment.

And I glance back through world history and I see the birth of the early church.
And that church went through many growing labor pains.
Yet these people had a secret that seems to be lacking now.
Especially for me-
That is a devotion to the Holy Word.

Yes, I will carry it with me. put it in my pocket. Glance at its pages. Point to a passage.
Yet back then in the first century, there were no verse numbers, handy cross references or concordances. Just the first edition of the Holy Spirit deposited into each of those believers.

Men and women willing to die for the faith that Jesus expressed.

Sure some confusion when Jesus left.

At that moment, there was no Paul having written discourses on the elements of the faith.
Or Peter having written warnings on fighting the false teachers.

Just ordinary men and women who met the Lord Jesus and heard of him and what he did.

Think of it this way.  A summer blockbuster just came out and word is buzzing on the street.
Think Oscars.

Yet the success of the early church was their devotion to the simple elements of fellowship and the discipline to carry it through.

Even with the impending death of some of them if they carried it out.

SO I salute my friends who have that deep devotion.
And I aim to emulate them.

And to deliberately do those things which make one godly and try harder to not deliberately do the things which cause so much harm.

Glory be to God!!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Making Impact

Good morning World.
I came from my 30th High School Reunion.  A long time passed even though only 5 years from last time.
As I looked at the crowd, I wish I could have scratched some surfaces and seen how the insides of their souls were.  Yet I did the best to make an impact on their lives by smiling and being friendly.

Being a little awkward too. But I heard from a few that was their experience also.

I guess we all have those awkward moments. And to make a ripple, a  pebble does have to fall from the hand of the thrower and go at an arc of some distance and then skip across the surface of the pond until it falls beneath the surface of the water and disappears from sight.

Its ripples from above mark the surface of the water with an ever widening arc.


And then may reappear years later into another hand
  To make that same journey.
Not knowing its impact.

Only maybe seeing how a life was changed.
To take on a new arc.
A new path.
A smile to warm the soul.

A tingle of excitement within the body.

Remember not to give up hope as one travels through life.



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In Search of the Lost and Found Department

Today, we are going to look at humor and its effect on our lives.
Have you ever had a time in your life when you have ever lost something?
Or many things?

I heard a joke once that goes like this.  A gentleman kept losing his stamps that were on the envelope.
He asked, "How can this be for I am very careful to place it on the envelope"  The other gentleman said, "well, have you checked how you licked them. It is really dry on this adhesive side. Maybe you should lick them on the other side!!"

Well,  I have and I'd like to show you some ordinary circumstances in my life when this does occur and some ways to overcome them.

Once, when I traveled to Washington DC for a rally on the national mall, I went alone on this journey.
I just turned 23 and said, " I wanted a day of adventure and a way to prove that I could control life well.  When I got to the bus, I ran into one of my friends from church so I would not have to be alone on that day for the journey.  We rode together and then headed out for the national mall.  I got there and then decided to saunter off to the Minnesota delegation since my brother lives there and get some trinkets  as a memento to my visit to DC.
Then after deciding not to get the trinket, I headed back into the crowd and realized somehow it DOUBLED in size and my delegation sign got lost within it!!
I wandered the mall for what seemed a few hours until my friend waved his arms as he was calling, "Is Scott there?"
This served for me one of the tangible examples of what it is to feel lost and then to be found and secure.

Now, to maybe help our government stop from wandering for the next 36 hours, it might be helpful to have some sentries in the crowd watching out for someone who is maybe lost? But what really is lost?  Now that would be for another session!!

Another time that I have experienced losing something was my job. I have a good track record of that in that I  lost my first job after college after about 14 months and then lost another one after our company was sold.  Now, these first two banks i worked for I had an excellent track record of losing 2 out 2-100 percent. My mom and dad said, maybe you should change where you work and you will have more success.  Well, I took their advice and then landed up in a company where I was for 20 years.
At Schrier and Bunzl, I kept my job but did have some adventures with the lost and found department.
On my first day to the office for the interview, I did get a little lost since the sign for 306 Black Rock Turnpike was not readily on the building. So I wandered for what seemed like a few moments until I found the building.
And then once inside, it can be a challenge to find that needle in the haystack. I sure had those moments when a supervisor would want a given piece of paper only to go back in the haystack and wonder where in the haystack it really was.

Now, I am in charge of the celestial lost and found department.  We are hiring for a position in this department.  But there can be some conflicts arise when something is lost and then is found.  Let us listen in on a conversation of a typical work day here.

Thunderbolt #1.  Someone stole my thunder?
Galaxy 1:            Really?
Thunderbolt 1:   Yes, really!!  I had my thunder in the corner over here.
Galaxy 1:            Your thunderbird??
Thunderbolt 1:   No, my thunderbolt!! You see, I was wandering the galaxy that you are supposedly                              watching and my thunderbolt disappeared.
Galaxy 1:            Have you consulted with lightning about this.  I hear she has lightning speed.                                       She can   help you find it for you!!  Do you want me to call her in on this?
                           And we can use speed dial for this one, for sure.

Okay, candidate, now as you can see from our Galactic firm we do  need some help. This could be the  ideal position for you as it is a seasonal job.  You mainly work evenings  or in the late afternoon.  Yet, you need to be on call for these disputes do happen often.
You do need a tremendous attention to detail in this matter and do need to see  far into the future .
You do need to have NO fear of heights for you will be way up in space.  And you will need a change of wardrobe with these big white suits for your job.
And you need a reliable source of transportation with excellent gas mileage.

candidate:  Yes, I am up to this job.  As I told you, I have a track record of finding stuff that I lost while operating in gravity!!  Now, what is the training program for finding this stuff in zero gravity!!!
Can I apply for a training grant from WIA for several million dollars?

And then there are the times when one loses lets say their cool.  Their emotions.  How do we package these anyway?  It would be nice to have an aisle 5 where we have our cool and then an aisle 9 where our joy is found. But there are those aisles that have the wrong items in when our hotter emotions are often found.  Only to find a way to bring it all together.

Now remember , it is real important to have these qualities because you never know when someone may ask you, 'SAY, SIR, I LOST IT!! CAN YOU HELP ME FIND IT?"





Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Eagle's Spirit

In the world today, the spirit influences much of how we live.  It has been described as the wind which is invisible within our sight. But it has also been said that you can see its effect from the blowing on a piece of paper.   It has been said that relationships bring a grand Karma and blessing to our lives that heals our lives.  And the way that spirit manifests itself is how we impact our lives by our actions and attitude.

Life has those special moments of bright colors that emanate from the horizon.  That is why I love the fall and the possibility of new opportunities.  And how we can get those unexpected surprises when you are not actually looking for them.  For bright colors do not always last forever. They sometimes fade after a strong Maine sunset over the coast.  Or how those brilliant fall colors come strong on the trees and then fall off and fade into the ground as nurturing soil.

The same can apply to how we impact one other in our relationships.
Special relationships can be eternal-those moments where we call out to one another.  Calling out from within the crowd, Bianca brought me into bring me into her circle while I was on the Bellarmine lawn during freshmen orientation at Fairfield University in 1983.

Even though we did not stay in touch often during our college years, it is an ember that sits quietly and patiently in the coals of our lives and gets reignited during our lifetimes.
 And relationships spread across time and place and get rekindled by a sweet note or postcard sent from across the world.  And it has continued on for the last 30 years.

Bianca has a good hearty and infectious laugh that can punctuate the silence.  I enjoy being around her during these special times.   Her handwriting is big and flows from her hands like the  flowers of a petal.

During one of the reunions at Fairfield University, Bianca shared with some of her friends how her dad came out and rescued her from a relationship that was not going too well and being protective of her.


It was during this time that she was called home after her father died. I was heading home from work and brought home the newspaper and opened up the obituary section at my kitchen table and saw that her dad passed on. I was shocked since he seemed so strong.


Often her family had special parties in her palatial backyard with a pool at it. Music played in the background.  Another evening, we had a special get together planned at an area restaurant but we headed to her house to pick up something. Bianca invited me out to her backyard for a moment, and about 15 of her family and friends were there to offer me a surprise greeting for my 39th birthday.  Her family had a nice outdoor bar where we shared some sodas and drinks in the outside cool breeze with her established family.  I received a nice crystal eagle wrapped in tissue paper and I have it displayed on my television console.  And I am currently known as Eagle from another good friend of mine.

Spreading through time, I have had some special times with Bianca as we traveled throughout Fairfield for several great lunches. Once it felt real special as I got my hair just right and wore my Fairfield University sweatshirt.  And I had a a beaming smile on my face.  The office knew I was  in a good mood for it felt good to catch up with my best friend, Bianca.

 And during the third of one of these gatherings at noon, she failed to show up but that Friday afternoon, a nice bouquet of cut fall flowers arrived at my office!!

I was the talk of the office since men often did not get flowers. And they wanted to know who my special admirer was.  That was prior to a  thanksgiving holiday.  I kept my flowers on my living room coffee table and kept them watered.  The flowers had a special aroma.  Often they asked, "Scott, is this the one?" but I responded back, "No, grace has flowed into Bianca's life with a friend from across the pond!"

A couple of months later during a winter afternoon with the snow freshly on the ground, we headed out to a lunch and Bianca shared great news that she was engaged and going to get married.  I was very happy for her,  For she found her friend from another friend.  Phil lived in England and they hit it off well.  And the special thing about Phil was that he lost his wife a while back and  complemented Bianca's loss of her dad.


And during one of our special lunches, we took an extended time after a quick bite at Boston Market and got my glasses at Pearle Vision Center.  Then I picked them up on a Saturday when Bianca got married for their U.S. wedding in her backyard.



And while he was briefly in the states to be introduced to Bianca's mom, on one of Bianca's first dates I was included as we went to the movies. Not a particularly great movie but just a great time to be together as friends.

And I got to be on her radio show as she interviewed me on how I overcame my struggles and was her bright spot. This occurred a few weeks before halloween when I was interviewed from my home.

Often we exchange emails and I share special inspirational writings and emails.  Bianca has encouraged me to write a book for I am a brilliant writer for I am great at it.

When my dad died, the first person in the world that I shared the news was with Bianca for I knew she would understand.

See, for the fall season brings many great blessings from the time that we met, to the time I received her flowers to the time of being on her radio program.

And I am reminded of how I need to extend and reach out from my soul to bless other people and let the moments flow.
And music flows from these times and they can be magical when we are present.

And to witness how people can be resilient with some of the struggles that they face.

And I need to find and create those moments for others to enjoy and not be cognizant of a time frame but to see it as a long horizon that changes over time in the strength of its color and beauty.

Just as I have found with my special friendship with Bianca and her family.