June Gloom

Tonight was warm and the air was a little thick, but an occasional light breeze would pick up some of the draft from the swamp cooler coming through the screened door on my back patio and cool things off.  As I sat in the stillness of the evening, I could hear the sharp yelps of coyotes out in the small network of washes that criss-cross my neighborhood. I wondered if they were reacting to the sound of an ambulance’s siren in the distance, or the full moon that was rising over the Rincons; an enormous, amber sphere that looked as if it was too heavy to clear the treetops of the mesquites.

The moon tonight reminded me of some of the summer nights I’ve spent in Rhode Island. I thought about the times when we’d be coming back into the salt pond from the ocean after chasing striped bass until  after sunset. I remember gripping the wheel of the boat tightly with one hand, with the other firmly on the throttle, waiting for just the right moment to line it all up and shoot through the Charlestown breachway with breakers crashing right behind the transom, threatening to swamp us, or at least push us into the rocks.  Although I made every effort to align my return with an incoming tide to reduce the likelihood of swells at the end of the breachway, it never fully quieted the racing of my heart and the tension I felt until I knew we were far enough into the channel to be safe.

I thought about Rhode Island and not being there this summer.  I began to feel sorry for myself and label this as “loss”, and then I recognized the opportunity that it presents. In the past, I’ve fought and struggled and borrowed to find a way to go “back East” for a vacation. I do love it there, and so does my family, but I believe the stress of trying to get there (which is also inherent in spending long periods of time with 10 other people in a 900 square foot house) is overwhelming.  As this realization unfolded, I felt a change in my outlook. It’s been a long time, so I almost didn’t recognize the feeling. It was peace. I feel it now, as I write this, and understand that I have a different path to take this year.  It isn’t an easy thing to explain, and I do not pretend that I know all there is to know, and that I am some kind of enlightened being that won’t ever make another mistake.  All I know is that since I experienced this peace, I want to pass it on to as many people as possible.

How did I find it? A lot of reading and meditation.  Over the past 9 months I have read books by Pema Chodron, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Esther and Jerry Hicks, Ben and Rosalind Zander, Eckhart Tolle, Don Miguel Ruiz, Viktor Frankl, Garth Stein, Seth Godin and Carlos Castaneda. I know there are many other excellent authors that I haven’t read, and there are a lot of people who don’t need to read a ton of books to find peace in their lives. I just put these names here in case anybody that reads this is looking for a roadmap. And if you have an author you’d like recommend, that would be awesome.

The Moon in the Daytime

I’ve always felt that there’s something funky about the moon being out in the daytime. Why is it’s shaded part sky blue instead of black? Isn’t black the true color of shadows? It appears as though the moon truly isn’t whole; as if it’s crescent is all there is. It makes me wonder: if my eyes are so easily fooled by the sight of a crescent moon in the daytime sky, what else am I not seeing? What else is up there, or down here among us, that cannot be seen because of the physical limitations of the optic nerve? I suspect that most of what I seek is often hidden in plain sight.

Fixing the Leaks

When I was 10 I spent my summer in Rhode Island. While goofing around in the Salt Pond, I found an abandoned wooden rowboat. It was leaky, but the leak was somewhat slow. If I bailed the boat out completely, it would take about 25 to 30 minutes before it would be inundated with water again. My friend, Chad and I would float down the channel and under the bridge in it. The water was only about 4 feet deep, so we were never in any real danger. It wasn’t as though we were out in the middle of the Atlantic, and it was always a lot of fun to see the reactions of the people walking over the bridge when they saw us ‘sinking’. Nobody ever tried to save us, but they did get a good laugh out of it. We eventually got sophisticated, and with my older brother’s help we put a coat of fiberglass on the bottom of that liltte wooden rowboat and stopped the leak. We then added a 3.5HP gas outboard motor, and we were able to travel to parts of the pond that were once too far to be accessible. That effort changed the game and greatly expanded our horizon.
Now that I’m older, I have new leaks to manage. I have children to raise, bills to pay, and a house to maintain, and I’d prefer to think of my current situation as a leaky roof instead of a leaky boat. A leaky boat when you have others depending on you for their survival isn’t nearly any fun. A leaky roof is more of an annoyance, in that it is a seemingly constant barrage of creditors and banks, bill collectors and bills. I opted into this game when I left my old job looking for new, entreprenurial opportunities, so I accept this situation, yet it can be frustrating nonetheless if I let it. It just takes time to fix all the little leaks. But just as we coated the underside of the rowboat with fiberglass, I’ll fix all the leaks in the roof and put a stop to the annoyances. Right now, it just requires a lot of pots and pans to catch the water until I can finish patching. I thank Dave Ramsey for writing the ‘Total Money Makeover’ book, and providing instructions on how to fix the leaks. I’d encourage anyone who reads this post and needs some financial guidance to check it out.


To me, faith is belief in what is not known. I have been blessed in my life and I owe this to my faith. When I believe in a positive outcome without knowing how it will come to be, it happens. When I think about the ‘how’, I clutter everything up and push against the solution that God is trying to deliver to me. The key is to do what I know to be the right thing, and have faith. What more can I do?


I read an interesting quote recently that mentioned affirmations, and I connected with it, because I’ve often had difficulty whenever I’ve tried using them myself. It’s from “Start Where You Are” by Pema Chodron: ‘Affirmations are like screaming that you’re OK in order to overcome the whisper that you’re not.’
This makes sense to me because the source of the whisper is the ego and my ego is very stubborn. I can see the idea behind affirmations ‘retraining’ the mind to have a different conscious/subconscious connection, yet we can never fully silence the ego. This is not to say that I do not attempt to maintain a positive attitude and an ‘openness’ to the goodness and abundance that God brings into my life. It just means that I am aware of this thinking part of my brain that tries to make me believe that not being alright is a huge problem. As Pema Chedron further states, ‘…none of us is OK, and all of us are fine.’ It’s OK when we have a negative thought. We just don’t need to live there. Relatively speaking, none of it is really a big deal, is it?