Purpose Statement

Exploration -> Experience -> Feeling -> Awareness -> Understanding -> Transformation -> Liberation

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Really little bugger

This little guy is too cute to trap and banish. He's no bigger than my big toe.

Run Away!

So now you know what a Rat's Ass is.

The Mediator between Life and Death

I ran 4 miles last night and saw a herd of javalina at the entrance to my neighborhood. A little baby was running under its mother’s belly. It was good to see them. I have been wondering where they were.

This morning I ran 14 miles. I got up as early as I could – 6:30 – to avoid the heat, but half way through the run the sun was beating down on me. It was a long, difficult run. Throughout the run I meditated on a set of ideas that I have been struggling with for several weeks. Less than a mile from the finish, I was delirious from heat stress, dehydration and fatigue and I came upon a 5’ rattlesnake gliding across my path. Of course I stopped and yielded the right-of-way, verbally encouraging the snake to keep on moving on, and the question came to me, “what is the meaning of this encounter?”

I thought about the symbolism of the snake. Of course the religions of Abraham equate the snake with wisdom and the devil, but the older symbolism is much more appealing to me: from the shedding of old skin and being reborn into new skin, eternal life and renewal; from the image of the snake with his tail in his mouth, the unity of the cycles of life; and of course mediator between life and death as represented by the physician’s caduceus and the story of the little prince.

The snake passed and as I continued my run, I thought it is time to conclude my meditation on the ideas I have been struggling with and put my thoughts in words. So I shall begin working on an essay, “An Answer for Margot.”

Angel is here and kitchen construction is under way.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Desert Monsoon

From my back porch this afternoon, looking toward my neighbor's house.

Wild Kingdom

Well the food poisoning was a lousy way to return to Tucson, but the recent rains have animated the desert. My house is a veritable Wild Kingdom. I need to get a 1960's Toyota FJ-45 to drive around my back yard and make documentaries for Mutual of Omaha.

This little bugger was wreaking havoc on my back porch:

His cousin had built a nest on top of the motor in my 4Runner and chewed through 4 electrical wires. I'm counting my blessings. Four wires is minimal damage. Pack rats can destroy a car.

They will be caught at a rate of one per night in my Have-A-Heart trap and relocated to the city park, next to the garbage dumpsters at Silverbell "Lake," the discharge of the wastewater treatment facility. (Tucson's version of the Ala Wai Canal)

Mrs. Dove has built a nest over my back door:

And the plants are exploding:

So now that food and liquids are going in and coming out the correct orifices and I am on the path to recovery, I hope to get out and enjoy the beauty of the desert. I don't have to go far.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Death Warmed Over

Food poisoning my first night back in Tucson. I'll never eat Mexican food again.

Had to get an IV this evening to rehydrate. It's good to have friends who are EMTs.

Friday, August 04, 2006

White Men Can't Dance

Wendy and I had dinner at Indigo last night. I told the waitress I wanted a giant salad and gestured with my hands indicating something about 18” across and 8” high. She suggested the $14 Waimanalo organic greens salad and I said great. When the plate arrived, it had about three leaves of lettuce piled next to a very tiny but artistic arrangement of sliced pickled cucumber and tomato. I sent it back and said I wanted a salad for a meal, not an appetizer. I think they wound up charging $20 for a modest little tossed salad. It was too small so I asked the waitress to bring some bread. Indigo does not serve bread. So I drank a vanilla vodka martini.

Wendy brought her lap top and she showed me photos from her recent trip to Georgia (the USSR one, not the fried okra one). Wendy has an eye for composition and architecture so her photos were not only interesting but beautiful. Lovely stories about the Orthodox churches and priests, cave dwellings … Civilization has been there for a very long time.

Wendy has a successful career in urban planning and design but she has the wanderlust as bad as anybody I’ve ever known. She has solo traveled the world with a backpack. We had great conversation about finding the elusive balance between the security and stability of bourgeois-capitalist jobs and investments vs. the adventure and intensity of a spontaneous life of travel and exploration. Wendy is a kindred spirit and our visits always leave me inspired.

We went to the tiny bar at Indigo and met fellow wanderlust-er Margot and friends to listen to a terrific Hawaiian musician, Makana. He has a lovely voice and the music was great but the band was way too loud for the tiny space we were in. Made my ears hurt. People were talking to me and I had no idea what they were saying. I just smiled and nodded my head. Somebody could have been talking about putting babies on spears and I would have been nodding in agreement, “Oh yes. Wonderful.”

Margot is another kindred spirit who has solo traveled the world. Last night she was wearing a lovely new white dress and she was beautiful dancing to the music. Watching her reminded me of an evening at Carlitos Bar on the island of Phi Phi. I was on a live-aboard boat a few years ago scuba diving five times a day all over the Andaman Sea. The captain of the boat was a Brit, maybe 50 years old. He had worked as an engineer his entire adult life, retired, bought a dilapidated steel hull boat, put it in dry dock in Thailand and completely rebuilt the boat. Somewhere along the way he married beautiful young Malay and they took Gringo and Aussie tourist out on scuba trips. He drove the boat; she cooked the most fantastic Malaysian meals. When he told me his life story on the deck of the boat one afternoon I thought, “Hmm. I could live this life.”

One evening after a night dive in the bay where that awful Leonardo DiCaprio film was made, we took a water taxi to Phi Phi and wound up in Carlitos Bar. It was sparsely populated and a lovely young woman in a pretty little sun dress had the entire dance floor to herself. My diving companions were having empty, meaningless conversation when the DJ spun EW&F September. The music perked me up and I noticed the gyrating young woman on the dance floor. I sat mesmerized through the entire song. Shakira’s hips have nothing on the sun dress groove of EW&F. I should have gone out and danced with the sun dress girl, but I didn’t. And I didn’t dance with Margot last night either.

Of course, we all know that white men should not dance.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

American Gigolo

-----Original Message-----
From: Miki
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 8:18 AM
To: Scott
Subject: Invitation

Hi Scottie
Miki here. I wanted to ask if you'd like to join us for dinner this Saturday. I have to take to dinner the daughter of Sony's CFO and the company is paying for our dinner. I need "a date" for her. Would you like to help me out and get some good free food in the process? Saturday, August 5, 6:30PM John Dominis. Hope you feel like joining us. It's a really nice restaurant and I'm sure they have vegetarian stuff.

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 9:50 AM
To: Miki
Subject: RE: Invitation

Wow. That sounds great. I'll even comb my hair.

-----Original Message-----
From: Miki
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 10:04 AM
To: Scott
Subject: RE: Invitation

Great! And yes, please comb your hair. Please wear collared shirt
(like a nice, not loud Aloha shirt) pants and shoes.

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 10:18 AM
To: Miki
Subject: RE: Invitation

Do I have to wear underwear and socks too?

I 'm just a gigolo, and everywhere I go,
People know the part I'm playing.
Pay for every dance, selling each romance,
Oh what they're saying?

-----Original Message-----
From: Miki
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 10:28 AM
To: Scott
Subject: RE: Invitation

Underwear and socks optional, but if you don't wear undies, I don't need to know.