Tag Archives: Travel

PROLOGUE TO 2001 GOD BLESS THE WORLD

PROLOGUE

November 22, 2001
U.S. Thanksgiving – Houston, Texas

Having decided to fast instead of gorge, and looking back in gratitude and awe at the last year, I have decided to prepare for you a small meal of impressions

Dorsey, ever a source of inspiration and joy, is tapping out changes to a new manual in the next room. Feel good to know that her gifts are for others as well as myself.

Probably go to Galveston Beach tomorrow, where she walked on September tenth.
Profoundly, and as it turns out, prophetically touched by a feeling of the end of summer and an end of innocence

I was in Canada at the time and remained T.V. free; A week helping my brother re-floor his cabin at Candle Lake in Saskatchewan, and then joining some wonderful old friends and new for Canadian Thanksgiving at an Alberta Rocky Mountain retreat.

Can’t help but think that we are indeed in ‘speed up’ and on the teetering edge of something profound here. I still remember a Tibetan, Rimpoche, at Esalen teaching us about having compassion for all beings in the universe. The problem, he said, was that we had no idea how to do that, or where to start. He suggested that we should sit in silence and think of one person whose pain would be as our own. A child, parent, lover, or whoever. To really feel that pain, and to then add people one at a time as long as we could maintain that feeling. When we were unable to do this we should stop, and try again later. We have up to now been unable to get our heads and hearts around the thousands of deaths from war and natural disasters around the world. September the 11th cracked that open to a point where 6,000 people got into our hearts at one time. There is evidence that this is spreading to our concern for the citizens of Afghanistan and other parts of the world. I pray that it is true.

Part of the ‘speed up’ is in the learning curve. In the last year we have been in five Canadian Provinces, and sixteen U.S. States (seven of them new to me), as well as Holland, Greece and France. Learning lots, and passing some of it along at workshops and readings.

Want to express deep gratitude to two of our principal teachers, Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone, originators of the Psychology of the Selves , or Voice Dialogue work. The timeliness of their vision of how each of us as persons, as well as all nations contain a multitude of selves, covering the whole spectrum from saint to terrorist; some owned, and some disowned, and how different our choices and actions can be when we embrace all of them, hold the tension of the opposites and act from a place of awareness.

On the following page is a story off of the internet that I would like to share

Would also like to say that I remain excited and hopeful that maybe the world is indeed unfolding as it should, and that in any case I do not really have enough information to be a pessimist.

Love and happy thanksgiving to all,

Neil

CRATER

CRATER

Giant bowl below sea level
the whole world runs in over the edges

Tulips from Asia Minor by way of Austria
in the fifteenth century

Satisfactie van Amsterdam in 1566
“no one should be persecuted for his faith”

Jews pour in from Spain and Portugal
Huguenots from France, English Protestants
Germans from the Thirty Years War

Diamond cutters pour in from Belgium
Diamonds tumble in from everywhere

Ships are sent around the horn
trade brings back the world

This week in one small town
voices dialogue from five continents
energies seen and unseen come together
are stirred by large and small spoons

Everyone dips their cup into the cauldron
goes home with more

OWLS TO ATHENS

OWLS TO ATHENS

One does not take coals to Newcastle
or owls to Athens

But it is good to go
with an appreciation of coal and owls

Is is also permitted to leave Newcastle
with a bit of coal in one’s pocket

Or Athens with a small bronze of an owl

And memories of a questioning call
floating across the Agora
to the small cliff restaurant

Where we rest on the long climb down
from all the heights of the Acropolis

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

It was a Sunday afternoon about a year ago today
I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand I just knew I couldn’t stay

So I took off for Toronto fifteen hundred miles away

Two days of boring meetings,
couldn’t stand to have one more
didn’t know where I needed to be
but it wasn’t here I knew for sure

So I grabbed a train to Windsor
and Detroit which lies next door

Outside spring was springing and calling more and more
and I’d get to see some country that I’d never seen before

Oh, the sheep were soft upon the land
and there was magic in the day
as I sipped my rum and cola
and rhymed couplets all the way

Checked in on Wednesday, wondering what to do
maybe I could try to call a good old friend or two

There was a man I’d met in Banff
just three weeks before
a man of love and wisdom
that I’d like to see once more

And a lady of my poems
that I’d seen just twice before
thirty minutes in an airport
and two hours on the shore

He was busy in a meeting she answered on first try
she had booked off work without knowing why

And when I told her that I was in her town
she said “I’ve got a story and I’ll be right down”

It seems that her grand dad
who had raised her as a child
had died not long ago
and the grief had drove her wild

The family all were fighting for the pennies on his eyes
and there was no one there to hear her heartfelt cries

So she ran from that hospital not knowing what to do
and stood on the highest hill alone in a sky of blue

And loudly called my name
“Please come, please, I need you”

When I asked had she made this cry
and had I come real soon

“Oh it wasn’t very long ago
just Sunday afternoon”

GRANDFATHER

GRANDFATHER

My grandfather came to this country from Switzerland
by way of Brazil, working first in the kitchen of a CPR
hotel in Winnipeg. One wonders if he could have
dreamt that one of his grandchildren would own one
someday: perhaps he did, the pioneers of this country
had such a store of courage and of dreams that we may be
drawing on them still

And then to the prairies of Saskatchewan to try his hand
at farming. Prospered in the 20’s, replaced the packing
crate house with a large, verandaed mansion. Planted
ten thousand trees and created a special kind of oasis:
with flowers that bloomed all summer and fruit that
yielded sweet and tangy wines

Widowed early, he raised seven children through the
dirty thirties: Emil and Arnold and Walter and Werner
with daughters Rose and Ann, and Earnest lost at war,
who, so the story goes, appeared to him on his death bed

“There’s Earnest now, coming to get me with the wagon”

These things I remember as old family stories

My real memories are much more of the senses. The
senses of a 4 or 5 year old which seem now to melt and
run together. I remember not the man so much as the
aura of the man. The richness of old cheese and tobacco
the feeling of peace and the sweet rhythms of the earth
that surrounded him and warmed me as we sat together
in his favourite room so long ago.