Letting go of all excuses, I humbly admit that I am powerless. Of myself, I cannot fix the global paradigm of separation, man as machine, money as God, and the delusion of infinite growth on a finite planet. I need help.
I Have Faith; I Believe
I know, somewhere inside me, there is an evolutionary force, a universal intelligence, that is seeking to express itself through me and all of life. Only this new awakening can bring change to the world of form.
The Time is Now. I Am Ready, Despite My Fears and Flaws.
I am sick of all aspects of the dream of separation, fear, and competition. I am ready to have my beliefs and attitudes changed so my life can be transformed at depth. The world of objects is a projection, and it has become a nightmare. I let it all go, and commit to serving the world as a portal of light. Whatever darkness I must traverse, I will not turn back. Denying nothing, including everything exactly as it is, I stop the world and make room for Grace. …
Pedaling along the 50-mile Sentiero Valtellina bike path in Northern Italy, I glide past horses munching on hay and verdant fields of corn. Clusters of terracotta-roofed cottages and tall bell towers dot the hillsides along the Adda river.
On the way home, after a 20-mile ride, I climb hills as steep as anything San Francisco offers without much struggle. I feel like I’m 40 again, except stronger. And I’m retired — sono molto vecchio! E-biking has given me a new grip on life.
I started looking into e-bikes when I discovered that an Italian driver’s license is harder to get than a fat joint at a Kiwanis Club prayer breakfast. …
Most of our lives disappear behind us like vapor. We’re good at remembering trumpet-blaring moments of transition — weddings, funerals, and jobs that start and end. There are lucid moments when our lives pivot irrevocably in new directions, and these remain clear. We can recount the general thrust of things and lots of bits and pieces. The rest is hazy.
Recently, on December 31, 2020, at 7:22 AM, my life had consumed 34,714,080 minutes spanning 24,107 days. What the hell happened during all of that time? It feels derelict to just let the contents of a life drift away like ash from a chimney. What’s worth capturing in the form of stories and records? …
No place is perfect. I could easily write a list of things I miss about the States, and a very long list of things that are deeply vexing about life in Italy and, before that, Uruguay. But now, after being away a few years, the things I really never liked about the States are more clearly etched in my mind.
Maniacally neat ticky-tacky subdivisions. Horrifyingly bland taupe and beige subdivisions, laid out in perfect grids, blight the perimeters of nearly every US city. The vibe in these suburbs is oddly cheap (despite price tags nudging half a million), sterile and soulless. …
There’s a dreary sense of resignation around the whole topic of Covid-19. Whatta ya gonna do? The owner of a coffee bar outside of Rome got so sick and tired of hearing about the issue all day she posted signs barring discussion of the virus.
A journey through the labyrinthian depths of the mind.
I swivel the lens inward, surveying the murky landscape. Self Doubt sidles into view. He’s pacing, running his hand through his hair. Shoulders slumped, muttering. Gesturing with nobody around. He’s ready to lunge, cringe, or slink further into the shadows depending on the threat. His poor soul is wounded. Too many safe havens proved to be mirages.
A couple degrees to the left, the iron gate of a graveyard appears. A marble mausoleum houses the remains of Mr. Professional. He passed away several years ago. Looking inside the vault, I see racks of clothes that once signaled success. Boxy jackets, a wad of ties. Pleated Dockers and blousy silk shirts from the business casual days. A pair of burgundy loafers with tassels shoved into the corner — God, did he actually wear those in public? There’s a grinning picture of him on an altar lit by a flickering artificial candle. His hair is short and stiff, his smile a bit tight. His eyes look tired. Sadly, the accolades he competed for were meager. …
As I write this, I’m frustrated. I just walked to the local health center in a downpour, carrying vials of urine samples, only to be told, quite cheerfully, I had missed the window for the collection of lab samples by ten minutes. In two days I will go back, because they’re closed on Tuesdays.
Last Friday, I didn’t have the prescription from the doctor and didn’t know about a form that was needed, so back home I went. A few days prior, at the start of this escapade, I had stopped by the pharmacy to get the collection vials. A doctor called to verify which kind they needed. …
When Nixon squared off with McGovern in ’72 there was a vague possibility of honest change in the air. A national committee had called for the decriminalization of marijuana. The end of the war was in sight. The people had spoken! Logically, change had to follow.
But the setup was the same as it’s always been.
Door #1: A psychopathic nut job who'd like to shoot those unpatriotic protesters!
Door #2: A confused white fuck who sucks the air out every room he enters!
And, the results are in! My oh my! The psychopathic nut job wins!
Wait! He did what? The Watergate Hotel? You’re kidding me! …
When you make a list of livable, affordable, and interesting places you can actually move to, the number of potential destinations is surprisingly short. Uruguay will be on such a list because the average person can get a residency card there. It’s doable.
Add to this a lot of wide-open spaces, miles of coastline with deep, sandy beaches, and attractive towns such as Punta del Este. …