"[My relationships were] like I was in these movies where the script was only half-written. When I’d get to the end of this half-script, the other actors wanted me to ad lib. But I had never gotten the hang of that. That’s why these movies were always box-office failures. Six of them in the past twenty years. I always blew the lines." ~ from my horrible first novel "Learn How To Pretend." (unpublished)(obviously)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Scramble for what you can scramble for.

"As human beings we share a tendency to scramble for certainty whenever we realize that everything around us is in flux. In difficult times the stress of trying to find solid ground-something predictable and safe to stand on-seems to intensify. But in truth, the very nature of our existence is forever in flux. Everything keeps changing, whether we're aware of it or not.
What a predicament! We seem doomed to suffer simply because we have a deep-seated fear of how things really are. Our attempts to find lasting pleasure, lasting security, are at odds with the fact that we're part of a dynamic system in which everything and everyone is in process."
 ~Pema Chödron (Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change)

Know thyself

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Saw this cute little bugger outside the SUB this morning. I was locking up my bike. He was running across the sidewalk to find breakfast. He was not the least bit afraid of me. About as big as my thumb.



The following is  a poem written by an anonymous Buddhist monk and is often used in Buddhist memorial services.


Such a solemn world of flowers!
Such a spectacle,
this rich world of the flowers!
All beings are living brightness
fulfilled with brightness
on the earth, under the heavens.

There is no gap between matter and man,
between sentient and nonsentient being:
all are living, all are dancing—
slate and pebble are whispering,
dust and trash are shouting,
trees and grasses speak, the land sings.

People are born out of the earth.
This world appears
in the pores of each one's skin.
Gods appear from all beings.
Unimaginable light shines out!
Out of one pore appear
ten thousand times
ten thousand universes.

At the very point of this moment
is a bursting forth of the eternal Buddha.
One Buddha has the world, and holds all
universes. Each universe holds
ten thousand times
ten thousand universes.
The world is a flower.
Gods are flowers.
Enlightened ones are flowers.
All phenomena are flowers.
Red flowers, white flowers, green flowers,
yellow flowers, black flowers,
all of the different kinds
of the colors of flowers,
all of the different kinds
of love's shining forth.

Life unfolds from life and returns into life.
Such an immense universe! Oh, many lives!
Flowers of gratitude, flowers of sorrow,
flowers of suffering, flowers of joy,
laughter's flowers, anger's flowers,
heaven's flowers, hell's flowers.
Each connected to the others
and each making the others grow.

When our real Mind's Eye
opens this world of flowers,
all beings shine,
music echoes through mountains and oceans.
One's world becomes the world of millions.
The individual becomes the human race.
All lives become the individual—
billions of mirrors
all reflecting each other.

There is death and life,
there is no death, no life.
There is changing life, there is unchanging life.
There is nirvana, there is samsara.
Clouds change into multitudinous forms.
Water changes form as it wishes,
taking the shape of its container.
Flowers change color, moment by moment.

Such a vivid world! Such a bright you!
You were born out of these flowers,
you gave birth to these flowers.
You have no beginning and no ending,
you are bottomless and limitless,
even as also you are infinitesimal dust.
You are the flower.
You become man and embrace all women,
you become women and embrace all men.
You are love,
you are the flower.

All beings shine out of their uniqueness,
all melt into the oneness of colors.
You are one, you are many,
only one moment, only one unique place,
only the unique you.
Beside you there is nothing:
you dance, appearing in all.

Sitting in silence, dancing in gratitude,
dancing like the huge waves,
moving like the white clouds,
you see you, you see the you who sees you.
With gratitude you see,
with gratitude you are seen:
the world as you, you as you;
you as actor, you as audience;
you as subject, you as object.
You are free. You are not free.

From nowhere you came. You go nowhere.
You stay nowhere. You are nowhere attached.
You occupy everything, you occupy nothing.
You are the becoming of indescribable change.
You are love. You are the flower.

— Memorial (Traditional), via Straight to the Heart of Zen.

Playing Pinochle: Quote of the month

"It could be that God has not absconded but spread, as our vision and understanding of the universe have spread, to a fabric of spirit and sense so grand and subtle, so powerful in a new way, that we can only feel blindly of its hem. In making the thick darkness a swaddling band for the sea, God 'set bars and doors' and said, 'Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further.' But have we come even that far? Have we rowed out to the thick darkness, or are we all playing pinochle in the bottom of the boat?"
- Annie Dillard

Pretty much

Monday, November 26, 2012

I vs. Me

Are you on the bus?

Now is all you have

Theres a reason for this one too

Brain cell & The universe

Daily Rumi

Leave thinking to the one who gave intelligence.
In silence, there is eloquence.

~ Rumi


Note: This actually occurred about a month from now -- I'm just burying it for future reference. Honestly, what are you doing reading this far back on my blog?

Excerpt from a listserv post:

As it turned out, we wound up having a second date -- met for coffee sort of last minute -- today. It was really nice. This story is going to take the scenic route, so feel free to move along to the next post.

Here's the thing [[WOO ALERT!!]] back when I first joined the pod I shared my story about my vision regarding the Kennedy assassination. As I mentioned there, who/whatever showed me that was, I believe, not doing so to warn me (a five-year-old Canadian) about what was about to happen, but chose something of such magnitude that it would remain a part of American culture for decades. It was, in effect, Dr. Seuss's Whos shouting "We are Here!!!!" or, as I'm coming to see it, the Universe is saying "Some trippy shit is about to happen. Pay attention!"

Uhhhmmmm. Ah, yes, the date. Let's call her "Elaine."

1.) Well, this woman is a psychotherapist who, until recently worked with children-- now she does training. But she does travel on short-term trips to other countries where she works with  kids who have experienced major loss and/or trauma. (Have I mentioned that I have a son who has PTSD/RAD? and Aspergers?) She mentioned to me the other day that she wants to do longer-term trips in Africa, specifically, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and/or Kenya (countries where there are a lot of children who are victims of war and genocide). This is, her friends joke, an "obsession."

2.)  About 4 months ago, at my writers' group --which was made up entirely of grad student friends from the Creative Writing program -- I met a woman who was not a grad student, but just happened to take a class with some of my friends. This woman is Irish and has spent the past 10(?) years working for the UN doing refugee resettlement in... care to guess? yes, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya. What is she doing in Albuquerque? She met a guy, an engineer, online while she lived in Africa. He had not lived here in years. He does a lot of work in the middle east and also in mining areas around the southwest. They got married about 4 years ago and were based out of Uganda. A little over a year ago she got pregnant. They decided that they didn't want to have the baby in Africa, so they returned to the states. The husband's parents still lived in Albuquerque and had a house across the street from theirs that the new family could use. She had the baby 8 months ago. Just after I met her she was telling me she'd gotten an offer to go back  to Africa. She really wanted to take it, but didn't want to take the baby there just yet, didn't want to subject him to all the shots. So she's still here -- right when I meet Elaine. So they are going to get together to talk about how the date-woman can connect with groups or agencies in those countries to do longer-term work.

3.)  That seems to be one of the major things, but there've been other minor things. Yesterday an old friend arrived in town. This is a woman who was my photographer when I was running an advertising department here. This woman was born deaf and had to have many surgeries to help correct it. She wears a Cochlear device to hear. As a result of her birth-defect, her mother became a Speech Language Pathologist. The friend grew up, went to school to become a photographer, but has changed her mind and is now pursuing an SLP Masters on the East coast. The connection to my story? This friend and her mother have spent, roughly, the past 10 years traveling to other countries on these sort of work/service/tourism jaunts and working with hearing-impaired children.

4.)  I have another friend (unfortunately these are all women, so there's not a lot of distinction) who I met in Grad School as well. One of the most delightful humans I've ever known -- just really solid energy. A few years ago, she was misdiagnosed with, iirc, severe migraines. Turned out it was a major brain tumor. She had to drop out of school and she sort of disappeared from our lives for a while. I ran into her (about 4 months ago) at the Unitarian Church one Sunday. We talked briefly, but she said to me that she'd always sensed I was a "fellow traveler" (not like in the communist sense :~) ). Then she sort of disappeared again. Yesterday I wrote to to Elaine that I really connected with her because (referring back to my friend's comment) "Souls on the same journey know a fellow traveler when they encounter one another on the path." And last night I went to the writers' group and my friend was there -- her first time coming. I was sitting at the table her on my left, and the Irishwoman on the right.

5.)   We met at a coffee shop near my house today. I've been there several times. It's a nice little place with really positive energy. Turns out that Elaine works about a mile away and generally gets her coffee there in the morning and does some meetings there. Today she took off early from work to head up to Santa Fe. Anyway, I started telling her about my son who has the various diagnoses. NM has notoriously poor psychiatric services for children. And Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is something that very few of them know anything about. There's a guy in Texas who's, like, the expert. Almost everything I know about RAD and attachment disorders comes from this guy's work. There are few people who use his methods, but none of them do direct one-on-one with the kids, so they are really just passing along info. Anyway, his name is Dr. Bruce Perry. Today Elaine says to me "Do you know who Bruce Perry is? I'm one of a small group of people who trained under him here in the state."

6.)  At the coffee shop, Elaine and I were talking about child psychology stuff (sooo romantic) and who should walk through the door? My second to last Ex. This was a woman I'd parted with amicably. She's also the queen of woo. She's very in tune with the workings of the universe. Oh, I have not laid eyes on her in over 6 years. She's a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and, well, her new office is 300 yards from the coffee shop. Why was she there? She doesn't even drink coffee. If Elaine hadn't left work early, we would not have been there when Dr. Woo ExGF came in. This was clearly, to me, the Universe saying "You thing this is all coincidence? Yeah. No. Think again." (Because that's how the universe talks.)

7.) Elaine is Jewish. I admitted to her today that my father was a Hitler Youth when he was growing up in Germany. This isn't part of the Woo, but I was concerned about it. We're all good.

So, there was this convergence of people working in other countries. Several things happened 4 months ago -- about the same time as my previous relationship had collapsed. Several people seemed to cross my path yesterday and and today and, as well, several key conversations occurred with various people yesterday that have just left me feeling all.... cosmic and shit like that.

As I told Elaine today, I don't know what this is all about. It may be about connecting her with her obsession with Africa. Or it may be, like the Kennedy premonition, the Universe saying "Pay Attention! Things are about to get interesting! Nothing happens by accident." And I don't know if we'll end up being best friends, True Companions, or sworn mortal enemies, but it's sure to be interesting.

It doesn't hurt that she's cute :~)

Not sure if I had a purpose in mind here.

Phil Dick was an amazing and prolific writer. While his work often fell into a sci-fi genre, one was often left wondering whether or not it was, in actuality, real.

Great Blue Heron, Full Moon.




Writing life

"We think too much about the meaninglessness of existence; we have taken in the idea of life as an absurd proposition, and all our suffering becomes ridiculous. But a writer senses meaning in 'the mystery of things,' and reports about the discoveries that come from merely setting narrative in motion, letting people move and breathe and be in the prose, and that is what finally connects us all, across time and distance and the grave itself. We are about SHOWING the human journey as itself, what Conrad meant when he said that above all he wanted to make us SEE. Wanted to make us feel the 'solidarity of the human family.' It is such important work, what Bill Maxwell called 'this blessed occupation.'"

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Usually, when we hear or read something new,
we just compare it to our own ideas.
If it is the same, we accept it and say that it is correct.
If it is not, we say it is incorrect.
In either case, we learn nothing.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Learning to Fly

This is sort of where my life is right now. I got pushed/jumped.
First I was all, like...

And now I'm all, like....

Quote of the Day

It's a dream

Birdhouse in Your Soul

Blue Canary in the Outlet by the Light Switch

Your only friend

Who watches over yooouuuu

He's your only friend. He's not your only friend. But he's a little glowing friend. But really he's not actually your friend. But he--nevermind, let's not put too fine a point on it. He wants to be the only bee in your bonnet and that's all that matters, right?
You're probably wondering why it took 21 years for the world to finally make a blue canary nightlight. We're not sure, but we suspect the sparrow that doesn't tell you anything you want to know had something to do with it--or Triangle Man, who always seems to win.
Plug this little guy in an outlet by a light switch and the energy efficient, light-sensitive LED will glow cheerfully as light fades. You'll never have to whistle in the dark again! Unless that's the only one thing that you like, in which case you can leave the Blue Canary unplugged from the Outlet by the Light Switch.

This is for real and available from ThinkGeek

live to not die

Psalm 23 by Anonymous

The Lord to me a shepherd is,
   want therefore shall not I:
He in the folds of tender grass,
   doth cause me down to lie:
To waters calm me gently leads
   restore my soul doth he:
He doth in paths of righteousness
   for his name's sake lead me.
Yea, though in valley of death's shade
   I walk, none ill I'll fear:
Because thou art with me, thy rod,
   and staff my comfort are.
For me a table thou hast spread,
   in presence of my foes:
Thou dost anoint my head with oil;
   my cup it overflows.
Goodness and mercy surely shall
   all my days follow me:
And in the Lord's house I shall dwell
   so long as days shall be.

"Psalm 23" from The Bay Psalm Book. Public domain. (buy now)

"The Talk" by Sharon Olds

In the sunless wooden room at noon
the mother had a talk with her daughter.
The rudeness could not go on, the meanness
to her little brother, the selfishness.
The eight-year-old sat on the bed
in the corner of the room, her irises distilled as
the last drops of something, her firm
face melting, reddening,
silver flashes in her eyes like distant
bodies of water glimpsed through woods.
She took it and took it and broke, crying out
I hate being a person! diving
into the mother
as if
a deep pond—and she cannot swim,
the child cannot swim.

"The Talk" by Sharon Olds, from Strike Sparks. © Alfred A. Knopf, 2004. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

Five Reasons Why Urban Farming is the Most Important Movement of our Time

from Environment on GOOD

I love suburbia not for what it is, but for what it could be. While most other houses on my street have grass lawns, my yard sprouts zucchinis, tomatoes, pomegranates, kale, spinach, apples, figs, guavas, almonds, garlic, onion, strawberries, and more. Over 500 plant species all in all. We grow more than 3000 pounds of food per year on a plot of land the size of a basketball court—enough fruits and vegetables to feed my family of four year-round. Our house is part of a growing global movement of people involved in urban farming. 
The simple act of planting a garden can shape issues like economics, health, and politics at the same time because food is an essential focal point of human activity. As the urban farming movement grows, here are five ways that it will transform our world
1. Renewed local economies. ... more


Saturday, November 24, 2012

A must watch video

Beating The Post-Holiday Blahs

Handy tips from The Onion: America's Finest News Source

Many people report feelings of depression after the holidays. Here are some ways you can relieve the seasonal doldrums:
■ Coptic and Greek Orthodox Christians celebrate most holidays days or weeks later. Try temporarily converting to extend your holiday mood.
■ Get a full-spectrum light and keep it in your closet. The fact that you know it's there and can be taken out at any time should be enough to cheer you up.
■ You may have thrown out your tree, but you can still pile your ornaments on the couch and celebrate all over again with a Christmas Cushion!
■ Do not read The Road.
■ Many department stores have old men who will let you sit on their laps year-round. Best of all, it's free!
■ Give yourself one more present by ordering a pizza, shaking it next to your ear, and then opening it while sitting cross-legged on the floor.
■ Why are you trying not to be depressed? Frankly, you're more enjoyable to be around when you're sad.
■ Don't forget that no matter how fat you are now, at least one person in the world is fatter. Gross.
■ Consider the number of shitty presents you received. Remind yourself you don't give shitty presents. Now, pat yourself on your superior back!
■ Every office has that one person whom nothing seems to get to. Punch that person in the face.
■ Compared to your everyday blahs, the post-holiday blahs may not be that bad.
■ Induce coma and get woken up on Mar. 20.

My photography

Creative Commons License
This work by Rick Robb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

My Photography

Creative Commons License
This work by Rick Robb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

My Photography

©2012 Rick Faber

My Photography


Creative Commons License
This work by Rick Robb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

My Photography

Creative Commons License
This work by Rick Robb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

Oh, it's already been brought!

Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

"It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives... Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
 ~Marianne Williamson {Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"}

quote of the day

Bosque Path

Creative Commons License
"Bosque Path" by Rick Robb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Bosque Path 2

Bosque Path2
 Creative Commons License
This work by Rick Robb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
My youngest son and I enjoy a hike.

My Photography

Out on the Corrales Bosque
Bosque Path Creative Commons License
This work by Rick Robb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012


From Buddha Groove's Facebook page

The stars twinkled in the sky.
In space - billions of universes.

Resting my forehead in my hand and thinking.
I do not dream.
A big Reality has awoken me,
A truth that strikes the eye,
The truth that is being, visible, unique,

I - under this huge starry dome,
I - perceiving its entirety with my brain,
I relish it, I become one with myself
And slowly - inside - I am restored to myself:
To profound joy and perfect rhythm.

All my thoughts, words and deeds
Were only bringing me closer
To universal embrace:
Here I am resting joyfully in myself,
Wrapped in deep silence on all sides,
And my heart beats in the rhythm of everything
Which surrounds me.
Enough. No need for words.

Julian Tuwim, translated by Adrian Thomas. Courtesy of The Sound of Silence.
Photograph: Jack Fusco, Star Trails, New Jersey. From Your Shot, National Geographic. Taken on April 19, 2012, in Strathmere, New Jersey. These star trails show the Milky Way rising over the Atlantic Ocean.
From parabola-magazine.

There is no later

There is never a later, but for most of my life I have believed in later.
—Donald Hall


I am learning to see. I don’t know why it is, but everything enters me more deeply and doesn’t stop where it once used to. I have an interior that I never knew of. Everything passes into it now. I don’t know what happens there.

—Rainer Maria Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (1910) (via: christinasanantonio)


“I would not say I am looking for God. Or, I am not looking for God precisely. I am not seeking the God I learned about as a Catholic child, as an 18-year-old novice in a religious community, as an agnostic graduate student, as - but who cares about my disguises? Or God’s.”

- Mary Rose O’Reilley, The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd.

What auditory halucination is like.....

In case you wondered....

Sometimes? All the time!

Thanksgiving IV

A polite request from me

Dear, Palestinians, Israelis, Syrians, and anyone else who lives in those places,


Hate begets hate and bloodshed begets bloodshed. Your actions will never change things. But, if you really feel it's necessary to kill some more children or innocent civilians, please feel free to come over here and kill me. Shoot me down. Blow me up. Whatever will satisfy you. I offer myself as a sacrifice. Just leave the babies and children alone, please.


And I Quote ~ Michel Conge

The whole universe is response to prayer.
—Michel Conge

My prayer for this Thanksgiving


Moslems and Christians and Jews raising their hands to the sky their chanting voice in unison begin to arrive how happy is the one
whose heart's ear hears that special voice as it begins to arrive.

~ Rumi

Can you imagine that?

3 little letters