Monthly Archives: April 2016

Moon for April 25

The moon is in Sagittarius. The thinker. Big ideas may be a part of our lives today. Take a moment for the big picture. But the sign of Sagittarius is the arrow. This is the ideas we send out into the world. But some of these ideas are too lofty. They float away and do not mean anything. Ruled by the planet Jupiter. There is a feeling of optimism. Jupiter was the king of the gods. And it is the largest of the planets.

Early in the day the moon will square Neptune. With Neptune in Pisces. It may be a hard day to stay grounded. If you feel lost come back to your breath. While the moon sits next to the thinker. Neptune will be digging deep. And finding uneasy truths. These will challenge the optimism of our mood today. Our world may not feel as sound today. And we may mis-read messages from others. We can think our way out of these problems for only so long.

Next the moon will square Jupiter. The ruler of Sagittarius is in Virgo. This grounded sign helps us to focus. We need to be more than dreamers. We need to be doers and plan making is key. Virgo will take all our grand ideas and focus us on the good ones. Then help us to reach those ideas. The nature of Virgo will focus more on ideas serving others. But this square has a dark side as well. We can come to rely too much on our plans. We can come to trust too much in things going by the plan. And feeling lost when changes are needed.

Lastly in the afternoon the moon aligns with Saturn. Together in Sagittarius. This will help us to be more grounded. And to limit our imaginations. While it can be good and right to dream big. Our dreams have no value until we can make them real. Saturn was the god of time. But also of the law. We need to think about physical limits. We may want to run a marathon. And this is a grand dream. But we can’t run a marathon tomorrow if we have not practiced. We need planning. But Saturn could also cause us to overwork today. This comes from a failure to let things go. We see the needed hard work to make something happen. And we commit to making it real. At any cost to ourselves.

Today could be an emotionally insecure day for many. Find your breath as often as you can. Stay focused on what you value. Keep your own limits in mind. And know no person can accomplish everything. Try to be easy and gentle with yourself today. You may need extra emotional space.

The New Couch

There it was, as amazingly new as he dreamed. He took out his phone for a picture. Moments like this were for sharing. And Instagram made for this sharing. There in front of him sat the new couch.

His old couch was gone. He had left it outside like trash. How many movies had he watched. How many girls did he kiss. And nights he slept restfully in its embrace. But in the end all those moments were pushed out the door. And left by the curb. Like trash.

After a cold night someone came and took it away. It was for their dogs. Which was just as well. Because it had rained hard all night long. Where it had been soft before it was failing. Maybe it felt the loss of being cast aside. It no longer was wanted or needed. There was a new couch.

When he sat down the couch didn’t sag under him but was firm. The arms weren’t torn, but smooth. And there he sat looking out the window. The truck with his old couch pulling away down the street. This was a new day. It was his day. For today he felt like an adult with a new couch.

Time for a selfie with the new couch. Soon his phone was ringing.

“Yes, come over and see my new couch,” he told his girlfriend. And she came with her puppy. The three of them had been watching Lord of the Rings for the last several nights. Curled up like a cuddle puddle on the couch. The puppy went to jump and instantly he blocked his small friend.

“Maybe we can keep the dog off the couch,” he suggested. His girlfriend’s expression spoke to her feelings and it wasn’t good. So he pushed the couch back and they watched Netflix on the floor. After an hour she took her puppy and went home.

The couch awed him as he pushed it back to the center of the room. He grabbed the remote, placed it on the arm of the couch and went for food. When he came back the remote was on the floor. He picked it up and put it back on the arm. After going to the bedroom for a blanket he came back. And the remote was on the floor.

His old couch had large soft arms with a small patch of worn fabric. He would rest the remote there and it didn’t fall. But the remote fell off the new stuffed smooth surface. He pulled the table closer, and set the remote on the table.

But he felt restless after a moment and got up. Moving towards the kitchen he banged his knee on the table. Then tripped on the table leg. The table tilted and the remote and diner fell on the floor. He wasn’t watching his show. Now he was cleaning the carpet. This was a rental after all.

Note to self, he suggested sitting down. Be more careful. But the firm couch while comfortable lacked comfort. It was soft. But wasn’t warm like he start to recall his old couch. The news was on so he got up again, and tripped on the table leg. Again his remote fell on the floor. Where he left it. Time for bed. But it was early, and his bedroom was cold. His girlfriend has always turned on the heat because she got cold. But tonight she left early. He could turn the heat on now. But it would take time to heat his bedroom.

I can sleep on my new couch he thought to himself. But laying down he couldn’t find the right position. His arm was in the way. The couch arm was in the way. The cushions were in the way. The table got in the way and his remote fell on the floor again. He bounced around under the blanket. But never was able to settle into the over stuffed couch. This new and amazing couch was what he had wanted. But now it was turning against him.

He sat up and thought about going after his old couch. But it was too late. And all he could do was sit there and think about where he had gone wrong. He felt like the trite character out of a children’s book. The careless sap who throws out a gem. At least the dogs would be sleeping in comfort. He turned on the TV and tried to relax into his new albatross.

Humboldt Journalism

I spent two and a half years at Humboldt. Starting in the fall and ending in the fall. Looking back now there is so much I have forgot. And so many people I remember. I am still close to many of my fellow students. Most of those in the journalism program. But I connected with a lot of other people at college.

In my first semester I met a great teacher. She is Marcy Burstiner. My first class with her was on media. But it wasn’t from the inside. But an outside look at media. It was more about media theory. Marshall McLuhan and his ideas of media were taught. But I wasn’t supposed to be in the class. It wasn’t a class for journalism students. Marcy told me this later in the class. But it was fun.

It is the journalism classes I recall the most. The first publication I worked on was The Osprey. The student magazine. For this class we each had an article. Humboldt is a liberal campus. My topic was other ideas on campus. What was it like to not be a liberal. Conservatives are rare on many campuses. So, how do they feel? It is a topic I choose because I am not liberal. Maybe not conservative either. I was going through a change on campus. Becoming more center right then I used to be.

I remember my editor. In my mind she was so hot. But she was also friendly and helpful. The class met like others at school. We would get together discuss the magazine and work on stories. Towards the end of the class we started layout. Students did it all from start to finish. They even sold ads. But most only had one story in the magazine. And not everyone did the same share of work. It was a good introduction to the process. The next step was the student paper. Unlike the Osprey it was put out each week.

My first time on The Lumberjack was fun. My editor is one of the coolest people I know. But there are few stories I recall from the first year. But there are two which made an impact on me.

One was about a local woman’s business. To be honest I had known her before. And thought she was interesting. And cute. So, when I wanted to do a story about her. It was also about getting to know her better. The story went well, and we are still friends. Her business was designing clothes. But she is a deeply creative and fun person.

The other story was kind of a lark. It was a wet day like many in Humboldt. My mood was down and I felt like I was not doing well with the paper. I’d gone to a local art event and was walking around. A local non-profit was at part of the event. CASA, is about helping kids. It stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. What they do is provide someone to speak for children in court. Many of the kids are in families with problems. Some are abused. But in some cases the parents are ending a marriage. The group speaks for the kids.

I talked to them for a few moments. Then I went home. It wasn’t until later I thought of a story. It may have been one of my better stories. I contacted the group. They were interested. It was a hard story is some ways. Not just the topic, but getting information wasn’t easy. But I talked to volunteers. And I even talked to a former child of the program. It was a cover story and set the tone of an issue. It also got me the attention of a soon to be editor.

The next semester on the paper I was the managing editor. A role I wasn’t sure of at first. There were many questions. Could I perform the job was one. But what was the job was another. The editor-in-chief said she liked my CASA story. But also how I had gone out and got the story. This was a fun time for me on the paper. And in some ways the height of my career as a journalist. I had spent the summer in town. And got to know some of the campus power players. As much as you can call them power players. They saw themselves as being power players. But also I got involved in the issues of campus a little. The politics of student government.

I found out about the job before the summer. And over the summer I put some work into creating a work flow process. One change I brought to the paper was using Google Docs. I was a Google Fan Boy for sure. But it made the whole process easier. It meant copies were not emailed around. Then edited and emailed around more. There was one copy and everyone could access it.

One issue I covered was the structure of some campus bodies. At the time few seemed to understand. And I tried to make it clear. Which wasn’t always a success. But in the process I came to know many of the staff with authority. One person I recall was Paul Mann. The media contact for the school. And I remember one time in his office. He was on the phone with someone and told them, “I have to go I’m with a reporter.” He could have just said he was with a student. It made me feel good. But I also went around Paul at times. Because as the media contact, it seemed he didn’t know much at times. So I would go and talk directly to other people on campus. A practice I found out later was discouraged. But it worked for me. And people seemed comfortable talking to me.

One of the first stories of the semester I wrote with my editor-in-chief. We interviewed the University President. He was a person hated by some on campus. Not just by students who disagreed with him. But there was also a split among the staff. While I could see why people would dis-like him. From my view he cared about students. And he wanted the best for the campus.

But there were many fun stories I did for the paper. A couple big names came to campus. And I got to talk to a few of them on the phone. Tegan and Sara was an example. And I got a free CD, and went to the show. It was a great show. And if I hadn’t been a fan before. I would have been after. But I also talked to a member of Cowboy Junkies. A band I still love. Like Tegan and Sara I was a fan before.

It was a busy semester for me. Besides working on The Lumberjack I was involved in a website for travel stories. And I was the Editor-in-Chief of the alumni newsletter. It was a productive time for me. I was working, going to class, involved on campus. This meant I was busy most of the time. But I had no social life. Which was okay. I also didn’t have time for depression. Except over the summers which were hard times for me.

But my proudest moment from college was the debate. The town of Arcata was having an election. And many students were bound to be voters. So I worked with each of the six candidates and the student radio station to set up a debate on campus. Due to previous problems one of the campus had banned one of the candidates. But with the help of a friend, a judge allowed him on campus for the debate. I remember asking a friend to meet the man. And to make sure police didn’t try to block his access. The debate itself was a success. And I got to know people in the community. Before the debate I talked to all six. And I put together a small story on each of them. I am sure this helped me later.

Leaving Humboldt I felt better about my career than I have since. I had worked online, in print and done video. I felt sure about where I was going. And sure about my life choice. But my first job changed a lot, and not in a good way.

What I haven’t talked about is the other people from Humboldt. And I guess I’ll need a new chapter. Because there was a lot of them. This is when I first met Simone. But I didn’t get to know her until later.

Taurus

Earth Day is one of the first days of Taurus. And there couldn’t be a better sign. The primal earth element. Taurus is the mother. The bull. The Earth.

It is easy to suggest it is every thing Aries is not. It comes across as being more passive. Some see it as a weak sign. Not the sign of a leader. I don’t believe in weak signs. Or in signs which can be leaders and signs which cannot. Taurus nature is different than Aries. But can be just as strong and powerful. Aries loses a lot of energy rushing about. Taurus is stable.

It is a passive sign – also known as feminine. An energy which is shaped more by the world. They don’t go to the party. But will wait for the party to come to them. If you sit in one place long enough, the whole world will walk past you. I am sure a Taurus said these words. They are not reckless. And probably won’t step into the void. But their actions are also more sure. And more aware.

Taurus is a fixed sign. As opposed to the energy of movement in Aries. This energy doesn’t change. This can mean loyal focus. Maybe Taurus children make choices slowly. But this allows them to stick with their choices longer. Imagine the bull under the tree. It takes a lot to stir the bull into action. But once moved it can charge at full speed. It is focused and energized.

Ruling over Taurus is Venus. This planet also rules over Libra. Here the planet brings a desire for comfort. Venus is a social planet. And Taurus can be a deeply social sign. If you are willing to meet them on their terms. In a comfortable environment they can be the joy of the party. But they would rather be at home. Invite them over for dinner. They love good food. But leave them home when you go to the club. As the ruler of beauty they often are attractive. And have an eye for beauty. Many will find it easy to be creative in the visual arts.

They are best summed up with the phrase, “I have.” Some may be very materialistic. But all take comfort from their possessions. As careful shoppers they have chosen each item. There is a value because it has been picked. They search for items of beauty. Things to give them comfort. What they own can be a healthy expression of who the are as people. But, for some they define who they are by what they buy.

Opposite of Taurus is Scorpio. A deep emotional sign. One which has as much passion as Taurus has calm. Taurus can learn the value of emotion. They can often get stuck in their body. This keeps them from their heart. But the bull has lessons to teach. It can teach grace and stability.

The part of the body ruled by Taurus is the throat. Many have great voices. And their necks are a sensitive spot. But they need to be careful of colds.

Well known Tauruses are: Fred Astaire, Irving Berlin, Cher, Bing Cosby, Henry Fonda, Sigmund Freud, William Randolph Hearst, Joseph Heller, Audrey Hepburn, Karl Marx, Shirley Temple, William Shakespear, Eva Peron.

Ace of Swords

A new idea is born. Today we have the Ace of Swords. A new journey begins. One of the mind. But the path is far from easy. In the end it may take us to a place of defeat.

Swords is the zone of the mind. Our intellect and mental framework of the world. It is how we view our place in the world. The thoughts which guide and create our lives. In its pure form this card is about meditation. Take a moment to bring your mind to a point of still thought.

On the card we see one sword. When our minds are focused they are sharp. They can be our greatest weapon. Or they can be our greatest defeat. Aside the sword grows two white roses. When we take the time to create stillness in our mind. We can achieve a purity of thought and action. We think our thoughts are outside our control. And we control our actions. But we direct our thoughts. And our thoughts direct our actions. Be careful what you think.

It is this warning which makes meditation so important. Our minds can be our servants. They were given to us to serve our interests. But they can also run lose like monkeys and drive us crazy. We need to control our own minds. If we don’t something else will. And without focus our mind creates chaos. Because the mind can only create what is knows.

When your mind knows peace. It will create peace. When your mind knows love, it will create love. Feed your mind on the things of love and peace. And your thoughts will be of love and peace. If you feed it on the things of hate and fear. Your thoughts will be of hate and fear. You can dream of love, or you can dream about illusion.

This card is telling you about a new idea in your life. It is too soon to tell if the idea is good or bad. Take the idea in hand and play with it. Like a new sword. Test the strength and flexibility of the idea. But do not own it yet. It is too young and unformed. Wait for the idea to develop. Watch and see as it changes. And take the time to meditate on the new idea and what it means for your life. Does this idea serve to bring more love into your life. Or does it serve to bring you more hate and fear.

If an idea is grounded in truth, then it must be grounded in love. Because anything other than love is a lie.

If you have not encountered the new idea. Chances are you will soon. It is at the point of newness when being still can be the hardest. But it is also the most important. Still your mind, act from a place of stillness in yourself. Do not react to the world. Do not be pushed into a mistake just because it is exciting. Every idea is new at some point in the world. And this idea may be new to you. But it doesn’t make it a good idea.

I can’t say enough how important meditation is at this point. The sword in the photo is the mind. And like the sword in the photo when our minds are still. Then our minds are ready for action. They are  not tired, or distracted or unavailable. Rest your sword, still your mind. Because if this new idea may just need your complete focus. This could be a life changing moment. An idea which could change the world.

And a final note is even the right ideas can end in defeat. We may put too much of ourselves into these ideas. Or we may invest too little. Some hold on to an idea long past its usefulness. The last card in the suit of swords is the ten of swords. And in this card we find ourselves defeated by our own minds. Today is the point where we make choices to avoid this end. Or we make choices which ensure our defeat. It isn’t just about the right idea, but the right time and the right effort.

The true swordsman doesn’t carry a sword is an old saying. Take up an idea which serves you. And put it down when it serves you no longer. Known when you need the next idea, it will be ready. But if your hands are full of ideas from the past. You will not be ready.

This isn’t meant to be a photo blog

But I know it has turned into one in the last couple weeks. On the one hand it is great to be getting out in the fresh air. And I love to be sharing my photos with as many people as I can. So, the problem isn’t too many photos. The problem has been too little writing.

Right now it is 3 a.m. – again. Yeah, there is a 3 a.m. in every day. And more and more I seem to be looking at the clock at 3 a.m. and thinking about going to bed. But also thinking about wanting to write in this blog. When I am not out hiking, working, at the gym or trying to catch up with some basic record keeping. I would like to be writing. But life has a way of pushing our plans to the side doesn’t it. And so I don’t write. I think, tomorrow, tomorrow. But the magical tomorrow hasn’t come yet. Has it come for you?

This morning I forgot to write in my paper journal. So I will do it before I go to bed and maybe write again in the morning. Waking up late in the day this morning, I wanted to get started. I knew what my plans were, and I knew I would need time. So out before I could think. Maybe like other people I know I just need to think about what I am doing more. Think about how I spend my time.

Consider this an attempt on my part of refocusing. I won’t be hiking for a couple days because of work. And my plan is, tomorrow, yes tomorrow, to write something good here. But I do need sleep right now.

I think about the river differently

When I view the river from up here,
I think about the river differently.
It isn’t the tame servant I see in town.
There is a wild heart in its depths.
Man tries to tame its flow.
But there is a secret only the river knows.
The river has been around a long time.
From a time before the red man came,
and before the white man came.
Longer than the mountains it has pushed aside.
And longer than the valleys where men live.
The very valleys the river shaped.
Those valley’s are full soil, on which men live.
And this soil was brought by the river.
Today men place their damns across the river.
But nature tried to damn the river thousands of years ago.
And the river pushed aside all.
Just like in time the river will push aside man.
The mountains were defeated.
A wild voice is waiting in the heart of the river.
Because it knows when the red men are gone,
and when the white men are gone.
One day all men will be gone.
And the river will remain.
Wild and free as the day it was born.