Dr. Craig Spencer
Fundamentally, we can only permanently solve our emissions problems by stopping fossil fuel consumption.
Samuel Goodman, Beyond Carbon Neutral
They’ll have funerals, but people will be able to attend them.
Scott Morrison, Prime Monster of Australia
Volume Twenty-one, Number Four,
Bob Rich’s rave
*About Bobbing Around
guidelines for contributions
Comments are welcome — on the bottom of every post and page here, including this one.
You can send me a private message via my contact form (click the tab at the top).
Do note that anyone buying any of my titles anywhere, in any format, qualifies for a second electronic book for free. Emailing me a review qualifies as proof of purchase (unless I sent you a free review copy of course).
I am responsible for anything I have written. However, where I reproduce contributions from other people, I do not necessarily endorse their opinions. I may or may not agree with them, but give them the courtesy of a forum.
Bobbing Around is COPYRIGHTED. No part of it may be reproduced in any form, at any venue, without the express permission of the publisher (ME!) and the author if that is another person.
* From me to you
A bit of a brag
Lifting the Gloom is officially for sale
My email gifts
From me to you
A bit of a brag
My wife Jolanda and I are delighted with our electricity bill. In the month of August, which is the coldest month of the year, our average daily consumption was THREE kWh. The average for a household of two people in our area is 14 kWh. How’s that?
It is somewhat higher than last year, because since then we have installed a heat pump hot water system that mostly works off the sun rather than burning fossil methane (“natural gas”). On cloudy days, it still uses some electricity from the grid.
We run a fridge and a separate freezer, a radio (no TV, thank you), two computers and various appliances from time to time. This does not include a dishwasher, although the house came with it. Jolanda insisted we replace it with some handy drawers, and sold it to a good home in a community hall. We find biological dishwashing and solar-wind clothes drying to be superior.
Temperature control is the major energy user in most homes, including ours. The gas-fired central heating system is firmly OFF, with the floor-level registers and air intake blocked with plastic (reused bread bags for the smaller holes). Instead, when we need to, we use a reverse-cycle air conditioner to heat in the winter and cool in the summer — for short periods of time. On a cold morning, we might have it on for half an hour to take the chill off the air.
The human body readily adapts to any non-fatal temperature regime. You can train yourself to be comfortable at temperatures others find intolerable. We’ve had visitors shivering while we were quite happy. (I turned on the heater, just for them.) The secret is: rug up, and do vigorous exercise in the temperature range you want to get used to.
Hope you can adapt this recipe to your circumstances.
Lifting the Gloom is officially for sale
My newest book, Lifting the Gloom: Antidepressant writings is available for free at Bobbing Around. However, one of my reasons for publishing it was to have ammunition for giveaways, and for that it needs to be listed for sale, for real money.
I am delighted to let you know that, thanks to the wonderful Victor Volkman, chief everything at Loving Healing Press, this book is now for sale at a variety of venues.
When you have read the book, please review it. Hurry up, I want your reviews! Then please Please PLEASE spread that review around, including sending me a copy.
Oh, you won’t find the reading a chore. The reviews have started trickling in, and all are 5 star.
As my friends know, I am a member of the political party, the Greens. Our local State leader has circulated a survey, asking for ideas on revising transport. Here is my contribution:
- All of rural and regional Victoria needs a fast, efficient electric train network, powered with renewable energy.
- The technology now exists for electric and hydrogen (fuel cell) buses and heavy transport. Victoria should facilitate and/or fund manufacturing capability for them, in areas currently relying on coal mining and coal-fired power stations, and provide funds for retraining the workforce.
- The need for commuting can be greatly reduced by supporting work-from home arrangements in every way.
- Within urban and suburban areas, focus should be on extending and improving the public transport network instead of roads for cars. Trolley buses and battery-operated buses should be used for new routes, and replace existing bus networks.
- There should be subsidies and encouragement of the development of electric drones for deliveries. Again, this is an opportunity for Victoria to become a world leader.
- Everything should be done to make bicycles, including electric bikes, a major source of commuting and shopping transport.
My email gifts
I am currently running a pilot group of my planned Climate and COVID anxiety online course. In the first session, one of the positive psychology tools we discussed was giving. The cards I send out with most of my emails are an example: they give both to sender and recipient. I promised my lovely group of participants to let them see my current collection, and here they are.
I just returned from a much needed getaway to Maine and Vermont to be with some of my favorite people. Since the pandemic, I have been very careful not to roam too far or see too many. The good news is that I did not have to go far to be needed and loved. My grandson and his parents live close enough so we had our own “pod.” Finally, we felt we could get away if we took some precautions. We drove and travelled light—a few small bags, our vaccination cards, and cautious but open hearts for adventure. We were not disappointed. Playing in the ocean, walking along birch and pine-ladened trails, sharing a meal with lifelong friends, compatible politics and sensibilities, love of nature and, most of all, our love for each other were a balm to tattered souls.
One of the best parts of leaving is coming home. We got back last night and after a good night’s sleep, I checked my email and found the September issue of Bobbing Around. What a wonderful issue. It is an honor to be a part of it. I particularly liked your enumerating the three areas on which you want to focus. Since retiring from teaching (sort of) I have been all over the board figuring out what to do next. You reminded me that there is plenty to do and age does not matter. In fact, holding the grandparent card makes it even more imperative to get in the game.
I wrote this poem while away that captures that feeling of needing to do more. I truly appreciate your work to help people navigate the grieving process. Each time I feel I have “gotten over” a loss, I am reminded that there are some books that don’t end and chapters must sometimes be reread. The good news is—age and experience temper us and provide new perspectives that, in turn, allows us to help others.
Many thanks for your insights, resources, and support. Write on.
Fondly, Lauren Persons
Beautiful issue…as usual. I hope you and your family are well. Here are my thoughts on efforts to fight global warming —
Supporting yours, and others’ efforts to thwart global warming, whether through monetary contributions, becoming active individually, and in groups, and, by one’s vote, are all ways we can work to save our planet. We can accept that pollution and mis-use of global resources is real. We can withdraw any and all support from the polluters and deniers. Your suggestions for alleviating anxiety and fear, and those of Sarah Thacker are positive steps to help cope with our situation.
Philosophically, this world of duality is truly our collective school of hard knocks. Just do what you can do, and allow for imperfection to rule. As Gandhi said: “Become the change you wish to see.”
Thanks, and stay well,
Thanks for your latest issue in which you continue to amaze me with the variety of interests you corral in one place.
Good luck with your election. Our federal election is in two weeks, and the mud-slinging is at fever pitch. (Is that a pun?) No one but Trudeau wants this election: it’s been less than two years since the last one. I have a Conservative poster on my front lawn because I approve of the riding’s candidate, not necessarily of the party’s leader.
COVID-19 and its variants have added greatly to the anxiety which is like a contagion spreading through most of society. I cannot speak for the very wealthy, but I can understand the fear and anger of the many suddenly unemployed through no fault of their own. Where can they fix blame? Is it important for them to fix blame? Meanwhile, politicians and others continue drawing exorbitant salaries. And always we have the cheats who are quick to take every government hand-out, even when it’s not needed. Meanwhile, churches and other groups offer groceries and shelter when they can.
I consider myself fortunate. I was born to Scotch immigrants to Canada in the Great Depression. They struggled to raise me and my older brother, but still, my father would bring home to supper some poor lost soul who needed a meal. No one with any pride went on relief, or the dole, and though things were tight at times, we managed just fine. There was no feeling of ‘keeping up with (or bettering) the Jones’.
However, since then, civilization has shot ahead, perhaps to destruction, faster than in any other time in history. Some countries are at war, even with themselves. Every day we are inundated and overwhelmed with information, demands, suggestions, warnings, orders, choices, even lies–the list goes on. Everyone needs all the ‘modern conveniences’ and electronic appliances and toys. The young especially can be hooked practically from birth into this stream, often developing a hectic, never-ending cycle of uncertainty, fear, and doubt of self-worth. No wonder that both their mental and physical health are deeply affected. Fortunately, many helpful and understanding persons of every age are eager to give help.
What else can we do? Emerson suggests that we finish each day and be done with it. Another said to look on the brighter side. A rainy day means the gardens and crops are being watered. We can grumble about going to work, or be glad we have a job.
We can take care of our health, get out for walks, occupy our mind on other things, or seek help.
Our future is in our own hands.
Take care, my friend.
Can renewable energy save us?
This simply worded, well-researched paper in The Conversation includes factors you may not have thought of. For example, electric motors are far more efficient than the wasteful internal combustion engine, so total energy needs could be halved by switching.
I love this generous spirit
He is José Andrés. His cooking skills and business acumen have made him a great deal of money. He uses this to benefit those in need.
Cynics might say that his reputation as a benefactor does no harm to his business, right? But a rule of the universe is, the more you give, the more you get, and the more you give, the more you grow. If you have had a chance to read Lifting the Gloom, you will have read how generosity transformed the life of the philanthropist.
Read about José’s response to the tragedy in Louisana.
Contrast his attitude to those who will do anything, however harmful to others, in order to cling to wealth and power.
It is worthwhile, and inspirational in its own right to read about him in Wikipedia.
Liana Taylor on anxiety
Liana is one of my colleagues in Buddhist psychology. She has just posted a wise, informative essay on anxiety: its causes and treatments. If worry, anxiety, panic attacks or the like torture you or people you care for, you’ll get a lot out of reading A Mindful Way Through Anxiety.
I can’t help being affected by blemishes on faces
When I was a kid, I was diagnosed with OCD, but it wasn’t hand washing or checking the door. I had something different, like if I saw a person even with a small difference, I would stay away from them, like If a person got a pimple, I would not talk to them, I kind of got a feeling of discomfort or scare. if some person said things like they puked that morning, I would not go near them for a week or something until I forgot that, otherwise, whenever I went near them, I would get the images of them puking, then I would start to get smell, then I would imagine things like what if they puked on me now and a lot of things like that. It caused me a problem when I was like 10 and refused to take the final exams in my school just because the teacher there had a skin tag on her neck. I obsessed over it and I felt disgusted for some reason to get the paper from her.
Now I have obsessive thoughts that rule my life about different issues. [This young man’s initial emails described those issues, but they are not relevant to this q&a.]
Sir, is there any way for me to live a normal life like any other person, can I have a life like I had before I got all these memories?
I honestly wish there was a time machine so that I could go back and slap the childhood me in the face.
Thank you for the new information. I get to understand your problem better.
You are obviously very highly intelligent. That is not always a blessing, is it!
We don’t have a time machine, but we can go back to an earlier time in imagination. This is best done through hypnosis, because it is more vivid and effective. But the solution is NOT to give your child self a slap, but to give him a hug, love, tolerance and acceptance. I did this in 2007, and it was a wonderful experience that made a huge difference in my life.
I’ve sent you a copy of my book From Depression to Contentment, haven’t I? It is in there. One of my books is actually my life story, fictionalized. There, that episode is given more space and force. This is Ascending Spiral.
Research shows that there is only one effective way of getting rid of OCD. This is “in vivo exposure:” You get into a safe situation, deliberately experience the feared object, and wait out for the emotional reaction to fade away. It always does if you give it time.
An easy way may be to use the internet, and search for faces you find disgusting or repelling. If this is no longer a problem to you as an adult, put yourself back into that 10 year old boy’s frame of mind, and do it that way. Then stare at that face, and simply experience the emotion. At the start, and occasionally along the way, rate the strength of the negative emotion out of 10. I’d hope for a high figure at the start, say 7 or 8, and over time it may fade to, say, 3.
Then find another face with a different defect, and repeat. This will completely get rid of the problem — most of the time. We don’t need perfection.
Once you have that, you can look at those same images, and send love and support and kindness to each. They will never know this, but the effect is on you.
Solving emotional problems can be like cutting down a big tree that knocks down other trees as it falls. It is possible that if you get rid of your childhood obsession, the current ones will also fade away without any additional effort.
I’ll be interested in your reactions.
My thoughts are making me suicidal
I have ongoing contact with another young man who has recurring, obsessive thoughts about having been sexually turned on by children when he was a young teenager. He has never molested a child, and has constant doubts about whether these are true or false memories. He has worked his way through From Depression to Contentment, but the problem has persisted. Here is my latest answer to him:
What is keeping those constant thoughts torturing you is that you want them to go away. The thoughts do not cause any harm. They are just noise until you believe them.
Read this little story: Deer don’t have headlights.
It is funny because it shows I believed something for many years, but when I checked, my belief was false. But I can shrug my shoulder: it doesn’t matter.
Your beliefs are painful, but also it doesn’t matter whether they are true or false. What matters is their effect on you.
I once shared a room with another therapist. I like to have a wall clock so I can keep the session well organised. Neither I nor my many clients even noticed that it made a little sound. But this other therapist focused in on the ticking, and couldn’t stand it. He actually needed to put the clock out of the room while he was there.
The problem was not the ticking, but that he paid attention to it.
Wanting the thoughts to go away is a way of paying them attention. Questioning them, arguing with them is the same. The only thing that works is to treat them as meaningless noise, and allowing them.
The second point is something I have written to you before. Even if those memories were true, they do not say anything bad about you as you are now. Suppose you had been a mass murderer 10 years ago, torturing people to death in terrible ways. Now, you genuinely feel about those acts in the way your current true-or-false memories make you feel: guilty, ashamed, horrified, suicidal.
If that is the case, then you have learned the Lesson, and have become a better, spiritually higher developed person.
You are a Catholic. An ex-murderer who is now repentant would be accepted and forgiven by Jesus. Your situation is much, much better: you are a person who has memories of acts he now disapproves of, and doesn’t even know if those memories are true. So, Jesus accepts and forgives you. It’s in the Bible.
You can be confident, I am confident, that you will never, ever do anything to hurt another person in any way, because your self-torturings for past possible actions feel so awful. So, you are now a good person.
Here is a suggestion to try. Develop a mantra. It can be something like “That was then and now is now.” “I will NEVER hurt anyone.” “Jesus loves me anyway.”
Whatever you choose, or invent for yourself, as soon as you notice those nasty thoughts, say your mantra to yourself, over and over.
I am attaching another book, Anger and Anxiety. Read the chapter on “thought stopping,” and put it into practice.
That should not be used as an insult. Birds are clever people.
A species of New Zealand parrot will get sick and probably die unless it regularly grooms itself. Its beak has specially evolved to make this possible. But one individual was injured early in life. Probably, something like a rat trap amputated its upper beak.
He is still alive and thriving, because he invented a way of using a pebble as a grooming tool.
Read his fascinating story.
Learn about asbestos
While COVID-19 currently captures the attention, the effects of asbestos should not be dismissed. Nicole Winch is outreach coordinator for Mesothelioma Guide, and drew my attention to this important guide on everything to do with its terrible effects on people. (It focuses on humans, but I am sure other animals exposed to the fibres will be similarly affected.)
I have read it with interest, and find it to be medically accurate. If I lived in the USA, I’d dash off a communication to a politician supposed to represent me, and demand that asbestos be dealt with in the way it is in Australia.
I approve of these announcements
Borderland Press bootcamp for writers
Borderland Press have been running an annual event in which learner-writers spend a weekend learning all about writing. Their registration page states that past Boot Camp Graduates have done well.
If you can spend the weekend of February 4-6 in Baltimore, and have $795 to spend, you might want to look them up. (Cost of accommodation is extra.)
Jay Levy talks about homelessness
Jay is one of those friends I’ll never meet, but I have immense admiration for him. He has devoted his life to work with homeless people. If you want to be inspired, listen to his radio interview on the subject.
Medicins sans Frontieres
These are the most amazing, courageous people on Earth. Despite everything, thousands of them have chosen to stay on in Afghanistan. Wherever people are suffering, there MSF is, regardless of hardship and danger.
From Depression to Contentment reviewed by Holli Kenley
A Pandemic of Depression and A Gift To Our Children
The western world is drowning in a sea of depression. It is affecting all age groups; however, research validates that it is impacting our youth the most, especially teens. In From Depression To Contentment, Dr. Bob Rich has thrown us a lifeline for intervention and prevention through providing a concise, coherent, yet comprehensive call to action.
In a friendly yet profoundly professional voice, Dr. Rich lays out a healing continuum for gently embracing depression through basic first steps and purposefully engaging with it through mindfulness approaches. He then moves into destigmatizing depression by cultivating an understanding of its causal factors and manifestations. As Dr. Rich tackles the difficult topics of “controlling depression” and “the cure for depression,” I was highly impressed with how he navigated this territory with tenderness but also with a myriad of informed trauma approaches. Throughout the book, I love how Dr. Rich provides specific homework exercises and effective tools for implementing the recommended actions.
After reading From Depression To Contentment, there is one message that stands out above all the incredibly healing and helpful strategies provided — Dr. Rich cares about our children and their futures. In my research around excessive screen time and its damaging effects on social / emotional development in children of all ages, there is evidence that one of the causal factors of depression is that our youth are embracing a faulty belief, which is circulated and perpetuated through social media — “they [children, adolescents and teens] deserve to be happy all the time.” Dr. Rich explores numerous “damaging myths of global culture” while offering up sound strategies for building resilience — an essential component for combatting depression and cultivating an overall sense of wellbeing.
There is much more packed into this “self-therapy guide” that will serve to empower parents and guardians in this pandemic of depression. And along the way, they just might equip themselves and improve the quality of their lives, serving as healthy role models for their children.
What better gift can we give them?
Holli Kenley, MA, LMFT
Author Power Down & Parent Up: Cyber Bullying, Screen Dependence and Raising Tech-Healthy Children
Ascending Spiral reviewed by Sam Goodman
Ascending Spiral tells the story of a spiritual journey a soul takes as it is reincarnated over several lives. The narrative is spread across characters at different places and points in history, detailing the lives of what could be called ordinary people (except for the sentient plant, of course). Each narrative involves its own set of characters, and the motivations behind them are substantially different and fleshed-out. The reader is introduced to each piece by piece, and one of the strong points of the book is seeing these people develop. You would likely find parts of yourself or your past represented throughout.
The protagonists’ trials all play into an overarching metanarrative that reveals itself over the course of the book. It alludes to how our decisions impact both ourselves and those around us on both a physical and emotional level and how those decisions persist as echoes into the future. While it examines these themes through the lens of a soul beyond the scope of a single life, the major take away for me is that we can reflect and change ourselves in real time, essentially becoming reborn ourselves if we choose to do so. That is certainly a worthwhile message in a time when self-analysis is not always encouraged. Being a better person will always be a worthwhile endeavor.
The book is not necessarily appropriate for all audiences. There are scenes of violence and trauma (physical and emotional, including in the context of intimate partners) that, while not absent a narrative purpose, may be a factor for certain readers.
Dr. Samuel M. Goodman is a chemical engineer by training, earning his doctorate from the University of Colorado Boulder after his undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin Madison.
Lifting the Gloom, reviewed by Fiona Lemmon
Lifting the Gloom is an anthology of short stories and essays which makes compelling reading.
Through anonymous factual and fictitious characters as well as candid personal disclosure, Dr Rich explores paths from inner pain to inner peace, facing one’s monsters and demons and encountering a few angels along the way. The choice to embark on the transition from the suffering and gloom of depression to the light of peace requires resilience, determination and mustering one’s inner strength throughout the uneasy path (no comfort eating nor gorging on chocolate!) to spiritual growth.
…and Michael Thal
I’ve read many of Bob Rich’s books—Aniko: The Stranger Who Loved Me, Hit and Run, and Guardian Angel—and walked away a better person. Lifting the Gloom: Anti-depressant Writings is an anthology of short stories and vignettes writing by Dr. Rich, a trained Australian psychologist. Each story provides real life examples of life experiences and knitted within the story are potential courses an individual can take to improve his life circumstances to achieve happiness.
“The Philanthropist” was one of the many stories that moved me. Here Dr. Rich shows us Martin Matheson, a fictional industrialist based on early 20th century historical figures like John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, or J.P. Morgan. Matheson is a miserable person who treats people even worse than he behaves. As he watches his business crumble, he hires a man to put it back on track. Cartwright proposes that his new employer commit himself to philanthropic efforts to improve his image. Reluctantly, Matheson agrees and goes through a transformation that even the Buddha or Jesus would approve.
There are many examples throughout Lifting the Gloom readers can relate to as they develop ideas to change their own personal behavior to one that will improve the lives of the people they love and interact with daily.
My biggest concern about the book is how the stories are connected. They seem random, when I’d like to see a common thread connecting them. This may take some shuffling and an introduction to each psychological behavior addressed.
Sleeper, Awake reviewed by Gary Swanson
This shows what Sci-Fi can be. Bending the rules of reality to explore human nature in ways other genres can not. A truly alien and original future has been created for the reader to explore. So often Sci-Fi is just our modern world with a Sci-Fi paint job. The future presented by this story is as different from our modern day as we are from our hunter gatherer ancestors. Not only is there creative technology, but the author shows how it has changed society.
The concept of men competing for the right to reproduce has been the reality for most men and male animals throughout time. The author has taken that reality and put it out in the open with structure, effectively making a normal part of life something alien for us to discover and contemplate. It is not just mentioned and forgotten but fully fleshed out and I quite enjoyed that. The idea of being able to spend all my time and energy planning, preparing and executing dangerous adventures sounds like utopia to me. Danger not your thing? Hang out in your man cave tinkering all day and maybe your next invention will get you laid. The author was also not afraid to explore female hypergamy. It has been said that a woman would rather share a high value man than a have a chump to herself. We are seeing data from western societies today that when women have absolute control of mating, they tend to share only the top percentage of males. With western marriage in its death throes, I have often wondered where this will lead and have not been able to figure it out. Sleeper, Awake presents an interesting concept. I love that about Sci-Fi.
A mystery/question/possible conflict is teased in the begging. This is potentially the biggest conflict in the book but it is sidelined right away and the reader is only reminded of it occasionally. Remember that burning question from the beginning? Guess what, I still have not answered it. There is even a character who expresses the reader’s frustration that the issue has continually been put on the back burner.
I need some real conflict. These characters have rich people problems. Sure, the men have to complete dangerous challenges to impress the ladies but it is kind of like a trust fund baby who takes up base jumping. The author said at the end that he intentionally made no villains, everyone is well-intentioned and decent. As a result, there is a lack of variety in that regard.
Things to know before reading:
Multiple perspectives really bother some people, I don’t now why, but they do. There are a lot of perspectives and they change frequently. They are clearly marked but I know this is a non starter for some people.
Sex…it happens. It never gets gratuitous in my opinion and serves the world building. I have no problem watching a spicy scene but for some reason I have never liked reading them. My mind always pictures the author somehow. I am forever scarred by a Santa Claus looking George R.R. Martin describing a teenage girl’s first sexual experience.
The author has beliefs and he makes them clear, as is his right. It is not through the whole story and never feels too preachy until a pretty good stand on the soap box at the end. It should not affect your enjoyment, wherever you stand.
There is no villain, even climate change is a villain that turned out to not be all that bad in the end.
Gary has spent most of his life in the military so has done most of my reading in planes, buses and tents. He enjoys historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction. History is a passion of his and he enjoys reading original texts written by the contemporaries of said history.
Blame Gabriel by David Kaye
This short monograph is a case study illustrating David Kaye’s theory of “Self-Empowerment Therapy,” applied to serious grief: the accidental death of a young woman’s beloved partner, three weeks before their scheduled engagement. As such, it is more for professionals than the lay public. All the same, any intelligent reader struggling with a source of sadness will benefit from reading it, although prior acquaintance with David’s theory would be helpful. That is set out in his previous books, Self Empowerment Therapy: From Theory to Practice, The Five Minute Therapist, and Crossroads: Your Journey Within.
I found it fascinating that although David’s actions are based on different concepts than mine, what we actually do in therapy is remarkably similar. “There are many mountains to God, and many paths up each mountain” is my favourite Shintoist saying.
Once David describes the case study, and in his notes following it, the book is highly readable and easy to understand. Perhaps in order to get to the grist of the book quicker, the introductory parts are far more difficult. It is worth persevering through them in order to look over the shoulder of a gifted and caring therapist.
Original Wisdom by Donna Bond
Donna was a high-level, successful marketing executive when she experienced a transformation: she woke up to her real nature, which has nothing to do with money, fame or power. As she writes in this book, all is One, and a human is a small part of the universal Life Energy, temporarily attached to a body and a personality.
The content resonates with everything I have practiced, and used in my work, for the past 35 years. The techniques, the language are different, but the underlying philosophy, ethics and beliefs are remarkably similar.
In fact, I have read a great many books, each unique, each inspiring, each showing a path to the same good life. This is one of them.
Because it shares the universal Truth, if you carry out the exercises with full belief in their efficacy, you will find yourself growing spiritually, and changing both your internal and external reality.
Enjoy the Ride, by Laurie Corzett
Twin jugglers set our stage.
Nature and nurture combine,
entwine with trails inside,
thus structuring our fate.
Take up the tale, my star lit dear,
of how we now have wandered here.
Now’s waiting; don’t be late.
Epic journeys cycle into each successive now.
Wandering song, waft and wave.
Rise aloft, fall to softened tone.
Encode the call we each aspire to
become entranced with
through fear, romance, death,
enhancement to repair, to own
the tune we play.
Sound waves, calls with urgent eloquence,
soothes night fears with lullaby,
Warrior song —
long brave trails, travailed years.
our song, our vow,
harbor of our power.
Sorcery speaks, entangles.
Stars and hearts emerge.
Wooden ships voyage eternal sea —
journey of ages spiraling outward, free.
Easy found trades, winds recycle seeds.
Back to the gardens of pagan lore —
earth, air, sun, and transforming water.
We wander days of potent destiny,
deep mystic incantation spins the tale,
of a possible age in birth.
Love song ‘tween man
Phoenix Fire strength fills open hearts.
Incanted flame implores spirit world to succor, exalt
He who hath endured tribulation, but never succumbed,
perpetually cast stronger toward powerful
Elements always in flux,
adaptable, to align with intention.
Pure essence to ignite:
Saddened, enraged, radiant,
tempered to exquisite artistry
to flow with the forces
between what could be
and what we will allow.
Let your mind drift and wander.
Take a leisurely stroll through
what feels good, right, beautiful…
A Dedication, by Lauren Persons
Dear Emerson, Lowell, Thoreau and Frost,
May I wheedle in to regale this place, your
fir-lined mountains that pierce the sky,
the ocean’s edge, with mammoth rock and
waves that offer up periwinkles, sand dollars
and skipping stones for patient guests?
Yes, you have done it so much better
Please, forgive me, let me explain…
I read you from a flat-page, just words, your words
from a desk while a teacher read your splendor
in monotones, in perfect time, before the bell.
Years later, that closed book opens.
The classroom has no desks, no bells,
no books, no pages to turn, no words
to parse. Unlike you, I did not grow up here,
saturated in power and unapologetic beauty.
And yet, please, Emerson Lowell, Thoreau and Frost–
accept my clumsy attempt to find the definitive words,
pinpoint the perfect image, capture this place.
Like the nearby chipmunk that skitters and darts
along the rocky ledge, my words cannot find a
resting place to stop and take it in.
But, once again, your words land hard.
Forgive my audacity to quote you–
“I have miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.”
Off the page, forever in my heart.
Thank you Don Lubov for this gem.
Report to AGM
During the past year, the Antisocial Committee has refused to meet as a matter of principle.
About Bobbing Around
If you received a copy of Bobbing Around and don’t want a repeat, it’s simple. Drop me a line and I’ll drop you from my list.
You may know someone who would enjoy reading my rave. Bobbing Around is being archived at http://mudsmith.net/bobbing.html, or you can forward a copy to your friend. However, you are NOT ALLOWED to pass on parts of the newsletter, without express permission of the article’s author and the Editor (hey, the second one is me.)
I’d love you to follow my blog. That will automatically get you a copy of this newsletter, and other posts. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the newsletter. To do so, email me. Subject should be ‘subscribe Bobbing Around’ (it will be if you click the link in this paragraph). In the body, please state your name, email address (get it right!), your country and something about yourself. I also want to know how you found your way to my newsletter. I hope we can become friends.
Contributions are welcome, although I reserve the right to decline anything, or to request changes before acceptance. Welcome are:
- Announcements, but note that publication date is neither fixed nor guaranteed;
- Brags of achievements that may be of general interest, for example publication of your book;
- Poems or very short stories and essays that fit the philosophy and style of Bobbing Around;
- Above all, responses to items in past issues. I will not reject or censor such comments, even if I disagree with them.
It is a FALSE RUMOUR that you need to buy one of my books before your submission is accepted. Not that I cry when someone does so.
Above all, contributions should be brief. I may shorten them if necessary.
Content should be non-discriminatory, polite and relevant. Announcements should be 100 to 200 words, shorter if possible. Book reviews, essays and stories should be at the very most 500 words, poems up to 30 lines.
Author bios should be about 50 words, and if possible include a web address.