January 18, 2010

Last Day in New York (for now)

Monday morning. I have a 4:00 flight out of Islip airport. It's been a short trip. I look forward to coming back again because I get to see the family, and I really enjoy that. Next trip will be my sister to Jax. Then nephew and his family will hopefully be coming down to visit in-laws - and me! Then I will make my way back to NY sometime during the year.

It's been a wonderful visit, brief as it was. Friday, right from the airport, Bren and I went to Huntington and had lunch with our cousins Rene and Susan. We had a wonderful 3 hour lunch, good food, and still not enough time together! If you are in Huntington make a point of dining at F. H. Riley's. You will not be disappointed.

After lunch, Brenda and I went to what has now become one of my favorite indendent bookstores, Book Revue. It is a few blocks from Riley's, is huge, and sells new and used books. Great selection. The store is huge, comfortable, 2 floors, a small cafe inside, lots of freebie alternative newspapers. We stayed quite awhile, I bought 2 books, Bren bought 2 children's books, and then we headed home. We got in at 5:30. 6 hours after my flight landed in Islip.

More later and more photos later.

January 14, 2010


I noticed early in my life that each year has a theme. It's as if there was an outline that my life was following. I don't believe in fate, so I don't believe my life is preordained by anything other than my previous and current karma. Still, while in high school I realized that years ending in an odd number were more difficult, i.e., painful, and at times, life threatening; always at my own hand, the result of poor decisions I made in this life. I absolve myself of the events prior to my teens, as I had not enough control of my circumstances in my life to have been consciously responsible for those harrowing incidents. Since my mid teens, I have had to live the consequences of decisions I consciously made.

The years when I found my life "crashing" were followed by a year or years of clean up and recovery. 2009 was a year of crashing, but not life threatening. More like eye-opening. More cathartic in a subtle, emotional way. It is said that dealing with ourselves is like peeling an onion. My onion has been peeled further. This past year was a year of taking a long hard look at me, my relationships with others and my relationship to myself. It was a year of decisions. Hard choices.

Having made some decisions, 2010 is a year to take action on those decisions. I'd be lying by omission if I didn't say that I was scared. Not frightened -- SCARED. Nonetheless, ACTION is my theme for this year. Given that I have made some poor choices in the past, I have been diligent in internally exploring the right choices, for the right reasons, and at the best time for my life.

Buddhism has taught me that the only thing I can control is my own decisions and actions. I cannot control others, I cannot control circumstances in the world or in my immediate environment. So I will take the actions I can take and work toward getting more control of me.

December 31, 2009

Last Day of 2009

There's a song by Harry Nilson called Mr. Richland's Favorite Song. Some lyric:

The calendar changed
The pages fell off
But the singer remained the same

It's new years eve. Last day of calendar year 2009. It's not the only thing different between today and tomorrow, interdependence and all that. 2009 was a difficult year for me. Difficult decisions, difficult acceptances, difficult loss, difficult emotions, thoughts, and bodily pain. NONE of that will change because the calendar changed. None of it. I have no illusion of the changing of the year. No illusion that next year will be better, or worse, for that matter. I guess Buddhism ruins that. I understand that things will always change -- EVERYTHING will change, from better to worse and back again.

December 25, 2009

The Face of Christmas 2009

I can't say anymore than this.

December 8, 2009

November 17, 2009

"Humans are the only creatures who comprehend that we are going to die...the only creatures who can imagine living forever. It's that combo that drives us crazy," Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein.

November 10, 2009


Having a tough time grieving Richard. Some days are better than others. These last few days have been tough. I can't stop crying. Some days, no tears. Other days, nothing but tears.

I'm so sad for my sister and brother-in-law and for Joseph. I want to protect them from the dysfunction of our family, so they can mourn in peace.

Richard is at peace.

Some day we will be at peace with the loss of Richard.