Monday, September 28, 2009


Quietly I sit. Thinking on the presence who bade me come.
Am I ready to accept? What would that mean to some?

So tired. Wishing for some relief from pain.
Physical, emotional, to find peace again.

Does accepting and taking her hand cast my lot?
A renewed life or a transfer out?

Peace in knowing I lived complete.
Loving children and friends. Those who have gone to meet?

Reaching out and waiting, Her hand to take.
At peace and knowing what might be at stake.


Before posting what I want to post today, I need to post this poem.

Music, playing soft. Mesmerizing, sensual yet spiritual.
How long had it been playing? Chords lifting, heart strings playing?
I had always been told that one cannot survive the presence spiritual.
I had given up praying.

But today was different. I had entered an ecstatic state.
Quiet, just the music playing. Yet I had come to hate God.
Why had I come here today? Trepidation filled, yet perhaps a touch of fate.
Can one moment actually change a person? What path would now be trod?

I opened my eyes and yet they were closed.
Light. Music fading into the background. Peace.
Was it a presence I sensed? What would be disclosed?
From what might I find a release?

Shekhina. Divine feminine. Is she who God really is?
Standing above. Reaching out. Beckoning.
A presence and psyche so different from His.
Asking with a mere look, hair flowing.

The smile, how could I say no?
Yet I stayed. I was not ready to go with deity.
And yet I knew the beckoning would go on
with or without piety.

Shedding old beliefs like worn skin.
Understanding that the true nature is acceptance and love.
How can one filled with hate let her in?
Awe struck as She disappeared above.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


What do you do when you grow apart form someone?

I have had students that I have been very close to over the years. Its very hard when one grows distant even before leaving the University. Having hopes and dreams for students get shattered at times when they stop dropping by or contacting.

The same is true with other friends. The loss of a friend or a loved one is very difficult. try as one can, sometimes it is inevitable and the distances just widen.

On a happier note, I was able to visit my son Rhys at college and spend the day with him. It was a lot of fun. I think we talked more that day even with going to a concert than we did in the months before he went off to college. I hope to foster an even closer bond with him now that he is gone than when he was home. Tieg, my younger son, just started high school. He is interested in playing basketball for the high school but will really need to push himself. He has the potential but just needs the self motivation. He also decided he wants to be a physical therapist. And work with sports related therapy. A good choice hopefully for him.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Samhain is almost here

Samhain (pronounced Sow'in) is almost here. This time of year is a time to reflect on the past and to look toards what lies ahead. Modern folks in the US know this season as Halloween. But to the ancient Celts this was a season where the veil between this and the other world became thin and the dead could be seen and contacted.

In reflecting this morning on the problems in the world. It occured to me that many of todays problems can be attributed to religion and specifically male oriented and controlled religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Especially with Christianity and its view that this world is temporary (i.e. Jesus is gonna come and that is it), it is easy to take on a mindset that it doesn't matter what we do to the environment since its going to be transformed at his coming.

The ancient Celts, the American Indians, and other groups felt that the world must be cared for. That it was our responsibility to take care of our Mother Earth. How much better would we be off if everyone thought that way?

Back to Samhain. This is the season to think of what has been lost and of those that have gone before. I have lost much in my life. Love, opportunities, friends, and family members. It is hard to look back on some of the losses and not feel anger and even hatred. But what does that do to us as individuals? I believe it hurts us. But it is still difficult not to be angry or hold hate when hurts have been so extreme.

Walking out of darkness into light takes work.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The night air is starting to chill. Classes have started and are going well. I'm teaching a full class of fencing students. Mostly new students.

Over the summer I found two new northern Italian fencing manuscripts. One is dated 1669. The other sounds like a late 16th century transitional sidesword to rapier manuscript. I'm in the process of reading thru and translating the transitional piece. Its very good. Has a lot of information and tons of practical drills.

Luckily even with the heart probs I can still teach. I am travelling to Oregon in Octoger to teach a rapier seminar. Have taught there before and always had a good weekend.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Health can be such a tenuous thing.

Well, I lost an artery a short while back. A coronary artery. Its hard getting around right now. Just walking at the pace I used to produces angina. Sucks big time since I really like to exercise. hard to keep weight off too when not exercising.

Stress over the spring and summer can be attributed to the latest plug up of my circumflex artery. The doc says it is inoperable. And they don't want to go in and do openheart again as it may damage my mammary artery which is feeding part of the heart now.

So..... sort of screwed right now.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

trip to Europe

In June I was able to take a trip to Europe with my eldest son who graduated from high school and some other friends. To put it bluntly, the trip was phenomenal!

We flew British Airways (my favorite airline) into London Heathrow. We took very little luggage with us so we were able to easily take the tube to Kensington Station since we had a B&B right near there. We got in early enough to walk around a little. And we went to the Gloucester Arms pub for dinner and for our first pints. My son and Tara were the only ones under 21 but both over 18. Jenny and Christine both over 21. Poor jenny. She quickly got the name half pint as that is all she could handle. Most of us had hard cider with dinner. The next day we did a major walkabout. Saw the Thames, Buckingham Palace and a number of gardens.

Our next destination was Paris. We went thru the chunnel. Nice trip. Met a couple (well boss and his secretary) who bought us drinks. We entertained them. We came into the Nord train station which was right near the hotel we were staying in. A very seedy part of town. The next day we visited the Louvre and Notre Damn. Another big walkabout. Before the Louvre we visited an antiques shop that specialized in weaponry. We were able to handle all sorts of lovely pieces. I bought a small silver apple knife. Victorian era.

We then went on to Geneva. Unfortunately and also fortunately at the samr time we could not get a room in Geneva. We stayed in a little town called Devonne les Bains which was wonderful. Attended the Sunday all town market and also went to a local beach. French beaches are topless BTW. One of the girls decided to go native.

From geneva we went to Bologna. This was the highlight of my trip. I love Bologna. the architecture in Bologna is wonderful. Covered walkways are on either side of the street which makes walking outside nice. Bologna is hot in the summer. We saw the Two Towers, many museums, visited the University and walked a lot.

After Bologna we went back to London. We visited the British Library where we were able to handle some historical documents on fencing. We did a major walkbout each day. Including spending a good part of a day at the Portobello Market. We met friends of mine from Europe in London.

All in all a great trip!