Light/Breezes

Light/Breezes
SUNRISE AT DEATH VALLEY-Photo by Tom Cochrun

Thursday, December 14, 2017

NAKED TRUTHS

    It is one of those coincidences or ironies of life. This replica knock off of David by Michelangelo has been recently "liberated." 
   It stands in the court yard of Cambria's renown Pewter Plough Playhouse, home to the Harmony Cafe. When Chef Giovanni began serving patrons alfresco, David's midsection was wrapped in the Ivy. We were never sure why such a travesty was permitted. Was there a morality vigilante operating as a gardener-or non-gardener?
   It seems unlikely that most men would feel threatened by a
comparison to that portion of the anatomy that was concealed.  However I will go on record and acknowledge envy of those six pack abs-but they were not covered.
   As mysteriously as the modesty ivy appeared, it has been pruned and David stands before the world as Michelangelo intended. And all of this as the #metoo revelations have begun shaking bad men from high places.

     There is of course still one prominent and powerful accused serial predator and accoster who has been untouched, so far. 
    trump has been rebuffed by voters even in his base states, reproached by powerful men and women and accused, again, by many victims but thus far there has been no serious action to investigate the claims or hold him accountable. 
     It seems there will be a breaking point for the serial liar and bragger. His approval rating is as low as any American President. Even some who had begrudgingly supported him are starting to shed the slime pit and reach for traditional American political ground.  
    The image above is for those of you who feel the need for a shower whenever you think of the president.
    The trouble is, he's leaving a legacy.
      This time of year one can't help but think about children and in turn, the life we are presenting to them.  
       I was particularly touched the other evening as a long time dear friend, a tough and realistic professional women who raised a son and step-daughter and is not an overly sentimental person, teared up as she spoke of the president and his behavior as being seen and read by millions of boys and girls of impressionable age. Ponder that for moment, if you have not already.
       He mocks, brags, derides, lies, is proud of not reading, practices no physical fitness and is a pig. Until he does us a favor and departs or is thrown out of office we must explain and account the likes of him. 
       When our granddaughter is around and when nature has it's way, I refer to that as trumping her diaper. Her mother and grandmother don't approve and don't want me to "confuse" her, but I know in a couple of years she will know exactly what "poppy" meant.
        I especially worry about boys and teen males who have enough trouble finding good mentors and role models. When the president behaves as he does, he is poisoning the future.
       The revelations and fall of men who behaved as creeps is a good thing for society.  It would be an even more effective antidote if the predator in chief were held accountable.
        Something now to bookend this post. They are not the current royalty of Beyonce and Jay Z, nor even Harry and Meghan, but when the King of England, Edward fell in love with Wallis Simpson it was not only a scandal, but created a constitutional crisis. Of course he abdicated and the dashing couple were known as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
       The abdication was in 1936, before I was born, but the Duke and Duchess were big conversation in my childhood in the early 50's.  My grandmother and her sisters where English and emigrated as young women. I spent a lot of time with them-my widowed Nannie and her sisters and their husbands including 2 Scots and a Scots-Irish Uncle, plus the Welsh widower of one of the sisters. They shared a three story home, a warren of apt's and rooms and it was very much like a UK boarding house-all related. 
      When I was dressed, they made sure I was "turned out" like a gentleman-the Duke of Windsor being the role model. But they were divided about the abdication and about Wallis Simpson.
     I contrast those sometime spirited discussions-Maggie Smith style-about propriety with what kids today are seeing and hearing. I can't help but think we are spiraling down.
      Maybe this Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa the jolly elf  will bring us civility, decency and class. We've already got a chunk of coal in the White House, well maybe it's not coal yet but the White House has been trumped. 

    See you down the trail

Sunday, December 10, 2017

EERIE


    An eerie twilight and hushed nature shrouds the California central coast. A red-pink sun burns behind brown and gray clouds as the charred remains from Southern California drift northward in expanding smoke, arial evidence of the devastating fires.
      Birds have grown silent and the abundant wild life, turkey, deer and squirrels have disappeared as the plume drifts northward over the Santa Lucia range.
    Air quality alerts have been posted. People are urged to stay inside.  
    A somewhat clouded morning was absorbed by the smoke. This patch of blue disappeared in moments. 
      The usually lustrous light has fallen to a mournful shade. The clear day become brown and umber.
  The pernicious Santa Ana winds whip the several fires, burning and destroying areas of an American paradise.
    An LA Times headline notes  "AS CALIFORNIA BURNS
CONGRESS PLANS TO SLASH TAX WRITE-OFFS FOR FIRES AND OTHER DISASTERS"

     The gloom also extends to our hearts. This is a state
sending thoughts and prayers to fire fighters, fellow citizens, friends and loved ones.

     See you down the trail.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

it's complicated
   The rigging on the tall masts anchored in Morro Bay symbolically captures the mood of complexity in the US these days-lots of angles.
     And so does a scene from Hamlet, especially the lines

      "Let me see. (takes the skull) Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times, and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! 

      An explanation in a moment but there is a fascinating detail about the image above. The actor is David Tennant from the 2008 Royal Shakespeare Company Production and the skull is no mere stage prop, it is the skull of Pianist Andre Tchaikowsky. Tchaikowsky's skull was used by Tennant at the Courtyard theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. When the production moved to London's West End, the skull was replaced by a prop as the company thought news of Tchaikowsky's skull distracted the audience.
   The painting above by Philip Calderon is from 1868 and depicts the young Lord Hamlet riding his beloved jester Yorick one of those thousand times. 
    Now here's the link. Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, and Kevin Spacey- "...and now, how abhorred in my imagination..."
Hamlet and Horatio in the Graveyard
by Eugene Ferdinand Victor Delacroix


      I suspect our revulsion at the revelations about these media stars abusing women and misusing their influence is because we had admired their talent. That is for Rose and Spacey, in my opinion.
what do you say to your kids, matt lauer?
     It was reported the first thing Lauer did after being fired was drive to the private school to tell his teen son. How do you explain your perverted behavior to your offspring? What could he have said to offset the news of his disgusting behavior?
     I'd like to hear Lauer square his treatment of women colleagues with the fact he has a daughter. Someone should ask him what he would think or do if someone did to his daughter what he did to someone else's daughter?
     I was never a fan of Lauer. I was surprised he got the job after Bryant Gumble departed the Today Show. On his best day he was only a middling talent. There are many more effective communicators, hosts and news anchors working on local television stations. Even in the NBC stable there were more talented people.
     what do you say to all your high falutin' friends charlie rose?
    What a painful series of calls, visits and conversations for Charlie Rose. As a journalist and interviewer he had the respect of the worlds best, brightest, most powerful, creative, beautiful and important. People seemed in awe of finally being a guest on his long running interview program. It must be a huge fall. I watched Rose for as long as he did his PBS program and over the years learned and gained insights. Rose's behavior surprises and disappoints as much any on the list of fallen.
     It seems no matter the level of their wealth, a wealth that can allow them all to live more comfortably than a majority of people, they cannot escape the ignominy their vile behavior earned them. 
    It proves again, you can't always trust what you see-especially in a celebrity conscious media.
    revolution?
     Revolution is costly. I hope we are in the early days of a new era in interpersonal relationships in the work place. Perhaps a greater awareness of past abuses will guide us to more appropriate behavior and fairness, but I also hope that it will extend to race, ethnicity, gender identification and age as well as sexual behavior. Equal=Equal, period!
the pence coup?
     Atlantic's new opus on vice-president Pence contains revelations he and other republicans discussed a coup to depose trump after the Access Hollywood tapes were released. The piece documents the Pence "nod and wink" approach to supporting trump, as though saying-don't worry, I've got this covered.  I wonder how long before trump starts blasting his loyal servant?

      Like all those ropes and lines. Angles. Power. It's complicated.

     See you down the trail.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

THIS YEAR, MORE THAN EVER


 
      There's a little magic in this story and I want to share it, especially if this December finds you a bit wearied; amazed at how rapidly the year has flown, crestfallen by the state of the nation, or world, wrestling with health, worried about loved ones or other complexities in the messiness of life.
      This is our little story, but there is something in this for you, a portal to a place where you can lift your spirits. Simply, immerse yourself in the peace of musical artistry as expressed in Christmas music and search your mind for a piece of your childhood.
        Full disclosure. I enter this Christmas season struggling to find that sweet balance where I can be rid of the anger I carry, a disgust that is renewed with each new headline or word of another friend being depressed, troubled or stressed by Washington. Worried about the loss of reason and civility. Saddened by that and news of diagnoses, or the indignity and labor of an aging generation.
     Frequent readers may recall my seasonal ecstasy over Strings in the Chapel.
You can read these love notes beginning here with 2016
Or 2015 Where the title Could it Last Forever gives you a hint.
Over the years the photos and post celebrate a connections to something deep.
      This year I entered into the historic Santa Rosa Chapel and its place in the slipstream of time with a different mind set. But I'm here to say music is indeed therapy. 
     There is a timeless and expansive joy in the music of Christmas, the origin story of the Christian faith. The rich beauty of the music soothes and enlivens that place in us in need of nursing. 
      A cappella vocals with chapel bells, magnificent strings, harp and guitars combining for Low How a Rose, Mary Did You Know, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, O Holy Night and a stunning Ave Maria performed by violinist Brynn Albanese and guitarist Eric Williams lifts one above worry and fretting.
Wandering Shepherd with Molly Pasutti's vocals, accompanied by Eric with Ron Poulos on mandolin sears into your heart. So too was Robin Covey's O Holy Night accompanied by Jill Poulos on Harp, Ron Poulos on mandolin and Bob Liepman on Cello.

     There is also a power in reaching a memory and the images of childhood. It invigorates. Each year at these marvelous concerts Judith Larmore invokes an exercise that awakens the images of Christmas past. She animates our world with the tinsel, winters, family moments, excitement, tastes, sounds and sheer joy of that time in our lives when the magic of Christmas was real. This years reflection, entitled Abundance was a massage of the soul. Much needed. Much appreciated.
     Bruce Black recounts hilarious Christmas adventures with his grandmother as a lead in to his spirited recitation of Twas the Night Before Christmas.
      Between Molly Pasutti's ethereal opening,  Let all That Are To Mirth Inclined, and the closing Sing-A-Long, Christmas invaded my heart.
       And so there is a pass it along moral here.
       Even if you are not a person of faith or even someone 
who eschews religion, let the purity and joy of the origin story's music, some of the most beautiful ever written, wash over you this year, especially this year. Hearing these beautiful songs, performed by strings, is magic.
And surely there is a Christmas or winter fest story from your own childhood that can kindle your heart.
         In a Scandinavian custom, candles were lit at the graves behind the historic chapel.
         We are reminded that life is fleeting. Christmas comes every year, with a purpose, to put light into our life and joy in our hearts. It is an advent. It is also an adventure in lifting ourselves beyond despair or gloom. If you are like me and  really need a dose of this, listen to some of the music listed above-it was employed to spread magic over Cambria this year. Lift your spirits!

       Thanks to the Players and Singers

The Vocalists
Robin Covey
Molly Pasutti
Mark O'Bryan
Eric Williams and Guitar

String Quartet
Brynn Albanese 1st Violin
Sonya Lanzen-Castellanos 2nd Violin
Peter Liepman Viola
Bob Liepman Cello
Ken HJustad Bass

Jill Poulous Celtic Harp
Justin Robillard Guitar
Ron Poulous Mandolin

And a special Thank You to Judith! You made Christmas arrive.

  See you down the trail.      



Monday, November 27, 2017

CORRECTIONS

 night work in Morro Bay

resembling the freeway

a light in the darkness
   The moment I saw this photo by Jim Wilson of the New York Times, I wanted to share it. Christmas season has come to even Santa Rosa California where normal is a word without relevance this season. 


twilight hopes
    There was a time when people were sure dreams could become real, that visions were visited upon souls and that spirits could roam. It was in the gloaming, in the twilight, that narrowing distance between day and night, thought to be a time of magic. Hope and fear nestling together, dependent on the other.

after the prelude
     Who could expect a tech dependent culture, a society risen on the muscle of science and fed on commerce would find itself stumbling into a wilderness, shredding itself by means of an inner, bipolar war, voluntarily blinding itself by a refusal to see, ignoring truths and exercising meanness while celebrating venality.
in the time before
    Those of old could never know what would come with the morning, nor how might they survive the mysteries in the dark. How weakened would they be by the fear that built in the night.
who shall we be?
      Women and men who deserve our respect tell us we are divided and in a cultural war-rural against urban, those with higher educations and those without, fractured by economic class, riven by ideologies, splintering into enclaves, separated by expectations.
      Indeed, we are like those ancient hopes and fears, nestled together on the fulcrum. 
      We watch as an executive branch and federal establishment implodes and disintegrates, departments being dissembled, with no skilled hand on the tiller and scores of important positions unfilled. The legislative branch is locked in an insular world though in a free fall decomposition. 
     Integrity and decorum are abandoned. It is dangerous and foolish to ignore the lessons of 240 years.
      Perhaps you read the remarks of General Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA

      "If this is who we are or who we are becoming, I have wasted 40 years of my life. Until now it was not possible for me to conceive of an American President capable of such an outrageous assault on truth, a free press or the first amendment."

      It is the fair axiom of politics to ask, are we better than we were? Are we better off, are we a more united United States after a year of trump than we were at the end of Obama? Is anything better than it was?
       Here's a link to good and brief assessment of the trump year from Foreign Policy Magazine.
       Are we living into Shakespeare's Richard III lament-
"Now is the winter of our discontent..."
      Who shall we be when the sun returns to its fullness? Who shall emerge in the primaries of the spring and who will lead the challenge or defense in the campaigns of fall? Who will have the power to turn the votes-rural or urban, the educated or those who are not, those who carry tiki torches and spew or those who invite diversity? 
       Some hope for candidates of vision, compassion, integrity, pragmatism and strength to clean, correct, make right and restore. Others see no fault nor sins nor madness in the regime. We are divided. We enter this winter on the throes of fear, discord and anger. 
       The older I get the more I am convinced it was ever such. We can destroy or we can heal. I am of the camp that looks for light, a peace out of the chaos. Be alert. Watch with hope and live that way.

        See you down the trail.



       

       
       
      
       

Thursday, November 23, 2017

NOW THAT HEF'S DEAD...



revenge of the fantasized
    Sexual socio-politics is certainly at a disruptive distance from the imaginings and slick fantasies of Hugh Hefner. This passage of "revelation and reckoning" is on our thanksgiving list, like cranberries-bitter sweet and essential.
     As tough as it is for women to unearth moments of victimhood, it contributes to the good for everyone. Healing, we hope.
     Men are telling other men to inventory their own actions. We are stunned by the list of those who have fallen. For the present this is a type of national catharsis, and it is a time to be careful.
     Thought and deliberation are necessary. I think most of the fallen have personality disorders-they are creeps, "perverts" and abusive. Not all of the behavior is similar, though all of it may have been unwanted. Some is disturbed, some is poor judgment and the difference is important. 
      The assaults, physical or emotional are connected to  history and we have allowed it. I recall how a woman colleague at a radio station was subjected to salacious and lascivious comments by another colleague. It happened almost daily. I was embarrassed by it, but I did not write it up or report it. The humor at that time, our company attitude and even public standards reflected an uneven field. Social standards were complicit in abusing and objectifying women, systemically. 
       Careful accounting is important. Rebecca Traister, an author who is also a writer-at-large for New York magazine raises a curious dilemma. She asks how culpable were feminist leaders and other women who "condoned" Bill Clinton's sexual escapades because he supported their agenda?
     We need to recall little boys growing up amidst social cues and norms. The Hefner influence objectified women, sexualized their appearance and body, made a behavioral game of sexuality. That also shaped culture and behavior.
Harvey Weinstein appears to be a lout and a debased egotistical slob, and while it is not a justification he is right in saying the "culture was different." The change happening now is evolution. 
     But this reckoning raises questions. How then does someone  flirt or "come on," seek and pursue a potential romance or love interest? What is an appropriate way to begin? What are acceptable opening lines? 
     Should we no longer complement friends or colleagues on a haircut, style or anything of their appearance?
     How far back do we go to seek an apology, explanation, or justice? Could the zeal or emotion of this social change impact its legitimacy and legacy?
     How do we question the authenticity of an accusation without seeming to further victimize? Are the accused entitled an explanation? Could a comment or action simply have been ill-conceived or a case of misperception? Will we rush to judgment? 
     When does the focus turn to the sitting president, quick to criticize others, but also accused of sexual assault?
     You see how careful we must be. 
     This appears to be a most profound cultural change, an inflection point on social history. Anger alone should not be the architect of what is to follow.

autumn settings on the central coast
vineyards adopting fall color
a house concert
Katherine's sand box. Art by Neal.
a grand entrance
Cayucos night light
Piper Riley Evans-a Scot's salute
Joie and Karen in thought
A birthday petite four 
       These old boys have seen many changes on their watch.
More are on the horizon.

       Welcome to the season. Thanks for your readership.

      See you down the trail.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

SHAKING GROUND


converging forces
     Fault lines and fissures are cracking social and political order with a force that will leave everything changed
     At ground zero are sexual politics, power, international order and reality.
the lunacy of one
    The US was booed, jeered and delegates walked out when trump's representative spoke to the World Climate Change Conference in Bonn.
      This administration was there to tout coal and nuclear energy. Defending fossil fuels earned the scorn of most of the 200 nations attending. The US is the only nation on the planet to exit the Paris Climate Agreement.
      Can anyone with common sense not see as ludicrous the nature of being the only nation not to understand the imperatives of climate change? It is ignominy, but inevitable when a man of such "intellect" occupies the White House.

the webs we weave

an orb spider taking care of business
 a characteristic of the orb spider is to rebuild the web each day...we watched this one over the course of a week
and it always had something on the line

men stuck in webs

the left must square their own sexual abuse excuses
      More men in power are falling in disgrace as the seismic force of #metoo revelations bring a scope of accountability to sexual assault and harassment. 
A TECH TITAN
      Steve Jurvetson is stepping down as partner of a powerful Silicon Valley VC firm. After allegations of harassment, Jurvetson exits Draper, Fisher and Jurvetson which he co founded in 1985. They have been a huge player 
in tech. Jurvetson is also leaving the boards of Tesla and Space X.
      The tech industry is ripe with a culture of sexual harassment and discrimination. The millionaire boys club culture is getting rocked.
THE CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE
     California Democrat Senate leader Kevin de Leon will hire an outside firm to investigate a growing list of allegations of a "culture of sexual harassment" in the legislative branch in the state capitol. 
     Traditionally the Senate Rules Committee investigates such allegations. This disrupts California Senate tradition and many read that as a signal of how serious will be the probe.
      De Leon's move has irritated some. He is an insurgent candidate seeking to replace veteran US Senator Diane Feinstein.
SLICK WILLIE FROM PHILANDER
      In fact he is from Arkansas but conscientious Democrats and liberals are actually agreeing with their Republican and conservative counterparts it is time to address Bill Clinton's sexual adventures. One cannot challenge the behavior of a Roy Moore and try to weasel away from Clinton's destructive behavior, even if Clinton's affairs were with consenting adults. 
      Clinton's personal shame and "bimbo eruptions" distracted his administration and many blame it for weakening the party. Al Gore may have had better luck if he didn't have the Clinton shame around his neck. Some will tell you Hillary Clinton may have been a more winning personality if her husband had not been such a sex dog.
     No Bill Clinton is not accused of molesting teens, but his accusers say he was a serial philanderer. Excusing Clinton's behavior may have enabled a culture of harassment where sex, power and manipulation mingled. 
THE MYSTERY OF DONNIE THE LOUT
    I wonder how this time of revelation and falls may affect the serial adulterer and self avowed sexual predator who snuck into the White House. trump had threatened to sue the women who accused him of sexual assault. I wonder if those accusations will come back to center stage. Should they?
the idiot and the bomb
    It is appropriate the Senate Foreign Relations Committee tackles the issue of a President's capacity to singularly initiate a nuclear strike. The question and the protocol is fraught with complexity and nuance, but the probe is certainly appropriate given who this president is. I would never have imagined I'd call the President an ignorant buffoon, but I never imagined this president. 

     These are strange times. 

     See you down the trail.

      

     
      

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

OVER OUR HEADS AND LOOKING FOR A LIFELINE

3x3x3
Mother and child and mother to be and their reflections and their shadows

   In the impossible task of absorbing the shock of another mass shooting, many of us default to a worry about our kids and grandkids.
    Though we cannot grasp the agony of the survivors the mere thought escalates our concern about the world next generations will inherit.
    
       A lifetime as a journalist leaves me looking for something
beyond the loss. This time we hear coverage that draws the connection between spousal abuse and domestic violence and the shooter. In fact it is a damning link in most mass shootings.
       Will we-the collective we-the people and those we elect-finally do something?

california central coast rain season begins


    Heavy skies, morning banks of fog in valleys, cats who detest wet paws and lack of sunshine, signal a season change.
   It is a time when green begins to return.



hiding the green
    More than 90 media organizations around the planet cooperated in the latest iteration of the "Paradise Papers" and have discovered how $Trillions have been sheltered in off shore havens, mostly illegally at worst and sneakily, at best.
    Plenty of embarrassing stories and links have surfaced. We should expect some of the mighty to fall out of favor and perhaps into legal nets. We wonder how long Wilbur Ross and his top adviser will remain out of the fire since both have ties and have been profiting from a company with direct ties to the Kremlin. Ross, who was a king of predatory default practises should never have been appointed Commerce Secretary. This latest revelation is an offense to honest government.
     We wonder if the Mueller probe is looking at the business arrangements of the man child tweeter in chief. Do you think he has seen the orange lout's taxes?

speaking of the kremlin
and non-fake (that would be real) news
    We continue to learn how pervasive was and is the kremlin involvement in Facebook and Twitter. The scale of misinformation and disinformation is massive, and without precedent in modern history.
     Millions of social media users received, read, and perhaps believed lies. It has been part of the effort of Vladimir Putin to undermine US citizens' belief in American institutions and leaders. This is fact, regardless of whether or not the trump organization knew about it and/or willingly participated.
     And, the Russians continue to gnaw away.

and it happens as we euthanize traditional media
    The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University notes that between 45% to 85% of all original reporting is done by newspapers then picked up by other media. Now, factor in this fact-since 2000 20 thousand news jobs have been eliminated and revenues have dropped by some $20 Billion.
     When I retired as a news executive 10 years ago the trend had begun. The good old days are gone. Some of the problem is self inflicted. News by flavor, a horrible contribution of the sexual predator Roger Ailes, has helped to undermine believability. Deregulation of the industry turning news operations into "profit centers" did plenty of long lasting damage. The change in US lifestyle and new technology antiquated some delivery systems-afternoon newspapers-even some morning papers-the tired and frequently silly format of television news and the nature of the content itself. 
     As we look at the new information landscape and understand how many people take their information from social media and learn how contrived that is, it all points to the continuing dumbing down of the population. Poorly informed, mis-informed, and manipulated consumers make terrible choices. Our present political reality is the proof of all of that. 
      Artificial reality, altered reality, are coming in on the heels of this age of "reality" politics and we are wading into deeper trouble.



something wonderful
    Playing at an art theater near you is the extraordinary and brilliant film Loving Vincent.  It is billed as the first fully painted film and it is a marvel to see, a masterpiece in its own right.
    Take a look at the trailer here. Many artists spent thousands of hours creating something unlike anything you've seen. It is a fascinating mystery story as well.

    See you down the trail.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

HONESTY ABOUT SEX


#metoo
another kind of mansplaining
    Sexual politics is shifting and changing the human landscape as undeniably as the Mud Creek landslide has changed the Big Sur coast line.
    It has been healing and cathartic that victims have been able to surface old assaults and unburden themselves. It has also been a time of discussion and soul searching for men.
    A longtime friend and former colleague said it well in a post  that is stacked to the right of this piece. In Bob's You've got a Lot to Learn he offers a candid voice to what should be a growing male chorus. Some of our sex, not all of us, are jerks.
     From what I've read Ratner, Weinstein, Oreskes, Halperin and others are more than jerks, they are losers. Their behavior of assault or unwanted contact, public masturbation and such makes them scum among men. They are the true deplorables.  
     Real men, gentlemen as was once a description, do not force or coerce intimacy nor are they abusers of authority. 
     Full disclosure here; I am a romantic. I have enjoyed the sexual encounters in my life because they have been sensitive, sharing, mutually pleasurable, sensual in the best form of the word, kind, loving, focused and consuming. Sensual intimacy between two people can be as honest and clarifying as any thing we do. 
     My route to such an understanding may not be normal. My father, who was a DI and responsible for turning boys into soldiers also had to teach his charges about the venereal diseases and the sex business that awaited WWII inductees off base or in foreign climes. I got the benefit of that education, including films, as an elementary school lad. It was straightforward. My father also taught me to treat women with respect "especially when things get personal, and they will at your age."
     My hormones switched on like they do when you are a teen, but I knew I probably would not be a good lover (that was an appropriate word in that era) because while I had desire, I had no experience. At the time I was coming of age I worked as a copy boy and stringer for a metropolitan newspaper. The editor made a list of the "play for pay" houses in the city-the red light houses. You may see where this is going.
     My virginity was offered up to a professional who clearly understood my naiveté and innocence. Instead of being an awkward situation she made it a time of understanding, learning and initiation into adulthood. In time I also learned about the path of her life and that of others who found themselves earning a living as they did. That offered another course of learning, helpful to kid who wanted to be a journalist. It was a good course in life 101.
    As my dating years unfolded relationships could develop that hinged on more than sexual ardor. It helped eliminate the objectification of women as dates for sexual conquests. Back in our day, there was a lot of that. Probably still is. When relationships moved to physical intimacy there was mutual respect and sensitivity. 
   We do not all share values and this is indeed a diverse world, but in personal relationships as well as in intimacy, respect is a foundation. 
    I think civilization has done a great disservice to men and women by creating images and expectations, rituals and beliefs, hang ups and games, attitudes and values about sexual relationships. People have been damaged, clearly. And so has that most personal of interactions. People in tender intimacy, physical or emotional, is a beautiful thing. It's a shame it can be messed up. And it seems the biggest jerks are of my sex. Like my friend Bob, I too apologize.


good old times
     If you were around Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach or the LA South Bay area in the mid 70's you may recall Barabas and their lively sound.
     Yes that is David Shelton, Michael David Lassiter and David Root, minus the rhythm section. They were in Cambria for a reunion of old friends that span the decades and the country. Those 3 alone make a wonderful sound. Time has been kind to their talent.

a sign of our times
     Spotted in Morro Bay at the Estero Bay United Methodist Church.
     It is certainly clear the values at work here and that is a transition to King Deplorable.
     For the longest time I have thought donald trump is simply a loud mouth, loutish, ego freak and idiot. I suspect the Russians have him on a hook because he is in debt to them, getting in deeply when American banks cut him off after his many failures-facts that supporters never believed. I've thought it was just about money, which in his world is his idol. However now I'm beginning to wonder if he might not in fact have been in collusion with the Russians.
     trump's comment about American justice being "a joke, a laughing stock" does exactly what the national security and intelligence community have said the Russians want to do and that is undermine American's belief in their systems. Nothing does that more than when the president-illegitimate though he may be, bad mouths our bed rock virtues. It is one thing for citizen Dick or Jane to offer up such invective. It is damned near a crime for the president to say that. stooge, colluder or merely sexual predator who pulled the wool over a lot of eyes, trump is a menace. he belongs on the trash heap of history. If Weinstein, then why not trump?

    See you down the trail.