John Denver

A friend sent me a link to a John Denver, Peter, Paul and Mary You Tube video of John’s song, “Leaving On A Jet Plane”. ( John joins them on stage as they sing his song. I loved seeing it for it was the genesis of John’s entrance into the world arena of global stardom. Sure he had many other public appearances with the Chad Mitchell Trio and then beyond into the expanded wonder of public acclamation. But Peter, Paul and Mary’s recording opened the public door of John’s writing and performing talent.

John Denver was a friend of mine and I do not use the expression loosely. We did not hang out on a regular basis, but we did share what friends share. Golf, hiking, private dinners, flying experiences since we were both pilots, a professional relationship through broadcast interviews, Windstar Symposiums, and most of all deep personal and spiritual conversations on what it would take to make our glorious planet sustainable, renewable and respected for its sentient awareness.

Through the years of being in the public eye, as a news broadcaster it has been my experience that people who meet you once, in a shake hands only arena or even sharing a few pleasantries over a chance encounter, are prone to say they are friends. And by virtue of being allowed into people’s homes on a nightly basis, to some of them, you become a defacto friend, family member, lover, and even enemy.

Friends! People use that term loosely in their description of acquaintances, casual or peripheral, and it’s usually to gently amplify their importance or stature, as they perceive it, or to impress others whom they think might then think better of them because they know someone who everyone else seems to know. One resonates with the name, but not necessarily the personality.

Being in the public eye is not all that it’s cracked up to be. It has more down sides than it does advantages, but that’s only known by the ones who are in the proverbial “eye”. Those who are not there can’t see it and never will understand the strain or tension fame brings to the individual private self. There are personal and professional responsibilities one cannot understand or embrace unless you have experienced notoriety on a protracted basis.

As I watched the video of John’s early entrance into public adulation I was again saddened, not only by his early passing in a plane accident in California, but too that our planet has lost an intelligent and entertaining voice through words and song to encourage all of us to acknowledge our connection to nature and to champion the truth that we are the nature we abuse.


Some thoughts today on teachers.

I listened last night to the Vice Presidential debate and heard very few references to education, to teachers and to the unwritten responsibility that all lawmakers have, local to national, to insure the sanctity of our educational system.

We all understand, with the possible exception of an earmarking Congress, that budgets are necessary, cuts are necessary and we must live within our means. Too often, however, education budgets and teachers’ salaries receive a disproportionate amount of trimming and I suspect that thinking still persists.

If we spent on education subsidies the equivalent billions that we spend in fighting wars in just one month’s time, America’s educational system would be the envy of the world. Since that is not going to happen there is something else each of us can do to show our appreciation to teachers.

Teaching is the noble profession. How many of us cannot think of at least one teacher who influenced our choices, our careers, our character.

It is unfortunate, in our gifted society, that money is often the only form of compensation. What is blatantly missing from the education ledger is appreciation through praise.

Every parent should go to the nearest teacher and say thank you. Thank you for your dedication, for choosing a profession where hours are long and pay low, where influence is vast and gratitude minimal. Thank you for enduring the frustrations of bureaucracy and sometimes dispassionate parents. Thank you for your tolerance and patience in instructional repetition to the daydreamers, the slackers, the frightened, who forget they need an education just to get by, and thank you for your enrichment of the geniuses who may grace our society with greatness.

Teachers are special and blessed, for once they share knowledge with others, teach discernment, logic, ethics, reason and the love of learning, a piece of them lives forever.

Letters to Lee

Dear Friends,

This will be the last post regarding Lee. Thank you for your indulgence. Sharing some of my letters to him is a therapy for me.

Dear Lee,

Now we wait again! How difficult that must be for you. The uncertainty; constantly wondering what’s next. Moving your thoughts through a myriad of mazes made of questions. Is the tumor going to grow? Will there be more chemotherapy? Additional surgery? Can I start my life again? Is it worth it?

My spirit joins with yours in fighting the frustration of concretized expectation. Strength is gleaned from knowing that each contraction of our hearts bares a powerful message.

Listen to your heart for a moment. Feel its’ Divine onomatopoeic cadence. Now infuse into your heart rhythm, the words of the phrase “I am love.” In the truth of these words you have the mantra of miracles.

I talked to a friend about you the other day and he asked if I were able to share my feelings with you. He meant, all my feelings. Hopes and wishes, pains and tears, laughs and joys and he wondered if that’s hard for me to do. It is and it isn’t!

The words I write to you are inadequate representations of my feelings. They are just pieces of my emotions, a plethora of thoughts, made up of sadness and worry, hopes and smiles, truths and tears, then tempered and transformed into a personal and Heuristic belief that I feel I must share with you in this time of accelerated grace.

I love you, not only as my son, but as God in expression.

If I see you only as my son, only as a physical being struggling to heal, to understand, to fight, to accept the seemingly unfairness of it all, then I limit you and me. If I choose to see the Divinity within you, as you, as an expression of the continuing Divine unfoldment, then all is limitless and it is easier to share my feelings for now I see you, your tumor and your struggle and your pain from the level of unconditional love and in that place no fear can exist.

The joy of earthly existence is to see all that is as All That Is, and to learn that different, is not lesser and “the other” is not separate from the self. God cannot be unknown to himself. If you accept the premise that your spirit is Divine, then it follows there is Divinity in all others. If you see all that is through the Divinity within you, then you will see nothing, but the light of love personified. We are all one with THE ONE and therefore one with each other.

The miracle of life, however, is not the Oneness, it is the diversity within the Oneness. An ego focused existence confuses different with diversity. Living, by choosing to see others as different, inhibits the ability to express the Divine within us for we empower the ego sustained illusion that believes we are separate. We cannot be separate from what it is we are. We can think we are separate and thereby choose to live in the illusion, but the reality is we are never separate from Divine Love that is us. We are always only a choice away from the abundance that is our creation gift. The ONE-der of diversity, encourages expression of the Divine within us as us.

Enough for now my Son. Know that I love you very much and send you healing light, use it as you will.

More Letters to Lee

Dear Friends,

You know by the reading of previous posts the genesis of these Letters To Lee. Here is another one I have chosen to share from 1994.

Dear Lee,

Last night I cried again for what you have to go through. I tell you this not to cause you concern as you orchestrate the battle to fight the cancer, I tell you because I want you to know you are not alone in this cancer experience. The internal battle, of course, is yours and the weapons are a positive attitude, chemicals and radiation.

The support for your fight, however, comes strongly from Mom and me and from so many others. Some of them you know, they are long time friends and they love you. Some of the others, who send you healing love, you have never met, but they too are workers in the field of light and know the power of love by giving it.

With so many interested in your well being, I thought it might be interesting today to write to you about our extended family and what it may mean as we experience a community of concern for you. Ehrling Thungren, a teacher of George Christie, once said that “the material for group transformation is shared experience.” Evidence of that truth can be found everywhere.

One of my favorite trees is the Redwood. The Sequoia. Magnificent standing monuments to the efficacy of family, of community. These trees are often a thousand years old and grow to 300-feet tall and 30-feet wide. Yet, the root system of a single tree rarely extends below eight feet. Hardly enough holding power to keep these cellulose obelisks standing upright. What keeps them from falling? Community! Their roots intertwine with other Redwoods in a community called a grove. The roots of the grove, interconnect to other groves and an exponential strength evolves as each tree helps the others stand erect against fire and storm.

The human species is similar to the Redwoods. Extended families gather in people groves, and like the Redwoods, intertwine life with life, hopes with hopes, wishes with wishes. Our roots are also shallow, for we are on the earth, but not of it. Shared experience and service to others, provide a strength called community.

Community, as it is understood as family, is the manifestation of Love for a collective purpose. It is knowing that the success of one is ultimately inter-related and inter-dependent upon the success of the other and in a true desire for the the other’s achievement comes a profound willingness let go of the illusion that growth is singular.

Community begins when we remember we are all part of each other and all part of All That Is. There is a community of support out there for you in your healing quest. The favors you carry into battle are their cards and letters and calls.

Forever to be free
the choice is to be,
for the I that you see
is not what is me.

The me that is free,
is a part of thee.
for when I choose to be,
the I sees as we.

Enough for now. Know that I love you very much and send you healing light. Use it as you will.