Stepping Stone Sky

Claude Charlebois is a friend of mine. He is a renowned Canadian photographer and is working on a project called “Tonal Visions”. It is a blending of photography and poetry. The poetry is from the late Maestro and Mentor Dr. Kenneth George Mills of Toronto and the world.

Claude travels the globe creating unique photos of his own, but also captures the scenic wonder of nature when he sees it.

I could not resist the words that flowed from my heart when I saw the attached Charlebois photo, a consideration from his recent trip to the American southwest. I have entitled the sonnet “Stepping Stone Sky”.

Stepping Stone Sky
©2008 Rolland G. Smith

They float upon the blue of heaven’s floor
Above the desert dry and highway street;
These steps of mystic mist that gods adore
When walking top the clouds in soft bare feet.
Dissolve they do for spirits quickly pass
Attending to their realms and duties held.
Then Gaia in her nature smooths the path
And gathers mists together in a meld.
From this she makes another downy cloud
Where spirits rest before the morning bright.
For soon they rush to gather and unshroud
The human pleas from prayers before God’s light.
All this is from a photo of the sky.
And spirit’s grace commands I say, “Oh My”!

Good morning All…and thank you Claude.


I know he’s innocent until proven guilty. I will say it again, I know he’s innocent until proven guilty, that is our system of laws, but now I have to say that with today’s surveillance sophistication I suspect Governor Blagojevich of Illinois is in a deep heap of federal trouble.

He is accused of preparing to sell the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Obama.

I often wonder what changes in the minds of elected officials after they are placed in office with the promise to protect and administer the rights of the electorate. What makes them think they can circumvent the law, take bribes, sell their office to the highest bidder and think they will never be found out, caught, prosecuted and disgraced? It has happened time and time again in many states, in many towns and in many organizations. Most get caught; yet it continues. Amazing.

It probably has something to do with arrogance. The dictionary defines arrogance as an offensive display of superiority or self-importance. The human ego usurps reason and installs itself in the self-righteousness of action to convince the rational mind that power is absolute and for use anyway one sees fit.

It is no wonder that British historian Lord Acton said, “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. He apparently knew the dangers that authority faces when power’s temptation attracts man to greed.

Nothing excuses an elected official from crimes inimical to his or her office. Whether it’s a mayor, a governor or a president, there is an integrity the voter has the right to expect for the confidence of a vote.

I’m not sure if integrity, honesty, fairness and right action can be taught. We have tried to do so in our educational systems with emphasis on ethics, but ethics are only sets of unenforceable values by which we individually choose to live. They can be changed and are at any given moment of choice.

What we need from the lowest office to the highest are statesmen, not politicians.

We need grace, not greed and service above self from people in public office.

We need to eliminate perks and patronage for they are the seeds of temptation.

We need officials and administrators who embrace the public good, not public funds or special interest funds for their own advancement.

Manifesting Thoughts

I sit here in my home office on a cold December night and I think about the significance of this moment in thought as well as the monumental responsibility for it if in fact “energy follows thought” as some disciplines espouse.

Energy follows thought means ultimately all thought is creative or creating and continues once the thinker abandons it. If intention is the yeast then that energy component has the potential to manifest into a creation on the canvas of time.

This kind of thinking gets a little convoluted in its possible consequences, but you get the principle of the idea. OK it’s a little weird too.

The idea is that once you think about something, what if that thought bounds around the universe bumping into and attracting like thought patterns that end up in a mish-mash junk yard of collective possibilities? Hopefully the thought trash heap is somewhere at the edge of the universe and away from any disorder the original thought could have created. It may be out of the way, but it’s still there. Darn…some think this could happen.

I have no idea whether it could or could not happen, but I don’t want to take any chances with any errant or ill-conceived thoughts hanging out with other like-minded energy guys down at the corner of space, so what do I do?

I have been told of two antidotes. One is all you have to do is say “cancel” and the thought energy dissipates and two you can offer a prayer thought, the non-denominational variety, that basically says, “I release into the light any negativity created by my thought and ask that it be transformed into a useful energy for the good of the whole.”

These are just a few of the mystical mental wanderings that come on cold night when a mesmerizing fire frees thoughts from the “what if” file in the back of my mind.

I’ll try to be more practical tomorrow. I’m off now to dream of Leprechauns and UFO’s.

Pearl Harbor Addendum

Some thoughts today on yesterday’s 67th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

There was a time, over dinner many years ago, that an older friend of mine, a retired naval officer, a graduate of Annapolis and now a successful businessman wanted to talk to one of my sons about attending Annapolis. My friend apparently had both political and military connections and my son had grades sufficient for an application and appointment.

My friend was a good man, a survivor of Pearl Harbor, but he had a powerful hatred for the Japanese. He hated them so much that he took every opportunity in business, in public, and in private to say so. He was a big time successful contractor who built office and factory buildings, but he used no products from Japan.

During our dinner conversation I told him, I hoped he would understand, but he could not talk to my son, unless he could let go of his long-standing hatred of the Japanese. I didn’t want a seventeen year old influenced by such a long festering hate.

When you hate you create a bond as powerful as love and it won’t release you from your pain until you consciously let it go. The great teachings of the world suggest that hatred will eventually destroy the hater.

My friend apparently thought about our discussion for several weeks. One day he called to tell me he was going to visit Pearl Harbor…on his way to Japan.

He asked, when he got back could talk to my son. I said “yes”.

As an afterword, my son was not interested in a naval career and went on to be successful in another venue and my friend was able to release a constricting hatred that held him in a cocoon of anger for decades.

As it is with so many acquaintances with which we are blessed in life, I have lost track of my friend and hope that if he is still alive, he passed yesterday’s anniversary of the attack with a peace that only forgiveness can engender.