Thursday, July 29, 2010

  • Imagine trying to get a job without a phone number to give to your potential employer.
  • How do medical providers contact you, if you don't have voice mail?
  • Without voice mail, how does a potential landlord reach you? Medical providers? Social workers?
  • How do you re-connect with family?
NM Community Voice Mail is the solution. We're attempting to get free voice mail service to everyone who needs it!
    It is one of four programs that I oversee as Executive Director of Metropolitan Homelessness Project. And it is a huge success!

    Just call 505-340-3004, and press option 4 to hear the recorded experiences by our users.

    Please click on "NM Community Voice Mail" to provide someone a vital phone number for one year!
    Thank you to everyone who helped our Duke City Sleep Out have real impact. Because of you, 26 men were able to stay in our shelter for one month. Eleven of these men ended their homelessness during their stay. THANK YOU!

    Monday, July 26, 2010

    Third straight day of overcast skies and rain. Wonderful!!!

    Last Thursday and Friday I had planned for a weekend of hiking. Since that seemed to bring much-needed showers, I should have made those plans a couple of weeks ago!

    I still managed to drive west just to see the view. A semi-trailer had overturned at the Sky City roundabout. Having exited there, it was not possible to return eastward from that point. Instead, I drove towards Acoma to enjoy the long way home. The Pueblo was closed to traffic and non-pueblo folks. So, I returned the twelve miles back to the roundabout, headed west again until there was a way to get turned around.

    I kind of like the idea of modern land being unnavigable by car.

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Step by Step

    My legs move a lot.

    The thought occurred to me as I retraced my steps through the kitchen back to my bedroom. I had just walked the half dozen or so steps from bedroom to kitchen, on my way to walk through the main room, out the door to my car. But, I had forgotten my keys.

    My mind wandered during the short distance, as it often does. It wondered, while traversing the short distance, "Just how many steps does it take to move through a day?"

    To get out the door to my car--after all the other little journeys I take in the morning: to the sink; to the bathroom; to the shower; back; to the closet; to the bathroom; to the bedroom; to the kitchen; to retrieve the stack of papers and books from the shelf--it takes 23 steps. I'm not doing anything during those 23 steps. I'm just getting to where it is that I plan to do something (get into the car, in this example).

    The times when I make it all the way to the car before realizing that I have left my car keys in the bedroom, it is 69 steps--to, back and the return--from the point of intention, of leaving my bedroom to get to the car, to the point of actually doing what it is that I intended to do.

    This happens all day long. Not necessarily the forgetting and starting again. But the traversing of short and longer distances between where I am and where I need to be to engage in any desired task. In fact, I imagine that a greater portion of my time in life is spent doing just that. Getting from where I am to where i want to be to do what I want to do.

    So that leaves me thinking. About presence of being, of intentionality and of contentment in the moments that are. It is not only the inspiring moment of desire, nor the attainment of destination, that should capture my attention. It is more often the getting there that occupies my time. Indeed, the activity, the action actually involved between where I've been and where I'm going in life, might be the better part of my life. Why not enjoy it? Why not be present in it?

    Noticing the process itself. The gradual progress being made. How fascinating is the movement of now. Step by step.

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    The wind was blowing strong today. It blew up small tornados of dust from my yard and whirled them past the clothesline, around the adobe doghouse and then up and over the fence into my neighbor's yard.

    That got me thinking about our comedic and absurd notion of owning land. How does one actually own land, and what does it mean, anyway!?

    Perhaps the idea that I actually own some land myself strikes me strongly because I spent so many years walking across land that was never mine (nor did it always occur to me that it might "be somebody's"). I own a house. I get that. That I also own land is hard for me to get my mind around.

    Do I own the bits of dust and dirt that just blew over the fence? Should I go ask my neighbor to return it? If I toss a stone from my yard into the road, is it still mine? Can I scatter bits of "my" land around the globe and still claim ownership?

    "Do you own some land?'

    "Oh, yeah. I own land in three different states and two countries."

    "Really? Wow!"

    "Yeah. I've left handfuls of dirt from my home in all five places."

    And what about when I dig a hole in the ground where I live and "own the land?" Do I now own the space that is the hole? How far down do I own the land on which I live?

    What odd and humorous concepts. Not so humorous for the guy whose organic corn field neighbored a field owned by Mansanto.

    Woody Guthrie probably had it about right in his song, "This Land is Your Land." The song doesn't go, "This land is your land. That land is my land." He used "this land" for both you and me.

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    It's Morning...again

    I find that I tend to be a repetitive creature. Oh, I like spontaneity and most of my friends know that I'm always up for something new. But, when the exciting, challenging and somewhat obscure experiences aren't readily available, I fall into patterns of behavior.

    Like coming home from work, fixing a drink, some chips and salsa and sitting in the back yard while reading. I enjoy that routine. In fact, that has steadily become my regular course of activity over the past months. Really pleasant and pleasurable. And it has bred lethargy and inertia. The less I do physically, the less physical activity I want to do.

    When I was a child, I could stay indoors all day and just read. I read so much that my mother, wanting me to get outside, allowed a compromise: if I would at least go sit on the swing, then I could continue reading.

    Now, as an adult, I can sit at my desk all day at work, and then come home only to sit more, reading. That's when repetition creeps in. I sit and read, awake and repeat. My body breaks down and doesn't want to do anything physical. Invitations to do things appear more like obligations crowding in on my "down" time. Yes, I am very busy in my work and my time is demanding. So coming home to a good book, chips and salsa is very appealing.

    I'm making some concerted effort to shake it up a little. Well, shake me up really. Stretches in the morning. A bicycle ride. A long walk. Little by little, new patterns of behavior emerge and older, better and healthier habits return.

    At least for this one morning. :)

    Saturday, July 17, 2010

    Maybe it's the mention of the Dropkick Murphy's and Flogging Molly that raised the remembrance. I don't know if the Flogging Molly band is from Boston or not. Or, maybe it's that I'm watching "The Departed," which begins its story in Boston. Or, maybe it's just because I'm drinking tea this morning. For whatever reason, I'm thinking of Mrs. Cardullo.

    Cardullo's store, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Cardullo, sits near the newspaper stand in Harvard Square. Frank Cardullo, 3rd generation, was my tea supplier when I served as Cellarer during my monk years at The Society of St. John Evangelist.

    "I can get you tea cheaper than anyone else in Boston. Just don't ask me how," stated the younger Cardullo, who was near to me in age. I stocked our cellar with tea and didn't ask.

    What I am remembering today is those classic checkout times when I went to pay Mrs. Cardullo.

    "God bless you, brother," Mrs. Cardullo would say. Then she would scoop up a generous handful of hard candy, drop the candies into the bag and say, "You brothers say a prayer for me." I was younger then, about 24 or so, and think that I did not realize what a role in long-standing tradition I was playing, the monk being asked to remember to God the local Italian grocer.

    That tradition is certainly long-lived enough in itself. But, an Italian, Catholic mother giving a junior monk candy in exchange for possible redemption...? It might not get any more traditional than that.

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    Still Gives Me Chills

    A friend of mine disagrees with Neil Young when he says that no one in music is doing protest music anymore. He points to the Dropkick Murphy's as an example of modern-day protest music of a generation younger than Neil. The Dropkick Murphy's formed in 1996 in Quincy, MA, just south of Boston while I was living there. They are broadly informed about working class rights and causes, even using Woody Guthrie lyrics in their music.

    Here is classical and inspiring civil rights music. My favorite. Nina Simone! WARNING: the second song "Strange Fruit" is hard to view. But it does get at exposing the heart of the evil.

    Wednesday, July 07, 2010


    I'm obviously messing around with the format of my blog. Let me know what you think/prefer/don't like.

    Today is a day of miscellaneous: planning our fall BBQ, billing for hypnosis clients, interviewing someone from my church, getting an estimate for re-roofing my home, posting a couple of jobs, clearing off my shelter office...and, hopefully, some more reading to finish the book "Drood."

    Tuesday, July 06, 2010

    Quinlan Ranch

    Had a great weekend at a 17,000 acre ranch in northern NM. Quinlan Ranch is a high-end elk hunting lodge. We didn't hunt. I did hike to some spectacular views and spotted a bear with her two cubs!

    Thursday, July 01, 2010


    I'm headed north and west in NM to camp for the weekend. I am so glad to be taking a break and to be in the wilderness.

    Talk/post with you next week!