Twenty years ago my parents reluctantly accepted that I wanted to move out west. After my move came visits and their growing fondness and familiarity with Southern California. Over a half dozen years ago my father asked if his ashes could be buried in my back yard in the desert. "Oh, Dad, do we really need to discuss this now?" His request seemed premature, macabre, and slightly odd. Why the desert, a place he never lived? But over time I understood his love for the mountains and arid heat, and so when he died in August I never doubted that a portion of his ashes would be scattered in Palm Springs. This Thanksgiving my family gathered to honor his wishes. I took them to a favorite trail head, and we scattered his ashes at the base and at a peak over looking a waterfall and canyon. In life he abhorred heights, but in death I thought he'd want to soar above sea level with the birds. The sun was setting behind the mountains, and the rising moon was in full view. With tears we released him into the warm air. Beautiful, but bittersweet day. For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Genesis 3:19b
The reservoir of trust is a very simple,
straightforward idea. If we accept a challenge and take certain steps
to accomplish something, the process will yield results—either success
or failure. When you sow a seed or plant a tree, either the seed will
germinate, the tree will grow, or it will die. Similarly, for the
inquisitive warrior, trust means that we know that our actions will
bring a definite response from reality. We know that we will get a
message. Failure generally is telling us that our action has been
undisciplined and inaccurate in some way. Therefore, it fails. When our
action is fully disciplined, it usually is fulfilled; we have success.
But those responses are not regarded as either punishment or
Trust, then, is being willing to take a
chance, knowing that what goes up must come down, as they say. When a
warrior has that kind of trust in the reflections of the phenomenal
world, then he or she can trust his or her individual discovery of
goodness. Communication produces results: either success or failure.
That is how the fearless warrior relates with the universe, not by
remaining alone and insecure, hiding away, but by constantly being
exposed to the phenomenal world and constantly being willing to take
This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain all! Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whomever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
I'm in awe of this family of four who committed to leaving their life in LA behind for a year to travel around the world. They are documenting their adventure with stunning video and photos at A Year To Think. Their unique spirit and journey are captured in this particularly moving post.
The iconic Hollywood Sign, located in my neighborhood hills, is getting a major facelift just in time for the new year. The most extensive refurbishing in nearly 35 years will involve 275 gallons of paint and 110 gallons of
primer. The task should take eight to 10 weeks to complete.