Books

  • Ian Brandt
    January 13, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Hey uncle Jerry. Glad to see you have written a book 🙂 I’ll be sure to get a copy. But what is the book about

  • Helen Botti
    December 6, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Dear brother Jerry, The race is over and was won by Gun time not Net time. My own opinion is that Snow White would not have won the Race against the D.O.M. and his 3 houses; The E. college, The Good Old Boys, and The NRA. I think The Lady that ran the Race and gave her soul should be awarded the Purple Heart. Also I think that Abraham Lincoln would not agree with the outcome according to his Last sentence in his Gettysburg Address . “That this Nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth”

  • Jim Leonard
    September 21, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Your article pretty much defines one of the major questions that the Clear Creek Econ Dev team must answer. The question goes something like this:

    We want to develop CC County to be an authentic highly desirable destination for mountain recreation, mountain hospitality, mountain ambiance. We want to attract the customers who will really appreciate the mountain culture and spend $$$ and time (days, not hours) in the county. We DO NOT want to attract those who create crowding and congestion but spend little. Preventing/minimizing crowding is critical for two reasons: a high quality of life for CC County residents AND provide a desirable mountain culture experience for the premium visitors/tourists we do want to attract.

    The question: How can we do this?

    For sure this would be very difficult, but smart, innovative people on the CC County Econ Dev team need to think about it and strive to achieve this or a similar set of goals.

  • Lindsey Valdez, President and CEO Clear Creek Economic Development Corporation
    September 21, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    I believe we really need to focus on ramping up shoulder seasons (non-recreational tourism, marketing efforts specific to shoulder periods, etc.). I recently spoke with a CCC business owner in G-town who would love to stay open year-round, but ends up shutting down every January. Her business offers a unique non-recreational tourism opportunity that could be promoted with other activities to increase traffic. I realize that the weather can get interesting during this time of year, so I understand there are some challenges! It was also mentioned that radio stations down the hill rarely report the correct weather for CCC–it may be hazardous further west, but beautiful here. Just some things to think about.

  • Jean
    October 26, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Jerry, It’s wonderful to witness your transformation from “retired school teacher” to the new you. Looking forward to your insight and wisdom on the Higher Living Reflections and Earthwise blogs! Look forward to sharing these with Stardust’s Spiritual Alchemy Community.

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      October 29, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Thank you, Jean. The Great Unfolding, I call it. As it is with you with the Stardust Startup Factory and its Spiritual Alchemy Community. I sense our former colleague and personal muse Denise Oaks Moffett is overseeing this. Here’s to that fateful day and time we taught, worked, and conspired together at Summit High.

  • Robert Fabyanic
    October 26, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    I am looking forward to the conversation.

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      October 29, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Excellent, nephew. Evidence of an open and curious mind. Please contribute thoughtful insights.

  • Steve Polansky
    October 28, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    My main Daily Practice is one an older wise man told me. “If you can not control it, don’t complain about it”. That has helped me get through many issues in my life. Many thanks to that wise man.

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      October 29, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      Would it be the bald, pointy-eared guy from Dagobah who spoke an eternal truth to Luke when he said he could not believe it, “That’s the reason you fail.”? Your welcome, nephew.

  • Bonnie McCune,author
    October 31, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Masks have always fascinated me. I believe we all wear masks of various sorts throughout our lives. The physical ones are simply a manifestation of the numerous ones we sort through and assume as we’re in different situations with different people.

  • Angela
    November 3, 2017 at 2:20 am

    This is so interesting! Looking forward to learning more about all of this

  • Laurie Beckel
    November 9, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Interesting Jerry

    How can the episode of “following your bliss be accessed?”

    I’m going to send this blog to my daughter, Yaisa. Yaisa was named after the honorable grandmother in the village in Africa in the Alex Haley book, Roots. She is defiitely following her bliss…so is her mother!

  • Laurie Beckel
    November 9, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Interesting Jerry

    How can the episode of “following your bliss be accessed?”

    I’m going to send this blog to my daughter, Yaisa. Yaisa was named after the honorable grandmother in the village in Africa in the Alex Haley book, Roots. She is defiitely following her bliss…so is her mother!

  • Laurie Beckel
    November 9, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Interesting Jerry

    How can the episode of “following your bliss be accessed?”

    I’m going to send this blog to my daughter, Yaisa. Yaisa was named after the honorable grandmother in the village in Africa in the Alex Haley book, Roots. She is definitely following her bliss…so is her mother!

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      November 9, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      Campbell repeats that mantra throughout his Power of Myth series. That particular line comes from the last episode, “Masks of Eternity.” I cannot recall the specific link I found the transcript, although I do have the series on DVD. Check out the Joseph Campbell Foundation site at http://www.jcf.org and consider getting the series or at least the transcripts. It’s a great resource. So much in it. Beautiful name for your daughter. I would love to hear from her about the ways it has influenced her through her life’s journey.

  • Stef
    December 8, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Well, mostly agree, but nothing has only one aspect. It is not to be forgotten that America, with its work ethic and workaholism has been what it is the last roughly 1,5 centuries: a global superpower, producing among other things immeasurable scientific (thus, also medical, human-related) knowledge, which has also very positive implications for millions of people. In my country (a way poorer country…) they say: work is prayer.

  • Bonnie McCune
    January 6, 2018 at 2:02 am

    When you follow your bliss, you’re most often alone. Takes a strong spirit to keep on going.

  • Mary Pat Young
    January 7, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    A number of years ago, I enrolled in a powerful and intensive business training program. One of the instructors made a comment which I’ve never forgotten… “this class will change the way you do business. Be prepared for the reality that not everyone is going to understand or accept this new way you conduct business and will “push back”. The instructor was correct, there were some business relationships which were terminated. What I learned was empowering. There was no turning back once the course was set.

  • Jerry Fabyanic
    January 8, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Good points by Bonnie and Mary Pat. Walking one’s own path can be a lonely venture, at least at first. Resistance comes not only from within one’s psyche but also from the outside, from “well-meaning” friends and family members that are fearful of losing you in their lives. It comes down to for whom will you live your life.

  • Melanie Mulhall
    January 18, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    So beautifully said, my friend, that I have nothing to add.

  • Catherine Spader
    January 18, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Coming to grips with fallibility is tough, especially because I was raised to believe that mistakes and poor choices are for other people–foolish people–and that I was better than that. In the end, I rebelled and stubbornly made many mistakes and dangerous choices, suffering toxic amounts of shame and guilt because of it. It has taken a lifetime to learn to release myself from the dark grip of unrealistic expectations and destructive emotional fallout of failure. Everything I have done has lead to the person I am today, and that, I refuse to regret.

  • Mary Pat Young
    February 1, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Thank you for this beautiful invocation. Amen

  • David
    February 2, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Fascinating. I remember reading your articles in the high school newspaper and always looked forward to talking (arguing) with you about them. Fast forward 50 years and you’re still writing and I find myself still wanting to read what you’re writing. Best wishes, my friend!

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      February 14, 2018 at 5:48 pm

      It is fascinating, old friend. Fifty years now. Uffda! Goes to show the more things change, they often don’t in so many other ways. It’s been quite a journey from writing for the STHS Crucible, to writing a blog, novel, and a weekly column for the Clear Creek Courant. I very much value knowing you’re still reading my pieces. Guess I still have something to say. My hope is that it’s of value. Peace

  • Dawn Janov
    February 14, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    As a member of SOD, nice to know I’m grounded in my admiration of your writing, Jerry. It will be fun to follow your blog.

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      February 14, 2018 at 5:43 pm

      Thank you, Dawn. As always, I very much value you reading and your comments. Glad you’re having a SOD. I’m enjoying a happy SAD. Just need to get some chocolate. 🙂

  • Bonnie McCune
    February 15, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Wow! You get a lot out of a little holiday. I don’t think all cultures physically feel love in the heart, so that would be interesting to study. Then there’s the phenomena of different types of love–for child, friend, concept, a natural phenomena. Do we feel those in our hearts? I think my entire central core feels those.

  • David
    March 1, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    This is a wonderful article. When horrible events happen, we, as a people do not try to get our “heads around” the problem. Instead we react in scripted outrage. The problem is not addressed and we become even more depraved. Thank you for your thoughts.

  • Marilyn kay Buehler
    March 3, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Love this whole page but particularly the hawk. Beautiful.

  • Steven craig
    March 5, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Love the connection you forge here between the classic tragedy and current societal ills. This is what good writing is all about.

  • Jean Palmer-Moloney
    March 15, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Jerry, What a fitting blog for today. In the midst of being cautious and on the look-out for those ‘out to get us,’ it’s so clear that often the threat we need to beware of is of our own doing. Being mindful of the intended outcome of an action brings us to mindful awareness of perfection vs completeness, achievement vs accomplishment.

  • Patty
    March 30, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    I have read The Great Gatsby though it was when I was in high school. A literature necessity I guess. Now that you bring it up, it’s like a movie or other great books … read it, see it again and you’ll notice things you didn’t in the first place. And now from an adult point of view I’m sure I’ll see it completely different. Hmm .. sounds good for a summertime read! Thanks, Uncle!
    Thechilla
    And Namaste

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      March 30, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      Exactly. Now, you read through the eyes of a mature, sophisticated adult shaped and hewed by your life experiences. Love to hear your thoughts after you re-read it. thechilla & namaste to you, Patty & Happy Easter.

  • Michael
    April 12, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    David Foster Wallace, in his speech “This is Water,” once pointed out that being selfish and self-centered was our “default setting” as human beings, and that the value of a “real education” (whatever that means) is being able to recognize that one is acting on the default setting and to use that awareness to change one’s thought process so that one is a little less self centered and miserable. I think to my mind, that’s what mindfulness is: having self awareness enough to recognize when your own thoughts are making you miserable or causing you to miss out on the roses in life.

    In the age of social media, of course, this basic self-awareness is harder and not just due to an onslaught of content. I would argue it is also due to the narcissism induced by algorithms designed to reflect only the parts of us that are materialistic and shallow and angry, the things about us that companies find useful for selling products and that Russians find useful for swaying elections. Which is interesting, because I think we’ve all hoped deep down that human progress would one day lead to a less selfish, less cynical culture, and yet we seem to have rushed headlong in the exact opposite direction. More and more young people are diagnosed with not only narcissism but also anxiety and depression each year as these technologies that seek to connect us become more and more prevalent. Now, certainly correlation does not imply causation. But if I were a betting man, I’d place good money on Facebook being a big part of why so many people in my generation, including myself, have such a hard time slowing down and being mindful and smelling the roses.

  • Randi Samuelson-Brown
    April 12, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Love this article! It seems timely in my life 🙂

  • Melanie Mulhall
    April 26, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Well said. There is wisdom in your approach.

  • Melanie Mulhall
    April 26, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Mindfulness does seem to be a word that is tossed around a lot these days. But I have never heard a Buddhist refer to it in a reflective way. Rather, they refer to it as being present and in the moment. And that is what it is for me. I’ve had the experience of being with someone who was clearly distracted and not with me when they were with me. And I’ve had the experience of being with someone who was totally present with me when they were with me. I’d take ten minutes or one hour with the person who is present over an evening with someone who is not anytime. And I am conscious of being present myself. Thanks for this post, Jerry. It’s a good reminder of what is important.

  • Steven craig
    April 26, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    This piece really spoke to me this morning. Charlie Brown, Emerson, and the Bible? Well done and namaste, my friend!

  • Laurel McHargue
    April 26, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    Yes! I remember being told that if you’re angry at someone, you’re giving them power over you. Take back your power. Don’t let others control your energy.

  • Mary Pat Young
    April 26, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Anger is a secondary emotion which stems from fear or sadness. Of course, when I find myself feeling angry and try to understand where the anger is coming from, rarely do I step back and say “is it fear or sadness that is triggering this feeling?” It’s easy to get caught up in the anger rather than the cause. And hey, sometimes it feels good to be angry and a knowledge our feelings.

  • Mary Pat Young
    April 26, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Anger is a secondary emotion which stems from fear or sadness. Of course, when I find myself feeling angry and try to understand where the anger is coming from, rarely do I say “ is it fear or sadness that is triggering this?” It’s easy to get caught up in the anger rather than the cause. And hey, sometimes it just feels good.

  • Mardy Wilson
    April 26, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    It was difficult to “be angry” after laughing out loud at the thought of “what a lovely day to be in a crappy mood…..”
    Thank you Jerry, for the humor in anger & crappy days 🙂 BTW The sun is bright, happy, illuminating in Northern Co.

  • Allynn Riggs
    April 26, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Having grown up in a family that told us from very young ages that we were to show only the ‘good’ or ‘positive’ emotions I got into the habit of burying all the negatives – perhaps to the detriment of my personal well-being, especially when young. As I got older, I often envisioned my angry emotions as a plate glass window and would mentally throw a variety of items at the window. It felt wonderful to ‘hear’ and ‘see’ the window shatter into a million pieces which could be swept up and away – thus I would not have to face or handle the ‘bad’ emotions, I could just throw them away deep down inside where the shards of glass piled up to the point where I would ‘break’, like the window. While that did not happen often it truly took a toll on me and I lacked the skills to understand how to say hello to my anger. By the time I was in college, though, it was difficult to ignore and not embrace the fact that I was occasionally very angry. With the help of several friends, especially the man who became my husband, I discovered it was okay to get angry or upset but I needed to recognize it, face it, figure it out, deal with it, and talk about the cause and not the emotion – not be afraid of the emotion as I had been taught. Only then did the pile of broken glass reduce in size and, now, I am less likely to bury the emotion. Now, when the anger appears I can respectfully acknowledge its presence, say hello, and have a conversation with myself or with others about the reasons for it. I have found that this defuses the anger faster than throwing a brick through the plate glass window and there is not a pile of shards growing deep inside me. I understand that we are all of our emotions, not just the ‘good’ ones.

  • Randi Samuelson-Brown
    May 24, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    True! Thanks for this!

  • Bonnie McCune
    June 7, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    I found my truth at the ripe old age of 20, which has made my life since easier. Since nothing else made particular sense–religion, philosophy, other people–I felt the sole reason for being alive was to experience life to its fullest, whether good or bad. Of course, this has eliminated all kinds of rules and have-tos, but it’s also placed the burden of thinking through every puzzling situation on me. That’s ok, and especially ok for someone who’s a writer and always dealing with the “what-ifs.”

  • Melanie Mulhall
    June 21, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Brilliantly put, Jerry. Thanks for the link to the article, too. It’s a fascinating take on what works and what readers want. As always, you provide food for thought.

  • Jean Palmer-Moloney
    June 21, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Hmmmmm. Which genre? I enjoy murder mysteries. I love rubik’s cubes and jigsaw puzzles and ill-structured problems. I love looking for motive, means, and opportunity…and in so many ways the risks, the chances, the wild ride of my life are all tied to these. ) Motive–what gets me out of my comfort zone? What pushes or pulls me to act? Means–How do I find what I need? How do I repurpose and rethink what I already have? Opportunity–What do I think I need to have in place before acting? Is there ever the PERFECT time? (Though I find the hanging-on-the-edge-of-the-chair intrigue of murder mysteries make for engaged reading, my life hasn’t had the sad and disturbing parts of murder… unless the IED that killed one of my USMC friends when we were in Afghanistan counts for murder.

  • Bonnie McCune
    June 22, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    I wonder what our personal ARCs would be. Interesting idea. Mine probably a flat line.

  • Melanie Mulhall
    July 5, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Intent, spontaneity, detachment from outcome, and synchronicity: a recipe for magic. I like it, Jerry.

    My M-B changed when I changed down to the level of the DNA during shamanic apprenticeship, and life further honed it. I’d been an ENTJ. Now I’m an ENFJ. I attribute it to a heart that opened wide.

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      July 5, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      My score changed over time as well after some serious self-acceptance and detachment, when I dropped the rigidity that served as a cover. Love it!

  • David
    July 9, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    Over the years I’ve tested consistently as INTJ. Being a social worker, I worked hard to be more empathic and open to letting things play out (difficult for J’s), However, it dawns on me this is just how an INTJ would tackle the problem! I’m all for letting the magic happen.

  • Patty
    July 19, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Hmm? Can’t so much think that I’m cynical? Forever the optimist, perhaps? Off the top of my head I think of the summer of ’13 when I kicked a lazy guy outta my house, lost my job and then a new boyfriend … but I still had my truck! Country song? Could be! I muttled through the manure with my kids and my cats and figured on settling there and bring pretty content. I was only 49 and had half a life ahead of me. It would be alright! Then … manure happens! Met the cowboy of my dreams, found my pony and rode off into the Arkansas sunset.
    So I guess I don’t find myself cynical? Maybe after some more thought and a little more caffeine i might come up with another story or two!

  • Bonnie McCune
    July 23, 2018 at 2:29 am

    I used to have a cartoon with a Diogenes figure saying to his companion, “Right now I’d settle for a dishonest man who feels guilty about it.” Seems particularly appropriate nowadays.

  • Melanie Irene Mulhall
    August 16, 2018 at 11:43 am

    The trick seems to be to have the right words handy. It might take some practice for many of us.

  • Bonnie McCune
    August 16, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    I think women tend to apologize or make excuses more than men. I don’t mind doing it because it seems to grease the social wheels. But you make an excellent point with “It won’t work for me.” We don’t need to scramble for an excuse if we simply don’t want to comply with a request. Excuses are different from apologies though. I don’t do enough of apologizing. I sometimes stick my foot in my mouth or offend someone without realizing it, and those are the times I want to be able to gracefully and sincerely apologize.

  • Cheryl Ilov
    August 17, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Great post! Here is a vlog that you and your followers might enjoy. https://www.today.com/parents/vlog-mattel-s-barbie-addresses-girls-sorry-reflex-t134385 Yes, it’s Barbie, but apparently she has some amazing words of wisdom for girls and women of all ages. Thanks for the fabulous post!

  • Patty
    August 22, 2018 at 2:33 am

    There was a situation in my life a few years ago that cause alittle harm and heartache to one of my kids. Oh yeah I was angry cause it was caused by another person. I yelled at that person and told them to get off my property. Months later it was suggested i apologize. Haha .. NOT! I don’t think so. Not for something I’m not sorry about. I was angry and meant it at the time. I’m not and never will be sorry about yelling at that person.

    Here we are years later and get along fairly well. I don’t hold grudges and I think it was understood that ya just don’t mess with mama’s cubs!

    Some people are truly sorry about situations and some people just use the word as a space filler. Me? Sorry .. I just don’t get it (hee hee!) !

  • Helen Botti
    August 31, 2018 at 1:00 am

    I have been watching the series with John McCain and about John McCain. He truly was not an ordinary human being. When he made mistakes of not being true to himself, he corrected his misspoken words by saying in public what he said wrong. He was a great man , and will always be remembered as such.

  • Bonnie McCune
    September 1, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    As an individual who stood by his beliefs and yet was able to be courteous and human, McCain set an example we so very much need.

  • James Ringel
    September 4, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Nicely put, Jerry. I appreciate McCain’s ability to look at himself as he was. To see his flaws and learn from them. Too often heroism is misunderstood as strong and unyielding. McCain showed us a braver way.

  • Helen Botti
    September 13, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    Dear Jerry, I loved the whole column on higher reflections , because you had more drama and light happy scenes that made it fun reading. I know when I am at my PT class, I go into a laugh because my coach wants me to do an “impossible task” . And he knows I won’t say “NO”, so I just start to laugh. Then we are both laughing until he will figure out a different “task”. And the girls are so right to shake hands and say, “It ‘s just a game”! What does “K” mean at the end of a sentence?

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      September 14, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      “Okay.” I allude back to the shortened form– k –I referenced in the piece, which is used quite often in texting. K? 🙂

      Keep laughing. 🙂

  • Elaine Brandt
    September 14, 2018 at 4:56 am

    🙂

  • Bernadette Phelps
    September 17, 2018 at 12:23 am

    And I say if the situation at the football game were reversed…anyway, glad you like emojis. I know of another teacher who does not like them. I do though 🤓!

  • Bonnie McCune
    September 27, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    I increasingly see friends in a long fight. I’m not sure “courage” applies because some aren’t even aware of what’s happening to them. Does this mean they’re not courageous? And isn’t it okay to fear the end? My mother-in-law, after her terminal diagnosis, told one of us, “I’m so scared.” That’s perfectly all right. We don’t really get a choice in the process, unless we terminate ourselves. Maybe the point is to get as much out of the experience as we can, just as, I believe, is the purpose of life itself. Several people have recommended to me Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande, as a thoughtful, even hopeful, view of the end.

  • Randi Samuelson-Brown
    September 28, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Fabulous article Jerry. There was an entire belief system in the Victorian era about “good deaths”, mainly meaning being surrounded by family and having made peace with God. You’ve given me a fair amount to thing about!

  • Melanie Irene Mulhall
    September 28, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Jerry, I like the term “anticipatory loss.” I experienced it with my late husband’s illness. He had a long dying process–almost four years–but it was clear that he was on the long march to death with the word “metastatic.” We can grieve during that phase, but oddly, it does not absolve us from the grief that comes with the death, whenever it comes. A good death? One when the person dying has a sense of peace about death being a transition, not just an ending. One when that person has made peace with themselves and others.

  • Jim Ringel
    October 4, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Thought provoking and so so true.
    Forgiveness comes from sincerity. Sincerity grows from self-reflection.
    Too often we behave politely and toss off a casual “I’m sorry” or a murmured “That’s okay. You’re forgiven”.
    These aren’t reconciliation . They are retreats. They are tricks for avoiding the uncomfortable. They are stories we tell ourselves to feel better.
    We don’t escape what we ignore. We hide from it. We pretend it’s not there, until –BOO–it sneaks back up and scares us all over again. So that we try to hide it deeper. So that we slowly become the very thing we are trying to ignore.
    To ask forgiveness, to grant forgiveness, both demand the deep hard work of seeing yourself and being yourself. This can be tricky, but you’ll know it’s happening when you stop seeing the offender or the offended as the OTHER. When you leave blame behind and see who YOU are

    Thanks for this, Jerry. Good piece.

  • Laurel McHargue
    October 18, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Great Pumpkin! Great writing! And I’ll have to agree with Linus. Perhaps that’s why fake Christmas trees come out before the candy corn is on sale…Santa’s getting nervous! Thanks, Jerry. This made me smile. Time to buy a pumpkin!

  • Mardy
    October 18, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    weaved into? or is it woven into? Regardless, make the cheesecake, enjoy the autumnal colors, smells, the dirts’ quiet preparation for Spring. Great piece-made me smile too

  • Patricia Sellers
    October 21, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Its a beautiful time of year like you said. The colors, the wood smoke, birthdays haha! Layers of clothes and boot moccasins! Deer season! And I love love some cheesecake! So if there really is a killer pumpkin pie, you must share with a certain niece (number 17 of the 40 first cousins!)

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      October 21, 2018 at 8:57 pm

      Make plans to head west! 🙂

  • Helen Botti
    November 1, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Dear Jerry, I remember the old radio show “The Shadow Knows” ! And he starts out the program with
    “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of Men? The Shadow knows! HA! HA!HAA! We listened for it
    every Friday night! Of course, we didn’t have TV. Love Helen

  • Patricia Sellers
    November 29, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    As usual alittle late, but Happy Thanksgiving, Uncle ♡♡

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      November 29, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks, Niece. And a belated one to you as well.

  • Melanie Mulhall
    December 6, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Many years ago, I dropped out of corporate America, became apprenticed to a shaman, successfully completed that apprenticeship, wrote a book, and eventually became a writing coach and book editor. This was not a path that got a heckuva lot of approval from more conventional types. To his credit, my late husband just joined the flow of it. I make a fraction of the money I made in the corporate world, but I’m pretty sure that world would have killed me before now. I’m alive and a thoroughly happy woman. We all need to follow our destiny path, whatever it is.

  • Laurel McHargue
    December 27, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    I love this! I particularly loved learning about Janus as I am a January girl! And yes, I will do my best to follow your advice!

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      December 27, 2018 at 9:49 pm

      Janus, to the best of my knowledge, is the only god in the Roman pantheon uniquely Roman, not borrowed from the Greeks/Hellenes. Which tells us something of the Romans’ cosmic view.

  • Patricia Sellers
    January 4, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Peaceful season, Uncle

  • COmtnLady
    January 25, 2019 at 3:15 am

    I agree that detachment from The Earth is bad for human mental health. Sometimes, in living where I do, I forget that some people are disconnected from Nature. A bad day here is still better than many good days elsewhere.

    But back to the topic at hand, there’s another facet to “the Blues”, that being self-centeredness. It seems like, empirically, the depressed people I’ve known are self absorbed and concentric. They’re not “inward looking” or trying to grow, but egocentrically guarding themselves from that. It could be a case of “the devil they know”, perhaps the examples of how to be that they’ve been shown indicate a proscribed way of being they are unwilling to challenge, or maybe they are just too unimaginative to figure out a way to step outside the patterns not working for them. It can also be a way to manipulate others around them. No matter the Why, all seem to defend their self-imposed misery.

    Nature does a great job of centering us wayward humans, as do dogs and horses on a more personal level, but I’ve found a depressed person resists the inspiration.

    Keep up the good work. This is a good essay!

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      January 25, 2019 at 9:58 am

      Well said. Healthy self-reflection, as opposed to self-absorption, can work wonders for the psyche and, consequently, for one’s sense of self-worth. It can be daunting, but so healing and liberating, particularly when one concludes that which he/she has become is not his/her best. Thanks for the kudos. We learn collectively.

  • Helen Botti
    February 28, 2019 at 1:05 am

    Dear Jerry, You are right about CHOCOLATE!!! My children send tons of it every Christmas, Valentines Day and
    other days, especially birthdays Of course, the old man hides his share, but we find it. The dark chocolate is the
    best !!! Thank you for all information about CHOCOLATE !!! Love , Helen

  • Helen Botti
    February 28, 2019 at 1:35 am

    Dear Jerry, I did listen to the broadcast on Saturday at 2:00 , and I cannot believe I caught it at 1:58.
    It was a very special telling by Garrett. I didn’t get to hear the second hour as my daughter called
    from long distant. Love, Helen

  • Laurel McHargue
    March 8, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Wow. I never considered the inward vs outward expression of passion and intensity. You will forever be a teacher! Thank you!

  • Cheryl Ilov
    March 8, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    You’re absolutely right that passion is a warming fire. Intensity can be the path to spontaneous combustion which threatens to incinerate anyone (and everyone) in its path. Great post!!

  • Cheryl
    April 4, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    (:

  • Angela
    April 4, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    Brings back great memories of brother Rich. Watching the Andy Griffith Show and Everybody Loves Raymond. We’d just sit and laugh 😂. Last conversation with sister Boots 😢 and holding Aunt Liz’s hand and praying the Rosary with her. Special moments filled with love.

  • Patricia Sellers
    April 5, 2019 at 12:02 am

    I’m so sorry you lost your friend. I like to think that we’ll see our people again.
    Very good read, Uncle. Thank you for sharing that ♡

  • Allynn Riggs
    April 5, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    I’ve been able to have some amazing last conversations. From talking about my wedding and the life ahead with my grandmother who missed the wedding due to surgery which found inoperable colon cancer and the entire family and decided to wait to tell us the results until we returned from our honeymoon. My husband and I shared photos from the event with her as she lay in bed talking about her fifty years with my grandfather. My step-grandmother who showed us all how to die with grace, honor, and love even as a series of massive strokes took her away – she clung to reality long enough for my eldest daughter to regal her with the story of her graduation trip to Europe to play soccer in France and Italy. Then my father-in-law who shared memories of life on the South Dakota plains in the early 1900s and my mother with whom I shared a chocolate milkshake. So many great conversations and even some laughter and surprisingly very few tears. All showed me that death was not something to be feared. Thank you, Jerry for helping me remember my last conversations. I’m sure I will have more.

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      April 5, 2019 at 7:11 pm

      Beautiful, Allynn. Quite uplifting.

  • Bonnie McCune
    April 5, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    I just lost a close friend to breast cancer, too. Someone told me the easiest first step is to dredge up a memory, of any type. And my friend certainly did encourage that. Visiting another declining friend in a dementia unit has exposed me to some good ideas, too. People bring photos and chat about them. I also read children’s poetry or very easy early readers. I don’t know that anything’s getting through, but the rhythms seem to be received. This is the pits; all I can think about is I won’t see her again. A reminder not to put off visits, talks, exchanges because you might not get another chance.

  • Angela M Skiffen
    March 25, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Excellent advice….Queen Elizabeth is one class act!’s!! She has always shown true courage in the face of adversity. This brings to mind two other famous quotes….FDR after the bombing of Pearl Harbor…”We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” JFK….”Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
    The greatest generation fought the demons of that time. They did what their country asked of them. We must also do that. Stay home. Take care of those friends and neighbors who cannot if you are able. Pray. Meditate. Send loving, positive energies out into the world. Find your true inner self. Malice toward none. Namaste.. Amen..

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      March 25, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      Well said, sister. Love your last line. Lincoln! The rest of it: “Charity for all.”

  • Melanie Mulhall
    March 25, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    Beautifully said, Jerry.

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      March 25, 2020 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks, Melanie. Hoping you’re well. When this subsides, we need to reconnect.

  • Dawn Cerra
    March 25, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Remember that to do nothing is doing something. May I invite others to follow you? ♥ Dawn ☼

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      March 25, 2020 at 6:05 pm

      Hey Dawn, I would be pleased. Either send them to this site where they can sign up or email me with their addresses, and I will enter it. Either way works. Thanks! Stay safe in Buffalo!

  • Denee Schenck
    March 25, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    Thank you for the reminder, we can do this! Also, thank you for the recommendation “Sapiens”. That was a great read. When is your next book being published?

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      March 25, 2020 at 6:00 pm

      Hey Denee – so glad you enjoyed Sapiens. Harari is brilliant. I’m partially through his “21 Lessons for the 21st century.” Brilliant mind. Next book, TBD. Was off and winging when this came about. So, that writing is on hold. Thanks for asking, and I’ll keep you posted when it comes to light. Keep safe and healthy.

  • Jim Schmidt
    March 25, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    Jerry,
    Didn’t until I just now read your piece of how much I’ve missed you and your words. Don’t be a stranger, we need this now as much as we ever have.
    Peace Brother,
    Jim

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      March 25, 2020 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks, Jim. It’s one small way I can contribute. I promise to keep writing. Hoping you continue to be safe and healthy. peace – j

  • Bonnie McCune
    March 25, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    Hi, thanks for the referral. I’m going to get the newer version of the movie as soon as libraries re-open. I think we also need to keep a sense of proportion, despite writer Douglas Adams’ advice “the last thing we need in a universe of this size is a sense of proportion.” We don’t blink at deaths from our never-ending wars, disease, domestic violence. But we’re in a panic from a germ. We have almost no control over anything, why are we so flummoxed by COViD? Jerry, keep on keeping on.

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      March 26, 2020 at 11:59 am

      Hey Bonnie, Much to consider for sure. And to write about. I will do as you say, keep on keeping on. It’s what I do best. Stay healthy and give Marty my best.

  • Donna
    March 27, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Hi Jerry- Thank you for the insights in this blog.. I hope you keep writing your blog- we all need more connections now.

    Some random thoughts on the movie, one of my favorites. I watch it every year or so. When I first saw it, as a girl, I loved the character Helen, smart, quick and brave. Her relationship with Klaatu was so refreshing and her rejection of Tom was something to cheer.

    Gort as impersonal and powerful danger is relevant to today (your blog). Insights-humans destroy the instrument of peace out of fear and the narrow minded fear of the other.

    A favorite line- “I like you, Mr. Carpenter. You’re a real screwball.”
    Stay safe,
    Donna

  • Jason Steinle
    March 29, 2020 at 12:07 am

    Hello Jerry.
    Great article. I agree that while the collective message is “Stay Home” to “Do My Part” you hit upon the unspoken truth of “keeping yourself physically healthy. Closely related is keeping yourself mentally and emotionally healthy” I think this is an equally important front line move. It will lessen the load on our medical community by fewer positive cases and less severe symptoms (fewer ER visits/hospitalizations) of those that are Covid-19 positive. I am seeing my patients take an active role in their health and well-being like never before in my 20 years of practice. This may be the “silver lining” that comes from the uncertainty and stress of the pandemic. Right now the best offense is having a strong defense. A strong immune system (to stay healthy) and healthy nervous system (to cope with the stress) are critical.
    Thanks for all you do, Jerry.
    Jason Steinle, DC

  • Bonnie McCune
    March 30, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    I think we’re also very dependent on human contact, fresh air, sunshine and exercise for good health, all in short supply nowadays. I dread the sight of someone swerving away from me on the sidewalk, as if. . .just wait. . as if I had the plague. These things are all bound up in our beings, too, just like cholesterol and blood type.

  • Karen Trench
    March 30, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    Beautifully written, Jerry! I loved that movie when I was young, and it’s still one of my favorite Sci-Fi flicks. As a young girl, it was refreshing to see such a strong female character (Helen) do the right thing even at her own peril. Powerful example of courage under fire! I read a post somewhere, maybe on Facebook that said something to the effect that in WWII, our people were asked to go to war to save our country and protect our freedoms. Now, all Americans are being asked to do, is to shelter in place…basically to sit at home on our couches. A bit of perspective here. And speaking of changed perspectives, I enjoyed learning how Queen Elizabeth changed hers after having survived the Luftwaffe bombing. Perhaps if we can look at this virus as a HUGE teachable moment for humanity, a test of sorts–on all levels, we will come away knowing that we learned many valuable lessons…that we all must DO BETTER. And we (including our precious Mother, giver of all life) will BE BETTER people living on a better, healthier planet…collectively as ONE breathe. We can only hope and pray.

  • Donna Taylor
    April 1, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    Good points Jerry, it is good to know that “the truth is out there” via science and medicine even if we cannot understand all the principles that explain observable cause and effect. But there is also the overlay of mystery. I’m always amazed that my heart keeps beating on regardless of my willing it to or even my awareness of it. But the combination of science and awareness can help us to take steps to boost immune systems, for example, as you point out.

  • Melanie Mulhall
    April 3, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    Fascinating!

  • Patricia Sellers
    April 8, 2020 at 11:41 pm

    Funny to see this now. I saw a friendversary on Facebook between Steven and me so I dug up an old picture, then saw others from the past. .. even one from 6th ward lol.
    It’s good to be able to share these. Definately a different time back then
    “Maybe
    There’s a world where we don’t hafto run
    Maybe
    There’s a time we’ll call our own living free in harmony and majesty
    Take me home. Take me home ”

    Sorry .. had a Dan Haggerty moment. Had to share
    Love you!!
    Thechilla

  • Angela M Skiffen
    April 10, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    Ah! memories…bitter sweet memories….
    Sweet ones…..growing up life was uncomplicated and innocent. Home, Mom, siblings, nephews and nieces come over, friends. Later on children, their spouses and grandchildren, granddogs and cats! You knew that your family and true friends always loved you.
    Bitter ones…..learning about betrayal and lies….too hurtful …
    Yes we all have our story and what we go through in our lives makes us who we are at any moment in time. The important thing is to try to learn from all of these memories…build on our strengths and diminish our weaknesses.
    A life long challenge

  • Helen Botti
    April 12, 2020 at 1:24 am

    Dear Jerry, Memory” 8″ on the telephone, after seven wonderful children, is a good number to be !!!
    Just one of my newest Memories. All the others are in the past, but I don’t go back to much, as I am
    a person who is always looking in the future. Like tomorrow morning, when I see this huge Robin making her
    nest outside my immediate back door and the bird poop is all over my back steps!! How do I get rid of it again,
    and make it safe for me and my family??? I was looking forward to celebrate my 83rd birthday on Earth Day,
    with all my children, even those from out of state, but nobody can fly because of the Pandemic Virus. So thank
    you for all of your Publishing , Blogs, Good advice and all of the past “running” memories ! Love, Helen

  • Cathy Spader
    April 21, 2020 at 11:42 am

    Enjoyed the essay. Wonderful words to ponder. We sure have convenienced ourselves into inconvenience, haven’t we?

  • Laurel McHargue
    April 21, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    This deserves wide publication.
    A+

  • Donna Taylor
    April 21, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    Thank you for the reminder of the constancy of nature during this unnerving time for us humans. The birds still sing in the morning and the flowers are growing this spring. The mountains and oceans have been around through the human and non-human upheavals on the planet. Animals in our homes and outside go about their days as usual, Focusing on nature is an antidote to the 24 hour news and the events of today.
    .

  • Dawn
    April 21, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    I had chills reading this. Love to you. In Granny’s signature style: xoxo

  • Angela M Skiffen
    April 22, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    I remember the hangman tree! Thought it was a true story about a man who was lynched because he was romancing the local wives while their husbands worked and children were in !!
    As for brother Bill, I have often thought of him…wondering how he could find the 3 Stooges so funny that he would fall of the couch laughing but could recite Shakespeare so eloquently with such feeling and depth. A brilliant, simple man who could’ve been the reincarnation of Thoreau and in the words of Toby Keith…should’ve been a cowboy.
    As for the current world situation, it feels like we have returned to the simple life that we grew up in. Go for walks, talk to the neighbors, play cards/games with the family, read more, cook and bake better meals, only go to the stores when absolutely needed and make sure you have everything needed for the week.
    Lastly, as for Our Mother Earth…I’ve always believed that she would renew herself as she has always done throughout the millenia. Is this her way of warning us to return to the simple life?? The answer lies within each of us…what is important and what is not…your stuff will crumble and disappear, but the flora/fauna will still be here.
    A beautiful and insightful essay….thank you brother! Love and Namaste

  • Karen
    April 22, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    So fitting for Earth Day! Reading this brought back those halcyon years spent with my beloved Charlie at altitude—surrounded as you are now by an abundance of natural beauty and wildlife. Your beautiful essay brought a longing to my heart to the point where I may explore the possibility of moving back. Then again, I enjoy nature wherever I’m planted. She’s here, whether we take notice of Her or not—a constant and reliable Teacher—Her greatest lesson being showing us how to just “be.” I love this quote by Eckhart Tolle: “Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in Being. Allow nature to teach you stillness.” Perfect for these complex, challenging times. Thanks for the reminder, Jerry. Beautifully written, as usual!

  • Rick Posner
    April 28, 2020 at 2:27 am

    Thanks Jerry. I read this just after writing some “sketches” about my childhood room(s) so it resonated with me. The truth – if we can call it that – is in the sensory details…

  • Rick Posner
    April 28, 2020 at 3:25 am

    Very nice here Jerry…love the “opening up” of it all…leads to me to my wanderings, my musings that travel where they will, where they must, where they can and where they begin again… I have been assiduously re reading Moby Dick ,and I marvel at Melville’s genius as I relish every sentence, every word. Even the long technical descriptions of the whaling life are deep and tasty; they roll around one’s mind with a kind of grace and good humor. Glad to hear someone else is revisiting the classics in such a meaningful way.

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      April 28, 2020 at 2:41 pm

      Moby Dick is one of my top five novels. Ahab is a Titan in literature. “A grand, ungodly god-like man.” His final words hurled at the Great Whale are most rich. “I turn my body from the sun…” On my bucket list.

  • Jim Ringel
    April 28, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    Wow. Chock full of good reading suggestions for lockdown. Thanks, Jerry.

    Can I share some of what I’m enjoying?
    My Sister the Serial Killer-beautiful simplicity with meaning packed between the lines.

    Madame Bovary – a little dated in delivery, but isn’t M Bovary’s provincial life a little like America’s consumerism? Will Covid show us a different way?

    Sam Thompson’s Communion Town – an exquisitely weird collection of noir stories. Atmospheric. Haunting. Ste range.

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      April 28, 2020 at 2:43 pm

      Thanks, Jim. Excellent recommendations on your part. Perhaps after this has subsided, we should have a group session and report on our favorite read was during the period. Sort of like our elementary-school-days “What I did during the summer” reports. 🙂

  • Donna Taylor
    April 28, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    Hi Jerry, add to the list- Henry James- Portrait of a Lady. Every sentence is a delight to read. I have not read Henry James until now, so this is a discovery for me. Thanks for the blogs, always interesting and thought provoking.

  • Angela M Skiffen
    April 29, 2020 at 10:38 am

    Nice to know that I’m not alone! A few years back while browsing through Barnes and Noble, I saw on a hard cover Anna Karenina. One of those spur of the moment buys. Decided that this is a good time to pick it up and “pass the time”, yet instead of “passing the time” I rediscovered the joy of reading. It’s taking time, but like you I see other books on the shelf that need reread instead of the monthly dusting.

  • Bernadette Phelps
    April 30, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    That’s it exactly….reading will transport you to another place. That’s the beauty of it if the author can transport you to another spot in time and place. It is the best therapy.

  • Randi Samuelson-Brown
    November 3, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    I think common decency is a much underrated value, along with common sense! Good article, Jerry. I think yu are hitting the nail on the head…

  • Karen
    November 3, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Thank you Jerry, for putting into words what many, if not most of us are feeling right now. Thanks too, for the courage and vulnerability it took TO share. And, I am so sorry to hear about your friend who took his own life. Sadly, and I know this from my own, personal experience, when it comes to suicide, there is ALWAYS that proverbial straw that brings someone to their absolute limit. and “breaks” them. Covid, isolation, social distancing, the loss of personal freedoms, health, loved ones, (most of whom died and continue to die alone–The MOST TRAGIC aspect of this pandemic) jobs, money, homes, hugs, kisses, the familiar handshake, smiles now hidden behind masks…This is a Brave New World and each of us is being called upon to be “brave.” But man, it’s hard–and for those who may have been on “the brink” before all of this—well, I can only imagine their anguish. I take solace in clinging to the hope that when this passes, and it shall, that all of humanity’s pain and suffering will be transformed and transmuted into deep, even spiritual lessons having been learned; lessons that will unite us, rather than divide us; because right now, we’re all getting a big dose of division, and I suspect that we might all agree that being divided and separated is not how human beings were designed to live. On the upside, I do believe that this crisis has provided us with an opportunity to put some much-needed emphasis on the “being” part of human being. And that, ultimately can only be a good thing. Blessings of light, love, and gratitude my friend! Your words are always so powerful!

  • Melanie Mulhall
    November 3, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    This pandemic has given me an even greater sense of urgency than old age itself has to tell those I love that I love them. And my friend, I love you. I’ve had some bouts of loneliness too over the past many months. Thank God for the gym (the weight room has been back open since the middle of June). Thank God for friends and neighbors, both of which I get to see on a somewhat regular basis (that will likely be curtailed a bit as winter sets in). We humans are social creatures, and it doesn’t matter whether we’re introverts or extroverts. We need other humans to bump up against so we can practice love, so we can be exposed to not-us, so we can have witnesses to our lives. There is something tragic about how both the pandemic and politics have created a high level of divisiveness. But we don’t have to give in to it or go along with it. All we have to do is follow the True North of love.

  • Bonnie McCune
    November 3, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    I agree with you. I think the terrible divisiveness and hatefulness are putting us at one another’s throats. I certainly would rather be on my own than trying to get along with the mean, foul people out there. I wonder, though, just what the impact of solitude is going to have long-term. Our little kids will barely know how to relate to one another.

  • Mary Pat
    November 3, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    This is a timely and poignant essay, my friend. And thank you for the courage it took to write this, to put it out there. May our collective grief carry us to a place of hope and peace knowing that we are not alone in our sorrow and solitude but will one day be on the other side of this.

  • Cheryl Ilov
    November 4, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    Beautifully written and so well said, Jerry. Thank you for posting!

  • Donna
    November 4, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    Jerry, your poignant writing puts into words what so many of us are feeling and helps alleviate our own loneliness. There is a sense of suspension and a lessening of energy to keep in touch with others, we are worn out in 2020. This pandemic goes on and on. And right now the numbness of viewing election returns last night is finally wearing off. I watched a mute screen with the returns while listening to music – the Simon and Garfunkel song “America” played and I was reminded of simpler times- our high school and college days. Of course we were young then with a sense of endless possibilities reflected by the moon landing, Age of Aquarius”, etc. But this time was also upended by assassination and war. But, as you and others mention, these current times bring an immediacy to encounters with others and more of a need to be kind in that moment in time. Thanks for your words friend.

  • Steven Craig
    November 17, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    I love how this dovetails on your previous piece. I tried to subscribe to your reading list, but that button is not functional. Much love and light, my friend!

  • Melanie Mulhall
    November 17, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Brackett’s take is fascinating. And your advice about opening with “I’ve been thinking of you” or “It’s so good to see/hear from you” is solid advice. I do find myself doing that, but it’s nice to have the validation. Thanks for another great post, Jerry.

  • Allynn Riggs
    November 17, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    I recently decided to send thank you notes to people in my life, I choose one or two each week and write a short note about how much I appreciate having them as a friend, mentor, family member, co-worker, et cetera. The first one I sent was to a high school and college friend whom I had not heard from for over a year. I received a phone call from them thanking me for letting them know I remembered them and thought about them. They were struggling with the isolation they were enduring and getting that simple note allowed them to open up communications with their own families and acquaintances through hand written letters, emails, and exchanges on social media (which they had been ignoring due to the over abundance of political “news” and negative opinions being voiced). We now have touched base almost once a week for the past two months. They send me postcards with one or two sentences focused on a positive topic or event. I now have purchased several boxes of postcards to go along with the variety of Thank you cards or blank cards. It’s been fun and I know we both look forward to those little recognitions that we are in someone’s thoughts – that we are not alone.

    Thank you for this posting. It validates what I began as a means for me to connect outside my immediate household. Keep an eye on your mailbox you may be the next person on my list.

  • Rick Posner
    November 17, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    Thank you, Jerry, for reminding us of what’s really important in our lives, not just in today’s turbulent world, but ALWAYS. As I grow older, I say this time and again: I would gladly trade some IQ points for some EQ ones. It’s no surprise that we don’t think about this when we are young and trying to “make it” in the world.

  • Donna Taylor
    November 20, 2020 at 2:16 am

    Your writing and comments reminded me of a friend, Elaine. I worked with her at first and became friends. Elaine was so honest and would always tell me exactly was she thought or felt in response to a question, so much so that I would hesitate at times to ask what she thought of my hair, clothes, and more serious issues, half afraid of what she would say. She loved bringing people together, had tons of friends and laughed a lot at herself. Elaine died two years ago. Before she died I texted her on her birthday, as usual, not knowing she had been diagnosed with cancer. She did not respond to my text and I always regret not calling to follow up so I could have told her how I appreciated her.

  • Karen Gamret
    November 23, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    To add to our very wise author’s information, I highly recommend Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. It’s an oldie but goodie!

  • Dawn Marie
    December 2, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    Are you playing left-brain against right-brain? Curious how the mind works, too.

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      December 2, 2020 at 8:26 pm

      Your brain should be as the grain you eat: Whole.

  • Melanie Mulhall
    December 15, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    I first wrapped my brain around the concept of acedia thanks to the teachings of some of the nuns/monks at Nada Hermitage in Crestone, Colorado. But I hadn’t related it to what some people have been feeling with the pandemic–and now the holidays on top of it. You’re right. We’re not like bears. We’re hard-wired to be social. Books and hot chocolate are good, but reaching out to others is also a good strategy.

  • Becky Cook
    December 15, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    This was a nice reminder that “ we’re all in this together” and even though the pandemic has heightened our isolation, this season has long had emotional challenges.
    Sending warm wishes to you, Jerry!

  • Ruth Rosenfeld
    December 15, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    I suspect that depression was not unique to the spiritual community or were they especially prone to it. Those were the most literate and educated, and most likely to write about it.

  • Steven Craig
    December 15, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Like Melanie (above), I also have been to Crestone and find much solace in the Buddhist teachings I reinforced while there. But please remember that you always have a friend, and you know my number. These Covid days are tough, but your community reaches farther than you could ever imagine. Much love and light during the holiday season and beyond…
    -Steven

  • Rick Posner
    December 15, 2020 at 11:54 pm

    A good friend of mine suffers from post polio syndrome and has to take two serious naps a day! He calls them “brown-outs” as he grapples just to do simple things or even to speak. I think we all need a “brown-out”or two – especially these days. Thanks again Jerry for reminding us that we are human.

  • Donna Taylor
    December 19, 2020 at 12:35 am

    Jerry, you are very good at identifying and putting into context (even historical context) seemingly amorphous feelings. It helps to give them a name and realize their commonality. For me, acedia is indeed a noon or midday occurrence, although luckily not too often. Oddly I’ve had this feeling during much anticipated travel or vacation – maybe a feeling of letdown, similar to anticipated holidays. Good wishes and thanks.

  • Becky Cook
    December 29, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    So much to reflect on from this year… thanks for prompting some questions. For those of us blessed with security and well-being, it is a time to be filled with gratitude and the desire to reach out amid the turmoil and try and make a positive difference.
    Your writing is a beautiful example…

  • David Edwards
    December 29, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    Wonderful article! Thank you.

  • Rick Posnet
    December 30, 2020 at 6:09 am

    Thanks Jerry! The Jewish tradition demands that we must constantly seek wisdom. Whether we find it or not is not crucial. It is that conscious search that feeds our sense of decency and dignity in an unpredictable world. It is also an opportunity to serve others as part of the search.

  • Melanie Mulhall
    January 15, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    Nice post, Jerry. We’re definitely being tempered.

  • Bonnie McCune
    January 15, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    Hmm. I never read this in college, yet somehow passed the test. My loss. I’ll have to go back now

  • Steven Craig
    January 15, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    I struggled through this novel when I was in AP English my Junior year. I went back and read it in my adult years and appreciated Faulkner’s craft far more than my 17 year old self could muster. I love how you relate it to our modern context.

  • Rick Posnet
    January 17, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    I’ve been to Faulkner’s home several times. On the walls of Rowan Oak are Faulkner’s notes to Sound and the Fury and other writings of his. The writing was “on the walls” so to speak! Thanks for sharing your fears and hopes for these troubled waters we swim in…

  • Karen
    January 18, 2021 at 5:14 am

    How CAN someone believe a tale told by an idiot? Well, somehow, 7 4 million someones did! I love the interplay in my mind between “tempers” and “tempered.” As Melanie says above, we certainly are being tempered, even as tempers flare! And, never did read The Sound and the Fury. I may give it a whirl. Thanks for expressing your emotions so eloquently, Jerry! May peace ultimately reign in the hearts and minds of all!

  • Becky Cook
    January 26, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks, Jerry for connecting two tragic tales… one I read decades ago as a high school assignment and one we all just lived through… in real time on TV (or computer screen). When the worst of us is given space, permission and encouragement, horrific things can happen.

  • Donna
    January 26, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    You make some really good points, timely and thoughtful. I like that you begin with the positive, the more civil and kind elements of our nature. I find that people who have experienced extreme trauma look to these qualities to heal. I’m thinking of a friend who lost a son in a car accident that she witnessed. Going back to work, ordinary civility and the “kindness of strangers” helped her. I’m reading a book called The Vanquished detailing the aftermath of WWI, difficult reading showing the side of human nature reflected in Lord of the Flies. The continued popularity of Lord of the Flies is testament to the recognition of this side of human nature.

  • Rick Posner
    February 2, 2021 at 2:56 am

    Thanks again, Jerry, for the reminders! We are, all of us, constantly “emerging…”

  • Becky Cook
    February 2, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    Happy Groundhog Day! I feel the days getting longer with brighter days ahead!

  • Jerry Mitchell
    February 2, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Thanks for bringing perspective, Jerry. I’ll have to tip a dram and ponder where re-emerging will take me.

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      February 2, 2021 at 3:23 pm

      Stellar idea, Jerry. I’ll tip and toast a dram myself.

  • Jim Schmidt
    February 2, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    To all fellow contemporary blind flyers, “CHEERS”!

  • Donna Taylor
    February 2, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    Also waiting for reemergence of Brood X cicadas out east after 17 years underground.

  • Mary Pat
    February 4, 2021 at 6:18 pm

    Yes! We must believe in magic and the guiding hand of the universe. Thank you for this, my Friend. Well said.

  • Claudia Kreamelmeyer
    February 16, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    You are such an amazing man Jerry. I love reading your thoughts 🙏. I must tell you that I am and will always be so, so grateful that you are a part of my life. Hope you are well and finding happiness and peace in your heart ❤️
    Claudia

  • Becky Cook
    February 16, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    Beautiful piece, Jerry.
    I need to relisten to “Dangling. Conversations” with new ears.
    You give me lots to ponder on this frigid February morning.
    Thanks for your insightful words.

  • Laurel McHargue
    February 16, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    Endarkment, as opposed to enlightenment. Wonderful. Jerry, this piece is spot on. Just listened to Dangling Conversations and got chills.

    Like a poem poorly written
    We are verses out of rhythm,
    Couplets out of rhyme,
    In syncopated time . . .

    What a song. You’ve given us lots to consider in your piece, Jerry. How do we keep extending our hand when a returned gesture is always a fist?

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      February 17, 2021 at 10:48 am

      Indeed, a conundrum. I am not Dr. MLK, Gandhi, or John Lewis, but I wonder how each would answer that question.

  • Sharon Aguiar
    February 16, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    Happy birthday, Jerry! Thanks for always giving me something to think about. XO

  • Karen
    February 16, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    Jerry, I’m at a loss for words. I strongly believe that this blog needs to reach a larger audience! HuffPost! https://www.huffpost.com/static/how-to-pitch-huffpost

  • Mary Pat
    February 16, 2021 at 9:17 pm

    Ditto to all aforementioned comments, my friend. Just listened to Dangling Conversations…genius, really. Loved how you so beautifully wove that into your piece. How do we initiate meaningful exchanges in this time of Endarkenment?

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      February 17, 2021 at 11:36 am

      It might seem simplistic, but perhaps by picking up the phone and calling to check in on the other(s). Eventually, as the conversation moves along, bring up the notion of the “elephant in the room,” not in any accusatory, aggressive, or defensive manner, but simply acknowledgement. While being open, it would be important not to engage in a moral-equivalence, both-sides-have-valid-points, whataboutism debate. One has to maintain the integrity of facts, evidence, and truth. Still, all that needs to be done via deliberate, calm, and caring voice.

  • Donna
    February 17, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Thoughtful piece, as usual Jerry. I’ve found that in conversations with those who are unwilling at first to acknowledge the integrity of facts, evidence, etc, humor really helps. Usually there is some
    commonality in play as to what makes us laugh.

  • Bill Sonn
    February 22, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    Jerry, as a relative newcomer to your writing & your head, I’m on the second piece of yours. For the second time, I’m taken by your writing. I am about to launch my own piece about some semblance of a return to normal discourse, and your thoughtful piece has condemned me to yet another re-write. I am grateful for your fine piece nonetheless. Congratulations.

  • Jim Ringel
    March 3, 2021 at 1:19 am

    Nice touch point, Jerry. So then, the further point is–how do we keep from attaching to enlightenment. By letting it go.

    I appreciate this write-up. Keep the good stuff coming.

  • Rick Posner
    March 4, 2021 at 2:18 am

    Ahh yes! You gotta keep on pushin’!

  • Mary Pat
    March 16, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    Ah, you witnessed my descent. Thank you for the tether. I was scrolling through some photos when I paused to note the lushness of my garden last spring. Where’s that lushness now? No mystery there.

  • Becky Cook
    March 16, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    I’m ready for the vernal equinox, new growth, renewed connections and a “new normal”… more grateful for all that we have.
    Thanks, Jerry!

  • Karen
    March 16, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    This one I had to print so that I can re-read it. At the end of January, I announced to family and friends that I was going to spend February “unplugged.” Limited social media, TV-worldly distractions so that I could spend time in what I refer to as “the interior world” – or as you define it, the underworld—spent my time reading, meditating, roaming around my house…just listening for and to that still, inner voice. I have to admit, I ended the month with more questions than answers with regard to the direction I am meant to move in–trying to trust and surrender in those times of inner desolation-trying not to give in to fear and doubt. I’m still exploring what in my life needs to change in order to rise from the ashes of last year. I know I’m not alone in this exploration. I sense the extreme challenges of 2020 have brought many to their proverbial spiritual knees., and prompted more soul searching than perhaps any time prior. Springtime is the season of rebirth and renewal….a time to cross the threshold from the dark night of the soul back into the light that is life. Perhaps the time is now at hand to, as you suggest, “shatter old ways to make way for new.” It’s time now to embrace the new normal; to till our own soil in order for that light to penetrate and help us grow in ways that heretofore, we could have never imagined. After all, none of us is the same person we were before Covid and lockdown; nor are we meant to be, could ever be, or even wish to be. Time to embrace our individual metamorphosis’ with grace and gratitude as we learn again how to take wing and fly bravely into this Brave New World. Birth. Death. Renewal. LIFE! Such beautiful insight, Jerry. Thank you!

  • Donna Taylor
    March 17, 2021 at 12:51 am

    Jerry, I like how you incorporate many differing and wide-ranging threads into your writings. Your background in mythology, literature and Jungian studies instantly make the connections accessible. There a a darkness to in the absence of the ordinary and special activities that provide joy – theater, movies, lunches with friends, etc. The lack of these activities can easily trigger pure escapism or provide the opportunity to learn something completely new and challenging. But solitude and just existing with oneself provides immediacy to that moment in time that will never come again. This past year has changed me in some silly ways. I watch an old movie and find myself wondering why the actors are not all wearing masks. The visuals of this time will be in our memories. I wonder how young children will remember – will it be like us remembering the Cuban Missile Crisis or the many assassinations when we were young? But those events did not happen over a year, defining a new normal, so it will be interesting to those who study psychology. Thank you again for your wide-ranging and unique thoughts!

  • Rick Posner
    March 20, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    Thanks Jerry! I like the reference to alchemy because it reminds us that only through some kind of “crucible” can we we start to show our true mettle (metal) for change.

  • Andrea Antico
    March 21, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    Jerry, YOU are at your best once more. Your thoughtful, evocative words about spring, birth and rebirth, childhood, the environment, your place (and our place in it) are better than any Sunday sermon I ever heard. Your website is a beautiful reflection of You and Colorado. My only criticism is the “Old” in your title. How about middle-aged, mythical, magical, mindful, mysterious, meditative, modern, mesmerizing, or metaphoric man of the mountains?

  • catherine scott
    March 30, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Right on, Jerry. This senseless violence makes us look forward and grow stronger if we choose it. Essential. Thank you.

  • Robert Williscroft
    March 30, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    And still, ever and always, “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” I don’t have a choice. The universe forces this upon me (and you). How I deal with it is what matters.

  • Laurel McHargue
    March 30, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    Can we truly master our “fate”? Isn’t that oxymoronic? It could’ve been me in that store. And yet, yes, we move on because we must. You always give me something to ponder, Jerry. Thank you.

  • Bonnie McCune
    March 31, 2021 at 2:02 am

    I go numb with all the evil. Must be a self-preservation reaction. I have no faith that anything will help change conditions, yet I strive to do something. Otherwise, I feel I’m part of the problem.

  • Dawn Janov
    April 14, 2021 at 12:22 am

    Well written, Jerry.
    Growing up, I was always following my own path. My mother was a very social person and definitely could not understand why I wanted to go to Colorado and work on a dude ranch wrangling horses after college and two years working for a financial company. She would say to me “I don’t understand how you can be a daughter of mine.” Then she bought me my first saddle for my new adventure, padded seat and all. I’ve lived so many lives, with so many adventures. Now that I have children and grandchildren, I understand my parents even more. One of my favorite books by Gibran, and especially his take on children. The last sentence says it all. “Love completely without complete understanding.” Oh, that our politicians could understand these words. Ha.

  • Dawn Janov
    April 14, 2021 at 12:30 am

    ON CHILDREN
    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them,
    but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

    You are the bows from which your children
    as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
    and He bends you with His might
    that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    so He loves also the bow that is stable.

    Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

  • MARILYN BUEHLER
    April 14, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    HELLO, and how do you always know and use the material I love the most. My favorite line in book is “HE WAS BEAUTIFUL.” I taught this for years and had kids read the book first and then watch the Brad Pitt fly fish which is incredible film. I have seen the film many times because it is also good. Athough McClean’s last page is the real deal. I love you so much. You are an amazing person and “Beautiful” yourself. Hope to see you soon.

  • Melanie Mulhall
    April 15, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    Beautiful and profound, Jerry. And appropriate at this time. There has been so much divisiveness within the past few years, and the feelings people have about Covid and what to do about it seems to be the latest thing to polarize. We don’t have to agree with another’s path, but it is helpful to love them without complete understanding.

  • Rick Posner
    April 16, 2021 at 2:46 am

    Why is this so hard for us to do?! I appreciate people who follow their hearts but not at the expense of others. The idea of Colin Wilson’s existential hero who does just what she/he likes has always been abhorrent to me. There has to be a balance between personal and social responsibility…in my book anyway.

  • Laurel McHargue
    April 21, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    “And I wonder if I have lost some of that passion.”

    The boundaries imposed on us as we age happen subtly. It’s not that we (you) lose our passion. Rather, we make more mature decisions. Maturity can certainly dampen passion, but I’d like to think it helps us live longer! I’ve recently wondered what made me stop practicing handstands. When did it “happen”? Did it actually happen, or did my priorities change over time? Some combination of both, I’m sure.

    And now I’ve tempted to launch my feet over my head against a wall (because I’m not sure I could even do a forward roll anymore)!

    Thanks for making me think! I love you.

  • Laurel McHargue
    April 23, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    Thank you, Jerry! Let’s rock 2021!

  • Sunny Weber
    April 24, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks for the opportunities to talk about my books about dogs (www.sunnyweber.com)! My mission to save more dog lives by educating the people who care for them, and my passion for humane education for children have found a home in the mountains through your podcasts and beautiful website. Hope to see you soon!

  • Becky Cook
    April 27, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    As usual… much food for thought.
    Obviously it depends on the routines and traditions whether they’re stifling or not. I get comfort/clarity from my daily routines of walking in the woods, spending time with my animals and my partner, preparing food….
    Thanks, Jerry for prompting me to step back and realize this… with gratitude.

  • Dawn Janov
    April 27, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Hi Jerry,
    You are so good with words and thoughts that open the readers mind!

  • Laurel McHargue
    April 27, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    YesYesYesYesYes!
    How do you keep the Easter Egg Hunt tradition (an expectation our grown sons may never outgrow!) from becoming stultifying? Well, that requires imagination! Routines can be comforting or tedious depending on your attitude. “The Power of Now” comes to mind.
    And whether we’re an improvement over reptiles or not, they’ll be the first ones to emerge from the ooze after our planet hits the reboot button!

  • Allynn Riggs
    May 11, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    Jerry,
    While reading this blog on fences and boundaries I found that I was thinking about my current book. I am having trouble with a P.O.V. character, one of the antagonists, who seems to be oscillating between being open/ cooperative and being closed mouthed and secretive. Your observation about a person’s boundaries are intimately connected to their inner power and how well that person marks their territory has shed some light on this troublesome character. Plus, I have been putting up my own fence about writing a particularly enlightening scene from this character’s P.O.V. And now I have an understanding of the character’s ‘broken & tattered’ inner boundaries and her struggle to recognize and rebuild those boundaries in better ways for others and, more importantly, for herself as she strives for acceptance and belonging on her terms.

    Thank you for the insights. You’ve helped me move forward toward the completion of book four.
    Allynn

  • Laurel McHargue
    May 11, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    Jerry, your piece immediately brought to mind Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall.” Here’s a piece about that echoes some of your thoughts: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/150774/robert-frost-mending-wall

    Again, you’ve given me lots to consider, particularly in terms of personal boundaries. I’ve always been “an open book,” much to my mother’s chagrin over the years. She always cautioned me about protecting myself better, but I generally railed against that idea. Now, with a pandemic still unimpeded by any wall we could imagine, I am finally hearing my mother’s words and guarding myself more.

    The old “this too shall pass” parable is not as convincing as it once was, but I will cling to my optimism and believe in a day when boundaries/barriers/walls will be less important.

  • Rick Posner
    May 11, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Lots to think and feel about here. I taught at a school where personal and social boundaries were purposely blurred. This created a wonderful but scary opportunity: the chance to actually connect and get close to each other. It did serve to make the community an organic, living environment, not just some cheerleading kind of phony “school spirit.” Maybe it’s not for everyone but, I can’t help but think… It could be.

  • Angela M Skiffen
    May 17, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    I feel like this was a birthday present for me. I’ve been reading and rereading yours and Allynn’s about personal boundaries. As women we were “programmed to be good wives and moms”. A woman’s duty to everyone but herself. Years of this wears one down, until you begin to reflect on who you were and who you have become. So, when you decide to rediscover yourself and rebuild those boundaries you find yourself up against anger, resentment and even fear that YOU have changed. At that point one can either remove the walls and remain a doormat, or stand tall and proud and let them either accept you or not. I choose to stand tall and whether I am accepted or rejected in rebuilding my life, I have won!

  • Dawn
    May 25, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    This completed my thought process today and the hunt to answers to ever flowing questions. Finished watching a movie, The Shack, that was a little plodding, but also presented an interesting way of addressing holding hate and anger inside vs forgiveness, love and joy in life. Then I read your blog. Words are important and I always find that your words lead me down the path of interesting ideas and thoughts.

  • Allynn Riggs
    May 25, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    I like the concept that it is okay to keep searching and being at peace with that concept may indeed enable me to be less stressed. It makes sense. And understanding that I do not necessarily HAVE to find all the answers to all of my questions within a specific timeframe will enable me to sleep better. I have time and the desire to keep searching.

  • mark palko
    May 25, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    I think Jared Diamond said the greatest mistake humans ever made was farming. He may have been right.
    But the earth will be here long after we are gone. Maybe in a state of ataraxia.

  • Allynn Riggs
    June 8, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    I cannot NOT like this! Love it! As an avid reader and a writer of science fiction and fantasy I can say that some of my imaginings center about this idea that we are the only “intelligent” life forms “out there.” Just look at the overwhelming diversity of life here on our little blue marble. And, something to add to your speculations and musings, what is the definition of intelligence? Perhaps we are just microbes in someone else’s universe. I think there is an Outer Limits episode on that very consideration.

  • Glenn Blanco
    June 8, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    The conflict of science and religion comes mostly from Western thought. Many of the great religions of the East and elseware support the premise the the study of the universe and the study of man are one in the same. Persons who rely only on Western ideals are only using 25 percent of their compass.

  • Donna
    June 10, 2021 at 12:00 am

    I go back to “The Day the Earth Stood Still “as reference. Discovery of other intelligent life would be met by intense curiosity by science- oriented people and intense fear by those who are threatened by “the other”. I imagine theories spun about the end of the world, etc. Think of what today’s media would do with this discovery.
    Thanks for your thought-provoking writings Jerry.

  • Becky Cook
    August 3, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    New word for me! I have huge concerns over our obsession with smartphones but I had not given much thought to this phenomenon. Thanks, Jerry once again for giving me more food for thought!

  • Patricia Sellers
    August 20, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    Love your ritual and enjoy hearing of the others. You’re correct on your phrase… what ever floats your boat lol.
    My favorite, when I have the time, is on days off when I finish helping in the barn and take the “girls” .. my Śunka and Taņka.. to the edge of the barn. I’ll sit in an old iron chair and they sit close by watching .. and hoping .. for squirrels (zića .. zee-cha) Its my quiet time when I think about the days coming or days gone by, offer prayers and energies to those I love and those in need. It’s a good time. Hinhanni waśte .. a good day
    Thechilla and namaste
    Pooh

  • th
    August 25, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    Usually start withcoffee while I still pray everyday. Early morning walk then to my bowl of oatmeal

  • Laurel McHargue
    September 3, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    YESyesYES! When I lived in our 130-year-old Victorian in Leadville, I’d tell people the dust was “antique,” and who was I to be rid of it! Gardening . . . raking . . . feeling the earth with our hands and later digging it our from fingernails . . . THAT is pleasurable. I don’t think we need to answer “why.”

  • Virginia White
    September 17, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    Always enjoy the things you have to say. Thanks!

  • Donna Taylor
    September 18, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    So interesting to explore the origins of the time scheme we are born into and seldom reflect on. Thanks for integrating your thoughts on this. At some point as very young children we become aware of how it all works. At that point we stop experiencing life only in the present. I remember the point where this changed for me when I was looking at a local TV schedule and realized that I could know when a favorite show would be shown on a future day. I try to imagine what animals experience not knowing our calendar and having their own time set. I’m reading Boorstin’s book -The Creators- more good insights.

  • Becky Cook
    September 21, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    Once again you give me new food for thought… the meaning of the days have evolved for me as my life as evolved.
    Restaurant work made the weekends my busiest work days… then the years that my life revolved around the school bus schedule and soccer games… is interesting to think back on it all. Thanks for the prompt. 😊

  • David Edwards
    September 24, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    We were fortunate that we went to a high school that encouraged us to read books over our weight class. I thank God for our English teacher, Larry Taylor.

  • Laurel McHargue
    September 24, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    I’m horrified to hear that paltry number of novels the teacher expects students will read! Yikes! I also blame the big $$$, big influence textbook companies that dictate curriculum and the associated tests students must endure each year. It’s just plain wrong. As for censorship, when will we finally be able to say/write FUCK instead of censoring ourselves with what our delicate ears consider the less offensive “frigging”? Thank you, Jerry, for your always informative musings.

  • Glenn Blanco
    September 24, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    Jerry, have faith in people. Get this:
    Tell people to get vaccinated to save their life-some won’t
    Tell people not to read a certain book-some will.
    It’s that easy,

  • Bernadette Phelps
    September 25, 2021 at 3:24 am

    When reading is censored or removed from the approved list, we all suffer and die a little at a time. That’s why people fell off moving aircraft; for the chance to get to a country where you have the right to read, learn and study any topic, not just someone else’s idea of what is appropriate.

  • Melanie Mulhall
    October 18, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    So glad it’s out! Can’t wait to see it!

  • Laurel McHargue
    October 22, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    Who doesn’t like pie? But mention pie, and someone will make a sexual reference! There you have it, one of the five that will always pop up. Love you, Jerry. How’s the weather today in Georgetown?
    😉

  • Ruth from Scotlandia
    October 28, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    It was a good read Jerry, thanks for posting this.

    Keep it up buddy!

  • Laurel McHargue
    November 12, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    People have been asking me to write about my time at West Point, but because I’ve never felt drawn toward doing it in an autobiographical way, I’m now immersed in writing a sci-fi (1st book of what will be a series) based on some of my experiences. Way more fun this way! Like you, I read–and encourage people to read–voraciously and across genres. Because you want to delve more deeply into different cultures, I’d like to recommend the book “Trees and Other Witnesses” by author Kathy Taylor. I recently interviewed Kathy (my YouTube link: https://youtu.be/9zkwZEZwBHM) and know you will appreciate her brand of literary fiction. Comfortable genres are fun, but exploring ones that are less comfortable will allow you to grow as a writer . . . and a person.

  • Jim Ringel
    November 12, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    What I like best about being a reader is the way it encourages us to test our assumptions. Reading helps reveal the me I’ve not yet become. That’s a gift.

  • Patty Sellers
    November 27, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    I like what Jim said (above) reading helps reveal the me I’ve not yet become
    I like to write funny notes about life on the farm in hopes that they make someone else smile
    I like phrases and comments that make me “think” and picture a situation in different way.
    I’m not much of a reader. But I did like Sisyphus Wins and Killer Angels, and now enjoying Food for Thought
    So “my story”? I’ll probably keep reading your stories !

  • Mark Palko
    December 21, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    Jerry,
    Your boyhood friend seems wise beyond his years. OOPS! I forgot, he’s an old man now.

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      December 22, 2021 at 12:37 am

      Amazingly, wiser than his years.

  • Dawn Janov
    December 22, 2021 at 8:36 pm

    From
    Jim Carry giving a graduation speech.
    “As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it while letting go of how it comes to pass.

    ‘Jim Carrey : (23:32)
    Your job is not to figure out how it’s going to happen for you, but to open the door in your head. And when the door opens in real life, just walk through it. And don’t worry if you miss your cue because there’s always doors opening. They keep opening. And when I say, “Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.” I really don’t know if that’s true. I’m just making a conscious choice to perceive challenges as something beneficial so that I can deal with them in the most productive way. You’ll come up with your own style. That’s part of the fun.

    ‘Jim Carrey : (24:23)
    Oh, and why not take a chance on faith as well? Take a chance on faith, not religion, but faith. Not hope, but faith. I don’t believe in hope. Hope is a beggar. Hope walks through the fire and faith leaps over it. You are ready and able to do beautiful things in this world. And after you walk through those doors today, you will only ever have two choices, love or fear. Choose love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

  • ML Secor
    December 27, 2021 at 4:37 am

    I just discovered this while perusing “things” on my I-pad. It is a blessing that SNF is so boring tonight or I never would have found this treasure- you and your writing, musings, insights, spirit! Why did we never have these conversations at AHMS instead of just the trivial warnings to “keep that nasty thing away from me”. “So we beat on, boats against the current, …..”
    T,
    C

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      December 27, 2021 at 1:34 pm

      The treasure lay deeply hidden beneath a heap of pony dung waiting to be unearthed when the moon got to the seventh house and Jupiter aligned with Mars. We’ve made it the Age of Aquarius, though it’s looking like it’s not all it was cracked up to be. And Johnny Tremain lives on in infamy. 🙂

  • Cat
    January 17, 2022 at 3:07 pm

    Thoughtful, evocative, Jerry, thanks!

  • Bonnie McCune
    January 17, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    Never knew about this poem. I’ve downloaded it to read. Thanks.

  • Laurel McHargue
    January 17, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    Wow! I think this poem would be considered a novella by today’s standards! And you’re right. Most of us wouldn’t know how to survive. We’ve become soft, I fear, and Ma Nature will have no sympathy for us.

  • Kathy Taylor
    January 18, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    Thanks for reminding me of this poem and for your beautiful musings around it. Even when such storms get in our way and wreck our plans, I love the way a blizzard wraps us into our selves and others, leaving a fresh white page around us to begin a new story or perhaps even rewrite old ones.

  • Glenn C Blanco
    February 13, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    My book that was disturbing to me was “The Outpost” by Jake Tapper. As a Vietnam vet I was in country during the Siege at Khe Sahn in 1968. “The Outpost” is a story quite like Khe Sahn. “The Outpost” takes place in extreme northeast Afghanistan where 53 Marines hold off a force of over 400 Taliban. In both cases, our forces did their job and fought bravely to stand their ground, only to retreat in shame from both countries. What is disturbing to me is after nearly 50 years, we as Americans have learned nothing in our foreign relations policy.

  • Jerry Fabyanic
    February 13, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    What an interesting topic to explore! Actually, I was just thinking about the way my current reading makes me feel uncomfortable. I’m about 250 pgs into Cloud Cukoo Land by Anthony Doerr…and reading it is disconcerting and jarring. Two of my trusted reading buddies LOVE the book; before reading your blog, I wasn’t sure I’d finish it. (Maybe the topics (e.g., development taking down forests, destroying habitat; the challenges faced by those with mental health issues; the future that my grandson might face in the midst of climate change) are a bit too much before bed. 😉 But maybe this book is calling out illusions and, as you note, giving “clarity to confounding human behaviors and issues I had been struggling to make sense of. – Jean Palmer-Moloney

  • Jerry Fabyanic
    February 13, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    Yes, there have been a number of disturbing novels and films that I have come to treasure. I worried sometimes when I had my students experience them – occasionally we would cry together, but the most rewarding part was the discussions and their written responses after. Even young children can be quite thoughtful about disturbing material if given a supportive context in which to process it. I really appreciate your eloquent and thought provoking writing. This issue has always been an important one, but seems even more timely today. Our son just bought a copy of the graphic novel Maus for his 15 yr. old daughter, as the book banning wave gains momentum. My husband taught about the holocaust for years in all of its complexity and richness of stories as well as what it can continue to teach us today.b – Kathy Taylor

  • Jerry Fabyanic
    February 13, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    Jerry, for me, it’s The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. I felt as though I was living his memories of the Vietnam War….his passion and his torment. It was hard to read without tears, but his ability to weave his story kept me riveted to the pages. Along with Prince of Tides, (yes, a very HARD but rewarding read) Gone with the Wind, Shogun, and Gift From The Sea, The Things They Carried has always been one of my top 5 reads. – Karen Trench

  • Patty
    March 25, 2022 at 2:54 am

    Love the read! And just like in everyday life, we see people and not know what’s behind their actions. Why were they driving fast? Emergency to rush to? An old friend to catch up with? Getting fast away from work? And looking at your skiers, they’re beautiful and graceful like dancers, but wow the story behind this chapter in their life. Makes ya think.
    “Yes you can”
    Love this. You rock on also!

  • Laurel McHargue
    April 12, 2022 at 4:03 pm

    Wow, Jerry. I love how you can always see both (all) sides of a situation. Time for me to reread Beloved as I recall it being one of the most haunting books I read when I was a few decades younger.

  • Rick Posner
    April 14, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    Thanks, Jerry, for reminding us that we all need a good dose of reality sometimes to understand the brutality and the purpose of slavery. Dehumanization is still a basic tenet of fascism. We see it everywhere and everyday.

  • Patty Sellers
    April 24, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    Sounds like a really good read. I did see A River Runs Through It. Quite the story too. Funny, I when you said the word “haunting”, I immediately thought of a song that I’ve used that word to describe. It’s done by a band called Disturbed .. not my typical yee haw, but the song is well known .. Sound of Silence. You really hafta listen to this! Keep on keepin on! Love ya!

  • MARILYN BUEHLER
    May 6, 2022 at 4:54 pm

    HI jerry, I love your reference to High Noon because I am a huge fan of Cooper movies and especially this one. Seen it so many times. This moral conflict is brilliantly demonstrated. I think of simple every day decisions we make that challenge who we are. It is constant in this computer world and there are too many choices every day from isolation in the pandemic. Most of all, I think of Zelensky every single day in Ukraine and his moral decisions as he struggles to the necessity for freedom for all. O, the horror. I agree that we all have to fight evil when we see and not stop there. I miss you so much and hope to see you soon. I will be there and check with you before I come. I stil lhave work to do. Big Love to you..

  • Mary Lou Secor
    May 9, 2022 at 5:47 pm

    Good morning, Jerry, Today I find myself more than ever trying to find ways to fight evil when we see it. But I also find myself striving more to understand the reasoning of those whose moral compass differs so much from mine. This involves being less judgmental until I have more information. After watching again Seven Years in Tibet, I was reminded of the tremendous differences among all the nations/tribes/ ethnic groups/religions in the world which drives, in my mind, major conflicts. What one group finds “patriotic” another finds repulsive. So I guess for me the answer to fighting evil is trying to have more conversations with those whose beliefs differ so much with mine and hopefully finding out that ultimately we are more alike than different. But how do we change behaviors knowing that? How do we get to the conversation level with so much bitterness today? “So we beat on, boats against the current,….”
    ML

  • mark palko
    May 20, 2022 at 11:10 am

    Wonderful essay. Hegel’s Paradox: “The only thing man learns from history is that he learns nothing from history.”
    It would almost be funny if it weren’t so true.

  • Bruce Most
    May 21, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    Excellent essay, Jerry. Book burning/banning is always the work of petty, insecure minds. While book banning is far from unique to America, you would think that the nation that prides itself as leading the world in freedom would do better than its misdirected banning of books. A nation full of small minds.

  • Robert Williscroft
    May 22, 2022 at 1:59 am

    I have no quarrel with your comments, Jerry, but I want to point out that a ban on book banning should be directed at adult reading. Younger children should not be exposed indiscriminately to every book and every idea. Their young minds need to develop and they need to learn critical thinking–something in short supply in most of today’s public schools and even many private ones.

  • Bonnie McCune
    May 22, 2022 at 10:12 pm

    I’m afraid there’s nothing to be done. Almost no one reads as extensively as people used to. Time is absorbed by social media, poll-taking and takers, gossip, and besting others, not thinking. Sorry

  • Bonnie McCune
    June 24, 2022 at 11:32 am

    I know how you feel, Jerry. I think covid, more to the point, our isolation, whether we want to be isolated or not, to be greatly responsible for our loss of joy. That and aging itself. No matter how much we try to connect through Zoom, telephone, and writing, it’s not the same. And the plunge toward depression and anxiety kicks in almost immediately. I’m now trying, courtesy of “The Year of Pleasures” by Elizabeth Bert, to find a tiny daily pleasure I can indulge in. This book is about a recent widow who moves alone across the country and reconnects with old friends and a new purpose. Hardly novel-like, more like a series of trailing essays, it reminded me that I often limit myself by rules and goals and habits for no good reason. I need to give myself permission to enjoy. That’s what I’m trying now.

  • Robert G. Williscroft
    June 24, 2022 at 12:21 pm

    I will not add any words of wisdom to yours, Jerry, but I surely enjoyed yours!

  • Melanie Mulhall
    June 24, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    Like everything else in life, the magic shifts and changes. When we took our first steps as little ones, it was magic and a pure act of creation because each of us recreates the process of walking with our first steps. But we don’t linger on that magic. We go on to experience other magical moments. The object is to keep recognizing magical moments. And there are plenty of them. We have the opportunity to hone our awareness and deepen our appreciation of everyday life as we age. It’s a beautiful thing when we do that. And while I don’t run the five miles I did several times a week when I was younger, I still marvel at and take joy in my body and what it can do. Magic is always afoot, and thank the Big U (as you put it) for that.

  • Glenn Blanco
    June 24, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    “You should think about nobody and go your own way, not on a course marked out for you by people holding mugs of water…….”
    Alan Sillitoe – Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

    That was one of my favorite short stories read to my class in Senior English in high school. Your comments, Jerry, took me back to another time as well.

  • Anthony Gomez
    August 3, 2022 at 11:40 am

    The proper function of man is
    to live, not to exist.
    I shall not waste my days in
    trying to prolong them.
    I shall use my time.

    Jack London

  • Robert Williscroft
    August 3, 2022 at 1:08 pm

    I’m a loner
    And like being that way,
    But sometimes I don’t;
    And then I seek
    Real people and dreamers
    Who know the now
    And chase the stars.

    Robert G. Williscroft

  • Jim Schmidt
    August 3, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    As Bette Davis once said about senior years, “Getting old ain’t for sissies!” I see that you reflect that sentiment, Jerry. Carry on my friend.

  • Rick Posner
    August 4, 2022 at 8:02 pm

    Every day is an “adjustment” process. I focus of being emotionally courageous and constantly curious. The rest of the story has yet to be told. Gotta give in to some of the obvious feelings of letting go without losing your appetite to pursue your passions. Russell Wilson might help, but he will give all the credit to Jesus! I prefer to honor the human spirit and its deep well of soulfulness.

  • Donna
    August 6, 2022 at 1:17 am

    My grandma would say “getting old is for the birds”. Her spirit was broken by rheumatoid arthritis that she had since she was in her 30’s. Back then pain killers were not as readily available and I grew up always aware of her pain and how it affected the family. She died at 74, not much older than we are now. When I think of her I appreciate the magic of just feeling normal.

  • Mary Lou Secor
    August 6, 2022 at 4:16 pm

    One of the battles I fight is the unsolicited comments from those younger in age. I was told by a golfing acquaintance that I was “no spring chicken” which I guess was her way of explaining her outdriving me. Did she not know that, at age 81, I am aware of my spring chicken status? I fumed for a short time until she softened the blow with, “I just hope I can play as well as you do when I am your age”, which then caused me to laugh and then fume again. Or after coming from a gym workout in my gym clothes, standing at the car wash waiting for my car, the young studs sitting, jumping up and offering me their seat. Do I really look like I’m about to fall over? I despise it and love it. So nice to be respected. Just wish I wasn’t “respected” so often. So now I ponder over the idea that if I am no longer a spring chicken does that make me an old hen? These thoughts and laughter keep me “young”.

  • Glenn Blanco
    August 6, 2022 at 8:27 pm

    At a gathering of old friends this past week, this subject came up. One of my early heroes in life, Walt Disney, said it best about getting older:
    “Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.”

  • Henrietta Krivy
    August 9, 2022 at 12:02 am

    So pertinent! I love…performing dark magic that causes it to fall apart!
    So true! Having total right replacement in September. My Jazzercise days
    are officially over!!!

  • Glenn Blanco
    September 20, 2022 at 11:15 pm

    It is always a good thing to know that when a book is banned, human nature takes over. I always remember those old horror movies when a Boris Karloff character says “You can go anywhere in the castle, but don’t go into the blue room.” Sure enough the young couple goes into the blue room.

    The best way to get a book to make number one on the charts is to ban it. Human nature is scary, ya think?

  • Patty
    September 22, 2022 at 3:52 pm

    I agree with Glenn .. now we just gotta read it ! Thank you for introducing us to intriguing reads !

  • Jeanne Miller
    September 30, 2022 at 12:33 pm

    Fabulous!

  • Bonnie McCune
    September 30, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    Covid did so much damage to our ties like these. I got so beserk, I started scheduling coffee and lunch with two different people weekly. Occasionally a group I’d fallen out of touch with, too. Zoom helped, but not enough. By the way, my 11-year-old grandson attended his own first Zoom last week for student council. I can’t imagine what that was like.

  • Rick Posner
    October 5, 2022 at 1:49 am

    As a former junior high teacher, I agree! You have to be on your toes with middle schoolers!

  • Robert Williscroft
    October 14, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    Complex and interesting commentary.

  • Patty Pooh
    October 14, 2022 at 2:39 pm

    I’m so glad, grateful, thankful that you’re part of my family. I hope we’re in that “hunter green” area … sounds lovely !!

    • Jerry Fabyanic
      October 14, 2022 at 3:04 pm

      snugly like the bugly 🙂

  • Laurel McHargue
    October 31, 2022 at 2:48 pm

    True, these stats are sadly true, so thank you for your beautiful suggestion about how to help! I value our friendship, Jerry, based on common interests and greatly anticipated yearly gatherings and deeper than ‘the weather’ conversations.

  • Bonnie McCune
    November 1, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    I’m finding that many people don’t tend to their friendships. These may be among the 85% to 90% who claim they have plenty of friends and, hence, don’t need them. But all too often, people don’t reach out to others, don’t take the initiative to schedule a date. Don’t send thank-you’s, don’t mention a topic of interest to the other person. Instead they rely on Facebook or social media. But when you use those, you’re focusing just on yourself. Sorry, I lack time and inclination to only play audience to your achievements. Or your last night’s dinner. Or your rants about a politician. Friendship is sharing, at least two ways.

  • Laurel McHargue
    November 16, 2022 at 2:37 pm

    More! I want more!

  • Bruce W. Most
    November 16, 2022 at 3:55 pm

    Sorry, Jerry, but I love fall. Warm days, fall colors, cool nights that are a pleasant break from the increasingly hot summers. Yes, fall ushers in winter, but I don’t mind winter, either. A time to hunker down and write more. Days of snow and sunshine. (Since I live in Colorado, I can’t speak for those who live in the winter gloom of the northwest and northeast.) Followed by spring, where life blooms anew. I like that, too, even if it can be windy and wet. And on into summer. I’m not a fan of the worst of the heat, but I can play golf and tennis and travel. I guess I like every season I enter, for it means I’m still alive and still with friends and family.

  • Melanie Mulhall
    November 16, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    He’s an inspiring man. Another Buddhist whose work has inspired me is Thich Nhat Hanh. Check out his book True Love. Like you, my relationship with fall has changed over the years. For many years, fall was a time of beginnings for me–a carryover from my school years. The year my husband died, that changed. As I put the flower garden to bed and put the accoutrements of summer in the garden shed, I realized that by the time the garden woke up and I brought out the fair-weather things, my husband would be gone. And he was. I’m better at beginnings than endings, but as I age, it seems to me that endings are in my face more than they once were, so getting comfortable with them would be good. After all, every ending ushers in a beginning. Looking forward to the next installment.

  • Donna Taylor
    November 17, 2022 at 12:59 am

    I can relate to your your sentiments – especially as relates to late fall, when the leaves are mostly gone, darkness comes early and the coats, gloves and ear muffs come out. I miss the welcoming summertimes, walking outside into sunshine without effort. We both grew up in western Pennsylvania where gray days were the norm – I recognize what I call “Pittsburgh days” in whatever city I happen to live in. Like you, I turn to books and focus on pleasant aspects, the warmth of home after coming in from outside, cozy coffee shops and the play of light on indoor spaces. Appreciate your thoughts on this, look forward to more, thanks Jerry.

  • Laurel McHargue
    December 21, 2022 at 3:55 pm

    Wonderful! I just read “Gift of The Magi” (had to after reading your piece), and what a lesson! I always learn something from you and your writing, Jerry. You are a gift.

  • Nancy Oswald
    December 21, 2022 at 4:26 pm

    Thank you, Jerry. Your piece was wonderful and well-timed for me.
    Have a wonderful holiday season.

  • Glenn Blanco
    December 27, 2022 at 6:34 pm

    The Gift of the Magi has always been one of my favorites as well. Jerry, perhaps you can help with trying to separate an art from a science. I have heard fishing is a science as much as art. Maybe there is no separation between an art or a science. When I was teaching, I always thought that was an art. Today, with the emphasis on testing and norms, it seems more a science.

  • catherine scott
    January 19, 2023 at 9:09 am

    Thoughts that stick to my ribs, Brother Jerry. Thanks! Love; Cat

  • Angela Skiffen
    January 22, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    Excellent read but Isolation has nothing to do with feeling alone. You can be in a room full of people or living with someone and be very alone.

  • Sunny Weber, Author
    February 1, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    What a beautiful piece of writing and reflection! I love learning about past peoples, traditions, and cultures. This has been a long and depressing winter and your essay lifted my spirits! I will bask under my Happy Light (full spectrum for SAD) and wait for the warmth and light of Spring! Thank you, Jerry~

  • Laurel McHargue
    February 1, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    Today would have been my father’s 99th birthday! Like you, Jerry, he was an ardent crossword puzzler, and this morning (as I remember him), my husband and son and I complete the NYT Wednesday morning crossword! I have a feeling Imbolc may someday be the answer to a clue!

  • Mary Pat Young
    February 2, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    I made an urgent note in my journal several days ago stating…” I must make a list of all the things I need to …….” . And just last night, I heard a friend comment, mostly to himself, “ I need to make a list. Obviously these forces at play are deeply rooted in our psyche and subconscious. Thank you, Jerry, for the explanation.

  • Bonnie McCune
    March 22, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    I was shorter, younger, weaker and less coordinated than any other girl in my class. I was always picked last for any team. I would have given anything to be proficient. Still I knew in my heart that team selection was based on popularity more than skill. The captains, who created the teams, were selected by popular vote.

    By fifth grade, I’d had enough. Somehow, probably through reading about the American Revolution, I knew we could change the system if we worked together. I and some of the other bumblers agreed to vote for one of us, and that person would select us for her team. I remember lecturing the other losers in my group, “We’ve got to fight fire with fire.”

    So that’s what we did. We voted for one of our own. She, in turn, picked us to be on her team. Oh, not the sole members because she, after all, wanted to win, too. But at least we weren’t the very last girls selected. My sense of social justice and populist power began that day.

  • Sunny Weber, Author
    March 22, 2023 at 2:19 pm

    Only you! You are so funny. I can see why you were a favorite teacher. Your honesty and humor taught your students and your fellow teachers more than the straight-laced, stone-faced teachers I had (you remember our generation of stolid statues at the blackboard?). Loved reading this~

  • Laurie Beckel
    March 22, 2023 at 6:53 pm

    Wonderful tale Jerry!

  • Glenn Blanco
    March 22, 2023 at 7:29 pm

    Jerry, I understand your confusion. The mascot of UConn is the husky. Looking at the UConn mascot, it does look like a Yukon mascot ala Sgt Preston. Great story, a real “bracket buster”.

  • Steven Craig
    March 22, 2023 at 9:21 pm

    Growing up in CT, and then attending Colgate which barely has D1 athletics, UCONN has always been my team, no matter how you spell it…

  • Dawn
    March 22, 2023 at 10:07 pm

    Love it! <3 Was never a basketball fan, either. Guess my height was my reason, but I could barrel well. 🙂

  • Donna Taylor
    March 22, 2023 at 10:45 pm

    Since we went to the same high school I remember well Mr Wargo. I also had a dread of being forced to play girls’ basketball and I’m sure I was not wanted on either team. The girls were brutal in pushing and shoving and I did not have the desire or ability to partake in the fun. My participation in competitive sports is nil. But I did cheer on my brother who was a basketball star at a competing high school and very much enjoyed the excitement at his games. Thanks for remembering!

  • COmtnLady
    March 22, 2023 at 11:31 pm

    What a great essay!

    It always seemed like there had to be some “secret” I had never been made privy to. The other kids could jump, but I just couldn’t ever get even a few inches off the ground. When all the 4-H kids were swinging up onto their horses like the Indians in the movies, I was splatting against my horse’s ribcage like a cartoon fly on a windshield . “Intellectual” I had in spades, “physical” was hopeless. It was nice to be the second outfielder though – no one could hit a ball that far so I could study the flowers and insects and enjoy the sunshine without having to worry about rules to an irrelevant game. (There were times they put me so far out that I couldn’t hear them calling that gym period was over.)

    The coordinated just don’t understand that it isn’t being obtuse, I was trying my best, its just that there are genuinely things that my body just doesn’t do. Non-physical Nerds of the World Unite!

    Yukon is something I can get behind much easier than U Conn. (Can we get non-squeaky shoes, please? That’s what I dislike most about basketball.) And Huskies would be a fine mascot for us Mountain People!

    Thanks for writing this! Gold Star to you!

  • Angela Skiffen
    March 26, 2023 at 2:22 am

    Yukon!!! 🤣😂. Even I know UConn and I’m not a basketball fan by any stretch of the imagination. Seriously though, I remember Mr. Wargo and constantly hearing “foul, Fabyanic!” Like Donna Taylor, I remember the girls shoving, pushing and scratching. Unlike Donna, I fought back. I punched them!!! Never did think it was fair that the calls weren’t on them.

  • Joe Holub
    April 2, 2023 at 1:08 am

    Bravo! You wily fox!!

  • Jess DiCarlo
    April 20, 2023 at 2:45 am

    Wonderful post! I found it because I have a Google alert set up for Boys in the Boat so that I can learn when the movie is released, which I hope is this year.

    An avid rower and writer, I’ve read the book many times, seen the PBS documentary The Boys of ‘36 many times, and am looking forward to the dramatic interpretation of the story.

    I never would’ve commented otherwise, and wanted to let you know how thrilled I am that the book translates for you as a non-rower. I’ve completely lost perspective as a huge rowing fan, so enjoyed hearing your perspective very much. Thank you! And I hope you see and enjoy the movie as much as I’m sure I will.

  • Patty Pooh
    July 3, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Love it .. not the getting older, slowing down part but love that we can still do what we enjoy .. with the same excitement, thrill and enthusiasm as we always had for it! And actually have found other things that bring me a peace and calm within that I’ve never noticed before. This, for me, came with age. Driving to work in the mornings, sun rising, kissing the tree tops on its way up through the sky, deer looking over across the fields from the edge of the woods, a buzzard with its wings stretched out as the sun dries them, a crane standing in the crick enjoying the quiet morning. Love it all. So peaceful. Love that you share it, too. And love you

  • Bonnie
    July 3, 2023 at 1:00 pm

    I believe the key to enjoying life has got to be having passions as well as staying as fit as we’re able. No matter what keeps your engine roaring, if you don’t have that love for something, your interest in staying fit will disintegrate. I knew a woman who lived to over 100 and continued to work on her life’s masterpiece, a biography of a gifted poet. Probably wouldn’t get me out of bed in the morning, but it did her. Might be art, music, tennis, cooking, a social justice cause, gardening. Doesn’t have to be the arts. Could be a religion. Whatever it is, it walks beside you minute by minute and enables you to have meaning in your life.

  • Scott Ruth
    July 3, 2023 at 1:29 pm

    This reminds me of a famous Stoic philosopher that had a permanent leg injury imposed on him by a cruel former master (he was in fact a slave). He never complained about it and when asked, he replied (paraphrasing) that “my leg injury is an impediment to my body, but not to my spirit”. Thank you for this perspective – it will serve us well if we contemplate it at any age.

  • Glenn Blanco
    July 3, 2023 at 2:32 pm

    It’s like that old country drinking song that says – “I’m not as good as I once was, but I’m good once as I ever was”.

  • Cam Torrens
    July 3, 2023 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks for getting me pondering this morning, Jerry!

  • rick posner
    July 3, 2023 at 9:01 pm

    And so it goes, Jerry. So it goes.

  • Karen
    July 5, 2023 at 2:37 pm

    Poignant and resonant, Jerry. Slower, but steady as we go!

  • Laurel McHargue
    July 5, 2023 at 7:13 pm

    Yes! That last line! I’ve noticed recently how I’ve been chastising myself . . . as I grab one more thing to take downstairs, as I turn too quickly through a doorway and smack my hand (and see the inevitable old-lady-hand-bruise appear), as I fall over because I’m sure I can put on my socks without sitting down. After I chastise myself, I laugh. I might never learn, but I’ll keep on keepin’ on, even it if kills me (because something surely will)!

    I love you.

  • Mary Pat Young
    July 6, 2023 at 8:54 pm

    Oh , Jeez! This resonates. I was going through this scenario just this morning. It’s
    as though you were looking in on me, Jerry! My Mom had a a saying , “You have to keep going to keep going”

  • Joe Johnson
    July 20, 2023 at 6:04 pm

    Glad I had a chance to drink from the cup of your wisdom this morning, Jerry. Makes me smile as I reflect on our hikes up to the marmots, the pikas, and the alpine lake above Herman’s Gulch!
    Joe Johnson

  • Patty Pooh
    November 4, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    Love that movie ♡ I can watch it anytime it comes on. And I’m with you .. live the Gus way. But it’s like rainy or stormy days .. how else to better enjoy the sunshine if you don’t go through some storms ? Dance in the rain. Enjoy the party !

  • Rick Posner
    November 6, 2023 at 2:55 am

    Nicely put, Jerry! Been trying to focus more on feeling than thinking lately,

  • Bonnie McCune
    November 16, 2023 at 2:36 pm

    A thoughtful approach. When I think of “dignity,” I think of a judge or minister. But each of us has, or should have, a path to personal dignity, even if, like has happened in times past and will certainly occur in times future, that surpasses physical and financial and social boundaries.

  • Laurel McHargue
    November 16, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    “In the avian universe, Helen is an osprey not about to let a titmouse like Neely upstage and shame her.” I love this line. Totally agree with the idea that we get to choose how we react to situations, however dire they may be.

    Here, now, right this moment: What will I do with it (once I finish this note)? Every moment is the meaning of life. I want my life to be full. It will be full of joys and sorrows, and I will accept them all with as much dignity as I can muster.

    Thanks, Jerry.

  • Glenn Blanco
    November 16, 2023 at 9:25 pm

    Life comes to us like the proverbial Christmas gift. It’s well wrapped and dressed with a pretty bow. Just remember, “Batteries not included”.

  • Glenn Blanco
    December 28, 2023 at 3:45 pm

    Jerry, somewhere you and i ran into Ozymandias. Another way to look at the human experience is to recall that a roll of toilet paper turns faster as we come to the end.

  • Bonnie McCune
    December 28, 2023 at 5:13 pm

    We can only hope we go extinct before we put the kaboosh on every other living thing.

  • Melanie Mulhall
    December 28, 2023 at 6:36 pm

    Recently I had a conversation with someone who wanted me as a guest on her podcast, and I told her that I’m interested in the big questions these days. Who are you? Why are you here? I’ve asked myself those questions, and I’m interested in nudging others to think about them and answer them. I’m willing to speak to the answers I have for myself, and I’d love to hear those of others. But not just the superficial answers, and not just the answers about who they are in the 3D. Your question–What will I do with this precious gift of conscious life?–is another worthy question, and it flows from my two questions. You and I are on the same page, brother. 🙂

  • Donna Taylor
    December 28, 2023 at 8:11 pm

    It’s good to remember that we are here by chance – the comet hitting the earth and recovery, the ice age and recovery, etc. We breathe air to keep us alive – air in the making for eons. It’s so easy to be caught up in the news of the day, your reminder of the “real” reality is welcome. We are no less dependent on the earth than the dinosaurs.

  • D Powell
    December 29, 2023 at 9:57 am

    Your graph with the students reminded me of a time when I arrived to clean a house of a lady scientist. She got a funny grin on her face and told me to follow her into her living room and dining room. Once there she had me stand with my back as close to one wall as possible. She had me hold tightly to the end-edge of a roll of paper that was perhaps ten inches wide. She then backed up the entire length of the two rooms (about forty feet), unrolling the paper. He father, also a precisely minded sort, had made a scale graph of the distance between the planets in our solar system. The end I held was the outer, Pluto, edge and her end was the Sun. The perspective was a bit daunting – as is what you presented.

    You hit another one out of the park. Thanks.

  • Patty Pooh
    December 31, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    It’s amazing how many ancestors it took to put just one person here today. Very humbling. Loved this read and the comments afterwards. I think of that often too .. Can’t we use our energy on good things instead of the killing and destroying of people and properties?
    Thank you for sharing your gift of words

  • Rick Posner
    January 7, 2024 at 8:51 pm

    Nice reminder list Jerry! Thanks again for being open and kind.

  • Melanie Mulhall
    January 18, 2024 at 3:01 pm

    Thought-provoking. You took this somewhere I wasn’t expecting. I liked that. Tell us more. (I’d love a part 2.)

  • Angela M Skiffen
    January 22, 2024 at 8:05 pm

    Interesting read. Very thought provoking. We can all see a ourselves in this essay.

  • Judith Janson
    February 14, 2024 at 3:49 pm

    Jerry,

    This is a very profound and timely post. You and I have some similarities based on our family backgrounds. All of my grandparents came from Europe and worked hard to create lives for themselves. I also did not grow up with a privileged existence. I remember working in the camera department at Montgomery Ward during the 70s in Detroit and having a conversation with a coworker, Ray. He said that he was grateful to have grown up having to learn how to best survive in our world, without everything being handed to him. He felt he was a stronger person for it. I concurred. It is disheartening that so many young people today do not have the simple but meaningful memories that we have.

    Judi

  • Laurel McHargue
    February 14, 2024 at 4:23 pm

    Jerry, what a wonderful tribute to your heritage…and what an astute observation of the things “plaguing” recent generations. One of my grandfathers, a tailor, would drive in horse-and-buggy to camps in Canada to make clothes for lumberjacks and other workers. His son, my dad, would go door-to-door as a child with baked goods his mother would make. I remember him telling me how horrible he felt when he would return for payment, and the customer could not pay. My other grandfather would go to the seaport each morning for whatever manual labor job he might be offered. There are many stories of our ancestors, and I believe all led lives far more challenging than ours.

    And here we are, far better off than they were, yet oftentimes complaining about . . . ridiculous things.

    Thank you for this Valentine’s Day reminder to focus on how fortunate we truly are.

  • Glenn Blanco
    February 14, 2024 at 8:05 pm

    My father hailed from Guatemala, my mother was Canadian. They met working in an army hospital in St John’s Newfoundland, Canada. Both were to sail as medics on a British warship in 1940 but were called back suddenly before the ship set sail for London. The ship, the RMS Hood, was sunk on that voyage back to England. I am neither rich or poor but fortunate to have had a whole life to live. Thanks, Jerry for bringing up a subject we all need to refresh to remember from whence we came.

  • David Edwards
    February 15, 2024 at 11:11 pm

    Great article! The times were tough but the people were amazing!

  • Donna Taylor
    February 16, 2024 at 4:31 pm

    My grandparents left family and familiar surroundings in Eastern Europe to make the journey to Western Pennsylvania. My mother was five years old and remembered the crossing, playing with other children. My grandfather and uncles worked in the steel mill, one uncle died in the mill at age 26 after a fall. My parents, the next generation, were hard working and my father and uncles fought in WWII. I often tell people that my growing up was the best. While we had chores, our unstructured time outdoors consisted of creating stories and games, running around in the neighborhood alleyways and streets – not called indoors until the street lights came on. Thanks for the thoughts Jerry, important to remember.
    ,

    .

  • Melanie Mulhall
    April 3, 2024 at 7:10 pm

    Well, I can certainly relate to this post. I turned seventy-five in March, and I’m on a one-woman campaign to challenge the assumption many people have about what it means to be seventy-five (or fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty): that we are somehow physically weak and mentally losing it. Neither of those are true for me.

    I work out at the gym ten hours a week, and by that I do not mean that I go and socialize for most of that time. I work out seriously in the weight room, as well as do some cardio and mat work. One of my many friend at the gym is eighty-seven. She’s no slouch. She does sixty pounds on the lat pulldown, does some free weight work (not just machines), and tackles the assisted pullup and dip. We’re not all falling apart.

    As for intellectual/mental capabilities, I’m still editing books, and I’m a better editor than I was ten years ago.

    I guess my point is that it’s a mistake to generalize about those with more than a little seasoning. Jerry, I know I’m preaching to the choir on that. You and I have had more than one conversation about it. Now . . . if we can just get a few others to join us.

  • Reply
    Laurel McHargue
    April 23, 2024 at 5:15 pm

    Jerry, not only are your essays are easy to “digest,” they always leave me feeling I’ve learned something helpful. There’s no use in railing against the inevitabilities of aging. Rather, let’s do as you are doing. Why not take a walk (if you’re able) while chatting on the phone rather than sitting? Why not do butt squeezes while driving or watching the Boob Tube? There are many little things we can do to keep our muscles engaged throughout the day. And Jerry, you know my favorite–DANCE whenever and wherever you can!!!

  • Reply
    aankoop van rogaine online in Nederland
    April 25, 2024 at 5:48 am

    Informative article, totally what I was looking for.