An Autistic Child Is Found In The Woods/ Richmond, Virginia

David's Words



He walks the paths that run through the school and around the lake of the U because he is determined there will be less of him in the weeks and years to come.  

Disease will find less of him to sink into the ground.  Perhaps he will become light enough to fly.  Yes, eventually he will fly.  It may be tomorrow or thirty years from this day.  But he imagines the space above the lake and tries to elevate.  

Yes, it can be done.  So he walks more miles and meditates.  

A few miles from this  trek a young boy is lost in the woods.  Autistic he is called and silently he wanders where there are no paths.  Leaves of various shades of red and orange are gems in his eyes.  But clouds gather and the sparkling subsides.

The nights are dark but warm.  He wanders far from home.

Friday comes and the search proceeds along with prayers, tears and a light, cool mist.  Later in the day the temperatures will drop and this moisture will turn to sharp blades of rain.  

The old man walks and thinks of the boy.  He feels the recent treachery from someone far in his  past who suddenly returns to place a blade between his shoulder blades.  The world seems a silent and unforgiving place. But the colors are bright and the trees are alive.    

And his Guide is here.  He asks Him to go to the boy.  Find the silent child and bring him home.
““If all of this is not just my imagination. . . “Touch Me!”  For I am in him and he is in me.”  

He walks more miles and the burdens of the world are upon him.  So he turns towards his home but still remembers his vision, “Touch Me”.  

“Beyond this world and its egregious ways there is peace and solitude.”  He feels strong arms  and rises far above his fading notion of himself.   

And  then, before the dark night and pounding, cold rain move upon the earth the boy is found.  Like a small bird in a large nest of stone he is curled up in a quarry when they come upon him as the man returns home.  

They look at him as if he is strange.  Because they do not understand his ways.  Ah, but there are miracles here on this dreary Friday as students carry their books around the U.  Learn,  my children.  Be full of grace.  Rise above this heavy place.  Be alive and hurt no one.  Turn your eyes towards the reflected light of the sun. 

Falling in love is 'more scientific than you think' / Love Study From Syracuse University

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Falling in love is ‘more scientific than you think,’ according to a new study done at Syracuse University.

It’s a lot like taking drugs.  And the breakup can be as harrowing as  dealing with  a cocaine addiction.

Thomas Wolfe once wrote, ” a neuroradiologist can read a list of topics out loud to a person being given a PET scan, topics pertaining to sports, music, business, history, whatever, and when he finally hits one the person is interested in, a particular area of the cerebral cortex actually lights up on the screen.  Eventually, as brain imaging is refined, the picture may become as clear and complete as those see-through exhibitions, at auto shows, of the inner workings of the internal combustion engine.  At that point it may become obvious to everyone that all we are looking at is a piece of machinery, an analog chemical computer, that processes information from the environment.  “All”, since you can look and look and you will not find any ghostly self inside, or any mind, or any soul.

Love Finds Its Way Into The Cave/ Autobiography Of A Yogi/ Paramahansa Yogananda

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Early morning.  Light penetrates the room as the blogger sits before his monitor reading kind words from two of his favorite blogging buddies.   Another monitor beams a signal from NY as the amusing curmudgeon Imus talks about the “beady” eyes of the young business announcer.  He goes to great lengths to promote his new compilation of fine music and kids with cancer who will enjoy a week at the wilderness ranch because of it. His throat hurts. He has prostate cancer. Businessmen irritate him and he wants to murder one who suggests a quid pro quo for donating 250 thousand to the ranch.

Trimming Trees And The Crystal Cathedral

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The tree cutters are out in the backyard this morning firing up their chainsaws in a valiant but ultimately futile attempt to keep the power from going out every time there is rain with lots of wind or ice or snow or electricity.  These guys really work hard from daylight until dark this time of year.

I’m sitting here in the Crystal Cathedral watching Imus In The Morning and they’re out there standing in the weeds watching for stuff that’s falling out of the sky.  It really doesn’t seem fair but what’s fair about life?  Not much.  And I am working in the sense that I am daily trimming body fat and trying not to get hit in the chrome domium with negative thoughts that will cause visions of Salty Dogs to arise in the mind’s eye.

Baseball And Instant Replay/ The Phrase “Kill The Ump” Takes On New Meaning

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I was watching a baseball playoff game the other night and the umpire behind the plate called a batter out when he only had two strikes on him.

Everyone simply ignored him.  The batter didn’t make a move back to the dugout.  And the game went on.

This is a great time of year to watch sports in the evening.  There’s baseball, football and even hockey if anyone is interested in skaters with sticks who enjoy smashing into each other.

Baseball seems  more exciting during the playoffs.  But this stuff with the umpires is weirding me out.  They seem to be making wrong calls that are influencing the outcome of the games.  And they are having lots of trouble with the balls and the strikes.

Dedication Of The Carole Weinstein International Center/ University Of Richmond

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Zachary and I walked over to the University of Richmond today to participate in the dedication of the Carole Weinstein International Center.  This is a beautiful building on campus near the new football stadium.  In the interior there is a large open courtyard with an amazing floor made up of polished stones inlaid in circular patterns, a mandala floor design,  representing 48 countries.

There is also  a beautiful stainless steel and cast bronze globe sculpture in the center.  A pretty nice place to study I would say!  Several people spoke to the gathering before the ribbon cutting including Dr. Ayers and Carole Weinstein.   Dr. Ayers is a cool guy and I had never met Carole Weinstein but when she started speaking, gesturing around and talking about mandalas I immediately liked her too and felt that here is a kindred soul.  She was talking about “cloud nine” and it immediately started to rain as if she has a direct line to Mother Nature (which was fine because we desperately need rain as much as we need cultural understanding and who cares if a few of us got a little wet).   Thomas Friedman was sitting there listening which made Zachary’s day because he loves this guy and his favorite book is The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century.

So after Carole spoke there was the ribbon cutting ceremony and then we walked around the building for awhile before going to listen to  Mr. Friedman  talk about the internet!  Yes he spoke about all the wonderful things that bloggers  take for granted but that did not exist a few years ago.   A large part of his message was that the world has become a global village and we all can use our imaginations to make things happen.

I’m not kidding!  That’s what he spoke about and I felt that for the first time in my sixty years I am now in tune with the world, society and my own inner being.  How did all this happen?  I have no idea but I still say a prayer for Bill Gates every night because it was the computer that led me to the Blessed Ms.  B and so many other good things.

Our Congressional Representative Eric Cantor who is the Minority Whip was there too and Zachary wanted me to take his picture with the  Congressman.  B’s father tells a story about him coming to the door many years ago as a boy about newspapers or something.  And here he is  almost President!  What an amazing country we live in where something like that can happen.  I’m trying to be an artist in my senior years so I don’t get into politics but Zachary is a political science student and like many of his age he is very liberal.  So I was impressed that he wanted to have his picture taken with a Republican guy.

It was a fun afternoon and I’m very tired tonight.  It will be good to lay down because the sheets are so cool.  This is the perfect time of year to leave the window open and let the cold air flow through the sheets on the bed.
I must be getting old to get excited about something like that.  Well I enjoyed the intricate floor design in the new building and the walk home later too.   Ten years ago today B and I sat on a stone bench dedicated to Ethyl Bass next to the  lake at U of R and had a little ceremony of sorts as we committed our lives to each other.   So it was very nice to be on  campus today, doing something so constructive together as B joined us for the talk after she finished up her other activities.
As I walked home I glanced at that bench and the geese who seem to live nearby and thought about our ten years together.  Hopefully there will be many more years ahead but we can never tell.  We are ALL on a swift  journey through here and these wonderful stone floors and  buildings will most likely be here long after we have gone down the road.  Hopefully they will be full of young people who are using these many resources to help humanity live together peacefully  in the close proximity Thomas Friedman described today.

Andrea Bocelli And Elise

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One of the problems I sometimes notice with older men is their ability to be entranced with the beautiful only when it presents itself within a limited category of beautiful things.  In other words. . . Oh what the hell!  You know what I am trying to say!  It doesn’t take an advanced degree in topography  to realize that older men are sometimes stopped in their tracks by younger women.

My theory is that it is  mostly the insanely repressed workaholic  who is one day mystified to find himself overwhelmed by  an intellectually challenged youngster with long, blond tresses and subtle (or not so subtle) curves topped off with a nice tan and lips that suggest heaven is not so far away.  This could be a guy with a long history of disciplined moral boundaries who just realizes one day that. . .

I AM getting older and can’t compete and will (probably) one day die!  And this is not something he will read about in the newspapers.  It’s going to be much more personal than that.

Writing A Note To Someone/ How To Write A Complaint Letter/ Problems In River City

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It has been raining all week here in central Virginia which is a good thing because we were definitely running out of water. We don’t mind the rain so much but yesterday our power went out twice and it is still not back on today. It seems like we always lose our power while the folks on the other side of the street never lose theirs so I have decided to write a letter to the Virginia Power People and see if we can remedy the situation.

Dear Power People,

For about the 100th time in the past five years we have lost our power while our neighbors down the street still have theirs. This seems very unfair so here’s a suggestion. Let’s transfer your employees who are responsible for keeping the juice flowing DOWN THERE to our area. You can take our power people and transfer them over there or anywhere for that matter. Maybe you could send them back to power outage school. Just make some changes because I’m tired of stumbling around in the dark while Fred down the road is having a fine time in front of his 106 inch flat-screen television.

The Ice Pond / A Father And Son Story

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As I sat in a local restaurant for breakfast the other day watching someone nearly fall on a slipper floor I was suddenly transported to another place and time.

In 1956 I was eight years old and often watched the snow fall from the living room window. In these New England winters it would snow until depths of five or six feet covered familiar yards with smooth, sparkling blankets of white terrain unfamiliar to us all. Every snowstorm was different because the wind would use different brushes depending on its mood.

Maybe it wasn’t that deep but it seems like it when you are only three feet tall. The bigger boys would get out early and shovel off the pond so they could spend the next ten or twelve hours skating or playing hockey. There would be a fire somewhere nearby and the smell of burning wood permeated the area. I would watch while they raced back and forth on the ice chasing a puck and enjoying themselves immensely. They smashed into each other and the ice while I limited my forays to the perimeter of this happy violence.

The cold numbed us to the core. I was only eight and had recently returned from a month long stay in a nearby hospital. I was content to watch and enjoy from a small distance.

This was life in a small town in Central Massachusetts back before the Beatles came to town and everyone’s mom stayed at home. Their job was to supervise little guys like me who would sometimes did things requiring quick medical attention. It was not a daycare environment.

And then there were the chores. Shovel all of the snow out of the driveway before Dad returned from a hard day at work. Make sure to shovel it wide enough so he can open the door of his car.

I tried. But the higher the snow bank the less wide would be the path. I tried to tell him one evening as he opened his door into a pile of snow. He seemed to become more determined with each effort as metal met ice and gradually created a small space.

I was always amazed by how much energy he had at the end of his day as he tried to find his way indoors. And we would eventually follow him when it started to become dark and the cool air suddenly became heavy and silent. And much colder. We would sit next to a radiator and slowly melt in a painful ritual that left us wondering if maybe we should have stayed outdoors.

My three sisters and myself and my parents would settle in for the evening around a television that looked remarkably like something I recently saw in the Boston Museum of Science.

Sometimes it would start to snow again as we looked out the window. All of our tracks were soon covered and, of course, the driveway was once again filling up with snow drifts.

This was around the time I began wondering why we made all the efforts we made. So much of it was repetitive motion that seemed futile to me.

Or at least it seemed that way to me. There was a deep sense of purpose in the effort to clear the pond. I could understand this because the mission was so clear.

But the driveway did not lend itself to the same interpretation. No matter that my parents tried to tell me they were the same. My father worked in a factory on an assembly line making automobiles. I had been there and watched the cars snake through the large cavern as each worker did the same task over and over again.

In my heart I knew these tasks were vastly different. And I enjoyed watching my father help me finish the job as the evening approached. Even if he didn’t want to do it. He made me laugh. And I needed very much to enjoy life again and laugh about the challenges that faced us all.

I doubt he really cared if I finished the driveway so that it met all his specifications. He was happy to see me alive and exercising outdoors with the other kids. And I was happy again to be part of a winter world that somehow seemed warmer than the one I had recently left.

And as the sun retreated I was trying to do one more thing for this gentle man who came to see me every day while I slept in my hospital bed.

I was trying to bring the ice pond to him so that we could be together at the end of his difficult day.