Home Base

The player steps up to home base. While at the plate, he or she is perfectly safe. From this position of safety they swing the bat and hopefully hit the ball. The moment they leave home base, they are at risk. They run to first base avoiding being tagged. The goal is to make it back to home base where nothing bad can happen. I, and everyone else who cares for Carly, is that home base, the safe place where nothing bad can happen, except when we are not.

Themes: 
parenting

What Are You Doing?

It is a privilege to be Carly’s friend and guide. She is obviously not an honored guest, a celebrity or foreign dignitary, but she deserves being treated like one, with that same heightened level of care, empathy and respect. To do so takes time and attention. Being present is increasingly rare today. The earth is spinning at more or less the same speed, but inside we humans, psychologically, the world is not the same at all. Ten years ago, in 2007, we crossed a tipping point. Human consciousness was jump started into exponential acceleration. Most now carry a mobile computer in their pocket or handbag that buzzes, beeps, and flashes pictures, grabbing our attention, 24/7. Every time it does, we become less attentive, less present, less sensitive to what is taking place here and now, in and between ourselves and our honored guests. Imagine being deep in the Congo and discovering that your guide is oblivious to what is happening, standing there, enchanted, staring at the palm of his hand. “Wake up,” you say! “Be here now!” That is what loving and caring for Carly does. She wakes me up.

Themes: 
parenting
fathers

Changing the world - one father at a time

As you know, I kept a journal inspired by “what I learned with Carly,” writing every two weeks for two years, beginning with the home birth of Carly Elizabeth, now thirty-three months young. This evolved into a new book; Playful Wisdom, A Father’s Adventure, now at the printer and is expected mid-July. My dream is that this inspiring and heartfelt book becomes THE GIFT every new father receives from caring friends and families. (They won’t buy it for themselves. Not this kind of book. Guys don’t do that.) But, they will read it as a gift from someone who cares.

Themes: 
parenting

No More Pee Parties

Suddenly, it becomes apparent that this precious moment we call early-childhood will never come again. Never. This moment is over, pushed aside by a new moment. It was just a blink ago that Carly Elizabeth would announce that she needed to pee. “A pee party,” we celebrated as I walked her to the potty. She would sit on her potty and I on mine. It was, indeed, a pee or poop party. Yesterday, when she announced that it was ‘that’ time, she added, “I will – alone,” and that is what she did. An era had come to an end. As we celebrate each new milestone we often miss the ending of what was – now – just a memory and it happens every day.

Themes: 
parenting

I will do it myself

Row upon row, names and words stack like Legos in Carly’s expanding brain. They connect, form bridges, roads, creating castles, places to visit and to hide. We don’t see them but she does, building blocks for her future. Story time and briefly for meals is the only time Carly sits still. No hyperactivity here, not a drop. Life is opening and unfolding before her eyes, fingers and toes. No time to waste. There is another adventure right here and over there.

Themes: 
parenting

Wiggling Free

Optimal experience is an end in itself… it is a self-contained activity, one that is not done with the expectation of some future benefit, the doing itself is the reward.

When experience is intrinsically rewarding, life is justified in the present, instead of being held hostage to a hypothetical future gain… The solution is to gradually become free of societal rewards and learn how to substitute for them rewards that are under one’s own powers.

Themes: 
identity

We are not who or what we think we are

“Egos exploiting egos is the source of all our problems.”
Samdhong Rinpoche

The deeper we look the more distilled and obvious Rinpoche’s insight grows. Whether our focus is personal depression, illness, greed, jealousy, addiction, crime and rage or global conflicts including compounding environmental poisoning, the feelings, images and perceptions we hold about ourselves and others affect everything we do. The therapist couch, doctor’s office, substance abuse center, our prisons and politicians, not to mention the global military-industrial complex are all sustained by this image and its effect on the human body, emotions and mind, encompassing the full spectrum of human relationships including our relationship with nature. We mistakenly reify the abstraction as an independent and very concrete reality. As central and pervasive as this image-as-self is, precious little attention is given to its actual form, structure, how it originates or what our lives would be like without it. The assumptions that surround what we call ‘me’ are often tacit and therefore reincarnate unquestioned. Quite strange when you think about it.

Themes: 
identity

Surrendering to Carly’s Time

Our adult world is overflowing with highly complex and compounded abstractions. At thirty-months and counting Carly’s world is still very concrete, sensory and in constant movement. There is inherent conflict in these two paradigms: Carly time and adult time. We create this conflict by the endless chatter between our ears that so easily pours out our mouth filling the spaces between us and the sky.

Themes: 
parenting

Mass Education and Mass Media Do The Same Thing, But Differently

Speaking with a colleague whose husband had, what we plebeians (commoners) would call, an aristocratic title, noted, “He was bred to believe he was superior.” From his perspective what we might call arrogant is simply how reality is. When one’s republic dumbs-down into an Oligarchy, as former President Jimmy Carter describes has taken place in the United States, all the underlying assumptions regarding democracy, the rules and morality that govern society we are taught in school are off. We are witnessing what Chris Hedges, John Taylor gatto and Noam Chomsky call class warfare, a very old story indeed.

Themes: 
education

The 45 Million Word Difference

Every Picture Replaces The Need For 1,000 Descriptive Words

Words are symbols. Developmentally, spoken language precedes reading and writing by five to six years. In neuroscience terms, this is galaxies apart. Spoken language is auditory. Classically storytelling, without pictures, is how this capacity for language is developed. Every word is a story. Connect word-stories together and you have a stream of changing meaning that grows more complex and more abstract. Language and therefore cognitive development begins as concrete representations and moves to more and more abstract forms, from ‘hat’ or ‘dog’ to E=MC2.  Here is how it works.

Themes: 
parenting

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