* growing up in the 60’s Age of Revolution in California led me to travel – I have circled the earth twelve times. I have lived - and by that I mean I have worked, slept, loved, ate, drank, laughed, wept, bled and belonged – in California, Hawaii, Thailand, Korea, England, Germany, France, Holland, Italy, Japan and India.
* My father, Ace, efforted to prepare me for the world. As a farm boy from Nebraska he crossed through a world at war holding hope tight to his chest while ducking hissing bullets. He did not know then that, one day, a son would be born to him – who would, one day, declare for himself to find within himself a way to cross over the threshold of this war-torn world as a New Man. But sons are that hope.
* I’ve heard my father’s voice crack when his heart just can’t say. I’ve heard his laughter at the joke of life. I’ve heard his dreams lived, and broken - even set in the tone of my own voice. He provided a paved path of good food, roofs, clothing, books, even a car or two, as well as great camaraderie with glove, ball and bat. He wasn’t one for much of a conversation, but when he neared the end of his days here, he made sure to say many times how much he loved me, respected me, and was counting on me to take care of my mother. My promise to do that and gratefulness for him tracks in both our souls.
* My mother was a country girl ready to get out. She’s the one who, at 17, would stop her ’40 Ford coupe in the middle of the road in Middle America Nebraska, throw the doors open wide, turn up the music on the radio playing her favorite Glen Miller swing tune, and get out and dance in the streets with her sisters. She made sure a piano was in our house. And a guitar in my hands before the Beatles first album came out.
* She was the only woman who worked among a dozen men alongside her, expert in every aspect as a radio-electrical technician on America’s first rocket and space flight projects at Lockheed Aircraft. Of course, not paid the same as those guys. Strong of herself, she kept a vow that gave her 72 wedding anniversaries with her boyfriend, Ace. Even when he started hearing things, fearing nightmares, and could no longer walk, bathe himself, or keep accounts. I can still see her quietly putting lotion on his drying skin, holding his hand, and making sure.
* If I learned anything from my father’s shoulders it’s of that song that urges from the throats of men to explore, to freedom, to reach. And from my mother’s incredible genius of intuition, it’s an open-hearted knowing that I am loved no matter what – even “if you get into jail." I've been lucky - because of them, and in spite of my rebellion. And any sense of self-realization, well, I'm grateful, feel blessed - both in spite of myself and because of myself.
* When I was born I hear it was a warm June day by the sea. It was a Saturday. Mom’s doctor told her specifically not to have me on a Saturday cuz that’s the day he’s out golfing. Oh well. I believe mom says her labor was 14 minutes. Dad didn’t have time for a cuppa nuthin’. As soon as I was released from the hospital I was handed over to my sister Janice, six years old, sitting in the back seat of the Mercury. We cruised on down Santa Monica Boulevard with her certainly thinking that this new person was hers now, and she would take excellent care. And so it is.
* Through life I have been a teenage NRA sharpshooter, a veteran West Coast and Waikiki surfer, a teacher of English as a Second Language, a poet without a publishing house, a professor without a doctorate, a thief without a record, twice a husband and three times a loser - divorced, bankrupt and laid off. I’ve been a wealthy pauper, a tantric lover, happy as a cat, and high as a kite. I’ve been known to cry like a baby, laugh like a fool, see like a child, and roar like a lion.
* During my junior and high school years in Cupertino, California, my dad coached and managed Little League and Senior League teams I played on. Turns out I was teammates for years alongside a round, short kid who, off-field, later in high school, always hung out at the back of chemistry and physics classes doing god-knows-what while I was going surfing. His name got famous later on, though. Now they call him The Woz.
* When I eventually hit upon that Bohemian bridge that beckons its shiny, mercurial road away from home, defiant, I turned and walked off. It was a vision (read Chapter One of my book North to the New Moon - The Yellow Hum) that dealt me a rebellion that guided me. I threw all in. But eventually I was to come to learn that I’d made a bet in the dark that would raise me back - double.
* I am a graduate of the University of Hawaii, where I began as a "seeker of soul" at age 19 with Zazen meditation. I have my first degree in Philosophy – Comparative Studies in Religion East and West, and an equivalency degree in Sociology. Recently I completed a Master’s Degree in Depth Psychology and Creativity, focusing on mythopoetics of dreamtime and living the symbolic life through arts practice.
* The path of "crazy wisdom" has led me through many disciplines, and ultimately to that mystery school of the enlightened Master Osho - where I became a certified Master of Meditation teacher from the Osho Multiversity of India, in Poona. Later, I was invited to be a writer on Osho’s joke-writing team along with two rollicking English gentlemen, Vimal and Chetan. As a result, I am published in a remarkably progressive humor compilation entitled Take It Really Seriously -- a revolutionary insight into jokes (Osho - Grace Publishing, 1998). And that’s not even the half of that - about living in that mystery school. My blog here will dive in there.
* I’ve lived on three continents, five islands and a boat. I have been detained by immigration for questioning, threatened by the Korean mob, invited to play music for a living buddha, assigned to write jokes for Germans, and hired for over 19 different “professions” including: handyman, encyclopedia salesman, baker, fortune-teller, one-man band, lighting technician, 2nd carpenter, 3rd mate, and company 1st Chair. I am featured on a CD titled Neera, Travelling Light (Haisai - Japan, 1996) as guitarist and songwriter, which is now re-recording and available as new and expanded remix tracks in PoetRoads music.
* I have travelled around the planet, thru the past, behind the eight-ball, on top of the world, over the hills and thru the woods, into the fire and off the wall. I have made my way down myriad roads that pitch foreigners and travellers, monks and punks, poets and gamblers, priests and prostitutes, mystics, and a Master.
* So, I’ve got my stories. From the Far East to near-death. From covered in the cloak of fear to naked in the arms of love. I can still hear the deepening silence of the Alps at dawn - like listening in to a shining sigh miming the Mysterious One. And I've never known a better, or more beautiful lover and friend than the sea.
* I have been present at many crossroads that have shaped the trajectory of a new rising culture, an exo/esoteric tribe of ‘wakeful-walkers,’ if you will, of the last half of the 20th century and the first of this Millennium. This journey towards awakening within the material dreaming of the forefathers is spark for living a deeper praxis in the incredible discovery of our “looking-glass soul,” and also the grist for this very lively sharing called PoetRoads. Mahalo for looking in....