THE XEROIC RESPONSE TO FEAR

THE XEROIC RESPONSE TO FEAR
(A conversation between Xero Aticus
and the Psychedelic Toad.)
Lee Broom

 

PSYCHO: So tell me XERO, what is it that you fear the most?

XERO: Nada, zilch, double zilch.

PSYCHO: What rhymes with zilch?

XERO: You’re changing the subject.

PSYCHO: It’s my subject. It was I who asked you what you fear; it                                 was I who asked you what rhymes with zilch. The answer                           is filch, which I believe is a word for theft, which is what                               you are doing when you beat around the bush.; you’re                                 stealing your own identity…
So tell me; what are the four things you fear the most?

XERO: Why four?

PSYCHO:(Silence.)

XERO: Okay, okay.

PSYCHO: (Silence)

XERO: Four things?

PSYCHO: (Silence.)

XERO: Okay I’ve got it.

PSYCHO: Ribbet

XERO: Toads don’t say “ribbet”; that’s the language of frogs.

PSYCHO: So…

XERO:  The four things are…

PSYCHO: (Silence)

XERO: Baptists, Muslims, Republicans and Democrats.

PSYCHO: Libertarians?

XERO: Them too.

PSYCHO:  Librarians?

XERO: Not afraid of Librarians.

PSYCHO: Why is that, XERO?

XERO: It’s okay with them if I think.

PSYCHO: Aren’t you a Lutheran?

XERO: I am.

PSYCHO: Why’s that?

XERO: Martin Luther was a Librarian in his spare time.

PSYCHO: Really?

XERO: Really.

 

XERO ATICUS AND THE PSYCHEDELIC TOAD GET DOWN

 

XERO ATICUS & THE PSYCHEDELIC TOAD GET DOWN
(A conversation between Xero Aticus
and the Psychedelic Toad.)
Lee Broom

 

PSYCHO: Hey there XERO ATICUS. You have that lost look on your face again. ‘sup?

XERO: Dude…YOU MIGHT TRY ADDRESSING ME AS MR. ATICUS

PSYCHO: Well….

XERO: Well what?

PSYCHO: (The Look.)

XERO: Don’t look at me that way.

PSYCHO: (The Look.)

XERO:  You’re giving me that PSYCHEDELIC TOAD look. Stop it please.

PSYCHO:  Well…..

XERO:  Okay…..I need to make amends with someone and I can’t.

PSYCHO: What’s stoppin’ ya?

XERO: I’m not sure what to do.

PSYCHO: Howsabout starting with an apology?

XERO: Well, that hasn’t worked out so well either.

PSYCHO: What happened; don’t tell me; you forgot to pay your AT&T bill, right?

XERO: Don’t get psychedelic on me, Wart Face.

PSYCHO: You sure do a lot of bellyaching, MR. ATICUS. Go on.

XERO: Alright, already; so I write this email, see?

PSYCHO: An email; okay.

XERO: Yeah, an email; it starts out okay but by the time I get to the fifth line I sound angry
again.

PSYCHO: Okay…

XERO: Okay. That’s it. I need ideas. Got any?

PSYCHO: Stop at the third line.

XERO:  Oh.

THE BLUE MARBLE SPEAKS

File:The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpgThe Blue Marble  Wikipedia File:The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpg

 

THE BLUE MARBLE SPEAKS

Earth is a rock; Earth has no opinions; it cannot think, it cannot speak;  however…

Earth has a belief system.

If Earth could speak, it would say…

“I am hurtling through space in a perfectly straight line. I am not sure of my destination but I will arrive at the earliest possible time. Nothing can deter me; nothing can slow me down; I am following a perfectly plotted, straight path.  I am going where no Rock has ever gone before. I am Earth.”   

Of course, in reality this strong-willed rock has been in orbit for a very long time.  And so have you and I and everything else in the universe.

And that’s the Truth.

First Sign of a Storm

lee_broom

FIRST SIGN OF A STORM

Tolerance of others is silent criticism.

Tolerance of one’s own tendency to be critical of others is much more difficult.

Tolerance of one’s own difficulties in becoming self-tolerant is a little closer to forgiveness.

Depression knows no such logic. At first sign of a storm get with people, never with a single person unless that individual is a professional therapist.

 Excerpt
Leadership. A Love Story

Lee Broom

SAFETY FIRST (among giants)

lafayette compound 012

 

SAFETY FIRST

 

Life among giants is tricky.

We begin by staying close to Mom.

We venture out.

We crawl.

We rise up on our hind legs and we stumble.

We cry out for Mom but before she reaches us we are up again and on the move.

From Birth till Ever we search for safety.

We measure that safety with terms of approval.

We shout to the horizon “I am not afraid”.

And even when disappointed beyond words we seek additional measures of approval.

We had begun one person at a time until one day we decided “more is better”.

More approval meant  more cooperation but less emphasis on being right.

We stopped experimenting.

We adopted the attitudes and belief systems of the  group.

We rebelled occasionally, unhappy with having opted to be less true to ourselves in favor of what? Safety? Fairness? Fairness? Why had we abdicated our Freedom?

We had a cup of coffee in the most popular coffee shop and thought about it.

This isn’t so bad… is it?

Is it?

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Lee Broom

I AM I DO

lee_broom

I AM I DO 
Lee Broom

Our first scream is an involuntary response to the first gasp. It occurs at the moment of our first sensation of fear; our first decision, our first affirmation and our initial attempt at managing our place in this new world.

This first noisy protest is interrupted with cradled arms and soft, cooing Mommy Words, which lend a hint that this dangerous world into which we have been thrust has an oasis of safety; ours for the price of a scream.

The calming voice, the gentle words are familiar to the newly initiated. The touch of Mother’s hands are a new sensation but it too is somehow, known.

Our first scientific experiment has begun.

This is our first experience at asking for and receiving Love, a sensation which will in future decades become confused with Approval.

Our  experiments will become more sophisticated if not necessarily objective; life and the events that greet us will be measured, examined, dissected and reassembled as we seek to secure Maximum Safety.

Life may be more difficult for those of us who have missed the touching and the softly spoken words of gentle parenting. Perhaps we ask for help.

Later, in the language of Mommy Words we may even ask another, untouched soul “May I lend a hand?”

And a Spark of The Spirit ignites the flame of LOVE.

I AM I DO 
Lee Broom

THE LINE

THE LINE

It was a lovely spring day. The sun was warm, the birds were singing, and the wispy clouds added a touch of pastel pleasantness to the day.

Sleepy-eyed Abner rose early that morning perplexed as usual (the man had many questions) having just awakened with a REM time voice in his head, demanding, “Go stand in line”.

“Who said that?” inquired Curious Abner.

“Go stand in line.”

Befuddled Abner rose from his state of confused repose, made his bed and his breakfast as the memory of the command “Go stand in line” echoed in his head.

After a bowl of oatmeal with walnuts, berries and a touch of honey, Abner said to his  sleepy self “What a lovely spring day. The sun is warm, the birds are singing, and the wispy clouds add a touch of pastel pleasantness to the day. I’m gonna go lfind that line and stand in it.”

And he did; he went for a walk, that is.

Inquisitive Abner looked everywhere for the line.

“Where is it?” Abner inquired.

“Excuse me” said Ab to the first person he met. “Do you know where the line starts?

“I believe it starts right here” replied the stranger.

“Thank you” said Abner and the stranger went on her way.

Obedient Abner stood in line.

Eventually, Abner began to fidget. Standing in line apparently was not a great way to spend a lovely spring day.

Impatient and needing to do something, anything at all, Abner decided to return to his lovely spring day walk and he did.

Where is that line?

Eventually however, another stranger came along.

“Excuse me” inquired Abner. “Do you know where the line starts?”

“I believe it starts right here” replied the stranger.

“Thank you” said Ab and the stranger went on his way.

And once again, Compliant Abner stood in line.

And as before, Ab  observed  that standing in line apparently was not a great way to spend a lovely spring day…

But Stubborn Abner stood his ground.

Standing there Abner wondered to himself, “If this is the line where are  the people?”

Time went on. Ab began to fidget.

Eventually however, another stranger approached.

“Excuse me” asked Abner. “Do you know where the line starts?”

“I believe it starts right here,” came the reply.

“Would you like to stand in line?’ asked Sorta Social Abner.

“Thank you for asking” replied the stranger; “But this line is much too long” ; “have a nice day”.

Surprised at the stranger’s remark, Curious Abner turned around. Behind him was a line of people that seemed to wend its way into Eternity. All were waiting patiently, no one was talking to anyone.

Addressing the person now before him Abner introduced himself; “Hi my name is Abner; what’s your name?”

“My name is Rose” she replied and began to introduce him to several other people behind her. There was Xero Aticus,and his sister Gardenia and their centenarian grandmother,  Albinisia Mary.

Albinisia Mary had more stories in her lovely old head than Abner had questions. (And as we know, Curious Abner was after all, a man with many questions).

Within minutes this part of the line was starting to look more like a party, everyone utilizing the conversational opportunities now being made available to them.

As the line evaporated into groups of animated conversationalists, everyone involved gradually migrated to a nearby park.

By the end of this lovely spring day, the sun still warm, the birds no longer singing and the once wispy clouds having surrendered their touch of pastel pleasantness to the gathering cloak of darkness, Weary Abner decided to return home…

And he did.

As Sleepy Abner crawled between   crisp, clean sheets he thought about the day now departing and smiled.

The next morning Optimistic Abner crawled out of bed, ate a bowl of oatmeal with walnuts, berries and a touch of  honey and went out to greet another lovely spring day; the sun was warm, the birds were singing and the clouds though wispy, added a touch of pastel pleasantness to the day.

Curious Abner (the man with many questions who now had some answers) thought to himself “I think I shall go stand in line.”

And he did.

Singin' the bleus.