Tag Archives: expectations

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.

 

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.

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

NO ONE KNOWS THE FUTURE – EVERYONE CREATES IT

I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I’ll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.
—Isaac Asimov[1]

 

No one knows the future; everyone creates it.

Every action begins with an idea.

Every idea, when repeated grows stronger.

Affirmations really do come true.

Affirmations become reality whether spoken alone or as a group.

Affirming the destruction  of Planet Earth is a popular idea.

HOWEVER…

Popularity is not a good reason for choosing Fear.

We must love the vengeful insiders.

The salvation of us all will  come not from doing battle but by experiencing Love.

Smile; our only hope is to Accept the Gift of Love and to Pass it on.

Revenge and punishment are the smug expression of weak egos and bad dreams.

This is the Sermon of the Bully Pulpit.

The angry parent who spanks their child while stating “I’m doing this for your own good” is a liar.

Ignore the Fear.

Accept the Love.

Pass It On.

Please.

PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE

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“The human brain is an unstoppable piece of machinery that from birth to death whirrs out text and imagery at unfathomable rates of speed. Perhaps the Creative among us are not Truly Creative at all.

Those of us who are blessed with a thoughtful, interested audience may only possess  the ability to quickly spot and recognize a new idea, to focus on that idea and with brush or pen, to create an original expression of that idea.”

My first retail store was located in Scottsdale AZ,  a DYS picture frame shop. For the first few years this store was the only such business in North Scottsdale. It was a fun way to earn a few bucks.

There was an artist, a bit of a late bloomer, who often arrived as our doors opened,  paintings in hand, her painted canvasses from the art classes she was taking at Scottsdale Community College.

Her work was horrible. She couldn’t  draw a straight line with a yard stick.

At first she tried framing her own work but her uncooperative thumbs (ten as I recall) helped her to decide that a more professional craftsman would know the best solutions.

I and my team framed many of her works  over the years;  her work improved and we adapted to her enthusiastic, wolfish tenacity..

I gave her a biography one day, of Pablo Picasso. The first chapter described little Pablo, who, acting on his father’s advice, went to the garden, chose a flower and drew it.

He  drew that floral beauty dozens of times until his hand seemed to have a mind of its own. He had begun with the expectation of becoming a slave to perfection, learning instead that the appearance of the finished work depended upon purpose and he developed the practice of rendering several very different impressions of his subject.

Having been influenced by that same chapter during my own childhood I had successfully practiced the same technique and wondered if this might be of some help to our friend.   She gratefully emulated Picasso’s example on a daily basis and the quality of her work seemed to grow .

She told me one day that a major gallery in New York City wanted to manage her career; She was moving to The Big Apple;  within a few years I began to see her work turn up on the walls of homes gracing the pages of Architectural Digest and American Artist.

Like the lady I just described and like many artists, I was not born with the ability to draw or sing or play the piano. I arrived with curiosity. I was born with questions afloat in my head. My earliest infantile experiments were well under way as I rose for my first step and fell again to my knees.

Whenever I hear someone describe themselves as lacking creativity, I become instantly sad. I mourn because I recognize the pain that this kind of affirmation causes.

Daily descriptions of what we perceive as our limitations, render these ideas into nightmares and the nightmares into shame, blame and often violence.

I have a few standard quips for those who regularly repeat such ideas about themselves but being a part of my memorized repertoire these  “standard” retorts seem to lack credibility.

As for myself, it has been awhile since waking at 2:00 AM with the dream-words spilling from my lips, “Lee you dumb-shit-you did it again.”


Lee Broom

 

HE OFFERED TO PLANT ME A GARDEN

lee_broom

Recently a friend said to me…

“When I was young I beat my chest about “giving back”; today I give anonymously.

I once voiced group opinion as my own; today my own is my own.

As a young man I learned WHAT to think; today I am more concerned with HOW.

As a young man I jogged, I went to the gym and I rode a bike. I still do those things.

As a young man  I lived within my means; I still do that as well.”

I asked him to lend me some grocery money. He offered to plant me a garden.

And he showed me how to tighten the cable on  my bicycle.

Overheard in an Alley

color029_sJPG_950_2000_0_75_0_50_50 Boy building a model airplane as girl watches. Robstown, Texas, January 1942. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Arthur Rothstein. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Voice One: The guy with the hair; what’s his name again?

Voice Two: I forget.

Voice One: They say he’s guilty.

Voice Two: Who says he’s guilty?

Voice One: Everybody.

Voice Two: Really?

Voice One: Yeah, really. So Whaddaya think?

Voice Two: About what?

Voice One: Is he guilty?

Voice Two: Who? The guy with the hair?

Voice One: Yeah.

Voice Two: Guilty of what?

Voice One: I don’t know, actually. It must be something awful.

Voice Two: Why do you think that?

Voice One: Well, because; He won’t defend himself.

Voice Two: Did he say why?

Voice One: It didn’t make much sense, come to think of it.

Voice Two: Okay, but what was it; what’d he say?

Voice One: Something about turning his head or something like that?

Voice Two: Could it have been about turning the other cheek?

Voice One: Cheeks, yeah. Turn the other cheek. That was it. Whaddaya think he
meant?

Voice Two: Well you were there. What did you think?

Voice One: Beats me.

Voice Two: Then why do you think he’s guilty? You don’t know what he’s guilty
of but you think he’s guilty. He doesn’t defend himself and you seem
to think that this is evidence of his guilt. And now that you’ve heard
his reason for not defending himself, you don’t know what he means
but you still think he’s guilty?

Voice One: Everybody else does.

Voice Two: What he said was that when someone wrongs us or metaphorically
slaps us across the cheek that it is better to turn our cheek and let
the offender slap the other cheek than to have our revenge with him.
His reason appears to be that it is better for only one person to suffer
than two.
And you know yourself that when you argue with someone it is rare
for anyone to come out on top.

Voice One: Well, I still think he’s guilty.

Voice Two: Why’s that.

Voice One: Because, Silly; everybody knows he’s guilty.

Voice Two: And that’s it?

Voice One: What can you expect from a guy like that?

Voice Two: A guy like what?

Voice One: Well ask anyone; everybody knows he was born in a barn.