Wednesday, April 26, 2006


This would be a great place to hide-out…

I’m feeling very “Clint Eastwood” this week. I am working in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico. The shore here is covered with beach resorts and drunken tourists, but just a few blocks from the beach begins the barren wastelands and desert that covers most of this part of the world. They have horses next to the hotel and I took one for a ride up the beach this afternoon. There was no one on the beach except for me and I could easily believe that it was 150 years ago and that I rode alone along the edge of the desert.

I generally fill the pages of this blog with my perceptions and feelings. I guess those that read it would think me a sensitive and caring kind of guy. I guess that’s true as far as it goes, but we are none of us one-dimensional. I really don’t think of myself as very sensitive. I am very live-and-let-live, but am not tolerant of evil. I could never torture or purposely bring suffering to anyone, but I could kill someone without any moral misgivings (given the right circumstance). Anyone who might deign to do me any harm would be wise to know that I am no Pacifist. I believe that evil should be fought forcefully…There was a movie a few years ago where Samuel Jackson played the father of a 10 year old girl who’d been brutally raped by two evil young men. He took a shotgun and killed them as they were being led from court. The rest of the movie was about the drama of his character being put on trial for the murder of the two rapists. Intellectually, I understand that we have laws and that what the character did in the movie was something that he should have been punished for. I also know that I would have done the same thing as that father. I know it frustrating for all of us when we see evil done to Innocents without any recourse to justice. Sadly, it seems to me that the evil people in this world are even more prone to the murder of random Innocents. I feel that we have become impotent in the face of this new evil.

I am not proposing to put these people to death and would be perfectly happy to see them locked-up for life. I think the real frustration comes from not being able to get our hands on them…of not being able to cleanse the world of their hatred.

How many people in the world have the caricature of Americans as gun-toting Cowboys that are anxious for a fight. We are much more complicated than that and I believe we are a very peaceful people. What sometimes gives us this image abroad is that we see justice as a right…and injustice angers us to the bones. It is comforting to us to think of evil as being something we can isolate (or wipe out). I am a jeans and boots kind of guy and I feel very comfortable here in the old west. I could see myself strapping on a pair of guns and handling evil in the easiest way. I am not a violent person, but if I had a clear shot at: Hitler, Stalin, Bin Laden, Idi Amin, or Pol Pot…you can bet that I’d take it.

Best! Norm.

Monday, April 24, 2006


A Transcendent moment…

Most of our lives are spent in the mundane things that are needed to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Many people dream of riches, but I think what they are really dreaming of is the ability to enjoy life and the things that interest them without spending all of their time in mindless toil. I’m sure there are a lot of shallow people out there who want nothing more than toys and the respect that money can buy, but I am equally convinced that more people just yearn for freedom to spend their lives feeding their souls (instead of their bellies).

I don’t have the ability to live a life of leisure, but I have found in my travels that there is much here to feed your soul, if you should seek it out. Some of the most special moments in my life have come to me through the beauty that other people bring to this world. I was able to see the Cirque de Soliel show “O” during my visit to Las Vegas a few weeks back and I had a strange revelation as I found myself transported by this incredible production. At some point during the show, my troubles and concerns were erased by my rapture at the skill and beauty of the performers and by the texture of show and its choreography. I mean to say I was completely transformed…I was outside myself with wonder and awe…this was one of those moments that make life worth living…if you read my blog regularly I could say that this was up there with great food or great sex!

It occurred to me that here was truth…that the bills and politics and hatreds that fill our world are all a LIE and that only in these brief moments of beauty do we get a glimpse of the ultimate reality…of what we are and of what we are meant to be. I want to thank, from the depth of my heart, the writers and musicians and performers who have brought me so many of these moments…who have allowed me to glimpse a little of the truth of us and have helped me to weather the unpleasant and often painful moments that fill our lives.

It pains me when artists feel it necessary to use their fame in support of some political cause. I may or may not agree with their politics, but am mostly disappointed by their lack of understanding of their gifts…it was said “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s.” Artists need to realize that they bring us a picture that is beyond this worn and false existence…that their gift is more important than what they hope to accomplish through activism and that they diminish themselves and their gifts when they prostitute them to these ends…it’s a lot like the wonderful songs that I grew up with being used to sell cars. Although I must admit being happy that my daughter got to hear Led Zeppelin (through Buick commercials) and has now come to love them, as well as a few other good old bands (she got into the Who from episodes of CSI).

I guess I should be more accepting of artists selling themselves…I need to find truth where I can and leave the rest for this desolate place. I suppose that the transcendent moment is just as transcendent if the messenger is imperfect. I guess that the talented artist is no more immune to the lies of this world than the rest of us…that they have to live here too.

I hope for you that you find many moments such as these

…that you get the chance to live outside of yourself and your life

…that you recognize the lies that fill this world and that you never succumb to the despair that they engender

Mostly, I hope that you find fun wherever you can and that you love much.

Best! Norm.