- an archival site on the life and world of Shunryu Suzuki and those who knew him.


- from Dec. 10, 2011 to May 16, 2013

DC Home Page

 photo by Robert Schilling

DC Misc Index

5-16-13 - Fort Worth Report

Yesterday evening thunder, lightning, and much needed rain, at times heavy, waterfalls off the roof, standing on the front porch watching the sky light up and crash. Watching Promised Land on cable interrupted with tornado warnings. This morning's paper reported local death and destruction.

Going through things in recently late mother Ahdel's home. Sister Susan was here again for six days and she doesn't plan to return till the end of June. Till then I'll continue sorting stuff into what little to keep for us, for others, for the estate sale scheduled for July 8th, for recycling, for trash.

Meanwhile prospective buyers will have their chance to live in this forest and Warren Lynn will be scanning family papers and photos and much more Crooked Cucumber Archives material which will be entered here for further processing into the cuke labyrinth.

Enjoyed two presentations of new creations from contemporary opera composers thanks to Ahdel's and my friend Louise Carvey. At a reception an opera patron and volunteer told of visiting Ahdel in November and being shown her collection of Fort Worth Opera memorabilia going back to the forties. He knew just which cabinet it was in and said it would be placed in acid free binders at the library. I nodded politely and when he'd moved on, said to Louise that it would have been a good idea to put a prominent note on top of those programs etc, and to not wait till two months after Ahdel's death to mention it.

Yesterday put out yet more full rolling containers of trash and recycling. We are careful to keep the poems and songs Ahdel wrote, some photos and letters, and of course anything someone wants that hasn't already been carried away in Waste Management's trucks.

Ahdel's page

5-15-13 - This morning I woke up thinking how Meister Eckhart and Bodhidharma both said we can do no better than just being idle. I've got lots to do today so I asked Kabumpkan what he thought. "Engage the relative, leave the other in neutral." I asked him what he meant by that. "Can't figure it out," he said.

5-12-13 - Happy Mothers' Day (as in the New Yorker cover) to mate Katrinka, past wife experiences Elin and Daya, sister Susan. Writing about how to evoke the universal ethic compassion, the Dali Lama, suggests those who view things in terms of rebirth see all beings as having been their mother in a past life. In this vision, each being has been the mother of each  other being. The number of possible combinations would therefore be, if B stands for a being, B! as in 5! = 5x4x3x2x1. However, that formula only covers one instance of each being having been the mother of each other being. To cover repeats we could then make it B!? unless we say that each being has been the mother of each other being as many times as there are grains of sand in the Ganges. In that case we could write the formula B!G. So, again, happy Mothers' Day to all beings past present and future including those specific beings mentioned at the onset of this paragraph, late mate Liz and late mom Ahdel as well. B!G! - dc

4-22-13 - Dealing with a high school classmate who's putting together a slide show for our upcoming 50th reunion, Ron Scott, an old memory popped up and asked him if he was the one who told me about NOSMO. Here's his answer.

Yes, NOSMO was one of my Dad's favorite words. It came about during a project he was working on at Sperry (I think.) The brass were pressing him for a name for the project and Dad kept putting them off until one day when they bugged him again for a name he looked up and saw a No Smoking sign on the wall. In Dad's funny way he saw it as a name: Nosmo King. So he told the bosses that the name of the project was NOSMO. They were satisfied and left him alone for a while until someone wanted to know what NOSMO meant. Was it an acronym for something or what? So the higher-ups went back to Dad for an explanation and he had to think quick on his feet to provide one. I don't remember exactly what he came up with but it fit perfectly and nobody ever suspected that Dad just made it all up.

note: Ron's father was a rocket scientist

Bikram yoga yesterday still exhausting, hot, but the hour and a half seemed to go by quicker. Katrinka asked me walking home if I felt more limber. I said I don't know about that but I can see an effect on attitude. By that I meant how I looked at my body-mind, what desires and plans were coming up. Hard to describe. A healthier attitude I'd say.

4-21-13 - Bikram Yoga on Friday report. Hot. Exhausting. A form of meditation. They say this Polish teacher is strict but how far one pushes oneself is up to oneself. I felt no pressure.

4-20-13 - Thanks Clay for reminding me that yesterday was your birthday. I'd left the date as 4-18-13 on accident - maybe if I'd seen it I'd have remembered. However, since you'd lost your phone at the beach you'd have been unreachable anyway. - dc dad

4-18-13 - Tried out Bikram Yoga yesterday. It was exhausting, hot but not too hot which I'd wondered about beforehand. Dry heat, felt like India which is where it was developed - in the heat of Calcutta. Katrinka has been doing it for six months and I told her that when I got back from Texas I'd try it. She said it was "as good as quitting drinking." Signed up for the thirty day introductory offer. Anyway, I survived the first hour and a half session and plan to return tomorrow.

4-16-13 - Back to the Bay Area today after four months and four days in Fort Worth. Back in May. Lots to do. As it says in the book of Tao, "Affairs are endless." And that was coming from a hermit who lived up in the mountains. - dc

4-14-13 - RIP Jonathan Winters, an inspiration to many young boys such as I in our formative years, helping us to cultivate idiotic expressions and goofy voices. I wax sentimental now recalling his inspiring two roles in The Loved One.

4-04-13 - Oldest friend Ward and younger son Clay were talking yesterday and it came up that Ward had been cut off at an AA meeting here in Fort Worth for suggesting they were being too Christian, citing that AA is supposed to be non sectarian. Clay said he didn't like the part about having to submit to a higher power. Ward said that when he started going to meetings 24 years ago he took the group as his higher power and that satisfied Clay. I don't have trouble with higher power stuff. Call it god, call it sod, call it group, call it soup. Call it self, call it other, call it father, call it mother, call it sister, call it brother, call it I am that I am or bim bam thank you ma'am, mankind, big mind, we find in the unwind? I don't know. I'm a no show.

4-04-13 - Finding some neat stuff going through things here - lots of writings of Ahdel - poems, letters, spoofs, songs - and have filled two giant recycle containers and same with trash. And there's cleaning and straightening and people arriving soon. Stayed up with Clay till 3am looking at old photos (after live rock at Lola's and Ol' South Pancake House on way home from hairport. Onward. - dc

4-03-13 - Memorial prep, cat home search, going through stuff, family history flashing, recyclin, throwin stuff out, setting aside for keeps, sell, cuke biz can't avoid, what can be thrown out there? recycled, kept, sold? friends drop by, strangers send notes, covered in fruit from the pasts, breathe in the world, breathe out the unworld. It's all good - lyrics - listen to a cover.

4-01-13 - I've figured out the secret to everything, the unified field of matter and spirit, the ultimate statement, understanding, enlightenment. Now click here and I share this epiphany with you dear reader.

3-30-13 - Congratulations to long time Fort Worth friend, Berry Woodson, for receiving the prestigious Herbert Hager Phalaenopsis Award for "lifelong dedication to the advancement" of this orchid "through pioneering hybridizing and superior culture." More than once, Martha Stewart has dropped by to see Berry and Dotty's numerous, fascinating, and beautiful orchids and son Clay stepped on some Lilly pads to descend into a pool on a cold winter day almost two decades ago. Kudos also to Dotty for her tireless work to educate Texas communities and individuals on sound water management and conservation. And thanks for dinner too. - dc

3-25-13 - Southwest Texas trip report

2-04-13 - Drove instead of walked to the nursing home today as must drive to airport to get Kelly and Clay not long before midnight. Can get plenty of walking in anyway. While filling the tank, remembered sanzen with Joshu Sasaki Roshi in LA early 67. He looked at me, shook his head muttering, "Very poor," a couple of times, then told me he would give me a koan: "Who am I when I'm driving my car?" Drove on. Yes, who? -  dc [Full story]

2-03-13 - Two interesting points to me about this story of a new record for highest wave surfed

First, there's the photo of a giant wave at this spot in Portugal and the fact that someone does waves like that.

Second lies in what he had to say about it:

"You are just going so fast," McNamara told ABC television. "It's really, really similar to snowboarding on giant mountains.

"And you're just chattering, flying down this bumpy, bumpy mountain. Your brain is getting rattled. Your whole body is getting rattled."

It's the grammar that gets me. To me, you is a word that means the person being addressed. But that's not the intent here where the idea is that it would apply to either the speaker or anyone. It's a common usage. Wonder what it's called. "You" as first person? You as third person instead of "one?" You as 2nd person? as in If you were doing this, this is how you would feel if you experienced it as I did.

We know what the person means and maybe it's good usage in that it adds more complexity to the language, but when someone uses that usage when speaking to me I think, Not me - you.

1-21-13 - See posts about mother Ahdel.

1-14-13 - So 2012 was the hottest year on record in the US with a one degree spike that was unprecedented, usually it's one tenth this way or that. I recall Dennis Miller on some talk show a few years ago saying he could live with a world that was one degree warmer and I'm sure that's what a lot of people think. But it seems to me ... go to Engaged Buddhism/Current Events for more.

Note at bottom of Beans story in Zen is Right Here about where that anecdote came from.

1-13-13 - Huong Dao in Fort Worth, Texas (4717 E. Rosedale St), is a Vietnamese Theravada temple. Big colorful temple, large main hall with stunning 9 foot white Burmese marble Buddha statue with blue lit dome over his head extending up from the 20 or so foot ceiling. Thursday went to check it out, sat in the hall alone, talked to the gentle abbot, Ratana, Thay Buuduc. He's 55 but looks more like 40. Friday eve at 7pm there's a half hour service with melodious chanting followed by meditation and a dharma talk in Vietnamese. Friend Jackie Cox and I got a simultaneous translation from a bilingual member - 8 fold path, place mind in body, avoid desire. There's a Sunday 3pm service too. Think I'll go to the service and meditation on Fridays when in town. - dc

August 18, 2012 Fort Worth Star Telegram article on the temple

Photo essay of Oct 7, 2011 grand opening of new main building.

More photos.

1-09-13 - Got an email from an old ZC buddy (whose interview I have yet to transcribe and get on cuke darnit sorry Ron will get to it this year) with a subject line that read "At Zen Center in the 60's you were ahead of your time :-)" and a link to the Squatty Pott site. Good video and a good practice. I'm going to go back to squatting which I did for years. Thanks Ron. - dc

13-01-05 - Look at what James Maas has to say about sleep.

Sleep for Success

Wikipedia on James Maas

Jim's wife Nancy (her art site) is an old friend of my sister Susan and we had a recent visit from them. Met him years ago at her place and was impressed with what he had to say about sleep deficit, first time I'd heard that term. Talking to him helped me to break free from a life long attachment to getting as little sleep as possible, something that Shunryu Suzuki encouraged, at least during sesshin. "When you're tired, your ego is tired." I started getting up in the dark in the fifth grade when I threw papers and I loved it. In high school I frequently got four hours sleep (catching up in boring classes), same at Zen Center - I was sleepy for decades, somewhat tortured at times. Took lots of power naps, a phrase Maas coined. Now I sleep till I wake up with no qualms. However I still don't always get seven or eight hours as he suggests. Last night I went to bed at 10:30 and woke up at 3:30. Anyway, I think Zennies etc should consider what James Maas has to say. It might help us to move a bit more to the middle of the Middle Way. - dc

12-25-12 - Merry Christmas - Watched It's a Wonderful Life with Mother and Katrinka last night - for the first time. Good story. Good message. Despite this death trap we find ourselves suffering in, glad to be alive. Good tidings to all, the one who cheats us, the one who's come to arrest us, the ones we've hurt, the ones we love, to all with a love beyond love. Treasures pour down. Merry Christmas. - dc

12-02-12 - So cool - the impossible was possible

Yesterday got a call from Billy at Southpoint Self-storage in Santa Rosa. Billy said there was a bunch of furniture on the 2nd floor near Clay's storage and he'd seen Clay (younger son - 21) there earlier. I said yep it's surely his. He had to move it out of friend's home cause friend was moving. Billy and I have done lots of biz. He runs a tight ship. I told him I'd make sure it was dealt with. Finally got hold of Clay at five from my new archive storage unit in San Rafael. He said he'd get to it next day. I said I told Billy we'd do it today. We agreed to meet at eight at Southpoint. When I saw what was there I knew immediately it would never fit. Opened up his ten by ten unit with my key. It was full. Told him we should just get another ten by ten the next day. There's no time now anyway - this is hours of work - they close at nine - and he needs to bring strong young friends. I can't even help with all this heavy stuff. Urged him to sell and give away almost all of it. I said we should just leave and come back today and get another unit. He agreed. We closed the unit door and walked toward the elevator past the couches, table, desk, chairs. Clay stopped.

"Well, lets get what we can in - like the chairs," he said. I agreed. Of course. At least show Billy that we did what we could. It was 9:20.

At two minutes to ten we got the last couch in and closed the door, Got out of the gate as the car clock hit nine. What had been impossible was possible. Amazing.

11-30-12 - Richard O. Moore's Louisiana Diary

Read about it on Wikipedia

See it on Thirteen dot org

Richard Moore was for years a neighbor of Green Gulch Farm. He had an impressive role in pubic TV and documentary film. He's in his nineties now and is working on getting some of his new poetry published. I visited him recently at the Redwoods retirement home in Mill Valley. When he hugged me I collapsed on the floor. This naturally surprised him. The reason why is that I've got unusually sensitive ribs. Being poked in the sides to me can be like being zapped with electricity. Often I've spontaneously reeled around and struck people who'd come up behind me and grabbed my ribs, or pushed them away forcefully. I'd say my subconscious knew Dick was too old for me to use any force on him so I just collapsed - didn't decide to - it just happened without any thought. More on this subject can be read in chapter 12 of To Find the Girl from Perth and search for "ribs".

More on Richard Moore later.

11-18-12 -

Sight covers space
Sound moves in time
Thoughts bubble on
With their memes and their mimes.
- Kabumpkan

(Said in response when Clay pointed out the sight sound space time angle.)

11-16-12 - More on the night in Marin General. Yesterday wrote:

Had to go to the emergency room and spend the night in Marin General Hospital last night which was most relaxing and just got home and think cuking will wait till tomorrow. No problem now. Later. - dc

What happened was that I had a hemorrhoid banded 8 days before, election day, and it tore yesterday and wouldn't stop bleeding and my proctologist said he had to deal with that once or twice a year and he stitched it up in a procedure somewhat like capping the BP oil spill though he likened it to being a salmon swimming upstream. But after bathing today noticed there's six or so inches of thread coming from where that all happened so I'm planning to be at his office first thing this morning to get it snipped because for all I know it could pull the stitched area open again. Not eager to unleash blood like yesterday when, as he toiled in my rectum and his assistant rubbed her hand on my back, I could feel what seemed like life fading, becoming faint, most unpleasant, disorienting dizziness. Extreme unpleasantness like that brings the seriousness of life into focus, fills me with awareness of the suffering of others, the inescapable, interminable fact of existence churning through birth and death, and the importance of what we call practice - aiming our life at awakening all beings.

11-10-12 - Last night went to the annual Dinner Meeting of the Institute for Historical Study, one of the Crooked Cucumber Archives two fiscal sponsors (the other being the Pacific Zen Inst.). Heard a talk on the history of ornamental plants global migration which might sound boring - I guess the whole event was the sort of thing that would be made fun of in a sitcom or movie - and the speaker was an elderly English woman with a soft, high, slightly raspy voice, but she had a PA system which worked and a humorous delivery, and I found myself following every word she said. I'd say that these days my idea of what to go out for has radically changed from a few decades ago. The food was great, catered by Richard M. Dawkins who uses the "M" so as not to be confused with the atheist scientist of that name. Dawkins came out here from the East Coast in the nineties at the urging of Ed Moose of the Washington St. Bar and Grill and started his own catering company a couple of years ago, tired of working for the corporate food man and somewhat inspired by Obama. I used to be host at Greens and mate Katrinka's been in the hotel-restaurant biz for decades so Richard and I had lots to chat about. Cool guy - excellent approach to food. Here's his website - hey Richard - put it on your card. - dc

11-04-12 - "The same person never steps into a river twice." - Kabumpkan

Enjoy yourself today and forever. - dc

10-26-12 - Reworked the home page because an old friend wrote and said he read the Hoitsu article in Sangha News (see yesterday) but couldn't find it in messy cuke. I know that's true. So I wrote this to him about how to find things on cuke and brought the search box up on the home page and made some other changes. It's probably hopeless but I think that's a little better:

That article on Hoitsu should be easy to find on cuke. There are a number of good photographs there (click on the ones you see to expand). Here are several ways I mention somewhat to give you an idea of how to find things there..

1 - I just wrote "Hoitsu cuke" on the URL line of Chrome which also functions as a search and it brought up Hoitsu pages on cuke all of which link to the Hoitsu main page from which there's a prominant link to the article on his last day at Eiheiji. Writing "hoitsu eiheiji" works better though bringing that article up 2nd on Google and 1st on Bing Search.

2 - There was a link to it on the SFZC article - the title I think.

3 - Going to What's New on, the most prominent link from the index page - just look at recent posts, three of which are links to this article. Without looking one can just search the page for Hoitsu (Cntrl F in PC and Command F on Mac) will go to the links to the article.

4 - the cuke site search at the bottom of the short index page or the top of the What's New page brings up the article as the fourth item if only hoitsu is entered and as the first item if "hoitsu and eiheiji" are entered.

5 - from the Index page go to Places to Go on Cuke and there hit People on Cuke, go to Hoitsu Suzuki and there's a link from that page

6 - the Table of Contents can also be used

I almost always use search to find things on my own websites. The use of "and" in a search helps. I think I'll post this on cuke.

10-25-12 - Sex Hands - sent by JBearden who writes "Fresh from Manchester. Soon to join 333 Records." Not sure what JB has to do with this but dug the tune and fondly remember Manchester where I had an eleven hour wait for a plane to get fixed and discretely plugged my laptop in behind a soda machine at the suggestion of a man with a broom. Might have mentioned it here. Ah yes - just searched cuke for "Manchester" and it was 10-25-07 (the one in England not Vermont). Hey! That's exactly five years ago today. - dc

10-15-12 - Realized that I hadn't prepared my income tax report for last year which I always do for the October 15th deadline. Talked to my family CPA who is a Seventh Day Adventist and works on Sunday. He said get the numbers in by five his Texas time and we'll do an email file tomorrow. Called him at four Texas time and said can't find 2011 receipts - must have put them in storage when we quickly moved. But when he heard what income I had to report he said, "Forget it - you don't need to file." Relieved, I returned to rejoicing in this life of luxurious poverty.

10-07-12 - One thing karma means is that we are not exempt from the results of our actions - Kabumpkan

9-30-12 - Life offers interesting moments to punctuate the seemingly endless bathing in digital data.

Earlier a neighbor had brought over a little earthen pot containing a flowering plant - in thanks for the other day. Oh yes, that - I'd found her unconscious in the parking lot downstairs with a large kitchen knife lying next to her, saw the oriental neighbor walk past and to her apartment to close the door. Went down. Couldn't wake her up. Earlier that day she'd asked me to drive her to the store. All she bought was some booze. Said it would be the last. "Sure," I said. Now she's passed out I guess. Can't take a chance. Called 911. The paramedics arrived and said, "Sue, we can't keep doing this." Seems she'd just broken a 13 year dry spell. I took the knife from where I'd put it out of the way and was going to ask a cop if I could return it to the apartment when a fireman suggested I not approach a cop with a long knife in hand. I let him do it. Good call. And good luck Sue and thanks for the flowers.

Walking to a tea shop tonight to take a break from the Suzuki stuff and try to get through the latest chapter of Freedom Songs, stopped at the entrance to the classic downtown theater Rafael and checked out the two well-dressed people with gas masks standing before a dilapidated mansion on a poster for Detropia, a new documentary by the maker of Jesus Camp - it's about the decline of Detroit. Told a woman standing nearby that I liked Jesus Camp and she said, "Thanks," and then after a minute, " I directed it." She'd done Detropia one too and had been present tonight with the producer to answer questions. I told her that now that I'm buds with them Katrinka and I will go see it. DETROPIA - (great reviews -  one reviewer indicated it gets to the heart of the economic morass of the working class in the US) Director Rachel Grady and producer Craig Atkinson

At the tea shop discovered in old files Marian Derby's original manuscript for Beginner's Mind which later became Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Had forgotten all about it. There's a story in how I got it, why it was taken off cuke a dozen years ago and forgotten. Will start posting again tomorrow and tell all.

Walked to the Panama Hotel to hang out till Katrinka closed up and was just getting back to the Derby ms when Katrinka handed me the house phone. Landord calling. The neighbor downstairs has water coming down from his ceiling. Zoomed to the apartment wondering if I'd left water running. No thank goodness. His bathroom ceiling had a giant dripping bulge. Turned off the water to our toilet and bathroom sink. Talking to landlord and guy downstairs at midnight. Now a plumber agrees with Katrinka it was from a stopped up toilet overflow experience we had two days ago. Really? I can't see it. It wasn't that much. I hope we get to the bottom of this before his ceiling is fixed I thought returning to my Netbook. Then I smiled comparing how little I have to do now here in our little one bedroom apartment compared to living in the barn at Tarrantland and the endless tasks there. Love it here in San Rafael. And I'll always be grateful to John Tarrant for his support the last nine years.

Now to get back to Freedom Songs.

9-27-12 - Heard Jigme Tromge Rinpoche at Open Secret in San Rafael, CA, last night. Had met him five years ago or so at the opening of his Cazadero center, arrived late with son Clay and had lunch with him, gave us a long orange prayer? banner.

Here's his Facebook Page

Ati Ling Center website

His Padmasambhava Peace Institute

Last night he spoke of treating others with the same love one has for one's own mother, children. Absolutely. In a political, social, environmental argument, when we're admonished to "think of your children and grandchildren" it always seems to me that we must care for all children and grandchildren as our own.  It can also be looked at as it being us as well, us being reborn in our future to reap the results of present actions. And it doesn't have to be seen as many beings, but as a flow of being seemingly manifested as many.

See today's Voter Suppression entry

9-08-12 - Knee Update

Orthopedic sports doctor today looked at my knee and said he thought I'd torn some cartilage on the inside and maybe that's a bit of arthritis at the kneecap, normal for my age. He approved of the Walgreen's brace I wear when I go for a walk and suggested a physical therapist who'd give me some exercises to do at home, and some combination of yoga, acupuncture, Pilates, arnica cream. If you're near Marin and want to go to an orthopedist who won't automatically want to do surgery and prescribe drugs, get hold of me. - dc

9-02-12 - People tell me often that they can't find something here on cuke which is understandable since the whole thing is a big mess, but I can almost always find what they're looking for or something I want to get to in a jiff by just searching for a key word in the site's Google search boxes (located on the top of the What's New page and near the bottom of the home page) - or just writing " whatever" in a search program like Google or on the URL line, the top line, of Chrome, Google's browser, the URL line of which functions as a search box as well so you don't have to write something perfectly. I rarely find something on cuke by going via folders such as dchad home to dchad writings to dc books to Zen Is Right Here home page to Praise for this book in its former incarnation (To Shine One Corner of the World). I just wrote "zirh praise" on Chrome's URL line and Praise for this book in its former incarnation was the second listing on Google (after ZIRH leading men's skin care products). Of course Google uses algorhythms which undercuts my point somewhat because that means it uses my web history to come up with its suggestions - but I also test this on other computers and it seems to work well.

This brings to mind another use of search engines, of these miraculous devices that have changed my life, and that is Checking something before forwarding to all your friends (which I never do). I get things that I can smell are fishy and take some keywords and search and usually I've got a slew of answers in a matter of seconds, often from an Urban Myth site. - dc

8-15-12 - Got an email from Barrie Mason with the subject line and introductory comments:

SUBJ: You Seem to be the ZC historian

Dear Zen Center Historian:

I don’t know if there is such a person, but I imagine that history is being compiled somewhere by someone.  Rest of message

DC comment on this:

I am not the SFZC historian. I'm an independent historian (and member of the IHS)  with focus on Shunryu Suzuki, his lectures, teaching, and the times, and on those who were around him. The story Barrie tells is about her and Bill Lane and they were both Suzuki students so it falls into the area I cover. I do move out of that zone at times such as with posting just about anything that a person who was around back then has to write, wants to communicate. Part of telling the story of Suzuki and those around him is also to include people's way-seeking-mind stories which can extend to their life story and plugs for their businesses and interests. I also add random announcements that readers might like or anything I'm interested in. I have encouraged the SFZC to have an archivist and to put more attention into continuing work and preservation or the Suzuki and other archive materials including audio, print, photos, and film (still and moving images). See a report on the state of the Suzuki archive I wrote a six years ago. I've also at times suggested that archiving, specifically Suzuki archiving, have a dedicated foundation because the SFZC has consistently shown itself incompetent in this area. Of course a great deal has been done by those working for the SFZC but not enough and not consistently in my opinion. To me it's sort of like keeping a car in good running order. You have to continue to change the oil and do maintenance.

7-18-12 - Fort Worth Report - Woke up last night at 2 and wasn't tired but didn't want to get up - this happens a lot to me in FW. I'm regularly irregular. So I used the best antidote to wakefulness, I sat zazen. After an hour or less, didn't look at my phone for the time again, started sleeping so I lay back down and awoke at 5:30. That's better. If I get up too early it throws me off. Oh yes, the sitting. I was sort of bothered so I looked at what was bothering me - money, getting work done on CCA, what to do about mother and being sort of cut off here in a pleasant but restricted life. Gathered all the bother together and just focused on the bother, like a lump, a mind lump. All things pass but I didn't want it to pass. I knew it was all trivial, did a sort of Byron Katie type thing with it, not going through her four questions but just seeing it all as stuff that didn't have to be believed in. I turned it around which is a Katie thing, turned it to telling myself, if you're going to be bothered, be bothered that you don't know who you are. Drive all bother into that. I've been doing that a lot recently - anything I start worrying about or letting get to me, I tell myself not to be bugged by it, be bugged that I don't know who I am. That again drives all bother into one. The dream I had before I woke up was interesting. I was reflecting on the situation of being somewhat depressed by my situation. Niels was there then he went off and I thought, well, as long as Niels is alive I won't be depressed. Then I remembered that Niels died a few years ago and woke up. I'm not really depressed. Just in a human sort of situation, one of many as in there are many atoms in the universe.

7-15-12 - The Huff Post article on Higgs Boson: 'God Particle' Discovery Ignites Debate Over Science And Religion ends with the quote:

"That's the difference between science and religion," he said. "We don't require the universe to be what we want -- we force our beliefs to conform to the evidence of reality."

I wish media would say "some religion" instead - or literal so-called fundamental religion. Of course most cuke readers are not even paying attention to dumbed down tabloid stuff like this Many don't like the word "religion," associating it with institutions and blind attachment to ideas. To me all terms fall short so I use it to mean relinking, realizing what is whatever it is. Whose religion is he talking about? What religion requires the universe to be anything other than what it is? Superficial religion. The idea that any scientific discovery, theory, fact, statement could be at odds with actual religion, spiritual understanding, awakeness, transcendence, immanence, enlightenment, grace, Christ consciousness, transpersonal awareness, oneness with god, moksha, reality, etc - is bogus. Science observes phenomena. I question the use of the word "reality" in the lead quote above. But anyway, whatever it observes and reports is fine. Myths like creation myths are not on the same level. God doesn't have to be a word that stands for a being, especially a being that does things - except in myths and metaphors. The prior statement does not conflict with the words of many saints and mystics from various traditions. Much media loves arguments and like water running downhill finds them while ignoring agreements, while being ignorant of actual wisdom and perennial philosophy .  I should now point to sources that exemplify the points made here. You do it. That's today's assignment. - dc

On the following days these relevant links were posted:

Mark Bittner's blog has a piece on Science Meets Pantheism he sent after reading yesterday's Science and Religion post here.

Panentheism and Brother David Steindl-Ranst

Hurt my knee. Gregory gave me an exercise, thinks it's pinching a nerve or tendon. Taking Naproxen sodium as suggested by Katrinka. No long walks for two days. Using my grandfather Bruno's cane now to lighten the load there a big on the walk to and fro the tea shop. Enjoy this day of rest - for some. - dc

7-11-12 - Fort Worth report with a wild photo of mother and her sisters.

Next to the last day of giving mother three types of eye drops five times a day, one three times and two of them four times. Then there's the plastic lens patch to be taped on to cover her eye before she goes to bed. She had a mild flue and was weak before, during, and after the trip to Ohio for her great neice Whitney's wedding. Her appetite is back and she's stronger but she's agreed not to drive anymore and still needs help walking sometimes. I don't want her to live alone anymore. She's just too weak. She gets a little confused about things sometimes but not too much. Forgetting to pay bills a bit - I've got to pay attention to the mail and throw out the junk so she doesn't slowly go through it and especially so she doesn't want to donate to something. Right now we've got to keep what she's got for her. She's going to be 98 in August. I'll be back in California but Susan, Daya, and Aunt Eleanor will be here to celebrate that event. I'll surely return soon after. Must arrange for people to help her when she needs it, paid people.

I love it here. I walk a mile or so to the tea shop every morning at six or so, having set up mother's grapefruit, prune juice, and coffee ready to make, the puzzles and crosswords page open for her. Return about nine, sit down with her, read the bridge column and funnies, eat something - at the dining room table - her favorite view out the window to the trees in front, then it's just work and do little errands all day, maybe visit some friends. She reads and goes through stuff and sleeps a lot sitting up or taking naps. Got a printer scanner so I can print up stuff from Internet including cuke for her to read. We may watch some TV in the evening - PBS news hour, she is not always having a whiskey sour at that time now and if she does it's less than a jigger., She pretty much takes care of herself - for now. I'll be on the computer or sit out back on the swing and read and groove on the trees. Fantastic thunderstorm last night with heavy rain for an hour or so. We were watching Newsroom (a bit hard for her to follow) but I stopped it to stand outside.

7-08-12 - Reading BBC news this morning before 5am noticed the following ad:

What Happens When You Die
New theory says death isn't the end

New theory? That struck me as humorous. It's more like the idea of death being the end is a new theory. I don't argue about these things cause so many of us are adamant about how we see it, but I've never been able to conceive of death as and end of anything real, just an end to this particular version of things called myself, this dream-like vignette, my life.

I hit the link and read Robert Lanza on how death isn't the end and enjoyed it very much. There are also links there to many other science based articles by him, many published on Huff Post. The ad is for his book Biocentrism.

It seems most people or many people see life as something that either was created by a supernatural being or arose temporarily somehow out of dead matter and can't conceive of anything else. To me each as a myth or metaphor representing the inconceivable truth in different ways. For instance, I do believe in death in that I see what we call life as a temporary expression of an indescribable unborn, undying awareness.

How we see things is conditioned - by how we're raised and I think also by our genes, but also to me, by our karma, by what we came in with. But that's not something I can prove to others. And it doesn't matter. My teacher, Shunryu Suzuki, didn't tend to take positions on these things. He encouraged us to wake up to our true nature, to what's in front of us, whatever it is. Find out for yourself sort of thing. Buddha was that way too.

The real death that awaits us I'd say is the death of self, of an artificial construct that we all seem to have to deal with. It's horribly real to us, painfully separate, the original sin, the primal mistake. When we drop this self centered obsession, things loose their hold and deathlessness beyond being is obvious. But it's all still at times scary and always mysterious.

Kabumpkan said: Believe in life after death or not, both are delusions.

7-02-12 - Fort Worth Report: Ahdel (mother) reports for cataract surgery at 6 this morning. Printed up the Appeal for funds for the Crooked Cucumber Archives (including this site) for her, soon to be 98, and her one comment was that she thinks I meant complementary, not complimentary. Thanks mom.

6-29-12 - Fort Worth Report: Murder in this upscale neighborhood.

Walking to the tea shop this morning at sunrise came upon another crime scene, several cop cars, a couple of TV vans by the elementary school across from some condos . Talked to a reporter. A man returning home found a woman shot dead at his back door. I told him about the burglary attempt last Wednesday night. Neighbors at the tea shop knew about both. A man told me that what had happened on Wednesday is that a couple came home, found a burglar in their home, the homeowner got his gun and he and the intruder both fired, seems like no one was hit. Can't judge the validity of any of these stories. This time I was not questioned.

6-28-12 -I'm used to the idiocy, bemoan the grammar, but love the irony

In March, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told Bloomberg he felt "very, very badly" for Texas students. - from this article which reports on a political party's education platform. That article has content much more important than my point here. My favorite part was opposing critical thinking because it can undermine beliefs taught at home. But back to the irony, I wonder if anyone pointed out the Secretary of Education's grammatical error. If by chance you don't know what I'm writing about, check out You Don't Feel Badly, Unless Your Hands Are Damaged.

An addenda to my recent detention by the Fort Worth Police. Adding the following lines to that post of 6-21-12 below:

6-22-12 - A visual migraine

I had a unique experience two days ago. This symptom checker describes it perfectly. Love the Internet. - I'd narrow the description down to - a visual hallucination with jagged lines, bright colors including shining mirror in a curved arc like a string of shiny polished stones in the near peripheral vision of the left eye upper left strong enough to be seen with the eyes open. Lasted about twenty or thirty minutes. No pain, no headache. It was a visual migraine. Read about it on the link above before getting worried.

JW sends an interesting note regarding the visual migraine mentioned above:

Regarding your visual migraine: According to James Austin, M.D., a neurologist trained at Harvard and student of Rinzai Zen (now retired), visual hallucinations in the upper left quadrant of the visual field are very common for frequent meditators. For some reason, explained in his book Zen and Brain (published by MIT Press), it is common to experience such things unexpectedly. His medical research into Zen was prompted when he was sitting in a subway station and suddenly saw a leaf suspended in the upper left field of his vision after a sesshin. It was in exact detail and later, looking over some photographs, he realized that it was an image he had photographed and for some reason his brain called up the image. I personally have not had visual experiences (except very minor stuff like lights behind the eyelids during meditation) but it would be interesting to learn if other meditators have experienced what you did. By the way, the book is highly recommended for demystifying the mystical experience, because it provides a solid theoretical basis for understanding how the brain transforms during meditation, and how legitimate mystical experiences such as kensho are reported to doctors by their patients but are often brushed aside as imaginative mumbo-jumbo. I find this one of the most helpful books in my practice as a meditator and I strongly recommend it to anyone who would like to know more about the nature of the brain and its relationship with Zen.

6-21-12 - Off to Akron tomorrow for five days with mother for her grand niece's wedding. When the police detained me tonight in front of her house here in Fort Worth, she may have been worried that this could potentially interfere with our flight plans.

What happened is that I was walking home just as it was getting dark, was on the phone with my mate Katrinka. I walked in the curb, as there are few sidewalks in this wooded neighborhood of spacious yards. A car slowly approached then a floodlight shone on me. Police car. I waved, went on, and walked up into our yard. I realized there was a helicopter overhead. The police car turned around and drove by then turned around again and parked in front of the house, spotlight on me again. I walked up and said, "Looking for someone?" The policeman got out and asked me where I was going. "Here," I said. "What were you doing over there?" he asked. "Walking home from Starbucks, to my mother's home." I said. He asked when I moved there. 1957. "Do you have any weapons or drugs?" "No." "Put your hands on your head." Another policeman drove up and got out. They asked for identification and asked what was in my backpack. "A Netbook," I said. I let them look through the Netbook and my wallet which he took out of my pocket after asking. He did cover the probable cause angle by saying I fit the description of the suspect. I thought maybe I'd fit the profile: 67 year old overweight man in shorts and sandals. How flattering they thought I looked suspicious and capable of breaking and entering.

I asked if I could call my mother so she could come out and watch this. No. I was told to sit on the curb. An officer went up to the house and she came up to the door. She said yes I'm her son. He came back. Later she said he asked what kind of car am I driving. "A Camry," she said. Later she said she checked the garage and was surprised to see the car there and wondered why he'd asked that. Me too. I would imagine this brought back memories of some events in my teenage years and at least some fleeting fears and wondering what sort of trouble I was in now.

There were a few more questions from the police like when did I move to that house. 1957. I said an employee at Starbucks "who's there now" knows me and I used my gold card to pay but if they need more alibi's they'd better get there soon. They said they wanted to have some people look at me and and asked me to get in the police car. So my mother (who'll be 98 in August) saw me being driven off by police with no explanation. She then called the neighbors and they'd heard something and later told me she said she was sure I was innocent. Thanks mom. Drove me down the street where there were more police cars and people, had me get out and stand by the car, then after five minutes get back in. Mother called and asked what was happening. I said I was sitting in the back of a police car down the street and would be home soon. All I knew was that there had been "an offense." The first officer drove me back, handed me my stuff, and apologized for the trouble and I said, "Thanks for being thorough."

Spent a while in the next door yard talking to neighbors. People had snippets of what happened from the police and other neighbors. Someone a block away had been burglarized and there'd been a struggle, there was gunfire, maybe the home-owner's gun, maybe the intruder was hit. The helicopter continued to circle. It had infrared to see warm bodies below. At one point there were five police cars in front of our house and they were going up behind the houses across the street with flashlights - there's a steep incline behind these houses, big lots backing onto the back yards of the big lots above, many trees. Finally all the police were gone. Doubt if anyone was caught. Except me.

6-11-12 - Fort Worth report. I'm here where the West begins visiting with my mother for a while - because she's having a cataract operation and needs someone around for a couple of weeks afterwards. I like it here. It's hot but I can get a lot of work done, have good friends, the neighborhood has beautiful tree shaded walks, Mother's easy to be with. She's going to be 98 in August. She still drives but not if I can help it so I'm driving her to an opera board meeting today. Yesterday I said to her that she keeps asking me things that she should know like do I read the sports page? No, of course not. I've never read the sports page - except for some years back when I followed the 49ers. And do I read the funnies? Of course - you know that. Do you drink coffee? Not for over seven years. And other stuff. "Do you really not remember?" I asked. "Get used to the new me," she said. Heading off for a brisk walk to a coffee shop soon before it gets too hot. - dc

6-06-12 - Collaborating With Angels, Rob Lee's memoir about Issan Tommy Dorsey and Maitri Hospice is being serialized in an online magazine -  The first installment is now up.  Rob writes to DC:

To say it's been a long time coming is a ridiculous understatement, but I don't regret it as the topic has such weight that time and contemplation have been helpful.  It begins with Issan but he died pretty quickly and the project took on a life of its own.  It's an attempt at something beautiful and true and helpful.  Not so easy. In editing this book I'm revisiting all kinds of fond memories, and with the hospice, complicated memories. Speaking of which, I hope you enjoyed seeing the look on Issan's face reading your card shortly before he died. He didn't have many good times in those months and that was as happy as I saw him that summer.

 Rob Lee's photo of Issan with David Sensuri looking at DC's card.

a cuke page on Issan

5-01-12 - Tassajara Alumni Retreat

4-30-12 - Back from the SFZC alumni retreat at Tassajara. Clay got me there.

4-19-12 - Happy birthday Clay who was not born on his birthday.

4-09-12 - The Soy Milk Carton and Beginner's Mind

3-22-12 - M. L. of Commonweal in Bolinas came to Charles Fox's bedside yesterday. Charles has stopped eating and drinking - his advanced MS finally, after more than forty years, got to be too much to keep going. They've been best friends for forty years. He sat with the family and me and we talked some. Charles' son James said that he'd asked his father to give him a sign from beyond if he could after he'd died. M.L. is skeptical by nature and said he'd always been non-committal about life after death but that nine times he's had experiences, some linked to his hospice work, where someone who'd passed apparently came back to him. He said he was recently staying at the One Drop Zendo on Whidbey Island as a guest of Shodo Harada Roshi while he was attending a conference. The first evening there he sat to meditate in his cabin - with his eyes open. As he sat there he experienced a woman coming in front of him and waving her hands and arms from side to side. At first he didn't recognize her but then he realized it was a woman who'd recently died in a hospice program he was involved with. He didn't know what to make of it and finally she went away. The next morning while he was meditating she returned with her hands and arms again going from side to side. He was puzzled. She seemed to be trying to communicate something. Then it occurred to him that she was communicating to him that she was okay and then he thought, oh, maybe she wants me to let her family know she's okay. Immediately she stopped waving her hands from side to side, put them together, bowed to him, and left. He contacted a member of he family before the funeral and communicated with reservations what he'd experienced. This would not mean anything to some people, but they were very pleased.

3-12-12 - Visited with Grahame Petchey.

3-09-12 Two emails about Kokoro, the former Sokoji with DC comment at bottom

3-04-12 - Bloodletting & Gate Crashing or Is Bodhidharma the Best Role Model for Westerners? - on Jack Elias' blog - with a mention of Crooked Cucumber

DC wrote to Jack concerning this blog:

I'm pretty sure those cutting off body part stories are myths.
I always disliked them cause I thought that there will always be a good percentage of people who take things literally and then an occasional one who copies.

Sent link to Bill Porter (Red Pine) and Andy Ferguson asking fact or fiction?

Bill replied: They are myths, indeed.  But only myths are true.

Andy replied:

Well, there's no solid evidence about any arm cutting off or eyelid cutting in the early historical records (thought there is a fairly reliable account that Huike was indeed missing an arm). And those are just a couple of the legends that came out later. Another fairly widespread Bodhidharma legend says he flew from India to China and got in a fight with Huike. Huike got mad when Bodhidharma criticized his understanding and so he hit Bodhidharma in the mouth with his prayer beads, knocking out his eye teeth. Bodhidharma wisely didn't swallow them, as he knew that would cause a multi-year drought, etc etc. Legends, in Chan as elsewhere, served many purposes-moral instruction, legitimizing the tradition, gaining political clout, fending off rivals, and, of course, understanding the wheel of life and death.

Jack's book, Finding True Magic, is an eBook now.

It's easy to see we never enter the same river twice. It's harder to see we're not the same either. - Kabumpkan

2-26-12 - Thoughts on cuke development.

2-22-12 - Ugh. Misspelled SFZC abbot Steve Stucky's name again. No e. Stucky not Stuckey. Darn. I have a spelling problem. Tend not to learn. Have to look it up every time in my Info Select note program. Lazy. Didn't do so in 2-19 report on visit to Wenger's new home. Checked cuke via site search (best way for me to search own site) and found nine files with such mistakes. Wonder which is quicker - to open each file or to do a global search and replace in HTML - the latter. And then have to remember to put the e back in the instances where it should be Stuckey in this report. I see he uses the umlaut so it should be Stücky  Should I then do another search to replace the u with u umlaut?  But I don't use macrons and other diacritic marks in cuke to keep it simple and universal cross platform useful and they screw up searching and OCR etc.

From Wikipedia:

In other languages that do not have the letter as part of the regular alphabet or in limited character sets such as ASCII, U-umlaut is frequently replaced with the two-letter combination "ue". Software for optical character recognition sometimes sees it falsely as ii.

So should the German method of using the alternate writing ue for ü like in email addresses which would make it Stueky?

What a search of the name turned up:

Stucky Name Meaning: German: variant spelling of Stucki. Probably a variant spelling of English Stuckey

Variant is like deviant. Should he reconsider the spelling?

For now we'll just go with Stucky.

This might be just the sort of experience that makes me remember the correct spelling of this name from now on.

Such are the hard questions that face the cuke staff daily.

The path is long and full of challenges. - dc

Another chance to sell out. Please Buddha, Please. Free me from these chains. I could get some righteous dental work and spend my waning days taking long walks with Katrinka.

On 2/22/2012 5:47 AM, Len wrote:


       Is for sale? Could you tell me asking price .Thank you.

Best regards,



How about a million dollars?


2-21-12 - John Freese's blog - Loved his short, basic description of Buddhism and meditation. John is from my hometown of Fort Worth. [more]

2-18-12 - On Wednesday visited the SF home Michael and Barbara Wenger have found for a home and zendo. Tagged along with Hoitsu (son of Shunryu) and Chitose Suzuki and a few SFZC and BZC luminaries. Thanks to Clare Hollander for the lift.

Go to Michael's cuke page to see their new zendo home and more.

Here are a couple of photos Clare took  there.

Chitose and Hoitsu Suzuki and DC in basement of Michael and Barbara Wenger's new home - 2-15-12.

DC's poor calligraphy - Not One

2-17-12 - Breaking a Fifty Year Old Vow

On 1/27/2012 11:51 AM, Ken wrote:


 I'm interested in , could you tell me the price if it's sale? Thanks and have a nice day.

With Best Regards,


DC responded:

Good. I get these offers now and then but haven't found the right buyer yet. How about a million dollars?


1-24-12 -

RIP Johnny Otis whose band I was fortunate to hear play in Santa Rosa (with the Sawyers) and whose radio show was broadcast from Sebastopol where we'd have breakfast and tea and listen to him spin the discs and rap on rhythm and blues history. He started a church and choir that Elin joined but it fizzled because the only type of sermon he knew was hellfire and brimstone and the people who came just wanted to sing. One of the great local characters in Sonoma County. - dc

1-23-12 - Happy New Year of the dragon!

1-22-12 - Get this neat letter  emailed now and then. Never get tired of it. It's billed as a response to Dr. Laura's rant against homosexuality as a Biblically endorsed sin. Read it and its history on Snopes at this link.

1-21-12 - Loved the visit to the Austin Zen Center located in an attractive neighborhood in a neat older home that used to be the Quaker meeting house. Good to see abbot Kosho and director Colin and talk with lots of neat folks. Good food at pot luck. Visited old friends John and Julia Jackson. Read about John in Part I of Freedom Songs. Crashed the last hour of an Adyashanti retreat. Second time to see him. Had dinner and lively talk with Stephen Boyd at a Greek restaurant - lots of mutual friends and acquaintances - and headed back north to Fort Worth via impressively huge and complex freeways. Austin used to be the modest size city I could drive into and easily find where I wanted to go. Now it feels like LA till I land, coming down from the third tier of freeway maze. Tons more traffic. The drive used to be four hours to or from Fort Worth. Got back at night in two and a half. - dc

1-20-12 - Off to Austin to the Zen Center there. Pot luck tonight at 6:30 and a talk tomorrow at 10:30. Austin ZC is cool - and warm. - dc

1-19-12 - Haven't put anything up yet today. -------------That was at midnight last night when I had to get the index or home page back up. How about this for today - a page on Facebook featuring my favorite Buddhist motto which was a gift to from Jackie Celko. Art by Brian Howlett.- dc

1-18-12 - SOPA/PITA Blackout day - posted this for the home page.

1-17-12 - Here's how the MLK parade in Fort Worth went. Later that day I dug up old and made new notes about my bumbling experience in the civil rights movement in 1964 planning to post something but I just ended up with over four pages of notes most of them a single line, fifty lines a page. Will try to get something writ on that.

Paul Krugman's MLK column

1-16-12 - Went to the parade today in downtown Fort Worth for Martin Luther King Jr. It was touching. I reflected on the past. I think I'll take a walk to a coffee shop to drink tea and write something on that. - dc

1-09-12 - Just getting ready to zap today's changes to cuke through air and wires to your computer, thinking of the amazing progress and rapid development in various scientific fields - computing, communicating, media, medicine, and ways to destroy each other. Reflecting on the news, debates, reporting, politics - that area is not moving fast, is still in Alice in Wonderland nutzoid territory. We're a psycho planet trying to wake up to sanity. Good luck to us all. - dc

1-03-12 - I'm in Fort Worth for a while. Mother's (97) live-in partner of over 20 years died and I came here at the same time that building inspectors nixed the Tarrant barn as a living space. I love it there but was wanting to move on anyway so providence gave a little push. Am working on Suzuki archive and new publishing stuff here like an intro for Chinese edition of Crooked Cucumber and lots more. Mate Katrinka was here with son Clay for Xmas. Sister Susan and Niece Camille just left today. Onward.

12-26-11 - This yuletide season we here in Fort Worth have fought bravely on the side of tradition in the War on Xmas (part Christian, part pagan, part consumerist, part hundreds of years old, part recent). We had classical Xmas music in the air, lights out front (thanks to neighbor Davis), and lots of presents beneath a tree, beautifully decorated by mother Ahdel. All I did was to get it standing up - taller than she is. She, Katrinka, Clay, and I had a late breakfast, present opening, nap, early dinner at the Ashton Hotel, and a drive to see the incredible lit trees around the Chesapeake Building and extravagantly lit homes near Rivercrest Country Club. Please tell O'Reilly and the folks at Fox to thank us for our service 

And on Christmas eve we observed a tradition of this house and last thing before bed listened to a The night before Christmas narrated by Cora Mel Patten, recorded in 1914 two months before mother was born, transferred from her 12" 78 rpm record to CD by sister Susan's first hubby, Paul Webster. - dc

Yes there is a war on Chistmas

No there isn't a war on Christmas.

12-25-11 - Merry Christmas.

And for those of such inclination, Merry War on Xmas.

12-22-11 - Happy Winter Solstice - at 530am. It's so curious that on the first day of winter the days start getting longer and the nights shorter. - dc

12-21-11 - Just in case you get these mixed up, Madeleine from Oregon taught me this nifty reminder:

A one L lama is a priest

A two L llama is a beast

A three L lama is a mighty big fire!

Hmmm. Works best orally. No right way to spell the last line.

Listen here - just made a recording of it in a break of the TCU--Luisiana Tech game. Mother asked for it. It's her fault - the only football or any type of ball game that I've seen this year in America which I say because I saw some soccer and cricket in India earlier this year. - dc

12-16-11 - The Diamond Sutra says there's none but still we seek abode

Due to the opinion of a code inspector who says Katrinka and my present haunts are designated for horses only, we are looking elsewhere for a place to lay our heads as well as the archives and stuff I type about. Suggestions welcome. - dc

12-14-11 - Bypassing voice messages and the irritating phone company prompts that follow II.

In Bypassing voice messages etc I, a description of the problem with opinion and solutions were presented. Elder son Kelly's message could always be bypassed by hitting the number 1, but now for some reason it's * - asterisk. And some systems need to have # hit. Kelly has kindly sent a formula to bypass all or probably most messages. I'm not sure if it's worded correctly to cover all. Will be testing. - dc

Step One: Push 1. If your friend is on Sprint (or possibly Verizon, but not always), this skips the greeting and you are done. IF you hear a message that says "One is not a valid option" skip to Step Three below, otherwise continue to Step Two.

Step Two: Push *. If your friend is on Verizon, you’ll hear the beep.

Step Three: Push #. This works for both Cingular and T-Mobile subscribers, and you’re all set to go.

12-10-11 - Humiliation

My friend Gregory wrote me yesterday and asked how mother was doing - her mate of 23 years, Richard Whinery, died this Monday, five days ago and I came to Fort Worth right away (Obituary). Here's my answer, edited a bit for increased dynamic impact:

She's fine. But I'm suffering from severe humiliation at having lost the key to her car which mystified me and looking and looking then telling her the spare she found in her room didn't work and was for a previous car she'd owned, that followed by a long period of looking then calling triple A and almost paying $150 minus sixty they'd refund for a locksmith coming then calling Jim who said that there might be a number for the key in the car manual which I checked but no so called Toyota parts who said they'd make em off the title for $7 then borrowing the neighbor car which mother did not like to go way out of town to get to the parts dept. right before they closed at seven and had three keys made which they didn't even charge for saying merry Xmas then coming back and testing the new keys which were good and that took three hours and then she looked at the key she'd given me earlier and said it looked the same as the new ones and I scoffed and tried it to find it did work, was indeed the spare - that all the fuss was unnecessary, and was again mystified, stammering - but it it it it didn't work - I tried it in the door and the ignition and it didn't fit - but now it did. I should have tried again I apologized like I kept looking again and again in the same places and pockets for the lost key but didn't try the one she gave me again and mother was very nice about the whole thing, really cool which is not always her nature, but I'm mortified, muttering to myself that it's a good lessen and I'll use it to make sure I am more mindful, but also aware that I can't celebrate an interesting experience at her expense (remembering the woman who got lost in the woods at Tassajara when I was director, who was lost for days - everything came to a halt to look for her with crews from outside joining in and when she was found and brought back in a stretcher she was ecstatic with what a great experience it had been and I didn't appreciate her sentiment as we were all exhausted and she'd not listened to the warning not to go wandering off by yourself especially if you're from NYC.). Mother and I discussed the concept of whether there's such a thing as lost time - she said yes and I said no that it's all perfect mind which she didn't appreciate - and those were empty words for it's taking a while for me to stop wishing I'd tried that key again and I am just sitting at my computer not looking up waiting for the shame to transform and feeling myself slowing down, privately enjoying the crushed ego effect.

I remember while looking for the key hoping that she'd picked it up and put it somewhere - that it was her fault - and then thinking, no, that's mean. I hope it's mine. No I don't care. Whatever. Now I'm glad it was me because if it had been her it would have made her feel bad and me, as Marsha once said, I'm a glutton for punishment, like to eat it up as nourishment. Michael said I'd probably been prejudiced against the spare key when I tried it. That's right. I remember thinking - oh this is an old key, why does she keep them? Katrinka says it was all because I was being stubborn, not paying attention and giving that spare the attention it deserved. This was indeed a humbling experience. Now a la Byron Katie I'll drop this drama and take the kernel of a lesson from it to urge a slow down and give each moment and each thing its due.

A far fetched thought occurred to me, a scenario to explain how I could have both lost the key (which I've never done here) and incorrectly inserted the spare key into the car. The thought was of my subconscious perceiving danger if we went out at that time and making sure we didn't. Thanks subconscious if that's true but it's more likely I just blew it.

I also thought of Niels RIP waxing on the virtues of shame and the shame of shaming my mother for her little slip-ups which in the light of recent events pale, became almost white.

And that's all on this much ado.

DC Misc Musings from before that

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