Shift in my Chapters

Growth Is Inevitable (when you challenge family discord) is really all about the reader.   The family will be the last to change and its dynamics within it.  The first to change will be the reader.  Growth is inevitable  means that the one growing will be the one who makes herself or himself happy by reading and learning new ideas in the book.  This changed person will bring change into each of his or her relationships, and how the others respond remains to be seen.

But the happiness, the sense of personal power, the sense of personal freedom will be new attributes of the reader and the reader’s happiness and growth is the focus of the book.  Like a shadow following a body, the family will improve with the newness of the growth of the reader, but it might not ever be as one would have wanted it to be.  On the other hand, as one grows, one’s desires change.   Perhaps one is more satisfied with that which one finds in others whereas before growing, one expected more of others and less of oneself.

So the book progresses, new thought by new thought.

Dormant patience in early December

Because time is without beginning, let us lead lives with the spirit that every day is New Year’s Day.  Every day can be as momentous as a New Year’s Day with the spirit of always moving forward from the present moment on toward improvement and growth.  When we do so, our lives are sure to overflow with the great, good fortune of happiness, even irrepressible joy.

Our own lives form a cluster of beings.  Our inner weaknesses are part of that cluster of blessings because we shine so brightly when we overcome our weaknesses and attain courage and hope, altruism and happiness.

Burdened with problems and sufferings, we could feel overwhelmed with despair.  Our own humanity can feel buried in unhappiness.  No matter how trying our circumstances, there is evidence that we will prevail.  There is the dynamism and excitement of cherry blossoms bursting out of dull wooden tree branches.  There is the freedom and purity of lotus flowers emerging from the muddy filth bottom of a silty pond.  There is the strength and energy of river bottom flint rock igniting fire.

These are all examples of ordinary miracles and the same exeuberant forces are at work within our human frames.  Beautiful and inspirational, reassuring and useful are we even in our darkest moments.  When conditions are right, the miraculous possibilities of happiness will dynamically blossom from within us and its energy will illuminate all with whom we come in contact.  We can be sure of this.  When we consider our own lives, we’ve seen it happen again and again.   And so it will always be.


Now I have some new postings to post under my page, Growth Is Inevitable

Nov. 18, 2014

Today, with the help of energetic Delaney of the Geek Squad, I entered a new page onto my blog site.  The new page is entitled Growth Is Inevitable and the contents are pages from my book of the same name.  I post about six pages at a time with the goal of posting some thirty or so from the original manuscript.

At one time the first thirty or so pages would have constituted the entire book, but in reading How to Write a Book Proposal, I realized the thirty pages were more an article than a book and I would have to write more.  So I’m soliciting comments and questions about that which is so far posted.  So please, question, question, question.  Don’t spare me.  Spare the future reader of my manuscript.  I implore you.  Question the points the manuscript is making.  Give me your experiences.  Write as little or as much as you are so moved.

I can’t thank you enough for any responses you may send.  Thank you.

a trip to newburyport, mass. in October 2014


We were traffic.  We spent rural land in a level glance:  Vermont roads, autumn-leafed birch and maple.

We slid by, whooshing our car’s boat body on its floaty ride.

Came a lurching line-painting machine and we were part of backed up traffic.

Dare devil mohawk-haired danger weaved back and forth around column-carved lanes.

But soon we were clear and had arrived and felt easier.

We were in New Surroundings

port city of long ago whalers and clipper ships back from the Roaring 40s of Latitudes with essence of the Orient:

medicine, chinaware, tea, silks.

Asian trade port crowded by federal buildings, coiffed by clouds, struck by sun.

Peabody Essex Newbury- maritime names and Plum Island.

Plum Island

Sandy soil, dunes, beaches and woods.  Beech trees, bay berry bushes, poison ivy, unseen, but warnings.

On a dead branch of a beech, a hooded light gray cape on a hunched over little man.

Mistaken identity.  The statue was a barred owl and in a smart, unhurried movement to the ground,

she skewered a vole and returned to her tree.

She rested.  Regraded her prey, and with body-convulsing swallows, gulped it down her throat.

She repeated the process from another tree.  Once again a long study of forest floor and then

a gathering of shoulders, a short stop on leaf-littered sandy soil and then the very spirit of air borne

back to her tree branch, again a dead one, regarded the talon-skewered creature punctured and hopeless,

Gulp gulp gulp gulp gulp and flew deeper into the forest.

Sandy Point

Where the seaward meets the leeward hard-packed, wide fine grained easy to walk sandy beach.

Al pair of gulls pecked at a dead small seal, rectangular, buoy-like.

The waves spat curled foam in broken low lines on a calm shore.

Garnet-mineraled purple sand striped the high water mark where the Parker River had contributed its silt,

all the way south from the Adirondacks.

growth is inevitable exerpts

title page growth is inevitablep.1 growth is inevitablep.2 growth is inevitablep.3 growth is inevitablep. 4 growth is inevitablep.5 growth is inevitablep. 6 growth is inevitable Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome new readers

The Katz/Wulf team hosted their open house over the columbus day weekend and I had the good fortune to meet many people and present my calling card with my blog emblazoned on it.   Several people have been kind enough to notify me of their new readership and I am very grateful to each and every one of you and to the unknown ones who read and leave few traces of their readership, if there are any such animals.  I’m not sure if the computer computes all who click on.  I guess they register as “hits” without necessarily leaving an email?  Would anyone like to educate me on this point?

Then, out in Aliso Viejo, California my cards were again made available.  I don’t know if I have any new readership from that event, but if I do, welcome to your, too.

My internet skills often need a consultation or two to allow me to post a blog and for this reason I go to the library to do my printed words.  I use computers supplied by the library along with the help the library staff offers.  Thus, because my small town has limited library hours and my personal storage area of patient attention for the work is also limited, the time I can devote to the computer world is less than my ambitions demand.  We shall see.  This in way of explanation for why sometimes blogs don’t come out as often as once or twice a week:  my ideal.

For today, a story pointing to a cure for inconsolable grief: a deep down realization that one is not alone.  Everyone suffers loss.  So one is in kinship with all others.

A woman lost her young child to sickness and couldn’t face that fact/  She walked the neighborhood streets, the outlying suburbs, the rural villages, the city itself carrying the dead offspring in her arms, begging for medicine to cure her beloved.  She came to the Buddha Shakyamuni and he explained that if he were to be in possession of a mustard seed he could make a medicine for her but that the mustard seed must come from a family that had not known loss.

The woman was filled with renewed energy and went from door to door explaining her mission to all whom she met.   But nobody could help her.   All had suffered loss.

In a very compassionate way, Shakyamuni taught her the universality and inevitability of loss and thereby consoled the suffering woman.

So this story can help me and all who have suffered a loss. We must part from those we love.  When the body can no longer sustain life it’s time to move on.  We grieve and come to terms with our grief.  Even in the beginning and middle of the process, even if it has no end, may our compassion for ourselves, the other living and the dead increase and may we grieve in a way that further develops our inner resources, including our happiness with ourselves.

Prevailing culture

“Am I wrong?  I started out thinking that I don’t suffer, that I am a happy person, that in fact something was wrong with me if I weren’t happy and could admit to suffering.

Does not our media offer a purchasable solution to every known unhappiness under the sun?  It’s un-American to be unhappy.

That’s what I thought.  But what about lines such as “lives of quiet desperation”, “tired with all these for restful death I cry” and the like.  I realized that the connections is my thoughts weren’t really connecting to legitimate claims and feelings.

After some time had passed, time of talk and reflection and reading and study I realized that I agreed that there are sufferings in life that are unavoidable, sufferings in life that are common to all humanity and that these sufferings can be distilled down to four universal sufferings: birth, death, illness and  old age.  These are four conditions which all human beings go through and they are, by their very nature, fraught with hardships.

The sufferings of birth does not refer to pain of the birth canal passage or Freudian ideas of leaving the womb.  Once I’m born, if I live, I’m going to run into frustration of one sort or another, such as misunderstandings of speech, being in a hurry and encountering a slow talker whom I must hear out for directions, having to wait in lines when I don’t want to, “the thousand natural shocks that flesh in heir to”.

No amount of purchases, no matter what is advertised will ever remove me from that basic suffering or from the other three that are even more self evident.

So the next question is what do I do about it in order to make the most value out of my life.  I agree with the writing that affirms that I can create the most value out of my life and be as happy as I can be amidst the four sufferings by learning to cultivate my humanity, reach out to those who are suffering, gain the trust of the people around me, create value out of every situation and live with a fighting spirit.

In this quest I wrote my book-in-progress, Growth is Inevitable (When You Challenge Family Discord).

Three Meetings a Day

I once read that making friends adds fuel to world peace.  Strangers are people I haven’t yet met.  Potential friends are in that category.  If I make the acquaintance of a person, the natural reaction is to get to know the person and if, in that process, opportunities for encouragement arise, who would resist?  I try to encourage and comfort.  It’s a great part of building relationships that blossom into friendships.

It’s a source of personal power and happiness.  I’m strong enough to help someone else.   Wow.  That makes me feel powerful and helping someone else also brings with it, happiness.  That means I can make myself happier than before by being kind.  Even a dog knows whether it has been kicked or tripped over and though that doesn’t mean misunderstandings don’t arise, it does mean that everyone is touched by kindness.

Now where world peace opens up is in the realm of caring for another.  I wouldn’t want to fight with a friend.  That friend might  have opposing views but still we would try to remain friends because we like and respect each other.  The wider my circle of friends, the more we all have an interest in cementing the peace of our world, however large or small our particular world is.

In looking around the current world brought to me by BBC radio news I hear a great deal about fighting within communities.  I feel  very fortunate to be living in the US of A where communities are not easily broken apart.  I go to the grocery store without worrying about snipers.  I give a lot of thanks for that gift of peace.  There are other examples of the benefits of peace but taking walks, walking to shopping places, driving on roads that aren’t mined, simple things so dear to me are priceless and are, the news tells me, rare.

Anything I can do to spread the enjoyable benefits of peace seem a small price to pay especially when the price is as much payment for growing my inner resources as anything else I could possibly be doing.

open letter to author of The Hours, Michael Cunningham

hi, michael cunningham, dear to my inner-resources development fund, you’ve incited me to communicate. My inner-resources development fund owes you a debt of gratitude for your donation, gratefully recieved through an inter-llibrary loan of your novel The Hours.

Unlikely candidate, though I am, I’ve become a writer. I’ve written things on my blog. But now, at least partially thanks to you and to a book by Michael Larsen entitled How to Write a Book Proposal, I want readers, art-viewers, and comments. Yes, I, prefer an alternative to silence. Maybe you do, too. So I’m writing to you.

I admire The Hours. In my take on Mrs. Dalloway, I concluded that the goal of Virginia Woolf’s book might well have been expiation for her objecting to intrusions into her life of events beyond her control, as Mrs. Dalloway’s anger when the death of the ex-soldierl invaded her party through the doctor’s report of the incident to another party-goer was evidence of her objection to intrusion into her life of events beyond her control.

Mrs. Dalloway thought of her guests and disliked that they might be upset hearing about this episdoe in the life of the greater city. Virginia Woolf might have caugt herself doing a similar response and wanted to make up for that less than compassionate (one might say) reaction. But Mrs. Dalloway thought of her guests and was trying to protect them. She might not have had compassion for the soldier and the doctor and the ministsry official, but she had compassion for her guests.

The Hours seems not to be a work of expiation. The Hours seemed to be a challenge to you, its author. “I want to write like Virginia Woolf. I can write like Virginia Woolf,” and you set out to see just what you could do along those lines.

“I can write like Dostoevsky,” I once bragged to an acquaintance. I can string together many-worded complex sentences into a coherent story.” But I nvever tried.

You, however, tried and succeeded in penning a novel in its own right, inspired by the inspiring Virginia Woolf. Remember the autobiography, I Am Camera? Somehow that comes to mind when thinking of an author noting, through a character, the sights of daily life. It’s impossible to separate the author’s observing eye from the book character’s observing eye. In that respect you captured Virginia Woolf because you and the character of Clarissa merged especially well.

Another way that I thought you captured Virginia Woolf lies in the matter-of-fact, just-another-part-of-life view of death. The suicide easing himself off the window ledge and the probable future suicide housewife were presented with very little sadness, if any, entering the writing. The sadness came when the author’s mother showed as a collapsed, almost-absent remain herself.

The housewife’s comfort in contemplating the option of death in an hotel room introduced a note, to me, that I don’t remember hearing from Virginia Woolf. That note is the wonder of a life whose expanse did not include any wild alternatives to speak of or think about.

You wrote about a reader and a writer and their friend or family. Everyday people in various socio-economic strata. You and Virginia Woolf are dedicated to writing about humanity and the human consciousness of alive people. Thank you for your efforts. If you read my “Mrs. Dalloway’s Party” blog at, please feel free to comment. Thank you very much for wading through this letter.         Please excuse me from correcting all my errors.  Thank you.

Adventures with George new epsiode with old vw camper vanagon

As long as I’ve known George, since 1988, he’s had vw campers.  Once he had a camper and a van and the mechanics combined them so that he had a whole running one.  VW vans reek of tempermentality.  Once we had to stop every hour to cool down the engine.   Once the whole sliding side door fell off.  Once there was a fire around the gear-shifting material.  It erupted right by my seat.

I’m hesitant to ride in George’s vans.  Then George might get indignant and ask, “What are you afraid of?  It’s been running fine.  But the past of our association, woman and machine, haunts me.

Most recently, a malfunction caused George injury.  We had just gotten back the Vanagon from the fabrication factory.  It had quieted the muffler and done something so the catalytic converter attached to the muffler without a break, without a broken seal in the pipes and tubes.

The engine was now closed off to the rush of air that used to whoosh over the machinery, cooling it.  The fan belt twisted, now, because the belt fit too loosely, and the mechanics knew the race-car jerry rig solution of twisting a belt that needed a tighter fit.

George figured, rightfully, that a twist would cause deterioration at a rate more rapid than normal ageing and this would destroy the cooling system.  So he untwisted it.  However, the looseness caused the same effect and while we were driving the fan belt broke and the coolant couldn’t circulate.  The coolant boiled.  It smoked of coolant fumes.  George dropped me off at my apartment and limped home, coming to rest in back of the garage.

That’s when he opened up the engine cover to see what was going on and stuck his head deeply into the apparatus to see if fire caused smoke and discovered the smoke was boiling coolant vapor.  However, in his investigation he breathed in the coolant fumes and rasped his throat.


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