Manning The Oars


In physics, escape velocity is the minimum speed needed for an object to “break free” from the gravitational attraction of a massive body.


Well, we’re off today to San Diego to pick up our Airstream, our new home on wheels. We’ve shed everything else.

I’m still somewhat stunned by how difficult it was to make this transition. Not emotionally difficult, not hard to get rid of things, to sell the house, to say goodbye over and over and over again to the physical talismans of a lived life- but simply the physical process- the obstacles, the setbacks, the sense that some force was actively conspiring against us at every turn to make us give up, to make us turn back. I’d imagined that once we made up our minds to do this, to really do it, and joyfully, that the Universe would open its arms to us, open all the doors, scatter rose petals on the path before us.

Instead there was all this difficulty.

I guess that’s not exactly right, either. There actually were both phenomenon occurring together- the doors opening, the red sea parting, the petal strewn path beckoning, yes- but simultaneously there were the forces trying to turn us back, the myriad obstacles big and small and the sense of intentionality behind them.

Of course, I’m reminded of the Buddha’s time under the Bodhi tree and the endless visits from Maya, trying to tempt him away from the path with his beautiful daughters and then with hordes of terrifying monsters and soldiers.

Well, the Buddha held his seat and reached the goal. It looks like we were able to do the same.




I’m two weeks retired now. I’m happy. I feel open, relaxed, attentive, grateful, sweet, generous, thrifty, and brave. I get to hang out all day every day with the woman on the verge and I feel blessed beyond measure to get to be in an atmosphere where it feels good to breathe.

She is my path.



Spiritually, I feel pregnant. Just going for a walk makes the veil between this world and the next gossamer thin. Information leaks through continuously in the form of signs and omens. Not a verbal language, but a symbolic and physical one. I can feel my cells opening up and the light and love of what is shining through them. My neurons and all the electrical activity of my physical body lights up with the pulses of energy coming from what is. Each bird that wheels in the sky above me blows a hole in my heart, which is growing vaster moment by moment. Practice becomes each breath, each footfall, each interaction with a stranger encountered on the path. Aliveness, gratitude, wonder, abundance, ease, and a longing to serve, to be of use, to be put to use, to throw in my lot with everything that is, and to serve love- this is the fuel burning in my every cell. And of course, this knowledge that this body I inhabit streams outward in all directions forever and is inextricably linked to all that is. If I am one thing it is that I am all.


I feel I’ve awakened from a dream.



Logistically, we’re driving down to San Diego and Sunday we’ll finish the transaction and hook up the Airstream and head north again. Come back to our little town, find a place to park- hopefully in San Simeon campground- and then load our few remaining possessions into our new home, and again disperse those last few things that won’t make the cut- give or throw them away. Then hang out until Thanksgiving. Have a last hurrah with our family here, and head off into the wilderness.

This is a bittersweet time. We’re joyful at our departure, but heartbroken to leave our child and our grandchildren and my parents and brother and grandparents and what what what. A whole tribe has settled here and we’re moving on. I’m certain they’ll forgive us, and I know they’re rooting for us. But there’s a tinge of sadness in leaving.

But the joy is vast.



I don’t know what will become of us. We’ve stepped through a magical portal and our old lives are burned away to dust and the dust will blow and scatter in the wind.

A new thing will emerge.




As always, my prayer is for your happiness, for your peace and well-being. May you be happy, may you be free from suffering and the cause of suffering, may you know love, may you have ease and joy and abundance, may the terrible things pass you by.