Tag Archives: Life


If you’d welcome my forgiveness
as I could welcome yours
We might sit down some afternoon
to tea and petit fours.

As I ask you for forgiveness
what I hope you’ll realize
Is my asking for forgiveness
doesn’t constitute a prize.

Should you offer me forgiveness
but not accepting mine
I’d feel fully entitled
to believe you out of line.

When I offer my forgiveness
what I’m offering to share
Is the peace which that forgiveness
has brought me in a prayer.

You should know that your forgiveness
is your antidote to pain
As my forgiving you the while
has worked for me the same.

If you’d welcome my forgiveness
as I could welcome yours
We might sit down some afternoon
to tea and petit fours.

January 2024, Charlotte, NC

Cedar Key Nomadic New Year Convergence

We spent a week at Cedar Key,  getting home yesterday feeling rested and contented. We have a special friendship with a community of people who live the peripatetic life: They are nomadic, you see, working jobs they can perform most anywhere, most of them. Oh, some of these folks self-describe as retired, but in truth are roaming, seeking, and working at all manner of things along their paths.  Many of these folks converged at Cedar Key for New Year’s Eve a year ago, and the same tribe (with many new representatives) did so again last week.

It was a colder winter there this year, and with a pair of rainy days that had our little camper, The LeSharo, dripping a bit from around the ceiling vent, but this didn’t dampen our spirits. We walked, and ran, and did yoga during the week, and made new friends every day of our stay.

We participated in ‘Bar Wars’ for the evening of NYE; an event where contestants made and served cocktails of every description, sharing favorite recipes. I fixed Vodka Gummy Worms, with hilarious results. Pro tip: I should have started them three DAYS earlier for best results. They are far too chewy after only 3 hours.

We read, and read, and read in our snug little camper on the slack hours, and dined here and there,  sharing fixings and condiments in the rolling home of our friends. It’s easy to imagine doing this sort of thing when it’s time to hang up my clinical job, oh, many years from now.

In recent reading, I’ve learned that human beings were massively changed by the advent of agriculture, being fixed to tilled land, their nomadic ways arrested by cleaving to one place. For one thing, sharing basic needs was curtailed. Acquisitiveness, ownership, and guarding one’s “lot” came to replace general sharing of everything.  Human “classes” came into being. Agriculture, while it sustains more complex civilizations, does not improve the welfare of all, but balances the improvements enjoyed by landowners and their “priests” on the backs of the balance of the closed tribe, and fully excludes “The Other”, all those wanderers who exist outside the fringes of the one tribe. Workers and Warriors support Landowners and Priests, unified in the task of excluding and defending against The Other,  even if they all share the same basic DNA. Peace cannot be a part of this construct.  Sadly, it always comes down to Us and Them.New Year Ann 2014

It is so ironic that in The Book of Genesis it says that Adam and Eve were cast out of The Garden, to toil ever after in their own damned garden. God’s Garden was the free range, where Wanderers gathered of  The Plenty, and shared freely.

Modern motorhome nomads tend to emulate God’s Garden and ancient nomads because it rapidly builds Community among transients in the moment of being together.  It is warm, and lovely, and just the best thing ever. I’ll give you an instance: One afternoon this past week, there was a spontaneous “Swap Meet”: people brought things they’d found themselves carrying around that they had no use for. People laid stuff out, and people just admired, and conversed, and tried on old hats, and laughed over hip-waders and cookware. And eventually, everything was picked up, and stowed away in EACH OTHERS ROLLING HOMES! If any money changed hands in this process, I never saw  it happen.New Year Technomadia 2014

Nomads are like that. I just love being around them. As a lesson for the New Year, and all the years ahead, it’s one to bear in mind: Be open to others, share what you have, and love beyond the limits of your own  “tribe”. If you drop your fences, and wander “outside”, you will be astonished at what you receive, and the freedom that you find.

A Hourney to Jaco, Costa Rica

My wife, daughters and I traveled to Costa Rica a few weeks ago on a first family vacation in some years. More often when we do this, there’s one or some of Ann’s kin at the other end of the road. The last time I think there was a wedding, too, out in Oregon. If I’ve misplaced some intervening journey, please someone refresh my memory.  However, this trip was for us as a nuclear family, sans extensions, to the beach town of Jaco, CR, pronounced Haco.

The centerpiece of Jaco,  for us was, hands down, the zip-line adventure.  Many photographs were taken. My face may have betrayed a wee bit of anxiety at times. For a pilot, I am surprisingly uncomfortable with heights experienced without the benefit of wings, ailerons and rudder.

A close second for me was simply walking,  exploring a road up into the mountains overlooking the Pacific, or strolling into Jaco town along the beachfront, watching surfer bums. We also rode the buses down to Manuel Antonio National Park,  where Ann and Kelly saw a monkey in the wild, and I communed with yet another iguana. Iguanas are curious, and rather sociable if you offer to take their picture. It might be natural vanity on their part.

Such a beautiful coast line! One can’t help but imagine retiring there, but, alas, my trip was marred by two episodes of pilfering by the locals. The first was losing my cellphone to (most probably) a Costa Rican airport security worker in San Juan. I also foolishly left a backpack out of sight on our bus ride to the park, and it was spirited away by a clever thief. That cost me two pairs of glasses, and my swimsuit!  A neighbor here had warned us of the casual attitude toward and presence of larceny in C.R., and I can attest, it’s true!

Enjoy these pictures!


‘The Calamari Kleptocracy’ – A New Audiobook!

"The Calamari Kleptocracy" by Nicolas Sansone — cover image

Spoken-Arts.Swiftpassage.com and All Things That Matter Press are delighted to present Nicholas Sansone’s ‘The Calamari Kleptocracy’, my second narration project,  available now from Audible.com and iTunes. Click to hear a sample from the book:

Chapter 1

‘The Calamari Kleptocracy’ is a loss of innocence tale, the story of Thor Gunderson, a cheerful and congenial young man whose life is about to take a series of wild jolts and shocks as the people in his world each, one by one, bring Thor lessons in the complexity of human nature, and the existential character of the universe in general.

Sansone’s novel is ingenious for its capacity to craft a seeming allegorical  America, which ultimately proves to be barely an allegory at all. It is, rather, a clearer vision of the plight of our nation in economic turmoil.  Common people work hard, but don’t prosper. The rich get richer, and use the common folk as their pawns. The land of opportunity exists only as a memory of a dream.

The view-points and writing of Sartre, Brecht, and Ionesco all echo in this novel, but with their European existentialism adroitly imported and adapted to our native landscape. That mirror now reflects the hardships and harsh realities of an America enduring a crippling economy, turbulent sectarian divisions, encroaching Fascism, and a corruptly parasitic oligarchy.

But don’t be dismayed by the weighty underpinnings of this story. For all the complexity of the novel’s philosophical bones, the  surface of the tale is  light and humorous, and parades characters and events which are by turns sweet, amusing and colorful, before leading us with, at times, brutal honesty to the way things really are.

And how is that? Big business manipulates and gobbles up individual businesses. Individuals are manipulated into collectives against their own best interests. “Opportunity”  has vanished from the American landscape. The prosperous prey upon an ever-shrinking and downwardly mobile middle class, an astonishing number of whom enter into incarceration in for-profit prisons. And yet there is always to be found light within human life: This was one of Ionesco’s clearest truths, which Sansone, too, demonstrates over and again,  with a precise eye for the light, color, and minute details that fill the space in which his story unfolds.

Another brilliant aspect to Sansone’s story-telling is that he never demonizes anyone. All his characters, even the most corrupt, are complexly human mosaics of traits good and bad; full and simple at once.

For that, and many other reasons, I loved working on this audiobook presentation of Mr. Sansone’s novel. Find it today at Audible.com  !

So, let me introduce you…

Today I shall blog! I’m a federal employee, I’ve cleared my desk of all the necessary work, and for the next 30 minutes I’ll be feeding the blog, which says something about the value I put on keeping in touch with… um, … with THE WORLD!  Or, y’all… or …whatever.

The day before yesterday I had one of those unpleasantly instructive days where you rediscover a truth about yourself. It was this: I can be seriously thrown off balance by a tiny episode of personal embarassament. It doesn’t even need to be particularly public, like when Nixon threw up on Chairman Chou En Lai, or when Reagan joked into a live microphone about launching a nuclear assault on Soviet Russia. Or perhaps you “know someone” who farted noticeably on an elevator. That sort of thing…

The thing is, this was really nowhere near as bad as those gaffs, but still managed to leave me rattled to a point where I doubted my ability to unwrap and chew gum without injuring myself, or marring the furniture.

So what did I screw up? I was suddenly called upon to make an introduction, and then, without thinking, I extended a handshake to one of them, as if it was me who had been introduced.  Yeah, I know, pretty clumsy… I don’t get a lot of practice at social graces, and this sort of thing has blindsided me before.

Lord knows, I’ve been a social twit all my days, so why do I worry about it, or keep trying?   I mean, I really admire those gifted with that easy grace, so suave there’s never a sense that they so much as think of what to do in a social moment. It just comes naturally to them. I simply can’t trust myself to navigate those moments on autopilot, I dream someday I might. Big mistake.

What really alarms me is how much personal embarrassment AFFECTS me. I’m absolutely sure there are people who shrug off their clumsiness, social or otherwise, with nary a cough, shrug, nor blink, but why not me? 

I even get upset at movies that depict people similarly plagued. If it ever came to torturing me to extract the location of the terrorist bomb, they need only lash me to a chair and force me to watch a Ben Stiller film. If they used ‘There’s Something About Mary’, I’d offer to ingest the plutonium to defuse the thing… 

So my “misplaced” handshake left me shaken, in a cold sweat, and wanting to cower in a dark closet until my self-confidence might return, which it did the next day, albeit, with me being very careful not to undertake any introductions for a while. Y’all can just sort yourselves out without my help, thank you very much.


If you know me at all, then you likely know Ann, my closest friend, my partner and wife, and the defacto CEO of my corporate and corporeal being. This short note is to pay tribute to this wonderful woman, and especially today. As I am writing, she is driving home after a very long week away from our river’s shore. I know she’s feeling pretty happy and good.

What I want to herald and report is that she spent this past weekend helping a dear friend of ours to attend a professional conference in Atlanta. Our friend had shattered his leg in a biking accident more than four months ago, and is still struggling with mobility and healing issues. He absolutely HAD to attend this meeting, or face re-taking state board examinations to keep up his professional licensing.

Ann volunteered to be his driver and help-mate for the four days of the conference. She cut short her quilting vacation on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and drove about a thousand miles to help our friend get to his meeting and home again.

In just a few minutes, she will be getting home to our house on the marsh, checking on her garden, skritching the cats’ furry heads, and taking a look at facebook and the blogs, and seeing this:

Ann, you are such a wonderful person. I am only one person of so many who can celebrate how much good you bring into our lives. Thank you for everything you do. Thank you for being You…



Life in Balance

Portal FlagThis post is about sharing contentment.

It’s just been one of those weeks in which  life hits its stride, the cogs mesh, and everything feels pretty darned good. My “boxes of life” are various, and, as a list, can change around quite a bit, but have always included “Time with Ann”, “Fixing Things Up”, “Flying”, “Work in the Clinic”, “Server Maintenance”; those sorts of things.  This past week it just seems like everything I’ve had time to tackle has felt good, and made me happy.

I think it’s helped, too, that we are enjoying a taste of early spring just now.

The big thing is this:  I’ve made a pact with myself to use the airplane several times every week, even if it’s just for short trips. I’ve been able to arrange things so I have a vehicle (the old LeSharo camper), in position at the airport so I can FLY to work from the airstrip here at the house, if the weather cooperates. The journey by air is trivial, something on the order of 10 minutes if I hurry, but with ground handling the airplane at both ends it doesn’t really save any time.  That doesn’t matter! I FLEW TO WORK!

It isn’t the bragging rights.  It’s more to do with using a skill, and keeping the batteries charged, the airplane’s, that old Winnebago’s, and mine!


Speaking of contentment, a few of our readers might know about the issues we’ve had with our neighbor’s mean-spirited dog over the past two years. Well, I’m very glad to report that after a few serious run-ins with that pest, animal control has come out and read the riot act to the owners, and they seem to have started to control the dog more responsibly. Sometimes we hear him barking, but we never see him anymore.  What a wonderful difference that makes!


Other stray and happy details:

Our friend, Bruce, who had a wretched accident last fall said today that his leg is definitely knitting natural bone into the scaffolding in his leg. We’ve been waiting months for this good news. Mend, Friend, mend! Ann expects to be helping him around at a professional meeting in a few weeks, so he can maintain his professional licenses during this hiatus in his life.

Lastly, I bought an updated navigation radio for my airplane. It was a genuine bargain, as these things go, and I’m delighted with it. It’s a GPS with VFR and IFR charts, and approach plates loaded into it, if that means anything to you. The device is called the iFly 700, and you can check it out here. I might do a comprehensive review of the device eventually.

Thanks for tuning in…  🙂