10.16.2014

30th Short Film ~ Dahlia

This is my 30th film in two years since getting into cinematography.  Go on the journey of one woman passion for the dahlia flower. Relax, enjoy & share...



10.15.2014

Moment

Current Reading: Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Current Music: The Beatles 1967 -1970 (vinyl)
Mood: Foggy
Smells: Cut grass
Temperature: 59 degrees
Thoughts: 95% of the world is at peace...remember that.

10.01.2014

Living is the Cure ~ Life with NMO


Living is the cure.
Fueling your body for life is the cure.
My disease is not going away.

Hot pink running tights with a shaved head and a princess tiara adorned on top.  This is what I see about three runners ahead of me.  I pick up my pace to get a better view of her. She is wearing a white tank top that is almost transparent so that all could notice that she had her breasts removed. You could see the scarring breaking through the fabric of her shirt.  I look over at her and give her a nod of my head and hold up my fist in a manner of encouragement. I choke back tears….she nods back and takes off running. It would be the last time I would see her.

16,000 runners and I was lucky enough to run with the strongest one, even if it was only for a brief moment.

She has the cure, I say to myself. A cure dose not come from medicine solely. The cure comes from deep within your spirit.

For myself I am not interested in raising money for the cure. I am not interested in running for the cure. There are plenty of good people already doing that. I am interested in raising up spirits. I am interested in bringing the dead back to life. I am interested in running with the cure.

For this is the cure…getting up and doing is the cure. Fueling your body for life is the cure. Today when I run I move not with the disease, but with the cure. For this action, this moment is about living a life…and that is the cure.

Three months prior to the race on this very same street that I am running on today, I sat at a coffee house with a young man who himself has recently been diagnosed with NMO. It was oddly comforting to share my experience with someone going through what I have been living with. Never in the past decade has the opportunity presented itself for me to talk with another man about life with NMO.

We swap stories about the impressionist life we see out of our legally blind eyes; mine in the right eye, his is in both. We talk about medicine, side effects, hopefulness of being seen by certain doctors. We talk about fear, our future and the unknown. His attitude about living with a disease was promising. I knew at that moment that this young man would have trials ahead of him but in the end he would come out a victor.

“Run this race with me” I tell him. “I promise you when you cross that finish line you will have all the answers you need about how to live with NMO. Have all your loved ones there…anybody who has felt your pain standing at the finish line. For when you cross that line it will be healing to all (especially me).  

In hindsight, that was terrible advice for me to give. Here is a young man who is going through steroids therapy, rounds of infusions, MRI’s, countless blood tests and hours of sitting in waiting rooms. All of this will continue to lie ahead of him for a long time, if not forever. Here I sit across the table asking a legally blind man to spend the next three months training for a race. Luckily, for the betterment of his health, he did not run with me. But be warned: when your life with NMO becomes balanced (and it will) I will be asking you again.
I had to live my words for myself…it was hard.

About six weeks out from race day all started going wrong. I would awake every morning in pain. My legs were weak (and still are), numb and tingly (that in itself in nothing new). Holding my own body weight became a struggle; my balance barely there. Getting out of bed was as if pre-paralysis would set in every night. I would awake with limited mobility to move my legs. I would use my arms to lift myself out of bed, placing my feet on the floor, next pushing myself off of the bed and then catching my balance on the wall. Standing there I would take inventory of what was working and what was not. Holding my arm against the wall I would stand there for a moment to regain my balance and let my bare feet grab hold of the floor. Next with one hand on the bed and one hand on the wall, I would make my way out of the room, using furniture, door frames and the narrow hall wall to keep me standing upright. Next would come the steps; one hand on the railing and one on the wall, it would take all four of my limbs to get me down the steps. Why struggle so much you may be asking? There’s coffee down there. With my coffee and a book I would sit in a chair for about a half and hour before my body would come back to life.

This has become my morning ritual and, with yoga and meditation, soon I would walk out the door either for a walk, bike ride or a run (most or somedays…read on).

I have enough life experience with this disease to know that my body is not broken. My mornings are nothing more than a misfire of brain neurons and nerves not working together. Even though I am feeling pain, there is nothing physically wrong with my bones or muscles.

Sometimes that last sentence make me feel better…sometimes.

Pain from doing something feels much better than pain from simply waking up. But at times that is how my body works…my brain neurons like to sleep in much longer than the rest of me.

So here I am, weeks out from running my first major race since my last setback 18 months ago.

Coming out of that setback I wrote a blog post titled “The New Normal”, which would go on to do a lot of good for people. Every week e-mails and kind messages would pop up almost magically thanking me for those words. Those messages, from all parts of this globe, were the best medicine I could have asked for. It seemed every time I wanted to quit I would receive a note of thanks….God’s ways may not be that mysterious after all. Somedays I would push on, somedays I would take a nap.

Goddamn it, I must live those words.

The most confusing bugger for me was that there was no rhythm to this flair up. Somedays my body would be at 100% and somedays never getting past go.  This “no rhythm” was killing me. For when you get an attack/flair up, you are down for awhile, then you rehab yourself back to health. Rehabbing was not working this time due to the fact that there was no rhythm to what I was going through. Somedays I would go out into the woods and run for an hour and feel light and energetic, and somedays getting to the mailbox was not going to happen.

Life with my body became “the call and response”, as if there was a mystical Baptist preacher yelling out to the congregation and the congregation would respond back to him. My body would call out to me and I would have to respond differently to each message.

This is where things get a little weird. Imagine a miniature Incredible Hulk with a taser gun living in the middle of your spine. This mini-Hulk is trapped inside the flesh monster (a.k.a me) and he is zapping and shocking his way to freedom, but he never gets free. My skin is too thick to set him free. My skin is too thin to hold all of the Hulk’s rage inside of me. This is what happens sometimes, with NMO, when the brain tries to communicate with nerves and there is a misfire (or worse, several in a row). That misfire has to go somewhere and is made up of electrical currents with the mission to deliver messages to your body. Instead of that message reaching its intended target, it hits outside of the bullseye, bringing unimaginable zaps of pain, for me, in my middle back.

Being electrocuted from the inside out is a godawful experience; I am pretty sure that it will kill me someday. The shocks happen randomly and without notice. A 30 second experience of these back zaps leaves me winded and gasping for air, instantly fatiguing me and a black fog of haze sweeps over my mind. I can not hold a thought and listen to music at the same time. The world moves in fast forward as I move in slow motion. The call and response of back zaps is debilitating. The treatment: sitting still and hopefully in silence.

I may go months without an episode of zaps, then for a day or two, the mini-Hulk fights to get out.  Three to four weeks before the race, the mini-Hulk fought hard.

For six weeks prior to race day I had good days and dark days. There was no rhythm; all I could do is respond to the call. I failed a lot. I have drank more alcohol during this time than any other time in my life. I would have two to three drinks a night to numb myself and self-medicate, to calm the mini-Hulk living inside my back and to get through the night (do not do this). In the morning after, I stumbled my way down to the kitchen and make myself the perfect kale smoothie to fuel my body for the hypocritical life that I was living (do make kale smoothies).

With purpose, effort, bourbon and kale I made it to race day. I now run past the coffeehouse which inspired me to enter this race in the first place. I watch as an older, frail man passes me by with the words “pain that feels good” scribbled on the back of his shirt.  I look around at the16,000 other runners, all with their own stories of why they are running today. The one thing that we all share is that we did the work to get us here today…and that feel good.

As I round the last corner before the finish line, there is a line up of little kids on the sidewalk cheering and reaching their arms out, waving to the runners for a high five. I make my way through the pack slowing down to hight five each one of those kids. They filled my heart up with an energy that is unexplainable. If it was not for this disease in the first place I would not be running here today. I choke back tears once again.

I remember that this disease has given so much to me. My days are lived fully because of this disease. I see the world in such a beautiful way now; that’s why I write these articles. I want to share as many of my miracles with you as I can.  This disease has given me life and for that I am eternally grateful.  I am eternally grateful to you for reading and sharing these words with your loved ones and friends. I am eternally grateful for the messages that you have sent me. I am grateful for your prayers…prayers that I will never quite earn.  With deep bows of gratitude, each one of you  are a blessing in my life.

Living is the cure…
Pass it on.

9.15.2014

9.04.2014

Moment

Current Reading: Colorless Tsukuru by Haruki Murakami
Current Music: The Beatles 1962 -1966 (vinyl)
Mood: run, run, run
Smells: Kale smoothie
Temperature: 69 degrees 
Thoughts: Spirit original meaning “Breath” - Holly original meaning “clean”

9.02.2014

Lesson Learned ~ Life with NMO

About a mile and half into the run she asked me, “Daddy, why do you run?” “Because I can.” I tell her.

October 2013 I was supposed to run in my first marathon. February of that same year I had an NMO attack. The attack took away my ability to run, barely leaving me with the ability to walk. October 2013 came and went. My dream of running in the Chicago Marathon faded along with the numbers on the calendar that year. Slowly I rehabbed. I got better as the season changed colors.

September 1, 2014, the unofficial start of autumn, I ran in my first race since my setback.

I say the words to her, "Heart of a servant - strength of fighter. That's what keeps me going. My desire is for you to know that it's possible. That everything is possible. Dream big and do the work." I have always fancied myself as a street philosopher. Here I am preaching to an eight year old little girl who is running simply because she can.

Telling my daughter that I have a disease that was not going away and did not have cure was my biggest fear. Then one day I received a handwritten letter addressed to John & family. The letter was written from a kind woman who herself was raising a son with NMO. The letter was a thank you for the writings I have done on NMO. She went on to express her gratitude for me sharing my journey publicly. The letter filled me with joy and tears. The letter was the bridge (the gift) on how to tell my daughter why daddy got sick for long periods of time.

About a half mile before we cross the finish line my daughter tells me “Let's run for NMO. It's not about winning the race, it's about completing the race.” Yes little one. I pat her little bum and we run until we cross the finish line.

Chicago marathon can wait. This was the best run of my life.

You do not need to be strong enough for whatever life throws at you…..You need to be compassionate enough to be of service to it. Lesson learned.


If you like what you just read and would like to read more I keep an updated page on Medium.com with all my writing on Neuromyelitis Optica. Please share with those who you think will benefits from the writings. 


8.29.2014

Moment

Current Reading: Meat is for Pussies by John Joseph
Current Music: Ashes & Fire by Ryan Adams
Mood: Future thinking
Smells: Laundry detergent
Temperature: 71 degrees 
Thoughts: Living with a ghost, waiting for it to die…..

8.25.2014

Sisterhood: Documentary

What happens when you get 9 gutsy women together to celebrate beauty, success and sisterhood?



8.22.2014

Moment

Current Reading:Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull
Current Music: Aerial Boundaries by Michael Hedges
Mood: Zapped
Sound: Fan, feet & drum beat
Smells: Coffee
Temperature: 70 degrees
Thoughts: Impermanent is unreliable.

8.18.2014

Life with E ~ Insanely Useful Photography Tips


I have been wanting to write this post for years. Not until seeing the photo above and being a witness (film coming soon) to nine women going through the Elizabeth Craig Intimates experience did the words come to me. I am writing this for the up-and-coming photographer to help them be the greatest (& happiest) photographer that they can be.

Elizabeth is by far my favorite photographer in the world. Ok, I am her husband and deeply in love with her, but read on to discover why for yourself, and how you can apply her approach to becoming a better photographer yourself (or whatever artistic endeavor you want).

I feel like I’m E’s olympic coach; for years I would help guide her on her creative path of discovery.

She has heard me say “photograph the light first and the subject second” countless, endless times. We have critiqued, ripped apart, and been overjoyed when reviewing her work after a shoot (only the family-friendly photos ladies…I’m not privy to the “husband/fiance/boyfriend/significant other” photos. No worries there). We do this after every single session. She imports the pics, then we have a conversation and a discussion on what she has created that day.

Tip #1. Get critiqued often. 
Tip # 2 Have lots of conversations.

Like most coaches, I look at her as far surpassing anything that I ever taught her. When I watch her work I feel like the student. Don’t get me wrong, someday when she is awarded “greatest photog" in the world, I will accept a big shot out, but at the same time nobody will be cheering louder than me.

She is a constant creator, collaborator and at times a pusher (she wants what she wants). When a camera is in her hands she has a glow and an energy; she is happy, very happy.

Tip #3 Do the work that makes you happy. 
Tip #4 Do not take a job because of the money, you will fail.

One of her strengths is that she knows that no photograph can be reproduced twice in camera. Every single press of the shutter is an opportunity to create anew. She is a student of her craft. She studies others, but at the same time she has a complete understanding that you can never copy another photographer’s style. You can be influenced, motivated, jealous and inspired by other photographers, but you can never be them. You must make your own music, create your own work. If you try to clone another’s work you will always fall short in achieving the most important thing in photography….which is seeing what is in front of you.

Tip #5 See what’s in front of you (light then subject).
Tip #6 Vision takes practice; put the time in.

Her greatest talent by far is the wounded healer that she carries inside of her. Today when she photographs a woman, what she is doing in essences is handing back to those women her own beauty within. Yes, the photos she creates are beautiful, glamorous and carry a dream like quality. When Elizabeth connects with a woman (see photo above) she herself is looking forward to looking back on a moment.

A moment when that woman felt strong, beautiful and intimate. A moment when that woman can say to herself that she got it right in her life: flaws, scars and all the wobbly bits are just as important as the curves, lines and the fire and passion in her eyes.

As the group photo session went on that day, Elizabeth would take each woman and do an individual session with her. I filmed this entire process and I noticed there was one constant thing that every woman would say when Elizabeth would show them their photo on the back of her camera: “That’s me?? I am amazed!” Elizabeth’s response was “Yes. That’s you” with a smile on her face.

Tip “Lucky #7: Transformative power of seeing the beauty within.

This is the my favorite photo of E, never has truer pic of her been taken. I am the lucky baster who gets to see her beauty within, daily.




8.11.2014

Family Photo + One Giant Ego

Last week two good friends of mine (also fellow photogs) updated their personal headshots. This kicked me in my butt to go and update mine. It has been at least four years since a new photo of me has appeared.

Since I am married to the world's greatest beauty portrait photographer, achieving a new pic would be easy. Flash her a smile with an offer to by drinks afterwards and bam you get an updated photo.

Since, I am also a good student of the craft, she handed the camera back over to me with a set of instructions on how she would like to be photographed.   Bam, updated Elizabeth photo (damn she's hot!).

We go home and bask in our extreme good-looking-ness, proceed to talk about what a beautiful creation we have in our daughter. Open up photoshop and stitch together a new family photo.

A photo of you is important, do not forget that. Go get one done!





8.08.2014

Moment

Current Reading: Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong by Juliet Macur
Current Music: Pure by Michael Hedges
Mood: Feel good
Smells: Clean air
Temperature: 69 degrees
Thoughts: What I will ask of you is do you have a "kind plate?"

8.04.2014

Abstract Photo ~ Ambient Art

This might be my favorite photo of all time. It is definitely my fav as of now.  What I love about abstract photograph is that, without a defined subject you can find yourself in it.

7.31.2014

Ful·fill·ment ~ Short Film

As with all the films in this series the film is best enjoyed in full screen with the outside world turn off. If this film resonates with you then please share it with the people in your life who need to hear this message.

This is #7 in the series. Ful·fill·ment


7.21.2014

Moment

Current Reading: Spartan Up by Joe De Sena
                               Paradise in Plain Sight by Karen Miller
Current Music: Morrison Hotel by The Doors
Mood: To many beers yesterday
Smells: Trash
Temperature: 71 degrees
Thoughts: There is no hand book on how to be a human being never mind a guide book on optimal health with a chronic disease…I think I will right one.

7.12.2014

Endurance & Elegance ~ Life with NMO


Your disease is not going away.
What you are about to read is not a cure.
Read on to get better.

Disease is not a living suicide. Society has conditioned us to think that if we have a disease then we must be sick.  It is the biggest obstacle that you will ever face when living with a chronic illness.  A shift in mindset can set you free. Do not be paralyzed by the fear of change.

Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do.”

Health is not the absence of disease; good health is defined by what we (you) choose to define as optimal living. If you live in a state of illness and do nothing to improve your wellness then a life of illness is your state of optimal living.

You cannot define health by what it is not. Define health by how you choose to live.

Think about that last sentence. Sit with it. Can you define it? Does it make you mad (mad at me for asking) or mad at the answer you give yourself? Do not deceive yourself. Be life-enhancing; you do not need a special thing to answer the question. The suffering has already been your teacher, coach and mentor.

Get committed and overcome that obstacle (fear, pain, suffering) that is holding you back…that is keeping you from getting out of bed, or off the sofa.  Create a personal practice that keeps you in charge of disease.

Disease is unpredictable. You cannot practice for that, but good health is predictable when you have a good practice in place.

Disease can be a rite-of-passage to transcend the notion of what good health means to you.  For most, good health has become this far off alien thing rather than ideas that is within us at all times.

You know how to suffer.  Life with disease means there will be periods of suffering to endure. The question to ask is “What can I do with my ability to suffer?” Pain from doing something feels a lot better than pain from doing nothing. Life with disease is filled with pain from doing nothing.  Disease-pain arises as a mystery from within us. The body fighting the body and most times the mind is not even invited to the match.

Disease-pain can teach us how to bring purposeful suffering into our lives. Yep, purposeful suffering…most likely voted to be the worst motivational topic of all time. Stay with me. You can now endure more pain than you ever imagined possible. You can handle pain and come out on the other side.

Suffering is an opportunity to improve your condition.  Disease is always on the horizon. You do not have a fix. The only escape is to practice how to endure elegantly. This practice will teach you how to stop hurting yourself and others around you. It will teach you the awareness that you are alive and with that you can cultivate the clarity to be purposeful with your suffering.


Elegance ~ doing something with as few steps as possible.
Endurance ~ living with a disease with as few steps as possible.

What follows is my personal practice for living with a chronic illness. Use mine or create your own.  Whatever you choose be sure to share it with others living with chronic illness.

Plants: Eat plants, lots of them. I am not asking you to go on a diet but I am asking you to change your menu.  In the beginning there was the Garden of Eden, not the chemical laden junk vending machine that only produced disease. Fruits and vegetables create a healthy life, processed foods create disease. Plant-based food is elegant medicine without side effects. Plant-based food only create optimal health. If you want to endure your illness eat plants.

Power: Exercise, move your body. Exercise is an effective drug that treats the whole body. Good health is not achieved with a single step. Taking a pill or giving yourself a daily shot is instant gratification but at what cost? Most people I talk with who live with chronic illness choose not to move because it hurts. This is where purposeful suffering can become your teacher. All that time sitting and suffering with your disease has given you the strength to get up and do anything. So use it, do not let your suffering die in vain. Walk to the mailbox, then to the end of your driveway, then to the end of the block. Try running or biking or swimming or whatever your heart yearns to try. Exercise to compete in your own life. Good things will happen when you put energy into moving your body.

One last thing…get outside.

Prayer: Pray, meditate, yoga, quiet the mind. Create sacred time in your life. Sacred is elegance and endurance in action. Let the mystery of your life talk to you. Stay with that mystery, it will take you where you need to go. If you are going to ask God for help or ask people to pray for you on your behalf…earn those prayers. I believe in the power of prayer. What I do not believe in is waiting around for prayers to work. Go out and place effort into the prayers that are being offered up on your behalf.

Purpose: No the “why” of why you want to be healthy. To be an example for your children. To be an example for your community.  To enjoy your spouse well into your old age. Life is not complicated when your are honest with yourself.  Be purposeful.

To finish,

I am writing this for myself as a reminder of how I think about optimal health.

Every time I go on a walk, run or bike ride I am carrying the weight of the whole NMO community. Nobody asked this of me. For some reason the weight is there. What I know is if I can live these words and be an example then it will help at least one person to live with optimal health…and carrying that weigh feels great.


Heart of a servant
Strength of a fighter.

John Craig

7.10.2014

Soul Scrubbing Series ~ Are Men Obsolete?

Conversations, I am lucky enough in life (blessed is the right word) to get the opportunity to have interesting conversation with lots of different people. This has birth a passion project for me that I am calling the “Soul Scrubbing Series”. The goal of the series is to bring to you interesting topics which deserve a deep dive of thought and hopefully spurs conversations in your own life.

As with all the films in this series the film is best enjoyed in full screen with the outside world turn off. If this film resonates with you then please share it with the people in your life who need to hear this message.

This is #6 in the series. “Are Men Obsolete

6.30.2014

Meditation on Waiting ~ Short Story


Not sure why I need to write this down.  This is the third lifetime I have shared this.

I clasp my wings, put on socks and go back into the world. Maybe this time it will do some good.

By my account, 18,250 days wasted from waiting around for things to change.

You are timelessness stuck in time.
You are consciousness waiting to re-awake.
You are complaining, bragging and avoiding life at all times.

The problem with waiting is all the time wasted.  Nothing good has come from all this waiting. A wasted life of “what if”’ and “could-have-beens” is all that remains. A mind filled up with non-memories, non-dreams and a constant echo. Days pass by and nothing happens but the waiting…days are filled up with sitting on the sofa, then moving outside to watch the grass grow, counting the leaves on the trees.

I flush the toilet, wash my hands. Antibacterial soap…I can never remember if I should stop using it. Does it kill too much of the good stuff? I dry my hands with a white cotton towel.

Mixed blessings of truths and tasks that you must wait for the end. You must wait for the light to grow dark so it can then once again transform back into light.  This process must be repeated till eternity. Every being gets the opportunity to hold the understanding that we are trapped in a box named “reality”.

Keep your faith. Question your beliefs.  This alone will save you from the transmigration.

There is no salvation in the waiting. There is no solitude found in the waiting.  What is left is only the question. The same answer running across the brain waves. Thoughts dissolve into heartbeats. Heartbeats are transformed into a curse. You become afflicted with the remainder of the time left to wait.

The Beatles, White album. This will do. I slide the vinyl record out of its sleeve. I place the needle in the black groove and I listen. Lennon got it right. That’s why he was shot. Deep loss for all. McCartney came close, Harrison eventually got it right. Ringo, drummer died on his own vomit.

I practice the “Waiting”. I will sit on a meditation cushion for 25mins, bell to bell, waiting, breathing, repeating, sitting in nothingness. I get off the mat. I want a drink, not water to quench my thirst but bourbon to numb the mind.  Mindfulness is a tool to be a better cog in the wheel, to become better at being this thing called human.

I chop vegetables, I focus. I wash the dishes, I focus. I brush my teeth, I focus. This is how I fill the empty space. Mindfulness is a needed trick to waste time.

I have always been fascinated with how society deals with the waiting. The world is at all times falling apart and at all times healing itself, growing anew. Rebuilding constantly arising as if there are twin Gods of creation and deconstruction at work.

The Beatles White album, side three, not very good for what most people consider to be their masterpiece.  Side one, “Dear Prudence”...it makes coming back here worth it.

Life is spent being mildly interested in what is going on around you.  At all times thinking that they have the problem, it's never “I”. The problem "they” have is that…”they” have to watch my suffering, my suffering is greater than yours.  Suffering is not a contest. Comprehending suffering is a pursuit. This lesson is never learned. That suffering is akin to love. No matter how great or horrible, it's all equal. The suffering of a child born into starvation is no greater than the suffering of a child born into privilege. Suffering is an experiential exercise in the “waiting”.

Grace = Luck…Luck is grace, take notice.

There are many different ways someone can commit suicide, but the act of leaving one's own body seems to be the only act of suicide that society cares about.

The suicide in waiting is the greatest sin...to be alive is a gift that is created specifically for you.

To sit and waste a life to complain about the whatnot’s and the don’t-haves is worse than if you nailed Jesus to the cross yourself. Living suicide, that is a form of torture that causes the waiting to happen for lifetimes to come.

Give me a good narcissist that is a person who enjoys life. Narcissists...they see light.

You would think that I would miss sitting in the clouds…watching and listening. The life in the soil is so much more enjoyable.  The soil is in constant movement. The soil never waits.

Consciousness, awakening, Christ, Buddha: call it whatever you like.  I call it the WAITING.

Until next time…..

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da





6.25.2014

Moment

Current Reading: The Spooky Art by Norman Mailer

                                The Big Empty by Norman Mailer
Current Music: Lazaretto by Jack White
                           Beauty & Ruin by Bob Mould
Mood: Ready to go
Smells: Coffee
Sounds: Love
Temperature: 71 degrees 
Thoughts: Waiting & Wanting = Wasted Life

6.23.2014

Wisdom of Food ~ Short Film

This film is #5 in my "Soul Scrubbing Series."  The wisdom of food, a return to yourself.

As with all the film in this series the film is best enjoyed in full screen with the outside world turn off. If this film resonates with you then please share it with the people in your life who need to hear this message.

6.18.2014

Life with Disease & Other Random Stuff


“No matter how far you my dig into the the depths of your soul, eventually you will come out an asshole” -Norman Mailer

This is a good starting point to what I am about to share with you.

I live with a disease. Most of you reading this most likely know this about me. My feelings about life with a disease can be summed up in two words: nothing special.

We live in the age of compromise where we all carry the weight of diseases. It is nothing special; honestly it's akin to a time when making it through the winter was a hit or miss experience.

Every generation carries the sins-of-life. Our generation has disease.

Your disease may be self-inflicted, you may have smoked and cheeseburger-ed your way to disease or maybe the air and water carried the disease into your bloodstream.

Disease is the product of the past fifty years.  Corporations have been built as temples to the grandeur of illness. Disease is economics. Get a disease someone will profit from it. Someone will dedicate their life to the study of that disease. Someone will give up and sit on the sofa waiting for death to come.

What can a disease teach us about us? It is an "us", it's not a "you" or "I". It's not even a "we"; it's an “us.” Disease is now a social thing. There are clubs, groups, organizations, companies, schools, restaurants, chat rooms, social media sites, tour groups, cruises and vacation destinations all built to serve the ill.  Disease is an industry. That may seem too hard to accept, nonetheless it seems to be truth. Can you argue my point? How many jobs would be lost if disease went away?

Want to dip your toes into the cosmic quagmire? Google “seed, antibiotic, lobbyist” and see how many companies produce seeds to grow food and the very same company produces the antibiotic to cure the disease that may arise from the seed. Circle of life, circle of cash flow, sins of now.

Life is filled up with simple solutions, this has been my lesson learned. Look for the obvious. Walking and water, breathing and smiling...these have been by far my most favorite solutions.

Recently added to the list (forgive the subtle use of words to come next): if your shit stinks that means you are not well. Eat better food.

Simple solutions. Notice how we will stay away from anything that stinks accept for what we produce. Take the time and notice your bodily waste. The body can cure us if we only listen to it (or in this case smell it). Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's gross, I get it. But do you want to escape a life of disease? Truly we can exit the matrix. At this point, please refer to my opening quote. It has deep meaning on many levels.

Simple solutions arise if we only take the time to notice. If you put things in your body that create stink, it creates disease. If you place foods into your body that create an odorless passing, that creates good health.

When I am a healthy person living with my disease in a state of optimal health I feel like a prophet who will preach to anyone who will listen to the message.  When I am struck down by the disease I feel as if I am a fake; a person who could not live his truth.  Then I came to understand that the word "truth" should be replaced with the word "task".

Let me go off-subject to paint a picture about truth & task.

Replace the "truth of” living your beliefs with the “task of" living your faith. This simple flip of words opens up a new way to think about old ideologies.

"Truth" is someone else's idea on how we should live. But "task"...living with a task can give us purpose to live life with effort.  Having a disease is nothing special but it is important work if you choose to do it well.

With the flip of these words it will help us to create less harm in the world. It will help to teach us to live in this age of compromise. Disease is a product of this age but for those of us that live with a disease, we can not only live in the truth of not slowly dying from our illness but also the the task of showing others how to live with optimal health.  

My task is to help others lead a life filled with health, creativity and simplicity infused with the “heart of a servant” and the “strength of a fighter”.

And that takes practice.

We need to do the work in the soil before we can ever part the clouds.

6.13.2014

Working Script ~ Draft 1


(Are you replaceable...disposable...obsolete?) 

We are conditioned to sacrifice ourselves.
We are expected to stand in front of our families; we are told that we need to work or we have no value. Our expendability is expressed in many different ways.

(What if we stopped doing and started being?)
The question is how do we move from being humans-doings-things to simply being a human-being? Your life has been a mix of cultural expectations and biological conditioning.

(What if we stop thinking about how to be a man and started thinking about how to be a human?)

There is the existence of gender roles, but to manifest a full life there must be unequivocal intention to radically transform male thinking.
What if we stopped doing and started being? What if we tuned into the abundance of the universe and just started to allow creation to work through us. Jesus summed this up in the sermon on the mount. He exhorted us to look at the birds in the sky and told us to emulate them. In short he expected us to become human beings.

(Transcending the notion)

Men, especially fathers, have always been considered to be expendable, but this notion must change for the world to be a better place.
Are men expendable? No!


(Are Men Expendable?)

As Einstein has said “we do not solve a problem with the same consciousness that created it.” 

6.11.2014

Published ~ Edible Allegheny

You can see photos & read about it (HERE)
You can listen to radio spot about it (HERE)


6.09.2014

Moment

Current Reading: On God by Norman Mailer
Current Music: Beauty & Ruin By Bob Mould
Mood: Happy
Smells: Coffee
Sounds: Running water
Temperature:63 degrees 
Thoughts: Happiness is the joy we feel when striving for our potential

6.04.2014

PORTRAIT

Its not to often that I post pics of portraits that I do but this one I wanted to share. 
If you want to see more go (here)