wander project chasing rain


It is taking a moment, stretching and finding something. The rain falling around us as we wandered. It doesn’t matter if you are free of limits. The rain is simply a natural event. A compilation of evaporation, and when the evaporation reached a point, the saturation creates rain. Humidity becomes the answer to a cocktail party trivia question. Why does it rain? It rains because it can. In London, it remains because the UK isn’t a huge island. Rain in the US, in Oregon, has to replenish the water before it reached New York, or the storm carries no rain. In between Oregon and New York are the great lakes, relishing the water in the storm by added evaporated water.

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Each raindrop as each snowflake is unique, but not unique. I watch those raindrops, and sometimes if the wind is right, they travel many miles in their journey from the clouds to the ground. Then hit the ground. They join together in a family of raindrops to create puddles and pools. Sometimes they fall not upon the concrete, not upon the carefully laid cobblestones but instead on flowers or plants. Trees whose roots drink deeply of the falling rain. Flowers that in feeling the water, open to receive it. Each flower, each tree drinking deeply of the falling rain. The rain slightly acidic in its nature, sometimes falling not on the trees, not on the concrete or the carefully laid cobblestones.

It is sometimes falling on the grass. The grass that sips but does not substantially change the amount of rainwater as it is soaked into the ground. Then over time, it moves deeper and deeper, seeking the water table. Once finding the water table, perhaps stopping for a meal, the raindrops now a band of brothers, a collection of water sisters, seek a path. Slightly acidic, if there is the bedrock with the calcium they begin chipping away. Each drops a tiny miner digging into the rock and eventually as the water passes leaving a small hole. The hole growing over a million years, the rain doesn’t care it has forever. The hole becomes larger and larger until suddenly it opens in a cave.

I often watch the raindrops fall. I don’t know where they will go, but I know it is a journey.

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wander project the songs I used to sing.


Each moment that lies in front of us is a compilation. A connection to the things we used to know. When my kids were little I sang two songs to them. One I shared as part of Song Saturday and one I sang at my  — a wedding and posted it on my podcast (here). My wife and I both read to the kids before bed, but I love to sing. When we moved from our last apartment to our first house in Cincinnati Ohio, I was inspired to sing to my daughter as she was calming down for bed. For a long time, I sang the Peter, Paul and Mary song 500 miles. It was a tradition right before my daughter would fall asleep. Now at some point, I was playing around with a song I wrote and sang that after 500 miles.

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My daughter determined that was “her song.” At first, at night I tried to stick to the one song and then bed. But my daughter kept asking for “her song.” At first, she asked my wife and me, but after a while, it was only me. I sang that song to her each night until she was around six years old. When the twins were born I asked my daughter may I sing your song to the twins. She said that was fine with her. Now sometimes when the twins were little, my daughter would joy me (the twins went to bed much easier than their older sister). Sometimes it was just me. I included both versions of the song as part of my podcast, and it is shared at the link in the first part of the post. Also at the bottom.

It is a part of our shared past that always makes me happy. I am, now, no longer allowed to sing either 500 miles or the moon song to the kids. They says “stop singing that song dad, you are making me tired.” I guess that song has achieved its goal. It was written to clam the kids down before bedtime so that they could drift happily off to sleep. The other goal of the moon song was to let my daughter originally and later the twins as well, know what was going on the next day. I missed the days when I was allowed to sing that song and 500 miles out loud. I do sometimes sing songs when I am alone. I did also sing the Moon Song with an ending themed version for my daughter’s wedding.

Songs I sang to my kids

https://virily.com/challenges/song-saturday-500-miles/

the Moon song (here).

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wander project chasing tokens


Seeking tokens to exchange, we find ourselves missing too much. Let the angry tokens go. They bind us to things that are no longer. To things that have not, do not exist outside of who and what we are. Remember and rejoice in the tools you find along the way. Each time we examine the tokens around us seeking meaning. Seeking to grow as people.

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Anger is the token we most fear. Some carry their angry tokens with them year after year. They lock them in a room they built in their heart, and slowly over time, the room is filled. The tokens of anger pushing against the door, against the walls until they burst back out into the wild, and we have to stop. We cannot catch them again with butterfly nets.

We must let them go. Each token must be released to freely return to the moment from which it came, the anger dissipating until it is no more. Some tokens are not angry. They are the ones we must be careful of.  We keep them close as they represent a moment we cherish. But we must always be vigilant that we do not let those happier weigh us down as well.

Each token must be recalled and then released into the wild so as not to create chains. So as not to weigh us down to where all we do is wander this earth, bound to the tokens, we could not let go of — limited by our pain. Letting go makes us stronger. You see, in the end, we are more than simply a collection of tokens. Let those go to be free!

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wander project the tokens we collect


As we wander from place to place in life we collect tokens. They are less physical, but they exist. That token represents the moment the arrival and departure, the moments in between. Each time we go, out the front door to the world, or simply out the back door to eat Crab on the deck. We stop and add a token. Like a maintenance person working in a large building our lives filled with tokens rattle. We, in the course of our lives, collect 100s, 1000s of tokens. Each one represents a moment. We do not often stop and measure them. We don’t often think about the tokens that are there. We continue moving and collecting tokens. Sometimes the tokens have significance beyond our lives.

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Jacob Marley forged a chain of death in his life. His tokens becoming links in a chain that bound him forever to this earth to wander. Yes, the tokens can weigh us down if we do not release them. If we don’t let the tokens be acknowledged. If we carry that token with us too long, it becomes the weight, and it becomes binding to this world. We end up trapped like Jacob was trapped by the chains we forged from the tokens we gathered. We, and by us it a collective, allow those tokens to force us to stop. Let go, and free we can rise to the heights we were meant to see. Let go, and we can be free of the weight. The tokens we collect are helpers.

They are a path to memories. A child collects their tokens delighted in the noise they make as they clank together. A teenage takes the tokens and hides them under their bed with the half-eaten peanut butter sandwich and one honestly sock. It is only as adults that we begin to consider discarding the tokens — throwing them out the window of our lives. We litter the ground beneath our hearts with tokens. Does the make them go away? Or instead, as Jacob did, do we limit our future to wandering a small space with chains forged from tokens we did not understand in life. Release the tokens of anger from your heart and move onward forgiving.

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wander project the songs I used to sing…


Each moment that lies in front of us is a compilation. A connection to the things we used to know. When my kids were little I sang two songs to them. One I shared as part of Song Saturday and one I sang at my  — a wedding and posted it on my podcast (here). My wife and I both read to the kids before bed, but I love to sing. When we moved from our last apartment to our first house in Cincinnati Ohio, I was inspired to sing to my daughter as she was calming down for bed. For a long time, I sang the Peter, Paul and Mary song 500 miles. It was a tradition right before my daughter would fall asleep. Now at some point, I was playing around with a song I wrote and sang that after 500 miles.

N Face

My daughter determined that was “her song.” At first, at night I tried to stick to the one song and then bed. But my daughter kept asking for “her song.” At first, she asked my wife and me, but after a while, it was only me. I sang that song to her each night until she was around six years old. When the twins were born I asked my daughter may I sing your song to the twins. She said that was fine with her. Now sometimes when the twins were little, my daughter would joy me (the twins went to bed much easier than their older sister). Sometimes it was just me. I included both versions of the song as part of my podcast, and it is shared at the link in the first part of the post. Also at the bottom.

It is a part of our shared past that always makes me happy. I am, now, no longer allowed to sing either 500 miles or the moon song to the kids. They says “stop singing that song dad, you are making me tired.” I guess that song has achieved its goal. It was written to clam the kids down before bedtime so that they could drift happily off to sleep. The other goal of the moon song was to let my daughter originally and later the twins as well, know what was going on the next day. I missed the days when I was allowed to sing that song and 500 miles out loud. I do sometimes sing songs when I am alone. I did also sing the Moon Song with an ending themed version for my daughter’s wedding.

Songs I sang to my kids

https://virily.com/challenges/song-saturday-500-miles/

the Moon song (here).

.doc

wander project Denmark


One of the oldest amusement parks in the world, Tivoli it is located in Copenhagen Denmark. There are many memories I have of walking in, by and near Tivoli. The first time I was in Copenhagen with my parents it was right after Christmas. It was pretty cold, after a lot of time spent in the tropics, none of us were prepared for cold again. We hadn’t been in cold air in more than a year. But we wandered around Copenhagen and by Tivoli several times. One of my all-time favorite memories of traveling home from Thailand was being in Copenhagen. We found a toy store with the most intricate animatronic Santa’s Workshop display in the main window of the store.

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We went to see that in the evening several times that week we were there. It was an amazing display. My father had a goal of seeing the Little Mermaid in the harbor. I have the picture we took, he and I, of the Little Mermaid. One of the things I had been thinking about was the famous Danish open-face sandwich. I don’t know why that stuck with me so much. I grew up reading the stories of Hand Christian Andersen (no relation, Andersen was not our family name, that was changed when my family arrived at Ellis Island in the 1890s). You would think based on that, and I would have wanted to see the Little Mermaid (I did but nowhere near as much as my father did).

Or that I would have wanted to see ice skating on the Frozen canals (I didn’t). In fact, when we were there it was cold, but the canals were not yet frozen. It was an open-faced Danish sandwich that caught my fancy. Copenhagen was one of the stops on our way home from Thailand. It was the last stop we would make together. Mom took my sisters, and my home while dad went to Paris to debrief at the UNESCO Global Headquarters. Denmark was where my father, father’s family had been from originally. Our family from the area just south of Copenhagen known as Jutland. Copenhagen felt like home the first time I visited. It felt like home every single time I have been.

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wander project Denmark…


Flying from the US to Europe is often done by leaving the US late in the evening, landing in Europe early in the morning. Well in fairness that is the way I usually did it. I would usually fly to Europe on Saturday, giving me Sunday to recoup before the Monday AM meetings started. Monday was a heavy coffee day, normally would be exhausted. By Thursday I would be adjusted, and of course, flying home late Friday I would be fried when I got home for the weekend. It was worse if I spent two weeks including a weekend away from home because my sleep pattern would be messed up. That was the pain for me, traveling all the time for many years.

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I learned over time that the best thing to do was not get off the plane, and then go to the hotel and take a nap. The best thing for me was to go on a walk when I got to the hotel. That was a lesson I learned on my 2nd trip to Europe (there were two trips to Asia in between). Get off the airplane and go for a walk once arriving at the hotel. In part that would allow me to acclimate, in part, it was to avoid the call of napping. Sleeping on airplanes isn’t hard, but it isn’t refreshing. At least, in fairness, it isn’t refreshing for me. The pictures today are from a trip to Denmark, in particular, the first part of the trip where I was meeting a group of co-workers before conducting a series of meetings over the week.

We were in downtown Copenhagen for the first part of the week. Actually in a hotel less than two blocks from Tivoli. Tivoli is an amazing amusement park. I have had the opportunity to go and wander the park a couple of times. Most of my co-workers were relaxing in the hotel bar when I got there. I unpacked and went for a walk. I love walking in Copenhagen. One of the things that caught my eye was the bike taxi in the last picture. The brilliant yellow stood out against the gray sky. I also love bikes in Copenhagen. Like Amsterdam, there are bikes everywhere. Many US cities now have more bikes than in the days of old. Washington DC even has lots of rental bike stations. But the bike in European Cities is a fun thing to see.

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wander project words that leap from the page…


Are there words that leap off the page. Thoughts that jumbled in our heads find us both open and closed at the same time. We are less a compilation and more a composite. We are more a collection of things that were, things that are, and sometimes in the quiet things that will be. We are the composite of those things brought into a single solitary essence. But we are so much more as well. We are larger than us but smaller than us. In that, we represent the reality of the community, but we are also independent of the community. It is not an easy thing for us this separation. It is something that all of us struggle with. Who am I beyond the group I am in, but then also who am I in the group I am in?

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It becomes part of us, this journey. We learn quickly that there are those focused on self only. While focusing on the self is not evil, it is bad. Bad in the sense that everything revolves around that person. Topics of conversation come back to I planted that in my garden. I grew that in my garden. I have that in my yard. That is something I do. I spent my time focused on this. Regardless of the conversational opener the conversation always returns to them. We learn that there are those people in the world and we do not avoid them; we sometimes smile as they stand on the street shouting “look at me, look at me.” But they are speed bumps on the road we travel, nothing more.

We slow and look, but we don’t stay long. They have no energy to return to us. They only take energy from us. We are energy transporters at times, consuming and yet releasing. We learn to, over time avoid those who bring conversations back to them. Instead, we seek those who enlighten us or lighten our load. Making it easier for us to shoulder our burden. We are part of the whole, but always remember that we must exist without the whole. We are energy seekers. It wraps around us a concept of energy creation, sharing and then cons7umption. We try ever to find a mix. Yes, we stop at the speed bump, the person who reminds us that they have done that better than us. We do stop because we are human.

But what we are seeking is no speed bumps.

We are seeking a way to return the favor. To take what we are given and pay it forward. To be separated from the community but to be in the community as well.

Yes, we stop at speed bumps. But in the end, they are nothing more than momentary pauses.

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wander project climate change


One of the largest problems in the world is the reality of Climate Change. It isn’t something that can be glossed over any longer. These pictures are ten years old and from Shanghai China. I have a friend that lives in Shanghai working for a Canadian Company, and he says the air is not better. It is important to note this is not fog, and this is smog or pollution. One of the greatest problems of our modern world isn’t the smog that is slowly changing our climate (or rapidly depends on where you list). It is the reality of the internet. One of the things that we had in the past was a system of publication that required someone to validate the information you published.

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Fact-Checking wasn’t a joke on the national news talking about misconceptions and lies told by politicians. We had a validation system that allowed content to be created, verified, validated and then published. It, information is still validated in many plac3es. What interests me now is the reality of where we are with climate change. You see the earth’s climate has changed in the past. Many times it has come to have similar change levels to where we are today. That allows people to manipulate the numbers and say there is no human-caused Climate Change. I have heard that argument many times, and it makes me sad. First off, the climate of the earth has changed faster than ever before.

Scientists can tell you what the weather has been like for roughly the past 10,000 years. It is a project drilling ice cores in Antarctica that allows us to know what the impact of change is right now. The hottest months ever recorded have occurred in the last eight months. The global hottest October ever was just completed. July was the hottest ever recorded with an average temperature of 62 degrees. Greenland has lost more ice in the past year than ever before. The world is changing. The nature and impact of storms have increased. We’ve had more Category 5 (the highest level) hurricanes in the past two years than the previous ten years. These pictures of smog should be enough to scare everyone.

To validate my points https://research.un.org/en/climate-change/un

Why would the UN need to publish information about climate change other than as a global warning?

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wander project time


Let us, for a moment start at the end. The ravages of time as time waits for no person. No woman, no man, no child, no dog, no cat not even a building. Time ravages all. It is the equalizer. The force that met cannot be unmet. It is with each falling brick a reminder. The essence of what is time. Time, the small stream that lies in front of us, the present. We always seek that moment that wonder of the present. It is, and it isn’t. Would you, in a path seeking something, seeking a passage to a new place, waste time? Is time the one thing we cannot waste? We were taught in school at that time was limited. The ticking clock on the wall was both a prison and parole.

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We are free for the minutes of the school where the bell rings, and the next class, the teacher slapping their palm with a ruler waiting, is still pending. That is, the infinite lies in the time between the moments. That infinite stretches beyond us lie beyond where we are and bring us to a place. Do you remember those days in the past when the building was young, and the bells would ring, and we would rush to our freedom for a moment, for a second. The teacher always slapping their palm with a ruler, waiting. Their control over time was between two bells. Our control of time was between two smaller bells. We, like the teacher only binding to a smaller set of a day.

Buildings crumble, teachers retire, students become teachers. And the cycle continues, the new teachers like the old teachers slapping their palm with a ruler as they wait out the time of freedom. Until they, masters of 55 minutes take, seize control and deliver to the open minds, another day of knowledge. Until the day ends and tomorrow looms large. Tomorrow, in the end, brings the decay and decline of the buildings. The bricks lose their mortar and fall. Fall to the unforgiving ground. Fall to the forgotten land between the bells. That becomes the time when the bells no longer ring, because there are no students. It is both a point of wonder and a point of fear when there are no teachers slapping their palms and waiting for their moment of control.

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