It’s Been a While

Indian Summer by Sergey Lutsenko httpwww.picture-russia.ruenpicture46977

 

#weekendcoffeeshare

It’s been a while since I last joined you for coffee. I have been busy preparing my new book for publication in paperback and as an eBook. It was a substantial project that is now complete. Yay!

Hopefully, I will find my way back into writing again soon. After completing a book project, there is often a concern as to whether you still have more to write about. It’s kind of like when you have been engaged in a long conversation with someone about something and you both suddenly find yourselves in an uncomfortable, awkward silence wondering where the conversation should go next.

Anyway, it’s good to be free of major projects so my mind is free to wander. I look forward to seeing what you guys have been up to.

Sleeping to Dream

 

#weekendcoffeeshare

If we were having coffee together, I would tell you that my wedding anniversary is on Valentine’s Day. I wanted to share this song with you because it is so appropriate for how I am feeling right now.

You see my wife passed away just shy of 11 years ago. The song, Sleeping to Dream (about her) by Jason Mraz, is shared as a tribute to my wife and the love I have for her.

Number to Treat

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Source: misterimmortal.com

Source: misterimmortal.com

It’s been a while since we had coffee together. I would like to share with you something surprising about the effectiveness of prescription drugs discussed in the four-minute video below.

It has to do with the total number of prescriptions that must be given out for a particular drug in order to find one patient for whom the drug actually works. Said another way, it is the proportion of patients treated with a drug that will experience its benefits.

Here, let’s watch the video

Why is this important? When a physician prescribes a drug, many patients assume that it is necessary to mange their condition and that it will have positive effects since the drug was ostensibly designed to treat their particular ailment. Therefore, they believe that they must follow doctor’s orders and keep taking the drug even though it may not actually be having beneficial effects for them.

What should patients do? When a drug is prescribed, ask your doctor what percentage of patients treated with the drug benefit from it. Ask what you should be looking for to know that the drug is effective in treating your condition. Discuss side effects and any risks if you stop taking the drug because it does not work for you.

There is so much we don’t know about health issues and the myriad angles used by pharmaceutical companies to boost sales. I hope the video was valuable to you. Hope to see you again soon!

The Scientific Aesthetic

Lightning Storm Over the Grand Canyon Copyright by Rolph Maeder, Photography Sedona

Lightning Storm Over the Grand Canyon
Copyright by Rolph Maeder, Photography Sedona

#weekendcoffeeshare 9/17/16

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how I wanted to be a scientist since about the age of ten or eleven. Unlike most children who declare a vocation at such a young age, I never lost sight of the goal and did indeed become a scientist (now retired).

But the other day I was thinking about what it was that kept my dream alive from childhood to fruition as an adult. I mean how many young kids who say they want to be a fireman actually do it? What I realized was that I had an abiding wonder and fascination with all of the mysteries of nature. Science was a tool to reveal its secrets.

As a young boy, I wanted to explore many and varied aspects of the natural world and science. For a time I was an avid mineralogist. I made many expeditions into the creek bed behind the apartments where I lived. My holy grail was to find a geode; I never found one but found some petrified wood instead. I was disappointed at the time, but years later realized how cool and unusual that find was.

I had an inexpensive microscope and peered into the previously unseen details of all sorts of things from hair to bugs and leaves. When the Russians launched Sputnick in 1957, the first satellite, I became fascinated with rockets and space travel. Yes…of course, I fabricated my own rocket. It was a unique home design made from an aluminum pipe with balsa wood tail fins and a crude fuel made with chemicals in my chemistry set. Back then the sets included the components needed to make gun powder—oops.

I realized in retrospect that my design was badly flawed— more like a dangerous firework than a rocket— but it did manage a few flights of maybe 50 feet up before the aluminum could no longer withstand the blast. Thank God my brother and I had the good sense to run like hell when the fuse was lit!

As time went on, I began to develop a pantheistic view of the world. My vision moved beyond practical, objective aspects of my surroundings to a more aesthetic appreciation.

Into middle age, my relationship with science and nature became more inspirational and spiritual, and less investigative. Rather than study and analyze nature, I wanted to experience it. Rather than simply being a refuge from daily life, the natural world became a celebration of the diversity of life—something sacred to be revered, loved, and protected.

Thus, I have come full circle; once again I have that innocent sense of wonder and I am amazed and thrilled by the incredible beauty and complexity of the natural world around me, just as I was as a young boy growing up.

You might like to see the following related articles:

Just So…

The Golden Morning

Nature: A More Expansive Spirituality

Sentinels of Peace

Forest Sanctuary Source: discovertheforest.org

Forest Sanctuary
Source: discovertheforest.org

#weekendcoffeeshare 6/18/16

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you how much I have been feeling the need to get out among a forest of trees. Nature and wilderness have been calling to me for sometime now.

When I visited my daughter in Colorado last year, we went up to Lookout Mountain. What I really liked most about it was sitting under the trees while eating our lunch. It felt so welcoming and comforting. I could have sat there for hours and just listen to the breeze in the branches.

It was like a homecoming and having the love of family all around you. With all of the branches overhead and the tree trunks all around, I felt safe and protected. I had found sanctuary and tranquility. When it was time to go, my spirit protested, reluctant to leave a place of such beauty, serenity, and unconditional love.

Now the forest land beckons me once again. My heart yearns for reunion with my stalwart sentinels of peace.

You might like to see the following related article:

Nature: A More Expansive Spirituality

Hybrid Car Test Drive: The Zen of Hybrid Electric Technology

Zen Garden From wallsave.com

Zen Garden
From wallsave.com

#weekendcoffeeshare 6/10/16

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the story of my first day driving a hybrid car. It took place six years ago at a time when seeing a hybrid car in my neighborhood was relatively rare.

In the crazy, noisy, busy world in which we live, it is difficult to relax, de-stress, and clear our minds. I found a space that could help me do that.

The moment I got in the car and closed the door, I felt like I had entered sanctuary. When I pressed the start button, I did a double take—no motor noise. I put the car in gear and pressed the accelerator only to glide forward silently and weightlessly as if floating on a cloud. The tinted windows added to the effect by giving the feeling that I was in meditation experiencing the nothingness of the Self and oneness with all of creation. What a wonderful feeling!

Then I was suddenly jolted out of my serene state by the sound of horns blowing. I found myself to be a little disoriented like when you wake suddenly from a dream sleep (but I had been fully awake.) The traffic light had changed and the guy behind me had gotten impatient.

I pressed the gas pedal and slowly accelerated to maximize fuel efficiency. Well that didn’t go over well with the cars behind me. Then there was more horn blowing followed by angry faces, the mouthing of unpleasantries that I couldn’t hear, and unseemly gestures from drivers racing past me and cutting in front of me dangerously close to a crash.

On another day, I might have responded in kind—but not today. Perhaps it was ozone from the electric motor or the strong electromagnetic field from the high voltage batteries but I didn’t react and just looked back with a blank stare, puzzled by their misplaced frustration.

By the time all of the cars around me were distant lights in a faraway galaxy, I had reached the speed limit. I felt an inexplicable urge to not go any faster and settled back into my quiet place. Oh how wonderful to be free of stress once more!

Then I saw a car approaching from behind. I expected another round of vitriol but to my surprise the driver pulled up alongside and gave me a thumbs up. This reminded me that by driving a hybrid car I live by the beat of a different drum; that I am on the high road; that I should not allow anyone to disrupt the serenity of my sanctuary; that Zen is possible amidst the stress and cacophony of the world around me.

The Spring of My One True Love

Winter Surrenders to Spring From summitpost.org

Winter Surrenders to Spring
From summitpost.org

#weekendcoffeeshare 4/16/16

If we were having coffee my love, I would sit next to you and tell you how much I have missed you. I have many questions, but seeing you now, they just don’t matter.

All I want to do is hold you and kiss your mouth, your cheek, your hands…your wrists….I want to run my fingers through your hair ever so gently and just take in the moment of seeing your beautiful face after such a long time.

My heart is pounding as a love suppressed for far too long awakens from a seemingly endless winter upon seeing the beautiful spring of my one true love again. I have so much to say; so much to tell you. But I find myself in a whirlwind of emotions…The only words that emerge from the storm—the only words that matter are—“I love you so very much.”

Love Song

The words to the song at the link above fit well with this piece of writing.

You might like to see the following related articles:

The Light Inside You

The Quintessence of Life

A Timeless Story