# 115:

Being good is different than acting good.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Youth Has An Expiration Date


It is somewhat amusing to older folks to hear pop song lyrics and see pop song videos in which handsome young men worship at the altar of beautiful young women. Oh those words of eternal passion, pledged by the young. How quickly terms and conditions come into play as familiarity grows, as obligations mount, as the marriage ties that bind, bind.

And what of the aging process, that chronological decay of flesh that robs us all of youth’s bounty? Can you visualize a wrinkled old man and woman in a pop song video, singing:

Almost paradise
We're knockin' on heaven's door
Almost paradise
How could we ask for more?
I swear that I can see forever in your eyes
Paradise*


Herman, Marjorie & Bess Allison ~ Redondo Beach, California 1917

No, me either. Youth passes, passion passes and we move on. Yet I remember spending the night at my grandparents’ house many years ago when they were in their seventies. I woke up early the next morning and peeked into their bedroom to see if they were still sleeping. I just happened to see them waking up. My old, wrinkled grandfather gave my old, wrinkled grandmother a kiss and said “Good morning.”

Almost paradise.



*From the song “Almost Paradise” written by Eric Carmen and Dean Pitchford



~ by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 87:

If we could ever figure out how to travel backward and forward in time,
we’d have to get rid of the word “after.”



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




The Universal Question


You have to make an effort to not do something, much less not do anything. Perhaps more properly “not doing” should be called “pre-doing.” This suggests a possible answer to the universal question: “What is the universal question?” The answer, of course, is the question.

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Everyone and everything.
Everyone and everything who?
Yes!


So before the universe there was nothing. So what came before nothing? Once again we are faced with the contradictions of logic, which suggest the answer: Nothing. Perhaps then “nothing” should be called “pre-something.” Whatever created the universe, aka, something, was, I suppose, not in existence during the time of “pre-something.” So, once again we return to the question: “Where did the universe (something) come from?” Some quantum physicists may tell you that coming and going, that time itself may only exist in certain selective states. This may be true, for I was in Utah once. Nevertheless, if you find yourself in the company of a quantum physicist, whatever you do, don’t ask what time it is!

Now what I want to know is, what came before nothing, aka pre-something. (I cannot discard my sense of linear time, my sense of here and there, of before and after.) If something indeed came before nothing, then did that which created the something before “pre-something” make a conscious decision to eventually extinguish something and start over again? (There is Biblical precedent for this.) So doing must eventually extinguish not-doing in order to not do nothing.

{Blues riff into with harmonica}

I ain’t gonna do
What I’m not gonna do
Cuz I’m already doing
It
.




~ Writing and Artwork by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 80:

Do not confuse being discovered by the world with discovering the world.

The first matters little.
The last is essential.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Enchanted Princess



She is glowing
And her light penetrates me,
Fills me with unexplainable joy.

She dances playfully around my soul
And I am awakened,
Enchanted.
All is love beyond love.

She has placed a diamond in my heart.

I do not understand the blind
Who cannot see her,
Who see only another pretty girl,
An object to possess,
To label and put into some convenient category.

It weighs on her fragile heart
That anyone should expect her to live
An ordinary life,
This enchanted princess,
Surrounded by so much that is ordinary,
This enchanted princess,
So ready for the magic to begin.



~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Artwork by Cy Brinson
© All Rights Reserved

# 59:

Don’t cast your net too far or too deep.
Catch the fish that are here, where you are.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Filling

















When at last the lover leaves intensive care,
All is a fragile balance on the edge of relapse.
One must re-learn the enjoyment of simple things:

The bitter spark from a cup of coffee,
The sweetness of sugar on the tip of the tongue,
The penetrating warmth of the sun
Shimmering through the crisp afternoon breeze,
The pleasure of another hour,
Another day,
Filling, filling, filling
That dark and dangerous place
Where love was.





~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Artwork by Maxine (aka: Maxxximpact)
© All Rights Reserved

# 48:

Poets must give one another unadulterated
praise because nobody else gives a damn.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Despair
















"Don’t do it!” I implored as the old lizard who had lost most of his tail stared wistfully into the frothy, swirling waters of the Jacuzzi.



~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Lizard painting by Robert Lennon
© All Rights Reserved

# 33:

Ideas should serve life,
not the other way around.

The actual life is more important
than the imagined idea.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Tuesday


















I found a piece of paper in a parking lot.

It had been run over numerous times, torn and trampled, faded by the sun and still damp from a light morning mist.

Because I was not in a hurry; because I was not wearing earbuds and distracted by music; because I was not staring at a cell phone screen; because I was not talking to anyone; because everything has design, color, shape and texture, I picked up the square piece of paper.

It had been some kind of glossy, card-stock advertisement for a nightclub, probably stuck under the windshield wiper of a parked car long ago.

Looking closer, I saw the face of my lost love, a strand of her curly long auburn hair falling across her bare thin shoulder and finely sculpted collar bone.

She was smiling and looking skyward, as if she could see all the way to heaven.

That was Tuesday.




~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Artwork by a parking lot
© All Rights Reserved

# 10:

The road to sainthood is paved with sin.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved





You Are Here



You are here.

I am here.

I am writing this for you to read. How do you like it so far? Not too interesting, eh? Well, you see, there’s a very important theory behind this rather unorthodox way of beginning
a . . . of beginning a . . . of beginning this.

You see, blah, blah, blah, and et cetera ad infinitum. (Imagine a long-winded, deeply serious lecture, punctuated with those very special words that immediately give you the impression that the speaker is indeed much more learned and insightful than you, the humble reader, could ever be.)

Excuse me for a minute, I have to go get something.

[Time passes.]

Back again.

Thanks for waiting.

I had to go look for this book on various schools of literary criticism, because I was going to look up a suitable word to use as an example of the kind of word that would be used repeatedly in the abovementioned discussion on the theory of just what in the hell it is I’m doing here. But it seems I’ve brought down the wrong book. You see, I keep all my books on literary criticism packed in boxes up in my attic. I find it more relaxing that way.

Anyway, the word I was looking for was mimetic — an all-time favorite with those who would rather discuss reading than read — but I’ve got the wrong book. Please excuse me for another moment because I must take this book back to the attic, for in browsing through the index, I stumbled upon the entry: “Neo-Platonism, in Plotinus,” and it’s making me queasy. I’ll be right back.

[More time passes.]

Back again.

Sorry I took so long, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for, and because I am a bit obsessive-compulsive, I nearly got sucked into cleaning my carpets, because the steam cleaner is also in the attic, near my box of books on literary theory.

I do get distracted by the ephemera of everyday life.

In fact, I’ve spent the last five years on preparations alone, laying the groundwork for some really serious and incredibly important writing. First, I had to buy a new computer, because the primordial computer I purchased shortly after the dawn of time simply would not do. Then there was the moving. I had to move to a more literary city. And you know what a time-consuming task moving can be. It was. Only last week did I finally finish decorating my den slash office. Then, there were those photo albums I’d always meant to reorganize. And so forth.

You get the idea.

So anyway, I was about to explain that this rather freeform manner in which I am writing is actually based on my experiences in graduate school, which taught me that you can invent a plausible literary theory for anything. For example, Hamlet is really a dog who is afraid to bite his master. Bad Hamlet! Bad, bad Hamlet!

It’s not that I believe that storytelling is really that passé. I love a good story, especially when it has the word “that” in it a lot. I have many ideas for stories, like the one about how Mozart is reincarnated into the 1970s as a slovenly piano player in a suburban steak house. He can play pretty well, but this time around, he attracts more flies than attention.

But the minute you (I) start writing a story like that, you’re just (I’m just) chained into this traditional structure of character and plot development and so on and so forth, until you just think (I just think), “Why bother?” Because in the end, it’s just another gimmicky story of the type that one sells to the movies (make me an offer). And where’s the fun in that?

Huh?

[Insert interjection here.]

So if one (don’t worry, I’m not going to do this anymore, after this one last time) does not engage in storytelling, then what is the point? And there (here) we have arrived at the crux of the issue (sorry, I could not resist one last parenthetical aside).

Was it not some philosopher employed by Hallmark Greeting Cards who once wrote, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey”? Or is this just my way of employing the use of punctuation outside quotation marks, since the question mark in question would alter the original intention of the quoted material if placed within the close-quotation marks?

Which reminds me of a story:

Once upon a time, there was a little brown mouse with tiny black eyes who was very, very hungry. He was searching for something to eat in old Mr. Shimelplatzer’s house when he happened upon a bottle of Minoxidil. Old Mr. Shimelplatzer was trying to grow some new hair. The little brown mouse with the tiny black eyes pushed the plastic bottle off the bathroom counter falling to the floor cap flying contents oozing puddle.

The little brown mouse with the tiny black eyes scampered over to the towel rack, lowered himself paw-over-paw down the bath towel and tiptoed across the throw rug, leaping over the bathroom scale to inspect the strange-smelling pool of liquid. After the little brown mouse with the tiny black eyes licked it all up, he awakened the next morning to find himself transformed into a super-steroid, red-eyed, 23-foot monster mouse. He subsequently killed a lot of slow-moving senior citizens before being blown up with microwave radiation by the National Guard.

Excuse me for just a moment.

[A brief interlude, passes.]

I had to open the door of my den slash office for Inky, my swaybellied black cat who spends many long hours in the faded adobe-colored recliner where I once spent many long hours writing something I called poetry. Inky will not stop meowing at my door until I let her in, then she meows at me for a minute or two before settling in on the seat of the well-worn recliner, where I once spent many long hours writing something I called poetry.

Ah yes, sigh, those heady, ennui-filled days of youth. Now, I sit wearily on this adjustable office chair and type assorted letters into this computer that appear before me on this screen where they line up to become words and sentences, where they all gather together to do this funny little dance called, “Pretending To Matter.”





~ Text and artwork by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Time Travel

















If we could ever figure out how to travel backward in time,
we’d have to get rid of the word “after.”



~ Words and photograph by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 66:

God is a word we made up
for that which is not a word.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved





My Father Among The Chinese



The Chinese children watched the funny fat American in the ridiculous sport coat try to blow up the balloons.


H e was a tourist in his late 60s, wearing a gray floppy hat. His face was a fleshy sagging caricature of itself, accented by an unkempt bushy salt-and-pepper mustache intended to disguise the steady loss of masculinity from his features.

Someone back home had told him that Chinese children love balloons. But what really caught the attention of the children was the exuberant vaudeville of this short-winded man in the funny clothing who was having a terribly difficult time inflating the balloons which were too small and thin for such an amateur. Each balloon he attempted to inflate flew from his lips into the air with the sound of a small fart, prompting laughter and applause from the children gathered around him.

My father, a man who once made deals with some of the most influential businessmen in America, had successfully transformed himself into an amusing street monkey.

Later that day he would show a group of Chinese university students how to peel an orange.




~ Story and artwork by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved





After I Died I Saw My Dog



The first thing I saw after I died was my dog Nova, wagging her tail madly and wriggling like a salamander with delight.

She was the only dog I ever had, a border collie and Australian shepherd mix given to my family when I was twelve years old. There were two puppies, Nova and Scotia.

We got Nova.

Nova was a gift from friends of my parents. The dog donors were people of wealth and standing in the community and so my parents felt they could not refuse, accepting the gift with feigned appreciation.

About a year earlier my parents' English bulldog died. He was a snorting bowlegged drooler named Charlie. He did not enjoy going for walks or companionship of any kind. Charlie was an ornamental dog. Eating, scratching, snoring and rubbing his genitals on the back of an old black cat too feeble to escape his advances—that was Charlie’s life.

I essentially grew up a dogless boy until Nova came into my life. She was my dog by default due to a lack of enthusiasm on the part of my late middle-age parents whose hobbies were dining out, ice cream and television. My older sister was too busy with the demands of high school society to spend time with a dog. But I was in dire need of canine companionship. I was an indifferent student on the low end of the popularity totem pole in a snooty private school that was a freeway away from my neighborhood. My only friends were our three family cats, and they could take me or leave me.

Nova and I were boy-dog, dog-boy soul mates. We were constant companions; the Lewis and Clark of our neighborhood. By summer Nova had grown and loved to run. We were creatures of the summer, awakened early by the excitement of eternal youth. We would never grow old and the day would never end. I see us still, taking the long hike to the foothills, running through unsubdivided fields, collapsing under a shady tree, finding secret places. We will be there forever.

Nova was smart. I taught her dozens of tricks. I'd place a cracker on her nose and she would hold perfectly still until I said, “OK!”, then she’d toss the morsel into the air, catch it and eat it. Each trick she learned reinforced the fact that we could communicate directly with each other. We knew how to say all the things that dogs and boys need to say to one another. We were sincere, and our sincerity was a river of love that flowed between us, through us.

The years went by and I moved away from home, no longer a boy. Nova was always overjoyed to see me when I returned for a visit and she never forgot any of her tricks, always so proud to perform them. One day, I returned home to take her on a last car ride, to the veterinarian. She was dying and my parents decided they could no longer take care of her. When I led her into the verterinarian’s office she was nervous and shaking as I had never seen her shake before. She knew, somehow. I never forgave myself for not being with her when the assistant led her away for that fatal injection.

~ ~ ~

"Welcome to heaven,” Nova said, extraordinarily delighted to see me, yet still remembering her manners and restraining the impulse to jump on me. I’d been in the hospital, sixty-seven years old, with a bleeding ulcer, my skin turned too, too white. After days of weakness and decline I awoke in a place between life and death. I heard a dog barking. I saw her. I crossed over.




~ Text and photograph by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 44:

Even the finest words fall away
in early morning birdsong.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Meeting Slated
















The Inland Valley chapter of the Society For Clear Thinking will hold an all-day workshop on “How To Make Life Simple” from 10:20 a.m. to 5:47 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at an undisclosed location.

New members are required to attend an orientation session at 7:48 a.m., in the Thoreau Room of the Simple Gifts Meeting Hall at the Southern California College of Agronomy and Moral Certainty.

After the orientation, exit on Walden Avenue South, past Civil Disobedience Drive, then turn west on Emerson Road and make a U-turn at the third intersection past the green/black student dormitories (If you see the black/green student dormitories you’ve gone too far!), bearing to the right onto Harpers Ferry Way to Parking Lot 81, Section 26 (southeastern quadrant), next to the campus greenhouse.

Walk northeast on Campus Loop toward the Transcendental Arts Building, past the Hell No We Won’t Go food court, turning right at the Gandhi memorial bird bath. Walk straight ahead until you see the second unmarked bus stop and wait for bus No. 331, or 28-A if after 9:15 a.m., or any bus between H-9Q and 12 if after 9:33 a.m.

Exit the bus at Tolstoy Street and walk north on Tolstoy, past the King Cotton Laundromat (on the left) to the Thrifty Chick fried chicken restaurant (on the fourth, north-south corner of the traffic hexagon). Enter Thrifty Chick and say: “Sir Larry has come to collect the poll tax,” if the man at the counter is wearing a hat or an eye patch, or “The goslings weep for their mother” if there is another man without a hat and/or an eye patch, or a woman (mature, no eye patch), behind the counter.

You will be led to the rear of the shop and put into the cargo area of the Thrifty Chick delivery van whose driver will blindfold you and take you to my house where I will then drive you to the meeting. The workshop fee is $20 (stamps).





~ by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




The Newer Colossus















Don’t give me your tired,
Your poor,

Your huddled masses
Yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of
Your teeming shore.
I extinguish my lamp
Beside the golden door.
Go away.
We’re full.


~ by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 39:

At some point you must set aside what you want to happen and realize what is actually happening.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved





Before I Barely Knew Anything













Before I barely knew anything
I awakened each summer morning
To the cawing of crows
And thought,
How very tall these trees
In which they gather to ruffle their feathers
In the morning breeze,
How tall these trees
And how much these crows must see.

I climbed an orange tree,
So frightened by the height,
So amazed at the sight of neighboring houses
And city streets
And thought about what the crows must see
From the tops of the sycamore trees
And from higher still
As they rise into the sky,
Knowing I would never know
What they know,
Before I barely knew anything.




~ Poem and photograph by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 42:

The truth does not depend on public opinion.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




The Fly
















H ere,
In this beautiful world,
A fly is trapped in my house.

Trapped.

It's buzzing madly against the window glass,
Certain there must be an opening,
Beckoned by the light of the outside world,
The outside world,
Just a fraction of an inch away,
An impenetrable fraction of an inch.

Here,
In this beautiful world,
Where all things are possible,
This Garden of Eden where life explodes,
Where love and hate contend,
Where joy, real joy is actually possible,
A fly is trapped in my window.

I get a clear plastic cup
Reserved for such rescues
And capture the exhausted creature,
Gently sliding a square of cardboard beneath
To prevent escape.

Here,
In this dangerous world,
Where evil survives and babies die,
A fly was trapped in my house,
And I opened the door
And I let it go.





~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Artwork by Chris Ezelle aka Boogey Man
© All Rights Reserved

# 29:

The meek may indeed inherit the Earth,
but they will not explore it.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




One Small Candle




When we decide to love,
To fall in love,
We luxuriate in our love,
Our precise, exquisite love,
Denied to so many.

We light one small candle
In a dark room,
Believing the whole wide world
Is ablaze.


~ Russ Allison Loar
~ Photo by Christopher Andrew Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Living In A Tree


























I f the world were filled with people like me,
I’d likely be living up in a tree.

~ Words, photograph and rat by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 69:

Be imperfect and acknowledge your imperfection. In this way you will become honest and no longer need to present a false image of yourself to the world.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 218:

"Normal" is an idea in wet cement.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 83:

We are not in this world. We are of this world.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 105:

You know you’re getting old when you have a lifetime supply of paper clips.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 52:

Philosophy, the graveyard of life.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 47:

A kind heart may refuse to judge,
but a wise mind will measure.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 241:

I don’t say grace before my meals.
I believe in the separation of church and plate.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 24:

Improve the world. Sit quietly. Do nothing.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 41:

When we say what something is like,
we replace the actual with the imagined.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 257:

If you were granted the power of a god,
your ego would be sorely tempered
by your responsibilities.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 1:

Those who believe in God, abandon God.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 237:

Weighing one sin against another does not change the fact that a sin is a sin.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 108:

It’s not what we take,
but what we make that interests me.

# 13:

The universe is not the product of an intelligent being, the universe is an intelligent being.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 63:

The secret of wisdom
is to question
what you think you know.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 8:

In poetry,
the writing is the thing that comes last.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 25:

You must give up where you are
before you can get somewhere else.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 228:

Someday, people will look back at us and laugh at our appearances. But most of all, they will be amazed at what we believed.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 19:

If you are not living the life you imagined, imagine the life you are living.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 243:

The game’s no longer fun,
after the game is won.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 186:

We are all called.
Some of us listen.
Some of us hear.
Some of us answer.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 256:

No mind of man shaped these mountains.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 171:

Maintenance is an unwelcome distraction.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 169:

The way to end conflict
is to desire an end to conflict
above all else.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Of This World



















We are not in this world. We are of this world.



~ by Russ Allison Loar
Artwork by Julie A. King ~ website?
© All Rights Reserved

# 181:

Anyone who can look back at life
without feeling some degree of humility
is either a saint or a liar.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 160:

Children have a way of living up to
their parents’ worst expectations.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 166:

If you pray for the end of all suffering,
you are praying for the end of this world.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 155:

It’s original ignorance,
not original sin.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 187:

Do not overburden your heart
with what is beyond your influence.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Peter Pantheism



I am a Peter Pantheist.

I have a childlike belief that everything is a component of God.



~ by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 188:

Too many conclusions crowd out the mystery
of not knowing, leaving little room
for the surprise of discovery.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 193:

Listen to the inner voice
that tells you what is wise.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 153:

If you awaken; if you become enlightened,
it will not free you from pain.

But it will help you understand
the nature of pain, and all other

earthly sensations, better.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 254:

The innocence of the future
will defeat the duplicity of the past.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 189:

Spiritual growth requires honesty
in every action, in every word spoken,
and, most importantly, in every thought.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 253:

Why?
Because God allows everything.
That’s why.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 198:

One must resist the slumber
induced by a false sense of permanence.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 183:

Is reason superior to emotion?
It depends.
Which would you prefer:
to think about love, or to feel love?



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 151:

How to stay out of trouble: Wait!


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 154:

If you ever get everything you want,
you will become a slave to prosperity.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Afterlife


The first tribunal was with the chickens.

“According to our records,” the chief justice rooster announced in a loud, screeching voice, assuring he would be heard all the way back to the very last row of the cavernous courtroom, packed with clucking hens and muttering roosters of all kinds and colors.

“According to our records, during your lifetime, you have eaten," he paused with grave solemnity, "the equivalent of 8,693 chickens,” he declared, pointing his beak menacingly at me, his wattles inflated with indignation.

I shivered at the totality of it all.

“The accused will stand before this court.”

I stood.

“Do you wish to make a statement before sentence is passed?”

“Yes,” I barely answered in tremulous voice.

“Proceed.”

Summoning up my courage, knowing there was little I could say that would alter my fate, I cleared my throat, took a deep breath, and at the top of my voice cried out:

“Cock-A-Doodle-Doo!”



~ by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 172:

The best teachers do not try to change us,
they help us unlock what is already within.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 194:

Do not cloud what is real
and unexplainable
with rational pretense.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 190:

The friendliest, most kindhearted people
are those most without fear,
especially fear of themselves.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 195:

Instead of arguing,
learn what your adversary thinks and why.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 175:

If I didn't know what I know now
I wouldn't know what I know now.
But I know now what
I didn't know when
I didn't know what I know now.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved





I've Been Busy!


Brian Williams and I were recently embedded in Afghanistan but we got separated from our military escort and were lost for a week at the Kandahar International Airport, living on vending machine candy and coffee.

Then, in the middle of the night, the ghost of Robert Frost suddenly appeared on a luggage carousel, enshrouded in a glowing blue-white mist. He spoke to us:

"Whose woods these are I think I know, his house is in the village though," pointing toward the northeast quadrant of the airport. At first I had no idea what this meant, but he kept repeating the phrase in a louder and louder voice: "His house is in the village though," until at last, almost shouting he said:


"HIS HOUSE IS IN THE VILLAGE YOU DUMMY!"

This final outburst awakened Brian and between the two of us we realized Frost was directing us to a part of the airport that would facilitate our escape.

By early morning we'd made our way northeast where we finally encountered the ticket counter. We were a bit embarrassed that we hadn't thought of this before, but wrote it off to battle fatigue. Brian tried to charge our tickets on his NBC Visa card, but for some reason his account had been closed, and so I sprung for the airfare. At least they gave me an Auto Club discount.



~ by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 144:

There is no “best” way to satisfy hunger,
with food or religion.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 205:

Earth is the place for making mistakes,
the place of learning,
especially,
learning to forgive.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 252:

A prayer is an articulation of the soul.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 173:

Embrace your sadness,
for the wound must be treated
in order to heal.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 143:

We have a moral obligation to embrace joy,
to be as happy as possible.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Blackjack




Poor old Blackjack,
Battered with one eye swollen shut,
He comes to my back door and cries for food
But he hurts too much to eat.

He cries to bring me out,
To hear the sympathetic sound of my voice,
To feel the rush of warm air from the open door
Against the stiff chill of early morning.

He comes close to the open door
But will not go in.
Some distant memory of being a kitten,
A house cat,
Pulls him to this place of food,
This place of sanctuary from the larger world,
The more dangerous world
He is now too wild to escape.



~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Photo by Russ Allison Loar

# 152:

Everyone is no one at all.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Mindings