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Wednesday, May 19, 2004
A duck, A Cat, and a Squirrel
A duck, a cat, and a squirrel - sounds like a great start to a classic joke - doesn't it? I don't know what the joke is/was, but it certainly was bizarre perhaps foretelling.

Today on my morning walk I observed two mallard ducks who seemed to be seriously lost. After giving directions to the nearby watering holes I went about my business of my walk to Dunn Bros.

Well, on my return trip, whom do I run across, but the very same ducks (at least I think they were the same), well, one at least, seeming to have a pow-wow with a beautiful all white cat and squirrel of excellent specimen. Very bizarre indeed. All quiet un-disturbed by the situation and seemingly totally ambivolent about my presence as well.

I kept trying to come up with a joke, but found none. However, I did have a flash, that this is kind of like the Muppet Show - an odd assortment of fine acts . . .

Kermit and the Muppet Show have been on going themes this week as I realize that Kermit has become my new totem. No longer the tadpole. Now the showman, the stage manager, the collector of vast talents to bring the greatest show on earth. What that show is - I have no idea, but I do find it intriguing the response I received from the trio - Everything is just as it should be. Were they waiting for Kermit? Quack, MEow, Squeek, Hello
Friday, May 14, 2004
Featured Coach in Corvus Enterprizes Connected Coach Newsletter
Wahoo! I was selected to be the Featured Coach this month in Corvus Enterprizes' Connected Coach Newsletter. Not only that I got to write the main article on Followership.

Click here to read the article in pdf format
Sunday, May 02, 2004
Whirly Gigs
Wow what a week. We've been rehearsing for todays concert since January with three evening rehearsals this week. It was well worth it. I think we sounded great! The Apollo Male Chorus is just a dynamite group of 45 men who love music and singing together and step down some of the formality of choral singing. We still wear tuxes though. We sing acapella for 50% of the music and memorized (no music) 100% of the time. One of the things that make this choir so much fun for me and I think makes the blends work well is that after of few weeks of learning the parts in sections we mix up into quartets to rehearse the rest of the season so you really learn and hear all the different voices around you and how you fit it in. We did that years ago when I sang with the Adelphian Choir at UPS and it had the same effect.

My folks, Rita & Jerry came to town for the concert as well as two of my dear friends Valerie and Claudette. The Apollo Male Chorus (my chorus) was joined by an astonishingly polished group of 8 high schools guys from Hopkins High called G.E.O.F.F.

The two pieces that seemed to move people were first the Prayer For The Children which was written for and about the children in former Yugoslavia who at night would pray to wake the next day. The second was the encore of Les Miserable's "Do You Here The People Sing"

What fun. I am off to Gunflint Lodge tomorrow for a few days of R&R while my floors are sanded and revarnished.

Then I am off to Milwaukee for business and pleasure. I will be checking out the Quest For Immortality Treasures of Ancient Egypt at the Milwaukee Public Museum while I am there. This is the largest Egyptian collection ever to come to N America and Milwaukee is its only midwest destination. Yeah Milwaukee and the Public Museum.

Enjoy the week and treat life well this week. ~Matthew

Monday, April 26, 2004
Wendell Berry Quote - Do not tax your life.
This quote struck me last night at the Soulful Sundown by Wendell Berry. Perhaps this is what woke me this morning.

When despair of the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief ~ what a powerful line!!
I realized that that is where so many of us lay in life - ruining tomorrows before today has yet to turn bright.


TAKE A WALK OUTSIDE - SEE the WORLD as it REALLY IS - not the one inside our heads!

I went to a St. Paul's Unity UU Church last night for their "Soulful Sundown" where the topic was "Coming of Spring: Awakening the Senses." It was a pure delight, we walked through each of our senses and our appreciation for them and the memories and stirrings each can create.

For example:
Scent: your mother's perfume, a street in Barcelona, fresh cut grass
Taste (what do you crave): chocolate, peanut butter (when you've been abroad for a long while), warm garden strawberries.
Touch: the wrinkles in your hands, digging in the dirt, touching the hair on the head of a child
Sound: live songbirds, coffee brewing, waterfalls, a push lawnmower
Sight: birds in flight, cats licking themselves, kids at play, taffy machines.

What do your senses tell you about Spring?

I was awoken this morning by the birds - and those who have been reading this for a while know what that means.

I went for my walk around my lake. I had commented last night at the Soulful Sundown that this was the first time in my life that I remember really hearing songbirds. I now know exactly what a cardinal sounds like. Yay! But, as I walked down the steps in to the early dawn morn, I smelled the city waking up, and the chitter chatter of the birds and realized - I know this sensation. I've had it before. . . . when I used to deliver newspapers on the early weekend morns of childhood. I remember then listening to the songbirds and the life within the fabric of the city stirring. What happened to that awareness to make it be forgotten for 25 years. hmm.

Stress, appropriateness, our western way of thinking, dismissing the natural in exchange for the new nifty gadget or technology. hmm.

What are they calling you to do, to be, to see, to touch, to taste, to experience?
Who will you share it with today?

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