One dark and foggy night, a man hurries home through deserted streets, his feet squelching on wet leaves with every step. His breath rushes out in front of him in a white stream as he wraps his arms tightly around himself trying to conserve the warmth inside his long wool trench coat. There are night sounds. The dripping rainwater is now turning to ice. Frozen twigs snap as the wind whistles through tight places.
At the edge of his hearing, he is aware of a small bumping sound growing steadily louder. Almost, but not quite, like a door left open that is blowing back and forth, slamming against its frame.
Its more like someone in heavy boots, and its getting closer and louder still. The man feels the hair on his neck rise and he begins to walk much faster, as he turns to look behind him to see what is causing that horrible clumping. The icy air catches in his throat as he sees through the fog, the image of an upright wooden casket, banging right down the middle of the street toward him! BUMP, bump......BUMP, bump........BUMP, bump.............
Terrified, the man turns and runs toward his house. but the casket keeps pace with him. He thinks of the safety of his home and tries to put more distance between him and the grotesque thing following him when he suddenly hears a slamming noise. Over his shoulder his watches in horror as the casket lid bangs open and shut, revealing the grotesque thing inside.
The man races to his front porch, fumbles the key in the lock, then wrenches open the door and leaps across the threshold, slamming and locking it behind him.He stands with his back against the heavy door, his chest heaving as his gasps for breath. The thing in the casket is on the porch! It crashes through the door, knocking the man forward. He takes the stairs three at a time, desperate for any sanctuary from the unspeakable monstrosity in the casket following him up the stairs.
BANG! CLANG! BANG! CLANG!
He locks himself in the bathroom and looks around desperately for something, anything, to use against the cadaverous thing slamming through the door and stretching out its hands for him. The smell of wet earth and rotted flesh is all around him when SCREAMS and SCREAMS and SCREAMS erupt from his throat. His thrashing hands grab the first thing he feels and he hurls the cough syrup at the specter facing him when.............
The Coffin Stops.
(Although I would happily acknowledge the author of this idea, I do not know who that is; it has been making the rounds for years.The considerable verbal embellishments and use of stock photos are all mine.)
A lot of folks were seriously injured in Sedona recently. Three of them are dead.
James Arthur Ray was holding a "Spiritual Warrior" event which included a poorly managed sweat lodge exercise.
Mr. Ray seems to be able to manage himself rather well. Fees for the event reached $10,000.00 according to published accounts. His web site (click here) is a slick bit of self promotion. Scroll down to the "Continue Here" button on the bottom of his page to see a video of him explaining his philosophy, such as it is. The guiding principal seems to be "Harmonic Wealth....Attract the Life You Want".
According to Mr. Ray, he will ...."show you 6 Laws of the Universe that will help you rise above all external circumstances". Really? That seems to be information that the general population would have keyed in on by now. How does something that universally beneficial remain a mystery to all but Mr. Ray? And why is the news only available to those in an altered state?
Three things about all this make me very, very angry. The first is, obviously, the loss of life. The second is that it does a disservice to the residents of Sedona by picturing the area in a negative light. And the third is that by misusing the term "warrior" and holding an event in a "sweat lodge" Mr. Ray insults the native culture to whom these honorable terms and traditions rightly belong.
Sedona and its environs are hypnotically beautiful settings. It is a truly breathtaking piece of Arizona real estate in a state that has stunning vistas in abundance. The area has long attracted those interested in crystals and vortexes and New Age ideas. Although I would not choose to follow the proponents of these principals, its a choice I make for myself. Whatever paths others choose, to whatever enlightenment they seek, is entirely up to them. Yet I am fairly certain of one thing.
I'm not a prude, lets get that straight right up front. But, on my first trip to Las Vegas last week, I saw more "t and a" than Hugh Hefner on a busy day. Sure, sex is what the city is all about, that and money. But, when the ceiling starts dripping breasts, enough is enough. When I had to duck to avoid running into them, I knew I had to even the score.
Lest you think I exaggerate, here is the lady in question. Pretty gal, probably more modest than she is allowed to be here. Obviously, this is Cleopatra and I'm sure Anthony appreciated her attributes, but I'm guessing it took more than a nice set to hold an empire together.
And, if she used feminine wiles to win her man and protect her throne...well, a gals got to do what a gals got to do.
The boys from the Big Apple look pretty good from afar, very afar. Trouble is, they are pretty much above it all.
Not much chance to get acquainted when you are keeping time for the city.
And whats with that hook on a staff thing anyway? Kinky stuff.
Aww........he looks kinda shy doesn't he? Not ready to show off yet.
Just hiding behind a tree, peering at the world. Not exactly an eye catcher, but maybe he will grow into it.
Of course, we don't have time to wait around for that. I'll check on him next year.
Oh....I know, I know! Don't tell me.
ATLAS! Didn't know they were twins. But three could be fun.
Wonder who holds up the world when they want to take a break? Looks like a really heavy job.
I'm not sure they could lighten up and just enjoy a drink. Maybe a show. Nah.
Wait a minute! Is this guy Atlas or an impersonator? Vegas is full of those people - what you see is what you get, sort of.
He is not holding up the world, more like a big boulder. There is that curly hair. Maybe Sampson?
He looks pretty buff, but he is, you know, blue! Not sure I could get interested in a blue guy.
And, he looks busy.
This is a possibility. Look at those muscles. And that hair. Very nice.
Wait a minute. Whats that stuff on his thighs? Little pieces of .......... pigeon poop!!!!
Well, yuck. This guy needs a shower.
Nice body, but not too muscled. The hair and beard could use some shaping.
He brought a blanket. That is very, very thoughtful.
But, the, a, credentials are a bit weak.
Nope, I want a refund.
Las Vegas is a lot to take in over just a few days. And a few days is all you can take at a time. It is an intense "in your face" city. There is no subtlety here. It is after your money. With my luck, casinos ought to have drive through windows so that I can just get it over with. Thats OK. I won't lose more than I consider the price of a nights entertainment. I have more to say about my trip, so stay tuned. I'm not crazy about the place.
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I believe that living in such dangerous and uncertain times requires a recommitment to the things we hold dear.
How do you know the things most dear to you, the things you truly love?
The people and things you move to protect are the things you love deeply.
My country is among those things I choose to protect.
l want my grandchildren to know that there is a way to steer by a moral compass in this sea of hate.
Truth is the only way to be free.
This blog is an attempt to find a path through the current political morass.
It is to let my grandchildren know that I did something to protect their world.
I hope you take the time to visit these amazingly talented folks. There is an embarassment of riches in the blogging world. Try seeing the world through new eyes, I promise you will be fans after reading just a few posts.