Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Great Escape

Is there anything that is really familiar? I like to believe that there is "newness" in every moment. However I do find comfort in visiting and re-visiting the familiar. This was written in haste a day or two before leaving. It's ironic how that seems to be the theme for the first week in Guatemala.
Below is a copy of my (handwritten) journaling from yesterday.

So much to write about in so little time (here on the road) Travelling has a way of expanding time. Possibly because it consists of so many unique and "compressed" moments. So many "here and nows" everyone of them different from the habitual "here and nows" I have become accustomed to in my day to day life in my home county. 60 years of "becoming accustomed" to ---(whatever it is) can harden a person.

The language "barrier" is only a barrier in my mind. At times that barrier becomes impenetrable. In an instant I can implode into myself and I am locked inside totally unable to connect with the experience of life which I perceive to be on the "outside". Just as quickly the barrier can be gone. Who know what the trigger or catalyst is but when we give ourselves permission to really participate in life, the barrier disappears just as quickly as it appeared.

I started this with the intention of outlining the "there and thens" on this adventure. Just notes to myself for further expansion, but most likely they won`t be expanded. I noticed when I walked back into the streets of Antigua after an hour on the computer I felt like I had entered a foreign world (the time spent on the Internet) I don't mind foreign, but I really love the feeling of the people here in Guatemala, so I may not be Journaling as much as I anticipated.

Quicko recap::

Events of the week:

One Fupah at the airport almost cost me the loss of my contact list before I had contacted anyone. That would have changed the trip.

First hostess: Very unhappy, pre-occupied lady living a middle to upper class existence behind so much armed security, fences, locks and barbed wire it felt like being in a prison. ----------I escaped!-------to-----------

A very happy, guitar playing singing dentist. (The whole family loved singing for that matter) They too lived behind locked gates, but it seems they had no fear of the world outside. (If they did they handed it over to God) Oscar has a beautiful wife, Elvia, and one daughter. His daughter, Elana, has just gained her Bachelors degree on the road to being a doctor. (Fantastic at 18yrs. old)

Where I am now I feel no need to escape, I have been welcomed into a beautiful family in a small community on the mountainside above a pueblo called Santa Lucia. I get to play with kids every day and I even played in the garden yeasterday (Hope you Northerners are not too jealous) This morning on the bus to Antigua a sticky fingered person relieved me of my camera, MY FAULT! No worry, it pissed me off for a few moments, but I can honestly say that each day here gets better and better.

I'll close with that and the wish that for you life is the same ----


Adios Amigos

A few links to pictures:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Adios Norte America

My Goodness,

Here I am heading out the door of my sisters house to catch a plane to Guatemala. I would like to start my Central America journey with a proverbial "clean slate." It would be impossible to express the beauty and generosity of the folks I have met and stayed with in the past month, not to mention the awesome grandeur of Arizona, New Mexico, (and a quick peek at Texas)

These picture are quick sampling of some of the sights. Missing are pictures from Gila River hot springs, an awesome place just five miles from the Gila River cave dwellings, if you are in Southern New Mexico I highly recommend you visit both.

Pictured are: A cairn I built on the continental divide, Well the monument said it was the divide, but after talking to historians in Bisbee I was informed they "made a mistake" but I guess they still wanted to keep the monument. (The real divide is about 100 miles away in New Mexico)
Next is my shadow waving back to me from the San Pedro River in Arizona, then Eric and Maria and Colin and baby ?? from their awesome home in Silver City, New Mexico. That is Maria's brother Dominique saying hi to his feline friend who was out cruising for a few days. Eric is my sister Kathy's first child, and the first grandchild in the Casler Clan. Great grandchildren are popping out like crazy now!

The next picture is a desert plant I would like you to identify. I guess it could be a "photo puzzler" but truth is I have no idea what it is.

Not pictured is my friend Bev Wigney who graciously put me up in in Bisbee, Azirona for the better part of three weeks. (Or should I say "put up with me") Bev is a very beautiful generous person. She is a profession photographer who seems to stay away from the other end of the camera. I'm not saying she is camera shy, but somehow I managed to leave Arizona without one good picture of her or Sabrina her faithful canine companion. THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE GREAT VISIT BEV.

I'm off to LA now to catch a plane, I not sure if I can find the answer to the photo puzzler, but I will try. It was an icicle thawing on the wall of a canyon on the way to the Gila Cliff Dwelling, but just a close up of one drop of water.

From Autumn to Winter 08

From Autumn to Winter 08

Hasta Pronto

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Will Science and Religion Ever See Eye to Eye?

Hi Family and friends.

This is and an between post post. As I evolve so does this blog. Below is a link to an interesting article.
Bill Casler, my father lived his life striving to prove the connection sited below. This is the last picture I took of my Dad while he was with us here on Planet Earth. This is to your memory dad. (And yes, science and religion are totally connected!)

PS: Notice the link in the sidebar to the left. If you want to be part of the conversation with the Obama administration. And be part of the change that we are, do some exploring.

Dear Fellow Evolutionary,

We now move from the timeless realm of enlightenment to the present-day battle between science and religion.

These two fields of thought and practice often seem diametrically opposed. Yet, with disarming simplicity, theologian John Haught explains how both domains are actually in pursuit of the same eternal mystery in an interview entitled, "A God-Shaped Hole at the Heart of Our Being."

As Haught eloquently states, "Even a scientist is grasped by the value of the truth and surrenders his or her life to the pursuit of that truth. Whether they say so explicitly or not, I think many scientists, if not most, have made a commitment to something much larger than themselves that is inexhaustible.

"They realize that no matter how much they probe, the horizons will keep on receding. I associate that very closely with what theology refers to as religious experience."

Read the article here:

Warmest regards,

Robert Heinzman
EnlightenNext magazine

Oops I almost forgot. The Solution to the Photo Puzzler

From Autumn to Winter 08

Yes it's a Cottonwood tree

From Autumn to Winter 08

And it a big one!

From Autumn to Winter 08

For next Photo Puzzler

A mystery from the Gila River Valley
Birthplace of Geranimo!


Idaho to San Diego

Thanksgiving 2008 is where this journey begins.
Chicago Illinous 1948 is where my human journey began. I'm telling you this to forewarn you that this travel journal is going to have a spattering of personal thoughts and revelations that may or may not be relevant to my geographical location but will surely have some meaning on my journey from the cradle to the grave.

Here's the Family getting ready to chow down for Thanksgiving dinner at Rhianna and Josh's new farm in Port Orchard, Washington.
From Autumn to Winter 08
Clockwise from the Left: My first daughter Shay, her Mom Cheri and Cheri's husband John. Coming up the other side of the table is Robert, Shay's husband, Rhianna my other daughter, me, and Joshua, Rhianna's husband.

And this is little Kayla Hamming it up like she does so well.
It was a wonderful reunion and then I got to spend a few more days with Shay Rob and Jenica.
Shay and Rob are taking after me, the latest home they purchased has wheels. Rob and I spent a day going over some of her "quirks" and getting some little things fixed. It now has running hot and cold water and a toilet that flushes----what else could you ask for?

Then it was South down the Oregon Coast. It was a beautiful day for travelling and if it wasn't for a fairly major "fupah" my time in Oregon would have been totally idyllic. I had locked my car using the electric lock. The next morning I noticed that I had left the passenger door open as I was leaving. My guitar, my flute, my tools all were untouched, so I worried not.

Well, I realized about 200 miles later when I went to get the charger for my camera battery that a small handbag was missing. I still wasn't worried, it just had "stuff" in it, vitamins, some computer cables and a few books. Then it dawned on me that that bag had an envelope with basically all my banking records for the year. So it was a bit of an inconvenience, and really I suspect it was a kid walking by and just grabbing what he or she thought must surely be a treat. It turns out the midnight snatcher got one more item and it was valuable. I also had a wrapped Christmas present from Rhianna and Josh which I did not realize was missing until Christmas. So this midnight thief not only has all my vitamins to stay healthy, some nice reading, some useless computer cables, he or she also has a Sonicare electric tooth brush and an I-tunes gift card.

Better be brushing every night, (listening to good tunes,) or I'm really gonna be mad.

Well, I did some emotional sea-sawing on my way down the coast, but for the most part I just stayed with what was really happening in the moment and it was a great trip.

That brings me to a segway into some journalling I was doing yesterday. I want to share it:

Polarities. Are they essential for experiencing the full spectrum of life?

What is the “full spectrum” of life? To a Buddhist monk that might be the experience of night and day while totally being centered in 

For another the full spectrum might be waking up in a self created living hell, a hostile world where evil always prevails, then discovering bliss on a high mountain road, or in the beauty of a flower or a forgotten love song, or....?
I have heard it said that in order to reach the peaks of heaven we have to delve into the depths of hell. (And there is truth in this.) However I have also learned that true Bliss (Peace of Mind) is always available regardless of where we are on the “Heaven/Hell” spectrum.
To sum it up: No matter what the circumstances (things on the circumference) if you can come to your center and be totally present with what is happening HERE and NOW You will find peace of mind is. Matters not if you are the monk meditating on the mountain top, or Samurai warrior in the middle of battle --- peace is there.

(Pretty much summing everything up I said in one sentence: "
The only difference between a Master and a non-Master is that the Master embraces what is, totally. Echart Tolle)

I'm adding something new and exciting to this blog. Ken's photo puzzler. Yes I was listening to Car Talk today. Here's the way it works. At the end of each post there will be a picture with the question: Whatzit?? Like this photo:

Your job is to figure out what it is before my next post, and in the mean time you will have to be on the edge of your seat waiting to find out if your right.