Day Twenty-Four: Longing

The Evolutionary Collective welcomed 125 people from near and far to its New Year’s Day Internet call. Patricia Albere, the founder of the organization, led us in exploring the topic of “longing”. Part of our time together was in groups of two and three. We looked at what aspects of society we’d like to say goodbye to. Later, what were our visions for the world we’d love to inhabit?

I felt into the questions and stayed open to the images that wanted to emerge. There was no “figuring it out”.

Here’s what I’m saying no to:

1. So rarely do we physically touch each other.

2. Kids respond rather than initiate. Their ideas are not as important as those of adults.

3. We are afraid of each other. Our tendency is to move away rather than go towards.

4. I’m right and you’re wrong.

5. “Home” is our own needs and wants.

And then there’s the vision of what is yet to be:

1. We laugh together at how silly life is.

2. We look deeply into each other’s eyes. We linger there … and feel the beauty.

3. We value ideas from whomever they spring, regardless of age, gender, status or what your peers think.

4. We go slow, seeing the moments of the world unfold before us, and we smile at what is revealed.

5. We hug, easily and often, including all in our positive regard.

It was a lovely two hours together. With Zoom technology, we could see 25 folks at once on our laptop screens. A simple click and there were 25 more faces. The infinite variety and grace of human beings was on full display. It was a privilege to come together like this.


Earlier, I sat in a comfy chair near Keur Saloum’s pool. To my left was a black family: mom, dad, son and yappy little dog. They were talking in English, and clearly enjoying each other’s presence. I decided to let them be. My vision for the future revolves around reaching out to new humans but it didn’t seem right to be intruding into their joy. The power of contact, however, was initiated by an unexpected being – the little doglet came close and really turned up the barking.

Mom apologized for “Simba”. I smiled and said it was fine. And then it came to me: tell Simba that my name was Mufasa (Simba’s father in The Lion King). So I did. Mom and dad laughed … and we were off to the races.

Where do you live? > For the next year – in Dakar [the capital of Senegal]. After that, back in the United States.

Where in the States > In California

Where in California? > Near San Francisco

Where? > Berkeley

In eight days, I’ll arrive in Berkeley. I’ll be staying for a week > (!)

Oh my. What can be created, what can emerge, when we simply move closer to each other? I think it’s called magic.

I told Penda and Solomon that I volunteer in a Grade 5/6 class in Canada, and that months ago three girls asked me if I would bring them something back from San Francisco. I said yes, in the spirit of rewarding kids who speak up. It turns out that they all wanted a necklace. Actually the very same design: the tree of life. know where I could find “tree of life” pendants in Berkeley? > Yes. Your conference site [The David Brower Center] is only a few blocks away from a bunch of street vendors who carry stuff like this. Walk east on Allston Way to Oxford Street. South on Oxford to Bancroft Way. Three blocks east to Telegraph Avenue … et voilà.

So there!
From Toubacouta, Senegal
across the world to Berkeley, California
There is really no distance between us

Frozen II

At the movies tonight, I was swept up into the blast of Elsa and Anna.  I didn’t see the original Frozen and that didn’t matter.  The intensity of II was extreme and I fell in love with the two heroines.

Right now, I can’t remember much about the film, which is thoroughly strange, since I just got home.  So how the heck can I write about it?  Somehow I’m confident that what will come out of my mind will touch home.

Elsa and Anna have huge eyes and the contact between them goes deep.  There’s an aliveness in the relationships here, a sense of going to the core of things, casting off the trivial, and seeing the beauty of the human being facing you.

Elsa hears a voice calling her forward to the unknown.  The music swells as she steps out into the fullness of life.  At one point she walks resolutely into the mist, somehow knowing that she will be safe as the landmarks disappear.  Hers is indeed a calling, and she holds her head high as she embraces the mystery of it all.

There are separations and there are joinings.  The ebbs and flows of living are well represented but the ebbs can’t stop the surge of spirit.  When Elsa sings, there’s a brilliant intensity, a full-throated volume as her mouth opens.  No half measures.  Something huge is propelling her into the marketplace of life, grappling with shallow forces and keeping wide eyes on the vibrancy beyond the mundane.

So it remains for all of us to reach out, touch our dreams, stay true to the world we know in our hearts and want to bring forth in reality.  You don’t have to be pretty or handsome, young and virile, or wise beyond your years.  You just have to see it and want it real bad.

Elsa and Anna stand tall in their vision and in their love for each other. They beckon us onward to our own individual promised lands and to a world that serves all beings.  We dare not settle for less.

We Can Change the World

Pie in the sky?
The musing of a fool?
Irrational and irrelevant?

Perhaps not


Everyone must leave something behind when he dies . . . Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die . . . It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away.


It’s the outsiders who change the world.


A socially accepted or cultured person can never change society. By change it means something that society has never imagined before.


One smile has the power to …

Calm fears
Soften stone walls
Warm a cold heart
Invite a new friend
Mimic a loving hug
Beautify the bearer
Lighten heavy loads
Promote good deeds
Brighten a gloomy day
Comfort a grieving spirit
Offer hope to the forlorn
Send a message of caring
Lift the downtrodden soul
Patch up invisible wounds
Weaken the hold of misery
Act as medicine for suffering
Attract the companionship of angels
Fulfill the human need for recognition

Who knew changing the world would prove so simple?


Love people who hate you. Pray for people who have wronged you. It won’t just change their life … it’ll change yours.


The world is changed not by the self-regarding, but by men and women prepared to make fools of themselves.


I’m just tired of feeling like the way things are is the only way they can ever be.


Burn so bright that the world comes to life.


No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.


I’m not a Starbucks guy. I’m a Dunkin Donuts guy, but I like to pay for the coffee of the other folks behind me in line. It typically costs me less than $10, and makes the other people feel good, but more importantly, it makes me feel so good, and random acts of kindness change the world, one person at a time.


When you are told “You cannot change the world”, it is because you are already doing it.


Help young people. Help small guys. Because small guys will be big. Young people will have the seeds you bury in their minds, and when they grow up, they will change the world.


I believe it’s time that women truly owned their superpowers and used their beauty and strength to change the world around them.


We have to raise the consciousness. The only way poets can change the world is to raise the consciousness of the general populace.


Kids really have a lot more power than they think they have. They have the power to change the world. And they should know it.


You have a mind. And you have other people. Start with those, and change the world.


It’s hard to tell the truth
When no one wants to listen
When no one really cares
What’s going on
And it’s hard to stand alone
When you need someone beside you
Your spirit and your faith must be strong

What one man can do is dream
What one man can do is love
What one man can do is change the world
And make it young again
Here you see what one man can do


Age, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, personality, money
Do not matter
Do something you love