Month: January 2015

Adventures with Greyhound

Greyhound Bus

Dear friends,

Not that I’m trying to smuggle guns or drugs, but the Johnny-Depp-in-Blow days are long gone and airport security remains in full-patriot force like 9/11 just happened. The Atlanta airport is especially crazy and now that I’m preparing to leave the city, did I choose to take the bus or a plane? I chose the bus and here’s why…I’m cheap for starters. The bus ticket was $125 and the flight would have been $350, plus baggage. Being that I’m not in a hurry, it’s no contest; thrifty wins. When I travel by air I do prefer to fly first-class though, so that I can drink heavily and steal those tiny blue blankets (which I use as fancy scarves). It’s true, airports are among my least favorite places to be, but Greyhound Bus Depots are right up there too. However, the bus station doesn’t have metal detectors or drug-sniffing dogs, and the threat of terror is, well…sort of exciting to me.

It’s a 30-hour trip north and the bus can be a wild ride, but this is far from my first rodeo. For anyone that’s never rode a Greyhound, one thing is bound to happen if you do: you will meet some characters. I’ve had confrontations with horrible mothers; I’ve listened to the stories of elderly men reliving their glory days; I’ve snuggled with temporary girlfriends between transfers; I’ve waited for hours in depots on layovers and wandered the worst parts of America’s dirtiest cities; I’ve witnessed shoplifters get arrested on fuel stops; I’ve smoked pot with complete strangers; I’ve read more books than some people will read in their entire adult lives, all on weird bus trips.

 Unfortunately, America’s fast-food industry is a major sponsor of Greyhound and the bus makes frequent stops at these sorry excuses for dining. Pack a lunch, or take the opportunity to fast and cleanse your system. Your belly will thank you. Not eating food for a stretch can be highly beneficial for your stomach and for your body, much like not thinking thoughts can provide your mind and spirit with a break from the ego. Fasting and meditation can do wonders for consciousness, but the bus is a challenging place to practice mindfulness. Someone is bound to use the on-board bathroom after a Big Mac attack, stinking up the cabin from the back to the front. You’ll smell the farts of neighbors and the bad breath of the snoring passenger next to you as she unconsciously leans on your shoulder and drools. You’ll feel the kicks of the nervous feet twitching on the back of your seat. You’ll overhear the egotistical phone conversations of people who like the sound of their own voices. You’ll be offered drugs you’ve never tried and denied those that you’d like to use to numb your pain. You will be hit on, by men and women. You’ll quite possibly lose a piece of luggage, misplaced during a transfer. I would strongly suggest that you keep your valuables with you at all times. I also recommend that you pay attention to where the tires are and never choose the seats above them. The vibrations from the wheel wells provide for a nearly unbearable ride on bumpy roads. There is no first-class tickets on the bus folks; pick your seats wisely because you’re in for the long haul.

“Thank you for choosing Greyhound,” the driver says as he directs our attention to the front of the bus. He gives us a run down on the rules for the ride and some social advice that everybody seems to hear as an invitation to immediately headbutt. He does his version of a flight attendant’s safety precautions with hand motions and mumbled speech over the old-school radio…“There will be absolutely no drinking on this bus,” he says, and glug-glug goes the bottle behind me with a belch. “There is a bathroom on the back of the coach if you need to use it. Do not throw trash in the toilet! There are garbage cans at the front and the back for that. Please clean up your wrappers and don’t make a mess,” he says, and someone shoots a spitball in his direction missing terribly but hits the old woman in front of me right on the left ear. Undeterred, he says, “Also, please keep your cellular phone conversations to a volume that won’t disturb those in your general area. People do not want to hear your personal business,” and a woman a few seats back tells her lover on the other end of the phone that she fucked his best friend and that he is not the father of their child. The driver shakes his head in disgust and sits at the wheel. I feel like I’m on the way to a high school wrestling meet…

Hopefully the bus doesn’t get hijacked like in that movie, The Siege. I don’t wanna have to go all Denzel Washington on any terrorists (my body could be weak from fasting), but a strong hero tale would add some excitement to the story of my return. I’ll let you know when I arrive safely. Did you know Greyhound turned 100 last year? Check out this article (or at least read the words in the link if you won’t click it) and give the bus a try next time you’re in the mood for some adventurous travel.

Happy Trails,


Another Bittersweet Farewell


Dear friends,

This is about love, and the journey home…

My time in the South is nearly over again and I’m preparing to say another bittersweet farewell. The weather is exceptional, quite the contrast to where I’m going. I can hear the birds sing as I write this. I migrated to Georgia in the fall to work on book 2 of The Fox Trails trilogy, and to study as well. I did much of both, and some amazing things have happened in the last two months. A stranger at the Salvation Army gave me a bicycle. He planned to give it to the store but donated it to me instead. I’ve rode it all around the outskirts of Atlanta and made countless ten-mile white-knuckle trips to the library. The roads here aren’t meant for biking though. Traffic is relentless and unforgiving; no where else in the country have I felt so endangered on two wheels. Biking is a huge part of my life -a true love- and it seems like maybe this place wasn’t meant for a guy like me.

You can’t easily put a lady on the back of a bike and women do tend to like a man with more money than I care to carry. I have found romance in my travels across the country on bicycle, but it’s always been short-lived and a thing of the moment. I’m just passing through, lets have some fun. I’m appealing as a wanderer; there’s no risk of attachment. I bring charisma, a wealth of experience, and the entertainment of song and story. Love and I are no strangers, but that level of trust and appreciation takes time to develop and I haven’t been still long enough to have a depth in relationship like that for many years. You might say that I sacrificed my chance to have deep romantic love when I chose a nomadic lifestyle. Maybe that kind of love wasn’t meant for a guy like me.

A funny thing happened here around the time I was gifted that bicycle. I met a woman who doesn’t much seem to mind that I don’t drive a car, and she isn’t worried about my lack of savings for the future or the little money I have now. She has her own, with a grown-up job and a condo in the city. She read my book and became intrigued with the message. I came into her life at a time when she hoped to speak her heart and to live courageously, following her dreams in the moment. And she came into mine at a time of feeling greatly misunderstood and lonely, wishing to live healthy and to expand my connection with the inner and outer energies. Of course she happened to be practicing yoga and meditation. I knew that my stay in Georgia would most likely be a temporary one and I laid those cards on the table right away. We decided to dive deep though and developed a wonderful spiritual connection; the kind of connection that makes a guy like me think about the future and maybe hanging around.

At a certain age, we’ll say around 25…most women have a robotic instinct that takes over and a voice in their head starts to say something like, “Must marry, have babies.” I guess that’s normal, the drive to procreate and fashion a nest. There’s outside pressure too, from society’s idea of success and from family of course. Every mother wants her kids to find love, get married, and make her some grandchildren. My mother especially; she might adopt a grandchild soon. People say that I’m so lucky to have these experiences (some people also say I’m stupid), traveling freely and living spontaneously. Well, a little dumb luck, yes maybe, but I haven’t had children! I’ve been extremely careful about this, and that freedom has allowed me to wander in the ways of my choosing. To settle down and have a cute little baby and to share the gift of bringing life into the world would make mama proud, no doubt. I love my mom, but the path of the heart births a life of its own; that life always seems to take me away from her. It breaks me up a little each time it happens, but this is the only life for me right now.

In January last year, I left the South after writing the lion’s share of my book and I returned home briefly. That’s when I first heard the call of the drum. I was invited for a trial stay at the Teaching Drum Outdoor School to work in editing and promotions with the author Tamarack Song. It became so much more than that though. To live intentionally, with a tribe of conscious people connected with nature in a healing environment…that was life changing for me. There were so many challenges, but it was enriching and I developed skills that would prove important down the road. Feeling the calling to pursue personal dreams, I departed on short notice with the snow melt and I left much unlearned there. However, I was able to publish my book and cross the country on a bicycle, surviving in the wilderness with my newly acquired skills. It was the adventure of a lifetime. What a year!

So here I am, down South; I’ve been writing about these experiences. I thought my adventure was finished in San Francisco (that the book series would end there), and that I might be ready to settle down and do the writing while starting a more normal life with contributions to family and society. However, I know that my journey has to come full circle now, to show me where I’ve been from a new vantage point. Finding a spiritual connection with a woman who understands and appreciates me has been an eye-opening experience. It’s definitely had me imagining life in Georgia, long-term. This encounter almost seems like fate, or a manifestation of intent (whatever you wanna call it). This time in the South has definitely shown me what I want, and what I don’t want. Atlanta has millions of people spread out over a gigantic metropolitan area and the city is rapidly expanding with busy roads and noisy chaos. I miss the quiet of nature and clean water; I want community. I love those things. For these reasons, I’ve decided to return to the Northwoods of Wisconsin and the community life at the Teaching Drum Outdoor School. Travel plans are still up in the air, but I’ll be arriving at the end of the month, right around my one-year anniversary.

Love is fascinating. To this wonderful woman I speak of, I am forever grateful that we explored life together and shared so deeply, even with the knowledge of my impending departure. It was never clingy or possessive. We could’ve saw our time together as if it was ticking off the clock, but we chose to experience its unfolding and we watched it blossom around us. We could’ve saw our relationship as a beautiful bouquet of flowers that would one day wither and wilt, just to be tossed in the trash, but we saw a fertile garden, and we planted seeds there and nourished them. May they flourish and be admired by those with loving eyes, and a vision with no end. Happy trails are paths that cross in the heart of adventure. Walk them attuned, with courage and enthusiasm.

Another bittersweet farewell,


Happy Sunday


Dear friends,

Sunday is typically not a great marketing day for social media campaigns. People are busy with their un-work-related business, and then there’s that whole football congregation thing, and church as well. Friday though, that’s a day for marketing. Talk about work, and what you’ve earned, people just got paid and they’ll buy it. Sunday however, is a holy day, and this post is about the work of a spiritual nature…

Ever since we brought in 2015, I’ve been unusually quiet as far as social media is concerned. In The Fox Trails, I never use the term Facebook; I call it Egosystem. My hesitation to share lately has something to do with not wanting to come off as boastful or preachy. The more I learn and experience, the more I wish to teach it, but your free will is an important factor in that equation. The other night, my grandfather shared this story with me…

He said, “When your father was a child, I would take the kids to church on Sundays, followed by a family dinner. After the meal, each of the kids were encouraged to voice any issues that were going on. One Sunday, when your dad was about 15, he told me that he didn’t want to go to church anymore, and the rest of the kids agreed. So we stopped going together and I regret that to this day. I should have kept those kids in church.”

“Do you feel like he didn’t turn out alright or that he doesn’t have an appreciation for the Creator?” I asked.

“Well, not like I do,” he said.

“Everyone should have the right to their own appreciation, grandpa,” I told him.

“Not when you’re too young to know what’s best for you,” he said.

I didn’t argue that further. Who am I to attempt the conforming of someone to my thinking? My grandfather is an old man now, retired after a long life of hard work and raising children. He still goes to church every Sunday. I could’ve told him about the procession of the equinoxes and the universe within us, the evolution of the ancient myths and Kundalini, but I didn’t. There is this huge piece of me that wishes to have influence, to teach and to help, and another that wishes to always honor the free will of others, whether that be family, or friends on Egosystem. More and more on this path, I feel the outside pressure to conform to the thinking of others; everyone seems to know what’s best for me. Do you know my destiny?

This morning, on the Yellow River, I sat on a rock island and listened to the water. I sang a song, thought of you, and then I wrote this poem.


The river yellow

gliding waves

 a gentle farewell

always moving

a timeless hello

the water sings

and blesses

Life’s momentum

the message brings

calm and soothing


We are going in different directions, but in you, I see my reflection.

Like the river flows from source, continue on your course.

Does moving water seek guidance to reach the sea?

You know where you’ll go. We all flow to one place.

So I listen to your song and give thanks, as you pass along at your own perfect pace.


There was a time in my life when I was dedicated to material pursuits, and I accumulated what many dream of attaining. I can have those things again if I choose, but everything changed for me. It changed from within. I became a penniless wanderer, relinquishing it all on a single-minded quest for awakening. My studies, my travel and my writing, these have become my job; this work is spiritual in nature. Sacrifice and I, we’re not strangers.

Now I’m not against hard work, as a matter of opinion, I think that what I’m doing is the hardest work of all. To cultivate the soul is an undertaking that most modern men would never choose to pursue. The riches of the spirit have become taboo. My personal course to the sea involves studying and writing; one day I’ll teach, if I can figure that out. I know where I’m going and I will not be dammed.

This is not an easy concept to share with loved ones and I don’t expect you to completely understand. How could you? I’ll attempt to explain this further in the next post, with a metaphor on love. My stay in Georgia is nearing an end and I have some news to share with you all. More on that next time though, for now…

Happy Sunday,