Archive for November, 2013

November 29, 2013

“Do you know,” she set the stage, “there are people who’ve learned  to heal themselves?



“How can you possibly know that?”

“‘Because I’m one.”

The silence was deafening.

“That’s’cause you’re never sick.”

“That’s half the answer,” she replied. “But I had to learn  to get well and stay well before I learned the art of self-healing.”

“Art. Bah.”

“Nope. It is an art and it was years in the making. Paid off, too.”

“Might’s well  sit down. She’s gonna expound like it or not.”

“You can leave.”

“Nope. Food and wine and goofy conversation are  too good to miss.”

“Especially the food and wine part.”

She fluffed her hair and took center stage. “Do you know there are very few people who’ve ever experienced good health? They chug along with aches and pains and ailments. It’s kind’a what they become. One big ache, pain and ailment. Symptoms galore. Ignored until they run to  the pill pushers to relieve them.”

“Pill pushers. She means the doctor.”

“Yep. They treat the symptoms. Out’a sight, out’a mind. Ignore what caused ’em. To learn the art of self-healing you go for the gold. Why do I have this dam headache anyway…”

“Have another glass of wine.”

“…well certainly not because I lack aspirin.”

” We’ll give you that one.”

“When the self-healer sets out on her long lonely scary journey, she stops labeling symptoms and focuses on what happened to her body that caused the symptoms to appear in the first place.”

“How does she do that?” This sceptic crunched a noisy cracker.

“That’s the kind’a talk got witches burned in the Dark Ages.”

“True. But understand, I’m not a healer. I can’t heal you, you have to learn  to heal yourself. We’re not gingerbread men. What keeps me healthy is not gonna be what keeps you healthy. And what keeps me healthy will change as the situation changes. I try nutrition first, that’s the number one rule. A fast is often good. Clean out the toxins. You gotta learn how to do that. At first it’s kind’a scary. Since I started this life lesson I’ve had to ‘pull’ myself through three nasties and every time I said, “This is the time I ain’t gonna make it.”

“Guess we can discount a ‘positive thinking’ attitude.”

“Religion and spiritual dimensions too. I  just had a bout with a really fierce scary. I knew I was gonna croak. I dressed up in a pair of two hundred-dollar cashmere sweats, had ’em for ages. My husband bought ’em for me years ago-pass me some of the good smelling stuff-and I’ve been  really good about not wearing them out to clean the barn. You know what else? I hauled out my new manuscript Children of the Extinction and my red pencil-I love to edit- figured I’d go out in style. Prob’ly look a mess but a classy mess. Drama is my style and it’s almost as good as dying with my boots on don’cha think?”

Resounding ‘yes’.


November 20, 2013

“Curiosity killed the cat.”

Doesn’t that kind’a cliché, sound bite, kind’a make your teeth itch? Who comes up with this stiff? Who spreads it around? It sounds cute, except for that poor little cat, but hey, do you know a dead cat is the most valuable thing in the world?


“Nobody can put a price on it.”

Fast curtain.

Don’t worry, we’ll get back to the  furry feline before this is over.

Curiosity is, actually, one of the most delightful of human traits. Think of bright young minds. They ask a zillion questions. Why is the sky blue? Do fingers on both hands always add up to ten? How far away is the moon? Will it fall down someday? Do skyscrapers really scrape the sky? If they don’t, why do they call them skyscrapers? Is there really a Santa Claus ? Where do babies and old people come from? Is 2X3 always six? Where’d you hide the cookie jar?

After a few hours of this, I can sort of understand an exasperated adult, in despair, screaming out the dead cat thing. But we mustn’t ask our kids to take it seriously. For goodness’ sakes don’t kill the desire to ask questions. I think that’s what we’re here to do: inquire. Imagine. Create.

My American Heritage Dictionary, which bumps my shoulder at my desk, defines it as: 1. A desire to know or learn. 3. An object that arouses interest, as by being novel or extraordinary. 4. A strange or odd aspect. It goes on to more esoteric definitions which are interesting, but, did you notice, I left out 2?

There’s always a dark side. 2. A desire to know about people or things that does not concern one: nosiness. A gossip.

Someone said, “Bright people talk about ideas, mediocre minds talk about things, simple minds talk about people.” I’ll buy that.

Scrolling down the page I see Curitiba. Whats Curitiba? A city in southeast Brazil southwest of Sao Paulo. It was founded in 1654 but did not grow rapidly until the late 19th and early 20th centuries when German, Italian and Slavic immigrants began to develop the surrounding area. Population 1,024,975.  That’s 1992.

In 2010 it had a population of 1, 760, 500.Wow. Today it is a gorgeous city with a luxurious **** Sheraton Four Points Hotel. The food looks delicious. The city also has one of the World’s Greatest Attractions, their Botanical Garden, Jardin Botanico Fanchetta Rischbieter. I’m taking the

tour, smelling the flowers, I’ll be right back…

…Oh my gosh.Glorious. Stunning architecture. That Green House…

“Hello, Bettejo?”

“All right, I’m back. What were we talking about?”


“Yeahbut you should’ve seen that city! That hotel. The lobby. The bars. The restaurants. Rooms. Spas. Food…”

“See any cats?”

“I’ll go back and look.”


Okay.I was born with an overactive sense of curiosity.  Drove my mother nuts. It’s never left me and it’s never let me down. Cats or no cats-dead or alive-never step on your kids’ inquisitive mind.

I’m outta here. Gonna  miss my flight. Curitiba here I come.

November 14, 2013

Someone once said, “You don’t grow stiff because you grow old, you grow old because you grow stiff.” That  makes sense to me.

Just as we’re apt to use our brains less-and suffer from dottage, senility and such-so are we apt to use our bodies less. We seem to do lots of couch potatoeing and sitting around in comfy chairs watching the tube or the cars go by. We’re  often advised to go to a gym or a spa or take a long walk. Rarely are we advised to find another venue: dance.

We don’t have to do a Grand jete-that’s a little far out- and many of us over eighty don’t look so hot in  pink tutus or purple leotards. I still practice Yoga, but the last time I assumed the plough I had a devil of a time unwinding. There are a lot of Yoga postures I still  do, love to do, but they’re far less athletic than they used to was. Besides, unless you’ve practiced Yoga all your life, you can’t possibly be expected to take to the Eagle  in one swell swoop.

I love the Tree and the Lotus and the Child, but what I love better is to dance.

If you’re  still on two legs moving, upright-steady as you go and breathing, which is always nice-you can dance. It’s one of the most wonderful exercise/pleasures a human being has. You use your entire body, legs, feet, arms, shoulders, hips, neck and head. Your arms can stretch and flutter like a bird. Fingers, hands, wrists moving in symmetry and grace. Your spine can bend, your toes can stretch, your head can bob and tuck and nod. You can move with muscle and sinew and joints to music.-the music of your heart, your mind, the spheres.

You can be Fred Astair or Ginger Rogers or maybe Michael Jackson. Hey, there might even be some modern  rock dandies-there’s always Madonna-you can pretend to be. Make it up as you go and, if you croak in the process, it’s almost as good as dying with your boots on.

Give yourself space. Give yourself time. Dancing in the aisles of the grocery store is always fun. Everybody loves you and you love them and sometimes others join you. Sometimes the music is delightful. Sometimes challenging.

Whoevers, watching you on the  spy-eye overhead,  pay compliments when you stand in line-still and  sweetly sweating- at the counter. “Boy, can you dance,” is not an uncommon remark, even if it’s sometimes  bogus.  But heck, I’m sure it’s better than keeping a sad and mournful eye on candy-popping shoplifters. And you know, in the privacy of your home, you don’t even have to wear clothes? I’m a little retecent to suggest you purchase  fans or pasties,  but the opportunity ‘s there, if that’s your style. Over eighties might wish to avoid  mirrors. And you know what else? It’s free.

Come on, ladies-guys, too if you like-dance your way to health, happiness and prosperity.

November 8, 2013

Did anyone ever wonder why ‘devout non believers’ like myself aways get such a bad rap? Hey, I’m somebody’s neighbor, too.

I ‘m so lucky, in my green bowl of  fresh air,  to have the most wonderful neighbors in the world. Two legged. Four legged. Feathered.

There are six houses on my side of the one lane bridge that  crosses  a recently dried up-stream, and two houses on the other side.  When you start down the hill, on a two lane, narrow, twisty old road that was once a side road off the main road to Waimea-by foot or horseback or truck or car or bicycle 0r motorcycle or running in a marathon-you are surrounded by open fields and a jungle growth of buffalo grass and hale koa which Ari loves to munch on. I warn him too much hale koa will make his tail fall off- honest- and I can’t afford to buy him a fake one.  No vain  roan horse wants to be seen without a tail.

On the mauka side of  this stretch is a vast all-encompassing vista of everywhere and everything north-eastward. Cloud capped Mt. Kahili reigns supreme and no civilized distraction-house, highway, telephone pole-insults the eye of the beholder. A jungle growth and tottering fence claims  ownership of this side. Inside the fence, on a bank that once grew pineapple- the old cannery is just around the corners-I can walk  and watch dark rain filled clouds slug slither  down the mountain side hell-bent on drenching me, and everything in the valley, to fullness.

If Ari and I and Boots catch sight of this forthcoming disaster we race back to  the barn post-haste.

When you reach the bottom of the road and make the hairpin turn you’re in paradise. Open pasture-where Duke made his runaway flight- now full of horses…


The property was purchased by a mainlander- fenced and harshly gated-with intent to build.  But something changed. An old Kalaheo horse- loving family equipped with gorgeous kids leased the property and filled it full of  horses. Ari and they talked horse story back and forth across the air space. I love to hear horses talk to each other. They were getting acquainted. I was eavesdropping.

I thought I sensed a jealous speak in Ari’s voice. Here were new friend in lush green pasture, which he doesn’t have, so quickly made contact with my wonderful new neighbor who gave me permission to let Ari roam  and graze. I could hardly wait to turn him loose.

When that day came, first light, I led him over. Opened and closed the gate and told him to go run and jump and play. No other horses were in sight. I kept a vigil. Watched him.  And guess what? He careened back down to the gate and called.To me.Paced. He wanted to come home. He loves his home.

Okay. But I love my new neighbors and they love me. if Ari wants to be standoffish that’s his problem.

November 4, 2013

Little of the island is still beautiful. I can remember when it was  called, indulging in hyperbola,  a paradise on earth. Green. Vast open spaces. Fresh air. Clean water. Somewhat under populated. Thirty thousand is a perfect size for a  community. Everyone can relish his fifteen minutes of fame. Kauai exceeded that number ninety yeas ago.

In my soon to be over-populated gated community, we are way below that level. However, in my neighborhood, a cluster phobia is commencing. One dwelling on ten thousand square feet of land is cutting it close.  In my fortieth floor  apartment, in over-crowded New York, silence is golden. Here smelling shaving lotion or hearing love-making or marital screamers. is common. Often disconcerting. More often embarrassing.

We do have a comparative safe haven in these troubled times, but, as Chairman of  the Board, I often voice a concern about our security force. How careful are they who watch the watchers? We do have an  over abundance of corporate leaders.  In worthy early retirement I find they are apt to be lax. Sometimes under attention follows over abundance. They’ve done their time. They’ve earned their pay.They can relax. Enjoy. Further there are a few who believe the locals love and admire us.

If they do these locals are fools and I can assure you most of them are not that.  I’m  impressed with their competence. Depressed by their obvious attempts to obsequiously project it. Boot licking is a false flag.

After the death of my surfing daughter by the constantly sand- lurking flesh eating bacteria, and my beloved wife from cancer, as a novelist living alone on an island that no longer has public libraries or public schools-we can’t afford them-I don’t like to think of the multitude who live with these diseases on an every day basis. I don’t understand the people around me who have no concern. Who could care less.

On one side of my ten thousand square feet of paradise, I have a brilliant man and wife who push religious crap. They are both Mensas who use insane religious beliefs to attract simple minds into following and obey God’s will. Their God’s will. They no more believe this nonsense than I beiieve in Rapture. On the other side I have a pair of big time corporate psychopaths who fight to the death a twenty-five cent error in a bill from a local feed store.

One side plays golf on our glorious greens. One side swims in our home grown lake. They both buy local organic  vegetables and eggs from our range free chickens. I meet them often in our club house restaurant.

Because of less rain fall on Mt. Waialeale, the dam that furnishes us with water to water our course and fill our lake has diminished. Therefor we had a choice. Golf or thongs.

A contentious in-family argument ensued.  I thought I’d have to call security. Serfs outside the gates had nothing on us. When it came to  a vote: golf won.