The magical singer

The woman looked poor, dressed as she was in layers of rags to keep out the cold winds of winter. She was of indeterminate age, her hair bound up in another of her rags. But she looked the noodle vendor in the eye while she told him that she had no money to pay for his noodles yet she was …

The Tale of the Odd Bead

Chris (Christine Michaels) was traveling in Kenya and, as usual, was shopping. In the Masai Mara, there are no malls. Instead, shopping is done predominantly in the open marketplaces. Of course, being a typical female, she immediately gravitated to the jewelry stalls. The Masai are expert craftsmen at creating exquisite beaded jewelry. One particular bracelet caught Chris’ attention and, without …

An old man who lost his axe

From the Tao ….  One day a man found that his axe was missing, and suspected his neighbour’s son of having taken it. Observing the youth walking around, the man was convinced that his was the walk of a thief. The youth looked like a thief and talked like a thief; everything he did pointed to his having stolen the …

Lunatic at the Table

When the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt told a friend, a Parisian doctor, that he wanted to meet a certifiable lunatic, he was invited to the doctor’s home for supper. A few days later Humboldt found himself sitting at the dinner table between two men. One was polite, somewhat reserved and did not go in for small talk. The other, dressed …

A Safe Place to Hide

In bullfighting there’s a place in the ring where the bull feels safe. If he can reach this place he can stop running and gather his full strength. He’s no longer afraid. From the point of view of the matador this is when the bull becomes dangerous. This place in the ring is different for every bull. It is the …

Oh, those X-ray eyes

Al Pacino told the following story: “During one of my performances I made a connection with a pair of eyes in the audience, and I thought, ‘This is incredible; these eyes are penetrating me.’ I went through the whole performance just relating to those eyes, giving the whole thing to those eyes.”When curtain call came, I looked in the direction …

Sometimes you just have to sit back and take a deep breath

I’m sitting on my veranda this morning in what is an incredible day. It’s 72 degrees or so, the breeze is cool and coming from the ocean and is washing every part of my body with a sense of being alive on this beautiful day. The ibis are feeding in a foot or so of water at the base of …