Journal Archive


From "Night on Bald Mountain" from Disney's "Fantasia"Fear, the Tyrant of Mankind, is a cruel and oppressive demon. A slayer of men, women, and children, who hides in plain sight, seeking to corrupt every aspect of life. Dressed in sickly hues, creeping about like a poisonous fog, infecting the hearts and minds of the masses. It whispers things. . . terrible things, untrue things. If we let it, it can drive us from our path, and keep us small and impotent in our lives. It can steal the beauty of the world from us, crush hope, and devour joy. It can drive people to make horrific choices as it squeezes the light from their souls.

There is a lot of fear in the world at this point in the arc of human history. The volume, manner, and intensity of it is like no other time in our past. Hot wars, Cold Wars, World Wars, Wars on Terror, War on Drugs, Cyber War and so on, each new war getting polished and branded by the media and politicians for its marketability and endless consumption by the masses.

There is a natural, instinctual kind of fear, for example, that arises when we might encounter dangerous or hungry wild creatures. Then there is the other kind of fear that is employed by humans as a means to an end. This latter kind permeates our daily culture from boardrooms to bedrooms, from national politics to local school yards. Terrorism is an extreme form of bullying, whose dark heart seeks apocalyptic euphoria for its own sake.

Fear is the dark nectar that terrorists – and too often the media – feed upon. Like throwing dry grass on a bed of smoldering embers, media outlets refuse any responsibility for incessantly stoking it to keep their ratings up, and they fill every minute of the day and night with this poison.

I know people who are naturally fearless. Sadly, I am not one of them. Awareness is a double-edged sword, and the more I study the world, dig into news headlines, track the growing threats that might affect me and my loved ones and the earth I love, the more I worry. While action can counter some amount of worry and fear, somethings are just hard to shake off. I ventured into this research consciously as a means of scouting ahead to be better able to protect those I love from harm by raising their awareness. And so out of my love for my people and the earth, I took the path that entered what I have called the dark forest, carrying as much light as I could muster. After years of scouting this trail I became deeply weary of the horror and the madness erupting in nearly every pocket of the world. My hyper-vigilance eventually seemed to have worked against me and at last I grew fatigued on all levels of being. I became stuck in a thicket of fear and despair, ensnared by the very beast I was tracking, and only too late did I notice my predicament. In that moment of realization I thought I heard a faint unpleasant laughter in the gloom that surrounded me. That pissed me off, but at last I understood.

For a long time I was tortured by this place and my predicament. I had little strength left to break free of the vines and thorny brambles that held me fast to the ground. Overcome by all manner of distractions, darkness, and despair, I struggled to find my way out of this wasteland.  I was caught in a shadow world where memories of what was and dreams of what could have been, offered me nothing more than the bitter taste of sweet nostalgia and the terrible solace of Morpheus dreams. It is a poisonous place to dwell – where the bones of other travelers lay cracked and gnawed upon by hopelessness and despair. I began to wonder if this would be my fate as well.

In time there came a moment, an awareness that something had shifted. It was quite subtle, but the gloom of the forest lifted just a little, permitting me to see that all was not lost on this journey, and that there was some purpose in coming under such a spell. 

I am a little wiser now that this terrible enchantment is revealed, and though I am not altogether free of this place, hope is re-kindled. I know I shall emerge victorious, and with a renewed purpose, and with new wisdom for the journey ahead.


Thoughts for Today 2/29/16

Pie in the Night Sky

"In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." – Carl Sagan

Thought #1:  I love this quote. It puts things in perspective and dangles an opportunity for us to appreciate the true wonder of our lives. It is important to be reminded of the journey all things must take.

Thought #2:  People have become increasingly impatient. We are conditioned to this way of being by the world we live in, and unless we choose to slow it down, take a breath and be present to the incremental moments of Now, we may be left with an experience of life that lacks depth. Without depth we will find ourselves craving that "something" that is missing from life. We are constantly being sold things that promise to satisfy that craving, but such things rarely do the trick. Spiritual nutrition cannot be satisfied with material things. Knowing that our being is not only physical but spiritual as well, we should see how to be of service to the world around us. To find and honor that purpose beyond our Self. 

Thought #3:  It feels to me as though more and more people of younger generations see the process of learning as unnecessary, and life is really more of a system to hack. It is about getting to the the goal as quickly as possible with as little effort as possible as if it is the only thing of value. Way too much emphasis is placed on competition rather than collaboration these days. Impatience is a toxic by-product of ever-shorter attention spans fostered by the Digital Information Age and its relentless, insatiable desire to distract us from our own thinking. In far too many institutions from elementary schools to corporations to government, domination is viewed as the pinnacle of success when nothing could be further from the truth.

Thought #4:  The Creator knows my heart, and so I have faith that my path and vision in life will ultimately be fulfilled. So when I am feeling lost or in turmoil as I try to navigate in a world on the verge of madness and collapse, I pause and touch this consciousness and feel my heart and all the desires and concerns swirling around in it and surrender it all to the Creator – knowing that it is being taken care of in the perfect way.


Mid-December Musings

"Ocean of Starlight" © Michael GambinoMid-December now, and the daylight continues to diminish each day until we reach the turning point of the winter solstice. The dark of the natural world may feel heavy now, but it holds a potent energy that stirs in our hearts. This is the Season of Light and in the dark even the smallest light shines with a strength that is directly connected to the Source, the Creator. The world of man is full of a growing darkness now, and much of that darkness is evil, yet it does not hold dominion over the world. Now more than ever we need to shine our light everywhere and at all times to the best of our ability. The day after the solstice is not noticibly brighter. It takes time for the hours of daylight to increase. Winter illuminates the power of hope. Hope, in its most potent definition, is a declaration of faith rather than casual, wishful thinking. It is a knowing sense that the Creator will bring what your soul desires to fruition. 

In this coming year, may we all receive the grace of the Creator and be filled with peace, love, joy, and a purpose beyond self.


Dark Forest Dispatch

Let me take a moment to say that, for various reasons, this may well be the last blog entry of its kind that I post. I hope that you take its message to heart.

If you are reading this, then you are likely one of the few who have chosen to join me for this leg of the journey. I suspect that many others who started with me when I first launched this website over four years ago have stopped reading because as of late I have not written about the lovely things in nature. Things have gotten a bit more. . . intense. “Adventures in an Ordinary Life” as the tag line says, means venturing into the unknown. How could I have ever predicted I would arrive at this place when I set out on this writing project four years ago? Such is the nature of a true adventure.

What I feel deep inside is the need to alert people as to what I sense is coming, indeed, what is already taking place in our world, in our backyards and neighboring cities and communities across the globe. You may already be feeling on a subconscious, visceral level what I will be mentioning here. It is not pretty, and therein lies my predicament. I want to bring people to a different kind of awareness of what is taking shape that goes deeper than just the news headlines. Yet the very people I wish to inform may stop listening to what I have to say because of the nature of the discussion. Lives already full of challenges and hardship may seem to have no room for more unsettling information. For others, they just want to focus on “the positive and the beautiful” and deny the looming crisis. In what I am talking about, ignorance is not bliss. Contrary to what some people may think, I do not “thrive on analyzing the unpleasant”, nor is it a hobby of mine to cause discomfort. No one wants to have to look at the kind of possible and probable futures that are looming in the near distance. But the worse scenario by far is being caught unaware, unprepared, and unconditioned to face such things when they occur. It is from this place of love and concerns that I write what I do. What things am I referring to? I’ll save that list for another time perhaps. For now, if you study the world news headlines from the internet and remember that nothing is an island unto itself in the whole universe, then you’ll get an idea of what those things could be.

Here is a starting point for your consideration and investigation: There are 7 billion people on this planet, and Mother Earth continues to suffer greatly at the hands of mankind (and in consequence, mankind and all life suffers). Essential resources of clean and safe food, water, and air are strained, and in many locations on the verge of collapse. Storms and earthquakes, drought and wildfires, and random acts of horrifying violence are increasing in frequency and intensity. These things are global problems, and we are all affected by what happens to our fellow humans around the globe.

Nearly every indigenous culture around the world has prophecy that speaks about a period of renewal for the earth. This is not superstition or propaganda. It is visionary, and such prophecy was given to tribal shaman or visionaries so they would know how to keep their people safe and what to do to help heal the earth. This wisdom was carefully protected and passed down through many generations. As the pieces and phases of these prophecies came to pass, spiritual leaders began speaking to the rest of the world in whatever way they could manage. Modern man, for the most part, ignores such teachings as superstition, mythology, religion, or simply as irrelevant. At best, the modern mind of mankind tries, but only misinterprets the symbology of the messages – messages that were given to the keepers hundreds of years ago. Mankind has put his faith in technology and machines, and other things of his own making rather than the Creator and the natural laws that govern life on earth. This situation must be reversed.

For a long time the indigenous people of the earth have tried to teach us, to share their wisdom and their visions with anyone who would listen. Some of us have heard them, most have not. We cannot stop the consequences of what has been set in motion – we cannot change what has happened. Perhaps, though, there is still time to lessen the severity of the global, environmental and societal upheavals that are upon us. One thing seems certain – there won’t be 7 billion of us going into the future together for too much longer.  As I said, we are far beyond the carrying capacity of the planet’s resources and the ability of natural systems to recover and regenerate fast enough to keep pace with depletion and devastation.

For years I (like many others) have been traveling a haunted road. On this road, the sun still shines, and birds still sing cheerily. On warm spring days, lovely breezes still carry the scent of fresh green fields and apple blossoms to soothe my soul, and nature offers all her beauty to me. I laugh with family and friends, and do my best to live a life. Yet shadows of a dark and terrible future quietly glare at me from the distance. I see these shadows with my waking eyes. From the possible and probable futures they approach with a frightening intensity, revealing unimaginable horrors. These shadows come in warning.

Hopefully, I have your attention now, so permit me a moment to apologize if I have rudely awakened you. I am sorry that the situation demands that I say what I have to say, and that it may cause you distress. God knows I wish it were different.   

Can we fully prepare for every conceivable threat? Of course not. We can, however, prepare for many obvious possibilities including natural disasters, infrastructure and systems failure, food and water shortages, civil unrest, random acts of violence, and disease pandemics. Become very aware of your surroundings, listen to your instincts, and take appropriate actions. Deep and continual awareness of your inner and outer worlds is your best protection.

This message is more direct than others I have posted because there are few grains of sand left in the hour glass. It is up to us to choose what we will do with the time we have left. To the best of our ability let us all heal whatever in the world that we can, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it seems. Love and kindness are ultimately more powerful than violence and use of force. Listen to your deepest feelings, for this is the voice of the Creator within you, guiding you, keeping you safe. Pray in whatever way you can, with a clear intent – with heartfelt passion for who and what you love. Pray for people you don’t even know around the world who suffer, for they are us, and need our prayers. The Creator, the Great Mystery, God knows your heart and all the joys and concerns, desires and fears that swirl within it. Trust that the Creator will sort through it all and help to bring about what is for your greatest good. This is a demonstration of your faith.

Like a stone dropped into still waters, the love we share through prayer and action ripples far beyond the moment, joining with other circles to demonstrate our love for each other, for our Great Mother Earth, and for the Creator. It doesn’t take much – a genuine smile, a simple heartfelt act of kindness, being attentive to someone who may be quietly suffering. . . we make a difference at all times, one way or another. Add a reminder to your “to-do” list to pray and help someone or something in need of healing. Most of you reading this are compassionate, loving people and already do these things, but there are so many who do not care about others, only satisfying their own wants. Perhaps you and I can do a bit more to declare what kind of world we want for ourselves and our children. My hope is that each person on earth finds a way to love enough, and energizes their unique purpose and vision. Check your feelings and purge them of hate, prejudice, disrespect, and other negativity. Do not let the frantic speed of life steal your awareness from you. Slow down, and pay attention to your deep feelings throughout each day. Let them inform your actions.

Long ago I was charged with this simple task regarding healing the earth and  changing the trajectory of the human race: “Do something, anything, but do not walk away.” This is your task as well, should you choose to accept it. Let us not hand victory to the darkness in the world by growing calloused, apathetic and complacent to the plight of our fellow humans, near and far. Have care for the earth and all living things. The beauty we all wish for is within each of us, so carry that light, be the hope, and have faith. Miracles happen.

With love,

Michael Gambino

Water Lily Flower © Michael Gambino


Still Point

Be still, be at peace. . .  In simplicity there is power, so I will leave you with just these words to contemplate on this winter solstice.

May your journey around the Sun be filled with peace, love, joy, and a purpose beyond self.