Sunday, August 15, 2021

Can You Hear Me Now?

TO: My son, Jake

FR: Dad

RE: A very Special K...

DATE: 1 Aug 2021

Let's begin with a little history about your Grandpa Steve. 

I can't exactly tell you for how many years, but I can say, for 'alot'; your Gramps started his day with a bowl of cereal. As far back as my memories of the breakfast table go. With the discipline of the Marine drill instructor he was. Not just any cereal... 

but a very special kind...

How special is Special...?

I think the answer may be very... Especially after the events of this morning. And a couple weeks ago.

So we both know that there were two very special 'K's in our lives. Neither of our 'girls' are leaving paw prints on this earth any longer... Your Kayla joined an awaiting Keeli (and Cody) last week, in warrior Valhalla. Beautiful spirts both, who blessed us and many; beyond all expectations. Inspirational muses they were.

With your unlimited love and care, Kayla hung on, with joy, and thrived to greet your new, twin daughters Jade and Jasmine. She saw to it they got off to a good start, too. How sublime for all. You saw her through as a puppy while you were putting youtself through college. She saw you through all the way to being a Dad. Wow... Bet you never thought... Almost 15 years. 

And then she told you...

So you know I took a little trip recently.

Took my walkman with me to France to run with. At the airport in Paris I had 3 hrs so I took out the walkman to listen to some tunes. Walking around it just wasn't sounding right and when I took it off to check it, I saw that one of the rubber ear pieces had fallen off. 

I walked back to the bench I was sitting at where I unpacked, it hoping maybe it fell to the floor there. No luck with that. Retraced my steps in case it fell off while I was walking...too many people... That was a no-go. On to the next flight to Marseille.

I used it in France but one ear didn't have very good sound. Hoping maybe the piece fell off back at the house when I was packing. Re-checked the backpack...nothing. 

When I got home I knew the two or three places it may have come off...nothing. Looked under all the furniture. All around where I charge it. Not the end of the world because I have some extra pieces back in Naples with an older unit. Until then I've been using it because some sound is still better than nothing. It's annoying not having equal balance in each ear. You know that feeling.


While I was in France, you had to take among the toughest of choices and actions there is between a man and his dog. Your 14 year companion. Ya, I cried reading your texts. Was so damn proud how you conducted yourself. And how you set Kayla free. I laid out some obsidian stones when I came home in her memory. I loved her even more after Keeli's passing. They were like sisters with some very similar qualities. Stately, tough yet gentle and deferring to their alphas.

Today was set for a long run. Out to Chapala and back. Maybe 12 miles total. Plan was to run about 8 and grind out the way back running and walking. The music really helps. Wasn't to excited about the walkman situation but it is what it is... Something's better than nothing. Usually. Kinda depends what part you focus on, right?         


So before I headed out I put the walkman on the charger which is connected to my laptop...on the kitchen counter. A couple hours later as I was ready to head out; I disconnected it and... it was hard to believe my eyes... there, next to the K...



But I wasn't listening.


I know... it all sounds corny and 'out there'... but your girl gave me a message for you, son. She's alive and well. And all that love and care you gave her, especially at the end... well that really wasn't. The end, that is. It was just the beginning of the next chapter. 

Yours and hers.

Are you listening? 

Hey look it there, Jake... Off they go. 

The three amigos. 

And Kayla's got the lead!

What a crew.

Your Grandpa gave us both some of his Special K. Fed our souls. Blessed us with companions that changed our lives. For the better. Especially when we aim into the sun...
and keep our ears perked up.

Love you, Jake


Monday, July 26, 2021

Winner-Winner...Chicken Dinner


Wisdom for a peso
I never knew I'd say so...

Until I found a little coin 
amidst mi three amigos...

Yesterday, as I was working with Jose on our 'Hands of Truth' mural project, I came across a coin between two of the black cobblestones of Hidalgo; our future 'Calle of the Murales'. Stooping to pick it up, I realized it was a 1 Peso coin, currently the equivalent of about a nickle. Pretty good find. Most of the coins I've been picking up since I arrived here in Ajijic are often the smallest denominations: of the centavo class. Portions of a peso... fractions of a US penny. I still can not help but pick them up. I've also been rewarded with a 20 Peso paper bill and a few 5 and 10 peso coins. A few days ago, I was awarded with the trifecta while walking to the dentist. 

There's one... and nearby another. Going to be three for sure

On the way back, in front of the Torrito Mercado, coin # 3. (rare is four...maybe because I settle for three?) Total U.S. value maybe a penny. But a coin's a coin, right? Tiny though they are. Size of a shirt button.

Seated in the nearby plaza of 6 Corners were three young men I knew. Ramone, Raymond and Moises.They were watching Jose as he painted away. As with many passing by, they marvelled at his artistic abilities and the process of bringing to life, from an old wall, new light and new energy. I, too, was captivated as I watched what began as a very personal inner vision be transformed from the canvas we created to a large-scale mural. A gift I would leave behind for Ajijic and especailly mi barrio; Seis Esquinas (Six Corners).

They saw me bend over and come up with a coin.

Never really feeling that these coins are mine, my instinctive desire is to share them. Sometimes with small children, sometimes with adults; always a buena suerte (good luck!) to go along with it. Sometimes I bring them home and share them with Our Lady of Guadalupe... (statue in the stairwell)

Allow me to digress for a moment

I wasn't sure if my affinity for finding 'money' would continue in such a different venue as Ajijic in Mexico. I reminded myself when I first arrived, having found over a thousand dollars over 40 years of running the roads of the U.S. 'streets of gold', that I was not in Kansas... much less Naples!

It didn't take too many days on the ground in Ajijic when on my first Sunday morning, I found a 10 peso coin in the street just outside my gate. I gave it to a young girl on her way to church for the collection plate. From that point on, the question about my finding money here got answered. And beyond.

There is always 'surplus'...right there in the street!

Not everyone agrees.

And they are just as 'correct'. Because I don't really find things either... anymore. 

Stopped doing that at a point in time I do not exactly recollect. Just know there was a transition. Maybe more-so a transcendence? 

Now I have the sense it's much more me being found than me 'finding'
(Note to author: more about the 'Lost Art of Finding')

Back to mi amigos; I took the coin and presented it to Moises, who was closest, with a buena suerte. He looked at it and announced back to his buddies:a peso! And then, grinning, in broken english, he recited the following:

Winner-Winner...Chicken Dinner...
99 more and we eat... with brown gravy and potatos!

More aware of hearing my words rather than speaking them, my reply:

 ...and if you had been collecting the other 99
now we'd go eat!

They laughed. I'm not sure the intended message about the only way you get to 100 came through.

To him who has...more shall he be given

When I returned to mi casa later that evening, I was struck by a curiousity. A curiousity to count the coins accumulated and shared with Our Lady.

101 pesos. ($5)

Here; enough for that chicken dinner... for three... as in Trinity.

The Lost Art of Finding huh?

Ya. I think so. It's already written.

And the wisdom of wealth; its already found.

Just waiting to be picked up...

Sometimes small

and sometimes


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Lessons from Ray Ban...

Is this indicative of merging into life as a mystic? 

Or more simply; the growing consciousness of the innate mysticism in us all?

After our lunch at the Lake Chapala Society Cafe, Coach Ozzie and I walked down to the lakefront where we continued our conversation about developing his new business model. As a professional soccer player who had rehabbed numerous times from serious injuries, Ozzie had developed healing energy techniques he'd discovered that also helped achieve a more restful, therapeutic sleep. After a number of years of experiencing the difference he could make on those with chronic pains and poor health habits, he was convinced now was the time to make a serious foray into business with his passion and primary product; himself. I was attracted to his challenges like a moth is to a flame...

It was a windy afternoon. The southwest wind was blowing into our faces. The spray of the big rolling waves occasionally reached us as we were seated on a bench along the Malecon. The glistening sun was sparkling vividly across the big body of Lake Chapala. The gulls hung motionless in mid-air as they aimed into the breeze, and the distant mountain range framed it all between our eyes and the far-off horizon.

You hear that, Ozzie? 

You see those waves? Those diamond light bursts across the water?

You feel that spray? With the wind in your face?

Over and over and over...constant in our senses...


THAT'S what your offering! And THAT'S hard to bottle!

About then, my purple-brimmed Indiana Jones hat just about launched off my head and probably would not have stopped until it reached the Carrterra 9 blocks up Colon Street... but I caught it. I'm not so sure Coach was catching my metaphors with equal dexterity...yet. But we continued in the wind and the spray and roar and the energy. Two hours time flew as fast as the gulls and the big pelicans did when they aimed their tailfeathers into the wind and caught the free ride. I was straight with him about the vicissitudes of being an entrepreneur. How critical it is to identify the customer who is looking for what you have to offer, and the resources it takes to give it your best shot. 

   You don't take to the soccer pitch and the game of your life with one shoe do you?

In fact, best not to take the field if your not ready, right? You can ruin, not only your product's potential but your very own; your reputation! So when are you ready?

Ahhh... Good question, Coach. When would you put a player in the big game? 

   When he's ready.

   Yep. Are you?

The, time, energy... Did I mention your family...?

We talked about the sweet spot that you must identify; that confluence of passion, competence and financial reality. You have to see it, grab it with your teeth... and shake it to life... like the right dog does to the wrong squirrel...

It became evident no one had really taken Coach Ozzie where I was leading him. Or more aptly put; where I was allowing him to take himself. To the truth. And amidst the whirlwind of that shakedown of Coach Ozzie's dreams, our inner and outer senses remained engulfed in the display of the universal truth about energy all about us. A spritz of sand in the spray as an occasional reminder against our faces; we were taking it in for all it was worth.

The view challenged us both... to draw us further, beyond the limiting horizons of the wavetops and mountain ranges. To the light beyond the light... of the sun. 

No...we did not complete a business plan. The lesson of the day was not complete; to apply the wisdom of 

                                                              The Constancies of Truth...

-Las Constancias de la Verdad...

We did both experience, as a gift, the benefits of a shared realization. A common challenge for both our respective journeys. I elected to get Ozzie on his way home over the mountain and me back to mi casa. We exchanged goodbyes and after I had walked about 100 yards from the bench we had shared, I realized I had left my purple Ray Bans back there. Or... had I left them on the table at the Lake Chapala Society where we had lunch? I recalled taking them off there and resting them on my black mask. Darn... I did not want to 'lose' them. I didn't feel like I had. I actually just felt what it feels like... but not really expecting it to happen...or...maybe? Nooooo. 

On the walk back to the bench, I searched and re-searched my hand bag thinking I may have put them in there...? No. As I approached the bench...? No. glasses. Underneath...? Nooooo. 


There was nobody else around so they hadn't 'walked' away... No.

Ok. Yes. Good news. That means they HAVE to be at the cafe. It's closed but the server there will put them in a safe place. She WILL remember me. I did leave a nice tip... will definitely be worth seeing those glasses again. I'll have to go back tomorrow. They WILL be there. I DID NOT lose them... Yes.

I decided to walk back that direction and up Colon from the lakeside. About three blocks up I looked back at the lake and took note of the archway sign over the street: 

Puerta Del Lago

And then back up the street, the shop sign overhead with the mountains in the background: 

Mi Mexico...

And I then I realized...

Standing still on the narrow sidewalk; a point in space and time... between mountains and water... I was seeing that horse... through the shading of my mirrored purple Ray Bans.

What the...

I touched the sides to confirm I was not hallucinating. Took them off and looked at them. How did that/this happen??? That's when I heard Mr. Ban talking. Ray Ban.

So Ray says 

   Look G, you've just been through a period of extended, dis-belief. Pretty real huh?

Ya, I guess...

   See, you forgot what you were looking through. And then concluded you had forgot your sunglasses.       Me, I mean. You thought you lost me.

   Give you credit for not losing hope, though. You did know we'd be re-united. Somehow...

Thanks for that, but exactly how was I able to see beyond you without seeing through you?

   Ha! Remember the Joseph Campbell thing about the real value of all this illusory stuff around us...         and with enough awareness and consciousness, we enable ourselves to realize the 'transparent to the     transcendent'...? You experienced a touch of just that! Just like you were getting Coach Ozzie to look     through those mountains on the other side of the lake for the unseen answers.

A flash-back to the age of 8 or 9 and I recalled the infamous X-RAY specs sold on the back cover of every comic book I  owned. Hmmm...they never worked. At least not like I hoped they could. But maybe it was me? Were they guaranteed? 

   OK, on your way, my friend. You gave some valuable and well-intended advice to your friend. You         earned this little side-bar lesson for yourself. Its all about 'state'... Amazing what a little wind, waves     and spray can generate.

Thanks, Ray. 

As I looked at my vintage Omega... one question por favor?

   Sure... I'm late for nothing...

How did you stop time like that?

   Con permiso, Senior 

She said... as a local Senora passed between me and the wall of the building.

There was mi lesson of Mi Mexico...

Thanks to Ray. And Joe. And a cast imagined yet not visualized through my 'x-ray specs'...

I see its all in the energy of expectations. And Purple Power. ha

And I'll be sure to let you know when I meet this guy...

Monday, November 2, 2020

As through the window...


As through the window
cast my eye
A feather-floated-from
the sky

Or real...
and waiting on the ground?

what I'd see... laying there
is what I found

Not of wing...

Yet born of that

I pondered where
it's owner went...

And hopefully

For such a gift
I'm quite sure of...

A sign of something
from above


I think I know...

From who?

I think it from...
a Joe

Or two

Friday, October 30, 2020

To Joe: Good Job - Well Done! Fly in Peace...


Red Eagle Mountain (See the eagle's head?) marks the ancient site of Teopantitla; the Aztec village which preceded Ajijic. I hiked there for the first time on Saturday the 17th of October...

                                    ...the day Joe Farber passed into the heavens... at home... in his bed... with Mom.

97 years sharp to the end. Amazing guy who enjoyed nature and his wide-ranging travels. Ten years as a very special and dear partner to mother Lilly, Joe become our second Dad for my sisters and I.  A WW II Vet who trained as a bombardier and went on to be an ace mechanic on the big birds, and later succeed in business... his way... Retired a top producer at 52... and went to see the world in a camper.

What a privilege and honor to have shared the very beginning of his next chapter... up there, now. 

See you at the top, Joe! 

The very top.


Let's go, Joe.

Channeling my sister Michelle's 'Camino' pose

Only a 3km hike from mi casa

A neat find... at the base of the mountain. 
The Aztec village was converted to Christianity by the Spaniards in the early 1500s.
Who knows...?

"They" grow some interesting things in the mountains...

Was Hugh Hefner here???

I think Mickey Mouse was...somewhere if you look hard enough

See a snake...??? or it just a part of the roots of a mysterious old tree...guarding something???

Like a real big piece of Obsidian stone...? Known as 'The gift of the gods'...?

Took me over an hour to 'excavate' it without breaking it. Pre-Colombian/Indigenous peoples as well as the Mayans and Aztecs made the very first mirrors out of obsidian, along with blades and arrow heads sharper-than-steel. Carvings and sculptures were also produced from this fast-cooled volcanic flow which came from the depths of the earth! Mexico has some of the world's largest obsidian deposits.

Here's to ya, Joe Farber... from your namesake 'Jose' and a yellow rose in Ajijic. Thanks for that big chunk of obsidian!

Vaya con Dios Amigo. 

Follow the Light... behind the light.

Joseph Farber
9 July, 1923 - 17 October, 2020