Sunday, May 24, 2009


I was just listening to Windmills of Your Mind on You Tube and it really reminded me of a poem I wrote years and years ago called Wheels Within Wheels.

I don't know where it is now. I wrote it on the back of a small brown paper bag that held popcorn. This was on an occasion when I was on a lunch break from jury duty in California.

I remember that I was initially happy to get away from work (a civil service job) and go on jury duty because I thought, "Well, this might be interesting." And also on the opposite side of that, "I hope I don't get any gruesome cases or have to make any life and death decisions." Something all jurors have to face unfortunately - but it was significant in other ways to me.

I know I've written about this before but I don't remember where so...if you run across it then I'm fleshing it out a bit more here.

I remember that I brought one book only to look at not realizing that much of jury duty is spent just sitting in the jury pool waiting to be called to be interviewed, or impaneled as they call it, for participation in a trial.

I could only look at this book from time to time because it's one of those books that make you think. It was a book about philosophy - stimulating thoughts and as such I had to stop and read and then stop and then read.

I think it was then from reading that book plus my exposure to the jury trial system and realizing the life changing impact that it had on people as well as my lunch break when being visited by a blue jay who kept me company sometimes in the park nearby while I shared popcorn from the small bag with blue jay and then writing the poem, something I only did in those days when I was profoundly inspired, that I realized that I wouldn't be going back for long to that civil service job. I had to be more involved in something that had greater meaning.

For the next few years I started reading other books and delving into deeper thoughts and considerations. It wasn't too long after that that I found my path in life. You never know what little or big thing might open a door that could reveal a more beneficial pathway in life. Goodlife.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

An Unexpected Friend

Friends. It became very clear to me recently how we all need friends. It's good to have friends on the Internet, I enjoy them. I know you do too but it became clear to me how important it is to have friends nearby - friends you see, friends you call, friends who call you.

Recently someone I didn't know, a neighbor, someone who lived in the same building I live in came calling by accident. She was in the middle of a medical crisis.

I helped her, I did what I could. I'm not a medical person but with the help of others who work here in the building and came to help her and the fire department and the paramedics she felt better.

While we were waiting though for everyone to come and help her I was very conscious of how we were in that moment friends. It's as if we'd known each other our whole lifetime because she was speaking about many things, sometimes all at once the way we do when we're frightened and upset and the sound of our own voice is reassuring.

Now and then she'd pause and I'd tell her how happy I was that she came to see me because where I live you see, there's not that many people at home but she just happened to come at a time when I was there and being in desperate straits as she was it was a gift. And I don't just mean that I was a gift for her because I was there for her, it was a gift for me because she reminded me how important friends are and how important people are even when you haven't met - to be friendly, to be supportive and to do what you can.

Call a friend this weekend. If it's someone that likes you just the way you are and someone that you like just the way they are that's even better but if you don't know anybody like that then call someone you do know just to remind yourself you have friends.

Do you forget about that sometimes? It's easy to forget about that isn't it. And if a friend calls even if they just want to talk and they want you to listen it's alright because we're really meant, very often aren't we, to be lights in the night, islands at sea and all the other metaphors which are so true at times when they are a matter of life and death and at other times as well.

Forgive me for being reflective but it came very clear to me that this ladies visit reminded me to call friends which I did do and family and I called my sister.

Think about doing that yourself. It's not just because you'll never know when you'll need them, it's also because you never know when they'll need you and it might remind you of something you need, want or value.

Goodlife to you all and goodnight.

Photo is © B. Kim Barnes, used with permission, and can be found at

Monday, May 11, 2009

Honoring Commercial Pilots

Some years ago I was flying back to an airport near where I lived from Los Angeles on a commercial jet. It was an unusual trip. On the way we went through a thunder storm. Lightening - a lot of bouncing around but others have had this experience.

As we got closer to the airport we started coming in on the glide path as always and because it was stormy there I think they made us go around once but then coming back coming in on the glide path closer and closer to the ground the plane had just touched down when all of a sudden, and I didn't know a full sized commercial jet could do this, it took off like a rocket even though it was just settling down on the wheels the way they do.

It literally took off like a rocket almost straight up in the air and did a partial snap roll. All I know is that the plane turned so sharply that the right wing was pointed straight down and all the passengers got a little closer to each other there for a moment. Needless to say it was so quiet you could of heard a pin drop in there though I did hear a few prayers but the plane leveled off and did another long slow turn around the airport - maybe for 20 minutes.

There was no sound. Nobody said anything from the pilots area and the cabin crew was quiet as well and it was quiet in the cabin - very quiet.

Then the pilot came on and while he was announcing that we would be going in again and that he was sure that we'd have a good safe landing I could hear somebody else up there in the cockpit, using plenty of expletive deleted words while at the same time obviously trying to control himself, blaming somebody.

It turns out, I found out later, that there had been a snafu - a mix-up by ground personnel - I don't know who and our plane had been guided to land but because the pilots were alert they could see that if we had continued with our landing we would have run right smack into another plane.

I'm bringing this to your attention not because I want to offer you the thrill of the day but rather because I want to compliment the pilots of this airline. I'm not going to mention the name of the airline, I'm just going to say that it was one of my favorites and I just want to compliment pilots everywhere for their vigilance, for their ability and for how many lives they save which very often is never in the press but I think it happens every day.

Thank you commercial pilots and other pilots for doing such a wonderful job.

Goodlife to you all.

Photo is © B. Kim Barnes, used with permission, and can be found at