A Tale of two orchids

I have no particular talent with plants. Sometimes I’m lucky. Other times not. But  I’ve developed a love for having orchids in my home. It started with Cymbidiums, those tall long leafed showy bursts of longitudinal color, that a friend turned me on to 20 years ago. Currently it’s the common strain of orchid I find at Whole Foods that fills the need. Generally they bloom for several weeks, and then go by. But over the past ten months or so, there’s been one that keeps on strutting its stuff, while its sister plant, which I got at exactly the same time and place, stands beside it, budless and bloomless. An orphan orchid. Barren. Sad. Alone.


With nothing to lose,  I decided to experiment. I moved them closer together so their branches were touching. I told them they were sister plants, and encouraged the bloomer to teach the non bloomer its tricks. I spoke to them about loving each other and sharing their gifts (the non bloomer had beautiful unblemished deep green foliage) as I moved my hands around them — the way my mother used to do with the shabbas candles on Friday nights— and advised them to bloom in tandem. A week later, I noticed tiny buds forming where none had gone before. And lo! I now see five new buds, growing larger each day

No Expectations

Encouraging this relationship took little effort, and the results have been amazing. I expected nothing. My only intention was to give them a chance, to see what would happen. And voila! Rebirth. Resurrection. And so forth.

Heaven knows why we’re so self-centered as to believe that this is it. That we’re the alpha and omega. The peak of the mountain. The star on the tree. With our logical minds leading the way, we play the game of life, only by by our limited rules. But suddenly, here’s living proof that the invisible world exists. That there’s stuff going on unaccounted for. Beyond our ken.


For, imagine, how it might be if we could rebud and rebloom like these orchids in whatever way we needed.. Perhaps we can. Perhaps all we need is someone to speak to us in loving tones, To remind us that we have the power, the gift, to repair and revive ourselves,—  to burst forth with new vitality. New life. Over and over again. And that this gifted magician is us. You and Me. Reclaiming ourselves in one endless loop of life.

* See my Face book page for photos

Here’s an image you may enjoy using to this end.

Close your eyes and breathe out one time. Imagine yourself as the gifted magician. See and sense your power  to co-create new life, know this power is sparked by loving words and grateful thoughts. See what needs revitalizing, both in yourself and others. Speak words of loving encouragement, and express the gratitude that is called for.  See these words and thoughts manifest as light that emanates from your heart. Notice what happens. Then breathe out and open your eyes.

Obama does the Tao

  Early in the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama said he’d be willing to talk to Iran. Other candidates, news organizations and people “in the know,” called him  naive. Said only a fool would do that. They laughed at his “youthful folly.”  But they’re not laughing now. They’re either cheering the Iran deal or they’re adding it to their hate pile. And, oh, what a hate pile it is.
   FDR once said: “They hate me. They really hate me. And I welcome their hatred.” Obama isnt into hate.. He neither welcomes nor avoids it. He does what he believes in, and keeps on moving. He’s a man of the Tao.
  So here we are. Health care for all. Same sex marriage. A nuclear deal with Iran. And we’re not done yet.
 .At certain moments, there’s an opening in the waves, a rent in the cosmic curtain when the impossible  becomes possible. The unseen becomes visible. And lead is transformed into gold. Perhaps this is that moment. But, what is it that makes this distasteful enough to so many that they resist it with every ounce of their being, while for others, it lights the way and spurs them on to the next opening, change, possibility?
  Click on the link below and see what we can accomplish despite the limitations imposed by ourselves and others. Change your belief in limitation to one of possibility, and watch what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Smoke Screen

Last week, a train stopped dead, 800 feet outside the L’enfant Plaza Metro station in DC. As passengers dealt with the darkness and the conductor’s conflicting narratives, smoke began filling the cars. They were told to get down low. To stay where they were. Not to open the doors, or to get out of the train. Some panicked. Some lost consciousness. Some prayed and tried to comfort each other. Some closed their eyes and remained calm. Eighty-four wound up at area hospitals. One woman died. And two people chose not to obey orders.

Just Following Orders

I’ve always been, unnerved by machines that stop, get stuck, go dark. Whether they be elevators, cars, trains, whatever. I’ve been tested and have failed miserably several times. I don’t quite panic, but I don’t stay calm. Yet there’s one thing I know for certain: my fear of being locked in and my terror of not being able to breathe, trump my fear of the dark and the unknown. As for following orders, I stopped doing that by the time was six.

Had I been unfortunate enough to be on this train,  I would have stuck with the former navy guy who labeled it “a situation,” then opened the doors, and offered to lead people out. Yes, there was the third rail to worry about, but if you’ve ever found yourself unable to breathe you get the picture. There were several who followed this man, as he walked away from the smoke toward the light. But by the time he got to the grating that led to the street there was only one person behind him. The others had all turned back.  

Become Your Own Authority

The voices of authority are easily enamored of themselves. They love to give orders. They tell you what to do and how to do it. As Rudy Giuliani walked the streets of New York after 9/11, taking up his role as “Leader” of the city’s millions of terrified pehple, he neglected to disclose that he’d approved the decision to put the emergency command center on the 23rd floor of the World Trade Center. It must have slipped his mind.

Dan Baumbach, a software engineer from Merrick, was stunned to find that building officials in One World Trade Center were telling workers not to evacuate, even after the first jet struck. “You can try it, but it’s at your own risk,” he quoted one official as warning a hundred people on the 75th floor. Many went with his advice; Baumbach continued his descent and survived.

“The reason we got out,” Brumbach said,  ”was because we didn’t listen.

Imagine yourself on a smoke filled train, or in a high rise that has just been hit by a jet. Imagine how you’d feel. Imagine what you would do. How about choosing to Become your own authority.To listen to your first voice. For me, that’s the voice that says: What are you waiting for? Take your chances. Do it! Go. Get out! 

Yes. It’s that simple. There are no guarantees. No one knows any better than you do what may happen.So don’t analyze your choices. Just make them and move on.

Here’s an image to empower you to do this:  

Choose You Can’t Lose

 This is best done by having someone read it to you. Make your choices quickly. And go from the gut.

Close your eyes, breathe out and Choose:


Left or Right.

Day or Night.

Dark or Light.

Fast or Slow.

High or Low.

Yes or No.

Stay or Go.





Word Power

The night before she died, Joan Rivers performed at a club in New York and spoke these darkly prophetic words:

 ”I’m 81 — I could go at any moment, I could fall over right here and you all could say, ‘I was there!’”

She was off by only a hair”s breadth. And she was far too close for comfort. Yet as she riffed on death, death seemed a million miles away. One big joke. But the universe had other things in mind. Things for which Rivers failed to account. Like the fact that the power of Words is great, indeed, and not to be joked with. Unless it’s okay if the joke’s on you.

Coincidence? I don’t believe in it. Bad luck? I think not. Randomness, Chaos? Too easy. Too pat. A poor excuse.

Existence Vibrates, So Do Words 

Existence is vibration. We exist, inside and out, of what we think, say, and do. Everything: you, me them, the street you stand on, the chair you sit in,  the food you eat, carrots, chocolate, potatoes, and steak, the color of your shirt,  boiling water, ice water, still water, the sound of music, pain, pleasure, birth and death.  It’s all vibrating, moving, open and susceptible to our thoughts. Certainly to our words. Remember: First there was the Word.This is not witchcraft, or woo woo, or new age feel good. This is science. Go. Look it up. Go Check it out.

My Christian Scientist Aunt Warned Me

So we had best watch it. Watch what we think. What we say. Not be so cavalier. Not unless we’re disinterested passersby, alien presences in a world, strangely and  invisibly connected. When I was a child my Aunt Roy, the Christian Scientist,  insisted I not say “hate.” I thought she was being silly. It was only a word. As an adult, I see she was right. I stop myself when that word comes sailing out of my mouth. I try not to use it. For when I do, it reverberates in my consciousness for hours.

I wish that Joan had said something else. I wish for once she hadn’t been too big for her bloomers. Though I  disliked her cruel edge,  her craving for worshipful attention, I was in love with how she could make me laugh. She was smart as a whip. The best at what she did. And she did it easily and often.

Rest in peace Ms. Rivers. And the next time around, Please! May you draw the line when it comes to laughing out loud at death. Especially your own.

A Postscript for Robin


After posting my letter to Robin yesterday, I heard something from an impeccable source whose wife, was in an improv group with Robin, pre- Mork & Mindy days. He shared the following about her experience:

“Robin was the Brilliant One who always got the biggest laughs, but he also was the most generous performer in the group, using his comic genius to set up another actor who would almost be forced into improvising a killer blackout line that tore the house down. He never ducked old acquaintances and even if he forgot your name, he remembered the face and often made the first move to say hello. Terribly sad that such a mensch should have been so tormented by demons we can’t even imagine.


Shortly before Robin opted out of this life he spoke to the media about his tight finances and how he was seeking all the work he could get, even work he ordinarily wouldn’t have taken. When asked what happened to the money he said “Alimony.” That he was supporting two ex-wives along with his current family. He failed to mention his habit of generosity, personally and globally. He was close with Christopher Reeve from their time at Julliard, and after Reeve’s accident he stood by him and became a big donor to Reeve’s Foundation, along with his work for, and donations to, the homeless, and for other causes throughout the world. Money slipped through his fingers. Like his talent, he wasn’t attached to it. He was always generous. He did everything full out.  Whatever he had, materially, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, he shared it, or gave it away.

Strangers at a Funeral

About a week ago, I watched a Louie CK episode. Just Robin and Louie. at a funeral. They’re the only two people at the cemetery. They stand there in the cold, before a huge mound of dirt, watching. Silently. They go out to a diner afterward where they introduce themselves to each other, announcing just their first names. ”Louie,” “Robin.” As they’re about to part ways they agree in a bumbling, cryptic shorthand that whoever dies first will attend the funeral of the other. Robin looked lost, subdued. The moment was chilling. More now than it was last week.

Acting Lessons

I turned on the TV last night and the normal Showtime programming had been preempted by a rerun of “Dead Poets Society.” And there’s Robin, young, charming, brilliant, giving every one of those kids in the movie the greatest acting lesson of their lives. He  impersonates Marlon Brando and John Wayne doing Shakespeare. And you can see the kids’ faces turning bright red as they laugh. Really laugh, because, he’s so funny, so outrageous, and he, may, indeed, have come up with this, in that moment, out of the blue.

Of course there’s more. A never-ending stream of more. Until now. “More” is over now. What a loss. What an incredibly tragic ending. This will take a lot of people, including me, a while to process. I think we should all take as long as we need. You deserve it Robin, and so do we.