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Ketchup – from Christmas

March 11, 2012
Baja Christmas 2012

For Richard - How Tall? This was at Christmas - Holt has grown at least another inch since then.

Baja Christmas 2012

Little salad garden at Christmas

Baja Christmas 2012



Bongo Bong for Trent Holt

December 16, 2011

Trent HoltThe handheld computer I use for journaling recently dumped all my files.  Don’t ask me why – it was explained to me in Spanish.  The entries contained a few months worth of family, as well as personal, journal entries. Many were of significant importance, but several entries in particular continues to haunt me as a great loss. You see, the December prior, my oldest and dearest friends lost their thirteen year old son to a gun accident. The loss of a child is inconceivable to most of us. It’s an incident that does not seem fair to fall within our sequence of life. We should not outlive our kids. Seems simple enough. I wrestled with this horrific tragedy in my journal. With never having had a chance to re-read my sometimes tear drenched writings even once, they were dumped into cyberspace, or wherever. Although I’m sure the therapeutic act of writing my feelings down alone helped, never to find solace in those written memories again is tough. I wanted those forever. Unbelievable as this loss still seems, it fails infinitely to the greater loss. I’ve thought of trying to recreate some of these entries but I know that I can never experience that raw, numb and confusing state in which shock and sadness try to make sense of life’s purpose, existence, and “fairness”, again. So, I did what most people would do, I got a tattoo.

Trent Holt

Richard and Trent in Glacier Park, Montana

I never wanted a tattoo. I just never could come up with something I liked enough to put on my body, forever. I never could imagine having a rose, tazmanian devil or yinyang, void of any true connection to me, inked into my skin. No offense to those with a big, fat, slobbering Taz tattooed on their back, thats just me. My sister has a rose, and let me say right here and now, I just love it. And as for having “mom” tattooed on yourself. Well, come on, does anyone really need to say they have a connection to their mother? Of the one thing responsible for all of us, it’s mom.

On December 17th of the previous year, Richard and LeighAnn Holt, (Holt, as in our son, Holt Hickman) lost their thirteen year old son Trent for the rest of this life.  Needless to say, they, we, everyone, was and still is, devistated. Trent was a kid of unmatched personality, caring and genuiness. One of Trent’s favorite songs is played often in our home, Manu Chao’s “Bongo Bong”. A line in the song reads; “I’m so happy there’s nobody in my place instead of me”. That line is SO Trent. He was happy to be wherever he was, in his own skin. He will never be forgotten and many lives will be affected forever.  This passing has spurred many, some that didn’t even know him, two counties away, to question their genuine person here in this life and how they interact with every other living thing. In short, his memory helps me, and many others, strive to be a better person, husband, father and friend, everyday.

Trent HoltWhile we were home in Tennessee the following June, Trent’s older brother Zach, decided to get his younger brother’s initials tattooed down the side of his rib cage. Oouuch! Couldn’t you do it somewhere not so darn sensitive Zach. But, there was an idea. A tattoo I wanted for the rest of my life. A reminder not just of Trent, but of my friends who have lost a son, a part of them has been taken. For me, the memory alone was not enough, whether it be sad or happy ones. I
wanted to offer my constant, neverending company in their pain and struggle for the rest of my life. A tattoo would serve as a string around the finger, reminding me of the hole in so many hearts. However, I would NOT be getting it down the length of my ribcage.


In Honor of the irreplaceable Trent Holt

I chose a robust Tree of Life for its symbolism of us all and the earth being interconnected. It has one solitary falling leaf, or life, returning to earth to provide life again for the tree and other leaves/lives. His initials are within the circle of life. Let me say here, I’ve never witnessed a more supportive and loving community of family and friends than Richard and LeighAnn have. In that, they are very fortunate. I cannot be with my friends to offer day to day support, a open ear or just presence of a friend, but this tattoo will help me be with them in thought, pain and prayer. Reflective ink; bringing pain, happiness for being touched by this soul, struggles to understand and learn. And I know, Trent just loves having his initials tattooed on somebody. We miss you little T.

With never ending love to Richard, Lele, Zach and all the family and friends that make the unimaginable, manageable.

The Power of Prayer and Intention

December 15, 2011

A snippet from Dance Through It, a little ebook about big things.  We join the story in the hospital after a crushing car accident, existing from breath to excruciating breath….

I crossed into a state that was deep, fundamental, irreducible. An ocean of exquisite sensitivity, of omnisentience (sensing everywhere at once), turned me inside out to reveal itself at the core. Losing every sense of distinction, I floated as part of this gloriously intelligent web of light. Even the awesome flavors and energies from previous states of consciousness looked trivial compared to this luminous irreducible force, this field of existence. It seemed to be an order of magnitude different from the earlier experiences. This was the force of consciousness itself. There was no ‘I’ left whatsoever, not even the broad perspective from the life review. My boundaries as a human and as a spirit were completely erased. Witnessing from a localized single point, my perspective was simultaneously spread through the multidimensional, nonlocalized perspective of the entire web.  There was no end and no beginning, like the lake underneath the forms that dance through our lives.  This was beyond bliss, beyond truth, beyond peace and ecstasy and all the searing emotions of the previous stages. It was stillness in the middle, consciousness without form.

In the distance a gentle wave swelled up, moving across the ocean of light toward the point of perspective assigned to me. As it arose I became aware that this wave was the concerns, prayer, and emotions being streamed toward me from hundreds of people I knew in this life and from many others who had only heard about my situation. My point of perspective rose as the wave reached it, and correspondingly I was lifted, just a little, from the pain in my body. It became a little lighter to bear.

I had just viscerally witnessed prayers and intentions became physical, tangible reality. (In using the word ‘prayer’ I mean something an atheist could easily do as well as a theologian – no special form, just focused will propeled by the power of love and concern. ) It was made known to me that this was Consciousness creating Form through Intention. Nothing exists until it rises into form on this field. Every single bit of material in the world – even the computer or paper you’re reading this on, and the stardust that nourishes your marrow, and the paint on the wall, and the dog you love, and each single hair on his loppy ear – must have begun there on the sacred field of consciousness, shaped by the impulse of intention. There is no ‘there’ there.

Coming back into this human life, this is the singlemost vision that set my mind back to zero, like a child, as I struggled to understand how to interact in this world again – this world of imaginary objects and entitities. For the rest of my life I have watched as the most fleeting and buried intentions – the ones we don’t even think we have – manifest in external situations within our health or circumstances or in others. Undigested impulse and well-suppressed emotion snake out to wreak havoc externally. They create material situations and tangible real-world repercussions. I see that one of the greatest jobs I’m given in this life is to wrestle these very human energies into unified, directed control of a heart- and mind-empowered will.

Dance Through It can be downloaded right now for $5.99.

At the worst moments, we are never alone….

December 9, 2011

Sixteen years of mulling over my words is long enough.

Announcing Dance Through It, a true story about near death experience and the life it turned inside out.   A gorgeously illustrated 32 page ebook you can download right now for $5.

If you’ve ever wondered what kind of history would make someone release financial security and home comforts for the lifestyle we have chosen the past few years, this book will answer your curiosity.  Here’s a snippet from the book, taking up when I was just returning  to consciousness again under the car after a peculiar journey….

Unconscious from the moment the car landed on my back, every inch pinned to the earth, I felt a big, warm hand squeeze my fingers. Concern passed directly from his skin into mine. My first conscious thought was scrambling to make sense of the compressed and dark space I found myself in, with a calm third-party detachment. The first words to form in my head were “Oh – this must be the car accident she was about to have” while not quite yet remembering who ‘she’ was. Face sticky with blood and mud, from one eye I could barely spy the hint of shadows of people darting around trying to help as I heard the man brokenly yelling “She’s alive!”

I felt a distinct, instantaneous scan of my whole body and psyche, as if I was being zipped back together. Everything was accounted for and everything matched. I witnessed that I would be fine, that this attempt at continuing in the same body had a chance. I felt a bit of surprise that the body and soul should pair back up properly, already so changed from their previous fit.

“I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep. ” Walt Whitman

I had a sense of having been long ago and far away and returning with a new level of awareness available, a sense of an older and wiser part of me that had been awakened. It transcended fear. This familiar, august higher presence gave me an innate sense of acceptance and awareness that this was a great honor and opportunity, and in some hidden core I felt a thirst to undergo it. This peace and purpose is not something I had to talk myself into at a conscious level – it was self-evident, and a tremendous comfort. But I had no memory of where I had been, and the present moment was much too busy to stop and figure it out. It was almost like having leaped into a character and scrambling to understand who you’re playing and what they’re supposed to do next.

Higher self presence notwithstanding, I was being crushed to death. Third-party calm could only last so long. My heart couldn’t beat and I struggled to inflate my lungs against the weight. The instinct for survival kicked in with a healthy panic to escape the immediate suffering, although there was no fear of death itself. The frame of my perspective immediately reduced to the very, very human experience of feeling life compressed slowly out of me, of my pulses and rhythms bowing to the beast on my back. I begged the shadows above for a gasping help: “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!”

Ready to read more?   Download Dance Through It  now for $5.

Occupy Hope

November 22, 2011

Police Pepperspray Peaceful UC Davis Students –

I don’t know about you but this video made me gasp.

The militarization of daily public discourse – this man forgot that his job is to serve the public good.

On the other hand, the students are overcoming nicely with a sense of humor.

Occupy Your Heart

November 21, 2011

This revolution is not about Us vs. Them.

Occupy Wall Street – The Revolution is Love.

Hat tip to premiere soul-spelunker Kirsten Love Lauzon at



A Simple Panorama Viewfinder

November 6, 2011

Simple Panorama Viewfinder

At the end of a little community trail in northeast New Mexico, someone thought to build this simple solution to giving visitors and residents a sense of place.  Wouldn’t it be great if every user interface was this obvious?

I love seeing the stories in what we choose to name.

Simple Panorama Guide
Panorama Guide

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