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On My Morning Walk

August 3


On My Morning Walk

Doctor’s orders: fast-walk every day for an hour
to improve balance through brain-ear-body synchrony.
Four months now, most every day at 7:00 AM.
So, I watch the ground to avoid banana slugs, snails,
unidentifiable splotches of this and that, odd levels of sidewalk,
tree-root’s revenge against man’s cementings.

I just manage to avoid stepping on a black plastic fork
bird-like thoughts flitter through
wondering if fork is lonely for knife and spoon.
Is this like Kandinsky’s white trouser button
glittering in the puddle…everything, he says,
has a secret soul, silent more often than speaking.
So, fork, I’m listening.
“Craziness,” the Inquisitor bellows.
Used to that bluster, I listen harder.

Fork reminds me of an observation:
Providence Hospital cafeteria is half-way point
on my daily route. I stop for coffee and rest.
I’ve watched hundreds pick up napkins and utensils.
Here’s the thing:
men take one or two napkins,
women, three or four.
Men keep everything separate, women wrap their utensils
in their napkins, swaddling-like.

What do you make of that, Inquisitor?







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Recommended Books for July 2017

July 26

Ursula Le Guin Words Are My Matter (2016)

Rüdiger Safranski Goethe: Life As a Work of Art (2015)

Laura Raicovich At the Lightning Field (2017)

Wallace Shawn Night Thoughts (2017)

Walter Hopps The Dream Colony: A Life in Art (2017)


Each month I’ll post a notice of the books I have found that were

important to me, that have the power to make a difference in

one’s life — ral

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Breakfast for the soul…

July 25

Breakfast for the Soul

An old man with cane stands
facing the curb intently looking
down as if to step but does not

“Sometimes a small curb is
Mount Everest,” whimsy taking
hold. “Need a hand?”

“No, sir, I need a foot that works,
That does what I want it to. You
got one of those handy?” He smiles.

“You vote for Mr. Trump?” I ask
not intending to, but out it came.

“Yes, I did.

“And what do you think of him now?”

“I think he needs a brain that works.
I’ll be long gone before that happens.”


These unintended interactions on 
the street on my early morning
walks are breakfast for the soul

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An angel…

July 25

If you have never heard Mariza, please discover her…here’s a sample of a living angel….

Composição / Music By: Jorge Fernando Letra / Lyrics: As coisas vulgares que há na vida Não deixam saudades Só as lembranças que doem Ou fazem sorrir Há gent…
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An image for our time…

July 25
No automatic alt text available.
Russ Lockhart

16th-century Dutch engraving illustrates the current situation in the United States. Courtesy of http://publicdomainreview.org/

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The Snake, the Dragon and the Tree

July 25

John Layard was an extraordinary analyst and yet remains unappreciated and little known. His book, “The Snake, the Dragon, and the Tree,” is a profound example of his work to heal the ego’s relation to the depth psyche. I have acquired the last physical copies of the first printing. Amazon is selling on-demand versions for $44 (higher elsewhere) and used copies are $29.98 and up. I want to promote Layard’s work and am selling copies for $20 at my Owl Book Store, which is online at Abe Books, You can also order directly from me at ral@ralockhart.com, Price includes taxes and shipping. I am also beginning to sell my extensive library at the Owl Book Store and will be posting inventory in the near future. If you have wants, let me know.
Access at:
Happy to respond to any questions.

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Beware of Normalization

July 25

Whenever there is an unexpected disparity, whether in the short term or long term, whether in small matters or large, the human brain is “hardwired” to “normalize.” Normalization has been a function of the human brain since the earliest humans and it has been a major source of evolutionary adaptation. When we look back in history, particularly at horrendous periods, we wonder how it is that so many people just “went along” bit by bit until totally engulfed in the “new” normal. Although there are many factors, most are built on top of the brain’s attempt to normalize. This is obviously a function that is prior to any conscious functions such as social affiliations of any kind, any conscious beliefs, any conscious values.

We are entering a time created by an unexpected disparity, disjunction, and disturbance of the “normal.” There is nothing about normalization that tells us whether what we come to do and how we come to function will be good or bad, neutral or indifferent. In spite of the degree of distress, disbelief, and urgent calls to action we see on all sides at present, what will tend to undermine and dissolve all this resolve is normalization. You can already see it working. It will take great effort and courage and commitment to counteract the automaticity of normalization.

The Federal Reserve instituted the ZIRP policy (zero interest rate policy) nine years ago. It wasn’t long before Mohamed A. El-Erian coined the term, “New Normal.” This has now become ubiquitous (with even a TV series by that name). Now the “new” part of this has disappeared and everyone functions in relation to ZIRP as simply normal. It does not take long.

It may not seem like it now when passions are running high, when fear and panic are at a pitch, that what we see coming could ever be experienced as normal. Do not underestimate the power of normalization. One place of natural resistance to normalization is in one’s dreams. You probably won’t hear this on the news or any other place, but dreams will be your survivor’s guide to the power of normalization.

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Crow Street

July 25


Out for the morning fast walk
I head for Crow Street as I call it
My name for the tree-lined block
On the eastern edge of the hospital
It’s home for a “murder” of crows
[An absurd name for a flock!]
When I arrive and head north
They begin their raucous chorus
I watch one move from tree to tree
I’m used to this now and soon
He’ll fly ahead and land facing me
And waits for me to catch up
As I do, he turns and hops
Alongside, looking at me
At the corner, I turn west
He takes off to the trees
I feel blessed. Blessed by a crow.

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What do dream animals want of us?

July 25

What Do Dream Animals Want of Us?
An Enterview with Russell Lockhart
Robert S. Henderson


See More

(2011). What Do Dream Animals Want of Us? Jung Journal: Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 133-142. doi: 10.1525/jung.2011.5.2.133
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God and Lucifer at Starbucks

July 25

God and Lucifer at Starbucks

God and Lucifer were on a mid-
morning coffee break
at the local Starbucks 
their nondescript garb
attracted no attention
nor did their conversation.
They were discussing the
possibility of a new Noah
as a way of beginning again
weighing the merits, and
finding many, but also giving
credence to a new flood
without a new Noah at all.
Why not? They agreed.
Time for something new.

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