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Two Oak Tree Challenges

"The earth is not dying. It is being killed. And those who are killing it have names and addreses". -Utah Phillips

Today's blog is interactive. First, mentally turn on John Lennon's "Imagine" as a soundtrack to play in the back of your mind throughout this exercise (or go and put it on for real if you have it handy!).

This is a two-part exercise. Do each part separately and sequentially the first time you try; then repeat it with the two so simultaneously intermixed, you can't tell one from the other. Imagine it to be so.

First exercise:

1) Place yourself at the original 'acorn' spot on that fallen oak tree you see here (the base, ground level, today, now, the 'is' moment, as you are reading this, currently).

2) Now, imagine what you want your life accomplishment(s) to be, (much as an Olympic athlete "visions" his run, or her jump before actually performing it).

3) Next, imagine yourself about an hour before you die going over your life's to-do list, and successfully checking off EVERY item on it....that's important. You'll see why in a moment. Remember, that could be happening today, or 90 years from now.

4) Somewhere in the branches of that oak tree is an acorn containing your life's fulfillment. Imagine yourself starting out to find it now. It is your dot.

5) You are ready for exercise two only when you have found and verified the acorn you seek (but remember what I said: first time through, sequentially; second time through, simultaneously. Of course, there won't be a need to actually do the exercises sequentially first. That would defeat the purpose of both. Hang on! You'll see what I mean!). The acorn you seek represents the seed you want to plant to mark your journey, your place in line, your legacy. It's your personal acorn and it's out there somewhere. Imagine it to be if you don't have faith that it is.

6) Start your journey, and like Hansel & Gretel, mark your way so you can find your way back here if you get lost or when you're done.

7) Ask yourself why you need or want to come back here once you've found what you seek "out there". What has 'today' (the 'is' moment) got to to do with tomorrow, or next year, or infinity? Ask yourself why baseball players "touch home" in order to score a dot, or why babies "check in" as they explore the world. Ask yourself what you do when you've taken the road less travelled, and it turns out to be a dead end.

8) Imagine now that you have found your acorn, and at this very today 'is' moment you are standing on the twig's end where it was found, waiting for you to discover it. Imagine it didn't get blown off the tree before you got to it. You are now in two simultaneous places at once. "Out there", and "in here". You are standing on both sides of the lines you have drawn around yourself. You have reached tolerance. Now all you have to do is work both ends towards the middle.

9) Since "they" say hindsight is 20-20, take the shortest route back home, to here, now, today, the 'is' of your life. It'll save a lot of dead-ends, back-tracking, redundancies and so on, unless, of course "exploring the unknown road" was on your list of things to do. Starting today, start with your finished to-do list, and fill it out. "The best time to plant an acorn is 100 years ago, and now".

10) Join with me, will you please, and put "Bring World Peace. Let It Be" on your to-do list. Imagine.

Second exercise:

1) Do the same exercise with your roots. You're already 'here', so use your 20-20 knowledge to understand how you got from 'there' to 'here'. Use the straight-line approach wherever possible. There's not much value dawdling and wallowing in the past.

2) Play the game my brother and I used to, and trace back your thoughts, beliefs, ideas, biases, prejudices, hatreds, loves, forgivenesses....make it your list of course. But all items should be checked off by today. Because, relevant to then, you're here. Now. In the 'is' moment. Yesterday's 'is' moment. Tomorrow's 'is' moment. Infinity's 'is' moment. Today's non-existent 'is' moment. All simultaneously collected in that "magic stuff" inside our personal acorn. It's our most precious gift...the gift of nothingness.

3) Read the comment(s) associated with this blog entry.

My Dad used to ask me why it seemed I never had time to do 'it' right, but I always seemed to have time to do it over.

I think I'm beginning to understand that he wasn't asking me a question, he was teaching me a lesson. I wish I could have told him that. I just did.


I received this e-mail from a friend in the States today. He's a friend I've pretty much fallen out of touch with. My anti-virus program automatically directed it to my "spam" box, but (and I NEVER do this), for some curious reason rather than just clicking 'delete', I checked the spam folder first to see what it was. Here's what I found, no other message of any sort attached, just this. It was enough:

"Quite a big message in this little mouse story...

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.

"What food might this contain?" The mouse wondered -- he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning:

"There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow and said "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.

The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.

But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember -- when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.

We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.


One of the best things to hold onto in this world is a friend."

All I can say is, the timing was impeccable...for me at least.

PEACE to you all. Hug someone today. Even if it's a mental squeeze!

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Hm, I'm glad Thoughtlines has time to do all these exercises. I don't!

I can only understand this as a dialogue with yourself.

I support the journey... I just don't feel inclined, as a reader or even as a friend, to come with you. It's your trip. I'd rather you do the workouts, then report back on what you find.

Otherwise it seems a bit pedantic... I mean what are you offering the reader in exchange for them doing all this work?

You may say peace... but by your own admission, you're not at peace a lot of the time. So what's the gambit?


I'm just planting seeds in the only way I know how. I'm sure you can relate to that!

After my first manic attack, I took a 12-week fulltime program through the hospital, and it seemed virtually every session, in various ways and using a variety of techniques, was trying to get us all (regardless of "problem") to find out what we were so "angry" at or with.

I just watched a segment on tonight's news, and in an interview with the head of Toronto's Anger Management Centre, he offered that psychologists, etc. are perpetuating the problem that way. His view is to encourage counter-behaviours instead.

I'm certainly more at peace with myself than I used to be. It becomes a mantra of sorts, I suppose.

On any point, there will be countering views, even amongst the 'experts', whatever an expert is!.

As always, thanks for the dialogue.


P.S. I removed the other note because it was a complete side issue, no other reason!

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  • I'm Evydense
  • From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • And I'm tired of living in the shadow of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. So here's the fax, Jack! "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred and sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynne Lavner*** I'm confused; curious; satisfied; realistically resigned to being a frustrated idealist; usually at peace with myself, but not always. Amazed at how little I know, and wondering how much I need to understand.
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