Pleasant Company for troubled thoughts. ( A Reflection ) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The beach is deserted, with only a solitary red fox to greet me as I arrive. It briefly regards me in the pre-dawn light then goes on its way; first turning south along the beach, then west across the eel-grass covered dunes.

First light. That magic time. The sky lightens ever so slowly. Gentle waves crest then break over the sandbar about a hundred yards from where the foaming suds eventually crash onto the beach with a whuuush . The smell of salt permeates the air.

I gaze up at the sky in wonder. On the horizon, the top part of a brilliant red sun breaks above the surface of the water, seemingly rising from the depths as if raised by invisible gigantic hands. It grows larger with each passing second until it hangs full and exposed above the ocean. The horizon is ablaze now; glowing crimson, with purple tints. Huge, puffy, cumulus clouds hang just above the blood-red illumination between them and the oceans surface. It is an awesome contrast. It looks like someone pasted a fiery ribbon along the bottom of the sky along the horizon, which lay sandwiched between the green-blue water underneath and the stark white low-hanging clouds above. Above the big clouds, the brightest stars give their last light and fade silently into a clearer blue sky. In only a few more minutes the sun has risen enough to be behind the low puffy clouds. Shafts of red rays escape in places and stab through the clouds like tongues of fire. Some are deflected down to the water, making the breakers glisten with various hues, as a rainbow-colored mist falls away behind each wave crest as it is blown backwards by the westerly wind.

By now I have some pleasant company. Several bottlenose dolphins swim from north to south, gracefully going up then down, up then down, steadily marking progress towards their destination. A flock of seven pelicans fly just outside the sandbar, looking for breakfast. The lead bird suddenly wheels and turns, then dives straight down and into the water like a crazed pilot. The flock hesitates, then turns to see what, if anything, the first has caught. Large gulls sit complacently on the oceans surface, drifting up and down with the gentle one-to-two feet waves, legs paddling, eyes ever alert. The smaller terns dart over the water just above where the waves begin to break upon the shore, screaming with joy at each bait-fish they catch. One that is successful is chased frantically by two jealous others, who hope to make it drop its catch so they can steal it. On the beach itself, sandpipers comically run back and forth, timing each wave, and stab their long thin beaks down into the sand in hopes of getting a worm or sand-fly. A blue-claw crab scuttles back towards the water, walking sideways with claws raised in defense, as I walk slowly by, smiling.

The spell is broken with the arrival of some early morning shell seekers, their voices shattering the magic. The moment is gone. Yet during it, the things that were previously bothering me and occupying my thoughts fled. Now they are back, but not as strong, for they have some pleasant company. They have receded, as did the darkness before the light. The moment may be gone, but it was seized. A moment to remember.


-- Rob Michaels (, August 07, 1999


You missed your "calling." You should have been a writer! Who knows... maybe one of these days you'll get that opportunity? Thanks for the picture in my mind. :-) Just a little jealous, though....

Do you find yourself wondering if moments like those will be few and far between next year? Does it cause you to truly "seize" that moment and commit it to memory? Do you find yourself being thankful for even the smallest things that you took for granted before? I sure do!

-- Gayla (, August 07, 1999.

Gayla: Yes, Yes, and Yes. After reading some of the heavy stuff here lately, (and posting some too), I just wanted to remind myself that sometimes these moments just happen, and other times we need to stop and look in order to see what may be right in front of our face. Sometimes we forget them yet may remember later if given the right trigger. Since I think we all have special moments, to varying degrees, I was hoping the post might remind others of their own "pleasant company"... especially now.

-- Rob Michaels (, August 07, 1999.

Yes, I had a walk last week with the originators of the newfangled eye surgical technique. We spied a momma sea otter with a fresh young pup. The cormorants have resumed breeding, after an El Nino induced lull.

One of my clients impressed upon me how different the lifestyle was of the average person in India, he said they lived as animals. Looking into his eyes, this is what had the greatest impact on me from that day.

-- flora (***@__._), August 07, 1999.

flora: It is interesting to me what people notice and appreciate. Your post made me LOL because I remembered the last time Mrs. Michaels and I were on the west coast, we ate at this place called Cliff House. It had an ocean view and there were sea lions lounging in ther afternoon sun on these boulders - something we don't ever see around here. More pleasant company.

-- Rob Michaels (, August 07, 1999.

Good Rob, eally good.

When my mind wonders it always finds it's way to the sea. I too, have fealt the need for reflective moments among the heavy postings of the past few days. I plan to post an OT thread tomorrow. It's a special day for me.

Thanks, again, Lon

-- Lon Frank (, August 07, 1999.

Hey Rob,

I truly look forward to seeing you & Mrs. Michaels OTOTS. Send me an address through any of the old ones on the forum.

Love, flora

PS I've tried to express my gratitude to you in the past, difficult if not impossible in this format---not that there's anything wrong with that {a tip of the hat to Seinfeld}

-- flora (***@__._), August 07, 1999.

To Rob Michaels Thanks for the dreamscape you created. It helped take the edge off a rough day and eases the thoughts of tomorrow.


-- Jim Moore (Lobo) (, August 07, 1999.

Hey Rob,

You know the truly funny thing is that those that live here rarely if ever take the time to see it.

Love, flora

-- flora (***@__._), August 07, 1999.

Rob.. I think you would like the book Spiritwalker. I am just now starting the sequel.. Medicinemaker.

Carpe Diem. Seize the Day.

I find myself more and more seizing the moment. Trying to capture the picture of how everything looks, feels, runs. Thinking that in what may be very different tomorrows ahead I want to be able to remember what was/is.. now.

-- Linda (, August 07, 1999.

Lon: Looking forward to the OT thread.

Lobo: Great! :)

flora: Here too. Maybe everywhere. Human nature? It is so easy to be overwhelmed sometimes and just miss things that could help us to feel better. Ironically, they can be little things too.

Linda: Thanks for the tip. I enjoy reading very much and will check it out.

-- Rob Michaels (, August 07, 1999.


The sea lions are returning north this time of year. The males travel south towards the females in Santa Barbara and beyond for 'vacation', and then boast about it for the rest of the year.

Soon it will be the time of the overwintering Monarchs.

I'm thankful to be reminded what a small potato I yam in the grand scheme of things.

-- flora (***@__._), August 08, 1999.


Totally off topic! Do you want to think that there are people interacting with nature?

Anyway it is a slice of meaning in you life, a little slice of the great mystery. During the afternoons I always go down to a river that is in a rainforest near my house. Steep cliffs and towering trees make it into a cathedral of beauty. Good place to try and get back to center.

-- Brian (, August 08, 1999.

flors, LOL

"The males travel south towards the females in Santa Barbara and beyond for 'vacation', and then boast about it for the rest of the year."

I guess some truths are universal!

Rob, we didn't take a real vacation this year (thank you very much, Y2K). Thanks for taking us along on yours. You are making me homesick for places I've never been.

-- Lon Frank (, August 08, 1999.

Hi Brian. Are you saying you think this thread is OT or your question is?

Pleasant company moments are completely subjective, regardless of what they consist of. My example was of nature. The main point is to not get so crazy over all this serious stuff. Getting back to center is the whole point of this thread. I just took a deliberately circuitous route to get there. LOL.

Balance, Grasshopper

-- Rob Michaels (, August 08, 1999.


Believe me tongue was placed firmly in cheek :o)

I am a firm beleiver in "naturalism" and was also a fisherman for 5 years. Y2K to me could be a "back to nature" motivation and I highly encourage that aspect of life.

Sorry I came across to seriously, going to have to start posting more tao stuff, and my chop wood haul water series. Y2K comes and goes and the mystery of nature will still be there. Being there, doing that.

-- Brian (, August 08, 1999.

Here you go Rob :o) From Wen Tzu

Chapter 38 P. 39

The Highest sages emulate natural law, the next best esteem the wise, the lowest leave things to ministers. Leaving things to ministers is a way to danger and destruction, esteeming the wise is a source of folly and confusion, emulating natural law is the way to govern heaven and earth.

Chapter 38 P. 39

To use the mind for purposes of pride and aggrandizement is like a gusty wind or a violent storm, it cannot last long. Therefore sages control this by means of the Way, holding to unity, contriving nothing, and thus not diminishing harmonious energy.

They see the small and remain flexible, they are retiring and not possessive. They emulate the rivers and seas, because the rivers and seas do not act on purpose, they come to be known for their merits buy a natural process of development.

Chapter 59 P. 54 - 55

The universe does not give and therefore does not take away, it does not reward and therefore does not resent. Those who are accustomed to anger inevitability have a lot of resentment, those who are good at giving are inevitably good at taking. Only by following the naturalness of the universe can one master its design.

-- Brian (, August 08, 1999.

Brian: Thank you so much for taking the time to look up and post those insightful excerpts. It is appreciated and they fit here so well!

-- Rob Michaels (, August 08, 1999.


I am in trouble with Mrs. Michaels!!!!!!!!

She saw what I wrote on that thread I started yesterday about pleasant company and tonight, for the first time in recorded history, actually wanted to read the responses.

So I said sure, why not, and she got as far as Love, flora and is flipping out Big Time. I tried to explain that I never even met flora, that was kinda just like a sign of friendship, but she is having none of it. Now I am on my way to the car again. I dont know if I will be able post from there cause she is threatening to take puter away for a whi

-- (H@el.p), August 08, 1999.


Would it help if I wish Lon a happy birthday, and tell him I had a mental picture of him taking a nice long spin on his trike. I hope it has those long tassels hanging from the handles. Gotta be careful here, I feel I should glance over my shoulder lest His Majesty may approach.

Sleep tight all, especially Mrs. Michaels

-- flora (***@__._), August 08, 1999.

It's OK now. I showed her how you posted that you wanted to see BOTH of us and that did it. Sheesh! Time for lights out :) BFN, Rob

-- (, August 08, 1999.


Surely you don't refer to the old thread about me and my geezer trike? You know, the one with the big ole fluffy seat that matches my big ole....well, let's not go there, shall we.

But of course it has tassles, and the niftiest little bell, and some baseball cards in the spokes. I swear, sometimes I think I'm just the coolest kid on the block. (next to Rob, that is.)

PS - glad you saw my OT thread today, it was a labor of love, as is this thread, I think.

-- Lon Frank (, August 08, 1999.


Have just finished a weekend that included a SUCCESSFUL SURPRISE 25th anniversary party for myself and Mrs. Driver (surprise to her, I knew) and a few hours to be at peace today. the fishing cottage is in her side of the family, but is on a small Western NY lake, near Chataqua. the cottage has an old glider on it that has a narcotic effect on me. I sit down in it, and the world time advances a couple hours without me being aware. The view, (when I am awake to see it) is down a fair hill, across a small street, and to the lake, framed by trees. The boaters and waterskiers are across the lake in front of the abandoned summer camp, the fishermen are in towards the near shore, and the travelling clans of ducks, involved in feeding and turf defense, swim the near shore.

The children of the family members have a fire ring and a small fire burns in it, as some other kids are paddling in from fishing. My mother-in-law is busy on the porch, with important decisions (red 9 on black 10, or black jack on red queen) and my wife has packed us up to return to the real world. It's 5:00 and time to leave. I shake myself out from the torpor of the glider, say my devoirs, and make my way to the car.....And, even at 1232 AM, I still ahve the feel of the fabric of the glider on my arms, and can smell the lake in the air of my dining room, after 3 and a half hours on the forum, taking out the trash and getting caught up.



-- Chuck, a night driver (, August 09, 1999.

The Cliff House, on the Atlantic Rob?

Sounds like my old stomping ground - San Francisco - I do miss The City - I distinctly remember many times trying to get to sleep in the wee deathly quiet hours - with only the sound of the foghorn at Alcatraz and the Sea Lions barking to be heard, the sounds drifting eerily for miles...

grab it while you can

-- Andy (, August 09, 1999.

Lon: Cool? I cant hold a candle to you old friend. Did ya think I forget about all of those elephants and how you dealt with their output'? ROTFL.

Happy anniversary Chuck! Sounds like you had a memorable one. Thanks for the post, and regards to Mrs. Driver.

Hi Andy. It was Cliff House in S.F. BTW, we took the boat to Alcatraz. Actually, what I remember best about that whole trip are little things like going to Ghiardelis (sp?) chocolate factory, Golden Gate park, and especially the Muir woods. Standing next to something that is over 1000 years old and still alive kind of put things in a different perspective!

-- Rob Michaels (, August 09, 1999.

There used to be a Camera Obscura behind the Cliff House. It was frequently closed, but I don't think they ever actually removed it.

Is it still there? Does it still open on occasion? If so -- it's worth a visit.

-- just a (former@san.franciscan), August 09, 1999.

Absolutely fabulous imagery, Rob. And lots of creative answers. My get away is in my mind, a melange of various camping trips in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies:

Wonderful evergreen scents the air. Squirrel scolds from nearby bush, then makes a daring rush across the path to reach a safer tree. Unseen chickadee chucks nearby, and other birds sweetly respond. Dim light turns bright as I enter the clearing, breathing deeply the clean, fresh air - throwing my arms wide to welcome the sun, feeling his warmth filling my body with brilliant light and twirling 'round in joy and peace.

-- Tricia the Canuck (, August 23, 1999.


I'm glad you linked this thread to Riversoma's. Her post haunted me for the afternoon, and I ducked back in to check on it. I wish I had something to tell her, but feel a bit tongue-tied. You have the knack for tossing off pieces that made me feel like I could surface for air once in awhile, I hope she checks in and has a similar experience.

An update on the world outside. I saw the first of the monarchs fluttering over a sea stack a few days ago, it amazes me that it's probably the fifth generation away from it's ancestor who maybe arrived around the same time last year.

-- flora (***@__._), September 29, 1999.

Riversoma's post got to me too. Maybe she will at least read this thread and take a deep breath or two. And now there is another post from someone that seems really scared and is wondering if there is enough time to prep. Last year, some of us had talked about this happening more and more as we get closer. Looks like it is.

BTW, we were down the Shore last week and saw many migrating monarchs also. Marie said she never saw so many. Orange/yellow with black markings. Just more pleasant company, another passing moment to be remembered.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@hi.flora), September 29, 1999.

Wow, thanks Rob. I can relate to the 'serene spot' you shared here, don't know how I missed this in August. Y2K has been an emotional roller-coaster for me for over a year now. I read some of these 'panic' posts and just want to hug and rub their backs. I know.

Anyone who GI, must acknowledge the ride and keep it together until it smoothes out AGAIN, only to take off when you least expect it. Reading the responses of some of the others to these posts have given me an eerie feeling as well. We each move on to the next phase, if you will, feeling so alone about it and suddenly discover several others have just reached the same place. We're NOT alone. Rather makes me want to yell to those 'behind' me, "Holy out for this *next* turn you're about to come to!".

This forum has been an inevitable WEALTH of 'information' to me, but that aspect was nearly secondary to the emotional support I've received by just having others in my same position to communicate with. Even as inferior as cyber-communication is, I could never place any amount upon the value I've found it to be.

All for one and one for all.........

-- Will continue (, September 30, 1999.

Hi WC. I know exactly what you mean, as many here do. I started a thread on this a while ago if you care to take a glance.

Take some comfort in that You are Not Alone

-- Rob Michaels (, September 30, 1999.

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