Monday, June 28, 2010

Today's Feather and a word or two from Bob Marley.

Don't worry about a thing...
cause every little thing...
gonna be alright...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Good morning...

...This is GOD.
I will be handling ALL
of your problems today.
I will NOT need your help...
So, have a good day!

Today's message

This means keep going. Keep moving forward. Do not give up. Press on. Learn, grow, stretch.

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 21, 2010 - Feather Moratorium Cancelled

June 18th marked the 12th Anniversary of Roberta's passing.  On that day this year, I did not find a feather.  As a matter of fact, I usually don't get feathers this time of year.

In 1998, June 18th was a Thursday, so I usually will experience some physical symptoms of grief on the third Thursday of June regardless of the actual date.  This year was no different and in fact that there seems to have been a moratorium on feathers right now.  Was, being the key word here.

Last Thursday was dry.  I had a pretty good anxiety attack in the 12 o'clock hour which is that physical symptoms of grief thing I mentioned earlier, but no feather.  Friday through Sunday, same deal.

I refer back to a previous blog which says never look for a feather.  I started looking on Thursday.  I told my dad on Sunday that I've been looking.  We talked about how they need to show up on their own.  In these moratoriums I often wonder if I've done something wrong or like a little boy, I wonder if I'm in trouble.  It took me a few weeks before I found my first feather back in '98 and when I think back to that first feather it was, once again, when I stopped looking.  You just can't force this stuff.  The art of allowing is a continuing lesson that I will be constantly relearning.

Sometime in the 4 o'clock hour I have a daily ritual.  I get up from my desk at work, walk across the street to the Barnes and Noble Cafe for a Grande Drip with a little extra room.  On the way back, my head cleared, thinking about doing a book or article or something about my line of work when I look down and BAM!  Feather.  I cheer out loud in the middle of the mall parking lot and immediately pick that sucker up.  With a new found stride in my step, I head towards the crosswalk and BAM!  Feather # 2.  A few more steps, # 3 and then as I near my car, which I park in this lot, WHAM!  Feather # 4. 

Clearly the moratorium is over, but what's the lesson in this moment?  Keep writing, keep creating, keep allowing.

My drive home consisted of Marie McGillis singing and swinging to After You've Gone.   This music is not only better than anything created today, it is a staunch reminder of a simpler time and also stirred a very old memory of mom playing her dad's ukileli and singing "Has Anybody Seen My Girl."  This association could very well explain why I love ragtime and hot jazz from the 20's and late Victorian era.  This stuff literally is my bag.

So after pulling in the drive, I'm snappin and swingin, park the car, fade down the music, and head towards the stairs to climb up and kiss my wife when low and behold I'm stopped dead in my tracks as feather number 5 pops up...

My Nana before she passed told me to write this stuff down.  It took me a while to get going but here I am and now fully inspired to bring this mystery to the masses.

My day/evening continued with other blessings as a few things I had been waiting on came through.

I have an incredible sense of the possible right now.  My morning started off in frustration and by 7 o'clock I'm having a full blown Timbuk3 moment.

So it's off to Trader Joe's to pick up groceries.  Gonna toss my coffee from earlier in the recycle bin behind the building and this happens...

I just hope the bird's OK.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jacob's Feather

"FWD: just got done trimming the shade fabric came down from the ladder and heres what i saw..."

This one comes to us via my cousin Jacob.   I'll leave any interpretation on meaning to Jacob, but my instinct says that it's probably a reminder to be careful on the roof and also perhaps a Happy Father's Day wish...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Dancing Feather

This little guy was attached to my neighbor's door mat. As my wife and I stepped out to have dinner with her parents.  In the cool evening Summer breeze this little feather danced around the mat. Welcoming the coming evening and celebrating another pass of the sun across the sky. I often remember mom in the evenings. From preparing dinner when I was a child to welcoming me home after work when I still lived at home.  I would often find her sitting in our Lazyboy and listening to the classical station.  In the later years, when I was a waiter, I'd be leaving for work as evening approached.  Those nights in front of the T.V. got traded in for "responsibility" and "adulthood."  It's amazing how rituals like dinner and T.V. can go from ordinary to significant and special with one turn of the cycle of life.  Which, by the way, is always turning at full speed.  This dancing feather let's us know it's OK to slow it down for a moment to enjoy these ordinary moments or maybe take the same moment to put into perspective what Dan Millman says, "the are no ordinary moments."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Post Press - Pre Swing Feather

I always expect to find feathers at the beach, but when they show up right where you're about to start exercising, that to me is encouragement from beyond.  This is one of those times where I feel mom's presence cheering me on as I exercise.  Health and fitness is a vital part of my life and training my body is one of the ways I connect to and with spirit.  Finding this feather validates my efforts.

Friday, June 11, 2010


For the past 13 years, on Memorial Day weekend, there has been a gathering of men at Camp Gualala which is nestled amongst the giant redwoods trees between Healdsburg, and Stewarts Point, about a two and a half hour drive north from San Francisco.

The campgrounds are divided by the south fork of the Gualala River. A suspension bridge, that swings back and forth when you walk on it, connects the two sides of the camp. Crossing the bridge is a "special" kind of experience, especially when someone is simultaneously coming from the opposite side. The bridge really swings! You have a difficult time maintaining your balance. You don’t feel drunk, but you walk drunk!

In this part of the "woods," the giant redwood trees outnumber any human inhabitants, creating a very sacred presence. There is one tree in particular which stands out like the leader or the Elder or perhaps even the King! The tree is estimated to be over 2500 years old and sinks its roots on a prominent spot on the west bank of the river. When one stands next to the tree, there is an immediate awareness of infinity and God’s presence IN the tree.

When I tried to explain this awareness to a priest friend, whose training was drenched in Aquinas and Aristotle, he insisted, "No, Vern, God is not in the tree. God is in your heart, and you project God into the tree."

As many times as I reiterated my observation, the good priest, ironically like the Redwood tree, stood his ground. Looking back on the conversation, I wish I would have said, "Father, in terms of sheer raw faith, it seems easier to believe that God is in that tree than in either of our at times ungodly hearts."

Besides sharing, laughing, drumming, eating, sleeping, star gazing, singing and chanting, the men who gather here spend a good chunk of time searching deep into their souls for purpose, meaning, creativity, courage, compassion, forgiveness, healing, and last but not least, for the Creator of this magnificent forest. It is not a particularly religious gathering, but, like the trees themselves, definitely a sacred gathering.

A major theme, for the gathering in 1998, was Grief, which was quite apropos for me, as my father had died exactly a year before, and worse, Roberta, my wife of twenty six years, was dying from cancer. Attending this gathering was becoming an annual event for me, but with Roberta literally being in her final weeks, I wasn’t sure if my attendance would be outright avoidance on my part and perhaps experienced as abandonment by Roberta and our son, David. But Roberta and David encouraged me to go. I have never wondered, till this very moment, how my life might have been different had I not gone?

I always feel rich and privileged when I am with the men at this gathering. They are all focused outward when it comes to their brothers and sisters of the world. They are hardly perfect let alone perfect gentlemen! I’m sure they would all agree! But there is an energy in this group of men which seems focused on the healing of our society, of our world and of our planet. They are not tree huggers nor wild men, but definitely men and dedicated men at that. They are not of any particular religious or political persuasion, and there are no drugs or alcohol at this gathering.

Throughout the weekend, I heard people sharing with each other about different projects that they were involved in, projects that contributed to their respective communities or to the benefit of some humanitarian cause or movement. And after hearing about the project, someone would inevitably ask, "Did you find a feather?"

I found the question curious and a little odd. But I was too preoccupied with home to ask the obvious, "What are you talking about, finding a feather? And what does it mean if you find one or not?" But I didn’t ask. I did what most of us do. I assumed I knew what it meant. You know, if you find a feather, it means you’re on the right track or your project will be blessed or guided by the angels!

The weekend turned out to be just what I needed. It was NOT a particularly restful weekend. Remember, the theme was grief. It was NOT an escape from what was awaiting me back home.

At one point in the weekend, we each fashioned a vase from pottery clay and "poured" into the vase our grief. During an evening ritual, we set the vases afloat down the Gualala River to eventually meet the ocean. In addition to carrying our grief, each vase also carried a lit candle, so we could watch our grief-filled vases float down the river for some distance. The ceremony did not make the sadness any less heavy. I am crying right now remembering the moment. It was a very real physical experience of surrendering and letting go.
I arrived back home on May 25th. I was ready now to walk with Roberta the final steps of her earthly journey.

Roberta was at home. We had set up a hospital bed in our bedroom. For the next three weeks, David and I spent day and night just sitting with her, taking turns crashing on the King Size bed. Sometimes we talked and sometimes we all just sat in silence enjoying each other’s presence (or presents, for that matter!)
David and I were intrigued by all the conversations she was having with folks we could not see. We never thought for a moment that she was hallucinating or delusional. In fact one afternoon, she said to me,

"Say something nice about your Father."
I said, "Is he here?"
She said, "Yes."

At that time, even though Dad was dead, I was still angry with him, so I had to get it together, so to speak, really quickly, and come up with "nice things" to say about him! I don’t know for sure, but it’s probably a good idea to say good things about your dead father, even if you are still angry with him, if he’s there in the room with you! Maybe he knew the best directions for getting Roberta through the pearly gates, you know?

She had also told us that she had already crossed over and come back several times. So our curiosity was quite stoked. In the book, Final Gifts, the authors’ on-going encouragement is to pay attention. For David and I, paying attention meant there just might be an opportunity to get a glimpse of the other side. It’s almost like we were trying to stand in line with her, you know like it used to be when someone was boarding an airplane? You got to be with them right up to the point of walking through the boarding gate.

So one night, when her conversations with the folks we could not see seemed quite intense, I asked her what she was seeing. She said to us both quite adamantly, "GET BACK."

David and I talked about her "reprimand," and we both had the same thought. She was telling us that we had no business "being in line," so to speak, and what was on the other side was not for either of us to see or know. It was a spine chilling and ALSO sacred moment. But one that also brought us to the awareness, that we were not giving her HER SPACE. Roberta was more introverted than extraverted and perhaps our hovering was draining and maybe even keeping us tethered to her, not allowing her to be free to cross over and stay there. After all, as much as we were all very much IN the journey with her, it was ultimately HER journey. So we talked to her about giving her more alone time. We would be right there available, but not hovering and she seemed to appreciate that.

So on Sunday, June 14, during one of those times when I was letting her BE, I went out to our backyard to putter amidst the roses and the weeds! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted a large black feather resting on some rocks. I immediately remembered the question from Camp Gualala, "Did you find a feather?"

At first, I just dismissed the discovery as, "okay, a feather. I found one, So what?" I almost walked away from the feather, but the question from Camp Gualala kept repeating itself, and I knew that this feather meant something. I didn’t know what it meant, but I knew it meant something. So I picked it up and I put it in a safe place. I don’t think I told anyone about my discovery. And, anyway, I wouldn’t have known what to tell them.

On Tuesday, June 16, two days before she died, Roberta said to me,

"Will you do me a favor?"
"Sure, what do you want me to do?"
"Will you get me a feather?"

Well as you can imagine, I was stunned, but also not wanting to get stuck in "reality" and miss an opportunity to venture into another realm, I quickly and excitingly said, "I just happen to have one." Man, did I ever feel useful. You know that guy thing!

So I got the feather and hung it from the ceiling with a long piece of thread for her to look at whenever she wanted. It sometimes hung there motionless and sometimes gently moved or twirled.

I never bothered to ask her why she wanted a feather or what the feather was about. It was almost like that would be disrespectful or trying to use a cookie cutter over something mysterious and ethereal. I don’t know. I sometimes wish I had asked her. Roberta died on Thursday morning, June 18, 1998 at approximately 11:30.

I shared the story about the feather at her funeral. I told our friends and family that I had no idea what it meant, but it all seemed significant and beyond coincidence. So how would life had been had I not traveled to Gualala that weekend? There’s a good chance I would not have seen the feather let alone pick it up for safe keeping. And perhaps I would have dismissed her request for a feather as just one of those strange requests that dying people make.
Of course, the story doesn’t end here. When the funeral was over and following the burial service the next day, friends and family started walking up to me and handing me feathers. I didn’t know what to make of that, but I took them and put them into a basket.

On Thursday morning, June 25, 1998, one week to the day of her passing, I intentionally went on my six mile run between 11 am and noon time I wasn’t out looking for feathers, I was just out exercising my heavy heart. But at eleven thirty, there at my feet as I’m running, is a FEATHER. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I took it as a sign that she was still with us and taking care of us.
And the feathers have continued to show up for twelve years now at very significant moments and in very unusual places, places where you have to wonder, how did a feather happen to land in this exact spot at this exact moment?

And besides believing that it symbolizes her continued presence (presents) in our life, I imagine the appearance of the feathers might mean something even bigger than that. I don’t know. I’m just glad I went to Camp Gualala on Memorial Day weekend, 1998 and paid attention. By the way, the picture above is that first feather I found on June 14, 1998

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A letter from Carol

Hi David,

Thank you for sending me your feather blog. I'm teary as I write you this note to you. Your writings about your mom and her feathers are beautiful and moving.

You don't know it, but your mother helped me through an extremely difficult time in my marriage. In 2000-2001 Mike wanted a's a long story and I am glad to share it in detail with you sometime if you like.... I was convinced that we could make it together and return to a happy marriage...but Mike was not convinced.

Your mother sent me feathers at the bleakest times. When I was afraid, I'd find a feather. When I didn't know what was going to happen next, I'd find a feather. When it looked like he was going to leave me for sure, I'd find a lot of feathers.

At the time Marianne said that Roberta was a strong believer in marriage. With her feather gifts she was bolstering me and believing in my marriage with me.

Long story short...the power of your mother's love helped not only keep our marriage together, but helped it grow and blossom into a joyous union. Today Mike and I are so grateful for the strength of our marriage. It was forged in the fires and came out stronger than it was before. We have one of the happiest, most fulfilling marriages of all the couples we know...thank you Roberta.

We have a framed print in our bedroom of three feathers. It is a daily reminder of the power of love and of your mom's steadfast belief in our marriage.

Keep writing your feather'll have me as a lifetime reader!

Much love, Carol

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Feather at the Lakeshrine

Found this one coming out of the Windmill Chapel at the Lake Shrine.  It's dainty.  I had just finished editing a hard copy of my Stop Smoking Book and went into the chapel to give thanks and pray.  This feather was waiting for me when I came out.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Well, I'll be!

I had to run into my "real job" today for a few hours to deliver a car to a customer that earlier in the week I totally screwed up on.  I misquoted him on pricing because I rushed through a part and it wound up kinking the deal. 

I took 110% responsibility for the error with the customer and management.  However, I did not know how to save the deal a few days back.  I chalked it up to, "well I know I'll never make that mistake again."  I figure that was a costly error that needed to be learned and proceeded to move on with my life.

The customer called me yesterday and we wound up finding a way to RE-aggree to terms sans any errors on my part.

Today he came in to finalize the deal.  As I pulled up his new car, I drove past this feather.  I could see it at the end of the drive and chuckled to myself.

After delivering the car, I returned to my office to find that someone had left the feather on my desk...

Turned out a coworker who knows the story, saw it outside and thought I'd like to have it.

This is one of those feathers that initially told me that everything works out in the end and just try to relax.  That's what I thought when I saw it initially, but after it found it's way to my desk, I know that the meaning is a little more than that. 

Let life flow.  Let love flow.  Allow...

Post training and preworkout feather

So I trained two clients today.  One guy tells me that he learned more from me in one day than the five sessions he had with another trainer.  Que swollen head.

As I prepare for my own training session today, I'm getting a Kettlebell from my car and low and behold on the ground where I was going to set the bell down was...  yup, a feather. 

Clearly that meant, don't set the bell down here.  So I moved over, set the bell down and fired off a picture. 

Shortly there after I met an old Russian guy named William.  William was the best rest period I could had had between sets.  He was 72 years old and not only did he recognize my Kettlebells, he told me about his time training with the Girya (kettlebell in Russian) in the Russain army back in the 50's. 

These are priceless moments that you never, ever want to take for granted.  It will continue to be amazes and astonished me how the Universe will constantly throw up little sign posts along the way of life.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Pondering something... aparently two cents from heaven were thrown in...

11:33 am on a Monday morning.  Thoughts of childhood summers mixed with ponderings about what to do now.  Stumbled upon this one, right in my path after completing a thought.  Not a direct question, but a, "I wonder if I should..."   The feedback is mine and mine alone.  Just nice to know that I'm not alone on this one.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Sence of Fluttery Humor

This was found in a phone book.  I opened it up to look for something and this is the first thing I saw.  The Mother Plucker Feather Company!  Too funny!

My mom always had a sense of humor.  I remember many a night in front of the T.V. watching sit coms and laughing.  From All in the Family to The Cosby Show to Seinfeld.  Laughter was always a big part of life in my house growing up.

This page might chalk up to coincidence but I don't really believe in accidents or coincidence anymore.  There's been too many coincidences for it all to be an accident.

What's special now is the ability to remember those nights and how my Mom would always relate somehow to one of the characters in whatever show we were watching and how I would study the mannerisms and behavior of the performers.

What's the most important part of comedy?  Timing.  Right?  My mom had, and still does apparently, perfect timing...

Never "look" for a feather...

Instead allow the feather to arrive right on time... 

This one arrived at 2:08 pm on a Sunday afternoon.  Interesting how earlier I was "looking" for one.  Then I stopped looking and as I turned around to return to my office, there it was.  Note that I didn't notice it just moments ago when I was "looking" for it...

That's the lesson from this feather.  Don't look, instead allow.  When you want something, you're better off allowing it to happen.  Forcing things into fruition is like rushing a flower.

I am aware of my heart.  It is strong and I am safe.  Thanks mom.

Previous Feather Findings and Why this Blog

This feather had actually attached itself to my car door.  It was July 4th 2009.  July 4th is the anniversary of my buddy Jeff Hadley's death.  He passed away in 1994.  He was hiking with a girl and fell from a high cliff.  Jeff was quite dear to me.  So having a feather on my car door on the 4th of July is significant to say the least.  My mother was always and still is, very compassionate.

These feathers can arrive for no apparent reason too.  Or so it may seem.  Many times I find myself racking my brain about the meaning of some of the feathers I find and I don't always have a good answer.   Until the little voice in the back of my head, speaking for my mother says, "since when did I need a reason to say hello or tell you I love you or remind you I'm with you?"

I wonder if this blog will wind up getting me committed... or at least a really strong prescription?

Ah, but I have proof!  Pictures!  Ye of little faith!  I don't have the answers.  I don't know.  Because another little voice in my head, most likely my ego or perhaps the Conscious self as Dan Millman puts it is trying to convince me that it's all one big coincidence.

Well and that's why we're here really.  If I document these discoveries and tell you why they are important to me and what significance I can find in them, perhaps we can finally feel a little more connected to the great beyond.

I ofter think of Harry Houdini and his quest to connect with his mother after she passed on.  Houdini spent so much time and energy busting false Mediums and Spiritualists that I think he may have inadvertently closed himself off to the very thing he so desperately wanted.

The Mini Cooper feather was in front of me at a stop light.  This feather sighting dates back to 2007.  On my way to work.  This feather showed up at a time in my life shortly after I stopped drinking.  It was a difficult time for me as a lot of unreleased grief was releasing itself.  This was one of those signs that reminds me every thing's gonna be alright. 

It's just up and to the right of the license plate, next to the "Cooper"

Is it possible to fully connect with Spirit?  Eventually we will all join with the ash and dust.  The appointment with Infinity, as Wayne Dyer puts it, is an appointment we cannot avoid.  For me these little bread crumbs disguised as feathers are tiny sign post along this journey of life.  I don't know if I'll ever get definitive proof or not.  I guess that's why it's called a mystery, but I do know that something wonderful and magical is happening here and I'm going to document it here in front of God and cyberspace.

You're welcome to follow along...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

2 in one day...

Later on today, another one popped up in the parking lot of where I work.  I was helping a client with their personalized licence plate.  Off to my left, on the ground was this feather.  Imagine my client's suprise when I stopped everything to fire off a picture of a feather lying on the ground.  Interesting how to me there is significance but to him, it was just a feather.  Strangely, he never even asked what or why...

Feather sighting 6/5/10

This has been a tough week for me.  I won't bother you with why.  Just know that it's been tough.  Friday morning I asked my mom to show me she's with me.  Friday came and went.  This morning, my wife's battery was dead.  We were going to take it to the dealership for a new one.  But first, I needed to jumpstart her car.  When I popped the hood, there on the battery of my car was a tiny little feather.  Under the hood.  On the battery.  How did it wind up under my hood and on my battery?  Who know's.  Who's to say.  This is one example.  More will follow...