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The MOST Newsletter Winter 2003-4 Volume X

A Project of The Peregrine Foundation

P.O. Box 460141 / San Francisco, CA 94146-0141 / telephone: (415) 821-2090
/ fax (415) 282-2369
Staff: Ramon Sender, editor; Vivian Gotters, Pam Read Hanna, Sandi Stein,
Contributing Editors; Tomas Diaz & David Hatch, HTML wizards.
The MOST Newsletter is an open forum for fact and opinion, and encourages
the expression of all views.
The opinions expressed in the letters published are those of the
correspondents and do not necessarily reflects those of MOST editors or
staff.

Winter 2003-4 Volume X

-------------- "What Go 'Round Come Around" -------

Ramon Sender Jan 01, 2004
Subject:Re: [mostposts] Digest Number 972

I've liked Bernie Siegel ever since I read his statement, at the end of one of his books of advice:
"If after reading all my suggestions you still feel depressed,  you can still be a success by serving as a bad example to others."
So here's another set of Siegel-isms.

And thanks, Alicia, for the great song!

Happy Gnu's Ear to all!
 
 
 

Bernie Siegel's Soul Prescriptions
Five ways to live a  happier life this year.

By Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.

>From "365 Prescriptions for the Soul." Used with permission of New World
Library

Prescription #1:  Gratitude
. . . .
I meditate each day, and one portion of the meditation consists of my thinking about what I am grateful for. Most of us never stop to consider our blessings; rather, we spend the day only thinking about our problems. But since you have to be alive to have problems, be grateful for the opportunity to have them. Some people use their problems to get attention and are afraid to give them up and be blessed. I prefer to appreciate life and accept my problems as a part of my life.

When my body gets to the point where I can no longer function or feel gratitude, then I¹ll leave it and become grateful again. But until then, I will appreciate what I have and not whine about what I don¹t have. I will feel blessed by life and the opportunity to help others see that they are blessed too. Blessings come in many shapes and sizes.

Prescription #2: Hope
Hope restores us. What each of us hopes for will differ and change with time. I believe we need hope to go on living. Hope inspires us to reach for the future. It gives us something to look forward to and strive for on our path.

If we had no hope ‹ for a cure, for winning the lottery, for falling is love, for the end of war, for being free of abuse, or for having food,
warmth, clothing, and shelter ‹ we would have no reason to go on. What you hope for doesn¹t matter, but rather the essence of hope itself.
 

Prescription #3:  Guidance
One day Marilyn, one of our support group members, sent me an email with the subject line ³guidance.² In her email, she told me that the word ³dance² being a part of the word guidance made her think about how dancing is like doing God¹s will. Two people dancing are not struggling with each other; one leads and the other willingly follows. When the two become a team, their movements flow in harmony with each other.   When she looked back at the word she saw the G as representing God and then U and I. So guidance is
about God, you, and I dancing together.

When you are willing to trust and believe, guidance comes. I believe the rhythm we should all be dancing to comes from our Creator. It allows us to move as a team while creating our unique dance of life.

Prescription #4: New Year¹s Resolutions
It is not a bad thing to make a New Year¹s resolution, but   you can also continuously set yourself up to fail. Be realistic and forgiving. The best resolution is to accept your limitations and start from there. Resolve not to give up on yourself, and to love yourself, even when you don¹t like your behavior.  So resolve to practice doing what you have resolved, rather than achieving sainthood tomorrow.

As you write down your resolutions, remember these things: Be kind; do not set yourself up for failure by creating multiple resolutions that involve too much self-denial. Keep your goals manageable and realistic. The best resolutions leave one day of the week to enjoy being human and not living by any rules or expectations you have created.

Prescription #5:  Every Day Is New Year's
A "new year"! I think the term is an oxymoron. How can you have a new year? You are the same person, and the world doesn¹t start again with a clean slate. Your troubles don¹t disappear. People don¹t forgive you for what you did the year before. Unless you have amnesia, your life is anything but new when you awaken on the Þrst day of the year. It is simply a way of measuring the passage of time. Why make such a fuss over it?

The truth lies in our desire to be reborn, to start again, to make resolutions and changes we can live up to. Then why wait for a certain date to start a new year? Why can¹t tomorrow be New Year¹s Day? Maybe it is!

I see it every day in my role as a physician: People learn they have a limited time to live, and they start their New Year behavior. They move, change jobs, spend more time with those they love, stop worrying about what everyone else thinks of them, and start to celebrate their life. They are grateful for the time they have to enjoy life and they stop whining about what they wish had happened during the past year.

When every evening is New Year¹s Eve and every day you awaken is New Year¹s Day, you are living life as it was intended.
 
 

Tomas Jan 01, 2004
Subject: Muse
I have not worn earphones for at least twenty years.
I went out and got a set.
Eli had come home for the Holidays with his fiancée.
Eli had an Ipod from apple and he put about twenty of his old CD’s into  our laptop to use with the Ipod.
He had earphones with the Ipod and when he left I wanted a set for the laptop.

The weather has been warm and the birds out at the feeders are having a Holiday Feast.
The Holiday Tree was decorated with colorful lights.
It glowed in a soft comfortable way as I listened to Suzanne by Leonard Cohen.

I was lost in a world of thought, sitting at a black low table cross-legged, sipping tea and
eating oranges sections in a home over the fence at Morningstar.
I am in the world of the purple haze, comfortable and delight.
Sharing in the simple rice feast and ceremony.

The lyrics bring me back…
Tomas

***
 

Album : The Songs of Leonard Cohen
by Leonard Cohen
1967/1968

Suzanne

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river

You can hear the boats go by

You can spend the night beside her

And you know that she's half crazy

But that's why you want to be there

And she feeds you tea and oranges

That come all the way from China

And just when you mean to tell her

That you have no love to give her

Then she gets you on her wavelength

And she lets the river answer

That you've always been her lover

And you want to travel with her

And you want to travel blind

And you know that she will trust you

For you've touched her perfect body with your mind.

And Jesus was a sailor

When he walked upon the water

And he spent a long time watching

 From his lonely wooden tower

And when he knew for certain

Only drowning men could see him

He said "All men will be sailors then

Until the sea shall free them"

But he himself was broken

Long before the sky would open

Forsaken, almost human

He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone

And you want to travel with him

And you want to travel blind

And you think maybe you'll trust him

For he's touched your perfect body with his mind.

Now Suzanne takes your hand

And she leads you to the river

She is wearing rags and feathers

>From Salvation Army counters

And the sun pours down like honey

On our lady of the harbour

And she shows you where to look

Among the garbage and the flowers

There are heroes in the seaweed

There are children in the morning

They are leaning out for love

And they will lean that way forever

While Suzanne holds the mirror

And you want to travel with her

And you want to travel blind

And you know that you can trust her

For she's touched your perfect body with her mind.

"Suzanne"
Album : The Songs of Leonard Cohen
by Leonard Cohen
 

Sande King Jan 01, 2004
Subject: Don King

He passed tonight about 6:30, in his sleep.  The coroner who came is a dear friend, the funeral guy is also a dear friend who took care of Morning Star, and Way and Patience, and the supervising homehealth nurse came also though she did not need to.  They were all very gracious, loving and respectful.  They gave us time to be him before they took him.  Charlie will bring him back in the morning so we can have him here for 3 days and then he will be cremated.  Later we will have a ceremony up at Morning Star's Medicine Wheel where we will scatter his ashes.

He has had a rough few days but they upped his morphine so he could rest.  The doctor said his brain was breathing for him and when he would wake his body just couldn't do it so it went well for him.

It is very unreal, no matter how prepared we were it is so hard to believe he is not physically here anymore.  I am glad his suffering is over but I sure will miss him.  I told him to smack Rainbow and Morning Star before he gave them a hug for me....a little King humor at its best.

The boys are ok, the kids are sad, and we are all dazed.  It does not seem real.  Don't know what I will do without waking up every 15 minutes to check on him.  Quite an adjustment coming up.
 

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.  Hope to be writing more personal messages soon but I am a bit in the outter zone right now.

Much Love , Sande
 

Sande King Jan 03, 2004
Subject: Don King

You know they say that if all that Jesus did could be written there would not be volumes enuf to hold it all.  Well, I am sure we could find enuf volumes for Don but it would take a bunch.

Pam said she never heard anyone say a bad thing about him.  I am sure they must have but she says she never heard and neither did I that I can recall.  Everywhere we have gone, for some uncanny reason, he has captured hearts.  Sure, if you listened to him long enuf he would grab your heart, but I am talking about people who never even spoke to him.  The nurses described him as someone who always loved a lot.  And who can resist love.

If I were to ever get on a bandstand to campaign about anything it would be the insidious power of modern tobacco.    I have never seen a more disciplined and determined man than Don King but he could not quick cigarettes.  At first he believed the literal interpretation that it was not what went into a man's mouth that defiled him and by the time he realized that he could still be touched by this material world in spite of his great love for God it was too late to stop the emphysema that had made its home in his lungs.  He quick smoking the year Morning Star passed away and did not start again until a year later.  It has been about 5 years now since he last smoked.  He said if he had just quit then for good he might have licked it.  If he had not been so dedicated to yoga breathing he never would have made it this long, not anywhere near.

He has been terminal for 2 years but it has been imminent for a couple of months now.  The doctor was amazed we were able to keep him out of a nursing home because he required pretty much 24 hour care.  My family has gone beyond any hope I could ever have imagined in their help and loving care.  And on top of that we were blessed with the 2 greatest daughter in laws anyone could wish for.  Wendi, Breeze's wife, has been my sidekick.  Don has had to be bathed in bed for 2 years to give you an idea of the extent of need someone with endstage emphysema can have.  There is a lot more, way more, our nurses on board Most can attest to that.  I did pretty much all the care until my doctor put his foot down and then Wendi was doing for both us on my bad days.  Needless to say we have all learned a lot, been blessed a lot, and grieved a lot....long before he passed out of his body.

His blood gases must have been over the charts, gyrating like a yo-yo and in spite of that he was sharp as a tack, God centered, caring, loving and eager to get back to work.  He told one of the kids if you loved what you were doing it was not work.  He also woke the other day to say he loved me, he loved his family, he loved this place, he loved the world, he loved the universe and he loved God.  He knew he was fading but he would not accept it.  Two years ago he had abdominal surgery that no doctor expected him to recover from but he did.  We began to call him the trickster because time after time he would come to death's door and absolutely refuse to go thru but instead would begin exercises in bed, across the bedroom floor, whatever it took.  He forced himself to eat.  Toward the end he gave me one of those John Waynes 'I am not going out without a fight'.  And he was not joking.  He has been on morphine since July.  The homehealth nurses that cared for him fell in love with him....I am a generous woman.  They said he would pick them up when they came out here.  Toward the end they were weeping everytime they left here and time after time they did not expect to see him again.  I told one of them I thought he was our doctor's favorite patient and they said they knew he was without a doubt.  He liked to call him the oldest hippie but it was with the most respect and love.  This same doctor wept when Morning Star passed on.  Speaking of which, that was one of the last things Don said, was that he wanted the whole world to know her.  One of the nurses asked if she were like him and I said yes, and that I had not realized till after she passed that she was like me too and that was quite a compliment to me cuz I think she is perfect.

The county accepts we are private people....ha, if they only knew, huh?  But we don't go in for funeral parlors and the usual protocol so that makes us private.  It is a local custom, and a very good one if you are raised with it, to make a viewing and funeral a social event, to laud deeds and laugh about times.  But we were afforded the respect to do it our way with great love on the part of the local people.  They astound me.  They have stopped saying "You are not from around here, are ye?"  Now they just ask where we were originally from which I believe is quite an acceptance.

Don just kept breathing shallower and shallower, asleep for about 48 hours before he left his body.  He really did not want to go.  It is hard being loved that much.  The doc said his brain was breathing for him, they believed it might have been possible because he started with such a bright mind to begin with.  But when he would wake his body could not do it.  We were all so worried he would be awake but he slipped away like it says in St John of the Cross....oh happy chance.  I got to spend some time with him before anyone in the house knew.  The first thing I told him was now he would find out how much he was loved....he never believed it.....it was my last I told you so and my best.

The funeral director set him up here in a coffin for us to make our private farewells and took him to the crematorium today.  They will cremate him Monday and we will later have a special ceremony to scatter his ashes at Morning Star's Medicine Wheel on the top of our property.

It was strange though, we have lived so fully and so openly that there really were no farewells to make, especially when I feel so strongly that he is going to pop in and out on his travels.  I do not fully understand, not in the least actually, how this whole thing works, but I do believe in the continuation of love and truth and individuality.  Reincarnation makes sense, nothing else would explain man's stupidity, but I think Don has earned his wings and that he has set his foot on a path we know nothing about yet.  But it is not there or here, it is all one in love and truth, different times and places, concepts and beings but still all part of a goodness so great no human mind can comprehend.

I do know....from experience....the body must grieve....no matter how great the understanding might be.  So I know I have that ahead.....I am still in the ...Are you sure he is not still in his body? stage.  No matter what is ahead, what is behind has been fantastic and our life together did not end on the first day of 2004.  We have been together, in this time, since 1965 and there are lots more to come for the two of us.  Something that great can have no end.

You know why we have always loved all you misfits?  Cuz you are honest, even when you are putting it on, you are honest enuf to say so.  You have filled our lives with frustrations, laughter, love, prayer, ernest effort in the love of God, new ways to perceive.  You are such an intricate part of our lives and taught us much, though some things I would have rather not known.  And I know God put us together as much as he made Don and I a union.  So I thought you might like to know more than just that he passed away and now I have to go try to get this knot out of my back.  I have a lot of healing to do, not been taking care of myself....how could I?  I feel so privileged to have been able to spend all those moments with him, the good, the bad, the better, the worse, the sickness and the health.

Much love to you all, Sande
 
 

Don and Morning Star in 1992, the year Lou came to visit us.

Love is a beautiful thing to behold.

Photos

Don & SandeLove is beautiful Don KingLove is beautiful Sande King

Photo of Don KingLove is beautifulDon, Sande & RainbowLove is beautifulDon, Lou & Family

Don in KentuckyLove is beautifulSande King in GardenLove is beautifulDon & Lou

Don KingLove is beautifulDon & Sande KingLove is beautifulDon & Sande King

Don KingLove is beautifulPeace in Kentucky Love is beautifulJanuary of '83

Rainbow, Don and SandeLove is beautifulDon & Sande King  & Family

Sande King Jan 31, 2004
Subject: Don King
I put this in our local paper.  It falls a bit short of the man, but it was really more than this community could handle.  I thought they needed to know a little.  Well, you know Kentuckians, they love us, they just can't quite comprehend us.  I am doing good, miss him but he is so present, kind of confusing.  Cold tonite, should have known if I set the alarm to get up to check the water I would never go to sleep.  Oh well, getting used to being out of my element.  What happened to your Sunday reflections?  Did I put too much sobering stuff on Most?  I really meant it when I said you write well.  Being here in Kentucky I see what you write, I wonder if others do?  love, Sande
 
 

In Memory of Donald King


You who knew him, or of him, might like to know a little of this man who thought all of you were just about as perfect as you could be.

He was born in Indiana.  He had 8 brothers and sisters, and he was the baby.  We did not know much about his dad but he was a traveling man.  Donald had a scar on his head from falling off a horse here in Kentucky when a child; so maybe he was even kin to some of you.

He grew up in Wisconsin. When he was fourteen he apprenticed as a butcher for $1 a day, 10 hours a day.  He grew up in the depression having been born in 1922.  The stories he told made me want to live back then.  He talked about the respect and love of the times, and laughed about eating cake with gravy.  He told how policemen truly were your friend and kids wanted to hear all the old stories.  He remembered and sang almost every song written from the 20’s to the 40’s.  He could play the guitar, the piano and the harmonica as well as the drums.

Don joined the Army in 1941.  He returned to the service as a Marine and became a Drill Instructor.  He served on Guadalcanal and Okinawa as well as other places until 1945.

I can’t count all the jobs he had, housing contractor, architect, salesman to owning his own business, border patrolman, bartender, abalone deep sea diver on his own boat, hauling out logs with a horse to trucking them to the mill in Washington State, sawyer, piano tuner, carpenter, trolleycar driver, streetcar driver, even cab driver.  We wrote them all down once and it filled a sheet.  But when he changed his life and people would ask what kind of work he did he liked to tell them “The Lord’s work”.

We had a highway patrolman, by the side of the road in Iowa, ask us who we thought we were.  We were barefoot, in robes that I had made of blankets, with nothing to our name but a Bible, and Don answered “God’s Children.”  That satisfied the patrolman and he asked if he could take our picture to show his wife.

Donald built us about 6 houses throughout our 39 years together.  The biggest one was here in the back of the hollow with 7 bedrooms, and a cathedral living room. One of those houses he made with nothing but an ax and a bowsaw.  His doctor liked to kid him about being the oldest hippie, flowerchild might have fit better.

When it was time to buy some land Don said we had to come back to Kentucky.  We had lived 3 years over in Turkey Neck Bend.  We almost left this hollow when that 13 room house burned down in 1985 but everyone was so loving and so giving we just couldn’t.  He loved it here, he loved you all.

One of his nurses said something about him being a man who always must have loved a lot.  He chose here to spend the last 22 years of his life because there is a whole lot of love here.

We’re different than most, some say private, but he would have had you in for coffee in a flash, anytime.  And he would have told you anything you wanted to know about his life.  You accepted our peculiarities with respect and we have always been honored by your graciousness.  Most of you have grown up knowing generations of your families, so you know your history without even thinking about it.  I thought you would like to know just a little something about this man who thought so much of you.

His eternally grateful wife,

Sandra King
 
 

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