Clue #3, Compassion at Breakfast

I’ve known for years that an essential stepping stone on the path to realizing our full potential is compassion, but I was amazed – at breakfast during a recent retreat – to watch as layers of confusion were pealed away to reveal the true nature of compassion and it’s enormous power to transform lives.

There are specific meditiation techniques for developing compassion and I had always bristled a bit at that… Continue reading

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A Sad, Sad, Sad Farewell

I am in shock that I must again interrupt this journal to say farewell to another soul who has been taken from us.  In life there are events of which we can make no sense whatever, and to lose someone like Casey who had so much to offer the world, who had such a love and joy of living, is far more than we can bear or understand.  We ask why.  Can it be merely that a dark night, a narrow road, wet weather and the coincidence of two vehicles attempting to negotiate the same curve from opposite directions conspired to change the lives of hundreds of family and friends in an instant?  It is a question I have asked many times and I despair of ever finding an answer.  Nick Perry, a young man I had the privilege of working with and mentoring, died of a heart condition 10 days before his 21st birthday.  Nick had more love of life, more compassion for others and more promise and passion in our trade of building instruments of music than anyone I have known before or since.   Then there was David Kluge, a boy of 14 in our town, who was active in sports, a high honors student and a violinist.  Sadly, David died recently in his home.  Nothing you can say, nothing I can think of gives me any confidence that I will ever comprehend these tragic losses. Continue reading

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Goodbye Carl

This afternoon we said goodbye to Carl Goodwin.  At first I thought it would be odd to attend a funeral for someone I never knew.  Carl’s daughter Heidi is a good friend and we really wanted to be there for her.  As it happened, for the duration of the ceremony I found myself standing right in front of the granite marker  for Heidi’s Mom who had died in 1987, and as I gazed at that stone I was painfully aware that Heidi had now lost both parents.  I thought of my own parents, and I would give anything to have either or both of them back again, but I would not ever wish to give up the experiences that resulted from their passing from this life.  This journey began with a gift from my Mom.  We had driven the 320 miles to my folks house Continue reading

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