Saturday, March 31, 2018

Fleel Like A Kid . . .

Yesterday, I CHOSE to fly a kite with my 6-year old granddaughter.

I certainly checked the box "do things that make you feel like a kid again!"

Annabeth (so excited that she could hardly stand it):  "I'm flying a monkey!"


Carpe diem Life,
Have a great weekend,
David Kuhn 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Prayer in Progress Part 12 of __?__

More potential manifesto notes / Prayer in Progress:

I live my life knowing that if I have failed in all other areas of my life if I know that I have the love of my family and friends, I am a success.

People won't remember things I say,
And they will forget a lot of things I do,
But, people will never forget how I made them feel.

Help me realize that joy and happiness lie within me and not in loving and desiring the things of this world.  The Master knows he has everything.  And so happily accepts whatever part of Everything it is that shows up in any particular moment.   He knows that all is perfect, that life is perfection playing itself out.

All things (life) are temporary.
If I find myself feeling too attached -- grasping -- to an object, I will stop and see it al already broken or gone.

Seven words that can change the world:
Be Healthy.  Be Kind. Respect the Environment.

To be continued . . .

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Prayer in Progress Part 11 of __?__

I know, this is starting to sound like that song that never ends.
But, here are a few more (and there's plenty more) notes I've taken that could someday end up in a personal manifesto.  Obviously, keep it simple is not one of them:

What will bring me joy today?

Help me laugh at myself, lighten up, and not take life too seriously.  I have flying monkeys and I'm not afraid to use them!

Inspire me to be a good role model, not a critic, to my children and all my brothers and sisters.  Grant me the wisdom, patience, tolerance, understanding, and love.  Help me to listen, speak, and live truth/honesty. 

To be continued . . .

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Prayer in Progress Part 10 of __?__

Enjoy the process.

Joy is contagious.  When I bring joy into my life, the world around me catches it.  When I inspire every thought, word, and action with pleasure and joy, I am living heaven on earth.

What random acts of kindness will I perform today?

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, March 26, 2018

Prayer in Progress Part 9 of __?__

Today is part nine of my Prayer in Progress notes.  My hope is to someday boil all this down into some sort of personal manifesto that will give my life meaning and direction.  Again, these are core values, beliefs (or at least things I think I want to believe in), what I stand for or hope to stand for, and how I intend to live my life the few years I have to remain on this earth.  The hope is that it will stand for both a statement of principles and as a call to action.  We shall see.  And who knows, I may look at some of these with fresh eyes and call bull shit!

In the meantime, I’ll share a few every day here in hopes that if one person stumbles upon this blog and reads one meaningful line, then I will have helped the world in at least one tiny way.  These are in no particular order - for now.  Again, I’m sorry that I didn’t/done always cite the author:

Mine is not a better way, mine is merely a different way.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

First, clean your own room.

May my reach far exceeds my grasp.  Remember that everyone has problems that need to be solved.  Contentment and joy come only in giving myself away.  Give me the insight to see and to listen and to hear people's needs and then serve them.

Dear God, you are like a sphere whose circumference is nowhere and whose center is everywhere.  This means that the center of God is within me and also in everyone and everything I meet today.  It is only when I see God in everything -- not only the things with which I agree but (and perhaps especially) those things with which I disagree -- do I see God at all.

To be enlightened is to be one with all things.

To be continued . . .

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Prayer in Progress Part 8 of __?__

Today I will practice patience and tolerance.

How will I treat people today?
Today and every day, I  will value people just the way they are, for this is the most important thing I can do for another human being.  I must recognize that they, too, are sovereign and free.  I will treat people and the earth with respect.

I will unconditionally extend to each person I meet -- no matter how trivial the contact -- all the kindness, compassion, mercy, grace, sharing of joy, and equanimity I can muster.

I will bless all for all is the creation of God -- are are all One. "For this I know, all things are connected, like the blood that connects our families, all things are connected."  -- Chief Seattle

Help me be a builder of dreams and not a crusher of spirits.  Judge not, but keep always my own counsel and allow others to keep theirs.  Listen, but don't judge or speak.  Do not speak unless you can improve the silence.  Silence can be misunderstood but never misquoted.

To be continued . . .

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Prayer in Progress 7 of __?__

Part 7 of __?__

When I find myself thinking that a situation is the BEST or the WORST it can be I will respond:
"Maybe so; maybe not.  We shall see."
Life is change.  All conditions are temporary.  Thsi too shall pass away.

Today I will look for and find the seed of good in every adversity.  The Law of Averages states that if I keep trying I will eventually "succeed."  Persistence.

It is what it is.  No condition is "good" or "bad," it just IS.

Everything in life in holy.  I will not condemn what I observe and call it "bad."  Rather, I will ask myself, "What about this have I judged bad, and what, if anything, do I wish to do to change it?"

To be continued . . .

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, March 23, 2018

Prayer in Progress Part 6 of__?__

These are the continuing notes for my personal manifesto -- to be edited someday:

"The pot is broken, the soup is gone, and there is nothing to do but walk on."  (From a longer story)

Everything that happens, happens for my benefit.  It's perfect. Be awake.  Each circumstance is a gift, and in each experience is a hidden treasurer. (Easier said than believed)

I must not ask "Why me?"  But instead respond, "It's perfect.  "What do I do now to take full advantage of this perfect situation?"
or "Fascinating!"

It's much easier to change what I'm doing (and thinking) than it is to change what someone else is doing.

The Universe is in balance.  The Law of Balance state that for every "negative" there is an offsetting "positive."  Yen and Yang.  When one door closes another door opens.  Am I looking for the open door -- am I seeing the perfect opportunity?

To be continued . . .

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Prayer in Progress 5 of __?__

Part 5 of __?__

"Houston, we have a problem."
Help me recognize the difference between a real problem (life and death) and an inconvenience.

I will put events into perspective, calm down, and ask, "So what?"

Manage the moment.

Every situation has a workout solution.
If the situation or problem is such that it can be remedied, then there is no need to worry about it.  Seek a solution.
Alternatively, if there is no way out, no solution, no possibility of resolution, then there is no need to worry about it because I can't do anything about it anyway.

Dear Creator, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  Living one day at a time and accepting hardships as pathways to peace.  Taking the world as it is, not as we would have it.  Know that in the end, through Your goodness and love, all things will be perfect.

It's not the event: It's how I respond to it.  Events are opportunities for me to decide, and be, who I am. 

To be continued . . .

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Prayer in Progress 4 of __?__

Prayer in Progress 

Again, just some random notes that will someday become a personal manifesto.

Part 4 of __?__

A challenge is an opportunity to:
Face it
Adapt it
It's a chance to demonstrate my determination.
Be thankful for the opportunity.

Opportunity and security are inversely proportionate: as one goes up, the other goes down.

This is a cause and effect universe; actions have consequences.  I know that with risk-taking come actions that may take me off the patch of my dreams.  I will take full responsibility for my actions and recognize that setbacks are life's way of teaching.  It's only when I take full responsibility for all that is that I can achieve the power to change any part of it.

I will stop along the way to be quiet and to contemplate my progress.  I will ask, "Am I moving toward or away from my goal?"  I will continue to reset my course until I reach my destination, knowing that when I reach the end I will always see another horizon.

To be continued . . .

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, March 19, 2018

Prayer in Progress 3 of __?__

Today (and for the foreseeable future) I'll be adding notes and quotes for my Prayer in Progress.  Someday I'll edit them into a personal manifesto of some sort.  So, here goes 3 of __?__:

I believe . . .

I may not know the answer, but I believe in my ability to solve the problem.

There is perfection in the process and all of life arises out of choice.  No one does anything he doesn't want to do.

I know I will achieve my dreams one day at a time.  Today, I will play my work and work my plan.  I will do my best to deliver more than is expected of me.  Value for value.

Time is life.  How will I achieve my goals?  Plan to W.I.N.
What's Important Now?
One step at a time.

Today, I will choose my destination. 
I will evaluate and select the best course.
I will take imaginative action and begin for
I know that every journey of a thousand mile begins with the first step.

Action@  Nothing happens until something moves!
DO IT NOW utilizing maximum utilization of available resources.

Endeavor to persevere.

To be continued. . .

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Prayer in Progress Part 2 of _?__

Today I continue my Prayer in Progress.  My hope is to someday boil all this down into some sort of personal manifesto that will give my life meaning and direction.  Again, these are core values, beliefs (or at least things I think I want to believe in), what I stand for or hope to stand for, and how I intend to live my life — the few years I have to remain on this earth.  The hope is that it will stand for both a statement of principles and as a call to action.  We shall see.

In the meantime, I’ll share a few notes every day here in hopes that if just one person stumbles upon this blog and reads one meaningful line, then I will have helped the world in at least one tiny way.  These are in no particular order - for now.  Again, I’m sorry that I didn’t/done always cite the author.

Here goes Part 2 of __?__

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow, study as if you were to live forever.” — Thomas More

“The one human freedom that can’t be taken away from us is the power to choose.”  Viktor Frankl

I’m at peace, God, knowing that you created me with a pure soul.  You are merciful and full of grace.  There is nothing that I can do to make You love me more and there is nothing I can do to make You love me less.

As I practice this life, I hope to see each person I meet as you see me.  I am no better than anyone else is; I am no worse. 
Mine is not a better way; mine is merely a different way.

I am a free and sovereign person. 

The ONE thing that I HAVE to do today is:  Breathe.

Today I will seek happiness for myself and to bring happiness to others.
Mission:  Improve self, help others, love it better than I found it.

FEAR = False Evidence Assumed Real

Endeavor to Engage (Action)
Endeavor to Risk 
Failure is fiction.  Every doing is a success.
Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.
There is no such thing as failure — only results.
Experiment. Observe. Ask:  What have I learned?

To be continued . . .

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Prayer In Progress Part 1 of __?__

While working my "A place for everything, reduce stuff, everything I choose to keep in its place" goal for this year, I stumbled on an old document that I started years ago -- and obviously forgot about.  Working title: Prayer in Progress.

They are statements of beliefs -- or at least I believed would be a good thing to believe -- in the form of a prayer.  Never intending to make this public (as public as a blog that no one reads can be) I apologize to the original authors when I've failed to cite my sources. 

I thought it might be fun to organize these notes into some sort of actual document.  And, as I go, I'm going to post the notes here.  Again, it's not exactly my hard-and-fast manifesto.  At least not yet.   And I would love to say that I live all this wise advice from scholarly sages.  I don't!  Perhaps, by making these "public" I'll work on them harder this year.

Here we go.  David Kuhn's "Prayer in Progress"  Part 1 of __?__

We'll start with Carpe diem Life (see the home page to

Life = It's my life.  Live it.

God (Great Spirit, All-That-Is, TAO, etc), thank You for this day/moment, your precious gift to me, the "present" You have given me is full of opportunity to love and to create.  Celebrate Carpe diem Life = Seize the day -- the PRESENT You have given me.

Prayer:  May all beings everywhere, with whom we are all inseparably interconnected, be fulfilled, awakened, and free.  May there be peace in this world and throughout the universe.  And may we all together complete the spiritual journey.  -- Lama Surya Das

SEE everything and give thanks.  Bless every person and every condition.

Thank you for my family and friends.  Thank you for strangers and enemies.

Thank you for my unique talents and gifts.  Help me to re-member them and the innocent child within me who enthusiastically cries out "I can do anything!"  My gifts cannot be silenced if I refuse to let it be.

To be continued . . .

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn


Friday, March 16, 2018

Helping Hand

So, I've been plinking around on my guitar for several weeks now.  I've studied a few books, watched YouTube videos, listened to CDs, etc.  Though I feel I've been making some progress, I've been feeling this need to get some human feedback. 

Enter my friend Curt.  As a musician and guitarists, he's shown an interest in my progress.  So, I asked if he'd be interested in giving me a few tips.  Like a true friend, he stepped up without condition.  Last night we visited, plucked around, and, without judgments, gave me some much-needed hands-on advice.  Nothing too intense, just enough to encourage me and to assure me that I was still heading in the right direction.

The "R" in Carpe diem Life stands for "Resources."  Yes, resources such as those mentioned above, but also teachers.  I know that I'm never going to improve unless I study and receive feedback from someone better than myself (at this stage, that's not hard to find). 

"People never improve unless they look to some standard or example higher and better than themselves." -- Tyron Edwards

Thank you, Curt, for sharing your time and talent with me. 

"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others."  --Audrey Hepburn

Carpe diem Life
David Kuhn

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


March is usually the time of year when I take a review at all the projects I want to accomplish through the year -- and recognize my failings.  Old procrastinating habits are strong dragons to slay.

Yesterday I was listening to some John Mellencamp (an Indiana boy).   I had forgotten how much I love his music.  Great guitar licks, driving drums, occasional fiddle to give it a southern Indiana folk sound.

Synchronicity event:  This morning I pick up a reference book and open it to a random page.  And here's a quote used:

What is there to be afraid of?  The worst thing that can happen is you fail.  So what?  I failed at a lot of things.  My first record was horrible.  -- John Mellencamp

The "P" in Carpe diem Life stands for Persistence.  I think after 40-plus years and 22 other albums, Mr. Mellencamp would agree.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

F'in F Chord

As I mentioned a few posts ago, one of my newest hobbies is teaching myself to play guitar.  Most of the basic chords have come pretty easily for me so far -- except one important one!

I didn't believe the books and on-line courses at first.  For example, from  Being able to play F is a really important step and one that might take a month or more of frustration. I found it really hard when I first learnt it—really hard.

How hard can it be? 

Well, let's just say that it's really frustrated me to the point of almost quitting.  But, that's not what the Carpe diem Life model is all about.  "P" stands for "Persistent Action" and that's what I'm going to do -- or at least wear my fingers down to the bone trying.
One "E" stands for "Enjoy the Process."

"Be of good cheer.  Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow.  You have set yourself a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles.  Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost." -- Helen Keller

The good news is that the F'in F chord leads later to playing something called barre chords, which is the point at which a player will ascend from being a beginner to an intermediate to an advanced guitar player. 

Today I will get back at it, suffer through the making of calluses, and enjoy the process.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, March 12, 2018

Changing Directions

We went to visit our daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids yesterday.  They live about 180 north of us in central Indiana.  A wonderful few hours visiting and playing Grandpa!

I would have loved to stay a few hours longer; however, the weather report from Evansville was 1 to 3 inches of snow, so we bugged out early.  About an hour into the trip we drove into rain, then rain mixed with snow, then snow. That's when we started to see multiple slide-off on both sides of the road!

As I start to notice all the slide-offs, I drop my speed from 70 to 60.
So far, so good.  But, within a couple of minutes, I noticed headlights in my rearview mirror very quickly growing larger.  Before I knew it there was Jeep Liberty up on my side and within a split second, he/she starts to fishtail.  I brace for impact.  Fortunately for us, it takes a quick dive toward my door and then jets down in the deep, muddy median -- another victim of the treacherous road conditions. 

What's all this have to do with Carpe diem Life? 
The "d" in Carpe diem Life stands for "direction."  As in, after evaluating the direction you're going you see that you're no longer heading toward your goal, you might need to change direction.   But, last night revealed another definition:  Sometimes, after evaluating your progress, you find that you are in fact heading down the right road in the right direction -- you just need to slow down. 

It's not all smooth sailing on the road to your goals.  You will occasionally encounter some treacherous conditions.  Choose to slow down and take it one step (or mile) at a time. 

"Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambition."  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Next time you find yourself in the middle of a snow storm on the road to your goal, slow down.  You might not reach your goal as soon as you'd like, but you won't end up in a ditch, either!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Spring Forward!

Today is the day we "Spring Forward."  I hear a lot of people complaining about "losing as an hour."  Of course, we don't actually lose an hour, unless we spend an hour complaining about it. 

We all have good thoughts, good ideas, and good intentions, but, if you're like me,  you have not translated those into ACTION. 

"Putting off the easy thing makes it hard. Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible."

-- George Claude Lorimer

Don't think of today as losing as an hour; instead, think of today as gaining the courage to take spring forward into ACTION.  The time is now!  Spring forward into action before we lose another hour!

Carpe diem Life,

David Kuhn 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A place for . . .

Though not exactly part of the Carpe diem Life acronym, one bit of old advice that I’ve been working on — and far from mastering — is:  A place for everything and everything in its place. You know, everything should have a place to be stored and that it should be tidily returned there when not in use.

From what I’ve read, this proverb is associated with several old-timers including Benjamin Franklin.

I’ve taken it one step further by adding “Reducing stuff” to the list. 

“Reduce stuff, live simply, a place for what I choose to keep, and everything in its place.”

It’s the “reduce” and “simply” part that’s giving me fits.  Oh, and I’m not doing too well on the “everything in its place” either.

Today, I’m going to CHOOSE to focus on that phrase and take ACTION. 

“In the beginning, you just need to get MOVING.   Try different things.  It’s much easier to start doing something RIGHT if you’ve already started doing SOMETHING.”  John Maxwell

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, March 9, 2018

Lead Dog!

"If you ain't the lead dog, then the view never changes!" -- Lewis Grizzard

I've never been one to want to lead; however, I do recognize that if I want circumstances to change in my life, I do need to be the lead dog in MY life.  That's the purpose of Carpe diem Life:  Make MY own CHOICES, take MY own ACTIONS, etc.

Leadership is important no matter who you are or where you lead.  Being the leader of your own life will move you to the head of the pack.  You will have earned the changing view.

Carpe diem Life,

David Kuhn 
If you ain't the lead dog, the view never changes. Lewis Grizzard
Read more at:
If you ain't the lead dog, the view never changes. Lewis Grizzard
Read more at:
If you ain't the lead dog, the view never changes. Lewis Grizzard
Read more at:

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Revisiting my first post . . .

Revisiting my first post: 

I guess it's safe to say that this blog was started nearly 2000 years ago by a man named Quintus Horatius Flaccus, better known as Horace.

Carpe diem is Latin and usually translated "seize the day."  It's taken from book 1 of the Roman poet's work Odes (23 BC).

Carpe translates "pick or pluck" used by our blogger friend Horace to mean "enjoy, seize, use, make use of".   Diem means "day".

Now, let's turn the page to 1989 when I was first introduced to Carpe diem.  It was in a darkened movie theater watching Dead Poet's Society (written by Tom Schulman).  It's about English teacher John Keating (played by Robin Williams) who inspires his students at the fictional elite conservative boarding school Welton Academy to look at poetry with a different perspective.

On the first day of school, he invites his students out of the classroom and to an unorthodox place -- the trophy cases in the halls.  After reading from a few selected poems, he has the boys peer into the cases and makes eye contact with the photos of past students long gone.

John Keating: They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? - - Carpe - - hear it? - - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.

"Carpe diem" echoed in my soul for weeks.  I bought the movie poster, a "Carpe diem" coffee mug, I even bought a "Carpe diem" ring.

Unfortunately, like many mountaintop experiences and echoes, it faded away -- and I lost the ring last year. 

Where do echoes go?  Every once in awhile, mine would whisper to me again, "Carpe diem."  Perhaps it was always there and I just wasn't listening.  Or perhaps I wasn't using the phrase and taking action.

Which brings me to today (again, a year or so later from this original post).

I've always found acronyms to be a terrific tool for remembering more complex thoughts and ideas.  What about an acronym for CARPE DIEM?  What about a tool for seizing the day and turning whispers into extraordinary experiences?

I invite you along for the journey, to listen to your whispers, to share, to be encouraged, and to encourage others, to Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day, make your lives extraordinary.

Carpe diem Life,

David Kuhn

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


What is it that drives growth?

I've been thinking a lot about that as I've been stumbling -- and failing -- at my personal growth. Laziness? Procrastination?  Stupidity?

No matter what it's labeled, it stems from too much "going with the flow" and too little INTENTIONAL PRACTICES.  Growth is a byproduct of Intentional positive practices as a daily routine.

I'm writing this today to remind myself to keep learning and growing, realizing that no plan works unless I do.  Today I will work a little harder to bridge the gap between inaction and follow through.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Another song . . .

I've been playing around with a Dylanesque song for my portfolio of songs ideas.

Here's a go at one:

Peace of Mind
(to something like Dylan’s "A Long Time Gone" or Walking Down the Line"

I’m walking on my return path
Searching for that which every man seeks
Happiness and love
Tranquility and peace

The words of the sages
Ringing in my ear
If I only stop to listen
I’ll hear it crystal clear:

Live charity
And reduce your wants
Forgive those who hurt us
And trust in Providence
Look things in the face
And know them for what they are
Be glad of life and take the time
To look up at the stars

I’m walking on my return path
Searching for that which every man seeks
Happiness and love
Tranquility and peace
The words of the sages
Ringing in my ear
If I only stop to listen
I’ll hear it crystal clear:

Despise nothing in this world
Except for falsehood and hate
Fear nothing in this world
Except for a coward’s weight
When we can’t find love
Or peace within ourself
It’s useless to seek it
Anywhere else
If there is to be any peace
It won’t come from what fills our begin’ bowls
It doesn’t dwell on outer things
We’ll only find it within our souls

We’re walking on our return path
Searching for that which every man seeks
Happiness and love
Tranquility and peace
There’s an ancient signpost up ahead
“When a man has lost happiness
He’s breathing corpse - the soul dead!
There is no cure for birth or death
Except to enjoy each moment
That you have left!”

We’re walking on our return path
Enjoy each moment
That you have left!
# # #

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, March 5, 2018

Paradox Unity

At what point are you what you say you are?

For example, yesterday I wrote about my “I am” experiment and listed a few “I ams.”
I am . . .   guitar player, writer, cartoonist, etc. even though I don’t do any of them particularly well.
My point was that if I try, even to the nth degree, then I must be that thing — at least to some degree.

But, at what point can I really call myself that?  And, is there a pro or con to labeling myself something?

The 2nd Verse of the ancient Tao Te Ching can be translated, “Under heaven, all can see beauty as beauty, only because there is ugliness.  All can know good as good only because there is evil.”

The idea of beauty produces the idea of ugliness and vice versa.
The idea of good produces the idea of bad, and vice versa.
The idea of what is a guitar player, writer, artist, etc. produces the idea of what it is not. 

What if we instead perceived all as a piece, glimpse, spark, of the perfection of oneness?

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer writes, “Effort is one piece of the whole; another piece is non-effort.  Fuse these dichotomies, and the result is effortless action without attachment to outcome.” 

If I understand that correctly, just do it without judgment or fear without being focused on the outcome.  To paraphrase the great Nike slogan, Just be.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Sunday, March 4, 2018

I Am . . .

I’ve been thinking a lot lately (about the past 30 years) about why I’m just a great list maker — but a lousy list doer.  I make my “To-Do” lists, I knock out one or two items, then fall into old inaction mode.  Perhaps it’s fear of criticism, fear of failure, or hell, even fear of success.  I don’t know.  But for some reason, all these To-Dos just hang out on paper and mock me. 

So, yesterday I decided to instead write an “I Am” list first.  Yes, I know that I need to cut the grass, but that’s just another chore I need “to-do.” However, if I do it because it’s under the heading of “I am a good steward of what I own,” then perhaps the task will be more personal and I’ll be more engaged.

In no particular order, here are a few of the “I am” categories I've come up with so far.  Note that this list does not include negatives such as lazy, stubborn, unfocused, etc.  I’m hoping that this exercise will cure some of those. 

I am:

guitarist (Even though I’ve only picked it up and started to teach myself.  More on that below)
video producer
problem solver
good steward
Buick man
family historian
euchre player
lantern builder

Admittedly, some of these are categories that many people — including myself — would judge me and say, "NO you’re not!”  For example, “You’re not a guitarist, you just picked it up!”  Or, “You’re not a writer, you don’t know proper syntax and you can’t spell!” Or . . .  well, you get the picture. 

I thought about that yesterday and here is what I wrote:

Am I “I am”
When "I am not" -- or at least people, including myself, judge as “Am not”?
Am I not always, to some degree, a certain degree of “Am”?
Aren’t we all, to some degree?  Why label, compare, judge ourselves against other “I am” sentient beings?
When we do, we don’t even begin.  Or we being and stop because we believe the label we give ourselves or we believe the label that others attach to us -- like a label on a food box -- that says, "This man/woman does not contain enough of a certain ingredient to be worthy of the title of _____________!"
I call bullshit.
It’s bold to say, “I am!” 
Today, I choose to be bold and see what happens. 

Oh, and just to tie all this into yesterday's post, listen to Harry Chapin's Flowers Are Red.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Saturday, March 3, 2018


Yesterday I wrote about working A/V at our sports arena for the Ohio Valley Conference basketball tournament.  One of the positions I ran was technical director.  A TD is the person who physically pushes all the button on a switcher to send the video and graphics to the big board. 

It’s been a month or so since I’ve run that position and when I set down to get reacquainted the switcher I immediately noticed something very strange:  The buttons all “felt” different.  I couldn’t put my finger on it at first (please don’t pardon the pun).  Turns out, it was all due to calluses.  Calluses on the tips of my fingers from practicing the guitar for the past month (see my previous post on my newest hobby). 

It was the first time that I was conscious of having earned a few calluses on the tips of my fingers.  I thought, Wow, calluses.  cool!

Calluses reminded me of one of my early music heroes:  Harry Chapin.  Chapin was a masterful storyteller and also an outspoken leader on social issues such as working to solve world hunger. 

After concerts, he would stick around and sign as many autographs as he could and talk to you for a little bit.  After one concert I mentioned that I had been working on some sequel lyrics to one of his biggest hits, Taxi.  He said, “That’s great!  Just don’t make any money off it!”

I guess what I’m trying to tie together is that, in the past couple of months, I've chosen to:  take up the guitar . . . which has reawakened my love of rhymes/poetry . . . which has led me to the writing of new “songs” . . . which has led me to start writing this blog up again . . . which as all led to some physical and mental calluses. 

Yes, there is a lot of tenderness and pain at first, but so far it’s been a hell of a ride.

To sum it all up, this is what Harry Chapin once said:

I could tell you that I get asked a lot of times how I can change the world. I've also have been asked a lot of times how I can be a rock and roll singer. And do you see what's on the end of my fingers? Calluses. And what that means is if you're willing to play the guitar night in, night out, for audiences of three people when you're coming up and finding that even your mother says, "Pbbb, it doesn't sound very good." The point is very simple - if you care enough, you can have an impact, because in the long run we're not sure about a prior life or an after life, we're all hoping for that. But what we can do is maximize what we have in this brief flicker of time in the infinity and, and try to milk that and be hungry in a different kind of way, hungry for experience, hungry for meaning. And you can be terribly, terribly effective if you want to be!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, March 2, 2018

Basketball, Egos, Leadership

One of my jobs is working Audio/Video at our Sporting Arena, The Ford Center.  

This weekend is the big Ohio Valley Conference Championships -- 14 basketball games in four days.  Brutal work schedule, but rewarding and fun.

This is a new converence for us and we, as a production team, seem to be having problems undertanding many of the limitations that league officials are putting on us.  In an attempt to keep the "on-air" as neautral as possible, they are really limiting our story telling ability during the game.  I won't go into details, but I'll just say that the demands are counterintuitive to what we usually do during a production.  The result:  A lot of egos on headsets trying to fight the system.   Myself included.

All of this has reminded me of a couple of lessons: 

1)  The need to let go of your ego.  Great leaders are not in the game for personal gain, they lead in order to SERVE people.
2)  They great John Wooden was a hall-of-fame leader long before he was a hall-of-fame coach.

Two more days of basketball.  Today I vow to let my ego go and be a better leader.  After all, mine is not a better way, mine is merely a different way.  

Carpe diem Life,

David Kuhn


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Songs and "Fake News"

I wrote yesterday about my newest hobby:  Learning to play guitar.

This exercise has also sparked my interest in expressing myself in writing.  Not essays, but lyrics (okay, poems set to music).  As a gift back to Tim, I've been writing a song a month to create a fictitious album titled Celery Road.  So far we have:

"Celery Road"
"Rest Tight Citizens"
"The Great Onyx Cave"
"Fake News"

The first few are more personal odysseys.  But, because every album needs some sort of social protest piece, I give you "Fake News"

They all say “We’re on your side”
We feed them profits
Yet they feed us lies

Nothing you can believe
On the web, radio,
Print or TV

Satan has gotten to them
Spinning the truth
We’re all condemned

Fox Reports, you decide?
Is it the true
Or is it lies?

CNN: The most trusted name in news?
Well if that’s the truth
Then we’re all screwed!

Special Reports and Breaking News
A ratings win
But we all lose

These are claims politicians make
But we can’t trust them either
For the truth’s sake

Truth be told we’re all on trial
Just look at social media
We’re guilty, too, of spreading this vile!

What’s this world coming to
Media’s got me singing
The Fake News Blues
Got me singing
The Fake News Blues

What’s this world coming to?
I’ve finally learned the truth . . .
it’s time to quit . . . Exposing myself . . .

Time to turn on the media and Carpe diem Life
David Kuhn