Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Few would dispute the beauty of a butterfly. These fragile little creatures take flight on wings colored from the rainbow, delighting observers young and old. We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely notice or admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

The butterfly is one of God's most gorgeous creatures, and its life cycle is much like our own. Its fragile beauty is deceiving, for it is much stronger than it appears, as are we.

It struggles for life and goes through many changes before becoming a creature of great beauty, as do we. From the egg, comes the ugly, hungry, charmless and hard working caterpillar. But at some time, the life in the form of the busy caterpillar is over, and it goes into a cocoon. It emerges, more beautiful, more amazing, more glorious than could ever be imagined, as do we.

There are many species, different and yet much alike, having the same needs and reaching for the same goals throughout life, as do we.

We have a butterfly garden, and each morning we are more and more amazed at the beauty of the butterfly, and each day that I go out and walk among the butterflies, I feel as if I am getting a glimpse of the glory to be revealed. I am amazed with their purity and innocence. No one has ever been harmed by a butterfly. I can sense their delight as they so elegantly dance among the blossoms; long forgotten is their caterpillar past.

Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine.

Standing among the butterflies, tends to cause me to dream; I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Richest Man in Town

As little kids, a conversation as simple as: 'Can you make Space Dust come out of your nose?' can be the foundation of a lifelong friendship.

As grownups, it is usually a camaraderie for something that bonds people together.

We make many friendships in a lifetime I guess, but only ever likely to maintain a handful. Very few stand the test of time. Somehow we get disconnected from each other. We get married, we move away, and life happens. It's so difficult to make new friends. The trouble is, as you get older you are more demanding about who you want to spend time with.

I have learned through the unavoidable task of self evaluation, that, the truth is, we are connected, like it or not. No man is an island. My life is in yours and yours in mine. We have invested our love and our passion in so many lives, in so many places, in so many seasons. We have even, on occasion, thrown caution to the wind, diving headlong, vulnerable, just to give of ourselves, mixed motives and all - admittedly. And we also have received much, maybe not always even noticing, nevertheless we know beyond a doubt, it was love that was given to us.

In my self evaluation, I have found that your love and your friendship are the sources of the most of my smiles. It is you who brings joy to my life. You enrich me in ways I often failed to notice. But now I am on to you, and just want to say thank you, for making me the richest man in town.

See you soon....Ric

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I remember where I was in August 1977 when the news came down. I was 22years old, in Lubbock TX, stocking the shelves on Aisle 1 in the grocery store I worked at when I heard the news - the King was dead. Like the world, I couldnt believe it. And a quarter-century later, I would love nothing more than to go back in time just to be in his audience one more time. Elvis's beauty, power, and lack of calculation make him one of music's enduring greats. Some argue Elvis was less an artist than contemporaries because he didn't write his own songs or push the envelope with the knowing sense of purpose that they did. Even some of those who grant Elvis his '50s greatness will argue that it was all but canceled out by his sad manipulation at the hands of the Colonel and decade-and-a-half-long artistic decline, a deceleration that could only be halted by an almost merciful death.

But I say cleanse your mind of extraneous images of white leather or those very large belt buckles. Picture the naive young man so pretty he can still make the men take notice,accidentally inventing rock and roll, and pretend that that moment is an eternal one. From the very first recordings on Sun records, we knew he was important and inadvertently heroic. He was something special. If only we had performers today with this combination of gut instincts and pure lack of calculation, the music might not be stuck on the evolutionary ladder the way it is now.

And what of the fat Elvis? I say we have to embrace the fat as well as the skinny Elvis. We need to block out our pictures of the declining Elvis while we're reveling in the youthful joy of the early work -- and then remember them when we suppose that our own lives are destined to be portraits of unyielding greatness.

It's the singer, not the song.
He didn't write songs like Dylan or Lennon and McCartney. But he could deliver them. He made us feel the song, as if we had written it ourselves. No one could make us feel a song like Elvis did. So here's to Elvis -- eternal proof that it's the singer, not the song. And may we always remember where we were when we first really ''got'' ''In the Ghetto,'' ''Heartbreak Hotel,'' or whatever it was that made us realize that Elvis is still alive.

Take care....Ric