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Sullygram...September & October 2011 newsletters
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Author:  Thomas (Sully) Sullivan [ Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:49 am ]
Post subject:  Sullygram...September & October 2011 newsletters

NOTE: There are 2 Sullygrams below. Due to the broken October 2011 Sullygram link following this one, I have moved it to the end of the September Sullygram here.

The afterghosts of spectacular summer sunsets are stealing through the woods, leaving residues of light. Greens are turning incredibly deep in the dews and damps, and you can smell the vitality. Every silhouette seems vivid in the crystal air, and yet if you try to focus on the green it starts to glow and pulse like foxfire. Autumn has its magic, doesn't it?

What is the most perfect and pure thing you did this summer? My moment of purity was kneeling in a storm. It was a cleansing storm. A healing storm. The rain came down like broken glass, and I knelt in the mud letting all the pain I’d ever felt bleed out. Some of the pain returned with the moon that night, but it seemed purified and sweet somehow. There are hurts you should never give up, because they are the flip side of everything you will ever know about life's high water marks. Save your wounds and rekindle them now and then when you dare to dream or hope.

For all that, it's been a summer of joys and laughs. Many, many adventures – full-spectrum. Hope yours has been as meaningful and energetic.

Hey, wanna great way to lose weight? I can recommend flying over the handlebars of a bike, which I have now achieved at some cost to my sternum, ribs, wrists, knees, elbows, hands and chin. Trust me, once you have accomplished this, you will not feel like cooking for a while. Trouble is I didn't need to lose weight. Amazing coincidence, last year rocker Tommy D crashed his bike 100 yards from where I flipped mine and broke his wrists, plus drove a tooth through his jaw. Ah, this too shall pass. Physically, I heal really, really fast.

Last month's Q&A column over on StorytellersUnplugged brought in a large amount of mail, so I'm doing more of it this month. Feel free to send in your question(s) – [email protected] . Any kind of question is fine, and I won't use your name. The ones sent so far range from fundamental writing topics to queries hotter than two rabbits having sex in a sock. I'll try to take them all on. The title of this month's column is SEX & ROMANCE, BORING BINGES, and WHY MOSQUITOES SHOULDN’T HAVE GUN PERMITS. Here's the link: http://storytellersunplugged.com/thomas ... n-permits/

I like to canoe to the lip of a small waterfall behind my house. Three of the photos below capture that approach and the quick turn at the edge of the drop. The photo of the twin princesses flanking the ogre was shot at my adoptive family's house – Norby Nation. That's Julia on my left and Emma on my right. Three other photos are taken inside my house. I am sporting an outback hat sent as a gift by my Aussie friends, interviewer Grant Soosalu and Fiona, following their recent visit. And after receiving many e-mails about a picture taken from a 10 m diving platform that went with my August column over on StorytellersUnplugged, I've decided to include a Blast from the Past photo each month. The one below where I'm wearing the cowboy hat is a favorite from a few years back. That's a real champion rodeo cowboy next to me – my dear amigo the illustrious Fred Bean, grandson of renowned Hanging Judge Roy Bean. The photo was taken at a poker game hosted by writer Loren Estleman at his house in Whitmore Lake, and, yeah, Fred is reaching for my winnings…

NOTE: If this is a mirror site and you don't see the photos, you can see them here: http://www.thomassullivanauthor.com/new ... 62011.html

Wishing you some perfect moments this month. It's in your power to seize that magic. You just have to return to the freedom you were born with. If you feel captured by a world you have grown into, you can at least carve out a sanctuary for yourself every day. That's what I started doing years ago when I realized that I was living a life by force of will that my heart rejected. Often that's the way it is. The world brainwashes us in order to dictate what we should keep faith with, even against the wishes of our heart. Seems to me, if your heart's not in it, you're not really living. So I gave my heart a seat at the table just so that I could survive. And that's when a funny thing happened. My brain thought that made sense. That made my heart feel fearless and honest. And that in turn made my brain more free and independent. After that, the magic just grew and grew. Like I said, wishing you some perfect moments…

Thomas “Sully” Sullivan

10-16-2011 Newsletter

Leaves are flowing off the trees like gold doubloons, after being pinched by Jack Frost last night. Or maybe they’re just suffering heat prostration in this 85° October. O-oo! there goes another scarlet boa in the sultry breeze, streaming off a slippery elm in a strip-treese. I love it when nature goes naked. Funny, we think of spring as the time for passion, but fall is when the seeds get planted. Randy squirrels in tandem pursuit, antlered testosterone taking a stand in the woods (the buck stops here). Then, nine months later, more or less, we have a spring birth-a-thon. But whether you want a wry peep at nature’s porn or you revel in a walk through cyclones of gold and crimson leaves on a windy day, there’s still time to celebrate the season…

It's truly amazing and heartening to hear from so many of you out there who are conquering personal challenges. I'd like to pass that inspiration along, even though I can't go into anyone’s details. Whether you are dealing with an emotional crisis, psychological lows, or a physical limitation, trust me, you have legions for company, and the certainty I see is that the power to maximize lives comes inevitably from within. Whether it's some deeply disappointing aspect of your life or adjusting to something like blindness or a wheelchair, your situation has no more control over you than your own thoughts and attitudes. And I appreciate the concern for my own cracked ribs, but that circumstance hasn't slowed me down much. Six weeks now since I went over the handlebars, and I'm already back roller skiing, biking, etc. It gave me the opportunity to play a helluva lotta sax – if very softly for the first 2-3 weeks J – and to rediscover hiking (if I circle this city one more time, all the walls will fall down).

Over on StorytellersUnplugged I'm giving away free passports to magical journeys in my column this month http://storytellersunplugged.com/thomas ... ncidences/ . No TSA patdown, and you get a dry run from a recent itinerary. Don't know the modes of transportation or the destination, but here's the sample lead-in for one of the ports-of-call from my own memories: “…remember, this really happened and you're borrowing my life, so you have to understand a little personal histoire first. The exact spot where I'm standing is sacred ground to me, a place where on March 27, years ago now, I spent the most miraculous afternoon of my life. So I've never stopped revisiting it or celebrating its magic. It was very much like the romantic idealism of the forest scene in the movie Avatar…” Hit the link above to connect with the rest of it; and please feel free to post a comment.

And a blanket “thank you” for everyone world-wide who sent in killer questions for future Q&A columns. Thinking of doing another next month.

Photo images from different people and places from this last year are still sifting together like autumn leaves from different trees, so I'll drop a few on you below. The first two – including one of my son-in-law/daughter/grandson – are from our Mt. Hood trek in Oregon. The next two are from skinny skiing the Sawtooth Mtns with my life-long friend Bruce in Idaho. The next four are from the Dominican Republic, including a shot of the church school I was working on. And there's my Aussie friend Grant, who many of you will remember from our Crow-Hassan/Elm Creek/Crosslake adventures, on board a yak in Mongolia. The next two are from the speaking trip to Norway. And, as promised, the last one is this month's Blast from the Past photo. Some of you may recall another life-long friend Pete Adams, who lives on a remote beach in Tasmania and occasionally pops up in our adventures recounted in Sullygrams and columns. Yeah, we somehow crammed ourselves into a photo booth, and it was a looooo-ong time ago.

NOTE: If this is a mirror site and you don't see the photos, you can see them here: http://www.thomassullivanauthor.com/new ... 62011.html

Last but not least, special thanks to water polo guru & historian Chuck Hines for the many kind things he says about me in his weekly Watery Whiz updates from Asheville, NC. Double down on that for Suzanne Beecher's Dearreader.com where I guest-columned this month. Suzanne is closing in on a half million readers a day. And a final thank you for the sterling tributes on The1000Best. Sometimes the world is a warm & fuzzy place, even for someone like me who belongs to the ice & snow.

Thomas “Sully” Sullivan

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