The point we have reached in this country

This is an audio that Pro Publica obtained from the inside of a child detention center in Texas. It’s heartbreaking. Children as young as a year are being separated from their parents at the border. This is a trump policy, not a democratic policy, and trump could end it immediately. But he wants funding for his border wall, so he uses these children as a political weapon.

This is the point we’ve reached as a country.  Now some of these kids are going to be placed in tent cities. If you’re a parent, imagine what this feels like. Even if you don’t have kids, think about the parallels between this and Nazi Germany. What’s next? The internment of journalists, of anyone who criticizes trump? Disagrees with him?

As the protagonist in The Handmaid’s Tale said, “How did we get to this point?”



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AURUM is Golden

In ancient times, scholars from India to Greece and Egypt described not only four elements comprising the physical world—earth, water, fire and air—but they also referred to a mysterious ‘fifth essence’ that was beyond the physical realm and linked us to the spirit world. In various cultures, the fifth essence was called akashi, aether, or the void. In fact, it was thought that all of creation, including humans, consisted of these five elements.

The fifth essence played a role in alchemy, the predecessor to the science of chemistry, that involves the transmutation of base metals into gold.There have been no shortage of confusing, coded formulas for doing so over the centuries, but alchemy also reaches into a realm beyond the everyday world. To succeed with the process requires the alchemist to undergo a spiritual transformation…through the fifth essence. The creation of gold ultimately becomes secondary to the transmutation of the alchemist who discovers the ‘philosopher’s stone’ and the elixer of life.

In my novel, FIFTH ESSENCE, a modern-day alchemist vanishes, as did his predecessor and the predecessor before that one—a renowned French alchemist named Fulcanelli. Meanwhile, a decades-old secret government project seeks the elixer and searches for the missing alchemists. The name of that project is Aurum, a Latin word that means golden.

Recently, I was making one final reading of the novel before it came out in print and near the end Aurum plays a major role. As I finished making minor corrections, I walked out into the kitchen, sat down, and there in front of me was Trish’s most recent issue of Mountain Astrologer. It was open to an article called, THE SOLAR BEACON, and the author to my surprise was named Aurum. Just one word, an apparent pseudonym.

The article included an odd editor’s note that said, in part, that the article was for entertainment and critical thinking. “The author is merely transmitting Neptune’s passage through Pisces by mixing fact with fiction and, as is happening everywhere these days, leaving it to the reader to decide which is which.” The note also included this head-scratcher: “Readers are advised that Aurum (astrologer and entertainer) does not exist.”

My mystery novel (about Aurum rather than by Aurum) is also meant for entertainment, and—I guess—critical thinking if you want to look into the history of alchemy. What I tried not to do was what writers of both alchemical and astrological texts are often notorious for accomplishing. That is, writing in a code that the reader must understand before making sense of what was being written. Hopefully, I’ve succeeded so that you don’t have to be an alchemist to understand what’s going on in my mystery and you can enjoy it without knowing much of anything about alchemy.

Paperback, $12.99, Kindle $4.99, at Amazon.

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The premise of Travelers, a Netflix series, is an intriguing time travel story. People from several centuries in the future, where the world is a climate change mess,   project their consciousness into individuals in the 21st century who are at the brink of death, and take over their bodies. In essence, the bodies of the 21st century individuals become hosts for these future travelers, who move into the personal lives of their hosts with all the emotional complications.

The group of Travelers the show focuses on are: the team’s leader, who assumes the life of an FBI agent; the team’s historian whose host is a college heroine addict; the team’s medic, an intellectually challenged woman; the team’s tactician, a single mom black woman whose partner is an abusive cop; and the team’s engineer, who assumes the life of a rebellious high school athlete. The characters are well drawn and developed.

Grant MacLaren, Traveler 3468, the FBI dude, is played by Eric McCormack, who seems to be made for this role. He has the charm of Mulder in the X-Files, a character as complex as the show itself as these travelers from the future become immersed in the lives of their hosts. But that’s part of what makes this show work so well (and we’re into the second season). These travelers are manipulated (guided, duped) by the Director, an AI in the distant future who chooses the 21st century hosts for its people.

Travelers has that edgy and different backdrop – time travelers from the future, not time travelers going into the past – that sucks me in immediately. The technology they bring with them is impressive – quantum entanglement (the way they project consciousness from the future into the 21st century hosts), medical techniques they use to heal their own, the coms implanted in their necks that enable them to communicate with each other. And their loyalty to the Director, which may ultimately prove to be their undoing.

The show’s writers have really done their job with this series. They know their characters. They have a story arc that should carry them through at least 5 seasons, and hopefully more. Many of the episodes end with a cliff hanger that leaves me gasping for air. I haven’t felt like this since the first episode of X-Files many years ago.

There are occasional glitches, spots where some event or situation doesn’t make sense. But overall, I love this show. The writers have done a stellar job! And it has been renewed for a third season!

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Blade Runner: NOW & trump


Blade Runner, 1982. The original version with Harrison Ford was set in 2019, just next year! At the time, it seemed visionary, edgy, and the theme, of course, was and is still current: the domination of corporations over every facet of our lives. Thank you, Philip K. Dick, who wrote the book on which the movie was based: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Blade Runner 2049, the sequel, was too long and meandering. The optics were vastly improved, the idea was still intact, but the message, I think, was lost.

So let’s take USA, summer 2018, and call it Blade Runner: Now. Even though we aren’t chasing replicants, we’re pursuing answers about whether the trump campaign was colluding with foreign governments to win the 2016 election and obstructing justice. If Philip K. Dick were still alive, he probably would be writing for The Atlantic or The New York Times and trump would take to Twitter to try to discredit and humiliate him. But his attempts would backfire, this reporting would win Pulitzers,  the movie would be watched by hundreds of millions. Philip would keep writing and exploring the secrets of the most corrupt administration in history.

From Salon: “Donald Trump’s White House is on pace to becoming the most corrupt and scandal-ridden administration since at least Richard Nixon’s — and perhaps in the entire history of the country. Rather than “draining the swamp,” Trump has ushered in a new age of corruption in Washington that reminds one of the brazen and widespread corruption of the gilded age.”

At some point about a year into trump’s presidency, the press attitude toward him shifted from Oh, what a silly buffoon  to He’s a threat to democracy. He’s the guy whose morning tweets set the scandal and big distraction for the day – how it’s all a witch hunt, fake news, a disgrace, there was an FBI spy in the campaign…and on and on. And it’s not just the press who are finally calling out trump for the despot he is. James Comey does it in his book A Higher Loyalty. James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence and of the Defense Intelligence Agency, a career intelligence officer, also defines trump in the same way in his book, Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence.

 When Clapper was on Rachel Maddow’s show, he talked openly about how the Russians influenced the election for a trump win and wrote about it in his book. “Surprising even themselves, they (the Russians) swung the election to a Trump win. To conclude otherwise stretches logic, common sense, and credulity to the breaking point. Less than eighty thousand votes in three key states swung the election. I have no doubt that more votes than that were influenced by this massive effort by the Russians.”

As a country, we’re headed into perilous territory, where this experiment called democracy is being tested at every twist and turn. Every day, someone on trump’s team is spinning, redefining laws and protcols. Rudy Gulliani, the newest addition to trump’s legal team, claims a sitting president can’t be indicted. Really? That would mean that if a sitting president committed murder, he would get a pass? That’s not democracy; it’s the world of dictators and authoritarian governments.

Every day, trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, daughter of self-righteous religious nut Mike Huckabee, stands before the White House press corp and TV cameras and lies through her pretty white teeth. Every day, the republican congress sits on their collective hands and turns their collective head away from facts and truth and do nothing to stop this slow erosion of the very institutions that exposed Richard Nixon and Watergate. Pundits talk about the infamous Saturday Night Massacre during the Nixon administration and how we’re approaching a constitutional crisis now.

But the truth is uglier: I think we’re already at that crisis point. As the protagonist of the Handmaid’s Tale remarks, “How did we get here?”

We got here because most of us have never lived under an authoritarian government. We’ve enjoyed the 1st amendment, the freedom to speak our minds. We’ve lived freely with the bill of rights. The 4 in 10 Americans who still support trump don’t care about shady and possibly illegal payoffs to porn stars or how he and his admin may have colluded with a foreign government or obstructed justice. They don’t understand how his policies hurt them in terms of health care, tax cuts, trade, wages, employee rights. They don’t understand because they don’t pay attention.

Instead, they blame Obama, Clinton, the “liberal agenda.”

But trump  is the ultimate trickster and unless something shifts dramatically – and soon – then the joke is on us. We become a third world, autocratic country ruled by a cruel clown who bows to dictators like Putin and empowers corporations just as Philip K. Dick envisioned in the original Blade Runner.

But now I wonder if even Dick could have imagined Blade Runner: Now, starring the likes of trump and his gang.




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Singing or Slinging in Singapore

It was on, it was off, it was on…off…and finally it’s actually happening. Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump are in Singapore for their summit this week. Just getting the Americans to meet Kim is a big win for him. It’s never happened and his family regime has been the most isolated and belligerent country in the world. Politically, in the U.S. it took someone like Trump to do it. If Obama had tried it, of course the Republicans would have called him weak and selling out the country, and no doubt worse. But these are strange times, very strange.

Trump wants to denuclearize North Korea, and Kim wants American troops out of the South. Most likely the results will be seen as a starting point in negotiations. The North Koreans are wary. After all, Trump in two years in the presidency has become known as a deal breaker, not a deal maker, as he advertised himself. We are out of the Trans-Pacific, the Paris Climate Accord, and Iran Deal. All bad deals, Trump says. We’ll see how he does.

I decided to write about the summit after seeing a related post in a FB synchronicity site by our friend, Philip Merry. Philip  is a psychologist who wrote his Phd thesis on synchronicity and was a fan of our book, The 7 Secrets of Synchronicity. It might not be a synchro, but it is certainly a curious fact that he lives in Singapore just two miles from the site of the summit. That is certainly reason to prompt a keen interest! Phillip was very much like to see this summit succeed and the North denuclearized.

To that end, he is asking all of us to take part in a 3-minute Heart Meditation for Peace Talk Success. Here it is:

1. Breathe deeply and take your breath to your heart.
2. Call to mind a scene in your life where you have experienced profound healing of differences and let this feeling resonate in your heart while still breathing deeply.
3. Bring to mind the faces of Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump and send your deep reconciling heart feeling to them – intending that their talks in Singapore are driven by profound love and care for the future of humanity.
4. Finish your meditation with the words “May heartfelt peace surround every word, feeling, thought and action that comes from Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump today”

Maybe I’m throwing cold water on this effort, but I have a difficult time bringing to mind the faces of those two. Kim runs a murderous regime and is a fanatic and Trump is hollowing out America’s liberal democratic tradition. I told Philip that his meditation was a tall order considering who these two men are.

Here is how he responded:

“Hi Rob, whatever the outcome – its about keeping faith with the notion that heart-felt intentions can change the world – am sure you believe (even a little) that we have the power to influence events? I know you do as i have been reading again only yesterday your “Sensing the Future”(wonderful book) – and if we can predict the future its not such a jump to believe that we can influence it.”

I replied that I agreed, but noted an ancient Chinese proverb: If the wrong person uses the right means, the right means will work in the wrong way.

Philip conceded my point, but added: “Thank god that heart energy connects with a higher quantum vibration.”

Of course, we should hope for the best results. Anything is better than nuclear war, even if Trump’s success would help him get re-elected. My guess is that when this summit ends, Kim was be hanging onto his nukes, and he will open a door to foreign investments, ie. McDonalds. I’m not sure that would be a great win for Trump, but he will call it a first step.


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Trump Spoof

This video was made by a friend, as a satirical take on trump. Since his You Tube channel is new, he went to a company to buy likes/followers – the same thing people do for Instagram and Twitter. But the company told him to “keep his money.”  And within an hour, the video received nearly 400 thumbs down. It looks as if the company is a big trump supporter and enlisted  people to vote thumbs down on the video.

Interesting way to censor.


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Anthony Bourdain

Whenever celebrities and other well-known people die, by whatever means, there are frequently synchronicities related to their deaths. Anthony Bourdain, the host of CNN’s fantastic show Parts Unknown, was found dead in a hotel room in France on June 8. The cause of death was suicide.

The week before, he bought a painting from John Lurie, entitled “The sky is falling, I’m learning to live with it.”

As Lurie tweeted:

Anthony Bourdain walked into my home without a hint of ego.
I loved him in seconds.
A truly decent man.
We needed him.


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OM Mani Padme Hum

As you might’ve guessed from the title of this post, the Sanskrit lettering above, located on a mountainside in Central Asia, spells out OM Mani Padme Hum, one of the best known Buddhist and yoga mantras or chants. The image can be found near the city Kyzyl, which is the capital of the Tuva Republic in Russia. Kyzyl, which is 6,240 miles from South Florida where we reside, is considered the exact center of Asia and the city even has a monument boasting about its central locale.

If you translate the mantra—OM Mani Padme Hum—OM is the imperishable sound of the universe at creation. (People chant OM to resonate with the universe.) Mani means jewel. Padme means lotus and Hum is the sound of triumph when all beings become enlightened. So translated literally OM Mani Padme Hum means A Jewel in a Lotus. So why would people go around saying A Jewel in a Lotus, A Jewel in a Lotus…over and over again?

That translation is accurate, but it doesn’t really explain the meaning, especially to Western minds. It’s about transformation to a higher state of being. It’s the Big Bang of self-development.  The jewel within the lotus represents a secret truth about the mystery of life. It’s a prayer for all sentient beings to become enlightened.

So what is the world’s largest mantra doing on the side of a barren hill in Siberia? Apparently a sect of Buddhists in southern Russia at some time in the past sent out the message to the world.

Actually, it’s quite common in India, Nepal and Tibet to see the mantra carved on rocks, known as mani stones. The mantra is also written on paper and inserted into prayer wheels.  It’s said that by doing so, the effect is the same as reciting the chant numerous times as it spins about in the prayer wheel.

If you want to try chanting the mantra, you can have an fun and trance-like experience by chanting along with MC Yogi on his song, Prayer Wheel, in which he repeats the mantra over and over.  See if you can keep up to him when the rapper/yogi picks up the pace.


The Jewel in the Lotus is also the title of my meditation book. I can’t forget to say that!





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When Fiction and Reality Collide

1974, California, USA — A photograph released by the FBI shows Patricia Hearst, granddaughter of newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, with a machine gun, standing in front of a symbol of the Symbionese Liberation Army. She was kidnapped and brainwashed by the Symbionese group, and, calling herself Tania, she participated in robbery and extortion under duress. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

In 1972, Regency Press published a novel, Black Abductor, by Harrison James, pseudonym for James Rusk Jr. It’s about a terrorist group led by a black man who kidnapped a college student, Patricia. Her wealthy father was well known and had right-wing sympathies.

In the novel, Patricia was kidnapped near campus while she was with her boyfriend, and was badly beaten by the abductors. For a while, he was a suspect in the case. The fictional Patricia initially resisted her captors but eventually subscribed to their ideology and became a champion of their cause. The terrorists sent Polaroid photos to her father and described the abduction as America’s “first political kidnapping.” They predicted they eventually would be surrounded by police, tear-gassed, and wiped out.

Two years after the book was published, in 1974, Patricia Hearst – daughter of newspaper baron Randolph Hearst and then a college student – was abducted from her apartment near campus. The kidnappers were members of the Symbionese Liberation Army, a terrorist group led by a black man. Her boyfriend, Steven Weed, was with her at the time and was badly beaten and became a suspect in the case. Patricia Hearst, like the fictional Patricia, became a sympathizer of her abductors’ cause. She ended up robbing a bank with her kidnappers and was photographed carrying an MI carbine.

The FBI was either familiar with the novel or had read it and the author became a suspect in the case. The real abductors were eventually surrounded by the police, tea-gassed, and killed, just as the fictional kidnappers predicted they would be. All of this begs the question: had the terrorists read the novel? Or was this an instance where a creative edge enabled an author to sense the future so deeply that he uncovered stunning details identical to those that came about two years later?

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The Man Who Could Fly

His name was Joseph Desa and he was born in Copertino, Italy in 1603. At age 9, Joseph fell ill and developed gangrene. He was crippled and bed-ridden for five years. Trapped in his body, he began experiencing vivid ecstatic visions. He entered trances easily, especially when listening to church music, when his head fell back and his mouth fell open. The townsfolk considered him to be a half-wit. After failing at his apprenticeship as a shoe maker,  he decided to enter a monastery. The Franciscans rejected him for his lack of education, but was accepted by the Capuchin friars as a lay brother in 1620. However, he was dismissed by the Capuchins when his ecstatic experiences continued.

He scorned by his family for his odd behavior and angry outbursts, he pleaded to the Franciscans Copertino to allow him to work in their stables. He did so for several years and so impressed the friars with his devotion and simplistic lifestyle that they allowed him into the order in 1625 and three years later he was ordained as a priest. He was then sent to the Madonna delle Grazie, Gravina in Puglia where he spent the next 15 years.

It was during this period when Joseph began to fly as his ecstatic experiences multiplied. He would levitate during mass and at other church events. He gained a reputation as a holy man from the people in the region. But he was considered a disruptive force by his superiors and church authorities. After all, people who could fly were considered witches by the Inquisition and Joseph was denounced and isolated in a small cell where he would have no contact with the populace.

At the orders of the Inquisition, he was transferred  to Assisi (1639–1653), then briefly to Pietrarubbia and finally to Fossombrone, where he lived with  the Capuchin friars (1653–57). He practiced a severe asceticism throughout his life, usually eating solid food only twice a week, and adding bitter powders to his meals.

He died in 1657, Joseph was beatified in 1753 and canonized in 176 as St. Joseph of Copertino. He is considered the patron saint of air travelers, aviators, astronauts, people with a mental handicap, and test takers.

Over the years, thousands of people witnessed Joseph levitating. Skeptics, however, Don’t believe it because they are convinced that no human can levitate. So they contend that the witnesses were exaggerating, that they made the claim years after Joseph had died. That he was an agile gymnast that leaped in the air…and finally that he ate poison bread that caused him to hallucinate and believe he was flying. Apparently, a lot of others were eating from that same loaf!

The 19th century psychologist William James once penned: “If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you mustn’t seek to show that no crows are; it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white.” Joseph is the ‘white crow’ of levitation. To paraphrase James: To upset the law that no human can levitate, it is enough if prove that one person can levitate.

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A Global Synchro about Racism

A global synchro, as we defined it in 7 Secrets of Synchronicity, is something most of us understand. “When synchronicities manifest themselves through global events, the universe seems to be addressing us as a collective.” Here’s an example.

On January 15, 2009 at 8:00 p.m., the president (Bush) gave his final speech to the nation. In a presidency defined by the repercussions of planes slamming into the WTC, it was intriguing that just five hours earlier, U.S. Airways flight 1549 crashed into the Hudson River, a short distance from the site of 9-11. Yet, the landing was near perfect, and all 135 passengers survived.

The first rescue boat to reach the scene was named after Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. He was a staunch supporter of the separation between church and state, a man consistently ranked as one of our best presidents. After 8 years of flagrant abuse of power, a disastrous war of choice, torture, rendition flights, & the erosion of civil rights, it was as if the “miracle on the Hudson” was an assurance from the universe that we would all come through intact. It’s no small irony that 5 days later, the day after Martin Luther King Day, the first Afro-American president was sworn into office.

Now, given the egregious nature of the trump presidency, a beast far worse than anything in the Bush years, these global synchros have a more weighted significance.

On May 29, Roseanne Barr sent a racist tweet: “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” Her show was quickly cancelled by ABC.

The initials refer to Valerie Jarrett, a former senior aide to Obama. On this same day, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Joy Reid hosted a special called Racism in America, and Valerie Jarrett’s appearance on the show had been planned long before Roseanne’s tweet. What are the odds that the MSNBC show on racism just happened to be scheduled on the same day at Roseanne’s racist tweet?

Are global synchros increasing? It seems so. Part of it may be due to 24/7 social media coverage. But perhaps in culturally divisive times these synchros crop up more frequently to remind us of an underlying order in the universe that physicist David Bohm called the implicate or enfolded order. It’s a kind of primal soup that births everything in the universe, even space and time. Our daily reality is the explicate or unfolded order. Synchronicity, then, is where the implicate and the explicate – the inner and outer – coincide.

At any rate, 12 hours after her racist tweet, Roseanne apologized: guys I did something unforgiveable so do not defend me. It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious. Indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but…don’t defend it please. Ty

 Trump, who applauded Roseann’s show for its more than 18 million viewers – It’s about us! – took more than a day to react. His tweet? He demanded a personal apology from ABC.

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Just a Coincidence?

It’s either an amazing coincidence or another sign that Donald Trump is making great deals—deals benefiting his business conglomerate, known as the Trump Organization—at the expense of the American people.

Here’s the deal. Trump recently tweeted a head-scratching statement that we can’t let the Chinese telecommunications company, ZTE, go out of business at a cost of thousands of jobs for Chinese workers. It was as if he was saying: Let’s make China Great again. The company is under U.S. sanctions for violating its agreement with U.S. companies that supply it with American-made components. Trump’s tweet is totally counter to his repeated claim that China “is raping us” through unfair trade practices, and stealing American jobs.

So what’s up? Just days before that tweet, the Chinese government decided to spend $500 million on an Indonesian project that would benefit the Trump Organization’s plan to build hotels. In addition, the Chinese government that same week gave Ivanka Trump five new trademarks for her business. Not only is Ivanka the president’s daughter, but also a White House aide. (Click to  read about this deal.)

So it’s quite a coincidence that these favorable events are taking place for the Trump Organization just before Trump decides to act to save a major Chinese telecommunications company. No quid pro quo has been documented, but the implications are obvious. Trump seems to think that what’s good for him and his company is what’s good for the country. It’s the kind of thinking that is the very fabric of authoritarian regimes.

Even if we ignore the ZTE issue and it’s bad actions regarding U.S. and international laws, Trump is clearly ignoring the Emoluments Clause that prevents a sitting president from profiting from business deals. It would also violate his own agreement, struck at the beginning of his presidency, not to make any new foreign deals for the Trump Organization. Ivanka is also in violation of conflict of interest rules.

Bottom line: the guy who said he would drain the swamp is polluting it as never before.

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Irma, Insurance, & Synchronicity

On September 10 -11, 2017, Hurricane Irma hit Florida. It was the strongest storm on record to exist in the open Atlantic regions, with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph for 36 hours. Because its exact path was uncertain, it prompted evacuation orders of more than 6.3 million people. It became the largest evacuation in Florida history.

We were going to evacuate on Wednesday, September 6, and head to my sister’s house in Georgia. But the idea of running out of gas on the turnpike, I-95 or I-75 with two dogs and two cats was more daunting than staying. We later learned that friends who had left for Georgia were on the highway for 12-18 hours. It took 8 hours just to get to Orlando, a drive that normally takes us about 3 hours.

So we stuck it out.

What saved the east coast of the state was that Irma stayed along the northern coast of Cuba longer than anticipated before it made a northern turn. It hit here at night, always the scariest time for a hurricane to bear down. It ultimately did $64.76 billion worth of damage, making it the 5th costliest hurricane on record.

Here’s Noah surveying the damage in the aftermath:

We lost power for only 36 hours; by comparison, after Wilma, we were without power for 10 days. We thought our house and property had come through with just minor damage – trees and fences down, the porch roof with a few more leaks, screens blown out, roof tiles broken. But during the first thunderstorm after Irma, we found leaks in 4 rooms, the coil in the AC system died from saturation, one of the skylights had leaks around it. We called the insurance company and they sent someone out to inspect the property.

The company eventually issued a check for $3,800 – which didn’t even cover the cost of a new AC unit. A friend who works for an attorney advised me to do what her boss had done – hire a public adjuster. It took awhile to find someone; business for these people was booming in the wake or Irma. But in mid-November, a public adjuster came out to the house and did a thorough inspection. The verdict?

The dry wall was saturated in the rooms where there were leaks, we needed a new roof, and that was just for starters. His estimate ran into the 6 figures. Once he filed his estimate with the insurance company, the company had 60 days to respond. They missed the deadline. The next step was a threat to sue them and they had to respond by May 15. They missed that deadline, too. Then, on May 18, the public adjuster emailed with GOOD NEWS. The claim was settled for about the same amount as the adjuster’s estimate.

Now the hunt is on for a roofing contractor. And here’s where the synchronicity comes in. In 1994, our house was built by roofer John Dobson. He and his family lived here for several years, then sold the house to a family with 5 kids, from whom we bought it in 2000. On the day we got our first estimate – which was way too high – I ran up to the drug store and pulled into a parking spot next to a van. Across the side was: Dobson Roofing Company.

A synchro! I immediately called Rob, told him what had happened, and suggested we try Dobson Roofing. Dobson’s wife answered the phone, remembered the house, and when Rob related the synchro, she said, “A sign! I believe in signs, too.”

The next day in the mail, there was a letter addressed to John Dobson. This one may shape up to be a cluster.

They’ll be out to do their inspection for a free estimate in a week. I suspect we’ve found our roofer!


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Precognition Through Art

Jessie the golden after Hurricane Wilma, 2005, wondering what had happened to the mailbox.


When our daughter was in third grade, her class was given an assignment connected to Thanksgiving. The kids were supposed to create a sculpture from clay that expressed their gratitude for something in their lives. Parents were invited to the class presentation the day before the Thanksgiving holidays began.

The day of the show and tell, Megan stood in front of her class and presented her little sculpture. “I’m grateful for the golden retriever I’m going to get,” she announced. “And this is the dog.”

Her sculpture certainly looked like a golden – right down to the ears, the tail, the body stance, the shape of its head.   Rob and I looked at each other: Huh? We had three cats and no intention of getting a golden retriever or any dog.

“We’re getting a dog?” we asked her later.

“I think so,” she replied.

A couple of weeks later, a friend of Megan’s asked if we would like a dog. The friend’s father was a school cop who trained dogs to sniff out drugs in lockers and one of their dogs, a golden retriever, had washed out of the program. No dog, nope, nope, we said.

And then we saw her, a beautiful reddish gold retriever about two years old, who had been given up by her original family when the son developed asthma. Now she had washed out of the drug-sniffing program, and was going to end up at the pound unless someone adopted her.

“We’ll try her for a few days,” we said. “See how she and the cats get along.”

Well, Jessie came into the house, the three cats came over, sniffing, checking her out, and Jessie’s tail wagged and wagged, and then she plopped down in front of Rob’s desk and then in Megan’s doorway, and that was that. She stayed for eleven wonderful years.

When Trish’s mother went into an Alzheimer’s unit, Jessie accompanied us each night for a visit – Rob, Trish, Megan, and Trish’s dad, whom we called Buddy. The residents all knew her – by name – even though they didn’t have a clue who we were. There were three women who were always on their way into Manhattan for dinner and a play, two of them dressed to kill, the third in her pajamas and big Barney the Dinosaur slippers, who Jessie always accompanied to the locked front door, where they believed their taxi awaited them, the magical Cinderella coach that would take them into NY.

“Where’s the cab, Jess?” Lillian would ask.

Jessie’s tail wagged, she barked, the women waited at the locked door, in the locked ward. For Jessie, all humans were worthy of love and affection.

When Megan and her friends played music and sang for the residents of the unit, Jessie waited patiently, listening, her paws seeming to tap to the music, her tail swishing rhythmically, to and fro.

When we moved to the house where we live now, we had to put the cats at the vet for a night. The day we brought all three into the new house, Jessie was at the door, greeting each of them, nose to nose, her tail wagging, and we realized these cats were as much her family as we were. When our dusky conure joined the menagerie, she used to ride on Jessie’s back and engage in this complicated ritual with doggie treats. Rob would pluck out a treat, hand it to Kali, and the bird would drop it directly into Jessie’s mouth, a mouth that could just as easily have eaten the bird.

We took Jessie everywhere – to the gym, the grocery store, vacations. She captured the hearts of everyone with whom she came into contact. Her love was always unconditional. She taught us about love. Family. Community. Every afternoon, Rob took her down to the park in our neighborhood to play Frisbee. Kids would gather around, get into the Frisbee groove, and pretty soon, we’d have teams. Jessie had her own fan club. Everyone in the neighborhood knew her – and she knew them.

At the end of Megan’s freshman year at college, Jessie made the trip across the state with us, but she wasn’t feeling well. It was hideously hot that day, mid-90s, no breeze, and she was suffering. One of us remained in the car with her, air conditioning blasting, while Megan’s stuff was loaded into the car. On the way back across the state, we stopped to let Jessie out and she could barely stand. That night, one of our cats stood vigil next to her, and we knew the end was near.

We took her to the vet the next morning, early, fast, and discovered she had some sort of throat problem – she couldn’t swallow, the prognosis sucked. Surgery that might not work, drugs that would cripple her. We opted for euthanasia. At the moment the vet injected her, her eyes flicked to each of us. She was aware, cognizant, she knew. She had gone the extra mile to wait until Megan was home again before she left. She had arrived when Megan was 8. She departed when Megan was 19.

Eleven years. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that long. But her impact on our lives was profound.

That third grade sculpture presentation is a great example of precognition, an aspect of synchronicity. Megan not only knew we were going to get a dog, she got the breed right!

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How it feels to be black in America

This video is powerful. It got 13 million hits in 24 hours and 50 million hits in 4 days .

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