Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Pilgrimage: A conversation with Adventure Travel Writer Brandon Wilson

BRANDON WILSON is an award-winning author of three travel adventure books, a photographer, explorer and adventure-travel writer whose stories have appeared in anthologies, international magazines and newspapers, and across the Internet. He's passionate about inspiring others with the possibility of discovery through long-distance trekking.

Press Play to Hear Podcast

Brandon shares his amazing insight on ancient pilgrimages around the world. He tells of his personal journey towards peace while walking over 2,300 miles. Listen and learn about his amazing step at a time.

The world of today is at the dawn of an amazing technological, communication and transportation transformation, but Brandon has an enlightened approach to slowing down, clearing the clutter and lightening the load both literally and figuratively.

In this Podcast and in his books, he shares ideas on how to take a step back, from the seemingly mad world, and begin anew on a path towards inner and outer peace.

His books are also available for sale by clicking on the featured Author link. Thanks for listening!

The Pilgrim's Toolkit

Be sure to visit our online store to find all of the tools you will need to begin your own pilgrimage.  Whether it is a 1 day or 1 month long journey,  you are sure to find the essential items that will guarantee you a safe passage and pleasant journey.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gran Torino Movie Review

The movie trailer doesn't come close to doing this film justice.  Part of the reason is that Clint Eastwood's character (Walter Kowalski) spews just about every racial epithet and stereotype known to humankind, but the trailer is made suitable for all audiences.

Walter is as bitter, cantankerous and crusty a man as you are likely to find.  His wife has passed away and his children & grandchildren are clueless.  They epitomize the self-centered American with too much flouride in their water. 

Eastwood plays the bitter old man as best he can without turning him into a complete monster. Think Archie Bunker on steroids.  There was some laughter in the audience with each hate filled and political incorrect rant,  albeit a bit uncomfortable.   

Despite Eastwood's iconic image on the screen, the supporting cast is largely unknown, so the film has an "independent" feel to it.   Be prepared for a couple of lump in the throat moments, because for all of Eastwood's bad ass attitude, you can't help but feel for the guy. 

A Korean War vet, he lived and played by the set of rules he was given, but he never got, or accepted that the rules of the game have changed from one generation to the next.   His confessed sins are so shocking in their simplicity that it's no wonder he possesses disdain for the excesses and lack of discipline demonstrated by each successive generation.

With the immigration debate raging in America today, it's interesting that the screenwriter and director (Eastwood) chose to center the story around the Hmong community.  Ironically, his immigrant neighbors demonstrate the "American" values Walt longs for while his own family turns his stomach.  This film is a flagrant study on the absurdities of our stereotypes on just about everything and everyone.   It isn't perfect or without its issues, but overall, Gran Torino aims and hits its target pretty darn well.

Lost in America Recommends with    * * * * *

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Life & Death an Interview w/ Chris Boskoff

Our own mortality is something that we rarely want to ponder or face.  However, death is a fact of life.  Most of us would prefer going to sleep at some ripe old age and never wake up after a lifetime of living.  Then there are those of us who live with reckless abandonment and enjoy life on the edge.

Chris Boskoff is a young guy who was careening down the path of living without concern...then he had an accident that stopped his heart from beating, put him in a coma and caused him to suffer traumatic brain injury.  He had to learn how to walk and talk again.  He was extremely fortunate.  I feel fortunate that he would share his  his amazing story with us at Lost in America!

Click Play to Hear Chris Boskoffs Story

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Economic Downturn....

The economic downturn and slowing economy hit close to home this week.  I was laid-off from my job on Saturday. Tuesday, I visited the unemployment office. I was told I would be eligible to receive $230 a week. Hardly enough to be able to live on Maui. I need to make that much per day! Needless to say, it was a major blow and I began to feel regret and doubt about the decisions and choices I have made over the past couple of years. How could I have been so foolish to follow my dream and passion of being a photographer?

An hour later despair had begun to set in. I bought a sandwich and wandered into the local bookstore and sat down in the coffee shop to eat. My head was spinning. I sat there feeling about as low as I can remember. After all I have worked for and been through, I wondered if I could face this financial and personal challenge staring at me.

Then, at my lowest moment and feeling a deep dread, over the sound system I heard…

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you.

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world

A sense of relief washed over me. In that moment, in this week, I was left with no doubt that there is a life beyond what we experience in this body on this planet.

The song was my dad’s favorite and the one he insisted be played at his funeral.