Other Pages...  [FOKUS HOME][CONTACT US!]

Fokus.gif - 6813 Bytes

Newsletter


June 2002

Contents


Previous Issues

January 2000
(unavailable)
February 2000
 
March 2000
 
April 2000
 
May 2000
 
June 2000
 
July 2000
 
August 2000
(unavailable)
September 2000
 
October 2000
 
November 2000
 
December 2000
 
January 2001
 
February 2001
 
March 2001
 
April 2001
 
May 2001
 
June 2001
 
July 2001
 
August 2001
 
September 2001
 
October 2001
 
November 2001
 
December 2001
 
January 2002
 
February 2002
 
March 2002
 
April 2002
 
May 2002
 
 
 

For technical support for these newsletters, please e-mail: arachne@pantarbe.com

[Up To Contents][Up To Page Top]


We Hope To See You At Our Next Celebration


A Weekend At Mazama!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday,
June 28, 29 and 30, 2002

Todd Christoffel's Cabin in Mazama,
Cost $25.00 US per person for food.

For directions and reservations: Please phone Bob Olson at (425) 747-3879.

This next FOKUS at Todd and Jill Christoffel's cabin in MAZAMA is just over the North Cascades Highway. While it starts June 28 and goes until June 30, it will serve as our July meeting. The Christoffel's "cabin" is a beautifully appointed 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with a porch, hummingbirds and gorgeous views. Bring a sleeping bag, pillow, and something to share creatively. Hiking, lattes at the Mazama Country Store, gourmet food, a beautiful drive to a lookout point over the Methow Valley. DON'T MISS THIS! THIS IS, LIKE, TOTALLY AWESOME! YO! Let us know.

NOTE: If you would like to go, it is very important that you call Bob Olson to let us know how many folks to count on, so food can be arranged. What worked fairly well last year was this plan: after we have a fairly final count of heads, I (Pippin) will call you all to ask for volunteers to be responsible for the menu and ingredients for one meal. The rest of us will sign up and chip in to help do the work, and expenses will be tallied up and reimbursed on Sunday before we leave. Depending on how many folks would like to come, costs for at least four full meals and plentiful snacks should run around $25 per person for the weekend. (Such a deal!) But please let us know that you are coming, so you can be included in the count.


June FOKUS Sharing

Sunday, June 2, 2002
4pm at Kafka's Kastle (Bruce Taylor's condo)

For directions: Please phone Bob Olson at (425) 747-3879.

[Up To Contents][Up To Page Top]


Art Sharing
Sunday, May 7, 2002

Bob Olson and Pippin Sardo initiated games for Bruce's party. Bob read two incomplete stories placing Bruce in jeopardy as "he travels to Central America to visit Peter Wagener and is captured by hungry natives" or "while gone he lets Pippin stay in his condo and together with Roberta and other FOKUS members they redecorate". Participants were asked to complete the story -- then, create a costume for an underwear-clad Bruce pin-up (drawn by Roberta) as either "a guest of honor at his native feast" or "the new Bruce in his remodeled condo". When we shared our art, Donna Barr read the story "Free Air", which won the Xeric Grant for the Desert Peach collection. Mike Munro read a short retirement story for Bruce titled "In Honor of Edward on His Last Day as a Kept Man". Pippin Sardo served a fresh strawberry and cream cheese with liqueur pie. Karen Stein read her poem "Alluvialation". Carl Sloan read one of his poems. Lida Sloan read three short poems. Bruce Taylor shared a selection from A Day in the Life of a Mental Health Specialist. Bob Olson read a chapter from his second book titled Would You Believe? Andrew Hamlin and Seiko Olson provided an audience.

[Up To Contents][Up To Page Top]


Other Stuff

Birthdays, birthdays, birthdays. Jill Christoffel, May 23, Todd Christoffel, May 29, Bruce Taylor, May 28, Mike Munro, June 6. Guess we all better celebrate birthdays at the next FOKUS at Bruce Taylor's, June 2nd.

And yet another birth-day: Orion Avery Swenson born April 29 to Patrick and Honna Swenson, at 10 lb. 4 oz, and with a full head of hair. Congratulations to the Swensons on the successful results of their "creativity".

July FOKUS will be held at Todd & Jill Christoffel's cabin in MAZAMA, just over the North Cascades Highway, starting June 28 and going until June 30. Their "cabin" is a beautifully appointed 3 bedroom, 2 bath, house with porch and hummingbirds and gorgeous views. Bring a sleeping bag, pillow, something to share creatively. Hiking, lattes at the Mazama Country Store, gourmet food, a beautiful drive to a lookout point over the Methow Vally. Yikes! Don't miss this!
    NOTE: If you would like to go, it is very important that contact us to let us know how many folks to count on, so food can be arranged. What worked fairly well last year was this plan: after we have a fairly final count of heads, I (Pippin) will call you all to ask for volunteers to be responsible for the menu and ingredients for one meal. The rest of us will sign up and chip in to help do the work, and expenses will be tallied up and reimbursed on Sunday before we leave. Depending on how many folks would like to come, costs for at least four full meals and plentiful snacks should run around $25 per person for the weekend. (Such a deal!) But please let me know that you are coming, so I can include you in the count.

Bruce would love to continue carrying the expense of putting out this newsletter every month, but now that he is on a reduced income, simply cannot. Please, if you would like to continue to receive the FOKUS newsletter in printed format, please send Bob Olson $15 (his phone is above to make arrangements) for a one year's subscription. That is rock bottom what it costs to print and mail 12 copies to you. Alternatively, if you would like to read the newsletter for free, keep coming here!

Seiko Olson will be performing with the Aldersgate UMC Bell Choir, in a handbell concert June 2, 2002 at 7:00 pm in the Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 14230 SE Newport Way, Bellevue, WA 98006.

If you want to advertise something your are doing in our newsletter please call Bob or Bruce. This is an excellent free bulletin board for your announcements.

[Up To Contents][Up To Page Top]


Bruce Taylor's Editorial: Retirement - Part II

Editorial by Bruce Taylor: Retirement - Part II

My first week of retirement - how's it feel? Not bad. Given that I'm 54, and that my retirement won't quite cover all the financial bases. I do have the option of going back to work, per diem, up to eight shifts a month and so doing means I make more than $600 more per month than I was making when working 70% -- 17 shifts a month - by working only half that amount. Not bad. And the shifts are at my choosing. Not bad at all. So I guess it's not really retirement as it is a chance to "re-prioritize": work will no longer be in competition with my writing; my writing will come first. So, this is very nice. So, is this bragging about how good I've got it? No. What this is about is the "Big Picture", about how finances can develop around a decision, and confidence about who you are as a creative person. It means not having any fantasies about being the next Stephen King, or Elvis Presley or whichever creative star you emulate. It means taking care of your financial well-being first, because it's pretty risky out there. But you substantially reduce the risk by, 1. Believing with all your heart you are a creative person and you deserve to create. That is number one. You gotta believe it with all your heart or nothing will work in your direction. When that comes, then pay heed to what Goethe said: "All sorts of things will come your way...". And they do. BUT, 2. You have to let go of how you expect or think it's going to be, and accept what the Universe decides it's gonna be. Because guess what? It's impossible for you to guess how your creative energies will eventually "pay off", but one thing you do know is that if you don't follow your creative dreams, like I've said so many times, you never will know.

So, in the past week, what has manifested in my life? 1. Two days after leaving Harborview, I got a phone call from the editor of The Healing Heart: Storytelling for Caring and Healthy Families and The Healing Heart: Storytelling for Strong and Healthy Communities, letting me know that the contracts for my story they accepted three years ago, ("The Coat"), were in the mail. 2. The students in my class "Smashing Creative Blocks" are so happy with what's going on that they want me to continue teaching them after the class officially ends, 12 students at $45 each for the next four weeks. 3. Students in my other writing classes requesting my services as an editor, at a fee yet to be determined. So my life as a writer is becoming more than writing and sending out manuscripts. Did I request that? No, but that's what is coming my way and guess what? It's just like Julia Cameron says in her book, The Artist's Way, (the same book I'm using for "Smashing Creative Blocks"): to paraphrase: sometimes you shake the tree for apples and you get oranges instead. You think I'm complaining? Ha!

Quote from "Letters to the Editor", Seattle PI,
Saturday, May 4, 2002

IRAQ
Where is discussion about planned invasion?

From all we can learn from the media, the Bush administration has made a firm decision to accommodate the ultra-conservatives in the Republican Party and invade Iraq as part of the anti-terrorism campaign. Apparently, the only question remaining is when and how.

Where is the debate on this issue? Where is the leadership of the Democratic Party? Are we so fearful of being labeled disloyal by Ari Fleischer-types that we are going to accept such a momentous decision without even a whimper, let alone a cry of outrage?

The campaign in Afghanistan is a walk in the park compared with the casualties, military and civilian, that will result from an invasion of Iraq. Have we missed something in editorials or columns? Have we become such a bloody-minded country that we would sanction the invasion of a small sovereign nation on the basis that it considers us an enemy and therefore might attempt to damage us? Of course we are Iraq's enemy. We are causing Iraqis great pain every hour of every day. What do we expect?

But, does that give us the political and moral authority to mount an invasion of that country? Where is Congress? Is it not the prerogative of that body to make the decision to declare war? Why is there no serious debate? What are we doing?

James and Marjorie Kimbrough
Redmond

[Up To Contents][Up To Page Top]


Editorial by Bob Olson:
Why Can't We?...

Why does our nation embrace an iron fist as our best response to the atrocity of September 11, 2001? Is global war our only alternative? Could we question why a terrorist seeks to kill us - even choosing suicide as his weapon of choice? The Christian, Muslim and Hebrew religions all condemn murder. Why would anyone kill himself, or herself, to randomly murder innocent men, women and children? This is such a fanatical act of desperate violence. Of course we are appalled. But do we even try to understand? Do we need another response to the hatred of fanatics? Today, our "bully pulpit" only angers peacekeeping friends around the world. Why can't we seek peaceful alternatives to global war?

I feel America should prevent global war more than declare it. Our resolve to vengeance first encourages the outrage of Israel's response to Palestinian suicide/murderers. This ignites retaliation. How can we prevail without addressing the primary issue - why our enemies hate us? What response can we offer other than "an eye for an eye"?

Because of this dilemma I see two routes in scenarios for our future.

Scenario one - a route to peace:
America does not falter. The diligent pursuit al-Qaida of terrorists by our military and intelligence services continues. However, we also emphasize our humanitarian qualities as President Bush listens - to the ideas of leaders in the Arab world, Europe, and Asia, and comes to understand why so many hate America. He acknowledges the misbehavior of Enron management within our country and he also comprehends their outrageous actions overseas. (Particularly in India where the government of that country was threatened with the loss of US industrial support, through Enron's political clout, unless they provided concessions creating widespread pollution threatening the entire population.) What a picture of American insensitivity and corporate greed. Our President should come to realize that Enron is not the only ugly-American enterprise, and that corporate avarice has been our failing.

Then, President Bush encourages the United Nations to assume responsibility for the "War on Terror". The United Nations and strong countries not only listen to cries of desperation and acts of terror by oppressed people, but act on their behalf. Humiliation, privation and starvation are also seen as "acts of terror". We come to understand that suicide-bombers are not always maniacs, but sometimes they are desperate "freedom fighters".

With an attitude of salvation replacing vengeance, President Bush supports ideas in the Saudi peace proposal. He encourages Israel to accept United Nations peacekeeping troops. This protects Israelis and Palestinians against one another, until they feel safe enough for the concept of a Palestinian state to be negotiated.

The "War on Terror" achieves success as hatred cools with American industry establishing a respectful, constructive identity.

Scenario two - continuing our present route:
We continue the current direction of our "War on Terror", without comprehending why our enemies want to destroy us.

President Bush's policy of continued support for Israel's "iron hand" in the Palestinian conflict isolates America and Israel as aggressive nations. Both countries lose international support.

SCUD missiles (supposedly from Iraq) bombard Tel Aviv releasing chemical poison. Simultaneously three nuclear explosions devastate Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. This brings about the final solution for occupation of the Holy Land - a conflagration of chemical poison and nuclear fire, as deadly ants crawl through the armor of Zion.

Then, the United States becomes the primary target of all radical dissidents.

How long will it take for ants to penetrate our armor? Armageddon is realized with the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.

Why can't we listen to the pleas of our enemies? Must our vengeance cause our destruction?

[Up To Contents][Up To Page Top]


A Poem by Lida Picton Sloan

HAPPY RETIREMENT, BRUCE!

So you're retiring.

I didn't know you're shy and - never mind.

Now your brain gets to spend more time
    Suspended in space

Writing those cool fantastical stories.

What do I feel floating away to play
    in other dimensions?

It's Bruce!

But look - he came back to celebrate his retirement!


[Up To Contents][Up To Page Top]


A Poem by Carl Sloan

BLOOD FEUD

Mechanical things
hate us.
Determined to
break down
even if it kills them.

A deeply
personal
enmity,
this vengeance
dogging us
through
sixteen reincarnations.

"Payback time,
machine destroying
Luddites.
For each loom
you wrecked - "


[Up To Contents][Up To Page Top]


Last updated:  June 1, 2002