Category Archives: Stories

Old Wounds Can Eventually Heal

Volume 4, Issue 25. Originally published September 4, 2014

Young Bill on stage with his dad Ned and mom Sandy in wingsThe year was 1954. My parents, whom I called Pop and Sandy at that time (later Ned was renamed “The Chief” by a Native American horn player in his band and I then switched from Pop), took me out to dinner in Manhattan, which I loved. (We lived in Brooklyn.) Gallaghe’s Steakhouse or perhaps it was Joe Marsh’s Candlelight Clurb, which isn’t there anymore. I had a steak. We had a terrific time. I was in a warm glow by the end of dinner when they revealed to me their secret purpose for me that night.

Joel Grey’s “Star Time Kids” was shot at the CBS studio around the corner and I was to be on live TV that night, in fact, right after dinner.

I went from cloud 9 to hell in one second flat. I couldn’t explain why the idea was out of the question, I was too upset to think clearly.

They had always gotten what they wanted out of me in terms of onstage performances. They inculcated in me from my earliest memories that I had been born in a trunk and there was no question of me not getting up there and doing whatever the act was at the time. I don’t remember ever putting up any resistance to it until the night in question, since resistance was futile. Nevertheless, suddenly I was in a situation where for reasons I could not even articulate to myself, this trouper was going to let the public down. “The show must go on” (years later my father said this with a choke in his voice, the night he went to the club the day Sandy died) but in my case the show would not go on.

They tried to compromise with me, first saying, “Okay, just sit in the peanut gallery and you won’t even have to say anything,” but I would not hear of it. The best they could do was to get me to peek in at the studio, hoping that I would relent at the last minute and show what a trouper I really was. But one look at the blinding battery of klieg lights was it. I had my fill, and we went home in a sad cloud.

Sandy tried to make us all feel better. She explained what had happened, saying, “Billy is a trouper. But he is a perfectionist and wants to prepare fully to give his best performance every time. This time we forgot that and thought it would be easier on him to not have him know about it until the last minute. It was our fault.”

Ned agreed she was right but it never made me feel any better. All my life, whenever I was having a bad moment for any reason, this was one of the regretful memories that I would beat myself up with once again.

Separately I wondered from time to time how my life might have been totally different if I had gone the other way that night.

***

One night I was dreaming that Lalita and I were at an advertising/media industry conference somewhere, not in NY. I would be speaking that night. We were meeting people before the conference. Yana, my editor (who puts in all these commas), would be joining us but was late as the conference was about to begin. At the last second she came running faster than I have ever seen her move, down the long empty corridor with a red face and a big smile.

The conference started and a gent got up and gave a tepid 5-minute opening remark. Then the MC — of all people, the late Ben Wallach, who had been the Athletic/Social Activities Director at the Hotel Brickman — called me to go on next.

In the dream I suddenly realized we had forgotten to bring the slides. I didn’t even know what the conference was about.

In previous dreams of this kind there was a hideous moment and then I would wake up.

This time was different. I realized I had no idea what I would say, but something in me felt perfectly willing to go up there and see what would come out of me. I started for the stage.

And then I woke up.

When I told the story to Lalita she said, “You woke yourself just in time to not have to experience making a fool of yourself.”

But it wasn’t like that at all. I woke up feeling exhilarated. I didn’t know exactly why at first. I knew I was pleased with myself for the total acceptance of the challenge that traditionally had been my Waterloo: being unprepared for public performance. I knew that the way I react in dreams is exactly what I would do in the future. I felt liberated, released.

Then it hit me: this was the erasure of the Star Time experience. Closure of that karma. Full circle. After a lifetime of disappointment in myself for how I’d handled that moment, I had redeemed myself. I am a trouper.

So what’s the point of my sharing this story? What do you, the reader, get out of it?

We all have deep wounds. Some are papered over by repression and some may be with us all the time. Whatever they are, if we take them out and look at them from time to time, and make it an active intention all our lives to become that which we hold as our own ideal self in real everyday life, inevitably in time — sometimes decades as in this case — we get there.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, “In Terms of ROI“ at MediaVillage.com under MediaBizBloggers.

Originally posted 2014-09-04 12:05:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

A Li’l Christmas Story

Volume 4, Issue 41

May you have the spirit of Christmas

Lou was in a depressed state and trying without success to hide it from Angie. She assumed he was mad at her or tired of her. It was starting off to be a very bad Christmas.

He didn’t know why he found it hard to smile so he hid out for a while with himself. He soon realized it was because he had no money to buy Christmas presents for anybody, including his beloved. She meant everything to him. It felt like somebody was stepping hard on the gas and the brake of his heart at the same time.

He’d already tapped whatever friends had extra bread and was now totally tapped out. He knew better than to steal, which left him nowhere to go.

When Christmas Eve came, he got back from the job feeling a sense of impending doom. She might have something to give him that she had made, or whatnot, but he didn’t even have a card. Slipping through the snow it occurred to him belatedly that he could have at least made a special card. They didn’t have much but they did have some colored pens and some average looking paper. His last thought before pulling open the door was that maybe she’d be in the tub or something and he’d have time…

But there she was all dolled up and grabbing him and giving him a full kiss. Despite the power of his depression he suddenly felt it mix with an almost-equal spike of elation. Kissing Angie with feeling, an outpost of his mind sensed the mixed emotions, so contrasting and yet co-existing, and he could see them, as intermixed colors forming interpenetrating shapes.

Their lips parted and they held each other, looking into each other’s eyes. Her face was bright and shining with no trace of worry. Look — there — not a wrinkle on her brow.

It suddenly came out of him like an expunged demon. “I couldn’t buy you anything baby, but I love you so much.”

To her, it looked like he was going to cry. “That’s all the gift I will ever want,” she replied, and they kissed again. They kissed, and cried, and laughed throughout Christmas… and forever after.

Merry Christmas!

With love from Bill and Lalita, and all of your friends here at THEI.

Bill Harvey      
Bill Harvey       Lalita Harvey    George Niver    Christine Niver

     
Yana Lambert    Nicole David     Karen Kennedy

With thanks for inspiration to O. Henry and his classic “The Gift of the Magi”.

Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: "In Terms of ROI". It is in the free section of the website at Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com

Happy Anniversary World

Volume 4, Issue 20

Today is our 12th wedding anniversary. On the satellite radio Matt Monro sings Tony Newley’s song, On a Wonderful Day like Today, “May I take this occasion to say that the whole human race should go down on its knees, show that we’re grateful for mornings like these…”

Zohreh the cat steps on my bare feet and curls her tail around my calf, affectionate gestures to show how grateful and eager she is to receive her breakfast. Four identical little birds catch my eye with their geometric formation to remind me to hang their feeder.

Last night as an anniversary present to each other we attended Stan Satlin’s and Joel Martin’s musical tribute to Nelson Mandela on what would have been Mandela’s 96th birthday at the Riverside Church in Manhattan. Powerful African drums reverberated in my chest as we entered the great sanctuary. Reverend Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr. recounted a visit to the church in which Dr. Martin Luther King, with great respect, introduced Nelson Mandela shortly after his release from 27 years in jail. Mandela’s peace-inspired writings had created an unstoppable tide for the end of apartheid which caused his release and then Presidency of post-apartheid South Africa. The touching event featuring Stan’s and Joel’s music, the voices of a horde of talented singers and musicians, and many moving personal remembrances, brought tears of joy and triumph for me and many others. The meaning of the event, entitled  “Footsteps of Mandela”, is that we are each to hear the inner voice from above the way he did and carry out our own Missions in the same unifying spirit.

I had heard Stan’s song “Keeper of the Song” before but never expressed the way it was last night, as a sacred hymn, by a chorus of amazing singers. I prevailed on Stan and Joel to rush me a copy of last night’s performance of that song. And alas it is not here in time for this post. As soon as it is available I will share it. In the meantime here is another recording of Keeper of the Song.

Keeper of the Song     

Thirteen years ago Lalita awoke one morning at the ashram where she serves with a voice within her telling her that today she would meet the man with whom she would spend the rest of her life, and bade her to go to New Paltz for that meeting. Driving through a mounting snowstorm she arrived at the location specified by the voice and met me.

Hubble's Colliding Galaxies
courtesy of Hubble

At the time I had no idea she had dedicated her life to a spiritual Mission and that her ashram is located at the former site of the hotel where I spent every summer of the first 16 years of my life. As we parted from an initial meeting, I had snapshot flashes of the two futures that emanated from the moment, one in which we would be together. To me it was just a moment but apparently to Lalita it was longer and she later reported that it appeared I had lapsed into a narcoleptic trance.

In Mind Magic I wrote “When two individuals fall in love it is as if two fragments of the universal consciousness have remembered that they are one.”

To the extent of their love,
they will cease to seek individual goals,
and will begin to seek mutual goals.
Two consciousnesses seeking mutual goals

are in the process of gradually
becoming aware of themself
as one consciousness.

Once the goals are merged,
the perceptions and memories
are in a position to follow.

Know that the purpose of love
is to reunite the universal consciousness.

Our wedding ceremony was presided over by the late Rabbi Chaim Gelberman and combined Jewish and Vedic elements, leading me to classify it to friends as an Oy Vedic ceremony. The Rabbi reminded us that the Temple in Jerusalem was built not just for Jews but for all religions since Abraham’s Covenant was with the One God of all.

I’m now reading Harvey Kraft’s brilliant book The Buddha from Babylon in which he reveals a little-known connection between Judaism and the spiritual teachings of India. Abraham was a shaman and religious leader of the Yadu (“root for Yahudi, i.e. Jewish”), one of the five Indo-Aryan tribes mentioned in the Rig Veda, before migrating west following the Epic Drought. His name may be the source of the words Brahma (the Creator God) and Brahmin (man of God).

Abraham is estimated to have been in Babylonia after the Drought around 1800 BCE and the Rig Veda dates back no earlier than 1750 BCE according to Wikipedia and other Internet sources so on the face of it Harvey Kraft could be right.

I’m having an amazing day and I hope you are too.

My best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: "In Terms of ROI." It is in the free section of the website at  Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.

You Are The Universe: Imagine That is now available. Read an excerpt and watch my videos where I talk about the book.

When a Man Loves a Woman

Volume 2, Issue 43

“He’d give up all his comforts, sleep out in the rain 
If that’s the way she said it ought to be”
from Percy Sledge’s Grammy Hall of Fame song

He had magically met and married the woman of his dreams. She was the same as he was in so many ways. Both devoted their lives to the same thing. They then eventually discovered each other in a way that was a series of improbabilities, suggesting to the average observer that the hidden hand of the Universe had to be involved.

And now, improbably, they were both trying to change each other. He contemplated this from a moment’s lofty perch. He had to LOL (laugh out loud).

He decided he would not resist her attempts to change him — which were all obviously for his own good — and that he would go along with the changes just to make her happy. And further, he would be ultra-cautious to change anything about her, because he might lose more than gained by any change to what she was already to him.

“But don’t change a hair for me
Not if you care for me”
—“My Funny Valentine”, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart

 When he really felt from time to time afterward that he did want to change something anyway, he’d start by merely imagining it. Sometimes she would seem to pick up on these imaginings. She would notch a step in the desired direction and neither would comment. Sometimes when that didn’t happen too soon he would himself notch it up a bit and pray for the desired slight change. That usually worked. If nothing worked, he’d sigh and go on, accepting that it was a part of her that perhaps he wasn’t appreciating enough, and one day he would be grateful she had resisted his gentle nudges.

 These mental/emotional strategies tended to work out pretty well for them. They lived a candlelit romantic life day after day with no end in sight. Sharing these thoughts with other couples everywhere for whatever value they might have, if these thoughts travel well. We hope they do.

Best to all,

Bill

Here is an ad currently running in February on a few websites and in Creations Magazine.

Improve your relationships with our book MIND MAGIC

Sarge

Oh, hi sonny, come in — good to see you — come here and sit down by the bed.

Sure I remember you.

What’s in a name? I remember you.

Heh-heh.

What’s that you say sonny? School project? Interviewing old people? Yeah I lived through it, I can tell you about it, I guess — my memory comes and goes…

Before the change, times were hard. The economy just wouldn’t get better. Some people had money and they were tight with it. Everyone else had two or three jobs, or no job at all.

When the war started, I was happy to join up to have a roof over my head. I had served before but this time it was weird — guns that shot around corners, weapons that could get into your mind. We had ‘em and they had ‘em.

I know it sounds funny, but when we won that war, things started to get better. We came so close to blowing it all that everyone seemed to wake up and realize that this here’s our lifeboat — the planet… er, Earth… see, I’m not so good at names.

Then there was that new change in television — and computers and cellphones and tablets and all. Same old shows, but the commercials started to change — more about companies really committed to doing good in the world. And a bunch of new channels where people could socialize, tell their ideas to help America and the world, talk about it, vote on it. Kind of like the old game shows in a way — well, you know. We all play the Democracy game now.

At first, it was just entertainment, but then polls came out ranking certain politicians highly because they were using the ideas from the new Democracy game shows. Then things really started to change.

Pretty soon every politician’s staff was studying the public’s ideas, and racing to be the first to turn the best ones into reality.

Our minds started working in a different way after the war. No wonder, since we had started teaching mind management in the schools — all because of the mind weapons in the war, so people would grow up with more resistance to them. But on top of that there was an emotional lilt to life — we’re all part of one team, was the spirit — we’re all in this together, connected to one another by common needs.

Barter temporarily became very common within the recovering communities, until the economy started to come back. But what a boom it has been! Me, a lowly sergeant, making good money teaching the history of the war to college students — until it was time for me to retire. The psychology of investors has always been what drove the market up or down — and with the new can-do attitude going around the world, global depression is a distant memory.

Then the image of the good old USA started to make a big comeback on the world stage. I think it started when our corporations reached down to younger grades to start looking for and cultivating future employees. They made this out to be philanthropy, and looked not just for the obviously gifted students, but for the ones who didn’t fit in yet had special talents. But in reality their philanthropy more than paid for itself by putting together high performing teams and optimizing the whole company according to mind management principles.

After that practice took hold in American companies, people in other countries again envied the USA, and soon they were all emulating the successful new ideas bubbling up from the people of America.

Oh come in honey — nice to see you — here sit by me on the bed and give me a kiss.

Sure I remember you.

Well, no, I can’t remember your name.

But I know you’re the one I love.

————————————————————-

Best to all,

Bill