Monday, April 21, 2014


As soon as the old woman hobbled out of her car and up to the gate, I knew this was not going to go down peacefully. 

We hunkered behind the window blinds in the shadows, my hundred-pound killer dogs and me. When she rapped sharply on the door with her cane, the glint of a stiletto knife at its tip winked with evil intent in the watery sunlight.

I signaled the dogs to take up their places on either side of the door and I checked the charge in my taser. We wanted to take the old woman alive if possible, for she had top secret information in that briefcase that could make our restless nights much more comfortable. 

As I activated the automatic door, it slowly creaked open. 

"Helloooo?" she called. Her voice sounded high and a bit shaky. Just what you would expect of a woman with 120 years under the notches on her belt. 

She took a step over the threshold and Big Killer #1 leaped from the landing, clamping his jaws over her hand that held the briefcase. In the meantime, Big Killer #2 grabbed the stiletto cane, snapping it with his jaws and reducing its size from a spear to a dagger. 

The old woman struggled to hold onto the briefcase and, in the tussle, the latch came undone and papers scattered around the living room. The old woman shrieked and scrambled to gather her secret information. With a mighty "Woof!" medium-sized Killer gobbled one of the papers in his mouth.

"No!" the old woman started to charge him, but retreated fearfully when a dozen mini-Killers streamed from under the stairs and began nipping at her ankles. 

The old woman hobbled out the door and down the walkway as quickly as a snail, flailing her mangled briefcase and shrieking, "Get away! Get away!"

The mini-Killers stopped at the gate and pushed it closed as she crawled into her car and finally drove away, checking her rearview mirror and using her blinker before pulling into the street. 

Inside the house, medium-sized Killer spit the top secret information out of his mouth. We smoothed out the wrinkles and blotted off the saliva enough to decipher the secret to restful sleep. 

As we curled up for a nap, the neighborhood kids discovered a flattened gray briefcase lying in the street. As they yelled and ran over it with their bikes and skateboards, a white powdery cloud began to swirl out of its depths, growing larger and larger…


Can your own mind drive you crazy? In my case, that may be true. A less-than-pleasant incident happened recently with a sales rep who came to my house and turned out to be a really old woman who did not like dogs and had a few other attitudes I did not appreciate. Well, my mind kept dredging up this incident over and over, replaying it and imagining all kinds of future "what if" scenarios. 

To clear this incident from my mind, I decided to try a technique I learned the same day--isn't it great how the Universe provides answers? Very much simplified, the technique was to neutralize the situation and write a new story. Well, my writer's mind kicked in and I mutated this technique to write this over-the-top dramatization of the story. 

Doing this not only neutralized the situation, it made me laugh and gave me a fun blog post. Hope you enjoy it!

Posted by: G.R. Gabriel

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Posted by G. R. Gabriel

Just spent some time reading an opinion piece in the New York Post from Matthew Bershadker of the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) entitled, "Why we can't forget Michael Vick's dog-fighting past," and comments about that post. <>. This was generated by Michael Vick being signed to the New York Jets football team for a large sum of money.

Interesting points and emotional responses. Some commenters brought up race and offered examples of white men who received less punishment for raping or murdering people. Some brought up the hypocrisy of people who eat meat but decry abuse of dogs. Other commenters argued for second chances or wiping the slate clean after society's punishment is served. Still others wrote disparaging comments about the intelligence of those commenting. 

But no one mentioned that cruelty to ANY being should not be acceptable. 

So what started out as research on a post about Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month has taken a different turn. How do humans evolve to the point that cruelty of any kind against any being is not acceptable? 

Is race a factor in our decisions? Pretty much anyone who has lived a few decades in this culture has some experiences where a person's color--or gender or religion or taste in clothing--did make a difference. 

Do people accused of similar crimes receive different punishments? I've seen this over and over--and some people seem to get away with no punishment at all.

On the issue of hypocrisy, I have seen this up close in my family and, quite frankly, though I have moved away from eating meat, I still struggle to find an answer to the hypocrisy of feeding it to my dogs. 

Then there is the multi-faceted issue of forgiveness, second chances, wiping the slate clean--whatever you want to call it. How can we know if someone else has truly changed or what is in their heart?

Which brings the focus back to ourselves. Wiser ones than me have said we can only know what is in our own hearts. That we can only make choices for ourselves. By doing that to the highest good we know and asking the Universe for guidance, we free others to do the same. 

I also pondered the scope of what could be considered cruel. Physical torture, certainly. But how about "lesser" shades of cruelty such as unkind words that shake a person's confidence? Anger at another driver who dodges in and out of traffic? Ignoring someone who offers a gesture of friendship because we are busy? 

Many of our every day interactions bring opportunities to not only prevent cruelty, but to offer kindness. Kinda changes the scope of things, doesn't it?

I'm still not completely comfortable with this free-falling, make-it-up-as-we-evolve type of living. I'd rather have a solid, "right" answer to everything. However, that hasn't necessarily brought the results I want in the past. So I'm taking a deep breath and putting one foot in front of the other. Or perhaps I just stepped off the abyss and am praying I learn to fly before I hit the bottom!

Until I fly or crash, April has broadened for me to be "Prevent Cruelty--Offer Kindness" month. Not just to animals, but to any being. Take my hand, Universe, I think I'm going to need a lot of guidance!