Groovy Guru

get your groove on

I've been writing and collecting ideas all my life. I'm not a hippy. I have longish hair, but not ponytail long. I don't wear tie-dye. I'm middle aged, and have grown kids. I own a business, a music lessons studio, but I'm not a musician. I just run it. And I don't fancy myself as a "Groovy Guru," although I like to think of myself as leaning toward grooviness. Groovy Guru is not any one person, it's an ideal. I want to tap into that mystical ideal. So I publish, because I just want to be a part of stuff, to leave an impression on someone, somewhere.

This site is an extension of my brain. It's a file cabinet for my thoughts. A place to upload groovy ideas, groovy stories, and groovy potential projects for easy retrieval. I'd like to share it with you. This is where you will find groovy ideas that provide a groovy feeling so you can groove in an online commune. Be one with Groovy Guru. Rest your thoughts here at groovy guru.

I invite you in for a look around. You can stay a while. Read, browse, leave the tab open and cruise around the Internet. Then come back. Maybe add something in a comment box. Maybe share one of your own groovy ideas. Or expand on one. The world becomes a groovier place when people start sharing stuff. First we share, then we get moving around, then we sit and groove with each other, and share feelings, ideas, thoughts... face to face, eye to eye. That is when the magic of being a groovy human comes to fulfillment. Start here at groovyguru. But don't end here. Don't ever end the quest to be fully human. Share. Move. Meet. Be groovy.

A little bit of history about being groovy...

"Groovy" was a common 1960s and 1970s subculture term used to describe what was considered cool, excellent, fashionable, or amazing. It was first used in the 1920s Jazz culture as a way to describe a piece of music (if it was "in the groove") and how that piece affected the listeners. The "groove" that the music was in was the physical groove that the pick up needle rode in while turning on the record player. If a piece was cool, excellent, or amazing, then it was really making it in the groove, so it was "groovy." So the use of the word groovy does not just describe something or someone we like, but it describes something or someone that has found a place and is in it, moving along in the groove, and knowing where it is or they are going. So find your groove and get on with it.

Here's a recent crafted piece from Groovy Guru to groove with...

An excerpt from "Running From The Taxman, A Great American Road Trip," by Chris Plante

May 11, 2013



Dear Maggie,



We have settled in here on a stretch of Americana just west of the mid section. Here, by the way, is another typical road stop diner complete with the amenities needed by travelers like us.  Along with the gender separate showers, propane, and sanitary waste disposal hook ups for the three Tackey clan Winnebagos, the diner also provides aged waitresses in need of attention, which is a gift WB brings with no reserve. He has an uncanny ability to win over women who have emotional and functional disabilities. Perhaps this is why his relationships have never lasted very long.  Each lasted only as long as his wife had an emotional disability.  Once a now ex-wife overcame said disability, she was out the door. The last one stayed on, not yet having overcome her disabilities and seemingly, as expressed by WB in the form of loud diatribes over the whine of certain parts of the van in need of repair while parting wind with the grill of his rotted van chugging along the highway and coinciding with the parting of wind between his rear side and the crackled torn vinyl of the driver seat, never would. After a few near death experiences suffered by WB at the hand of her aggressive young son, though, WB was the one who was out the door. Leaving the third party recollection of WB’s failed marriages behind and focusing on immediate physical needs, mainly nourishment, I do not expect it will be long—probably before 3 am tomorrow morning—before WB secures a bartering for food contract.  I should be eating dinner tomorrow evening on the efforts of my labors.  

    

You mentioned in your last letter that I should, if I want to fully comply with the tax code, keep an accounting of the value of the benefits I receive from my labors in trade.  I have done so and will continue, and of course will report the proceeds on my 2013 tax returns. As of yet my labors have earned me in food, bathroom privileges, and gas money the following amounts:


Food ... $377.86

Gas ... $42.89

Bathroom Privileges ... $4.75

I think you are right in stating it is only fair to the IRS that I contribute the dollar amount that results from the percentage of tax rate that I am obligated.

I am happy to report that my friendship equity with the clan is restored, something I realized early this morning when Mildred Stanszibilli gave me a kind look as we passed each other en route to and from the private—and clean I might add—patron showers.  I rightly supposed that her kind gaze was for me, since she was on her way to the facilities and probably had not experienced the orderliness of them yet.

  Being in the clan's good graces once again, I was invited later this afternoon to sit with three of the Tackey clan members, Maude, Mabel, and Gerald, and was subsequently entertained to some mid-western drama taking place in the parking lot in front of the diner just 100 feet away.  The four of us were enjoying the shade of an awning extended from Frank and Mabel Penowski's peach and cream colored Winnebago, when, according to a distraught waitress (and one whom I am sure would soon seek and gain WB's companionship, if only for a night) a man parked his truck and began brandishing firearms to passers by.  “He seemed to clearly enjoy showing off his guns,” she told us with one hand holding a vibrating cigarette, fueled clearly by her post-traumatic nervous breakdown underway.  “He kept on showing them and then tossing them from their box in the front seat to the seat in the back.  He must have had twenty of them!”  She looked down at the ground and shook her head, then continued, “Four or five police cruisers showed up and the cops surrounded him.  Did you see it?”  With her body shaking as violently as her cigarette now, she added, “His truck was full of pool cleaning stuff and he had a bible on the armrest.  A big bible!”  We assured her that we had seen the entire episode involving the multiple police cruisers, although we were not sure what the fuss was all about, since we did not see the guns or the bible.  “Did he show you the bible, too?” I asked, acting concerned.  She just ignored my question, while my three companions each gave me a glance that told me they were brushing my inquiry under the Astroturf carpet laid out aside the Winnebago.  

    

We were all united in agreeing with her, however, that the man with the bible in his truck was out of line displaying all those guns to the public.  Maude was noticeably disturbed.  She lifted her arm a little to spread out the excess fabric of her pink floral print polyester muumuu, and then said, “We really cannot have this kind of thing happening around our family.  We all have guns,” she raised her arm a little higher, “we just keep them to ourselves.  And others should, too!”  I'm not sure why she raised her arm like that, but it did give me a chance to put the entire bright pink floral pattern together in my mind.  Then Mabel, wearing a mint green floral print polyester muumuu—which looked smart juxtaposed with Maude's pink floral print polyester muumuu—nodded, and added, “heaven forbid we ever have to use them!”  Mable finished her blurt by looking up, as to get confirmation from God. “Yes, we would never want that, and I might add that people get kind of uneasy about the sort of thing that just happened,” said Gerald, a son-in-law of Al and married to Beatrice. 

    

Gerald Bollingsson and his lovely wife have five children: daughter June age 15, a son named Bobby who is 13, daughter Peggy age 12, daughter Shirley age 10, and her twin sister Rhonda.  Gerald is actively concerned with the safety of his family and was very moved by the incident.  “I will be calling a family council regarding this type of matter and expect to meet with the adults about it immediately after dinner,” he said. Then he stood up tall, buttoned his polyester tan colored suit jacket, and stomped off to his midnight blue and light teal Winnebago to, as he loudly proclaimed, “draft suggestions.”  

Mabel left immediately after to “prepare a tray of late night snacks conducive to the interior color of the Stanszibilli's motor home,” which I must interject, serves as Al and Maude’s headquarters and hence is where all meetings of this importance are held, “as it looks like it will be a lengthy one,” she said as she scurried away, her long mint green floral print polyester muumuu working hard to catch up with her.  

    

Late tonight I took a bean bag from the van, poured myself a large glass of icy lemonade from a carton one of the night shift waitresses kindly gave me, and positioned myself under the stars in a vortex of breeze channeling between the diner and a large neon sign marking the roadside resort spot to sleepy travelers going east and west.  From my little three square feet of real estate I could see the diner, the activity of folks within, a little bit of the road with the white lights coming and red lights going, and if I turned my head just a little to the right, I could see the adults of the Tackey clan huddled in a circle under the dimly lighted awning of Mildred and Graham Stanszibilli's brown and tan Winnebago, which Al and Maude share with their daughter Mildred, her husband, and the couple's three older offspring, son Joe, age 22, daughter Emma, age 20, and daughter Celeste, who is 18.  

    

I will update you with the particulars regarding the Tackey clan's security procedures as soon as they are made know to me. 



Yours Truly,

Simon

iDeas about Life

How to live it, how not to live it, what we have all learned - just share it all here. Someone will deeply appreciate your iDeas.

iDeas about Thought

Groovy thoughts about thoughts, where they originated, what inspired them, and where they could take us.

iDeas about Relationships

Yikes! Talk about something that consumes us all! Maybe with enough help we can all learn to get into a harmonious groove.

iDeas about the Past

History. A lot of stuff has happened for us humans of the present to learn from. Some of it is groovy, and some of it is not so groovy.

iDeas about the Future

Let your creativity flow here. The future can be bleak or beautiful. Did global warming kill us all by 2030? Or are folks laughing at it over a beer on a mild day in August of 2069? What happened in the meantime?

iDeas about Death

This one is pretty complex. Death is a clear concept, of course, but what happens after - well, that seems to cause some serious contention. What do you think?

iDeas about Creativity

Try describing an art piece before it becomes reality. Or a photograph. Or a giant sheet of silk spread out over a crop of corn. Or an idea to make life easier on millions, or one to alleviate world hunger. Just be sure to be creative.

iDeas about Belief

This is a scary one. We want you to share all your ideas on belief with our readers, and we want the readers to promise to be civil with their responses!

Groovy Guru

is in the NOW

I attended my very first meditation class on a cool June night this past week. Here it is, 2017, and to think, this is the first time I have attended a real meditation class in all my life. And I have been around for a long time. But better to begin now than to never begin. The class was structured, taught by a certified specialist. To say it was enlightening would be an understatement. Awesomely eye opening is more in line with what it was. Absolutely nothing like I expected. Our class was first walked through the steps of connecting ourselves with all that is around us. We sat on our blankets and mats and pillows spread out on the wood floor of a studio lit with the setting sun beaming through one small window high above us. “We go through our lives as adults focused on goals, accomplishing tasks, and meeting deadlines,” said our instructor with her soft voice. “We tend to go straight. As children we go with the wind. We feel the wind, feel the forces that pull in all directions and experience them. During preparation for meditation we re-connect with that innocence of childhood and get that sense back.”

Well, that is a variation of what she said, as best as I can remember. Maybe it went that way for me and is remembered some other way for the girl who sat on her pillow, straight up, legs crossed, next to me. She had such a meditative stance, one that I can’t emulate without dedicating myself to stretching for the next six months. Even then I probably wouldn’t bend like that. But I think, mentally at least, she and I and the rest of the class were all on the same easel, so how I remember it is probably close to how to was meant.

Meditation is a very personal thing, as we all came to learn as time went on. It isn’t about clearing the mind of all thoughts, it’s about “becoming free of the reactivity so that a flow of simple witnessing is possible.” I know that everyone got that same dialog, because it was on the handout.

After we all connected with ourselves and the forces to the right, left, above and beyond, we took the next step, which was to gather our past in our left hands, held there in a soft fist, and our future in our right hand, held in another soft fist. We began to take relaxing breaths in and out and then we all let our pasts go, leaving our left hands open and resting in front of us. Then we did it again and let our futures go. What we had now was the “Now,” and we were in it.

I was broadsided during my personal meditation time by a vision I truly did not conjure. A punk rocker with bleached blonde hair, nicely cut, and decked out in a gray suit sporting a bluish silver tie spent some time with me. He told me he was not from the past or from the future, but from the present. “I’m from the now,” he said with a smile. He had me look down at my watch to see that the second hand was ticking past, not numbers, but the words “NOW” in caps.

He continued on, “When you are in the ‘NOW,’ you don’t feel fatigue. There is nothing weighing your conscious down, either from the past or the future. Even if it is just the past of a few moments ago, or the future a few moments from the NOW.”

I sat there, bent in a way that should have hurt, feeling comfortable and unburdened. This new state allowed me to be free of reactivity, the kind in which I am playing a mental game of ping pong, slamming my ideals on past and future hurts back at the friction I don’t agree with, friction that I allow to linger in my mind at a space across the table.

My punk rocker friend seemed pleased. “You’re getting it,” he said, his tie so perfectly in place that he did not have to adjust it like so many stylish people like to do after they pass a compliment. “You are at the intersection of the past, present, and future. You are experiencing the closest thing to time travel a person can. Time has come together for you. All that was, is, and will be is here for you right now.” A particle of light bounced off the shoulder of his tailored suite and with that he faded away into the the present.

A soft voice asked us to open our eyes. The room was dark, illuminated by a few lights working their way in from another part of the building, and some from the street. Each of us made our way first through the instructor for a hug and then out into the night, surrounded by the noise and vibrancy of the downtown atmosphere.

I ended up at a coffee shop, one of those two story hip places with the brick walls and the nose ring wearing baristas. I ordered an herb tea and sat down to write, listening to the buzz around me and hearing the silence of the time spent in my mind. After emptying an outline of my thoughts onto a digital page in my phone, I set out for a short walk home.

And that is where a lesson on the real world application of “Being in the NOW” presented itself. With one last crosswalk to transverse a busy, fast paced street ahead, it looked as though I was going to share it with a couple going in the same direction. But instead, they crossed against a red light and at a section of the street where there were no painted lines giving pedestrians that false sense of security needed to feel protected from people in vehicles thousands of pounds heavier than a pair of shoes.

One such vehicle approached and nearly ran the two over. The man, seemingly inebriated, began a verbal assault on the driver of the vehicle. Words were thrown as fast as the ball in a game of Jai alai, which is really fast, by the way. The woman remained quiet. The driver stopped abruptly, taking advantage of the lull in traffic, and began his own, similar barrage of words, rebounding those flung at his face with matched velocity.

My turn to cross put me in the center of it all, words racing past my head with breakneck speed, words not worth repeating. These two parties held on to the past that was only moments before and had not moved from it. The past became, for them, more defined, and soon words were no longer enough. The driver of the vehicle abruptly parked and ran towards the couple, fists out. By then I was around the corner and inside our community gate, and could only hear the words between deep thud like noises. I remember thinking it would have been good for at least one of these parties to have attended this night’s meditation class. All three had carried an issue from the past into the present and created an uncertain future. It was a fault that would have been avoided had one, the couple being a whole, of those two parties been in the “NOW,” as the immediate past would have only been just that.

I will be attending next Thursday night’s meditation class.

Chris Plante
July 1, 2017

Simon Shenbetter's Seven Step Series

Simon imparts for us a series of instructions on the craft of the Seven Steps.

The Ballad of Leslie Bianaford

An excerpt of a character description from Chris Plante's next book.

Another Ballad, this time of The Middle Class Male

An excerpt from"Running From The Taxman, A Great American Road Trip," by Chris Plante. It's cool, you really should read it.

A Walk Through Agnus Finklehardt's Lovely Home

In this excerpt we are given a grand tour of a really groovy home commissioned by the late Mr. Finklehardt as a gift to his wife, Agnus.

And Then There Was Brushaway

A batch of correction fluid erased more than anyone expected.

Nanette Anders, Designated "Green Realtor."

Big hair, big house, big SUV, and lots of guns. This lady sells green with a wink.

George & Maryann

Flippin' dud houses for a profit.

The Perfect Family

And they make sure you know it.

A Night at the Modern Art Gallery

Simon Shenbetter, on the last leg of his journey to find the answers to love, life, the meaning of it all, and the IRS - finds all that, and takes us on a tour to see some pretty cool art, too!

Glue Holds us all Together

Simon Shenbetter, on the run from the taxman, explains to his girlfriend Maggie his concept of "man created God."

WB's Dream Job

Traversing the country painting bathrooms in intervals of 300 miles while the beaten run from those who hide behind the Jesus curtain.

Cheap People on the Highway to Presumed Savings

Simon and his travel companion come across a stranded couple on a lone highway looking for a deal.

And so, Here we Are.

An introduction to the Tackey Family clan, on the run from Chinese business men with their stash of makeup in tow.

Let Me Show You My Bible

Simon Shenbetter recants an incident witnessed by the Tackey family in front of a diner involving a man, a pickup truck, a bunch of guns, and a bible.

White Glow, Cadillacs, and Millionaires for God

The Tackey Family has a hit product , Bernie Goldsmith shows up in his gold Caddy, and opportunities abound.

Chinese Mobsters, Peach Lace, and Hippies

The Tackey clan makes a run for it when Chinese mobsters come for their makeup. Simon says a silent farewell to Mabel as she draws closed the peach curtains of her speeding Winnebago. Simon rolls with Hippies in their groovy love bus.