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. There are over 150 posts here. Find them under "Groovy Ideas." Read some, leave for a while, 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.

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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 14, 2013

Dear Maggie,

Sorry you feel that way about “White Glow.” At first I was a little taken aback by your refusal to consider such a lucrative product line that Al Tackey has so graciously offered to franchise us with no out-of-pocket expense.  Perhaps you could still re-think the proposition?  According to Betty Penowski, whom you will remember is Mable and Frank's twenty-one year old daughter, the white glow lip-gloss is a big hit in religious circles.  Now I know neither of us are into the religion thing, and we most likely would not be welcomed far enough into any circle of faith to make a sale.  But we could hire religious salespeople, or at least some who could fake it.  And I know it is not just your aversion to shiny bright lips, but to cosmetics in general.  You are fortunate to not have to wear stuff on your skin, as it graces you perfectly well in its natural state.  Very few are as endowed so well as you.

I'm keeping my door open to other opportunities, one that might cause you to jump out through my tablet screen and yell, “Take it!  Take it!”

     For a brief moment this morning I thought today may be that day, for as I was stepping out of the diner a large shiny gold Cadillac Escalade nearly rammed me right back into the first seat at the counter.  It stopped close enough to for me to place my coffee on its hood and resume shaking without the continued loss of my morning Joe.  A very large man wearing a button down shirt, sports coat, slacks and cowboy boots jumped out.  He apologized four or five times in a row and reached out with his big hand to greet.  I had an easy time shaking it since my hand was still trembling in unison with the rest of me.  Bernie Goldsmith introduced himself as a “Blessed Christian.”  “I make millionaires for God," he said loudly, with a grin on his face that went clear across from one ear to the other.  “I teach folks like you how to work just a few hours a day from home and earn residual income for life!”  Then he offered to fill my coffee cup back up.  We sat down at a booth and he started right in with a long dialogue about capitalism, free trade, republicans, Jesus, church, work ethic, marriage, the rat race, kids, the high cost of college education, reality T.V. stars, health insurance, oil prices, the Middle East, New York City, Kansas, Hollywood, multi level marketing, late night presentations, big houses, and Cadillacs.  My head was spinning somewhere between Jesus and reality T.V. stars.  I'm not sure what late night presentations had to do with it all but I'm guessing that it is part of working a few hours a day from a big house.  So I interrupted him about 45 minutes into it and told him I just wanted to have a handle on my taxes.  “You wanna know how to do taxes, is that it?” he asked.  “Boy, do I have the system for you!”  You can work from home, do your own taxes, have access to hundreds of lawyers any time of the day, even one to represent you in court!”  I told him I don't want to go to court, ever, I just want to turn in a fair tax return.  “Fair is my middle name, fair is what we teach!”  Then he reached out to grab my arm, “But you already know how to be fair, don't you?”  I didn't have time to open my mouth.  “We just have to teach you the mechanics of it all.  We teach you how to be rich!”  He went on to tell me about the system he has for tax preparation, a system with sixteen one-hour long DVD's.  It comes with four notebooks complete with up to date tax forms.  “You don't even have to learn how to do all the stuff,” he went on, “you just get seven people to buy the system and you get your taxes done for free!”  I asked him if I get all the years, 2005 to 2012, for free.  “Sounds like you have some issues,” he perceptually blurted.  Then he looked around, “you living here?” I just shrugged my shoulders.  I think he could see that I did not have seven people who I wanted to know my whereabouts, let alone that I could sell his system to.  People who do what he does for a living all day learn how to read others.  “You have a blessed day,” he said as he got up.  He tore off down the highway in his shiny gold Cadillac just as the waitress came to my table with the bill.

I'm off to help the clan clean out the holding tanks on their Winnebagos.  The hoses have to be rinsed out afterward.  The process requires the use of many gallons of chlorine.

Then later tonight, Mabel and Frank, who have 3 daughters, Betty, who is 21, Beverley, age 19, and Doreen, age 16, plan a big barbecue.  The clan is going to throw a party after to celebrate the engagement of Beverly to some guy from Indianapolis whom she dated for a few years before his parents moved him away from Chicago.  They will be serving peach Kool-Aid in their motor home.  “We serve peach,” Beverly told me today,  “Beatrice and Gerald serve blue cherry mint, and Mildred and Graham serve cola sometimes but mostly clear.  The drinks match the colors of our interiors and don't leave stains on the carpet!”  Then she let me in a little on the soon-to-be-groom.  “He just graduated from high school last year. His family owns a feed store.  Nice people.  They can't make it, but he should be showing up soon.  Say, if that man you are traveling with doesn't come back tonight, can he sleep in your van?”

Yours,
Simon

you can buy a copy of Running From The Taxman, A Great American Road Trip on Amazon.com

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.