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  • Kevin Arnold

It’s one of those many things

I’d chosen to never worry about

But now my son Scotty has his First home he wants that precious Hour after work to overlook the Hudson Valley from what was Previously a summer cabin and Which he’s now sharing with Either a squirrel or a racoon Who manages to steal the food Scotty puts out in a safe trap So now I’m a fan of this national Habit that was put in place to Save energy or our glorious country From something awful I forget just what

  • Writer's pictureKevin Arnold

Here’s a picture of Carol taken by Sanjay Bonde, after we’d shared a milkshake after her lunch. She’s all strapped in for me to return her to De Un Amor.

Sanjay, a Silicon Valley CEO we know through exercise class, and his charming wife Sangeeta, called De Un Amor, looking for Carol on their way to Carmel and found us at the Cadillac Cafe in Watsonville where I’d taken Carol for a milkshake.

This picture is from inside the cafe:

The last two pictures are of Carol with Sanjay, one from yesterday and one from November 2016, two months before Carol moved to De Un Amor, where she’s been well taken care of for over three years now. Last year she was taken off Hospice and then, later, Palliative Care. Too healthy!

Carol's charm and her grace hasn’t reduced by one millionth.  Her eyes warmly engage and penetrate your soul, exuding compassion befitting an angel.

She sleeps a lot now, needs a wheelchair, requires help eating, and has a hard time constructing a full sentence (those pesky irretrievable nouns) but she smiles a lot and truly seems to enjoy her life. I usually help her with lunch and then take her out for a car ride, often to the ocean. She responds so warmly that the long drive seems effortless.

Carol and I only do the milkshake routine once a month or so, but Sanjay and Sangeeta tracked us down.

  • Writer's pictureKevin Arnold

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:

I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalm 32:8

Easy as 1-2-3.

First, get into a comfortable position, often lying down. Loosen tight clothing.

Second, fill your lungs as you count to seven. Then inhale deeper as you count 8-9-10 (demonstrate that you can push yourself a little further than you thought).

Third, with fully-filled lungs, wait five seconds before you exhale. This would be a good time to silently say your mantra (see below).

Repeat. I try to do at least five of these breaths at a time, which I mentally count on my fingers. If you’re concentrating, one round of five of these, a handful, will often produce some physical sign that your digestive tract is relaxing, at least a gurgle. Welcome any sign you’re losing control by taking control.

That’s it!

Some kind of mantra-like saying in the five seconds your lungs are fully expanded can enhance your experience. The internet has hundreds of mantra recommendations. My preference is for a mantra that’s aspirational but not ridiculously so. If I picture myself getting the Nobel prize for literature next year it won’t register, but if I see the world slowly recognizing me, I may smile.

If you want to focus on your marriage, your mantra might be “Jorge and I share a wonderful life together.” Perhaps “I am a powerful black woman” might be appropriate. If you’re comfortable, you might include God. Two of my favorites are “God loves to team up with me,” and “God enjoys making good things happen for me.” You can use different words on different days, or even on the same day. Some days I just count, slowly, to five.




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