Miller and Debbie Harrell, Running Away Was Not an Option

Running Away Was Not an Option

MAD Hippies Life, Memories, Running Away Was Not an OptionKeepsakes, Family Photos, PolaroidsDid we both want to run at first sight? You bet ya! But it was too late. We both agree that we would have rather never met one another than be given a chance to walk away. Simply put, running away was not an option.

A recent conversation revealed another common feeling both of us had many years ago when we first met. Though perhaps somewhat counter to the way we were really feeling about each other then, and now, it spells out how deeply both of us feel for one another. Funny how we’ve been together 35 years and still keep learning new things about each other. A feeling we both share was that running away was not an option!

Was it love at first sight? Yes, and no. While we would both tell you, when we first met there was an immediate chemistry, we would also tell you it was the last thing on our minds.

Prior to our meeting we both felt a longing for something, yet unaware of what that something was but have come to realize it was a piece of one another’s soul. The honest side of the story that has come to the surface of late, neither one of us wanted to be in a relationship, nor were we looking for one. We were content to be alone, not wanting to partake in the often awkward human practice of dating or wanting to engage in the vulnerability of getting into a relationship.

As it were, and by a chance meeting, we did find one another and so began the history of us, MAD.

Did we both want to run at first sight? You bet ya! But it was too late. We both agree that we would have rather never met one another than be given a chance to walk away. Simply put, running away was not an option!

Over the years we have come to understand more fully what took place and how it would shape both of our lives, rather, shape our life together. You see, if either one of us were asked to talk about our fondest memory it would always contain “us” rather than a separate event apart from the other. It has always been us and will always be us when it comes to memories, time, togetherness, life.

Perhaps not for everyone, but given the chance, we would spend every breathing moment together. Unfortunately the bills have to be paid, and thus time is “stolen” from us during the work week. Needless to say a good data package with our smartphone provider is a must!

We do not need personal space. We don’t want separation in any form. Our memories, experiences and life together encompass all things from the mundane to the life altering. We would not want it any other way.

Looking back it has always been us. Looking forward it will always be us. When we are gone, our children, their childen and beyond will speak about us. The bottom line and truth about us from the beginning has been, MAD. Running away was not an option!

Peace,

MAD

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Hike to Nowhere

Hike to Nowhere, Rocky Mountain National ParkSometimes the best outdoor adventures have no goals, no expeditions to high mountain peaks and pristine alpine lakes. Sometimes the best adventures are found deep in the forest, off trail with only the sound of silence to reward you. Sometimes the best adventures are nothing more than a hike to nowhere.

We took a hike just such as this. With no goal in mind and no destination planned, the rule of the day was, just hike until it feels right. The trail had no real defining features. A well blended forest of alpine fir, lodgepole pine and aspen opening here and there with an occasional glimpse of snow-capped mountain peaks. A gentle rolling creek trickling alongside on our left fed by a high alpine lake in the far distance. Steep slopes rising to the right and dropping to the left, leaving just enough room for the trail and our unknown destination of a hike to nowhere.

We meandered our way up the canyon, stopping here and there, taking a non-aggressive pace and enjoying the quiet of nature.

At some point the trail turned away from the creek and headed uphill. We, on the other hand, did not. Following the creek, off the trail, we made our own way. Our trail to nowhere brought us to a small outcropping overlooking the creek, surrounded by dense woods and the perfect place to call it a day.

Hike to Nowhere, Trail FoodThere we were, all alone, despite the wildlife who possibly hadn’t seen humans for quite some time, if ever. We coexisted well with them and enjoyed each other’s company. For us, time didn’t exist.

While preparing lunch we looked up at a lone aspen tree that sat on the edge of the outcropping and were dumbstruck at our finding. Perfectly carved in its aging trunk, a peace emblem. Indeed, this was the spot we had been looking for. Perfect in so many ways, and yet, perhaps, unimpressive to anyone else.

Sometimes the best outdoor adventures have no goals, no expeditions to high mountain peaks and pristine alpine lakes. Sometimes the best adventures are found deep in the forest, off-trail, with only the sound of silence to reward you. Sometimes the best adventures are nothing more than a hike to nowhere.

Hike to Nowhere, Peace SignBirds singing, a gentle breeze winding its way through the trees and the creek running gently below us, we sat front row to a natural symphony while a flood of memories of our lives together danced through our heads.

Our hike to nowhere had indeed taken us to a very special place.

Peace,

MAD

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4th of July Fireworks

As the snow melts away and reveals the high tundra, wildflowers come to life and explode in their own spectacle of colors. Reds, blues, yellows, purples and a multitude of colors splash themselves against the backdrop of snow covered peaks making for quite the scenery only found on postcards. 4th of July fireworks are not only found in the city!

It’s that time of year again. The long winter’s nap has all but faded into a distant memory. Trees and grasses are green again and the wildflowers have bloomed in their vast array of colors. Picnics, barbecues and gatherings surround 4th of July fireworks as summertime is now in full swing.

Why would we disturb natural tranquility for mass explosions and such a spectacle of light over the 4th of July? Patriotism, family fun and good old fashioned America no doubt.

If that’s not necessarily your thing, you are in luck. The back country of the Colorado Rocky Mountains offer up their own holiday cheer with just as much color, and far less commotion. Just as the Wilderness Act of 1964 says, “…outstanding opportunities for solitude…”

As the snow melts away and reveals the high tundra, wildflowers come to life and explode in their own spectacle of colors. Reds, blues, yellows, purples and a multitude of colors splash themselves against the backdrop of snow covered peaks making for quite the scenery only found on postcards. The 4th of July fireworks are not only found in the city!

If the noise and busyness are getting to you while so many are gathered together in the city for the 4th of July fireworks, try heading to the mountains for a calmer, more intimate and serene experience this year. There is no lack of wow factor and you just might find yourself relaxing a bit. A sunrise, early morning hike and a nap in the afternoon by a cool running stream might be just what the doctor ordered!

Our top 3 hiking trails near Denver to see wildflowers:

  1. Lake Isabelle & Isabelle Glacier
  2. Arapaho Glacier & South Arapaho Peak
  3. Heart Lake & Rogers Pass

Peace,

MAD

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Summer Breeze

Summer BreezeAn almost perfect moment in time, a cool summer breeze, listening to music and watching nature unfold into another day.

It’s 5:00 in the morning, the airport is still and a gentle morning summer breeze is rolling through. Sitting outside, in what normally is an extremely hostile environment, feels calm and serene. Perched atop a piece of aircraft servicing equipment, watching the drama of night and day play out, the early morning light begins to overtake the dark and create amazingly rich colors across the sky.

I sit, iPod on, earbuds in, the Rush album Signals drifting through my ears, all coordinating in a seemingly remarkable multi-dimensional composition of sound and nature in such an unlikely place. The song “The Weapon (Part II Of Fear)” sparks the imagination and gives way to the enchanting violins of the next song “Losing It” that dances with the sunrise. I’ve often enjoyed the silence of headphones (now days earbuds) that shut out the world and allows for no interference where my imagination is left to wander.

An almost perfect moment in time, a cool summer breeze, listening to music and watching nature unfold into another day. I say, almost perfect. Despite being at work, and most noticeably, wishing Debbie was here with me to experience what I’m seeing and feeling, I take what I can get to pass the time of being someplace I don’t want to be. Some days you just want to quit the rat race and run to the mountains. Who created this mess we call life anyway?

The music continues and I wonder, does anyone even see the sunrise anymore? Are we all just so damn busy to realize the natural world and what we really are? The lyrics linger as the dark fades to light and another day begins…

 “Some are born to move the world
To live their fantasies
But most of us just dream about
The things we’d like to be
Sadder still to watch it die
Than never to have known it
For you, the blind who once could see
The bell tolls for thee…”

Peace,

MAD

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The Most Powerful Weapon

The Most Powerful Weapon
Photo: MAD Hippies Life – Street Art: David Choe

What is the most powerful weapon known to humanity, the mind of man. For it is his mind that creates, devises and unleashes the nightmares we have endured throughout the ages.

We stand on crowded trains looking around at everyone, judging them the best we can with what we think we know and leave knowing less. Did we even bother to ask, to understand, to even care that they, too, live in their own hell? We’re so consumed with knowing [about] everyone else we forget who we are, we forget to become ourselves. The question begs to be asked, what is the most powerful weapon known to humanity?

Try as we may, no one will ever know the secret world that lives on within each man, woman and child. We share, we expound and we allow ourselves to be known as we so choose. Doubtful though, anyone will ever really know the entirety of an individual’s life, the intricate details of their experiences. Much less how they were affected by others, and to the extent that others would even consider their own impact on someone else.

How deep do we go? What depth of life do we strive for? To what end do we allow ourselves the freedom to live within? What outer influences hold us at bay? Are we a shipwreck to the rest of the world, all the while a succession of creative thought to ourselves? Or, to the contrary, a shipwreck on the inside all the while an upright citizen to the masses?

Who really knows us? Who would really want to? Do we know ourselves? To what end are we under the scope of those wanting to know us, using as it were, patterns of human behavior to assume our reactions to any given situation? Who of us would know the difference? How deep do we allow ourselves to be?

Are we programmed from birth? Are we programmed in our learning institutions? Are we allowed freedom of thought? Do we have such? Labeled as rebellious we defend our desire to question, while others succumb, accept and live out what they are told. Choose freedom of speech or contend to be silenced by those who disagree.

Just what are we? Physical, spiritual, a dream? Do we even exist at all? Is everything on the outside of our mind an illusion? Where in time, where in the cosmos, where in the fabric of our existence are we? How have we evolved into the here and now? To what end will we go forward knowing we are killing ourselves, physically, spiritually and emotionally? Are we at liberty to question G-d?

Are we content with our knowledge? Are we accepting of what we think we know? Is our understanding biased by memes? Do we know anything at all? Do we judge another without ever knowing them… how could we ever really know them at all? Are we just judging what we’ve been allowed to know?

Trust is lost, empathy abandoned, relationships disintegrated…humanity replaced by generic memes driving economic growth. Religion and Politics have replaced G-d while philosophy and art are manipulated to be weapons to drive man into a self-induced lobotomy. Nothing is original except the weapon used to manipulate man. The original sin of man is his inability to own his own mind.

What is the most powerful weapon known to humanity, the mind of man. For it is his mind that creates, devises and unleashes the nightmares we have endured throughout the ages. Equally so, man creates good. Knowing what is good and what is evil is an age old question, a personal dilemma with global ramifications.

Peace,

MAD

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Between the Lines

Between the LinesHave you ever just sat back and considered the detail of your life? Have you ever tried to read between the lines? No doubt if you have you’ve seen many coincidences that have made you think about your life all the more.

There’s no secret that we tend to filter everything through the mystical, hence we tend to read between the lines. Though we’re not overtly religious, and would probably be deemed irreligious, there’s more to the story than face value. Yes, there is a G-d. Yes, there is an intelligent design to the cosmos. No, we don’t feel a four-walled organized religion is the way to go [for us].

There are many aspects to all religions that seem to have the fingerprint of a moral compass, and that’s a good thing, they also seem to have man driven ideologies that can equally impact in a negative way. We listen, observe and consider, from a distance. For us it’s the mystical observations found in between the lines.

Of late we have been looking at patterns, physically and spiritually, that would give us further insight into our relationship. Why, you ask? Well, if we had to explain it would come in the notion that we do accept that our relationship is almost too good to be true. Not that we’re complaining. But, it just doesn’t seem to be the norm. Allow us to explain through our observations from a somewhat eclectic approach.

Spirituality, mysticism, astrology, kabbalism and numerology all seem to get a bad rap from the naysayers. Relating them all in the same mind set on the other hand can be quite a mouthful full of complexities that take time to evaluate, understand and even accept. That being said, pull up a chair and be patient.

In Judaism there is a practice of reading through the Torah [Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers] each year, the cycle repeating each year thereafter. In a nut shell, each day of the entire year has a corresponding assigned portion to read. As well, the Psalms are also read alongside in like fashion. If one approached this from a rote mentality there would be a likelihood of missing out on a deep spiritual impact.

Here is where we get off the religious wagon and walk down the path less traveled. We have approached this same reading schedule with an interesting question. Is there something between the lines here, something that somehow corresponds to us, say a major life event as the day we were born or were married? We think so. For the purpose of this writing we’ll focus on our marriage.

We were married on March 27, 1984, that being the Gregorian calendar. On the Jewish calendar, Adar ll 23, 5744. It was a waning moon, three days before the new moon. The Torah portion for the day we were married was Par Tazria, or Leviticus 13:18 – 13:23. At first glance this just seems like some Jewish religious practice. And while that is true, there’s more to it. Just reading those  passages alone probably won’t tell you much either, unless you’re into leprosy and how it was dealt with in the Torah. Not a popular topic to say the least.

However, once we begin to read between the lines, a rather interesting pattern begins to emerge that has much more to say than dealing with a disease. Looking at the letters, words and phrases, in the Hebrew alphabet, has enough to chew on for several lifetimes. Hell, the numerology, or gematria, itself is perplexing. To simplify, if that were so, we’ll focus on the “hidden” content.

A bit of history about us. When we first me, even before that, and soon thereafter, we were already questioning everything. We trusted no one. Sure, we were fragile teenagers dealing with our own issues. A relationship is not something we wanted or were looking for. But it happened. It wasn’t long before we figured out we were both in the same boat and that we both felt familiar to each other. We both wanted away from the world and to be left alone. We needed a fresh start from the norm.

Back to the Torah portion. Examining the afflicted person, “The Kohen shall look at it, and behold – the affliction has changed to white, the Kohen shall declare the affliction pure; it is pure.” (Leviticus 13:17). The color white has long been understood as meaning, clean and pure. Even in cultural memes, white is used in many ways to designate something good, holy and undefiled. The idea of becoming pure, clean, moreover, the moment just before becoming pure and clean occurs, is a notion found in between the lines in that this would be the time the Messiah would come, at the climax of the greatest intensity. This would be the unveiling moment when destiny is revealed.

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 97a) describes the Messiah as coming only after the governments of the world become totally heretical, come to a climax. Again in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 98a), it speaks of the generation when the Messiah will come, “a totally deserving, or totally guilty” generation. A generation at its climax.

Our point being, we were at a climax in our lives. The intrigue is that the Torah portion is associated with the day of our marriage when we were at the apex of change and went a whole new direction in our lives with the energy of change, the same energy the Torah speaks of. Thirty-four (at the time of this writing) years later we are still moving forward in that energy, still connected to each other, if not more, than ever before. There is something to be said about destiny, connectivity and the energy that binds it together. Understanding such evidence is not necessarily vital, but sure does help us understand just what our lives are about and how our unique relationship has had an impact on us.

If that were not enough, interestingly, on the day of both of our births the Torah portions for those days also describe new beginnings, receptively fitting to both our own personalities at that. Debbie being the role of sacrifice, offering and teaching future generations (Leviticus 1:1-13). Mine being yet another beginning, another apex if you will, where man was moved from the Garden of Eden to work the soil of the earth as he strives forward to go back, knowing both good and evil (Genesis 3:22-4:18).  Coincidence? The references don’t end here, are certainly not tied only to religious content and have become overwhelmingly too numerous to put in this one writing.

Are you curious about the patterns in your own life? Start researching and be amazed! Need help? Drop us a line and we’ll try to share some resources with you.

Peace,

MAD

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Macro Photography

Divine Destiny or Happenstance

Divine destiny or Happenstance

Was it divine destiny or happenstance? Could it have been just a chance meeting of two young kids who found solace in each other’s presence?

OK, so here we go again. Valentines Day is back and it’s time to tell that special someone how much they mean to you. Sure, it’s a silly money making campaign that millions indulge in every year. But hey, why not, winter is slowly exiting, spring is around the bend and we could all use a little fire in our hearts, right? Hell, it helps the economy too, and who doesn’t love a good economic stronghold!

Not that we ever go out of our way to celebrate this love-fest, as certainly everyone should be telling the love of their lives on any given day how much they love them. Besides, this might just be the right moment you’ve been looking for to take that relationship to the next level. Go for it!

For us, after 34ish years, the fire still burns hot. It’s crazy, every day, month and year that passes, we just seem to grow, better yet, meld together all the more. The picture above is of our wedding bands, the lettering is in Hebrew, “Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li” which in English states, I am My Beloved’s and My Beloved is Mine.

That being said, this year for Valentines Day we’ll be honoring each other not with candy, flowers or even a good strong Russian Imperial Stout, but by looking back at all the little details of our lives together.

It’s quite strange once you put your mind to it, but there really are a plethora of tiny little intricacies that got us to where we are today. Take any one of them away and things could be quite different around here. Scary thought!

Was it divine destiny or happenstance? Could it have been just a chance meeting of two young kids who found solace in each other’s presence?

That’s where the details come in. The details of divine destiny, happenstance and chance meetings all woven together to bring two love-struck teenagers into one place at the same time where lives would be altered, love would explode and the energy of it all would catapult us into the future to arrive at such a place as this.

Who really knows how it happens. We’re just glad it did. Maybe we read too much into it, maybe not. We’ve certainly experienced the following.

  1. It is said of twin flames and soul mates that they find that time just seems to stand still. That goes two ways, when we’re together it’s just us, the world disappears and we get lost in each other. When we’re apart, we cannot wait to be together again.
  2. When we first met, it was odd, we didn’t have those uncomfortable feelings and awkward moments new couples go through, it just felt normal and comfortable like we’d done this before.
  3. We share everything in common. It is as if both of us could just switch places and be comfortable in the other’s place.
  4. Our experiences and values were seemingly the same. We wonder at times how we didn’t meet sooner.
  5. We accepted each other at face value, day one and continue to do so to this day.
  6. To that point, and mostly because of that point, we helped each other mature and grow over the years. Complementing each other’s weaknesses and strengths.
  7. Lastly [to keep the list short], no matter what we’ve come up against in life, struggles inside and out of our relationship, we continue to desire to be together to the nth degree.

Taking this to an even deeper level, as we tend to enjoy reading about the more mysterious and mystical side of life, we found many intriguing details of our personal selves that complement each other in some fascinating ways. From a metaphysical, kabbalistic, religious, numerological, physical, astrological, physiological, logical and illogical standpoint, there are many signs that we have discovered over the years that tell us we are indeed meant to be together.

Was it divine destiny or happenstance? Yes, and perhaps a few other things. One thing is for sure, we both agree we found our other half and became one.

Peace,

MAD

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