Gangster of Love!

“Gamble everything for love, if you are a true human being.

If not, leave this gathering. Half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty.”

  ~~Rumi, The Essential Rumi~~

Gangster of Love.  “It’s such a fine, fine line.”  This song by the 70′s band Talking Heads is torturing my mind.  But in a good way.  It really rocked my 8 miles run today.  So you know I love running with music in the background.  And I mean far in the background because some South Florida motorists aren’t really sharp drivers–the gangster heat (90 degrees with humidity at 67%, and about 0% wind today) probably contributing to the problem making one behave with “gansta rage.”  So if you have to jump in your car to drive somewhere to run, don’t fall asleep at the light or be distracted by mobile devices unless you want to call the paramedics to treat chest pain induced by a concert of car horns from drivers that are uptight!

Using acronyms helped me to survive academia, and also my work life.  Over the years my memory has been trying to go gansta on me, so I’ve decided to go viral with acronyms.  Another confession?  Well, I often use acronyms for everything from motivating myself to get out the door to remembering my favorite spices: Garlic, Rosemary, Anise flower, Basil, Cumin, Cilantro, Turmeric, Onion, and Thyme (GRABCCTOT).  It’s a long story, but totie is island lingo for a mixture of certain spices with a shot of liquor given to the sick or those ‘foming (pretending, or forming?)’ to be sick.   This mixture is also my 80 years old papa’s potion for regaining a little strength when feeling weak. :)

It’s unfortunate the Talking Heads band is no longer in existence.  I am fond of a few of their joints but this Gangster of Love tune has been reverberating in my mind ever since I discovered it yesterday.  It has a sort of funky, dreamy, mischievous tune and a hook calling one to action.

Years ago I had this strong feeling while asleep so I jumped up out of my dream and bed and started writing this program which I’ve been trying to live by. I have this feeling that my salvation, salvation depends on letting go to the unknown elements of Love.  When I put the four principles together, this is the acronym that sounded musical to me.

And so the acronym I want to share with you neatly envelops four basic principles by which I am staking my existence at this moment–BAST!   It is my path to initiating the end of serving death.


The first letter in the acronym BAST stands for Believing in Love.  When I thought life was a scratched record everyone seemed to be playing, if not from 9-5 then 7-7, I felt miserable and started doing something about my role in the music.  When adding it all up, those numbers summed up to 14 and are reduced to 5, not 11–my favorite number (I was born November).  So I decided if I’m going to spend much time on anything, it can’t be a half-heartedness deal.  It has to be 100% about love. This is when my life began to rock like a heavy metal band.  At times everything seems distorted, but I have to still myself to find order in things.  And so I’m still on this road, holding on.ind order in things.  And so I’m still on this road.  Holding on.

Without getting religious on you, it all boils down to whether or not I’m breathing. This is what keeps me in the land of the living, paying bills.  But why am I breathing through holes?  It was a hard question.  Our heart depends on our breathing.  Delicately.  When I am breathing stale air, there is a discordant rhythm that makes my heart miss a beat or two.  Strange thing you know, I noticed drinking coffee and anything to do with caffeine (even inhaling fumes in places serving these) does the same, then there follows a reflexive cough.  So I breathe deeply to put it back in good rhythm and on track.

Before my adventure began, after studying my strong case of the hibbie jibbies, “You have to first believe in love,” I told myself.  Thomas Troward, in his Edinburgh Speeches said “Love is the prime moving power of the creating spirit.” And I definitely love losing myself in this spirit.  It makes me feel alive and kicking.

Looking back over four decades of my life, I’ve done just about everything (unconsciously and consciously) because of my beliefs.  Some of them I would have ripped off your wig to defend.  Yes, this girl has changed.  In fact, quite a bit (I think).  Over the years I’ve shed a few useless ones like the beliefs that prompted me to follow the money leading to a picket fence (isolating my neighbor) declaring ownership of something.  I realize when it comes to materialistic things and anything for that matter–even some transient thoughts troubling me, I cannot hold on to them because in the end I am headed straight to the grave!  With empty hands.  This is why I decided to try tailoring my life as best as I can after a humble Nazarene who campaigned day and night (for 33 years) for us to believe, especially in love.  And while you’re at it, act as a fool in love (sound more poetic) child so you can enter the kingdom of heaven, within.

OYE!  Now it suffices many to just go according to the traffic flow of ordinary living than to risk everything to live with passion.   Believing in love is a powerful principle that will help you do just that.  Every time I try getting off the road to do something foolish my belief in Love redirects me on purpose.  For now I will stay on this path, and since I’ve ACCEPTED THE CALL OF LOVE, this is the direction I’m moving in–running to Stomp chronic diseases one step at at time.  Being a Gangster of Love, the ride is both frightening and exhilarating!  I’m now abiding in grace.  If you’re on this road, share it with us.  Don’t give up.  Let’s encourage one another!


A man resting under a coconut tree today. :)