Neil Young and the creative process

"We went lookin' for faith
on the forest floor,
And it showed up everywhere,
In the sun and the water
and the falling leaves,
The falling leaves of time."

-- Neil Young from "You're My Girl"

In a recent television interview, singer-songwriter Neil Young talked about the creative process.

He said an interesting thing: essentially, when creating something, to think is one of the worst things you can do. He believes in the truth of the moment. He gathers memories, impressions, without editing much, without the chatter of the mind interfering. Better for something to be presented with flaws but be honest. When performing, being technically perfect doesn't necessarily make it better. Good execution without soul is not his style.

His many fans around the world agree. It's something that has served him well for over five decades of artistic production.

Changing perceptions about drugs

What to do about all of the problems related to drug trafficking and addiction?

Countries spend billions to fight drug-related crime, interdict shipments of illegal substances, process people facing charges in the courts and care for those suffering from physical and mental issues stemming from drug use. The list of social problems related to the "war on drugs" is as long as your arm and growing. Taxpayer costs keep rising at a time when no government can afford to see budget deficits worsen.

While some countries have examined legalizing certain drugs, one in particular has taken a novel approach. Ten years ago, Portugal decided to change the prevailing mindset about drug use: rather than treat it as criminal activity, the government chose instead to focus on it as a national health issue. The approach has yielded some very positive results and now the United States is studying the Portuguese model.

The details are in the story linked here.
More in this AP story.

Photo courtesy of

Lightness of Being

Happiness and laughter mean different things to different people.

Here are some perspectives I like:

"Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances." - Benjamin Franklin

"People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be." - Abraham Lincoln

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." - Mohandas K. Gandhi

"Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of your heart. " - Mort Walker

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people." - Victor Borge

Mirth is God's medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it." - Henry Ward Beecher

"When people are laughing, they're generally not killing each other." - Alan Alda