Noah’s Ark and the middle road.

painting by Cheryl Allen

Individual Liberty

“Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood.” – John Adams, 1765

Liberty is the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views. People choosing to walk the middle road hope to be liberated from the heat of angers and aggression of our nation. We can’t make sense of the polarized screamer’s dramatic behavior.

“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.’ To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition.” – Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, 1791

The Star Children or old souls have not voiced their stance. At least not outside their limited, shrinking circles. The country is already run by the polarized screamers and we see now, in front of us, how this works out. We are much more community minded and holistic. I can think of zero like minded that would ever run for office. That’d mean you deal with the polarized screamers. “No thanks.” We’d much rather dance in our joy with one another than to fight others – a battle no one will win.

I think ‘mercy’ has a lot to do with our silence. We’ve been taught for lifetimes to forgive and keep dancing, and forgive again, and stay out of the fray. We forgive simply, but for many it’s more a matter of trust and shrinking our circles to give more to those we trust and matter most us.

It’s evident the past few days and weeks the ‘star children’ are coming together, like a gale force wind. But the question remains, within the wise conversations, that it has become a matter of trust and the decision of the ‘good herd’ is either shrinking one’s circles or to enter the war with no end.

For me and my tribe, we strive to do no harm.

If ‘Do No Harm’ is our mantra, so why fight a war with others refusing to journey to the middle road? The polar ends are separating and polarizing people. If we choose to build our own walls of compassion and love – a remarkable concept will unfold. Whether literally or ‘figuratively’ removing the ‘polarized’ ‘screamers’ from our circle and compartmentalizing them to love and/or compete with one another — what’s left in the middle road is compassion and love. This is our treasure – compassion and love – this is what we will protect from the thieves of joy.

In a time that seems only to be worsening, now may be the time to withdraw from society and protect our treasures. I love my tribe too much and daily, I’m seemingly more repulsed by the polarized screamers.

I know not whether to step up or step out. It may be time to gather our treasures and watch the dramas from the inside out. We are on a different journey. The macro thinking of the wise are not looking solely at macro government changes, but a change for the Universe for good. Until then, so far we have built an ark and invited our people inside.

It’s like dharma and karma have united creating peace in the midst of chaos.

It certainly seems better to stabilize within your circle and keep your friend few than to try and associate in the chaos. Gather your treasures and don’t let them be stolen by the emotions of the people.

My sister told me many years ago to shrink my circles because when my circles are too big, I give little to few. When I shrink them I give abundance. ~Noah’s Ark~

There will be a time to widen the circle again, and when we draw it back in our hopes are we have gained enough fuel for our soul to help promote compassion and love — do no harm is the minimum. But now certainly does not seem to be the time. Pluralism and acceptance are at an all time low. We do not have the stamina to fight a war we cannot win.

The time is to think Global and act very local in a small sphere of Noah’s Ark. The goal is to keep the pure seed for seeding the future. Follow your heart and the heart will guide us through.


Lord, have mercy.

It’s difficult to accept and understand the inept character and integrity of a person purposely harming another. It’s understandable, but not acceptable for people not knowing they are harming another, doing so anyway, yet fighting for their right to do so.

Losing trust in society and retreating to the shrunken circles many of us have created in the past months is quite evident to the middle road street people.

O’er, I know not, but God said not knowing is dharma; back in Revelation.


If you think you know, you don’t know. Not knowing or nothingness is also the 14th Dalai Lama’s creed. Believers of a compassionate higher power deem the same — ‘do good’, ‘repent or turn away’, compassion, love, selflessness. I’d love to invite them all to a bbq.

Crush a coconut every year and let it all out.

Times are overwhelming. The screamers. The silent. Both radical — extreme polars knowing, without doubt ‘I am right, you are wrong.’

Battling | War — for what? To change the other person?

What an opportunity to release a deep rooted issue from one’s soul by acting out with passion directly against the very thing you hate, both standing together so far away from the middle you can just barely make out what they care about. We are in the midst of a civil war for integrity and character. This blows my mind. Nobody wins.

But what about the majority amongst the screamers living in the middle. A diverse community of like minded people are sitting in limbo not trusting anything, nor anyone except the middle. It’s like a cult of the good people, some we’ve never met. All joining together as a force for sanity within an epic storm of chaos.

So, what do we do, as the middle road street people to attract a simple mantra of ‘Do No Harm?” You’d figure ‘center of influence’ would suffice to solving the political issues we face today, but no ‘middle roader’ in their sound mind would run for political office, and this has been a fact for decades.


I don’t know the answer. I do not have a solution. My guess is that we, as the middle majority (God willing) will have to ask ourself and at least two other people (look in the mirror, ask the next 2 people you’d invite to a BBQ) ‘what matters most to you?’ And prioritize, as a nation what matters most and do this first. The leaders must organize these priorities of the majority and place them on a timeline aligned to what matters most to the majority.

A simple, doable, and measurable roadmap needs to be articulated to the people, (not just the majority – everyone) with transparency and a process to measure progress or lack thereof. It should not be this difficult to find a candidate you’d want to invite over for a BBQ. That’s why Clinton, Busch, and Obama were cool. Play the sax, shoot some hoop, have a cold one, and score some chics. Odds are they all three play spades, shoot dice, and throw a mean disc.

Sometimes I wonder if Jesus,, Mohammad, Jerry Garcia, Bob Marley, Anthony Bourdain, and  Steve Jobs are hanging out – swinging their legs over a dark rain-cloud, screaming and laughing, with lightening bolts of karma, and Cold Coors, just pickin’ and grinnin’ casting stones towards Earth, like a simple game of corn-hole.

I learned a good lesson listening to The 14th Dalai Lama  ~’Do no harm’ & Tolerance’. This is what I want to exemplify. |Do no harm.| I just hope that the middle is the majority. #GodSpeed, Charles.


charles-kochel-imageCharles Kochel, at home in the Ozarks or wearing a mask when I must be out.

I’m a flatlander living in the hills and have a $37 smoker. My grill was adopted from the side of the road many years ago. She’s seen a lot, as has my fly rod.

I help make shine, cleavers, and Dave Grisman folded in a ping-pong match against me in Missouri. He asked me to play a tune for him on mandolin. I barely knew one ~ ‘ `Arkansas Traveler.

Life Simplified

The core of human existence revolves around 5 principles. This is what matters most to us, yet we seldom set daily intentions to nurture our joy of existence.

Spirituality – The theory of dirt. What happens when you die? Do you turn into organic matter and that’s it, or is there something more? The simple belief (faith) that there is something more gives purpose in life, from here the spider web of religions present chaos, bitterness, and the ugly finger pointing: “I’m right and you’re wrong.” The fact that we are all a product of our own environment should present, at the least, a state of mindfulness opening our hearts and minds to other’s existence and beliefs. The business of hyper-religious sects (radicals) polarizes our communication and our ability to listen and learn from others. My religion is very simple. My religion is compassion.

Relationships – Sharing life with others that we love and care about lies dead in the middle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The roller coaster of joy and pain shouldn’t be shouldered alone. Without love and friendship – you only have spirituality and no one should have to go through life alone. Be cognizant of those that show up in the good times and the bad. Because if shit hasn’t hit the fan yet, it will – again and again. And those that matter most to you, more, those that you matter most to will help you through the bad times and celebrate with you the good, without motives. Life without ego is beautiful, live it.

Health – Your mind, body, and soul are your temple for living a quality life. What matters most to you cannot be fulfilled without health. The unfortunate part of life is that sometimes we can’t control our health. It is important to understand what you can control and take action and what we can not control and let go. This doesn’t have to mean carving out time on the mat for yoga or the gym; you don’t have to become vegetarian or vegan. Carving out time for simple tasks can be enough, like breathing, eating, hydration, and exercise. But what about nourishing our minds and our soul? How do we eliminate ‘monkey mind’ or slow the ‘ping-pong balls’ in our head? There are 3 things you can do for yourself that will make all the difference: Educate, Entertain, and Inspire. Another way to look at health is through the eyes of the 8 limbs of yoga.

Live Better by being mindful of all your actions

Time – It’s all we’ve got and the one thing we can’t get back. Time is defined as the indefinite continued process of existence. Even the definition blows my mind. We can’t control time, but we can control what we do with it. So, make the most of your time here on Earth. A simple structure for time can be prioritizing what matters most and do first. Organize your priorities and place them on a timeline. Simplify a doable and measurable process and plan to accomplish your goals. The question to ask yourself is this, “Self, what matters most to me?” When you’re dead and gone, swinging your legs from the heavenly cloud placed just for you to sit, what do you want to see? What you see, starts now. Nurture the good, turn away (repent) of the bad and move on. Shrink your circles and give more to the people and things that matter most to you. Life is chaotic and time flies. Carpe’ Diem, Laissez les bons temps rouler, do more of what you love.

Freedom – Ouch, this seems to be our problem. Free from the daily stresses of life. Free from guilt. Free from overwhelming responsibilities. Total freedom is a state of mind and should be treated as such. No one can take away the freedom from your soul. If you prioritize Spirituality, Relationships, Health, and Time – Freedom will come naturally. Get out of the realm of more, more, more – bigger, and faster and appreciate what you have. Be content and live life. Some of the happiest people I know, don’t have much at all in the light of things, but the light they shine is brighter than the sun. These are my people. This is my tribe. Be Free and live the life created for you. Life is hard, but with a few simple adjustments, life can be enjoyed, appreciated, and lived like it should be. Enjoy the journey, it’s your life.

Charles Kochel can be found meandering the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, and sometime Missouri. I’m passionate to the point of fault about the things I care about most.

Fly fishing, writing, and spending time with my family and friends is all I really ask for. I don’t need too many ‘things’, but I’ve been with a lot and without a lot – and I must admit it’s better with than without.

Fact is, if a person has never been without, it’s difficult to appreciate ‘the with’. Life is short, live it and do your best. As long as I can look in the mirror and think, “Ata boy”, I’ll make it. It’s the times when I don’t like the person looking back at me from the mirror I know that change must take place. Good luck out there, stay safe, and do more of what you love.