Posted by: scintillatingspeck | December 6, 2012

An uncommon guy.

For the past week and a half, I had the great privilege of hosting Guy McPherson, a.k.a. Guy McStinction (alas, I can’t claim to have invented that moniker).  It was a maelstrom of activity, abundant conversation, driving hither and yon, listening to his presentations, observing others’ reactions, and being immersed in a completely different sort of daily life.  It was an intense experience to arrange the logistics, and it was especially intense to be in Guy’s presence nearly every waking moment for that period of time.  Perhaps some of you reading already know this, but let me tell you some of what I’ve learned about him:

  • Feeding him large quantities of ice cream is a good idea.
  • He is unbelievably generous.
  • He is hilarious.
  • It’s good to have black tea and a vat of honey on hand.
  • He is deeply kind…
  • …but doesn’t suffer fools gladly.
  • He holds tenaciously to truth-telling and integrity.
  • Given a laptop and YouTube, he makes a great jukebox.
  • Lily says, “He’s one of the playful grown-ups.”
  • He is radical.  This seems to freak some people out.  I rejoice to find a kindred spirit.
  • He’s smart, articulate, and has excellent critical thinking skills.
  • He has a knack for “comfort[ing] the afflicted and afflict[ing] the comfortable.”  [Edited to add: see link below in the comments for the origin of this phrase.]

I could go on, but if he’s reading this, I’ve probably embarrassed him sufficiently.  Needless to say, I think he’s extraordinary, and it was a treat to have him here.  I say this fully cognizant of the upwelling of emotional struggle I experience as a result of the topics he brings up.

He’s gone now, and it feels mighty strange.  I’m sad.  I miss him already.  Amazing how quickly one can feel close to another.

I’m not sure how I’m supposed to “get back into a routine.”  I don’t want a routine.  I don’t want to pretend that everything is dandy, or that I can just plug into the standard templates of everyday cultural imperialism.  I feel the weight of expectation around my shoulders, to go along with the crowd, to not bring up matters of real importance, i.e., risk alienating people, to fit some image of what a 40-year-old “stay-at-home” mama is supposed to look like.  This all strikes me as total bullshit and a waste of time.  Nevertheless the feeling wags at me like a scolding finger.  Scolding finger, I’m flipping you the bird.  I’m going to have plenty to write about in the days to come, just you wait.


  1. I dig this line:
    He has a knack for “comfort[ing] the afflicted and afflict[ing] the comfortable.”

  2. Thanks for your kindness, Jen, and for your excellent writing

  3. thanks Jen!
    I miss you and also, I wanted to hear Guy while he was in the valley….and have now been able to see him on youtube. Wonderful!

    So this commentary may be choppy but here’s what’s on my mind:
    I think about “identity” – the identity we perceive ourselves to be or how we feel we are being perceived by others as – teacher, mother, leader, poor-person, healer….. are all masks under the truth of one who ‘contains multitudes.’ When we live our truth, many ways of being show themselves, eventually all fading away into anther way of being, depending on our circumstance or conditioning. When I am attached to my way of perceiving myself – whether it is as an empowered person or someone with self doubt, I lock into that identity, which eventually limits my possibilities, my mind, my actions, my attitudes. but, when can I let go, breath into just being in this moment and caring for the things needed at hand, that grip is released and more of me (the inspired Self) can come into the truth of the moment – actions, words, deeds, etc.

    Also, the earth and government/ruling empire – all these problems & issues at hand are too big for a few folks to handle – like Guy mentions in his A&Q talk on his “Ah, Ha!” moment when going to put out a huge fire by himself, but we each can make conscious choices about how we live our lives, thru the perspective of kindness, helpfulness, compassion, right action – these each being an attitude in action. Anger only goes so far, but knowing that the state of impermanence is part of life, I can choose what is next for myself and how I am in contact with others daily. I economy of appreciation would allow us all to practice virtues of kindness and compassion, needed in these times.

  4. @spot on Jen. The man loves his ice cream!

  5. I was one of Guy’s graduate students. Carrotchasing is right; Jen described him well! Guy also has a knack for making you do better work than you can by telling you how good you are at it. Luckily, I got a Lifetime Feedback option with my degree, which comes in handy when I have a really outrageous idea that I need to try out on someone. Nothing shocks Guy and he gives great advice. Thanks again, Guy.

    • Aw, pshaw, Cindy. You’re welcome, always.

  6. […] arrangements. Herein, I offer some ideas and tools for a successful visit. You might want to read the perspective of a host from late 2012 in the wake of my […]

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