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Douglas Lavery dot com

I have always had a problem with words. Just when you think that you "understand", something happens and everything changes.
Example. A few months ago the person I love most in this world blew my mind. At this late date in life I didn't think that anything could blow my mind. Wrong again.

One of the most illuminating things that I read was a Zen proverb. (in my words) "When you seek it, you cannot find it, your hand cannot reach it nor your mind exceed it. When you no longer seek it, it is always with you".

In the beginning

I was born in Newark, NJ and moved to Millburn, NJ when I was a couple of years old.
My parents raised my sister and me with "normal" middle-class values and ethics based on a time when "common sense" actually meant something good and most people were motivated by doing good.

One of my most vivid memories was saving my best friend's life. It was winter and we were walking next to a stream. I was a few feet away from Bruce who was walking next to the stream. There was not a lot of ice covering the fast moving water except along the bank. Bruce had been breaking the ice free with his left foot as we walked until we came upon some thicker ice which did not give way to his foot. We stopped as he tried with more force to get the ice free. I watched as he raised his leg and slammed his foot down on the ice. The ice gave way and Bruce, with both hands in the pockets of his heavy navy blue wool coat, sank like a brick into the cold water. There was a small tree next to me and I held onto it with my right hand and reached into the water grabbing his collar at the back of his neck and pulled with all my strength.

Living in Shrewsbury, NJ I remember watching a tornado travel right down the center of our street. Seeing the power of Nature like that was my first awesome experience.
Next, Growing Up in Bradford Woods, PA

I grew up
in Bradford Woods, Pennsylvania, north of Pittsburgh (since 4th grade). In 6th grade at Bradford Woods Elementary school I learned 2 things about myself: I was very interested in science and math, and I would never be an auto mechanic. Thank you Mr Morris.
One of my favorite memories was a crystal clear summer night. Sara Kehew and I laid on our backs on top of the hill behind my house and starred at the Milky Way and talked about infinity.
In Junior High School I met my best friend and true love for life, Gail Murray. (We were either 12 or 13 years old.)

After high school
I attended college in Ithaca, New York.

Searching for More
During a lecture by Dr. Chen in one of my classes, Qualitative Chemical Analysis, I understood for the first time the concept of One (God).
After that I stopped reading science fiction and read every book I could put my hands on about the different religions around the world, both past and present.

After college
I started a multi-media theater company called TheaterCosmos which grew to 35 musicians, actors, poets, dancers and other talented persona. We performed at many local night spots and colleges including Cornell University, Ithaca College and Elmira College.

The Big Surprise

After graduating from high school in 1965, it took me 27¼ years to find out that I had a problem. I was 45 years old and thought that I was "normal" for all thoses years.

"The World Health Organization estimates that as of 2010 there were 208 million people with alcoholism worldwide."

The irony of this disease, unlike most other diseases, is that the person who suffers from alcoholism is the last one to know about it. I was no exception. During those 27¼ years I traveled to foreign countries, created a theater concept and company that university and college drama professors came to experience as well as people of all ages. I worked for ABC-TV in NYC for 13 years and at times was in charge of and responsible for the studio productions that daily produced millions of dollars in commercial air time.

In 1989, after the "functional alcoholic" stage ended, I lost everything I owned and lived among the New York City homeless population for 6 months. I stole from and lied to friends and did things that I am too ashamed to write about. I did start a lucrative "street business", my book store on the corner of 79th Street and Broadway.
I also kept a part-time job: Friday and/or Saturday night two of the local night spots would give me $300 - $600 in large bills and I would go get singles for them!

In retrospect it's easier to remember the up-side rather than the life threatening times.But living on the streets was anything but fun!

That all seems like a very, very, very bad dream now. It was an abrupt awakening the morning I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and realized that I had flushed 2/3 of my adult life down the toilet.

It feels great to be sane again.

The Last Years

I try to help those in need of help wherever I can. I speak out for endangered species and take action against the injustices humans are committing against Mother Earth and innocent people everywhere.

The Most Important Thing I've Learned

I know that every woman and every man is on a spiritual path: Whether we are aware of this or not does not matter. There are as many paths to God as there are people on this planet.

Summary of my Life

I've camped and fished in Canada, walked through the Giant Redwoods in the Pacific Northwest, swam in clear Caribbean waters and the Indian Ocean, hiked around the East coast of Africa, meditated in South India, watched the sun rise over Mt. Everest in Nepal, spent over a dozen years as a studio electrician and computer lighting operator at ABC Television, worked on Broadway theater productions and other NYC special events like the First MTV New Years Eve telecast and Fourth of July Party on the Intrepid.
Did I mention that I have also witnessed Miracles?

The best moment of my life happened when I looked into your eyes
The worst moment of my life was when you looked away


Goodbye All

Most people don't have the opportunity to say goodbye to those they care about and love before they die. It's time for me to say goodbye. Some friends I have lost touch with over the years, some have moved on and some I plan to say goodbye to in person very soon. But I think about everyone that I have known. Thank you all for being part of my life.

My Epitaph

To live, to love, to give and die...


The Vulnerable Child
I am the voice before all other voices. I am pure and I am whole. I am driven by Love. Do you not recognize me?
I have always been here, waiting for you.
I live in the Now.

More Illumination
Two most illuminating things that I thought my father told me were "everything that is born must die" and "the second that you are born you start dying". Interesting note: Just before he passed away I thanked him for telling me those two things and he said, "I never told you those things." (Interesting)

Self-portrait Painting/Photo

The last picture of me

©2016 Eric Douglas Lavery   Last update on Saturday, October 22, 2016.

The last picture of me