Letter From the Train, going south 10 28 2016 Mindful and grateful…

The bright sun that launched the day has become hidden behind clouds as I progress south on the train into New York City.  The fall colors still show themselves and we are definitely making a walk toward winter.


It snowed yesterday, three inches, quickly gone with the cold seeping deeply into my bones while I layered clothes for the weather.

Today and tomorrow, I am going to be attending “Produced By,” a conference held by the Producers Guild of America, of which I am a member.  There are several sessions that should be helpful as I work on producing “First Guru,” a film about Vivekananda, who brought Yoga and Hinduism to the US in 1893.  WTTW, the PBS station in Chicago, will be the presenting station.  Near the Art Institute of Chicago, where Vivekananda gave his first speech, there is a Vivekananda Way.

There is much talk in the world today of “mindfulness,” pausing a moment to find yourself in the clutter of noise that surrounds us.  As I was writing that sentence and attempting to be mindful of myself and the beauty around me, I received an email that put me out of mindfulness into gratitude.

Several weeks ago I was requested to submit a proposal to The University of Virginia’s Miller Center for Presidential Politics and Policies to do a consulting assignment for them and an email arrived while I was on the train that they had accepted my proposal and wanted to start moving.

Which generated a flurry of activity as I reached out to thank my references for graciously supporting me.  Followed by other things and setting up a conference call with The Miller Center for Monday afternoon and before I knew it, the train was gliding into Penn Station.

After stopping at Tracks Restaurant in the belly of Penn Station for a bowl of their clam chowder, I am now at the apartment, finishing the letter before going off to the first session of the conference.

As I was driving to the station today, I noticed that there were many Trump/Pence signs and no Clinton/Kaine signs.  Pondering that, I wonder if the liberals in Columbia and Greene Counties tend to be “closeted.”  Political discord can run deep in the Hudson River Valley.  I’ve been told the tale of a Greene County resident who years ago registered himself as a Republican because until he did his County services were, shall we say, spotty…

There is another FBI look into Clinton’s emails.  The two big burly men seated next to me at Tracks as I chowdered were none too happy about that.

Anthony Weiner, who fell from Congress because of his sexting problems, apparently had some emails that somehow connected to the Clinton case on the computer the FBI seized after his most recent sexting troubles.  His wife, a close confidante and aid to Hillary Clinton, left her husband after it was discovered he was sexting someone while their son slept next to him.

The “Produced By” Conference is being held at Time – Warner Center.  Time Warner has just been purchased by AT&T.

The single most catastrophic merger in the history of corporations was the merger of AOL and Time Warner.  Now, it is hoped that Time Warner and AT&T will do better.  But as a friend of mine, Jeff Cole, Executive Director of USC’s Annenberg School of Communications Center for the Digital Future, has observed that it is a little hard to imagine a phone company meshing well with a Hollywood behemoth.

We will see, if the regulators allow it to happen.

And, in Jerusalem, researchers have opened, for the first time in centuries, what is believed to have been Jesus’ tomb.  Since the days of Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor, there has been a building there to make the spot.  Constantine sent his mother, Helena, to Jerusalem to find it.  [Maybe a good way to get a pesky mother off your hands for a few years?]

Marble has encased the slab where is body is said to have rested.  Careful archeological work will be done over the next months and years.

Off to the conference…



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3 Responses to “Letter From the Train, going south 10 28 2016 Mindful and grateful…”

  1. Susan Schuette Says:

    Matt congratulations on your consulting job! That is wonderful and I hope your conference is thought provoking and interesting. You are an amazingly talented person and they and we are lucky to have you in out midst.
    I really enjoy your images and I can almost feel the movement of the train or smell the aroma of a warm bowl of clam chowder. Thank you

  2. Bruce Thiesen Says:

    Congratulations and enjoy.

  3. tombers Says:

    Thank you! Thank you!

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