Category Archives: mystical micheal musings

SuperMoon 2022 Musings On “The HereAfter”

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Go ahead and get caught up in the game all you want, but when you get right down to it, all Life as we know it here on the 3rd rock from the sun is nothing more than an elaborate, wildly choreographed, sexually transmitted disease!

And this just in, the Leading cause of Death … is Birth.  Just ask Olivia Newton John, Tony Dow, or Anne Heche.  Or, for that matter, the dozens of SIDS victims this week alone who never even got their chance.

As you look back upon the Super Moon, the Sturgeon Moon, hanging low in the summer sky the other night, pause to consider – not a one of us is sure exactly HOW we got here, WHY we are here, or WHEN we go home.  

But of one thing we are all certain.

You and I both have, like the milk jugs on the refrigerator door, an expiration date stamped on our forehead that we just can’t quite read.  And we all hang by a slim thread from the tree of this life never knowing the day or the hour.

We all come IN with nothing and EXIT with nothing (I’ve never seen a hearse with a luggage rack), and one hundred years from today, in 2122, every human on the planet today  (now nearly 8-Billion) will be gone!

OK, so do we meditate on this eternally universal truth to depress us … or to liberate and motivate us?  The answer is quite obvious.

We cannot ever change the cards we’ve been dealt.  Our only choice in the matter is how we play the hand!  

Life is not, as the saying goes, ‘a bitch, and then you die’, it’s more like: Life is this grand and glorious, most bodacious Amusement Park that mom & dad bought and paid our ticket for when they did the horizontal hokey pokey, the mattress mambo.

To continue the metaphor, we only get so many rides around that sun.  And, just like the carousel merry-go-round ride, our lives goes Up & Down, and round ‘n round … and eventually come to an end!  

Oh, and you must be this spiritually tall to continue riding the ride. 🙂

So as you reflect back on that big, fat Super Moon,  just a couple thoughts to ponder:

‘That which was never born … can never die’.  

The biggest part of ANY of us will never be reflected in a mirror, doesn’t show up on a scale, and will never be found in an autopsy.

And my favorite Zen Koan (riddle),  ‘Who were you … before your mother & father met?’

I’ll wait.

~ Respectfully,

Micheal Z down in dixie at N’awlins’ airliftproductions.com

p.s. And should you get a chance, increasethepeace ….mgz

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Super Moon hanging low over Broadway, New York City

My Reality Check Bounced. A Long Time Ago.

 

My very first 'selfie'
My very first ‘selfie’

Early Mornings around the Airlift PROductions Studios have a different beat than most recording studios or production houses, a different vibe.

Reflective.  Quiet.  Thoughtful.  Picture Paul & Art in the background, choirboys Simon & Garfunkel harmonizing, or Chet Baker’s horn, and that would be about right.

The way most see it, my problem is that I’ve never been ‘right’.  

Except when the whole world turns Left.

As America gobbles down fast food by the truck-full – I’ve got the crock pot going in the kitchen – for eight hours.

While most folks knock themselves out in a morning commute to a job – I’m traveling up-hill at ten mph on a Nordic track cross-country ski machine – meditating!

Even people who don’t know the most – know that I believe in ghosts.  

Truth be known?  I’ve always been this intensely mystical, metaphysical space cowboy.  Color outside the lines?  Wait a tick, you mean, there are lines?

Go ahead!

Nip it, tuck it, tint it, lift it. All you want.  Do what you will with the body, but it’s just a place your memories call home.  And (as the white man is often wont to say), at the “end of the day”/death?  That body of yours is just a fingerprint that your soul has left behind. 

Reality?  It’s all in the eyes of the beholder.  Or, make that  ‘in the eyes of the beer-holder’ – in bars & nightclubs all around America every weekend.

Complaints?  Mine are few.  My life has been blessed, besting many radio, studio & tech challenges, along with more than my share of fascinatingly captivating women across many state lines and across many decades. 

Yeah sure, I’ve seen sorrow and I’ve seen pain.  I’ve been burnt by the blazing sun… and drowned in the pouring rain. (Thank you, Joe Cocker.)

But through it all – Spirit, Music & Humor have always seen me through! And onto the other side of all that pain and rain. 

A classic case in point? I once received a post card from the ex-wife containing the image below, and the note said simply, “Having a great time, wish you were here.”  🙂 

 

The blue marble - 3rd rock from the sun
The blue marble – 3rd rock from the sun

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The late MIKE WELDON (Left) along with the late JAY THOMAS. America – and the world of comedy – sure misses these two.

“I would like to say something about Airlift and the man behind the mic, Mike Ziants. I have worked many years with him and to say the experience was awesome seems about right. This man is like a painter with audio. When I thought the session was fine, Mike would find ways to enhance it and make it so much better. If you or your company is in the market to make a commercial or film or anything in the entertainment field, you should go to Airlift you’ll be glad you did.” ~ The Late Comic Extraordinaire MIKE WELDON

MIKE WELDON VOICE & IMPRESSIONS DEMO produced by Airlift Mike at the Iberville Street Airlift Studios – all on Reel-to-Reel Tape in 1994 —- Sure do miss ya’, brother Mike.

Memorial Day Musings on Strength & Honor

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What began just after the Civil War as a day of remembrance for our country’s war dead sure has morphed and changed since the time of Lincoln. 

Today, Memorial Day seems forever tied to backyard barbecues, swimming pools, and appliance sales.  Yes, appliance sales. Ironically, here in metro New Orleans, at stores on Veterans Memorial Boulevard.
 
MemorialCookoutYes, the last Monday of every May has now become the unofficial start to America’s summer. As the true meaning becomes lost along with the ashes of yesterday’s cookout.
 
What needs to be remembered – and indeed commemorated on this day – is the Strength & Honor that drove America’s war dead down the path to becoming America’s war dead.
 
Thumbing through the pages of history it becomes very apparent. People come and go. Causes come and go. What is perceived as Right & Wrong comes and goes.
Strength & Honor are universal constants that do not.
Memorial Day has its roots in the late 1860s, shortly after the death of President Abraham Lincoln.
 
But ya know, when Abe was a little boy, you or I could have gone down to the French Market here in New Orleans… and purchased Shaquille O’Neal!
And, no, not to play on our basketball team.
 
What is Right and what is Wrong, indeed all man’s laws are founded and based on man’s myopia, his nearsightedness… on the ever-shifting sands of human perspective.
 
20120531-bbqday1Universal Law, some would call Divine Law, works from another level altogether. And this is the level where Strength & Honor LIVE!
 
Strength & Honor do not recognize skin color, nationality, culture, time or space… or even a uniform.
 
From ancient Greece through the Roman Empire, from Britain’s mastery of the world’s oceans to America (England, Junior) and her not-so-civil war… the dead have piled-up in the countless billions! 
 
Causes, Empires, Cultures, Countries and what is perceived as Right & Wrong have shifted with the winds of change down through all the centuries.
 
Strength & Honor have not.
 
America’s heralded General Patton once remarked that “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.  He won it by making the other poor bastard die for his country.”
 
On this Memorial Day weekend 2021 let’s you & I send up a prayer.  A prayer to the Father – to what Napoleon Hill termed ‘Infinite Intelligence’ – to remove ‘bastard’, ‘war’, ‘death’ and ‘country’ from this equation. 
 
And let me raise a glass,  possibly a leftover beer from your backyard barbecue, and propose a toast.
A toast – To Strength & Honor!
 
~ With respect & prayers from the new Jer-USA-lem, New Orleans,
     
    Micheal G. Ziants
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Airlift Productions ~ a Catalyst for Positive Change since 1984
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“Mike, thank you for 25 years of successfully teaching Algebra to children of color and students who were living in poverty. They aren’t living in poverty anymore thanks to you and the mathematical skills you gave them. They are doctors, engineers and scientists today.” ~ the late John R. Lee, Founder of the I CAN Learn Mathematics E-Learning System

The Immortal Wayne Dyer & His Airlift Legacy

WayneDyerHandsClaspedTrue, but hard to believe, this summer marks five years since Dr. Wayne Dyer drew his last breath and proceeded to drop his body an ocean away in Hawaii.

I first “met” Wayne through a series of audio cassettes I’d ordered from Nightingale-Conant in Chicago.  The series was called “The Awakened Life”. The year was 1987.  And my life was never the same.

Wayne introduced me to eastern, metaphysical, transcendent thought, he opened my eyes – and spirit – as he challenged me to take chances with my life that I would have never dared in the past. I learned to jump off cliffs … and build wings on the way down.

Emerson & Thoreau came alive for me,  sacred scripture never rang so true, mystical sages of history spoke clearly in my ears,  as night-after-night I listened to Wayne unraveling and demystifying thought concepts that for so long were so foreign to me.

That’s all changed. Thanks, Wayne.

Through now-decades of his lectures, writings & teachings, he introduced me to Alan Watts, Deepak Chopra, Ram Dass, Carl Jung, and many others. Together, we’ve traveled the shores of Galilee with Jesus of Nazareth, meditated under the bodhi tree with the Buddha, and ridden camel-back with Muhammad across the sands of Mecca.

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My autographed copy of Wayne’s “The Secrets To Manifesting Your Destiny” program

We first met personally in March of 1997 at a Life Expo here in New Orleans. I confessed to him that he had very directly inspired me to ‘roll the dice’ and move my Airlift Productions business from my closet to a bonafide store-front with shingle out front on Iberville Street back in ’89.

He laughed and would take no credit whatsoever, saying that he never wanted to be anyone’s ‘guru’.  Further joking that if he ever took credit for anyone’s success that he’d also have to share the blame for their failures! 🙂

It was roughly a year later, while I was leading a  production team working for a NYC-based ad agency recording radio commercials in Toronto, Canada that we met again.

This time the visit was much more personal.

Through our days-long, sleep-deprived job in Toronto, I had quoted Wayne’s most incredible body of work extensively to the team I’d traveled with to Canada. At the end of the convention, we then rushed off to the airport to catch our flight back to New Orleans.

Dr.-Wayne-Dyer-RIP-at75_8-30-15Dog-tired, with my head down, waiting for our plane, a pair of sandaled feet walked past my field of vision. I looked up – and it was Wayne Dyer!

Together with his assistant Maya, he was enroute  from addressing a seminar in Amsterdam, headed back to his family in south Florida. As I shook my head in surprise and astonishment, he joked, “Well, Micheal, it would seem that you manifested ME!”

We proceeded to talk and laugh together for a half-hour!

About EVERYTHING:  Life, loves, disappointments, divorce, enlightenment, authorship, radio, recording, music, the Book of Tao, the Gita, days of future passed … he even was very complimentary about my voice.  Wow.

WayneDyerSeriousLookThen, called to our respective planes, we parted.  I will always treasure this remarkable day, and my not-so-coincidental conversation and time spent with this most remarkable spirit.

Dr. Dyer, quite frankly,  I am at a loss for words to describe the impact you’ve made on my life.  And, through my life and my Airlift Productions – and the lessons you’ve taught me – the impact I have then made on countless hundreds of other lives.

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It has been said that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.  From the bottom of my heart and the height of my spirit, brother Wayne, thanks for appearing in my life… and sharing your candle with me.

 

Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from NOLA since 1984 (with a special assist-on-the-play from Dr. Wayne Dyer)

 

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(L-R) Don Banks , Dawn Vachon, Bo “Boots” Walker, Airlift Mike on a lunch break in NOLA, pre-Covid-19, no “social distancing”

The Airlift Productions Studio itself is a mirror of Micheal; warm and inviting. I immediately feel at home when I’m there…never rushed, always cordial (great coffee) and I feel like MY project is the most important thing on his mind…total focus. It’s rare to find this kind of personal service. I never have any doubt that whatever I’m working on at Airlift will come out sounding great…always! If you want professional results; use a professional…Micheal Ziants at Airlift Productions IS that professional.” — BO WALKER, Former Production Director at New Orleans’ iHeart Media Stations

You Are Now Free To Roam About the Universe, Robin!

Robin Williams-RIP_8-11-14_at age 63_By his own hand

*** Today, August 11th, 2019, as we commemorate the 5th anniversary of Robin’s passing, allow me to dip into the Airlift Blog archives with sentiments penned while the loss was fresh. Because through five years time… my thoughts remain unchanged. ***

As the planet wrestles with the untimely demise of comedian/actor Robin Williams – together with the weighty issues of depression & suicide that his death has raised – I came here today to unpack a few of my many thoughts & emotions on the subject.

As a comedian and comic, his gifts were no doubt unique and unparalleled.  But it was his strides as an actor, along with the roles he chose, that were so endearing … searing and slow-cooking his memory indelibly into the hearts & minds of countless millions planet wide.

Sure, we first met him as ‘Mork from Ork’ along with his Johnny Carson stand-up/fall-down performances … but it will be his turns as anarchist DJ Adrian Cronauer in ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ and metaphysical teacher John Keating in ‘Dead Poets Society’ that will ring forever, echoing in eternity.

Gee, and I haven’t even mentioned ‘Good Will Hunting’, or perhaps one of your favorites.

Rare indeed is the actor who can make us laugh uproariously … and then cry uncontrollably.  Paroxysms of laughter … followed by oceans of tears.  And thought.

It has been said that there is no genius without a touch of madness. Seneca, who tutored emperor Nero, once opined that, ‘Whom the gods would destroy – they first make crazy’.  There is little doubt that sweet soul Robin lived his very life dancing on the edge … and this past Monday morning … went over it. 

Depression.  Suicide.  Some say his problems were financial – divorces, bad business decisions, putting too much faith in the wrong people.  Some say he was frustrated – accepting acting jobs just to ‘pay the bills’, didn’t care to revive and resuscitate that ole’ Mrs. Doubtfire … the explanations and excuses will persist ad infinitum and ad nauseum.

But the simple fact is this….

Suicide is a very permanent solution to what is in most cases  a temporary problem.  Things change.  They always will.  It defines a life.   But not a death.

Robin, oh Robin.  ‘Oh Captain, My Captain’, but why did you have to seize the day … that way?

Let’s face it, The Great Spirit/ the Father/Creator of All that is Seen and Unseen –  is not too jiggy with suicide.  The idea of throwing away His great gift of a Life is abhorrent in His Eyes.

Perhaps there are exceptions.  Who knows?  It defines the word ‘hubris’ to think that you and I could actually think like God.  You know, put ourselves in His shoes … or sandals, if you will.

After all, His eye is on the sparrow.  Perhaps it’s on the Robin too.

Mr. Williams, since you’ve dropped your body … you are now free to roam about the universe.

But don’t blame us if we say that we’ll miss you.  🙁

Robin Williams with daughter Zelda ~ his final Instagram post
Robin Williams with daughter Zelda ~ his final Instagram post

Things I’ve Learned About Life From Deepak Chopra

BFFs Wayne Dyer & Deepak Chopra, and a program that changed my life, “Beyond Miracles”

I first “met” Deepak Chopra through the writings, teachings, and lectures of Wayne Dyer.

As fellow mystics & metaphysicians, these two were BFFs (best friends forever) until Wayne’s untimely passing  three and a half years ago in Maui.

Together, through my now decades of study, these two have helped to unravel many of the mysteries of life – as well as death – for me.

But chief among them is the thought process that is the subject of this blog.

As astonishing as it seems upon first inspection… it is now a scientifically proven fact that there is not a single atom in the human body today that was there seven years ago!

That is YOUR body and mine.

While at first blush this sounds absolutely mad, pause to consider but a few facts from our everyday lives…

Every time you clip your fingernails, or get your hair cut, or exfoliate in the bathroom daily… where was that fingernail, or hair follicle, or skin cell last week or last month, to say nothing of last year?!?

That’s right. It was latent, born, and growing inside of you.

Just as the spring flowers in the garden return every year, or the apple that ‘magically’ appears on the tree, as humans, we are constantly reinventing ourselves from the inside out every day, 24-7-365 from every single thing that we eat, drink, and breathe.

As they say in New Orleans, ‘for true’!

As further proof of this scientific fact, the drug testing world now routinely clips hair from a suspect to determine marijuana use.

For the hair follicle will show conclusive proof of its use – and where was that hair months ago, but being fed by and grown from the inhalation of marijuana smoke.

Good buddies (and ‘Buddhas’?) L-R. Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra

Furthermore, as Deepak so eloquently instructed me, especially here in the West, we mistakenly equate the human brain with the MIND, when they are, indeed, separate things!

While the brain is roughly three and a a half pounds of grey matter, driven by chemicals and electricity at the top of the spine… the mind exists in and, in fact, drives every cell of the human body.

And this ‘mind’ is constantly eavesdropping on every thought and emotion entertained by the brain.

Metaphorically, our bodies would then be the hi-tech, latest, state of the art airplane, while the ‘mind’ would act 24-7 as the air traffic controller!

So, we all need to control and be ever vigilant regarding the thoughts we allow ourselves from moment to moment.

Too much?

Well, the rishis, yogis, and spiritual masters who populate the ashrams of the far East would beg to differ.

Pause to consider, what the Carpenter from Galilee was really trying to get through to his 1st century posse on that ill-fated last supper in the upper room was that when He drank the wine – it would literally become His blood. And when He ate the bread, likewise, it would become His flesh!

We must all either view food as our medicine… or we will have to view medicine (Big Pharma) as our food.

New stomach, new skeletal structure, new organs, new skin, new heart, new brain.

Every seven years.

In fact, the very words you are reading right now are being written by the new 2019 version of Micheal Ziants’ brain!

What a marvelous revelation and epiphany this is for an otherwise clueless 21st century man – driving through the Wendy’s pickup window and scarfing down Tombstone frozen pizzas from the Rouse’s.

To the point?

Perhaps it indeed is true! We are what we eat… literally!

So, let’s all give more thought to EVERY thing that we eat, drink, and, yes, breathe on a daily basis.

For if you – the reader of these words – is not ultimately and totally responsible for every morsel of food and every drink that passes your lips, as well as every thought that you carry in your mind, I’d like to respectfully ask you… who is?

(Come on, guys, I can’t write only about VoiceOver and recording all the time. Especially when physical shape and excellent health certainly contribute to great on-mic performance, right?…mgz)

~ Micheal Ziants – Airlift Mike, NEW Orleans, LA, USA

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Airlift Productions – Audio Alchemy from NOLA since 1984

Size Counts! Or Does It? Get A Grip … On This.

Chichen Itza Pyramid

Long before the days of the white man, in fact when all of Europe was still a wilderness – to say nothing of what we today call ‘America’ –  the Maya in the Yucatan had a thriving commerce based on silver & gold … and charted the heavens with a stunning accuracy that still stands today.

From their observatories on the temple mount high atop the jungle, in a society that revered nothing if not time – they were the very first to witness the sunrise ….  and the last to admire and pray upon the sunset. 

My studies with the Maya have taught me many things, but chief among them is this thought process that I share with you here:

With talk of the recent ‘Super Blood Wolf Moon’ still fresh, travel with me on a meditation of the mind as I walk you through some ‘Spiritual Aerobics’ – a stretching exercise as it were – and yet use science, facts & logic all along the way…

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Our Moon in the night sky is roughly 240,000 miles from Earth, while our sun is 93 million miles away. The Speed of Light clocks-in at 186,000 miles/second! Really. So, it takes our sun’s rays a little over 8-and-a-half minutes to make the journey from their origin until they reach our Earth.

Now, if light travels that FAR that FAST, can you even begin to get your mind around the distance light would travel in an hour? A day?  A week?

How about a year?!?

This is what the scientist ~ in the days before Columbus, before Galileo ~  the Mayan astronomer would call a ‘Light Year’.

Now, picture yourself camping on a star-filled night under the stars’ heavenly canopy. Pick out a star. Among the billions of possibilities, for the sake of example, let’s choose Betelgeuse, which sits in the middle of the Belt of Orion.

This ‘star’ – this SUN – is 642.5 LIGHT YEARS from Earth!  So, in the same way as our sun’s rays take just over 8 minutes to make their journey, here’s the punchline — 

That ‘starlight’ touching your eye left Betelgeuse BEFORE your grandparents’ grandparents’ grandparents … were BORN!

 

AirliftProductionsBetelgeuseToSun
Earth, the 3rd rock from the sun, is but a very small grain of sand on a rather immense & intense beach.  And it is not our final home.  Even the Carpenter from Nazareth would talk of the fact that His Father’s House had many rooms.  H-m-mm….

So, past all the science, numbers & math … ‘at the end of the day’ as the white man is often wont to say, what’s the take-away message?

It is simply this:  let’s you & I let the ego go. E-G-O … Earth Guide Only, Edging God Out, Eliminating Golden Opportunities … Forget the silly turf wars, dial-down all the drama & conflict,   and at least TRY to Increase The Peace.

Pause to consider, it’s called the ‘Universe’… break it down – ‘Uni’ {One} …. ‘Verse’ {Song} .

We all need to learn to sing the same song.

After all, in the ‘Big Picture’, from the ‘Slippery Slope, at the  ‘End of the Day’ (dare I say ‘literally’?) ….

You and I are but germs on a rock ball spinning around a ball of fire!

~ Micheal Ziants

Putting in time here on the 3rd rock, from the New Jer-USA-lem

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          To Communicate is the Beginning of Understanding.

Airlift Productions Communicates.

Questions For The Angels from Brother Paul & Airlift Mike

It’s been awhile since I last posted a full-on, space-cowboy, metaphysical musings blog, so on this fall Sunday morning in 2018, let’s have at it.

 

As a cradle Catholic & life-long Truth Seeker, I have many questions for the angels, but for the sake of brevity let’s focus on but a couple.

From ” the Gospel of Paul” – Paul Simon that is – he opines…

“If every human on the planet, and all the buildings on it should disappear… Would a zebra grazing in the African savanna care enough to shed one zebra tear?”

If you’ve never experienced this song before, do yourself a revealing, enlightening treat here….

** Paul Simon’s “Questions for the Angels”

And, Paul, as you walk away this year from your fantastic odyssey, many thanks for your inestimable contributions to the American/World Song Book. Much love and respect, my brother.

Now, a few questions from yours truly, Airlift Mike.

Why is that when man talks to God, we call it prayer… but why, should God ever decide to talk back to man, do we have to call it schizophrenia or bipolar disorder?

The psychiatric community, as it is practiced today – from the local “shrink’s office” to Big Pharma’s billion dollar yearly take – is but a scant hundred years old!

Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung

These very same issues of the ID versus Spirit were argued about back and forth last century by Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung. (These two actually rode a steam ship from Europe to the US in the early 1900s and analyzed each other’s dreams along the way.)

EGO vs. Spirit.

OK, then, if you’ve run with me so far, let’s take it a bit further.

What if the young maid from Domremy had been sitting, somewhat agitated, in a psychiatrist’s office five hundred years ago? I picture the conversation going something like this:

“Well, gee, doc, I don’t know exactly what’s going on here, but lately, I haven’t been sleeping well. And last night, Archangel Mike was talking to me. He was! And he told me that Charles the Dauphin should be the King of France! Really. And he also told me that one day I would lead my country in revolt!”

Whoa! Wait a minute. When women here in America couldn’t even vote in an election a hundred years ago… this is a 13 year old peasant girl from the farms of Europe over five hundred years ago.

Well, there’s little doubt that the psych community would have intervened – and that’s putting it mildly.

Straight jackets. Haldol. Lithium. Leather restraints. Padded cells. Perhaps even some electro-shock therapy…

And the revelations & accomplishments of young Joan of Arc – now romanticized, mythologized, and marbleized (as in statues) –  as the church took the Maid of Orleans down to the stake, would simply have never happened.

Also for your consideration…

While Jesus of Nazareth’s exploits, shrouded in the mists and myths of time, continue to be speculated over by scholars, the story of young Franceso is historically well documented.

Francis, as a late Italian teen, returned from war, committed to never again make that mistake. And as the son of a wealthy clothier, was expected to follow in pop’s footsteps. But, did it happen?

Uh-no.

What Francis did do – after angelic intervention – was to deny his mother and father’s wishes, walk away from the family business – and in front of the town’s people, the church elders, as well as mom and dad… strip himself stark naked and walk into the woods to seek enlightenment!

Now, what would the psychiatric community today have done to young Francis… seven hundred years ago?

Same deal. Same results.

Only this time, the results would have been considerably more dramatic.

We would not, here in 2018, have a worldwide order of monks known as the Franciscans. The AA meetings would not have their famous 12-step recovery prayer.

Oh, and that quaint city on our west coast would never have been known as… San Francisco!

Too much? 

Perhaps, but certainly grist for thought.

So, the next time you encounter someone on the streets of America, perhaps homeless… lost, talking seemingly to themselves (and they’re not on a cell phone) ….

give them your understanding, and a wide berth, because you never know – do you – who…

or to Whom they may be speaking.

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~ writing with humility, love and respect from the new Jer-USA-lem,  New Orleans, LA, USA,

Micheal Ziants

 

A ShoutOut to Sister Thecla in the Spirit World From Airlift Productions

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Sister Thecla celebrating her 75th year as a nun in the Order of the Holy Family ~ along with Micheal Ziants in 2009

Today, January 10th, 2018, would have been Sister Thecla’s 104th birthday.

Born Agnes Bonner in 1914 in Scott, LA, Sister Thecla was a nun in New Orleans’ Order of the Holy Family for 75 years!

I first met the good sister through mutual friend John Lee in the aftermath of a rather painful divorce.  We took to each other immediately.  She wore her air of peaceful equanimity and compassionate non-judgment like a crown.

Calling the house every night for 7 straight years, she consoled and comforted, listened and directed, laughed and cried … and prayed with me.

Would that we all could make the ‘other side’ so clearly visible from this one.

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Sister Thecla in 1934, as she took her vows to be a nun. I always used to tease her that we would get Halle Berry to play her in the made-for-TV movie! 🙂

Never one to proselytize, catechize or evangelize – ‘Sister Tee’ showed by her example, the way she lived her life every minute of everyday … the way to a Kingly life.

After all, True religion is not something to be ‘put on’ for an hour or two a week in a building, but rightly used is knit into the day-to-day fabric of our very lives.  Wow!  Did Thecla ever get that.

Through her 75 year run as a nun she led the posse at the Order, in the French Quarter originally, and then on Chef Menteur, through quite a litany list of soap operas … as they tended to the temporal, as well as the spiritual, needs of everyone!

That’s everyone.  From hookers, homeless and drug addicts … to abandoned children and severely abused women.  The Sisters of the Order of the Holy Family even took in Louis Armstrong at one point in his life.

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In 2004, on her 90th birthday, Sister Thecla visited the Airlift Productions Studios to record her life story

 

*** Thecla Therapy  ~  “What a Wonderful World” from Airlift ***

Sister Thecla’s unyielding faith, relentless compassion, and inner strength are captured in her voice.  Listen to just a bit of this remarkable spirit – the patron saint of Airlift Productions –  in this recording made on her 90th birthday in 2004.

SisterTheclaMichealAndBenZiants2004
Sister Thecla hanging with the sinners – the Ziants boyz Ben & Micheal – on Thanksgiving 2004

Though she dropped her body in 2009, I won’t say ‘rest in peace’ at this point.  Because she’s still at it today … planning her work, and working her plan.  That’s what that Roman Catholic concept of ‘communion of the saints’ is really all about.

Let me just say God Speed, ‘Sister Tee’!  And thanks ever so for helping me to be a little more than just human … and for helping Airlift Productions in NOLA to be  a little something more than just a recording studio.

MichealZiantsAndSisterTheclaAirliftProductions2008
Airlift’s Micheal Ziants and BFF Sister Thecla hanging around the Order of the Holy Family commissary on Father’s Day 2008

 

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“Mike, thank you for 25 years of successfully teaching Algebra to children of color and students who were living in poverty. They aren’t living in poverty anymore thanks to you and the mathematical skills you gave them. They are doctors, engineers and scientists today.” ~ the late JOHN R. LEE, founder & creator of the I CAN Learn Mathematics Educational Software

 

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Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy & Digital Magic from New Orleans… since 1984

Easter Weekend Reflections from Airlift Mike

Whether the reader of these words be Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist, Agnostic, or none-of-the-above – there is one thing in which we all must be in agreement: this Jesus of Nazareth’s impact on planet earth and it’s history is undeniable, quantifiable, and measurable.

Through all these now twenty centuries, his messages of Peace, Love, Hope & Redemption have reverberated strongly, from the blood-soaked sands of his birth in the Middle-East to the church steeples on the corners of Anytown, USA.

And as you and I dance every day on a whisker-thin bubble that separates this life from the afterlife, Easter weekend reminds us all of his hopeful, joyful promise of that life which follows this one.

Let’s be honest. This is the part that hangs us all up the most. 

TheLaughingChristViaAirliftProductionsNOLA
The Laughing Christ – an artist’s rendering that has adorned the Airlift Productions Studio Walls for over two decades

Life after Death? Really?

When I’m often questioned on this one, I respond, “Well, where do you go when you dream? We already spend a third of our lives (sleeping) existing in pure consciousness. What’s the big deal about going from one third to three thirds?”

We will all do the math.

Life is but a parenthesis in eternity.  From cradle to grave, sperm to worm, womb to tomb … in the final reality – Eternity – no more real than an eight hour nightly dream on your Serta perfect sleeper. For true.

Jesus of Nazareth got that! He lived that. He died that. Or did he? 

Truth be known – You and I are but ghosts driving  meat-coated skeletons made from stardust! Let that one sink in a bit. The biggest part of any of us will never show up in an autopsy. And it’s not about the name on your driver’s license, or how much water you displace in a hot tub. All things must pass. You and me included.

What fights the realization that these words I write are true is Ego. E-G-O – Earth Guide Only, Edging God Out, Eliminating Golden Opportunities! Merely one of the teachings that the Nazarene – in his too-short tour of duty – was trying to get through to mortal man.

And I continue to be amazed by some of our sayings, like “Hey, I’m only human!” No, you’re not. We’re all more. Much more.

But here’s the big caveat – only to the extent that we realize this, internalize this, and make it our day-to-day reality. 

Yeshua, along with the Lion and the Lamb ... and a promise of 'swords to plowshares' ... death to the EGO and a promise of everlasting Life
Yeshua, along with the Lion and the Lamb … and a promise of ‘swords to plowshares’ … death to the EGO and a promise of everlasting Life

If you’ve run with me this far, let’s take it a bit further.

I’ll never understand the Christian who makes fun of the Jew, when Judaism was the incubator for all Christianity! While many will agree that Jesus to his death was still a Jew, few realize that St. Paul (Saul of Tarsus) to his beheading by Nero in 68 AD Rome – was still a Jew!

So, if looked at from a different perspective, all what we term ‘Christianity’ today could be viewed as a rather elaborate and magnificent Jewish sect.  Yes,  the two great faith traditions are inextricably and deliciously intertwined at the root forever.

Easter, Passover – from solemn seder meals to Good Friday crawfish boils – we all need to find a way to come to the same table!

And 9-11 & Osama Bin Laden no more represented sacred Islam than David Koresh at Waco or a hooded Klansman at a lynching represented sacred Christianity. But that is the subject for another holiday weekend blog, another day.

"I am in the Father... and the Father is in Me" ~ 21st century style
“I am in the Father… and the Father is in Me” ~ 21st century style

Yes, this Jesus of Nazareth sure did teach us all to “color outside the lines” … and think “outside the box”. Wait a minute, you mean there’s a box?

Yes, the one humans call a coffin.  

And the everlasting promise of this Easter weekend – no matter what your faith or belief system – is that ‘the box’ is not the end … of … the … story.

(to be continued)

Airlift Productions & Airlift Mike wish ALL across the planet a Happy, Peace-full, Easter Weekend!

                To Communicate is the Beginning of Understanding! 

                               Airlift Productions Communicates.