Issue 2022-1 (January)


The Northern California Heartbeat is a place for men to tell their stories,
share their works, their experiences, and keep the community up-to-date.

— In this Issue —

    Submit your article & story ideas!


    The Greeting-Kelly Doughty

    Kelly Doughty

    The Greeting

    2022. What will we see? Hear? Do? Create? Who knows!? The last couple of years have been all over the place, so rather than forecast or imagine, I will take stock of what is right in front of me. Starting with inspiration from our Nor Cal Brothers!

    A song, two poems, and a puzzle! In this issue of the Heartbeat. Antonio Aversano, our musician, shares his ability to hear the sacred in his Song for the Redwoods. Marshal McKitrick paints, in words, the architecture of dreams, and a view from a tree – read it :). And finally, Robert Logon offers a New York Times-level Nor Cal Crossword puzzle! Seriously he’s published in the NY Times.

    In the gifts shared by these men, our brothers, I see the gifts in each of you. May you warm yourself and those around you with your gold and humanity in 2022.

    Kelly Doughty, Nor Cal Area Steward;

    Antonio Aversano

    Antonio Aversano

    Song for the Redwoods

    The foundation of being a conduit for sound, is being a good listener. And the most important listening does not happen with the ears, it happens with the Soul. When the deepest listening happens, so does re-membering. Wholeness happens when I am truly in a deep space of listening. The remembering of One and the Sacred instructions of life emerge – reminding me those instructions are always present. All I have to do is listen.
    One of the places and ways I re-member the most deeply, is when sitting in the Redwoods, opening to their wisdom, and letting them speak through me and through sound. That is what I was called to do and happened to record in this video.

    Antonio Aversano is a Sound Ceremonialist who sparks the light of the Soul. He is a lifelong musician, in training and profession, who is guided to answer the call of the Divine to serve as a vessel of Light through the vibrations of Sound. Please visit to learn more about Antonio and the music that flows through him.

    Listen to Song of the Redwoods.

    Antonio, Freedom Hawk

    Marshal Jon McKitrick

    Marshal Jon McKitrick

    Dream Houses

    In this poem, my dreams are synonymous with my vision. I know I am not living my vision (aka mission) when I’m hiding my greatness (aka gold) from others and myself, either out of fear or selfish grandiosity. And, I know I’m living my vision when I am in gratitude and engaged with life’s possibilities. What houses have you been building to hold back or express your dreams/visions?

    I built a prison for my dreams
    Five foot thick walls
    With razor wire on top
    And guards at the towers

    You are way too dangerous and big
    I told my dreams
    Someone could get hurt
    I could get hurt

    So the prisoner in me
    Sat there in his cell
    Looking out through the bars
    And stood there in the yard
    Looking out over the wall
    At the sunrise

    Always looking out
    Never looking in
    Never recognizing my own kindness
    And my own fear
    Of what I might give
    to myself and others

    I built a palace for my dreams
    Gold and ivory and jade walls
    Trailing jasmine and honeysuckle
    Poets composing in the courtyards

    You are way too beautiful
    I told my dreams
    Others will not understand and appreciate you
    I will not be understood and appreciated

    So the emperor in me
    Sat there on his royal throne
    Looking out over the great banquet hall
    And stood in the sacred garden
    Gazing out over the lake

    Always looking out
    Always wanting more
    Never recognizing the emptiness
    In my heart
    And my own sadness
    Of hoarding my treasure
    And cheating myself and the world

    I built a cabin for my dreams
    Plain and simple walls
    Fireplace with stone hearth
    Sweet meadowlark singing out
    In the grassy meadow

    You are welcome to enter
    I told my dreams
    I have been waiting for you
    To show up and join me

    I have a lot to share with you
    And I am eager to hear
    Your wisdom and joy

    So my dreams flowed in
    Through the front door
    And sat with me for a supper
    Of truth and peace

    And then we walked out
    Side by side
    Arm in arm
    Into the open circle of the meadow
    And we joined hands and hearts
    With all the other living dreams and possibilities

    October 2001
    Marshal Jon McKitrick, Sacred Fierce Phoenix

    Marshal Jon McKitrick

    Marshal Jon McKitrick

    The Boy, The Man, and The Tree

    This kernel for this story comes from an experience I had around 8 years of age. I remember climbing up high into a tall tree in the front of our house, as a way to escape from my dysfunctional family situation. My experience around Little Boy’s Deepest Needs on my New Warrior weekend was the key in connecting with little Marshal and our connection continues to this day. 

    Once between a time, there was a little boy who liked to climb trees and sit up high in the branches. He liked to close his eyes and listen to the wind blow around him, moving the tree branches.

    One day he went to the ocean and there, on a high cliff overlooking the ocean, he found a tall oak tree. He climbed up its trunk, settling down in the higher branches.

    As he sat there with his eyes closed, he heard the wind blowing in from the ocean, calling to him in a faraway voice. When he listened more closely, it sounded like his mother’s voice. She was telling him to come home, because she missed him. The funny thing was the boy felt that he was already home. So he stayed in that tree and lived there until he grew to be a man.

    One day, the man climbed down the tree trunk and stood upon the ground. He thanked the tree for being his home all those years. Then he stood there for a long time, watching the ocean changing colors in the afternoon sunlight.

    The man heard someone coming up the path to the tree and then saw a little boy, who walked right up to him. The man noticed that the little boy reminded him of himself as a little boy. He asked the little boy, “Are you lost?  Can I help you?”  The little boy said, “I noticed this tall oak tree up here when I was down on the beach and felt I just had to climb it. I wanted to hear the ocean breeze as it blew past my ears and moved around in the tree branches.”

    The man said, “I know just how you feel.  I’ll help you up the tree.”  And then the man helped the little boy up to the first branch. He watched the boy climb up to the high branches and settle down against the trunk.  Then the man sat down under the tree and watched the ocean change colors while the boy closed his eyes and listened to the wind, blowing from the ocean; calling like a faraway voice. They both remained on that cliff as the sun set in the horizon and the stars began to twinkle in the evening sky.

    Marshal Jon McKitrick, Sacred Fierce Phoenix
    ©1993; reprinted with permission

    Robert Logan

    Robert Logan

    I Have a Confession to Make

    I confess. I am a cruciverbalist. Have been for years. Go ahead. Look it up. I’ll wait…

    Welcome back. Most of you don’t know that one of my hobbies is writing (not just solving) crossword puzzles for publication in newspapers and magazines. In fact, I recently had one of my puzzles accepted for publication in the New York Times. For those of you out of the know, this is a huge milestone for me. The NYT is the “holy grail” of crosswords. As of this writing, only 1,106 people in the world have accomplished this task since 1993 (the “Will Shortz” era).

    In honor of this milestone, I have created an MKP-themed, NYT-quality puzzle just for the MKP NorCal community. This is a Monday-level (easiest day of the week) puzzle that shouldn’t be too difficult, even for the novice solver. I encourage you to exercise those brain cells and give it a try. Don’t be shy! You can do this. And, you might just learn a thing or two.

    Select the graphic below to launch the crossword PDF & this link for the Solution (no cheating!).

    MKP NorCal Crossword Puzzle

    MKP NorCal Crossword Puzzle

    I do hope you enjoy the solve as much as I enjoyed creating it for you. Cheers!

    Robert Logan

    MKP Building CommunityBe a Member

    Be a part of the action by being an MKP member with Nor Cal

    We are more than a weekend, an IGroup, an Area, or a Society. We empower men to lives of mission for the sake of humanity and a better world. In 2020, we expanded our offerings through a new curriculum for men at any stage in their journey. We’ve rolled out new men’s groups and new ways to connect in the community. We will resume NWTAs for waiting and next men, as well as expand other trainings and community events. Many men and families will benefit. Your support makes the difference!

    When joining with your automatic payment (any amount welcome), be sure to select Northern California for sharing. You get direct benefits of membership, and the 50/50 split is the perfect way for us to advance our work together.

    Join MKP Today!

    Is now your time? Are you ready to take the next step in your life? Do you know a man who is ready?
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