Saturday, December 26, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
I was a long way from those summer nights. It was cold. I could only see a few stars through the lights, but there they were. They seemed sad that I forgot them, but then, they were there whether I remembered them or not; It had nothing to do with me. I was ashamed to forget. something died long ago and I wasn't paying attention. How could I get it back?
It was quiet on my back porch. The occasional dog bark or passing car, of course, but still quiet. I envied the smokers who had an excuse to step out for a few minutes every now and then.
Inside the dishwasher was running, my wife was talking on the phone, and everything I needed to do, meant to do but never got around to, were reproaching me. And it's all, I need to do this, I never did that, this is due tomorrow, whatever happened to that dream, three decades have slipped by and this is all it's added up to, I need to get going, but where.
And the TV was on, I guess, just for background noise. After a long week work, and people talking just to feel important, it was more than I could bear. With all that outside, and my ever churning brain inside, I needed an escape.
The cold and the stars shocked my system into silence. For a brief second the world opened up before me as if I'd never seen it before, as I stood back and watched. But one by one, the thoughts crept back. As my ears adjusted, even the sound of the TV was able to penetrate the glass door and reach my tired ears. Something was lost.
I learned to hate the TV as a teenager. Too much time was spent flipping through the channels, not finding anything, until I could feel my life bleeding from me as my brain turned to glue. Close my eyes, and there were changing channels. It would take everything to push a simple button and tear myself away. I told myself tomorrow would be different, but it never was.
When I moved away, I had no TV and I didn't miss it. I considered myself much better off for it. I had more time to read, which I rarely did. I had more time to think, which meant pacing the room as my mind went on and on until I wished it would just shut up. I had too much time to lay there and stare at the ceiling, thinking I should be doing something until I finally gave up and went to bed just to end the pointless day, hoping the next would be better.
Having put some distance between me and the tube, I had a much better perspective on those rare occasions I did get to watch. First, I didn't take any of it for granted. A box of light displaying images and sounds from around the world, from the past to that exact moment in time but for a brief delay for the signal to be shot to space and back again, jumping entire continents. Here was power, sitting so innocently in so many living rooms. I could almost feel what my parents, my grandparents, felt as they watched it for the first time, and knew the impact this thing had on their lives. There were so many channels, so many shows, so much opportunity, so much waste.
Seeing it with new eyes, everything was magnified. The good was miraculous, in full color right before my eyes. The bad was infuriating, like sandpaper on the soft flesh of my brain. I noticed the subtle condescension of the good commercials, felt their gentle magic on me, as they humored and lulled me into the notion my life might actually be better with their product in it. I felt the slap in the face of the bad commercials, as if I was stupid enough to fall for it. The stock audio laugh tracks, rarely even noticed before, made my blood boil.
A few months after meeting the girl who would be my wife, we sat on the couch and the TV was on. Her head was on my shoulder and her hand was in mine. We couldn't come up with anything to do, so the TV was on. What was on, I don't remember. It wasn't something I would've watched on my own, but at the time it didn't matter. I didn't have to come up with some place to go, something to do, spend money, and wonder if she was enjoying herself. I didn't have to come up with something to say only to hear my voice and think I sounded like an idiot. After only a few minutes I noticed my mind slowing, quieting. For the first time in years, my mind was quiet. There I was, the warm body of a beautiful girl next to me, her free hand stroking the inside of my forearm, her perfume under my nose, and I was comfortable. I was comfortable with her, with the TV, and with myself.
I saw a vision there, something comfortable, something domestic. I saw myself coming home from work, not caring what that work was, to this warm comfort. Before this image of someplace comfortable with someone to love, all my grand pursuits, whether intellectual or artistic, seemed just as silly and the worlds pursuit of fame and money. This enemy, this TV, this symbol of an idolatrous world's vanity, revealed my own vanity and replaced it with something better.
It was strange to admit to myself that it was that flickering blue light that told me this girl was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. From that moment on, my course was set.
But years had passed. Life is full of stuff, noise, and things that need to be done. It crowds in, makes it hard to breath and impossible to see. It talks and screams and beeps and buzzes away thoughts, dreams, and memories. And there I was, in the cold, trying to remember something. The door slid open behind me. A voice, soft, holding that secrete, that one thing I was looking for, somewhere in its smooth timbre.
"What are you doing out here?"
"Just getting some fresh air."
"Come sit with me." It wasn't so much a question as a demand, but a gentle one. Her eyes were somewhere between devious and pleading. What could I do?
Inside it was warm. The dishwasher hummed in the dark kitchen. The living room lights were dimmed and a show I actually liked was starting on the TV. There were two whole days before either of us had to go to work, and there was nothing that couldn't wait for another day. So we sat down before the great electric narcotic, proving once again that all things, though easily abused, are good in appropriate moderation.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
against whom do you jest?
against whom do you open wide your mouth?
what do you say within yourself?
are they right in your own eyes?
no one sees?
does you guilt keep you up at night?
how do you justify yourself?
do you believe in your own lies?
you sought wealth
but it was never enough
will silver keep you warm at night?
will gold dry your tears?
what good’s a feast eaten alone?
for whom do you labor and deprive yourself of pleasure?
it won’t deliver you when you cry out
but the wind will carry it away
you sought power
at whose expense?
do you see the faces of those you’ve used
those stepped on to reach your throne?
what became of the promises you made?
the lies spoken to earn their trust?
did you ever really care at all?
or where they just pawns in your game?
the self anointed
you say you know best
we must be saved from our simple ways
we do not know what’s best for us
could you be wrong?
do superior intentions override fact?
the road to hell is paved with good intentions
and the abuses of today were the reforms of the past
Sunday, August 23, 2009
a silent figure sits alone
as sand sifts through a sieve and falls
the time slips by her pale blue eyes
a dream within a dream she sees
a youthful beauty in her veins
of future’s hopes and dreams to come
but eyes that see beyond her age
a game within a game she sees
of lives and knives stabbed in the back
they grasp and claw and kick and climb
and rarely lift a hand to help
except for their own gain
other’s pain is but a sport
and power is the prize to win
they plot and laugh within themselves
and lift their joy from other’s shame
she wants to live and see the sun
she wants to feel the warmth of love
and tired of all the nights alone
she wants someone to call her name
at night she cannot hide her fears
or stop the tears within her eyes
but doors locked tight and blinds pulled down
will keep her safe ‘till sleep arrives
Saturday, August 15, 2009
standing on a hill of leaves and grass
wind blows life in lifeless leaves
across the lawn like children
they scurry from game to game
blown away from dust to dust
a turtleneck sweater cradles her chin
denim legs defy the breeze
planted firm as the world blows past
the rains come and feed the grass
growing high to reach the sun
the warmth awakes the seeds to grow
the light’s brushstrokes paint the flowers
the sun that brings forth life brings forth death
his furnace flames burn the grass
his wrath wilts the flower’s glory
their peddles fall to the ground
her home has become strange
her memories don’t seem to fit
dreams have been rooted from their beds
exposed to the frost and snow
protective walls have been torn down
the wind chills her bones those she trusted betrayed her
she doesn’t recognize her own family
now she’s alone
and independent force of will
no one to lean on or share the weight
no one to love or waste her tears
why care for a world that doesn’t care?
why believe a liar?
why trust a thief?
they lie in wait to steal her soul
Monday, August 10, 2009
a girl so delicate and young
in silence her melody’s sung
while shyness holds her gentle tongue
on spider’s threads her words are hung
a gentle hand brushed hair from eyes
a subtle breath of silent sighs
a single girl beneath the skies
above a world that moans and cries
and awkward smile upon her lips
nervously alone she sits
within a world that runs and trips
a silent girl that never fits
i dare not bring before her eyes
the ugly sin that in me lies
my clumsy hands might break her heart
and ruin such a work of art
Sunday, August 9, 2009
The curl of your lip
In the arch of your brow
And in the defiant hair
That refuses to submit to your will
I see a beauty I cannot attain to
Looking down upon my shaky clumsy hands
I see the stains of blood I’ve shed and cannot justify
I see I am but a man
Weak and blind
Made to return to dust
But in your eyes I see hope
I see in the dust and ashes
These dry bones can live
In your tiny hands I see strength
Who am I that thou art mindful
Is it for me so week and sinful
But if it is for me
I will accept this
In the faith that the weak will be strong
The blind will see
And though I die I shall live
And if I live I shall not die
Love will perfect me and cover my sin
And maybe a portion of the love shown me
Will return to you
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Bottle caps, bottles, and boxes as sleds
Ivey, and stone, and bricks of red
Tulips, and poppies, and daffodils bright
Rain, and snow, and warm sunny light
Trickles of water and swamps of muck
Trinkets, and treasures, and charms of luck
Forts, and trees, and bottomless pits
Dirt, and grass, and gravel, and grit
Plums, and apples, and berries so tart
Clay, and wood, and snow made art
Such words still echo within my heart
Such dreams still flow deep in my heart.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
To this day I close my eyes
And walk the rooms of times gone by
I see the light shine through the glass
On all the dreams that could not last
I see the paint chip off the walls
And every line of crayon scrawl
I see the stains upon the floor
And crystal knobs on all the doors
They turn to open wide a view
Of things my childish mind once know
The things that mold me to this day
And things that long since went away
Once as a child I saw as a child
I walked as a child, I talked as a child
But know I stand the form of a man
The faults of a man the fears of a man
All we have is here and now
To find some joy and peace somehow
But even then a gift was formed
A seed from up above
And time does not impede the growth
Of faith and hope and love
And time cannot decay these three
The greatest of which is love
Monday, July 27, 2009
It seems to me it snowed that night
As we walked beneath orange tinted street lamps.
The streets were mostly vacant.
Most were home for the holidays.
Those who remained sheltered themselves
Within the confines of warmly lit homes.
In an old wooden wagon we towed our prize.
Heading home to set it up in the living room,
To decorate it in happy memories,
And light with the joy and love only a family knows.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Deep beneath the peaceful dreams
Drifting through our sleeping heads
As we lie in warm soft beds
Hid behind a bookcase tall
Sealed like tombs within a wall
Dark and damp in hidden pasts
O’er our dreams a fear is cast
Can the dark still recollect
Fear and sorrow time forgets
Can it store the past and lock it
In that dark cold basement closet
Monday, July 20, 2009
a mast is formed by trunk and branch
and sail is wove from leaf and vine
a deck is planked with twig and grass
an earthen hull will do just fine
to sail upon these waves of wheat
a pirate's life is brave and free
as hills become an open sea
a pirate's life for me
a sword of wood is carved for me
and all I see is open sea
yo ho yo ho I'm wild and free
a pirate's life for me
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
in the darkest, dankest corner
in basement depths
imprisoned in a box of green steel
pipes and ducts from to and fro
along the ceiling
disappearing in walls and dark
bright eyes and fiery breath
seen from a tiny window in front
raging at confining walls
early in a dark december morning we rise
jack's paintings frosted on the windows
water diamonds on white
to sit cross-legged before the vents
to sit before the open vents painted into position
layers of time beyond comprehension
to bask in the comfortable warm breath
of a dragon trapped in our own basement.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Hiding secretes yet unseen
Within the willow's magic veil
The yard enclosed by secrete spells
Dark water's shallow depths
Reflecting jungles of leaves and limbs
Lies undisturbed now behind the wake
Of the sleeky swimming garter snake
Friday, July 3, 2009
A duck eyed him, and approached cautiously. She would see he had nothing and turn back, he thought, but she kept coming. Another followed. Something fell in the water and she scooped it up, no longer wary of his presence. The girl, the blond, was standing over his shoulder with a hotdog bun.
Who was this girl and how did she wind up with this group? Sam hadn't seen her before, but if she was who he thought she was, he'd heard her name a time or two. He didn't think she was attached, not to any of these guys. How old was she? She could've been fifteen for all he knew.
Being twenty was hard. Nothing was clear. The line between childhood and adulthood was fine, sometimes non-existent. He never new just what he was supposed to be doing. For the first time he had to admit he didn't know anything at all.
But he could smell her perfume. Something was distinguishing itself from the murk, rising to the surface. Should he let it? Should he just give in? Or should he be more cautious?
Sam didn't know anything at all, and, for the moment at least, accepted it. This seemed good for some reason, so he laughed for the first time in months.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Why does the little magpie squawk
and chatter all the time?
Why does he wake you in the morn
to hear his crooked rhyme?
Why does he dress in blacks and whites
instead of browns and tans?
Why, if you ask, I'm sure he'd say,
it's just because he can.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
"Silly cat," she said. She wanted to be cheered up. She also wanted to throw something. Instead, she scratched the cat under his collar.
She felt like a fly smashing her face against a window over and over again with a growing suspicion that whatever was blocking her way was very simple but she was too stupid to comprehend it.
The cat protested as she leaned over and picked up the book. The words became blurred and the symbols laughed at her. Her brain was jell-o. She set the book down again, instead of chucking it through a window, and collapsed back into the chair. She had already taken, and passed the class once, but apparently that wasn't good enough to be certified. She was doing better than the last time, but she still only got so far before it all ceased to make sense. It was as if there was a secret someone forgot to tell her, a key to make sense of everything.
She wanted to cry. The cat purred louder, with purpose, because she stopped petting him. She wanted to laugh. The clock said something way past two in the morning. She wanted to scream, but scratched the cat behind the ear instead.
So this was freedom. This was the land of opportunity. She could do, she could be anything she wanted. Oh, but wait, that is, as long as she got at least a B on her chemistry final. Didn't you read the fine print? Sure, a basic knowledge of it, and how it worked would be useful, and sure it would make her well rounded, as if she needed that. This stress would more than take care of her roundedness. Sure there was some logic behind it she couldn't deny, making it all the more aggravating, but all this, when would she use any of this? She could always look stuff up if she ever needed it. That's what they did in the real world anyway. She knew she was more than capable of doing everything she wanted if she could only get the knowledge, which she could, and the permission, which was the problem. Was this all a joke played by sadistic professors and administrators exercising their power over everyone's hopes and dreams? Exorcising the hopes and dreams from those that actually had any? Was it job security? Or was it simply a way to find out who really wanted it? To weed out the flakes?
Oh, was she a flake? Was she destined to fail? Would she have to face the facts and let go of her dream? She wanted to cry, so she did.
The cat didn't like this, so he closed his eyes and purred harder, as if to say, "see, this is how you do it. You close your eyes and purr and everything is better."
Maybe, but she didn't know how to purr. Just one more thing she couldn't do. But if she could, maybe it would be better. She began to try, but started to laugh instead. This was no laughing matter so she stopped. Laughing was the one thing cats couldn't do. She couldn't remember ever seeing a cat laugh.
"Ok," she said to the cat, feeling a bit better, "here's the plan. The test isn't until late this afternoon, so I'll get some sleep now and get up earlier than I'd planned and take another look at this then. Maybe everything will be fresh. Maybe it'll make some sense." The cat thought this was a perfectly good plan, until he realized she would have to stand up. He wasn't too crazy about that little bit, but everything else sounded just fine.
Everything was ready to go. All she had to do was survive one last final, grab the cat, skip town, and hope it didn't snow. There would be a whole month to not think about it.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
There was a vision of a room, that perfect shade of green, white trim, and sun pouring through windows and spilling over a hardwood floor. There were tulips and daffodils. The ground remained wet from the recently melted snow, and shined in the light. The breeze lost its teeth, playing with her hair. The sun drenched her head, her shoulders, and dripped down her back. This was the sun, not that pale white thing that shied from the slightest cold breeze and hid from the full onslaught of winter. This was the sun, reaching out a hand to spring, who lay broken and beaten on the ground, healing her wounds and pointing her towards the freedom of a Saturday afternoon.
But her eyes opened to the same ugly scarred ceiling, tape-marked walls, and gray light trickling though a small slit of a window. She knew the snow was still there, wet and dirty. It refused to leave, even as the temperature crept toward forty. Rivers of brown slush and ice water waited to penetrate her socks.
The wind howled outside, ripped through the trees, and through its fury against every window and door. Its voice was like a cold hand on her back. She rolled over and pulled the blankets in tight around her.
The wind had been blowing for days, obliterating everything in its path. She listened. Behind it's howl and scream was a whisper, something quiet speaking to something deep inside. This wasn't the wind of November, blowing away the leaved and sun and warmth. This was a new wind, scrubbing the earth clean of its dross, making way for something new. It still had a ways to go, but soon, any day now, it would show itself and whisper its promise.
She sat up. Already she could feel the ice, the weight, the guilt, the regret, and that nagging feeling she wasn't what she should be loosen it's grip on her heart. Soon now, very soon, she would wake to sunlight pulling her outside and pointing her face to the sky, telling her to leave all that behind. Soon there would be a new day, a new life, a new youth. Soon the sun would greet her new and weightless life and say: it's ok, go and start again.
And still the wind blew, whispering: soon, very soon, you just wait.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
The light changed, and he crossed. The kitchen was a mess. If he could get it clean, and keep it that way, maybe he could get back to cooking real food every once in awhile. He would need to do laundry at some point, but he wasn't sure he had enough quarters. And the list could go on, the bedroom, the bathroom, the trash, and so on. But all that was just subsiding, getting by from day to day, like getting up every morning and going to work. That wasn't it. There was something there he lost a long time ago, and he needed to find it, but what was it.
It was early December and there was something in the air, an excitement he found beautiful. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes for a moment more than a blink, and looked around. The lines and angles of the building and the streets changed as he passed through them. Some sparrows hopped around the bare branches of a tree and flew away as he walked beneath. Some passed by him on the sidewalk, more on the other side, some in every car that drove by, and more, as he walked by the coffee shop, staring at computer screens and newspapers. All had that something incomprehensible behind their eyes. He tried to comprehend it, but failed. For almost a block he was in the middle of it all. Then he wasn't.
Where he was exactly wasn't clear, until he heard himself remind himself he needed to pay rent. He tried to calculate how much money he had in the bank. A half block ahead, he saw the light turn green. Great, he thought, he would get there just in time for it to turn yellow. He hated that light. It was slow and the traffic was too much to jaywalk. He just wanted to be home.
Block later, he was almost home, out of breath from climbing the hill and worried that maybe he was out of shape. The mail was mostly junk, but he separated one bill and tried to figure when payday was.
The cat was there to greet him but he couldn't pet her because his hands were full. She rubbed against his leg and he tried to find a place to stick the mail. The answering machine was full of junk so he deleted it all. He turned on the computer and felt bad because he'd all but ignored the cat. He gave a few pets and put some food in her bowl, heated up some coffee from that morning and went to the bathroom, which also needed to be cleaned.
The face in the mirror was tired and looked older than he was comfortable with, so he didn't look at it.
The computer booted up, and he sat down in front of it. Something was wrong with the internet connection so he fumbled with that until it fixed itself somehow. He needed to check his e-mail. He needed to check his bank balance. He needed to check something else. What was it? He needed something. He needed coffee. The coffee was still in the microwave. It was still hot and tasted bearable, so he took it and sat down again. He checked to see if his girlfriend was online, but she wasn't. She would be online soon, he thought, she usually was. So he played a round of solitaire while he waited. He lost. He tried again. Eventually he won, but he managed to waste an hour in the process. His girlfriend still wasn't online so he took a shower.
An hour or so later, he lost another game of solitaire. Nothing got done and the cat was looking at him. Once again his brain went through the list of things that needed to be done, but never settled on anything. Why was this so hard? It wasn't as if his life was complicated. All he really needed to do was take care of himself, to get by from day to day. But he couldn't seem to do that very well. What was he missing? Was there something somebody forgot to tell him? Then there was this thing inside telling him there was something he needed to be doing, that his life was slipping by, wasted on petty everyday concerns and chores he never took care of anyway. But what was it? He told himself if he could just get organized, get caught up, maybe he'd have the time to figure it out. But it all seemed like such a waste of time.
His stomach growled, but all there was to eat was peanut butter and bread. That didn't sound good. If the kitchen was cleaner, maybe he could cook something, if he had something to cook. He could buy something, but he new better. He would wait until he got some work done in the kitchen, or else the food would just go bad in the fridge.
Feeling a little sick and light-headed, he went back to the computer. No one was online. All he wanted was for everything to just go away. There was a time when he could sit and listen to music for hours and let his mind go where it would. He missed that. But there always seemed like there was something more important to do. Maybe this time there wasn't. Maybe this was just what he needed, but what to listen to.
It took him too long to decide on something. Nothing seemed to match the mood he was in. He would think of something, but then again maybe not. Soon his eyes were scanning the CDs, back and forth, but not actually seeing them. If he could just focus. That'll do. The music had barely started when he had a better idea. He grabbed another CD and put that on. He sat down on the couch and tried to get comfortable. It took a few tries. The music kicked in. It would work. It was something he hadn't listened to in a long time. He wondered why he hadn't listened to it in a long time. Soon his mind was gone, but not liked he hoped it would. It was wound so tight, had been for so long. It was spinning, and spinning, and wouldn't stop. It was all what he needed to do, what he wanted to do, and all the things he knew would never happen. He wasn't listening anymore. When he realized he'd missed all but the end of one of his favorite songs, he felt sad. He played it again. He sat back, took a deep breath, like taking an arm and shoving everything off a desk, he closed his eyes and listened. But an empty desk doesn't take long to collect clutter. His mind went in and out. Sometimes it was good; other times he had to clear it and start over.
Soon he remembered he was hungry, not that he cared much, but he would have to go to bed soon and an empty stomach often kept him awake. It seemed forever since he got enough sleep, which was nothing but painful when he tried to get up for work. All he ever wanted to do anymore was sleep, but he never seemed to get around to it.
He fixed himself some peanut butter sandwiches and sat in front of the computer again. She wasn't online, so ate and played solitaire.
The next thing he knew, it was too late. He swore at himself because he wouldn't get the extra sleep he wanted. If he went to bed now, he could get enough. He brushed his teeth, then went to make sure the door was locked, it was, then he remembered there was something else he needed to do in the bathroom. He tried not to look at himself in the mirror. What had he come in there for? Oh yeah. He washed his hands and took his contacts out. He checked the door; it was locked. What else needed to be done? No one was online, so he shut the computer down. What else? There had to be something. He shut the light out and went to bed, pulled up the covers. He should go to the bathroom. He did, washed his hands, and went back to bed. Was the door locked? He almost got up to check it, but was sure it was, and forced himself to believe it. Coffee. He needed to set the up the coffee maker so it would start automatically. There was nothing worse than getting up and having to wait for coffee.
Soon he was back in bed. If there was anything left to do, it could wait. He almost fell asleep, but didn't. An hour later he was still awake and getting angry. He wanted to cry. He wanted to scream. Neither was very productive, so he got up.
In the darkened living room, the light was filtering through the mini blinds pinkish orange. Then he remembered. It was snowing. He pulled up the blinds. Two or three inches had accumulated already, and it was still going steady, nice big flakes falling silently, landing silently. The snow muffled the few sounds there were to be muffled at that time of night. He turned his chair to the window and sat watching it. It was quiet. So quiet. He decided not to think about it too much, and, for once, he didn't.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Curse the space between our beating hearts.
Curse this lion that prowls the dark outside.
Curse this fear that keeps us pinned inside.
Curse these dreams that hypnotized my eyes.
All this cold reality ignores your bitter cries.
But let us still be grateful for the sun that dries our tears,
For the crack that lets your whispers reach my burning ears,
For the time we have together,
For the warmth that we can share,
For the healing balm of knowing
That someone out there cares.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
What is on your mind at this moment? What are your concerns, worries, hopes, dreams, sorrows, joys, and struggles at this moment? What about yesterday? How about last week? Can you even remember? Think about this day, last year; chances are you can't even remember.
What does that say about the things that are on your mind right now? Do you think they will matter tomorrow, next week, a year from now, or even ten years from now?
The estimated population of this planet is over 6.5 billion people. I think it's safe to assume all 6.5 billion people have something on their mind at this moment. They all have their worries, concerns, troubles, and such.
Our life expectancy is somewhere around seventy-five years. How long is seventy-five years compared to a thousand? or several thousand years that make up recorded history? How long have people lived on this planet? How many lives have come and gone in that time? I doubt anyone really knows.
It's clear all those people lived their lives one day at a time, with their own daily joys and struggles, such as we. It is impossible to comprehend, but sobering to try.
Often our worries seem so big they overshadow everything else, but in the whole scheme of our life, are they really a big deal? In the whole big scheme of things, do they even matter at all? Why is it then we expect the whole world to bend over backwards to submit to our will? and why is it we feel persecuted when we don't get our own way?
I don't know, but it's something to think about.
Friday, June 5, 2009
These thoughts tormented me as I sat at the kitchen table watching the rain, and the blue gray morning. I couldn't bring myself to go to work, to mop another floor, to scrub another toilet, so I called in sick. And maybe I was sick. I played with the notion of going insane. Something about wearing pajamas, being sedated, and staring out a window all day appealed to me. I wondered if maybe there was something wrong with me, but I couldn't put my finger on anything. None of the diseases I knew anything about seemed to fit me. Again, I had a little of each, but not a lot of any. To be completely sane or completely insane was all I wanted, but that gray middle ground was driving me crazy.
To justify taking the day off, I told myself I would use the day to relax a bit, clear my head, and maybe even do something productive. Sitting there, drinking coffee, it was becoming clear none of that would happen. As my brain woke up, it spun faster and faster, off to who knows were. Then something would say, hey you're supposed to do something productive today, then it would start listing of things I need to do. Then something else would say, no, you need to relax, clear your mind, remember who you are, and where you're going. I could go for a drive. I could take a walk in the rain. I could, but there were so many things I'd been meaning to do; wouldn't it feel better to get some of it done? Wouldn't the best way to get those nagging worries off my mind be to take care of them once and for all? But it wouldn't be once and for all, I knew that. There would always be something else to replace them.
So it went on like that. Just when I was about to tell myself to shut up, the phone rang.
We all have out worst nightmares. Lately I had become good at inventing them. Someone would be late or the phone would ring when I least expected it and the scenarios play across my mind. Mostly they were simple like car accidents or sudden unforeseen heart attacks. Sometimes they were a bit more inventive such as freak home accidents. Others were just disturbing such as attacks by serial killers or rapists. These stirred up a black sludge of anger, hatred, and fear. I didn't like the feel of it at all, so I chased it away, if I could.
Sometimes I would be the subject of the fantasy. Walking to work I might slip on a patch of ice, or get hit by a car and break my leg; preferably my left leg, so it would have minimal impact on my ability to drive. I had never broken anything, and I didn't like the thought of it, but it sure would be hard to work with a broken leg. I had enough sick time I could easily afford at least three weeks off. If I felt a bit strange one day it could be some strange disease, preferably one that didn't kill me and wasn't too painful. I didn't like this one too much. I had an acquaintance who died that way. I didn't see her for some time, and of course the worse case scenarios played themselves out until someone finally told me what happened. One of those worse case scenarios was correct. It was a brain tumor. That bothered me for a long time. Sometimes it still bothers me. But then, it never was about me, I had no say in the matter, and no one asked what I thought. So what if I liked her; she had a brain tumor and died. Everything that could be done, was done, and still she died. I couldn't come up with a rhyme or a reason for it; it just was, and that was what made it hard to digest.
For the most part, these were all academic, just mental exercises. Sure, every now and then I scared myself. There were even times I got emotional, but this was rare. Though all of these fantasies were entirely plausible, and I knew they happened all the time, I never believed them. It was just interesting to think through how I would feel and what I would do.
After a bit I'd stop and ask myself, do I really want this to happen? Do I want this person to die? Do I want to get hit by a truck? Was I really that bored? I never wished harm on anyone, and though it had it's benefits, breaking my left leg was not my idea of a good time. But I had to admit drama, even trauma, can make one feel alive, more so than just getting up every day and going to work. Maybe I needed a pinch to wake me from that long gray dream I found myself trudging through. Maybe I was sick after all. If that was the case, I'd at least have an excuse.
So the phone ran. There was nothing special about this. Telemarketers and whatnot called all the time. Though I lost track, and didn't know the time, it seemed like an odd time to call. It seemed like a good time for something big to happen, something that would change everything.
I let the answering machine do its job. I waited. It played through my less than cheerful greeting. The red light blinked; it was recording. I leaned over it to listen. Nothing. Dead air. I guess it wasn't anything important.
I sat back down and lifted my cup to my lips. I was out of coffee. I got up and went to the bathroom.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
To participate, just copy and paste in your own blog, and bold and italicize all of the things you have done.
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying manitis
10. Sang a solo (this was awful, in 3rd grade, and anyone/everyone who’s heard my voice would know why)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables - fungus doesn't count, does it?
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Ran a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise - To Alaska. Everyone should go there to keep things in perspective.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language - in the process anyway.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie - does a japanese documentary count?
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia - want to
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies - reluctantly tagged along (ha, bad joke) but didn't actually do any of the selling myself.
62. Gone whale watching - I was always on the wrong side of the boat.
63. Got flowers for no reason - given, but never received
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check :(
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy - depends on how you define childhood and toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job - well, laid off actually
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone - none that I know of.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible - but not all at once, or in order.
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - do ants and crawdads count? Fish?
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby - I had to give it back
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Seen Mount Rushmore in person
101. Learned to play an instrument
Now you do it! :)
Sunday, May 24, 2009
birds are singing such a lovely day
and i can't wait until my work is done
oh for one bright moment in the sun
every bird must wing and sing its song
once twice again and then it's gone
mommy it was such a lovely day
the birds were singing then it slipped away
the birds were singing then they flew away
Is it possible to have too many pointless blogs in the world? If so, we must be getting close.
Here's my little contribution to the pursuit of critical mass.