Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Not just another fat bird on the table

As the holiday of Thanks creeps up on me, I thought it only prudent to slow the pace of life just long enough to recognize what I’ve got.

I’m grateful for many things. I enjoy little things like q-tips, strike anywhere matches, wide-mouth soda cans, and free breath mints at restaurants. My life is made easier by combustion engineering, modern healthcare, democracy, supermarkets, and all things digital. I love music, art that stimulates my brain, organization, and free choice. Thankful for my job, freedom, a warm place to call home, the VW my wife bought 9 years ago, the right to make independent decisions. Lastly, the things that make my life worthwhile: knowledge of a loving God; my beautiful children, watching them enjoying life; my gorgeous wife, for knowing who I am but loving me anyway.

My life is held together by many little parts moving together for a common cause. I could live without some of those things and still get by (hey I survived the ‘90s with no internet or cell phones). But my family holds me together and gives meaning to my life. To them I give Thanks.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This is just awesome! Perhaps because I was (am) a bit of a pyro- myself. But I laughed a lot, so that's got to be worth something.

Natural Hope

The weather changes; cold rolls in
Icy wind cuts like the sharpest knife
Frozen air covers the city at night

Gone are the flowers, birds, and bees
Nature prepares; takes it in stride
Waiting for months; spring to arrive

The land turns to stone; a protective shell
Trees turn to bones, grass a rotting mulch
Seeds hide within to evade annihilation

Isolated from elements; safely one can observe

White covers all; hiding filth of existence
Softening edges, blending seams, mesmerizing
Like the gleam on an executioner’s blade

Sense of false security, descends from above
Peace, love, goodwill; fall on deafened ears
The world a mess… then kids emerge

The bleak wasteland now an arctic paradise
Cold, lifeless landscape alive with laughter
Bad to good, down to up, empty is now full

Innocence, benevolence, love
Living the moment, loving the life
Fun from nothing; nothing from resentment

Enlightened, now prepare; take it in stride
Enjoy nature; loved ones at my side
Waiting for months; spring will arrive.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

If words could kill...they would

Pain is anything but mutually exclusive
The hand feels the leg; the leg the head
Sting leads back to the chest; to the heart

Life stories told through pictures
Worth a thousand little words
Pointed words that cut to the core

Some come from those we love
Other from those we've never met
But damage done is the same

Some are bold; most are not
Cowards are ignorant assailants
Hiding behind their cyber masks

The soul injured by repeated attacks
A breaking point ensues
Enough too much to tolerate

The world seen through collective eyes
Tained by the acts of a few
Without excision peace may not resume.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Adult Decisions in Little Minds

I was recently asked by my little girl what ‘pregnant’ was. I know that she knew the answer, but think that she was testing me. I told her the simplest answer I could think of, ‘it’s when you are going to have a baby’. This was followed by a barrage of questions like ‘where does the baby come out’, ‘is it hard to have a baby’, and ‘does it hurt’. I tried to do my best to satisfy her thirst for information while still maintaining the conversation on an upbeat note. But she is too smart for that. The next thing that came from her mouth was ‘I don’t want to ever have a baby’. The next few minutes were spent trying to reassure her that her decision is fine, but not to worry as she won’t have to make that choice for many, many years.

It’s funny how kids look at things; just as they are. From the little information they have on things, they formulate an opinion on whether or not they like it. But their opinions tend to be more pure than that of adults. They don’t have the life baggage to influence their decisions; they call it like it is. Having a baby involves growing something inside your tummy that eventually comes out of your privates with a lot of pain. Personally, I don’t blame her.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ode To Beauty

Opened my heart and my broken soul.
She took me in and made me whole
She taught me to love; ways I didn’t know how

Time makes the mind slowly forget
It gets harder the older we are
To have big dreams; wish upon stars

The meaning of my life
The purpose for my being
Dedicated, devoted, committed

Mistakes made, forgiveness granted
Together united toward a common goal
Hopeless without you; lost on my own

Time makes the mind slowly forget
It gets harder the older we are
To have big dreams; wish upon stars

Love you forever; stronger with time
Keep you safe as long as you’re mine
My friend; best of them all

Granted were wishes; dreams have come true
To behold such beauty every day of my life
A lucky man…in love.

For Allison.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Normal, anyone? Or just another shade of messed up?

What kind of problems do I really have? I guess that is a rhetorical question. But then again it should be literal. No one is perfect and we all have issues. Some issues are easier to see than others but they are still there.

I come from a family where the mode de vida was to keep things in; stuff them deep down inside never to see the light of day. But there were always those choice moments when the inside got too full. The last thing to go in was usually not the biggest or most important, but once the top was off…everything came out; usually in a violent and dramatic manner. I have tried very hard to handle things differently. But it has not been easy.

My childhood family has experienced this first hand. For years, I played along like things were fine. But then I was removed from them, in the physical sense, for an extended period of time. That was it; there was no going back. When I was reintroduced into their daily lives, it was different. The little things bothered me. How could we be so dysfunctional and never talk about it or try to make it better? This was a question that haunted me and caused me to take an about face. To my family, this came as quite a shock. I no longer wanted to just ‘play family’ at dinners and gatherings. I stopped showing up to the manufactured get-togethers. The reception was not good. My mother even tried to up the stakes by creating situations to ‘test’ me. I did not pass; by her standards.

I guess it would have been easier for them had I gradually phased them into my new way of being. But how does one do that? How do you ease from one mindset to another? I think that is harder than just doing it; like a band-aid. Needless to say, things are more strained than before; with parents and siblings. It has now been several years since the switch. I think about trying to reconnect with them. I know that they will never change, but perhaps we can find a level on which to meet that doesn’t compromise anyone’s standards; even if only for family sake.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Another lesson learned while traveling

Life is hard for many reasons. These reasons seem to be independent of and synonymous with who we are. No one has it easy. It’s not difficult to observe the outward displays of life; accumulation of stuff, people, satisfaction, peace.

I ride a shuttle from where I park my car near the airport to the terminal. It’s my way of trying to control the madness I associate with the flying experience. Tonight there was no one else, just me. The drivers are usually young with a broken accent. This one was different; an older man showing the signs of age in his face, his hair bleached by the passing of time. Normally, I keep to myself; passing the short trip in silence. I ask how his day was.

This is his job; living off the tips from passengers. Sometimes a dollar to two a trip, his last one was 12 bucks. He took the opportunity to stop to pick up some cigarettes. He’s a 2 to 3 pack a day kind of guy. And he only likes the Basic brand without a filter that they only sell at the gas stations on 40th and 52nd. He recounts to me the days events; not enough for money for smokes that day he smoked his old butts at home, not enough change for a hamburger he had to only get fries for lunch.

I tipped him well tonight. Was it pity, probably so. With so much talk of oppression and victimization, this guy was my personal connection it all. Laid off, this was his last resort; so long to a golden retirement. At 15 to 20 bucks a day, his smoking habit has him by the balls. Until he kicks this addiction, he will most likely be toughing it out many days. I thank God that I have a job and a family that I love. So if I think that my day is going rough, it probably is; everything is relative.