Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dear 2013

Thank you for:

- Teaching me that sometimes 'no' is the hardest 'yes' one will ever say

- Knocking me down
- Shaking me up
 - Pulling the rug out
 - Sending me challenges
 - Making me more compassionate
 - Giving me no other choice than to be vulnerable
 - Rewarding me with Ben, love, and light of my life
 - Letting me learn the long path to health
 - Connecting me with an amazing network of family and friends

Friday, December 06, 2013

Soon, sir

In my mind's eye you were just like my grandfather.  Gruff, but adoring of me because we could share spaces of silence together as well as an internal music that never stops writing itself beside one another with ease and comfort. 

Ludwig, thank you for sharing your birthday with me.  I feel deeply honored each and every year. This video is truly fitting of your amazing contributions to the world of music and possibility, so additionally, thank you for your dedication to sharing those gifts with us despite the personal battles that you had to fight in order to do so.

Earth HD| Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Wonder and infinity visible

The World Outside My Window

Important Owl Shit To Do


"Let Me Go" - Shane Koyczan [again]

Funny how pain, evolution, and resolution are universal, regardless of the source of the heartbreak.
You bang on my door 

Like a knock knock joke that 
I'm scared to hear the punch line to,
Because the who somehow always turns out to be you
And it's always nothing new.
We've been through the same 

Sing-a-long and lap dance before.
It's like you tore a page out of the playbook
And you've been trying to re-event the airplane,
Folding over and over, using the same piece
Until there's a crease running in every direction
And that shit won't fly.

And it's okay,
'Cause I feel grounded these days.
Less like a bullet that strays into a crowd looking for a home.
Passing through bone as if it was another big city stop
On a vacation planned with a sightseeing book.

You see, I took a class on listening
So I could hear something positive
And then live happily with the mindset
That will give me altitude when needed.

I've got a confidence so deep seeded
It's growing reverse.
And I rehearse handshakes with titans
Because even giants need someone to look up to.

Open fire,
There's wounds to be licked
Near the eyes,
You inherited.
In the bar
People wait for their numbers to come.
One by one, they arrive,
And so will I.
I forget that I don't live here anymore,
It's not my scene.
I'll wait, to be amazed
By a voice I'm not expecting.
Open fire like a car crash.
Open fire and the names and the faces.
Open fire and as you fall back.
Open fire in the city.

And if we agree to disagree
The we never to the time it takes
To analyze the mistakes we made.
We stay at a stalemate 

Where the rate of progress
Is equal to a snail's pace
In a rat race where people chase fairy tales.
Hoping all the happy endings 

Get married to the tragic beginnings,
And all the ever-afters last forever.

And I'm the first to admit,
I sure wish there was a Never Land,
Where time never takes us by the hand
And forces us to grow old.
I wish that every lie told would make our noses grow,
That way we'd know who the politicians should be.

Let me go,
So I don't cut your heel 

Trying to fit your foot into a glass slipper 

I already smashed against the sidewalk.
Let me wander through the flock 

And show that wolves have got teeth too,
And the they have bitten through my tongue
Every time I have had to hold it.
And I have had to hold it, 

I have held it.
And I've got the words,
I've got the words so sharp
They'd have to drive you to the hospital just to stop the bleeding. 

I'm tired of you needing us to be friends,
Let me go, so I don't slip and say something like,
They only person who lets me down more than God,
Is you.

See, I didn't mean to,
But somewhere along the way 
I grew a mouth like a cannon,
So the next time you ran in and out of my secret lives
I'd have some knives of my own I could throw.
And I know my aim is getting better
Because now I can say your name in a prayer. 

It's right there, next to the Hallelujah
And the goodbye.
Looked for radio

A voice built by sin.

Indulgence, the finer things.
Know the room,
With letters that you
Never sent. 

Never meant to. 

Who's it to send too.
Every train that you can catch
Will arrive,
Every hour, 

Every day.
And every phone call, 

Every response 
Is expected. 

Open fire like a car crash. 

Open fire, all the names and the faces.
Open fire, and as you fall back.
Open fire, the city lights.

I tried to fit and fill a Cathedral
Where the needful kneel and feel nothing now. 

I somehow believe you less and less.
And I guess I trust you about as much as I should, 

Which could be another way to say 
I wonder if I ever did. 

I wonder who's hiding behind each eyelid 

When you had to close your eyes just to touch me.
I wonder where I'd be if I hadn't let you use my own physicality
To weaken my arms and legs against escape. 

I wonder what you did with that cape that I used to keep
Hanging in my closet.

Let me go,
Like an atheist caught in an undertow
Hoping to nothing that maybe he was wrong.
Let me belong to myself again,
Then stand back to back with a mountain and ask people,
“Am I taller yet?”
'Cause I kinda got my heart set on being huge.
And I figure, maybe with a bigger heart 

I can love strangers a little more.
Laughter can be my encore at every smile.
And I could compile pyramids against hurricanes
And I'd have hands like cranes
And lift the heavy weight of loneliness
From the shoulders of the dejected
Because the world needs a friend.

And maybe I could bend minds around the concept that

Depression is dangerous 

And we can't afford to have 911 dismiss unhappiness
As if it wasn't a God damned emergency.
And we should be sending out hugs 

As if they were blood, food and rescue teams.
And we should be holding the hands of the comfortless,
Teaching them to walk balance beams,
And yet it seems more likely
That you would keep me in a constant state of unhappy,
Which lends a truth to the theory of misery and company.

Let me go, 
I've got shit to do.
I've got to get a shiny new friend 

That I can prop up beside me and say 
See, I'm alright”.
I've got a fight scheduled by the bike racks
For the week after next.
But I've got to put it in context,
So that when they write a story on my back in blue and black ink

You won't think it's about you,
'Cause a story's only true if you live it.
The minute you give it a personal touch 

It becomes something that the facts were based on
And you could argue endlessly over wrong and right,
But day and night occupy both space between dusk and dawn.
So, let me go,
Because the truth is,
I'm gone.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"Remember How We Forgot" - Shane Koyczan

Every now and again, you come across someone who truly moves you.  For me it's often poets.  Shane Koyczan is one such poet. 

Remember how we forgot?
Remember how no one ever really died in the wars we fought?
Because each gunshot came from our finger tips
And we never really kept them loaded 'just in case'
Because each enemy was a friend and none of it was about oil, religion, or land
It was all just pretend
Remember how we used to bend reality
Like we were circus strong men
Like our imaginations were in shape then
Like we were all ninjas trained in the deadly art of "did not"
Like "I totally got you!"
"Did not."
Remember how we forgot?
Remember how our parents told us never to look directly into the sun?
And how we were their son
And so we never looked directly into the mirror, in fear that we would go blind
Remember how we used to find any old reason just to call someone we were crushing on?
Like we would just pawn off our sense of embarrassment
Buy a chunk of courage that would last just long enough to have us asking them about math and stuff
And how stuff was just stuff
Like, "I heard you were getting braces", and how braces somehow were and still are kinda hot
Remember how we forgot?
Remember how we all caught Mono and out folks would go, "ooooo, the kissing disease!"
And our first steps into gangstahood had us saying “mother please!”
Even though we’ve never really kissed anyone
Even though we never did half the things we said we’d done
We just spun yarn like Rumpelstiltskin spun gold
We told ghost stories never realizing we would one day ourselves become ghosts
Haunting the hallways of schools
Poltergeist, breaking all the rules of silence in the library
But we had no chains to rattle
No voice to battle the fact that we had no vocal chords
We had only finger nails on chalk boards
We had to scream, shout, and yell trying to tell ourselves what experience can teach is what no teacher taught
Remember how we forgot?
Once upon a time, we were young
Our dreams hung like apples
Waiting to be picked and peeled
And hope was something that needed to be reeled in
So we can fill the always empty big fish bin with the one that got away
And proudly say that "this time, impossible is not an option"
Because success is so akin to effort and opportunity that it could be related
So we took chances
We figure skated on thin ice
Belief that each slice of live was served with something sweet on the side
And failure was never nearly as important as the fact that we tried
That in the war against frailty and limitation
We supplied the determination it takes to make ideas and goals the parents of possibility
And we believe ourselves to be members of this family
Not just one branch on one tree
But a forest who’s roots make up a dynasty
So when I call you "sis" or "bro"
It’s not lightly
And when I ask you to remember
It’s because the future isn't what it used to be
So remember now
Pay tribute to every sacrifice laid upon the altar of 'somehow'
For all the times
Somehow we overcame
Somehow we pushed on
Somehow we’ve gone the distance
And in going there we’ve possessed the freedom to map the uncharted lands of any and everywhere
We are unbound
Six feet above the underground where we will all one day rest
So until then
Test the limits
Test the boundaries and borders
Of the headquarters of potential lay just beyond the world's edge
Let the belief that hope belongs to us all
Be the pledge you take to make the unachievable as inconceivable as the false fact that we were never here
We were here
And our memories are as dear to us as every slow motion moment or held breath
So remember every instance before death
Every first kiss, first dance, near miss, last chance, yes, no, maybe so
Let us go the distance once more
Let us remember all the moments that were and were not
Like the point is something we can get and what we can get is what we got
Because all we have is the time between the moments we connect each dot so
Live and remember
Burn like an ember capable of starting fires
Like each moment inspires the next
Like memories are the context we put ourselves in
So that life becomes the next of kin we need to notify in case of a big bang or extinction level event
Let now be our advent
Let us live like we meant it
Let us burn like we mean it
Because this world doesn't give a shit if we end in a train wreck or a car crash
If our story ends with a dot or dash
If we were dust or ash
Because all we were is all we’ll be
And all we are is the in between of "so far, so good"
So forget every would, could, or should not
Forget remembering how we forgot
Live like a plot twist exist now and in memory
Because we burn bright
Our lights leave scars on the sun
Let no one say we'll be undone by times passing
The memories we are amassing will stand as testament
That somehow we bend minds around the concept
that we see others within ourselves.
That self-knowledge can be found on bookshelves
So who we are has no bearing on how we appear
Look directly into every mirror
Realize our reflection is the first sentence to a story
And our story starts:
"We were here."

Friday, September 13, 2013

On losing & finding one's way Pt.2

Almost two years ago, I wrote the most heartbreaking post of my blogging existence.  Full of anticipatory loss and a deep sense of grief, it was hugely difficult for me to be honest and acknowledge what I was feeling.  A life I thought I had nailed down was an empty farce.  The life, the reality, that realized I wanted, on so many levels, seemed impossible.

I've been lucky enough to have learned a great deal about being present and actively realigning priorities in this last year via 4 separate events in rather rapid succession: 3 times in ICU for three separate reasons in less than 4 months and then 10 days amazing days in NZ, completely "off the grid" with the love of my life.

In the cases of the ICU incidents, I feel as though I got three individual do-overs, as though the universe was rolling its eyes and trying to figure out when the lesson would finally take, already. I'd spent over 5 years working 80-100 hour weeks. I hadn't seen family or friends for years, barely saw my then fiance. If you haven't had the experience, I can tell you that 2:30 am is a very difficult time in ICU when your doctors' prognosis is "wait and see" on biopsies and brain scans. I can tell you that no amount of morphine could take the sober out of not knowing if you'll live to see another day outside of the hospital. If that snippy thing you said to one of your charges, instead of a kind reminder, will be the last thing they remember about you.  If your family will have to pull out pictures from 6 years past simply so they can accurately recall the shape of your smile.  It has a truly profound effect on your priorities.  I don't really want to go through any of that again, but I am so incredibly thankful that I got the message and the chance to step away from a job that had become too little for my heart and soul so that I could reset my course and remember how to live.  Most importantly, how to make it matter and *thrive* again.

To the other and much happier extreme is the fourth event: NZ with Ben [aka TMB.]  He reminded me of the beauty of being idle. Not having to rush or to do or meet 20 deadlines, benchmarks, or goals by X o'clock. Watching the rain. Naps. Being silly or silent.  And, ultimately, showing me why I never, ever would want to return to world of the walking [or sprinting, as the case more accurately is] dead, because in one year or 20, no one is going to give a whit about the best logistics coordinator or the distant Assisting Manager to the VP of Operations.  They will remember the person who took or made the time and effort to be present.
  They will remember kindness, warmth, and authenticity.

I haven't worked in 10 weeks which has given me some time to do much needed and major mental and emotional housekeeping.  I'm wildly thankful for having been able to utilize my resources to do these things as a major overhaul was in order and these things cannot be addressed lightly if they are to be addressed correctly.  I'm not certain what my direction is, though I'm getting bored and fecklessness isn't in my nature.  However, having experienced the last year, having TMB at my proverbial side, I feel safe and calmly confident for the first time in my life and everything I thought I'd lost before having the chance to experience them is now a part of my future.

Most of all, it's been the experience of real love.  Something that has never been so tangible as it is with Ben.  Real love is like a mirror that reframes your whole idea of who you are because when you see the astonishing beauty of who you are to someone else reflected back at you, you will never be the same.

Here's to finding one's way.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

"Nearly Midnight, Honolulu" or How The End Is The Beginning

Hey, little kid that I saw at the bus stop one day
It was nearly midnight in Honolulu
We were waiting for the shuttle to take us to the aeroplane
When your mother said, your mother said
Like I couldn't hear her, she said,
"Get the fuck away from me!
Why don't you ever shut up?
Get the fuck away from me!"

Oh, oh

Well, I just want to say that it happened
'Cause one day when you ask yourself,
"Did it really happen?"
You won't believe it, but yes, it did
And I'm sorry
And I'm sorry
'Cause it happens everyday

They won't believe you
When you tell them
They won't believe you
When you say,
"My mother, she did not love me.
My mother, she did not love me"

No x8

Some days you feel like a cartoon
And people will rush to make excuses for you
You'll hear yourself complain
But don't you ever shut up, please
Kid, have your say
'Cause I still love you
Even if I don't see you again


“You can survive and you’re an awesome, plucky little kid, but you have to take care of yourself because your mom’s a fucking asshole, but you’re gonna have to pay for that later; the fact that you can turn around and start singing again, you’re gonna pay for that later, also. It’s really fucking unfair.” - Neko Case in explanation of "Nearly Midnight, Honolulu" 

Thank you, Ms. Case.  I'm past the unfair stage, but it's never, ever been easy and I've never felt as fully understood as I do through this song and your comments.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

A return of sorts

I won't post some silly song and dance about 'being back' as I still have very mixed ideas about the purpose of a blog and of cultivating an audience, but I'm back to where I always seem to land: writing keeps me sane.  More than anything, I just need a place to process.  I could keep this in hard form or on a harddrive on any number of devices that I have, but the immediacy and universal access have a functionality that's hard to pass on...so I'll give this one more concerted effort and see what I can come with on this go-round.

That said: Let the games begin!