Thursday, December 24, 2009

great dane on a raft...with my folks...sorry, its just a deep day.

I awoke this morning to the news that some time last night, my favorite living poet, and acquaintance, had slipped past the grasp of the cancer that raged his body.  I'm currently at Christmas Holiday in Florida, with my family.

It must be such a relief and such acute anguish on Christmas Eve.  The irony of a long battle with cancer, a husband, wife and kids all understanding the stakes...that his only reprieve from pain will be when he closed his eyes forever.

I pondered my distant friend and his new home, over a view of a distraught and stormy sea today.

The ocean has always entranced me.  She has an eternal shade to her costume, that makes her appear as a Patrick Nagel painting...beautiful and mysterious, unable to be known. Distant and untouchable, yet the ocean's deadly nature beckons the image of a wild animal, more than any mistress.  She will kill you in a moment, without the interruption of a single wave on any beach.  Perhaps the deadly nature grabs my attention.  I see into forever when I scan the horizon and see nothing but water.

Morbid or not, it reminds me of death.  The ultimate calm, quiet, nothing.  The final doorway, through which we all will pass.

The twisted part of me can never be held at bay for more than a few hours at best...and I think its high time I rolled with how the Maker made me, rather than fighting it.

The sea draws upon me the image of my own dead, mother, father, brother, and most recently, my favorite Great Dane...traveling on a raft, upon the seas.  They travel together in harmony, awaiting the arrival of another, in a day, in a year, in a decade...they are infinitely patient.  They have no desire, nor remorse for those that join their ranks.  They are dead...but they are special, because they are My Dead.  I talk to my Maker about my dead.  I visit with them, trusting that the Power that made me can be trusted in love to get the messages across.

It has taken me many miles, nautical miles if we may, to understand the nature of death (as I do now, and it continues to unfold).  I fought long and hard to make peace with my dead.  I'd recommend it to anyone, as I don't see how any peace can come without permission to leave and commitment to communion.  It has helped me transition the waters of my deeper regions from distraught and stormy to a more pleasant roll...perhaps someday I'll reach a wonderful calm.

Until then, I'll hold my picture of my parents, my brother, Moose, and perhaps a coffee drinking poet, to ride along the waters of nowhere on their way to forever.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Connections

The ultimate Christmas connection, obviously, links directly to Jesus being God's connection to His creation.  I try, therefore, to make Christmas about connections within my own mind.  Gifts become a tangible point of reference or connection with another.  A physical expression of an internal affinity, love, or appreciation...given to another out of (hopefully) selfless gratitude. 

There have been many gifts I've received over the years that link me to those special people that gave them.  I'd list a few, but hopefully, you've already drifted into a mental path of your own special gifts and those that honored you.  I'm making a list.  A list of people I need to connect with...and I'm making new rules for myself.  The old rules tell me that if I can't give a 'good' gift, or a 'real' gift, then there isn't any point in trying.  To do nothing, becomes a better strategy than the half-try...and, frankly, its easier.  But, this year, I've got some new rules...  I'm making a list, and I might even check it twice.  I've bought a new list of cards, and even if its just a two or three line note, or a short phone call, I'm going to re-touch as many people as I can on my list.  They touched me, and I remain grateful. 

One of the people on my list, is someone that I don't even know very well.  Yet, he continues to touch my life.  I've included my favorite token of his workmanship below, and maybe it will spur us all on to a Christmas full of wonderful connections, re-connections, and wonderful gifts (big or small).

Coffee Moments

It's not about the coffee.
We meet there, yes,
and drink as though
our lives depend on it.

But java's just an excuse
to gather, to share a part
of who we are, to stay
reasonably connected.

We searched for paradise
and never found it --yet here
with  cup in hand, perhaps
we're a latte closer.

                      -Jim Chastain

Jim remains in his last chapter of this journey, but I need to let him know that he's created fuel for me, he's fed me with intangible food, and helped me make sense out of the swirl of misty thoughts and emotions in my mind.  Thank you Jim.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Everybody's gotta have rules (#1)

I enjoy watching NCIS.  Gibbs has rules.  I get that.  I don't watch many shows, because they are mostly the same, and waste my time, but the lot fell to NCIS...and I like it.

Everybody lives by rules, we all seem to have them, and we all get fairly irked when folks don't seem to realize that they've previously been obligated to these rules.  Part of the therapy I seek from this blog, requires me to provide those I share this globe least a partial list of these rules.

1. When you come to my desk for need to tell me what you "need" as well as what you "want".  You will most likely get the former.  Oh, and bring pen and pad...if I have to write it down for'll get neither.

Commentary:  This rule is about self respect, as well as respect for others.  When I ask someone for help, I try to make sure that I really need help...and their help specifically.  I've bugged the living hell out of folks in my younger years, and if I'm ever ridiculously affluent...I might send them some cash.  Respect yourself, bring paper and pencil.  Listen, and write.  Another question in 20 minutes commands more respect than 5 questions now.

2.  Political Arguments:  The following sublist pretty much catches my thought on this.

  • First of all, we are now a couple hundred years old.  Nobody's taking our country to hell in a handbasket in the next 15 minutes, or most likely the next 4 years.  If they do, there will be solid reasoning, to any rational person that the previous 20 years also contributed to aforementioned journey in handbasket.
  • Be fair, and don't be a dumbass.  Almost every political point debated in our Congress has extremely bright people on both sides.  They did not forget their brains on the way to the debate.  Slow down, learn some empathy, and think from someone else's point of balanced, try to recognize your own faults...and speak respectfully.  Or stay the hell at home.
  • Social Skills are required.  Speak [normal tone of voice please, yes you yell], stop.  Listen, reflect.  Think. Ask....slow down, you really don't know what other people think, regardless of what that loud voice in your head just said.
  • Realize that nobody wins all the time.  Nobody loses all the time.  Stand up for your ideals, and be willing to lose gracefully with a kind word "I respect the outcome, but I do continue to believe a different solution would be more successful".  If you can't lose, then you, my friend are a second grader that needs an ass whoopin. 
  • Superlatives...shall be left at home.  There aren't many political issues that "always raise taxes in every situation, always, every day, in every case, exponentially"  So stop...again, speak sensibly, logically correct, or stay at home and keep articulating to the mirror.
  • Nobody's Ozzy Osbourne.  Politicians of the other persuasion do not eat puppies on the debate floor...and for the most part, neither did Ozzy.  Men and women in our Congress did not wake up this morning trying to screw you, or your party...unless you are a Page...then all bets are off.
  • God's comment, about fence sitting, was in respect to Jesus being God and all...George Washington never said the same about politics.  You don't always have to argue, sometimes it makes you look cooler and sound smarter to say, "that's interesting, but I haven't really thought it all the way through, and I'm not sure which way I think is better at the moment".  [Practice that in front of a mirror if you need can do it, I did.]
That was a bit longer than I expected, so I'll call this a wrap.  I do feel better.