Stars in my Galaxy

There are so many people who cross your path, this way and that. You never remember the last time you see them because you never know it’s going to be the last. I have been close enough to know the last time I was going to see two people and I want to share. I hope it doesn’t hurt anyone for me to share it.

One was an amazing woman who died of cancer. The last thing she said to me, from her hospital bed, was that she didn’t want me to see her that way, but she was glad I came. Her strength, composure, humility is a gift I will treasure. I carry her with me and I try to honor her in the way I live and I try to share her tradition of Carrot Cake every year.

The other was an amazing man who I knew for many years. The last thing he said to me, which took so much for him to say was that he was happy I was still friends with his son. The last thing I said to him was that his entire family was full of amazing people and I was lucky to call them my own. I am happy to call his son my friend to this day, through thick and thin. I still call his wife “mom” and see his daughter as my sister. He and I never got that close, but I knew the man and still know him in his family.

I didn’t cry in either room. I don’t really know why. I treasure those moments and as much as it hurt me to have those conversations, I will never be afraid to have another. They are two stars in my galaxy that I will treasure forever. Words may have been spoken afterwards, but forever in my life, these two will be remembered and honored, those memories forever clear as day.

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prophecy

poetry is the science of prophecy
a poet sees the world
the same world you do
the poet sees the pattern
repeating… repeating…
time after time
he cuts the pictures
words
shows you just the pieces
the pieces that are the same
the same for millennia
the pieces that haven’t changed
the pieces that will not change
cannot change
he shows you these pieces
and time connects the dots
poets don’t write the future
poets don’t write the past
poets don’t even notice the present
poets write the always
poets write the eternal
the future has no choice

re: Gold on the Horizon

If you couldn’t tell, love is on my mind a bit, which actually has nothing to do with Valentines Day.  But as I look through some old pieces, I realize that one of my favorites never got any views at all and would like to take this opportunity to promote it because it is about that love that makes you reach for the sun and just stare at how small it looks beside your hand, even as it blinds you… Gold on the Horizon

Change is coming…

15 years ago, at this point in time, I was on a course to end up at a party where I was pretty sure a friend wanted me to meet this girl because she was messing up plans with another guy. I had been single for 3 weeks. I had dumped my girlfriend because I was giving more than I was getting in terms of emotional support and it was hurting me to do so. She was young and wonderful, this magical dreamer, I think even to this day. I just needed more support than her young shoulders could give and so it felt like nothing.

At the party I met an amazing girl and spent the next 12 or so years with her. I chased her into the Army thinking I could protect her and found parts of me I never knew existed and met some amazing people that I never would have found or cared for. They have become some of my greatest and most trusted friends. The amazing girl went through more than her fair share and the relationship turned sour.

I have spent the last 3 years alone and at the end of each year, I seem to meet an amazing girl. The first 2 times it was so casual and trivial I just let it go. This year I actually tried to make it into something and perhaps I saw too much there. We talked for months and had one date, then talked some more before I apparently messed things up.

This last one though taught me so much in the times we spoke. She’s beautiful, sure, but there were so many little things that were just amazing coincidences. Somehow, she makes me want to tear open the guarded parts of me and be fully understood. At the same time, she made me want to have the same dedication and commitment to certain things that she shows very clearly. How things ended up just makes me want to scream.

But I refuse to let that be how things end up. This is my scream.

In 2015, I will be just about invisible on Facebook. I will not be posting at all, commenting, liking or sharing. I may slip up because it is a horrible habit and addiction, even though I think my Facebook has been a glimpse of a decent, respectable man who is emotionally sound and good at heart. I think it is a glimpse at a real human being. It’s like a girl without makeup. A real human being. And here I am picturing those blue eyes in sweaty gym clothes, thinking that I wouldn’t find her beautiful in that moment.

But regardless it is going away. Not because I am ashamed or embarrassed by it. Not because I am retreating from the world. Not because I am depressed and sad and angry.

The primary purpose of this is the fact that I believe in a dichotomy of the brain and the mind. In my world view, the brain IS the “lizard brain” but it exerts massive amounts of control on the higher functioning that I regard as my mind. My brain is a powerful and wonderful thing, even peppered with massive shortcomings. The issue is that it has been in control for far too long. My brain has been soaking in dopamine from minor social interactions that have been facilitated by the internet and as a result, it has ruled the decision making processes for too long.

I intend to starve my brain of minor dopamine bumps that occur from non-productive activities and use my mind and will power to engage in productive activities that produce more dopamine in the long run but leave my brain screaming for more in the short term. I expect it to actually feel like withdrawal.

My selected sources of dopamine will be:

  • Physical exercise
  • One Step Forward(maintaining 1-14 pre-written posts)
  • Blogging(maintaining a maximum of 1-5 pre-written posts, 1 response to daily challenge, unlimited poetry)
  • Home improvement
  • Reading
  • Tech Projects

Primary things being removed:

  • Alcohol
  • Facebook
  • MANY foods

It’s going to be rough at first. But this is a life change. This is not a New Year’s resolution. This is not a fad diet and exercise thing that makes you feel good right away. This is an experiment. I am going to starve my brain and see what it eats, like a rat in steel bucket, almost. I am excited by the possibilities. I am not expecting this to be easy or feel wonderful in any specific amount of time, but I hope to read this at the end of next year and measure how far I’ve come.

With that, I wish all of you a happy New Year. May you make the most of it and may the Universe bring you no more than you can handle, but far more than you deserve. It’s going to be a good year.

I’m On the Way to You

Every night I dream and I see your face
and it always light my way
I learn to read the signs along the path
and I realize love is the inner breath
No matter what will come you should always laugh
and life will smile to you

The words are so simple.  The music is so simple.  The message is so simple.
This is my theme song for 2015.

Nothing at All

A few years ago, I was off on a military training event for 2 weeks in a foreign country. I don’t talk about my military life because it has never defined me, and I truly honor and respect the need for limitations on the spreading of details of that life. But this is a story I want to share, because it is something that has been incredibly important to me for the last few years and I hope it is important to a certain woman. Continue reading

Scars and Romance

So… Where to begin? Where to go?

I went to NYC this past weekend. I stayed with my oldest friend’s ex-fiancee and her live in boyfriend. On some level I just went to go see a hot Swedish chick with long hair and beautiful eyes whip her head around to some amazing heavy metal. Apparently the universe would offer a series of amazing gifts.

The first night, was the metal show. It was nice. I love metal shows because the audience is authentic and un-choreographed, no matter how staged the band seems. I’ve been to a few shows over the past few years and it has been great for me. I’ve spent years trying to find things that feed my soul and erupt as unbelievable sparks of joy from the unknown corners of my soul. Finding those things is the greatest accomplishment a man can ever achieve. Do you know what makes your heart sing? Apparently Elize Ryd makes my heart sing and sometimes she just makes my eyes go a little googly while she sings. What an angel, what a treasure. Oh, and I may start celebrating her Birthday, because it happens to be today.

The second night was odd. The day was frustrating as most of it was slept away. I haven’t been on vacation in years. I haven’t been free in New York City for years, so sleeping the hours away was near painful, but I needed it. A groggy wake up in a rainy city is something I missed. I woke up 3-4 times to the sound of wet tires tearing themselves from the concrete and rapidly marrying it on the other side. It really is a beautiful sound. It reminded me of a few weekends I spent doing little more than sleeping and waking up to a beautiful woman by my side as that same sound played outside.  This time, I was alone on a futon in the guest room next to a broken potted plant, a 5 string guitar and a copy of Atlas Shrugged.  The sound was just as beautiful.

Also, It is amazing to wake up surrounded by things that have their own stories.

Eventually, we went to Strand book store. I had a wonderful woman who was as into looking for books as I was and we just flipped through used books without looking at a watch or caring about the time.   We just looked until we were done, with the excuse of finding a used copy of “Love in the Time of Cholera” for my sister, because she is a crazy romantic and it would mean the world to her if I would find her a copy. It meant the world for her that I looked. We found funny books and showed them to each other and made jokes about who we really are. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it?

2014-10-11 20.37.16
After that, we took a stroll down some apparently random streets, just chatting. We stumbled into this little jazz club. As we entered, a hoity toity gentleman asked if we had reservations because it was a Saturday night. Of course we had no reservations. When you are stumbling around Manhattan with a beautiful woman you’ve known for a decade, what kind of reservations do you need? Well, he just happened to have one table in this jam packed place. It was 2 feet from the “stage” which was just a corner where the band played. It was a tiny table for two and I could touch the guitar from my seat. A lovely woman with her hair drawn back in a long black dress walked over and handed us some menus and asked what we wanted to drink. We were unsure, so this beautiful woman in her long black dress kicked her hip to the left, and raised her left arm over her head and in a comedic move out of some fitness video, she purred in a soft French accent, “Well when you figure it out, just signal me like this.”

(The girl in the video was actually our waitress, the at the end of though night she did serenade us with “La Vie en Rose”)

Looking at the pricey menu, we opted for water so we could regroup and figure out what we wanted to do. Well, when a beautiful woman wants a night out, that’s what we do, so eventually we opted for a cheese plate and a ridiculously priced bottle of wine. She’d been talking about wine and is a lover of cheese, so whatever. We nibbled on cheese and bread and figs and walnuts while sipping wine with Jazz music being played live at a table for two. A more romantic chain of events is beyond my capacity to plan.

And in all of that, there were no sparks. Not that I was hoping for or expecting any. To the contrary, I love her to death and think she deserves the universe, but we’re not the right people for each other. What was surprising and amazing is the fact that I learned that I like wine and cheese and bread and figs and walnuts and whatever that strange spread was that occupied the corner of the plate. I had been avoiding these things thinking they were about romance. I’ve been waiting for someone to arrive and to share these “romantic things” with. Even as I realize this and write this post I can’t help but laugh at the silliness of that statement. There is no romance in cheese; there certainly was mold in the Bleu, as there should be, but no romance. There was no romance in a bottle of wine shared at a table for two in a jazz club.

Looking back at life, there was plenty of romance in forgetting the milk. There was plenty of romance in a million silent moments. Sure there was romance over wine and cheese, but I am happy to know that it didn’t come from there. I am happy to see that I have felt that way about people, even my ex-wife. I am ecstatic to know that all those ancient feelings of love are just signs of what my heart can do and not the side effect of alcohol and cheese. Sure I loved her. I loved her with every fiber of my heart and soul. I don’t know that I will ever love anyone more than I loved her. I gave her 100% and I will not be some sheepish coward who promises a girl that I will love her more than that. I am certainly not hung up on the ex-wife or anything, just not ashamed that I did love her. And now I know that my heart is capable of infinite love and amazing romance. I know that whomever I have loved in the past is in the past and am fully capable of loving someone in the present. I am capable of walking forward, fully healed and unashamed of the flames I have walked through for others. I can certainly love someone infinitely and eternally. I am capable of loving someone completely and there will never be more than that.

My scars are my own and you know what? Chicks dig scars. I am not afraid of the ones I have. I am not afraid of the ones I may get. The ones on my heart have faded, but they are there. They are a tribute, not to a girl I once loved but a tribute to the man I once was and the boy I want to grow into. So today, on what would have been, but probably never should have been my 8th wedding anniversary, let me say that I have found the immortality and invincibility of youth, though it is tempered by the eyes of an old man. I have felt pain and wallowed in misery. I can see the world as if I hadn’t. I may have scars from years of not learning my lesson and not being careful in letting my heart love, but I am proud that I have not learned that lesson. I never want to. I want to love easily, like a young boy. I want to forget the scars. I want to forget the milk.