A brush with depth.
I once knew a man who had a serious brush with depth. He failed to resurface, lost the only life he knew and was never the same again.
Each of us is given one or two moments in a lifetime to dramatically change course if we want it bad enough, have vision to recognize the opportunity and the courage to act upon it.
This world would have us believe that succumbing to the shallows is the only safe existence. Never venturing into unknown waters, we risk dying without discovering our purpose or knowing the endowment of an internal superpower that equips us to see beyond the drivel of the commonplace and into the extraordinary unknown.
For too many, the price is too high, but for the priceless few fortunate enough to heed the call and take the leap, turning back becomes an unconscionable act of self-loathing, imprisoning us forever by the if onlys.
Deepest changes cost every cent you own, the allocation of your wealth to those with none, then makes you rich in acts of enrichment upon the lives of others.
So don’t fall into the lie that goes no deeper, reaches no further and leaves you like a child on the beach afraid of the water…
because I once knew a man…
There are a lot of angry, fed up people in this world. Here at home and across global ponds, everyone wants change; half one way, half the other, half for economic reasons, half for moral reasons, half for certainty of rights, half to convict wrongdoings. And remarkably all profess a desire for unity, but only when that unification embraces their own cause at the expense of another’s.
Here in the calm of the morning, I consider the world landscape and how this ideal of “unity in diversity” unravels a little more each day and it’s more than a little eerie.
The ways of today’s world are far too complex for single issues which do more to divide than unite. No one person can do the job to achieve the one ideal all profess as their goal.
Our frustrated responses have become searches for simplicities where available, comforts where reliable and escapes where attainable, all within ever tighter communities which increasingly exclude views of others across the fence. Our solutions have become our problems, our chasms widen and our unity narrows as we fall into the bloody traps laid by the media and the powerful.
It’s now simpler to stage and post half-truth memes which underpin the basics of our convictions than to attempt to embrace complex truths of others. “Tell me how to think” has taken a front seat to thinking itself because too much pride is at risk for being wrong on some valid points made by the other side.
So we remain angry and fed up for all the wrong reasons and nothing changes, because nothing within any of us changes. Yet without us, nothing will ever change.
While I don’t have the answer, I believe WE still do if we want it bad enough and remember that in America—at least on paper—“We, the people” are also “We, the leaders” still able to defeat the divisive anger which polarizes rather than unifies a nation.
So Happy Birthday America. May our candles burn bright with passion but not set fire to the cake.
Stop buying unnecessary things. Toss half your stuff. Learn contentedness. Reduce by half again. Pick four essential things in life and stop the rest. Do them first each day. Clear distractions. Focus on the moment. Let go of attachment to doing and having more. Fall in love with less.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and wiser, but I’ve noticed that things which now bring me to tears are less the everyday instances of hurt, pain and sadness and more the unexpected moments of joy, reconciliation and serendipity. Maybe as years advance we become so accustomed to tragedy that we’re more easily moved to tears by sudden simple beauties which were always before us but came at an age when we believed the world owed us more. The less time I have left the more important I find it is to plan a clean exit on a high note.
This, and the wrinkles, is how I know for certain that I’ve grown up.
A few people in this world will change your life forever.
Oh southwest wind
That blows all night
To clean our skies
And fly our kites.
You carry pollen
Delay our flights
Yet bring no rain
It’s just not right.
Make birdies fly
Into the walls
You spill our trash
And that’s not all.
My hair’s another
You don’t ignore
And make me look
Like one cheap whore.
A breeze is nicer
A gentler flow
But southwest wind
You just totally blow.
There will always be evil, tragedy and sad circumstances of great loss. Some cope with these realities through drugs, denial, or other means of escape. Others shield themselves within walls of money, power or possessions thinking they may keep tragedy blinded and at safe distance for the remains of their years. But the courageous are realists who take up world causes in their own backyards. Armed with purpose, determination and compassion at costs well above their means, they are the relentless heroes who already know that love is the grave’s only redeemable possession and life’s only redeemable pursuit. And in the end, some will need headstones to define what their short lives represented.
Aspire to be among the few who never will.
It always rains on Mother’s Day
Ever since she had to go away.
No card to mail, bouquet to send,
No fragrance scent with love’s intend.
Just a salty face that won’t erase
The void today, the empty space.
It always rains on Mother’s Day
Ever since she had to go away.
Leave it to me to experience something so ordinary yet so awesome. When the cardiac surgeon came out with good news about mom’s open heart surgery, I found myself staring, entranced with his hands while listening to his report to our family. All I could think of as he concluded and departed was that I’d just shaken the hand which minutes before had held the very heartbeat of the woman who made mine and touched it so many times since.
The news was great, but staring at the hands of a surgeon who had touched her fleshly heart and then shook my hand with it minutes later was my most unforgettable moment of 2016 and every year since she’s been gone.
When you visit Mom’s house some things are sure things. Like the bed sheets are always fresh and crisp and still smell and feel like a warm dryer. The Kleenex and toilet paper is the really good kind. She always has extra batteries and she sneaks a couple into your bag just in case. And if you need a spoon, it’s always in the drawer clean, never with chunks missed by the dishwasher because she is the dishwasher. And there’s no dust. Anywhere. She always has a choice of ice creams. Always. And blanket fairies who visit when you doze on the sofa. The clothes you wore were magically folded in the middle of the night. Sometimes washed and folded. You could shave in the reflection of the bathroom fixtures and if you had to, you could eat off the toilet seat. But if you tried, she’d bring you a plate. Moms are really great. Every kid should have one.