journal

musings and ponderings…

December 23, 2015

here’s the big one…

here’s the insight i got as we were in the car
after hours and hours of driving and talking.
it was dark, we were getting close to our hotel,
and we were talkin’ from the heart…

it came about from the idea that most everyone
walking around deep down believes that if someone
they loved knew who they really were, that someone
would run the other way.

okay.
we’re gonna need names.
sammy deep down worries that if sally knew who sammy
really was, sally would run the other way.

all this time i woulda said ‘noooo sally wouldn’t run.
sally loves sammy.’

but as we drove, i turned to my son and said
‘what if it’s true, what if sally WOULD run away?
and what if everyone would run away?
what if that’s true??
but not for the reason we think it’s true!
but for this reason –
sally truly needs to do the work of understanding
that sammy is a completely different individual than
her and sally has to work to not only understand that,
but accept that.

THAT seems to be the real work in love.
and it sounds so obvious.
and one of those ‘of course.’ things.
but, to be honest, i’m not too sure how many people
even think about that part.
i honestly don’t think as many of us do this as
we’d like to believe.

when i was married, i sure didn’t.
i wanted my partner to be someone he wasn’t.
it never occurred to me to really really deeply
understand that isn’t love.

i’ve been kinda forced into that whole work because
my partner now is so different than i am.
if we were even going to stand any kinda chance
for staying together past a day, i had to face that
challenge.

and i honest to pete understand what a challenge
it really is. and how it isn’t something that you
one day ‘get.’ that it’s a life long journey that
is constantly changing on you. i think it’s the
hardest job i’ve ever faced.

so. it just so happens that i had someone in my life
run the other way from me and not accept who i really was.
i’m thinking maybe a lot of us have.
and all this time…and yeah….still……but this
insight has me workin’ on this…….
all this time i believed it’s cause i’m flawed.
cause something is wrong with me.

isn’t that the deal?
we’re afraid others will run because of our flaws.
never thinking that they run because they haven’t
done the work of understanding differences.

and depending upon who this person is who ran,
or who we’re worried about running,
this can be quite a wound to live with.

but what a game changer this thought is for me.

and, of course, the other person isn’t bad.
they may not even realize this work is theirs to do.
and if we’re carrying that it’s cause of our flaws,
we kinda cement the deal and they’re free to run
without ever realizing they missed something huge.

this whole insight might be old news to everyone else.
to me, it was huge.
i sat in the dark, in the passenger seat thinking
‘ohmygosh…..’
and have been thinking of this ever since…

seemed like a good one to share before family gatherings
this holiday.

definitely squeezin’ your hand on this one….
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December 22, 2015

where to start???

i was dreading that whole funeral trip
i had to take recently. i figured it was
gonna knock me for a loop for the rest of
the season and really be a challenge as it
would bring up so many memories and feelings.

turns out it was an incredibly healing trip.

there have been so many insights
and healing moments in a few short days…
or well….a few long days…
that it’s kinda overwhelming to even
know where to begin.

this one just popped into my head,
so this is the one i’ll grab today –

i was sitting at my uncle’s funeral
listening to the words, the beliefs and
the tone of the whole thing.

none of it seemed to match for me.
if these words were believed, it was
hard to come to terms with the weary
way of presenting them.

and from there, i was led to this deep
feeling of wanting to really live.
and wanting to really live REAL.

if that’s a weird way to say it,
maybe you’d say ‘authentic’ or
maybe you’d say ‘walk your talk’….

or maybe i’d say dance your dance with gusto.

i was filled with it.

there’s a lotta threads to this,
and some are other people’s personal threads,
so rather than spill their guts, you’ll just
have to run with this with me and assume a lotta
threads pulled together inside me to just make
a ZING thing happen and my whole being was
vibrating with this.

there i was zinging thru this weary funeral
thinking about really really living and really
really living what i believe.

i know someone who spent his life trying to come
to terms with his beliefs. as far as i know, it’s
cause he could never really believe them.
they weren’t his.
but he couldn’t untangle the strings that would set him
free to believe what was right for him.

i thought of him.
and thought of my own beliefs.
and thought, shoot if they change, they change,
but while i’ve got them, i want to really step into them.
i don’t want to live halfway.
and if i can’t believe something then i can’t believe something
and that’s okay.

i want to claim where i am, and keep striving to be more,
and yet dance in what i’ve got and who i am at this moment.

i felt the strongly at the funeral.
and i feel it strongly now.

this is it. ya know?
let’s live it real.

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December 15, 2015

life is strange. so is death.

well, i think it’s weird.
my uncle just passed.
that’s not so weird.
we all gotta go.
and he’s been lingering a looooong time.
so that’s not the weird part.
the weird part is the timing.

like i say, he’s been lingering a long time.
but he waited until this week.
this week also holds the anniversary of
the passing of both his dad and his
only brother, my dad.

all three of them.
the men in their family.
all passing within a week’s time of each other.
granted, different years.
but that kinda adds to the weirdness of it,
don’t you think?

i keep thinking about it.
cause it’s one of the millions of things that seems
weird and we notice it, then we forget about it
and just keep going.

but when you think about it –
there’s a lotta weird happenings all around us.

which i like.
because it keeps me wondering.

it’s going to be a hard funeral to attend.
it’s going to bring up a lot of sad memories.
i know there will be a lotta tears on my part.
and yet, i really feel like it reminds me of so much.
and helps me keep so much in perspective.
and this is definitely a good season for perspective.

i’ll be away from the blog the rest of the week.
hopefully when i return, i’ll have a little of
that perspective to share.

in the meantime, tell those you care about that you love them.
spread kindness wherever you can.
and honor yourself in every action that you make.

because it matters.
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December 11, 2015

choosing focus points

i got a call last nite from a woman who lives
in my town. she said she was confused as she
had what looked like a package that i was sending
out but it was torn open and in her trash can.

darn.

this happened a few years back.
someone stole something right out of my mailbox,
so i started running all my orders down to the post office
every day of the holiday season.

i did the same last year.
and this year i just thought ‘nahhhhh no one’s going to
do that. it’s perfectly fine to leave stuff out there.’

and then.
this call.

turns out it was a pretty big order and it really mattered
to me. none of it was damaged and i could resend it.

but as i drove across town to pick it up,
i was really really bummed.
i’ve been pretty darn emotional lately anyway,
and i really just felt like crying.
why do people do stuff like that?
the sheer not thinking and total lack of concern for
anything else….and knowing it wasn’t just me this
was happening to….and on and on….
i was just sad.
really really sad.

i pulled up to the woman’s house.
a beautiful beautiful home.
i got out of the car and just stood there and looked
at it and whispered out loud ‘wow!’
as i walked up her sidewalk that seemed so big,
i just kept whispering ‘wow.’

she let me in to get the package and i was still
in ‘wow’ mode. it was quite a home. i asked her
how long she’d lived there and if she just loved it.
if she had forgotten how lucky she was to be there,
i totally reminded her.

and i thanked her for going the extra mile and
bothering to call me.

this morning i ran a thank you goodie and card over
to leave on her porch.

and as i drove i thought of the whole story.
and where i needed to focus.
there’s a lotta good in this story.
there’s some stuff that makes me angry and sad,
but there’s a lotta good.

and THAT seems to be such a part of the season.
i guess it’s such a part of life.
maybe magnified during the season.

which parts of the story we choose to focus on
will change everything for us….

sometimes it’s hard to get the energy to move our
eyes in the right direction. sometimes it just feels
like the other washes over us and covers us.
but over and over if we keep moving our eyes
back to the good…..
well, that’s gotta make a difference.

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December 10, 2015

mystical magical

it’s a huge combination of things –
the season. hormones. a tendency towards the sappy,
the nearing anniversary of the death of my dad,
the fog that wrapped around the world this morning,
the christmas music i keep playing,
the offering of bone sighs for holiday gifts,
the beautiful feedback i’ve been getting,
the self reflection of what i’m doing –
just this whole amazing mix.

it feels like it’s a big ol’ ball that has rolled around inside me
and bumped into my heart and nudged it open.
more open.

and in that process, perhaps, it’s opened me more
to the mystical magical possibilities of life and living.

i keep thinking about that kinda thing.
or, rather,
that kinda thing keeps filling me up.
i’m not even looking for it.
it just keeps arriving.

and when i hear the line in the song about how we can change
the world if we want to, i really believe it.
i not only believe it,
i’m filled with it.
and i think about what in my world do i need to look at
and touch and change.
and i think about who i need to offer light to.

i am overwhelmed with this season in such a way this year.
overwhelmed with the depth of it.
the power of our connections and the meaning we can bring
to our lives just by recognizing that.

there is a whole lot to this season, isn’t there?
and i am really really treasuring that.

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December 9, 2015

gratitude yet again

i truly love this season.
i like the gift giving and the making things
and the shopping and the wrapping.
i like all that.

i know that makes a difference for things like christmas shopping.
i’m usually early with stuff, and i know that helps,
it just makes shopping fun.

i ran out this morning to grab a few small things
and couldn’t help but notice the mood in the shoppers around me.

is this the early crowd extra moody?
i have no idea but they certainly seemed to be taking their
shopping very seriously.

i did meet a really friendly lady who let me go
ahead of her in line. i thanked her for being so nice
and leaned in a little and said ‘have you noticed
people seem to be a little cranky?’

she laughed and totally agreed with ‘oh their baaaaaad!’

later i had a conversation with someone really really stressed.
i wanted to help him and take some of his stress away,
but that seemed to add to the stress, so i backed off.

and between these two things, i’ve been thinking about gratitude.

we’re forgetting the gratitude.
and i can say ‘we’ so easily,
because while i’m not today, i do all the time.

are we so spoiled that we forget how lucky we are to have
all these gifts right at our fingertips to purchase for those
we love?

just look at that question and see all the many things it holds
for us to be grateful for – friends and love and gifts and money
(even if it’s not a lot) and stores that are warm and safe and
filled…cars to get there, heat in the cars. feet to walk to the
cars, eyes to see….on and on it goes…..

and when we get so stressed about our daily lives are we forgetting
that we HAVE a daily life in the first place?

yes.
we forget.
over and over we forget.

and maybe one of the things we need to do for each other is
remind each other.

if you can’t find the gratitude, you’re not looking.
and if you’re not looking,
it feels bad.
really bad.
maybe it’s a good time for a peek.

and if you’re in a really bad spot with a whole lotta rough
things goin’ on……that’s okay. tuck the knowing in your pocket
and know when you’re strong enough, you’ll peek again.

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December 8, 2015

you can’t say it enough…

i’ve blogged about it before.
i’ve taught my family to ask it over and over.
and whenever one of us is struggling with something,
another one will come along and ask it to help the thinking process.

the simple clear question of –
‘what’s the goal?’

(thanking my dad for pounding this question into my brain!)

i went outside last nite in the dark to put out some recycling.
i was thinking about something i’ve been puzzling with lately.
and as i hopped onto the sidewalk leading back to the house,
i heard the question pop right into my head.

what’s the goal?

and i smiled.

because i had forgotten that question.
i had gotten lost and tangled in the craziness of it all.
and i had forgotten that if i keep a goal in mind,
i’ll know what i’ve got to do.

or at least a lot of it all will be easier to see.

and so i offer that question here today.
for anything you’re feelin’ a little lost on.
what’s your goal?
and then how the heck you gonna work towards that?

kinda nifty, huh?

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December 7, 2015

oh holy nite…

so okay,
yes, i have had birth on my mind.
yes, i have been reminiscing about the birth
of my first born.
yes, i was feeling the holy in it.

and then i heard the song ‘oh holy nite.’

and for the first time ever,
i put it onto all birth.
every birth of every child.

i don’t want to offend anyone as i know the song is important
to a lot of people.
i don’t mean any disrespect.
in fact, quite the opposite,
i mean such amazing respect and awe.
for life.

i thought of all the possibilities when a baby is born.
i thought of the holiness of those newborn eyes.
i thought of the amazing miracle the whole darn birth process is.

and i fell in love with the song in a whole new way.

kinda nice.
and a really nifty birthday present as i remember
the birth of my first born…

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December 6, 2015

30

blue.
so dark blue it freaked dad out.
how on earth did i not worry?
how on earth did i see only beauty?
but there you were.
pinking right up.
only beauty.
a miracle.
our miracle.
our blue squawking miracle.
the first and only time real euphoria hit.
every cell on fire with pure joy.
waving a red lollipop in every direction,
proclaiming your arrival.
now what?
what do we do with him?
he’s crying.
what do we do?
the newborn smell.
colic
no sleep.
colic.
no sleep.
solution to the colic.
relief.
little sleep.
little eyes.
secrets of the world deep inside.
talking.
long before you could say words.
we talked and talked.
shared our days.
oatmeal.
tuna sandwiches.
striped pants.
growing.
playing in the grass.
slides and sand.
picking the rose you knew you shouldn’t.
wandering the woods.
running away from home to the woods.
learning the trees.
bird calls.
playgrounds.
chrissy.
becky.
sterling and betsy.
baby buggies.
little brother.
moving.
growing.
running trucks thru the house.
we could be loud again.
another little brother.
the tree house.
the gardens.
water towers.
swings.
tom barb.
tai chi.
excavating.
growing.
our pool.
horseflies.
sawing.
building.
fixing.
growing.
the flu.
and the flu a thousand times over.
colds.
books.
libraries.
the phantom tollbooth.
bingo brown.
books and books and books and books.
so shy.
hide behind my legs.
train club.
good men taking your shyness away.
the extrovert comes out.
as does the nerd.
bird watching.
fossils.
astronomy.
math frustrations.
kitchen doors.
camping vacations.
growing.
girls.
church and girls.
dances and girls.
sierra club and girls.
tie dye sneakers.
cannibal kings.
duct tape.
IMing all nite.
barber of seville.
the play.
driving.
mary b. legs.
the beltway.
hotlicks.
paul, mary, garret, mike, joe, gene.
guitars.
ozzy.
sadness, fear, heartbreak.
tears, anger, confusion.
team building.
talking.
talking.
hurting.
talking.
hurting.
talking.
more ozzy.
engines in the kitchen.
ernie on the phone.
car parts everywhere.
growing.
more team building.
air compressors.
making things happen.
barbara’s passing.
depths of sadness.
stars of light.
goodness.
pain.
love.
sorrow.
guitars.
bands.
music.
growing.
teaching.
bars.
leather pants.
those darn women whose names i can’t remember.
i blocked them.
guitar students in the house.
robby everywhere.
guitars.
more bands.
more bars.
teaching.
students.
teaching.
growing.
guitars.
gigs.
bob walks in.
schematics and bob.
chaos and bob.
dogs and bob.
peeing and bo.
dean and the hamham.
robin shaking.
talking.
talking.
talking.
crinkly loud late nite steps past noah.
gigs.
growing.
your own home.
down a long hallway.
by the river.
that you once fought for.
grampa.
hospitals.
who dies?
life lessons.
growing.
a note scribbled with such pain,
bearing horrible news.
sadness.
growing.
growing.
growing.
teaching.
little josh.
walks.
runs.
riverside.
‘two weeks.’
‘joshua.’
street music.
homeless people.
kindness.
kindness exchanges.
train trips.
city trips.
new york.
philly
richmond.
radio shows.
connections.
train conductors.
connections.
subway people.
connections.
corey.
tara.
mike the spike.
lunches at menk.
growing.
touching people here and there.
deeply.
forgetting the importance of that.
then remembering.
conversations with students.
students returning.
letting you know the impact.
old people letting you know the impact.
kids.
teens.
elderly.
homeless.
vets.
lost.
found.
lonely.
touching.
touching.
touching.
chopping wood.
chopping.
chopping.
chopping.
shooting.
bang.
phoosh!
coconuts.
warmth.
laughter.
thoughtfulness.
sadness.
sorrow.
friendship.
growing.
life.
a blink.
so loved.
abundant.
not.
short.
long.
30.
josh.

December 4, 2015

so we had a little talk…

i sat with myself this morning
and had a little talk.
‘what are you feeling?
‘what’s goin’ on?
‘how do you really feel about things?’
‘where are you with life?

is there a reason i don’t do this more often?
it certainly seems like a good thing to do.

it was nice.
i was knitting.
so i could kinda ‘do’ something at the same time
and just let my thoughts wander.

and at this point,
i gotta say,
i’m pretty well convinced that i’m entering
the stages of something new.

i don’t want to say ‘being a crone’ –
because,
well,
that’s OLD.
and that implies wisdom.

and if i say ‘the winter years’
that also implies old age.
and i’m not quite there yet.

so whatever stage it is before you’re
too old, before any wisdom really sets in,
and before winter hits –

whatever transition stage that is,
i think i’m entering.

and i feel like what i’m here to learn
is the watching the all.

not holding it,
but watching it.
to learn how to feel sorrow at the same
time i feel joy. to learn how to let sadness
be present as i laugh from my gut.

to really get good at that.

i feel like i’ve just entered the classroom.
and haven’t even sat down yet.
but i’m in the room.
wondering if i can step out to the hall,
go to the water fountain and hide a bit…..
but really truly wanting to just sit down and learn.

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