Love never hurts. Love is all that is good. Love is a gentle emotion that soothes, comforts and heals. Love brings out the best in us as people. Things that hurt are rejection, misunderstanding, being punched in the face… a “broken” heart derived from miscommunication and personal expectations is not a failure of Love it is a part of a growing process. A person either learns how to Love through introspection and examination of self and the responses one makes or they are doomed to a foolish and repetitive pattern of self flagellation wrongly identified and attributed to the wrong emotion. As Shakespeare wrote all those years ago, expectation is the root of all heartache. If you are carrying sadness about expecting the first rush of flirtation to fix you perhaps you need to unpack your own baggage and look at each item you carry with you and realize how these experiences, memories or emotions impact all that you do and how you perceive others.
Today was so full of cobwebs and ghosts that I need to hire a cleaning crew and an exorcist.
I hit snooze time and again my first alarm going off at five in the morning and the last a quarter of seven. Just past sunrise the sky was full of clouds, like those in an Old Master’s painting it was as if Rembrandt, from his heavenly repose, had taken his turn painting the sky for the pleasure of us few mortals who bother to look up.
My mind meanders as I drive and today was no different. The ghosts arrived as I crested the Kent Narrows bridge and I was thinking back to a weekend visit in which my dear friend Rae had stopped by with her three children. Her son Atticus bears a striking resemblance to his late father, my friend, George. I was showing Atticus some Chinese exercise balls and my eyes rested for a moment on his hands, and for that moment they were no longer his hands but those of his father. I remarked upon it and let it pass only to have that memory hit me in the gut. It was followed by the memory of George laughing as he would at my maudlin female upset.
The radio mocked me and save for a gun and two bullets it is still there in my car.
I arrived at work in less than timely fashion, although no more than a few minutes late. The ritual of preparing to work was hurried along by customers requiring help and in forcing me to say the date aloud, reminding me of the loss of my mother’s father. A man whom I believed to have been named Owl. I was 19 when I realized that a misheard moment when I was five years old stretched a lifetime. My Nana in her New York accent said “Oh Al, don’t be silly.” and my ears Heard it as “Oh Owl.” It made me choke up. I could not breathe and the tear sprang unbidden to my eyes. He was a good man. I miss him.
I shall not trouble you with the drama at work but this too colored my day.
Again, the ride home was miles to review not just my day but portions of my life with the possible expectation of overcoming mistakes and maybe living life in better fashion. So many mistakes. I can tell you it is dangerous and difficult to drive with eyes full of tears.
I guess the whole of it is I miss my Owl, my friend, and my unspoiled youth. I cannot resurrect the dead nor can I mend the past and I am not very certain how to sort out my future so that makes me one helluva mess.
A year is gone
The next one started
For those you left behind
Jack in the box thoughts
Pepper mental meanderings
The pictures of you
Driving through snow
Rachel by your side
Phaedra nestled on your lap
Flashes of countless meals
At nameless diners
And that damn Army Green coat
The songs on the radio
I imagine they tell me you are close
You became our Big Chill moment
I kind of hate you for that
Your quick smile is gone
And so is your laugh
The verve and the melancholy
Lay down with your sarcasm, and wit
So many quips silenced by a shot
The odd pinch in my chest
And breath caught in my throat
Salt my thoughts of a fast fading past
I choose to remember, I choose to hold on
Your ashes are scattered
Your belongings all gone
No footsteps remain
Only the pictures
My eyes captured
They grow fuzzy each day
You are ephemeral now
I envy you that
Maybe I am not sorry at all
The chafe of skin on skin in summer
Light cotton clings to skin as sweat beads
The sun roasts
The clouds float
Days pass slowly
Synapses trundle electrical currents
From left lobe to right then back again
Thoughts on an infinite loop
Become Archimedes Screw
My downward spiral
Pinning me to your specimen board
All my colors on display
Stacks of calendars mark passing days
Irretrievable moments of my being
Gone in a blink
Seconds wasted pondering years gone by
Chances and choices stolen and made
Circumference and tethering I did not get far
And yet I traveled the world
I know Sycamore from Beech
Klein Blue versus Sky
Agamemnon to Arthur
The road to Ithaca and Route 66
The answer to Azúcar as tin floats over the Amazon
Si y crema por favor
I enjoy my coffee sweet and mellow
There is too much bitterness in this world
I ask for forgiveness, life is easier that way
There is a myriad of thoughts which occupy my mind the least of them might seem like fluff and nonsense and the greatest of them surpass the weight that Hercules must bear, most are worn smooth some as pebbles in a river, others have the lustre of a deep sea pearl that painful intrusion tended and mulled and eventually cherished for the lesson it brought and still some are as bubbles ephemeral, beautiful then pop they are gone. I have not decided my favorite, I may never will. All of them though they are the mosaic that is me.
I’ve counted every sheep there is followed closely by the cows on ward to tally up the geese and horses and all their farmyard friends before sitting here contemplating between the enumeration of the beasts living in high veld and savannas of Africa or creatures of the forests of North America. Whoever thought the transcendental nature of my thoughts would take me on such a magnificent journey in my quest for sleep?
I remember being young and looking at my parents and just thinking that they were adults. I had no idea then what it means to be an adult. No one taught me. I have learned a fair bit now. Still not enough.
I class myself as a failure. I have not accomplished anything significant. The work I have barely pays the bills and feeds my kids. I make just a bit too much to get assistance and I cannot talk to anyone about this because it is depressing. No one wants to listen to depressing things. They call it negativity and they walk away or ignore.
I’d like to be doing something productive that allows me the ability to afford my own home, pay my own way as well as that of my children and just exist peaceably among my neighbors. Instead, I live off the largesse of my family. This sucks. I am thankful for a roof but it maddens me that I cannot even return the favor by providing more to them in the form of rent and bills pay.
I work to overcome the spiral of sad thoughts, it just keeps getting harder. I suppose I should be happy that I am in my 40’s and at least halfway done this useless existence. Should I be reincarnated I hope I come back as a tree.
Life throws most people the odd curve ball, but with me it seems like I have a consistent barrage of medicine balls.
The 12th Doctor
Peter Capaldi. I was dubious at first, hesitant, and frankly disappointed at the idea of an older Doctor. I was planning on not watching one of my favorite shows because the selection of actor was not suited to my ideas of who the doctor should be. As fate would have it I found myself in a room where I could not avoid an encounter with the twelfth Doctor.
Here we meet an already regenerated doctor and an established companion, an easy plot twist to embrace for all Whovians know the modus operandi of this Gallifreyan. I enjoyed the change up and so it was then that I allowed myself to be tempted by the Scottish burr of Mr. Capaldi. As with every regeneration of the Doctor there is a period of vulnerability and in this viewing I found myself sharing in the uncertainty that this indeed would be my beloved Doctor.
The episode skittles through the patently obvious hallmarks of all Dr. Who shows, creating the comfort zone the anxious observer needs to maintain the suspension of disbelief in regard to this outrageous character. The lynch pin in this plot is the wariness of the assistant Clara. Clara gives voice to the my own reluctance to embrace this new Doctor. The resistance is mostly because his predecessors were handsome, trendy men with quirky poise. Now we are presented with an older man running about like Wee Willy Winky in a long white night gown and are being asked to take him into our hearts. Clara defends him to the teeth when challenged regarding her own loyalty. She reveals her intimate intellectual knowledge of him that proves she is a worthy choice for the Doctor and thus brands a place in the loyal viewers psyche.
The plot itself is interesting and I shall not spoil it for those who have not seen it but it does contain everything we have come to anticipate from Dr. Who, and even leaves you with hints at the greater interwoven plot line to anticipate.
Invariably, no matter his appearance I fall in love with the Doctor. A lifetime of following the world’s favorite Time Lord keeps me coming back for more, and the new season is no different. His intellect, his wit, his charm, his cunning all make the Doctor a brilliant choice for an entertaining evening of television.å
I rose early today to make dough and homemade pizza. As I descended the staircase to make my way to the kitchen, I checked my messages.
My breath caught in my throat. It was news of a passing, no background, no preamble.
He didn’t make it.
I stretch lame hands of faith, and grope,
And gather dust and chaff, and call
To what I feel is Lord of all,
And faintly trust the larger hope.*
This was not how I envisioned my July 31 starting, I cannot fathom how Rachel felt. My first thought was that I would never hear his laugh again. George’s laugh was infectious and uninhibited, and it was always a joy to hear.
A friend asked about my favorite memories of George. I could not answer. There was no specific moment that captures my mind but rather it is a swirl and eddy of moments that blend into the fabric of my life. When I think of George it is almost immediate that I think of Rae, one of my best friends and George’s other half. The stream of consciousness of memories flow mainly around our time at Washington College and I am blessed to say that our friendship remained throughout the years that followed.
One of the brilliant facets of George’s character was that he always encouraged everyone to be their most outrageous inner-self. He believed in each of his friends in genuine fashion. He was real and he let you be real as well. There was no need for pretense or falseness when you were in his company and that itself was a balm in a world where so many expect so much from others. I could be sad without explanation, I could spout my incredulous opinions on anything and I always felt safe. George was a comfort zone, he was a man who offered a camaraderie and sense of peace to any and all who sought his friendship.
George loved to help people. He adored being a counselor at Camp Log and Twig, he aided in projects done by Habitat for Humanity, he promoted equality for all races and rights for women and for those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. He was a champion of the under dogs and a voice for peace and non-violence. He was a voice that was determined to be heard and I weep and rage that his voice was silenced too soon.
George loved his family. Being a parent is one of the most incredibly difficult undertakings anyone can attempt in life. The love he held for Dawn, his beloved sister, his nieces Chloé and Autumn, his children Kismet, Calliope and Atticus was steadfast and certain. You can see the love and pride George has for them in the photographs that he shared with us all. I pray they never doubt that he cherished them. The greatest love was that between George and Rae for it was a love born from friendship, and though difficulties and challenges made life trying for them their friendship, their bond, their love remained and will live on in their children.
No one is without flaws. And George was not perfect. He struggled with personal demons and was striving to become a better person. He spoke of feeling blessed by the love and support of his family and friends in recent weeks and by all accounts he had found that inner strength to continue on a healthy path. And then a small act of greed and cowardice from a stranger ended his life. The cliché that no one is promised tomorrow echoes through my thoughts. George gave us all a gift when he told us that he felt blessed for he acknowledged the unspoken bonds we all share. I do not question how he felt about me or you because I know, after all he let us know without a doubt. He loved us all.
*In Memoriam AHH, Lord Tennyson