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kaboom my guts

It’s about a guy trying to hold it together while it all falls apart.

Truer words were never spoken. There is a panic. There is a desperation. Remember the scene in Forest Gump where Bubba is sitting there after being shot and he is trying to put his guts back in? Bubba does this amazing job of portraying the madness. He focuses on picking up his spilt entrails instead of the inevitable fact that he is totally screwed. His life is completely over, a moot subtext, a lost cause and he is trying to do the scoop and run with his alimentary canal.

I have felt that odd necessary sense of denial. IT is like the truth eludes you. It feels like at that very moment you have to believe in a unicorn because the horse is in the desert with no name. There is a scene in my life when I was shot. It was self inflicted, and more emotional then physical. I had a moment in time that I was holding all of my life in my hands. I was holding my career, my business, my wife, my kids, all of it, in my hands. I knew it was no longer part of me, but all I could do was to ask people to help me shove it back in. I knew in an instant that the horse that was wondering the desert was me. I knew I wouldn’t ever find my way back home and I had no idea how to move through the desert.

I asked many people. I begged for solution. I went to church, spiritual retreat, AA, talked to the guru, no one knew. I wondered and tried to bury myself in the sand. I remember the pain of losing my daughters. I can feel it anytime. It is devastating and humiliating. I want to fix it, I want to go back. I have this image of trying to put the pin back in the grenade.

It took my a long time to take any steps at all. I stood and peered into the distance in every direction. All I could see was absence. I couldn’t see anything.  I have friends that talk about the darkness. To me, it was blinding light. The heat was unbearable.

It has been years since that. I took cautious steps. I stumbled, bumbled, ran, walked, tripped, fell and got back up again to do it all over. Every once in awhile I get a reprieve. I get a text from my daughters. It is a moment of bliss as I trudge in the heat. Or I will get a kind response to an email, a friend reaches out. There are moments. Sometimes they are uplifting, sometimes remind me of the pain. However, I wouldn’t  ever not receive them. It is a blessing. Its a glimpse of the unicorn and I believe it.

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Posted by on May 14, 2017 in children, journey


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the hero inside

She doesn’t wear a cape.  Well, I don’t think she wears a cape. She might wear a cape. Lets go with she might wear a cape. She has always had my affection and admiration. I was always a fan of hers. I cheered at the victories, mourned at the tragedies. However, I was always a fan, with or without a cape. cape

My response was simple, even inadequate. I said that it was the hero story we all wished we had.

She was on a date. Her first date with this gentleman caller. They went to the trampoline park. Going to a trampoline park on a first date is grounds for hero status independently. However, that is not what did it for me. There was another guy there. He was picking on the younger kids. He said lewd and inappropriate things. She approached him. She stood tall, all 5 foot 2 inches of her. She coiled her frame, all 110 pounds of it. She calmly said, “Please leave those kids alone.”

The insecure and lost boy echoed poor parenting and generations of hate. He barked sexual slurs. He railed against the coming of the light.

She spoke firmly and advised him that he had one chance to change what he was saying. He didn’t. Like a spring, like a warrior, like a protector, like a fierce woman, she broke his nose, like a hero. thank-you

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Posted by on February 21, 2017 in children, journey, Uncategorized


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my daughters, I love you

I stood on the mountain top again. I climbed to the top of the world and looked around a bit. The air is brisk and thin up here. There is a bitter wind that seems to leap frog up my spine. The view is breathtaking, but I muse that there isn’t much breath to be taking at this moment. I have already spent the time holding up my fists like a Rocky statue. I have yelled to hear the echo reminding me I am alive and alone. I sit in the crossed leg position and ponder life. I feel like the guru that is rumored to be at the top of the mountain. I sit and consider. I am not considering anything in particular, just musing. I am alive, alone, and have a leaped frog spine as I sit on the mountain top at the top of the world.

I have laughed and celebrated. Suddenly, I feel myself begin to weep. I am not sure where it is coming from and I know this is not a good oxygen choice. I can’t stop. I feel the pain of my daughters. I can feel their hurts and hearts. It screeches like a carrion bird, tearing at my soul. I want to fix it and to protect them, despite how they hold me away. I weep, my heart weeps, my soul weeps. If I had a guitar, it would gently be weeping as well.

I stop weeping and feel emotions from loved ones and loved ones lost creeping up my spine to be leap frogged by the wind. The emotions are bitter and run the gambit. They are foreign only in they aren’t mine. I have had similar feelings, but felt them as I feel them. Now I see these like the recognition of a childhood school mate decades later, familiar and foreign all at once. I am annoyed and embarrassed that I cant screen these out like I usually can. The thin air, the time alone, the wind chill has exhausted my defense and the emotions slither in. I’ve felt them before from these same sources. To be confronted with them again is painful. It is also a relief. It is a reminder I am alive, I am open, I am connected. More importantly, it reminds me that I love.

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Posted by on January 26, 2017 in children, life, Uncategorized


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I’m sitting here alone in a much too big house, starting yet another year, watching the snow fall on a foreign and unfamiliar place. Ive done this a lot over the last few years. Nothing has been familiar or trustworthy. I have tried to find a solid to hold onto. I find myself grasping air, ghosts, at the best, liquid. When particularly afraid, I try to hold on tighter, which just makes me tired and more desperate. Ive been chasing ghosts, spectors, illusions, dreams, and lies.

It started a long time ago. I have always wanted the dream. I wanted to be happily married. I wanted to be popular, successful, brilliant, and tall. I led a façade life. IT was play acting. I was a good actor, well good enough to believe my own performance. I thought that was me. I pretended I was popular, successful, even brilliant. I never did get to be tall. As the turmoil of not being who I really was began to rip me apart, I ran. I was in full flight from reality. I hid. The separation of who I was grew from the truth. I chased the illusion of becoming what I wanted to be. I believed I could be what others wanted me to be. I kept running. I kept grasping. The wind ran through my fingers as I sank more and more into despair. The ghosts haunted me. They teased me. The pointed out how I failed. They showed me who I really was. Over 10 years ago, God spoke to me in a church basement through a group of people that also ran to ghosts. HE told me, “Find me or die.” He said I had a choice to keep moving away, or to stop and change directions. I have tried. I wanted life. I wanted to be whole. I wanted to be a real little boy. I learned. I clamored. I sought. I keep trying. But it feels lie chasing ghosts again. I feel the presence of the Spirit. I can see His hands, feel His love. When I try to hold it, it vanishes.

Since the original message, I chased several ghosts. I tried to chase the ghost of love. I asked for a time to heal my family. I sought real connection I was rejected and tried to seek heart through different ways. IT failed. The host turned on me, biting and hacking. IT was nasty. IT reminded me of the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, when they open the Ark and the beautiful angel turns into a ugly spector. It kept getting worse. My screams and pain only fueled the vengence. The venom, the hate would leak from my wounds. I would lose my life, my kids, my illusions. I would be erased. I held onto the ghost of love, hoping that the love of the kids would outweigh the hate and hurt. It didn’t. I keep sharing my heart. I keep putting the whisper in the wind. I speak love. I speak connection. I speak truth and solid. MY wind is not as strong or present at this point. It aches.

I chase the illusion of success. I have struggled to rebuild a life and a career. I make decisions that I think are the right ones. It all seems to fall in line and then crumble. The illusion is maddening. It taunts me that the success of being who I am is not as important as what I do. I know it to be a lie, however it would be easier to give in to the lie. It would be easy to surrender to the false self again. Chasing the ghosts has worn me out.

I search for the ghost of love. I panic when it eludes me. I open myself to its wind and am met with cold and heartless breezes. The breeze hurt, it leave icicles on my ribs, shielding my heart from the warmth. I close myself again, deciding to not open up again, only to find myself aching once again. The world is so worried about being hurt, we cant open, we can no longer love without fear. Again, I am confronted by the same condition, “Find God or die.” I can fight for that connection to God’s Spirit or die, existing for chasing ghosts. The same ghosts that my heart and mind crave, desire, ache for.

I’m sitting in a foreign land, watching the snow fall, covering the world in ghosts. I’m afraid.

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Posted by on January 1, 2017 in divorce, journey, life


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There were 2 babies in the parable about Solomon tearing the baby in half to give one to each who claimed to love the child. The first child was being torn apart. One parent had made a mistake. IT caused the disagreement and the ensuing war. Still, there was love and tenderness. he longed to be with his children. The other parent was wounded. Their pride was damaged and out of fear and pain, poison had been given to the child to confuse the brain and cloud the soul. The only way to understand the child would be to look at her heart. The child wailed in pain and torment. The poison worked and fueled the anger and dismay. Solomon was frustrated and confused.
solomon baby
Both parents feigned caring. Both parents seem to want the child. He pronounced custody. The child wailed as she realized the torment would continue. One parent dropped to their knees. hearing the screams, seeing and feeling the pain, he let go. For now. He knew the child might not ever come back, the poison had gone deep and wide. However, he could not bare causing the pain he saw. He let go.

The other child swang on the hands of both parents. Happy and joyous, she seemed content and untainted. She loved well and she loved without reservation. It would be some time later. The poison spilled from the first onto the second. The parent who took the first, celebrated her victory of winning the child, lauded it over the second child as proof of how she should let go of the hand. He felt the hand slipping from his and tried to hold on tighter. He asked for help, he shared, he panicked, and he loved. Standing before Solomon again, he remembered the nights of horrific pain. He recalled the tears and torment. He felt the pain of letting go. He couldn’t imagine living through that again. He smelled the poison on his child and saw the venom oozing from the serpentine teeth of his former love. He prepared for a battle. He came to fight and win. There was a glimmer from the face of his child. He quickly glanced, wanting to keep his eyes on the attack. There was a single tear on her cheek. Her eyes seemed not lost, not angry, but confused.
He knelt down and dropped his weapons. He cried and told the child that he loved her with all his heart. He loved her, her sibling, and even her mother. He would always be ready to welcome her. He just couldn’t cause more pain. He let go of her hand.



The pain was excrutiating. The noise deafening. The smirk on the parents face as they led the child of joy away was nothing short of evil.

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Posted by on May 7, 2015 in children, divorce


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sucking chest wounds

I am made of Velcro. I seem to let fear hump my leg like an annoying dog, then attach itself to my chest. It is almost like I believe that if I have fear, at least I don’t have pain. Its a lie I tell myself.


I have spent a huge amount of time over the last 8 years, and more so over the last 3, digging into the muck and filth of my heart and soul. I have surveyed, considered, addressed, dispensed of so much pain, so much turmoil, I had thought I was done with it. About 3 years ago, I discovered some more pain and more filth. The fear that hid it from view was tenacious, a yellow eyed, heavily armored demon. The implosion and explosion of my life and soul was just barely able to shake it loose. It left me with a sucking chest wound.

The sound was deafening. All of the horrors I had dispelled came back with such force and such glee. It was a homecoming of terror, bewilderment, fear, and despair. The yellow eyed demon of fear scampered back to cover the wound. I had learned to use it to protect myself as I grew up and hid. It was only then that I recognized it as holding the pain inside, not protecting me from more. The noise of the inner turmoil, the cacophony of despair was louder than the sucking chest wound and felt comfortable. It was something I knew.

I went back to work, allowing God to remove the fear. I sorted, surveyed, considered, addressed and asked God to dispense the character defects once again. I thought it was over. I felt relief. I seemed to feel the warmth of the Spirit of the Universe working in and through me. I started to rejoin life. But Fear and Pain are like a foreign body in a wound. It isn’t really going to heal while that is present. In fact, the wound festers. Eventually, all the healing is for naught.


When my fears laughingly deflated my life again by ending the relationship with my girlfriend, the wound opened and festered. The wound opened and sucked in the Panic and Despair. The wound roared a horrible roar, and gnashed its awful teeth. As I saw the relationship deflate, and I heard the whirlwind, I knew the Pain would return. It did. I have been trying to work on it again, and thought I was approaching the feeling that I could pray for her to just be happy and content with or without me. I prayed the same thing for my ex wife and my estranged daughters. I felt the emotions. I allowed healing.

I was getting better, but the final blow on parental alienation. I am having to make a decision to let my daughter go and not pursue the legal wranglings that would just reinforce her resistance. I am having to accept that this is what my ex wife wanted and has attained. The wound opened. The sound returned. The fears, the pain, the insecurities attached to me like Velcro. They were gone. They were removed. But when I felt the rejection and pain, I invited it all back again. I let the Velcro adhere. I panic and try and cover the whole. The closest items are fear and the hurt. It makes it worse but dulls the noise. I scream in pain. I ask God for help. He is there, he begins to pull the fear away. He strips the despair. He whispers and it is louder than the wound.


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Posted by on May 6, 2015 in children, divorce, faith, journey, life


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is this my life?

“You will need to fully buy into this for it to work.”

I was being asked to say good bye to my daughter. I was assured it was, “for now,” and hopefully not forever. Right after she said it, the mediator said, “But I would prepare yourself in case she never reconciles with you.”

My heart wept, my soul screamed. It was silent and deafening at the same time.

The parental alienation, whether deliberate or unconscious, was so dramatic and successful. It had worked. Sure, my daughters were angry with me. They deserved to be. I had made mistakes that would forever change their lives. I had hurt them. I have had dreams about the moment that the flash created the forest fire through my façade. I can see it. In my dream, I ignore the sick feeling all over again. It feels like watching a horror movie when you know the axe wielding maniac is in the next room and the buxom blonde it headed to the swinging door. I want to stop myself. I repeat the same mistake over and over. It feels like missing the free throw, the pop fly, the train headed to Clarksville.

I wrote that almost two years ago. My daughter has not spoken to me since, other than to call me names. The news I got recently, is she is no longer made, she just doesn’t care at all. My other daughter has followed her lead and I have spoken to her in 4 months. At one point my older daughter told me, “I will ruin you.” I had no job, was living in the basement of my brothers house, all my friends had left, and she was cussing me out just about daily. I didn’t think it could get worse. It did. She did.

Since then I have changed careers three times, houses 7 times, and 3 different states. I have loved again, and I think it was a deeper love than I have ever felt. I have persevered. I have been steadfast.

I was listening to the Talking Heads the other day. The song that talks about “this is not my beautiful life…” came on. I have had this unshakeable feeling that I am living the wrong life. Don’t get me wrong, the life I was leading was not the right life either. I had to fake it to be there and when I tried to be real, I was rejected. I have made bad choices and pursued things that, in hindsight, are not near as important to me as I thought. I have moved away. I am in a strange land. The rules are very different in this town than anywhere I have ever been. The weather feels different. The house I live in still feels like someone elses. I keep waiting for something to feel normal and solid. I am trying to hold on to clouds. The state of Idaho has so many restrictions on me, my time isn’t my own. My meetings feel different and strange. The priorities are different. My best friend in NM no longer communicates with me. I don’t know anyone. I don’t feel accepted or comfortable with anyone but myself.

I yelled at God today. I asked that my kids and my friend are protected and safe. I want them to have the best for them, with or without me. And then I ask for me to be able to believe the prayer. I yelled that I don’t need to know why, but could I please know when? When will the pain stop, when will the ruin be rebuilt, when can I see my friend, when will this feel like my life?

my soul weeps, my heart screams. Silence.

then an inaudible whisper. Not really a sound, but more of a glow.

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Posted by on April 25, 2015 in children, divorce, faith, Uncategorized


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safe, warm, loved

you are safe. you are warm. you are loved.

I had a friend say this to me once several years ago. I didn’t really grasp its significance. I have quoted it to others. I have pondered it like play-doh in my head. I have felt like it was an important piece of information and that I should hold onto it.

“You have to go through times in your life knowing that you will be protected by your Higher Power.” the counselor said. She was talking to another person, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. I have to understand and believe that God will be protecting my from something and wants the best thing for me in the long run. I cant see it or even begin to grasp it. Its like the movie scene where the hero is trying to reach the gun that is just out of reach. I cannot know why I am alienated from my children right now. I cant know why my ex-wife is so abusive to all three of us. I cant know why I needed to move to another state, do a totally different job, and be so isolated from friends and family. I just need to be comforted by the fact that God is protecting me from something. He is leading me to something glorious, if I will follow.

I am safe. 

safetyI originally thought this was physically safe. It may be, but it is also so much more. Safety had little to do with saving my from lions, tigers, and bears. There are times I have been in physical danger, and I am in a place where that isn’t a huge threat, but I am not sure that is what the quote was talking about. The safety has to do more with both an over all protection of the whole me and the integrity of self as well as being safe for others to approach. It is the protection from further loss. For me, safety has come to mean that the harm can be healed and not just reinjured. It means that when I have done harm, others know that I will work to mend the relationship and the wound. I have felt safe and not been safe at the same time. I think that I have been so scared of loss that I have been overly protective of my heart and then am not safe to approach. It is that fear that has repeatidly added tumult to my life. When I say, I am safe now, I think of feeling safe and protected by God as well as being safe to love and be loved.

I am warm.

. warmDo you remember the times in your life that you felt like you were standing alone in a wind storm. Your soul and heart shivered and cowered. Your mood was icy and you felt little to no joy. You felt alone and cold. If I am warm, I have hope. The hope of salvation is an obvious answer, but I mean more of the hope that this will get better. The hope that I will persevere. The hope that I am worthy. The hope that I am protected from the storm.

I am loved.

lovedThis is the hardest one for me. I never understood why people loved me. I never really understood what love meant. I had never really experienced unconditional love before. I felt I had to perform and be good to be loved by my parents. My ex wife was very concerned with outward appearances. I played the same role with her. I faked it. I thought it was love. It was control. I thought I felt it with my kids, and probably did. They have just started doing what I did and reject before feeling rejected. They are hurt and cant express it, so resort to anger. I craved it with my ex girlfriend and I think it was the closest I had ever been to it. I was able to love that way and felt loved that way. It scared me, actually. With great love, comes great risk, that can lead to great hurt. It took these experiences and this pain for me to see that I was unlovable until I loved myself. I had to learn to forgive me, love me, respect me, like me. I hadn’t learned it before and so ran away into my past. Loving internal reflects to love outward.

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Posted by on April 24, 2015 in journey, life


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slurping Grace

I miss my daughters. Today is my youngest daughter’s birthday. There are a few great stories that keep flashing in my brain:

She was born on Earth Day and took that very seriously. When she was 5 or 6, she decided that the activity at her birthday party was to take the party outside and pick up trash. It was a bit nippy that day, but to see 15 preschoolers carrying black trash bags and picking up trash is indelible in my mind. For years afterward, people would comment on how fun that was.

The other is a post I did a long time ago. It was around communion. First you need to know that my daughter has one of those giraffe tongues. She can touch her nose with her tongue. I secretly wonder if she could lick her eyebrows with practice. In our church, we do communion every Sunday. We pass it up and down the aisles and you hold the tray for the next person while they get the bread and take a shot for Jesus. We have those little clear plastic cups. As it gets to her, she takes her time to find the biggest piece of bread. Then takes the cup and swigs the Grace of Salvation. Then her tongue dives into the cup. It filled the cup as she explored the nooks and crannies of the small cup. It seemed like she did it for hours, but it was a few seconds. She passed the tray without returning the cup and kept playing with it, using her tongue.  I kept giggling at it and thought how that is how we should all accept Grace…slurping it and interacting with Joy.

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Posted by on April 22, 2015 in children, faith


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“I’m scared.”

“Of What?”


I was pondering this morning on how often I have had this conversation with God and with everyone I have gotten close to or paid to listen to me. I never really thought of myself as a coward, but each time I have that conversation, I flash on all the times I felt fear.  I was 11 or 12. There were a set of twine, boy and girl, that lived down the street. The girl, Carla, pushed my younger sister down and I stood up for her. I pushed Carla. Well, now Andy wanted to fight me. I was not much of a fighter. I was in shape, because round is a shape. I ran in my house and hid. My Dad came home and I explained my plight because he wanted to know why 10 kids were standing outside calling me a chicken and making clucking noises. He told me I don’t have to go out there, but if I did, he would never call me coward again. That sounded good at the time. Years later, I would realize he never called me that and I don’t think I ever heard him use that word before or after. I did fight Andy and both of us would claim victory.

My fears have varied over the years. I have always been afraid of physical confrontation. I quit karate because we were going to have to hit each other. I was 40. I am not weak and could probably do pretty well in a fight. I don’t run and hide, but am adept at defusing a situation now.

I fear rejection. I fear isolation. I fear fear. I fear being lonely. I fear being a failure. I fear not being liked. I fear not being loved or loveable. I fear loss. I fear pain.

Today was a fear laden morning. I feel rejected on many fronts, but most tangible in my consciousness is my ex girlfriend and my daughters. Two very different situations and yet very similar fears. I miss all of them so much. I think I set myself up to feel this pain. I say it that way to make myself feel better. I know I did. I don’t know why except that the fear list paralyzes me. With my kids, I hurt their mother and ended up leaving the home, destroying the dream life and family. They were very confused and angry and decided to stop all communication with me. I failed their expectations as a father. I felt rejected, isolated, unloved and unloveable. I hurt.  I am getting more able to cope with that pain.  The realization that instead of feeling the emotions, I slid into suffering them, helped me dramatically.  Somedays, I do very well. Today is not one of those days.

I am meeting my fear with perseverance. I am learning to trust myself in the face of adversity. I am letting myself be aware of the fears and stepping up to the plate. I am learning to love me first.

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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in journey, life


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