Tag Archives: new day

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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so, how long you been dead

I was the dead person the little boy saw. It was a long day, being dead and all. I wasn’t certain that I was dead at first. That made for some awkward moments. You may not know this, but when you are dead the living are not so polite to you. Its really criminal. I have started a petition for the equitable treatment for the living impaired, but that’s a different blog. My first encounter with this was with my ex-wife. Apparently, once you are among the soul less individuals, treating people as people is no longer required. The first step to separate yourself from the recently dead is to send an email to everyone you have ever had contact with. What you need to do is taunt the newly dead and point out all the things that have strangled the life out of the departed. IT is like a game. If you overshoot the victim role, you end up squarely in the perpetrator role. Its the balance beam of subterfuge. The next step is to turn to the family. This is a much more delicate operation. There is more history with the relatives. They understand that the loved one was once living and , in the living, had some very alive moments and some near dead moments. The way to circumnavigate this is to isolate them. You make sure there is no contact with the dead. Changing the locks and having the loved ones refer to the dead by a foreign name helps. Don’t worry about your own soul or about being honest, the dead aren’t welcome in courts and if you slid yourself into the victim role, the departed are now the perpetrator. Make sure that you are caustic and over dramatic each time you interact with the dead. You must keep up appearances at all waking moments.

The second experience was with a woman I dated.  I still had not recognized I was dead and was actually feeling much better.  Maybe I was only mostly dead. I enjoyed a new living with her. I loved very deeply. We played. We laughed. We cried. It was like nothing I had ever experienced in my former life. It scared the living shit out of me. A few months into the relationship, I started to feel my spector self. I recognized my death through counseling and some new friends I had made. The stink of death had not completely left me. I wanted to address it, but it is overwhelming. The spector weaved in and out of my new life. The taunts and humiliation of the past weaved through my being. I tried to talk about it, to address it. The living don’t want to hear from the dead. She pulled away and I panicked. I tried to re-engage in life and living. I feared the return of death. I died all over again. I didn’t like being dead, but I had not figured out how to be alive completely. I have only now recognized my re-death and progressed to live again. However, I am dead to her.

The fascinating thing I learned while dead is that our memories and unresolved traumas stay as ghosts. They are like the wind. The swirl around the living, blocking them from connection with the other living. IF the dark memories, traumas, and insecurities aren’t dealt with, they grow and multiply. The swirling becomes violent. They are isolated from the next step, the light of the world. The living cant see them. They grow slowly enough that the choking is subtle. You grow accustomed to it. The living wonder through a half existence in the midst of a swirl, a dermish. At variable intervals, part of the swirl dives into the corporeal. The ephereal infuses the body and mind. It taints and taunts. The dark diminishes the light. It confuses. IT misdirects. For my new life, it cost me love. IT always costs the price of the moment. IT seems real. It seems like a tangible force. IT feels like being hit by a truck. When it leaves the body, the ghost droppings remain. It stinks up the living. It has to be found and cleaned. Sometimes, the recently departed become part of the swirl. The pain and hurt and other emotions that accompany the memories are darker when compared to the light that was present days, months or years before.

Be Still and know I am God. These words to me quiet the swirl. It recognizes that the swirl and the turmoil are inevitable.  Letting the swirl torment you is optional.  Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. The wind has to be recognized. It has to be addressed. If the pain is too great, too violent, it will be there when the living is able to deal with it. It will infuse eventually, the swirl is constant and unpredictable. Being aware of it, addressing it deliberately, honestly, and compassionately is the key to knowing God.

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Posted by on June 26, 2015 in divorce, journey


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are you dead, or just sleeping

Its a Dead Mans Party…who could ask for more?

I have been all worked up about the small groups I go to. It seems to me that the job is to share experience, strength and hope. You tell about who you were, what happened and what you are like now. Its really simple. However, I have been going to groups that allow for more of a group counseling approach. I have heard stories about brothers diabetic feet, some 2nd cousin who might or might not have a problem with porn. I have heard more at an hour meeting than I heard all day at work with psychiatric patients. I am a little annoyed.

Its a Dead Mans Party

IT came to me today. The group dynamic lends itself for being a dead mans party. The whole idea of trying to be authentic with your journey beckons to be melo-dramatic. It becomes a competition on who has it the worst. The one upmanship of being downtrodden. It is the idea of stripping away life and allowing for the rebirth. In order to be reborn, you have to die first. You die to who you were. You have the option of being resurrected or resuscitated. You can be fully dead and move onto your new self…resurrected. Or you can hold onto the past and resume how you were-resuscitated back into the same old stale life. You get to live like a zombie. You get to join the dead mans party. You get to leave your body and soul at the door. You are without substance.

Its a Dead Mans Party.

I also had another idea of the dead mans party with relationships. I am scared to death of being in love. I lived my former life behind a mask. I hid from authenticity. I manipulated. I lied. I would tell long stories about how miserable I was, and how I needed someone, to put them in a hero role. I could then be the victim. It manipulated relationship into a duty. I have changed. I see now the only way to resurrection is absolute vulnerability. The concern for me is that vulnerability seems like leaving your body and soul at the door. I feel exposed and transparent. It hurts, like an open wound. If I stay in the mode of fear, I join the dead mans party. I can allow myself to shed the corporeal. I can shed the past. The vulnerability doesn’t have to hurt this bad. It takes practice to be exposed and still live. I want to live. I want to love. Do not resuscitate. I want resurrection.

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Posted by on May 29, 2015 in journey, life, Uncategorized


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Ever have one of those days that things just seem off somehow? I am having one of those days. I cant really figure out what it is, so I am unsure how to fix it. I am just letting myself be off center. I went to a charity function last night. It was an auction and another silent auction. I love these kind of things. I went stag and milled around for a long time. I watched people and looked at the items. I was offered 2 tickets to this and I thought about trying to find a date or someone to go with. However, I finally decided that I would rather not have to be in an unfamiliar place in an unfamiliar town with an unfamiliar person. It seemed wise. I figured I would just find people to chat with anyway. I didn’t think about most of the people would be there with someone else. There were a few of us singles there. We nodded to each other in a secret gang style way. I passed by and lifted my eyebrows subtly. She flashed a knowing smile. I almost tripped on her walker. She farted as she passed as 90 year olds sometimes do. I figured I would hang with the younger singles. we laughed and giggled over the tree decorated like frozen and the Superhero one. We delighted in the tree that had three trains circling it. She also smelt of fart, until her mom changed her.

The mistake I made was drinking coffee there. I was tired, but just couldn’t sleep well. I got up at my usual time and went to a Sat am meeting. It was a good one. It is raining here and a little cold. I went to the weekly car auction and then came home. I watched the end of a romantic comedy. I put on my jammies and did some housekeeping. Still, I felt off. I just wasn’t all here. I organized my CDs and some books. I wrote a letter to my estranged daughters and cried. I figured out what was wrong. I miss my girls. I am so mad at myself for making the mistake that led to the divorce. I am so mad at their mother who kept irritating the wound until it festered and injured and scarred. I am mad at them for rejecting me so dramatically. But all that anger is just a protective coating for the hurt I feel.

I am not sure how to link the farting ladies of the night and missing my daughters, but they are both rattling around in my head. I don’t know, maybe both smell like poop.

Think I will go to another meeting. You know what? It has been a real mellow and good day. I got to sleep in, move some of the poop tainted air out of my life, tend to some tasks, and hang out with myself and process my emotions. I am warm, I am safe, I am loved.

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Posted by on November 22, 2014 in journey, life


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Its been a long week.
Its only been a week?
It seems like its been forever and its flown by.

The week was an obstacle. It stood before me like a huge wall. I had to get over it. Not because of what was on the other side, or even because this side was so bad, but because, I had to get over this wall. I stood at the foot of it and looked up at it, I gazed at the bricks. I felt the rough and cold exterior. I saw no way over it, around it or under it. There was no life to it. No vines, no ants crawling on it. It was rigid, cold, ever present. It loomed without intending to loom. It darkened. It intimidated. IT felt like it would draw you in and consume you, if it consumed.

The first day was horses. Commune with the horses. “I am not into animals, necessarily.” “I am a little afraid of horses.” Go and see how it goes, the wall bellowed. The wall loomed, the wall darkened. I panicked. I couldn’t stay with the horses. I was embarrassed, I was humiliated. The wall stood.

A year of faces. A year of digging. A year of explore. All in a week. Pulling, teasing, testing. Viewing, watching the movie of your life, trying to keep the characters straight. Holding on to the paddles of a kayak in eel infested waters. It was a long week that flew by.

Romeo tells Tin Cup to put his change in the other pocket, turn his hat around, and untie his shoe. I carried a satchel, a stuffed dog, and talked about how I felt. “Romeo, Romeo, where for art thou?”

Looking into the darkness, straining eyes. Trying to hear the origin of voices, long since spoken. The lights suddenly flipped. The searing flash of pain. The memory of the pain lingers and withers. The eyes see, the ears hear, and the heart steadies. The soul knows it is the beginning, not the end.

I lean against the wall, the coolness comforts me in the heat. I clamor for its shade. I trust in its strength. The wall stands.

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Posted by on September 12, 2014 in journey


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sand, cactus, and a southern bluebird

Had a lot on my mind, recently. I seem to enjoy the tumult in my life as I continue to add to it. I wonder if I get some solace out of creating a chaos and then repairing it. There is a line in the old “Get Smart” TV series where the leader of chaos tells Smart he needs Kaos because it suits him. I cant remember what Smart says in response. I wonder if I need a shoe phone.

I do enjoy keeping busy and it helps me to figure out things in the subconscious rather than over perseverating on them. (P.s. if you are one of the people that nodded in agreement, apparently that really bugs some people.) When things get overwhelming, I go for a bike ride and things magically get organized again.

When the clock struck Recently o’clock, I went for a ride. I put in my head phones and wondered if God would speak to me through the song selection again. I don’t really think God is scrolling through my playlist, but sometimes the lineup in the shuffle mode is reflective of inspiration. (Maybe I just have good taste in music). I got on my 29er and began the ride to the trailhead. An aside here, 29 inch wheels are pretty dang nifty, but it means your hips are near 35ish inches off the ground, with clearance and saddle height. Again, pretty nifty, well unless your inseam is 31. I rode to the trail head and began the undulations of a pretty glorious ride. I rounded a pretty sandy corner and my back tire slid out. I never used to be so concerned, but Albuquerque has seen fit to be arid enough to let cacti flourish. I had been anticipating this scenario as my bike tire is a tire only by strict definition. It is round and made of rubber material. However, the days of knobbies on that tire were long gone. I came to rest inches from the cactus. I cant swear to it, but I think I heard the cactus chuckle.

I just lay there a moment and heard a voice from under a nearby tree. Instantly, I thought of Mark Twain. It was a southern voice, almost singsong. It was mellow and playful. You felt like you could lean on the voice as it was sturdy and trustworthy. Occasionally, it stammered and broke the spell, sounding like Foghorn Leghorn. The voice said, “Albeit that sand looks more comfy than the cactus, Son, my suggestion to you is to get back up.” I smirked at the word suggestion. “Seems to me that you are mocking my lingo, Sir.” “Not at all, I have had the opportunity to be conditioned to smirk when anyone makes a suggestion. You see, it is suggested you wear a parachute when you jump from a plane.” The laugh was neither forced or dishonest. It was hearty and smooth. The kind of laugh that seems to give you a hug. I looked over at the voice under the tree, anxious to see the person who could hug my with a chuckle. I expected to see Colonel Sanders, sipping a mint julup. I saw a bluebird. There was no minty beverage nearby.

“You are a bluebird”, I exclaimed.
“And you are still in the sand, avoiding a cactus.” he retorted
“I have never seen a bluebird in New Mexico.”
“I am on vacation.”

I picked myself up and dusted away the dirt. I glanced at the cactus and smirked once again. I led my bike over to the shade and sat with the bluebird. We talked about life in general. Nothing specific, just about casual things. He asked me what I was doing in the sand and I went on to tell him about my tire. He said, “Boy, I don’t mean the physical sand, I am talking, I said, I am talking about the metaphorical sand.” He continued, “As I see it, you were running from chaos and chatter in your head and life. You came to a turn in your life and didn’t have the equipment or talent to remain upright.” “Correct, so far, go on.” “Well, my dusty friend, you hit the dirt, but avoided a prickly situation. The funny thing is that you were attracted to the prickle and directed your energy to it. It called to you and all you could do was slide right at it. It chuckled…”
“I knew I heard it chuckle.”
“I am talking about your life situation, not a plant, plants don’t talk.” “Your life situation chuckled as you approached and then rechuckled at you in the dirt.”
“I can see that, but I don’t know how you can.”
“Irrelevant. I find it most interesting that you chose to lie there for a spell.”
“Catching my breath.”
“Interesting, it is getting late, do you mind giving me a ride back to town?” With that, he hopped on my shoulder.

Its a fact. Its actual. Everything is satisfactual.

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Posted by on June 8, 2014 in journey, life


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new life, old life, red life, blue

I have been starting a new life the last few weeks. It was a very rapid delivery. My life didn’t really know it was pregnant. It has been barren for almost 2 years. It had become accustomed to the forced sterility. It had a choice…continue to whither or start to transform. Seems like an easy choice, but whithering was attractive because of its comfort and security. Transformation takes energy, an allusive and expensive commodity.

Out of necessity, or design, the path became a day by day adventure. IT wasn’t about suddenly being an infant and running into adulthood. It was about slowly maturing. It was about letting the maturation slowly happen. I applied for jobs, took classes, prayed. I continued to get up every morning. I tried and tried. I grieved my lost life. I alternatively, held on tight and let go. The dying life struggled to stay alive. It screamed.

As it died, a new life is brewing. I was unaware of the new life growing. I pleaded for it, I clamored for it. I felt betrayed and forgotten. I kept trying. I accepted the death of my former life. I grieved and tried to let it go. As it became less and less important to my identity, things began to happen. I chose a new life in a different state. The cervix of my womb opened slightly. I applied for a license and a job. Both happened very rapidly. The cervix opened without contractions. I traveled to start the new job. I was born into this life suddenly. I stared at the light bewildered by its brightness. I fought for breath. I fought for a heart beat. I was cold and lost.

As in life, the new life demanded me to rapidly grow up. I needed to walk. I needed to learn to talk. I needed to learn to run. People demanded I grow up. People demanded I know. I was tempted to fake it. I was tempted to grow up too fast.

I let myself stumble. I let myself not know. I let myself learn. I had fun.

I don’t know if I will like my new career. I have no idea what I am doing. However, I really like ME in this new life. Patient and kind. I like ME growing and learning. What an adventure!


Posted by on April 15, 2014 in journey, life


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worry bites

Worry. Anxiety. Nervous. Scared.

This week I will begin a new career. I have been trying very hard to get a foothold and jumpstart since the divorce. As I mentioned before, I had to wrestle with losing all I knew. I left the house we had lived in for more than 10 years, I divorced, lost my business and career. I was estranged and severely alienated from my kids. Many friends and some family shut me out of their hearts. I moved towns. I applied for more than 500 jobs. I got a PhD in Christian Counseling and a Master’s in theology. I earned my class B CDL. I volunteered as a counselor for awhile. Then I decided to apply for a license to be a substitute teacher.

Suddenly, traction. I got an interview and a job before the license came through. I am on my way to a new life, a new career. Wow!

excited, renewed, refreshed, delighted.

I am all over the board here. I have gotten used to this bizarre existence I have. I enjoy driving the school bus. I am content in my home. I have a great AA group, and wonderful friends. My younger brother is here and is my best friend, really. Things are getting a little better with my youngest daughter. I have great friends where I am headed as well. I have family there. I grew up there so I have connections. I am totally estranged from my oldest daughter. My ex-wife is NOT there. I have a chance at a do-over there.

“Walk on right side of road, ok, Walk on left side, ok. Walk in middle–squash, like grape.”

I woke up this morning worrying about it. I couldn’t figure out how to feel. Another definition of worry is when a dog grabs another by the throat. It will hold the other dog down until it submits. I imagine snarling and drooling. I also imagine the dog’s shackles raised and the tail waging with the delight of a bully.

The dog of life worried me. It held me down. I smelled the hot fetid breath. I felt the warm drool. The snarling echoed in my ears. I panicked. I struggled against it. I wrestled and whimpered.

I submitted this morning. I thanked God. I told God I will go where he sends me. I focused on the good things that are happening and the wonderful relationships that have developed in my life. I delighted. The drool stopped running, the snarl silenced, the teeth released me.


Posted by on March 24, 2014 in journey, life


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the secret of life

I think I have found the secret of life. I think I was given this insight because I am a special son of God. Or maybe it was because He was tired of watching me run around in the dark bumping into things. Or maybe it was just because I have tried so hard to pick up the pieces of my imploded life. It doesn’t matter, I was given the keys.

“The secret of life is one thing.” Curly from ‘City Slickers’
“oh yeah, what’s that?”
“That’s for you to figure out.”

“Let Joy and Innocence prevail.” Elephant epitath from ‘Toys’.

That’s it. That’s the secret for me. I was confronted with the reality that I have had a tendency to not be content or happy with my situation for many years. I had everything, a good career, a business, a marriage, great kids, etc. However, I was always in pursuit of the next thing. I wanted a busier business. I wanted to be the best at my career. I wanted a marriage that was passionate, growing, fun. I wanted my kids to be perfect. I wanted a newer car, more money, more prestige. I was in a dead sprint to acquire. None of it made me happy, and even if I achieved it, I would not enjoy it.

I had built up the walls of Jericho around me. For years, I accumulated but did not appreciate. The walls got thicker and taller. I felt safe, but secretly miserable. However, I couldn’t even be honest about that. I put on a happy face for all to see. I lied. Friends and family circled the walls and warned me of the illusion and delusion I was living. The walls began to crumble 7 years ago. Slowly, I could see what living was like. I could see what it meant to not just exist. There were cries and horror as I tried to leave the walls. There were those around me who needed and wanted me to stay in the walls and wear the fake mask I wore. My torment racked the walls. My nails dug in, my fingers bled as I climbed. I tried and tried to free myself. MY life became desperate. The lie suffocated me. I asked for help. That was it. I simply said, “Help Me.” The walls came tumbling down.

Even as they did, I did not appreciate the freedom. I did not rejoice. I worried that my life was forever changed. I was afraid of it all, and lamented my fate. I let guilt, shame, and remorse shroud me. I suffered.

Last week in church, the worship music was introducing the sermon. I am not a fan of worship bands and really don’t get inspired by the music. However, I have been praying that God work on my unbelief and touch my heart. I have asked the prayer, “Help me,” once again. I have said that even though I am unable to really trust, I am willing to try and do what I am to do. I just want to not be afraid. The music played and I felt the tears coming. I cant tell you what the song was or the words, because I don’t remember. I looked for a way out. I bit my lip and got ready to “man up.” I began to cry. I sat down and wept. The pain and embarrassment began to surge. Instead of shutting off the wimpy water works and escaping the pain. I asked God to pummel me. I asked Him to really dig out the crevices. I wanted to be free of it.

He showed me that I have buried my gift of Joy and Innocence. I have not let it thrive. It wasn’t a wish…ie “May Joy and Innocence prevail”, but rather a proper use of the will, “Let it prevail.” I needed to get out of the way of it. I have the opportunity to rejoice over the silly things again. I get to thrive on the adventure of life, relationships, growth, again. I can stop trying to be perfect and just be me.

What’s your one thing?

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Posted by on November 6, 2013 in divorce, faith, journey


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Play that funky music.

Play that funky music, White Boy!

I have been here before. I have felt this feeling before. I have tasted it, smelt it, seen it all before. Its not a good feeling to be here again.
“You need to learn to trust.” I have heard multiple times lately.
“I need to trust more.” I told my counselor.
“I am learning to trust.” I told friends.
“Why can’t I trust?” I whisper to myself.
“Why don’t you trust?” my counselor asked.
“Shoot.” I whispered.

Trust is hard for me. I don’t know if it is that I don’t feel worthy of the adoration of God or the partnership of others. I don’t know if it is that I have let expectations soar and watched them crash. I don’t know if it is just fear of not being in control. I don’t know if it is just genetic. Whatever it is, I timidly trust and lean into something slowly, testing it, before jumping in.

When Peter and the disciples were on the crashing waves and Jesus walks on water out to them, he asks Jesus to prove it is Him. Before I go on, you are in the middle of a gigantic lake and something or someone walks up to you. Is your first thought that it must be Jesus? I’d have been thinking zombie waaaay before I was thinking Jesus. It seems to me that Peter was going through the stages of growth in Faith. He asked Jesus to call out to him. That is belief. It is the understanding that there really is something other than you on the crashing waves. It is the first step. The world is crashing around, people are in various conditions of panic all around you. You feel sick, jostled, harranged, frustrated, scared, and you ask the simple question, “Are you there God?”

Jesus answers and calls Peter out of the boat. That is trust. He throws his leg over and steps out of the boat. The story doesn’t say he tests the water with his big toe. IT doesn’t say he slowly lowers himself over the edge of the boat and holds on until his footing feels secure. He doesn’t dare Andrew to do it instead. He steps out. That’s trust that it is God and He won’t lead you astray.

He starts to walk toward Jesus and sinks to his knees. He cries out for Jesus to save Him. Jesus does, immediately. Now that’s Faith. Cry out to Jesus when you need help. It doesn’t say he whined, “Why me?” It doesn’t say he cursed Jesus for his wet knees or for making him step out of the boat in the first place. (I personally would have cursed a few times.) It says he asked for help and was immediately accompanied by Jesus. And then Jesus climbs into the boat with Peter. He is with him in the turmoil of the world. He is beside him with the chaotic disciples. Then he calms the waves.

My funky music is the continued struggle to trust. I really do want to trust myself, others, and God. I have examples of each that would say trustworthy. I have been saved from a seemingly helpless state of mind and body. I have confronted and walked through some incredibly trying times. I have been loved, supported, and held accountable by glorious people. Still, I play the same old song.

I was reminded of the scene in Indiana Jones. Indiana’s father is dying and he has to get the grail. He approaches a cavern and a deep chasm. He has to get to the other side. He is told the bridge is there, but isn’t so sure. He hears the whisper of his father, urging him forward. He trusts. He steps out onto the invisible bridge. IT was pointed out that taking a little step is very scary. Sometimes it requires the right motivation.

I have replayed that thought in my mind over and over again. I started thinking about how I asked for help in regards to helping my daughters through our divorce. I started thinking about trusting the counselors to stay slow instead of rushing in headlong. I started thinking about taking the bus driving job while I was pursuing restarting or recreating a career. I thought of feeling like I could like myself again. I thought about being shown people I could trust and shown people I had trusted in error. I started to think about seeing myself deliberately living into life and not just giving up. I heard my daughters internal voices, urging me forward. I knew that to not take the next step would kill part of them. And I took that step.

Play it again, maybe it will mean something different this time.

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Posted by on October 16, 2013 in faith, journey, life


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