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dance of the walking dead

I want a vacation. I want to totally rest. I think it is a fools errand to take vacation to go do stuff. I want to do nothing. I want to expel no energy whatsoever.

Here is my plan for a restful vacation. I have saved up some money and I am going to admit myself to a hospital. I am going to demand tube feeding because it is a suckers game to spend all that time chewing and tasting. I would forego food all together but I think that dying would take more energy then just maintaining a caloric intake. Originally, I thought I would want to be on a ventilator so I didn’t have to breath on my own, but It looks rather uncomfortable. I decided on an iron lung. That way I don’t have to use muscles to expand or deflate my lungs. Again, I had an errant thought that perhaps I could retrofit one to also be a suntan booth, but I don’t even want my melanocytes to have to work that hard. There could be a TV in there playing movies that I didn’t have to think too hard, but all the energy of keeping my eyes open seems exhausting. There was one flaw to my plan, yep my heart. That silly thing just keeps pumping, it speeds up and slows down but it seems to be more reliable then any Timex I ever had. When I was an intern working in the ER, I was disimpacting a bowel (hmm another thought) when this horrific plunging noise came from the trauma area. IT repeated every 8 seconds or so and I had to see what was making the racket. “Hold everything,” I said to the constipated patron. In the other room was a huge machine with a plunger like apparatus. IT was shaped like a c-clamp and the plunger dove down the middle pinching to the gurney. Beneath the gurney was an enormous blue limp fellow. The only movement was the reflex movement or his arms and legs as “the thumper” performed CPR. The ER attending explained that the man was so big that no one could compress his chest well enough to perform CPR I asked how well it worked, and he replied, “only slightly better than not doing it at all.” My over active imagination immediately saw it as a garbage disposal for damaged hearts. I’m going to need “the thumper” please. I think 5 days will be refreshing and give me enough time to be ready to return to work, pale, thumped, and well rested.

I have lived a life on life support. The reality I am facing is that I spent time just surviving and not really living. I didn’t let my melanocytes work and it stopped the glow of joy. I feared life and it dulled my experience and my participation. I hid in the darkness, shutting myself off from the Sunlight. I refused to be inspired or to inspire. I longed to breath but held my breath wanting to keep what I had at the cost of not letting anything else in. I begged for the thumper, my heart is broken and damaged and instead of letting it heal, I covered it in layers of inert thought living it on like fatty tissue. I kept longing for the old familiar beat of every 8 seconds instead of letting the changes occur naturally and living into them instead o running away. I help on to the waste and garbage. I retained all the pain and despair .I was the walking dead.

There is a moment in time that all life began. Regardless of world view, at one point nothing, in the next everything. I have had 2 such moments. One I don’t remember except for some masked man spanking my cold butt. The other was nothing more than a whisper. It said, “Trudge.” For me the definition of trudge is “walk with purpose.” Slowly, I listened. The word echoes in my brain and in my heart (now beating on its own, thank you). I knew I was not completely sane if I was choosing death over life and I made a decision to follow that voice. I began by looking at and eliminating the waste I had accumulated. There would always be residual and more would appear, but I can deal with that when it happens. I asked the voice to remove the thumper and teach me to mend my broken and misguided heart. As that happened, I began to be inspired by others who have begun to dance the dance of the living rather than the walking dead. I joined in the mainstream of life. I took a deep breath, letting the wind dwell inside. The Ruah (wind or Holy Spirit) danced inside. It was gasping and choking breath at the start. It felt foreign and unnatural. It burned like when it is hot and humid outside. The Spirit inspired.

There are times that I still want a vacation. It isn’t always easy. I am still mending a broken heart and will breath short rapid breaths that do little to fully inspire. I long for easy. I long for love. I strive to Trudge.

 

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2017 in journey, life

 

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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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reverberation

reverberation

What cuts your soul?

It seems like the death of a soul is apparent. Suddenly, there is no life. The will is moot. The shoulder slump as if the weight of living is overbearing. There is no chance of continuing on the same path. Movement has stopped. Direction is absent. The soul is dead. Its very apparent when you see it when someone has crashed down. The rock bottom reverberates with excitement as it claims another soul Bewildered and lost, the soulless corpse tries to gather up the misused and recently departed soul as if they were guts spilled in the savages of war. The soul will pretend to return and the corpse will walk again, aimless and lost. The darkness engulfs the being. They become a black hole of existence. A vacuum of life force consumes them and many who get around them. The silence is deafening. They search for giving souls, the extreme light. They devour the light until it cant be repleated, clamoring for more. The rock bottom reverberates some more.

It isn’t the desolate who hold a monopoly on lost souls and rock bottoms. The more adept at living without a soul are the individuals who have more to lose. The successful, rich, famous, beautiful people are much more likely to scoop up the lost and departed soul and try and run.  They scramble and grab whatever is near to fill the whole left. They stuff money and popularity into the vacuous inner self like packing peanuts. The density of the soul is tainted by the empty offering. The Soulless mill around life accumulating more packing peanuts to fill an ever empty soul. They orchestrate large health care deals and billion dollar business deals to fill the dead space. It leeches the light from others around them, gathering souls for the reverberating bottom. Sooner or later, to exist in a world of vacuums, one either absorbed or escapes.

But what cuts the soul?  Death or absence can be easier to see, but what of the injured? What of the ones who ae losing parts of their soul in a long battle to survive and fight the absorption? We try all kinds of things to fight it, we get angry, we get drunk, we get depressed, we isolate. IT becomes paranoia, loneliness, addiction. We have lost the will to fight. We have lost the ability. The soul takes a beating. The soul is cut and bleeding. It cries out. It cries when love ones are hurt and draining. It screams at injustice and pain. It bellows as it hears, feels, sees the receding of the light. The soul fills its own space, but the life warrior is tired. “He walks around like Charlie Brown, full of Hope, eyes to the ground.” . If the bleeding isn’t addressed, the wounds dressed, the soul will weaken. Through the wounds, the soul is vulnerable and drawn out by the vacuums around it. The soul needs nurtured. The soul needs rest. The soul needs fed. The soul needs remembered. The soul needs LOVE.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in journey, life

 

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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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Counting with Mom

“Count your blessings, ” mom said. And then Id get the look when I started counting like the Count on Sesame Street. Good times.count

How come we only say this when stuff sucks? After I won the Pulitzer and the World Piece champion of all time trophies on the same day, not a single reporter said, “Count your blessings, Mister.” Its like this conspiracy to remind you that you are whining. I don’t need the reminder. I know I am whining. I want what I cant have, and I want it now. And as long as you are hurrying on my order, I would like more. “More of what?” you may ask. More of everything. The next time someone tells me to count my blessings and I begin to count like the Count, I want that stuff to go on a long time. Bwah ha ha….

I recently decided I needed to do a gratitude list. I sat down and began to write down my blessings. I had 3 and got distracted for about a week. I spent time on the delayed, but completed list. Many of my blessings were tagged with hurts or losses. I was blessed with marriage, but am since divorced. I have had wonderful friends. I have lost many, some to death, some to attrition, most to time. Each blessing had a bedevilment. As I read the list, the beauty grew from the pain.

pain

I think that the directive to count my blessings from my mom wasnt some condemnation of my tribulations. She wasnt telling me to pull myself up from the bootstraps or have some stiff upper lip. She was saying that I ought remember the beauty that can come from pain. She was letting me know that even when things were hard, God is there with me. She was letting me see that all the things I cherish came from the growth it took to get there.

Thanks, Mom.

 

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2017 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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minutes

There are 525,600 minutes in a year.

The average life span is still right around 70 years.

That’s 36, 792,000 minutes in a lifetime.

clock

I have heard several times in the last 4 days that 2017 has gotten off to a bad start. It is generally a minute or two that hurt and injured or scared the person. The incident last briefly. The reaction echoes in their heart and head.

There is a song about how do we count the year, “Seasons of love”. It postulates that we can count in minutes, or experiences. Those experiences can be positive or negative. We can count in tears or laughter. We can count in blessings or curses.

The reality is that I count in curses much more often then blessings. I’m not an Eeyore person and tend to think of myself as a realist and not a pessimist. It was just recently that I was reviewing my life and decision. I had focused on each of my negative outcomes. I lamented and grieved over the loss and pain I had endured. I am not belittling it or making lite of it, it was horrendous. However, I wasnt looking at the simple blessings.

I have had an opportunity to learn to trust myself to respond more often then I react. The times I havent blasted someone for not being or doing like I want have been less then a minute long. Brief encounters that I pause and consider first. The ripples have allowed me to know that I can be expected to respond appropriately. That echoes in my head.

I have learned that I can love. I can feel loved and connect with another human being. I can give of myself, and receive from another. I journey with a partner, rather than pathological entanglement. The brief moment that I say the words, “I love you,” takes seconds. The heart echoes for a lifetime.

I learned that I can admit I dont know. I can also discern truth and facts. It takes minutes at most, but I can draw conclusions. I can even conclude that I need help understanding. The ability to learn and consider rebounds in my head.

I can ache, hurt, long, and cry. In those minutes of turmoil and pain, I feel it is a lifetime. It feels like forever. The clock ticks only to mock my pain. But I can feel. I am no longer cut off from emotions. In that moment of pain, I also know I can heal. My heart grows.

heart

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2017 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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break the ice

Do you remember the game, “Don’t break the Ice”? It was a stage and there were maybe 25 plastic ice cubes wedged into it. There was this red man in a chair that you would put in the middle of the ice. The goal was to knock out ice cubes until someone let the guy fall through the stage. And then you’d laughingly set it all up again and the guy would be perched, unfazed, on the ice once again.

I have this terrifying thought that life is like that. We are set up a foundation for our life, based on expectations, beliefs, emotions, etc. They fit together nicely and fill the stage. The world then chips away at our ice, piece by piece refuted or humiliated. We back bite, cheat, steal, lie, injure. It is a game of chip the other guys ice before yours is broken. We are sanctimonious and rationalize why we chip at the other ice.  “IT is for their own god.” “It is God’s Will.” “I injure you to protect others.”

The ice breaks and we fall. However, unlike our placid friend, we feel the cold water. We plummet in the depths. We struggle to breath as the water and the cold engulf us. We sink or swim. Sometimes the decision isn’t clear and we gulp water as we try and surface. Nearly drowning in the icy water. We crawl to the surface and laughingly rebuild the ice. We perch in our chair, grinning to face another round of the maddening and sickening game, shivering in fear, cold, and isolation.  Never bothering to question why we are out on the ice.

The ice feels solid. The ice feel real. Even though it is cold and cuts the fingertips. Even though it is slowly eroded by the water underneath and the chipping from life on life’s terms, we trust it. We believe in it. IT is tangible in a world of intangible. It is solid in a world of icy water. And so it lends comfort. It lends the illusion of safety. We can even imagine we are warm. “At least I am not in the water right now.” “I have more ice then that guy.”

Stand up, walk off the ice. IT isn’t easy. IT isn’t safe. You will be called back. You will be taunted. You will be told of expectations and rules and limits. You will be told that the rules cant be changed for you. You will be exposed. Its lonely because few people are ready to trust, honor, share, believe in anything but the ice and the water. Few people will ever take this voyage. Most who do, return to the chipping, to the sitting. Most sit in the chair of discontent, waiting for the ice to break.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in journey, life

 

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