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memory I miss you. As I say it, a multitude of people run through my head. I can see faces frozen from moments in time that our souls touched. I feel the emotions of that moment for an instant. I can latch onto them, but it feels like grabbing a cloud. Trying to hold them makes me feel their absence even more. The people that trapse through my memory are in tiers. The first round are those I miss more acutely. I see my kids. I remember the moments of tension and separation. I see moments in time of intense love. I feel the love despite the hostility. I see the love in good times and bad. I can feel it. I long for it, and I mourn its loss. I try and grasp it and I grasp at the giggle, like trying to hold color. I see lost loves. There are distant ones and recent ones. I can feel the connections and the laughter. I can feel it all over again and I hear the voice that explains why we couldn’t stay together. The soft echo of the inner critic whispers that I will never find a lasting love. I hope it isn’t true, but part of me is resigned to capturing the fleeting moments. I see old friends. Friends that stayed, friends that left. I see a journey of friends, some for a reason, some for a season, and a few for a lifetime. I long for those moments of kindred spirit. I don’t know how to make friends like that anymore. When I was a kid, you just asked if you could play whatever game and suddenly you had a new best friend. I tried that a few times as an adult. “Hey, I see you are doing that thing you do, want to be friends?” Heck, there are internet groups that try and foster that very thing. Meetup groups all over the world beckon the adult to make friends based solely on a common activity. I’ve joined several and soon I will go to an event, perhaps. The adventure after divorce is a fascinating one. I spent a long time being deliberately single. I heard the advice that I needed to like myself. I declared I was dating myself for a while and set out to understand and enjoy myself. It worked pretty well. I could be alone without being lonely, for the most part. I came close to living with a few women. I freaked out. I liked my routine. I wanted to be with someone and I wanted to not be with someone. I didn’t know how to be with someone and not completely sacrifice and forget who I was. I wanted to not stagnate again. I wanted to continue to grow and thrive in the newness of each day. I wanted to rejoice at this new day. I just don’t know how to do that. I’ve never had it. Heck, I’ve never seen it. How do you capture a Unicorn? I miss true relationship and I’ve never had it.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2017 in divorce, journey, Uncategorized

 

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50

I’m 50.

That is so odd to say. I frankly never thought I’d ever be 50. When my older brother turned 35, he said that was the age he thought of as old. I didn’t have a number chosen at the time, but 50 feels very old.

I’ve been sober 10 years. I have 2 kids under 20. I was married for 20 years and divorced for 4 years now. I have worn glasses for 32 years. I have friends that I have known for 35 years or more. I have been mountain biking for 28 years. I have lived in 14 different places, 10 in the last 5 years. I drink 3 or 4 cups of coffee a day.

I have been very pensive about this birthday. That isn’t really because of the number, but rather the circumstances of my life right now. I am 50, sure. But I am single. I have seen my kids sparingly over the last several years (not by my choice). I have moved, yet again, and started a new job, yet again. I don’t know many people here and am feeling pretty lonely as of late. I stumbled pretty hard 5 years ago. I was out of work, out of the house, and beat up pretty bad. I have clamored back to a stand over and over again. I have a job. I have a little cash in my pocket. I have a roof over my head and food in the fridge. Don’t get me wrong, I am so very grateful for what I do have. I just miss being part of a partnership. That ended for my 15 years ago or so. I haven’t lived in a partnership, a true dynamic relationship. Now is that because I don’t know how or it doesn’t exist? I read books and listen to experts talk and they seem to think it exists. If it doesn’t, what a cruel trick to play.

Anyways, I am alone and isolated. I am 50. I feel sad, but not because of the number.

What I do have is 10+ years of sobriety, despite the stumblings. I have Hope despite the darkness. I have had to learn to like myself and I can be alone most of the time without being lonely. I have perseverance. I trust myself now. I know that I will get back up. I know that I can survive and be content with next to nothing. I know that I can climb back up. I know that when Lady Luck grinds her heel into my chest as I lay floundering on my back, I will rise again. I know that when I am beaten and tormented I will heal. I know that I have the capacity to love unconditionally in the face of contempt and despise. I know that I crave dynamic relationship and don’t have to settle.

I am 50 and have just begun to grow, yet again

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2017 in divorce, journey, Uncategorized

 

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fascinated

It has been 5 years. 5 years since I consented to leave my house and wife. 5 years since I have had a thriving relationship with my daughters. 5 years of seeing the faces of former friends and heard the clicks of tongues. 5 years since the goal to humiliate and decimate me was paramount. 5 years since I heard the thud of hitting rock bottom.

It has been 5 years since I planted a new seed. It has been 5 years since I had to be an adult and learn to take care of myself. 5 years since I began to learn how to like myself. 5 years of learning to get back up after being knocked down. 5 years since I was given the gift of seeing who around me was really a friend. 5 years since I hit my rock bottom and bounced.

I cant believe it has been that long. It seems like such a short time ago that I was desperate to be liked. It was a short time ago that I craved intimacy on any level. It was a short time ago that I needed someone else to state my worth before I could see it.

I cant believe it has been so long. It seems like the pain should be over by now. It seems like my journey since then has been a million miles. It feels as though I have been in a sprint for the entire time. I scramble and collect. I trudge. I regroup. I stand firm and I waiver. I still hear the echoes of the clucking tongues. I feel the angst from my estranged children. I feel the thud of rock bottom.

I will trudge another day.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2017 in journey, life

 

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sing it, Love

I do not sing. I have tried to play the piano, guitar, and sax. I have watched countless singing shows and I discovered Train before they were popular. However, my musical acumen consists only of turning on and off the stereo. It is simply not my gift. I have tried to steal it from others, or slip in the circus tent pretending I belong with the musical people. It just isn’t a match. music-1

These are the reasons I am uncertain why I have become encumbered with a certain preoccupation. I have often thought life would be much easier if we all had theme songs. Perhaps even songs that played in the background to remind us it is a scary or pivotal time in our lives. IT would be great to hear, “You are my Sunshine,” softly playing in the background when you are with someone that touches your heart and soul. Or the “Jaws” theme when you are in danger of an ass chewing at work.

I have been preoccupied with hearing peoples theme song. I think people’s soul sings a tune. I have met people that seem to exude different songs. The turmoil that comes from a soul belting out grunge music is undeniable.

I’ve always wanted to have the soul of a Jack Johnson song. It would be like someone is just comfortable and grooving. They would be answering questions about life and feeling mellow about the answers. I used to try and have the soul of a hair band. I wanted to be cool and dangerous. My soul chaffed with the leather pants and rejected the mullet hair transplants. Sadly, I was never going to be that cool. It is ok, I couldn’t tear the sleeves off my shirts or cut my jeans anyway. My mom said no.

I fit into the 80’s alternative bands for awhile. I brooded and was mysterious. My soul sang of superficial things in a deep way. It was as if my soul was stoned, thinking it had unbundled deep secrets about the universe only to discover that everyone knew that cookie dough was uncooked cookies. The techno beat clattered on.

I tried to fit into the rap scene, but I have just spent too many years trying to keep my underwear hidden. To this day when my underwear shows, I can hear my childhood friends taunting, “I see London, I see France, I see Theran’s underpants…” The baseball hat with the flat brim would also be difficult. I have spent several hours wetting, shaping, even rubber banding the brim of my hat to be perfectly suited for cool and sun protection for my peripheral vision, lest a marauding gang tries to usurp my turf, dance fighting like a Michael Jackson “Beat it” video. music-2

I decided I wanted to be really cool and decided to treat my soul to blues songs. My soul would wear a fedora, even smoke cigars. Again, my soul seemed to reject this. It got a rash and a nasty smokers cough.

There was a period of time it was the whiny boy music. I lamented all the time. I saw no hope, no future, no love. I have heard the inner music of break-up songs. I have felt alone and isolated. I have felt the insurmountable challenges. I have heard the depressing beats and the dark tunes. I have heard the motivating songs of Survivor, “Eye of the Tiger.” I have surged with power and giggled about irony. I have danced and leapt to the songs that delighted my soul. I have felt the love. I have been touched by the caring and vulnerability. I have communicated and sang the same song as the person next to me. Our souls dancing, our hearts lifted.

Sing a song for me. sing-3

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2017 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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ghosts

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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if it smells like a fairy tale, its poop

MY oldest daughter was called “Chicken” as a term of endearment from my ex-wife. hen she was a new born, she would wind up and cry when she was hungry.  She was very small and looked a lot like the bird in “Are you my mother”.  I don’t really understand the logic of how it became “Chicken,” but it did.  She now goes by “Monkey.”

I was thinking about that book recently. I realized that I am that bird. Not because I get hungry and wail an unhappy tune, but because I didn’t know how to form relationships. I still don’t, but I am learning.  It isn’t important how I missed the message of relationship as a child, but I did. There was just something about it all that baffled me. I wasn’t clear on how to express my needs or get the attention I desired.  I fell into the habit of crying and stealing. I wasn’t really a bad kid, but did seem to get caught a lot. I wasn’t very good at being bad. However, it did help me get attention. As I noticed that yelling, crying, and general mayhem wasn’t working for me, I ventured out of the nest. I also fell to the ground with a thump.  I didn’t know how to navigate this big world and wanted someone to care for me and help me.

I came up to the cow in the pasture, asking if it was my mother. In my story, this was girls. I wanted girls to like me. I tried to be funny. I had to, I wasn’t very athletic. I tried to be nice, because I was also conflict avoidant. I tried to be smart, which didn’t work because I was also a last student. I flirted and tried to get attention. Occasionally, I would have success. I could do all the right things and try and be the perfect boyfriend.  I developed the strange tendency to fall in love very quickly.  By the end of my adolescence, I could fall in love, run a life scenario, be divorced and depressed by the time I got back from the bathroom. I wanted the fairy tale. I wanted to be the Prince Charming. I wanted to freeze frame my life whenever it seemed perfect. But it was celluloid madness. In fairy tales and romantic comedy (adult fairy tails with brief nudity), the reality of life never seems to sneak in. The cow was not my mother.

I went to the steam shovel next. The steam shovel was alcohol. IT actually made me feel better for a short period of time. When I drank, I was 6 inches taller, gorgeous, and brilliant. It told me that I was wonderful and funny. It also said I was sexy and smart. I held hands with this pseudo-mom for a long time.

When I left the steam shovel behind, the cow reappeared. It told me that it was my mom after all. That in order to know if I was alright, I needed to have others, and women in particular, tell me I was ok. I sought it in my marriage first. It was exhausting for her, and she was unable to rebuild me. It was like having 5 million dollars to rebuild the 6 million dollar man. I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know how to really love. I had been putting on a happy face and trying to do it right for a lifetime. The cow bit.

I would like to say that I had the same happy ending as the bird. I didn’t get to find my mother in the physical sense. I did hear her voice telling me that I did learn how to love, I just don’t recognize it. My fear gets in the way. My low self regard got in the way.  My mom said I should stop yelling and crying and listen to my heart.

My head is confused with the songs and movies of the 80’s. I imagine that love is possessive and forever and grand gestures. I want to think that I will believe that every little thing is magic, and we will live happily ever after just like we are in this moment, and that all I have to do is hold a boom box outside her house before my kick boxing lesson.

IT wasn’t that I didn’t learn to love. IT was I didn’t learn to love myself first.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2015 in journey, life

 

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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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