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WTFery Posts

It was a dismal overcast day, the cold was not freezing but getting close, not close enough though for the falling snowflakes, melting just before hitting the ground. It was the kind of day when one might want to find themselves curled up under a throw blanket with a hot cup of coffee or maybe a hot cocoa. Maybe it would be a good day for writing, of course that is always hard to predict when the words come or there is only a cacophony of sounds, like shouting into a strong wind. Maybe there is inspiration in the grey skies looming overhead, a perpetual sense of brooding, the mood of an angst filled teenager or a middle aged man looking out over his life.

There was a time when I was younger that the falling of snow would quicken my heart, thoughts of sledding, snowball fights, making snow angels during the winter in Germany. Ah but those are all just memories of a time long past. My sled rotted away in the Georgia humidity, a slow sad death as the wood simply gave way after many years. Now the snow rarely falls and even rarer still is when it sticks to the ground for a day or two.

But it was the kind of day for spending time indoors, watching the sputtering snow storm trying to blanket the earth in vain.

On Process Improvement

Waste of Motion
try to use lean tools.
Stop an entire ocean
with a ship of fools.
Rub in calamine lotion
cause you broke the rules
created a commotion
sitting back on stools
flirting with poison ivy
forgetting lean tools.

Grief

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something” Plato

Am I a wise man, a fool, or a nice mix of both? I started this blog in some part because I was grieving the loss of my Father, I thought it would help me to deal with the feelings and emotions that were already out of control as well as the grief. My Father passed away on January 25, 2014; and I started the blog that February. Over the years I have posted sporadically, never really finding my groove, just going along with the flow as best I could.
There is still so much pain I have kept bottled up, watching my father painfully transition across 6 months. The first 3 went by without any diagnosis, the last 3 were a living hell as my Father did not understand through the opioid/narcotic haze that his was a terminal diagnosis, the doctor let him fight as long as he could but eventually he insisted on sending him to hospice. I still have a lot of pent up anger for the oncologist for visiting the hospital at 5AM and not having enough common sense to know when his patient was not cognizant enough to understand what the doctor was telling him. My father was tough though, having the bottom vertebrae disintegrate did not stop him from fighting and trying to win a futile war. The pain he endured through the transportation and the moves on and off gurneys, beds, and radiation tables; even in dying Rangers lead the way and he exemplified that motto.

Unfortunately he was only in hospice care for 3 days before he passed away. Of all the calls I had to make during those 3 months keeping my brother James and other relatives updated, the hardest thing I have ever had to do was call James on his birthday and let him know that our father had passed away. Being a caregiver during those three months was difficult, watching the progression of his cancer was horrific, calling relatives to let them know his diagnosis and giving them updates was hard; but to this day I still occasionally wake up in a cold sweat thinking about that one phone call.

Leap forward to 2019 and this time my Mother got sick, specialist after specialist with no diagnosis for months, having to have fluid drained off her belly every couple of days. Watching her deteriorate over months as I cared for her was like a flashback to my Father’s passing. When she was finally given a diagnosis of cancer the doctor gave her a few days, a week at most. Once again I had to make phone calls the hardest being the first to call James and let him know. James and his family were able to come out and spend her last days with us at Columbus Hospice in the same room my Father had been in. Her passing was in many ways so different, she accepted it happily, she had grown tired of being with out her love and soul mate and on Sept 28, 2019 she passed away.

To this day I still keep all of this pain and heartache buried deep within, afraid to just let go and grieve. I can write about it, it is almost more clinical and sterile but, I have not talked about it because part of me fears that if I open those flood gates I wont be able to stop. I keep telling myself that I am going to get grief counseling but I keep kicking the can down the road. I know that the current path I am on is unstable.

Time

We see time as we are taught it, unable to escape it. people want to put God into the box we created. They want our solar system to be the center, however if God created the universe then maybe he resides at the center. Maybe a year for God is the rotation of the universe itself. Just another box though to put God into, we want to accept God but only on our terms and conditions.

Life walks slowly on, each second ticks away, leap seconds, leap days, how we count them or don’t; moving forward, slowing down, speeding up. Maybe it is just more proof that there is so much that we do not understand, that seeking God is not just a straight line but a river we must navigate that is always changing. It could be the thrill for God is being sought after, he wants us in the river, not trying to navigate it but releasing ourselves into the current, not fighting it, accepting it.

It is possible that once we accept God, truly accept God, and surrender to the river, only then will our purpose be revealed. Is that what I fear, that I will never be able to surrender to the current. Even medicated for being Bipolar and attention deficit; my mind is always hyperactive, my emotions and thoughts are always in a certain amount of flux. I expend my energies on working to provide for my family and be a care giver as needed.

More Ache

Yesterday I wrote the poem ache, today I decided to try and write a short story based on the poem. Here they are together.

Ache
Encroaching darkness, swirling in the air.
Ache in my heart, my anxiety talking.
Fog billowing, thick and heavy at my feet.
Ache in my soul, have I lost my way.
Grey skies, mist falling down on my head.
Ache in my bones, summer has come and gone.
Thunder crashing, lightning pierces the sky.
Ache in my head, thoughts jumbled and jagged.

Somedays I wonder when it started, when I first began to see the darkness in the world. I do remember that I started seeing tiny wisps, almost like ghostly images on the periphery of my vision, disappearing as I turned to face them. There was fear there and not just the fear I felt upon seeing them, no there was a primordial fear that emanated from the wisps reaching out towards me. Were they just a part of the daydreams I had as I sat in class distracted or was there something more that my prepubescent mind could not grasp. I occasionally have flashbacks to when I was in Germany, 4 or 5 years old straying away from the housing area into a farm field and opening this door in the hillside, a hovel for storing feed. Back in the darkness that seemed to suck up the daylight I could see a Raggedy Andy doll tattered and dirty, there was a feeling of terror that emanated from the darkness. I ran all of the way home that day and never strayed into the fields again. Maybe that was when it first began, maybe something from that hovel attached itself to me.

As I grew older the darkness encroached upon me, still just out of focus but swirling in the air around me. Occasionally it would stray a little too far and I could glimpse shadowy figures silhouetted against the world around me. The figures filled me with terror but I could not look away or cry out as no sound would come out of my mouth, no matter how hard I tried. I could not tell anyone about what I saw, everyone would laugh at me, just like they did when I got embarrassed and turned bright red. My parents would have gotten mad at me for making things up again, I had a hard time differentiating between reality and my day dreams most days. No, these visions were mine to endure alone and alone is how they made me feel. At some point I developed an ache in my heart that would overwhelm me and leave me feeling even more helpless and alone in the darkness. It would be over a decade before I understood what anxiety is and the tightening in my chest was just a symptom of an anxiety attack, I suffered alone for so long that I just came to accept it as part of life.

Not sure at what point the darkness gave way to a fog that went with me everywhere. Thick and billowing, obscuring my every step. Unlike the darkness, the fog was everywhere I looked, as far as my eye could see. If I looked close enough I could see the same shadowy figures from the darkness, only now they had taken on more form and substance. Somedays the figures mocked me silently, my terror in seeing them had not abated and they seemed to relish the terror I felt, feeding off it and growing stronger as I grew older. I wondered if other people could see the fog as well, yet still I felt too embarrassed to ever utter a word about what I saw. I plodded along through puberty into adolescence keeping hidden my day mares. My soul began to ache from the loneliness that I wallowed in, I looked for solace in the world around me turning to music that seemed to speak to me there in my darkness. As I embraced the darkness that had settled around me like a mantle I continued to plod through the fog.

As with most adolescents I sought out love and relationships, yet I was thwarted at every turn. Each rejection imprinting itself on my soul. I wandered alone in the fog, unable to find a way out. I was lost within my own prison, obsessed with breaking free from the fog that surrounded me, shaped me, molded my understanding of what life was and would be. Along the way I made bad choices, chased after the wrong love for the wrong reasons. I found pain in the rejections and a form of bliss, I desired to be loved so much that I became obsessed and the fog grew thicker feeding off of my pain and obsession. The relationships I formed would quickly devolve into rejection. I wondered if they could in fact see the fog and darkness in which my soul dwelled, perhaps that is why they all ended the way they did, even as I tried to run away from the darkness it had become such a part of me that it spilled out into the world around me. Lost and alone I struggled for meaning in philosophy and religions.

At some point I stopped looking down at the fog and raised my head only to be met by grey skies stretching out to the horizon. My life felt like an illusion, propped up by the soft mist that fell from the sky, giving shape and form to my body. Even as I looked out to the dismal skies, the darkness pulled at me once again dancing in my peripheral vision, daring me to turn and look. The shadowy forms I was so accustomed to seeing no longer interested me, I had grown numb to the terror that they relished. And yet they still danced about me, depended on me to fill their bellies with my negativity, we were trapped in a symbiotic relationship. I gave them purpose in a life that was different and they knew me intimately, even though they no longer terrorized me. All they had to do was hang about and wait awhile for the depression to set in, the food that sustained them had changed and they didn’t mind as long as they got fed.

They also found nourishment in my physical pain, not as sweet but beggars can not be choosers. So, they tread along with me knowing that their bellies will be filled one way or another. The aches in my bones sustain them while my moods are up and they ravish the buffet when I am down, they eat well everyday. They have found sustenance and ripe fields even though the summer has come and gone, autumn has set in and I am still trudging along through life. Still they dance around me, beckoning, longing to be seen; these dark shadows of the world. Somewhere along the way I recognized them for what they are, the darkness in this world. They are the pain and suffering of myself, but also of others, I see their corporeal shapes even if I cannot see who they haunt.

The more I study them, I find grief that I cannot deal with, loses that I have lived through. My own personal darkness has chained itself to me so tight it hurts to breath. If I take a moment to look closely at any particular figure, searching for understanding, thunder fills my ears to bursting and lightening pierces the sky. Everything is illuminated and I can no longer see the darkness only the brilliant light imprinted on my eyes. I stumble around blindly, distracted, my head aching. I lose my thoughts in the jumbled and jagged after flashes of the lightening.

Ache

Encroaching darkness, swirling in the air.
Ache in my heart, my anxiety talking.
Fog billowing, thick and heavy at my feet.
Ache in my soul, have I lost my way.
Grey skies, mist falling down on my head.
Ache in my bones, summer has come and gone.
Thunder crashing, lightning pierces the sky.
Ache in my head, thoughts jumbled and jagged.

Because of money

Set my own dreams aside
Built a living on hard work
so far from dreams that died.

Dream about dreams cast aside
Wake up in a cold sweat, longing
so far from dreams that died.

Dreams didn’t buy diapers
food in the belly, roof over head,
so far from dreams that died.

Now I lift up my own kids
Proud of the adults they’ve become
They planted their own dreams
in the field where my dreams died.

Misc

Straddling the edge of sanity, or maybe insanity, seems to be a thin line either way.


I got 5 books for Christmas, looking forward to reading them. 365 Days of Drawing which will hopefully help kick start my drawing revival. Perspective Made Easy because you cannot have enough art reference books on your shelves. Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, The Secret Traditions of the Shinobi Hattori Hanzo’s Shinobi Hiden and other Ninja Scrolls, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; can never have enough life reference books either. Maybe in them I can find some inspiration to write as well.

To my wife Phoebe

I find myself only ever to say the words I love you, and I do love you with all my heart. I know that you need to hear more than that, I know you need to hear how beautiful you are. You need to hear that you are my sun, I orbit around you, you are the center of my existence. You are the many stars in the night sky by which I chart my path through a tumultuous world. You have given my life meaning and purpose, as a husband and father to the two wonderful children we have raised together and the two they have brought into our lives. I know it is hard for you to hear me beat myself up when you have done so much to try and lift me up. As much as I want to be the man you see when you look at me, my personality drags me down sometimes and that is a reflection on me not you. I wish I could tell you that I can change that about myself, I wish I did not have so many doubts about myself, that I could find myself worthy of your love. You are just such a special person that I believe deserves more than I could give you in a hundred lifetimes. So, each day I try to take care of you the best that I can because I do love you.

Stones and Words

Words are powerful, they can bring war or peace; death or life; judgement or forgiveness. In Matthew 15:18-19 Jesus stated “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander.” Here comes the difficult part as people scramble to yell that’s right, see these sinners that people want to pick out and attack, blame for all of the problems of the world are no different from those attacking them. In John 8:6-8 regarding the woman who committed adultery 6 This they said testing Him, that they might have cause to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground, as though He heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking Him, He lifted Himself up and said unto them, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.

See how easy it is to find oneself on the wrong side of words. But if you start the day, everyday with thoughts of peace, life and forgiveness for all around you; not picking up stones but understanding that life is full of both hardship and joy. So please put down the stones, forgive others and focus on making a difference in the life you live so, that others may see peace and hope in you not judgement and pain.

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