On The Wonder of Age

Today is the birthday of an elder,

a daughter just lost her father,

a young boy,

playing in a culvert,

watching handmade wooden ships

float toward the sewer,

no judgment in mind,

simple childhood,

with an elder keeping his welfare

in mind.

 

We wonder sometime about the truth

in aging, the wisdom found,

the mistakes we wish to take bake

yet now we simply go on living

appreciating sometime

the turn of the coin

where once we believed this,

now we are forever asking for

sweet forgiveness

because with age

comes for some a sense of

quiet humility.

 

Oh do answer the question

that when under the knife

my body shut down

for modern medicine

did I go anywhere

with my dreams

beyond waking again,

seemingly fixed

yet forever drawn

to wondering just why.

 

The age of this my freedom

Will by my silent fiefdom

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If We Were To Know

Would we be the same

if wherever we go

vastly different claims

would question ego.

 

I sat on a hill one day

imagining my life

wondering time away

wandering in strife

 

So many of us each time

we think we figured it out

we walk again in line

acting we know all about.

 

If we could be where we are

if you and me and everyone

were to know just bizarre

our attitude weighs a ton

 

I wandered off the hill

again wanting only peace

some sort of quiet release

wanting everything to be still.

I Looked Into the Eyes of a Dying Woman

cancer-sucks-pictures

The other day, I traveled across a state to say good-bye to a friend. I did it because I wanted her to realize just how worth it she is. I did it for the love I have for her and her children. I did it because I cared. But the trip wasn’t meant to be about me, it was a gesture of kindness for a person who now is faced with readying herself for the next chapter in her life – that out of body journey that we are left curious about yet, hold onto a faith of purpose in the next life.

Whenever I lose someone I am close to it gives me pause, as it naturally should. I am the guy that constantly walks around complaining about a life without everything I want, an unhappiness sometimes that if I am not careful can be revealed to those I am close to in life. To sit and witness a person who is losing their struggle in life and still smile and offer happiness to those loved ones around her is certainly a humbling experience.

I’m glad I made the drive. The day was beautiful, the moment saying good-bye was special. Seeing the love in the room was quite exceptional, a lot of tears, moments of reservation turned to immediate release, and then two children doting on their dying mother with every resource their body and mind would allow. I said to them at one point, you are both such gracious people filled with love and humility. I said, you had a great mentor and they both glanced at mom and weeped for a second. Smiles and hugs around realizing the day was nearer than anyone would like it to be.

I said my good-bye and hit the road for the drive back, the whole time processing what I had just done and why. I had no ulterior motive to see a young woman die before her time. I wanted to say good-bye and see the peace in her eyes. I wanted to know that death is a planned event no matter the impulsivity. We will all wonder why she had to be taken so soon, while others struggle on for years, or overcome the disease that threatens a life.

On the drive back, I cried, I cried hard. It felt refreshing, cleansing I suppose. It felt like I was allowing my feelings to come to the surface rather than suppressing them. I believe in that moment of weeping, I understood love in all of its abundance.

But the story doesn’t end there. Halfway into the drive I heard about the death of Senator John McCain. I certainly did not know him personally, did not ever meet him, but like everyone else, or the majority in our country, I do recognize him as a national hero. I witness the strength of character in his work ethic right up to the day of his departure. I read about his victories, sufferings and accomplishments, and suddenly I am aware of how his life was sacrificed for the better good. Much like my friend, in the end, his entire focus was helping people find their own peace with that goal in mind.

So that night, a Saturday night, I went through a lot of soul-searching. I recognized my own purpose and how these were moments of clarity that give me the strength to go on. Remember we always think about the resilience to go on when we lose someone we care or have compassion for. Much like John McCain, and my friend, life is precious, and we realize it in the worst of times.

And then it happened. The next day, we lost another kind soul. The superintendent of our school district died the day before we walked into our classrooms. Across the district there was¬† a numbness felt for a man that brought positivity in a time when that was the only way to heal many painful aspects of our district’s history. His tenure with us was brief, but in that time he brought real and genuine happiness into the lives of the people he touched. And his spirit did and will continue to touch many.

So, this weekend I was surrounded by cancer. I suppose it was a necessary passage of showing all of us that our lives are worth every  minute we have and to never take our time for granted. I look around the room and realize there are people that do not have the capacity to recognize the connection between life and death. For me, on this rather remarkable weekend of finding peace in the curiosity of the human condition, I am hoping I will find an eventual peace. I go forward hoping to resonate with the legacy of people brought down before their time, yet people that instilled love and purpose into my own life and the lives of all of those around us.

Godspeed our fragile humanity.

When We Find We Are The Same

Rules need not be broken

to identify our true selves

we haven’t the demand

to walk upstream, to push

the elements aside

for personal gain,

in essence,

it is true that we all

do find the similar grounds

for which

our bodies

strike the earth

as feeling landed, secure,

understanding of time.

 

Oh, we do battle to separate

our lives

from those we disagree,

the them we conclude

are far astray from you and me,

and yet,

who is it we might observe

when the feeling

of not so assuredly confident

might cause dreams

aspirations,

the fantasy of our completion

to become more stirred

angst driven rather

than a peaceful protest.

 

We do,

we can,

we will inevitably

live our lives the same,

if for a moment

we step off the pedestal,

we let go of our divining rods,

loosen our grip on the main-hold

let our bodies, mind, heart

set sail and when we find

we have crossed a boundary

toward some simple freedom,

well then,

be sure to say hello

to everyone whom have all arrived

the same.

If, Again

If

once we

were partners

though shadowed

intimate decisions

drove us apart, our lives

seemingly drawn

in more necessary direction,

would it be possible

to find purpose

in knowing …

again.

 

If

the world

were able to

walk in the shoes

of those they despise

would it be possible then

for each of our lives

to become valid

to such a

degree

we might understand

love,

again.

 

If

the world

were a perfect sphere

and all the polar opposites

began to better listen and hear

each other rather than negate

their contributions,

could we maybe

become

whole

again.

 

If when

the sun were to set

we might all still look inside

each other’s lives could

we finally recognize

the similariites

and love

again.

 

If … again

The Humanity of Letting Go

I feel things,

since living dark realities

a childhood

without scars,

yet, somehow beaten,

the foundation of

a quiet turmoil

always is that centering

point of personal fear.

 

In our society

we question judgment

public scrutiny,

filling the airwaves

is a certain attractive

seduction

meant to take our minds

away from our own

persecution.

 

Those silent moments

when the mind

allows the heart to breathe

there’s a sudden tightness

strangling physicality

that does have a pulse,

a reminder,

a constant of the human condition

within the framework

of some individualized society.

 

I cannot seem to walk away

from the burdens of my past,

yet,

the minds around me,

voices mouthing advice

seem to forget

or perhaps overlook,

this reflective nature

is the fuel

of a precarious

walk along the edge.

 

I would wonder

how long this loneliness

can exacerbate

my owned recall

of every single

tumultuous

moment in my life

when all

circumstance

overwhelms

a more seemingly sane

stance.

 

I would take a chance

on letting go,

if only I understood

the purposeful nature

of forgiveness.