Silent Moment

When just a glance

offers no chance.

 

When a quiet remember

ignites angry ember

 

While offering some solution

quickly dies our absolution

 

With every offered ideal

there seems a ready deal

 

I walked inside a mirage the other day,

I thought i had sort of found my way

yet I was schooled

nobody fooled

there was still some recompense

to help me certain not make any sense

of the world around me

the choices astound when we

 

lose our way

step away

 

for the light of some distant thoroughfare

would shadow reality if their own fare

were an ultimatum that offered choice

an opportunity to personally rejoice

while the other, the saboteur seems an outlier

quickly thought to be just that suggested crier.

 

While in truth the merits of one

would that we were never done.

Advertisements

The Words That Speak

I read a poem today,

talked about saving a life,

that words could

in such a remarkable way,

cause someone to

rethink their moment,

that impulse,

the frightened reality

the edge.

 

I wondered about the beauty of a word

 

We might easily write about death,

oh the beauty of their lives,

the regret of time,

the nature of loneliness

how simple it is

when described

yet complicated when

lost.

 

I wondered about the beauty of a word

 

How does someone decide

to listen

what is the correct cadence

of wanting a wandering soul

to find their way

inside the mystique of

questioning

the human condition.

 

I wondered about the beauty of a word

 

I stood along the railroad tracks

watched the lights brighten

the clicking of the clack,

the deafening horn,

I watched the light of tomorrow

suddenly set in the western sky,

and then I stepped away …

 

I wondered about the beauty of a word.

The Deepest Cut

There in the silence

a wandering soul,

human being

whom when asked

will respond,

will navigate

inside a moment.

 

What is it the

seeming attraction

takes their heart

beyond finding peace,

instead persecution

offers solace

before a quiet passion.

 

Once in a storybook

lived a man

who did question

his life,

the meaning around

what is value,

still he found no answer.

 

There is a fear sometimes

in words,

those subjective tones

an affirmation

later became

such a powerful

condemnation.

 

How do we survive

when the brain

seems readily drawn

to yanking,

demanding,

interrupting the flow

of a soft heart.

 

Where is the deepest chasm,

one that defines our lives.

A Reminder

Over ten years ago, I dropped my son and daughter off to school, in tears, as I was saying good bye for a month of treatment. It was probably the hardest day of my life. My son was twelve, my daughter almost 16, and I was nearly 50 years old, and wondering if in that moment was I the child or were my teenagers? The phenomena of addiction is something that a person cannot predict when in the throes of its powerful grip. What canĀ  be predicted though is the outcome if the right choices are made.

I was triggered tonight watching a cop show where a father was taken away while his eight year old cried in confusion, not understanding what was happening. It made me think of my son, and the quivering he had one morning in family group when he admitted his fear of his dad not coming home. That was one of the first moments I realized the brevity of my actions. The second was celebrating my daughter’s 16th birthday in a sterile guest room of the treatment center.

There are two directions I might go to help define the impact my actions had on that fateful day. My arrogance might have driven me away from my children, but I realized how important they were to me. I realized their unconditional love, teenagers having no idea what was happening with their father but still loving him, and wanting him in their lives meant the world to me, and yet, I still didn’t get it.

I went through weeks of intensive therapy to understand just why it was that addiction had taken over my life. I recognized the people closest to me were the ones I was pushing away. I understood eventually there was nothing more I wanted in my life than a second chance with my kids. I realized addiction had consumed me.

Not everyone gets the same opportunity to right their lives. I’m not perfect by any stretch, but I do understand the difference between good and bad choices. I made some bad choices and fortunately found the resources to find a way toward recovery. It is not easy, but seeing a crying child tonight helped to again see how lucky I am, and how important it is for all of us to understand the critical scope of addiction and our need to say strong while making good choices.

Just some thoughts watching television create yet another example of the power that illusion has upon the fragile nature of our reality.

Some Are Chosen

While walking through a mine field, I stamped my feet

knowing only would be my confidence address defeat

 

For it is a wonder sometime to know the reason why

some we love are left to die, when afterward we cry.

 

It seems so clear that some are chosen to live this way

while yet we stand and recognize oh just another day.

 

I walked one night along the planks of an icy bridge

there below no bottom to see only feet on a ridge.

 

The people sauntered by, seemingly so unaware

when I awoke and found my tears, again I swear.

 

There is always a question of just why and whom

so magnificent in aura we might reach the womb

 

A sedentary state it seems will be only our cause

to find the truth, to know reality beyond our Oz.

 

I walked alone one night along some icy concrete

out of mind, out of sight, my life was not complete.\

 

We wonder those, mourn their woes, yet the we

becomes ourselves inside this love, this factory.

When A Friend’s Pain Defines Personal Purpose

I have a fairly good life. I am gainfully employed, live in a seemingly free country, with all the benefits of free speech and liberty. I have a family, we are all healthy. Our lives are determined by our actions. Given all of that reward I sometimes question my purpose, and I begin to doubt my ability, and I frame a rather skeptical outlook on my future. I’ll then beat myself up and struggle with the reality of my fortune. However, it is when I hear of the pain of someone in my life, close or connected that I really begin to recognize the gifts I have received. It is then I feel guilty for not appreciating what I have to live for.

That self-serving attitude causes a depression that can more often than not, be debilitating. I used to believe my depression was situational – created by short term events. I have now as I finish the 5th decade of my life realized my depression is clinical. I add fuel to it by recognizing an addictive personality – so many factors of my life have been defined by addiction. I feel fortunate to have responded to recovery in the manner I have. As a friend often says, life is good.

All that said, I believe life doesn’t really happen until you experience someone else’s pain. How many funerals have we walked away from where a person took their own life, and everyone is left with questions. It happens frequently and we are always sad, and for the moment, we do catalogue our own possibilities, and we do recognize how lucky our lives can be. But then reality sets in and life becomes again burdensome, and for me specifically I begin to question purpose.

Recently I was told of a friend’s battle with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. This friend is someone I knew in a previous time, and our lives have gone many directions in the last ten years. However, the impact of this news has literally shut me down and made me reflect again on what is my purpose. She is a beautiful person with beautiful children, and I can guarantee she did not choose this path in her final days. She’s younger than me, and today I am faced with the reality of finding perspective.

I spent this last weekend in my hometown, and I watched a music festival that was a lot of fun. My wife and I enjoyed the blues, and I spent rare time with my extended family. Whenever I return to my hometown, I am flooded with childhood memories, couple that with time with my family and it can be precarious. We came home refreshed and in good spirits and the foreboding feeling I receive when returning to my world seemed to creep up slowly. I again began to experience my depression, and the choices I make in my life become centered, and I began to wonder about purpose.

It was then I received an email about my friend. She was diagnosed recently and her condition is untreatable. Here is the quandary. Where I spend the night questioning my purpose and allowing my depression to win, suddenly I hear of this person who has everything in the world to live for and she knows it will be taken away. She doesn’t want that, not now, not in the prime of her life. I thought about her pain all night, and I realized that any time I feel sorry for myself I need to think of my friend and recognize I have chances that other people do not.

People are given windows into the lives of others for a reason. In this case, my friend’s pain is unfortunately my saving grace. I am not debilitated, I am not suffering a terminal illness, I am not losing my mind. God help me that those factors always evade me. Instead I will take her challenge as an inspiration that in her toughness might I show some strength in recognizing I do have a purpose in this life. I do need to move forward if not just for her, for my own well being.

Let’s pray we all might continue to find our purpose and strength to exemplify the life our friends and family might not have the luxury to fully experience.

Talking About Suicide

The other day I ran into an old friend. We had begun laughing about a coffee clutch of several gentlemen we knew that would gather daily in the summer. We’d both joined a couple of times, knew them all about as well as we knew one another, just regulars at a little coffee shop in our neighborhood. I hadn’t seen him for quite some time, and he told me that the circumstances of that gathering were a sad memory. I said I agreed, because I knew one of them had taken his own life a few years back. He nodded, we both sort of looked at each other, and then he told me another one had as well around the same time.

See, there were six guys, they all had morning routines, but they met for that 20 minutes or so for coffee and laughs, sometimes hung over, often times more powerful than the one next in their earnest desire to present their lives to one another – friends, coffee, beautiful summer mornings. I wondered about the remaining four, and how their lives had changed losing two friends, two members of a coffee clutch that seemed to last forever. I wondered about the true nature of a man’s loneliness to bring themselves to such desperate a measure as is, suicide.

See there is a lot of argument out there. A very dear friend of mine lost his brother many years ago to suicide. He would argue it is not a selfish act, whereby society for the most part might disagree because of the world left behind. But it is truly more than selfishness, because I would be willing believe not one successful suicide would ever imagine the fallout their actions will leave behind them. I do have to believe more often than not the act is one of a victim’s desperation so much so, they are unable to see any other options.

My friend and I on this day talked about the tragedy, and he said to me that there is more to life. He reminded me of his brother that he watched in chemo in a hospital room fighting every day of his life for a chance to live, and the same for all of the patients on that cancer ward.

See its hard to put it in a simple box of explanation. There certainly are those circumstances that lead to a sort of euthanasia frame of mind when struggling with a terminal and painful disease, but that raises the question of how some of the most afflicted people in the world will provide a more genuine smile than a healthy human being at the top of their game.

Suicide isn’t selective, we both agreed as we finished our coffee ready to go about our day. I think what was important for both of us was the validation of our existence and the appreciation for knowing two people whose lives had touched us in different ways and had made decisions we would always struggle to understand. In the meantime, we’d had a good talk and were lifted again in that standstill moment of time.