This Sunday Morning

We are starting to contemplate what it is we have done this year, one so very unique to our world, our lives, our state of mind. I think we all began the year in much the same way, dealing only with our personal needs and always aware of the world around us. Some of us championed resolutions, a few of us cleaned out chapters of our lives, and many woke up and believed it was just another day in succession of many. Why wouldn’t each of those directions make complete sense as we imagine our day today.

It is Sunday, a day that at the start of the year I had begun returning to Mass after many decades of sporadic holiday attendance, I was liking the opportunity and its meditative balance on my life. Then a few weeks later, I was not. I was not alone. This time it wasn’t because of lack of interest, none of us could. On top of everything else in our lives, we were now asked, suggested, mandated to isolate ourselves for the safety of others. I remember in the early weeks of shelter at home, I would run off to the grocery store, a limited activity, and as the sun was setting in the west, I would look at the horizon and imagine zombies beginning to line the hills. Everything was so quiet, no one except for people like me getting groceries or essentials milled about. The moment was eery and unsettling.

Eight months later, I have become a rather good cook. I seldom would make meals in years past, except for the occasional breakfast, or an intriguing recipe, or holiday foods. In the last year though, I used to want to emphasize I hadn’t gone out to eat for weeks, turned into months. But then I had to come to terms with the fact that no one had. When I get out of rehearsals for high school theater, I would often stop for a bite to eat. Now those little moments were part of my grocery run. I’ll call it a win, because the food is better and the advantage is a healthier body.

This summer I needed to go outside. Thankfully we have the woods, the hiking trails and just the open country for walks and bicycle rides. I remember thinking in the early days of Covid19 what if someone a quarter of mile in front of me sneezed while I was bicycling into a head wind? That really went through my mind, much like taking my dog to the dog park and worrying about other people wanting to pet him, and thereby bringing their germs into my home. Nobody knew, some of us cared, some thought it was and still do believe it a hoax. I’ve seen the numbers of people who have died, not by choice. I have been a believer from the beginning.

Our lives are all unique and yet we live them quite similarly to one another. We need a good sleep, a warm meal, a favorite book or piece of music, a companion nearby. All of this sounds rather normal right? The thing to recognize is there are many that do not have all or any of the opportunities or lifestyle habits I just mentioned. There are people who are alone and haven’t sometimes the strength to endure this rather unprecedented and certainly sad and frightening time in our lives. This is a time of year when often we are suggested to raise our awareness of those less fortunate than ourselves. Now more than ever.

We do come upon that time of year in America where we will celebrate the holiday, the essence of family being together to share the love we all have created in our lives. Many question our ability to have feast in that manner of tradition and we find ourselves quietly confused, making different plans. We do come upon that time of year in the world where we celebrate the truth of universal love in however manner our cultural strengths bring us together. What is important is we do remain focused on what will alleviate some of the anxiety and disorientating nature of this temporary period of our lives. Acts of kindness and a simple element exist.

There really isn’t anything traditional about this year moving into the holidays except for perhaps one common denominator: Love. We all know kindness and the smile it puts on our face, the safe remedy an emotion provides our need to feel.

This is a Sunday morning, and I am in my comfortable chair with a favorite music playing, my dog wandering about checking on me thinking of his next walk in the coming hour. I’m sipping my coffee and looking forward to watching a ball game this afternoon. Tonight I will plan the week ahead. Life remains normal as long as we can allow ourselves to realize there is goodness during this temporary period of our lives. Though we must be conscious of the reality being we are not alone, all of us in our circumstance hold an energy lets us know we are together miles away or nearby.

When we can, as long as we are able, reach out, for there is something substantial being passed upon one another than simply memory not realized. We all exist together, kindness and love being symbolic of that grateful nature of our humanity. We can this year celebrate with an even stronger recognition than during a normalcy we haven’t known yet taken for granted for quite some time.

Love. Be Kind.


© Thom Amundsen  11/2020

Just Taking a Walk in the Neighbrohood

I was listening to a some Tom Waits the other day,

puts me in a certain frame of mind,

if you know, you know what I mean,

you know what I want to say,

so I just listen to the blues and try to find my way.

 

I was thinking just the other day, about a neighbor,

someone I know, they know me,

we all seem to know each other,

especially when we do have that chance,

the rare opportunity to say hello, a courtesy.

 

See it is not as much about the neighbor as it is,

each other, all of us, walking around

today, tomorrow, any other day,

it’s about the wonder of our lives,

whose do we touch, and will they every touch ours.

 

I’m sitting in a coffee shop, still listening to the blues,

Tom Waits kind of sets the tone,

for your day, for some of you the week,

like sitting in an old rusty bar,

and he steps out of the blind with a guitar.

 

We all do walk the same neighborhood, together,

oh we carry our crosses, for some it is

that famous albatross from an old piece of

literature,

I believe it was Coleridge, one of the dead guys.

 

Point is the music continues, the riffs, the melodies,

the lyrics that seem to so mellow, haunt our lives,

so we can all believe in it together,

we do love to feel, to believe, to wonder, to wish,

perhaps walk the same paths we all would wish to choose.

This Quiet Passion

It is a love, a desire, a response to silence,

for so many occasions,

while the skies do glance the usual,

always, the emotions might trigger,

might respond,

could offer a storm of wrath,

or perhaps,

when least we anticipate,

a light rain, to cleanse our soul,

allow our lives to breathe,

beyond the casual haze

of a summer day.

 

I stood in front of my emotions today,

asked a question,

perhaps stoic in my way,

I wondered just how far

we might have to travel

in order,

to participate in the aftermath

of chaos,

for it screams that phenomena

stayed with my being,

for as many days as the summer

holds true to an autumn.

 

While now I rest my weary soul,

the fortune of time offers sweet Grace,

when age becomes validation,

and hearts do forever listen.

I have traveled far and wide,

and yet there is a stillness,

may overcome me in evening’s tide,

as will the serendipity of passion,

an surreal reality as I stand here before you,

wanting only solace from a sweet panic.

 

In life, we do lead with thoughtful enterprise,

a notion, an ideal,

oft times an inspiration,

to market goodness,

to experience that

goodness,

to know such character

is infamy

when stood alongside

true character.

When passion speaks its favor,

our world, a planet, a state, a society,

a mosaic,

we are all

so much – so little – so together,

 

We can be universal,

we may align, smile, gesture, accord

each other …

we can be one.

I Still Want To

No matter the time of day,

whether the sun rise, the moon be full,

in the event of pouring rain,

I still do,

I still want to

“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”

such prophetic lyrics can change my day,

from a bleak vacuum

a disparate state of mind,

to one wholly visible,

one certainly inclined,

to pursue our lives together.

Laughter, Please

When I glance I want to see smiles,

no matter the time of day,

to see happiness can go on for miles

there’s really no other way,

to describe how vital our lives can be,

and how quickly drained

we might become if unable to see,

the beauty maintained

in a pretty reflection of who we might

imagine ourselves to feel.

We have to recognize that every night,

we are never alone to deal

with quiet sadness, departures from good.

We can live together,

get along with the world so close we could,

really love one another.

We need to know our lives are free to please

we need to know that hereafter

there’s a way to get through our day with ease,

laughter, please, laughter.

All About the Tears

Someone told me the other day

seems an easy line to say,

they really did though,

spoke those words

what the suggestion means

one doesn’t know

can only imagine

perhaps use a visual trigger

when everything we do

creates a shockwave effect

that rings a bell countries away,

that wouldn’t actually make a noise

if not for the time he said

a couple of words

and she said

I’ve had enough of you,

and then we both looked at each other

and thought to ourselves,

all those weeks of worry and concern

all the sleepless nights,

the foggy stirring of our coffee

absent to the rest of the world,

just focusing on the grains rising to the top,

in every moment

every part of our day,

we decide,

we know well enough,

the answer long before

we imagine there is a solution,

yet, we present certain obstacles,

those moments of indecision ,

that in our hearts we know,

will ease the reservoir,

allow the waters to flow,

freedom, the urge to release

every obstacle we create.

Ordinary People

I saw them today,

on the street corner,

standing together,

holding hands in smile,

then the bus came,

and they were gone.

~

While I was driving home,

the light changed to red,

glancing aside, they were

chatting in animated form,

I wanted to say hello,

just then the light …

~

At night, I sit amongst them

each with their own desire,

maybe not the same as mine,

somehow still in the same place

I think the notions are similar,

this place is not our home.

~

We see throngs flock outside

all the many believers

they do exist, some tell me,

when the lights go out,

they all seem to want,

somehow the same thing.

~

I wander throughout my day,

and look upon the world

around me, all caught up

in some new fad, a dance

of circumstance, masks the

ordinary people we care to be.

Shelf Time

Such a delight it would be

to live a life by the sea

hear the ocean waves slap

soft the combed beach nearby.

~

In just the romance of time

we can transport ourselves

to a sunlit horizon bathed

in delicious blends of sound.

~

I walk with you

you walk with me

and together we seem

to be … somewhat, free.

~

Yet, while you were away

I came to terms with me

only to now understand

perhaps my shelf-time.

~

Glance outside the room

see them all stroll by

seems they haven’t a dime

of interest as layers grow

~

Oh what I might give

for a wrecking ball

right now, to hit

the side of my life

~

sends me helpless reeling

tossing about all hope

simply looking at the fall

the inevitable last shatter

~

Why there could be a day

when together again we

stroll along a sandy beach

thinking as one you and me.

~

Until that time I’ll dream

about the last shudder

of earth that is felt

when the whipping ball

~

strikes home.

Image Conscious

Walk into a room of strangers

turn, look at each other

what happened to confidence

or

how is she so happy

maybe

where did he go so quickly

then

ice-breakers force you to talk

to each other

to them

remember what you said about

them

yesterday when they were away

and now today

we are standing next to each other

together

realizing that every one of us has an agenda

some show it openly

others wait

a look

a smile

a direct glare

many eyes

many faces

all together now

what happens tomorrow

when this conversation has ended?

how will we know what to say

when we gather again?

Next time.

Is That Love?

rain

When in that first cry

your eyes look at me

soft your gentle gasps

you are welcomed with open arms

When as I walk past you

your expression in light

search sweet his response

your fingertips curl hair with distance

When while rains fall

your hands gentle

seek shelter in his grasp

your arms intertwined stroll wet

When while she waits

you might imagine love

share spectacular smile

your willing delight as you hold her close

When by his side

your tear soaked soul

show reason to believe

you will miss him despite failings

When while lives wander

we belong together today

swoon our heart’s when we search

we have our true love known we live forever