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Christmas Day 2018

Very quiet and almost alone.

But when a lady who is interesting and interested calls …

So I had lunch with a captivating and deep young woman who has eyes like sunshine through honey. Those eyes see a lot, and I think they like what they see in me.

Worked on new magic and read a new book (gift from the same lady) and kept breathing. I’m listening to the closing of the year carols and thinking about art. New Year’s Eve will find me at the Magic Castle, doing my dance behind the bar.

Who knows tomorrow? Right now, in this moment … there’s peace for this earth-man.

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Christmas Eve, 2018

It’s on this night that I take stock of my year. I’ve been doing this since my life changed in 1988 … so thirty years. Raise a glass to thirty years.

In 1988 I met the one. Married the one. Had a child with the one. Christmas Eve found me in the downstairs of a wee two bedroom apartment, playing Santa for the two new females in my world. I scrimped and hustled and saved to make it nice … and I sat up late afterward, drinking eggnog and nibbling cookies and thinking it all over. Big changes, new adventures. A twisting unknown road ahead. And i raised my head and silently asked for strength. Not so much help … as strength.

“Let me be a good partner. Please let me be a good father … grant me strength to walk this road ahead.”

Thirty years and thousands of miles away and … an entirely new life … here i am again. Grateful.

But asking for strength.

New Year. Resolution.

Something simply stated, but with determination and a specific goal.
I want to improve on my basic skill set. I want to tell better stories, create better scripts, live out loud more loudly, and polish up the heart on my sleeve.

I’m going to write one fictional story each week.  Maybe based on people I know, maybe woven from thin air. Most will suck, especially in the beginning. I hope that gems will uncover themselves in the process.

I’m going to be more open about my views and life events in this public blog.
Not daily writing (maybe) but several times a week, providing whoever wants to read it an in-depth story of what’s going on in my head. Dangerous? Scary? Yep.

There will continue to be my semi-monthly column in Genii magazine. I will write for the podcast. I will create new magic and share more video.

It’s a big undertaking, and i’m doing it in order to not become lethargic or mediocre.

Some of it may hurt. Me. You. Them.
I’m sorry … I’ll do my best to be cruelty free, but I’m going to be honest. Art demands it.

Life is criminally short and one time around is all you get. Let the art do the talking.

My New Year’s Resolution is this:

Just Write.

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Christmas

On the idea of Jesus:

Love your enemies, because love is the most powerful force in the universe. Yes, it’s okay to have enemies, because: you are going to have enemies if you truly live your life. Just love them.

Love your neighbor and OMG, Love Yourself. You are beautiful.

Water is good, there should be plenty on hand at all times. Wine is better. Bring me some water, I want to show you something….

Sacrifice for those you love. Do it without keeping a record.

Love with everything you have.

Forgive with every ion of love you can muster.

If the things you consider holy are being prostituted by pimps, politicians or preachers in the name of money or power – flip some tables and whip the guilty. With whips.

Walk. Talk. Feed. Love.

Make friends with fishermen and Magdalenes. The stories, man … the STORIES.

Heal, don’t wound.

Am I making myself clear? You don’t have to believe in Jesus to understand that the concept is a pretty clear. If you find yourself carrying a sign or a bullhorn to declare that ANY human being should be hurt or unloved: you’re wrong.

Be kind. Be Love. Be Jesus because … he’s not here right now and someone you know needs him desperately. So Be the Jesus your neighbor needs.

h

 

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Dancing and Heart Shaped Boxes: Christmas, 2014

Right now it’s Christmas Eve. The kids have gone home or up to bed and I’m siting in the dark alone. By the time I’m done, it will be well into Christmas. Want to go for a walk with me?

This holiday for me has always been about family. The blood ones, the ones who married in, and the ones we invite to the table. You are loved, and I consider you family. You’re welcome at my table … bring a story, a song or something you made.

This year was creative. We all reached out for each other’s hearts. For myself: Carlaysle made me a porcelain dragon lamp, Avalon Rose Stuffed a Joy Tea box with inspirational quotes and petals from flowers I gave her once, Grace made desserts in the kitchen of her newlywed first house and Braiden brought us his music.

 

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“The book of love is long and boring, and written very long ago. It’s full of flowers and heart shaped boxes and things we’re all too young to know.” ~ Magnetic Fields

When I opened Avalon’s gift and saw what she created for me, it brought me to tears. Literally. I sat there with water pouring down my face, unable to breathe. I was very moved, especially since we’ve had some friction lately. I’m more than a little afraid we’re growing apart like I did with my father. And it’s largely my fault. But that is another story. Tonight she showed me how much she thinks about me, and how she still feels about her old man. All the kids showed me: I am surrounded by love.

Tonight sparked memories of my father.

My father and I were never really close. I wasn’t quite good enough to be the son he wanted. That’s a quote from the man himself. Dad was an architect and an electrical engineer. Smartest man I knew. A real straight line thinker. Conservative in his living and no-frills. His vices were whiskey and golf, and those in moderation. He was in the Army and played college football with Sonny Jurgensen. (Look it up). I was non-athletic and a real let down. He tried really hard to get me into baseball and football, but I just had no talent for it. My only asset was that I could take a hit. Even as a young, skinny man, my low center of gravity and … solidity made it really difficult to get me off my feet. Anyway, I couldn’t play very well and had no skill at all. Dad bitterly gave up when I was about 15.

At that age I picked up theater and music in earnest. My path went far and astray from what my dad considered respectable. We quite simply grew apart and I just … started talking to myself and working things out on my own. When I became a magician, he threw his hands up completely. I was a waste; a dime a dozen. His words. Art and frivolity were nice for some people, but he just knew I was supposed to be something … worthwhile, and it mad him very sad that his only son didn’t follow his footprints.

Now … Dad loved to laugh, and I could usually make him laugh. You can’t tell it from any of his photographs, but he had a big, hearty laugh. He just didn’t think show business was a good way to raise a family. On more than one occasion I spied him dancing when he thought no one was watching. Turns out … he was a hell of a good dancer.

Pancreatic cancer took my father swiftly. From diagnosis to the end was just a matter of ano few pain-filled weeks. I kind of got to say goodbye. He was high on pain meds and didn’t really understand that I was even there. He died while I was onstage. I got the news when I got back to my room after.

When I attended his wake, I got a shock. Stranger after stranger came up to me to tell me how much my father bragged to them about his son, the great magician. Apparently he told many stories to them about my shows, the contests I was in and the places I traveled to. And then:

And then …

And then I went to clean out his house. In the back of his bedroom closet I found two boxes. One was full of trophies. Recently dated trophies. The other was full of newspaper articles about me. Photographs. Magazines and video tapes of television programs I had appeared on. A box full of love and pride. Color me boggled.

The trophies? They were for ballroom dancing. My stepmother explained that at fifty years of age, found his passion in dancing, and he was quite good at it. He won several awards and competitions. Rather than display his trophies, he put them in a box, carefully in the back of a dark closet. That is the man my father was.

In a twist of serendipity I bought myself a pair of dancing shoes for Christmas. I saw them and bought them with my father in mind. A few days later a very dear friend gave me a certificate for ballroom dancing lessons. I’m turning fifty next year.

 

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 “The book of love is long and boring, no one can lift the damn thing. It’s full of charts and facts and figures … and instructions for dancing.” ~ Magnetic Fields

Suddenly … because of this gift, I feel a little more in touch with the man he kept hidden. Perhaps we shared more than I ever knew. Thus a thoughtful gift changed my life and my heart. I want to embrace you all as family … scars, shyness and everything. Come as you are.

This table has plenty of seats available.

In your hands and in your heart you have the simple gifts to make a real difference. Love, caring, and compassion.

Will you give?

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