Tag Archives: truth

Fishing

I found the older man sitting at his usual spot at the end of the long, long pier.

“Gramma says dinner will be ready at 7 … and could you bring home some milk?”

He slowly shifted his pipe in his mouth. “Hello, Buzzard. I love you. Wait for a minute and walk with me.” He began to reel in his line from the sea. Slowly, without concern. The sea shone diamonds and rolled thickly.

“Did you catch anything?”

“No … not today.” As these words were spoken, the line cleared the water and … I saw that there was no hook. Just the tackle. He turned a bemused face to me.

“Grandpa … where’s the hook?”

“See … here’s the thing: I’m fishing. Not trying to catch fish, just fishing. Being very still and quiet and looking at the ocean. Letting my mind be patient with doing nothing. The pole gives me an excuse. As long as i’m holding it, people leave me alone. If i just sat here staring, they want to talk. Ask what i’m up to, am I okay?

People don’t like to see you just sitting still and letting your thoughts travel. It makes them uncomfortable. But we need it, sometimes. We need to get still and listen … to the sea, to our thoughts, to our hearts … to each other, even.

It’s holy and healthy to sometimes just … be.

Leave a comment

Filed under Musings

Gold

Fell asleep on the couch, not quite on purpose. Hazy sunbeam woke me up, bouncing off of the ring. The ring that doesn’t fit anymore. Doesn’t fit in any sense.

Hazy sunbeams in an airless room on a July afternoon. Friends and family and way too crowded. The bride is beautiful, glowing and ripe.

The ring dangles from a black ribbon. Tiny diamond heirloom from another failed endeavor.

I do and I do and I will and I promise. Nerves and heat. Eyes everywhere, expectant.

The sun warms the color, making it appear deep and meaningful, but the meaning has changed. Matrimony to melancholy. Once she was my song, now she is my versus.

We cry joy and there’s cake served with chaos. Later there’s mountains and sunset.

Mesmerized for a moment. When did it stop fitting? When did it stop meaning? When did joy turn bitter? When did I?

We tumbled through years, decades. Danced and hurt, healed and danced again. Then the song was over.

This memory on a ribbon.

Leave a comment

Filed under poetry

For Wesley

“There’s one more kid that will never go to school, never get to fall in love, never get to be cool.” ~ Neil Young

This isn’t going to be well written. I’m filled with grief and I’m mourning a life that was way too short.

I do work and donate time and money to the MDA. I’m just telling you, I’m not bragging. I donate when i don’t think I can afford to. I give time and performance when i could honestly use the money. It’s the one kid’s show that I do, ever. Once a year: the MDA summer camp. Believe me when i tell you that it is hard work, and an absolute joy, a true honor.

I love those kids. I love the counselors. I love the organization and the back breaking work they do for these awesome young humans.

and this love, as most things do, comes with a price. Time and money, sure. Sacrifice, yes … but the kind of sacrifice that is a pleasure to make. The steepest price is death. These children have different forms of Muscular Dystrophy. They waste away. They fight, and they struggle and they live the best possible life they can. And the fight gets lost, and the cost is life.

I lost one today. I got the news via Facebook and a friend. This boy had spark, he was energetic and joyful and funny. He was Into all the activities and quick witted and … I cried in the pain of losing him.

“His pain is over. His suffering is at an end.”

Yeah. Okay. Soon another will follow him. and another, and another. Because there’s not a cure right now. In this enlightened, advanced day and age, why are we still fighting so bitterly over imaginary lines, ideology, dogma, when we could direct that energy into love and healing? I know … I sound naive and childish. Perhaps.

Right now all I see is a boy that should be feeling those awkward growing pains, instead of suffering from literally withering away. I boy that should be alive and vital, and instead … is dead.

I lost a bit of my heart and softness today, and it feels like I’ve already scraped myself thin. I wept hard and quietly and briefly (my beloved roomie said that I had BETTER cry more than that when she goes. Made me laugh.) And now I feel a little more hollow. I’ve had several surprise breakdowns.

I’m going to continue to fight for them, the remaining. I’m going to donate and advocate for love and healing and cures .. and kids in camps.

Goodnight, Wesley. This one is for you, champ.

Support the MDA: http://www2.mda.org/goto/memorymakers

Leave a comment

Filed under Public Diary

Redemption

“What’s broken can be mended. What’s hurt can be healed. No matter how dark it gets, the sun’s going to rise again.” ~ Dr. Meredith Grey

The plot line or trope or whatever you would call it that I enjoy most in stories is the redemption narrative. I first encountered it in ‘Watership Down’ via Bigwig. A mild arc, but it spoke to me nonetheless.

Then Vader, and later still Shawshank, and countless others; the most powerful being ‘The Wrestler’. The title character seeks redemption and forgiveness from his daughter, and does not get it. So he pulls it from inside himself.

Redemption: Coming from the dark and finding the light, the love … the redemption of a new and better life.

This speaks to me in my life because a redemption narrative says: no matter how broken or wrong or bad or stupid or ridiculous or harmful or sad or terrible you are … you can atone.

There is still a road back. It might be rocky and steep, complicated and messy. Walking it may take your entire life. You may lose your foothold, slip and fall back into the abyss, but the wall is still there. The ascent is still there. Hard is not the same as impossible.

You are never too far gone. You are never beyond saving.

Leave a comment

Filed under Musings

March 6, 2018

I got some bad news early in the day, and i’ll talk about that later, when i can discuss it rationally, but what I want to report to day is this:
I went to the Castle last night. I had to force myself to get dressed and drive over, because my brain was trying to tell me it was pointless. (You are not your mind) Once I got there, I enjoyed a couple of shows and had a pleasant conversation with Handsome Jack. (He’s bewildered that ‘Fool Us’ has not picked me up.)

And then …  a group of enthusiastic young people gathered around the table I was sitting at and requested a short show. “People tell us you are fun!” So I did my thing; we made art together and their energy translated into renewing laughter and loud astonishment. I refilled my spirit. I found out later that they were the cast of ‘Aladdin‘ .

and then … just before packing up to go home, a gentleman approached me, almost shyly. He told me he was a fan of my work, and wanted to chat for a moment. We talked about card tricks and apartheid, the Magic Castle and Trevor Noah.  He was from South Africa, and he told me that a friend had shared my blog with him. He was moved by my description and pictures from ‘The Naked Truth’, and he related that he was inspired by my “bold pursuit of art’.

A man from South Africa was moved to deeper love and creativity by my art and my words.

You don’t know (and you may never know) who you are affecting and how. Be true. Art hard. Do what you were made to do, and change the world.

1 Comment

Filed under Public Diary

November 18, 2017

I was going to sit this season out. Just let it slide by and focus on other things. Then I was gifted with a ticket, so i put on my armor and went to the final weekend of the Carolina Renaissance Festival. Former home of Hannibal the Liar.

It was odd, being on the other side of the stage, playing the part of a patron. Old cast-mates greeted me with love and hugs, and I was immediately welcome. I saw shows i never got to see as a performer, I saw the first joust I’ve seen in over 3 years. I saw love and joy being dealt right out on the street. I watched a brand-new game get created. I danced a little. I rocked out with the Craic! I turned my face up to the surprisingly warm November sunshine. I was home, even though I wasn’t performing. (That’s kinda alien to me. They loved me without anything other than simple love in return. They just … loved Me. For Me.)

So I’m learning. Perhaps i do have some value. A good friend slightly drunkenly told me how much I meant to her life, her daughter’s life … another told me of how her father, who lives in basic solitude, had heard of me somewhere.

I went to dinner with the Angels, laughed and dished and ate … then came home to continue work on the ‘new thing’. I feel loved. I feel confident. It’s a really good day.

Off topic, but important: The new book is now available on Amazon, both in Paperback and on Kindle.

Leave a comment

Filed under Public Diary

A Bar

Musing thoughts on a surrealistic bar. You know … you’ve heard about it.

There are hundreds of ‘guy walks into a bar’ jokes, there’s even a youTube channel dedicated to them. An establishment that could be a real bar. A guy walks in, or a girl (usually blonde), A minister, a priest, and a rabbi, and some humorous exchange takes place.

But where is the surreal bar, and what does it look like? The one where a horse walks in, or a bear, a sandwich, a piece of string. How startling and fun it must be, not to mention Happy Hour!

For me that bar looks the same in every joke: A room of about 20 feet square, the bar itself on the left and a bit too close to the door. Tables are scattered throughout. The barkeep and timeline is around just prior to prohibition, and the clientele is pretty sparse. (Except for the odd crab, sipping his beer in the corner)

What does the bar look like to you? Would you buy the depressed horse a beer?

Best made the observation earlier: Bars are the place you go to drink poison out of fancy glasses. And I’ve justified it in the past because the poison took the edge off the pain, helped me bear the loss. (see what i did there?)

Have I been the weird, persistent piece of string? Not me. I’m a frayed knot.

h

Leave a comment

Filed under Musings