Saturday, January 30, 2010

I am not the hero I thought I would be

      A benevolent truce in our Minnesota weather gifted the girls an opportunity for a road trip to pre-celebrate my birthday. Our first stop was an older house converted into a small non chained mystery book store tucked away in a small older neighborhood of Minneapolis. Wall to wall books, no Muzak, no coffee, no bright lights and you almost had to turn sideways between the racks of books to make your way through the store. I sat and watched my friends, like kids grabbing the gifts under a Christmas tree, plunder the racks for their favorite authors. The bell over the door would ring and other parishioners entered the sanctuary. The owner knew them by name, their favorite series, authors and offered hints on books not yet on the market.
      Surrounded by books dedicated to some form of mischief and mayhem confronted by an astute and brave hero I breathed in the pre birthday realization that I am not the hero I thought I would be. The clues seem to evade me. I am not so much a whodunit as a notdunit. So many paths behind and before me. What lies ahead? Will I choose from the heart or necessity? Will I figure it out?
      The musings drifted to the wolf moon that shone last night. It was the first full moon of 2010 and the biggest and brightest moon of the year. The weather would have hidden it for many but it was there. It is there when all we see is a thumbnail piece. It is there when the sun upstages its nightly monologue. Its presence was the only protecting constant before man discovered fire and light to ward off the terrors and mysteries of night. I am not the hero I thought I would be. The clues have not evaded me they have made me in their phases and cycles of fullness and pieces. I am not the hero I thought I would be I am the wolf moon. I have moments of brilliance and moments eclipsed or shrouded but at my core, my essence and my heart I remain faithful to rise again as I am. I am not the hero I thought I would be and for that I am grateful. Come Monday, when the moon rises for the fifty sixth year of my life I shall howl with the moon and the mystery shall be mine.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rhythm of Life Hijacked

      I am a wolfer. I am also a sandpiper. Aside from chocolate, food has always been a lot like ironing-you don’t necessarily enjoy the process (eating) but you enjoy how you look (no low blood sugar). Since food holds little fascination I am a wolfer. Long before your napkin is in place and you’ve arranged your fork, knife and beverage I have inhaled my meal. Likewise my walking is equally fast. My short legs, like a sandpiper on the beach, go flying and I speed my way through life. My coworkers have more than once threatened to put a bicycle flag on me so they can keep track of me. The combination of wolfer and sandpiper gives a whole new meaning to the concept of fast food.
      This week, thanks to the winter and a mercenary Milk Dud I am neither a wolfer nor a sandpiper. The combination of the snow’s transition to freezing rain and the frozen melted snow has created blankets of ice on the parking lots and sidewalks. Speed, no longer an option, has been replaced by the timid plodding Minnesota shuffle. The kamikaze Milk Dud’s destruction included one pulled tooth and half a root canal. Enough said of that. Since the visit to the dentist I have been reduced to a cautious nibbler of soft foods. I have had to allow an extra 15 minutes to get ready for work – the length of time it takes me to piece my way through a breakfast bar. Aaauugh! Life has come to a screeching, deliberate, painstaking and painful halt, or extremely slow motion at the least.
      The rhythm of life has been interrupted, disrupted, derailed and hijacked. No longer can I go from point A to point B aware of only A and B. No, there is a journey between A and B. There is thinking. There is consideration. There is awareness and deliberation. Note to self: pay attention to life’s syllabus and avoid detention hall.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Camp Fire Songs of Hope

      It was one of those wonderful Minnesota summer evenings with just a hint of coolness in the air begging for a gathering around a fire. The warmth of friends, conversation and the fire taunted even the moon to delay its scheduled path. I stood at my back door watching my dogs and basking in the glow of the neighbor’s fire, muffled conversations and laughter. All was right with the world. As I lay down to sleep that night I vividly saw the fire’s glow only now it was not a beacon of human and nature’s comingled and inspiring light it was a threat. The wind had picked up and all I could think about was whether they made sure the fire was truly out so that the surrounding trees, leaves and grass would not welcome a gypsy spark. Sleep became chaotic vigilance over whether the fire was quenched.
      Tonight it is winter in Minnesota and no such fires are burning. I recall Ayn Rand’s words "Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.” I whisper a prayer for me, for all of us that we would be so vigilant with the fires in our souls which know not the seasons and burn only for hope, light and life.

[Ayn Rand "Atlas Shrugged"]

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nothing but the Tooth

Dang. Forget the grain of sand that conquers the mighty warrior. I've been undone by a tiny Milk Dud. Tomorrow begins a week of budget reviews, scrutiny and gnashing of teeth. Before the sun reaches its full stretch in the sky five hours of gnashing of teeth await me. I fear when the gnashing begins I shall be short one tooth. Well, not the whole tooth, nothing but the tooth, just a jagged reminder of what once was. I fear my sharp retorts shall be even sharper. I fear there will be blood. I fear I shall sound like Daffy Duck. I fear I shall plead the fifth amendment if only I wouldn't drool.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mindful Whispers

There’s a Haiti in my soul and the walls of my house of belief are shattered. How can they say no relief? How can they ignore the human devastation?
       And how is your heart?
Our selfishness despairs me.
       And how is your soul?
I am angry.
       And how are your eyes?
I fear my scowl has become permanent.
       And how are your hands?
The fists have made my hands hurt.
       Try again. And how is your heart?
My house of belief needs no walls to partition and separate. All are welcome.
      And how is your soul?
With no walls the sun fills my soul with hope.
       And how are your eyes?
Fear and uncertainty strike everyone in different ways.
       And how are your hands?
Strong enough to reach outward.
       And what will you do?
I will donate for Haiti. I will donate for us all. I will speak out. I will pray.
       And how is your heart?
A bit like Lazarus walking out of the tomb into the light of a new day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Learning to Listen

It is a blank piece of paper with no words, lines or marks not even a doodle. Pure. The once cool metal of the pen is getting warmer as my fingers play with its texture. Waiting. An internet search, made months ago, taunts me-there are over three quarter of a million distinct words recorded in the English language. Abundant. The puppy’s antics attract my attention and I turn to verbally correct but smile and say nothing. Grace. I smooth the tear drop on the unwritten page and close the journal. Touch. I bow my head in acknowledgement of the heart mirror. Gratitude.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Moon Rises and Moon Sets

      When the sun sets the moon also rises. Why do we never refer to the moon rise and only sit on the beach or our decks to watch the sun set? We also never talk about the moon set. Instead, we gather back on the beach or our decks and watch the sun rise. Is it because one event spills across the sky like melted crayons and the other is, well, the other is just dark. How would our perspectives on the cycle of life change if we could learn to anticipate and await the moon rises and moon settings with the same passion and poetry as the sun rises and sun sets?
      This is not meant to really be a philosophical thought. No, it is my way of pondering the hole in two friends’ hearts, perhaps all of us, who lost a cherished pet yesterday. It was time. It was the right thing. It is part of the cycle of life and seasons of change. Despite that knowledge, it feels like a moon rise, not the beautiful sun set. The laughter, comfort and absolute unconditional love given by the pet companion is physically gone but the paw prints are forever embedded in their hearts and ours. The heart paws are just like the sun when the moon has risen and like the stars when the sun has risen, they are just a heart revolution away. And so tonight, I will celebrate the moon rise and all its glory, beauty and illumination. Like our precious companions I’ll see both moon and sun time as a time to play, run, chase, and cuddle and more importantly, a time to be faithful to those I love. I’ll pick out groupings of stars and name them Poodley, Sara, Ricochet, Scooter, Gracie, Elsa, Nick, Kelsey, Cinnamon, Megan, Ellie, Rugby, Grace, Toby, Judd and Taku. I’ll find another group and name them Paws. And tomorrow when the moon sets leaving a beautiful brilliant sky, I’ll remember to pause and think of my friends and pray for the hole in their hearts and all of us who have lost our friends.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Manifesto Whispers

I can hear the water pour off the anchors as they leave the sea bed and lock into the hulls of the Pinta, NiƱa and Santa Maria. Did the sailors fearfully whisper to each other, or to themselves, as the wooden ships creaked and left the dock? Did Columbus entertain a silent whispered thought of doubt? The horizon visually was flat. Would they fall off the earth like an orange on the ship’s table during a storm? Without the aid of a telescope, Copernicus stood in a private observatory, like a watchman in a ship’s crow’s nest, and watched the heavens. His fixated eyes and calculations whispered a story to his brain so vastly different than the world knew. A man has walked on the moon and we’ve long since broken through both the sound barrier and the Berlin Wall. Conceived in a vision, a gut feel, a dream and, perhaps, a bit of a dare the whispered seeds have revolutionized and forever changed the world we now inhabit.
       So when I ponder my own dreams and dares and tip toe my way towards my goals, what have I to fear? I will whisper but I will also shout ‘I can.’ The whispers of my dreams are the chords waiting for the piano’s strings to free their melody. When the sailors, scientists, politicians, astronauts and ‘common knowledge’, masquerading my fears, glance back to the port, to what was, they will not see me standing on the dock. I am my ship’s figurehead. I will play with the waves and dance with the dolphins as I sail towards my horizon. In the crow’s nest I will watch for the Promised Land but I will not ignore the joy of now as the wind, clouds, sun and moon whisper and sing when there is no land. I can hear the water pour off the anchors. The night’s stars are calling me. Can you hear the whisper?

Friday, January 1, 2010


Today is the first day of the new year. It is a Friday, as new as any other Friday that dawns. Every morning, every Friday that arrives is full of possibilities, hope and promise like a playground that beckons me to come and play. Every Friday, if I count back 365 days, is the start of a new year. It is a new year and a new beginning. So what makes this Friday this calendar date so special? Why is it a day filled with resolutions and hope? Why do we celebrate Thursday evening the arrival of this Friday’s dawn? Should not every day be a new year’s eve? Should not every day be a celebration of new beginnings and hope? If I compartmentalize my life in blocks of twelve months what could I be missing? If I know on Wednesday that Thursday would not arrive how would I live on Wednesday? Would I hold off drinking every drop of life, love and hope on Wednesday because it was not the calendar’s New Year’s Eve? Today is the first day of a new year. So is tomorrow. May I stay awake and celebrate throughout this day, this Friday, the anticipation of tomorrow, Saturday. May every day be a celebration of hope, beginnings, dreams and new starts. That is my new year’s resolution which will be resolved every day, every true new year’s eve.