Home with no name

Home with no name, this charcoal deep airy lost place. Cut bonds and cords flit in the wind, a thousand tentacles. Sad hearts stand in quiet corners, lost, trembling, cold, bent, buckled, they weep – they weep – they weep.

Now, stumbled to standing, I’ll split the heavens for you, snare the brightest sun. Across the pond out of reach your heart glistens warm gold love. I am now, finally, bound by nothing but me. If I could only cleave the pond in two,

find myself lost no more.

for jch


Cup half full

I knew a young man, he was nineteen when I met him, paralyzed from the neck down, on a ventilator. He’d been shot through the neck. He was in his twenties when he died. He was a wonderful person, pure and simple. I met a young man a few years ago who’d suffered a brain injury in a car accident. During the accident he saw, and I mean, saw, two of his friends get decapitated. I know a woman who went out walking with her husband one winter day pulling their two little children on a sled behind them when a snowmobile driven by a drunk driver crashed into them.  When this woman came out of a coma she learned she was permanently paralyzed from the neck down – and that both her children had died in the accident.

What I’ve just shared with you here helps, I hope, to explain why I pretty quickly weary of those who live in rather than with their problems, Problems take center stage, at the exclusion of everything else. Hell, it seems to me if I kept the problems I face in life center stage, at the exclusion of everything else, I sure as hell wouldn’t be writing this piece and I’d be missing out on a lot of wonderful things in life. No more reading books. No more good conversations. Not more movies, music, healthy love, making love, kissing, laughing, learning, all because my problems in life, difficult as some may be, have more control of my life than they deserve too.

If a large majority of your life is wrapped up in talking about and bemoaning your problems, then those very problems are guilty of robbing you of some wonderful life experiences.

If I see a beautiful sunset, I’ll be damned if I’m not going to disengage from what I’m doing at the moment to take it in. It’s beautiful, one of life’s delicacies, I don’t want to miss it.

Don’t miss the sunsets.


In loving memory of N.E.

This august month

I believe each of us memorializes the course of our life one way or another.  It gives things shape and substance, the early years often providing a kind of armature on which the succeeding years attach themselves, not always to our benefit. Developing an awareness that accurately says it is okay to be who you are more often than not requires breaking free of that part of your history – usually people – who defined you as flawed, bad, stupid, ugly, less than others, a failure, etcetera. Not an easy task, but, I assure you, an achievable one.

How do you achieve it? In part by giving yourself permission to have your life experience which includes allowing your emotions, experiencing them. It means not suppressing them. It means  remembering that emotion and behavior are two separate things. Anger is emotion. It won’t last forever. Yelling at someone, name calling when angry (sound violence) or any forms of physical violence are behaviors. The behaviors are the problem, not the emotion.  Why would God or whoever or whatever you believe is behind this life experience give us emotions if we weren’t supposed to experience them in the first place? Hmmm?

It is not a stretch for me to say that therapy and being a friend of Bill W’s has made all the difference. Both have taught me that the capacity for acceptance along with a devotion to honesty are the foundation for a healthy life and for healing when life wounds you. After all, life happens to us whether we like it or not.

All my life the anniversary of meaningful events have been important me. Some may think this silly or pointless and, if they do, I don’t care.  As I said at the beginning, we each memorialize our life experience one way or another. I do it with anniversaries and my writing. I am also find meaning and spiritual sustenance in symbolism and ritual. When it comes to anniversaries, this august month has more than its fair share. In it are the day my father died (I was 15), the day my mother Virginia committed suicide (I was 39) and the day I was shot in the head (I was 30). It is also, thankfully, the month my daughter was born (I was 23, she is now 36). There is nothing tragic about all this. It is merely life. Now, as a sober man, an honest man, I go through each and every day as myself, no webs of dishonesty, no hidden motives. Trust me, it’s easier.

Honesty is a glorious gift in life. Not always easy but always (always) easier in the long run. Humility too. Humility I have learned from others is not thinking less of yourself it is thinking less about yourself. It is also remembering to respect and appreciate the life you have, and august months like this one.