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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Keep Looking Forward

I'm a simple kind of guy.  Not overly complicated, not hard to please, and in many ways, very easily satisfied with the simpler things in life.  This has been true about me for as long as I can remember and is true about every facet of my life.  I like simple foods...give me a Shepherds Pie, a casserole, or a good soup/stew and you have made a meal fit for kings, in my view at least.  I like the idea of living simply, but sometimes life become complicated, whether we like it or not.

Tonight I watched the tail end of one of my favorite movies, its called, "Cast Away", starring Tom Hanks and it is about the only love story that I like.  The premise of the movie is one of survival, alone, and how he copes with the loss of the love of his life.  In the movie, you see him deal with this loss, because he is stranded and has no hope of rescue, he has to let her go...I can so deeply relate to this feeling...and then you see him deal with something much more difficult.  In case you do not remember, he gets rescued, and in his heart, the love he felt from before the brutal years he spent on this island, it was the same, undiminished by time and just as raw as it was on day one.  However, for her, she had had to accept that he was dead!  There was no reason to hope, no reason the believe that he would ever be back and, in fact, every possible reason to believe him to be gone from her life, forever.  Then, he gets something that changes everything for him on that island. He, a man who had accepted that fate had dictated that he would never see that love again, is given, I the form of a make-shift sail, a reason to hope again.  However, that hope, that joy, that rekindled life of fulfilling love, was only his...to her, he had been dead, long dead in fact, so there was no way back to where they had been.

To him, it seemed so simple, to her, it seemed so complicated, but the simple truth was, he had lost her (some might say 'again') and that hope was now irreparably gone.  It was nobodies fault, it just simply was what it was.  The movie ends with him coming to grips with this new reality...that she was gone, by her own choice, and no amount of past love could change that...and that he again was at the same crossroad he faced when on that island.  Quit, or wait to see, "...what the tide might bring...", as he says in the movie.

Our lives are like this as well.  Whether it is a past we desperately want to hold onto, or a dream we just do not want to let go of, or a vision of how we hoped things might be, one day, we all have arrived at these crossroads in our lives.  Truth is, we likely do this several times in our lifetimes, how we handle these, often shape who we are, or who we become.

For me, the crossroads have been many, but as I said at the start of this long rambling dribble, I am a simple man, and how these crossroads impact my life is also quite simple.  I keep looking forward, I keep my eyes on the horizon, I do not stop believing in a, '...one day...' where find what I keep alive in my heart.

So whether it be a physical journey we are on, a mental handhold we keep a grip on, or merely a belief if what may seem improbable, keep looking forward and do not miss that changing tide that might deliver you to your hopes one day.

I know I will never stop.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Why Are We Surprised When We Get What We Get

You cannot have a garden if you simply plow the field and yet never water, nor plant any seed.

No matter how mighty the river, it will run dry if there is no rain.

The ship might be majestic with sails as tall as the sky, but without the wind to push them, that ship will never sail the seas.

And a friendship, if not equally filled from both sides, will sit unmoving like a see-saw with but one friend sitting, u till that one friend tires and moves on.

Monday, November 14, 2016

I Know I Said I'm Okay...But I'm Not...And Yet I Am

It's almost impossible for me to form coherent thoughts at some moments.  The pain I am enduring...am I really enduring if I'm just barely surviving it...it is so bad that I am nearly overwhelmed.

Like being in a small boat in a raging storm, the waves crashing over, threatening to send me into the dark deeps. I bury my head in my hands and sob at times, but even that hurts so much...my chest heaves as I am wracked with unrelenting assaults of sharp fiery pain bursting up from my lower back, piercing up into my shoulders and neck. Then the throbbing and radiating lightning surges into my hips and upper legs.

Everyday...every hour...every minute...every second...every eternity, they are the same.

I hate when I whine...everyone has their own burden...I record this here only so that I do not scream it aloud.  I do not seek pity, nor do I pity myself. I simply need a place to say what I feel and not fear saying it.

Many of you know that I, like many people, rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10. This is the way that they have you do it and it's makes sense for most people. I have not had a day below an 8 for longer than I can remember. Most days the pain averages between 8.5 and 9 (that's on pain meds), that's just the way it is and according to the specialists, it will only get worse as the years roll on.

However, pain is relative to the person.  I will be the first to say that just because what I can endure on a daily basis is 'X', it means nothing and makes no difference in what another person can endure in their daily life. It's not about the number, it's about how the person living that number, copes with that number.  I've always striven to manage my pain gracefully and I want to believe I've done so, but it is hard, very hard.  

I need to know I'm not alone, I need to hear...I don't know what to call it...comfort maybe, even that's not quite it.  I think it's more like, "you're not alone", or "I'm here and I'm with you."  What I don't want and don't need is isolation.  

Imagine yourself in a hallway that is gradually getting narrower and narrower.  Then put yourself in a reality where you know you have to walk forward in that hallway, no matter what.  The feeling of dread, knowing there will come a time when those walls are are so tight against you that they threaten to squeeze the life from you...do you want to walk that hallway in isolation, alone with those fears and the knowledge that those walls are coming?  Hell no! Yet that's what I fear...that's what I dread.  

I've seen so many "friends" drift away because they simply do not know how to be a friend to a person who is in constant pain.  They feel helpless to help me, but what they fail re realize is that I do not need them to help fix me...I just need them to care...but hey, everyone has their own overwhelming fight, so I've no corner in that market.  I mean, how can you care about another persons burdens when you yourself are just making it day to day.  That takes love, that takes seeing that other person as worth your time...not an easy task when you feel you've only room for yourself and your struggles.  I understand, don't worry about it...be well and take care of yourself.

As for me, I will strive to continue to care about others more than I care about my own trials.  That's not easy to do, but I've always tried to do so and will continue to do so.  Thank you for letting me vent some...now it's back to work for me...my hallway awaits.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Doors

We use them every day, they're everywhere we turn and we take them for granted…doors are everywhere. My life has been filled with doors, some that opened and some that closed. Some doors look like they open, but they are really facades, while other doors are right before us and we never even see them.

These doors are obviously euphemisms for the different challenges and opportunities that face us in our lives…that I have faced in my life. Sometimes I think I've handled those choices well and then at other times, I look back and I wonder if perhaps I made the wrong decisions. Regardless, those choices have been made, those roads have been traveled, and those doors of either good or bad have been used or missed.

Please do not misunderstand me, I still believe that there are many doors yet to be passed through in my life. I have doors that I dream of still opening, doors that I lament never having chosen, and hope for the opportunity to choose them in the future. That said, the doors that I have already gone through I cannot lament because they have brought me to where I am now. 

The simple truth is, I would not be the man that I am today, were it not for the things that have occurred in my life up to this time. Some might say that I might've turned out to be a better person had I chosen certain doors as opposed to the ones I did chose...to this I would have to say, perhaps so, but one can't speculate on what one cannot see.

There are times we are given the opportunity, in hindsight, to see what might have been. We encounter people from our past, we see the outcomes of choices made by people that would have been us, had we made that choice at that time. Though chaos would tell us that, what we see, is not always what might have been. However in that same vein, chaos can also tell us that the bad that happened with choosing one door might not have been so, with another door. 

Every action, every decision, every indecision, and every hesitance has its own consequences. Just because I walk through One door and encounter a lion does not then suggest that every door potentially chosen at that time would also leave me confronting the same beast. And the same is true for you!

Had I not chosen to do the things that I did that led to me falling and breaking my back decades ago, I would not have the children that I so dearly love now. Had I not fallen and had taken the one-way trip to New York that I had planned for, unlike find myself sitting here writing something entirely different in a house with an entirely different one and an entirely different life...but I did fall and because of that the door was closed. It was a door closed by someone else,but nonetheless, the door closed.

Now, here I am, 30 years later, and the man that I am, I am happy to be! I'm not saying I do not have regrets, I'm not saying that I do not have fears, I am not saying that I am perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but what I am saying is that I have come through the doors that have lead me to now and I choose to be happy, because this where I am.

What doors will I find in the fall and winter of my life? I have absolutely no idea. I have hopes, still...I have dreams, still...and I believe in the, "one day", that might someday come my way. However those are unknowns and sometimes those doors cannot be opened alone, so until then, I must wait enjoy the life I have before me and make the most of what I have and then we will see.

Maybe I'll see you at the door someday…or maybe I won't...that's YOUR door to deal with.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Fight Goes On

Well today is a better day.

If I were to say that I never have down days, meaning days where I feel sad and depressed by the pain and feeling like there's no hope and no future, no good out there for me…well, that would be a bald face lie. Now as you can plainly see, I do not have a bald face, so that's just not an option for me. ;-)

What I can say is this, down days/negative days are such a rarity for me that it feels like being in a strange place with no points of reference and no ability to tell up from down, right from left, and that's a scary place.

Add to that the fact that yesterday I was feeling quite sick and that became the perfect storm for me. Now, I want to be really, really clear...my negative days have never turned me towards self-destructive thoughts, only to despair, emptiness, and the feeling of hopelessness…which is so much better, of course.

Now I know that some of you are frowning thinking, "how can you joke about something like that", and when the day comes that you can walk a mile in my shoes I will welcome your criticism, but you know what…I have to laugh at it sometimes...I have to find humor in my dilemma or it will overwhelm me completely. I know it's not an easy thing to grasp, but that's OK because I'd rather you never, ever have to wrestle with what I wrestle with on a daily basis.

All that said, I know that in comparison to what some people in this world go through, my issues are trivial if not laughable in their perspective and you know what, I respect the hell out of those people for what they deal with and deal with with a smile on their faces. However I think they, as well, would tell you that those smiles do not come without paying the price of knowing the other extreme.

My dad used to say, "...you cannot have a one ended stick...", meaning to say you cannot have a right without a left, an up without a down, and a good without a bad. If you want to be able to revel in the good days you have to be able to wrestle with the bad days. I love my life! Pain is just pain in his long as I can remember that thin no matter what happens, no matter how hard things get, I'll still be able to smile and find the Silverlining with every dark cloud.

Many of you have sent your wishes of well-being, positive thoughts, and encouragement…I want you to know that those are greatly appreciated and I notice every single one. Though I am no longer the religious man that I was at one point in my life, I do know that there are many examples for our benefit that show that one man can never stand alone. That there should and will always be a need for those beside him or her, to lift up their arms to give them support so that they can make it through whatever it is that they face.

I'm not a quitter and I will never stop fighting!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Lynndora's Box

Typically I love mornings, but there are times the mornings are not my best time. 

I find that in the mornings that I wake up and my pain level is extremely high (like it is this morning), I have a very difficult time getting the monster back inside the box, so to speak.

They say that having a good cry sometimes can be very therapeutic, well I guess that can be true, but it's hard for me. I don't want to bring down those near me… I don't want to be a burden when I know there's plenty of burdens to go around.

I think I do a damn good job of managing my pain and not letting it manifests itself in my behavior towards others. However when I wake up like I did today, my defenses are down and I feel so alone, hopeless. I have a difficult time seeing any light at the end of any tunnel.

Fortunately for me those moments are very very transient and I am able to realize, to rationalize, that there is always hope and I'm never really alone in the struggle that I face daily. I know that this pain I endure, barring some breakthrough in neural science, will always be with me and in fact will (and has, as the physicians foretold in NYC) only get worse as I get older.

Sooooo, as I move through this life, I must stay positive, keep myself optimistic and always look for the 'Silver Linings' of life. For the darkness, dispair, and minions of hopelessness are never far from me and should I stop swimming against their current, I will be swept out to sea  with no hope of rescue. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

I Am A Liar...

I hate to admit that this is often true...why? Because 8 out of 11 people truly do not understand. Some do.

But I must be permitted this one lie.

It would be unfair, for the burden is mine to bear and I will never wish it on another...to labor for the next breath through the crushing pain that envelopes like a vice...who would wish to share in that?

Sometimes I wish it done.