Take Care or Soldier On

Daily Prompt:

When you’re unwell, do you allow others to take care of you, or do you prefer to soldier on alone? What does it take for you to ask for help?

Take Care

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10,000 Spoons or Oh The Irony!

Daily Prompt:

10,000 Spoons

…When all you need is a knife might not be ironic, but it is unfortunate. Add your own verse, stanza, or story of badly-timed annoyance to Alanis Morissette’s classic.

 

Ok so to be truthful, I really liked the Alanis song referenced in the prompt.  She had a very raw sound that was representative of the angst of the 1990’s.  However, what is ironic about that song is that absolutely nothing she says is technically ironic.  But I digress.

My favorite ironic phrase has to be, Si vis pacem, para bellum or more commonly known as, to have peace, prepare for war.  That statement in any language is truly ironic.  Let’s look at that statement a little deeper shall we.

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For any of us old enough to remember the cold war, this statement was used frequently to explain the arms race we lived in.  Politicians would say that in order to live in peace we need to have the biggest arsenal.  Each day we competed with Russia to see who could make the biggest bomb or who could have the most submarines.  And guess what, we really never had a “war”.  So I guess it worked right?

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Wrong! Peace is not the absence of war or violence.  We were never “at Peace”, we were simply not using the weapons we had.  The news was constantly telling us someones finger was on the red button.  Everyday we were another day closer to total nuclear destruction.  Would you call that peace?

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Peace will only come when we realize that being the last man standing means you are totally alone.  At least the kind of peace we seemed to envision.  I mean to be realistic if we don’t want manmade war on Earth, then the simple solution is no more mankind.

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Our peace needs to come from a mutual understanding of each other. Once things like religion, nationalism, xenophobia, sexism, racism and fear are gone, then we can truly prepare for peace and not war.

 

10,000 Spoons

Because the Night or I Am a Solar Powered Night Owl

Daily Prompt: Are you a night owl or are you the early bird? What’s your most productive time of day? When do you do your best work?

This one of those questions I find completely unfair.  Frankly speaking I tend to be both.  When all things are well I am an insufferable morning person.  I wake up quickly and completely.  No morning fog in my head.  I can jump from the bed into a full morning easily.

I love the sunshine, and can get really down and out when the skies are gray for days or weeks on end.  I can handle cold provided the sun is overhead.  I really feel recharged by a bright sunny day.  When the sun is up I feel ready for physical labor.  Working in the yard, painting, woodworking anything that uses my tactile senses.

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I also love the night.  I am fascinated by the stars and planets.  I love total darkness for sleeping.  I grew up in the rural areas of TN where the stars are much more visible than the cities.  Street lights were uncommon and with no major cities one could see thousands of stars.  I find the night is when I do my best thinking.  A calm cool night leads me to want to draw or read.  I like to stimulate my mind in the evenings.

Dark sky

I guess I am bias, but I have read that the terms, “morning person and Night Owl” are completely made up terms.  Meaning that we tend to believe we are one way or the other.  And as such we self validate our beliefs.  I grew up feeling and believing that whatever time of day it is was the time to be our best.

Thanks for reading my brain droppings today.

Because the Night

Third Rate Romance or Meet the Parents

Tell us your funniest relationship disaster story.

 

Well the relationship wasn’t and still isn’t a disaster.  But I definitely think this story is quite possibly the funniest story I can share.

It is 2001 my then girlfriend is pregnant with our first child.  We decided that our current home in south Florida was no place to raise a family.  Her parents had recently moved to SC in the greater Charlotte area.  I had some loose ends to tie up so she moved several months ahead of me.

I had made arrangements to visit her and to do some job research and find a place to stay.  As I drove to South Carolina from Florida, it occurred to me that I had never met her parents before.  And now I was on my way to spend a few days with her (and them).  In typical fashion I had left directly from work and drove overnight to maximize my time off from work.

Now, many of you may recognize the title of my post.  I borrowed that title from the 2000 comedy movie featuring Ben Stiller.  And there is good reason for this.  My Father-In-Law is retired special forces.  A military man with a history in counter terrorism and Urban Warfare.  He is also a highly ranked sniper.

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These thoughts kept me quite tense as I drove the 10 hours from Ft. Lauderdale to Charlotte.  Added was the lack of sleep and general excitement about seeing her again.

I pulled into the gated community feeling very out of place.  A slowly drove to the address she had given me.  I was met by my very pregnant girlfriend.  Her mother was as kind and friendly as could be.  Her dad was extremely quiet. ( a trait I would find later that had nothing to do with me or the situation)  I was offered a beer and asked to join the family in the pool room.

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I was glad to see my future Father-In-Law took his beer in a bottle.  i was never a fan of canned beer.  He drank what i considered the expensive stuff.  And was thankful for a beer after such a long and nerve wracking drive.

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Mike is a DIY kind of guy and was eager to show off not only the brand new pool table but also the hand made bar and corner tables he had added to the pool room.  Everything was done in natural woods and the table was a beautiful regulation sized table.  A gift more for my Mother-In-Law, than for Mike.  I was quite groggy and tired but decided to make sure to be gracious and interact with the parents of the woman who was soon to have my child.

did i mention this is the first time I met them?  Did I mention she was now very pregnant?  Did I mention we were not married?

The pool room was very nicely done.  The back had been turned into a proper bar.  A TV was positioned in the corner just like a sports bar.  The tables were all a very lovely wood, meticulously stained.  I placed my bottle of expensive beer in the back corner of the table.  The table was shaped like a piece of pie to perfectly join with the 90 degree bend of the wall.  I made sure to place the beer on a coaster as not to mar the newly done wood.

My Mother-In-Law bussied herself with the pool table.  Racking the colorful balls and preparing her pool cue.  I at last was feeling relaxed.  Just good people who enjoy some of the same things I enjoy.  Good beer, good pool, good company and good craftsmanship.  I dared to breathe a little easier.  I leaned my elbow on the table to discover that while the cuts and staining had been made, the tables had only been set up that week.  They were not attached to the bases underneath.

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In what I can only describe as slow motion hell I watched as the beer catapulted it’s was across the room to land squarely on the pool table.  It showered the wooden table, wooden floors and pool table with it’s expensive contents.   In addition i was aware of the side table rotating in a similar fashion as it crashed loudly to the floor below.

I stood in silence.  I was stunned to silence.  I surveyed the mess I had made of the new pool room, table, and pool table.

I tell the story after 13 years of marriage.  My wife’s family is very much my family.  From time to time we relive that story and all laugh at the true ridiculous nature of it all.  My father-in-law never did shoot me, or have his CIA buddies run a background check.  The beer cleaned up completely and the pool table was fine.

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But for a brief moment I felt the pain of Ben Stiller as he sat at the dinner table being interrogated by Jack, his future father-in-law.

Third Rate Romance

Flawed or How The Hell Do You Trust Anyone?

I’m not sure if this is the easiest or hardest post to date.  I am generally a self loathing person.  Hey at least a lack of honesty isn’t one of my typical flaws.  But being a self loathing kind of guy means I see many flaws in myself.  So picking just one to promote can be tougher than you might think.

However, out of all the myriad flaws I have one that seems to frustrate me more than most. Cynicism

cynicism

cyn·i·cism
ˈsinəˌsizəm/
noun
1.
an inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest; skepticism.
Now several philosophers would tell you being a cynic is a good thing.  Indeed it can keep you from harmful people.  But it also robs you of a great deal of joy.  Being cynical can lead to major distrust of humanity. (as I write this i feel like I should justify why being a cynic is smart, but I came to bury Caesar, not praise him)
When you become overly cynical you fail to see the decency in others.  In fact you come to believe that there is little decency in people to begin with. As I grow older and perhaps a bit wiser I have made it a goal to seek the good in others.  Not only to find the diamond in the rough, but appreciate the rough for what it is.  Recently I have opened up to people.  And have found deeper meaning in my relationships as a whole.
Being cynical can save you much in the way of disappointment, but it can cost you more in the loss of opportunities to see the beauty in a flawed world.
cynic

Extra! Extra! Read all about it. AKA Press It

Today’s writing exercise is meant to expand our reading awareness and perhaps open us up to a new world.  Our objective is to read three blogs and post which ones we read and why we enjoyed them.  Below are three favorites.

https://intuitionrising.wordpress.com/

Intuition rising is a blog by a dear friend of mine.  Yes I am certain I am bias, but it is my blog so i can do what I want.  Intuition Rising, to me, is a heartfelt and very real journal of a young woman making huge leaps in self discovery and expression.  Her writing is very energetic and shows the youthful energies she embodies.  I highly recommend her blog.

https://tericarter.wordpress.com/

Teri’s blog was a new find for me.  She writes in a very down to earth and emotional way.  Her recent story on the passing of her mother and how things never go the way we expect them to, was especially close to my heart.  She explores a lot of the feelings and emotions I think we all have.  she makes it obtainable and ready to read.  Definitely should check her out.

https://crashcoursedummy.wordpress.com/

This blog is full of short essays and off the cuff poetry.  Thought provoking and whimsical at the same time.  I like the quick reads for inspiration or just to get my own thoughts jumping.  Worth the time to follow.

 

 

 

Everybody want’s to Rule the World….Except for me.

So I can change one thing in the universe.  Just one thing?  Is this the part where I wish for more wishes?  Ok perhaps not, but I think with one change I can fix more than you think.

It really is quite simple.  No more fear.  I have completely removed fear from everything and everyone.  Fear is the root of all evil.  Not money, not sex, not food.  Fear.  Fear motivates the worst in people.  Fear of being alone makes us self loathe and make bad relationship choices.  Fear of death makes us cling to life without ever really living.  Fear of hunger makes us glutenous. Fear of loss keeps us from seeking what we need or even appreciating what we already have.  Fear of God makes us fear those who don’t fear our God.  Fear of the unknown makes us fear everything we don’t fully understand.  gandhi-fear

With fear gone people begin to see each other as they are.  With no fear friendships and relationships blossom in total honesty.  Without fear religions begin to share their ultimate truths with each other.  Without fear nations dissolve and become global communities.  Without fear we can honestly and faithfully look to the horizons instead of the past.

Fear consumes so much of our lives.  If we are to live fully, we must live bravely.

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If I Ruled the World

Life Line – More than a destination

After the initial take off jitters, the flight settles into it’s typical fashion.  The jet engines cause a deep but muted rumble in the cabin.  The air is filled with the scents and sounds of mass travel.  Beside me sits a rather unassuming woman.  She is dressed in what one may consider typical travel clothes.

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She stares at me for what seems ages before she speaks.  Softly she begins to tell me that she is a palm reader.  And insists that she should read my fortune.  After a bit of polite refusal her insistence wins me over.   After all, what is the harm in letting someone practice her beliefs.  It costs me nothing and may even help to kill the time.

She takes my hand and intently stares at the lines that hold my future.  Her expression is focused.  She continues to examine my hand as a detective at a crime scene looks for clues.  Hery gaze hardens a bit and she raises her eyes from my hand to my face.

She stares at my face with a most curious expression.  After another awkward moment that feels like an eternity she begins to speak.

“The reading is done”, she says with a somewhat dower expression.

“And what did you see?”, I asked.

“Do you really want to know?”, she replied.

A flash of embarrassment and fear causes my face to warm as I sip a room temperature soda from the airline hostess.

“Well sure”, I say with a slight tremble in my voice.

Her expression softens a bit as she pushes herself up further in her seat.

“I saw your future”, she says, very plainly.

“Great”, I exclaimed with a bit too much enthusiasm, tipping my hand that I am suddenly nervous.

Her expression softens more, until a slight smile is noticeable.

“You don’t put too much in to faith or destiny do you?”, she asked.

“Well, no not really”, I stammered as I tried to remain polite while anxiously awaiting her divination.

Her smile slipped away from her lips and seem to show more of a melancholy.  She sipped her water and turned her eyes to the window.  Sunset has turned the clouds a soft pink.  They whipped by us at incredible speeds.

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Without turning back to me she begins to speak.

“I have some bad news for you”, she whispers. “your future is entirely up to you.”

As her words reach me, I can feel the crushing weight of their meaning. My future, like everyone else’s, is as much an action as it is an accident.  I can say that the way things have gone and the way things are going are not my fault.  However, for as much they are the choices and actions of others I am equally responsible.

I thank her with a shaky voice and decide to slip in my earbuds for some music.  But as I close my eyes and listen I can still feel her words pressing on my heart.  Our airline slips through the evening sky taking us to the same place, but separate destinations.

 

Life Line

Sweet Child of Mine

I picked that title because of a GNR song about “her hair reminds me of a warm safe place, where as a child i’d hide”  I was prompted to write about a place where, as a child, I felt safe.   I immediately thought of an old tree nestles in the mountains behind my house.

My younger years were spent in a small village in the mountains of TN.  A village that still to this day seems stuck in time.  A place most people will never know about or even care.  But this was my humble home.  I mountain village of less than 2000 people.  A land where you can quite literally stand among the clouds.

Our home stood on a hillside. A large  house of aging wood and stone masonry.  The old stone flower beds brimmed with wild flowers and a large cypress tree.  Immediately behind our home the woods stretched onwards and upwards for miles.  It was these woods I would spend most of my time in.  As you ventured into the woods a babbling brook divided the “lawn” from the unruly forest.  A small landing of sand and rock gave me a spot to sit and think.

Above this island was a large and rather old oak tree that jutted awkwardly from the steep hillside.  erosion had worn away the soil and left its large gnarled roots exposed.  The roots snaked downwards, desperately seeking the earth.  And in their chaotic search to reconnect with mother earth, there was a child sized cave.  Using wire from a long forgotten fence and bark from a fallen tree, I created a camouflaged blind.tree

When times were tough or I just wanted to be alone, I would crawl inside my blind and quietly watch as the world went by.  Sunlight filtered through the trees and danced on the shady floor.   Birds flew to and fro in search of their next meal.  Squirrels chittered as they ran from tree to tree.  The smell of fresh loamy earth would bring a calm and peace. In that tree I felt safe.  Safer than any other time or place.