Friday, June 30, 2017


Remember? Remember when that thing happened and the stuff in your lungs was replaced with thick fire? Each right cross pang catching you chestwise

breaking lines in your
nights of nightlessness

That one time you considered harm. It was something you floated in, no sign of land. Lost seas of midnight. You gave up. You died. You came back. You blinked. You slept.

And one day, against the plan, you laughed.

You shrugged it off because you remembered to be sad. Find the rut, climb back in. It's shaped like you, after all, and cold and hard and that's what you get. Dinners are made, somehow. Work. Thanks for showing up today. Very small things transpire.

And, like an unwatched kettle, it happens.

A different place. A new time. Words like 'chapter.' Laughing and crying take turns having their way with you. The trees change clothes and some summer night you see that the stars never stopped migrating. It all keeps going, and your not the center after all, not always.

Spring has become summer, my friends. Let's raise a glass to change. We're still alive to experience it. That's something. May the changes happening with you now be ones you can acknowledge and appreciate.

And you know what?

I hope they are fucking awesome.

Perfect musical accompaniment, courtesy of someone who gets it.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

We're Expecting

We all have them, and we love to feel smart by convincing ourselves we shouldn't or (better) eschew them for flexible happiness. But it's silly. Of course we do. Of course we wield them like children. Some are healthy and essential for the day-to-day.  But we are spoiled, as a culture, a species, as individual bits of grumpy dust. Give us an inch, and we expect to be promised a mile with dividends. We are not a happy lot. Meet our expectations, as we are content not happy, content. Did we not plan for them to be met? Even Steven. Many of us are fortunate enough to have food, air, shelter, pleasure even, as though all of this is some kind of payout for a bet well won.

But it isn't, and we didn't.

Each thing - a step, a smile, a meal, a kiss - these things are bonuses. Boons! For we were promised nada. No legally binding blood oaths for a stretch to live long and prosper. An aneurysm, while running. Peaceful in your sleep. The unfortunate target of dark alley random selection. It's all fair game. Tragic, yes, but only because of the accepted expectation that this will not, should not happen. We have been promised nothing, and each breath, is a gift given by *insert belief here*. Somewhere in the next town over, someone has just been hit by a car crossing the street to visit a friend, a brother, a lover. He or she, in an instant, will never walk again. Life is changed forever. For your feelings of inadequacy, bad luck, what have you; that person would give anything....anything to be able to be in your shoes, if even for a day.

I forget this all the time.

Big things. Small things. I truly believe that a major key to being happy on a regular basis is not to abandon expectations, but to manage them the way we do all the things, manage them with common sense, perspective, compassion, and emotional intelligence. Try to avoid the deficit perspective - seeing your situation and taking special note of all that is missing. That is I. That is what I have struggled with for years. It comes from a shadowy place I continue to explore. What in the world would I do if I found myself happy?

So,  here and now, I'm making yet another renewed pledge to stop looking for problems, appreciate what I experience, and do my best to move forward in love and respect for all of it, including me.

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not seek answers, which cannot be given you, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything."

~ Rainer Maria Rilke 
from Letters to a Young Poet (trans. Stephen Mitchell)