Thursday, September 27, 2012

Being Me

I have had two days off work. The time spent has been both relaxing and thought provoking. I woke up this morning a couple hours early after a long nights sleep and worked around the house in the quiet getting ready for my week. Thursdays have now become my Mondays and all the various things that need to be done after a weekend are now in order and settled. The laundry is complete and put away. All the clothes are folded or hung up and each pair of shoes is back in their respective boxes in the closet. I feel that things are squared away and I am ready for what is certainly going to be a busy six days of work. There is so much to do and so little time to accomplish it all.

The thought that came to me in the shower this morning was nothing incredibly profound but as I woke up and scrubbed the sleep off of my face, I reflected back on all the different "Me's" I have been over the years. The little kid in preschool and elementary school. The boy at summer camp each year. The pastors kid at church. The 'growing up too quick' guy in middle school and the teenager I was in high school. The sports teams, different churches, circles of friends, early college years and different jobs that I have worked. My time served in the Navy, from boot camp, BESS and A-school, to the different duty stations and boats. Who I was and the man I have become when I finished my contract and received my discharge. The guy that came back to Kansas City. The person I was when I lived in Charleston, SC or Chicago, IL. All the different spaces and places I have lived in and the hundreds, if not thousands, of people I have met over the course of these three decades.

All these various people met and knew me. We all shared things in common despite all of our differences. Our lives rubbed shoulders and the activities, words and hours shared helped us to define ourselves and each other. We all received and traded parts of ourselves and in that exchange learned about each other and struggled to define just who we were, who we wanted to be and who we could be.

If we went back to all those different places and had the time to meet again all of the different people that knew us "back when", I wonder what that would look like? The changes and choices we have all made have grown us up into different people now, but in many ways, that same spark or energy that illustrates or illuminates us as people, as individuals, is still there. Time, years and life change us all, to be sure, but we are still ourselves. We just expand, grow and adapt to what we know about ourselves, each other and what we seek as important at those times in our lives help frame the picture of who we were and who we are now.

What would all those people say? If I could ask them, or someone could ask for me, who would they say Daemon was? Who is he? Could they fit that into a sentence? What has their experience been? Was I a good person? What was the best thing about me? What would you have told me then but never did? What would they tell me now?

The funny thing about time never stops. It keeps moving us all, each day, slowly into the future. I have seen myself the elusive and slippery quality that time can have. As I age, things do seem to be speeding up. Months turn into years and before we know it, so much time has passed us by. People, relationships, community and friendships can be the same way at times. We share the moments we have together. Some stick around, due to the nature of the relationships, friendships, family, choices and circumstances we share, but eventually we all pass each other by. The impressions and pictures we leave with those barely known can look vastly different than the daily journey that some of us share together over the years. The subtle changes don't seem as drastic or as altering when spread out over a long period of time, but for those who haven't crossed paths in years or decades, sometimes the effect of time, aging, life and maturity can be shocking.

I woke up as myself today. I have done so for the entirety of my life. I hope to do the same tomorrow. But this me is different than the one yesterday. I am just too close to it all to see the minute changes. What Me am I now? What Me am I becoming? What Me will people see today? Which Me will they remember long after we both have gone our own ways?

The best one possible, if I have anything to do with it.


Monday, September 24, 2012

A Toy Train in Space

I ran across this today and wanted to share the smile it brought me. Takes me back to the projects my Dad and I used to do together when I was just a kid. It will surely warm your heart and stretch your face. Enjoy! daemon

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Tale of Two Drives

Yesterday morning I found myself ready for work a bit early and considered leaving for work ahead of schedule. I realized I had another cup of coffee I could drink so sat down on my deck and relaxed for a few minutes, gathering my thoughts for the day and making a mental check list of things to do once I arrived in the kitchen. There was dough to be made for pastries, a walk in refrigerator to organize, inventory to me made for a grocery order and the various and sundry things to be done to get ready for a busy weekend at the Hotel.

After sitting and sipping, I finally left at my usual time and started off through my neighborhood for the boulevard to the highway. As I began to turn onto the entrance ramp, two police cars bracketed me and then pulled ahead onto the ramp, blocking my entrance. I slowed to a stop and as I had the top down, asked the officers who exited their vehicles quickly what the problem was. They had turned on their lights and three men were working quickly, setting up a road block and lighting flares. The officer at my car told me that the highway was closed and suggested I find another way to travel east that morning offering no further information. 

I was a bit chuffed, considering I am a creature of habit and pattern, so drove on by and attempted to gain access to the highway from another route further east. Each main road that I tried to enter the highway from was similarly being blocked by officers, cars and flares, so I resigned myself to taking a longer, slower more scenic route to work via the back roads. The radio was off, the top was down and it seemed a million stars were over head on the cool morning drive at 4 am. I wondered what had happened and speculated on what dignitary might be in town to warrant such actions but mainly was concerned that my morning routine had been thwarted and I would be later to arrive at work than had planned. 

Once at work, Christopher from the front desk greeted me at the door and exclaimed that he had been watching the new and had been incredibly worried about me. He had tried to call my cell phone several times during my commute, but as usual for the mornings, my ringer was off and I had not noticed the flashing light as I was driving and lost in thought. We both watched the early morning news and learned that there had been a series of fatal wrecks right along the stretch of highway that I travel to each morning. A fatal car wreck had prompted a MoDOT truck to stop and offer assistance directing traffic. In the darkness and morning hour, that man's truck was hit by another motorist and exploded, bursting into flames and killing the transportation worker. A passing car noticed the fire and called emergency services. When an ambulance and EMT workers arrived on the scene from the west side of the highway, their ambulance was also struck, forced off the road and overturned. The resulting chaos resulted in another wreck and all told, several people died and suffered serious injury.

I missed being there by the space of a few minutes, an extra cup of coffee, a pause to think and also the quick movement and prompt action of the police department in erecting the road blocks which changed my route. It made me think and consider. I count myself fortunate. I am still unsure how I feel about all of that.

In the evening after work and dinner, I decided to unwind and go for a long drive in the country. The air was cool, the sky clear and there was a perfect sunset on the horizon. This has always been one of my favorite times of the day to drive, during what my grandfather always called "the gloaming". The light is golden with hints of color, the wind was blowing with the top down and I turned on some of my favorite music and just motored through the curves. Downshifting and upshifting into each twist and wrap of the road, enjoying the breeze and performance of a car built to be enjoyed. I didn't think much of anything really, just relaxed and pondered on the day and how different these two drives were, almost like parenthesis that bracketed my day. The beginning of it and the end. I found my way back home and went to bed. I am still unsure what I think about all of that but I am thankful to be alive and for the perspective that those two drives gave on my day and on my life.


Friday, September 21, 2012

We All Crave Belonging: The Disillusionment of Community

Having spent much of my life either belonging or attempting to belong to something, the false sense
of community has become glaringly evident. Everywhere you go there are little subcultures attempting to be a community – a collective of like minded individuals in the pursuit of a common goal – or if nothing else, labeling themselves as such…climbing community, psychological community, yoga community, paragliding community, green/sustainable community, co-ops, online community, religious community. The list goes on.

The desire for community is a rich and noble pursuit, but really can an authentic, true community exist? And if it can, why are they so hard to find? We love the idea of community but are often disillusioned by the fairytale.

In every town I’ve been in and in every activity that I’ve played, people yearn for a sense of belonging; crave being a part of something, often compromising themselves to feel connected at all costs. But when the curtain is down and the beers pour heavy, the true feelings show. No one really feels connected or feels as though they belong to a community. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Complaining and hurt feelings for the betrayal within their community is usually what it boils down to. This shows itself by the talking of others behind backs, the tendency not to be able to share openly one’s opinion without causing irreparable damage, the inability to put away the agenda and truly listen to someone else without having to one up them or compare yourself to and the need to see eye to eye with no disagreement.

Combining all the possible 94 definitions of the word community, here’s my summary: a group (two or   more) united by a common goal, interest, struggles, risks, and beliefs that create cohesiveness due to the shared stories paired with a desire to create something better.

Sitting back viewing with an ethnographical lens, the dramatically varied “communities” that I find myself on the periphery, there’s always a breakdown. This breakdown seems to occur because of the desperate need to belong to something. Unfortunately, just because you have the same interest as a handful of others, does not automatically make you a community. A true community takes much more than a shared interest and common goal. Thus the part of the definition stating a desire to create something better comes to fruition. This is the difference between pseudo-community and true community.

A community can’t just exist simply because of a common thread, there has to be active building and nurturing of the group in order for a real community to flourish. This is where the disillusionment begins. We all want to belong but aren’t really willing to put in the work to make a true community. There needs to be community building.

Sense of belonging comes from a fulfillment of needs and a shared emotional connection. In many of the pseudo-communities that I’ve experienced, this is the barrier. Due to the narcissistic nature of the shared, common interest (paragliding, climbing, athletics, etc) individuals aren’t able or willing to put themselves on the back burner long enough to have empathy for or to share in someone else’s experience.

In my narcissism, I’d love to think I was the first to broach this timely topic, but M. Scott Peck, psychiatrist and author has done a brilliant job of it before me. He states that in order for a true community to exist, there are four stages it must go through:

1. Pseudo-community – the stage when individuals pretend to see eye to eye, cover up differences, act nice and pretend that differences don’t exist
2. Chaos – when pseudo-community fails to work and shit hits the fan, people show their true colors, fighting, disagreements and bitterness between members
3. Emptiness – members empty themselves, shedding their ego, dropping the persona, requiring a death of narcissistic, individualistic ways
4. True Community – in empathy with other members of community, able to talk openly in an authentic way about all things sometimes disagreeing but listening and learning together without letting ego get in the way, able to put aside differences to work towards common goal and betterment

Here is my $.02 as to why it is so hard to find a true community, most of the communities we find ourselves in reside somewhere between pseudo-community and chaos. Everyone plays nice to each other, putting their best foot forward, seeming interested in others stories and experiences, but that is where the connection stops. Acting interested is different than being interested; pretending to listen is different than true empathy.

The next challenge is when someone dares to say something that goes against the pseudo-community’s protective peacekeeping defense mechanism. This creates utter emotional mayhem. In the American culture, we don’t like confrontation, we don’t like disagreements, we don’t like to be challenged. So, when someone in your nicey, nice community goes against your belief system, it fucks with your ego and creates chaos. Stubbornness, righteousness and narcissism can be blamed for this inability to hear and empathize with others and puts up a metaphorical blockade.

Rather than leaning into the confrontation, sharing opinions (I know it is shocking, but it is ok to disagree and have different beliefs even in a group of people who like to do the same activity) it’s common to get angry and pout off. This is usually followed by a storm of slandering and whispers behind backs. As a result of not being able to handle the chaos and move on to the next two stages, our communities stop here…dancing between pseudo-community and chaos never making it to the beautiful true community status.

Can’t we all just drop the façade and get along? Even though this was meant solely as a social commentary on recent experiences within communities that I’ve been exposed to lately, it seems to make a lot of sense in the bigger picture. We are all inter-dependent; cities, countries, globally. Letting self-righteousness get in the way stops people and countries from moving beyond differences. We all just want to belong…but in order to, you need to be willing to empathize, be honest, hear honestly and check your ego for once and for all. Does it really always have to do with ego? I guess so.

Homework: Make it a point today to strive for emptiness at least once. It isn’t as scary as it seems. Truly shed your agenda, listen to someone from your heart without thinking of what you will say next, actually empathize with their experience not what your experience is or what you think their experience should be…be a little vulnerable, emotionally get naked. I dare you.

Posted by: amyleecrawford | July 10, 2010

NOTE: A friend sent this to me today (thanks, Adam!) and I am sitting with it and the thoughts and ideas it brings to mind for a while. She really explains well what I too often have felt myself and hold to be true about the groups we belong to, attempt to belong to and the people we surround ourselves with. I wish I could communicate as well. What are your thoughts about this article?

May I please have some more?

Nothing really on my mind. Just waking up, I suppose. Coffee tastes pretty good. Working today till around one in the afternoon. Looks to be a quiet day. I love these cool quiet mornings. Kept waking up randomly in the night, which is strange for me.

As I stepped outside this morning to sit and sip, I had a random thought. "I want more."

Now this wasn't some consumerist, materialistic driven grasping idea about desiring more things, possessions or material wealth. I have been content through life with far less than I own or possess right now. My bills are paid. There is food in the house. Each day I have clean clothes to wear. I have a car I love to drive, a warm and clean place to live in and sleep each night. There are savings growing for a rainy day and retirement. I have a job that I love to do, working with people who make my life richer...

And yet...something seems to be missing. My life has become more simple over the course of this year. There are far less people, groups and activities vying for my time and attention. (whether I miss that or not remains to be seen) Some of this is by my choice and others by the very nature of how time and life passes us all. But, on quiet mornings or during long drives at sunset, I find myself wondering if this is all there is. Is this it? We grow up, attain education and life experiences, participate in life with those we care about, work our vocations and provide for ourselves, some choose to have family and find love in different ways and times, but then what?

It is almost like watching a movie without a soundtrack, something to guide the emotions and inspire us past the threshold of the status quo. Maybe I am just a bit tired of the simple routine of modest success but I find my life less exciting, not as rich or fulfilling as I have in times past.

I don't think there is any major secret eluding me. I know that seasons come and go, not only with others but also ourselves. I am not going to rush this time or ignore the passing subtle emotions that come with it. I think over the course of the next few weeks and days I will reflect on it, sit with it a while, be present to what the universe and life may be telling me, and seek to find and be open to accept these changes and differences that life is bringing me now. Just because things are not as they once were does not mean they are not as rich, good or life filled as the past. They are simply different.

Sometimes it may just be a good lesson to be content with things as they are and not wish away the moment. I know there is more. Its own time will come, as it has in the past. Right now there is this.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Man without a Facebook

I saw this today and laughed. Been thinking about getting rid of my Facebook account for a while now. It does seem to be the antithesis of who I used to be.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The birth

I watched this as I drank my coffee this morning and thought to myself. Someone, somewhere, is doing it the hard way. They are taking the steps to ensure the finest quality, detailed craftsmanship and putting their heart and soul into the work that they do. Some may build tools. Others may create ideas or art. They help people, practice medicine or serve others. Each of us searches for and has our place, our own purpose. That niche that is found when our driving passion meets and intersects our true potential and all is right with our world.

I found this idea and hope both soothing and inspiring. We each are fashioning our lives with each choice, word, action and idea that we live out. What is the time, effort and attention to detail of our own lives producing? Do we care? Do I care to do my very best?

I hope to.

I hope you do to.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Conversation with my Dad

I woke up thirty minutes before my alarm today, give or take, so I find myself with a bit of free time before work to share some thoughts that are popping into my head before I take off to cook. This may be a bit disjointed, but I believe most people who read here are more than getting used to that.

Yesterday, after work, I had a long conversation with my Dad. It really helped me get a mind wrap around many of the things that I am facing in life right now and puzzling over. It started off normally, for us, that is. I broached the concept and question of each civilization during its epoch or pinnacle of greatness only being able to sustain its standard of technology and progress as long as its internal infrastructure and social support structures were intact. When these begin to crumble, so does its level of attainment or achievement, ending in some type of decay, then dissolving to its lowest common denominator in order to produce a base standard of existence. The whole cycle starts again and we see the rise and fall of another civilization. (Believe me when I say this is completely normal conversation for us to fall into while watching a horrible game performance by the Kansas City Chiefs. We are just a strange breed, my family.)

I was speaking directly about technology and its contribution to the last 150 years of known human history and the change it has wrought in our daily lives, singularly and corporately, but our conversation and communication then took a turn towards the metaphorical, spiritual and intellectual. I will not go into great lengths about what we discussed, but we certainly touched on some broad themes that I have been exploring internally and it was encouraging to know that I am not alone in my own personal examination of life and where I fit in, particularly when it comes to matter of faith, citizenship, education and politics. My Dad has been on much the same journey over these last ten years himself.

We share much in common besides our own familial DNA, so much so that I am bound by time to say that it is intriguing to me, how two men, separated in so many respects by our mutual divergent and convergent personal histories, can arrive at many of the same conclusions after personal introspection, research and examination. Our agreement we find, while not ensuring that we are by any means correct, at least shows that the varied thoughts we have about history, science, education, life, faith, family and personal choices still follow a pattern recognizable to each other and we can communicate about such similarities and differences with a mutual respect and insatiable curiosity for our own truth, as it were.

What we discussed, though important to us, and possibly enlightening to others, is not what my mind is drawn to this morning, but rather the friendship and connection we have as family. as father and son, as friends and as men. I am continually amazed and thankful often for the relationship we have built over all of these years. I was prompted by a friend, who also reads here, to continue a follow up on my Dad and his life, as I started one day, and I think that is a good idea that I need to follow through on. "Write what you know" has always served me as good advice. Anyway, my Dad is on my mind and I love him and respect him for who he is and all he has done. I can honestly say we have grown up and grown together since I returned from the Navy and while none of it has been easy, it certainly has been rewarding and enriching. I know many of my friends who cannot say the same of their fathers, so thanks Dad. I love you and always look forward to spending time together and solving all of the worlds problems another one of our long conversations that I am sure sounds like a crazy argument and fight to anyone who does not know us well. :)

The other thing that ran across my mind as I was making my coffee was circles of friends, people groups, or the different spheres of individuals who make up all the compartments and overlapping circles of our lives. I am now running out of time but this is something that is currently changing in my life. There is of course the circle that included my last relationship, his friends, our friends, our mutual friends and the other couples we spent time with. Those tend to change, fade and dissolve when the relationships ends. Then there are the groups of people at the two churches I had spent time with over the last 5 years. As my presence is no longer with them, also too the bonds of time shared, communication and activity cease. What I do in my free time is also shifting slowly and I find myself no longer spending much time at the clubs, bars and restaurants owned by my different friends here in the city. The things we held in common are slowly shifting and I see less of them, as I choose to fill my time with other productive pursuits that do not revolve around the social scene and community involvement.

Everything is changing. Everything does change. It just seems that much of it is happening more quickly, almost as if time is being compressed and my daily and weekly life appears much different to me now. The faces are not the same. The places are not the same. Nothing is the same. What this transition is, I am not sure, but I know it is a natural part of life. We all grow in different directions and I feel being able to let go of the past, while preserving the lessons learned and the friendships worth keeping, is part of maturing and intentional selective living.

That is all I have time for. I need to get some more coffee in me and hit the shower. Today is my "Friday" and after today, I will enjoy two days off. Hopefully I can get back here, as the muse strikes and share whatever else comes to mind. Have a great Monday, wherever and whoever you are. It was a great weekend. I wonder what's in store for today?


PS: The picture is the best one I have ever taken of my father. We were at my coffee shop and I was able to snap it while he was looking out a window. I am glad I got a capture of him, one of my favorite people, at one of my favorite places. He means the world to me.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Is it immoral to...?

This mornings question on my mind jumps a bit further back philosophically than the half awake musings I shared yesterday morning. I am showered, shaved and dressed for work and decided to get the question down here where I can study it further and also ask for friends and strangers input, if they care to share.

Is it immoral or unethical to expose a child to the religious or faith based teachings of their parents or legal guardians?

I don't have a ready answer of my own, but to be sure, it is certainly preoccupying my mind. I asked a friend this question the other day and we have both been pondering on it. I have had discussions with my Dad about this exact idea and we found each other on opposite ends of the spectrum during our talks, as if often the case. That does not mean the position we argue from is the one we espouse, but rather, it is more productive for two minds to disagree and dissect an idea that it is for two to blithely agree and mutually congratulate each other on arriving at the same conclusion.

My gut reaction to the question, based on my own experiences and thoughts on the matter is to answer in the negative. I believe it is immoral and unethical to expose a new human to organized religion and faith based teachings as a child. It indoctrinates a child into a world in which they have no experience or frame of reference and predicates their continued acceptance, support and affirmation from their family and community structure on the choice of acceptance of the position offered to them as "truth". They did not have an experience of their own that prompted them to seek and ask questions about the meaning of their existence, the possibility of a higher power or any of the other myriad of questions that religion and faith seeks to answer. Rather they were told, instructed and manipulated into accepting whatever their parents and social community believes in order to sustain their quality of life and support the collective belief system.

This is not an easy question, I know. But it strikes more closely to the root of the ideas and thoughts I was thinking and wrestling with yesterday. Doing this to a child sets up all types of scenarios that play out into their future, often with devastating and emotionally scarring results, internally and externally. There are also benefits to be had, for sure, but over all, is this a good thing to do, and if it is not, why do we keep doing this to our children? I certainly cannot put all my thoughts down in the few minutes I have before I leave for work, but I do think it is a good question and will be in my head today.

What are your thoughts?


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hey...let me throw this Iced Coffee on myself!

I am taking a page out of a friends book, so to speak, and am going to endeavor to write a bit each day as I grab the time. He is currently attempting to write with a pattern of consistency in order to curtail or observe his A.D.D. which is a unneeded point of trivia, I realize, as I write this, but so be it. The words have appeared on the screen.

There is nothing quite like spilling a tall glass of perfectly mixed iced coffee on oneself at 3:28 am to wake me to the reality that is my life. I still had to laugh and smile to myself as I washed up a bit before logging on to jot a few things down.

The next thought that occurred to me was that I would like to start writing with a bit more candidness about my past and start the arduous task of walking my way, metaphorically, through the years of my life that have been consigned to the different recesses of my mind, usually for emotionally protective reasons. We all have different coping mechanisms to deal with pain and confusion, and for me, as introspective as I may be at times during the present, have become all too adept at squashing or repressing events and life circumstances that have hurt me.

Bear with me this morning, as my mind is still not functionally awake and I still have drabs and splatters of really cold coffee soaking into my t-shirt. My brain is also making me aware of the fact that I have to pee and get ready to leave for work in exactly 55 minutes, so I am certainly not at my word smithing best.

The thing that popped into my head as I walked down stairs is something that another blogger stirred up in me after he wrote about the IFB church movement. His name is John Shore and if you care to read his words and collection of ideas, information and links on the matter of toxic Christianity, his blog can be found on the left over there. *gestures vaguely to the left side of the page* I would link it and point it out to you, but I am not awake yet and still really have to go take a leak.

The reality is, I was raised in a evangelical, Independent, fundamental, Baptist home, church and private religious school. I am the son of not only a chemical and mechanical engineer (his real job), but my Dad was also a IFB senior pastor of two different churches. Yes, I am a preachers kid. I want to write about my experiences growing up in that position, but from a raw perspective to try and release, harness or capture what that exactly was like, from all angles, to the best of my recollection and without the rosy, rewriting of my own personal history that I am so prone to do. Okay, screw it, I am going to go piss. Be right back.

Much better.

Anyway, I want to write about how I grew up, as the thoughts and words come to me over time and I at least wanted to get that idea and wish down here, so maybe I will see it and flesh it out at some point. I think part of it was prompted by the dream I had before I woke up, of growing up in the same environment, but allowed to completely be myself, without having to hide and alter my external life due to the beliefs and constraints of such a repressive and socially different culture. My aim will not be to castigate or beat down the well meaning individuals who contributed to my life and education, but to concisely tell and relive what it was truly like growing up in what I believe now to be a strange, almost cultish and bizarre world of belief, Bible and "Christianity". That dream really stirred up some odd memories I had not thought about for many years.

My brain is booting up and now I am going to head to the shower, but I think I got the main ideas down. I don't know where this thread of writing will lead me, but it seems a better start than any. I'll be back after work. It is supposed to be a rainy day, so that will make the writing all the easier, I suppose.


Note: Picture is totally unrelated. I just thought he had a nice ass and am still not awake enough to hunt for a picture that captures whatever the hell it is I wrote here. Have a good day! :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just because he can...

Anchors Aweigh

I guess creativity can come and go, a bit like the weather or our own transient, ever shifting emotional patterns. There are times in my life when it all seems to be flowing in abundance. I find myself writing incessantly in my journal, a lot of time is spent at the piano exploring new music and the days are full and rich with rewarding experiences spent with others. Learning to balance these inner waters is never an easy task but recognizing them for what they are is the first step in finding a center that does not shift.

All to often, when my thoughts turn to daydreams and musings, I find myself reflecting back and locked into the past. Better times and spaces fill my head and I often play that old "what if" game about the choices I have made and the reactions of others towards them. While this can sometimes bring about a certain clarity or lesson learned, many times it is idle speculation that keeps me locked into a pattern of stagnancy. This I believe is where I have been for a few long weeks, if not more. It just took me some time and space to realize it and I have.

As my brain clicked over this morning while waking up, it is almost as if I woke up again to the possibility of being me. Sure, this me, as I am right now looks different and has a new set of circumstances, challenges and opportunities to to grasp, but in the end, I am still the same person that has risen to the task, accepted crushing defeats, forged into the unknown and accomplished the many things that make my own life so storied and me at least. :)

This mornings thoughts, as I brewed coffee and made my bed, turned towards the differences of this year and faces and spaces that are now not the same as they have been. Patterns tend to rule my life and so many of them have changed since the start of this year. Off the top of my head, here are a few.

I am single now and am not actively looking to date anyone. My friendship with my ex-boyfriend has been curtailed due to the emotional confusion and delaying of healing I was experiencing by us both holding onto something that was merely a former shadow of who and what we were. That is a loss. I do think of him often but know that in the long run, this separation and space is sorely needed for the both of us.

My life is not filled with so many of the individuals I used to spend much of my free time with. Over the course of this last year, as I identified the negative and toxic individuals who brought nothing positive to my life, I simply stopped being in their presence. I called them "friends" to be sure, but in the final analysis, they were individuals who were using me and continually bringing strife and chaos to the semblance of order and peace I was trying to maintain personally. This was never really a calculated move on my part, but rather a series of shifts that happened after continuous evaluation of the time spent, resources expended and my own emotional temperature when participating in life together. As I stopped enabling their behavior with my tacit approval of presence, they simply faded to the past. I feel lighter and better for it, but it has also not been without its own sense of loss.

Much of my time over the last few years has been spent actively pursuing relationships and communities with friends and people from the church that I attended. I was pretty active socially in two different groups in my city and was always looking and seeking for something I could not quite define. After many different conversations with myself and searching my own heart and mind on the matter, I found that my beliefs, thoughts, feelings and facts I perceive did not align in any fashion with those groups of people. So I stopped attending their gatherings or spending my own time with the people there. While this has been confusing at times, it has also been a centering and peace bringing choice. I still have friends at both places, but my absence has shown me more about their groups than my presence ever has. To be honest, most have not noticed that I am gone and to date, none have reached out or communicated with me besides the desultory 'like' on Facebook. This radio silence, as it were, speaks volumes about the shallowness of those relationships. I will not speak ill of those guys, as they have added to my life in their own fashion over the years, but "friends" is too strong a word to describe people who never miss you. Getting that confusion and turmoil out of my life has helped clear my mind considerably.

Work takes up much of my time. I love what I do and truly have a passion for cooking and all the productive and creative skills it brings to bear and exercises in my life. It is not without its own challenges and trials, but over all, besides the monetary rewards, it does bring a richness and outlet to my life that keeps me looking forward to each day spent there. I know many others who cannot say the same for their vocation. I do not know how long I might do this, as my career and life path tends to change dramatically every five years or so, but for now, it makes me happy and provides for my needs and wants in a positive way.

In writing this, I realize that most of my life today, is nothing like it was even one short year ago. That is a lot of pattern breaking and shifts to deal with. They did not and do not happen all at once, but the change is undeniable. I think I have been to hard on myself in some ways in not accepting that change can be and is hard, especially for a person such as myself. I never sat down and wrote a list of things to alter in my life. Many of them have been organic and grown out of small choices and ideas found along the way, but in the end, it has been dramatic, though basically drama free.

My life is more simple. Streamlined and clean cut. Each days choices are simple and much of the noise, clutter and confusion that others were contributing is gone. On my painting now is more blank, open canvas. Instead of being in hurry or rush to fill it in with random colors, people and activities, I think I will hoist it as a sail and make headway through the water. Canvas has many uses you know and a painting of the past, hanging on the wall, cannot gather and harness the wind. I am excited, as I should be and once was. I wonder where I am going next? I wonder who will be there? What amazing and exciting things will I see? I am not sure of the answers to any or all of those questions, but I do know I am moving forward again. The un-needed ballast has been lost and I can smell and feel the wind picking up.

I have my happy back. I just had to lose some anchors and mooring lines that were keeping me in port. A ship isn't made to sit at a dock. Cast away lines. The sun is just rising. Hoist canvas. It is time to sail.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Can't write. Nothing to say.

I seem to have lost my voice. My writing voice that is. I am talking about that inner monologue of interior conversation that comes to mind when I sit down to voice a few things that are on the tip of my mind. It is operating to some extent, as I am able to type these words, but as of late, each time I have passed my blog, it seems to hush itself and then reverse its neutrality into some sucking, reality vacuum of ideas and words. It is almost as if anything I do try to think about gets lost into the void, so I keep going and try not to worry about it.

Trying not to worry about a blank spot in your brain is not an easy task. In fact, just writing about it now is making me wonder if there is something wrong with me. I know there are many different things about me now, but I am unable to really put too fine a point on it.

Yesterday, after work, I stopped by the house, changed clothes, grabbed my kite and headed to the park of the Nelson Art Gallery. I had a great drive on the way into the city with the top down and the weather was perfect. I spent the next hour or so, flying my kite and listening to music, just tuning out the world, looking into the sky and enjoying the moment. I did not realize that the lawn had just been watered and mowed, so after a time, my shoes were soaking wet and covered in clipped grass, but I really didn't care. I just flew my kite.

Once I reeled it back to earth and packed up everything I decided to stop by and grab a bite to eat and a drink at a friends restaurant. The usual weekday afternoon suspects were there and I enjoyed a bit of time catching up with the guys as I know that work there and frequent the place. I don't even know why I am writing this so I am going to stop.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I need to write, but lately the words do not seem to be coming to mind. It is not that I have no ideas or thoughts that I could ramble on about. I have sat down a few times, typed out some paragraphs of words and then deleted them without publishing after realizing they were more ramblings about daily events than something of substance to be shared. Our lives have a certain ebb and flow to them, and at the moment, my waters are still and placid. I think I shall enjoy the peace and leave you all to yours.