Category Archives: story

CARPE DIEM….LIVE…LIFE……

“We need UP people. You are an UP person.  I am an UP person.”  She proclaimed with childlike enthusiasm.

IMG_20160221_183515Then, she continued.  “My neighbor on the other hand, she will be outside on the most beautiful day, and when you remark about how gorgeous it is she will find a way to see the negative by saying that it probably will rain tomorrow.”

The draining negativity, the malicious calling others names, and the inability to enjoy life is what both of us agreed were who we wanted to surround ourselves with.

 

“Which one is your favorite?”   I asked after sitting down sitting down looking out at the art exhibit that was on the walls before us.

Often, I hear how difficult it is to open a conversation with someone.  “What do I say?”  That is one of the most common questions.

Instead, I simply ask questions.  After she pointed out the paintings, and photographs, that were the most intriguing (although we mutually liked all of them) I followed up by asking where she was from originally.   That led into a lengthy conversation about her family, her children, and included her mother who lived to be over a 100.

“My doctor said he is going to keep me alive to be a 100.  That is nice, as long IMG_20160215_153859as I have my health, but equally so that I have people to lay with because we need to be connecting with others.”

Each of us was equally shocked when we revealed our ages.  She thought I was somewhere around 30-35, and I thought she was around 60-65 years old.

“I know.”  She smiled. “There is no way you would have ever known that I was 91 years old.”

Her kids, spread out across the nation, all tell her to live and enjoy.  Her son who is a teacher, him himself being in his 60’s, tells her often to “go out and do whatever you like.”

Such great advice no matter the age, simple yet powerful – live!

She does and it shows.   There are no visible signs of wrinkles, she moves about freely without any hesitation or limitation and her mind is completely coherent.

IMG_20160219_182913Living life to its fullest has a unique meaning to each individual person.   We all live, but we are all living our lives a little bit differently.   Each of us our own perspective on how we view the world, and our place in it.   What gives each of our lives’ meaning, it is ours alone to find.

Some may view my time as being wasted as I sat there for what was probably an hour speaking to a woman who I will never see again.  There was no monetary gain to be had nor was there anything either of us wanted from each other.

We simply sat there and enjoyed one another’s company.

“I really enjoyed our conversation.” She expressed as she was leaving to go get ice cream with her two other female companions who came with her to the gathering.   “I really enjoyed connecting.”

There is such beauty in letting go and being present.   I gain so much connecting to others in a genuine authentic way.

It feels good.   And feeling good is, at least for me, what it is all about.

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A Letter to Myself

Dear Me,

In a world of black and white it’s refreshing to see a tint of grey.   While it seems dreamlike these almost 50 years shading much closer to the other side of half a century than anywhere close to what was the birth of the new beginning, it certainly has been real.    How many years were spent in bondage, of the mind, not living free?  How easily it is to be when not really understanding that the breath of life is but a moment away from being taken away.

It is in the realization that out of the darkest of hours we are still here and that cannot be taken for granted as so many have relinquished their time.  And, in this space of Grand Illusion where time itself is at the least, arbitrary, it seems like yesterday was only when. But, now they are but a distant memory with most having faded to black.

You and I?  We have been together all along and yet it has taken so long for me to truly see you, even longer to see you as a friend instead of an adversary.   Finally, I am happy to see you when my eyes are caught gazing into the mirror.

How did we get from there to here?   It has not always been the most blissful as we have had our moments.   But, as surely as the sun does set and rise in the sky how can we not without reflection begin to understand one another. If it were not for that, we may always have been divided.   It is not until we embraced both the darkness and the light that we were able to become one.

Out of the shadows, maybe we can finally say that we have changed.  We are no longer who, or what, we were.   We have consciously may have even grown up a bit, learned a few things along the way, and because of that, felt some remorse for when we hurt one other, or someone else.   To say that it matters not what others think is short sighted, as controlling what others think is one thing, but to be conscious of others opinions is another, because it is our actions that dictate such.   If we are attempting to be better, each and every day, not only as men but as people, then today we have made a few strides in that direction.

There is no excuse for cruelty or causing pain. We know better.  We knew better then, too.   The same for any thought that is not for the higher good for ourselves, or for others, because we do not gain by way of another’s pain.   We can not only coexist, we can love one another unconditionally, as thankfully we have struggled and overcome to finally get to this place of understanding.

We must stop, look back even, and give thanks.   Being appreciative of time for she has blessed us with her presence without fail, is of up most significance.  It cannot go unnoticed the magnitude and privilege it is to be here. Still.  She continues to provide, and yet like you, I have been neglectful.  I have skipped out, let chances pass us by, have not given myself completely to every moment, and in fact, more often than not, moments are but a sacrificial lamb to the beating heart of the awakened state.   Asleep I have been, but walking through days and nights, with eyes wide open but not seeing all that there is to see.   What I, we, have missed out on we will never know what could have been.  All we can do is to be more aware and to be cognitive to the fact that we are here, and to not only be present but to unwrap said present and to open ourselves to an entire world of opportunity.   We still have her here, but she is a love that will not last.  We can neither hold her down, nor tie her up, because she is wild and she is free.  Hers is eternal, as she herself is, while us – we are but a single grain of sand that will, sooner than later, be swept out to the sea.

We can only hope to define her through seconds, hours, days, months, years, but we quite possibly will never be able to fully understand her.  But, we need not understand everything.   It is what it is.  She is as is.  So let us not waste another of her good graces, shall we?

Because truly, we have forgotten, so much and even this very moment, we will most likely forget?  Quite quickly, actually.   Again, it is what it is.  Let us hope that we shared a few glorious enough moments that they are not forgotten.  May the stories come along as we remember back, and smile for having experienced them feeling happy that we did not allow ourselves to be left out of our own book for a lack of living.

How wonderful it is all those that we have met along the way, how many have spent their time with us when they could have so easily gone a different direction?   Their time, she is as valuable to them as she is to us.  Her eternal light, it is a quick burning candle.  It would not be possible for us to have gotten here if it were not for everyone who took their time with us.   It may have been one encounter, but their advice was brilliant and profound or it may have been years that they have given and continue to do so, or they may have come and gone but will stay with us forever more.  We may not think of them daily, but we can and must never overlook their meaning and the purpose they provided.

It is literally immeasurable the number of choices available each and every day to each individual person.  How magnificent and truly remarkable that someone goes out of their way to be here with us?  They could call anyone, and yet they chose to call us?  Really, that is amazingly beautiful.   They drove over to see us, when they could have gone in any number of directions instead, but they did not.  They came to see us, and let us not lose sight of the magnitude of what a miracle that is.

There are currently 7.5 billion people on this Earth?  How does anyone find us?  We may have run into them in the most unexpected of ways, but we did run into them, and somehow they managed to be one out of 7.5 billion.

Were any of them a mistake?  Were some of those who we have encountered did they not produce the desired or positive results?   I think not.  We have gained something, haven’t we?  Even if it is learning who we choose not to engage with, that in of itself, is positive.

More often than not though, we have been truly blessed, have we not?  We have encountered the very best. We have had the blessing to have been in the company of the most beautiful of souls, who we can only hope that today (whether they are with us or not) that they are happier than they ever were and at peace like never before.  We need not be together, nor do we need to speak or communicate, in order to be thinking of them happy, healthy, and enjoying life.

For ours, it is almost surreal how we managed to make it. I mean really.  We did not see eye to eye, for way too long, quite literally.   We took risks that probably were not the soundest, but for everything that we have been through we have done all right, me and you.  We wondered often, worried even more, and most definitely questioned many times over how we would manage.  But, we did.   We had a lot of support, and we grew up together.  It is our coming together that has really been the solidifying moment of finding a sense of peace and lightness now that so much baggage has been tossed aside.

When they speak of soul mates, I am fortunate that while I have spent most of my duration by myself it is through those hours alone that I have found you.  If it were not for being alone, I would have not been able to be free of the shackles that compromise society.  What is deemed good and bad, norms, philosophies, and ideologies of the day; we choose what works for us and discard the rest.  We really don’t follow much of anyone or anything other than listening to each other and following our own way that we make for ourselves.  We may not have a life partner, but we have come to believe in ourselves and that is pretty special.  That is a true soul mate, and I am happy to say I am glad that things have worked out as they have.

Where we go from here, what lies ahead and what is in store for us is beyond our foresight, but what I can say for sure is that we will live and further still, we will show up and be accountable.   We have no time to fight, but rather we will embrace the light – that is within us, to see us through.  It will not all be sunny days, but we will embrace not only the clouds but the thunder lightning and rain.

And, when I do, as I have done in the past – not lived up to your expectation, please remember this gentle reminder.  I love you. I’m proud of you.  And, please forgive me for any and all transgressions.

Thank you.

Who Are You?

Who are you?”   They asked, as I walked by.  “Can you tell us about yourself?”

I without a sound nod my approval and almost instantaneously the first question is posed.

“You have to live somewhere.”  They begin.   “Where do you live?”

 Smiling, I answer.  “Where else? “  And, continue.  “I live in the only place there is.  I live in the moment.”

Looking a bit confused, but undeterred, they ask the next.

“You have to like something.  What you like to do?”

Smiling, I answer.  “What else?”  And, continue.  “I like to do all there really is. I like to be.

There is yet even more confusion, but again undeterred, they ask the next.

“You have to be living your passion.  You must.  You need to be playing a bigger game, so what do you do for work?”

Smiling, I answer.   “What else?”   And, continue.   “Every day, I wake up working on making today better than yesterday.”

There is even more confusion, but that is fleeting, as the questions are not intended to gain insight, to listen and to find meaning, but rather they are about more questions, and they continue undeterred and on to the next.

“You have to know what is going on in the world.  Don’t you see how scary it is?   What are your political views?”

Smiling, I answer. “What else?”  And, continue.   “Every day, I wake up and view today as the most amazing time to be alive in all of history since today is all that there is.  I am scared to think that I may miss one day of living by giving into my, or someone else’s, fears.”

There is still more confusion, but again undeterred, they ask the next.

“Are you married?  Single? You need to be with someone.  You must have someone special in your life.”

Smiling, I answer. “What else?”  And, continue.   “I am married to this moment, committed to living life and singly focused on loving every second of it as I am with my soul mate, always, and that someone is very special.”

There is still more confusion, but again undeterred, they ask the next.

“But, who?  Who? You must tell me who that is?”

Smiling, I answer. “Who else?”  And, continue.   “I see them every day smiling back at me when I look in the mirror.”

 There is still more confusion, but again undeterred, they ask the next.

“You must want more.  You cannot be satisfied.  What more do you want?”

 Smiling, I answer. “What else?”  And, continue.   “I want to continue living the life I live, giving myself completely to each and every day satisfied and equally grateful for all that I have, and all that I am right now in this moment, because that really is all I have and all I want.”

Who are you?”   They asked, as they walked away.

Help Is On Its Way

The young girl peered out the window seeing an elderly man in looking like he was walking aimlessly. Lost.  She rushed out and went up to his side.

“Where are you going?”  She inquired.

He looked down at her, and smiled.  “Where are you going?”

The girl wrinkled up her nose and whined, “OK.  Look, I’m just trying to help you, Mr.  What’s wrong with you out here wondering about?”

With but a smile, the withered figure hobbling on a crooked leg and a limp in his walk, continued down the path of an empty dirty road.

He said nothing without breaking his lumbering stride.

With a look of shock, the young girl looked out in the distance to see the decrepit house at the end of the trail, stopping in horror at the thought of what lies ahead.

“You can’t go there.  That’s where that wicked man lives.”  The stories she had heard.  “He’s done very, very bad things.  It’s dangerous. You can’t. You can’t.”   She begged.

Without missing a beat, he responded in kind, “I have, and so have you, done bad things” as he continued on his same course.

“But, but, Mr. please.”  Trying to get him to come to his senses.  “He is sick. I heard he’s even dying.”

He turned not to her, but kept his gaze straight forward. “Yes, he is.  We all are. And, so are you.”  His only reply as he continues forward.

Exasperated, she throws up her arms and screams.  “I am not responsible if you fall on your way down this path.  I’m not going to come get you if you start screaming for help.”

“Help, yes we can, when we help ourselves.  Help others we must, as we should ourselves.”  His voice trailing off at the end.

“Why do you talk in riddles?  That’s not very nice.” She inquired. “And, why don’t you slow down?”  As she tried to keep up.

There was silence.

The silence grew louder, as the little girl became more and more frustrated with this grumpy old man who refused to understand the danger he was in by going to places he shouldn’t be going and seeing people he shouldn’t be seeing.

Finally, he spoke as he walked.  “One day, you too may be living in that old broken down house, sick, alone, and dying. And, if that day should come to pass, I’ll come and see you too.”

Stammering away, she looked down at herself no long a little girl. In fact, she wasn’t a girl at all.  She, herself was as old as he, and she too had a crooked leg and walked with a limp.