There’s a finality to the end of a summer season, and once again I’m reminded that there’s no turning back, such is the nature of life. Yet, there’s a longing for something familiar, a desire to hold on to someone or something. I spend my life reassembling memories only to find that at the end I’m several pieces short of a complete picture. All the traffic-lights have conspired to greet me red. The road that threads its way down west cliff is gray, the sky is gray, the sea is gray—— it’s a world of gray on gray——I’m making my way from here to anywhere——I’m driving just to be driving, just to give me that sensation of getting somewhere—-that I’m moving on and past this grayness. The sun spins, the earth circles, the universe exhales——summer turns her face away from me——the cold breath of winter is on my neck——yesterday is irretrievable—-and such is the sadness of time elapsing, of age whispering in my ear———like an impressionist watercolor, another season blurs and fades—— into another. I feel myself creeping closer to nowhere——
I’d call you, but I no longer know what city you call home. What would I say if I met you again in a windy park? I imagine you dressed in a lose fitting sweater, your hair tousled by the wind. You’ve readied yourself for the birth of autumn. And me, I’m still dressed in shorts and flip flops, clinging to a dying summer. Once again, we find ourselves falling out of one another’s season. Does “true” love have an expiration date? I don’t even know what’s“true” anymore. My life has been a series of let downs without you in it. I hoped you could be replaced, and god knows I’ve tried———.
Rain, now on my windshield like little diamonds in the exaggerated light of oncoming traffic. Chris Botti’s melancholy trumpet plays like a soundtrack that accompanies my reverie. Inside, you occupy the warmer rooms of my being, you haunt the quieter spaces of my soul. Outside, I irrationally scan crowds of strangers searching for your face—-failed love makes fools of us all.
If I knew then, what I know now, it would not matter where the road led us, as long as we were together. But the past leaves no room for marooned passengers. I pay my fare in silent movies that I replay over and over in my head. I see you in vignettes———visions of us walking mountain trails, the beaches we laid on, the dark drives through shiny cities, the sensation of you giving yourself to me, the smell of your hair, the taste of your skin, the electricity in your touch, the soft sound of your sighs. With you, making love was always so comfortable, so easy, so natural. I’d come to know your body better than my own.
Good poetry makes you believe that each word written was composed personally for you. Like someone reached between the bones of your rib cage and pulled out your heart and spilled out all of its quivering secrets . And for you my love, this is true, for you, I bent and stretched my words into a net so I might catch you.
So often we forget to live. Instead we carry on as if life were a drudgery, as if love were mundane, as if our time were infinite. That is the gravest of sins; to forget to be alive, to neglect the sensation that comes with breathing. Sometimes when I feel my life being siphoned away, I think of you. I force myself to think of the first time I kissed you. I think of how you tasted, the scent of your perfume and how your body fit so well into mine. I think about it in the most minuet detail, the way the morning sunlight fell upon your bare skin, the smell of ocean in your hair, the way your eyes locked into mine, your childlike smile. I stay in this place until it hurts, until I think I might lose myself in the undertow of your memory. It’s like that reoccurring dream I have where I’m trapped deep underwater and I’m struggling to reach the surface. I look up and can only make out what appears to be a distant blurry surface. And, I know you are there waiting for me. My lungs feel as if they might burst, my mind and body are starved for oxygen. Every cell in my body screams out for a sip of air. My legs and arms strain as I flail and kick upward towards the shimmering surface of you. Time passes agonizingly slow, I am stymied by fear and panic, and then suddenly, like the flick of a switch, I sit up in my bed and suck in a huge gasp of air—but you still aren’t there. I’ve forgotten how to pray, or how to be alive without you near me. I toss and turn in my bed, a stray dog incessantly barks against the night.
Out here there’s a black and whiteness to it all. Slow gray clouds ponder their descension and final farewell to winter’s skies. They’ve come here to die, to rain down on the brownish sand and yellow sagebrush, because becoming a part of something new and different is the way of dyeing and rebirth. Being a part of everything, belonging to nothing—-I know how this feels. We don’t lose our way, we just move on to other things—a change in direction, a change in the relationship to other people, places and time. The sandstone cliffs look on with tired eyes, they conceal a millennium of wisdom stored in their souls. Even mute stones have souls that stir, and if you’d of taken the time to become aquatinted with them, you too might understand these most uncommon things.
Out here, is where I come to do my thinking, to be cut out of myself, to be torn up and pasted back together——and when the pieces no longer fit, it is then I know that I’m moving on, I am letting go of my cloud-ness. I never know what I may become out here, maybe a raven, a coyote or just alone—-With only myself watching myself, I have nothing here to hide….I can become whatever or whoever I choose—
To some I only exist in my relation to them. A brother, a father, a friend, a sinner—-a saint? And what am I to you? Being cast into your statue of stone is so limiting, so confining. These are the things I consider when I’m out here—-ya see, out here footprints turn into paw prints or vanish all together—-as if carried away on the wing of a hawk.
It’s going to be a long Friday, snowy and white, listening to my radio, drinking my coffee, carrying on conversations with myself, sharing stories with my Black Lab named Chase.
“Ya ever heard the one about the man who thought he could fly”—–And the dog said “No”.
I climb on his back as we take to the sky, letting the thermals carry us away….
Wanted—A buddy/pal/partner—or a BFFN (best friend for now)
I don’t care about your political views, religious beliefs, tax bracket, sexual orientation, profession, race, gender, visual appearance (picture not required) physical condition (disabilities are a plus) IQ, marital status, your merits or accomplishments, educational background, your favorite sports, interests or nationality——
ONE STRICT REQUIREMENT:YOU MUST BE OLD, VERY OLD, IN-FACT—–THE OLDER THE BETTER!
The following traits, suggestions and activities are not mandatory, but preferred:
You must not be computer, iPad or smart phone savvy. Preferably, modern technology leaves you hankering back to the good ole days when shaking hands, looking someone in the eye and sharing time and thoughts were a valued pastime (prior to the advent of multitasking and trying to do a bunch of meaningless bullshit at once). Please do not confuse emailing, Facebook postings, texting and voice mailing with the art of communication. Yes, it’s an art, not an exercise in technical maneuvering. Communication requires a commitment of time, patience and compassion—-as does companionship.
I don’t want to have sex with you. At this stage of the game I don’t even like looking at my own naked body in the mirror. I don’t mind hugs or holding hands regardless of your gender–tenderness is good.
I am attracted to anarchist, recluses, eccentric’s and those possessing a sense of rugged individualism—-in other words, I prefer those who are off the social grid e.g. “I wouldn’t belong to a club that would have me as a member” Will Rodgers.
If you express your political and spiritual beliefs by displaying them on bumper-stickers, please do not apply. If you believe the world is flat and that global warming is a farce, you need not apply (I will not suffer a fool).
I don’t care if you are vegan or prefer a super-sized McDonald’s meal, but—being a fan of ice cream and all things sweet is a huge plus.
Must enjoy taking slow inconsequential walks while idly commenting about the weather and other such insignificant topics. After all these years, watching the seasons change is still a divine experience worth observing and discussing.
Must possess a silly, ridiculous and absurd sense of humor. This includes busting out in spontaneous giggles (best reserved for solemn occasions such as funerals, medical waiting rooms and fine dinning venues). Immaturity, lack of social etiquette and refusing to act age appropriate is a total bonus—-at this stage of the game, who gives a rats ass what anyone else might think of you. Must possess the capacity to laugh at oneself and be comfortable in your own wrinkled, saggy, age spotted skin.
Must not be afraid of silence. Especially while watching children play or when enjoying a sunrise or sunset.
Preferably you enjoy petting cats, dogs or any other animal that understands unconditional love—-oh yeah, this may include feeding birds.
Wearing clothing that is colorful, out of style and mismatched is much approved and appreciated. This includes, wild hats, large print moo moo’s, suspenders, onesie’s, bow-ties, snuggies, overalls, fancy shaw’s, jumpsuits, afghans, scarfs, sequins, cat-eye glasses, squealing hearing aids and all things comfortable, expressive and fun.
Music, music and more music. Turn off the depressing 24 hr news and all the crap that passes for entertainment on the TV. Shut out all the clutter and noise that fills this manic modern world. There is nothing better than spinning an old vinyl record from back in the day. Better yet, breakout the piano and the tambourine and start singing and dancing your ass off. It’s great exercise and nourishes one’s soul.
After a long walk a group nap is always an enjoyable activity of choice—BYOB—Bring your own blanket.
Feel the sun on your face, walk in the rain, catch a snowflake on your tongue. No matter the season, there are always new and interesting things to do. Life is never boring, there are only boring people.
Aging requires that we all become more Zen like. God has a funny way of teaching us these simple lessons. The key tenet of Buddha’s teachings is this “Attachment leads to suffering”. Aging demands that we let go of everything——when you get old, you need less and less material crap. A game of dominos with a friend or a Sunday drive to visit family is more treasured than winning the lottery.
No need for fancy cars, boats or planes (can’t operate them anymore and there is no place you really need to go) no reason to own a big house (to much to keep up and no one to share it with) no storage sheds, garages or spare bedrooms full of possessions (just a bunch of crap to dust and worry about losing) no job title or profession (don’t have that to hang your identify on now (it’s just you hiding beneath wrinkled skin and brittle bones) no more vanity (can’t make it on outward appearance, fashion or putting on airs, its all about letting that little inward light shine) no need for pridefulness (age will humble your ass, and force you to realize that you were never as important, smart or pretty as you once thought you were).
You no longer have anything to win or lose, nothing to conceal, to protect, to defend, to covet, to prove, to own, to desire, to lust after, to judge or hate, to atone for, to forgive, to worship, or to define————– and in this state of mind you will discover an all-consuming peace.
You will learn to accept and enjoy living in the present moment. This is mainly due to the fact that your long term and short-term memory is shot to hell—-your entire past is a blank slate. The future is at best tenuous, you’re surprised and pleased to have woken up this morning to find yourself currently alive and still breathing—your future is a mirage. All you have is this precious fleeting moment.
Companionship is based on how you are being treated—right now. You have no grudges, no obligations or biases; in fact, you have no memory of the faces and names of past friends and lovers. Every one you meet, even old friends, once again become new friends. If someone is being kind to you, then you will respond with kindness or visa versa. And, at some point you won’t even remember your own name, or your own face in mirror. Finally, with no motives, hidden agendas or selfish intentions, you are now free to love yourself and all others unconditionally.
If this request for friendship connects with you, I would love the opportunity to make your acquaintance. I can be found most afternoons sitting on a bench at Kiva Beach. I’ll be the guy wearing plaid shorts, stripe shirt, a white bucket hat (Gilligan style) with black socks and brown sandals—-
I can often be heard whistling a little tune that goes like this——
“Row, row, row your boat—Gently down the stream—Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily—–Life is but a dream”. Ain’t that the truth.
From a God’s eye view it all must seem so silly. Lines drawn separating one person or place from another, borders, boundaries, the yours and mine of desire and regret—the willing, the wasted, the reluctant and those forgetting that we all end up old, ugly and woeful, but hey, ugly ain’t so bad once you accept that at best we’re all sideshow attractions in a traveling freak-show in this two-bit carnival life. Oddballs, freaks and outcasts have always been my companions of choice—-so if you’re still my pal, buddy or sweetheart, then yeah, I’m talking bout you buster. We all have our own personal measure of beauty, but baby you give me that sweetest ache deep in my chest, just like that feeling I get when I awake to a clear snow-covered mountain morning. You make growing old not such a bad prospect when I know I have you as my mirrored companion—-you pump collagen into this weary heart of mine. I’ll always follow you down.
Everybody’s scuttling about to secure their share of food and shelter, maybe even love scraps or its ghostly shadow locked within ones own pleading soul. Down here, it’s a macro playhouse of clogged freeways, early morning skyscrapers blooming above the yellowish haze, the broken, the woebegone, those lucky few with the taste of a new kiss still on their damp lips, old creepy guys in shiny new cars, commuters waiting on meaningless buses taking them to meaningless jobs, lonely guys on desolate Nevada desert roads seeking something just over that next ridge, plain Jane looking girls clutching romance novels with their ragged dog-eared dreams, a dog pissing on someones perfectly manicured rose garden, mountain thunderstorms, salty sea scented beaches, coconut smelling sun tanned bitches, grimy unshaven bums on skid row, blue birds on telephone wires joyfully singing above a gated community, breached levee’s drowning someones hard-earned promise land, someones first breath, another’s last—-uh-hum? Mister, most are gonna lie to ya, but not me—no sir!
All the wise ones, like the giggling Dali Lama, chubby Buddha, rabble rousing Jesus wear that same smug lil grin. They’re like a pack of good ole boys sharing some private inside joke. They know the jokes on us as we do our twisted dance with Maya. I feel my time slipping away, what will you do with your time here. I do know this, that regardless of my foolish carrying on’s, I’m a lucky guy, to be chosen, to be alive, to be wandering this blue spinning sphere—-a temporary oasis for those trapped by space and time, a far-flung and forgotten Eden set against a backdrop of flickering lights and mumbled prayers. I try not to forget this within each dissolving moment. I stare up at the night sky and I can’t tell the satellites from twinkling stars, but they’re all oh so pretty—and I wonder what becomes of my satellite wishes?