Soundtrack, “Old and Wise” by the Alan Parsons Project.
I hate unsolicited advice. Most men know that it is not wise to give another man unsolicited advice. The most important thing to a man is respect and his pride. These things are earned and not idly parceled out like cans of beer—–although oftentimes such libations are swilled to make up for the lack of such noble qualities. On a rare occasion a man may give a fellow golfer advice about how to grip a club, how to adjust their swing or stance, but guys like that seldom get asked back for a future game. Guys have gotta figure shit out for themselves, it’s just he way it is.
Men like to give women advice. It makes them feel superior. It inflates their anemic ego’s. Most women will politely listen even though they know that men spend eighty percent of their time thinking about how to get pussy and what to eat next. The remaining twenty percent of their time is spent picking their nose at red lights or making fart jokes. Under the three piece suits, the impressive job titles and fancy cars, men are basic creatures bumbling their way through life. Women don’t give advice, they make sly suggestions. “Honey, maybe it would be better to use dental floss rather than a pocket knife to clean your teeth.” “Please don’t use gas to light the barbecue dear. Let me fry the burgers on the stove.” KABOOM!!!
But, in spite of my prior warnings regarding unsolicited advice, I have decided to dispense some brotherly advice. So please, “Forgive Me”.
Our time here is so short—–it doesn’t pay to deny ourselves and others forgiveness. Anger only cuts off circulation to the heart and puts a strangle hold on our ability to convey empathy. Forgive, because in the big scheme of things your petty grudges will emotionally bankrupt you. It’s like paying interest on a debt but never reaching the principle—-ya see, you can’t loan love or forgiveness, their value is only realized when given for free.
I wonder if we wear clothes out of shame, or is it a means to hide our insecurities. It’s tough to take another person seriously when they’re parading around bare ass naked. Nakedness is God’s way of showing us that in spite of Madison Avenue fashions and photoshopped vanities—–we’re all allot more alike than we are different. Under skin and bone our fragil humanness flickers…..
Forgive——-because like a fart, the longer you hold it in, the more pressure it builds, hurting only you, and in time growing louder and smellier—- Forgive because sometimes you have to pull the bandaid off along with the scab in order for the wound to heal, Forgive because there is a child with a bald head dying in a hospital rather than playing on a jungle gym. Forgive because nothing seems that bad until it happens to you. Forgive because there but for fortune go you or I. Forgive because there is already enough darkness in this world—-enough sadness to superglue the softest of hearts eternally shut. Forgive because the shits already out of the pony. Forgive because with age the nights grow longer and peace more elusive. Forgive because winter need not be your favorite season. Forgive in spite of God and his promised heaven. Forgive because the shortest distance between point A and point B is love. Forgive because there’s a supernova a thousand times bigger than our puny sun imploding in on itself. Let go, let go, let go—–because as the old Zen proverb tells us “Let go or be dragged”.
Forgive, because one day you’ll realize that all the stuff you once thought so important were just things made up in your head. This clarity only comes after a major life event like getting fired, losing someone you love, going through a divorce, having a major health scare, facing your mortality or watching reruns of “Friends” (they all look so young). You’ll flop around like a trout out of water, realizing you’ve mistaken the barbed hook for the golden ring.
It all seems so absurd——all the girls you tried to impress with false bravado, the fake laughs given for free to please your dim witted boss, the loud arguments availing only hurt feelings——its all comes back to you like a strange dream, like staring up at the shimmering surface of the water while holding your breath at the bottom of the sea. Down there, there’s only shipwrecks, rusty anchors, the eight armed Kraken and the tiny fart bubbles you release as pieces of your forgiveness. Farting is God’s way of telling you to not take yourself to seriously.
We stubbornly withhold our forgiveness, we’d rather offer up snide remarks and sarcastic smiles. We expect others to rain apologies down upon us, but the sad truth is, some people don’t know how to be sorry. They only learn forgiveness by being forgiven—-and the bible along with all the other holy books speak of this irony. The currency of unspoken forgivenesses pays out in wasted time, it lengthens the bridge we’ve all come here to cross.
Stories and dreams. We all have them, but having someone to tell them to is as close as some of us may ever get to giving them form. Putting such flimsy notions into words and trusting someone with them is such a dangerous propositions. We’ve all been misunderstood and laughed at——-betrayed when least expected, hurt by those most trusted. So we retreat further into adulthood, into becoming conventional and bland. But I never felt that way towards you, cause you allowed me to believe in glory and grace——in fact, you encouraged my groping wishes to wake and be given life, with you I could be an astronaut, free to explore my outer and inner space. I could be a Zen warrior, or a pale version of a cool-ass bluesman, you gave me the swagger of a pirate, the bravado of a rodeo clown——with you, I became wide open and fearless, featureless….. liberated and limitless…….You offered a love that never expires, a timeless space where there is no room for regret or remorse….
They say that the starlight we see is millions of light years old and in fact, some of those stars we hold as real have long ago flamed out. They implode or explode or wink off into the blackness like a dream or story that never reaches its surface. As stars bleed light, so it is for the lonely who hemorrhage hope. You and I float hand in hand above this blue marble, wearing nothing but our smiles— and it’s all so beautiful from a distance.
Where you’re from, isn’t who ya are, but it shapes what you become. And when we were young, all we wanted to do was get out of this place that we thought made us lonely and small (but we didn’t even know what loneliness could feel like—— as foolish as comparing a paper cut to a severed soul) and now we can only go back there in memory or dreams====and if you can still share a memory or a dream with someone——then you can understand that it’s not so bad losing this battle with time.
And don’t let them tell you that time is a river, no——-, it’s like that glassed in machine on the boardwalk where taffy is stretched, pulled and folded back into itself——It will pull the caps off your teeth, stick to the roof of your mouth like peanut butter, it will adhere to the sole of your shoe, eventually becoming a wad of molasses covered in dirt, making you limp, causing each step forward to feel more like a stumble……
I’d once heard it said that “Bad decisions make for great stories”. To me, that’s the most Christian thing ever spoken. Truer than any condemning bible quote, more real than any evangelic sermon intended to save my other gummed up soul. We’re here to make mistakes, to fuck up, to work it out and fuck it up all over again. So don’t feel so bad, it’s what were here to do—–
You’re the worst decision I ever made, but god we have such great stories to share————-
Soundtrack, “Do What You Want, Be What You Are” by Hall & Oats
Life goes on, with or without me. Fads come and go, hit songs become golden oldies, all my insecurities and self-conscious tendencies slip away leaving behind silent movie memories, like puddles evaporating in time—— seasons never end, they just change, a circle of revolving eternities….again I’ll wait for you to come round again—I’m no longer in a hurry, infinity is patient.
I use to give a shit what people thought, but I’ve come to realize that everyone is so self-absorbed that no one gives a damn about anyone other than themselves—-just a cavalcade of egocentric, narcotic sons of a bitches———And they move through life as though everyone else is a hollow prop, a means to an end, a thing to be manipulated for their own good. Why is it so hard for us to see this life beyond our own selfish experiences and desires?
It’s not that far of a walk till dawn, until Mr Sun bumps his head up against that dogged horizon. Ya see, light can’t wait for time to give birth to another day. I awake to find that I’m still here, alive and ready to breathe. I”m not afraid, nor sorry, cause that’s just waisted time, let the sky creep towards blueness and let the dew sparkle like diamonds to decorate the glory of forever forgetting, rebirth brings amnesia——Who were you before this? I think I must have known you from some other place and time, maybe a lover, a brother, mother, my child, aren’t we all somehow connected? Fools are the bitter ones, dismissing miracles, failing to see the expression of god within stars and dust——the lucky ones grow closer to the day, to themselves, to others,——to what is…….
The bathroom mirror mocks me. I dip my chin and turn my head one way and then the other. “Here I am——this is who I am, what I’ve become through choice and consequence. As of late I’ve become keenly aware of my two selves. My private self and my public self. I’ve lived a divided existence, a chameleon, a shape shifter, camouflaging myself into an unchanging innocuous background. I’m struck by the notion of congruency.
Somewhere along the way I’d lost myself. I’d allowed myself to fracture into a million faux personalities. I did this to please others, to protect myself, to fit in, to avoid indiscretions, to appear normal, to simulate appropriateness——I’d been a faker, a fraud—-These days I’d rather be notorious than anonymous. Authenticity comes with a license to be free, to be crazily sane, to be who ever you choose to be!
As I’ve grown older I’ve begun to allow my layered selves to coalesce into a unified me. Such a task requires practice, but at the end of the day it has liberated me. One of the blessings of aging is that it has stripped me of my vanities. I am who I am, no more pretending——the sky is the sky, my dog is my dog, life is life, what is “is” and so on and so forth….The simplest of ideas are the most difficult to grasp!
I’ve been thinking about friendships and it has occurred to me that my closest friends are the ones who allow me to be myself without pretension or expectation. They know me, they get me, and in spite of my faults, failures and foibles, they forgive me. Needless to say, these days I have fewer friends, but the ones I have help me become a better me.
To be understood is to be loved. And to be lovable requires honestly and vulnerability.
I’d love to say that this life is beautiful, kind and forgiving, but that would be like saying oxycontin will erase your hurt. Pain can be numbed and managed, but hurt is only consoled by forgiveness and love, of others, as well as oneself. Many choose to conceal their hurt rather than drag it out into the blinding light of truth——we are only as sick as our secrets. Tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine. Such a pact will seal our love. We can only get as close to one another as we are true to one another.It will always be the same for us——us against the world.
Life’s not a journey, but rather a labyrinth. It’s a series of false starts, cul-de-sacs and trap doors. Mr Frost had it right when he spoke of “A road less traveled”. To be lost is part of being alive, as there is no map or compass, there is only well worn paths or those containing briars and weeds. Such a path is as Robert said, “the one that will make all the difference”.
My demons come clothed as jealousy, anger, fear and dacite. I know them well, they’ve surprised me in the dark passages that lead me into dead ends..There is no right road, no one path, no absolute destination, there are as many north stars as there are pious prayers.
How come the people who need love the most are the ones who push it away. And, why is it, that the ones who need help the most are the ones who refuse it. I guess it’s because we don’t always get what we deserve. No—- we get what we get. And, as my daughter would to tell me at the tender age of five“Ya get what ya get, and ya don’t throw a fit”.
Who’s blessed?– What’s fair?– Where’s safe?——Nobody knows———mercy is an ocean where we drown our faults, fears and doubts.
From our mothers womb we are pushed into this life screaming and crying. We are dependent on the care and kindness of absolute strangers. They hold us, love us, feed us, teach us and provide us shelter. And all to soon, we’re pulled from this world in much the same way that we arrived, crying out for our mothers. In the midst of this ever revolving circle we are forever repurposing ourselves. We become many things. Careful what you value, for in the end these things become you.
At the core of my life there exists a terrible sadness. It has to do with my fixation on death. It seems such a cruel law of nature that we must abide by. God must be a prankster. To give us so much, and then so quickly take it all away. I miss all of those I’ve lost.
Somehow–someone–someway–please slow down this life, I’ve already given up to many irreplaceable things.
We are all so very courageous, but sometimes it feels as if it’s us against the world.
The soundtrack is “Ain’t No Reason” by Brett Dennen
I am looking for a newer or slightly used god with plenty of sole still left on the soul. Must have bad eyesight, poor hearing and a failing memory—the less of my actions you can see, hear or remember the better. Must have a great sense of humor and be easily amused, as you will endure petty attempts by me to curry your favor. These stunts may include but are not limited to, praying for the correct lottery numbers, missing church to play golf (yet praying to make a three foot putt) mumbling my way through the lords prayer due to never actually learning the correct words, pleading for hangover relief, bargaining in an attempt to get myself out of tight spots, covertly eyeing chicks at the beach and allowing my dog to poop on my least favorite neighbors lawn and snickering about it.
You will be expected to shower me with unconditional love in spite of my selfish, egocentric and narcissistic ways—I may not be much, but I’m all I think about. I’ll require a limitless credit line on forgiveness and “Get out of jail free cards”. Preferably you are omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence or at least have an iPhone with a sire application. The work schedule requires you to be on duty 24/7 with no time off for holidays or vacations. Prayers are expected to be answered promptly—— automated voice menus are strictly prohibited e.g. (“For a medium size miracle please press one”, “To talk a police officer out of a ticket please press two”).
Providing me with a users guide to the universe is mandatory. Bonus chapters on how to unlock the enigmas that make up a females psyche will be a huge plus. Demigods, saints or angels need not apply—-you must be a full fledged god equipped with all the standard godly powers e.g. grant miracles, endless love and forgiveness, turn water to wine/beer, raise the dead, allow opportunities for me to get lucky (kind of like raising the dead), able to turn old girlfriends into pillars of salt, provide free tickets to sold out ballgames, able to provide unwarranted gifts such as excellent performance reviews and promotions, passing tests results without studying and generally be available to open doors to fame, fortune and eternal happiness. Vengeful gods who throw lightening bolts, hurl sinners into lakes of fire or threaten eternal damnation need not apply. Also, gods over a milliim old will not be considered, as I’m looking for some new blood.
Some God Options—Caveat Emptor
Yes, lately I’ve been shopping for a better god. Well, not better par se, but maybe newer and improved. Mom and Pops antiquated god just hasn’t kept up with the changing times. The tale tale signs of wear and tear are ripping holes in the holy. All those archaic railings against birth control, homosexuality and women’s’ rights is causing congregations to shrink as fast as a middle aged man’s libido minus viagra. Those tired old white, heterosexual, male gods are beginning to lose their relevance. If only the dead could speak, so many could tell you crazy stories of how they fought and died over who’s god was more godly.
Christianity touts that you can be born again and have ever lasting life by simply following their basic ten commandments, accept everything literally in a book that’s over 2,000 years old and accepting that a god/man died for your sins on a cross (something I still don’t understand).This seems like a bit of false advertising, as Jesus is the only person/deity who has risen from the dead and he was only seen by a handful of folks. No one has seen hide nor hair of him in over two thousand years, not so much as a selfie has even been posted on Facebook. He apparently utilizes televangalist as his emissaries, these folks claim to speak to him on a daily basis and if you send them a donations they’ll pray for your salvation. Oh yeah, the real kicker that they love to throw out at you is this, “If you don’t believe in their god and their specific dictums, then you will rot in hell——Oh, so loving and compassionate.
Then you have your more exotic eastern religions. Buddhism states that by abstaining from desire you will then overcome suffering (all suffering is derived from desire). This virtuous claim was made by a shirtless portly guy wearing a cheesecake eaten grin who looks like a before picture from a Jenny Craig advertisement. He appears to have a hefty appetite for someone who has relinquished all desire and has conquered the desires of the flesh. He looks more like a guy who meditates on jelly donuts and seeks enlighten through endless trips to the buffet table. The monks sit idle on the corner with their beggars bowl and wait for those who work to toss them something to eat, kind of like the homeless guys you see holding their cardboard signs in front of the grocery store. Mediating and praying all day is great, but it won’t pay the candle bills at the monastery.
Then you have your Hindus. They worship cows and allow them to aimlessly wander the streets while children starve to death. I thought god made cows slow, defenseless and gullible so that we could catch them and turn them into barbecued steaks, ribs and burgers. I guess dinning at McDonalds is as bad for ones body as it is for ones soul….. They also have a god that looks like an elephant. How can you worship something that stars in the circus? A monkey looks more godlike than an elephant. At lease a monkey can roller skate and ride a bike. And, I definitly don’t understand the god Vishnu that has all those wild arms. Is that the god of multitasking? Maybe they could use a few of those gods in their industrial sweat shops instead of forcing children to work in such hell holes.
How about those Muslims. They’re the ones who invented the term “jihad”, which means “holy war”. That’s got to be the topper when it comes to oxymorons. These guys will cut your head off if you don’t follow there beliefs. Their punishment for stealing is to chop your hands off. I can only imagine what they’d chop off an adulterer. When it comes to women’s rights, these dudes make the Amish look like comminist liberals. Their version of women’s rights is quiet simple, wear a black sheet head to toe, don’t drive, don’t vote and don’t leave the house without your husband permission.
I don’t know much about Judaism other than they believe that they are the only chosen people. So basically, if you’re not one of them, you’re shit out of luck. I guess the rest of us are doomed second class citizens. There motto is this, “They’re two kinds of people, those who are Jewish and those that want to be”. I eat at a Jewish deli, will that help me get through the pearly gates?
New Age is all the rage these day. It’s one of those religions that let’s you be your own god. Being your own god is kind of like marrying a stripper, you know it’s going to lead to no good, but the temptation for self gratification is just to great. It pretty much boils down to this, if you believe hard enough you can manifest anything you want. It’s always the rich successful people who subscribe to this belief. They did it! So now why don’t all you lazy asses get off your loafing butts and do it! I guess you aren’t believing hard enough.This relieves the rich of their guilt for being rich, they earned it through their power of intention, universal reciprocity, affirmations—yada yada. Oprah loves new age speak and showcases these types on her program. These are the alturistic people who get rich writing books about this stuff—–prosperity and salvation in ten easy steps.For 29.99 we will sell you the secrets to the universe——-“Yeah right, and I got a key to the pearly gates I want to sell ya”.
People ought to get out of the god business and more into the treat others nicely business. Most the time kindness is the best choice, but occasionally I’ve required a kick in the ass, and there are those times too when I’ve needed to kick some ass. It’s all part of the process of getting from here to there.
Most times you can go over or around life’s obstacles, but sometimes you just have to go through them……And that’s when I’ve needed to call on my faith. At the moment when all hell it breaking lose, I tend to see no rhyme or reason to life’s seemingly random events. But once I become still and look back at the events that lead me to where I am, I can connect the dots and see the obvious presence of a guiding hand. Or, the negaitve results of not paying attention to the powers that be. Even though I poke fun at God, I must admit that he’s been very good to me. Although it would be nice if he could help get my novel featured on Oprah’s book of the month series, or at least send me some more blog followers. Now here I go again with that pesky pandering I mentioned in my Craigslist Advertisement.
I Still Have Faith—Fidem Servare
I’m to much of an optimist and idealist to be an atheist. There something going on here, but I just can’t figure out what it is—maybe that’s the way it’s suppose to be. For me, it doesn’t make any sense to be an atheist.
You see, I believe in a lot of things I can’t see or prove. For me, everything does happen for a reason, there are no mistakes and god will help those who help themselves…..Life without faith is like sex without a partner, just a fantasy you make up in your head to make you feel less desperate and alone———everyone has to believe in something and this is what I believe…..
I believe in science, mystic’s and magic, love at first sight, extraterrestrials, soul fakers and soul shakers, giving it your best shot, synchronism, getting what you deserve, compassion, reality hatched in dreams, doing good, evolution and its opposite, physics’, music, going down swinging, forgiveness, learning from your failures, honesty being the best policy, no guarantees, no warranties, you get what you pay for, gambling, bucking the odds, changing your mind, changing course, carpe diem, magnetism and its opposite, leaving no trace, making your mark, humor, hot coffee, cold beer, second chances, second looks, first glances, gut feelings, good vibes and its opposite, making things better, breaking a sweat, being still, first loves breaking naive hearts, getting better, getting on with it, letting it go and its opposite, moving on, moving past it, being sentimental, old photographs, good stories, funerals, weddings, divorces, family get togethers, faith, traditions, old movies, drives going nowhere, naps, nature, hikes, my dogs loyalty, earning your keep, buying what you can afford, carrying on in spite of everything, manners, gratitude, keeping promises and silent prayers.
It’s not a matter of if you’re gonna fight, cause we’ve all gotta fight——that’s the nature of choosing life. The question is, “How” and “why” are ya gonna fight. To survive requires that you engage in that universal struggle to express your purpose, your life force. To be aware that you are aware, is to be awake……..Without a purpose you are sleepwalking through your days. How do you express your purpose? What is your intention. How do you learn to “know that you know??
”He not busy being born, is busy dying” Bob Dylan
Knowing that you don’t know.
You Are Either “For” or “Against” Something
You can either fight “against” something or fight “for” something. It’s an almost imperceptible difference, but it makes all the difference in the world. It’s the difference between saying, “We’re gonna bomb our adversaries into choosing democracy” (fighting against something). Or saying, “We’re gonna live for and protect personal freedom and liberty” (fighting for something). When you’re fighting against something or someone, you are trying to affect change outside of yourself. When you’re fighting for something, you are fighting to affect change through self awareness and self discovery. If you choose to change yourself, you change your world. You must first learn to “know thy self” before you can have empathy for others. You cannot feel connected to others unless you feel connected to yourself—-so simple, yet complex.
In the short term, fighting against something may be the quickest way to achieve a temporarily victory, but in the long run, a lasting victory comes from fighting for something. Don’t demonize those that believe different than you, but rather champion your truth. Choosing to fighting “against” an advisory is like letting lose a flash flood, you will see immediate results but they’re temporary. When you are on the side of truth it’s like possessing the hidden strength of an eternal water drop. It will wash away mountains, turn deserts into oceans and carve the deepest of canyons. Truth is not connected to a timeline, it always has been and always will be. You must learn to flow with the cosmic current, not against it.
One coach may rally his team by saying “We’re gonna destroy those loser’s we’re gonna kill them”. While another coach may motivate his team by saying “We’re gonna win for our school, for ourselves, for the love of the game”. Fighting “against” something requires an emotional energy that’s impulsive and angry. Fighting “for” something requires an emotional energy that’s patience and compassionate. You will know the difference between the two energies by following the trail of emotions that proceeded your actions. Are you being selfish or selfless?
Operating Out Of Fear Or Love
We are all either running towards something or running away from something. It’s the difference between acting out of fear or actin out of love. Fear causes you to run away from what is different or new. Fear will cause you to fight “against” what you don’t understand. Fear says, “They are not like us”, “They are inferior”, “They are a threat to us”, “We must destroy them before they destroy us”. Fear is rigid, intolerant of diversity and egocentric.
Love will cause you to run towards something. Its a motivation that comes from a desire to better understand and learn from a new experience (to evolve and grow). This type of motivation transcends from a higher calling. The byproduct of love is compassion and a belief that we are all connected, that we are all here to help and serve one another, that we are more alike than different. Love is fluid, accepting of change and seeks understanding. Love is collaborative and inclusive, fear is competitive and exclusive.
Operating from a place of love requires courage, risk taking and an openness to new experiences. Conversely, fear manifest its self through ones insecurities, weaknesses, and narrow mindedness.
“Having To” Verses “Choosing To”
You see them on Monday mornings hanging out by the coffee machine in the break room. They’ll be wearing frowns and carrying on about how they wish they didn’t have to be there. They’ll be moaning about how they “have to” do this and “have to” do that. They see themselves as unfortunate victims of fate, mere pawns in the game of live. Well, I’ve got news for those mired in victimhood and “have to do-ness——–“You don’t have to do anything, zip, zero, nada”. You don’t even have to breathe, just put a plastic bag over your head and you’ll put a stop it all——the complaining, the self pity and the awful-izing. A “have to” mind set creates resistance and negativity, it robs you of personal power.
We all need to find a “why” (a purpose) for the things we do. If it’s a job that you don’t particularly enjoy, then you may find a “choose to” or a “why” by telling yourself that the job is putting a roof over your head and food on the table. Or, perhaps the earnings from the job is paying for your education and health care. Or, for now it’s helping you provide for the ones you love. The “why’s” in life are temporary and changeable. Use the discontentment for where you are currently, as fuel to energize you and move you towards your desired goals.
Once you let go of the“have to’s” you can come from a place of gratitude. Before moving forward and wanting more, its necessary to take a gratitude inventory of all the things the gifts you’ve already been given. This will empower you to take the skills and gifts you already possess and apply them to achieving higher aspirations. One percent of life is what happens to you, the other ninety nine percent of your life is how you respond to that one percent. What you “choose to do” with your life is totally up to you. To some this may be seem overwhelming and frightening, but it can also be liberating and empowering.
Figure out what you want to do and start working towards that goal. You may choose to go back to school, or apply for a more fulfilling job, or to leave a relationship that’s unhealthy. Don’t waste another day feeling defeated and controlled. You are the narrator and star of your story, you have the power to change the script when you change your attitude and thoughts.
Some may respond by saying—— “But that’s gonna take a lot of work on my part”, “I’ll have to take some uncomfortable risks”, “I’ll have to take personal responsibility for my life!” Note to self, “The hardest thing about changing your life, is changing your life.” And changing your life is something no one else can do for you, but you. Nothing is forever, not even your life. If you don’t like where you are, or what you’re doing, then do what football teams do at half time, make adjustments and changes to your game plan. Be creative and try new strategies for achieving your goals. Most importantly, be aware of your attitude and thoughts—–all life changes begin and end there.
Beliefs, Personal Verses Philosophical
We all have beliefs, but until we’re required to apply them at a personal level, they’re just words. We spout off about how we believe this is right and that is wrong. We blather with bravado about our political and religious judgments with little or no personal investment.
But god bats last and he’s always on the side of truth. And, just when you think you got the world figured out, god will throw you a curve. Example, so you believe a gay lifestyle is evil and homosexuality is a sin. Then one fine day, Bam!—— out of the blue your son or daughter discloses that they are gay and they desperately want your acceptance, support and love. Then what are ya gonna do with those self righteousness beliefs and judgments?
Or, maybe you’re a flag waving military hawk, always touting how we need boots on the ground to kick the asses of those un-American, non christian sons of a bitch’s. Like any good patriot, you encourage the young to march off to a foreign land and fight for god and country. You’re filled with a sense of pride as your son or daughter enlists in the military. But what will you do when you find out your child has been seriously wounded in some country that you never even heard of a couple years ago. What will you do when they return home with a traumatic brain injury or other serious wounds, or maybe they’re never coming home again.
Ten years later they’ll erect a solemn memorial with the names of the dead and wounded chiseled into its marble edifice. Historians will give the war a name, but no one will remember what we were fighting for. Your child ends up living in your extra bedroom because their physical and emotional wounds prevent them from being able to work. After all the medals are handed out, the uniforms mothballed and the flags neatly folded, then what do ya do with all your cherished political and religious beliefs? You don’t know, until you know.
Be mindful of your beliefs and judgments, because one day they may be be tested in reality. Remember this, gods cosmic sense of humor is fueled with irony.
Know that you know.
You may choose to go “Against” rather than “For” something. You may choose to act out of “Fear” rather than “Love”. In life you may feel that there are things you “Have To Do” verses what you “Choose To Do”. You may never have to test your beliefs with a personal investment. But, if you are placed in that position, know the “hows” and “whys” that you employ to construct your life.
Buddha was not a Buddhist. Jesus was not a Christian. Muhammad was not a Muslim. They were teachers who taught love. Love was their religion. Author unknown
And so we give up on dreams—-and sometimes even on love—-just one trifling morsel at a time. We trade them away for security, so as to not appear the fool, to be accepted, to fit in. Love is not being accepted, nor is life about fitting in—no, it’s being drenched in petrel and then set afire.
As far as anyone knows, we are only given this one life—and that’s what makes it precious—–we are all perishable—- one moment at a time—- Keep this in mind, as I implore you to ignite your dreams and to set a hopeless love ablaze. Do this before it’s to late, do this before they suffocate beneath civil manners and polite obligations. Make no mistake, nothing is forever. There is no one here to protect us, but maybe the threadbare scraps of secondhand truths. I pray for faith,—-such a sublime oxymoron.
Oh my god, where does hope go, inspiration withers with age and now we find ourselves, no longer so very brave.
A belly laugh is better than an orgasm. I’m not talking about a giggle, a snicker, or a leisure guffaw—no I’m talking about a drop to your knees, fall on your back, tears streaming down your cheeks, face twisted into contortions, uncontrolled howling, floor pounding, rib splitting, muscle contracting hysteria. Although many of these physical gyrations are quiet similar to someone experiencing an orgasm, a belly laugh does not lead to accidental pregnancies, broken hearts or STD’s. If they could bottle the stuff, it would fly off the shelf like squirting flowers, exploding golf balls and handshake buzzers—–
What’s even better yet, is when you’re laughing so hard that you forget what you’re laughing about, and this causes you to laugh even harder about laughing at nothing. Or, how bout that little chortle that gets out of control at the most inappropriate time, such as a funeral, or a court appearance, or during an intimate moment. Unexpectedly, that innocent chuckle goes from being a suppressed snicker into a full blown crack up. Why fight it, go ahead and give into the pandemonium, it’s sure to break up the boredom. Come on, allow yourself to let go. Embrace the madness, the delirium and the ecstasy that comes with accepting the horror, humor and pointlessness of it all. Meaningless laughter is nirvana, its like watching god sit on a Whoopi cushion—-a holy Whoopi cushion—-ya-ought of seen the look on his face…
The joke is on you, it’s called life. It’s in the darkness, the light, the broken, the frozen, the holy men and hooligans, grifters, grafters, carnival barkers, bonkers, brokers, bankers, swindlers, smokers, jokers, jugglers and joggers (I was going for a little Dr Sues humor there, rim shot please!). Our only defense is to offer up a quick wit because funny is everywhere—that is, if you’re looking in the right places. To prove this point, I double dog dare ya to watch an episode of the Three Stooges, there’s just something hilarious about someone getting hit on the head with a hammer. Or, who could forget Jackie Gleason and the Honeymooners, “Bang zoom—-To the moon Alice”.
Humor is about letting go of control. It’s about going in for the kill, finding an opening and saying something everyone knows, but most are afraid to admit. Humor is based on stripping away all the crap we accept as normal and shining a light into the darkest corners of the psyche—this is where the clowns, jesters and harlequins live. Comedy comes to life when you drop all false pretenses and see things for what they are—-or for what they ain’t. Somewhere buried beneath our hidden flaws and secret doubts resides the absurdity of it all. Life is to short and uncertain to be glum and uptight. Jobs are stupid, sex is weird, marriage a joke, politics a circus, religion absurd, racism, sexism and biases make us out to be fools. We’re all just passing through—so I pray that in god’s good time all will be forgotten and forgiven—–in the meantime I choose laughter.
Life is a series of punchlines waiting to be delivered. It’s all about timing. Suddenly a door will open and you can drop that bomb that makes everyone see the insanity we are swimmin in e.g. What is the last thing a fish becomes aware of? Water. Remember this, if you have to explain a joke, then it’s not funny—if you have to justify your life, then you’re hanging around the wrong people—-”Laugh and world laughs with you, cry and”—-well you can see where I’m going with this line of reasoning. Find reasons to laugh—laugh at yourself—laugh at friends—laugh to keep from crying…..Open the door on that tiny clown car and watch all the funnyness come tumbling out.
Humor is life’s natural coping mechanism. It helps us through the loneliness, the fool heartedness and blatant futility of it all. Laughter levels the playing field, it reveals how we are all more alike than different, how we’re all fighting similar battles, fumbling towards love and companionship, bailing water from our sinking ships.
“Now, listen up ladies and germs.”
There’s many reasons to cross a road, but I’ll leave you with this one, “Why did the chicken cross the road?”
Please feel free to insert your own punch line here.
My answer—Because it’s funnier on the other side.Cluck Cluck—
My soul has grown to frayed and warn to carry me comfortably—-pieces of me seep from its cracked walls and leak onto the floor, I’d need a soul-horn to squeeze back into that old life—time moves us on—. With corpses come flowers, freshly cut and ready to die—. For some, love becomes only a word, four letters, uttered with the sincerity of a grocery clerks “have a nice day”. What a trite and meaningless salutation, What’s my other option?—Have a bad day? In-spite of my failing words and their treacherous rabbit holes, I do still love you—I have no other option====
I think the two of us should take the day off, walk around in faded wrinkled pajamas, sitting face to face, two miss matched coffee cups, all sheepish grins and tousled bed-heads, two unclaimed valentines, no return addresses, awkwardly belonging to one another, hearts locked on spin cycle, outcasts in a world consumed by trends and fads, our kind of love never pales or goes out of style, sitting beside one another watching the sky snow, taking it all in–holding hands in silence, best friends communicating with drowsy morning eyes-
We’ll watch “Harold and Maude” and dig Cat Stevens, we can bake hot gooey brownies and wiggle our toes as we wash-em down with ice cold milk, and then take a vanilla scented bubble bath—candles flicker, bubbles burst—-we’re the lucky ones—–knowing that nothing, or no one, can take these moments from us—all else is broken glass, flashing in the sun, glimmering and shattered, inconsequential-
My music and spoken work projects are available at cdbaby.com, Artist Victor Uriz My novel and book of prose are available at amazon.com, Author Victor Uriz
Sitting on the hard Christian pew in the front row of Saint Joseph’s Church, I idly listen as the pipe organ fills the stained glass chamber with the sound of Ave Maria. The beauty of the melody is occasionally punctuated by the echoes of a cough or a child’s desperate whine. The organ stops and the room is consumed by a ponderous silence; the silence of a funeral is louder than that of any other decibel—it is the deafening sound of stillness.
It’s hard to say how many times any of us may have lived or died, but today, eternity surges through this space like static electricity during a thunderstorm, death teaches us about the impermanence of all things—-a million days or a million years, mortality will never empty my pocketful of soul.
The priest droned on in a thick accent, perhaps Indian or some foreign place from the far east—-his fouled up mispronunciations make the ancient stories from the bible even more esoteric. The messages within these texts I’ve heard hundreds of times. At different stages of my life I’ve interpreted them differently, isn’t that the way of any true art. For me, faith is an art, something that grows and changes as it finds new ways to connect with me in a place beyond my limited five senses. I‘m not a biblical purest or fundamentalist, I am a spiritual personalist—I believe God speaks to us all in his own personal language of love. I hear him in the wilderness, others may feel his presence on a commuter bus, God finds a way to adapt to our idiosyncrasies.
Ironically, things become so twisted when we force God to conform to our personal needs and demands—-oh the horrors perpetrated in his many names. I prefer the belief that we are created in the image of God, rather than God created in our self serving image. Such a subtle yet profound change of outcomes when choosing between these two conflicting points of view. My puny prayers are composed out of a humble desire for there to be less of me and more of God in this broken world.
I’ve never had much of a grasp on God, religion or spirituality, but in the peacefulness of this moment I’m absorbed by a sweet serenity. In the presence of the sacred statues, symbols and the mumblings of holy prayers I’m filled with a sense of communion to all things. I suppose this sublime feeling may also be evoked from Gregorian Chants, Hindu Mantras or Zen Koans, we are all reduced to the simplicity of oneness in the presence of God.
“If Jesus were alive today, the last thing he’d be is a Christian.”
The sentiment communicated in the above quote may be applied to all prophets and spiritual leaders who have been merchandized, propaganda-sized, materialized, cauterized, convicted and tried, dehumanized, demoralized, rectified, deep-fried, electrified, televised, commercialized and apostatized—–