Life Has Killed The Dream I Dreamed

c9f177653fe352e19e4df4aaf625c747 Life Has Killed The Dream I Dreamed
Gerry Rafferty is singing about Baker Street and I am thinking about the life I once dreamed of and the one I lead now. Thinking about how very different it is and how today it reminds me of a bad meal.

From the outside looking in all looks to be as it should be.

The table is set with beautiful plates and silverware, nice centerpiece and all of the expected accouterments except the steak isn’t cooked the way I like it, the mashed potatoes look like they can from an ancient can and taste like they were scooped out of a rotten skull and the vegetables are just nasty.

If it weren’t for the rolls there would be nothing here that tasted right but that doesn’t fix the disappointment or cure the hunger in my belly.

It is not the first time my meal fell short of expectations nor will it be the last. Sometimes this is just how it goes.

Life Has Killed The Dream I Dreamed

The music moves on and George Jones is singing He Stopped Loving Her Today.

My eyes are closed while my fingers work the keyboard. Got one kid wandering around the house while the other softly snores her way into the night.

My son the wanderer is frustrated with me because I don’t understand his position and told him I don’t have to. When you are my age it is a minor disagreement that will have no lasting consequence but the middle schooler believes otherwise.

He tells me he is getting really angry and I tell him to take it out on his pillow. Dad doesn’t always have to explain himself nor does life have to make sense.

Some things just are and I need him to go to bed because I need him to go to bed.

Midnight isn’t that far off and we both need things from this time. He needs the sleep and I need the quiet of the house to myself.  I like every age and love how we can have deep and sophisticated discussions.

But sometimes we bang heads, just as I did with my father. I remember those moments with more clarity than my son knows and I understand more than he realizes but this is one of those times where I have to be selfish.

Have to be selfish because we are ensconced in a particularly challenging moment and I am struggling to get through it. Doesn’t matter how confident I am about my ability to figure it out because we all hit those moments where we find the knot at the end of the rope and just hang on.

Life killed the dream I dreamed and now I am figuring out where it leaves me.

The Carousel Horse

The carousel horse I am riding is on the far side of the sun on the bottom part of the dark side of the moon. Experience tells me it is going to go back up and it probably will soon but when the waves knock your ass below the surface you don’t open your mouth until you feel air upon your cheek.

The dog and I wander through a few rooms. He watches me throw some ice into a glass and pour some Scotch, wags his tail at me and smiles when I tell him it won’t be much longer.

We head upstairs and step inside my daughter’s room.

Don’t know why she decided to sleep on the floor tonight but she has a blanket, iPod and pillow with her. Dark curls cover one eye exposing a button nose and a bunch of freckles and I stop to watch her sleep.

There is a lot I can say about dads and daughters and it would never tell you enough about her or the guilt I sometimes feel because I haven’t given her as much as her brother got.

He went to private school through fifth grade and she only got to go through second because I just couldn’t make it happen another year. Sometimes she asks me to send her back for sixth grade but I won’t do it primarily because it really doesn’t make sense for her to go back for just one year.

I think it would be much harder for her to step back into that world for just one year, especially since it would mean not starting middle school at the same time with the other kids.

But when you are ten going on thirty you don’t always agree with or understand why mom and dad make other choices so sometimes there are hard moments.

Rainy Days

Sinatra is singing It Was a Very Good Year and it is hard not smile. Some of it is because of the memories it brings with it and some because I dream about writing a song like this.

We are in living during the time of rainy days and cloudy skies. During the time when you look out your window and wonder what it is you are looking at because the drops sliding down the glass obscure and distort your view.

That dream I dreamed floats behind my eyes and I wave goodbye to it. It is not the first time I have done that and it might not be the last time.

I am doing all I can to just roll with the changes and to remember that some of those dreams stopped being interesting to me long before I let go of them.

Some had their moments in the sun longer than they deserved because inertia made it easier to maintain than move but those days are mostly gone.

Now I am pretty good at rolling with it and just going along with the current but there are those moments where the old habits rear their head and the challenges are harder than they should be.

But most of the time when I remember that I know things and look at the accomplishments of the recent past I smile because this moment in time won’t last much longer.

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Something Deep Inside Of You

67Camaro Something Deep Inside Of You
1967 Chevy Camaro, Joe Ross

There is a secret world waiting to be shared with the one and the few who are offered entrance into it. Under endless blue skies we ride in our car into a future we can’t see but with more excitement than fear.

It is because some of us recognize the biggest regrets in life come from the chances you don’t take and the doors you choose not to open. It is not always easy to take that chance because uncertainty and insecurity chip away at bravery and present fear as prudence.

But those who are willing to be brave for a moment understand that there are amazing worlds living underneath the surface of the sea. Some call them secret worlds and say they can only be shared with a few but the great contradiction is that some secrets are hidden in the open.

sunsetcrosby Something Deep Inside Of You
Shot by Beverley Goodwin
Sunset, Crosby beach

I feel like I am looking down upon my body. I see myself sitting in the chair, fingers flying across the keyboard as I try to show you what lies beneath the surface of my mind.

The man in the chair just published She Saved My Heart and now he is staring out the window but I am not sure what he is looking at or if he is thinking about anything.

I see him surfing through posts and reading one called Spit Or Swallow. He stops to read a quote contained within and I can hear the wheels turning inside his head.

Harris: I’ve been thinking about myself and I think I can become the kind of person that’s worth you staying for. First of all, I’m a man who can cry. Now it’s true, it’s usually when I’ve hurt myself, but it’s a start. You see I know there is something that would make you stay, I know it. I know there is some move I can make, the right word, attitude, plan. But these are all just tricks, just things I would think up and try. So let’s forgo that.
Let’s assume that whatever that thing is, that whatever it is that would make you stay has already occurred, that it has happened and that my hand has already gone down your throat and grabbed your heart and squoze it.

He is nodding his head because he thinks this will help illustrate some point. He thinks it will help build an understanding and that understanding will lead to connection but I am not sure.

I am not sure if he is thinking clearly. I am not sure if he recognizes what is going on because he can be single minded of purpose and that doesn’t always lend itself to the outcomes a person wants or wishes for.

He waves a hand at me and shakes his head. It angers me. I won’t be dismissed this easily.

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” ― Robert Frost

The words stop me in my tracks. I don’t know if I heard them, read them or if they were painted upon the blackboard of my mind but they are stunning.

He is awake and I am awake which I suppose means we are awake because I am him and he is me.

“How many things have to happen to you before something occurs to you?” ― Robert Frost

These words are written upon my heart. I understand them intellectually and emotionally and recognize that I am not who I was or who I thought.

I am someone different and deeper but without having experienced it all I could never have been who I have chosen to become. One doesn’t dance in the fire without evolving.

DSC01203 1024x768 Something Deep Inside Of You

Thirty years ago off the coast of Maui I spent an eternity under the sea. The air tank on my back made it possible to float far beneath the surface while those armed only with snorkels were able to take a minute to see the wonders that lay below.

It was the secret world that lay waiting for those who knew how to enter it. I watched tiny air bubbles float towards the surface and wondered if they carried word of the promises I made to come back and to share this secret world.

Decades later I have become who I said I would be and yet I am not him at all. I am the man working on becoming him.

Walking the line through rings of fire towards a promise of somewhere down the road.

Every night I look for the ghost riders in the sky and prepare myself to move when I see them again because the next time I see the riders come I won’t watch them pass me by.

The next time I will find the entrance to the secret world again and this time I’ll make a copy of the key.

Sometimes Guilt Comes

lonely man Sometimes Guilt Comes
Sometimes you stand on the far side of the bridge staring at the other side not realizing you can’t see what you haven’t lived.

Sometimes you stand on the far side of the bridge staring at the other side not realizing you can’t see what you haven’t lived.

I wrote it twice because I am struggling now, fighting my way through a couple of hard moments, frustrated because what pains me is something I prepared for and it hurts in spite of the prep work.

That is to be expected, the frustration that comes when you feel you have done your best and it wasn’t enough. You look in the mirror of your mind’s eye and ask the hard questions because accountability demands you look at yourself first.

The older I get the more intolerant I become of doing things that don’t make my heart and soul sing. I listen more closely to the song I am singing and I ask myself why I would be fool enough not to try to follow it because every time I don’t I am diminished.

I wouldn’t be surprised if those words sound like new age nonsense to you, especially because a few years ago I would have interpreted them that way too.

Except it is not a few years ago any more and I know more about life and coincidences or should I say there are no coincidences than I once did.

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.”― Stephen King, Different Seasons

Sometimes it is hard not to feel guilty for not being more excited about the gifts and blessings in front of me.

I tend to notice them most clearly when I am running with the moon. The contradiction in that last statement throws me because those are the moments when I am most conscious of having deviated from the course, of not being on the path where my heart and soul are singing our song.

It is when the ache comes and I feel most naked, most vulnerable and aware of the choices I have made and need to make. It is when I look out at the bridge and try to confirm that what I believe will happen is going to.

Yet you cannot see what lies on the far side without crossing over. You can’t know for certain without living and experiencing which means trying to control the situation is doomed. It is a recipe for failure.

You can be brave and move across the bridge and take what comes or you can let inertia and fear prevent you from moving towards what it is you need to go to.

The Benefits Of Blogging

I blame blogging for helping me to recognize and understand this.

It hasn’t always been about writing words down on a page and or coming up with crazy stories. Nor has it been about chronicling the lives of my family and the stories of my children.

This is where I found what I had lost and recognized there was a gaping hole. It is where I accepted changes needed to be made and understood it wasn’t going to be easy but it would be harder not to.

Inertia is a frenemy.

There have been moments where it was of great aid and assistance but it has also provided false comfort. It wasn’t meant to serve as long term shelter, just a place to dry off and catch my breath.

I won’t stay under its umbrella much longer, already stayed too long, guilt or no guilt there comes a time when you wander into the storm and dance in the rain or you choose to choke the song that sings inside of you.

Long ago I pledged to do whatever I could not to choke, to breathe my air and live fully as best I could. To do less would be the biggest lie of all.

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Is Technology Your Master?

gear Is Technology Your Master?
There are moments where I hear my heartbeat and swear it is like the a giant clock, tick-tocking the days of my life away.

A pair of noise cancelling headphones rest upon my ears to help me focus upon the important tasks and not upon the screams of children or leaf blowers that roar outside my door and window.

The Who is asking me to Join Together With the Band but I am thinking about days long gone when the guys and I would sit poolside singing this and other songs while drinking beers as we watched girls in bikinis look for the best places to tan.

Those were heady days of college when it really felt like summer was endless and the opportunities life provided didn’t come with the same challenges and restrictions a father more than twenty years out of school stares at.

The kid I was could wander onto a packed floor at the fraternity house and pretend to have enough rhythm to move with whatever music was playing. If he wasn’t in class or sitting with the guys you might have found him studying, a pair of headphones on his ears, walkman at his side.

He didn’t have the luxury of loading 10,000 songs on his phone or his MP3 player so he did his best to fill two sides of a cassette tape with songs that were appropriate for whatever situation he found himself in.

Today we smile and laugh at the memories and talk about the present as it leads into the future.

The recently married on their way to being divorced men talk about how they never had to worry about accidentally butt dialing a girl or wondering if the text they sent was stupid.

I look at them and ask if they think it was easier to date then or now and a wave of contradictory responses fly my way.

Is Technology Your Master?

The kids are sitting on the couch trying not to look like I am boring them. I tell them the answer to the question should be no, always no but they push back and ask me to defend my habits.

I have two laptops, a cellphone, a tablet, some iPods and two digital cameras plus an assortment of other odds and ends. I gave the old laptop to the children and I use the other for my stuff.

So even though that picture isn’t of my gear I could probably produce something similar. But what I have has been acquired over time and because I take care of my stuff it mostly lasts, mostly being the operative word.

Planned obsolescence, shoddy construction and the occasional accident have helped to motivate new purchases as has personal desire. But if push comes to shove you’d find very little was purchased before the need was great because the cash flow was small.

But there are huge differences between the childhood my children are experiencing and that I had. Mine was analog while they are in the midst of a digital age.

They don’t know what a busy signal is and I don’t know if they recognize the call waiting beep. Dial tones, cords and cables are things they don’t think of just as it doesn’t occur to them that from first grade until I graduated high school I walked to school. Ok, correction, my senior year I got a car and started driving then, but you get the point.

We grew up during the days of mothers kicking us out and forbidding entry until darkness fell and roamed anywhere and everywhere our feet or bikes could take us.

Now I tell them it is time to turn off the Kindle, the phone the Wii or whatever device they are using because sunshine is best felt on our backs and not through windows or pictures.

My Face Is Up/Down Here

We walk into the pub and grab a table. The girls have thrown on a pair of shorts and tops and are joining us for a pitcher of beer.

A game is on the television and we are trying to talk and watch. In the midst of distraction some of us are told by the women where our eyes should be focused.

Sheepish grins roll across our faces and we make eye contact. This is a pivotal moment for some of the people at the table. In a few hours they’ll find time for each other and no one else.

Morning will come and they’ll walk out of an apartment and head back to theirs and two people will wonder when they should call. One of the guys will be screamed at because she doesn’t know her roommate is on the phone for hours and that the guy tried to call but was unable to get through.

Decades later they laugh about it and we hear her tell the story again about how angry she was that he didn’t have the decency  to walk her home nor call her.

++++++

The Temptations are singing (I Know) I’m Losing You and I am thinking about how much has changed in all of our worlds. Certain experiences for the children are no different than they were for us and yet some are downright foreign to me.

iTunes moves to I’m A Man by The Spencer Davis Group and I am back in my Camaro. It is a ’77 with steel bumpers and wheels made to exceed the speed limit.

This was on a couple of the cassettes and any time it started to play my foot grew heavier.

I close my eyes and wonder if I can turn back time if I put the pedal all the way down on our Honda Odyssey. The thought makes me smile but the truth is I don’t miss much from those days.

Somewhere inside my head there is a 21 year-old kid screaming at me to wake up and remember endless summers and opportunities that stretched out farther than the eye could see.

He thinks I am blind and old but what he doesn’t know is that I can see clearly that some of those exits on the endless roads didn’t lead where he thought they would. I see the pot holes and wrecks of other vehicles.

But that doesn’t mean I am unwilling to take those roads now, I am just more careful than I once was. Got too many responsibilities and the recovery time isn’t what it was when I was 21.

I love tech, but it is not my master. I much prefer to experience things in person than through digital means.

What about you?

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Time Is A Bitch

top of mt hood oregon Time Is A Bitch
Flip through the pages here and I am sure you’ll find something about the rules for life and something about how the lesson is repeated until you get it.

When and if you find it don’t tell me or try to explain how I am missing the point or give any sort of explanation for current circumstances that suggest I am responsible for all that is going on now because you’ll wake up in a hospital bed and I won’t feel like I did anything wrong.

That is ‘cuz I feel like I have a good handle for what is going on and how I got here. Hell, I know I bear some responsibility for this moment in time but the majority of the moments that led here weren’t because of me, they were in spite of me.

You don’t know how long it took for me to be able to say that and to not focus on trying to figure out what I did wrong. That is because it is part of the learning process and journey I set out upon some ten or more years ago.

I didn’t know it or recognize it then but I can see it now.

Dude I Am Getting Divorced

I wrote about that moment over here but it took place before then. Mark told me they were through and I chose not to write about it for a long while because it didn’t need to be shared.

But the moment came and it fit in a post about how life can be different than what you expected and how sometimes you find yourself up against it and wonder how you’ll get through.

I remember when he told me he was done with marriage and through with women. He said he had enough and that he was done dealing with crazy. I told him that I understood why and that I wouldn’t be surprised if one day he decided he was willing to give it a shot.

Some months late he told me he felt like a kid in a candy shop. “Brother, there are a lot of very nice single moms out there who understand my situation and have no interest in a relationship. But unlike our school days they don’t hide their interest in sex. You find out pretty quickly you are or you aren’t going to get ‘lucky’ and you enjoy the time.”

Eventually the kid in the candy store discovered he had favorites and the man who wasn’t going to ever get married got a girlfriend again and then another and another.

“I don’t know that I’ll ever get married again but I like dating one person. I am not a fan of dating several women at the same time, it is too hard and you never feel like you get to know any of them.”

I smiled.

“I think this one is going to be around for a very long time. You’d be an idiot to let her go.”

He laughed and said yes. It is almost two years since they started dating and he cracks me up because his energy is so light he is floating.

The Words Fall As They May

I flip through the pages and see what post capture my eye. Sometimes when I revisit the past I am pleasantly surprised by what I read and sometimes I am disappointed because it feels like I haven’t made enough progress.

Disappointment is better than being embarrassed and that happens sometimes too. Posts that have no rhythm or flow with awkward phrasing and words that are inappropriately placed make me wonder if I should delete what I see.

Clean up the messes and clear out the clutter echoes in my mind but part of me wonders if I am smarter to keep them around because it offers insight into where I once was and serves as a benchmark I can use to measure the progress I have made as a writer.

Not embarrassed by these but not sure how I feel about them. Parts and pieces make me smile and I see a thread I can use to do more and make more of what is there.

I think about the life lessons I have learned so far and wonder about those to come. I have a pretty good idea about some of them, expectations that stuff that has been waiting in the wings isn’t going to wait much longer.

Most of the time I take it all as it comes but every now and then I grow extra frustrated and wonder if there is a more effective way to handle all that is going on now.

Things could be a lot better and they could be a lot  worse.

A dear friend says he is worried about me and I say I am too, I might lose all of my hair. He tells me I am serious and I say don’t worry because if I jumped off of a cliff wings would sprout on the way down.

There is no easy way out nor am I truly interested in on. I have come too far not to go the distance.

He tells me to hang on and to remember time is a bitch.

I thank him for his concern and he asks if there is anything he can do to help.

I tell him I want three things:

  1. Fifteen million dollars.
  2. To never write a bad post again.

He asks what number three is and I say it is just for me. I don’t mention I have someone in mind I would share it with but that is only under certain conditions,

He tells me he can’t help with one or two and I say not to worry, time is a bitch but I can handle her/him/it.

It is part of why I focus on being A Man Of Faith and remember I may be slow but I usually figure it all out.

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