Archives for August 2010

What I See Part I

What I See- Part One

I wish that I had the ability to show people what I see. I don’t mean to be poetic or dramatic. I am serious. I wish that you could see inside my head and view my dreams and my experiences. I don’t expect you to feel or think the same way as I do, but so often the words are just not enough.

Maybe I am lying to you and myself. Maybe I really want you to see so that you can understand, so that you can share in my joy and my pain. But is that fair or realistic to ask of you. Is it reasonable to try and influence you, to try and make you view the world as I do.

Then again, why wouldn’t it be ok and is it any different than what I do right now.

Here is a sample of the things I have thought about today. It is not nearly as explicit or as descriptive as it could be, but it is accurate.

  1. Today I remembered the final two weeks of a friend’s life. I thought about his final moments and I remembered carrying his casket. I remembered the tears his friends shed as we buried him, the pain in the eyes of his parents. It was a hollow look that I cannot describe. I remember his brother leading his parents away and promising that I would see that he was buried. Not the funeral home, but me. It was an obligation that I happily took on, but it also felt like a commandment.
  2. Today I remembered the way it felt when I kissed the girl in this story. But I also remembered more. I remembered perfume and the soft touch of others. I closed my eyes and inhaled and I could feel my wife’s touch upon my body. I felt her press up against me and sensed her deep love. I felt her naked body upon my own and I remembered much more about her.
  3. Today I remembered the look on my son’s face when I introduced him to his little sister. And then I remembered the feelings I had when my parent’s introduced me to my baby sisters. I remembered teasing them and being chased. I remembered my father yelling at me to stop tormenting them and then I heard myself chastise my son, my words an echo from 30 years ago into the present.
  4. Today I remembered that I may be 36 but at heart I am still 5. I can still run like the wind. I am still faster than my grandfather’s car and my father is still the strongest man in the world.
  5. Today I remembered that last week I died in one of my dreams. I can’t remember how, but I know that I did. I was dead and people mourned my loss but I was not forgotten because my life had been meaningful.
  6. Today I remembered that sometimes I hate my writing and that the words are never good enough, never evocative enough, never strong enough and so I decided to write a post about it.

Did I succeed? I don’t know. Part 2 is coming up. This time it will be called What I See Five Years Later

Why The Male Brain is Superior

Shades of Gray

Sometimes the hardest part of being a father is dealing with the Shades of Gray. These are the questions that they pepper me with about topics that cannot be answered in black and white terms. They ask why it is wrong to kill people and ok to support some wars. They want to know why it is ok for dad to scream “fuck” when he bangs his head on a cabinet but it is not ok to say at other times.

They hear a story about a homeless man who stole food and ask if I would steal food for them. I tell them that we don’t have to worry about it but they push for answers. I know that they won’t rest so I answer them. I tell them that if there are no alternatives I will do what I have to do to make sure that they eat.

A little finger is waved in front of my nose as a six-year-old lectures me that I am only allowed to take enough to feed the family. Her older brother isn’t willing to let her take the lead so he offers instruction of his own- “dad won’t steal more than he has to.” Suddenly sibling rivalry is in full effect and the dark haired beauty is only too happy lecture her brother and I about how I might go to jail.

Great, a simple discussion has spiraled into a silly talk about thievery. How the hell did I end up in this place where the kids are fighting about what happens if I get arrested. In a stern voice I shush them both and ask them if they ever remember a time when they didn’t have enough to eat.

They agree that it hasn’t happened. It leads to a great teaching moment in which we talk about a bunch of things including the homeless and why they shouldn’t be invisible people to us. I have to run off to a business meeting so I hug and kiss the kids goodbye and head out the door.

Inside the car I decide that if I am going to have to fight traffic I might as well make use of my time by trying to come up with other situations besides theft and murder to discuss. I laugh at the absurdity of it- theft and murder, It sounds so harsh, but it is. We have spoken about stealing food to feed a family and why sometimes it is ok to go to war.

I could have gotten into a discussion about whether a just war means that people are killed or murdered, but they are far too young for that and it violates my parenting philosophy. If they want to know what time it is I tell them but I don’t include how to build a clock as part of the discussion.  They only need to know as much as they need to know. That will change as they grow older, but that is ok with me.

Somebody’s Crying

I know somebody and they cry for you.
They lie awake at night and dream of you.
I bet you never even know they do, but somebody’s crying.
I know somebody and they called your name.
A million times and still you never came.
They go on loving you just the same, I know that somebody’s trying.

So please, return the love you took from me.
Or please, let me know if it can’t be me, I know when,
Somebody’s lying, I know when somebody’s lying.

( Guitar Solo )

I know that somebody’s lying, I know that somebody’s lying.
Give me a sign and let me know we’re through.
If you don’t love me like I love you.
But if you cry at night the way I do I’ll know that somebody’s lying.
So please, return the love you took from me.
Or please, let me know if it can’t be me.
I know when somebody’s lying, I know when somebody’s lying.
Oh I, oh I……
Somebody’s Crying- Chris Isaak
It is a little past midnight I am wide awake. I am stationed in front of the computer where I share my thoughts, ideas and feelings about life. Simple stories about the things that I see and experience are transcribed here to be forever immortalized in my corner of cyberspace. Memories of the people, places and things that make my up my life are all fair game. All I see and all that I experience is considered and carved into bite size pieces of this and that. Some are fragments of fiction and others are figments of imagination about things that might have been or could be.

My heart is pounding or is it my head, I am not really sure anymore. Maybe because the two have been at war with each other, head and heart, heart and head. Each of them jockeying for position in a vain attempt to gain control of the direction of one man’s life. Passion drives me forward, pushing me out of my comfort zone and forcing me to move towards a future that I am unsure of. Uncertainty and opportunity dance around me while I cross a bridge that is burning.I can only go forward for the flames have already consumed the places where my feet once stood. There are no rest stops here, no oasis or refuge to be found. All that you can do is keep moving forward or risk falling into the pit below.

Sometimes I consider the merit of allowing myself to fall. I already dance in the flames perhaps I can also learn how to fly. The problem is that I haven’t a parachute so failure will come at a stiff price. The fall won’t kill me. I know it won’t because death would be too easy and that is not something I am allowed…easy that is. I do things the hard way. Sometimes I do it by choice because I wish to test myself and sometimes by mistake. I tell myself that next time I won’t let it happen like this.Next time I will be smarter about it and all I can do is wait to see if I hold fast to my promise.

iTunes is playing I Will Find You by Clannad. It is from Last of the Mohicans. Someone out there might remember that I made that promise to them and perhaps in time we shall see whether that comes to be.Head and heart wrestle over that one. Later on I will stare in the mirror and mark the new lines in my forehead and the places that hair once covered. The boy has grown into a man, at least physically. A navy blue tank top makes it easy to see that repeated visits to the gym are having the desired effect upon his upper body. This is good, but he is impatient and frustrated.

Impatient because the progress is slower than he would like. Frustrated because that which came easy is now far harder than it used to be. He feels like a contradiction. In many ways he is far more than he was and yet he is diminished and less than he should be. It remains to be be seen if this will remain as the epitaph that will be written or just a comment about a blip in time.

Posted via email from thejackb’s posterous

Man Eating Squid- Paging Jules Verne

You can list giant man eating squid alongside the rest of the maneaters as one more creature that I will take on in single combat. There is one caveat, they can fight me on land or meet me in cleveland. I’ll take them on in water in the land of the burning river.

DEADLY sea monsters have woken from the deep to cause carnage among some of the world’s richest fishing grounds.

Millions of killer giant squid are not only devouring vast amounts of fish they have even started attacking humans.

Two Mexican fishermen were recently dragged from their boats and chewed so badly that their bodies could not be identified even by their own families.

No wonder the giant squid are called “diablos rojos” – red devils.

Monster squid are the stuff of legend. But for fishermen and marine biologists along 10,000 miles of coast from Chile to Alaska, the myth has become reality.

And their story is told this week in a Channel Five documentary.

Since 2002, Humboldt giant squid, named after the 18th century German explorer, have been spreading their tentacles to deplete fishing stocks by moving from their traditional tropical hunting grounds off Mexico and laying claim to a vast sweep of the Pacific.

Hunting in 1,000-strong packs the giant squid can out-swim and out-think fish. Scientists believe they coordinate attacks by using pigment cells to communicate.

A single female is believed to be able to lay 30 million eggs, each one capable of becoming a giant killing machine.

Marine biologists wear chain-mail to protect themselves from creatures that can measure 8ft, weigh 100lb and carry an armoury of more than 40,000 fearsome teeth along two “attack” tentacles.

Posted via email from thejackb’s posterous