It is well past midnight and I am back here trying to do what that headline suggests I should do:
It is a constant battle and a quest for the sort of brutal honesty where you are stripped bare of all that you hide behind. There is no pretension, no bravado and no mask to prevent those who stand outside from looking in.
The words that I write here are not like they once were. I don’t write with the same reckless abandon and the deft touch that I once wielded is muted by outside influences.
Some of that is by choice and some by chance. Some by loss of innocence and concern about who will do what with my words.
They have been used against me on more than one occasion and I wonder will it happen again.
It is not my nature to sit back this way. It is not my nature to do things differently because there is concern about what could happen. I want to say that the choices I make now are based solely on wise words and wisdom gained from experience but it wouldn’t be entirely true nor completely false.
So I strive to write dangerously and break down the walls that stand before me. I take advantage of Heather’s Just Write projectand dance in the fire that forever burns in the places that I don’t show…most.
– Far better is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.Â Theodore Roosevelt – The Man in the Arena
Johnny Cash is playing in the background and I am remembering moments in time, people, places and things that have happened. You who read these words on a regular basis know these songs and remember that in some ways they are like hymns that I sometimes sing along in silence with.
If I am going to truly dance in the fire than I might as well turn up the heat until it burns so brightly I cannot stand to look at it without a shield for my eyes. This is part and parcel of how I have come to write the tale I tell here.
This story surprises me. I never would have guessed that this is what I would work on or that it would be the focus of my first attempt at a book but it is that. It is proof to me that truth is stranger than fiction and life is one hell of a ride.
I hadn’t intended to use that picture of Johnny but I am experiencing technical difficulties. The blog refused to save my post and crashed twice and I have optimized the database with the hope that it prevents the loss of continuity that keeps coming from the crash.
So I need to take a moment to try to recreate and reconnect which is why I am sharing this video with you:
Every time I hear that version I remember listening to Tears For Fears sing it. I was in high school and there was a girl who loved that song. She used to play it on a tape cassette player, the kind that my children refer to as old fashioned or ancient technology.
I wonder when they will be old enough to appreciate that their dad made a sea change in his forties and decided that he didn’t like the life he was living and decided to turn it upside down and inside out. I wonder whether it will take them a ton of life experience to appreciate the who, what and why.
They see me as this over grown kid. I chase them around the house and growl like a big dog or monster. My girl shrieks and pretends to run from me but she always slows down so that I can catch her.
And my son, well he slows down so that we can wrestle. His smile lights up the room and he tells me that this time he is going to win.
Death At The ATM
Later on I hear about a man who was shot and killed at an ATM. I don’t know this man but I knew someone else who was murdered at an ATM. A man took his life for forty dollars. I remember seeing his girls after they found out and now I see them decades later, mothers.
Tonight at my basketball game one of the guys tells me that he went to say Kaddish for his mother. I ask him if it is because of Shloshim and he says no, she died three years ago. She was 59.
That girl who liked Tears For Fears used to write sad poetry. She would sometimes ask me why I was so silly and how come I laughed so hard. I told her that if you didn’t laugh hard there was no point in laughing. I still believe that.
When I really laugh my whole body shakes. Some people try to tease me about that but I don’t care. What is the point of laughing if your body doesn’t laugh with you and your sides don’t ache.
That tape recorder reminds me of the one that I had and one that I think I still have. I know that I have lots of cassettes. Some of them contain mixes I made and some contain words. I haven’t listened to my words in forever but I hope to one day. And I hope that when I do I find that I spoke dangerously.
I am on a quest and a journey whose end isn’t yet in sight. It is somewhere in the distance, off in the misty mountains and I am good with that. What is the point of life if everything is just given to you.
I don’t know if this post did what I wanted but I know that I tried to write dangerously. I wonder how many people actually read it.