Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Category: empty (page 1 of 2)



In a little while from now our youngest daughter, Hannah, will be heading off to college.
My wife and I will be staring at something of an empty nest;
a new frontier and previously distant horizon for the two of us.
While we’re incredibly excited for her to embark on this wonderful journey our hearts are a wee bit melancholy.
It’s almost like this time in our lives was so far off in the distance that we needn’t give it a second thought.
The days of the Murphy family all living under one roof has all too rapidly come to an end.
That we would always be together was an illusion I unconsciously chose to create.
It’s what father’s do, I guess.
Little girls turn into teenagers and teenagers turn into young women and the time comes when they ultimately fly away.
Thank God it’s not forever.
There will be one less bell to answer and much less laundry never mind the savings on the water and electric bill.
(each daughter took at least 3 showers a day, or so it seemed)
I should be happy.
Somehow, I am not.
I will now be cooking for me and Pamela (more savings?)
This house chef is seriously jonesing his favorite customers, the ones who always said the meal was great
(even if it moderately sucked).

Change is an inevitable fact of life and nothing can alter that,
not the weather,
not God,
not even American Idol with Steven Tyler.
When change does happen in a major way as it will this coming September,
I will still scratch my cueball noggin and wonder where the hell the last 25 years of my life went.
I do have much to show for it though in three exceptional, vibrant, creative and beautiful young women ready to change the face of the world for the better.
They are all destined for great things.
Lofty, but heartfelt.
Like the Wally Lamb book title says,  ‘I know this much is true’ (Not the Spandau Ballet song!)
They all managed to somehow find their wings
and my wife and I are so very thankful and ultimately blessed that they did.

To my little Hannah(shine)-

Dad’s going to miss having you around.
Who else would leave a friend’s house on a Saturday night @10PM
to get their father a head of garlic and a can of chick peas because he wanted to make hummus?
To see you begin this incredible journey in your life makes my heart swell with pride because you have worked so hard and are so deserving of it.
I will also tell you that with being away from my cooking for a time,
Thanksgiving Dinner will be the very best you have ever had in your life.
Truth. (yes, you can pick the bacon off of the turkey)
And although my heart will break a little when we get back to an ‘all too quiet’ house,
I know that you’re but a heartbeat away.
As will I be.
So shine, Hannah . . .
Close your eyes,
dream big,
don’t take any shit from anybody and shine
just shine . . .




Off in a not too distant somewhere, I hear the shimmering sound of church bells.
Melancholy yet beautiful, their dissonance fills the night air with a longing, a void filled, 
an endless possibility.
Dark grey clouds move low across the sky saturated with change; change of the heart and mind,
soul and body, a chasm of repeating continuation.
The church bells chime on, sounding more and more like a movie soundtrack that once defined your life
as it echoes the pain,
loss of cerebral photographs, and confusion of all the simple things that mattered.
And yet, the sound is oddly comforting, a musical pall of earth tones beckoning pure white light.
I am suddenly aware of the clip-clop of my blackened dirty shoes on the pavement below,
an urban heartbeat, the intrinsic essence of time and space; of a time that
I listened for the sound of your footsteps, of a space holding everything you once were.
My dear, drifting and lonely Father.
If you could only know what I want for you in the most loving of ways.
If you could only hear the beautiful church bells.
But the world will continue to hurt you until you find a way to finally listen.






Maybe it’s a sign of survival, of anguish,
of the frightening realization that mortality does exist in the deepest recesses of the mind.
Maybe it’s a sign that everything is still changing,
still in that near frozen state of flux . . .
For him, for me, for the four walls that still imprison him,
for a world that looks to him as confusing today as it did several hundred yesterdays ago.

Maybe it’s not a sign at all but a palpable gesture that while he sleeps,
this ravenous disease does not; it always wants more.
It replaces what it takes with something barely recognizable, something dark and foggy,
something you never want to talk about around the coffee table but remains forever.
Sometimes this thing just takes.
And takes . . .

Maybe it’s a sign that he is tired, fed up with playing the host,
sick of food that looks like pureed shit put through a strainer that he has to try and swallow.
Banana Crème Pie should never look like soup.
But it does.
And that’s a crying goddamn shame.
His mother was a pastry chef, Christ in a sidecar.

Maybe someday I will look back at this point in time and have a moment of revelation
but I’m not betting on it.
If this disease has taught me anything it’s not to get caught up in any kind of emotional gambit.
It’s a losing proposition at best.
So maybe it is a sign.

For my father maybe it’s a sign that simply says ‘stop’ . . .


This poor little robot is so very much like me.
{sigh . . . }
Almost there, almost there, almost there . . .
Turn up the volume and grab a warm and soothing cup of something
and click ‘play’.


For me this post signifies many things:
denial and
truth . . .

Cryptic, I know and I apologize for my strange and mysterious ways.
The following poem has been used for many purposes over the years,
based on its various interpretations.
Methinks, that’s why it’s such a great piece of literature.
It spoke multitudes to me tonight.
If you’ve read it, read it again.
If you haven’t, you are in for a real treat.
I’ll be off in the distance chasing away the endless cumulonimbus clouds
again . . .

The Road Not Taken

by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler , long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Tears, still

Dear Mom,

I stopped by your grave tonight just as the sun was setting.
The town seemed eerily quiet but the burnt orange sky to the west held promise of another day.
Maybe it was remembering you, that’s the Utopian side of my brain at work.
I had little to offer you save for my tears that splashed on your gravestone and
a sotto voce ‘Hail Mary’, slowly spoken for you and all the sleeping souls that surrounded me.
I miss you dearly and still see you in the many places and faces in my life.
Maybe it’s because a part of me still looks for any insignificant trace of you, any sign
Dad is still here and I can’t understand why when I know you’re just waiting patiently for your Wally.
He misses you too.
I just know it.
I guess it’s all in time . . . all in His time.
For now, I pray you are at peace, cradled in the loving hands of God.


Jpegs in Wonderland

Just thinking . . .

Any questions?


We don’t need no steenking, Swine Flu!
Get out those face masks, people.
And decorate the house with ’em . . .
Pooh was definitely a conservative.


And now for something completely different.
Cue the X-Files theme

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