It was a sultry afternoon in early August that I walked onto the West Dennis beach on Cape Cod
with my wife and my twin sister.
We found a section of the beach that felt right and set out our bent and somewhat antedeluvian chairs down into the sun-bleached sand.
There’s something about the ocean that has always made me more introspective than a gothic statue appears to be.
I sat in my chair and took in the surf, seagulls fighting for the sake of a dirty potato chip, children playing while others sculpted the wet sand into unlikely formations; their monsters, their dreams, their deepest wishes.
I turned to my sister and said, I wish I could be 12 again, oh, the things I would do differently.
My sister paused, looked at my wife and back at me and said, but you wouldn’t have Pamela.
I thought for a moment and said, I’d just find her all over again, that’s all.
That’s really sweet, she said.
But that’s the genuine truth of it.
She’s the one thing I could never do differently.
And maybe that’s what love is, finding over and over again the one true heart in your life that has always been there, forever pulsing to the palpable rhythm of an endless surf.
She’s so many things to me and our 3 girls . . .
She’s our best friend.
She’s the shoulder we lean/cry on.
She’s our alarm clock on mornings that we don’t want to get up, on Her we rely on (and mostly bitch at)
She’s the shine in all of our days.
She’s the heart that we’ll never give away.
She’s funny, she’s kind, but she’s technologically super blind . . .
She’s there when we need her, she’s there when we need, and we’ll always need her. She’s our lady.
Happy Birthday to our best friend/confidante/psychologist/ psychiatrist/ and SO much more.
We love you and we want you around forever.
Have an awesome 39th birthday.
See you for Hibachi on Saturday night.
Mucho Sake for the birthday girl!
But open wide for the veggies!
And watch out for the volcano!!!!!!
It seems like eons ago that I was selling Steinway pianos for a living.
A musician/artist/writer will do just about anything to get by.
It was a gorgeous Tuesday morning on September 11th that I paused outside the door to work.
I looked at the bluer than blue sky, the shining sun, felt the cool but comfortable breeze on my face and thought,
“What a gorgeous day. Sucks but I have to work.”
It was around 8:50am that the phone rang in the store.
I answered it, “Hello, M.Steinert and Sons, how may I help you?”
It was one of our piano tuners calling to tell me he’d just heard on the radio that a passenger plane just flew into
one of the WTC towers in New York.
He thought it was strange and I agreed. We left it at that.
That CAN happen right?
The phone rang again at @9:05.
I answered again.
“Another plane just hit the other tower.”
Same piano tuner, more urgent.
“What the hell, dude,” I said.
It was at that exact moment that the world as I knew it had changed.
We were no longer the invulnerable United States, we were brought to our knees in front of the world.
An attack that could have and should have been avoided.
Are we safer today?
If we are, I don’t feel like we are.
We currently have an administration that has no viable/visible strength, united voice or ultimate power to
condone or publicly defile such despicable acts.
While I’m still ultimately proud to be an American, I fear for all that are out of our international reach.
These days the United States is powerless.
That is a sad truth.
My prayers go out for all those that were lost those 13 years ago.
I will keep Amy Jarret and her family forever in my thoughts.
As we still mourn, we will take comfort in the thought and hope that there’s something better for us out there.
An that maybe someday we will feel safe.
With Christmas right around the corner I felt like changing the atmosphere here.
I got red and gold balls.
I got snow.
I even have ‘Merry Christmas’ in the header.
I found this video floating around on youtube.
I found it interesting for a variety of reasons.
Santa is not the only Whitelighter.
Leo on Charmed was an awesome Whitelighter. Yes?
But the greatest Whitelighter?
I have a favorite.
This video has echoes of the Polar Express in many ways but subtly veers off on a
tangent all its own.
Check it out.
It’s short but sweet.
Draw your own conclusions.
Lord knows, I have mine.
Mine is the best.
This coming Wednesday is a very special day.
30 years ago on November 6, 1983, I married my best friend.
In this day and age of disposable marriages and engagements, I’ve come to realize just how blessed I am, we are.
That’s not to say it’s been a bed of roses for all those years either.
But I never knew that I could fall in love with someone so deeply that I could never see myself falling out of that love.
My best friend IS that love.
And that love has a name.
In good times and in bad?
In sickness and in health?
To love and honor for the rest of our lives?
My blog has ‘our’ story pasted all over it so I won’t even begin to tell you how
I fell in love the night I first saw her; in the dark space of a smoky nightclub, I just knew.
Her hair, her clothes, the way she carried herself, her scent, her smile.
Ah yes, her sweet smile, always her smile.
Imagine my surprise when I actually saw those green eyes in the daylight.
I was like a piece of frozen butter thrown on a hot tin roof.
I still say God had His hand in this.
I can’t imagine life without her; without her grace, her beauty, her patience, compassion, mercy and most of all her unfaltering love.
She is my everything.
Who else would I cook Beef Stroganoff or my special Baked Scallops for?
Who else would be the ultimate inspiration in my music and my writing?
And who would be there to hold me up when all my walls came tumbling down?
(Not many people were looking for that gig.)
Through thick and thin she has been there.
I could never ask for more.
You will forever haunt my heart,
a subtle whisper in the night, a silent look that says all I want to say
shadows of days to come, hours to love, minutes to say a few . . .
prayers of the heart, through a pulse, the wiping of a teardrop, a moment in time that . . .
silently falls into a warm and safe place where two souls meet and embrace forever, for eternity, for love.
Our shadows are the same, our love; endless, our blessings; many . . .
We are forever One.
Haunt my heart forever more . . . for all eternity
Happy 30th Anniversary to my beautiful wife with the viridescent eyes . . .
I LOVE YOU.
Always . . .
When Michael Sembello released ‘Bossa Nova Hotel‘ back in 1983,
I immediately bought it.
Who the hell is that?
If you remember the movie ‘Flashdance’, there was a song called ‘Maniac’.
That was Michael Sembello.
This guy/musician/singer has floated underneath the radar for years.
Maybe that’s how he wanted it.
His brother Danny has eluded the mainstream as well.
Both are intensely talented artists.
When I first listened to the album (and it was a vinyl record then) one song
seemed to stick out; Superman
“As you stand at the edge of existence
and the world has forgotten your name
After life after life you remember
He’s as fast as a speeding bullet
Change the water into wine
And the last time he came
They cursed his name
With a kryptonite cross
they cut him down
Are we ever going to see you again
If we do will you teach us how to fly above the sky?
Some say at the end of the tunnel
There’s a light that will show us the way
It’s a light that belongs to the people of every nation, color or creed
I can’t speak for all of the sinners
I don’t know any saints I could ask
It’s been 2000 years since we’ve seen you
We need you
Please come back
All of the pain in your life
How can we ever repay?
And the answer, you said
is in the life that you led, Superman”
I knew who Sembello was talking about back in ’83.
Then I read THIS.
I thought, “Sembello was already there 30 years ago!”
Maybe it’s just a continuation of a long ago story but it’s one that needs to be told.
I believe in God.
And I believe in artists that convey the Word in a way that invites the world to believe.
And we all know what the world needs.
Yeah, Dionne Warwick said it best . . .
We need LOVE.
We need people to care for that errant stranger lost in the Market Basket parking lot of life.
We NEED random acts of kindness to show the Man upstairs that we still care.
We all need to be Superman, a Man of Steel . . .
Sometimes when I start writing I have no clue as to what I will find;
maybe that’s the beauty of the written word; an internal GPS on shuffle mode.
I lost a friend of 30+ years last night and I’m fumbling for the right words tonight.
I woke up this morning with nothing special on my mind save for the usual morning routine.
It was 5:30am and my brain was on automatic as I drank my Mango juice, took my Multi-vitamin and gagged on my Fish oil.
Fish oil burps are, THE worst.
I opened my IPhone and saw a private message from a Facebook friend sent last night at 10:43.
It was simple enough and said, “Are you up?”
Obviously, I was not.
I really hate late night calls/messages.
They are never good.
I got on the train at 6:10am for my trip into Boston and responded;
“I’m up now. What’s going on, dude?”
We all think we are going to live forever.
There will always be another tomorrow.
The next scratch ticket is our ‘ticket’ outta here.
We reminisce about friends we haven’t talked to in years and think, “I should call him/her.”
Do we call?
We click our remotes to the next ‘Dancing with the Stars’ offering, the next ‘Idol’, the next ‘Desperate Housewives’ episode, and read the next Supermarket rag that somehow becomes a vital part of our lives.
We will not live forever.
Tomorrow is promised to no one.
Kim Kardashian was never sexy to begin with.
And ‘reality’ TV needs to be attacked by Navy Seals because it ain’t even fackin’ close to reality.
The message I received back told me that a close friend had unexpectedly died.
As I’m writing this post, I have not cried, have not grieved.
I am profoundly sad that my friend is gone.
I am numb.
I can’t believe I will never talk to him again.
I can’t believe I will never be able to say goodbye.
I just can’t believe that he’s gone.
I just called my best friend on my cell and left a shaky voiced message.
I wanted to just hear his voice.
Today has shattered my insides.
I’m trying hard to keep it in because that’s what I think I need to do.
He will call me back very soon, I hope.
After leaving him a message, this thing hit me like an emotional tornado.
I cried; am still crying as I type this.
Oddly enough it feels right; because genuine tears heal the bigger part of us . . . eventually.
More are on the way . . .
They say that a picture is worth 1,000 words.
I say that it’s worth much more than that.
Now and then the events of a single day subtly dovetail.
I have been an admirer of photojournalism for as long as I can remember.
Seeing images that were most likely seared into the retina’s of said photographers would give me pause.
The past few weeks in Boston have produced some images that I can’t seem to ‘unforget’.
I want to rewind the organ of soft nervous tissue contained in my overcrowded skull of vertebrates and bring it back to April 14th when life
seemed idyllic and almost normal.
Not gonna happen.
And I didn’t even take the pictures.
Last weekend my future son-in-law, Jonathan, showed me the cover of SI.
On the cover was a picture of an older runner that had been literally knocked down by an explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Behind him were three Boston Police officers seen drawing their weapons and running in three different directions.
It was a photograph of a surreal moment in time.
It was also a photograph courtesy of a 30 year photojournalist for the Boston Globe called John Tlumacki.
Little did I know that my own personal path would intersect with that of Tlumacki.
I’ve never met the man but I am sure he is deep.
Read a glimpse of him HERE.
This Sunday morning I sat in a sunny living room reading an article in the T&G.
Read it HERE.
(and look at the photo credit below)
As of this morning I had no clue as to who took the pictures that had moved me close to tears.
In my last post here I used a photo of a woman found on her knees, crying and praying fervently to the heavens above.
She was completely devastated in every possible way, beseeching the blue sky above to take back what had just happened only moments before.
This was the picture I chose to use for my last post.
The picture spoke to me, plain and simple.
Fast forward to me Googling “photojournalist Boston Marathon 2013”.
There were many results but one stuck in my craw because it gave a preview of the photo I had used in my previous post.
I was gobsmacked in learning that the picture was actually taken by Tlumacki.
In my mind, I began to juxtapose many images while thinking how difficult it must have been to take them.
I will never know how these folks do their job.
It was then that I realized that it’s not unlike what I do when I write a song or a post.
I go into something of a trance until the job is over.
It’s a phenomenon that just happens.
The biggest difference for me is that I don’t have to worry about my head getting blown off in the process.
I have a new found respect for these graphic soldiers that visually time stamp the complexities of our lives.
I contacted John via email this afternoon after realizing I had used one of his photos for my ‘Boston Strong‘ post.
I asked for permission to use his photo after finally realizing how much courage and balls it must have taken
to capture an image as haunting and visceral as what it was.
He replied to me 20 minutes later;
“You can keep the photo on your blog, this is my Boston, your Boston, let’s not forget that.”
This is from a man that found himself on the front-line of the battle and chose to do his job.
I am honored that he gave me the okay to use his photo and blessed that he took the time to reply to me.
I pray that the ‘Man Upstairs’ keeps a special eye on this guy.
He’s paid his dues.
If this guy doesn’t garner a Pulitzer this year, I will be shocked.
Thanks, JT for doing the daunting task that you do.
The blood you found on your shoes tells me all I need to know about your integrity.
Time to find some rainbows . . .
I put up a candle when there’s some serious stuff going on in my life,
I’m fine personally but there are those close to me that are not.
If you happen to pass by my blog,
please light a candle and say a small prayer.
Life is strange sometimes and I don’t quite know what to make of it.
I thank you in advance for the prayers and light,
friends and perfect strangers.
As I get older it’s on my birthday that I scan back through my life and think about the people that have
made a difference in my life.
There are many people I could add to my list but I would inevitably leave someone out and would have to pay
I’m pretty sure the folks on my list know who they are.
But there is one person that makes this day truly special; my twin sister, Maureen.
Through thick and thin we have weathered some serious storms.
Both Mom and Dad died from Alzheimer’s.
We traveled through Hell together, holding hands all the way and lived to tell the tale.
And believe me we have a tale to tell.
Maureen, on our birthday, I wish for you health, happiness, the inner solace and warmth of a long run, happiness and all the love your heart can hold. We are blood.
Through thick or thin we will remain . . . heart to heart.
Happy Birthday, my twin.
I love you.