As my life zips by at warp speed I barely see the signposts ahead, the lives dripping by, the rain that falls or the
multiple times that particular moments grab me by the stones and scream ‘LISTEN!’.
There is an incessant drone that accompanies the soundtrack of my life.
Like any constant, the human condition adapts and moves on, uninterrupted and undisturbed.
The body is made in a way that it simply adapts and adjusts.
Example: Where did I put my glasses?
Answer: They are up on the top of your head.
If we didn’t have this ability, wearing clothes would drive us to insanity.
I work in a cigar store and hear on a daily basis,
“This store smells wonderful! It reminds of my Dad/Grandfather/Uncle.”
Truth be told, I can’t smell it.
I can be away for weeks from the store and upon my return?
No smell, no recognition.
I am for the most part physiologically incapable of recognizing it.
But I could walk into another cigar store and the smell grabs and smacks me in the face like the cigar smoking bitch that I am . . .
(in a good way, I love tobacco).
My point is that as we live our lives we sometimes build up an almost unintentional immunity to things that mean the most to us.
This includes people, places, things, moments, songs, food, smells, feelings, emotions and more.
It’s physiological and biological as well.
It’s how we are hard-wired.
We are bombarded by so much media that much of what we see consists of perpetuated and virtual cybershit.
Don’t know about you but seeing that on a daily basis puts me on a virtual merry-go-round.
But now and then something throws me off the ride, in a major way.
My 2011 Ford Escape has one hell of an amazing sound system.
It is equipped with Microsoft Sync, Sirius Radio, a great CD player and a USB port for the 4,000+ songs on my Ipod Classic. (and it gets close to 32 miles/gallon highway)
Not sure but judging from the sound I think the speaker system may be made by Bose.
At any rate this thing kicks some serious sonic ass.
It is AMAZING.
(and it has an awesome Australian Southern Cross vanity plate to boot)
I was driving into Boston last Sunday morning and had my Ipod set to ‘Shuffle’ (random songs).
I can fast forward or rewind using the controls on my steering wheel.
As I made my way onto the Mass Pike THIS song came on.
I’ve listened to Marc Jordan for years but never listened to this song as I did this particular Sunday.
It’s meaning was crystal clear as to what and who the song was about.
The next song was THIS from Michael Sembello (aka, Maniac from ‘FlashDance’ fame)
Although I’d listened to this album years ago, I never heard the actual words.
What came to me towards the end of the song was that someone is trying to get in touch with me.
Someone is trying like hell to make me listen.
Someone is going out of their way to get me to wake the hell up in terms of my life.
If you feel like doing some homework, listen to these two songs.
Who do YOU think they are about?
Know that I am listening and know that in my heart the songs are both about the same Man.
Is He Superman?
It’s all about interpretation.
I’m thinking I understand and it’s always been all about Superman . . .
I went to see the ‘Passion of the Christ’ on Palm Sunday of 2004.
I was alone because reviews of the film repulsed my wife and she wanted to simply stay away.
The theater was crowded that Sunday and I was surprised that I understood 99% of the movie although
it was all Aramaic subtitles.
From the beginning, I had goosebumps because the movie portrayed Christ as I thought of him.
The scene that bothered me most was the scourging. (this link is intensely disturbing)
The man sitting next to me was crying like a baby.
Just like me.
That one man endured and suffered all that he did FOR ME was almost humanly incomprehensible,
but in a positive way.
I believe in one man.
And I always will.
I wish for you new beginnings, budding flowers, green grass and the best of health, maybe a basil plant that grows faster than a night’s sleep for good measure.
Happy Easter to all and here’s to this thing we call life.
And hard boiled eggs.
I saw Orion this morning (6:15) while retrieving the morning paper.
The constellation told me/reminded me of several things; Autumn has arrived here in New England,
and there is one more constellation I need to see before I die [Southern Cross],
and that another year has passed and my wife is one year older.
Happy Birthday, to my always.
From your forever.
And the stars continue to sparkle.
Just like your eyes . . . [green Orion]
See you for Indian tomorrow night . . .
Somewhere, amidst the shattered crystal silence of daybreak. . .
I find you
the dusty silhouette of a life
resting on a shelf in my mind that’s sadly gathering dust,
the gentle flutter of wings sets the shadows free
I watch as you dance among the countless stars, set deep in the face of a forever-winter sky
a whisper; but a sotto-voce prayer moves me through a time and space where I realize I have lost you all over again
A transient streak of starlight falls into the invisible arms of the waiting horizon
and I look to the east, my heart finally believing in the goodbyes and the time stained no mores
and I begin to understand why
He chose you
Just some thoughts regarding the past.
5 years and you’re still on my mind, Mom . . .
the echoes of goodbye,
cross a yawning chasm of fog and thought
find me sitting in this Darkroom,
the pictures of my life, languid and swirling above me
familiar fingers of blacklight penetrate me,
violating my inner walls of thought,
a fortress once impervious yet fragile, yes, once like me
galaxies of sotto voce secrets, skeletons in my locked closet
seem to drip like candle wax from the hanging pictures
the memories of my sweet by and by
they were prints I lost so damn long ago
souvenirs, as lost as I
this Darkroom embraces its secrets,
never letting go of the subtleties of the ‘why’
some things just simply refuse to let go of me
like the distant echoes of goodbye . . .
*repost of a dark angel
Happy Memorial Day folks.
Please don’t forget to thank a soldier today.
At the very least, pray for one.
Lighting a candle here . . .
There are several things I do know about my nocturnal comings and goings.
I dream in vivid color, for one thing.
Not just fundamental colors either.
My synapses and neurotransmitters treat me to a 4th of July palette of incredible and wondrous things.
My dreams are intensely complex, symbolically speaking, and I have yet to
understand what they truly mean.
I have also been known to get out of bed at 3:47AM to write down many a
soon-to-be elusive thought.
For the past ten years or so,
I have yet to have a dream that included both my mother and father.
It’s always been one or the other.
Given the circumstances surrounding the past chaotic decade,
that makes some logical sense, I guess.
As I said, my dreams have had ‘Ginny’ some nights and ‘Wally’ on the others.
Until last night . . .
Off in the gossamer covered distance I could see them standing together,
holding hands . . . smiling . . . still.
They were underneath a tree of great age that was surrounded by what looked like
thousands of these tiny purple flowers.
I was physically moved (somehow) closer and I immediately noticed that they both looked happy,
healthy and totally at peace.
My mother was wearing a royal blue, knee length coat.
My father, a crisp white shirt and grey pleated trousers.
I smiled at the sight of the two of them, so obviously happy together and said,
“What are all these flowers?”
My mother smiled and said,
“They’re bluebells, Michael. Each flower is a dream of ours that somehow came true.
No more sad, just more good.”
She turned (in slow motion) and kissed my father on the cheek.
They stood underneath the bluebell tree as small white flowers began falling like an unexpected springtime snowstorm.
They faded into the distance, transforming themselves into a Monet-like watercolour.
I faded into my dreamworld distance as well.
Before I went to bed last night, I had never heard of a flower called a ‘bluebell’.
I found it quite appropriate that the beautiful flower is not quite blue but purple – a color closely associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Thinking back on the dream I found it odd that my father never said a word,
though he appeared to be quite content.
Maybe the serenity I saw in his bright eyes told me all I needed to know.
I feel that their hearts have healed after all these godforsaken years apart.
Although mine is still on the mend,
I now believe that there are better days ahead for them
and for me . . .
*a little something from the wonders of the internet regarding ‘bluebells’
“Bluebells have long been symbolic of humility and gratitude. They are associated with constancy, gratitude and everlasting love. Bluebells are also closely linked to the realm of fairies and are sometimes referred to as “fairy thimbles.” To call fairies to a convention, the bluebells would be rung.
Bluebells are widely known as harebells in Scotland.
The name originated due to the hares that frequented the fields covered with harebells.
Some sources claim that witches turned themselves into hares to hide among the flowers.
Another name for bluebells is Dead Man’s bells.
This is due to the fact that fairies were believed to cast spells on those who dare to pick or damage the beautiful, delicate flowers. The people of Scotland are fond enough of the flower to continue this tradition
in the hopes of protecting the little flower.”
I was doing some work on my blog last Sunday and found a new template that I loved.
It’s the one you’re looking at right now.
It’s called ‘Absynthe’.
I wanted to make sure everything worked and entered some text in the ‘search box’ in the upper right hand corner of the site.
As I scrolled through the search results, I came across a post called ‘Empty House’.
Hmmm, I thought, and I clicked on it.
I wrote this post in late August of 2008 before Jenna went off to college.
I always wax philosophical whenever a daughter leaves the homestead.
Although I can’t for the life of me remember writing it
(1200+ posts will do that to you, I guess)
I read it with the eyes of a new reader, a wonderful and incredibly insightful moment for me.
As I read the post, I felt warm tears forming.
Since the death of my father, life looks a bit different to me these days.
I read my own words and got blown away.
I felt weird.
I’m not supposed to be that jazzed by something I wrote, am I?
Yet, I was.
I am not blowing my own horn here just saying that the craft of writing is a magical thing.
Sometimes it gives you back something totally unexpected.
Check out ‘Empty House’.
After checking Google, it looks like I did write this.
And I did check Google, several times.
If these old walls could speak,
I wonder just what they’d be saying
the comings and goings of life; the hellos, the goodbyes
tears of the restless nights, memories of suppers shared, stories told
time shuffles his feet like that of an old man
that just can’t help but grow older,
he’s now quiet as a mouse
listening to the days gone by in this almost empty house
Sunny days and skies of blue, little girls saying, “I love you”
echoes from a heart that breaks
Simply because it knows,
that nothing can ever stay the same,
life is ever changing and the tiny souls once held in gentle hands,
aren’t meant to be held forever
But it’s so damn hard to understand and accept ‘temporary’
Take them to the edge and tell them to “fly”;
towards all that makes their hearts happy,
all their souls desire,
every dream they could ever hope to find
just fly . . .
We’ll watch you walk away embracing this wonderful thing called life
but inside we’re still calling out your name
Although you can’t hear it, we want it that way
maybe we just needed to tell you
in everything you do, know that this almost empty house will always wait for you
Doesn’t matter how long or how far away you’ve been, it remembers,
like we remember . . .
that whenever you’re here, you are truly home.
His soul sleeps,
buried far beneath a long forgotten vertical landscape,
yearning for home . . .
it dreams of places remembered; warm places, complete and innocently raw
The perpetual journey through a cobwebbed labyrinth remains a stygian quest at best,
an unanswered prayer, a dimly lit votive, a quiet cry in the dark
the clouds thicken, the earth cools and a winter of the mind settles in
Rolling waves of emotion yield snowflakes of blue
that fall like sleet, slicing the spirit into oh, so many unrecognizable pieces of what used to be a life; where nothing fits or belongs but must somehow remain
still . . .
Who knows when, this sadly shattered thing will end
Only God knows when it started,
But it’s wearing pretty thin, as the winter settles in, covering the frozen man . . .
ps. love you.
There are ephemeral moments in life that defy description and reason simply by lack of concrete definition.
Although they are minute slices of microcosms in time they occasionally scream at me
to look more closely at them.
These serendipitous moments come random and unannounced;
I have missed many because I wasn’t paying attention,
too preoccupied with some other curious ripple in the darkest oceans of my life.
Today was different.
I was listening.
What happened today was a very short and simple conversation with a woman I have never met before.
I don’t make this stuff up it just happens.
She came into the store early this morning wearing a long black parka with a fur-lined hood.
The icy Boston rain had her wearing said hood, therefore hiding her face.
She told me she was hoping to find some empty cigar boxes outside the store but that she was sad because there were none.
(We always put the empties outside where passersby can just take them)
Hang on, I said, I think I have a few in the back.
I went and came back with two small wooden cigars boxes with sliding lids.
They were made out of Spanish cedar and smelled wonderful.
Looking back on this morning, it’s ironic that one of the cigar boxes had the name ‘Illusione’ on the top of it.
I have these, I said, handing her the boxes.
Oh, my, she said, this is just what I wanted.
Thank you so much.
No problem, I said.
Before she turned to leave, she looked up at me.
Under the fur-lined hood I saw a distant and almost yesterday version of my mother’s face.
She smiled and softly said, ‘love you’ and made a *mwah kissing sound as she left.
Love and free cigar boxes usually do not go together.
I stood there in the middle of the empty store with ridiculous goosebumps.
She even sounded like my mother, for Christ’s sake.
I could see what I wanted to see and hear what I wanted to hear.
Maybe I’m going out on a limb here making all these iffy connections,
seeing and hearing things that may not even be there.
To think and believe the actual possibility is dreaming and maybe sadly inconsequential is justified
but this morning I was a true believer in existential possibility.
I ‘heard’ the voice of my mother say ‘love you’ for the sake of two wooden cigar boxes.
Some days you have to take what life gives you and today,
I think I did just that . . .