May 29, 2006


When I was a kid on the playground, we had many activities to choose from to keep us occupied. Monkey bars, 4-square, tether-ball, dodge ball, spitting on girls... you remember. The good ol' days. I was out walking today and for some reason started thinking about 6th grade and dodge ball. Mr. K our teacher used to throw 3-4 balls up in the air and then played referee. If you got hit by a ball, you were out. If someone threw the ball at you and you caught it, they were out.

Now, the thing I'm thinking about isn't whether I spent more time in the game or standing on the sidelines hoping someone would Wally Preston upside the head with a ball when he wasn't looking. (I don't think I was vindictive minded in those days.) Anyway, I was thinking about what happened when the balls were initially thrown in the air. They arced high above our heads. Deep red rubber balls. They heaved nicely and made a perfect THWOCK when they hit someone squarely.

Some people would run for the ball. Others ran screaming (or just ran) away from where the balls were coming down. I wonder if you tracked people through life if the people who ran away are more or less successful in their approach to life. I'm not saying there is one approach that is the only way to be successful, but those who ran toward the balls took risks. If Johnny Brightling got there first and you were close, you had a high probability of being sent to the sideline early on. Not always, but a good percentage. It wasn't always the biggest, strongest kids that ran for the ball either. Some part of me wonders if this game isn't a good predictor for sadism later in life. Or is just about winning?

I haven't seen the game played in years, but I have these fuzzy edged images in my mind that relay all too well how the game went. THWOCK, THWOCK, THWOCK... what a great sound. The game was one of being alive. Blood pumping. Legs churning. Moving right, left, up and down. Sometimes you'd be a double target or you'd double target someone else and they'd get nailed twice. Someone told me recently that I'm like 'the box of chocolates in Forrest Gump'. Maybe I am, but for today, I'm going to imagine I'm more like a kid in a game of dodge ball. Perhaps not as agile or graceful as the other kids, but still in the game and trying to find a way to take out the Wally Preston's of the world.

May 25, 2006


I've been interested in the religious poem called Footprints for years. I won't bore you with posting the text here. It's easy to find. Basically, someone is crying in their soup about how god wasn't there to help them. Looking back on the sand of their life, they only see one set of footprints during the tough times. God responds by saying I carried you then. (I'm paraphrasing.)

The reason this interests me is that people that are very religious (especially the reborn) tend to feel that their god guides their life and that they don't need to put in the effort to accomplish things. The faith they have allows them to sit on their hands rather than taking control of their lives. (In India, often cows are seen in the streets starving to death. Ribs showing, because they are sacred and the belief that they will be taken care of, so no-one does.) Now, I'm not implying that all religious people give up control of their lives, but there are some very notable cases I've seen personally where people throw their lot to faith and gamble. Oh, I love that analogy. *does little dance* That's exactly what it is. Gambling. They gamble that something will happen.

I've studied a lot of the religions in the world (I'm still behind the curve on a couple, so I'm not an expert.) And this post really isn't about religion or faith. It's about taking control of your world for your own sake. Sometimes is feels like the world is collapsing on us and that we don't have any out. We do. It's about sitting down and figuring out how you want to proceed. Not being afraid to take the chance and succeed. I don't have many regrets in my life. But there are a few times I wish I'd sat down and really thought of what I wanted and how to accomplish what I wanted. I gambled those times I didn't. I didn't leave it to faith in a supreme being to take of it, but I gambled anyway by my own inaction.

Life is comprised of many paths. The ability to navigate successfully isn't about always taking the right path. It's modifying the path you chose. Because you aren't stuck on any one path. You can take another one. Or *GASP* create a new path. What? I can feel the befuddlement. Yes. Simply stop. Consider your needs, wants, desires and figure out which direction you need to travel to reach them. There is room to widen a path. Shorten it. Or even fill in the borders if you feel things are getting too loose and you are wandering. There are rest stops along the way to sooth your journey.

The rest stops are the moments in your life that you will always remember. The good times. Friends. Family. Pets. Random strangers sometimes that visit you on the journey. Sometimes these people are walking the path with you, but remember, they are on their own path. They might be a traveling peddler, or a wandering minstrel. Improving your day with useful articles or perhaps just a tune to help you on your way. But the path is yours. You have to decide where it goes. And to what it leads. Safe journeys...

(Update: not 15 minutes after I posted this two bible bangers showed up at my door... Coincidence or...

May 24, 2006

Castles are burning

Have you ever tried to hide a piece of yourself thinking that people wouldn't understand or that the reaction would not be favorable? Only later to discover or be told by someone that it doesn't matter what people think? In one way or another, fear rules these decisions. I've written about fear before, but I keep coming back to it. I just read State of Fear by Michael Crichton. Not to change the topic, but I think this is required reading for everyone. It's about a fringe group of environmental terrorists, but it also has a lot of facts about the environment that most of us never thought of or have had misleading information fed to us.

Back to my original topic, what causes us to put up all these mini-shields in our lives? What does it mean when you finally let go of them with someone? Or do you ever let go? I have dropped some of mine. The effect has been interesting to me. Sometimes, the reactions are not positive. People see what they want to see in each of us, yet, they can't see the whole picture unless you share it with them. Some people only share the intimate details of themselves and how they feel with a therapist. Others with the love of their life. Others live a solitary existence. Forever trapped in a reality they make for themselves. The little castles their perceived defense is really an offense.

My mind turns to my friend B that died last fall. I think of him frequently when I contemplate fear. As I consider what kind of castle he built for himself that kept him blind to all the people that loved him, I have to wonder how he also managed to show so much. We often hear about facets of people's personality, but what is the core that shows? What is it that brings us to reveal the truth of who we are?

Sorry, I'm a little rusty, but I'm going to try to make a come back on here. I miss writing terribly. Thanks for coming to the show.

May 12, 2006


Has it really been three weeks since I posted? OMG. I'm so sorry. Quick, give me a topic...

How about we talk about infatuation or lust? Sound good? I hope so. Lust is always near my heart.

In the last few days, I've probably fallen in lust more than a 100 times. But what is it that lust really does for you? Gives you sexual immediacy. Other than that, it's merely fantasy in your little head. Seriously, you haven't acted on it. You don't remember the person 5 minutes later (or if you do, it's still a fleeting whim.)

So what is it that we really want? The brass ring. Come'on, you can tell me.

We want that person that can love us, hold us and squeeze us just so. That person that makes our mind wander in the middle of a meeting. The person that we wake up dreaming was there. The one that makes us smile in the middle of tragedy and cry in the middle of fantasy.

Real or not real. That is what we want. Do you have it? Do you have something close to it? Fess up, I won't tell anyone.