March 31, 2010

Where am i going?

Rather than tell you what to do, can I offer a suggestion or rather an exercise? Sit down with two sticky pads, two pens/small markers and your wife/husband (get the kids out of the house for at least 2 hours). For 20 minutes, don't look at each others work or talk, just write. One item per sticky. Put down everything you want to do, trips, things you want to own, financial goals, whatever you want, just write it down. Size doesn't matter, you can put Backyard BBQ with wife up to 105 foot yacht on there. No editing, have something that sounds wacky? Write it down. If your hidden dream is to sail around the world in a 30 foot sailboat, put it down. There are no rules here. At the end of 20 minutes (30 if you need more time), you should have a sizable stack of stickies. Now, either on the table or a large clean wall, start laying them out. no categories, no judgements. Just put them out there. Spend about 10 minutes looking at them all - give yourself time to envision yourself in each statement. Pair up like statements where you both wrote the same thing. Then, lay out a rough vertical grid - you don't need lines.

6 months | 1 YR | 2 YR | 3 YR | 4 YR | 5 YR | 5+ YR

If you feel the need to add longer time frames, do so, this is your exercise. Start putting things into columns under what you feel is the right heading. Stack duplicates on top of each other with some showing (different colored pads helps). As you begin to put things into categories of time, you'll probably realize that some things are not possible where they were originally positioned. As you move and position, talk with your wife about these things and why they are important to each other. Are some of the wacky goals really interesting to you? Here is where things get really fun. Start to imagine life with those wacky things. What moves can you make that would bring these things to fruition? Are some of the stickies simply things that help you keep up with the Joneses or are they things you really want as part of your life? What things on your lists lead to different life paths for the family? What surprises are on your partners stickies? What is absent you thought would be there? You'll probably find that some things don't fit anywhere. I'm sure someone smarter than me could figure out a name for this one, but I just put them at the bottom or side and think of them as wishful thinking - in this group, you may just discover your future. Do not just discard them as stupid or impossible.

Anyway, have fun with it and see where it takes you. Remember the old cliché, Life is what happens to other people while you are planning yours. What it really means is live today. When I started my blog, it was to document the trip to Europe if you go back to the beginning of the archive. One thing I talk about there is the idea that I don't want to be old and saying, I wish I had... So far, so good. :-)

If you try the exercise above, let me know how it goes.

March 26, 2010

Bear it or share it?

Sometimes we have all this turmoil in our minds. We feel uneasy, jittery, our minds pace like a caged tiger. If someone asked what we were thinking the answer would be the same. “Nothing.” Really, at that second, everything froze. It is no longer about the rent payment, the car, the dog, your boss, whether or not the Yankees are going to win in four. Like vapor being sucked out a hose, vvvwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiip. It’s gone.

At that moment, it just became about the relationship with the person that asked. Can you tell them something that will ease their mind? Can you make it real? Will it be the truth? “See, there is this stuff I want to protect you from, it’s not pretty, it’s not cute, it’s not friendly. In fact, it’s a bit crunchy, a bit slimy, and probably not a yummy for your mind.” Most of us can’t be that honest with ourselves let alone another person. So we hide behind a plausible story that fits.

The thing is, when you can share the crunchy, the slimy, the non-yummy, it makes the yummy, the soft velvety, smooth to the touch oh, so much better than we imagined. Melting away in the peace of someone’s arms, hearing them breath with their own rhythm. Feeling the warmth of them next to you, soothing away the aches and pains that made the turmoil that was so recently swimming around our brains. Yes, you can share it, the load is less when there are two carrying it.

March 21, 2010

Gimme some more sour M*A*S*H

I don't actively search it out, but MASH is a timeless show. The issues they brought to the screen are just as relevant today as they were when the show was originally on the air. The actors created an intimate look into the lives of their characters based on amazing scripts that just aren't written today. Comedy shows are largely a cliché and rarely if ever bring true issues to public consciousness as MASH did for many years, week after week.

As in real life, comedy and tragedy often fall hand in hand in an episode of MASH. When Henry Blake left the show, Hawkeye suggested he full on kiss Hotlips for a fantastic OMG moment on television followed shortly after with the scene when Radar enters the Operating Room to tell everyone that Lt. Col. Henry Blake's plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan and 'there weren't no survivors' which is as heart wrenching now as it was the first time I saw it 20+ years ago. Even dearly loved shows like Cheers do not elicit the emotional response that MASH could, they never did. Doesn't your throat get a little ache in it, just thinking of Henry's death? If you say no, you either never saw the entire series or you are lying. His character became a part of our lives and when he died, a piece of us went with him. When the casting director replaced him with Sherman Potter, they did the brilliant move of creating an entirely different kind of character, as would happen in real life, people are never replaced with the same entity, and the show created all new plot lines that helped you fall in love with the replacement. Who wouldn't want to spend an afternoon or an evening with a glass of scotch listening to that kindly old man as he reminisced about the old days in the saddle?

I'd beg and plead with Hollywood to bring out a show as funny, touching, heart ache filled as MASH was, but I doubt it could ever happen on the budget of a TV show today. Will Grey's Anatomy have the longevity of a show like MASH? Will I still be interested in Richard's bout with alcoholism as I am in watching Hawkeye Pierce try to quit drinking gin from the still in his tent and the madness that envelops him in the process? Doubtful. Even ER which I watched religiously for years finally lost it's appeal (somewhere around the time they had a helicopter fall on a character) to not only keep me entertained, but to get me thinking. We don't need to go further visually, we need to go further with the story. Dig deep writers and tell it like it is.

March 16, 2010

It's still free

Recently I took some time to reread portions of this blog and it's contents. As usual, I was surprised, annoyed (by typos and grammar errors) and sometimes blown away. More often blown away by the comments of readers than the things I have written. Here is one in particular that I keep rereading.

Each time you write it's as though you have a canvas in front of you, long wooden handled brushes, and many beautiful colors that have been blended together over time.

You paint with so much energy, emotion, and feeling. You pour all of you and all of what you are into what your writing. I feel like you're sitting in front of me, talking to me, sharing yourself.

It's an amazing experience to walk through your gallery. The cost of admission should be much, much more.

If you are a new visitor, take a few minutes to read some of the Favorite Leaks, if you are an old reader popping in to see if there are any new drippings, take a few minutes to drop into the archive and reread some of the stuff that's been forgotten. Since I don't really diary/journal events but rather observations and questions, most of this blog is still 'current'. Either way, enjoy and come back for more.

Bits n bits

Empty vessels fall from deadened fingers to shatter on the cobble. Unheard, uncared for and unwilling to look, the sounds quickly stifled to silence. Shrouded in mist and clouds, we seek the source of echos.

March 04, 2010

Where am i?

Even surrounded by darkness, there is always hope that the light will return. I look for that spark, the catalyst, to return me to the brightness I once saw and felt.