Tag Archives: adapting

A Blast From the Past

The Domino Effect   (January 2014)

 I want to say something profound and memorable. I wanted my first full post of 2014 to be something people spoke about to each other for days and weeks. And then I realized I had it all wrong. It’s not about the words I use. It’s not about how I feel about what I write. It’s about reaching out from the isolation of my home to the world. We are not alone. We never have been.

I’m a big believer in the importance of chance. You meet a stranger on the street and you smile in an abstract, bored sort of way. The person you smile at doesn’t realize you are bored and his spirits are lifted just a tiny bit and when he gets home to his wife he’s kinder. His wife spends a little longer getting dressed that night because she’s starting to believe she’s beautiful because her husband was kind. She speaks gently to her child that night and he goes to sleep feeling loved. The next day he goes to school and does exceptionally well on a test because he feels good about himself. His teacher is thrilled that her problem student has done well and she feels better about herself thinking she’s the reason. She goes home that night . . . All of this happened because one woman smiled at a stranger. It’s a domino effect.

We live on this little blue world made of dirt and water and people. There are a lot of us. There are wars and hunger, violence and apathy. Every day we deal with our own perceived inadequacies, our own diseases. But there’s one thing we must never forget: somewhere, someone is in much worse shape than we are. Somewhere, someone is watching their life blood seep through a gaping wound, alone and frightened. Somewhere, someone is watching as a loved one slowly succumbs to a painful and deadly disease. A woman is raped and beaten, killed. A man is shot dead by a stranger for his empty wallet. A woman feels the hands of a lover on her throat tightening. Children are shot by children, men and women are tortured, planes crash, people are dying of hunger, disease and greed.

You have a choice. I have a choice. We can give in, be victims and wallow in our own self-pity. Or we can take what quality of life we have, embrace it, relish it, enhance it if we can, and live. Reach out to the stranger next to you and smile. We are all in this together.

Recipe to Live

One foot behind

The other in front

Reverse and repeat

Please let me be blunt . . .

 

You are the pilot

In this thing we call real

But work needs to happen

In life that’s the deal . . .

 

It may not be easy

It may not be kind

But wonders are there

If looking you’ll find . . .

 

God gets the credit

For the good in my life

The devil gets the blame

For those moments of strife . . .

 

One foot behind

Now bring it in around

Keep moving forward

To the future you’re bound.

 

It’s 4:00 in the morning!

4 AM. The clock ticks inexorably towards 5 o’clock but it’s still a long way away. It is dark. It is quiet. But it is not silent. I can hear a clock ticking in the other room . . . tick tick tick. A relentless metronome. Tick tick tick. Isn’t there supposed to be a tock in there somewhere? It’s funny how we interpret what we hear.

I just heard a car, I think, it was a quiet, dull roar. Fortunately no car alarms! I can hear my refrigerator faintly humming. Not a tune I know. Silly me. I get a little punchy in the wee, wee hours of the day. Or is it still night? Technically it’s the morning but that doesn’t seem right until after dawn. But it is a quiet time.

I can hear my heart beating. Odd. It is something that has been doing the same job for more than 59 years and yet it is alien to me. My liver, my spleen. These are all important aspects of what make me but I have no relationship with them. They are the mechanics within the shell of my body. And I am no mechanic!

I am tired. But I am not sleepy. My body wants to rest but my mind insists it has something important to say. I wonder what that is. I wonder what is the meaning of life. Meaning. Mean. Such different meanings. Can you be mean to your meanings? How do we understand? Why do we not understand? We are not so different from each other and yet we insist that we are. Why? Why do we hate what we do not understand? When? When did we come to believe that it was okay to hate? Is that the meaning of life?

Understanding. Perhaps when we understand each other we will realize that only when we are acting as one can we become one. One species, one race, one people. Too few people have tried. We are raised to be individuals and we cannot comprehend how we can be a part of something bigger when we come together as a whole. We do not give up our individuality by joining a group we simply enhance the group.

I feel I’m in ranting but I also feel that it is important. I am important. You are important. But even better than all of that: WE ARE IMPORTANT!