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No Rhyme Near Reason

The problem, if today can be simplified into something as easy as a problem, is not God, or guns. The problem is not politicians or parties. The problem is not children, is not adults, is not global warming.

The list is long, drawn, and will leave us listless wondering what it Is.

It is not terrorists, military, oil, gold, bitcoins, inflation, liars, or cheats.

The problem is not the rich.

The problem is not the poor.

The problem is not intolerance.

But then, We remember: Is has more power, more definite tangibility. So we remind ourselves to tell what we see, rather than what we do not.

This list is longer, leaving us listless again, waiting, not with impatience as before, but with anticipation. Like waiting for our name on a roll call.

Because the problem is a list of names.

Don’t worry, my name is beside yours.

Our minds are closed, our ears deaf and our eyes blind.

The dumbing ambition of “right” has forced us to choose right or left. Our senses dulled to anything we don’t want to believe. So afraid of being wrong we cling to tag lines that carry no weight, we hurl insults at fellow humans, fellow countrymen, for nothing but disagreement.

We have forgotten our past, the well earned wisdom of previous mistakes lost on yellow papers and foggy minds.

We have wrapped ourselves in the blanket of old papers, forgetting the importance of progress.

We cannot face a duplicitous statement with an open mind, failing to realize the importance of looking forward while holding the past principles of wiser men(and women) than ourselves.

All we can do is drown the voice of others in the raucous shouting of blind dissent.

It is so rare for true wisdom to find itself in a position of power.  Because wisdom is seldom eloquent.  Wisdom speaks slowly, makes mistakes often, and is too often wrong.  So, instead of seeking wisdom, seeking a definite path towards success, it is easier to take the ‘right’ path.  We follow the masses, listening to those with eloquence, as if their well spoken words carried truth.  When they only carry the words we want to hear.

Instead of the words we need to hear.

We are uncomfortable with being wrong, being incorrect

As if being wrong made you less human, less worthy of respect.

I wish the truth were more marketable, or at the very least, easier to write. I wish someone else would take up the work I’ve chosen for myself so I might read my books, and write my stories, and start a garden in peace and quiet. I wish there was some picture that could catch your eye to make these words more appealing, and easier to share.

I have no right to be tired, too little trouble survived to call myself jaded, and so much work I have yet to finish to try and seek rest. Still I feel tired, jaded, and long for the comfort of rest.

Politics and society the meter against which man is measured, the filth of these measuring tapes soiling our clothes and souls.

The world is a ship moving with the current and wind, the efforts of the righteous slipping beneath the steel hull of human motivation to be crushed into dust and slime, while the ship moves on without care or notice. There is no one at the helm, because we are all pilots.

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(Guest Post) Fake News Shmake News

This post is from a good friend of mine.  Admittedly, they are a bit more liberal than I am, but I try not to hold that against them, especially considering they’re one of my beta readers.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders speaking about President Trump retweeting ultra-rightwing anti-Muslim (oh, and FAKE) videos:

 REPORTER: Does the president and the White House have a responsibility to verify information before they retweet it out? Isn’t it fake news not to do that?

SANDERS: Look again, whether it’s a real video, the threat is real and that is what the president is talking about…

REPORTER: So it doesn’t matter that the video is fake?

SANDERS: Look I’m not talking about the nature of the video. I think you’re focusing on the wrong thing.

Are you fucking kidding me?! These clowns whine about #FakeNews all the damn day, but when they knowingly retweet vile misleading videos that are fake, it’s quite alright as long as it forwards their hate-filled xenophobic agenda.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel truly sorry for any sorry sap unlucky enough to be Trump’s Press Secretary, but Sarah Huckabee Sanders has to be lacking any semblance of a soul if she can say that shit with a straight face. I’m pretty sure she threw away her moral compass a long time ago because she figured the battery was dead.

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously and accepting both of them.” Fake news is bad. Fake news is just fine!

Wake up, people. Don’t stand for this shit.

More of their writing can be found here: https://medium.com/@TheBullysPulpit

Some thoughts from yours, truly: If it is impossible to defend an action, or a a spoken word, then do not try to defend it.

I hope to see this country that I love so dearly rise away from the divisive, populist, cesspool it has become.

I hope that the world might come to its senses, sooner rather than later, so that we all might be able to live our lives without fear, or hate, or anger.

I hope that American politics can soon become mundane, and unimportant.

I hope that we all can come to terms with the truth, and I hope that we can do so soon.

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth -Buddha 

As always, I’m interested in your thoughts on this subject, feel free to leave your comments below.

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Some Honest Perspective

 

Being so incredibly small, and unimportant, in the vast scheme of the Universe is a frightening concept to attempt to honestly tackle.  To truly comprehend and accept this as a fact, which it is, requires You and I to admit that everything we will ever do, is utterly and completely irrelevant.

This planet will not support life in the distant future, the Universe will  loose all of its energy and fade into nothing.  So why does it matter if we solve problems or make problems, vote democratic or republican, plant trees or cut them down.  Nothing really matters in the grand and true canvas of existence.

Yet, still, we keep breathing In and Out.  Through the endless pain and suffering of the world.  Still we struggle to matter in a world with Billions of people.  We fight for status and money and happiness.  I sit at my desk, writing these damned blogs, knowing that, eventually, every single person who reads these words will be gone.  Every single one of you will fade from the memory of your relatives and friends.  I will leave children, and maybe grandchildren who will mourn my loss, then move on with their lives only to live the same story as me and all of those before me.

We are born; We live; We die, all the while, breathing In and Out.

Despite faith, we must acknowledge our minuscule importance.

All of these truths beg a simple question, The only question that we, as human beings, seek to truly understand: Why are we here?

Well, we are here.  While our lives may end up weighing less than a grain of sand as compared to the immeasurable weight of humanities existence, our lives have weight and therefore meaning.  Simply because we are is reason enough for us to make it count.  I write so that I can make sense of my own life.  I work so that those who come after me might have to work a little less.  My life is meaningless to the Void, but to those who are here now, my life has magnitude and importance.  Even if that magnitude and importance is like a fragile and transient bubble.

We live in a world filled with chaotic shouting and weighty words from those without wisdom.  We live in a world where justice is not always blind, or even found.  We live in a world where Truth is not an absolute. We live in a world where the eloquent fool is worshiped, and the quiet genius is shunned.

In and Out, we breathe.  Over and over again.

Struggling through the bullshit, looking for the happy corner of the world made just for us.  In and Out.  Through loss and strife.  In and Out.  We see glimmers of joy, the moments gone before we can think to appreciate them.  In and Out.  We look back on the small, happy moments of our lives and yearn.  In and Out.  Too busy looking behind us to appreciate what is around us, Until…

One last time: In

and as we fade away into one last embrace with the cold Void, Out.

I’ll keep breathing for the small moments.  The nap in a Hammock.  Food with more family than I can name, listening to stories from my grandparents, and sharing in their joys.  The warm hug from my wife after work.  My daughter’s arms around my neck.  The camaraderie of shared strife.  The last puzzle piece.  A warm cup of tea.  A good song on the radio.

Breathe, my friends, breathe.

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Let the Rain Come

There is a rule in writing: Your villain must be equal in strength to your hero, and if at all possible, stronger.

If I’m the villain or the hero of my story remains to be seen, but when I feel the strongest it always rains.

Without fail, my muse comes with the rain.  I become productive, imaginative, and hot. I have trouble keeping up with my brain every time it rains.

Maybe I’ve tricked myself into thinking that it’s the world trying to cool me down.  Like I’ve gotten so hot, so excellent that even mother nature has balked, and called for reinforcements.

I love the rain.  During the summer the rain comes as a blessing, warm and gentle.  The roads steam and you can almost hear the trees sigh with relief.  The wet dirt and grass soaking the bottom of your jeans, warm water running down your face.  In the winter the rain comes like cavalry: harsh, fast and brutal. It makes you bury your face inside the collar of your jacket and rush for cover.  Rain gives life, and yet also punishes.

To imagine that the rain is my adversary means that I would need to be strong.  I would need to be on fire.

So, if I’m on fire, let the rain come.  I’m not worried about the fire going out, because it’s my heart that’s burning with a flame that can’t be doused.  If I’m crushing it, if I’m soaring and my hands can’t keep up, let the rain come, because I can take it when so many others cannot.

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Anger

Dear reader, something has broken.  I had faith in the world.  I saw through the shit and looked at the beauty of the world; I saw people doing good things; I saw people being excellent.

There are some things worth stopping for.  The world carries on without regard for loss or suffering or pain.  And it shouldn’t.

The world ought to cry out in pain for injustice, and for tremendous loss.  It never does, ignorant, or uncaring.

I wish that I could shout, or break something, or have faith that the world will get better.  All of the work I have done no longer give me hope, all of the things I have left to do keep me from rest.

The wold falls apart, and now I wonder if I should let it.  People don’t seem to want to be saved.  No one seems to care that the edifice they worship is falling down around them.

I imagine tossing aside all of the work I have planned.  Running to some lonely mountain and being happy.  Because as often as I am a willing participant in this experiment called ‘society’ I will never be able to find happiness; I will never be able to find contentment.

Because we are, all of us, Assholes.

We are all terrible people, sometimes, and we try to pretend that it is okay.  But it isn’t.

The world that has no anger, hate, envy, or loss, is the world without people in it.

Some days I want to make the world a better place, and other days I want to burn it all to the ground, tossing myself into the flames.

The world is not Just.

The world is not Hope.

These ideas are artificial, a creation of Society, and a placebo for We the People.

Anger is wanting to fix something that cannot be fixed.

Despair is wanting something to be fixed that cannot be fixed.

I am Angry, and I will stay Angry, until I can figure out what to do, or until I die.

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Dear Future Ben,

Today is Day 6 of National Novel Write Month.  You should be at just over 10,000 words on your Novel “The Last 6 Days”

I’m writing you this note eleven days ago, and I hope that your efforts are going well.  Some things to consider as you struggle to meet your word counts in the coming days:

Stephanie Meyer got published, the only difference between you and her is that you’re actually pretty good at this shit, sometimes.  She just finished.  So when you struggle with that one sentence, or dialogue isn’t flowing, just screw it.  Get the damn words on the paper, and when you have a better grasp on the scene, you can come back to it.

Yes, yes, quality is better than quantity, we aren’t trying to pull a damn Stephen King here, but we aren’t at Hemingway status (yet) so just get the words down, and settle for being finished, rather than perfect.

I know you probably didn’t finish all of the outlining you wanted to do, trying to tackle this bitch of a story is going to be rough.  But the minimal outlining opens doors for you that might otherwise be closed.

Have you figured out the ending yet?

11 days ago you has no fucking clue, maybe those 10k words will help sort it out.  If not, write all of the endings and let your beta readers help you out.

Just get the words down, focus on the details, but don’t shout them at the readers. Toss them a lifeline, don’t build another boat.

Above all else, remember this:  You will finish this story, you will survive this month, and even if the story is total Stephanie Meyer level SHIT, you can edit.  Just get the words down so that you can mold the words into something excellent.

You’re awesome, Six days into NaNoWriMo Ben, don’t forget it.

Your biggest fan, Me looking into my own future.

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‘It’s Quiet Uptown’

I could not wish for a better person for my first guest post, though I do certainly wish for better circumstances. I won’t ask you to enjoy this post, dear reader, but these words are important nonetheless.  You read my story “Grief” here is my wife’s story. 
There’s a whole world, a whole life, that only exists in my dreams.
This isn’t me being poetic. This isn’t a metaphor. There is actually a whole life that only exists in my dreams.
We decided to name him/her Alex.
On October 17, 2017, my husband Ben and I went to an OBGYN checkup appointment for our 13-week-old fetus. We had already been to the 8-week appointment and had an ultrasound and seen our little baby and heard its little heartbeat. I lived for that heartbeat.
I had no doubt that I was going to hear it again that day. Our OBGYN came into the room and commented on my husband’s level of tiredness. Being on rotating shift work does that to you.
Then she proceeded to ask me questions about how I was feeling: Any bleeding? No. Morning sickness starting to go away? Yes! Any cramping? Nope. Any questions? Nope.
So then she got out the doppler that lets us hear the little nugget’s
heartbeat. I got a protective sheet put into the waistline of my
leggings by the doctor. She put the gel on my lower stomach and
started to move the doppler around to find the heartbeat. 15 seconds went by. “Hmm.” I hear a slight bum bum bum bum. “That’s your heartbeat. Maybe it’s down below your pelvic bone.” Another 10 seconds pass. “I’m going to go get the portable ultrasound machine. Not because I’m worried, but I know that every second that passes for you is worried torture.”
So she leaves and comes back 2 minutes later with the portable ultrasound. Something falls off of it as she wheels it into the room. It’s a screw. My husband and I make a joke about hopefully that’s not important. The doctor makes a joke about it hopefully not falling apart while she’s using it. I can hear my heartbeat in my ears. It’s pounding, hard and fast. I get more gel put on my belly. She begins to move the ultrasound probe around on my stomach.
Her face changes. She says “there’s your baby.” I feel my
stomach unknot. “But that’s where the heartbeat should be, and there’s not one.” I feel my stomach knot up again. I feel like I might throw up. That can’t be right.
“I’m so sorry. This is not your fault. There’s nothing you could have done. Knowing sooner wouldn’t have mattered. There’s nothing you could have done to prevent this from happening.”
Except deciding to have a baby, I thought.
She wipes off the gel from my stomach. She pulls the protective sheet from my leggings. She grabs the tissues and hands them to me.
I realize that I’m crying and my husband has gotten up and is holding my hand. The doctor leaves to give us some time. I sob. I cry and cry. I try to form words but they don’t come. I think of the other women that I’m surrounding by that are seeing their little ones again and their little ones still have heartbeats and I think about how it’s not fair.
But I still try to cry softly, for them. I don’t know how much time as
passed but now the doctor is back and she’s talking about our options.
I try to listen through my fog of grief. I hear something about letting it happen naturally. I hear something about medication. And I hear something about a surgical procedure where I go to sleep and then
it’s over. Sleep sounds good. I want to go to sleep and not wake up
until it’s over. I don’t tell the doctor this yet. I hear my husband
say we’ll call when we have a decision. I’m grateful he’s here. Now I
don’t have to tell him that our baby is dead. I just have to tell my
five-year-old. I’m crying again. Maybe I never stopped. We go out the
back way. I get a bottle of water while we’re leaving. Holding it
helps somehow. I don’t remember much about the drive home. Just crying and talking to my husband. Telling him I want to do the D&C. Telling him I don’t want to have to tell anyone. Telling him we need to go and pick up my kid so I can hold her and never let her go. Him doing all of these things and more.
I have these dreams now that I can’t get away from. I dream about
attending the graduation of a no longer little boy. I yell “Yay Alex!
We love you!” My husband is there holding my hand. My daughter is
there, too, but older and cheering for Alex too. We take a family
picture of the four of us.
Everything’s okay.
I dream about a little girl. I dream about rocking her to sleep. I dream about my daughter helping me feed her bottles.
I dream about a teenage boy. I dream about him asking me how to ask out this girl that he really likes but gets really nervous around. I tell him that he’s a catch and gorgeous and that he should just be himself and there won’t be a way for her to not like him back.
I dream about a college girl who comes home for the weekends with her load of laundry. Her and my husband get into arguments about molecular physics and I sit and watch them with a smile in the corner of my mouth.
I dream about a little boy starting school and my daughter, five years his elder, holding his hand as she helps walk him to his kindergarten classroom, telling him that he’s got this and kindergarten is great because you get naps and learn to read and have recess. I smile at their exchange and think about how lucky I am.
I dream about our little family of four moving to Florida after my husband is officially out of the Navy. I dream of both of my kids walking into their new house, happy to be home and near family
that can help me out with my two handfuls but knowing I wouldn’t
change a thing. I dream of being blissfully happy.
And then I wake up. And I remember what happened, but not really
remembering because I never forgot, because how could I forget.
I have an entire life that only exists in my dreams. My greatest wish
is that it didn’t only exist in my dreams. But the universe is not a
wish-granting factory.
Here’s where the emotional platitude about how everything happens for a reason should be. But I don’t have one of those. There’s not a reason for this. A miscarriage is not reasonable or fair.
 
I know my grief will lessen. I know that I won’t wake up crying every
day. I know that I’ll be able to talk about this miscarriage eventually without my voice shaking. I know that life will go on. But won’t ever happen is me forgetting. I won’t ever forget this. I won’t ever forget that look on the doctor’s face. I won’t ever forget my husband’s hand on mine. I won’t ever forget having to tell my daughter that her little nugget died. I won’t ever stop having an entire life that only exists in my dreams
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Repairing the Broken

Our world is full of stereotypes, injustices, and hate.  It’s understandable, when you think about it.  We are born, raised with our families, and educated by those who live near us.  We are sheltered from different opinions and different people.  Surrounded, most of us, by our biological families. We see the struggles and setbacks that our families must face and we feel for them, we see our mothers struggle and our fathers stress.

And yet our families persevere, they endure, and eventually they succeed, if you are lucky.

Maybe I was just lucky to have open minded parents, and intelligent mentors in my life.  Because I see more.  I don’t see just my own story, I see all of the stories.  I see the family that has struggled to keep the lights on, that has sent their children to bed hungry, that has not been able to receive an education, for want of a damn break.  The families living in the inner cities, in the shitty part of town, worried about what colors they wear instead of what books to read.  The kids that have to work so their siblings can eat, instead of worrying about their homework or who to date.

I’ve never lived these stories.  I’ve never even spoken with someone who lived these stories, but I know them still.  The way you know that someone is in pain from the look on their face.

What’s even worse than these stories and their truth, is that there is a solution and yet still we do nothing.

It is possible to educate every person to the level that they need to climb out of poverty.  Not all people who are born in low income familes are meant to be poor.  There are undoubtedly those who just need a step, one step, to climb out of the hole that circumstance has dug for them.

With every person educated, people could determine their own worth based off of their effort and intelligence. Rather than having society declare where they should stand, and shoving them down when people try to claw their way into a better place.

The educational system in this country is Racist.

Low income families, primarily Black Americans, suffer through sub-standard education produced from sub-standard funding.  School districts argue that schools receive funding based on their performance on standardized tests, and schools that perform better receive more funding.  How does it not make sense for those schools that perform poorly to get more money so that they can help their students next year?

When school districts punish their schools, they are punishing our children.

Low income families have less time to spend with their children.  Less time to help with homework, less time to mentor, and less involvement in their children’s lives.  Low income families tend to be zoned for poorly performing schools, and so their children receive sub-standard education, and so those children receive sub-standard income, and so the cycle perpetuates itself.

There are the exceptions. The lucky ones.  Those families that scratch their way out of poverty, and those parents that break their backs for their children.

We should change the school system so that the worst off child can still receive the education that they need to succeed in this world.

The following is a proposed list of reformative ideas for our current system of education:

  1. Pay Teachers MORE.  These men and women are shaping our youth, building them just as much as parents do.  Teachers deserve more money, and increasing the income of teachers will encourage more, brighter minds into the field of education. To pay for this, cut funding from the bureaucracy of the school systems (less than half of the Alachua County educational budget goes to Instruction: source)
  2. Schools should receive funding proportionate to population.  This is NOT the current case, and leads to the disparities discussed above.
  3. Standardized testing should have no input on a schools funding. Testing should be used as a metric to evaluate teachers effectiveness, and as one of many tools used to classify success.
  4. The school year needs to be year-round with only a few short planning-period breaks.  Children and youth are exponentially more likely to get in trouble with the law when school is not in session, these issues are obstacles to education.
  5. Extend the school day. As discussed in point #4, children and youth are more likely to have issues when school is not in session, extending the school day allows children to spend more time supervised.  Both #4&5 will help to reduce cost of daycare that families have to cover (if they can)
  6. It should be noted that this point is intentionally the last.  For policy makers this will be the only easiest piece of reform to implement. To implement this reform as a stand alone policy would be counter to actual progress, and would, indeed, hurt education even more.

Fire Bad Teachers

Look at any school, and the goodness of this policy would be evident.  The teacher who has become so jaded in their responsibility they turn over education and settle for getting through the day.  These teachers exist, and they hurt the educational system, they hurt our children’s futures.

One of the smart people in my life who keep these posts honest pointed out: “It’s super easy to make general statements, but figuring out real world answers is very complicated.” And that’s true, but if we don’t know what solutions will look like, there is no way to work towards those answers.

I graduated from Hawthorne High School.  The school performed so poorly for so long that it’s being shut down this year forcing parents to send their children on even longer bus rides (best case.) It’s no surprise the school is getting shut down.  When I was a student, there were several teachers that did not teach at all, and more that taught poorly.  I spent half of my time there building forts with tables and chairs, or skipping school to go to the beach.  It wasn’t like I was learning anything anyways.  When I graduated and went to the community college, I wasn’t motivated.  Education wasn’t important to me.  My parents tried; I turned my mother’s hair grey. Where I am today is a product of will power, and some lucky breaks.  A lot of my fellow students weren’t so lucky.

Education reform is difficult, there are roadblocks in the form of policy, popularity, and convention.  But education reform is the first step toward re-establishing this once great country as a formidable and respectable world power.  Education reform makes sense.  Education reform is necessary, and worth doing.

As a people, we American’s need to open our eyes, not only to those issues that are affecting us directly, but also to those issues that affect our neighbors, our friends, our children, their children, and all of the many generations yet to come.  If we do not move forward with education reform, racism, classicism, and so many negative stereotypes will be perpetuated.  We as American citizens owe it to our children to fix what has been allowed to break.  We owe it to our children to give them a fighting chance.

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Grief

About twelve weeks ago, my wife and I were quietly celebrating in the bathroom.  We found out that we were pregnant.  Last week we found out that our little one had died.

The doctor was wonderful.  She quickly explained that there was nothing we could have done, while she wiped off the cold goo from my wife’s belly, no real reason for this happening, as she made room for me to stand beside the table, and that she would come back in the room after she gave my wife and me some time to be together.

Grief is trying to sob quietly, so that the expectant mothers don’t worry about their baby.

After a few minutes, the doctor came back, and again told us that everything would be okay.  She gently explained the path forward, and gave us time to think, time to process.

Grief is picking up your daughter from school early, just to hold her close and appreciate what you have not lost.

My wife did everything right.  She limited her caffeine, she didn’t drink alcohol or smoke, she took her prenatal vitamin, and she made sure to wait past the apprehensive first few weeks to tell everyone about our exciting news.

We were through the worst part.  We heard the heartbeat.  We told friends and family, and picked out names, and started the math for college funds, and started to get our lives ready.

Grief is seeing your child on the screen, after anxiously waiting for the reassuring warble of their tiny heart, and hearing only silence.

There was no pain, no blood, no signs.  So we didn’t worry.

Grief is realizing your child had died before you had told most of your family and friends.

Grief is trying to spare them the misfortune of sharing your pain, and them joining you still.

Sadness comes when you watch a movie that makes you cry, your eyes swollen, some snotty tissues scattered on the couch.  It is small.

Grief is the smell of weeks old dirty dishes, greasy skin, and putrid water.

Grief aches, and hides itself in your darkest places.  Grief whispers to you that you should have talked to the baby more.  Grief tells you that you are broken in some invisible way.  Grief destroys you.

And then, Grief tells you that your pain is small.  It tells you that so many others have it worse, and it mocks your tears.  Grief tears you down, and then makes you feel foolish and shallow for your anguish.

For those  mothers who know Grief: those of you who have had so many miscarriages that you almost lost hope, those families that can’t have children, those fathers who have held the hand of the woman they love as she had the pains of birth for a child that had already died, those who have held their child in their arms and felt the squeeze of a tiny hand before it died, those parents who have watched their young children wither away and die from disease, We have taken the tiniest sip from the well of Grief that you drank from so deeply.  Some of my tears are for your pain too.

When a baby is born, and it is cold, hungry, or in pain, it cries.  It bellows with all of the strength that its tiny lungs can muster because the pain that new child feels is the worst yet of its short life.  Parents sooth the pain, with patience and love because we know that the pain will only get worse.  As the little one learns that pain can be small, it will cry quieter.

So too will adults recognize that while we must grieve for one pain, that pain can still grow.

Forgive us if we cry loudly, dear reader, Grief is cruel.

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Life, Chess, Pasta.

For about a week at a time I can convince myself I’ve got a handle on ‘life.’ At the end of that week I usually fall apart and take a day or two to put myself back together.

Often, the facade cracks in a way that most people won’t notice: I leave my full coffee cup at home, or I lose my temper from too many red lights and have a full on meltdown in the car.

Sometimes I break in ways that aren’t fun to write about. Ways that make me wonder if maybe I’m a little bit more broken than everyone else. I know everyone has bad days, that’s part of life, I’m not a total idiot.

When I’ve got life, like life is a recipe I’m really good at making, and I want to make the world a better place. Somehow.

But then I crack, and I just want to be a human being that doesn’t suck at being a human being. Like life is a chess master, and I can’t remember how knights move.


Life might let me go first, but sure as hell isnt pulling punches. 

I don’t want to be inspiring, today. Hell, I don’t even want to write today, but here I sit. Sort of, I’m actually making spaghetti, one of the few recipes I’m pretty good at.

Today, life kinda kicked my ass, checkmate in ten moves, but I’m good at making spaghetti, and I hope tomorrow is like spaghetti.


What I think my cooking looks like 

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Rest is Not Motivation

They don’t call it “Hard Work” because it’s easy.

I’ve been tired for a month, it seems.  I’ve crammed every waking minute full of things that I have to do.  It’s my own fault, and I hope this does not come across as a complaint. Because I sleep damn good every night.

Only about a third of my workload is ‘optional’ by any definition.  That third is also my favorite.  I spend less time writing than I want to, but really, who gets to do the thing they love as much as they can?

Networking is exhausting.  I have to talk to people, and read thousands of words with a critical eye.  I scroll through groups looking for similar people, I copy my work and post it on seven different websites looking to rake in as many potential readers as possible.

But it’s hard.  Because all of this effort goes unrewarded most of the time.  All of the homework and papers and research I do for my college classes, and I’m still years away from concrete payoff.  All of the time spent at work busting my ass, when I’ll still get paid the same amount either way.  And the networking, writing, sharing, promoting, commenting, and editing I do for twelve people to read my work.

I want to give up every day.  At least once a week, I consider abandoning all hope and running away to live on a mountain without a phone and without a pen.

 

Every single time I write, just before I hit the damned blue “Publish” or “Submit” or “Send” button, I hesitate.  I doubt, I wonder if it is really shit and no one has the heart to tell me.  I feed that hellish voice inside of my head and let him tell me that I am not good enough.  Every day I let myself do this.  I edit, I write, I re-write.  I polish and refine.  I do the homework.  I get up for work.  Even though I know that I might not be good enough.  Even though the work is hard.  I do it because I know that if the work was easy, everyone would do it.

When I give too much to the voice of doubt, I write posts like this.  If I can’t get enough people to read, I just need to write more. When I despair, I turn off the voice of doubt, and remember that I’m better than some of the other ‘successful’ shit-head writers out there.  I work harder than most people.  I at least use correct grammar in my homework, even if I only do exactly what the rubric calls for.

Hard work is like standing alone on the side of a mountain.   No one around you to recognize your efforts, and no one able to see how close you are to the top.  No one would notice if you stopped and went home, except for you.  Climbing takes will power, and tenacity.

If you’re climbing your mountain, know that it’s okay to doubt yourself, and it’s okay to want to turn around.  Just keep climbing anyways.

So, dear reader, if you need a follower, clap, like, favorite, beta reader, or a re-tweet, I might be tired, with a thousand other things to do, but I’m your man. Until next week, stay awesome.

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