Thursday, June 24, 2010

Knowing how not to miss

title suggestions welcome. From 3.23.10

Beautiful solitude. You hold your breath, letting the blue green waves wash over you. Your body becomes thin as a wafer, connected to each movement of the water that tucks in and over you, enfolds and couches you. You sat at the bottom of the ocean, dependent on it for life for 9 months before it let you rise out of its womb above the waves to breathe the stale air of this old world. You figured you had no use for the mundane, so you leaped back mouth first into that water world which birthed you so you could again revel in its mysterious currents, letting it take you wherever. You are free from social contract, for you know no companion but the tug of the now. You are blithely alone, distant from anything which would impose upon you. And yet your mind is made up for you, inasmuch as you let go of your mind, forgetting it, surrendering. You are so beautiful, like a rainbow or a golden ray of sun. You are the uniform choreography of a school of fish or a flock of birds, you are the king and queen like wind and moon. A humble beggar and a prophet with wings come to pluck my eyes out so I may see.

How many times has your name been uttered, absentmindedly, as if a kick in the gravel, or the running of a hand through one's own mussed hair? But I will no longer forget you, or speak about you in passing, offhandedly, dismissively. I will touch your inner folds and capture your essence the moment you come near, as if seeing into the heart of a comet as it blazes across the firmament, visiting me graciously, bestowing upon me a great boon with its wayward glory.
Where did I last see you, I mean, really see into you and know you to be a dream made real? I must've been drunkenly stumbling down an alley, cursing at invisible women, hoping that my doorstep would elude me a while longer. Or maybe it was when I was perfecting my verse, scribbling notes while sitting on a wooden bench, seeing but not paying attention to children and lovers and old folks and buskers who populated the park but made no impression on me but to act as mise en scene.

What other pertinent information had I left out when I last thought of trying to describe you? Maybe it was raining and I had no umbrella, I had no one to call, no place to shelter me from the pellets of God's piss. I strolled endlessly, aimlessly, frustrated but not angered, not rebelling against the circumstances, I was happy to have that experience, to feel the discomfort of wet all around my ankles, pools and puddles forming in the bottoms of my shoes, my jeans clinging to my thighs and knees, my hair a dripping mess, my body closing in on itself. But I was open to the rain and I let the world beckon to me, I came and opened the door of my soul to it and let everything but the native population make themselves at home inside of me. I was a rotting old Victorian manor. I had all my doors open and let the ravages of time and nature decay and trample throughout my distinguished halls. I rejoiced. I was silent and expressionless. I was coy and dissatisfied. In this there was peace, and I think I found pieces of you there.

This time there will be no grand declarations, no alarums, no popping off of the cork, no buoyant celebrations or the sound of a package being ripped open. Only a slow and easy capitulation. The emptying of the belly of all desire and appetite. Just a swallowing of air and time, chewing it then spitting it out, tasting nothing, feeling nothing but one's own sickening tongue, but thinking nothing of it, being neither repulsed nor invigorated, only floating and waddling, wading and waiting. No way, no waiting, not even weighing. Biting one's own finger and not feeling it, not expecting to feel nor feeling the passage of things, only knowing the finger is there between the teeth, all else is useless speculation, as distant as a planet we cannot see, as elusive as a savior we cannot be.


written March 17, 2010

Dads like to read books about politics and history. Dads smoke cigars, and play chess, and take their golf clubs to the driving range. Dads tuck their shirts in, wear dad shoes. Dads drink light beers with their buddies and watch football, and live to come home after work on a weekday and watch their favorite team play on TV. They read the box scores, play the pool at work, and might have a fantasy league team or two online. They contribute to their political party. They sit in the sauna and "talk" with other men. Dads smell like cologne or aftershave, some just smell like cheap deodorant. They wear loafers, they play cards, they coach little league, and even if they don't then they still might curse out the ump or ref if he makes even a questionable call against his kid.

Dads tease and laugh, they give short and unexpected nuggets of wisdom, they tell stories that might not make sense to you at the time but will amuse you or teach you something later when you think back on it. Dads win at arm wrestling, cheat at backyard basketball, and love to be the boss of the barbecue.

They mow the lawn, they build things that may not be necessary, they fix and wash cars, they're proud, they're strong, and as much as you love them, as much as you try to know the man your dad is, he is always a little bit mysterious, and in reality both a little bit more and a little bit less than we think he is.

Dads work hard. Dads get tired. Dads snore. Dads will take you to the movie you want to see, then, not on purpose, fall asleep in the theater. Dads will eat anything, they eat a lot, and they eat fast; they might even make a little bit of noise while they do it.

Dads wake up early, they listen to corny music. They have boring haircuts. They either have a Harley or wish they could have one. They have a favorite chair and a favorite baseball cap. They like to hold the remote. Don't sit in his chair. Don't touch his stereo. Dads like movies starring people like Bruce Willis and Chuck Norris, Russell Crowe and George Clooney, Mel Gibson and Tom Hanks. Dads like talk radio, they even call in every once in a while. Dads swear only when its necessary, though that may be more often than you'd like it to be; sometimes it may be never. Dads teach you the right way to use a buzz saw, or shoot a free throw, how to write a check, how to shave, how to play poker, or how to change your oil, the Pythagorean Theorem or how to fish.

We think dads can do anything. We think dads know everything. We think our dads can beat up everyone else's dad. We've learned that we're wrong most of the time, but sometimes we're right. We forget that dads forget, that dads aren't perfect, that dads can be small, and weak, lonely and sad. Dads give up, dads make mistakes, dads get frustrated, sometimes some dads even cry. Dads can be sick, and mean, dads can even disappear. But dads are still, after all, always our dads.

Dads say I love you without saying it, without any words, or sometimes they'll just say it. Dads are proud of us. Dads revel in being dads. Dads live for dadhood. Dads do their damnedest to protect us. Dads are predictable. Dads repeat themselves. Dads are full of surprises. Dads come out of left field with things you never imagined they would. Dads change as they get older, as we get older.

Dads infuriate us. Dads make us laugh. Dads keep us down, and dads lift us up. Dads carry us. Dads let us down. We want to be just like our dad sometimes, other times we want to be everything our dad isn't.

Dads know magic tricks. Dads tell elaborate stupid jokes that makes us laugh maybe because they aren't funny. Dads are especially funny when they aren't trying to be, when they don't even know how hilarious they are.

Dads inspire us, set an example, forge a path, pass the torch, pass down traditions. Dads sacrifice for us, dads give and give and give to us because it makes them happy to do it. Dads do things, hard things, just so we won't have to do them. Dads are heroic. Dads are tragic. Dads are saints and sinners, martyrs and murderers. Dads wear funny clothes and dated hairstyles or questionable mustaches in old pictures. Dads will never look happier than they did when they held us in their arms.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Oscar Romero on Peace

"Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all. Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity. It is right and it is duty."

- Oscar Romero

Giving this heroic man his due, even if the Texas board of education won't:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Don't Mess With Textbooks
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

"Everything, crazily, is she."

"When woman is present, all
things are serene, themselves
--the flame, the flower, and song--
But whenever woman leaves
--the light, the song, the flame--
everything, crazily, is she."

- Juan Ramon Jimenez