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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

the little i know

I’m not going to pretend to know everything.
And I don’t want to use any flowery language either.
I want to be as plain as possible.
If I know anything, it is that:

Life is short.
Anything can and will happen.
We don’t get to choose much about our lives; height, the family we are born into, and rock star guitar skills come to mind as good examples.
The choices we can make should be made with an even closer watch on what is important.
In fact choices are the only thing we can control.

Only we choose to love.
Only we choose to slander.
Only we choose to tell the truth.
Only we choose to treat others with indignity.
Only we choose to set a good example.
Only we choose to be bitter.
Only we choose to be grateful.
Only we choose to speak our minds.
Only we choose to forgive.
Only we choose to judge.
Only we choose to defend.
Only we choose to bully.
Only we choose to change.
Only we choose to hope for something better for ourselves, our kids, or others.

With all humility I reflect on the fact that these are truths I learned from my father.
My father: interestingly enough someone with whom my relationship is permanently affected by the choices both he and I have made.
But the comfort in that is that we both understand the rules and the outcome.

There are individual personal traits that I truly despise in this world.

Betrayal. Lying. Hurting others for pleasure or profit. Laziness. Judge-mental idiots. Show offs. Bullies of all kinds. Blowhards. Anyone who thinks they’re better than anyone else. Anyone who allows someone to take the blame for something they have done (also known as betrayal, but I felt it needed repeating). Proselytizing: this includes anyone who hammers their beliefs down on others, including but not limited to religious zealots, conspiracy theorists, and know-it-alls of any kind. Complainers who do nothing to help themselves or anyone else (see laziness or cowards.)

It is possible that I also compiled this list at the feet of my father. Or from reading a lot as a child. You can learn a lot from books: the difference between right and wrong, how shiny, perfect apples are sometimes the most poisonous, and that the story always changes depending on who’s telling it. Anyone who as ever displayed these traits to me can tell you...oh, no, they can’t...because I don’t have anything to do with them anymore.

Another thing I know.

No one can ever tell me how I feel.
No one can tell me what I know.
No one can tell me what I think.
No one can ever speak for me, and be authentically me. But that’s a good thing, right?

Anyone who tries to do any of these things should really read the paragraph about the things I despise again. If you persist, you may be on the naughty list for good. You have been warned.

Sadly, there are times where others can inflict themselves on my ability to make choices. Love, responsibility, the desire to get along, all of these things make it hard to stand up and choose a different path.

I have tried to teach my children that love is not a burden.
Love is not a requirement.
Love is a gift.
Love is bold.
Love should never be taken for granted.
Love should never be cheapened.

I don’t want my children to love me because I happened to be part of the chemical reaction that brought them into the world.
I don’t want my children to love me because I changed their diapers.
I don’t want my children to love me because I taught them to read.
I don’t want my children to love me because I’ve spent money on their education, clothes, or food.
I don’t want my children to love me because they owe it to me.
I certainly don’t want anyone to love me because it’s the “right thing to do”.

I want my children to love me because I have taught them about choices.
I want my children to love me enough to tell me when they are sad, happy, or angry.
I want my children to love me because they choose to.

The bravest thing anyone can do is to love someone.
Love can be painful, heartbreaking and frightening.
Love doesn’t always last.
Sometimes love breaks your heart.

Love should never, ever be taken for granted.

Monday, March 4, 2013

untitled

nothing to say
only bland weak thoughts
or flashes of internal light
that spit and immediately grow dim.

my mind wanders like a firefly
caught in the updrafts of emotion,
fleeting sites,
the smell of something once enjoyed,
the heat of a body just out of reach,
left to close off and slowly dim
until the pulsing light is merely a
retinal tattoo,
a smear in the dark.
a ghost of some once present thought,
now forgotten.

thoughts fade like breath on a window,
a dying star
only to be noticed
too late
and left unexplored.
left to wonder
from whence it came
what depths were left unplumbed
what treasures
will remain buried.

inspiration
with not enough inhalation

and far too much
exhalation.

to pause between is the key.

Evidence of a Life