Nothing’s getting better anytime soon.
Nothing’s wrong with how it is right now.
It’s just you.
You can’t sit still, you got no peace in you.
You got no stillness available to you. You got
no way to soothe yourself.
You always lookin’ after someone to give you what you want
but you the only one can give it.
You the onliest one.
I like to see how other folks do it.
How they contend with the rawness in life,
get mired in the muck and the shit and how
when they rest from their struggles how they
turn their faces toward the sun.
How they shade their eyes with their one hand
and squint into the warmth of it.
I sometimes ache with a tenderness for all life. Even the lowliest creature can stir in me the fullness of the most singular compassion. Spend five minutes coaxing an ant onto my finger so I can walk it outside and set it on a leaf. In the shade.
It’s other days I’ll just mash ’em under my thumb.
I got no compunction.
One thing I am is a sucker for the whole contraption. I’m a grade A mark wandering past the hucksters and carny freaks, money poking out of my pockets, cotton candy in my hand and wide-eyed, empty looking face. They spot me comin a mile off.
You think I don’t stand a chance, but I keep comin home with a goldfish in a bowl,
a doll or a stuffed rabbit.
Lookit all them pretty lights!
In string theory everything is made up of impossibly small rings of vibrating energy.
So tiny you can never measure them.
I was thinking today about suffering. I have a small experience of it. Others have their doctorate degrees.
Are we all going to get that much pain? I can hardly bear the thought of all the pain that is floating around in the universe, like those tiny strings, vibrating, filling the void with the music of it all: the cries of the dying, the moans of the wounded, the crippled, the starving. The old struggle, trying to reconcile the beauty with the horror. I know it is intrinsic, I know that it must be embedded in each note, and that every speck and every corner of the whole vast multiverse is filled with horror, is actually made up of horror.
Whose other face is beauty.
Today I really want to get drunk. I want my brain fuzzed out. I want to knock out the little dictator driving the bus and let it drift down the road and watch the scenery go by in a verdant green blur. But there’s nothing to drink in the house and I don’t want to go out and besides, I need to ride this feeling out.
All my meditation and yoga teachings would tell me to stop resisting the present moment and to abandon my preconceived notions of how the moment should be and open up all of my senses to how it actually is.
How it actually is.
I still want an ice-cold vodka martini really, really, bad.
Or a vicodan.
Also, I want to go to the Sea Chest and down a big pot of mussels.
I am in a mood.
I’m learning Algebra.
Em needs help this summer, so I’ve been cramming, taking her on-line Algebra class with her. I sneak in a couple of hours a day while I’m at work, doing the lessons and homework and then going home and she and I go over it all again. We compare our answers and then she takes the quiz with me there to help out if she needs it.
It’s been a trip. Forced to communicate, we are like two alien species whose ships have both crash-landed on an asteriod somewhere in deep space. We need each other to survive, but we have no language in common, nor do we understand the mathematical language we need very well.
Throw in mutual distrust and teenage angst and paternal anger and frustration and you have a pretty volatile mixture.
I told Yolie I feel like I’m trying to land a six pound trout on half-pound test while I’m standing on a floating basketball in choppy waters.
But something magical is happening.
A couple of days ago Em says to me:
“I put a CD on your laptop.”
“What’d you do that for?”
“It’s a mix I made.” Shrugs. “So you could listen to it.”
“Oh.” Dad nods. “Okay.”
Now we even have a few words in common, a couple of gestures. We can nod at each other over the dinner table, and as long as I don’t actually say anything, it’s all cool. She can stand to be there. And she’s getting the Algebra. Her grade is pulling up steadily.
I could just bust.
Still at sea.
The fog has rolled in and obscured the sun.
Things sound strange, too far away or too close. Hear something
approaching from starboard and it bangs against the hull to port.
You get turned around.
You can’t gage your speed, and tend to go too fast
rather than too slowly.
What was hidden before remains hidden.
What you crave is the shallows, the fake safety of land,
but what you really need to do is make for the deep waters.
The place where you can find no bottom…
Its times when I seem to lose my grip on my own happiness. I am suddenly gnawing on all the small problems that are part of the fabric of daily life, and I can no longer gain access to the juicy bits, the good stuff, that is lying all around me just waiting for me to notice it.
I’m in the dumps.
I came home and was trying to decide all the way if I was going to just start drinking ice-cold vodka martini’s or if I would maybe go for a walk or a run instead. I hadn’t made up my mind and I couldn’t, either. Vodka, run, vodka, run….
Yolie told me to go out on the deck and meditate.
So I did.
The sun was going down behind the tall pines to the north, behind the house, and the sky above the deck was flawless blue.
Every once and a while a bird flew over me. The magnolia shivered and its wooden, waxy leaves clattered like a million marionettes applauding the breeze. Trucks rumbled by on Main street and kids screamed and laughed and got called in for dinner.
I am a maniac to find a small unhappiness.
I am undone by my own abundant blessings.
Cursed by my wiring.
I love it all.
1. Corn on the cob, grilled.
2. Tri-tip, grilled.
3. Roasted potatoes.
4. Vegan Chili.
5. Soy chorizo, grilled.
6. Tofu dogs, grilled.
7. Greek Salad w/kalamata olives and cucumbers and feta.
8. Mixed baby greens salad.
9. Peach pie with vanilla ice cream.
10. Jepson 02 syrah.
11. Pomegranate Cosmopolitans.
12. India Pale Ale.
13. Paper plates.
14. Fireworks on the beach.
The weather is here, wish you were beautiful.
When it’s good then the two of you don’t even need to talk to each other or even look at each other you just let it flow.
Maybe the guy likes your partner and so you turn into a goon and you hammer him and hammer him at every lie and your partner can be there to pick up the pieces and hold the guys hand until he spills or maybe, and this is good too, maybe he doesn’t like either one of you and you can both be dicks. Or off and on. But what matters is that when its right your guy turns from one of you to the other and you reach out to him and offer him a towel or a smile and then you knock him back with something that hurts. You watch his eyes rattle around in his head. You wait for him to sigh. You wait for his denials to slow down and to lose their emphatic power. You listen and you listen and you listen and you mirror. You mirror defeat. You mirror hopelessness. You give him your heart and then you take it away from him. You give him your love, you give him your understanding and then you pull away. You love him like a woman would. You flatter and cajole. You bully and threaten. You cry and plead. You go silent and let the room fill with silence until he can no longer breathe.
You pull your chair up in between his knees and you lean in and whisper or you listen to him whisper and you do not breathe and you slowly pull your chair up closer.
If you are an artist you can touch him.
I have lost them right there. Too eager, too full of myself and my own hunger I have closed in too soon and turned it all to ashes. You can back off, circle around, but once you use your mojo and it fails you are only waiting around for him to invoke or for the light to die in your own eyes.
What is best I think is when you are always honest and you are telling a story that has no other ending. And you are really there and really listening to what he has to say. Everyone wants to tell you their own version, and it is sometimes only a matter of finding a way to make your story and his story come out the same.
What I have done I have done always and always with a fearless heart. With open eyes. My job is to bring you to the place you have been striving for all this long time. To take away your lies and your denials and your fear and to help you come to it all with something approaching grace.
Everybody is the same. We all do wrong. We all want to cheat the man we owe. The hammer’s coming, all you can do is decide if you want your eyes open and your head up or if you curl up in a ball and cry like something less than a man at the end.
I opened up this door and I will shut it soon.