Open invitation

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This one is simple. I’m going to list the artists, almbums or songs that I find myself listening to most, as of late. I think it should provide some insight into me. Then, if you’d like, you can share your current music interests in the comments.

Adele 21, Alanis Jagged Little Pill, Audioslave Audioslave, Bush Razorblade Suitcase, Coldplay Parachutes, Counting Crows August and Everything After, The Fray How to Save a Life, James Blunt Back to Bedlam, Live Awake: the Best of Live, Nirvana Nirvana, Pearl Jam Rearview Mirror, Pink Floyd The Wall, Radiohead The Best of, Sonny Boy Williamson The Real Folk Blues, Hozier Take Me to Church, Imagine Dragons Whatever it Takes and Believer, Gary Jules Mad World, Queens of the Stoneage No One Knows, Rag n’ Bone Man Human, Sam Smith Lay Me Down w/John Legend, and Bastille World Gone Mad.

Your turn! 🙂

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A New Hobby: Drawing

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I’ll make this brief. If you’ve ever wanted to draw, but you just didn’t think it was in you…think again!

I’ve been reading the book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards, and have been doing the exercises. I’m astounded!  This book doesn’t teach you how to draw…it teaches you how to SEE and to circumvent the dominant left hemisphere of your brain, so the right hemisphere can do its job.

I’ll leave you with my pre-instruction drawing of my hand, to see the progress. I might post other drawings in the days ahead, or illustrate my own blog posts…who knows!  Also, if you decide to give it a go—please share!

Here’s my first attempt:

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All in

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Going to the casino for the first time?

Make your way to the buffet and indulge

Fill your belly with comfort food and carbs

And in that warm, contented afterglow

Give your money to the next stranger you see

This is the surest wager you’ll ever make

I guarantee it

You’ll feel good having made someone happy

And you’ll have saved yourself great torment

The worst thing that could’ve happened to you

Believe it or not

Would’ve been for you to win

The surge of adrenaline

The release of endorphins

You will be chasing that feeling

For the rest of your life

Let me be your cautionary tale

Here is the twist

My first casino

Was a writing contest in 4th grade

My essay on why a kid shouldn’t be president

Beat out the whole school

5th and 6th graders included

To this day I remember how to spell

The word ‘assassin’ because of it

I was paid in pens, pencils and erasers

I was led into a room, as best I can remember

That had a mountain of textbooks

I was king of the hill

A landslide of knowledge shifting beneath me

I slid my hands along the cool, hard surfaces

Looking for something

Something special

To commemorate my victory

I climbed down that mountain

An astronomy text tucked under my arm

My head in the clouds

The loudspeaker announcement

My name echoing down the locker-lined hall

I have been chasing that dragon ever since

Looking for the next mountain to climb

With my eyes towards the stars

Reblogging

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Okay, okay, okay. I have absolutely no idea why I haven’t reblogged before. I think I reached a certain point, of having a handful of my posts on my feed, and started to think reblogging at that point would affect the continuity. Now, I’ve been at this for 3 years and I wouldn’t have found as many wonderful writers if some of you hadn’t been so gracious as to reblog me. It’s that simple. So, I’m planning on dipping my toes into the reblog pool. I feel kinda bad, as I know that, although I’ve liked and commented on many great posts, there were many that were more than deserving of a reblog, and for that…I’m sorry.

Thank you, to all you fantastic rebloggers, and here’s to giving back!

Choose your own adventure

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Page 1

You are exactly where you’re supposed to be. If you are unhappy with where you are, then turn to the next page. It’s blank. Write your own story, or a set of reasonable achievable goals that build on one another to get you to where you’d like to be. If you realize that you are where you’re supposed to be, then put this book down and go out and enjoy your life.

Page 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Abyss

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“…And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.” Nietzsche

The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

In the matter of a week and a half two friends, former coworkers, had taken their lives; a ripple of sadness passed through what used to be a close-knit family, one that has been cast to the four winds, nomads, since they closed the plant a couple years ago; Facebook is all a flutter, as everyone is trying to make sense of this tragedy and offering to be a sympathetic ear for those in need; and I’m just crying; when “Bob” committed suicide about two weeks ago there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to it; as he had recently gotten a better job and appeared to be happy; well…he always appeared to be happy; he was the guy that you never felt the urge to avoid, that you always had a nice conversation with, as he was soft-spoken and was rarely ever without his smile; though rumor has it he has fought periodic depression for quite some time; he has been in an on-again-off-again relationship with another friend/former coworker that he has a daughter with, but whatever the reason(s) he had he found it necessary to hang himself with copper wire in his garage; and I found myself wanting, no needing to know what was going through his mind as he stood at the abyss’ edge; I don’t know if this need stems from morbid curiosity, the writer and student of human behavior that resides within or because I have been near the abyss’ edge before and needed to know just how far down this rabbit-hole goes–how much worse can it get before one takes action; whatever the reason the idea was always lurking there like the shadow behind every sunny-day thought; then a few days later my wife called me while I was on the return trip from North Carolina and told me that “Mark” had killed himself; as I was with my father-in-law and sister-in-law I bottled and buried all reaction to this news; but once I was home it started to hit me harder and harder in waves and I began going back over all of Mark’s Facebook posts; it was as if each one was a scream for help; the most recent post had seemed darkly poetic, as it spoke of the woman he lost; she held him in her arms; his cheek against her chest; lips pressed together; his need to be with her is paramount; his eyes grow heavy; he is sorry; I had lumped this post in with all of the other dark/depressing/vengeful/lamenting/antagonistic posts he had made forever, but with 20/20 hindsight it couldn’t have been any clearer to me; a captioned picture of him laying with his dog on the couch, “at least someone cares about me,” and another post asking all of his contacts to tell him something good about him; a one sentence response to Bob after his passing, “I feel you but you could’ve called me bro,” and the more I read and re-read these posts the more I despised myself for not seeing the signs before it was too late; where I once needed to know what Bob had been thinking, I found myself overcome with the raw pain of hopelessness and loneliness I knew Mark must have felt at the end; I was there at the abyss’ edge with the ghost of a friend and the familiarity of the abyss washed over me; I had to shake it but I couldn’t; we had babysat his now four fatherless children; I had given him rides when his car was broke down; I had told him in an IM when he looked for validation on Facebook that he was a good man and that I had a great amount of respect for him; it took me two days to get to the point where I wouldn’t just break down crying at the mere thought of him or at the latest Facebook posts; I had gotten closer to the abyss’ edge than I ever had before, but I learned a valuable lesson, that I remain unbroken…perhaps even stronger having faced those demons; the deep lows and the amazing highs give me the breadth of reference that not only makes me who I am, but allows me to bleed upon these pages unabashedly; life goes on;

Waterboard of Directors

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They place the cot in my office

It is so comfortable, here try it out

I’m lowered into place

The blanket is heavy and made of unobtainable goals

I’m tucked in and told to feel the security of it

I’m bound by expectations

Standing squarely in the middle of my sandbox

They hold meetings I’m not invited to

They place the cloth over my face

They talk of personal development plans

We’ll water your face value so it grows long

The water erodes my approbations

I must walk the gauntlet, formed by the waterboard of directors

Chivalry is not dead, as they hold the door open for me

I walk out on my own accord, not…one…shove.

Soapbox

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Your very perception of yourself can be fallible. To see faults where none exist. To magnify the smallest of imperfections to caricature extremes. Body dysmorphia becomes your own personal hell. Powerful insecurities astigmatize the minds eye. The same can be said about the content of ones character. The villain is the hero in their own book. The asshole feels justified. The you, that you share with the world, is rarely the real you. Your public you is based on the faulty perception of what society deems acceptable. Who is society? A bunch of other insecure, distorted reality viewing, pretenders. All of us falling prey to the shiny objects that are meant to fill the void. The latest cellphone, the MK purse, the new car. We work longer hours, missing the ones we love, so we can buy these diversions. Keep your eye on the prize. In this way you won’t notice your deteriorating spiritual connection to Mother Earth and your fellow man. Love. Compassion. Empathy. Not just for everyone else or the natural world, but for yourself. For me there is one undeniable fact…we are ALL ONE. NOT…we are ALL ALONE. We are all one.

House on the corner


The house on the corner

An empty shell

Devoid of family warmth

No tv glow

No snuggling on the couch

No home-cooked meal aromas carried on the breeze

You haven’t had family in you for years

A for sale sign, a cry of loneliness

Uncut grass, like an unkempt beard

I feel your depression like a burlap cloak

Where are the little children’s feet, padding across your hardwood floors?

The peals of laughter, do they still echo in your empty rooms?

You still feel the vibrations, the resonance, don’t you?

Oh, I see…life breathes in you still…

Groundhogs have made your front porch their home

Pigeons roost in your attic, cooing out their greetings to you

Is this consolation?

Are you happy?

When we grow old, solitary, with wild hair and wilder ideas, mumbling to ourselves…

with only our thoughts, our pigeons in the attic, to keep us company…are we you?

Are you labeled crazy by the other houses for not wanting to be inhabited?

Are we, humans, crazy for the same reasons?

Or…are we both just waiting for someone to turn the key?