Donald Trump and his new Republican Party proved something: That a Constitution written when indoor plumbing was actually cutting-edge technology, is not itself strong enough to withstand a manipulative assault on it by a modern day organized crime mindset that literally came of age in the dark gaps found between its words.
Arthritis is the body’s way of putting a memorial road marker on all of your old injuries.
what can we do when
off the glaciers sheer
and dams burst outward
to peasants in valley
so far away from you
hunched over a teak desk
looking tight for the line
of the feeders on bottom
As the Dome burns its effigy
in Democracy’s last waltz
The other day I was walking into work and found myself consciously avoiding the cracks in the segments of cement sidewalk. I felt a little ‘Monk-ish’ and I could hear Devo singing in my head, “Step on a crack… break your mama’s back!”
But then I thought, “Wait! my mother’s dead. I’m free! This isn’t going to hurt her!”
Then I went and made sure to step on every goddamn crack.
living out of the jewel in your heart
love, your connection to each
a filigreed heart for mother and child
fierce in your fight with unjustness
silhouetted by the hallway’s glow
an Angel Trumpet on the breeze
the gauze of your gown hued deep in joy
barefoot to the earth, a smile to sky
you love like a martyr, taking on pain
those in your grace, you cast a pure light
together we draw, when you become near
each fragment made whole by balm
pictures and paintings on walls
in every place you are missed
I wait again to smell your scent &
a crushing hug to bind my heart
turning and spinning
towards the center and back
esteem hits below the belt
love only takes one more
the inevitability of karmic debt
meets the prayers of the saints
halfway to providence and back
I should have learned it then
the silence I long sought inside
now returned an echo of dense
that old son of a bitch is dead
chattering on from his grave
chance took my chance away
with misery born of longing
solitude’s underbelly exposed
while guilt slow nurtures the hounds
i once knew
a magician whose
best trick was to get out
before the shooting starts
saving an artist’s heart
the pain we all feel
as open-minded feelers
expose their hearts to live
when the ravenous breath
of a new orange julius
is lobbed by industry
at the soul of men
The last few years has been a tough ride for me personally. I lost a brother to an overdose. I lost my mother to cancer. I lost one of my oldest friends, and the best man in my wedding, to Alzheimer’s. There’s also a handful of other major events that would take too long to explain in this particular post. When I look back at every one of those losses, there is a fairly large gap in my blog post history. Who knows why? I suppose it’s one of the ways I don’t deal with grief, by simply ignoring any decent coping mechanism I have for processing it.
A week ago today, I lost one of the most influential people I have ever had the privilege to know and collaborate with. This time the loss is directly relevant to my spiritual well-being, as well as what I write about.
Brian and I met over a decade ago, when he was hired by a friend of his, who was also my boss. A lucky break for me since the same guy had been telling me that I would probably get along really well with his friend Brian. A suggestion that sparked one of the most pivotal relationships in my life.
He was more than just a friend. He was a mentor in a number of areas for me. At other times, he preferred to be the student. It was one the purest definitions of friendship I have ever experienced. For myself, I believe that’s because we recognized ourselves in each other.
Over time, we created and authored a number of blogs that discussed a range of topics. He was one of the few people I can honestly say was able to deliver criticism to me in a way that completely bypassed my defenses, and the need to defend myself from the criticism. He could bypass my defenses and deliver information in a way that made it easy to see his point, simply removing my normal need to save face.
I don’t write because I want to. On most days, it’s more of a need. But, when my ego flairs, writing the type of stuff I do can be painful sometimes. Based on what I know, I suspect that Brian had to learn how to reduce his own ego before he could help anyone else with theirs. I am a far better person today for having known him.
I haven’t used his full name for a few reasons. The first of which is that I haven’t sought any sort of permission from his family to compose a written memorial. But also because I think I knew him well enough to know that, the idea of anyone trying to memorialize him in any way, would have given him the heebie jeebies.
Over the years he pushed me hard to get over myself, and to finally realize some of the projects I wanted to work on. But, like most people, most of it’s blocked by whatever bullshit excuse for a fear that I’d given myself. Each time that he pushed, he was careful to do so in a way that was always most helpful to others, and less likely to focus accolades back on us. In other words, Brian showed me what humility was, from the inside.
Okay, so now after having written all of that nice stuff, it also appears that I have also acquired my own glasses-wearing, mustachioed Obi Wan-ghost, wandering around and bugging me that I’ve still got work to do.
You see, I am not trying to memorialize Brian so much as I am trying to write about the passing of a close friend as a way to exercise my own demons. And also to let people know that I plan to change directions with this blog for a little while, if that’s okay (and even if it’s not). This blog was never meant to be a political bitch session. That’s purely a side effect of our current political climate.
I have been working on a series of essays that discuss the current and ongoing change in status that cannabis is experiencing as medicine, as well as how that might affect people in recovery for things like alcoholism.
Because of some of the training I have, both personally and professionally, this is a topic of great personal importance to me. It’s also one that few seem willing to tackle. And it’s here that Brian recently applied his gentle pressure, for me to continue to explore the subject, so that we could continue to help others in whatever way works for them.
My secondary reason for this post is to ask help from the readers: If you know anyone who can be helped by this information, please share it with them, this topic must be a give and take. Like much of our political discourse these days, the medical benefits of things like cannabis are subject to media favoritism. And the popularity of certain methods and medicines, ebbs and flows on public perception. A perception that is largely informed by backdoor deals and lobbying efforts, usually designed to enrich someone else, somewhere else.
What we really should be doing is using the technology we passively browse, and instead push it to increase our own access to information. We need it to help us expand our knowledge of the truth, and about the real efficacy of our medicines, and our politics. And for many who are trying to recover from addiction, helping them to increase the quality of their own internal lives.
Having said all of that, I want to once more thank Brian for everything he was able to teach me (not always such an easy task). And to also let him know that I miss him, and that I love him. Something I’m sure he knew, but I don’t think I got to say out loud.
Sadly, John McCain appears to be preparing to leave for his next mission. Like his politics or not, but this is a man who has given his whole life to the service to his country, and by all reports was the epitome of a good person. I think we all owe him more than we realize. I feel like it’s the end of an era. The era of politicians putting country before party.
That’s why I was so dejected when I suddenly realized that after Senator McCain’s passes away (hopefully a long time from now), it’s all but sickenly certain that Donald Trump will do something absolutely classless just so he can hog the limelight back to himself. Even if it’s bad press, it doesn’t matter to him. He has to have it. He damned sure can’t let the news cycle go to someone he disagreed with! Who cares if the man who is dying is a war hero who dedicated his entire life to public service, have you seen the way Trump humps the flag!
It’s like that old saying that I just made up: You never realize how much you enjoy the heavy silence of a church until your uncle in the back, decides to make fart noises with his armpits.
Your Memorial Day Tweet was the most rude, self-serving and disrespectful official Memorial Day messages ever. But your Facebook post should make even you ashamed. You really don’t get it, do you?!
— • —