Echoes Across Time

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Love never dies…it echoes across time.

It is like a circle revolving with no beginning, no end. The pains of love diminishing as it journeys to the far side of the circle is real and deep…but remember the joy before the pain and listen for the echo.

Love has no dimension, yet it clearly defines all that it touches. It fills you up and leaves you empty all at the same time. Memories are the images carved as love passes along  our side of the circle; life’s subtle reminder to hold on and listen as love echoes across time.

Cast your ear to yesterday’s wind, if you must; do not be too surprised when the sounds you seek reach back to you from tomorrow. Echoes bounce in time and space, for that is their nature – but they must return, for that is their truth.

The circle cannot be denied.

Love cannot die…it echoes across time.

 

An Abandoned Life is Still Worth Living

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“Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.”  Such a clever line, but it begs the question: where is “here?”

Here for me has been a myriad of people, places, and things.  Ever naïve and hopeful, I have entered relationships, new places, and acquired things with every expectation that “here” was laid my true path to happiness and self-fulfillment.  Surely bright and shiny people and places and things, when gathered in sufficient quantity, would fill my life with purpose and meaning.

It never did.

People came and left. Either they abandoned me, or more likely, I abandoned them. As the song goes, “disappointment was my closest friend.”  Places shifted according to financial necessity or in my awkward attempt to substitute geography for responsibility.  And things, well, I’ve lost everything I’ve owned several times and I’ve never truly missed any of it.  It became clear to me that lack of commitment and abandonment were my sunrises and sunsets.

The funny thing about life, though,  is no matter how utterly you screw things up; no matter how isolated and diminished you allow yourself to become, it comes looking for you, continually seeking to make amends. It is relentless.  Life only abandons you once, and in that moment, it doesn’t really matter anyway…you’re dead!

Abandonment is a shifty thing.  We are never truly alone, nor could we be.  We are all threads in the colorful tapestry of life and together we are woven into a continual fabric of oneness. I’ve long since stopped confusing abandonment with growth…being ruthlessly thrust out in new directions for my own spiritual good.   If I find myself alone, in a new place, surrounded by new things, well then, I’ll grasp a little less frantically and simply enjoy the moment.

I still hope.

The Hard Truth About “Undecided” Voters

Okay, it has to be said. This business of “undecided voters” needs to be addressed. We need to stop coddling these people and treating the issue like the old man who has spinach in his beard but we are too worried about coming off like insensitive boobs to say anything even though every fiber in our being is screaming out, “You have f!#&ing spinach in your beard, you slob!”

For all intents and purposes, the election season started two years ago. Two years ago, people! And it isn’t like the candidates are churning out new messages every week! No, what we hear today is nothing more than louder, more commercially hacked versions of the same thing each has been saying for twenty-four months. Hell, we know the message so well by now that anyone of us could step in a campaign press secretaries on a moment’s notice. Truth be told, the message for each camp hasn’t really changed in decades, so why is it that we keep hearing about this wide swath of “undecideds?” Either these people are so completely A.D.D., or they are so tone deaf that they can’t discern the difference between a campaign stump speech and the ingredients on a box of shredded wheat.

I suspect neither is true. It’s time to call it for what it really is. These “undecideds” are not undecided, but rather nothing more than a sampling of the most ego-centric, narcissistic bloc of voters who, if truth be told, are probably too attention starved to be allowed within a country mile of a voting booth. Hell, I’d wager they aren’t going to vote anyway. For them, elections are not about validating a politician. It’s about seeking validation for their own miserable, lonely selves. For them, elections aren’t about ideas and platforms. Elections are simply an opportunity for them to run out into the streets in their birthday suits screaming, “Love me! Love me! Won’t someone love me.” They are the social equivalent of your batty Aunt Mary who lives alone with her herd of smelly cats. She thinks she’s coolly eccentric and secretly desirable, but she lives alone with a herd of smelly cats! And she always will.

Undecided voters are the restaurant patron who arrives as soon as the doors open and keep sending the waiter away when he comes to take their order with a polite, “do you need a few more moments?” Yes, they demur. And this goes on until five minutes before closing when they finally ask, “What were the specials, again?” It isn’t about the food. Hell, they aren’t hungry anyway. It’s about someone showing up every fifteen minutes to fawn over them and “take their order.” It’s about controlling the affections of others.

We treat the “undecideds” like the crown jewel in the Triple Crown. If only we can convince them, we will break away in the stretch of the longest, most boring race imaginable and trot off with the prize of being the next elected this or that. What we should be doing is ignoring this self-adoring conflagration of attention starved lunatics and getting on with our miserable, pathetic voting lives.

The only way to deal with these “undecideds” is to completely ignore them. You weren’t going to get their votes anyway, because it was never about the vote. It was always about them. Send them home to their herd of smelly cats and for God’s sake, old man…you have freakin’ spinach in your freakin’ beard!

Writing for Ghosts

It is 4 a.m. and once again I am planted before the keyboard attempting to craft words into clever sentences…and there you go, failure in the first keystrokes. The good news, based upon my dearth of hits on WordPress, is that no one will read this anyway.

I once envisioned myself a budding writer, but now I am thoroughly convinced that feeling was nothing more than insomnia in the early morning hours combined with a pot of cheap coffee flushing out last night’s indigestion (don’t worry, that’s as graphic as I am capable of writing!)

I know I could be a good writer, if it wasn’t for all that grammar and words and things. But who am I kidding? It’s all about the words…the fucking words! (Hey, I used “dearth” in my second sentence…doesn’t that count for anything?) Well, I don’t have words or ideas or pesky plots, but what I do have is way too much time on my hands, so here you go.

When I write, I don’t have a particular audience in mind. Well, sort of, I guess…I have the ghosts of Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Hemingway, and Plath. Sweet Sylvia Plath. Lots of dead people who, while not necessarily helpful critics, at least show up in my head and watch the circus of confusion unfold. Sometimes I can hear the occasional clicking of the tongue, a sure sign to lay on the backspace and come at a line from a new direction. Or maybe the clicking is the melting cubes in Ernest’s posthumous cocktail. The revolver of his pistol being locked into place? Who knows? The point is, I’m often guided by the whispers of spirits.

It feels as though when I write it has less to do with me having something to say than something that has to be said having me to write it. (Wow, I just plagiarized myself..that last line was something I wrote a year ago!) But it’s true, nonetheless. I often find that it is sufficient for me to just press the keys, and somehow the story will tell itself. Don’t believe me? I just wrote everything above without a thought in my head.

The key to being a great writer, I’m convinced, is to be a great reader. There is nothing I can say now, or will ever write, that hasn’t been said or written before. But a studious reader understands that there are a million ways to say the same thing, and that’s the beauty, and salvation, of writing. You don’t have to be original. You just have to have a unique dialect. In my case, it also helps to have a really poor opinion of most of today’s writing. I continually lie to myself and say, “I can do better!” And sometimes…I do. Then I pull down a worn copy of Pushkin and think, “shit..fuck this!! I can’t write!” And again, I am right.

So I continue my early morning ritual and if it’s true what they say, that if you give 1,000 monkeys 1,000 typewriters, in a thousand years, one of them will bang out the complete works of William Shakespeare, then surely, if this continues for a thousand mornings, I can bang out something worth reading.

Sadness: The Emotion of Separation from God

Sadness is perhaps our most profound reminder of our separateness from God.

Of all the noble human emotions, nothing illustrates better the chasm that exists between man and his Creator. If we reflect upon the causation of sadness, whether it be loss or feelings of intense separation, we cannot but be reminded of the limitedness of man in relation to the boundless love and healing grace of God. Nothing reminds us more of our ineptitude and failing than our powerlessness to stave off sadness, both in ourselves and in others, and nothing stands in starker contrast to His infinite goodness than our painful descent into continual despair and sadness.

The God we know basks in the eternal ether of all things possible, while man struggles to tread water and survive in an ocean of his own failings. While it is true that we possess the capacity to empathize, and even to a minor extent, to comfort…we do not, nor will we ever, have mastery over the prevention or mitigation of this painful human frailty. We cannot prevent others from causing grief and sadness, and worse yet, neither can we prevent ourselves from inflicting it, despite our best intentions. We can pray for the promise of healing, but we cannot prevent in the first place the tendency to cause.

Even in our closest union with God, we lack the power or the insight of pure love. We condition our compassion upon a human factoring of suffering…and in doing so, we continually miss the mark. In our most benevolent, the best we can do is provide the afflicted with compassion and understanding. We cannot remove the cause nor can we fully ameliorate the effect. In fact, because the closest we can come is to empathize, we often find ourselves likewise “saddened” even as we reach out to staunch to suffering of others.

Jesus, in his human manifestation, experienced and fully understood the debilitation of sadness. His temporal separation from the Father and ensuing grief was clearly manifest in the Garden of Gethsemane as in the deepest throes of isolation and sadness he called out for Peter to “stay with me this dark hour,” a request even his most loving apostle could not accord. Later, upon the cross, the experience of sadness and separation from God most closely reflected our own as he cried out, “My God, why hath thou forsaken me?” His weakness mirrored our own; his sadness a reflection of our own separation from God.