At Twilight

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Location: Midwest, United States

Friday, August 28, 2009


I saw a weasel today! OK. Mebbe not. It might have been a polecat,
a stoat, a ferret, a mink. Whatev. No matter. The point is, I spied a member of the Mustelidae family casually crossing the trail in front of me!

I had never seen a "weasel" in the wild before (other than exemplars of the human kind).

I was thrilled




* * *

Friday, August 21, 2009

Foie gras

I’ve served my time as a fatted goose. I have. A creature stuffed with waaaay too many empty calories.

I’m sick of that funnel crammed down my gullet. I’ve been force fed soooooo much corn...waaaay too much corn.

From the pedant who spoke of a doting husband...

From the artiste who whispered of peeling away layers...

From the spouse who angrily demanded more and ever more...

From the ersatz lover who failed to love truly...

From the takers, the users, the scammers and the like...

* * *

We all saw him. The peasant with the big net.

He hobbled across the quay to where the two wild geese swam serenely.

We were docked securely courtesy of sturdy hawsers. We dined sumptuously hours later.

We toasted each other with cognacs and whiskeys and wines.

We spied the very same grizzled peasant walking back along the quay at nightfall with a moribund goose enmeshed within his net.

We all saw him. Some of us paused...some felt somewhat appalled.

And all through the night we all heard the gut-wrenching cries of the solitary, forlorn goose that swam up and down the canal crying so plaintively. We all heard that goose. We had witnessed the demise of its partner.

And all night long the cries echoed, reverberated, haunted and admonished.

* * *

The next day, we were served foie gras as an appetizer...accompanied by a fine wine.

I kid you not.

* * *

(There was precious little clattering of tableware that evening. Subdued conversation. Precious little in the way of appetite)

* * *

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Burn (or not)

My favorite covert peace operative related a tale of burning love messages as a means to an end...the end being peace o’ mind.

I find the act/thought fascinating.

‘Cuz I behave in the exact opposite way.

Now, I’m not one to say I’m right. Lord forbid. No! I don’t think I’m either wrong or right. I’m just me. I reserve the right to be as screwed up as I am or wanna be.

I’ve met more than a few (females, mostly, interestingly enough) who recover from heartache via immolation of artifacts...photographs...
letters. I kinda get it.

Kinda don’t.

I’ve never been moved to destroy whatever relics remained from a love gone wrong. Quite the opposite. I’ve been one to cling to mementos. I cherish my photographs. The passionate e-mails. The vows and troths once promised (but NEVER delivered).

I’m not sure why I am the way I am. It’s prolly a character flaw, but let’s think POSITIVE, m’kay?

I cherish my memories. Memories of good times. Of pleasure.
Of dreams. Of SUCH great promise. I know. I know. Life don’t work quite like that. I know. Gawd, how I know!


Still, I remember the good times. The passion and the promises made.

Silly man that I am, I remember.

Some nights....

Those past passions and promises are all that sustain me.

* * *

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Decades

A dear friend celebrated her 50th birthday recently. She reported she didn’t feel any different.

I didn’t feel any different on my 50th birthday, either.

I’m not sure any of us notice much of anything different until ‘bout halfway through a decade...or decades later.

I’ve kinda been pondercating on this all day. Had meself two glasses of wine.

I think I’m finally ready to bloviate...

THE FIRST: This one’s problematic. I can’t remember ANYTHING ‘bout the first quarter. Let’s just say it’s the emergence of a human. From embryo to self-aware, fully-functioning biological specimen in just ten short years! It’s kinda mind-blowing, if you really think about it. Researchers say that our basic personality takes root by age five. Who am I to argue? That’s kinda how it was for me. From nothingness to shy dreamer in just ten short years. If pressed, I can prolly point to the origins of ALL of my fundamental personality traits over the course of my first decade on this earth.

My parents bestowed me with EVERY possible advantage. This truly was the decade of BIRTH AND CREATION.

THE SECOND: OMIGOD! From ten to twenty! I have no words to describe the explosive transformation(s). From innocent child to cynical “near-adult”. I elongated a couple of feet (no, not everywhere). Grew hair in places where I started with none. Learned more than I could assimilate. Went into rut (good times! good times!). Found friends who stayed with me to shape me, teach me, challenge and sustain me. Discovered the thrills, majesty and horrific pain of Love.

This decade was decisive for me and many. Some didn’t survive.

THE THIRD: The “Power” decade. I learned the extent of mine...the extent of the power of others. This was the decade of fierce competition. The mastery and display of skills, talent and will. I fared well. The “Dreamer” birthed in the first decade grew fortified with the energies of the young adult. I came. I saw. I conquered. I discovered my strengths. I discerned my vulnerabilities. I felt invincible...

Despite all that, I was still a fool.

THE FOURTH: This was the decade of erosion. This was the decade when my ideals became tarnished. Oh, there was money to be made, to be sure. There were titles, honors, successes (and failures). There was reality staring me in the face as I peered into the mirror each morning. There was a dissipation of energy. A growing cynicism.

I cut my feet on shards of broken dreams.

THE FIFTH: Oh! The Fifth decade. What can I say? The decade of “Realization”. This was the decade when the body cried “No mas! No mas!” I had burned my candle at both ends. Hell! I threw the whole damn thing into the fire! Around mid-decade, I realized I was crumbling. Both physically and mentally. I had paid lip service to my mortality but I had no idea what “mortality” truly meant. I was once one of those long-haired, stoned freaks who “didn’t trust anyone over 30”. I never thought I’d actually live long enough to become exactly the being I had once mocked. Life teaches us fine lessons, no? The hubris of youth gave way to humbling truths. And what I learned was this: Muscles atrophy. Dreams die. Ideals rarely prevail.

Alcohol kills brain cells.

The Fifth Decade’s a bitch. That seems to be the general consensus. Oh, yes. The Fifth Decade's a I came only too well to know in my Sixth.

THE SIXTH: The decade of DEATH. I’m nearing the end of this decade, so I’ve not yet achieved “true” perspective. Even so, it has been the darkest decade of my life, although I’ll freely admit I’m grateful, truly grateful, that I’ve lived THIS long. (Not everyone has...JFK, Jr., Fergie, James Dean, Jimi, Janis and Mr. Cobain...
among many, MANY others).

I’ve suffered through the deaths of my parents, my marriage, my body and soul.

But I’m coming to the end of this long, hard trail. I’ve lost everything most important to me. I’ve grieved more than I EVER thought
I would or could. I came perilously close to ending it all myself.

But I did not.

I’m simply too curious to learn what awaits just a wee bit further down the road.

THE SEVENTH: OK. OK. I’m not there...yet. But I’ve caught the scent in the air. I suspect this shall be the decade of “acceptance”.

I’m almost there. You’ll almost find me smiling.

I’ve come to understand LIFE. I’ve come to understand that it’s not all “peaches and cream”. I’ve come to know great Joy and incredible Heartache.

I’ve come to realize just how tragic and magnificent this whole, strange trip has been.

* * *

Gratuitous Non-Sequitor:

I kinda like Taco Bell's hard shell beef tacos.

Lord help me!

* * *

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bird Songs

That’s just the way it is. In summer.

When windows remain flung open.

When eyes stare open through the darkest, most forlorn hours.

When ears can’t help but hear the songs echoing through the
blackest hour before the dawn.

Bird songs.

I hear them.

Biologist though I claim to be, I can’t identify the species.
Can’t translate the lyrics or divine their meaning. Won’t even try.

No matter. No need.

I hear the songs echoing through the darkest hours of the darkest night.

There’s simply no need for me to beg for more.

* * *

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Such Sadness

It's late

My eyes are red and raw

I feel such sadness

Despite this

Despite that

I know the Sun will rise

In the morning

And I will stretch my arms wide

And greet the New Day

* * *

Friday, August 07, 2009

Thank U

Just 'cuz. Thank U. Thank U all.

* * *

thank you providence
thank you disillusionment
thank you nothingness
thank you clarity
thank you thank you silence

(Oh, yeah...Just crank it to "11")


* * *

Gratuitous non-sequitor:

I'm kinda likin' my Playlist more and more. I crank up the volume and kinda groove on the music. Call me a narcissist. Prolly am. But...I like the songs (even though I couldn't find WAY too many that I sought so hard to find). I will say this: these tunes are autobiographical in a myriad of ways.

* * *

Waaaaaay gratuitous non-sequitor:

There are more atoms in a glass of water than there are glasses of water in all the oceans of the Earth.

All that stardust, infinity and just one glass of water!

That just kinda blows me away.

* * *

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Knee-Jerk Reaction

I am fifty-eight years old. Divorced. Those two facts alone would lead many (most?) to conclude I carry with me significant emotional baggage.

I probably do.

I will most likely discover the full number and weight of those bags in the years and human interactions to come. Experience is a profound teacher and I’ve still much to learn.

I HAVE discovered something new about myself in recent years. A character trait that was non-existent in my youth, seldom an issue in past decades: Nowadays I run (fast) and distance myself as far as possible from any and all who profess to know what I am thinking or feeling.

As stated earlier, I wasn’t always that way. Truth be told, it never much mattered. As a youth, I’d listen to others’ opinions about my brain or heart processes. Sometimes, I’d find the opinions interesting. Sometimes simply silly or wrong. Such opinions rarely got under my skin though. In fact, they sometimes opened my blind eyes to truths
I would have rather brushed away (in my early youth, my incredibly stupid adolescent years). I figured the musings of others regarding my thought processes and emotions came part and parcel with human interplay.

I came to know better as my hair grayed.

Believe it or not, it all started with a management training program
I attended over the course of a year. My employer offered a seminar series addressing management challenges. I don’t remember the exact number of training sessions. Let’s say there was one per month for one year. That’s a reasonably close estimate. The funny thing, though, was that each seminar led to the same lesson: One should never assume one knows what another is thinking or feeling. Simply deal with the issue at hand based on objective criteria. Nothing less. Nothing MORE. I gotta say, that one admonition made me a better manager/supervisor. That ONE lesson infused my very marrow.

I quit the workaday work, but I didn’t quit Life.

And it was in my personal life that this lesson hummed (sometimes screamed) as those who meant so much to me spent so much energy telling me what I thought and felt. Too often, they were wrong. All too often, their opinions and conclusions did FAR more harm than good.

In the end, they proved catastrophically destructive.

As one of the many consequences, I run from any and all who believe they know the yearnings of my heart, the inner workings of my brain. My wounds still bleed and such commentary is salt.

Shall I deem this “emotional baggage”?

Or wisdom?

* * *

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Things I know

I know what is IS.

I know I’m not everyone’s “cup o’ tea

I know the meaning of “she’s just not that into you

I know I’m not the “cat’s pajamas

(I don’t know exactly what that means)

I know how it feels to be “second (or third) choice

To be something sub-prime

I know, too well, what “love ‘em and leave ‘em” means

* * *

She came to know me just enough to know she didn’t want me

I came to know heartache.

I know more than I wish I knew.

* * *

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