At Twilight

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Location: Midwest, United States

Monday, November 26, 2012


There are days that impoverish and days that enrich.  I’ve had me goodly numbers of both.  My simple intent is to strive to ensure the ledger balance ends positive. 

I’m acutely aware that earning my daily bread by trading in the stock market corrodes my soul.  More often than not, “winning” feels like losing because I know that others are being fleeced...and the consequence of that are, indeed, consequential.  Making money simply to make money leaves the soul a hollow shell.  Trust me on this.

I didn’t always make my money this way.  In fact, I embraced my environmental career as an opportunity to do some good.  The spiritual rewards from that far outweighed the monetary gains.  Cleaning up hazardous wastes sites, while a dirty business, brought me joy.

This dubious new phase of my life challenges me to seek enrichment, both in the short-term and with an eye on the long-term (still working on that “long-term” thing). 

I hit the jackpot last month.

On a Monday, I received an e-mail from a friend: “You’re coming with us to see Peter Gabriel, Thursday night!  Call me.”  Turns out my friend ended up with an extra ticket, so I was to join his family in watching Peter Gabriel (a big-time personal favorite singer/songwriter) perform a tribute concert celebrating the 25th (gasp!) anniversary of the “So” album (another big-time personal favorite).  Gabriel would be joined on stage by the original band (sans Paula Cole on vocals...sigh).  

Peter Gabriel, as always, put on a great show.  The man’s an artist.  His music, his stage sets/lighting are guaranteed to enthrall.  Though, it pains me to say this: he’s grown older...downright old.  It pains me to say that because I’ve aged every bit as much as he.

Be that as it may, it was a wonderful concert experience shared with beloved friends.

Then it happened again: a chance to attend a concert again with my old friend.  Joe Bonamassa was to perform in concert in Merrillville, Indiana.  E-mails were exchanged.  A credit card was put to good use.  I repaid my friend for his generosity at the Peter Gabriel concert.  We clambered into a minivan and drove to Indiana to enjoy a concert that...honestly...absolutely blew my mind.

I feel enriched.  Not because I’ve made a few bucks trading stocks lately.  Please, Lord Almighty, strike me dead if that’s all my life is to be.  I feel enriched because I was able to spend two evenings with a friend I cherish, enjoying the art and talents offered by true artists.

There are days I feel that Croesus ain’t got nothin’ on me.

I needs me lots more days like that.

* * *

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Visiting the Heart

During heavy hours ticking slowly past midnight, I sometimes wander about the corridors of my heart.

It’s a complicated place.

There are rooms filled with childhood memories.  Happy places. 
I can’t help but smile whenever I enter.

Rooms filled with friends.  Most rather magnificent.  I visit often, almost daily. 

There are rooms filled with ambitions.  Dusty now. 

Rooms filled with hopes.  Rarely visited.

And there’s a room filled with memories totaling nearly half my life. 

I crack the door open every now and then.

And recoil.

There’s treasure there.  I remember it well.  Just one step forward, though, and there’s pain.  

The floor is littered with glass shards and razors.  Knives and spilled blood. 

If only I could find a way to sweep the agonies away, to drown them in an abyssal sea.

I don’t know how to do that.

There’s treasure there, just two steps away.

And an old Chinese saying: “One can’t cross a chasm in two steps.”

There’s a chamber in my heart that beckons me to visit. 

And a door latch that kills.

* * *

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