Monday, November 2, 2015

What kind of magic?

What kind of magic is this that finds me two months shy of my 62nd birthday ,more happy to be alive than at any time I remember in my past, my youth,my childhood. I know retirement from a job I disliked most of the time has something to do with it. I know the freedom to pursue art in a way that l always wanted to,makes me giddy;but it's more than that. Maybe it's just the realization that life could leave at any time now, the older I get, makes each day,each hour, each moment more precious than the last. Maybe it's looking back at the life l've lived, and realizing how much of it was good ,that makes me look forward to what is yet to come . Or not. The failure of a need to invest in a future,is deeply satisfying. The failure to care too much over what will happen to me is a tremendous relief . I spent so much of my past worrying about this or that, that I failed I'm sure to appreciate all the life that was swirling around me, each moment a  special occasion never to be returned,passing by unmarked and unnoticed , in my hurry to get to the next forgotten memory. I notice everything now: the extraordinary colors of the autumn leaves, the clouds that flit across the sky, backlit by the sun ,the names of streets and towns and children,the feel of all different types of paper in my hands,the glorious color of paints,waves beaches sand dunes ,mountains, smiles and sneers,joy and misery. There is so much in the world to devour

with our senses -art and music and nature and humanity and books,books books, not to mention the incredible feats made possible by computers,(which I will never understand as I go to my grave). I feel a kind of contentment, which will surely be disrupted by some misfortune,or tragedy in the near future; but just for this one and only moment,acquired after years of wanting to die,I am in this moment happy to be alive.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

37 years.

For thirty seven years
I've slept beside you,
Kissed and touched you,
Held your hand.
For thirty seven years
I've said good morning
and good night,
And most importantly of all,
I've said I love you,
Each and every day
of those thirty seven years,
and meant it too.
Life takes us down
so many paths,ready or not-
I knew as soon as I found you,
That you were the path
I wanted,no needed to follow,
That you were my future,
my present, and my past.
I can't imagine life
without you,my only prayer,

offered to the God of all true atheists,
Is that I don't outlive you.
I need you that much,
want you that much,
love you that much,
As I did the moment
I met you,as I did this morning,
As I will tomorrow,and the day after that,
Forever, or at least for thirty seven more years.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

On Violence and Fear.

It seems like every day lately,there is some horrific story in the news from violent massacres in churches , death of and by policeman, bombings and beatings, and that's just in this country with our " guaranteed" freedoms of speech,religion and right to assembly,our innocence until proven guilty, our right to a trial by our "peers", and even a right guaranteed by the 9th Amendment which permits a person to decide what to do about their own health and bodies. And by person, I mean both men and -wait for it- women. We live in a country where the wealthy control the government,where the impoverished are maligned and denigrated, and denied the basic necessities of life,which include food, housing,healthcare and a living wage. We live in a world where skin color determines our treatment by courts, law enforcement  and even education. (Check out the special education classes in schools in NYC,and count the white faccs.)  It is a perfect environment for fostering fear. Fear of more violence. Fear of incarceration. Fear of the inability to sustain life on any meaningful level. Fear of reprisal for protesting the status quo,physically ,occupationally,and legally. Fear in this day and age of losing the right to have an abortion,even if you are 11, or a victim of rape,(a crime of Violence )or incest,( a crime of Violence and pathological  mental illness). Fear for the safety of your children . Fear of growing old without the means to support yourself. Fear of illness or the ability to pay for medication without health insurance. Fear of being gunned down in the street for carrying a toy gun,or for standing still with your hands up. Fear of the police departments who now have more armor and better firepower than some foreign nations.
 All legitimate fears. But there's something we should be more afraid of, and that is the stupidity of people who are getting it up the ass from the very people they support . The people who would rather look the other way as young black men are shot in the streets. Who blame people on welfare,those lazy drug addicts with too many children- hey they didn't get abortions,shouldn't you support those precious children?-for wasting their taxes. Can't they read? Don't they understand that the cost of Social Services, is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the tax evasion of the richest people in this country?That billions of dollars are awarded to unopposed bidders for military contracts to provide guns,planes,tanks etc. , and even the food clothing and shelter for our soldiers ,just to name a few of the billions the very rich are sapping us for? Do they not yet know
that the war in Iraq, which cost Trillions yes Trillions of dollars, was based on the lie that Iraq was building weapons of mass destruction ,when the real reason was to protect oil reserves? And on and on. That is my greatest fear, that we will be fucked,not just by the despicable billionaires who have bought out our government and don't give a damn about the rest of us, but by the rest of us, who don't seem able to see that we're damned.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

June 18 2015

Today is my son Christopher's birthday . He is 26 years old with the brain capacity of a 2 or 3 year old. He doesn't speak, except for a few quotes from movies he's seen or signs that he's read, or words he's prompted to use when we want him to ask for something he wants ("nobody has to make trouble. Is this a joke?,uncle frank, miss piggy. Or we say "I  want...",to which he rarely replies, or"I which he responds,love you." He can read, but what he understands is anybody's guess. He seems to understand language, because he will do most things you ask him to do(close the door,let the dog in, go to the bathroom . But still after 20 odd years, he will stand in the shower without moving until I tell him to get the soap and wash off, and after that to rinse off. He likes to watch the same DVD over and over again(Sesame Street Old School Volume 3). I know it by heart. Things must occur in a specific order,in a special place with predictable outcomes. Certain foods must always be available ,and easily accessible (Cheerios,peanut butter,water ). If someone yells at the dog, or his needs are not met or his schedule has been disrupted , or his medication is wearing off , he sometimes has a full blown tantrum,even to the point of tears. Remember this is a 6 ft tall 185 lb. full grown man screaming and carrying on like a 2 year old .And there's not much you can do about it, except to wait for it to pass. The good things? He is gorgeous , and most of the time he is happy. He is gentle and loving, and is constantly kissing us. He knows who we are and is always excited to see us. He demands little,takes his medication without complaint, and lives most of the time in a group home,which he took to like a duck to water, 10 years ago. We bring him home on the weekends, and go see him  2 nights a week. I wouldn't trade him for anyone, but in my heart of hearts I wish he'd been dealt a better, less difficult life. Life is so short and so difficult when you don't have such a challenge , where you have all your faculties about you. How much more so when you can't ask for or communicate what you want or need. Or maybe when you don't even know what they are.
So Happy Birthday Christopher,my sweet love,and may the angels guide your way.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Sunday.

When I was growing up in an Irish Catholic household , Easter was about Jesus rising from the dead, the rock pushed away from the grave in which he was laid, after his death on the cross. Now it seems to be about bunnies, not rabbits, but bunnies, usually chocolate ones,along with jelly beans, Cadbury eggs and of course those sugar coated marshmallow treats we called peeps. I'm sure that there are many Catholics and Christians who still celebrate it as their Messiah's triumph over death, and regard it as one of the holiest of holy days . But where did this bunnie fixation come from? I'm sure there is someone out there who knows the answer, but it is largely a rhetorical question . Just as Christmas,the birth of the Savior, became almost  inexplicably associated with Santa Claus,it seems like we need some materialistic manifestation of these holy days- to do what- make them more meaningful? More appealing ? More fun? I know I am displaying my ignorance on the origins of these two financially challenging holy days , but let's leave it at that. In my mind holy days should be spent in quiet contemplation , in meditation of higher things , in remembrance of their origins, instead of gorging on candy and counting the # of presents you got this year. As a former Catholic, even I remember these holi- days,holy days with some notion  of the joy these days should generate- the birth of Jesus! His triumph over one of our most fearful events- he rose from the dead, the only person I've ever heard rumors of accomplishing this astonishing feat. Just some thoughts, as I shop for something to believe in; and I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with chocolate crosses and bunnies or in the presents under the tree. But in WHY are we here, and what are we supposed to do with this temporary gift of life ?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A little miracle

The little miracle is that I'm posting twice within a week.

the journey is beginning
hold my guts together
to keep them from spilling out,
hug myself because
I can't believe
this is really happening.
I've taken the first step
and it feels so good
to let go
of what I've been holding onto
for so long,
to let go
of the self control
I once thought
was the only way,
the lonely way to live.
early days;
I'm only asking for guidance,
and trying to listen,u
trying to try and change
a lifetime of learned and
carefully thought out ,
maybe it won't come to anything,
but something is happening
that I can't explain,
that I don't even understand.
and it feels so good
to let go of the reins
that were digging into my skin
for so long.
to maybe get a chance
to stop driving,
and let someone else
take the wheel.