Odd Thoughts Because It’s Been An Odd Day ~ Late Afternoon Thoughts.

There’s been a lot going on this week.  I have a friend at Stage (end) cancer, another friend that is facing what could be heart failure.  I’ve been strong and uplifting until last night …. that’s when I discovered that the well had run dry.  I’ve been around long enough and through enough (look back through this history of the blog for those episodes that really revitalized my outlook) to know that it’s bound to happen.

Even counselors know that a sponge can only absorb so much, and then all that has to be squeezed out or the sponge becomes of no use.

Today, then – became a quiet and reflective day.  However (comma) I really wanted a few things to possibly 1) kick me in the behind to make me move (LOL) or 2) make me laugh and/or 3) inspire me ….

Here’s the laugh factor …. as a preface – the Mouse House (AKA Disney Studio) is NOT known for their sense of humor in regards to what others might do with their material.  I’ve been surprised at some of what on YouTube is allowed to remain and not so surprised at what they’ve wanted removed.

In this case, they took the recording outtakes/bloopers from The Lion King and animated them and included them (evidently) in The Lion King DVD … I’m still chuckling over parts – especially the last one.  I have to admit when I saw the film the first time (and the stage show) a part of me wondered if that had ever happened.

And now – THIS video made my day just to be able to watch these folks fly … and what a rush it must have been for them …..

Let me quote:

Wingsuit flying is the sport of flying the human body through the air using a special jumpsuit, called a wingsuit, which adds surface area to the human body to enable a significant increase in lift. Modern wingsuits, first developed in the late 1990s, create the surface area with fabric between the legs and under the arms. A wingsuit may be referred to as a birdman suit, flying squirrel suit, or bat suit.

A wingsuit flight normally ends with a parachute opening, so a wingsuit can be flown from any point that provides sufficient altitude to glide through the air, such as skydiving aircraft or BASE jumping exit points, and to allow a parachute to deploy.

The wingsuit flier wears parachute equipment designed for skydiving or BASE jumping. The flier deploys the parachute at a planned altitude and releases the arm wings, if necessary, so they can reach up to the control toggles and fly to a normal parachute landing.

Now that my heart has stopped racing … enjoy…..


Valentine’s Day ~ Early Evening Thoughts (history)

This year, I’m helping out at the florist shop (again) answering the phones and trying to keep some sense of order in the chaos. I wanted to repost a bit of the history of Valentine’s day . . . and all that goes with it. (I will do my best to do another chapter of “moving tales” tomorrow)

We may owe our observance of Valentine’s Day to the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, a festival of eroticism that honored Juno Februata, the goddess of “feverish” (febris) love. Annually, on the ides of February, love notes or “billets” would be drawn to partner men and women for feasting and sexual game playing.

Early Christians, clearly a dour bunch, frowned on these lascivious goings-on. In an attempt to curb the erotic festivities, the Christian clergy encouraged celebrants to substitute the names of saints. Then, for the next twelve months, participants were to emulate the ideals represented by the particular saint they’d chosen. Not too surprisingly, this prudish version of Lupercalia proved unpopular, and died a quick death.

But the early Christians were anything but quitters, so it was on to Plan B: modulate the overtly sexual nature of Lupercalia by turning this “feast of the flesh” into a “ritual for romance!”

This time, the Church selected a single saint to do battle the pagan goddess Juno — St. Valentine (Valentinus). And since Valentinus had been martyred on February 14, the Church could also preempt the annual February 15 celebration of Lupercalia. The only fly in the ointment was Valentinus himself: he was a chaste man, unschooled in the art of love.

Despite the efforts of the Church, Valentine’s Day continued to echo Lupercalia in at least one respect – men and women, married or single, would draw lots to select a “valentine.” Once paired, the couple exchanged gifts and sometimes love tokens as well. The custom of lottery drawings to select Valentines persisted well into the eighteenth century. Gradually, however, a shift took place. No longer did both parties exchange gifts; instead, gift-giving became solely the responsibility of the man!

This new twist helped to finally bring an end to the random drawing of names, since many men were unhappy about giving gifts (sometimes very costly)to women who were not of their choosing. And now that individuals were free to select their own Valentine, the celebration took on a new and much more serious meaning for couples!

The first written valentine is usually attributed to the imprisoned Charles, Duke of Orleans. In 1415, Charles fought his lonely confinement by writing romantic verses for his wife. By the sixteenth century written valentines were so common that St. Francis de Sales, fearing for the souls of his English flock, sermonized against them.

Manufactured cards, decorated with Cupids and hearts, appeared near the end of the eighteenth century. A purchased valentine became the most popular way to declare love during the early decades of the nineteenth century. Miniature works of art, the cards were usually hand painted and were often lavishly decorated with laces, silk or satin, flowers (made from the feathers of tropical birds), glass filigrees, gold-leaf or even perfumed sachets!

Did you know that the current popularity of St. Valentine’s Day owes much to the modern postal service? Until the mid-1800’s, the cost of sending mail was far beyond the means of the average person. Even worse, the postal service demanded payment from the recipient, not the sender, of the letter! Imagine receiving a Valentine card, paying the postage due, then reading that you were “…valued beyond rubies” by your Valentine. Even more ironic… discovering that your Valentine card was from an unwelcome suitor! So, until the advent of the penny post, most valentine cards were hand delivered by the prospective lover.

This history adapted (stolen) from

Memorial Day – Something To Think About

I was thinking about my Father today, and his World War II service – and my mind went to the history of what has come to be called Memorial Day.

From –>Memorial Day History:<–

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day.
There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Let me repeat the last lines of the paragraph ~

It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

I found this article from the Commander of the American Legion quite fitting. I have posted a portion of his article … you can read the entire article and comments –>here<–.

Message to America: Respect Memorial Day
By National Commander Paul A. Morin

Here is a surprise, I am not going to defend the Iraq war. I won’t even explain the importance of the war on terrorism. VA budget? Not today. That’s because this column is about Memorial Day, a hallowed day that should be about honoring the more than one million men and women who died in the service of this nation in wars and conflicts dating back to 1775. It should be above politics. Period.

As national commander of The American Legion, I implore all candidates to refrain from politicking on Memorial Day.

The families of those killed in war should not be led to believe that their loved ones died for a less-than-worthy cause. They died because they took an oath to defend this nation and its Constitution. The sacrifice is the same whether it’s for a “popular war” or an unpopular one. Memorial Day should be an occasion to bring Americans together to honor these heroes.

It brings to mind the words of Army Sergeant First Class Jack Robison, who recently wrote from Iraq, “Sometimes I think God must be creating an elite unit in heaven, because He only seems to select the very best soldiers to bring home early.”

If you want to honor these heroes, visit a veterans cemetery on Memorial Day. Attend a parade without the divisive political signs. Make cards for the comrades of the fallen that are recuperating in military and VA hospitals. Lay a wreath at the stone of a departed hero.

We Americans need to remember why Memorial Day is special. It’s not about picnics or trips to the beach. It’s not about making pro- or anti-war statements. It’s not about supporting political candidates. It’s about honor, duty and the ultimate sacrifice. It’s about people who have decided that the United States is worth dying for.

Taken (away) By Surprise ~ Late Night Thoughts

The are few moments that one could call totally surprising – but over the last 48 hours I have been blessed with several over them. Those are the moments when you look into a situation and realize 1) you are not in control of it, 2) and that it doesn’t matter if you are or not and that 3) the outcome is going to be amazing – no matter what.

There will (of course) be more on this tomorrow – but for now a collection of thoughts that bring something to the topic.

To bring the dead to life
Is no great magic.
Few are wholly dead:
Blow on a dead man’s embers
And a live flame will start.

Let his forgotten griefs be now,
And now his withered hopes;
Subdue your pen to his handwriting
Until it prove as natural
To sign his name as yours.

Limp as he limped,
Swear by the oaths he swore;
If he wore black, affect the same;
If he had gouty fingers,
Be yours gouty too.

Assemble tokens intimate of him —
A seal, a cloak, a pen:
Around these elements then build
A home familiar to
The greedy revenant.

So grant him life, but reckon
That the grave which housed him
May not be empty now:
You in his spotted garments
Shall yourself lie wrapped.
—Robert Graves

Miracles are unexpected joys, surprising coincidences, unexplainable experiences,
astonishing beauties… absolutely anything that happens in the course of my day, except that at this moment I’m able to recognize its special value.
—Judith Knowlton

Confusion is the state of promise, the fertile void where surprise is
possible again. Confusion is in fact the state we are in, and we should
be wise to cultivate it.
—Paul Goodman

Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.
—Boris Pasternak

Life is a series of surprises, and would not be worth taking or keeping if it were not.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.
— Ashley Montagu

When you look into my eyes
And you see the crazy gypsy in my soul
It always comes as a surprise
When I feel my withered roots begin to grow
Well I never had a place that I could call my very own
That’s all right, my love, ’cause you’re my home”
— Billy Joel

It’s better to be thought of as a fool and to surprise people once in a while than to be thought of as a brain and to let people down when they need you the most.
—Julie Melanson

When was the last time you wanted to say it all to the right person?
To have it all come out right, to surprise yourself at how together you could be. When was the last time you ever met someone who made you want to give it all to them? I mean give yourself to them. Where you couldn’t express yourself enough – like you wanted to cut off one of your arms to be understood. That’s it – you would cut your head off to have someone understand you. You know how pointless that one is. You know how many times you’ve smashed yourself to bits on the rocks.
—Henry Rollins

Jesse ~ The End Of A Journey …

You won’t see it on the news…or read it in the paper. I wish I could put up a billboard to express all that I am feeling this morning.

From Two Lucky ….

“I love you.”

Jesse died this morning at 1.30am at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.

He was with me, and his mother, and died peacefully in his sleep.

Jesse has been battling melanoma for the last three years. He was a real fighter. Even at the end, he didn’t want to go home, and instead asked the doctors if he could stay a few more days to get well.

Love kept Jesse going for as long as it could. In these short years, we made the best of it. The more virulent the cancer spread, the stronger we loved.

His last words were: “I love you,” and he blew me two kisses before falling asleep.

Our love was extraordinary in the face of adversity. He is my hero, and will always be loved.

Two funerals are being planned. The first, a graveside service, will be held in Lovettsville, Va, next Thursday, where he was born.

The second, a memorial service in New York, will be held shortly after.

Details of services to come.

Jesse – I Begin To Say Farewell ~ Late Night Thoughts

I have been writing about and following “Two Lucky (people)” for some time now. During that time, I have been blessed to learn about Yen and Jesse and their incredible love for each other. It’s a love that has been through a lot … but as I have said before – it’s a love that totally demonstrates the power of love as a choice. It also is a love that demonstrates the vows that are so often said at weddings – for richer or poorer, for better or worse, in sickness or in health …

Those short phrases, packed with meaning. Those short phrases packed with truth.

Through everything that’s been going on they both has believed, hoped and trusted. But through it all their love has never wavered.

Jesse had been taking treatments – some of which were quite toxic, but even those had to come to an end.

His prognosis, simply, is that the tumors in Jesse’s liver are growing too quickly.

“You’re carrying too much disease. Must be 10lbs in there,” he said.

But even through the sorrow of that moment, the hope/love shone through.

I cried hard today in the town car on the way back from the hospital. It did not last long, probably for less than a minute. The tears stopped as suddenly as they had come. It happened soon after we got into the car, when Jesse took my hand and said to me: “I am so happy to be with you.”

And I can admit that I wept as well. I didn’t have someone to hold my hand and tell me anything. But eventually, I went back to what had been written – and dried my tears and continued.

Yen himself began to realize what seemed to be coming. He was walking down the street and saw a film crew working on a new movie.

“As the crowd grew, I walked away. I thought about Jesse. Thereupon, I wondered if one day later this year, or the next, I would find myself in a darkened cinema, waiting for the same scene to come on, with my hand on the empty seat next to mine.

And then on the 29th of April … the doctor brought those vows full circle:

…For better or worse, For richer or poorer,
In sickness AND in health:
‘Till death do us part …

“I was told today that Jesse has only three to four more weeks left to live. When the doctors pulled me aside (”May I speak with you in private?”), I already knew….

My reaction was visceral, in spite of fore-knowledge, and unexpected in that regard. I sat in the toilet and cried. For the first time, in a very long time, I believed I would not be whole again. I felt my insides wrenched from me. I howled. I was also confused, which only proves how one, notwithstanding one’s intelligence, can reject logic in the face of grief.

Even though I already knew the answer, I kept asking myself: Can this really be true?

The last several days as I took time to look at all I have known about Yen and Jesse – and all I have been blessed to have shared of their lives, I realized that the depth of their love as shown in the writings has, in a sense, prepared me for whatever may happen in their lives.

On the 30th of April – Yen wrote “White Flag”:

He sits at the top of the stairs, so still he might have been there forever and for always.

The air is capricious, however, taunting him with whispers of dead men’s philosophy. His eyes turn down, and he feels the weight of mortality from under his feet. Around him, the hallway seems equally frozen, as if a breathing picture, a fixed fragment of time fallen into itself.

All of this is nevertheless an illusion, a vision he sees where time has forgotten its relevance.

In fact, he doesn’t remember beyond the stairs. The breaths he takes are the same he exhaled only moments before. In the dark, he begins to stale.

But moments later, a gust of wind from below erases this vision. It rises like a clean breeze from under him, and from it, he rediscovers the certainty of movement. He lifts his eyes, and looks around, then, begins to make out a hill in the distance.

The force of its existence strikes him awkwardly, unexpectedly.

He decides the hill must have been there always, as he has. He hunts the horizon for more shapes: a river, trees, but finds nothing, until in a final instant, he sees a bird tracing a wide circle near the hill top.

The trajectory of the bird’s flight, like a cut flag, fills his memory of the sky. The bird descends, then disappears into the hill’s shadow. For a moment, he forgets he is sitting on the stairs. The simultaneity of its movement, with the swelling of his heart, leads him to cry.

And again I weep. Again, I grieve. But again, I stand with them in this time – and I say – “I do not care if someone is gay-straight, black-white, moon-man or whatever, this kind of love is so deep and powerful, I maintain that great portions of the universe bow in honor of its strength.”

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;

We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, be passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then ’tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.
–Emily Dickinson

The Spider To The Fly ~ Early Morning Thoughts

A very interesting conversation took place today about poetry, and the bits and pieces that are part of conversations. Of course, “The time has come, the Walrus said –” was mentioned. Another mentioned: Quoth the raven ~ Nevermore!” And there were many others. Part of the fun was trying to find out who had originally written the poem or quote.

The following generated the most discussion – and the most incorrect answers. As this has been a somewhat “silly” Saturday, I’m reprinting the poem – along with a non-companion, companion piece.

“Will you walk into my parlor?” said the Spider to the Fly,
“‘Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show you when you are there.”
“Oh no, no,” said the Fly, “to ask me is in vain;
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”
“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the Spider to the Fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin;
And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in!”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “for I’ve often heard it said
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!”
Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, “Dear friend, what can I do
to prove that warm affection I’ve always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome – will you please take a slice?”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “kind sir, that cannot be,
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!”
“Sweet creature,” said the Spider, “you’re witty and you’re wise;
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf;
If you step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”
“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you’re pleased to say;
And bidding good morning now, I’ll call another day.”
The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again;
So he wove a subtle web in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the Fly.
then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
“Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple, there’s a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are as dull as lead.”
Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew, –
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
Thinking only of her crested head – poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den
Within his little parlor – but she ne’er came out again!
And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne’er heed;
Unto an evil counselor close heart, and ear, and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.
–Mary Howitt(1799-1888)

Now, for those of you who thought that Lewis Carroll had written the poem – Here is the parody he wrote of her poem.

The Lobster Quadrille

“Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail,
“There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle – will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you,
will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you,
won’t you join the dance?”

“You can really have no notion how delightful it would be
When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters out to sea!”
But the snail replied “Too far, too far!”, and gave a look askance –
Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not,would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not,could not join the dance.

“What matters it how far we go?” his scaly friend replied.
“There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The farther off from England the nearer is to France –
Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you,
will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you,
won’t you join the dance?”
–Lewis Carroll(1832-1898)

–book cover “Spider and Fly” available for $2800

Even More Amore ~ Early Morning Thoughts

I’ve been reading and following Two Lucky People for some time. Yen and Jesse are two amazing people deeply in love. Jesse has an aggressive form of Melanoma. While this kind of illness could tear many couples apart … they seem to be stronger than when I first met them through Yen’s writing.

Here’s some of what I’ve written –

Two People In Love ~ True Love

Further News About Jesse ~

Encouraging Valentine’s News ~

A Welcome Bit Of News – Yen, Jesse ~

A Love With So Much More ~

Emotional Bill Of Rights ~

“I’m so happy to be with you.” ~

Over and over, I’ve commented on the depth of their love and the strength that flows in their commitment to each other and to the life they are living.
Almost all the postings have been by Yen, but late in February Jesse treated us with a post of his own. The wonderful statement at the end was simple but with amazing depth. Jesse wrote: “He’s such an amazing person that I wish everyone of you could meet him in person. I’m so proud to have him as my boyfriend.”

On the 26th we were again treated to a second post from Jesse. From his hysterically funny description of trash TV (“…trannies tear at each others’ wigs on Jerry Springer”), the forty-five minuted trek to the hospital, ending with his description of what it feels like when he finally makes it home (“By the time I make it to the door, I feel like I’ve been beaten half-dead by a very heavy stick.”)When he does make it home, he’s met with an outward expression of an inward choice Yen has made to be in love.

While I’ve been gone, Yen’s been busy transforming the apartment into a five-star resort.

When I step into the room, I smell faint jasmine. Incense is burning on the window-sill. I hear calm, musical voices in the background. There are fresh rainbow-colored tulips on the coffee table. A plate of cool celery and keen carrots.
What? A tall, icy drink of pina colada? (Virgin, my Yenny smiles.)

What Yen does to this place sets my soul at ease. I am now ready to take a nice, long afternoon nap. This apartment, this home, it’s my castle of comfort, my paradise.

As I said in an earlier post (and with what’s been going on my life recently, I believe it even more): “I do not care if someone is gay-straight, black-white, moon-man or whatever, this kind of love is so deep and powerful, I maintain that great portions of the universe bow in honor of its strength.”

And once again, I maintain they are living the vow/promise of … “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness AND in health…”

It was wonderful to read the post from Jesse – and it reaffirmed what I believed – together they are a potent force – for healing, togetherness and love.

And as I climb into bed this morning, I once again will say to the listening universe, “I want a love that will be like that – the kind that Jesse and Yen share. The choice that no matter what, I will love and care.” I’ll say it quietly, but I have no doubt it will be heard…

An Early Morning "Mashup" ~ Early Morning Thoughts

In popular culture, Mashup usually means:
–Mashup (music), a musical genre of songs that consist entirely of parts of other songs
–Mashup (web application hybrid), a website or web application that combines content from more than one source
–Mashup (video), a video that is edited from more than one source to appear as one
–Mashup, in parts of the UK also means a brew, or a pot of tea (colloq. Yorkshire)

When music sounds, gone is the earth I know,
And all her lovely things even lovelier grow;
Her flowers in vision flame, her forest trees
Lift burdened branches, stilled with ecstasies.

When music sounds, out of the water rise
Naiads whose beauty dims my waking eyes,
Rapt in strange dreams burns each enchanted face,
With solemn echoing stirs their dwelling-place.

When music sounds, all that I was I am
Ere to this haunt of brooding dust I came;
And from Time’s woods break into distant song
The swift-winged hours, as I hasten along.
–Walter de la Mare

I had posted this clip once before – but in the spirit of mashup, I offer it as an encore.

The music in the air is so loud…
Yet it goes unnoticed daily
The melodies are of wars and rumors of the same…
Things considered unimportant and remotely real to the routine of simple survival
The mass of the peoples are accustomed to a life of conflicts…
And have adjusted a long time ago
Truly, wars are bad news…
And rumors of independent battles accompany high anxiety and stress
The will to survive becomes one’s greatest weapon…
New days mean new beginnings
While the instruments play the songs of division…
The spirit of the wise becomes real
Peace in time…
Appreciate it when it comes
It’s like the traveling winds…
That we enjoy sometimes
Let’s embrace the appetite for more brotherhood on a global scale…
Remedies for the killings, and unnecessary losses must play more
Let the new band play therefore…
And let’s begin to dance in peace, to peace and for peace
–Dennis Dames

Not The TV Fear Factor ~ Early Morning Thoughts

“Confronting our feelings and giving them appropriate expression always takes strength, not weakness.
It takes strength to acknowledge our anger, and sometimes more strength yet to curb the aggressive urges anger may bring and to channel them into nonviolent outlets. It takes strength to face our sadness and to grieve and to let our grief and our anger flow in tears when they need to. It takes strength to talk about our feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when we need it.”
–Fred Rogers
The World According to Mr. Rogers.

I picked up that quote a couple of days ago.
I realized that I was sailing/floating in some uncharted waters (for me) and in order to reach the shore facing some things that have been eating at me was the only way to deal with them. Otherwise, I would continue to wander like the Israelites in the desert…and frankly, I don’t have a generation or two to wander as I wonder.

One of the most difficult feelings I have to deal with is fear. Not the monster in the closet type fear, but the “what if” kind of fear. This is a really insidious kind of fear as it may or may not have basis in actual fact. It also is the fear that can keep me from dealing with unpleasant situations. I grew up in a “peace at any cost” family and I made choices that transferred that into my own life. If I’m not alert to it, I will make decisions that allow the path of least resistance on anyones part. Of course, that’s occasionally not the best choice to make.

This is a somewhat fun party game (after a couple of drinks, of course!). Lay a plank down on the ground and ask people to walk across it blindfolded. Then – while the blindfolds are still on – raise the plank one or two inches at one end, and again ask them to walk the plank. You’ll find that a lot of them won’t do it – their perspective makes them fearful that they will fall. Even though it isn’t high at all. It’s the perspective that makes the difference.

I’m dealing with D&D (when am I NOT dealing with them!) and their “problems” with Toby and our friendship. I am going to have place myself in a position of creating some boundaries that I didn’t want to have to draw. As I was looking at the situation earlier this evening, I was struck with the realization that I had the wrong perspective.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, reportedly told of a time when he climbed into a taxicab in Paris. Before he could utter a word, the driver turned to him and asked, “Where can I take you, Mr. Doyle?”

Doyle was flabbergasted. He asked the driver if he had ever seen him before.

“No, sir,” the driver responded, “But this morning’s paper had a story about you being on vacation in Marseilles. This is the taxi stand where people who return from Marseilles always come. Your skin color tells me you have been on vacation. The ink-spot on your right index finger suggests to me that you are a writer. Your clothing is very English, not French. Adding up all those pieces of information, I deduced that you are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”

“This is amazing!” the writer exclaimed. “You are a real-life counter-part to my fictional creation, Sherlock Holmes.”

“There was one other clue,” the driver said.

“What was that?”

“Your name is on the front of your suitcase.”

If only all clues were that obvious! However, many times they ARE that obvious if I will only take the time to look for them. In dealing with D&D and the current situation, I missed that clues that the problem was not TOBY (more on that tomorrow) but rather what THEY were expecting to occur in the situation and what they were expecting MY reaction to be (of course, in line with theirs!). Remember the false luggage tag of other peoples expectations?

There is also another tag people will try and put on your luggage. Those who are familiar with PAC will recognize “get back where you belong.” This tag doesn’t allow for changes on anyones part – and makes an attempt to place someone back into whatever category someone else has placed them.

This can be difficult. However, along with the help someone else is able to give, or what we can find within ourselves – help may come from unexpected sources. The quote from Mr. Rogers is an example of that.

This is a temptation I can fall into very easily. It is almost second nature for me to worry about “what if” until it becomes “that’s what’s going to happen.” Sometimes what I have worried about will happen (after all, the hypochondriac’s tombstone DID read: “I told you I was sick.”). But more often than not, it doesn’t happen that way – unless I create a situation where that’s the only outcome possible.

–What does all this have to do with D&D, Toby and other events in my life? To misquote Paul Harvey – “Tomorrow, the rest of the story.”

–fear painting