Thursday, March 31, 2016

Group Therapy

Today was like group therapy but at work though.
I felt very competent and aware, and I was proud to be at work.
Days like today are a gift.

I have other things to go do now.
But know that I keep it going.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Making due

Some days you wake up and everything is fine.
You have a clear passage in which breath enters and leaves your body. 
Your temples do not throb. 
There is no shivering or hot flashes. 

These days are generally the rule in my life. 

But today it was not. 
Today I was in no shape to go to work. 
And yet, knowing this as early as yesterday afternoon I still foolishly turned down a chance to stay home and rest and instead decided that I should be responsible and go to work. 
Because somewhere along the line I decided it was irresponsible to stay home sick convinced that anyone I spoke to about my condition would determine I was pulling a ferris bueler. 

Some days you go into work sick but are rewarded with a cake day of 1 person drops, a long lunch break and a quick coffee on the way home. You might even pass a train that you can hop and head home early to get that test you foolishly turned down earlier. 

Then some
Days you show up and you immediately look for a bus to jump in front of, or a crate to pull over upon yourself because either of those options are better than your reality. 

Guess which type of day today was?
Go ahead, guess. 
I got time. 

I don't need to spend a lot of time on the negative here.
Suffice it to say that the beginning of the day was not fun but, you know, it's weird because it actually was kind of fun. Something about feeling so sick, and having to do this crappy job first thing on arrival, and knowing that I had a full day of driving ahead of me... There is something kind of fun about it, knowing you're in the shit.
I don't know, maybe it is just me looking for a silver lining.

Anyways, today turned around.
We had a courier, one of my favorites.
He is a Father as well, two boys, just like me!
His children are all grown up though, one has a real career and the other is finishing college.
He told me I am doing a good job.
He said I am modeling for my boys very well.
He has a Father's intuition apparently.

And all day we drove around kind of joking, doing our jobs, eating pizza and talking about life.
It was a very pleasant day, despite the traffic and my illness and the length of the day.

On the train ride home I smiled and thought about how nice it all was.
What a nice man I worked with.
How I wished I could meet his sons and tell them how much I enjoyed their fathers company.
He had shown me a picture of them when they were little boys and then he showed me a picture of them as grown men.
It was heart breaking and beautiful.
I could see in their eyes that they had a good father.
They had good lives.
They were lucky.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Brother Jim

Now is when the dark times start.
I say this with the hopes that most of the dark times will blow over 
while I am busy chasing my children, maintaining and nourishing my relationship, 
painting my heart out and driving a truck 
through the city streets.

But during all of those things, 
behind it all will be the wall of clouds.
A wall of gray.

The other night, before I was to go home to Wisconsin.
Before I had to go and hold my people while we all shook with grief
Burger's tooth was loose. 
a front one.
a big deal.

I loosened it for a while, and so did he. 
He chomped on an apple and I listened for the sound a loose tooth makes 
when it is ready to be set free.
But dude was nervous, he kept saying it wasn't ready.
-Look, that tooth IS ready and it needs to get out of your head before i leave for my trip.
-Would it make you feel better if you pulled on it instead?

And so he pulled and twisted and suddenly there was his tooth
tiny and square in my palm.

He smiled a bloody smile and we all cheered and he beamed with courage and pride.

Being a parent, your life is full of firsts. I am not saying that your life isn't full of firsts 
without being a parent, but maybe I just pay attention to them more now that things seem a bit more important than they did when I only had to worry about myself.

There are so many firsts.

Watching the video memorial for Jim, there were so many pictures of him before we became friends.
They were all firsts for me.

Jim running a race, Jim with a basketball, Jim in the deep Wisconsin Snows I remember.

As a father these all hit home and made sense to me.
I know that I have those same photos of my own children.
They never ran a race, but you know what I mean.
It's the idea of capturing the moment 
because you know that it is fleeting.
Soon they are on to the next thing.
Don't miss it.

They are running the race
They are playing a guitar
They are growing their hair
They are smiling at you
They are moving away

Jim got sick in a summer and he passed in a winter.
I didn't get to properly say goodbye.
I didn't get to hold his hand.

If I had been there, he probably
would have laughed at me and told me to get home.
-Dude! Think of all the firsts you're missing!

Monday, November 30, 2015

New Paintings

This is what I can say about being a parent, or a dad, whatever you want to call it.


The number one thing I would tell anyone who is about to have a baby?
My advice?
Forget yourself, release your ego, watch it run off into the unknown freedoms that you will never know again because that shit doesn't matter.
There is only the child.
You are unimportant.

This is what I would say to anyone that would ask my advice.
Because this is how I live my life, and this is how I feel I survive.
This is how I feel I succeed.

This may sound dire, or fatalistic.
This may sound like I know how to use fatalistic in a sentence.
But trust me, you need to let go of yourself to succeed in being a parent.
And in doing so, in letting go, you rediscover who you are and most importantly, 
who you want to be.

Twist ending!!

Through children there is rebirth.
There needs to be because look at the world we are leaving for them.

Climate change.
Suicide bombings.

Always war.

If we can't help our children right our wrongs, then we deserve to go away.

If we can't be in the moment with a child, then we have lost something vital.

So be the parent you always wanted.
Be the role model you always needed.
And go forward being the best person you can be.
Because that is all one can do.

I love you guys and I hope you can come see my new paintings in December.
I am doing what I can.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Tin Rabbit

I want to grab the little hands and run.
Through storm clouds breaking open and soaking our clothes
with big wet leaves slapping us in the face 
while kicking up slippery mud.

During the last few moments of summer there is no control.

Now I wake up with a headache.
Grinding my teeth maybe?
Too many oysters?
It's a dull throb in the temples and the Mookie is chewing on my arm.
I get up and make coffee because everyone else is still asleep and I might as well
straighten some things out.
It's still dark and that is good.
Hopefully it will by me some time.

There are so many things to be thankful for in this life.