Tag Archives: counseling

Curse of the Babbling Friend

Sometimes I never find the right words. Stolid seems to wooden, stalwart to posthumous, nothing really fits. I ramble on through cob webbed memories of vocabulary searching for the thought that clears my mind, all in vain.

I know all the cliche’s about “blank slates” and canvasses; but good friends deserve better. I struggle intermittently with “the right thought” to convey something much bigger than you would require. Like a dog with fleas I pause every now and then and go at it like there’s no tomorrow; and damned if there ain’t.

Handshakes are easy. The customary hug with the extra squeeze is comforting. For me though, it’s never enough. I don’t make excuses. Reasons are often selfish explanations, and factors just explain excuses. So in the end I guess words don’t matter as much as the effort.

It’s funny how a phone call can be a bridge to “the next time”. It’s never enough and sentiments are easy when you pretend someone is near. It’s “sweet” of you to make the effort. Then there’s the silent caveat that lingers like a speech bubble in a cartoon, if only I took the time when we were together.

Things left unsaid aren’t alway good, or bad either. Most of us have things we don’t say. The bubble is always there, but everyone’s left to just feel the thoughts, rather than hear the words. Our judgement is clouded by the unknown responses or our own demons.

There is a way to say anything, that seems to be a gift most folks don’t have. I suffer from not being able to write it or say it at times; or maybe even worse, say it or write it the wrong way. It’s that one word that says it all correctly that eludes me until after I say or write the wrong thing that haunts me.

This is why I write, how I care. I can edit what’s on my page. What I say is etched in time. One wrong word in the right moment can’t be edited without intense drama.

It’s not always that dramatic, but it is always that important to me. Sometimes it’s simple things like forgetting a phone call or visit. These situations beg for the right sentiment, but only leave me looking forgetful or uncaring, of which I’m neither.

It seems in hindsight the right words aren’t important between friends. The other speech bubbles I never see are the ones that say “I’m caring” because I tried. I have excuses because I care. I have reasons because I want you to know; and all the factors together mean I want you to understand that you’re important.

Maybe this is where writing and I fall short. It’s the words, the bubbles, and the actions together that satisfy our soul. Love is the only word that conveys this triad of affirmation.

For me the right “word” is important. I don’t expect to hear it or see it, but I strive to write, say, or demonstrate it. I’ve fell short more times than I care to remember. I’ve been speechless in words, actions, and thought. I’ve regretted not having the right words, and having the right words at the wrong time. I never regret trying.

So if I’m speechless know I’m caring enough to think. Silence is a word and an action that conveys concern. It’s when I’m at my best unfortunately. It’s not that I don’t care or you’re not important. It’s that you are worth the right word that not even bubbles and hugs can explain.

Empathy

Surreality chokes the world with fear
While everyone fades to myst
And yesterday falls in a tear

Memories and fear share tomorrow
As if never is here
And joy cannot overcome sorrow

My self lies within crumpled dreams
As I rise to the reality
The words I spoke were a silent scream

Tears of the soul carry silent cries
Not heard or seen
By untrained eyes.

I feel the tears of a thousand souls
Carrying burdens and hope
And the the unbearable toll

Grief isn’t silent to those who listen
It screams through silent eyes
And tears that never glisten

So listen my friend to a story of old
Hardly ever heard, but often told
You can hear with your eyes
And see with your ears
If you listen with your heart
And embrace your own fears

Home Parenting

“Just get the milk from your sister, it’s 500 degrees out here and you’re letting the air out!” “Give me the lotion. You can’t do it, you’re wasting it!” No, I’ll pour the cereal, you’ll spill it.” Give me the paint, you’re making a mess!”

These, and many more memories echo in the minds of most parents. It’s so much easier to do so many things by yourself, but is that a sound long term tactic? Would we be better of, or more importantly, would our children be better off if we spread the pain and anxiety over 18 years?

With age comes patience, and patience wisdom. We’re so far past the stereotypical “first child parent” it’s almost difficulty talking to folks who are first child or only child parents without sounding callous or irresponsible. We probably sound and look as crazy to them as they appear naive to us.

We work with wood for a living. We do this partly so we can enjoy the wonderfully unbearable time we spend with our kids. We feel time is most important. It would certainly be easier to cart them off to daycare and go to a job for 8-12 hours and hopefully eat dinner together at a time that wouldn’t choke us in our sleep. However, we made the choice to be poor and together, for our situation it works.

I have three grown children from another marriage and we are raising three together. The two boys are 7 and 9, the youngest is 2 1/2. These are demanding and dynamic phases. The oldest compares his chest hair to his younger brothers. The younger brother decides wether or not every situation in the house is fair. The youngest thinks the kitchen and all of its contents are her playground. We can’t wait till there all a little more human.

The kids are around whenever we’re working. The boys have largely gotten bored with the excitement if power tools and constantly try to sneak outta the heat to watch some TV. The youngest though, she’s in her prime for tool time. Knives, saws, chisels and blocks seem amazing. So again, we safely go through the process of stopping what we’re doing every now and then to demonstrate, and supervise, our 2 1/2 year old sawing a block of wood.

On a recent trip to the grocery store in our 100 degree weather “little girl” decided she would put her sandals on because she wanted to walk into the grocery store where she could shop for us. She remembered the last time she got down from bring carried and the pavement was too hot. So we’re good now with grocery day. She remembers to bring her sandals she doesn’t want to wear because she can’t shop and has to ride in the cart when she doesn’t have shoes. This is pretty much the rubric for learning at this age.

Returning home everyone grabs as many bags as possible and takes them to the kitchen, which “little girl” has made an extension of her playroom. Standing at the steps to the door waiting on “Little Girl” to try and carry bread and milk up the three steps was amusing. Not to mention dangerous because we have lost a couple gallons in this process. All this made even more enjoyable by the unbearable heat.

What I know, and subsequently confirmed is; raising children isn’t easy. I could go to the grocery store by myself and hop outta the truck and be home in 25 minutes. I could go to work and only have to worry about the extra 30 minutes on either side it takes to drop the kids off and pick them up. I could cut and screw wood uninterrupted for hours at a time had we chose daycare. I could also send the kids inside to turn the TV on instead of enduring dropped groceries and 100 degree heat, but we experience many authentic moments being “home parents” that had we chose to work outside the house we would have missed.

We don’t “home school. We don’t feel it necessary. We send our kids to school for social reasons. We already knew their success in school was going to depend on us anyway. We drop them off and pick them off. Usually listening to their expectations in the morning and their successes or failures on the way home.

Being a “home parent” is very rewarding. We’re not wealthy and understand that has nothing to do with happiness or intelligence. We understand that it’s our choice and others make theirs for what they feel is good. What motivates us is we know each phase is the last and we’d better enjoy it while it’s here.

So for now we are hopefully allowing our kids to just be kids as long as they can and as fully as they can so when they’re adults that how they’ll feel. We don’t care what they become as much as that they become happy with who they are.

The freedom to explore and express theirselves now is important to us. We respect that not everyone agrees with this process. This is why we keep our 2 1/2 year old home mostly till she’s around 3, it’s safer for everyone involved.

We understand some folks seek academic success. Some chase actors curricular stardom. Some believe it takes a village. Some folks believe that insulating their child is the responsible thing to do. We respect other folks decisions, as we hope others do ours. We enjoy the difficult process of home parenting and including our children in our endeavors. It’s ugly for sure, but we all learn so much it’s impossible to see how limits are good if the actions are supervised, no matter how much harder it is than doing it ourselves.

Gathering Ghosts

Some days I feel like a haloed reaper. I carry memories and tears like wings on a gargoyle. Frozen outstretched emotions of guilt that no longer feather air. Just a concrete memory that I wish I could paint back to life.

It’s time that ticks off the emotions. Weather, seasons, darkness all come like lightening. Unexpected flashes of childhood folly or adult dramas playing out as a reminder. I wonder at the places they’ve traveled in spirit; do they know?

I wonder if life in spirit is more colorful than life in body. Does pain dissipate like myst in the spirit, or does it choke you like smoke. Are you smiling down on my naïveté or cynical about my faults. Either way you speak to my understandings in a way I can’t describe and you can’t communicate.

These friends of mine aren’t “up there”. They’re everywhere I remember. Breakfast tables, playgrounds, even the train tracks we romped. I listen to us on the radio and silently hope you would approve, but in the end I am reminded you had your own ghosts.

So to carry these people and places around is an honor. I’m still here creating my ghost. Hoping I can leave the trace of an unknown smile, or a tear in a rear view mirror. I hope I can create a space where yesterday and today come together without the burden of tomorrow. A space where my loved ones can carry with them a moment in the sound of rubber in asphalt. Until then, I’ll carry Ya’all in the summer breeze and winter storm with the same warmth you’ve given me.

Giving Back

I hesitate, my instincts too far beyond my surroundings

Alert, in tune with my heartbeat and the earths warnings

Now I must stop and seek cover from what I fear

Not cowering, not hiding, but living on the edge of finality it’s clear

Trust is the luxury of believers, I’m not a believer anymore, I’m here

Somewhere between safe and sound, I can no longer wander

It serves me well to stay in the shadows, alert and alive

I don’t need the lie anymore. I know under that beautiful garden there’s violence and decay, things we know, but don’t speak of

Don’t sell me assurances you can’t provide, I’m safe alone

I’m tired of all these people I have to be just to make your world complete

It’s been so long you don’t know which one is me, because you fell, fell into the trap and got ensnared in the one that you could never be for more than a moment

I was hear all along watching you melt under the light of an abstract dream. It was warm for a moment, but only the sun can bring true light, true warmth. The others just illuminated what they wish you to see, what they want you to be

Now your not human, not a person, but a part of something so much bigger than you that you can’t see it’s nothing, you’re nothing. You’ve been put to sleep in someone else’s dream.

Not I. I am wild, but free. I feel the heat of the day and shiver in darkness under the moons glow dreaming of sunrises.

What good is a sunset anyway. The end of a day shouldn’t be honored, it should be remembered. Where did we learn to worship the end of anything, it’s beginnings that have hope. All we have in sunsets are reflections and regrets

So I’ll keep your smile and give you back your watch. I’ll keep the sound of your voice, but give you back your words. You’ll need your hands, so I’ll leave with your touch gently caressing my heart. Everything else belonged to the world anyway.

Randomness

My mind lazily stares at the reflection of the door in the rainwater collecting on the sidewalk. I struggle with which door to open, which door to walk through for the rest of my life. Both have become surreal and the glimmer of hope in my reflection is as real as the sadness behind the pains encased in reality.

In the end choice was an illusion, a weigh station to a truth I already knew. Home is an illusion like the mind. It doesn’t have matter like a house or brain, of which both will eventually collapse. And so it is, choice, the stairway to somewhere, always leads me on.

So is life an illusion brought to life in the reflection of inconsequential notions of reality. Are hope, faith, and prayer the home of truth, reality, and the work that brings shining moments. We aren’t meant to know, only care enough to try.

Does it all matter, probably not, but if you don’t care, it’s not worth living. The reflection means no more than the reality and that’s not a crossroad, it’s a void. A place where nothing has color or tears to dry. A place where death lives and life passes on.

Everything has meaning, has worth if we care. Reality pushed the boundary of sanity at times. So hold onto your reflections with the understanding that life does matter, as do the illusions that give it measure. When this gets twisted you’re no longer real.

Drifter

I sat before eternity silent
No answers did I seek
Listening for the future
To gently kiss my cheek

Being everywhere but nowhere
A space outside of time
Lacked color or purpose
Living in the sublime.

So I stood up and brushed my pants
And walked towards the crossroad
Where I felt a better chance.

And in the distant dust loud
Just behind the ochre road
Death rumbled in the clouds

Not one to take the middle road
I walked with open eyes
An ever slowing pace
Towards ever changing skies

I walked through the mirage,
And into the heat of day
Gathering the colors of life
For when the skies turn gray

The end of the earth is a lie
For fools who dream
Or ask themselves why

There are no rhymes for reason
To hold the truth alight
Just changes of the seasons
Stretching day to night