In My Blindness Once (A Poem)

I remember, in my blindness once,
Hearing.
It’s amazing what you can hear when you are no longer focused on the lust of the eyes,
When you are no longer driven by the thrust of curiosity.
The world shrinks, like a star collapsing upon itself.
 
I suddenly could hear every sound,
The machines surrounding me, sure to warn of my impending doom,
The footsteps of care making their way, screeching across the tiled floor,
The sounds of a lover sleeping gently somewhere just beyond my reach.
 
I could hear the moans of suffering from beyond a door I could not see,
And hear the subtle voices of concern from those surely worried about an end.
Pleading for something else,
Searching for just one more chance to say “good morning.”
 
I could hear the ticking of a clock,
Yet I remained unsure if that clock was hanging dutifully on a wall,
Or somehow lived within me,
Counting, silently in a circle that one day would run out of time.
 
I could hear the sounds of my own heart beating,
Defying the odds yet again, warning me that I had not finished,
“There is more to do, so much more to do,
Keep hearing, listening to the sounds within you, and you will find your path.”
 
Too often we are told, that listening means hearing yet another,
And we listen to the point where we can no longer hear ourselves,
Stand! do not fail to hear that voice that beats inside you,
Obey not them, but the magic that lives within you.
 
I remember, in my blindness once,
Hearing.
It’s amazing what you can hear when you are forced to finally listen.
When you are no longer distracted by the image of the flower,
You can actually hear it sing its song.
 
~TG
photo by: Bea Serendipity

Life is Like the Breath

I had a feeling something would be up during my morning meditation. A wave of joyful dread cascaded throughout the light I allow to enter, and I heard a noisy hum that seemed to emanate from the light around me. Physical life is, if nothing else, a series of contrasts.
 
I say “joyful dread” because I’ve learned to take such a thing in stride. Loss, grief, misunderstanding…they are all part of the wondrous cycle that allow gain, joy, and connection to thrive. So, when I experience the dread of those things, I am joyful knowing that the opposite is just around the corner.
 
The lesson of the morning, for me, was that life is like a breath. It sucks sometimes, and it is great others. When we breathe, we have to suck (inhale) in order to release (exhale). Otherwise, we’d have nothing to draw from, and nothing to give back.
 
My body must expand to contract, and this process is as involuntary to life as the flow is to living.
 
With this perspective, I am able to do many things in my life. I am able to accept myself for who I am, and seek no change in me for another. I am able to sit alone as the Sun rises and feel the energies within me that give me an understanding of myself within a crowd. I am able to forgive others for the pain I know I inflict upon myself, for their wisdom is sometimes not in line with my own. I am also able to walk away when I know its right, and not look back even if I can feel the heat from the bridge I may be burning to the ground.
 
Sometimes you don’t need a fallback position. Sometimes you need a cliff. Sometimes there is no reverse selection on your gear shift. Rivers don’t often flow backwards, even if they will often change direction. I realize that I’ve never flowed in reverse either, because contraction is not a reversal, it’s a simple change in direction. We are all always moving forward.
 
So remember, take a breath. Watch your body change direction. Watch your flow cycle, and appreciate that without that exhalation you will die, and without the inhalation you will cease to be. There is nothing wrong with a change in direction unless you say there is, and you are always free to change your mind.
 
~TG
photo by: +gAbY+

Life is a Participation Trophy

I have learned to not seek for comfort outside of my condition, but to find comfort within it. There is no escaping the things we see as difficult, or challenging, or hard. Those things are there, and the more ready we are to embrace them, the less challenging they appear.
 
Somewhere, someone once taught me that challenges were “hard”, and that they should be faced with a concern that gave them some sort of special meaning, and therefore should create in me a sense of special purpose. I can say they were wrong, that each experience in life should be faced with the same joy and expectation as every other experience in life, and that a chore can be as joyous as opening a birthday gift, if you see them both as opportunities to receive.
 
Perspective, I’ve learned, is the key. When you see that life is nothing but a series of contrasting experiences, each born in order for the other to be, you can see the joy that unites them both. Yes, in each tragedy there is love, and in each challenge a triumph. I can prove that if you dare me, it’s all just a matter of perspective.
 
Despite what I write, I can find equal comfort in aloneness as I do in companionship. Sure, each can be a challenge. Sometimes I want to be alone when in company, and sometimes I want company when alone, but ultimately I am equally happy either way. I’ve learned in my life to carry myself, to stand up on my own, and that nothing can truly beat me but me. Even if I fail some standard, or to meet some goal, I am never beaten. Unless I believe that I am.
 
Contrary to what some may think, life does give participation trophies. We call them memories. Or experiences. We are not all carved out to meet someone else’s definition of “winner”, but winners we are nonetheless. We live this life, we survive many challenges thrown our way until, one day, we jump through the mist of death into some great unknown.
 
Death is that moment when we realize that we were never really in control; that no matter how hard we struggled or resisted we always had no choice but to go with the flow. That flow brings us, finally, to the moment of ultimate surrender, that moment when we realize that perhaps we never really existed in the first place, and that all there was the experience, that participation trophy that says, “I was here, I did something.”
 
No matter what we have done, or not done, we all participate in this thing called life. We all have impacted someone at some point, and done something meaningful for someone even if we’ve never met them. Enjoy that power of you, that power that suggests that no matter what you are doing, you are impactful and necessary to the flow over which we have no control. Sure we can swim, or float, or dive, or fight that tide, but we will have no choice but to ride the flow. We have no choice but to participate in the journey, a journey that will always transform but may never end.
 
Happy Thursday, and what a Thursday it will be.
 
~TG
 
photo by: AlicePopkorn

The Absence

I’ve heard an absence in the spaces between us, a constant reminder that you are there, and I am here, and there is a wide gap between us.
 
That is what the disparity between dreams and reality provides, a certain disharmony between what we wish for and what we have. I struggle to let go of that mist within my grasp, those droplets of hope that your words give birth to, in order to allow the diamonds of truth to take their place. There is a soul out there not encumbered by whatever you hold on to, who is seeking the love this man can give, not attached to the end as much as strongly embracing the beginning.
 
I have heard the wisdom of going with the flow, of trusting where I am and where I am heading. Yet, this is no excuse for standing at the base of a great hill, waiting for the winds to bring you to the top, or the earth to bend to your desire. Sometimes the flow within you, that which you recognize as truth, will cause your feet to move and your soul to head upward. To resist is the lie, the ugliness within us that creates our own pattern of suffering.
 
Remember, to say something is never enough. Be who you want to be. Love who you want to love. Sing the songs you hear that strike your fancy. Climb the walls you wish to climb, and allow the hands you wish to have comfort your tired flesh. That flow, that wondrous breeze of possibility, only brings us to the surface. It is our hearts that get us diving in beneath. Just know that one day that sea may head to another shore, an opportunity lost in the million blinks of an eye which simply choose to quit.
 
We are all such wonderful masters of our destiny, the creators who shape the world in our own image. Choose wisely, with that wisdom within you, and watch what happens.
 
~TG
photo by:

It Begins With a Single Footstep

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” ~Henry David Thoreau
 
How many self-defeating paths have we worn into the fields of our mind? How many fearful beliefs of our own self-loathing have we dug into the terra firma of our thoughts? How many lies of helplessness have we carved into the stony walls of our psychological mountainside?
 
For me, there have been many. Some call them scars, I call them paths. While others may have given me the map, it is I who walked in their direction.
 
Equal to the once self-defeating task I endured, I have been in creating new paths, new stories, that reverse the trends of my life. No longer do I accept mediocrity, nor do I seek to change that which others see as my flaws. A diamond is a flaw to the lump of coal that birthed it, yet look at that beauty when exposed to the right light.
 
We are all beautiful in our own way, in our own time, to the right people in the right light. Change nothing save that which makes you unhappy. Alter nothing except that which you use to defeat yourself. See no one else as competition, for the only path you need to make is the one that gives you joy.

I Want You to Know

It’s an unusually cloudy morning, and I’m drawn to the sound of rain gently tapping on my bedroom window. I pause and stare as each drop makes its landing, then slowly begins its trek toward its end. Somehow, it seems as if the angels are crying. Maybe it’s just the mood the clouds seem to bring as each day gets shorter, and we deal with darkness in our waking moments equal to those of when our day comes to an end.
 
The mood shifts to thoughts of you as my body creaks to life. I search for the warmth of your body I’ve never known, and the morning taste of lips I’ve yet to kiss. I wonder what you sound like as you make your first movement, and if you’ll fall into me as I take you in my arms. When one soul finds its mate, the magnetism is real. I may hold you in my arms, it is almost like your body is drawn to mine. It takes so very little effort indeed.
 
That part of me in you, and you in me, does all the work for us. We are in each other, as we been since the dawn of time.
 
Perhaps you should know this. Maybe you should know how the seconds say your name, how each breath reminds me of our possibility. Perhaps you should know the warmth of my body in the morning, the touch of my fingertips under the Moon, and the sweat of our dance in the many moments that lay between. Perhaps you should know we’ve not yet begun to live, and that there is a Universe waiting to be born in the moments we kiss, in the slumber we share tasting each other as our eyes close, together. At last.
 
Maybe you do already know such things? Perhaps you’ve felt me enter you in your dreams, or been awakened in the announcement of our pleasure. Maybe you’ve awakened on a cloudy day and reached for me, wishing you could hear the sounds of my arousal, and feel the stirrings of a new day by my side.
 
Maybe. I cannot tell. Although I know that we will always end up where we belong, I also know that sometimes we have to climb to get there. Sometimes we need to take the step, leap from the ledge, or find that first handhold that will get us to where we belong.
 
In this moment, there is you, and I want you to know such things. Not just now, when I am standing at the base looking at the summit, wondering if I can make it there, but also when your hand extends to pull me to the ledge, where we decide which path we take from there.
 
I will dream as I write this, hope as I climb, awaiting that moment when…
photo by:

No More Heart to Give

In the solace of my silent moments,
She asks me…
 
Are you leaving me?
 
A star explodes in the instant,
An unkindness takes to flight in the distance,
Dancing as ravens will, blocking the supernova,
Keeping me at bay.
 
I have never left you.
Though I’ve tried,
To play on fields not to my full liking,
To hear the song too noisy for my ears.
 
I have never left you,
It seems an impossibility.
For when you call me I shall come,
And when you need me you shall hardly need to whisper my name.
 
Then I ask of you,
Are you coming, dearest one?
Are you willing to walk through time and space,
Never wondering again?
 
I have never left you.
And though I walk to that other place,
You know the one…
My body heads for the valley below,
Though my heart remains with you at the summit.
 
I shall never leave you,
Unless it is you who fails to arrive.
For try as I might I cannot lie,
I have no more heart to give.

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl

Today, my youngest daughter became a teenager.

I don’t post this just to honor that special being who blessed my life 13 years ago today. Instead, I post this to tell a story, as is often my want.

Gianna was born a premie. and as such had what we were told was “retraction”. When she would inhale, her not-quite-fully-developed lungs would contract, making it impossible for her to get a full inhalation. Having been blessed with the instant love a Dad feels for his daughter, my joy went to worry instantly as we could only spend a few short moments with her before she was whisked off to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

What I got to see from there was the pure glory of a human spirit untouched by human ideas, or human conditioning, or human teachings. I watched my little girl fight like hell for life, and for the way she wanted to live it. She’d tear out the feeding and ventilation tubes the staff had put in her, rid herself of the IV, and fight anyone who dared violate her space to put them back in. My little girl was, and still is, a fighter, and to watch that little being not only survive, but say to the world, “ON MY TERMS”, inspires me to this day.

She would fight the doctors so hard, they finally said, “if you can get her to eat, no more feeding tube.” They were exhausted, and she had exhausted them. Well, she ate, and ate, and then ate some more. Never had I felt so happy watching a child eat.

A few days later that Lioness came home. Needless to say to those of you who know her, she’s always been a sweet and strong girl. She doesn’t suffer fools, but she’s nice to them. She doesn’t like to be told what to do, but she’ll listen to counsel. When she makes up her mind that fierce determination I got to watch for the first 10 days of her life comes out, and she not only stands tall in her conviction but lives with the consequences.

I am not blessed just because this girl, this young woman, is my daughter. I am blessed because of who this girl, this young woman, is. She blesses me with her truth, even when that truth reminds me she’s still very young. She blesses me with her strength which, humbly, reminds me of me. She blesses me with her compassion (she is a devout vegetarian because she could never hurt an animal), her kindness, and her determination. She blesses me with her fierce adherence to who she is, and her unwavering passion for living the life she, and no one else, wants to live.

She blesses me with the world “Dad.”

Gianna doesn’t like words, despite her sometimes rambling, never-ending sentences (as her brother and I call them, sometimes telling her, “breathe, Gianna, breathe!”). When I tell her I love her, she replies with “thank you”. She doesn’t say words like “I love you” often, but she doesn’t have to. I know she loves me when she lays with me to watch a movie, or sits with me to have a chat, or tells me her stories, or when I come home and she has cleaned up a bit. She tells me she loves me with her smile, or when she tells me my jokes are corny, or my music “old school”, or when she decides to simply tell me that I am old. She’ll hug me, but it is usually that side hug that will let me know she loves me, but that she is going to decide how she expresses it.

I absolutely love my girl. Completely and without question. She never offends me, and I never want her to change. That was a decision I made 13 years ago when she was doing her thing, her way, with the determination I adore. In those days, I swore I would protect her with my life if necessary, and be the best I could be every day I had with her. I would defend her right to live her life, and help foster in her the awareness that could guide her in her way, not in mine.

My Gianna, my sweet, adorable Gianna. One of my proudest moments was when I blessed the world with you, a moment that has never ended.

The Spots

Have you ever felt that there is one spot in this Universe where you simply need to be?
 
That spot can be a location. That happened for me and the Rocky Mountains. I needed to be here, and with patience, I did arrive. Two years ago yesterday.
 
That spot can be a person. We all know that one person we simply need to know, need to hold, need to kiss, need to make love to. We feel that craving, that urge, that irresistible force that drives us into action or, sometimes, relegates us to inaction. Sometimes just watching her is enough.
 
That spot can be a moment. We’ve all had the deep desire to do something that drives us beyond our current conditions. Maybe it’s climbing a 14er, or doing an obstacle course race, or writing some words down that best illustrate our hearts in that moment. I remember when, for me, that moment was breaking free of my blood family. It was willing my eyes to see again, demanding that I walk again, deciding that I needed to play with my kids again, and that I wanted to LIVE in a way that gave honor to the act of LIVING.
 
I guess I’ve come to realize over the years that living is discovering those spots. Like pixels on a great canvas, those spots neatly (or not so neatly) arrange themselves into a portrait whose story must be told. To miss out on any one pixel is to leave a blank space, and to leave a blank space seems to do a dishonor to the artist.
 
I know my spots, that much I am certain.
photo by: Sam-H-A

I Love You (A Poem)

I softly want to remind you,
That I love you.
That to touch you is my desire,
To care for you is my hope,
To kiss you is my mountaintop,
To see you free is my dream.

I’d like to kindly tell you,
That I love you.
That to support you would be my pleasure,
To hear you laugh my joy,
To carry you when tired my strength,
To extend a hand when you have stumbled, my want.

I’d like to show you,
That I love you.
That through the moments when the storm clouds come,
And the rains pour, the hail pummels our surroundings,
You will not ride the storm alone,
We’ll both be soaked to laugh when the Sun returns triumphant.

Because it’s true…all of it.
I love you.
My heart, my soul, the sweat from my aging brow,
Is yours when you come needing my arrival.
My mind, my moments, the remnants of my aging scars,
Bow to your presence, and the empty space you fill.

What you feel is life, what you live is another story.

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