Connotations

December 6, 2016

In the only language that I sometimes consider myself semi-fluent, English, there are few words that do not carry the excess baggage of connotation. It is becoming increasingly more difficult, perhaps because the extra effort is being made, to not marginalize perspective readers of our words. I know we are most always trying to make a statement from a particular viewpoint but losing the reader due to a particular connotation of a certain word sort of defeats the purpose unless you are only preaching to the choir or actually meant to inflame.
A case in point. I think that we could all generally agree that an assembly, an audience, a throng and a mob could effectively describe a bunch of people gathered together. Where the difference lays, and I can never figure out if it should be lays or lies even when it is explained to me, is as I see it the intent which one wishes to convey.
I imagine that an assembly can embrace all the other three options in varying degrees. An audience could equally do so but with the possibility of a bad outcome in one of the cases. A throng likewise. And a mob. A mob is just the other three most likely tending toward a less than desired outcome.

And my dilemma. Trump supporters. Individually they could easily fit into anyone of the categories on any given day following any given tweet or rally. We will have to wait and see. After all we all have to live together and I could be pleasantly surprised and find myself wrong, yet another time.

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In the aftermath of what may just turn out to be our most divisive election season, upcoming inauguration and the next four years of making America great again, it is becoming increasingly difficult to delve past present day headlines in the search of substance to feed an ever increasing hunger for information on what has happened, why it happened and what may happen next without having to slog through the ever present partisan opinions, cherry-picked facts/studies/polls/statistics and mean-spirited rhetoric of both the defeated and the mandate claimants. I would hate to have my fallback position be, “It is what it is.”

Arriving on Track 47

November 26, 2016

It surprises me from time to time the stations that one’s train of thought often visits.

The remembered emotion caused by a few simple words of gratitude from a man who had just lost his wife, the parents, both taken at too young an age, other family members, a girl much younger than myself when I was still in highschool, people I now know whose parents are reaching that age that every day extra is a blessing. I do not seem to handle death well, so I tend to avoid, no matter the cost, situations regarding the same. Yet these times can not be fully avoided and even though you know there will never be the words to express your sorrow, the silence can say volumes, if you are listening.
As guarded as one can keep their own heart, the wall is never perfect and one day we too will leave behind the grievers and the memories, to no matter how few.

This train of thought is now leaving the station for yet another stop, for now. All aboard.

Reading interrupted

October 19, 2016

There it was again. That four letter word, in the same current book of fiction that is occupying my now ever present spare time. And also the same pause. The reflection on its meaning, the memories stirred, of heartache and joy both received and given and the ever recurring thoughts of another chance. Yet, will time and past indiscretions favor another attempt or is it just folly in the future.
I would tell those who are alone, if I knew of those to tell, that there are worse places one could be and that the desire to not be alone comes with its own inherent risks, many of which should best be avoided. Hopefully, by now, we know ourselves well enough to judge whether the risks are worth seeking the rewards.
I, myself, am still in the undecided column if only because the last opportunity to present itself was years ago, and I declined, and there is nothing on the horizon now but more sunrises and sunsets. I would have to label myself content. Yet content, I find, is really never enough for someone who quietly desires more.

Bad Choices

May 30, 2016

We make a lot of bad choices. as long as “wonder what this does” is not your last four words, I imagine that we can just chalk most of them, if they are not continually repeated, to learning experiences.

Learning experience #1
Picking that last portion of home fries, you just finished transferring to your plate, out of the pan with your fingers. Yes the pan was hot, real f**king hot. Do not do that again. Not rocket science here folks. Something you should have learned on your own as a child, stove related=hot.
Learning experience #2
Chocolate and Peanuts. You know you love them both and the urge when they are residing in the pantry at the same time to have a handful or two of each can be irresistibly appealing. but it is almost near bedtime and you do remember your acid reflux don’t you. i guess not. another semi-sleepless night awaits you. i am still struggling with this one.
Learning experience #3
Relationships. I am reminded that a relative of mine is about to cast his lot in life with the 3rd, future, ex-mrs. ******, insert your own wayward relatives name here. We are not close, but I would want to put both hands around his neck and scream at him, “What the f**k are you doing”, only I imagine to be met with sad eyes pleading, “I must follow my heart.” I too have been down this path many times and have learned that the heart, along with other male body parts, can be a piss poor leader, no eyes and that constant beating must just drive it so crazy sometimes. This can cause it to lead us into seemingly new and uncharted waters no matter how many times we have been there before. When it comes to the heart and relationships, it seems there can be a disconnect and we do not easily learn. My own heart goes out to those who have learned and i wish you all the happiness your life brings you.
Learning experience #4
Of course there had to be four or the baseball homerun tie-in would make no sense.
Homeruns. You knew it when you hit it. It felt that good. You hesitated just a second to let your eyes confirm that it was true and you were indeed that lucky. Then all you had to do was touch all the bases and the act would be complete and all your teammates would be there at the end to congratulate you. Is not that what life should be like, in the end. Brings a tear to my eye every time i think about it. Hopefully we all get to hit that homerun, one way or another and get to remember it. otherwise what was the point. Nothing but struggling with our experiences is not all it should be. Learn people, learn.

I Wish I Were Dancing

May 17, 2016

Often when listening to music that has a particular catchy rhythm to it, I fantasize about being in the arms of a beautiful woman, moving in perfect unison, through room after changing room, to the captivating beat. Long gliding steps with turns and spins and whirls with interspersed pizzicato almost tap dance like moves. Thoughts turn to past images of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire from the late 40’s and through the 50’s movies so prevalent on the small black and white tv sets of the day. Alas, my own particular style of grace tends toward Gene and Fred, yes, but Wilder and Flintstone. Yet one can dream.

Talk to me

May 15, 2016

One would think that there was an initial reason. Lost and needing direction, a little curiosity or just plain happenstance. The first few words out are the most difficult because of the initial comfort levels we all bring along with us every day whether you are the first to speak or respond. We do our best, I think, at the times we are caught unaware. No defenses, no preconceived notions, no trying, just being. Let the situation take care of itself, there will be time later after you have done way too much thinking and analyzing to make those awkward mistakes while you are trying a little too hard to make a better impression or seem smarter than you need to be. Being who you really are is what you are trying to get across, if trying is actually the case. You will be pleasantly surprised. And looking back will consider that it was not you at all but rather the other person who somehow brought out the better you. Just because you talked to me.

On the mend

May 6, 2016

Below is the body of a text sent out to various people who seemed to want to be informed of my status after the rotator cuff surgery on April 28th.

Shoulder surgery recovery update.

The drugs have not taken over my life just yet but they do help manage what pain there has been. The routine, 10 sets of 20 reps of 3 different minimal exercises, followed by 30 minute ice pack applications does however occupy a lot of time between the online poker therapy sessions, which are also going well. My sister, Mindy, has been a life line to the outside world of grocery shopping, laundry runs and doctor appointments. As independent as some of us try to be, to a fault I am sure in some of your opinions in my case, there are just some things we need help with and I will thankfully take it. I do not know if it shows just who these texts go out to but feel free to forward these Condition Reports to anyone you may think would be interested, no HIPA waiver required.

No Fooling

April 1, 2016

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April 1st. Today is my Father’s 91st birthday. I have not seen or talked to him in quite a long while. Not really either of our faults, it is just that he died in 1981 before even reaching his 56th birthday. All of his children, and we were still just children, I soon to be 36 and all of the other five younger by two or three years in some random mathematical progression, mourned his passing in our varying degrees and ways. I truly only know what I felt and still feel as, I guess, in a way we are not a close knit family, even though we get together on all the requisite holidays and birthdays. There is talk and laughter and memories and uneasy silences. In his last years we used to walk around the neighborhood together every now and then just to keep in touch, it seems. I imagine that he always had greater hopes for me than the life I displayed before his eyes. I changed quite a bit over the years after he died and hope that most of it was for the better. I think he would have approved, but I would have rather have had a few more years after the changes to walk and talk with him. It might have made it more difficult to lose him but then it is always difficult no matter when you lose a parent. No fooling.

Choices Again

March 30, 2016

Choices. It always comes down to choices.

Early on in life they are made in our stead. Eventually we make our own, sometimes prematurely, sometimes not soon enough, often to the chagrin of our parents and many more times in silent abnegation, if you had to look that word up, fear not so did I, just so when it popped into my head as an appropriate word, it indeed meant what I thought it might.

No matter the choice there are always consequences, if you have darker tendencies or outcomes, if you are a middle-of-the-roader. I am not quite sure what an optimist’s take on the matter is, as I have never much been one and I do not at the moment have the energy or inclination to search out just what the correct word may be. We just hope that nothing, too serious, comes back to bite us in the ass. As there is no full length mirror in my home I can not easily look and see just how many scars I may have back there. Women, and I do not wish in any way to denigrate, another word I had to look up, any here, might try to pass them off as “stretch marks” but we both, I think, know the truth. It seems to be different for our tongues as I am sure that all those scars are easily camouflaged within the cellular structure, but the fake smiles and lack of words at the time are probably a dead giveaway that the choice of silence over having your head and mouth explode in a serious rant resulting in words that can never be retracted but will probably result in an awkward apology further down the road.

 

Yesterdays

March 30, 2016

carmel2012

I do not use Facebook much anymore, I guess only because the stuff that everyone meaningfully posts is not all that interesting, at least to me, at the time. Every now and then Facebook reminds me of a past event of my own and depending on what it is, or was, and the connections that it still has to my pysche, the memories flood back to that time and place and people I may have been with at that time.

Now four years ago may seem like a long time ago, but in the grand scheme of things, if there truly is a grand scheme, it is only another yesterday in a long string of yesterdays. Yet the memories, emotions and reflections of and on that moment are as fresh as our last breath and do little to assuage whatever regrets we may have about being where we are now in lieu of where we could have been.
If only. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Oh well, in any case it was one of the best photos of that time and can never come close to describing the life going on behind the camera and it is that that I think of when I see this photo and not the scene itself.

Word of the Day

March 29, 2016

Indignity

I do not know where ideas come from. Sometimes they are associated with the first emotion upon rising into a new day, the first thought, noticing that the ache with which we went to sleep with last night has not gotten lost in our dreams but sadly has returned to nag for another day. Sometimes louder, sometimes not but nonetheless there.

Usually the definition of the “word” is googled to find if I do indeed have a grasp on the meaning of the word. That learned I then google again to find what other people may have had to say on the subject. To say the least I am surprised how current some of the content can be no matter how dated the quote, yet I think what we ourselves think matters most. Maybe it was the Nora Ephron documentary that I watched last night. And I, at least today, can think of nothing more pressing than the indignity of aging.

We all do it no matter the lengths we may go to give the appearance that time does not affect us. That extra weight that seems to have miraculously appeared due to our being just a little less active than we used to be or that second helping of pie, ahhhh pie, at the holiday table. A pound a year. Elasticity has abandoned our skin. A small wrinkle here, a nest of them there and whole folds of flesh that have glacially moved from one place to collect in another. Hair thins soon to appear in ones and twos in the oddest but most visible parts of the body. And thousands of other little changes over which we have no control. Therein lies the indignity. And soon it will be upon us all. There will be no going gentle into that good night. And you, Kid, get off of my lawn.

Friends of Old

March 27, 2016

Written more than a few years ago and now revisited

They come and they go. Some last from childhood and are sadly around when death comes to claim a weary soul or are they themselves, nevermore. Some never seem to survive the first heartbreak.

Welcome is the return, ever how brief, of a friend whose path has led them away to brighter prospects.
The greeting embrace.
The smiles and exchanges of remembrances.
Connection briefly revived.

Other places to go and people to see.

Unsaid

March 26, 2016

I like words. Every one has its own meaning nevermind the language in which it exists, but it was so hard with my mind running at breakneck speed, hoping that all the thoughts could be transcribed into an utterance. I stood there with my mouth open, watching her walk away, wishing for her to turn and look back one last time on her own. I knew then that the words would never come and that she would never look back. I watched until she was out of sight and beyond the range of my words. “What kind of love doesn’t look back?”, the song lyrics go. I would have done the same, were our situations reversed, yet I have never stopped listening

 

Lessons

July 18, 2012

It is odd, and a little humorous, that when you start out to teach someone a lesson, the only lesson learned is that not only can you not teach that person anything, unless they are willing and that it is surprising that you have not already learned this lesson many times before.

The Recurring Dream

April 14, 2012

It has been a while. Real life and change gets in the way.
You never really notice when it begins and it doesn’t always begin in the same way. Dreams are like that I guess and the speculation of what they are, where they come from and what they may mean is as varied as the dreams and realities around us. Yet the central theme, at least for this dream, is always trying to get somewhere, or rather back to somewhere, in a somewhat familiar landscape, usually a city, more often than not familiar, and never quite seeming to be able to find your way, back. Very, very frustrating , yet the way, the way back, just seems to become more and more convoluted. There are recognizable landmarks along the way. An unavoidable car accident, fender bender, nothing serious, just car damage but nothing you could have done to prevent it except not being at the particular place at the particular time, or so it seems. Somehow the love that got away surfaces again after so long an absence. Different concerns thrown into the mix. Subconscious and memory and purpose, oh my.

Holiday Cards

December 17, 2011

It was that time of year again, a few shopping days left before Christmas, not that that was on the mind at the time. On the way to a pre grocery shopping breakfast, a quick stop to pick up mail at the Post Office. Hoping or expecting one bit of mail but instead receiving another. It always came twice a year, Christmas and birthdays. Always the same recognizable flowing script on the envelope, always the same reemergence of long ago feelings, the unabandoned hopes. Sometimes you never, or you do not wish to, let go for whatever the reasons. The finality of the end is just as painful as the often long road of getting there, though such paths rarely start that way.

Choices

September 5, 2009

Some decisions of the moment become ghosts in an unimagined future. Whether they are friendly spirits that guide and nurture and fulfill dreams or haunt until the end of days is always in question. Telling the difference, aye, there’s the rub.

Words Revisited

August 16, 2009

Time. So precious, yet so ignored.
Hurriedly skimming the words to get the gist, unmindful of intended nuance. Words chosen for their description and effect or perhaps not. So glibly can they fall from mind, to keyboard, to page. Words for words sake, writing to hear ourselves read.
Rereading after a time to cull more than the gist, the missed subtlety, the lure which draws us in. The bait. The alone seeking the alone for company, companionship and physical connection. The hidden barbs of disappointment can so easily tear and scar. The battles fought, the war stories told, the memories fondly replayed in age. The comrades of youth lost and remembered.
Catch and release.

The Comute

July 3, 2009

It is always just from here to there and back again.

The need to be someplace else, to trade time for the means to live. The road ever unfurling ahead, small sections both revealed and hidden by curve and dip of surrounding landscape. Views concentrated through windshield and rear view mirrors. Speed and anticipated reaction time dictate the necessary focus and yet the mind, at times, drifts with the moment.

The roadway, cyclically bracketed by farm fields, giving way to small village centers and larger towns in soft morning light, the shadows of dusk and quieting folds of full night. Preparing for the day and later unwinding from its effects. Breathe in, breathe out.

Thoughts still so vivid that it seems that the mind has just returned from a momentary distraction. The years have somehow never begun to tarnish the memory. Life in suspended animation mode. And yet from another’s point of view so trivial a moment in the grand scheme of things, hardly worth the tiniest of storage space allotment in the brain, What? When? Sorry, don’t recall.
Disappointment. What has affected and changed and molded one over the years is at the same time inconsequential to so many others.
Same destination, different journey.

Things Change

May 31, 2009

It’s a movie.
It’s a life lesson.
Things are more often than not as they appear, yet, like the weather wait and it will invariably change, given time and circumstance. People’s assumptions and expectations often create what seems to be, for the moment. Being a consistent self, things will change around you, affect you, change your own self to a self anew. The process continues.
The journey, not alone the destination.
A conscious thought or lack thereof, a word here, a silence there, a done deed or a paralyzing inaction, all a part of the sum.
Until it is done.

The First

May 11, 2009

The first memory. Clouded by the ensuing years and probably badly recalled.

The first kiss.

The first sex. Later in life than most and hardly the first despite her youth.

The first wife. Followed, like 50% of first marriages, by the first divorce and the last in both cases.

The first child. Cast away by thoughtless and youthful indifference.

The first drugs. Never tell the uninitiated that they do not feel good, because they feel great. Relating the journey of wasted time and the people left behind is only advice, usually not taken.

The first loss of family. Far too soon before the growing up started and perhaps a participating factor.

The first heart attack. A wakeup call from a misspent youth and a possible future. Unless.

The first will. While able, just in case, so wishes will be honored.

The first. All of the above.