Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Beacon In The Night

The wind is blowing like a freight train howling down the mountain.
The trees are bent like personalities of the deranged.
The sound and the fury encompass all but the quiet space beneath my blanket.
The ferocity akin to the hatred the wicked hold in cold hearts for the righteous.
Limbs torn from trees like arms from their sockets.
Pebbles blazing trails across the sky like a million tiny meteorites on acid.
Patio furniture upended like the best laid plans of the shrinking middle class.
Spanish tiles clinging precariously to the roof as if desperately afraid to fall.
Windows rattling like the bones of young soldiers preparing for battle.
Lights extinguishing themselves as the power goes down.
Moon rising over the bedlam like a beacon in the night.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oh My God!

“Oh my God!” is by far the most used, and obviously overused, exclamation ever spoken in the history of our planet, or at least in the U.S.
How do I know this? Because it is spoken by almost everybody, of every age, and in almost any given situation. You say it, I say it, we all say it, although you may not even realize it about yourself.

What’s interesting to me is that the expression is used by Atheists who profess there to be no God. It is proclaimed by agnostics as well, which ought to, at the very least, suitably answer their own dilemma for them.

With God on the lips of almost everybody alive, I can only presume that God must also be on the minds of those same people, whether consciously or unconsciously. I think it’s safe to say that we do not usually speak of what we do not first think of.

I do not find it at all ironic that the exclamation has been building to a crescendo at about the same rate that the world has been going mad; socially, economically, politically, spiritually, and even geographically with the bizarre weather upheavals.

I went to Catholic school as a child, first through ninth grade. Today I do not practice, nor do I espouse, any religion. Those of you who know me, or who have read my writings over time, understand that about me. For the most part I do not remember Catholic school fondly, but, fortunately, there are some good things left over from the education that I appreciate, and that will always remain with me. One example is the prayer with which I first became aware of the expression, ‘Oh My God’.

As I still remember it after all these years:

“Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because of thy just punishments, but most of all because they have offended Thee, my God, who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasion of sin.

Life changing, to be sure.
Feel free to use it if you’d like.
Nobody even needs to know.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Veteran

-You wore a uniform for me while I complained about my job.

-You saluted your commander while I argued with my boss.

-You marched in line for me while I got high at the festivals and clubs.

-You learned to be a warrior so I wouldn’t have to fight.

-You embraced a grueling boot camp while I enjoyed the beaches.

-You froze at night on the battlefield while I soaked myself in a nice warm tub.

-You ate MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) in the field while I barbecued chicken in my own back yard.

-You stood in front of me while bullets were flying.

-You put yourself at risk while I cowered behind my ideology.

-You bled on the ground for me while I spilled red wine on the dining room floor.

-You watched your friends get killed while I watched movies about them getting killed.

-You were afraid for me while I hid my own fear behind intellectual arrogance.

-You were scared in battle while I was just scared of being alone.

-You were psychologically scarred by war while I was scarred by self-indulgence.

-You were wounded for me while I was only wounded in love.

-You wrote letters to the loved-ones of your fallen friends while I wrote Christmas cards to family.

-You sacrificed your future for me while I sacrificed nothing in return.

-You left your family so I could be with mine.

-You died for me and I have never shed a tear.

I will not forget you now.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Since my fathers passing I’ve been thinking about death, more so than usual.
What it is, and why it might exist.
Many personal feelings have been percolating within me,
some of which I may choose to share with you in the future.
In the meantime, here are some of my more general thoughts on death,
in no particular order of significance.

Death is the ultimate pain medication.
Death is the best way of getting away from it all.
Death is a man’s way of scouting out the hereafter for everybody else.
Death is a way of finally moving past the inevitable.
Death is a cancellation of the reality show.
Death is a way of circumventing the high cost of health insurance.
Death is what finally puts everything in the past.
Death is the elimination of anticipation.
Death is the end of everybody’s expectations.
Death is winter after the fall.
Death is a pretty good indicator of having been alive.
Death is a certain eventuality.
Death is the end of things to come.
Death is proof that no person is more important than anybody else.
Death is the ultimate reward.
Death is separation from uncertainty.
Death is a reboot.
Death is the cold embrace of a total stranger.
Death is the warm embrace of love.
Death is an as-of-yet unknown equation.
Death is the sum of our fears.
Death is the brass ring finally in hand.
Death is staying down for the count.
Death is freedom from anxiety.
Death is never having to justify one’s self again.
Death ‘is just another word for nothing left to do’.
Death is a means to an end.
Death is an end with meaning.
Death is the last word in the big disagreement.
Death is our birthright.
Death is our first conscious impression.
Death is our last unconscious act.
Death is our final expression.
Death is our first authentic glimpse of life.
Death is the last chip left in the bag.
Death is a test of our spiritual equilibrium.
Death is the end of the pretending.
Death is a return to innocence.
Death is the elimination of disorientation.
Death is escape from procrastination.
Death is the sum total of all things left unsaid.
Death is where the rubber leaves the road.
Death is where the trail meets the great unknown.
Death is where the wilderness ends.
Death is potential left untapped.
Death is life exhausted.
Death is a promise kept.
Death is separation from the herd.
Death is the culmination of one’s aspirations.
Death is truth in advertising.
Death is the redistribution of life.
Death is everybody’s right, but few people’s wish.
Death is the ultimate happenstance.
Death is a matter of fact.
Death is the loss of everything but regret.
Death is a final apology, or a last denial.
Death is a tired mans last request.
Death is an ageing soul’s relief.
Death is redemption from the judgment of life.
Death is a frightful proposition.
Death is a beautiful thing.
Death is the sudden disappearance of someone we love.
Death is the illumination of their impact on our life.
Death is the opportunity for a good do-over.
Death is a new opportunity.
Death is going it alone.
Death is life personified.
Death is a good rest in peace.
Death is a resurrection of the will to live.
Death is natures way of making room in the world for someone else.