Saturday, March 17, 2012


"I want to be the unwobbling pivot at the center of an ever revolving universe. I want to be...still" 

I can feel the quiet all around me. It resonates, a soft vibration of non-existent ripples, like soft wind on the water. These are the times when I am most aware of me, what I am, what I've done, what I will do. Silence and stillness frighten me. Silence and stillness entice me. They are a rare combination when your mind's a storm yet somehow also the eye of the storm. It's these moments in which I reconcile myself, I rise and fall by memories and push ever forward. Still.

Here is where the ghosts come out again. As much as I try to make my peace with them, some insist on holding out. Yet I am fine with this, acceptance that some things just do not exist. Like a sorrow come alone or a dream for insomniacs. The ghosts of a veteran...haunting memory and dreams for forever and a day. The ghosts...they know this is the time of weakness. It is that time when the mind and soul try to reconnect and find balance. That area of serenity. Still.

At this moment, I am one and know and try to accept that this is only a moment, like everything before. All moments, the past and future, constantly ebbing and flowing. Like a surfer looking for absolution in that one perfect wave, I will ride it where it takes me. In this time, this collection of seconds to minutes to hours to days etc., etc... I will not seek all the answers because I know that some questions just do not have them. I am willing to accept that. In that be comforted and confrontational of all those things which attack me and bring me back to the pain and suffering. Still.

The truth of all these words is that I will live everyday for the rest of my life on this journey. The stillness is not a constant. Never can be. Those of us who have seen the atrocity exhibition of war can never truly escape the constant risk of being caught in the undertow. We run so far and so fast that we lose family and friends and sanity and all else. But we never lose that haunting, lost feeling. Sometimes it is just to damn much. Do not demonize SSG Robert Bales nor allow the media or our CDR in Chief do so either. They can never know what we know nor understand what it's like to have horrors replay on a constant loop in your mind. They can have the stillness. Our hearts and our minds can never be still.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


The robins have come to be seen and known again, like harbingers of the new. The clouds roll that certain way again. Greenery is appearing in the stagnant areas once dominated by the brown and gray. One can almost taste the rain in the air again. Days are growing longer and evening is gently giving ground. The feeling and actuality of Spring is here again. Time for renewal and rebirth, to all new things a beginning, to some things a new beginning.

I mean not a somber tone in this post. I am finding as I grow older that I can associate my bouts of nostalgia through seasons. It's a wondrous thing to be able to assign moments and memories with the utmost clarity through seasonal selection. Maybe it's a weird emotional OCD, the need to put each memory, moment and emotion into a category. Maybe it hints at something deeper. All I know is that I am finding the prospect of the newness of this time of year as some sort of promise. I am embracing an almost Zen like hope that perhaps I have made it through to the other side of my darkest days. I am creating my own Dharma, like some Kerouac character bathing in serenity and awareness after traversing through Hell.

For the first time in a very long time, I am feeling hopeful. Maybe it's the acceptance of all the bad, or the fact that I've put it away in the back corners of my mind and submerged it too deep to swim to the surface. As crazy as it may sound, in my mind I have begun the habit of breaking my life into seasons, only not following any set sort of lunar calendar. Now is Spring. I saw the bad as it hurtled towards me during my Autumn, suffered and raged through the Winter of all things dark and harsh. Now I am welcoming Spring, like an old friend who means the world to you or the welcoming embrace a child has for the parent they miss. I am welcoming Spring.

So in this, maybe hope is truly the greatest belief. In this I truly want for nothing more than my new found faith in progression to ring true. Maybe I'm fooling myself. Maybe I am not. But Spring is a promise of all that is new and allowing for wonder. I'm going to put my faith there. Even a bitter realist such as myself can't argue with that.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Good things do happen...

Michele Bachmann is now a funny anecdote and political joke to be used as an example of what not to do and say in a bid to win a presidential nomination. Her lack of knowledge, foresight and any skills that a president needs( I'm looking at you too, Sarah Palin) proved nothing more than a farce and a distraction from any real issues. Looks like she'll just have to keep fear mongering of Muslims and trying to pray away homosexuality now. Oh, and her amazing ability to not even know the simplest of facts and history was truly an art forum. Hopefully someday soon a woman will shatter that glass ceiling. We have come a long way forward, what with our first bi-racial president. Now it's time to recognize a woman for the strength and leadership abilities we have ignored long enough. I hope one can be recognized soon. And no, not one looking to advance their notoriety( again, looking at you Palin) or their ridiculous agenda. One who wants to lead our country in the right direction.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Some things can take up a special residence in your mind and stay there forever. At some point, those things become symbolic of deeper meanings and become a way of identifying a vast array of specifics. Like, I think of music and different songs as a sort of soundtrack to the pieces of one's life. Or how a phrase said in passing can become the basis of an individuals daily mantra. I think of almanacs to describe the past and progression for one's life. Ghosts represent all those yesterdays that have come and gone, haunting your mind. The one that seems to matter more and more as of late are the fireflies.

Growing up in the South, Summer was always a time of long days under long, blue skies packed with whatever you and your group of friends could fill them with. The nights, despite their hazy, humid thickness always seemed to be of it's own individual wonders. To me, it was always the fireflies. The way in which they became stars against their own night sky of the trees and fields fascinated me. Catching several to place in a jar and watching as they illuminated in a soft, yellow or green glow was one of those summer wonders you grasp as being magical and never think of the hard science behind it. Being a child and fireflies being part of nature, you never think of these things disappearing, of leaving and going away. Then you grow and you lose sight of those very things that seemed magical. Fireflies, like those days and moments, seem to be disappearing. In drawing comparisons, fireflies are disappearing due to over development and minimizing and outright destroying of their habitat. Man made light and light pollution also play a role in the decline of the firefly population.

The importance of this, the comparison, is fireflies tend to represent the people, places, moments and intangible things of significance to me anymore. It seems that these things go away with greater frequency now. Losing what's important to you never seems to get any lighter in weight, a heaviness that is constant. No matter how much you tell yourself to hold on, no matter how many reminders, it always seems to pass. Hearts break, bodies give and yet the mind holds true to those things that were better then. Every day passes and turns into weeks, then months, then years, taking you further and further away from those summer evenings filled with fireflies and your own night sky and the little stars you could collect in a jar.

The harsh truth of this is that I have probably served as the one over developing due to my own over thinking/analyzing every little thing. My myriad of issues and detachments serving as the man made pollution that sends the "fireflies" away. As Summer gave way to Autumn, the fireflies were confined to the magics of warm nights at the end of long days. Is that some sort of Raymond Chandler like symbolism? I hate to believe that I am in the Autumn of my seasons. Or am I only there mentally and spiritually? If so, does this mean that if I can make through the Winter that I get another Spring? Another Summer?

As a man, you tend to realize that the halcyon days of your youth are awarded retroactively. They serve as bittersweet reminders and as lessons to impart upon your own children. Some things, like I said, become symbolic. Fireflies, for me, are symbolic of those  people, places, moments and intangible things of significance. They hold a place in my heart where my love and devotion resides. I read where at some point fireflies will be gone. I hope that isn't true. I hope the same holds true for all they represent to me. I will always want another Summer night filled with fireflies. Both real and in what they stand for in my heart and mind.