Thursday, September 20, 2012

Poetry for thought...

I wrote this a few months ago.  Last week my Grandpa died and I remembered this.  Thought I would share it with the world.

I think that everyone looks at death differently.

A leaf must turn over to accept the water that the skies offer in rain,
A leaf knows not why he turns over
A leaf is not conscious of the rain.
A leaf turns over and gets pounded with water washing away the past.
A leaf knows not that dust has settled on it's cells.
A leaf is not conscious of how weary it gets when clouded by debris
A leaf Turns over to accept the water that renews it when the skies offer rain.
A leaf knows not why this happens over and over again
A leaf is not conscious that this rain is what keeps him alive.
A leaf must turn over just before it falls off the tree.
A tree Knows not why the leaves fall off and die
A tree is not conscious that new leaves will return in spring
A tree must turn over to accept the leaves that come after the hard winter is done.

I guess that this sort of describes how I think about death.  It hurts, but to see yourself as a leaf, taking the beating so that my energy can be recycled for the rest of the world, oddly makes it feel better.  We should celebrate the leaves that fall off the tree, for they make it possible for new leaves to bloom.  Just in case you want to read better poetry, here is one of my favorite poems.

O' Captain my Captain!
a poem by Walt Whitman

O Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

More than half empty...

     The question was asked by a good friend of mine who also blogs at ; The wandering terp asked me “What would you do if you woke up, and you were the last person left on earth, but everything still worked?”

     I figured there are two ways to answer this question, politically, and honestly.  I will try to answer honestly, because if you were the only one left, who the fuck cares about politics anymore?  The truest form of freedom would be all that you have.  You would have it, and be embraced by it.  I think it’s hard to fathom the type of responsibility you would actually have to take for yourself.  We take for granted all the little things in our lives that other people take responsibility for.  You aren’t going to just hop in a 747 and fly across the ocean to see Paris; it would be a quick way to end your fragile newly found freedom.
     Honestly, I would wander, moving from one city to the next trying to figure out how the world works.  I would probably go through a period of getting used to being so alone.  Coping with that I think would be the hardest part.  Waking up and realizing that there is no one, anywhere, and all these things were built for them, for everyone, but all of it was left to me.  I think that would be incredibly difficult to handle. 

     Once I got to a point where I could handle it, I would probably find the nicest car in whatever city I was living in, and drive.  I want to say that I would go somewhere familiar, somewhere that felt like home at least a little.  With everyone gone though, that would change things.  I once went back to Portland, OR where I grew up after I became an adult.  Everyone that I knew there either moved on, I had forgotten them, or had moved away.  The familiarity with the city was gone; it had been years since I had lived there.  Even the elementary school I used to attend felt different, cold.  There is value in familiarity, and often we place that on objects, places, or things; but I have learned through time that people are what make the memories so cherished.

     Maybe after I got over that, I could find things to do that would pass time, but it would never feel like visiting places with family.  There is a certain level of frustration, enjoyment and nostalgic things that happen when you have people to share a vacation with.  Stress still happens, but it’s a different kind of stress, and it never feels as bad as the same thing when you aren’t on vacation.  I think that would take a lot of enjoyment out of wandering.
     I would definitely find a nice rifle, and some rounds to put in it.  This is of course for practical reasons.  Once I run out of things in my fridge, I want to be able to hunt.  Oh, and a fishing pole, that would be important too, not only would I be feeding myself, I would be passing time and time would go very slow with no one around.  After that, I’m not sure what I would do, maybe nothing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Me interviewing... Myself.

     Reading an interesting book, it made me think about what kinds of things people would be interested in knowing about me.  I thought about it, and decided that I would ask my facebook friends what questions they would ask.  It is interesting to see what people don’t know about you, and the things they want to know.  Some of the questions are mundane, like “Who are you?”, while others are a little bit more dangerous,  “what do you think you have accomplished and failed at in your life?”.  I am going to do my best to answer these questions in the spirit of my original request.
DP:  Who are you? Or Who do you think you are?
Me:  I am Brett, or Anonymous1am or Daddy, or Babe, depending on who and when you ask.  I am passionate about the things I do, and I take great pride in any finished product that my name is attached to.  I have tendency to be too patient with people, and can get walked on sometimes.  I cry at movies, and don’t mind admitting it, and I also read, a lot.  I am unashamed at the many things that I have done in my life, and try to live life without regret.  Of course, there are small regrets that poke their heads out when I am feeling depressed, but overall none.  I will save more detail for other questions that I have ready for you.
AD:  What kinds of music make your body tingle all over?

Me:  Just to set the record straight, AD is my gay little brother, and I chose to use his question directly because it made me laugh the first time I read it.   Secondly, I don’t necessarily get tingles from a specific type of music.  But when I am listening to a song, or an artist and for some reason it just feels “right”, I get goose bumps, and almost cry.  It is seldom that I let myself connect emotionally with people outside of my immediate family but with music there is no barrier.  It is something that I can do my self, or in a group.  I can listen without constraint and fully connect to what I am listening to, so much so that it sometimes brings me to tears.  I connect with movies the same way, they try so hard to connect with viewers in a meaningful way, and tangible way that when it happens and I connect with it, who am I to say that’s not what I am supposed to do.   
RW: What do you think of when you are taking a break?

Me:  Here lately my break time thoughts to myself are, “is this it?” I don’t want to seem melodramatic, but I think that everyone has delusions of grandeur when they are first moving out of the safety net of childhood.  The “nothing can stop me” attitude suits a purpose, breeds confidence and lays the groundwork for what you are to become.  It feels like I have not become the man that I wanted to be.  Don’t get me wrong, I still think that I am better than what I was, but I wanted to change the world by now.  I wanted to have a project that united people beyond what anyone had seen before; in that respect, I did fail.
CD: What make you lie awake at night?

You know me so well, you asked the perfect question when I posted my request at 2:00AM.  The truth of this question is complicated, because as confident as I may seem to people who don’t know me that well.  I am a very anxious person; I worry constantly.  I worry about my sons, who have spent years of their lives away from me because of the Army.  I worry that with all the time I spend away, Lindsey may someday not be there waiting for me faithfully as she has been for the last 7 years.  I worry that something terrible will happen thousands of miles away that I can’t do anything about, or even be there to help pick up the pieces for.  I see my extended family getting older and dying and moving on, and I have not been there for anyone.  I don’t like being a recluse, but my life sometimes make me feel that I have done that to my family.  I worry that my inability to emotionally connect with people will have some tragic effect on me that still waits to bear it’s ugly head.  But mostly I worry for my kids.
RW: What is the first thing on your mind when you wake up? What is the last thing on your mind before you go to sleep?
Me:  Mostly my family, and how much I cherish them, and can’t wait to be back with them.  Sometimes though its “oh shit, I am running late.” Or “I stayed up way too late.”
I think that’s enough for tonight, I feel like I have spent way too much time talking about myself.  I will continue this later, because there were more interesting questions that I feel need to be answered. 
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