Up, DOWN,…Up Again

sorrow

A good man left this world last night.   Called home way too early, just four months after he got sick.  We don’t know the details, but it doesn’t matter.  He’s gone.  PW.

PW was my neighbor at work, the first friendly face I met when I started my new job a year or so back.  He was a great conversationalist, reader, musician, professional, human.  PW.

He leaves behind brothers he was close to, and a wife he loved dearly.   PW.

When news comes like this, there is little one can do.  Acceptance is the only path to sanity.  But cursing and anger and denial and sadness and a great sense of loss have to be waded our way through first.  It’s thick.  It’s slow.  It sucks.

But on the other side?

solace

Find your way there.   You have to.  I’m trying to right now.

My method is prayer and reflection and quiet and interaction with some of the folks around me.  And some more prayer.

Give it up.  Give it up to God.  You have to. I’m trying to right now.

PW, we’ll all miss you.  See you on the other side.

Gratitude

One of the fundamental components of American culture is the Thanksgiving holiday. 
More than the feast or the Macy’s parade, or watching football or a turkey trot, expressions of gratitude for what you have is woven into our national fabric. It’s there, and there ought to be a renewed focus on that core value.

Let’s sound off. Here, I’ll go first. Here’s what I’m thankful for…  

My wife,

My three kids, 

Food to eat,

Clothes to wear,

A roof over our head,

My job,

The friends I have,

Hot coffee,

Our two dogs,

Loose leaf tea,

Old favorite tunes,

Newly discovered music,

A good read,

A fresh battery charge,

Some chocolate found in the pantry,

My in-laws,

Just enough rain,

A billing issue resolved,

A little break in the routine,

An unexpected smile from a stranger…

…and on and on and on.

Let today be a fresh start at an attitude we should strive for everyday.

Let’s fill each day this way. 

Let’s fill it with THANKSGIVING.

Micro Hiatus: Feed The People

Blurry picture, but a crystal-clear purpose:  FEED THE PEOPLE.

Since 1979 the Lions club I belong to has conducted a Thanksgiving Food Drive. It’s the most basic of efforts to fulfill our Lion Motto:

“We Serve.”

It started with ten people receiving the generous donations for others so that those ten folks could have a proper Thanksgiving meal.  Near forty years later, the food drive collects the fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner — including a whole turkey — plus other food staples, for 160 or so families.  Call it 600+ people, more or less.

There are a lot of mechanics to the operation, many people doing many key tasks, planning and coordination, and three long days to make the food drive a success.  In the end, we feed the people, and that’s what it’s all about.

WE SERVE.

Second Nature

Another great song, more inspiration poured out from all those years ago, still ringing true today.

Thanks once again to RUSH for all the fine music and GOOD shared over more than forty years.

Yes indeed, it oughta be…

“Second Nature”

Writer(s): Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson

“A memo to a higher office
Open letter to the powers that be
To a god, a king, a head of state
A captain of industry
To the movers and the shakers…
Can’t everybody see?

It ought to be second nature
I mean, the places where we live
Let’s talk about this sensibly
We’re not insensitive
I know progress has no patience
But something’s got to give

I know you’re different
You know I’m the same
We’re both too busy
To be taking the blame
I’d like some changes
But you don’t have the time
We can’t go on thinking
It’s a victimless crime
No one is blameless
But we’re all without shame
We fight the fire while we’re feeding the flames

Folks have got to make choices
And choices got to have voices
Folks are basically decent
Conventional wisdom would say
But we read about the exceptions
In the papers every day

It ought to be second nature
At least, that’s what I feel
Now I lay me down in Dreamland
I know perfect’s not for real
I thought we might get closer
But I’m ready to make a deal

Today is different, and tomorrow the same
It’s hard to take the world the way that it came
Too many rapids keep us sweeping along
Too many captains keep on steering us wrong
It’s hard to take the heat
It’s hard to lay blame
To fight the fire while we’re feeding the flames”

 

Adjust

adjust-logo_@adjustyourset

ADJUST

What should be open to adjustment? Just about everything, in my mind.

Schedules, approach, expectations (if you’re holding on to those), requirements to be happy.

We spend a lot of time planning and preparing and getting ready: to accomplish objectives, achieve goals, win games, live the best life we can.

What gets in the way? Those instances that occur in the very life we are trying to perfect: Illness, injury, accident, colliding with other peoples’ plans and egos, revolution.

That doesn’t mean flip-flop your core values or what you otherwise believe in, changing with the wind, with the current of the day. rudderless and unsure.

But it does mean you need to know just what your core values are, and let them guide you. If something is against your core value, then it calls for serious reflection and decision…you may need to adjust, or maybe just walk away from that situation.

It’s one of the ultimate human dichotomies: Find the balance of living by the values you’ve settled on, and being happy, and all those decisions in between.

Be ready to ADJUST.

Church, Redux

Tweeted earlier, worth a post:

“Been in this mindset a lot lately. Several friends facing life-threatening illness.

A couple mentor figures recently passed on. “Church” can be anywhere, when you lean on your faith.

Teach your kids to do the same.”

It’ll shore them up for the tough times.

Get yourself to church.  It’ll do you GOOD.

 

Xanadu

Come along, weekend roadtrip, with thanks to Alex, Geddy, and of course, Neil…

“Xanadu”

‘To seek the sacred river Alph
To walk the caves of ice
To break my fast on honeydew
And drink the milk of Paradise…’

I had heard the whispered tales of immortality
The deepest mystery
From an ancient book I took a clue
I scaled the frozen mountain tops of eastern lands unknown
Time and Man alone
Searching for the lost Xanadu

Xanadu…

To stand within the Pleasure Dome
Decreed by Kubla Khan
To taste anew the fruits of life
The last immortal man
To find the sacred river Alph
To walk the caves of ice
Oh, I will dine on honeydew
And drink the milk of Paradise

A thousand years have come and gone but time has passed me by
Stars stopped in the sky
Frozen in an everlasting view
Waiting for the world to end, weary of the night
Praying for the light
Prison of the lost
Xanadu

Xanadu…

Held within the Pleasure Dome
Decreed by Kubla Khan
To taste my bitter triumph
As a mad immortal man
Nevermore shall I return
Escape these caves of ice
For I have dined on honeydew
And drunk the milk of Paradise

And here’s the tune…GOOD.