#Blessed

To be alive right now.

To be the parent of these three amazing kids.

To have the family I have.

To have the friends I have.

To have seen the concerts I’ve see.

To have clothes on my back, shoes on my feed, a roof over my head, and food to eat in abundance and variety and quality.

To have the job I have right now, and the career up to this point prior.

To be inspired every day.

To come back to the same foundation every day:

LOVE.

Lyrics Post: “Human Touch”

I’m only a so-so Bruce fan. But this song…it feels full of truth and vulnerability…it feels…GOOD.

“Human Touch”

You and me we were the pretenders
We let it all slip away
In the end what you don’t surrender
Well the world just strips away

Girl ain’t no kindness in the face of strangers
Ain’t gonna find no miracles here
Well you can wait on your blessings but darlin’
I got a deal for you right here

I ain’t lookin’ for prayers or pity
I ain’t comin’ ’round searchin’ for a crutch
I just want someone to talk to
And a little of that human touch
Just a little of that human touch

Ain’t no mercy on the streets of this town
Ain’t no bread from heavenly skies
Ain’t nobody drawin’ wine from this blood
It’s just you and me tonight

Tell me in a world without pity
Do you think what I’m askin’s too much?
I just want something to hold on to
And a little of that human touch
Just a little of that human touch

Oh girl that feeling of safety you prize
Well it comes with a hard hard price
You can’t shut off the risk and pain
Without losin’ the love that remains
We’re all riders on this train

So you been broken and you been hurt
Show me somebody who ain’t
Yeah I know I ain’t nobody’s bargain
But hell a little touch up
And a little paint…

You might need somethin’ to hold on to
When all the answers they don’t amount to much
Somebody that you can just talk to
And a little of that human touch

Baby in a world without pity
Do you think what I’m askin’s too much?
I just want to feel you in my arms
And share a little of that human touch…

Settled in Unsettled

Weird feeling, let me attempt to explain a little.

My family structure, a new chapter, still searching for settled.

Single guy again. Single parent this time. But not all alone; co-parenting efforts in effect.

Trying to stabilize this new norm as the norm. Funky thing. So different. Unsettling still. But trying to settle into this unsettled feeling.

Weird. But fine too. The new normal. More time, different time, unplanned quiet, unplanned time, all possibilities, unexpected. Weird, somehow, weird.

What to do? How to be? Who to be now? All before, all in front, each day, each hour, find the way.

Make it good. Make it good. You’ll get settled. Focus on making it good each time. Each time. Settle in. To unsettled.

Groove

Find it, it’s a magical thing. Sometimes called The Zone, if you prefer. But I prefer the groove.

Sitting in the rocker, feet up, evening time, lights low, music playing softly in the background. Jazz playing, older genre, World War II era maybe.

Trying to find the groove, feeling it’s there, but fleeting, difficult to hold on to; wish it would stick to me, soak in a little deeper. Want to stay in that space, that mindset, feeling of peace and harmony and belonging, somehow.

Funny thing — I feel like I belong most of the time; but when I’m in the groove, all the more.

Get there. Find your path. Then go down that path frequently. Find your way. To that space. That place.

Satisfying. Nurturing. Soul-full. Good for the soul, being in the groove.

GROOVE.

Lyrics Post: “Get Back Up Again”

So good, this message. Sung to millions of millions upon millions more children. Through a fun, full-length feature film called “Trolls.”

Oh so SO GOOD. Simple message. Face the music. Do your best. Keep going. Fall down? Get back up again.

“Get Back Up Again”
(from “Trolls” soundtrack)

I really hope I can do it
‘Cause they’re all depending on me
I know that I must leave the only home I’ve ever known
And brave the dangers of the forest
Saving them before they’re eaten
I mean, how hard can that be?

Looking up at a sunny sky,
So shiny and blue and there’s a butterfly
Well, isn’t that a super fantastic sign?

It’s gonna be a fantastic day

Such marvelousness it’s gonna bring
Got a pocket full of songs that I’m gonna sing
And I’m ready to take on anything
Hooray!

Some super fun surprise around each corner
Just riding on a rainbow, I’m gonna be okay

Hey!
I’m not giving up today
There’s nothing getting in my way
And if you knock-knock me over
I will get back up again
Oh
If something goes a little wrong
Well, you can go ahead and bring it on
‘Cause if you knock-knock me over,
I will get back up again

Oh, oh, oh, get back up again

I’m marching along, I got confidence
I’m cooler than a pack of peppermints
And I haven’t been this excited since
I can’t remember when!

I’m off on this remarkable adventure
Just riding on a rainbow

What if it’s all a big mistake?
What if it’s more than I can take?
No, I can’t think that way
‘Cause I know that I’m really-really-really gonna be okay

Hey!
I’m not giving up today
There’s nothing getting in my way
And if you knock-knock me over
I will get back up again
Oh
If something goes a little wrong
Well, you can go ahead and bring it on
‘Cause if you knock-knock me over,
I will get back up again

Get up, get up, get up
Get back up again
Get up, get up, get up

I’m okay!

Get up, get up, get up
If you knock-knock me over, knock-knock me over
I will get back up again”

GOODGOODGOOD

Writer(s): Pasek Benj, Paul Justin Noble

Thought Box

The THOUGHT BOX.

Not sure where this idea originated, but it’s one I’ve used with the kids since they seemed open to it. I apply the concept to bad dreams, primarily…or at least that’s where it started. Now I apply it even more liberally, to things they are scared of, worried about.

Here’s how it works:

Close your eyes, and in you mind’s eye, imagine a small box. That is your Thought Box.

You control your Thought Box. You decide what gets to stay there. If something creeps in that you don’t want there, push it out. It’s your decision. It’s your mind. You control it.

Not sure how effective the process is for them, but maybe it helps a little. If it doesn’t help them, it for sure helps me use words as a strategy for coping with negative thoughts in the mind.

Not only does it work for them maybe, but I’ve been using it more of late in my own head too.

Work clouding my brain? Use the Thought Box. Too many issues to count? Revert to the Thought Box. Things you can’t control getting the better of you?

Thought Box.

You decide what stays there. It’s your mind. You control it. You control what gets to stay in the Thought Box.

Try it. I hope you find it useful.

Edge Redux

Sometimes it’s razor sharp, tender to touch. Sometimes from the dark, from the deep it shows itself, the edge.

From the edge, on it, uncertain, something like despair. You reach out, call out, searching, hoping for relief. The mind chases, words racing in, filling every space.

The rubbing, grinding, down to an edge, leaving you unsure of yourself, uncertain. Surely you can find your way through, out somehow, not giving it, not giving up. Timeless, knowing the answer, getting these as before.

Scribble down, the babble down, then simply clear; the mind, in the dark, back from the edge. Respect it, don’t fear it, just know it, go along again. Go along with it again.

Super Lu

My X-factor, as I often refer to her; at least I did, when she was little. The thought comes to mind still.

She is our third child and second daughter, a bit of a surprise (to me, anyway)…and then all the joy and beauty and sass and pure goodness I could hope for. I’ve said before, I didn’t think much about gender before our first child, our first daughter was born. What a gift and awakening. And then Number Three came along. A Second Daughter. Alleluia.

And this is her day.

Seven today.

She is strong and capable and smart and willing and able, able to be whatever she decides. And to my dying day, I am absolutely delighted to follow her path.

It’s gonna be something. And actually, it already is! She’s a wonder to behold, so much behind that smile, that look in her eye, such a delight!

I love how she dances, how she sings, how she draws, how she wags her finger at me, how she speaks Spanish with a Peruvian accent…how she sometimes calls me “…Jeff…”

Really, chica? I’m your Dad…

And so glad that is so!

Happy Happy Birthday, Super Lu~

Beach

Funny thing, the beach.

Timeless, the waves, the sound, the water never stops.

Here with family, a little break, celebrating birthdays. Time with the kids, our reduced family, COVID-style. Would that we could be a bigger group, but the pandemic demands a different path.

All the same, the beach is our friend. The ocean is our friend. Magical friends, they are. They create this simple yet so special, wondrous place, space.

The beach, the ocean, it’s one of those places that might bring us a little closer to God, if you let it, if you’re open to it, if you believe in that sorta thing.

I believe in that sorta thing. With my family, in nature, all the more aware of the infinity of it all.

The beach. Family. Timeless. Joy.