Faith & Forward

Why in this space, why in this place,

Every day, mostly, begins with a teaspoon of dread,

Bitter taste, I expect, frozen, paused, not wanting to begin, eyes closed tight,

Heart, mind, racing, images flash through in quick secession,

How to get through, how to go through these moments to begin the day?

Especially when I’m alone, it’s hard to see in those moments, the path, where my steps will lead,

It’s in these moments that I resolve to have faith, but in what? I call it God, pray to a god, to help me take those steps,

“…Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others…”

First steps of the day the hardest, taking that first sip the most difficult, even fleeting sleep fads quickly away,

All the same I resolve with just a teaspoon of faith, to go forward, forward,

Resolve to do at least a little, at least my best, only my best I can do,

Words coming, spilling through me,

Resolve to do and share and be me,

Just me, just for the next hour even, just for another day, once again I find,

A little faith, and I go forward, again.

Discovering Paulina

I’d seen her in Sports Illustrated editions during her hay-day, knew she was from the Czech Republic originally, but never knew anything about her really, never heard her interviewed.

What a clear and strong voice she has! She turned plenty of heads as a supermodel, but I think her words and perspective can have a positive and lasting effect, far greater…

Thanks. Paulina, fun discovering you, and glad to find you~

Draw The Line

So many different references this simple phrase represents; it all boils down to a parameter. That which you don’t want to cross.

Looking back to Monday, it was a company holiday, but I’d been thinking about doing a little work anyway as a primer for the week.

I resisted. I drew the line at working on a paid holiday, so decreed by my employer.

But lots to do, lots to do…then I think, I could work 24/7 and it’d still be a big hill to climb…so much, but also only so much to give for work, to the churning machine that never sleeps…

So I doubled down on kids time.

And I did a few things around the house; still plenty to do there as well; constant swirl it feels like there too.

And more kids time.

And now the weekend, another chance to draw the line; kids grow up fast, the time with them is precious, truly precious…and so draw that line for them.

Pretty happy about that line.

Pretty darn good.

Lyrics Post: “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”

This one from the animated movie, another gem, “Encanto“, SO good. My kids walking around the house singing this song, the chorus anyway, catchy, fun…err, joy…truly, a little splash of joy.

[Pepa:]

We don’t talk about Bruno, no, no, no

We don’t talk about Bruno, but

It was my wedding day

[Félix:]

It was our wedding day

[Pepa:]

We were getting ready

And there wasn’t a cloud in the sky

[Félix:]

No clouds allowed in the sky

[Pepa:]

Bruno walks in with a mischievous grin

[Félix:]

Thunder

[Pepa:]

You’re telling the story or am I?

[Félix:]

I’m sorry, mi vida, go on

[Pepa:]

Bruno says, “It looks like rain”

[Félix:]

Why did he tell us?

[Pepa:]

In doing so, he floods my brain

[Félix:]

Abuela gets the umbrellas

[Pepa:]

Married in a hurricane

[Félix:]

What a joyous day but anyway

[Pepa & Félix:]

We don’t talk about Bruno, no, no, no

We don’t talk about Bruno

[Dolores:]

Hey, grew to live in fear of Bruno stuttering or stumbling

I can always hear him sort of muttering and mumbling

I associate him with the sound of falling sand, ch-ch-ch

It’s a heavy lift with a gift so humbling

Always left Abuela and the family fumbling

Grappling with prophecies they couldn’t understand

Do you understand?

[Camilo:]

A seven-foot frame, rats along his back

When he calls your name it all fades to black

Yeah, he sees your dreams and feasts on your screams (Hey)

[Pepa & Camilo:]

We don’t talk about Bruno, no, no, no

[Dolores:]

No, no

[Pepa & Camilo:]

We don’t talk about Bruno

[Dolores:]

We don’t talk about Bruno

[Townsperson 1:]

He told me my fish would die, the next day, dead

[Ensemble:]

No, no

[Townsperson 2:]

He told me I’d grow a gut and just like he said

[Ensemble:]

No, no

[Townsperson 3:]

He said that all my hair would disappear, now, look at my head

[Ensemble:]

No, no

Your fate is sealed when your prophecy is read

[Isabela:]

He told me that the life of my dreams

Would be promised, and someday be mine

He told me that my power would grow

Like the grapes that thrive on the vine

[Abuela Alma:]

Óye, Mariano’s on his way

[Dolores:]

He told me that the man of my dreams

Would be just out of reach

Betrothed to another

It’s like I hear him, now

[Isabela:]

Hey sis, I want not a sound out of you

[Dolores:]

It’s like I can hear him now, I can hear him now

[Mirabel:]

Um, Bruno

Yeah, about that Bruno

I really need to know about Bruno

Give me the truth and the whole truth, Bruno

[Camilo:]

Isabela, your boyfriend’s here

[Abuela Alma & Isabela:]

Time for dinner

[Camilo:]

A seven-foot frame, rats along his back

[Pepa:]

It was my wedding day

[Félix:]

It was our wedding day

[Isabela:]

He told me that the life of my dreams

[Dolores:]

Grew to live in fear of Bruno stuttering or stumbling

[Camilo:]

When he calls your name it all fades to black

[Pepa:]

We were getting ready and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky

[Félix:]

No clouds allowed in the sky

[Isbela:]

Would be promised and some day be mine

[Dolores:]

I can always hear him sort of muttering and mumbling

I associate him with the sound of falling sand, ch-ch-ch

[Camilo:]

Yeah, he sees your dreams

[Pepa:]

Bruno walks in with a mischievous grin

[Isabela:]

He told me that my power would grow

[Dolores:]

It’s a heavy lift with a gift so humbling

[Camilo:]

And feasts on your screams

[Félix:]

Thunder

[Pepa:]

You’re telling the story or am I?

[Félix:]

I’m sorry mi vida go on

[Isabel:]

Like the grape that thrive on the vine, on the vine

[Dolores:]

Always left Abuela and the family fumbling

Grappling with prophecies they couldn’t understand

Do you understand

[Abuela Alma:]

Óye, Mariano’s on his way

[Pepa:]

Bruno says, “It looks like rain”

[Félix:]

Why did he tell us?

[Camilo:]

Seven-foot frame, rats along his back

[Isabela:]

He told me that the life of my dreams would be promised and someday be mine

[Dolores:]

He told me that the man of my dreams would be just out of reach

[Pepa:]

In doing so, he floods my brain

[Félix:]

Abuela gets the umbrella

[Camilo:]

When he calls your name it all fades to black

[Dolores:]

Betrothed to another, another

[Camilo:]

Yeah, he sees your dreams and feasts on your screams

[Pepa:]

Married in a hurricane

[Félix:]

What a gorgeous day

[Dolores:]

And I’m fine, and I’m fine, and I’m fine, I’m fine

[Ensemble:]

He’s here

Don’t talk about Bruno, no

[Mirabel:]

Why did I talk about Bruno?

[Ensemble:]

Not a word about Bruno

[Mirabel:]

I never should have brought up Bruno

Lin-Manuel said about “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” in an interview for IndieWire.com,

“It’s a complicated family number and it introduces themes from characters that we don’t have time to go into with their own song.

I looked to ‘A Weekend in the Country’ from ‘A Little Night Music’, and ‘It’s Beginning to Snow’ from ‘Rent’.

We’ve got lots of different characters going in different directions.”

All We Do

Personal Life, Home Life, Work Life, Social Life, Service Life, all we do, how to do?!

How to balance, prioritize, attend,

Say Yes, say No, how and when, when when when?

Find the bits, find the time, find it within yourself each hour, each day,

For all you do, all the demands and pulls and sense of need,

How to find the time for all that needs us, all the draws, flawed thinking,

That we can do all of it all time, no no, find blocks of time, bits of time,

Like now, for all of it, for you, and it’s enough,

Enough said.

Is It Normal?

As the new year gets under way I recall a couple days back, standing in my garage, listening to the rain subside, looking out through the door to the darkness in the backyard.

There I was, shapeshifter, projecting forward, writing about the past. My own little take on shape-shifting, maybe more seer forward, looking back.

Is it normal, this behavior? It’s my normal, that’s for sure. A seer, seeking…what?

Is it normal, going to bed at eight o’clock at night? It is for me, planned to get up three hours before the sun…

…but too, my easiest, cheapest, most available coping mechanism, slumber, dear slumber…sleep, deep I pray, deep.

I consider a piece I heard about teachers battling in the second year of Covid; their words ring true to me, struggle, without end it seems, but also resolve.

This truth is at the core, their resolve to see it through, this difficult time, thru.

Is it normal to buckle down? For how long? Not clear, no no, not clear.

This through-line for me: lean-in, keep going, keep learning, be open, take care of yourself, find the little bits of joy to sustain along the way…

In work, parenting, marriage, divorce, all relationships, regular everyday, big things, little things, finding inspiration, waiting through the times of feeling stalled out,

Is it normal to feel all this? I think so.

I think it’s called life.

GOOD.

Fresh and Forward into 2022

Year Two, Covid, in the books. Big family changes, personal shifts, completed, new patterns established.

Plenty of challenge and opportunity for growth at work; intent and planning, all systems go to take it to the next level; hopeful the stars further align, more pieces fall into place.

And personally, well, it’s all personal with me. That’s how I live. That’s how I’ve had my greatest wins, and hardest falls.

With my kids, striving to stay connected to them, supportive of them, sure of that wanting and striving and being committed to being the best parent I can be for them.

I take that very personal; how to be there for them; how to lift them up, support them, help them grow and learn and shine.

And beyond that? Seeking to reset to 3.0, relationship-wise. I’m a one-gal guy, just not sure what that looks like at my age, in my particular situ. But I’m ready for 3.0 all the same.

Arms open wide, ready to keep loving the world and lifting others up and writing it all down and making it good, GOOD.

Good. Happy New Year 2022!

Write Way

A reoccurring theme this year, over several years, really the whole of my life, or most of it. As we close out the year, reflecting back, the last couple, ‘20, ‘21, quite a doozy they’ve been.

Just now? Sitting in darkened room, morning light sneaking through still-drawn curtains, rocking chair in the corner, listening to my youngest stir in her last throws of slumber.

She came in near Midnight, afraid of something; then proceeded to take up most of my bed the rest of the night. She woke me a couple of times because I was snoring.

Last couple days of time off, days run together with three kids in the house and rainy outside most of the time; got out when we could, can, for some minor adventures. Most time together since their mom moved out, divorce final a couple weeks back.

And so what do I do just now? Just about nearly for sure every day? I write it down. A few lines, scribbled down. It’s the right way for me, the write way.

I’ve wandered through a varied career centered on business and people and how to get things done. It’s been nearly exactly what I’d thought I didn’t want. But it’s what I’ve got.

What I’ve made of it? A living, a lot of learning, good times along the way, good friends too, here and there, it’s been a life made the most of what has come. I think. I hope.

Why am I? Who am I? Why write? I’m a counselor, a cheerleader, in a commercial career? What’s right about that? Honest path to the forks in the road. And so now of late some several years in this ether space, scribble it all down and share it all out, to capture the times, the thoughts, maybe just maybe, a little worth it.

Worth it for me, for sure. I know I know, good to go. It’s the write way, and let them judge, down the road a ways, or just around the bend, whenever it will be let it be,

Ok, all ok, whatever the feedback, response, reaction, let it be, all ok.

Daughter stirs and I pause, a sniffle, she blows her nose — like her old man, oft congested — and then burrows deep under cover again, again to slumber, vacation mornings, that sleep is best when warm, thick, extended.

And so another scribble complete, captured the moment, the year, the last couple, some of it anyway,

and more will come soon, when I write again, my truth, or part of it anyway, some to say and more tell and the words will keep spilling from my tongue,

And what ‘22 will bring? More wandering, more learning and cheering and doing, surly more of Jeff’s ponderings, ok ok, all ok,

The write way.

Take It

Take the moment when you can, whenever offered, sneak a little in. What’s that, you say?

A little time for yourself, a little time for an errand, for that article you’ve been meaning to read, that piece you’ve been meaning to write.

Just a little time, a pause, sometimes all you need,

Unplanned, the chance, the choice to make it so, whatever it is, tweak the narrative, the plan, make it a little better, for you, maybe for others.

I find sometimes, often overwhelmed by it all, ebb and flow, more and more, how to go, forward, actions and thoughts, and purpose,

On purpose? Intentional, that’s how I want to live, and connected, how does it relate to the taking?

Much of it, the how and why, come down to taking the leap when given the chance, and lean in, and persevere, and forward ever forward,

Take it,

Now.