Each time I think things couldn’t be crazier, apparently, I blink and something crazier happens. Yet, I find myself not surprised. It is enough to cause me to shake my head. I am growing tired of the association of blame. I am tired of the direction of fault. I’m tired of the news about deaths and murders and I am tired of the political platforms, which use tragic events like tools to gain an edge.Continue reading
Here we are at the end of May. They say May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Is it?
I’m not exactly sure what this means during a month like this one. At a time when everyone is quarantined and all eyes are on the news, and with the regular tragedies in the mix, the craze behind politics, the list of both information and misinformation, plus all the arguing and bickering between the right and the left does not show me a sense of awareness towards anything.
I write about this because this is very real to me. I also write about this because although many people suffer or struggle in silence, and as they see it, no one understands and no one else gets it, but still, this is very real to them too.
Either way, whether right or not, I think this hits home for all too many people. I think that everyone has their own ideas and their own ways. And me, I have mine too. I had my own soundtrack in my mind that emulated my thoughts and feelings throughout my life.
The roads near my house are country-like and quiet. The sky is gray and overcast this morning with a slight drizzle that turns on and off from time to time. I began my walk at approximately 5:30 this morning.
I decided to take this walk without regarding the periodic rains, because in fairness, the weather would only be used as an excuse if I decided to stay in.
It is strange to think about the years I’ve spent in the working world. More than anything, it is crazy to think that I have been going to and from New York City for almost 30 years. In fairness, I don’t like the sound of this. I almost feel as though this somehow makes me an adult. And I cringe a little, just thinking about the idea.
30 years . . .
There was a roomful of people. All of them were artists in their own way. I was there with Pete. The only problem is Pete was a wise ass and he always had something to say. I had never been to a showcase before.
This is where actors do little skits. This was almost like a play, but not exactly. Each performance was extremely different. Some of the performers were talented. Others were a bit more abstract or bizarre.
I say this has to be necessary to live. I say the festivals and the concerts and the times in the park when someone had music to liven the mood, or the times when youth was most alive is, was, and will always be enhanced by the sound of the music we played.
I know this is true. It has to be.
I say this is necessary. I say the music is partly how we live and breathe, partly how we feel, partly how we unwind and partly how we remember the crazy episodes of our life. Music gives depth to our senses and livens the pictures in our memory with color.
Please believe me on this one.Continue reading
I suppose there is someone in every town that feels the need to prove themselves. My guess is there’s always someone looking to be a gangster or a cowboy or tough enough to stand out in a crowd and have people call them “Crazy.”Continue reading
After a while, enough was enough. I suppose life has a way of moving in a direction. Something happens and eventually, no one can pretend anymore. Either the prophecy plays out or something happens and a light goes on. And that’s it. There’s no more pretending.
There’s no more excuses and there’s no more need to rationalize anything because suddenly, everything is what it is.
Finally, everything is out in the open and the pretending can stop. If this is the bottom, as they say, then this means we can rebuild from here, right?
First, I have to start with a pre-warning of sentiment and understanding. I never use accurate names because anonymity is very important to me. To keep true to this principle of mine, I point out that everything is true. However, tiny details have been changed to honor someone’s privacy. Plus, if you read this, I’d like you to create your own picture and adapt the descriptions to our own imagination.
Be advised, there is no need to feel “Bad” or “Sorry,” or think anything else other than remember the delirious memories of young life when everything was wild and crazy.
There was a force inside of us. Or maybe this was more like a need to feel young or a need to have the crazy rush of adrenaline. There is an undeniable need that only comes when you’re still young enough to dare the edge but old enough to gain entry to the big show.
Remember standing on line to a front door where a bouncer stood and asked us for I.D.? The music from inside leaked to the outdoors, like some crazy ride, and here we were, all of us about to enter the demented carnivals of an insane nightlife called “The Club Scene.”
There is not much between you and me. There is not much between us or the world. Nothing sets us apart aside from who we are, which, and let’s face it, I am me and you are you. The world is the world. The questions are the questions and to each their own.
Everyone has their own path. But I get it. There is no more time to waste and no time to argue or find a reason why things happen. There is no way to soften the hard edges in life. There is no way to pause the clock. There is only hope and the means to find this thing we call sanity.Continue reading
There are new formations of clouds each morning. I think this means each day has the chance to be different from the last.
Each day changes. The weather changes, the news, the way we coincide with each other is different now; the way we interact and our crazy future is different too. Yet somehow, we sink to the gravity of our past, as if the past is the only thing that holds us down. Most often, this has nothing to do with our past. Usually, this is all on us.
The best I can tell you is no. There is no comparison to places I have never seen before. I have nothing to compare them to.
I can only imagine though, which I have.
I have dreamt and wondered about the sight of Southern Italy or to the look of the Amalfi Coast, Positano, Sorrento, Solerno, or to view the cave-like caverns at Grotta Dello Smeraldo.
Safe to say I have wondered what it would be like to eat at or sit in one of the little shoppes and hear the faint sound of guitar music playing from the street. Or north of here and up the coastline, I assume there is a different feel to the beaches at Portofino. I wonder what it is like to stay at a hotel at the Abbazia di San Fruttuoso or go further north to Genoa or San Remo.
I suppose there is no comparison to what the sea must look like between here and Corsica.
I have always wondered about the culture of these places, or, if in fact my culture has improved, simply because I know about these things.
My collection began on June 1, 2006. I was alone for the first time and unsupervised to say the least. This was the first time I was single.
There was no one in my life to help guide or govern my decisions. I had moved back to my hometown to find a sense of comfort in an uncomfortable time.
All that I had known was gone. My list of friends and social influences were different. My finances were different and so was the structure of my day. There was no one but me and a small place of my own.
The truth is everyone finds themselves at a point where they look around in disbelief. They see themselves at a downfall and they wonder where things went wrong.
No one gets away from life without a scratch or a bruise. Everyone falls. Everyone trips or slips and hits the ground.
Even winners lose sometimes. Believe it.
At one point or another, we have all seen or watched someone rise from their own ashes. We have seen people recover and overcome to push themselves to success.
The fact is people are truly an incredible species. However, we often find ourselves caught in our own doubts and denials, which keeps us from reaching our best possible life.
It seems like this must have been a lifetime ago. The group of us have all moved away and branched out in different parts of the country. Some of us grew older. Some of us grew apart and some submerged in the winds of anonymity.
There are rare occasions that come up which incline us all to get together. But aside from this, life has taken shape for us all. People moved on. They found careers and built lives for themselves. They built homes and families and yet, somehow, no matter where we go or how far we move away, we will always be old friends from the neighborhood.
The city is so different to me now. Or maybe this is only me. Maybe she is exactly the same, which, let’s face it. She really is.
The streets have the same names. The names on the buildings might have changed. The decorations are a little different now, but the avenues are still the avenues and the cobblestones downtown are the same as they’ve always been.Continue reading
I still say there is no theft worse than the theft of a childhood. I say that empty ball fields and playgrounds are a travesty. I say the act of playing or swinging on swing sets is a birthright.
I say that every kid must get dirty. This is essential. Kids should have to know what it means to scream as loud as they possibly can and run around as wild as they can be. Games are important. Playing is important. Imagination is just as important to the mind as air is to the lungs or food is to the belly. Nothing should ever get in the way of this.
There was a picture I saw of the beach this morning. The sun was coming up and the sky was all orange and purple. I thought to myself about the last time — when was it?
I couldn’t remember. I can’t remember the last time I felt my toes in the sand. It was San Diego, I think.
The morning was all hazy and gray at first. There were a length or rock piles that reached from the shoreline and went out several yards into the Pacific. The waves crashed here, which was perfect to create the sound effects of a shoreline daydream.
I never saw a sunrise like this before.
There is a deck that runs around the upper level at the back of my home. The view faces the Cobus, Horse Stable, and the Catamount, and Panther Mountains. It’s a nice view. I think you would like it.Continue reading
At a time like this, I ask myself, “What would Mom say?”
With everything that goes on and with the world in a “time-out,” so-to-speak, I wonder what Mom would say about all this.
I assume Mom would tell me not to worry. I am sure Mom would tell me, “this too shall pass.” She would always say this when times were bad.
Nothing is ever comfortable when anxiety hits. As someone that understands anxiety first hand, I have made it a point to reach out to others that struggle with this as well. I wanted to speak with people that live with different anxiety disorders or struggle with panic attacks.
As a means to learn more, I shared text threads with small groups of people that reached out when the anxiety hit.
This was not done as a professional by any means. Instead, the groups and conversations were used to gain a better perspective. Plus, I wanted to learn helpful tactics to help myself as well as others. More than anything, I wanted to understand what works best.
There was a small pond just around the backside of a little compound where I stayed a few times. The compound was a circular lot with A-frame cottages that pre-date the year I was born. Perhaps the place predated my birth by at least a decade or possibly more. The old cottages were quaint and small with the original decorations. I suppose the years and age had changed the place.
The resort was built to accept the run-offs and overflows of people looking for an alternative to hotels and the Pocono ski resorts. The amenities were antiquated at best but the fireplace was good. The cottages were nowhere near the five-star experience but the atmosphere was warm and kind.
Everyone is afraid of something . . .
We all have our groups of fear. I know that my fears range from valid to simple, and irrational to rational. I know this is a fact. Then again the same can be said for most of us down here on Project Earth. We all feel. We all think. At times, we overthink to the point where simple decisions become difficult. Life can be scary sometimes. I know this and you do too, which is why this is a true story.Continue reading
Everyone has a map from their past. This plays over and over in our thoughts. This is where our perception lives. This is where our opinions come from and where we hold the records of our old experiences. These are the blueprints we use to build the models of our predictions. We base our plans on assumption.
The records from our memory point our thoughts in a biased direction because of the math we do in our minds. We calculate our assumptions according to the variables of our previous involvements and associations. This is where fear comes from and where concerns begin to grow.Continue reading
I admit it. . .
Time slips away from me. There are days when I run into myself as I come through the door. I burn the candle at both ends because life is a busy place to be. The toughest part about this are the moments I miss because life is always on the go.
I admit to the phone calls while driving in the car. I do this because these are the best times to talk without interruption or distraction.
The only problem is the moments are limited. The list of calls and people I need to catch up with is long, which means that time slips away. This means the distance between phone calls can grow longer than they should be.
There is a common theme amongst us all. Everyone is thinking about the time when we can be free to go out. Maybe we can sit down at a restaurant or go to a place where they play live music.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
It was raining before sunrise this morning. I could hear the sound of raindrops falling onto the dome skylights on the top of my roof. It was quiet though and peaceful as ever. The gloom in the sky began to show proof of light, and soon enough, I knew the sunshine would return.
The sun is up now. The sky is beginning to show segments of clearing, which I hope to see more of as the day progresses.
The robins are awake now. I can hear them chirping from the wooded section of my property, which is modest and quaint but decent in size.
Given the current situation, there is no reason to stress the obvious topics on the news. We all want the same things.
Now more than ever, we need to get ahead of this. We need to move forward. The truth of the matter is we all want the best. We want to find our way out of this, alive and well, and furthermore, we want to find ourselves financially stable, and back up and running. Agreed?
After the longest April in our history, there are talks about reopening the country. However, the fact remains that we are at war with something beyond our control.
The Coronavirus has taken so much from us all. Aside from the failing economy, the layoffs, and the unemployment numbers that continue to grow, and aside from the businesses that went under, and let us not forget the cancellation of normal everyday life; we have the cold stories of people dying alone in hospital rooms without a loved one in sight.
Make no mistake. Everything we do is an investment. Even if the decision is to do nothing, there is still an investment.
There are times when we put so much into something only to get so much out. There are people we talk to and people we invest our time in, only to find that our investments were poor. And there we are, wishing we paid attention to the red flags we saw along the way.
There was a little stream that ran parallel behind the place on Lindell Boulevard. I’d walk there sometimes to enjoy the calmness of a Florida afternoon in Delray. There were so many things to notice, like the palm trees, or the pool behind the complex.
Some of the rear facing apartments had patios, which were mainly rented by people with grandchildren.
Most often the patios were empty with only a few toys that grandparents kept safe for their grandchildren whenever they would visit. There was something to the atmosphere that was comforting to say the least.
I wanted to send this letter to you with hopes to shed light on a few things. First and foremost, I wanted to thank you for opening my eyes to things I might have never seen before.
The truth is we live in very strange times, which is namely because of you. But then again, you already knew this.
Thanks for the cheaper gas prices, by the way. And thanks for the drop in violence. Thanks for the forbearance plans, which mean very little at this point but still, thanks for pointing out that our attention to detail in not what it should be.Continue reading
I had never done much professionally or unprofessionally in the field of education or mental health before. I was never educated in the usual classes; however, I have done my share of field research on both a personal and interpersonal level.
I have attended my share of learning seminars and taken a fair amount of courses. I have a few certificates and a strong resume; yet still, I have been subject to the snobbery of those with different experience or higher ranks of education.
There is a quick suggestion I have. I hear people say this all the time too; as if it might be difficult or we need a reminder to do it.
The suggestion is simple.
“Just be nice.”
Sounds easy enough, right?
The truth is not so much.
Maybe in the fall.
. . . It could be
Maybe when the autumn hits;
the scene at Columbus Circle
consumes the city with a sense of
something that no one else could understand
(unless they came from New York City)
I have seen some really cool things over the last few years. I have been invited to places I never thought I would see.
I was part of a wellness retreat on the beach in San Diego. I saw the sunset in Los Angeles a few times. I’ve been flown across country in first class, which is not a bad way to fly.
I have spoken in schools and in front of political stages. I was invited to be part of different initiatives and spoke on different recovery panels. I made the news a few times, which was something that I never thought I’d see.
The best drives are the early drives when the sun comes up. No one else is on the road and the mind switches into autopilot.
The best part of this is the music you choose. And me, I love playing the older songs like the ones I grew up with.
I love the classics that allow me to fall into a time warp. Next, the road is just something I am on. My mind knows what to do. I know when to brake or switch lanes but the music has me someplace else.
I admit it . . .
I am not proud of this but I admit to the pandemic pounds. I admit to the sad attraction to horrible reality shows, which aren’t really real, but yet, I watch them and talk to the television.
I find myself asking questions like, “What are you, stupid?” and getting into these shows which are literally a sad reflection of our society,
Then I laugh at myself. But hey, in times like now, distractions can be lifesaving.
Here we are. May will be here soon. Next is the month of June, which means summer will be here before we know it.
There is something about this time of year. And there they are, the kids. Here comes the next generation, about to graduate, and be free to a whole new scene. God bless them.Continue reading
There was a time when I was younger and trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Here I am at the age of 47 and I laugh because I’m still trying to find out.
I remember when members of my family told me it was time to grow up. I was told there is no fast lane to success.
It takes hard work.
I was told to get ready to make an honest living. I was told about this thing we call “Corporate America,” which was this huge thing to me at the time.
When there is nowhere left to turn and the vehicle stops, then I suppose this is where we’ll find ourselves. I suppose we will look around and say, “I guess this place is as good as any,” and then we can take it from there.
This is where we’ll end up, hopefully, this is someplace warm and someplace nice. People will smile and say common things like, “Hello,” or “good morning,” without the need for payback or further expectation.
When the road ends and there is no more reasons to keep running, then we will at last have found a place that we can settle into a life, which we call our very own.
I find myself now, sitting in the quiet of a Saturday morning. I keep coming to the idea that I should be learning something from this.
Last night’s rain was intense and left the grounds soaking wet. The sky is gray.
I can see this from the window in my loft. The wind is light, which I can tell because the branches in the trees are without any movement. The Earth itself is quenched and the mountains behind my home resemble an artist’s rendition of a sleepy morning in an Upstate life.
Everything behind you is behind you. Therefore, whatever happened in the past is still in the past. Nothing can change this.
Yesterday will always be yesterday, which means it has to stay there in order for us to move forward.
Replaying old conversations and reliving old situations will never change what happened. We cannot settle or re-litigate yesterday’s tension or resolve something that is unchangeable.
They go back with us a long time. Don’t they?
These are the names from the neighborhood. They are the friends from the old days. They are the kids from the block that we grew up with.
Before going forward, we must remember that we cannot be afraid to try. Before we begin, we have to remember to leave our fear at the door. This is no time to be afraid. Instead, now is the time to put things in perspective.
Before we move on, we are going to replace the word fear with the word respect. Therefore, we are not afraid of our competition. Instead, we respect them.
Did you ever read comic books? I was never much for them. I knew about the heroes but I never knew all the story-lines. I knew about Superman, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. I remember the movie. I remember when Clark Kent realized who he was and what he was capable of.Continue reading
It is raining now. The morning is even quieter than ever before. It is Monday, which would usually mean something but there has been an alteration in our society.
The change leads us to a strange kind of cabin sickness. This is not just me or you that are stuck inside. Everyone around us doing the same thing too.
I think about the times I would play sick and stay home from school. I remember wishing I could cut out and do this all the time.
Meanwhile all the schools are closed now. There is no place to congregate and no place to experience life as we knew it.
For now this new and temporary normal has put distance between us and so many others.
There used to be the occasional nights when The Old Man was home early from work. The entire family was in the family room. There was me, of course, and then there was Mom, The Old Man, and there was my brother Dave.
There used to be this thing they called sitcoms on television. There were shows like Three’s Company, or All in the Family.
All in the Family was the best.
Then there was Cheers, there was Too Close for Comfort and One Day at a Time was pretty good too.