My morning is simple. . .
I wake up, which is always a good thing. I get myself to the kitchen to push the magic blue button on my coffee machine. Then I head back upstairs to my loft. I go through my usual morning routine. I write a little. I think a little. I plan my day, finish my coffee and then clean myself, brush my teeth, get dressed, head downstairs, put on my shoes, and then I head to the bus. I park in the same spot, unless someone beats me to it.
I cross the street to wait on a line with others who stand and wait for the same bus every day, seemingly mindless, lost in thought during the early morning sunrise, and still sleepy, but hey, bills are bills and work is work.
I think of you now and I am young. I am a boy again, like I was on the piers in Shinecock canal in November, cold as ever, and bundled up in a big blue coat with mittens and a pull-over hat that was knitted by my Grandmother. The sky was gray and the docks were quiet. I sat there shivering from the cold but I did not complain. I watched the end of my fishing rod, (just like you told me to) and hoped a fish would swim along and take my bait.
I could have sat that way for hours and not caught a thing and the day would still be perfect. I could have lived there in fact, exactly as it was, cold and gray and quiet, shivering.
I was in the back of a truck with no windows, handcuffed to a man that was drinking the night before. He was handcuffed to another man and him to another and then so on.
I was afraid. I was hungry and my stomach was growling, but yet, how could I even think of food in a time like this?
I hadn’t eaten in a while, but like I said, food was not my top priority.
Sure, everyone has an opinion. . .
Everyone thinks they know better. They get their information in drips and drabs and bits and pieces so that can create their opinions. This way they can act worldly, like they’re an authority. But the truth is no one knows. No one gets it. They just point their fingers and feed into the stigma . . .
Back when we
were kids, someone told us it costs a dime each time you flip a light switch. Of
course, me being me, I ran up to the front of the classroom and flipped the light
switch as fast and as many times as I could before the teacher could run up and
Back then, I had no idea what electricity was or where it came from. I knew what a light switch does. I knew there was this thing called electricity. I knew the story about Benjamin Franklin and a kite with a key (or something like that) but I didn’t know much else.
I want you to think of something. . .
Are you ready?
I want you to imagine a sunny day in the City of New York. Let’s take a busy section, like say Midtown, and think of people walking or going wherever they go.
Think of the businessman (or woman) and think of the family man (or family woman) and the tourists near Times Square, which is a perfect place to consider because it is estimated that 330,000 people visit Times Square on a daily basis.
Imagine this. Imagine the random faces of people. Picture the hot dog carts and the uniformed officers. Think about the interactions and the stores, the delicatessens, the clothing shops. Consider the crowded walk during rush hour, everyone moving, everyone walking with the intention of heading someplace in a hurry.
. . .
It’s hard to get up in the morning.
it’s not that we’re sleepy so much
it’s just . . . pointless is all I can say
am I right?
It is morning, earlier than usual, but yet, I am awake (like always) and looking at today’s date. I realize that four years have passed since my last trip down to Ft. Lauderdale in good old Sunny Florida. I know this because the date has been tattooed into the top of my wrist and commemorated for a special reason.
I woke up to
the thought machine somewhere around the hour of 2:00am. Maybe I was dreaming.
Maybe something clicked and triggered a thought, which caused me to go back to
an old lesson that I need to be reminded of from time to time.
I love my early morning drives. . . .
I love how the sun comes up from behind me and paints the horizon in pastel shades of purple and peach.
I love it this way. The world, I mean, I love the quiet.
I love the ring in my ears due to the absence of sound.
There are times when I am lucky enough to perform and show people what I do. And I smile, wholeheartedly, because this is me and this is what I do at my best.
I smile because I love to see the reactions of the people I interact with. I love to watch emotion come to fruition and watch facial expressions change as one comes into a moment of awareness.
I tell you the best part about life coaching and motivational speaking is the moving response when realization takes place.
This is to you:
There are so many things I want to say. They are the things I have always wanted to say but I never knew how to to say them, how to tell you, or how to get this message to you. That’s what this letter is about,
There are things I wished I could have told you but I never had the words. I wanted to give you more but I never knew how. I wish I did though. I really do. I wish I could have given you the attention you’ve always deserved (and wanted.)
Years back, I would go to a small pond not too far away from the town where I grew up. I went with my cousin Craig and tossed bread to the ducks and the geese.
This was a religious time of year for my family. These were the High Holy days in my family’s religion and a time for reflection. This was a time for atonement and to atone for the things we did to the people we love. This is time for amends; to become even with the house from a spiritual perspective. This was the Day of Atonement in the religion I grew up with.
There is a time when it all comes down to this,
the moment, the surreal feeling and the numbing pause
that comes with the harshness of reality.
There is a time when the moment comes
and we are aware, we are faced with the truth,
and although we tried, although we hoped,
there is no more pretending.
I always do an honest assessment after I present or speak. No matter what the lay out may be or what the crowd looks like, I always assess what I do so that I can continue to improve and reach my best potential.
I like what I do. More accurately, I love what I do,
And here’s why . . .
Before going forward in my life, I needed to understand more about the things that held me back. I needed to understand the reason why I behaved because the reason why I behave as I did were more important to the behavior itself.
I think of it like this, when we’re sick and go to the doctor, the doctor asks about our symptoms.
Do you have a sore throat? Is there any headache?
Do you have a fever?
They ask simple questions like this. But the headache or the runny nose are only symptoms. Although uncomfortable, the symptoms are not the problem. They are only evidence that the problem exists. We can alleviate them. We can soothe them. But to rid us from the symptoms, we have to treat the underlying problem.
The way I love you comes back at me in different directions.
And I can see this in the reflection of your eyes,
which look at me like perfect mirrors
to reflect the stories in your life.
This teaches me what I have become
and what I mean to you.
I was sifting through some of my older journals and came across a piece that was posted a few years back.
It’s funny to me. It’s funny because time overlaps something relevant from our yesterdays to remind us of what should be important now.
In the book, “A Dairy of a Young Girl,” Anne Frank wrote, “Paper is more patient than man.”
She said this because she believed that people are impatient. And let’s face it. She is right. We live in a me first world.
But she was just a kid when she write this. She was a kid from a different generation in an ugly time and an ugly place. She wrote in her diary because to her, it was easier to be honest on paper.
I get that.
To her and her dairy, Anne Frank used the paper and pen because a blank page has no agenda or anyplace else to go.
I get that too.
There is no way to undo the yesterday we wish we could get away from. Words can not be retrieved once spoken and actions cannot be undone. So don’t wast too much time on this.
The reason why is nothing about yesterday is changeable or alterable, which is the reason we keep running from it.
It is amazing how we limit ourselves. We limit our abilities. We limit our successes. We limit our interactions as well as our opportunities. We do this based on fears, concerns, and the internal arguments, which convince us that we just can’t do what we want to do.
It is amazing to me how one small word can limit us from such enormous possibilities.
The world meets no one halfway. Truth is the world meets no one either way. Anything you want to do; anything you want to be or achieve, and anything you want to build or create and anything you want to become will have to happen now because now is the time to do it.
You have to do it otherwise nothing will ever happen. And if nothing happens, you’ll find yourself somewhere far away from your dreams. You’ll wake up even farther than the life you’ve always wanted, wondering what happened, and wishing you’d stuck with it and taken a shot.
morning and the sun was already hot near 23rd Street. The season was upon us in
the unofficial start of summer. I was out the night before with some of the
boys. It was Memorial Day weekend in New York City.
Most of the city was half-emptied with the wilder, younger crowds out someplace
else—like say, maybe down the shore in Jersey or out east on Long Island, in
the Hamptons, or out on Fire Island, or at Montauk Point.
You are far
from us now and away at a place that we don’t understand on this side of the
world. I am not sure what the landscapes look like. I don’t know what the weather
has in store for you today or what your plans will be.
I wanted to reach out to you and touch base. I figured since you are where you
are, might as well write to you about the reasons why you went where you went.
I go back to Newton’s third law, which states, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
I don’t claim to know much about Newton. I know a little about his three laws of movement. I know that, “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”
I know that life moves no matter what we think or want it to do. I know that people act and behave the way they do—and sometimes, I swear, I fully believe the reason why people behave the way they do is they’ve never felt the consequences for their behavior. Or with less polish; I truly believe that people act and speak the way they do because they’ve never been punched in the face.
I know there is beauty in this world. Sometimes beauty is hidden. Sometimes we might have to look for it and sometimes, I think the most beautiful things are hidden in plain sight but we tend to overlook them.
I had a dream about the farm last night. I had a dream that I was standing in a gazebo with white posts on a birch wood flooring, elevated, and slightly high enough so that I could overlook the grounds and see my surroundings.
I was overlooking the fields and the barn and the houses on the hill, which is where I stay and where the kids stay and more accurately, this is where anyone could stay, should they need a place to stay.
There is a kitchen big enough for all with a dining room that is serviced by us and fed by us from a meal that was created by us.
There is a place for you here. I’m sure of it.
This is a safe haven. This is a place where all can heal, we can be, we can overcome and learn to live, love, and laugh without fear, worry, guilt, or shame.
Keep in mind, love does not come without anger.
Love does not come without troubled times.
We go through trials. We argue.
We fight and we complain.
I go over my journals read through my past ideas. Sometimes I recall the tasks of the time. Sometimes I read and remember what I was thinking and feeling at the time. Like you or anyone else in this world, I am someone trying to find my place in the circle. I have goals. I have dreams and ideas. Not all things fall into place. Life changes and so will situations. Circumstances are not always within my control (and I get that) but I am, however, responsible for me.
We were waiting for someone to come so we could straighten out. Mike had an idea to find a place to hide, which was fine for me because I wanted to get away too.
It was raining; cold, late at night, and the residual grinding teeth from the cocaine high had become desperate as usual.
We were in our hometown, which meant we knew where to go but the paranoia was always too intense for me. I always had a fear of some jackass coming out from the shadows. I was afraid the cops would find me. I heard things. Every nerve in my body was frayed like the end of a frazzled rope and all I wanted to do was to be right again. I just wanted to soften the edges and placate the fears with some kind of offering to exchange me for them or them for me.
I had a chat with a friend whose sister survived the unthinkable. She talked about the power of words and what they mean. Somehow, my struggles are very small in comparison to others.
I have been trying to figure out what it means to be tough for as long as I can remember. Sometimes life happens and causes me to redefine my terms.
I found a prose I wrote for a young girl. Her name is Olivia. She was 13 when we met. She was diagnosed with stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Everyone told Olivia how strong she was.
“You’re doing so well,” they told her.
“You’re so strong,” they said.
Pretty sure Olivia would have rather been less strong and healthier than sick and enduring. She went through chemo. She endured the treatments.
I can’t say where this began. Somehow, politics have become the new religion.
I see people that were once friends or even family are now on polar opposites of the world to each other.
They’re enemies now.
We’ve become a “Who did you vote for,” community and a “What God do you pray to,” society.
We treat symptoms but not the roots. We argue. We debate. We claim our flag in whichever condition it’s in and then we argue some more but to what avail?
Or more importantly, who suffers?
It’s okay to be you, to feel, to think,
to laugh, or cry, or neither;
it’s okay to be confused
it’s okay to be scared or feel frightened or worry;
it’s also okay to give yourself a break.
I heard a speech a long time ago. I heard, “It takes a village to raise a child,” but I sometimes wonder where the village is or do they even care.
I see them like this.
They’re just kids or more like babies. They’re just guppies in a little pond that will grow bigger in deeper and more dangerous too.
But while they’re young, the kids hide behind their protection. They’re safe because they’re at least somewhat protected by laws and parents or the revelation that the world is an unkind place and becomes more unkindly if we feed the wrong systems.
They’re too young to be taken in by the cops. They’re too small to do what they do, but yet, the people they play with are too big to play childish games. It’s a powder keg for sure. But that’s the game. That’s the thrill; and the fact that the entire world could detonate at anytime is the rush makes sense of our crazy, young, teenage angst.
What does it mean to live? Think about this. It’s really a simple question. The answer should be equally simple too. What does the word “Live” mean? What else could it mean other than to have a life, to be alive, or adversely, to not be dead.
But what does it mean to die? It has been argued by me on several occasions that we die in many ways. We experience death while living alive—and some people live lifelessly, always following, always wishing they were someone, somewhere, or someplace else. What kind of life is that?
The news came and I could not move. Time took on a strange appeal. I was frozen somehow, moving in slow motion, but yet, time was quickly ticking away from me.
I was young at the time. I was only 17 years-old but stunted in a way—like a child, or more accurately, I was stunned and child-like, almost like an infant’s pause before the pain strikes and the cry begins.
It was December and I was away in a place that was very foreign to me. I was on The Farm in lieu of jail, which would have been a sentence of one year, plus 90 days.
This meant I would have to serve close to one year in a place where I could neither physically nor mentally compete. I pulled a trick though. Or should I say my attorney pulled a trick. He landed me in a program called T.A.S.K. which was an acronym for something that helps young, first-time offenders with a youthful offender stipulation that would eventually falls from the records of past.
It is morning now.
The weather has been rainy but for the time being
the rain has paused
but the sky is still covered in the cloth of gray clouds.
This is what happens . . .
First, the accident or the incident, whichever the case may be, then comes the response, followed by the afterthought and the things we wished we said. Has this ever happen to you?
Ever have something occur and then you walk away wishing you said something else?
You wished you came out on top in a conversation, yet instead, you felt vulnerable or foolish, is if someone was able to pull a fast one right before your eyes—and you just stood there and let this happen.
Today is Sunday May 12, 2019. Mother’s Day:
The rain has been falling all night. I know this because I was awake and listening to the teams of your raindrop armies falling on the roof of my house and scattering like a thousand foot soldiers that run away after landing from the sky.
It is morning now, however, and light has come through the clouds but with no sunshine to greet the day.
Maybe this is right—the rain, I mean, and the slowness of the morning, the gray skies, and the quiet dreariness of a windless, rainy morning is fitting for now.
I wanted to explain this to you in a different way. My hope is this will bring you some comfort during the upcoming days,
I am writing this to you to bring a little understanding about depressive thinking and the unending cycle that comes with it.
I wanted to reach out to you specifically to explain a bit more about me so that maybe you will understand a bit more about you and the things you’ve faced in your past.
First and foremost, please allow me to officially explain that you are far from alone. There are millions of us out there, lost, unsure, uncomfortable, and unable to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Before going forward, please understand that I make no assumptions about you or your pain; however, I am offering this explanation to make sense of one of the most senseless kind of deaths known to man,
There are words we use that only apply in the grown-up world. These are big words with big meanings.
To a kid, however, their vocabulary is different. They understand play, laugh, fun, and they do things like have sleep-overs and build tents out of blankets.
Little girls skip rope or maybe play with their dolls and have tea parties (if that’s their thing.) To a kid, their life is still so new. At least, it is supposed to be. They are young. They’re our children.
Beautiful as ever. They are pure to the core, learning, and blossoming into this world and about to partake in this thing we call life.
When there is no room left between your back and the wall;
I am me and you are you,
undressed and undecorated,
then we are us
in true form.
When there is no room left for blame or shame or guilt
or the need to point a finger
to find accountability for things that are far beyond our control,
then there is rest.
Then there is peace, if we so choose
And the world, I swear, this is such a random, crazy place. The way we are, the way things happen, the way we separate from each other and fall back into place somehow—I tell you it’s all crazy.
I swear it is.
We spin around here on Project Earth and find ourselves, in full circle to be exactly where we’re supposed to be.
Some call this cosmic, some call this fate, and some say this is all just consequence.
Know what I say?
I say this world is a random, crazy place.
The thought machine—
That’s what I call it. The thought machine is the stations of our mind. This is where survival mode comes from flight or fight, eat, drink, breathe, seek shelter, and sleep.
This is the oldest part of the thought machine, which only thinks about basis function. There is no fear or concern here. There is no worry in this station. All is simple in this part—it’s like wash, rinse, and repeat.
There are things which can heal us. These are simple things, like the touch of a hand or the sound of a voice. Believe me. I know about this, first hand.
There are things that can warm us during cold times. For example this sight of a smile or to hear the laugh of someone we love. These things are important.
They cure better than any medicine, which is not to say that medicine is unnecessary. But still, there are simple things around us, even on gloomy days, which if we utilize—these things have healing qualities like no other. I’m sure of it.
It is May 5, 2019.
I can hear the raindrops falling upon the roof of my house and spattering on top of the skylight above my head. I am in my loft, cozy, and quiet at the time of daybreak. The sky is a dark gray but the leaves are bright green. The lawn has returned to life and spring is here. The streets are wet but the roads are quiet. And for now, I am listening to the lullaby of the rain, which has been going on for days now.
The truth is everyone is healing from something. All of us have either gone or will go through something tragic in our life. We all go through loss. We all experience fear. We feel, we live, and if we’re lucky, we learn.
Our life is our story.
This is us every day.
We wake up and begin our routine. We walk along this big conveyor belt we call “The World” and weave through different patterns and meet new people. We separate from the pack and create our own lives. We walk along paths that twist and turn, overlap, and interconnect or run parallel.
I think the hardest part of love is the part we cannot control. These are the circumstances beyond our control, like say, the happiness or the health of the ones we love most.
This is true.
This is especially true when we see the people we love and watch them struggle. We want to “Fix it” but we can’t. We want to change the circumstances, but again, due to circumstances beyond our control—there is nothing we can do but watch and feel helpless.
I remember the most honest thing anyone ever said to me. I was about to enter a new chapter in my life. I was afraid, — or worried is more like it. I was afraid of the people I would see. I was afraid of what people might think or say. I was uncomfortable with my anticipation and uncomfortable about the things I would face.
The chapter was new and so was I. I had to make changes both physically and personally. I had to stop much of my previous behaviors and stay clear of some of my previous relationships because the road they led down was not a road I was interested in travelling.
Back when I was a kid, I had to go to the dentist to have a cavity filled. I was scared. I knew there was a needle involved—and I was petrified of needles. I mean really petrified, as in, run away petrified, and catch me if you can petrified.
I was petrified of the whole scene. But of course, the dentist says the needle won’t hurt. They all say the same thing. “It’s just pressure,” they always say. “This won’t hurt.” But I knew this was a lie. It’s a needle. Needles hurt.
There was no hiding from myself.
This was it.
There was no way I could deny who I was or what I did. The sound around me was the humming of overhead fluorescent lighting. I could hear some of the drunks howling and retching their dry heaves and vomiting sounds into the mouth of the stainless steel commode, which is a stainless steel toilet in the back, left hand corner of their little holding cell; no seat to lift or shut, and statues up to a small basin with a drinking fountain for water at its top. The lighting was dim. The aroma was damp and reeking of body odor, bathroom function, and cleaning solvent. The place stunk from regret. Then again, so did I.