Something the Old Man Taught Me

There is a lengthy argument that comes with the idea of trade workers and white collar positions, in which social snobbery takes hold. Then we somehow give into the social programming that separates us in levels of importance due to financial earnings. Meanwhile, none of this is actually true. We’re all small, little beings, running around on a big ball we know as Project Earth.

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I’d Rather Smile

There’s not much left of what used to be.
I mean, think about it another way. Today is Monday. We have gone through countless Mondays before but this one is exceptionally different.

As a matter of fact, let’s see . . .
I have been alive for 17,456 days which means this Monday will be my 2,493rd Monday on Project Earth. This means I have taken approximately 376 million breaths since then and walked somewhere close to 254 million steps, which means I’ve traveled 108,204 miles, which means I’ve walked around the world to an estimated equivalent of 43 times. 

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An Explanation of benefits

In fairness, I never thought I would ever possibly word my history this way. I never thought I would see a mental or emotional challenge as a benefit. However, and in fairness to me and others that experienced similar things, the fact that people can and do recover is an ability that belongs to us all. This is absolutely true. It’s not easy by any stretch. But it’s still true . . .

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July 4, 2020

They call it hope.
They say this will appear like a ship coming in on a sunny day. They say there is a means to an end. It is said there is a reason for everything and that one day, everything will clear up somehow. This will all make sense and hopefully, or should I say suddenly, everything before the moments of displeasure, every twitch, every symptom, and all the discomforts and regrettable yesterdays will eventually lose impact. And at last, we can all breathe freely.

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About The Child Within

Below the surface is the truth to us all. Deep beneath the smiles or the things we say, which may seem lighthearted to the rest of the world, and there behind the brave face or the personality we try to portray is a truth that we keep hidden. This is our unspoken voice. These are our thoughts that speak to us. There is a part of us which no one else knows about. This is the part of us that no one else can see. Just us. 

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A Wish List

The ideas we have about you and me or us and anyone else are only as real as we make them out to be. The truth is either way, no matter what we do or what happens next, the sun will continue to go up in the morning and the moon will always take its place in the sky at night. The notion that either you or I will be able to re-litigate the past or change something beyond our control is crazy, but yet, here we are trying as hard as we can to change something we have no control over (like yesterday, for example).
All we have is this, right here and right now. All we have is our energy. All we have is our ability, which is really unstoppable when we use it properly.

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Come Forward

There is a reason why people don’t step up to say anything. Their silence is not the same as submission but more to the point, their silence is only fear that keeps their secrets from ever being told.
This can be something as simple as a problem in the workplace. This can be as simple as two friends miscommunication or as easy as a misunderstanding that went too far.

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A Note From A Working Man

There used to be music in the room whenever she would nap. The music was quiet with a calm, celestial feel and deep tones to soothe the mind. We played this to act as a lullaby to make her sleep.
There was a little noise machine too, which was a constant hushing sound to act as a cushion and drown out the ambient noise.
Her crib was perfect. Her room was decorated perfectly for a baby girl. There was wallpaper with soft shades of lavender and white. I remember the room, and in my mind’s eye, I can feel the peacefulness of a baby’s breath. She was my little girl, sleeping peacefully, and I was always so amazed that I had the ability of creating something so beautiful.

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Pointing Fingers

It starts simple. First, everything is a joke.
People love to joke, don’t they?
People love to see what they can say and what they can get away with.

This is true with bullies. This is true with the people that love to chew the fat from the gossip mills or the rumor factories.
Think about this for a second.
Think about the words, “I was only kidding.”
How many times have we heard someone say this?
Think about the words, “I didn’t mean it.”
How many times have you heard this?

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Personal Recovery

There is a science to us all. There is a science to the way we live and the way we think and act. There is a science to how we do everything.
There’s a science to the way we interact and a science to the reasons we reach out to certain types of people.
Everyone has a personal science, which is behind everything we do. This comes from our background and our surroundings. Our science is born from our genetics and our social influence. This also comes from our chemistry. In fact, there used to be a billboard that said, “Depression:is a flaw in chemistry not character.”

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Consider the Source

There are different ways we inspire each other. . . .

You do it your way and I do it mine. . . .

The truth is we’re all inspirational for different reasons. Some inspire to do great things and others inspire in different directions.
Think about the words, “role model.”
This is neither positive or negative but more so a source of attraction. We choose people to keep in our lives. We look to different people for different sources of motivation which again, motivation is only energy. There is no good or bad, positive, or negative. Motivation is only a power source in need of direction.

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Showing Up

There is something to be said about showing up. There is more to be said about showing up on a daily basis and finishing the game, win or lose, no matter what.
There is something to be said about the willingness to compete and the drive to stay motivated, even when the outcome is lost.
I admire this.
There is something about looking at the scoreboard and seeing how far down the team is, but yet, the heart of the player is still alive, still beating, and still playing as if victory was well within reach. 

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The Discovery Process

There are times (like yesterday) when the sky is blue and the leaves on the trees are as green as they can be. The roads are free from congestion and the upstate drive is calm and soothing. The scene is pastoral and calm to say the least.
There are times when although everything else has gone crazy, the world has gone mad, life took a turn, and although the normal routine has been interrupted by politics and the threat of a virus (not sure which is worse, by the way) still, the world is really a beautiful place.
There are times when the heart is heavy. There are times when pain comes and redesigns the way we interact with one another. There is loss and there is tragedy, yet still, there are still beautiful things we can discover in this world.

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The Powder Keg Called “Now”

Ever fall in slow motion?
What I mean is you’re in the middle of falling down, and yet, meanwhile, you know you’re falling but the fall is almost in slow-motion — and there you are, falling down and there is absolutely nothing you can do except brace yourself when the voice in your head says, “Oh man, this is really gonna hurt!”
Ever have this?

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From the Heart

This is life. Right here, right now.
There is so much going on and so much I wish I could help you with, which is not to say that you need my help at all, but more to the point, this means I wish I could be helpful to you.
There are tricks I’d love to teach you and stories I’d love to tell.
Even if you heard them before, I’d still love to tell you again.

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Time To Go!

There is an alarm going off right now. This means it’s time to “Wake up!” This means it’s time to open our eyes because life has a way of teaching us things.
However, for some reason, people have a hard time learning. Either way, whether we learn or not, life is always trying to teach us something.
There will always be signs and red flags. There will always be hints and  suggestions and there will always be reasons and excuses why we looked away in the first place.

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An Honest Truth

Young man disappeared into the machine last morning
His breath shook when powder dissolved into bloodstream
(Euphoria)
Waves pulse through the body
Minds give way to rituals that divide life from lifelessness

All else fades as the pulse slips away

Come here, said the fly to the spider
I’ve been looking all over for you . . . 

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I Took A Walk

There was a quiet little stream that ran down through the rocks on the side of a mountain. I remember that everything was so crisp and green. The leaves on the trees and the earth was deep and rich with color.
I had never walked in the mountains before. I never went on a hike or went anywhere other than my normal running grounds, which were less than beautiful and far from this colorful.
It was the end of summer, 1989. I was still feeling achy but the aches were improving. I was only in a few days, and by this point, I was unsure when I would ever be back home again.

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Live Life Now

There is a fantasy that everything in life has to be a certain way. Men are men, and women are women. There is a black and white design, almost like a cookie-cutter recipe, in which, whenever we veer away from the normal or stray from the common path, somehow, there is an idea that life is not supposed to be like this.
For some reason, there are people that associate difference with right or wrong. But why?

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Beware of Complacency

There was an idea that I wrote a long time ago which needs to be repeated. There are times when life is tough. This happens to everyone.
Everyone hits a rough patch. Everyone has “One of those days,” or weeks, or even months. Or, look at us now.
It is official that 2020 has not been the kindest year.
With all the concerns and quarantines and the recent tensions of riots and protests, safe to say that 2020 is a good year to learn from our mistakes. 

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From The Boys: On The Farm

I was deep into my time at the farm. I had nearly forgotten what it was like to wake up in my own room or sleep late. I was living a dorm life in a farmhouse. The rules and regulations were never my favorite. Neither was the showering times or the bathrooms.
I have to admit it, like it or not, the replacement of time was me, away from my regular home in a quasi-institution.

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The Best Investment

The question is what’s in a word?
What is in a word that we invest so much in or allow them to either build or destroy us?
Why do we give in so often or allow what someone says to define or decide how we live, think, act or feel?

What is it about a simple word or what people say that can either build us up or rip us apart in the blink of an eye? 
A word can change the face of the day. A word can change perspective. A word can bring a smile or cause a tear.

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Letters from A Son: Dear Mom 6/10/20

I know it has been a while since my last letter to you. So much has happened and I’m not sure if I know exactly where to begin.
I’m not even sure if you would believe me if I told you, but anyway, here it goes, Mom.
Are you ready?
I’m not sure if you get the news where you live but life has been interesting down here to say the least. 

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There Is No Mistake

There is no mistake anymore. In order to move ahead there has to be a strategy. There needs to be a plan because there is no more room for guess work. We already know what we don’t want.
We know about the things we don’t want to feel.
There are times (like now, maybe) when the world is still moving. The sun is out and everyone is living life, but yet, deep down, there is a piece of darkness on the inside that overshadows the light that brightens our path.

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Just a Thought: 6/8/20

I am reminded of a quote from Shakespeare. He said, “Civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” It seems all of our hands are a little dirty sometimes. It seems like everyone has an opinion. Everyone has an agenda.
Meanwhile, the world is still turning. Life is still going on and you, me, us, and everyone else in the world is still trying to find their way in this crazy place. Such is life down here on Project Earth.

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My Utopia

I watched an airplane fly off into the sunset last evening. Its wings lifted as the plane turned southwest to fly off into parts unknown.
Usually, I see this and imagine sitting in an airplane with my seat leaned back and my tray-table down. I envision myself going somewhere or anywhere but here.

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From “The Boys” The Last Of The Hoodlum Days

It was just another morning before noon in my town. I was walking towards home after a crazy night and trying to piece together the events from the day before. Randy pulled up in a white van. His long hair was tied back in a ponytail with a blue bandanna wrapped around his forehead.
Randy’s eyes were bloodshot and red. He was already fueled up after drinking from a bottle of 80 proof cheap whiskey. He was ready for trouble. This was for sure. But then again, so was I.
The music was blaring from the radio. There was a lit Marlboro cigarette hanging from his teeth with a long ash that was slightly bent and curved downward. As Randy pulled up, a cloud of smoke poured from the passenger window. The smell from the smoke proved the end of an obvious smoking session that Randy just finished. 

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A Little Truth

Every so often I get calls, late at night, and on the other end of the call is a desperate voice from a desperate person in the middle of a desperate time. They speak as if I can immediately recognize their voice. Sometimes it’s easy to tell. Other times, I have to listen for a while.
I never ask who it is. I just listen and let them talk until I figure this out on my own. This never takes long.
Sometimes the person is crying. Sometimes the person is talking in a low tone, afraid that someone might hear them and they’re paranoid about some exterior force with some ulterior motive.
Oftentimes, the person is incoherent or drunk or sick or on the run and trying to keep themselves from being locked up in a cage.

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Note of Inspiration

There will always be adversity.
There will always be something controversial and there will always be someone at odds. We know this.
There is no escaping the fact that failure and falling down is part of life, or, as the saying goes, “Into each life, a little rain must fall.”
Sometimes though . . .
the rain goes on too long. Sometimes the clouds and the thickness of the storm can cause us to forget that although it might not be visible; the blue sky and the sun are still above us.
Ask anyone that has learned or fought or gave everything they’ve had, and they will tell you the same thing. Even winners lose.
There is no one in this world that is impervious to loss or pain. There are some however, that seem to rise above it. There are some that make what they do look easy because of their natural ability or talent.
There are some that can not study at all and pass a test. There are some that can sit at a piano and somehow, the music makes sense to them.

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To Be a Child

I see little children and I smile. I see them and think about all of their abilities and their possibilities.
I smile because I see them as a symbol of hope. They are hope for a life that has yet to come. 
When I see them, I wish children could stay as they are, young and hopeful, perfect, and eager to touch, taste, and smell everything our world has to offer. This is them at their best, untouched self.

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This One Hurt Me

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.

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

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.

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Overcoming Depression

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.

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Walking In The Rain

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.

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Old As Our Memory

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 . . .

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Ever Go To A Showcase?

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.

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A Note From “The Boys” called: Samples From The Band

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.

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How To Avoid Being A Crab In A Bucket

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?

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Princes and Castles

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.

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A Night Out East

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?
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.”

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The Beach

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.

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From “The Boys” Velvet Ropes

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.

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