I swear what I am about to tell you is true. Not only is this true but more than being true now, this has been true for as long as man or woman has been able to create sound.
The truth is sometimes nothing speaks to us (or for us) better than music. Sometimes, the rhythm is the only thing that makes sense. The music, the notes, the flare of emotion, which I can feel when the guitar strings play. When there are no words, to me, music is something that makes sense.
I find myself awake at times and on the couch. I find myself moving in different directions of thought. Take last night, for example. There I was on the couch, listening to the rain as it fell against the skylights on my rooftop. I hear this like a thousand footsteps; as if the raindrops fall in teams of countless soldiers on a mission, which is perfect though, because the rainfall somehow matches the way I feel.
The truth is I don’t mind the rain so much. I don’t mind the storms, which keep the streets empty and vacant from man or woman. I like the quiet sounds and the grayness in the sky. I call this the lullaby of all lullabies. However, last night, there was no rockabye baby from the treetops. The wind blew but no cradle did rock. No, I suppose there weren’t enough sheep to count last night. at least, not for a while.
They sat me in a room with a man I never met before. He had walls that were covered with framed diplomas and certifications. He had books on shelves. I knew why I was there.
Better yet, I knew why I had to be there but at the same time, I had no idea why I was in this office. I had no idea what I was going to talk about or what this man was about to say.
Besides, I was a kid. The word psychiatry is an adult word. And depression, sure. I knew what the word meant. I just didn’t want the word to mean that this was me. Besides, all of these grownup words were like a different language to me. Those words belonged to grownups and not kids like me, but yet, I was in there in that office. I was waiting to be seen by a man that looked more like a grandfather than a doctor. I remember.
He had classical music playing in the background, like Mozart or maybe it was Beethoven. Either way, this wasn’t my scene.
Today is a good day to point out the elephant in the room. We have to address this; otherwise, it’s just more of the same. Otherwise, we stay as we are or as we were. We have to address this; otherwise, the momentum we need to move forward is interrupted by our personal roadblocks. We have to address this or the effort it takes to move ahead will never begin. And then we’re stuck.
We’re caught in the stillness of our thoughts and the blockages of our excuses. But why? Why does this happen? I mean, we know we want to feel good. We want to be healthy. And there are times when we know we want to change. If we find ourselves uncomfortable, of course we want to feel better.
We want to improve. We want to get up and get moving. Maybe we set a date for ourselves. We give us a starting point and say, “That’s it. I’m starting tomorrow!”
I go back to a place in my mind where I keep memories like colored photographs of times when we were all together. God, I miss so many people.
It has been years since we’ve all sat at the table as a family. I miss those times but years have gone by. No wait, it’s been more like decades. Apparently, life happened along the way. A few of the chairs became vacant. Some people moved away. Some tried their luck on the other side of the country. Some passed and left an empty void, which could never be filled.
I like to think about the times when we were all together. I like to think about the family get-togethers that no longer happen. I swear, these were good times. In fact, they were the best times and some of the only memories I have of my family.
I have pictures of these get-togethers somewhere. I keep them all in a crate with boxes of little doodads from my early childhood. There are pictures of me when I was a very young boy. I used to be pretty cute too. However, I keep some of those pictures hidden of course because some of them are certainly blackmail material.
What is a victory? What does it mean to win, to triumph, to overcome or rise above? Or wait, no. I have something better in mind. What does it mean to be at a level of awareness in which we have achieved a sense of both understanding and achievement without the contradictions of a win or lose mentality?
At this point, we can realize there is no opponent. There is nothing against us but our needless contraptions of thought, which are only imaginary. Besides, even if our imagination was real and something or someone was against us: So?
What would it look like to see life without the complications of adversaries? There is no more win or lose. There are no more rejection-based systems that hold us to the fires of judgement. The internal committee adjourns and the internal conflicts come to an end. There are none of the old diatribes or inner-criticisms. There is only internal and personal freedom.
This one comes with a warm sentiment and the kind that comes from the purest station of the heart. I will offer this before moving on, in the toughest times, there is something called comfort food. And there is a lesson here to be learned, which I’ve learned this gratefully. And here’s how.
Everything happens for a reason. Or, so they say. And I’m not sure what I think about this. I know this is a good way to look at things. Maybe this helps us make sense of something that makes no sense at all. Rather than accept the unfortunate cadence of life, we come up with sayings that help us answer for the unanswerable. Or, perhaps, this is better than contemplating the hard facts of life.
Something bad happens or something tragic and there’s nothing else to say except this, “Everything happens for a reason.” Or, there is an adverse way of looking at this. Others have said this to me as well. Instead of saying everything happens for a reason, what if we came to the understanding that there is a reason why everything happens.
I am more than where I come from. I am certainly more than my past and more than my future. I am like you or anyone else in this world. I am a series of different chapters which open and close no differently than the daily sun that rises each morning. I am more than this too and yet, I am simply just me. I understand this.
I tried to attack the ideas and identify the mysteries about myself by writing out my thoughts. I did this to feel better, which at first, I worried too much about the world around me and the interpretation of myself. I worried about my education or the lack thereof. A writer? Me?
Could I ever be? Or more to the point, could I ever be anything more than what I was?
There is nothing like the relationship with a dog. There is never a question whether I’m enough or not. I never smell too bad. I always look perfect.
I swear, my dog knows when something is wrong. He can tell when I’m sad or hurting or if something is not right with the world. And he sides up to me. He sits next to me as if to say, “I’m glad you’re here.”
I have heard people doubt the connection between a person and their dogs. I have heard people say, “It’s not like they’re human,” and no. My dog is not human. Besides, humans aren’t as loyal.
I have a dog. He is an old dog and the last of the original three. He is my special boy and we named him Brody. And again, he is old. Brody is 14 to be exact. His hips are bad and so are his knees.