We sat together in a room on Christmas morning. We talked about our favorite meals and our favorite memories from back when we were young. And we laughed for a while.
We laughed about our childhood memories and the way it was to be a kid on Christmas morning. We talked about the presents and the way things change from action figures to a new bike (or something like that).
We spoke to one another the way regular people speak. There was no hierarchy, no pecking order, just a roomful of men who wished to be elsewhere. But due to the circumstance, for the moment, this was all that we had.
There was a little aluminum rowboat in the rear, northwest corner of the backyard at my childhood home. I suppose the year was somewhere around 1976 or 77. I was very young and of course, I was a little boy in need of attention. However, there was this small dream of mine. I would play with this dream play pretend for hours, outside in my backyard, during the cold New York winter months. To put a picture to this, my home was somewhat typical for the neighborhood. My town was like any other suburban town in Long Island. I was the youngest in my house with a brother who was six years my senior, which meant he seldom had time to play with me.
It’s crazy to think how we are more than 93 million miles away from the sun, and yet, we still feel the heat. It’s crazy to think about our distance from the sun or how long it takes to revolve around it. And then there’s Mars, which is even farther away. It’s cold on Mars. Then again, Mars is about 141 million miles away from the sun. So, it’s pretty safe to say that winter’s on Mars must be a bitch.
Space is interesting to me. And I don’t mean space as in outer space. No, I mean the space between time and distance. I mean the way we feel, which, no matter how far we are or no matter how long it’s been, still, we can feel the warmth of someone we love.
There are so many things that I haven’t seen. There are so many places I haven’t been to and things I haven’t done. But I’m here. I’m waiting. I’m ready, Mom.
I’m looking to experience, smell, touch, taste and see new things. I swear that I’m ready this time. I think age can be a problem — not to be too young or too old, but either can be the culprit of why we cease or desist. I think this is a mindset. You know?
I think this has to do with the way we see things. I think this has to do with our fears, our concerns, our wants and needs. I think what holds us back the most are obstacles in the mind. It’s our thoughts. It’s our ideas and our worries that the worst will come true.
It rains today. The sky is gray and the morning is quiet. The streets are wet and the blacktop on the street in front of my home is sort of glistening beneath the morning light. The white lines on the side of the road and the double-yellow lines down the center are a stretch down the country road where I live. Spring has sprung so the trees are exceptionally green where I live now, which is up in the mountains but not too far from the streets of New York City. I’m just over a bridge now and farther north. There is something peaceful about this morning. The grayness and the rain is fitting and comforting and yet, this is sad as well. Perhaps this is an acknowledgement of what this day means. Maybe Mother Earth knows. Maybe this is why she rains sometimes because she weeps too.
I recall the sunrise on the beach in Fort Lauderdale. I remember the warmth and the breeze that moved through and palms in the palm trees. I made sure to be up early to watch the sunrise. Ever see this before? Ever watch the sun come up in the sky with the ocean below? The horizon starts with a band of orange, which grows and eventually overtakes the sky.
There was a somewhat old man with tanned skin. He was a little more than middle aged, wealthy, spoiled in some ways but mainly drunk and someone that always seemed to find me in the mornings. I didn’t know the man per se. I only knew him because he was staying in the same motel as me. He would drink all night and sleep most of the day.
I have a strong belief in the visualization process. I can put this as simply as this; if you want it then you have to see it. I believe in the value of our visions but more, I believe in the hunger this creates. I believe in the need to see things to whet the tongue and have the taste for more. I have to see my dreams. I have to detail them. I have to know what they look like so I can build them. Otherwise, what am I looking for?
Another thing I believe in is the need for support. I believe in the cheering section and how this needs to begin with one. namely me, or you, or us. I believe that in order to find motivation, we have to create movement. Otherwise, there is only stillness in which case, where do we go except for nowhere?
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.
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.
It is morning in purgatory. . .
It’s strange to realize where we are sometimes. The way things are and the way things have been have certainly changed throughout the years. Life is different now. Then again, this is not to say life won’t be different in say, two years or maybe less. All I know is the world I believed in is less than what I had hoped it would be. We’ve gone crazy down here. All of us.