Could be

I chased it around town

And, to my surprise

Caught it quite easily

They tell you it’s supposed to be hard

That you have to bleed and sacfrice and hurt

And chase, and chase, and chase and chase

So I did

And got tired and sick and lonely

So I quit

I threw it all away

And went for a walk

And found it

It was quite sunny, unusually warm for the morning

I picked up a coffee

I walked

Not fast

Not slow

Just walked

And there it was, at the end of a beautiful morning

Sitting on a bench beside the water

So I sat beside it

Here’s what I found

 

Could be

You could be one on someone’s wall

A pinnacle of yourself

Adored

You could be the one they call on and ask

Esteemed

You could be a friend

Trusted, loved

You could be beautiful

A pinnacle of yourself

Your unique you

You could smile

And share your beauty with people who aren’t your friends yet

Could be

Growing, asking, questioning, learning

Or

You could keep it all inside

You could miss it all

And die alone and bitter and sad

You could

Could be happy

 

Are you?

 

Find a patch of sun and lay in it

Frankie’s key to a successful, happy life.

Early morning. Sitting in my chair. Drinking coffee.

Our 3, 5 and 7-year-old sons are continuing the slow demolition of our house. My wife is reading. I’m searching for the end I need to begin with to be a highly effective person.

“Look at that dog,” my wife says. Frankie, our French Bulldog, is laying in the only patch of sun around. Totally at peace. And then it hits me.

The key to a successful, happy life is to find a patch of sun and lay in it.

In order to achieve this pinnacle of success is to:

  1. Find a patch of sun
  2. Lay in it

Do not accept anything less than a fully engulfed, blazing patch of sun. Quality is of the utmost importance. Your life, your success, and your happiness are worth the effort.

Then lay in it.

Do not:

  • plan your future
  • reminisce about your past

You must be. Let the warmth penetrate your skin, feel it in your core.

Now, carry the feeling you feel at this very moment throughout the rest of your life

and be that sun for others.

Old Man Strength

Don’t take shortcuts.

I like lifting heavy things.

The gym, you can find me there.

Lots of weight.

Every day.

Warm up. Push weight. Cool down.

Eat. Consume.

Warm up. Push weight. Cool down.

The rhythm builds strength.

 

Old man strength. That’s what I call it. That’s what I want. The fathers, they have this ridiculous strength. They can lift more weight. They can outwrestle. Outlast. I work hard and hope

Warm up. Push weight. Cool down.

I’ll get it.

Warm up. Push weight. Cool down.

Eat. Consume.

Warm up. Push weight. Cool down.

 

Don’t take shortcuts.

 

I like lifting heavy things.

The home, you can find me there.

Lots of weight.

Every day.

Dirty diapers. Do dishes. Bedtime.

Feed. Give.

Dirty diapers. Do dishes. Bedtime.

The rhythm builds strength.

 

Fatherhood, that’s what I call it. I do the things that need to be done. I don’t like doing all of them, necessarily. But my disliking is subordinate to the strength of my purpose.

 

I must lift more weight. Survive. Work hard and hope

Dirty diapers. Do dishes. Bedtime.

I’ll make it.

Dirty diapers. Do dishes. Bedtime.

Feed. Give.

Dirty diapers. Do dishes. Bedtime.

 

There are no shortcuts.

Warm up. Push weight. Cool down.

Lots of weight.

Dirty diapers. Do dishes. Bedtime.

Every day.

Giving yields the greatest gains.

I am the strength of my purpose.

 

I am you

What we are

I am you

There is no me

I am.

You hear me,

And I speak.

You feel me,

And I am here.

You see me,

And I am.

It’s black. Filtered light. Grey. White. The lungs expand, sucking in air. I become alive. The eyes open, taking in the light. I become aware. The neurons fire, recognizing my bedroom. I become human.

I am not I, I am you.

I look toward my wife and become a husband. I hear my children waking and become a father. I build my house as I walk down the stairs. I take it on. I become. I am.

Only without you, I do not exist.

I get into my truck and become a driver. I am not a driver, I am the driver, the one. I are many.

I participate in labor and become a worker. I am. Maybe you know. If people listen, I am called their boss. If people do not listen, they are called my boss. But I am.

If I are you, then we are we, and the table turns on its head. The upside down place. We are here right now, you and I, I and I, we. The mirror lies because it only shows us what we want to see. Go and look. See.

What belongs to I belongs to we. Shared. The language means something. Our lives mean something. But alone I mean nothing. As a we our lives mean everything.

So share. Be kind. Share. Respect. Help.

Because when you do it, you’re doing it for you.

Not because I am I.

But because I am you.

 

Swinging

Why can’t I be like that?

The popular crowd gets drunk and drives around with baseball bats. They hang out the car window and swing away, smashing merrily down the road. Sometimes the mailbox gets run over. That is even better.

I start drinking to be normal. You see, I have this constant narrative running through my head. I want to drink enough that the voice goes away, just for a bit. I want a break. My head hurts. Nobody else seems to mind the messed up situation we are in. Why can’t I be like that?

The successful crowd gets funded and starts companies with weird names. They call themselves CEOs and drive around in Beemers and Audis, blinging flashily down the road. Sometimes the status gets televised. That is even better.

I start working to be successful. You see, I have this constant narrative running through my head. I want to work enough that the voice goes away, just for a bit. I want a break. My head hurts. Nobody else seems to mind the messed up situation we are in. Why can’t I be like that?

What is this? Stop it. You can be whatever you want. Drunk. Criminal. Successful. Full. Empty. You get to choose. The labels, they’re just people, just like you and I. Nobody is popular. Nobody is a CEO. People are not their status. People are people.

You get into trouble when you label people. Projecting your own assumptions onto others is a recipe for disaster. Don’t do it. You can’t be like that because there is no “like that,” it’s all in your head.

We find ourselves in each other, becoming those we imitate. Swing away.

Clinging

What do you want?

Forgive me, Father,

For I have sinned.

I pursued the goals of Others,

At the expense of my Own.

I pushed to the limits,

To the detriment of my Self.

I’m not special,

The only skill I have is an ability to work harder, to outlast.

I cling to this belief.

So

I refuse to give up,

I endure.

I race, seeking proof.

Never stopping to think.

If I succeed?

I’ll be alone.

 

Be careful what you ask for.

 

“What makes someone your friend?” I ask.

Somehow I forgot.

“They pick up the phone when I call and we’ve had some laughs,” he says.

“That’s a great definition,” I reply.

I haven’t answered the phone in months.

 

You might just get it.

 

I can’t tell if you’re my friend. I like what you say. Am I in a funnel? This feels artificial.

Are we all just funnelling each other?

 

Time slips through fingers like dust,

And blows away.

 

Be careful what you cling to.

You are special.

You might just get it.