To all those men who were brave enough to take a woman by her hand, walk beside her and say: I do—and mean it each and every day, and when his children are born say it again to her, with more conviction, and through late night illnesses taking turns holding his children, pushing them on swings, throwing them high in the air and catching them before they fall, cooking sausage and gravey and making grits on Sunday mornings before church, combing out snarls in hair that looks like wrestling snakes, and kissing boo-boos on wounded kness after teaching them how to ride a bike, the horrible looks after he dispensed discipline, the trust he put in each of them when handing them car keys for the first time, the numerous recitals, plays, and games where he watched like a silent sentry appraising with his eyes and feeling pride and wondering: how could all this good be a part of me? The man who taught his son to be a man by the way he held his mother’s hand and never let go, and escorted his daughters one by one, foot by foot, down an aisle trying to hold on, one last time, before he gave her away to another, younger man that shared her love. For the man of few words who said a lot, who prayed on his knees and stood tall, who opened his hand and waved goodnight to one and all without regret. Flowers grow above the ground where his ashes lay at peace, to remind us that amidst the thorns, his beauty blossoms like a scarlet memory, for each and every child he left behind to remember him and know its a Happy Father’s Day, indeed!
Love is many things to many people. It is parental, romantic, and altruistic. It is ethereal. It is perceived. It does no harm. Sometimes it is demanded, taken and kept, and almost always earned and freely given. Sometimes it is born of pity, erupting from the pit of despair, or emanating from within. Most agree that it is better to love and be loved than to never love or be loved at all. In the end, love is conscious desire, a lust for life, a decision we make but are never certain we had. Its loss of control over our destiny. Trust in God, the universe, and fate. Karma without a map. Love is undefineable, indeterminate, and infinite. Surrender unconditionally to its embrace. Love is waiting.
Memoir is pain. Its keyboard spreads open in darkness, naked, and alone. Each key a needle. My fingertips tap, tap, tap, drawing blood, and with each tap a tiny tear forms, squeezed to the surface, pooling in the corners of my eyes. Green eyes that once were blue, afraid to look at my face in a mirror when I was a teen. Then it overflows, the pain, those hot tears drip down my cheeks, one by one, falling like whispers in the dark from old lovers. Men I hardly knew, who never knew me but thought thery did, and some women, and one who knew me, whom I loved. The memory roaring like a river, water splaying on ragged rocks, tossing and churning under wet sheets of ice. I am hot then cold. Too cold to write. I shiver and sometimes shudder at the thought of tap, tap, tapping those keys with my raw fingertips. I go to the keyboard anyway, the way I approached my life, with guarded enthusiasm. Maybe someday, I will find me in those tears emptied on blank pages, and not be alone. Utterly and completely, alone.
A hero lives in the heart of every American. No one raised and educated in this country was ever taught to be complacent or incompassionate. Standing up for your neighbors or others less fortunate is the norm. Even those we don’t agree with have always been given deference and respect. Injustice incites us to action. We abhor laziness almost as much as greed and cruelty. We resent someone telling us how we should live. We reserve our opinion until provoked and speak our minds on subjects and issue that matter, that affect our livelihood, property, and families. We believed and still believe in the American dream of life, liberty, and the ability in a free enterprise system to pursue those things that make us happy. We value our freedom and would defend any threat to our way of life. Why then, have we allowed our elected officials to sell their loyalty to the highest bidder. The top 1% will dictate to the rest of us how we should live. They will destroy our planet for profit. Milk it’s resources and deprive our children of any legacy worth having. They are already changing the education system to create an technilogical labor force, eliminating creative subjects that stimulate thought and encourage free thinkers. It won’t be long before they move to limit free speech, control the media, and censor Internet communications. It’s a revolution America, a coup you never saw coming because the enemy did not come rolling in with bombs and guns blazing. They came from within and changed your system be free your very eyes, and you were blinded to it because they appealed to your sense of decency and confused the issues with abortion and welfare reform and other rhetoric whenever someone brought to your attention that you and your families may, at their whim, be in need of public assistance. You sold out for those comforts you convinced yourself or in reality let them convince you that you can’t live without. Wake up America. Realize that the political party is owned by someone else. Find an independent and vote for change. Retake control of our country before it’s too late.
For those looking for a good movie this weekend, I highly recommend Woman in Gold. Hellen Mirren was brilliant as usual, another academy award winning portrayal no doubt, and in a rare dramatic role, Ryan Reynolds was magnificent. The script writing and directing was choreographed to perfection. Flashbacks of Nazi Infested Austria were seamlessly sewn into each scene at precisely the right moment and the shots were a juxtaposition of interesting and interrelated depictions cleverly done to tell a highly charged emotional story without editorial or sapphic flare. Audiences applauded at the end and sat through the credits. Bring tissue as there are a lot of tender moments that catch even the stoic critic off guard. Bravo!
He read so much at the end, that books became his life. He devoured them. They consumed him. Sometimes two to three novels a day. Some say he learned magic and just disappeared. Others said it was a book on mysticism and he rose up into the heavens under an Arabian moon. Perhaps he finally learned to fly and flew away into the night sky. No one knows for certain. When the night nurse went to check on him and pulled back the curtain by his bed, he was gone. One book lay open to a story he had been particularly fond; Icarus and the Sun. I will miss him.
Discrimination is not so much seen but felt these days, like the claminess of the mist from the ocean waves lapping at the shore that settles almost imperceptibly on your skin while walking in winter before the first light tickles the sand beneath your feet. You become numb, detached, and distant. You don’t shiver. You ache. It attaches to you unaware of its existence until you realize that your head is bowed when you walk. You are staring down. You never look into their eyes but at their feet. They’re wearing sandals while you are naked, exposed, and vulnerable. They avoided you, and you them. Why are they afraid?