The importance of being

I woke up this morning

With a released breath

I didn’t realize I had been holding…

Holding for four years.

Waking up every morning afraid of what the headlines would say

What tweet is out ???

What world leader is laughing at us?


The changing of the guard is underway.

As a Democrat…who read Reagan and his letters and his journals and the same with the Kennedy’s and studied the Clinton’s…

We need a new change.

A real change, another hand up for the People. And real opportunity for everyone.

I am so proud to be an American,

This moment speaks to all of us, every one of us. Democracy works. We do not want to change these foundations.

The disenfranchised and minorities have been watching our leadership,

Our children our daughters…

They have watched as some of us have made excuses and stood by our guy, as the ship sinks in the water.

If anything, we’ve learned the importance of representation…

We’ve seen the hate and the weaknesses

The hypocrisy

The dark underbelly represented

But it does not speak for all of us…

They say we accept the love we think we deserve… this moment …

Every little girl, every wife, every one of us …who is in a situation where we feel like we are not represented…

Can now look at the White House…and they can see representation…

And know,

That they deserve more

They can achieve more…

They can dream …

Every one of us…


I’ve always listened to stories

And I’ve always prayed

And my faith

My conscience, my patriotism, does not allow me to continue to be silent.

I know the importance of voices and representation.

I believe we all can dream. We all can reach for a better opportunity. I believe in dignity. In decency, in leadership.

I believe in a better tomorrow…

For every one.

Not equal outcomes but equal opportunity.

In the stories that make us

The history that shaped us.

We rise and we fall together.


I am always overwhelmed by elections

I’ve seen the flags

The shirts

The hats

And I’ve heard the mental gymnastics

I’ve seen it

But what it speaks is the algorithm

The bubbles we are living in

We have to reach across that

We’ve lost touch with ourselves

And we have a president who stands for nothing but himself and is loyal to no one but demands loyalty…

He’s simply appealing because he appears flawed and human

He’s sinful

And we see ourselves in him

Or we see a father

Or husband that we never really worked through…

That narcissism…

One issue voting?

Pro life?

It’s not going away…

They won’t vote it out, not completely

It’s what keeps too many republicans republican…

I believe we have more in common than we have differences


Again, I’m proud

You should be proud

Be proud


It’s ok to be happy

This is historical

This is a win for every one of us

Regardless of political persuasion

Our future is brighter

We are still a shining city on a hill

And yes, yes we can build a better tomorrow for all of us.

We all have a moral duty

A personal responsibility to our communities and our nation

Our families

To be an example to our children.

To give back.

The eyes of the world are upon us.

And while some of us have been duped

Or played so hard a mental gymnastic

That we cannot back pedal

It’s ok

Because what we are building

Is better for all of us

Our small towns

Our cities

Our churches

Our city halls

Our hospitals

Our schools

Our work places

Our tomorrows

This. This is the America I believe in.

It never went away

It was here

In all of us

It just took us a minute to catch up.


The Dustbowl

Let hell be barred

His saved ones

Know his voice

And he calls them by name….


In the deepest darkest corners

Of the mind

We’ve lost ourselves

And an entire generation

We’ve been so lost

With politics


What is truth?

Suddenly faith

Becomes stranger than fiction

Four years flies by and we forget how to think

God forbid I fail to pray for you

We say Jesus could never be!

He was murdered, he was a good man, well meaning, but he died.

We forget the earth trembled to take him…

We forget the power…of the blood…

We forget that he was not relaxing

Writing a memoir for those three days…

He was in hell…

Taking the keys ….

Jesus said,

In case you forget,

“I freely lay down my life.”

Let that sink in

“And so I am free to take it up again. No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received this authority personally from my Father.”

We want something that feels good

We want something that looks good

But meanwhile the world is confused and burning

Because no one is standing in the gap

Reaching across the breach

Shaking them lose

We have no Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednegos

who are cast into the furnace but do not burn

We have no Elijah


So there is no

fire of the LORD to fall and burn up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and the water in the trenches…

There has got to be someone

in this land

Who like Dietrich Bonhoeffer


It’s the world we leave for our children


“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.”

There is a faith

A calm assurance like David and Jonathan, saying perhaps God will give us favor today…

“I know in whom I have believed, and am fully persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”

We want what we want and we want it now.

We want to talk about the end times

But we haven’t even got enough oil. To make it past noon…

Let Hell be barred, God be right and Everyman a liar. Give us someone with a fire in their bones.

God spoke and put flesh on dry bones ,

Supplied enough for the Israelites in the desert and lead them with a pillar of fire…

But we can’t even wear a mask.

And we think we are prepared

For such a time as this

We think we are ready

For such a time as this

We get so angry

Over religion

And politics


We have all our faith in one man

In Washington

And expect him to meet us where we are and fix this nation….

Maybe it’s not Washington

Maybe it’s not school

Maybe it’s not suicide

Maybe it’s not streaming

Maybe it’s not social media

Maybe it’s not your parents

Or your zip code

Or your salary

Maybe it’s because once upon a time

In Steinbeck’s dustbowl there was a people that knew his voice and could not be moved

And they were his saved ones

And he provided a way….

You can’t hit a target you can’t see…

But you can get up and start walking

And God can provide enough light

For just the next step

And that will make the journey…

God told Samuel to stop mourning….

And he anointed David….

But it was another ten years before he became king…at the age of 30…

Your chapter is not your story.

Maybe the same God that caused a great bang and split the atom and bled the universe that is still expanding

And lay down his life just to raise it up again after wrestling the serpent in hell for three days….to claim victory over the sting of death…

Who turns and looks upon you when you pray ….

The same God that called David

The same God

Who prayed until his sweat became blood….

He is preparing something better…

But we can’t function without WiFi

And we want to put our trust in politicians

And we want to put our trust in systems that fade away

And we want what we want

And we don’t even know what that is

But we want it right now….

I have faith, lord, help our unbelief….

2020 #39

I’ve only written four songs in my whole life, but I’ve written those four songs a million times…[Bob Dylan]
Photo by Barry Feinstein

I think it’s getting worse.

A friend of mine, that I’ve known since I was 15 has COVID…

If I could delete the internet, I would.

How do I write about this?

GA is full, they are shipping patients out.

I think it’s difficult for people to grasp. Because they can’t see it. HIPPA keeps you protected. On both sides.

Four counties around us are struggling with capacity as well. They’ve almost had to close hospitals twice this week.

But people still don’t want to wear a mask.

Our Gov finally made it mandatory.

People say things, like, I just don’t think, surely, the government shouldn’t have to tell us what to do here.

But it’s already clear that evidently, they do.

My county, Dekalb is 1,195 cases etowah is 1,194

That means we have as many as Gadsden ….. let that sink in. We may have, maybe 30 or so icu beds altogether for these areas…

We are fucked.

We already lost this.

I’ve worked through the whole thing, 19 weeks. 133 days. My store has all been tested twice… not because they were sick but because they were scared. They voluntarily got tested. My people are scared. Teenagers. Not even old enough to vote or buy cigarettes.

I can’t be scared. I have to set the tone for the store. If I’m calm they will be calm. If I’m scared they will be scared. If I’m terrible they will be terrible. But they are scared.

I see it. They’ve cried in my office.

They’ve seen everyone leave for vacations. Refuse to wear masks. Give us reasons and theories. That this is a hoax. But now, people are going to start getting sick…. and our hospitals are going to be full. And there’s no where to go.

I’ve been marking the floors so people know where to stand. I’ve been making sure everyone has access to sanitizer and gloves and masks.

I’ve done everything I know to do.

I’ve lost people in my life

I don’t want to lose more people.

I remember when the tornadoes came, how people were scared and numb. I remember how we all banned together and helped each other. How we rebuilt.

I remember 9/11 I remember the sense of community we all had and responsibility.

How we came together. With the world and loved.

We wore T shirts that said Army and I love NY

I believe, I still believe in this state. I believe we can come together again and do what must be done. I don’t have the answers, I don’t know, this has been new and changing for everyone. But, we all can do one thing . Mask up. Social distance.

I’ve been writing more letters and trying to stay home more. I slept for four days on vacation. We all are tired.

Grant that I shall not seek so much to be consoled as to console. To be understood, as to understand. To be loved as to love, with all my heart….with all my heart.

I’ve breathed that prayer for as long as I’ve remembered.

I just want to be good. I want to be there for those I love. For my community.

I want to be good. I don’t want to change into some bitter thing.


Times are the times

The resilience ….

Not everything can be changed

But it can be endured


I hope you kick a hole in the sky

I hope you create your life

I hope you create your own light

I hope….


I had a dream once

I was having dinner with the devil…

He smiled

And he looked at me

And said

“We’re just the same…you’re just too sad to see it…but I’m in you…”

“All of these people, you try to give meaning to…they’ll leave you…because I can give them immediate gratification…all you have is expectations. People are selfish. You’re selfish. In your vanities. In the fact that you believe you’re alone. And that you’re somehow, different.”

I remember seeing the shoes of a politician walk across the platform.

The devil smiled… and said the real show was about to begin.


Your heart might be an empty street

One you don’t recognize

All the trees have died

All the houses are empty


It’s your resilience

It’s your hope

Keep moving

Keep walking

Even when you see the devil inside

Just keep going


2020 #11

Oh child, why are you so distracted by every drop of rain?

You were called, to a much higher platform…

Rise, rise to this platform.

You were called to stand with gods and giants.

With lightning and thunder…

Do you not understand…

The energy released by lightning heats the surrounding air to 50,000 degrees F ?

You can not be touched by negativity…

The rain, is meant to wash you clean…

Do not try and have an opinion on every drop that touches you.

Your calling is higher than that.

The night they burned the mountain


We just want to live

Don’t want to die


We just want the chance to cry

To grieve

To ask the questions why


It fills the bones

This pain


A lifetime of remembering names …

Can we believe the truth

Do we really want to know …


Maybe we are all the same

We just want to live

We just want to cry

We just want to dream

To ask the questions why


Maybe nobody knows what’s going to be

But we can believe the way it ought to be

Stand by me

Stand by me

I think together we could make things

The way they ought to be


Will my heart stand tall?

Can you hear my call ?

When the mountains fall ?

Will you be there ?

When the wall comes down

Could we reach inside

And over this

Can we reach

Better days



We’ve been young

We’ve been old

We’ve been bought

We’ve been sold

Can we reach inside

And over these walls

Can we talk tonight


Will a heart stand tall

Will you hear my call

When the mountains fall…

Could we reach inside

And over this …

So, things are opening up. Here’s what to do.

Disclaimer; I have no cred. I am not a professional. I am a writer. I have spent 20 years in grocery. You obviously can do what you want.

As things are opening up and restrictions are loosening. You may feel some form of emotions and a certain way.

Here’s my advice and just that, advice, mostly, so I have something to write today.

Don’t go to the beach.

Everything has to slowly open, it’s a process, but this also means things can still be restricted again and again.

While people are going other places and restaurants, this is the perfect time for YOU to go to the store and get some supplies (not panicking) but items that may have been out before. Grab a couple of extra bags of rice and beans and dehydrated potatoes.

Items you may just enjoy or crave for every meal. Olives, olive oil, canned tomatoes. A lot of these come from other countries…and right now it’s not a guaranteed supply. Especially for the fall. If those countries stay closed.

If you’ve made a garden, go ahead and get a few jars for canning.

If things go wrong and everything gets shut down again, you will already have your supplies. Yes, grocery stores will still be open, but if everyone panics again, that’s when supplies is hard to get.

If you get a little a bag of rice or what not every time you go to the store , you will have what you need if it gets bad in the fall.

If you have a little extra because you’ve not been spending? Invest it..

When the market is down, this is the time to invest. When things are bad…it can only go up.

If you’re having a hard time, emotionally. Just know, it gets better. We will be ok. What we are learning, Is community. A responsibility to eachother.

Everything is temporary, everything passes. When I went to the house and found my father had passed. When the storms devastated my home town…

When I was in the hospital several times …

It all passes. Keep your head. Keep your focus. Be wise. Be calm.

We will be ok.

I’ll be seeing you.

2020 #2

Someone once said healing and recovery are not linear.

Be soft with yourself

You do not have to be productive

You do not have to be thriving

It is ok to survive

This is the ultimate goal

Survive during this time

These are not normal times

They are extraordinary

So you are responding to something extra-ordinarily…

This is ok

This then is the goal

Not a great summer

A vacation

A calendar date

But to survive

Anything else will be a bonus

Be gentle with yourself

Three steps forward

Two back

Is still progress….

2020 #1

I remember when I was young

2020 seemed like it would be space aged

But it turned out more sci fi

And stranger than fiction

We didn’t get StarFleet

We got blade runner

Everyone’s experience is different

The essentials

Can only discuss among themselves

While drinking

Because it’s becoming part of them

And no one else gets it

While others stay at home

Some may be struggling

For food

For shelter

And others are ok

Enjoying this time


I woke up this morning

I forced myself to get out of bed

In some strange way

I felt nothing at all

Strangely isolated from even myself

I fed my cat

And my dog

They both take naps with me

Looking back

I know I haven’t been to war

But it’s a different stress

A couple of months ago

People were not calling you a hero

You were nudged to go get a better career

Or looked down on

For not having ambition


It’s these jobs



They are this glue holding everything together

And they keep putting more and more on the table

But you wonder

Is any of this real

You work the same no matter what

You smile and you bear it

Every day you try and be better than you were yesterday …

And you worry about your team


It’s not going to war

But it’s a mental war

Because you feel yourself changing

And you know when all of this

Is over

We all will be different

Some of us would have

Lost something, parts of ourselves




Someone we know

Someone we love


Some of us would just be glad to be out again.

Some of us will be bitter

Some of us made more money than we ever have before

While others

Worked harder

And longer

For the same pay


Our pay was cut

Raises froze

And hours cut

And some of us won’t have changed at all…


I stare into the mirror and I don’t see anything, anything at all. I can’t go to sleep unless it’s drinking myself to sleep….

I wonder if maybe all the things I thought were big deals were just my own bullshit…maybe I did fuck up my marriage, maybe I should have tried harder, maybe I don’t do well by myself, maybe I do use people and things and then throw them away…maybe I am my own enemy….


Some of us will be numb

Like a Veteran coming home

Because we didn’t stay home

We’ve been driving through the empty streets of our home towns

We’ve been watching our communities

Taking care of them

Since day one

Some of us will be numb

From what we’ve seen

And from what we had to give

And it will just take some time

For us to come back home to ourselves

Please understand


I try to feel something

While I pour another drink

I watch the sunset and the storm roll in

I feel nothing