President Kennedy was living daily with so much pain, from his Addison’s disease and colitis, along with back pain from a deteriorating spine and back surgery, that it took over 12 medications and seven injections a day along with a back brace, just to keep him going …
He couldn’t even bend over to put his shoes on…
The fact that he even got out of bed was a miracle …
I often find my self thinking about how he projected youth and vitality and strength and change…
This ability to challenge people to be better…
He refused to wear an overcoat on his Inauguration Day
Needing to project youth and strength…
He understood probably better than any of us the power of images and what they do
And the power of
This was before an assassination
And before America lost touch with itself
And lost faith in itself
We know how the story ends
We know all the things that he started
However he is forever fixed in our minds as he worked so hard to be fixed …
Young and filled with hope.
Change is something uncomfortable
Courage, Virtue and faith is something vital to our existence …
As Joan Didion said the center is not holding…
It seems we’ve lost ourselves
And our faith
We don’t trust even our own instinct
From my side of the mountain
After struggling with Crohn’s
Moving and changing careers
I can only say
I’m writing this on the side of new beginnings
And the shadows we fight against
Just within ourselves
The urge to run
To just forget about the cost
To just forget about the thing
To cop out…
The ability to rebuild yourself
To trust yourself
To reach for change
To stay true to your convictions
Is courageous in and of itself
But it is a future worth fighting for
Worth staying for
Worth getting up in the morning for …
So keep your hope
Brick by brick
And line by line
Create a future
And a home
You would like your children to come home to…
Because it’s worth the fight
Even if you hide your shadows and your struggles
You can still build …
It is the courage to continue in the face of everything ….that counts…
I don’t think any of us knows where it comes from, not really. You can set yourself up to be ready for it but you can’t always make it happen.
Nora Ephron said writers are cannibals.
We eat our own.
I’ve always said we were vampires.
Dottie Rambo believed in keeping notebooks near her and being ready always.
It just comes to you, the writing, and you turn it over and see how many lines you can get from a single ray of light.
You try to make it as clear as possible,
So the reader sees what you see, hears what you hear, feels what you feel.
You try to understand it.
What it is to be alive…
To be living…
Maybe our Hearts
are like caves
With burdens of their own
Beneath the earths crust
Sometimes they give in
Like Samson pushing the pillars down
they still hold, where it matters most…
Our hearts like caves
Still have rooms
Still have new ways
Waiting to be mapped
You are still you
You are still new
You are still undiscovered
Even after all this time
There’s a deep ache in the art…
There’s a place you can go
Where nobody knows
How the love you held
So easily be
ashed from a cigarette …
we move from mountains to valleys
So easily used to the news
Are we surviving ?
Or are we just numb from trying …
There’s a dream I keep remembering
Where we follow the shadows down,
we keep creating
Lines across paper
Making our own way …
The sun keeps on setting…
Blood in the water
Says I don’t have much time…
I still have the scars
From all of those nights…
There’s just enough room
To build a new line
word after word …
Chasing some kind of Immortality
a shade of sky
There’s some kind of pain
Some kind of rain …
I’m not looking for anything
But my own peace of mind …
My own solitude
I think I remember
But I soon forget
Wherever we’re going
We have to leave behind …
This morning, I was not feeling it.
I was anxious, sore and tired.
I had 10 pallets to work and it was 3am
(That’s a relatively small truck for us too)
It was my sixth day in a row.
On top of that, we were short handed.
But my boss came in at 4am,
Just to help and give me some pointers on small adjustments I could make to be more efficient with my time…
Every minute counts and those add up.
And the truth is, it’s hard to see and hard to hear sometimes but it really is time management that either makes your day or breaks your day.
It’s usually not the big things killing us.
So easy I was almost mad that I overlooked it…but once I adjusted ….
I had 7 out of 10 pallets broke down and done by 6am.
You need other people to help you grow
You need that other perspective
You can’t win on your own….
You need smarter people in the room
You need to surround yourself with people who force you to grow and challenge yourself
You need people who tell you no…
You need people to help you level up.
That’s how you make it
That’s how you grow
That’s how you learn and how you help those around you grow
And achieve their goals.
Come on back
To the outside of town
Where the dust and the earth and the moon get down …
Get gone now, past the interstate
The city lights
The on ramp
The mile marker
My big mistake
God only knows
We’ve been working hard
Sinful as they come
Can I lay down with you,
I don’t have time
To carry all this hate
Got to lay it down
Got to lay it down
Got to get gone now
Got to get away …
We’ve got to lay it down
We’ve got to drive it out
Past the interstate
Further on out
Where the dust and the earth and the moon get down…
3. Double check and don’t forget to add the butter.
4. Hand written letters
7. Be forgiving as you can. When you reach your thirties everything levels and you understand you don’t have forever or endless opportunity. But you also know, you don’t know all you will know, you have so much left …
8. Reading on Sunday’s with coffee.
10. Old films.
11. Nora Ephron’s essays and books.
12. DVDs and 90s films (it’s really interesting to find out why we don’t have films like these anymore …you lost the dvd and vhs market so they have to have a win right out of the gate and that’s a gamble they aren’t willing to make…Matt Damon talks about it in a couple of interviews.)
13. Used book stores.
15. Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
16. Sweaters and naps
17. Cooking for company.
18. Coffee dates and walks
19. Writing essays
20. I’m particularly thankful for Humira and my doctors and specialist…sometimes it sucks taking shots every week but then I remember all those weeks in the hospital and NG tubes and surgery
I’m thankful for stories
The power of language
We can be anything we want in life but not everything – but with writing, we very nearly do …
Ethan: How are you feeling today boys? You want to do stuff today or just be lazy?
Francis: I’m feeling kind of snackish…maybe the porch.
Ethan: The other day I asked you and you didn’t want to do ANYTHING.
Francis: Well you always want to go cave diving or bike jumping or book stores! Climb mountainy mountains!
Ethan: I asked if you wanted to go to the park…
Francis: Oh…wheely? Wows…I don’t ‘member that…
To have a heart
That makes us heavy
That makes us human
I saw a nurse
Her eyes were glazed
Her face numb
“Is it really this bad?”
She stared ahead as if she was a soldier there again, in battle…
“It was one thing when we were traveling and dealing with it in New York or somewhere else…but now it’s here…everyday. That worst fear…it’s happening.”
Her shoulders and body ached and stiff
From daily, over a year, constantly trying to go against this storm that now covered our maps like red during election time…
To get caught up in a movement and lose your head.
I don’t have to tell you how bad it is
We all have lost
We all have lost
And are losing
Parts of ourselves
Living through science as it is worked out
So much like man works out salvation
Two steps forward
One step back
In the trenches
And we are losing time
Time that we will not get back…
Working through this
You see a shift
In how people want to work
Are willing to work
While my friends
My friends with PHDs and medical degrees
And numb ….
“It’s too late…”
Almost ripped out of a Montgomery Alabama sermon on a Sunday
“It’s too late…”
We work out this struggle with time
With history with ourselves
While living in it
And my heart aches
For mother’s and fathers
For husbands and workers
For small businesses
For our communities
For our children
For the nurse
Who is the only thing between us and god…
For the artist who doesn’t know if it’s even worth it anymore …
If you can keep your head
And stand still
And use the truth that is in you
While all that is around you falls
This is when we build
In the trenches
In the rain
In the storm
While all around us falls
And you are tired
When your faith is at its crucible
This is when you stand
You face life
Its pain and its loss
Its joy and its mornings
And you build
To create a space
For all that we’ve loved and lost
To hold in memory
To not get caught in a quick moment
Some new movement
There is no quick fix in life for anything
There is only consistency
And for this
We stand every morning
Against that storm
And we begin again
Though we are torn
Our eyes look forward
That makes us heavy
That makes us human ….