Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

Another Winter Without Snow

The scrape of a leaf outside my door

is a lonely sound I have heard before

from a latent memory of long ago

and another winter without snow.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

Sometimes It Seems All Of The Days Are Gray

sometimes it seems
all of the days are gray
and the doors closed
without a glimpse of the one
who steps across the threshold
you are the one who walks in the rain past the curious stares of dry children in their after school program coloring within
and further along past the empty storefronts waiting for new tenants
you smile at the woman smoking beneath the dripping eaves
the open sign flashing red behind her

inside at home it is warm
the lights cast off the chill
but you know that you can
never ever leave the gray behind

Posted in Musings and Reflections

A Hidden Life – Why I’m Leaving Facebook

Recently I had the privilege of attending a pre-showing of the movie “A Hidden Life.” To say that I was profoundly affected would be an understatement. I sense that there will be other changes occurring in my life as I continue to reflect on the quiet faith and conviction of an Austrian farmer, yet there is one that I feel I must make in the new year.

That change is to leave Facebook, at least the public, manually posting part. (My PeaceGrooves and Lyndaker Inlay pages will update automatically when I post to my blogs for now I think, but I will not be maintaining them or overally obsessing about visits, comments, etc).

I have appreciated connecting and re-connecting with many folks I have known over the years. I have been encouraged by comments and likes for various posts or endeavors I have shared.

Yet I have also been frustrated by the tendency for folks to engage in online discussions that are really not very productive or to present opinions that they otherwise would not dare to do so face to face. In other words, there seems to be a greater appreciation of the relationship, lack of ego as it were, when one does not have the distance the internet provides. There is also an illusion of it being a safe place to share anything when the reality is, it is anything but.

There is a moment near the end of the first Highlander movie when the main character states that with his new powers, if he is quiet, he can hear the thoughts of everyone in the world. As much as I would love to, I can’t, nor can I keep up with the lives of my friends on Facebook. I’m not the Highlander. Nor am I God. I cannot nor should I strive to be omnipresent. And it can be overwhelming at times looking into the rather strange window that persons choose to present on FB. As much as I feel I have something to share too, there is quite a cacophony out there, with a plethora of voices competing to be heard, and so, as difficult as it may be, I am going to remove one voice, my own, from the noise.

I began by limiting the notifications I received, even at the cost of missing birthdays. Still I found myself succumbing to the temptation to visit FB. I continue to be in the process of limiting all of my notifications, because I am realizing that my everyday life is constantly being interrupted and my ability to remain attentive is subverted by the distractions. I have yet to find a notification, however important, that fits the definition of “the one necessary thing.” I must ask myself if I am growing more receptive to the still small voice that calls me from my cave (internet cafe?) or less so as a result.

The older I get, the more I realize that I am on borrowed time, and there is no substitute for real rather than virtual interactions with people. If I am honest with myself I have fallen into the illusion of connection that FB presents. I must also confess that I have sought out validation based on responses or lack thereof to my posts. And I must ask myself if my online presence is truly Christlike or is it quite frankly about feeding my ego?

I must admit that I spend way too much time online. Am I happier as a result? I don’t think so. I also wonder if some of my discontentment is fostered by my scrolling through FB posts. I did see a survey awhile back that stated that folks who left FB were less informed, but happier. Am I the only one obsessed with information, suffering within the paradox of sensory overload yet never getting enough? And do I really want to keep giving away pieces of myself and my loved ones to the internet giants?

Part of this is about taking my life back. Like Pavlov’s dog, I have been well trained. And similarily, no matter how much I salivate, the bell, however loud, is no substitute for real food.

I’m not withdrawing from the world. Rather I hope to be more fully engaged in the world….the real one. I seek less face-time or Face-book, and more face to face. I invite anyone to visit or give me a call. My line and door will always be open.

Or feel free to comment here or zip me an email. I do intend to continue to explore contemplative writing as long as it does not feed the ego and remains prayer, which requires much practice. To that end, I have found blogging quite helpful. Again I welcome your responses and reflections here now and for future posts.

I hope to do more longer length writing. Perhaps on paper like I used to and not so much on the screen. I’ll keep working with my hands. I’ll still have an online presence I think but I want to be fully open to the possibility that perhaps I should have none.

Other changes are in the wind I think as I continue to reflect on what it means to live A (more) Hidden Life.

Posted in Musings and Reflections

Depression 1.8 – The Lie of Being Alone

Elegiac is a liar.

It tells me that it should be my only companion.

That I am alone.

Even in the midst of friends or in the arms of my lover, I am the hollow man. There is no warm heart beating inside my bone chested cage.

I exist in the land of numb.

How quickly the lie of being alone is compounded by other untruths until I am spinning, sliding down the slippery slope, in tune to the grinding chuckling of this wraith at my ear.

It whispers that I am the only one who is broken.

That there are no other hands to hold me or feet to walk with me.

That God does not know me.

That I am not fearfully and wonderfully made.

Until I shut my ears to the mocking beak, look up from myself, and find that I am surrounded by love.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

When You Are Away I Am Lost

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When you are away I am lost.

It is a strange thing this feeling.
I was single for so long and you would think after five years with you
I would be used to your absences.
Yet the opposite is true.

I stay busy so I do not worry when you are in the air.
Your message that you have arrived safely gives me great relief.
Within I alight on more solid ground too.

Our nightly phone calls help
But I realize that I am not as independent as I thought I was
and that I do not mind the difference.

For a precious piece of myself now resides in you.

August 19, 2008

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

Meal Of One

I am awake again at a time when I should not be.

My body and mind, each with their own particular aches, conspire to push me from the bed out into the cold house to this screen I sit in front of with these words my only warmth and consolation. And the thought that perhaps you will read them when you arise to greet the day.

I am a man in the midst of confusion, walking through life as if I am outside on a sidewalk slippery with wet snow. Through the window between a cautious split of the blinds, I see a dark figure in the street light’s glow making the lonely attempt. I stay inside.

It seems that I have always stayed inside.

Isolation is my supper, and my breakfast and lunch too. Fear is the drink. Neither quench my hunger or thirst. I sit at the table with chains holding me to the chair, hearing you knock at the door. I want to answer. The food is getting cold. I am told that I have a choice to reach out. But these chains are heavy, a familiar friend, and I would miss them.

Though I must say that I would prefer your arms around me instead
and your presence at my fearful, lonely table.

January 18, 2008

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

#selfish

image

you can live life
like it is one big selfie
keep your heart
in a bottle on a shelfie

help me
understand
your insistence
persistence
to remain in your
solitary existence
and your resistance
to sharing
caring
for someone else

don’t dawdle
unstop the bottle
take your heart
off the shelf
be present
(a present)
to anyone
other than
your
self

Posted in PEACE GROOVES

While You Are Away

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while you are away
i am a shell of who i am
tossed upon some
beach amongst a
million others but
still so alone

here i will lie
burned by the sun
until you return
your precious feet
moving the sand
beside me
and your gentle
touch finding
me again

Posted in The Sunday Driver: Life in the Slow Lane

Isolato

image

The wilderness wherein you reside is one of your own creation. Your soul has become a barren place.

(This must be your first revelation).

But what is does not have to be.

(That must be your second).

If you gaze intently at the landscape you will see them, intermittent specs against the blistering sky.
If you listen very closely, you will hear them buzzing by.

Cultivate the friendship of bees. They know where the water is.

If you follow them, they will lead you to the well that never runs dry.

(That is your third and final revelation).