Tuesday, September 27, 2005

These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive...

So runs a popular song, but ever think about what it really means to be alive? What is alive? How do we define it?

There's the basic biological definitions, heart rate, breathing, brain function, but they have limit. It is possible, given enough money and resources, to keep a body "alive" forever. But, is it truly alive? I say no.

How? Come, I will lay it out, and I wager nearly all of you will claim at the end that it is better to be dead than to be how biology defines alive, so empty is that definition.

You are at a party. There's liberal amounts of alcohol present, and you've had a few. Little tipsy, but nothing major. End of the night, a mysterious man comes up to you, and reveals that he poisoned your drinks. You will die within 24 hours, guaranteed. But, he does give you a choice. You can go, and die painlessly the next day at midnight, just off like a light, or drink the second potion he has.

It's a PVS potion. It will reverse the effects of the poison, and you will live whatever lifespan that God has set for you, but you will live it in a permanent vegetative state. No knowledge of the world around you, no consciousness.

What do you do?

I take the last 24 hours of my life, and make them the best.

That leads to my definition of what it is to be alive.

A friend of mine is fond of a saying she saw- "To love is to live. I am still alive". I take that one step further. To love is to live. I am still alive. To be loved is to live well. I live well, indeed. The people who I've wanted to tell how I felt would know. Those I love would know I loved them. Then, I would truly be alive.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Last night, I went to a friend's house for a while. Just enjoying each other's company, and she had a doctor's appointment she wanted company for. After the appointment, I whipped up dinner, and we relaxed.



Nothing to hear but soft breathing and quiet snuggling in each other's arms. Just holding each other close and letting the world melt away, putting my hands to work in a neck rub, and just letting the world go.

Forget the Miller Lite ads, it doesn't get any better than this.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

You know what? No.


I won't allow it.

Not here. Not now.

To the anonymous poster whose purposes in posting seem to be naught but insulting and irritating me, you lose.

How? I'm not going private. Nor am I setting it so only bloggers can post. I refuse to give up even that small bit of autonomy to you. I will delete your posts whenever and wherever I see them, but anyone is free to post here. You may continue to try and irritate me, but it is for naught. Your posts will be removed, and life will go on- just without you.

Why am I doing this? Most of the regular posters here have blogs of their own, so setting the blog to allow only bloggers wouldn't change things much, but it is that rare person who stumbles on this blog that I do not want to deny. I have friends who post who do not have blogs, and simply don't want them. Blocking you blocks them. I won't do that. You're not worth it.

Goodbye, and good riddance.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

All right, now push against me...

How many times did I hear than between 5 and 7? I don't honestly know. Hundreds? Perhaps. Thousands? Possibly.

Now why am I hearing this?

I was born with a spastic Achilles' tendon. Spastic enough and short enough that it would have landed me in a wheelchair at 14 or so, had it not been repaired. Repair? Nothing much, just going in, cutting it, and reattaching it elsewhere. Recovery? Not much, just six months in a full-leg cast, a year in a half-leg, then time in rehab.

So, at the age of 5, my medical file grew a bit deeper. It was already inches thick, this just added another one or two. Cut, stitch, replace. Cast, rehab, hope.

One fine day, cast was finally removed, and I could finally have a leg without plaster poundage. But, one problem. When a body part is immobilized, the muscle around it atrophies- no use. My right leg was fine. My left? Half-size, if that.

Enter Dr. Monk, Chicago. Enter also the "Push against me" command, twice a week, for a full year. Slowly, the mobility and strength came back, with lots of stretching, swimming, and therapy. That left would never be the right's equal, but it could do the job.

Over time, I caught unimaginable hell for that leg. Teasing the likes of which most people have never seen. But, I endured. High school, my gym teacher, also the assistant football coach, introduced me to weightlifting. Suddenly, most of the teasing stopped. Curling 20s like air, pressing 300 on the legs like a feather and benching 150 seemed an effective deterrent- the high school equivalent of mutually assured destruction.

Yet, there was still one lingering aftereffect, beyond the limp I have had since the operation- a fear. Heights and falling. Both are related, as I instinctively treat that leg a little differently- it's betrayed me before.

That largely ended on the last camping trip I went on, on that hill I have mentioned before. Thinking logically, that hill is more than I can do. I shouldn't have even tried. Yet, I had to. Last stand, last hand, last card, just me and Doyle Brunson, staring each other down across the green velvet at Binion's.

The time came to finally push all in, and see what happened. Pocket Kings, Queen, nine, five and Ace on the board. The leg? Pocket Jacks. Last card, that fell when I crested that hill? A King. Game over, three Kings beats Kings and Jacks.

I win.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Floating down the river of a dream.

In case y'all haven't noticed, I'm a country music fan at heart. Always have been, always will be. Yet, there is one song that transcends genre and singer, one song that becomes nearly holy, particularly when sung with sufficient passion.

I present, "The River", by Mr. Brooks. ;~)

They say a dream is like a river,
ever changing as it flows,
and a dreamer, just a vessel,
that must follow where it goes,
trying to learn from what's behind you,
never knowing what's in store,
makes each day a constant battle,
just to stay between the shores.

Life is a river, isn't it? We're paddling along, trying mightily to avoid that downed alder in the water and the rocks below, but never knowing what's along the bend. It may be smooth sailing, it may be rough waters, it may be a low branch that will drop you flat on your back in a second. We just never know for sure.

But I will sail my vessel,
'til the river runs dry,
like a bird upon the winds,
these waters are my skies.
I'll never reach my destination,
if I never try,
So I will sail my vessel,
'til the river runs dry.

These are the only waters in town. We are dropped in a creek at birth, and left to drift. Some of us are lucky enough to find someone who knows what lies ahead and has been there, some are able to find one willing to ride shotgun, but we still know not for sure. We can't paddle upstream and change the path, we can't leave the river of our lives, we can only change how we face it.

Many times we stand aside,
let the waters slip away,
'til what we put off 'til tomorrow,
has now become today.
So don't you stand upon the shoreline,
and say you're satisfied,
choose to chance the rapids,
and dare to dance that tide.

The water is our life, and the river is how we live it. Stepping out of the river? You're letting life pass you by. You're letting the sand in your hourglass slide away, without even a glance.

The rapids and the tide? The fun stuff. It's the 70-degree grade, the spur-of-the-moment trip with a friend, the stolen kiss as the sun fades and the beaming look of joy at seeing a deer wander by. These are not mandatory. You can always portage past the rapids, and avoid the tides by staying mid-river. But, you miss on the challenges and the fun.

Now I know there'll be rough waters,
and I'm bound to face some falls,
but with the Good Lord as my Captain,
I'll make it through it all.
Yes, I will sail my vessel, Lord,
'til the river runs dry.
Like a bird upon the winds,
these waters are my skies.
I'll never reach my destination,
if I never try,
so I will sail my vessel,
'til the river runs dry.

There are rough waters and falls throughout life. Everyone takes their lumps on the river, the fallen branch that hits you in the chest like a prizefighter, the sunken rock that punches a hole in your thin hull, the falls that send us, screaming and terrified, on paths undreamt and unprepared for. There, you have to have faith. THere is no other way. Trust your guide on the river. :-)

*straps on his PFD* Pardon me, folks, I'm going canoeing.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

We call them cool...

Driving home last night, I had the radio going, and one of my favorite songs came across- Standing Outside the Fire by Garth Brooks, prior to his selling his soul to Walmart, that is. ;-)

If there is one thing I truly love about country music, it's the story, the poetry set to music, the rawboned chunks of emotion that are somehow burned into a CD's silicon. This one, though, has always set me thinking.

"We call them cool,
those hearts that have no scars to show,
the ones who never do let go,
and risk the tables being turned."

That's where we all start. From that moment we split from the Source of All Souls, we are clean and pure. No scars, no hurts, no memories of lost loves and lingering pain. Some try so hard to maintain it, that they become as the ones who never let go, and they miss out on the joy of life.

"We call them fools,
who have to dance within the flame,
who chance the sorrows and the shame,
that always come with getting burned."

That is where most of us go at least once in our lives. At least one time, we each take up the headdress, and dance the flame. It may be a career, it may be a love, it may be a life lusted after and wanted with great passion, but we all dance the flame at least once. We may get burned, sure, but the dance can always be worth it. Those who do not dance will never understand the lure of the drumbeats, the feel of flame licking at your heels, and the near-intoxicating joy from doing it right.

"We call them strong,
those who can face this world alone,
who seem to get by on their own,
those who will never take the fall."

This is the dance of a cynic, of a fool that has been burned too badly, or of a coward who is afraid of the pain. They dance, but alone. There is no one at their side, there is but an empty space waiting in the West. They dance alone, and lick their wounds alone. It is a lonely way to be.

"We call them weak,
those unable to resist,
the slightest change love might exist,
and for that forsake it all."

This is the most beautiful dance of all, for it is the one dance that is done with someone else in the ring. The others, someone waited outside the fire, but here, they dance with one they love. The Masculine and the Feminine? Perhaps. Yin and Yang? Sure. God and Goddess? Yes. The dance is not a solitary one, as it is the dance of two souls, each of which has found its match. It is rare and it is beautiful, and it is the dance of a lifetime.

Where dances thou, folks? I know the dance I perform, and I perform it well. :-)

Now with wordverify!

Folks, I started getting a few spam comments here and there. Thus, I have enabled word verification. Just thought I'd warn y'all. :-)