Archive | April 2012

Breakfast at Ethos…hold the Ethos

I got up this morning to coach an Ethos class at 7am.  It’s important to me and it’s becoming less of a fight with my laziness because I let it be important to me and I support that it’s important to me by showing up which helps make me stronger in the fight.  I imagine if I keep it up the “fight” in this area of my life may just fade into the past…no more energy spent on the suffering.  That’s a nice thought…

I had a chance to write some morning Poetry – morning I find is the best time, or one of the best times, I feel less polluted, more connected to what’s important to me.  It struck me, as I put the headphones on, that maybe I was floating away, away to the surface, away from the deeper parts of me, the deeper parts that would provide the STUFF…where the conflict, terror and love live…I put on the headphones, it felt good, but my mind brought the question up and so I followed it…what I found was I choose to make music coming through the phones a restrictive thing (which is no different from making it an expansive thing – at least in the way I was doing it).  The point is that there’s something underneath the hearing of the music and that’s where I want to go.  I ended up putting the phones on and challenging myself to exist in that moment below the beats I was hearing and then I continued and played with wondering about living underneath sight and smell and sense…

I don’t spend a lot of time questioning my senses or ever wondering what life would be like without them.  Is my life better because I see?  Hear?  And if so, why?  I could keep going but instead I’m going to post the poem I wrote…I do hope you enjoy it, I hope in some way that you find it useful, that’s the greatest I could hope for…

What’s underneath the beautiful chaos
rhythmelodic staccato drop beats pound thump
and I feel like I want to exist on the same level
as the beats
coming up, staying up – for air
playing at this level, where most play
it’s easy easy to forget the day
and why not
with a bobbing head one conquers the world.

What’s underneath the beautiful chaos
the spread of buttered beats on my brain of bread
Can I have my bread buttered
and eat it too
and then lift my head, swallowing the beats
thumping down into the belly
ingesting the horns and bleating trumpets

It’s hard.

But I’m up for it.

I think it’s going to take some time
and that’s only if I keep practicing.
Otherwise I’m going to be bobbing my head
all the way to the grave
snapping my fingers to a manufactured beat
like a drone
directed remotely
How different am I
from the drone.

What’s underneath the beautiful chaos
what’s inside the package
how important is it to vilify your senses
in order to put things in perspective
so that you can be friends again

I am like a soft and malleable sponge
who thinks he is a rock…

and as I sit, plugged in
I struggle struggle struggle
to get beneath the intent of the music
I struggle to hear only noise
and see only light and dark.

I have to do this because there is something
underneath the beautiful chaos.

This is my day.

To all my single friends without kids you so have to read this because you made the right decision and it’s so good that you did and that your life is awesome and I love it and want to be like you and you don’t have kids and it’s awesome!

I wonder what will happen when we all arrive at the destination that we’ve identified as primarily important.  Will it be like the scene in Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy when, with great anticipation, they climb the steps to the computer god, brimming, expecting, demanding, relieved to have finally arrived…will it be like that?  Will we know that we are about to arrive at the destination of our life and in the knowing will our suffering be just about (but not quiet) at an end?  And what if our computer god gives us our version of “42” for the answer to all questions.  (If you haven’t seen the movie you are missing out on the meaning of life…see it and be relieved).

So I’m just not sure where everyone is going and why there are so many people sitting in this coffee shop with straws and mugs and laptops like shields and friends (are they the same) and books and papers…and coffee.  Why do we build so many buildings?  What happens when we build the perfect building, do we stop then, and retire?  I can’t help but feel like we are collectively squandering our gift.  I mean imagine if the masses were fed and actually had enough time to do something other than survive and imagine if they got to see what we were doing and have been doing with the resources we have…eeek.  That thought makes me want to change the world…eeek.  That thought makes me want to have a donut!

I spent all weekend as the primary care giver to my little human…and man am I tired.  It struck me hardest early evening yesterday when I wanted to do nothing but sleep, I even tried a couple times.  “Hey little buddy” I said, “It’s time to go play by yourself for a little while”.  Even though he did – the best I can hope for is 5 minutes and the damage he can do playing by himself for 5 minutes is generally not worth the catnap, even if I can get it.  And then I  began to think about Sally and how she does it, which led to thinking about single parents and then single parents of multiple kids…

Well the fact is, I think, that it doesn’t matter how people do (for the point I am about to make) only that they do it.  The point is:  This fatigue!  This state of tired-ness that permeates every bit of your being.  I’m so tired I need a nap while I’m sleeping.  And the only thing that can possibly change this (If I want to stay lovingly connected to my little human) will be his 19th birthday (or maybe his 16th if he’s ready) and even then I will always have the mental energy expenditure of my creation spinning and making waves in my brain…and therefor in the world.  This, my friends, is the point.  Contrary to those – “To all my single friends, you have to see this video because it’s just amazing about how not having kids is the best thing and you made the right decision and aren’t you happy…” videos – having kids makes you smarter and more able to cope in the world because of the tremendous amount of brain energy you spend while still expending the normal amount of brain energy that you did when you were childless.

There is no cure for the tiredness.  It will never go away – and by the time it possibly could you will be so completely rewired that it wouldn’t matter.  And so, despite my fighting and my desperate attempts at 5 minute naps and my deep suffering about how tired I am, I am proud to say that I despise the “Go The Fuck To Sleep” Book on such a primal level.  It is the worst of us, simply.  The worst.  Yet i understand the motivation behind it and my message – a message – is, if you’re a parent…Welcome to the struggle, don’t fool yourself, don’t attempt to change it.  

Welcome to the struggle!

A lesson in determination

I am away from him now…I have my memories and my desires and sometimes those are more poignant than skin and will, because they are only mine.  But I have to be careful not to slide down the slope of mine-ness, the reliable, comfort of me because it’s lonely there, in the comfort of me there is no other skin but my own.

 

And with that I start my post!

Yesterday my son, the one I am responsible for more than any other, was spending time with his German friend.  It’s been more difficult fostering their relationship, more so than with his Spanish friend.  Sally says it’s because she forced it too much with the German girl (and I have to say, I think I did too).  We were busy, after all, and wasn’t it about time he grew up and just got along?  Obviously not, because he didn’t and now it’s taking us and him and her much much longer to recreate the trust that was violated by simply feeling like our business was more important than his blossoming psyche.  Oh well…live and learn.

Well one of the things that happens now is that either Sally or I need to be around while he is with the German.  We speak to him slowly and directly and eye to eye and tell him that we are going to be doing some work and that we want to do it alone but that we are not going anywhere, that we will be right here at this desk but that we won’t play with him right now because we’re working.  We love him, but we’re not going to play with him right now.  He understands, at least somewhat; I’m sure of it but that doesn’t mean he’s ok with it or, especially it doesn’t mean he’s ok with us leaving or changing our plans.

He frequently up and leaves the German girls presence in the middle of playing to come and check that daddy is in the same place that he said he would be and after leaning on the desk or point at my “Pequter” (Computer) he generally ambles back over to her and resumes his German and his playing.

For some reason, this day, i decided it was important that I leave the house, not the farm in general but the house we were all in, in favor of heading to another house on property that might have had a better internet connection.  I needed to work for the love of god, my bandwidth was not in tune.  So I waited until they went outside and were playing gently.  And I took my chance…

There was no going out the front door, he would hear and then see me.  It was the back porch and then loop around out of site, make the corner and then I’m home free, he won’t even miss me.  I made it out the door, down the stairs…no toddler…up on to the driveway…heading for the corner, no toddler, a couple more feet, just around the next tree…and I’ve got it…wait!  What was that? 

If you’re a parent you know the sound of your child.  You know the sound of a human baby.  There is a knowing before you even realize you know.  Like something old, old inside the humanity or us all that simply gets engaged with parents.  It’s more like a sonar or radar or some type of invisible sense…whatever it is…My son had seen me, and I knew he had seen me and he didn’t care whether I knew he had seen me. 

He had forgotten anything about balls or grass or water or empty cans or rocks or trucks or even the pretty German girl…he was head down, tears full, toddling in my direction.  I was about 50 yards away, how the hell did this kid see me?  I figured I’d simply high tail it up the road, after all it was 100 yards, at least, to the other house and I’d soon be out of his sight.  Good plan.  I picked up the pace.  His cries faded, maybe he was calming, realizing he could no longer see me, going back to German.

I entered the house a couple minutes later, went to the kitchen, plugged in and sat down.  Quiet.  Bandwidth.  Work…wait.  What was that?  No…the house I was in was more than 150 yards away from the other house, out of sight from it, but there it was again, that sound, through wood and glass, piercing the wind…my son.  I look out the window and he is toddling along the side of this house, he doesn’t see me but he’s coming in.  He’s been here before enough time with daddy.  He hasn’t seen me for 5 minutes but he’s turning the corner, I lose sight of him but I know he’s heading to the stairs.  I get up from my seat, my disbelief trumped only by the realization of my choices and what they meant to him which is trumped only by my immense inspiration at the depth and power of his motivation and persistence.  I slowly and quietly unlock the door, like you would when you don’t want the toddler to know you’re there but you want him to be able to enter.  He hasn’t seen me now for 6 minutes and is climbing the stairs.  “Dahhdeeee”  “Dahhdeee”.  The big door opens and strawberry curls and porcelain cheeks enter, wet, seeking…he doesn’t see me, he cries…I move slightly and he turns…”Daddyyyy” he says to me “Dadddyyyy” and reaches up for me.

Immunize

I will not pay.

There is a space, long forgotten, a sacred center that burns with the ferocity of the sun and threatens to, at all times, singe and turn to ash all our contrivances and expectations.  Perhaps, of course, that is why we have built such barriers, thick and virtually impenetrable around this ferocity.  But even our barriers, built of years of misunderstanding our fears, cannot keep out the rumble, the vibration.  Just as there is no possibility of the plates of the earth holding up against the bursting of the core, neither can we ever fully die.  What one may think is death is only highly trained anger acting as the transferring mechanism for the energy of the soul.

-but wait, golf is on ESPN-

I will not fucking pay and I will not behave myself in the midst of the great energy of fear that is the final result and last gasp of those attempting to forget.  And you?  What about you?  What about your rules and your civil society and your road signs and traffic lights; what about you?  Are you proud of yourself and your humanity or are you just getting by, slowly, growing angrier and angrier, unsure of why and even less caring.

There are children who do not know our tricks and there is nothing more important in all of human existence, nothing more important in all the universe, nothing more important in god, than to protect these children from our disease.  We must immunize them from the traits and familiar trappings and comfortable niche of fear, we must put them into the roaring river that drives itself along the rocky and uneven bed and allow them to stumble and climb and find their balance and secret caves and freeze in the water and warm them by our own skin and put them back in again.  There is only one way.

I’ll be fucked if I’m going to pay!  You?

HEADPHONZ

I fight the rhythm

because it’s my new enemy

I hear it like cardboard

tastes

pollution, I say

It’s all backwards

it’s all backwards

do you understand

fight the rhythm

fight it

there’s no room

for your own

while you’re listening

to the rhythm

(but generally, that’s how we like it)

I’m Happy. Beware.

That’s right.

Like flowing water, specs of silt as buildings and bikes and people float by me, colorful and drab, tumbling together, alone, moving.  It’s like fireworks without the noise or the big bursts of light, one minute it’s there the next it’s not.

I walk through the world as if it is there for me.  I wonder what all these buildings are and all these cars and people moving around so quickly or just standing around.  I wonder why they are here; standing, sitting, watching, smoking, lurking, behaving.  All this movement around me but no sound except for construction equipment and giant diggers and the belching of huge trucks and air brakes.  But really it’s quiet until I plug in and then the music comes from the inside out, bursting from the center of my mind, the headphone.

I’m pretty sure that what I think is just a strategy so often I try not to think but then I get confused and if people weren’t so bothered by that, I’d enjoy it more.

So much movement.  Back forth back forth back forth across in out over up down.  I like to climb on the world like it’s a rock and sometimes I wish I could just keep climbing, scaling the walls of office buildings and walking on the roofs of cars.  For now, it’s enough to be confused.

So much movement.

I don’t think it would be bad, I don’t think it’s bad if it was dancing but I think the difference is when you’re dancing you’re happy.

It’s not easy to walk in the world the way I want to walk.  That’s why I don’t do it.

So much movement.

My heart oh my heart, it will never be broken so if you ever here me tell you so you can scream at me that I am a liar.  Liar.  But what, you say, what about your son!  HA!  Your heart never broken…you fucking liar.  If your son died your heart would be broken, you would be broken, you would be destroyed, no longer human, no longer alive, no longer able to breath, no longer living, no longer fighting death, decimated, crushed beyond recognition, beyond memory, finished but never having begun.  If your son died you would kill the world, rip valleys from rivers, tear mountains apart with bloody hands that would turn to stumps, crush the sun with your mouth, roast your insides, decimate the universe and all space and air.  If your son died…

oh my…oh my…

It’s just that I’m so selfish.  And really not more than just a child myself, possessive of my toys and things, feeling that they are me and so I must have them my way, or, or…or what I am I?  My son is like that too…but somehow, I am teaching him not to be.  I’m teaching him things that I don’t fully know myself.  FULLY!  HA!, more like “even”.

It’s like he’s made my life OK!  Like he’s become my reason.  Savior!  I couldn’t find my way before so why do I think I can find my way now?  Because I have something to love?  Like a doll or a stereo system or a really tricked out laptop.  Oh so insidious this human life, this human tendency towards distraction, this human tendency to make it ok especially, Especially when it’s not.  I don’t so much pound the drum as listen to the melody and, if I like it, make it mine.

Well fuck.

So much movement.

Everyone has given up.  No?  No you say?  I would swear at your face now, if I wasn’t so polite and didn’t care if you kept reading…maybe some day.  Everyone has given up and built houses and backpacks and couches and arguments.  Arguments and couches are the same thing.  And so is creativity, unless it out fucking there, out out out out out out out there on a fucking billboard otherwise, sit on it.  Everyone has given up and is now looking up, always, for the meteor, trying so hard not to die, trying so hard not to die.  How hard do you try not to die?  It’s funny when you compare it to other things you do.

We can’t even be foolish anymore because we don’t know who we are.  So we just act foolish.

So much movement.

If I only spent as much time feeding a child who was certain to die as I do blogging.  I’ve probably killed a few hundred kids myself.  I’ve got better things to do.

Tough mutha-fucka’s

Men and their toys are really boys.  Give me a mountain and let me explore for weeks (can someone, um, pay my bills though, pls?).  Tough Mutha-Fucka’s.

The only thing worse than having it backwards is knowing that you have it backwards and not changing directions.

Silly Bitches.

So many silly bitches.

There are only a very few reason why males and females should collaborate.  Money and Love.  The rest is just movement.  Silly Bitches and Tough Mutha-Fucka’s.

After all in the lives that we all lead, what really is there to be clear about, most of us don’t deserve to be clear, that’s why we try so hard to prove our point.  It very important that we prove our point.

But, I guess, after all this…at least I’m not one of the people who thinks things are going pretty well.  At least I’m not one of them.

Watching my son learn German

ImageToday is another best day of my life.  They just seem to keep coming one after the other.  No longer do I think back to this time or that time in the past and recall the feelings I imagine I had, today is the greatest and much of the reason for this is the deepening of my relationship with my son and thus myself.

Today James Arthur is learning German.

I am on the periphery, not a helicopter parent but an observer of this life I, and others, have created.  I am seated, working, accomplishing small daily goals of business thanks to technology and just 6 feet away a girl is counting in German and James Arthur is counting back to her.  “Eins, Svie, Trie” (phonectically)…he says, “Afful” he says (apple) and a whole spate of other German toddler speak.  I get to watch him look at her when she talks, I see his concentration as he hears these words, words that, for the most part, he hasn’t ever heard before.  The girl is very animated in her communication, and very repetitive; he looks on, intent, focused, in this moment he is a physical representation of learning.  I wonder over the fact that he is so quiet and attentive during this time, so intent and present with her and I wonder when I am like that and more what I am like when I “think” I am learning.

What gifts…I think to myself.  But really?  Gifts?  I am very grateful for my life and I understand that nothing is random, nothing is causeless.  These “Gifts” exist because so many others think they are valuable to have in the world.  These “Gifts” are a result of action taken, limits overcome, fears faced and relentless persistence towards upholding certain values.

It makes me wonder what I am upholding in my world.  It makes me wonder how I uphold or if I uphold what is important to me.  Have I simply taken these things in life as “Gifts” to be grateful for and to take, as if presents under the tree?  Have I contributed to making these “Gifts” available to others, to improving them, sharing them, supporting them?

My little human, the one I am primarily responsible for (for at least a few years more) runs into the kitchen, following his beautiful German teacher.  They don’t speak the same language but they are learning, together and it’s time for me to do more to make sure that this “Gift” stays real in the world.  There are people to thank but more importantly there is value to be upheld, human value, the value of joy in the world and the value of teaching children how to be human and in the process…hey look…I get to be more human to!

“Making” Coffee

I am passionate about my coffee.  The oily dark beans, the oily-er the better, are an important part of my daily start.  It’s much more than just a romantic relationship.  So when James Arthur said he wanted to help daddy “grind some coffee” (yes that’s how he said it), I thought, how nice, I can share a little passion for perfection with my son.

Well about half way through what was supposed to be the process it became clear that at least one of us cared nothing for the sacred and well defined art of proper coffee preparation.  One of us was much more interested in scooping beans back and forth between bag and grinder; one of us was excited by the clicking of hard shells as they danced and bounced from counter to floor and everywhere in between.  Daddy’s first impression was “what a mess” and so when Jake said “Yuk at da mess” Daddy’s heart sunk…but only for a minute and then it all changed as I realized:  Boy am I an effective teacher and BOY is he an effective learner.

At that point we both had beans stuck to the bottoms of our feet, they were spread chaotically in every possible crack and crevice, under every appliance…we’ll be finding coffee beans like, Easter eggs, for months and daddy realized, again, how he limits himself and his view of the world…my goodness!

I think now about this limiting habit and I feel emotional about it, not sad, just emotional, like…well…like I have emotions that get covered up by my limiting beliefs, my many limiting beliefs, like there’s only one way to make coffee, like there’s only one use for coffee beans, like there’s such a thing as “a mess”, like making coffee is more important than being present with my son or myself.  So, thank you son!  All the answers are there, everything is right in front of us, whether we have kids or not but especially with kids, especially kids.  Maybe those of us that have manifested children have more to learn, maybe we need more obvious lessons…or maybe it’s just me.  Either way I’m so grateful that I am open to the lessons…it takes a while sometimes, other times it happens more immediately and I’m sure there are plenty of lessons I miss but not this morning, nope, not this morning.

This morning I “made” coffee with my son and it was the best coffee I’ve ever had.

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