Saturday, March 10, 2018

Sometimes There is a Certain Comfort in Darkness, Sometimes it is Just Darkness

"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before."
~ Edgar Allan Poe ~

Sometimes There is a Certain Comfort in Darkness, Sometimes it is Just Darkness

I hear people say how fun things are and I wonder what that feels like. I am able to joke around and some things do make me laugh, but it does not last. Anything that I think about doing for myself makes me feel guilty, which is partially a product of being raised in a Roman Catholic household. Sorry, I had to say that.

How then do I illustrate my darkness? It is problematic to explain how and what I feel, so most times, I don’t try. It is a combination of many feelings mixed with anxiety, surrounded by emptiness and loneliness. The next stop on the roller coaster is normally apathy. Which deep down, I mostly don’t give a shit about much. It is hard to feel lonely but not really want to be around people. I have always heard people say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, that’s bullshit. Well, maybe once but if it keeps pounding on you, it makes you cynical and numb. It eats away at you from the inside out and takes a direct path to your soul. Once it gets to your soul, you feel completely hollow inside.

Depression, anxiety, and stress join forces and wreak havoc with your memory, concentration, judgment, health and everything else. You feel trapped in every situation with no hope of ever getting free. What’s worse is that you trap yourself in situations because you think they will make things better. Or you get in situations trying to make things better for someone else in the hopes that it will make your life bearable, but it only adds to your pile.

If I am not doing something which I feel is purposeful, I struggle to stay focused. Staying busy has always been a solid defense system for me. If I could not find purpose in dealing with people at work, I could not do what I do. The business side of things is my job but doing what I can to make it better for the people who I am accountable for is why I stay. Honestly, I could care less about the materialist, capitalist system we live in.  

That is all for now, maybe that is too much. Either way, you read it, there it is. I am not sure how much longer I will keep this blog going. Peace out until next time.       

Monday, March 5, 2018

Eight Days of Hope

“Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air...but only for one second without hope.”

~ Hal Lindsey ~

Eight Days of Hope

As most of you know, I am traveling to the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in May. I have been very pleased with the amount that I have had donated so far, but I have a ways to go to cover the trip and expenses. I am coming up on a deadline to submit the final payment for the trip itself, the night at the motel and incidentals.

This is a service trip with Simply Smiles which is a not for profit organization, based in Connecticut, and volunteers are a critical piece of their work. They also have a year-round children’s home in Oaxaca, Mexico. I have researched them and I believe it is a worthy group doing important work that others have ignored. All that being said, it is not a trip free of expenditures, and you have to take time away from work and family.

I am asking for nothing for myself, but to help me give something back to people who have been long ago forgotten about by many. If government entities past and present had their way, these people would just die off and cease to be a burden to them. I want to help them rebuild their lives, homes and culture, as well as bring hope to the children. Show them that not all white people are the enemy or “Wašíču”. The word originally meant “one with special powers”, but as relations deteriorated, it became a derogatory term meaning greedy and untrustworthy.

The statistics of life on the reservation are past alarming, they are sickening. Unemployment, drug use, suicide and the list goes on and on, while hope goes away. Humans can live without a lot of things, but it is a proven fact that they will not last without hope. If in the eight days I am there I can bring a glimmer of hope, then it is all worth it.
Please help me help them! I have a GoFundMe page for anyone willing to donate. We cannot be silent anymore about the Native Americans and their plight, which was not brought on by themselves. This entire culture and their way of life is dying with them.               Simply Smiles web site

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

It's Better to Burn Out, Than Fade Away

"You do not need a therapist if you own a motorcycle, any kind of motorcycle!"
~ Dan Aykroyd ~

It's Better to Burn Out, Than Fade Away
I dreamed of this for so many years and unfortunately did not trust my gut or myself for that matter, to do what was in my heart. I have never been good at doing what I wanted and too good at doing the “responsible thing”. Until one day I looked up motorcycle safety classes at two area colleges. Once I found a class and time that would work with my schedule and I gave myself five seconds to decide. I counted off in my head and clicked the enroll button. I knew in the first hour on the riding course that I was meant to ride.

It is hard to explain the feeling I get when riding my motorcycle. There is the obvious sensation of freedom, but it goes way beyond a simple feeling. Once I climb in the saddle and start the engine, we become one. No one else is inside that helmet with me.

The similarities of riding and trail running are amazing to me. If you do either activity with others, there are times of camaraderie and times where everyone retreats into themselves and is at peace. You meet someone and instantly have a common bond. There is a pack feeling and as it has been said, “The strength of the wolf is the pack and the strength of the pack is the wolf”. No one gets left behind.
There is something ironically peaceful about being so unprotected and vulnerable out on the open road. Again similar to running through a very technical section of trail when you let your instincts take over and trust that your body and mind will work together, without conscious thought and your spirit takes you where you are going.   

I will ride every chance I get for as long as I have the ability to do so. Are there hazards? Of course, there are but, there is no greater hazard that unfulfilled dreams. Like it says in the song, “It’s better to burn out, than fade away”. Until next time, peace out brothers and sisters! Thank you for hanging out in my strange corner of the world for a bit.    

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Be the Kind of Friend You Need on Your Worst Days

“Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.”
~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr. ~

Be the Kind of Friend You Need on Your Worst Days

Have you ever finished a conversation with a good friend and felt like you just left the therapist office? They listen to you without judgment and offer some thoughts, a little advice and ask the tough questions. The type of questions that you might tell someone else to “F” off. They make you think for yourself while letting you know that you are not alone.

You find yourself telling them things that you don’t tell others. If you are good enough friends, you let them peek through the cracks and dark places that come from being broken. They know to say just enough and know when to back off. They will tell you that you are full of shit if you are, but they will listen anyway.

You may not even get to see them often or there might be gaps of time you are apart, but when you see each other it feels like no time has passed. These are the people that you have well-matched energy with. Hang onto them! It is grueling to deal with someone that is an energy vacuum, especially when you are already drained.

I am lucky to have a few people who fall into the category I have been describing. To those people, I say thank you and I love you. You need to find these people and keep them close and every one of us needs to be this person for someone else.

Thank you for reading my blog and allowing me to share my thoughts with you. I wish you peace and safety during your ongoing personal journies. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Out With the Old and…Here We Go Again

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.”
~ Seneca ~

Out With the Old and…Here We Go Again

Well, as another year comes to a close and we hear the usual hopefulness for the next to be better than the last. This has been the pattern since the beginning of time, I believe. Most people still wait for that glorious, fabled year only to be disappointed yet again by how humans treat each other.

What if, instead of always hoping for something new and improved, we take care of each other? I know way too many people who struggle tremendously to get through every day. We must look after the individuals we cross paths with, to make the world a better place and survive as a society. If we ignore problems around us, we are part of the problem versus being part of the solution.

I will not waste my time wishing things get better in the coming year. If we do not treat each other better, a number on a calendar will not change things. Similarly when people say that “someday I’ll do __” and if you would check your calendars, someday is not anywhere on there. And guess what, it’s not on next years calendar either.

Stop waiting for the lollipop and sunshine world and start to make a difference. Commit small random acts of kindness without expecting anything in return. Check on your friends to make sure that they are really alright. Set a good example for young people. Don’t give me that crap that you didn’t sign up to be a role model because like it or not, good or bad, you are. I cringe every time I hear an athlete or celebrity use that line. All I can think of to say to them is don’t be a Punk Ass Bitch.

To all my friends who have gone through, are going through, or when you go through shit, I am here. No matter what it is or what time it is. I will do whatever I can to help get you through it. If I cannot shed light on the situation, I will sit with you in the dark. I have spent a lot of time there and I know my way around.

Happy New Year and as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said: “Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.” No more waiting for someone else to take care of this or that, no more hoping things get better. Give your attention to what is good and what deserves your attention and stop using social media to share sadness and hate. 

So, for anyone reading this, Thank you as always. Go out and spread some love. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Launch the Journey to the Res

“Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.”
~ Francis of Assisi ~

Launch the Journey to the Res

Recently, a good friend sent me an email with a link to a group called Simply Smiles. As soon as I opened it I knew it was for me. There are two places that this group spreads hope; one is in Oaxaca, Mexico and the second is in South Dakota at the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation.
I have chosen to go to the CRST Reservation in May for eight days. I will be living and work side by side with the people of the reservation, helping with projects and activities with the children. This is an opportunity that I am very excited about; to be able to be immersed in the Native American culture and to help preserve that culture.

I am still waiting to receive the specifics and more details about what I need to do to make this trip but, I pretty long walk, that’s why I started a GoFundMe page. I sincerely hope that this will not be a onetime trip to the reservation, and someday, I would like to make the trip to Mexico. If you are able to help in any way, I greatly appreciate it. You help send me there and I will work my tail off to help bring hope to the people living there.

Like I said in my opening paragraph, I knew that this was for me as soon as I read about it. We all are in search of our purpose, and this is part of mine. I will keep everyone posted on the progress leading up to the trip, report on events during, and how it affected me. I am looking at this as part of my spiritual awakening.

Thank you for reading! Please share this and the link to the GoFundMe page with anyone you think might help. Stay tuned!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Altering the Future with her Grace

 “Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.”
~ Helen Keller ~

Altering the Future with her Grace

Last week when I dropped something off, I met Sonia, the woman in her 90’s who runs a tailor shop. That is pretty impressive in itself, and then you talk to her. She tells me that she is a Holocaust survivor and there is a movie that they made about her coming to a local theatre in December. She is very friendly, sweet and pleasant to talk to, not to mention interesting.

This week I went back to pick up my vest and I brought her a couple of candles from work. She was very excited and said that when people do things like that it gives her hope that there are still good people in the world. We talked a little about people, education, greed, her life, and movie. As she leaned on the counter I looked down and saw the number tattooed on her arm. Honestly, you could have knocked me over with a feather. It made everything so real. It is one thing to hear someone tell stories and share things that have happened to them. I have seen pictures of identification numbers on people but I do not believe I have ever seen one in person.

The thing that stuck in my mind on the drive back to work was the fact that after all that this person has been through, she still looks for the good in people. I can only imagine that for every story she shares, there are just as many that she does not talk about. She was a young Polish woman, seeing people dying at the hands of the enemy as well as by their own hands when they could go on no longer. People were torn apart from their families, tortured, starved, beaten and degraded to the point of feeling sub-human.

There are those who wish us to forget about this along with so many other injustices and atrocities. It is critical to our survival as human beings that we do not forget these events, lest we continue to repeat them.  We must love and respect each other and celebrate our differences, whether it is skin color, religion, nationality or whatsoever. Why is this so hard for so many people? Is it simply an excuse to build power and control or can there really be so much hate in people’s hearts?

 If you ever find yourself around 95th and Nall in Overland Park, KS and meet Sonia for yourself. Also, watch for the movie Big Sonia in theatres for special showings. Check out for information. In the meantime, engage strangers in conversation and learn something about them.

Peace out until next time!

Sometimes There is a Certain Comfort in Darkness, Sometimes it is Just Darkness

"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream befo...