When God Winks

I am currently reading two books: “Book of Shadows” by James Reese and “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage” by Alice Munro.
I always have several in the backpack.
The count was three as of earlier this evening before I finished
When God Winks” by SQuire Rushnell, a belated birthday gift from my sister
(actually, wicked belated :mrgreen: ).
WGW is a book that explores the deeper meaning of coincidence in our lives.

God Wink
; a personal signal or message, directly from a higher power, usually, but not always, in the form of a coincidence

My sister bought it for me simply because she and I are intensely familiar with God Winks.
There’s this.
Or this.
Or this.

The book goes on to explain that these instances of coincidence (or serendipity, if you like that better) are signposts from the heavens that we’re on the right track; cosmic signals that we are not alone.
I’ve had many “winks” in my lifetime.

A few years after I began writing, I entered a contest at Writer’s Digest.
Ten people could win $100 in WD writing books and a year’s subscription to Writer’s Market, a WD site that helps find a home for that oh, so lonely priceless manuscript.

Months passed and I forgot all about the contest BUT I was still writing.
I remember sitting at the computer one day and staring at the damned blinking cursor thinking, “What the hell am I doing? I can’t write. This is stupid.”
Feeling disgusted and totally unoriginal, I closed Word and checked my email.
Word of the Day.
Writer’s Digest.
Writer’s Digest?
I opened the email and started yelling.
I won.
Ask my wife. I NEVER WIN ANYTHING. Truth.
A wink to be sure.
And hey, I’m still writing, right?
Now I pass the pen to you guys. I love coincidence and I love winks.
Tell me about one.
Come on, now. You have at least one if you really think about it.
If you haven’t, you’re not looking hard enough. 😉



12 things my daughters have taught me

Having three girls, there are things that as a man you just know, or don’t know.
I’ve been thinking about this for sometime and have come up with a list of things they’ve taught me.
Sometimes it’s just observing their bizarre womanly ways and sometimes I get a hands-on lesson.

  • I can spot a Vera Bradley handbag from 100 paces. (yeah, I know. Scary)
  • Orlando Bloom is hot, but Jensen Ackles (Supernatural) is way hotter.
  • Folding laundry is quite natural now except when it comes to folding a bra.
  • “I love you, Daddy,” loosely translated means, “I need something and you will get it for me.”
  • Girls can be downright nasty to each other.
  • Nothing dries tears quicker than a trip to Hollister.
  • They know the ins and outs of Itunes way better than I do.
  • They can use the T9 word when texting on their cell enabling them to send me the “Gettysburg Address” in less time than it takes me to text the word, “Ok” and hit send.
  • There are countless stars in the sky, but every one has its place.
  • Never honestly comment on a new hairstyle. Just say, “It looks very nice.”
  • Not all facial moisturizers are created equal.
  • Patience. (4 women getting ready to go out for a Saturday evening is excruciating)

Look for a future post and update.
Learning about women is an ongoing process and I’m still a beginning student, apt but beginning.



Walking to South Station tonight, I noticed the elaborate and somewhat intricate weaving of people on the streets of Boston.
Sometimes my walk seems perfectly timed as I pass pedestrians in an orchestrated sort of dance, just missing bumping into someone while neon pedestrian lights go white and I walk across the streets unscathed.


Maybe . . .

Something happened last night that I have no reasonable explanation for.
It’s quite simple but it went something like this:

I began thinking about this particular song and went to YouTube to see if I could at least find the video, which I did.
As I listened, I thought of one special person that I had to send this song to.
There was a reason for this intense feeling but it’s a long story, and not for tonight.
I thought about opening my ITunes and buying the song and sending it on but decided it was too damn late to start futzing around with my Nano.
But I did check my Gmail and was surprised to see an an email from a dear friend of mine and in the title it said, “Here you go ~m”.
Curious, I opened the email to find the song I’d just been listening to attached to the email in an ITunes format.
Goosebumps, blessed goosebumps.
There was no logical reason for me to receive this email but there it was. Go figure.
It was an ultra-heavy dose of serendipity, possibly chance but I smiled as I dragged the tune into my ITunes folder.
The story gets more interesting though.
I sent the song sailing over the waves of the internet to a soul that I knew it would appreciate it.
Turns out the song was desperately needed and right on time.
The chain of events that made this happen made me realize that many stories have already been written.
And I felt so blessed and happy to be included in this one.
For Lent (yes, it’s Lent for us Catlicks), I have given up nothing but I have vowed to get on my knees on a nightly basis and pray.
My prayers tonight go out for my friend Gerry and his nephew, Brandon.
Have a serene weekend, folks . . .
See all of you next week.


ps. the candle in the post is for Brandon.
was his birthday. Sleep in sweet peace, young man
and to the special lady that has sees the Southern Cross at night

the memory of Him

I realized something unsettling and bit surprising after the last visit with my father.

I’m having some difficulty in loving what’s left of him.
Don’t get me wrong, I hold his worn and trembling hands, maybe rub his back if the situation allows but inside I feel almost nothing. And it bothers me, and hurts the soul.

Everything I loved about my father was on the inside – I understand that, but in some ways, I feel hypocritical and shallow for going through motions that seemingly resemble love. But for now, I love the “memory” of him.
I used to love the way he signed his name: Walter Murphy – clear, precise, orderly; bold black hand-written lines that typified his organizational mind, his once brilliant mind.
Even when my mother would guilt him into making a tossed salad for a camp cook-out, you could tell by the way it was put together that my father had made it.
I love the fact that he was a man that loved his family passionately, though we were only shown glimpses of that paternal love.
He used to laugh so hard sometimes that tears would trickle down his cheeks, affecting my mother in such a way that she would usually pee her pants from watching him laugh. They were made for each other, I think.
Living inside a disease like Alzheimer’s has as many advantages as disadvantages; life goes on and you subconsciously forget about the pain.
But like the snow in the winter and the falling leaves of autumn, time doesn’t forget.
It taps you on the shoulder in subtle ways, maybe to help us remember what once was.
I visited Moonbeam’s blog last night and was incredibly moved by this post.
I understood its content and felt its bittersweet sorrow.

Unlike Moonbeam’s post, this one wasn’t difficult to write because it was written many years ago.
I think I’ve edited the damn thing ad nauseum. On the inside . . .
Sometimes it just takes a tap on the shoulder to put it down on paper.
Thanks for the tap, Moonbeam.
And Dad?
Maybe I’ll see you in my dreams tonight . . .


Creamsicle Moon

A creamsicle moon frosts the twilight treetops somewhere in the distance . . .
a dark and serene sky, the canvas
I need a sliver of this star-filled tranquility for thousands of reasons
and my soul sleeps

It’s at the corners of Solace and Hope
that I realize the Boulevard of Dreams is gridlocked, my mind cries out for home
searching desperately for an avenue out . . .
and my snow-covered soul sleeps on

A dying creamsicle moon gives birth to the ever-reddening dawn
and somewhere a candle flickers, a baby cries and
an already fragile world offers up a ray of hope that shines on my soul,
still fast asleep
but searching for that elusive sliver of tranquility
and a reason to finally believe . . .



I brought a journal on vacation and didn’t write a damn thing in it but I did read a few dated entries. They were written in 2001 when ironically, we were on vacation.
I wrote mostly about my girls and the mounting sense of personal disappointment in my ability (or lack thereof) to understand them and their changing lives.

Things have changed dramatically in six short years as this journal entry
from today shows . . .


My wife and I went out to dinner last Wednesday night.
It had been a crappy day weather-wise on the Cape and the girls wanted to stay in for the night. They ordered some cheesy Chinese and picked up a few DVD’s to watch with their orders of Boneless Ribs, Crab Rangoons, LoMein, Chicken Fingers and buckets of Duck Sauce.

Pamela and I hardly ever go out these days so quite happily off we went.
Vacations can be unusual in some ways because you rarely spend that kind of time together during a normal week.
It’s agetting to know you {again} kind of scenario; not painful in any way, just different.
We talked about drinks, appetizers and entrées, the place we were staying in, our tentative plans for the next day and numerous ‘remember when’ type memories.
Pamela ordered baked scallops and I had to smile when she tried them and made a face.

What’s the matter?

Your scallops are so much better than these. Why is that?


I shrugged my shoulders in my best ‘I don’t know’ fashion.
But I knew. I make them much better and always have.
We finished dinner and decided to take a walk when we noticed the day’s rain had stopped.
I had a cigar and she, her thoughts.
We walked past a Mini-Golf place that had soft-serve. (don’t they all?)


You wanna get an ice cream?


Sure, she said.


A kid-sized twist for the blonde and a regular sized for me, the old guy.
We retreated to our own thoughts as we usually do when we eat ice cream when we saw an older couple drive into the parking lot.
I nodded towards the car and said,


That’ll be us in like 20 years.


You think so?


Sure, I said.


I don’t know if I want to come back here without the kids; too many memories.


But that’s what this place is all about for us . . . memories . . . and some real good ones too.


I don’t know, she said. It makes me sad . . .

The Cape has been a very special place for us over the years.
We’ve watched our daughters grow from diapers and playpens to young and beautiful women that can now drive and pick up their own Chinese food (which they did).

Our lives are changing and that’s a difficult pill to swallow sometimes, especially for a mother that loves her girls as much as I know she does.

I tried to convince her that the girls will never really leave the Cape.
They’ll be at every ice cream stand from Hyannis to P-Town that we visit, every beach that offers up a sunset like the one we all saw years ago in West Dennis; they’re everywhere we could ever need them to be.
Somehow, I got the feeling she didn’t quite believe me.

I will say I now have a deeper understanding of a women’s love for ice cream.

We walked back to the hotel holding hands while the earth continued to spin and the stars continued to blink on.




Cerulean Blues

Impossibly blue skies
cradle my cerulean thoughts of you
of years passed by; whispers of the silence of time

In a quiet chasm of my heart
lies a room; a place so deep and dark
illuminated by a lone candle,
the everlasting memory of a soul

Hours melt into days, days into years and still I remember-
the life that you all but sadly forgot
the flame flickers and my soul dies just a little noticing the flame’s fundamental core
a cerulean blue . . .
the unforgettable light and color of you

love you, Mom
7.15.05 – 7.15.07



This was my NASA Image of the Day on my IGoogle homepage
(and just too damn beautiful not to share)

From NASA:

“This image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows infant stars “hatching” in the head of the hunter constellation, Orion. Astronomers suspect that shockwaves from a supernova explosion in Orion’s head nearly three million years ago may have initiated this newfound birth.

The region featured in this Spitzer image is called Barnard 30, located approximately 1,300 light-years away and sits on the right side of Orion’s “head,” just north of the massive star Lambda Orionis.

Wisps of green in the cloud are organic molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These molecules are formed any time carbon-based materials are burned incompletely. On Earth, they can be found in the sooty exhaust from automobile and airplane engines. They also coat the grills where charcoal-broiled meats are cooked.

Tints of orange-red in the cloud are dust particles warmed by the newly forming stars. The reddish-pink dots at the top of the cloud are very young stars embedded in a cocoon of cosmic gas and dust. Blue spots throughout the image are background Milky Way along this line of sight.”

Click on the image above to go to the actual webpage