Size of Sorrow

My sister and I have noticed some changes in our father.
Whenever we talk to him about ‘old times’ (instead of just sitting there staring vacantly out the window) his eyes fill with tears. He’s not totally crying but something is definitely going on.
We wonder what’s really going through his mind?
It was this thought and some help from the band “Tears for Fears” that are responsible for the inspiration behind this post.
I didn’t plan on posting tonight but sometimes you just have to let some of your writing go.


the Size of Sorrow

Carbon-copy days
Stain my mimeographed life
Wondering if today is some strange and future tomorrow

Time meanders away
some perpetual 36-hour day
But what is the size of sorrow?

a Fool on the hill
a sad silhouette of your absence
what remains breaks the heart of the borrow

Tomorrow is near
like an invisible tear
I’m wondering what is the size of your sorrow?

~m

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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 . . .

~m

Not enough love in the world

I found a crumpled piece of paper on the train the other day and could see there was some writing on it. Being the perpetually inquisitive one, I picked it up and flattened it out.

It read:
I watched you sleeping
you’re beautiful

A simple, eloquent and somewhat heartbreaking note rolled into one (kind of disturbing, as well).
I wondered about its recipient as well as its author and how long this obsession had been going on. You just don’t see someone one day and write a note like this. This has been quietly simmering for sometime.

I’ve watched people sleeping on the train and more often than not, it ain’t pretty.

This must have been a very different scenario. Admiring someone from afar but never getting close enough to touch must be a terrible kind of living hell.

Maybe these two people knew one another but one of them couldn’t seem to bridge the impossible chasm between them for reasons unknown.
Six words rich in meaning written on a carelessly dropped (and crumpled) piece of paper. To me, it smacks of a significant sense of loss and incompleteness for both parties involved. The note isn’t the issue here as much as the story hidden deep within the text.

I told my wife about it and she wondered if the note was even delivered or if its author crumpled and dropped it, a thought that hadn’t even occurred to me.
Words like this have a weight and possibility to them and I can’t imagine not letting them reach home.

I think back to the number of times I gazed at Pamela from a distance, afraid to approach her for fear of rejection and embarrassment.
I know I fell in love with her face long before I knew her soul. Needless to say, we run deeper than the oceans.

And though the waters are much rougher these days than we’d both like, I consider myself a lucky one; my message in a bottle was ultimately delivered and read and I thank God my words found the still waters of acceptance.
I’ll never know any more about that crumpled note, but I wanted to give it some light hoping in some small way that it too, might someday find its way home.

~m

Buffalo Theory

One night at Cheers, Cliff Clavin explained the”Buffalo Theory” to his buddy, Norm…

“Well ya see, Norm, it’s like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members…. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers!”
Props to Beuks for the find.
~m 

Yellow

Had to share this.
It’s from my good friend Yvonne . . .
Wish I could take credit for it

~m

The yellow shirt had long sleeves, four extra-large pockets trimmed in black thread and snaps up the front. It was faded from years of wear, but still in decent shape when I found it in 1963, home from college on Christmas break, rummaging through bags
of clothes Mom intended to give away.

“You’re not taking that old thing, are you?” Mom said when she saw me packing the yellow shirt.
“I wore that when I was pregnant with your brother in 1954!”

“It’s just the thing to wear over my clothes during art class, Mom. Thanks!”

I slipped it into my suitcase before she could object.
The yellow shirt be came a part of my college wardrobe. I loved it.
After graduation, I wore the shirt the day I moved into my new apartment
and on Saturday mornings when I cleaned.

The next year, I married.
When I became pregnant, I wore the yellow shirt during big-belly days.
I missed Mom and the rest of my family, since we were in Colorado and they were in Illinois.
But that shirt helped.
I smiled, remembering that Mother had worn it when she was pregnant, 15 years earlier.

That Christmas, mindful of the warm feelings the shirt had given me, I patched one elbow, wrapped it in holiday paper and sent it to Mom.
When Mom wrote to thank me for her “real” gifts, she said the yellow shirt was lovely. She never mentioned it again.

The next year, my husband, daughter and I stopped at Mom and Dad’s to pick up some
furniture.
Days later, when we uncrated the kitchen table, I noticed something yellow taped to its bottom. The shirt!

And so the pattern was set.

On our next visit home, I secretly placed the shirt under Mom and Dad’s mattress. I don’t know how long it took for her to find it, but almost two years passed before I discovered it under the base of our living-room floor lamp. The yellow shirt was just what I needed now while refinishing furniture. The walnut stains added character.

In 1975 my husband and I divorced.
With my three children, I prepared to move back to Illinois. As I packed, a deep depression overtook me. I wondered if I could make it on my own. I wondered if I would find a job. I paged through the Bible, looking for comfort.
In Ephesians, I read, “So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will be standing up.”

I tried to picture myself wearing God’s armor, but all I saw was the stained yellow shirt. Slowly, it dawned on me.
Wasn’t my mother’s love a piece of God’s armor?
My courage was renewed.

Unpacking in our new home, I knew I had to get the shirt back to my mother the next time I visited her.
I tucked it in her bottom dresser drawer.

Meanwhile, I found a good job at a radio station. A year later I discovered the yellow shirt hidden in a rag bag in my cleaning closet. Something new had been added. Embroidered in bright green a cross the breast pocket were the words
“I BELONG TO PAT.”
Not to be outdone, I got out my own embroidery materials and added an apostrophe and seven more letters.
Now the shirt proudly proclaimed, “I BELONG TO PAT’S MOTHER.”
But I didn’t stop there.
I zigzagged all the frayed seams and then had a friend mail the shirt in a fancy box to Mom from Arlington, VA.
We enclosed an official looking letter from “The Institute for the
Destitute,” announcing that she was the recipient of an award for good deeds.
I would have given anything to see Mom’s face when she opened the box.
But, of course, she never mentioned it.!

Two years later, in 1978, I remarried. The day of our wedding, Harold and I put our car in a friend’s garage to avoid practical jokers. After the wedding, while my husband drove us to our honeymoon suite, I reached for a pillow in the car to rest my head.
It felt lumpy. I unzipped the case and found, wrapped in wedding paper, the yellow shirt. Inside a pocket was a note: “Read John 14:27-29. I love you both, Mother.”

That night I paged through the Bible in a hotel room and found the verses:
“I am leaving you with a gift: peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really love me, you will be very happy for me, for now I can go to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do, you will believe in me.”

The shirt was Mother’s final gift. She had known for three months that she had terminal Lou Gehrig’s disease. Mother died the following year at age 57.

I was tempted to send the yellow shirt with her to her grave. But I’m glad I didn’t, because it is a vivid reminder of the love-filled game she and I played for 16 years.
Besides, my older daughter is in college now, majoring in art.
And every art student needs a baggy yellow shirt with big pockets . . .

Maybe

I’m a real strange guy sometimes (other people may have a difference of opinion) but who do you know that listens to a song on an Ipod and thinks, “Man, that would be a great song for my funeral!”

I said that exact thing to my wife tonight and she looked at me with that ‘you are gone’ kind of look.

Now I’m not obsessed with “getting my halo” but isn’t it at least human to think about it now and then?
Maybe it’s even normal . . .

Or maybe I’m just in love with all the wonderfully and mortally-challenged euphemisms associated with “sleeping with the quiches”. (so much for the overuse of adverbs, right?)

I’ll admit that thinking about caskets and what to wear for that “eternal suit” is out a bit there (Wake me in my favorite “Jazz” shirt with Ornette Coleman on it, please) and may actually signal a need for serious professional help but I’m thinking about this from an entertainment angle.

Alright, many “earth baths” are dreadfully sad.
With all the nasty diseases that plague this planet there are arguably more “sad” deaths than “happy” ones, if you know what I mean.

Maybe I feel the way I do because of the way my mother died; which unfortunately is the same way my father will die.
That really sucks and there’s nothing remotely funny there.
But some of the memories are funny; and we need desperately to remember some of those. We have to.

I want people to walk out of the church after my service and say, “Man, what an awesome funeral! Great tunes and I never laughed so much in my life!”

I sell Lenny Clarke cigars; maybe he’d do my eulogy for a box of Arturo Fuente Chateau’s.
I can only hope.

Death is just way too serious a thing for me, I guess.

I honestly think that when you “mail in your final warranty card” you also put an end to all of the never-ending bullshit you could never deal with when you were actually breathing.

Obviously, breathing was something you immensely enjoyed doing but hey, that’s all over now, buddy.

Maybe you get gills in the afterlife.

It’s all just a big maybe because no one really knows (except for maybe Smith, a closet theologian at heart)

I don’t mean to make light of taking part in singing with the angels but it is part of the overall human experience.

All I ask is that my family sees me off with a few laughs, as long as I go somewhat naturally.

Is that so wrong?

Once again, another big maybe . . .

If you’re curious about what song inspired this post
(and you like a cappella religious/gospel music ala Take Six) check out Eventide.

There are a few copies selling for pretty cheap and I have to say the singing/arranging is quite impressive.
Amazing actually . . .
Check out “For All the Saints”, a song you’ve heard many times before but never like this.
I thank my buddy Eliud for the CD.
Made my ride home easy tonight . . .

(Talk about scraping the bottom of the blogging barrel
for a post, huh?)

~m

Goodnight Irene

On days that I open the store I’m on the train at 6AM and visiting the land of Nod by 6:15.
Early morning trains are relatively quiet and sleeping is an acquired and needed task I’ve grown quite used to utilizing.
It must be my internal clock but my eyes automatically open right after the train leaves the Yawkey stop (Fenway Park) and I’m still barely awake by the time we get to my stop at Back Bay which is only three minutes away.

The other morning I got up from my seat with all the zeal of an 85 year old man and made my way to the stairs leading to the nearest exit.
I saw a woman standing by the door waiting to get off when my heart stopped.
Though I could only see the left side of her face she looked just like my mother.
I know my mother is no longer here but I found it interesting, maybe even semi- sweet,
that the mere sight of another human being resembling her can still make my heart miss a beat.
This woman’s hair, her eyes, nose and the shape of her mouth; even her clothes all screamed my mother’s name.

She must have known I was staring because she suddenly looked up at me, almost through me, smiled and left the train.

Sleepwalking my way to work, I passed on my usual cup of coffee from Au Bon Pain.
I guess I was still a bit dazed from the surprise encounter I’d just had and decided to continue sleepwalking through the surreal fog,
my scattered memories trailing close behind me.

~m

Pizza?

Borrowed this from Raincoaster.
She’s got mad skillz with the blog meme . . .


What Your Pizza Reveals


You have a hearty appetite. You are likely to complain if a restaurant has small portions.
You are a very picky pizza eater. Not any pizza will do. You fit in best in the Northeast part of the US.Your taste is rather complex and sophisticated. You consider yourself a gourmet – and a bit of a snob.You are dependable, loyal, and conservative with your choices.

You are cultured and intellectual. You should consider traveling to Vienna.

The stereotype that best fits you is metrosexual. Your friends secretly agree.

What Does Your Pizza Say About You?