Monday, March 16, 2015

Oubliette

"Sizzzzzz.....Fuuuuuu". "Sizzzzzz......Fuuuuuuu". Ever since 7 days ago those sounds have permanently been embedded into my heart. But we'll talk more about that soon.

Most of us have gotten mad/upset at someone at least once for something that (if we're honest with ourselves) we truly can't remember why it started later in life. Most of us being adults come to make up with said person and "move past" the situation. That said, do we really move past it? Do we love them the same after this "reconciliation"/"amends"? Or do we subconsciously hold it against them in future interactions when something doesn't go right that they may or may not have been at fault for? Do we keep them at arm's length while still holding them dear? When we look out for them and do things for them--do we do it anonymously as to not rock that boat of perdition that we have built for them in our minds? Not for them to ride in but for our personal pain of a past hurt?

Now in your mind make that person a loved one. A family member. Close blood relative at that.

Every decision you make in life creates a new path. A new future for yourself. The same is true with relationships with others.
Bottomless hole...
"Sizzzzzz.....Fuuuuuu". "Sizzzzzz......Fuuuuuuu". Around 12:54pm this past Monday, those sounds were all I had left my close blood-related family member. As his ventilator and other equipment in the ICU of the hospital weren't yet turned off. He was gone. Then as if a miracle about what seemed to me 2 minutes later his heart started beating again with a heart rate and blood pressure. My first reaction was to say out loud, "oh my god, should we call XYZ (one of his daughters that wasn't there)". I was truly in belief that God wanted him here longer. I had unconsciously disregarded EVERYTHING that we were told by the doctors and walked on blind faith/blind hope. 

His other daughter that was there quickly said, "No!". With a look in her eyes of being broken in a manner by which can't be accomplished by broken bones or being without money or any other way. Her eyes told me that she was broken on the utmost internal level. If you knew this woman you would know that she is among the strongest of people (man or woman). Especially outwardly. That brought me back to my senses. I remembered all that the doctors had stated about his condition. I came to terms that this wouldn't last. I turned and looked at my mother as she repeatedly tapped on his body saying, "good job, I know you could fight through it!! Come on now stay with us!!" *tap tap* "Keep it up!!"

Even after he ceased to have those vital signs...*tap tap* "Come on now stay with us!!!" *tap tap*.

This went on for no less than 15 minutes of her literally fighting for his life the only way she knew how.

Suddenly I heard my mother breakdown in a way I have never heard/seen her do before in my life. Her first words of sorrow immediately after I can't really place in my mind because her breakdown at his bedside was soooo utterly dramatic that EVERYONE in that room no matter if it was the nurse, the Chaplin, family members, his daughter's fiancee, whomever...everyone felt the moment was final and he was in fact lost to us.

As if compelled by God my mother immediately called everyone to the bedside to begin group prayer. There was a long pause of which I don't think anyone was sure of who should start other than her. Or if in fact no one had the words to say as they were so in pain. Once she had enough breathe from crying so hardly--she began the most endearing heartfelt prayer. After which the hospital's Chaplin said a prayer.

"Sizzzzzz.....Fuuuuuu". "Sizzzzzz......Fuuuuuuu". At this point these sounds were still going on. They seem to be daggers into his daughter finding peace. Every second of every minute this went on "Sizzzzzz.....Fuuuuuu". "Sizzzzzz......Fuuuuuuu". Despite our request the nurse said she couldn't turn off the machines until the resident doctor evaluated him again.

I found myself in an Oubliette. As the French call "a place of forgetting".

I only loved this man!!

All I could remember were good times between us. When he would teach me about how to be street smart. When he would ask me about things only older and wiser men discuss with younger boys. When I would try to keep him cool and give him my Fila gym shoes or stylish pants back in the day.

Those 6 missed calls in one day...those missed opportunities of him imparting knowledge unto me...etc. They can never come back.

Love your loved ones right now. Forget pain quickly and love even quicker! That is my hope for myself and my hope for all of you. I can't say that I will be able to do so. But I damn well will try my hardest!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

No Shortcuts To Fitness

Fitness seems to be the word that is whispered this time of year by those that want to better themselves. While others that are seemingly already there tend to ignore that ever illusive word "fitness". Then there are those that take "fitness" personally. Personally as it is a huge part of themselves.

Honestly, I tend to vacillate between the aforementioned. That doesn't mean that every day isn't an opportunity to change course and make fitness a priority. Starting with what you take in your body--finishing with what you do with/to your body.

Here is a rare video of myself finishing up a workout session with a sled pull. [100 lbs of weights + my friend's weight (approx 190 lbs) that is standing on top of the sled] #Motivation

Fitness is an eternal journey. Take it with me…let's go!

P.S. Sorry about the video…it only worked when I tested it from my Mac. So, I uploaded it to YouTube for you guys. Works now.

  


Sunday, October 13, 2013

An Infinite Bloom


I’ve always been told to keep fresh flowers around where ever I live. Been told that for so long that it seemed normal for people do so. When I left home to go to college I lost sight of the necessity of keeping fresh flowers around. The comfort, beauty, warm feelings & serenity brought by fresh flowers had been replaced.

Replaced by fast paced college life. Or should I say fast paced college lives. The top of percentages in the class academic life. The member of the college sports team life. The active social life. And on & on.

Amidst all of those fast paced college lives wouldn’t you know...I stumbled upon an undeniably beautiful rose. One of those rare flowers that once you find it you immediately and irrevocably become enchanted by it.

Having studied this rose longer & more detailed than I have studied for anything else--I began to notice something else other than it’s bloom. There was a stem attached to it. This stem was woven with thorns all the way down to the ground in which it was embedded firmly in.

After a few weeks of visiting this particular rose daily; I wanted more. I wanted that feeling of fresh flowers around me. Yet this feeling was slightly different than what fresh flowers emitted in the past but somehow the same.

So I gave in to my desire to embrace that fresh flower feeling and gently grabbed the rose to pull it up from the ground to take home with me. I was very careful not to handle the thorns of the rose.

I got it home with me and put it in water. The rose became the focal point of my home. It seemed that the outside light wanted to demonstrate that it to approved of my rose. As anytime I would become engulfed by the beauty of this rose--I couldn’t help but notice how every ounce of light was equally drawn to the rose. Nurturing the rose like a mother’s blanket on a cold day.

In my obsession with this rose I had forgotten about how fresh flowers aren’t meant to last forever. We have to replace them with new ones. Like we did in our house when I was a child.

How could I replace this rose? Why would there be such a gorgeous creation in this world only to have it wilt away? Should I freeze it as it is? Preserving it’s beauty & joy. No that would eliminate it’s warmth, it’s passion, it’s serenity...

So I stuck with that rose until it finally died. Oddly enough just before it’s death I held it close to me. This time I forgot to be mindful of the thorns & the rose cut my hand badly. So badly in fact that I bled enough to frighten my housemates. They thought I should go to the hospital & have it looked at. I told them, “no, I’ll be fine. It’s not as bad as it seems.”

When in fact I knew it was worse. 


You may have guessed by now. There were real fresh flowers often in my childhood home. However, they weren’t the fresh flowers that this story is about. The fresh flowers in this story are love. Love is ever changing. Daily.

That’s why the rose in college was different but the same. It’s because it was a woman I had met. Falling in and out of love with her over the course of years. Desperately holding on even when it was obviously beginning to wilt.

Oddly enough I gave my first rose to a woman since her the other day. Even more odd is the fact that it was a beautiful rose--yet until I came back again to see this woman I noticed it hadn’t fully bloomed. You see the rose was beautiful when I picked it out. But until the rose was with whom it was intended it couldn’t fully begin to bloom.

Despite all of these signs and all of this joy...some times when I look at this rose I keep remembering the pain of the thorns. In fact that is how I have spent this evening. In bed alone remembering.

Do I have the courage to plant myself where ever this new set of fresh flowers will grow? I have hope of doing so in an infinite garden. A garden in which fresh roses are born every single day. The only thing in common these roses will have is...

...they will all share her name.

“A life with love will have some thorns, but a life without love will have no roses.” - Unknown

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tears Of Growth

Columbine...9-11...Hurricane Katrina...Aurora, Colorado...Sikh Temple in Wisconsin...Minneapolis, Minnesota...Sandy Hook Elementary...Boston Marathon...how many countless other situations happen everyday just here in the United States (let alone globally) that never make it to the news.

In this world of infinite possibilities for individual & group happiness/fulfillment rests such daily, hourly, minute by minute, second by second tragedies.

A tragedy of equal measure in my mind are those that turn emotionally & spiritually deaf to these situations. Which is as hard to believe as those that to this day deny that the Holocaust took place. Having myself been to visit Auschwitz, Germany to the remains of the once Concentration Camp--I will never be the same.

Tragedies don't always occur on grand scales such as the aforementioned. They also happen at the loss of loved ones, loss of one's self, etc..

I had a conversation with a good friend earlier about the loss of his long time best friend. He admitted that he didn't cry one tear when he found out. That a good portion of himself just froze & wouldn't move any longer.

My point is that in order to resolve to move forward, learn, grow, empathize, & grieve appropriately sometimes you just have to shed some tears. Let your soul weep.

I simply replied to him with this quote that has stuck with me for close to 10 years now...

"We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile and nothing can grow there; too much, the best of us is washed away."

Don't allow yourself (your Oak Tree) be washed away...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Buy, Sell, or Hold: valuing your personal worth

Tools that are given to describe the viability of things are often misleading &/or incomplete. For example, I was reading a “prospectus” (a disclosure document that describes a financial security for potential buyers) for an up an coming pharmaceutical company that was suggested to me. On paper it seemed attractive. Solid VC (Venture Capital) backing with very promising research & development data/results. If I based my decision to buy-in on this stock solely based on the “prospectus” & recommendation; I would buy.

In doing deeper research, I found that in a fairly recent clinical trial there was a 65% rate of severe side effects. This is not something that this company made easily accessible for the public to find out. However, there is a term that people in the financial world use to describe a very significant amount of the public that invests solely on a “prospectus” or what their financial advisor tells them to do...”dumb money”. It’s because “dumb money” is spent casually and often times without the level of thought that matches the value of what they are committing to.

Men & women have many tools that are given to describe the viability of a positive or negative relationship. Much like when “dumb money” invests/buys stock; many men & women stop at the point when they deem each other “attractive” &/or “promising”. Diving in right away with that person. Of course nothing is absolute in life. “Dumb money” gets it right sometimes & the investment pays off. That being said, there are very few “dumb money” individuals in the Fortune 500 or Wealthiest People listings.

Using money & investments to parallel to that of relationships? It’s funny to me that this is where my mind took me. Yet it seems apropos as society often attributes potential success in one to the success in the other.

There was a time that relationships were made solely on which man was strong enough to defeat all other men in hand to hand combat that desired that woman. There was a time that relationships were made solely based on what family would best compliment your own financially & politically (parents decision on who you would marry). There was a time that relationships were made solely on stability that the man could provide for the woman & their future children. None of these start based on love. Simply based on “attractiveness” or how “promising”.

The thing about money, stocks, etc. is that you can’t truly love them. At least not in the way that I have grown to understand what love is. Many can not even love other people. That is because you must first be able to love yourself. In doing so, you learn to respect yourself. Valuing your true worth.

Once you are able to love, respect, & value your true worth you will not be bought or traded for less. Something that happens everyday. As the unfortunate truth is that there is a lot of “dumb money” when it comes to people looking for & evaluating potential relationships. Many men & women are simply undervalued stocks being bought, sold, & traded at a loss. But if you only present a “prospectus” that states that you have been treated as such & will put up with such & such in the past...you will continue to be.
 
Instead I challenge those struggling in the cycle of short selling themselves to take ownership of themselves. To understand your true value/worth & present it to the public. I believe that you will find your relationships to be fewer yet more fruitful.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Patience

I am man enough to admit that I have watched the Harry Potter Movies without fear of being emasculated. In one of the movies Harry visits Professor Slughorn in his office. Wherein Slughorn has a special hourglass. For his hourglass has sand that flows at different speeds depending on the quality of the conversation in the room. If the conversation was stimulating the sand runs slowly. If the conversation wasn’t very deep the sand runs quickly.

Typically the sand in a hourglass flows at a standard rate. Just like time moves at a standard rate. However, one of the points that I took from that scene in Harry Potter was that quality takes time to create. As well as quality takes time to appreciate itself fully. You can have unfulfilling things/moments quickly because they are fleeting…transitory…hollow.

Think of a time when you were most fulfilled in life. How long did each second of that time last for you? I know that one of my memories where I was utterly happy seems to have lasted months in my mind. Notwithstanding, my memory in real life time was only 3 seconds. 3 seconds of quality turned into months worth of blissful memory. To live months within a grain of sand…wonderful feeling.

Now if I were to rush through my life searching for another blissful moment another perfect grain of sand--how many memories would I run past? I think the tortoise understood this when he raced the hare. Slow & steady doesn’t just allow you to win the race of life. It allows you to fully experience life.

Slow & steady…patience...you'll get there

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fake Version of a Fake Version

I know that we all have a small part of us that we keep for ourselves. To a degree that is okay.

Now that being said, we shouldn’t have entirely different people within us that we keep for ourselves. I mean it is very sad when you get to know someone and it turns out that the person that you met was really just their Tuesday, Wednesday, & Sunday personality. That they are an entirely different person on Monday. Another person on Thursday. Yet another person on Friday & Saturday. Or another entirely different person when they are around certain races, cultures, religions, etc..

I know that there is the old saying that most people are only religious on Sundays and/or only on Christmas & Easter (just an example for broad meaning). But only being “your true self” 3 days out of a week? I mean if you have those many “masks” that you wear…how can you truly know who you really are?
The adage “people wear one mask for the public, one mask for family, and one mask for friends” is a copout for halting self-evolution.

Let’s all (myself included) become people that can be presented in all facets of life (inside ourselves & out). No one should be a stranger to someone that they have known for a while—no one should be a stranger to themselves…

Prolonged Disappointment

Right or wrong I am coming to believe that what I call “prolonged disappointment” is a childish thing. For apart of being an adult is the ability to control & be accountable for one’s actions. Don’t we control what our hopes & expectations are? Subsequently, we have the power to change those hopes & expectations when they aren’t aligned with the present & the future that we desire. If we control what our hopes & expectations are & how we view them; we control disappointment. Dictionary states that disappointment is “the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.”

If we control the cause then we control the effect.








Therefore disappointment should only be a temporary state for adults. For children “prolonged disappointment” is to be expected.

When I talked to a friend about this they said, “what about hopes & expectations that I don’t want to change”. I replied, “change doesn’t necessarily mean eliminate”. Change them by changing how you view the timeline &/or measure of success to reaching those hopes & expectations. A starving person would hope to eat…possibly anything. You hoping to eat may want a Prix-Fix Dinner at Michel Richard Citronelle. Same hope but different measure of success.

All of this is to say that everything can be a win if you value what you have gained. Everything happens for a reason & everything has it’s season. Don’t have “prolonged disappointment”. After the initial impact it is a choice how long you remain effected.

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Might As Well Fall In

I don't believe that I have ever posted a music video on here. However, there is an exception to every rule. When I made this page I made it to seek clarity on things that were going on with me & ones close to me. In doing so I thought that it would help myself, those close, & hopefully my readers as well.

In that same spirit--I post this video. It's one that is very basic in lyrical premise but immensely deep in soulful approach to...well listen & see.

Clear your mind...press play

James Blake - The Wilhelm Scream

Directed by Alexander Brown

Production company - Davey Inc.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Busy Signal

Rare these days that you call someone & they actually have a “busy signal”. With technology where it is these days your call will either go to voicemail so you can leave a message--or it will simply ring under the “call waiting” feature.

People on the other hand seem to use the “busy signal” often when it comes to expression & the dreaded “one step to far within their emotionally charged personal bubble” conversations. I have heard many times that people push you away to see how much you care to come back. Or due to their past it is hard to open up. You know--I get that. I really do.

When is it enough though? How many times must someone prove that they care? How long will the past haunt you?

Trying to answer these questions for someone else would be as difficult to near impossible as trying to measure the pain of people who’s family died in the holocaust or slavery. Especially since some people even now tend to “overlook” that these events happened or are even conversation worthy. Measuring another’s pain just can’t be done.

My true question is at what point do the people that are willing to be open in spite of their fears, past situations/disappointments/loss of family members/loss of loved ones/etc…at what point do the people that are willing to not only brave the fire of stepping within your bubble but brave the insecurity of allowing you to step within theirs…at what point has it been “long enough”? At what point has it been “too much effort”? At what point do they dial another number that may not always have a “busy signal”?