Category Archives: Uncategorized

Invasions And Inversions

 

It’s difficult to underestimate the seriousness that’s expected of us in order to make it through the day.

Any given day.

And somehow, most of us have come to believe that our giving in is all but giving up. But sometimes, giving up – perhaps really more of a letting go – is the only practical way forward.

Growth and charity, balance and wisdom aren’t simply byproducts of a life lived, certainly not one lived without some intention. Rather, they must purposely be pursued, often in the face of harsh conditions and negative influences. Our thoughts are constantly invaded while our time is relentlessly disrupted.

These are all compelling lies. But lies nonetheless still.

Seriousness has its place. It’s necessary and it’s a given. But we remain forever free to step back, to breathe deeply, and to laugh at ourselves and the world around us.

And free, also, to carry on. No matter what comes next.

Peace

Copyright 2019

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Settle Into Your Storm

 

Your anxiousness rises not as a monument to fear, but as a shadow cast upon still fertile ground.

Hold on through the dark, even when surrender and abandonment feel as justifiable as breathing. It is in those moments when the lies are at their quickest and deepest and loudest. But your substance and meaning can never be outweighed, and your measure was long ago taken.

Settle into your storm, it’s been waiting for you.

Longer than you might have ever imagined.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

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Indispensable

 

Think of old age as an early morning SWAT team barrelling into its target. First nothing, then everything. Perhaps now you’ll understand.

A flash, a flourish, some metastasized flesh.

But come on.

At least pretend to offer us some due respect when we argue with the gentle mirror or curse our mutinous legs. Who’s in charge here, anyway?

It’s the same as it’s always been, always will be.

Only now we seem to better understand, even if with feigned wisdom and a sarcastic appreciation for truth. This moment is indispensable.

Just like each one before it.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit Pixabay

 

 

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Infinite Jaggedness, Finite Wisdom

 

Beaten back so many times, we steady ourselves for the final

blow, the one that will do us in, the one that will surely

define us. If we only knew then what we know now

(we tell ourselves), we’d have made something

better of our time. Maybe taken that other

road, or gotten drunk one more time. All

a fool’s speculation, a buffoon’s final

refuge. It’s all the same. But we

somehow always knew that,

looking back. Didn’t we?

 

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Witness

 

He raised his head slowly.

His burnt, swollen eyes pierced the twilight, gutting me from inside out. I didn’t know the how or the why of his being here. This is a lonely, unforgiving place. Yet we both knew that he was home here. Just like the rest of them.

Just like me.

If he had had the courage and perhaps the foresight he’d have likely cursed the ground I walked on – that volatile space standing between us, measured in equal parts fantasy and sanity.

Luckily for me he could feign neither. Not tonight, anyway.

A dollar tossed was quickly pocketed. Then, resting his head back on his knees, he closed the loop, tonight’s sole witness to my existence.

But I just kept walking.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

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Amir And Me

 

Originally a personal Facebook post, I also wanted to share and memorialize this here, on Grace Pending:

A first hand story of humanity –

My Uber driver tonight, a heavily accented young man from Turkey, is working on a masters degree in economics here in the states. His family still resides in Ankara.

Because I needed to know, I couldn’t help but ask how he has been treated since he’s been here. Without hesitation he said that he’s never experienced any racism or bigotry from any American, ever.

None.

Not in New York. Not in Virginia. Not in between. Not in these *tense* times.

But he went on to say that his and his friends’ experience in Europe has been quite different. There, he said, a great deal of bigotry against minorities still exists and is actually growing – especially against Muslims. And it’s even worse in Russia (in America his only experience of true racism came from a Russian national).

I think it’s important that we step back from the chatterers and the twitterers from time to time.

Listen to the people, not just to those who purport to tell us how we think and what we feel about those all around us.

There’s more to it than that.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Just Listen . . .

 

Ron is a big brother, one of several siblings whom he has helped to raise. Ron is now waiting for some paperwork to be completed so that he can collect Social Security and some other benefits.

At 67, Ron didn’t expect to find himself out on the streets. He’s worked all his life. I can believe it: his eyes and his speech this morning were absolutely clear.

Ron told me that few people ever stop to talk with him. And fewer, still, understand just how hard street life is right now, in this brutal cold. Last week, the tip of his left ring finger had to be amputated because of severe frostbite (I saw the evidence). And so many, he observed, are just one paycheck away from living this life (his words).

After five bucks passed between us, Ron assured me that if he can ever do anything for me to just let him know. And that I can find him back here, tomorrow, at the 34th Street entrance at Penn Station if I do need him.

We shook on it.

An “I love you” was directed my way as I climbed the steps to grab a taxi to my office downtown.

And it all happened in about a New York minute.

Just listen . . .

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

 

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The Distilled Soul

 

Even the distilled soul requires meaning and context and light – else it is truly no better than death.

But self slander is not the only usurper of our ultimate licitness. Sometimes, we condemn ourselves through misappropriated outrage and manufactured grief.

But truth demands nothing except recognition.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

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Torment

 

The mind.

An accommodating hostage to chemical warfare in a winner take all battle for control over outcomes – ones never predictable, rarely desired.

Collateral damage today seems more unacknowledged objective than bearable side effect. And even intervention somewhere along the way became a cancerous common enemy with impressively bad timing.

Don’t believe the lies.

I’ll ask nothing more of you right now.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

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The Winds Have Shifted

 

The winds have shifted, the night is closing in.

I am reminded of my boyhood. Days alternating between urgent release and listless defeat. It was easier, back then, to sift through the rubble of failure in search of whatever presumed lesson was waiting for me. And even when none existed, my imagination had no trouble fashioning one out of whole cloth.

The years since have learned quiet submission. Yet they still secretly mock the very contours of reality. And evenness and restraint have grown furious with the cost of it all. Who am I to stand in the way?

The winds have indeed shifted. But I will rage through the night.

Silence is no longer enough.

Peace

Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

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