Riding I-95 North and South. Empty Nest. (Not)

It’s 1:35 a.m. I’m up. What’s that kid’s tune? How does it go? Head and shoulders knees and toes. Knees and toes. I wiggle my toes, roll over in bed to my other side. Beyond fatigue. Restless. It all aches. Get up and write about it.

560 miles. 4.5 hours down on I-95 S to Washington, D.C. 5.25 hours back in heavy traffic.  Three hours in between clearing out Eric’s apartment and filling a U-haul. Who said girls accumulate more sh*t than guys? Clothes. Shoes. Shoes. Shoes. Box Spring. Mattress. Headboard. Television. Couch. Chair. Dresser. Boxes and more boxes and more boxes. Five flights of stairs. I’m too old for this sh*t.

It started at 5:15 a.m. yesterday. No, that’s not correct. We moved him in almost 2 years to the day. Job in DC. Girlfriend in D.C. Followed by break-up with girlfriend four months ago. No reason given. We loved her. He bristled upon any query. Someone who had become a welcome addition to the Family, Gone. Sad, really.

And it was but a few weeks after we learned of the break-up (via Facebook status change), Dad started in on his Son.

Your job enables you to live anywhere? Why sink $2,000 into rent every month?

Your Mom would love for you to come home.

We’ll get a puppy, really, if you come home.

I’ll knock the wall out between your old room and your sister’s room. You’ll have a giant suite!

Think of the money you’ll save if you move back home. You’ll be able to afford that travel you so love to do.

Did you talk to your Boss about changing your base location to NY?

Are you still paying $2,000 a month rent? On your salary, how do you save any money? [Read more…]

Not a sad story. A sob story.

When he was 4 his mother found him in the kitchen with a knife. He was summoning the nerve to slice off his own fingers. This wasn’t because he was crazy but because he was all too sane and understood correctly that the dysfunctional appendages dangling from his misshapen left hand were the source of his physical agony. He wanted relief… She stopped but also heeded him, and the very next day she scheduled the operation that she had known he might need. There was no avoiding it anymore. The surgeon cut near the wrist, amputating everything below, and soon the boy returned home to figure out the rest of his life.

He declined to dwell on the cause of his defect: amniotic band syndrome, by which fibrous strands of the amniotic sac wrap around a portion of the developing fetus, strangling development. He focused instead on his response…He did that by changing exactly nothing about his dreams. He wanted to play football and so he played football, just like his twin brother, except not just like his twin brother, because his brother had an extra tool — an extra hand — that he didn’t. No matter. He compensated. He adjusted. What he lacked in reach and grip he made up for in grit and speed.

He impressed many people. He repelled some. When he was 8 the coach of a rival team tried to keep him off the field, first claiming that he had weighed in too heavy for the game and then admitting a different reason. Football, he told the boy, was for people with two hands.

“Like I was defective or something,” the boy later recalled. “Like I didn’t belong. And that was the moment I realized I was always going to have to prove people wrong.”

That’s Shaquem Griffin’s story, and it’s a gorgeous, inspiring one when we very much need it. In this rancorous country, we’re buffeted more than usual by reminders of humanity at its worst. Griffin is a glimpse of us at our best — of our ability to reframe hardship as challenge, tap extraordinary reserves of determination and achieve not just success but grace.

He kept playing, and grew into a high school football star in Florida. Kept playing, and became a starting linebacker for the University of Central Florida. Minus one hand, he intercepted balls. Minus one hand, he recovered fumbles. It was something to see, and pro scouts saw it. He was drafted to play linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks this season.

“It’s not some sob story or anything like that,” Griffin wrote in an essay in The Players’ Tribune in March — the same essay where he remembered being treated as “defective.” “It’s not even a sad story — at least not to me. It’s just my story.” …

He was recently chosen by Nike…for its Just Do It campaign. He appears in the campaign’s glorious “Dream Crazy” commercial…

If that doesn’t move you, how about this? That twin of his, Shaquill, refused to go to any college that didn’t also want his brother as part of a package deal. They attended U.C.F. together. They hate being apart, and they aren’t. Shaquill was also drafted by the Seahawks, to play cornerback…

Citizens of that nation showed up for the Denver game to watch Griffin’s big N.F.L. debut. An article by Robert Klemko in Sports Illustrated noted how visibly emotional they were and how they swarmed Griffin’s mother, a nurse, who was there, beaming, on the sidelines.

Klemko contemplated Griffin’s swelling ranks of fans and the games to come, predicting: “They won’t just be amputees, the ones who weep. They’ll be mothers and fathers. And nurses too.”

And me. I agree with Griffin: This isn’t a sad story. But it’s most definitely a sob story.

~  Frank Bruni, from The Amputee Who Showed EveryoneShaquem Griffin of the Seattle Seahawks lost his hand but not his dream. (NY Times, September 18, 2018)


Thank you Susan

It’s been a long day

Everyone wants you to be Atlas,
to shoulder it all. Even the voice in your
head insists you are behind. But I’ve seen
the light in you, the one the gods finger
while we sleep. I’ve seen the blossom open
in your heart, no matter what remains to
be done. There are never enough hours
to satisfy the minions of want. So close
your eyes and lean into the Oneness that
asks nothing of you. When the calls stack,
answer to no one, though you receive them
all. Just open your beautiful hands, born with
nothing in them. You have never been more
complete than in this incomplete moment.

~ Mark Nepo, The Myth of Urgency in The Way Under the Way: The Place of True Meeting


Notes: Quote via mindfulbalance.org. Photo: Laurence Demaison (via see more). Related Posts: It’s been a long day

Monday Morning: “meh”


Photograph: Robert Bahou. “It is no secret that I am drawn to animals, as I find that they exhibit a truth uncommon in photographs of humans. A truth that can only exist if the camera’s presence is unknown, or in the case of animals, misunderstood. Animals don’t prepare themselves for a photograph the way people do, leaving them sharing a truly honest portion of who they are with the camera. This is why I decided to spend 2015 working on Animal Soul, which is now available for sale.”  See more of his animal shots at his web site here.

Flying. On Sunday with Sparrow.

Sunday morning. 6:15 a.m. Driver is racing down I-95 in light traffic. What’s the rush?

Destination: JFK. On Sunday.

There is something unpleasant at its core about cutting your weekend in half, to fly across the country to get to a conference kick-off on Sunday evening. My weekend (Not). A large paddle wheeler, turning, turning, turning, wooden paddles slapping against the water, pausing briefly when the rhythm is broken by a swell.

There’ll be no sleeping in. No lounging in bed. No CBS Sunday Morning with Jane. There’ll be no Sunday morning papers. No pancake breakfast. No Netflix binge watching. No dozing off on the couch under the comforter, windows open, strands of cool breezes welcoming Autumn.

Thoughts alternate between irritation (did you really need to commit to attend this conference) to mild irritation (you could have left on Monday) to resignation (make the best of it pal, a commitment is a commitment).

I open my backpack, pull out my iPad, and find it’s 13% charged. No! No! No! I Swear I plugged this thing in last night. I walk around Gate 24, and then 25 and find an open power outlet at Gate 26. [Read more…]

Miracle. All of it.

Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and beauty of the world.  And it’s breathtaking…

Ever since we discovered that Earth is round and turns like a mad spinning-top, we have understood that reality is not as it appears to us…

We are made up of the same atoms and the same light signals as are exchanged between pine trees in the mountains and stars in the galaxies…

What are we, in this boundless and glowing world?

We have a hundred billion neurons in our brains, as many as there are stars in a galaxy, with an even more astronomical number of links and potential combinations through which they can interact. We are not conscious of all of this. “We” are the process formed by this entire intricacy, not just by the little of it of which we are conscious…

Lucretius expresses this, wonderfully: . . . we are all born from the same celestial seed; all of us have the same father, from which the earth, the mother who feeds us, receives clear drops of rain, producing from them bright wheat and lush trees, and the human race, and the species of beasts, offering up the foods with which all bodies are nourished, to lead a sweet life and generate offspring . . .

Life is precious to us because it is ephemeral…

~ Carlo Rovelli, excertps from Seven Brief Lessons on Physics


Notes:

  • Related Posts: Miracle. All of it.
  • Inspiration: Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

It’s been a long day

Daily life, work you chose and profess to love, domestic detail, the call and reply of other people’s lives, the beloveds mixed in there with everybody else who has a claim on you, the sheer wants and requests, always heard as demands, the gnats of need buzzing. Deadlines. Delivering. Always. Not to mention the weights of the past, hanging like bells gonging from your wrists.

Patricia HamplThe Art of the Wasted Day

 


Notes. Photo: Thainá Reinert (via Your Eyes Blaze Out). Related Posts: It’s been a long day

Monday Morning Breakfast!


Source: (via Newthom)

Flying over I-40 N. With Roy Orbison.

I’m in the same seat, 24E Exit.
On the same plane, an Airbus A321.
On the same airline.
On the same flight.
Returning home from same city, AA1263 DFW to LGA.

To my left, across the aisle, and up one row, is same lavatory.

And here they come.

Wife, I’m guessing, is guiding him. They are 10 rows up, and shuffling down the aisle. He’s tall, 6’4″ est.  Middle aged, gray hair. Collared short sleeved shirt. Khaki pants.

Thick, black framed Roy Orbison glasses.

Blind.

The two of them make their way down the aisle. I set my iPad down to watch. She’s smiling. He’s grinning. Not a care in the world these two. And, You? A billion interconnected miracles happening every second for you to be you, and for you to see this moment. 

My index finger reaches for the volume button on my iPad to turn off the device. You can see the button. You can see the text on the screen. You can see your bag under the seat. You can see the zipper on the bag as you open your bag. You can see the compartment where you wish to set it in. You can see the two of them approaching. [Read more…]

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Let me begin again as a speck
of dust caught in the night winds
sweeping out to sea. Let me begin
this time knowing the world…
is grinding and sighing all night,
and dawn comes slowly…

Philip Levine, from “Let Me Begin Again,” 7 Years from Somewhere: Poems


Source: Mennyfox55

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