Thursday, July 18, 2024

A handshake

Getting the news that a close friend has lost a parent is never easy. While many would think it does remind me of losing my Mom, the overwhelming sadness I feel is that someone I love has to go through what I went through a few years back. That's what brings me down. It makes me angry. We all will die some day, but going out on uncertain terms, on someone or something else's rules, it just angers me. It's what I wish I could take away from people having to feel what I felt. I wish I could bottle it up inside me so they didn't have to feel it. 

I met Rick by chance I would say. The actual details of the timing of his being near my old apartment are a little blurry. I think to drop his daughter off, but not 100%. His daughter, a long time friend who has always cared about me and my family. I had never really known much about Rick. I knew his daughter and her sister, but not him. That day, I got a chance to physically meet him. An engaging man, what for me was an exciting meeting, a firm handshake, a look you in the eye type man. Not someone who was going to overpower you with all the things he felt, but very interactive, welcoming, listening, respectful, cool. I know exactly where I was and everything around me the day I met him. On my city street, some shade on our side, in between the parked vehicles, just rambling and crossing over to my apt for a quick bathroom break. For all the time I had known his daughter, our meeting I felt was destined to happen at some point. We spoke briefly, shared some laughs, and he was on his way down the road....

Fast forward to a time when Rick had to endure some lengthy health issues, my friend visited her old hometown and her house. Walking in the house was to walk into Rick's life. One of inspiration, love of nature, love of the sea, love of engaging people, love of being around people, a cold beer at "Rick's Bar", a home he built, in a part of Pennsylvania that I just would say emulates where God wants us to be. Amongst the trees, the animals, the sky, the water, our family, our friends, our pets, our hearts. Everything I took from his home, stuck inside of me. A man who truly loved just about everything a life could offer. Granted it's in central PA and not near the ocean, his love of the sea also came through. It reminded me of my mom's love for the ocean and all its creatures. The home, colorful with pictures, art work, books, hunting trophies and weaponry....I felt like I was meeting the Paul Bunyan of central Pennsylvania. His daughter shared stories of his favorite bar, him holding court, a funny story here and there, his job, his joys. 

When she shared the news I processed it, but then I just shook my head. I just asked why him? why now? I started to weap, I asked my mom to look after him, as I have done for some other close friends....I cried some more. Something felt off with me from the time I woke up. I couldn't get into a groove. When she told me, I couldn't come up with anything but the fact that Rick is back in nature, with his animals, in the sea, he's part of the Earth, in death, as he sureley was in life. I am selfish that I never got the chance to have a beer with him at his bar at home. I reckon I would've really enjoyed to do that....out there, where all you see are stars and you can dream. Out there where you're a part of the land and not just upending the natural flow of the planet by using all our Mother has to offer. I think about that part about Rick, his love for the Earth, his family, his friends, his love of his life. I shook his hand once and spoke to him on that day. What I take from that and being in his try your damndest to love your life, love your family and friends hard, love Mother grateful, be calm, be cool, be. 

My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth's loveliness. - Michaelangelo

Thursday, July 11, 2024


Sometimes the biggest mistakes of your life can turn into an opportunity to learn and grow and to never make the same mistake twice. I imagine all of us have made many mistakes throughout our lives. Some worse than others. Some with worse consequences than others. Some we continually make. Some we don't know how to stop making. Let go of that image that perfection is attainable. Maintain that mantra that progress is possible. Progress towards the person you want to be. A long time friend of mine recently had gone through some troubles with her husband. She stuck to the mantra of "I can't do this or that cause I have to be the mom, I have to be perfect...." She has said this several times to me over the last few weeks. Usually it is in parallel with drinking a bottle of wine, alone, in her bedroom; while her husband takes the couch somewhere else in the house. I said, "why don't you go out with one of your girlfriends? go get something to eat or drink or just go for a walk....I can't, I have to be home, I have to be the Mom." It was like a record on repeat. Due to his mistakes, she felt that being at home was her only option. It just made me feel sad for her; he had done what he wanted for years, but she feels the need to never leave home and drink alone in her bedroom. We can't be perfect. We're human, we aren't meant to be perfect. We are meant to make mistakes, we are meant to learn from them.....we aren't supposed to punish ourselves for years and years. You get this one life to live.....let it go. 

You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don't have to do anything to earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success - none of that matters. No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here. - Ram Dass

Thursday, June 6, 2024


Get back to who you were when you had nothing and you will appreciate everything you get now that much more. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2024


During my meditiation the other day, a favorite speaker of mine was going through a session that halfway through related to the ocean. The ocean as a metaphor for what we go through in life. Of course, very easy to identify with if you're someone who isn't landlocked. The calm of the sea, the volatility of it, the depths to which it goes, the creatures that live in it, what the ocean brings to us as people; food, peace, power, actual electric power, growth, spirituality, the connection with a high power, the wonder of what is "across the pond", the feeling of jumping right in, the feeling of leaving the ocean behind you and lastly, closing your eyes and turning your back to the ocean as the powerful waves crash into you. Initially they hit your back, you're shocked, they wash over you, engulf you, surround you with love, tempt you with deception of their power, but then they recede, they rise up on the beach and the water fades and you are left there.....definitely no worse off than you were. You are in a sense cleansed by something so powerful, you're amazed you can encounter it just about any day you want...well...depending on where you live. Ha. As a child I loved being knocked around by the waves. The harder they were, the more excited I became. These days, I like to ride it out with them. I want the ocean and the waves to be my co-pilot, my sidekick, my friend. I want it to power me through these days and nights and times where I am not so strong. I want the strength of the sea to fill my heart and power my soul in the ways I have no yet mastered. I want the sea to keep that connection to my mom, my aunt, my Pop Pop and my Mom Mom open forever, so many great memories with them all growing up; ones that I miss so very much today. I want that connection to be salty and sandy, calm and peaceful, exciting and powerful, dark and unknown, crisp and bubbly, hopeful, yet somewhat unpredictable; I guess how my life has been at different points of time. I realize, the sea and me, well, we both just have to keep moving, keep growing, continue to be a doorway of the unknown and what might become. If anything, the past has a connection to the ocean. I would be remisce to not remember that. Alas, the sea calls...

We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back to where we came from. John F. Kennedy

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Mother's Day

Since my Mom passed, Mother's Day is very different than it had been in the years prior. We always met up, did dinner, drinks, gifts. Even when I spent time away from the house, I made it a point to get her something for the house or for herself or a funny card. When this weekend comes around, now, I think a lot about what I would say to her if she were still here. While we can act like it might be some common conversation to discuss daily things and what not, if you lost a loved one and there is a chance to speak to them one more time, I reckon all you're going to do is tell them how much you love them, hug them, kiss them, and just tell them how much they meant to you. My mom was loved, but we often times, in our present, we just get so caught up in other things, we dont really digest the love someone gives to us. Whether it's over months, days, years, decades. I don't have any children, so I don't know the love a parent has for a child; but I have been around kids my entire life. The older brother of four sisters. For many years, from 0-10, it was really just me and my mom. Dad worked a lot. Mom ran the house. I have memories here and there from that age, but I never really asked her, how happy was she to be my mom during those years. Like of course I know she was happy as a new mom. I just wonder what she thought about those days and nights, the different places she was with my dad to raise me, the places she took me, the food she fed me, the tub time the sink at Saybrook Ave in Southwest Philly, the times down the shore at her own parents trailer. Part of me always thinks her and her sister and her mom, her brother and her dad are all there....their Camelot. To all you mothers out there, happy Mother's Day. You make the world move. I miss my mom dearly. She cared about me, but she also cared about many people I cared about and showed those people how much she cared. 


Monday, April 15, 2024


I left the gym and started driving. The cold morning air hit me in the face. It took me back to a few times. Times that are stamped on my mind. We turned the corner of your street and started walking toward town. We would laugh and times were simple. We were alone and the town was still asleep. I don’t ever see anyone but the two of us, the trees, the water, my breath and the heat coming off your face. A cherubic face staring into the cold. It’s sunny out during my memories of these days. It’s always sunny and never gray. The memory of the purity of it all. Lives cross paths of time and space and become connected and disconnected. A chance encounter. Oh. I’ve had a few. I don’t know why the wintertime holds a special place. I think it has something to do with the eyes of the soul and seeing into a person. I can also remember the sadness that was there. The fall was also beautiful. We went through it a few times. One here, one there. I sit in those moments some times. The places have not changed but the people have. I’ve gone back to one place, but not the other for a very long time. Both have spots on my soul.  The darkness do reality does not dim the bright light that did shine during many times. Alas, winter changed to spring, things changed, we changed, and the light dimmed….to blaze again in some other place, in some other hearts. 

Friday, December 29, 2023


I thank you God or whoever controls the dreams. 

You gave me a glimpse, although imperfect, vivid. 

It was color you have never ever shown me. 

A tortured soul living in the past of regret. 

There were some bright moments that caught me by surprise. 

It wasn’t the me from the past, it was the me from today. 

It wasn’t her from our past, it was her from today. 

I can paint the dream, if I could paint. 

I want to write the storyline and remember it.

I’ve never dreamed so hard. 

I woke up thankful Lord. You were trying to tell me something. 

Something I just don’t understand. 

For the life of me, it was all about chasing her, chasing happiness. 

I told you I was grateful Lord. 

I am grateful for her, although she is not in my life in the physical sense; why does she haunt my dreams almost 30 years later. I laugh. As if I have any control…

I smiled at the dream. You never hear anything in the dream. You just see and act. It was dramatic…the same ways it had been dramatic. Life. 

You may have told me all that I am allowed to know….

And that is okay Lord….

At least I have the dream…

I never stopped loving her.