I was dreaming
And the parts that I recall
Don’t tell me what the message was
If there was one at all

Buried in the shadows
Deep inside my mind
Images of days long gone
Of things I left behind

I was thinking
But more in recent days
About the possibility
Of taking up old ways

And so it was I wandered
Along a mental track
Searching through my dreams to find
A path to take me back

Things and Friends

Tools, toys, money, memories, experiences, loves, lives. Why do some people spend years, decades, accumulating things until there is room for no more, then dump it all, just to start over?

Some people I know are purely interested in the acquisition, as though it’s a competition. One person in particular, from early childhood, would set her sights on a specific item, a doll for instance. She would beg and plead and want, until, beaten down, unable to fight any longer, her parents would give in and buy the doll. She would play with it for a couple days, then it would find its way into the toy box, or be relegated to a dusty corner in the closet, to be forgotten while she plotted on her next want. The wanting and getting of it was better than the having.

There are people that don’t care how they get it, they just like having it. The acquisition challenge means nothing to them. They keep score by how much they’ve managed to accumulate, using it as a yardstick, a measure of their worth, and are proud to display for all to see. In fact, their accumulations only have value when viewed by others.

I might be a little of both. It’s fun to get things, and to have them. Mostly it’s inconsequential items, tools, shoes, a new bike, things of that nature. But mixed in there, among all those everyday things are some possessions that take effort and time to acquire and maintain. Life experiences, jobs, relationships. How can some things, so hard to come by, such big things in our lives, be tossed aside like the doll that no longer holds our interest?

I’ve done that a few times in my life, thrown everything away. In one instance, a life that started good then turned sour and toxic, and left me screaming for escape. Another time, divesting myself of most everything because I couldn’t bear what they represented. The reminders of something that I lost, was taken from me, that meant more than all the trinkets that went along for the ride.

I’m in the process of re-accumulating now, if on a somewhat smaller scale. At this point, when picking up things from alongside the road I walk, I want to be more deliberate, focusing on the quality of my encounters. I want things that have value in and of themselves. Friends. That’s what I want to invest in going forward. The dividends last a lifetime, they never wear out, and there’s no way you can have too many.       

On Friendship

I had my fiftieth high school reunion a while back. I still think on the faces, some with smiles, some with tears, but all happy to be together for what might possibly be the last time. There was a memorial table, with pictures and names, of the classmates that have gone ahead, wherever that is. And it makes you think, and you wonder about the randomness, why you’re still here and they’re not. And though you never thought about it before, you wonder what their lives were like. You can hear about them, but not in their words, from their mouths.

You don’t see someone for fifty years, eventually you stop thinking about them, and don’t miss them much. You might not have been close then, but still, you counted them as friends, you had a common bond. It’s only when you learn that they are no longer with us, and realize that fifty years has become forever, you find that the choice, if ever there was one, has been taken from you. That’s when you begin to understand mortality. That’s when you know that the last time you saw them was the last time you would ever see them. They suddenly become more real to you than when they were alive.

 It’s then that you find friendship is truly something to treasure. It strengthens your resolve to never miss an opportunity to be with them, together, celebrating just being here. The hardest promises to keep are the ones you make to yourself, for there’s no one else to hold you accountable. This I promise to myself: As long as I am able, as long as I walk and breathe, and know who I am, I will not forsake my friends. I will not miss an opportunity to tell them how much I appreciate and love them. I’ll keep them here, safe in my heart.

Grinchy Me

Thank you Dr. Seuss, for providing a simple way to define myself.

Grinchy days behind me
Grinchy days ahead
Holidays don’t cheer me up
It’s grumpiness instead
I don’t know why
I am like this
A mystery to me
It’s just the way
I’ve always been
As far as I can see
That’s not to say
I wouldn’t change
My outlook if I could
But it’s so much
A part of me
I’m stuck this way for good