Which Road Leads To Peace

I heard a story for the second time yesterday about following peace.  At first, I didn’t recall that I had heard this story before.  Obviously I needed to hear it again.  To protect those that may not want to be named, I’ll spare the full details of the story.  But ultimately, the message is follow peace.

What does that mean?  The first time I heard the story I was quickly able to pinpoint the decision I was facing and which one was right – which one would bring peace.  It became much more obvious and blossomed in front of me and I was able to move forward.  I was at peace.

This time; however, I’m finding complexity in the answer.  What once brought me near instant resolve has me now questioning the very fabric of what makes up my life.  Am I at peace?  Am I following peace?  Do I know what peace is in regard to this situation?  No.  I don’t.  But I do know that I am not at peace and I am not following peace.  Which, strangely enough, is a step ahead of yesterday.  Or maybe it’s behind, as at least yesterday I was delusional.

I remember a time when I used to hear people say “Ignorance is bliss” and I would wonder how that could be true.  Looking back, I was clearly the ignorant, because now I understand the bliss that is lost.  If only I didn’t know…  Clearly that is not the way I really want to live my life but there is that bittersweet taste left behind when the ignorance of a situation, a friend, a job, a life, whatever it is, washes away.  Is the best path to salvage and correct, polish and fix.  Or is it walking away.

What methods do you use to determine the best path?  Well in the words of the Cheshire Cat I leave you with the thought – that if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.

The Year of the Snake

Hey, it’s my year!  The year of the snake.  In making this year’s bucket list I had a few different goals, well ok that’s2013 redundant.  But seriously I’ve done this enough times now that I have a basic sense for what I can realistically do in a year and how to push a little further.

So this year I wanted to have a few activities that I made public from the beginning.  What you see is only the public version, I think we should all keep a little something just for ourselves.  I also wanted to have a few activities that could easily include others.  Biggest challenge there, I don’t really include others in much and have a limited circle of nearby friends.  Enter bucket list item – make friends.

Without further ado, I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes of 2013 and what surprises I encounter along the way.

2013 Bucket List

  • Reiki Level 2 Certification
  • Excel Level 2 Certification
  • Make Friends
  • Start a writers group that meets mostly monthly
  • Write a book
  • Publish a book
  • Acquire a massage table
  • Learn Scottrade with my dad
  • Take at least one long-weekend trip locally
  • Meditate Daily
  • Try something new in exercise
  • Spend a day on a farm
  • Take Rhy horseback riding with Darian
  • Encourage others to advance in their lives
  • Tour a local brewery with a friend
  • Take James to see Coheed and Cambria
  • Host a backyard bonfire and barbecue

Did you make a bucket list or go with traditional resolutions?  Either way – I’d love for you to share!

An Excerpt From An Untitled Work

Almost two months ago I set off on a journey to write a book in 30 days. I did not complete the bull-riding-400challenge, but I worked at it, enjoyed it, and learned a lot.

You know it’s crazy that I learned little things, some I already knew that were driven home while others were completely “aha” moments. I think NanoWrimo; even though I wasn’t a winner, was a huge personal success. I did something I was literally terrified of doing. And that’s awesome.

Without further ado I give you, another excerpt from this project:

She smiles and her soft brown hair cascades down her shoulders and she looks at me, sweet. Johnny, hating your father until the end of eternity won’t bring me back either. It’s not what I want her to say. I want her to tell me that he should burn. He should have died instead of her. Instead she tells me that love is what created me and that if I’d let that love in, I’d be more like her than him.

The tears start to swell up under my eyes and before I can stop it I’m crying. Denying aloud that I’m anything like that beast, the murderer. The evil bastard incarcerated the majority of my life. As my anger swells she’s smiles and looks at me, asks me why I can’t open my eyes and see.

And I do exactly that. I open my eyes and scream as fistfuls of grass and clods of dirt come out in my hands. Pounding at the ground, terrified by her betrayal. I wanted her to tell me that it was ok, that I could go on hating and it wouldn’t do a thing to me and that he deserved whatever punishment he got, guilty or not.

What? Guilty or not? Where did that come from? Crazy thoughts, I just can’t think straight because there’s too much to face. I throw the grass and run. Tears streaming down my face, I swipe at them with my sleeves and fumble for the keys. Unlocking the door and bolting myself inside.

Pounding the steering wheel I feel like someone’s just unleashed a bull and the site isn’t going to be pretty. Push to start, crank the music, pull away from the cemetery like I’ve just seen a ghost. But I have. And she’ll never stop following me.

The sounds of my visit trail behind me with a little Chevelle pouring out the windows with bass blowing intensity.

“…Lawful, vengeful, awful, friendship, misfits
Bits of feelings, thieving, fits inside revealing
Time to censor, censor, realize
Censor, Censor, no friend of mine…”
Chevelle, Same Old Trip

p.s. the picture included with this posting is an accurate depiction of how i felt through much of this experience 🙂

An Excerpt; NaNoWriMo Day 4 November 2012

As many of you know all of my writing focus is going toward NaNoWriMo this month. 

Today’s post is an excerpt from whatever this thing is that’s being created over the next thirty days.  Are you writing for NaNoWriMo too?  Share your experiences with  me!

Character: Johnny

…I put the daisies down next to her headstone, like I have every year since I was a small child.  Accompanied by a rock and a note from Gram.  She’s getting to old to come out here on her own.  I sit down and toy with the grass, stroking it like an abandoned dog.  Plucking the random weed here or there.  Digging the dirt from between the words, polishing without polish.  It’s a ritual that helps me come to that place where I feel like it’s ok to talk to the dead.  If I just wanted to talk to her I could do that, but today is different.  Today I need to see the truth of what he did with the evidence buried beneath my feet.

I lie back, stretched on her grave, arms forming a pillow beneath my head, and look up into the bright sky.  They tell me she died at midnight.  To me it always felt like morning.  Morning is when my mother died in my memory.  Morning is when they told me.  So I always come at the same time, ritual.

Feeling for her memory deep inside of me, the way she used to hold me, the sound of her voice.  I close my eyes and extract it until she’s sitting next to me.  Johnny boy, she’d call me, stroking my hair.  Johnny boy tell me what’s on your mind?  Bantering back and forth at such a young age I try to recall the words she used, the inflection of her voice, things I never thought to think of until they became more creations and dreams than actual memories.  The creation of my mother’s voice echoes in my head…

30 Days Makes A Habit

Today we write.  We write for freedom and for love.  We write for the song that’s buried in our soul.  We write for our mothers and our fathers, sisters and brothers.  We write to be forced to turn off the touch pad that becomes a nuisance.  We write for our aching bodies and bleeding hearts.  We write because we can.  We write because we’re alive.

It never felt so good to be in a place like this.  Chasing a dream, ending up in a better place than you had aimed for.  I look around me and all I see is love.  I see manifestation of the possible.  I see focus and drive.  I see me.

What do you see?

It’s time for NaNoWriMo to begin in less than 24 hours.  For the first time I will participate.  Not only will I participate but I will throw myself into this in unimaginable ways.  Ways that I cannot yet tell you about because, well, they are unimaginable.

I’m posting this mini blog for self inspiration.  For a reminder of my commitment.  For the thought of public humiliation as a muse for days where writing will feel like a curse.  I’m also posting this for you, members of the blogiverse; readers and writers alike.  What challenge can you or will you take on and conquer during the month of November?  30 days makes a habit.  Let’s form new ones together.

I’ll end this one with my favorite quote from the NaNoWriMo team, “In November, embrace imperfection and see where it takes you.”