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“To Run with Fear”

Once again “waking up to hear the news”…. Welcome October. With this came yet another tragedy. The innocence lost to those who have never known now carry their wounds, the fear and uncertainty of yet another senseless shooting that society or it’s very best, cannot make any sense of.  It creates a sense of unity, one that cannot be known until this happens in ones life.  It wasn’t that long ago, I too was a “product” of this. A gunman enters the grounds of innocence, with attempts to cause harm. Adrenaline flows, stomachs churn, the fear flows, and we don’t know if we will make it out alive, unharmed, or shot… never to be the same again.

We have history to identify that “we’ are not alone in this crazed environment of lost innocence. Somehow this alone keeps me united within a group of those affected, traumatized, but surviving until it happens again, to someone , somewhere, as it continues to do. Then “we” live through our past pain, their recent pain and suffering, as “we” did, not so long ago.

Do I dislike firearms? Even with what I have experienced, I would say “no”. People have said to me that this surprises them, but to me, it’s not the guns alone, its the one pulling the trigger. We can be as safe as we think we are, and situations arise beyond our control, but when it’s all said and done, life is a matter of survival, a matter of  staying afloat of your surroundings, and realizing that “it can never happen to me” is just a myth. What it has become is, you can only “hope” you never experience something so horrific as going out in this world innocently, but finding yourself and those around you, struggling to survive.

Running with fear will not end, as sad as this has become. We now stand with hope, care and empathy to the loved ones of those who did not make it , who were injured and who, now, have felt the emptiness of such travesty, ugliness & uncertainty in this world.

As it was once sung to me, by one who has passed …just… today…

“Well she was an American girl , raised on promises
She couldn’t help thinkin’ that there was a little more to life
Somewhere else
After all it was a great big world ,with lots of places to run to
And if she had to die tryin’ ,she had one little promise
She was gonna keep ”

Hold Steadfast.

 

To the Finish Line

There is something very beautiful about a soul running, walking, jogging towards the finish line for people who are surviving in this terminal world. My eyes have seen many things over the past decades, nothing as beautiful as hundreds of people running for the cure. When I hear those words, cancer free, I am most joyful to know someone’s fear has diminished, even it’s for that one moment. That one moment when all hope has been restored, the hope that was lost for days, weeks, months. Yet today, in the carefree day of the pure cleanliness of the air, those beautiful souls were in motion, living yet another day in celebration, celebrating life, something others only come to know when faced with death or the fear thereof.

Stand strong as you approach each day. Take on life’s challenges, live life, love life, be in tune with your heart, feel the air around you, fly free, speak of love, live with love, for you too will one day meet up at the finish line.

“Just to Belong”

I have traveled many a mile in this world, with rock and roll….I have worked with some of the best people, the high profiles, the legends, and I have used caution, much caution, to not only protect myself and my personal belonging but the personal life of those I have walked and worked beside. And with this I say….

She was a simple girl from a small town, with little life. We worked some together in our careers, but this was short lived. I cannot put my finger on just how we became closer friends , so I had thought, but this became a reality. Myself, as with many, want to believe our friends are the coolest, neatest, funnest friends ever. We see past the short comings, the “negatives” if you will, and keep moving forward in this relationship we have developed over time. I was one, whom, not only looked for the best in my circle of friends, but would take heed to the behaviors, the words, the actions, just to protect myself to the best of my ability.  As our years went forward, we “played” well together. Didn’t agree on everything but this was alright, there was nothing majorly wrong with disagreeing. Afterall, different personalities, different eyes see different things, I was the one person who would let many of the “little” things go. Life is too short for “fussing and fighting my friends”. It wasn’t until the two became a group of friends and I slowly came to realize just who were true to my “circle “.  

Life can teach us some very harsh realities , and when we are not prepared, we get hit harder than we rightfully deserve. The bottom line is that I not only suffered in this ordeal, but innocent people did as well. People that are friends of mine, that I share very secret parts of my heart with. For someone to use another for their own personal , warped gain, to invade the personal lives of other innocent people, just for the sake of belonging in their sad, empty life, is morbidly sad to say the least. We can be one of those who have the best judge of character, but our hearts, care, compassion and concern are preyed upon & devoured by these selfish, heartless people who just want to belong in this life. As a result, I have once again learned “not ” to compromise my heart, to stand strong to my very soul, and to eliminate the bad people from my life, the ones who use others to their advantage for the soul purpose of their own pathetic self and lifeless, false being.

As I went out one morning….

 

Moving forward…”Cast in this unlikely role, ill equipped to act, with insufficient tact, one must put up barriers to keep oneself intact”.

What would the Homeless say?

One thing about the Trump/Clinton Election is that I feel it made the world more cognitive of their Country and the People. The unfortunate part was and continues to be the negativity, violent behavior and well all around , inappropriate responses from our Society that has left and continues to leave a bad reflection on we, as the people, and every part of our well being.

I have been involved in more, than I cared to be, conversations about this topic and so I decided to give up the ghost and take it to the streets. At that time I had made the decision to go to a nearby park in my neighborhood that I knew a lot of the homeless people would gather. I wanted to hear what they had to say.

One weekend afternoon I took a 15 minute walk down to a park, that is adjacent to tennis courts for the rich, lemon & orange trees , an old swimming pool, emptied, with a dog park nearby, small hills, and beautiful trees that provide the much needed shade for those who pass through on a hot Phoenix day. This is the place where I spoke to the homeless folks who frequent and reside in this area.

As I walked around, dressed down, with my backpack and water bottle, I approached my very first male, with his torn plastic bag of hidden needs, unknown to all those who passed by. A very educated speaking man, middle aged, talks about the pros and cons of either choice for presidency. With rationale, he was actually the first sensible adult I had a conversation with as to the whole presidency and this country’s needs and improvements. Much to my surprise, with not having watched television , due to no availability in his life , he was up on the recent issues going on in this country. His selection of words were of a positive manner, nothing negative or derogatory, for having slept in a park the night before. When asked about the Women’s March that had been going on in downtown Phoenix, he was unaware of and asked about the information surrounding this. He questioned this, however, once again was very positive about this and felt that its quite alright for people to exercise their rights provided it does not lead to violence.

I then came upon a female, with her dog, facial piercings, dirty hands, hair unclean, wrapped in an old torn , thinning blanket. She smiles as I walk by. I turned around and walked up to her, stooped down and struck up a conversation. She had an alarming attitude in a positive manner. This lady had so much to talk about, was very pleased in her tone that someone took the initiative to stop and speak with her. She had a great outlook on life and stated that things will come around for her. She feels she hit a bad spot but that its only temporary. She too was grateful for the time spent, where she could speak her feelings, voice her minimal concerns of this world and its leaders and be recognized for it.

A scruffy type looking male was my next visit. Barefoot, dirty feet, matted hair, torn pants at the knees, oversized long sleeve shirt but full of smiles and very focused. He feels that America is strong and can overcome any President. He suggests I look at overall history and how we went through tough times in the past, and we pull through stronger than ever. When asked what generates his positive energy, he tells me to look around, look up at the sky, the trees, life, and then he proceeds to tell me something I have been telling people all along…”someone somewhere has it worse”.

Three testimonies of seven from that day. Three positives from three people whos only home is where they lay their body at the end of their day, their worldly possessions are but a small plastic bag, a weathered blanket and a shopping cart full of , well, I cant even say, because none of the items in it were identifiable to me. Maybe, just maybe, we , as the people, need to look around, look up at the sky, the trees, life, then maybe the current events & incident wont be as bad as society, our very own, tend to make them out to be.

 

 

 

 

 

“Ballad of a Friend”

” You are my own, I hold you close. Come when you wish, I want the most. You are as the sun shines, and I don’t mind. You are my own, I hold you close. I make a wish, my wish comes true. You dream for me, everything we do. We care and pray. It all comes as a shine. You are always near, my dream is clear. You are a star, I’m always a tear, And we share our days, my love is there, for you always. And I don’t mind. We are as one, you hold me close. You dream a dream. I make it true. I hold you close, because I love you. You are as a deep blue sea. It’s all we ever wanted to be. You are my own, I hold you tight. It all comes down to me , everything you say. I always wanted you, you’re there in every way. You are as a love grows, but I don’t mind. You are my own, I hold you close.”

“It Mattered”

She just sits in her rocking chair, feeling alone. Broken down and shattered, as if to anyone , it mattered. – It was only a little piece, But to her, it mattered. And now it’s broken. just a small token. – It doesn’t matter, and who cares? She just sits, alone, in her rocking chair, without a care.- Maybe someday soon, it’ll be over. Time will tell. She’s broken and shattered, Because to her, it mattered.

As the Sun goes Down

Neil Young wrote “every junkie’s like a setting sun”.

I’ve watched what society calls “the homeless people” walk with what little they possess, down the streets as the day fades away and the sun begins to set. And I wonder where they go, where they sleep, if they gather up with other people that society has forgotten. What becomes of these people, these children of the street???

For approximately half a of a year’s time, while I would drive to work down on 7th Street near the I-10 Freeway, there was a man, shaggy dark brown hair, never really saw his face however I always seemed to notice his dirty old brown backpack that he would either have draped over his back or on the ground. He would generally just stand alone , or at times with another homeless unclean man, just “hanging out” so to speak. It was over the passing months to where he became someone familiar to me, a stranger that I had no name to match, no personality, no history, no reasoning as to why he was in this place in life where nobody cared. But then there was myself, driving to work, always noticing him, on that corner, as if he was a friend of mine or someone I could relate to just because I saw him so much, until…One hot Summer afternoon as I pulled up by the stop light, I noticed an ambulance, a stretcher, several EMT’s and the brown backpack, sitting on the sidewalk by the ambulance. I knew it was him. The body laid on the stretcher, covered from head to toe with a blanket. And although I never actually saw the body, the backpack was my identification. For that moment, as I drove by and continued on my way to work, I felt a feeling of sadness. I wasn’t sure why I felt this, if it was because of the situation, or that nobody cared, I mean where was his family? Everyone has a family member somewhere in this world. How would his family know he had passed? Would they even care? What if he had no identification as to whom he was, no identifying marks or tattoos? What if no investigation was completed on his deceased body? Who would know he was gone? Did he die in vain? I felt like I was the only one who cared, even just a little to know that he existed on that corner. What have we become as a whole?

And one Midnight’s summer , I watched as a homeless man pushed his cart across the street, slowly, worn shoes, over-sized pants, as he faded into the darkness, not to be seen again.

“and every junkie’s like a setting sun”….for some never to return.