Friday, July 4, 2008

a poem for 4th of July.

America
land of the free
home of the overweight
the melting pot of slobbery
a refuge for mass consumption
give me your tired
because we love people
that overwork themselves
keep your poor, though
it isnt good for economic growth.

Nostalgia.

We've come so far as a civilization. Cars zip to and fro. We think nothing of it. If someone zipped down the road at that speed 80 years ago, someone would have a heart attack.

I always tend to think of the ignorant bliss they had then. There is a certain luxury of not knowing everything. Now we're so connected, a frog can barely hop without someone reading about it on the other side of the world.

But were people happy then? Much can be said for the joy of simplicity, but look at pictures from a hundred years ago. Where are the smiles? Anyone see any? Only lifeless, joyless faces grimace back.

So maybe the isolation was bad. Maybe we are in the best time ever and the nostalgics need to get bent.

Wait...I thought I am a nostalgic...right...forgot for a mite...

...just a thought anyway.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Art?

As I was out on our balcony looking at the morning sky with Liam yesterday, the beauty of it all taught me exactly what art is- it is taking the beauty of something transient and recreating it into something permanent. Someone painting a sky tries to recreate that sky for all time. Some artists create dreamscapes, taking those dreams and breathing life and permanence into them. Poets describe beauty in words, musicians in song, filmmakers in video. All are taking that elusive beauty and committing it into a medium that can permanently demonstrate that beauty and the emotions that it evokes.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Past has Passed

How often is present beauty mauled by past ugliness? Take Northern Ireland as an example. Beautiful area with culture and history, yet everyone associates it with nothing but violence because of "The Troubles." But now, the troubles are over and life has resumed and the healing has begun. Why is it, then, that images of bombings are the only things that come to mind when we hear "Belfast?" We are much the same way with people. We see someone that we know and all we see are past failures. A great illustration of this comes to mind--

When I was around 4, I was over playing with the girl across the street. She said she wanted to play hairdresser. One problem, we were in her mom's in-home salon and there was nothing "play" about the scissors I used on her head. To this day, her grandma still knows me only as "the boy that cut Amber's hair."

Why is it that people are so quick to forgive, yet so slow to forget? We are all like this in some way. Think of a time you ran into an old friend from high school. Did you remember his game-winning touchdown in 11th grade or did you recall the time he did not quite make it to the bathroom during practice and soiled his pants in front of the cheerleading squad? Chances are, the second one came to find first.

Isn't it about time we learned how to move forward, beyond the past that haunts us all? Let's continue on forward, accepting things, places and people for what they are rather than what they were.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Got Life?

Gina (my wife) has been saying a phrase lately that has really adjusted my outlook on life:

"This is life, you only get one shot at it."

------ We all tend to get so caught up in everything going on that we either look to the past or to the future for inspiration, but what could be more inspiring than now? This is the only chance at now that we will ever have. The future will come soon enough and the past is gone. We can control nothing but now. When was the last time you seized opportunity, throwing past failures and worries of the future to the fire? When was the last time you really lived? When was the last time you invested your emotional, physical and spiritual reserves into now? How many times have you said "life is just on hold a while?" I have said it more times than I would like to commit to paper. Truth is- we can't put life on hold. Whether you realize it or not, life is happening; wonderful, crazy, exciting, risky, adventurous life is happening all around you! I once thought that life only happened in a city or in a far-off country. Life happens everywhere, with or without our noticing it. The trick is to ENJOY IT! You have five minutes with your wife. Enjoy it...engage with her on all levels. You have ten minutes to call an old friend. Enjoy it. Make it count. Pretend you have not heard from them in forever and you will never get a chance to talk to them again. Live life while we're here. Don't waste it. Don't worry about it. Stop stressing and enjoy it...even the hard stuff. Life awaits you. Why not run for it?