Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Stories

Once again, Christmas has come and gone. For the 56th time, the annual madness is history.

Everybody that knows me at all knows that the holiday season is always a hard time. From where I sit, it seems to be when you're expecting and expected to be overwhelmingly happy yet hardly anybody is. It's all about who spends the most, who gets the most, who has the best lights, who gets the goods first, what's the hot gift this year and on and on. Or it's about a 'war on Christmas' and how everybody is insulted or offended in one way or another by someone else's celebration or lack thereof or even how they wish you well. How God hates this or that about it or that this group or another isn't acceptable or something equally idiotic. Too many hateful people fill it with their evil and so now war and Christmas are in the same sentence and nobody notices. The world beats the life out of it and turns it into something full of pain and so it mostly makes me sad. It seems like it always has.

In some ways though, it was both better and worse this year. Better because the kids were here, I didn't have to worry about getting called to work and we didn't have to race off to anyone's house somewhere for the first time in forever. I also managed to get in a ride under a beautiful full moon and the weather was the warmest in history. Worse because it's probably the last time for some things.

Life in Wayward's world has changed a lot in the last year you could say and is changing still. Many of the mistakes I made along the way have come home to roost. Lots of decisions now call for a reckoning and some of it is going to be really, really hard. There's much that may have been for the last time already.

I know this is what I've heard referred to as 'vaguebooking' because it's usually put out as clickbait on Facebook designed solely to garner sympathy and make people ask if you're ok. That's mostly why it's here, not there. No drama involved, just the way it is. I won't go into the details until some other time when I can look back at it instead of looking around in it.

So for the time being, let's just say that it's been a long haul this year. The old guy has worked pretty hard tying up a bunch of loose ends that have been hanging for far too long. I've accumulated a lot of baggage over time and some of it is just getting too heavy to lug around anymore. Vague, I know. Hang in there. One of these years, it'll be quite a read.

For now, I have a few more things to unravel and it's gonna take some time. Someday, I hope I'll be able to write it all down and then eventually leave it in a drawer where it won't keep me awake at night any longer. One thing at a time...

Yeah, Christmas may look a lot different in another 12 months. It'll probably never be what it's 'supposed' to be for me but with any luck, there might be a time when I won't dread the weeks between Thanksgiving and January. And maybe the long dark nights of December won't be the darkest nights of the year.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

San Bernardino

"As we await the facts from the chaos on the ground, I can only pray that America's leaders will do something — anything — that prevents more communities from knowing this sorrow." Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy

My friends who are still here...forget religion, forget politics, forget nationality, forget fear.
Can we all admit that maybe, just maybe something is seriously wrong? Instead of jumping on your chosen bandwagons and serving up the same old tired old arguments and blame, can someone...anyone come up with a way that's workable to stop the madness?
Can we please forget about arming or disarming everyone, banning, deporting, nuking, killing and all the other lunacy? How about we come up with something new? Do we have it in us to act like grownups, stop shouting and calling each other names just one time and actually solve a problem?

Because there is a matter what or who you believe, there's no denying we're killing ourselves. Yes, us. In record numbers of every color, every background and in every place we go from work to play, we're dying.

And we seem willing to accept it. We're getting used to it because it happens so much. Because nobody will give an inch of their sacred ground to make it better. It's all or nothing, us or them, no compromise, no discussion, no change. Blame someone and keep on keeping on.

Just bury our dead and grieve, wring our hands in fear, roar righteous indignation and do nothing to solve anything. Our leaders don't lead except in another funeral prayer that changes nothing and we post slacktivist junk that changes even less.

To be honest, I'm more frightened of what we're becoming than of anyone with a gun. We've given up who we are because we can't seem to be anything but little, tiny pieces of America. We forgot where we came from. And that's a sad thing.

For now, all I can do is keep blocking mindless hate from my wall and continue going out without fear of the people-who-are-not-like-me . I won't be sporting a gun out there but I really don't care if you do or don't either. I know that I'm far more likely to be killed on the road by some wonderful wife or husband on their way to work with a cell and a coffee in their hand anyway. But knowing that doesn't stop me from going and it doesn't make me hate everyone that drives. It doesn't make me afraid. I refuse to be afraid.

So rather than posting another idiotic meme or facts that you haven't checked or quotes that aren't real, think a minute...take a peek outside your itty-bitty America and try asking, "What can we realistically do that we all can do?" Think of 'E pluribus unum' for a while instead of prepping. Go out in the world with the rest of us and live in it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, you cannot change the world from Facebook and I won't join your hate there or anywhere else. If any of it means anything to you; fear less; hate not at all; do more; do better.