Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Life is a team, full of sound and social flurry — signifying everything.

For it is just exactly how it seems; we live and move and have our being within the team.

We are birthed into the pod of community, spawned in the thundering herd of family, sealed, stamped, delivered to society — and run over by sociality.

Alone is a fiction.

There is no being alone. We are all handed off and handed on and handed down.

Poverty is a team, wealth too, likewise demolition and construction, bee colonies, business office staffs; groves, fish; study groups, families and migratory birds.

We fly in formation, collaborate in clusters, strategize, fight, make-up and love coupled.

We batch, bunch, bundle; flock, school, swarm; show off and riot in unison.

Think Facebook, smart phones, Starbucks. Think the greasey-spoon, the local cafe. Think sports, school, church, family.

We ache to connect, meet, exchange, belong, collaborate, text, be friends, be family, Leggo together. Even the most independent of us, at times, comes up for social air — the check up, the check in, the debrief.

Life is fickle with its affections, its endearments, its affirmations, and maybe, just maybe, we get the amount of love we need — and maybe we don’t.

But either way, we know we are a team when there is that lonely, lopsided, lumpy, lurking, laughing longing for more of each other, for closer, for belonging, for being known.

And in those lonely moments of not wanting anymore alone — after we have been fired or told it’s over or told we didn’t make the team or told we have cancer — then we know how much we still need each other.

And when we can’t — be included, take a position, play, contribute — when life knocks us down, adds us up and tosses us out, then we are still not done.

Then we can yet cheer, for someone else, and so and thus, still be on the team.

Time out?

It’s just a stop along the way before teaming back up.


To help or not to help, this is the difficult question.

I don’t know!

I’m sick past sick of the not-knowing!

The internet site said to put the injured turtle in a box, and place it in a dark and quiet place. Keep it warm and safe. That will give it the best chance to calm down from the trauma.

I still don’t know what I’m supposed to do!

The returning warrior goes upstairs to his bedroom. He closes the door. He turns off the light. His wife watches the TV downstairs and tells the children to be quiet. They haven’t yet seen the MRI.

When they do, what safe box will be provided, to recover in?

They are everywhere now, the exploded, concussed, rattled and ruined , sitting quietly in bedrooms, parks, bars, hotels, cafes and parked cars, surprised that it is taking this long.

I didn’t know there were so many!

An unemployed twenty-something sits in her small room, her computer on her lap, open to a resume. She thinks about going out in the afternoon. No, maybe not. She pulls her blanket over her feet. A old floor fan is running in the background.

They are everywhere now, the young, under-employed, single and poor. I talked to her. She came down from Botswana for college. There is nothing for her here in South Africa. She is going home to nothing.

Our world is filled up like a used fifty-gallon water barrel and overflowing onto the dirt with the blasted, blistered, brutalized and abandoned of our society.

Whatever explosion, expulsion, exasperation, exclusion, excoriation or excruciation they have experienced, I think that they at least deserve a warm blanket and a quiet box.

Can’t I make a little box out of an old pallet or something? Save my Starbucks money in a jar, or something? There is reason to act past reason’s persistent request, isn’t there?

The precious ones with mental illness suffer perhaps the most. They stand hunched at the edge of my consciousness, the seat of reason undone, reality gone, common sense fled. They lurch crazy-eyed through the homeless camps, skulking along river’s edge, sleeping downtown between the buildings, sprawled on the lawn of the church, laying on the sidewalk at the entrance to the mall.

Mothers hustle their children away, but these were once themselves children, and in so many ways they are children again, in need of being told to not take off their clothes in public, to take their medicine, to sit down and eat and to go to bed at night.

They all need the traumatized turtle’s care — a little box, a quiet corner, a place to be soothed.

Do not freakin’ tell me that nothing can be done! I am not comfortable with telling myself that. We may not be able to heal brain damage, but we still know how to be kind, don’t we?

Which one of all the drug-addicted, alcohol-obsessed, brain-damaged, war-wounded, emotionally undone, unemployed, under-valued precious ones of the earth don’t still need to be gently touched on the arm, kindly spoken to and perhaps tucked into bed at night.

Will no one ever pat them calm again?

Mother Teresa, where are you?

Someone please help us reinvent kindness.

Aren’t these still our flesh and blood?

No one is perfect.

Some should try harder. Consider the bulls eye, the no hitter, the Eight-ender.

Screw shy!

Roll twelve strikes in a row. Hit for the cycle. Fire off a hole in one.

What tired, timid, twiddling soul ever roared down a track and won a hundred meter race?

And yet, try as we might and “fight, fight, fight,” Solomon remains — the old rub-a-dub-dub in the broken golden tub, the shattered self at the spring, the wasted wheel at the well.

Aim for perfect — and adjust. The perfect pass encounters the perfect defense. The perfect back-dive, the imperfect judge. The perfect novel a stolid public. The perfect effort? It often falls just short of perfection.

The perfect body is like the perfect car; both won’t wait long for the perfect scratch, or the exquisitely perfect wrinkle.

Eventually we all let go. Perfectionism is finally loved on the day she weds realism.

So, both are good. It is good to enjoy the long and exhausting assault march on perfection’s jutting peak, and it is equally good to thrill to the frenzied, crazy bounce down reality’s rushing stream.

He who has imperfect ears to hear let him hear perfectly!

Those who never strive for perfection should beware of relaxation, and those who can never relax, they should beware of always trying to be perfect