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.

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Rules for girls?

Unstring the pearls!

Gender hierarchy?

It’s malarkey!

Some supposedly very good men I know, dressed in ties, some women in boots, chosen ones in suits — think men are better than women.

I don’t.

I don’t like the deep-down-damning drop of it.

I like it like I like the influenza!

He-ruling-she has forced the whole world down, within a smallish bucket, like the flu, put us to bed, under the covers, given us a hopeless, hellish, hacking cough that wracks and wastes our wanting world.

The really wise know that world health lies in the remedial awareness that there is really no one better or worse, that there is no one less, that in all if us exists both male and female, slave and free, Jew and Greek.

Inside us — there is human — and that is it.

And in one human loving another human the same, all doomed dominance is done.

I will say it: We are ready now for a healing between men and women. We are aching for cures, not more harm. The whole world is on tip toe ; we men are longing, even aching, for forgiveness, mercy and respect from our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters, and they ache for this from us too. We all, together, long for the kind of mutual honoring that bring us all better romances, friendships, marriages, families, businesses, churches and governments. 

Bring this, I say! Bring baskets overflowing with honoring.

Bring me my sisters, every femi who has been held back, every one imprisoned within the walls of a genderized poverty or stuffed into a gift-killing-Spirit-grieving-gendered grave. And bring me my brothers too, clothed in a new desire to share power.

We are all the called; now call us all out, and sitting down together at the table, let us drape all male and female weakness in power.

Let’s pick wild flowers in the dessert and offer each other bouquets of respect.

As if presenting dark chocolates, let’s hand each other the bitter-sweetness of foil-wrapped empowerments.

As if we had gone out and bought each other Van Gogh’s, or Frieda Kahlo’s, let’s lavishly gift each other with equality.

Of all the desultory tenderness of life to love, the household intimacies stand out.

Those happy sprayings, scrubbings and rinsings, those putter-headed hums and dumbed-down calms that come within the circular motions of the bummed, do-and-be-done domestic particularities — the dirty dishes, tubs of laundry, vacuuming, dusting, the toilets — chorish and boorish as they be, they rank, crank and bank sweet, summed satisfaction.

These make up the warp, woof and womp of wondrous, wellish world.

Cleaning is such a lovely craft.

The winkling out of the personal particular with sponge or rag, the wiping, staging and preserving of our stuff, and the tossing out and keeping in — this is the good life.

Life is a sorting, a chucking, a washing and a storing business. We hunker down, do our own work, make our own domestic map, live as we choose.

I love it.

I’m not for maids or house keepers, or yard guys either. I am my own standard of order, I vibrate to my own cleaning chord. I live as I choose on my own steamed-cleaned carpet, mown lawn, within my own weeded flower garden, my own mucked out lily pond, my own potted patio, in the cubicles of my own closet organizer, in my own self-painted bedroom.

And I wish to keep it this way. I will do my own household tasks, live close to my own humanity, make my own bed, clean my own toilet, go through my own drawers, say my own household prayers, wash my own dishes, mow my own yard, shave my own face, take out my own trash.

It’s sanity, this happy, safe, soothing seeing too oneself.

It isn’t humbling; it’s intimate.

Someone once said to me, “It’s the little things that drive you crazy!”

It’s not.

It’s the little things that drive you sane — pills, pats and pets.

All praise for what is small: dollops and gobs and dabs, the edges of pie crusts, chocolate shavings.

Hail micro-sacredness of life, tiny flotsam and mini-jetsam — veins, mists, creeks, fogs.

Is it not life’s micro-detail, womp and woof of wondrous world, that moves us to gratitude?

Drops, pinches, dashes, rain, cinnamon, lotion; fermions, flounces, hadrons, hats, bosons, bacon bits, antiquarks — there is a breath-taking thereness in the smallest things.

And then at last there is the weight and force of slivered, severed time.

The massive power of one, tiny, single “was.”

The mighty microsity of one “will be.”

And the astonishing force of this quickly, quarky, snarky second’s “is.”

I clearly remember him, and later her, looking at me and saying, “I just want to be normal.”

The sorry soul, wasted, sobs for sanity.

Traumatized longs to just get back to normal — that steamy, soapy tub we ache to soak our grubby souls in once again.

Rub-a-dub-dub-ten-kids-in-a-tub — so many choices, so much bad grub.

Sordid chemistry, heart-breaking abandonments, hidden betrayals, personal illegalities, corporate illicities, national infamies — getting back to safe, to that boring, flat-road scenery we love to drive home through is so, so, so fine!

A warm bed, no nightmares, no hangover, the same wife, no jail time, eight hours of sleep, a Chai tea latte, hot oatmeal, school lunches, the cat on the couch beside us as we watch TV,  the morning news about another shooting in a mall or airport — normal is a speeding target swerving.

But that doesn’t make it of any less amazing.

Sane, sober and safe will always be the same kind of good. Gang-banging, bullying, doping, betraying, benumbing, or firing hot bullets into other people is not good or even remotely any kind of good-bad.

It’s good to get up everyday, go to work, come home to the same place at night, sleep with the same person, eat good food, not drink too much, to hope, choose, speed, swerve, and hang on to all the normal we can get — smashed down, shaken together and running out of our own taps.

Normal; it’s good.

Love, love, love,

Eloquence thereof.

Love speaks its mind in rowdy rhyme,

Word quests, fine jests and sweet behests.

It angles, jangles and phrase spangles,

Is fun and pun and fair fight won.

And yet — what fortitude love is framed from!

It doesn’t break upon life’s rack,

It bears the weight of time and space,

And on a lost love’s blunt return,

Love grabs lost love and won’t let go,

And smacks the lips and tips and pips,

And loves up all the jiggly bits.

And in the end — love,

At long last, quiets everything.

Love hushes all critics,

Ends all nags,

Stifles all groaners,

And muffles all interrogators.

With soft, safe, sacred silences,

Love ends the verbal din.

I hate death!

We all do —  except the ones in so much pain they reach longingly for the deep-downed, dark-doored, dumb-doped end. And the one who kills, again, and thrills to it — scary-eyed, numb, weirdly mad, mad, mad.

And yet, short of that, we bumble down the straight path toward the end blithely ignoring the dark, grim, hooded, million-scythed, body-reaping hole of life.

And when it does come to our door, we weep bitterly over the loss of  the one while remaining stupidly unmoved by the send-off of millions. In precisely this death-doped fashion we expose the colossal smallness and massive shortness of our empathetic reach.

And yet, thinking on it, on that unknown slam, bam and wham, who doesn’t blanch, lurch and fear a bit?  We all know that lurking somewhere in life’s caked cracks, its splintered beaks, broken teeth and diseased gums creeps and spreads the end. On all clocks, hour glasses and sun dials vultures sit.

Life is scary; if it weren’t so, death wouldn’t make us so afraid.

And so we temporize, prop up, work out and go for looks. It doesn’t help. Facelifts, breast implants and wigs just make the corpses weirder.

But whatever we do, or don’t do, say or don’t say at the end, in ritual and ceremony, bent solemnly over the still bodies, there is no getting around this: On your mark, get set — die!

And yet — not.

Of all the forces of the earth, death is the most vanquished. Sunflowers, guppies, rabbits, lichens, lilies, oaks, bats, cockroaches  — look how they beat death down.

Every time any living thing dies, after having reproduced itself, death loses again.

Always one step ahead of the grim reaper are the spring-blessed, over-sexed, very next sowers.

If I be true and sail a sea from false,

Til old’s so old it has forgot its self,

And storms have razed the ragged mountains tops,

And rains reforested the Amazon,

Then let memory,

From mind’s mad, muddy river make

An inland sea for my veracity.

When they have said, “As true as north, as south or east or west,

As drop to puddle,

Water to its fall,

As stream to lake,

And river to the great ocean.

Then let them say, to flash flood the heart of falsity —

As true as Randy.

Stop talking please.

Okay, gush a little more if you must — then hush. Going on too long makes the speech so very wrong.

Don’t you know that there is a time, between one set of words and another, when what happens only happens during silence?

Haven’t you, in the whomp and whoosh of wave-washed life, put on diving gear and dropped down into a sea of enforced quiet, sunk down within the deep walls of one of your own psyche’s submarine canyons and seen beautiful, quiet, coraline thoughts growing there?

And then, haven’t you, in wise and decompressive mode, surfaced — nicely aphonic. Remember that, the deep water, deep sea, depthy quiet, the next time you decide to send out a boat load of your verbal ware. Pause, then, and sail, softly on the quiet side of care.

We’ve too much practiced talk and squawk. Prattle, prattle, rock and rattle; tattle, tattle — it’s a custody battle. Hoarse, hoarse, remorse, remorse; of course, of course it’s a screamin’ divorce!

Prolix, bollixed.

Wind bags and wanton tongues yell and deafen the whole world.

Wise rags muff and fluff and heal with salves of quietness.

.

Hello!

Open up, eyes!

Out of bed sacked head!

Blink goodbye to downed night, and Hi-five upped sun.

Look, it’s a new day peeking through your upcurved-curtain lashes.

Turn out of your soft, shining bed to safe sun and bright star-kissed world.

Another night’s scary sorting has been warded off; day’s sane-slit and lash-louvered glow is back.

Up and out in it, how astonishing is the surrounding glory of the day’s sun-circle tour.

The bright squares of it, rectangles, circles, ellipsoids and serpentines of it.

Every wheel, waterway, window, wild and winding walk afire,

Glistening on the edge of our downy cheeks,

Angled through our slotted windows —

Life-making light!

Welcome!