Dear Grace,

Even though I cannot represent all of humanity I want to, for this moment, act as a speaker for the human race and apologize to you and all future generations for the harm and havoc we have reeked upon the earth. I have looked deep within and I do not think we truly understand what we do. We pour chemicals into the ocean and forget that we are poisoning the very water we drink. We slaughter animals by the millions in a genocide of epic proportions to provide flesh wrought by violence that clogs our arteries and stills our beating hearts. We clear cut ancient forests and Amazonian jungle, extinguishing all manner of flora and fauna not realizing that the diversity of life supports our very existence. We tirelessly run machinery and factories which support our lifestyles and produce noxious fumes which suffocate our fleeting breath. We started doing all of this many years ago and now we do not know how to stop. We are caught in the rut of habit, attached to that which makes us sick.

Grace, we need to remember. We are inextricably connected to this earth and will share in the fate we are helping to bring about. We used to be more in tune with the natural processes and we have since moved further and further away from the flow of life. We have put birth and death behind the antiseptic walls of institutions and forgotten how important it is to witness these sacred passages. We have ignored or kept hidden parts of existence that may seem painful or unwelcome. We are fragmented and so think that there is an “other” with which we must struggle.

Grace, I do not know what the answer is but I do know that there are many good folks on this earth trying to bring about change. I hope that in my own life I can tread a little more lightly upon this earth and learn to live more in concert with the ebb and flow of life. I will continue to look within and explore the stillness that extends over this mysterious planet. I will do my part to re-member and find inside my heart that connection that binds us all together.

I love you,

Your Dad

Fearless

April 14, 2008

Clouds

If I were fearless I would walk out the doors right now and into the sunshine and spring goodness. I take a breath so deep my lungs inflate and my feet leave the ground. I float into the branches of the tree overhead and laugh at the leaves tickling my face and arms. Above the tree now the fear comes back and I flail my body trying to descend or at least gain control. I can do nothing and yet I rise.

My speed seems to be picking up the people into ants and the buildings into lego blocks. The air is cooler and I’m glad for the sweater. Looking east I see the Atlantic extending into blue brilliance and I stretch out willing my body to travel in that direction. But all I can seem to do is go up. Clouds obscure my view of the land below until *poof* back into view comes a snippet of green or gold. I’m breathing faster from either lack of oxygen or growing excitement. Will I leave the atmosphere?

I’m really high now. I don’t feel my body any more and the reflections of the sun off of the clouds is almost too much to bear. My eyes close and I float away, the space inside and out supporting me as the fear drops away.

Photo catch-up

April 8, 2008

The little girl is growing up–twelve weeks on this Saturday–so I thought it might be fitting to share a couple of recent photos. I am constantly amazed and delighted by the gifts of fatherhood and this from someone who was not too sure if kids were ever going to be a part of the future. Even the night time wake-ups or extra messy diapers offer a certain brand of joy when I stay in the moment and know that in that instant I am just there to help out a little being getting used to the feel of a new world. The baby smiles and coos are just the cream on top of this joyous feast.

May I have your undivided attention.

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Can you tell that I am smitten?

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Still cold enough for the occasional hat.

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Beauty! (But isn’t that what all fathers say?)

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Facebook flush

April 8, 2008

I’m spending more time on Facebook. I played Scrabble as a boy with my Grandfather so the Scrabulous application is now one of my suckers of time. An unexpected side-effect of the social networking site is the past relationships that have of a sudden been reignited. High school classmates are now my “friends” and we exchange pleasant emails to catch up on the last ten years or so. Old college drinking buddies want to know what is happening in a life that has dramatically changed since the times when happy hour was the main concern on a Friday evening. All of this re-visiting of past selves leaves me feeling a wee bit strange. Caught between wanting to take the next step of face-to-face contact and knowing how limited my time is, I waffle (along with them) in a dance of reconnection without mention of a possible future.

And maybe we are not meant to have the physical interaction. Perhaps for some these fleeting wall posts and comments on photos might just be the new definition of the relationship. For the old friends in far-off lands I don’t expect much more from them or me. Though I must admit at least one instance over the holidays when we were invited to a party from a friend with whom I’d reconnected, had a fun time and did not strain one bit over the conversion from electronic to physical interacting. I guess if it works then go with it, Facebook allows the ties to come back together and I get to decide that next step.

A Road to get lost

April 6, 2008

It is easy for the wandering soul to get caught up in the movement of the body as a remedy for stirrings of frustration and anger.  Hit the road and don’t look back on the troubles that can seemingly be left behind.  Get someplace, the body stops moving and the inherent difficulties rise again to the surface.  Must keep moving, thinks the soul, wrong kind of crowd here or I don’t like the looks of this place.  Back into the car or bus, maybe by foot or other means of locomotion the traveling soul starts to realize that no place will ever be quite right.  So–do what you can to generate a little income or better yet stick out the thumb and see what lies around the next bend in the highway.  As long as I can get away from here, as long as I can leave now then I will not have to face what is following me wherever I go.  I travel to lose myself in the hum of the tires on the road hoping that the destination will never arrive.

Prompt from Writer’s Island.