Thursday, September 13, 2012

2012 09 13 I Was Strolling Through The Park One Day...

I was strolling through the park one day, in the very merry month of, umm, August, and what should come strolling by? Why, if it wasn't another conceptual enigma, surrounded by a shard of evolutional brain stem activity. It was an epiphany, a lightning bolt from the data base above, an elusive encounter with the forces of all that remain mysterious to just about everyone else. I had a revelation of sorts, first of which was the realization that it was raining out, and I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, with sandals to boot. At least I had my baseball hat on, which provided me with an adequate level of protection from the onslaught of wetness, that is, until it became soaked, along with me.

There I was, strolling along, smacking the pavement with my trusty staff, and I thought about something that I had written in an email to a friend, just days before. I thought about how poignant the catch phrase was, and how it defined different aspects of my life, and probably all of our lives in one way or another.

The phrase I thought of was simple, short, and so descriptive of so much of my life.

Absorb, adapt, and advance.

That's it. That's all there is to it. Nothing more, nothing less. Pure and true to meaning, yet it's ability to stretch and mold itself to perfectly fit with pretty much anything anyone ever thought and did. A concept that surely would, and has, withstood the countless tests of time. Three words that described so many times in my own life.

I thought back on different times in my life when I absorbed the actions, reactions, the diverse obstacles, the plethora of days when I just didn't think all of the crap would stop charging in on me. The endless ways that life turned the corner and came out of the blue, full speed, with no amount of merciful pleading being able to halt its undaunting advances. The twists, the turns, the ups and the downs, all of which seemed to be heading straight for me. No warning of an iceberg, straight ahead, no flares shot up into the night sky, no flashing hazard lights on the construction signs, nothing, just me, and them, alone in a room, one against the other, with only two possible outcomes. Either they got the best of me and I found myself rendering the familiar white flag of the French, or I found the ability to continue on with the meanings of the other two words in the catch phrase.

I think we all find ways to adapt. We all find that little corner of our cowardly lion heart that has just had enough, and figures out a way to take everything in stride. Yes, we all get knocked to the left, then as quickly as we find our balance, we are sharply pulled to the right. If that isn't enough, there's the sudden jerk backwards that can catch us completely off guard. I hate those. I hate them with a passion.

I have adapted to so many things over the course of my life, I really don't think it's possible to recount them all. Adaptation is the main ingredient in which I have become. It's the great equalizer that keeps the needle pointing north. It's the wonderful internal mechanism that winds us up and walks us through no matter what. It is the tincture of life that endures the absorption of countless battles that life holds. It's about nineteen ninety five at your local pharmacy or health food store, but you better hurry up, because this years trendy blend probably won't work for very long. Stinking future, always changing and all. The nerve!

I adapt. It's what I do. It's who I am able to be. It's what I am all about. I really have no choice though. It's what I do, because I choose to live, and you can't just live without trying. It's just not that easy, and yes, we all know that nothing worth while ever comes easy. Right? Can I have a hell to the ya?

I think I have found that every day is a challenge, some more than others, but a challenge none the less. If I am lucky enough to rest my head on my pillow at the end of the day then it's probably safe to say that I have adapted my way through the day. Hey, that rhymes. Hmmm.


Ok. Hi there. How are you doing? Have you been able to adapt today? Have you found yourself thinking something through and changing your initial plan? Have you found yourself doing something out of the ordinary because of something that happened unexpectedly? Have you found yourself cleaning something up, or gluing something back together, or pushing something to the side, or eating something for supper that you didn't even know was in your cupboard? Has your day altered from its original plan? Has your initial concept taken a visual trip way, far away to adaptation land? Has your temper been shortened, or your patience been thinned, or your emotions in general been put in a blender?

How did it make you feel? How did you handle it? How did you, adapt? Did you take the ball and run with it? Did you find yourself on the other side, catching your breath? Did you find yourself gazing back at the twisted tanglement of taunting torment, completely exhausted, but with a new sense of pride? Did you find another unusual and unique way to adapt? Did you? Did you? Well? Did you? I bet you did, and you probably didn't even know it. You're so clever. Far cleverer than you probably know, or give yourself credit for. Now, don't let it go to your head, because you're gonna need another fist full of humility before it's all said and done. It ain't over 'til the rather large, rotund lady entertains us with her wonderment of musical oration.

Some times my fingers take what I'm thinking, and do some wacked out stuff. Are they adapting? Did I just adapt? Have I just received a small sample of adaptational evolution?

Well then, seeing how I was fortunate enough to enjoy such a trendy ability, I think I might just be getting outta here. I need to take a hint. I need to advance, to move on, to start heading towards the next unsuspected adaptational absorption.

Through all of life's adversity, all of its relentless hills and countless valleys, I find a way to take another step. I find a way to pile up the seconds into minutes, into hours, and end up with another day. I find a way to take the good with the bad, and make the best out of what's left. I find a way to watch the daylight disappear into the speckled, starry night. I find a way, and as we all do, I try to take a moment to reflect. So much to think about really. So much to sort out and process. ? So much to be thankful for, and grateful for, and feel blessed about.

? The human spirit is such an amazing, beautiful, endless supply of energy, faith, and love. It's such a pure start to all that is good. It's a gift from the heavens above. It's a joyous shout, a tearful cry, a smiling hug followed by a curious stare. It's an advancing melody of harmony and soul. It's a wonder anyone ever stops advancing at all, seeing as how much there is out there to help make us whole. It's a wonder that this big blue marble doesn't bounce itself right out of the universe, with all the advancing going on.

I really have no other option, but to keep on advancing. I have made a decision, whether it be fully conscious, or something that's been embedded into my core from day one, but it is a plan of attack that defines who I am, and what I am all about. It's just something that I do. We all do. It's just something that I have to rely on, to be able to survive all of the amazingly weird things that this world has to offer.

There was a time, not too long ago, when I didn't think I could advance any more. I didn't think I could adapt from all that was going on in my life. I didn't really know if I actually wanted to. I had a hard time absorbing all of the diversity, and adversity. I had a hard time figuring out why a lot of things had happened to me, but why not me? Why wouldn't these things happen to me? Why would I ever be any different than anyone else, who also might experience the same things that were happening to me? And even more, why wouldn't I be able to adapt and advance with my life, no matter what happened to me? I am, after all, human, just like you, and you, and well, ok, you too, I guess. I am, of course, no better than the next guy, but also, I am no less than the next guy either.

I think my brain is absorbing signals that detect an emptiness in my belly. I have adapted to the feeling of being hungry, and I realize where I am. I ought to advance out to the kitchen, so I can find me some chocolate.

Have a good day everyone, no matter where you find yourselves advancing to.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

2012 09 06 This Point In Time

This Point in Time



How did I get here?


How did I get right, here?


How did I get to this point in time, in this chair, in this room, this house, this life? How was I chosen to be placed in this never ending roller coaster of emotional extremes? Was I chosen, or did I choose this for myself? What lessons am I supposed to learn, if I infact, did choose to live this life?


Am I experiencing things that were overlooked in some other parallel? Am I putting the pieces of a much larger puzzle together? Is this life getting me ready for the next amusement ride?


Am I ever going to find out? What happens if and when I do find out? Will I be automatically readied for the next run through? Will I at least have a chance to get a look at the instruction manual before I am catapulted into the next level? Do I have enough tokens to reach the next destination, or will I be left behind, out there somewhere, in a null, dark, empty void, hollering for assistance?


Why can't things be as simple as when I was a kid? Why can't I just have the simplicity of a child's expectations? Why can't I enjoy today, without worrying about tomorrow? Why can't I live for today, without having to plan for a tomorrow full of uncertainty and unknowns?


I didn't know what I was going to write when I started this. Why did I start writing about this topic? Was I destined to? Was it part of the plan? Am I really supposed to be right here, right now, writing about this exact thing? Did I learn how to touch type so that I could be right here, right now, pounding away on my keypad? Does that sound normal?


Are any of you really out there, or am I just watching a movie, or a dream? Could this thing that feels like my life just is that rapid quick reel of events that plays out before your very eyes, as you are hovering along the precipice of death? Is that what this is? All that I have experienced in this life, could it be just a trial run for the next endeavor? This is just a test, right? This is just a trial run for things to come, right? This is just a warm up lap to get all of the bugs and quirks worked out, right?


How am I doing? How am I really, really doing? Am I following the original protocol? Am I staying in the lines? Am I staying on course? Why did the last twelve years go by so fast? Were they supposed to? How come I can't remember a lot of them? Did I do all of those drugs for a reason? Was I not supposed to remember all of the things that I have forgotten about? Will I ever get the chance to remember them again? Will the next twelve years go by as fast as the last twelve did? Did my life change so much to snap me out of a never ending spiral of self induced void? Is what happened to my vision a form of self awareness that was crucial in the structure of my time here?


Why am I typing so many questions? Shouldn't I know all of these answers by now, I mean, I have been here a very very long time already. Seems to me that I should know this stuff by now, right?


Why is it that I handle things the way that I do? How come I choose to walk away, or avoid certain situations in my life? Why do I get so emotional over certain things in my life? Why do I get all weird feeling when I am confronted with uncertainty and different levels of stress? Why do I cry when a Hallmark commercial comes on TV? Am I supposed to be the way I am, or am I the way I am because of things that have happened to me? Do things happen to me because of the way that I am? Is my vulnerability being protected in the grand scheme of things? What am I being protected from? Why don't I have the same drive that enables others to excel in life? Why don't I have the same faith and trust in my own abilities, as I see so many others do? Why do I get all choked up under certain situations where others just seem to be able to handle much better?


Am I really on a warrior's quest that the cards say that I am? Who decided to put me right here? Who decided that I should be the way that I am? Is it all God's plan? Is there really a single plan for me, or am I part of a larger plan?


What is going to happen this December 21st? Why can't I get it out of my mind? Am I here, have I been put here to experience something that is going to be an incredible event? Is that why we are all here? Is that all that there has ever been, just this one moment? Is that all there is? One moment in time? One experience that explains it all? One truly amazing chain of events that will, without a doubt, let us know why this is all here? Am I going to be a factor in something that I have been destined to be a part of from the beginning?? Will this all make sense very soon, or will I still live to learn until I have lived and learned my fill?


All of those stars out there; do they have blue marbles spinning around them, just like us? Are we like the little fleck of dust on the flower in Horton Hears a Whom? Do I have an elephant staring at me right now? Is there someone else staring at me? At us all? Hello? Are you there? Are we just one big experiment?


Have I asked enough questions, or should I ask for more? Am I supposed to end this document right now? If I end it now, what will happen? Am I supposed to end this right now, and find out?


What would happen if, for some reason, all of a sudden, I just stopped typing?

Monday, August 27, 2012

2012 08 27 Molecularly Speaking

Molecularly Speaking

Who am I? Who is the guy staring back at me in the mirror? Am I the same person I used to be? Have I changed? Am I still changing? Haven't I changed enough already? Have I molded the life that surrounds me to suit me, or has the life that surrounds me molded me? Isn't that like a wicked fine line? Is that a perfect balance, or are they both one in the same?

I suppose that these questions have raced through the minds of many a man smarter than me. Women too. Smile. I imagine the questions have pondered the poignant perceptions throughout the coggles of time. What the hell is a coggle anyways? Is there really such a thing as a coggle, or did I just make it up so I could slide into a parallel, non related burst of unrelated nonsense?

Who really knows, why would they care, and here we go.

Makes me think of the Jetsons. I wonder if Elroy grew up thinking about this stuff. I suppose if you threw a Spacely Space Sprocket into a couple unsuspecting coggles, you would probably have a futuristic galactic mix of something that's out of this world, off the charts, and off the marble. . Wouldn't that be ironic?

I was sitting out back on the picnic table yesterday afternoon, and I could hear a siren off in the distance. It grew closer, and then faded away. I wondered if it was coming down our road, or if it was heading down the next road over, across the valley from our house. I wondered if it was a cop, or an ambulance, or maybe a fire truck.

I guess I'll never know.

As I was sitting there, on the table, I suddenly, and again, realized just how small I am. Now don't get me wrong. I am a big guy, and I take up quite a bit of room, but that's conveniently according to my own perception of space. Yes, when I step off the pool ladder and into the water, the incurring wake does displace some of the water. Probably more than I care to admit. It's just a small pool though, in the grand scheme of things that have to do with pools. It's just a little container of liquid, with a little spillage. Ok! A lot of spillage, but then again, according to my own perception of matter displacement, and it is my perception, so, back off!

It's such a big world out there, and there's so much space being taken up by so many things. I would like to think that my space, my volume of matter, well, I would hope that it matters somehow. I would like to think that by having continuously propelled my molecular frictional structure  of molecules across this molecularly structured marble, that I have somehow benefitted gratefully, and gracefully enhanced said molecules that constantly swirl around me, molecularly speaking,  by my doing so, indeed. I had to go over this last sentence several times before I could wrap my head around it. What the heck am I talking about? How come my fingers do stuff like that? It's got to be preprogrammed or something, I mean, really? Are you kidding me? Who in their right mind types stuff like this?

Still thinking, and wrapping.

Too deep. Way too deep. I guess I'll be moving on then.

Sometimes when I listen to the news, and hear all of the commotion going on around the planet, I wonder if it all matters to me. I wonder if it has anything to do, with me. I wonder if it ever will. I know that in the grand scheme of things, everything relates to one another. What I pay for this is determined by what someone did to that. How I feel about this, is swayed by what someone else said about that. What I buy and use, is related to what I heard or saw someone say or do about something.  Such a tightly woven array of happenstance. Such a delicately balanced cycle of events, one after the other, day after day, and still, there I was, sitting out back, on my picnic table, wondering if at that particular point in time, any of it really had anything to do with me. I sat, in silence, wondering if anyone was wondering about me, as I was wondering about them. I sat in silence, trying to listen to anything that was going on, out there, away from me, and then, out of the blue, all of a sudden, a jet airliner passed overhead, from west to east, apparently slowing down to land in either Hartland, or Bangor. Probably Bangor. the goings on in the world smoothly shifted my way, and again, I felt connected to it all. I felt like a piece of the action. A small piece, but a piece, none the less.

As I sat there, and the jet liner quickly slid out of sound, towards somewhere where I wasn't, I heard a blue jay in the trees surrounding our back yard, and a woodpecker over near the other side of the lawn. The woodpecker sounded like he was having a woodpecker of a time, again, hanging upside down from the suet cage that was hanging near the dog pen.

I tried remembering if I put a new brick of suet in the cage that morning. By the sounds of the woodpecker, hollering out his short, sharp, playful chirps, he was apparently, very glad that I did.



Saturday, August 18, 2012

2012 08 18 A Fort Full Of Mobility

As my son, grandson and I climbed down the stairs of Battery A, I could feel the warmth of a hot summer's day leave us behind, and the coolness of two hundred years of hand placed, sub-level  stone wrap itself around us. It had been roughly seventeen years since I had been to Fort Knox, with my son Matt, his cousin Sarah, and Gyver, a Fresh Air boy from The Bronx. It had been what seemed like a life time since I had placed my hands along the coolness of the darkened stairwell that led down to an artillery battery. I had all of the memories stored deep in the video vaults of my mind, as I banged away on the stone steps with my white cane. As I slowly moved down the dark stairwell, I was flooded with electric charges that raced through my aged, billy goat body, causing my heart to race, my palms to sweat, and my anxietty levels to go through the roof.  I had finished up with my mobility lessons two months prior to the field trip to the state park, and I had no idea that I was embarking on one of the most difficult mobility lessons of my life. I had no idea that I would have to pull out all of the tools that I had learned over the past two years. I had no idea that I would have to rely on being able to maneuver through and around all of the obstacles that were testing me, and giving me the options of leaving, and never coming back. It was one of the best, and hardest days I have ever lived.

As we arrived at the bottom of the battery stairs, and realized that there was no way out, except back up the stairs, I knew I was in for a long, grueling day with my cane, and a whole lot of stairs and stone. I knew that I would be put to the test, and somehow, it all seemed ok. I really didn't mind. I really had no problem with a head jam packed with uncertainty. I didn't have a problem with the crowded halls, the uneven stone steps, the spiral staircases, none of it. It all seemed ok with me, and I was smack dab in the middle of it all. Me, my cane, my son, my grandson, and a head full of hours of orientation and mobility lessons that were coming into the forefront, one at a time.

We climbed back up the long, dark stairwell of Battery A, and started walking along a stone path, that led to the Battery B stairwell.

"Oh, how lovely!" I thought, as I started smacking my way down the stairwell. I could hear the excitement in Jack's voice as we again, travelled down into the coolness of the battery. I smiled as I swept back and forth along the wet, stone steps of the stairwell. I smiled as I ran my hands along the cool, wet stone of the stairwell walls. Their coolness felt good as the day was very hot and muggy. I wanted to crawl between the cracks and take a nap, but I was urged on by my grandson's exuberance. I stood on the floor of the battery, just barely able to see the dim daylight shining in through the gun turets. I was caught up in the thought of what it must have been like for the soldiers of the fort, two hundred years before. How different it must have been for them way back then. How different it must have been indeed. I could hear my son Matt, and Jack, running around the enclosed stone chambers of the lowly room, playing hide and seek. All of my anxieties, or worries, or fears of the unknown didn't matter. They didn't seem to have any place in the day's events. All that mattered was what a wonderful day I was having, and how much it meant to have the chance to spend it with the two most important men in my life.

"Let's go Nunno! Come on!" I could hear Jack hollering to me as he started back up the long stairwell, back up to the heavied air of a hot, sticky, summer day. Again, I started smacking and sweeping my way up the stairs, feeling it get hotter with every step. I wanted to turn around and go back down to the coolness of the battery floor, but I also knew that neither of them would have anything to do with that! I was on a mission. We' were on a mission, and it would be completed, no matter what.

Earlier, we had been over to the observation tower of the new Penobscot Narrows bridge. That, in and of itself, was a mobility lesson and a half. From the top of the elevator, on the forty first floor, we had to go up two flights of steps to get to the actual observation deck at the top. The steel stairs were wrapped around the outside walls of the tower, and I really had to take my time with it all. Matt told me that the views were spectacular. I could picture them in my mind, and that seemed to be good enough for me. I knew the area, and could view the scenes in my mind, pulling out all of the scattered scraps of video I had been saving up. Thank God I have a lot of room up there. Smile.

Well, there we were, stepping back out into the sunlight from the battery stairwell, just in time for the firing of the cannon. There were park employees dressed up as militia, with one of them explaining a bit about the gun, and what purpose it served. the "Ready, Fire!" order was given, and the shock wave concussion of the firing cannon went through me, like a knife through butter on a day similar to that same hot summer's day. I jumped, and shouted, and screamed like a mad man, then I laughed as they readied another blast from the cannon. I could hear Jack laughing, and all of the other people surrounding the area were noisily chattering about how loud the cannon was.

"Ready, fire!" Another concussion wave of awe inspiring cannon blast flew through me just as easily as the first one had. Matt had managed to capture the second blast on his camera, which the video of is on my facebook page. It was loud. It was incredibly loud, and as the echo from the blast came back from the opposite river bank, all I could say was, "Wow!"

The fort was never attacked, and it's probably a good thing, because I would pity anyone who had the false notion that anything could ever survive a fort full of those cannons. My god! What an awesome display of power!

Well, we soon found the entrance of the fort, and although I told Matt to go ahead in without me, which he declined, I found myself winding in, around, and through the narrow halls and stairwells of the fort. I could still vaguely remember the layout of the fort in my mind. I could remember the two spiral stairwells on each front corner of the fort. I could remember the grassy rooftop that surrounded and wrapped around the rear of the fort. I could remember the rear hallways that needed a flashlight to maneuver through. I could remember the dungeons and barracks rooms, and the officers quarters. I could remember it all, and as we went through it all, I remembered it all again. Many times, I could hear my grandson's voice hollering, "Come on Nunno! This way!" So many times, he would come back to me, and grab my free hand, so that he could lead me into the darkened abyss. I cringed as I smiled uncontrollably. I was laughing while I was pleading to get through the next turn, or up the next set of stone stairs, or around the next uneven corner of the back tunnels. It was all magnificently scary, and unbelievably electrifying. I felt more scared and alive than I had felt in some time.

My son kept asking me if I was ok. He said a few times that he would try to slow down so I could take my time more with my surprise mobility lesson. That usually lasted about thirty seconds, then, there we were, back to the pace of a six year old boy. Every time I heard Jack shout out, "Cool!" or, "Wow!" I smiled and chuckled to myself. It's as if I was seeing the fort again, through his eyes, and I was loving every bit of it, except for the few times that I had the tootsie rolls scared out of me. Just a couple times though. Smile.

I must tell you again, this was one of the most difficult, and rewarding mobility lessons I have ever been on. I kept picturing my mobility instructor, Rosemary, behind me as I wobbled through the caverns and stairwells of the fort. I kept hearing her words of wisdom, just fifteen feet behind me. I kept wondering if she would have been as pleased with the days developements as I was. Thanks Sarge.

My son Matt did tell me that there were quite a few times that people would see us coming and see my cane smacking away, and they would make room for us to get through. I would like to personally thank you all for helping me to have a fantastic day, and if I stepped on anyone's toes, I apologize fully, and hope you are getting used to walking abnormally for as long as it took for the flat toe to pop back to life.

Fort Knox, thanks for staying exactly where you are. Thanks for guiding me through your magestic beauty and echoed dignity. I will always remember you just as you were, oh so many years ago.

Thanks Jack for helping your dusty old Grampa through all of those twists and turns. You are such a big help.

Thanks matt for a wonderful day, and I hope we can do it again real soon. Having a day full of you two guys is the best mobility lesson I can ever hope to have, ever!

Now then, as I smack and sweep my way through to another sunny day, where's the next fort at? Let me at it, I tell ya!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

2012 08 16 I Wonder...

As I pound down the sidewalk, careening around the onslaught of shadows coming at me in frenzy, I think to myself how wonderful it must be to be able to see. I think to myself how easy it must be to be able to get around without worrying about stepping in manholes, or tripping over curbs, or falling over trash cans, or walking into street signs or telephone poles, or guide wires, or bushes with thorns. I think how wonderful it must be to be able to have both hands free while you walk. I think how convenient it must be to not have to scour the dull and murky waters for any kind of a visual clue. I think how easy it would be for me to just say to hell with it, throw my hands in the air, my cane to the sidewalk and just stand here , waiting for someone to coddle me to the nearest convenient pity pot, so that I might make myself comfortably insufficient. I think to myself how foolish that would be, and continue pounding my cane against the sidewalk, dodging the shadows, and scouring my less than poor sight for the vague hints and clues that I have grown so fond of.

The old phrase, "It is what it is," comes to mind as I make it to the next corner, and hang a right. I again think to myself how wonderful that I didn't have to take a left, or go straight ahead and maneuver a street crossing. I smile though, knowing all to well that I can, infact, handle the street crossing. I can stand, and listen, and wait until the time is right, then cross the sea of moving metal non-tranquility. I have the tools, and I have the knowledge of how to use them. All I need is the patience afforded me by my own intellect.

I wonder what the people, driving the cars, must think as they watch me make my way through the busy streets. I wonder what they talk about that night around the supper table, and if I enter the conversation. I wonder if they realize that just a few short months ago, I was sitting in their car, with my hands on their wheel, steering down their road, not thinking about me, with a cane.

I am the first blind person I have ever met. The only other time I had seen a blind person, or noticed a blind person was on TV, or in a movie, or in a book. Anywhere, but in person. I wonder if the people I meet during the course of the day are also seeing or meeting the first blind person they have ever seen. There are a lot of us over here, but there aren't a lot of us, out there. I don't know about all of the blind folk, and I never would ever think I know what they feel. I just wonder if they think and feel the same ways that I do. Every blind person, or visually impaired person that I have met since July, 2010, is someone that I probably would have never met, or seen, or noticed. I would have gone on, living my life as I saw fit, unsuspecting that there were even any blind people out there. It just never crossed my mind. It just never entered my day, or my week, or month, or year, or life. It just never did, and I unknowingly, was not the better for it.

I write about a lot of things, and I think about a lot more. Being blind and seeing as how it is still relatively new to me, I find that it consumes a great deal of my day.

Who am I kidding? Being blind consumes 100 percent of my day. It never lets me sleep, or relax, or get away with not being blind. It is all consuming, and ever present. It is what I have become, and I am who I am today because of it. I suppose I should rephrase that last remark. I might just be who I am today, in spite of being blind.

I can not go more than fifteen minutes or so without thinking about it. The only time that I do, is when I am in one of my daily routines, and everything is going according to plan. I weave, bob, dodge, and feel my way through it all sometimes, and I don't even think about the fact that I can't see. I suppose that certain things I do, on a normal basis, I am able to do with fluid familiarity, and I don't have to worry about any of it. None of it. It all just flows drifts and floats by me in a gentle, peaceful calm that I somehow find relaxing as hell.

This usually doesn't last long though, as the variables of the day come banging in upon me, reminding me of their ever present force. It's almost as if they are all in it together, coming up with a plan of attack that will certainly, and definitely pull me out of my wonderful and free state of mind, and rapidly propel me back into the on guard status that I know all to well.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, I took that right at the intersection. No, that was way too easy. Let's twist it up some. Reverse direction, and hello Mr. Intersection, how are you doing on this find day in Central Maine? You sound busy as the dickens, as I am sure you are. Now, where is the push button for the audible crossing helper thing? There you are. I love that beeping sound. Funny, how a beeping sound can bring such a dramatic level of anxiety back down a couple of notches

I wonder what the people driving by are thinking about as they see me standing here, with my cane, waiting for the street crosser pedestrian thing to help me. I wonder if they even notice me. I wonder if they know that my heart is pounding out of my chest. I wonder if they can see that I am ready to jump out of my shoes. I wonder if they know how out of place I feel? I wonder if they know just how uncomfortable I feel standing here with this cane. I wonder if they know just how fortunate they are. I wonder if they're going home, or to work, or to the store, or are just out for a nice, relaxing ride. I wonder if I will be able to find the opposite street corner, and not make a fool out of myself. I wonder if I can make out the faint lines of the crosswalk to guide me along. I wonder if I am standing tall, or all bent over in a huddled question mark.

I hear something, "Main Street walk signal is lit, Main Street walk signal is lit."

Ok then, that's my cue, and away we go.

As I pound across Main Street, I hold tight to my cane, and I wonder.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

2012 08 05 Non-Conditional


Ok, ok, here I come! Grab the kids and get the heck out of the way! Large wandering, poor sighted billy goat with cane smacking tendencies approaching! Hard a port! Starboard side! Battle stations! Battle stations! Dive! Dive! Dive!

I always wanted to type that stuff. Smile.

Some times I feel like a large cargo ship, coming in through the outer banks, or the sounds, or the bay, floating aimlessly, looking for somewhere to port. Looking for a tugboat to tie onto and lead me in through the narrows. Looking for a visual cue that would pin point my exact location, so that I can update my internal mapping system. Some familiar hint of a silhouette, or an outline of a door, or the faint glow of a window, or the dull shimmer of a steel handrail. Anything that would shout out, "Hey! I'm over here!" All I usually need is just one, small, little, miniscule tad of a facsimile of a shard of a clue. That's it. That's all I need. Nothing more, nothing less.

I'm ok around my house. I know where most everything is. I know what to kick, what to bump into, what to knock over, and what to slam into. I feel right at home when I kick the dog ramp, or trip over a dog toy, or hunt for the top step, or search for a door knob. It's all home, and it's all mine. I never use my cane when I'm around the house, inside or outside. My wife wonders why, and for the life of me, I can't really tell her why, because I'm not really sure myself. I suppose it's a male thing. My home! My castle! Really? I mean, really? Typical male stubbornness? Probably.

I guess that when I am around home, and I get into my normal daily routines, I tend to sometimes forget that I can't see to well. Too well? Hell, I can't see too good either. Fact is, I can't see much of anything. But when I am up and about, around the home, I tend to not remember some times that I need to use my cane everywhere else. I tend to forget that without my cane, outside the home, I am pretty much, completely blind. I forget all of that crap, and my cane is a million miles away. Even when I am walking the dog out back, I would rather stop and send up mental flares, or patiently wait for a car to go by to reset my bearings, then use my cane. I would rather stand outside in the rain, hunting for a visual cue of any size or shape that would guide me back to the house, than run around my back yard with a white stick.

A friend of mine, jokingly, said that people of sophistication, call it a cane. They never use the word "stick".

I got your stick, right over here honey! Smile again.

No, really, it is a manifested male ego swell, manufactured out of sheer little boy pride that would, and will, eventually, I am sure, lead me towards a cliff somewhere.

That doesn't matter though. All of the variables and unknowns and around the next corners, just out of sight's, they don't matter when I am home. None of the uncertainties matter, and as a matter of fact, they just seem to clog things up, and get in the way.

I am still trying to convince myself that I do not need a cane, and that I can see just fine. Most times, my memories fill in what I can't see, and I think that they trick me into believing that what I am imagining is actually what I am seeing. A made up reality of past recollections and stored data that takes shape and presents itself in an orderly fashion. For the most part, I actually believe what I am seeing, and use it to the best of my ability. It's turned and bit me on the ass a few times, and I usually end up calling myself a handful of wonderful names, but then I turn right around and pull the reels of film back out and reload the projector.

I always did love a good movie. Especially the ones with a twist to them.

I suppose I will hang on to my manufactured independence around the house as long as I can. I suppose also, that there will come a time when I will be able to totally accept my "condition". Somewhere out there, a lady that I know just read that word, and is cringing, along with calling me a few names of her own. Using the word "condition" slams me into a category that reflects on nothing more than being what the condition states, and nothing else. No relevance. No unchartered waters. No around the next corners. Just me and my condition.

I don't want to be limited to the rules of the condition. I don't want to be hampered with limits and boundaries of the condition. I don't want to be labeled by the name tags of the condition. I am unconditionally, non conditional. Man, that's a mouthful.

My cane, I suppose, represents the "condition", and I am very afraid that I might find myself in the same long line, with all of the other 'Conditionally' inflicted, which would put, for the most part, and end to my typical male independent state of mind.

Man, if there was ever anything I did that was for the better, it would be to finally be able to put my misguided male ego to rest. I think nothing gets in the way, at times, more than that. Over inflated, swelled beyond recognition, over used and totally abused. You women must look at us dude fellas sometimes and just shake your head. Giggling under your breath right now, aren't you? It's ok; you can go ahead and laugh out loud. It ain't gonna matter much, cuz we're just gonna go ahead and do it anyway. Too much damn typical male patterning going on! Is patterning a word?

I need my cane. I don't like my cane. I depend on my cane. I hate my cane. I realized the other day that if we leave the house, and I am in the car, if my cane is on the floor at my feet, I get a comfortable feeling of being able to handle whatever comes down the road. How can I hate something that brings such comfort to me? I don't like to have to rely on it, but I am glad I can. I am in a constant tug of war with this blind thing. I am desperately clinging tightly to what ever I can muster up of my vision with one hand, while I reluctantly clutch my cane with the other. I continue to subconsciously tell myself that I an not blind. I continue to, blah, blah, blah.

Through it all, I continue to be blessed every day. I continue to focus on the things I have in my life. I continue to struggle with it all, but I do manage to keep on continuing.

Well, here I go, off on another tangent that was totally unpredictable. I guess I'll take my tangent, and run with it.

Probably better take my cane with me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2012 07 13 Fill 'Er Up!

I often wonder if my time here on this big blue spinning marble is going to be considered time well spent. I often wonder just how each day gets filled up by so much, without really even trying. I often feel like I am being judged, like I am being compared to, like I am trying to do just a little better than the next one.

The next what? What am I being compared to? What am I filling my days up with? How do they all just get, filled up?

I woke up at five past five this morning, wide awake, and with the sound of a crow hollering down the road, it was evident that the day had indeed started getting filled up with, things. The sun was still thinking about peeking its head up over the tree tops. All of the things that tend to fill a day up were all lining up, checking their schedules, waiting their turns, whispering to each other as they patiently got ready to take their place, filling up the day.

Where do they come from? Did I buy them on sale and store them in a closet one night while sleepwalking my way through another night? Did I hit the home shopping network one day and buy a life's supply of things? Is this all pre-sorted out, with my name on it all? Was it double coupon day at the local market? How do they just, "appear", like that. Every day, one after the other, one at a time, until another day is filled up again, and night comes around it's like, umm, wicked weird. It's so unexplainable. . I'm telling you, it's just simply incredible.

Its six thirty now. The dogs are walked, watered and fed. The cardinal has made his beautiful six o'clock in the morning call. The guy down the street with the loud truck has already gone by, on his way to work, and here I am once again, sitting in front of my computer, wondering what to write. I feel like I am supposed to write something, so away I go.

You ever feel like their is something you are supposed to be doing? You ever feel like the world isn't spinning quite right until you figure out what it is and get on with it? How do we know what 'it' is? How do we instinctively know where we are supposed to be, and what we are supposed to be doing?  It's pretty amazing that the world isn't full of six billion people, wandering around, bumping into each other, with no clue what to do, where to go, or who to do it with. It's just simply amazing, if you think about it that is.

Listen. Did you hear that? Another car just went by, on its way to, somewhere it's supposed to be. Just simply amazing. All of this stuff, one after the other, One by one. Who sorts out all of this stuff anyways? I mean, just wait a second, and, there it is! Whappo! Whammie! Pow! Some more stuff, right over there, coming this way! Incoming!

Coco the horse dog is right where she is supposed to be. Deena the dainty is right where she is supposed to be. My feet are crossed, under my computer desk, right where they are supposed to be, or' well', maybe I shouldn't have them crossed. There. Better.

Last night, I listened to a song by Arcade Fire before I went to bed; it's the song, "Suburbs" from the album of the same name. I woke up with it playing in my head, and it's still playing, an hour and a half later, just like it's supposed to be? Really? I mean, it's a catchy tune and all, but, really? Is this how one goes about filling their day up? By listening to Arcade Fire? I didn't even know about this band a year ago. How did they just show up this morning, and start filling my day up? Do I have to pay them royalties or something? I hope not, cuz I didn't sign up for them. I mean, I don't heaven have any premium channels with the discounted package plan that I, umm, filled up my day with.

Once again, I seem to find myself off on a tangent, writing about non pertinent information that really has no bearings on much of anything. Maybe I should just hit control, home, then control, shift, end, delete. No. I don't think so.

I think I will continue to be amazed at just how neatly things fill up my days. I will just keep trying to figure it all out, while at the same time, not having a clue how to. I think I will take all of this stuff in stride and be grateful that at the end of the day, I have a place to lay my head, so I can try to unwind and sort out all of the stuff that has filled up the day.

No wonder we dream so much. It's a wonder we can sleep at all with all of the stuff swimming around up there, up here, "tapping my melon". It's a wonder anything ever gets done, with all of this stuff going on. Everywhere you look. It never stops. It just keeps on being, stuffed up with stuff.

There, see? Quarter of seven and the blue jay is banging the seed open on the kitchen window feeder. Just like he's supposed to. Seamlessly, like a well oiled machine, chugging along, very nicely. So goes the day.

What am I going to do next? I mean, this blog post is coming to a screeching halt, and I'll have to save it, then spell check it, just like I'm supposed to. What am I going to do after that? Where will the next stuff come from? What will I do with it? Will I have a choice what I can do, or who I can do it with? Is there an inventory list somewhere containing all of this, stuff?

It's like pulling into a gas station, rolling the window down, and hollering out to the attendant, "Fill 'er up!"