My funny Valentine

When you have just gone through a recent divorce and Valentine’s day suddenly rolls in out of nowhere, as if intentionally aiming to rub salt on your wounds, you can’t help but feel a little out of place, to say the least. Luckily, I was able to dodge the temptation of being inconceivably annoyed all day, by simply cranking out some soothing tunes. Of course, courtesy of my Valentine’s Greatest Hits MP3 playlist. Let’s see… Love Stinks, Love Hurts, Love Bites, Love Kills, Love Sucks… you get the idea.

Just kidding. But I did watch all those videos, mind you!

However, I actually spent  all of yesterday laughing and enjoying work. And gobbling up massive amounts of heart-shaped cookies in the lunch room. I also shot video footage of a seminar. And, while my camera was roaming around the room, my mind was actually preoccupied with the thoughts of the stand-up comedy routine called Love Songs, by the late Richard Jeni. It’s a classic and outrageously funny. People probably thought I was laughing at them.

Okay, I had already posted it here sometime ago but I just had to post it again, in the spirit of the occasion. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and hit play. It’ll do you good, I promise.

This is not good

The plan was to start this long weekend with a positive and cheerful attitude. At least, that was my original plan. I tried. However, I just got off the phone with Deb, my ex, about an hour ago.

This is not good, I’m telling you. This is NOT GOOD! I should not have answered her call. But, that would’ve been rude, I guess. I don’t know. Maybe, we should not have been talking for hours, at least. But, I couldn’t let go. I am tortured. What a way to start the new year.

Although, I think, I kind of pushed her away somehow, by telling her to not expect me to call her, ever. But, I’m thinking, she shouldn’t be calling me, in the first place. We’re never going to heal this way, I don’t think.

Hence, the quest to do the right thing, continues.

I’m just being real and open about where I’m at. So, please bear with me.

I think, I’m back in the mud, this moment. I hate this. I even started listening to these sappy songs again. Like this one, I wrote for her when I first asked her to be my girlfriend, long time ago. It was about a prediction I was hinting on. Since Christmas is my favorite time of year, I wanted to celebrate it on our wedding day. In June.

It’s all just a memory now, though. But, I don’t want to throw it away, yet. It was a big part of my life and I still treasure it to this day.

Christmas is Coming

The sun comes down
It’s cold outside
Snow falls to the ground
Like a leaf on a tree
So tears leave my eyes
When you’re not around

How long shall I wait for you my wife
How long shall I hold my breath before I die

Christmas is coming
It’s coming soon
Christmas is coming
We’ll wait by the moon
Christmas is coming
I’ll be with my love
As we celebrate our time
Our Christmastime in June

In my thoughts I recall
The cry of the ocean
Under the midnight sky
We walked on the shore
We played in the sand
How could I even say goodbye

There goes the bride

It’s so hard. Everyday is torture.

Sure, it helps to write things down but still, it haunts me to this day that my marriage didn’t work.

I take all the blame! I am weak and did not deserve her in the first place. Though, I am grateful to God that he gave me a chance to love and be loved. A chance to see me for who I really am. How I was and who I can be from this day forward.

As promised, I am sharing with you the bridal procession song that I wrote and recorded for my wedding. All I have now are the memories. And this song is from a moment in time when love was born. Like a baby, so tender and pure. I am so sorry that it has now passed away. Oh, so soon. How I wish I could bring it back to life.

Deb, I know you’re reading this. I hope you don’t mind me sharing it here. This will always be your song.

Here Comes My Bride

Here comes my bride
All dressed in white
I have been waiting all my life

My brand new day
Will wipe the tears away
All arise
Here comes my bride

Midnight conversations

Late last night I was awakened by a loud, tacky ring tone from my cell (which reminds me, I need to change that to something a little less disturbing asap). But I didn’t catch it soon enough as I was way out in dreamville at that point. Although, I heard the tail end of the ring just enough to realize I was getting a call.

So, I rolled around my bed and tried to reach for the phone. As I stretched my arm to grab it, I got a little agitated thinking, who in the world could this be. I thought, this better be good. And then I immediately thought of Deb, my ex. I know that she likes to talk to me but doesn’t have the time to do it except in the dead of night. Oh, great! However, she knows better not to call me at that particular time during weekdays.

Anyhow, sure enough, it was her. So, I called her back and we chatted for what seemed to be a couple of hours at least. I must be getting old as I could hardly hang in there that late. Everytime, I had to ask her a second time what she just said.

It was good though. I’m just glad to know she’s okay. She did sound good. She told me she started going back to church and that she’s been going after new friendships. She even had a good Thanksgiving with her dad. But she took him to Cracker Barrel? On Thanksgiving? Aren’t you suppose to roast your own turkey instead?

Oh well, I just thought that maybe she’s actually doing better than I though she was. In fact, even better than I am… as I have not been able to do those same things myself yet. I don’t know. Sometimes, I just don’t know where I’m at, even though I want to insist that I do. Trying to forget everything and starting anew is easier said than done. Especially, when there really wasn’t a reason to forget anything in the first place.

I miss her. She misses me. This is so tragic.

These midnight conversations that we have every now and then could both be a blessing and a curse. It keeps our memories of each other from getting sour and preserves our ability to remain friends. But at the same time, it doesn’t allow us to move on and look to see what lies ahead of us. I can’t maker her stop calling me. I’m afraid I don’t want to.

Really makes me think of that U2 song… I can’t live with or without you.

Okay, I’m getting sappy now.

How ’bout some are ree yes pee eeh see tee?

When you speak, be sure your words are tasty and sweet, not bitter; lest you have to eat them someday.

I’m not sure if someone’s already quoted this line before. It sounds pretty much common sense to me. But I’m assuming so anyway by not taking credit; just to be safe.

Anyhow, lately, I’ve been feeling the impact of this simple but profound admonition. I’m not going to list the details now. I just want to express myself at this moment by saying… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve uttered things out of haste and frustration just to look back disgraced over what I’ve said. Nope, no one’s judging me, I don’t think.

No one but myself anyway.

Oh, don’t you just love it when you realize your behavior is suddenly the exact same way you hate it in others? It’s terrible. It’s like a trap. Like you’ve set out to win no matter what, and then all of a sudden, you lose. Miserably. Like shooting yourself in the foot, I guess. It happens, and there’s no easy way out.

This year I’ve been a bit more conscious of the way I talk to people. The way I establish contact… with my family, my friends, the grocery cashier, anyone. Even at work, in fact. When I communicate with co-workers, when speaking at a conference meeting or on the phone with whomever. When simply making eye contact, or composing emails, letters and… ahem, posting a blog! It’s not that I’ve lost it or anything. I’m just trying to re-assess my people skills. It’s more than just a professional gesture, I think, Sure, there are things I dislike about some folks, and it mostly pertains to their demeanor, the tone of their voice and their choice of words when they speak. I’m not saying I possess the scroll that reveals the proper way to act respectably. This only applies to me. Maybe because I’m a little tender in some ways? And need a little tlc, perhaps? Ha! But I sometimes find myself unconsciously expecting more of others than I do myself. And that… that bugs the daylights out of me. After the fog clears up, that is.

I think it’s important to always be aware of your aura around human beings. As tough as it is to do so consistently. Whether they’re the closest person in your life or a complete stranger, there needs to be an uninterrupted flow of respect at all times. It’s a science and an art that I’ve been trying to master for as long as I can remember. But no matter how long it’s been, I always discover there’s so much more to learn. Or re-learn, for that matter.

I have heard over and over that respect is suppose to be earned. To a degree, I believe it. But then I thought, we’re human beings. Prone to greed and naturally hungry for control or power in one way or another. Morally speaking, if something has to be earned, it becomes a thing of value. For purposes of trade or exchange, that is. Like money and stuff. Y’know, like working to earn a living? You know what I mean. Anyhow… and so, we all say, I want some. And then, I want more. Sooner or later, I want it all. Now! Suddenly, it becomes an object of individual desire. Everybody works hard for it. Terribly hard! And that’s when the idea of respect gets caught in the crossfire of good and bad intentions. Respect now becomes a job. A chore. Think about this for a moment…

Respect is earned, but…

Redemption is… currently on sale! Cheap! Limited time only! Hurry!

Get it?

I hate being sarcastic.

And going off on a tangent.

Now, where was I?

It’s difficult for me to bring it up again but I have to constantly face the truth; that the failure of my marriage is partly due to my inability to maintain respect when it’s most needed. When your emotions get the best of you, for whatever reason, it matters not what you instinctively know to be right or wrong, all you see is either the person you have locked up and has somehow managed to escape or the one you never even knew ever existed. In my case, it was the latter. Because I am not one to display physical manifestations (oh please, not the door slamming again), I tend to be swayed by having to defend myself either through the blurting of foolish words I don’t really mean or, for the most part, with complete and deafening silence (Ooh, this one’s the rusty jagged-edged blade you don’t want to feel, trust me. I can be silent for months on end without breaking a sweat). I have learned since that neither of these demonstrate respect. Well, duh! But it’s almost impossible to see at the time.

I’ve experienced that, much like an elephant can be startled by the presence of a tiny mouse, there are times in life when your desire, faith and confidence can easily be disabled, disarmed, surrendered, and without notice, by a single person’s action or circumstance. It’s so easy to lose yourself. To forget who you are. To forget who people are. And more importantly, to forget what you believe in and stand for. Integrity disintegrated. All these things you’ve worked all your life to gain… gone in sixty seconds. Literally, sometimes.

Uhh, such a rude awakening!

Just my two shekels

A year ago this month, I completed a CD project called “A Dark in the Light.” Yep! It’s been a long year alright. Now, it’s just a buzzphrase for me and it’s everywhere that I am. Or so it seems. Well heck, it’s even gone to be the grand poobah title of my blogsite now, if you haven’t noticed yet!

There was a reason that phrase came about, by the way. Or why I titled my last CD such. And obviously, because of its spiritual undertone, it’s sometimes difficult to zero in on a fair interpretation. So, what’s with the phrase? Well, as you may have already found out, last year was a tough emotional year for me, to say the least. No, there wasn’t any falling out or anything bad like that. In fact, I held on pretty good despite the bitter times. But more on this in a while.

A few weeks back, I was able to port my journal here in wordpress from my old and dated platform. Finally. I’m still as excited about it today as I was the day it went live. And since then, I have shouted through the rooftops… and the world (at least my own little world) has heard and found out about it. And I thank everyone who takes the time to read my rants. Or should I say, random thoughts. Because that’s what they are.

Anyhow, I’m writing this entry in hopes of shedding some light on the phrase “A Dark in the Light” as some of you have asked me about it. This would probably be good for my sanity as well. So here it goes…

On the rocksWell, besides sounding simply cool :-), this was, in fact, exactly how I felt during the time Deb and I decided to end our relationship. If you have read some of my entries from mid last year, you would’ve heard a sad tone in between the lines. Some of my friends even commented in a jokingly manner that whenever I speak of my dog, they’re not sure if it’s really the dog I’m talking about or someone else. But of course, they knew. Although, back then I couldn’t even bear to think about it, much less talk about it. So I blurred my words a bit to dodge some of this pain I had never felt before in my life. But somehow I had to deal to heal.

But back to what I was saying… when Deb and I split up in April of last year, I had to look in the mirror to see if I really knew myself or if I had only been putting on a mask all my life. I wasn’t even sure anymore. After all these years of living a somewhat radical life of faith in God, I am now being overcome by waves of confusion. For the first time ever, I am seeing a complete stranger in me. If that makes any sense.

I have always believed and feared God. And my life revolved around the essence of Him being the light in the dark alley that I walk through everyday. And because of this sheer conviction, I am somehow able to walk and live life confidently. No, things didn’t always happen the way I wanted them to. Not by a long shot! But as far as I can remember, I was always relieved that this was the case or I may have been regretful of a lot of things… that is, if I was in control of my own life. And so, when things didn’t work out in my marriage, eventually, I thought of myself as this shameful dark figure walking about in the light. As in, a dark spot on an otherwise spotless surface. A distinct blemish. A stain on a white shirt. Umm, a party crasher? Or still… an unworthy son.

Unworthiness. Yes! Unworthiness is, in fact, the overwhelming theme of the phrase “A Dark in the Light.” Shame is overcome by grace, guilt by forgiveness and failure by a second chance. But, on through the life beyond this one, unworthiness remains. It’s in the blood and will never wash out.

Okay, I have no intentions of sounding religious whatesoever. I apologize if I did. But I live a spiritual life and I’ll always have a spiritual perspective on anything I say or do. Sometimes when I speak it sounds philosophical but it’s really not. It’s all just a personal view.

My two shekels, if you will.

And like I’ve said in the past, my art reflects this as well. Especially in my music. So hey, listen to it sometime. Listen to A Dark in the Light! It’s about Deb, about friends, about family and about God. But, enough said. As Steven Tyler would say… let the music do the talking!

Until next time…