Cleansing burn

Join me in envisioning that list of excuses tossed into and consumed by this fire. No more excuses, no more reason to neglect my blog. If there are subjects you’d like to see me tackle, please send your suggestions.

See you again soon.

 

 

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Reason enough…

Excuses—

No one will want to read it…

I’m tired and unfocused.

What if everyone hates it?

There’s something good on TV.

What if no one even reads it?

I’m probably not all that good…

I have to update my facebook.

I have an attention issue…

Writing is like giving birth, it’s hard!

Everyone will realize I’m a phony.

It’s too much of a risk.

I’m not getting paid for this.

I’m a lazy and talentless hack.

I really am tired, really.

I have nothing of any value to say.

There’s no one dying to read anything I write.

I’m no good and everyone will realize it.

People will laugh at me.

What if no one wants to read my stuff?

It’s safer to do nothing than be rejected.

I’m never going to finish it.

What if they hate me?

—Fears     


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Back in print…

Aaaand…I’m back. As my new life settles down a bit, I’m going to try to get back to some sort of regular schedule here. Thanks to all who follow and comment, I look forward to hearing from you again. Keep watching this space….

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A New Leaf

Autumn comes a bit later here in Arizona, my new home. But, though it was 90-some degrees again in the Phoenix area today, the Fall is indeed sneaking into the Valley of the Sun as we speak. In fact, the same fall colors you can see out your window in Connecticut, or Vermont, or Wisconsin, have been on display in the northern parts of the state, including the Grand Canyon area, for weeks. So…I’m not feeling as homesick as I expected.

I mean, if I stand at the end of my driveway, I can see an actual mountain; so I’m not exactly starving for gorgeous natural visuals. But I’m looking forward to seeing some gold and scarlet gracing the trees in my neighborhood. But, not the palm trees, I’m guessing.

Seasonal changes are obvious times to reflect on the changes and chances of our lives. especially this year, since I went through more changes than a chameleon hiding out on a Jackson Pollock painting.

Quit a  job, sold a house, went through the intense last weeks of my mom’s life with her, drove all of our possessions cross-country, relocated my family to the middle of a desert. And that was just July. Why did I do it? What was I thinking? Questions like that seem to be reasonably on everyone’s minds. And my answer is, unreasonably,’ I don’t really know.’ Yes, we wanted to get out of the super-high-pressure of the east coast economy. Yes, we’d had more than our fill of humidity and winter. And, yes, it seemed that I came to the point to turn the page and find out the rest of the story. But none of those was a deciding factor.

Regardless of our illusions and desires, we have little real control of our lives. That’s a simple fact. We all get tossed on ever-roiling seas, swept along by the currents of history, driven by random and capricious tides.  Sure we do stuff, build and buy stuff, love, marry, raise children and make our marks, but the world rolls on with or without our cooperation. The most logical forward motion in life seems to be to go with the flow, like corks in the stream. 

Maybe going against the stream occasionally is a way of taking back some small measure of control. Or maybe I’m just going through a mid-life crisis and making crazy choices. Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe.

But here I am, in a red state, in the west, with 100+ degree summers, scorpions, rattle-snakes and republicans. And, terrific schools, an amazing highway system, great shopping, libraries and public services. And mountain sunset vistas that’ll make your eyes pop.

I’m still not sure how I got here, and I’m still not sure what I’m gonna do with my new life…but I’m working on it.

When I put it all together, you’ll be the first to know.

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Don’t it make my blue state red…

So, I’ve moved from deep-blue Connecticut to sunny, hot, red-red-red Arizona. Dear God what was I thinking…?!

Thereby hangs my tale…which I’ll be posting in installments soon. Maybe we’ll discover that it all makes more sense than it seems now. But I make no promises.

Watch this space.

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Which way?

There used to be, and may still be, a series of young reader books called the “Which Way” series. The brilliant idea of it all was to take an adventure story to a point of decision, at which point, the reader would choose the next step from a short list of possibilities. What you’d decide then shaped the story from there–you’d “turn to page 37,” or whatever, and see the consequences of your selection. Of course, since these were kids’ books, after all, and intended for fun, none of those choices were going to lead anywhere too dire. You weren’t going to turn the page to find a convertible plunging into the Grand Canyon.

Well, no surprise, it turns out that life is a which way proposition, without the option of flipping the pages back if you don’t like the outcome. We face those choices, big and small everyday, with the sure knowledge that what we choose can lead to paradise or disaster. Or a little bit of both. And, just to make things even more interesting, the road even to paradise will likely as not rival Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride for twists, turns, spills and thrills. Yipee.

If you’re like me, and I hope you are not, you face the which way moments with dread. I admit without a trace of pride, that I have been known often to freeze in the clutch. Faced with a possibility that might lead to a very good outcome–but might also end in flaming wreckage–I have done the only thing I could think of.

Nothing.

Sure, I haven’t gained much, but, I rationalize, I haven’t lost much either. But I’m dead wrong. I’ve ceded the rewards that could have been mine. I’ve given up a lot of happiness. Let way too many good things slip away. Life is not for the timid, the way forward is a perilous road, but the safe route leads only to a blank wall. What’s waiting for us, be it glory or tragedy, has to be risked if we’re ever to live fully. Happiness is not the payday for a safe trip through life.

Now, as down on me as I can be, I also know that I have taken plenty of real chances, have achieved, have found some small bits of glory. But I am haunted by the things that I wasn’t brave, or smart, or foolhardy enough to try for. I look back and wonder what might have been the reward if I’d zigged instead of zagging here or there. I’m sure everyone goes there, I know I’m not alone. We all have those moments of pondering what might have been if we had chosen wisely when the road diverged in the wood. Who hasn’t found themselves at the end of the less traveled way, wondering if maybe we should have taken a right turn at Albuquerque after all.

Well, once the dice are rolled, once the path is traversed, we can’t replay it–but we’re not necessarily at the end either. There are, I’m starting to see, other roads and other choices always still available. Thing is, we have to actually get moving to see where those will lead. Life, I think, is not a journey, but rather a series of journeys, and the traveling is only over if you stop moving.

All of this springs to mind as I ponder why I’ve been silent here at the blog for a bit. Like a carnival ride, the world keeps spinning whether we’re ready for it or not. Unlike a carnival ride, I pray that the hand on the brake has all of its digits, but I digress. Anyway, in the past couple of weeks, my road has veered into rough country a bit; over hills, through some brambles, and quite a stretch of broken pavement. What can I say, for a lot of us, sometimes it’s a dark ride.

During that time, I’m afraid I misplaced my focus a bit, froze up some, and struggled a little too. Not unique to my life, and by no means my whole story, it’s just some bumps along the way. It happens, it will happen, and I will keep moving. The road continues on, and I’ll get past the rough stuff. Hell, I have to, or I lose even more ground.

I’m rededicating my self to keeping The Confessions more on track from here out. I”ll keep going and keep reporting back from the journey. Hopefully you’ll want to see how things go. I know I do–but I may be a bit more into it.

As Paul McCartney and the Beatles remind us, it’s a long and winding road…but hopefully it leads somewhere good. Not traveling it is really no choice at all.

Stand still and you’ll never know which way things turn out.

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Still here…

Even in the desert, life blooms and casts a long shadow–there’s some sort of message–probably an obvious one–in that for me.

Sorry there hasn’t been anything new this week, it’s been a distracted, and maybe slightly dry, time. I’m working away, though, and there’ll be new posts this week.

I promise…

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