published 12/2/2014 at 11:48:59 PM
Hunter Kitty, my pretty little girl, my Squeaker, Squeaker - may you rest in peace. Thank you for all the wonderful memories, the almost 16 years of life enriching moments, and the joy and love that you gave me, unconditionally. I'll miss you more than I think I ever expressed to you. I hope that I gave you a good enough life that you were happy. I know that you never really enjoyed all the other cats that I made you experience, that you were only fond of your brother, Dylan. I hope that kitty Heaven is everything that you could wish for, and then some, more than I could give you on this spinning blue ball. I hope that you didn't suffer too much, and that you'll think enough of me to look me up the day I finally meet my Maker. I'm feeling such a loss right now. I'm not good with goodbyes, so promise this is just a "see you later". I love you.
published 11/19/2014 at 09:10:00 PM
The shadow of the clouds
Is a deep, dark place to be,
Seeping echoes of the moonlight
Drift like ripples to the sea.
Carving the memories of my dreams
Into the wooden paths that be,
Warding off the haunting nightmares
That are engrained inside of me.
Dusty trails of lost regrets
Realities that were never meant to be,
Buried behind unopened doors
Whittled into the bark of my tree.
The essence of my yesteryears
Resonates like the honey to the bee,
And flutter through my conscience
Giving me the light to help me see.
Wallowing sounds of smiles
Still penny wishes that could never be,
Spinning in circles of sunshine
Like the dance that sets me free.
Tunnels reflecting trails of truth
And the future is what it will be,
And will always be what you make of it
So make it that best that it can be.
published 8/13/2014 at 07:13:23 PM
It's been a little over a year since I've posted to my blog, and the silence has been long enough. My lack of entries doesn't stem from laziness, but more from a lack of a topic that finds me enthused with emotion enough to actually do something about it.
A topic finally smacked me in the face with emotion, although it doesn't come with any great enthusiasm. It comes with a heavy heart and an outpouring of emotion that I'd just as soon forget.
There are only a handful of celebrities in this world that I haven't had the opportunity to call a friend which have influenced my life enough for me to collect their entire body of work. With the event that unfolded yesterday, August 11, 2014, the final one has passed. The irony dwells deeper than the fact that the first of the three died on August 9th, the second on August 10th, and now the last on August 11th, but I'll get to that later.
For me, when someone I care about passes, I tend to look at my life in retrospect and put it in perspective. I assess their life, how it influenced me, how it changed me for the better. I look at how they will be remembered. I look at who and what they left behind, and how those people are affected, and what they must be going through. I mourn. I learn. I let my heart heal, and try to move on. I find that the larger the impact that person had on my life, the longer the healing and the subsiding of sadness takes. It's not a fun process, but I eventually find my way through it.
I've been a Deadhead since my senior year in high school, back in the mid to late 80s. I didn't quite hit the three digit counter of Dead shows, although I came close. I was privileged enough to see Brent for most of them. I'll never forget the day that Jerry died. I had just landed in Portland, Oregon with my friend Theresa. We were at Matt Swisher's house and I called my mother to let her know that I had landed safely, as she had asked me to do. My Mom doesn't know anything about the Grateful Dead or Jerry Garcia. She just knew how much I liked him, how much he had an influence on my life. After all, I had been following them around for almost a decade. She was the one that told me the news. I knew that she couldn't have been lying. After all, my Mom doesn't lie, and why would she kid to me about something like that? I turned on CNN, and sure enough it was splattered all over the news. I remember dropping Matt's phone and my jaw simultaneously, and not being able to process anything for about 10 minutes. Two days later, Theresa and I were due in San Francisco to meet up with one of her friends. We had stopped in, picked him up, and started heading to the beach. On the way, we were going through Golden Gate Park and we ran into Tondra, a friend from Ohio. They were headed to a memorial in Golden Gate Park. We decided to stop in and pay tribute. There were about 50 people there. We stayed longer, and then a little longer after that. The next thing we knew it was morning and there were well over 100,000 people congregated. I always say that if I hadn't been there for that memorial, I don't think that I would have ever been able to release the overwhelming sense of sadness that was welling up inside me. I don't know that I would have ever gotten over his death. It's been nearly 20 years and I still miss him, but I've processed his passing and am able to reflect on what he gave me, what he gave the world, in my own life. I celebrate that joy everyday my soul spins around this planet.
The passing of Michael Houser was much different than Jerry, but it was also just as profoundly impacting. Mikey was the original guitarist, the founding member of Widespread Panic. He was Panic. I was only able to witness a few dozen Mikey shows from 1993 through 2002. His passing was unfortunate for everyone, but for me, it didn't impact me at the time as much as it does to this day. I've been to hundreds of shows with Jimmy and I appreciate what he has done for the band. I appreciate his contributions and the love he puts forth. But when I stick a show in my music player, it's always a Mikey show. Mikey was not a dominate player in the band, he was the piece of the puzzle that that tied all the other instruments together. He led them through a musical journey within every song, oftentimes without even realizing he was doing so. When you listen to tapes, he was that glue that teased a song well before it was played. He jaunted rifts in the background that brought out the other member's best. He knew better than anyone how to tie songs together, to get from here to there playing music between them. And every time I see them play, I often wish and wonder what it would be like to have him back on stage one more time. Sometimes I feel like I appreciate him more now and that really sucks. What sucks even more is cancer. To have to battle that terminal demon, knowing you're not going to win, he still felt like he was truly blessed and he faced it fearlessly. That's so much more than I could have ever done if I were in his shoes. It's now been a dozen years, and I don't think I've fully processed his finality, but I'm happy for the music he left in the wake of his legacy. He lives on through their music, even after all of these years.
I was first introduced to Robin Williams on Mork and Mindy back in the late 70s. It was my favorite show. I was only nine years old, but his quick witted, ad lib humor often spewed from his lips faster than I could process it. He left me laughing for a while. There is no better gift that you can be given than the gift of laughter. To me, Robin did it the best. I was privileged enough to be able to see him do stand-up back in 2008. I've collected every movie he's ever played a part in, regardless of how big or how small. His intelligence and sense of humor made me think. He brought subject to light uniquely, a perspective unparalleled. The news of his passing yesterday has left me a little overwhelmed. I haven't begun to process how his life fully impacted me, what I can learn from what he's left behind. I haven't mourned. I haven't cried. I haven't even been able to understand the finality of it all. I'm literally stunned. There aren't words that I can put together into a sentence yet that can describe how I feel. And to some extent, I don't know if there ever will be. How can a man that left an everlasting impression on so many for the laughter and comedy he provided, die from something that stemmed from depression? That irony is so difficult for me to understand without feeling like I should try to do something about it. It's just not right. I feel like that is a statement in and of itself. Wake up. Pay attention. How can someone who has a family, fortune, fame, everything in the world going for him, be so down and miserable to the point that he feels like he has to escape it by taking his own life? I've got to be missing something, something that I am completely unaware of, that equates this behavior. If it was entirely because of depression, then we must take a deeper look at this disease.
I pray that bad things only come in threes, because if this pattern continues on this path, I will forever dread this week in August. Honestly, I probably already do. I don't like being depressed. I don't like forcing myself to look at the bigger picture of what this really all means. I struggle with the thoughts of when I meet my Maker. Will I see everyone I've grown to miss in Heaven, or am a really arrogant enough to believe that there is a Heaven more beautiful than the Planet I've been gracious enough to already visit? For now, I celebrate each of their lives on their birthdays, and I remember them on the anniversaries of each of their passing. When that time comes when I'm in those shoes, I hope that I've left enough of a positive lasting impression on those that I've left behind, that I'm fearless of what is left in front of me, and that I've left this spinning ball better off than when I came in.