Thursday, June 28, 2007

What is love? There doesn't appear to be any one meaning that we can agree on. If you look on the internet, the "experts" have very different ideas on what it means. Is the love for pizza the same as the love for your grandma or your "lover"? Of course not. If you lose a piece of pizza you are not truly heartbroken. And most normal thinking people don't "love" their grandma like their lover. One expert suggest that there are different phases of love. Young love is exciting and passionate. Raising children with a common belief is love. Dealing with the trials and tribulations of life together is love.

Last night a good friend of mine said that "love is a decision." I've never thought of it that way. He suggests that you decide to love someone. It seems to me that you would have to have something in common before you decide to love someone. I guess you could decide after you've spent time sharing thoughts and feelings. I think love is something that "happens" between people. He may be saying that once you decide to love someone you can nurture the relationship until it becomes love.

Do you automatically love your parents, your siblings, your children? I think at some point, in the beginning, the middle or for eternity, a person loves their spouse. I know of people who have grown to hate their family members. What a shame. I may love one of my sisters more than the other, but I still love them both. It is just assumed that you'll love your family members.

I think feeling comfortable enough to say anything to a person is love. I think being able to be yourself around someone is love. Even though I'm not always honest, I think honesty is an important part of love. So if you tell a lie or act "fake" can you still be in love?

I'm sure I'll have more to say on this. I am interested to hear what you think.

"all you need is love, all you need is love, love..."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A couple of nights ago, I went for a walk with my 2 and half year old grandson. We watched some little boys playing baseball, played on the jungle gym and had a great time. As he and I were walking across a baseball field heading home, he started to run ahead of me and began doing somersaults. Not one, but one after another, after another, after another. It was a wonderful thing to watch. He had a huge smile exploding on his face. We all need to keep more of that love of life. It's a shame that as every year goes by, we lose a little more love of life. We forget how to enjoy life. We become afraid to express ourselves... like the chalk thing.

Life becomes complicated. People put expectations on us. Our parents and teachers tell us how we "should" act. Our boss tells how we can dress. The government tries to protect us from ourselves. Society strips us of our child-like love of life. Who decided that childish behavior is a bad thing? I realize that we have to learn right from wrong, but what's wrong with an armpit fart to lighten up a board room meeting? What would be wrong with an office full of people dressed in whatever clothes they like, going outside on a sunny afternoon, laying on their backs in the grass and simply gazing into the sky?

Maybe someday, not in my lifetime, but someday society will realize that we are making a big mistake by taking away that pure love. If everyone around the world loved life, simplified their happiness and stopped trying to make others fall in line with what they believe, we could all get along.

I think I'll go out and do a few somersaults and then just lie on my back and think.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I had another birthday yesterday. I'm not ready to stop having birthdays yet. At this point in my life though, it's really no different than the day before or the day after. It's just another day. When we are young it's the next best thing to Christmas! You invite your friends, play games, eat cake and ice cream and open presents...what joy! Over the last 25 years or so, I try to play down my birthday. I don't like anyone to go out of their way for me on my birthday, or any other day for that matter. For the first time, I have started to look down the road of my life. One more year and I'll be 50! 50...WOW! By now I thought I'd be on a fairly steady course, not still planning my next great adventure! I have almost certainly lived over half of my life. It's a little scary. I've lived my entire life as if I was Peter Pan living in Never Never Land. I never planned for getting older. Damn, I was wrong...again. I'm sure one way or another, things will work out, they always do. Whether I'm living in a cardboard box, a tent in the hills or a nice little house in Nebraska, things will be alright. Peace.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Saturday night we invited a couple of friends to our patio after the bars closed. As the morning hours faded into a haze of smoke and drink, the mood became quite mellow. I handed everyone a big piece of colorful sidewalk chalk. Now, things got interesting. I jumped right in and started drawing the first thing that popped into my head... a heart. The others sat there as if they were frozen by the egg-shaped piece of chalk. I continued making shapes and colors on the patio floor. The others sat there holding the chalk like it was going to hurt them or expose them in some uncomfortable way. Finally, one of my friends knelt down on the floor and began to draw an odd but large shape. I drew a line that followed hers, then she followed mine, and then I followed her, and then... Then my other friend joined in, but didn't follow our lines, he just made a couple of raw marks on the floor, but it was a start. Hey, we were on a roll. Paula never got the urge to join in.

The last guy to get into the "fun" is a comedian by trade, a creative type. He struggled with this form of free expression that so many 2 year olds love. I was shocked! I learned some things from this little experiment. Some people are afraid to show their inner self, afraid to let go. It's sad. Thank God I can let go. It gets me into trouble on occasion, but it feels so good! I could tell what these people's moods were by what they drew... or didn't draw. After covering most of the available floor space on the patio, we all sat back and looked. It was interesting. We all saw something different in the shapes and colors on the cement. It was like looking at clouds when we were kids and imaging what the shapes were. I stood on the steps looking over our patio to get a new perspective, it was very cool. The next day when I looked at the art, it took on a whole new meaning. It was still cool. Now as the days have gone by and the sun and rain have done their damage it continues to be a morphing piece of art that soon will be a blank canvas again. I'm going to have get more sidewalk chalk.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I have been dealing with too much death lately. I attended another funeral last night. Good friends of ours lost their 29-year-old son. It was very sad. As much as I think people should celebrate the death of a loved one, this would have been tough. A couple of this young man's favorite tunes, a baseball game and a few cold beers would have helped.

This young man was so alone that he had been dead for over three weeks before anyone knew. That's alone! How does a person become so separated from life? His parents don't know much about the days or weeks, or even months leading up to their little boys death. Yesterday, the day of the funeral, they received a box of his personal belongings from the San Antonio police. They could put all of his belongings in one box... it tore my heart out. The father said there were phone numbers and names of people they don't know. I pray that I never lose touch with my children. I also pray that I never have to bury one of my children. It is just wrong. When the minister had said her final words and the last sad song was sung, the father spoke briefly to the huge crowd at the service, kissed his hand and layed it on the urn holding his son's ashes and cried... so did I.

I've been walking alot lately. Long walks. I have so many things on my mind. I keep thinking that if I walk far enough the mess in my head will make some sense. Apparently I haven't walked far enough yet. It is great therapy, especially when I walk alone. However I walked with my wife for hours a couple of nights ago, and it felt good. I wonder how far I'll have to walk to clear my head. Sometimes I wish I could just erase everything and start all over. I might think things through probably not, it's just me.