I think time, both speeds up and slows down, as you get older. Not at any specific age, but whatever age a person is when they finally realize time is running out. Maybe not next month or next year, but whenever that very late stage of life hits you.
Quite possibly, it speeds up because your body fails more frequently and more easily. The increments when you feel older than before get closer and closer, like highway mile markers as you drive faster. Maybe life just seems to speed up because you desperately want it to slow down. On the other hand, maybe it slows down because as you enter into those later years, the details of life, the micro parts, develop a routine and life of their own.
I’ve been talking a lot with my father lately. That part isn’t unusual. He’s almost 95,
You…. were born with buckets.
Not the kind of buckets that hold water, but the kind of buckets that reside inside, and hold the things you hate about yourself.
When will I cease to be
Drift away, drift away
I won’t be me to you someday
When will I die to you
Fade to black, fade to black
Once I’m gone I can’t come back
The old man shuffles away slowly,
each movement making joints ache
in a discordant cacophony.
a trial of balance.
But inside, he is young, proud,
and full of a life and spirit
from a younger man’s day.
Your lipsticked lips
Brush against my fingertips
And chills crawl up my spine
I’ve known it since I met you
That I just got to get to
Make you mine, mine all mine
I'm tired and it's time to go, it's been a long road.
I've lived such a cherished life, and I’m not owed
I've done my share and I know, I've had my say.
And in my heart I know that, I don't regret a day.
But now it's time that I drift my way back home
From where I came, I'm going back there now
I'll be leaving all the ones I love and know
But now it's time for me to go back home
Don't you cry for me sweet baby, wipe your eyes for me sweet girl
I'll be in your heart sweet baby, don't you cry for me sweet girl
Don't you cry for me sweet baby, wipe your eyes for me sweet girl
I'll be in your heart sweet baby, don't you cry for me sweet girl
My wife and I were getting ready to go out with another couple for dinner. She was changing, and I was just lying on the bed, playing with my phone. She asked me if I was going to change. If I hadn’t gotten the feeling she was trying to send me a message, I might have been more open to the possibility, but I did get that feeling, and I ended up telling her I was probably going to go the way I was.
This was after, earlier in the week, I left the house to go to work dressed in a way she didn’t feel was appropriate. We disagreed then too, and I left without changing.
I’ll admit, I become kind of obstinate in those circumstances, maybe because so much of my life is out of my control. Whether it’s managing my business, taking care of my family, or maintaining our home, how I conduct my own life is the only thing I actually have control over. So maybe I have a heightened awareness of not giving any of that control away. Which doesn’t mean I’m totally self-centered. I just want to be the one who is in control of me, without feeling obligation to someone else’s judgement.
Either way, my wife reacted by getting angry and telling me it seemed like I didn’t
I often think about all the milestones that mark a life, all the real significant moments that go by with hardly any thought at all.
For instance... a 48 year old ... this very day, this very minute, may be at the exact mid-point of his or her entire life. It's like... "Wow! Ninety six years, and this is the exact middle!". And yet... it just goes by and there's no thought to it at all. We don't even know it. It's hugely significant in a "lifetime achievement" kind of way. Every one of us goes through their mid-life point in time, and not one single one of us can
"You're either a racist, a non-racist, or an anti-racist. And until there's zero racism, two of those three are part of the problem".
I was caught the other night in what could only be described as a classic “Shower Thought”.
There are a lot of experiences men and women share.
A lot of them are perceived similarly…. Driving, maybe eating a meal, bowling.
Some of them are perceived differently, but usually there’s something thrown in that makes the actual situation different for each. For instance, a husband and wife could go to the same hospital at the same time, but really, it’s the mother giving birth, and the father feeling a bit helpless or faint.
I think there’s very few circumstances as similar and as opposite at the same time, as the classic “Bar Scene”.
****This was originally written in September of 2006, when my daughter was nine years old...
My 9 year old daughter forgets things all the time. She'll forget her binder, she'll forget her glasses, she'll forget to clean up after herself. Basically, if something was supposed to be done, and she was supposed to do it, there's a good chance she'll have forgotten it. "But I forgot!" is usually the phrase I hear just before the reprimand comes. I can't be alone in all this. There must be a billion other parents who hear the same thing. Every day.
Why am I sure of that? Because I used to say it all the time when I was her age. It takes effort, but I have to remember that. I said it so often, my sister nicknamed me “Coma”. As a matter of fact, I said it so many times, I even developed a theory for it that I tried, unsuccessfully, to use to my advantage. It went something like... "But if I forgot, then I wasn't thinking about it. I can’t be disobeying if it wasn’t even in my mind. So how can I be faulted for not doing something I wasn't even conscious of?" Not bad for a little kid.
The fact that I thought it up in the first place though, probably means I needed to because I forgot so often. It helps me now when my daughter forgets something. I know I have to teach her responsibilities, but it helps to keep in mind that she's 9, and 9 year old kids will do that. It's been that way forever. Or at least since I was 9.
*** I’m putting a disclaimer here, as I probably should with most of what I write. It would be easy to challenge that my premise doesn’t cover every single aspect of life. So here goes… disclaimer…. my premise doesn’t cover every single aspect of life. I know there are situations people are not to blame for. This is just one person’s opinion for what I think covers a wide swath. I understand there are exceptions.
Sometimes, it’s hard to be honest with someone. Maybe you don’t want to hurt them, or you don’t like confrontation, or you’re embarrassed, but whatever the reason, it can be difficult to be honest with others at times. And if you’re good enough, sometimes, you can get away with that lack of complete honesty.
However, by far, the most difficult person to be completely honest with, is you. Lying to yourself is easy. And if you want to believe it bad enough, you will. It can even become second nature.
Self-deception happens because you don’t want to believe certain things about yourself. You do something inconsiderate, ...
Let’s talk about things that really tick me off. Why? I’m not sure, except it feels better if someone else knows them. Especially if I can get someone to jump into my emotional stew along with me.
For a couple of these things, my own lack of insight keeps me from understanding their reasoning. I’m sure there are reasons. And even though I recognize that, my perspective is just weird enough to amuse myself, so I’m sticking with it. With some of the other items, they aren’t amusing at all. They just tick me off.
One last note…I’m sure, if I thought harder, I’d discover this is just a partial list. I should put a “#1” after the title, because there will probably be a “#2” sometime in the future.
Here we go…
Issue #1 – “Frozen Butter Patties”.
(I started writing this in 2007. It's now 2020. I hope I didn't rush things)
As a noun, it’s just a little line. As a verb, you hurry through a moment. Those two kinds of dashes are related in a way that I consider almost tragic.
Most people don’t think of the dash as anything except a small, insignificant little line.
And yet, it represents the most important thing ever known to man.
Something I wrote one night way back in 2003, after getting back from a camping weekend with my daughter Marlee...
I got back a little while ago from “My Weekend With Marlee”. The big annual once a year “Father/Daughter” tent camping weekend. The Marlee part was great. The weather part… well… part of it was pretty bad, a little was really nice, and the rest was hot and sticky. But the Marlee part overshadowed the weather, so it was okay with me. Considering the point to the whole weekend is to completely devote time just between dad and daughter, it was a wonderful time.
We arrived about 5 PM on Friday, and we were lucky. It was pouring. But since I’m such a fantastic forecaster, I deemed it might start raining even harder… and not stop. So we decided to make the most of it and started setting up camp in what I would consider only a slight downpour.
Because of my amazing forecasting talents, I had thought ahead and had taken a “groundcover” to put under the tent to separate the dry tent from the soaking wet ground. I positioned the groundcover down in just the right spot.
Next was the tent. Of course, by the time we went to put the tent down, the ground cover was soaked. So we tried drying it off… in the downpour. That took half the towels we had brought with us. And it only took half because we had brought extra. It also only took half because we eventually gave up trying to dry off the groundcover in the pouring rain. We now have the tent down on a soaking groundcover that’s there to keep the tent from sitting on a wet ground. Nice!
(Something I wrote back in 2013. When I was much less mature. Okay... who am I kidding...)
I enjoy a pastime called “Curb Jumping” which is a very close cousin to “Cliff Jumping". And as you know, cliff jumping is extremely dangerous.
I, being the dangerous man I am, fit the profile perfectly. Particularly since, being in New Haven CT, the only real cliffs I come across are curbs, which tend to mitigate a lot of the danger.
However, I still must feed my wild side, so every so often, I'll put on my helmet and gloves and get all my line and rope and footwear and everything on and go jumping.
Obviously, in a city like New Haven, finding a good curb is pretty easy, although the steeper ones... 6... maybe 8 inches... are a little harder. Of course, when you're dangerous like myself, looking a little harder for the big ones is worth it, especially when you have a reputation for danger.
Most likely, people look at me in awe when they see me on the weekends. I see them pointing... speaking under their breath, waiting for me to jump. Sometimes, I'll stand there... breathing deeply.... gathering myself on the edge of a particularly high curb... stoking the anticipation. Some onlookers laugh as they try to hide the fear they feel inside for me.
And then.... as they wait... holding their collective breaths.... I raise my arm.... my signal that I am about to leap.... the adrenaline rushing through me.... silence around me.... they stare.... I am so dangerous to them.... and then... I leap. A rush of air inevitably hits my face as I leave the confines of mother earth. Ploop.... I hit the street and raise my hands in triumph!
The onlookers are, as always it seems, speechless. I have done it again.
Politics have become a game of sport, where one side constantly tries to defeat the other, in a competition that can't truly be won unless everyone wins. As fans, rooting for the other side's failure, is like hoping the other team's stadium implodes while you're sitting in it.
May a warm wind come down from the skies, whisking you away, taking you on a journey through the stars, across universes untraveled.
While you ride in the warm arms of the wind, may you see spectacular glitter, and colors unimagined.
May you be swept to the edge of the universe, traveling through time and space to galaxies never before traversed, wishing upon shooting star after shooting star, hearing the silence of nothing go by. The sky around you black and seemingly shiny, with billions of tiny lights in the distance, each becoming extraordinary large as you sail by silently with a speed unmeasured in the vastness of night space.
May you see life, beautiful life, intelligent, loving, playful, and always friendly, as you speed your way through time, and may the warm winds hold you and give you comfort as you ride your trip of a lifetime.
Colors unimagined, bright and deep, play like fireworks upon the black canvas around you, silent, quiet, yet filling you with a wholeness you have never felt in your life. A strange new sense invades you and gives you comfort, making you smile involuntarily, nodding to yourself as you go.
And may the warm wind bring you around and down once again, setting you gently in familiar surroundings, all knowledge gained, senses aroused, fulfilled, yet home again as you open your eyes.
A dream? Real?
You gain a better sense of your surroundings, acknowledging your life as you know it, and realize while you have just experienced something extraordinary, something you will never forget and will be able to experience again and again without ever being able to fully describe, maybe even to yourself, you also realize that you are earthbound, never having left your comfortable existence.
You sigh, somewhat disappointed, deciding you need to raise yourself and move. As you do, you gaze downward toward your arm, as some fine, powdery star dust falls off and lifts in the breeze.
I once had a free-for-all, heart racing, crazy, fishtailing spin out, from one side of the highway to the other and back, going sixty five miles per hour, while trying to avoid another driver who had just had an accident. I remember the violence in my car, my hands flying across the wheel trying to regain control. My coffee, and everything on my front seat and storage compartment, flying past my face and around me. I ended up regaining control and driving home without a scratch.
I know, in my heart, that I could have easily died that day.
Very often, when you’re involved in a car accident, you cross over from a point of trying to avoid having the accident, to acknowledging it’s going to happen. Although I never stopped trying to regain control of my car, I did reach that point where I knew I was going to hit the cement barrier separating the other side of the highway from mine, and I just could not see any way I wasn’t either going to hit it and flip over, or hit it and fly over to the other side.
And yet… I didn’t. I don’t, to this day, understand how I didn’t, but I did not.
Now, I’m much more spiritual than I am religious, but in the direct aftermath of that event, and even to this day, it just completely feels like God slid his hand between that cement barrier and my car, cushioning the blow, and redirecting my car the other way.
So I wonder…
Cats have nine lives.
But people, …people just die.
Now, I understand that there are always exceptions to what I’m about to propose, including newborns and the very innocent young, but could it be that maybe, just maybe, humans have a certain amount of lives too, like cats, and we actually use up our lives before we die?
No one ever really counts how many times they’ve almost died. We never know how many of our own lives we’ve used up. I’m sure there were times you didn’t know just how close you came to dying, so you didn’t know it was one of “your times”. We probably aren’t aware of some of them, since they’re not always as dramatic as a car accident. The cancer scare, the silent heart attack, the time you had that surgery and didn’t die of a blood clot, or that time the peanuts didn’t kill you. Maybe it was that time your intuition told you not to argue with someone, not knowing he had a gun and would have used it, or the time you were eating lunch in your car and started choking. You coughed it up and finished your lunch. All of those times could have gone the other way, but they didn’t. Maybe you used one of your lives, and just didn’t know it.
All those times when someone well-liked and respected passes away, and the family is crying and wondering why bad things happen to good people… maybe it doesn’t have as much to do with how good or bad you are, as much as how many of your own lives you’ve used up. Death happens to all kinds of folks. There doesn’t seem to be any correlation between whether or not you’ve led a decent life. Could it be that there’s a certain amount of times humans can be in a situation where they probably should have died and didn’t, and when those times are used up, THAT’S what determines when we die?
Maybe it’s as simple as those who don’t use up their lives are the ones who die of old age.
Did you ever see the movie "Pay It Forward"?? Neither did I.
However, I do love the idea.
Whenever I do a favor for someone, I never ask for anything in return because… it's a favor. I usually tell them something like, "Just do it for someone else in the future".
Imagine... if you pay a favor back, it stops there and that's the end of it. But if you pay it forward... it never stops. Unless someone gets a little selfish and stops paying it forward.
Anyway... I love the concept. Now you must like it too. Because I've been hypnotizing you as you've been reading. Bring me some ice cream.
This is the time of year when Santa visits. And rewards those that have been nice, and supposedly, does not reward those… as much at least…. who’ve been naughty.
There are however, a lot of families who can’t afford gifts. The children in those families may have tried really hard to be deserving of reward, and yet, to them, after the holiday comes and goes, Santa will have deemed them to be undeserving and unworthy. This concept is disturbing to me.
Kids are taught to believe in Santa, and they talk about him, as well as all their holiday gifts in the aftermath. And those that don’t get gifts are left to wonder what they did so wrong, and why they were deemed unworthy even though they may have tried to be so.
One of the many, many seeds of character building, that can go so wrong.
It's impossible to know, but I wonder what the ripples add up to, with things like this.
David S. Chorney
This is where I'm supposed to write something about myself. I still have some hair left. I am still undecided which I like better, photography or painting. My four major food group are seafood, melted cheese, pasta, and Advil. I love the hunt of a finished piece of art. All quotes, essays, stories, and any other written piece on this website, are original and written by yours truly, unless otherwise noted.