Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Unexpected Lessons

I pull into a parking lot, cut through a spot to get to the next lane.  Yes, I am one of those who use the parking spot short cut.  Rather than go straight across I turn right.  I realize there is a pick up truck facing me with anger and disgust, with a few choice thoughts and words expressed toward me.  Needless to say I was uncertain what the problem was as there was plenty of space for both of us to get through the lane (my vehicle is quite small and economical).  She made her gestures.  And I, in Puerto Rican Ghetto fashion, provide a few gestures and slurs (and I was having such a good day).  Regardless of the incident I did park my car with a deep breath and moved on, not allowing the incident to have anymore power over me.

Upon entering the store I picked up a basket for groceries and begun to walk away.  Suddenly I notice the basket only has one handle.  So I return to the baskets for a new one and notice the ‘other’ road rage driver.  Worry not, for I had nothing to say and did not want to ruin my day or be 86’ed out of El Paso's Albertsons.  I proceeded to leave the area when this woman of average height, older than myself (possibly 40’ish), slender red head begins to say: “Excuse me miss.  Ma’am, excuse me”.  I turn and reply, “I have nothing to say”; and I begin to leave when she invades my very guarded (yet suddenly very vulnerable) personal space.  Sweat begun to creep over my brow and my space unexpectedly overrun by this stranger, who seconds earlier was on top of my hit list (coal in her stocking for sure).

She put her hand ever so gently upon my left shoulder and asked me to forgive her as it was just nasty and unnecessary to act like that.  Incapable of thought but swirling with emotion I looked around, everywhere but in her eyes (although covered by sunglasses, I looked away as I could not handle the reflection).  A lifetime seemed to pass as I stumbled for articulation – sound, something.  Again she asks me to please forgive her, making certain to inform me that she felt sorry and horrible.  For the first time in my life I did not know what to say or how to respond.  A stranger was touching me without malice!  Eventually I managed to muster a few sentences, none of which consisted of ‘stop touching me’.

I put my left hand on her shoulder and told her not to worry as I was certain my behavior was equally bad, if not worse, and that it really was unnecessary.  Sad that my brain and language skills failed me at that moment; I was taken back by her serious sincerity (unless of course she was an employee – ha lol).  I was lost in the moment of human dignity.  My story seems short and simple but it is the farthest thing from simple or short.  This woman impacted me in a very profound way.  She and the situation are an example of how we run through our days ignorant and closed off to the world and those around us - yet how quick we can ignite.  We allow a moment to consume us, change our demeanor, and allow our dignity to fall away.
There are many lessons to learn from this experience.  One of which is we share space and time with strangers more often than not and should be aware/conscious of ourselves and our emotions.  We forget the world does not revolve around us.  Second, a single moment does not have to rule us or our day.  We control the destiny of our day(s).  Third, it is never too late or impossible to make amends.  To make amends is to take a step forward to living a happy and well rounded life.  Finally, we are all trying to coexist in the midst of personal drama and chaos, whether in public or private, we are all working to live our lives as best we can.  If we could all take the time to admit our wrongs with true sincerity, this planet would be a much better and happier place for each of us; our personal drama and/or chaos does not have to be unleashed upon innocent bystanders, nor does it have to be carried with us everywhere we go (leave it at home).  Some may read this and think I have put too much thought into one situation but I feel and believe it to be thought provoking and inspiring.  This very beautiful stranger provided me with hope; hope that society has and is not as corrupt as we often believe, which means my children have a chance to experience the beauty we provide as humans: compassion, forgiveness, understanding, dignity and love.  There just maybe hope for the races. 

I could tear apart this paper with psychological terminology and meaning, but I won’t.  As it stands I am well aware of why I in turn was so ignited and shamefully admit that.  However I realize that I too am not beyond forgiveness, understanding, or progression – I was humbled and plan to work on not allowing such inconsequential events break apart my own sense of self worth and dignity, nor allow myself to devalue any moment of experience.  Ma’am, if you happen upon this paper please know and understand that you impacted me in the most profound ways.  I am indebted to you and thank you for kindness – your message did not go unheard or unfelt.  At the very least, whoever shall stumble upon this paper, remember that our actions impact others most!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Victim of the Bubble Burst

When I started my blog, I did so with no real concept of direction.  Many years have passed since I openly wrote about my life and happenings.  Even so, I still am uncertain whether or not I should blog about myself or just the perspectives I carry regarding life and society.  While it may seem easy for others to openly share life events, I am hesitant.  One never really knows how far news will travel until it is too late to stop its journey.  For all intensive purposes I am no different than most Americans – trapped within the confines and pains of the soul.

My vision of the world has been tainted.  My vision of life is estranged from truth.  Life as I know it is far from accurate.  The looking glass is far too persuasive in its reflective images of time.  I use to see the world with open envy, ready to partake and explore.  Now I am merely a participant of convenience.  Since loosing all my belongings I have learned to withdraw from the world and live within a private compartment, some times ashamed I had allowed my circumstances to tear me down.  Other times I sit behind the walls of confinement believing that life is perfect; believing my circumstances were not of my making, but, a casualty of a bubble burst.

Despite the gloom and doom of my torment I see life move forward without my participation.  I once believed I could do anything, unafraid of the what if’s.  Those days seem nearly nonexistent; a dream dreamt by our college bound youth.  I would like to be that person again – hopeful, idealistic, and ready to explore and experience all that has yet to be.  Sadly, I can only muster small doses of desire for I lack motivation and determination – the true victims of the bubble burst. 

I should be ecstatic.  I should be feeling something.  Unfortunately I represent a slip disc.  Maybe I need to share these emotions and thoughts.  Maybe I don’t need to.  I am unsure.  What I do believe is that I am not alone, but, only a person who wears my soul can understand why I feel so lost.  Everything I once was is now dormant or dead.  Now I must learn to be me again.  I must relearn how to live.  This is the time to rediscover a new identity, release the attachment to the old, undeserving ideal of me.  We will see where that leads….

For now I am going to get the laundry done and feed the dogs.  My how my life has changed…  

*** Today is the beginning, but, is tomorrow the end?
- A. Rod

Monday, July 25, 2011

Little Blackbird

I want to soar
I want to sing
Today, I'm just
a little black
bird //
caged within her
ring -
From within I
do soar and sing //
From within I
am always FREE //
I am all that
is, all that was,
and forever
will be.  I am
the little black
bird //
which spreads her


When the world begins
To collapse, do not
Run, do not fear, do
Not believe what you
See; take cover beneath
The blanket of darkness,
Allow it to envelop you,
And know it is not the
End. Life continues
Without regard for
Your deepest wishes.
So, sleep and rest in
Peace my friend ‘cause
The time is near. Out
Of the dark a light
Burns dim, pull up
Your shroud and take
That first step. Grab
What is not visible,
Trust there is something
There - it’s time to be


Recently I took a photo of a person who seems to be homeless in the center of downtown - which downtown you ask?  I say, "does it matter"?  My photo basically resembles many downtown areas, as homelessness is not specific to one locale or to one group.  Next time you are out and about, remember, it could be you or someone you love.   So be kind.  Homelessness is not always a choice, some times merely a matter of circumstance.   

My need to call attention to homelessness comes from within my own trials and tribulations.  I have lived on the streets by choice during my youth, out of stubborn rebellion.  Eventually I matured and grew into adulthood, began a family and moved to suburbia to raise my family.  We did well.  Then the economy imploded - we were just one of many victims!  Suddenly we were faced with the possibility of homelessness.

We could have been another statistic.  Crap happens and we need to remember that.  Although my photo is not me or you, it very well could be.  Maybe you avoid the homeless because you are uncomfortable, don't know what to do or say.  And all I can say to that is, 'just be human'.  Say good day.  Share a conversation about the weather, whatever.  Despite how trivial the conversation may seem to you, to a homeless person, it could be the highlight of his/her day.  

Life paths are relative to the individual. One's path should not be judged without wearing the "soul" of another. - A. Rodriguez