BJ’s, Food & The Willfully Blind

It starts with Aretha Franklin singing Baby I Love You and moves into Badfinger’s Day After Day.

It referring to a mix of 194 songs that I put together as a soundtrack to help me write.

Technically those songs are closer to the opening than the middle and far from the end, but ten years have gone by since I put it together and I cannot tell you if there is supposed to be rhyme or reason to the order.

All I can say is the mix of music has a wide range including other artists such as Billy Joel, Barry Manilow, Frank Sinatra, The Cranberries, Billy Idol and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

I probably have around 50 or so of these mixes I have made at one time or another, all designed to help the great brain find a way to pen a proper tale.

BJ’s, Food & The Willfully Blind

My birthday buddy Mr. Joel sings about Paul the real estate novelist and Davy the navy lifer.

And me, well I am here to share words that few will read and even fewer will care to understand.

Here to say I made a comment about BJ’s and food that was intentionally misinterpreted and that I have taken grief for it.

And I am here to say I am amazed and shocked by the willfully blind and intentionally deaf who ignore the puerile mewlings of a man who is supposed to be a leader.

An unfiltered and insecure toddler who has snagged the keys to the car, stepped on the gas and has figured out how to put the pedal to the metal.

I have been trying to ignore some of the crap he spews but I find it hard to do so and in the midst of  it I have this image that Ghostbusters has come to life.

And right now we are seeing the result of a petty and small person having opened the gates that contained the ghosts.

Except Zul isn’t coming as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in a cute little sailor outfit.

Most of the time I am confident we’ll come out the other side with a few scratches and that Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride will one day be a couple of chapters in a history book.

But every now and then I ask if that it is wishful thinking or factual desire.

Because we live in a time when facts are not just flexible but optional for some people.

A Malleable Truth

If you know me well enough and have been willing to have real conversation with me about things you know how that quote speaks to me.

But then again, this assumes I am willing to have those honest conversations which is a short list indeed.

The thing is, I don’t believe all truth is malleable and tend to see it focused on the heart and people, not on how many people attended inaugurations, voted or did x, y and z.

I suppose it is naive to think there has ever been a time in which many acted like truth was fixed and cloaked in armor but there are moments where I think now is just different.

But maybe that is how it has always been and maybe that is just the perspective of a man going through major transition.

Maybe it is all just part of what satisfies my soul today and the joy of the journey is looking back to see what once did while looking forward to try and figure what might.

You Can’t Do That To Our Pledges

A week ago I walked up to a man and told him if I caught him talking to my son again things would get ugly.

The particulars and specifics don’t really matter here.

If I told you I made him very uncomfortable it would be true and I haven’t an ounce of regret about it because he overstepped his bounds and made my son uncomfortable.

What mattered most was my kid seeing that someone has his back and that my almost 17 year-old promise to be that guy is unending.

Because when you are a teenager adults don’t really take you all that seriously and even if you can handle yourself there are moments where you need your dad.

Confession: I was both relieved and disappointed the man didn’t find out whether I could rip off his arm and slap some sense into him.

Would have turned a good teaching moment into something far more awkward and ugly.

*****

One of the interesting revelations of this moment came when I realized that no one is going to be able to just pick my son up and shove him in a car.

It is not that I actively worried someone would kidnap him or his sister because I really didn’t, but when they were much smaller I kept an eagle eye upon them in public spaces just because.

These days that is just unlikely, doesn’t mean it is impossible because hell someone could grab me too.

But my baby boy is big enough now that if he doesn’t want to move he is not going to go anywhere without significant effort.

It is an interesting feeling knowing this because it changes things a bit and reminds me that we only get our kids for a short while.

Final Five Songs

  1. Whiskey Lullaby- Brad Paisley & Allison Krauss
  2. American Pie- Don McLean
  3. Summertime- Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald
  4. The Magnificent Seven Theme- Elmer Bernstein
  5. Burn Down The Mission- Elton John

I think I burned down the mission a while back but I didn’t retreat behind four walls.

Think I put on my armor, put the visor down and walked out the castle gates in a state between search and destroy and protect and serve.

Life is speeding up in a few places and slowing down in others.

Kind of interesting to feel like some things are crystal clear and others are bathed in fog.

I may not see all with the clarity I like, but I know for certain it is not because I am willfully blind.

Someone pass the Jeremiah Red, life is about to get interesting.

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2 Comments

  1. Lewis LaLanne July 1, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    This statement grabbed me… “reminds me that we only get our kids for a short while.”

    My dad talks about this in a different context when he talks to me about calling him more often. He recalls a time when a friend of his responded to his whining about having to call his dad, “Shut up. He’s old. In the big scheme of things, you won’t have too many more Sunday calls to make.”

    That idea got him to stop whining.

    In the context of what you’re saying when we only get our kids for a short while, I need to get better at reminding myself that this might be the last summer that I get asked, “Do you want to play teacher?” by my 11-year-old niece who I treat as if she were my daughter.

    I sense that by the next summer she spends with me after having spent the year in junior high, she’ll be “too cool” to entertain such a fun idea.

    Thank you Josh for reminding me to shut up and indulge her in what might be one of the last times both of us get to indulge in that fun energy together that won’t be available in the near future.

    • Joshua Wilner July 7, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      Hi Lewis,

      It is easy to get caught up in life and forget about how fast these moments go. I have to remind myself on a regular basis, but when I do good things come from it. Glad you enjoyed it.

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