A Clever Fiction

There’s that funny moment where you pretend not to know someone you know..really well.

It is that clever fiction we all use for various at various times in our lives.

Sometimes it is done of necessity and sometimes because we haven’t a fucking clue what we are supposed to do or how we are supposed to act.

Blame that upon the joy of not having been given a proper guidebook for life, not that it matters because I would ignore it or skip a few chapters ahead figuring I could learn as I go.

A Chanukah Celebration

I took the kids to a local Chanukah celebration in Southlake knowing that I ought to be home preparing for a week that is likely to be the kind you grind out.

If we were still living in LA I might have taken a pass and focused upon the prep work but I couldn’t do that here.

The community is small and it is important that we show up so that our fellow MOTs know we are around and because others need to see us.

The elected officials need to see and feel our presence so that when we have needs that require assistance they take those seriously.

I may not like playing certain games but sometimes you have to commit. Sometimes you have to say you are going to go the distance because that is what is required.

Anyhoo, they had this cool ice sculpture and somehow I chose to stand right in front of the spot in which the sculptor set up shop.

So I got called on to help do a few things in putting it together, mostly just spotting him so that when he put the top piece on he didn’t have to worry about a giant block of ice crashing to the ground.

My daughter wanted to know how I managed to make myself an object of attention and I laughed because I wasn’t a focal point.

But when you are 13 and your parents are around…

Anyhoo, I ended up in a few pictures and have to say I am always surprised when I see myself now. It sounds ridiculous, but I never recognize the old guy.

The smile and eyes are familiar, but the rest make me realize I have earned my time on this earth. Definitely not one of those trust fund babies.

And the other thing I have realized is that although I have a better and more active imagination than many I am not very good at pretending.

There is a broad scope there that I ought to use a brush to fill in the details but I won’t because it deserves a full post.

Instead I’ll say that I some of the aforementioned clever fictions take place strictly because they serve a purpose for a certain time.

I think I always new that, but I am not sure how aware I was of certain responses and reactions.

Wasn’t aware how easily I shift gears now and how willing I am to shed the past. The choices I once made that no longer suit me have to go.

Can’t do what I did or be who I was–that guy is gone and a new one is standing here that has to be let in.

It is like that bit in Jedi where you hear “something that was always a part of me has woken up.”

So I focus on strategies to bring about what I need to see happen and consider options.

Maybe We’ll Find Each Other

A long time ago as someone said they needed to go their own way I had this image of responding to them with an Irish blessing I have always liked.

In my head I heard myself say it in a perfect Irish accent, saw myself give them a warm smile, turn and walk down an old country road confident that if destiny chose to arrange for an intersection it would.

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.

It was one of those clever fictions because I really wanted to yell and ask them if they had lost their fucking mind.

“We have been to hell and back and always found a way. You didn’t get stupid overnight, what happened.”

But the clever fiction didn’t allow for any of that.

Ok, that is not entirely true, had I been capable of sounding like a native Irishman I would have done so.

FWIW, I am told I have Irish relatives so while it may be improbable it is not impossible to suggest that even though I haven’t yet visited the Emerald isle there might have been familial exposure.

I sometimes wonder if the hernias I had repaired had their start because of that because I channeled my anger into lifting and probably pushed beyond where I should have.

But it has never been particularly hard to throw iron around. I don’t need much time in the gym to see muscles remember what to do and how to do it.

Might not be graceful, but heavy lifting has always come easy. Maybe that is why I always get asked to help people move furniture or ice sculptors ask me to spot them.

That was cool to see, the sculpting, that is. I appreciate the artistry and handiwork.

****

A friend turned me onto Heather Dale many years ago and I picked up one of her songs on iTunes.

For years Mordred’s Lullaby was all I really knew her for and I very much liked listening to it. During a Sunday afternoon trip to Costco I was surprised to hear people argue about the Trial of Lancelot.

I gave it a whirl on the old headphones and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. She can sing.

After it finished I moved onto Clapton and then some Ray Charles and reminded myself that the grief caused by others is a gift.

You may not enjoy it but going through it helps you become a better artist. It helps you figure out how to tap into that soft underbelly and really write.

So the net result is when I think of some of the clever fictions of the past and what I really wanted to say I am glad I didn’t.

Because today I can go deeper, harder and longer into the writing than I could. That is a gift that is invaluable to me.

It is part of helping to make that future I am heading for into the reality it is going to become, even if I haven’t a clue what it will look like.

Cue Piano interlude from Layla and fade to black.

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