Wednesday, October 9, 2013

the smile

I don't often get angry enough to rant.  The occasional outburst, 140 characters of blast and then it's all over.  But then there are other things that deserve a more elloquant approach.

Do you know anyone who's a bit sad today?  Someone who's feeling down?  A little miserable?  Bet you've said to them, with a grin, "Cheer up, it might never happen".  I'd bet you've said that a dozen times this year, maybe in two years but you've said it, haven't you?

What if it has happened?  What if the unthinkable is happening in their life, right now, and you've just stamped all over it in your size 10 boots (or even in your expensive designer heels) and made their grief, their sadness, their misery, into nothing?

Why do you presume to believe that being sad is a choice?  What if they're not actually sad, what if they're suffering from a deep, lifelong depression that they're too proud to go to the GP to ask for help with?  You firmly believe that they have a choice as to whether they wake up in the morning full of the joys of spring or whether they want to roll over and die?

Believe me, they want that choice.  They want to choose to smile, laugh, guffaw even, at your ridiculous jokes and stories.  But it's just not funny in their miserable life.  In their deep felt sadness, a one legged Leprechaun could come dancing out from behind the car with a kazoo and a bottle of tequila and it would barely raise a grin.

Misery is a heavy burden to carry.  It's an uneven load and it makes our gait uneven and our lives less like yours and more like a struggle, even to get out of bed when this weight is continuously upon us.  It doesn't go away with coffee.  It doesn't go away with alcohol or sleep or wakefulness.  It remains.  It hovers, a constant in our lives that throws a shadow over everything we do. 

And, of course, if feeds from our sadness; grows bigger and stronger when we turn away from your jokes and feed it our grim reality.  Then, it smiles back at us and says thank you.

And the only way to make it go away, the only way for it to stop, is when we do.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Things of note or things that are not

The roller coaster continues to roll.  It wends and weaves its way along the rails, faster, slower, up and down but I get the impression that someone is building the rails ahead of me and changing direction far faster than can be mapped out or viewed.

Life changes.  Life goes on.  Accidents happen or, perhaps, they're not accidents but you still have to stop, mop up the mess and move along.

There was a plan.  There were ideas and challenges and, ultimately, a plan.  And yet that plan has been changed.  Not by me, not by us but by business and I find myself with far too much time on my hands and nothing formulated to fill it other than writing about the time stretching ahead and the efforts I'm going to in order to find something permanent to fill the void.

Work has been a constant for nearly 30 years.  I don't know how to not work.  I don't know how to sit around and fill time, except for the odd weekend or holiday when time had an end and wasting a few hours here or there is nothing to worry about.

It's the ability to waste it now that is my biggest worry.

Monday, January 28, 2013


I saw you. You were on the train when I stepped through the door. Your face was turned away, but it was you.

Should I say hello, catch your eye or, perhaps, wait for the next train?

The doors closed, too late to make a decision. You moved, stretched, turned toward me.

It wasn't you. It was almost you.

I think I was disappointed.