Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blowers of Horns and Blowers of Kisses

Some people are needy … and they’re greedy. And, really, it’s simply because they don’t know what they want, they don’t have a clue. Still, they spend all day going after it … single-mindedly ... blowing their horns at everyone around them so they can keep their foot on the gas and never have to think about where they’re going … or why. Then at the end of the day their cup is empty because they weren’t going after anything important. Funny thing is, they’re just as clueless about that as well ... their accidental life. Problem is, death is a sure thing. Shouldn’t life be?

I do know what’s important to me and I do go after it every day. I know that I want the people who fill my heart, my days and my nights with love and laughter and tears, to be happy and to have whatever it is they need. I know I want to write, I need to write.

So, I work a job that actually pays to help accommodate our family’s needs and a few wants. I put food on the table, laughter in their hearts, and kisses on their lips. I might not have as much time as what I’d like to spend on the people who live in my heart or on my writing, but at least I know at the end of the day that I have spent some time on each of them.

I bicycle to and from work whenever possible to save money, keep my body from squeaking at me, and do my little bit for the world around me. Yes, there’s no AC and it’s hot … this is Houston, after all, pushing 100 degrees or more some days. Yes, there’s no radio, no phone calls, no texting. Yes, it takes me a little longer to get home, but only a little.

And on my way, I let go of the day … the stress at work, the need to be in a different moment. I feel the wind slide around me, brushing through my hair. I hear the soft swoosh of my tires against the pavement, the birds chattering in the trees, men mowing lawns, a dog barking. The sun plays through the trees, sprinkling light around me, leading me home … and I can see them all smiling and laughing, filling the evening with hugs and kisses, the highs and lows of their day. William will hand me an ice cold margarita, ask about my writing, kiss me, and never quite stop touching me until I leave again the next morning.

My intentional life … it’s as sure a thing for me as breathing. I don’t have a big house, a fancy car or tickets to the Caribbean in my back pocket. But I’m truly happy with my life, as little as it might seem to others. For me, my cup is overflowing with all the right stuff.

So there they are in their Lexus half a block down from the intersection and I come up to the same intersection from the right on my bike. But here’s this person honking their horn at me from half a block away because they’re not willing to lift their foot and push on the brake to let me go through … because they’re so focused on pushing on that gas pedal to get to a place that they don’t even want to go.

I smile to myself, wave at them … blow them a kiss. It’s kind of crazy. Because I have a place I do want to get to … every day.

I think, even if I had a horn, I’d still blow a kiss …

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Who is Syd?

Syd, as seen through the eyes of her childhood friend, Patricia:

Who is Syd? Well, she’s my best friend. She’s absolutely amazing. She’s beautiful, she’s smart, she’s strong, she’s not afraid of anything or anyone. Well, anyone except maybe herself.

I think if you asked her, she’d say no one really likes her ... that they just kind of tolerate her presence, well, everyone except me, of course. She knows I pretty much worship the ground she walks on. But, the truth is, people are just a little afraid of her. They’re intimidated by her. It’s frightening to get too close to someone like Syd, someone so ready to look life, and death for that matter, straight in the face and not blink an eye or turn away.

Syd’s just that way, though. It’s like she puts so much effort into living, that the dying just doesn’t even matter. Or the possibility of failing, either. Or anyone else’s opinion, especially if it’s not a good one. All that normal stuff everyone else spends their days and nights stewing over and worrying about, it just doesn’t even enter into Syd’s take on reality.

One of her biggest gifts is her ability to just sit down at the table and drink this moment down. She may sprinkle a little salt and pepper on it to give it a little kick, but then she just takes it in one bite at a time. And when she’s done, she just pushes her chair back, gets up from the table, and walks away. No excuses. No need for seconds. No worries about when or where her next meal will be.

Yeah, it probably sounds a little lame, but Syd’s my hero. She’s my “Life-101” mentor. That’s the me I’d like to grow up and see looking back at me out of the mirror one day.

Who is Syd? She’s my best friend ... Thank God!