In the presence of family, be only with family.

In the presence of family,

be only with family.

Put aside the work and worry.

It’ll be there when you part.

And enjoy one another

as if each member of your family

were a dish at the dinner table.

Fill yourself with their essence.

Allow them like nutrients

to replenish your mind, body, and soul

so that when you leave one another

you’ll do so knowing

their presence is with you

for better or worse, forever and onward—

second star to the right and straight on till morning.

Family Gathering, 2012

Love is a language

Love is a language

a well written play

worn like a curtain

pulled closed on a stage

the cheering erupts

thrown roses at bay

behind a closed curtain

life’s finest display.

Mac On Happy High

An open question for the one’s still reading.

What is it that makes you Tik? And I’ll tell you what makes me Tok.

(But for real! What makes you get up in the morning, drives you through the day, and helps guide you to sleep?)

I’m curious to know more about you.

I’m all ears…

I allow the teachings of the past to help guide my future.

After a good, long day of self reliance, sleep, and in depth personal analysis, I am left with this thought.

What you do from here on out is your own cross to bear.

Though like a broken record I’ve continued to circle in place.

But why?

Einstein said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Well, though I agree I’m no Einstein, I’m not insane, I’m just a bit of a slow learner.

See, the hardest pattern to break isn’t necessarily the pattern but the mission so to speak.

We’re all on our own personal mission, aren’t we?

And whether or not we choose to accept it, it exists.

It’s taken many years through trial and error, deliberation, and self reliance to understand.

Carole King said, “you’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart…”

Carole also had two children by the time of her divorce and continued to create with love and compassion.

So what’s my personal mission? And what’s yours?

Will we rise tomorrow with faith and gratitude in our hearts or repeat the same patterns that no longer serve us?

Olmec said, “the choices are yours and yours alone.”

But of course we all need a few humorous anecdotes to help us get through.

And I will, as will you.

Tomorrow, reach a little further than you did today. Try something new and show the world the love in your heart. The choices are yours.

And I’ve built my cross, one which I’m willing to bear.

It’s a heavy son of a gun, but I assure you I’ll be walking, hand over foot—that which does not kill us, makes us stronger— like Nietzsche once said.

How often have you judged yourself by your looks rather than how you feel? For this average white guy, countless.

If I could go back, all those years, and stand next to twelve year old me, would I have the courage and strength to tell that nervous boy watching all the other children, swimming, laughing, and running—playing shirts v.s. skins—to quit worrying and join in, that it doesn’t matter how chubby you feel, or how different you look, that as long as you love and accept yourself, no words from another can harm you, or would I just sit back and watch, still the observer unable to join the party?

It’s funny how something so simple as taking your shirt off to swim can be so detrimental to a young child’s self esteem and yet as adults we often forget what that was like or rather what external forces beyond our control led us to believe ourselves unworthy of such a simple, yet harrowing task.

As in childhood, so as in adulthood, what we allow to harm us will.

Commercials show us long, slender, sleek models who seem to effortlessly fit in to their surroundings while being rewarded with warm smiles and admiration for seeming perfect.

Television shows and movies give us well manicured, quintessential versions of ourselves that often seem more like science fiction than what actually is.

Billboard ads and magazines are placed conveniently to fill all our psyche with blemish-less detail to promote this false sense of unattainable beauty that even when met, there’s ultimately an even whiter teeth formula, or wax to whisk away our imperfection.

It’s a cycle that even before the mind has time to develop, stunts it’s growth and like a cavity begins to decay all sense of self worth.

How often have you judged yourself by your looks rather than how you feel?

For this average white guy, countless.

But it’s taken all those countless times to figure out that it doesn’t matter in the slightest, especially as a child who’s developing.

So would I tell that twelve year old me to take his shirt off and go swimming with the rest of the lot?

I don’t think there is a clear answer other than that instead of telling him what he should or shouldn’t do like all the rest of the world, I’d allow him the opportunity to listen to my story and decide for himself.

But I would say this. Chances are that boy or girl over there thinks there nose is too big or there ears are too small. Chances are that kid who cringes to put on his glasses everyday feels just like you do now, wondering what others will think of what makes him human.

Perhaps I’d reassure him that everybody has stretch marks, even the biggest, strongest athletes. Even his mother, and what could be more beautiful than sacrificing your physical form to grant another life?

But we all figure it out in our own time.

I know he did.

Clearwater Beach Florida

Simon’s water.

Even those tiny violinist’s know when to stop playing

and when to start singing the bridge over Simon’s water.

Topanga Beach September 5 2020 Day Dreaming

Where the shadow once lay

I wonder, thought the boy

where the shadow once lay

If I were a scholar

what more could I say

Where angels now rise

the devil’s at play

Curious, thought the boy

where the shadow once lay

Artistic illusions

Make my bed

Spread the sheets

They are white

They are clean

There’s a nestle of bird

Who sing softly and sweet

There are bills

To be paid

Overdrafts

To be made

But I’m conscious today

Knowing that rot can wait

I have given enough love, I’ve wrestled with the thought

Spared quarters like rain to a cynical saint

I’ve got no time to spare

All this death in the air

Has me feeling quite good, transcendentally great

Forgive me but truth is

Artistic illusions

I’ve no cross to bear climbing trees and it’s clear

That I

start to see past

The sun and moon

The sky opens up

There’s nothing left to do

This closure’s my mantra to you.

Wash my face

Clean my teeth

Knock on wood

Once a week

There’s a pub inn Philly

Where I dug my own grave

Comb the depths

Of your hair

Try and act

Like you care

I’ve been watching your play

Mixing tonic with pain

You have given enough love, so much work to be done

Put your suitcases down, for a while and remain

Like a park bench in autumn

Or leaves that have fallen

I’ve got proof there’s a cure, you just gotta find yours

Forgive me but truth is

Artistic illusions

It’s a tale to be told, when you’re young and your bold

And now I’ve

Got to go back

To the way I was before

And now you’ve

Got to go back

To the way you were before

This closure’s my mantra to you.

sad suburban father’s

There’s a black cloud hanging over

the boys playing in the park

While they argue who is correct

mothers watch them from afar

Now there’s Billy screaming loudly

clawing at this boy named Mark

Who his mother she is absent

somewhere screaming in the dark.

It’s a Sunday what a fun day

boy let’s pass the ball around

He’s a shy son name is Ricky

staring at his father now

He is pitching like a Yankee

throwing hard with all his might

All the while there is Ricky

scared to death screaming inside.

There are blue jays singing robins

bugs and inchworms puffy clouds

On the playground there are children

swinging madly laughing loud

Cause it’s Sunday what a fun day

to be playing in the park

Except for Ricky, Billy’s mother

and Mark crying in the dark.

Now the children they all line up

ice cream bells ring all around

He’s a kind man I mean probably

he just smiles at the crowd

Screw-ball sundaes chocolate cookies

candy gleaming in his hand

For the children ask no questions

they just stand and stand and stand.

Now the mothers call the boys in

from the awful looking cloud

Billy’s mother reprimands him

as Mark’s mother has a cow

Oh your father she is shouting

Ricky hears her from afar

As his father whips a fast one

knocking Ricky to the ground.

There are stars now spinning circles

sending shivers down Mark’s spine

While his father who is furious

warns him hell boy you’ll be fine

As Mark stands and sees the dark cloud

fill with light ready to burst

Cats and dogs rain down around him

he thinks what’s he who’s on first.

So the moral of this story

is not what keeps you in line

It’s the people in the park who

I do not wish to define

They are people who like people

look quite normal in the park

While the sad suburban father’s

dingle dangle in the dark.

My focus is a pinball

There is no

If

And

Or

But

About it

My focus is a pinball

With

No

Credits

Left

To play.