(4) Rat Race Ready (1/7)

“You think you know where the boundaries are, but you see this stuff and think, if this thing I’m looking at is possible, what else might be possible?” Android Jones, from Stealing Fire, Kotler and Wheal (2017)

Saturday morning,
A gathering.
Energetic people,
Common activity,
Different purpose.

Mountains of hubris
Warped by charity.
Runners are ready,
Pre-race milling about,
Stereotypes, archetypes, somatotypes.

(3) Rules of Life (5/7)

“Hold fast, then, to this sound and wholesome rule of life-that you indulge the body only so far as is needful for good health.” Seneca

Before, Doug had been distracted
By the buzz of noise that he had difficulty hearing.
After, Doug was totally dialed in
The annoying ringing in his battle damaged ears
Replaced by crystal clear hearing.

He had missed the old stories from high school buds,
Their tales touching that whole Springsteen thing
About longing for the past’s tall tales.
Now Doug was acutely aware of the reality of aging,
His brothers in crime talking of coloring their hair,
Loving drone racing on ESPN, and
Going to the store to buy feminine hygiene products.

Doug sat with thoughts of luck,
Lucky to be alive,
Lucky to be with his friends,
Lucky to have his hearing back.
Then he thought with a gallows style of humor
That he was better off
When he couldn’t hear so well.
At least he could have just
Smiled and laughed
Without understanding how much his friends
Enjoyed romantic comedies.

(3) Active Rest (4/7)

“Hold fast, then, to this sound and wholesome rule of life-that you indulge the body only so far as is needful for good health.” Seneca

The guys gathered around Doug,
Each offering support.

“Come on, fella, you’re alright.”
“No worries, man, you haven’t been drinking.”
“Take your time, no rush.”

Strangely, Doug could hear them all
As if he had never had a bomb take sound away.

The noise was gone.
The words were distinguishable.
The women chatting were expressing concern for Doug’s safety.

He heard it all.
Something inside his head had been reset.

Unexplainable.
Impossible.
Deeply gratifying.

Doug smiled and thanked everyone for their support.
The night went on with his flummoxed look and Doug leaning into the table.

(3) Seeing Sound (3/7)

“Hold fast, then, to this sound and wholesome rule of life-that you indulge the body only so far as is needful for good health.” Seneca

Doug never heard the question
There was a ringing in his head that would not stop
He was flashing back to the ride
When the roadside bomb went off
Leaving him half able to hear.
Now that same ear was buzzing wildly.

The music went silent.
The women went silent.
The guys went silent.
Doug was left alone in the noise.
He looked to his mates,
They were staring at him knowing he was in trouble.

Finally, the buzz was too much for Doug.
He stood up to go outside and catch some air.
The chair slid back easily,
He rose with some unsteady,
Then the lights went out.
Doug fell to the floor.

(3) Getting To Know Each Other Again (2/7)

“Hold fast, then, to this sound and wholesome rule of life-that you indulge the body only so far as is needful for good health.” Seneca

They had been the best of friends in high school
Yet they went their separate ways after graduation.
Doug went to college and then enlisted.
He thought it his duty.

Rob stayed in town working odd jobs.
Milton went to college becoming an accountant.
Earl farmed and Bobby followed the company transfers
That led him from home to home all over the country.

They told their stories and laughed hard
At the ridiculousness of their adolescent ways.
For Doug, though, the night was a struggle
Since he couldn’t hear a word.

Not that the guys noticed,
Doug was great at picking up on the signals
When they smiled or laughed,
He smiled or laughed.

They didn’t know how frustrated he was with the coeds behind him
Who the guys thought were awesome, but
The young women were loud and prone to group talk
Where the all spoke at the same time, none listening to the others.

The roar of their conversations kept Doug further out of the loop.
The awful autotune, shallow lyric, fake country music was not helping.
Gradually, Doug felt like he was next to Niagara Falls,
He began to drift.

Doug just stared absently.
He quit faking it. He was checked out.
The others noticed.
“You all right, Doug?” asked Bobby.

Back Home

“Hold fast, then, to this sound and wholesome rule of life-that you indulge the body only so far as is needful for good health.” Seneca

Doug always sat with his left shoulder to the wall
It was the only way he could hear others
Since his hearing had been damaged in the war

Normally, Doug got to a restaurant early,
Which allowed him a choice seat,
But tonight, he got there too late.

They were all there, the high school crew
Reuniting in an old warehouse
Turned into a new brew pub.

The ceilings were high.
The bro-country music was cranked to fill the room.
Chatter took up the rest of the space.

There was a lot to catch up on,
This bunch had not been together
For nearly thirty years.

As if the reunion stress was not bad enough,
Doug worried that he would not be able to hear well.
“Here goes,” he thought.

(2) Whole (7/7)

“Find an independence where action becomes action that supports the whole action that includes everything and does everything that is needed.” (Presence, by C. Otto Scharmer, Peter M. Senge, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers)

Parts become the whole
Everything comes from something
Finding requires all

(2) Getting There (6/7)

“Find an independence where action becomes action that supports the whole action that includes everything and does everything that is needed.” (Presence, by C. Otto Scharmer, Peter M. Senge, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers)

Needles deliver
Receptors take all they can
Souls float absently
Solutions will be complex
Thinking must be inclusive