Darkened lights,
Perfect for a mental massage
Re-Listen providing the track,
ALO supplying the vibe,
Off I went,
Eyes closing,
XPN tripping,
A big smile
Under blue skies,
Settled in,
Right…
There…
Ahh…

The bell rang,
Disastrous to my well-being
Adolescence proving the interruption
Freshmen boys supplying the aggravation.
There I went,
Heart rate rising,
Eyes bulging,
A solid grimace
Under stale, conditioned air,
Socked in,
Right,
Here,
Rrrr…

New Hampshire
What about the D-O-J
Washington,
The District,
Where the Feds are corrupted,
At least it looks that way,
When even the lawyers are running
But it doesn’t matter,
The Dems are collecting delegates,
The Republicans have quit building bridges,
And the orange one does what he wants.

The play has always been the law,
Control the judges, control the lawyers,
Control the lawmakers,
Keep the heat off me
Or it gets put on you.
I wasn’t around for the Red Scare,
So I don’t know what that was like,
But the country seems to have forgotten
What happens when the power shuns

THE PEOPLE.

See what’s going on,
Vote smart, y’all.

When the barking starts,
I know there is something wrong.
Maybe it’s a neighborhood dog walking by,
Maybe I just need some more sleep.
I can’t believe my dog needs more sleep,
He’s curled up in a ball all day.
I doubt I need more either,
Seven plus hours each night,
So what’s with the bark?
Territorial?
Grumpy?
He’s trotting back down the hall
After staring out the front door.
I’m getting up after a nap,
No telling, here.

Golden milk,
It’s not really milk,
Just super hot water,
With pepper,
Turmeric,
Ginger,
Honey, and tonight,
Cinnamon,
Which I never spell correctly,
One “n” and two “m’s,”
But it still tastes good.

This day with all of its
High school drama,
Career uncertainty,
Nutritional restrictions,
Napping while leaning on my
Equally zoned out pit bull, two
Crashes on the rollers, and
One boiling shower
As I get used to the new
Hot water settings,
Sure needed a tasty wind-down drink.

Since I’m boycotting alcohol,
Whiskey and beer having become
Things of my past,
At least it seems that way,
Another two months down
After six without,
The holiday parties allowed an indulgence,
Although, I just could have gone without then as well.
Clean living, that’s all it’s about,
More fruits and vegetables,
Less boxed or take out stuff,
Right now, it’s the thing to do,
And that damn pet pig a guy has
Sure put a hurting on my meat cravings.

Which brings me back to the golden milk,
A recipe I saw on YouTube seemed simple enough.
The spices get in my head and soothe my nerves,
The bite on my tongue just enough to stir me up,
But not so forceful as to hurt.
I’m sipping tonight,
Letting the spicy elixir work its magic.
When I’m done, I think I’ll lean to the right and
Use Einstein as a pillow again.
Tomorrow is a big day.

“To him who in the love of Nature holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks a various language.” William Cullen Bryant

“America has always been a country of DDDDDD and ddddd behaviors.” Steven Almond

This post is the culmination of many influences. It started several days ago with a walk on a hot summer day. It’s been assaulted with intellectual thoughts brought by podcasts. The words were given their genesis in my upbringing. And finally, they represent a suffering to get them written. So here, goes…

David Goggins is a man who has served in the toughest branches of the military. He also is a badass when it comes to fitness. I’ve only recently been introduced to his particular philosophies regarding exercise, but I think his ideas about getting in shape are less about the physical and more about emotional/mental fitness. Goggins suggests that we experience “suffering” to understand what we are capable of. The suffering is a sign that we are strong, that we have the ability to persevere, and if we are able to survive those moments of dread, fear, or dropping confidence, we can achieve our personal greatness.

I share that because I am writing this post under those ideas. I am using Flowstate a program that forces the writer to keep going for if I take too long of a break between words, I will lose everything. I set the time for thirty-minutes, a time that I have never attempted. I will be suffering, I’m sure, but hopefully, the post reflects a true accounting of my walk the other day.

About the walk. I’ve been involved with sports and fitness my entire life, as an athlete, recreationally and professionally within the sports and fitness industry spectrum. Lately, and I am guessing over the last ten years, I have been less committed to working out and it shows. I’m taking on that middle-aged paunch and feeling the effects of a lack of exercise when I walk up the stairs around my office. I have fought the laze from time to time, but I’ve never been able to commit to keeping things regular.

The walk was day one.

I left my neighborhood with a goal of three to five miles at a comfortable pace. I plugged into a podcast featuring Jamelle Hill, an ESPN writer/commentator and hit the road. Ms. Hill is an exceptional writer. She is also a person who is unafraid to call things as she sees them. With her candor, she has been caught in some controversies that have not necessarily worked out in her favor, but they revolved around important issues, so she is okay with the consequences.

My walk took me through my modest middle-class condo neighborhood, up a hill into a higher middle-class single-family home neighborhood, through a fifty-five and older community that is spotted with plenty of Mercedes cars of various classes, and ultimately onto the main drag the leads from my small, socially confused town.

Standing at the intersection of the roads leading into and out of town, had me thinking about the path through affluence I had taken. It had me thinking about the marginal path of comfort I had lived. It got me thinking that not everyone had the same opportunities that I have been afforded simply due to the color of our skin at birth.

With that, I made a hard left onto Ways Lane to see if I could work my way up to five miles. The podcast was over and one of my favorite singers came on, Bruce Hornsby, The Way It Is, and as you are reading this you’re thinking, “no way,” but rest assured that’s how it went.

There are two buildings at the top of the long hill that is Ways Lane. On the right side in the Boy Scout’s hall. It looks like an old school or church. There are three large windows on each side, a sagging roof over the addition in the back, and one of the most industrial doors I had seen in some time. On the left is the stone Italian American Social Club. There is ample parking and fine picnic space behind with a covered porch and a cabana separated by nearly twenty-five picnic tables.

Curiously, I noticed that through a thin line of trees behind the cabana, there is a financial management company that is full of cash. They often contribute to causes they deem worthy, but the parking lot, with its high-end cars, did well to hide behind the trees for as I passed the first two buildings, the scenery began to change.

Next on the tour was a barely functioning tractor-trailer repair shop. On this day, all of the bays were closed and all of the junker tractors in the lot were open and rusting. Next was a hovel of old houses packed onto a clean lot. Some of the houses were adapted from old mushroom houses and the biggest house was in the greatest disrepair. Its glassed-in front porch sported cracks and missing panes, while the front door had cardboard tapped over its window.

Again, curiously, directly across the street was a new mushroom growing facility. The clean cinder block, shiny HVAC units, and giant electrical converters showed that this farm was state of the art and it seemed to me an insult to the people living in the ramshackle that was across the street.

Finally, I made it to the bottom of the hill and saw where all of the old mattresses and couches go when the sanitation companies won’t pick them up. They go on tracks that once brought people to my home town. Now, it’s just freight trains passing through.

I turned and made the walk in reverse. I talked to my voice memo app with anger and the differences in the classes all over. I got angry thinking that this one street is marginalized because of the people who live there, because of the work they do, because of the location of their homes. My angst didn’t pass as I passed through the affluence back to my house.

It was a walk of suffering, a suffering of realizing that “me” is the prevailing attitude everywhere, yet, there are so many who don’t really have a chance for no reason other than they are able to get communion with the rest of nature.

We can do better.

“Too serious, have some fun,”
Great advice, I’ve never understood.
Life seems so elusive that way,
Relaxed, fun, easy going.
Don’t misunderstand,
I can enjoy a moment,
But it’s always a bit easier
To over do the thinking thing and
Eff ’em up just the same.

“Remember, the bike is about the view,”
Great advice, I’ve always understood,
Marathoning requiring that same focus
Biking seems to inspire.
The change of scenary
Always provding a boost
To put that doubting seriousness
Out of mind.

It’s funny, the advice my friends give.