Why when these moments of doubt
Creep into my fingers
Keeping the words from leaving my head
And showing themselves on the digital paper of my laptop
Does a healthy dose of Pink Floyd
Make everything better.

The cure is not too hard,
Twenty minutes or so of “The Great Gig In the Sky,”
Blasting on repeat
As the combinations to the locks to the thinking gates
Slowly tumble to release whatever is so pent up.
It always works.

A complimentary elixir is “The Final Cut,”
Listened to start to finish,
The history, the angst, both are soothing,
Somehow, enabling a flow that will hang on until
The emotion of it because too much
Right around the time they start singing, “eff all this.”

I’ve found the last eight weeks to be a blessing and curse,
Cooped up, away from the contagion,
Locked away from all the meaningful things in my life
Which has left me feeling a bit lost.
Thank goodness I can run, reach out to friends in whatever way,
And noise cancel with some Floyd.

I’m eating falafel burgers,
They are banging,
An enormous appetite
After a super long ride inside
Being satisfied
By the chickpeas and spicy brown mustard. Yum.

It’s a crazy day, my boss running a personal marathon,
My daughter running a personal marathon,
My friend gutting out a “shitty” run,
My workmates laughing at distance learning’s insanity,
And after my ride, I’m living in some kind of Fwapian haze.

Let’s have a summary of what I learned today,
One, the saddle on my indoor bike is not comfortable,
Two, YouTube Premium, if you like YouTube, is worth it,
Three, people are effing amazing at what they can do, and
Four, I love being around that kind of energy.

After about thirty minutes of riding,
The voices in my head started talking,
“The race will be cancelled,”
“Your butt hurts, go run instead,”
All the negativity that can screw up a workout.

I only do this stuff because I can,
There are no dreams about even modest personal greatness
And when it starts getting hard mentally,
That’s my favorite part of the challenge,
That’s when the workout starts, when the voices begin.

Tricks are there to help,
I’d stand, I’d move around in the seat,
Mostly, I watched that screen
Drawing from the inspiring videos of ultra this-and-that athletes.
Their mindset became mine.

Today’s playlist included trail runners, trail runners, more trail runners,
Doing 100-mile races, races in the mountains, Mexico to Canada running,
It was fabulous.
Their grit, their determination, and the way what they experienced was
Exactly the same as what I experience gave me comfort and strength.

I thought about my boss, a Goggins disciple, hunting for the perfect race,
His determination something I draw from.
My daughter, her quest something I know, conquering doubts and
Striving to push the boundaries.
Then my friend, coping with corona, still getting at it even with reservations.

All three guide me, make me want to continue
Just like the YouTubers who are the elite of the elite.
I like to think I’m some simple dude meandering through life,
But the truth is more like I’m a surfer, catching a specific wave,
From a determined group of people.

Sometimes I know them,
Sometimes I don’t,
Always I’m connected in a way that is probably crazy to others.
Kinship doesn’t do it, comrades doesn’t do it,
It’s about the energy to me…”energyship?” (Indulge me.)

So, now that the falafel burgers with spicy mustard are gone,
I’ve moved on to Tostitos, ah…, the salt is banging,
A margarita craving has just set in,
I’ll get through it without and hopefully tomorrow
Will be just as good for our energy as today was.

Malcolm Gladwell,
Billy Collins,
Dave Matthews Band,
George Fox,
David Goggins,
Neko Case,
Buzz Lightyear,
New Balance,
Trek,
All getting me through,
All finding a way to pass the time
Influencing,
Distracting,
Informing,
Motivating,
Setting up the future,
Enlightening the past,
Saving the present.

Thank goodness.

I’ve had many books in my life
Few have stayed with me,
A mystic’s guide to golf,
A copy of the Tao, and
An anthology of outlaw poets.

I’ve listened to many podcasts in my life,
Few have stayed with me,
A writer’s illumination of moments,
A psychologist’s search for mastery,
And a writer’s examination of history.

Two collided today,
Unleashing a hope that my mini crossword
Success rate is not an indication
Of declining faculties, but more a
Lethargy of white matter, temporary as it’s been

For after listening to Gladwell
Wax poetic about puzzles, context, and ketchup,
The strings in my brain, those neural pathways,
Began conducting energy, again, finally,
Which led me to Netflix, My List.

For weeks, I’ve been avoiding commitment,
Unable to muster an attention span
For anything lasting more than about ten minutes,
But in My List was a movie that was not just
For watching, it would require reading, too

As my Spanish, to put it en pocas palabres,
Is limited and Neruda was to be presented with subtitles.
Tonight, I was inspired to watch,
To read, to feel the rhythms in Pablo’s work,
The power in his aura.

After watching, the frenetic pace of inspiration
I felt earlier in the day,
Settled into a reflective moment
When I remembered the poetry anthology
Gathering dust on a shelf. So long ago…

I will sleep well tonight,
Knowing tomorrow will be filled with poetry,
Whether it be work and finding beauty
In distance learning or home and the calm
Of family and renewal.

Man, things hit me hard today,
Not in an injurious way,
Not at all like that,

The summer got back into my groove,
Phish took over,
Not some quick hitters,
The long, one song commute kind of songs,
Aided with the repeat button,
So all I heard was the massaging sounds
Of the Jersey Shore.

Man, things hit me hard today,
Not in an injurious way,
Not at all like that,

Spinning got back into my groove,
Sweat took over,
When a Willem Dafoe lookalike
Taught the perfect class for the moment
Without all the bullshit bouncing on the bike,
An understated style, and music that was not the focus.
For it’s really about the ride, right?

Man, things hit me hard today,
Not in an injurious way,
Not at all like that,

I must have been breathing some rare air
For my lungs were full of inspiration from
Masters of their crafts,
Friends full of humor, and the gift of loving to learn.
I walked freely, talked about being excited by research,
And felt better about who I am,
Than I had in some time.

I’ll take these punches, man.
No hurts, no ouches,
All that.

IMG_1859

A long time ago
When I was but a college freshman,
I was allowed to hang out
With some upperclassmen.
One night on a drive around Norfolk,
They took a right off of Hampton Boulevard,
And followed a quiet road to the back of a neighborhood
Where there was a large statue of Buddha lit by bright lights.

It was beautiful.
In many ways, it changed me.

I often drove that way
Drawing energy and awe
From the statue.
I wouldn’t say I am Buddhist,
But that statue,
At that time of life,
Slowed me down, literally and figuratively,
The radiance of the statue affected me that strongly.

Tonight, I again felt and saw others who
Experienced that same feeling.

I lived on the edge,
Sitting on a deck,
High above the ground
And well below flashing lightning
That cut through the sky. I couldn’t go inside.
Instead, I watched others who stopped in awe
To take in a unique surfer VW Bug across the street,
Oblivious to the fireworks overhead.

It was those feelings
Awe, uniqueness, both happening at the right time and place.

Maybe a Buddhist spirit shot into me
On those dark mornings after partying all night.
Maybe the lightning’s purpose is to grab my attention
With its powerful bolts and to take my breath away.
Maybe the simple chopped up Bug
Brings a smile to people who are tired of the same ole, same ole.
Who knows when a soul is touched?
Who knows how peace reaches our depths?

I loved that statue, I love lightning, and
I love watching people stare at that car. Beautiful.

Last night, I waited to find some inspiration.
I waded into YouTube,
The algorithm provided with nothing,
Nothing except for a good meditation
Which is usually good for some inspiration.
Not last night.
So I deep dove into Netflix,
Setting for a long-timer in My List,
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot,
A movie I must have seen with my parents
Or on cable at some point.
I could not remember anything about the movie,
Not even this morning
Just after watching it last night
Which is either a commentary on the movie
Or where my attention span is at this point.
There are only a few days left of this
Vacation within a vacation.
I at the perfect level of peacefulness
Realizing the lack of need for most of what the
Routinized life has to offer.
Soon, I’ll be back in there,
Toiling in the mundane,
Jelly headed from reality
And whatever 1970s action flick I watch next.