My Education Fueled: Cut Down Day

“It seemed to exist only to maintain itself.” Joan Didion

Decisions are hard to make
Especially when feelings, egos, and basketball are concerned.
There’s enough alpha in these guys that they think,
Just maybe, they might become LeBron or Stephen,
So it hurts when they hear something different.

I learned coaching girls earlier this year
That there is something more to games than
Winning or losing and the sports are not coached,
People are.
That’s what makes a day like to today so difficult.

Hopefully, the guys not making the team
Understand the reasons why; we talked.
Hopefully, they will take on the next step of their journeys
With basketball in mind and resilience overriding
A temporary set back.

My Education Fueled: Get On With It

“It seemed to exist only to maintain itself.” Joan Didion

Thanks, Netflix, for destroying Saturday night.
My not so well-read self
Has been introduced to a lifeline of writing
That has brought tears flowing
For some reason, I can’t yet understand.

I need to move to LA or maybe back to NY
To figure out the machinations that create routine
Or go as her beloved Doors, breaking through whatever,
Whatever it is on the other side
Of wherever it is we go when
These new ideas get us scribbling ideas
About the excitement of novelty or
The frustration of dealing with reality
Or the drip on the forehead of boredom.

Thanks, Netflix, for raising my Saturday night.
My quantifiable style of creating
Has been exposed to a straight jacket of writing
That can squeeze out every bit of reflective honesty that
For some reason, I haven’t been able to tackle.

I need to turn in or maybe get out
To live the exquisite experiences that allow variety
Or go as her beloved Doors, living in the deep and wide
Wherever that takes us when
Fresh gobbles up stale
Leaving cupboards bare and naked
With renewed spirits
Basking in the warmth of an autumn day.

Get on with it.

Anchors Severed: Expectations

“And sink their bones to Davey Jones, hooray!” John Hagen, Anchors Aweigh

Of things to be severed,
The hardest to cut off
Are those attached to hope,
Chained to ideas of good,
At least in the sense that we are all good,
That we deserve to be treated optimistically
As people who can bring more positivity into our lives
And thereby receive the bountiful energy that we have to offer back.

To cut off caring is something so hard to do, even
When people use terminal situations to manipulate, even
When people say things to drive home their insensitivities, even
When actions are meant to provoke negative reactions.
Yet age is teaching me
That my job and the actors within our theater portraying an arena of progress
Must be treated with the same jaded stink eye
Reserved for professions with far less noble causes.

Writing that thought makes me sad
For I don’t want to think about what I do in that way.
But days like today, where the drag on my caring anchor
Pitted me against youthful canyons of entitlement and outright rudeness
In the depths of a trench a quarter of a century in the digging,
Has left me with a blow torch ready burn through the negative irons
Allowing that anchor, the one expecting good, to hook all that the darkest depths
Offer all too regularly.
My shovel has been toiling in this morass for far too long and
By now I would think my heart should have the callouses to protect it
From the barbs, the jabs, and the disrespect people throw at each other
For no conceivable reason other than they are living a life
Of the lowest expectations.


Anchors Severed: Traditions

“And sink their bones to Davey Jones, hooray!” John Hagen, Anchors Aweigh

Living routinely
Markers of breathing stasis
Be gone with patterns

Anchors Severed: What About Winning and Losing

“And sink their bones to Davey Jones, hooray!” John Hagen, Anchors Aweigh

Playing the game,
That’s the thing,
Or so philosophers say.

It’s not the winning or the losing
It is the battle, the bruising,
The thrill of figuring out how to compete.

Few understand,
Few care,
As they see the world as wins or losses.

Sports have not cornered this mentality
Politics, dating, test scores, college applications
Each has a stake in the competitive heart

The one that beats with pride when scores are right
And bleeds to death when things don’t work out
That’s just the way things are.

Perhaps it all gets to be too much
When people invest so much in energy in the outcome.
Maybe I’m a loser for thinking as such.

Anchors Severed: Advice From Brene and Chase

“And sink their bones to Davey Jones, hooray!” John Hagen, Anchors Aweigh

“Overly concerned”
Long lists pared like autumn’s leaves
Gone to the bottom

Normalcy Decensitized: Harassment

Where do these people hide
The ones who take advantage,
The ones who prey on others,
The ones who live in the shadows of morality.

How do they manage
Rising to power,
Rising in celebrity circles,
Rising to the top of political parties.

I know how they hide and manage
We allow them with our gullibility,
We allow them with our partisanship,
We allow them with our fear.

When do we stop hiding and start
Making our votes more than me versus you,
Making our virtuous ways equal to that we profess to expect,
Making humanity mean something again.