Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On Midnight Bike Rides

My favorite thing in life, right now, are midnight bike rides. I just finished another, my longest in years, and while two hours isn't very long, sometimes they seem to last forever. Sometimes, I'm glad that they last forever.

I should confess that I did, in fact, sin, tonight. Jesus told me that it was okay, and Karma still favors me because I shared my secret pier with a wandering couple. Though no words were spoken, I knew what was up, as did they. Because I own this neighborhood.

... I do.
I freaking own this place.

What's that like, you ask? Well, most nights, I'll weave back and forth, crossing doubled yellow lines, and I smile, knowing that it's just for me, when I pass flickering street lights, as they turn back on. This is usually right after I provide those vicious bunnies some entertainment. Occasionally, I'll even pedal with no hands, toss my head back and embrace the skies with open arms, as I pray that I'm not writing a sequel for "City of Angels".

I also frequent Sherwood's forest, I'm always curious to where the people on Roanoke have disappeared, and I frequently pass cop cars like it's nothing.

Okay, that's a lie.

They pass me. However, as they do, I wish -- I pray -- that they'd stop me. They don't, of course, because I own these streets.

. . . . . . . . . . .

Of course, there's reason for my ride. There's just something so peaceful in the stars; something so reminiscent of the belonging that one will experience as she burrows herself into her bed at night. These stars, they tell me where I've been and where I'm going. Their stories are my stories. The moon's reflection, on my lake, it hints of another world where I can be anyone that I want to be, and I wonder if my reflected self might want the same.

I take part in this timeless ceremony with little more than a grin and watch as two become one, and that one becomes me.

Tonight, as that Karma giving couple left, a thought and a friend remained. "Nothing is more natural than the moment, and the recognition and appreciation of what is." Contentment was there, a closer friend today, than yesterday.

He's been coming around more, as he finds me wanting no more than he can give. See, his home is in the moment and his doormat says, "Aloha", which is appropriate, I think, as it serves both my greeting and farewell. The doorway to his home, it is a gateless gate, one that I enter, finding everything at once and a crossroads to and from eternity.

Tonight, we sat together and knew that, tomorrow, the ceremony would continue. So, I left that moment, as I'll leave this one now, breathing in deeply... pedaling, both to and from my pier.

Dum Spiro Spero

Monday, March 15, 2010

On Winter

Winter is such a peculiar season. As much as I love the sullen, dreary days that it brings, the days are often filled with an empty sensation, a necessary evil that ripens the soul.

Every season has a such a way of affecting me, and like biting arrows, Winter's wind and her never subtle, poisonous reminder of timing will always penetrate my every layer. No winter has ever found itself the exception, even in a state of perpetual sunshine. I may ignore her for as long as I can, but I am no stranger to the stillness and the quiet nights of a time, where even the most formidable of beasts seek comfort.

It is a time for reflection and a time for sowing. Reminders of yesterday are coupled with reminders of tomorrow, and together, they impregnate today with promise and possibility. For Spring will come, Summer will follow and I will find my color with the maples and the poplars of Autumn.

I will be the scene that I've promised to make.

. . . . . . . . . . .

So very mad is the restless heart of a vagabond! Hidden behind a stoic facade and his wind battered face, there is a fervor that burns, burns, burns. It grows in intensity and in hope for tomorrow, for adventure and a story, making him "mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time..."

But, today? Today, he dreams and he writes. He writes his scene, finding purpose in the day, for it brings forth tomorrow. The seeds that he plants and the labor he bears; the cold, winter days that he endures in the process, they serve and remind him of the potential of an open road.

His feet itch, all too often. They are insufferable and he dreams unceasingly of letting go, having the current take him wherever it may; for yellow bricked roads and another blank page to govern.

. . . . . . . . . . .

Momentum is such a difficult thing to find in the cold, dark days of winter, but my journey is light. I carry nothing more than my pen and paper, maple seeds and soil, my dreams and routine. I want -- rather, I need -- to know and to be Love, to experience a life of change that can fill the many pages that I'll write.

Life and Death.

The New and the Old.

Ebbing seas of Pain, Joy, Bliss and Sorrow.


... all these things, I want pouring from my heart and dripping from my pen, as I write letters full of stories and send them to everyone.

I mean, there's just no room to hold onto anything else.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Natural Flow

My imagination is so...


Left to it's own, it's power can leave cities in crumbles and worlds torn apart. Focused and aware, it brings forth life in the most violent of manners, not unlike that Creativity that births everything that is and will be.

There is this one thing in life, controllable and manipulated: Awareness.

Our thoughts, our hopes, our wants and desires, our fears, our insecurities, everything -- mothers of action, their children receive all of the attention.

The present is all that we touch and all that we know. The future will always be the future, an untouchable creature dressed in all that we crave.

I find Direction, here, at the center of the universe:

Heaven does not strive, and yet it overcomes.
It does not speak, and yet is answered.
It does not ask, yet is supplied with all its needs.
It seems to have no aim and yet its purpose is fulfilled.

It is natural for things to unfold as they should. Always.

Lost in translation, I grasp at everything but my awareness, destroying cities and tearing worlds apart in the process. I am the Creator of this confusion, this pain. I turn around to find the past running off, having raped my present, and as I turn to see him, it is myself that I find running away.

I act when the world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering. When nothing is done, nothing is left undone... and so I wait, pregnant but not expecting, enjoying the mystery and being always surprised.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Invisble Dogs...

I'd imagine that relatively few people have heard of "Improv Everywhere" but let me just say that those who haven't are missing out. These people create scenes of chaos and joy in public places... Aka: the most wonderful idea ever.

Some of their events have hundreds of people freezing or going in slow motion at the exact same time. Others have people riding subways with no pants. There is one where a simple Little League game turned into a near World Series experience as dozens of cheering "fans" showed up for each team. Concessioners passed out popcorn, programs with full rosters were handed out, professional videotaping came into play and a truck with a jumbotron came to display two live broadcasters for the game. Did I mention the mascots, the blimp, and that neither the teams nor the parents knew it was coming? Ridiculous!

I found myself completely in raptures while perusing their website. There are lots of videos and each are ridiculous. Their most recent venture involved "invisible dog leashes" and more than 2,000 people walked around this small portion of their city for an hour with leashes attached to no dog... The videos with large masses of people are my favorites. The ruckus that this must cause has to be nothing short of amazing, as so many bystanders watch hoards of other people do something so unexpected at the same time. It's crazy, it's silly, it's awkward and I love it!

That being said, here's a video of "Invisible Dogs":

Friday, January 2, 2009

On Eating My Peas...

Yeah, I had resolutions for 2008. Not many, but enough to give me a little push. Here they are and how they went...

1. Run 500 miles: I ran 345... but more than I've ever done in a year.

2. Learn Spanish: Rosetta Stone helped out a little on this one, but just a little.

3. Okay, so I can't remember my third one, just that I had it...

Anyway, a friend of mine recently commented that many people tend to believe, each New Years, that our lives will mysteriously change and life will suddenly be different. A conservative observation but a valid one... I mean, why not be content with who you are? It is a fresh beginning but most people do fail to live up to their resolutions. Look at me! Me llamo Joel. I can't even remember my last one!

Still, I admire resolutions and those who make them. To be honest, I think they make a huge difference. Some may consider them wishful thinking, but they seem to me, much closer to prayer. Eisenhower said, that "In preparing[...] I have found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable." I love that, because what matters most is not that we change the world but that we change ourselves. We may not find the outcome to match our ideal but it's in those moments that we explore our selves that we are changed, a little here and a little there... enough to matter and to make a difference.

So, with that, here are my simple resolutions for 2009:

1. Run 1000 miles.

2. Read 12 books of my choosing.

3. Remember my third resolution...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Wrinkly Dinky Dee, Dinky Do...

Some of my friends have said that I act like an old man. That's probably true. I can't wait until I'm old. Sometimes I wonder about what kind of old man I'll be. The coolest grandpa, for sure. I also can't wait until my ears droop this low.

"Age imprints more wrinkles in the mind than it does on the face..." So says Montaigne, anyway, speaking of the wisdom in growing old and how we are all moving toward our perfection and decay. But for some odd reason, here I am, looking forward to both.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

So there I was...

I'd have sworn that it was deja vu all over again. After all, it happens every year and Walmart just so happens to be where I buy a lot of groceries. Anyway, a Walmart run isn't a Walmart run unless it's with your friends at 2 AM. It's just better that way. With the Supercenter to ourselves, I took the liberty to do my shopping in one of those 3 mile-per-hour motor carts, with comfy seat and basket. My brother and Daniel could have walked faster but we all tend to shuffle our feet in true slacker form so I kept up well.

My typical routine for shopping involves starting in the back, then working my way forward. So off I rode, on the way, picking up my leg and crossing it as if it really didn't work. There was one moment that I was very tempted to ask a worker to grab something for me off the top shelf... but I chickened out, just laughing at the idea. When I finally reached the back and passed the eggs and juice, I headed for the milk and suddenly without warning, a glimpse of heaven caught my eye! Could it be, so early in the season? I was nearly giddy with excitement and little could contain it. There, behind the hand smudged door to the refrigerator, sat bottle after bottle after bottle of cold, creamy, delicious egg nog!

Needless to say, I bought some... as did my brother and we all drove home happy and excited, reminded of the coming Christmas season.