Wanderlust

Wanderlust, traveler, perhaps even gypsy

So many labels they’ve applied, but in reality

Living life is all she wants, it’s really that simple

Her spirit shines through both her smile, and her cute cheek dimple

Life is meant for living, yes, a thing she truly gets

Singing, dancing, spinning round, she loves without regrets

Always brightening what is dark, this girl, so free of care

Defined by “one day at a time”, she’s happy everywhere

Some may say she’s weak, not strong

But she knows that they all are wrong

She is not lost, like others say

This girl’s just finding her own way

For all the things we say and do

There is but one thing that is true

Life, she says, is nothing more

Than canvas, white, awaiting more

It’s you who gets to fill the blank

And for this chance, we all should thank

This beautiful and wondrous place

For giving us the life it’s graced

Cause & Effect

Hatred, malice, walls, no door

Cities, countries, all at war

Fighting just to stay alive

Families struggling to survive

A world of waste we’ve made, it seems

Turned to gray our once blue streams

Pillaged, they have done to Earth

All just to increase their net worth

Sickening, it is to me

That they thought these things were free

That all this came without a cost

And yet, on them, these words are lost

As no one seems to think things through

For if your cause would effect you

The actions that you choose today

Would be quite different, I would say

Your children’s lives, you all neglect

Yet sadly, that’s what I expect

From a kind who’s quick to take

And never thinks of what’s at stake

Support

It’s so funny

To me, at least

Each time I see

A friend succeed

As others shout

He’s a sell out!

In a negative outburst

Real friends agree

And true family

Support you, see

Help climb that tree

They do not doubt

What you’re about

They help you charge headfirst

It’s easy to see

The irony

For if you feed

In jealously

As people go

I’ll let you know

My friend, you are the worst

Love & Loss

Unforgiving, relentless, cruel

More sour than lemon or lime

Yielded by Life, this emotionless tool

Deals pain that’s inevitable: Time

No matter the love or the laughter it sees

It strikes without warning or sign

Its flame turns to smolder the most peaceful of trees

All beginnings, it ends by design

Why, all too often, is it the trivial, mundane

That seems to be our sole focus and care?

It takes moments like these, meant for family; not pain

The harshest reminder – her cold, empty chair

How fickle it is that this Life seems to be

Just a path we all struggle to cross

It’s proven by Time, regardless how desperate the plea

That if you ever know Love…you’ll know Loss

Woe is Me

Friday night, bars are closing

I don’t know why I’m here

Feelings hit me deep inside, stepping in this Uber ride

It’s loneliness I fear

Every time, inside my head

I say that she’s the one

Naïveté and ignorance have got me acting with no sense

So why oh why do I keep saying this is pointless and I’m done?

Finally things are going well

But like every other time

The real comes out and causes doubt

I cant stand the paradigm

I don’t think I’m wrong but

You don’t think I’m right why

Can’t we get along and

Not do this every night

I’m tired of the fighting, and

I’m tired of the arguin’

This only causes breakups and

Makes people want to live in sin

I wish more than anything

To find someone who’s struggling

Someone who sees the world like me

Who doesn’t judge and lives freely

A person who embraces flaws

Instead of these unspoken laws

Who’d rather sit and talk with me

Than go out for a shallow drink

Sadness sweeps so subtly

The more I think of you and me

I wish this world was different, see

Filled with love, and yet sadly

It’s superficiality

That guides our actions, you agree?

I beg your pardon, woe is me

This world is just…melancholy

My Life

The sand, the dirt, the grass, the trees

The sticks, the stones, the light, the breeze

The things this world has made for me

Have warmed my heart and set me free

I look at the stars as I rest on my knee

They twinkle and spark, this light that I see

I gaze at them wondering, what could they be?

As I listen to waves hit the rocks under me

So calm it all is, out here with the leaves

No fear of the world, or it’s warriors and thieves

My mind is at rest, this feeling I’ve sought

A needed reprieve from the torment I’ve thought

The darkness within isn’t something I share

I keep it behind the false mask that I wear

It’s not that I’ve feigned, and not that I’ve lied

I just don’t want to release all the pain that’s inside

I want to be happy

I just want to live

Her death, it has gripped me

And it’s hold will not give

My words carry weight

Of this, I know

But now I see nothing

Through her bedroom’s window

It used to be filled

With her smile, her love

As she watched us all playing

With a ball and a glove

Those days are all gone now

And it hurts me so much

Please take this away, God

Please heal me, your touch

I don’t care if they read this

It’s my only escape

These pages have saved me

From a much harsher fate

I beg you, my Father

If you truly are there

To take this away

And heal my despair

These words that I’m writing

They’re the realest I’ve penned

I beg of you, God

Will I see her again?

The Truth

Never have I ever wondered what things lay in front of me, the futures not a question, I know exactly what’s in store for me. I don’t live for today, I live for forever; looking ahead with a clever grip on the trip that I’m about to take with whoever has the ability to sever the ties with the lies that they live while we endeavor to become whoever the fuck we wanna be. And whichever lever we decide to pull is a a tool that we can use to spool and weave whatever reality we want to achieve because this world is ours to perceive. We can talk real or deceive, either way you’ll believe what we create and conceive ‘cause the passion we grieve is sewn so deep in our sleeve that while we want to relieve we just inform the naive that we don’t want a reprieve we’re just soldiers away without leave.

That’s right, we’re AWOL.

AWOL like the kindred spirits we enthrall as we relate to the masquerade ball that we call life where all we do is don a shawl so we can hide behind the wide hall of sins we commit. We try to stand tall and paint over the writing on the wall that unapologetically tells the real story, breaking protocol as it tells the truth we only see when we look in the mirror and ask ourselves “is this me?”

The real you is the one you see when you’re all alone, so don’t lie to yourself and think you’re the person everyone else thinks you are.

I may have turned my back on Him, but as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. That’s right, I might feel abandoned by God but that don’t mean I can’t live my life based on a Proverb that reverberates through me, one you’ll find in Chapter twenty three. And as I fall onto my knees, begging for my mind’s release as it slowly capsizes

in these treacherous seas, I can’t help but ask why this has happened to me. Why have I been plagued by a mind that’s so inclined to constantly remind itself how unaligned it is with the rest of the world. The torment I find in this unconfined, sadly maligned existence does nothing but blind me from the things I so passionately grind for.

My drive is relentless. I don’t care if you think I’m arrogant. I’m real, and I believe that I can do anything I put my mind to. And you know what? You should feel the same, because this life is what you make it.

People will always, always rise to the level they believe they can, and no further. No human is better or more capable than the other. It is a simple question of how much faith one has in themselves.

It’s so simple. You feel your limit on the inside, which is precisely why you’ve tried as hard as you have to get wherever you are. But the ones who know no limits, who know that every great person in history started as no one are the ones who rise to the top. Do you want to know why? Because they don’t stop, ever. They never quit, and forever apply themselves until they sever the ties from their old life and welcome themselves to their new whatever.

Excuses are for the weak. And if that stirs frustration within you, then you have proven my point.

Life is a constant examination of priority. There is no authority dictating our behavior other than our own; and whatever desires take up the majority of our thoughts, we act upon. And yet we still try to complicate things when we act in hate, attempting to justify our behavior so we can lift the weight of guilt we should feel when we aggravate others. We do this so we can advocate how virtuous we are, when the truth is we simply can’t admit that selfishness is our defining trait, lying to ourselves so we can close the gate of self-awareness as we misstate the kind of person we truly are, caught by the same hook that we always bait.

I envy those who can clear their conscience at the flick of a switch.

Sadly, as I write this I know that some will condemn this statement as a cynical rant that I just had to vent, when the truth is that they’re just projecting their own malcontent as a result of the subconscious recognition that the truth hurts.

Therein lies the irony.

The irony that those who misunderstand me are the very ones who need to examine the person they imagine they are. The ones who think this was written by someone who thinks they’re above them.

I don’t.

No one is above anyone. Every human is graced with the same potential as others.

The only difference is how you use that potential.

Afraid to Feel

Vulnerability.

It seems like something most despise

So let me be frank; I’ll tell no lies

Truth is, I’m quite conflicted

About something often on my mind

I suppose I’ll just be candid

Bluntly share this struggle of mine

Relationships.

Yes that’s right. Which may come as a surprise

After all, I love to socialize, whether with a girl or with the guys

But every time, without fail

When it seems like things are getting real

I tuck my tail, turn, and fold the hand my feelings deal

You see, its not commitment that deters me

No, one love’s enough for me

Rather, the fear of failing

Is what keeps me cowered, on my knees

You all know what I’m planning

What I’m doing with my time

I’ve poured out my intentions

On so many poems and lines

I know myself, my actions

That if I gave myself to one

This path I’ve laid before me

Will fade; get overrun

And this, quite simply, explains

Why I shut myself off; reserve

I hate the thought of dating

If I can’t give what they deserve

At times, I envy others

Who can date without concern

Selfishly quenching that emotional need

To feel wanted, loved, and yearned

But as I look at my own past

(Details, for now I won’t share)

I witnessed, intimately, a woman spend her life

More than earning something that just simply…wasn’t there

These words, right now, I am writing

Aren’t inscribed in hope that you’ll read

I mean this with absolute sincerity

It’s this act of writing that I need

It’s my outlet of expression

To be vulnerable, as said before

It helms the ship I’m sailing

Behind my jaded, lonely door

So I hope this answers that question

I get so often – these words are real

There’s one, very simple, explanation

It’s that I’m just sadly…afraid to feel

Forward

It’s often that i see this

If truth were to be told

Despite the goal: inspire

It turns warmth to bitter cold

If ever you are struggling

If ever you are down

Remember they don’t matter

And that words can’t bring you down

For often will you hear, when

You are looking far ahead

That all your dreams are fiction

Come and fit the mold, instead

Be strong, my friend, for as we

Chase our dreams and live as one

Your calling will come one day

That it’s justified, your run

Don’t ever tell yourself “no”

It just simply can’t be done

Instead get up, get grinding

Until that day has fine’ly come

Our time on Earth has limits

It’s too short for stress and strife

Just find what makes you happy

And live your dream, this life

Mission

The focus settles, nestles in

I sit here waiting, lights are dim 

And though I know what must be done 

I always feel that loaded gun 

The push to work, this call to act

For naught fulfills a ghost’s contract

Forever now, forever then,

Armed with paper, bladed pen

No fear of future, charge ahead

No time for doubt, remorse or dread

The task is clear, the goal I know

As light fights through this dark window

Two years have passed, as I attest

Since fire sparked, ignited quest  

To do the things that needed done

To tell the Lord – Thy Kingdom come.

Ms. Scribbler

Hello my friend!

Please lend an ear

A tale have I

For you to hear

Once upon

A timely time

A maiden lived

Who loved to rhyme

She’d sit outside

As sun shined bright

Observe the world

And write and write

Her rhymes were filled

With love and fear

And all the things

From there to here

And so it was

For years and years

This scribbling damsel

Laughs and tears

Until one day

There came about

A trav’ling minstrel

Passed her house

Pinned outside

As he passed along

A wondrous rhyme

So fit for song

And so the man

He went inside

Said “Please Miss Scribbler,

Become my bride”

The two were wed

Grand lives they had

The moral here

Is clear, dear lad

Love will come

The wait, while long

You’ll find the words

That fit your song

Dear Mom

Dear Mom

I want you to know, Mom

I’ll never forget 

The pain and the hurt

Nary thought of regret

For all you could do

And with all you could give

You gave to us three

In hope that we’d live

The life that we dreamed 

Where good turns to great

When happiness soars

And life, it elates 

I remember, dear Mom

All the lunches you made

The trips that we took

And our days in the Glade

I shall never forget

How you impacted all 

How your children came first 

And how love was your law

I miss you, dear Mom

So much more you deserved

Your life shall be honored 

For to God, mark my words

The Fly 

The Fly

Confusion consumes me

I know not what to do 

I just watched this small creature

To my trap it just flew 

This fly, it has fluttered 

And flittered about

So to end all the buzzing

I set flypaper out

Yet, now, as I watch it

My conscience, it sees

And begs that I wonder

What if….that was me?

It forces my gander

To truly observe

The wiggling and writhing 

Was it really deserved?

Was the noise all that bad?

Did it really distract? 

Are we just creatures ourselves?

Respect for life, do we lack?

Go…

My head’s above the water

That drowning feeling, gone

A year point five has passed

The dark before the dawn

I know its up to me now,

To act, to make her proud

No longer shall I question

Why the pain was ere allowed

Instead my eyes shall focus

On this path that’s clear ahead

And journey down the trail

Where nary a foot hath tread

For loss lasts but a moment

The shock, the pain it sends

Yet those we loved would tell us

To heal and make amends

What words would ‘scape her lips?

Is there encouragement today?

I know she’d want me happy

I know just what she’d say

Go! Be the one we spoke of

Go! Live the life you dreamed

For one day all shall gather

Our love, will be redeemed

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Her

Tonight it hurts 

The pain it sears

I’m all alone

I’m dripping tears

I miss her so

My empty grasp

Tries reaching out 

Yet nothing lasts

I hate the hurt 

With everything

Im here, now God

I’m listening 

Speak up, it’s time

To make your play

This pain I want 

To go away

If you’re there 

You listen true

Make it known

Cause I need you

This ask is real

It matters not

What others think 

Or others thought

I have to know

Where are you God

This hurt won’t heal 

Please, just a nod

So come to me

Come prove it’s you 

Cause faithfully 

It just won’t do 

I’m waiting God

Care not to die

My heart is bursting

You did this, why 

What lesson am I 

Supposed to know

Please justify

This pain, this blow

I hate it, God

There’s nothing gained

Just emptiness 

It’s cruel, deranged 

Is this what you want for me?

This hurt, this hate, this pain I see?

Grant me strength, I swear and cry

I’ll live for her until I die 

Reflections of Sadness, Elation, Hope & Regret – Happy Birthday, Mom: I Miss You Terribly

In the midst of the typical holiday cheer and excitement, at a time when everyone surrounding me is lit up with positive vibes and kindness, I find myself riding a roller coaster of peaking and plummeting emotion; teetering from positive, heart-warming memories one moment to tear-induced recollections of times no longer within my grasp, all in the blink of an eye.

December 23rd will forever be a particularly difficult, bittersweet day for me. My mother, who as you know passed in August of 2015 if you’ve read my book or blog, was born this day.

I spent a considerable amount of time going over this post in my head leading up to now, internally writing and re-writing it until I felt it was perfect. You know what’s funny, though? The sudden realization after I opening my browser that she would laugh and tell me I’m being absurd for stressing over it. Over her. After all, she knew exactly how much I cared for and appreciated her, and I knew the very same thing about her.

So rather than write about times together I miss and the opportunities I regret not taking while she was still with me, I’ll instead try my best to focus on the simple, happy things.

I’m absolutely convinced that my mother was without a doubt the most genuine, kind person I’ll ever know. Her saintly ability to always see the good in people, no matter their words or actions, still astonishes me when I think about it. I envy the thought-process that she embodied, something of which I regret to say I’ll likely never obtain. She was the simplest, yet deeply complex thinker – and her commitment to love and acceptance was relentlessly unwavering. I’m extremely proud to say with confidence that anyone who knew her knows exactly the kind of behavior I refer to. She was a beloved individual, to her family and everyone else who had the pleasure of knowing her.

Yet despite her outwardly simple demeanor and whimsical presence, Mom was also someone who maintained ferocious conviction in regard to her inward thought process. It’s actually a bit funny when I think of it, because the majority of people I knew growing up always told me they thought my Dad was smart. In retrospect, though, she was the one who truly had the gift of critical thought and analysis. Sure, Dad was some sort of confusing Applied Math professor, but so what? Mom had passion, she had depth, and she had character. Things which, incidentally, I would take over book smarts any day. Personally, I have more respect for those who maintain rock solid commitment to deeply-rooted moral philosophies over someone who can win at a game of Trivial Pursuit. After all, true intellect in my opinion is being able to control your thoughts and emotions, sticking to your morals in the face of anything, good or bad.

So yes, in lieu of the sorrow-laden post that my mind had written, I think its best to follow the example she set for me and allow my thoughts to settle on the smiles we had, not the frowns I’ve so frequently experienced. Because that’s what she would want – and I want nothing more than to emulate her joyous passion and thankfulness for life.

On that note, as a random tidbit – something Mom and I enjoyed immensely was playing video games. I, of course, grew up during the dawning age of the industry, having a childhood that can basically be described as school, baseball, and a progression of the newest game consoles. Mom, however (and I’m laughing as I write this), was absolutely obsessed with the 8-bit Nintendo’s original Legend of Zelda. One of my fondest memories is watching her play it time after time after time, smiling and talking trash to the bad guys all the way. I’m not exaggerating when I say this, but I honestly think she beat it a thousand times. I kid you not. After all, what’s a better pastime to share with your kids than a little casual gaming?

Incidentally, you might have been wondering why I chose to include a song from Bioshock Infinite at the beginning of this. While my previous paragraph probably gives some insight, the song carries a particular uniqueness; something I thought appropriate to include. It was the last song played at her funeral. She was watching me while I played it for the first time, walking into that beautifully designed fictional environment as the mind-numbingly pretty song played overhead. I knew she would approve of me selecting it for the procession’s conclusion because of the story behind it. If you give it a listen, which I strongly recommend you do, I trust you’ll recognize the beauty and sheer passion behind the lyrics. Choral hymns can be spine-tingling, indeed.

Yes, those are the things she loved more than anything else in the world. Spending time doing enjoyable things with us, her children. The woman quite literally lived for us and our happiness.

All that said, I would like to end this on something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life; and something I’ve mentioned previously. Now obviously the majority of us have parents who have a presence in the social media world – simple Facebook profiles, most commonly. I have to admit that I never paid much attention to it outside of the occasional post like, as probably not unlike most, I was admittedly too immersed in my own universe. After she passed, though, I visited her profile during a particularly painful day of missing her; and noticed something that genuinely made me happier than any individual memory I can recollect. As I’ve mentioned, there’s nothing I want more than to fulfill the life she envisioned for me; for her to be proud of me and the person I am. I never thought something as simple as reading the “Favorite Quotes” section on her profile could provide the validation for which I so desperately long. It might sound selfish to outwardly admit it, but I needed to know that she knew how much I appreciated her, and how much she inspired me. Her statement, which I’ve made the featured image of this post, did just that.

There are three, very simple quotes that my mother deemed important enough to spend time including on her profile. And yet as quick and concise as they are, nothing could more perfectly summarize the person my mother was and the priorities the drove her. This is taken verbatim from her profile:

“I love you.” – My children

“You’ve made me everything I am.” – Matthew

“I think every child is teachable.” – Unknown

 

I saw, in her very own words, she understood that she was my idol. And – more importantly – that we, her children, appreciated her. Seeing those few, simple words eased an enormous burden and uncertainty which plagued me for the longest time. She knew how I felt, and it meant enough to her to proudly display it on a public platform. It was an indescribable glimmer of elation during a devastating storm of melancholy; a saving grace which immensely helped keep my sinking ship of life afloat.

One last thing. Please, for your sake as much as theirs, make the people who motivate, inspire and love you aware of their impact. There’s nothing I can imagine which would instill a worse lifetime of regret than waiting until it was too late to tell your loved ones just that – that you love them.

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas, Mom. And thank you so, so much for being such a shining luminescence in a world where darkness often prevails.

More than my words will ever convey, I love you.

Choices

Life can seem like many different things at various points throughout our journey. Oftentimes we view it as a randomized collection of chaotic events over which we have little to no control. Other times, when things seem to be going our way, life appears to be a beast that we have worked hard to tame; one of which who’s reigns we think we hold a firm grip.

In my experience, both situations hold true. While personally I don’t believe anyone will ever have true, total control over their life, there is no doubt one thing  which I’m confident is the case.

Our lives play out as the result of a never ending chain of choices. Our happiness, sadness, celebrations, regret, and remorse are all triggered by one or more choices which we ourselves have made. Every smile, every frown, and everything in between is rooted firmly in our choice to respond a particular way to the events of our lives.

Despite how difficult it can be at times, I try to constantly remind myself of this. I fight to maintain awareness that my life is ultimately what I make it – and that my reactions to the tough things thrown my way are completely under my control.

My mental fortitude has strayed as of late, betraying me and my usual peace of mind. I’ve let it cloud my focus on priorities and goals. Knowing this is the first step to overcoming it.

For any who read this, always understand that you control your life. Don’t let things you have no influence over affect your pursuit of happiness – something we all deserve.