Thoughts on why we continue to accept societal norms and systems that no longer serve us whether it be personal (careers, relationships) or as a society (governmental, economic and belief systems). Maybe a cheesy train metaphor that runs on and on will help you envision a better future.
When a train jumps the tracks
It's either seen as a
pre-programmed switch point
What the difference really comes down to
is who’s driving the train.
Much is the same in how we conduct
The path we’re on in life-
The relationships we have,
The places we live or travel to,
The habits we keep,
The careers we choose to endure.
The trains of today are most often run by computers.
Apparently that takes the pressure off the drivers-
allows them not really have to critically think
Or consider the impact
Of the path they're on
If the driver falls asleep,
Supposedly the computer ensures
Yet in reality it might be
That if there’s a glitch in the system,
Or dangerous conditions ahead warrant a change in course,
or a manual redirection, if you will,
The train driver’s only way to self-preservation
to avoid collision or disaster is
to override the system.
What the difference really comes down to is whether the driver is willing to consider and opt for another outcome.
I’ve noticed this happening within the minds
and lives of many people lately.
For years, they've been going through the motions,
traveling through time,
no questions or commotion coming
from their engine or the caboose.
Perhaps it’s the sudden realization
That soon they’ll be out of tracks.
Maybe when they really look out those train windows,
and truly grasp the myriad of possible points with which they could've
taken a different path,
grasped the places, people and experiences
passed by, lost and left behind
before they hit
their last stop.
Those reading this might even think
this silly little train metaphor
is about them
(and it could be),
But it’s really about a collective awakening,
A conscious unapologetic unacceptance,
A rejection of ruling foundations
that no longer serve
soothe the soul.
And isn’t it thrilling to imagine
where it all could lead?
If we stopped worrying
or being imprisoned by the fear
Of ditching the well-worn trail,
And instead hit the switch point,
the pull lever back and instead
clear a new path
of most resistance?
What the difference might be is how bad the driver wants to hit the brakes to save himself.
We're at a cross-roads now,
Both at the soul level and as a society.
As the maddening drone of the same churning wheels turn,
Making the same calculated squeaky stops
And passing the same dull ineffective scenes play over again
along the way,
What humanity aches for most in this life, in this world
Is a new approach.
grabbing the wheel, pulling the levers and screaming
STOP- I want to get off!
Stepping off the platform now,
waving goodbye as the wind rushes up
and a blaring horn sounds,
jarring from behind,
as a new train pulls into the station.
A momentary ache of nostalgia
as one looks back, some stay on and some will
join to catch a final glimpse of the past
as the familiar fades
and an anxious exhilaration sets in.
Fresh breath of freedom fills the lungs
As they board the next train
switching directions in real time,
upward and onward they go.
So, what's the difference for you,
Who’s driving your train?
Are you ready to get off
Or are you one of the ones
still asleep at the switch?
Thoughts on a lovely college reunion of friends on beautiful Lake Charlotte in Buffalo, Minnesota.
A much-needed respite,
four years in the making
a precious weekend away
Where heavy hearts were lifted
By a reunion of dear old friends.
In an unexpected return
to a bubble of solace,
A place where even as the years pass,
So easily we boomerang back to
that easy "pick-up-where-we-left-off” effortless banter.
Reminiscing over vodka seltzers
and glasses of Rose on a quiet candlelit screened porch
we safely shared under a starry Minnesota night's sky,
the state of our unions,
our families, both human (and canine),
of competing age-related ailments and
embarrassing bathroom calamities,
worries over politics and crepey skin,
tearful recollections of parental losses
and how unwittingly we’ve managed
to become in so many ways
just like them.
And in the morning, a new game learned
yet not nearly mastered.
80s tunes in the distance,
a young buck in mirrored sunglasses with pock marked skin
Taught some old broads a few new tricks.
On a pickleball court,
the latest fad
Antics and laughter ensued,
a sweaty back smile
air guitars jamming on rackets
And soon we became
With every familiar giggle, snort and high five
Reminders of what will never change
and what matter most
What the stretch of time and age
and life's tribulations can never steal
A golden group
Cradled in the calming, warm afternoon waters of Lake Charlotte
We float on,
Of friendships divine
And spirits renewed.
Thoughts in response to the Highland Park mass shooting on July 4th, 2022, and on mass shootings in general.
The morning after
He ascended the ladder
And pulled the trigger of his own destiny,
We focused on the guns
And the guns
Others criticized the madman’s use of
The Pills used to curb the anxiety,
Qualm the urge to kill
For a young white man who had every privilege
Yet didn’t work
Rapped into the digital vortex
Wanting to be heard
Wanting to matter to someone,
Yet who was really listening?
A follow, a like, a click
Is no substitute for human interaction.
Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big nothing but keeping us
Sick, disengaged, unfulfilled
An artificial substitute for what all humans really need
To be seen, heard, valued,
It’s a bitter pill to swallow
To know this scene will play out again
Is there no end, no bottom, no bloody red line?
Or are these dark forces of hate, inaction and deceit beckoning us
Enticing us until we all pick up arms and turn on each other?
The spraying of bullets
Is a coward’s lazy way to make a problem disappear
But the harder road to take would be to
Unplug from it all.
To re-engage in our humanity
Re-establish our rights to protect our precious minds.
To be at peace with simple pleasures unseen,
Enjoy human to human connection without the barrier
Of a screen
The constant drone of a digital Judge and Jury
Telling us who to fear, who to hate
And in the end
maybe the ultimate destruction
Will be everything we think we are afraid of losing-
our families, our faith, our wealth,
When the last shot is fired,
And the last pill swallowed
When it all goes black
Will our last moment of consciousness ponder
Whether the guns, the likes, the fame, the money, the retribution-
Was that the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness we were promised?
Thoughts on our current state of political discourse in the United States.
When the dust settles,
And the history books are written.
If those that remain,
can look back through a clearer lens
where will they see you stood
at this moment?
Were you the one praying for change,
or hoping for justice?
Was it yourself or for all,
For the earth or for your children
For the country or
was it only for those who shared
your world view,
or the color of your skin?
Were your convictions rooted in righteousness,
keeping the peace,
in passive indifference
or in making another suffer?
Where were you
When the hungry needed fed,
the sick needed healing,
When the other needed your compassion?
Were you the one we see with the bullhorn-
Shouting yet not hearing,
Believing yet not seeing?
Or were you the one quiet and unseen,
Lending a kind hand,
Trying to steady the storms around you.
Where were you when it all came apart,
When the flag fell
and the crosses burned,
when the fraying fragments of our freedoms
and desecrated on the steps of state capitols
who fueled the great fire of our demise.
Were you busy ripping the stitches,
Letting the edges burn with the embers of your anger?
Or were you the one frantically trying to calm the flames,
Patch the tears and
reinforce the seams
Of our once great democracy?
Ask yourself now,
Where were you?