Favorite Movies

I watched a movie tonight, a family favorite and I cried. A Christmas movie we would all watch together and laugh, I’d avoided it for over three years. I’ve been divorced since that time, and I had forgotten how many parallels to my marriage there were in the movie. The depiction of children and extended family particularly struck me, and I regretted losing the childhood of my two kids.

It’s been three years now, and the end of my marriage still haunts me. I was no longer in love. I was going through the motions. I was experience what has been referred to as fantasy that had far more impact upon my heart than did my marriage. But it was the kids I hurt more than the two of us splitting up. I didn’t know what to say, and I felt like I had lost so much time. My kids were young adults now and handling the divorce in their own way, and there was nothing I could do to stop that. I was forever trying to fix what I had helped destroy.

My life was truly spinning. I had no grounding in my world. I felt everything unravel and believed I could no longer repair my life, that I was a pariah, a failure, a miserable example of a human being. I hung onto all the contempt in the world for myself, and showed impatience with anyone who tried to tell me it takes time. I just went down a hole to nowhere and walked around in complete fear.

Today, I don’t fear as much. I still feel I have failed and I try hard to learn from it and correct my mistakes. But, I’m still an emotional person. I watched a movie tonight that touched my heart and left me feeling a bit lonely on Christmas eve. I’m alone tonight, have been all day. I will see my children tomorrow evening. I guess Christmas evening will be our tradition going forward.

I hope someday we can laugh again … about the movie.

I Took A Drive With My Son

I recently spent a weekend with my son. We went to a ball game together, and enjoyed a cross country ride across the state of Wisconsin. Now this ride was so important to the both of us, but me especially given the circumstances of my relationship with him. I went through a divorce recently and the impact it had on my daughter and son is far beyond what I expected it would be. But why would I even think my kids wouldn’t be torn by such an action of their parents.

My children are young adults, my son 27 and my daughter 31. I luckily had breakfast with my daughter the morning we took off on the road trip, so seeing both was an especially fortunate experience for me. I love my children dearly, and during the early part of the last three years since my divorce I have felt like the estranged parent in the split. I have always felt my ex-wife shared more about our relationship with the kids than I would have liked. I always tried to remain close to the chest because a lot of our circumstances belonged to her and me. My daughter and I have had good laughs over the years, having that daughter and father relationship that is typical in a family. My son and I were a bit different as he is closer to mom, and naturally took her side in a lot of the circumstances of our divorce.

I remember early on my friends and close confidants telling me to be patient, my kids will come back to me. At first I couldn’t believe that would ever be true. I felt so removed I was afraid they would reject me as their father altogether. This weekend proved otherwise.

Recently, my son and I changed the brakes on my car. We always enjoyed tinkering on our cars together and it was indicative in our interactions that things were a lot better now than they were a couple of years ago. We laughed and shared ideas together and high five and fist bumped each other once we finished the project. I was so happy and he seemed to be so as well, so when we had a road trip ahead in a couple of weeks I was excited. He too expressed anticipation.

We talked about numerous subjects along the way, the most of which centered around our relationship and the roles mom and I played in growing up together as a family. It was clear throughout the ride there were differences but those were far outweighed by the appreciation of our times together by the time the road trip had reached its end. I was able to hear about his struggles and successes, his wonders and curiosities about his future. We talked about what was important to him. I just let him go and the range of emotions he expressed or we expressed together was truly cool.

Ironically along the way the radio crapped out and suddenly we had complete quiet for the ride. He could have put in his air pods and I would have been ok with that but instead we just had a 500 mile dialogue that took us right to his door at the end of the night.

I think the most important part of the weekend was realizing we liked to be together. I was so afraid of that after the divorce. I hurt my kids, and my wife and we hurt each other. We did talk enough about mom for him to have confidence in my appreciation and care for his mother. We are a seemingly amicable split couple and it is important to me that the kids know it. Many people including my son this weekend, have told me I have no control over that and it is true. I can only go forward and I have tried and will continue to find ways to do that so my kids know I am there for them.

So I finish, asking the reader to know this writing is for me, and if there are any takeaways you find, then I am happy to oblige. I think family is such an important part of our lives and the essence of true relationships is to understand and believe and have confidence in the manner of love that exists in our lives. Embrace it, don’t run.

How To Connect

I’ve struggled with writing lately. It seems my ideas all fall down the paint of a wall, just clinging without any recourse to jump off and search meaning. I can sometimes feel inspired, but I cannot seem to piece together my words the way I would prefer. It seems I have lost a knack for letting my stream of consciousness dive right in. I’m searching for words.

I reflect back on some of my early writing. I could write in phrases with Shakespearean pentameter like it would roll off my tongue. Of late, I seem to confuse my poetry with prose, and it just feels like it is dragging down the paper. I don’t know what to do with my writing.

There are some moments when I can fall into a groove but its impact is brief. I want to take a story and run. I want to write a poem that seems calculated but free. It seems I have fallen off a path where I was that poet that people tell me I am. I want to let my words run and tell stories both in the framework of poetry and prose. It feels to me now I’m falling into some zone that has wonderful potential.

I’m telling a story, and it is helping me come to terms with who I am. I have lived a life of wonder in the hearts and minds of hundreds of students over a couple decades. I ought to have plenty to write about. I want to be that conversationalist that plays with words and winds tales from the memory of my mind. I have a few to tell.

Today, I’m directing theatre. I won’t go into it only to protect the players, but the truth is they bring me alive. I can feel their energy and I want them to feel successful in their efforts. They seem to smile, to indicate they are into it. Rehearsals have been playful and as I write this I wonder if students are sensing my commitment. I’m laid back but I get things done, on the stage. It feels good again to be designing a show and using such an organic process. As I’ve already realized, I have a lot more time to work on the show. And that project is what keeps me moving forward, finding purpose again in my life. It could turn into a real promise, if we can pull off this show, together.

I feel like I lost my way, even though that’s how I have felt nearly my entire life. Because of the loss of a marriage, and a relationship within the course of 15 months, I have pursued so many different endeavors trying to find my way. It’s only now as I write this that I feel a sense of confidence in my words. How did I get here, by simply wanting to have a conversation with the reader? See that’s the thing I have done as a director, helped kids along the way, find themselves and feel validation. So, I’m trying to find my own by examining my last couple of years.

I used primal scream, exercise, meditation, all later culminating in endless marathons of television (how unfortunate), and in that time my writing took a sabbatical. Tonight, I feel like this is the first time I have written anything significant in weeks, and as I do, I am really speculative to what I am putting on the page. Seems rather foolish, really.

So when I speak of wanting to connect, it is finding my groove, my mojo, if you will excuse the overstated expressions. I’m listening to beautiful music right now and that I think is the reason I’m feeling a certain freeing energy in my writing. I think I’ll just let this ferment for a while.


Being Lost and Back Again

I’m not back yet.

I lost my marriage a couple of years ago and then an intense relationship a year later. It has taken some time to get my feet back on the ground. My writing I think has been impacted or maybe I just didn’t feel like writing anymore. I do think it is the former because I do like when words come to mind and I can get them down on paper. Since July of last year I have filled legal tablets with writing that may never see my computer but are filled with poetry and momentary thoughts. I suppose getting back to the pen prevented my writing in this venue. Today I’m hoping to put words together that make sentences that interest the reader, or help them as you to relate to what it is I’m saying.

I haven’t been alone for over 30 years. During the past 2 years I have been actively suicidal, a feeling that has thankfully dissipated over the last several months and I hope does not return. Getting used to living alone has been a real challenge. The greatest difficult was during the pandemic which officially began a week after my marriage fell apart. I screamed a lot during that time because there was, thankfully, no one around to hear me. Even though the truth is I probably wanted someone to hear me but I certainly didn’t know who that might be.

My days are spent doing several things. I’m learning how to play the guitar, that takes a couple hours out of each of my days. I enjoy it and am looking forward to knowing it better. It takes a lot of work but I hope it will pay dividends when I become ready to write songs with my chords. I’m a bit away from that at this point. The other thing I do is read. I’ve returned to reading after years of putting it off and have come across some pretty good books and ideas. Hopefully that helps with my writing as everyone in the industry claims to be the case.

I’m going to cut this short as I’m still figuring out what direction to go with my writing. Perhaps it is short essays and commentaries that I have had mild success with. Perhaps there is a short story. I have another blog in which I write memories from my career. Maybe that will become a direction in my future. In the meantime, I appreciate your taking the time to read this material. We all plod on.

I Wrote A Story Today

It began with a thought, as he looked at the frame of his bedroom door, robe hanging, guitar in forefront. I have a good life he thought and went about to think about it more, wanting to expand upon what he discovered today.

That was, eyes glanced up and surveyed the countertop, a cathartic moment that if he could just hang onto would take him so many miles. Much like the ‘sheet of paper’ in front of him, on the MacBook, he hoped he might move forward with confidence and memory.

He just remembered sitting out on the patio, the only available chair, a high top, he talked to everyone around him, didn’t miss a soul, and wondered some more. He knew he wanted to be out there, but alas, another afternoon.

He doesn’t have to share this with anyone. All morning he has been listening to music and writing. He is rather daunted with the places he has traveled without ever leaving home. He stops to think, and understands why he hasn’t watched any tv lately, and then feels good about it.

I’m not living two lives; I am only coming to terms with the one that I am. In good terms, mind you, because all of this is fascinating, he thought to himself. Why couldn’t I keep writing and let the character come alive. Because he has.

I covered eight pages of a legal pad without really knowing I did. I would cover one page after another and find myself three quarters down the page, laughing at myself with happiness

My day has evolved into one of writing, everything going through my mind in the moment. It suddenly becomes a story and I begin to play it out in my mind. I wonder about a compliment I sent out and how it may have been received. It was meant to be uplifting. This is how deep into my psyche I dive. I am so in the immediacy of my moment; I don’t know if I have ever experienced this in a clear manner. Brushing the hair around his mouth he wonders if he is walking into another character and how to give it more life.

His heart rate settling, he decided to take a break.

Taking A Risk

I believe in love. I believe it lives in our every day lives, every day actions. Our beliefs, actions, feelings, hopes all evolve with love. W can choose to use it in our lives, or accept it and appreciate its impact on our decisions and choices.

I choose to love. I fell in love with a woman over a year ago whom I had known for most of my life. We were not in touch for decades but somehow knew what was happening with each other. We suddenly were in a position to appreciate each other on a close friend level, though mistakenly we became an intimate couple far too soon. Things became scary and she chose to go a different direction. I had no choice to accept her decision, though I didn’t handle it well.

I spent the next two months trying to fix things as most guys think is their only alternative. Instead I pushed her further away with every effort. I one day came to terms with the fact that when she told me she needed her space, she meant it and I was only prolonging the obvious. She didn’t want me in her life or around for that matter. She walked a tight rope with me and suddenly it snapped.

I have since that time struggled. I have struggled to understand and accept this loss of someone I imagined to be in my life for the near and far future. Our lives were at a place we both felt we could live together, appreciating what lay ahead. Somewhere that dream was shattered and I could not pick up the pieces. I’m still trying and it makes me realize how unrealistic I can be. But I have to wonder if that is all there is.

I’m going to invite her to get together for a chat, a visit, a cup of coffee, maybe a walk. I’m in love and I don’t think that will ever change. So I am living that life of believing that what we had was true, and not that I can change it. I just want her to know. I want to look in eyes and recognize the attraction we have with one another is far deeper than simply that physicality. The eyes are a path to the soul and I don’t see any other way to describe my feelings to her. I want to take care of her and I have never felt such a profound desire in my life. Not in thirty years of marriage.

I know we are at the apex of our lives and we have less time remaining that the years we have been alive. I wish to be there for her and I want her to wish to be with me. I haven’t any control over that. The only thing I can do is express to her what I believe and wish and then let her go.

I do love.

© aquietwalk 4/2022

Watching Sunsets

I sat on my deck the other evening and watched the sunset below the apex of buildings and distant trees outside my village. I live in a residential neighborhood of apartments secluded but on top of one another. I haven’t the advantage of the sun setting below a line of trees on the horizon, yet I can still watch the sky turn to a lovely crimson on a summer night. It is here when my most intimate thoughts come to mind.

I fell in love with a woman over a year ago whom I had known for decades. We crossed paths again at what seemed an ideal time in both of our lives. I had just left a marriage that had been unraveling for years and she had been single for some time, content in her independence but wondering about the possibility of a relationship, more likely as I write this today searching for companionship. If I could know today what I know now we might still be spending time together, but instead, I overwhelmed her and she decided to leave abruptly. I fell apart and still continue to try to pick up the pieces of my life left behind in the ashes. I was going through a lot around the time that things went south with the two of us and no matter what I tried it was a losing battle.

Today, I sit on a ledge looking at the natural evolution of our lives in the simple meaning of a sun descending along the horizon. I often wish I might share this moment with my friend even if it means in our separate worlds miles away from one another. I hold out a hope that is meaningless without knowing her state of mind. I only wish and put the puzzle pieces together on my own, and I’m sure they don’t really match up that well.

There is something about love that I’ve never really understood. We talk often about that unconditional aspect of affection. I have that with my children and select friends, but what about a companion. Why would we develop time together if there wasn’t a spiritual basis to our affections? I once knew unconditional love in my relationship with my ex-wife and I suppose there still is some of that hanging around, but truly it is different in that our relationship has completely changed. With my most recent relationship, I am clear of the attachment being real and not a passing moment. Unfortunately I cannot convince her of the same. So my days are spent watching sunsets and dreaming of moments.

The energy from the sun is truly magical, and if we appreciate it in the special manner it presents itself we might rest more easily knowing we can never truly be alone.

© aquietwalk

Am I Tacky?

I am laying in bed imagining myself in a Hollywood script – lifetime movies. I look around the room, the layout, electric light and battery cable attached to the wooden headboard. Am I tacky? He thought to himself. How do my friends feel, am I well?

This is the every day mind of a youthful ambition. To know the right words as we will wish we could. Or, is it only me? The mystery begun.

He carried himself with grace pushing through the room and then he forgot where he was though knowing he was safe in bed he sighed, always we might feel safer. It was like he was living out his diary in every move. And suddenly I’m letting myself lose my mind, astonished the result.

I am a case study that is being allowed a pleasant life if leads accordingly. I am well liked and I support kids, 100%. But, I feel this anxiety over-dramatized. I am experiencing an existential crisis and I seem like everyone believes I’m fooled and I can’t be. I have to be steadfast and assured. And then I carry on. We all carry on and I love life simply trying to pay back my debt to society. I sometimes confuse that debt with life.

How much do I want my perceptions to be absurdly dramatic, like a scene? A moment in time lived in a minute.

All played out on a set. The entire routine. Standing near the counter hands on granite, hunched over, staring at feet, the luster of wood dimly lit, underneath. Next move. What movie set am I living my life on?

These are words to say, good morning. I’ll write another day.

©️ aquietwalk 4/2022

This Darkness Unveiled

A couple of years ago I lost my marriage. After 30 years, everything collapsed and I was left to pick up the pieces of my life. I have struggled without question, spending a few days in the hospital for my mental health, leaving the anguish of a family unit being too much for me to handle. There were many days I didn’t want to go forward, and I did risk making a selfish choice about life and purpose for going forward.

Only recently did I recognize more fully a need to survive. I’m not a victim in any sense of the word, but I did rest all my laurels upon my pain rather than realizing only my actions would help me to understand and make change in my own life. I have two wonderful children that have kept me going. I have a close knit connection with my siblings, and a set of strong friendships, and my former wife that help me understand making a selfish choice would be atrocious. Hard to imagine comparing my choices with the word atrocity, but that is exactly what I would call taking my own life. I had to fight, and now when I think of my potential actions, I want to cry.

I had a hard time fighting the feelings my children were taking away from the dissolution of our marriage. I was not in any way blaming them for discarding me, but it took me a long time to realize their own need to personally wrap their heads around the loss of their parents bond. I began to understand patience and it has been a Godsend in my adjustment to being single in a society that frowns upon giving up a marriage.

My daughter told me once, “I need you around dad.”

My son suggested around the same time, “There is a lot ahead, dad.”

At first I knew what they meant but didn’t feel quite as adamant. I was willing to sacrifice everything for my own selfish outlook on life. I know suicide and its impact upon the people left behind. I have lost good friends and family, and never understood the emotion I felt beyond the anger I believed their actions left me with. So knowing that, how do we live with such hypocrisy wanting to take our own lives? My only explanation is we are human and sometimes the hurt just buries our rational soul.

I got lucky and began to think about how important it is for me to be around for my kids. I realized how my friends would be so pissed off at me for leaving them too early. Now my life lives around the idea of letting God take my lead and I will follow. I am not an entirely religious person but I do believe in God. I suppose that suggests I have a spiritual outlook on life. We live in a society that does not condone suicide, but there is so much information out there that does not support the crisis in people’s lives.

I suppose writing this helps me cope with some of those every day fears in my life.

© aquietwalk 4/2022