No One Spoke

Brilliant on so many levels. Lovely prose that kissed my imagination.

Storyshucker

Friends and I enjoyed sun, sand, and surf with other beachgoers on a recent Saturday. Sitting slathered in sticky sunscreen beneath our umbrellas, we pointlessly brushed sand from our legs as we discussed evening plans. The seagulls overhead laughed louder than the swimmers splashing in nearby waves while those of us on the beach napped, read, or simply watched people. My friends discussed how relaxing it was and how nice it would be to sleep late the next morning.

Sleep late? I mentioned to them that we only get so many sunrises in a lifetime. Shouldn’t we get up to look at a few?

They stared blankly for a second then shook their heads in unison. No.

In the wee hours of the next morning, alone in the dark, I started the short walk from house to beach guided only by dim lights above the boardwalk. It was eerily quiet at…

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Rhythms Cycles and Ripples pt1

Rhythms, Cycles and Ripples

Sammy Davis Jnr said it,

“And the rhythm of life is a powerful beat,
“Puts a tingle in your fingers and a tingle in your feet,
“Rhythm in your bedroom, rhythm in the street,
“Yes, the rhythm of life is a powerful beat.”

[Song, “The Rhythm of Life.”]

There’s a rhythm and a cycle to your year, your Seasons, your month, your week, your day and night.

Every moment has its own rhythm.

And your personality has its own “Signature Rhythm”… something that sets ‘you’ apart by the way you walk, the way you talk, even the way you shrug your shoulders.

Or to sing again…

“The way you wear your hat.
“The way you sip your tea…

“The way your smile just beams.
“The way you sing off-key.
“The way you haunt my dreams…

“The way you hold your knife (do-do-do-do do-do).
“The way we danced until three.
“The way you’ve changed my life…”

[Song, “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”]

There are many messages here, but I’d like to begin today with drawing our attention to circles that ripples make.

Life happens. Events happen like dropping a stone into the pond of our lives. The effects ripple out.

Some things we can control, some things we can influence, and some things are outside this in what we can call “The Circle of Concern”. Knowing the difference between these ripples or circles can really help respond with resilience. By focusing on what we can control and what we can influence, we can feel empowered. It’s not always possible to let go of those matters that are outside our control and influence yet still weigh upon our concerns. However, time is mercifully finite. If we choose to invest our finite time in giving attention to the circles of control and influence, the positive ripples will spread out and even tranform the ways we see the circle of concern.

To conclude this first in a series, I’d just say that there will be a rhythm and cycle to your day – a time in the day when you’ll feel more able to deal with ‘stuff’. I’m stronger, sharper, more effective in the morning. I know this. So, getting in-synch with this rhythm of life can make all the difference to working on what you can control and influence.

Here’s to perfect timing.

One Quarter of a Mile

After a long day writing, it was time to veg out in front of whatever the TV had to offer. After an entrée of “Two And A Half Men” – the following film was, “The Fast and Furious.” Sure I had it on DVD; I think I even have it on Blu-ray. I could watch it without the annoying adverts. But I was tired.

So I began to watch it.

Didn’t watch the whole film. Didn’t need to. But I watched it until I got what I needed to hear. In a rare moment of opening up to Brian, Dom Torreto (played by Vin Diesel) explains the tragedy of his past. Happy memories obscured by a life event that lost him his father, lost him his self control, and then cost him his freedom when he was sent to jail for assault.

With the past sullied and the future unsure, Dom delivers this line:
“I live my life a quarter mile at a time, nothing else matters. Not the mortgage, not the store, not the team and all their bullshit. For those ten seconds or less…. I’m free.”

The movie is one of mixed morals, conflicted characters, and variable values – but I like it. I haven’t met a perfect person yet. I experienced a sympathetic resonance with Dom – a man torn between worlds, wishes and what to do next. His strategy? To live his life a quarter mile at a time.

For him it was the quarter mile of the road race, but I think he was speaking generally too.
I’ve got ‘issues’ with my past. I don’t like how it went. Can’t change that – though I can change the lens I see it through. I’ve got doubts about my future. But I can, and I will, live my present life a quarter mile at a time.

What does the next quarter mile hold for you?

That’s not even taking a day at a time. If you ran as fast as Roger Bannister at his best, that’s the next minute! If you drove as fast as Dom, that’s 10 seconds. I can live 10 seconds to a minute at a time when the going gets tough.  And if working out the next quarter mile is too confusing, I think the next quarter of an hour is more than enough!