Sunday, August 22, 2010

Silent Places

This space has not seen much action this past month. Not because of anything out of the ordinary happened or because I have been otherwise preoccupied…but simply because given the choice between writing and silence I took the novel approach and chose silence.

People often feel the need to fill in silent places with some sort of chatter…bloggers are no different. There were any numbers of things about which I could have written these last few weeks…I simply didn’t. Instead…I chose silence.

If you think about it…it can be a challenge to keep the TV off, the radio silent, and to allow the iPod to quietly remain in its dock. It is even a greater challenge to convince your children to do the same…to convince them that wisdom can be found in the silent places.

I have learned the most from quiet people and from them I have learned that it is in the silent places, those spaces between the chatter and noise are where you can learn much and hear the most…all you need to do is listen.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Sunday morning, while heating up coffee in a frying pan, in my boxers, standing in my kitchen, at 6:15 in the morning, my phone rang....

It was my ex wife...

Sunday was not off to a good start...

I had realized the previous night that I had forgotten to pick up coffee at the local warehouse store and that if I wanted hot coffee the next day I would have to dip into my reserve of chilled coffee I keep in the fridge. Anyone who knows anything about coffee will tell you that hot coffee and iced coffee are two entirely coffee experiences and one cannot be substituted for the other.

So...inadequately caffeinated I was compelled to converse with my ex wife...

Ex Wife (who is already wide awake): "Hi Tom...can we borrow your tent?"

Tom: "grumble grumble...hmmmm...yeah..."

Ex Wife: "Thanks...when can you bring it over?"

Tom: "hmmmm...grumble...10:00?"

Ex Wife: "can you be over at 9:30...we are leaving at 10:00..thanks...bye..."

That exchanges such as these don't go well is usually my fault as I usually don't feel fully human until 11:30...but...I decided to keep my answers short thereby reducing the chances of verbal conflict...largely because my ex wife was leaving with out kids for a camping trip...

I arrived at the house at 9:45....handed her the tent...and my camera...and watched the four of them load the minivan as I held the kids' puppy by her leash...

The kids said their goodbyes...and off they went with their mom...with me...still standing in the front yard...holding the kids' puppy by her leash.

After buying coffee...I intend to fully enjoy my vacation...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Out For A Paddle

On his porch, last weekend, in one of the rare moments in the last twenty five years where we have been alone together, my brother asked me..."so...what do you do with yourself on the weekends?"

"I paddle" I told him.

I have a kayak...its 12 feet long, its fire engine red, and it represents the best $250.00 I have spent in a very, very long time.

Its not a toy however, and its not an indulgence.

My red kayak is my Prozac, my evening cocktail, my consolation, and my escape.

The elegant combination of water, boat, and paddle helps me effortlessly pass hours and to see myself and the world from a different perspective. And so far I like the view.