#SoCS & #JusJoJan 2019 Daily Prompt – Jan. 12th

The prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “art.” Talk about something that’s hanging on your wall. Add a picture, if you’d like. If you have no art on your walls, talk about something in a museum. Have fun!

Something hanging on my wall

There are many items that adorn the walls around me as I compose this post. I really can’t single one out for they share a connection. They all make me think of my father.

I am in my favorite place to write, the finished basement of my mom’s house. Originally purchased as a summer home, the small chalet was expanded and remodeled into a full house by the time they retired up here in 2001. It went from “the summer home”, to “my parents house”, and now that my dad has passed it is known as “mom’s house.”

Nothing says more about my father than this house. He dedicated time and money he didn’t have to make it perfect. A house that his wife would be proud of (her opinions mattered on every detail in every room), that his kids could bring his grandchildren, and one that he could grow old in. The finished basement was his last accomplishment. I love the entire house, his touches are everywhere. But none so much as this room, it’s my favorite place to be.

As I look around the room the first thing I notice is the curio cabinet. He built it special for mom to put her amazing collection of curios. It is a one of a kind, like him.

My attention is then drawn to the painting of his favorite view. It is a path in the woods, near here, that is entirely covered by a perfectly formed canopy of tree branches. In the summer, it is a cool respite from the heat. In the fall, it is a panorama of colors. In the winter the bent, snow-covered branches form a winter paradise. He took a photo of it once and a friend painted it for him. What a wonderful gift.

Next there is a professional photo of he and my mother. In happier times. His arm around her with a big, genuine smile. He loved her so much he didn’t have to say “cheese”. Her smile speaks volumes also. She doesn’t smile like that anymore. Her smile now is forced, a result of loss, grief and a steadfast resolve to not show how much pain she is hiding.

The next wall is a collage of dog portraits. All spaniels, his favorite. In my life we had 2 Brittany Springers and 3 Cockers. Like cars, he went with what works and Spaniels never let him down.

The last thing I see is on the mantle. A case containing a folded flag that was handed to me at his funeral, by a sharply dressed soldier on behalf of a grateful nation. He never talked about his military service, other than where he was stationed. I will never know much of what he saw. But I know that he volunteered, during the age of the Draft, and he wouldn’t imagine not doing his part for the country he loved so dearly.

The rest of the room contains a lot of cutesy décor, my mother’s touch. Porcelain and wood carved Mallards, embroidery portraits of puppies and various stuffed versions of woodland creatures adorn the room. Mom knows how to cutesy up anything.

Still, in this room I just see Dad everywhere. In the actual sense. I often sleep here, and many times I have awoke to the sensation that he is in the room.

While unlikely, I wish he was. He completed this room soon before he died. He never got to grow old here, which was his goal. He worked so very hard his entire life and never got to enjoy the spoils. It’s really not fair, but he would be the first person to tell me that life never is. He had working man’s wisdom.

What I wouldn’t give to talk to him for just 5 more minutes. If not in this realm then in the next. Until that somehow happens, I have plenty of reminders. They’re hanging on the wall.

Just Jot it January day # 11

The prompt for JusJoJan 2019, January 11th is brought to you by M! Click here to find her last SoCS post and say hi while you’re there! M’s word for our prompt today is in SoCS style: “flew/flu/flue.” Use one, use them all, use them anywhere in your post or make one or all the theme of your post. Have fun!

The doctors stood over him
his family sat helplessly by
all they could do was wait
it had been 2 days
since he had last opened his eyes
what they couldn’t see
behind the closed lids
and the motionless body
was the battle raging within
he had won many before
but he had met a worthy opponent
who had the upper hand
the choke hold was on
he was about to tap out
a peace like no other
washed over his body
relaxation coursed through him
the pain was gone
he could see but not move
he helplessly watched
as his spirit materialized
in a mystical wisp of smoke
and spiraled up and out
as if headed up a chimney flue
when he suddenly heard
a faint and faraway voice
whispered through clasped hands
Don’t leave us Dad
I love you so much
it was then that he found his fight
gasped and inhaled with all of his resolve
drew his fleeing soul back in
trapped it in his lungs
and slowly opened his eyes
he saw before him
a translucent eagle
staring intently at him
it lifted its gaze
and flew away on sheer wings
he had won again
the death bastard defeated
let the healing begin

#Just Jot it Jan Day # 10

Today’s prompt for JusJoJan 2019, January 10th is brought to you by Toortsie! Click here to find her last post and say hi while you’re there! Toortsie’s word for our prompt today is “sunrise.” Use it anywhere in your post or make it the theme of your post. Have fun!

As I have laid my head on my pillow each night, for as far back as I can remember, I had a veritable highlight reel of fuck-ups to keep me awake. Every thing that I’ve done in my life, from verbal faux pas’ to outright embarrassing episodes, played on repeat mode in my head, ensuring a bad nights sleep.

This is what happens when you are wrapped tighter than a 24 hr Convenience store sandwich. You don’t get in fights. You don’t need to when you’re way above the curve in the pugilistic art of beating the shit out of yourself.

Eventually, as my illness caused my Blood Pressure to escalate to dangerous levels, I was forced to pick and choose what I would become aggravated about. I could no longer afford to harbor resentments, to dwell on the past, and get too caught up in the omnipresent stresses of Management. My job was stressful and difficult so this was no small task. I achieved a meteoric rise in my company and I had a lot of people wishing, and sometimes trying to cause me to fail. I can now admit that I was a bit paranoid. Not “shhh…the Gummint is watching me” paranoid, but instead the “when I’m at a football game and the team is in the huddle they’re talking about me” kind of paranoid. I had to learn not to look behind me, but ahead.

I was pretty successful in dealing with the stressors in the present. I had learned to walk away and not engage unless I really needed to. I could say to myself “not worth it”, “not my circus, not my monkeys”. Not so much, however, when it came to reconciling my past. I continued to ruminate over past goofs and never allowed myself forgiveness.

Until recently. The stress thing has resolved itself. I’m now out of work and my only stressor is what I’m having for dinner this evening (I am downplaying it a bit but you get it). I have forgiven myself. Having been unburdened by disability the possibility of career or financial security I now have easy, attainable goals.

I want to maintain the wonderful relationship I have with my children.
I want to get through dialysis without getting gravely ill (again) and get a new Kidney.
I want to interact with my fellow man in a courteous, compassionate, and respectful manner.
I want to always be looking up and around, not down at the ground, because I don’t want to miss a single thing to be grateful for.

Now, if I find myself tossing and turning all night, I have the benefit of looking at the skyline at dawn, which is the glory and the beauty of each new day. With every sunrise comes a new opportunity to make a day that is better than the one before.

When you don’t know how many days you actually have left, the beautiful glow of the rising sun means a whole lot more.

#Just Jot January-Day 7

Your prompt for JusJoJan 2019, January 7th is brought to you by Tara! Click here to find her last post and say hi while you’re there! Tara’s word for our prompt today is “memento.” Use it anywhere in your post or make it the theme of your post. Have fun!

Together they sat

The cold winter night attacked the cab of the truck

demanding entry

they sat in silence

except for the noise of the idling motor

and the heat blowing on their cold, tired bodies

It had been a long day

exhausted from trying to act happy

for people that did not matter

was anybody really fooled?

now they were alone

in palpable awkwardness

he was at fault

for the silence and discomfort

he had asked her to ride with him

knowing it could go one way

likely the wrong one

but he had something to say

“I still love you.” he blurted

she didn’t move or turn her head

she stared out the windshield

into the unforgiving darkness

her silence was deafening

he wanted to ask

“did you hear me?”

but he knew she did.

He wanted a response

even if he had to force it

but knew all that he had come to find out

it was too late

it was over

he changed the subject

“I found this picture of us.”

she stared ahead into the night

“It’s from when we were dating 25 years ago.’

she didn’t ask to see it

her case was made

a silent verdict reached

a judgment rendered

she didn’t love him anymore

she had moved on

fault, causality and blame

didn’t matter

he clutched the picture in his hand

rolled it through his fingers

he would keep it

it was a precious memento

of a great story

that had run its course

The enigma that is man…Just Jot it January

Today’s prompt is enigma.

I don’t understand…

Why, centuries after man embarked on the ages of “Enlightenment” and “Reason” we are more devoid of both than in any period in history…

Why the least accomplished generation ever is the most over-documented and photographed…

Why we have devolved into listening only with the intent of waiting our turn to speak and ignoring what is being said…

Why we have so much ability to judge and almost none to evaluate and improve our own selves…

Why we continue to hate and murder in the name of “religions” that proclaim peace and love..

Why we use people and idolize things when we should idolize people and use things…

Why we harnessed the laws of Science and Nature to create pollution and weapons capable of destroying both…

Why we chastise those of color and then lie in the sun to look like them…

Why we chase the appearance of youth when we should be embracing the grace and wisdom of our years…

Why we idolize the wealthy celebrity and demonize the calloused hands of the working man…

Man truly is an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, surrounded by a puzzle.

I don’t get it..

The Superman Saga…Just Jot it January

Today’s JusJotJan topic is a good one.

The prompt for JusJoJan 2019, January 3rd, is your blog. Why did you start blogging? How did you come up with your theme, if you have one? How has it changed your life? Tell us about your blog in your jot!

My blog definitely has a story behind it.

The name Superman can’t find a phone booth has a history. Through various phases of my life, I have been dubbed the moniker “Superman” in good and bad contexts alike. I have always tried to save the day. I was always able to stay up late, get up early and get through the day. But the most recent incarnation was when my wife, frustrated at my failure to stay at home, feel sick and dwell on my illness, chastised me for my stubbornness and said “Ok Superman! Do what you want, you’re bulletproof I guess!”

It wasn’t her fault, I was being stubborn. To me, not acting sick is the key to feeling healthy.

What she didn’t understand was that my insistence on dealing with my illness, failing career and mounting debt was to be strong, or at least act it for the sake of my worried children. But as I got sicker, I found that I was running out of outlets to find solace. In short, as dated as the metaphor may be, I was running out of Phone Booths to change into my Man of Steel costume. And CKD was my Kryptonite.

In August of 2017, the final step in the collapse of my life as I knew it occurred. I moved in with my mother, who lived over 100 miles from my entire world. I had lost my job, my Kidney disease had progressed to the point where I could no longer work, my family split up and we were forced to give up our house, I was forced to apply for Disability and ask my mother to support me until I could pay her back. While my life had been hanging on by a thread in every way for a long time, it had officially spiraled down the drain. A 2013 Honda Civic loaded with all of the belongings I could carry was all that I had left.

The marriage wasn’t a surprise. We hadn’t been happy in years. We had stayed together for the kids. I loved, more than anything seeing them everyday and there was no Shitburger for me to eat that was too big to take that away from me. Until Chronic Kidney Disease that is. Divorce soon followed.

I took the opportunity once I was settled into my new surroundings to take a hard look at my life. Where I was, who I was and where do I go next raced through my head day and night. One night, while enjoying a moonlit NH night, it occurred to me that it may help to write it down for a bunch of strangers to read.

But what to call it? It then dawned on me. Superman can’t find a phone booth. Talk about a theme to draw from.

I set out to be honest, brutally at times, with myself and I put my words to keyboard accordingly. I wrote about everything that came to mind. I didn’t draw much attention at first but those that did read me related to my story. Some even felt inspired by it. That meant the world to me. It still does.

I can’t tell you how it will end up, my story hasn’t been fully told yet.

Stay tuned…