Friday, December 12, 2014

Racing Thoughts

Let me help you out here. Let me explain race relations to you.

Race: Every human being on this earth has a beating heart that races. It races from joy, fear, apprehension, regret, hope, anticipation, sorrow, or passion – but it races. Biologically it races to the next beat.

Relations: To relate. In relation or proportion to. Think corresponding, equivalent, similar. Relation. Relative. Relatives.

So – race relations: the human being that stands beside you in the produce department, locker room, urgent care, DVM, or stadium, is echoing your heartbeat. You are both an equal creation of a benevolent God.  He shares your inhales and exhales. She is similar and is your alike. You are alike because you are both equally created in God’s likeness and image. Likeness –alike.

Race relations begin at the start of your smile, the tips of your fistless opened hand, and the exhalation that races the H in “hello” past your smile.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Years ago I jagged a front tooth on a filbert. Well, black russians were my weakness. For a few days the shard sliced me each time my tongue traveled to enunciate. Or when I smiled.

The loss of a friendship is like a jagged tooth. I only notice it when I want to talk or smile.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Stepping Up

Yesterday I saw a man’s heart break.

I spin in an exercise room. The recumbent bike is backed against the wall. As I spin I watch the other people as they exercise. I nip intrusive conversation; I wear ear buds. My ears are filled with staccato sounds of violence: heavy beats & syncopated screams. Modern music doesn’t soothe; it incites. It incites me to move; it provokes me; it propels me to pedal.

The same members exercise each day. Many I’ve met. Yesterday’s session began with two aged men. One I know; one I recognize. They walked the treadmills. Bob is 82. A hip was replaced; his stance is stilted. He leans to his left. His march is measured. He’s deliberately paced. His companion shares Bob’s age but not Bob’s schedule. Bob treads his path each day. His companion’s steps are sporadic. His days are spaced around his wife’s volunteer work. Both men are elderly, white, and withered. They shared a chat. They shared a laugh. They share a same.

An elderly man is beside us each day. His pace is quicker. His stance is straighter. His speech is slower. His English is stilted. Nado is a transplant from Ethiopia. Our conversations are laborious yet cordial. We share a societal etiquette but nothing more. Yesterday he climbed onto the treadmill and began his run. He nodded to the men. They echoed but did not engage. Nado searched their smiles from an invitation. They did not exclude; they did not include. I glanced through my sweat and saw the sadness circle Nado’s eyes and pool the rim of his bottom lashes. He’s lonely. He’s alone. The two men continued on their synchronized steps. They finished and left the room.

I wanted to offer Nado an explanation. I wanted to tell him that the men felt too old to take the proper societal steps. I wanted to tell him that the men were too afraid to leave their familiar path. I wanted to tell him that the men are frightened of what they don’t know and what they can’t control. So they seek sameness.

I considered my place. My speech is as rapid as my thoughts and my feet. I speak too quickly. I judge too rashly. I dismiss too readily. Often I have to backtrack and repeat my words, rethink my thoughts, and reevaluate my actions. Exhaustion decided it was not my place to preach or to soothe. I lifted my sweat-soaked shirt over my eyes and wiped the perspiration from my forehead. I finished my ride, cleaned the machine, bid Nado goodbye, and headed toward the locker room.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Crawling Through My Mind

So I'm looking at the pics from a beer crawl last night and I'm thinking, "God I'm so not photogenic. I've biked almost 3000 miles in almost 7 months and I still photograph fat and old." And then I'm thinking about definitions and how we define ourselves. Do we see ourselves as nouns or verbs? And as we age (and our languages change through societal evolution) the definitions change. I'd like to think the essence of me (noun) hasn't changed. And I'd like to think the etymology of me is transparent. But I want to be more than one thing. I want to be (noun: a Mark.) I want to do (verb: make a mark.) I want to influence (adverb: marked.) And I want to be a living word of evolution and revolution. That's my morning think.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


A knowledgeable man knows that the phrases legal ramifications and moral consequences are not synonymous.  A wise man knows they aren't parallel either.