A year like no other—2020 in review

in shuttering silence

happiness is fleeting

buoyancy is turbulent 

and the grey world deteriorates

breath is belabored

and the periphery begins to seep in

the color is fading fast 

fast

faster still than hot flames

the fury and the fire in the center

burns has burned and will burn

hot

hotter than before

but still it burns through its fuel

and the sides still fall away than the center can build back

better to be honest 

better to be free

better to seek the middle even as the edges fray

better to worry about the now than lose hope in the future

as the color fades into gray

Andrea Mantovani for The New York Times

decomposition

she rots from the inside out

invisible save the yellow in her sunken eyes

she knows more than I ever thought she could

of suffering 

of loss

and like a gnawing in my gut

the unmistakable stench of raw human 

bubbling to the surface

a fetid mess of spoiled hope

the decomposing children

the putrid flowers in a gaudy crystal vase

with glossy eyes

she grips at the double-stitched seam

the edges of her perishing world

casting into the pit

only to reel in rancor

then with bitterness and spite

she reaches into my throat

her bubbling skin

her gold plated wedding band

and she rips from its moorings 

a part of me

cold and clean

(that night I washed my hands with crude oil)

https://www.amusingplanet.com/2019/04/human-decomposition-in-japanese-artwork.html

Plague Inc.-Fun but Deadly!

While reviewing my most recent blog, I came to the mindset that maybe I should write something that’s got nothing to do with sports!

I know you’re all surprised but this is pretty cool. I recently downloaded a new app on my iPad called “Plague Inc.”. This simulator enables the player to take control of their very own disease and attempt to infect and (end result) completely annihilate the entire human race. Imagine sending the humans into complete extinction.

Considering I’m not human (ha), I see literally no controversy of any kind with this game. It’s not like you’re running around with guns and blowing the heads off of zombies. There’s no gore whatsoever. There’s no blood. The only thing possibly traumatic about this game is the principle that you are, in fact eliminating everyone on the planet.

There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m gonna talk a little bit about some problems I see with the game.

Read More »

The Four Agreements

I stumbled upon a book today, The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz.

My dad told me about the Four Agreements when I was in third grade.  Being an 8-year-old, I thought nothing of them.

But now, they are of value to me.

The Four Agreements are devices used to end needless suffering.  By following the Agreements, one can (in theory) achieve serenity.

The Four Agreements are:

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

I find the first three to be the most helpful to me personally.  Number 2, Number 1 and Number 3 (in that order) are what will reducing my suffering the most and the most quickly.

The book has each of the Agreements as the subject of a chapter.  Ruiz goes on to explore each Agreement in depth, providing examples for the reader and from his own experience.

The concept of the Four Agreements is based off of ancient Toltec teachings.  The book, and the Agreements themselves are really, truly worth a look.

Ruiz emphasizes that much of suffering comes from selfishness and the unwillingness to let others see our imperfections.  It is a bit of a blow to the ego, reading about how we are the sole cause of our suffering and anxiety.  But nonetheless, a much-needed blow.

So seriously, check it out.  Maybe start your attempt at serenity today.  I think I have.