a Contaminated Mind

A few years ago, I picked up a pear that one of my kids had taken a single bite out of and discarded. The irrational miser in me couldn’t stand to see it go to waste, so I picked it up and took a bite with the intention to finish it off. No sooner had I sunk my teeth into the fruit than I understood why it had been discarded. The apparently healthy, ripe, juicy fruit tasted awful. A potent flavor of mold overpowered my taste buds and flowed up into my nose. I couldn’t get the piece of fruit … Read the rest

No Time for a Side Hustle

I had a relatively long talk with a co-worker in the parking lot yesterday. He had pulled a page from his Army days and confronted a battle buddy he thought was struggling. He was right. I’m struggling. Standing there in the first sunny day of what looks like spring, we talked for quite a while about options and off-ramps.

We’ve both chewed up some of the same dirt, and have many of the same frustrations with regard to where we are professionally. It’s good to bounce ideas and thoughts off of someone like that, knowing that they aren’t going to … Read the rest

Quicksand

It looked firm as I stepped forward
Believing then in solid ground
It gave away and pulled me in
Yielding with a sucking sound

Struggle only pulls me deeper
Suffocation in the wings
Standing frozen cannot save me
Without aid from other things

No one seems to see or hear me
As I draw closer to death
Sinking slowly ever deeper
Anticipating my last breath.

Frustrated

I hasn’t been a good week, and that is on a scale that has been recalibrated to accommodate the fucked up “new normal” prevalent in early 2021. Every day this week, I’ve allowed myself to get angry. Every day, I’ve suffered a shame hangover after getting angry. Most days, I’ve wondered how bad I want the things that my job pays for. Today, at the end of the day, I’m still suffering the emotional impact of yesterday.

I’ve continually struggled to convince myself the bullshit that I put up with at work from my customer is worth it all. I’m … Read the rest

Mindfulness

In my continuing efforts to improve mental health, I was referred to a mindfulness clinic at the VA. At this point in my life, I’m willing to try just about anything — even things that I can’t apply a rational basis to. In this case, mindfulness has a reasonably robust basis, supposedly supported by research (for what that’s worth… most published “research” is fundamentally flawed and total crap). I know people who have benefited greatly from the practice (a much stronger argument). And, it costs me nothing but my time, so I agreed and signed up for the online class. … Read the rest

Invalidated by virtue of birth

Today: an angry rant. Read no more if you know what’s’ good for you. If I heeded what I knew was good for me, I’d not write this. Today, I don’t care.

I have always striven to take people for who they are, and generally judge them only when I have to — and even then, only based on the outcomes of their actions. I couldn’t care less where, when, to whom, how, or what you were born. Unless you are a surgeon about to cut me open, or in a similarly specialized field, I don’t care how much education … Read the rest

Blank

I sat to write from deep inside
To plumb the depths down in my mind
To analyze what festers there
Then sort it out and solace find

But looking in and peering 'round
Find jumbled masses in a rage
Each voice insisting it's the one
Demanding freedom from this cage

Retreat with haste and turn the key
No wiser than I was before
Close me up with bolt and lock
Scared to e're reopen that door

Fragile Ego

I’ve spent most of the last few months working with a customer to define a project. They came to us knowing that the scope and requirements weren’t well defined, and asking for our expert opinion to help them simultaneously develop the experiment they wanted to carry out and the hardware to conduct it on. And, do all of this on a very short time-frame. We signed up to the challenge, believing they believed in us and that we would be successful in overcoming the current shortfalls.

As the last several months have dragged painfully on, we have made almost no … Read the rest

Peter's Prose, Poetry, and Random Ramblings