My patented and perfect cure Is worth it's weight in gold Composed of extracts much more pure Than ever have been sold. The larva from a tse-tse fly In tincture with exotic salt Applied just right to tired eye Will heal a ghastly fault. Pure essence of a tiger's blood To strengthen timid hearts And extract of a cobra's bile Rebuild your weaker parts. Fix your ills in just one dose Or ten, or maybe more A dose a day for just six weeks Will heal an ulcered sore. Taken for six hundred days While drifting out at sea Will Harmonize your Feng and Shui And balance inner Chi It's mixed and formed and shaped just so Near crystal power packs With charging magnets down below On active ion stacks. Our hydro-hyperpathic bath Distils the precious dew While eastern shamans watch the pot That holds our magic brew. But give no heed to chemists claims There's nothing in the mix My product is much too refined For clumsy science tricks. Doctor's too may call it fake Say claims are way off track But then they'll say 'bout anything To keep you coming back
Guarded and gathered with zealous pride, More treasured than the sultan's horde, Kisses, caresses and hours at your side, Priceless, treasured, craved and adored. Warm with promise of hope and renewal, Spring's rays touch my up-turned face, But absent your eye the sun takes a fall, Shining icy and cold into desolate space. Unworthy I ponder what magic was played, To win your companionship, love and trust, A debtor in truth for a future now saved, You give purpose to rise from the dust.
It's not about precision Or doing it correctly Efficiency would call it waste When done this indirectly The final product may be flawed And lack a finer finish The craftsmanship could use some work Have defects or a blemish It could be done much quicker If I did it all myself It'd last a little longer Or look better on the shelf What lesson would that teach them What mem'ries would they find If I took it from their hands And kept it just for mine
I'm bored in a meeting - so lets start a game To spark conversation, disrupt and cast blame. Search for contention in turning a phrase Impute hidden meaning to a word someone says. No matter the purpose, or just what they meant Argue at length implied messages sent. Worked up to a lather, sparks hot in the air Now sit back and watch wile the others despair.
I don't think that I'd like to live there, Too many steps to the top. No corners to park naughty children, A light that will never stop. Fog that rolls in calls for non-pointed horns, Warns sailors but wakes lookers on. Sea-spray and salt coat both precious and poor, corroding and rusting 'till gone. A lighthouse in name, it's massive and tall, Concrete and steel aren't light. Not fit for a family to call it a home, A house where I'll not spend a night.
No switch to flip nor wire nor plug Rays of brightest white Like clockworks made precise and sure each day o'rcomes the night
Inventions to enrich our lives, fill every corner, nook, and crack, Screens that glow and flash and shift, compute, process, display and track. Hush the screaming lights and sounds, seek refuge in some quiet place, Loose the chains that tie the mind, Take on a calmer slower pace.
The rhyming star is a fickle friend, With mystic rays that shimmer and bend, Around and past the would be poet, With fullest heart though none may know it. Visions of beauty and scenes in his mind, Are trapped without outlet and won't be defined, 'Till lamely he finds a flavorless phrase, Lost in a labyrinthian linguistic maze. "I was not born under a rhyming star", He howls in despair to the silence afar, An echo returns with taunting and spite, So he sets down his pen and calls it a night.
Way back in the dark ages when I was single and in college, I seriously contemplated spending the time and money required to get my private pilots’ license. I even went so far as to get a few hours behind the controls of a Cessna 182. It was enough to convince me I would love it and that I couldn’t afford to maintain it as a hobby if I was ever going to have a family. I gave up my quest before my first “solo” flight. I was disappointed, but accepted my fate with magnanimity; knowing that my first solo take-off and landing would have been a huge blast.
I had a similar experience a few years earlier without leaving the ground. I have always loved being in control of anything with a motor and wheels, so it was a huge thrill the day I finally completed all the requirements to drive a car without direct supervision. Driving solo was a huge landmark I had sought after since I first realized I could reach the gas-pedal and see over the dash at the same time.
Based on these two experiences, it might be reasonable to extrapolate that doing things “solo” is the logical end-state of development. As we learn and grow here in this short life, we should strive to get better at them until we are capable of doing it on our own. This however is a tremendous fallacy.
Consider the pilot scenario above. It’s true that as you progress in development, you get to a point where you are capable of handling a well-behaved aircraft on your own, but that is far from the pinnacle. Consider the cockpit of commercial flights. As a general rule, these flights are made up of a flight crew with both a pilot and co-pilot. While part of the motivation for this is redundancy in case one of the crew becomes incapacitated, the real reason is the capacity for load-sharing. During the more critical portions of flight such as final approach and landing while on instruments, the pilot can become quite busy flying the airplane. In addition to actually flying the plane, radio communications pick up during this phase of flight and include changing radio frequencies several times, not to mention additional activities and preparations. By working as a team, the pilot and co-pilot are able to level out the load, sharing the tasks and cross-checking each other to ensure things are done correctly and efficiently.
In the case of a car, it didn’t take long for driving by myself to lose it’s appeal. The radio and the open road (or congested street more often than not) was a poor substitute for having friends, then girlfriends, and eventually my own family with me in the car. Focus shifted from driving as an end in itself to a means to get somewhere to do something. In general, going somewhere is either a non-fun requirements-based thing or I’m taking someone with me. Driving solo isn’t all it used to be cracked up to be.
So, why on earth am I talking about flying or driving solo… I can’t remember how many people I’ve run into who’s pinnacle was being independent and on their own. Friends and co-workers have indefinitely postponed marriage and/or family because they don’t want to be “tied down.” I’ve known far too many who left marriages and children in an attempt to seek “fulfillment” free from the “restrictions” of family. This universally saddens me when I encounter it.
When I was much younger, I made a high priority of moving out on my own and tackling life alone. At first it was great being free to do as I chose, responsible to nobody but myself. However, as I gained experience with the “single life,” I quickly realized how much of a load of crap I’d been sold. As I gained more and more experience with it, I got more disillusioned, and eventually moved back in with my parents where I had a support structure compatible with my values.
Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to re-evaluate this concept as I’ve been compelled to fly solo in life for periods when I’ve been called away from home for work or other reasons, and it’s given me opportunity to reflect on the situation. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would intentionally choose to be alone. On my own, I’m solely responsible for taking care of ALL the necessities ranging from cooking to shopping to laundry to completing my normal work. That, on it’s own, isn’t too bad. However, I find it’s the intangibles that make the most difference.
I’ve had the opportunity to explore a wide variety of museums, cities, parks, and other attractions around the world during down-time on business travel. In the best cases, I’ve had traveling partners who shared the experience. However, those relationships are transitory, professional, or casual, and the richness that would result from sharing experiences with my family just isn’t there. While I enjoyed visiting the Hyde Park in London, I experienced it on my own, and don’t have common experiences to re-live with someone who cares.
The more time I’m compelled to spend on my own, the more I appreciate the miracle that is family. Learning to solo an airplane is just the beginning of a much longer process of becoming a fully qualified pilot. Learning to trust and work as a team enables a much more diverse and interesting range of possibilities. My family is my team. They help me do more and be better than I could ever be on my own.
The truth will set you free they say, Give you strength and show the way. Help you stand when threats come strong, Make clear the route to carry on. Sometimes it's true that truth is kind, Healing hands and heart and mind. But all too oft it carries weight, Truths that grind, and crush, and grate. A knowledge of a harsher sort, Breaks through to light, a sharp retort. The darkened hearts that plot and plan, To hurt, oppress, and exploit man. Patterns followed o'er again, Truth and right now labeled sin. Done before, the outcome's clear, But boldly on, the crash comes near. On every side distinctive signs, describe the flaxen cords that bind. Yet no one stirs to shake them off, Some warn, entreat, but yet they scoff. To see the truth through sophistry, An ancient path of catastrophe, Makes knowledge a burden heavy and grave, No freedom here... I am truth's slave.