Found Music – The Smiths

March 28, 2011

Early Candidate for Song of the Day:

– Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want


Written Words – (diagnosis)

March 28, 2011

Things that seem related but aren’t:

Today I went to the hospital about my eyes for the 5th time. It’s been a surprising constant over six months that have turned upside down in virtually every other way. Ever since I started experiencing blurry vision in September, the pattern has been the same: go to the hospital (or GP, or eye doctor), have them tell me I’m suffering from (dry eyes, an infection, something else), attempt to figure out why (with a diagnosis that always changes), and prescribe me different eye drops.

They couldn’t figure it out. An infection? Contacts? A reaction to preservatives?

8 doctors, 8 different ideas, each with their own favorite eye drops.

Meanwhile, the rug felt like it was being pulled out from under me. Work stopped going well. The people I built my life around at Oxford left. My relationship was in tatters. My body was failing me, with separate trips to the hospital for a broken nose and also some scary tests that, with hindsight, don’t seem like such a big deal but definitely were at the time.

I spent much of the last six months angry, first with God, and later with people that I love. Obsessing with the endings, as everything around me seemed to be taken away.

Today, I walked into the hospital, saw the eye doctor. He looked through my charts and got my story. Then he looked in my eyes. I was fine. There were no pock marks on my eyes. My eyes had healed themselves.

They never figured out what it was. Never got the diagnosis correct. But given enough time, I was able to heal.

And I can’t help but see it as a little invitation. To stop obsessing about the endings. To start to lift my eyes towards the beginnings and opportunities in front of me.

I don’t have to know what went wrong. Enough time can heal.

Written Words – (a little)

March 27, 2011

Louis Armstrong’s lip would split and bleed
so this one raw from biting isn’t much

almost guilty
almost turning the arrow around
almost embarrassed about this relief

at least now it’s what I knew it was

no expectation
no falsehood

a little emptiness, but that is to be expected

no answers
but at least the questions are real (again)


Found Words – Harper Lee

March 27, 2011

On courage:

“…when you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” – Atticus Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird)

Written Words – Real People

March 26, 2011

In watching the NCAA tournament these last few weeks, it struck me how frequently members of the media questioned player’s “heart”, specifically one comment about a kid who made 1st team all conference in the big east.  His team was getting drilled, and the kid had that glazed over look in his eyes that a teenager gets when his girlfriend cheats on him with his best friend. The quote was this :

“You just have to wonder where this kid’s head is at, he’s got no heart, he completely let his team down today by not coming ready to play.  It’s remarkably sad that he can show up here and clearly his mind is elsewhere”

He went on to explain that he was referring to the kid possibly thinking about the NBA, his next “career move”.  I thought about it at first because his language was incredibly strong, negatively, for a player that up until then had carried his team most of the season.  What hit me next was actually my initial observation, “the kid had that glazed over look in his eyes that a teenager gets when his girlfriend cheats on him with his best friend”, because while I have no real reason to think that it IS possible.  These athletes are real kids.  They DO fall in love.  They DO get dumped.  They DO have traumatic experiences that impact their lives, how they think, how they live, how they play.

We tend to lose sight of that with athletes, actors, singers, people with some degree of fame.  I’m hesitant to say we put them all on a pedestal, there are certainly celebrities we mock and thumb our noses at.  But we often forget that they’re just as emotional as we are.  I was fortunate enough that I had a few close relationships with athletes at relatively high levels.  Their names were in the paper.  Talked about on the radio as though they were a thing, and not a person.  Ripped apart on message boards as though they ceased to exist once they exited the arena.  But in reality I saw them struggle through term papers and finals.  Go into “funks” when things were rocky with their girlfriends, or the one they were after had other ideas.  I’m sure I’m guilty of it too.  I’ve been predicting where coaches will wind up next season because a “better” job opens up, while a close family friend was part of a staff that was let go.  It’s teh nature of the business, coaches are transient people by nature generally.  But his youngest kid will know be moving to his 5 city in his lifetime, himself collateral damage.  He’s read things on the internet about his father’s coaching ability, or recruiting, a lot of it negative.  It has to be hard.  What’s simple observation by an anonymous 3rd party on the internet is ripping a part the kids father, or a 19 year old struggling with his jump shot (while also dealing with having his heart broken), or a 22 year old suddenly realizing that his competitive playing days are going to come to an abrupt end.

It’s just weird to think about.  Living in the public eye, with nearly everything you do being scrutinized by people that take emotion out of the equation.

Found Words – Kander and Ebb

March 22, 2011

“But with other people’s music ringing in my ear,

I couldn’t sing,

Well, anything.

And I thought if I could just be 12 again,

Or was it 10?

Well, anyway.

It seems to me I knew the secret then,

It’s so simple 12,

It’s so simple 10,

It was simple then.”

-“Colored Lights,” from The Rink

Found Words – Secondhand Serenade

March 21, 2011

“This is not what I intended
I always swore to you I’d never fall apart
You always thought that I was stronger
I may have failed
But I have loved you from the start.”

-Fall for You