Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ironically Illuminating: A Meditation on the Dark Arts

Ya got light and ya got dark. You got black and you got white. The only difference is contrast, wouldn't you suppose? Between what is dark and light to that which is black and white?

So I've seen most of the Harry Potter movies. I will admit it. Yes, I have a sense of the supernatural, magical and extraordinary despite some of my beliefs that may contradict that, but I like to think of myself as an explorer, a pioneer, sorta integrating different ideas and philosophies about life and fashioning them into my own light or point of focus. Sort of like a fashion designer would be with articles of clothing, only I do it as an existential fashion designer of sorts. I design my own outlook towards life shedding light and both casting a shadow, making light of things and making dark of things; sorta my specialty for anyone who knows me best.

With that rationalization, I don't think any one thinking on life is right or wrong, good or bad, wise or unwise, up or down. I just think. 'Tis all. What can I say other than that I enjoy the "new". I like to be surprised and to surprise; but that's beyond the scope of the point I wish to illustrate; so, moving on...

What are the "dark arts" as some would coin it? In the movie I referenced above I interpret it as a practice towards a thinking and, therefore, an action that is serious but could also be humourous but, most times, just serious, however, most importantly, NOT NECESSARILY BAD or EVIL. That is how I interpret the dark arts but it is not the only way....

In all seriousness, stay with me, I digress only but a bit further and will return to my point...

—We immediately take something like an "unfriending" in the facebook world to mean that much. And, with the tremendous growth of social media we are placing new values on digital communication or the “disconnected-connected communication”. The facebook unfriend will probably be equal if not more weighted than what an unfriending in the “real” world may mean (I wrote this meditation a few years ago, so things might have changed)...

Moreover, and I'm getting closer to my point — we have our reasons for being spiteful. We also have our reasons for regretting our spite and our reasons for reveling in it. Hey, I like to be as spiteful as the next person, but I also gravely consider where that may be coming from. For me, I think, in the end — would I want someone to go to the grave with this? if the answer is yes, I say it and if no then I don't. But, in the serious end, being grave is a dark art. It shows an appreciation towards light and therefore casts some light on the dark thusly illuminating the subject and making it more understandable and appreciable. In short, practicing the "dark arts" can have "grave" consequences and rightly so, all our actions do.

—We are evolutionizing new standards of communication and placing new values on those methods. (Talk to me years ago and I may not have even seen this coming.)—

So, what is my point? Good question. I always seem to avoid those things. They hurt. I don’t like to get stuck on the sharp ones. In fact, I don't think anyone would like that…

The point is this: Practicing the dark arts doesn’t have to appear to be so dark. Making light of a dark matter is really a light hearted practice in-and-of itself. And so with contrast comes great responsibility ‘cause then things are neither right nor wrong—just interpretable, open to interpretation, just not final in meaning.

After all, there are only two ends of the spectrum to black and white thinking whereas there are many shades of gray, and, for some, there's 50...So why be black and white when there's always more to grey?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Coffee Shop Confessions: "Briefly Meeting"

And I see you. Your eyes grow wide. They pull.

You lend a smile, but it's quickly erased. 

I tilt my head, squint my eyes, and the corners of my mouth lift.

I pour the coffee. I add a little cream, and stir. While I do, my eyes look down and away, and you look at me. You don't think I see. I don't. I feel. 

I finish making my coffee and walk away, but you blurt, "Have a good day!"

I pause for a moment, mid-step, turn around and say, "Thank you, you too."

I walk towards the register. I can still feel your pull.

I pay for the coffee. I look back. I can't see you, but I know you see me, and...

Sunday, January 4, 2015


“So tell me a story, please…”
“It might not be good but here it goes...”

The alarm clock goes off

I roll over and reach for it


I pick myself up off the floor

Rubbing my head

Then I manage to turn the damn alarm off

I go to the kitchen

The drying rack is full

I scramble some eggs and pour a glass of orange juice and toast a bagel

I put cream cheese on it

While the eggs cool I put the dishes away

My roommate puts his dishes in the sink
(the ones he'll never clean anyway)

I clean all the dishes regardless of if I'll get to the train on time...

I get ready, comb my hair, get my keys, train pass and headphones and I'm out the door by 9:40...

I hastily walk, the morning cold is crisp

Cars rush by and the music through my ear-buds is soothing...

I get to the train station, climb the steps, there's broken glass and a cross that reads, "he was a
good dog"

I wait for the train just behind a pole that blocks the sun from my eyes

A loud noise approaches quickly

The Amtrak train flies by at 80 mph

I don't flinch

Most would

However days and weeks and months have hardened me to the potential danger a train at that speed could do

In the deep distance, lights appear

The train slowly approaches and the people step closer to the platform

It arrives, we get on


Another Amtrak train slightly disturbs the Septa we're boarding

We move on, my eyes are closed...
*breathe in, breathe out, do I have my keys, where's my pass, breathe in, breathe out, is my back pack
zipped up?*

I'm at my stop, my eyes open and I walk off...

Immediately I see a bum sprawled on his back, sleeping or dead, I never know, and I just press on to catch the bus

I see it to the left, at the light, I know if I don't run I'll miss it

I sprint towards the stop

I barely made it

I swipe my pass and – breathe

A few minutes into the ride and the bus stops

Not for a passenger but an ambulance

It's double parked and blocking the route

We don't care

We wanna get to our destination

God forbid someone dies and their ambulance blocks our route

What business do people have dying nowadays anyway?

The ambulance moves and we're on our way

I see one bridge

Two bridges

I see the third...

And there’s Luzerne Street, and I pull the chord

A bell rings and "stop requested" the placard says

I mosey towards the rear door, holding my balance

I get off

I go under the bridge and look back

There's someone behind me

I don't know who they are

I hold onto a pen in my pocket

A blue one

Made of recycled plastic

I hold tight

My pen is my sword...

The man disappears behind the cross traffic, and I become calm

Across the tracks I get to a coffee shop

I walk in, get a cup

I pay

The bum outside didn't ask for change, but I gave him a dollar anyway

No response

He's probably better off dead anyway

I walk across the street

Safely I make it across the four lane Highway

I cross paths with a man with shallow eyes who stares me down

He knows I don't belong there

I continue on

I get to work

And I go towards the break room

I sit

I breathe

I sip and...

Begin my day…

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Safe Driving

Driving and texting is not something that should be done on company time. There were many times when my co-worker would scowl at me when I did this especially when cruising the highway, residential developments, busy city streets. He would say, “Hey, what do you think you are doing? You can’t do that on company time! We’re on the clock!” He was right, we were on the clock, so I stopped being so careless. Now I just text on break -- while driving.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Important lesson learned at work

Today man learns his hard work is not less than worth the effort. Here is an account of man’s entire existence…

“Been working, years and years. I have slaved and labored. My life has been less than the worth of my work. I wake tired in the morning. I can’t give it up ‘cause I need to work. It’s not cool. I am tired and worn.”

…In other news a man decided to leap from a building after believing he was free and could fly away from everything.—He did.