Tag Archives: Wisdom

The Art of Slow Cooking

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The day my father retired he threw away every suit he owned save one basic blue.

He also shifted into low, easy gear. A sort of simmering Crock-Pot sense of being.

He walked no farther than the mailbox or the perimeter of his one-acre suburban ranch of weed-less green lawn.

He leisurely patrolled his tiny fiefdom in a new uniform:

  • a mesh baseball cap
  • polo shirt
  • high-waisted, flat-butt jeans
  • a pair of Thom McAn loafers .  .  . with ruptured toe boxes where bunion bouquets emerged.

His days were largely spent on the back porch in the rubber band rocking chair. Reading the local newspaper. Smoking cigarettes. Drinking cans of Old Milwaukee.

By afternoon, he was finished with printed words.

His eyes slightly glazed and dreamy, he’d sink into contemplative silence.

Thoughts simmering like a thin stew.

His body beginning to look like a portly little pot.

And after 8 to 10 hours of back-porch marinating, he’s be ready to uncork a vat of ancient memories and freshly-poached wisdom.

Dad spinning a yarn to my brother.

 

From him, I learned there are two forms of retirement:

  • The Outer: the pride of possessions earned and achievements polished for posterity.
  • The Inner: the reflective retiring.

This last one fascinated me.

Those methodically lazy days. The slow-cookery living. My dad perfected them and gifted them to me as the legacy for his firstborn.

The stride meant for my adoption .  .  . a bit like a monk with an imaginary monastery.

But honestly, I feel rather lost and lonely trying to step in his footprints. I long for the days of his endless stories and jokes, no matter how stale. They gave me a steady sense of place.

 

 

Bully Boy

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Somebody must have treated you real mean before you became a man.

You must’ve painted your pain into the portrait of a man big and brawny with a voice that speaks like a dirty carburetor and tosses its fumes with the fury of a vintage V8. Fast and far your reckless words can be flung.

 

This imaginary man grew up inside his gilt-framed self portrait and inspired you to adopt your dead image of an adult in a future that hasn’t existed yet.

You were dead before you lived in the world of adults.

But you didn’t know you were a frozen corpse of pain and fear.

You just kept on firing your words like bullets – to sting, to injure, to kill the spirit of each person who looked like your enemy.

And enemies were aplenty because nearly every face wore the mask of your childhood tormentor.

Somebody hurt you bad – and – all you know now is hurt-back.

If only you knew how invisible you are.

How your circulatory system of pain is X-rayed and transmitted to those who can see.

And those who can see, do not fear you. For that, you hate them most of all.

You slander and libel those with wisdom, because you fear their power.

You know their power is quiet and invisible and that it will win – always – because it touches eternity.

And you .  .  . you will only die in loud, writhing pain.

While a multitude of your admirers – your dark disciples – will carry on your gospel of hidden pain.

They will spread your disease until one day when one person wakes up and says: “I see inside my skin. I name my pain. I raise my white flag and walk away.”

The husk of a man is then seen crossing the khaki desert. As his bully-boy viscera crumbles into a pile of dry dust.

And so .  .  . one-by-one, the soldiers of hurt fall.

 

 

Your Time Here is Limited

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In contrast with the soothsayer‘s warning to Julius Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March,I find no foreboding message in this day. In fact, I celebrate it!

Please join with me and find a bit of wisdom, inspiration and prompting via The Wise Old Owls .  .  . speaking the words of Steve Jobs.

 

 

She

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She walked through the finger-smudged glass door on a sunny day. A day strangely warm for February.

The air was gritty and the sun rusted-out by the relentless strength of the prairie wind lifting the broken land skyward.

She paused for a moment on the threshold, absently gazing forward as her eyes adjusted to the new light.

Her skin was fair. Her hair was wildflower-honey colored .  .  . falling below her shoulders in ripples like waves on a summer lake.

She was slender. Dressed in kickback casual, yet, styled to be her.

It was her eyes that captivated me, though. 

She wore no makeup. She was perfectly gorgeous in her raw skin. She seemed completely comfortable with the purple spoons beneath her eyes.

They gave her a Pre-Raphaelite, waif-look that mesmerized and melted me in one glance.

I saw a piece of myself in her, but, I didn’t know which one until she sat down next to me.

I was drying from a pedicure; she was preparing for a set of nail to adhere and be embellished.

A moment of silence passed.

Two women assessing their instincts of trust.

We somehow concluded, simultaneously, to begin talking. Not just chatter, but, depth of speak.

She told me her life story – all 30+ years in an hour.

I told only snippets from a life lived much longer.

She was born and raised in the wasteland of a fading Route 66 town, a town that has become a hub of crack cocaine.

She avoided drug addiction. She married after high school – pregnant as she walked down the aisle.

She stayed with him for ten years; bore two children; divorced; lived 4 years single in that desolate town. Then, escaped one night to Missouri. A year there and she was chased back to New Mexico by a failed job and a homesick son.

She returned to realize that she’d fallen in love with her best friend. A cop in the crack town. A truant officer at her high school.

It was a small-town tale, but, I was continually drawn back to the noir beneath her eyes.

She spoke from such a deep well of wisdom.

I wanted to be her.

I wanted to re-live my life in smaller steps. In a smaller space. Simpler. More direct. All-the-while, gaining sage wisdom.

I wanted to invest in her economy of movement.

I saw myself eschewing academia; not exploring the world; nor meandering along the Champs-Elysees while she was nursing an infant.

I began to see more of why I’m seduced by tiny, parched towns and their ghostly people. Why I feel like a stranger on my own home turf – that strange land of the metropolitan East Coast.

She unknowingly gave me another clue to my personal puzzle.

Somewhere deep in the velvet of those vague, noir eyes, she held secrets and answers to my mysteries.

Somewhere in those eyes, at times, so tender I hurt to look into them. They drew blood in a way that’s curative. 

I projected myself into her mind. And, perhaps, had I the skill of Rossetti, I’d paint her eyes from every fractured angle in the galaxy and expose the guilelessness of her atomic truth.

But I have only words as raw material.

And they are so damn ephemeral. I need a  solid mooring. Brushes and oils and stretched canvas to capture this picture. To hold it still for contemplation – this too brief meeting of companionable souls. This momentary paralleling of two beings wanting to exchange lanes.

In my fantasy, we’ll reach the same destination of grown-up Truth.

Her path: right-lane Interstate.

My path:  crooked rural roads.

Destiny fulfilled. But, for a fleeting hour, it was scintillating to imagine trading paths with a stranger.

 

The Grind

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Mocha Muse has its very own newspaper, The Grind. It may contain a quote, a poem, song lyrics, snippets of overheard conversation or fascinating facts about creativity/life. So, leather sofa in Home Interiorsnuggle into the sofa, unfold the paper and reach for your morning cup of coffee.

 

 

 

Here’s the sixteenth issue. . . just click on newspaper to enlarge, then continue to click until text is readable for you!

 

The Grind - (7-20-2015) Make Space For Creativity

 

*References: Light and Sound Teachings & UberFacts

 

 

Little Beans of Wisdom

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Little Beans of Wisdom is going to take some time off to raise babies and teach owlets to fly, thereby expanding the wisdom of the world.

We’ll be back periodically to surprise you!

Meanwhile, keep stretching your beautiful writing-wings .  .  .  .