Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dusting off old memories

Nothing in life is guaranteed.

A collage of family photos in 1979
Everything is a risk ... and every risk has its reward ... or its consequences.

Standing still ... staying in your comfort zone has its own risks.  The reward ... feeling safe.  The consequences ... being left behind and possibly losing yourself in the process.  Soon you find out that there is no comfort zone ... only familiarity.

It's a tough choice ... Step outside your boundaries and face the unknown or stay in your circle and miss out on what life has to offer.

There are a handful of people that I know that have lived their life stepping beyond boundaries ... at least boundaries that society has set.  They live on the fringes of society as my eldest brother Russ says ... he likes it there.  He has done so many things I would never dream of even trying.

I have not seen Russ many times in my life.  A few days here ... a day there ... he fades into the shadows for a few years then emerges for a brief time.
Peppers ... yummy

I can remember a family trip to Disneyland.  Russ was driving an old Bronco with one of my sisters, another brother and me in typical Los Angeles traffic.  A double trailer tanker into the lane we were in nearly hitting us.  Russ uttered a few expletives as he laid on the horn.  "I'm not letting this asshole get away with this," he said as he pulled up beside the truck and flipped the driver off.

Then he cut the truck off.

Have you ever seen the movie Duel ... cheesy early Steven Spielberg film with Dennis Weaver ... about an insane truck driver that terrorizes the main character ... ...

In hindsight it is all quite funny ...

The card and letter
He very recently sent me a wonderful gift.  He grows peppers, pickles them and cans them.  He sent me several jars ... but that isn't the best part ...

In the box was a card ... in the card was a handwritten letter ... in the letter he says he is behind me 110%.

I cried when I read it ... amazing how a few simple words can generate such powerful emotions.

He has written quite a story for himself ... but then again so have all my siblings ... teachers, accountants, nurses, computer programmers, paramedics ... all have accomplished quite a bit.

This chapter of my life would be stressful enough just truly starting my transition.  Dealing with work, friends and family is difficult enough at any time ... add an outside stress and your world can be turned upside down.

We, as a family, have about 2 weeks to get the house ready for our mom's return from surgery and rehab.  My family is not only dealing with my transition, they are dealing with the stress of our mother, they are dealing with their own stresses and circumstances beyond their control.

It is not easy ... for any of us.

I have many issues that have surfaced that must be dealt with ... Seriously, you cannot try to redirect your life without dealing with the issues that caused you to not head in that direction in the first place.

Everything is a memory ...

Everything is a potential issue ...

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It is a little disconcerting to not know what may cause a meltdown or when it may happen.

This is why cleaning my mom's room is difficult at times ... it is also why I have enjoyed unearthing some of the treasures.

I remember my mom getting a music box when I was young.  It had drawers to hold jewelry and a little window with rickshaw ... the wheels would spin and lights would blink on and off.  I used to sit in my mom and dad's room and listen to that over and over.

It was never lost ... but I feel like I found it for the first time again.

I was so excited.

Invisible ...
I dusted it off ... I wound it up and I watched and listened like when I was a child.

I was a bit disappointed because the lights didn't work, but the music brought back memories ... but how did the lights used to work??

Were there lights?

Did I imagine them.

I looked for switches ... I looked for a battery compartment ... there clearly was no electrical cord.  Finally, after nosing around a little, I found the battery compartment.

I'm not insane ... there were lights!

Well ... there were lights.  I may still be insane.

I changed the batteries and opened the box in excitement ... ...

No lights ...

I messed with the batteries, I looked for switches ... nothing.

I grabbed my camera to video the box so you could at least hear what I enjoyed as a child ...

The lights flickered and blinked!!

Truly a minuscule flicker of light in a stressful time.

I am finding enjoyment in my writing and my photography again ... this may be the thin layer between me and the verge of depression I seem to feel so close to.  I don't proclaim to be a great writer or photographer ... but I can capture and express my feelings through my words and through my lens.

I wrote this poem a while back.  Nothing special, just my thoughts:

My life is just a simple book
with many chapters penned
But as they’re written by the scribe
the words will not amend

From comedy to tragedy
and genres in between
This story contains everything
my eyes have ever seen

With friends and foes and confidants
all inked into my life
The script would read of misery
but for my son and wife

Though scenes and plots will twist and change
one theme remains the same
A secret buried deep inside
that reads of fear and shame

A million words cannot describe
the depth of joy and pain
But truth be told, if I were asked
I’d write it all again

Yet through it all with all I have
I still don’t feel complete
But chasing what I held inside
could spell my own defeat

So now I start to walk the path
with fear I cannot measure
And soon I come to realize
my secret is a treasure

And now I learn to live and trust
as my life rearranges
My story will continue on
but now the cover changes