Surviving

Feeling the warmth of the sun on a cloudy day. A glimpse into a blind billy goat's unique, ever changing perspectives.

2016 07 30 A Littler Me July 30, 2016

What would I say to a littler me? What would I say to a young boy with eyes as wide as the skies? What would I tell him about the world that lay in front of him, edging him on? How could I admire him, inspire him, praise him, thank him for bringing such life into my life?

 

This young boy, with such an eager and inquisitive nature had so much potential. He had desires, passions, questions, and yes, he had many wondrous ways that were unique to him. He laughed a lot, cried a little, frowned and smiled, shrugged his shoulders and raised his gaze towards a future that belonged to no one but him. He asked about things he didn’t understand, reached for things that he wanted to hold, jumped up onto the next step, traversed an obstacle or two, and dashed towards the finish line as quick as a cricket. He learned from his mother, was taught by his father, inspired by his brothers and sisters, admired his aunts and uncles, wrote on the chalk board, sat on a bus, stood in line, kneeled and prayed, helped his little brother up and ran after his older sisters. He idolized his older brother with a furied frenzy. He wished he could play baseball like Carl Yastrzemski, basketball like Willis Reed, ski like Jean – Claude Killy and have a come from behind kick like Dave Wottle. He dreamt of a roaring crowd, a monster that was catching up, an endless field to run through, a wild toboggan ride, pitching a no hitter, floating to earth and jumping to the moon.

 

What could I say to this inquisitive young lad with a sparkle in his eye? Would I be able to explain where he is headed? Would I be able to show him all of the miles ahead of him? Could I teach him something he wouldn’t learn on his own? Should I warn him of the hurdles, the obstacles, the fears, the worries that would spin around in his mind? Should I guide him to the left, or veer him to the right?

 

This young boy was the biggest part of me. He stared at a line of stepping stones, just waiting for a chance. He was all of my questions, all of my wonders, all of my joy and all of my hope. He was all of the things that would lead me to here, and although he didn’t know it, he was the creator of a life full of lasting memories.

 

What do you tell a boy like this, like me? What could I learn from him today? What questions would I ask this little man?

 

So often I have thought back and pictured him in my mind. I wonder how he came to be in a slice of life that defined him. I rack my mind some times, trying to remember all that I can about him. The Red Ball Jets, the Super Balls, the Hot Wheels, the cards in the spokes, knee patched jeans, the nights staring out the bedroom window, the Christmas Eves, the cuts, scrapes and bruises, the smiles on his face and the tears in his eyes. I search for hidden gems of his existence, but I usually fall back upon those same memories that have kept me company through my years.

 

Amazed and enlightened, I keep moving forward, as did he. With each step, I remember a young boy on a sting ray bike, pedaling up a hill and down the road of life. The momentum of this energetic little fellow found a way through a world that challenged him, taught him, amazed and bestowed upon him a talent known only to him.

 

What would he say to me today? If he could look ahead into his life, what would he think? Would he be happy with where I am? Would he be thankful that he wound up here with me? Could he begin to understand all of the choices he made? That I made? That we made? Would he be as proud of me as I am of him?

 

This young boy, this young man is all that I am made of. I wouldn’t be, couldn’t be me without the gifts that he possessed. I owe him everything that I am, and as I move on, I can only emulate the heart and soul of this young, courageous savior of my soul, for it is a powerful soul indeed.

 

What would I say to a littler me?

 

I would kneel down, clutch his shoulders, look into his eyes, and while trying to fight back a surge of emotions I would only be able to say one thing.

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

2016 07 26 In The Books July 26, 2016

It looks like another semesteris in the books. Do I look smarter? Do I feel smarter? Am I dressing smarter? Grin Probably not is the answer to that last one, for three quarters of the time I don’t know what color the clothes I have on are, but I’m sure I’m color coordinated for just about any occasion, right?

It’s been five years since I started my blog, and I can honestly say that I still hate cancer. In all of cancer’s ugly forms, none is uglier than the one that attacks me and you, for none of them have a care in the world how much evil they possess. They just keep moving forward with that stupid smirk on their face of death, without thought or care.

As you know, my vision loss in 2010 was directly related to my own battle against cancer as an infant. The radiation I had at five months old directly caused the blood flow to shut off to my good eye, my right eye, and after starving for blood, the retina finally shut down. The tiny amount of vision I enjoyed for a few years after the series of strokes finally succumbed to even more strokes, as the artery kept collapsing these past few months, and now I stand before you a completely blind goat on the verge of a thing.

I like that line from a song that Peter Frampton sang back about ten years ago.

The thing that I am on the verge of now could be considered the rest of my life. The mobility lesson I have recently embarked on is unlike any other from my past, in that when I remove the ecluders now, I am still in complete blackness. I’m not complaining in the least, as I knew it was just a matter of time.

Life is only a matter of time. Our time is a matter of life, and as this life of mine rolls on, it’s up to me, and no one else to see what I can do with it. So far, well, I guess I’m keeping sort of busy, but man have I slowed down. I feel most of the time like I’m moving like a sloth on qualudes. My balance is crap, my agility is crap, my sense of fashion is lacking and I still love chocolate.

The saying, Out of sight, out of mind”, is having fun with me. The visual cues are no longer something that I can take for granted, so I have had to try and make mental notes of my daily routines. Mental is right, because my short term memory without the visual cues really sucks, but then again, that happens with age a lot of the time, right? Right? Help me out here, ojk?

Fact is, I can’t remember crap either, and that gets me into a mess a lot of the time, but it’s my mess and my oh my how the times have changed.

I am all signed up for two more classes this fall, and no, I’m not going to take three. I do fine with two, and I’m in no hurry. Both of my classes are online, and with a little work, I have a pretty good grasp on BlackBoard, although that could change at any time, due to technological updates that have a habit of hampering digital accessibility from time to time. My tutoring has paid off, but my hard work has paid off as well.

The bouts I had these past three years with the meningioma slowed me up some, but it isn’t gonna do me any good to sit back on my goat caboose and wonder why I didn’t keep moving forward. There’s not much going on in my past, and although I moved a little quicker back then, it isn’t gonna help me if I don’t find a way to help myself today.

So, here I go, bouncing down the road with my white cane in one hand, and my laptop bag in the other. I did migrate both of my computers to Windows 10, and can honestly say that I am glad I did, as they seem to be running more efficient, especially with the taxing properties of JAWS tugging constantly on the system resources. It’s a similar platform to Windows 7, but with differences that are distinct. It’s a ton better than 8.1 ever dreamed of, and hopefully will be keeping me company for some time to come. Now, if I can get a better grasp on the ribbons, I might feel brave enough to move past my Word 2003 that I still use on this desktop machine. Yes, that’s right, Word 2003. My old buddy. My ally.

Ya, you’re probably right. I might as well move the rest of my past into the present too. Grin

Some things will never change the mind of a goat though, and one thing is for certain, you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you find the receipt to exchange it, color coordination be damned.

Thanks for hanging in there, and thanks for your continued inspiration.

Those of you heading into the fall semester, good luck to you all.

Take care for now my friends.

Dp

 

2016 06 15 Arms Folded June 15, 2016

I just realized something today. It’s June the 15th, and I haven’t posted anything to my blog yet this month. Am I lazy? Am I busy doing other things? Did I just plain forget? Only my hairdresser knows for sure, and if I had the hair I used to I might actually need one.

I sat here for a second after I opened up a new word document and wondered once again what I should write about. With all that’s going on in the world, I could write about quite a few different things, but I made a commitment when I started this blog, not to write about political things, and even though politics has its grubby little hands in just about everything under the sun, I will try to refrain from doing what I said I wouldn’t do. I tend to get a little carried away with my political opinion from time to time, so don’t worry.

My father got me interested in politics about twenty years ago. I was complaining one day about this and that, and hearing enough, he told me that I should read the constitution, that it might help me with some of the questions that were running round in my head. Well, I did, and my mind has been spinning ever since.

I believe he is up in heaven looking down at me with his arms folded, all the while wearing a huge face filling smile.

He had such a huge impact on my life, and for the most part, I didn’t even realize it most of the time. I knew he was always there, and that when he saw that I needed help, he stepped up to the plate and calmed my inquisitive tone and aching bones.

I was growing so fast as a youngster that the aching bones part is true. I sometimes had to go down stairs at night to have my mother rub alcohol on my legs, for the growing pains were quite intense. She would rub a little on my lower legs, on my shins, and I would return to my bed, sticking my legs out from under the blankets to soak up some cool night air. Usually within a few minutes, I would drift off into lullaby-ville to enjoy the stuff that dreams were made of.

I still don’t know what I want to write about, so I guess I’ll just keep on writing.

Having a set of parents to grow up with is such a gift that I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I feel. I suppose that was the most important thing for me when I became a father. I felt that I owed it to my son to give him a stable home with a semi stable father to rely on. Now, don’t get me wrong, as I felt nowhere as adequate a father as I saw my own father. I’m sure he would tell you the same, and so on down the line. As time changes everything, so too does it change our perceptions. I have watched my son grow into an adult, and the fact that he has tried his best and has kept a working career going for the entirety of his adulthood is a gift that he can hand off to his son with confidence in knowing that he has my admiration and praise.

Believe me when I tell you that when I became a father, I felt as far from being ready to become a father as anything I had ever felt in my life. I guess as we grow towards adulthood, we take what our family teaches us and head out into the world not knowing that we will need to use all of the tools that are at our disposal. Half the time, I didn’t even know I had any tools to use, I just pulled my boot straps up and got on with it. Perhaps that was the most useful tool of all, the one that tells us to keep moving forward, no matter what.

Most of my moving forward days seem to be behind me these days. I might get cocky and take a step ahead now and then, but they feel like baby steps compared to how I used to be. Perhaps they aren’t baby steps, but even bigger steps than before? Perhaps the tools I use today are ones that I never would have thought to use before? Perhaps it’s a good thing that I’m a pack rat and I saved every little tool that came my way?

Perhaps my dad is once again looking down at me with his arms folded? If he is, I bet he’s smiling even bigger than a few minutes ago.

With Father’s Day a few days away, I’d like to wish all the dads out there a wonderful day, and trust me when I say that some days you make a difference without even trying, so please, never stop trying.

Isn’t that funny how I just realized what I should write about, and I’m all done.

Grin.

 

2016 05 22 A Dear Friend May 22, 2016

I lost a dear friend the other day. This friend I had known since 1986, and their presence in my life grew larger and larger with each passing year. This friend reached out to the world as they opened up their arms to greet each morning with a wide eyed yawn reminiscent of a young, inquisitive child. An innocent learner of the seasons who never asked for anything, yet never stopped giving.

 

Oh how I admired this friend over the years. Oh how I thanked them for always being there, no matter what came their way. Oh how I learned to love them just as they were, and how over the years I saw how others saw in them those same qualities that caused me to stand and stare up at them, as their inspiration continued to flood my world.

 

Since 1986, the old maple tree in front of our home has sheltered us from the cold, storming winds out of the west. The old maple tree hugged our home and warmed our spirits with a constant blanket of security. The old maple tree gave us shade against the blistering hands of the summer sun and gathered the songs of the birds with each new day’s dawn.

 

The strong limbs of our dear friend grew brittle as the years passed, but still, our old maple tree continued to stand strong and proud as it watched over the Battleridge.

 

The other morning, I walked up to where our old friend stood for so many years, and as I knelt down and reached out, I couldn’t believe she was gone. The emptiness I felt was similar to those same feelings I had when our barn came down. A hole in my heart that just didn’t make any sense.

 

We tend to grow fond of certain things in our lives. We love without knowing, and as the days continue to pass, we hang on to the memories with a passion that we can rarely explain.

 

For thirty years the majestic maple burst with life every spring. Her unfolding leaves sang to life as the wind whistled down from the mountains, and as I knelt there on our front lawn, I could hear her whispering good bye.

 

There’s an empty place in my soul.

There’s a void that I can’t explain.

There’s a calling that I hear along the wind.

There’s a friend that I will forever be grateful for.

 

As I sit here and write, I am being flooded with emotions. I shake my head and wonder why, I mean, over a tree? Really?

 

Yes, over a tree. A rock solid, tall, proud, beautiful   maple tree if you please, and yes, a dear friend indeed.

 

2016 05 15 Conductor May 15, 2016

And here we are, smack dab in the middle of another month. The 15th of May snuck in and took up right where the 14th left off, and I hardly even noticed.

It’s been a couple weeks since my last post, and I can honestly say that I miss those “poem a day” days of April. I discovered a lot, wrote a little more, made a few rhymes and created a couple of poems that I really enjoyed as I went and read them back.

It’s hard for me to say which style of writing I like the best. I do love to write poetry quite a bit. The musical flow of the texted lyrics have a strange effect on me. Sometimes when I read the words back, it’s as if a conductor is standing in front of an orchestra, and as he waves his baton back and forth, he smiles and closes his eyes as the melody lifts him high into the evening air and whisks him away, along side a soothing piece of music that only he can hear.

As the music flows, so too does the mind.

I love the flow of a poem. I love the highs, the lows, the rhythm and the movement from one line to the next. It’s a cascading, harmonic journey for me, and whether the poem rhymes or not, the magic of words never finds a home better suited than at home, in a poem.

Now I do love other styles of writing as well, such as short stories, fiction, non fiction essays, and the hundreds of different posts I have shared in my blog. There are quite a few short stories I have written that have taken my emotions and rocketed them to the moon and back. These emotions haven’t always been a companion of mine. As a young boy and man, I can rarely remember being caught up in my emotions the way I do today. In fact, the first time I remember being swept away by them was when I watched the 1982 movie, ET. How or why a little weird looking alien was able to hand me a box of tissues was, at the time, unrealistic for me, and to me. Never had I been handed a pocket full of tears as I was that day in Buffalo. Although I was a little confused with it all, I was also completely entertained and relished the memories of that movie for, well, until this day.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have no answers why as I grow older, that I’m seemingly more in touch with my feelings. If any of you are hollering out, “You’re a Metro Sexual Male?!” all I can say is that I don’t believe in trendy labels of the times. I mean, labels come and go, but feelings and emotions have been with us since a human first broke a bone.

Huh?

Never mind.

I do love to write, and although I haven’t been doing much of it lately, I still love to fill a page full of my thoughts, if for no other reason than being able to go back and read it myself.

What we go through in our lives is unique to us, and us alone. It is our life, our struggle, our emotions, our triumphs and our times to remember as we choose to. My memories are mine, and mine alone, and perhaps the reason I get caught up with emotions these days is because so much of what I go through is reminding me of those days gone by.

I know we all have memories, some good and some bad. Even though I have my share of less than good memories, they will never ever be able to hold a candle to those memories of mine that soothe my aching bones. Some of those memories of mine that make me smile are shared by others, but still, the ones that wrap around my mind are specially tailored for me and no one else. They are the ones that I can relate to, and as all of the new memories build and shape themselves, they’ll help define who I am as I become an older goat.

As the mind remembers back, the new memories rise up with each breath of this new day.

And again, another couple empty pages have been filled up with the gift of text. Never knowing where it’s going, it continues to go never the less, and on this 15th day of May, the breaths just keep coming.

Have a wicked good rest of your day, and thanks for the continued inspiration

dp.

 

2016 04 30 Poetry: 30 Ways April 30, 2016

And here we are, April the 30th. My oh my how this month has traveled quickly. Here one minute, May the next.

I must be honest with you all. I only cheated I think twice this month, in that I posted older writings. The other poems for the month were brand new, and most of those were written rather quickly, like within one hour. I think the longest I spent writing one of April’s poems was just short of one hour, 45 minutes. Honest. I hate to say it, but that’s how most of my poetry comes to me, quick and to the point, like a ping pong ball caught up in a twister.

Seriously though, I’d like to thank those of you who have commented on my writings. You know who you are, and you also know how much I am thankful for the opportunity to do this. It has been a challenge, but it has also been a lot of fun.

I enjoy writing. Always have, always will, I hope. I wish I had done more of it during my young adult years, but it just wasn’t meant to be. You see, a little thing called life caught up to me and chucked me ahead thirty or so years, and here I am. Grin

To my writing friends, thanks for another month of inspiration. To all of my friends, thanks for another month of friendship. To my God and my family, I run out of words after, “Thank You”.

Until next year, I hope the rest of this year brings you the gifts you will always remember. I hope that your health is good, and that your cup is full, every single day.

Thanks again, and always take care.

Best,

dp

***

30 Ways
A poem by Deon Patrick Lyons

And so, April the 30th has come once again.
The errand of a fool must give way to a new name.
A new cycle of birthdays have celebrated the magic of their day.
The torch of spring will be handed off to the runner marked number 5.

Thirty days have patiently graced our paths.
Thirty nights the moon has fallen behind the night before.
Thirty times the earth has spun around.
Thirty different sunsets have followed thirty dawns.

Energetic hands of the clocks have kept us company throughout.
A billion cars have driven a trillion miles
One moon’s tides have all brought the treasures of the sea to our shores.
Eyes of innocence have watched a month of April sunrises.

Thousands of shooting stars have streaked across the spring nights.
A month full of tears has been wiped away by one single smile.
The cries of the newborn have filled the chambers of a beating heart.

May will come, as April did pass.
Another month older, thirty days wiser.
The sun climbs higher as the nights grow short.
The geese are beginning to unpack their summer luggage.

Thirty poems have filled the screen.
Thirty stories have found their way.
Thirty posts have hit the net.
Thirty ways this goat has smiled.

 

2016 04 29 Poetry: Son of My Son April 29, 2016

I am a son. I also have a son, who has a son. That makes me as old as I feel, and as blessed as I can be.

Growing up, I never dreamed I would get married, have a child and become a grand father. It just didn’t seem possible to me.

My son and his son came over for supper tonight. Hearing my grandson’s voice puts me in a dream like state of mind that soothes my tired bones. Trouble is though, as soonas they got here, it seems that only a few minutes went by and they had to leave.

This poem is about the relationship between grandfather and grand son. It is a joyous one that I am very thankful for and will never take for granted.

This is my 29th poem submission of the month, and I’d like to thank all the support I have received throughout this National Poetry Month.

Do take care, and have a great weekend.

Dp

***

Son Of My Son
A Poem by DP Lyons

Son of my son
Why do you run
Will you stop for a moment
And let me know

Son of my son
Why do you laugh
Come here for a moment
And show me the joy

Son of my son
What do you see
Come here for a moment
And show it to me

Son of my son
How do you feel
Come here for a moment
And let me feel it too

Son of my son
How do you know
Come here for a moment
And read it to me

Son of my son
Where will you go
Come back for a moment
And show me the way

Son of my son
Why do you ask
Come sit here by me
And let me explain

Son of my son
Who will you love
Come here for a moment
And tell me of her smile

Son of my son
Who will you teach
Come here for a moment
And teach me too

Oh Son of my son
Why do you cry
Come here for a moment
And let me dry your tears

Son of my son
Take me along
Take hold of my hand
And guide me

Son of my son
Give love to my son
Tell him his son
Is as loved as my son

Son of my son
Remember to love
The son of your son
As the father of your father loves you

 

 
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