Surviving

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

2017 09 01 Hi Maintenance September 1, 2017

Hello September. And that’s it. That’s all I got for you. Oh ya. I see you sitting there, all fat and sassy, but all I really feel like saying to you is, you got some nerve! Who do you think you are? Hmm? You think you can just stroll in and shove August to the side? Do you know how rude that is? Did your mother teach you any manners?

Oh ya, that’s right. Your mother is Mother Nature, and I keep forgetting she doesn’t need an excuse to do anything. I think she raised her 12 little high maintenance months the same way that Father Time raised her, or were they cousins or something?

Anyway, it is the start of fall, and today it sure does feel like fall. A low pressure system blew out to sea overnight, and man is the chill blowing in from the west. Safe to say, Fall is only three weeks away, although Summer is trying to fool us.

Yes, it’s me again, and yes, it’s been some time since my last blog post, and yes, I am sorry, but I haven’t felt like doing much writing these past few weeks. I better get my butt in gear, because next week is the start of the fall semester at school, and there’ll be plenty of writing to do. I’m taking two communications classes this fall, and between talking and writing, there’ll be plenty of communicatin’ going on.

Ok then. I hope you’re all doing well, and that you’ve had a great summer.

Take care, and God bless the lot of ya’s.

dp

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2017 05 08 Essay, Poem: Timepiece May 8, 2017

Hey everyone.

Something that I should have done right after finishing high school is to go to college. I didn’t go to college. Fact is, I dropped out of high school during my senior year. Yup. Fraid so.

I had a few distractions going on in my life back then. Man, was that back then. Damn near forty years ago. Anyway, I did manage to go to night school in my mid twenties, and after a little studying, coupled with a little testing, I was presented with my diploma. Holding that certificate in my hands was a weird feeling. It was as if I had finally caught up to where I was supposed to be.

Thirty something or so years later, I stepped onto the campus at KVCC. A much older man was I, and the visions I had were made up of unfamiliar and unexpected exhilaration.

I was met head on with so many variables that once again, it felt like I was trying to catch up. The powerful surges of electricity soon did catch up to me , and as the tides of excitement and inspiration rose in through the narrows, I realized that it was being harnessed and distributed from a group of four people who spent much of their day generating the source of motivation and inspiration, but they also had a very unique talent that enabled them to gather, enrich and redistribute that energy out into the student body that they represented, that they represent, that they will always strive to be a part of.

This post is dedicated to the cornerstone of my experience at KVCC. They are four of the most devoted individuals I have ever had the chance to work with, to look up to, to gain higher ground with. They are TRiO, and words will never be able to express my gratitude for how they have helped me, and how they have helped those who have walked towards them.

Lisa Black, Portland Wright, Michelle Gaines and Nick Runco. You are the four markers that represent a true path to achievement. I thank you all with as much humility and grace as I can.

Nicholas? You are my commander of text, my mentor of adventure, my guardian angel of digital motivation. Thank you sir, and thank you ladies for a source of inspiration that has reached out to so many.

The following poem is dedicated to you all, and in particular, Lisa Black. I haven’t had the chance to work with you, but from what I have heard from some of the other students, you, my dear, are a gift to those who cross your path.

The following poem is my attempt to describe what I have seen, heard, felt and experienced these past 2 years as a member of the TRiO program at KVCC.

Hats off to you four, and congratulations to those who will wear the caps and gowns this spring. It’s been an honor to walk the halls with you, and as I wish you all the very best, somehow, it’s fairly evident to me that this next chapter in your lives will bring you the experiences that dreams are made of.

Can you hear that? It’s a very reliable timepiece ticking away. It represents all of you, continuing to make your mark, continuing to create your future, one tick at a time.

Hats off to you all, and I gratefully accept your inspiration.

Deon

Timepiece

The semester is over
The classrooms are bare
Familiar sound drifts down the hall
A phone is heard ringing
At the North end of King
Someone quickly answers the call

Preparations have started
Plans have begun
New students are shown where to turn
Timid eyes gaze
At a welcoming smile
Inquisitive minds start to learn

With wide open eyes, a student begins
Affirmations of body and mind
KVCC TRiO quietly make their mark
A union like no other kind

A team stands waiting
A vision is cast
The students’ dreams are revealed
One by one
The yearning takes shape
A plan of success becomes sealed

New bonds are built
Friendships are born
Foundations are laid brick by brick
Weeks turn to months
Caps and gowns march by
As the timepiece continues to tick

Inspiration is born from where it began.
The tutor, the mentor, the friend
TRiO is formed from a vision of heart
A passion that time cannot bend

Dedicated to the incredible KVCC TRiO staff
Without your guidance, help and support, where would we be?

dp
Spring 2017

 

2017 05 07 Essay: Lessons May 7, 2017

I’ve had some lessons in my life. It’s safe to say that we all have. The thing to think about is how well we learn from our lessons. Now, if you’re like me these days, it might take a couple run throughs before the lesson fully sinks in where it can do some good. It’s not that I don’t want to learn, it’s that for a grand host of reasons, my soggy mush melon doesn’t retain things as good as it used to. I blame it on acquiring large quantities of cheap drugs, a closed head trauma, not enough chocolate and I’m fairly certain that there’s a few other reasons, but for the life of me, I, well, you get the picture.

Our lives are a constant barrage of one lesson after another. The do’s, the don’ts, the should have’s and the what the hell were you thinking’s. They all blend in seamlessly to produce a life like sculpture of ourselves.

Instruction manuals always seem to get lost, misplaced or thrown away. A lesson though, I mean a real good unforgettable lesson never leaves our sides. It’s always there to throw hints at us, remind us, guide us and sometimes give us something to laugh about, for humor always has an element of truth in it, and humility is as good a teacher as any lesson can provide.

Anyway, what we learn through life is a huge part of who we become. Some of my most embarrassing moments in life are also the strongest lessons I have learned. It seems the more the lessons let loose my emotions, the deeper they sink into my soul to mold future reactions to certain things. The phrase I use often is absorb, adapt and advance. Boy how that holds so much truth, which makes it nearly impossible to ignore, or forget.

When I woke up this morning, I was blind, still, again, and also. I enjoyed several moments during the day when I actually forgot that I can’t see. Those moments don’t last long, but they are pieces of my day that I embrace with deep respect. I’ve learned more lessons these past seven years than any other period in my life, and the learning continues each waking day.

Those lessons of our childhood are also made of the lessons that stand with us throughout our lives. Tie your shoes, look both ways before crossing the road, don’t talk with your mouth full, keep your eye on the ball, there’s so many of them that stick with you without even trying to remember them. Common sense can also provide great tutoring, but it isn’t a constant source that we can always rely on, for we, as unique individuals sway to and fro with our abilities that vary from one day to the next.

Our judgment is built on experience, which involves common sense and instinct. Is instinct a natural thing, or have we learned it along the way? Perhaps it is a combination of different elements of life that swirls around us, or perhaps we were born with the instincts and we don’t realize we have them until a situation calls for those inborn characteristics to show themselves.

Boy I’m getting spun around with all of this. I’ve taken a psychology class at school, a few sociology classes, and a couple humanities courses. They all weave in and out amongst themselves to help define who we are, and how we react, use and manipulate the lessons we have been afforded along the way. And oh what a way we have, with all of it.

I have learned a lesson with this essay, as I have with just about every other essay I have written. The hidden lessons, the ones with built in reactions, the ones that catapult our instincts to new heights, these lessons, the ones similar to the one I have learned while typing this written piece, you can never correctly put a value on the lessons we discover along the roads that build our stories. The truest lessons of all will forever remain a priceless piece of who we are.

Who says you can’t teach an old goat new tricks?

Take the lessons of your lives and feel the urge to learn. The energy found deep inside will totally amaze you.

Thanks for stopping by, and do take care.

dp

 

02 17 17 Anybody Know Why? February 17, 2017

I still like to write, but I ain’t writ much since Christmas. Anybody know why?

I started another semester of school four weeks ago. I didn’t get too excited about it. I usually do. Anybody know why?

I found a chocolate bar in the fridge that I didn’t know was there. This would usually cause me to smile and go, Ooooooo. I didn’t do either of those two things. Anybody know why?

I got one of my favorite sandwiches from Subway this afternoon, which usually tastes really, really good. Today it tasted like rubber chicken. Anybody know why?

If it sounds like I’m a little down, a little depressed, a little sad, a little off track, a little befuddled, a little flustered, a little blue or a little bayou then perhaps I am.

Anybody know why?

I know one thing, and that’s that I have seen my shovel in my hands more times this past week than I can remember for a long, long time. I’m glad I had a shovel to put in my hands, but to tell you the truth; I would have preferred to see it in someone else’s hands.

Do I sound a little agitated, a little frustrated, a little pissed off, a little perplexed? I know one thing. My mind is in a frozen state of white out, and I think I need me some more cow bell.

Anyone know why?

The dryer just made a ding noise, which means that the load of wet laundry is probably all dry, which means that I should open the door of the dryer, put the clothes in a basket, take it out and put it on the kitchen table and put the clothes away.

This is not causing me to feel overly joyous or incredibly uplifted.

Anybody know why?

 

2016 10 16 October Morn October 16, 2016

Is this really October the 16th? Is summer but a fleeting memory of warmer smiles? Was that a flock of Canada geese I heard fly overhead the other day? Did I really have to scrape the windshield yesterday morning?

Holy crap! It’s autumn!

It’s been a while since my last entry, and I apologize for that. I have been busy with school, and when I tell you that this semester has been one challenge after another, well, please believe me. I also ask you to believe me when I say that with each challenge, there have been hidden treasures of opportunity that I have found, worked through and learned from. A kaleidoscope of higher learning, higher education, higher, um, stuff that I have managed to gather and collect and carefully place along the shelf of life. My life. Don’t ask, because I’m not giving any of it away. I might be persuaded to lend you some, but I will be wanting it back.

Should we expect the return of something that we pay forward? I think not, but don’t let that stop you from keeping on paying it forward. Things come to us unannounced and cleverly disguised, so don’t ever think that if you keep on paying it forward, you’re holding bin will run empty, because it won’t, it doesn’t and it never will.

Man am I getting swayed by brainwaves.

Here I am, there you are, and here we go. My son and grandson are coming over today. We’re heading to the coast, to Belfast, our favorite place in the world, or at least Maine. There’s a little hole in the wall Chinese take out place that we love to visit. My taste buds are frolicking with my mind already just thinking about it.

I went to the white cane and guide dog walk in Augusta yesterday. Bill Green was there from the famed Channel 6 show, and overall, the day was filled with smiles and laughter and canes and paws. My sixth event in as many years, and I’m already looking forward to year 7. I’d like to thank Debbie’s mom, Kay, who assisted me around the two block walk. I’d gladly follow you anywhere kiddo, and thank you very much for the wonderful conversation on a beautiful October morning.

Well, that’s about it. I’ll try to check in more frequently, but we’ll see what happens.

I thank you all again for stopping by, and I also hope the rest of October brings you tons of wonderful autumn memories that will keep you warm through the winter months.

Take care, and God bless the lot of ya’s.

dp

 

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 04 27 Poetry: Board Upon the Black April 27, 2016

Hello and good evening. This is April 27 and this is poem number 27. Holy crap, right?

Time sure does have a way of flying by when you’re having fun, and if you’re not having fun, don’t blame me.

Speaking of not having fun, have I told you how much I haven’t enjoyed using the college online classroom known as Black Board? I didn’t? Hmm.

This program is one of the hardest digital things I have ever done. It’s never the same two days in a row, and I’m beginning to think that’s got something to do with me. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “Oh my Deon, how can that be?” Well, let me tell you, I don’t have a clue, so let’s continue.

I am in college, and I am on the verge of getting smarter. Notice I said, getting smarter, which means that for the most part, it ain’t happened yet. There’s plenty of time though, and time I got.

I just said basically the same thing in two different ways, didn’t I? Hmm.

Anyway, Black Board is a son of a program that doesn’t play favorites in any shape or form. It has everything you need, but it’s hid it all throughout the universe of digital dilemma. In other words, if it ain’t broke, log in and it soon will be.

Below you’ll find a poem I wrote that takes us on a journey through a day in the life of a goat trying to make heads or tails out of a program called; you guessed it, Black Board.

I hope this finds you all well, and if it doesn’t, it’s gotta be the shoes.

Take care, and I’ll see ya tomorrow.

dp

***

Board Upon the Black
A poem by DP Lyons

Oh great college Black Board in the sky,
I have brought you a single piece of chalk.
There are rumors that you haven’t any need of it though,
So I’ll inconspicuously save it for someone who’ll at least appreciate it.

Each day when I shuffle into your digital room,
I never know what my searching soul is going to find.
The accolades of higher education encircle your classroom walls,
But I can’t seem to find my way into the stupid building.

I have come, I have studied and I have tried to learn.
I have cursed my tab and arrow keys,
And I have pressed and held down my computer’s power button,
But you just don’t seem to give a flying freckle.

Your electronic phrases built upon zeroes and ones
Are some days like a riddled Gotham script.
I’ve asked your hall monitor for directions through your digital dream,
But by the glazed look in their eye, they must have been using an analog map.

I glance affectionately towards a far off distant plateau,
Where desires are quenched with a fountain of your knowledge.
I ask for strength to endure your mindful maze,
And hold high my praise to those who figured out this crap.

Oh Board upon the Black, ease my teachable soul.
Lend me your educating flame as a guiding torch.
Hear my questions, my curiosity, my plea,
To cool it a bit and cut me some frigging slack.

Thanks for nothing.