Surviving

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

2017 05 17 Essay, Poetry: Old Habits May 17, 2017

Hey there.

I just finished another semester at college last Friday, and as the dust settled down, a thought occurred to me. As much as it feels like I just finished something, there’s something else that’s just about to start. It’s as if I needed to finish one thing, so I could get started on another. Ain’t life funny like that sometimes?

I guess it’s all about the task at hand, like life is one “thing” after another. Don’t you dare loosen your grip, because there’s another one coming around the corner with your name written all over it. No time for self adulations or being able to take a break. Nope. None of that, well, that is if you’re not one to grab a seat and take it easy for the rest of your life.

Granted I don’t take on things like I used to, but on the same note, it seems that things didn’t slow down much when it comes to me. I guess my memo didn’t get out on time or something.

I think we are who we are because of what we do. Perhaps you can spin that around to look at it as though what we do is because of who we are? Maybe it’s a little of both?

The way I do things totally changed these past few years. My abilities changed, my perceptions changed, my reactions to certain things, how I move through my day, how I interact with folks, it’s so different today, and to think that with each day I see, feel and react to new things, or are they really new?

A year ago I lost the rest of my sight, and the changing happened all over again, or did it just continue? The light from the window, the shine of the chrome, the sun in the sky, the contrast of white on black, it all came to a screeching halt, and as I changed again, the way I think about things, realize things, perceive things, absorb things and search for things changed, again. I don’t see my vision changing any more. I don’t see myself trying to find the light, the shine, the morning haze, the evening stars, the full moon, because even though they’re still there, and I can see them in my mind, I’ll never actually see them again.

It’s funny though how I catch myself turning to try and see something going on around me, still. Standing in the bathroom a few days ago, I heard a strange bird call outside. I leaned over to the window and looked at the spruce tree outside, or where I thought the spruce tree should be. I didn’t realize I couldn’t see it until I had looked out through the window and up at the tree. As soon as I realized what I had done, I smiled, chuckled, shook my head and turned away from the window. For those few moments, the picture in my mind turned itself into reality, and boy did it feel good, if only for a moment.

I do these same sorts of things a lot while I do up the dishes in the kitchen. When I am wiping them dry, I turn to put the dish away in the cupboards, and sometimes I reach out to grab the cupboard door handle, and I can see it. I reach out for it, and there it is, exactly where I reach, exactly where it should be. Man oh man how the mind can help to fill in the blanks.

Old habits have a hard time dying sometimes, or is it that I’m still trying to live?

The ability of the mind to see is a habit that I hope will never die.
So far, so good.

The following poem was written a few years ago, but it seems to fit in with this essay. I guess I’m continuing with the theme of April. An essay, a poem, a mark in time.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day.

dp

***

Mindful Sight

Darkness to the left and to the right
The vision, unseen, lies just ahead
Trudging on through muddled footsteps of the mind
The glimpse of light stolen from sight

With staff in hand the journey begins
Step lightly over unseen paths
The mind wraps around it all
Announcing the unseen visions

Walk through the fear and anxious days
With eyes not seeing, the stories still unfold
The pages turn one by one
And endless chapter of a new journey begins

Helpful hints arise amidst the countless curves
The paths walked before call out with familiar phrase
Twisting there and here against the grain
Rolling on towards sunlight’s invisible touch

With memories of sighted mind
I reach for the light within
Cascading down through the limbs of life
Refreshing the heart, mind and soul

Falling forward, life tumbles on
Unknown roads and unseen faces
Call out a familiar name
Reaching out a familiar hand

Oh humbled soul, take the steps
Walk the mile of frozen fear
The book is open and lesson learned
True visions lie from deep within the pages

Sighted past, forget me not
Remind me of the colors I still see
Explain what I’ve been able to feel
Build shape from the things that I touch
Give voice to the faces dancing in my mind

 

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

 

2017 04 29 Poetry: Road Map April 29, 2017

29 down, and 1 to go. Actually, many many more than 1 to go, because it feels like my writing is never finished, and there’s something else that I need to write about. Thousands of words, lines, sentences, phrases, thoughts, descriptions and meanings, all rolled into 7 years of hunting, finding and punching keys, and there’s still something I feel I need to write about.

I never dreamed I would reach the age I am. I never dreamed of being married. I never dreamed of having a child, a son and a grandson. I never thought. I just never.

We lost our power tonight, and I was right near the end of another poem I was going to submit tonight. Unfortunately, I didn’t save the stupid thing, and lost it with the outage, so, below you’ll find another one I just wrote. It’s quite a bit different than the first one, and try as I did, I couldn’t come close to remembering it.

I know, I know, a lot of you are shaking your head right now. Some are thinking what a fool am I, some are thinking about a similar experience, some are just wondering when I’m gonna stop rambling and get on with the poetry.

No matter what the lessons are that we learn, life continues to chug along at a pretty good clip, and that ain’t the half of it.

Ok then. Right. Here we go with my 29th submission for this National Poetry Month. This is actually only my 27th submission, as I skipped two days. Like I told a good friend, I’m still batting over 900, which ain’t too bad in baseball terms.

And away we go! Happy Saturday night to you all, and whatever happens, don’t you ever stop writing.

Best to you all.

Deon

***

Road Map

There’s a road map sketched in my mind,
Taking me to places I’ve already been,
Taking me to places I have already seen,
Taking me to places I will never let go.

There’s a song playing in my mind,
Singing to me a childhood lullaby,
Singing to me some old time rock & roll,
Singing to me some folksy blues.

There are pages turning in my mind,
Reading out loud about a shy, timid little boy,
Reading to me about an unexpected love story,
Reading to me about an incredible non fiction drama.

There’s a movie playing in my mind,
Showing a classic that I can watch again and again,
Showing me an unforgettable theme,
Showing me a fascinating 3D epic drama.

There is an image collage displaying in my mind,
Picturing a life changing gears,
Picturing a life changing lanes,
Picturing a life unfolding a worn and tattered road map.

 

2017 04 28 Poetry: Dive! April 28, 2017

4 weeks and no days ago, it became the 1st of April, and as National Poetry Month steadily made its way to May day, there sat a poetic goat with hopes of making one more submission for the month.

I was gonna write, “I am the goat!”, but as I thought of it, I started thinking of that song that sang about a walrus with buck teeth.

It is the 28th of April, and I am here again with another one of my poems. This one crept up and started laughing at me, like a needed friend that always seems to find the need to get the last laugh.

Accessibility is a gift that I have a hard time with, but need very much. It’s something that provides me access to the digital world, but some days hands me a ticket to Unexpected Variables Avenue. Accessibility is key to the world of zeroes and ones, and although I use it every day, there’s those days that I wish I never knew about it.

The good with the bad comes with just about everything that stomps around on this big blue marble of ours, and as we spin around the sun, the world of assistive technology carefully plots a course for space station cyber.

Ok, ok, enough with the metaphors. Back to reality. Book one, page one, lesson one. All that this life gives us is meant for a reason, and I’m sorry, but I didn’t order that.
What I ordered was, um, was, hmm.

Never mind.

Have a great night and be well all.

Deon

***

Diver Down!

Accessibility is the key.
A digital desire.
One way signs and obstacles.
Tech support for hire.

PDF won’t speak to me.
Word doc’s playing dead.
Update button’s stuck again.
I think I’ll go to bed.

Shift key just went missing.
Backspace can’t be found.
The Tower’s acting really weird,
And makes a beeping sound.

Delete key sits there smiling.
Tab key’s fading fast.
Alt control has lost control.
The end key finished last.

Text to Speech stopped talking.
The six key thinks it’s five.
The mother board is sinking fast.
Dive! Dive! Dive!

 

2017 04 27 Poetry: All I Ever Wanted April 27, 2017

Click the heels and where are you? Does it look like the 27th? If it does, you arrived right on time.

Pretty cool, huh?

I joke sometimes that I’m going to school so that I might figure out what I wanna be when I grow up. I’m still wondering, especially on those days when I feel like I’m a 7 year old blind billy goat that needs a lot of practice trying to figure out how to be a 7 year old blind billy goat. I’m on a mission, and I will take no prisoners, unless they have ample amounts of chocolate.

Truth is, I never really knew what I wanted to be as I was growing up. None of the normal kid answers seemed to fit, and besides, I was too busy having fun being a kid.

Now that the kid has grown, or became a close facsimile, I think back to some of the moments of my youth. It all went by so fast, but some parts, the tough parts, the testing parts, they seemed to last forever. You know, time stands still? Ya, it’s true, or so it seems.

This poem reminded me of so many moments in my life when the learning was front and center. This is my submission for this 27th day of National Poetry Month. The sun came out today, and the warmth felt good on my face.

I hope you all saw the sunshine today.
Take care and be well.

Deon

***

All I Ever Wanted

All I ever wanted was to color inside the lines.
I did a pretty good job, but I colored the man’s face purple.
All I ever wanted was to be a big boy and watch my little brother.
I thought I was doing ok, until I couldn’t find him.
All I ever wanted to do was ride my bike, just like my older brother.
My dad took off the training wheels, and I fell over sideways.
All I ever wanted to do was hit a baseball like Carl Yastrzemski.
I stepped up to the plate, and struck out.
All I ever wanted was to sleep in the top bunk.
I rolled over in the bed and fell 4 feet to the floor.
All I ever wanted to do was ski down the hill like my older sister.
I made it halfway down and took a nasty header.
All I ever wanted was to do a summersault off of the rope swing into the river.
I swung out, tried to summersault, panicked, and splashed with a belly flop.
All I ever wanted was to bravely dive off the wall at the North Gorham swimming hole.
I took a deep breath, plugged my nose, and jumped in feet first, again.
All I ever wanted was to jump the curb with my skateboard.
I reared back, flipped the tip, clipped the curb and took another nasty header.
All I ever wanted was to have a girlfriend in school.
I nervously turned to talk to her and tripped down the stairs.
All I ever wanted was to somehow find a lady to love.
I didn’t have to. She found me.

 

2017 04 26 Poetry: The Gift April 26, 2017

26 days have passed this month of April, and as the feathered flyers make their furied trek north, the buds on the trees yawn and begin to stretch awake.

I love the spring, except for mud season. It really is an amazing time of year as it all starts to wake up from the frozen grips of the old man of winter.

Sometimes the natural gifts are overlooked. I remember each spring, when I would notice a different flowering bush, color of a flower, shades of new leaves, and of course the smells of the first lawn being mowed. That smell, most of all, reminded me of baseball, which I seemed to live for as a youth.

Things come to us in many different ways. Some we have to fight for, some we have to work for, and some just seem to fall in our lap. The ones that matter the most are those things you need to work for and fight for with the fierceness that the warriors were known for. It’s all about the goals, and the journey towards those goals.

Enough rambling from me. This is my submission for this, the 26th day of National Poetry Month, and don’t look now, but the 27th is clicking its heels and heading for Kansas, or New Mexico, or perhaps even Maine?

We’ll have to wait and see.

Have a great night, and an even better tomorrow.

Deon

***

The Gift

Passions peak with a glint in the eye.
A savory taste of reality’s treasures can only impress.
Much to do about what is hoped to be proclaims itself the endeavor.
A fortitude of magnitude enhances the motivation of desire.

Reach out into the unknown and begin the task of making your mark.
A goal awaits patiently with captivated anticipation.
Breathe in deep and praise the gathering rush of a beating heart.
Amazement becomes description as the victor ascends the next plateau.

Revel in the present, as the gift of life embraces thee.
26 days have passed this month of April, and as the feathered flyers make their furied trek north, the buds on the trees yawn and begin to stretch awake.

I love the spring, except for mud season. It really is an amazing time of year as it all starts to wake up from the frozen grips of the old man of winter.

Sometimes the natural gifts are overlooked. I remember each spring, when I would notice a different flowering bush, color of a flower, shades of new leaves, and of course the smells of the first lawn being mowed. That smell, most of all, reminded me of baseball, which I seemed to live for as a youth.

Things come to us in many different ways. Some we have to fight for, some we have to work for, and some just seem to fall in our lap. The ones that matter the most are those things you need to work for and fight for with the fierceness that the warriors were known for. It’s all about the goals, and the journey towards those goals.

Enough rambling from me. This is my submission for this, the 26th day of National Poetry Month, and don’t look now, but the 27th is clicking its heels and heading for Kansas, or New Mexico, or perhaps even Maine?

We’ll have to wait and see.

Have a great night, and an even better tomorrow.

Deon

***

The Gift

Passions peak with a glint in the eye.
A savory taste of reality’s treasures can only impress.
Much to do about what is hoped to be proclaims itself the endeavor.
A fortitude of magnitude enhances the motivation of desire.

Reach out into the unknown and begin the task of making your mark.
A goal awaits patiently with captivated anticipation.
Breathe in deep and praise the gathering rush of a beating heart.
Amazement becomes description as the victor ascends the next plateau.

Revel in the present, as the gift of life embraces thee.