Surviving

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

2015 10 12 Music and Time October 19, 2015

I was throwing emails back and forth with a friend of mine tonight. We were reminiscing about some old music that we are both fond of. I couldn’t help but notice that one particular album, Animals by Pink Floyd, came out forty years ago. Her particular Floyd favorite was The Dark Side of the Moon, which are a couple years older. It just doesn’t seem possible that these albums are as old as they are. I suppose it has something to do with my own aging process, right?

I’m taking a couple online courses at college this fall. One of them is The History of Rock and Roll. I was pretty hyped up about the class, and for good reason. I’m an old rock and roll hound dog that’s fallen off the wagon a few times, but like James Taylor sings on his 2015 album entitled, Before This World, I’m like a hungry dog on a bone, especially when it comes to rock and roll.

I remember my older brother playing his Woodstock album in his bedroom, and my mother hollering for him to turn it down. I grew up on the Beatles and can remember dancing to their Help album in our cellar with my two sisters and little brother. From that point on, I realized how much the music was creeping into my soul. I kid around today, saying that I always have a song running around in my head. It’s true. It’s absolutely true. I’m singing that same new James Taylor song, Angels of Fenway, that refers to the Red Sox winning the 04 World Series.

I guess my first true rock and roll album that got me caught up in the rhythmic rocking motion was the Aerosmith album Rocks. Their Last Child song enamored me so much that I played it over and over and over.

And here I go once again, writing about time. Time to live, to breathe, time to learn and love. Music and time go hand in hand, don’t they? So many songs, so little time. So much to sing about, and as time shapes and molds the music, the words tell the stories of how time forms a melody of the soul.

I absolutely love music, and to think that forty years have come and gone is mind bending to say the least. The songs of the past will never change. The only thing that changes, is us. I can still hear the guitar riff screaming out of Last Child. I can see Joe Perry cocking his head sideways as his guitar finds the perfect stride of electronic magic.

I love music. I love great melodies, and soothing harmonies. I adore a perfect solo, set in motion at the perfect time. I hop inside the music and find the most comfortable seat, so I might enjoy the story completely. It’s fascinating how some songs teach me the melody, while other songs read out loud, word for word, their incredible story. Does it depend on me? Does it depend on the artist? Does it depend on where I am, or who I’m with? Does it depend on how hungry I am for something to grab hold of me and take me for a journey through an incredibly constructed work of art?

Music helps bend the fabric of time. With its haunting highs and breath taking lows, it lifts us up and carries us to places we didn’t know existed. It’s a friend that you never worry about losing. It’s a kick in the butt when you need it, and a big old bear hug when you least expect it.

In time, it will continue to be, as it has always been.

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2015 05 10 Mother’s Love May 10, 2015

Hello again.

I wrote the following piece, dedicated to my mom, a couple years ago. I probably feel stronger today than the feelings I tried to convey in this piece. Time does have a way of changing one’s perception.

Have a great day, and special wishes to all the moms out there, especially mine.

dp

***

As I sit here, I try to think of something that compares to the love I feel towards my mother. There really isn’t anything that comes close, and although I still try to come up with a similarity, I walk away from the attempt fully realizing, once again, that their isn’t. Not even the affection I have towards chocolate comes close in any way. There just isn’t anything in my life that in any way resembles the same feelings of affection that I feel for her. Oh yes, the love that I feel towards my father is just as strong, but it is nowhere near the same. I guess it wouldn’t be correct to say that the love I have for my father is less than that towards my mom, but it plainly isn’t the same. They are two completely different entities, and each of them sits apart from the other on its own plane.

I guess there are different kinds of love finite, and these are without a doubt, two of the most prominent ones. I have written how strong and proud the love for my father is in me. I have written how as I grow older, that the love towards my father continues to instill itself deeper, and has become more a part of me than ever. I am the man I have become because of the love and all that goes along with it that has been handed down from him, along with the love I feel towards him.

The love I feel for my mother? Well, that’s a story, completely different, and completely within itself. It is the beginning, and the ending of a soothing lullaby, the warm ending of a gripping, soul stirring novel, the catchy chorus of a classic top 40 love song, and the ending to a perfect summer’s day.

It is a complete feeling of love that I wish upon wishes that every creature on the face of this big blue marble has the incredible chance to feel and experience one day. It is a match made in heaven. Along glorious walk down an endless road, full of familiar curves and twisting family tales that only a mother could tell. It reminds us of all that is good, and explains the entire unknown to our frightened worried souls. The comfort and caress of a mother’s love remains the greatest remedy and the cures that it is responsible for will always continue to amaze the innocence of man.

The bond that exists between a mother and her child is the strongest bond in the universe. It is unmatched and unsurpassed by any other force. It is a union of souls, a merging affection that will always stand the test of time, and withstand the trauma associated with time’s relentless unforgiving elements. It is a force to reckon with, and its strength will live on through the millennia to come.

There is nothing like it, nothing to compare it to, and nothing that will ever sway it from its always present path of the simple fabric of family.

The love between child and father is strong, but it is made stronger with the gentle soothing caress of a mother’s love. These separate points of the triangle of family and of life feed off each other, and at the same time, they supply each other with the essence of the complete meaning. Remove one, and they will still exist, although a single line, incomplete as a whole.

As I have watched our own son grow into a man, I have been made aware of these facts, as I have witnessed the special bond between him and his mother. The union that exists between them is unlike the bond that he and I have. I love my son more than I love life itself, and I can see in his heart that the affection exists between us two.

I can also see though, the impenetrable bond that exists between his mother and him. It is cut from the same fabric that wrapped around my own mother and I, and it warms my soul to know that it has been handed down through the next generation, without any planning or manipulating or external sway. It is part of that same union of the ages, and I smile deep inside when I think that something as simple and pure as this will continue to live on through the tomorrows of time.

Knowing that I have the love of my mother leaves me with a sense of purpose that only she could begin to explain. Maybe she can’t though. Maybe the gifts that she holds within her are all knowing and bare no explanation. Maybe they can never be explained, but must be lived and breathed to fully understand their importance. Maybe one day all of the definitions will come to fruition, and the circle will be complete. I truly believe that it is as completely perfect as anything can be. It is purity in its simplest form, unmarked through the ages, and unchallenged through all eternity. It is good and simple and pure and holds all the answers to all the questions. God’s perfect plan if you will.

We must never fear of the disappearance of such a wonderfully enlightening existence. We must always realize that whomever the mother and child are, and wherever their love is found, that this bond, this everlasting union will remain forever scripted.

I love you my dear mother. I thank God every day for your smiles, your praises, your gentle kisses, and the warmth of your endless hugs. You are the main ingredient that makes up the recipe that is me. You are the foundation of who I have become. You and you alone hold the keys to the inner most chambers of my heart.

Although I go through some days without showing it, or saying it, I always feel it and believe it. The soft goodness of this world shows itself to me through your eyes. The gentle caress of the years gone by, glide down from the heavens and slowly swirl around my comforted soul.

Whenever you blew on a fresh cut of mine, and looked me in the eyes while you whispered to me, There, It’s all better now.” I knew that it would be ok. You instilled that in me. I picture your smiling face, and everything’s going to be ok. No matter what, no matter where, no matter how, I just know.

I love you Mom, and I thank you for forever giving me your love.

Your son,

Deon Patrick Lyons

 

2015 04 30 Poetry: Locomotive April 30, 2015

Well here we are. The last day of April is here. This is also the last day of National Poetry Month.

This is the second year I have taken part in recognizing this event, but unlike last year, I was able to post an entry a day on my blog. A poem a day, for thirty days. That makes, umm, let’s see, carry the 2, divide by, umm, yep, 30 poems!

As the poets of old have given the world their gift of pen, so have they given their gift of inspiration. I know, I know! I’m always spouting off about inspiration and such. Well, it’s true. Without inspiration, would anything ever get done? I’d rather not find out and thank you very much.

I love trains. what boy, or man doesn’t?

So many times as a young lad, I can remember hearing a train whistle and feeling the hair stand up on my arms. Pure electricity running through my veins as the large, endless line of magnificence rolled on by. I would count the cars and imagine where they had been. So much imagination, right there in front of me.

This poem is about those same locomotives that ran up and down the rails of my childhood. It’s a poem to honor the engineers, the rail workers, the loading dock crews, their families and their ability to dare to dream.

Without you all, this country would never have grown into what we are today.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today, and thanks for all the comments, emails, likes and new followers that Surviving has seen this month.

I’ll probably go back to my regular posts after today, but then again, were any of my posts ever regular? grin

Take care, and keep on Surviving!

dp

***

Locomotive

I heard the sweet lullaby of a train whistle late last night
I pictured the long line of freight cars as they strolled down through the valley
I didn’t care where the train was going
I didn’t care where the train had been
The powerful, harmonic whistle sounded the same no matter
I wondered if the train could talk, what on earth it would say
I wondered if the rolling locomotive would share a story or two
I wondered how many stories the invincible steel prowler had
I pictured writing down each incredible story with a grin on my face
I imagined hopping on board the steel wheeled traveler and taking a ride
A carefree ride on a journey to nowhere in particular
A journey to the edge of my imagination, and then back
A trip back through the tracks of time
I kept imagining as the train whistle continued to blow
I continued pondering as the steel locomotive wheels continued to turn
I imagined where the engine was born
I pictured the tireless worker taking its first breath as its magnificence rolled down the steel rails for the very first time
I pictured, as I imagined, while I wondered
Then I heard the whistle once again
I heard those same, melodic tones that had tucked me in on so many nights
Those same, magical whispers dancing across the tree tops at night
That same soothing song that echoed along the evening breeze
I remembered as a child, counting the cars as they rocked through the crossing
I remembered watching in awe as the train tiptoed across the trestle
I harkened back to the wide eyed gaze of an impressionable child
I thought back, I remembered, and then I smiled

 

2015 04 29 Poetry: Guardian of the Tides April 29, 2015

Hello 29th of April, and hello to all of you. My oh my what a wonderful month it has been. Here in Maine, we have seen the winter snows dwindle away, and as the earth warms up and readies itself for spring time’s chore, those pesky bugs are inching closer to the starting blocks. I suppose it’s a give and take relationship that we have with mother nature, and within all her glory, the seasons come strolling by as if its just another year.

As you know, or you’re just finding out, I was born down east. I am permanently a craver of the ocean and all that it has to offer. The magnificence and beauty snaps my head and demands attention, and for the most part, it has all of mine.

One thing that goes hand in hand with the ocean and the amazing coast is the historic lighthouses of the world. Maine has her share of these wonders of imagination, and one in particular is the lighthouse at West Quoddy Head in the town of Lubec. Her Magesty has been standing as long as I have, and every time I have walked up to her and placed my hands on her red and white striped structure, a breath of life flows through me that seems to recharge my soul, until the next time she graces my imagination with her presence.

If you ever get a chance to visit my place of birth, please take time to go and visit her. She has many stories to tell, and her song will remain forever at your side, just as the tides of Quoddy Bay have for a lifetime of lifetimes.

The following poem is dedicated to the lighthouses of the world. Fearlessly standing at their posts as they shine their light into the waves of time.

Take care, and God bless you all.

dp

***

Guardian of the Tides

Standing so tall, you proudly lean into the banks of another heavy eastern fog
With red and white stripes towering high, you reach up to welcome the first light of day
Through scores of seasons past, you have guarded the shore of the riders of the current
With everlasting faith, they pay mind as they heed your West Quoddy call

Your battered ledges defiantly glisten against the relentless pounding of the tides
Timeless tales across an ageless past lift your name high for all to see
Countless decks of mighty ships bow their heads, sailing past your unwavering post
With polished orbs of mirrored light, you cast out across an unforgiving sea

Brick after brick, day after night, your calming hand has lent comfort to the weary
With reflected gaze, you scan the weathered miles as a new generation sails by
From Campobello, to the cliffs of Grand Manan, your song choruses out across the waves
Your name has been forever carved deeply into the heart of a town called, Lubec

 

2015 04 28 Poetry: Seeded Hand April 28, 2015

28 down and 2 to go. My oh my how four weeks can run by in a flurry.

And here we are, once again.

This is still National Poetry Month, and it has been my honor to take part in something of significance that honors a form of writing that I am so fond of. Like the seasons that wrap around the calendar, writing has found a way to wrap around my billy goat soul. It helps me to realize how many things there are out there that I cherish more than I know.

One of those things is gardening, which I never thought I would ever get a chance to do after I lost my vision. Back in the summer of 2010, we had one of the best gardens that we have ever had out here on the ridge. My wife took charge of the reins that year and helped the season to bring us probably the best harvest season we had ever had. It was a hard year, but with her efforts, the wicker baskets were rounded full with a splendor that I will remember forever.

In the summer of 2013, I was given the opportunity to dig my fingers back into the soil with a dear friend of mine. It was hard at first, but after a few hours down in the dirt, the sweet, sweet dirt, I quickly remembered everything that I love about gardening. It was one of the best summers I have ever lived, and it brought me back to a level of independence that I could never have been able to afford.

I love to garden. I love to grow. I love to listen to the plants speak and sing their songs. I love the sound of the summer breeze whistling down through the rows of planted life. I love it and I hope you like the following poem.

Take care.

Deon

***

Seeded Hand

A slow, spring thaw brings with it a welcoming sight
Battered row and beaten hill applaud the warming days of May
Last years withered vines slowly give way to steel tine
Moist coolness caresses tired spirit and replenishes a searching soul

Senses come alive with sweet aromas of freshly turned earth
Dig down deep with anxious hands and clutch the moistened dirt
Like old family remedies, the feel of earth soothes a growing heart
Loosening, fertilizing, sowing away under the rays of the day

Promising of new growth, the planted seed take their place, row on row
With crafted care, mounds, hills and beds slowly take their shape
Stretching from seed, sprouting armies slowly show themselves
Push and shove, shove and push, reaching onward and upward

Giving way to growth, soil cradles stem and stalk
Young, bashful green, crouch timid amidst showers of sunlight
Row and hill emerge with summer’s sprouting promise
Infant bounty is nourished by day and caressed by night

Inch by inch, new growth stands tall with impatient life
Nature’s chorus sings its familiar tune across posted row
Wandering vines search out, grabbing hold and clutching tight
Twisting buds proudly burst out loud with fragrant flower

With hand held care, flavor and fruit grow and slowly find their shape
A mid summers breeze carries with it the hint of scented names
Spice and flavor ride along the wind, singing out loud
Patience and care give way to the moon’s full, fresh bounty

Smells and tastes define the assortment of rooted vine
Cool days chased by chilled nights beckon fall’s harvest call
Hand picked beauty slowly rounds the wicker full
Cherry, roma, and early girls ripen with painted shades of red

Bells of yellow, green and red are crisp with slice
Orange jacks and towering gray stripe search out autumn’s song
Plump, sweet kernels cling tightly to silky stalk
Canned rewards trumpet loudly, signaling the season’s end

Once again, hand sculpted earth has given its all
Thankful splendor gives way to winter’s gripping frosts
Frozen vines huddle close and recall daydreams of summer tales
Chilled blankets of white cradle the ground with a season’s lasting lullaby

Thawed once more, the tines of spring reach in and dig deep
Grateful cycle, awakens again with new, familiar ground
The promises of a new season await the seeded hand
Journey towards the harvest fall begins new again

 

2015 04 27 Poetry: Cane April 27, 2015

Three days left in the month of April. This is my 27th post in a row in honor of National Poetry Month, and I welcome you, one and all.

I do write a lot of poetry. I guess I enjoy the rhythm of it all. The movement of the scripted verse, the melody of the lines, the poetic chorus that takes shape with each word. It’s a form of music for me, and if you know me, you know that I completely adore music.

I tend to write alot about my vision loss. It’s been five years, and some of my best growth during this time has come in the form of writing. It has allowed me to climb inside my head and pull out some amazing pieces of writing that, well, honestly I have a hard time believing that I wrote. I’ve written short stories, essays, poetry, emails, all about losing my vision. A day doesn’t go by that I wish I never lost my sight, but a day doesn’t go by that I don’t feel thankful that I am still able to take part in one of my passions. Writing.

Being blind comes with a ton of experiences. It comes with extreme highs and deep pounding lows. It leaves me searching through my mind for clues to help me make it through the day, and it helps me build an imagination that is second to none. I see what I imagine, and I imagine what I see.

The following post was written a couple years ago, and it plays a major role in trying to capture some of the emotions that I feel, to this day. It is poetry, and it was written by a searching, competent man, who just happens to be blind.

Thanks for dropping by, and have a wonderful rest of your day.

Deon

***

Cane

Trust is a five letter word that fumbles across my lips.
It’s tone is simple enough, yet it’s uncomplicated meaning eludes me.
Helplessly fearing where I tread seems more appropriate, and complacently calm.
Unseen roads haunt the soul of the sightless spirit.
With a soothing touch, the white cane opens the eyes of my mind.
Seeing with the stick is such an unfamiliar complexity that eludes normal past logic.
The fear is instilled deep and hidden from those who care to look.
Dreaming through a frightening shadow, I see what I hear, what I smell and touch.
I now can dream of what used to be unseen.
Visions appear through a slumbered sight.
The dream unfolds as the day unwinds.
The brightness remains unclear, as the warmth falls down upon me.
I reach for your vision.
I grasp at your sweeping voice.
Touch all that remains hidden from view, and lift me up to see.
Carry me on your shoulders, and help me over the obstacles in my journey.
A world never before seen, comes to life through the cane.
Bring the shadows to me.
Help me feel the road ahead.
Guide me through the darkened path.
Light the twists and turns that lay ahead.
Remember me as the one who trusts.
Remember me as one who learns.
Remember me and lead me home.
Teach me and I will learn.
Speak to me and I will hear.
Show me and I will see.
Guide me and I will follow.
Help me up, and I will trust in you.
My mind understands what my soul feels.
My heart embraces what my fear cannot.
My drive lights the heart of the frightened child within.
Caress the pained dawns and brush the color back into my smile.
Sorrow and pity have no place in my scripted stage.
Raise the curtain and shine the stage lights on the encored events that place their hands upon my shoulders.
Lead me, guide me, direct me, show me, and tell me I will be ok.
If I learn to trust, the belief will follow.
The belief in me will follow the cane.

 

2015 04 25 Poetry: Mother April 25, 2015

April 25th is here, and once again, so are you. Welcome! I hope you’re all doing well.

I write a lot about a lot. I write about the sun, the moon, the stars, the seasons, the birds and wildlife, and yes, I write about family. It’s the most important thing to me under the sun. It’s what holds my world together, and it’s what keeps me moving forward.

There is no love like that which we feel towards family. There is nothing that grows stronger over time like family. Putting it mildly, there’s nothing that will ever compare to, you guessed it, family.

I was thinking of my mum this morning. I thought back to when I was a little guy, and how calming and soothing it was knowing she was there. She instilled in me a lot of the characteristic traits that keep me company today. She gave me a piece of her heart that I will selfishly keep with me through all eternity. She expected things from me, and demanded things from me. Through it all, she gave me what I needed to become the man I am.

This poem is dedicated to her, my mom. Even with all of my love, I will never be able to express how much she means to me and how thankful I am that she is, indeed, my mom.

dp

***

Mother

Mother, oh mother, hear my pleading call
Shivering child from years ago stands before you
Grant me access to your warming heart
Calm my scattered spirit with your magical potion

I remember your words as I craved your touch
I remember your gentle kiss on my forehead
I remember wrapping my arms around you
I remember

Please sing me that same, soothing lullaby
Please rock me in your arms until I fall fast asleep
Please tell me everything will be alright
Please

Walk beside me as we brave the world
Walk beside me as I dare to dream
Walk beside me as your older boy discovers the unknown
Walk beside me

Promise me a handful of possibilities
Promise me of the love that awaits me
Promise me a family of my own
Promise me

Rescue me from a dastardly foe
Rescue me from an unrelenting obstacle course
Rescue me and whisper your calming tone
Rescue me

Sing to me your praise as you stare into my eyes
Sing to me of the opportunity each day provides
Sing to me your anthem of faith, love and hope
Sing to me

Share your secrets with me
Guide me towards tomorrow
Pray for me as I do for you
Watch over me with confidence

Soothe my skipping heartbeat with your healing touch
Calm my worried gaze with your gentle touch
Release my anxious breath with a mother’s touch
Mother, Oh Mother