Saturday, February 6, 2016

Finding Walden

It exists out there, behind a thin veil
That keeps us
Wasting, hours and days
All of our passions bartered and given away
It waits out there beyond that pale white sky
I could go today
If not for the attachments
Like wires in the hospital room
Keeping time with a dying heart
Doesn’t need to be too fast or too far
Across that thin skin that keeps us
Living day to day
No ransom, no attachments
Flying across the sky
With no need to settle down
Sad, the stubborn solid ground
That calls me even while I rise
Insists on predicting my demise
But the white sky hides
A life I always dreamed was mine
I will find it, I have found it

All a matter of time…

Thursday, February 4, 2016


You were beautiful in there,
A beauty with such great fragility
It made all of our grand structures
Seem dull and Pointless
You moved in there
We had our cameras watching your every move
We decided if you were even alive
Or if you were anything more than a piece of clay
A raw spark that we could keep, discard or give away
Time and our useless rationalizations meant nothing to you
In there
That small space that was shrinking every second as you filled it
The tiniest fingers
The closed perfect eyes
Fighting for your life
No room for doubt, no malice nor forgiveness
Life without compromise
A space in that room
Where you wouldn’t remember
Not until we told you
How you kicked and how you fought
And how stubborn and insistent

You were…being born.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A New Series: Depression, in layperson terms

Depression: The emotional storm

This is something I've been intending to write for a long time and unfortunately I have a lot of experience on the subject. Depression is prevalent in our society and it seems like it is growing, more people are on some sort of anti-depressant than not. That's what it seems like to me.

I want to first say I have no medical experience, the techniques that I share have only made my experience a little more bearable. I do have a thought on why it seems more popular these days as well besides the fact that it is talked about more than it used to be.

The first thing people say when you mention depression is "oh, I get sad too sometimes" that is the first statement that tells me I need to end the conversation. For me, it has little to do with sadness although sadness is often an after-effect of depression.

It's the feeling of absence. The scariest part is when you are in a place where you should be happy and be enjoying yourself and you still feel nothing, this is when it really feels hopeless.

The sadness come when you don''t feel like it will ever end. It's hard to be around other people because you can't interact in a normal manor. You are distant and unaffected and the hardest thing is to just keep that feeling to yourself.

So how does one go about making that feeling a bit less uncomfortable? I have decided to make a list and with this list I will expand upon each aspect and eventually release a book on the subject.

1.Whatever your first instinct is, do the opposite: My biggest rule is if you are in the midst of depression, do anything but what you feel like doing. Usually you want to isolate yourself, sleep more, watch depressing movies or just avoid interaction. My suggestion would be to do the opposite of what your first instinct is. So many times when I was in college my room mate talked me into going out swimming, the last thing I would have preferred doing and I always thanked him afterwards.

2. Exercise: Expanding on the recent idea, swim, run, dance, do something active. I have recently realized the change after starting to work out on a regular basis. The body releases endorphins and you will greatly appreciate the effect you can get from working out. It is a temporary fix but the chemistry in your body changes on a regular basis and I have felt a definite change just from taking up a regular regiment of working out.

3. Don't Drink: The same feeling will be there after you drink only now you will be more confused, more guilty and definitely more depressed. Alcohol is a depressant-the last thing you want to do and again often your first instinct.

4. Talk, to Someone you Trust: As Shrek would say, better out than in, thoughts, ideas, feelings, hurt; they are all active in the brain, ignoring them won't make them go away, it only makes them more confusing. If you avoid reacting the way the body and mind would instinctually react than your brain and body will react in an abnormal way-to me this is where anxiety becomes present.

5. Medication: After thirty plus years of dealing with depression on a monthly or yearly basis I finally realized it was too exhausting to ignore it any longer. Paxil made life so much better. It changed the way my brain processed, I am very fond of Serotonin and in recent years have discovered the benefits of dopamine. It is a medical condition, just like cancer, a broken arm, it is not just something to deal with and it doesn't make you crazy or weak, be honest when you are unable to handle it yourself, there is help available.

6. Chocolate: There are chemicals in chocolate that have actually been proven to help with the symptoms of depression. Call it an aspirin, I'm not saying you are going to be cured, or even feel much better, but it does take the edge off.

7. Spirituality: It is an amazing force of nature. Prayer does do amazing things and having a power bigger than yourself is very comforting in the midst of feeling hopeless. I have experienced many miraculous things that have only strengthened my faith.

8. Counseling: A good counselor can really help you sort things out, just remember you must be part of the solution.  No one can give you the answers, they can only allow you to work through situations and find your own clarity.

I hope this was helpful or insightful for others that may be struggling through depression. Remember one thing, there is hope and there are lots of resources to  help you get through your situation. You are not alone. I will have several more posts on this subject, let me know if anything resonated.

Why kids shouldn't get everything they want for Christmas

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Stop, Breathe, Be present

I sat on a rock, high above Medicine Park and the edge of Lake Lawtonka. I could hear the  gentle inhale and exhale of the wind across the boulders and cedars. I stopped; no photographing, no speaking, just listening and being.

It was the cure I had been looking for.  I watched as the morning slowly unfolded, the pale sun across the horizon, a few isolated cars on roads disappearing into the horizon. I drank in the silence and solitude like someone in the desert would drink that first gulp of water.

The boulders all around me were brightly colored with yellow and green lichen. The few people that had made the trip up the hill by bike or on foot watched in awe, each in their own space. I was intoxicated with the amazing sound of rushing wind.

There's a moment when you are just so pleased to be where you are. It doesn't happen often that you realize where you are and fully take in the moment.

Taking a full, deep breath seems such a simple normal thing but how many of you can remember being present and taking that deep breath. Life seems to be too fast, too insistent on attention, we keep ourselves occupied, never realizing we are breathing, never mind feeling present and enjoying the place we are.

It was the recharge that I've been missing. Almost like air to the lungs, sometimes we just need to simple breathe and be, even if it's just for a moment on a mountain somewhere in the middle of Oklahoma.

I offer a challenge-you've got twelve months. Do a recharge, once a month, go somewhere, stop and take a deep breath and experiencing being. It will make a world of difference, this is the start of a series of monthly recharges, stay tuned.