Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Farewell to a Friend...

"Hey, hey, there she goes now she's walking down the street again
Shuffling down the sidewalk, scuffing up her brand new shiny leather shoes
And all the stray digs, they hissing out cause they all wonder where she's going to
As early evening light keeps her shadow out of sight
Sleeping soft, hidden from view"

These words, written and sung by a much wiser and worldlier man than I, seem to capture the excitement and reservations that one may have while about to embark upon a new adventure. It serves as a warning, I think, to let the subject beware; as well as to serve as a lesson to those of us not brave enough to follow our hearts.

An old friend of mine is about to venture off to set sail on such a life changing adventure.
She's killing two birds with one stone, both following her heart to a new land, and being the inhabitants' teacher in the ways of the western world.

She's a classy woman who likes the finer things in life, but also is able to see the good in virtually everyone she meets.  I'm both proud of her beyond words, and sorry that she has to travel to the other end of the Earth, in order to find that which she seeks.

I hope that you are as accepted and loved in your new country as you are here.
Our best wishes of fortune and personal fulfillment to you!
Come back to us with many smiles and tales of your successes.

I wrote these words a couple of months ago to let a friend of mine know that she is highly respected, and will be heavily missed as she ventures out into this big and wondrous world.  Stephanie, safe travels, and good company to you in your new endeavor!  May the people you meet take you in as one of their own, and may the experiences that you happen upon beget the stories that keep you laughing, smiling, and charging forward to newer, bigger horizons in your very bright future.

My very best to you,

Ben

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Simpler Time




As I sit in my comfy chair, smoking my pipe, my mind drifts away.  The stressful surge of never-ending stomach juices calms, and I think to a time when the most stressful thoughts in my life were that of whether or not I'd finished my English homework, turning my spelling words into cleverly crafted sentences to properly entertain and bullshit my teachers into believing that they'd done their jobs for the week.

I see 322 Center Street, the mammoth Victorian house that was built in the 1800's.  I remember the summer nights chock full of neighborhood-wide games of hide and seek.

I'd usually found my way past my brothers, either hiding behind a now 200+ year old oak tree, or in a heavily shaded spot nestled between a foothill and the large stone wall that divided our gigantic yard in two.  If those places didn't cut the mustard, there was always the large doghouse we'd had for Honey, our monstrous golden lab.  My perceived genius for hiding was second only to the utter silence with which I stole through the night.  I was the only one who thought to remove his shoes in order to further muffle the impact of tiny feet on whatever surface they contacted.  Half the time I tagged someone, it wasn't that I had outrun them... They simply never heard my approach.

The wooded swamps out behind the houses boundaries were always fantastic settings for the myriad forts, and stockpiles of comics, toys, and later on, low-grade fireworks.

The dirt pit that surrounded the largest of the trees in our little kingdom was the arena in which we held the G.I. Joe wars, with matchboxes, Transformers, and my favorite, SpiderMan.  Recently, I read and article pointing to certain bacteria in soil that has a certain antidepressant quality about it...  It's no wonder we were so content to revel in it, wearing no shoes, and knowing no fear.

The only thing better than any of these things was the greatest childhood experience of them all...
Saturday morning.  My Hulk jammies were the only armor I needed to do battle with a gargantuan bowl of cereal, or in slightly later years, scrambled eggs, as I was then allowed to do some light cooking.
All this while watching the greatest cartoons of all time.  6am.  I'm up, downstairs, and watching SpiderMan and His Amazing Friends, before the alarm could ever even attempt to sound.

My pipe on a cool summer evening suddenly seems less magical, and my worries more mundane...
God, to be a kid again!  To be able to see the special and wonder in even the smallest, most trivial of surroundings...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Try, try again...

Smoke free again. Just trying to work my bumbum off to keep busy. More details to follow...