the power of balance

I crashed my bike the other day. Maybe at nearly sixty it’s time to stop jumping curbs at high speed. I scraped my leg up a bit, washed it at Mcdonald’s then rode over to Target and bought some hydrogen peroxide and poured a couple doses over the cuts. The feeling one gets when they pour the hydrogen peroxide into an open cut is a tax. My family calls it stupid-tax, the price we pay for doing something dumb. Still after the taxes were paid, my friend and I rode forty miles at the lovely Indiana Dunes Park.

We started at the Calumet trail, and rode through mud and puddles and ruts until we could cut toward the lake.

mud in Indiana on the Calumet Trail

mud in Indiana on the Calumet Trail

As my wheel spun and surfed I tensed, grasped the bars tightly and nearly caused additional crashes. I had lost faith in my balance. It made me tense, reluctant to savor the moment for whatever good or ill it might bring. I think that when we lose our faith in our balance, we begin to shrink. We don’t dare much, and our world becomes confined to a smaller and smaller environment we trust. On my bicycle I was doing it, shrinking my enjoyment of the moment.

Emotionally we can lose our balance. The world becomes a fearful place where trust is foreign. We shape ourselves by fear and slowly, slowly disappear into a safe but empty place.

It doesn’t have to be that way. We can crash and still ride on. We can strengthen our balance and trust it. New roads lead to surprises, even on a bicycle.

by Indiana Dunes Park and Lake Michigan

by Indiana Dunes Park and Lake Michigan


do you dream

Do you dream? Read the rest of this entry »


dressed down….

At twenty-two or so, I was running the operations staff of eight people. They were all older than I was and I certainly made every mistake possible trying to manage that grumpy unhappy lot. Read the rest of this entry »


a knock in the night

The knock came first, then the doorbell. It was 2:00 AM. Angry, it echoed two notes again and again as whoever it was pounded on the door. Two AM, better put on pants. Read the rest of this entry »


from horror to terror — halloween

The TV was a big black and white unit and the lights were low and flickering, painting our faces in shadow and light. Read the rest of this entry »


It’s OK

Not really a poem, but I like the spacing of poetry. Not really advice for I know nothing I say will ever help anyone. But I have learned that we don’t need to battle doubt alone. Read the rest of this entry »


false bravado

Eric Alagan has a very inspirational blog. Insightful and filled with out of the box thinking it often stirs up a quick response of a haiku or poem or short story.  See his blog here: http://ericalaganfanclub.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/my-fear/

This post recently spoke about fears and was filled with honest responses from many people and I dashed this off.

I do not fear death for that will bring peace.
I fear to open my heart and have it rejected,
laughed at as folly.

I do not fear the battle,
I fear the quiet after and my own thoughts.

I do not fear age, I fear helplessness,
and meaningless, and pity.

I do not fear tomorrow, but I fear for my children in the
world we have left them.

But I have been thinking of it, and as a cancer patient with a followup test in two days to determine if I need more treatment I realize it was dashed off with false bravado. I would rewrite it more honestly as:

Although I fear death for it will separate me from those I love,
I will not quail before it, for it will bring peace, and heaven.
I fear more to open my heart and have it rejected,
laughed at as folly.

I fear the battle, but I will face the surgeries, the nausea
the pain with a warrior’s heart, but still
I fear the quiet after and my own thoughts.

I fear age, I fear helplessness,
and meaningless, and pity,
being humbled by that unconquerable foe, time.
But I will stand before it with what dignity I can manage.

I do not fear tomorrow, but I fear for my children in the
world we have left them, and yet still they fill me with hope.


fear

Control your breath, control your emotions.  Control your breath, control your fear.  When you fear, your body tenses, hormones pour into your blood stream and each breath comes quick and hard.

Stop!  Inhale deeply through your nose, feel the air go into you. Expand your lungs and abdomen, release it slowly, feel your lungs empty and repeat.  Experience each breath, and your heart will slow, your muscles relax, and your mind clear.   Control your breath, control your fear.

When your mind is clear  decide “Yikes, this is trouble”, or “I can get through this”. Only then take the necessary action.

In another life, with Master Mohr as Sifu, I learned many things. I am no longer a fighter, but I use this technique again and again.

When the doctor says “It is cancer”, or you are furious with a coworker, your daughter dents your car, or you know the test is going to hurt — control your breath.