Awake! Men!

Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

Awake, Men.

We have been asleep for far too long. We have hidden behind flights of fancy. Behind our video games, guns, and cars. We have eaten the poison for what it means to “be a man” by corporations. We get upset over razor blade commercials when our mothers, sisters, wives, lovers are calling out for help. We ignore their pleas. We don’t believe them because we are asleep!

Awake! Men.

Some of us feel empty. The world is changing. Our roles have changed. The system is crumbling. We have coasted for too long on the coat tails of our grandfathers and fathers. They have bent you into a shape of their ideal vision. Stretch! Come undone. Follow your true heart and leave the past behind!

Awake Men!

Stretch out your hand for your brothers. Do not be afraid of what color hand reaches for yours. Teach one another. Shape the world into a color blind version of what it is today. Learn, educate, empower. Do not shy away from opening your mind.

Awake! Men!

What does fatherhood mean? What does it mean to you? Question this. You do not have to make children to be a father. Many of our brothers and sisters are in need a father. Be the role model that is so needed. Be their father. Be our father.

Awake: Men.

Who has the authority to say what is the perfect family? Why must it be one man, one woman, two children, and one car?

One size does not fit all. Love defines a family. It is you that helps define what a family means. Not others.

Awake; Men.

Do you not hear the cries of your Mother Earth? You plunder her forests, destroy her oceans, and pollute her lungs. She needs us to defend her. She is our Queen and the giver of all life. Be the Warrior that she needs. Rise against the conveniences that are killing her. Protect your Queen!

Awake.

Men.

Arise Warrior.

The time is now. Wake up and be the Warrior. Lift your sisters and brothers up. Stand with the downtrodden. Arm yourself with compassion, humility, and strength. Arise Warrior! I say, Arise!

Arise Warrior.

Fight for your Spirit. Do not let the wounds of old fester! Wounded by false ideas. False constraints. False ways of living. Give yourself the antidote! Train your body. Train your mind. Harden your Spirit. Protect your Spirit.

Let your Spirit shine!

Let it shine the way forward! Blaze a new path, let your light shine the way for others!

Arise Spirit Warrior!

Arise.


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To Spark Creativity

Photo by Keenan Barber on Unsplash

Want to be more Creative? Take a Walk!

I make no qualms about it, I want to be like Hemingway. Not in his self-destructive aggrandizing ways, but more like his lesser known writing habits.

Was he a flawed man? You bet.

Did he do shitty things? No doubt!

Misogynist? Yep.

Yet, the thing that draws me to his works is his efficient prose and something not often thought about: his morning routine.

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought. — Matsuo Basho

No, I don’t want to copy him or write like him. I’m on my own path and I have my own stories to tell. I take the advice of Haiku Master Matso Basho, I’m seeking what Hemingway sought. I’m trying to understand what the Writing Masters learned and seek that wisdom for myself.

Why? Because for years I sought external validation from friends, workers, and ex-lovers. I realized that it was more harmful to get their praise when instead I should reflect inward instead and write the truth. Write what makes me want to sing and not stop.

The secret I learned from this inner reflection? It starts with waking up early and going for a walk.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

I’m a morning person. I like to go to bed early and wake up early. Granted in my early 20’s I stayed up late but now I look forward to going to bed early because I know I will wake up and use that quiet time to reflect.

He went outside and moved!

Hemingway liked to get up early and write too. When he was in France he would take a notebook and go down to his local cafe to write. Other times he would lock himself up in his room with his typewriter and just write for hours.

Then something very important happened that many people overlook, or at least I think they do. When he was done writing for the day he got out and did some sort of activity. Sometimes he played tennis, other times he fished, and other times it was some form of exercise.

He decoupled his writing mind with some form of physical movement in the environment. He went outside and moved!

I remember reading that tidbit somewhere and didn’t give it much thought, but it stuck with me for years.

Movement, was the key.

2020’s Silver Lining

Oh 2020! You are a year to remember! You remind me of a wild lover that wrecked my bed and in the morning kicked me in the head1. I want to forget you but I know I won’t. You destroyed my the year and messed up my work.

Yet, there is a silver lining to all this. You made remote work a permanent way for people to earn a living. I am thankful that I am one of them, a new and fully remote worker.

Before Covid19 hit I was traveling a lot for work, so working remotely part-time made sense. I sure as hell wasn’t going to the office in the morning when my flight was landing at 1AM in Newark. So, I worked from home unless I was traveling. I’d say I was 50–60% of my time on the road over the past few years.

Then Covid19 hit and travel was shutdown across the board. My entire company went remote and closed all the offices until further notice. My entire routine was thrown out the window!

I was mad! How did we as a country let it come to this? Wait, don’t tell me. I know.

Everything changed for me, some for worse but a lot for better.

I wrote with abandon, I wrote for joy

I had stopped writing when I was traveling. I just didn’t feel like it. My creativity was in a funk and the joy I felt writing was eluding me. Plus, reading the news everyday was pure misery. I didn’t write anything for months and never felt inspired or creative enough to pen something new.

This continued on all through March and April until one beautiful morning. I woke up, looked outside and decided to walk around my neighborhood.

I did it the next day and then everyday for a week. Before I knew it one week became two and two weeks become months. I just got up early and started walking around and loving it. I listened to the birds, watched leaves unfurl, felt cool morning mist on my skin. It was a feast for the senses!

…you have to sit you ass in a chair and write

Then I noticed something strange, all that sensory stimulation made me want to write! I started to feel creative again! It was if a huge gush of writing energy was unleashed and I just put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and wrote. I wrote with abandon, I wrote for joy. I felt reborn. I had formed a new routine.

Now my routine is this: I wake at 5AM, sometimes at 4AM, make a cup of coffee, read the news on my laptop for a few minutes, and then start writing. Then I write till about 1 hour before I start work.

This last hour before work is the crucial step to keeping my writing flow going. I use it to recharge myself and my creativity.

Just Move

A few years ago I read “Ernest Hemingway on Writing” by Larry Phillips. In the book is bits and missives on Hemingway’s writing, old letters, and advice on writing. Hemingway struggled expressing what his writing routine was about but the essential message I gleaned from it was this:

If you want be a writer, you have to sit your ass in a chair and write.

Too often we do just that. Sit our ass in a chair and squeeze out every ounce of creativity from our soul. Then we feel empty and need to recharge. This is where the destructive habits start to form. We might overeat, indulge in alcohol or other substances too much, and never recharge our creative reservoir.

The trick is movement. Get up, write, and move. Play pickle ball, tennis, run, walk! Something. Raise your heart rate and be inspired.

Just move.

You’ll thank for it later.


  1. Maggie May by Rod Stewart ↩︎

Forest Parable

Photo by Jay Mantri on Unsplash

Nature. I see Her go to sleep every night, only to awake every morning being less than what she was the night before.

seasons slip
between one another
time advances

I am aware of my mortality. I see it not only in myself but in others, in the world around me.

Acorns.
not enough this
year

Wounded by love, how do I stop the bleeding? Is the scar a reminder of my foolishness or merely a wrong turn?

Lovers spin
the best tales
at night

Have I given my children a dying world? What is to become of them when I’m gone?

letters:
an old shoebox;
unread

The Hike

Photo by Chewy on Unsplash

It was an early Sunday morning, cold and windy. The wind burst across the tree tops and rolled down the old mountain on to us. The dogs pointed their noses into the wind, smelling for a scent. It had rained last week and the trail was muddy in the low spots. Brown and red leaves cover the loose rocks.

Her dresses change –
all are meant to
catch your eye

Two dogs, one in his prime and the other in her decline. She still races up the mountain, leading, playing, I walk behind. The wind blows my hat off when we reach the top. We snap a few photos.

photos remain
when memories
fail

The once powerful matriarch of her pack trails behind me on the way down. Coughing, I help her into the car and we drive home.

rocks, trees, wind –
I drink coffee; 
dog on my lap

There was a time

Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

There was a time
when we were children
that stars twinkled with magic
and dreams were fantastic

There was a time
when we were teenagers
and a lover’s first kiss
made us feel electric

There was a time
when we crashed head first
into adulthood, not knowing
where this path will lead us

There was a time
when we looked back
and thought of paths
not taken

There was a time
when loved ones and lovers
passed on and we are 
alone

There will be a time
when regrets will
haunt us at night

There will be a time
when Autumn turns to Winter
and our time nears 
its end

There will be a time
when our dreams and hopes scratch
across a cold sidewalk 
like a dead leaf in the wind

There will be a time 
when we no longer can keep it.
It will slip away from us
and we become a part of it


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