“Are you attracted to every woman you meet?”
“No, but this might be different. These guys are really friendly.
Twenty-eight years later it is easy to see why for the first time in my life my uncle looked irritated with me.
“Has it occurred to you they might be friendly and nothing more.”
“Uh, I guess so.”
Whatever irritation he did or did not feel passed quickly and he laughed.
“I love you, but sometimes I forget you’re only 21.”
Dad’s little brother was very much like every other Wilner male and then very different. Not because he was gay, but because he never became a father.
I share that without judgment but with the experience of knowing the way that particular responsibility changes you.
Our conversation was in reference to my experiences volunteering at Project Angelfood something I am profoundly grateful for.
It was a fantastic education and a great opportunity to give back.
Oh, I See You’re Busy
Another week, another shooting and or another excuse for inaction passes.
I look around and hear music in my head but the actions of others puzzles me. They look at the giant pie we all partake of and go crazy because they fear others will take their share.
It is not limited to one person or particular group–the fear finds its way into people and seeps into their bones ultimately being expressed by some in the most terrible of ways.
I look around and hear people complain and or offer numerous reasons why the world isn’t as it should be and then shake my head as they provide every excuse for not voting.
The naive boy that still lives within is confused by this because he doesn’t understand how people can complain and refuse to take action.
His older, wiser and much grumpier companion takes a very different approach.
“Fuck ’em. If they can’t be bothered to do the right thing I can’t be bothered to listen to them complain.”
Except my own fair doesn’t allow this to play itself out. That is part of how we got the current monstrosity in place and though I know we will pass through it I can’t sit back and watch.
Can’t just let the river push us whichever way it chooses. I have to push back a bit and encourage people to use common sense and push for things that will benefit us.
I have to demand that our leadership work to be stewards of rights for all and not just for some.
My demands and efforts aren’t guarantees of action or movement that will affect positive change but they help to bring it about.
And if nothing else they help serve as a buffer against the wrong moves being made…or so I hope.
One cannot always be certain they are fighting against insanity or helping to foster it.
Choke Up & Fight Back
I can’t decide if my heart is pounding from watching this or for a hundred other reasons.
There isn’t any question life feels very similar to what I see there. Don’t ask if I am Batman or Bane because I would choose Wolverine, with maybe a dash of Deadpool.
I am 12-years-old and furious about how poorly I hit during the last couple of seasons. I didn’t strike out every time, but enough to be feisty.
“If you insist on using a bat that is too big, choke up and fight back. A hit counts the same with two strikes as it does for one.”
I look at dad and say ok.
Too many years have passed by to say if I got a hit on the very next pitch or not. But I know his words made me reframe my approach and I started to see the ball much more clearly.
Hitting became relatively easy and natural strength made it simple to send most balls into the outfield.
Since we rarely played on fields with fences I didn’t get the benefit of automatic home runs but I hit plenty.
Can’t say how many were because the ball really traveled or whether foot speed combined with weeds led to success.
Does any of it matter?
Thirty-seven years later it probably doesn’t or maybe it does.
Maybe the fond memories of that conversation and a million victory laps have helped me push through and by the challenges that came later.
I have used the same words and tried to apply the same magic knowing that you can never step in the same river or rely upon the same results.
I have done all that I know how to do and wondered if it was enough. Questioned whether I have been broken or just exhausted and kept going for no reason other than because.
Because it is what I do and what I know how to do.
Because I hope it serves as a teaching moment and helps, but who knows.
We do our best and pray/hope/push/wish for the best results.