This is a somewhat unconventional but hopefully inspiring memoir blog. At the age of 48 I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Since then I have started looking at things differently. I reconnected with my world. I also turned to my first passion, writing, part of which ended up being this. I hope through the dog's breakfast of reflections and recollections I offer on this blog that people, no matter who you are, will identify with my experiences and maybe find some inspiration in them.
But I can't do a thing about the weather
Do you have your ticket?
Can you foresee changes, changes?...
A chain of events, a change of heart…
~ 10,000 Maniacs, (About
People laugh at me and I’ve
gotten used to it. I’m a different sort of character and I know that. My
neighbor, John, calls me the hippy carpenter. That’s OK. I help fix his floors
and his plumbing. I’m always happy to help my neighbors because I know they
care about me too. I’m a different person than I was three years ago.
For 27 years I worked in
corporate America. The first thing I would do every morning was to buy as much coffee
as possible and then a newspaper, the
Chicago Tribune. I craved both very much. When I got to my office, my
assistant, Corrie, who I loved very much, made sure there were five others spread
out my desk and that there was plenty of coffee. The papers were the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston
Globe, the Christian Science Monitor and
the LA Times. It was imperative in my
job that I stay informed. I was a director at a very large medical association but
not even thirty years old … just beginning a career and learning how to be a father.
I used to try to do
everything by myself, because that is who I am. One day I was making copies of
a plan and when I went back to my office, Corrie was sitting in my chair with
her feet up on the desk, reading my papers. I asked, “What are you doing?” She said, “If you’re not going to let me help
you, I’m just going to sit in here and read your papers….Frankly they’re
boring.” I laughed and said, “I get the
point.” She asked me, “Why do you read all of this stuff? I just stick my head out of the window and I know
everything I need to know.”
I haven’t seen or talked
to Corrie in many years. I don’t know what happened to her after she retired. I
am now fifty and I don’t read the newspapers any more. I get all the news I
need on the weather report or sticking my head out of a window.
that I crave now is about my wife and my children. It is about my friends and
their families. I used to be so wrapped up in politics and now it doesn’t
matter to me with the exception of how it affects the way my family and my
friends live. I only care about them and that I am allowed to live my own life in
the way I see fit to do it.
other day I was walking downtown and a young man tried to give me a flyer for
some political cause. I turned him away and he shouted at me, “Don’t you care?” I turned back and said calmly, “Yes, I do
care. I care about ideas, not paper. Look down the street.” The sidewalk was strewn with his fliers that
people had taken and dropped. I asked, “Can you explain to me how this is
making an impact?” I can be a real jerk when I want to be.
that is the essence of how I feel these days. I think words have their place and
can be very powerful but I am tired of empty words. I’m tired of people sharing
specious stories on social media sites and thinking they are changing the world.
Especially, when what you post is nothing more than an endorsement of your own
opinion. I think posting something like that and then claiming that you are
a political philosopher is the equivalent of me putting something in a microwave
and calling myself a gourmet chef.
dislike most of all is how many message I see that clearly not borne out of
intelligence but out of anger and hate. We used to be a country that had pride
in the fact we were a melting pot of people with different backgrounds and
different perspectives. We are not anymore. We are a nation divided among many
lines and that disturbs me. There is no longer such a thing as respectful and objective
commentary or discussion. I am afraid this house I love will not hold.
why now I don’t read six papers a day anymore. The way I look at it is that my
wife is happy, my children are healthy and successful, and I have fun writing,
drawing, and walking my dog around. Small children named August and Lockhart
come to visit me with smiles. I greet and hug their parents. I think about how fortunate
it is that my life now revolves around art, literature, and music. I think about
how much I appreciate my friends. I think about love a lot.
thinking about the men and women who fought hard to make sure I have the
freedom to do what I do. They are blessed.
time I look out on the little postage stamp of the earth that I live in it
looks better and better. The paper can’t begin to convey this, nor in this time
do they want to. It’s not good business. That’s alright. I get all the news I
need on the weather report.