Is an ovation really called for?

My siblings routinely accuse me of remembering everything, regardless of how inconsequential the event or circumstance, I seem to retain it.

Shun P. Age 8

I’m not sure how much truth their accusations hold, but I must admit that find myself stuck in a perpetual time warp of sorts on a pretty regular basis, drowning in the depths of my recollections.


When I was growing up there was a family commandment enforced, that stated in no uncertain terms:


“Don’t expect an ovation for doing what you’re supposed to do.”


Admittedly, the meaning behind the commandment was lost upon me until I became much older. My parents worked split shifts to ensure that there was always someone at home, with my Mother working in the morning and my Father working in the evenings the system worked like a well oiled machine.


One of the responsibilities that my siblings and I had was to ensure that we promptly woke our father up at 9:15PM, so that he could shower, eat dinner and head out the door to get to work on time.

It was always an adventure waking up my Dad, in lieu of him being such a hard sleeper he would always wake up with a cataclysmic jump, as if 20,000 volts were suddenly surging through his body.


My Dad would finish his shift and get back home in the middle of the night, being that we were all asleep it gave the illusion that he had never left. Because when we woke up in the morning it would be to the tune of his familiar baritone snore filling the house.


When the need for sleep made its presence felt, My Dad would often sprawl out on the couch in the living room, communing with the Sandman in short order and filling the room with torrential snores that was his hallmark.


On more occasions than I can remember, I would shake my Dad to consciousness to ask him to take me to the museum, the park, the zoo or whatever venue my heart desired at that moment. There was never an instance where my request was met with a “No”, like clockwork he would briefly convulse to an awakened state, pivot off the couch, run his hands through his hair, reach for his shoes, grab his hat and we would head for the door.


In the early 1980’s the Museum Campus in downtown Chicago was a proverbial toy box of sorts. We had the Museum of Science of Industry, Shedd Aquarium, The Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum at our doorstep. We visited each of those museums hundreds of time, which time seeming as if it was my first time there.


To this day, I can’t go by a museum without thinking about these excursions with my Dad, it was these times that colored my childhood.


At the time I was totally unaware that he would have to wake up in a matter of hours to go to work, but he never made mention of the commandment, he just did it.


This is what is missing in the present:

An unceasing need for an ovation has replaced an implicit understanding and commitment to:

 “Doing what you are supposed to do”

Borrowing a cup of solace


Wasn’t sure where this should go…

Originally posted on Shun P.'s interactions with Mother Nature:

The cascading sounds of water flowing downstream, over the rocks on a mission.


To fulfill its calling, undeterred, unhindered, unimpeded.

Far be it for me to impose and take a serving of solace from this place, but I must.


Being connected is toxic, draining and hazardous to my health.

The actions that I am taking is far greater than mere insertion, it is soul survival and self preservation of the highest order.


Being here is medicinal… Healing the fractured confines of my psyche.


As I download my burdens and drown them in the currents, I rejoice in their end.

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Divided loyalties – Speaking truth to myself

I often sit here at let the water make sense of it all.

I often sit here and let the water make sense of it all for me.

Life gives the contrast for appreciation, often it just requires being still, engaged in active listening. Being willing to accept what is given, regardless if it is what we want at the time.

Being loyal to yourself is a concept that constantly gets lost in the realm of the esoteric. Sadly, like many of the lessons of life we often make it more complicated than it needs to be.

I can’t speak for other 6 billion inhabitants of Earth, but I confess to being guilty as charged. On so many occasions at different times of my life, oh how I’ve been guilty.

Elk Neck State Park

Elk Neck State Park

I’m not trying to dodge my complicity in the crime, but it has been the contagious “virus like” nature of complacency, which has lead me to settle for just enough to get by at the aforementioned times.

What is most telling about complacency is not the fruit sown by it, but it is this. I was cognizant of what was happening, but powerless to impede its hold over me.

By not pushing the envelope, by failing to demand that much more from myself, I was a traitor, for the worst reason of all. Simply because I felt that the outcome wasn’t predefined or guaranteed to be easy.

For me the worse crime is being disloyal to yourself, yet having loyalty to that which does not have your best interests at heart. This misplaced loyalty can be projected in any numbers of ways, take your pick.

Considering the price paid by traitors in antiquity, I should consider myself lucky.

I am inclined to believe that the privilege of being able to reflect on my missteps and draw a line in the sand to rebuke my past disloyalty.

Is something more consequential than luck, greater than mere happenstance.

I chalk it up to divine intervention and experience has demonstrated, to me. That this is the purest form of loyalty that I can ever hope to harbor and for that, I am compelled not to waste the power that was selflessly granted.

Heartfelt appreciation and thank you’s

There are a host of thoughts rushing through my mind at the time of this writing.

Perhaps, I am writing as an acknowledgement of the apprehension I harbor at confronting the specter of doubt that periodically haunts me, but it would be foolhardy for me to ignore its presence.

As I comb through a litany of words, thoughts, feelings and experiences. That have migrated from the deepest recesses of my mind now inhabiting the confines of expandable USB drives, countless notebooks and number of blogs and websites.

And… I still find myself wondering. Is there a future for me, writing?

If there is, I audibly find myself questioning the logic behind the declaration “I am a writer”. Am I worthy of this mantle?

Often, I feel unworthy to hold the pen, to sit at the keyboard, typing words for consumption.   What is it that I have wrought that makes me worthy?

Ever since I was a little boy, I implicitly understood the power of words and I wanted to wield that power for myself. I’ve been chasing it ever since and I’m wondering when I will catch it.

But… Having the distinct privilege to be in the presence, albeit electronically, of people whose literary prowess far trumps my own.

It is a sense of confirmation, that maybe you know something that I don’t. Each “like” and “comment” that is given in response to something that I have written serves as fuel, as confirmation that maybe I am figuring it, slowly but surely.

To my small but dedicated cadre of readers. I thank you; I treasure you; words don’t do justice in expressing my appreciation. It is the encouragement that you freely give, by your literary patronage that empowers me to forge ahead.


Thanks for being there to constantly push me out of the corner and into the ring. Sometimes it is easy to forget that life is not unlike a 12 round boxing match… Ding!

The art of trying

I’m trying…

To live life,

rather than

life living me.


I’m trying…

To stay


in the midst


the torrential

clatter, chatter

pitter, patter…

The rain and thunder



I’m trying…



inoculate and envelope,


in a place…

Fortified, encased…

In a realm



I remain impervious…

But, humbly open

to mercy…

What are we accepting?

One of the life lessons that I’ve learned time and again, that I still find myself wrestling with is…


Accepting people for who they are.

The old adage of meeting people where they are. Instead of where you want them to be, is always easier said than done.

This is applicable for those people in our lives, who consistently make their presence known only to ask what YOU can do for them.

Just before they slip back into the shadows.

Strangely, the roles are seldom reversed.

And the cruel irony of history always finding a way to repeat itself.

Is this one of those “lessons” that can’t be learned?

Forsaken addiction

Your pull is like the Earth to the Moon.

The moon to the tides.

A magnet to metal.

Your visage…

Runs contrary to the laws of

physics; psychic; supernatural; otherworldly.



Terrestrial in orgin.

But when starved

of the embrace









It leaves one

barren, hollowed and emaciated


To be discarded,

as a useless vessel.