Sunday, March 27, 2011

You Don't Know Jack!

There is a  long standing friend of mine...Jack Mettier. We taught together in the art department for decades. We've been through a lot. I don't think Jack would mind my describing him as an often blustering curmudgeon, frustrated by negative influences and quick to realize and be influenced by poor administrative decisions and educational forces that tend to undermine positive, creative efforts of teachers and students alike. He could storm around a campus with all others scampering to get out of his way as he carried his frustrations and angst on his sleeve as well as his lined, scowling face. But you needed to know Jack. He was so creative and inspired creativity in students that stayed with him in his art classes for years. He was a great soccer coach. Jack is parenting his adopted grandchildren at an age most men are happy to hug theirs and then send them on their way with a grandfatherly wave. Jack, who has unsuccessfully and unendingly tilted at educational windmills for an entire career, now culls through endless web humour and inspiration to send me daily the best of his searches, some of which I appreciate completely. He sent me this yesterday...a remembered list of his highlighted fond memories of our friendship. I live on the other side of the world, often feel too remote and disconnected from many that I love, and I, like most of us do (and Jack himself did professionally)...feel marginalized or weighted down by our immediate challenges or failures. This simple list sent to me by a friend, to remind me of our love for each other, has lifted my spirits all week. Take time to write a good friend, a loved one, and remind them why they've been important in your life. It's the best gift giving you'll do this week.

John....a reminder
 Group hugs on the 15th after my 12th stroke,

LVC (Law of the Vacant Chair)and Lunch splatter on Timmy’s shirt at the round table,
Camaraderie and laughs at break time,
Single malt treats,
Sneak out lunches with Rich at Lolo’s on Thursdays,
Margie’s worry about us ending up lost in Ireland if we got on the Whiskey Trail,
Agreeing to disagree and then working together for the better good,
Hugs and kisses instead of handshakes,
Importance of humor that is kept and shared,
“Players” never - “Competitors” always!,
“I love babies – let’s go meet your new granddaughter”…..12 years ago,
Sunshine, rainbows, rain and snow, light years of oceans away,
Important memories to keep so that friends are never lost.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I am writing music, and some of it pleases me. I also have a new program for recording my music and when I learn how to post it on this blog, I will be including several pieces. I look forward to that. I just copied this most recent song onto this post from the inside of a novel I was reading yesterday at the beach with Jack (I actually did most of the reading)...the book with the lyrics now on the inside cover is a great story by Robert Crais, CHASING DARKNESS...having nothing to do with these song lyrics. A line came to me while I was reading, I grabbed a pen and wrote all of this down as is. When I got home, the melody for the song came as quickly, and I actually like the music better than the lyrics. I love to write, but it always surprises me when something jumps onto the page this quickly. I love when that happens in a scrip I write. I almost have to get out of the way as my characters dialogue back and forth far quicker than I can type. Fortunately, many of the characters in my head speak slowly and are willing to repeat themselves for the sake of the page. I hope you'll revisit the blog when I record this in performance.

All The Stars Are Out Tonight

All the stars are out tonight
And I've found one to wish on once again.
Have I used them all before?
Will I keep up my search until the end?

Between the darkness and the light
There are answers to the questions of the heart.
And if I find you there in time
I'll hold you close and never let us part.

Are you out there my love?
Standing 'neath this universe of stars
Searching for me,
Wishing that I'll find you in the dark?

Other lovers came before.
They have brought you to my door.
We'll leave the past behind
For us there will be more.

Are you awake and can you hear?
I can feel you beside me in the dark.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Moon Grows Larger

Tonight scientists tell us that the Moon is actually closer to the Earth than it has been in over twenty years. To the eye, the full Moon actually appears 14% larger. So it must produce greater sense of love and awed wonder to some, and bring about a greater level of madness in others. It is so very darkly beautiful.

                                     CLOSER TO THE MOON
         He has his books, his music, his pens.
         He stays very active, he has many friends.
         They all say for a man his age, he's looking rather well,
         He'll find someone soon...
         But with every passing hour he comes closer to the Moon.

         Twelve months, eight days, eleven hours since she stopped being his wife.
         He released her from his arms as she exited his life.
         How did he end up here? What comes next? What comes now?
         But no one answers as the firelight skitters across the room.
         Each moment she is farther away he grows closer to the Moon.

         Two months, sixteen days, eight hours since she walked out of his heart.
         The fashion consciousness of friends would now keep the two apart.
         Why could that happen? How does the Earth suddenly shift direction?
         He still gets out and around, but suffers from a lack of sharing it all with her.
         And no one is there to hear him howling at the Moon.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Shroud of Turriff

The excitement started to build as we drove through the forested hills of Speyside, Scotland, and finally into the town of Turriff. After driving by several churches with no special signs, we parked outside the one with the tallest spires, sure this must be the place! I walked through the massive wooden door and up the aisle to the obvious cleric near the alter.
     ''Excuse me Father?''
     ''Well, Father, I need directions.''
     ''Don't we all...But I'm nae a Fatherrrr.'' He spoke with a thick Scottish burr. ''That would be Catholic. I'm just Donald Brown.'' And he extended his hand to shake.
     ''This isn't a cathedral?'', I asked.
     ''Noo, nae sa grand. This is the Chairrrrch o' Scotland.''
     ''Well,'' I said, releasing his firm grip,''Could you direct me to The Shroud?''.
     ''Excuse me?''
     ''The Shroud...where in town can we find The Shroud.'' I repeated.''My wife and I have come over 12,000 miles on a pilgrimage to your city to see The Shroud.'' My eyes gleamed with religious fervour.''You see, she has declined to have a heart/lung transplant that she really needed, but we truly 'believe'...'', and I said the word 'believe' from my soul,''...that if she can just see the Shroud of might help her condition.'' And I wiped a single tear from my eye.
     ''Ach, I see.''he said compassionately, placing his hand on my shoulder. ''It's no herrre.''
     ''Yes, but if you could give me directions...''
     ''No Lad,'' he interrupted,'' This is Turriff. It's no herrre.''
     ''You've sent it on tour some place?'' I asked disappointedly. ''When is it due to return?''
     ''The Shroud is in Italy. It's in Turrin, not Turriff. Italy........nae Scotland.''
I stood there with his hand on my shoulder for what seemed like minutes.
     ''Are you sure?''
     ''Aye, it's in Turrin.................Italy.''
We drove out of Turriff into the beautiful Aberdeenshire morning, my wife glowering at me in silence.

What Is It Really?

Sorry I haven't been on my blog for awhile! I actually optioned a script to BBC and have been working on it's been an emotionally challenging time for me. But reminded by my daughter that there are two or three readers out there, I thought I'd tackle the great question of all writers and philosophers...what is this thing called love? The answer is never definitive, and everyone adds to it. I've been thinking a lot about love, almost constantly lately, and here are the few views I am, or have been, fortunate enough to experience.

I want to help you realize a dream...every one of them.
My pride in standing behind you is equal to standing at your shoulder
or leading the way.
Times can be hard, but I know we can make them better together.
Every moment is opportunity, no restrictions, no denials, no limits,
no fear of failure.
All pain is shared, experienced, released, and dispersed.
Joy is abundant, achievable, and increased with you.
I am so deeply aware of my gratitude.
Physical touch always brings peace, excitement, pleasure.
I am a better person with you.
I get you when others don't, I see you when others can not.
I want to share everything with you.
I'll wait for you.