A Glimpse of Happiness

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Sometimes what you really need is to simply be among friends; to talk, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company. For in these small moments — where your troubles and worries and woes fade away, even for the briefest of breaths, the most minuscule of milliseconds — life feels worth living again.

N.

Yes, I just quoted myself. I made it up right here on the spot. You’re welcome. =P

I treat most of my journal as an open-ended letter to my dearly beloved K. I think of it as though I will someday reminisce with her in paradise over all the things that we’ve experienced while apart.

In other news, my new friends and I finally (it’d been months) had another game night! Well, we played Shanghai instead of DnD, but it was really what we all needed; and C. wasn’t finished with the DM setup anyway. The only one who’d played (Shanghai, that is) before was K., but everybody else knew general rummy rules and compared it, much like you did, to Phase 10. I brought Rubio’s fish tacos for everybody, which, since it was a Tuesday, was one helluva deal. Except W. who had to have a veggie burrito because he’s watching his weight and going to wrestler-training. Yeah, don’t ask. (Love ya buddy!) Also the huskies got along as usual, playing and exploring the new house. 

It was a wonderful night. We drank beer and played cards and laughed hysterically at all kinds of nonsense and randomness – from metal band antics to spur-of-the-moment-made-up-songs. It was just as fun as the game-nights we had with cousin J. and her gang, for those few years while she was close by. For the first time in a long time, I felt genuinely happy again.

Am I allowed to?

You’re not with us. You would have brought perfect balance to the group, with your eclectic sense of humor, your way of saying or quoting off-the-wall things, and your proclivity for fumbling words in a way that was utterly and uniquely you. God how I miss that.

I say you would balance the group out perfectly, because: A. is the accountant, math and numbers expert; C. is the creative type, musician and storyteller; K. is the former-bad-girl-turned-super-sweet-pastor’s-wife and infant nurse; W. is the semi-boisterous intellectual and history buff; I of course, the tech geek and peacemaker; and finally, there would be, should be, you: the psychologist and the empath, the one who knows best how our minds work and how our emotions ebb and flow.

The fact that we all had to get up for work the next day didn’t matter, because we realized that this kind of quality time with friends is too valuable and too infrequent to waste. I mean yes, we still dispersed by 11, but that’s not the point! =) . Also, you would have insisted we get a freakin picture, because we don’t have a single solitary one to post anywhere. But you know, sometimes, that’s the way it should be.

And now, of course, I’m alone again. Sitting to write this journal entry and wondering when or what I might have to regale you with next. Are you even listening anymore? I wish I could tell. I wish I could see you, hold you, kiss you, cry to you, wash this all away in torrents of tears and a tidal wave of lost time. Perhaps you would forgive me. Perhaps I would forgive myself. Perhaps I should try.

I love you. I loved you.

hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness -Desmond Tutu
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A Duel of Wit, part 2

Here is the rest of last week’s poem from K. It’s fantastically clever, in my opinion. Moving too. However, I seem to be missing a page. There is mention of three riddles but this only covers the last two. And “the gentleman retorted” to something but we’ll never know exactly what. Still, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Love and light. ❤

N.

And the gentleman retorted “I have come to wage a duel,
To confirm that my intelligence is far above a fool.”

“Now I’m sure I heard you wrongly – thou has voyaged here in vain,
To engage thy wits in combat just to classify your brain?”

“Thou may mock my motivation, but I’m known throughout the land
For the genius that I govern and the quickness I command.

Does thou fancy thee deserving of the challenge I propose?”
“Very well, my bold opponent – I accept it, I suppose.”

“Oh how wonderful!” he rallied through the rapture in his voice,
“Thou has granted me a purpose by the nature of thy choice.”

“I’m contented to oblige you, but I’m sure that you will see,
I am truly not the intellect you hold me here to be…”

“Let us start!”, he said, “But start at what? – You’ve yet to choose a game
That will prove the greater aptitude upon the victor’s name.”

“Very well,” the man responded, “as it follows we shall play:
I will ask of you these riddles to embark us on our way.”

“Please commence with thy enigmas – I will truly try to win.”
“Listen carefully, my rival – let the duel of wit begin.

‘Three informants, clad in black – running forward, never back;
All unknowing where they’re going – simply following the track.

One is thinner than the others, he is young and fast of pace –
Clearly swifter than his brothers in this never-ending race.

Then the runner in the middle, standing tallest of the three,
Is the second of the triplet that we always seem to see.

For the one of most attention is the shortest and the last –
Tells most slowly in the mention of the moments that have passed.

Always going, always there – they, the victims of our stare;
These familiar friends of time and space that keep us in their care.'”

With that rhythmical advancement of the colored man’s design,
He asked of his opponent, “Give your answer or resign!”

“Thou art truly apt and skillful in the puzzles you invent!
But I fancy me familiar with the riddle you present.

Yes, I guess of thee the mystery you read to me in rhyme,
That the answer can and only be the triple hands of Time!”

Now, enraged by his continual decipher of the maze,
Twas forced of him his last of strength to camouflage his rage.

“Does thou think of thee so clever that can scoff at what I ask?!
Well, I challenge thy discernment with this third and final task! –

‘Tis a thing of great importance when its features are not known,
Yet a thing of little interest when the face of it is shown!'”

His breath was short and labored as he spoke the final line,
Then he leaned a little forward and awaited a decline.

But a moment past the brief and blunt recital he had made,
The opponent now responded with a logic he relayed:

“Such a transient accretion to the two achieved before.
Though no lesser of confusion that the prior pair had wore!

The solution, I imagine, is unlike the common lot –
‘Tis a thing of great importance when you know its features not…’

Not an answer of the riddles in the books upon my shelf –
Why the answer to your riddle is a Riddle in itself!”

Bloomed a sudden realization that occurred upon the two:
One aware of his achievement, while the other sank in rue.

The aggressor fell in failure, on the ground upon his knees –
“Dear sir, from whence thy wisdom comes, I’m forced to question, please…”

And the winner, only humbled by the victory achieved,
Looked upon his fallen partner whose disdain had taken leave.

“Through the toils of our endeavors hide the wonders of the land.
These astonishments reveal themselves to those who understand

That the greatest revelations will be shown to an elite:
Those who welcome comprehension and dispose of their conceit.

Walk in modesty of knowledge and the wisdom will appear;
Go ye softly through the clamor and the music you shall hear.”

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A Duel of Wit

I’d like to share another one of K’s works. Sadly, it is also incomplete. As was her life here with us. She and I had so much left to do, to experience together, to share. But these little pieces of her that she left behind for me to find, do, for a brief moment, by a small fraction of measure, help heal my soul. And I hope they do so for yours.

N.

The paths of two equal and opposite men
Had crossed on an evening so fair.
The wind was aloft in her heavenly den, 
And soft was the breath of her hair. 

Each equally clever and gifted in thought,
The men had agreed to a duel – 
A match to determine the answer they sought: 
Which one of the two was the fool? 

A gentleman clad in exacting extremes, 
Consisting of darkness and light: 
A monochromatic portrayal of schemes, 
From black to the starkest of white. 

A colorful figure of yellows and blues, 
With bold interruptions of red: 
Symbolic of all in the spectrum of hues, 
From down on his shoes to his head. 

And so they contended to reap the reward 
Of bearing a title so grand, 
But only the sharpest of wit would accord 
The rank that the both would demand. 

The paths of this equal and opposite pair 
Had crossed on a unit in time. 
And during this moment the couple would share 
A daring discussion of rhyme.

It is here that we see a gap, a break in the verse and the tempo. There must have been a missing page, which I of course regret not being able to find. The poem does continue, albeit with a different meter and rhyming scheme. Thus, I will share that with you next time. Until then, love and light. ❤

battle of wits from princess bride
Inconceivable!
(Sorry my love, I had to.) 😉

In Loving Memory

may your wings be strong
-her favorite quote, from the movie Maleficent.

Dear readers. It is with a heavy heart that I write this. 2018 has seen some significant losses of meaningful lives. Sadly, that toll increases again.

In October this year, my wife of 10 years passed away unexpectedly, at home. No chronically debilitating illnesses being fought off, no sudden acute onset of horrible afflictions, just here one day, gone the next. Words could not express the deep sorrow and profound shock we experienced that night, and in the days and weeks that followed.

I count myself incredibly blessed to have been loved by her. She loved so deeply and so fiercely, pouring out her generous heart to those who would take the time to truly know her. The day we said “I do!” was the happiest day of my life. She had a contagious laugh and a smile that could light up the room, even when she was hurting, sometimes more than anybody knew. It gives me some small comfort that she no longer feels any pain, but is surrounded instead by joy, light, and love.

She was a sensitive soul, leaving a little bit of herself in every life she touched. She was an empath, which means she would often know how you were feeling before you did. She felt the emotions of others, magnified in herself, and was an amazing listener, who could always be counted on for comfort and support.

The holidays were her favorite time of year, specifically Thanksgiving and Christmas. So today, on the heels of our day of thanks and the toes of the season of giving, I encourage you with two things.

First, be thankful for your loved ones, your family and friends, and most of all your children, if you are so blessed to have them. Life is so precious. Spend it with those you love, and do not waste any moments.

Second, give of yourself unto others, be it time, money, helping hands, a listening ear, or a friendly voice. Put forth light and love into this world, not darkness or hate. Emanate joy and kindness, not malice or bitterness.

And above all, cherish each day, for our time here is never guaranteed.

May you ever walk the beaches of paradise,
May you dance along the sunsets,
And sing until the end of eternity.
You are forever loved, and always in my heart.