I Think You’re Beautiful (A song for my whole tribe)

I think you’re beautiful, you, with that soul,
Sharing life’s hardships, each taking its’ toll,
Heart marked by darkness, stirring to light,
We learn to love but sometimes love’s a fight,
Dreaming those beautiful dreams like you do,
I think you’re beautiful.  You.  Yes, YOU.

I think I love you.  No, it’s not a crush.
Sometimes we laugh, we flirt, I love your blush,
When life is challenging, encouragement
When I’m too quiet, that caring comment
We have each other, in good times and blue,
I think…no, I love you.  You.  Yes, YOU.

I think you’re beautiful, pain, scars, and all
Facing all of life’s fears, crushed, standing tall
Though others may not say, you make me proud,
So glad to call you “friend,” always, I’ve vowed.
We lift each other’s hearts, our hopes, renew,
I think you’re beautiful.  You.  Yes, YOU.

I Learned This

I didn’t write anything at all on Father’s Day,
But rested instead, in a quirky, working way,
I did everything just like my dad showed me,
Before he started to lose the man who he used to be.
I pray that the harder struggle doesn’t happen to me,
But I see clear signs all around me already.
He used to be so strong, and worked so very hard,
At his job, at church, for friends, or strangers, or in the yard,
I can see that more than he loves himself, he still loves us,
His kids, his wife, and surviving friends, He’s my image of Jesus,
When he was younger and stronger he set the tone
Expecting respect, demonstrating grace and love, until we had grown
And always showing love for my mum that still gleams in his eyes
Despite the frustrations that can still make them both cry
I learned this.

So I worked in the yard and the house on Father’s day
Resting hands in the dish soap, in the garden, at play
And I flirted with her;  ’til it hurt when she pushed back,
But I loved past the point when I felt her attack
And I don’t understand how, but I love the same way
Sometimes it works out, it’s what dad would say
The kids disrespect and the wife says things harshly
And occasionally she sees me hurt, says she loves me,
Then offers something different than she knows I really wanted
Because love sometimes translates, and sometimes it doesn’t
If I only know how to speak love with the tongues of mere humans
Ending with surrender, I miss the mark by even farther then
I have to do more than say it to make it really count
Say I’m crazy, but love’s worth blood and pain, any amount
I learned this.

Instead of intent and accomplishment, I gave up and spent
Time to show love, and then our time came and went
To say it, to be it, an example to my kids, and proof to her
That I meant the words of my vow, just like my father
Mum’s frustrated; He says he can’t do it, I feel his discouragement,
As strength that once filled him is replaced by bones, bent,
He gets tired easily instead, now in slow, aging decline,
And his legs hurt sometimes, I’m sure much worse than mine.
She and I did mundane things, held hands, being together
I missed my chance to mow the grass, caught by stormy weather
I can’t get frustrated.  It’ll have to wait until another day
Another time, because love’s worth the time, and any price I’ll pay
I learned this.

A kind word, and laughter, are stronger than strength
I want a legacy of love that outlives my life’s length
But I begin to realize the things I can’t do still
That I used to just do; now I still try; I always will
Offering guidance with a gentle hand, a story, a joke meant
To distract but discipline, train by encouragements spoken
There are and will be days when I want my way, for me
But more often that’s not how I hope to be in their memory
They see me, discouraged, and I get up again, disappointed by
Life, and I get up again, I smile, fall and get up, trying to try
And fail, and try until I win, or die, I want to leave this
They see me discouraged, and angry, I cry, shoot and miss
The mark, but I keep on trying, fighting my pain with rage
Because I’ve seen deep meaning behind trying as I age
I learned this.

My dad is old and sometimes, too tired to try again,
I’ve seen him want to surrender, depressed, and then
To spite the lie, the warrior’s glint in his eyes flashes
Rage to raise to his feet again, teeth grind and gnash as
He tries anyway.  Despite all the negative-he may fail
When he feels disappointed, left alone after betrayal
“A righteous man falls seven times,” and gets up again
I may never be righteous; failure feels like all I’ve ever been
But I want to get up, love, and fight, when I remember his life
She doesn’t speak his language well, but she’s still his wife.
Not all of this is shown perfectly, by either my father or me,
But it’s worth the effort, if generations grow, learning to see
That noble struggles with life, with their personal humanity
Are the ongoing examples they ought to choose to leave.
I learned this.

Thanks, Dad.

Not Writing About What I’m Writing About?

I got up early today and have taken my daughter to school.  It’s not something I want to be in the habit of doing, but then, she’s already 17 so it’s a way to bond I guess.  It’s bad inasmuch as it fosters her laziness and encourages a lax attitude about time management, because she has a safety net to fall on.  It’s there, but I don’t want her to take advantage of it and just think it’ll be there her whole life.  My slightly more responsible son caught his bus.  Today she had gifts for her friends and wanted a ride so she could easily carry everything and not have the jostling and space issues of the bus ride.

I’ve had a cup or two of coffee, I’m back home and feeling nicely focused, but maybe easily distractible, it remains to be seen.  The squirrel joke is no joke.  I’m hoping I can have a little “me” time (writing here) and still enough time to walk the dog before the rain comes and get some chores and maybe a little extra catch up work done before I have to get to work today.  That upstairs…  I want my floors,  I want my desk.  It’s just that I’ve been like a pack rat for a while with no place to put “everything in its’ place,” and my wife is worse because she’s better at packing big things into small spaces.  No, NO, stop.  I mean like getting more stuff in the suitcase, or in the car, like that old game TETRIS, not THAT.  Although…  Nah, only if she wants that.  I surrender.

I started out wanting to write about a specific writer who has recently moved to the US after running into some difficulty because his government took issue with his writing.  But I tried to research and didn’t find anything accessible.  “This content is restricted.”  If his native government wants to restrict his thoughts and he restricts his audience, who knows what he’s talking about?  I’ve read a few comments and a few things in news articles I presume were quotes, and two year old or older blog things I found, and all I can think is, who the fuck cares?

It’s a fucking blog, like my own.  I guess, if he tells people to riot in the streets or kill someone or commit crimes, there’s a problem inasmuch as his words might actually have a direct impact on my life or the life of someone I know.  So yes, if he advocated violence or actual crime, I’d stand against that, but I can’t find anything to know if he did that.  And I consider myself a pretty damned good online stalker.  All I could find is stuff where he said, essentially, that both Christians and Muslims are idiots.  He’s an athiest, I get that, and again, my reaction is, who the fuck cares?

Well, radicals who profess either religion might, but I don’t.  He posted a picture online that was deemed “obscene.”  That’s stupid.   I’ve seen “sacrilegious” “art” before, and I don’t care.  Express your lack of faith in Jesus, who came back from the dead, or that “prophet” guy, who didn’t.  I don’t care.  Express your lack of faith in the government, I don’t care about that either.  America has elected a lot of presidents that people called names.

What concerns me is that people take the words of a fifteen or sixteen year old that seriously.

You want people to treat your religion with respect?  Get a religion that’s respectable, and be respectable with your faith.  You want people to treat your government with respect?  Get a government that’s respectable, and exercise your authority in ways that respect your constituency.  The people at quotesgram.com and quoteimg.com sum it up in short and then in long:

Image result for respect is earned not given

I don’t know how long it’ll take for me to earn my kids’ and wife’s respect.  Been working on that for more than 25 years for the latter.  Taking my daughter to school when she’s overburdened, giving a hug or a supportive remark when she’s sad or feeling insecure, helping my wife with chores and being as romantic as she’ll allow, helping my son in scouting and in becoming a young respectable man, helping the kids develop life skills and independence, it’ll eventually add up to respect.  Maybe.  I hope.  Work is a lost cause.  They want to demand my respect just from having authority to fire me, not realizing that at work, my respect can be bought, to start.  After starting with buying it with a decent wage commensurate with my experience and training and tenure, THEN it can be earned by helping me succeed in my career and developing me to the point where I can actually retire before I die, and hopefully have enough years to catch up with all the things I don’t have time to do between work and family and church and other activities.

As a blogger, if you don’t like me, you won’t read it.  You won’t follow it.  I’ll either get the message or not, but what do you care if you quit following me.  Just like the TV, or radio, if I hate the show or the commercial, I endure it or shut it off.  It has zero impact on the producers or the advertisers, but they are free to express whatever shit they want to broadcast and sell whatever shit they want.  Who the fuck cares?  And why?

There’s plenty of things I’d call “obscene” on the internet.  Why are people so afraid of someone offending someone else?  I think if a person has talent and respect, they ought to rise to the top.  But in the modern era what seems to rise to the top is infamy.  For some reason, the tacky, the cheap, the lowest common denominator, is what people want to see more of.  It makes them feel good about themselves and doesn’t challenge them to strive for better and more.  For some reason, the crafty, the villain, the ill-mannered, get the vote for fear that the one who seems honest and trustworthy might have some kind of hidden agenda the talentless, seem to get the sympathy vote because here in America we don’t want anyone to feel like they should keep on looking for their specialty, and try something new until they find something they’re really good at.  Our little baseball playing toddlers don’t keep score (but the adults do).  Art that people don’t think is art might sell to someone.  And someone might pay you to blog.  I wish they’d pay me, but I’m not holding my breath.  Plus, I need something either huge and inexhaustible, or huge and reliable over time.  I’m settling for reliable over time, but with that plan I’ll be working until I’m dead.  How disappointingly depressing is that?

I’ve vented enough, and I’ve thoroughly disappointed both of the people who strive to encourage my writing to be better.  So now I’m going to get myself ready to disappoint my boss, by working my ass off as hard as I can with my motivation high and my expectations low.  I think the boss pretends to be disappointed, and secretly they’re impressed trying to figure out how I’ve stayed so long for so little reward, and keep trying every day.  Maybe that’s why Mrs M is keeping me.  She’s secretly impressed, but also my worst critic, trying to encourage me to do better.  At doing what she wants me to do, mostly because she doesn’t want to do it herself.

I hope you find your inner motivation today.  I hope I do do.  I need to accomplish things when I take my breaks, because I didn’t accomplish anything great yesterday or today.  Except maybe I offended someone because I don’t take offense at sacrilegious, satirical, or political art or language.  If you’re offended that I’m not offended, you know what to do.  That’s right, have me arrested.  No, learn to park big things in small places.  No.

I hope you can do something good, that makes you feel good, or makes you happy because of either the sense of accomplishment or the gratitude of a friend or stranger.  Or, for a little while, do nothing, or something just for you and feel good and eventually harness the energy you have from taking a little “me” time to rest a little.  I hope I can too, but it’ll have to be snuck in between and after work, since I haven’t invested the morning in tasks.

Have a good day.  Both of you.

Waiting for You to Write

I don’t want to confess that I’m an obsessed fan.  But I’m an obsessed fan.  I love your blogs.  I love your writing, I love your heart and your soul.  On some days, that is.  On some days I wait, hoping you will write, say anything, even if you think it isn’t good.  On some days I watch for you, encouraged that you’ve popped your head out even just for a few minutes, to say something to the world.  I don’t even care if you’re saying, “I hate the world, I hate everything, I hate you, fuck off.”  It means you’re alive and I’ve felt your presence another day.  It must be true because I miss you when you don’t post.

Sometimes all I want to say to the world is “I hate the world, I hate everything, I hate you inasmuch as you are part of the everything, fuck off.”  There are days when the drama of my family, and the awfulness of work, and the busy of the things that have to be done and the wishing I could do what I want to get done, is just so maddening, it’s better to say nothing to them so I say it here instead because I want to get it out before it poisons me more.  There are days when I’m so shelled over, or so shell-shocked by life’s events, or so forced-to-be-busy that I don’t write.  And so I understand when you want to be left alone.  Me and Pieces of Bipolar were discussing the whole brilliant actor thing and the Garbo quote came up.  I want to be *left* alone, but I don’t want to *be* alone.  I want to be left alone with you.

There are days when your words, your heart, your spirit, seem so strong that I read your words and I feel your courage.  The word courage is one of my favorites, coming from the French root Cour-, which means heart.  (and then the other thing I like, which has nothing to do with word origins, is that it contains the word -rage.  I know it isn’t right, but when I see the word in there, it validates the feeling.

There are days when your words are so broken, your heart is so fragile, that I just want to wrap my arms around you and give you a hug and pray over you.  When you remember the bad things that happened in your past, when you tell me about current events, I cry with you and you never see the tears.  I want the very best for you but I know that this life is broken.  Because I know how badly *my* life is broken.

When I started this blog I wanted to vent the rage and the sadness and started tracking my mood swings and I wanted to offer encouragements and validations.  And you’ve welcomed me in spite of the frequent bitch-and-moan.  There are days when my heart is broken, when my life is so broken, and your comments and replies, even on other blogs threads, make me smile even if I can’t laugh.  Some days I reread some of my blogs and they’re boring and repetitive.  I’m just surprised people have read it and then kept reading.  I wanted to vent the frustrations of daily life, and if I happened to have a happy thought I wanted to share those with you.

Flashback to Peter Pan.  I can’t fly because I think about how hard life is and I don’t have any pixie dust.  I still hate the fight, and question all the time why it’s so hard to just live and next to impossible to feel anything I think normal should feel like.  I want that normal so bad.  I want it for me, and also for you.  But when I see that you’re still here, fighting it out, grasping depths of courage you didn’t know you had, even if you don’t necessarily feel successful, or normal, I have my happy thought.

It’s you.

Motivational Speech

On the day before yesterday,
I felt like total crap.
Stumbled and failed on my way,
Wished I could take a nap

So yesterday I decided
It was  all in my head.
Positive thinking without dread
Would steer how time was led.

I read that prayer and believing
Would insure my success!
I just knew I’d start receiving
Relief from any stress.

Then yesterday wasn’t better:
I tried to be happy,
I tried to be a go-getter,
And failed miserably.

Today, success books and  web links
Went straight into the trash.
Got my Bible and a stiff drink,
Read Psalms and sipped sour mash.

The psalmist confirmed suspicions:
God’s on His own schedule,
Answers yes to some petitions,
And not all as a rule.

I read God will sometimes surprise
I just hate to say it.
All you motivation wise guys:
Your “wisdom’s” pure bullshit.

Our Family of Writers

Our Family of Writers, 4/14/2016, Deon Mumple

I read and enjoy your writing-
Everyone else is exciting.
I can pray and watch the outcome,
Life is bleeding, I feel so dumb
When I spin so out of control,
Wish I could hide in a safe hole.

But in other lives I see hope,
Not so much joy, but we all cope,
We support our fellow writers,
Like a concert: see our lighters
Raised to celebrate each other?
We’re family: sisters, brothers.

I share your joy when you’re happy,
Feel the anger when life’s crappy,
Try to say something, encourage,
When you struggle, feel a dark urge:
We need each other.  Stay with us.
I’ll doubt life, keep faith in Jesus.

I hate life sometimes, to be true,
But I always hope good for you,
I commiserate and support,
Although it’s hard, life is too short
Not to care for one another
We’re family: sisters, brothers.

I count on you, know you’ll be there,
When I need to hear that you care
When life bleeds uncontrollably,
You’re my tourniquet, to save me,
You and writing soothe life’s blisters,
We’re family, brothers, sisters.

50 People Think I’m Interesting

It has come to my attention that more than 50 people think my writing is interesting enough to follow.  Or stalk.  I had two initial reactions:

First:  Good God, people, what are you thinking?!
Second:  Thank you!

Oh, and the third was to thank you all for not following too fast, because I made a bet with a blogtroll that if I had 3K followers by the start of June, I’d quit following two other bloggers I dearly loved.  And I won.  So since I won the bet, if you’ve been lingering, languishing or lurking in the light, not following the darkness that is Deon Mumple, go ahead and sign up now, if you dare.  Or if you’re crazy enough.

And the fourth was the instinct to dig a deeper cavern in my secret underground bunker, which I’ll make the time to do this coming weekend.  There’s no time until then because, well, I’ll be partying with all of you all week.  50 fellow partiers will take time to celebrate, and then of course to recover from the celebrations.  And cake.  Which kind to bake…?  I think maybe a fruity flavor, like orange or lemon or something.  Orange with Chocolate icing sounds just tempting, which leaves one wondering if I have any orange flavored extract in the bunker’s kitchen.  Damned if I’m not all out of Grand Marnier, the better to flavor it with, my dear. (so now I’m the big Bad Wolf, too.  As a Doctor Who fan, and also a fan of fairy tales, that’s pretty damned funny.)  Makes me wish I had a personal chef.   Or just money and space to buy all the ingredients and foods I like.

To the blogtroll, fuck you.  And to any other blogtrolls or wanna-bees, fuck you too.  Find something better to do with your time than to fuck with other bloggers, or you’ll wake up one day and realize three important truths: 1) you’ve been accomplishing less than nothing, 2) you’re a worthless sack of crap, and 3) nobody likes you, not even your mother.  She wants you out of her basement and into your own fucking apartment, you pathetic loser.

This blog is just kind of a lunatic asylum for me.  I’m able to vent my anger in a healthier way than hitting people or yelling at people or having an aneurism, a less expensive way than hitting people with my car.  I’m able to vent my feelings of sadness and manic, and commiserate with my fellow travelers on the road with all its’ ups and downs.  I’ll raise a toast to you all tonight, as I’ve a nearly empty bottle of something that I need to retire.

I can write whatever the hell I want, positive, negative; truth, lies, and bullshit; fiction, culture, complaint, commendation, poetry, profanity, profundity, lunacy, idiocy, randomness, and even religious or counter-religious, and I like it.  I lurk here safely in my bunker and await the end of the world, or the end of Deon.  I expect it’s a toss-up which will come first.

I’ve already confessed, I’m not cooler online. I’m just fucked-up Deon online and probably even more fucked-up offline.  My opinion, maybe I’m just the same Deon in both places, but I do like to write a bit, and it might just be some shit I made up.  It’s fun.  Or cathartic.

That’s the benefit of the blogosphere, the blogiverse, whatever you call this grand thing.  I might enjoy reading yours, or not.  And I can say whatever I need to say.  I used to say I dislike all of you evenly, but I confess, the frosting is thicker in some places on this cake.

Speaking of which, I think I’ll bake a cake tonight.  You’re all invited back to my secret bunker for a slice of it.  But bring two beverages- one for you, and one for me, or I’ll have nothing to toast you with in person, to thank you for your crazed curiosity.  Maybe someone will bring some Grand Marnier.

You encourage me when I’m discouraged, and I hope I do the same.

Thank you for your support.  I’m reading what you’re writing, and I hope you’ll keep on writing it.

~Deon Mumple