Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'm thankful for time.

Time, to spend with loved ones.

Time, to reflect on all I've learned, all I've lived.

Time, to remember those not here with us now.

Time, to recall the past.

Time, to move beyond.

Time, to ease my wounds.

Time, to bring a new tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

One Little Victory

When it comes down to it, I think the little things are what make the strongest impact in our lives. To be sure, there are momentous, life-changing events, those ones that are marked down either on a calendar or in our hearts, those ones we always seem to associate with a date: beginnings, milestones, endings. These events most people recall most readily when discussing a particularly great or terrible time in their lives. For me, this year has been the kind of year punctuated by these dates, events marked in my mind and in my heart, and no doubt, in the years to come, I'll look at a calendar and begin a countdown to the anniversaries of those dates held so close to me, and the days will seem a bit more grey, life a bit more listless, time a bit more wearying. Those times will wear at me. Those times will be reminders (as if my life isn't a constant reminder) of all I've lost, of all we've lost, this past year, these past years. These events are like anchors in a soul, if not dragging one down, then certainly slowing him down, making it so terribly hard to move, to move on.

And then there are those events that will never appear on a calendar, never marked by milestones, nor celebrations, not noted by the date nor by some other sign so obvious. Instead, those events will be remembered and revered at the most inconspicuous times, triggered by the most minor of reminders, bringing out a feeling of light and life and love that just overwhelms that grey, listless and weary dreary existence. It reminds you that you are alive, and life, no matter how bad it can sometimes seem, is ALWAYS worth living. Where there is life, there is always hope. These little things, these ones that ultimately mean so much, can happen every day. It doesn't have to be much: it can be something as simple as having an unexpectedly deep conversation with your mom, spending a few minutes laughing with kids, of any age, or spending a weekend with your friends, just... watching TV, or going shopping, or going to a bake sale. Whatever! These little things will be those things you look back on, days or months or years later, and say to yourself "THAT'S when life got better for me."

I've spent this past year surrounded by death. What should've been a mental and emotional rebirth of sorts for me has instead been hammerblow after hammerblow to me, to my family, and to some of my oldest and dearest friends. I'd been so slowed down, so worn down, by all this death and loss, I hadn't even realized just what kind of toll it had taken on me. All those events marked on those calendars from now on, all those dates I'll dread to see coming up...

But now, finally, I've also seen all those events that get no marks on calendars, those little victories that take so much of the sting out of that loss and bring sweetness and joy back to life. I've finally seen and realized how important those are to me- just as important as all those losses I'm reminded of, I'll be looking back at those little victories and remind myself of all I have, and all I've gained.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Welcome Home, Jagoff

Back, for now.

Here's Pittsburgh, from one of the bridges, in the middle of my first sustained snowfall here since moving back. On one hand, I'm very happy, as I miss proper winters. On the other hand, since I spend most of my time working outside, this is gonna suck. Oh well, that's what health insurance and whisk(e)y is for.

I don't know how often I'll get anything posted up for the forseeable future. Certainly not much by way of actual drawing. I have been picking up the pencil again, but I've been taking it slowly- so as not to scare off my already far too fickle muse. Sad to say, but I'm just not often in the mood to draw recently. I'm hoping that'll all change, but we'll see. I still have plenty I'd like to draw, and much to write about (new music, for one, movies for another, still plenty of books to go around), but until I can get back into the groove, I just can't come around to firing up that creative spark. Or when I do, I'm rarely in a position to act on it. Finding that spark is a lot like being a 15-year-old boy; I never know when I'll get the urge, or how long it will last. As it were.

Anyway, that's what I've got for now. Thanks for sticking with me, I'll try to make the visits worthwhile, as best I can.

Music: "Monster Ballads" - Josh Ritter

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF

For Roger Hutchinson, my third father.

DEATH, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so:
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death; nor yet canst thou kill me.
From Rest and Sleep, which but thy picture be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow;
And soonest our best men with thee do go--
Rest of their bones and souls' delivery!
Thou'rt slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke. Why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die!

John Donne

For Catherine Elder, mother of Dawn, one of my oldest friends.

Be at peace.