Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Catch The Golden Bug

Catch the golden bug
that floats in your eyes, spinning
webs throughout your mind

Can you see the sun
cascading off of the lake,
setting in your heart?
We all see beauty
within that vibrant color
of the brand new night

Can you see what I
see? Oh dear goddess of love,
this night is now ours

The blue moon rises
full in shape and the color
of your pretty dress

And flies of fire
burn bulbs of orange and yellow
and gold in our hands

Let us set them free
so Night may capture one, and
catch the golden bug.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Good Fences Make Good Neighbors"

I want you to do something. Something that you probably haven’t done in a long, long time. Maybe it’s something you haven’t even had time to do. Or choose not to do. But let me tell you, this certain “something” is definitely something to take note of, to acknowledge:
            think back to when you were still a little lad, full of youth, innocent, carefree. Do you remember those times at all? Pull open the curtains of your memory and break down the walls of your past. Peel away the scabs and think back. Do you remember (can you even remember, ya old farts?)? Think back to when your youth was a charismatic as success is to you now. Nothing could bring you down. Nothing. And when something did, you got right back up. You dusted off your shoulders [because, you know, you were a pimp even back then] and put on a band-aid and kept on running. You were an adventurer, a carefree spirit. You were a fighter, a warrior. Stronger than you are now or will ever be. You know why? Because of innocence, of ignorance. Never mind the cuts, the scrapes, and blood that adorned your flesh.
            Life itself was liberating. You were free, and you didn’t even know it. There was absolutely nothing you had to worry about. Well, besides sneaking a piece of candy or a cookie before dinner and NOT getting caught. (Like that one time when you* were four and found Smarties on the counter. So you grabbed it and swooped yourself underneath the table in hopes that no one would find you. Because back then, when you hid underneath the table, the world around you was hidden from your view. Therefore, in your mind, the world’s view of you was hidden. Under that table you were a recluse. It was you, the table, and those Smarties. So you hid, and poured all of those Smarties into your mouth. Not one by one, but full on shoved them down your throat. Until your dad walked past and asked what you were doing under there. And do you remember your response? You sat there, gawking innocently, chewing and replied, “Nomphim.” And even though your dad sold you out, it was all right. Sure, you had to sit in time out and count to 300, but that was all right. You had achieved what you wanted to do! You had consumed those Smarties before dinner, and neither your father nor your mother could take that away from you. You had won. Beat the system. Game. Set. Match.)
            Now think to those summer days and nights that you so desperately clung on to as a kid. Rain nor shine stopped you from living your summer outdoors. Remember all those times? Playing kickball on the street with your entire neighborhood. Backyard baseball. Playing army and cops and robbers and hide-n-go-seek. Back then there were no cliques and groups. It was just the summer, your friends, and the outdoors. Everything was how it should have been. It was actually a reward to stay out late with your friends and catch lightning bugs, or have bonfires, or run around your yard like a lunatic. When your mom called you in you would beg for ten more minutes, just ten more minutes. And maybe, every now and then, she would abide. Because, after all, she was in love - unconditionally - with you and your innocence. So you would run around the block. You would shoot up some hoops. You would play some baseball. You would play kickball. You would even play those old school games lit Tag, Red Rover, etc. You would lay on the grass and stare up at the clouds, saying what each one looked like. And when night swung around you would collect the fireflies in jars and have bonfires and s’mores. With all of your neighbors. Because neighborhoods were neighborhoods back then. Not strangerhoods. Neighbors were neighbors, not strangers. People were intimate with one another. Not attached to their phones, computers, and videogames. Do you remember that at all?
            As a kid you couldn’t escape the outdoors except when it rained. Scratch that. Except when it stormed, and even then you would pull up a lawn chair and sit in the garage and watch with your neighbor who you’ve known your entire life. You would take turns commentating on the storm like you were weathermen, like you were Dick Goddard or something. Just a really, really young version of Dick Goddard. [I wonder if he can even remember back this far?]
            There were exceptions, of course, when you would be inside. Like when that one kid down the street—whom you didn’t like, whom irked you for some, strange reason—wanted to hang with you and your brother. So you and your brother had a certain process that you set up. A plan. Whenever he showed up, your brother would take turns switching off, where one of you would go inside very quickly and come back out within seconds saying, “Hey, we can’t hang out right now because our mom is calling us in for dinner.” You would say that even at two in the afternoon. Of course, that neighbor surprisingly never caught on, which was good. But for the most part, you were always outside. Computer games could wait. Television could wait. It was all about the neighborhood, the weather, and the good old times. The summer was yours.
            Now I wanted you to do something else. Pull open the curtains and what do you see?

 Nothing. No kids playing kickball. No kids shooting hoops. No kids biking. In fact, there is rarely any kids at all. Everyone is inside. Eating. Consuming not just Smarties, but cookies, and chips, and fast food. People are inside texting. People are inside playing video games. Kids are addicted to XBOX. Their social lives revolve around XBOX LIVE. There is no more outdoor activities. Bonfires are low in count. Barbeques and Block Parties are non-existent. Everyone is scare of each other. Scared to know their own neighbor. There was a time when everyone used to know each other. But now you probably don’t even recognize half of the people that live on your street. Neighbors are now strangers. Kids are no longer kids, but lazy, spoiled brats.
            Why is this? Let me know your thoughts. Give me some insight on this tragedy. Let me know why this is even acceptable. Why aren’t parents limiting video game play anymore? Why aren’t kids begging to be outside more? Why do kids spend most of their time playing video games? Don’t they know they can get exactly what they get out of a video game AND more by reading a book outdoors? Who cares if you have ADD or ADHD. I have ADHD/ADD. That’s no excuse.
               I wish I was still a kid sometimes. Why can't kids be kids? Why can't they go outside and enjoy their lives? KIDS, this is for you (of all ages), get off of your butts and go live your life! You were blessed with two legs and feet, so use those gifts! Before it's too late. Soon enough you will be an adult and won't have time to go outside. Stop lazying it up inside when you can be outside having just as much fun, except that it will be healthier. Go live your life!

            Let me know some of your thoughts on this. Thanks for reading.

* - the subject YOU here represents everyone in general (you and me).