I had an idea to follow up, What Am I Doing Here with something of equal importance, what am I thinking here. Anyone interested?
So, here is just the warning. I am a verbal processor. I talk in order to figure things out. It also works when I write too. As the words fall out onto the keyboard, sometimes in a random fashion, I get insight into what is going on inside of me, get to look at what is there for the very first time in some kind of ordered fashion, then I either get to make sense of it all or decide there really is no sense to it all. Anyway, the words to follow are not words that I have thought out before. I am going to be just as surprised as both of my readers will be if they both read this blog.
I think a lot about travel. I’ve been around. Most of it I would like to go around again, only this time I really have a couple of real cool kids and a cute looking mommy that I want to take around with me. Some of the places I want to travel to;
- Hawaii, I would love the warm and the view, but my son Cavan would really get it. In fact he would likely refuse to board the plane back, he would love it so. I remember a couple years back, after my solo trip to the islands, I had taken Cavan to the park to find ammo for our sling shots and shoot them into the water. I was bent over picking up some rocks and I looked up and saw my son waist deep in the water. Mind you, this is Washington State where the summer time water temp is four degrees warmer than the winter time at a whopping 57 degrees. It was not summer. I hollered, “Get out of the water, you’ll freeze to death!” to which he replied with equal enthusiasm, “It’s OK Daddy, I have my raincoat on!” Yep, my boy would love the bathtub warm waters of Hawaii and I love his smile. Besides, his mommy doesn’t like getting too hot and she would wear less clothing, which is always OK with me too. The youngest is just the youngest. He likes what we like, unless it is spinach, and in that case it’s a bust.
- Colorado. Cavan said that he wanted to see where I went to school. I liked that. It sort of made me feel important, so I want to take him there. The last time we went my wife was 5 months pregnant with him. I caught the swine flu and gave it to her. We spent 6 days in the most expensive hotel in Durango, the one we could only afford for a single night, staring at the ceiling. At first we were afraid we were going to die, then we began to be afraid that we wouldn’t. Angie and I want to go back to prove that Colorado can’t kill us after all. Early on in our marriage I had thoughts of moving back to Colorado, but living on the coast I have become quite accustomed to having some actual oxygen content in the air that I am breathing.
- Florida. Again, its warm. I could use some warm. My joints hurt and I get the blues in cold or dark. Angie worries that an alligator will eat our kids. Whenever I see something on TV or online that shows something pretty in Florida I show her, tag her, or share it on her timeline. Sometimes I don’t watch it first. That usually doesn’t go so well. In those short clips there is the inevitable alligator. I think locals make sure they make it into film to keep people from migrating there. Me, I always thought that there was some sort of magical feel to the air in Florida. Sure it is unreasonably hot and humid for three to four months out of the year, but here in the Northwest it is unreasonably cold and dark for 7 months out of the year. Of course Angie says it is temperate and nice in Hawaii for 11 months out of the year. Can’t argue with logic like that.
- New Mexico. Not sure quite why. I have traveled through New Mexico a lot, never lingering. OK, that’s not completely true. I have spent a few weeks in Farmington, but really that is more like Colorado than a lot of Colorado is like Colorado, and not so much like New Mexico. I started wanting to go to New Mexico as I was reading on one of its cities, Las Vegas. Yes, Virginia, there is a Las Vegas ,New Mexico. Someone in the barber shop once mentioned buying an old brick building in downtown Las Vegas. He said that the whole town was practically on the historic register for old buildings. I checked it out, and it looked like. I also thought about Carlsbad Caverns and the Earth Ships of Taos. Those would be nice to see too. Did I mention that it is only cold in most of New Mexico for 3 months of the year? Did I mention that I could do with some warm? OK, next place
- The Olympic Peninsula. Only in the summer because it is like too dark and too cold in Washington for all but three months out of the year. Did I say that already?
- OK, not place else really. I mean, I would love to see the Islands of the Bahamas and the Caribbean, but mostly for the same reason that I would love to go to Hawaii and I can actually work and make a living in Hawaii, not so much the Caribbean.
So, I think a lot about haircuts. I know that is what I do for a living, but there is something that intrigues me about doing it.
- I watch haircut videos.I didn’t start this gig until I was almost 50. All these young cats on the internet are doing some amazing haircuts, but not too many of the local cutters seem to be getting it. Maybe they don’t know how to use Youtube. Anyway, I really want to be the rock star barber and since the bar is so low in Northwest Washington I like to keep up with the skills. 4 years ago no one was doing the kind of haircuts I do and I made a name and reputation among the young guys at the college for the amazing cuts I did. Two years ago I started seeing the kind of cuts I do on other guys, but they weren’t really done that good. This year I am seeing some great cuts I didn’t do, so I have to keep researching and learning and trying and doing in order to keep my rock star status.
- I watch haircuts in real life. I have a few barbers that work for me. I like to watch what they are doing so I can hopefully find something I can help them improve on, or tease them about, or both. Mostly I like watching them work because they are a happy lot. It is kind of contagious.
- I criticize virtually everyone’s haircut no matter who its on or who did it. My wife won’t let me sit in the back row at church because I look and sometimes remark, “I could do that” or “I could fix that” or “who the hell did that?” I sometimes cut the pastors hair. If I find something that I could have done better I loose the whole point of going to church, unless the point is hair. Then I get it.
I think a lot about my family. I’ve messed up my life considerable and I’ve done so a number of times. The people closest to me have endured the worst of the fallout from that. My family is amazing, my children, both the young ones at home and the grown ones with their own homes are my life. Mmy wife is anything good I can think of all rolled up into one amazing girl, and she is awfully cute too. I want to be the best I can be for them. I struggle with how to balance work, recovery from work, with actual time away from work and repair to devote completely to the art of just being and just being family. It takes a certain amount of work in order to achieve the ability to not be involved in work or work repair and I am never sure if I have met the water mark or not. I also think about my age in relation to their age and how would they do if I were to not be here (death). Of course I don’t want to loose being fully present while still here physically in a fury of preparation for a departure that is unpredictable. Funny, when I was younger I knew men my age who thought about these things. I used to think they were kind of strange. Now I think I am kind of strange for not thinking about these things when I was younger.
I think about humanity. My desire to do good for those around me, to somehow make a way for someone who is struggling to find a way often times overpowers any other plans I may have. I like that it makes me generous. I don’t like that I feel so much of their sorrow and pain personally, especially babies and children. My wife edits things for me so that I don’t see news of children or babies being hurt or betrayed. I loose sleep. She protects me whenever she can. There are so many people out there that are so really like lost sheep. Some of them are lost but caught up in a false bravado. Others are fearful but not really sure what they are afraid of. Some are actually enjoying being lost. I know someone who is looking for them. I like to point the way. Used to try to carry them. Ever try to carry a sheep? It usually does not end that well. I really want people to be kind. It doesn’t cost anything at all to be kind, but so few people are willing to do it as a lifestyle. OK, so most people aren’t nonstop mean, but the damage is far reaching that can be achieved in a few moments of malice. I try to help pick up the pieces and tie back up the wounds left in the aftermath. I think and am thinking about those I know who are broken, bleeding and sore in their spirits. I think and am thinking about what I can do to bring comfort, or to point in the right direction.
I think about the church, small c. I wonder why they are often either too quick or to reluctant to embrace change. Of course my real issue with the church is that they don’t listen and do everything I suggest. I pretty bright about such things. Intuitive too. (if you feel you need to send me a note and correct this thinking, don’t bother. I already get it and I wrote that in a sarcastic tone) I guess I struggle because what the small c church does works for who it works for, but there is a lost and dying world out here that it doesn’t work for. I wish they would resource The Church, big C, that is outside the little box with the cross on top so that they would be equipped to reach those that the little c doesn’t work for.
I think about Christ. I think about Him a lot. Often times I think about Him in the context of the other things I think about. I don’t always think about Him in the context of small c church because I don’t think that He was or would be much interested in our small c world. I think about who I am, who I was, what I do and what I’ve done. Then I think about Christ. I have made a wreckage out of my life and a few others along this way. I am pretty well deserving of being discarded like so much human refuse. I would actually be ok with that and it would make perfect sense. Then I think about Christ. I love God, I really do and have for some time now, but I screw up. Put me in the corner and let me love until the end. I made a big pile of ashes of my life, my testimony, my resume and was pretty well resigned to leave it at that. Then I think about Christ. Christ seems to have other plans. He kind of started rebuilding me, making me better. I didn’t ask Him to. I was OK just being allowed to love and accept Him. Before I knew it He gave me a better hope, a better present, and presents a better future than I ever knew possible. He started making a way for me to be of value again. I really do get it when He does that for other people. I don’t so much get why He would do that for me. I knew the truth and settled for a lie anyway. How does that qualify anyone for anything? It doesn’t and He doesn’t seem to care. He uses my story. I gave Him permission. He uses it as a warning. He also uses it as a lifeline of hope. He restores, better than factory fresh. I have become more of the man I always wanted to be after being reduced to an unusable junk heap of a man. Now I like walking around inside of my skin (though I wish it walked around more in Hawaii) and I am at peace with all the things I think.
I think I pray a lot. It doesn’t sound like a prayer, but it is a prayer just the same. I remember all the things that I like, all the people that I love, all the needs that I see, and in that same moment I remember the one who cares even more deeply about these things than I ever could, and then I say, “You got this?” And He usually says, “I got this!” Once in a while I say, “Amen” just to make it sound official inside of my head.
I didn’t know where any of this would end up, but I think I will end it up right here. Hope you enjoyed your tour of today’s version of what I have been thinking.