I just came out of the closet, and I found a long lost treasure in there. Let me be very clear what I mean by coming out of my closet. I’ve been looking at the bulge in the door of my office closet, where I keep my stuff. You know…my stuff. My reel to reel tape recorder, my back issues of time magazine, my living room lava lamps…you’ve probably got a closet full of stuff like that too. And I figured that since I can’t finish the job I was planning on doing…cutting the grass…I might as well take on the battle of the bulge…the bulge in the door.
The grass situation is a little out of control. Actually it’s mostly weeds according to my Lady Wonder Wench and other botanical experts…but it’s green, it grows, it looks ok if you keep it cut, and I’m from Brooklyn so it’s grass to me. But I’ve been busy working on my new book, so I have kept it somewhat un-cut. And my Lady Wonder Wench has been suggesting that the onrushing weeds are so high that they’re beginning to cut off the view of our driveway from our living room window. My perfectly reasoned response that I don’t particularly miss seeing our driveway doesn’t seem to have been completely satisfactory to her. And it is true that I certainly don’t want any of the large, hairy beasts that she claims may have moved into the lawn under cover of darkness last night to carry her off to some grassy cave so they can have their way with her. And I hate it when our mail guy Bill, whines about having to reach through the weeds to open our mail box.
So, it was past time for me to put on my Lawn Tractor man Tee shirt, and go on the attack. But I can’t lawn tractor around some of the lawn. It’s not that I’m afraid of getting swallowed up by the taller weeds, or being attacked by big, sneaky, hairy creatures. There are just some very rocky, and very hilly places where I’ve just got to resort to weed whacking and push mower-ing. So I did. And right in the middle of my push mower-ing, my Louie-Louie Generation left leg attacked me.
As Big Louie, his own bad self, the chief mustard cutter of the Louie-Louie Generation has often explained, there are terrific benefits to being a Louie-Louie Generation guy. For example, we tend to be the bed mates of choice for Porn stars, high powered lady executives, and sexy Lady Wonder Wenches. But there are also some problems. And I immediately knew it was problem time when I heard a distinct “sprong” from under my left knee cap, the muscle on my left hip jumped up and hid in my left armpit, and for a moment I saw and heard the New York Fourth of July fireworks display going off in my head. Somehow…in an instant…I became a quivering bunch of powerless, Louie-Louie Generation heavy breathing molecules.
I don’t like that. Being powerless sucks. I have very seldom felt powerless in my lifetime. I felt that way those two weeks I spent in the hospital. Think about it. Lois Lane loved Superman. And she didn’t even see Clark Kent. He was a nice guy…smart, vulnerable, honest…but powerless. She didn’t want a powerless nice guy. Even when he’s smart, vulnerable and honest. And I don’t blame her. I believe that the difference between living and just existing is in your power. Your power can be physical, emotional, spiritual, financial…or whatever kind of power that works for you. And maybe most of all, I believe in the awesome power of your personal beliefs.
I believe in a lot of things. I believe it’s a terrible waste to let ourselves turn into warm chunks of meat just because we don’t look like the people in the beer commercials any more. I believe in honesty, truth, baseball, and highway safety. I believe justice should be enforced with compassion. In fact, I believe in the American Dream…whatever that is…uniquely and individually…for each and every one of us. My God think of the power in that. I believe in Santa Claus, and in loving the same woman for a lot of years…and for as many years as we may be lucky enough to have left… I believe real men don’t care if people see them cry…I believe men and women are supposed to be different…I believe in magic…and wooden baseball bats…I love the way they feel, and the sound they make smacking the ball…and I believe in the healing power of chicken soup and peanut butter- the chunky kind…and keeping the hormones humming with an occasional little silky sleaze…and laughing at yourself……and the worthlessness of guilt, excuses, and gangsta rap…and the tingle inside when you take a deep breath of very fresh air…and letting go of your kids when it’s time…that’s hard…and the importance of learning the difference between treasure and crap…and taking care of your mom when your dad dies…and working your ass off…and maybe most of all I believe in being grateful for what you’ve got…really grateful. What do you believe ?
Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.
1- What do Barney the Dinosaur and the Ku Klux Klan have in common?
2- What does the singles bar sign say about ugly people and sex ?
3- What’s Maria doing on Lexington Avenue between 48th and 49th ?
Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.
Every living creature has a right to power of some kind. Life itself is a huge power source. If you’ve ever been with someone at the moment of death, you’ve felt the instant when that life power leaves…to do whatever it’s supposed to do next. Power isn’t good and it isn’t bad. The good or bad is up to the people who use it. There’s a story about that in the Night Connections 2 Personal Audio CD. It’s called Painting, Poetry, and Passion.
I finally figured out why she purposely exposed her husband to that other woman’s powerful passion. She loved her husband. She loves him. It was a desperate risk. In fact I think it was crazy. But I guess somewhere deep down inside, she knew that her love wasn’t ever going to make sense again, until her body came to its senses. I sometimes wonder what happened to her friend…and their friendship.
If you like “Painting, Poetry, and Passion” you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just download it from the Night Connections 2 icon on the home page.
As I said a few minutes ago, I came out of my closet today, and I found a long lost treasure in there…one little bit of magic that made the sprong in the kneecap, the hip muscle hiding under my arm pit and the fireworks in the head all go away…like magic
Sometimes the biggest treasure gets packed into the littlest packages. It’s magic. Powerful magic. And so it is with this small, yellowed, clipping from a 1982 Cleveland newspaper. It says, Quote, “Eleven year old Amy Burnett of Burton placed first in the recent Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital art contest. She received a $5 gift certificate for ice cream. Her design was picked from among 60 received, and was printed on 74,000 greeting cards to be used to raise money for the hospital. ‘Hasn’t this been an exciting day’ Amy murmered to her mother after the choice was announced. She died an hour later of cystic fibrosis, which she had suffered since she was three.”
I don’t know how a loving power in charge of the universe could let an innocent little kid suffer and die like that. I believe in love. And I couldn’t find any there. But as I was looking …I found that long lost treasure. “Hasn’t this been an exciting day,” she said. The master of the universe cut her life cruelly short. But in her last hour, he let her win. It’s an awesome lesson…a priceless treasure…and he shared it with her…and with me.
The mighty power of even just one moment of compassion.