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what do you want to do with your life?

a long time ago, when I was but a wee bit of a candora, I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up... and what I wanted to do with my life... I wanted to be in love... I wanted to do all i could to share caring, to help people... how I came to these decisions might be explained better here...

it is good to know what one wants to do with ones life

and then I visited Neb who, as you may have noticed if you've read me recently, is my current favorite muse on the web (and she's lasted more than a week, which is amazing considering my puppy attention span... or was that kitten... well, short, that's the essential point here, my creative attention span can be very short... that's why I write more like Dr. Seuss than Stephen King or Ovid... well, that and I'm kind of addicted to rhymes)... anyway, I think Neb is our best hope for the dream of saving the world with words... I think she can do it...

I mean (deep breath) writing the words that will express the good sense of caring and sharing and helping each other live in peace and harmony and comfort well enough so enough people not only understand, but are moved, emotionally effected, changed internally enough so that human consciousness actually shifts to a more secure and enlightened plane and they actualize the changes to create a more peaceful, thriving, loving, beautiful world... I don't ask much of a muse, huh?...

just show me unconditional trust
and I'll show you magic
don't you know doubt and fear will bust us
and lead to tragic

just show me unconditional love
and I'll show you paradise
it is what every heart dreams of
when we don't think twice

and if a song can save the world
I know you can sing it
if a mind can save the world
I know you can bring it
and if a heart can save the world
we'd be fools to fight it
and if a story can save the world
I know you can write it

just follow your heart
tell the story of a world you want to see
make the people as good as you want to be
and give them all the challenges you can find
show them how they hide within their own minds
and how they don't even know when they become unkind
how did humanity get so blind?
I think I know where it starts
they didn't follow their hearts

of course it'll be her decision, but if I read her correctly she is incubating the ideas in her subconscious and I'm offering a little nudge because, after all, I would like to see the world saved... most humans give up along the way...

I think of Jackson Browne "there are lives in the balance" when I want to be motivated to think clearly about what I can do to help save the world from the insensitivity and suicidal tendencies that seem all too prevalent in humanity... of course, Harry Chapin... and there are others out there who've tried to use words (and music) to enlighten and expand human consciousness... Richard Bach, James Redfield, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs... I'm leaving out a lot of great writers and artists who used their gifts to create something precious, something that would put the idea that we the people might be able to live in peace and security and comfort without greed or fear or hunger if we'd only get our act together and share... The Who's Tommy, John Lennon, John Denver, Dan Fogelberg, James Taylor... "shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel... things are going to get much better, if you only will"...

and so many others deserve to be read and heard... but it takes more than dreaming... and we can not stop at imagining... and that is the point at which we've stumbled time and time again... for anyone who ever attended a "love-in" of any kind, especially way back when, I ask you to remember the feeling and look at your life today and ask yourself, how much love did you really let in?... and how much is still flowing out for all the word to see, for anyone to see, for that matter... I know it's not easy (who wrote that... lord, it ain't easy, being, a human...... somewhere in my tape archives in my mind, the song faintly plays)... and it does not pay...

that may be the greatest challenge of all... in a culture that judges success mostly by how many toys you have, by the cut of your clothes and how many of the "right" things you can buy, most saving the world professions do not pay enough to consider them successful careers... at least many don't... doctors may do well, maybe even nurses... but teachers?... and at the grassroots level, the salaries can be near poverty... especially in some states, especially in the south... six to ten dollars an hour is the going rate for the people on the front lines who do get paid and most of the people doing the daily work of trying to feed the hungry or house the homeless or help the poor, people actually trying, giving their time and energy to save the world, are unpaid volunteers...

I've looked at life from both sides, now... I was able to live a very comfortable life for a while because I was paid well by New York State for managing residential facilities for some of the least wanted human beings in this country (and a lot of luck in the stock market)... and then I gave it all away (ah, the things we do for love)... now I am in Florida and the difference in culture and salary is amazing... I am not in the mood to reach for the managerial cap these days mostly because I can do more at the front line, as a direct care staff... there was a time when I hired hundreds of direct care staff and taught them the ropes...

I felt good about leading an organization that helped others, but I was missing the direct hands-on helping, the momentary verb, and so now I am back, at least for eight hours a day, spending time with people who need help... that is how I am saving the world, as much as I can, reaching out to kids who've been discarded by their families or confused by the cultural traps we superficially label drugs, alcohol, sex, and violence, easy labels that disguise the underlying challenges and issues that lead to self-destructive choices... a child learns by observation and experience and if a child does not learn love and self-esteem, that child can not teach his or her children and we have generations of people growing without love, without self-esteem, without basic inner security, without trust...

trust is an instinct people learn to live without
follows a vacuum, in rushes fear and doubt
love is an instinct lost in the presence of fear
reach out your hand and let us know you're there
here is my hand so you will know I'm here

because he'd rather make money he works another few hours
it's for the kids, he says, as he gets home and showers
but the kids have long gone to bed to sleep to dream
and they grow up looking for dad who's seldom seen

because she was left alone she works another few hours
it's to make ends meet, she says, as she falls into bed too tired to shower
and the kids rock themselves to sleep, at least they have a bed
and they grow up hurting like mom thinking dad is dead

because he'd rather get high he looks for another quick fix
lost in escape he forgets how it makes him sick
and the kids are left at home with an angry mom
and they grow up wondering what they did wrong

because they'd rather run away from a life where no one cares
they hit the streets and ignore the cold stares
for the kids have long gone ahead and given up
pass another smoke around, hey, what's in your cup?

because they'd rather buy the more expensive perfume
because they'd rather buy the house with the extra room
they don't have the time to care about the hungry or poor
they need to buy another lock for their mahogany door

because there's always somewhere we've got to run to
because there's always something else we've got to do
the roses go unsmelled and the children go to hell
and life goes on with or without you

trust is an instinct people learn to live without
follows a vacuum, in rushes fear and doubt
love is an instinct lost in the presence of fear
reach out your hand and let us know you're there
here is my hand so you will know I'm here

here is my song... so you will know I was here

so when I think about the new laptop or stereo or keyboard or music or the trip I'd like to take or the time I do not have to write and run and play and share all I'd like to share... I remember this feeling of living my dream of reaching out and helping someone, one person at a time, one moment at a time, day after days... and somehow, all the material stuff and extra comforts don't matter much anymore... for I'd rather sleep soundly on a bare floor with this feeling than sleep on a five thousand dollar mattress wondering why I wake up wondering what I am doing with my life and what it all means...

and I think of so many old childhood friends, oh, we cared so much then... we marched and we sang and we reached out our hands and helped others... we gave what we could, we hugged, we cooked, we passed out blankets... we believe in things, not material things, but in things we could feel in our hearts... we believed in the wonderful feeling of giving and believing we could make a difference in this world... that with out two hands we could plant a seed, and all our hands together could move mountains... and the smile on the children who received those unexpected gifts, and the tears in our eyes because it felt so good to give and because we wished we could do more... and the hope, the hope that we could make this world a better place, even if it was just for one person for one day, one person, one day at a time...

most of those friends have drifted away into different lives today for many reasons... some because they consider me a disappointment because I gave up the house in the country and fine clothes and magical platinum gold cards... I sigh, remembering one saying, "I expected you to be much more successful" and another saying "you could have done something more and still another telling me "you wasted your life"... and I wondered, "where did their hearts go?", as we parted with sad smiles, they driving off in their new BMW and Mercedes and Lexus, me in my old Chevy, knowing we'd probably not see each other much again...

and as I realize how alone and abandoned I feel sometimes... how an adopted family and so many friends who held money up as their god rejected my values and considered me a bum... and I realize how much whining I do sometimes, how mostly dead I feel sometimes when loneliness comes out of the night with it's dark mouth like a vacuum trying to suck me in and swallow me whole...

and then, like right now, I remember my muses and I trust them and I find inspiration out there... and in here, in words... and I can say to my friends, old and new, see, you don't have to worry about me (who?)... the kids are still alright...


Out of the Blue

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NOTE: Due to excessive comment SPAM, comments have been turned off... ironically, this month is the renewal for supergold membership and the comments feature... bad timing... you know how much I love feedback, so maybe there's be comments again one of these days... until then, please leave a note... thanks J

I love you all for coming... for reading all these words
for every click feels like more love (I know that sounds absurd)
if I could only tell you... one thing more tonight
I'd say
I wish you could come home with me and be my friends for life