My status

Friday, February 23, 2018


Grunting through the last few miles at the old railroad bridge, my 50# ruck seems heavier, but I remain resilient. My trusty Garmin GPS watch, circa 2004 with its large digit numbers, maintains perfect time with my heightened, if not bedraggled gait. I pledged in November to ruck for 26.2 miles and only a week past a 3-day stint at the hospital, I am making good on that bit of nonfeasance. Each step brings me back to thoughts of every moment I had rucked prior with various units, companies and companions.

From the stillness of abandoned farm houses in Hungary, to the bitter shadows of mass graves in Bosnia, to the rapidly unsettling moonlit journeys on the Ivory Coast of Africa, each step echoes a pulse of permanence & blinding memories to mind. My feet suffer, reel even, from injuries from over activity, carelessness and duty. I ache and struggle to proceed. My Nike tennis shoes, an opposition of fashion to the monochromatic military field clothing draping my structure, dutifully keep pace, even as my intention strengthens.

On the eve of my 44th birthday, I feel renewed --- inspired even, as much I would ever allow myself to believe in my false hopes of ambition, success or potential. Two seasons removed from a heart attack, loss of both parents, complications of employment, relocation and strife, I feel as rugged as the rip-stop Kevlar embracing my shoulders. The grit, the rebellion finally lining up --- no longer a boy trying to prove to others of his travels, braggadocios or ashamed of his struggles or fortitude, but a man owning these truths and sharpening his steel in purpose, not defiance to the world around him.

The world has changed him yet again, but this time, the reemergence will be legendarylaughing to himself, perhaps surreptitiously meaningful.

Realizing with each step, it is okay to be strong, it is okay to be at peace. It is okay to be me.

I don't have to be weaker, to make others feel stronger.
I don't have to abdicate my dreams, to allow others to realize their own.

In the midst of the shadows and solitude, I am healing. The darkness always provides shelter from the harshness of travel, bitterness of your burdens, absolution from your lies and hope without the promise of the sunrise.

Sometimes, we need to make our own way, be our own source of light.
One day others may rise and fall with our arrivals, our sunsets, look to us for their warmth ----

If God is willing, I shall be that man.

44 --- The best is yet to come.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Bleeding out...

To bleed is to both purge and perish, equal parts anguish & admonishment. I stood steadfast and unwavering in the chilled rain, weeping blood down my side in the darkened night air. The pathways around my immediate stance all leading down to the center of the concrete parking lot into the metallic grated abyss. Down, down, down we go into the bowels of hell I supposed. Figuring in that moment, the irony swirled around the conflicts waging around my head. Undulating between wearing crown and thorns, I am both hated and revered. This has not changed for a lifetime. Undaunted, I dare not attempt to locate the source of my dribble, my bloodshed. It all seems so routine by now, so expected, so deserved. My walk has never been about glory for its own sake, happiness for its own gain, or believing that the light of the day will lead me home. Blood lost on so many countless souls unable or unwilling to stand beside me when the darkness falls. Intentions, interest, intrigue and intimacy are insufficient. I am far too damaged, too flawed, too disjointed. The murmuring of my tainted path, my journey, piques curiosity, pity even consolation. But not love.

Love has evaded me, perhaps for my own skill in its mishandling. Perhaps for my deeds done in the name of love, the auspices of its shroud, the sanctity of its masquerade. I have never witnessed the mercy of its presence when I stand bleeding. At times from my own hand, from my own words. Other times, just an inconvenient truth that I was not going to be valiant enough to rescue their souls...from both themselves, their own choices and to provide them with better moments. I am easy to give up on and place back upon the shelf in the antique village, no one else the wiser. Means to an end at best for most....At my worst, a soul to bide the minutes with a faded glory scarred and weary athletic frame and at my best, a thought provoking, wise enigma of sorts a bit too whimsical, too angular for anything more a passing friend. Bleeding, I am left alone to relish in the scent of my own demise.

The walkways enlighten with the crimson current and I smile, both from intangible blood loss, and my own sickened belief that maybe this is my penance once again. I care less to terminate its flow as the passing minutes tick onward. I am prepared for my judgment, my day of resolve and reckoning. I have loved, and attempted to have been loved by others in this lifetime, at least as much I can comprehend the concept. I have both drawn blades of steel and cloths of comfort to those who were bleeding before me. It is bewildering dichotomy to live with such memories of my steps, the grounds in which I have traversed.

I feel weary and weak, succumbing to the fervent reality that my choice is clear. Heal yourself, so you can love yourself and others or continue to bleed out and perish in my own recklessness. In my weakened state, I muster my voice and plead out to God, perhaps undeservedly, as others believers have for centuries..... Heal me Father.....if it is Your will.

Heal my walk....

For now, I continue to bleed...



I am weary...