Fantasyland is Closed Today

there are dreams 
and there are fantasies

the first, possibilities
the second, delusions

but what is the difference?
what is the line that, once crossed
leads to a spiraling descent into
frustration, depression, 


What is the difference between fantasies and adventures?

in the beginning, perhaps nothing
somewhere along the way
you begin to hear a voice
a stirring
a thought

a question?

and, if you stop and pay attention
the voice gets louder

you open your mind to see
the sign in front of your life

Fantasyland is closed today

tio stib

Waiting for the world

another project out the door
another time I’ve said

no more

and as I sit and catch my breath
there comes a sense of creeping death
for even though I’ve done my best
placed my work above the rest
crossed the t’s and dotted i’s

standing clear before my eyes
the naked truth won’t be disguised

in the flood of current books
mine won’t entice a second look

in a day
perhaps two
I’ll start fresh
begin anew
write some more
it’s what I do

because the world’s unlikely to come through 


holding my breath
is turning me blue

tio stib

The Blind Side Parables 28 – Passwords

Security precautions require that you reset your password

Enter new password


Passwords require at least one capital letter


Passwords require at least one symbol


Passwords require at least one number


Your session has expired
Please begin again

Moral: When computers start changing passwords just to mess with us, it’s over.

tio stib

The Blind Side Parables 27 – Rover and Julia

Where was he?

Julia fretted. they’d agreed to meet at midnight. It was one in the morning, but Rover was always late, and he always had a lame excuse.


Startled, Julia turned to the sound behind her. Somebody was out there, tapping on the glass, rapping on a window that was four stories up in a six story building.

She knew that goofy smile. There, dangling in the dark was her true love, the boy who had captured her heart, the one, and truly the only Rover Nightingale.

His full name was William Randolph Nightingale, III,but everyone called him rover, a nickname picked up in early youth because his attention span was slightly longer than the blink of an eye.

She smiled. He’d really come for her. He really did love her.

Then she frowned, but he was hanging on a rope outside her apartment. This fact didn’t bode well.

Rover pointed to the window latch. She opened it and slid the window up. With a singularly deft movement, rover swung his body through the opening and spilled onto the floor.

“Wow,! he giggle, rolling onto his back and smiling into his lover’s eyes, “that was a bit more than I’d bargained for.”

Julia just stared down, the obvious question on her mind.

rover responded to her confusion, “it was those nasty brothers of yours. They’re taking turns guarding the entry to the building and we know what they’d do to me if I tried going through the front door.”

His last direct approach had resulted in being summarily tossed from the local fishing pier into the river. Rover was not keen on repeating this near drowning.

Julia’s family had made it perfectly clear that a guy from Rover’s side of the tracks was not going to court their lovely daughter. They not only had a guard posted at the building entrance, they had cameras in the halls. The place was under constant surveillance.

But true love could not be thwarted. Rover had outsmarted them, dropping onto the roof from a neighboring building and rappelling down the building’s face to meet his beloved.

He quickly explained this to Julia, who, although quite impressed with his clever feat of access, asked the next obvious question.

“what now?”

Reading her mind, Rover reached into his knapsack and pulled out a pile of clothing which, shaken to life, became two frumpy dresses with accessories.

Julias eyes remained puzzled.

rover smiled, kissed her gently, then added, “disguises.”

Ten minutes later, their true identities concealed by floppy hats and ankle length dresses, a large, concerned woman had an arm draped around an obviously pregnant female whose baby, hinted at by the huge pillow stuffed about Julia’s midriff, was quite ready to burst into life.

the expectant mother looked up at her protector, “and you think this is enough to let us walk past the guard at the front door?”

Rover bent down and kissed his lover. “he smiled, took out his phone, and punched a button, saying,


Then, reaching into his bag, Rover pulled out a lighter and a string of firecrackers. He lit a fuse and tossed the explosives out the window.

With the first BAM! BAM! they were in the hall and down the stairs.

As Rover through open the front door, yelling, “don’t worry, dearie, we’re going to make it to the hospital,” the firecrackers were still going off.

Bam! BAM! BAM!

the bruiser at the door, trying to figure out what was happening on the street, barely noticed the two women flying past him down to the sidewalk and into a  car that suddenly appeared, then zoomed away.


And then silence.

The guard’s phone was ringing. He answered.

“What’s going on over there? What’s all the noise?”

“Just kids lighting off firecrackers.”

“Anything else/“

“A pregnant woman being hustled to the hospital.”

Then it hit him.

The other woman had been wearing the biggest pair of Air Jordans he’d ever seen.

Moral: Love will find a way

tio stib

A blind writer’s path to happiness – Which Mountain to Climb?

Happiness. What does that word mean to me? I’ve been thinking on this question of late. So far, I’ve decided that what happiness is for me is mostly what writing is not. Smiles, fun, good times shared with good people, feeling excited and grateful about life, looking forward to a new day, new adventures.

No, for me, writing, a solitary mentally taxing activity, is not much of any of these things.

Which tempts the obvious question, why do I choose to write if it doesn’t make me happy?

Because some things are simply work worth doing. Some things, like weeding a garden on a hot summer day, may not be pleasant or “happy” in the moment, but the results of the effort bring satisfaction later, sometimes days and weeks later, when the harvest finally comes in. Of course, you must like gardens to appreciate the value of weeding. I confess to liking stories and storytelling, which propels me to write in hopes of creating a good story someday.

Others have labelled such late returns as “delayed gratification.” I’m not sure it’s something to be proud of, but over the course of my life, I’ve become something of an expert in this area. As self-satisfying as this distinction has been at times, I’m now wondering why the hell I put off being “happy” so many times in hopes that my disciplined, focused, often martyr like work would later produce gratifying results. Such efforts included relationships that would have been more wisely abandoned in a matter of days instead of years.

This brings me to another “h” word that has shaped my life-


yes, along with being a disciple of the “delayed gratification” mantra, I’ve also ben prone to the “hope for better” syndrome. the irrational belief that if I worked harder, longer, better at whatever, the clouds would part, the sun would shine, and life would be beyond wonderful.

Someone once told me, “there is no hope.” Please, let’s not get into a pedantic diatribe about this four letter word, perhaps we can agree that “Hope” means whatever you or I or anyone else wants it to mean. I think the afore mentioned person’s take on “hope” was that one just can’t sit on a rock “hoping” that it will start raining gold, life reality is that “hope” can inspire us but “Work” is what makes dreams happen. As usual, this is a rather simplistic statement, at least in my experience.

I’d “hoped” to be an Olympic volleyball player and I “worked” for years to achieve this goal. However, there was a fundamental flaw in my hoped for vision. I did not have the physical attributes required to be a world class volleyball player. For those not familiar with the sport, one of volleyball’s defining features is an eight foot net which divides the two opposing teams. In order to be successful at this sport, you must be able to jump high above this eight foot obstacle. As I barely stand over five and one half feet tall, I was at a distinct disadvantage compared to players towering over six feet. Sure, there are short guys who can nearly jump over tall buildings but I was not one of them. Hence, This life choice was not well grounded in reality.

Did this limit my happiness playing volleyball? Ultimately, yes, because I wanted to win as that seemed to be the measure of success and my lack of height often prevented me from winning. Still, and this is a further reflection on my tendency to hang on too long to things that aren’t working, I played for many years “hoping” to somehow defy reality and reach my goal. A wiser man described such acts of futility as insanity.

Which, finally, brings me to the ultimate subject of this post, which mountain to climb?

I’ve come to believe that if I can face a life challenge each day and create happiness in the process of working to achieve that goal, it’s a mountain worth climbing. Blindness has made such choices much simpler as I’ve had to accept that many things I used to do are not practical anymore. I don’t climb real mountains, sail oceans, or play any sort of sports involving balls which i cannot see. This void was depressing for awhile but eventually I followed my wife’s lead and began to simply enjoy the delights of our daily walks, the pleasure of biting into a tuna fish sandwich on toasted wheat bread, the enjoyment of conversation with neighbors. Then, there’s still writing and storytelling, work I do that is not often fun but eventually rewarding.

All said and done, this blind writer is finding his life path sprinkled more and more with bursts of happiness because I’m making smarter choices on which mountains to climb, and, most important, I’m simply enjoying climbing.

tio stib

Jul, 2017

You might also enjoy “Perfection,” “Fishing

The Blind Side Parables 26 – Why Geese Fly in a V-formation:

“Gramps, why do geese fly in a V?”

The pair were sitting together on a shoreline bench when they’d heard the loud honking behind them. Now, a flock of geese, in a telltale V formation, flew over their heads.

“That’s a very good question, Max,” the old man responded.

There was a pause as the older man and his grandson watched a sky filled with honking, flapping V’s sweep by.

“First, geese are cooperative creatures. By flying in a “V” form, they greatly reduce their collective air resistance and so increase their flight range.

Man and boy continued to stare upward as more and more formations of geese rushed past.

Gramps continued, “The goose at the head of the V is not necessarily the leader of the flock. Geese take turns leading. As one bird tires, it drops to the back of the formation and another takes its place. Flying in a V-form increases visibility as each bird can see what’s happening in front of them. Now that’s teamwork.”

The boy considered this information, then asked, “But why do they honk so much?”

Gramps smiled, “When flying, geese honk to provide recognition to each other helping them maintain speed and stay in formation.

There was silence as the last of the migrating geese faded into the clouds.

The boy sighed, “All those geese getting along, flying in formation, getting where they need to go, nothing like the traffic jams Dad complains about driving to and from work. Why don’t people cooperate like the geese do?”

The old man put an arm over the boy’s shoulder and hugged him, “another very good question.”

Moral: In Nature, the truth is plain to see.

tio stib

You might also enjoy: Do It Anyway; The Blindside Parables 22 - Life is Like a Broken Egg