Blind Man on a Bench

a surprise lover
the cool breeze kisses my cheek
my body delights
in sunshine’s warm embrace

wavelets lap softly on the sand
the scent of seashore drifts into my nose
a fly buzzes by

birds surround me
chirping behind
squawking above
honking across the water
laughter approaches

raucous conversation
“good morning!”
“Good morning to you”
the footsteps fade
a blast of male perfume persists

I bite an apple
my lips pucker


immersed in a beautiful day
mind swimming in memories

a blind man on a bench

tio stib

You might also enjoy: High on Gratitude, Hope

The Blind Side Parables 21 – Life is Like a Broken Egg

Yesterday I dropped an egg. Actually, I didn’t drop it. Being blind, I surmised it rolled unseen off the counter. I heard a noise near the floor. In a microsecond, my brain flashed through the possible sources of such a noise. At the same instant, my brain reached another conclusion. The toes on my right foot were also sending signals to my sensory center. Something gooey was down there. 

A broken egg! 

As I groped about, cleaning the shattered shell and its slimy contents from between my toes, I pondered the symbolic relevance of this event.

Yes, I am easily drawn into metaphysical absurdities.

Perhaps, I wondered, my life is like a broken egg. Here I am, marching along unseen by most of the world and then, crash! I splat into eternity, possibly making a mess for someone else to clean up as I exit. 

That's one possibility. 

My mind drifted off in other directions. I remembered a structures class where we dropped eggs in specially designed containers from a third story balcony. The object, of course, was to preserve the integrity of the egg. The challenge was to do this with as little material as possible. It’s no problem to put an egg in a big box of bubble wrap and drop it unfazed onto the floor below. The trick is to drop the egg, mostly naked, with the same result.

 Similarly in life, I thought, there’d been times I’d insulated myself with such 
things as work and selfish interest so that the rest of the world couldn’t touch me, and I couldn’t touch the people who cared about me because I was too closed off from them. 
There have been naked opposite times when I was raw and open, times when I felt that life had run me over and left me for roadkill. Going bankrupt and watching friends die come to mind.

My lesson from these experiences: Sometimes it’s good to overprotect. Sometimes it’s good to hurt. The pain reminds me of happier times.

All this you may say, from simply having an egg hit the floor? Yes, and there’s more.

What if I’m like an egg? A hard, durable shell on the outside and a soft sticky mess inside. My outside, that part of me I show the world, is a lot like the shell of an egg. It’s quite resistant to general pressures, quite strong when grasped firmly. But, the shell has its weak points. It doesn’t do well with pressure applied to a single point.

Oh yes, I have my buttons. I hate cleaning up other people’s messes, such as wiping up their broken eggs. I have no tolerance for fools, which is why politics disgusts me. The egg shell is also brittle. It doesn’t do well when landing on sharp objects. I explode when subject to sharp noises, and am even more violent when subject to the sound of barking chihuahuas. 

Really, all this from a broken egg. 

My last thoughts on this surprisingly deep self-dialog.

How do you crack an egg? I use two hands. Even so, I often make a mess of this simple action, sometimes striking a nearby surface so hard that the shell cracks open and leaves a trail of egg goo from there to the frying pan. (This is a clue to what I usually do with eggs, hinting at my limited cooking repertoire). Sometimes, when my mind is somewhere else such as now, I fail to hit the egg hard enough, it doesn’t crack, waking me from my reverie to initiate another strike on the shell. This usually results in the previously mentioned egg goo trail. 

What does this say about my life? I tend to be overly cautious and conservative. Do I lack faith in my creative abilities to expand my egg cuisine? Maybe I’m just lazy.

One of my life goals is to learn how to crack an egg with one hand. I think this may take quite a few eggs. I’ve heard that gin fizzes are a good use for egg whites and an easy way to forget about life's deeper concerns. 

Time to get out the blender.

Moral: If you think too much making breakfast, you may find the yolk is on you.

tio stib

You might also enjoy: Where the Sidewalk ends; The Blindside Parables 17 - Superman

Paddling a Submarine vs. Living an Authentic Life 

Last night I dreamed I was paddling a canoe up a lake in the middle of the night. It was calm, I felt peaceful, yet there was one concern. The canoe was underwater. I was trying to paddle a submarine.

I’ve spent years listening to my dreams, paying attention to patterns, weighing the emotions of dreams with respect to my life at the moment. I believe larger forces speak to me in that unconscious world, forces that can guide me to awareness of deeper truths. This pushes me to wonder, why was I paddling a submarine?

I know there are many ways to interpret dreams, but ultimately, I tend to accept that my dreams are about me. Over the years, I’ve noticed that when I’m honest about how I feel in my dreams, they have given me clues to parts of me I needed to pay attention to.

Paddling a submarine. I feel this dream was about my need to live an authentic life. Paddling the canoe was me moving forward in life. My goal was to get to the end of the lake, to a state of inner peace, but I was struggling because I was keeping my emotions below the surface. If I would allow my feelings to express themselves above the water, I would have less resistance to life and my journey would be immensely easier.

I need to be genuine, original, true and trustworthy, and not be in fear of what the world may think of me in my many moments of  smallness.

Authenticity means to be honest, to be vulnerable, to take risks. Authenticity is built one day, one choice, at a time. It is a process of continually stepping out of my comfort zone and engaging the world from a place of worthiness vs. shame.

Authenticity is a daily journey into the wilderness of being fully alive.

What’s the greater risk I ask myself? Living life based on what other people think, or being vibrantly alive based on how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?

This blog, “Travels with Tio, a blind writer’s path to happiness,” is my journey, my choice, to be all of me, fully alive. It is one way I will raise myself from paddling a submarine, to paddling a canoe, to perhaps even flying.

What does authenticity mean to you? How does it affect your life?

Please share your feelings on being the authentic “you”.

tio Stib

2013, 2017, 2018

Brene’ Brown recently gave a TED talk, “Listening to Shame,” in which she explores the challenges of authenticity. Brown believes authenticity is a process, a series of choices we make in our lives, choices made each day, in each moment, to be real…or not.

Here’s the link:


Morning People

You’ve seen them or
if your eyes won’t open yet
you’ve heard them
buzzing into your life at 8 a.m.
babbling about how great it is to be working
anxious to charge into a new day

morning people

I groan
who started the myth that 3 hours sleep 
can propel you through a new day

it certainly wasn’t me

Lifting an aching head from my desk
I rub my eyes in disbelief when 
a morning person
complete with bright smile and jogging shoes
asks if I’d like to take a quick walk during break

I groan
head collapsing back onto desk

thank god, it’s Friday
I’ll have the weekend to recover

from morning peoplitis

tio stib

You might also enjoy: Life is Like a Broken Egg; Control Freaking

The Blind Side Parables 20 – Adapt, Migrate, or Don’t Be Happy

Pete is sitting in front of the television, beer and chips in hand, watching the championship football game. He’s been looking forward to this all week.

She marches in, stands defiantly in front of the television and blurts, “The sun’s shining and you’ve promised to cut the grass for weeks. It’s time!”

Pete considers the options:

Adapt: He could negotiate, promise to cut the grass immediately after the game, never mind that it’s already 4 p.m., and darkness will engulf the yard at 6, not to mention this is a double header day. Or, he could offer to do the yard tomorrow, hoping she doesn’t remember that he’s already promised to take the family to the Wonderland Theme Park.

Yes, Pete could adapt by trying to negotiate. In this case his options are limited as this is the tactic he used the past two weeks in avoiding the task.


Migrate. He could arrange for his buddy, Harry, to call and then tell his wife he urgently needs help fixing a broken hot water heater, back as soon as possible. Of course, the hot water heater is fine, but now the guys can watch the games undisturbed in Harry’s man cave garage.

The downside of this option is that the two wives are also friends. They’ll talk, and Pete’s wife will realize she’s been scammed.

Pete’s options are now reduced to the final-

Don’t be happy.

Yes, it may come to this. After reviewing all Pete’s other options and their consequences, he may just have to get out and mow the damn yard or face the continued wrath of his wife.

But wait, perhaps there is another possibility-

Let’s reconsider “adapt.”

Man’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances has been the single most important means of his survival on planet Earth. What is another way Pete could adapt to this crisis?

He could call Billy, the teenage kid next door, and offer him twenty bucks to cut the yard, plus a free beer on the side. For an extra ten spot, he could probably get Billy to wash the wife’s car too.

Pete smiles and picks up his phone. “Honey, you’re absolutely right. I’m going to take care of this right now.”

Moral: In any perilous situation, man has three choices: adapt, migrate, or don’t be happy.

tio stib

You might also enjoy: The Blindside Parables 18 - Timeman; If, by Rudyard Kipling

Walking With My Lover’s Ghost

walk with me
I hear her softly plead
walk with me

and so I rise and go
take the hand that isn’t there
feel the joy in her smile
the smile only my heart can see
hear the memory of her gleeful calls
her waves to passing children
as she scampers to greet them

hugging close
faces glowing in the morning sun
a gentle breeze caresses us
sitting on our seaside bench

I kiss her tenderly
taste the love upon her lips
inhale the sweet scent of her soul
embrace the grace that made us one
blessed us

touching the emptiness beside me
tears slide down my cheeks

I plead
walk with me

and I rise again
move on

walking with my lover’s ghost

tio stib

You might also appreciate: You Will Always Be My Valentine; My Dementia Diary

The Blind Side Parables 19 – He’s Here!

“We’re saved”

“He’s here!”

The shouts rang out all over town. After two thousands years, the Messiah had returned.

but the arguments had already begun.

“He’s coming to our church first!”

“Why your church, ours is bigger?”

“No way, our church is older, he’ll certainly start with us.”

It was bitter chaos, a dozen churches claimed first dibs on the son of God. Then, someone suggested a lottery. Put all the church names in a hat and draw a winner.

But who would do the picking?

It had to be an atheist or an agnostic. No, not an agnostic, he might try to cover his bets.

Meanwhile, the only atheist around was leaving town. the long haired hobo had his thumb out. He’d been sneered at and spat on until a little girl in a passing car called out, “look Mommy, it’s Jesus!”

Then things had really got nuts.

It was time to get away before the Christians started warring over their pedigrees.

ring over their pedigrees.

Moral: God doesn’t always mean good.

tio stib

You might also enjoy: The Blindside Parables 17-Superman; Life in reverse by George Carlin

Old Men Walking Dogs

I meet a lot of old men walking dogs
sometimes we stop and talk a bit
how’s it going? 
what’s your dog’s name
one guy is a poet who offers his daily verse
I listen, smile, and pet Rocky

continuing on, I wonder
should I get a dog?
do I need a dog?
my daughter thinks so
she’s always urging me 
you need a pet
something to fill the hole in your life
the emptiness from losing your wife

yes, I concur
there is a hole
certainly an emptiness
but there is also a deep, rich
feeling of gratitude
that I was blessed to have had
even for a short time
the bliss of perfect love

I do like dogs
have had a few over the course of years
but these beautiful creatures require, yes need
a certain kind of responsible care
and you can’t just lay them off on your kids
like grandchildren
when you tire and can’t keep up your end of the deal

so I do my morning walks alone
greet the other old men passing by
pet their dogs
and walk on

but I’m never alone

love is always with me now

tio stib

You might also enjoy: Walking With My Lover’s Ghost; Life in reverse by George Carlin

The Blind Side Parables 18 – The Legend of Johnny Ringo

It was dead quiet in Dust Devil, Wyoming. All eyes were on the two men facing each other under the hot, noon sun. There was going to be a gunfight on Main Street.

One of the men  was going to die.

“Well Bronc,” said the younger man, dressed in black with silver spurs jangling on his polished boots, “seems like folks are expecting us to fight.”

Bronc, a big hulk, not nearly as fashionably dressed, merely grunted, his beady black eyes riveted on the kid in front of him.

“Now, I think it’s only fair,” the kid continued, “that you have a realistic idea of just how fast I am, so you don’t have any illusions you might beat me.”

Bronc grunted again and the kid smelled whiskey on the grizzled man’s breath.

It was true that no one had ever outdrawn Johnny Ringo, but it was also true that he’d never killed anyone who face him, but nobody in town knew that. They just knew he was a legend, the fastest gun in the West.

Johnny reached into his shirt pocket, pulled out a bright, shiny silver dollar, and reached out to Bronc.

“Tell you what,” Johnny said, “before we get serious, I like your hat. Here, I’ll trade you mine for yours, and even give you this silver dollar.”

Surprised, but not stupid, Bronc thought a moment, then took the dollar and the men exchanged hats.

Johnny smoothed the felt on the faded, beat cowboy hat he held, “a fine hat, Bronc. thanks.”

Bronc pulled the stylish, new, black sombrero over his mangy hair and smiled. He’d certainly come out ahead on that deal.

Johnny stared him down. “Pay attention, Bronc, watch how fast I draw and shoot this hat out of the air.”

Before Bronc could even smirk, Johnny tossed the old hat high into the air.

Bam! A shot rang out and echoed from the storefronts along Main Street.

the hat changed direction, floated down,  and settled at Bronc’s feet.

Bronc gaped at the hat. there were two holes in it. Shot clean through. Dumbstruck, he looked up at Johnny.

The kid spoke, “Did you see my draw? Want me to do it again?”

Bronc hadn’t even seen the kids hand move. Damn, he really was fast.

Johnny picked up the hat, dusted it off, held it out to Bronc. “Now friend, we could get on with the gunfight, but I think you know now how that will play out. The next time I draw there’s going to be a bullet going through your head.”

Johnny paused to let this reality sink into Bronc’s liquor clouded brain.

“You can either walk away alive or..”

Another pause.

Johnny continued. “Play it smart and I’ll give you your hat back and even autograph it.”

Bronc’s gun hand was shaking as he reached for the black sombrero. Johnny took out a pen and signed the shot up hat.

Trading hats, they parted ways.

The town gasped in relief.

“Jeez, that Johnny Ringo is lightnin’ fast.”

“Did you see him draw?” 

Nobody had. He really was the fastest gun in the West.

Johnny sauntered into the saloon, smiled at the reverential faces, and paid for a round. then, making his goodbyes, he headed for the livery to find his horse.

“Well, Johnny, you beat the odds again,” said a voice from the barn’s shadows.

A young woman with a big smile and a mess of brown curls spilling from under her cowboy hat, came into the light. She had a rifle under her arm.

“Sure as shootin’ Janey,” Johnny answered, pulling her into a tight embrace and kissing the lips he knew so well.

He whispered, “Damn,  you are surely the best shot I’ve ever seen.”

Moral: If you’re going to be a legend, it helps to have good backup.

tio stib

You might also enjoy: The Blindside Parables 17 - Superman; If by Rudyard Kipling
Category: Life Journey Poems & Prose

tags: humor, fiction, life lessons