In Nature I am Home

I’ve Never Felt alone

on countless journeys
off the maps
on trips of whim and circumstance
without a friend and miles from men

I’ve never felt alone

on stormy nights 
and raucous seas
rivers wild and mountains free
near howling wolves
and singing stars

I’ve never felt alone

sitting by a sparking fire
aspens whispering in the breeze
morning mist outside the tent
no footprints
whichever way I went

I’ve never felt alone

there is a peace in wilderness
where souls can breathe in openness
midst meadow flowers and humming bees
the stillness of majestic trees
clouds that melt in azure skies
watchful eyes as I pass by
a world where love embraces me
a love beyond what words can be

when I’m torn by fear and loss
when smallness grabs my soul
the memories of my wilderness
comfort my heart

sometimes I’ve wondered 
how this might be
to wander lone and absently
with no need for humanity

one thought keeps coming
back to me

in nature, I am home

tio stib

You might also enjoy: The Crossing, Life Journey Poems & Prose

Life Is Like A Broken Egg

Yesterday I dropped an egg. Actually, I didn’t drop it, I surmise it rolled unseen off the counter. I heard a noise near the floor. In a microsecond, my brain flashed through the possible causes of such a noise. At about the same time, 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 around cleaning the shattered shell from the floor and then its contents from my foot, I pondered the symbolic relevance of this event in my life.

Yes, I tend to get lost in my own world at times.

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. 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.

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 goals for the New Year 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.

Like how my life is like a broken egg.

tio stib
2014, 2016, 2018

First published in January, 2014, but since I haven’t mastered the one handed egg crack yet, I decided to publish this again to remind myself of goals I’ve yet to attain.

You might also enjoy : Truth, It’s Coming

Selling Out to Google Maps

I may be blind but I can still feel the sun’s warmth on my face and if it’s noon, I know I’m pointed south. On a recent family trip, I felt the sun’s noon warmth and knew we were driving south. but, Napa was north. We were headed in the wrong direction. What had happened?

The driver had entered the desired destination into Google Maps on his smart phone. However, deep into conversation with his front seat companion, he’d missed a turn. We were now not only headed in the wrong direction, we were about to cross a toll bridge.

Yes, the female Google Maps voice did eventually sort things out. We turned around, paid the toll to recross the bridge, and got headed north. but how had the driver made such an obvious mistake in direction? I pondered this question as we drove on in search of amiable wineries and fine wines. I noted several other google Map miscues, the computer guide was far from perfect. We were doing our third circle of the same block before the driver realized he’d missed another turn.

What happens when we sell our souls to Google Maps?

In this case, the driver had surrendered all connection with the reality outside his vehicle. He had no idea which way was south and that south was the wrong direction. He had no vision of the larger world he was operating in, trusting that a voice from a computer would take care of his directional needs.

True, google Maps did eventually get him to the wineries he was seeking. but at what cost? What did he miss along the way? what sights, what experiences, what happenings were left unnoticed because he was content to live within the isolated bubble of his automobile reality?

I wonder what kind of world it will be when the majority of people around me are content to live in such bubbles. It seems obvious that such lives would be self-centered, caring little for most of what lies outside their isolated existence, things like, weather, sunsets, Nature in all its wonders.

Ouch! Not my kind of world. Not my kind of life. I’ve been blessed with a lifetime of adventures with road maps, topographical maps, nautical charts, maps on napkins, all kinds of real, touchable maps. How boring life would have been without all those maps guiding me to lost places, crazy characters, and unexplored  frontiers.

“No, sonny, Denio Hot Springs ain’t on the map. Buy me a beer and I’ll show you where it is.”

“Damn, I’m thirsty! Do you think the name ‘Sometimes Creek’ means it’s not here in the summertime?”

“I think that vacant gas station we just passed was the town of Desolation. So much for our cold beer break.”

“The vulture sitting on the sign seems to say that things are not so great in Paradise, population 2.”

“Yeah, that big X on Wally’s map meant big rapids. Next time, tell us before we get sucked into a monster like that.”

“I know we’re out of gas, but that spot you thought was a town is a piece of chocolate.”

I dare you to break your bubble, turn off your smart phone, grab a real map, and chase your own adventures.

You might even get lost.

Tio Stib

You might also enjoy: Dead Horse Point, Ridge Runner

 

Jumping Off

leaning out the open door
time roars by
it’s gone
no more
I wonder what my life might be
had I the courage to jump free

behind me in the train’s cocoon
dreams fly off to distant moons
faces glued to heartless screens
joyless stares and silent screams

and so we travel every day
secure and safe or so we say
the child no longer comes to play
the status quo will have its way

will I stay an untold story
remain in hopeless purgatory
pretending that I care no more
soul crying for its need to soar

then I jumped off into space
the unknown flying in my face
It’s not clear where I will land
no matter
I am free again

tio stib

2016, 2017

You might also enjoy: Life is Like a Broken Egg, Paddling a Submarine vs. Living an Authentic Life.

For Want of Open Minds

For Want of Open Minds

 

He asked my thoughts on politics
but before my mouth could move
he stormed ahead with words of dread
drowning out the room

and on he went, a raging flood
I chose to bide my time
for it was plain enough to hear
I couldn’t change his mind

no reasoned fact, no cautioned note
no interested plea
was going to change this zealot’s fears
about humanity

I smiled and offered my goodbye
I scarcely think he heard
for he was talking to himself
since no one else concurred

a sad day for democracy
sad for humankind
when we fail to listen with respect
for want of open minds

 

tio stib, 2017

Michael Moore’s “Trumpland” Explains Why Trump Won

Yes, like many Americans, I was stunned by Donald Trump’s astonishing election as the next president of the United States. No, I didn’t vote for him. His vile, bullying, and deceitful behavior during his candidacy left me both cold and embarrassed to be an American. No, I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton either. Rightly or wrongly, I believed her to be part of an elitist political establishment that had little real concern for me or the rest of everyday America. I was an ardent Bernie Sanders supporter. Bernie is a good man, a decent human being, whose history of committed service to Main Street America, whose honesty and integrity, sparked me to political activism because I truly felt he was working for me. Sadly, Bernie didn’t make it past the Democratic Convention. Sadly, Bernie was not a real choice for president come election day. Instead, it was Clinton vs. Trump, not choices I could support. And Trump won.

This leaves me with two thoughts. First, Michael Moore saw all this coming last July. He correctly posited what would happen when what was formerly white middle class America reared up and roared it’s rage against the political establishment. He noted that this powerful elite had simply stopped listening to their constituency, and this complacency cost them dearly.

I’ve always enjoyed Michael Moore’s work, finding his voice to be insightful, compelling, and often humorous, a beacon of democratic freedom of expression and a reminder that democracy is the responsibility of each citizen.

Here’s the link to a summary of Moore’s “Trumpland” explanation of the election-

http://www.ew.com/article/2016/11/09/michael-moore-trumpland

Lastly, I must now confront my own responsibility for what is happening in America today, the divisiveness, the anger, even hatred, the polarization and tendency towards separation, all thinking and behaviors that run contrary to truly democratic process. I must push myself to pay attention, to listen with respect, to seek common ground and work for collective solutions to whatever challenges face my community, America, and the world I’m blessed to live in.

It is now, in this time of turmoil and difficulties that we each must work to be courageous, to stand for what is right, to listen with respect, to hold dear to the principles of freedom and equality that America was founded on. And we must never give up in our commitment to these ideals.

Be kind! Be strong! Be inspired!

Tio Stib