Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Living Through Fear

I can see clearly now.

That might be the most unexpected thing to see after experiencing what you've feared  most in life.

I just experienced my first kidney stone. 

There are certainly more painful things to experience, but I'd seen more people go through this than anything else.

So many had said it was one of the most painful things they had lived through.

* * * 

I wonder if  living through your worst fear makes you see so clear.

* * * 

Or was it drinking so much water, Yoga, and having watermelon and pomegranate. Watermelon, pomegranate, rice and  "kidney" beans can help dissolve a kidney stone.

Sometimes dissolving a problem is better than forcing it out.

I wonder if kidney beans are called that  because of what they remedy.

* * * 

While you’re in excruciating pain--in your worst fear—you start to think of many things.

Is this what it is like to give birth?

Is this what the end of life feels like?

How much pain can I take? Can the mind control what you feel?

The pain then causes you to move on to other thoughts.

I wish I had jogged this morning. Or, why did I eat that extra pork chop last night? 

Restlessness is one of the symptoms of a kidney stone. Who knew! 

 I hesitated to post anything on Facebook. I don't fashion self-pity.  But I was curious to know what everyone did in this situation. Hmm..."water"...or "beer" piss this away. 

* * *

Moving around helps relieve the pain. I started to think of Neil Peart and his 55,000 mile motorcycle journey after his wife and daughter died. Motion was healing, he said.  

Then I wondered, was this the end?

I started to reflect on things I had done or hadn’t done.

It felt so special to have had such good friends in life and a beautiful child.

I wanted to love again. Travel the world.  I was in my thoughts. 

* * * 

I was just working on the estate of my Dad who recently had a kidney stone and wondered was this a sign? I wrote  my sister to give everything I was about to inherit from my Dad to my child.  I thought of a few others too…but there was no time to think of everyone and write it out. Pain limits what you can think.

I thought of my business partner – and the work we had painstakingly done in the past year to gain our position. What would become of this? How would it carry on? Life is indeed short. You can’t take your timeline for granted.

Steve Jobs didn't take his timeline for granted. In the last  decade of his life, he launched Apple Stores, iPod, iPad, iPhone...and changed the music industry with iTunes. Who does that past midlife or even in one decade while young? No one. 

I had just read about Steve Jobs getting his kidney stone while being a rare  CEO of two public companies - Pixar and Apple. 

I thought of a beautiful picture I had just shared of the Manhattan Bridge taken from the Gothamist office in Brooklyn. I wondered would this be the last photo I posted? No one ever expects any post to be the last.

I was grateful for having been a guinea pig student to a yoga teacher to know how to do some poses (feet above the head) that help flush out a kidney stone.

* * *

I had the symptoms too…sweat, chills, and occasionally nauseous.

* * *

I thought of things like how could the water cooler be in such an inconvenient location….this probably indirectly curbed my water intake. I wondered why my Wi-Fi was blinking on or off. Why now – when I needed to look up stuff most. The iPhone was comforting to have in this situation—small enough to carry while you’re in any position.

I was grateful a New York conference call was postponed. I also wanted to tell someone who felt unresolved to feel better.

At the same time, you start to see how meaningless many things are…the only things that matter is making good history and making good people happy.

There was no grey in this ordeal. Everything was straight up.

Then after 4 hours, it was done.  I was feeling good. And I felt so lucky. A pain much shorter than normal was gone.

I started to see clearly again. I felt like running. My adrenalin shot up. Life was real again.  I wondered if this is what a mother feels after giving birth. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thumbing Down a Highway

The self-idolizing idol
Wears no clothes

My thoughts
Got shoved into 140 letters

Her words threw punches
In the air
Music gave 'em gloves

Death made her angry
She smiled less in life
A lesson she'd learned
One too many times

He sang like
It was that time of the month
Just like every month

As a City goes in circles

One man thought too highly of himself
In his struggle

One man thought he was bigger
Than a community

But she didn't say anything
She stepped aside
He didn't know what was real
She only knew her road

One woman thought she was crazy
But time just needed to catch up
For a bottle of wine
To give this bouquet

She started sayin' sorry less
And she started singing more

And she on a Tuesday night
Was Still in love
With everything
That night

He started to speak
A language of intoxication
Fragments of a subway conversation
Before expounding his poetic genius

She was only 18
Talkin' funny lines

No one knew her genius
Before Time would one day catch up

He stuck around
To sing
About this street
In mid life

No longer young
Aging with the wind
Fighting for its life

He played an instrument
No one knew he had

Everybody around me
Is thinking
They know
What they see

A woman from another country
Makes you dream of another country

Two women dream of a new life
A new dream
Of something not the same
Dancing in the rain

One man needs to say yes
10 times in 6 months
To open a new door
If he can

 I was daydreaming
And I missed a turn

I heard a new voice
Wondering, what is an old voice?
And then saw a tall man
Sing young

A drummer dropped in from Santiago
Wondering if he'd found the right place
Looking for a man named Pablo
There but never on the billing

A man came in with heart
Who used to sing with a lotta heart

A woman who took pictures of a bridge
Was no longer there
But the bridge still stood
Shining bright

Grey Dog coffee shop
Where we met
Was suddenly gone
To an expensive neighborhood
With cheaper rent

 Met a man from Haiti
Who lost all his friends in the quake
We spoke of Moriso
Whose words still stand
Whose beats still beat

A song lasts 100 years
Long after we are dead
Longer than anything that stands

Longer than a home

A woman from Canada came
And I knew 2 places on her street
A fiddler for Nelly Furtado dropped by
And their van was robbed of JD and GPS

A piano man asked me
To name a bad pop song
He could  free hand better
On the fly

I thought of Rick Astley
Never Gonna Give You Up
A karaoke video from Nashville
And a  hungover bartender

Later a man sung Poor Me
Stripped of lanterns
As it neared midnight

He was long past overtime

The inky skies showing
Where airplanes once flew
Were starting to fade
Tracing the night

Earlier a painter painted 3 singers live
Immortalized in colors
Singing of the past
Words that came to last

A singer born into Bossa Nova royalty
Tells me how they tested sound in a car
Sound in less than perfect sound
How it sounds for real

His lines were inarticulate
But painted a landscape
A line for everyone
He'd just seen

A guitarist heads to Sao Paulo 
Where there is litte green he says
He asks me to hear his record
And write him what I think 

A Samba guitarist plays
As 3 men drink Bordeaux

And Ohio started to beat
As a blues man from Brisbee beamed
Next to a woman in red shoes

Impromptu he sung
Brooklyn bar patrons
Filled his pitcher with paper

She smiled and saved my world
She smiled and showed me a new world

She sang so well -  Stranger Than Fiction
And about a town
In a different language
That had a beautiful sound

She dedicated a song but did not mean to brag
He played a little guitar so big
She had a big voice
From a small frame

He wore an NY hat
And had a lot more to live
Another man lost his heart
And was looking for some place to find it

Her art didn't make any sense
But she felt so much
And sounded like poetry

She had a degree in making sense
Of what didn't make sense
Two jazz musicians played classical
I thought I saw John Malkovich in the house

She served me two Manhattans
I hadn't had in years
I slept on a street
Where Jonesing with the Jones
Once happened

He closes Mondays
A bar fixture of decades
He met a friend from California
He hadn't seen since Berkeley
Who'd sing American traditions
No one else sung

In the car, a 17 yr old sang
About a man with a beard
Covering up a smile
Once there

He heard a new blues man sing
A song an old friend wrote
Who died long ago

I heard a blues man no one knew
Whose face you could not see
Who influenced Jimi

The Secret Identity sold out
As the cowboy sung Hurt
Dressed in a news cap

She sung a lonely song
Very lonely

He saw no crowd and sung
A vagabond who'd just arrived

A history buff listened
And knew his stories

 A canopy was taken down
To let light in
Where the sun hadn't shone in decades

The accordion plays gypsy to tango with a piano
Acrobats on a small stage
Two friends who sung 8 yrs ago
Trombones trying to play violin
Two guitarists Damn Good

Yesterday was like driving 12 hours
Into a Brian Eno Landscape

This was written stream of consciousness
Blind on one thumb
Down a highway

And  I started to think of the other side of the world...

Unethical renegades
Entitled to an ego
Do nothing in their place