Loss of friend

Today, I learned of a colleague’s death. Actually John was a friend to many, a mentor to others, and always himself to all, regardless of point of view. This came as a shock as I had spoken with him recently and he was full of health and optimism about the future.  In thinking about his passing I think of my own mortality and believe that life has to be lived to its fullest, whether for the next second or the next decade.  I found this poem that seemed to capture John, who was one of the most giving individuals I have ever known.  Take care my friend . . .

See Ya, Love Ya, Bye

“When I heard that you had left us
I was simply blown away
How could that be possible?
We were laughing yesterday.

Your dry wit and your humor
Your ‘grin’ and devilish smile
No one knew what you’d do next
You had one unique style!

Oh how I’d anticipate you
Clocking “in” on second shift
How I waited for your quips
You had a truly special gift.

Always there for everyone
So dependable, sincere
Kind, gentle and caring
Felt good to have you near.

So, my dear departed friend
I’ll think of you each day
Peace and rest and comfort
I hope you’ve found today.

Your last words to me
Will help my tears to dry
You punched my arm and said,
“Hey…see ya, love ya, bye!”

~ Judy Muldowney



“Moderation? It’s mediocrity, fear, and confusion in disguise. It’s the devil’s dilemma. It’s neither doing nor not doing. It’s the wobbling compromise that makes no one happy. Moderation is for the bland, the apologetic, for the fence-sitters of the world afraid to take a stand. It’s for those afraid to laugh or cry, for those afraid to live or die. Moderation…is lukewarm tea, the devil’s own brew.” ~  Dan Millman from Way of the Peaceful Warrior


I Ask You

“What scene would I want to be enveloped in
more than this one,
an ordinary night at the kitchen table,
floral wallpaper pressing in,
white cabinets full of glass,
the telephone silent,
a pen tilted back in my hand?

It gives me time to think
about all that is going on outside–
leaves gathering in corners,
lichen greening the high grey rocks,
while over the dunes the world sails on,
huge, ocean-going, history bubbling in its wake.

But beyond this table
there is nothing that I need,
not even a job that would allow me to row to work,
or a coffee-colored Aston Martin DB4
with cracked green leather seats.

No, it’s all here,
the clear ovals of a glass of water,
a small crate of oranges, a book on Stalin,
not to mention the odd snarling fish
in a frame on the wall,
and the way these three candles–
each a different height–
are singing in perfect harmony.

So forgive me
if I lower my head now and listen
to the short bass candle as he takes a solo
while my heart
thrums under my shirt–
frog at the edge of a pond–
and my thoughts fly off to a province
made of one enormous sky
and about a million empty branches.”

~ Billy Collins