Saturday, April 23, 2011


This time, I have poured myself a tall glass of a very nice (though quite inexpensive [notice the avoidance of the word “cheap”]) wine as a “lubricant to writing.” I say “this time” because many have been the previous times that I have wanted to speak of this matter with you, Dear Reader. But it is just so “unmanly” … this whole subject.

In fact, it has occurred to me, for the very first time, this evening, that it smacks of Nana (God rest her Soul) calling up the stairs to her friend and long-term tenant, “Come on down. Our Programs are starting.” (The programs in question, being the daily, afternoon “Soaps.”) This was in the day of television’s early introduction to our lives, and few had one. So Nana would invite her friend to come down from her apartment to share in the experience of watching actors portray lives and circumstances that Nana would never … and I do mean NEVER! … participate in herself. In fact, would not want anyone to know that she had even the most remote interest in such goings on.

Where I feel that having this chat, with you here, in print, is “unmanly” … Nana would have considered her interest in (and, heaven forbid, enthusiastic involvement in watching) such “common” theatrics as unladylike (never allowed, under ANY circumstance), and perhaps even un-Christian (which could never be countenanced!) But I am brushing away my reservations because I want to share this element of myself with someone whom I have comfortable trust in. And let’s face it, if I can’t trust someone who is willing to wade through my verbal excesses, who can I trust?! [appreciative smile]

You see the thing is all about giving myself over to a portrayal. Yes … a portrayal! Every week I look forward to Saturday night (with repeats on Sunday night) so that I can surrender to the portrayal of romance, intimacy, friendship, conviviality, human exchange, and altogether very unvarnished and real relationships. All of this packaged and presented on PBS under the name of “As Time Goes By.”

Each week’s offering of this glorious presentation leaves me chuckling at human foibles, caring tenderness, blunders, forgiveness, acceptance, change, tradition, and on and on with the list of aspects of people loving, living with, and engaging other people. And I laugh, and very often cry. Tears of understanding, joy, empathy, longing, loss, emptiness, and yearnings without hope. All because the program (oops, there is Nana’s word!) portrays so eloquently and with such delicate honesty, all that I have always longed for … never had … and know will never be.

I would not presume to assign any definitions to Nana’s motivations for her enthusiasm for her programs any more than I would be so arrogant as to think myself qualified to explain the boxes of “romance novels” in the garage of one who is an avowed anti-intimacy devotee. (Something that I noticed [with considerable interest] as I visited that person, some years ago.) But I do “discuss” my passion for this presentation of all that I most fervently long for, with myself, each week.

I have a healthy understanding of the life-choices that I have made, and their natural consequences. I do not bemoan my state. I do, in fact respect the legitimacy of my circumstances, and my prospects. And, with equal respect, I appreciate all of the innate desires, appetites, inclinations, and proclivities that are a natural and legitimate part of who I am.

Thusly, I permit myself the weekly Gift of indulgence in “My Program.” Additionally, I invite you, my patient Friend, to give yourself the genuine treat of delightful enjoyment offered through excellent acting performed by outstanding artists (including, but not limited to Dame Judi Dench) on your PBS station (or on BBC, if available.)

Consider this my call up the ‘stairs’ that separate us, “Come on down. Our Programs are starting.”

Lovingly …

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Words! Too many of not the right ones.

Therein lies the difficulty. A debilitating insufficiency of the ‘right’ words. Not that I don’t know a fair quantity of words … but I am dismally frustrated by my ineptitude in discovering and implementing the ‘right’ … no, not the ‘right,’ (that’s too easy) … the PERFECT; yes, the absolutely perfect words to convey all of the scope and dimension of what I am sensing. That is what I am in search of. I want to use the very fewest, of the most perfect, words to clearly communicate the full depth and breadth of what I want understood between us. But, alas, I am reduced to a fumbling, awkward, semi-incompetent, in that quest.

I have a precious Friend in Greece (Athens, in fact) who holds a particularly unique place in my heart. I have made several clumsy attempts at communicating the nature of that place to her. I have used the words “romantic,” and “intimate,” in those attempts, hoping that she would respond with a request for some clarification of my thoughts … thereby (in my hopes) allowing me to (in the ensuing dialogue) develop some better means of illuminating what I feel as opposed to what is initially (in today’s vernacular) implied by those terms.

I want her to know that, with me, “romantic” encompasses my perception of all that I see and know around me. I am, in the truest sense, and at my temperamental core, a Romantic/Idealist. So, when I speak of sharing my most intimate, natural, and instinctive awareness of life … I am speaking of sharing my romantic and idealized view. I see, and know, life in romantic terms. All of life. Every element of life. This is my natural state.

Not that I do not have a grasp and understanding of al that is pragmatic and factually based. I am exceedingly aware and respectful of all that the world around me knows as “reality.” The world’s processing of and relationship to life’s circumstances and elements I equate with the PC (personal computer), left-brain, and majority dominant Microsoft operating system view … data-based and driven. I am equipped (by my loving Creator) with the minority “operating system.” My right-brain, Mac/Apple, spacial/image oriented relationship with life is what I live with.

My daily relationship with every element of my world (including each Individual and Circumstance that I encounter) is one of eternal and infinite significance. I, quite naturally, and comfortably, perceive everyone and everything through a “lens” that translates that Moment’s encounter in terms of its possibilities and potentials for a more beautiful, soul-satisfying, and eternally-lasting effect. This is my norm … my automatic, “default setting.”

When I discovered someone who, while very frugal with expression and the use of words, conveys a sense of richness of awareness, depth of character, sensitivity, and tenderness, I was jubilant. Someone who answered a question with a drawing … and in that drawing revealed an intricacy of emotion and expression that surpassed volumes of verbiage. As is my nature, I responded with my customary enthusiasm and passion. Uh-Oh! The “P” word! Yes, I know that our world has relegated passion to a narrow niche of application. But not me! I live all of my life with passion.

While many are intent on crossing life’s pond without making any ripples or disturbing anything along the shore: to arrive at the other shore having made no “waves” … I want to stir the waters. I intend to leave a wake behind my life’s little boat … and everyone in that wake better, perhaps happier, maybe even more hopeful and loving for having been “splashed on” by my passing. The “other shore” is not my focus. That is where the trip ends and all opportunity ceases. Oh no! My interest is in making every lily-pad, along the shore, bob joyously, and wave their blossoms in exuberant appreciation of the Moment. So, Dear Reader, as you may have surmised, my passion level probably exceeds the level of my proficiency in communicating. [smile]

Hence, when I tell this particular Friend that I recognize her as a Romantic Intimate, I am feebly trying to say that I know her as someone with whom I can celebrate a view and perception of life in the romantic terms that I so-uniquely know. And we can enjoy a shared vulnerability to the intimacies of an unguarded and free appreciation of the eternal, ethereal, and transcendent qualities in what we encounter in our Friendship’s journey.

Now! Do you see what I mean when I speak of the insufficiency of ‘right’ words that I am vexed by?! Look at how many of them (words) it has taken for me to try to convey this seemingly-simple concept! How I do long for some linguistic tools that will enable me to more efficiently and comfortably peak my Soul’s desired messages. I know … I know … patience! But that is so hard to come by when you are afraid that what you have spoken could be totally misinterpreted.

I thank you, my Dear and oh-so-patient Reader, for your tolerance in indulging me this soul-venting. I am truly grateful for your kind attentions.

Lovingly …

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Astor's First Outing

Astor (just two days old) and his Mom (Cara) are venturing out into the World for the first time. (Notice the patience with which Cara introduces Astor to the new, somewhat confusing, phenomenon of Fences and Gates. [smile])

My heartfelt "Thank You!" to Steven and Mary (my sweet Brother and his wonderful Wife) for sharing this magical moment with me. I love youse guys!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

"No hurt survives"

One of the nice things that I do for myself is to subscribe to daily installments from "STORYPEOPLE." I heartily recommend this little oasis of pleasure to You. I am particularly touched by this little Gem ...

"No hurt survives for long without our
help, she said & then she kissed me &
sent me out to play again for
the rest of my life."

Lovingly ...

Friday, April 01, 2011


I had been attempting to engage life for twenty-one years. Stan had been in the game for thirty-six. We met when the firm that he had been with for an appreciable number of years hired me. He was obviously well liked and respected by his colleagues, and comfortable with who he was as an Individual. He was happy with his life. I had never known happiness with life … but sorely yearned for it. He had my attention.

As I entered this new world, I carried with me a bundle of frustrations, disappointments, doubts, and fears accumulated in a world governed by the constructs of Fundamentalist, Evangelical, Protestant religion and a Family that was staunchly locked into a pattern that disallowed any expression of emotion or affection … and, in fact, had a distrust of those who were inclined to display any such thing. A rather unhappy existence for One who is, by nature, an Idealist/Romantic. So I was wide open for an example of someone living a life that complimented my Spirit’s core desires.

And there was this Guy! Stanley H. Menendez. A man who was exuberantly engaged in living life. A man who was unabashed in his expression of adoration for his wife and family. Someone who did not live under the yoke of “know your place and stay in it” that was the credo of all of my previous upbringing and experience. This guy quietly, and in a dignified way, projected Joy in living … passion for his family … and genuine regard and respect for everyone who he engaged in his daily walk. When Stan spoke with you, you had his total and complete attention … you knew worth and value.

I tell you, my Dear Reader, about this extraordinary fellow, because he is celebrating,
this month, his 80th anniversary of life . And, though I am unable to be in attendance at the celebratory luncheon that his daughters have been so gracious and kind to invite me to, I could not pass up this opportunity to tell my little World about this wonderful Man. I hope, in my so-doing, that I can encourage all of us to be mindful, yet again, of the impact, and timeless significance, that we (most-often unknowingly) make on the hearts, minds, and yes, even the lives, of those who are touched by us as we go about our daily lives. Stan is still … all these years later … a Source of encouragement and joy in my life.

I am so blessed to have, as a permanent part of my life and world, a rare few Treasures like Stanley H. Menendez. Proof, yet again, that I am watched over by a loving and generous Creator.

Happiest of Birthdays to you, Stan … my Dear Friend. I love you.

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