A Bend in the Path


If the words fell off the screen
And the sands slipped back in time,
Would you go back to that moment,
Would you pass me by?
At the start of this long road, consider
Would you walk with me?
Or think better of it,
Never plant the seed
Never see where the path leads?
I can almost taste the regret
A drop of bittersweet on everything.
A silence in the deep
That betrays the crashing at the shore.
There was a time I would have given all to fix
This, you say one dozen and I say six
But the night has come to us, my friend
The tempest tests that which we tend
Will this be the one that finally breaks us at the bend?


A Thought about Hearts

When it comes to hearts and love and butterflies and infatuation and plain old lust (which is not love at all) and staying together forever, everyone has an opinion. Solomon to Louis Armstrong to Robert Indiana has had something to say about it.

The older I get, the more I feel like love is greatly misrepresented in the media. If that’s all there is, and if we believe that’s all there is, it’s no wonder there are high rates of divorce and separation (and more commonly just ignoring marital vows like “forsake all others”).

Love is not just feeling like you want to be a better person for them, or the creeping electricity when he “accidentally” touched your arm. Nor is it just your strange inside-jokes that none of your friends get… certainly not the fact that you both enjoy cooking/ hiking/ going Maracas together. These things are great, but when he tells you/does something that gets under the love and cushy-ness, and past the stage of irking to outright pissing you off… love is not in that place. In that place you’ve got to have respect, lest you say something that can never be erased. Under that love has got to be patience and longsuffering and a willingness to let go of missteps. And under that is the primary understanding that even as you grow together into one with this person, this person is still not you… Which is just fine.

These are the foundation of love, in my opinion. Especially the kind of love that makes people promise their lives to each other. In the movies, at the apex of the relationship rough patch, there would be a realization that things that first brought the couple together are worth fighting for. This may be the only thing the movies have gotten right. That, and knowing you are a better person because of them.

In the Emmys, Julianna Margulies thanked her husband in her acceptance speech and said “it would mean nothing without you.

It’s amazing how much those words weigh.


Ssshh… Hear that?

Depending on the situation, and your predisposition, silence will be either awfully awkward or pretty productive. How many times have you been in the elevator, with the weird guy from HR, wishing (nay, willing!) the elevator would zoom to it’s destination? The sound of moving cables is never enough to dispel the deafening sound of silence consuming you and HR guy. Unfortunately, this situation can never be made right.

Outside of the elevator though, one’s relationship with silence can be better. I like a pause in conversation from time to time. It let’s you gather your thoughts, get past any emotions struggling to get themselves heard and to consider what the other person has said (or not said).

If you are like me, you end up in a lot of situations with people who are either generally unreasonable as a rule, or tend to have many more unreasonable demands than any one person should have. You wouldn’t believe what a good dose of nothing will do in these conversations. It is also important to maintain a calm veneer. No need to look like you are thinking “but, what madness is this?!” Because most people are in the boat you are currently in, SS Shun Silence at All Costs, they will be put-off by your lack of words. They will begin to doubt the validity of their statements, as they should. Then, if you are lucky, they will realize that they were being unreasonable. At this point, resist the urge to turn the screw and highlight how silly they’ve been. Give them an out. Say something like, “I see you are concerned about _____ but there must be a better way to sort this out.” They will agree with you, because they have already realized they were being ridiculous. If you are dealing with a person that will stick to their ground, no matter how pointless it is then move on to Plan B. Plan B is simple… stay quiet. My favourite thing to do at this point is throw in a “hmm”. Hmm means I will give you no fuel for your fire. Then, depending on the situation, I will change the topic subtly. If the topic was cows, I will start to talk about milk.

But all that is for persons who you only talk to because you have to. When it comes to friends, you’re invested in the relationship and you have to make the effort to meet in the middle. I read an interesting article recently about Tim Cook, the new CEO of Apple by Matthew Grothaus of The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW). He relates a story of asking Cook a question and remembering the occasion not because it was the then Apple #2 guy, but because “he took his own sweet time answering it.” I found this curious. Here’s an excerpt:

Tim Cook is one of those rare people who stop and think before speaking. Standing in the same room with him I realized that he’s comfortable with silence as long as that silence is productive and appropriate. He’s not like other tech execs who ramble almost immediately and incoherently at any question lobbed at them, as if doing so will convince others they know everything about everything.

Tim Cook is a person who has confidence in his position as a leader, sans ego. Ego doesn’t take pauses. It’s rapid-fire. And it’s that confidence and lack of ego that allows him the time to examine the issues and questions at hand, no matter how lowly or silly others may think them, and address them appropriately.

Applying this to friends or people you are engaging in meaningful conversation will lead to clearer, more productive conversations. And more sincere, genuine ones too. You won’t miss all the non-verbal cues you should be assimilating, you will become more aware of your own body language and you will walk away feeling like you really connected with the person. Don’t feel like you’ve got to have an answer to everything said to you for the sake of seeming opinionated or smart. Just do you. That’s what your (real) friends want, anyway. So I’m working on that myself… but I am sure I will have to use Plan B much more than I would like to.

PS: Last night I was in a Skype group conversation with some friends. Someone asked a question that no one wanted to answer and (I kid you not) the world’s loudest cricket started to chirp. Cue laughter. Talk about perfect timing =)

So the next time a cricket tries to be the third wheel in your conversation, have a laugh and embrace it. Crickets may be uncomfortable with silence, but you don’t have to be.


T&T Current Affairs

“Politics, ent?”

To my Trini readers, don’t read this article unless you’re prepared to steups.

Apparently, whenever the law catches up to folks who are career criminals, it’s always “politics”. Sure, that may be true in many high-profile cases (coughdolecough), but seriously… Robocop has a rap sheet from One Woodbrook to Enterprise. If Mr. Alexis, an esteemed resident of Enterprise, wants to talk about politics then the fact none of his previous charges have stuck is a good place to start.

Extortion. Kidnapping. Murder. Intimidating State Witness/ Attempting to Pervert the Course of Public Justice (x100). Armed Robbery. Assault. Knowingly receiving stolen goods.

Yea… that’s what he’s doing while you are working your 8-to-4.

So even if a couple government higher-ups want to look good by finally snagging Mr. Alexis off the hotspot-streets of Chaguanas, small matters. Even the longest rope has an end.

Why do people in his position always reassign blame? Because they feel entitled. Why do they feel entitled? Because if you’ve been allowed to do the wrong thing for years, why should anyone try to make you stop one day? How dare they.

To all career criminals: you know you are breaking the law. That’s why you don’t shoot folks in broad daylight, if it can be helped. You wait for the cover of night. That’s why you lie when the law tries to say you were at the scene of the robbery/assault/kidnapping. It’s because you know it’s wrong and against the law. So please, man up when you get caught. It just looks stupid when you try to come across as innocent.

That is all.


Switch it up a bit

Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not. – Virgil Thomson

Check out Leighton Meester in this Penelope Cruz-like hair cut and toned-down ensemble. Love it.

It’s always nice to re-invent yourself, and try new things. I’m definitely feeling the bangs on her. On another note, dress with long-ish sleeves is on my to-buy list.

super cute and super different

Morale of the story: try something new, you just might like it. 

This reminds me of the rare, once-per-year pictures of Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera in lipstick that’s not red. The change is always welcome and appreciated.