Thursday, April 9, 2009

Irony and the "Bullet in the Bible"

Some images are tough. Seeing my 7 year old weeping in H's lap tonight was tough. Seeing H ask her to lift her arm over her to hold her was even harder. Not being able to hold your child is well...just unfathomable, which is what this disease pretty much is.

My 9 year old switched places w/ her (from me) and had her turn as well. Sometimes I think it's OK to just kind of let that happen. Not try to distract them with TV or even really discuss the 'elephant in the room'. Just let it flow for a while, burn through some tissues and try and get it out of the system.

When my 11 year old got home from soccer, seeing everyone is a sad state of affairs offered to turn on "Survivor" as a distraction because they all like it. Well, of course this was not the best suggestion in the world, unbeknown, of course to her and created another round of wailing. Irony has its way of making itself known to us every day in some way.

Changing subjects...

So, two disparate works of art collided for me this week. Recently H and I watched Band of Brothers, the HBO series, which is an incredibly well told tale of the Easy Company in the 101st Airborne and their journey from Basic Training through WW II. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it. Amazing story and a great reminder of the fact that personal stories are attached to each experience in war, disease or other difficult circumstances that are happening on a large, even global scale. When we learn history about WWII, generally we learn about this or that battle, how many soldiers were killed on either side and who won and who lost, what tactics they used, etc.

Disease is very similar, we tend to view it on a global scale, detached, somewhat horrified, somewhat saddened; that is until it sits in our homes or stares at us in the mirror. I've said this before, pain is personal, and it's real and it sucks. J-bean asked me tonight "Dad, is this just some nightmare we are going to wake up from?"

I wish it was my little friend. I wish it was. The only reason I guess I really know it isn't is because there is so much love in it. I've never had a nightmare with love, much less this much.

The artistic collision happened when I watched "Bullet in a Bible," which is the name of the video production of the Green Day concert I previously mentioned from their tour that was mostly filmed at an outdoor arena in England over two days which was attended by something like 135,000 people. For those of you not familiar, Green Day is sort of a "new" punk band (as punk rock bands go) that has actually been around for about 15 years. Maybe they are the oldest of the new punk bands.

I, knowing something but not much of Green Day, assumed that "Bullet in a Bible" was some sort of flippant commentary in an anti-religious tirade baked into one of their lyrics. I was wrong. In a clip on the vid, the band makes a tour of some eloquently named War museum in England and in this museum, there was actually a Bible with a bullet in it that they viewed and later showed on the video. It looked like the bullet had made its way about 3/4 of the way through the Bible and likely saved the life of the person carrying it for at least a moment.

When I heard Green Day and "Bullet in a Bible" in the same sentence, I was a bit appalled to be honest. I assumed something sinister at it's worst and ironic at it's best. It turned out to be ironic in a way that I didn't expect, which actually was artistically thought provoking and kind of well blended. They had Bible's with shrapnel in them too at the museum, but "Shrapnel in a Bible" just isn't quite as hard-hitting, though I'm sure the carrier was equally thankful.

So, I guess I'm reminded by this that you can't really read too much into things that you don't really know about.

OK, enough of that. Had to change the subject though, from where I started. I have to sleep tonight.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Thank you.

As Usual,
The team is coming through. Just a sample of the support we have...
Lots of FB comments and emails about my post regarding Mindy and her clinic. All positive, all keeping me hopeful that A: she'll feel it, B she'll answer my questions, C: She will not rape people who are desperate. I don't know if that is what she is doing, but I will feel like it until proven otherwise. I continue to weigh my options in this regard. Several people have offered to help from a legal perspective. Right now, I don't have the energy to pursue it. That doesn't mean I won't.

Great Dinners! OMG. Our neighbors and friends are so awesome. Curry, Coconut shrimp, Fried Chicken, Chocolate mousse, Teriyaki chicken, stew, salads.... YUM. Thank you so much. Love you guys and everyone that keeps this food coming. It rocks so hard that I almost can't take it. I have to run miles and miles just to exhaust the calories and the feelings that it churns up. I honestly am in awe of all of you. I know too that you think it is the least that you can do, which is so not true. I think it is the most.

Buddies for movies. So a couple of my buddies from across the pond keep turning me on to these awesome British gangster movies. They are ridiculous, violent and darkly humorous, but hey, it's a good distraction. Layer Cake, Lock Stock and Two Smokin' Barrels and Snatch, so far. Madonna's EX Guy Ritchy seems like the genius behind them. Classic bad (good) films. Not exactly the Shawshank Redemption, but entertaining none the less.

Good: Green Day. Their concert on Palladia made me churn the ELIP faster than ever, 7.2 mph pace for 35 mins on level 11. Maybe that's not exactly rock star speed for elite athletes, but I have not been one of those for about 15 years. Man, those dudes rock. Also saw Kid Rock's "Storytellers." I've seen the Kid in concert once and he does not disappoint. The dude can hit it. Storytellers is not long enough or set up in a true concert setting, but it's cool to hear the artists' rap on their own stuff and their influences. Highly recommend.

Planning a trip to Mexico to go fishing with some buddies. Clear my head, feed my soul, and give me strength to carry on. Recharge the batteries so to speak. Sometimes I feel SO drained. I will spend a week thinking about the best rigs to catch marlin, tuna, wahoo and pargo. I will think whether or not my three sevens will beat whatever my buddy is bidding $20 on. I will wonder whether i'm going to drink Pacifico or Corona, and I will think about "the little picture." I can't escape the big picture. I have never been able to do that, but I can try to do a little focusing on the little picture for a week in early June. I thank everyone that is helping make that happen in advance for that, and for those of you that are going.

Songs are forming in my head. I'll need a musician to help me actually make them songs, but so far I think the lyrics are powerful. I have not written them down yet. Some of it leans dark, some of it not. I'm not ready to write more about that yet.

I got to share a half a chapter or so of my book with a friend this week that was relevant to him in a business setting. He sent me a note that he was ROTFL. Which is a good sign. Sometimes I have no idea how my writing affects people, but I did think that story was pretty funny too. In retrospect, of course. That stuff 'ain't funny when you are going through it.

Never thought I'd say this but: Spring break is over. Kids are back in school, Friends that help are coming back to town and I don't have to worry about entertaining the kids for 7 hours on top of everything else going on. I USED to LOVE spring break. Hmm...what is the summer going to be like. Starting to fill it up NOW!