Posts Tagged ‘God’

And then You Recognize that Homeless Person

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

Jogging around a neighborhood park, I realized the homeless woman sleeping under a tree is someone I’ve known most of my life. 

We were 15 once, and proud. She liked girls and I liked outcasts. Her Army buzzcut was black, blue, and brave, her sarcasm like a flamethrower. Pointed at you or not, it was dangerous to be near. She had an enviable wit I tried to emulate, and she could be as prickly and poker-faced as she was fast and funny. Being able to speak to her in ways others couldn’t was great.

All these years later and approaching the tree on my first lap, I saw only a female shape sleeping atop assorted backpacks and grocery bags. That particular bit of shade was usually occupied by sweethearts, fútbol hombres, or shadowboxing stroller-pushers, but I didn’t think much about it other than to mentally note the woman’s (relative) luck for claiming it first.

Staring straight ahead while I run helps me convey ultimate Kenyan focus, allowing me to mask the fact that I hate running and am actually dying inside. But the second time I passed the tree, I broke my gaze and glanced over. This woman was wearing Capri-style leggings, sunglasses, and a driver’s cap over her face. What I could see of it was weary.
(more…)

Time to Stop Making Excuses

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

unfortunate-person-comics_where-excuses-go-to-dieOh, there are plenty of reasons to be frustrated with the world around us. And I do care who you voted for: I’m just not making excuses for letting it live on my shoulder and whisper in my ear.

I’m tired of tolerating increasingly thin justifications from friends and family to be – and remain – outraged. Never mind that I, too, am offended, righteously indignant, morally and socially insulted and feeling betrayed (I mean, Bad Santa 2? Really?). Why contribute to the stream of bitterness that’s become a raging river?

Yes, rationalizing has gotten hyper-stupid. After this year, our cop-outs have developed an overlapping quality where contexts mingle because we offer so many. It’s as though we need Venn diagrams or flow charts to see them clearly.

How many excuses do I make in a day? Well shit, I’m afraid to ask, for fear of being shown self-awarded behavior exemptions I don’t even know I’m making. But whether on a community level, a national level, or by ourselves in line at the grocery store, too many people seem to think they’re entitled to comfort zones in which their irritation reflexes and rude or hurtful antics can’t be called out for the warm-fart coping skills they are.  (more…)

Wherein I Attack the Word “Blessed”

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Excessive use has reduced the word to a good-for-nothing air kiss.

CHIMP BLESSED WITH HUMAN BRAIN_Where Excuses Go to DieI’m blessed, you’re blessed, she’s blessed, those kids are blessed, the Seattle Seahawks are blessed, blessed-blessed-blessed!  Since when did so many people start benefitting from divine intervention? When did “luck” morph into into a Vatican Press Office buzzword? Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine to cram the annoyance of an entire Christmas letter into a single word, but could you do it with this one a little less often?

And while we’re at it, for the love of all things peaceful and plain, don’t ever throw it at me as a projection of good things to come. Don’t use “Blessings!” as a goodbye salutation. Nothing makes you sound less employable.

Yeah yeah, it’s just terrific as hell that gratitude has gotten fashionable, but isn’t gratitude supposed to be shown, rather than flaunted? We’re supposed to give thanks, not blab thanks.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present without giving it – yes, I have heard that one. But while some small dogs are cute, the ones that bark  in order to be paid attention to are more or less the worst creatures on earth. And way too many people use the word “blessed” as an excuse to announce bark their personal status. (more…)