Friday, April 28, 2017
Lake Balboa and Woodley Park are my new, favorite getaways. Honestly, both places are fascinating.
Lately I've been really taking in the surroundings at both parks. Just really being observant in ways I've never been.
At Lake Balboa, I walk around the lake and really scrutinize the wildlife and their antics. I watch the fishermen casting their poles. And love seeing the elderly laugh and talk with each other.
There are signs posted all around the lake, telling visitors not to feed the wildlife; but every time I'm there, what do I see? Visitors feeding the wildlife. I tell ya, people just don't think rules apply to them.
Over at Woodley Park, I like to just sit on the vast Cricket field and look up at the sky and wherever else my eyes wander.
During my chat with Raul, we discussed his late mother, and that subject seemed to move him in ways I hadn't expected. At one point, he literally dropped to his knees and wept. So, what did I do? I lifted him from the ground and hugged him. Yep! Hugged him. With a big ol' tight bear hug. He said he couldn't believe he cried in front of a stranger. And I told him I'm no stranger. We're all brothers and sisters in this world. The kid is 23, soon to be 24. I hope maturity embraces him and he grows on to live a life that would make himself and his mother proud.
Well, I've gotta go. I'm heading out to a park! :)
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Yesterday, while I was at the park exercising, I saw a guy doing a handstand on a yoga mat. His body was completely vertical and still. I could tell he was either an expert at performing such a feat, or well on his way to becoming one. So, I walked over to him to investigate.
When I walked up on him, he was coming out of his handstand, and didn't hear me approaching. As I was within a stone's throw from him, he finally saw me and damn near jumped outta his skin. I mean, I could clearly see how startled he was. He assumed a defensive stance as he jumped back. I said, "Whoa, man, I'm not here to hurt you." Then we chuckled about it.
I asked him how long it took him to master a handstand and about his yoga training in general. He was forthcoming about his training. And eventually, about his life. You see, I have a way of getting people to talk about their lives. The good parts. The bad parts. And all the parts in between.
Turns out the young fella is 32 years blessed and a former marine. He was a marine from 18-23. Doesn't sound like a long time, but after hearing his life story, I can clearly see it was long enough to wreak havoc on his life even now.
He acknowledges that he suffers from PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder). He recounted to me a tale of waking up from a nightmare once and beating his girlfriend senseless. Of course, she's long gone from him now. He has punched/kicked holes in the walls at home. All because he sometimes thinks he's back in Iraq. He told me that one time his brother crept up on him and he jumped up and put him down in a headlock that dang near choked the man out.
Now, this guy's mother is ailing. And he thinks it's because of him. When he joined the marines as a teenager, his mother feared for him so much she began drinking heavily. And now, all that drinking has caught up to her. He told me he is her part-time caregiver. The family hires someone to look after her when he isn't there.
The more I talked to Jay (that's his name, by the way), the more I felt for him. And the more I thanked God I never enlisted in anybody's army. I just am not cut out for that kind of possible warfare. Honestly, the stories he told me just crushed my heart. Young men and women see things during wars that NOBODY oughta see! Nobody!
He's sometimes haunted by thoughts of suicide. He took an overdose of pills once, but his roommate came home earlier than expected, found him on the floor, foaming at the mouth, and called 911 for help. He has even pondered having his testicles removed since he believes he's psychologically unfit to ever bring children into the world. Luckily, he sees a therapist, so perhaps in time, his outlook will be more positive.
Before I left him, I hugged him. Three or four times, actually. And I mean, a really BIG, BEAR HUG! At one point, as he was motioning to pull away, I said, "No, not yet. My hug isn't done." And we stood there and embraced a little longer. His eyes got misty. And he told me over and over again how thankful he was to have met me. That my energy made him feel better. Good, I thought. No, great, I thought. That's what I'm here for. That's what we're all here for. To make each other feel better.
I don't know that I'll ever see him again. But that's okay. Because I got the distinct impression that he'll remember me and our divinely ordered encounter for quite some time to come.
And that's as it should be.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
I suspect Easter means many things to many people. What it means to me is a great day to enjoy a delicious brunch with family and/or friends.
Honestly, I live my life treating people the way I want to be treated. Thus, it doesn't matter to me what religious beliefs others possess. Just treat me the way I treat you.
Point. Blank. Period.
That said, whatever Easter means to you, I hope you enjoy a HAPPY one!
Friday, April 14, 2017
Doesn't seem impossible to reach seven goals since I might very well be given 365 days to do it.
I am 53 years blessed.
I don't suspect I have another 53 to get things "right."
I'm gonna check off each goal as I accomplish it.
God willing, by December 31, 2017, I will have SEVEN check marks on my list!
Can I really do this?
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
While walking, I try my best to take in everything around me:
At some point during my walk, I always get still and vocally give gratitude to God and The Universe for making me, me.
I have now added a different park to my park adventures: Lake Balboa/Anthony C. Beilenson Park. What a beautiful lake view!!!!!!