Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Early morning wildlife.

Almost every morning I see wildlife.  Countless birds of all types, rabbits and squirrels, but often I see deer, feral pigs, and very occasionally bobcats or fox.  It’s a great feeling to see these creatures going about their business.  And sometimes I wonder that everyone doesn’t see this world. 

Then I realize that these animals are out here because it is what they have to do to survive.  They don’t have the option to order food and have it delivered.  They don’t have laws and police to protect them from each other.  They don’t have refrigerators or far off farms they can rely on to grow food for them.
I see them every day because they are out there every day scrambling to stay alive.  The deer is slipping around quietly munching, ready to bolt at the slightest indication of a predator.  The bobcat is stealthy, laying in wait for an unwary rabbit.  Every single day one of them lives or dies.  Every single day one of them eats or goes hungry.

Sometimes I wonder why everyone doesn’t see this world.  
Then I look around.  In the early morning. In the dark.  In the rain.  In the heat. In the cold.  And there are no other humans in sight.

Not everyone sees this world because not everyone is out here pushing themselves like their survival depends on it.
I say “if you have the choice, choose awesome,” but people think that’s about driving fast cars or jumping over waterfalls or swimming in distant oceans.  It is, sometimes, but choosing awesome has to happen every day.  

Choosing awesome sometimes means running when your legs hurt, or pull-ups til your fingers ache.  

Sometimes it means dragging yourself out into the rain or cold even though you don’t want to, working harder, pushing further.

Choosing awesome means reading books that make your brain hurt and having hard conversations.

Because you don’t get to have awesome downtime if you don’t put in the work up front.

So wake up, get out there and get busy.  Make it burn, make it hurt, and get it done.

#chooseawesome #stayawesome

Monday, November 11, 2019

No Heroes

There are no “good guys”.
No heroes born.

You aren't a good guy because of which side you happen to be on, whether you are a liberal or a republican. You don't get a pass because you wear a red hat or a blue uniform. You can’t hide behind a flag or a cross.

There is no such thing as a good person.

We obsess over "good guys" and "bad guys" as if simply being on one side of a line defines good or evil.  We fail to realize that no one wakes up choosing to be the "bad guy".  What we think of as evil is usually just people failing to choose good. 

What there are, though, are people who choose to think before they act.  There are people who choose good, and act on it. They do not hesitate to act when needed.  There are people who stand in the gap. Those people are awesome.

We live in a time when bad things happen in the name of good. We live in a world where people are swayed by appeals to their worst, secret impulses.

Whoever you are, however small you feel yourself to be, you can choose to stand for good in the small things.

Whatever you have done in the past, you can acknowledge your mistakes.  You can do the right thing now, whether anyone forgives or believes you.

If you are powerful, do not be complacent, use your power wisely and with care for the future.

There are no heroes. Not until someone makes a choice to do the hard thing, the right thing. Sometimes they are ridiculed.  Sometimes they die.  Sometimes they get a medal. But whatever the outcome, they weren’t born that way.  It wasn't because of a uniform or a country of origin or a religion.

They are heroes because they made a choice and took that action, and they kept doing it, over and over.

That's awesome.

If you have the choice between safe and awesome; choose awesome.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Lantern festival

All these lights burn bright and fade
Lit with a thought and a spark 
A beautiful night
#lanternfestival #chooseawesome #mementomori

We wrote names of lost loves , dead friends and parents, quotes and thoughts on the lanterns. We drew ornate designs or childish hearts and trees on them. We cried over these thoughts and memories, staining the paper lanterns with tears.

Then we lit the little fire and launched a piece of ourselves into the night. We watched our lantern join thousands of others in a surreal display. We felt joy and wonder.

None of us knew what thoughts flew with the thousands of lanterns. What prayers, hopes, dreams and memories lit their spark. We didn’t know and it didn’t matter. What mattered was lighting the night. What mattered was the shared joy of making magic.

And we could see, all the while, those same lanterns that we had poured a piece of our souls into, falling back to earth. Dark, cold, trash to be collected. But god what beauty when they fly.

All the while more lanterns are being lit and launched. Over time they dwindled to only a few, to one last lantern of the night.

And that is the most beautiful part of the lantern festival. We know, every one of us, that the lantern is but a brief flicker, the light but a blink. We know this and do it anyway. Because the lantern festival is art. It is humanity in microcosm. It is the past, the future, and the eternal now.

Our lives, our children and our ideas, our hopes, dreams, and machinations are lanterns we laugh and cry over, then launch into the night. We, and they, will burn bright, then fade and fall. But god, what beauty when we fly.

This is your life. You don’t get another. Even if you are reincarnated or go to some afterlife or another, that being is not the being reading these words. The you of today has never existed before and never will again.

You can stay dark, choose to stay on the ground. You will still carry all these pains and hopes regardless. But you will carry them alone.


You have the choice to put your thoughts and hopes and dreams out there. The choice to put yourself out there. Odds are no one else will understand why you to create the particular light you create. The memories and drives, pains and hungers are yours alone. But you have the choice to light a candle in the darkness, fueled by your own soul. You have the choice to pour tears and laughter and love and heartbreak into that tiny light. You have the choice to share your light with others. Some precious, special, magical few of the others will also put a tiny piece of themselves out there as well. A burning spark to light up the night. That spark is all we have, and it only lasts a moment. But god what beauty when we fly.

If you have the choice between safe and awesome; choose awesome!