A letter to Samuel Clemens

Dear Mr. Clemens,

Sir, please forgive the informal salutation, addressing you as Mr. Clemens when I know you’re Mark Twain too. I’ve read your books, books about you, sir. Wish to hell I’d met you, thankful to heaven reading your books I spent time with you.

To my purpose.

The  days I’m in are too often clenched-up muscular in my physical relationship with that day’s life. I say day’s life because I believe every day is a living being. A standalone being, loaded with personality, who sure as shit doesn’t need us to proceed. I suppose we could argue whether or not a day is a self-aware being. I think it is,  has unfettered accuracy, I’m believing.  But that’s just me.

You see the day is nature, and, yes, sir… What?… Sam!… Well,  thank you, Sam. I know you knew that earlier, about words. Words sometimes get jumpy. Know you know that too.

See, I believe everything that happens in day is nature, every single moment of every being on the planet and that includes us. I respectfully disagree with the mindset that views human beings and nature as separate beings.  Everything we do is an act of nature. We people folk have decent level of self-awareness, so if you’ve got two brain cells capable of nodding to one another, then you know damn well the government and big business and the unions, but oh, Sam, this is yours.  I am repeating myself, you are right my friend. You broke the trail for this sentence.

Never has any being experienced identical two days. Every day has its own shape, energy, style, personalities if you will. Nature has an easy metric ton of personality. No two days are identical for nature, not even close.

And if nature answers to any Godlike higher-power entity it’s not the human race. Thanks for listening, Sam. I hope, if you are, you are in joy, wonder, love, and peace.


When pain strikes

Monday morning just after one waking up doubled over in pain, lower back, lower left abdomen, thinking (foolishly), I must’ve slept wrong, shifting position – no relief. Standing up now, walking, thinking (foolishly) let me just move, loosen up, that’ll fix things- no relief. Lying down again no position working, the pain worsens, the sweat comes and then, no surprise, fear shows up saying, You’re dying, and me thinking in tears that I’m not ready, not yet, and sweat dripping from my face onto the floor which is where I am at this point, on the floor.

If you are waiting for maturity in decision-making to arrive I’d like to tell you it did, right away, but I am wedded to rigorous honesty so it was not until struggling with this pain for close to five hours that I drove myself to the emergency room.

In the E.R. now telling them I am in recovery, sober 11 years plus, so be careful with addictive pain meds but I’d be fine just fine if someone would be so kind as to knock me out with a rubber mallet; I don’t hold grudges. Dammed if they’re not all out of rubber mallets. The examination, the pain ebbing a bit, me wondering what the hell. The doctor talking about the fact the front and back pain started at the same time so he feels maybe muscles are pulled and let’s hold off on a complete work-up so he is prescribing a medication called Tramadol and me in pain asking if it came in the form of that rubber mallet I was asking him about and him saying, No, things haven’t advanced that far. Me thinking, Pity.

I take one pill on the mile drive home. Once home a sudden burst of pain that collapses me to the floor, my t-shirt soaks through, my sweatshirt almost as drenched, my old German Shepherd McKenzie licks the sweat from my face, gently, tending to me, watching over me. On the floor thinking, stand up, stand up. I do. Then, after about five minutes, the pain is gone – all gone. When the pain leaves the following moments give me a taste of heaven on earth.

Since then the pain has come and gone. Less severe each time. Things seem to be improving slowly. I do look back and realize I should’ve gone to the E.R. a lot faster than I did. Perhaps I can find some comfort, or sense of comradery, in one of Mark Twain’s more delicious quotes: “No one is a complete waste; they can always serve as a bad example.”

A Great President & The Imbeciles Among Us

Last night I watched President Barack Obama deliver an extraordinary State of the Union speech. A speech rich with honesty, a willingness to admit mistakes, real ideas, and a call for accountability on both sides of the aisle.

When I watched the Republicans sitting on their hands, refusing to applaud like a bunch of petulant spoiled brats, and some members of the Supreme Court donning holier-than-thou expressions when the president took them to task for an utterly asinine ruling that will allow big business, including foreign companies and unions to influence election outcomes with their hefty bank rolls, I wanted to smack each and every one of them upside their heads and remind them of something Mark Twain said: “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”

It’s hard to tell which when I watch the members of congress. It doesn’t get much easier when I look at the media either. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, who deserves all the accolades he gets as long as they remain unexpressed, said the president’s speech came from a man “who doesn’t know what narrative he’s selling.” I put Douthat in the imbecile column. Then there is Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post  who said the speech had “a decidedly paint-by-poll-numbers air about it.” Another arrogant heard from.

But the more accurate reflections on his speech can be found in the voices of the American people.

Russ Methlie of Brooklyn New York wrote, “We are close to a breaking point, and must come together, so he offered a banner we can all march behind. He is our private instincts manifest as an honest, righteous man. He is not our savior. He is not a benefactor. He is simply what we needed: someone to reminds us of who we are and where we were going.”

A woman named Eve from Norwalk, Connecticut applauded the speech and reminded us to “do your part: the slogan is not "yes, he can," it’s "yes, we can!"”

Obama was right when he reminded congress, “We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions.”

Obama is listening to the American people, we can only hope the members of congress do the same.