One of the many incredibly cruel aspects of lung cancer is its ability to spread fast from its original source, and to do so with no regard for it’s host.

This is a lesson I learned as I walked my mother down a three year long road from her diagnosis to her last breath. It was a horrid road filled with what, in retrospect, was nothing more than heartless and intentional twists and turns formed by the disease that had no purpose other than to increase the emotional pain of dying.

As if the act of death is not the most painful process a human body can endure (or as is the fact, not endure but succumb to) this disease steals hope, joy and anything we could ever wish for during those last months, weeks, and days. It seems to have a personality and a plan to wreak as much destruction as it can, evolution has made it quite adept at it’s work. Continue reading “Tourists”

Value of Guilt

I have been wandering this life for 50 years now and the lessons learned in that time are many and they range from the frivolous to the life altering with everything else in between. A large percentage of lessons that would have served so much better had they come in my youth, but sadly the best lesson life brings us are the ones that come thru experience and in a time in your life when you are often least served by them.

One such lesson is the lesson of guilt, and not the kind of guilt one feels after cheating on a test or declaring 3 donuts when you have 4 in the bag at the checkout. The guilt I speak of is the guilt that rocks you to the core, the guilt from actions that you never once considered that would deeply hurt others, or actions born out of hurts that left you cold to the pain you were causing, a guilt derived from obtuse actions that were the result of self absorbed purpose.

Even in situations where you are acting out of hurt, it is still worth the feeling of guilt when you have betrayed yourself in your actions. Often justified and often not, you betray yourself first and foremost with the actions that bring you sincere and gut wrenching guilt and the person you hurt becomes secondary when you take into account your most personal betrayal which is the betrayal of your own ethics, standards and moral compass.

When the guilt is the guilt of self betrayal it can then become an honest guilt, in fact other guilts are likely not true guilt but rather fear. Fear of getting caught, fear of losing someone or something, or fear of having to deal with the repercussions that the act will eventually cause. Until it is a self induced betrayal of your own morals, ethics, or honor it is just bad behavior whether it affects those around you or not.

“Guilt” that is simply bad behavior is easily let go once you have moved past the point of dealing with the results of you actions and rarely if ever stays with you more than the echo of the actions you took to cause this discomfort in the first place, exist.

Guilt that is based on the betrayal of yourself is something that should never leave you. It should eat at you, it should cause regret, it should come at a price that is beyond you ability to pay for. This guilt has a purpose, it should be very hard to face, you should carry it with struggle, but above all it should have the feeling of finality to it.

You can avail yourself of the purpose or you can let it lie and become wasted pain … that is all you can do with it once the facts prove out that guilt is the answer to your actions. The value of guilt is simple, it is a tool that can make you a better man. It teaches an incredibly clear cut lesson on what NOT to ever do again.

Because it is always about self betrayal, this lesson can be learned regardless of even the offended person’s reaction at your attempts of repairing the damage that the guilt causing actions occurred. Reconciling guilt with actions is not about making people feel better, the damage you caused is already done, it is in fact about never causing it again to another. Their reaction at your attempts to fix the chasm that is the image of your guilt is so far from relevant and so very often nothing more than hurt you are only able to pile onto that you now carry from the guilt. To have expectations of this guilt being alleviated by appreciation for your internal pain is at best foolish on your part. This is yours to own they will not help you thru it and they certainly have no interest in it, so unless you wish to follow a path of self flagellation, have no wants, desires, or expectations of forgiveness or even of acknowledgement for your efforts or personal pain over the matter.

The value of guilt is to drive you forward to yet another precipice where a choice needs be made, and thru the pain from your past to make the right choice, rather than the choice that feels good by feeding into anger, hurt or not taking the time to consider the consequences of your actions.

Life is meant to be lived in a thoughtful manner, not one acted on reaction but rather lived proactively and with the lessons learned, walked in a line straight with purpose and forged in consideration for the actions you take.

Do not shun guilt, but rather embrace it. We all will fail ourselves more times than a person cares to count so to shun guilt and push the pain away in forced ignorance steals from your life the incredible opportunity to walk that line with clarity of purpose.

My Life As An Onion (Or Not)

I have found that life, is what it is.

This is just a simple statement, but the spaces between the words are filled with a lifetime of experiences, a lifetime of moments to love and of moments to hate but in much greater proportions filled with moments that end up being ‘white noise’.

It is those moments of ambiguity that may very well form who we are at a deeper level than the acute moments of clear reaction and experience. It is not in the moments when my actions were clearly laid out for me by the situation forced upon me and by my moral compass that have changed me so much as the moments, that in reflection, I was given absolute control over what, where and how I lived in those moments. Continue reading “My Life As An Onion (Or Not)”

Locked Out

In the age we live in now, the following story would be met with anger and most likely accusations of child abuse. This era and the current mentality of child rearing is likely to be recorded as one of the the primary downfall of current society. We live in an age of safe spaces, unfounded entitlement, social media inspired Dunning-Kruger drones filled with participation trophies where there is zero incentive for anything other than falling into the most profound point on the bell curve labeled mediocrity.

The kindest thing we can ever do as a society is teach our children at an early age and in a somewhat safe environment that life is neither easy, nor is it ever meant to reward the living with “participation trophies”. There are winners and losers, there are success and there are failures, and these are all defined by us in different meaningful ways. The gazelle that is hunted and run down by the cheetah is not given a participation trophy for trying its best, it is either successful and continues on or it is the meal of many. Continue reading “Locked Out”

Yup, coffee…

A thing I know …. when they said ‘center console cup holder’ as part of the package when I bought my truck, it clearly meant holding cups was its purpose 
A thing, as of today, I now know better … when you knock your coffee over and it spills fully into said cup holder, it still does its job sans the cup
I also know now why I have been hoarding excess napkins in that same center console 

Now I get all day to ponder the meaning of all this, as clearly there is a message to be had!

A final and a first gift



This is a rewrite on “The Gift”,  the clarifying of message in these words is worth the edits taken … enjoy.


Mom and dad moved to Rochester from our little town after their wedding and as all young couples did at the time they struck out on their own and did so with little to no help from anyone else. It was a matter of pride to them that they were to be fully independent and the masters of their combined destiny no matter the end result it was theirs and theirs alone.

That generally means years of struggling and building a life through those difficulties and they did so with wit, fun and grace not at all unlike the story dad would tell at times when he was in the mood for a funny story, which he often was (ableit a tall scotch and water with lots of ice led to many stories).

Mom had been in college when they decided to get married, but left school when it was clear they could not have the wedding after she graduated due to my grandfather Thure being terminally ill. After his sad and untimely death they moved to start anew. Mom had taken a job at the local community college in order to be in a better place financially to finish her degree. Dad was working as a water bottle delivery man and while they both had jobs, they also were living check to check and struggling financially. Even to the point of having to decide on groceries or a Christmas tree during their first year in the small apartment they called home.  Continue reading “A final and a first gift”

Owning Your Round – A Remembrance Of My Father


If ever I am ever be remembered as half the man he was, then I can leave this world with pride …

Hawkeye is a nickname I carried proudly for most of my life up until I was college age … in fact on great occasion when I return to my hometown that is the name I am met by. Nowadays it kinda throws me off and sweeps me back 30+ years to a life so dramatically different than todays that I am caught totally off guard …. but it is not a bad thing and the nostalgia is incredibly sweet to me. Continue reading “Owning Your Round – A Remembrance Of My Father”

“So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish” – Douglas Adams

Dolphin LookA simple quote from likely one of the finest book ever written.

In all my days, I have never once found this less profound the following day from when I remembered it being read the very first time. In so many respects, this seems such a silly and frivolous statement but in the great scheme of life it makes such perfect sense.

Now I am assuming you have even a clue as to which I speak of here, and if that is not the case .. please do yourself and your loved ones and stop reading this now. Get the book, or in the most tenable of situations I suppose the movie but in either manner ingest this nearly perfect piece of fiction and then come back here.

Assumption assumed. Continue reading ““So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish” – Douglas Adams”




Here is a totally unedited spilling of thoughts, more likely than not at my goal family oak dining room table, a belly full of expensive bourbon and Dan Fogelburg playing in the background. (can you hear Leader Of The Band playing in the slurry of a good hard whiskey drunk??)

Ask me if it would be so much better written with even the least bit of editing in the sobriety of the day light and I would agree beyond words, but at times these words are at their very best in the most raw and in the most honest of expression.

Some days, a hearts honesty is valued beyond easily mastered grammatical perfection.

Continue reading “Catharsis”

Mom, Death, Reconciliation and Laundry ..


At the end of your mothers life there is so much to reconcile and remember, but with this incredible woman reconciliation was easy albeit remembrance so incredibly difficult and profound … This image was taken days prior to my sweet mothers passing from cancer. Her’s was a life well lived and a life well honored.

And my mother … she was amazing!

Continue reading “Mom, Death, Reconciliation and Laundry ..”


My parents went a bit overboard with Christmas which is not a trait I have taken up in the least, for me I would much rather share 1 or 2 gifts per person that have meaning and be done with it ….. however, even with that philosophy I too have been guilty of going overboard at the last minute out of that systemic drive society has to over indulge and succumbed to the guilt. As I get older this guilt means less and less to me and I find myself easily falling back into simplicity. Christmas for me now is not a favored holiday, in fact I find it rather difficult to endure, I am not sure if it is the longing for those days past where I was surrounded by family or if it is my still dealing with the sadness of having lost all but a couple blood relatives to share it with. Whatever the reason, its always met with a sense of dread and obligation to pretend that it is a happy season. Continue reading “Christmas”

The Gift


Mom and dad moved to Rochester from our little town, of course after the wedding and as all young couples did at the time they struck out on their own and did so with little to no help from anyone else. It was a matter of pride to them that when they married they were to be fully independent and now the masters of their combined destiny.

That generally means years of struggling and building a life through those struggles and they did so with wit, fun and grace …. like the story dad would tell at times when he was in the mood for a funny story, which was often! Continue reading “The Gift”


So it starts, another morning of hollow functions leading into a day of shallow steps towards the end of the sun. I cannot actually remember feeling less alive than I do these days and that is a feat as I have spent the remembrance part of my life always at a place where the present was filled in its entirety with the ghost of the past. Constant second guessing and the desperate fear of making the same mistake in the present that I made in the past obscuring the every present moment I am in. Continue reading “Presence”