TAO of Mark

  • Sometimes the firm words of a friend are the greatest kindness
  • Never pass up the opportunity to try something new, no matter how weird. You may miss out on the greatest thing ever
  • No one owes me anything, but I owe everyone something
  • Do what you can, when you can, with what you’ve got
  • Fatherhood is more than biology, attendance counts
  • To make another laugh, this is the greatest gift
  • Celebrating the success of a friend is the best
  • There are more important things than being right
  • Lack of understanding is directly related to the inability to communicate effectively
  • Correlation does not imply causation
  • Minimum effort yields minimum results
  • Don’t wait for perspective, be thankful and relax
  • If you really enjoy being divisive, why don’t you just split?
  • Everything in moderation, including moderation.  Excess can be good for the soul.
  • Karma is law, Grace is choice.  Love one another.
  • The Hammond Organ sings in the key of melancholy
  • In the face of confusion and chaos, optimism wins the day
  • Reflexes make for great athletics, not politics
  • It is said that perception is reality. So, if I look busy, is that the same as being busy?
  • A little self loathing is OK, just don’t get carried away
  • Act, don’t react
  • When inspiration calls, you’d do well to answer
  • Baby steps often become giant leaps
  • Despair takes too much energy
  • Say thank you
  • Leap, don’t look
  • Be provocative
  • Be ridiculous
  • Everyone is so sure of the rightness of their opinion and the righteousness of their cause, and my list of things I’m sure about is shorter than the list of things I’m unsure about – I must be doing something wrong
  • Yell, holler and scream, but never in anger at each other
  • Be thankful for what you have, some would kill or die to have the same
  • If you are not impulsive or reactive, you can be resolute
  • Always be looking forward, there’s a reason they don’t put rear view mirrors on rockets
  • You can’t lie to the road
  • I didn’t change my route because the old way was easy, I changed it because it wasn’t hard enough
  • Stop looking over the fence
  • No one can motivate you, no one can deter you
  • Quityerbitchin
  • No one saw that, but Karma took notice
  • They say you can’t run away from your problems. Well, mine can’t keep up with me when I run…
  • I don’t want to ride your bandwagon
  • Religion leaves a bad taste in my mind
  • Cynicism breeds anger, anger becomes hate – ‘and the greatest of these is love’. Don’t give in to cynicism.
  • Coltrane
  • First rule, check your connections
  • If you didn’t treat your body like you hated it, maybe it wouldn’t act like it hates you
  • Be careful when talking politics on FB, as you are likely only preaching to the converted and are only speaking into an echo chamber
  • Wisdom is earned with blood and sweat, and if blessed, with love at hand
  • There are few things and no people that can’t be laughed at
  • It’s OK to not know
  • Self pity is a shallow and bitter well
  • The world is not binary
  • I will not trivialize my life by seeking your approval

The one where Icarus fell…

I pulled back an old tarp and found this dusty old thing. Thought I’d kick the tires and take it for a spin…

on the mark side

Icarus flew too high
Fell burning to earth

Yet I will beat my wings
Raging against Newton’s Law

How high is too high
Will the solar winds warm me

I might burn like Icarus
On the way down

If I perish
Spiraling, engulfed in flames

I will streak across the sky
And all will see my swan song

It will be whispered about
A song sung In the dark

But not forgotten
And some will follow me up

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Lest we forget…

When does patriotism become merely another version of fandom?  Do we diminish the value of service by branding it with empty nationalism?

Today is Memorial Day in the United States.  We have set this day aside to remember and pay tribute to our war dead.  Many also memorialize family and friends who have passed.

As I’m wont to do, I begin to ponder things on days like this.

I feel a sense of solemnity on Memorial Day.  Sure, it’s the start of Summer and a nice three day weekend that lends itself to the beach, pool and cook outs, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with those things.

Somewhere in the number of 1.3 million American troops have died in war during our country’s history.  That’s a pretty staggering number.  That’s a lot of graves, not all of which are on U.S. soil.

Not really sure I have much of a point beyond that number.  1.3 million.  How many more before we’re done?

Shot, stabbed, decapitated, disemboweled, burned alive, drowned – all the the horrible ways you can die…

We wrap it up in ceremony and parades.  Do we do this to salve our consciences?  Wouldn’t no more war be a better memorial?

Start Again

I ran a half marathon this Sunday past.  It was my third.  I recorded a PR.  That’s Personal Record for you civilians.  The course was hillier than I anticipated, but I was largely undaunted.  I struggled a bit with the final two miles, which included the dreaded “Hospital Hill”.

I haven’t run at all this week.  In part to rest and in part out of fear that I can’t run anymore.  Strange.

This morning, a day off work, I feel good – legs feel rested and recovered.  And yet, I kind of dread lacing up and heading out for a run.

Why?  I have no idea.

It’s going to be a beautiful day for a run…


How We Remember

In anticipation of Memorial Day

on the mark side

This weekend in the USA we celebrate Memorial Day, a day for remembering our war dead.  It has become the de facto beginning of Summer, yet we still take time to stop and remember and say a prayer of thanks for those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for our county.  Remembrance and honor.

It’s gotten me to thinking about the nature of memory and it’s step-child, nostalgia.

Memory is a funny thing.  Two people can have such different recollections of the same events.  I’ve always wondered about that, how it could be.  It seems that our memories are subject to the many things that shape our perspectives, our perceptions, our reality.

Events that are crystal clear in our minds today may fade and become fuzzy over time, the rough edges of memory smoothed and rounded like pebbles in a stream.  Is it a self defense mechanism or more like a…

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Summertime Blues…

Upon the advent of another Summer…

on the mark side

I have a certain melancholy about Summer as an adult. Just as a Friday brings awareness of the next Monday, the start of Summer leads down the path to Autumn. Death, decay and darkness.

I’m quite the buzz-kill, I know. I can’t help myself.

Maybe I romanticize Summer too much.

Growing up in an age of childhood freedom, inspired by the books of Mark Twain, I see summer in the hazy gauze of my memories. Oh how I miss those carefree adventures. Riding, running, swimming, playing ball, tag and cowboys and Indians. Cruising the roadsides and ditches for glass bottles to turn in at the local gas station for the nickel deposit to fund our snack habits. Riding to the pool and spending all day taking advantage of the summer pass that Dad bought. Building forts in the carcasses of trees knocked down by the latest storm. Building bike ramps…

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