Rainy Days Make Me Contemplate Life

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Danny

Rainy Days Make Me Contemplate Life…

It is interesting that rainy days force me into deep introspection.  Maybe it is the changing of seasons from winter to spring?  I’m not sure, but today it is rainy and I can’t get my brain to shut down.

I have a lot of change going on right now.  I am about to begin a new MS medication.  I have an upcoming procedure for an on-going medical issue.  My role in my job is changing.  I am in month 3 of therapy which brings its own challenges.  And the combination of all these things happening at the same time has my head spinning.

Rain feels refreshing.  It washes away the dirt and the pollen and brings about growth and life.  Rain represents new beginnings and a chance for a fresh start.

Sometimes I would like the option to hit pause.  I’d like to be able to stop life from happening so quickly and take a moment to breathe; collect my thoughts before other events cause new thoughts and worries.  But, alas, it isn’t an option.  Regardless of how overwhelming things can seem, this rock keeps on spinning and I have to find a way to work through problems while maintaining my composure.

Maybe I could clone myself and use my clone like a stuntman in a movie?!  Every time I need a break I just call in the clone to take my place for a day while I relax on the couch?

Now that is a solution I could get behind.

Danny

You Don’t Get Big Bucks For What You Do, But What You Know

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Danny

You Don’t Get Big Bucks For What You Do, But What You Know…

I might be late to the table, but I had some recent thoughts on the fast food workers versus $15 per hour wage debate.  For those of you who might not be familiar with the debate, the fast food workers in the United States have been demanding a pay increase to $15 per hour.  My thoughts began when Evelina and I went on our New York road trip and a McDonald’s location had a ton of self-serve kiosks.

Listening to the fast workers argue for more money reminded me of something a friend of mine told me many years ago.  He said, “You don’t get paid big bucks for what you do, but what you know.”  At that time he was a pilot and I was a golf pro.  He made a great salary and I made an average salary.  His point was that he got paid big dollars not to fly a plane, but to keep it from crashing.  He had knowledge that the common person didn’t have; that being how to fly and land a jumbo jet full of passengers.

I on the other hand was a golf pro and golf pros are a dime-a-dozen.  There was no particular knowledge that I possessed that any other golf pro didn’t possess.  And when you work a job which isn’t based on specialized knowledge, you put yourself in a position to have your pay limited.  And you shouldn’t be surprised when it is.

Most jobs have a pay ceiling.  If I walked into my bosses office tomorrow and asked for twice the going rate for my position I better be one heck of a sales person or get prepared to have my request denied.

Once I recognized the value of specialized knowledge I dedicated myself to developing specific skills in my current role and voila, an opportunity presented itself.

I have recognized that if I want to make 4, 5 or even 10 times what I make now, that I must know something that others don’t know; especially something my company wants that I possess particular knowledge about.

No offense to fast food workers, but there is no particular, specialized skill set needed to perform their duties.  And because of this fact, their pay will always be capped.  Even if they get a raise to $15 per hour, how long will it be until they demand $18 or $20 per hour?  At this point we are talking simple economics; the pay will eventually exceed the value of the job.

Don’t make the same mistake, make sure what you know is incredibly desirable and sought after, not ordinary and commonplace.

Danny

When Did I Become the Old Guy?

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Danny

When Did I Become the Old Guy?

There is the funny thing that I have noticed in my life lately: youngsters are calling me “sir”.  Now some might be shocked that I have been around young people who have manners, but that isn’t my point.  I can’t believe I’ve gotten to a place where I’m not viewed as being young by someone who is young.

You see, in my mind I still view myself as an energetic 28-year-old.  Barring a few aches and pains I see myself as being instantly ready for full-court basketball.  Or possibly a wrestling match.  Or even 54 holes of golf.  I’m ready to conquer the world.  Jump in a car at any moment for a last-minute road trip.

And then my mental self-image is crushed with a “Thank you sir.”  or “Sir, would you like XXX.”

And it is at that moment that my mind begins to compare and it is in that moment that the comparison falls woefully short.  I am no longer 28 years old.  I can no longer play 54 holes of golf in one day.  I cannot play full-court basketball.  And I’m okay with that.  I’ve adjusted over the years to my life and I have peace with my life and where it is headed.

I guess it is a little difficult to admit that I am no longer young and cannot do the things I did in my youth.  I don’t have a problem with not being young so why does it sting a little to be called “sir”?

“It takes a long time to become young.”  Pablo Picasso

Is the Way You Manage Stress Holding You Back?

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Danny

Is the Way You Manage Stress Holding You Back?

I am going to be completely transparent here and say that I don’t deal with stress well.  I tend to over-analyze and dwell or things that are directly in front of me.  I work through the question tree, anticipating any and all outcomes and what my response will be.  I worry.   And it is not a healthy way of dealing with stressful situations in my life.

How do you manage your stress?

Do you dwell?  Or do you let stress run off you like water off a duck’s back?

If you are the latter then congratulations.  Unfortunately for me my mind does not operate like that.  So because I realize I have “down the rabbit hole” thinking, I must find cues to remind me to control my thinking.  I cannot allow stressful situations to send me into a death spiral of over-analyzing.

Here’s what I do.  When my mind begins dwelling and hyper-focusing on one thing I tell myself the following: “There is nothing you can do right now except what you can do.  Control what you can control and let the rest be what it is.”  This is a reminder to me to let the future go and stop worrying.

For a long time I allowed myself to make excuses to justify worrying and having an out-of-control mind.  “It’s how I’m geared.”  “It’s just how my personality works.”  “I don’t worry, I get my mind prepared.”

All off the following are just a few of the excuses I used to justify my mind.  I am finding that I can change how my mind works, but it takes discipline and a desire to change.  Every day I go through a process check to make sure I am not allowing my mind to control me.

It isn’t easy and I’m not always successful, but I will eventually get this under control.  The key is I acknowledge that I have a problem with handling stress, I have a process to change my behavior and I am committed to changing.

“I cannot control the future, I can only control right here, right now.   The future will be what it will be so let it go.”

Danny

My Friends Are Beginning To Die

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DannyMy friends are beginning to die…

There’s this thing that begins to happen as you get older…people around you begin dying.  Each week it seems that I see someone I knew in the obit section of the local paper.  I’ve heard people talk about this phenomenon in the past, but then I was younger I didn’t put much thought into it.  But, now I am in that place in life and it is a bit unsettling.

Last week I saw two updates on Facebook that 2 people I have known for nearly 20 years had both passed away.  One guy was in his seventies and the other in his sixties.  I will admit that it puts life in perspective quickly and has reminded me that I’ll be 60 before I realize.

For those of you who follow my page who are in the early years of life (twenties), don’t take your youth for granted.  Now I understand that youth will always be taken for granted as you cannot appreciate being young until you are older; life has a funny way of being ironic.

Nonetheless I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my mortality lately and I’m not sure how I feel about getting older.  It is a weird sensation reading about friend after friend dying.

Danny

If You Want Change, You Must Focus On New Experiences

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Danny

If You Want Change, You Must Focus On New Experiences…

I had an phone conversation with someone many moons ago who spent the entire conversation lamenting how she could not lose weight.  Science tells us that humans who consume the right amount of calories of the right types of food will eventually shed pounds.  It may take some longer than others, but the body will eventually respond.  And some people will have to adhere to a strict eating regimen as well.

This person spent the entire conversation telling me this simply is not true; her experience, as she stated, was that she had tried everything and nothing worked.  So I asked her if she ate vegetables….”no, I don’t eat vegetables.”   Then I asked if she consumed healthy fruits and nuts…”no, I don’t like nuts and I only eat apples.”  Next I asked her if she ate lean proteins…”I only like beef.”  Then during the rest of the conversation she revealed that she ate a lot of processed boxed “food”, fast food, pasta, ice cream, candy and many other junk-type foods; including sodas.

Keep in mind that she also explained to me that she believed she ate healthy and that she had tried everything to be healthier, but nothing worked.  But she wouldn’t eat veggies, fruits or lean proteins and ate tons of junk food.

She said many times she would love to lose some weight and be healthier, but then backed that statement up every time with “but I’m not willing to change XXX.”

Better results will never come from the same actions that produced bad results.

I don’t like fish, but I’m adding a lot of fish to my current eating regimen.  I don’t prefer spinach, but I’m adding it to my recipe book.  I don’t prefer salads, but I am adding green leafy plants to my eating habits.  Why?  Because if I don’t do something different then I will not experience change.

The truth about my friend is she didn’t really want to change.  People who make up their mind to change say something like “I know I need to change therefore I am willing to do whatever it takes to change.”   I have heard every excuse in the book and I simply refuse to listen to those types of people.

“I eat mostly healthy” usually means I don’t eat healthy at all.

Let me hop down off my soap box for a minute and get back to me.

Back in February I decided to get some weight off as I was getting a little pudgy.  Since then I’ve lost weight, especially around my waistline and I’ve done so by cutting out a lot of sugar and making better food choices.  Living with MS restricts my physical activities so it is imperative that I choose my foods wisely.  When I choose better quality foods my body burns fat.  When I choose low-quality foods my body stores fat.  And as the title of this post states I am committed to eating new things so that I get new results.  I simply cannot expect to get great results by committing to poor habits.

It is 100% about the choices I make.  If I really want to be healthier I’ll make better choices.  Period.

Danny

You Should Never, Ever Compare Yourself To Others

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Danny

You should never, ever compare yourself to others…

One of the lowest points of my life was around 2005 while I was working in the golf business.  I had a decent job at a good club and I was completely miserable.  I was surrounded by members who had more than me.  They had better jobs, better homes, better cars and more money.  And I spent the vast majority of my time looking at them with envy.  I wanted everything they had, but more importantly I didn’t want what I had.

I spent many years comparing myself to others and feeling completely inadequate.  Those years of comparing my behind the scenes to their highlight reel nearly ruined me.  I drank heavily and lamented my lack of achievement.  It was not a fun time.

What I would eventually realize was that if I continued to compare myself to anyone other than myself then I would always be miserable.  So I changed my thinking.

I began to compare me to me.

I decided that I would focus solely on becoming everything I wanted to be not on becoming what other were or what others had.  I realized that if I wanted something I would have to go get it.  I would have to change.  I would have to leave golf and go challenge myself.  And that is what I did.

But of all the life changes the single most important was the changing of my mind; I changed the way I thought.

Change begins in an instant and that instant is the exact moment when you decide in your own mind that once and for all you are going to take action.

That was my experience when I decided I was no longer going to compare myself to others.

Danny

You Should Dare To Be a Rower, Not a Rocker

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Danny

You Should Dare To Be a Rower, Not a Rocker…

A friend once said to me “Those who are busy rowing don’t have time to rock the boat.”

For some reason this adage has landed on me hard.  In today’s world you find there are people who are really good at manipulating and they are not always genuine when they make inquiries of what is going on in your world.  They seek out conversations to steal snippets, take them out of context and then use them as ammunition to slander.

You learn who these people are the hard way and I have learned.

So I have a brand new personal policy: I don’t talk about anything or anyone which doesn’t pertain to the exact job I’m doing and the exact person I’m working with.  If anyone ever approaches me about any topic that has nothing to do with me I immediately excuse myself from the conversation.

I figure that if I’m never a part of these types of conversations, then I can never get caught up in other people’s crap.

There are many people in life who are more concerned with other people’s business than they are in being the best they can be.  They invest a tremendous amount of energy in frivolous activities many of which are absolutely counterproductive to anyone being successful.

I work to be world-class at what I do and over the last 18 months I have become one of our best; and I’m proud of the hard work I’ve invested.  I focus on keeping my head down, doing my job to the best of my ability and getting results.

I don’t have time to rock the boat because I am too busy working and producing.

One eye-opening revelation for me has been that there are boat-rockers in positions throughout your life.  People want to talk about others (gossip).  A friend of mine calls it jealousy and I have witnessed it first-hand.  I don’t understand it because it isn’t in my nature to talk about people behind their back.

I have a lot to learn and a lot of people on which to keep my eye!

I guess the question we must all ask is…Am I a rower or am I a rocker?

Danny

Why Are You Better Off Ignoring Haters?

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Danny

Why Are You Better Off Ignoring Haters?

There are always going to be haters in your life.  They could be in your family, at your job, at your place of worship or maybe in your neighborhood.  There are people who are going to resent somebody for something and it doesn’t really matter who it is or why they hate; they just need to hate.  Family might be tougher to deal with than others, but it is better to ignore the haters.

You cannot allow them to redirect any of your energy.  Yes, they will talk about you when you are not around.  Don’t participate.  Yes, they will spread rumors.  Don’t acknowledge them.  Yes, they will make snide remarks.  Don’t respond.  These types of people should get zero of your energy and even less of your attention.

The truth is once your begin participating in their game, they have won.  And trust me they are much, much better at what they do than you’ll ever be so ignore them.  Ignore every single thing they do.  Ignore every single thing they say.  Ignore any of their soldiers who try to bring that venom into your life.

Absolutely, positively refuse to participate.

When they see you are not willing to play they will find someone else with which to play.  And even if they don’t stop just continue to ignore them.

Walking into their world is like walking into quick sand.  The more you struggle with them the faster you sink.

It is better not to play in quick sand; it is better to ignore the haters!

Danny

Are You Picky or Do You Simply Know Your Value?

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DannyAre you picky or do you simply know your value?

I believe being “picky” is simply knowing your good enough to deserve something great.  There are times in life when people settle for less than they deserve only because they might not realize or understand their value.  People remain in bad relationships, settle for unappreciative employers and compromise when they don’t truly understand the value they bring to the table.

The situation I believe demonstrates my point best relates to employment, so let me paint a picture for you.

Let’s say Jane has worked as a customer support specialist for a retail store for 6 years.  During that 6 years Jane has developed the ability to overcome any and all difficult customer situations and often has the customer leave happy and ready to return on future visits to continue to shop and spend money with the store.  Simply put, Jane is exceptional at what she does.

The retail store has offered a few small raises here-and-there, but has a cap on what they are willing to pay customer service employees like Jane.  Not only that, but Jane is expected to work countless hours of overtime, unpredictable weekly schedules and every holiday and weekend.  This situation could make Jane feel that her worth is equal to the cap her store has placed on employees who perform customer service and she might easily adopt the mental perception of herself that her value is in direct proportion to what her company is willing to pay.

Then along come 2 other companies who place a tremendously high value on customer service and become aware of the incredible job Jane does on a daily basis.  Both of these companies are willing to offer Jane a 50% pay increase and a signing bonus.  Her schedule would only require her to work 2 weekends per month and her weekly schedule would only require her to work 8-5 on weekdays and she would be off on all major holidays.

These offers stagger Jane as she never believed nor understood that her particular skill set had tremendous value in the market.  Not only is it the skill set these companies appreciate, but it is also the person who Jane is and they respect her dedication and the fact that she loves customer service so much.  Simply put, these 2 companies see high value in Jane first, and then they see value in Jane’s ability to provide high levels of customer service.  Once Jane realizes other companies see value in her, her eyes become open to the value she should see in herself and she’s no longer willing to accept “less than” any longer.   She can now be picky in her choices of employers because she recognizes her own value and is no longer willing to settle for a company that doesn’t also recognize that value.

Here’s the cool thing: when you know your value you do not ever have to settle.  When you understand the particular skills you possess and the value those skills have in a market, then you have options, which means you can be picky.

Be picky and don’t settle; don’t ever, ever settle.

Danny

The Truth Is…Life Owes You Nothing

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DannyThe Truth Is…Life Owes You Nothing

There is a truth about life that many people have a hard time accepting: life owes you nothing.  Your friends don’t owe you friendship.  Your family does not owe you support.  Your job does not owe you a raise.  Your religion doesn’t owe you enlightenment.  Bloggers don’t owe you a Follow.  Life doesn’t owe you years on this planet.   Your dog does not owe you love.

All of the things above require some type of effort are our part.  We must work and prove some type of worth on some level.

We are in a constant state of expanding or shrinking.  When we work hard we expand.  We we don’t work hard we shrink.

You must get what you want the old-fashioned way….you earn it!

Danny

Why I Made the Decision To Unplug From Social Media

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DannyWhy I made the decision to unplug from social media…

The world that exists now is so different from the world that existed 5 years ago that it’s tough to even compare them.  Then I get to thinking about the world that existed in the late 70’s and 80’s that shaped me into the person I am today and boy it seems like I grew up on a completely different planet.

The glaring differences are how easy it is to get in touch with someone now compared to then and how easy it is to get information.  Back in the day you would read the paper in the morning and watch the 6 o’clock news to recap and update the goings-on around the city and world.

Now we are inundated with news updates to the point that it is nearly impossible to know what is true and what is false.  Emails come pouring in.  Text messages and voicemail.  It truly is madness.

This is why I made the decision to unplug from social media.  I don’t have my blog connected to Facebook, Twitter or Google+.  I only visit Facebook on rare occasions of boredom, but only allow myself a few minutes then I’m off again.

My only goal for 2018 is to be the best husband I can be for Evelina.  Unplugging from all the social media and distractions allows me time and energy to focus on her and us and the real world.

Thus far I am enjoying the journey.  I’m curious to know how much social media influences your life.  Drop me your thoughts in the comments and let’s chat about it.

Danny

Happy 101st Birthday Ella Fitzgerald

Waldina

Today is the 101st birthday of the singer Ella Fitzgerald. I have included some of my favorite songs of hers below. The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.

NAME: Ella Fitzgerald
OCCUPATION: Singer
BIRTH DATE: April 25, 1917
DEATH DATE: June 15, 1996
PLACE OF BIRTH: Newport News, Virginia
PLACE OF DEATH: Beverly Hills, California
REMAINS: Buried, Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, CA
Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame 1978
Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame 1978
Kennedy Center Honor 1979
NEA Jazz Master 1985
National Medal of Arts 1987
National Women’s Hall of Fame 1995

BEST KNOWN FOR:  Ella Fitzgerald, known as the “First Lady of Song” and “Lady Ella,” was an American jazz and song vocalist who interpreted much of the Great American Songbook.

Born…

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Radical honesty: I thought I know it all

Life balance

Radical Honesty is a concept described by a Ph.D. psychologist Brad Blanton.  In 1996 he published a book called “Radical Honesty: How to transform your life by telling the truth”, which was translated into 7 languages and became a best seller.

Last night I went to a local “Radical honesty” event, led by a coach who is coached directly by Brad.

Before yesterday I thought that Im honest, quite confident in my own skin, and totally ready for anything that may come up.

When the meeting started, I was the first one to introduce myself. The first one to say what I expect from this meeting. Because hey, I did it so many times, all those circles, gatherings and all that personal development stuff. Nothing can surprise me anymore. I am so freaking confident, and I love it.

5 mins later I could not believe what was happening. I thought that my personal…

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My Most Recent Health Scare Is No Joke

Danny

My Most Recent Health Scare Is No Joke…

It has been just over a week since I wrote anything and there is a good reason.  On Monday, 4/16, I had to have a colonoscopy conducted to check out some digestive issues I’ve been having for a couple months.  I thought I had some type of infection or bacteria due to some of my symptoms.

Once the procedure was over and they eliminated the possibility of cancer, I was informed that I have an incurable form of colitis, which is an infection of the large intestine.

The frustrating part of this deal is that I must manage the condition through my diet and the food restrictions are intense.  For instance, I cannot eat the following:

  • breads
  • cereals
  • pastas
  • noodles
  • macaroni
  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • buckwheat
  • oats
  • wild rice
  • walnuts
  • hazelnuts
  • pecans
  • cashews
  • almonds
  • macadamia nuts
  • peanuts
  • pistachios
  • sesame seeds
  • flax seeds
  • millet
  • pine nuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • wild rice
  • all beans, including chickpeas
  • adzuki beans
  • soy nuts, including soybeans and edamame
  • raw fruit
  • dried fruit
  • fruit that has seeds that can’t be removed (like most berries)
  • vegetables that have a skin
  • veggies that have seeds
  • raw veggies
  • dairy
  • corn
  • sulfides or sulfates
  • anything containing gluten
  • caffeine

And these are just a few of the things we have discovered thus far.  My doctor tells me that I’ll spend the next few months eating things in order to discover if it causes a flare up.  If it does then it goes on the banned list.

As you imagine I simply cannot eat out and if I do I have to eat plain chicken breast and green beans.

This is going to be an enormous challenge.  Evelina does our grocery shopping and it takes forever because we have to read every single ingredient on anything we buy.  A couple nights ago we went to Whole Foods and bought $50 worth of groceries.  That took us over an hour.  I guess what I’ll have to do is find the top 10 things I like and can eat and just stick to those to speed up this process.

All-in-all things could be worse I suppose.  I don’t have cancer which is an obvious relief, but the thought of dealing with this for the remainder of my life is a bit of a let-down to be quite honest.

Danny

Finding Gold Everywhere

Aria-Bella Rises

unnamed-4.png

Eureka! There’s gold to be found here!
Go panning for it today.

Gold can be found anywhere,

as long as you have the right tools to find it.

Are you willing to find some today and every day going forward?
If you bring your pan full of optimism and positivity so you can wash away all the murky undercurrents of negativity – you’ll start finding those nuggets left, right and centre.
Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper, sometimes you have to move to a new spot to unearth some of the glowing good stuff. But we promise it is there if you keep looking.
And crazily enough. Once you found one chunk… many more seem to just magically appear- funny how that works.
” I choose to see the gold in this for me. I open my eyes, ears and heart to hearing the messages of love this…

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Hey Mickey (Toni Basil)

Lucky Otters Haven

This song from 1982 has been stuck in my head for two days.   Major nostalgia!  I just learned Toni Basil was 39 years old when she made this video.    This is one of the greatest one hit wonders ever made.

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Partner With Me and Get Your Blog Out To More People: 1 Spot Left

I have one Partner spot opening up soon.

Do you want to get your blog in front of more people?  If you want more exposure, but don’t know exactly what to do, I might be able to help.  My blog goes out to over 55,000 followers every day which results in 250-450 unique daily visitors.  

If you answered yes to wanting more exposure, you may want to consider my Partner program…

You get..

  • Your logo in my sidebar
  • Your logo listed on my Partner’s Page
  • Exposure for you blog, book, poems, etc. to 55,000+ followers!
  • Reblog opportunities
  • 250-450 unique visitors each day

Don’t just take my word for it check out the Partners in my sidebar, ask them and then email me.

Let Me Ask You a Question – 4/25/18

gce5rz8mi

Let me ask you a question:

Is it important to you to watch what you eat and live a healthy life?  If not, should it be?  And if it should be, then why don’t you?

Song Lyric Sunday 04/22/18 – “Sisters”

Being Lydia!

I grew up on watching movies like White Christmas. I would take a guess that I have seen it at least a dozen times. I love the rapport between Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. However, it was Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen who stole the show for me.

After all, they played sisters and I always wanted a relationship with my sister like they had. My sister was 8 years older than I and that is a big difference. I felt like we both grew up as only children since she left home at 17 to go to school elsewhere. I was only eight, the same age she was when I was born.

But the thing is she did do a lot. She bought me my favorite doll for Christmas one year. She took me to see John Denver when she and her husband really didn’t want to go but they ended up having a…

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Blackbird Wings

Objects, and the Distance Between Them

Evening brings
New and beautiful things
Gleaming
Blackbird wings
Folded
By my side

Dead of moonlit night
Presence pressed tight
Tells me this is right
My lips, your neck
I can still taste you
On my breath
I want more
Every bit, I have left

Passion pull
It’s a darkened road
Darker still
When you walk it alone
Moonlight breaks
Eyes they glow
I see your face
And I know

We must abide
Try to stabilize
A balanced place where
We can reside
Skin on skin
Your hands in mine
Realize
We cannot hide
What we feel inside
But we have time
Slow it down
And push aside
For tonight

Now we both see
What this all could mean
What this all could be
If we try
If we can agree
Searching to find
Still terrified
Of you and I

But when we leave
The past behind
When we let

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