Tired Old Man-2014

The old man staring back at me from my bathroom mirror tonight was intrigued by what he saw, but not surprised. A mere ghost of the one who stood in that same spot when we move here in 1987. An even more pale and fading shadow of the man who moved back to this city, this home town, in 1974.

I’ve tracked the steps I have walked since October of last year…over 600 miles. I shudder to even think of the miles I have stepped since 1974. The pounds I carried loading tractor trailer loads of mattresses by myself in the 100 degree heat of the summers of 80’s. Ten hour days building sewing and bagging them in the mid 80’s. On to better jobs from the late 80’s on, for the most part. Except the last 10 years of interminable long hours and super stress. I know we all have done the same though. I don’t claim to hold the patent on hard work and stress. Although it has taken it’s toll from what that old man in the mirror tells me. He’s always tired, and often grouchy. Ashamed. Always just on the razor edge of being somebody, but never quite cutting it. Now he’s wore out. Can’t stand the summer heat, with the ailments of old age and a worn out body his only personal legacy.

Wispy, baggy eyed, and faded as a 12 year old pair of Levi’s.

It’s always good to be able to still function in some capacity, however. But I’ve gotten my reminders lately about being too cavalier with my activities.

As long as I can put one foot in front of the other I’ll keep on going until I can’t get up one of these days. And in the meantime I’ll just quit looking in the mirror. And go to sleep and rest up for tomorrow.

Listening to JC

It doesn’t matter which JC you listen to, both had great advice….regardless of whether or not it is “Love your neighbor as yourself” or “Always let you conscience be your guide”

The Voice

There is that voice which is there all time in my head. He has been there ever since I can remember. He was the one who told me back in the fall of 1953 when I was almost 4 years old to ride my tricycle down the front steps on my house. A busted forehead and several stitches later the voice told me we would never, ever do that again.

He sings constantly to me, in any style. I can have a country song by Johnny Cash followed by Imagine Dragons singing “Demons” At times he scares me with my personal demons, but at other times he soothes me with sweet poetry. He will be with me until my last breath.

I have read a lot about this… “Inner voice” our internal narrator, our personal monologue which I think….at least from conversations which I have had with others… I think we all have going on constantly in our head. I know all about my guy. I know what to expect from him most of the time. He comes up with some weird things, some good things, and some thoughts which are verbalized which I would never consciously say to another human being. He says some very rude and vulgar things. He also comes up with some tender and moving soliloquies. I hear him just as if he were another person speaking to me. It is never like an invisible or hidden voice, but always speaking directly to me just as another person would. I don’t know how other people hear their inner selves, I really do not know if everyone even has an internal voice.

I’ve heard some people say that our internal voice comes from the way our parents and those around us speak to us as babies and early toddlers. I’m not so sure I accept that theory. I just cannot hear my parents or any other relatives I knew as a baby or child in my monologue. I also can’t accept that people like John Wayne Gacy , or Jeffrey Dahmer had normal inner voices which came from their early associations. I would have really, truly have hated to be inside their head, listening to what was being said. I think their voice must have been riddled with hallucinations, or nightmares.

On the opposite end of the spectrum I would have loved to have heard some of what Leonardo da Vinci, or Albert Einstein had to say to themselves…maybe. I can imagine their inner voices having a sort of discourse, bouncing ideas off of their own walls in order to make discoveries of new things. One cannot imagine what might be going on in the mind of the genius.

Jiminy Cricket would have called our inner voice our “conscience” In Zen, they would think of it as “Nen nen ju shin ki” which means something like “Thought following thought.” I personally think of it as my heart.

Whenever my inner voice speaks to me of any deep emotions it always comes from the heart. I have never had a headache from something bad happening, but always have the feeling come welling up from the center of my chest. My tears start in my heart.

When my voice tells me to be happy, I have never had my head spin. My joy starts in my heart, and radiates out into the rest of my body.

My inner voice comes from my heart and tells me the things no one else would or could tell me. I’d sure hate to lose him because he’s my oldest and closest companion.