Sweet Bread

I have these moments of clarity that march in like a high school band onto the football field. Cadenced. Bold. Unmistakable. Then they pass. This time I have Oliver and this blog, so I can shed a million breaths onto the page before the sun sets on these clear moments of now.

photo credit: unknown

I was thinking of a friend tonight. One who is as spiritual as I, just on the other end of the spectrum. She’s drilling down, and down further still to find home. To her, home is somewhere within reach, yet unattainable. Someplace she has to rely on her own Oliver to find, and Oliver is always on holiday. I yearn to be heard in the collection of thoughts in her mind and help her see that the more she looks for answers the more looking she’s going to attract. The further she drills, the more drilling she’s going to find. If I could only remind her of the words Glenda said to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. You’ve always had the power my dear.! Yet, I know, as with Dorothy, she has to find her own way; follow her own path as she deconstructs the construct of her 3D reality.

As I pondered her journey and how our lives intersected twice, each ending the same; she going one way, me the other, I was reminded of another friend, one in my present. He, too, is on his own journey – one along a parallel path as mine. Yet, somewhere along the roadway it forked. He went to the right. I to the left. This friend, one I care about deeply, is wise; the kind of wisdom founded in tradition. Housed in a capped jar of judicious prudence, he explores the wonder of life, painting his canvas with the broad strokes of scholarship instead of the fine sparks of lore. He seeks to uncap that jar, even loosens it sometimes, peaking over the edge before securing it back in place. Yet, he remains Norman Rockwell wielding the desire of Picasso. I see that. I think he does, too. But fear of the unknown, of change, of how any drastic alterations might be viewed by his family and the Joneses keeps that cap in place. Maybe it always will. I have come to accept this is his journey. His way of finding balance in the everyday. We enjoy frequenting different sections of the art gallery, and that’s OK.

With both friends, we flow into and out of one another’s lives. Maybe if I was willing to remain static I could be more attractive as a long-term venture to these folks but, alas, I am me. A mind so open it barely vibrates within the fabric of matter. A bit wild. Happily without platform or need of money, material goods, approval of others, or those additional markings of tradition. If having same means giving up the essence of enchantment I know to be – to exist for all if one is willing to see with eyes closed, I respectfully decline. Accept me as I am or accept me not at all. I may love you, but I don’t need you. Don’t need anyone. I desire others. Just smart enough to know I don’t require them to be happy… to be.

I’m a flame amongst the fire. If you have something that offers scale without putting out my candle I’m in. Always in. Just remember to honor my uniqueness and know it is what I have to give this world. I am not ordinary. Don’t wish to be. I am also one who seeks adventure, but like Dorothy, I can find it in my own back yard. Prefer that, actually. Have never been given the sort of life choices that afforded such opportunity. To grow, to survive, to achieve I had to accept movement of all kinds. Such exposure has turned out to serve me well, peppering my experience with the grace of innerstanding many kinds and cultures. For that I am grateful. Offer me an upgrade, something that enhances, and we can be partners for life. I’ll happily give you everything no matter who you are. Big expectations? Sure. Big expectations render big results – based in truth, mutual respect and a shared control of the collective space we commingle within and without.

Photo of poem, Sweet Bread
not sure what the date range on the envelope represents any longer

While contemplating my friend the driller, I was reminded of a poem I wrote decades ago. The lines began to run through my head as I saw her beautiful face in my 3rd eye.

I have a friend whose clever style is outclassed by no one…

Then Oliver popped in and said, Look down.

Look down?
At what, I thought. So I did. Only thing there were two banker’s boxes pushed flush against the north wall of the office, at the base of my desk, comfortably away from my feet, filled with stuff I’d packed last year before leaving in May for a housesitting gig in Tucson. Didn’t recall what was in them. Didn’t think to open them. And, when nothing seemed to catch my attention I continued thinking about how much I wished I could get through to my girlfriend.

Look down. I heard again. WTF?

This time I grabbed the box closest to me and opened it. Boy was I surprised to discover a lot of my old writings and outlines for a number of novels – from the early 1980’s until about the time I moved to NYC in 1987 when my life took off and I was happily busy making a shit ton of money and impressing the kings and queens of the legal world.

Selfie circa 1984. Age: 25.
In my Oak Park apt.
(see apt here. rt side. last left facing sect. top fl.)

There it was. The poem I was running through my head. Right there in an old, musty yellowed 9×12 envelope marked Travelers Insurance, the company I worked for out of Oak Brook, IL at the time. Called an Assistant Investment Analyst, I was basically a paralegal who coordinated Travelers’ litigation matters in 17 U.S. States and parts of southern Canada. I was the liaison between the in-house counsel, the business group and our outside, local attorneys. If you wanted to get to them you had to go through me. Impressive, right? I thought so at the time. Big ego, packaged in the frame of a quiet sort, a naturalist, and intuitive in training.

Living on Washington Blvd in Oak Park, IL, about 30 minutes west of downtown Chicago, my stop was the last on the El-train’s Green Line (and Elevated, above ground, subway for those NYers who read this blog). I lived on the 3rd floor of a grand ole U-shaped walk-up that always felt haunted… by some cool flapper who died young and beautiful. I wrote that poem at the dining room table for a boy I had a huge crush on, a gorgeous Italian with a one-syllabled name like Frank. Born and raised in Oak Park, he was leaving the company, and this was my gift to him. I wrote it out on aged paper in a calligraphy style hoping for what I’m not sure. His departure was part of a move somewhere down south so anything more than hooking up was not in the cards, but there I was, the ever romantic writing and writing. The title, Sweet Bread; I have no clue. Funny how something seems of such value at any given point in time, only to become a gaussian blur of emotions and details forever lost.

So, with clarity still on my side, I share this writing. It must have value for one of you, otherwise Oliver wouldn’t have made me work so hard to post it here.

And, for my friends; the driller and the patriarch – I love you. Will always love you. And, I will step away as you follow your own path to all that is – even if that means we ebb more than flow along the open vortex of eternity.




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