JUST POETRY XVII

First some thoughts: Each poem is an entity onto itself. Finishing a poem gives me a sense of accomplishment greater than the work involved. I wonder at what I have created. Different parts of our brain can only be accessed by different activities. Everyone should try new ways of accessing or expressing different parts of their brain.

53 ENIGMA

People think I am an enigma

My philosophy is not exactly Buddha

But neither is it dogma

At all costs, I avoid drama

Trying not to invoke the wrath of Karma

For recreation, I dance the rumba

I never mastered the salsa

To have fun in life is my agenda

Keeping my mind going, wards off dementia

When I get a new car, it will be magenta

Maybe, as people think, I am an enigma

54 FRIENDSHIP

Friendship is about spending time together

We don’t care about the weather

Friendship is about having their back

When life launches another attack

Friendship is about extending respect

Even when our views don’t intersect

Friendship is about sharing laughter

When life is bad or good, it follows after

Friendship is about separate existence

Our time together creates abundance

Friendship is about friendship

WHY I WRITE

There is an astronomical amount of writing churned out each day. The reasons for this are many. It could be for profit, spread political views, personal ego, spreading philosophical ideas, announcing scientific or other discoveries and the list goes on. Like many writers, I also have a little ego. I like seeing my creations in print, like many artists want people to see their works. I don’t have many people reading my work, but the mere fact there are more than a year ago feeds me a little. I also enjoy the challenge of writing something that makes sense, even if only to me. News Flash: I am human.

I write to solidify and structure ideas. It is an efficiency tool. It helps me move on. It prepares me for the next step in life. Thinking through ideas is like bees on a cluster of enticing flowers. You see them buzzing around, but the thought that the swarm of bees is constantly changing doesn’t occur. Bees come and bees go. The swarm is thought of as a single object, which it’s not. The same holds true when trying to think about a subject that may have some complexity to it. Little ideas come and they go. Some of them may have been a good contribution to the solution, but one can only hold so many ideas captive at one time. We think we have control over this, but it is extremely limited. I have read the human mind has 50,000 random thoughts a day. They are flying around like ping pong balls in a lottery drum. Writing down ideas “freezes” them and makes them a permanent part of the concept you are trying to evolve. New ideas can be added to the mix and the totality can be evaluated to see if it makes sense. Incongruent ideas can be discarded. This little essay is self-describing. All of these thoughts didn’t come at once. I put a seed down on paper and the concept grows over time. It may be 20 minutes or two days. It doesn’t matter.

Another thing about writing: it frees me from having to retain things. If I know it’s written down somewhere, I no longer have to worry about remembering it. Writing is a destresser. Writing creates freedom. Writing communicates my thoughts to others. Another thing about writing: recently I started writing poetry. It accesses parts of my brain I didn’t have access to before. When I read some of the things I have written, I am in wonder, not because I believe it is great but because I almost don’t recognize myself in it. With some of my poetry, I can point to specific triggering events. I believe it is changing me and the direction I am taking makes me feel better about myself. There is much writing about self-improvement and one of the things mentioned often is keeping a journal. My writing, both essays and poetry, is my form of journaling. I really intend to keep writing for a long time.

JUST POETRY XVI

51 PLAY

When all is said and done

Life should be filled with fun

Save serious thought for another day

Let’s go out and play?

Let’s unleash another day

We can dance the night away

Perpetuate the feeling of mirth

The dance of life, here on earth

Many opportunities for today

Can you come out and play?

52 TODAY

Today is a journey into the unknown

One thing is sure, this day isn’t a clone

Life is experience waiting to happen

Sit not on the bench, take action

The future is not cast in stone

Have something to write on your tombstone

Live life as you want it to be

Being proactive with life is the key

JUST POETRY XV

49 COMMITMENT

The independence of partners is equal

The facets of the bond are ample

The respect is reciprocal

The commitment is not casual

Truth and honesty are crucial

The guide is to be faithful

To do otherwise would be unbearable

The serenity of love is blissful

50 BODY

I filled my body with today’s first meal

It made life seem real

I filled my body with happiness

It dissolved my feelings of aimless

I filled my body with sadness

The sun came and lifted the darkness

I filled my body with wonder

An open mind and body is the answer

I filled my body with curiosity

I became more worldly

I filled my body with gratitude

It vastly improved my mood

My body was filled with love

ONLINE DATING MUSINGS

I haven’t posted an essay on anything in awhile. I wrote one yesterday and decided to post. I hope you find this instructive.

First, some perspective. I am 72 years old, divorced twice with the most recent filed in August of 2012. The marriages lasted a total of 39 years.

Online dating is a comparatively new experience to society in general when compared to more traditional forms of meeting someone. For me, it is even newer. While I’ve been on the sidelines observing for several years, I have only been really in it for a year. I have no real way of knowing if my experiences are average or normal. I’m a little bit of a romantic and don’t really like what’s required to take an initial view on a website to a relationship with a little history and on a normal trajectory. I sometimes feel like I am both interviewing for a job and interviewing a person for a job in my company. Other times, I feel like I am shopping for a new TV, comparing features.

One of the things online dating requires you to do to a greater extent than out there in the normal world is decide what your criteria is for that special someone. Once that has been done, most of it should be ignored. More than a list, personality types and what goes together well are the determining factor. This can only be determined through trial and error or success.

You can’t actually build a long-term relationship based solely on chemistry. I read a study on chemistry stating chemistry reliably only lasts 24 months, then it’s gone. From the beginning, the potential as a friend must be evaluated. You don’t need to date a clone of yourself, but you do need to be compatible in areas important to you.

I think we delude ourselves into thinking we can tell if someone has real potential just by what you read. By my count, I’ve dated eight different women. The two best experiences were with people who I wouldn’t have predicted. One was one I contacted on a day I felt a little down and clicked on her profile on a whim. The other was a woman who contacted me, who I wouldn’t have picked from her profile, but I thought: why not? My point here is you never know where a connection will be. Two woman who looked very good on paper, and I wanted to make it work, just couldn’t get off the ground. Partly because my inner self “knew”, I probably wasn’t my most interesting self. In an interaction, things are often reflective of the least interested person.

There’s no shortage of people that will tell you everyone is different. Of course, I’ve always known that, but it has never been more apparent since I started trying to get into someone’s head to see if there is long term potential. Nobody is a perfect match and the question becomes how much dissonance is acceptable? What and how many issues can you dance around and still have a good relationship? To do this one must spend some time evaluating your own core values and non-negotiables.

One of the problems with dating in general and specifically online dating is the current covid19 pandemic. I read a little about how to proceed. The literature emphasized getting to know the person more before the initial meeting in person. More emails, telephone calls, Zoom dates, etc. I tried this with one person. We sent a blizzard of emails, had several telephone chats. It was like we were having a little contest to see who could pile up the most dirty laundry so there would be no surprises when we met. I view telephone calls and Zoom dates as focused conversations in which each party tries to keep the conversation going without offending the other. Emails give you too much time to think before hitting send. I include most first dates in this category. Years ago, I read some dating advice stating it takes three dates to evaluate the potential of a person. My experience holds this to be a reasonable rule of thumb. Things that never come up in emails and focused conversations can be like touching an electric fence in the context of an actual, in person date. There is no substitute for being in the same room with the person. That’s the covid19 paradox. One of our jobs as an adult is to determine which risks are worth taking. After a few initial communications, an in-person meet is a risk that must be taken to further the process.

Having a pen pal, in lieu of an in-person relationship, can be fun, but not very fulfilling. Human contact is a basic human need, just as food and shelter are basic. Yes, you can get by without it, but at what cost? The human mind is great at rationalizing reality, but we are doing ourselves a disservice in the long run without a partner. I know this makes it sound a little like a medicine to be taken. There is an element of truth to that, but it is our responsibility to make it taste as good as possible. This is the one medicine whose efficacy is based on taste.