Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Saturday, January 25, 2020

1/13/19 RMB Give Credit

1/13/19 RMB Give Credit

Dear Rita Mae Brown,
What’s the point? I sat and wondered. What’s the point of life? More specifically, what’s the point of doing this task over that task, or any task?

I contemplate this as I work a jigsaw puzzle on my laptop computer with altering feelings of laziness, being disconnected, rebellious, and even anger at all that calls to me on my giant “to-do” list.

“Gather sky-blue pieces together.” My mind must have thought this at some point, because my fingers move to accomplish the mission. Perhaps it is automatic, since I don’t recall thinking it, but now the sky is done, and I watch the grass connecting piece by piece.

What is before us, we do. Handle, complete, process, avoid, we “do” something with everything. And time passes. So, this is life and still, “What’s the point?”

In my imperfect human mind, some echo tells me that it is of utmost importance to do the thing that brings positive results, a cleaner kitchen, a tidier home, a well-groomed garden, a lean body, and so on. I have none of the above by the way.

So, here is the struggle. The puzzle is before me. All else is just inner turmoil. Piece by piece, the carousel horse’s mane takes shape. A pink bridle reaches to an open mouth and a silent whinny.

My mind seeks a more all-consuming escape. I que up the comedy sketches on my smart phone, which is smarter than I am, I’ll admit that. My awesome nephew set it up. I tap an icon and wah-la. Like electricity, I don’t know how it works, but I know where to tap to bring the light or the comedy. And yes, its smartness does concern me, but those are musings to dissect on another day. I tap the phone.

In that flash of mere seconds, instead of receding as I begin listening to the first comic, thoughts multiply and expand in defiance of the new intrusion. What is the point of one’s career like a that of a comedian? A doctor’s purpose is clear, a lawyer, a farmer, they all work towards their own positive result. 

However, a comedian, a novelist, an actor, a puzzle maker, they capture our attention, and is that a good thing? What positive result is there in their chosen career when they allow me to avoid accomplishing my own? I watch the comedian explain the pains of being the second born twin, and a surprise at that. He “crashed” his own birth.

Then Lucas Bohn appears. A white comedian who adopted black baby, he relates the humor he encounters because of this. I smile thinking of my nephew and the black baby he holds in the photo on my phone.

Next is James Veitch’s elaborate wrong number prank on a man who thought he was calling his landlord. The caller insists he fix his apartment. Obligingly, James concocts a plan, complete with over the top visuals about what he intends to do to this angry renter’s apartment. At some point the renter is clued in and seeks the correct number for his landlord, but not before we are entertained and enjoy a happy ending.

Jay Larson, another comedian, handles a wrong number call regarding a business’ budget, where he engages with the caller, who he refers to as Random Guy. He invents expenditures, figures, and even coworkers as he names them to add relevance to his story. A few days later the gig is up, and Jay reminds them, by his actions, to lighten up.

The last three comedians wheedled joy into my heart. An answer to my recent inquiry unfolds and what a wake-up call it is. Credit is due to these three men.

That positive result isn’t always tangible, it isn’t necessarily a cure, a court battle, or a field of corn, nor a trim body, or orderly surroundings. It can be a feeling, like joy. It can be happiness, peace, and a sense of connection, all full of laughter and light. Although, this can be found in producing our own positive results, it can also be given, shared and cultivated in one another. Because beyond anything tangible, all of those good feelings, THAT’S THE POINT.

Happy returns,

Sunday, January 12, 2020

1/12/19 RMB Happy Birthday DDD

1/12/20 RMB Happy Birthday DDD

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

Today is his 85th birthday. On January 12th in 1935 a baby boy was born who would one day become my father.

This memory stands out. Some fifty years ago he carried me upstairs to bed after I fell asleep in our family’s Pennsylvania living room, nestled in the middle of a military housing complex.

He has taught me a lot of things by example and by his words. I’ve matured enough now to absorb those lessons more than before.

As a Marine he fought for his country in 2 wars and now helps recognize and show appreciation to Wounded Warriors for their service.

We refer to him as Dearest Daddy Darling, said with endearment and a bit of over the top humor. It seemed important to say something today. Memories flood in. I am fortunate to have a chance to express gratitude to the father that carried me up those stairs and who has carried our family in his heart these many decades.

Happy Birthday Daddy Darling Dearest!