Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blessing for a New Born


Good afternoon,

If this message made it through your spam filter and you wish it hadn't, there's a button for that. If your email address has changed to:, just lemme know. Or, if your computer erupts in flames every time you receive these messages, it's probably time you stop reading this drivel.

However, for anyone else that's still reading these posts, after all these years, thank you. A lot has changed recently: marriage, job, newborn son, step daughter. Considering how often I write, 'recently' has a very broad definition.
By the way, I totally recommend having a child; you can pick them up on any street corner.

Today's post is one of generational education, which is arguably one of the most fundamental vehicles toward a thriving and evolving society. This is just one very small slice in an otherwise extremely large and much bigger super slice, which itself probably fits somewhere in a knowledge mega-pie, metaphorically - of course; a literal mega-pie of knowledge would be a culinary oxymoron encompassing something that everyone wants but has a hard time motivating to attain, and something else that people gorge on but say they could easily do without (knowledge, and calories).
So, to add to this caloric megalith of edible slices of knowledge, I offer a few words for my son..


 A Slice of the Pie...

            I wish someone told me that in the end everything is okay. That, in the end, the world has the mastery to care for itself and the wisdom to see to that aim. I wish someone told me that my actions though important in my life are small in the ebbs and flows of the world as a whole and therefore my mistakes aren’t grounds for dismissal but instead are lessons in becoming the person I was born to be. I wish I knew that sometimes it is more important to act in courage than to do the right thing.
            I wish someone taught me that I am, and was born, the person I will always be and that the only challenge in my life will be to surrender to that, to explore that innate sense of myself. All else is merely a chance to clean the complacency and negativity off my soul.
            I wish someone informed me that it was okay to be human and to believe myself, to not always trust people and to know that people are responsible for their own feelings, not I. I wish I knew that people are cruel because they either don’t know better or don’t have the courage, or just don't care (but that's more rare than most people think). In life, people will hurt you and you will hurt others; it is okay to mourn this pain and I would like to tell you that it is okay to end that mourning and continue the work of your life. I wish someone told me that it is not acceptable to live a life of guilt, despite what you wish you had done differently. I wish I knew that living only for myself, or only for other people, is no life at all. I wish I knew that anger, injury and suffering were not badges of honor.
I wish I knew that love is a blessed gift; to myself and the person I love, even if that person cannot return my love, and that sometimes it’s okay to love someone from afar.
            The greatest gift you can give yourself is a positive outlook on Life and Self. Your Life is created by what you see. Though the object remains the same, everyone will see something different. This is why some people have successes and others do not. You have a choice in your vision. Choose what you see wisely because you will live the results of your sight. A positive outlook on Life and Self is the greatest gift that you can give someone else. This is an act of creation meaning that it is yours to define and modify anytime you desire. I wish I learned this before I was 30. I wish I had perfected this before you were born.
            In your Life I hope that you practice seeing other people for who they are, not as you would like them to be. If you are fortunate, you will practice this your entire Life.
            Joy. Not ignorance, not glibness, not immaturity, not clinginess, not sucking the joy from others nor causing detriment to others. Grow joy in your life as a gardener grows succulent greens. This is a deep and powerful source of soul nourishment. Therefore, avoid the malaise and traps of pessimism. It is literally wasted energy since in it nothing can grow, and it is a nagging burden sucking up more energy than it gives; eventually, it will break you. Joy will heal and build you. 

            Though it will be difficult at times, and hopefully easy at others, grant your parents your patience. Sometimes, we literally have no idea what we're doing, and at still other times we are reflexively practicing what other humans taught us - where these humans too were works in progress and still on their personal journeys.

            The world gives birth to everyone for a reason. Many people are granted birth but suffer the great loss of not finding or creating a reason for their birth. May patience, peace, balance, wisdom and love be the whispers in your ear as you sleep, and may you rise above the chains of fear and become the reason for your birth, to live as the person your are.
            Insomuch as I can I bless these lessons on you and hope this knowledge reaches you when you are ready for it.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Being born into a new world

In the Beginning...

You had a very long, lazy and uneventful gestation period. You were healthy from the beginning and every step of the way you, and the assemblage of necessary birthing tissue and organs, were healthy. Your heart rate was always in the proper range and it filled me with deep love to hear your heart through the sonogram. Your pops almost cried that first time he heard your heart. In a sonogram all I could see was a mass of grey noise, as undifferentiated tissue, that was pulsing in rhythm. It is literally magic because most people really don't know how the process of gestation produces a living, sentient being. 


First, you should know that your mother is an Amazon warrior of birthing. She produced a large and healthy baby and did so while making some of the best decisions for your health, largely being as natural and drug free as possible (this keeps the strong pain medicine from entering your body). Your mom loves you dearly and put your well being ahead of her own comfort and pain. I am in awe of your mom and respect her greatly for her dedication and her choices. 
Your dad played a small role and that was to apply counter pressure to your mom's hips while she was having contractions; she only needed me for the last five hours, starting at 2:45am. At one point the nurse walked in and saw me sitting in the labor bed, shirt off, with your mom laying against me. The lights were dim and she first said: "Aww, you guys are so cute." Then she saw the reason for it as i pressed against her hips during a contraction, opening them with pressure. She then responded with "I have never seen this before."

The First Day...

You slept more than you ate. When awake, you were peaceful. I cried that night out of joy at having a healthy son. I am unequal to the task of putting to word the depth of my love for you. So, i will have to express it through the time we spend together and one day I hope you will know.
The doctors came by and tested you in various ways. Your were regularly nonplussed by each of these intrusive visits.

Pictures of the Little Man...

Here are some great pictures of my newborn son. Daddy is so proud of him and can't wait to show him off. Please note: All identities have been masked, or professionally altered, to protect the innocent.
You are so cute. This was taken right after you were born. Look at your cute, chubby cheeks.
Here's a family photo of you guys at your first doctor's appointment

You are more handsome than your father. It's obvious from these photos.

Day 3...

Today you gave me your biggest smile. It was clear that you were asleep as your face ran a not narrow gamut of expressions illuminating what must be a boiling brew of sensations and feelings. When you express joy, i am joyed. In your crying i am saddened. It is not that i am sad but instead attuned to your expressed feeling in that moment. I feel your ache while concurrently feeling the joy and pride that your life opens the door to.

Day 3, Night...

For months now I've been looking forward to reading to you every night at bedtime. I've been expecting that I'd read some dense books in the beginning because it's very likely you can't understand me (obviously i can't say this with certainty, but only a strong belief based on prior education). So yesterday we started with a classic work, Hop on Pop. That went by too fast, so i broke out Foundation, by Asimov. Currently Gaal has just met Seldon for the first time and Seldon shared his conclusion of Trantor's fate via psychohistorical calculations.
You ended up staring at your arms, sticking out your tongue, and occasionally blinking through most of this section. In truth, you were agog with the mystery of self discovery through the veil of newborn awareness. You may not remember this book, but i will remember this time together as one of bonding and joy.
Also, you made some great presents for daddy, so we had to change your diaper; the plumbing is working and daddy is happy you're healthy.

Day Four...  

Today you made more presents for daddy. In fact, while changing your diaper, you gave daddy a front row seat to how you make daddy's presents. You just bubbled out a fresh one for papa, right there, no shame. Just Poop... High five!

Teaching Moment...

First, be kind to people. The human race is such a maelstrom of misdirected cacophonies with personal dramas belying the insincerity that so many people try to hide. But beneath this veneer of discord is an even deeper truth and that is simply that everyone is trying to do the best they can with what they have and what they believe to be correct, even if that belief changes like a leaf in a storm. So, have patience because it is hard to be alive and living and yearning and wanting and trying - and to do all of this without a manual on "Life." Just as i have no "Daddy" manual, you will have no "Life" manual (though i hope and plan  to be of great assistance in this area, to you). This brings me to my second point. 
Consider that while no one has a manual on "Life," everyone seems to live it. In essence, in a lack of structure or guidance we create our own lives despite their being no rule book on how to do this. Some people have made their own rule books to tell others that these are the rules! But, even this was created. So, humankind, when standing in the middle of a void can create new things that once did not exist. One of the greatest expressions of creation are the quests for purpose, meaning and enlightenment. Consider mathematics, art, architecture, textiles, spoons, bread, accounting, plumbing, televisions, pizza, rocket ships, language and the internet. At one point in human history, these things did not exist.
So on this second point, It occurs to me to consider what makes us so distinct from the rest of the animals on the planet (and make no mistake, we are animals of the wild, despite our willful self-segregation from nature). We are not faster, larger, stronger, smaller, nor meaner (smarter is generally accepted but also debatable). I believe that what separates us from other animals, aside from our self-segregation, is our ability and willingness to create. We are, daily, creation machines.
You are, and have been since your birth, a creator. As you age and mature, you will hone your abilities to create, or I have failed you in this aspect. I will teach you not just how to create but how to avoid creating certain (even detrimental) things, events and circumstances. Because every human is a creator, every human has power and ability to bring about their vision of the world, and these visions often conflict. An untrained creator makes joy or pain, loss or wealth, life or death, without fully knowing what they did, how they did it, or appreciating their ability and actions; in this style of living there exists diminished choice or a perception of no choice, or of being trapped. I wish for you peace, strength and an awareness to clearly choose what you will create. It could be said that this is the very difference between a child and an adult.

I love you young Master Britton.

PS. We are now on page 37 of Foundation, where Gaal and Seldon are being tried in a questionable court proceeding by hostile interests. The point here is that justice is not fully present and such is the state of the declining Empire. Seldon predicts 300 years before Trantor falls. Uh oh!!! You will still be trying to put your fingers in your mouth for a while longer. Perhaps by the time we start the second book you will be learning how to put your toes in your mouth; only time will tell.