I recently did a Google search to find pictures of the poet and illustrator Shel Silverstein. I was surprised to find out that some of my friends didn’t know who he was. Surprised, because Silverstein’s books were a big part of my childhood, and i just assume that everyone knows who he is. Aren’t his books in every elementary school in America?
I’ve read his books, A Light in the Attic and Where The Sidewalk Ends in school and I was always drawn to the simple line drawings and the silly but and somewhat irreverent tones of the poems. What I found out later (read: a few years ago) was that Shel was also an accomplished songwriter. He wrote the song “A Boy Named Sue”, a song made famous by music icon Johnny Cash.
During the Google image search, I came across the image for his poem “Hug O’ War” This is a poem used to be on the family fridge growing up. My two brothers and I used to practice the Hug O’ War while cleaning the kitchen, just passing by or while setting the table for dinner. The image of the poem was a nice find and a pleasant remembrance of a simpler time. The fact that we used to randomly hug each other was pretty cool. I have three kids now and I can’t image them doing this to each other. I’ll print out the photo of the poem and give it a try though. You never know they may, just like my friends, surprise me.
I went running today with my daughter Rebekah. Started my training for my first ever 5k that I will run this summer. I signed up a couple months ago and am looking forward to it. I will run the Boilermaker in Utica, NY with two good friends Dom and Mike. Rebekah has run with me before, but today she struggled to keep up. She complained of cramps, shortness of breath, got scared to the Canadian geese and blamed her inability to keep up on the fact that my legs are longer. At times she complained so much that I started to get frustrated, because I know she can do it.
In the distance I saw a rainbow in the sky and I pointed it out to her. I told her “See Sweets, God is showing you a rainbow because he knows you can do it. He’s telling you to be calm and focus, and that you’ll be just fine.”
She didn’t buy it. She very clearly stated that a rainbow came from “water in the sky that is split by sunlight, and since it just rained, that is why there was a rainbow in the sky.”
So much for that.
The classic line from the movie “Brokeback Mountain” “I just can’t quit you”, is something I can relate to right about now. Not in the direct association with the movie but I relate to the sentiment of the line. I’m having a hard time letting things go. Remember the dryer? The old house? For me it’s also hard to quit stuff I start. This applies to projects and commitments. All renting space in the brain. It’s my own fault. I enjoy being involved, solving design problems, and helping those who need it, however lately it’s at the expense of a normal life. And for a control freak like me it’s hard to flip that switch. There are some commitments or relationships I truly enjoy and I guess the trick is too hold on to the ones that fill a need in the soul and delete the ones that don’t. As I get older I am gaining a better perspective of realizing which is which. Still, overall I find it difficult to quit things. I wish I knew how … well let me restate this. I know how. I just need the courage to just say no. The courage to say goodbye to commitments. The courage to move on.