A changing time brings a wave of disturbing newness.

When we've made a plan we can't recount. It is essential to stick to plans and to follow through, or we'll lose all legitimacy to ourselves and to others.

And that's where I find myself. Unaware of the future, but surely at contempt for the prospect of failure. But, while failure seems all but impossible in this world of second and third chances, I can't convince myself that everything will be fine. Perhaps it's an acquired attitude. Regret for past failures.


It's the feeling that little has been accomplished with the tools and talents acquired and blessed by God. I've yet to publish a story, or a book of poetry. And, in my undying ability to create words of thought, to lance the fat from the crap rivals sow, I've not been able to use my own whit to hunker down and establish what I'm meant to do.

Perhaps, all else shall fail if I lay, head back in a canoe, on the river of my dreams. For, when a man finds his voice, all will try to quiet him. But he must not let them. All things seems impossible, until the man takes hold and discovers what it is he is meant to be. And, I've done that. But do I have the know-how and the angst to follow through with producing what I should?

I must, or fear will continue to conquer and life with become more drab.

Fear has become my life. I live in fear, moment to moment, and it is reality, which has become the true fiction. I’m afraid of everyone and regret pours over me. There are no fancy words and/or phrases to describe its clutch upon my heart and soul. I’ve made big plans and must stick to them, but I’m afraid I’m destined to fail amidst my inability to be productive due to the dread. I can’t keep people close, because I’m at fear of my affect on them, deepening my regret and their angst for departure. Anxiety for daily activities I seemingly can’t perform, leads to overwhelming regret and depression within, to fear of the future and of the past; killing hope and reckoning my life to tattered shreds of contempt for myself.

I wish I knew the way to hope. I’ve tried God and when I disagree or can’t decide what I believe, I feed my furnace of regret. I have tried to keep friends, but can’t because, my dread has spread to them. Music has no ring, colors are grey and the prospect of new adventures brings nothing, but anxious worry.

I want out of this nightmare, to a place where things are easy and can be completed. Where I feel as if I matter. And where I feel smart again, and able to stand on my own two feet. To be a champion of the day, happy with whatever successes are attainable and not greedy to be the best in all fields, just good enough for someone else and for myself.


I've told people, and yet I fail myself: don't try to like something you don't.

It just doesn't make sense to the inner most reaches of whatever it is that we have which decides what works and what doesn't to the inner most reaches of whatever it is that we have.

I'm also learning to keep as little attachment to things as possible, psychoanalyze situations before they happen, prep for them and you'll be free to do what you want to do with your life.

Attachments are misguiding and they retort nothing in regard to happiness. Let your mind wander, create and you'll find guidance in all you need.

Saltine crackers and budweiser make a good lunch, especially when the cup on the patio - trapped by the wind and the flanking fence - won't stop it's rolling about.


Seeing Nothing and Saying Nothing

So, it goes like this:

These guys come up to us on the street; we're smoking cigarette after cigarette, talking about Middle East peace resolution and why things are named what they're named, like Kentucky blue grass, for instance.

We're just talking and they approach and the one guy, kind of short and square-eyed; you know what I mean, right? Square-eyed? Almost, like a cartoon character, the short guy, dressed in a blue turtle neck, dark-blue-faded-at-the-knee blue jeans and a worn red toboggan, opens his palm and says: "take a look."

So I say: "Look at what," to him, peering down and then looking at both the short guy and his friend, a fiendish looking bloke with a square head, black-rimmed glasses and an itch to be somewhere.

And I meant it, to what? There was nothing there.

So, he said look again and so I did. Still nothing.

I turned to my friend and I said, nothing.

I guess some people see somethin', but I don't when there's nothin'. And, even worse, some people talk about nothin' when it's just that.


Cormier Plage

We took time to see the city of Cap Haiten and the rural areas outside the city. To the entertainment of everyone else - and myself - I opted to ride in the bed of the truck most the time, to both snap photos and take advantage of something not allowed in our over-lawed society.

Two Fridays ago, Fr. Andre took the three of us, as well as Bob and Ann; a couple from Montreal, staying at the orphanage simultaneously, to the beach. Taking the high road - and the bumpy one - we etched our way through the northern stretches of Cap Haiten, into the highlands and further and further from the 'somewhat' paved streets of the bustling city. Climbing into the mountains, we snaked our way passed 'tap-taps' and motorbikes, down and out of ravines within the road, sculpted by the rain water draining down the cliffs.

We passed and people stared; mainly at me, villages and streams where women washed clothes before setting them on the cactus bushes nearby in the morning sun to dry. Nearing the apex of the climb, I noticed a break in the mango, spruce and banana trees and then, the immense blue. The next turn brought full view of the Caribbean sea and a lone sailboat, beat by the waves, some of which crashing and spraying the rocky coast.

We made our descent, very slow now on the increasingly windy and thin road. As we got closer two trucks loaded with 10 people in each bed were closing in to our bumper. Turning the corner - a clear blind spot - Fr. Andre honked and as he did the two trucks passed us, missing motorcycles by mere feet and another truck, which in passing bumped driver-side mirrors with ours.

We soon arrived at Cormier Plage, a resort of sorts. We spent the day at the beach, in the warm sea and I got sunburned to the point I'm dealing with it as I write.


Days have passed and I have yet to make a concrete assumption as to what my trip to Haiti meant; to me and to my mission for the betterment of those I feel charged to help.

The details are immense of dissimilarity to the conditions we find as norms in this country, to the landscape of Haiti. But oddly I found myself mere hours into the adventure sympathizing not with the lack-of, which Haiti is victim, but to the access-to that I find so paralyzing, for which the people of this country fall victim.

The children, desperate for love and starved for parents having either died of natural causes, lost in the mix or in the 2010 earthquake, could grasp the heart of any person for which they came in contact. I found myself pitying them, but thankful their conditions are as they have been placed.

Father Andre; a gentle, caring but enthusiastically intelligent man has started two schools, the orphanage of the children I am speaking, is pushing evermore to give back, as he was given as one of Haiti's own lost children. Raised by nuns, educated in Haiti and the United States, Fr. Andre came back to Haiti only to return to the streets, pulling children from the dusty and poorly-paved roads of Cap Haiten and starting an orphanage to house those not much unlike him as a child.

I watched in their eyes as they played, as we gave treats - a single Oreo to each, in one case - and I saw something lost in the eyes of many. While we have found ways to destroy the bonds we are blessed and/or lucky enough to have, depending on your perspective and/or assumption, these children truly hold each other close; brothers and sister's not of birth, but of a common upbringing. One night I watched the oldest, with a plate of the leftover rice and beans from lunch, systematically scoop and allocate even portions to his 19 'brothers' and 'sisters', taking care not to miss anyone. As he did, one of the smallest girls did her best to mouth the scoop of food, while I cupped my hand under her mouth to catch the bits that fell.

The children were not shy, but boisterous and assured in their need to be held, holding our hearts at the same time. The first night, we sat at the picnic-style tables in the living room, watching the fuzzy 12-inch television, as one sat on my knee, his legs rapped around my right leg locking in and holding on, surely to take advantage of closeness of which he is starved.

We would play to exhaustion, while the children became more energized as the mid-80s heat and sun beat down on my back in their small play yard. And then we'd stop, I'd sit and five or six of them would pile on my lap and shoulders and back, pulling my hair rubbing my whiskered face and asking me questions in their native Creole, I'd try best to understand.

I learned to love them without a curriculum of understanding or without trying.

One particular boy, his parents having died in the catastrophic earthquake last year, attached to my hip and every time I'd come down the steps from our quarters, his eyes would lock into mine and his arms would shoot to the sky, begging for me to pick him up, hold him and sometimes toss him in the air. I spent hours watching him, when I didn't hold him as he etched on a magnadoodle, and in my moleskin. "Ecris, Ecris," he say softly to me when I'd bring my notebook to scribble down observations. I'd let him draw and oftentimes, he'd be practicing cursive figures of vowels, i noticed the teacher had left on the broken chalk board in the rudimentary classroom/play area.

Yes, my time in Haiti was not for me, but for the children. But it was a rejuvenation of sorts and a time to see, as I've already assumed, that there are innumerable perspectives to experience.

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