Monday, June 7, 2010

For Wolf

Dylan Thomas wrote:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I read this poem in the 6th grade and I memorized its verse and applied my own cadence to it and have said it to myself over the course of my 42 years. (Pay attention here, this is important) Go back and read that poem again.


If you don’t hear it, if you can’t understand it, if it DOES NOT speak to you, if your BLOOD IS NOT BOILING!!!!

You are dead.

I have raged all my life against anything and everything. I have raged against my family, my wife, my friends, my enemies, my closest confidants, my newest acquaintances, my co-workers and supervisors. I have raged against earth, Mother Nature, the devil and god. I have raged and ranted and I have tried to suck the marrow out of every day I have been fortunate enough to be here for.

Yes, I have had my down times where I was in locked in the unforgiving clutches of despair and have felt her icy cold fingers slowly clawing their way into my heart, my soul, my life. There was no solace to be found in my desert of emotional turmoil and loss of will to breath. And during those moments I could hear a whisper in an incorporeal soft voice…




I hear it when I need it. When my Muse or my Maniac get to feeling a little ignored, which can lead to trouble if not acted upon in a “Proper and Sane” manner.

Both got loose yesterday and today. I am to blame, I let ‘em out to play. They were trapped inside for too long. The Muse was pasty looking and frail and when I let her out she feasted upon all the glorious little nuggets of wisdom, energy, beauty, ugliness and the grizzly fleshy bits of daily life where you experience Love, Loss, Joy and Pain. She gorged herself on everything. She was everywhere, in the rafters dancing across the beams, in the kitchen sneaking tasty morsels of freshly roasted turkey, under the picnic bench admiring the curves of the human form, dancing in a wading pool with a 6 year old boy and catching imaginary alligators. She was a Glutton and she brought it all back for me to store in my memory banks, boy do I love her.

The Maniac…

Well, now he is a maniac and I am not going to apologize for him. He is raw, unfettered, uncensored, uncut and He is truly the one guy I know I can call upon when I need my Rage. The Maniac has been chained up to a brick wall in a straight jacket with his hair on fire screaming at me to get out and let go. To get more emotional. To stop holding things in. TO OPEN UP! TO STOP BEING HURT AND FUCK SOMETHING UP. He was a whole lot more fun to watch.

I watched as the Maniac tore through some cigars, make wise assed comments with no filter, grapple folks, yell, scream, laugh, cry, try to embarrass people, try to be embarrassed, try to get through my thick skull that it is OK for me to let my shit out. Which is what I am gonna do here. So things might get a bit long. Right now I just don’t care. I can’t care. I AM IN RAGE!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote:

A Psalm of Life

Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, - act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sand of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solenm main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us then be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate;

Still achieving, still pursuing,

Learn to labor and to wait.


A man I admired, loved and respected took his life. I AM IN RAGE! NOT ENRAGED I AM IN RAGE!

He died with his bible in one hand, a gun in his other, the word of salvation on his lips, despair in his heart and a bullet in his head.

I want to burn heaven to ashes, I want to flood hell and I want to crush earth under the heel of my Chuck Taylors.

I want a do over. I want to stop this crazy ass ride and figure out what the fuck is going on.

I, I, I, this should not be about I. This is about Wolf.

He was the second man I met in my church. He understood my quiet observations, he understood why I was skeptical, he knew I had been disillusioned with religion. He knew, he understood. He did not pass judgment, he did not push a bible in my hand, he did not question my faith, my walk, my clothes my hair my life.

He was just there. He would open the door for you, get you a cup of coffee, a cookie, a donut, some cheese. He always seemed to know what it was you needed or wanted and how to get it quickly. When he smiled at you and waved to you his eyes had a spark in them that showed just how open he was and how much he understood you just by looking at you.

When time came for having a Super Bowl party, everyone went to see him. When you had a question that needed answering whether spiritually or secular you could always talk to Wolf. Wolf was not ordained at that time. He was just Wolf. He was there when you needed him.

But no one was there for him. He died in his backyard with his bible in one hand and a pistol in the other.

There was no one else there for him. No one knew his troubles, his demons, his moments of doubt and shame.

THAT PISSES ME OFF. He had our numbers. He had numbers to Pastors who would have gotten out of bed in the middle of the night, left their families and loved ones just to listen to him and help him. I would have. But I didn’t get that call. No one got that call.

No one talks anymore. Oh, sure we have 140 character tweets, short emails, Facebook status updates. But actual face to face, one on one conversation. Nope. It doesn’t happen. We’re too busy. PTA, Rec League Sports, Internet Blogs (Ooooo I went there.), Text messages.

Our days are packed. I know mine are and I know yours are.

Wolf had days like that. He spent almost 10 years doing volunteer work at our church, teaching, listening and learning. He got burned out. He took a vacation. But in truth it was not a vacation, it was a yearlong spiritual walkabout in the mountains of North Carolina leaving behind his wife and family. That took balls. But you know what? He grew and he started a new ministry for God. He was not seeking it out. It came to him. God sought him out and gave him a ministry and calling to help people in an isolated area where there was no light for the people who had pretty much been forgotten and lost by our modern society. He changed lives just by showing up.

Now he is dead.

Now I’m Pissed. I am ready to tear some shit apart, I am ready to take a flamethrower to the entire fucking system of religion and pressures it puts on people and I don’t feel that I am able to walk into my church with my head held high knowing that somewhere in our Faith system, in our Lives, our Friendships and our connections with one another where when one person is down and out, when they are at their worst and that they feel they can’t speak to someone. Can’t reach out and talk to someone. Can’t get any help from anyone.

I know I had no control over this incident. I am not responsible. I DID NOT DO ANYTHING TO MAKE THIS MAN DO WHAT HE DID. HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS OWN ACTIONS! I am however responsible for not letting him know how important he was to me. How he affected my life. How he influenced me. How he walked a path of Faith and Honor that I respected

Despair is a Bitch.

And the one place I find solace, the one inner calming mechanism I use to help me make sure that I have taken my time to ensure that I have the Peace in my soul so that I can function and that I have a love that I know I can never truly find on earth I can’t go to I can’t talk to. Because I am not ready to face him right now. I have been pissed off before at God. I have flipped him off. I have told him to fuck off and die, to stay out of my life and I will stay out of his. Rage. Different arrangements for a different man.

This should not be about me, this should be about Wolf but I keep coming back to my Soul and the pain I have there and the blood stains that are on it. Yes, my Soul is bleeding; I can see in my minds eye the slow trickle of blood as it stains the purity of my Earthly Ward. I am its caretaker and I feel I have failed. This should not be about me. But it is. I was in Wolf’s place. I was fortunate, I had a lifeline. I had a someone reach down in my pit and pull me out. Wolf had the same one. Wolf didn’t call. Now the world is a shittier place.


I am gonna post this now dear reader and if you have stuck around this long I feel I need to tell you one last thing; This is not my original post. My original post was a much stronger worded and a bit more spicy. It was also written at 4 am in the middle of Pennsylvania at a meeting with people I like, love and respect. Maybe one day I will post it. Maybe one day…



  1. Post script:

  2. wow, the first half is far different from the last half and I'm truely sorry for the loss of your friend. Once again you go in deep and pull out something raw, REAL, and put it on display.

  3. Kurt, I felt I needed to let people know how my brain works a bit with the relationship between the Muse and the Maniac. Thank you for your comment, it is much appreciated.

  4. Those two wolves still duel things out day by day.

    I feel for your loss, Skip. I do. And yet, at the same time, it reminds me that deep down at the core of everything, each man is an island.

    We can share or contain ourselves. We can find acceptance or we can covet. We can bleed on the page or we can build stone walls. But whatever we share, no one can know the depths of the rivers of thought that flow in our own minds except ourselves, or, if that's your belief, a higher power.

    Rage against the night, indeed.

    Howl at the fucking moon and let the heavens see the wrath in your eyes. Let the blood in your veins fill with thoughts of vengeance and grow hot with anger.

    I've done it as well and over time found my own sense of peace that I never knew existed. I've walked through the fire and I know I will walk it again. With pain comes perspective.

    With pain comes the opportunity to look upon the world with new eyes.

    With pain comes an acceptance that the world has balance and our path here is filled with moments of heartbreak and elation... and if only one existed, we wouldn't recognize the other.