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After You, I Insist

It is six years since writing this. The truck has come. Joyce is at home, tumors in her liver, her lungs, colon, and lymph nodes. Today she will speak with a doctor about helping her leave before even that is out of her control.

And I am supposed to help in this. That is my honour. That is my sadness. As the collective memory takes another blow, there are things that will no longer be remembered. Those things will no longer have happened. When Joyce leaves, If I forget, so will they.

Some are already have.

Adam Byrn Tritt

I am forty-eight. not old by a long shot. But still, this year, as I begin to think of myself as fifty, as half-way, I and my friends, my close friends, those long friends, those who have been with me for decades, for lifetimes, and those with whom I cannot recount decades but feel as though lifetimes have been spent in their splendid company, with those friends I have begun discussing who goes first.

Perhaps it is the death of my wife nearly two years ago. The shaking out of any sense of permanence and security. The blowing of the ram’s horn, the clanging of the cymbals, that shocks off the clinging illusion that anything lasts but love.

Perhaps it is the suicides, both successful and non,  that have surrounded me. The conscious choice to leave on one’s own terms.

Perhaps it is just age.

I have been…

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Posted by on November 26, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

What Shall We Do?

I know a man
Whose wife has moved
Into the stars.
She lives in the constellations
And wraps herself in
Shawls of nebulae.

I know a man
Whose wife lives in
Music. Old songs,
Rock and Roll.
She is found in color,
Audacious, bold and
Bright.

Mine has taken new residence
in trees
As their Goddess.
And who would kick a woman
From her home?  She is in
The waters too, in rocks,
And Sunflowers.

Men,
Our wives are
Everywhere, Everything.
‎Love has made it so,
‎‎The heart has built
‎A new pantheon of
The Goddesses of our Everyday Lives.

Gentleman,
What shall we now do
With our worshiping hearts?

Perhaps there is still
One goddess on Earth
Who does not know
She is divine,
And we are here to love.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Shells

Adam Byrn Tritt

She walks along the weaving foam,
waves bright under the full moon,
picking up shells,
perfect shells,
white shells,
bright shells,
leaving footprints to
fill with glistening sea.

She wants them all.
Each shell, every shell.

Then, when her hand, her arm, are full,
returns them,
one by one,
in splendid moonlit arcs,
again to the sea,
walking away with one,
only one,
the first one.

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Posted by on March 3, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

The Psychic Samurai

Today, I want to be a superhero. Truthfully, I want to be a superhero every day. I hold myself to superhero standards, changing whatever power I should have depending on the circumstances. I always fall short.

I hold myself to those standards anyway. Superhuman standards, a friend called them. Standards I’d never old anyone else to. That would be unreasonable. Standards I’d tell anyone else they’d need to relax. Cut themselves some slack. Give themselves a break. But not me. And if anyone tells me that, they just don’t understand – I have standards.

My friend Hayda once told me this:

Adam’s superpower is to eloquently, precisely and ruthlessly dissect his
adversaries’ logical fallacies and intellectual shortcomings in such a manner
that not only does he annihilate his opponent’s arguments, he leaves his enemy
in such a state that he is utterly unaware he has been defeated. He is a
Psychic Samurai.

I have held on to that. Isn’t it funny what affects us?

My wife once told me I was like a pit bull when I had a problem to solve and, in all things, “No one tries harder.”  How long ago was that? Was that nearly four decades ago now? No one tries harder. That somehow became my goal. To try the hardest. To never try less hard than I could. To never give less effort than I could. To be that superhero.

Just try your best. That’s all anyone can ask. I have been told this. But I know people don’t mean it. They wouldn’t want their surgeon to feel that way. Or a fireman. If the house burns down, if someone dies, standing among the ruins, the newly homeless don’t pat the fireman on the back and say, “You tied your best.”   Sometimes one’s best isn’t good enough. There has to be more.

Taoists tell us to never use more than 70% of our resources. There must be at least 30% left to attract and build new energy, so you can do ti again. So you can continue getting the job done, fighting that good fight, helping those in need, walking the walk. But why give 70% to just fail? Why just throw 70% out the window?

I know 110%, “I’ll give it 110%.” is a stupid thing to say. It isn’t possible.  But I know I can dig deep and find more.

But how long can one mine that energy? Without anything else present, if it is all spent, what is there around which new energy can accrete? But if one doesn’t, there is the higher possibility of failure. Better to burn out and get the job done, right?

Right?

Try the hardest. Even when a problem doesn’t have a solution. Even when the problem is a paradox. Even when there is no problem, but just life. Even when the solution is to stop trying and let go. Especially when it is to let go.

Thus, I am the world’s most unsuccessful superhero. The world’s largest superhero failure.   Even worse than The Blue Raja. A bigger flop than The Invisible Boy.

And the more I fail, the harder I try. How’s that working out for me? Not so well.

I’d better try harder.

 

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Leaving

Adam Byrn Tritt

It is possible there is a perfect time to die. A time when the stories told of you would be of kind compassion and rambunctious joy. Those are the times. When you are filled with love.

Not when you are alone. Not when you are filled with despair. A time when people think of you and smile, not shake their heads and ask why. Not too late when you have been lingering. But when you are active and happy. Die dancing. Die walking the beach. Not in front of a TV.

But most people don’t get to pick their time, it seems to me. And those who do often pick the time of despair and loneliness, leaving more despair behind them.

The perfect time would not have been the time that I picked. And, realizing it in time, pulled back. No, that was two weeks too early. The prefect time…

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Posted by on October 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Passover and the Industrial Revolution

Tomorrow is Passover. Each year I think next year. Next year I will have a sedar again. But the tablecloth stays in the closet.
I feel, I think, better with the memory of making matzoh with my daughter, the house filled with people – friends, family, students far from loved ones with no Jewish home to celebrate in – all reclining, talking, singing, eating. We wrote our own hagadah. I even “painted” the lentil red. All who entered, safe. May the Angel of Death pass us over.
We celebrated with song and merriment as a spring holiday. We celebrated it as freedom from slavery. We acknowledged that it was our place, the place Jews are supposed to hold, to make sure the world has justice. To make sure no group is taken advantage of. To make sure no people are victims. That we understand while one is enslaved, all are enslaved.
We celebrated Passover as a holiday of social justice.
Often seders end with “next year in Jerusalem.” We never said that. The work was always here, always at hand.
How long ago was that now, the days of P’nai Or and knowing our neighbours? The days of music and laughter in the house.
Now Passover is a day on a calendar and a bag in the closet I move aside when looking for other things.
Read the poem. pass it around if you like. Let me know what you think. And Happy Passover.

Source: Passover and the Industrial Revolution

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Prayer to the Earth for Yom Kippur

Adam Byrn Tritt

We open our mouths to proclaim how beautiful the world is, how sweet life is and how dear to us you are, Lady, Mother of All Living.

We stand here today to remind ourselves that we are all part of this web of creation. We are all linked, so that what any of us does affects all of us, that we are all responsible for the Earth. That we are all responsible for each other. We have chosen to be here today as a symbol of our commitment, our awareness of this connection.

Even so, we forget our promises and our duties.

We gossip, we mock, we jeer.

We quarrel, we are unkind, we lie.

We neglect, we abuse, we betray.

We are cruel, we hate, we destroy.

We are careless, we are violent, we steal.

We are jealous, we oppress, we are xenophobic.

We are racist, we are sexist…

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Posted by on October 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

 
 
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