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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

 

Yom Kippur as Manifest in an Approaching Dorsal Fin

Adam Byrn Tritt

It is Yom Kippur. A Monday. I have taken the day off work to walk, meditate, think. I have taken the day of work so I could go to temple the night before and not worry about the time, the hour, how late it was getting, when I would need to get up.

We asked our friends to go with us. In our back yard, playing with clay, our conversation set on cognates and religion. I mentioned the Buddha of compassion, Amitabha, and the other name for him, Amida. How the Amidah is the name of a prayer of compassion during Yom Kippur. How it relates to the fruit, almonds, as the ancient Hebrews saw the almond as a symbol for watchfulness, promises and redemption. How the part of the brain which we know to be the seat of our ability to see things in a global, compassionate way…

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Posted by on October 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

To Succeed in Life, You have to Actually Show Up OR How David Pastorius still owes me Eighty Dollars

I was reminded of this today. The first rule to success in anything is showing up.

Adam Byrn Tritt

This is not going to be a masterpiece. I am not saying I have, in the past, managed to create such but, If ever I had, this isn’t going to be it. No exemplar this. I’m just mad.

Yes, I know, some of you are saying I should use the word angry instead. Nope. Not this time. I’m just too mad.

Irresponsibility. Complete lack of follow-through. Zero respect for me or my time. And it is rampant.

And this last week, I had had enough. Here is what I posted as my status on Facebook the other morning.

“I will indulge in a moment of complaining and excoriating (which I shall confine to Monday mornings, though, I like Mondays) as I dislike being taken, as I abhor dishonesty and irresponsibility. Such went the way of my recent electric bass lessons for which I waited so long, for which money was…

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Posted by on August 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Hair

I don’t know why I’m reading this tonight. Maybe it is seeing my kids after a year absent – seeing in the light of their eyes the omnipresent brightness of their mother. Maybe it is Sadie asking her questions, continuous, into the deep morning. Maybe it is part of the work of grief, the carrying of the weight in the dark to the mountain-top that is never reached.

Of everything I have ever written, this is the one I think of the most. Not the longest, by far. Maybe nearly the shortest. But the one that lives on my mind.

I was asked, by Murshida VA, what three things would I have someone know about grief.

I took a day to answer, then three things came at one. It has no schedule. It doesn’t end, or heal. One simply incorporates it into one’s life – a wound, a laming, to which one adapts, with which one lives, from which one learns, and with which one may become stronger. It cannot be controlled, anticipated, prepared for – it will be different each time and come in different ways. I will now add a fourth. It is the price of love – never shut it away and you will be able to love more, and again, and see love in all things. Those who cannot grieve cannot return to love, cannot return to grace.

Adam Byrn Tritt

I had pulled the car out of the garage and set up a chair.  Months earlier I had purchased a Norelco family hair cutting kit, and electric razor and attachments, for next to nothing at a garage sale. I had no idea why, but I brought it home, and now, now, it was plugged in and ready to be used.

The chemotherapy had left your hair in clumps.  It fell into the shower drain, left bits on the pillow, left itself on the couch. Each bit that fell, you cried. I watched as you turned once, as I held you up in the shower to see your hair on the drain.  Out of the shower, you stood, facing the mirror, clutching at your hair, pulling it out in clumps, tears falling, falling into the sink with the strands from between your fingers.

Hats you didn’t like. The scarves you used…

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Posted by on June 24, 2016 in Uncategorized

 
 
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