The Life Equation

A couple of years ago, I injured my shoulder surfing and was not able to surf for several weeks. I continued going to the beach and took photos instead while my body healed. I remembered watching the local high school surf team this day as they shouted, laughed, and scored really great waves during a winter swell. What stood out the most was watching some students stylin’ on cheap foam boards that are sold at the local Costco.

I heard a preacher on the radio say that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. I have heard this saying recycled and re-quoted many times in different forms like, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” but is it not true? Anything “awesome” or “epic” usually depends on how you participated in it. The kids who surfed with the foam boards were carving out waves as good as the other kids who had boards that cost 10 times more.

Times have changed and now people reject sound wisdom and will react with, “What if I don’t like lemonade?” and “Why am I getting lemonade when those people get Arnold Palmer’s?”  The victim card is way overplayed nowadays. It is time to put that card down and take that 10% of crap that has been thrown your way and turn it into fertilizer for the 90%. Grow something. Change something. Overcoming obstacles in life is not easy nor comfortable. Stop wasting energy on leveling the playing field and just play. If all you have is that cheap foam board, then use it and make it awesome. The 90% is yours.

Accordion Angel

  
Accordion Angel
was playing on the streets
pressing and squeezing 
while his foot tapped a beat

Dressed up for the day
from his boots to his hat
He stuck to his own style
for years has been part of his act 

Not really an act
More like a concert
If you don’t know his genre
he will make you a convert

Of head nodding polka
with Mexican spice 
that causes you to skip
once maybe twice

When I walked up to Angel
He looked right in my face
Taking a pic was fine
but the fee was money in his case 

He kept playing and singing
his Mexican tunes
holding on to his dreams
that fame would come soon. 

Old L.A. 

 

Someone share your account
of what it used to be
fulfilling dreams and finding love
in and around the big city

What was it like
the transformation of this place
the mindset of the people
the looks on each face

And can we hope for a future
that emerges from these old streets
with changes that make sense
where all these souls meet.

Thanks for taking the time to read my latest poem. Sometimes, I get to go with my wife before the crack of dawn to get florals at the flower district in this part of Los Angeles. It is marvelous to see the big city wake up. 10 million folks in one place. Many more millions of dreams and stories of success and heartache and everything in between.

Sharing Hot Wheels

I showed my buddy, Mike my latest Hot Wheels find after I shot this (yes, I buy Hot Wheels.) When Mike said that it was the coolest Hot Wheels that he had seen in a while, I gave it to him. He responded with bear hug tight enough to make a bear pass out. When my 10-year old daughter saw this picture on my phone she asked where was that Hot Wheel, and I told her that I gave it to my friend. After a thoughtful pause, she grinned and asked, “You gave a grown-up a toy?” I had a similar thoughtful pause, smiled back and responded, “Yes, I did.” Maybe, I should do that more often. I could be like one of Santa’s little brown elves handing out toys to grown ups. “Sharing is caring” is what we tell the kiddos. There’s no age limit to that saying. Don’t you agree? Make it a great weekend everyone!

A Poem About IKEA & Laughter


Playing house
At the local IKEA
Relieves the stress
At least that’s my idea

Life is too short
To always play it cool
There are just some moments
You have to be a fool

Smiles trump frowns
And chuckles beat sighs
Meet your quota for laughs
Before you die.

That’s my motto
Because times get too heavy
Laughter takes advantage
Of life in its brevity

Thanks to my co-workers Chris and Sarah for putting up with my humor during a busy day. Thanks to you, followers and visitors, for putting up with my humor.

50

Every year, they sit in the same spot he found her 50 years ago. 50 years ago, they talked and smiled as they gazed over the waters and wondered about what could be. Every year, they return to the same spot to sit together. This day, 50 years after he found her at this very spot, they continue to talk and smile as they gaze over the waters.

Old story. New illustration. Thanks for reading. Your feedback is appreciated.

Advice for Hearts

A word to the young,

Yours can be fooled

Usually when you’re foolish

Wreckless and never ruled.

A word to those who are gray,

Before you lay to rest

Stop pining for yesterdays

And make today your best.

A word for the lonely,

Don’t be offended by my tone

Sharing your journey is a choice

So is staying alone.

A word to the lost,

Open your eyes

And commit to find your way

Instead of living on lies.

A word to those who are filled,

Help us sift the truth from the tales

Warn us about chasing after empty dreams

And remind us that love never fails.

The Flower Fades

The flower fades

as we can see

yesterday in full glory

now traveling to a distant memory.

Vibrant and springing life

once boasting and bold

color has bled away

standing, yet wilting and cold

Life is to be cherished

its span is too small

capture every moment

until eternity calls

Love as much as you can love

live bigger than your mind

give more than you keep

before there is no more time

Because we will all fade

and in the end we will see

that we all had the gift

to pen a beautiful story.