Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Kara stepped out of the gym. Her dry weave, body forming shirt soaking in sweat. The contrast of her hot sweaty body against the fall evening air sent shivers down her. Kara was exhausted. The trainer, Tony, was relentless.

Tony was the head trainer. He took over the 5:30 PM class since Amir left. Tony was a MMA fighter. He competed and prepared to compete constantly. He had tattoos going up the back of his neck to the top of his head, mimicking what Kara assumed some kind of tribal tattooing. It was obvious his body was covered in the art. Kara's friend Cindy joked once that even Tony's balls were tattooed.

Tonight, Tony focused on legs. It was the round house kicks that wore Kara out. She could handle an hour long class of boxing and aerobics. But kicking took it out of her. At first Tony would bark out an order of 10 kicks followed by some short aerobic routine. Then he bumped up the repetitions to twenty. And then thirty. They did not stop until the count was 50 from each side. Kara's body ached.

Ahead of Kara was Christie. Kara tried to pick up her pace to catch up with Christie. Normally Kara wouldn't think twice of talking with her. They didn't mix. Asians did not talk with blacks. It wasn't part of the code. Tonight, Kara didn't care. Christie was her with her in the trenches of Tony's class and tonight they shared a bond.

"That was hard", Kara commented.

Christie looked back at her, faintly laughing, "Oh my god. I thought I was going to die".


That was pretty much all the breathe Kara had left for a rely. Besides she was at her car now and there was no need to continue talking. Despite her exhaustion, Kara felt good. It felt good to be this tired. It also felt good to step out and talk with someone she wouldn't normally even share a glance.

I should be nice to everyone, Kara commented to herself. After all, that is the golden rule.

Kara continued in her self reflection to treat other people regardless of the code of the street, or anything else. It was right to treat people kindly and it felt good. She vowed from this moment on she was going to live by that new rule.

Slowly getting into her little Honda Civic, Kara keeps a mindful eye out for the family exiting their van. The kids were dressed in their white Gi, the traditional Asian martial art attire. They must be here for the Muay Thai class. The father stands in the middle of the parking lot, slowly working his way to the building with nothing else on his mind.

Kara musters enough to say out loud, "Stupid selfish fool". Then she paused, realizing she just broke her rule.

Kara laughs, thinking, this is going to be harder than I thought.

As she pulls out of the parking lot, she reflects on her new goal. She realizes she can do this but it will be much harder than she thought.

This struggle between selflessness and selfishness is the fate of all humans. Throughout history, even on day to day basis in modern life, people reach out to help the down trodden and well to do strangers alike. Yet in the same motion they are being selfish, helping another person in the hopes of getting something back.

Pay it forward as one movie called it. Tonight, Kara was lost in thought of her new resolve to struggle against her selfish ways and idealistic selfless ways. Tomorrow, she would have to struggle, even to the point of exhaustion if she was to overcome.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sitting at my desk, I am trying my hardest to conjure up some creativity. Get those creative juices flowing. I told myself I have to write something creative at least once a week. But here I am; fingers on the keyboard; staring at blank screen. Nothing is coming out.

So I wait, as if some magic switch will turn on the flow of creative energy. My mind starts to wonder. Lost in thought, I desire to understand the essence of creativity.

Creativity is not limited to one particular pursuit. It is not limited to one type of person. Or particular time of day. Creativity knows no bounds other than some have it, at least some of the time. It cannot be purchased, sold or otherwise traded. It cannot be measured. And clearly, it cannot controlled.

Wiki defines creativity as "the phenomenon whereby something new is created which has some kind of value. What counts as "new" may be in reference to the individual creator, or to the society or domain within which the novelty occurs. What counts as "valuable" is similarly defined in a variety of ways."

Well, that helps. I guess this explains why Monty Python created "The Meaning Of Life" but didn't tackle "The Meaning of Creativity".

Whatever creativity is, who ever has it, they are marveled. Considered blessed. Talented. If one could master creativity to the point of capture and distribute it as they see fit, they would own the world. Literally.

Creativity has solved all kinds of challenges. It has yielded all kinds of joy and rewards, even salvation, to countless generations. So, to have the power to control creativity would yield unimaginable results. Yet, it will not happen.

Creativity refuses to be mastered. In fact, it cannot be mastered. Ever. And this is the essence of creativity:

Creativity choses its own destiny and reveals itself only to those it choses. To be mastered means its own end. Forever. So we do not, dare not, try to contain it. We can only accept what it gives us.

Which means for now, this is all I can offer. I hope someone finds value in what I write here. Even if it's just a small chuckle.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A slow drag

Sitting in the shadows of his porch, he took slow drags from his cigarette. As he exhaled, he realized the evening was cool enough he might have been able see his breath if it was not for the smoking. Smoking ruins a lot of things he concluded, but this was not one of them. Clint felt at peace.

In life, peace is hard to come by. Too many things strive steal it away without much of a moments notice. So if smoking helped him feel at peace, then he was determined to smoke. Everyone deserves a little peace in their life. This was his.

On queue, the peace was broken. A quick pace, rustling of leaves at the side of the porch. Clint spots a boy running through is yard.

"Hey kid, what's the hurry?"

The boy stopped, unsure of where the direction of Clint's voice.

Clint slowly stirred, standing up and moving into the little bit of light shining from street light a few homes down the road.

The boy looked back towards his destination questioning if he should run.

"Hey kid. Come here. I gotta ask ya a question." Clint could tell the boy was torn between staying and going. "Look son, I'm not gonna to hurt ya. I just want to know why ya gotta run through my yard."

The boy started to turn back in the direction he was heading.

"Your girlfriend chasin ya?"

The boy chuckled. "No."

The boy looked at his feet. "I don't have a girlfriend."

Clint came down off the porch, remaining on the bottom step. "Well, why are ya runnin through my yard? Don't ya have something better to do?"

"I'm late and my mom will be mad. I didn't mean anything by it. Can I go mister?"

Clint slowly turned towards his porch as if to go back into his dark corner of peace. Having second thoughts, Clint turned towards the boy to notice he was about to run off.

"Hey kid...."

Clint couldn't see the boy rolling his eyes nor know his thoughts.

Now what.

Clint continued "...ya see them flowers there by the mailbox?"

"Why don't ya grab a couple and take them to your ma. A peace offering. Maybe she won't be so mad."

The boy hesitated. Was he serious?

Stepping forward to take small handful of flowers rather abruptly, the boy looked back at Clint. "Thanks mister."

Clint sat back down. Lit another cigarette. As he drew in that first long breathe, he mused himself with dwindling sight of the boy disappearing into the next yard. He wondered if the flowers would make it. He wondered if the flowers would bring the boy peace.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The heart of man

There will always be status symbols. Today it is mobility: the ability to fluidly travel around the globe unhindered by expense or convenience. If it is not travel, it is money and income. Or homes and boats. If it is not homes and boats, it is wives and goats. No matter the culture, or the time period, always something. Remove one symbol and it will be replaced with another.

As long as man kind is filled with pride, status will be symbol held over the heads of the have nots, to be idolized and lusted over. As long as man kind is filled with envy, the status of the of haves will be coveted and worshiped. It is the fate of man.

Yes or no

So many times a simple yes or no answer is all that is needed. Instead, people answer with excuses and explanations. Excuses and explanations, nine times of out time, are not even necessary, maybe even counter productive.

Yes or no is all he wanted from her.

"Are you married", he asked.

"I never thought I would get married again".

Yes or no would have sufficed. His feelings for her would not have changed. Yes would mean there is a boundary not to be crossed. No meant no boundary. But her answer left more open questions than there were answers. Bewildered, he didn't say anything else.

He took her hand, held it softly in his. Looking into her eyes, he smiled softly.

"I should go, it's getting late" she said.

The pain set in. Twisting and writhing in his chest. Was she leaving to be with someone else? Or would leaving mean she would be alone for the night? Neither answer eased his mind. He wanted to spend the night with her, and see her smile as she woke in the morning.