It’s your game

its your game

OK. No games this time.

Now, see? That’s your problem. Why “no games”?

Well … this is serious.

Is it, now? Or maybe the way to be serious about it is not to be serious at all. Play a game.

It’s not a game!

Well, maybe that’s the problem: Maybe you need to make it a game. Here are the rules, here’s the ball, over here is out of bounds, and there’s the net or the goal line or home. Get out there and play!

I think I see what you mean.

There is no “think.” You either see or you don’t.

Put me in, coach. I’m ready.

Oh, there’s no “coach,” either. You get to decide if you’re going to play today.

But if it’s a game, you need a coach to decide.

Not that decision – that one’s all yours. So – are you in? You gonna play.

But this is serious!

That’s one way to see it. Try another way.

Like, keep score? Set the time clock?

If you want. It’s your game. Just play. You’ll figure out how to cross the goal line, produce what you came here to produce, and do what you came to do.

And have fun?

That’s the whole point.

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Daylight is promised every day

daylight is promised

For just a few weeks of the year in this corner of the world, you can get up as early as 5 (or even 4:15) a.m. to the promise of daylight whispering in the distance. Most of the day is just a dream this time of morning, a matter of faith rather than a clear reality. But know this, young buck: Daylight is promised. Daylight is promised every day.

Couldn’t you say just the opposite, as well? That no matter how long and how wonderful the day may be, darkness will overtake you in the end?

There’s the cycle defined, and the balance, and the first source of conflict among us, isn’t it? The pull between those who seek the daylight and those who seek the dark. You know what I notice? Most people choose to sleep through the dark and live their lives in the light.

But some also are comforted by the night. It’s quiet, and you can hear yourself think. Isn’t that why you wake before dawn breaks – to be wrapped in the waning moments of the dark?

The waning moments of the dark are the beginning of daylight. This is the time when all creatures – well, most of them, anyway – begin to stir and sing and look about and say, “Look and see! Taste and see! Life resumes! We are rested and recharged and ready to sing another day!” Life grows in daylight – sustenance is dependent on the light. Those who dwell in darkness are conquered by the light.

No. We need both darkness and light. You can’t dwell forever in light, either. You need the owl and the racoon and the other night dwellers to complete the circle of life.

It may seem that way. But we all instinctively seek the warmth of daylight. When evil is exposed, we speak of bringing it forward into the light where it can no longer hide in darkness. We are creatures of the light no matter how much we may be fascinated and curious and even attracted by the dark.

Too much light and heat, I grant you, can be harmful, even deadly. But darkness and cold bring a quicker death to the soul as well as the body. The promise of daylight sustains us through the night, which is the time when we pause to recharge and renew so we can thrive in the daylight – our natural home.

No matter how dark the path you walk, daylight will overtake you if you just hang on.

The final choice

the final choice

It was always coming to this.

The signs were all there: The events, the crazy revelations, the tide of history itself, all led up to this moment, these people in this place under these circumstances. Even the taste in the mouth and the smells in the air felt inevitable. It could only have come to this, and the time was now.

Only one choice was left: Step forward and do it, or turn away and run back to the life that waited back there, unalterably changed forever by events but nonetheless waiting.

Funny how it all felt inevitable, and yet there were choices every step of the way. This time all the right choices had been made, and here they all were as if it had fallen into place, and now the final choice presented itself.

They didn’t have to do it.

But they did.

Finally, they all took a deep breath, blew it out, and breathed in.

No one said a word, but you could feel the words in the air: “All right, let’s do this.”

And they stepped forward.

The world has never been the same.

Love anyway

love anyway

When weariness overtakes you

And your fuse is short,

Love anyway.

When the slap of reality hurts

So bad you want to lash back,

Love anyway.

When the loss is so deep

You can’t see straight,

Love anyway.

When you’re tempted to quit

And go running away forever,

Love anyway.

That’s what love is;

That’s why it’s called love.

I quit

i quit

I quit.

Stop saying that.

I quit.

You said that yesterday.

I meant it then, too.

Well, don’t.

Maybe I should quit every day, and reinvent myself.

Maybe you should not quit.

But I do quit.

Oh, I give up.

That’s the spirit!

Good morning, old friend

good morning old friend

A recently encountered statistic: Fewer than 50 percent of readers read the whole book. Any book, even the best sellers. That seems hard to believe, but if true …

Getting people to start reading the book is, well, just the start. The challenge is to get them to turn the page and keep reading, then turn the next and the one after that. Arouse their curiosity, get them to care enough to find out what comes next.

And no – it’s not about “their” curiosity or “them.”

The challenge is to arouse your curiosity, get you to care enough to find out what comes next.

We were taught in the radio business to talk into the microphone as if we were chatting across the kitchen table with an old friend. Radio announcing is not a public speech, the theory went, it’s a conversation. And so is writing, isn’t it?

The idea is to reach out as if it was one-on-one communication, because that’s exactly what it is: one soul talking with another.

Thanks for sitting at my kitchen table and caring enough to listen.

Dancing with the muse

dancing with the muse

“Do that again.”

He folded the page back, not wanting to stop, and instructed the magic pen to pull more thoughts and scenes out of his fingers. How was this happening? How did the pen do that?

“Come on, more stories, more magic, more connections!”

But the pen just sat, poised seductively over the page, tantalizing him. He set the stylus to the paper in hope of spurring it into action again.

“Come – on – write something, for the love of God, Montresor!”

And slowly, haltingly, the words came again. Here was a woman who never knew why the house made that groaning sound at night until she opened the door that was never opened. Here were the Mars explorers who found that all the observations of dead Mars were wrong and all of the speculations of living Mars were dead on the money. Here was the scrap of paper that finally explained where the expression came from and told the story of the first person ever to be found “dead on the money.”

And then it went cold again, that magic pen.

Finally, it wrote, “Enough. Get up from your chair and give yourself a life. Fill your lungs with air and your ears with chatter and your eyes with a world. Then come back here, pick me up and exhale. I’ll be ready for you.”