On Saturday Morning Dance Class, Clarity of Purpose and Shameless Plugs

Ah, Saturday morning. Depending on which Saturday it is, I’m either at dance class with my minions or chilling in my sun room, watching Sportscenter. As is, this Saturday falls into the dance class category and here I am, sitting in my customary, corner spot on the bench, closest to the front window of the studio. Generally, when I’m not actively writing a novel, I spend the two hours that I’m here reading. Lately, it’s been the Nate Temple, supernatural thriller novels by Shayne Silvers which–shameless plug for Mister Silvers–are awesome. So, if you’re looking for a good read, and the supernatural is your thing, check him and them out. Then, come back and read CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD in a few months when I publish it! End shameless plug.

Saturday morning dance class has evolved a lot over the years. Three studios and almost eight years after Cara started, I’m exactly where I’ve been for the last six plus. From the Top in Newtown Square, PA. And here’s another shameless plug: If you’re considering introducing your kid or kids, boy or girl to dance and you live in the vicinity of Newtown Square, PA, come to From the Top. Miss Sheila and her team of phenomenal teachers don’t just teach kids how to dance. They teach children how to become teens and, later, adults. They teach responsibility and discipline. They’re one of the greatest things to ever happen to my minions and… There you go. End shameless plug. I now return you to your regular piece of Mental Flatulence, already in progress.

What’s on my mind this morning? Why have I opted to write instead of read? In truth, a lot. And honestly not all stuff I can write about right now. My mind is a veritable hodgepodge of ideas and emotions at present and all I can do is just sit back, and enjoy the fact that for the first time in a very long time, I feel alive. Everything around me–from the map of Michigan I have hanging on the wall of my cubicle at work to the three or four, distinct conversations that are transpiring around me as I write this–has taken on a deeper hue. Is life great? Meh. It’s good. It’s evolving. And that’s part of the reason for this new clarity that I’m experiencing right now. Gone are my Saturday morning Tweetstorms about Crumba and #ThingsIThinkIThink from my customary spot on the bench in Miss Sheila’s lobby. Now, when I Tweet, it’s usually a Retweet of something my buddy Austen posted, or something the #WritingCommunity stated. BTW, since I have now renamed this “On Saturday Morning Dance Class, Clarity of Purpose and Shameless Plugs” here’s another of the latter: Austen McGee. He’s an emerging, short story writer and he’s good. REAL good. Check him, and his award nominated work out on Twitter @AustenMcGee. My personal favorite is “How To Influence Friends and Make People” but there’s more… A LOT more to read so do it. Please. End plug.

I guess I’ve always been inspired by a little chaos. Not a lot. A lot turns me into a veritable wreck, cowering in the corner in fetal position until such time as someone I care about, and occasionally a stranger comes along and tells me to get the f*ck up. And I always do. Sometimes it takes a bit but I’ve never… Stayed down? Conceded? I don’t believe in giving up and neither should you. As Rocky Balboa–a regular fixture in these writings anymore–said once upon a time, “It’s not about how hard you get hit. It’s about about how often you get hit, and get back up.” The only thing that’ll ever TKO my a** is mortality and even then, when that moment finally comes I have every intention of fighting until the bitter end. Because I believe in…

Wait for it…

Mind the gap…

The Dream. The end result of the path I’ve been on on this side of the proverbial wormhole of existence for 43 plus years. For the first time in a long time I can see the path again. MY path. We all have one. It’s a combination of what we need to do to survive–our oft times mundane, routine existence–and our dreams. Mine hasn’t changed. It’s been a bit since I last wrote of it and when I did, the only people that read these little pieces of Mental Flatulence we’re my friends and immediate family. So I feel like I can recap it… Frame it here for everyone to read. Hopefully see. And maybe draw inspiration from.

In it–when I close my eyes and envision it–I’m on a beach. I live there. And I’m looking out over the beach and the water before me from the back deck of my house. Distant but moving closer to my left is a squall line, and lightning is visible in the clouds within and behind it. I look at my watch and instinctively time it out. Five minutes away. Maybe less. Closer to me, near the shoreline are two children–one boy and one girl–and they’re picking at the Horseshoe Crab that just washed ashore. It’s still alive, and I shout to them to “put the crab back in the water–pick it up by it’s tail so you don’t get pinched. And get inside! There’s a storm coming.” They look up at me, nod, pick up the crab by it’s tail and do as I asked. Assuming they will follow instructions I turn from the beach, and reenter my house so as to turn off anything electric, including my computer, upon which I’m writing a long-overdue sequel to my original, trilogy of books. Once done, I return to the deck and see that the kids have vanished, and the storm has arrived. Wind-driven rain lashes against the windows of my house forcibly and lightning strikes the area surrounding me sporadically. Thunder booms hollowly and the once docile sea is being whipped into a frenzy. I feel a moment’s apprehension at the disappearance of the children but I know that they are safe. Likely sheltering behind a dune or beneath a pier somewhere near.

I watch as the storm exhausts itself and fizzles within 10 minutes of when it began. I follow it through the sky, up-beach, the curtain of water falling from it obscuring the land in that direction. I can see the sun peaking out from the clouds above and over the water and a barely visible rainbow forms in it’s wake. I hear shouting from down-beach and I turn in that direction. I see the kids running toward me, soaked, but safe and excited. I see that one of them carries something in their hands. As they gain the deck and run up, the girl runs over to me to show me what she carries. It is a flat, disc-shaped piece of glass that must have formed when one of the lightning strikes hit the beach. I congratulate her… Them on their find and invite them inside as I simultaneously hear the front door to the house open, and a voice calls out my name and says “I’m home!” I turn in that direction as the children run past me, my heart leaping as boot falls echo on the hardwood floor, moving closer and closer until finally they round the corner into the room I am in and…

I smile. Fade to Black. End vision. Dream. Whatever you want to call it. I’ve always speculated a bit on what happens next. I won’t do so herein because it’s honestly in flux. Always has been. I think that what happens next is, for lack of a better description, to be determined and a product of time. The WHEN of the outcome I just wrote about is dependent on a lot of factors. But it’s there. MY end result. And guys and gals? We all have one.

So if you’re struggling to find your path, friends and occasional readers, understand that it’s okay. It’s acceptable to question where you’re going. But the answer is right in front of you. You’ll see it one day. When your mind is clear. My only suggestion is that when that day comes if it hasn’t yet, don’t be afraid. No matter how hard it seems or how daunting the task or tasks before you, believe that it’s right. Find strength within yourself and without to do what you need to do to make it happen. I’m not there yet. I’ve still got a ways to go but clarity of purpose has returned to my life. One day, I’m going to be that guy, in the beach house, watching his… Likely grandchildren now play on the beach and hide from the storm. I’m a lot grayer than I was when I originally wrote of it and I’ll likely be even grayer when it finally happens but will I get there? Yes. I will. And when that day comes I’ll be happy, the days of mindlessly ruminating on Crumba and #ThingsIThinkIThing in 140 characters or less from my customary corner spot on the bench by the window in Miss Sheila’s lobby long behind me. Gone. But never forgotten.

And with that? Post number 98 between Random Musings 1.0 and 2.0 is done. It’s only taken me… about 10 years to get here. Ten years, two novels, three jobs, two homes, two children, a lot of fish, three cats, one dog and one marriage later and I’m still going. I’ve had a lot of help along the way, and I’ve thanked a lot of people. Today? A shout out to everyone and every place that I mentioned within this composition. Booyakasha. Respect.

Only one more post to go before I hit 100 and that one needs to be a big one. I’m not sure what it’ll be about yet. Heck, I’m not even sure what 99 is going to be about yet but when I figure it out? I promise that you will be the first to know.

Winky emoticon, friends, family and readers. Smiley face. I now return you to your regular lives and respective paths, already in progress.

F.

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