Category Archives: journal

For Whom Doth The Bell Ring?

Dear Diary,

Today was pretty ordinary for a Saturday.
Friday night, up late I did stay;
Helped little sis resolve emotions in disarray.

Slept ’till nearly noon.
Fixed a porch light whilst listening to tunes;
Backyard safer when missing full clair de lune.

Pruned,
Watered,
Adjusted,
Cleaned.

Let “social media” steal some time,
And though I could probably come up with a better rhyme,
‘Tis true, bought dinner at Taco Time.

Dressed for a game of ultimate.
For nearly two hours by my estimate,
‘Till we could feel it in the gut:

Played,
Aspired,
Perspired;

Well after dark to home retired.
But then my synapses fired:

To the store I would go—
Father’s day feast tomorrow you know;
And my gas tank was getting low.

While refueling I chose to clean
My rear window, restore its dark sheen;
When from behind, with no lamplight gleam

A suburban toward me came.
I thought it odd the lights were off; perhaps a game?
If so, I knew not its name.

The suburban veered,
Clear of me and mine it steered.
I resumed my cleaning, but soon peered.

Thought the resting spot odd,
But returned to cleaning with a mental nod.
Just then passed a male bod,

Hurrying to where his car had lodged.
He entered, ignited, and massaged
To return it to the spot from whence it dislodged.

As he exited, I finally saw;
My eyes filled with awe
As from the ground I gathered my maw:

‘Twas no other on the inside.
In utter surprise at my elide,
I approached the man, wide-eyed.

“Was there no one in there all along?”
He confirmed. I shared my side, then so long;
While in my mind there formed a plainsong,

Methought I heard the cash register’s “ding-dong”.
Did I say today was ordinary? That word does not belong
To a day where my life was miraculously prolonged.

© 2016 H.K. Longmore

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Embuscade

Y at-il communicaton
Lorsque la conversation
Doit passer par un intermédiaire?

Y at-il le respect
Quand une simple plainte
Ne peut pas être géré en personne?

Quand les gens ne me respectent pas assez
Pour me parler de choses que je fais
Cela dérange eux afin

Il me amène près
Pour le sentiment que je devais une fois avant
Vouloir de disparaître.

Protected: Take Me Out to the Ballgame

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The inside of a guy’s mind

A page telling women how to flirt says:

A guy’s mind is simple. He wants the attention of all attractive women. If he knows you like him already, he’ll lose interest in wooing you or impressing you.

If it seems too obvious that you like him already, he knows that he doesn’t have to work harder to get your attention and he’ll forget all about the chase.

Clearly, they’ve never seen the inside of my mind (nevermind why I was reading the article, that’s a story for another day, like probably never). They don’t know that all the flirting games become too apparent to me. The more these rules are adhered to, they don’t make me more interested, but less.  The tips claim to guard against it being too obvious, but if I’ve already figured it out (which doesn’t take reading the article), and you flirt with another guy to try to get my attention, it does exactly the opposite: makes it too obvious. Plus, I have a tendency to say fine, flirt with him, if that’s what you really want. Don’t be fake on my account.

Take, for example, a young woman I was pursuing a few years ago. We were sitting in church, and I was sitting at the sacrament table to bless the sacrament. This meant I had a clear view of this woman, who was sitting on the same side of the building. The meeting had not yet started. As people were coming in, my attention was drawn to another guy coming in. Of this man and his brother one of my friends said that no guy wants to invite either of them to his own wedding, for fear their fianceé will abandon them at the altar. They were significantly taller than 6’0″, muscular, handsome, secure jobs, well-paying jobs, talented, athletic.

So, in walks one of these brothers, and my attention is drawn by the color of his shirt (pink, I think). This young woman I was pursuing notices the shift in my eyes, and turns around to see what I’m looking at. When she sees him, she she looks back toward me, then tries to make it look like she’s ogling him, and trying to get him to look at her. As he passes the row she is sitting in, his eyes focused on whatever his goal was, she gives up and shrugs her shoulders. I had to stifle some laughs. No matter how highly I thought of this woman, he was still out of her league. Saying that makes me think of a line from a nursery rhyme: “The little dog laughed to see such sport.”

If I already know you like me and you try too hard to be coy, I’ll think maybe you don’t like me anymore, or at least not as much as you used to, and I’ll be singing along to Blues Traveler’s Run-around: “But you, why you wanna give me a run-around? Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up, when all it does is slow me down?” I won’t start thinking, “What can I do to continue the chase?” No, I’ll start thinking, “What did I do or say that resulted in her choosing to lose interest in me?”

On another occasion, this same young woman, again at church, was heading from the back of the chapel toward the front. The meeting was over; I was cleaning up the used sacrament cups and putting the cloths away. The ward choir had performed a few musical numbers; I was a bass in the choir. I knew, as I saw her approaching, that she was coming to compliment me on the performance. But, there was no one else around, as they were all in the gym behind the chapel socializing. This made it so that when I smiled upon seeing her coming toward me, she stopped, contorting her lips to the left side of her mouth (ladies, please know that this doesn’t look attractive, it just looks like, well, like you’re trying too hard), and turned to the left, exiting out the door on that side.

The effect this had was not to make me try harder. I spent many hours trying to figure that one out, and yes, eventually came to the conclusion she was playing by the rules at the above site. Have I mentioned I don’t like playing games? I don’t consider flirting to be a form of playing games; I do consider flirting with someone else to try to get me to chase to be playing games.

Serendipity, Karma, and Synchronicity

Serendipity

I headed to the mountains to go hiking by myself after work the other day.  I planned to hike to a waterfall along the Wasatch bench, but as I drove, it felt right to go instead to a canyon I had seen in a friend’s Facebook post.  I didn’t remember the canyon’s name, but I knew where it was and though I did not know for certain, I had a vague idea of how to get to the trail head.  After passing Big Cottonwood canyon, I just went by what felt right—what my inner voice was telling me to do.  A left here, up the hill, a left there, a right here, and—found it.  At the trail head, I was reminded of the canyon’s name: Ferguson.

A view of the Salt Lake Valley from the Ferguson Canyon trailFrom the first part of the trail there is a fabulous view of the Salt Lake Valley.  I’m sure it will be even better after a rainstorm.  There are also some large, steep rock formations up the canyon, some completely vertical. Up Ferguson Canyon I came upon some climbers and watched them for a bit.  According to RunKeeper, I had gone about one mile (my phone lost GPS signal at some point, so I think it was actually further), at which point I decided I should turn around so I could make it home in time to play Ultimate.  As I headed down, I encountered a local group of cub scouts heading up.  One of the leaders lives one street over from me.  We said hello and chatted a bit, then I was about to continue down, when another leader arrived from below.  He said, “He’s just going to wait there.”  They had with them a special needs young man who was ill-equipped for the steep, rocky, sandy terrain.  He thought he was going on a short, almost flat hike around Silver Lake near the Brighton ski resort.  Instead, he was facing this:

Ferguson Canyon Furgeson Canyon Elevation ProfileHe had basketball shoes on, no socks, and his shoes weren’t tied.  He kept slipping on the loose rocks on a particularly steep part of the trail, and he’d had enough.  I knew the young man; I’ve coached him in church basketball and given him rides home from basketball.  My neighbor suggested perhaps I could give him a ride home.

Karma

As the prophet Alma taught his wayward son Corianton, “that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored” (Alma 41:15 (12-15)) Having received so many rides when I did not have a driver license, I chose to give this young man a ride home, “sending out” that which I already received.  One of the leaders came partway down with me, the two of us helping this young man down, as he had lost his confidence from all the slipping.  This leader wanted to make sure I was okay with giving him a ride home, so I explained I am grateful that I am now in a position where I can pay those rides back.

Synchronicity

It turned out that there was not enough communication to get enough people out to play Ultimate.  Had I known there would be too few people to play while I was up Ferguson Canyon, I would have continued up the canyon, and thus not have been there to help.  This lack of communication, once I was in Ferguson Canyon, had a causal effect on me being there to help.  However, the fact that I was in Ferguson Canyon at the right time to help had three contributing factors: I wanted to go hiking, I got off work a bit early to do so, and I listened to “the still, small voice” within me regarding where to go.  The young man I helped commented, “It’s really lucky that you’re here to help me.”  I submit that it was serendipitous by the original definition, on account of me having the sagacity to listen to the still, small voice, though I was not seeking an opportunity to help others at the time.  I also submit that my desire and plan to play Ultimate, my desire and plan to go hiking after work, and my desire to help others came together in a fit of synchronicity making a meaningful relationship between my activities that afternoon and evening.  The Wikipedia article on synchronicity says “From the religious perspective, synchronicity shares similar characteristics of an ‘intervention of grace’.”  Indeed, for my young friend, there was an intervention of grace that day.

Why At-One-Ment Doesn’t Involve Time Travel

Have you ever longed to go back in time and change just one choice so a life event would turn out differently, or a relationship could be preserved or never started?  I have certainly had wistful thoughts along those lines.  No, I lie.  I do still have wistful thoughts like that from time to time.  I went hiking a couple of weeks ago with some of my family.  My sister had spent three summers working at a camp in the area, and took the lead.  We headed toward that camp, then down a dirt road toward the trail head.  We passed a small stream flowing down the mountain and she remarked that the old trail went up the stream, but people kept littering in the (watershed) stream, so the trail was moved, and the old trail blocked off.  A little further down the road, and she indicated for us to turn off the road and head up the hill.  In the winter, this hill is part of a ski trail; in summer, it is covered with wildflowers.  My sister pointed them out, acting the part of trail guide.  Up the hill we continued, until we reached a spot where there was a spur of trail running to the stream.  My sister was wishing we could go up the old trail, so I told the others I was going to explore the branch, no one had to follow, and I would come back and let them know what I found.  My sister said to make sure it went up and not over, because over would lead into the camp.

The branch lead me across the stream.  A short distance further I found another spur that lead up the hill.  I took it a short distance to see where it led, then returned and informed the others of what I had found.  We headed that way.  The spur going up took me back across the stream not far from where I initially crossed.  I waited there to help my nieces and nephews find the best path across if needed.  While we were crossing, my sister had gone a bit further from the spur and found yet another path that led up.  She instructed that we needed to go up that way, so we all headed over. Continue reading

Shaken, but Not Stirred

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I was stopped at the light this morning, southbound on 2200 West, going to turn left to eastbound 5400 South. The light turned green, I saw the intersection was clear, and proceeded to turn left. Two lanes out, I saw an SUV headed towards me, not trying to stop. The speed limit on 5400 is 45 mph. I honked, but saw that the driver wasn’t stopping, so I decided to get out of Dodge as fast as I could. Only it wasn’t fast enough.
Continue reading

Moderation in All Things

When eating real licorice, such as RJ’s Licorice (imported from New Zealand), one must remember to eat it in moderation if one hopes to get any sleep at night, or else have some of “the one that coats”–yes, the pink stuff–on hand.

“But of bliss and glad life…”

Last night I was pondering recent happenings in my life, which included what could have been déjà vu if only it weren’t clearly a separate and distinct occurrence.  I came to a conclusion that should be fairly obvious, but it took two data points, and several years transpired before I acquired the second.  When I am passing by or walking away from someone, feeling hurt or slighted but doing my best to bury the pain, and in my mind I tell them where they can go or I visualize the synapses of my brain firing such that all my phalanges form a fist but for one finger, it is a sure sign that my relationship with that person, whatever that relationship may be, is in peril.  And thus applies this quote:

“But of bliss and glad life there is little to be said, before it ends; as works fair and wonderful, while still they endure for eyes to see, are their own record, and only when they are in peril or broken for ever do they pass into song.” – JRR Tolkien, The Silmarillion

Which is great from the perspective of me being able to write some potentially great poetry.  But if I could choose between the relationship being “in peril or broken forever” versus never writing a good poem about that relationship or that person, I’d choose the latter.

A corollary to this conclusion is that at such times, I should probably just let myself feel the pain and stop trying to numb it by the commands I mentally issue to the other person.  Otherwise I start a downward spiral that, if not quickly corrected, spills over into other relationships.

Hey buddy, can you spare some change?

There’s that famous saying about changing those things you can and accepting those things you can’t.  What it doesn’t detail is what to do to help yourself accept those things you can’t change.  Or perhaps, those things that you could change, and want desperately to, but are bound by duty or by honor to accept.  This latter case is especially difficult compared to those things you just can’t change.  So what does one do?  I leave it as an open question for my readers (all zero of you 😉 ).

Today I have found I am grateful that I never did put that old racquetball away; taking it out of my car and slamming it against the cinder block wall at the back of the building was the vent in my teapot.