Untitled Piece

I notice her there, almond against shadow
Her expression waiting for my response
Searching for me, against the dark
Hoping me to be the husband she needs,
In her weak moments

She is changing
I am changing
It is changing us

I have pictures placed secretly in drawers
Her longing to forget that former life
Me torn between the bold and new,
and hanging onto
that former life

I glance on that old face, now odd
Like someone I lost somewhere
In a dream, and woke to someone new,
Yet familiar as a year

She is changing
We have changed
It is changing us

She is there, peering across the muted dusk
Vulnerable and scared of all this
Needing my arms to hold her
more than I
sometimes appreciate

Losing moments in her new name
Losing my temper, finding her fear
Her vulnerability and softness suit her fine
Her forehead suits my lips just fine
This education is free, but with high cost

She has changed
I must change
It has changed us


The Work That Makes Relationships Work


"mine" by Chidi Okoye


Today has been an interesting Saint Valentine’s Day.  It started out as normal as any other Monday.  Woke up, got ready, gave the wife a kiss bye, and did my usual commute to work.  Then things turned weird for a while in the early part of the day.  I won’t go into all the details – suffice it to say there was a…disagreement (not a fight, per se) resulting in both of us being upset at the situation, and emotional.

Luckily, we were able to work it out, as we always do.  We are both so different, and so strong-headed (read: stubborn), but when we really open up and just put everything on the table, our love always wins out.  That’s one thing I love about our relationship.  Somehow, in spite of itself (and us), it works.

A little while later, we were Facebooking cutesy messages back and forth (hey, it is Valentine’s Day, after all), including this little drawing I made of us at work.  I think she liked it.  😉

and this, taken at work and sent to her

What can I say?  I’m a romantic at heart. 😉

It’s a very low-key V-Day at home, but some celebratin’ is in order this weekend, after payday and the work week is over.  I have her to curl up with, so I figure I’m all set.

Rules that work for us in rocky moments:

  • Never go to bed angry
  • If what we’re fighting over is stupid (which it usually is), somebody just give in already and say, “I love you, and this is stupid.  Let’s not fight.” (or some variation on this)
  • Tell each other we love one another somewhere in the vicinity of 239847324 times a day (yes, even after 4 1/2 years together)

There are probably more, but those were the first to come to mind.  Hey, maybe I should start a romance column and change my name to Carrie (Larry?) Bradshaw.


Hmmm...I have been told I have nice legs...I dunno.


The bottom line is, never forget why you love each other in the first place.  That can usually work through anything, if both parties are willing to compromise and be open.

I Hate Feeling Powerless

I have no idea where to begin tonight’s blog.  My next ’30 Days’ topic isn’t one I want to tackle right now – not hiding from it, just one of those I don’t know how to write about and would rather skip (but I won’t).

This morning was weird.  My other half has been hormonal lately.  And no, I’m not being chauvinist – there’s WAY more to that story, I assure you.  We’ll get to all that another time – over tea or something.  Anyway, she even cried a little as I held her in bed.  She’s in a complicated place at the moment.  And I don’t think there’s anything I can do about it.  And I guess that has to be okay.  One thing I’ve been trying to work on within myself is realizing that when someone around me has a problem or brings a problem to me, I don’t have to take it on and immediately try to help solve it.  Sometimes the best (and/or only) thing to do is simply listen and be there for moral support.  I don’t even have to proactively offer advice, only if asked.  Most people who are just being dramatic bring you problems because they’re hoping you’ll give them advice on how to fix it.  People who are legitimately hurting from something may not even want advice – even if they feel like they do – but rather, may just want someone to vent to, or someone to give two shits for a moment.

So far I suppose it’s working, because I am catching myself thinking about offering a solution, then realizing that I don’t have to and taking another tactic.

But, all in all she’s fine now.  She had a good rest all day (she’s a night owl) and is currently listening to Arabic music and doing a little living room dancing.  This is part of why I love her.

We had a little talk about a big topic we’d been entertaining last fall.  It came up this morning, after I was supremely inspired by a friend’s post on Facebook about an adventure.  I won’t go into any more detail just yet, as I don’t know where (if anywhere) this is going yet.  Anyway, the talk about reassessing that situation turned into not talking about it right now because we don’t want to just “talk about talking about it.”  If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.  More to come, in some fashion I’m sure.

That turned my mood right around this morning though, after getting that dose of inspiration from my friend’s words.  I sent wifey a text, and a suggestion to discuss this evening.  I went from my solemn, blue mood to a much happier place.

In other news, the weekend’s almost upon us.  I need to get BUSY with some creative projects on my plate – I’ve been asked by a friend to do a commissioned piece (paintings), another friend to work on an image for an outdoor sign for his restaurant, and I have a poetry/art book project I’m in the middle of, as well as editing photos for a photography book.  Ugh!  I wish I could devote my full-time attention to these matters – but then, I’m sure most artists do.  But, alas, I must keep a day job.  Luckily it’s one I do well and like, so I ain’t complainin’ too much.

South Dallas Story – Pt. 2

Pretty good Saturday, I’d say.  So far anyway.  It was 73 degrees and sunny in Dallas, but unfortunately I didn’t get out to enjoy it as much as I’d have liked.  I was going to set off on foot around the neighborhood to get some shots for a photography book I’m working on, but decided the light was too direct at 2:00pm.  I settled on 4:30-ish.  As I went out, though, I caught my photographer neighbor (see a prior post), and we got to talking, as we’re prone to do.  Interesting dude.  We ended up talking for like an hour, until we were interrupted by the wifey peeking out of the blinds (she’d just gotten up from a day of slumber, and we were standing in front of our door) and a woman from our building’s property management company.

But, I did manage to work on some new paintings (almost done), and edit some of the shots I got last weekend.  What the hell – I’ll share one of them below.

I’m really excited about this project.  It’s a coffee table style photography book about Cedars (aka The Cedars), my neighborhood in South Dallas.  I have no ETA on it at all, but hopefully sometime sooner than later.  This year for sure.  Of course, this is in addition to two poetry book projects currently underway.  Ugh, I really need to stop procrastinating on those and get with it.

In total contrast to today’s weather, here’s a time-lapse video of snow (a relative rarity in the Sun Belt-Buckle that is DFW) falling on Cedars Station, our local DART train station.

I do want to get in some rainy shots, maybe some snowy/icy shots if we get anything good this winter, and some sunny shots.  Watch this blog for more as the project moves forward.

My neighbor is a world-class photographer, and does it for a living, so I must admit it’s sort of intimidating.  He’s also in his early 20s (8 years younger than me) so that makes it somewhat even more intimidating.  It’s also inspiring though.  I’ve never claimed to be the best artist, writer, or photographer, but I’m just doing what I love.  I don’t have all the training and latest tips, but I do have the passion, and I think I do a pretty good job.

Okay,  enough blogging (for now) – time to work on more art, and then watch ‘True Grit’ with the wifey.


I slept until 10:50am today, which is virtually unheard of for me.  For some reason, I am really excited – stoked, even – about today.  A day that includes massive cleaning of the loft… Hmm… For one thing, it’s gorgeous outside.  And I’m well-rested.  What a novel concept.  Yesterday I spent a few minutes chatting with one of my neighbors, a very cool dude who’s an internationally renowned photographer and looks an awful lot like a younger bro of Andy Samberg.  Anyway, he invited me to grab a beer today at our neighborhood bar, Lee Harvey’s.

When I first met him, I was a little intimidated because he was so refreshingly nice.  He was just moving some stuff into the studio with his buddy (2 doors down from our place) and when he saw me come out to walk my dog, he put down his stuff, walked over and shook my hand.  Most people in the city tend to be guarded around strangers, even neighbors they don’t yet know.  I’m certainly no exception, given my social awkwardness and introversion.   But, as I said a few lines up, it was refreshing.  Since then, every time we see one another, he makes a point to stop and chit chat, which is pretty cool.  So, if we actually end up going for a beer or two, that should be interesting.


Okay, it’s now after noon, I have errands to run and a cluttered loft to clean before wifey’s club-going guests arrive tonight, so ciao.


So, no meet-up with Mr. Sambergtographer, but exchanged numbers to do it some other time.  Currently on my 3rd Screwdriver and sketching Beth Ditto for a painting I’m working on.  Not the actual Beth Ditto – I should be so lucky.

30 Days – Day 7 – Someone Who Has Made My Life Worth Living

If you’re following this blog, you know I’m participating in the ‘30 Days of Truth‘ project I’ve seen on other blogs.  It’s helping me commit to posting every single day, since I’m also taking part in The Daily Post project.

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.

I have to confess – I’ve sort of been avoiding this post.  Honestly, I don’t know how to respond to it.  So, I guess I’ll just respond in my own way, not necessarily according to the title – these challenges are just a guide anyway, right?  Right.

I don’t think anyone has ‘made my life worth living.’  If I required someone else’s presence to need a reason to live, what would be the point?  I’m glad that I live, and for my life, even with all it’s MANY faults and shortcomings.  I’m grateful to my spouse, the love of my life, who gets me even though she doesn’t get me, if that makes sense.  I’m grateful to my true friends – the number may not be huge, but they know who they are and what they mean to me.  And I’m grateful that I know what I mean to them.

I’m grateful to the teachers I come across – random strangers, friends, acquaintances, coworkers, and so on.  I’m grateful to those people I learn from, and as long as I see another person during the day, I’m bound to learn something new about the world.

No one person has made my life worthy.  No one person has made it any less worthy.  The people I hold close in the dark hours are the people that enhance and enrich my life, and help make it all that it is.

Sorry, I hope this isn’t any less astounding than you might have been hoping for – under the assumption you seek anything profound in these posts.

I’m grateful to myself, for seeing what I’m worth, even in those moments when I don’t feel all that worthy.  I make my life worth living for, and the people I love enrich it in various ways, adding something spectacular that I couldn’t dream up on my own.

“Religion is largely irrelevant to most young people who rely instead on a ‘secular trinity’ of themselves, their family and their friends to give meaning to their lives …” – here

via PostSecret.com


Defining Necessity – A Daily Challenge

Something a little different today.  I discovered this on A Daily Challenge.

Challenge #7, January 7, 2011: Throw something away. Give a few of your extra jackets to someone that might be cold, toss out one of the eight ladles that clutter your kitchen, throw away a pair of shoes that you never wear anymore. It is kind of a nice feeling to know that if I want, I can let go of anything I own. I think it is important to not be attached to things, and maybe by forcing ourselves to get rid of something, we will be able to detach, even if it is just a little bit.


Click here to visit Sangjun's deviantART page
Let Go by Sangjun

This is actually a challenge that I do sort of regularly, and have for a while.  I used to hold onto things with a passion.  Like many things in my life, I guess this probably changed after my parents died.  I just didn’t care much anymore.  I mean, of course there are things (sentimental and otherwise) that I wouldn’t want to willingly let go of, but I guess if you can’t part with something, then it owns you instead of you owning it.

I used to gather up old clothes that I never wear – incidentally, I have a rule…if I haven’t worn something in a year (enough time for all the seasons to pass), I obviously don’t need it – and I’d bag them up and put them out in the alley behind my apartment.  I’d always see homeless men wandering through the alley, and I’d set them out, figuring maybe they could use them.  A couple of times, I actually did see some of my old clothes wandering around the neighborhood with new owners.

Also, I detest clutter and unnecessary accumulation.  I’m not perfect, despite what you may have heard, but I hate random crap that just accumulates and sits somewhere.  We probably all that bag or drawer of junk that seems to follow us from place to place – we’ll get to it, one day

So, even though I do this every now & again already, I’m going to endeavor this weekend to taking the challenge to heart.  I’ll be cleaning our loft, so it’ll be a perfect time to chunk some old baggage, so to speak.

As my wife always says, we should look at everything of value (barring, perhaps, sentimental items/family heirlooms, etc.) as investments.  There may come a time when you need to let them go, so only keep a transient attachment to material goods.  They make our lives easier and/or more comfortable, but shouldn’t define our lives.  Nothing in life is permanent, or guaranteed.

What are you afraid/ready to get rid of?

Cool pic at the top, eh?  Click to visit the deviantART page of the photographer, Sangjun.

More food for thought…