Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Small Gestures Can Heal

This will be one of those strange posts.  You'll have to deal with it a little while longer people.  NaNoWriMo is coming and future posts will be about writing but for now, something else takes precedence. 

I have to admit that over the past couple of weeks I’ve sensed Sean or what I perceive to be him. It’s a complicated feeling. In recent days I’ve sensed strong feelings of appreciation mixed with happy crying. I found a man in Connecticut who is willing to deliver flowers to Sean’s grave and take a photo of it.  This guy has a business and this is what he does.

I was so happy to find this guy. It put me at ease as it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for many, many years. To visit Sean's grave or at the very least leave flowers somehow.  I think on some level doing so heals me, it brings a resolution to Sean’s passing as I never said good-bye to him.  For 21 years I think that's what I have been trying to do but never finding the right way to honor him and this year, knowing that flowers will be put on his grave gives me a sense of peace.  It feels right.

I think this gesture of leaving flowers on Sean's grave would make him happy.   I can't explain what I sense and maybe what I feel is simply me on a deeper level I haven't spoken with. I sense that Sean is happy crying simply because he's being acknowledged because he's been neglected.  I don't know if Sean's family ever visits his grave but I'd like to think they do even though a part of me tells me they don't.  Given their silence over the years when I've reached out to them, I suspect they don't visit. I could be wrong but from my other interactions with them in the past before Sean died I have reason to believe they don't go. 

As long as I'm alive, Sean is not forgotten or ignored, in life and in death he is remembered and acknowledged.  My friendship with Sean was complicated as was his life but for all the heartache he caused, it all worked out in the end.

Today, I leave you with the musical stylings of Matt Andersen.

Rock on!

~Maynard



Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Burden

This time of year can be a struggle for me. As I look back through the years when I pull inward, I reflect, mourn, celebrate and lose myself in the darkness. I travel back in time to a place I wanted nothing more to do but die and yet, I am still here. The road out of the darkest depths was not easy and while my life still lives within the confines of darkness, there is more light in it than there ever was. 

At times, life seems like a burden. It weighs you down and you sink into it. It can be like quicksand, the more you struggle to breathe the more it swallows you. Breaking free of the pain, the darkness can seem impossible and yet, no matter how many years have passed, that feeling never goes away but it lessens with time.  

During this time of year, I mourn for myself and celebrate a life of friend long gone. I acknowledge my death day as I call it. The day of my last suicide, the day that I learned someone cared about me, the day that someone gave me a reason to stay. That someone believed in me, that someone showed me my worth because I could not see it myself.

No matter how much times passes, the pain of the past can seem fresh, like it happened yesterday but so does the freedom of knowing you won the battle.  I have come a long way, I 'm no longer the person I once was and yet so very much the same.

Life can be a burden, but over the years, things change, I have changed and I have more tools, more weapons to fight.  There is more healing to do, there always will be and with each piece of me that I heal and mourn, that I remember and honor, the more peace comes to me. 

Music is helpful to me in my healing. I recently discovered an Irish singer name Foy Vance and found this beautiful song of his called "Burden".  This is one of those songs that you need to sit with and take into yourself.  This is one of those tissue box songs. It was for me anyway.

Normally I'd sign off and say rock on but not today.

~Maynard






Saturday, September 4, 2021

Pick Me Up

Autumn fast approaches which means a time of reflection for me and when my dysthymia hits the hardest. Some years I am okay and hold my own and other years really down in the dumps. I retreat from the world from mid-September until January.  Things pick up come October, when my death date approaches and if the weather is constant days of rain and dark skies, then my mood sinks quickly. 

This year, I can feel the darkness creeping a bit early but each year is different but I have a general idea of what to expect. I have been cranking the tunes as that is one of my tools to dealing with my dysthymia. Yesterday, I discovered I was a day late in learning that Tony Hawk did a cover of Millencolin's "No Cigar." including a music video. It's pretty cool. 

To be honest, I am not familiar with Millencolin but am poking around now. I like discovering new music and learned that Steve Caballero, another skater who was also a member of the Bones Brigade back in the day with Tony was on the song too.  Steve has a band called Urethane with an album coming out in September. I went and checked out his band.

Speaking of the Bones Brigade, I splurged and picked up a Kelvin Hoefler and a Bucky Lasek t-shirt. My birthday was earlier this week and I felt I deserved a treat ofr myself.

I treated myself well this past week as I was also on vacation from my day job.  It felt good to get away but I still feel incredibly burnt out.  Thankfully, I managed to do fun things and even slept in a few days and worked on organizing my story for NaNoWriMo.  I do think things are coming together nicely. I don't have a title yet or settled on the name of my two main characters.  Those will come eventually. 

A few years ago when I was struggling with names for characters, I was watching an episode of Family Guy and noted first and last names of people that sounded interesting.  Some of the last names I turned into first names and created unique names that weren't too odd and fit well for the characters I created. Turns out watching TV can be a good thing. 

Speaking of watching things, I leave you today with a double feature!!!  Tony Hawk's cover of Millencolin's "No Cigar" and Urethane with their track "Gravity" with Steve Caballero rocking out on guitar. FYI, Steve rocks on both tracks!

Rock on!

~Maynard






Saturday, August 28, 2021

Skateboard Overload

I'm not sure what happened but it seemed every skateboard event took place this weekend. The Berrics, Tony Hawk's Vert Alert and SLS. It was a lot!

The Battle at the Berrics had Luan Oliveira vs. Tom Asta which was good. Luan landed full bolts it would seem or you could say with authority. You knew he was landing his stuff. He won and now he'll go up against Kelvin Hoefler in the next round. I like Kelvin and Luan so I'm not sure who to cheer for when the time comes. This is the same conundrum I used to face watching vert competitions with Bucky Lasek and Bob Burnquist going at it. I liked both of them, each of them a favorite but if I'm being honest, Bob had a slight edge over Bucky.  It was hard to root for one over the other they were just so darn good!

SLS returned as well and I'm not liking the new format at all.  I was used to two 45 second runs and 5 trick attempts and the best four scores overall count with all 8 competitors trying to win.  Now it's one 45 second run, four trick attempts, best three scores count and the top four move on for an additional two trick attempts to determine the winner.

I don't know why they changed it, I thought it was working fine. It's supposed to be a skate competition and now you hardly get any skating. At this point, simply call it a best trick contest because that's what it is. I want to see skaters skate, not just their best trick. I don't skate, I'm simply an ally but the new scoring has me baffled. 

Kelvin Hoefler finished 4th, he missed out on hitting the podium and there was one trick that he did that he definitely got robbed on scoring wise. Then again, I'm not a judge so what do I know.

Tony Hawk had his event and that was cool. I really wish that they had recorded the Legend's Demo so people could watch it if they missed the live event. I've seen some videos popping up but it would have been nice to watch the whole thing.  I was busy and couldn't watch when it was happening but from I saw online people were hyped.

I'm glad the event happened, it was nice to see a women's and men's vert competition even if I didn't recognize most of the names. Didn't matter, it was good skating and the crowd was into it.  

Okay, that is my rant for the day.

My idea for NaNoWriMo is coming along. It's starting to form a bit better in my head and I think I have a good idea now on the direction I want to go.  There is still plenty of time to change my mind but for now I think I found my path.

I went digging through the music archive and dug up this Savatage song from 1989. Enjoy!

Rock on!

~Maynard



Saturday, August 14, 2021

Planning for NaNoWriMo

For the past month, I've had an idea for what I could work on for NaNoWriMo come November.  In the past, I've usually had the outline of my story and character names in place well by August and a firm idea by September with little tweaks here and there.

For the past few years, the drive to write or even participate has been a chore.  It's been a struggle.  Last year, I had no idea until the day before and on day one of writing I had no clue what I wanted my story to be or where to take my characters. Amazingly, as always, I finished early.  I was done before the 30 days was up.  I run into this every year where I worry I won't make the deadline but I always do. I normally finish by Thanksgiving and in some cases I have finished between day 8 and day 15.  Mind you, that's a lot of writing as the challenge is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I always second guess myself and you'd think after all this time I would stop. I can write, I know how. 

This year, I have a vague idea which is starting to come together but I think the project is bigger than just me writing.  It feels like it needs to be bigger and it maybe that I do that, for myself. I don't want to get into specifics and what I have planned right now can easily change by the time November rolls around, but I am toying with the idea of writing what it's like to live with dysthymia.  I don't think people are aware of it or understand it and I feel the need to give it a voice.  I want to write about the tools I have in my took kit and write about ones I didn't know I had (see the blog posting about Banana Bread & Bob Burnquist).

I haven't decided how to present the story but I find myself thinking of adding illustration or photos which is typically not something that pops up when I start putting story ideas together. I'm open to this idea and maybe it's exactly what I need to do to help others understand dysthymia.

I invite everyone to give NaNoWriMo a shot.  Give yourself a little challenge and it doesn't matter if you hit the 50,000 words. Give yourself permission to immerse yourself into a world of imagination.

Today I leave you with the Within Temptation song 'SinĂ©ad'.  The Unforgiving is definitely one of my favorite Within Temptation albums and this song has been a constant play for the past two days. Enjoy!

Rock on!
~Maynard