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Monday, September 29, 2008


The heart is the place where we live our passions. It is frail and easily broken, but wonderfully resilient. There is no point in trying to deceive the heart. It depends upon our honesty for its survival. ~ by Leo Buscaglia (Born For Love) ~

I met Leo in Pasadena after one of his recitals. He gave everyone in the audience a hug as they left the theater. We were asked not to squeeze him to hard as some people got carried away hurting him with a well intentioned bear hug. I hugged him genitally as he did me thanking me for coming. It felt genuine, his words very real, he seemed to a truly honest person. He died not long after of a heart attack. Ironic that the Love Doctor's big heart would kill him.

Honesty is the catch word in most personal ads. Men seeking Woman or Woman seeking Man all what the other to be honest. Careful what you wish for. Once I asked someone what version of honesty did they want? The reply received in anger "Are you playing head games?" "No" was my answer, "Just wanting to know if you want me to be honest, or do you want me to say want you want to hear as some people consider that honesty." She hung up. Oh well nothing ventured nothing gained.

There was a song of that name, how did it go? Oh yeah "Honesty is such a lonely word. Everyone is so untrue. Honesty is hardly ever heard. And mostly what I need from you.." the refrain Billy Joel sang.

I sit with a friend having lunch talking about how being honest is really important. Yet there seems to be dishonesty as we talk. Things are not talked about or thing are not said. I want to say "I could fall in love with you in a heart beat," but don't. That would be to much honesty and she would cease to be my friend, I think. So I keep silent, enjoy her company from time to time, then go on about my life. However, I've made a decision for her in doing so based on my perception that she does not want that honesty. Some day she'll tell me that she has met a wonderful man. I'll tell her how happy I am for her as I attempt to be honest. Because I know it is not what she wants to hear from me so why say it?

Consider the following question "Does this _____ make me look fat?" You smile? This is a dammed if you do, dammed if you don't question. What if it does make them look fat? Is an honest answer the best course of action? Silence is not an option, sweat beads on the back of the neck, is there a door close by or maybe a bathroom. "Excuse me for a minute, be right back."

I've discussed this concept with several of my friends each of whom come at it in a different ways. Some say you must be honest all times, at all costs, some say be honest only if it does not hurt someone, Some honesty is something no one really wants to hear so do it only when necessary. Being honest is something I think about allot, because in the past I've not been a particularly honest person. At times is seems that being honest really is not going to change anything, so why bother. Yet, it nags at me no to say my truth about something, but why when it changes nothing, or could change things in a way I'm not interested in.

There are only two ways of telling the complete truth--anonymously and posthumously.--Thomas Sowell

Monday, September 1, 2008

County Fair

The 2008 Coconino County Fair ended at 4pm today. We disassembled out booth, packed our "wares" and headed to our respective homes. The Fair was four long days of greeting attendees who were reported to number over 10,000. Our "wares" were handouts to assure people that H & R Block was where they should got to get their taxes done, or work. We handed out several hundred balloons to children, and as many flyer's to adults. Standing by the booth asking people walking by if they would be interested in working for H & R Block I came face to face with Kathleen.

There was that split second of recognition, then disengagement as her head and body moved immediately in another direction.

My throat constricted her name would not come out. Her back to me I watched her and the man she was with walk away.

Twenty years ago Kathleen and I worked together at the newly opened Psychiatric Hospital here in Flagstaff. We shared an office, did groups together, laughed, and hung out. We went to the Grand Canyon by steam train. Then upon return danced at the train station in Williams as people walked by quickly eye's averted. I remember sitting in a very serious staffing when a bare foot slid under my pant leg. I struggled not to look at Kathleen, nor bust into laughter. She started chocking as she attempted to control breaking out in laughter. Questioning looks followed but we recovered nicely only to fall apart when we reached our office.

We dated on and off for the two years we worked at the hospital. I was besotted with her and told her so. She never quite returned by besottedness, but continued to go out with me. From time to time she would date another man for a while then back to me. She was not happy working at the hospital as she had no degree leaving her at a dead end. The hospital was a decidedly mentally unhealthy place to work. We had both talked of leaving for healthier pastures.

She left about three months before me to work at the local probation office. On her last day she ran out into the parking lot yelling "I'm Free, I'm Free." Again I was sitting in a staffing when I hear her yelling outside. This time I smiled knowing that soon I would follow her. We had continued to date after she left. I called her to ask her to go to the fair with me. She told me she had to go out of town that weekend being really sorry to miss the time together.

I rarely got to Fair's but what the heck on a whim I'd attend the 1988 Coconion County Fair by my self. After visiting the hospitals booth I wandered around looking at other booths and rides. Then spend some time listening to the band's that were playing. Turing from the band to leave I came face to face with Kathleen and the man she was with.

There was a split second of recognition then, disengagement as her head and body immediately moved in another direction.

My throat constricted her name would not come out. Her back to me I watched her and the man she was with walk away.

There is more drama around this story which is not part of this writing. Maybe later on I'll relate the rest of the story.

For now it is the Happening of it that is important. I find that the past events do indeed manage to repeat in to the present. Kind of like a test to see what you've learned along the way. Will you react the same or will you respond differently. Get it "right" this time, what ever "right" is. As I watched her walk down the isle all the feelings and memories of that time came flooding back. Over the year's I had wondered what had happened to her. The "What if's" bombarded my brain, sadness began to settle on my shoulders.

Walking the Fair grounds to clear my head I saw her again. She looked much the same except I did not observer her once eagerness to smile. They walked together apart, not touching, talking to each other, but not looking at each other. They did not look happy together, but more as if they had to be there and not doing a go job of making the best of it. I sincerely hope that it was just an off day, or that I miss the more happy moments.

Then it was time to let the past walk on by, head back to my booth and continue to ask "Are you interested in a part time position?"