Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thoughts of a Hospice Volunteer

Thoughts of a Hospice Volunteer

I come along beside him when his futures lookin' grim,
The doctors and the medics have done all they can for him.
He's feelin' lost and empty, as his time is runnin' short,
There seems to be no good news, he's issues yet to sort.

And so into this circumstance, I come to share his cares,
To listen to his hopes and dreams, his burdens and his prayers.
He tells me of his life and times, the days of sweet success,
The painful days of failure, from his heart he will express.

And as he grows to trust me, with his secrets and his fears,
The time will slow, he'll look at life and peal away veneers.
And once again he'll share, the tender times of vanished youth,
Bringing into focus, what life's lessons taught of truth.

There isn't any subject, that a feller won't explore,
To come to terms with finite time, before the exit door.
And so our friendship blossoms, as we share the stuff of life,
His soul begins to mellow, he's lettin' go of strife.

There comes an authenticity, as sham is striped away,
Now a feller's truly livin', lookin' forward to each day.
Every moments precious, when your sun is in the west,
There's the mighty metamorphous, to the life that's comin' next.

There's work to do, to come to terms, with lessons learned in life,
To pack your chute and be prepared, with pathos he is rife.
As time unfolds, the day will come, his sail will be unfurled,
He'll toss the lines, catch the winds, unto an other world.

For those who shared his journey, as he sorted out his times,
As he dealt with issues thorny, where he couldn't find the rhyme.
And finally found his center, the peace he long had sought,
To those who helped him on his way, it hasn't been for naught.

In time, my turn, to toss the line, to hoist the sail of hope,
To tread the quay of temporal shores and with my fears to cope.
And as the tide is rising and my ship is set to sail,
Thoughts of friends, from times long past, will quiet down the gale.

And when upon the promised shore my anchors holdin' fast,
I meet my savior face to face, my peace, I find at last.
And standing with my Jesus are the friends with whom I shared,
The tender final times of life and for their soul took care.

David Brunk, 3/27/13

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:N Biltmore Dr,Oro Valley,United States

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Everything Old is New Again

It's a sunny Saturday morning and a friend sends me a link on a "less is more" piece in the "New York Times"...
Thoughtful questions worthy of consideration, In a week where the DJIA hit an all time high. He and I both have a good many gadgets and toys so personalizing the admonition in the article is the next step....I respond to my friend with the following.

Does this mean the RV is on the market along, with both new bikes and all the techno gadgets. That you will, from now on, sit on the floor in the lotus position, palms upturned, writing poetry centered on the "glut and suck" of life? You will, of course, wrench many "prompts" from this miserable, existential existence,..... won't be appreciated until long after your death.....BUT, in ages to come, some wag from the NYT may well quote your "life and times", in a Saturday piece, designed to fill column inches between book reviewers on the current wave of techno gadgets and the travel page, describing where a man of means can take his RV and mountain bike, to escape the harried pace of life, and,....gain an existential understanding of the true meaning of life????

Just askin' db

I LIVE in a 420-square-foot studio. I sleep in a bed that folds down from the wall. I have six dress shirts. I have 10 shallow bowls that I use for salads and main dishes. When people come over for dinner, I pull out my extendable dining room table. I don’t have a single CD or DVD and I have 10 percent of the books I once did.

I have come a long way from the life I had in the late ’90s, when, flush with cash from an Internet start-up sale, I had a giant house crammed with stuff — electronics and cars and appliances and gadgets.

Somehow this stuff ended up running my life, or a lot of it; the things I consumed ended up consuming me. My circumstances are unusual (not everyone gets an Internet windfall before turning 30), but my relationship with material things isn’t.

We live in a world of surfeit stuff, of big-box stores and 24-hour online shopping opportunities. Members of every socioeconomic bracket can and do deluge themselves with products.

There isn’t any indication that any of these things makes anyone any happier; in fact it seems the reverse may be true.

For me, it took 15 years, a great love and a lot of travel to get rid of all the inessential things I had collected and live a bigger, better, richer life with less.

It started in 1998 in Seattle, when my partner and I sold our Internet consultancy company, Sitewerks, for more money than I thought I’d earn in a lifetime.

To celebrate, I bought a four-story, 3,600-square-foot, turn-of-the-century house in Seattle’s happening Capitol Hill neighborhood and, in a frenzy of consumption, bought a brand-new sectional couch (my first ever), a pair of $300 sunglasses, a ton of gadgets, like an MobilePlayer (one of the first portable digital music players) and an audiophile-worthy five-disc CD player. And, of course, a black turbocharged Volvo. With a remote starter!

I was working hard for Sitewerks’ new parent company, Bowne, and didn’t have the time to finish getting everything I needed for my house. So I hired a guy named Seven, who said he had been Courtney Love’s assistant, to be my personal shopper. He went to furniture, appliance and electronics stores and took Polaroids of things he thought I might like to fill the house; I’d shuffle through the pictures and proceed on a virtual shopping spree.

My success and the things it bought quickly changed from novel to normal. Soon I was numb to it all. The new Nokia phone didn’t excite me or satisfy me. It didn’t take long before I started to wonder why my theoretically upgraded life didn’t feel any better and why I felt more anxious than before.

My life was unnecessarily complicated. There were lawns to mow, gutters to clear, floors to vacuum, roommates to manage (it seemed nuts to have such a big, empty house), a car to insure, wash, refuel, repair and register and tech to set up and keep working. To top it all off, I had to keep Seven busy. And really, a personal shopper? Who had I become? My house and my things were my new employers for a job I had never applied for.

It got worse. Soon after we sold our company, I moved east to work in Bowne’s office in New York, where I rented a 1,900-square-foot SoHo loft that befit my station as a tech entrepreneur. The new pad needed furniture, housewares, electronics, etc. — which took more time and energy to manage.

AND because the place was so big, I felt obliged to get roommates — who required more time, more energy, to manage. I still had the Seattle house, so I found myself worrying about two homes. When I decided to stay in New York, it cost a fortune and took months of cross-country trips — and big headaches — to close on the Seattle house and get rid of the all of the things inside.

I’m lucky, obviously; not everyone gets a windfall from a tech start-up sale. But I’m not the only one whose life is cluttered with excess belongings.

Graham Hill is the founder of and
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Home in Tucson AZ