I Made It

And there it was, the beginning of the year. What happened in the last year that made the start of this one be so welcomed, so needed, so desperately thirsted after?

Honestly, I can’t really remember. The last year passed by in such a slow-motion blur, it felt like sleeping and waking up and then sleeping again. Mixed in with a little, okay A LOT, of Netflix. A seemingly endless rinse and repeat cycle of fog and stress, and food delivery that filled the hours. Days went by and I wasn’t even sure what day it was. Was it even daytime? What happened to the sun at 4:30pm? What’s for dinner?

The time went by and the news got worse. The new iPhone came out and I’m pretty sure I found the end of the internet. Spoiler Alert: The screen goes to black and suddenly you hear “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley.

But at 10 seconds before the beginning of the New Year, I had this feeling. It didn’t matter what happened, or didn’t happen, in the last year. It didn’t matter that it felt like the longest decade all wrapped up in one year. What mattered is that I made it through it. I was 10 seconds away from the start. The start of New. I was still breathing. I could still laugh, even though there were times I thought I never would again. I made it. We made it.

And so here I am. Writing again, because I hadn’t in a long time. It feels good. It feels right. It feels, new.

Happy New Year!

A Walk To My Brother’s Bar

It’s not a long trip at all. Just a quick hop on to the free shuttle on the 16th Street Mall. Ride that all the way to its last stop, past the trendy hipster restaurants, coffee shops, Chipotle and the Tattered Cover Bookstore in historic LoDo. Fight the temptation to get off the shuttle and drop inside, grab a tea, and walk the aisles and aisles of stacked shelves and fall into a comfy familiar old chair while disappearing into words.

Stay on the bus and the shuttle doors will close again as it moves up the mall. In the short distance you’ll soon see a monument to a pastime on Wazee. Coors Field. You can stop to catch a game, if it were baseball season. Just keep riding the shuttle.

A few more blocks and you can get off at the last stop near Union Station. Looking familiar from a postcard, or a commercial. Or was it a movie? You can stop to take a picture of it, but you’ll probably forget about in a few days. The journey continues.

You take a walk up the stairs, passing bikers pulling or pushing their bikes into the neat little grooves on the side of the staircase for their wheels, and step on to the Millennium Bridge. A tall metal tube shooting up like a ships mast into the blue Mile High sky and suspension cables holding a boardwalk and fencing over the train tracks. You pass the Locks of Love on the fence and walk down the stairs at the end of the bridge. More bike grooves here too.

Now you have a choice. You can either take the scenic route and have a nice walk through the park, past the signs reminding folks of the native history of these lands, and the concrete arena that might remind you of that scene in The Warriors. ‘CAAAN YOOOU DIG IT!?!’

Or…

You can take a left at Little Raven, walk down to 15th, take a right and head up. Either way, you get to walk over the South Platte River. You get to see it’s clear waters flowing and moving quickly through the land. Here, there’s a pause. There has to be. The view is spectacular with the river, the land, the sky and the Rocky Mountains in the distance. A welcome reward for the journey. A breath.

A short distance later up to 15th and Platte, and there it is. The destination. The purpose for your quest.

My Brother’s Bar

Billed as “The oldest bar in Denver”, it’s an unassuming joint. There is no sign out front, so you’d have to know where you were going to get there. Yes, they have food. But that’s not why you are here. You’re here, because you know that Neal and Jack used to hang out here. They once walked through that wood door on the corner with the word ‘Platte’ over it. They walked in there, sat at that long wooden bar and scrapped their cash together to order a… Well, we don’t know what they ordered. But it was booze and that’s what you’re going to order. When you finally get your drink, you sit back a little on the stool, take a look around the bar, drink in the history and fantasy of it all and take a sip.

You were there. So was Jack.

Like Before

I told myself it was going to happen. I said it over and over. I was convinced that it was going to be different this time. Because this time I was serious. It wasn't going to be like the other times. Those times when I was less committed, or real with myself. Those times when I wasn't as serious. 
But it was just like before. Like all those other times. 

I told myself I would write today. That I would sit at the page and let the words flow out and, even if they didn't make any sense, would just be written. 
But it was just like before. Like all those other times. 

The carpets needed to be vacuumed. The kitchen needed to be cleaned. The car needed an oil change and maybe some new windshield wipers for the rain that rarely comes in Southern California. 
It was just like before. 

Another day went by and, even though I wrote my Morning Pages and in a journal, nothing much else was written. The pages were blank, the cursor didn't move, the ink in the pen was still fresh and full and everything else got done, except the one thing I told myself I'd do. 
Just like before. 

But then today came. And after a cup of coffee and a walk with the dog, I sat down in my chair and found myself with a pen and paper. Writing. I didn't even have to tell myself to do it. It just happened. 
Like before. 



Untitled Writing

There it is again.

That knock in the back of my head, when I look at the blank page and that little blinking line starts to mimic my heartbeat.

Breathe.

I tell myself. Before I start. Before I place my fingers on the keyboard and just hover. Breathe. It’s all going to be okay.

But it’s still there.

The voice. The familiar voice, that doesn’t sound mean or scary or angry. The voice that sounds soothing and comforting, warm. Like all it wants is to protect me. Keep me safe. Let me know, it’s okay to close the computer and get something to eat, or go for a walk, or sleep.

I’m still here though.

I don’t move. From my keyboard. From the desk and the computer. It’s still open and the page is filling up with digital ink and the cursor is moving and I am writing.

It’s going to be okay.

I tell that to the voice. It’s going to be okay, because I’m writing and nothing bad has happened. You can go find something to eat, or go for a walk, or sleep.

This is going to take a while.