Recent Tweets in the eMotion Cafe

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Cutting: A Seven Word Novel

X-ACTO knives sketched Sadness on her forearms.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Forever: A Seven Word Novel

Spirits wander hallowed, soulful chambers. Remembering. Forgetting.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Everything, Forever

One day, the Boy found himself standing before The Universe.  Slowly, he looked up towards Her radiating Heart.  He was warmed by Her eternal glow.  He stood silently for a long while.

Then, softly, he spoke, "I want Everything, Forever."

At that moment, the Universe began to shine, brighter. Her eternal smile spread across the Heavens.  She looked down upon him, kneeled, and moved her lips slowly to his tiny ears and whispered, "Indeed, you are my Child.  You are Fearless, like your Mother. You are Strong enough to ask for what your Heart desires, like your Mother.  You understand that Anything can be yours, like your Mother.  Truly, only a child of the Universe would dare to wish to hold Everything and Forever in their heart."

As She kissed him on the forehead and raised herself, The Universe gazed, lovingly, down upon him and exclaimed: "Then, it is Everything that you shall have and Forever that you shall have it."

Then, after an eternal pause, She leaned down towards his tiny ears, once again, and whispered: "All you must do, my child, to have Everything and Forever is Simply This: Ask only for what you Want Forever."

The Boys eyes grew wide. He felt The Responsibility that would soon transform him into a Man descend to a rest upon his shoulders.

In that moment, the Boy realized that He was no longer bound to Some Things, Now.  He was, instead, responsible for Everything, Forever.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Foolish Pain

Once, many months later, She talked with him late into the night and, exhausted, She failed to notice that her Pain had already, foolishly, fallen asleep on the floor next to her.

As She began to say her Goodbye, there was no longer any Pain to stop her Heart, in that moment, from reaching out to him, again. So, her lips moved to kiss him - as they had a thousand times before.

Suddenly, She gasped - shocked at the sudden movements of her own Heart - waking her Pain from its brief slumber. Startled and groggy, her Pain quickly placed a hand over her mouth, forcing any fleeing Affection back into hiding.

Then, in the moment of Silence that followed, they looked into each others' eyes for an eternal millisecond and smiled. After that knowing pause, they each whispered "Good Night" and spoke nothing more of it.  Neither wanted to further disturb her Pain - which was now watching ever so carefully, with heavy eyelids, from the floor next to her.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Suitcase

There is a suitcase
That sits
By His front door
With Things
He never needs

After years of flying
From Place to Place
And running in
That Endless Race
From Here to There
And Now to Then
That suitcase
Has not moved
An Inch.

As It rests in his front Hall,
Hoping that
Is just a lonely lull,
Each day,
He passes by
With a brief, fleeting sigh
Through the front door to
A Place Nearby-
Not far from
Where suitcases
Just wait
And lie.

Now, the suitcase
Will wait
In This Place
they call "Fate"
With this one
Weary Worry:
Without a Dream
To chase
Through endless skies,
He may Someday
Simply Forget
To Fly.

5 Million Layer Man

"You might be the most complicated Man I've ever Met," She blurted out, "... There are like 5 Million Layers to You."

He smiled and began to ponder the implications of being the 5 Million Layer Man.  Then, just as He began to believe that that might have been the Kindest Way anyone had ever called him Crazy, She continued, "But, the layer I like most is that you talk.  Most guys don't talk much or when they talk they don't say much. And, you don't just talk -  You share your thoughts and feelings. You tell the Good and the Bad. You don't pretend to be Perfect.  You know who you are and you don't have any filters and you just put yourself out there to people - for Better or for Worse

"True That," He said with a nervous smile - not sure where This was going.

Then after a moment, he looked at Her and said, "I think I finally understand why I always end up Alone... It's genetic.  I mean, seriously, how can anyone possibly Love a guy with 5 Million Layers. That's so very unrealistic. It's way easier to love Simple Men. They have far fewer layers. Me, on the other hand, I have an extra 4,999,999 layers to possibly Loathe, Hate, Despise, or Dislike. I'm like a slot machine in a Vegas airport - Anyone's chances of hitting the jackpot with Me are nearly zero.  I think I'm going to get a Dog. But, I'm allergic to Dogs. Crap. I can't even get my own 5 million layers to like each other. See? Hopeless."

And as He looked at her, a Smile burst from deep within Him. Suddenly, they were both laughing.

"You may be Hopeless," She said, "But, don't forget that there's a lot of Layers to like, also. How about we focus on Those, instead?"

Suddenly, it occurred to Him that it didn't matter how many Layers he had - as long as Whoever was looking at Him chose to count up the Layers They Liked in Him, first.

And, in that moment, he imagined some lucky traveler thousands of miles away, stopping, setting their suitcase to the side, and slipping a dollar into a slot at McCarran Airport - and the blessed smile on that wear traveler's face as the lights began to flash and the quarters began to pour out of that So Very Lucky slot machine in a Vegas airport where - on very rare occasions - Someone hits the jackpot.

Trying to do the Right Thing

"You're a Good Person," She began, "... All you have to do is keep Trying to do the Right Thing."

As He stared at the ceiling, a tear slipped quietly out of the corner of his eye and jumped several stories to the pillow, below.

"That's All I have to do?" He asked.  He began to think of all the Wrong that He had done - while thinking he was Right and doing what he thought was Right - over the past Many Years.

For several minutes, He lay still and got lost looking towards a Distant Place that She could only feel, but not see.

Then, She moved closer to Him and buried Her head into His chest.

She whispered, "Come back."

And in that moment, He was found. He remembered all the Right that was left to do and realized that Right and Wrong are those Tricky Twins that like to wear each others clothes and giggle when you call them the wrong names. But, most importantly, He realized that, while Things didn't always turn out the way he had Hoped, all he could do was simply try to do The Right Thing every step of the way.

In the End, he could live with That. Come what may.

And Others may or may not choose to not live with That. Come what may. 

But, Trying to do The Right Thing... That was here to stay.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Happy Pills

are Pills
for that She
told Him that
would take away
the Edge So That Life
would no longer Be A Roller Coaster

And in a Moment
Every Shout
and Laugh and Kiss and Cry
and Pout
and Hug and Grin
and Sigh
before his

he stopped
to wonder
to all of That
She said Goodbye.

So he looked into
Her Eyes
And Saw
Her newly Vacant
And Decided
That He would
roll the dice-

He thought:
Pills can only numb
and force choices
for just One-
and Happiness in
a Pill
was Not
for Him
to buy.

Her Happy Pills, 
you see, 
would just make him
Simply Be
like Someone Else,
Someone Safe,
for her to

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Independence Day

"It will be different
Here, this year," 
He softly said.
"There will still be Fireworks -
but they will be seen
by four fewer eyes -
And, this year we
won't see their Smiles
Bursting and Flaring
Late into the Night.

No, They'll be
Far Away,
Her Independence 
Day decision
in SomeOne
Else's Skies."

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

14 Drafts

He's written 14 Drafts of
Things He'd Want to Say But for
The Words
Won't find
Their Way

To line up
In a Row
And begin
To form
A Flow

So, He
Moves on

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Morning Daydream

There was a Moment most Mornings
Where He would wake
In a Hazy Glow of a Dizzying Dream
World where Fourteenth Chances
Allowed her Now Long Hair
to Flow from her Face and
Spill down over her White Wedding Dress,
While Her Blue Eyes beamed,
Again, And Her Smile
Freed Itself to Stand Next
to Him

In a Morning Daydream.


He picked up his Fender, ignoring his blistered fingers, and strummed another Sad Song while singing to the flickering stars outside his window.  His mouth brushed against the scratchy metal grill of the microphone - which only reminded Him, again, of the softness of Her lips - as he wailed winding words into the World.

At that moment, He realized that there were No Others who could haunt his Soul like Her Ghost had- and that living with a Ghost may be better than living with any of Them.

He was comfortable Being Haunted.

So, He sang on, alone, hoping that her Ghost still hovered, somewhere behind him, hidden - hearing every Ode that he sang in these Midnight concerts - and that the neighbors would never hear those ethereal Echos of Once Upon a Time that drifted across the water in the early, dark morning hours - and whisper warnings of the House Across the Lake That Was So Very Haunted.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wonders in His Heart

At some point, after much Wondering, He knew he would just simply have to accept that there were Some Things that He would never Understand, like: how Song flows through the Soulful Fingertips of Some and not Others, Why Seeing a Newly Posted Picture of Her Could Still Leave Him Breathless, How and Why the Universe was created in the Here and Now, Why it took so long for someone to create Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Why the Root of All Evil is hidden in the Social Networks of Middle School Girls, and Why their Past Made it so hard to have a Chance for a Future.

Still, the Greatest Mystery to Him was: Why it took him so very long to learn to Love Himself and, thus, finally, accept Love from Her.  To this day, He couldn't Understand why it took too many years to realize that Love was Something that each of His Intentions, Thoughts, Words, and Actions needed to reflect.  Love was not Something that he could hold in his Heart - it was Something that He needed to Give and Create with each Choice that She trusted Him to make.  Why She had to stop Loving Him so He could start Loving Himself was Something that he'd never be able to explain to Anyone, including Himself. 

Still, In the End, All He knew, now, was that he loved watching the birth of blessed music on his stringed instruments, loved seeing Her familiar glow as she smiled - even if it was for Someone New, loved that the Universe allowed him to be part of the Here and Now in This Life, loved the guilty pleasure of sneaking in an occasional Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, loved that there were Forces of Goodness to oppose the viciousness of Middle School Girls, and loved that he had made the Changes He needed to make to honor himself - and Her - even if was too late.

Because, in the End, no matter how hard He or Others tried to explain These Things, some Holes in His Heart were just too deep to be filled with Understanding.  So, he marked these Places with bright neon signs; made an online GoogleMap that showed where these Places were, now; found New Ways to fill those Wondrous Holes in His Heart with Love; and decided that Admission would always be free for those who wanted to tour these Wonders in His Heart.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

He told them, "I will Love you Forever. And when I say 'Forever', that means Every Day that I'm on this Earth and Every Lifetime After and Every Moment That Came Before. I will never leave you when Times get Hard - in fact, it is Then that I will fight the hardest for you. Although you may not feel my presence, I am with you, always, in my heart and mind. Even when you think that I don't Love you, I am still loving you, waiting for you to Understand and hoping to find a way to clear The Path to Your Heart, again. I will never give up Hope for those that God has placed before me to Love. So, once you have found your way into my Heart, I will always hold that place for you. That is simply How I Love. Forever."

And they hugged him and they buried their faces in His chest and said, "We love you, too, Daddy - So So So So So So Much - more than all the Stars in the Universe, more than all the Air in the Sky, and more than all the drops of water in the Oceans."

In that moment, He remembered what he would sometimes forget: Even though Others would ebb and flow out of His Life in This World, these two would always return to That Place in His Heart that He held for them. They Loved him- as they had many times before and would many times again- Forever.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

This Fearless Love

Were we Fearless,
We would Will wild,
Wondrous Love while watching
This Wicked World weep.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Alter

We all watched him carry his Sorrow to The Alter.
He dropped to his knees before Our Creator
And bowed his head
And he began to weep.

We watched appreciative Tears of Joy stream down one of his cheeks.
We watched anguished Tears of Regret flow down the other.
And after a prolonged, deep and distant gaze at the ground before Our Creator
We watched as his face fell slowly into the palms of his hands
And We heard his Voice for the first time.
"How Great I Loved," he sobbed.

We watched as Our Creator leaned slowly towards him
And whispered into the young man's Heart.
And We witnessed
Our Creator's Peace surround Him, purifying Him.

Then, louder and clearer and most assuredly,
He raised his gaze to Our Creator,
And He spoke one last time,
With a new Understanding, Strength and Conviction,
"How Great I Love," He announced.

And He wiped the tears from his cheeks.
And He rose, standing tall and proud.
And We all watched Him leave His Pain at the alter.

And when we could no longer hear His Footsteps
We swept up the thorny branches He had left behind
We placed a pile of tinder there in the center of the hearth
We laid those switches out evenly over the flames we fanned

And We watched the Sacred Fire burn and grow
And Prayed while
We all warmed ourselves in its Blessed Glow.


He told me that I was one of the most Courageous men he had ever known.

I looked him in the eyes and tried to hide the Fear that he might somehow see how very Afraid I am, most times.

"Why do you say that?" I asked.

"Because I have never known a man who would put Himself out there, over and over again, for Someone - knowing not only that it will End, but that it would End Painfully."

I looked to the ground, fought off a little Sadness, and thought about what He had said.

Suddenly, a small smile slipped out of the corner of my mouth and I said, "Oh, there was no Courage in That. It was the least I could do, for Her.  There were many Times when she put Herself out there, to me, over and over again."

With an astonished look on his face, his eyes grew bigger, and he said, much louder, "Dude. You traveled across the country for a simple Hope that you might save Something that was Lost. You took planes, trains, and rental cars thousands of miles - knowing your Heart would simply get crushed, yet again - just so that you could look into her eyes when She told you that She had lost the Will to go on with you and still couldn't find any Words for you.  She wouldn't have done the same for you.  She didn't even Welcome you. What you did - overcoming not just your Fears, but her Fears, too - that took some real Courage."

I was shocked. For a moment, I looked back to the ground, until I found my response, "I was simply returning Something to where I had found it - and to its rightful owner. And, that trip was for Me, also. I didn't want to carry any Regret that I hadn't tried everything in my power to try and save any Love that remained - or a possible Future with Her. We, once upon a time, deserved that.  I think that making that effort was simply out of Respect for the way that She once loved me.  But, mostly, it was for me - to sit with her and know... to feel... that what She once carried for me was gone - and it was. I traveled all that way and only found a ghost of Her. There was no Trust or Openness or Willingness or Warmth or Affection or Hope for me in her Eyes or her Smile anymore - and if there was, it was forced.  The only Thing left in her Heart for me was an Apology for having let me go.  But, she believes that the only way she can be Happy is to move on without me.  I can't say I agree.  That said, I can say I understood why she would draw that Conclusion. What I found, there, was a Simple Truth: The Woman that I have loved doesn't live There, anymore - she lives in My Memories.  So, I accepted her Apology and gave her the only thing I could give her - my Absence. Now, I don't think there was any Courage in Confirming that, Accepting that, or Giving that.  I guess we all define Forever a bit differently and we all fight for Love differently. I certainly was no Saint through all of this.  But, It is what it Is. I'm not sure that facing That Reality took any Courage."

He smiled with Kindness, looked at me, unconvinced, and added, "You still don't see how Strong you are, do you? That took some real Heart. That was pretty Brave."

Then, the Sadness returned stronger than before and held me as I began, again, "Did you ever see what Ground Zero looked like after the Twin Towers collapsed? Did you ever look down into those vast, pitted city blocks of Deep Emptiness and all the remnants of rubble that were surrounded by Still Towering Giants that remained standing?" I asked him.

"Yes," he said, "Our company has an office in New York City, I've seen Ground Zero dozens of times over the past few years."

Then, I continued, "Then, you will understand when I tell you that If I have, now, or ever have had any real Courage in any of This it is simply that I make it through every day, since, and continue on, trying to Rebuild, knowing I wasn't my Best. What would have taken real Courage would have been to fully embrace the Love she once had for me - before She let it go.  The only real Courage I know, now, is that I find the strength, dozens of times each day, to look down into my own Deep Emptiness and try to find New Ways to fill those Empty Spaces Where We Once Stood Together (taller and prouder than the Others), with Something or Anything from my own Heart, so that I might one day Be my Best."

I paused for a moment, thought a little more while I tried to organize the few, jumbled words that I could still find, and continued, "While facing Her that last time was one of the most Horribly Painful and Truly Sad moments in my life, it was most definitely one of the most Wonderfully Beautiful moments, also. To this day, the Thought of Her still takes my breath away - it just takes my breath away in a different Way and for different Reasons."

He still looked confused. Then, he shook his head and told me, "You both Loved each other the best you could - for as long as you could - given the Distance and Circumstances. It's just that you can't really Honor and Love someone while you're thousands of miles away for years at a time. It's Distance and Circumstance that doomed this - not your Heart.  It took a lot, from both of you, to make that work as long as you both made it work."

So, I finished my argument, with fewer Words, "My point is simply This: Putting myself out there to Her and Loving Her never ever took any Courage. That was just having Hope. Fighting to hold onto whatever Love there may have been left never took any Courage. That was just trying to give Hope. But, moving on without any Hope of having Her by my side - and learning to honor myself without Her showing me The Way- I think that's the only real Courage I know."

He smiled and simply said, "I think that, maybe, we will have to agree to disagree on this one. I would have never put myself out there in the first place. Then, knowing that She wanted it to End, I would have never kept trying.  And even then, if Things had to end, I would have never been able to give things the Kindness and Dignity that you gave by going all the way out there.  Perhaps, you should consider this possibility: Having Hope takes Courage.  Either way, I stand by what I first said, 'You are one of the most Courageous men I've ever known.'"

I smiled and silently agreed to simply disagree - which is always my first instinct in Matters of the Heart.

So, we ordered some Sushi and sipped on our Sake and talked about some Simpler Things in Life that required little or no Courage - like singing Karaoke, learning to play the Guitar, the Perils of Paddle Boarding, choosing a favorite flavor of Protein Shakes, and trying to make the World a Better Place.

But, all the while, I think we were both strongly considering the very real possibility that maybe, just maybe, we were both Right.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Revisiting Once Upon a Time

And when the Journey had ended
And Wonderland was lost
to him He
Packed his bags,
Reserved his rental car,
Confirmed his flight,
Checked in online,
Boarded the plane,
That there would be Nothing
When he landed
Except the endless Empty
Spaces and Places
Where Somber Ghosts wandered
In a wasted, Once Upon a Time, Wonderland

Monday, April 23, 2012


As He drifted into an exhausted sleep, pulled under by the currents of Thoughts that flooded his Soul, he heard an Angel whisper in his right ear, "Do not Fear the Silence in your Soul. Do not Fear that Love has abandoned You. Do not Fear that your Heart is quiet. Your Soul is filled with Laughter, waiting to be heard. Love surrounds You and is embracing you, even now. Your Heart only pauses between its beats- it will Beat even Stronger in Time. You are not Alone, my child. We are Here with You, protecting You. Come with Us, from This Place..."

Holding those Words near his healing heart, he took one last Breath, prayed for a New Beginning, and allowed himself to be drowned in Kindness.


Appreciation came to visit me in the eMotion Cafe, today.

She only visits when things are Quiet. She's not much for the crowds, it seems. I asked her, once, why She only comes when we are nearly empty, thinking that perhaps She had a fear for crowds or people or germs or any of the Other Things that create Fear in people.  She simply replied, "Darlin, I'm getting older and I'm a petite girl and I don't talk very loudly, you see, and so I find that it's easier for people to hear me and see me when Things aren't so Crazy."

She was Right. She was slender and beautiful. It was impossible to tell how old she was - as Age seemed to only bring her Grace. Her long hair flowed over her shoulders and spilled into her black peacoat. Her blue eyes drew you into her whispered words that always brought me Peace - not matter what or which Chaos had entered the Cafe that day. She was simply Lovely. I can't imagine anyone missing her in a crowd, Ever, but She always claims that People just don't take the Time to see Her.  All I know is that when She enters the eMotion Cafe, the place overflows with warmth and seems filled.

"It's been awhile, hasn't it?" She asked as she greeted me with a smile that took my breath away.

"Yes... Yes.. it has." I could only find three words and most were hard to get out as my breath was usually absent in her presence - and one of the Words I had to use twice.

Sometimes, it's hard to breathe at Those Moments in Life when you are truly being Blessed.

"So, I'll have the usual," She said. She didn't even bother to tell me her drink order, anymore. She knew I knew.

"Coming right up," I told her with a slight sideways Grin, knowing and waiting for what was coming Next.

"So, Hope, what is it that you're Thankful for These Days?" She asked.

"Many, Many Things," I said, not waiting for her to pry. It had been a while since she had visited and I'm like a child when she visits. I just want to tell her Everything, but I know I have to choose my Words wisely because Words are powerful Things and have Meaning.

I continued, "I'm Thankful for the Love that I have been blessed with in this Life. There are Those who have had Faith in me when I've doubted myself. There are Those who have endured my Pain and Torture when I've been less of a Man than I should have been. There are Those who have Trusted in me and allowed me to grow.  There are Those that have Forgiven me for doing the Best I Could. But, mostly, there are Those that still believe me to be Hope."

"That's wonderful..." She whispered, "I cannot remember a visit with you where you have had So Much to be Thankful for.  You are beginning to See and Hear the Universe again, my Love. I must come visit you more often." She began to turn to walk towards the leather chairs to sit and drink her double espresso in peace, watching the Chaos outside so she might find a moment to slip out.

She smiled, then, with a force that nearly dropped me to my knees.  I feel helpless, Sometimes, in her Presence. It's like being Surrounded in Love and knowing that Everything Happens for a Reason and every other Cliche is real and honest and in your heart at that very same, exact Moment. I don't know that a woman has ever been able to disable me as much as Appreciation can.

"So, I learned a little Something, recently, " I told her.

I could see her grinning as she stopped and turned back towards me. 

"Yes..." She responded, "Do tell me that Something, Dear."

Again. I had to catch my breath. I'm not sure that that woman could say Anything that wouldn't jump into my Heart and then steal the air in my lungs and run from the building, laughing.  I took a few deep breaths and started...

"So, I have started to wake each morning and write down Something That I'm Thankful For. I keep a journal. I spend the first Moments of my day capturing the Gifts that God has brought me. Sometimes, it takes me a moment. Sometimes, it takes me an hour. But, Always, I put the pen down next to my bed and I start my day with the Blessings I have had in my heart. Sometimes, it is a very lonely activity, but I find Comfort in knowing that my Blessings have and will continue to surround me."

"That's so very wonderful..."  She whispered again. Only this time I could barely hear her.  I could only feel her Words brushing my cheeks as they passed.

Then, She looked far away as she looked into my Heart. She looked worried for a Moment.  Then, the corners of her mouth lifted and Grace settled back within her smile.

She began to whisper, again, "Soon, Love, Someone will find you. She will See the Blessings that surround you and know that they are for Her, too. She will fight for you. I know her, personally, and She has been waiting for you for a very Long Time. You should know, Hope, that She is lost, too, right now. But She will find you. And She, too, keeps a Journal of the Gifts in her Life. And your name is already written in her journal. Soon, She will tell you Every Day how much she is Thankful for you being in her Life. I am Sorry that Others have not been as Thankful. But, to be fair, Everyone forgets how Blessed they are, Sometimes. Even you, Hope, forget. Well... ok. Not Everyone forgets. But, Almost Everyone."

She smiled again and, again, my knees trembled. I had to reach down to the counter and hold the edge. I'm quite certain that had Appreciation moved any closer, I would have crumbled and fell into the next World.

"I must go, now..." She whispered.  "I look forward to talking with you, again, very soon, Dear. And, Darling, please don't forget to tell Others what you have learned. I would like to talk with each of Them, too."

And she breezed out the door, quietly, and left me to catch my breath, make myself an iced grande soy one pump white mocha, and sip on every word she had left with me in those Blessed Moments in the eMotion Cafe.

Thursday, April 05, 2012


He asked me if I was Sorry for my Sins. I held back my tears as best as I could, but a few were silently slipping past my reach. Tears were clearly drawn to this man. He was magnetic. I could feel them lining up to run from where I held them. With each second that I sat before Him, more and more of them waited at the windows of my Soul, knowing in moments they would be Free at last.  I struggled to find a way to simply nod my head in response, without releasing them all in one broken moment.

Then, I let go of my Pride and embraced Humility and spoke, "Yes," I said, "I am so very, very Sorry for the Pain I have caused the Ones I Love," I began, releasing the Guilt and Fears that I had carried with me for so very long.  I let them go to wherever Those Things go and allowed the tears to flow freely down my cheeks.  Then, I continued, "I am Sorry for Being Angry. I am so Sorry for not carrying more Forgiveness in my Heart. I'm so Very Sorry for losing my Way and not being Present for the Ones who Love me, most. I have said and done such Hurtful Things... I am Lost, Father..."

Suddenly, I no longer felt the Shame in being Sorry and Knowing that I could have Done Better. Suddenly, I was bathed in tears of Joy, Faith, and Hope.

We sat in Silence as he looked into my Heart with Kindness. I felt his Compassion surround me. I felt his Warmth wrapped around me. I felt his Acceptance embrace me.

Then, He raised his hand before me, made the sign of The Cross, and then told me that, In God's Eyes, all of my Sins had been forgiven.

"Just like that?" I asked childishly, "Don't I have to say a bunch of Prayers or Repent or Tell you Why I've Changed or Something?"

Again, he looked at me with those Forgiving Eyes that only a Father has for one of his children.

"I think you have Suffered, enough, my Son," He told me. And my Heart began to glow. The Coldness and Emptiness vanished from the darkest chambers of my Soul. "No One wants you to suffer any more than you already have. You bring no Light or Joy into this world when you suffer.  Suffering does not bring you closer to God or to the Ones who love you. In fact, Suffering keeps you from knowing the Love that surrounds you.  One day, when you look back on this Moment, you will see that it was Love that brought you back, Here, not Suffering."

It had been a long time since I had felt that I wasn't hurting Someone every time I tried to do the Right Thing and that I'd hurt Someone even more if I did the Wrong Thing.  I had lived for a very long time in that place of Fear and Guilt. I had lived most of my Life in a place of simply expecting to Disappoint someone, regardless of any Goodness in my Heart. As I felt his Forgiveness rain down upon me, I could feel Something Familiar beginning to grow, again, in my Heart.

In that Moment, in a Building that I had been to only once before, with a Man that I had never met or seen before, I had surrendered all my Guilt, Fears and Disappointments that I carried with me for so very long. It was in that Moment, it was in That Place within my Own Heart, that I finally discovered what I had been looking for: Peace.

As I left, He asked me what had brought me Here, today. I explained that it was Easter this coming Sunday and my Soul had been deeply troubled for a while, now, and that Easter was all about being Reborn and Starting from a Place of Love, again, and that I had hoped that I would find that very, very soon, too.  I told him that I had hoped I could help Others find that Place, also.

He smiled as if He'd found Something that had been lost for a very long time, and then spoke, "It's Good to have you Home, again, Son. Don't stay away so long, ok?"

"I have no interest in leaving This Place, Father. I promise. Happy Easter, Father," I told him.

As my footsteps danced and laughed behind me as I walked forever across the long marbled floors of that Holy Place, I could not help but feel the Love that surrounded me.  And I realized that I, too, would Rise again - with Love and Hope filling my Soul.

Found Change

For a Very Long Time, Days have flown by. Weeks have screamed as they jumped off of the calendar. Years have disappeared with a passing Goodbye as they slipped out the front door.

The eMotion Cafe has been a madhouse of visitors from New York, Portland, Ft. Lauderdale, DC, Kansas City, and many other Places that you'd need Google Maps to find. They have all come to the eMotion Cafe and ordered their drinks. I have, happily, served their Addictions. We have shared stories while we waited for the Coffees, Lattes, Americanos, Mochas, Teas, Chais, Cappuccinos,  and Shots to be poured. We have talked of our Troubles, shared in our Sadness, heard each others' Hurt.  We have listened to stories of each others' Love. We have held each others' hands and hugged each other, as we have Healed.  

But, sometimes, Things slow down and the eMotion Cafe empties.  The visitors take pause to attend to the Rest of their Lives.

And, during these Blessed Breaks, I like to Clean House. Now, at first, it's a bit hard to slow down. I stand at the counter. I wait. I'm afraid to Get Started with Something because I'm used to just waiting for Someone to walk through that door and need my Time and Attention. But, every once in a while, there's a Lull at the eMotion Cafe - and in that Silence, there is an Opportunity to Catch up and Clean up.  At these times, I deftly dig out the Cleaning Supplies that get buried under the sinks and Get Started.

Consequently, over the past several Days and Weeks, I have been pulling out every piece of equipment, inspecting it, and cleaning it. I have dusted all the shelves that were once Too High to reach. I have wiped down the legs of the chairs and tables and bases that are Rarely Seen. I have cleaned all the cups and mugs that held so many of the Addictions I've served.

And each time I've touched Something in the eMotion Cafe, I can remember the last time I touched it and what I felt when I last touched it.

As I was finishing cleaning one particular Hard to Reach space, She came back into the eMotion Cafe. I hadn't seen talked to Her in weeks. It was good to See her and hear Her voice and know that She was Well - or as Well as Can Be.

What can I get you?" I asked. I began to start making her Usual: Green Tea.

"Oh, Nothing for me, today..." She began, "... Just a little glass of water, please.  I'm just stopping by. I can't stay long, this time. I've been Sick lately. Sorry I haven't been around much.  I would like a small glass of water, though.  I'm Thirsty"

If there's One Thing we understand in the eMotion Cafe, it's Thirst.

"Got it," I told her, excited to hear Another Voice besides the Voice in my Head - which is all I've had to hear the past few weeks as I've been cleaning up the eMotion Cafe.

"You sure you don't want your Usual," I continued, "No Green Tea for you?"

"No, no, I'm not sure if I can have That anymore.  People say the Caffeine may not be good for my Heart.  It makes my Heart race. It keeps me up at Night, too, sometimes.  I just can't do that anymore."

"I'm sorry to hear that," I replied, "I know it was your Favorite." I told her.

"I know. I loved it, too. We'll see," She said and then smiled a Sad smiled and looked away.

"What's That?" She asked? As she pointed to some loose Change I had piled up on the counter.

"Oh, That? That's just all the Change I've found over the past few weeks. I've found those coins and dollars all over the Place - under tables and couches, behind shelves, I even found a hundred dollar bill underneath the register the Other Day. Not sure how that got there."

"Wow, I didn't think you could find Change like That. Really? You found All That in just these past few weeks?" She asked, again.

"Seriously. True Story." I smiled and wondered why Things Like That are hard to believe, "I think I told you, last time you were here, that I had planned on doing some Cleaning. The Universe finally allowed me to Slow Down. I always keep my word. Sometimes, it just takes me longer than I want it to. But, you know that." and I smiled, knowing we had talked about that so many times before.  In fact, it was Something we both did: Move at our own pace with Things.  Then, I continued, "So, I've finally had some Time to clean up the eMotion Cafe.  That Change was there all along, Hiding and Waiting.  Sometimes, Change just needs to be Found.  You can't always see Change when you're too busy running around trying to serve Everyone Else's Addictions.  You know how it is."

She smiled and looked away, again.  Perhaps She believed.  Perhaps She didn't believe.  Perhaps She didn't care. Perhaps She was Somewhere Else.  Perhaps She just wasn't feeling Well, still. But, any way, She turned, exhausted and tired, from the counter and thanked me for the glass of Water.  And then She left.

I looked down at the growing pile of coins and bills on the Counter.

"That's a lot of Change,' I said to myself - still not quite sure what to do with it All.  

So, I simply picked up my Sponge, multi-purpose Lysol disinfectant spray, and a few paper towels and got started on cleaning a few other Hard to Reach places while there was still Time before the eMotion Cafe filled, again.  And I sang a Song to keep me company. And I cleaned. And I kept an eye out for more Found Change.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lessons Learned

"So, how was your week?  Did you learn anything New?" She asked Him.

"Truth?" He queried.

"Of course," She smiled.

He looked down, a little bit Embarrassed and a lot Ashamed, and then looked up and told her, "I learned that I'm not always Smart Enough to know what Someone wants - but, I'm Smart Enough, now, to know I that I should always just Ask and Listen."

She grinned and reached out toward him.

"That's not a bad Lesson Learned," she offered, "In fact, I think that's the kind of Lesson Learned that can change a Man for Good."

"I hope so," he said, with the subtlest wince of Pain that can only come from brushing against a fresh wound, "Because I'm not really sure I can take many more of these Lessons Learned.  They kinda Hurt. A lot. And I'm totally with Not Hurting anymore, if it's all the Same."

And then they both Smiled, knowing full well that we will all always have our Hurt, but our Hurt goes away when we find the Lessons Learned.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Best Friends

"You know how I know you're my Best Friend?" I asked Him.

"Is it because I'm a Wolf and I'll attack anyone who messes with you and I got your back and I'm an Awesome Musician and an Excellent Communicator and a Really, Really Good Guy and we both love Karaoke and..." he started.

"Nope," I interrupted, "It's because you'll walk next to me through The Madness of Being Me - even when it's not Easy."

He smiled and began to glow just the little bit - the kind of glow that only comes from your Heart suddenly Understanding that it is Loved.

"You do the same for me," He said, "... that's what Best Friends do for Each Other - they endure each others' Craziness. Together."

And, then, we talked about the years of Craziness. We talked about how I am Too Addicted to Gadgets and Being Connected and I don't always Hear when I'm Listening and I always need Reassurance and that I find it hard to believe that People Really Do Love Me and that I'm Too Passionate sometimes and that I don't Give Up when I should and how I give people A Million Reasons to Quit on me and I think too much and over-analyze Everything because I'm afraid of Being Left Behind... all the Other Things that make me so very, very, very hard to live with.  But, in the End, we just reveled in the Madness of Being Me. And we Laughed and Cried about Every Weakness in each of our Souls - which made each Weakness hurt just a little bit less. Together. We talked about the Stupid Things we did to fill the Empty Spaces in our Hearts and asked for Forgiveness. Together. We made Promises to continue to Be There for each other and to Help Each Other. Together. And, best of all, we assured Each Other that Everything Happens for a Reason.  And that Whatever Happened, we would face it. Together.

Because we are Best Friends.

And that's what Best Friends do.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Secrets to a Life of True Love and an Enduring Marriage

The old man shuffled into the eMotion cafe, brushing the rain drops from his weathered North Face windbreaker. He had a limp and moved very slowly, choosing his steps carefully. As he got to the counter, he forced a smile and asked for a small black coffee, unsweetened.

"Just a small, black coffee? Any room for cream or sugar?" I asked?

"None of that for me, young fella," he replied, as he offered a forced smile.

 "Mind if I make you a fresh pot?" I asked. The morning rush was hours ago and I had only had one customer, since.

 "What?" He asked, as he moved closer?

I replied in just a little bit louder and a tiny bit slower, "Do you mind if I brew a fresh pot of coffee for you? There's not much left in the pitcher and it's a few hours old."

 "Oh, that'd be just fine," he said, "I have Nothing but Time."

As I was grinding the fresh beans, I watched the elderly man as he looked around the empty coffee shop for a long while. He pretended to look at the new Chris Vance artwork hanging on the wall near the windows beside him. He looked puzzled at the character's uniqueness. But, smiled, finally, at the portrait of a young boy in a SuperHero mask. He sat down in several of the chairs. Then, a photo of my Grandparents on the far wall caught his eye. He moved closely to the photo and began to study it carefully.

After a full minute or two, he moved slowly away to the window, where he gazed out at the pouring rain and the storm outside.  Then, he wandered back up to the counter, just as I had finished pouring the fresh grinds into the filter.

"It'll be just one more moment... I'm sorry for making you wait" I told him, as he approached the counter.

"Oh, no hurry young fella..." He shot back, "...when you get as old as I am, you're just Happy for each Moment left," he said.

He stood at the counter. Looking directly at me. He was patiently waiting for me. He was fixed on me. It was only he and I in the eMotion cafe. It was pouring outside. And suddenly... Time stopped.

He glided across the Silence between us and began to hum a song. It was a lonely song that was sung by older, wiser voices that I hadn't heard since I was a child and used to visit my Great Grandma at her tiny little house in New Mexico.  Her husband had passed years earlier and she used to sing all the time in that house. Song was her company. And, I think she was singing to him.  Maybe wherever he was, he heard her. But, those Songs. I'll never forget them.

And as suddenly as he started Singing, he stopped. I could feel his gaze upon me, now, heavier than it was before.

I was busy doing Something. Really, it was Nothing. But, I pretended it was Anything Else, because it was easier than being right There, right Now.

He would have none of that.

"Son, can I share with you some Secrets?" He asked.

As many of you know, the eMotion Cafe tends to be a place where Secrets are revealed and Ignorance is illuminated without Fear of Judgement or Retribution.

But, I digress...

"Of course," I excitedly replied, "I'm all for learning the Secrets of the Universe and Our Hearts. Whichever."

He smiled the kind of smile that springs from your heart only when you're given a chance in Life to share Your Story.  It's the Smile of Immortality. It's the smile that precedes Redemption and Rebirth. It was that Smile.

His voice cracked a bit as he tried to begin. He cleared his throat, and shared his Story, "I've been married for 53 years, son. But, my lovely wife passed years ago..."

"I'm sorry to hear that, sir" I offered to fill the silence that grew as his gaze drifted back to the windows and the rain, outside.

"Yes... Yes..." he returned, "Yes, well She was a Saint of a woman. She endured my Ignorance and taught me that I wasn't nearly as Smart as I thought she was. She blessed me by Loving me through it all. And She taught me many, many Things. But,  I'm gonna tell you a few Secrets while that there coffee finishes brewing.  I noticed you're not married..." He started.

"Oh, no. No, I'm not. I was. Then I wasn't. And I thought I was going to be, but it didn't happen. And now, I.. It won't be much longer, just another minute or two," I informed him, apologetically.

Then, he continued, "I suspect that those people in that picture on the wall, back there, that They knew these Secrets, too. Did you know them?"

"They were my Grandparents. This cafe was mostly my Grandma's idea. She seemed to think I was good at making things. Like coffee.  And Stories, I guess. So, I keep their photo, here, to remind me of Why I'm here.  They were married for over 50 years, too," I told him.

"Did she tell you any of the Secrets to a Life of True Love and an Enduring Marriage?" he inquired.

"No, no, we never talked of that," I answered. "...Mostly, we talked about the kids and Church and how I didn't make it to Church quite as often as I should have."

"Ah," He smiled, again, "Maybe They sent me here to talk to you today. This is how the Universe works, young fella."

I admit it: I kinda chuckled. And I believed him. Stranger Things have happened.

"So, what did they send you, here, to tell me?" I had to ask. Because Things Like This happen for a Reason.

"Well, young fell, here's the Secret to a Life of True Love and an Enduring Marriage: "Don't quit."

"Huh?" I asked, "That's the Secret to a Life of True Love and an Enduring Marriage?  How's that?"

"Well," he began, again, "That's what I said. Don't Quit. And don't look all confused. It's not that hard. We make Love too hard, nowadays with all those gadgets and gizmos, but Nothing compares to Being Present in your relationship. You young people have too many distractions. In my day, we married our sweethearts. We came home. We talked. We went for walks. We didn't believe in Divorce. We didn't think it was OK to quit. We didn't have all these gadgets and gizmos and we were so much more Connected to each other than you young people are nowadays.  Each of those distractions is an Opportunity to Quit being in or creating a moment with Someone Special. It's quitting, all the same, young fella.  You know what the greatest Betrayal of all is in Love and Marriage? The greatest Betrayal in any relationship is to not be Present for your partner. For every talk. In every moment. It's disrespectful and arrogant to think that the Love of your Life deserves anything less than your full Attention."

I was stunned.

I thought back to the dozens of times every hour I texted, emailed, phoned, watched tv and hung out with Others in my relationships. I was rarely Present.  All those Digital Screens in my life that enabled me to view into so Many Places and Worlds kept me from seeing what was right in front of me: Someone Who Loved Me.

He must've seen the Realization on my face. But, instead of backing off, he continued, with Inspiration: "And another Thing, you young people don't get - it's not Love or Marriage when you quit. With any new relationship, the first time you choose your Love, you choose that Love based on the Hopes and Promises that lay before you both. But, times will always get tough. Life happens. Wars happen. Death happens. Illness happens. Distance happens. But, you don't quit.  Love isn't great until it's chosen AGAIN with full Awareness of the weakness, faults, and ugliness of your Love. The second time you choose your Love, you forge that Love in the fires of Forever because you've chosen to embrace Love truely, with full understanding that the Love of your Life is simply this: Worth Suffering For.  There are no great Love Stories where Love doesn't become True Love through that process. My dear wife, if you only knew how many times she forgave me for my Ignorance and Weakness. She had far more Forgiveness for me than I ever had Opportunity with her. She was a good woman. A good soul.  Every day with her was a Blessing.  And one day those Blessings end.  It is no surprise that She got to Heaven before me.  But, the way I see it, the Good Lord needs his Angels, too."

The coffee had finished brewing long ago. It was beginning to cool.

I sat with the Secrets to a Life of True Love and an Enduring Marriage for a few moments.  I looked him in the eyes. Fully present, and then spoke: "No charge on the coffee, sir" I told him, "Thank you for waiting...And thank you. Truly. I'm quite sure that if my Grandmother were here at this moment, and she may be, that She would agree with you entirely, and thank you for Sharing."

While I poured the good sir his small black coffee, unsweetened, he offered again, more quietly and with certainty:  "Don't Quit.  Be Present. Choose to Love through the Pain. Those are the Secrets to Happiness with Someone Special."

He carefully picked up the mug of coffee, turned and shuffled back to the chair by the window, and sat.  He looked out into the rain for a very, very long time with his only companions: The Secrets to a Life of True Love and an Enduring Marriage.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


The little boy darted through my neighbors yard, looked over his shoulder, and then ran as hard as he could up the hill in my front yard. Suddenly, he stopped and fell to his knees and looked over at me.  He just kneeled there, gasping for air.  He looked exhausted.

"Hey... you OK? You look out of breath. Can you breathe?"I asked.

"What? Oh... I... Am... Fine... I haven't... Stopped... Running... For like... Five... Years," he struggled to let go of each word.

"What? Wow. That's a lot of running for a little guy like you!" I said with a slight grin.

He just stared blankly at me for a long while while he reached for his breath with every muscle in his body.

"What are you running from?" I asked.

Whatever it was that the little boy was running from must have been really, really Scary.

Well, the boy replied, "My Best Friend and I were playing a game of Hide and Seek... but I stayed hidden too long.. I didn't hear her calling for me... and She hates it when I find Really Good Hiding Spots... But, I couldn't hear her... and she yelled at me... I got Scared... and Mad... So she tried to tell me the rules... and I was like "blah blah blah"... and then she said She didn't want to play anymore.. and I don't like fighting with... her... And then... I got Scared... and told her she was a "Meanie" and started running... Hey, have you seen a little girl run past here - or any BoogyMonsters, Mister?" He asked.

"Nope. It's just me," I told him.  "BoogyMonsters?" I asked, "What are those?"

The little boy was trying to look behind me and kept looking over his shoulder and all around.  Then, he exclaimed, "I don't know, Mister, but when I was running I kept seeing these Blurry Monster Shadowy Things hiding everywhere... and I couldn't stop running cause they were Everywhere! And the faster I ran, the more BoogyMonsters there were!  I kept asking people I'd run by if the BoogyMonsters were behind me, but I couldn't really hear what they said or I'd only hear half of what they said. It's sure hard to hear people when you're running really fast," he finished. And he took a moment and looked behind me again, still expecting a BoogyMonster to appear.  

He was catching his breath. And the more he breathed, the less Scared he looked.

"You know, son, if you aren't running from people, it's a lot easier to hear what they have to say.  You just need to stop or slow down, ok?"

Hey Mister?" he began to ask.  Then, suddenly, the little boy looked all around him. Spinning several times as he looked around at the horizon, his eyes began to water...

"Wait, where did She go? I thought She... was chasing me... I... thought she was behind me... I... I..." He began to sob, again.

Tears began streaming down his face.

"Hey, hey now... It's ok. I'm here. You aren't alone.  Where do you live? Let's get you home," I asked.

"I... I... Don't know... where Home is anymore," he sobbed.

The sad little boy was clearly starting to lose his breath, again.

"It's ok." I told him. "Just breathe... Just breathe... It really will be ok. The People Who Love You are going to be pretty happy that you stopped. They'll be able to find you now! No need to worry... I'll wait here with you until they find you.  Is there anyone we can call? I have my iPhone right here."

He dialed the only number he knew... 2...0...7... The boy began to sob again... "No one is answering," he whispered.

"Just leave a message", I said.

Then, there was quiet.




And as they looked at each other, wondering what was Next... there came a broken cry of "Eddddddiiiiiieee..... Eddddddddiiieeeee...." The little boy perked up.

"Hey, hey, Mister, you hear that? That's my Name! Someone's looking for me.  But, I don't... think that's..." and then he turned towards the Voice in the Distance, hoping to recognize the Voice, hoping it was Her.

Then, suddenly, he turned back to me, and said, "Hey, Mister, what's your name?"

"Most people call me Hope, but you can call me Drew," I said.

Thank you, Drew," he said. "I'm sure lucky you came along. I was Lost. And Scared. And I was afraid of the BoogyMonsters.  I didn't know I had run away from The One Who Loved Me."

"Eddie, you can't ever run away from Someone who Loves you. No one can run that fast or that far.  Come on now, let's go find out who's looking for you,"I offered the boy a hand and helped him up.  
"You'll be ok, you know," I had to tell him. "Just stop running. There are no BoogyMonsters, Eddie. They're all in your head.  When you slow down, the Blurry Things become Clear, and you'll see there just aren't any BoogyMonsters - just things that looked like BoogyMonsters when you were running past so fast. And remember, you can't hear Anyone either when you're Running From Everything, Eddie."

He smiled. And we turned towards the distance, where he knew Home was. Somewhere.

And we began to walk, slowly, listening very carefully for the Voice in the Distance calling his name. 

Not running.




Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Long Walk to Happiness

She had told him excitedly, once, that when She had finally found him, She had finally found her Happiness.

At first, this brought him great Happiness. But, as each day passed with Her, he realized that there were more and more Days where She seemed to misplace or lose sight of her Happiness. And, try as he might, He couldn't always find it for her.

And, years later, there came a Day when She had to call him and tell him that She had simply lost her Happiness. All She remembered was that She had woken from a dream many mornings ago and that their Happiness was gone. And, after many days of crying and searching and searching and crying- Happiness was just not to be found.

"Oh, Beautiful, it's right Here," He said to her. He pulled out his iPhone, launched Google Maps and pointed to where He was.

Then, after a very long and very painful silence, She said that She was quite sure that Happiness wasn't there, in Kansas, anymore. In fact, She was quite sure that even with all His gadgets and GoogleAppleSony Magic, there was no way for their Happiness to be found, again. And worse: She wasn't sure, anymore, that She wanted their Happiness to be found.

It, then, occurred to Him that when Happiness comes, it rushes in with open arms and an unquenchable thirst - as if it had been stumbling for days and weeks.. wandering through forests, plains, and mountains... alone and starved. But, when Happiness leaves... Happiness walks very, very slowly... looks back over its shoulder over and over again, and walks for a very, very long time. At some point, He, too, had just lost sight of Happiness - and had just assumed it was still nearby, safely just out of sight.

Thinking back, now, He remembered Happiness getting a little further and further away each day - but there was so much to do in Life, so many Things to do. He just thought that He could always catch up to Happiness later...

But, She told him that He was simply too far away, now and that their Happiness was too far gone for far too long. She needed a new Happiness that She could hold each day, near her cottage on an ocean thousands of miles away. And, because He loved her, He wanted Her to have that, too.

It was then that He realized that, while they each had, indeed, lost sight of their Happiness, what They had really just lost was their Hope. It was at that very moment that he also learned that GoogleAppleSony Magic can help you find Things, but only Hope can help you find Happiness. Without Hope, None of Us can find Happiness - our own or someone else's.

So, he reached, deeply, into his emptied pockets and found all that He had left: a place for his Hope and a place for his Happiness. And He realized that, thousands of miles away, in a far away land, there was Someone with the same empty pockets. He said a Prayer for them both - that they both might find Hope... and Happiness, again.

And he looked for miles and miles around him into an unfamiliar Nothingness, and simply took one step forward - towards a Happiness he could not, yet, see. He didn't know how long he could walk for, each day. He didn't know where He was walking to. All He knew, Now, was that It was a very, very long walk to Happiness.