Recent Tweets in the eMotion Cafe

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.