TH3eNINJA

DAY OF THE NINJA, 2016

HAPPY NINJA DAY!

NinjaDay200

2016

(ninja vanish)

This is the last post to made on this blog.

Long ago this blog lost its way.  Due to unforeseen circumstances and life altering events it has since deviated from its original intent.

It’s time to move on to better things.

I understand that all too often people make pledges and resolutions for the New Year that are never realized, but I have plans.

There are things I want to do, places I want to go, and changes I want to make.

This blog has no place in those plans.

It’s time to leave this old life behind and take a different path.

And so, on this Day of the Ninja, I take my leave.

Keep fighting the good fight.

#ninjavanish

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METAPHOR (excerpt)

mma-rulesThe bell rang — sounding the opening of the 12th round.

Blood streamed from my ears, nose and mouth.  My hands were shattered and broken.  My eyes were battered and nearly swollen shut and I couldn’t see the truth even as it stood right in front of me.

Throw in the towel, they pleaded.  The fight’s over, they said.  But I didn’t hear.

Defiantly, I limped to center ring.  I summoned every last ounce of fight in my soul, but it was too little, too late.

I fought the good fight, to be sure.  I came that close to pulling it off — the greatest comeback of my life — before I went down late in the round.  I had nothing left to give.  Too much damage had been done.

I’d never lost before, never suffered such defeat, not like that.  I was supposed to win that fight.  I was sure of it.  Or, so I thought.  But Fate had other plans for me — I just couldn’t see it…yet.

As crushing as that defeat was, I was fortunate to have such a supportive crew in my corner.  They stepped in and picked me up when I wasn’t able to do it for myself.  They pulled me to my feet and from the ring.  They helped me even when all I wanted to do was succumb to my injuries, when all I wanted to do was die.  Right there.  Right then.

I had nothing left to fight for.

It’s okay to lean on us, they reassured me.  And so, I resigned to let them help me, though I didn’t really want to be helped.

Yet, even as they led me away from the ring, I made a promise to myself…the promise of early retirement.  I was never going to fight again.  It just wasn’t worth it.  Not worth the pain.  Not worth the turmoil in my soul.

What’s the point?  Why give everything?  Why put it all on the table only to lose the title in the end?  But it wasn’t the end…in spite of how much I believed it to be.

Before entering the tunnel and returning to the locker room, where I was determined to hang up my trunks forever, I dared to take one last look at the crowd over my shoulder.  And I saw something there…a face among all the others.

That was so many months ago now — a fading nightmare.  Since then, I’ve had the chance to heal.  My strength has been regained.  And once again, I stand in the ring, reinvigorated and ready to face whatever it is that life is prepared to throw at me.  I am armed with a new weapon…Hope…and never before have I been so confident in my ability — not only to survive, but to thrive, to live…to love again.

boxer

 

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DAY OF THE NINJA, 2015

HAPPY NINJA DAY!

NinjaDay200

2015

(emerge from the shadows)

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FINALE

RingAnd…done.

Short and sweet.  In and out.  The worst year of my life finally comes to a close — one week(ish) after my fourteenth anniversary.

I don’t know if I really have anything profound to say, or even meaningful, except that I am officially unmarried (not divorced as we opted for dissolution).

I am not going to insult my ex-wife or vent my rage and sorrow over this messy affair any longer.  There will be no parties or celebratory exclamations or anything of that nature.  Just me, a bottle of Booker’s, some fond memories and, most importantly, the promise of tomorrow.

My ex-wife may have done things to hurt me, and she may not be apologetic for what she’s done (nor do I expect her to be), but I enjoyed being married.  Yes, even to her.  In spite of all that’s happened, all that’s been said and done, I believe her to be a good person at heart and a dedicated mother.

And let’s be honest, I made mistakes, too.

There was a time when I loved her deeply, even if the feeling wasn’t mutual in the end.  A part of me will always love her, I think.  I did not make the choice to marry her lightly or without due consideration as some have assumed.  We were together for a number of years prior to tying the knot.  We didn’t make hasty decisions.

We thought it’s what we wanted.

We thought it would last.

We had hoped, anyway.

That said, there were some good years (I think) and we still have children together, including one with special needs.  They’re all that matter at this point.  And that’s the real tragedy here, that two people couldn’t (or wouldn’t, to be more accurate) work passed their differences and prevent yet another family from being torn apart.

I don’t know what else to say…except c’est la vie.

There’s nowhere to go from here but up.

At least, that’s what they tell me.

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TRUE LIES

Lies 1Everybody lies.

I’ve lied.

You’ve lied.

Governments lie every day.

Ninjutsu prizes lies and deceit.

Certainly there are times when lying is necessary.  The ninja knows this.  Some lies can be fun and even bring smiles.  Santa Claus for example.

I have, however, tried to be a more honest person in recent years.  Of course, I’m only human and I’ve faltered from time to time.  There have been missteps, the most pertinent of all being the lie I told one of my closest friends.  It was a lie of omission, but a lie nonetheless.  One lie beget another and a snowball effect ensued, consuming everyone and everything in its path.  Sure, my intentions were good, but people got hurt and relationships were damaged.  You know what they say about the road to hell…

I’m in the process of mending that friendship and it’s going to take some hard work and elbow grease on both sides, no doubt.  I’m not entirely sure that friendship will ever be as it was, but I’m going to try.  I have to try.  My very soul depends on it.

Lies, both spoken and omitted, destroyed my marriage.  It didn’t seem to matter that the very nature of my marriage not only demanded but also commended total honesty.  What a shame it would be to repeat that mistake.

Regardless of my failures, there are those I’ve always attempted to be open and honest with.  Sometimes to a fault.  I just don’t feel like I’m being afforded the same courtesy.  Some truths I’ve shared have even been used against me, but that’s the price to pay, I suppose.  Better to hurt someone with the truth than pacify them with falsehood, I say.

I’ve been accused of being the greatest liar of all time by people who find it easy to lie with every breath.  Not only to those around them, but to themselves as well.

I’ve been promised the truth and lied to again.  I’ve been promised truth with lies.  How ironic is that?

Lies may be one of the most useful weapons in the ninja’s toolbox, but surely they were meant to be used against one’s enemies and not allies.  Even for personal gain, if you must, but surely not at the expense of those closest to you.

I am not at war.  I have no enemies to speak of.  And I have no time or tolerance for any more lies…especially from those whom I demand unerring and unwavering truth.

I will not compromise.

Not anymore.

 

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R.I.P.

Dogtags

Remembering a friend and the moment everything changed.

You were the glue that held this family together.

You may be gone from this world but never from my heart.

Rest well, my friend.

Bosco — 5.20.14

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THE BEGINNING OF THE END…

PeepholeOnce upon a time, there was a girl…

…a girl whom I loved.

…a girl whom I obsessed over.

…a girl whom I wanted more than anything.

…a girl that didn’t love me.

I wrote her letters and called her on the phone.

I lay in bed each night dreaming of her, anxious for the next time I would see her.

And even though my dreams never came true, I’m grateful that once she was my friend…before I pushed her away.

I haven’t seen her in more than 20 years.

I still think about her sometimes.

She’s married now and has children.

I’d chased her for years.  I begged her to be mine.  I got on my hands and knees and pleaded and cried.  I never thought I could love another so intensely, that is, until another came along.

This one I married, and for 17 years I believed myself to be the luckiest man alive.  And I was.

Until…

Until the day when, so very innocently, I asked her to stop for rolls on the way home from work.

At the grocery, my ex-wife-to-be encountered an old flame of her own.

The one that (almost) got away.

From there it all spiraled out of control, and when the dust settled, I’d lost again.

That was a year ago today.

I sit here now, with my guitar in my lap, pouring my soul into music I can hardly play.

I’m reminded of that Lonesome Old Song…

 

That lonesome old song keeps on a playin’
And tellin’ a story that makes me so blue
How the girl that I love has gone on and left me
That lonesome old song reminds me of you

 

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DAY OF THE NINJA, 2014

HAPPY NINJA DAY!

NinjaDay200

2014

(survive — it’s what we do)

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BATTLES CHOSEN WISELY

CaveDespair is a dark cave, full of fear and self-pity.  But it’s also comforting.  Warm.  Cozy.  Familiar.  Given the chance, it will invite you inside and entice you to stay.

The future is anything but certain or familiar.  Moving forward, like climbing a mountain, is not easy.  And yet, it’s as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.  Every step, every moment passed, is a victory.

Not every battle can be won.  Not every battle is worth fighting — no matter how passionate you may be about the outcome.  No matter how much you have invested.  No matter how much losing might change the world as you know it.  But neither can we remain stagnant.  Human beings are social animals — we need one another — hiding in caves and building walls is the greatest disservice to who and what we are meant to be.

The ninja knows that when the shadow of defeat looms there is no shame in running away.  Fly and be free.  Live to fight another day.  Embrace hope for a better tomorrow and in your coming victories, for they are coming.  Hope is the light beyond the cave.  It is the light of the world…the light of life.

These are not easy lessons to learn.  They are wrought with pain and uncertainty.  Defeat leaves a sour taste on our lips, but also is defeat necessary for us to grow, and a hardened warrior comes not without scars.

Fear of the unknown is the greatest fear of all.  But fear is the one opponent that can be always be defeated.  It’s the one battle you should never flee.  All one needs to do in order to conquer fear is stand and face it.

And, if at all possible, never face it alone.

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…THE FOREST FOR THE TREES

treetop

What is a person to do when strength fails?

What is a person to do when rampant emotion cannot be reigned?

What is a person to do when the world they love, the only world they know, begins to fall apart?

Love grows.

Love evolves.

Love matures.

Why am I the only one that understands this?

Why am I the only one that chooses to fight rather than flee?

Why am I the only one that seems to value the investments made on both sides?

They give me advice.

They offer me support.

They can’t truly understand.

Don’t sweat it, ignore the bitch.

Don’t fret the future, there is life after her.

Don’t waste another tear on her, it’s time to work on you.

How am I supposed to move forward when I can’t see past my own pain?

How am I supposed to recover from this when I am subject to her presence every day?

How am I supposed to work on myself when all my time and energy is spent thinking about her?

I have never hurt like this.

I have never felt so utterly alone.

I have never suffered so deep a wound.

When will this pain go away?

When will the loneliness abate?

When will the deep healing begin?

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