Archive for February, 2013

Papa

Posted in Inspiration, Life, Loss, Love, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Dear Papa,

Is that you in the back of my head? Are you still here? I keep looking for signs, maybe I’m looking too hard. It doesn’t seem real that you are gone. I’m writing this in hopes that it reaches you somehow, wherever you are now. I hope it’s an amazing place that delivers you from everything cold and hard in this world.

Your laugh fills my memories, and still brings me joy. I know the years of suffering made you more somber as of late, but you never lost that sense of humor. That beautiful sense of humor. But what I’ll miss most and what I really feel like I’m losing is your energy. So healing, soothing, peaceful, and serene. I don’t think I ever told you, but you had an amazing presence and it never failed to inspire me. I’m not sure if I decided to pursue art because of you, but you certainly made me want to stick to it. The last time I saw you, you told me if you could do it all over again you would have committed more time to art, so the way I see it I’m creating for both of us. I’m so happy that you lived long enough to see me pursuing a life of writing, I know it makes you proud.

MePapa1 MePapa2

MePapa3 MePapa4

Having you in my life so much as a child shaped me, and helped me to become the person that I am today. Thank you. I do wish you could have stayed just a little bit longer, but I guess we always feel that way about the ones we love. You suffered later in life, but I never lost hope that you would overcome the pain and finally get back to being that person I’ve known for most of my life. My spring break is coming up soon, I didn’t know what to do and I was really thinking about coming to see you. It’s selfish of me to think that you should have waited that long to see me again, but I still wish it could have been that way. I would have loved to see you one more time before you left. I would have loved to say goodbye.

We share a depth, and a darkness. I know I got this from you. I often think of you in my blackest hours, when I think nobody else would understand my mind there’s always that thought “Papa would understand.” I hope part of your spirit will stick around, and help to shepherd me through inevitable dark times to come. I can’t be sure, but something tells me you will.

There is a tattoo on my chest of a raven. I had no idea you were inches away from leaving us when I got it, and luckily you didn’t. You told my mom that if you were to ever die you would come back as an animal, and when my mom asked what kind of animal you said a raven. When I reminded you of that story and what it meant to me, you took the picture below. In my mind that raven is you, resurrected on my chest and above my heart forever. Right where you belong.

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Photo by Joe Polaschek

Forever Your Grandson and Greatest Admirer,

Patrick Joseph Roe

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Simplicity is Key

Posted in Inspiration, Life, New Year, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2013 by Patrick Roe

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We reward simplicity. When a musician makes a catchy song with three chords, it’s arguably more popular than a concierto full of half and quarter notes. When a novelist like Hemingway or “children’s” writer like Dr. Seuss convey the deepest ideas with the simplest of words, we hold on to them tighter. When Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, it was so simple and powerful it could be summed up in one word: equality.

This concept can seem almost contradictory, since we are encouraged as individuals to lead complex lives. It’s even evident in the language we use. How often do you hear the phrases “there’s more to it than that” or “it’s not that simple” or “I don’t even know where to start”? We strive for something we have been conditioned to avoid, even if we only avoid it subconsciously.  Society in it’s nature is a contradictory and unnecessarily complex thing, an uphill battle to attach tradition & meaning to an otherwise primal existence. Throughout human history we’ve made every effort to complicate our world because the act of living in the simplest sense is too much for us to wrap our minds around.

Complexity is also not synonymous with depth. Part of the reason for this is that it often takes twice as much work to convey something in brevity versus complexity (think about the countless chalkboards of equations it took Einstein to reach E=Mc2).

I’ll stay in line with the theme and keep this post short. If you’ve found this post even slightly thought provoking I challenge you to start thinking of all the ways you could streamline your life, the things you do and the way you think.

“Simplicity is the key to brilliance.” – Bruce Lee

Sappy, Cliche, & Completely Honest

Posted in Inspiration, Love, Opinion, Passion, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Modern day love isn’t easy. It seems like it might be with all the forms of communication we are blessed with, but it’s just not the same. Nothing compares to looking in the eyes, the touch, and even all of those little things you take for granted. When that special person in your life isn’t near you, it’s the quirks you miss. The unique things that make them who they are, for better or worse.

What do you do when the one you love is far away?

As a person in that position all I can say is that you make it work, even when it tears you up. Because when you’ve found that person that you can’t picture yourself without, that person that makes you want to be a better person, you have no choice but to push through the pain and pray for strength.

Sure, I might be a hopeless romantic spouting off the most cliche garbage known to man. I only do it because too many people have given up, and I’m not one of them. I know love is too important to give up on.

This is me right now. It might not be pretty, and you might not even give a shit, but it’s real. I’m a man in love, and a man in pain. I’m doing everything I can to stay strong for someone that means the world to me. I have no idea why I’m face to face with this immense hardship. If it’s a test, I’ll pass it. A game, I’ll win it. If it’s fate pushing me to my limits, I won’t break.

It’s not easy, but the best things in life never come easy because they are worth fighting for.

The Laughing Heart

Posted in Inspiration, Poetry, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Bukowski. What words to describe you that have not already been used? You fill my cup. You help me drain it. You are dying proof that words are immortal. You’ve done more from your grave than a vast majority do in life, and in life you were the perfect blend of comedy, tragedy, and redemption.

I drink at one of your old haunts from time to time. Someday I hope my picture is below yours behind the bar. Maybe I’m a bastard for saying so.

Look at me, talking to a dead man through a computer screen. It might seem crazy at first, but sometimes there’s more life in words than flesh.

Sometimes.

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Some Nights Are Clearer

Posted in Inspiration, Mission, Passion, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Some nights are more clearer than others. Unclouded by emotion and pure of vision. It has been said that announcing your plans is a good way to make God laugh. Well in that case, may He himself laugh in my face daily. I make my plans known.

However, I don’t laugh in the face of any creator we may hail from, nor do I turn a blind eye to destiny. But I know better than to think that I have no control over my fate. These are strange and uncertain times we live in, and maybe they always were. I won’t pretend to be any smarter or wiser than the next man, but I do know one thing: it takes strength to stand up for anything in this world.

A great deal of that strength comes from pureness of heart and intentions. To feel the full extent of emotion, live up to your word, and take responsibility for your own shortcomings. To be honest and true is uncommon, and separates you from many. It will, at times, make you feel like a stranger in the world in which you live. I feel this separation. It brings with it a sense of loneliness, as well as comfort that I’m doing something right. I am almost certain that no person who accomplished greatness felt the presence of a crowd.

I don’t mean to preach, or make myself out to be more than I am. That is not my intention. My thoughts tonight are with a striving, a lifelong attempt at something greater than myself. A knowing that although the day to day struggles may be intense, and the forces against me may be strong, I will not falter. I will be a good human, strong and pure of heart. And damn me if I don’t accomplish something great in the process.

Tonight, I see the path clearly.

“A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing.” -Albert Camus

Everyone Is Fighting A Battle

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 17, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Life is hard, so get your kicks when it’s good. I don’t have kids yet, nor will I for some time, but when I do that is the first thing I will teach them. When they’re old enough, I’ll also teach them that the universe works in mysterious ways and that it has one twisted sense of humor. The sooner you start learning the same humor, the sooner life will start to make more sense. I’m down here in the trenches of civilized American life and sometimes it feels like all I see is pain.

I’ve had a lot on my mind this past week. The brother of one of my best friends was shot down in cold blood, his funeral was today (http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_22577674/police-witnesses-hold-key-santa-cruz-shooting-investigation). I was not able to attend, although I wish with all my heart that I was able to. I didn’t know him as well as I know his family, but I know them all well enough to understand that they didn’t deserve this. Life gets easier when you die, but it gets harder for all the ones you leave behind. He was a father, and his daughter is too young to grow up with any memory of him. His wife was ready to divorce him, and now I’m sure she’d do most anything to bring him back. He’s in the ground for eternity as of this morning, and may God shepherd him to a peaceful existence in the ether.

My girlfriend lost her grandfather this week. I met her other grandpa during my short stay in France, and sadly I was not able to meet the one who just passed. I will never have that chance now, and this fact saddens me deeply. He also left behind a hell of a family, and a long time from now when I journey past the horizon I’ll make sure to thank him for it. He was one of her favorite family members, and there for her in times of extreme emotional hardship. He lived to see the amazing person she’s become, I just wish he would have lasted long enough to see her become the success she is destined to be. Things aren’t going as well as she would hope lately, and his passing is just one more brick in the oven of sorrow. Why any maker of mine would choose to separate me from her at a time like this I may never know. But I curse it, and send her my heart every day in hopes that it helps even a little.

Life is tough, and you got to be tough with it or else cower under it. It’s a heavy burden we’re born into as intelligent beings, made aware of so many things only to control so little.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” -Plato