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Mischief Eyes – The Song

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boy with moon

To once more see the world…

… the beauty of the moon and stars … the unexplainable draw of planes and trucks… through toddler eyes is a reawakening.

To the child it’s all fascinating and new and calling out to be understood … to be held, twisted, tasted, and savoured. Danger can be a stranger while the senses tingle and excite… and sometimes they perceive fright where no danger exists.

As a young parent you miss so much. But why?

Simple. It’s because you’re just way too busy hanging on by the fingertips of sanity – the minutes and days are seen through hazy glasses of responsibility and exhaustion and the monetary stretch of daycare and diapers and clothes that grow too small each week (hopefully the child’s and not the parents’!).

But, as a grandparent… my young eyes have seen years slip by, and now these same eyes and hands that have lived through the world of weariness and depletion, find new vivacity and energy in this short-term cocoon of toddlerdom.

This is the world that my wife and I find ourselves in these days within this realm of relatively new grandparenthood.

It’s become our delight and wonder relived through Mischief’s Eyes.

So, today I write down some lyrics to capture a fleeting moment… a moment almost like a still photo, a snapshot in time, of a little boy in his own expanding world of wonder. (See if you can spot the Shakespeare!)

boy with stars

MISCHIEF EYES

by Larry Green

The boy inside this balloon that’s blue
and shifts black at night
ceiling stars dance and sing
everything is truck and moons
fingers float those
little boats
young maestro of wind and sound
with music scores that never kiss the ground

Rolling with the climb and spin
oaty ripples cross your chin
rightside up or upsidedown
a tiny joker with a tiny grin
toss and throw
help calls in slippy snow
is this sock left or right
and is this shoe red or white

CHORUS

Our tattered eyes ask
How did we miss eternity’s hole
your disguise fooled us all
when your arms surround
your finger’s got us twisted round
those mischief eyes that slowly drown
sail away little rogue

Big brown bears on pages
Wild things escaping cages
books whirlwind strewn
some quiet words, some filled with tunes
scramble and clamber
shimmy and scamper
with Sparkle climbing hills
up and up till clock ticks noon

BRIDGE:

This body contains a soul
a kingdom is too small to hold

CHORUS

Our tattered eyes ask
How did we miss eternity’s hole
your disguise fooled us all
when your arms surround
your finger’s got us twisted round
those mischief eyes that slowly drown
sail away little rogue

sail away

A Masterpiece… Am I Ready?

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Okanagan Lake.jpg

Ommmmmmmmmmm…..

When we take a deep yoga breath and open our eyes and senses to the world around us we can see the universe as a beautiful painting. The breezes flow like fairy sprites across the canvas blending colour and texture.

To truly appreciate an exquisite piece of art, we first have to stand back and absorb the totality before we hone in on the minuscule fine points that, brought together, produce a masterpiece.

Masterpieces are created one step, one brush stroke at a time, in the same way that a war is looked back upon as a series of battles that produced a final outcome. OK, maybe that’s not a pretty comparison, but you get the point.

Bob Ross painting.jpg

Life is made from science but is best appreciated as art…

In a few weeks I’ll become a granddad for the first time.

My baby is having a baby. I’m not sure I’m ready.

Am I ready?

I always ask myself, “Am I ready?

I’ll tell you my answer at the end of this.

Soon, a small genetic piece of me will usher himself into the world and hopefully live for 100 or more years as a fractional portion of my proof of existence.

He’ll grow and laugh and cry, living his life one heartbeat, one day at a time just like I have, just like my mother, my grandfathers and great-grandmothers did.

This isn’t light stuff. This comes down to the meaning of life and weighty philosophical thoughts.

Granddad. It’s a title that I can’t quite grasp.

grandfather painting

In reality, for my entire life, I’ve struggled with titles of all kinds … paperboy, burger flipper, laboratory technologist, husband, father, brother, gardener, hockey player, writer, triathlete, musician, tutor, cook, bartender, the list goes on and on.

Every time a new title presents itself I’ve sat and asked myself, “Am I ready?

I’ve shivered and trembled and worried. My first niece was born when I was 11. I shivered. I married when I was  24 years old. I trembled. My first child was born when I was 26. I worried.

My first grandchild will be born when I’m 60. I shiver and tremble and worry. The beautiful masterpiece, the fine details and curlicues of a perfect life might turn into tangles and knots. But that’s short-lived worry that is really a mirage.

I know it’s insecurity that makes me think this way. I know it has to do with self-esteem and confidence. Am I ready?

It’s silly really because we all find ourselves “titled” every day by the roles we play, the things we do.

Not one of these titles has sat well on me because they’ve all been challenges that defined me and encased me in shoes of concrete. I am this. Or I am that. To be or not to be… and most importantly… can I do it?

These titles in some way – and in my interpretation – suggest that I must have some sort of expertise that I feel uncomfortable claiming.

Yes, I am a musician… well actually I play a bit of guitar and sing but Sir Paul is truly a musician, not me.”

Sure, technically I’m your father, but I don’t bring all the wisdom and wonder to the role the way Atticus Finch did in To Kill A Mockingbird, or Charles Ingalls on Little House On The Prairie. Now those men were Dad’s.”

atticus finch.jpg

For many years I struggled with the sense of inferiority that often held me back through fear of failure. If I aim for this “title” and don’t quite make it, well, people will look down on me as a total failure.

The good news is that while in my 50’s, the fear of failure and insecurities that held hands with that fear slowly melted away like the globally-warmed ice glaciers in Alaska…

Titles don’t have the power to shape my view of myself the way they once did.

I don’t like failure any more than I ever have, but I accept that bastard failure as part of the process that carries me forward and gives me great satisfaction when I do overcome an obstacle.

And truthfully, I haven’t cleared every obstacle.

I took violin lessons for 4 years. I practiced and practiced. My family suffered the earfuls of pain. I never could coax a beautiful sound from that fiddle. Honestly, I sucked. OK, so violinist isn’t a title I hold; I’m good with that because I made a valiant attempt at learning. I grew in the process of sounding bad.

Today, although they still sound a bit foreign in my head, I’ve come to view titles as honours, accolades, recognition of what I’ve accomplished. Titles don’t define me, but they reflect the journey I’ve taken, the rivers I’ve crossed: some quiet babbling streams, some raging torrents.

Or in the case of the title Grandpa, a recognition of how far my children have come, an indirect reflection of the painting I began years ago when I was an intern in life (I’m still an intern).

Which brings me back around to the question I posed earlier… Am I ready?

I regret that I was never able to make a connection to any of my own grandparents as they were already gone or nearing their end when I arrived – the curse of being born to elder parents.

Now here I have an opportunity, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to carve out a connection as a grandparent.

It’s a title that requires nothing more of me than a loving presence.

There is excitement and newness in the beginning of a life, the anticipation of what-will-be. The joys and the worries.

OK…

My paintbrushes are cleaned and set to dab on the unvarnished canvas that awaits a brand new masterpiece.

Put me in Coach! I am ready.

……………………

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon…