Dad

Dad: (n) informal for father.

It’s really two stories.

There was the story that should have happened and then, the tale that truly unfolded.

It is impossible for me to be an unbeliever. I don’t think I’m gullible, but I have seen enough surprising things come to fruition that I can no longer muster the doubt of Brother Thomas.

For you see, I should never have been a dad.

Don’t misinterpret the statement. I don’t want you to think that I despised the position or even that I wish it had happened differently.

But I also want you to realize that each time I became a dad, there was no planning, no bank account prepared and often not even a correct determination on the time of the blessed arrival.

I shall not get into all of those stories with this one essay.

Suffice it to say, I was a singer, a songwriter, a piano player, a vagabond—and I was a brat about never wanting to work for anyone else. As you can see right there, I perhaps should be eliminated for consideration for “father of the year.”

So I did it all with my children.

While I was teaching them to be better humans, they were teaching me how to be a good dad.

That’s the way it should be.

As long as you’re willing to look like an ass, identify it quickly and then change your mind, your kids will love you to death.

I drug my kids all over the country.

I had them playing instruments on stage in front of audiences.

I home-schooled some of them.

I lost one child along the way to a hit-and-run car accident.

And somehow or another, all the others arrived at adulthood, found magnificent partners, and are living full-blown, solvent, intelligent and spirited lives.

I will take credit for the fact that I was there, remained, repented and transformed.

But still—someone sprinkled something onto the mess, to turn it into a passable casserole.

What does it mean to be a dad?

  1. Be prepared to be watched twenty-four hours a day.
  2. Be prepared to be wrong—and admit it.
  3. Be prepared to laugh at your children when they act like you’re killing them because of a discipline you must levy.
  4. Have a life of your own, so they can see what you think is important.
  5. Encourage their mother in front of them.
  6. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  7. Take them—your children—very seriously.
  8. When it’s obvious to them that you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t pretend you have a secret plan.
  9. Don’t try to be a best friend to their best friends.
  10. Try as hard as you can to never embarrass them.

Even though I was not a natural, I decided to naturally learn from the experience instead of giving up on it.

Now, my sons are dads.

My grandchildren call them that.

And I sit back in my resolute journey and watch my sons learn how to become “Dad.”

 

Confabulate

Confabulate: (v) to engage in conversation with imaginary stories

For those of you who are regular readers, I am delighted to report that my new novel is in the works for publication with a major New York House. There’s a great possibility for a bonus check and I’ve been promised distribution all over the country.

On top of that, some of my music has been selected to be recorded and there’s high energy in the label that many of the tunes will be pickedfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C
up by famous artists, which will open the door to even more royalties.

It seems that my readership is growing every day and my podcast has quite a following. Just last week, somebody said that I was what they call “a hot property.”

On top of all that, my personal life is booming with my children’s great success, and the fact that I am alive and kicking, and able to make a difference in these tumultuous times.

I want to thank each one of you for allowing me to come every single day and write my heart, knowing that you are listening and you care about what I have to share, especially this morning, when I’ve taken the time to confabulate all this information in this ridiculous essay.

 

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Chicanery

Chicanery: (n) the use of trickery

I keep finding closets.

Little tiny storage places inside my soul where I’ve tucked away mistakes, vices and little lies–so therefore I don’t feel the need to confess
them.

I was struck recently by the fact that a lie is the absence of the truth, or an evasion. That’s tricky business.

As I’ve traveled across the country putting together press releases, I have adopted some “promo talk.”

What is promo talk?

It is the truth being adorned by a very attractive, but sometimes flamboyant hat.

It is a face which is beginning to wrinkle, disguised by heavy makeup.

It is that little piece of elaboration that makes a story seem more powerful, but may not exactly be the completely factual.

Even though this kind of promo talk is considered normal human banter, it has begun to bother me.

Because once you join into the practice of chicanery–the pursuit of deception–it is very difficult to insist that your chicanery is better than other chicanery.

It’s not so much that the truth is hard to tell; it’s just that the truth just never makes us look as good as we want to look.

If we will cure ourselves of the ridiculous notion that status can be acquired through lies, and we cease to be ashamed of our own journey, we can become liberated from the need to expand our story, in order to impress.

 

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Boulder

Boulder: (n) a large rock, typically one that has been worn smooth by erosion.

The stories I could tell ya’.Dictionary B

Unfortunately, boredom would probably set in before my arsenal was depleted. But may I say, one of the common themes of my tales would be that the ridiculous notion that human beings are terribly dissimilar from each other is a total farce.

As we square off in our “camps of conservative” and our “landscapes of liberal,” I will tell you that once you get past the initial talking points of each group, what you end up with are human beings with great hopes and promises, completing their interactions with equally elaborate excuses.

I was invited by a very large church in Boulder, Colorado, to come and put on a program. It was a gorgeous facility, right in the middle of downtown Boulder–a community touting itself as a liberal stronghold of cultural expansion. Upon arriving, I met my sponsor, who immediately began explaining why the event that he had scheduled, and was supposed to advertise, fell into the cracks or crevices of his busy schedule.

I had traveled many miles to pull up to a situation where I was neither appreciated nor particularly welcomed.

As a liberal, he remained very upbeat and comforting during his put-down. Matter of fact, when he finished talking to me, he said that he, himself, was not going to be at the concert, but wanted to buy one of our packages of materials so he could be supportive.

We faithfully set up our equipment and waited for concert time to arrive–revealing that we had an audience of three. We did an abbreviated version of our show, thanked the folks for showing up, and packed up our equipment–all alone.

By the way, I can also tell you stories of how conservatives can put the squeeze on you.

But my memory of Boulder is that it truly was … a rock between a hard place.

 

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Anecdote

dictionary with letter A

Anecdote: (n) a short and amusing or interesting tale about a real person or incident.

There are things that are true–yet truth has a responsibility to stay contemporary.

What I mean is that simply because something was true in a certain way a hundred years ago does not mean it can be heard as truth in our present society by pursuing the same method.

For instance, people used to tell stories.

Back before radio, television, Internet and downloads, the bearer of news relied on speech instead of Podcasts.

Folks actually sat around a fire for hours, spinning one yarn after another, giving examples, and in the process, created both understanding and fellowship with one another.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to get nostalgic. I’m perfectly satisfied living in a world where the anecdote has been set aside, or only applied as a means of an opening monologue for a Rotary Club speaker.

But in the pursuit of truth, we have to learn how to take the better parts of the past and mingle them with the new awakening. The only danger, of course, is losing the intimacy once possessed between human beings, and ending up with phones that have their own “I”-dentity and think they’re “smarter” than us.

So what should we do?

I think it’s the responsibility of the creative people in every generation to keep the warmth of great ideas and heat them up on the burners of our time.

It’s one of the reasons I write this essay. I can take words, insert my anecdotes on subjects a bit beyond the realm of my true perception, and therefore interact with you blessed people.

So the next time you come across some grandfatherly individual who begins his conversation with, “It reminds me of the time when I was a young man…”–instead of rolling your eyes and quietly texting under the table, find an ingenious way to come up with two questions to ask him about his experience, and see if it doesn’t change a mere story … into an encounter.

 

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