Bells

His mother picked up his sister from our house. She said he’s not answering his phone we have to go.

His mother, young enough to be my daughter, cut him down.

His sister ran to the neighbor, my friend: he’s dead he’s dead.

My friend knelt over him in the hallway for two hours doing CPR until the paramedics came. Two hours.

The paramedics worked for two hours before they gave up.

My friend texted me. He just didn’t have the strength for the phone call.

I told my wife. She cried.

We talked. We told our daughter. She cried. Her first death.

My wife said I have to be there. We went over.

We hugged everybody. Everybody hugged everybody.

There was no crying left.


Three months later I wrote this song.

I finally cried.

Bells

I really don’t blame him he chose not to call
he’d been there for hours crouched in the hall
he sent me the message my heart tore in two
said someone was dead he said it was you

there should have been bells
so everyone would know
’cause the silence is killing me
since you had to go

Why didn’t I see you were so lost?
Would have done anything, paid any cost
But I never asked, and you never said
And some days I wish, it was me instead

there should have been bells
so everyone would know
’cause the silence is killing me
since you had to go

no matter how black there’s always hope
but it’s hard to see at the end of your rope
in the middle of love now there’s a hole
silence so loud taking its toll

there should have been bells
so everyone would know
’cause the silence is killing me
since you had to go


19 Questions

An old friend hasn’t been speaking to me and when I asked why, the answer was confusing. I asked again and it got more confusing and distressing. I finally suggested that maybe we weren’t good for each other and should move on to less complicated friendships and they said “Sounds good!” (Including the exclamation mark.)

I’ve accepted that it’s not always me, that I’m not necessarily a blundering oaf socially, but I’m sad today, about this friendship and one I’d wanted to write about this year which gets rolled into this one as part of the same bundle of hurt.

Lyrics

how do you know what someone wants?
what does it take to be loved?
what can you do to make them stay?

who gets to take? who needs to give?
why is it so? when does it change?
what can you do when they’ve gone away?

how can you see it coming on?
what do you do to see the truth?
who do you trust if not a friend?

why do we bother? what’s the point
when does it end? where do you go?
who do you turn to in the end?

and how do you know that’s true?
and what can you ever do
to stumble past the last miscue?
how do you move on from two
now they’re them and you’re you?
I ask cause I don’t have a clue



3000 Miles

Ireland sings to me most nights and some days. We spent a month there in 2005. I’ve been trying to go back (and if possible, stay) ever since. Yes, I’m one more of those people who want to be Irish. Seems everyone with a certain bent is inexorably drawn there.

Continue reading “3000 Miles”



Pause

tl;dr — I’m taking a break from my online presence

Here’s why.

I registered my first domain name in February of 1999. (It was spinhead.com, the one I use for my web design company and my primary email.) I’d already been designing websites for 4 years prior, and working with computers since I first went to work with my Dad sometime in 1976 or so.

For the past 20 years I’ve spent more and more time online.

And less and less time in the real world.

I’m trading the deceptive ease of online relationships for the messy complications of infinitely more satisfying connections in real life.

More time out in nature.

More time playing music.

More time with Best Beloved and our Little One.

More time sharing meals with friends. And taking my cooking from good cook to creative chef.

More time writing and studying the craft of writing, novels and music.

More time out in it and less time in my head.

Some Things to Note

If you know me in real life, you know how to get in touch. Do so, or wait till you see me later in the week.

Otherwise contact Sue (Sue@Spinhead.com or 715.296.0347) and she’ll know what to do.

Here’s what this is not about:

  • Nothing is wrong. Honest.
  • This is not a reaction, it’s an action. A choice based on deep thinking, meditation, and conversation with those I trust most.
  • It’s not about you. You didn’t offend or hurt me. Not now, probably not ever.
  • I’ll still be writing. A lot.
  • I don’t know when, or if, I’ll resume my previous online shenanigans, meaning posting everywhere, emailing like a dervish, living in social media. But don’t hold your breath.

P.S. from Sue – I fully support Joel in this decision. As his Chief Social Media Officer however, you’ll note that I’ll be managing his social media accounts on his behalf. So if you see his tweets or posts on his Facebook Author page, that’s me behind the scenes. ;)


A Little Step Before a Leap

The apartment was bigger than it looked in the photos online. Real estate must be cheaper in a small town than in the cities. I didn’t know. I’d never lived anywhere but one big city and apartments were even more expensive than renting a small house. It didn’t make any sense to me, but I guess if you’re willing to pay for the benefit of not having a lawn to mow, someone might as well take your money.

I also wasn’t used to having the super live offsite. Though she wasn’t the super, she was the apartment manager. Or owner. I should get that straight. She and her husband lived down the street in a nice little house by the lake.

“Right up the road if pipes burst or you lock yourself out,” Mrs. Wright had said. Mr. Wright was housebound so she had taken care of our business arrangements.

“Now, there’s lots of young men for neighbors, dear, but they’re polite and well-behaved or I wouldn’t have them. So you just make yourself at home.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Wright. I’m not worried about them.”

One eyebrow twitched, and she smiled.

“No, I supposed you’re not. I’m off, then.”

Maybe her intuition works better than mine. Maybe I was advertising more than I realized.

No young man was getting anywhere near me until my heart grew back in the hole left by the young man I’d just left forever.

This is an excerpt from next year’s romantic mystery Anacrusis.

More Than Love

I’m going to start posting older songs so I have all my music in one place.

This demo was recorded at Ray’s Barn, a studio owned by a marvelous musician named Ray Brown. My first time in a studio, I was so nervous my throat practically closed and I found myself muscling my way through every song.

I learned all about words when I was just a lad
Reading piles of books like my mom and my dad
Merriam Webster was a good friend to me
Shakespeare and Seuss suited me to a tee
There must be a word I’ll find so apropos
I don’t know it yet but here’s one thing I know

It’s more than love
There must be a name
It’s more than love
That fires the flame
I look into your eyes
And I find myself there
Look into your heart
And I’m walking on air
I don’t know what it is
But it’s more than love

I know so many words about living and life
So many words about husband and wife
Words like forever and words like forgive
Words like together as long as we live
But I can’t seem to find the right word for the way
I keep feeling inside, so here’s all I can say

It’s more than love
There must be a name
It’s more than love
That fires the flame
I look into your eyes
And I find myself there
Look into your heart
And I’m walking on air
I don’t know what it is
But it’s more than love

Words might never say
The way you make me feel
But I’ll keep trying
Until I find
The one word that’s ideal

I’ve read millions of words in those books on the shelf
And there’s ten thousand more that I’ve written myself
You’d think one of these would say just what I mean
But they all seem to fall below or between
I know so many word that say just what it’s no
But I’ll try to describe it with words that I’ve got

It’s more than love
There must be a name
It’s more than love
That fires the flame
I look into your eyes
And I find myself there
Look into your heart
And I’m walking on air
I don’t know what it is
But it’s more than love
I don’t know what it is
But it’s more than love