Sunday, November 12, 2006


Bicycle Gears and Veterans

Have you ever tried to explain bicycle gears to a novice? Most people learn to use the gears intuitively. Earlier I tried to explain how they worked to my friend. Though her credentialed pedigree had Magna and Summa in it, she wasn’t quite getting my cryptic explanation. She crinkled her nose and said “I still don’t get it?” Chuckling, I threw out explanations of “driver and the driven and eliminated gear ratio among other things and continued with a different train of thought and said “gears move the bike a lesser or greater distance with one turn of the pedal.” As we rode faster, farther and longer, the intuitive nature of bicycling did their own teaching as she shared “so the front gears are the big brutes and the back gears do the fine tuning.”

We quickly forgot about the how the bicycle works and continued our ride. Bicycling down Kearny Villa Road in San Diego, the jet’s cylindrical after burners are flaming a white hot blue and trimmed by orange. Overhead you feel the power of these fighter jets flying in for a landing. The noise you hear has gone faster than the speed of sound. They land on the tarmac long and straight and surrounded by rolling hills of Chaparral, typically barren except Highway 15 and Miramar Marine Corp Air Station. I felt like “Maverick” in the movie “Top Gun” as I pedaled down the same road on this pretty day. There is some cloud cover that the sun pokes through and creates beautiful background shades on the clouds. There are few cars on the road and we’re enjoying the solitude. My reflections are about my brother and father, personal in nature-veterans who are no longer with us. I didn’t plan to honor Veterans on this day, it just happened.

Monday, November 06, 2006



Each of us has a valid expectation to be recognized as individuals. Each of us in relationships have been injured by having the boundaries of individuality violated by the very people who should have respected and nurtured them. We have had similar experiences and feelings. This allows us to learn from each other. But pain, and the anger it generates, come from specific interactions he or she has had. I believe this is true for each of us.

The generalizations like "misogynist men" dismiss these unique experiences and the individual who has had them. We need some awareness of this. That seems especially true for women and it is true for men. I know I bristle whenever women recasts issues presented as a war between the sexes. I can tell women bristle when I point out how women objectify men.

The hostilities of men toward women and vice versa cannot be labeled. These are people, who make their own, very personal struggle through life. Terms we might use to wrestle toward understanding are only tools. We shouldn't mistake them for the person we are trying to understand.

Men and women are unique people who deserve to be seen as such. Relationships have been a powerful means for me to understand that, when I let it. I feel that when I present myself as an individual I feel particularly vulnerable. I can't hide behind some overarching "concept” in my mind or even as others try cloak you with it. I believe that stereotypes and generalizations can be and have been used to avoid by both sexes.

These days I don’t play its okay when it is not. How can you want a relationship if you don’t know the person? How can you want them to know your kids and even worse to have kids with them? Then blame them or others for your pain with generalizations? I know I’m guilty of this.

When we struggle with each other I feel sad and helpless. It makes me want to say something that will help ease everyone's pain, including mine. I know that's not realistic.

I personally want to be more self accepting and not cause collateral pain to others.

I want to feel at peace.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?