Posts Tagged ‘say thanks every day’

Beholden on a Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 25th, 2010
Gift

Gift

Ah kids. They enter our world, turn it upside down, and at some point we realize that we had it all upside down in the first place.

In my thirties, I had no immediate plans for having children. Managing a growing company, working a morphing athletic career, and looking at a rapidly changing world, inspired no confidence in myself to manage the additional responsibilities of a child. Let alone two.

My wife at the time, Ronnie, had other ideas. So in the course of three years, when what I had assumed were foolproof measures that we were taking to avoid conceiving children, mysteriously failed, we became the parents of two boys, Joshua and Jonathan.

That was a double shock. With a large number of employees, spread across a few companies that I was responsible for, watching my sons be born had about equal cachet to being hit in the head by a baseball bat, when in fact, I had thought I was already sliding across home plate.

I did several things at that point in my life. One of those involved a lot of struggle. Like a rabbit caught in a snare, I flailed against the new responsibility emotionally. I simply did not see it coming. But as I eventually settled in to the task of learning to be a Father, I knew that at some point, I would be leaving my wife over the issue of these two little gifts being conceived.

So as the years passed and I eyed the door in a resolute, yet furtive manner ( I never spoke of it to a soul), I discovered what it meant to be beholden. Where you owe a debt. As the daily struggles played out, I found that the entity I owed the most to was my children, and of course the wife who I felt had betrayed me.

In time as the divorce process played out, and my future ex life partner and best friend sat across from me with a very kind Santa Barbara attorney mediating, I was surprised when the man turned to our boys and asked them: “All right guys, of your parents, who do¬† you think that you would like to live with?” No matter how much a person thinks that they are ready for this, wants it, is prepared, there always is an element of ummm, instability at times like this.

I was shocked and in the next instant saddened, as I saw Josh and Jon point to me, and almost simultaneously the look in my soon to be ex’s eyes, of realization, regarding the things to come. We all went home, and in a relatively short time after that, Ronnie was alone in a Condo, and I was living in the home we had shared together, with Josh and Jon, and embarking on my newish career in Photography and Cinematography.

So on this Thanksgiving, and indeed every day of my life, I have no choice but to face that I am forever beholden to my ex wife. The catalyst for great work, was the gift she gave me of our two sons. Life is work by the way. What I am telling you is that my world today is the product of the bond and blessing that come from having Joshua and Jonathan in my life. That was a woman’s vision. Not mine. I can never repay that. I divorced her. Smiling I realize that maybe today, she feels that act was payment: being rid of me.

Bond

Bond

A friend and mentor of mine is Dr Ed Brenegar who I met through Seth Godin’s organization, Triiibes. Ed¬† is a Leadership coach, and in his long list of attributes, has a site called Say Thanks Every Day. He has hit on something incredibly transformational and creative with this concept. For in realizing that every moment of every day we are beholden for the gift that is our life, well, there is incredible creative power in that. I suggest that you get to know Ed and his work. We each need that kind of power. Here is HIS Thanksgiving message.

Someone sent me something very appropriate this week. I hope that it blesses you this Thanksgiving.

A mother asked this President… ‘Why did my son have to die in Kuwait ?’

Another mother asked this President… ‘Why did my son have to die in Vietnam ?’

Another mother asked this President… ‘Why did my son have to die in Korea ?’

Another mother asked this President… ‘Why did my son have to die on Iwo Jima ?’

Another mother asked a President… ‘Why did my son have to die on a battlefield in France ?’

Yet another mother asked a President… ‘Why did my son have to die at Gettysburg ?’

And yet another mother asked a President … ‘Why did my son have to die on a frozen field near Valley Forge ?’

Then long, long ago, a mother asked..

‘Heavenly Father .. why did my Son have to die on a cross outside of Jerusalem ?’

The answer is always the same… ‘So that others may live and dwell in peace, happiness, and freedom.’


Fighting On

Fighting On

We are all beholden for the gift of our families, communities, and this great Country we have inherited. I hope this Thanksgiving seeds a renewed sense of hope and fresh perspective for you. Even if all around you right now feels like the image below.

The Ride

The Ride

Here is an interesting tribute that someone compiled, to Johnny Cash and his wife June, based on the song “Hurt”, Cash’s last project. Funny thing about Johnny Cash. I can almost see his house from where I sit writing this Thanksgiving note.

You matter. It will all work out. Happy Thanksgiving.

Bali Journal 4: Detritus

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009
Sierra. Amber Dream.

Sierra. Amber Dream.

I am a dark shadowy form crouched at a smallish desktop in a palatial villa in Ubud Bali. The room is dark for the most part. It is Sunday night. My girlfriend Donna lies naked reading in a giant bed dressed in fresh white linen with pillows adorned with  fresh white and yellow plumeria which will serenade my senses in short order. She just snapped the reading light out and I hear her sweet voice whispering some pleasant inanity. The mosquito netting hangs suspended in grey relief from the light of my laptop.

Aaron Marcelino and I were roadside today filming in East Bali. “Hey Aaron, you know what it is about the Hindus? They believe that what they do will follow them. They do not get to confess their sins and get a do over. So for the most part, there really is not much crime. Instant accountability. It is why they all smile at you. They give what they want to receive.”

As always I am overwhelmed by the generosity of these people. My friend Ed Brenegar has a website called Say Thanks Every Day. I believe the Hindi do it every second. Today on the long drive out to East Bali, our friend and driver, Gusti Made Merta described grace from a Hindu point of view and the explanation changed my life. I looked up to see Aaron rolling camera on him. He had noticed. In the occupants of the car, I saw that Donna was listening rapt. Everyone else? Lost in Ipods, I phones and their own I worlds,¬† victims of the white noise that is self. They were robbed. We have all been there: a victim of self, life’s traesures having been slyly stolen in much the same manner as a pickpocket on a crowded subway platform.

We choose our own heaven. Many of us live our own Hell as well. Life is cyclical. So are our choices.

As the frogs croak outside, and I hear the chant from a distant ceremony and chortle of the river down the valley, I am so, very, absolutely,

grateful.

Sweet scent of plumeria and the soft breath of the woman I love beckon me to bed. I will grab a few hours sleep. I wish that you were with us tomorrow. I have something to show you, something for you to hear, and a vibrant, throbbing, many hued love for you to feel. You will enjoy it, I pray.

Choose wisely from what is before you. Your perspective eventually becomes you.

I heard this song someplace and at a time quite special here. Jack Johnson and Ben Harper are two guys who really always seem to just get it.

Hailey

Hailey

Aaron Marcelino: Respect

Aaron Marcelino: Respect

Badass: Balinese Special Forces, A diver. My friend.

Badass: Balinese Special Forces, A diver. My friend.

Vision

Vision

Mary

Mary

Jeanette: Phantasm

Jeanette: Phantasm

Donna: Hope, Bliss, Trust

Donna: Hope, Bliss, Trust

puu-7032

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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