What An Opportunity

Posts Tagged ‘Akanimo Akpan’

Oceans

In Life on April 7, 2014 at 9:26 pm

oceans.

The waves gently crash on the shore and draw back into themselves

You taught me to love like the tide

Constantly there yet never too much

A tempest, within necessity

Yet, as the tide, gently drawing back into yourself

Spirit lead me

The horizon stands as it always has

You all taught me to endure as the day does

Few moments, in our experiences, capture the extent of our capacity as people

Therefore, there is significance in the mundane and the ordinary

As the horizon approaches everyday, we endure towards our aspirations

Spirit lead me

Now, some say the moon and the torrents are one

Profoundly independent and willingly dependent

The torrent presses as the moon tugs

Held together by the strongest tie

The tie that will steady you and I

Stars may pass but there is only one moon

Spirit lead me

 

In all of this in-between, I pray that we find those people who are the lighthouses in the stormy seas

In all of this, I pray we remember the glorious echoes of Your love and grace as we declare with a resounding chorus:

Spirit lead me

Where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper

Than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

 

 

Trying again

In Life on February 22, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Fights take different forms in different relationships. Some are instantaneous explosions of emotion. Others are the boiling over of slights that have simmered under the surface for some time. I think for them, it was the latter. Something kind of like this:

1) The slight (who ever remembers why they got mad in the first place?)

2) The lying (is everything ok? yea, of course) lies. lies. lies.

3) The boiling point (how could you do that one innocuous thing that secretly bugs me but i’ve never told you it  bugs me because it’s not a big deal?)

4) The fight (few things that are true, but most things are overblown in a moment of forgotten forgiveness and spite. the words we can not take back and the bits of us that we lose in defending who we think we are.)

We catch our protagonists at step #5.

5)  The apology

It is easier than we think to move on from something. The opposite of love isn’t hate but selfishness. All we have to do is become caught up in what matters to me and lose sight of what matters to us. So she was out with her friends. Something to keep her mind off some of the stuff that had been going on. Maybe some space would do them good.

He didn’t leave the house. Had some work to do but he wasn’t concentrating too much. It is interesting to think how much would get accomplished if we ever said how we truly feel about something. Guess that is part of being human.

When she got back, he wasn’t home. The distance between mr. and mrs. was greater than one conjunction could hold. She dropped her bag and took off her shoes. She placed her jacket on the coat hook and walked into their bedroom. She sat down on the bed and her eyes found the picture on the dresser. In that unoccupied stillness, her sadness flowed from her eyes. It graced her cheeks until it fell from her face and landed in her lap.

She rose to find some tissues when she noticed the item on her pillow. A neatly folded note. It read:

“Baby, I am sorry. I don’t care why we’re here but this is not where we should be and I don’t think this is where we should stay. I think the most important phrases in the world are “I love you” and “Thank you”. I don’t mean the first phrase enough. I don’t say the second phrase as much. Beautiful, I will never be the man you deserve. However, I know I will try. Thank you for everything you do. I love you for all you are and everything you will be.”

The front door closed. In her haste, she missed the flowers in his hand. In her haste, she ignored her makeup. In her haste, she neglected the disheveled man in the kitchen. In her haste, they were whole again. I guess that’s step #6.

6) Trying again

To build a home.

In Life on January 19, 2014 at 8:04 pm

The tale is an old one, a simple one

It begins with a young man who bought a plot of land.

He staked the land as his, but he built the home for her.

The days were long but the nights were tender.

The delicate which entrances our hope. The thoughts that surround our dreams.

 

As the leaves changed in color, the strength of the phrases changed.

We only know the truth that is given to us. In the rest, we are tasked to remember to trust above all else. Trust in our purpose. Trust in our loves. Trust in our affections. Trust in our faith. Whichever form the truth took is for our characters to know. As she left, he uttered what he could. The words left his lips and hung in the air as she walked away, “I hope you find what it is you’re looking for.”

 

The house stands along the path today. Those seeking refuge can always find a place there.

Most spend a night and leave in the morn. However, for those that take a walk around, they will find an inscription in the tree behind the home. Time has covered the first portion of the phrase  but the eye can still make it out:

 

And I built a home
for you
for me

Until it disappeared
from me
from you

 

 

Mama, there goes that man

In Life on October 1, 2013 at 10:09 pm

 

“Mama, there goes that man”: Former ABC NBA Commentator Marc Jackson’s confident and poignant analysis of basketball. It’s such a simple statement to highlight a play that simply has no better response. “Mama, there goes that man”. I can’t remember how many times he said that during the Lakers playoff runs from 2008-2010 but to be perfectly honest with you, the phrase doesn’t hearken to back-to-back championships. No, it’s something so much simpler than that. Something that makes more sense to me now.

“Mama, there goes that man” takes me to a little boy sitting next to his mother on a park bench when he sees his favorite ball player walk by. The ball player gives him a smile and the little boy ducks into that safe spot in his mother’s side. She knowingly smiles as the little boy doesn’t have the courage to say hello. Not yet, anyway. Once the ball player rounds the corner, the little boy looks up to his mother and says calmly, “Mama, there goes that man.”

There’s an emphasis on the “Mama”. Something about how what the little boy saw was so important that he needed Mama to know. I like to think that Mama turned to him, expecting to see him really excited, and was surprised how calm he was in that moment. Then the rest of the phrase kind of tumbles out: “there goes that man”.

There’s an antiquated notion in the little boy’s use of “that man”. It’s not just any man, it’s “that man”. The idea that we can emulate those we find significant to our dreams. It’s not an embodiment of perfection, but rather a naive comfort in the assumption that we can aspire to be like those who inspire us. “Mama, there goes that man”.

We’re getting to an age where “I hope”, “I want to be”, and “I pray” are turning into “I’m trying to”, “I’m working towards”, and “I am”.  We have fond memories and deep regrets. The paths we take are more and more our own. The little boy is growing up.

I like to think that some years pass and the smile and endless hope are the clearest measurements in the man visiting his mother. He walks past the home of ‘that man’ and ‘that man’ is sitting on the porch with his grandson; comfort in his rocking chair, peace in a life fulfilled. The grandson looks on with grandpa and wonders what’s so intriguing about this particular person walking by the house. The man walks by on the way to his childhood home as ‘that man’ looks on from his chair.

He turns to his grandson and says, “Sonny, there goes that boy.”

Frost.

In Life on August 25, 2013 at 3:07 am

Her eyes wondered to his gaze

The frailty of another moment’s fulfilled, yet haunting, haze

The boy’s will so sure

When those hands gently impart from her

Are there not more letters, that in their strongest of days, could not accomplish the wonder in that phrase?

 

The boy’s will so sure

So pure, if only, to endure

Are we more than reflections of those we hold dear

Those, together numerous as sand, yet tested in the His hearth for purpose most clear

One could murmur, as the wind walks alongside, the days themselves are surely known to the penultimate yet the adventures they hold are obscure

 

Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference

Never stop learning.

In Life on August 8, 2013 at 5:09 am

Thinking about you in my life makes me happy.

I think it’s the way you do things…I think.

(You think?)

Maybe it’s how strong you are for me.

(Nope. Not that.)

It’s probably how you were there for me

(Nope. Not that either.)

I know…it’s how we hang out.

(I don’t think so.)

Oh…it’s how overprotective I am of you. How much I care what happens to you.

(Naw. Not just that.)

Ok, it has to be Your guidance. grace. forgiveness. faith.

(Yea, it could be any one of those.)

So it’s none of the above?

(Of course, it’s all of those. But, what ties them together?)

Oh

It’s more selfish than that.

(Go on…)

Um…I think…um…

(Come on…)

Loving you makes me whole.

And, I never want to stop learning how to love you more.

(There you go)

 

Hey, the All-Star game is on.

In Sports on July 17, 2013 at 12:55 am

 

So? That would be my initial answer to the title. The All-Star game is on? So what? Who cares? It doesn’t matter who wins anyway. I think I could live without the seeing the score of an exhibition game . That’s the rub, isn’t it? All-star games are exhibitions. A way for leagues to show off the best of the best within their sport. Nothing less and certainly nothing more. Unless it’s baseball. You already have two separate leagues whom play by different rules. Why not have an All-Star game that matters?

The MLB All-Star game has a stipulation tied to its outcome. The league of All-Stars that wins the game receives home-field advantage during the World Series, regardless of the records of the teams involved in the Series itself (I think there’s a Pre-destination argument somewhere in there but I’m going to let it go). The National League had won the last 4 All-Star games and National League teams have won 3 of the last 4 World Series. In fact, the team with home-field has won 22 of the last 27 World Series. This home-field thing is no small potatoes. So why would you stake the value of your championship on an exhibition game? Let’s go back in time.

In 2002, the All-Star game was called, by commissioner Bud Selig, as a draw. A tie. Just about the worst thing that can happen in an exhibition game. The point of the game is not to win or lose; the point is just to play. So imagine the embarrassment of having to end the game because no one could play well enough to score. In this arena, baseball has a distinct disadvantage to other sports: scoring isn’t easy enough to ignore how much time you’re spending watching a game that doesn’t matter.

The NBA and the NHL have the best all-star games because it’s a celebrated pick-up game. In fact, NBA does the best job of poking fun at the spectacle by having celebrities regularly join in the fun and letting players enjoy themselves. The score gets up to 150-145 and other ludicrous totals like that. Putting a ball through a net when no one’s really trying to stop you isn’t too hard. Plus, there’s the added fun of watching very competitive men start to take the game a little (too?) seriously to one-up each other. Doesn’t hurt the quality of the game.

The NHL is right there too because hockey is a simple enough sport to let players skate around and enjoy the moment. A 10-9 score line is not out of the question. Plus, it’s not that hard to put a puck in net when no one’s really trying to stop you.

The NFL has had disastrous results with it’s all-star game. No one wants to watch almost 3 hours of pick-up football. Even then, it’s not that hard to score a touchdown if no one’s trying to stop you.

MLB? Whole different story. No one wants to watch 3 hours of pick-up baseball. In addition, there would have to be remarkable disregard on the behalf of the defense for a player to score on a single. It’s hard to score in baseball. Baseball is a sport that celebrates athletes that hit the ball, to get on base, 30 percent of the time. A career .300 hitter, with caveats of plate appearances and the like, is seen as a great career. 30 percent. 3 out of 10. That’s borderline Hall of Fame status. If that’s what the best of all-time are doing, how much more for the one-time All-Star? If a player goes 1 for 3 in an All-Star game, he’s at .333 and had a good outing. That’s 1 hit. It’s hard to score in baseball.

So what do you do? You can’t risk a tie. I mean, no one cares to begin with. So a tie just emphasizes the fact that no one really wants to be there anyway. So, you make the game matter. The detriments are obvious at this point. (However, with the 2nd Wild-Card, an October Classic in November, and a Banned Substance Policy that seems to be inept at best, I don’t know if it’s the biggest issue in baseball right now.) Yet, the game matters…and produces sights like tonight.

Andrew McCutchen pinch-ran for another All-Star that isn’t exactly fleet-footed. Does that happen in a game that doesn’t matter?

Prince Fielder legs out a triple to place himself in better scoring position

Miguel Cabrera and Manny Machado make great fielding plays to keep the American League in front

Mariano Rivera, baseball legend, pitches in the 8th inning because the A.L. manager doesn’t want to risk him not making an appearance at all. See, if the N.L. had scored enough runs, the A.L. could have been behind and the manager may not have had the opportunity to play the first-ballot Hall of Famer in the 9th. The manager didn’t want to take the risk. Does that risk remain prominent in a game that doesn’t matter?

The game mattered. The hits mattered. The defensive plays mattered. The strikeouts mattered. Above all, the score line mattered. (In fact, the only thing that didn’t matter was the MVP award to Mariano Rivera but even that mattered because of the recipient, not because of the award) It was fun watching both managers utilize strategy as both teams played to win. Yet, there is a cynical joke in all of it. In every at-bat, every pitch, and every play, there is a singular thought: this is an exhibition game.

So why do we care who wins?

 

Heroes

In Sports on June 5, 2013 at 3:17 am

“Everyone talks about 755. No one really mentions 762.”

I was watching the Yankees-Indians game on Monday night. ESPN had the game and the Yankees played well. 7-4 win for the Bombers spurred on by Mark Texeira who sent a “tex message” (get it?) to the upper deck for a grand salami. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Yankees play well and get the win. Yet, it’s the words of the ESPN anchors that stuck in my head after the final out.

The conversation between the anchoring team inevitably touched on how well the Yankees have played with so many players on the disabled list. Eventually that conversation got to Alex Rodriguez, one of the multiple players on the D.L., and how his acknowledgement of using performance-enhancing drugs will probably eliminate his Hall-of-Fame potential. The anchors touched on how poorly Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds performed on their Hall-of-Fame ballots and how this fared for the tainted history of baseball. “Everyone talks about 755. No one really mentions 762.”

There’s so much of me that wants to get into an argument weighing the pros and cons of these players’ careers. How everyone was using PEDs and how it was, more or less, a level playing field. How we can’t place morals on athletes. I mean, it’s not like the substances were banned. They were banned in writing but not enforced. I mean, if you steal something and nobody knows, did you steal? For me though, this is a loss of faith.

Faith is funny because we mostly think of religion. Rightly so but still…we think of religion. But deep down, I think most of us have someone we looked up to. Someone we put our faith in. We spend so much of life trying to figure ourselves out. Then someone comes along who kind of embodies what we want to be and we believe in her/him. Even if it’s not a direct comparison, we admire hard work, dedication, focus, etc. We want that. We see the best in others and that drives us to be the best of ourselves.

But what happens when the people we believe in repeatedly let us down? This is not a figment of humanity. This is not “I’m sorry and I will do all I can to your role model”. This is purposeful, calculated lying and cheating to gain an unfair advantage and circumvent established rules. We can argue the semantics of a level-playing field but isn’t there an inherent sense of wrong? What happened to that whole idea that if you ate your vegetables and listened to your elders, you would be a great athlete like him or her. You could do well in school and you could do well in the sports arena after school. What happened to that?

Look, I understand that everyone’s human. Sometimes I think our society views athletes as pillars of moral standing that embody all that is good. I mean, there are some that are…there are some that are not. I guess I’m just tired of being lied to. I’m tired of athletes saying they didn’t and then it comes out that they did. Then everyone’s backtracking, redacting, and can’t comment further on the topic.

This jaded cynicism doesn’t really do anything for me. I have my idols and those I believe in. I am learning everyday who is going to be there in the long run. Who I can really believe in. I do not thank them enough. However, I feel there is a generation of young children that will have a better knowledge of performance-enhancing drugs than any generation before them. This is probably the way of the world. The generations of the future live in a world that was only a dream for their descendants. Yet, I think this jaded cynicism robs a child of one of the most important notion of life: hope. pure, invincible hope.

These players lost faith in their ability. And in turn, I have lost my faith in them. I don’t think that broken bat is the only thing that is shattered forever in the minds of some young fans out there. Then again, I don’t know what the future brings. Maybe in 20 years, I will be watching ESPN and the anchors will mention an anecdote they have noticed:

“Everyone talks about 755. No one really mentions 762.”

 

Spero

In Life on May 17, 2013 at 1:35 am

Oh she knew. She knew why she couldn’t sleep. She knew what that sound meant. The slow braking of an all-too-familiar vehicle. Slurred gratitude as steps proceeded up the drive. Fumbling keys as the caricature of him stumbled through the door frame.

 

His steps greeted the stairs much like his lips eventually met her cheek: heavy and over-stated to feign restraint. She lay with her eyes closed but sleep had not visited her bed.

 

The smell of his addiction filled the room as he undressed. His shirt landed on the table and his pants found the floor as he barely avoided the bed post.

 

He climbed into bed and rolled over to kiss her properly this time. He stopped abruptly. He always seem to forget that he shouldn’t lie down too quickly.

 

A hastened rush to the bathroom and the expulsion of all that he consumed followed. She knew it would happen. She knew him too well. Hope is beautiful. if only in that it shows us the beauty in things we might otherwise let be.

 

That belief drove her to stay. His disregarded abstinence was but a faint whisper when he was her love. He brought a feverish passion to all that he pursued and the most magnificent of his talents was his ability to adore her. That light would gleam in his green eyes as his lips revealed each deliciously wicked notion.

 

God, how long ago was that? She tried to keep herself busy. She took on more projects at work and her friends kept her company. She knew where he would be. She also knew that the ghost of who they were would catch up with her if she stopped moving.

 

Ambition? Disregarded. She didn’t know when he lost it but he did. The light flickered, and like the innocence of youth, was gone.

 

They had tried. She had tried. He had continued through the motions. His affliction was the bottle. Her affliction was the unwavering desire to glimpse again, just for one moment, that spectacular vision of their lives together. Unbridled hope  may be the most profound, and utterly devastating, condition known to the human heart.

 

She knew the destructive power of fleeting hope. She also knew he was not her husband. Not anymore. She moved slowly as the sounds from the bathroom subsided and only mumbling could be heard. She avoided the mirror as she dressed. She knew one glance towards the light would fill her with that unspeakable feeling of pride in being his recovery.

 

But life is beautiful. It provides infinitesimal occasions wherein the purpose of our existence is firmly within our grasp to proceed as we wish.

 

You could say she stopped loving him. Some would argue that she never loved him more.

 

He lay under the toilet as she closed the front door behind her. His murmurs fell on deaf ears:

 

Will you still love me?

Will you still love me?

I know you will.

I know you will.

 

Enter title here

In Life on May 8, 2013 at 1:42 am

It’s the morning raindrops dancing on the balcony that drew worn eyes to the window

Mother Nature tearing up real quiet like under a clearing sky as the man knelt in the dirt

Rumor has it that he asked for this; Said something about hanging being the coward’s way, the strange fool.

3 rounds and a sound.

 

They say he stole something, something important

Nobody really knows what but if he’s guilty, he’s guilty.

He was just someplace that he wasn’t supposed to be

3 rounds and a sound

 

He fought it tooth and nail

Said something about his missus. What do these fools know about loving someone?

They put him in prison till they could figure out what to do with him.

3 rounds and a sound

 

They asked him if he wanted his “missus” to visit him (Everyone got a good laugh out of that. They had sold her by that time.)

He declined. Said, “These memories keep me company.”

Guess we all want somebody sweet to talk to but momma and pappa say these fools don’t have human needs like we do

3 rounds and a sound

 

There have been some rumblings though; real low rumblings, like a train on the track, but it’s way off, you know.

Something about how the owner preferred the bottle

Something about how he found the owner in bed with her

Something about how the owner’s intoxicated discourse stoked the deepest fury inside of him

3 rounds and…that sound

 

Come to find out that life is not so much black and white, as it is differing shades of grey

 

 

 

 

 

 

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