Day 9 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book


March 2019

3/15/19 Do you have a favorite author, writer or columnist that gets you?  

Maybe it’s his or her wry view on living in a state or a city or a town.  Or maybe between the lines it’s about you. When tragedy strikes it plucks your empathy cord.  

Being a sucker for almost anything Mark Twain wrote, when he described the loss of his wife and daughters late in life I cried.  But, that was over a hundred years ago around 1910, if I recall correctly.  

The real date is available to me if I choose to grab my step stool and pluck down one of the three monster volumes in red, green or blue collecting dust on the upper shelf in our family room.  Don’t count on it.

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “Recovery, renewal and regeneration — three different stages. Relax and recognize the stage you’re in for its vital place in the chain.” Scorpios

Emma the Baroness and I love reading Chris Erskine’s essays on Saturdays.  Are they the best written? Maybe not.  I kinda remember him saying in a column that even his friends in Los Angeles tell him he writes in shot gun fashion. But, as parents ourselves we’d break out laughing from time to time.  

Except now.

We’re exactly a year removed from our eldest son’s sudden death, and if we seem made of Roman concrete, that is a misconception. We are prone, in this year of loss and repair, to periods of reflection and mourning and stupid forgetfulness. Bouts of anger, directed at the dogs but often having little to do with the dogs, also surface from time to time. Here’s how irrational anger often works: The other day, I am searching for a copy of a death certificate to send to an insurer. I know it has to be in this one spot (hint-tip: This is the birthplace of irrational anger; it feeds on certainty and inflexibility). Hence, I know the death certificate has to be in a particular spot, just know it, with the self-belief of a test pilot that it’s the only place the document could ever possibly be. Yet it isn’t. Now I’ve lost my son, and I lost his death certificate. I’ve lost him twice.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Seriously this hits on so many levels. First there’s McQueen an iconic film star when Hollywood studios kept a stable of celebrity leading men and women.  

“4”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “Imagine you are the filmmaker who created this whole situation to set up your main character to shine in a later scene.  That view can lessen your stress.” Aries

Second, I remember a toss away line from a Navy Seal who had returned to the university, created some trouble for himself which clearly seemed like PTSD symptoms, but told me it was no big deal because philosophically “this is all a movie anyway”.  In fact he planned to escape to somewhere else to film a documentary about how tribes are coping with their hard scrabble lives.  And, for me, how writing in a journal felt therapeutic, helped me change careers and left a detailed trail of people, workplaces and situations I’d want to remember sometime later.

About Winwood and Wonder, Smith, Howey and Kerr — feel free to swipe their Holiday Tau if it suits you.  They’re all yours — but  I know — they really weren’t mine to give away.

“2”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69: “No matter what head space you’re in today, you have the ability to slip into a zone where everything is beautiful.” Taurus

“2”  Steve Smith, 30: “Make deliberate efforts to challenge yourself. This will be the difference between adequacy and greatness.” Gemini

“1”  Steve Howey, 42: “The changing of an old guard is coming.  Your respect and deference to power are genuine and you’ll be well-considered when the time comes to move up.” Cancer

“1”  Steve Kerr, 54: “Volunteer. It won’t be all easy or fun, but one special contact will make it all more than worthwhile.” Libra

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate