Tuesday, December 28, 2010


There are a lot of things that happen that I don't understand. Things that I don't think should be able to happen do; things I never thought could happen have; things I hoped wouldn't happen will. I don't like it much. Today was one of those days that I got reminded of this.

I received some heartbreaking news; an old friend of mine, someone I grew up with, someone I even looked up to despite his own struggles, had passed away over the weekend. Worse still, his fiance' of one single night also died. They were in a 4 wheeling accident...I am not going to lie and pretend that he and I were close; but he was a constant during my entire childhood. He was someone I wanted to emulate in a lot of ways. He fought his way out of some extremely difficult things, and I admired him for it. I was rendered speechless by this news of his passing.

I believe in life after death; I believe he and his fiance' are together...but I feel it's the people living that have the hard task. I feel heart-broken for his and her family. I feel ripped in pieces for all of the people who knew him. I didn't know him well and I have shed some tears as I write this. The loss of anyone is tragic; the loss of a friend is heartbreaking. We can share sympathy or empathy and shed our tears and share memories, but we can't bring them back. We can't say the words we never could. We don't get another shot...not in this life at least. These are the scars that we bear not on our bodies, but on our souls.

Although I've dealt with death a lot through my life, I can't shake the same feeling I always get. Something feels...unfinished. Like a movie that ends badly. So many questions unanswered, so many things left undone. I don't do well with death; I never have. I don't think it's something I'll ever do well with. I don't WANT to do well with it. Never leave words unsaid. Never leave space between you and those you care about. Sometimes the opportunity to fill it never comes.

I wrote this next bit a couple years ago after my uncle died. I wrote it for my mother. I've never played it in a show, never shared it with anyone beyond my wife and a few others. I don't know how to express myself the way that I want to, but it seems appropriate for the moment. It's called Unbreakable.

I've tried to be my brother's keeper
but I closed my eyes too soon.
I thought that I was invincible,
Now I'm falling like a star.
In my hands I've held the world
but there's things I can't ignore;
A world of broken dreams
I don't dream anymore.

I thought that I was unbreakable
I thought that I could take the fall
I'll leave the light on just in case
and you'll be in my heart.

I've tried to find a better way
to open up my eyes to see
that there was nothing left that I could do
but it's hard to carry on
In my hands I've held the world
now it's nothing but a scar
a world of broken dreams that I can't see anymore
I thought that I was unbreakable
I thought that I could take the fall
I'll leave a light on just in case
and you'll be in my heart...

Rest well, my friend. You'll be in my thoughts, and in my heart.

Let the winds carry you home; blackbird fly away. May you never be broken again. (Blackbird by Alter Bridge)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Words Are Only Words

There are times I catch myself thinking out loud. For some reason, it irritates me. It's not that I don't like the sound of my own voice; more that it's nothing more than hearsay to me. I feel that I'm talking, not acting. I'm a great talker. I probably talk a lot. How much action do I actually take? Not nearly enough. Though I may have the best intentions, acting upon said intentions is sometimes difficult.

Talk is cheap, cut and dry. Anyone can say they're sorry, but until they act to make things right I can't say I honestly forgive their sleight. I am not much for pretending things are better until I see a change. I've never been good at that, and I doubt I'll be much better at it in the future.

But I'm actually all right with that. I've been taught my whole life to forgive and forget. In principle, I love this idea. You get what you give in this life. I absolutely believe in that. But I don't think anyone should be naive enough to keep forgiving and forgetting the same thing over and over again. That falls into something called ignorance.

With all that said, I am a very harsh critic on myself. I've looked back through my blogs and tried to see where I've traveled to in the last year. I don't honestly have an answer to my own question. There were things I really wanted to accomplish this year; I didn't. There are things I thought I wanted a year ago; now I don't. One can say to keep trying to get better. I'm not ok with that. I feel there are 3 Steve Barringtons right now: Work Steve, Home Steve, and Alone Steve. All three have their place, portrayed by the first word of each title. But the lines are blurring; I'm not sure exactly who the composite Steve is.

Worklife and homelife are pretty simple; it's the alone time that bothers me. When I'm alone, I feel like my soul is separating from the rest of my body. I feel like my skin can't hold my soul inside anymore (look for that little ditty in a song to be posted soon). It's exhausting, really. I'm sure others can relate to this...It's rather...uncomfortable. The reason I mention this third self is because he is the one that talks to himself. I seem to sort most things out during these little talks, but I feel like I'm doing a lot of talking lately. It's time to act.

I may not have achieved all of the goals I set early this year, but I'm ok with that. Most of those goals can keep floating into 2011. Sometimes things get in the way. I think the biggest roadblock for anything is a little word we call 'doubt.' But, as I said earlier, it's just a word. Words have power, but only as much as any of us give them. My focus has shifted. My dreams are a little different. My life has it's own course, and I am the captain of my soul. My intention is to attain every single one of my dreams, but, like I said, words are only words.