Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'd go back.

Come on in and grab a seat. The fire is up cuz it's a bit chilly and the skins are down cuz of the rain. Don't worry I've got the back ones open to get that fresh smell in here, the wind is coming from that direction, blows in the fresh air and pushes the old stuff up out the cave vent. See it up there? Normally that's where the bats roost but they're out right now.

I'd go back to 16. I've heard so many of my friends say they hated being a teenager. That they didn't come into their own until they were an adult. Well while I wouldn't say I came into my own as a teenager, I certainly had a lot of fun.

The funny thing is I'm not normally a reminiscent time of person. I don't pine for the good old days. Sure I like to tell stories, but they're usually laced with a touch of humour or sardonic wit. I recognize my Al Bundy-ish tendencies with my football stories. I know what I was is not who I am. But I had a lot of fun at 16.

I remember going to the All Star dinner, and when they got up to discuss who would be top lineman of the year, my head coach doing the presentation. It was hilarious. He listed all the nominees, and spent more time talking about me as the runner up. I got referred to as a 'Poor Man's Roger Aldag.' That is still one of the coolest compliments I've ever gotten. The guy who did win deserved it. I was the only grade 11 on the list of nominees. So many weird thoughts whirling through my head. I loved playing football.

But here's the thing. I would only go back if I could just visit. Re-experience. I wouldn't want to change anything, just ride along. And I'd have to be able to come back to now without missing a beat, because right now, I love it.

Life might be difficult with me in some areas, but for the most part, I'm so thrilled just to be where I am. I'm going to be 34, so 16 is more than half a life time away. I'm gladly writing and doing what I can in my chosen goals. I have fantastic friends. I have incredible and surprising kids. I even got two of the best compliments I've ever gotten recently. Someone told me talking to me made their day better. And one of Little Bear's friends, a girl who needs someone to just love her like a parent should, said she thought of me like a second dad. That means more to me than any awards dinner or compliment comparing me to one of my favorite athletes.

Because when it comes down to it folks, right now ... right here in this place we share ... in the middle of all that could be and will or won't be ... right now is pretty damn great.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


The den smells of you. I can hear your steps and the rustle of the blankets as you sleep. The fire holds your image.

I go around, I enjoy things, but still there is a ghost of you. It hangs there. Staring at me and I stare back and muse on the might haves and what could have beens.

Do you remember when you were pregnant, and I almost got into a fight because some retard started to shake his ass in my face while I was trying to sing a song to you? I remember your face when the first shoving started. It was startled yet pleased. I remember your words before we went to sleep. 'I kind of wished you'd kicked his ass.'

The memories pale to the real thing. But they still are sweet at times. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect

Come on in, the den is cosy, and well ventilated. Good breeze coming through and I've found some nice cedar to add to the fire. Ooooh and sausages and perogies!! So I thought while we munch I'd give you the highlights of my first week of practice.

I had to give up one of my returning vets, and the biggest guy I had to the defensive line. This upset me kinda. But I know Brandon, the vet I was giving up will be a much better defensive lineman if they can train some agression into him. Taking the big guy was ok and what not, they really do need the size to counteract the lack of experience. So I'm ok with it. I did end up with 7 guys who all have the right demeanor and mindset to really excell at being linemen. And this above all else makes me happy.

So far all the parents I've talked to are happy to see me coaching their kid, even tho I scream, rant, rave, and push their children to insane new levels of performance, and they come home sore, and grumpy and hating me. Strangely this translates to the kids. I'm the 'bad cop' but I'm also the coach they all talk to and ask questions and tell stuff to. Hmmm.

The player who I had the biggest problem with last year is back as a volunteer coach. He and I get along great. There is no problem and he watches as I put the kids through the same paces he went through, and then ENCOURAGES them to try harder because it really does pay off.

I've pulled several muscles, mostly just from doing things I'm not used to. Like running a 40 yard sprint (6.2 sec, not bad for a fat smoker) or holindg blocking positions. So on and so forth. However I did pull muscles in my shoulder rather badly. Y'see I was showing the kids how NOT to do something because they might hurt themselves, and while demonstrating, I hurt myself exactly how you can be hurt when you do it wrong. Oh the IRONY!!! And it's really fucking annoying because I can barely move my left arm!! Lucky that's not the 'lovin' arm.

I know how to coach technique. Two days!! TWO DAYS and my oversized 13 year old is kicking ass!! I love it when that happens.

I am confident that were we to have to play tomorrow my line would fufill their duties with a good deal of skill and carnage. Love it.

That's all from the football field for now folks. Check back for more updates!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Zen and the Art of Football

Come on in, I need some help. We're doing some remodelling, and well, it's far back in the dark. But before we go back there I have some words to say. They're very personal, and will be spoken very softly so you might have to listen up. Oh and this post has little to do with football.

I s'pose anytime that your life changes drastically that it causes a number of feelings, mostly disorientation, but even the dizziness can be exhilarating if you watch it. And I s'pose that at the end of the day what I have to say in the overall scheme of things is little more than the smallest of sounds in a vast universe, but these things, they need to be said.

Goodbye. I wish that those things that hurt you might become like grit in an oyster, and create strengths you never knew. I take with me those memories, lights surrounded by soundsmelltaste, that will always mean so much. The Antakens will be so blessed for it all.

I'm not leaving, I'm just changing. And while there was a point in my life when I wanted our paths to continue together they won't. But again, all things, all connections are one more point on an ever expanding web of creation. Heaven really is too far away for the likes of me.

I had a dream last night that I was coaching, but I was also playing, football. And without a lapse of time I was lined up next to my boys, my linemen, and we all fired off, and while they stopped, the opposing player was no more than smoke who burst into tiny tendrils floating away, and I stepped further down the field, my strides growing because I was growing. I lost my uniform and carried forth my sword. It wrote on the sky in great letters of flaming brilliance, but because of the size of them I was lost from sight, as universe girding giants looked down and read. With a blink I disappeared, and new giants appeared, and they didn't write, instead they walked with each letter, like a Shepperd and showed them to all who would look down at them. Within another two sweeps around the world I watched how the letters had broken into smaller and smaller letters, carried beyond the original bearers, yet the giants shrunk and my boys carried my sword. It was huge, large enough to crush them all under the pommel but they bore it on, grim smiling faces, almost rejoicing in the effort. Because lineman, offensive lineman are always the one who work hardest, do the most and get the least recognition.

So many horrible and bitter things lay under my tongue, and I could spew them out at you, but they wouldn't stand and blaze, instead they would fall to the ground and sputter and spew forth noxious smoke, starting small brush fires through the fields we must occupy, leaving them blackened and poisonous. I could wish you what you have wished on me, and demand the universe step on you in the times as it has stepped on me. Instead I wish you hope. Bitterness has passed, I have no need to claw you and gnaw on the bones of those parts I might sheer off with my anger. I am instead going to do what I do best. Watch and learn from my dreams and smile as I find my path.

I don't say goodbye to send you away, you left the path I was on a long time ago. I say goodbye so that you know I recognize it. My heart just finally caught up to my head.

Anyhow, that's the words. Come help me take down a picture, it's on my phone but around here perspective is kinda wonky and the damn thing is HUGE. Thanks guys. Love you all.

Fuck I could really go for a drink. I think ... I think tomorrow I might try one.