CaptCliff Update: July 20, 2015

penny saved


CaptainCliff hasn’t written much in the past 6 months. Just as there are predictable shifts and swells in the vast open ocean and changing seasons of the year…. so too are the days of our lives. Actually, wasn’t that best said in the classic television soap opera, “Day of Our Lives”? Growing up in Highland Park, Illinois, I remember Pinkie, my family’s angelic housekeeper watching this daytime drama religiously right up until she passed away from lung cancer. Pinkie left this Earth looking like a beautiful androgynous deity, a transgendered mix of Queen Nefertiti of Egypt and the Dalai Lama. Not an easy thing to watch but a very important event to witness out of love and respect. More difficult still was when my father died while I held his still strong and athletic hands and repeated the Jewish Shema blessing, and when I sat with my ex-wife’s body before her funeral and had one of the best conversations with her that we ever had.  I will never forget these extraordinary life experiences just as I will never forget the birth of my three beautiful children, Ari, Eli and Benjamin.
Life and Death. In this virtual ocean voyage and treasure hunt called ones “lifetime” there are certain times that CaptCliff’s trusty feather quill pen is best stowed away to more fully absorb something truly important, even life changing. It isn’t something I can pre-plan or predict but is just something I feel I need to do instead of building more interesting (but probably unnecessary) rooms, creating found art pieces or writing witty stories about how crazy and precious life on planet Earth is.  On the other hand, I really like doing those other things too….. 🙂

I now have two married sons, two newly-converted Jewish daughter-in-laws, and a faithful rescue dog that wont stop scratching, shedding, and stealing food from the galley of the pirate ship and creativity portal I call home. In general there is a “nervous-content” feeling push-pulling on my heart.  A typical Cliff-ish paradox whittled out of what would seem more like an obvious oxymoron.  I say nervous because if you know me then you know that my mind/body is hopelessly entangled with neurotic fears, narcissistic fantasies, endless inner dialogue and random floating bits of Triscuits, malted milk balls and other carbohydrate and sugar rich flotsam and jetsam. Fiber, I have learned from my sister Leslie is all important. If I could eat the soft pulpy popsicle sticks along with all the popsicles I consume on a daily basis I probably would. As it is, my bedside table and bedroom floor often ends up looking like a game of 52 pick-up-sticks or some kindergarten craft class recreation of the Stupey Log cabin in Highland Park. 
More important, am I the only person who feels like the older they get the less willing one is to bend down and pick up things including dirty clothes and loose change on the ground?  I used to pick up every shiny penny for good luck or just logical necessity since almost every random bill, Starbucks tab or store purchase is $45.91 or $6.32 or $76.01. I swear they must do it on purpose and I end up with a sack of worthless coin in my pants pocket by nightfall. Now, however, I might spot nickels, dimes or even quarters on the floor or a sidewalk and I become suddenly philosophical and unusually circumspect. I pause to consider the “consequences” and long term “implications”. Is it really worth that much physical effort I ask myself? Am I  possibly “nickel and dime-ing” myself right into a more expensive set of chiropractor visits or a higher tax bracket?  More important, will I end up later in life seeing crisp dollar bills on the ground and blithely drive right over them in my Medicare hover chair due to rampant inflation or Wall-e like indifference? Frankly I doubt it since I’m a cheap bastard and in many ways my Jewish Pirate/buried treasure seeking tendencies are a peculiar form of exercise. “Stoop, Squint, Ponder” is my kind of calisthenics and personal training (see my past blog about the value of  “found objects”  below). Let’s just say I’m not a gambler. My last trip to Vegas (years ago) involved meticulously researching the best-bang-for-the-buck buffets and combing the casino floors for errant silver dollars and unclaimed poker chips.  Anyway, I thought I would provide a more serious and introspective update to my CaptCliff blog archive… especially since both of my loyal readers wondered what I was up to lately.

Finally, I must thank any and all friends and family, Facebook-wise or human beings actually inhabiting the same plane and physical dimension who (either) attended my son Benjamin’s wedding in Atlanta or now just have to put up with all the photos on social media sites, ie. “Oh God, not another shot of Ben and Megan cutting their wedding cake, looking cute together, frolicking in Tuscany on their honeymoon or getting pick-pocketed in Florence” (actually that was me and Ben’s mother Rona in 1982). Regardless, this season of joy, while truly joyous will inevitably be followed by future life trials and tribulations (as well as other very wonderful moments to remember) because…well, that’s how life rolls and I do love a good Tootsie Roll along with my sugar-free cherry popsicle. In general… through my ever-present sadness and nostalgia, false bravado, silly self-deprecating humor and raging narcissisism, I am trying to say, “Thank you all for being my friend”.

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About captaincliff

Psychologist by day, insomniac Pirate blogger by night, this Child of God likes to share sarcastic social commentary as well as topsy-turvy observations about life, love and the pursuit of zaniness, a functional form of insanity in an increasingly insane world
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