Sunday, April 24, 2016

What's next?

I'm on a roll. Let's see what else I can do.

My two sons are legal adults now. Next month the younger one graduates high school with honors, and the older one graduates college Magna Cum Laude.  I’m full of pride that hovers between sappy sentiment and obnoxious bragging. 

I remember when we were expecting our first child I felt a an overwhelming responsibility to make the world better for the next generation.  But when the children arrived, I was even more overwhelmed with my fierce love for them and the state of the world took a distant second place in my priorities. 

Now as they grow up into young men , I find myself looking around and asking the question, “What's next?” I may have another three decades within me… or maybe a lot less. However much time I have, what will I do with it? 

The world is still a mess and still needs cleaning up, and I have rediscovered the feeling of obligation to make things better. It's daunting but I see my boys’ success, and I think, I’m on a roll. Let’s see what else I can do. 

I think about how I haven’t really helped anyone in the LGBTQ community and it’s time to become a fiercer ally.  I'm also horrified about human trafficking and I want to be a part of the solution that does away with the buying and selling of persons. I am also more conscious of how many people are marginalized—poor people, minority cultures, the elderly, the children…. There are plenty of people to whom I could lend my support.

Where to start? What to tackle? Who to help? I need to make some choices and go to work.  

And you know what? I expect to make a difference.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Finding My Way Back

Live music can be wonderful.

In a spring concert the high school jazz band where my son plays opened their first piece with a brass blast that filled my ears and rattled my rib cage, and I was taken back to the place where music is air that fills and surrounds the soul.

It takes a long time to find this place. I remember my high school days in choir how much work it took.  People have to learn new music, and rehearse together many hours, and while the entire process is good, there are only the few moments where it all coalesces to take people to that spiritual plane.

Most of the people in the audience were in the moment with me.  I’m often amazed that some can be occupying space, but not really present, actually missing the magic as they talk to each other or look at their phones.  I want to touch them and urge them to stop whatever they’re doing because these moments don’t occur often and they don’t last long.        

I was grateful that my son participated in this moment.  He has been playing for many years, developing his skill, finding his inner music.  Here at the end of his senior year, he got to play improvisational solos for almost every song, which gave me pride as well as joy.

Josh Mercer, photo by David Mercer

I wonder if he’ll see this as one of the very best moments of his life. When I was his age, I hadn’t known how few of them there would be, and at one point I had begun to wonder if I would ever find the place again.

My son found it, though, and shared it with me.  

Monday, April 18, 2016


Photo by David Mercer
A life waits for me. 
Where the talk isn’t gossip, music isn’t country,  
And humor goes beyond the scatological

Love is made with word and touch
To allow a sharing of spirits.
Somewhere prayer is more than a wish in the night,
Waiting for more than an imagined response,

Somewhere Someone answers back to whisper I am not alone.