Jesse Gall

The Siren

In thoughts on July 16, 2011 at 8:43 pm

It has been quite some time since these fingers have ticked their taps on the white squares of the keyboard that sits in front of me. Life, as it so often does, has derailed the deeds of intended action with its surprises and necessities. We sit idly by and watch as the promises of yesterday become the memories of tomorrow, obstacles pile their plight while our backs get heavier. We slough our lives away bit by bit as more and more is required of us; even that which brings us joy – our writing or cooking or golfing or thinking – falls to the ground like leaves quickly forgetting the summer from whence they grew.

Forgive the poetic wax, but my candle burns a little dim these days. Harsh realities have collided with hopeful expectations, beating wishes, peppering them with bruises so colorful they change the body underneath. I hoped to write everyday. I hoped to be surprised by kindness and I hoped that good people should only receive good treatment. But hope can be the most elusive of sirens, calling us to sail towards the sweet song of peace and ease, before disappearing behind more untrodden paths and choices. She slips yet lingers, faintly smelling like perfection and something unrecognizable.

I could have been naive about such expectations. I could have been wrong for having hope. But that’s the thing about hope. It’s admirable. It stands true forever, urging us towards overcoming that which stops us from perfection, pushing just a little bit further, a little bit further. It encourages us remove the training wheels or take a leap or have a painful conversation. It molds us, turning us malleable and amorphous, into something we could only previously imagine. It teaches, instructing us from ahead but never leaving, if we’re lucky.

We must be sure not to abandon hope. It may be fickle and empty and it might lead us down a path of foolishness and irresponsibility, tainting the lens that covers the perspectives that cage our thoughts, leaving a puddle of doubt on the carpet of our considerations. It might misbehave. In fact, it will.

But to live with no hope – to see the world in an endless gray of disappointment and eternally met lowered expectations – is a fate worth no more than the material weight of hope itself. To face the onslaught of years without hope is to live a half-life, where happiness and unadulterated glee are the luggage forgotten on the side of the road. Nothing can lie ahead without hope, so cling to it and hold steadfastly through the turbulence of these trials and tribulations. Hold strong and tighten your grip; faith and hope remain. Sometimes, it’s all there is.

Until the end. the Mended Blend.

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This Just In: Teenagers No Longer Worst Drivers

In Humor on July 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I’ve discovered there are only a few things you can do to entertain yourself on a four hour sojourn across the Tennessee landscape. You can watch as the billboards start to change from “GUNS” to “Luxury Condo’s from 120,000!” You can ruminate the rolling hills, green with √©lan¬†vital. You can listen to your ipod on shuffle and amaze yourself at the strange eclectic nature of your musical library (Toni Braxton, James Taylor, Mariah Carey, Girl Talk, Steve Miller Band, CCR, Jason Mraz, Mars Volta, Eminem. Confused yet?).

I did all of these things. But nothing captured my attention more than the horrific driving that has become so typical of Tennessee. Maybe it’s not just in Tennessee. Maybe everyone drives like a Tourettes sufferer on the back end of a three day sleepless binge, but it seems that the poor drivers of the country have gathered, settling in Tennessee.

I careened out of danger and weaved through recklessness. I dodged texters and GPS fiddlers. I did it all. But I noticed something interesting as I navigated my way through the traffic minefield that can be I-40: the worst drivers I encountered were in their 40s or 50s. This doesn’t make any sense! People are supposed to drive slower as they get older. I should be passing these people, not running for my life.

Don’t call me Nostradamus, but I offer you a prediction. In the next twenty years, the roads will be littered with seriously aging Baby Boomers driving too fast for their declining vision. No longer will the elderly drive at a glacial pace. This generation is the first generation to live entirely in a world of instant communication, where speed is synonymous with living. They’ve never been adult in a world that success wasn’t equated with a flurry of activity and busied antics. These people have things to do and it’s always been way. They have Tom Toms and Starbucks and Blackberries and bluberries and Sirius and DVDs in their dashboard.

They might have a whole lot. But nothing is more terrifying than the realization that this generation is also the first set of drivers with an entire fleet of tank-cars at their finger tips. Hummers, Explorers, 4Runners, Xterra, and Denalis roam the streets, bossy like schoolyard fat kids. They drive SUVs and they don’t see the twenty five year old in his little red Lancer. Oh but, they’re sure that I’ll move out of the way. Ugh.

Drivers prepare! Watch your mirrors and use your blinkers, these things can only help your chance of avoiding the most likely wreck you will ever have. Remember the defensive driving school you went to as a teenager when you received your first speeding ticket. Do well to prepare because the Boom in Baby Boomers might soon be associated with the sound of crunching metal. But hey, if you’re an Insurance Agent, you should do just fine. What recession?

Until the end, the Mended Blend.

A Trip, A Break, A Narrative To Come

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2011 at 11:18 am

In the next few days, you might notice a marked decline in content for The Mended Blend. Never fear, we’re not breaking up. I’m just moving on to bigger and different cities: Brentwood, Franklin, and Nashville! I’m going out for a few days and when I come back, I hope you’re primed and prepped for a sprawling narrative of cultural differences.

I’m sure I will have a lot to say when I come back to you, my faithful readers, considering that I have a four hour drive to allow my brainstorming neurons to fire.

Until the end, the Mended Blend.