Invariably I cut myself shaving and a persistent bead of rich dark blood oozes just beneath my chin.  The shower was delightful after a long day that started with digging in the mud and the work clothes are now in the wash as I wind down with a glass of Merlot Monday Night Football airs pitting the Houston Texans verse the New York Jets.  The forecast hadn’t called for precipitation and when I checked the radar as I pulled up to the job site in the Elmwood Village I noticed a large green blob, lake effect rain showers set up from the city extending north.  Ben and I persevered despite the cold, wet conditions knocking out the job with meticulous efficiency in under 2 hours.  The client was satisfied with the finished product, a small, manicured ornamental landscape replacing an overgrown bed of English Ivy.

Following clean-up I toweled off, swapped out for dry clothes and headed over to Spot Coffee for a meeting with a colleague to discuss a strategic alliance  for finishing out the landscape season.  Angela and I have much in common working in a freelance operation with some 2 decades of experience in the profession, she holding a certification with the regional nursery association, and I a bachelor’s degree in environmental science.  We fleshed out agreements on divvying up proceeds from jobs completed together and ran an ad in the local Bee Group papers with a circulation in 9 major townships.  We’re both on the same page to crank out as much work as we can padding savings before winter arrives.

My next stop was to one of my most favorite places to visit some of my most favorite people in the city’s south side where a roasted red pepper workshop was in full swing upon arrival.  As I handled the warm, gushy peppers cleaning off burnt skin and de-seeding I became aroused, the look and the feel of the fruit reminiscent of female genitalia.  I confessed my peculiar response to the process as folks chuckled.  As I discussed this inclination to experience sexual stimulation I recalled Napoleon Hill’s treatise, Think and Grow Rich, on how to secure material success, specifically his insistence at transmuting sexual energy into one’s vocation.  As a highly creative energy it makes perfect sense what is possible when harnessed and channeled into non-sexual endeavors.  I’m considering the potential with channeling this powerful force into my writing.

After producing 30 pint-size Mason jars and cleaning up Amy, Erin, Matt, Shawn, Dave, Sifu and I enjoyed a hearty, nourishing “Harry Potter” soup chock full of vegetables, ham and a tangy broth.  We’d discussed how we feel like family and as a tribe of like-minded souls sharing a meal is an extra special ceremony.  Prior to breaking bread my brother Shawn aka “5 bag” shared of his recent separation from his wife.  Dave intervened inviting Shawn to understand the story playing out as relationship drama.  With precision and compassion he asked direct questions restoring power, and responsibility, to the moment as Shawn was able to see something he’s been unable to love and accept in the reflection of his wife’s behavior.  I had coaxed him along at one point as he hesitated to go down the rabbit hole, assuring him that there’s a gift in going there.  I know exactly where he’s at carrying shame and guilt from a one-sided perception of a “crisis.”  I’ve been doing this sort of transformational work now for over a decade.

After dinner we migrated upstairs to take in an episode of Northern Exposure, serving up more wisdom through the fictitious characters set in a mythical Alaskan town.  The town’s radio DJ Chris shared a Bruce Lee quote on the subject of romance, “Love is like friendship set on fire.” At one point I was interrupted by a phone call from a recruiter referring to my resume posted on for a sales position in union supplemental benefits.  We scheduled an interview for later in the week, and in retrospect I’m not sure if it resonates sufficiently for me to pursue, but I figure at the very least some interview rehearsal would be of benefit.  And who knows I may find the opportunity to be attractive.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

At the outset of the day a friend challenged me to take care of myself, specifically my knee, which has improved, although remains very much less than 100% since flaring up several weeks ago.  It reminded me to research a state-funded health insurance program for which I should meet the income requirements now.  I believe strongly in the body’s innate ability to heal if we get out of the way and allow it to do so.  I’ve overcome back and shoulder injuries, despite extended periods of pain.  Speaking of which, I got in touch with my cousin Brendan who begins outpatient treatment tomorrow.  I emphasized the importance of a healthy attitude and made plans to get together later in the week out here at the beach.  I think it gave him something to look forward to.

In common wealth,