Knuckleheads

Roger Clyne, with pointed boots and a mouth that hung seductively from a microphone, performed last week with the Peacemakers in Kansas City at the outdoor, industrial, adult Disneyland music venue that is Knuckleheads.

His voice dripped lyrics as a train visibly and intimately rumbled around the corner. At the venue, the neon sign was bright, the tin corrugated, the wood knotty, the beer cold.

I accompanied a few seasoned pros for my introduction to the band. Fortunately, the driver knew exactly where to stop on the return trip to Topeka. A WAFFLE HOUSE with three employees smoking on the curb as we pulled in at 1 am.

We sauntered up to the counter and sat on swivel stools, the only customers in the restaurant.

I ordered two waffles stacked for $4.04, with a side of bacon on top. The server magically unloaded peanut butter and chocolate chips to complement the waffles. The chips easily melted into the syrup.

I cleaned my plate (as you will unfortunately witness).

In honor of the man who bought DinnerBreakfast for us all, this is for you:

(It’s a series of waffle pictures with chosen lyrics relaying a story. The lyrics are from Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers songs performed that night)

I have no notion where I’m bound

I used to be sly

Clouds tumble over themselves in the sky

Yeah the good guys and the bad guys they never work past noon

It’s givin’ my heart a little elbow room

God bless the fools, for screwing up all the rules

You know I’d do it all again

Everything Changes, Everything Stays the Same

Last Thanksgiving Day – after the turkey and the stuffing and the rolls and the mashed potatoes and the damn yams – my family took a walk.

The air was chill, the sky cloudy, and the landscape the same as it had been most of my life. But so much had happened – moving and returning from Maui, going to graduate school, traveling to the Middle East – but the day felt the same as all other Thanksgiving Days.

“Everything changes, and everything stays the same,” I told my mom as we rounded the corner to the house.

“Yup, that’s the secret,” she replied.

It’s a dichotomy – a concept that has been rattling around in my mind the last six months.

You can’t have one without the other – yin and yang, perfect and imperfect, full and empty – but they are actually the same thing.

Here is an old school diagram to illustrate:

It is the same circle. It takes two opposite ideas to make it whole, using resistance and the law of attraction to keep it together.

Let’s look at the example of Hope and Fear. If we go far enough to the extreme edge of fear, it loops around into hope. I fear tornadoes so much, I hope I never see one (or, I hope that I do see one).

Here is another old school diagram:

It is the same circle, but our emotions and degree of opposites change proportionately to keep the circle whole. The change depends on multiple variables – the moment, the day, the feeling, the thought etc.

But, what if instead of the straight line of Hope and Fear moving, it’s the whole circle that actually moves. Meaning the line in the circle remains stationary, but the circle spins around – like it sits on a base of wheels.

Like Bubbles and the shopping cart in Trailer Park Boys (Warning: this link is very uncensored with many bad words – in both Canada and America), and the clip has nothing and everything to do with dichotomies.

All we need is already in us. The circle stays the same, it just spins around depending on our chosen perspective.

Because everything changes, and everything stays the same.