Clifford Brooks

Clifford Brooks

Poet | Writer | Teacher

Blue Crawford found me in my early twenties. Two good heartbreaks and one mighty case of alcoholism slumped down beside me in Rome, Georgia. The front stoop looked out over nothing. Summer. Hot. I didn’t sit on the back porch because it faced an asylum. Every day, if I was caught out back smoking, the…

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Blue Crawford found me in my early twenties. Two good heartbreaks and one mighty case of alcoholism slumped down beside me in Rome, Georgia. The front stoop looked out over nothing. Summer. Hot. I didn’t sit on the back porch because it faced an asylum. Every day, if I was caught out back smoking, the patients looked at me and I at them with an eerie connectiveness – a shared “otherneess”.

So, as a morose 22-year old I wrote “Faulkner and My Lovely Liquid Lady” that later shortened in title to “Judas Noose Tavern”. A poem about the descent and sitting in addiction, it was “my first” of the genre. I never wrote a great deal of poetry until much later.

Prose was my first love. Fiction and humorous nonfiction dominated my you and teen years. Telling stories and making people laugh kept them at a comfortable distance. I tucked my neurodivergence behind my imagination and sense of humor. In that vast space those on the spectrum create to carve a quiet palace for only us – in those vast, biolumenscent caverns are a universe.

Why does any of this matter to The Salvation of Cowboy Blue Crawford? Because the poem concerning alcoholism, stumbling into poetry, and a hyper-intense sensibilty about the world around me sat me still kone evening in Rome, Georgia to know ‘ole Blue.

Blue Crawford came up here. Still comes back here. There’s a Pinterest page to his adventures. (You know the shit is real now.) Interviewed about him the last decade as if he’s real. Then the complicated questions around how someone not fully formed or imbued with prupose takes up so much attention? What makes him stick?

His friends. His spite and fear and gnashing of teeth, pulling hair, good western, Bible-riding, mythology spinning at the edges, man and his friends. Gun fights. Good ones, though – not the ones that insist upon themselves. Long prose pieces play out the thaloc Blue Crawford tracks far, far away from Louisiana. A jewel and immortality to claw and carress and dress with bullets forever, if that’s what it takes, to cach Riz LeCroix. That’s the serious bit.

The piece earns attention and the attention urges my friends to nudge me to finish the damn thing. I didn’t back in my early years because I didn’t have the mileage. The hurt, addicted, first-inducted “me” wasn’t road tested. Too moody and unsure. Livewires weren’t grounded, and barely more today.

Yet, today, I pull out of the shade and bring Blue’s crew to face Riz in the streets hot across Texas to the tip of Florida. The story talks through action. The action tells the love story. The love story isn’t tropish or gagged in leather. Best friends are amalgamated and holy men with father figures melded into a giant. There’s a samuarai. A demon, too.

The blog is back up. I’ll talk more about Blue to cue me into the fact: Do it or shut up about it.

Along with these updates there will be craft talks and side stories about life. Writing journals doesn’t appeal to me. Once my first book released and I realized the guilt-free purge poetry allows, going back to private pages felt fake. Blue Crawford is the man removed from fake.

He is the real one.

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Author: Clifford Brooks
Posted: July 4, 2022, 1:21 am

I can take forever to do anything. I’ll walk around it a few times. Call friends and complain until they tell me to get on with it or get off the phone. By the time I’ve walked circles around my desk I ask myself, “Who’s the best to help me teach what I love most?…

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I can take forever to do anything. I’ll walk around it a few times. Call friends and complain until they tell me to get on with it or get off the phone. By the time I’ve walked circles around my desk I ask myself, “Who’s the best to help me teach what I love most?

I chose the answer after combing through every option: Teachable.

I love writing – everything about it. It evolves and spins off to involve new flavors. The grammar is pure. (You can find yourself in a fist fight over the Oxford comma. I promise you. Choose wisely.) There are foundational pieces that build a strong core for professional writers. The figure you sculpt from that is all your own.

Teaching is as much a part of me as writing. There isn’t one without the other. I think that, Know what you love and teach it with the same vigor and professionalism. Go all in or don’t bother. Lighting mental candles is good in the world.

Creative writing broke me out of my shell within autism. I do not know how it all works. I know that my diagnosis at age 39 clarified my quirks. The social anxiety. Misreading social cues to be painfully awkward. Digesting sensory information in shockwaves takes a good while to swallow. Writing about it wrestles up stress in my chest, but, and this is a pretty big but, when you write it out it sometimes lets more light in. A quiet light. A keyhole into a world that makes sense.

So, how do I take poetry tutorials from my Noetic series, blend them with training gained at the UCLA Writer’s Extension Program, twenty years of tutoring, a successful writing career, and reach more people? Many Have the whimsy and dedication needed to boost into the professional world of letters. “The Working Writer” is a series on Teachable dedicated to lighting the way.

Writing gave, and gives, my “spectrum stress” ease. The issues that cause us so much frustration, often triggering tics or verbal outbursts – I understand that. I don’t have a degree in the science of life on the spectrum. However, I do know how to live within it. I don’t make extravagant promises. If you’re not happy your money is absolutely refundable. “Adulting with Autism” covers the coping skills I’ve developed. And like all my courses, I value your input on where to take this journey.

Want to get to know me first? I have a coaching option in a bundle deal or on its own. My coaching varies to your needs. I’ll be straight with you on my abilities and we’ll work out a way to learn that suits us both. It’s my goal to give the most knowledge while saving you the most money.

Would You Like More Reasons to Love Teachable:

  1. Extremely affordable.
  2. Easy to use platform.
  3. Quick and professional support team.
  4. Tutorials.
  5. The Accelerator Program going on right now!

Be an idealist. Believe in yourself and what you can bring to those looking for a new passion. If you want to change the world, educate it. I’ve taught all my adult life and Teachable helps me stay on track.

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Author: Clifford Brooks
Posted: February 6, 2022, 3:32 am

The drive to Blowing Rock, North Carolina is a roll through true beauty no matter the direction you choose. Meadowbrook Inn waits in that quaint resort destination that puts you first. Not just “first” as in: the customer is always right or “your basic needs met”. No, the “New Normal” with Meadowbrook Inn is your…

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The drive to Blowing Rock, North Carolina is a roll through true beauty no matter the direction you choose. Meadowbrook Inn waits in that quaint resort destination that puts you first. Not just “first” as in: the customer is always right or “your basic needs met”. No, the “New Normal” with Meadowbrook Inn is your complete comfort. You immediately sense the staff’s genuine care for your peace of mind. You come first.

The stay there was a warm lull in time. As a writer I pray for rooms like these where the experience feels personally suited to me. Meadowbrook Inn makes it happen in Blowing Rock. The minute I checked in my stress checked out. COVID-compliant and aware their clientele like their elbow room, the staff kept me respectfully at ease. That’s a skill born from dedication and inherent kindness. As one on the autism spectrum this space, the grace to be an introvert, provided me an ideal studio to record December 2021’s NPR show, Dante’s Old South. Far from home I didn’t feel homesick.

I wanted for nothing. In early December 2021 the cold moved in, but the fire pit out back knocked off chills. Two evenings I sat there in quiet watching the sun set. The pond, seasonal landscaping, gentle colors made the natural areas pop. I felt safe on the premises and tucked in at night. The staff were vigilant to ensure that cool vibe endured.

I ate at the Speckled Trout – religiously. The manager of Meadowbrook Inn suggested it and I found it an easy walk. I gravitate toward resorts built into the community with enough distance to foster quiet. That’s here in spades. I ate well. I walked the city. I spoke with locals and the whole time I was excited to return to the room. A youthful spark crept back into my heart with worry lifted off me for a few days. My writing grew clearer. Right now I still enjoy the clarity a stay here ignited.

If you’re in the mood for romance there are rooms with that in mind. Not only is there an indoor pool for all to use. In the VIP rooms there are private pools for guests in need of full-tilt swank. The indoor fireplaces add an ambiance authors beg from the cosmos. Meadowbrook provided it all. The do not miss. Whether you’re flying solo, as a duo, or family – all fit here.

Breakfast served with everyone’s safety in mind provided a refreshing scene missed during quarantine. Nodding to other guests while masked added personality and a humanity I sorely missed. Yes, distance is good for my unique mind, but human contact can’t be understated. Even though I knew no one there I didn’t feel like a stranger.

If you need time away, check out Meadowbrook Inn. Blowing Rock, North Carolina is gorgeous country with every outdoor activity and Appalachian State around the corner. Nothing is crowded or overrun. The whole of the town feels gently European with a Southern swagger. It’s the place to be. It’s the place you should be. Grab on!

For those in or headed to Richmond, Virginia, these same fine folks own and operate Linden Row Inn. Identical attention to detail and compassion for every guest is here too. To learn more about their staff and history, check out his previous issue of the Blue Mountain Review.

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Author: Clifford Brooks
Posted: January 15, 2022, 11:13 pm

A prohibition experience without Alcatraz.

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The Red Phone Booth creates a swank ambiance where comfort comes naturally. The Atlanta location and their home in Nashville foster an easy space to occupy. Mixologists at the top of their game, gourmet food, a scene that comes with a dress coat. Never stuffy. Always where you want to be.

Not a whiff of elitism or bougie sour notes. The Red Phone Booth stands with an impressive humidor, spacious seating, and adheres to all Covid regulations. Their air filtration system makes their interior as safe as possible. That bit is outlined in the spring 2020 issue of the Blue Mountain Review.

The music: The folly of many is to skimp on night’s soundtrack. During the hum of conversation and laughter you’ll catch traces of songs you forgot were favorites. The Red Phone Booth is aware of balance, class, tact, and dance. Feet tap, fingers play at invisible notes, and all the while the magic of a speakeasy gets under your skin.

In Atlanta you step into a phone booth, dial a number you must get in advance, and enter through a secret doorway. It feels like you’re getting away with something just bad enough to hide, but you don’t. The fun is guilt free. There are no hooks or hidden fees.

Nashville, Tennessee owns country music. Now it has a Red Phone Booth to add to their upscale flair. It’s perfectly in place with that town’s vibe. The transition from downtown to the overstuffed leather chairs of the Red Phone Booth is seamless. You can begin or end the night right here and never miss a beat.

Food is ridiculous, but the price is not. Seating arranged for big and tall, small or petite you enjoy breathing room while safely ensconced with friends. Eat and savor each bite. This isn’t bar food – never boring – between glasses of wine or flawlessly blended drinks it quickly smacks of those Roaring ’20s soirees,

I laughed at the term “mixologist” until I spent time watching bartenders focus absolutely on their craft. Ice cubes hand-chipped into squares. The preparation is somewhere between a chemistry experiment and magic trick. These professionals dress the part, quick to tell a joke, while saving the best drink for you.

Cigars, but not a cigar bar. That filtration system keeping Covid at bay also removes heavy smoke. It’s barely noticeable anyone smokes at all. Whether you are an expert or novice looking for an education in cigars – the Red Phone Booth’s got your fix.

The Red Phone Booth is an oasis. It’s a safe place where life feels a little more normal while exotic around the edges. There’s a form, function, and meticulous design. I walk out feeling lighter than when I arrived….and it’s nothing to do with the libations. The Red Phone Booth is a place for good folks, from all over, content with good company.

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Author: Clifford Brooks
Posted: February 28, 2021, 5:32 am

Home brings you back if you're lucky.

The post Returning Home: Calming in Reflection appeared first on Clifford Brooks.

Christmas: Calm space kind enough to let me breathe. How did Santa treat you folks? Did y’all get the puppy, Billie Eilish gear, PS5, truck nuts, and/or Jack Daniels Fruit Roll-Ups you hoped for. You deserve it.

I found peace this year – in the last few weeks, especially. Reading the Bible (paying attention to nuance objectively). Thinking before I speak. Knee-deep in Stoic philosophy, taking time to be less angry, I root out those who stoke it. Being home, safe, loved – it’s new sanity.

Home.

Home now scars heal. Truly heal and time spent refocused on the company made real growth bolt deep. Bitterness oozes soullessness, puss so corosive; a sickness that mutates into an ugly series of awful decisions.

Got mileage without a mate and into a set of rooms where life moves on my schedule. (A schedule.) The schedule is a useful device. (I know a 45-year-old man shouldn’t announce this like saving babies from a school of sharks.) Motivation and drive are useless without a firm foundation to start. Schedules decrease anxiety.

I am persnickedy, Finding a calendar-driven approach to my career built a new peace of mind. Still, this Christmas I recline in quiet. A quiet that signifies comfort.

My parents are good people. My mom saves my life. My father reminds me that humility builds the bridge to success. My stepfather, the minister, my conscious – he keeps my car between the ditches. God is good.

In the wake of Covid, the horror of what left, the ebb from a terrible flow – what I gained is pure calm. “Home” – my people, my favorite people, the escape is work inward.

I felt flawed for too long. That’s my fault. People treat us poorly and that is their fault. Our responsiblity stands now not to be like them. Present for the blood and blood-kin that gave when we didn’t deserve it. Those are God’s chosen.

We try to keep up.

I think I avoided writing after April because it carved out too much. I loved and lost but April left a – void. So, I went full-bull into work. Creative writing, new work, “wasn’t best.” Coming home allowed me to stare it down and sit before the current it spewed swallowed me.

Home: The writing place, the drug rehab, the nut house – “home.” You’ll never hear me hate weakness, sorrow, or the hard road back because that’s the Tool I rock.

Forgive yourself. The year is bent. You are not. Go home. The space that speaks to you is true. Your peace is what’s important. 2021 shows promise. I do. You do. See the home and horizon you cherish. Go there. Find Balance.

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Author: Clifford Brooks
Posted: December 31, 2020, 2:38 am

Linden Row Inn inspires because of its timely elegance. The elegance harkens back to Edgar Allan Poe. “To Helen” speaks of an ethereal garden. In the garden Poe played as a child. History feels different when place is put to it. From the veranda, looking across the courtyard, I saw that same garden. I am…

The post Linden Row Inn Inspires appeared first on Clifford Brooks.

Linden Row Inn inspires because of its timely elegance. The elegance harkens back to Edgar Allan Poe. “To Helen” speaks of an ethereal garden. In the garden Poe played as a child. History feels different when place is put to it. From the veranda, looking across the courtyard, I saw that same garden.

I am a romantic. Nostalgic, yes, but the reality is money saved without losing comfort. For the poet or banker or couple looking for an enchanting elopement – Linden Row Inn makes sense. You sacrifice nothing.

I checked into my room with ease. I turned the key into the Poe Suite and forgot the world. Everything else – the heft of it, weighty obligations, a life (for me) 8 hours away – gone. At the Linden Row Inn I felt free. It was impossible to stay away from writing,

Writing takes on a tougher skin with my new book. I will not complain about COVID. You’ve heard it. I will say that Linden Row Inn made me feel comforable and safe. All the staff wear masks and masks are mandatory for all who enter. My room was spotless. On my tour I saw the same meticulous care inside and out.

The book, I am writing my third. Mostly done, stuck, a new environment shook bolts loose. Noise from the street was minimal. I never awoke in the night unless it was to bolt back to my keyboard. That happened. It’s been years since that’s happened.

The room opens into sunlight. Tucked away, still you are around the corner from food you’ll talk about with friends at home. My stay with Linden Row Inn provided peace to create, to write from a window where over a century of people stood.

On the coffee table was a collection of Poe’s work. I read it. For much of my time I locked into my new book and vacationed with Poe. For years I pegged the guy as overly-morose. It bothered me why no one pointed out that ravens don’t speak. Not one word. Why the guy didn’t run in terror through the cold rain of night after that bird said, “nevermore,” I’ll never understand.

Then I stopped joking. His prose is striking. Father of the detective story and haunted – he was a rock star from birth to death. After visiting the Poe Museum I learned that many of Poe’s demons were exaggerated by biographies. I reassessed my judgement of him. My trance was never disturbed at Linden Row Inn.

While in town, the music of Vivaldi and Handel hummed fresh from this season’s last perfomance by the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. Culture curves around soft corners and up cobblestone alleys. That music, the breathing energy from it – sacred and real. Live music, safely played, still clings to me.

This is the first blog to highlight my stay in Richmond, Virginia. The drive from Atlanta, Georgia didn’t break me. The landscape is worth travel lag. You lose the drag quickly. Linden Row Inn made my time a pleasure to spend.

This week new days and events get penned. Notes, memories, and words I made there make it here. I pray you’ll stick around to the end.

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Author: Clifford Brooks
Posted: December 19, 2020, 11:02 pm

If you want to change the world, educate it. If you want to get through education in the time of COVID, focus on the “power team”. Life is different. To stay ahead of the curve with your kid’s education – bring in a tutor.  They are a strong linebacker. Zoom and Skype allow scheduled meetings…

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If you want to change the world, educate it. If you want to get through education in the time of COVID, focus on the “power team”. Life is different. To stay ahead of the curve with your kid’s education – bring in a tutor.  They are a strong linebacker.

Zoom and Skype allow scheduled meetings that are 100% safe. Think of a quality tutor as someone to fill in the blanks left between teacher and student. It is not for lack of trying. I believe that there are as many ways to learn as there are those who do it. Tutors may be able to decipher something in a new way or flesh out an idea.

It is a specialized niche not heard about outside of school libraries. “Tutors” is a word, that because of its uncommon use, considered a less than precious commodity. Check their credentials. Understand they are not miracle workers. There are folks you can contact to point you in the right direction.

It helps if you like your tutor; that your kids work with them. Tutors are objective, positive influences in this shelter-in-place-lifestyle. It is not about sacrificing things. This time is to forge a new path. We’ll get back to live music (please God) and open parks sooner than we think. It feels like more people are doing the right thing.

As a tutor, it’s not my job to have an opinion. No kid of yours will have to answer the question, “What does Cliff Brooks think about..,anything?” A quality tutor leaves pulpit and soapbox at home. What is important is that you hire someone who makes time to touch base with teachers to make sure they follow the right path.

The “power team” is you, your spouse, teachers, and a tutor. It closes the wagon train around a solid foundation in good learning skills. As one on the spectrum, I understand those high functioning. If something is over my head, I’ll be honest. Hammer on honesty.

If you’re grown and think about getting back into your creative life, a tutor never hurts there, either. We have more time to think. There’s more to read. Do you want to put something on paper to work through COVID, leave a mark, show you were here? You can do it all on your own, but the helpful advice from a professional gets around hard pitfalls they stumbled into.

Writing poetry is important. I think that short stories are a higher form of art than novels. A tutor brings expertise. “Those who can’t do teach.” That’s terrible. Where did that start? Why would you want to learn anything from anyone who can’t do – that thing? A sense of humor is important now but I’m not trying to be funny.

Learning keeps the mind busy. The productive mind is less likely to abide negativity. An education allows you to hold an idea without accepting it. Creative writing takes you out of your head, away from the bubble. Yet, you focus on you. How do you feel? How did you stay sane? How did you heal?

Your story is important. Call a tutor, or email, what suits you. Your comfort the point and your schedule met. Ask for a resume in any case. Like I said, this can be considered a broad field. Be safe. Be smart.

 A tutor is there to make your child’s life easier. If the first one, legitimately, doesn’t gel, you may need to try another. Quality tutors will provide referrals. Learning is important, not egos. There are options. COVID brought back an old trade in a time full of new things. Think of tutors as something familiar in an often uncomfortable climate. Take the fear out of education and hire a tutor.

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Author: Clifford Brooks
Posted: September 19, 2020, 3:31 am

Trust. Forgive to get out of it. Let them walk.

The post How Do You Get it Back Together? appeared first on Clifford Brooks.

Get love figured out and it finds a way to wriggle out of knowing. It’s alright to admit you got duped a few months after a breakup, but not much makes it suck less in the meantime. Let me tell you now that you must forgive – for you, not them. I’ll bet you my last silver dollar that spite will burn you to the bone. Trust. Forgive to get out of it.

I poetry-ed the bu-jeezus out of my time. May was miserable but words, good ones, made a symphony from a heart jangled out of tin cans.

I don’t dig. I don’t blame. I don’t go too hard at where the wrong was and where I think the right oughtta be. When it’s done there’s nothing but open wounds with one more prepared than the other. There’s no good breakup. There’s not an amicable separation I’m aware of where someone didn’t hold their heart when the lights went out.

There are dark places to get out of, but I swear the demons you bring out aren’t all bad. Wait: not “demon” but “daemon.” (That extra vowel makes a big difference.) Daemons are in Greek mythology and ran messages between the gods and men. Makes sense where Cupid came from and why he flies around.

I have no jokes to barb at that bare naked baby. The dark spots in and out of love give you perspective. You don’t have to agree with the situation. If they walk away – let them walk. Struggling and begging and bartering once hate is the only language in the room are all horrible noises on deaf ears.

Perhaps the daemon responsible for your current nightmare was drunk when he set y’all up? It wasn’t you. It wasn’t them. That rascal the Almighty trusted that evening you two hooked up was as bad at love as the rest of us. Let it go. Let them walk. Blame whomever you want but the responsiblity of action and reaction rests squarely on you.

Five Things to Keep You on Track:

  1. Lose their phone number: What’s been said has been. Nothing new with do anything but get you lit in a swivet. Toxic people preach against drama while being drawn up in it.
  2. Block, block, block: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. If they didn’t love you enough to stay up in your Kool-Aid they shouldn’t know the flavor from afar.
  3. Pick a few good friends but don’t wear them out: You talk out the worst parts. Pick those folks you bleed on carefully. The hurt was all I could handle the first few weeks. My family consists of the genetic and selected variety. I talked too much. They still listened. Still – watch for wear and slowly try to process silently.
  4. Hold to your faith: This should be Number 1, but it always is on this list. I don’t preach because I am not a preacher. I do profess that God reminded me in the worst times that sober and single is far superior to dating in a damned situation. God works.
  5. Exercise, meditate, and figure out you: In my case I got the heirachy ass-backwards as I went along. Shit happens and it can blur the lenses worn to get through every day. In the time I’m not stressed over what’s wrong I rediscovered my love of running, morning meditation, and (at first) uncomfortable silences where big questions loom. It’s not uncomfortable now and those big questions are tamed.

Figure out you. I don’t make out that any of this is funny or easy or a scene where you play James Dean. I waited out the panic. I went into the solitude sober for the first time in my life. It’s cheaper than heartbreak on a bender. I am respected far more and worry Momma way less.

There are cracks and there are sore places I can’t reach. Life is good. Love is forever. “Alone” isn’t “lonely” unless you let it be. Don’t chase someone who lost the good sense to stay by your side. God’s got someone better. Be patient. Be still. Blame the daemon but don’t beat yourself down. The world does enough of the beating.

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Author: Clifford Brooks
Posted: June 29, 2020, 10:22 pm

The secret to sheltering in place is to pick a place you love to shelter.

The post Love in the Time of Coronavirus appeared first on Clifford Brooks.

Hope is cool stuff. Hope saves lives. We hope this virus gets rubbed out sooner than later. We hope our loved ones stay safe and healthy. We hope we never run out of toilet paper. We hope the urge to murder passes after a week inside with family.

Rational people understand that social distancing is a smart move. For once our country is getting ahead of an emergency. Put politics aside and agree that sticking to the rules of quarantine is a great idea for all parties. Study up on government, politics, bird-watching, canoe-making, watercolors, or any instrument of your choice. Do something productive with this time.

Surviving quarantine goes by a bit easier with a few things:

  1. Get a hobby: Pick one or more and learn to entertain yourself. Seriously. No one wants to hear how bored you are, Eeyore.
  2. Create a schedule: Stick with it and the malaise of “too much free time” won’t be a burden. As much a free spirit I am it costs me lost time if I don’t use it. I adopted a Stoic philosophy of time management.
  3. Exercise at least three times a week: Gyms are closed. Pools are closed. Parks are closed. Your yard isn’t. The sidewalk isn’t. Trails you reach by foot are wide open. Sanity comes from sweat. Pick the time that’s best for you and get outside.
  4. Challenge yourself: Take this time to learn a new language. Read a book. Do some research into what, why, and how you believe. Unplug from what social media wants you to believe and discover the truth for yourself.
  5. Be inquisitive: Socrates said, “Know thyself.” That’s important. Look outward as well. Talk to your spouse, child, parent, friend about what they’re feeling. Listen to their answers. Ask them in-person or from afar what they value, what keeps them optimistic, what gives them hope.

Hope is groovy stuff in a time that isn’t. Please stay six feet from everyone else in public. Stay out of public as much as possible. Quarantine life doesn’t have to take on the vibe of The Shining. Take a breath, take a walk, or take up a new hobby instead of mullygrubbing. You can’t waste time if you appreciate its passing.

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Author: Clifford Brooks
Posted: April 5, 2020, 6:45 pm

Owning a dog awakens latent maturity - thank God.

The post My Daisy is a Godsend appeared first on Clifford Brooks.

Dude, I get it. There are scores of folks out there I owe an apology. In this case I’m referring to dog owners. I know why you think they speak English. I know why you take countless photos. They are quadrupedal people.

Last Christmas I got a dog. Carolyn, my girlfriend at the time, spoke passionately that I would feel calmer owning one. I’d never owned a dog. My parents made it clear when I was a child who would carry the canine’s responsibility (poop-scooping, mainly). I wasn’t that guy (then).

Forty-five years later I find myself in Mostly Mutts. My fairweather Roswell family felt it time to introduce new members. Carolyn let me experience “real dog life” with an animal well-trained, fun, and even-tempered. There grew in me a hankering to get one.

I named her Daisy. Don’t know why I picked Daisy. We walked into Mostly Mutts with zero expectations. Twenty-four hours later we returned to take Daisy home. I was terrified.

(I’m less, but still, terrified.)

Daisy quickly grew into a soft jewel my recovering heart starved to feel. She was my anxiety dog easing autism stressors. So new was it to have something so incredibly excited to see me.

That’s why when heartbreak exiled me and she and kept Daisy, the blessings of my puppy’s memory are fresh. I miss my dog.

This too shall pass.

Though Daisy is in the hands of someone with no love for me, I still want you to know the virtues a dog brings to your life:

  1. Dogs Promote Chill: I won’t lie. Daisy came eerily pre-programmed. Minimal toilet drama. Nearly zero barking. I am blessed. When anxiety gnaws at me Daisy knows it. I never believed it until it happened. Like God it’s there but indescribable.
  2. Promotes Maturity: Yeeeaaaah….I got behind in this virtue. Good, bad, or train wreck – on the other side there’s selflessness enough to let more in. Daisy isn’t fussy, but she will throw one unattended. I can’t get too full of myself when a life depends on me.
  3. Increases Patience: More than once I’ve said that patience is a super power. The last two years built up my reserves to handle my hairy child. I watch her. She’ll wait long for me to finish writing, but whine when it’s time. I get outside.
  4. More Exercise: You are guaranteed more exercise unless you’re an awful person and lock the critter indoors. Take the dog outside. Safe distance from other people, but chummy with your mutt. Dogs are great listeners. Pretty sure Daisy’s going to blackmail me when she’s old enough to drive.
  5. Awareness of Time: I still have an issue with this. Time. Not so much “late” as “locked-too-long-in.” Attention is given to people in time convenient to them. Daisy is mine to worry about. Responsible for life, for my better decisions, to keeping the little lady in check.

I urge you to think hard about adopting an animal. Let the high wear of, wait a few days, and then make that leap. If you don’t worry a little you should be worried. Getting over that fear, watching the puppy grow up, get gangly, trip, seem to laugh, and lick on you – it’s magic every day.

Mostly Mutts is a no-kill shelter run by phenomenal people. Their staff matches owners with dogs meant to share good days. Never rushed. Professional but compassionate, theirs is an establishment I trust and endorse. I promise dogs make your heart bigger.

The post My Daisy is a Godsend appeared first on Clifford Brooks.

Author: Clifford Brooks
Posted: March 21, 2020, 5:15 am

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