Tag Archives: reality

Amazing Gracie

20 Feb

As I descended the stairs, the hostile man in front of me turned around and spit on my shoes with no provocation. There was no reasoning with him. It was clear that he wanted to fight. This was a familiar situation, and I knew what I had to do in order to neutralize him after having a one-on-one with the one of the world’s greatest not but two days ago.

“I’ve only had one lesson. I need to go back. Looks like I can only use what I know. Is it enough?!”

I distanced myself, readied my hands and body, and has he rushed in…

I woke up in my bed room.

There was no cold sweat nor was there fear but rather a desire to learn more from these guys:

Ryron Gracie (left) and Rener Gracie (right)

Kristal surprised me with a late birthday gift and was able to arrange a private Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lesson (BJJ) between me and one of the best-in-class Gracie brothers, Ryron (he-ron) at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Torrance, CA.

Ryron Gracie

All within an hour, Ryron taught me practical defenses and offenses to keep myself sustained in a street fight. It was also made clear that when people want to fight, I have few options:

  1. Run

  2. Get beat up

  3. Control the fight

Rolling with Ryron

There is no telling how good I would be at #3, but I would like to improve. After waking from my dream, I remember feeling a deep need to learn more BJJ, especially with all of the bullying and unpredictability in the world. Kristal and I even talked about doing this together after the wedding, and we agreed that when we do, we would know where to go.




Fall Fatigue

22 Oct

Southern California weather is like a woman on birth control: Unpredictable, moody, and something to gossip about. ZING!

The weather is not as cool as I prefer it to be, but according to the calendar, it’s the fall season. The leaves are turning from summer madness to fall fatigue.

The term “fatigue” comes to mind as if a break is necessary. I consider this time of post-summer/per-holidays to be just that for me; a time to just relish in another transition where perspectives are realigned. It’s only going to get busier and colder once those sleigh bells start jingling, making this slow transition of season something to be cherished.

I’m learning that though I can never control the weather, I can at least control my climate.

Here’s Mr. Lucas showing the world how to do this (29 seconds):

Back to Life

8 Jun

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know
This weakness I feel I must finally show

Awake My Soul – Mumford & Sons

I blame my job.

Lately, focusing on anything creative seems impossible, and it’s downright depressing when I compare my creative output now to how expressive I was during my unemployment stint last year.

It’s a wonderful job though, and I should never complain.

White collar? Yes.

Medical? Yes.

The perks? Goodness!

It’s not like my job is 24/7. I’d say it’s more like 12/6, and it’s hard for me to be intentional with my writing. At the end of my work days, I’m exhausted and just want to numb my brain with TV or online social networks.

So yeah…This two month drought of blogging, writing, and vlogging has been a perpetual guilt trip in my gut for a few reasons.

  1. I feel like I’ve lost “it.” “It” being anything such as profound insight, sound reasoning, or  creative expression.
  2. This leads into a “I have nothing valuable to share so my life must be so…boring” self-evaluation.
  3. Which concludes the overall opinion about myself “The messenger is dead.” Well not dead, probably just sleepy or slothful. No. wait. Here’s one: APATHETIC.

Solution? Awake the messenger, and revitalize him.

But how?

  • Remind him of the things he’s passionate.
  • Tell him to be himself. People will ridicule, disagree, or treasure, but that shouldn’t make him shy away.
  • Also, tell him to surround himself with wise and creative counsel. Prolonged isolation can be dangerous.
  • Sit down and be proactively express.
  • Share this blog post…



No Words

17 Mar

This past Sunday, while hanging out in the coffee shop at my church, I read to my peers the latest tweets from my Twitter feed regarding the tragedy in Japan. An elderly woman whom one can assume to be in her 60′s or 70′s listened intently as she hovered around us and mixed her sweeteners and cream into her brew. To our surprise, the elderly woman interjected with:

“Well they (Japan/the Japanese) deserve it after sneaking up on us 70 years ago at Pearl Harbor… This is what they get.”


Yes, it was silent for a several seconds with our mouths to the floor from the disbelief. It was like the “spirit of Pat Robertson” all over again.

Someone broke the silence with “I’m not even going to get into this right now,” trying to show self-control by diverting their attention to their cell phone.

I responded with a snowballing “Rrrreally?? Umm…This has NOTHING to do with anything that happened seventy years ago, and it’s actually quite tragic, and NO ONE deserves to be going through any of this right now…”

That’s all I could say as I found my voice rising, my vision blurring, my head and hands becoming hot, and my body inching towards the ignorance personified before me. My heart rate increased. My blood boiled, but I had to remember my place and behave rationally.

I was surprised that she didn’t bring God into the picture with us being at church and all. If she did, I probably would’ve ended up in prison…or on the news…not really…but yeah….no…

In situations like this elderly lady and her view on why Japan got what it “deserved,” it takes a lot to not jump down someone’s throat, fingernails first. I’m wondering what kind of ignorance is going on out there right now because when tragedy hits, people are so quick to point and blame, hindering help and healing. Though this situation still haunts me, reminding me of the mess Pat Robertson left last year his comments about Haiti, I know that I have forgiven her. It wasn’t easy. Heck, she’s set in her ways in her 60′s or 70′s, and who knows what she has experienced? She’s been corrected, and it’s between her and her Creator now.

I mean if you were in that coffee shop with me, what would you have done or said to her? Nothing? Anything?



So Real

22 Jan

So many dreams I’d like to forget
The moment I wake, I wanna sleep again

-Lover’s Anthem by Paper Route

Ever wake up to a harsh reality after an intense dream?

After experiencing James Cameron’s motion picture Avatar, my ability to articulate my feelings was shattered. Hours passed, and in an instant the shards of emotions came together.  Watching the film reminded me of every vivid and virtually tangible dream I can remember, even ones from over twenty years ago.  Throughout my life, I have a handful of dreams when at the time of slumber, seemed real to me, causing me to wake up in panic, excitement, sorrow, and even relief, and to this day, I can still remember the feeling, sight, and sound of these specific dream sequences.

The emotions elicited by these dreams were extreme. Some situations would be: casual and personal hang-outs and sessions with popular musicians and inspiring artists, the death of a loved one, an ex-girlfriend wanting to reconcile after a recent break-up in reality, meeting female celebrity crushes,  having the ability to fly, or finally breaking through to someone who has been closed-offto me.

Waking up to a reality where none of this is true, I would angrily and bitterly react by striking my bed or pillow, and ask (God) out loud “WHY?” as in “Why would you allow this to happen? What’s the point of all of this; this emotional tease which ends in emotional conflict which I have to deal with in reality and conscious mind?!”

Tired of dealing with this alone, I sought someone to confide in as I expressed my distress. I learned this lesson which I now hold valuable:

Dreams are like unforeseen (or even tragic) events which may occur.  They are beyond our control, and we rarely know exactly why they happen. However, we still have the ability to treat them like any other questionable circumstance in our lives, and just like any other uncontrollable situation, we need to wake up and realize what we can control, such as the ability to choose. How will you respond? We have a choice in the aftermath of almost any circumstance thrown at us. We can learn from dreams, we can let them haunt us, or we can think nothing of them, moving forward. Because in reality:

1) I did not have lunch with Michelle Branch and Avril Lavigne at the peak of their career.

2) My my father is still alive.

3) My ex-girlfriend at the time did not give me another chance.

4) I will probably never speak a word to any of my celebrity crushes.

5) I cannot fly.

6) I still need to work on the relationships with the people I care about no matter how long it takes for a breakthrough.

7) I am not a giant blue person from an indigenous tribe that can fly on giant prehistoric animals living in a glow-in-the-dark forrest.


Though old ghosts still haunt me, I have learned to appreciate what I do have in my life, where I currently am, and even more importantly, where I will be heading. So in a way, I am thankful for a movie like Avatar as it has allowed me to get a tighter grip on reality, which sometimes to me is…unreal.

So yeah…

-Marlon Reid

Written January 8, 2010