“Weathering,” is the natural process by which rock, soil and minerals naturally disintegrate. The key here is that the process is natural, which distinguishes it from Erosion, which is usually associated with wearing down soil due to the movement of rock or the byproducts of the Weathering process.

The key here is that both of these processes diminish what was once solid and tangible. However, one is the result of time and nature, and the other is the result of natural but not inevitable factors. In fact, there are numerous ways to prevent Erosion, and conservationists around the world have made tremendous strides in protecting soil from Erosion.

How does this pertain to men and women’s misunderstandings of each other?

Well… when people talk about “weathering the storm” in terms of relationships, I don’t necessarily think of surviving brief or extended tumultuous periods. It should be quite obvious to most of us who have experienced adult relationships that there are times when you can’t stand the sight of your partner. But to me, “Weathering” in terms of relationships, makes me think more of “Erosion,” in terms of nature. And once it’s gone it’s not easy to replenish. Because trust, and emotions in general, are the most fragile parts of any relationship, I think that any effort to replenish them once they have been Eroded is rife with serious deficiencies.

There are so many ways to slowly wear down a relationship I don’t think I could begin to describe them. So I’ll offer an example in two parts. Two very specific relationships come to mind when I think of Erosion.

I had been dating a special little woman off and on for over a year. It was casual, but not really. I suppose it was an attempt to maintain a phony shroud of independence. This was probably due to the fact that both of us had been through traumatic romantic endings; our faith in, let’s say the “goodwill,” of our respective opposite sexes was less than certain, to say the least. But essentially it just wasn’t one of those “causal” relationships, as neither of us was actively dating or seeing other people (At least as far as I know. Though I trust that she didn’t).

I can remember several instances where I cancelled a planned engagement on short notice, or was unprepared in a timely manner. She said to me that over time, this was affecting her opinion of my word. She said that she needed me to be dependable and that canceling on short notice diminished the quality of my word. Now, any cancellation of mine wasn’t anything like two minutes in advance, but it might have been two hours, or a day prior. I can accept her criticism. Although, in my defense, she was ultra-uptight, and these instances were not a common occurrence during our time together. And also, she had a tendency to do the same when it came to leaving the house, rather than meeting for an outside engagement. If she was working or focused on something it was alright for our plans to take a backburner. But either way, over time, my actions had an Eroding effect on her faith in my reliability. Though I think it was a bit excessive and melodramatic (as she tended to be), I made a note of it and I am conscious of it.

Then, there was this lovely young lady I used to date who had a bit of a selfish streak. Well, not a bit, she had trouble considering the thoughts and emotions of others. Ass-kissing is one thing, but a failure to be considerate is the kiss-of-death for a relationship over time. She actually said to me once: “A man’s pleasure should come from pleasing a woman.” Now, I have no problem pleasing a woman (can you hear me tooting my own horn??), but that WAS her idea of intimacy. She believed that any intimacy in the relationship should revolve around her pleasure, in any and every capacity. It was quite demanding.

After a while, I began to feel less and less intimate when I spent time with her. We even began to have contentious episodes over this issue. After each one, I began to realize more and more that she may never understand how she was choosing to degenerate the communication in our relationship into resentful passive-aggressive actions, and how intimacy became a chore. She actually thought it was connected to something physical. I tried to explain it on more than ten occasions, though she would never listen. Because of her upbringing she connected being independent to being defiant, so she was constantly playing outrageous power games. I don't really think she understood that I wasn't playing the same game. She even thought it was cute to mock me when we talked about it and pretend like it was funny. That was a very tough characteristic to deal with, let alone get along with.

Eventually, our physical intimacy suffered dearly. I became less enthusiastic about our romance because I knew that she had no intention of reciprocating any intensity I initiated. Sometimes, she would even go out of her way to avoid any physical pleasure during any form of an intimate moment to deliberately demonstrate her discontent. Funny enough, she really had no idea that by diminishing your partner’s pleasure you inevitably diminish your own. Intimacy is like a dance. One partner can’t just stand still and expect to be whisked around the room all night long.

Ultimately, it’s important to learn to be conscious of the ways that we Erode our relationships. It’s seldom just one partner, but sometimes, one partner is far more culpable than the other. The difficult part is figuring out which one of you is Eroding the relationship. It’s easy to point your finger. But I assure you, sometimes, the problem is YOU. Has the problem been ME before… probably.

My basic question is this: how often do people realize that they are DIRECTLY responsible for diminishing the quality of their relationship? I mean, we all play the victim with our friends and family, but is that always true?

Man, keeping a relationship healthy is no joke. No wonder so many people’s relationships fall apart. That stuff is not easy. Choosing a partner is serious business.

Peace and Love,



NOTE: I have so many musical and artistic heroes, I couldn’t begin to name them all, so I’ll only mention one: ALICE COLTRANE (The widow of another musical hero of mine, John Coltrane). If you have the opportunity, check out the album: “Ptah the El Daoud.” One of my all-time favorite songs is “Turiya & Ramakrishna.”


I love music. There’s nothing like music. As a young man, I was obsessed with music. I could ignore the whole world and sink into a music-induced daze. Now that I’m older, and understand the concept of Escapism and how it detracts from practical life, I know this isn’t a proper way to behave. But damn it, I still love music.

I love music that makes me think. I wonder if that makes me a Romantic. According to the man in the dictionary, one definition of a Romantic is someone whose thoughts are, “marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized.” If that’s the case, then music can be extremely Romantic.

How does this pertain to men and women’s misunderstandings of each other?

Well… yesterday morning, I ran into a friend and walked with him for a bit. It was nice because I was in a great mood, the sun was shining, and I left home after listening to Prince’s new single, “Black Sweat,” which had me upbeat.

We reminisced about how MTV used to actually play videos and expose people to music (at least popular music). And how it’s now just a janky “reality” station/24 hour commercial, and almost never plays entire videos.

Why isn’t there a show on MTV that showcases up and coming talent from every genre of music at different local venues around the world every week? I don’t know. You tell me.

I guess I’m just dreaming. Although it seems to me that they don’t even give respect to established artists who are no longer under 25 years old, like Prince (a one-time MTV darling), whose last three albums: The Rainbow Children, Musicology, and now 3121, have been entertaining and worthy of popular airplay.

Maybe it’s me, but I sometimes look at popular notions of Romance and music in the same light. Musical taste and artistic taste in general seem to be far less sophisticated than even three decades ago. Similarly, it seems to me that people's basic views on Romance are more crude than some of the most recent previous generations (excluding of course the debachery of Antiquity and the Greaco-Roman era). But maybe it’s just a change in trends. Sometimes these things are generational. I wonder about it though.

Now, I’m not all caught up in the nose-in-the-air connotations connected with the word “sophistication,” or anything like that. By sophistication, I mean an appreciation and understanding of the level of skill, originality, inventiveness, dedication and mastery it takes to produce a piece of music.

Today, it seems that the greatest skill is found seldom in the music itself and more in advertisers and marketers. I must admit, promotion companies are more sophisticated than ever before, and they’re getting even better. Though I’m not sure that’s a compliment to our tastes.

To me, I think Romance can be similar. It takes skill and imagination to be a competent Romantic. I’m a firm believer that Romance can be divested from sexuality. I can think of women I never have and never will touch physically that arouse my spirit, not in a carnally sexual way, but in a loving way. Perhaps that’s why Romanticism is considered impractical; there can be too many contradictions.

I guess the conversation with my friend yesterday morning brought this to mind. My buddy is a cool guy, a true Romantic at heart. That might be one of the reasons he’s a musician. Hell, he carries his guitar around with him everywhere he goes like Linus and his blanket, or maybe Tommy-lee with his groupies.

But here’s the thing…

I wonder if I’m over-thinking this one. I asked him that. We both kind of agreed that sometimes artistic snobbery is at play when people that have art and music obsessions discuss their conception of "Art."

Though I think I have a decent appreciation for music, I wonder if I take time to understand what others are experiencing when they listen music. I wonder if I could learn something from their experiences. Many times, people aren’t listening to music at all, they’re simply gyrating and feeling the back-beats. And if that’s the goal of most popular music, then it’s successful, and worthy of praise.

Hmmm… this is just one of many things I’m not sure of.

All of this vaguely reminds me of Romance, I suppose. I’ve found that most people aren’t really interested in Romance, or practicing it as an art. Most people are just going through the motions, unaware of whether they are genuinely reaching their partner on a challenging level (intellectually challenging as opposed to confrontational).

On a superficial level, I can think of many popular songs that invoke memories; songs that touch me not because they provoke my concept of art, but because they were to soundtracks to important moments in my life.

I'm gonna have to think about this one some more.

Peace and Love,


Romantic Memory Note: I could put a million songs on here for a million reasons. But I tried to find a few popish songs that give me genuine and serious emtional memories.

The song “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” by Green Day, will forever remind of my good friend. I wasn’t surprised to find out that she loved this song. I figured she did. There’s something about the “feel” of this song that reminds me of her. It also reminds her of herself. Weird, how we both knew that before discussing it.

Then, there’s “Cry Together,” by the O’Jays. Apparently, my late Uncle, who passed when I was an infant, loved this song. I think it was playing on the radio when him and my Aunt feel in love, or something to that effect. It reminds my Aunt of him, so she prefers not to hear it. But because of that, I always think of my Aunt when I hear it. And my friends think of me when they hear it, because they know about my Aunt, and that she never remarried.

I love the song “Under the Bridge,” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I met one of band members when I was younger, he was cool. This song also reminds me of one of my best friend. We’ve been through life together since the age of six, there’s a lot behind this song.

I laugh every time I hear “Sweat (A La La La La Long),” by Inner Circle, which reminds me of a vacation my friends and I took south of the border. Ah, the shameful stories I can and will tell at my friends’ weddings. Though I won’t break the Man-code and put it ALL on the table.

There’s “Tuesday’s Gone,” by Lynard Skynard. Aside from my memories of the close relationship I had with my first roommate, this song played before a very important milestone in my life. I can derive a lot of emotion from this song.

And finally, "Ain't No Fun (If My Homies Can't Have None),” by Snoop Doggy Dogg (presently, “Snoop Dogg”). This reminds me of a very close buddy of mine. We have since drifted apart, but this time in my life was fun.

While writing this, I listened to each of these songs, and I smiled a bit, just because they can all still make me feel something.

Ah... nothing like pleasant memories.



I’ve been told that the following quote is attributed to Sir Winston Churchill:

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

There are very few political figures I admire. In fact, I’m not really sure I admire ANY political figure. But on the same note, I still think there are some notable men and women in the world who have made contributions to humanity that cannot be ignored. I think we look up to them because they fought to defend the most important fundamentals.

When I think of how often people’s views change as they grow older, I feel that it’s probably childish to think that having incompatible views automatically makes someone a worthless hypocrite. Ultimately, you can’t judge a man by the least of his actions. Though, you can’t ignore them either.

I suppose the art of judgment is a difficult one to practice. We probably spend our entire lives learning how to efficiently judge the world for ourselves; and especially in matter of the heart, it ain’t easy.

How does this pertain to men and women’s misunderstandings of each other?

Well… In matters of the heart, it seems that people often hesitate when they can and should fight for what they want/need.

I can remember a girl I had a huge crush on when I was a teenager, but I was too nervous to ask her out. Honestly, I must have figured she wouldn’t have been interested, or maybe it was a fear of rejection. Either way, some years later, I found out that she liked me the whole time, but she thought I wasn’t the type to talk to her or be interested in her. Now, I hear she’s engaged and may be living here in Chicago. Ah well… although I can’t go on and on about her being “The One,” I never even had the chance to find out, all because I sat down, when I should have stood up.

That particular episode comes to mind because of a phone call I received from one of my best friends yesterday. We talked for a very long time. For the first time in his life, his heart was truly heavy from that all too frequently nasty four letter word: L.O.V.E.

My friend has spent most of his life deeply immersed in his culture and religion. Well, not THAT deep, but deep enough. It’s a part of him. It’s a large part. He was born here in the States, but spent some of his early years “Back Home,” and elsewhere abroad. But for the most part, his life has been here. Because of that, he often worried about losing that piece of his living culture he desperately wants to preserve.

Up until recently, he had a simple philosophy when it came to dating. He only entered into serious relationships with women he deemed culturally and religiously appropriate for him. But like I said, that was up until now. His current relationship, which began as a casual thing, has blossomed into full-blown love… and mutual love at that.

I haven’t met the girl yet, but she seems like good people. He’s already met her family and likes her father a lot. So obviously I’m happy that he is happy.

It’s something to see. We both always figured he’d marry a girl that was like one from “Back Home,” with a strong touch of Americanism. But that’s not what he found. What he found is a good woman who is nothing like the woman he imagined for himself. He broke his own cardinal rule to serious dating.

But what I find most interesting is how much he has changed. For the first time, he admitted that the whole Old School cultural protectionism thing that he was practicing might have a cost he isn’t willing to bare.

Do you give up a good woman because of cultural/religious differences? I’m not sure. These differences have varying levels of importance to everyone. If what you're compromising is one of your fundamentals, this can cause you a serious amount of trouble and heartache.

This is a tough one. I been there myself. Perhaps I need to do a post on the difficulties of deconstructing a once non-negotiable fundamental as a result of growing.

Peace and Love,



It’s been a while since “Nos” has recorded his thoughts on relationships in blogworld, but first, I’d like to thank everyone who takes the time to read this blog for their kind comments and e-mails. I often thought blogs were silly little diaries before I had one. Now, I still think they are, but I enjoy reading the thoughts and comments of others, so I guess I enjoy silly things. I guess what I’m saying is this: Thanks to everyone, especially those who still stopped by during my hiatus from posting.

In the last few months I’ve been more focused on myself. In some ways, it’s a new thing for me. But all in all, I’ve found that my life is quite interesting and colourful. I’m looking forward to the wonderful weather of summer, and to be honest, “Nos” is feeling pretty good at the moment. I suppose the reason for my good mood might be the realization that it doesn’t rain forever, and even when it does, you can still play in the rain.

How does this pertain to men and women’s misunderstandings of each other?

Well… I’ve heard that every advantage has its disadvantage. Or like the band Poison said: “Every Rose has its Thorn.” I really think that it’s true. While it’s critical to beware of thorns, I’m taking a bit more time to lean closer to the world around me, so I don’t forget that it’s the rose that we covet in life, not awareness of the thorns on its stem.

This is especially true when it comes to people. I think that we often run into big problems in our relationships when we merely tolerate, and refuse to accept the various idiosyncrasies, in our partners, that come with the wonderful attributes that attract us to our mate. I mean, come on, we all do silly and weird stuff sometimes, whether WE think they are nuts or not. It might stem from childhood, family-life, life-experience, or any other emotion-shaping interactions (goods ones and bad).

Because we have to deal with people are they are, even when they act like an ass, I think it’s important to take time to remember the little things that make us love them.

As an example, I’ll offer a short story about a friend of mine.

My friend and I have a relationship much like a brother and sister. That’s how my mother describes it. We speak to each other in a frank and straightforward manner. Plus, we get on each other’s nerves like family. But we also love each other like family. Since I’ve known her, she’s even met my two best friends (one of which she hates. But in her defense, he was unusually obnoxious the day he met her. As a result, she refuses to accept that he’s a good man… which he is). That’s important to me because I always keep one little secret from people: I only introduce people important to me to my family (and my two best friends are considered family. I have known them since was about 6 years old). So all in all, she has been a good friend to me.

I’m not too much into plants, but I have a special plant near a window in my home. This isn’t just any plant; its life has a special meaning to me. In fact, I often take a minute to do nothing more than watch my plant. I know, I know, it sounds silly or girlish, but I have a well-reasoned sentimental attachment to the life of that particular plant. Unfortunately, I haven’t always been the best steward of my plant. But recently, I’ve noticed some new growth. It’s actually exciting.

Now, I can’t take credit for the new growth. While I had maintained the plant, it was my friend who came over one day, noticed it needed some pruning/extra care, and spent a good deal of time sprucing up my plant. I’m grateful for that. I watch that new growth everyday. It really does mean a lot to me.

What the hell am I talking about?

Well… my friend can be pig-headed, insensitive, mean, and can drive me up a wall. But the truth is: I’m sure I have a bit of that in me too. But I’ll be honest, I’m not NEARLY as hot-tempered.

When I look at my plant, which means a lot to me, I can see some of the sweet things she has done for me. So when I think of some of her less than admiral traits, I’m reminded that like everyone else, she has her faults, as I have mine.

I guess what I’m thinking is this: I need to take some more time to analyze some of the sweeter blessings in my life… even if there are some thorns that go with my roses.

Isn’t it easy to forget the nice things?

Peace and Love,