(From Season 5 Episode 1 “Sovereign”)
Something happens at around 92 miles an hour.
Thunder headers drown out all sound.
Engine vibration travels at a heart’s rate.
Field of vision funnels into the immediate.
And suddenly, you’re not on road,
you’re in it, a part of it.
Traffic, scenery, cops…
just cardboard cutouts blown over as you pass.
Sometimes I forget the rush of that.
That’s why I love these long runs.
All your problems, all the noise, gone.
Nothing else to worry about except
what’s right in front of you.
Maybe that’s the lesson for me today
to hold on to these simple moments,
appreciate them a little more.
There’s not many of them left.
I don’t ever want that for you.
Finding things that make you happy
shouldn’t be so hard.
I know you’ll face pain, suffering, hard choices,
but you can’t let the weight of it
choke the joy out of your life.
No matter what, you have to find the things that love you,
run to them.
There’s an old saying.
That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
I don’t believe that.
I think the things that try to kill you
make you angry and sad.
Strength comes from the good things…
your family, your friends, the satisfaction of hard work.
Those are the things that will keep you whole.
Those are the things to hold on to
when you’re broken.
(From Season 5 Episode 5 “Orca Shrugged”)
It’s hard not to hate.
People, things, institutions.
When they break your spirit and take pleasure in watching you bleed…
hate is the only feeling that makes sense.
But I know what hate does to a man.
Tears him apart.
Turns him into something he’s not.
Something he promised himself he’d never become.
That’s what I need to tell you.
To let you know how hard I’m trying not to cave
under the weight of all the awful things
I feel in my heart.
Sometimes my life feels like a deadly balancing act.
What I feel slamming up against what I should do.
Impulsive reactions racing to solutions,
miles ahead of my brain.
When I look at my day, I realize that most of it was spent
cleaning up the damage of the day before.
In that life, I have no future.
All I have is distraction and remorse.
I buried my best friend three days ago,
and as cliché as this sounds, I left a part of me in that box.
A part I barely knew.
A part I’ll never see again.
Every day is a new box, boys.
You open it, you take a look at what’s inside.
You’re the one who determines if it’s a gift or a coffin.
(From Season 5 Episode 12 “Darthy”)
There will be days when you’re forced to make decisions
that affect the lives of everyone you love,
choices that will change you forever.
You reach an age when you realize that being a man isn’t about respect or strength,
it’s about being aware of all the things you touch.
Children face inward,
wallow in their own selfish needs.
Men face out, take action on the needs of others.
I’m at that place, boys.
I’m staring one of those decisions in the face.
It looks back at me with historical eyes and it calls me a coward…
It wants me to crack and run from the service of my fate
like a broken boy.
Today, I will not do that.
Today, I will be the man my father tried to be.
I will make you proud.
(From Season 6 Episode 1 “Straw”)
I feel like my life has taken a turn.
I’m heading down a road I’ve never been on before.
Nothing is familiar.
The signs don’t make sense.
Do I get off the road,
or do I keep riding?
Do I go alone
or take others with me?
Who do I trust for the journey?
I now understand why being a leader requires isolation.
I have to remove myself from those whose lives were affected by my decisions.
Those I love… as well as those I hate.
It’s getting more and more difficult to be a brother
when my decisions are the ones a father has to make.
By the time you’re old enough to make sense of this life,
you’ll know everything about me,
the things I’m proud of and the things I regret,
and then you’ll be faced with your own decisions.
And as much as I want to help you, tell you what to do,
those choices will be yours alone.
The only advice I can give you, sons,
is to examine who you are as men.
Figure out what’s important to you.
Know what’s in your heart.
Don’t be swayed by fear or history or the opinions of outsiders.
Find your own truth.
It will lead you to the things you love.
(From Season 6 Episode 13 “A Mother’s Work”)
There are lessons to be found here,
but mostly, I do this so you can know me.
Lately, as I write these, I realize they are as much for me
as they are for you.
This is the one place I can be completely open.
The pen and paper has no judgment.
It simply receives my truth
and allows me to turn the page.
And today… this is my truth.
I am terrified a great deal of the time.
Afraid of what I’ve done,
of what I’m doing, and of what I might have to do.
It’s not a crippling fear.
In fact, it’s just the opposite.
I thrive on it.
I crave it.
I need that rush of terror to get me out of bed in the morning.
It’s in my DNA.
I have tremendous remorse for the acts of violence I’ve commited,
both planned and spontaneous.
But I think what brings me the most sorrow
is that I’ve learned to justify this behavior.
I always find a reason, a cause,
a need that allows me the karmic lubrication
to stuff my guilt into its savage compartment.
I’ve become the thing…
the one I hated.
And with that awareness comes periods of days,
sometimes weeks, when I have to avoid looking into a mirror.
My self-hate is so deep, so palpable,
I fear I’ll lunge at my own image,
shatter the glass and cut myself with shards of broken reflection.
Since my best friend was killed, I’ve lost my center.
Ope was always my pull back to true north.
Now my doubt and sense of fraudulence bark
so loudly in my head that most of the time
I can’t hear anything else.
Love, camaraderie, freedom…
all the things I want from this life are lost in the din.
Forgive my indulgence, sons.
But today may be a day we both remember.
A defining day.
And I want you to look back at this entry and know that
at the very least your father was completely honest.
So you know I speak the truth
when I tell you that you are the most important thing to me.
I will never hurt you.
Never abandon you.
I love you, Abel.
I love you, Thomas.
More than anything or anyone.
I always will.
Everything I do is for my sons.