November 22, 1963

On November 22nd, 50 years ago I went out from school at lunchtime and tried to jump from one big rock to another over at the river. I landed short, with my right leg jamming up against a sharp nodule in the limestone rock and puncturing a hole in my shin bone. Mr Couey didn’t like the looks of it, and sent me home for my Mom to decide whether or not for me to go to the Dr. My Aunt Shirley and my Grandmother Stewart were spending the week with us, and Mom was pouring peroxide on my wound when Cronkite came on TV saying the President had been shot. My Mom dropped the peroxide bottle, and my Aunt started to cry. I didn’t get to go to the Dr. that day and I still have that scar on my shin. I call it my Kennedy scar. I got another scar that day too…the scar that occurs when you are hit hard by the realities of life at 13. Things would never be the same for the rest of the 60’s. I loved that decade, and those wonderful youthful years, but there was always a seed of caution resting in the back of my brain somewhere, just waiting for some dire announcement to cause it to germinate into full blown cynicism at the world in which I lived.

Explanations of Life

It’s blustery, gray and quite cold this morning, so I guess my walking will have to wait until this afternoon. I’m somewhat tired anyway, after a night of vivid dreams, some disturbing….some more docile and sweet.

I don’t claim to know much about the mind. In truth, I think I don’t know too much at all in reality. Our human knowledge is limited, and although we think we are constantly expanded it, I wonder if our expansion of said knowledge is in the wrong direction. For the most part, we are always looking outward with our research and development. I think we should be looking inward. After all, we do not even know what it is inside of us which leaves us at some point, and causes us to become inanimate objects instead of animate living things.

For sure, science has their own explanations, but for me they are incomplete. I just have this nagging and unexplainable feeling that we are missing something about life which is right there in front of our face, but which we cannot quite grasp, or quite explain.

Sometimes I even wonder if dreams are our actual reality, and what we live in our “waking” hours is something else entirely.

Silly isn’t it?

Well, it’s just a thought.

Hal 9000, the super computer, asks Dave in “2001: A Space Odyssey” right before he turns him off: “Will I dream”?? It’s an honest question.

I wonder if we will when we are turned off?

The Firsts and Lasts of Life

I dreamed a strange dream a few nights ago. Paula and I were in the “hereafter” so to speak. We were both young again, and we were in this huge empty house. Paula was sitting around playing the guitar and singing! “When did you learn to play and sing like that?” I asked. She replied, “Do you think I watched and listened to you for fifty years without learning something?” “I guess not” I said.

The house was huge and beautiful, but empty. I seemed to sense instinctively though, that it had once been full and joyful…and that it would be again one day.

It’s strange what our minds come up with in dreams.

During this time of the year we all see the beginnings, and the endings. The firsts and the lasts. The first Thanksgiving and Christmas for some little ones, and the last for some. Some perhaps expected, some unexpected. “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”

I get emotionally caught up in this vortex of life we all have going on around us constantly, and often forget what I should be all about. I get sidetracked by the everyday humdrum racket of Social Media going’s on, and jump out there with stuff I should just keep “in my heart”. I gotta watch it.

There are firsts and lasts happening this year. There are holes in the fabric of Joy we naively weave around the holiday season left by those whose last, was last season. We fill those as best we can with those tiny, beautiful “firsts” who have come into our lives. We gotta do that. We also need to look around us this year very closely, and tell those around us that we love them. It’s easy for me in some cases, but a little harder in others, although it should not be. It should be unconditional. It’s my burden to bear that I cannot be as kind as I should be, that I cannot be as forgiving as I need to be. I thought about that very thing this morning while I was walking, but then ran off the track before the day had ended. Ah, the nature of humanity constantly wars against our need to be more loving. My fifth grade teacher used to punish us by making us write a particular sentence by longhand either 500 or 1000 times on paper, and turn it in to her. I need to write “I will be a better man” 1000 times by tomorrow and turn it in to God….Maybe then it would stick.

Having now rambled on far too long, I have said all of that to say this: love those around you this year. Be kind to them, and enjoy your time together. Most of us will be able to do that, but there are many out there for whom the holidays are a toil. Children get abused…cruelty runs rampant. If you find any way to help someone for whom the holidays are not a fun time, please do it.

As for me, I’m practicing more on my guitar starting tomorrow because in my dream of “heaven” Paula was playing and singing a lot better than me.