My Ruminations: Me A To Z II
This post was inspired by another blogger’s post. But, I can’t for the life of me remember who! That is one of the reasons I enjoy blogging as much as I do. I become inspired by what others write. View Part I here.
I have done list posts before about me. The first one that comes to mind is a post titled 40 Impressions of Me. Quite a while ago I also wrote A Few Things About Me. And, COMING SOON: Me A to Z ‘Dislikes Edition’, you definitely don’t want to miss that. I’m not pulling any punches with that installments.
So, if you are crazy-excited about learning more about your humble writer, hurry up over to those posts. Writing Me A to Z really made me think about who I am and what I truly love about living my life in this crazy world. So, without further ado, here is Part I of my list.
N- Nazareth. The first hard rock album I ever listened to was Hair of the Dog. I think I was only 12. I had just been removed from my abusive home and put into a small group home for boys called Stepping Stone. It was there that I first found acceptance among the long-haired hippies. They played loud music. They enjoyed nature. They taught me how to smoke. I think the first pack was Carltons. They treated me like their kid brother. Dare I say, it was perhaps the first time in my life that I didn’t wake up every morning shell-shocked and petrified. My favorite song was Hair of the Dog, or “Now You’re Messin’ With A Sonofabitch.” Keep in mind, I had never before ever heard music like this; it felt like my soul was set free.
O- Obelisk. First of all, it’s just a cool word. An Obelisk, according to Wikipedia, “is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape or pyramidion at the top. Originally they were called tekhenu by their builders, the Ancient Egyptians.” I have seen many cool shows about these structures. Here are 4 cool facts I found about Obelisks: 1. Built by the Egyptians and associated with the Egyptian sun god. 2. Was used in the first calculation of the circumference of the earth. 3. True obelisks are made of a single piece of stone. Obelisks were really, really hard to build. 4. The oldest remaining obelisks are as old as recorded human history. Check this fascinating post about Freemasons & obelisks.
P- Poetry. You probably already know it, but I sure do love poetry! Check out the Poetry Foundation website for everything poetry. I wrote my first poems in 1983. I was 19. I did not fully appreciate poetry until I attended college, in beautiful Plymouth N.H. I was an English Education Major, because the most influential adults in my younger years were always English Teachers. As a college student I was introduced to the likes of Frost, Shakespeare, Byron, Keats, Shelley…and the list goes on. I did end up teaching H.S. English one year, and I graduated Magna Cum Laude; something I am proud of. I have a penchant for the Romantics overall. I also enjoy Sylvia Plath, e.e. cummings, and Ogden Nash. In the mid 2000’s, I actually built a wonderful online paid community called World of Poets. I just noticed that @worldofpoets is still online at Twitter. It was going really well until my arrogance got the best of me, and the money ran out. I wish I could have seen it through. Oh well, still got poetry!
Q- Quitter. As a youth, I would start things with vim and vigor and then lose interest. Throughout my life boredom has been the Devil’s workshop; nothing good ever came of it. I have unwisely quit more than a few jobs; however, and this is not an excuse, mental instabilities and alcoholism had a lot to do with that. From the moment I left the Youth Detention Center at age 18, to this day, overall my life has been enduring and fighting. Time and time again, life has beaten me down. Over and over again, my self-sabotage dropped me to my knees, and nearly killed me. When I cried out for help in the bathroom on Weirs Beach, razor blade cuts to my wrists, I made it to college. In ’88, from staring down the barrel of a .357, to enlisting in the Military in ’91. In ’98 from a loaded gun in my hand, to successful Automotive Manager. You get the idea. I’m no quitter. The only thing I quit is alcohol. My resiliency is a tattoo I wear proudly. Perseverance is the scar on my soul. Fortitude a daily mantra. Survival a badge of courage.
R- Rebecca. My wife. My love. My life. I met Rebecca (Bec) via my blog way back in mid-December of 2016. She found my poetry alluring, I found her nature blog exciting and refreshing. We went from sharing likes, to emails, to texting, to videos, to visits, to marriage in 2018, to mother of our child, Stella in March of 2020! She is from Belgium. She is the only person-other than my Aunt Sue-who has loved me unconditionally from the jump. She is a wonderful artist. She is a great photographer! Bec is the only person who knows all of the ugliness I tried to hide from everyone else. Very early on I decided that, in order to find a genuine authentic relationship, I had to get honest and get real. Although I faltered on a few occasions, I am proud that I allowed myself to be truthful and honest with her. She has been in my corner ever since we met. She didn’t know it at the time, but in December of 2017, when I was suddenly and inexplicably fired from my job at the VA in Colorado, her presence in my life saved my life. I was that close once again to that dark passenger, suicide. She is my best friend. She is my best human. She is incredibly strong. She is a fantastic mother. She is beautiful. She is sexy. She was, is, and will always be, the very best person I have ever known.
S- Stella. Oh my beautiful little girl, Stella! Oddly, sometime in 2017, I drew a picture for my wife of our “future” family (no, I am not the artist that my wife is). In that picture, was a girl with an ‘S’ above her head. I did not recall the S until I just recently unpacked the picture to get it framed. How cool is that? We named her Stella–as in Stellar–because we both love the sun, the stars, the moon, etc. My wife gave me the loveliest, most precious gift I could ever have hoped for: my darling little girl. She was born on March 13, 2020, right when the pandemic started taking off. There are not enough words to describe the joy that she is to us. She is a healthy, precocious, happy little girl who brightens every corner of the room. Everything that I am, everything that I do, is to ensure she has a future full of promise. I do get a little sad that I will be 75 when she is just 20; however, I always wanted to give Rebecca a child almost from the beginning. I will make everyday with her count as though it were my last. I just hope she keeps all the books I’ve been collecting in the family, lol.
T- Tom Brady. Tom Brady played 20 years in New England. He took pay cuts some years, to allow the Patriots to add additional teammates for runs at Super Bowls. And what did they do? They failed to allow Brady to retire as a Patriot. That pisses me off. Watch a great video about the arrival of Brady and his cohort, Gronkowski, in Tampa Bay. That’s why I uploaded a picture of him in a Tampa Bay uniform. The hell with New England. Tom Brady is the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time). Period. And how’s it going over in New England? Ha, they have a losing record for the first time…well, in 20 years. The year before Tom Brady became their quarterback. Check out the milestones Brady set with the Patriots, not counting 2019. And the records he holds. And he’s not done yet folks!
U- UFO’s. I have had a fascination with UFO’s since Middle School. I think that folks who believe that we are the only intelligent beings in the universe, are deluding themselves. And the government has not done anything but fan the fire, through their denials and coverups. If you ever get the chance, watch some of the Ancient Aliens videos put out by the History Channel.
V- Veterans. My Grandfather is a Veteran of both World War II, and the Korean War. I am a Veteran of the Persian Gulf War. My oldest son, Nick, is a Veteran of the War in Afghanistan. In the photo is Nick, me, and my Grandfather; the little girl is my mother. I have always had a deep and abiding respect for the military, and the Veterans who served. It still pisses me off that the Veterans of the Vietnam War were disrespected so horribly. It wasn’t their fault that MOST of them were DRAFTED to fight in a war that they did not believe in. Anyway, next time you see a Veteran, try a handshake, or simply “Thank you for your SACRIFICE.” Because to me, military men and women have had to sacrifice a lot in order to serve this country. For me, saying “Thank you for your service” sounds disingenuous. For me.
W- Writing. I believe that I love writing so much because I read so much. As far back as I can remember, I was always reading. My favorite class was English. I graduated college with an English Education degree. See my transcripts here! I loved grinding away on a term paper. Researching subject matter and creating good writing is something I have always been passionate about. I’ve written sales training manuals for the automotive industry. I received an Army Achievement Medal for the manual I created for our Reassignments Division, back in 1992. It is because of my love for writing that I won my Disability Claim with the VA It is because of my writing that I successfully executed–and won–a Federal Tort Claim against the VA in 2019 (yes, I will be sharing that with you in future installments of my In Recovery Series). Writing has gotten me to where I am today. Publishing is next!
X- Adieux. It’s the best I could come up with for the letter x. It is the french word for goodbye. I chose it because I think the french language is beautiful and elegant. And it’s not because I am of french heritage. Interestingly, my family ancestry can be traced far back into France. I’ve been to France, and I have to tell you: if you have never been, you owe it to yourself to visit this incredibly beautiful country. I visited France with my friend Jack, sometime in 1992. My wife and I visited France in December of 2019. Visiting the burnt Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, and the Eiffel Tower with her was really wonderful.
Y- Yin/Yang. I like the concept of duality. The Tao Te Ching encapsulates this perfectly. You can read the entire Tao Te Ching at the end of this post! It’s also free to download. Read it if you want to truly expand your mind! It’s about not being able to have the one without the other. The concept of yin and yang speaks to me of balance in the universe. Think about it, the most important aspects of life have duality: cold/hot, dark/light, good/evil, love/hate, death/birth, order/chaos, etc. Even nature, that fickle woman, has two aspects of duality: summer/winter and fall/spring. There is a wonderful dance of duality happening within and without us. How many different aspects of yin and yang can you think of?
Z- Zygote. I would like to celebrate the zygote i.e., the fertilized egg cell. Encyclopedia Britannica has this eloquent explanation: “Zygote, fertilized egg cell that results from the union of a female gamete (egg, or ovum) with a male gamete (sperm). In the embryonic development of humans and other animals, the zygote stage is brief and is followed by cleavage, when the single cell becomes subdivided into smaller cells.” If you’d like to learn more, and I will tell you it was quite fascinating to read, visit Wikipedia. Just think, every single human being on this earth was once just a zygote! Felicitations to all my brothers and sisters of Zygote! Ok, enough said.
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