Friday, July 31, 2015

Red, Blue or Nothing.

 “Do not wait for the last judgment. It comes every day.”   Albert Camus

I do not think politically.  I think in terms of moral movements.  When I think about politics I try to think in terms of the outlook held by the parties in power regarding the governed, ethical standards of taxation, honor, and law and order.  I do not suggest that I have any insight that makes me able to look into any leader's heart, or soul.  But I do consider the manner in which they speak versus act, the degree to which they reveal their motives versus how they act, and how they act towards those without power, without a voice, or without any ability to do anything other than exist.  The choices made towards those who have no advocates reveals the leader's heart within.

"When ice appears out of doors, and boys seize it up while it is solid, at first they experience new pleasures. But in the end their pride will not agree to let it go, but their acquisition is not good for them if it stays in their hands. In the same way an identical desire drives lovers to act and not to act." Sophocles

I do believe that the political minded people see the world differently than me, and seek to aim the movements and momentum of power in those without power towards their favor.  The belief in the heart of the typical citizen can be stirred to action.  Patriotism can be riled to action.  People who fear power in the hands of the state often fear and distrust patriotism.  However, every side of every political avenue of power utilizes whatever means it has available.  Patriotism is just one of those avenues of power.

 “Be not the slave of your own past - plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

The decisions made are one thing.  Why they are made is quite another.  And then, how they went about it is quite another.  My father told me that he thought that I was one step to the right of Pat Buchanan.  My father in law, who is a very bright man told me in the earlier days of familial relationship that I was a lot like Edward "Ted" Kennedy.  The point here is that both thought quite differently of my motives, but could have thought my goals were the same.  A professor in university who I respected deeply, but differed greatly, introduced me to another professor as someone who wants to get the same things done as she did.  The end goal therefore is not the same when we measure a person's interest in power, as the reason they wish to do, whatever that is that they want to do. I do respect both Kennedy and Buchanan, btw.  I am drawn to people with deeply considered ideologies and personal philosophies.  I had signed photos from both, and had them posted in my office.  When people of a certain political persuasion visited, they almost certainly were confused by the dischordant presentation.  But had they asked, I'd have told them what I just said here, I appreciate people of deep conviction and principle. 

“What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine."  Friedrich Nietzsche

So if I don't care about who has power, and do not pursue it myself, how do I see the world?  Isn't it all about power?  A professor without much else to recommend him for, came up with slogan, people in history were motivated by:  Gold (money) God (beliefs and values) and Glory (recognition and ultimately power).  I would add to this Love or loyalty, because otherwise you could not explain a variety of selfless actions or behaviors.  I think there are perhaps others, but I haven't found them in direct form yet.  I keep searching.

"The long unmeasured pulse of time moves everything. There is nothing hidden that it cannot bring to light, nothing once known that may not become unknown. Nothing is impossible."   SOPHOCLES

So, how do I vote?  Don't I end up screwing myself?  Wouldn't voting for moral people regarding politics result in a catastrophic failure?  Someone who knows me relatively well said me voting is like having Andrew Dice Clay being at the head of the National Organization of Women.  Perhaps it is.  But what I call myself is a Monarchist.  The reason for this is not because I believe there is a King on this earth who will reign well.  It is because I trust God, I believe in Jesus, and I hope as a result.  Human politics and figuring out how to govern, without graft, abuse, scandal, has been going on since humans have gathered in tribes, villages, social units of any sort, or even, as a world community.  We still haven't figured it out.  So I vote to try to help or do the least harm.

“People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.”  ALBERT CAMUS

I am conservative in how I've lived my life.  I have only had my wife as a sex partner.  I've never done illegal drugs.  Although I've been drunk, and acted idiotically, it has been the exception not the rule.  I've chosen to live by a code, and I've, for the most part, stuck to it.  This isn't, however, intended to judge others.  Everyone has their own path.  My path is one that I've stuck to, despite a great variety of temptation.  I've lusted, I've hungered for more and wanted for things I should not pursue.  But, I have not acted upon that.  When I vote, getting back to the question, I do not follow my personal path.  I follow that which will help the most people, in the most ethical or moral fashion, and in such a way that won't violate my beliefs.  So I am a Monarchist who has no earthly king.  In the absence of that, I am loyal to the US President, whatever party.  I would not support a Hitler or Mao, or Stalin, but fortunately, we've not reached that point, yet.

 " Sic ego nec sine te nec tecum vivere possum." Ovid

The reason for my writing about who and what I am, why I believe, and where my path leads, is not an exercise in vanity.  I've simply faced too many people who accuse me of being of capricious whim in my views, and being shallow.  I assure you, those are false accusations.  If you were to say, Alex Ness is a jerk, well maybe.  If you said Alex Ness is full of crap, possible.  But I think deeply on those things that move me.  We only get so many years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds to carve out our existence.  I intend to make my life worth the effort.

"In his arms, my lady lay asleep, wrapped in a veil. He woke her then and trembling and obedient she ate that burning heart out of his hand. Weeping I saw him then depart from me." Dante Alighieri

"Everyone knows that time is Death, that Death hides in clocks. Imposing another time powered by the Clock of the Imagination, however, can refuse his law. Here, freed of the Grim Reaper's scythe, we learn that pain is knowledge and all knowledge pain." Federico Fellini

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Listening to Mentors

My parents used to always complain that I couldn't accept criticism.  This was strange because in my reports from work and from university, I was said to be a happy warrior, not questioning the orders, and doing what was requested.  I was told by some that I was a good worker or rather a self starter.  That isn't, actually, very true.  When alone I tended to get bored of the task at hand.  But aside from that, if it was a job that I could do, I would do it, usually to my best effort. Taking criticism is a skill that requires a person to be humble in ways, and to have a hunger for wisdom.  I never accepted being told to do something that was foolish, or, to force me to work for the sake of work. There are people who see labor as being good, for whatever the reason, and that isn't true.  Arbeit macht frei is a German phrase meaning Labor will bring Freedom.  My mother and father believed this.  If they saw a person reading it gnawed at them.  That person could be raking or shoveling or mowing or doing any number of things.  This reading business was unproductive, at least, to them.

I think that being honest with yourself is critical in your development of your maturity, intellectual honesty and wisdom.  If you lie to yourself you will have false beliefs about goals and end results that will be misleading.  Having a mind that is open to sincere and honest effort, even if that results in failure is far more productive and honorable than false notions of success, and redefining the desired end goal. This isn't written to shat upon my parents.  It is to say, who I am is someone who wants now and needed to know things, to make correct decisions, and to accept and understand advance about life, so that I could build a foundation for further development.   My future depended then upon the arrival of four people in my life at certain times.  When I was 22 years old I was a failure.   I did have some flaws of DNA, of anxiety, of acquired issues leading to trauma, but many of my failings to that point came from three reasons.  Loneliness, Lack of direction, and Magical thinking each caused me to believe I was a martyr, I was being punished, and I had no future.  These were never true, but because I was not able to know different, yet.

#1 UNCLE LEO: Then I lived with my uncle and auntie for a summer.  And for the first time I had the input into my life from an adult male "parental" figure who was constant, generous, loving and honest.  If I was asked a question and gave a stupid answer, he'd call me out, or cry bullshit, at the same time, he helped me understand the world by giving me hope to get through everyday events, and to have an outlook of positivity for future endeavors.  Instead of being torn down on a daily basis, he told me I was better than the world.  That is, I knew that if I was to lie or exaggerate about an issue, he'd say bullshit, but if I were to tell him I was being chased by a gang of people with crow bars and tire irons, he'd hand me an aluminum bat and go into battle for me.  He believed in me.  He was the first person to do so. People don't really seem to understand that having been given up for adoption and then ignored mostly by the adoptive father, I felt rejected by my first two fathers.  This was my first father figure who did what I believe fathers should do.  In many ways, it healed me.

#2 COUSIN JEFF:  Shortly thereafter I spent summers staying with another family, and this family's father took it upon himself to help me develop a moral and ethical framework of life.  It was just as important in the long run of my life and first mentor mentioned above, but it was different.  I was moved by the fact that good parents can be human, make mistakes, be hurt, be angry, but, at the end of the day they are accountable for their words and actions.  By apologizing or owning their words and actions, they allowed their children to become whole after small fractures of fighting or hurt happens.  A good parent or adult even, isn't problem free, but they make right what they had made wrong.

#3 PROFESSOR RON: In my personal academic mental growth there were people who demanded that I should ape their beliefs rather than discover information, consider it in theories, and then analyze it all in a cogent and clear argument or thesis.  Yet in university what I learned was this: (that is, outside of the facts and ideas regarding the meanings of the classes being considered) it is far better to learn what you need to know and damn the end resulting grades, than to be graded poorly for a poorly argued and unbelieved thesis that you never believed.  If you are going to be shot down, be shot down for what you think than to try to regurgitate what someone you dislike wants you to memorize so that they can stroke their tiny Academic member mental cock when you try to recite their bullshit beliefs or ideas. 

#4 PASTOR MARK:  And once you move to the later stages of your existence, do this, find someone who loves children, and in a good way, of course, and find out, how do they maintain their hope.  How does that person continually pour positivity into their child/children? Do they have the outlook of life from an ego of putting their imprint upon the world by creating a bunch of children carrying that person's DNA?  Life is more that eating, sleeping, shitting, labor, and play.  How and why does this person do it, and find it a mission to send out their children ready for adulthood to be whole and happy people? 

I fail a lot.  I am not able to always be the adult I believe I should be, but it is my weakness not the lack of mentorship that is the reason.  If I had not had these special four people in my life, I'd never have survived. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

What if you complete your quest only to find out, THE KING IS DEAD?

I am a person who has seen his life as a journey, but also as a quest.  The journey is from birth here upon the planet to the afterlife, wherever that might end up being.  The quest is only slightly different, however the difference is important.  In my quest I seek to find moral truth, while being good, kind, generous and honorable.  Those are all traits I need to fulfill my journey, but it is the quest that allows me the purpose to fuel my effort.

I haven't found my journey to be quickly or simple, nor my quest an easy one.  I stumble, fall, I make enormous mistakes, and I allow myself to be tempted.  Despite the love I have for my wife, and the fact that I find her beautiful,  I fall victim to lust more often than any other temptation.  I am a work in progress, I fail, and am still working upon my final form.

All of this is to explain my metaphor of being upon a quest.  I explain it because I've been mocked by non-Christians, particularly militant atheists who say I am missing out upon the best things in life because I've been brain fucked by Christianity.  They have said what if you limit yourself and follow all of those pointless rules and regulations, and in the end, there is no god?  When one found out that I was virgin upon being married, he said wow, what a waste of testicles.

Others pointed out that I might be spending all my life pursuing moral perfection, excluding things, limiting others, and choosing various ways to avoid temptation, when what is true might be something very different.  Well, in that case, I'd rather be wrong.  I realize that people are not all in accord, we all serve different masters.  I serve my Lord for reasons others won't understand.

Long after I am gone, this world will still be here spinning upon its axis.  The same debates will endure and survive.  Whether I am in another form and with the previously fallen saints, or in a new form and being used for a new purpose, I have no idea.  I didn't write the book I believe in.  I am not God.  I serve my king, King Jesus.    And that is enough for me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

So why bother at all...

"It is better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees"

Emiliano Zapata

Although a number of people thought of me, and told me so, that I was rebellious towards authority, I was not.  I treated authority with respect, and had no issues with people being of higher authority than me.  I had issues, as most people do, with people desiring to be followed for no good reason.  But, that is not the issue I am going to discuss.  I am a square peg.  I am not a conformist.  Therefore I am almost always going to fail.  The world demands round pegs, to fit the round holes it has to fill.  Being someone who fails I recognize that I will not always fail, but there is a term describing this disease.   I suffer from fatalism.  With chronic depression, social anxiety, PTSD, and more, it is very easy to assume that whatever I attempt will end in failure.  It kept me from meeting a great many people in life, or trying to discover who was interesting to me.  I forced the world to pursue me.  And that isn't healthy, because not all who pursue are holy in their quest.

"cedere nescio"
I suffer from fear of others but, strangely, not fear of the unknown.  I can accept failure, I fail regularly.  I do the things I am supposed to do, I endeavored to achieve scholastic goals, and I tried to gain employment with the degrees I had.  It never happened, I failed.  My father assumed I failed on purpose, he actually told me that.  I had place 300 resumes and made follow up calls, I drove around the Midwest applying, and the jobs in my field were not going to be given to me, I was not made for them.  My grades were mediocre after having suffered from the various issues already mentioned, I had other issues unspoken, and honestly, if you can hire a European history/American history teacher in a community college you win.  I was a World history/Asia/Ancient history fella.  I taught a year course for some teens, I tutored, and I did work one semester in US and European history at a community college, but, those were temporary.

"Cras es Noster"
The failing though, of finding a permanent job, was not an Achilles like wound.  Because I was then allowed to be the stay at home father for my son.  My wife made far far more money than I could even should I have been an adjunct faculty member at a community college.  But they didn't really want me to teach in their schools for reasons I mentioned prior.  And then, once my son grew into more than a toddler I found out that the internet made my introversion no longer an issue.  I was able to use my skills as a writer to join society, being shy was no longer chains around me, and I began to become a person I felt that I was born to become.

I might never achieve a great work, but as a poet I've exposed my soul, and my heart to every viewer/reader.  Every wound is visible, every love is clear to see.

So why bother at all?  Because I had hope.  I hope.

I used to blame hope.  Because hope without fruition is actually quite painful.  And the more you hope, the more potential there is for failure.  And the more you fail, the more chances there are for losing everything, including hope.  So, I measure hope with fruition, but, also, I realize much of life is not in my hands.  In fact, I believe that deeply, without even referring to any religious truths or beliefs.  The world outside my mind and heart seems to function upon an ideal that you can make a difference.  And perhaps one can, but it requires a great deal of factors to be in your favor before it happens.

But, even then, I bother at all, because I have hope.

“It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Trust, Faith, Hope

“Progress is the life-style of man. The general life of the human race is called Progress, and so is its collective march. Progress advances, it makes the great human and earthly journey towards what is heavenly and divine;”    Victor Hugo

Since the beginning of human awareness, of writing, history, and an awareness of the progress of time, the desire in the elite of humankind for progress has existed.  And there are of course exceptions, but, progress can be measured by technological advancements, intellectual achievements, and societal progress in the form of lower mortality rates amongst children, lower mortality rates amongst women giving birth, longer life spans in each gender, and other important but less statistically testable progress.

"Human progress is furthered, not by conformity, but by aberration."  H.L. Mencken

You didn't read there that I mention a growth in the religious wisdom or progress, or anything similar, right? As much as I personally value highly the contributions of faith to progress, and of faith to the better social progress in particular, many people do not.  ((My bias should be known, I talk about it a lot, I am a man of faith, in the Christian faith, of no particular denomination, but somewhat Lutheran in flavor. ))  There is a fair reason for some of this desire to leave faith from the equation of progress. There have been many wars of religious affiliation, wars of crusade, wars of conversion, wars of genocide, in the name of "God".  Although, undoubtedly, many of the wars would have happened under different guise, such as racism or national identity, those who carry faith of many sorts bear a burden of the past.  These continue in the present, wars of religious identity, and the past and present both, and memory of that have destroyed much of the progress, if perhaps only the perception of, that religion has contributed.

Stepping past that question, I ask, if you have to trust, the religious would say they trust God completely, and they would do so with a feeling of certainty about their trust.  The atheist, or agnostic would reply that trust in science can be proven, while God cannot be.  In addition, science exists and is able to be tested without the need for faith, trust or hope.  This is mostly true.  The recent debacle of false test data in the vaccination/autism controversy, and the accusations regarding the data involved in global warming, whether it is true or not is not the point, science has its dark sides too.  (I believe in Global Warming, and I had my son vaccinated.)  This is a point only to say, nothing is so clear cut, so black and white with regard to such big views.  The most intelligent people I've met were all agnostic, which to me was honest, they felt that without proof you could not deny or declare proof.  So I am aware that the Trust in Science views are not altogether wrong.  They aren't wrong.

“Furnished as all Europe now is with Academies of Science, with nice instruments and the spirit of experiment, the progress of human knowledge will be rapid and discoveries made of which we have at present no conception. I begin to be almost sorry I was born so soon, since I cannot have the happiness of knowing what will be known a hundred years hence.”   Benjamin Franklin

No one can or has proven that God exists.  But, from my experiences, from my witness of others, I have seen things that others would call "coincidence" or "unproven" or not miraculous.  I honestly know from experience what others cannot experience.  OR I should say, haven't experienced.  I am not an apologist for faith, either.  I am someone who exists and who has a story about his life that has been a miracle, for reasons most people will never know.  Not for asking, but, so much of what I've experienced is not something I can give to another person.  But I am writing this blog to expose my soul, in every way I can, so that when I am dead, it cannot be said that I failed to try to do that very thing.

Science is not inconsistent with faith, or belief, unless one requires their beliefs and trusts to be completely consistent.  If you are a person who only believes in what you can prove, then I am sorry for the things you've been missing, and will miss.  But as you've told me, (people who believe this way) I am the one who is going to learn in the end, how very much I lost by believing in ghosts and that funky Jesus magic.

I trust science, and I believe that God could have brought about life upon the Earth or Universe through the process of evolution.  I believe that every aspect of the discoveries of science are not anti-God, but rather, by confirming that there is a law/order about the world, beginning at the pre-atomic level, that something magnificent must be responsible.  I am content that this won't be shared by either side of the debate of Science or Faith.  But, frankly, I don't care.  I believe in a big God who can do anything.  For me this is not self confirming inductive studies, it is something much deeper, and much less false in goal.  I do not lie to myself in any way.  I know I am somewhat fat.  I am emotional.  I am not able to deal with the business aspect of existence.  I've never cheated upon my wife, but I've lusted other women, I do that rather often in fact.  I am a small being, who has his whole life seen the magnificent power of God.  I've never heard a news report and thought Holy Shit, God doesn't exist or anything similar.  Science was a means to find out about the world and universe.  God gave us brains.  He obviously expects us to use them.

I say all this not to prove I am some big ass great Christian.  I am just saying, life offers us a path to something much bigger, eternity.  I plan to know the mysteries that I now am frustrated by.  I plan to see planets born, and galaxies blossom.

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, July 13, 2015

SCOUT: Masterpiece in Sequential Art

The comic book SCOUT by Timothy Truman was the first comic book that made me cry.  Not because it was so bad.  Not because it was an emo comic meant to evoke tears or sorrow.  I'd read long running comic book series with emotional content.  I'd read very well written and well illustrated works.  Timothy Truman's Scout was a story with an ambitious back story, a mythology, action, and it was a depressing prophetic future tale.  And the most touching portion of the complicated, magnificent tale, was the main character, while powerful, bright, and heroic, he was a father of two boys, who longed to be like their father.  He was also accompanied by a totem, a spirit animal from whom he learned about an inner journey and path through their guidance.  There was a beginning, an end, and hope for a new beginning here, with a background strewn with opportunities for more stories.  I tell people to read it, but, they think comics = superheroes.  This isn't that.  This isn't an action movie either.  This is a story filled with guns, spiritual growth, alternate futures, and fantastic art, and thoughtful writing.
 There have been TPBs of the series, but only of the first two story arcs.  The first two story arcs from Eclipse, then 20 years later the same two by Dynamic Forces.  I'd like to see a collection of the first series SCOUT, then a complete collection of the second SCOUT: War Shaman.  Then, when these are complete, perhaps the stories that have been hinted at by the highly talented Truman might be birthed.

There were ancillary series and books to read that are not by Tim Truman, but they are still quite good, and worth researching for the value of how they add to your reading pleasure.


As a Child I Had Dreams

I remember my first memorable dream.  It involved clowns, and it was a nightmare.  But after that I the dreams I remember began to teach me what I could never have learned in the short few years I had been alive.  I remember being a warrior, in the time of the golden age of Greece, when the Persians invaded, and all of the Greeks bonded together.  True, I didn't know the backstory, or any of what I just said, perhaps I'd seen a comic, an advertisement for Spartacus or the 1962 movie The 300 Spartans, I don't know.  But I do know that from a very early age, I dreamed in color, and my dreams were mythic, epic, and glorious.

I wasn't always in combat in my dreams.  I didn't always play the role of a great warrior.  I remember being a slave in the galleys, rowing and rowing.  I would suggest that is likely a memory from Ben Hur, but wherever it came from, I was alive in the past.  I didn't want green army men for my toys, although, I liked them, and played with them, I had them already.  I wanted Roman legions, Greek hoplites, and their enemies.

I remember too a very vivid dream that for a 9 year old was extremely interesting.  I am unsure the source of it, as far as, how I collected the information I used in it.  I am certain it wasn't my "brilliant" mind, as a child, despite my IQ a number adults, my father included, thought I was rather slow.  I really wasn't, what I was was an introvert (MBTI: INFJ) who didn't fit in the world where I'd been placed.  Sorry, that was a tangent.  I dreamt that I was at the head of a unit of Roman legionnaires and we had ended up upon an alien planet.  It could support human life, but it was curiously absent of any life other than us, that we knew of.  So we built a new Rome, and it was spectacular.  But the summer storm that hit kept me from learning what happened to it.  I guess that is why I am a writer, to find the ending inside me.

I do believe that we dream from the start as children, then teens, into our later years.  I've seen my baby boy (now 16) asleep on my chest, deeply in R.E.M. cycle, and he would break into chuckles at the dreams he was having.  It was completely adorable, and also, it reminded me of my trips to the dream lands.  However, as I noted, my first trip DID have clowns, and it was memorable enough that I still have fear left over.

I refuse to complain, though.  Dream land is a place I want to visit, and when I am depressed or filled with sorrow, it is my sole refuge from the pain of life.  I cannot visit it often enough when I am in pain and grieving.  So, I just have to accept that it isn't always easy to find, and I might be able or might not be able to go there. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Seeing a Miracle Happen

My brother and I were glued to the television in July of 1969.  Our big ass color tv (it was owned by our grandpa who was living with us due to his having a stroke and his wife our grandma having had health issues) generated a great deal of heat, to a point that you'd avoid television in summer, simply because the heat, in an unairconditioned home, would become unbearable. 

But what was going on was amazing, and real life heroes were doing something that had never been done before.  They were doing something on live tv that could end with their deaths, but we were kids, Americans, excited, believers, and we knew they were going to succeed.

We lived in a period of time when Americans proved that they could do the impossible.  We believed that the Vietnam war wasn't lost, it was not bothered to be won.  We saw changes in all areas, and we were told that we could be and do anything.  The children we were as optimists and believers would become and would learn that life wasn't going to be as miraculous as we thought. 

However, knowing what happened, before our eyes, was something that you could not take away.  And while there are many reasons to point to the worst of human behavior and worst in Americans, there is the power of seeing a miracle that cures and changes your outlook.


So who I am, is someone who as a 5 year old saw a big miracle.  I saw many great things, before the world shared its sorrows too.  I believe a foot is left in the dust of the moon.  And it remains there.  That is a miracle, of sorts.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Someday when I die

I think about Death, maybe even a lot.

If a person reviews my blogs they will undoubtedly see that I think about death.  I will die, obviously.  Every person does, no one makes it out of this place alive.  We are made of meat, flesh, and our existence here is temporary.  Our time on earth is not enough for some people, it is a time of suffering, and we learn to experience our senses, including all forms of pain, all forms of joy, and the emotions of joy, sorrow, humor, anger, and many others.

I do not know why it is done this way, outside of the fact that we clearly have to learn, to experience, and to endure.  I live but, how much I've learned, that I do not know.

In my life I most trust my best friend Russ, my wife Beth, my son and my cousins.  There are others who I trust, or who have been important to me, but I mention these people because they allowed me to achieve the few things I have in life.  And, my writing is how I will live beyond.  What I am doing is trying to create a body of work, once I get to a place worth getting to, that my son will be able to collect, and be able to sell.  By doing this he will be keeping me alive.

I am not worried about dying.  I am in grave pain, but I am not afraid.  Pain is temporal.  It will pass, and I will either get better, or not.   What doesn't pass, and what isn't temporal, is my love.  I love my wife, I love my son.  My family, and all those who have become part of the family structure I've built are not temporary included in the foundation of my home.  I am not a wealthy man.  I am not a person who has had great "luck".  But what I've learned is that I have lived a life that has been fortunate, and I've had a son who fulfills the needs of being a parent.  My wife and I are different, so different that I don't think the term soul-mate works.  We love, even love forever and ever, but, I don't know if we were meant to be.  We just were us, and we love.  And that is by no means wrong.  When death comes for me, I might be reading a book in the park.  I might be taking a bath, with my cat next to me, waiting to cuddle me when the water drains.  Or I might be asleep.  Or working in the fields, unaware of the reaper's approach.  But I will be ready, because my heart is going to be ready.

“Somewhere in the world there is a defeat for everyone. Some are destroyed by defeat, and some made small and mean by victory. Greatness lives in one who triumphs equally over defeat and victory.”

John Steinbeck, The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

This Life, This Existence

There are already people who consider me so self involved and self interested that I speak about my body functions so as to keep others updated and to express myself about the smallest minutia in order to capitalize upon anyone's attention, towards my being.   I am not however that way.  Not to go deeply into the arguments, I have a body situation where my guts don't work, so they occupy a great deal of my attention.  I speak about them not to point others towards me, but to speak.  I don't assume anyone cares, or frankly, should care.  And regarding minutia, I spent a childhood with a father who ignored me, and who thought I yabbered on and on, about things that never mattered.  Therefore, to me, I have no desire to monopolize your attention, I am simply speaking.  I assume anyone is able to stop reading, I certainly am able when I find a blog or article that offends me or worse, bores me.

The purpose of this blog is to write about my life, however much that seems self interested or not.  I have been told that I have a story of a warrior's journey, of a ignoble birth, catastrophes, suffering, and in the end, a victory.  I say I've been told this because I have no great perception of having celebrated a victory in the end.  And I do, actually, feel like I've reached the end.  I used to have many friends in life, many people who wanted to work with me.  My work felt like it was worthwhile.  But in 2012 when my mom died something happened to me.

I lost my will to thrive.  That is, not to not survive, but life did not matter as much without my mother in my life to see it.  If you call me a mother's boy, ok.  If you think I was a big baby, or feminine you'd be wrong.  I am, however, very sensitive.  On the MBTI of the Myers Briggs test I am an INFJ, which is not only the most rare type, it is also the most emotionally sensitive type.  In other words, I was sensitive, and life's experiences made me even more sensitive and gave me more reasons to be in pain. 

This is a first entry to this blog.  There will be more.  I don't have a set number of entries, nor a distinct purpose.  I do want to lay my life before you, but not so that you'll love me more, or want to be close to me, rather, to see who I am, as the poet I think I am and trying to be.

There are a great many people who I love and admire in this world, many living, some dead.  I like to use quotes to bring clarity to the points I am trying to make.  Obviously, but important to make this distinction, no one's quote used in my work is an endorsement, unless of course, they are endorsing my comments, works, blog, whatever.

I live in the United States, in a place called Minnesota.  It is cold still in winter here, despite Global Warming, and it is a beautiful state.  I doubt I'll ever move from it.  My wife is the big bread winner in our family, I've worked over 30 jobs in my time with her, but only rarely have I made anything like money, and usually only enough to cover the gas and never enough to pay for the crap I would take for being such a moron in the real world.  I have three brain disorders. I have a hip disorder where the muscles or socket, I don't know, are not tight enough and my hips can, rarely but, not rare enough, go briefly out of socket, causing enormous pain.  I have had cancer.  My blood sugar is high but I don't seem to have diabetes.  My body throughout has horrible arthritis, particularly in my wrists, elbows, neck and back.  My lower back is messed up badly with a herniated disc, and I was told I should consider some proactive choices to make certain things don't all go bad.  So I'll maybe some day buy a book, sit in a chair, eat a couple donuts, and drink a beverage and decide no.  Then I'll tell the doctor I considered it.

I have a lovely wife, she is a redhead with Scots Irish lineage, and she is very very bright.  My son looks enough like me that some people called him mini-Alex after the hilarious character in the only relatively funny trilogy of movies of Austin Powers.  I have cats, one who is beautiful and she knows it, Sophie, and the other who adores me, and is wildly loving and innocent, Katya.  I've always had cats, never dogs, never fish, never birds.

I have a Master's degree in History with a minor field of Political science.  I studied a broad area of history, actually, not focused in depth as many, and the field in particular is called world history.  I taught for a short while with it, but I am not a typical teacher, nor lecturer.  I haven't the patience.  But through my poems I do hope to teach.  Perhaps not in a straight forward way, I try to express some truths that I've learned.  If nothing else I believe that my work does offer answers to questions regarding existence and eternity.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Messenger and the God who Devours

"All over the Universe! I can feel them! They're all dying! Billions upon billions of souls are blinking out of existence! ... Not one knew what struck them! Horrible! I could taste their dread and confusion!"  Silver Surfer (as written by Jim Starlin)

Deep in space their exists a being with powers that are so great as a God. His hunger is great, he is called Galactus, Devourer of Worlds. Time after time he would crush and sup upon a world, destroying the energy, the life forces, and more, in an effort to quench his hunger. Galactus's need outstripped his ability to sup, so he sent out heralds to seek living planets for him to devour. Some of the heralds acted as good soldiers, doing their duty, enjoying their power to span the stars and be a God's herald. But some, especially one, did not. Norrin Radd of Zenn-La offered his services as a herald, a living servant for the Galactus. The offer was accepted, and the Silver Surfer was born.
Among the planets the Silver Surfer finds is earth, but not only is it filled with life, it is willing to fight for its survival. Along with the fact that the Surfer continually realized he could not find planets with any living being that he could, in his conscience, allow to be devoured. He saw life, all life as sacred. His home was devastated by Galactus after siding with earth versus the Devourer. Zenn-la was ravaged by Galactus. The Surfer punished for his rebellion, and the world would often face the unsatisfied hunger of the being Galactus.

The character Silver Surfer was created by Jack Kirby, and he appeared in a Fantastic Four story as a bit of a surprise to the writer of the stories, Stan Lee.  The two then fleshed out the world of the Silver Surfer and Galactus.

There have, over the years in the comic book review world, been some thoughts that Stan Lee saw Silver Surfer as a Christ figure. But, if one is familiar with the Christ story, while there is a story of sacrifice and great suffering for his people, the true parallel figure is that of John the Baptist, the Messenger who heralded the arrival of the God who would change the world.

Please go over to Amazon and check out the many freaking awesome works about Silver Surfer, and Galactus.  Especially Parable, by Stan Lee and my favorite artist Moebius.