Monday, August 31, 2015

The Dragon? Or the Slayer?

Growing up no one wants to be the villain.  Because the villain in most stories is there to be caught, killed, defeated.  Who wants that?  But we have our own stories to tell, whatever role we are made to play.  Upon the stage of existence, we are all actors.  What role we play is up to us.  Who are you?  Are you a hero, or the bad man.

I choose to be the hero, even if others cannot see me in that role.  I choose to be more than I was meant to be, despite knowing I am not made of steel for muscles, not a genius for IQ, and, not a beautiful man, for charisma.  What others call hero, I might not be.  But I am here to slay the dragon that I've been hunted by, I am not here to be anything for society, I am here to serve the king. 

"Saint George became an officer in the Roman army in the Guard of Diocletian, who ordered his death for failing to recant his Christian faith."

My faith to my king will never come in conflict with my faith, since they are identical.  I am not a hero.  What I am is a person who serves.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Flying the Flag


 "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima is a historic photograph taken on February 23, 1945, by Joe Rosenthal,  AP photographer."

I understand that when the reasons are known and worthy, men and women can and do go to war for the right reasons.  There is evidence of that, it has been recorded, and I am not taking any issue with that.  But there are wars that are fought, seemingly endlessly, for no clear purpose, that seem solely out of the desire to blow up things and kill people.  That I do not understand.  Also, when the motives of a movement, such as that of the Allies in World War Two against Fascism are agreed upon, it is a foundation upon which to act in accord.  But what happens when the facts are false, the motives are lies, and nobody is in the situation for the same reason as anyone else.

Photo not in public domain, used via fair use doctrine, copyright the holder.


What if the participants in a movement are honorable and good, but they face complete annihilation?  Should they abandon the cause?  Is life lived under conditions that do not reflect your morals or world view worth living?  If a movement is doomed to failure, should it never be attempted?  If a person cannot escape fate, should they therefore never try to be free?  I am by no means the person to change the world.  I've dealt with my own demons to the exhaustion of my being.  So it raises a question for me, if I can't, why should I expect or hope for anyone else to do so?  Perhaps we are all facing the very same demons, but under a different name.

By Eugene DeLaCroix
 "Liberty Leading the People" by Eugene DelaCroix is a famous work depicting a flag waving symbol of the spirit of France during the July Revolution of 1830.  The depiction of liberty in revolution is not Anti-France, but rather pro French people, anti- Royalty.  Liberty and freedom are not going to take any more abuses, and thus rise up.

The world has had many moments where freedom, liberty and honor defeated tyranny and racism, and violent nationalism.  So, I know there are movements that worth dying for.  At the moment I am not able to escape my confines and prison (I am once again sick), but when I do I'll go further into that thought.

"Raising a flag over the Reichstag is a historic World War II photograph (by Yevgeny Khaldei ), taken during the Battle of Berlin on 2 May 1945. It is symbolic of the Soviet victory and occupation in east Germany in the closing months of the war."

I won't post links on this blog very often, my intent is to continue to write about my past, present and future, from a personal perspective, and nothing else.  I don't want to be selling anything here.  But, I do know some people visit this blog and do not know why I think I am a writer.  So, for your edification...

http://alexnesspoetry.blogspot.com
https://www.amazon.com/author/alexness  

http://catastrophicmemories.blogspot.com
http://cargocultmodernday.blogspot.com
http://the5thline.blogspot.com
http://poplitiko.blogspot.com 

I can be found on twitter
And my email is AlexanderNess63@gmail.com



"Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory." Douglas MacArthur

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Memory is an Ass

The subject of this piece is memory.  And I've been dealing with a ferocious issue that involves memory.  Since my earliest known awareness, I've had a  sharp edge of clarity regarding memory.  Until now.  And since I've gone through many tests, a number of scans, and have put myself through a number of memory building exercises without any restoration, I have my worries.  As you may read below, memory is both a gift when the treasure is a happy memory, and tragedy when the subject has PTSD, or something similar.  Not all of my memories are horror stories, but sadly, despite losing much of my memory, the PTSD I have remains.  I'll have the test results of where I am relatively soon, and my hope is they'll lead us to treatment and recovery.  If not, the journey continues.  As it always does.

"Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out." Anton Chekhov

I remember visiting my Uncle Leo and Auntie Joan's home filled with cousins for Christmas, and during the summer.  It was a glorious time, and restorative to my soul.  Those cousins remain my closest family.  Another memory that I cannot forget was when my wife and had to go on various long car trips across country.   While Minnesota is home, we took some adventures, short lived, but nonetheless, exciting. We moved to start new, first in Charlotte North Carolina, then later in Casa Grande, Arizona.  The car trips were exciting, and on the way to Arizona we were accompanied by our darling Russian Blue cat Misha.


But not all memory is good, and most of my crisp memories sadly are not good ones.  Time after time I was told something happened a certain way, but it so did not. My parents often recited events from a treasured trope, a well memorized set of details, whether accurate or not.  My family was not, likely, different than many families.  But I chafed at the perceived dishonesty.  When I confronted anyone I was told that I had a chip on my shoulder and that I was wrong and all those things. In a case I showed a person photographic proof, and the person in question said you are wrong.  I said, ok, realizing that the real message was, "I prefer the story over the truth".   I am not a literally minded person.  I am someone who takes the spirit of the law, not the letter, I think of the whole picture, not the detail.  I get frustrated by people when they get hung up on tiny details and miss out on knowing the truth.  But, I cannot cure that in others.  No matter how much I might have ever tried.

An example of someone preferring the story over the truth...  a person who had (and still has) never beaten me in EA Sports hockey for Nintendo wanted revenge, so he brought his PSP and his EA Sports hockey.  I had not played that system, ever, so I said I need to play a game against the computer before I play humans.  I chose the Winnipeg Jets, the computer chose the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Within the first five minutes the bullies of the Leafs knocked out for the game Teemu Selanne.

 Sadly, not only was this a killing blow to my chances, by this time a crowd was gathering, the person with the system, his father, and eventually his mother.  The three were Toronto Leafs fans.  Despite the fact that I was playing a meaningless game, against a computer team, I was in a hostile "arena", playing with my number 1 player in the trainer's room.  I lost 3-0, which, playing the unknown system, in a hostile arena, and yada yada yada, wasn't that bad.  

However, the person who owned the system, 20 years later has told anyone questioning that he beat me, that he beat me 3-0, and that he knocked out Teemu Selanne.   But now, of course, you know the truth.  He either knows the truth and is lying, which I don't think is the case, or, he so wanted this to be the case, his mind created a small leap from the truth to a story.  The fact that he has never beat me is not a big deal to me.  He makes more money in a year than I will in my lifetime.  He is powerful, and successful in the eyes of the world.  I am not, so, for me, it is a small victory, and one that I am content to know the truth about.  He can say whatever he likes, because the truth is considerably different and I possess that knowledge.


I have personally experienced many instances of learning the truth and then nearly simultaneously learning or realizing that the world doesn't know the same.  Many times, the world is not even a little bit interested in knowing the truth.  Whether it was in studying the Bible, experiencing in grad studies epiphanies or mass amounts of information in International Relations trends and statistics regarding world hunger and starvation, Climate Change (on either side of the debate actually) or even the simple argument that people will fight to their dying breath, popularity does not = quality.  People prefer the easy news over the unpleasant information.  I am not above the hypocrisy of the world, I guess I am just more aware of my own hypocrisy, and due to fatalism I allow myself to be paralyzed by the views of others, when I can't change the world.


"About three years went by and I had become exhausted - really at the end of my rope almost - and I thought I couldn't last much longer... and at the very end, when I thought of giving it all up, suddenly I thought it was good. I knew that I now understood something about it and I painted it as easily as you can imagine." Milton Resnick

Control of your memory in the form of stories is about conformity.  By getting you to agree to the stories of your kin, community, country,  you become part of the overall culture.  By rejecting it, you are a rebel, an outcast, loser.  You are not normal.  You SHOULD be normal.  Why can't you just be normal?   I’ve been told, commanded in fact, that I should try to be normal.  But normal in my experience is a big old bag of shit.  I am an outsider and I don’t care to look inside that world.  I am unable to exist in a world that embraces materialism, consumption, and false notions of worth.   The story is preferred over the truth. 

“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.” Edgar Allan Poe

When considering worth, how do you measure it?  Are you a genius? Well great.  But if you are an ugly guy who is a genius, do you get to have a spouse and such?  I know a few who are a genius and live lonely even desperately lonely lives.  Maybe society does value surface level things, and needs to look deeper.

1 Samuel 16:7 "Truly, God does not see what man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord sees the heart.”

Worth is more than personal looks, making profits, and buying and owning shit.  Worth is about what you are inside, are you moral, do you love, do you care for others, what you give to the world, and what you add to the life of everyone who you know. Why do we care about normal and conformity?  The world seems to both cry out for an individual to have a broad individualistic spirit and to crush that spirit and call for strict adherence to herd conformity.  Perhaps the world’s secret is bi-polar.  


Here I am linking my argument about memory to being an outsider versus conformity.  I guess I'll never stop thinking about how I fit in, or, not.  Maybe I should forget about that question, and instead ask, why is it so important to everyone else that a guy who sucks at playing nice in crowds has to join their crowd?  Why should the guy who can't function in group settings join a group and learn how to be amongst others?  I am 51 years old, can't I just accept the truth that I work best alone, that my family are the kin that I want to be amongst, and life is good enough?  Yes.  I can accept that.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Prometheus

I must bear
What is ordained with patience, being aware
Necessity doth front the universe
With an invincible gesture.

Aeschylus


Patience in life dictates that we try to understand what we have done, what we will do, and why things are placed in our lives.  Prometheus gave mankind fire, and paid the cost.  So is it with with humankind, every great discovery comes with cost.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My trail of forgiveness and grudges



Contrary to the beliefs I hold, spiritually, religiously in a savior and redeemer who forgave my sins, for much of my life I held the sins of others as grudges against them.  I held them against them until I could barely hold on... keeping them until I could no longer keep track of the many I had.  I am not writing this blog to redeem or save others, but rather, provide a profile and memoir of my life due to it being placed upon my heart to record it.  Therefore I will assume people who are interested will look into Christianity and Jesus Christ for the particular lessons of forgiveness and redemption involved here.

I am by no means perfect as has been recounted in many of my previous entries.  I am flawed beyond belief.  But, I've reached a place in my journey as a person that knows who I am and I do intend to influence if not control how I express myself and how I hope to be perceived.  People often place their attitudes towards a person into words, and then recall saying it and call it to be a fact.  In some respects I've never cared how others view me in the way that, well, I am who I am, and I won't apologize for it.  But, I do indeed care when some people judge me, often repeatedly and unfairly because of my outlook and refusal to conform to societal norms. Most people do not understand my journey, nor do they assume with any sort of generosity about my intentions or past motives.  This is not to say I blame them, I think life is life, and no one owes me a fair judgment.  But at the same time, there are things people say or do, that hurt me, because I care about them, and they did not give me the consideration of a fair or kind or even normal consideration before declarations.

People are not always wrong in their judgments towards me.  I recognize that.  I also know, that people, friends, family or not, are not always being ungenerous.  Life can sometimes be harsh, so can truth.  But also, sometimes no matter what you do, your intentions, results, and efforts cannot be seen.

In my life I have seen that the most utterly flawed are aware of their flaws.  Judgment upon their unchanging flaws and their permanent issues is very unfair.  But, how much in the end, how much judgment does an adult really want to hear?  If you are even modestly intelligent, you likely think about what you do in life.  If you are moral you have a conscience.  Judgment from others isn't going to help you grow, or help you understand a situation more, except in the most rare of exceptions.  The most hyper critical people in life are the most fatally flawed, and utterly, I think, personally without worth.  They cannot see worth in others because they are so without esteem they pick apart others to give them some sort of sense of better, in the context.  But they've simply ignored the grave absence of worth in their soul.  They are ugly, soul inward, body outward. 


One grudge began when a person endangered my son when he was 3 years old. The jerk never apologized, and, well, worse he acted the fool and tried to avoid any responsibility.  Since my son is now 16, and my sole treasure in life outside of my cats, and wife, I hope you can understand, I do not trust nor like him. Sadly, since he is family, it has caused issues.  I still have not forgiven the jerk, despite my stubborn but probably false belief that I am fully clear on the forgiveness front.  I just find it impossible, no matter how often I pray for help to do so. This is a battle I fight, on a daily basis, against long odds, with me as both the defender, and the aggressor.

In another situation, a person took extreme displeasure with my opinion found in a work I wrote.  I said in the preamble of the work that if the readers disagreed that I had no issue with them, but that the issue in question was one without wiggle room.  I don't wish to revisit the debate, other than to say I was arguing that a certain use of a phrase was Anti-Semitic.  It is/was.  I have no doubt that it was.  Moments into the person responding it was clear, he believed that I was calling HIM a racist for saying that a phrase was wrong, illogical and by the fact of its common mis-use, was Anti-Semitic.  He called me a Fascist, an asshole, and many other things.  I do not care for his work, nor he, now, mine, but, prior to this moment, he was full of phrase, constant seeking after my approval, and reassurance.  A debate about poor word use, and my refusal to budge in this fashion, caused me to make a person who is probably not a racist feel backed into a corner, and come out swinging both fists, verbally so...  I have no ongoing grudge against this person, but at the time I was unwilling to forgive anyone who might be an Anti-Semite.  So I refuse to be as generous towards him as I wish others to be with me.

This isn't a great new discovery.  It is an ongoing, ever gaping vacuum, that I have.  I need to improve upon this area of personal development. However, I will say, I am a person who grew exponentially in terms of maturity when I forgave the person who hurt me the most in my life at the age of 25.  I had nothing to "gain" by doing this.  The person seemed to be able to "escape" his due for hurting me for so long.  But, if you love in life, it does not matter what others do with the love you give, what matters with forgiveness is that you give the forgiveness and give up the debt.  Life immediately changed.

So, as a matter of spiritual truth, I know the power of forgiveness and how it has helped me move forward in my existence.  As a matter of personal confession and weakness, I can't forgive everyone who I have been wounded by.  I cannot forgive the aforementioned person who endangered my son.  I haven't forgiven the people involved in an incident that hurt a person I love 4 years ago.   I cannot forgive myself for not continuing to attempt to keep in touch with my friend Cathy, who killed herself almost a year ago today.   I hold a grudge against people who forgive others for doing the same thing I did, but not me, because I am supposedly more mature.  We all have flaws, and I am flawed as much or more than others.  I hold a grudge towards the people who caused my PTSD in grade school, and my first year of summer work during my college years.  Living in fear is not fair.   I realize this might seem a list of people who I might be angry towards, but I promise, it is my list of people who I need to work towards forgiving.  A journey of a person interested in personal growth is not easy.  I pray that I survive, the road is long, and the travails upon the path are dangerous.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Siblings


I mention my parents a great deal, with good reason, since they were a great part of who I became.  My brother, who was also adopted, was the reason, in part, that I survived my childhood, mentally and spiritually.  Now, he wasn't perfect, and he wasn't necessarily always looking out for me.  But, what he did was recognize that some portions of life were too difficult for such a sensitive person like me, and helped to deaden the blow.  He also included me with his friends, shared, and while life wasn't easy for either of us, he taught me through doing that reading books and comics was a great way to fill the mind.

I realize that he got the rotten end of the deal.  I am not much to offer.  But nonetheless, I am his brother, and I appreciate what he has done for me.

We didn't really fight.  I know boys challenge each other, and there was a little of that.  But overall, we didn't struggle.  We did unite in our efforts in life in some ways.  Of course, when you are young you don't altogether know what you are struggling against, or trying to achieve.  I do know that I dedicated my portion of the work I did in the book LANCELOT to him.  He was the person who embodied the concept of the knight who was loyal, but flawed.  He defended me.  So I have been blessed by having him as my brother.

"Men of all countries, unite into one family! Love is the mother of life, not hate!' My brothers! I hear this message sounding through the world!" Maxim Gorky

Saturday, August 8, 2015

My world collapsing in upon me


My first 35 years have been much different than my last 16 years.  I have belonged to dozens of social justice groups, religious gatherings, and communities.  I often spent my time and energy to help, but I always ended up feeling chewed up and spit out.  Since then I have long tried to stay aloof from the world.  I believed that if I ignored politics, the troubles of others due to war and conflict, and focused upon my family, my work, and my belief system that the world adjust to my refusal to participate.  Because of course, I could still pray, I could still read and keep abreast of the situations, right? Well no.  By doing nothing I might be allowing evil to flourish. 

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."  Edmund Burke


But the world doesn't follow rules I lay down for it to follow.  In fact when I suggest that there are rules the world tends to ignore them, or worse, behave exactly the opposite of what I'd prefer.  Does the world have a personal stake in my mental well being?  Is there an ego crushing protocol that becomes triggered upon my mental statement of purpose that I must be undisturbed by the outside world?  It sure appears so.

“Mine honor is my life; both grow in one; Take honor from me, and my life is done.”  William Shakespeare


So then, truth demands that I consider the implications of the events happening in my world.  I can volunteer.  But I am sick more days than I am well. My body is falling apart.  I also have mental disorders that make life even more difficult regarding dealing with people.  So I am better off learning and researching a subject and then writing about it.  But then I learn that almost every subject that harrows me, that hurts my heart, is controlled either by the Left or the Right, and whoever is in control of the White House is the side you can guess is the scientist's lean.  So I have to sift through shit.  People argue endlessly and I am not an expert.  However, I do know what shit is.   In general, my Political Science degree holds up well when I read the baloney spewed from politically motivated science.

"Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it." Albert Einstein


I was invited twice to run for political office, twice to be a city council member, and less politically, once to be a school board member.  These were never possible for me.  I would have truly given them my greatest effort, but, I dislike interacting with people.  I am an introvert, I do not trust people who have motives different than my own, and I am not willing to play games of compromise.  I do not hold the cards close to my chest and bluff and card count.  I let people know straight out what I am about, and game playing does not work with me, nor for me.

"Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive." William F. Buckley, Jr.


“Fail to honor people,they fail to honor you; but of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aims fulfilled, they will all say, 'We did this ourselves.'” Lao Tzu

I am not a leader.  I am not a follower.  I exist.  So perhaps I will be seeking a different role in the future. Or, perhaps, that is what I am doing.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Hope Madness


I've assumed many false things in my life. I've spent years floating in the ether of belief in those false things. This isn't an epiphany moment.  I do not believe in anything that I regret, I do not regret anything I've believed.  My body is fading, my mind is losing memory.  So, I am becoming aware, quickly of how I am not going to be here upon the earth to mend my mistakes, or create anything new that will be what I am remembered for doing.  What it was that I assumed was that by the time I reached my later years is that I'd find out that people would be good, moral, and basically kind.  I think some people are surely kind.  I think many are moral.  But after dealing with bullies, seeing the hatred of others, watching the world fight over the crumbs left over after a wealthy person eats a donut, I have very little belief in the world's overall kindness.  I do believe that people vote according to their pocket book, much as the people I know who are GOPer's tell me, but I do not think they do so in any way that is a good thing.  I think they do so because they are either looking to survive or because they are greedy.  I do not blame the wealthy for creating or seeking more wealth.  I think they are not under any aegis to do anything for the poor.  But as Christ said there will always be the poor, there is no reason not to extend compassion to them.  It is not as if they will disappear.

My parents were from a different era.  They lived and made it through the Great Depression.  In order to not be destroyed they made do.  And their outlook was part of that.  They would say that people are basically good.  That is not a bad way to think.  But, while I think that view upon life is healthy, hopeful, and good, I don't think it reflects reality.  And more and more, I think what reflects reality is that people seek pleasure, they seek comfort, and that they seek to avoid hard choices.  Life is way too hard, and it gets harder with every choice avoided that is hard.  We complicate each problem with more, with every decision to ignore the 800 lb Gorilla in the corner.  I am not being specific because I am not referring to any single issue.  We have plenty of issues that this applies towards.  I regret that I can't think of life, people, the future in the same way as I used to any longer.  Hope is too hard to hold.  It slips through my fingers.

Now, you might rightly read that and assume that this mindset thing is all about me being depressed.  But it isn't.  My depression however, might be about the mindset thing.  That is, when I began to see the problems before the world, and saw how we were dealing with them, I lost some of my hope.  I have said, in public, and certainly private, that hope is dangerous, because it possesses with it the potential to cause the person with hope to crash.  It can hurt you because if you hope, you also have expectations.  I have some hope, because if I was without hope, I'd go completely mad in fear for my son's future.

I do not have control over his generation's hopes.  I say this because there are reasons to worry.  War and rumors of war challenge us.  Drought and famine kill thousands. Disease and plague return to destroy life  I refuse to surrender but there are more issues yet.  Global warming might happen, or a mini Ice Age might take hold.  I just know that a great deal of issues remain to cause concern.  And as a person who sees life and events as needing to be understood and interpreted through word and rhyme, I am stunned by the array of issues that exist.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Learning and Life's Lessons

My dad was certain that I was going to go to college.  The reason was that he determined that I was one of those 'college' kids.  He never said it outright but he didn't really like college kids.  He saw them as people who were not normal, they thought about things he didn't care about, and he saw them as useless outside of doctors and astronauts.  It wasn't an insult, he never directly thought about it I think, but he did tell me, "people like you talk about things that don't make sense".  He would, late in life, say things like Alex is different, he isn't like the rest of us.  I know he meant that in a good way.  But, until he got used to the fact that I was me, he didn't mean it that way.

I am a person who didn't do well in college in the beginning.  My world had been very small, enclosed in a very controlled environment. I hadn't developed an ability to live alone, work well on my own, and deal with being in forced solitude.  But some of that fell under the weight of a situation that had circumstances that should never have existed.  That said, year one was a disaster.  And the lesson I learned was that you can write to people, and call them, but if you are not in their physical presence, you are not there.  You are invisible.  Friends turn to dust if they were never truly friends.

But, year two taught me a great deal more.  I had gone from a college near home, and family, and former friends, to a university 5 hours away, with no familiar faces, no means of escape, and I had to either adapt or die.  I met my two best friends that year.  And had experiences that would follow me to this day.  My professors were miles and miles ahead of the previous year, and I couldn't get calls at 6 am from concerned relatives trying to motivate me to go to college courses.

And I learned more than scholastic lessons.  I met my wife.  I learned that people will treat you poorly if they can, and that people can do great things as well.  The college courses that I took were incredibly eye opening, and beyond anything I'd ever engaged prior.  There were events that had happened in the past that I had never been exposed to, and I'd never have believed if I hadn't been exposed to in university.

The biggest lesson I was taught, was that whatever I might believe, and think, there are many millions of people in the world who think the opposite and don't give a shit about my beliefs, and how sincerely I believe in them.   Everyone has personal experiences that effect their outlook, and simple words do not change that.  People need proof, and facts, sometimes more.

I also kissed my first woman then, and had my first real date in college.  But depression really stole my chances for a good time in college.  Life is like that, you move forward.  It is all you can do.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Love

Through my teens and into my college years, I refused to love as in "being in love" despite wishing to be such.  I knew that once I fell in love I would never be able to fall out of it. It wasn't that I was drawn to evil women, or that I enjoyed being hurt; I wasn't afraid of who I'd find. It was that I wanted to be able to have a rational choice as well as an emotional and, well, physical, choice to go along with it.  Some of this is from being an INFJ on the Myers Briggs personality scale. I'm an introvert, I am emotional, and I tend to use intuition as my guide posts.  The woman who I became best friends with is not an INFJ.  She is logical and an extrovert. She uses her intellect and rational mind to make her decisions. And while this sounds like a recipe for disaster, and it can be harrowing, there is a way to view it...  and understand it, by using Star Trek for the templates.

I am a Klingon poet warrior.  I am a large being, 6'4", I am passionate about my beliefs, I have made stands about things I believe in.  I have, in fact, been aggrieved by others for my choices.  I write poetry, from my heart, and refuse to let others be my voice.  I have no issues with self esteem because I am aware that people have their own, and often, false standards for judgment.

My wife is a Vulcan science officer.  She is beautiful but seems distant, has a difficulty interpreting emotions of others, but is very bright, her logic is often without flaw, and she loves problem solving.  She hates mysteries, not because they are difficult, but because she wants to know the answer to everything right now.  She is also not worried about being held in esteem by others, because she is too busy enjoying life's mysteries.

Neither of us have figured out the other yet.  Sometimes that is delicious.  Other times that is a horror story.  We do, however, try to talk about everything so that we are understood between us, and we try to understand the situation from the other's point of view.  It isn't easy, it isn't always fun, and our differences can be divisive.  But our difference can also be complimentary, and bring our strengths to bear directly upon problems.  When my son was growing up he had two parents with completely different skills using those skills to help him navigate through his education.  For reasons I won't get into here, he needed both of us, and he needed a lot of our support.  I look back and thank God for his grace and mercy for how well things turned out, because it could have gone much differently.

I fell in love with my best friend.  She took longer to convince, but, I've been in love with her and have acknowledged it, since July of 1985.  At this writing that makes it 30 years of me loving her.  I am by no means perfect, and I admit that I've fallen, failed, and have enormous flaws that have hurt us both.  But I believe I've also been a good husband.  Sometimes things happen in life that are destined to happen, sometimes things are coincidence, and sometimes you seem to make things happen by your choices.  At some point I decided that I was going to love my wife Beth.  And despite things both of us have done, I've not quit loving her, ever.  I think the vast difference in who we are, and who we were prior to marriage via families, countries of origin, culture, class, and more, were all bound to interfere with a perfect love.  But in retrospect, they gave us tools for reflection, and informed choices for the future.

Love is a complicated thing, but when you do understand it more than lust, more than comfort or like, it is beyond wonderful.


You rebel you

I am often told that I think too much.  When in my mind people do not think enough.  I am told I feel too much.  When in my mind people d...