Archive for the ‘death’ Category

2012 in review

December 31, 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see
the complete report.
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Thanks to all those who visited AMRFP in 2012. I make a resolution to be more active in 2013. Happy New Year and stay tuned, there is more to come!

Check me out here as well: http://voices.yahoo.com/ordinary-sightings-celebrity-people-11955689.html?cat=2

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Bone Island Abattoir / Part 1: A Pilar Preamble

January 9, 2011

Author’s note:  This is the fourth book of The Shades of Hemingway series.  While reading this installment, Bone Island Abattoir is complete in itself, it is recommended that the reader search out the begining of this incredible story…

~

It was a perfect dream to be awakening on the Gulf waters, the waves pitching the Pilar in a slight, bobbing loll alternating back and forth as a watery hammock. I could not have imagined a bluer sky devoid of all but a slight willowy wisp of clouds swirling off like over sprung, cotton corkscrews. I was seated in an elevated Windsor styled wooden chair with an enormous fishing rod clutched in my hands. A gruff, familiar voice spoke from behind me.

“Better cinch that belt down tightly there, Sport. You latch onto a black marlin all loosey goosey like that and it’ll pull ya ass over tea kettle right into the drink! …along with that expensive rod and reel of mine!”

I spun around to face the person speaking to me. It was Hem, grinning and pointing a large cigar at me with all the bravado of a salty sea captain. Standing at the wheel was a man I recognized to be Goyo, his expert guide and companion.

“We are going after fish that are big enough to pull me off this boat?” I asked in disbelief, still trying to figure out where my dreams had taken me this time… and why. I was far from the confines of Jake Barnes and the Villa Vinales de Eden.

“Not just any fish, Sport… marlin! Best game fish on the planet! And yep… powerful enough to net ya up and over topside; hook, line and sinker!”

“Hem, I don’t think I’m prepared for this!”

“Relax… all you need do is hook ’em. Pilar and Goyo’ll do the rest!”

Hem came up and helped me tighten the harness that held the fisherman to his seat. He was robust and crusty, wind whipped and sun blown with a canvas billed cap perched atop of his head. The swaying of the Pilar seemed to jostle his mood and sent him sauntering to the ship’s console like a half drunken pirate. Goyo placed his hand to the throttle and eased us forward. I faced our slight wake with morbid trepidation.

“What? Where are we going?” I yelled, startled at the boat’s growling gasoline powered engine slowly trolling us forward.

“There’s a school of shiners off our port side, we’ll try to get around behind ‘em with our backs to the sun.”

“Why?” I shouted. I thought the fish came to us. All of my fishing experience was on a lazy river bank back in the Midwest under a shade tree. The actual act of catching a fish was only secondary to the art of incidentally fishing.

“Marlin like to follow schools of fish but if we don’t position ourselves right the sun will keep him from spottin’ your bait.” Hem spoke as Goyo steered, allowing his voice to be carried back to me by the hollow of the cowl overhead. “We get too close and the fish will scatter. We’ll get your hook behind ‘em and troll for a bit… might get lucky.”

“Where’s the school? I don’t see anything!”

“Look off to your right! See that area of little smatterin’ fish tails breakin’  through the water with them seabirds overhead?”

I turned in the fighting chair, looked to my right and sure enough, there was a span of nearly half a football field filled with minor disturbances just below the surface of the water as white gulls drifting in the updrafts above. No sooner had we placed my bait behind the school of shiners did I get a strike. The reel revved like a small motor and spun out hundreds of feet of fishing line. The marlin vaulted out of the water twisting and turning.

Immediately I panicked. “What’ll I do?”

“Let him run with it!” Shouted Hem as Goyo maneuvered Pilar to circumvent the marlins escape. Instantly the line went limp.

“I lost him!”

“No, you didn’t! I’ll tell you when you’ve lost it! Reel in that line!”

I tugged and pulled while I clasped the reel in my excited fingers, working the line back around the spindle as quickly as I could. Just as Goyo had swung the Pilar around and I had reeled in a mile of fishing line, the marlin bolted once again. The rod lurched forward as the line screamed off the reel.

“Loosen up that drag!” Bellowed the voice behind me.

Next thing I knew Hem was at my side pouring the contents of an iced drink on the fishing line remaining on the reel causing the steam of a miniature Mount St. Helens to erupt. Instinctively I pulled back on the pole that appeared to be on the verge of snapping in two. Time and again I recoiled the line only to have the big fish repeatedly surge lightning fast through the waters pulling hundreds of yards of yarn with it. Seemingly hours of battling the marlin passed and yet the sun hung motionless in the sky, as if Joshua himself had petitioned the God of Israel to make it stand still over the plains of Gibeon. Goyo expertly maneuvered the Pilar anticipating the direction of my catch, allowing him to run unhindered but still well within our control.

“Easy, Sport… let him run! All you can do is out last the big fella.”

It was the marlin’s last surge and somehow Hem knew it.

`“Out last him? What on earth… you mean until he’s tired and gives out?”

“Marlin fight to the end, Sport. It’s not uncommon for them to be dead or dying by the time you’re all through.”

“But why? What is the sense in that?”

“It’s in their spirit, hard to break that in nature.”

I am spinning the line back in now as rapidly as I can. Just as sudden as the fight had begun it seemed to be over. Soon I could see the massive fish coming up towards the surface just off the stern of the Pilar.

“Okay, I’ve caught the fish, now I’d like to let him go.”

“Let him go? After all you’ve put into it? Mount the brute, Sport… this is a day you’ll remember for the rest of your life!”

“I will remember it. I’ll remember coming this close to a leviathan and letting him go back to his world unharmed. He lived there peacefully before I came along and disturbed it.”

“It seems like an incredible opportunity wasted if you ask me… but, if you insist.” Hem took the rod from my hands as I undid the harness that held me in the fighting chair.

“Grab the bill with one hand but be careful … it’s like grabbin’ hold of a cheese grater. Now use that pair of fishing pliers and remove the hook with your free hand.”

Doing as I was told I lean out over the back end of the boat and gently caress the fish. Hem reaches with one hand and latches on to the waistband of my jeans. Effortlessly the hook pops out of the jaw it has lodged into.

“ Hold the bill and push it down so the fish’s entire mouth is underwater.” Hem’s voice is calm and soothing, an abrupt turn from the dismayed and obvious disappointment from just a moment before. “As the boat starts forward, water will run through the mouth and over the gills.”

My face is down, inches away from the gulping marlin. The Pilar’s engine throttles forward and we slowly advance. It is all I can do to contain my excitement. The black marlin seems to be responding.

“You’ll feel the fish comin’ back to life soon. Watch and you’ll see the color start to return to his body. Feel the bill beginnin’ to twitch? The big fella is tellin’ ya that it’s time to let him go.”

Gently I do as I am told and release the massive fish. I watch as it gracefully sinks down and out, then swims off with quiet satisfaction. Hem’s hand clasps down upon my shoulder.

“Well, you’re no Louis Schmidt… but you’ll do in a pinch.”

“Thanks Hem, that was exhilarating!”

“Yep, ya let him get away… to live and fight another day.”

“And what’s the harm in that?” I feel all smug and sure of myself. “If he can be caught once, he can be caught again.”

“Oh, ya thing so?” Hem’s eyes lock onto mine. “Not every decision you’ll make on this trip will be so cut and dry…”

We are left floundering in the water for a moment. Hem reached down and pulled out a machine gun that heralded back to WW II and began polishing it with an oil rag. It appeared more of a caressing than a chore for him but I was surprised at his ease in producing such a weapon.

“A machine gun? I thought this was a fishing boat!”

Hem smiled but did not look up.

“This is a Thompson, Sport. A great equalizer in the field of battle.”

“Are you expecting a fight way out here?” I mocked, “ and do the bad ol’ fishies get to fire back?”

Hem propped the butt of the relic upon the seat and smirked at me.

“Ya never know…”

“How’d you manage to find a gun like that in the first place?”

Hem picked up the weapon and aimed high into the air, placing his eye down the sights like he was following a target. Then he brought the Thompson back down and offered it to me, but I refused it. Hem pulled the machine gun back and returned to polishing it with the oil rag.

“We did a stint during the war, patrolling the coast and the Florida Straits hunting U-boats. This piece has traveled with me halfway ‘round the world… saw the liberation of Paris, among other things.” Hem thoughtfully let his fingers caress the stock and trigger guard. I probably didn’t act all that suitably impressed because the owning and operating of guns never interested me. Instead I look off to one side and spotted land off in the distance.

“What’s that over there… Cuba?”

Hem looks up where I am pointing to as he leans the Thompson back into the corner. Stuffing the oil rag into his back pocket Hem gets off of his perch and moves to the railing of the Pilar.

“Naw… that’s Bone Island, Sport… you’re home away from home.”

“What’s a Bone Island? I’ve never heard of it before…”

“That’s Key West.” Hem drops back in the fighting chair and wipes his brow with a handkerchief.

“Key West? Why did you call it Bone Island?”

“That’s what Ponce de Leon called it when he discovered it back in 1513. Casa Hueso… ‘Isle of Bones.’ “

”I don’t get it.”

Goyo approaches and puts a bottle beer in Hems hands, which Hem uses to cool his forehead with before taking a long, thirsty chug. Finally he wipes his mouth and pulls a stogie from his shirt pocket which Goyo immediately offers a lighted match to. Hem puffs the life back into it and then leans back into the chair.

“Legend has it that when Ponce de Leon arrived on the shores of Key West he found it littered with bones… the skeletal remains of a tribe of Calusa Indians.”

“What happened? They die of a fever or something?”

“No… it is thought that they were chased out of Florida by a rival group of Indians, clear on down through the Keys until the reached the end. Apparently the Calusas made a stand on the beach and were slaughtered then… their bones were left to bleach out in the sun.”

“So Casa Hueso was deserted when Ponce de Leon discovered it?”

“No, and that’s the interesting part. The Calusa Indians were here when ol’ Ponce first showed up and they seemed to get along fine. But when Ponce de Leon came back a few years later they were hostile towards him and tried to turn his ship away. Originally they sent out a few canoes full of Calusa warriors but the Spanish turned them back. The next day the Calusas showed up with about 80 canoes and managed to persuade the Spanish to leave, wounding Ponce de Leon in the process.  The Spanish retreated to Cuba and poor Ponce ended up dying there.”

“What made the Calusas so angry with the Spanish when they seemed to get along so well the first time they met?”

“I dunno.” Hem took another swig of beer and gazed out across the blue Gulf water towards the sliver of land on the horizon. “Maybe the ship’s sailors were going after their women or desecrated the beach where all those bones had been left scattered about. One thing is for certain… they were one tough brood.”

“Why do you say that?’

“Well… the Spaniards were armed with the latest weaponry of their day. The Calusas only had knives and axes made of stone or coral, maybe some spears… possibly bow and arrows. They turned back a group that represented the most powerful nation of that period. It took 200 years to finally relocate the Calusa Indians over to Cuba. I’d say to turn Ponce de Leon on his ear and force him to show his tail feathers and flee took some doing.”

“Casa Hueso… Isle of Bones. Sounds like a bad horror story.”

“Reality is sometimes stranger than fiction, Sport. The abattoir Ponce de Leon found on Key West probably signaled the beginning of the end of world domination for the Spanish.”

“I’d say that is pretty powerful stuff, Hem… what’s an abattoir?”

Hem rose from the chair and downed the last drops of beer then pitched the bottle out towards the water which made a bloop when it dropped in. He clapped and rubbed his hands together as if to remove any grit then wiped them on his shirt. He looked at me and grinned.

“A slaughterhouse, Sport… that’s what an abattoir is. To Ponce de Leon and his men Key West was an abattoir… the end of the line for the Calusa Indians and eventually for him, too. Key West was a friggin’ island slaughterhouse…”

Hem took up the Thompson and began rubbing it with his oil cloth slowly, appreciating every mechanism including the short barrel and wooden stock. He smiled at me as contentedly as a boy with his Christmas BB gun.

“Bone Island abattoir,” I looked to the horizon, “ the beginning of the end…”

Hey! It’s 2011! Scroll Back, Ya Varmints!

January 2, 2011

2011.  A new me and a new you.  WordPress was kind enough to summarize the previous years posting for AMRFP… check it out!

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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,200 times in 2010. That’s about 15 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 51 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 408 posts. There were 162 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was October 12th with 56 views. The most popular post that day was John Lennon Sat Here….

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were en.wordpress.com, facebook.com, google.com, stumbleupon.com, and WordPress Dashboard.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for socially unacceptable behavior, 27 club conspiracy, 49 bye byes, how to succeed in amway, and advantages of respect.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

John Lennon Sat Here… September 2010
3 comments

2

rude, crude, lewd and socially unacceptable behavior October 2007
8 comments

3

The illegal immigration solution, conclusion… a.k.a Illegal Immigrant for President! (he’ll do the work George Bush won’t) June 2007
9 comments

4

songs to play at your funeral April 2008
16 comments

5

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Lying April 2008
10 comments

~

I’d like to thank WordPress for hosting such a cool site which in turn enables a writer’s whimsy to see daylight on the Internet and finds audiences such as you whom I otherwise might not have met!  (Hey! a little rhyme there!)

So from the bottom of my heart to the top of the apple cart…(I can’t help it)  thanks for reading!  I look forward to adding future posts in 2011 here at Advantages of Mutual Respect and Fair Play. 

There really are… you know.

Peace.

New Horizons

May 22, 2010

The birds wake me every morning.  Early.  Early every morning now that spring has arrived.  Before the sunrise.  Well before the sun rises.  But it is hard to be angry with creation on mornings like this as I sip my second cup of tea and open the windows.

There is so much to hope for, wish upon and dream about.  If I am not careful, I’ll find myself getting caught up in things that I cannot change, worrying about things I have no control over and doing things that simply rob me of my time.  Things that are frivolous and empty.  And then I forget to be thankful.

How good it is to wake each morning and greet the day.  A fresh start!  I can calmly look back on yesterday and let it pass, convincing myself that I did the best I could.  Each day, each moment,  is like a breath of fresh, clean air.

My uncle died two weeks ago.  Russell was 72.  His passing marks the end of a generation.  His parents and siblings, my mother included, have all preceded him in death.    Russell was married to the same woman for over 50 years and raised a large family.  I guess the note-worthiness of this for me is, it is the end of an era.  All the family gatherings consisting of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins have now passed.  Uncle Russell was one who wanted to preserve the reunion of our family in the traditional sense and my memories owe a great deal to him for insisting upon it.

My sister became a grandparent again in this same short span.  A grandson.  Aaron.  The name means “enlightened one”.  For her family the gathering has just begun.  It is hard to think of my little sister as a grandparent.  I remember my grandparents while I was growing up, they were elderly.  My sister is many years younger than I am…

In this same period of time; my son, also named Aaron, lost his good friend, Sean.  Sean was killed by a neighbor who mistook him for a burglar.  Sean had no wife and kids,  never knew his real father.  Sean’s potential died when a bullet pierced his chest, leaving him to expire on the hood of a car.  Alone.  Far away from his family and friends.

I’ve been thinking about life and death a lot these past few days.  How it comes in with such potential and joy, then goes out; sometimes violently unexpected, sometimes peacefully welcomed. 

I have dreamed of perfect surroundings.  I have longed for better days.

 I have been to Disney World…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDBMeKNdXoI

But this is where I’d like to be…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlXglQYL4gQ

though I would temporarily settle for this…http://realestate.msn.com//slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=24168780&Gt1=35000#1#q=11%20amazing%20treehouses%20%3A%20Temple%20of%20the%20Blue%20Moon… it is not a high priority.

Still I do cast my gaze towards new horizons…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF2__-K8qFo&feature=related

But each day has the hope of a better tomorrow, whether it be in this life or the next.  Who really knows for sure what the beginnings of life will achieve or its waning moments will reveal?

Until the end comes, live each day as though it may be your last. 

At least give pause and be thankful for the wonders of life.  I intend to do the same, thanks to the early morning sounds of creation.

peace.

If I should wake before I die…

September 20, 2009

Arthur_Lismer_My_Wife_Sackville_River_S 

“Don’t anyone wake me if it’s just a dream, ’cause she’s the best thing ever happened to me.”  Angel Eyes by Jeff Healey

I don’t think about dying much.  I prefer to believe that I would be ready for it at any time, fearlessly staring down the Grim Reaper to the point of his awe and embarrassment.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy living.  I still have an ever increasing fondness for Hawaiian style pizza and the seemingly endless varieties of ice cream.  The desire and indulgence of these two items alone could carry me over into the next century.  (a scant 91 years from now)  Not to mention the fact that each morning’s sunrise still inspires an appreciative reverence to the Almighty, music still calms the savage beast in me (or arouses him, depending on the circumstances) and reading a good book or discovering another classic film delightfully tickles my intellect to no end.  Nope, no death fixation here.  So why the somber moment of reflection?  

I am living a dream.  No, I am not rich and famous, I gave up on that a long time ago.  No, I haven’t conquered Mt. Everest or swam the English Channel, neither have I made some stirring contribution towards the betterment of mankind that will headline the annuals of achievement for the next one hundred years.  I am virtually a nobody that will die with quiet dignity amongst a small circle of friends and relatives as most of us do when crossing the finish line in this human race called “life”.  Like everyone else, I’ll be leaving a faint ripple in the sea of mankind that will ebb away into the calmness of those deep, still waters.  But until then…

The 20th of September is an anniversary of sorts, the day my BB and I made contact.   I had actually commented on her blog on the 9th of the month, but it was just a random hit… one of many I had instigated back when I was bored and just reading other blogs to pass the time.  Hers was different.  It struck a chord with me, like she was speaking to me or for me… needing my response.  We were both searching then, but we didn’t realize it… casting our bread out into cyberspace waters and not really expecting a bite.  As we connected, there was an honesty and openness there that I had never experienced in a relationship before.  Maybe it was because we didn’t have the distractions that usually accompany a formal meeting.  We couldn’t see each other.  At first, we only had the words we wrote and read, then came telephone conversations but still… no face to face contact.  No visuals of any kind except through our blogs, e-mails or voices… and maybe that made the difference.

 When you first meet someone, the attraction is mostly physical.  Her eyes, legs, hips or breasts are most prominent; his smile, shoulders, biceps or chest most profound.  After that initial impression comes communication; a look, a gesture, an approach, an introduction.  Finally there is a meshing of compatibility and compromise.  My beautiful girl and I had none of that, just two hearts willing to begin a relationship that had no idea where it would end up.

Now this morning (two years later) I am in our living room writing this little message to you all while she prepares breakfast.  She enjoys being a housewife, honestly… it never seems to be a chore for her.  I find myself asking, “What can I do for you today?” and actually wanting to be her handyman.  All those things we told ourselves when our courtship began; all the negativity and apprehension, all the tension and nagging doubts, feelings of unworthiness… they are all gone.  What attracted us to each other is still the central part of our relationship; honesty, trust, communication and of course, mutual respect.

We both work jobs that are not very glamorous, we have simple tastes and find joy in the little things.  Our conversations are lively and thought provoking.  She has her own mind and opinions as do I, but we allow each other the differences that make up our personalities even when we disagree.  I am proud of the way she carries herself; delicate and feminine yet forthright and determined.  I admire her devotion to her children and humble posture before God.  We’ll both admit we are not perfect in any sense of the word and yet find we blend gloriously.  I am constantly telling her what a lucky man I am.  I cannot think of a better reward in this life than having her love me.

So… if I should wake up sometime before I die and find it was all just a dream, if my life with my French Canadian sweetheart has just been the jarbling of events mixed into the cinema of sweet slumber;  rock me gently, coo softly into my ear and whisper a child’s prayer so that I may lull myself back into this ever-comforting blanket of serene contentment.  She is my reality, I require nothing else.

I love you, my fair one.  Sweet dreams all.    

(If embedding disabled by request appears, try double clicking to youTube)

peace.

Where Have All the Flowery Posts Gone?

May 23, 2009

.

Okay, dang… just when I get to thinking I am a serious blog hack, someone comes along and declares I need reform.  Perhaps it is time for an overhaul, after all… this month marks three years of AMRFP!

In the past three years we have talked about politics, love, religion, music, books, and movies.  There has been social injustice, chaos  and anarchy.   We seem to teeter on the brink of disaster yet all in good humor and forced optimism because… what else is there?  We obviously cannot pack up our things and relocate to another planet because no one would have us.  We know we are the root problem and reason for disunity in the world but we cannot seem to eradicate this self-destructive urge.  We are constantly bombarded with information, yet how can we decipher it, knowing which is accurate and which is merely bunk?  Here’s another controversy…

arctic-non-warming-since-1958

My life has turned dramatically since I first fostered this blog on a whim three years ago.  I set out to discover if there was any use in my attempting to write, wondering if I  “had the goods”.  I found my audience to be somewhat sporadic and the subjects I held near and dear to my heart less popular than the ones I thought to be frivolous, so therein lies the paradox.  What I enjoy writing may not be what I am good at, what I am good at may be drudgery.

My most popular post to date has been;  Songs to Play at Your Funeral from April, 2008, which I wrote based on what had actually transpired between my business partner and I one day during a light conversation on death.  It has garnished twice the hits of the runner up;  The Illegal Immigration Solution Conclusion, from June, 2007.  While the latter post has had twice the exposure it has fostered less activity.  I have posted poetry, short stories, a screenplay and the rough draft of my story, Shades of Hemingway. I have progressed (slowly) in my ability to add pictures and video (thanks YouTube) to my posts while trying not to use them in place of good (?) writing.  And after three years, 340 posts, 333 tags, 96 categories, 1004 comments, 37,045 hits and 28,496 spam I am virtually right back where I started from, questioning my validity as a writer.

There has been one bright spot.  Actually, the greatest reward I can think of has come on to me while doing this experiment.  Like most things that we find to make life worthwhile it came unexpectedly, yet has been the difference between merely existing and living.  She sits at my side right now, not realizing I am writing about her.  My beautiful wife, Chantal.

I have proven myself by winning her attention,  admiration and love.  She has faith in my ability and confidence that one day, the world will see what she sees in me, though that confidence in myself wanes and falters.  Through our love of writing; whether via our blogs, to each other publicly or privately, or in our imaginations,  we have accomplished something that would not have materialized otherwise.  We have become each others hero and fan club.  We have become kindred spirits.  Chantal and I are glorious.  I have not failed as a writer, I have acquired a following of one, as she has found in me.

I am living in Canada now, which is quite the contrast from spending most of my life in Florida.  The economy has put a strain on my ability to make a living through my trade and I am still struggling to adapt to life as a foreigner.  But my beautiful girl has the utmost confidence in me so that is a hurdle I will easily overcome with patience.  I am learning to accept that I cannot always have things my way.  But I need to concentrate on making a living and right now it does not look like writing is the way of prosperity for me, at least not financially.

I started this blog in May of 2006 not sure of where it would go, how I would do or how long it would last.  But I feel it has served it’s purpose, at least for a while.  The archives will remain and comments will still be directed to me via e-mail, but I plan on taking a little hiatus.

This month, May 2009, is heading towards being my most active month ever, with seven days left it will easily accomplish this.   The second most active month was back in November of 2007.

I’d like to think that on that note, it is a good time to bow out gracefully.

Thanks for reading  Advantages of Mutual Respect and Fair Play…

there definitely are,  you know.

peace.

The Day In Between

March 19, 2009

Yesterday was my beautiful girl’s birthday, tomorrow is our 1st wedding anniversary, today is the day in between.

I guess the reason I am bringing this up is because of what happened yesterday with news of  Natasha Richardson’s death and the evening we had before that announcement. Today we are in a reflective…  happy/sad, kinda numb and thoroughly convinced that life is too short and we need to take the time to say “I Love You” mood.  Even the rich and famous have heartache, even the beautiful people have tragedy in their lives.  We need to pause on this fleeting moment called “life” and not take each other for granted.   That has been solemnly brought out to the forefront once again and our hearts go out to Liam Neeson and his family.  He will surely miss his beautiful girl…Obit.Natasha.Richardson

Life in Canada has been educational for me, even in the little things.  I’m learning patience, which makes me anxious to get that life lesson over and done with as quickly as possible.  I’m taking in each day with a little more wonder and enthusiasm as the snow vanishes and the mercury climbs.  That grand ol’ Florida sunshine even makes it’s way to the frigid North occasionally and as it does, the people and their attitudes are starting to thaw… you can see it in their smiles.

My fair one and I even went out for a week day evening Tuesday to see a couple of Canadian artists that I was not familiar with, Stephen Fearing and his guest, Catherine MacLellan.  This was an evening well spent.  Stephen began his career with Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and has done well as a solo artist.  I enjoyed his energetic delivery and the  heartfelt lyrics resonated within me the melody of a romantic balladeer and poet.    But though  he performed solitaire,  he assured the audience that B.A.R.K. were still together and working on another CD to be released (hopefully) by the end of the year.

We even had the pleasure of meeting and found him very personable and easy to talk with.  When he found out I was from Florida he asked the question I have heard for the umpteenth time… “Why would you go from Florida to Ontario?” to which I replied simply, “My wife is from here” to which he observed, “You are a lucky man.”  Amazing that he could see that in a span of about five minutes, eh?

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But the real bright spot of the evening was Catherine MacLellan.  Maybe because it felt like my wife and I were “discovering” her in that intimate setting that was so casual it could have been held in our living room.

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We even had the pleasure to make her acquaintance as well.  Catherine was very approachable and genuine,  entertaining my lyricist camaraderie  graciously and without reservation.  We could have been at a coffee shop discussing our inspirations and aspirations the way my blushing bride was conversing with Catherine, sharing the ease we all felt.  Catherine MacLellan personified Canada, her manner and down-to-earth style was like a welcome sign for this American transplant.

If you haven’t heard of her, you should do so right away.  Catherine has garnished a lot of CBC Radio play here in Canada and has a new CD  that is outstanding.  You will not be disappointed.  My BB and I agreed that we would enjoy seeing BOTH artists again, with her all ready a fan of Stephen Fearing and me a rapid convert.

So as I sit here in the library and stare out at the sun that has embraced us like a forgotten blanket from the trunk of our car, I look forward to calling my wife on the phone to remind her for the umpteenth time that I love her.  I am waiting for the days to turn lush green and colorful with the flowers and grasses that bloom from the garden of patience.  Then we can walk the paths she trod while waiting for me to arrive here… to come home.  Every day that passes makes Canada more endearing to me, each encounter makes life more satisfying, the driving to and fro makes home more familiar.  I see faces that I have met earlier in my transition from being a Floridian to an ameriCanadian and they cheerfully acknowledge me.

We have survived the winter and spring holds the promise of a thousand sun filled memories.   We will hold each one of them dear to us… waiting as they appear emblazoned on the horizon of our  pleasures and mutually human frailties.

peace.

There Probably Are No Atheists… So Express God’s Love and Enjoy Your Life

March 3, 2009

My beautiful girl and I often speak about our faith and though we have basic differences we can agree on one thing. There is a Grand Creator, an Originator of Life, a Supreme Being that is responsible for setting things into motion.  A Divine One that has a design, will and purpose for the inhabitants of the Earth.  Why there are differences in view on the clarity of God’s will and purpose will have to be left for a future post.  Just suffice it to say we are comfortable with each other and our faith has strengthened us as our relationship continues to grow.

Recently, my BB was troubled over a news report of a movement in the U.K. that is spreading to Canada.  The… There’s probably no God.  Now stop worrying and enjoy your life signs that have been placed on city buses by atheist groups. 681914.stm .

The idea of being an atheist confounds me, but I respect their right to express themselves and the bus lines right to make a profit.  20090207 I have no doubt they would consider running religious views, too.  You see, the bus lines just think of it as advertisement while the atheist views it as… hmmm, a call to unite? 20090303?hub=Toronto

But I am not here to condemn this movement.  I just wonder why people feel so strongly about an issue that they would publicly put their face to it, knowing it would be unpopular?  Could it be they are needing a purpose in life and so look for like minded individuals to encourage them because they lack spirituality?  Because to truly be an atheist, you have to walk alone.  You are content within yourself and KNOW there is no outside influence to guide or protect you.  You are responsible unto YOURSELF.  You NEED nothing else, not even other atheists to sanctify your non-belief.  You are apart from everything else.  The true atheist does not know joy.

I also wonder if self proclaimed atheists have really looked for God, though the Bible says He is not far from each of us and is willing to be found.  It is no mystery, really… the evidence of God is everywhere.  I think it has more to do with being accountable, sort of like getting a free pass for being ignorant.  If I say I didn’t KNOW it was this way or that… then how can I be RESPONSIBLE?

I think life is like walking into a room and discovering  a computer terminal sitting on a desk.  We approach the computer and sit down.  We see that it is turned on and has a direct link to the World Wide Web and we are happy.  We begin to surf and we find out all kinds of useful information about ourselves, the population in general and the broad spectrum of life and the Earth we live on.  We discover Ebay and Craig’s List and find out we can make money.  We see beautiful people and exotic locations and we want to BE those people IN those exotic locations.  We can chat online and meet friends, we might even arrange a date or eventually find our soul-mate.  Our outlook  is good and the computer brought it all to us free of charge.

We don’t question who put those things on the Web, we don’t even question how the computer works, who designed it or where it came from.  But then, something goes wrong.  We discover something on the Web that does us a disservice, is inappropriate or causes us pain.  Someone but something unflattering on MySpace, there is a webcam on YouTube that caught us doing something improper.  Someone put our face on a pornography site, worse yet, they stole our identity…   or there is a virus and the screen freezes.  We find the world is polluted and full of violence, people are starving, being victimized in war, crime is running rampant, the economy is spiraling downward.  Suddenly the computer is a bad thing.  We want to destroy it, or forget about it all together.  We’ll deny that there is any design behind the computer and refuse to go into the room again.  We’ll even restrict others from going into the room as well.

Or maybe the computer tells us things we don’t want to hear.  It restricts us somehow.  We question the computers motive, why it was set up in the first place and why are there so many variations?  so many search engines?  If the computer was so smart, why all this chaos?  We want to decide for ourselves what is good or bad, we don’t like what the computer is showing us.  A world outside of the computer would mean no accountability to it.  We decide there IS no purpose for the computer and deny any proof of it’s existence.

I have never met a happy atheist.  The ones I have met are intelligent, but cannot seem to find meaning in their lives.  Living the freedom the atheist proclaims is hollow, it has no future.

I know they claim there is no evidence of God, but I have not found in them faith and hope or love and respect or empathy and trust.  There is no awe over the expanse of the Heavens.  There is no wonder at the healing wisdom of the Earth.  To them, these things are just there.  Like the computer in the room.  No one designed it, it just evolved one day.  They are consumed with themselves, they are the center of the universe because there can be no one larger, He doesn’t exist.  They live outside those God given gifts, because to claim them would be acknowledging the very attributes of the One who created us.

I say, let the ones wise in their own eyes ridicule me.  Let them say I am delusional, easily persuaded or just plain dumb… led about like a sheep and gullible.    I will readily accept that there are people out there that are much smarter than I am who may think I am foolish.  (see 1Corinthians 1:27)  God chose the foolish things of the world, that He might put the wise men to shame…  according to the Bible.

I know that there are those that are dismayed over the conditions of the Earth.  People think that if God exists He would have done something about the suffering of Mankind long ago.  They feel that because there IS so much injustice and cruelty left unchecked by God, He either doesn’t exist or doesn’t care about us.  But remember the computer in the room we all have access to?  Someone turned life on for us.  Someone put the information in there and designed life so we could do the things we did.  The fault did not lay in the design of the computer, but in how life was used.

Even as I write this I have nothing but pity for those that deny the existence of God.  The evidence is everywhere that He does exist and the timetable He has set to correct the problems we face now has not been delayed.  There are those that mock that God is too slow, but the Bible says,

“Listen to me, you the ones powerful at heart, you the ones far away from righteousness.  I have brought near my righteousness.  It is not far away, and my own salvation will not be late.”  Isaiah 46:12,13

I look at my fair Chantal and I know God has a purpose… even on the part of a lowly sinner like me, because I feel I have already received my reward.

peace.

It’s New Year’s Day 2009! (scroll back, ya varmints!)

December 31, 2008

Another year has passed and what have we learned? As AMRFP enjoys it’s 304th post we begin to realize this blog will not take no for an answer! (what was the question?) Some people just have more audacity than others and will not go away!

2008 will be happily placed in our rear view mirror as we look with infertile optimism to a new Democratic majority across the board in American politics. Has there been another year in recent memory that has been as foul as this one? Most people would be hard pressed to find one that was, causing them to look back with disdain and relief at 2008 passing.

But in reflection, there have been some fine posts for one and all to enjoy on this site (humbly submitted by yours truly) and I’d be remiss not to mention the fact that my life changed dramatically (and for the better) this past year because of this little blog. For that reason alone it shall continue… not to mention the sheer joy I get at ranting on like I do and of course, the pleasure I derive from the remote possibility of your company.

Despite the difficult time I had at being regular the past three months because of my move to Canada and the fact that I posted a short story, a screenplay and the continuation of the Shades of Hemingway series,… my readership actually increased. AMRFP approaches the 32,ooo hits mark which made it the best year to date as far as averages go. Akismet has blocked over 25,000 spam comments (mostly porn but some insurance quotes are trying to muscle in as well) While some friends have faded into the depths of the black hole of the blogosphere, new friends have risen up which makes this site a pure joy each time I acquaint myself with a different prospective on life.

I met my lovely wife through the postings of our blogs, and while some may view the online relationship with trepidation I must say it has been the most exhilarating experience I have ever known. We were married in March of this past year and I was finally able to relocate here in Canada in October. But future posts will address our relationship as it progresses, suffice it to say I am thrilled by her love each and every day. That in itself should provide some interesting fodder…

So without further ado and for your discerning review, from the latest entry to the first of the year… Advantages of Mutual Respect and Fair Play 2008.

Scroll back… ya varmints!

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1) 12-23-08 – A Sand Road Christmas Card. Remembering the holidays of my youth back in Iowa. In the good ol’ days, when times were bad.

2) 12-20-08 – It’s Been a Long, Long, Long Time. Having just come off three months of creating and posting the third installment of the Shades of Hemingway series along with moving and adjusting to the climate of the North and making my excuses for being preoccupied with life in general and love in particular.

3) 12-16-08 thru 9-17-08 – Shades of Hemingway / Deja’ Voodoo. Parts 1 – 12 and Epilogue. My readership plummeted through the time I took to post this, which I knew it would. But I feel it also was because it generally takes about six weeks for the series to run through it’s entirety. When my circumstances dictated otherwise it took me 12 weeks and I feel I alienated myself from some of the faithful readers (both of them!) of AMRFP. But my own true love assured me from the beginning that it was MY blog and I should be able to go in the direction of my choosing, so I am glad I saw it through to the end. Now is the time to recapture our imaginations and I will do that to the best of my ability in the coming weeks… I promise.

4) 9-14-08 – Prelude to Shades of Hemingway / Deja’ Voodoo. You can’t say I didn’t warn ya. One day I’ll finish this story… and yes, post it here! Some people just will never learn… sigh.

5) 9-13-08 – Video. Elvis Presley Hound Dog, the complete performance. One of three videos I inserted for the post, Politics and the Billboard Top 100 Hits of All Time… pathetic.

6) 9-13-08 – Video. Elvis Jailhouse Rock. The second of three videos for the same post.

7) 9-13-08 – Video. Elvis Twist with Elvis. The third of three videos for the same post.

8) 9-13-08 – Politics and the Billboard Top 100 Hits of All Time… pathetic. You know the cool thing about these best of lists is that it gets our dander up. But picking The Twist because of the insertion some formula instead of just counting airtime play and sales smacks of favoritism. Too bad.

9) 9-11-08 – Born Laughing Out Loud. A little review I did of Steve Martin’s book, Born Standing Up, which I throughly enjoyed.

10) 8-29-08 – McCain/Palin? Bravo! (oh! bomb awed). I’m not much on politics, obviously. My beautiful girl and I go round and round about American politics (good naturedly) and it is an eye opener to think that we may be our own worst enemy. But I thought the picking of Palin was a good thing for McCain’s candidacy. While Obama landslided McCain in the electoral college, he only received 52% of the total vote per population input. Popular opinion not withstanding, I was sure nothing short of a miracle would put another Republican in the White House… and I was right.

11) 8-29-08 – return of the dreaded sequel, part 1. I had thought Deja’ Voodoo would have been up and presented way before this time, but you know… life gets in the way.

12) 8-19-08 – Spending the day with Tropical Storm Fay. Gosh I had fun with this one. I have lived in S.W. Florida for the better part of 36 years and you never get used to the weather in paradise.

13) 8-17-08 – you must remember this. Memorable movie kisses, what are yours?

14) 8-16-08 – Video. 1984. A funny thing happened on youTube… I meant this vid for another post and it somehow got crossed up in cyberspace then appeared sometime later on my blog. I don’t remember the subject or even if I posted it, but I liked the premise of 1984 knocking on your door (from Spirit) so I left it in… hm.

15) 8-16-08 – Video. Shawn Colvin – Catch the Wind. I chose this as one of two vids for the post, Catch the Wind, but it got lost in cyberspace at the same time I was foolin’ around with 1984. And since I am not all that great at shifting things around on my blog (lazy brained) I just left it in at the time it appeared. Yes, sometimes this blog takes on a life of it’s own.

16) 8-11-08 – Not your favorite cover. Another one of those “best of” lists and my opinion which you all hold your breath for.

17) 8-7-08 – don’t know much about the Hadron Collider. A little parody that just conjured itself up when I read of this multi- billion dollar effort to smash things together. Scientists on a controlled hissy fit.

18) 8-4-08 – oh the humanity! and the cost of celebrity… Paris Hilton’s mom decrying the media for it’s portrayal of her talented daughter.

19) 8-02-08 – Choosing a running mate. McCain can win if… Hey! he may or may not have listened to me on this one but you gotta admit McCain’s choice made the race interesting.

20) 7-29-08 – Hey… told you so! Senator Ted Stevens and his exploits have been discussed several times on this blog, glad justice was served on the jerk.

21) 7-26-08 – Catch the Wind. The things we can and cannot control cause me to wax on, wax off in contempt and sentiment… my favorite forms of expression.

22) 7-23-08 – Video. Donovan-Catch the Wind. The original that was meant to be accompanied by Shawn Colvin’s rendition, but perhaps better as a stand alone vid.

23) 7-12-08 – Let My Gonads Go! a.k.a. nuts to you, Jesse Jackson. Gosh, I loved doing this little parody considering the riff comes from a freedom song sung by the oppressed slaves during the Civil War. Jesse Jackson and his infamous utterance deserved to be ridiculed loud and long.

24) 7-7-08 – Where the light is, John Mayer. Occasionally cool things happen and I was thrilled to see this DVD/CD released. I bought it the very first day.

25) 7-5-08 – Quick Draw (Tim) McGraw and his rootin’, tootin’ wild west outlaw show. Got some negativity on this post but you know…

26) 6-29-08 – throw mama (and junior) from the plane! If any post could divide my sweetheart and I… this one could. I’ve looked at flight from both sides now.

27) 6-28-08 – the hippie dippy weatherman no longer sweats the ICBMs. The death of George Carlin caused a wee bit of reflection in my heart.

28) 6-28-08 – Video. Religion is bullshit. The late George Carlin expressing his opinion in true comedic form.

29) 6-28-08 – Video. the hippy dippy weatherman. George Carlin in less sarcastic form.

30) 6-17-08 – inner-mission. Left you to your own devices for a few days, did you break anything?

31) 6-15-08 – Happy Father’s Birthday. A slip of the tongue by my French speaking step-son tugs at my heart.

32) 6-15-08 – Video. Eric Clapton – My Father’s Eyes. Selected to go along with, Happy Father’s Birthday, I feel this is a song Eric did that could have gotten a little more acclaim but seems to be coming around again… which is cool, you can’t keep a good song down.

33) 6-12-08 – that’s right, you’re what’s left (screwed, blued and anti-socially tattooed). Gee, folks… just learn to live with it. Our government is not accountable.

34) 6-12-08 – Video. water as energy. We have the technology, we need the direction.

35) 6-8-08 – It was/is a Wonderful Life. The death of young “George Baily,” Bob Anderson, inspired this post. It was one of my favorites from the 2008 year simply because I got to review one of my favorite characters in one of my favorite movies of all time. “… you really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a shame it would be to throw it all away?”

36) 6-6-08 – Public Displays of Effection. What effect does PDA have on you? This post was inspired by a case of supposed discrimination… you be the judge.

37) 6-4-08 – Obama Surrender (Hillary concedes). I love these little parodies that just pop into mind. Funny how the resilient Ms. Clinton still has a place in her opponent’s heart.

38) 6-3-08 – Video. Jemima Surrender. Try as I might I couldn’t find a vid by the Band performing this song, but this rendition is still good.. in case you couldn’t catch the riff in Obama Surrender.

39) 5-31-08 – what goes around Karmas around? I’m not that sure of Karma. I mean… if it were true, why do the wicked seem to prosper while the good suffer? Sharon Stone is a dunce.

40) 5-28-08 – double checking reality bounce. One cannot be too careful, or so I thought…

41) 5-21-08 – Blogging for Dummies (what was Scarlett Johansson thinking?) Sometimes you just gotta wonder…

42) 5-21-08 – Video. Falling Down by Scarlett Johansson. You decide…

43) 5-16-08 – “Jawbone” George Bush and the Saudi Oil Shriek a.k.a. the Blame Game. Hey George, just tell them to open up the spigot a little…

44) 5-16-08 – Video. Shirley Ellis – the Name Game. Bush, Bush, bo-shush, sittin’ on his tush.

45) 5-16-08 – creative foreplay. I find that looking for inspiration comes with no effort at all… really.

46) 5-10-08 – they are dumbing down our Rock and Roll! Who is the greatest recording artist of all time? The answer may surprise you.

47) 5-10-08 – Video. Mariah Carey – touch my body. For your comparison.

48) 5-10-08 – Video. Eric Clapton – Layla (live). For your enjoyment.

49) 5-7-08 – God’s Yard Sale. The world is in chaos… does God really care about us?

50) 5-5-08 – Waiting for Zed. An expose’ on why the term “zed” was removed from the American lexicon. A real eye opener… or perhaps not.

51) 4-30-08 – friends. There are many forms of friendship and those we choose as best.

52) 4-30-08 – Video. The Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. Chosen to accompany the post, friends.

53) 4-20-08 – How to Succeed in Business Without Really Lying. One of my favorite posts of 2008.

54) 4-17-08 – The Great American Boycott. I think we as consumers deserve better.

55) 4-12-08 – Why Obama? Sometimes these little parodies play so well in my mind…

56) 4-12-08 – Video. The Knack – My Sharona. For those of you who could not catch the riff in Why Obama?

57) 4-11-08 – Cheney’s Sunglasses – Not a Rosy Reflection. Your imagination runs wild.

58) 4-8-08 – Video. The Beatles – And I Love Her. Follows the post, Songs to Play At Your Funeral because I do.

59) 4-7-08 – Songs to Play At Your Funeral. This post has been on my blog for less than 9 months but it has become a runaway best topic since it’s inception and continues to pull away from the rest of the crowd at a rapid pace. I realize it is more the topic than the content, but even so it has become an easy #1 post for 2008 and the all time winner for top post so far at AMRFP. A distance second is, Let me call you sweetheart, posted on 1-6-07. Bringing up the rear at 7th is, the Rock and Roll Conspiracy, posted on 8-26-06. So it is quite the accomplishment in comparison. The fact that the conversation actually happened in the way I recorded it makes it all the more enjoyable for me because it is real life and that is the best sort of living.

60) 4-7-08 – Video. Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman – Time to Say Goodbye. For my fair Chantal.

61) 4-6-08 – Goodbye / Charlton Heston. 2008 saw many great stars passing, this was one of them.

62) 4-1-08 – Why are we here? The question of the ages, I found my reason.

63) 3-29-08 thru 2-20-08 – Indiana Jones and the Dance of Aldebaran. I had written this screenplay ages ago, but when the new film Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was about to be released I thought perhaps Indy might enjoy a sort of renaissance and an interest might be piqued in this tale. Too bad their story didn’t live up to the hype while mine didn’t live up to expectations… but oh well. It is preserved for prosperity.

64) 2-17-08 – Free Indy. The story behind my writing, Indiana Jones and the Dance of Aldebaran. I liked my story better than theirs, didn’t you? (please say yes)

65) 2-13-08 – Economic Stimulus Plan. You know, I still think my idea would work and I have not met any opposition to it.

66) 2-9-08 thru 1-20-08 – My Dog Sam. I don’t remember what caused me to write about that dog of mine, but I’m glad I did. I have thought about taking several of my recollections and compiling them into one story. Funny how things work in my mind, but I began the year with thoughts of Sand Road and my dog, Sam… then concluded the year with A Sand Road Christmas Card. They say you can never go home, but I think home never goes.

67) 1-18-08 – An Evaluation of the Bush Administration (2000-2008). Not too favorable to ol’ King George and my apologies for that. Will history be kind to him? With the worst rating of any sitting president… it is difficult to say.

68) 1-15-08 – …so you wanna be a Rock and Roll star? Rethinking some music and impressions of artists.

69) 1-15-08 – Video. The Byrds-So You Wanna Be A Rock And Roll Star. To accompany the post of the same name.

70) 1-7-08 – New Year… knew you. I met my own true love twice in a lifetime.

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So there you have it. 70 different topics posted in 103 segments. While we may have had some bumps in the road of 2008, it has been a year that I have realized it is not the miles but the destination that makes the journey tolerable. It is not the smoothness of the pavement but the direction we are headed in that make the traveling light. It is not the degree of difficulty to proceed, it is the strength of our resolve to begin. It is not the complexity of the task but the undertaking with the commitment to see it through. Life indeed goes on…

And it is my sincere hope that whatever you may have had to endure, whatever your losses may have been, whatever your disappointments and fears… and we live in a world governed by and propagandized with fear, that you may face 2009 with optimism and hope. We may never understand the powers that be, but the power to be you and me holds the key to our happiness… it all comes from within.

Have a joyous and safe 2009… and thanks for reading.

peace.

the hippie dippy weatherman no longer sweats the ICBMs

June 28, 2008

George Carlin is no longer with us, he died a few days ago at the age of 71.  I used to think that 71 sounded old and that it was probably a good time to go but I’m not sure what to think anymore.  I mean, Tim Russert died last week at 58, Heath Ledger died at 28.  Age seems to be no factor when it comes to untimely deaths these days, because all three of these men still seemed to have much to offer.

I liked George Carlin early on in his career.  But as George’s comedy progressed he seemed to have become bitter about life, kinda like the cantankerous old coot that comes to your family reunion and no one recalls being related to.  Comedians lauded Carlin as “the thinking man’s comedian” and I have to agree that some of his routines left me howling, several made me think and one or two just made me cringe.

Early on the Tonight Show, George introduced us to “Al Sleet aka the hippie dippy weatherman.”  “Al” apologized to some of his viewers who were no longer located where the map last indicated (swept away by some natural disaster.)  His forecast was for thundershowers but then he pointed out these Russian ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) on the radar which should cause us not to sweat any other impending weather conditions.  I liked that George Carlin, but maybe it was the era in which we lived that struck more of a chord with me. 

In 1966, the Vietnam War hadn’t reached it’s staggering height yet, there were no anti-war demonstrations or draft card burnings, Haight-Ashbury was just another street corner and the Summer of Love was still a year away.  But George Carlin was making us laugh by bringing to the fore a symbol of counter culture that became synonymous with bucking the establishment by merely passively resisting it.  Non-violence was the movement then and it was working for a short time.  Though the mainstream laughed at it, the thoughts then molded much of what we are now… to a point.

But later George Carlin became cynical and took us for a different kind of ride.  Instead of the hippie micro bus heading for Woodstock, we were on the road to oblivion with no real hope, no guidance, only our delusions to be taken out and sadly criticized.  George said in an interview once that he didn’t believe in God, or his country or much of anything else.  I wonder if he, like so many others was/are really happy in that existence.

Mistakenly, a lot of people get into their religion of choice for what they can get out of it and not for what they can put into it.  Like any relationship, what you give comes back to you many times over.  Too many times we tend to turn to our Creator when times are rough and we need help.  Then when life is good again we’ll merrily go our way no longer taking heed to what God says.

I’m not a religious person but I do believe in our Heavenly Father.  I resent it when people imply that I am not strong enough in my self or that I need faith like some sort of crutch or drug and that is why I believe… because I lack some inner strength or need a “happy ending” to life like a fairy tale.  The realm of higher thinking has no more appeal to me than the people that rave about it.  In my mind, there is more proof that God exists then there is that He doesn’t. 

It is more difficult for a person to adhere to a principle then to go with the flow.  Weak minded people follow fads and conditions, adhere to the current trend or fashion themselves like everyone else.  I once heard a saying that goes like this: ” you must stand for something or you’ll fall for anything” and it is true.  But it is not just the standing for “something” or “anything” that is important.  That would be like an insurance policy, hoping you never have to use it but it’d be handy if you ever needed it.  Standing up for your faith, aside from some organized religion… on your own, through your own convictions and moral compass… takes a strong character.  As time goes on fewer people trust in God because of religious practices, not because of what the Bible teaches. 

I would like to be on the other side of this life to see George’s reaction to the truth, the coming aware to the fact that there is a God and a divine plan for mankind.  It is not a belief that I carry out in the open or that I make my daily concern, which is not to say that others that do are wrong.  But I am finding more and more that faith is perceived as a sign of weakness or a character flaw. 

Look at it this way.  If I am wrong and the George Carlins of this world was/are right, all I’ve done is enjoyed the fruitages of a divine spirit, a higher plane of hope and purpose and tried to govern my life accordingly.  Because of my convictions I have strived to be a good person despite my imperfections.  But if I am right… well, far be it for me to gloat and say “I told you so.”  Suffice it to think that we will both be pleasantly reprised.

Thanks for the laughs, George Carlin.  You no longer have to sweat anything… take your rest now.

Enjoy a couple of clips from George Carlin’s stand up routine by scrolling down. 

Peace, man.