Holiday season, new year, time to reflect on my past and ponder what lies ahead. I’ve had good years, and some that would make your skin curl. Many years of therapy, that’s what I’ve had. Some painful, as I struggled with days gone by, but the effort led to the enjoyment of being alive. Learning to love, to feel, and accept what is hurled my way offers life without limitations.
I’ve had lots of fun alone the way — many fine beers and wine, laughter with momentary friends, and perhaps a ton of party mix. But most of all, I’ve been blessed with life’s greatest gifts — a lovely wife, two fine daughters, four granddaughters, and several dogs that showed me the way. Still, I’m struck by the madness outside of my small cocoon that’s reported by the media each day. How could someone decapitate another human being and convince others to follow their ways; murder, physical and sexual abuse, racial injustice, evil without remorse, downright stupidity. I’m reminded of an interview between author Maya Angelou and television personality and professor Melissa Harris Perry. Basically, Perry asks Angelou why our world is so fucked up. “What breaks my heart, Ms Perry, Dr. Perry, what breaks my heart is to think what would our nation be like if we dared to be intelligent, if we dared to allow our intelligence to dictate our movements, our actions? What would — can you imagine?” While not granted at birth, intelligence is earned through hard work, self exploration, and the cleansing of our soul from years of uncaring ways. Detox our soul, that’s what we must do.
At birth — the initial creation of an unflawed human being — we are given a clean slate to begin life’s journey. Mother’s milk, a favorite rattle held by the strength of tiny hands, and the special blanket that hides a thumb stuck in our mouth — pure as a mountain stream untouched by mankind. Evolutionary biologist tell us that we are a product of our biological makeup and our environment. Our genes plus our daily experiences define what we do, say, and think until we die. Maybe this is our challenge, to replace our troubled ways through intelligence. We have to learn to care, if we only dare.
I’ve spent years of therapy and self exploration trying to figure it out. It’s not been easy, and I continually remind myself of lessons learned and not forgotten. My granddaughters are very precious to me, and I’ve wanted to spare them from the struggles that I’ve incurred why trying to find my way. I decided to write a book, maybe I should say a short story, where I reveal the lessons that I have learned. These are the secrets of life as I see it. Maybe you will find this of interest, and more likely, you will not. I have to admit that my book, “Love, Dry Creek, & a dog named Max,” is not on my granddaughter’s list of favorite books. Maybe when I’m dead they’ll ask their mother, “Where is Pop’s book that he wrote for me? Hey, granddaughters, read slowly and take it in. Life is all about being kind, if you only dare.