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Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Today I awoke to sunshine, bird song and green all over
Today I awoke to the present, the future and the past
Today is all I'll ever have
The past is gone
The future is a dream
Today is all that is real

Today I remember many yesterdays
Today I dream of many tomorrows
Today is all that is real
The past is immutable
The future only a possibility
We must all live in today

Today I woke to a fleeting moment in time
Today life whirls past me at supersonic speed
Today is fleeting
It fades into yesterday
If opens into tomorrow
I must cherish today yet let it go

Fears (Especially my own)

Fears.  We all have them.  Even those who like to pretend they fear nothing.  Some fears are very rational.  Rational fears are a good thing.  They help keep us alive long enough to reproduce and that is all Mommy Nature really cares about.  But, all of us I think, also have some irrational fears.  Well, irrational to others I guess but our fears are always rational to ourselves.

I've wondered where and how these irrational fears begin.  I'll speak of four of my own fears and the contradictions they engender.  I have guesses where they originate but would not say I'm sure where they come from.

Also, I seem to have a love/hate relationship with three of them.  The fourth would be a hate/hate relationship.

The first is death by  hanging.  I don't think we have had a legal hanging in this country for decades so the only hanging I would have to fear would be suicide or lynching.  Being Caucasian I really don't see myself in danger of lynching.  And, if you ever hear of me committing suicide by hanging myself, go to the police because it was definitely murder.

My next great fear is death by drowning and is the first of my love/hate fears.  I have fear of drowning to an unnatural degree yet also have a tremendous love of water in large quantities.  I love creeks, rivers, lakes and oceans and find the most peace I have in my life being close to them.  I enve enjoy being in them as long as the water is no more than waist deep.

The third is heights.  Another love/hate fear.  I love high places.  I love standing near the edge of a high precipice looking out over the lands revealed below.  At the same time I'm deathly afraid of falling from that high place.

Fourth is tightly enclosed places.  Claustrophobia. I love small places.  I find comfort in small rooms etc.  But, I also am requesting cremation as I just can't stand the idea of being buried underground in such a small space as a coffin for eternity.  Or, eternity til some future archaeologist digs me up to see what kind of kinky stuff people from our age buried with their dead.

Where do these fears originate?  I could understand it had I experienced any traumatic events relating to any of these fears but I have not.   I have  not nearly hanged myself, drowned, been trapped in a small place or fallen from a high place.  These fears are just in my mind.  Or, perhaps, at a deeper level in my being.

This brings me to my own theory of the origin of irrational fears.  Reincarnation.  While most people who know me well  might describe me as an atheist I am far from that.  I definitely believe in a higher power who created our universe and set our physical laws in place.  I also believe in progress of species through evolution.  Neither alone can explain, to me, all the things present in our universe now and in our universe's history.

I also believe in the existence of  a "soul".  It has been demonstrated by scientific testing on terminally ill patients (beds placed on a large scale) that at the moment of death the weight of our body decreases by a very small amount.  Something had to leave the mortal clay at that time.  What else could it be?

Some people seem to be able to recall some small or even large portions of a past existence.  A lot of these claims are pure hokum but a very few stand up to scientific scrutiny and are not easily explained away.

Transmigration of the souls is not a new or even uncommon idea.  Not just the eastern religions but a large sect of Judaism believe in that.  In fact several parts of the Old Testament make much more sense if you replace the word generation with incarnation.

So, how does this explain my, and maybe your, irrational fears?  Lingering memories from a past life or lives.  Genetic memory.  Our bodies remember things our minds are not privy to. So, I do have some guesses about past lives in relationship to my fears.

For drowning while loving the sea I must have been a sailor who  drowned in the ocean on a voyage.
The rest of them I don't know but must have been some relationship to my past lives.  Maybe some kind of outlaw for hanging.  Small enclosures and high places... I don't know.  Just conjecture might be a mountain climber who died on a climb for high places.  Small enclosures I have  no idea.  But, I do wonder, what irrational fear will this live give my next incarnation.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Pies vs Pie Crusts

My mother made wonderful vanilla custard pies.  Best I've ever eaten.  Then, isn't that what everyone says about their mother's cooking?  I did love her pies.  But, what I really looked forward to was the "cuttings" where the pie crust got trimmed around the edges of the pie pan.

Once the pies were all ready to put in the oven she'd put all the left over crusts on a "cookie sheet" and bake them in the oven.  Those are what I really loved.  Even today, when I have a chance to have a pie (we don't have them often as we both love them entirely too much) I almost prefer the crust to the actual pie.

What memories I have of  helping my mother make the crusts.  Mostly at the house we lived in on Nat's Creek in the late 60s.  The old Charlie Blessing house.  My dad, who was born in 1902, said it was an old house when he was a kid.

I can remember that house from when I was a pretty small lad myself.  We would ride the passenger train from West Van Lear down to Patrick and walk the old road and paths to my grandparent's house.  Part of that path lead through the lower part of the yard just in front of that old house.

I can only remember parts and pieces of it now that I'm much older.  Very few memories.  Stories of my Uncle Jeff and Aunt Norie (or Nora?) when we passed that old home place.  Stumbling upon a "blowing viper" in the path just before we got to the barn at the Arnold Justice barn.  My dad was carrying an empty shotgun (not very usual) and had both his hand guns in a bundle of clothes, etc he had wrapped in an old bed sheet.

I stood there watching that snake as my dad searched through his bundle for one of his pistols.  Finally he found one and killed the snake and we continued on our way to my grandparent's  house.

When I was that age (between about seven and thirteen) I dearly loved to go there.  Play in the creek, crack black walnuts on a small piece of steel I'd hold in my lap and hit the nut with a hammer.  Putting the head of kitchen matches in empty .22 shells and smashing them on the concrete steps with a hammer to listen to them go "bang".

I suppose, as is usual with very old memories, I only remember the good things from those trips.  I think that is a good thing.  What purpose would it serve to recall  how tired I was after those long walks?  Or, any other less than positive things.  Though, there were few of those.

When I was young I think my grandparent's house was my favorite place to be.  I have so many memories from there.  Most of them are good.    A few of them will not get repeated.  But, most were pleasant.  And, rated "G".  

Most, at least.  :-)