Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Whatever you do, do not tell me

The segment of woodland across the road from this townhouse has a number of "wild" residents and occasional visitors. This fellow, a hawk of some size, undoubtedly was hoping a rabbit or a squirrel or, possibly, even a pheasant, would come wandering past and provide a Sunday dinner. Since it is not a game bird, I am poorly versed in the family of hawks, falcons and similar birds of prey. But, I suspect this is a Redtail Hawk simply because I can see traces of red among his feathers and because they are found in southern Minnesota. The photographs were taken from my window. I went outside to try for a closer approach, but, by the time I arrived, all that was to be seen were my neighbors slamming car doors and yelling at each other across the top of their car -- and, sadly, no longer a hawk in a tree. Neighbors be damned.

As you might imagine

In America, even today, sixty-nine years after the fact, the Japanese attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor still is observed and remembered. Yesterday's enemies are today's friends and allies, something I will never understand -- but, such is life, and there are many things I do not understand about life.

But, of more significance to me, December 7, is the anniversary of the argument my second wife and I experienced which eventually and directly led to our divorce. Perhaps, at this point in time, of even more importance to me on the calendar is December 10. That day will mark the thirteenth anniversary of my departure from the world of smoking.

If you have not heard this tale, here is the abbreviated version. I decided back then that the time had come for me to quit smoking. My habit during that era of my life included three or more packs of cigarettes a day (Salems and Camel straights), one or two cigars and an occasional pipe load.

Being a man of sound fiscal habits, I smoked the last of my cigars and pipe tobacco, and began work on the remaining cigarettes in the final carton I had purchased. As fate would have it, at approximately 2:00 p.m. on December 10, 1997, I lit the last cigarette in the last pack from the last carton I had and I smoked it.

I never looked back, but ....

As you might imagine ....

Probably every two or three months, I will tell someone that I miss smoking and that I am thinking about resuming the habit again. Maybe, just with cigars, I always am sure to add, because a good cigar literally makes my mouth water the way some food does, simply at the thought of them. But, so far, I have not done so.

Mind over matter. Not so tough if you really want something. Anything you really want, in terms of yourself, I believe, you can have if you really, actually do want it. Anyway, that has been my experience.

I do not think I would like him

There is not a great deal I wish to say about the band, Night Ranger, whose music I have posted here today, but I will make two remarks.

I think the band is greatly under-rated for its musical talent. It had a number of major, heavy-duty, rock songs, and the guitar work verges on the spectacular at times. Just watch and listen, if you do not believe me.

Then, too, is the stamina and the energy displayed during performances. Try dancing in your living room to this song, for instance, at the pace the music demands, and see if you make it to the end. I would bet you do not.

This is just one more band I regret never having seen live on stage. Like many things, it is my own fault that I did not attend a concert, because I probably could have made it to one. But, a person does not have time to go everywhere and to do everything. Life is just too damn brief, and there are not enough of them (lives, I mean) to make me happy. If there is a god, I do not think I would like him simply because of his design flaws when planning our existence.


Maddalena said...

If I wrere you, I would not start smoking again, it might be difficoult to stop once more. There is no real fun in smoking, only malaise and a very bad smell.

The bird is beautiful.

Fram Actual said...

The Polish girl visits me on the same day as the Polish President visits America. That is a nice coincidence.

You are right about smoking. I like to think about it and to talk about it, but I would not start again unless, maybe, some fatal disease or a firing squad overtook me. It was not so easy for me to stop smoking as I like to make it sound, and I know that you know that I realize it.

Yes, the hawk is beautiful. I saw eagles quite often back in Dakota, but few hawks. Sometimes, the eagles were within a few yards of my living room window. I wish I would have kept a camera at hand during those years.

It is minus sixteen Celsius at nearly noon here. I should go to Warsaw to warm up.

Maddalena said...

I hate our recent President, and all the people who are around him, and our Prime Minister and the people who are supporting him.

You must remember this tragedy which happened in April 10th, when our President and 97 other people died in a plane crash in Smoleńsk. Our government did nothing to resolve its mystery, and what is more, is helping Russian government to blur all the traces, which could help to discover the truth. I feel so ashamed I have such a President and such a Prime Minister. It's a great shame on our honor, on honor of my country.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, I recall the event very clearly, Mag, and the many unanswered questions surrounding the crash.

I did not mention it in my first note, but I was somewhat surprised to see the Polish leader sitting beside Barack Obama after the insult and disrespect Obama demonstrated toward Poland and some other Eastern European countries last Spring by cancelling the missile defense system promised to them by the U.S. and already in the process of being implemented.

Not only, in the opinion of many, did Obama create new dangers for the people of Europe, but he also was so arrogant and inconsiderate that he cancelled the program without consulting the Polish or other governments, or even having the common courtesy of informing the Polish or other governments before announcing the cancellation to the world.

Now, Obama wants to sign a revised missile treaty with Russia which, in the opinion of many, will further endanger the security of America and Europe because it places the West at strategic disadvantages not only to Russia, to but to rogue nations such as Iran.

Obama is an arrogant, incompetent, despot, and certainly the weakest, most inept American president during my lifetime.

I guess we both spoke our piece today, Mag.

Maddalena said...

This is because people who have power in our country now, after the crash (they truly have a total power at the moment), they do not know what pride means, they only do their own businesses, and they are very pro Russian in their politics, what makes many people in Poland (people from the opposition) really terrified.

This situation, which is now in Poland, is very similar to our situation before 1989. But it is much worst, because is called "democracy".

Fram Actual said...

I have to confess I have not paid much attention to Polish politics since the presidential election last June. It came as a surprise to me that Lech Kaczynski's brother did not win, thinking that he would have the sympathy of the general public after Lech died in the airplane crash.

So, since what little knowledge I had regarding Polish leaders died when they did in the crash, I guess I will need to pay attention to your viewpoint in these matters, Mag.

Soon, maybe, it will be you who, like me, is eager to find another country in which to live other than our native lands.

Wind said...

Well , the last hawk I have seen was last month ,flying high above Carpathian mountains!
For me 'hawk' means freedom and I can not believe that they stay like whatever common birds in front of your house... ha ha

Anyway, somehow the life is strange...all the time I have to choose between doing or not doing something : quit smoking or not, fighting or not , dreaming or not having a dream...
Life, for sure is more simple than that...

Now I am listening 'The Cure - To wish impossible things '....after that I will try Night Rangers!

Sorry for my english!

I wish you all my best from Romania!

Fram Actual said...

Someday, I would like to see the Carpathian Mountains, Wind, with or without a hawk flying above them.

In America, you never know what animal or bird you might see when you least expect it. When I lived in South Dakota, twice I actually chased eagles from my yard to keep them for pouncing on animals or birds around my feeders, and once I rescued a rabbit from a hawk. It sounds silly, I know, but I do not allow hunters to prowl where I live -- not human, animal or bird.

My thought is that we decide, we choose, whether life is simple for us or not. When it is simple and carefree, we look for trouble. When it is complicated, we look for peace and tranquility. I think you and I probably have often walked the same paths in a figurative sense, and never have found a perfect balance to our lives.

Please, do not apologize to me about anything, ever, especially regarding your knowledge of English. Your words are very clear, very understandable, and you are a far better man than I am when it comes to expressing yourself in a language foreign to your own.

I hope your week will be peaceful and beneficial, Wind, and that only your imagination will rule your photography. Your work is beautiful.

Something special ....