Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Psychic wars & other manias

                                        Portrait of a Survivor

Meet "The Dog with No Name"

He is from Oklahoma. Really. He was on what more-or-less amounts to a "death watch" in a "high kill" animal shelter when our paths crossed. Add to that, he also was suffering from "pneumonia." As you might imagine, we had a "very complicated" first few days together. Now, he is on watch with me -- over me, next to me -- is almost well and runs like the wind.

That is the way many of the most relevant events in our lives happen. They happen because they are meant to happen, it seems, as I think was the case in terms of my encounter with this little guy. Not to sound like a Calvinist or a devotee of "double predestination," at least in a religious sense, I do believe that fate / destiny are among the factors which influence and affect and shape our lives.

Whether it is a matter of seemingly deciding to step to the left or to the right the moment before a bullet passes, a matter of being aboard the right or the wrong jetliner when a bomb goes off, a matter of meeting the right or the wrong woman when love explodes or even a matter so simple as being the right or the wrong individual encountering a lost and abandoned animal -- I have a sense that the result which occurs is because it is meant to be / written to be / pre-destined to be .... I have a sense that such events are among the primary, episodic features of our lives and that we really have no control over them.

Which is not to say that I do not believe in individual responsibility for our actions or inactions. Hmmmm .... an inexplicable contradiction of beliefs, it would seem. It is not, the way I mean it, but this evening is not the time to try to decipher the riddle beyond saying this: Basically, I sense we walk the steps we are written to walk, but we have free will and are able to change the direction where we walk at any given time .... and, if we do shift directions, another set of steps which always has existed emerges.

I think I will stop now, before I dig this shifting tunnel any deeper. I have a thesis and an antithesis, but where is the synthesis? Still searching for it, I guess. Everything about life is a paradox.

As you might surmise, I am back from Lac Superieur -- or Lake Superior, as the Angles call it. The sky seemed the same, as did the water, but the shoreline and the people were very different. As for me, I have not yet decided if I am very different now from the individual I was in the past -- from the man I was when I lived by and on The Lake -- or the same, or if it really makes any difference. I might write about these thoughts, but not tonight.

Yes, back from .... returned from The Lake and a few other places.

So, how are you? Great music, hah? Love the guitar work .... it is spectacular.

By the way, The Dog is part Papillion and part Long-haired Chihuahua, a lone veterinary record indicates, and, at least, one other undetermined part. Another part, I say, because his hunting instincts are as strong as I ever have seen in purebred hunters. I began tracking / investigating his past, but stopped when I decided it would be best, probably, for both he and I if we acted like the world just began the day we met. Everything indicates he had a happy existence that was tragically interrupted. I do not wish to know more.

The vet's best guess is that he is about three years old, and I have designated his birthday to be August 18 -- again, the day we met.

I will let you know when we decide on a name ....

It will take me a few days or longer to get my focus readjusted to the insane world in which we exist .... I hope you will bear with me .... actually, I am not sure I really am back, or want to be back .... I might wander off again ....

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Backtracking toward a lost sunrise

The "young man" you see smiling for the camera is FramBear. Photographs of him have appeared here in the "distant" past. Once upon a time he and I traveled together. (No sarcasm, please.) He even went to Poland with me, too, liked it and decided to stay there. Conversely, another young fellow from Poland named White Bear decided to return to the United States with me. No doubt, if you "travel" this blog regularly, you have seen his photograph on occasion. You might call this pair exchange students. Anyway .... behind FramBear is Lake Superior, which this post sort of centers upon. This is not the sandy beach I write about today, obviously. In fact, this photograph was taken on the north shore of Superior, while the words in my post describe a place and a time on the south shore. Consider the photograph an extension of "journalistic license" .... or whatever you please .... and a pleasant illustration to accompany the post. So, then .... here we are and here we go:

Sunrise .... July .... Superior .... rock on ....

These words which follow a few of you will understand and a few of you will not.  Hmmmm .... that sounded dumb .... I am laughing .... anyway ....

Among my fondest memories are those when awaking in a shallow pit dug to sort of bury myself in sand heated during the day by a glaring sun on a Lake Superior beach. This was during a string of nights closing bars and retreating for final drinks and talk with friends in the midst of the purity of Nature. We all loved the lake, the woodlands, the rolling hills and the granite cliffs, although some had difficulty expressing it beyond the adoration on their faces.

My habit, after the sun on my face had wakened me, was to light a cigarette, take a swallow or two or three from the quart of brandy next to me to clear the cobwebs, walk to my truck and begin blasting these songs -- "July Morning" and "Sunrise," by Uriah Heep -- from all eight speakers and the pair of amplifiers nestled in the back. There were times when the guitar boys among us would hook the amps up and we would have live music on the beach. Use your imagination. (Someday, I might tell you where, when and how those impromptu "concerts" originated ....)

It was great at the time. As you might surmise, this was between wives, between careers (or even between odds and ends job experiments), between battlefields, between most everything and not having a care in the world except .... except what ?? Well, you can figure it out.

By the way, I saw Uriah Heep perform live in a small, private venue during this same "beach period." I smile when I think of the concert.

You know, I could have stayed there, on that beach, with the crowd I hung with back then: A couple of ex-Marines, a couple of Navy boys and an Army and an Air Force-type or two, as well as their young lady "accomplices" and others who simply liked to party. Beyond that, I had a number of invitations for companionship which could have led into a variety of directions -- a variety of lives and lifestyles. We all experience times like that -- do we not ??

My favorite offer was from a young lady to live with her in the guest house of her parents' home (estate would be a more appropriate description) outside Detroit and be her father's sort of armed "personal assistant" at a nice salary. During my leisure time, she said, I could spend the hours either trying to write the next, great American novel or chasing her around the house -- as my mood dictated.

She (and her father) were serious about it. I think he thought of an "armed escort" more as a status symbol than as a necessity -- but, he actually was "connected" and he flaunted it. (Detroit and Chicago were "fiefdoms" of a sort in those days, if you get my drift.) And, this was not the strangest encounter/offer I had, either -- possibly, though, the most tempting for a few reasons, including a somewhat strange one: The father trusted me to be good for and to his daughter, and I really appreciated his confidence in me.

But, I moved on after a few weeks -- after the month of July -- back to wearing a suit and a tie and to the madness of the "respectable rat-race" style of life I had grown up in and had come to think of as "sort of normal." I made nearly a literal ton of money during the next few months -- simply for being the right guy in the right place at the right time, as good fortune often is described. (Again, someday, I might tell that story, but, baby, that one most likely only to you and only after an evening of brandy.)

Anyway, even though July is over for this summer I am going back to the south shore of Lake Superior for ten or twelve days to do a bit of canoeing, a bit of diving, a bit of pistol play, a bit of waking up on a beach in the middle of nowhere, a bit of reliving those memories and, maybe, even picking a new path into the future. Who can say who or what I might find there .... a familiar face from the past or an unexpected stranger ?? Probably an empty beach !!

I may try for a complete get-away and, although I am leaving this post open for comments, I might not be able to respond. I also might not be commenting at other blogs during this time .... whatever, see you when I get back .... see you sometime .... take care, baby ....

P.S. Happy Birthday, you know who .... you see, I do remember .... just about everything ....

Something special ....