Saturday, February 17, 2007

More Amore~ Early Morning Thoughts

Maybe a guy could fall instantly in love, but I doubt it. I think love creeps over you like a warm feeling on a clear blue fall day. This person is in your thoughts most of the time-all of the time actually. You see her when you close your eyes, when you look off into the distance,when you pause from what you are doing and take a deep breath. You remember how her fingers felt when they touched you. The loved one becomes a part of you, the most important part. At least it is that way with me when I think of you.
--Stephen Koontz
Even though the day of the Valentine has passed, I was a little surprised by a question a dear friend asked me today. "Who did you get for Valentine's Day?" I thought I had misunderstood what he was asking - but, he meant the question exactly as he stated it. It was his humorous way of getting to the point of the conversation. "Who am I looking for?" Notice his question was not what am I looking for, but who. And he would not let me off the hook with my statement: I'm not looking for someone to go out with, I'm looking for someone to come home to.

As I thought about that question I realized that I can list whats forever but until I personalize into a who - my chances of finding someone are a lot less. It's not visualization by any stretch of the imagination, but it IS putting the wants a desires in a highly personalized form.

Let me share some of what I came up with...only some, after all there are some things that are just too That's it - personal.

1) He caught my eye from across the busy and incredibly noisy room. It was a gathering neither of us had really wanted to attend, but it was important to ** that we be there at least for a portion of the evening. I was beginning to lose patience with the evening - but then I caught him looking my direction. I smiled at him, and got that delightful half-smile back. His was a look that said: "I know we're here, but in my mind, we're home together." And in that moment, any resentment faded away.

2) It had been one of "those" days, full of people with agenda, people with attitude - and the word "crabby" doesn't even begin to describe the people around me. I was exhausted, frustrated and ready to tear a bear limb from limb. Of course, traffic on the road home consisted of idiots. (Have you ever noticed that when you're driving fast or slow - you're driving defensively? However, when someone else is doing the same thing, they're idiots?). When I finally arrived at home, I sat for a moment in the car just to get my breath. As I opened the door, he was standing there - a glass of "gentle-libation" in hand. Nothing spoken, just handed me the drink, and pointed toward the couch. I sank into the soft cushion, took a sip and felt the day begin to slip away. I realized we did the same for each other. Our arrival home was into a place of sanctuary. A place of peace and joy, with an overlay of love.

3) He'd already told me how he thought his day was going to go. A train wreck probably would begin to described what he was facing. He, being the more organized of the two of us, had laid out what he was going to wear - and had prepared what he was planning to take for the lunch he probably wouldn't have time to eat. As he was getting ready for bed, I slipped a small piece of paper into his pants pocket - it was incredibly personal and somewhat raunchy. The kind that would raise a slight blush when he read it. I also slipped one into one of the lunch containers...just to let him know how much I love him - and cherished his feelings toward me.

4) It was a complete, total and very angry fight.
While tempers flared, and heat was expressed, both were careful to not fling the words that would wound, tear apart or kill. Finally, the emotions were spent, the problem not completely resolved and we both were feeling fragile, exposed and raw. An eerie silence had descended on our island of peace. I was shaken and somewhat afraid. I glanced up and was met with a silent stare. And then, without warning - he stuck out his tongue at me and then giggled ... yes, giggled.

5) In the silence of the night, I listened to his steady breathing and rejoiced. I turned to go to sleep, and felt a gentle touch on the small of my back. A soft, quite voice said: "Are you asleep?" "not yet," I replied, "but I thought you were." I turned to face him and we quietly chatted for a few moments. Nothing major, nothing earth-shaking, but just one of those face-to-ear talks in the night. I felt his hand on my stomach .. and his fingers gently move in almost an abstract manner...

As I worked with this "challenge," I thought I would issue one. Does this work? Is this a good way to think about the "one" I want? And more importantly - what do YOU want in your "one-and-only?"

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Be A Grape - Not A Raisin ~ Early Morning Thoughts

Yesterday as I was around various groups of people (at/on the bus -stores-waiting for a friend to get out of work) I was struck by the various attitudes and behaviors. I realized how much people seemed beat down, giving up and incredibly unhappy with themselves and the world around them.

It's not hard to understand. A simple look at the news that besieges us almost on a minute by minute basis is far from anything that allows time to digest, process and deal with in a way which creates a safe haven to allow life and joy to work through all that is out there.

And much of it seems to create even more divisions than are already there. An NBA star announces he's gay, another NBA star says he hates gays; someone announces their candidacy for public office, others immediately announce why that person is unfit for public office. Hundreds get trapped on airplanes frozen to runways for hours. And it seems so much that should be harmless suddenly becomes deadly - peanut butter, who would have thought? And fear can grip like a viper and spread its deadly poison.

When I had given up all hope and had lost the meaning of even living...I too felt that nothing matter, there was nothing to go on for and certainly nothing that I could/would be able to do.

In making the journey back from the edge of nothingness, I have my return to childlike enthusiasm, hope, joy and personal responsibility.

I have more on this topic, but let me state as I have in previous posts - I have no intention of advocating a "Pollyanna" outlook on life (I have always wanted to slap her when either reading the book, or choking my way through the movie). Nor do I advocate the "Every day in every way, I'm getting better and better" school of thought advocated by Emil Coue. Mine is not a perfect journey, but a personal journey.

For now, I have gathered some quotes that reflect directly on what has made differences in my life - and those around.

So many people are using up their precious moments of life striving for a bigger house, newer car, college for the kids, and many additional outer expressions of the so-called necessities of life. How many moms and dads are overwhelmed just trying to keep up with their notions of what is called for to be a successful family? Being too busy trying to manage a career and a family and not having fun and joy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some people born as ripe, plump grapes have become dried up old prunes. Why be a raisin when you can be filled with juice?
--Stan Smith

Nothing is lost upon a man who is bent upon growth; nothing wasted on one who is always preparing for … life by keeping eyes, mind and heart open to nature, men, books, experience … and what he gathers serves him at unexpected moments in unforeseen ways.

The work of an individual still remains the spark that moves mankind forward...
--Igor Sikorsky

You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked; it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
--Franz Kafka

He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure. His every thought is allied with power and all difficulties are bravely met and wisely overcome. Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creative force. Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
--Carl Jung

That which we are, we are, and if we are ever to be any better, now is the time to begin.
--Lord Alfred Tennyson

When you have to make a choice, and don't make it, that in itself is a choice.
--William James

Don't be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You cannot cross a chasm in two small jumps.
--Lloyd George

Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
--Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

First keep the peace within yourself, then you can bring peace to others.
--Thomas a Kempis

And remember, we all stumble, every one of us .This is why it is good to go hand in hand.
--E. K. Brough

Everything that irritates us about others can lead to an understanding of ourselves.
--Carl Jung

Often, people try to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things or more money in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier.

The way it actually works is the reverse. You must find out who you really are, then do what you need to do in order to have what you want."
--Margaret Young

Habit is habit, and not to be flung out the window, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.
--Mark Twain

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
--Elbert Hubbard

Great souls have wills; feeble ones have only wishes.
--Chinese Proverb

The whole purpose of the universe is unerringly aimed at one thing - you.
--Walt Whitman

Knowing others is wisdom; knowing the self is enlightenment.
--Tao Te Ching

Everyone stumbles over the truth from time to time, but most people pick themselves up and hurry off as though nothing ever happened.
--Sir Winston Churchill

He who postpones the hour of living rightly is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses.

Computers are useless. they can only give you answers.
--Pablo Picasso

Be not afraid of changing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.
--Chinese Proverb

A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
--George Bernard Shaw

Only those who risk going too far can know how far they can go.

The freedom to fail is vital if you are going to succeed.
--Micheal Korda

Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
--Abraham Lincoln

He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life away in fruitless efforts.
--Samuel Johnson

If you want happiness for an hour -- take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day -- go fishing.
If you want happiness for a month -- get married.
If you want happiness for a year -- inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime -- help someone else.
--Chinese proverb

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Digging Deeper Into Integrity ~ Early Morning Thoughts

As I've thought about integrity and honesty. I realized that I have to order what I consider to be my core values - and it's no accident that I should list integrity first (by the way, that's where the Air Force Academy places it). Integrity for me, is where all my other values will fall or stand. Without integrity my reasons for doing anything can justifiably be questioned - and doubted. Without integrity my personal quest of excellence also comes under a cloud.

Some time ago, I read that integrity is the willingness to do what's right even when no one is looking. Without someone around, I may feel it acceptable to do whatever I want, how I want - without any concern about consequence. Of course, there still are consequences for actions - but the result might not be all that public, at first. But - as some major leaders have discovered, failure to have integrity in private can be exposed in public. But, to hold onto my values - no matter what the situation, is integrity in action.

But this also isn't a full definition of integrity. If I turn again to the dictionary: “uncompromising adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” As I've said before, integrity defined this way is controlling. It implies following standards set by only by others. This also leads to the acrimonious discussions of almost any subject currently being debated. Even between people who should be somewhat in agreement, the arguments become almost self-serving and divisive. It implies that whatever I hold absolute, everyone else should. And without going into detail, we call can think of serious incidents, decisions and problems that have resulted in situations that never should have happened. Or, shouldn't have happened the way they did if people were working in TRUE integrity.

An addition to the definition could be "the state of being whole and your true self". Which could mean - standing against the "crowd" to hold onto what I believe to be right. So, going back to the comment above - integrity is not only doing what's right when no one is looking, but doing what's right when other people are watching.

My reactions have to be based on what is true, not fantasy, and I have to make commitments based on my vision or purpose. In short, my life has to be aligned with the big picture. Being responsible is handling whatever comes along and making adjustments so problems don’t repeat themselves. Responsibility and integrity is not about blame.
Far more difficult than knowing what is right is doing what is right. Doing the right thing is not always easy, but it is always right.
--George S. May (founder of the May Company)
This quote gets at the real meaning of integrity. When doing right thing starts to be in conflict with the easy way, or is at "odds" with "the way we've always done it," is when our integrity is confronted. My integrity is really called upon when doing the "right thing" makes me subject to criticism, ridicule, or second guessing.

But it struck me, that this kind of integrity is extremely personal. I do not have to require MY integrity of someone else - only that they follow their integrity.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
Core values on paper are nice, but without putting those values into action they are nothing more than words. Dr. King's quote highlights the purpose of having core values, which is to use those values to shape my decisions and actions. And because of the "big picture" I avoid the my-way-only type of reaction or decisions.

more to come on this

I'm grateful for a friend explaining
the Air Force Academy code

Encouraging Valentine's News ~ Update on Jesse

I have been praying/thinking about Jesse and Yen for some time now. As you have read in previous posts, they are two delightful people who truly live the love they profess. Where I first found them was their wonderful blog...Two Lucky People.

Jesse is suffering from a very aggressive form of melanoma and was undergoing a very toxic clinical trial. As I talked about just the other day that had to be stopped because Jesse's body was unable to handle it. He was supposed to go home the other day, but because parts of his body seemed to be failing - his release was delayed.

I was so thrilled and relieved to read this post today...while not completely out of the woods (as much as someone suffering as he is can be), he is getting there.

I can't be there - but I feel as if I share ... and that's a wonderful feeling!!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine's Day ~ Early Morning Thoughts

Some Valentine pictures and thoughts from me:
A special world for you and me
A special bond one cannot see
It wraps us up in its cocoon
And holds us fiercely in its womb.

Its fingers spread like fine spun gold
Gently nestling us to the fold
Like silken thread it holds us fast
Bonds like this are meant to last.

And though at times a thread may break
A new one forms in its wake
To bind us closer and keep us strong
In a special world, where we belong.
- -Sheelagh Lennon

If I could have just one wish,
I would wish to wake up everyday
to the sound of your breath on my neck,
the warmth of your lips on my cheek,
the touch of your fingers on my skin,
and the feel of your heart beating with mine...
Knowing that I could never find that feeling
with anyone other than you.
--Courtney Kuchta

You're my man, my mighty king,
And I'm the jewel in your crown,
You're the sun so hot and bright,
I'm your light-rays shining down,

You're the sky so vast and blue,
And I'm the white clouds in your chest,
I'm a river clean and pure,
Who in your ocean finds her rest,

You're the mountain huge and high,
I'm the valley green and wide,
You're the body firm and strong,
And I'm a rib bone on your side,

You're an eagle flying high,
I'm your feathers light and brown,
You're my man, my king of kings,
And I'm the jewel in your crown.
-- Nima Akbari

Love is strong yet delicate.
It can be broken.
To truly love is to understand this.
To be in love is to respect this.
-- Stephen Packer

(a love song in the key of K)
Strephon kissed me in the spring,
Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all.

Strephon's kiss was lost in jest,
Robin's lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin's eyes
Haunts me night and day.
--Sarah Teasdale
The moon is blazing, the engine is roaring.
A mile of dust is scattered behind.
Wheels are spinning in rage and fury.
This light is cutting through an endless sky.
Searching the shadows beyond street and steel.
This haunting passion is all I feel.
Cactus and leather, denim and chain.
Keep on riding ignoring the pain.
Racing like a comet into the coming day.
Rinding on, riding strong, it's the price I pay.
Riding on for love, riding on for glory.
Riding on, riding on for glory.
--John DeBona

Love isn't blind; it just only sees what matters.
-- William Curry

Love me in the Springtime,
when all is green and new,
Love me in the Summer,
when the sky is oh so blue,
Love me in the Autumn,
when the leaves are turning brown,
Love me in the Winter,
when the snow is falling down.

Love me when I'm happy,
and even when I'm sad,
Love me when I'm good,
or when I'm oh so bad,
Love me when I'm pretty,
or if my face is plain,
Love me when I'm feeling good,
or when I'm feeling pain.

Love me always darlin',
in the rain or shining sun,
Love me always darlin',
after all is said and done,
Love me always darlin',
until all our life is through,
Love me always darlin',
for I'll be lovin' you!
--Amanda Nicole Martinez

The photos are from a very active forum I'm a member of:
Thank you Tony...

Through The Eyes Of ... ~ An Extensive Time-Waster

There is an old(er) saying: At closing time in a bar - everyone is gorgeous. Ah, if that were only true...Much like the lie on a t-shirt I want that says: "drink 'till I'm cute."

Leave to science to work out exactly how this transformation works!!!!!

Would I make this up????

Researchers at Manchester University worked out a formula to calculate how "beer goggles" affect your vision. Apparently there are more factors than just the open bar from 10-12. Additional factors include the level of light, your own eyesight, the room's smokiness, as well as the distance between you and your future regret.

Here’s the formula, and just think how cool you'll look with your calculator at happy hour. (I dare you to bring a slide rule as well!!! )

  • An = number of units of alcohol consumed
  • S = smokiness of the room (graded from 0-10, where 0 clear air; 10 extremely smoky)
  • L = luminance of 'person of interest' (candelas per square metre; typically 1 pitch black; 150 as seen in normal room lighting)
  • Vo = Snellen visual acuity (6/6 normal; 6/12 just meets driving standard)
  • d = distance from 'person of interest' (metres; 0.5 to 3 metres)
And what does it all mean?
(Oh and since it uses meters - It will need to be translated!).

A formula rating of less than one means no effect.

Between one and 50 the person you would normally find unattractive appears less "visually offensive". (Visually offensive? There's a t-shirt in the making!!)

Non-appealing people become suddenly attractive between 51 and 100.

At more than 100, someone not considered attractive looks like a supermodel.

Let me know those scores -- Inquiring Minds Want To Know!!!

Standing In Friendship - Early Morning Thoughts

So I sought for a man among them
who would make a wall,
and stand in the gap...

As I thought about Two Lucky People (Yen and Jesse) today, I thought about a lot of people I am blessed to know. I began to send thoughts/prayers/energy their way - very specific ones I might add. There are times when people we know are hurting, ill or in serious trouble and we can be quite specific. Other times, we can only be general as the exact nature of what's going on isn't known, or isn't being said.

Each one of us has a unique way of accomplishing this, but it is the love behind what is done rather than the form that makes the difference! Sometimes the situation looks so hopeless that I feel helpless. But that forces me to remember that distance is no barrier - especially when joined with others from all over. That places the love everywhere present and helps to unite even when separated by great distance. And that's encouraging.

It's also the giving of myself that's the key. And by doing that, I can reach out and attempt to touch in some way those around me, those far from me that I only know by letters on a page.

You may not have ever seen me
But you know that I am here.
You can feel me in your heart
As you enter each new day.

I will always be there for you
I am your friend.

Someone to share the good times
As well as the bad.
I make no judgments by what you say
I just listen with my heart and
Hope to be of help in anyway I can.

I will be there for you now and forever
And always please remember
I am your friend!
--author unknown

And that touch - from thoughts/prayers/energy can mean so much to someone in need. Even to know that I am trying to understand, share and care...says to someone you are not alone.

And at my .. ahem ... stage in life, to know that I am not alone (even at my most lonely) is a powerful force of change AND hope.

"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.
--Emily Dickinson

And the phrase "standing in the gap" kept coming to me today and I realized that really didn't have a very good idea of what that really meant. It was in that category of phrases I thought I knew, and have used - but didn't really have a grasp of the enormity of what it meant.

The following statement was a collection of definitions/usage of the phrase:

To expose one's self for the protection of something;
to make defense against any assailing danger;
to take the place of a fallen defender or supporter

When I sent out thoughts/prayers/energy - however or whatever is sent- I'm actually accomplishing quite a bit. Much more than I (who has been around this awhile) realized.

The phone company's ad line "Reach Out and Touch Someone" carried far more meaning than they realized.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Further News About Jesse ~

Sunday, I introduced you to Yen and Jesse - Jesse is fighting a very aggressive melanoma. Yen has posted an update on Two Lucky People. Before you go to it, here are a couple of sections, so that you know: (but please, read his entire post as well)

In the last 24 hours, Jesse’s condition has deteriorated. Although his blood work came back satisfactory, the disorientation from the drug has intensified, cheating him of present reality.

Boxed in a hospital room at New York-Presbyterian, he thinks we are in North Carolina, at an elaborate, colorful circus show. There are land-angry Indians knocking at the door. He is begging me for another dose of IL-2. “I don’t want to die,” he pleads with the doctor. Minutes later, he is tugging at his IV tubes, struggling to stand, asking to go home.

He is taking longer than usual to re-orientate because of the tumors in his liver. “His liver is in bad shape,” said Dr Kaufman. “It will take some time to metabolize all the bags we gave him. Let him sleep. We’ll keep him here for another night if we have to.”

I want no more tricks and fantasies, but the solid hearth of my lover’s chest, breathing into mine. I want sleep in its circadian comfort, days and nights that stay in their respective skies.

Maybe that will be tomorrow.
And again, the most impressive part of all this is the incredible love they have for each other -- no matter what. Also impressive to me is Yen's devotion and belief in Jesse's love and the hope - no matter how dented, damaged - that allows him to continue to believe - far more than most people are capable of.

I hold my own mirror up - would I be able to do this? Could I do it? And would I be able to let others know what I believe?

And, in my own way - with my own faith, I'm standing saying: "No more! This is just not right...he needs to heal!"

And Was There A Party This Weekend?

According to a list I found -
someone had a VERY busy weekend!!!!

2 beers

3 glasses of wine
shared the wine

followed by a couple of margarita's

who bought the four kamakazies!!!

And I promise ~ never again shots of Jack!!!

Nothing like a little recovery via photography I always say ~

Three Thoughts and a Funeral ~ Early Morning Thoughts

I will admit it. I didn't want to post tonight. I didn't want to do much of anything tonight. And I especially didn't want to talk about much of anything. I thought that I would just put up a pretty picture, write about being back tomorrow and that would be that. For a short while that seemed to work as an idea, but then I realized that because I had set some goals - I was going against what I had decided when I first opened PB & J. One of the goals was I would post at least once per day, unless I was sick or such. Another one was I would be sharing and honest. And I've just finished a funeral. (read on McDuff to find out what I'm talking about!).

The whole malaise certainly didn't start when I got up this morning. While an overcast day, I was feeling fine - and actually accomplished a number of things I wanted to get done. And I had some relaxing time and even got some reading done.

I also dealt with some emails that needed attention, two of which really irritated me. And really for no good reason. Yes, one was vaguely manipulating from a dear friend, but he's not really being that way, that's just the way he comes across - but I was beginning to get rubbed the wrong way.

I later realized that I needed to get some shopping done, and got ready to go - and just sat down. I couldn't put my finger on what was going on with me. I finally got up and forced myself out the door. I have found that I can cocoon quite easily if I'm not careful and aware.

When I got to the bus stop I realized what part of the problem knees. I think I may have mentioned this before, but both my knees are in very bad shape. I've misused them, abused them - and now they are having their revenge.

(N.B. slight rant here-skip over if desired:)
Unfortunately, I am one of the millions without health care insurance, and people in government can make all the pronouncements they want about affordable health care - but it matters not if the insurance companies won't take you.

I have a certain amount of money for this purpose, and actually had an insurance company that said they would take me - I was willing to pay an entire year of premiums upfront (I thought the money was talking!). But then, 15 minutes after the phone interview - I got the email turning me down for coverage. Their reason? An operation I'd had 15 years ago. I don't know how much awareness there is about the pricing of medical without insurance, but even paying cash for an operation such as my knees at all the hospitals I've checked with would cost between $32,000 and $54,000 per knee. There is a teaching hospital here that does it for much less (as in 90% less) - but I can't seem to find out how to get it done there - and find a surgeon who is credentialed there to perform it.

I'm there at the bus stop, glad I can sit down and when I get up to get on the bus - I'm hurting. But I sat down on the bus, with a smile on my face (no song in my heart, I'm sorry to report!) At the grocery store stop, the walk to the store was not bad at all. I almost felt as if the pain was going back to where it had been. I did my shopping - slowly - and then checked out. I was struck with how many crabby people there were in the store. One lady was angry because the sacker didn't pack the way she liked it, and so - holding up the line - she repacked everything complete with play by play commentary. I have made a conscious decision that I will try to be understanding of people's bad moods. As someone said, I don't know what battles they may be fighting.

I left the store taking the cart to the edge of the lot, picked up the bags to head down about a block to the bus stop and realized - it wasn't going to happen. I wouldn't make it. And even if I did, it was doubtful I would make it the two blocks from the bus stop to my home. OK - quick decision time. I made my way back across the parking lot, and into the store to call a cab.

The cab turned out to be one of the van cabs - which was interesting getting in and out of. But I managed, and got home all in one piece. Got things somewhat put away - made some dinner and sat down to work on the computer. I was watching the TV in the background and trying to get a program to work in Vista on my computer.

In the meantime, I got another email that I felt was even more manipulative than before - so now I was really getting irritated.

Suddenly, this sense of great sadness washed over me. I don't mean just as a small ripple, but a crashing wave. I was totally taken aback...and awash. I turned the TV off, turned off the computer - turned down the lights and just sat. I listened to within, and searched within to find out what was going on and why.

It started last night I believe with the fight between D&D, and all deep seated fear that brought up, but it seems there was still more. And there was, some of it not surprising - and some was. It seemed that a lot of had to do with a WD that doesn't/didn't seem to exist anywhere except in my own mind. No, I'm not schizophrenic or anything like that! But, this WD was really beginning to get in the way of a lot of things.
Alack and alas, there was nothing to do but to get rid of him. He doesn't take hints all that well, and if simply sent away, he finds his way back. This time I needed to do something quite final...thus the funeral.

I had read about this in a delightful book "Tales of a Reluctant Traveler," by Jeannette Clift George and had often wondered if it was as effective as the author maintained. I thought that tonight was a good a time as any. I literally put a chair by the couch, and held a funeral service for the late WD. I recounted his strengths - never upset, always had the right word to share for any occasion, never wore the wrong outfit, was surrounded by multitudes because of his charming wit, incredible taste, and never ending knowledge of the world around. This WD was a perfect house keeper, gourmet chief using only the ingredients on hand, and could manufacture soap from bread crumbs if necessary. This WD was never at a loss for words, never had to struggle to get ideas out and explained, was sought after as a speaker, house mate, lover and - if offered - president of the universe. This WD was unafraid of what might happen with his knees, or that the teeth needed some attention, or that the store bought glasses were not really working. This WD would never share about struggles, pain or fear - as the people around realized that he had none, or if he did they were of such little consequence, a mere flick of the finger would remove the annoyance. And (as someone at the funeral pointed out) this WD was becoming a royal pain in the ...butt.

As I closed the service, I realized there were parts of him I would miss, but those parts were within me. And as I continue in the struggle to make my maps match my territories, he would have been a major force in keeping me from reaching where I want to go and what I want to be. Perhaps there will be other funerals I will have to have. I'm sure I'll have to have more than one for good ol' WD as he's quite a survivor, but I think those will be a lot easier.

I realize this is a little different from my normal posts, but bear with me - it will all make sense.

more on this later