Song of the Week for 9/11/2011

Live. Love. Breathe. Dance. Sing. Create. Follow your heart. And be there for people.

It’s too easy to lose each other. And time is always short.

 

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The Passion of the Tim

"It's just the beast in me..." --Elvis Presley, JAILHOUSE ROCK

Hiatus over.

The past couple of days were rough ones. Kate and I were getting along wonderfully again, then POW, we stumbled over some truly picayune stuff and suddenly were back in the stress zone.

Neither of us acted as well as we might have, both of us being human, but I have to lay claim to the lion’s share of the blame. I overreacted to some things, then my mind wouldn’t let me release it even as I kept trying to. Kate was visiting her family, and wanting to go be with them, and we were arguing via text. I kept saying stuff like “It’s okay, go, I want you to enjoy the time with your family,” and I was sincere…but there was a rhetorical snapping turtle in my head that would only let me sit calmly a minute or two before throwing some new antagonistic comment out and insisting I send it her way. And I would try to maintain self control and not send it, but would lose the fight. Then after some more shared friction, I’d be back to saying I didn’t want to keep her from her family.

And, I wound up damn near destroying our relationship, which we’d managed to rebuild from our earlier problems. By the time I went on “hiatus,” I felt I’d lost all hope, and was so devastated I didn’t think I’d be able to do anything positive or productive for a long time…if ever again. Continue reading

Taken By The Wind (A Personal History, Part 4): The Sound of Her Wings

Death is always with me.

I think I first met her Christmas Eve, 1965. I was still a season short of two years old, living in Missouri with my mom who had fled back to her parents’ home to escape my father’s jealousy and rage. My mom’s name was Linda, and she was 16.

She was working that night, I think waitressing or as a cashier…it’s been decades since I heard the story, and have no one to ask now. But I do think she was working in a restaurant of some sort. And she took a ride home with a coworker. Home to spend Christmas with her family. With her baby. With me.

She never got there. Another driver–I think it was a woman–slammed into the car and my mom was ripped from my life forever.

I don’t remember her. I vaguely recall photos of her, but have none, as they’re in my father’s possession and I’m years out of contact with him. She was a cute young Italian girl with a nice smile and lots of long dark hair.

For most of my youth, I didn’t realize the impact her death had on me, except for the fact it put me in the path of a couple of incredibly damaging step-monsters, and left me in the hands of my mean-ass drunken father.

But as far back as I can recall, my greatest fear has been the loss of a loved one. Continue reading

Be All You Can Be (Stay a Civilian)

The past decade has seen a severe resurgence of militarism in the American psyche, a wave George W. Bush surfed gleefully as he destroyed our economy and standing in the world, embroiled us in a needless war instead of pursuing the actual war on terror, and decimated a generation or three as he enriched himself and his pals. It became mandatory to pay tribute to our brave troops and their sacrifice, and any criticism of the military or Bush’s invasion was refracted back on the critics as an accusation that they “didn’t support the troops,” were unpatriotic, or even that they supported our enemies.

Thankfully, after eight years of Bush’s shit, all but the dimmest of the dim realized what a disaster he was as a president, and what a colossal fuckup the Iraq war has been. We have a new president, who is doing a pretty good job overall, though I have concerns (then again, after two terms of Bush, Obama could do nothing but stand in the sun smearing feces in his hair for a year and I’d still give him kudos for doing a better job), and hopefully sanity has mostly returned.

I have always been against the war in Iraq. When Bush “won” in 2000, I predicted that we’d invade. Being correct was not a point of pleasure. I am not blind to the inevitability of war, or the necessity to defend one’s nation “against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” and indeed I voluntarily served in the US Army in large part out of a sense of duty. I believe in fighting when you have to, or when it’s the right thing to do (like our routing of the Taliban and al Qaeda).

So, as a patriot, and a veteran, I’d like to share with you, Continue reading