Let’s Catch Up

So, I haven’t really been here for quite some time. I did, briefly, post my intention to get back to blogging a little over a month ago but now I feel the desire to explain where I’ve been and what’s been going on in my life. It’s funny, I used to feel that this blog was insincere and that I didn’t really post anything meaningful or deep – that my life itself lacked real depth and authenticity.  I think I was right about that. Things have changed. I have changed. The past few years have really put me through the fire.

My relationship of over 20 years ended shockingly and painfully as I was introduced to the true face of my “life partner” who, it turns out, is a malignant narcissist – a term and a personality disorder that I never even knew existed until I began seeking answers and explanations for the inexplicable.

I lost my home and family and, through an unhappy coincidence, my extended family as well. A few months later I lost my job. I lost interest in all of the things that had previously held any importance to me and my health has suffered considerably.

I am in the midst of making a spectacular comeback and am happier than I have been in a very long time. I am also a changed person. A deeper and more experienced person. I hope to bring this depth and experience to my blog and hope to help others that may be experiencing similar issues (to put it mildly) as those I have experienced and am still going through at present. Of course, I am also still going to keep adding to my Marc Bolan tribute and posting all kinds of random stuff as I did previously as my way of showing gratitude for the fact that I am now able to enjoy my life and the world again.  I hope you will

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Summer Deep

Bb Dm Gm
Summer Deep is in the hills again
Ab F
His lady is a lioness
Bb Dm Gm
Winds of birds blow through the fields again
Ab Cm
Invaders from the true worlds
Bb Dm Gm
A coat of grapes is on my back again
Ab F
I ride upon my zebra
Bb Dm Gm
Pteradactyl beak hat on my brow
Ab Cm
The truth is like a stranger
F
Be like you could
Gm
All my friends say (riff 1)
Bb Dm Gm
Summer Deep is in the hills again
Ab F
His lady is a lioness
Bb Dm Gm
Winds of birds blow through the fields again
Ab Cm
Invaders from the true worlds
Bb Dm Gm
A coat of grapes is on my back again
Ab F
I ride upon my zebra
Bb Dm Gm
Pteradactyl beak hat on my brow
Ab Cm
The truth is like a stranger
F
Be like you could
Gm
All my friends say (riff 1)
F
Be like you could
Gm
All my friends say (riff 1)
F
Be like you could
Gm
All my friends say (riff 2)

Riff 1

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-|————-5b(7)—(7)b5—3—5——————|

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-|-6—-5—————————–————————|

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Riff 2

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-|————–—5b(7)—(7)b5—3—5——-3—————————————————————–——|

-|——————————————————————5—3—5b(7)—(7)b5—3—5——3——–—|

-|-6-5————————————————————————————————————-—-5-3-|

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-|—————————————————————————————————-3——————-|

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-|—————————————————————————————————-4——————-|

-|——————————————————————————–————-——-5——————-|

-|-5b(7)—(7)b5—3—5——3————————–———————————5——————-|

-|———————————————5b(6)—(6)b5—3-3-3-3——3———3——————-|

Wow, The Times They Have-a Changed

I haven’t posted anything here for a very long time. Wow. Things sure have changed, both in the world and in my own life. I feel like I’m really starting this blog over again from scratch. I will leave all the old stuff, though, even though quite a bit of material that I linked to way back then is gone now. Time is like water, flowing and eroding and shaping everything in its path. And deleting YouTube videos and websites apparently. I will try to go through my old posts and remove some of the ones that are mere links to now non-existent stuff.

WordPress has changed a lot too – for the better, in my opinion. I really like the new post editor and settings page. It’s a lot easier to use than I remember. I hope to be posting a few times a week now and get back to what I used to love doing and to the WordPress community that I used to love being a part of. I’m really glad to see that two of my favorite fellow bloggers are still around – Matt over at The Left Hand of Ehud and Paul at Return to the 80s. If you haven’t already, you should definitely check them out.

 

Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

Last year, during the Christmas holidays, I read a lot of posts from people disillusioned by all of the commercialism so prevalent during the holiday season. Please don’t despair!  Just because the holidays seem to have been co-opted by commercial interests doesn’t mean that the true spirit of the season has to be lost! It doesn’t matter what religion you practice or if you don’t practice any religion at all. There is still something beautiful to be shared and en-JOY-ed during this time of year.  Here are some points to ponder:

  1. We often get so caught up in our daily routines that every single day seems to be the same day & time just flies by without our noticing. During the holiday season, though, things start to look a lot different than on our “ordinary” days. Lights, colorful decorations and joyful music suddenly appear just about everywhere giving us the opportunity to be drawn out of the dream of our daily routines. Take advantage of this opportunity to truly “be there” and to reflect on your life.
  2. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I tend to develop a negative attitude towards the world and the people I encounter throughout the year.  Everyone seems so distant and self-centered and the news is always bad. But during the holiday season, a different spirit seems to permeate – not necessarily other people or the world in general, but within myself. I don’t know if it’s the pretty lights or the music or if it’s just the simple fact that I am now thinking about giving gifts to others instead of just thinking of myself as I do for most of the rest of the year. Whatever it is, I start to see people differently and my heart is filled with love instead of mistrust, disdain or indifference. Maybe I should reflect on this & ask myself if my life might be happier and more meaningful if  I looked at people through the lens of the Holiday Spirit all year long. In other words, maybe the problem is me and not them.
  3. The winter holidays are very interesting from a psychological perspective in that this is the time of the year when the days of sunlight are so short, everything is mostly grey and dead looking. And, yet, this is the time of year when humans choose to celebrate their most festive and extravagant holidays! If this doesn’t speak of a great spirit of Hope & Faith, I don’t know what does. Think about it:  If suddenly everything that supplied you with your life’s sustenance was suddenly dying and disappearing, wouldn’t the sane thing be to hoard as much as you could get your hands on? Instead, we prepare great feasts and give everything away. Think about this deeply.

So, don’t despair! Sure a lot of people are looking to make lots of money from the holidays – it only makes good business sense. But good business sense has nothing to do with the true Holiday Spirit. As stated in #3 above, the holiday season is really all about a glorious foolishness and madness wherein human beings choose Hope & Faith over Fear & Uncertainty! So, let’s all try to take advantage of the season to go a little crazy & to take a look around at the world and at each other and see if maybe there isn’t a little Love, Joy & Hope to be had.

Getting Back Into the Visual Arts

I just got a new digital tablet/pen because I would like to get back into drawing and creating visual art.  This is my first drawing/painting. Because art is always open to interpretation, I will leave it to you to decide what this piece depicts and will refrain from making my interpretation known. If you’re interested in an audio accompaniment to this picture, try this one on for size. I think it will fit quite well. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Newest Upload to SoundCloud

As most of you know, I am an amateur/hobby musician trying to improve and learn more about playing and recording every day. Below is my latest upload to SoundCloud. It’s a short acoustic piece played on my classical nylon-stringed guitar (2 or 3 separate tracks, I think.) I recorded it awhile ago and just came across it. I think it’s kinda pretty and I hope you like it too!

Hurricane Sandy & The Upcoming Election

There has been a lot of talk this past week about the effect of Hurricane Sandy on the upcoming elections. As I watch news footage of this devastating storm I too am thinking about the effect that this storm will have on the elections, but my concerns have nothing to do with voter turnout or interrupted campaigns. Instead, I am thinking about the millions of Americans who are watching the same news footage that I am watching and seeing the heroic efforts of other Americans in trying to help those who have been stranded, injured and suffered terrible loss of property due to this storm.

Much has been made during the current political campaigns about the cost of social programs and aid provided by government to those of us who “should be more self-sufficient and stop thinking of ourselves as victims.” Who can forget Mitt Romney’s comments about the 47% of Americans who “don’t pay taxes” won’t vote for him, as they “are dependent upon the government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

I am not a Liberal or a Conservative. I am, however, an American citizen and a human being. I prefer to not label myself and to keep a real open mind when it comes to anything. I don’t believe you can ever learn anything or get anywhere in discussions with other Americans or other human beings if you are enslaved to “ologies” of any sort which cause you to be unable to really hear and perhaps give credence to another’s viewpoint when they may actually have a point worth considering. This is why I will admit right off the bat here that, in part, I agree with the idea that people should become more self-sufficient, confident and willing & able to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, as the saying goes.

What I disagree with, however, is the purpose for doing so. A person should become as strong and able as they possibly can NOT just so they can survive when others do not. A person should become as strong and able as they possibly can in order to be able to help others in times of need who cannot help themselves.  As this terrible “Frankenstorm” has shown us, “shit happens”.  It happens to all of us at times. There is not a person among us who has not or who will not need the help of another at some point in our lives. To watch those who CAN help those who CAN’T during this devastating storm fills my heart with joy and love and renews my sense of pride in being an American and a human being. The issue shouldn’t just be about those who need help in this country, it should also be about the fact that we, as Americans, need to give help to others. It is not just a simple matter of economics it is also a spiritual matter. It is a question about our purpose and the meaning of our lives.

American politics get into a lot of moral areas where many of us think it should not:  debates about abortion, euthanasia, and gay marriage. The reason these issues do come up, whether we like it or not, is because we want our government to reflect our moral values. We don’t just want a cold and efficient bureaucracy running things.  We want our “leaders” to care about the things that we care about and to mirror our values.  In this time of great economic crisis, our morality has been muddied and clouded with fear.  The issues as they are presented to us are not moral issues but are instead based on cold, practical policy-making. Sure, the issue of “gay marriage” is once more in the forefront. But does “gay marriage” really count as an issue that defines us as a people and as a nation? I would say that it does not, no matter what side of the debate you’re on. What really defines us as a people and as Americans are the very acts that I’m watching on my television today:  our willingness and our ability to be there for each other and even for those in other countries around the world when we are needed.

The issue over government provided social services and aid programs isn’t just about those who NEED services. It is also about those who need to PROVIDE services. We are a nation of givers. It is a large part of what defines us as a people.  It is often said that the United States of America was founded on Christian principles. This idea impels many of our political choices. What Christian principles could be more important than those of Faith, Hope, Charity & Love? It seems that we have forgotten these while focusing instead on finger-pointing and judging others. Let’s not allow fear (which is the absence of Faith & Hope) to defeat that which is the best in us. If we work together and listen to each other and care about each other, we can overcome any crisis while maintaining our integrity and our principles. Let’s not sell these so cheaply.

So, please watch footage of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy with me and allow your heart to be moved by the courage and spirit of our Fellow Americans reaching out and helping other Fellow Americans in need. Let your heart decide the future of our country and not your fear or your political affiliations.  Let’s remember together what really makes America great. This would be the greatest and most important impact that Hurricane Sandy could possibly have on our upcoming elections.