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The Power of Touch

The power of human touch

I never thought that I would see the day we were under a pandemic. My generation has been the one that has made movies about pandemics, written scores of books, produced hundreds of TV shows about outbreaks, zombies and Contagion, martial law and post-apocalyptic worlds never realizing that we would be the ones who would actually live through it.

This has been a real wake up for most people. All the things that we took for granted, things that we did just out of automated response, we can no longer do. Places we can no longer go, things that (in order to keep from inadvertently spreading the virus to others) now we can no longer participate in.

Take for example the handshake. It’s a simple gesture, yet it’s one of the most powerful things in the universe: a human touch. Because of quarantine, or social distancing if you will, we can no longer shake hands, we can no longer hug and for those of us who are tactile oriented it hurts. There is something about human touch that has a power of its own… it’s healing, it’s human.

The hug: the hug is two human bodies in close proximity to one another exchanging energy and life. Hugs are healing, they’re restorative, they are life-giving. Yet here we are unable to get within six feet of one another in order to share the experience of being human for the time being.

Then there’s dancing: dancing is one of the most social activities known to man. It’s a time where we celebrate life. We celebrate with one another, we celebrate with movement, with companionship and socialization. Dancing is a time where we connect in a cultural setting that allows us to be more than we normally are, to participate in life through movement and music. Even the scriptures (contrary to Baptist doctrine) tells us that dancing fills the soul of mankind and is a form of worship…”And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment. So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns.”

And finally the kiss: whether it’s on the cheek or on the lips the kiss is one of the ultimate shared human experiences. Kiss is one of the most intimate expressions of feeling between two people, especially lip kissing. It’s that proximity of face-to-face interaction completely invading another person’s space and you allowing them into yours. Specifically, they have allowed you into theirs at such an incredibly intimate level, that is so close, it conveys more than just casual acquaintance it says they have given you access to their being at a VIP level.

So, here we are, living in days where we have become islands in and of ourselves by necessity. Doing so in order that we don’t infect one another. Hoping and praying that soon we’ll once again be able to reach out and touch one another in these meaningful ways. Hoping to restore that human contact, that human interaction, which means so much to us … as humans.

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Will We Ever Learn?

So I’m wondering if we will learn from all this.
That no life is any more… Or any less than the next.
That sanctity of life applies to all…
Or it applies to none.
If we mourn the entertainer more than the homeless, if we care more about the million dollar athlete than the frontline care givers….
Then we are hypocrites of the worst order.

I pray we learn the lesson as a people.
I pray that our sudden desire to protect all life doesn’t dwindle after our fear of the unknown is passed and we begin to imagine that we have death under our control again.

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It was like going back in time, that’s only the 2nd time I’ve been back there in 38 years.  The memories were so thick I couldn’t process it all, I was overwhelmed. Standing there on the soil that had shaped so much of my childhood.   I could hear the sounds of days gone by, smell the hot dogs cooking at the snack bar, hear the banter on the fields, feel my cleats digging in at the plate, the pitch, the swing, the ring of my favorite old red, aluminum bat as it made contact,  the feel of it, knowing I got all of that one as I head down the line towards first.  So many Saturdays were spent on those fields. I got choked up seeing they honored my old coach, Bob Dalton, by naming the complex after him.

So many memories both good and bad flood my head.  The feelings that accompany those memories are coming at me to fast to process.   I stand there under the now giant oak trees and remember they were only saplings back then.   My dad stood along the fence over there and…  I have to leave before I start crying.  Everyone knows there’s no crying in baseball.  phillips-bridgeIt’s all I can do to choke back the memories, and the emotions that accompany them.

To my son, I apologize for being so damned selfish, and disguising it as righteous holier-than-thou religious bullshit in not allowing you to have the memories I have from playing baseball. I hope you can forgive such a selfish old man.

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Ever have an epiphany?
I just did, I had a freaking crap storm of them.
It just dawned on me that in my youth I never expected to live to see my 35th Birthday so I never planned on anything after that. Nothing.
Zip, ziltch, nada.
No financial plan, no career plan, no retirement plan. Just work until I die… so, according to my original calculations I should have not made it to 35. Then my adjusted calculations said I’d never make 45 since my dad died at 44. Yeah, that came and went as well. The final calculations begin this year when I hit 54, the same as as my Grandfather when he died. (and please, nobody give me the whole “it’s in God’s hands” spiel. I know it as well as anyone because I’m still freaking here)
Yep, here I am. Here I am…indeed.
Funny how life doesn’t go according to plan eh?
Epiphany #2 is this: If things are never going to change.. why waste the effort in attempting to make a change? (and please spare me the the self-help, self actualizing crap about, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires” philosophy. Nope, don’t believe that any longer either.)
Time is not on my side, there is more behind me now than there is in front of me, and all the best is in the rear view. There may be some good days here and there in what’s ahead but, it will be neither quantity nor quality and that’s just the facts. That’s not pity talking, it is reality. And that was Epiphany #3.

So, here’s to the days ahead. I know not what they bring. I’ll face them one at a time, and make the most of what is left, with what I have left. A job (yeah ,yeah, yeah… I’m thankful for it… but I hate it) that sucks the joy out of me. A neglected body that will probably never recover from the damage done to this point. And an attitude (and PLEASE don’t lecture me about attitude and how I can change it! I’ve lived with it this long so I’m f-ing comfortable with it.) I tried to reprogram for the past four years and I’m just tired of trying. Life’s too short to eat crab legs… too much effort and not enough reward. Just do what is comfortable and hope for the best.

And that’s it for now.  I’m just weary, bone freaking weary.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Debunking 10 Christian Myths



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The Word is Given!

Ok!  Here it is… the milestone announcement I was waiting on:
“Capt’n is the word given?”
“The Word is Given!  Pipe this to the crew”
“Aye Aye Sir!” … “Attention all hands, Attention all hands, standby for a word from the Capt’n!”
“To the Crew of the HMS Persifler, you have quit yourself with honor and integrity having proved yourself in the Battle of the Bulge.  Be it known to all who shall witness these proceedings that due to valiant effort by the combination of mind, heart and body… 300 has fallen!”
As of today I   am   no   longer   300+   pounds.
I began this battle on January 2nd 2013 at 322lbs.
Today I am 298lbs.
The word of the day is 24.
I have been Quitter Quit Free for 166 days now!

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I figure the world has had enough of my bloated opinions to last it for some time to come. So I’ll be taking off for a while. If I don’t make it back, Raise a Glass to my memory and remember me fondly.

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From Inspector #1


When your quality is this good… Winking smile

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The Post of Nothing

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