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Thursday, October 29, 2009

JJ: Midnight Musings

Writing. I can sorta do okay with kinda-documentary stuff, but when I try to put thoughts, feelings and attitudes down on paper, be it electronic or wood pulp, I get things all scrambled up. When I try to wax philosophical, I just pull some of my hair out -- improper application, I guess. The same thing is true when I try to talk about abstract things. Anyway. I guess I am more or less satisfied with the person I am, but when I look back over the last sixty years, "What if" fuels a lot of middle-of-the-night thoughts. I was looking at a picture Mom took of me at age 6. It shows a skinny kid with a big grin and a BB gun playing outside, and reminds me of one of my earliest recollections -- sitting in the old swing on the clothesline pole thinking "1952 is the best year ever!" Mom was getting married and I was going to start school then. The next photo in the old album shows me at age twelve, fat and sober looking, playing indoors with an electric train. The biggest contrast between the two shots is the level of happiness I show. Life with a step-father wasn't what I thought it would be and neither was school. I spent the years between six and sixteen in an emotional rollercoaster ride that bottomed out with me sitting on the edge of my bed holding a pistol to my head, and despising myself for not having the courage to pull the trigger. School was a problem because I'd never learned to socialize, or really had the chance to, growing up with no siblings, or neighbors anywhere close to my age. Dad was a problem because he was what he was, which tended to be opinionated, outspoken, and hot tempered. I think a lot of people didn't like him, an opinion that was reinforced whenever I overheard other farmers or family like Grandma Streit talking about him. Anyway, I can't decide if it was nature or nurture that gave some of the things that I do not like. I am lazy. I don't know if this is something I inherited or not but I suspect some of it is from stories I heard about Ian, my father, who'd rather ride a horse than walk. My favorite uncles lacked ambition, though that may have been from contentment and not laziness. I am too comfortable with clutter and mess and too uncomfortable in a neat and sterile environment. (That last was always a bone of contention between Dad & I -- he was a farmer to whom hedgerows and brush and weeds were kind of an abomination and I always thought neat green fields were boring. I guess our definitions of sterile differed: to him, sterile meant not productive and to me it meant bare of birds and wildlife.) I am not good at confrontation. I try to avoid it, but when I can't I tend to overreact. I blame Dad for this, working with him or being around him led to a lot of confrontations. He fought with his brother over the management of the hog farm -- and I mean fought, as in bruised knuckles and black eyes. In his sixties, he had a road rage confrontation with two bikers out on Lower Valley Road. I learned to bottle up my anger because things always got worse when I didn't. I have mentioned having a grasshopper personality. I take the blame for this myself, though heredity might be a factor. I know that part of my attitude comes from laziness, part from Scripture, (Matthew 6:34 "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself: sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,") and part from Vietnam. Vietnam? Yeah, when I went there, I was pretty convinced I'd never come back, and along the line since then I have seen too many unexpected deaths and a whole lot of people's plans ruined by things they never foresaw. I've also worried about a lot of possible events that never did take place and been smacked by a lot of things I never saw coming. So screw it. What happens, happens, and I just go through the days as best I can. There is another problem with Midnight Musings besides incoherence: I tend to delete them. I write them, read them over, try rewording them so they make some sense, and then trash them. I am going to sidestep all that with this post and put it up as is. Beware of Typos and don't fall into any Deep Thoughts. TBC (Me)