For Scotty Dodd


10/31/2011

For Scotty Dodd

It was a beautiful day this Monday. Skies were deep blue, the sun shone so brightly you need sunglasses, even at this time of year. The breeze was soft and gentle, more like a whisper or a beckon call. All around me the hickory trees were blazing yellow, the maples with their red and gold, only the pine trees, not lob-lollies, were still green. I suppose the word for today with its gentle temperatures of Autumn is “arid and pleasant”.

Sitting on the cemetery bench, just above Carlos Henderson’s grave site next to his wife, I had a warm feeling on one side where the sun-shined and a touch of chill on my shade-side. Down below me to the right and just up the grade a bit, them big ole Canadian geese were walking about, munching on the Fescue grass among flat laying cemetery markers.

Passing the time till the procession arrived from Cumming Georgia with my friend Scotty’s remains, I had a most tranquil time as a slide show of the moments and adventures I spent with my friend, the times I did spend with his cousins, his Aunt Polly and his Uncle Frank…. and the times I spent with his Mother and his Father. Not a fast paced rush of pictures or images, rather a moment here and a moment there. Wondering about in a museum with images of mixed media. There be no hurry.

Scotty and I shared a most common denominator when we first met. Simply we both drove the exact same vehicle. His father has inquired if I need a place to stay as I began my career with the USPS. A week or two of quick painting inside a small and sparse apartment above a cinder-block garage built in the 1930’s, I believe, along with a the call to a moving service, everything to be moved at once. I found myself behind a farmhouse in Alpharetta Georgia, one big gas heater in the front room, great kitchen, cold as hell bathroom in the winter and a amazingly neat basement with a garage. But it was to be some time till I met the man who was buried today, and a man who was my friend.

A few minutes ticked past, couple of squirrels chirped about, playing across rough barked limbs of the nearby pine-trees. I let my mind rest on a group of statues just to my left and down hill a bit. Coming up hill towards me three carved and mounted statues one in front a Roman solider leading Jesus of Nazareth, my Lord being middle of the group shouldering his cross, followed by another Roman solider the third life-size, prodding young Jesus up the incline. Above me on the hill, from where I was seated upon the bench is a memorial; toward this the Roman solders and Jesus are proceeding. Looking around and relaxing, it was then I noticed a groundskeeper had shut down his tractor. I don’t recall hearing him drive up my way, having moved from the shaded areas and into the sunlight, he step down from it and disappeared around the back and all was quiet.

Many, many decades ago my family paid for me then a students, way to Europe. The ‘senior college adventure’. Booked to Russia, only to discover someone in the group of collegent adventures could not get there visa approved for a truly Communist/Cold war country, this was in the 70’s. Never the less we embarked on the great tour around Eastern Europe. Of the 4 men, or fellow students I traveled with, may have been five, three of us shared the same name, Bill. Take a group of 20 something year old men, place them in Europe with limited funds and let the adventure begin. Of the tons of memories, of visiting and traveling in countries and towns, and venues I’d spent my entire life to that point reading about, studying about, living thru the pictures and words of others, duh studying of, I found myself there. Surrounded by the scenes, the sites and ghost of civilizations thousands of years older than the country me born and raise in. My strongest memories of those Western civilizations are the carvings, the statues, and the engravings in stone. From them, their creators and their subject one can reach out and feel. Whether smooth polished marbles, or the corner stone to a building of a 1000BC were pizza and wine were sold. Or a temple to the Vestal Virgins of Rome, a circular temple still grand in size and location, Rome may have changed, the Temple remains, as the connection to generations so much closer to Jesus, or Nero, or Mark Anthony was spell binding. Take from those experiences the physical connection to antiquity. Imagine sitting in the most originally acoustically perfect rotunda, designed and built, with the financing of the Medici family, surrounded with recline 5ton statues, all the handy-work of Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci. Why not daydream on such a day as today, sitting on my bench while waiting on Scotty’s procession, indeed, although so very solemn and sad, there was some happy times today.

 

Times being near the beginning of rush-hour traffic with each distant siren I looked around for the funeral procession to enter the grounds. Green-Lawn cemetery is fairly large and spacious and well forested providing a total separation from highways and roads. If one looks in the right direction the tallest buildings from Buckhead to in town Atlanta can been seen from my location. As in life when you least expect it, it happens. Appearing in the valley below the biggest red fire engine available appeared, giant truck with a ladder/platform on top, the words “Johns Creek” painted on its side. Appearing almost sad followed a older water-pumper, wide in girth and statue. Next came a family limo following and a black long bed pickup truck, then a procession of about 15-25 assorted vehicles. I quickly paced down the hill towards Scotty’s final resting tent, along the roadbed, down hill, smartly aside a mausoleum, quietly approaching the tents.

Surrounding his grave-site uniformed Firemen of various representations. A Fireman’s color guard removed the American flag from his casket, After it was unloaded from the rear of the pumper truck, the flag was in turn very quietly presented to his wife, seated. A group in uniform, Scottish bagpiper’s performed Amazing Grace, as beautiful as can me heard. Once done, the trumpeter with the color guard played “Taps”. Between the presentation, the American Flag to his widow, the bagpipes and playing of Taps a man in uniform addressed the family and assembled group. He and another uniformed man talked briefly of Scotty, his life with the Fulton County Fire Department, his love of the work he retired from, as well as the symbolism of certain protocols during the internment ceremony.

From my time sitting on the hill to the ceremony is short and it seemed shorter as well, how brief, oh how briefly. Now the time arrived to speak with the family. Me? I chose to carry the memories with me. I turned and walked away. Only a five-minute walk thru the grounds between the resting places of so many. Past another mausoleum and to my vehicle. My most final though was to linger. So I did. I say it was a most beautiful day and remained a while longer. There was a peace of mind and a peace of the soul. Amen.

 

 

 

 

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@The Wall, again.


@The Wall, again.

I’ve debated to myself the past few months on my blog, or better yet the direction, tone and subject matter of @McTells Place. Here in the middle of October the content still remains “up in the air”. Migration to WordPress from Windows live has been a challenge. The vast number of ‘writers’ is simply amazing here in WordPress; there were tons of ‘writers’, on Windows Live, some good, some great. As was mine then, a daily magazine article of our lives and times. Showing a bit of ourselves our families and the world we lived in to all who dropped by.

Moving to WordPress I felt a challenge too capture a level above, in tone, content, subject as well as presentation, notch up the blog a touch.

I miss the days of posting something of interest; adding a few pictures or a ” it makes me think twice” quote, hit “publish” and feeling the satisfaction. The debate rages I suppose. Simply, ‘post as you like it’, ‘connect the dots’, follow the thread. I find no conclusion and may just discover there is no dilemma.

I have a host of small files in a folder, filed under what else…BS to spur on a blog or post and to follow let me see what tidbits I have.

June blog stuff

The screen shot above should provide some material. First folder is ‘Buddha never through it’.

(He abused me, he struck me, he overcame me, he robbed me”-in those who do not harbor such thoughts hatred will cease. “)

(– Dhammapada 1.3-4; trans. Radhakrishnan

In contrast, Biblical rhetoric is full of references to enemies, slanderers, and persecutors. Buddhism might unmask a delusion here, rather than go on to talk of forgiving one’s enemies and blessing one’s persecutors. Biblical salvation is atonement for evils that have already occurred; but Buddhist salvation is more an effort to prevent the evils from arising in the first place. When they have already arisen, it calmly proceeds to dismantle them by going back to their roots.)

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Now this bit of wisdom was for a study or debate. The debate of Christian and Buddhist philosophy of……..” If a god forgives you of all your sins, then you can continue the cylce of sin and forgiveness. What a horrible thought. Being Christian as I am the challenge of trying to come to a middle ground here was just a little bit too much for me to explore. But I do like neither philosophical thought of dismantling the damage nor atonement of wrong or poor pitiful me. The complete package of info in the folder goes for days. I’ll just stop here and if you like, help yourself to the debate.

Next up in the files is…‘Generational Sins and Curses’. Seems June was the month for religious thoughts. Open up the file and here is a paste.

 

The Bible tells us that the sins of the father can be “visited” down to 3 or 4 generations in future children.

This IS the bible, this IS what the Word of God says. Most churches pass over it, ignore it… I don’t know why… but I have sought it out because I had issues contrary.

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If my memory serves me correctly this was visited as a possible blog when a friend of mine, who over the years/decades has consistently had issues with a vast amount of misfortune visited upon his life. Causing him to call into question the misfortunes as to being not sins of his own, but the curse upon him coming from a prior generation. Simply if ” its not my fault, then who’s’ fault is it?” And greater yet, when will it stop, will it stop and is there an “out” he could arrange. The subject seemed almost taboo as I explored. My conclusion with a grain of salt, with humor and prayer is still open ended, other than glad I’m not him. Indeed his troubles are large in scope and broad in years.

Next up in the files is… ‘Juridical and Ethical’. Once again June was the month of religious, moral and judicial debate I would think.

Dutch philosopher, Herman Dooyeweerd, who recognised that in our living there are several distinct aspects, which should not be conflated into one another. (He proposed ontology; the hyperlinks above are to his proposal for irreducible aspects.) In the realm of personal ethics, the kernel of which is self-giving love, we are called upon to exercise forgiveness. But in the realm of juridical structures of society, the kernel of which is ‘what is due’, we are called upon to exercise proportionality. And since self-giving love cannot be reduced to legal norms nor vice versa, exercising forgiveness does not go against proportionality, but enriches it.

Abstract

Forgiveness, when thought of as an unsolicited gift, may increase the perceived debt of the transgressor to the victim whereas retribution should reduce it.

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Herman has some very deep and very well made arguments to follow up his bottom line of forgiveness “may” my words, increase the perceived debt of the transgressor. In hindsight it is difficult to recall how these 3 tidbits to blog from came about. When I hit a thread to blog on apparently the research is a true roundabout in nature, looking always in more than one two or more directions.

Well there it is, a blog of not much but was a keen interest in Religion, Morales and Philosophy….

As a side note, my previous blog was about my visit again to my Neurologist and surgeon. December of last year there was a late afternoon icing event. As the day ended a light mist and falling temperatures created a perfect glazing all round the city and suburbs. A few years back, knowing my liking of nature in any condition, my younger sister gave me 2 sets of ice cleats. They are simple devices, fitting over boots or sturdy shoes providing metal tacks on the souls of the foot coverings. I had made it back into the office after dark, creeping along with thousands of fellow motorist; it was good to see traffic so well behaved. Leaving the office and headed across the street in a church parking lot to my Jeep, I had removed the ice cleats once inside, and forgot to put them on again head to the parking lot. I have never in my life fallen so hard.

A few months later, the spine is a bit of a problem and repairs are necessary. In the hours, days and weeks to follow the fall, the pain was from the covering of my lungs, a small tear with large pain, the giant haematoma the size of a grapefruit from my thigh to my ankle, seriously bloody. In the body’s need to protect itself, some growths on the lower disc appeared, to protect the damaged area. I can only walk for about 5minutes at a stretch, the pain will knock you to the ground. So I’m waiting for the moon, the stars and heavens to align to have the repairs done. Epidurals help a lot, but only last a week or two.

Time to hit publish, its my day off on Mondays and I’ve got a call in to my isp company because my Fast DSL is dial up speed again. But in my mind DSL speeds are minor this type of problem on the scale of life is low and low again.

 All I have is today and a hope of a tomorrow.

William M. Walden

 

 

I still be waiting on Heaven and Earth


I still be waiting on Heaven and Earth to move my fingers across the page to scribe with freedom, just as the freedom of a one night stand of thrice decades removed, ”moving along shall we”? Oh the mighty blog of the second Millennium or what ever we are to name this decade number two.

Global connection upon my fingertips, fleeting bit of information, random thoughts, instant, nay same time information, or perhaps “just in time information”? Nay again the cursed words of “real time” communication.

Expelling grammar reprehensible to language scholars, weeding ideas to expose the soil of my thoughts, none committal yet then again never wrong, yeh never wrong, explained as a diagram of the latissimi dorsi or a frogs shoulder muscles, exposed to view, though I be neither the creator of such much less the keeper of thus.

So and to and to and fro the words will not come, thoughts brought forth thru conjuring of abstracts, haste a quaff of wine or perchance the bowl of tobacco to further review the course to follow, only constrained upon the seas by winds by tides and by soloist at the helm. I return then.

Yet alas I must rest on this thought as the surgeon before my appointed time draws toward. In the morn a doctor who thankfully, or more better yet “God thankfully” protest a practice of bile’s or humors or leeches too boot. Rather a shingle hung with oath towards prophet. Providing his service of true Craftsman. I salute your statue, skill and knowledge with patience. “Hail to medicine, hail the patient’s patience”. As I in turn hail thee my Good Surgeon.

I trust my blog will idle, till next I may profess. Stay well,

McTell and his elements.

Sed etiam nunc hodie……………

Body and mine seek-out the pain removed. Will there be devil upon my infliction?

From golden light upon a horizon the waking birds begin a song.

Has the “Good Doctor” performed with inspiration ? Rise up and now I wait.

Me mind and body synchronize, trusting. Are Heavens and stars aligned?

Is patience of this patient be rewarded? This body indeed proclaims.

At the end his talents richly honed, no measurement of Solidus will replace.

“A good surgeon has an eagle’s eye, a lion’s heart, and a lady’s hand.”

Medical Volvelle

Medical Volvelle