Coffee beans and lemon grass………..


Coffee beans and lemon grass……….. The Poet Laureate of Jamaica.

One man’s dilemma is another man’s enlightenment. When the colonies revolted in North America and eventually produced the United States of America the revolution is considered only a part of Europe’s’ period of ‘enlightenment’. But for the citizens of the colonies it was a time and a place of such overwhelming importance that in the country itself there is no period of ‘ enlightenment’ as well most of Europe knows the reciprocal. This I believe to be true.

And what is the point? What we see and hear and learn, the knowledge one carries for their life is the compilation and assimilation of environment. Each generation hopefully and with wishful thinking becomes immune to repeating the lessons of the previous generation. At times there is success. At times a hundred generations still fight the same fight. Does the repetition of struggling comes from lessons never shared or possibly not learned? Just may-be we feel compelled to dominate what we cannot. Dominate nature, her mountains and seas….all creatures and man himself at the sacrifice of enjoining and communing of thriving and sharing. A human trait of arrogance which cannot exist outside of a humans mind. Behold the universe and apply arrogance, only misery will replace the falsity of that human vanity.

The country of Jamaica beginning in the 1960’s and lasting into the 80’s experienced something of a social revolution which appears lost to history. From those years came Mervyn Eustace Morris the Poet Laureate of Jamaica. Exploring life and death, living and surviving, Morris pens a social consciousness of his brothers and sisters. Not always quickly understood but timeless and accurate, his writings and observations of man, mankind and life stand today. Showing the reader a hallowed ground of allusion balanced with restraint. Indeed forcing the reader to earn the reward of reading, denying his fans and friends or family an instant fix of satisfaction. Writing in sparse and rhythmic verse, he writes as a Jamaican ….

“A Chant Against Death”

say family
say friends
say wife
say love
say life
say learning
laughter
sunlight
rain
say cycle
circle
music
memory

The thing of life, a heartbeat from start to end. He writes from the consciousness of himself.

As the Poet Laureate of Jamaica, Morris produced with neither reluctance nor ambivalence, verse written in ‘International English’ of political ideology. His message being simple and unadorned. Do we too easily become what we rail (verb) upon, socially, morally and unconsciously, “once you choose a side“.

‘To An Expatriate Friend’

Colour meant nothing. Anyone
who wanted help, had humour or was kind
was brother to you; categories of skin
were foreign; you were colour-blind.

And then the revolution. Black
and loud the horns of anger blew
against the long oppressions; sufferers
cast of the precious values of the few.

New powers re-enslaved us all:
each person manacled in skin, in race.
You could not wear your paid up dues:
the keen discriminators typed your face.

The future darkening, you thought it time
to say good-bye. It may be you were right.
It hurt to see you go; but, more,
it hurt to see you slowly going white.

Coffee beans and lemon grass in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica.

Coffee beans and lemon grass in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica.

Poet Laureate Remarks at Investiture Ceremony King’s House, 21 May 2014
” As Dahlia Harris put it recently, speaking on behalf of Minister Hanna:
We hope for “poetry driven by a freedom to speak of ourselves . . . through forms,
content and language . . . more reflective of who we are as a people.” “

  • * * * * * * * *
  • “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.
    None but ourselves can free our minds.”
    ― Bob Marley

 Jamaica in the early 80’s gave me many gifts I have never forgotten nor taken for granted. These children are now the men of their country. I cannot speak for them but only read the wisdom they share to this day….walden

Advertisements

A Christmas Fairy Tale…..


Here is a true Christmas Fairy Tale. Brian the groom thought up a plan to surprise his wife to be. This occurred last week, just before Christmas at the Mall of Georgia up the road from where I live. Take a minute to enjoy and celebrate.

Really random stuff…..


Just posting to keep a pulse on my blog. So for now its mostly visual and sparse and really random..enjoy.

When at this computer here in order is the album of songs I listen too. If not this then I stream WKDK am…..Newberry South Carolina. Evenings mostly is random music from the 60’s thru the 80’s, time, temp and weather. Other nights its South Carolina ‘Football’…

Soul Serenade…..King Curtis

Dig a Pony…………Beatles

Across the Universe…….Beatles

Devil Got My Woman….Gregg Allman

Bell Bottom Blues…..Derick and the Dominoes

Bertha…..Grateful Dead

Savannah Mama….Blind Willie McTell

Back on My Feet Again….Randy Newman

She Caught the Katy……Wet Willie

Wah-Wah……..George Harrison

The weather in the south has been wet this summer. Its easy…East Coast moisture north to south…mid third of the country moisture wraps southward above the plains. funnel into Ga-alabama

I’m behind the new Alpharetta City Center 100%…..lol.

Alpharetta City Center

Alpharetta City Center

 One supervisor and one worker. Its the American way..

1 supervisor 1 employee

1 supervisor 1 employee

When I was a kid in the 1960’s this was the Thomson/McDuffie county Jail House.

Thomson/McDuffie County Jail House

Thomson/McDuffie County Jail House

About 10 minutes from the house. Swallow at the Hollow. 100% great Southern Bar-B-que.

Singer-song-writer showcase and Americana music…think ‘The Loft’ on satellite radio.

Swallow At The Hollow -Roswell, GA-

Swallow At The Hollow
-Roswell, GA-

Sir Richard Branson…see below.

Richard Branson -5 questions and a quote-

Richard Branson
-5 questions and a quote-

I cannot for the life of me find the ‘5 Questions’ Branson published. The questions suitable for a job applicant or the applicant to the employer… Quotes below.

‘Why a business plan is only as good as one’s first contact with a customer’.

‘What do you need to take on a giant & win? Nothing but bravery, good people & a great idea’.

‘If somebody asks why are you looking up at the sky, ask them why they aren’t looking up at the stars’.

First ‘ floor-mat’ joke of your day??

Floor Mat

Floor Mat

Dockerys restaurant closed this year and it happened sooner than later. I’m here with the lady who brought me my last meal. She had always been the best.. During the goodbyes I managed to take some pictures of the people who I shared the establishment with over the years but never held a conversation.

She and I

She and I

 

I found a great sit back with a cup of coffee on a rainy Sunday afternoon. With this piece thirty minute read is too short, great article nevertheless.  Don’t let the title fool you into believing its a ‘government/political statement from the State department. It more and provocative in the light of the reality. Families apart and separated physically and emotionally, divided by juxtaposed societies and bound by their common culture.

THE ISLAND OF STOPPED CLOCKS: INSIDE CUBA 50 YEARS AFTER THE REVOLUTION

THE ISLAND OF STOPPED CLOCKS: INSIDE CUBA 50 YEARS AFTER THE REVOLUTION
BY JACKSON BLAIR
(What you cannot see on the video is how, over the course of the next few hours, Lesley realizes she’s lost the 25 years for good. That after all this time, the history they shared is too too faint or too slight to be recovered. Entering the terminal, she felt a brief but overwhelming sense of familiarity. But after the hugs and tears subsided she felt tentative and swept up by family in name only).

Leave em’ laughing I’ve been told….Lighter side of life.

-Why does Goofy stand upright and Pluto stand on all four feet? They’re both dogs.

-Do “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “The Alphabet Song” have the same tune?

-On Gilligan’s Island, the professor could make a radio out of a coconut. Why couldn’t he fix the hole in the boat?

-If Wile E. Coyote has enough money to buy all that stuff from ACME, why doesn’t he just buy himself dinner?

Moby Dick
Elijah:
( Ye’ve shipped, have ye? Names down on papers? Well, what’s signed, is signed; and what’s to be, will be )

Mark Twain on the press:

“There are laws to protect the freedom of the press’s speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press.”

It seems to me that just in the ratio that our newspapers increase, our morals decay. The more newspapers the worse morals. Where we have one newspaper that does good, I think we have fifty that do harm. We ought to look upon the establishment of a newspaper of the average pattern in a virtuous village as a calamity.

Just really random stuff….

Voyager 1…..Happy Birthday


Reading my e-mail this morning I came across article of enlightenment from ‘Brain Pickings‘ the online magazine of astonishing information, literature, the arts and entertainment.  In 1990 on this day Voyager I took a series of photographs from outside the Earths solar system distance of roughly 6 billion kilometers. Still operating today, March 2,2013 it was the brain child of Carl Sagan and his campaigning to capture a parting photograph of Earth. Voyager I was not expected to last much longer. Below is the picture entitled ‘Pale Blue Dot’ as well as the philosophical and literary discourse Dr. Sagan gave to you and I.

Seen from about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles), Earth appears as a tiny dot (the blueish-white speck approximately halfway down the brown band to the right) within the darkness of deep space

Seen from about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles), Earth appears as a tiny dot (the blueish-white speck approximately halfway down the brown band to the right) within the darkness of deep space

—Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity — in all this vastness — there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

bonus if you kept reading……

Which is more useful, the Sun or the Moon?” The Moon because the moon shines at night when you want the light, whereas the Sun shines during the day when you don’t need it.” 

 

Martin Luther King 2013


 Monday, January 21, 2013

Beautiful day off from work and all because we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Weather is blue skies, mild temperatures, light breeze and blazing winter sunshine…good enough.

I dug out my pickup truck from the shop behind my home and we spent the balance of the day running errands. Retrieved my suit from the cleaners where I hugged Ms. H. goodbye. After a generation or two they have sold the business and the plant up the road from here. Shes sincerely old enough and carried the business for long enough, but it was sad and happy time. Cruised the ‘mall’ for winter sales and there are plenty in the clothing departments, just nothing useful for me now or later but I did spend sometime in the parking lot where a new cinema complex is being constructed inside the existing North Point Mall structure.

The movie house across the street @N. P. Mall is way out dated for the business, in a decade and a half, the size of the existing movie-house as well as the nature of viewing and projection equipment has changed. The new movie house is about 3 stories tall to fit the IMAX format and other mulit-venue viewing areas…’I hope I got the talking points close’. Hey I like to watch the big cranes and giant/giant size truck moving the building materials and such about…OK? It’s a guy thing.

Finally nailed a coffee @Starbucks last thing and got some notes put together, especially the opening quote below. The quote was on a Macy’s paid tribute to Dr. King and is tasteful (period). I just wanted to say something a bit ‘furthur up the road’ on Dr. King and his works and well to me and for me there are or is so much unfinished.

I chatted briefly with a retired gentleman in Canada, Francis Rupert Legge just last month, we have shared parts of our lives on FB and become ‘brothers’ and yes Francis we are. In his writings and a prolific writer he is Francis with his education from United States, Cambridge England, his skills Engineer/Physicist are a ‘great resume’ its his writings that should be preserved, maybe not all his opinions (insert lol). It was the day he mention coming to Atlanta to hookup with Dr. King at the old Hartsfield or Midfield airport and ready to head to Selma, Alabama. Speechless as I was I assure any and everyone Francis or Sir Francis as I call him is as so-many in taking little or no credit for being on Dr. Kings front-line as a ‘foot-soldier’, the honesty of those who followed Dr. Kings’ calling it was not then or now a social limelight. Sir Francis is opinionated and experienced and Francis Rupert Legge walked the walk with Dr. King, he saw the writing on the wall as that period of time was happening and sacrificed his time and life at that point and made the effort to come thousands of miles to be a part of the ‘Dream’. From my chats and writings with Francis he is sincere that he was happy to be there in thought, word and deed and that’s good enough for him..read below and for me it pales to what these men ‘Accomplished’.

 

 

MLK notes…

Dr. King Memorial

Dr. King Memorial

 Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase’.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  I’ve come to a somewhat clueless point in a road “as to where” Dr. King would have continued his philosophical debates. More pointedly as he moved from “moral & social” agendas towards economic equality in the United States of America. Surely he was as aware as anyone of the overtones of Socialism was he not? Of “class systems and caste societies “?

Just a question or two that for me in the short or long run of a life or generation I believe promotes many people away from patronizing the good Doctor and his works. But maybe, just maybe questions will propel his works “forward” to someone who will continue his work.

Dr. King was nearly not finished and his work is neither. God only knows how much he gave to the world thru his actions, writings and nonviolent protest. Can we not give back a tithe of that? Can we not refresh his work and carry forward and sincerely “not” lip-service and regurgitate him, his life his family and all their sacrifices as history fades and the old solders who were there vanish?

History is best told by those who lived it not those, no matter how eloquently speak upon it……

Amen Dr. King…..Amen

ps….if I get any of the above ‘really wrong’, either  Sir Francis or Dr. King will nail me. I think I pretty much got the above just about right…

Francis R. Legge

Francis R. Legge

 McTell

From my i-phone

XXVII fortnights have passed………


It is here the background begins as too ‘why’ thee Crimson Court convenes..

There was a small kingdom within a kingdom and it was there a most productive, well ordered and progressive village did grow. Many a generation all did thrive. The women bore their children, the men fought in wars when called upon to defend their good and dignified town and in turn their kingdom. No-one of conquered lands would call these fine citizens imperialist. Their fields were prosperous and productive. All was not perfect in the small town nor wrong nor bad. The ‘torch’ of knowledge was passed accordingly from the elders to the next younger generation and only when thee generation had earned knowingly and accordingly the lessons of life, some achieving higher stations obviously than others. Lessons were hard earned and oral history passed to the next,  much like the boot-maker or artesian who from apprenticeship to journeyman toiled for the day his shingle is hung to pronounce to all ‘craftsman’.

 Do not be misled that the lessons from the elders and knowledge gained to be accepted as an elder is or ever will be as simple as the craftsman. His ‘will’ to be the judge and jury, King or executioner, forever carrying the burden of self sacrifice, decision making with a most voluntary introspective penitence to be fair, right and final in any and all conflict of dogma. Indeed every decision follows him to the grave and accordingly beyond. And it is to the beyond his life has answered too and conferred with since birth. Sadly found in all land of plenty and good will be those who find a village or kingdom is but a natural resource they reave too quietly rape!

 When those ‘said forth summoned’ do arrived to be judged, be ye man or woman and thee forced or misled to assist with infecting the ‘essential structures’ of the villages’ and kingdoms’ dogma with blacken skepticism.  Let it be noted now…. Some will have hands empty of the wrong they have done.  Others  yes they will possess vast canyons of arrogance, ‘intelligent practice’ with grey cloud of pragmatism.  Be not caught off guard when indeed they lay claim to the darkness of their history.  They among themselves have written their history to serve only to elevate and serve a very dark and ignoble deed of greed and I do submit as wrong. 

“This I Have Written”

Convene the Crimson Court…


Adventum “aurata Wren” signa iudicio Tx3 in Regnum RUFUS. Apparet quidem ut in curia est ad conveniri. Fiat scriptum. amen

Arrival of the “Gilded Wren” signals a verdict of Tx3 in the Kingdom of Crimson. Forthcoming indeed as the court is to be convened. Let it be written. Amen

Unfortunately, simplistic vindication seldom illuminates profound issues, hence the reliance of the weak upon myth.

Quote from “Sir Francis”

 

 

Is there nothing I can do . . . . . .


First 5 bars

 We are always meditating on something, but we get to choose what.

When the subject or the personal or professionally interaction occurs where there is myself and a woman involved is there nothing I can do to better or more thoroughly understand the female’s mindset?  Nearly six decades into this life and the ever changing ever evolving opposite sex still remains to this individual the enigma dwarfing the construction of the pyramids of Egypt much less the concept of the Pythagorean Theorem.  I not sure but the feeling is this blog is about women simply because you remain to this day the mysterious one of all to me it seems you the female are never alone no matter where you are and seemingly never lost or at a loss.

Just this past week I head up to Dockerys’ here in-town for the weekly treat of eating a meal out of the house and in a café. The lunch menu as well as the breakfast has always been simple and good. Omelets, eggs, grits, biscuits for breakfast or the meat and two with tea and cornbread for lunch and maybe a desert. In the past few months since receiving a free iPhone I’ve developed the habit of copying articles and book chapters to notepad and forwarding them to my hot-mail account. Wherever I am I can open up a e-mail and read too my hearts content with out surfing the net. Two different letters I’d sent to my hot-mail account have kept me busy for a while. The first is EXPOSED By Emily Gould 05/08 where a argument with Jimmy Kimmel on CNN produced something of a life changing publication and provocative insight for Emily. The other and most exciting e-mail read is with Cheryl Strayed the writer whose career is looking like a NASA mission to the ISS.

At age 22 Cheryl having lost her mother age 45 to cancer having a marriage in taters and unable to find the correct energy to keep her family together bailed out into California to hike the PCT all 1100 miles from the desert to the mountains. Having never camped in the out of doors much less backpacked she did it. She did it thru every season available and the trials and pain, mental and physical. Admittedly and rightfully Cheryl realized the journey was not the answer to her troubling life but a benchmark to follow thru to where she is today. The adventure entitled * “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” immediately was optioned by Reese Witherspoon and Director Lisa Cholodenko will be at the helm with Cheryl on as associate producer.

Having walked up to Dockerys seating myself as the custom without looking up I muttered ‘unsweet tea’ to the waitress while scrolling up a read on the iPhone.  Better yet below the pictures is what I wrote down when I got back to the house after lunch…..

 

Chicken Lady of Alpharetta

Chicken Lady of Alpharetta

Beets..Okra..Chicken dumplings..cornbread

Lunch today the waitress brought me a tall glass of tea and a very short straw. When I mentioned to the waitress the fact my straw was a full couple of inches beneath the lip of the tea glass the waitress instructed me thus..

‘On the wall in the men’s-room is a roll of paper on the wall, write your complaint on the roll and we will see to it”!! The mood in the dining area changed to much better when the waitress returned with a short glass of tea and …a long straw asking me if I am happy now.  Got around to asking her name something I find difficult to do unless the ‘timing is correct’. With orders and conversations abounding during the lunch hour I waited until the cube-rats had thinned a bit.

15 minutes later she sat down at a side table rolling flatware into paper napkins with the pause in the air I simply asked ‘what’s your name?’.  Replying she said ‘just call me the Chicken Lady of Alpharetta’. I laughed or more so the chuckle mentioning if indeed I could use the name in this blog. ‘Make me famous and put in there I’m from ‘Mobile, Alabama’. Scooting back it my plate while sitting two tables apart we discussed the differences of Birmingham, Alabama from middle of the state to differences of lower and gulf coast Alabama.

Chicken Lady of Alpharetta said her grandmother’s side of the family was mostly from Louisiana and it was there she had spent half of her life.  Interestingly enough I felt she had a closer affection  ofLouisiana than Mobile. In fact she told me her grandmothers’ home on Dauphin Island, Alabama had been lost to a hurricane in the 60’s. Blown clean off the low lying island the structure floated on the ocean for three days becoming a hazard to navigation until it sank to the bottom. Her grandmother’s home was rebuilt on the tiny island. The latest word from the island Chicken Lady of Alpharetta told me of State Farm insurance company celebrating the last remaining tree on Dauphin Island being lost to a hurricane. Apparently the regular weather devastation of the homes on the island cause by falling trees had dug a hole in the company’s profit margin!!!

Found a e-mail from a special interest group I’d signed up with a few months ago over internet usage, freedom of speech, intellectual property, bandwidth, twitter and well just about all things internet. The subject at hand was the ongoing problems with Pinterest over property rights. Locally a woman with a Boudoir Photography company and Portrait Studio of the highest caliber had second thoughts from blog input. Too make a long story short after gnashing of teeth and fretting Kirsten Kowalski in her blog ‘ ddk’s blog ‘  deleted her work in Pinterest and it hurt her to do so. The viral input landed on the desk of Ben Silbermann owner and founder of Pinterest. For business purposes his site is the godsend for companies like K’s photography but and the but is large as always attorneys has spelled out the most ambiguous terms of usage and Kirsten spent a lot of time reading the ‘terms’ in order to be a good steward in using the site and had to delete her works. In the end Ben Silbermann firstly e-mailed to arrange a ‘call’ to see what the two of them could brainstorm in order to get K’s business back and to expand the business while protecting the artist work and his ‘terms of usage’.  There are some links if you care to look a bit deeper and check out ddk’s studio and blog.

With one foot in the door and one foot out something I though I’d never see and something I’d never considered. Singer, songwriter and artist Gregg Allman’s biography debuted at #2 on the New York Times best seller list.

My Cross to Bear #2

My hats off Mr. Allman and good health to you too. From the excerpts I seen of the book the cloak is removed allowing the life and times of him, his family and music to be laid out and available for viewing. I’ve not a clue as to the highs and lows but in the life of mine the highs will never equal the lows just maybe that’s what makes my life  so very real.

give a listen……..McTell

 

 

 

A bit early Spring……


A bit early Spring…….

Just another day in the week of a month where Spring arrived several full fortnights in advance of Mother Nature’s typical cycle. Sitting down @the desktop I’m wondering what will follow months from today.  Will August arrive as a September and so forth. A second observation of question is will this summer in North America be warmer than the previous?  Summer of 2011 was warm and hot in a long and abundant sense rather than something to spike the thermometer daily and nightly. Previous to March the tornado sirens have already show they work when needed, and the season will last for months to come.

Hit the stand-by of WMP for a load of Allman Brothers to spur the imagination. Vintage and still relevant their first album entitled, “The Allman Brothers Band”. The opening cover of Spencer Davis’s Don’t Want You No More, is still as fresh and sonic as it was the day my sister brought me home a copy, it stayed on my record player for years. It was 1969.  On the subject, Gregg Allman has a book coming out just about now.  Having survived the decades as an artist, a “Rock-Star’, and the liver transplant this may be a worthy read……..available May Day 2012. “ My Cross to Bear”.

On the moving forward side, a company named C. W. Matthews began clearing the woods in front of the house here as construction begins on removing my street and replacing it with a different one. I’ve spent most of my life in this area and still this is a first. The city purchased all the homes on 27 acres in town, removed the structures. My home is at the east side of the development. My street is being removed, ok?  Quarter of a mile south of me a roundabout will be installed and the road will angle north in front of my home, end with a traffic signal a hundred yards away with a left or right turn.  The old road way will be taken up leaving a contiguous parcel of 28 acres of land. Upon which will be a park, a library and a city courthouse. All this is done with approval of the citizens of Alpharetta, 29million dollar bond, voted and affirmed. I have no clue what is going on, except I am the host to triple the number of squirrels I had a few weeks past.  New squirrel condos in abundance now..Lastly the parcel of land to be a public park was named March 26th . Brooke Street Park. When the road is finished and the park completed, Brooke Street will no long exist. I do like the name but it makes me sad to loose my street.

Looking south, new road approaching, will Over-lay Brooke Street in picture and continue about another 100 yards north @best to end at traffic light.

Thus a rather large chapter in my life is ending. Could it be akin to a relationship that has concluded and if so how is the end written?  The thought of the chapter being linked to a death of a partner is repulsive, saying the least. Attempting to name the change a formal separation will not work. Separation is not final and this is and it is written in stone. The street Brooke will no longer exist, the name will. A divorce may be the ultimate descriptive word, or best names the chapter. Yet the ‘D’ word has a weakness to simply name the chapter thus.

In Malaysia are a tribe, few in numbers still alive and well living up rivers in a communal fashion, as they have for thousands of years. Living with some modern convinces of necessity, sparse radios for communication and motors on the boats and canned beer.  The tribe still maintains a tradition of life. Many of the men of the community have left never to return, others have served proudly in Malaysian military. Mostly know for their brutal yet skilful removal of the communist from the country in the 1950’s.  Their tradition is called ‘Journeyman”. And it is a lifestyle.

A young man is encouraged to leave the village. Gather experience in life; bring something back to the village and repeat. Rather open-ended as the cycle may be repeated for their entire life.  Just maybe the loss of my street and its name, left only to the park, is a Journeyman. No shingle will be hung now of a life-time craft. Just Journeyman.

Got a few more thoughts there and about. The most nagging one is,” Go outside and wash the car”, it is covered in a very thick layer of yellow pollen. If your not born and raised in this area of the country, the pollen has the tendency to cause ones head to swell, the eyes to water, the nose to spew and a unceasing pressure in the forehead. Resulting in misery of the highest order.  Turning 57 on the 27th of March and repeat to myself the mantra I have for 35 years.  “ Where will I be in a year?”    McTell…

 

 

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.