There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label 7 things about me. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 7 things about me. Show all posts

03 June 2014

How the music of JT changed everything

"I want to try and have a baby"...

"so do I my dear..."

It was a conversation as simple as that. We had a house, we both had jobs, and we were young and in love, so why not? We converted the spare upstairs room into the "baby's room", complete with a crib and I even put together a shelf with children's books. We felt we were ready.

Then I find out about her sexual proclivities, simply stated, she was a whore. That was certainly a turn off for me, so I immediately ended the relationship and a month before I turned twenty eight, found myself living back with my parents with no car, a job I had just started, and heaps of debt.

It was time to grow up and change my life.

I had to rise at five A.M every day to catch the bus to work from the parents home, arriving to work at eight A.M. Plenty of time to think about my life and the direction I wanted to go. James Taylor accompanied me on many of these daily trips.

I would pop the CD into my player and just listen, drowning out the hum of the bus engine. His lyrics comforted me in my despair.

It's been sixteen years now since the days of riding a bus every day, working crazy long hours, and sacrificing many things to prove to myself and others the potential I knew I had inside me.
When the chance came last weekend to see James Taylor in Seattle, there was no question in my mind about it. I feel as though I owe the life I have now to his music, and he delivered on all of my hopes, dreams and expectations.



15 September 2010

Dusting off a closed book : Chapter 7 "Memory"

My memory is a funny animal, as I usually can't remember what I ate the day before, and most conversations blur quickly. But I do have one memory that always stay with me, but why it does is another matter.

I couldn't have been more than four years old when my parents took myself and my brother ( a mere 18 months younger than I ) on our first family vacation. My three younger siblings were still fragmented dreams of the family my parents wanted to have, and with them only being married a few years, I'm sure this was our first vacation as a young family. We loaded up the car and drove to California.

I'm sure that we went and did the typical excursions, but I don't remember any of those. I only remember the beach. I was sitting in the sand, watching the waves come precariously close to my little toes. The sun was slowly working it's way to the other side of the world. My little brother was sitting close to me, making sand castles with our little plastic shovel and pail.

I turned my head back to the motel on the beach where we were staying, the wind lightly whipping my blond locks into my eyes. As I raised my hand to brush the hair out of my face, I saw two people standing there, arm in arm, smiling. My father was surveying the surroundings, soaking in the sunset, the soft waves crashing against the white sand. My mother was looking into his face, and then turned to look right at me, and smiled.

I didn't get up and run to them. I didn't motion to my brother to look. I only stared back, and smiled myself.

I find it comforting to always have this memory with me. I can conjure it at anytime, and like a warm, soft blanket, it always soothes me.
______________

Well friends and neighbors, that's it. Seven things you didn't know about me. Seven things I've not shared with many people at all. I want to thank E.W. from the bottom of my heart for selecting me for this meme, and for Mr. London Street for starting this idea. It has opened up a whole new way to express myself. To continue this meme, I now get to select seven other bloggers to write about seven things. You get to choose the topics. Whether you choose to do this or not is completely up to you. I won't be hurt if you don't accept.

Albatross - I first loved his writing with this post here. Since writing this, he has  metamorphosized into a new type of writer. Whether he accepts this challenge or not, read his work. You will not be disappointed.

Sunny little rain cloud - A friend I met in Kenya this past summer. She told me once that she wishes she was more creative on her blog ( not that it isn't interesting and usually hilarious already!), so here's your chance.

Dopey Larue - Dopey has made a major life change recently in going back to school to pursue a degree in journalism/writing. She is the most positive person I've ever met.

The anarchist project - This blog was started to help creativity flow while working on his book. The book is done, and he's been somewhat quiet since. Maybe this will spark a new writing streak. If not, you will enjoy what has been written in the past.

Avy - Her blog title is hilarious, but her writing is beyond belief. I love everything about her style.

Wild Celtic - I just started following her, but I feel that all she needs is something like this to really let her writing take a whole new dimension.

The Hermitage - Hands down, this is the most creative and unique blog I've come across. Whether she writes a meme or not, you will be better off glimpsing her amazing world.






02 September 2010

Dusting off a closed book : Chapter 6 "still alive...."

My teenage years were no more special than most, I suppose. Rebellion and angst flowed through my body, and I acted out by committing middle class neighborhood pranks such as toilet papering yards, leaving flaming brown paper bags full of horse manure of the porches of adults that deserved it, and writing driveway love messages to girls in shaving cream so that they couldn't be easily washed away with a water hose.

Little did I know that sneaking out of my house at night to commit these acts would almost kill me.

When I started middle school, my parents succumbed to my wishes and let me have my own bedroom down in the unfinished basement of our home. The bedroom had one window that was ground level, and unbeknownst to them, this would be my ticket to freedom. I removed the screen, slid the window back, and crawled out in to the night air each evening to wreck havoc with my friends.

I placed my bed directly under the window so that when I returned I could slide right into the sheets. It seemed to be the perfect scheme, and no one was the wiser. As the days passed, I started to get paranoid that the parents would discover my night time activities, and punish me for eternity. The window was old, and when I opened or closed it, the shrill squeaking it made seemed to be a call to the parents about my misadventures. So I took the window out of it's frame, resting it against the wall.

One morning after a night out, I woke up feeling groggy, sore, and utterly confused. I had always woke before the sun rose so I would make it to school on time. But today the sun was already shining brightly. I knew I'd slept in, and that Mum was going to rant something terrible when she saw me.

As I walked up the stairs, I saw Mum in the kitchen preparing breaky for my younger siblings. Her back was towards me, but she heard my footsteps, and started the yelling....then she turned around to face me and the yelling turned into a horrified scream.

My face and chest were covered in dried blood. I imagine that I looked like Carrie after the bucket had been dropped on her head. Mum grabbed me, demanding to know what had happened, but I couldn't answer her. She stopped what she was doing, grabbed her petticoat, and whisked me away to the doctor.

Turned out that my window to freedom was also my near demise. I had forgot to put the window itself back into the frame after returning home the night before. The wind later that night blew the window over, and it fell, the corner of it landing squaring on my right temple, causing a deep gash, then fell on my little body before finally ending upon the side of bed, out of immediate sight.

The doctor gave me over sixty stitches, and told us how lucky I was to survive this ordeal, as the window came precariously close to severing a major nerve, which most likely would have either killed me, or at the very least turned me into a vegetable.

Mum calmed down, grateful I was alive. I promised to not sneak out anymore ( a promise broken later...)

I tell you this story though because it makes me wonder about a person's purpose here on this earth. What would the world be like if I hadn't survived this incident?

"It's a wonderful life" has always been in my top ten of all time favourite movies. I loved the fantasy of wondering what the world would have been like if I hadn't been born. But as time goes by, and I see the age of the years I've lived showing more prevalently in my face, I think to myself about how things would be different if that window had succeeded in ending me.

And for better or for worse, I'm glad that window failed.

25 August 2010

Dusting off a closed book : Chapter 5 "dark times, dark thoughts"

I opened the door to my apartment, and saw the small blinking light by the phone. Twenty missed calls, twenty messages. I looked at the clock, realizing I'd only been gone a few hours.

Not gone long enough, I thought.

I knew it was her that had called, her voice on the other end of the messages. I wanted to rip the phone out of the wall, throw it to the ground, and pummel the machine to tiny bits with a baseball bat. Instead, I hit play...

The first message started as they usually did, wondering how I was, and if I wanted to see her. She sounded normal enough. But I knew that would change in the messages to come.

Around message four the blame started. I caused her unhappiness, it was my fault for how she felt. I ruined her life.

Message number ten was when words started to slur. I could sense hatred in her voice. Hatred of self, resentment of us. I should have stopped there, but a part of me needed to feel her misery. It made it easier to hate her.

Around message fifteen was when the anger reared its ugly, inevitable voice. Threatening me with violence, then begging me to just "be a man" and come see her. She knew I was avoiding her, and her manipulation over me was unbearable.

The last few messages were quieter in tone. I thought that maybe she was passing out, or just giving up trying to reconcile with me. But then the realization of what she was doing came to light.

"I took them all. I'll miss you forever. I'm sorry for everything, but you won't have to deal with me anymore....tell them all I love...." and then all I heard was shallow breathing, mixing with soft, muffled crying. Then silence. I tried to call back, but only got the busy signal.

You selfish rotten bitch, I thought.

She talked about killing herself all the time, but I always ignored her. In my mind, it was just another way to control me, manipulate me like putty to do whatever she wanted. I never had any say in anything. But, I thought, I have a choice now, don't I?

As the last message finished, I sat in my dark apartment, looking at the phone. Calling 911 never crossed my mind. I didn't want her to be saved. What I did want was to see her at her lowest, in a situation where I would be in control, not her.

Thirty minutes later, I arrived at her place. The door was open slightly, a faint light coming though the crack. Jewell, her favourite musician at that time, was playing softly.

Just walk away, it's not your concern.

But a part of me, a dark, confused, angry part of me wanted to see what was behind that door. I pushed the door open slowly and called out her name. A groan emerged from the back room.

She's still alive.

As I went through the kitchen, I saw papers strewn about. I picked them up reading what was written. They were written to her true love, apologizing for past regrets. Then I saw the kitchen table. It has been cut and sliced with a knife, and carved into the center were the words " every other touch feels pale and shallow"

She wants to kills herself over another man, yet calls and blames me? God I hope she really did it. I'll be free....

A small, crumpled mass lay in the corner of the back bedroom. I bent down to her chest, and laid my hand on her breast. Her breathing was shallow, but she was alive.

As  I touched her, she mumbled thank you, thank you for coming, I knew you would...and then ended that sentence with another man's name. I wanted to kick her, smother her, give her what she wanted.

But I didn't. I held her hand, spoke kind words to her and told her everything would be alright. I should have called an ambulance, but didn't. I stayed with her all night. I kept her alive, and yet felt myself dying every minute I was there.

She survived. I should have broken it off then, but co-dependency is a bitch. I went through similar scenario's twice more, until finally I had enough of her self destructive behavior, wised up, and left.

I hope someone helped her, but it wasn't to be me.

18 August 2010

Dusting off a closed book : Chapter 4 "the magic bus incident"

Hands down, my favourite car I've owned so far would be my granny smith apple green VW 1960's bus. From the moment I paid the nice gypsy woman $500.00 for it (over a nice two paycheck payment plan so I would still have enough gas to drive), and the moment I took the wheel and drove it home, I was in love.

It represented everything I thought I was, or hoped to be, at that time in my life.

It was a beast that had no A/C, or heat for wintertime, and a manual transmission that would routinely give me a little trouble. I was also a little short for it, and I had to squinch up the front seat in order to reach the gas pedal. It only played music tapes, and the only tape I had was the Best of Jim Croce. I became a big fan.

But it was all worth it when a group of us would gather to head to the mountains, either for a overnight camping party, or a chill day hike along the sweet Wasatch mountains. I had many crazy, wonderful times in the magic bus, but their is one day in particular that I remember with much fondness....

It was July 24th, which in my fair part of the world is a State holiday. We packed the bus with a cooler of drinks, and the usual food to cook over a fire. I started heading up the winding road in Big Cottonwood canyon.


a girl I can't remember & my room mate Colby
      ____________

We found a good place to park and explore around. We were hoping to find a spot more secluded  so we wouldn't be bothered by the holiday crowd. So we grabbed our stuff and headed up the mountain. We were glad to be off the beaten path.

When we got to a little hill about 15 minutes later, I looked back over my shoulder to see how high we were. The first thing I realized was that from our elevation, I could see the entire road, and magic bus was nowhere to be seen.

"Someone stole my bus!". I couldn't believe it. We all freaked out, tearing down the mountainside. As we arrived at the road, I looked up and down the road, and that was when I saw this...


AAAGGGHHHH!!!!

Magic bus had rolled, backwards down a winding canyon road! It was now lodged (resting peacefully it seemed ) on the mountainside. I stared at it dumbfounded. How the hell did this happen?

As we started walking down towards the bus, I could see that traffic coming up the canyon had been halted, and that police and fire crews were arriving on the scene.

On the scene? 
Oh great, now what do we do with all our beer?


When I saw the policeman and the fireman approaching the bus, I got up from my stunned state and joined them. It was nice to have 'the girl whose name I can't remember' by my side. I was always nervous around the law.


What we discovered was that their was a huge rock that the bus was leaning on. If that rock was moved, magic bus would be toast. Also, my gas had leaked out. But that was secondary in my mind, I  just didn't want magic bus to fall.


Luckily, we all decided that a tow truck would be called to pull my bus off the mountain, which worked just fine for me. We didn't have very much gas left, but luckily we were downhill the whole way, and we just coasted in neutral to the canyon bottom and filled up at a local gas station.

Had to finish the party we missed out on up the mountains another time.

me, psycho Paul, and Colbster

I know, me with hair. Do you wonder how old this story is?

12 August 2010

Dusting off a closed book : Chapter 3 "making weight"

"Blow!"..."Blow!"...."BLOW!"

All I felt was darkness swirling around me as I sunk deeper into the pool. 
"So this is what drowning feels like".
I hold onto the chains on either side of me and release my last breath of oxygen, feeling my body sink even lower in the water. Then I faintly hear the words from above the water shout to me :

"Come up!"

In a panicked frenzy, I reach the surface, gasping for air.

"Good job son, we just need to do it two more times..."

If I had any energy left, I would have punched him. But little did I know at the time I was being hydrostatically weighed, that punching my coach was the least of my problems....

_________________

I weighed 59 pounds when I entered junior high school. I reached 99 pounds my first year of high school. I have always been athletic, but never really did any school sports because of my height and small stature. But I discovered wrestling my sophmore year, and found a sport that was perfect for my small stature. And I was pretty damn good at it. At least I was at first....
_________________


Hanging onto the side of the pool in my underwear, the coach was reading the scale. Hydrostatic weighing is a process to figure out how much fat your body has compared to your total body weight. You strip down, climb onto a large fruit scale ( similiar to what you would use in your local grocery store), and are submerged into the water. You then must blow out all of your oxygen ( since oxygen in your lungs will make you float), and then when you have no more air, you are supposed to just hang motionless under water with no air while the person up top calculates your weight.

They take three weights, then use a formula to calculate your percentge of body fat. Typically, men in supreme good physical condition will have between 7-10%, and women will have between 15-20%. I weighed 101 pounds at the time I was weighed, and the weight I needed to be at for wrestling was 99 pounds.....

_________________


I can't believe the things I put my body through during my wrestling years to make weight. Countless hours of jumping rope in a hot, steamy shower, covered in a sweatsuit and garbage bags. I would go a couple of days before a match only swishing water in my mouth to help with the dryness, but did not swallow so as to not gain weight. I would eat, then make myself throw up. Before a weigh-in, I would strip down to nothing, then stand on my head, letting the blood rush to my brain. Then I would stand on the scale. Supposedly, the blood flowing downward tricks the scale, and you can get an 1/8 of a pound lighter.
_________________


My three hydrostatic weights were done. Thank God. Then I got the results. Remember that I only weighed 101 at the time, and needed to get to 99 pounds to make weight.

I was told that I only had 0.04% of total body fat, which was extremely unhealthy. But I was 17 at the time. I didn't tell them that I still had to lose 2 pounds, but I knew that the only way to lose the weight would be to lose muscle, or brain tissue.
_________________

Years later, several medical opinions feel that because of what I did to my body during my time wrestling had detrimental effects. My thyroid gland most likely stop producing the growth hormone I needed. I also most likely gave myself some type of eating disorder, among other things.

I hope that times concerning wrestling and making weight in high school has changed, but I'm pretty sure it hasn't. Maybe with more awareness, it will.

04 August 2010

Dusting off a closed book : Chapter 2 "Abandonment"

Preface : I do not write this piece to hurt anyone, but I write to only express something about me not shared before. My hope is not to offend anyone. I love my parents very much, and thank them for helping me be the person I am today.

Chapter 2 : Abandonment

I remember bits and pieces of the day my brother and I went to a new home : Dad silently driving us there in his work vehicle, the wind whispering through tree limbs outside, my brother looking at me with a cold uncertainty. I couldn't have been more than nine at the time, and my brother a mere 18 months younger than me.

As the car stopped in front of a strange house, my Dad, barely audible, asked for each of us to grab our bags he had packed, and to come up to the front porch with him. I thought that maybe we were going to a  new church member's house to help with some task. When we reached the porch, a lady I never met grabbed our bags and said a few words into my father's ear, then shut the door as she carried our stuff inside.

Dad gave both of us a hug that should have felt comforting, but instead felt like a icy shiver encasing my little body. With tears in his eyes, he told us both how much he and Mom loved us, and that we would be back home soon.

My young mind wrestled with this new concept as I watched my father pull out the driveway and down the street. He was gone.

I found out later that my two younger brothers and my sister were still living with my parents in their home. The difficult times my parents were having with their marriage was made more complicated by having all five of us under one roof. A decision had been made to separate the older two into a foster home setting so that things could be more easily dealt with.

I really do not remember how long I was in foster care.

One day in elementary school we were out playing in the school yard. I had on a shirt with a superhero on the front and back. I loved this shirt and wore it all the time to bed. I guess it was the only pajama top I had left at the foster home, which was why I wore it to school.

The jeers from other children making fun of me wearing pajamas to school was unbearable. Didn't they know I had no choice? I had no bedroom to get other clothes, no one that I could ask for a different shirt. It was all I had. I felt so alone.

When we were reunited back home, I thought it strange that life in our family was supposed to return to normalcy. For years, pretending things were fine was harder than being abandoned in the first place.

Sometimes you can feel more alone being surrounded by others.

29 July 2010

Dusting off a closed book : Chapter 1 "Heather"

The talented Eternal Worrier just completed a series of posts called "7 impressionists on my life", and his heartfelt, honest writing was pure joy to read. Now that he is finished, he has selected other bloggers to follow a similar path. Very much to my surprise, I was selected.

I have chosen to write about seven different events in my life that most people are not aware of. ( If I can come up with sharing that many). They will be in no historical order, and I will probably post other things in between, so please bear with me as I try this.....

Chapter 1 : Heather

I was twenty years old when I met my soul mate. From the moment she started at my work, I couldn't get enough of her. Her hair was the color of autumn red, with eyes as blue as the ocean on a cloudless day. This was not a crush, nor a mere physical desire, it was so much more. Having her around made me feel whole, no longer lost in a sea of emptiness. I stopped drifting through life.

We did normal activities such as laying in the park, talking on the porch late into the night, frolicking thru the hills, but being together made it so much more than normal. As we would hold each other, I savored the nape of her neck, the small of her back, the smoothness of her thighs.  She would tell me that I was beautiful in the moonlight. I couldn't imagine life without her.

But, I found out, neither could her husband.

At the time, I thought I was the person that would never get involved with a married person. She told me that it broke her heart, and until me, she was convinced that the person she married was the one. We tried to ignore what we felt, but if you have a soul mate, you know that is an impossible task.

I remember sitting at work, listening to her talk on the phone to him. She tried to fiend interest, but later told me she felt as though she was cheating on me.  I told myself that I was a good person, and wouldn't let this continue, as she had made her choice. I did not want to be "that person" that caused divorce.

The guilt was too much to handle. We were good people. And so we ended it. She quit. I moved on.

I heard from her a few months later. As soon as I picked up the phone, the sensation of true love on the other line came flooding back to me. She said she wanted to see me one last time. I couldn't say no.

Sitting on my bed later that night, she told me she couldn't live life as she was anymore, and she was going to tell him it's over. I told her no. Was I a fool?

She finally agreed with me, and I walked her out the door, wiping her tears.

Several months passed, and I heard nothing. Then the news came, and I fell to my knees in disbelief. She apparently had to be honest with him. He broke down completely, and had a stroke. Literally. He was 23, healthy, and going to get his Masters in architecture. But all of that disappeared as he collapsed to the floor.

My life changed forever with this news.

Several years later, I was in a grocery store with a new girlfriend, someone whom I did not feel the way I did about Heather ( none have since ). As we were about to leave, something told me to look over my shoulder. I saw a beautifully tragic readhead holding the hand of a young man limping beside her. She was pointing to objects on the counter, trying to communicate with him as he could not speak.

All I saw was sadness.

That sadness is something I carry with me everyday. A part of me now lives everyday committed to doing good, in hopes of receiving forgiveness for the past.