Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Friend

A very long time ago in a place far, far away, if I may paraphrase a line from a famous movie, I had a friend who at the time was the best and closest friend I thought I would ever have.  In a shocking and horrible few minutes that seemed like hours he died in a jungle back in the Vietnam war days.  His death was devastating to me.  I had lost or I should say I had my best friend torn away from me, I didn't lose him.  I know many guys had much the same experience back in those days just as so many young men and women are having the same sorts of experiences in today's war torn world.

I don't mean to suggest that my experience was any worse then anyone else's.  My point is that I was fortunate to have had such a close friend and when he was gone, I missed him terribly and still do today 40 years later.

Close friends are like that.  And it seems to me that such friends, real and true "soul friends" don't come along very often.  Now if by some chance, you have many friends like this, then count your blessings, you are indeed fortunate. If, like me, you have only had one or two such good and close friends in your life then join me in counting our blessings also.  For to have such a friend, one to whom you can bare your soul knowing that your most private thoughts are safe, that you will not be judged, that shared words and thoughts are meant to lift you, to make you feel as if the world really is a good place - well that is my idea of a true friend. 

I had such a friend a long time ago, and I believed after he died, that I would never have such a friend again.  But I have been proven wrong because just such a friend has come into my life after so many years and like the words from the song Helen (Meryl Streep) sings to Francis (Jack Nicholson) in the movie Ironweed, I can say with no shadow of doubt. She's Me Pal

Monday, November 14, 2011

To Repeat or Not To Repeat -- History That is.

I was struck by something a couple of weeks ago.  I was reading the first book of John Jakes' trilogy about two families before, during and after the American Civil War, titled North and South.  I first read the book a lot of years ago, mainly because I missed the TV mini-series that was based on the books.  Now I don't know how much research Mr. Jakes did before writing his books but I suspect a fair amount of research went into them.  As I said it has been a lot of years since I first read North and South and I had expected not to remember much of it.  But something surprising happened while I was reading.  I realized that I actually didn't remember much at all but still it seemed to me that I had read the story very recently.

There was something so familiar in what I was reading, but I don't mean familiar because I had read it years before.  No, familiar because I had read the same sorts of things as described in Jakes' book just recently.

Mr. Jakes describes the entrenched attitudes in both the North and the South at the time of the Civil War. How both sides refused to even consider any sort of compromise that might have prevented that war.

Now I'm sure you are way ahead of me here, but I quickly realized why Mr. Jakes story was so familiar.  What he described so well in his book written in 1982, could almost "word for word" be used to describe what I have been reading in the newspapers and hearing on the news and reading in various online news organizations.  The apparent unwillingness of anyone in Washington DC to move away from their entrenched beliefs and try to work out legitimate compromises.

I'm not suggesting anything other then what went through my head when I realized that apparently there is some truth in the old expression from philosopher George Santayana, (1863-1952) “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Adventures in thought

I freely admit that I enter into the world of blogging late.  But as the expression says, better late then never.  Writing this blog is an adventure.  My hope for it is that through the words I share here I will be able to provoke some thoughts, to make you think outside of the box about a variety of topics.

To any and all veterans, we know what this day means.  

So stay tuned...there is much yet to come.