Monday, October 24, 2016

"Speak only if it improves on the silence." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Top of the morning to one and all as I return to the scene for installment number 2422. Just think, if I was paid anything at all for this daily exercise in futility, I would likely be retired by now. Wait a minute. I am retired. But, you do make a point since I also still have a full-time job. That makes me a card carrying retiree, a regular employee, and a seasonal Santa, all wrapped up in one. What a combination and what a way to get us started off on this brand new work week here on this Monday, October 24, 2016. Don't take all of that too seriously since it is mostly what used to be called boilerplate, as in a placeholder, why I try to come up with something of interest to occupy our time together. Real metal boilerplate is the steel that is stamped out and used on the hulls of ships. In the world of communication, it became a nickname for a unit of writing that can be used over and over again. It is often stuff that you see in press releases. Yeah. I'm still stalling here, but, not to worry, I will get there. That's the goal. Not having anything pertinent has never been an impediment before. You might categorize it as nonsense but you may not recognize that as a compliment. Here's what Wikipedia reveals, "Nonsense is a communication, via speech, writing, or any other symbolic system, that lacks any coherent meaning. Sometimes in ordinary usage, nonsense is synonymous with absurdity or the ridiculous. Many poets, novelists, and songwriters have used nonsense in their works, often creating entire works using it for reasons ranging from pure comic amusement or satire to illustrating a point about language or reasoning. In the philosophy of language and philosophy of science, nonsense is distinguished from sense or meaningfulness, and attempts have been made to come up with a coherent and consistent method of distinguishing sense from nonsense." I suppose I'm known by the company I keep.

Seeing vintage photos posted on Facebook including old ads, scenic vistas from yesteryear, and other types of memorabilia does produce its intended effect. Nostalgia. I'm a sucker for it. That nostalgic feeling is defined as a sentimental or wistful yearning for the happiness felt in a former place, time, or situation. It might even be a form of escapism, since, in my situation, the memory may not be based on an actual recollection. It could be a combination of day dreaming and the 'good old days' syndrome if you will. At times I've attempted to do a more thorough analysis of the good feeling prompted by a photo or memory. It's really easy for us to see scenes from the past and to romanticize them. I remember as a kid how we loved role playing of cowboys and Indians. It was all so much fun. Later, I began to read real-life accounts of what it was like to live during those times. Not so much fun. In fact, often it was breathtakingly severe and brutal. I'm not planning on setting aside my wistful walks down memory lane but I also know that it's important to balance it all with the reality of truth. I think most of us yearn for a simpler time when life was less complex and challenging. I'm pretty sure that if we could go back to relive a memory we would discover folks who felt like that time was, in their experience, complex and challenging. Note to self: Enjoy all those doctored up memories but keep in mind how that you can only impact your world in the here and now: "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:15-16)

When can you tell if I really have something to say or I'm just filling in the blanks? I'm not allowed to give away any trade secrets here. I'm just as surprised as anyone else when I look at a blank electronic page and after some amount of wailing, gnashing, mixing and matching, I look up, and I have filled up that page. I'm not necessarily proud of this but I often have people tell me how much they enjoyed today's blog, but, I have to ask them what I wrote about. I think it's because I am writing so many of them at the same time in my mind. Once I learn what I wrote about I can then give some insight into where it came from. Or, I can at least try. I could say it is a labor of love, however, that might be a tad too strong. I must enjoy doing them. I would guess that to be true because, I suppose without being too philosophical, they have become a part of who I am. Whoa! That sounds really heavy to me. Speaking of heavy, I think I have finally recovered from my recent spontaneous weight lifting competition. In that stunt, I was the only competitor and while I won the immediate challenge, it had the last laugh as it wearied me for the past 10 days. It's always good to get something like that in your rearview mirror. What do we call things like that? A learning experience. Time will tell if that lesson has been applied. I started out the day with nothing in particular to write about. I now come to the end with words that prove that premise. Maybe tomorrow. Until then, may God bless each one. Amen. ....More later.

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