There is a grandeur in this view of life...while this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a begining endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved
Charles Darwin
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Beach Blusters: Old Men and Hurricanes

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In Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, the opening sentence introduces the narrator with an air of self-deprecation and humility by simply identifying himself: “call me Ishmael”; which, appeals to me, and if it’s good enough for Herman—-so, with as much modesty as Ishmael, call me Roy and I would like to share with you a Cape Hatteras Tale……………….. The annual beach trip was prematurely terminated due to the high velocity, violent winds forecasted to trounce Cape Hatteras. The true vector is still under investigation: a single source, Hurricane Earl; or a synergism of “blowhards”, old men reminiscing with the concomitant window shattering gust of wind of a meteorological squalor.  The general conditions to engender the inception of these inimical tempests are warm surface water temperatures, and low pressure difference; wherein, the lower the barometric pressure the faster the wind blows; however, the propitious conditions of loquacious blowhards putatively are chairs and beers: thrones and the elixir of truth and wisdom, which can, and did, catalyzed into an explosive chaotic vortex of farcical tales. This is not to infer that this was a man’s only club, because apparently, the women, Mary, Kathy, and Jamie were doing their best rendition of The View with assorted wines and Margaritas: salted and unsalted.

The beach stay was punctuated with activities of marathon reading, surfing, plankton tows, frequent jaunts to the local fish market for fresh seafood and a purported golfing foray.

The commencement of every morning was living the lyrics of George Harrison’s song, Here Comes the Sun:

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun

And I say it’s alright

Mary and I would at dawn, the harbinger of sunrise, brew coffee, grab a cup of jo and beach chairs, trek over the dunes, and with each step bare the titillating cool morning sand oozing between our toes before arriving at the ocean’s strand line, where we anchored ourselves firmly in the sand, careful not to spill the ink black, caffeinated elixir.  All comfy in our beach chair sipping the piping hot nectar, enraptured by a balmy brine zephyr during the twilight diffuse light, we would witness silhouettes of the shore break denizens engaging in a game of tag with the swash; the mole crabs were swept up on the beach and when the cloak of the foamy white swash receded back to the ocean, she, predominately female because males are small and parasitic to the female, quickly dug for cover to flee the grasping tong-like beaks of the rapacious team of the willet and sanderling; ubiquitous shore birds, which constituted one willet and two flanking sanderlings. Why that particular combo, it’s an enigma. Inevitably for Mary and me to reach our desired designation, the strand line, we had to trespass with a tippy-toe negotiation through an “archeological dig” of holes excavated by the fleet footed ghost crab.  While we sat besieged by innumerable shaft sites, the indefatigable decapods would fastidiously shovel dirt from their burrow-shafts, which can reach depths of four feet. Not to be distracted from our original intent of the sublime sunrise experience; which incidentally, is a misnomer because in actuality, it’s the earth’s planetary axial tilt and rotation that gives the illusion of a sunrise…..but I digress, it was gorgeous, as was the woman sitting beside me.

Surfing was an escapade in humility; I did more paddling than actual wave riding. With the oncoming hurricane, the waves were cresting from chest to head-high manifesting a plunging break: the break is from top to bottom forming a barrel or tube of air as it collapses. This particular type of break is fast and punishing to the hoary seasoned surfer who deliberates a maneuver; conversely, the sinewy youth who engages instinctually is recompensed with dividends of a long ride and spared the embarrassing crest smacking, and subsequent tumbling plunge to the wave’s trough. Regardless of the countless wipeouts, I was still out there paddling. When I’m too old to do that, it will be time to lie with Davy Jones locker; however, with contemplative reflection, there is a good chance, I might be a touch premature, hasty if you will, and besides, I still have my books, microscopes, beer and coffee: I will adapt and adjust.

The brains of the group, the women, were enthralled in lofty cerebral pursuits: a book smack down of how many books can be read in three days. Two strategies were observed: the sprinter and marathoner reader.  The sprinter would burst read: intense interludes of book consuming; conversely, the marathoner would leisurely luxuriate in an immersion of the extolled written word: Kathy excelled in this strategy, wherein, she would stroll down to the water front, stake out the beach terrain that suited her capricious fancy and decorate it with the eclectic shore line furnishing of a towel, chair, and the “bag” of assorted incidentals; to include, the book. Whereupon, she would assume a Yoga-like body alignment conducive to sustain lengthy motionlessness, which insured assiduity to the book’s content at hand and precluded a potential loss of place on the book’s page by repositioning. With sunglasses and lotion, she endured the oppressive heat, and completed the book/s.

The politically charge juggernaut issue of global warming that is inextricably linked to anthropogenic fossil fuel retrieving processes; mining and ocean floor drilling, and ‘energy gleaning burning’ has resuscitated my passion for bio-indices monitoring techniques to ascertain water quality: Sampling the zooplankton communities with plankton net and the aid of the microscope for taxonomic name tagging, afforded me a venue to harvest  the plankton population, miniature, body- transparent arthropods, reveling diversity and species dominance, which is indicative of water chemistry, and a reflection of its health. “The Plan”, still in its embryonic phase, and myself dubious of how to proceed, I solicit James assistance for the first boat run and plankton tow. Once a reliable, economical, small watercraft was secured— James and his long time Coast Guard friend had engineered several convoluted plans to insure that I would readily have a boat at my disposal, an exerted effort immensely appreciated but, beyond the conceptual ecological project: and, violating the edict KISS: keep it simple stupid; a Henry David Thoreau philosophy recapped by the Marine Corp.  I adjudicated to renting a Jon boat, which placated to my principles of KISS and a personal responsibility to support the local small businesses; providing a crutch of currency for a gimp economy.  After a cursory what is and how to of the outboard motor by the proprietor, James and I were off; careening turns, increasing and decreasing speed with wrist flipping executions, and barking out communications to override the droning incessant roar of the propeller twirling outboard that left a signature trail of rippling waves whose ephemeral life spans were terminated by the proximal shore.  Paraphrasing George Harrison’s lyrics: if you don’t know where you are going, then any and every road is the right road, as it was for James and I, plotting our course to “somewhere” in the estuary.  In the same capricious fashion lottery numbers are chosen, we selected a drop site for the initial plankton trial tow. Empirically we toiled to improve our plankton-net towing method with our gut as quantifying calibrators; by tweaking the boat’s speed corollary depth adjustment was achieved, and striving for expediency and efficiency James’ broadside retrieval strategy of the net was employed. Once established, we were no longer sampling the substrate detritus (estuary’s mud), but the water column where the elusive zooplankton jerked and flittered in their anemic, feeble attempt at mobility. I was interested specifically in the group of marine water fleas: Podon and Evadne, which does not have the same canonical status as the great white sperm whale of the 1851 literary classic Moby Dick; however, I do feel, as established in my open sentence, a kindred relation to Ishmael, the autodidactic, philosophical narrator of the nautical tale of Captain Ahab and the leg chomping leviathan—and, James does harbor demonstrable manifestation of the character Starbuck , the level headed, conscientious first mate of the maritime saga. After bagging the planktonic prey; which was neither ominous nor thematically Moby Dick evil, we headed back to shore.  In our zeal to disembark, I failed to make a mental note of a shoreline benchmark of our docking site, and hence, cruised right by it. We finally recognized some landmarks and made it back to port safely avoiding the finality fate of the Pequod.

The Colonel had intimated to us he had scheduled T-time at a local golf course. So, early one morning, he busied himself with the logistics for this endeavor:  Apparently, he had his golf paraphernalia stashed in his car; this strictly was an assumption because his frenetic animation was expended on rifling through the cooler for beers and the refrigerator for rations. Now that I mentioned it, I never did spy any golf clubs. What really transpired is an alleged golf foray. No one can really vouch for the Colonel’s absent time: espionage, maybe, and naturally, he had countless alibis of golf tales to corroborate the truancy. A Sherlockian caper is a foot. Speaking of tall tales, the Colonel is a gifted story weaver and when we three brothers get together there is an anthropogenic engendered barometric pressure drop and blustering spurious epics are spunned: one knows to shutter the windows of veracity when the Colonel prefaces a yarn with, “you might not remember this”…..henceforth, gusts of winds, and as my son in law Dave, said, “one shouldn’t let truth get in way of a good story”.

With all this wind, and riding on its currents, ‘family love’, reminds me of another George Harrison song ,”Blow Away”:

 

All it’s got to take is some warmth to make it

Blow away, blow away, blow away

Winds blowing clouds dispersed

Rainbow appearing, the pressures were burst

Breezes a singing, now feeling good…

New Mexico’s Mountains Sirens Entreat Antipodes

NEW MEXICO’S MOUNTAINS SIRENS ENTREAT ANTIPODES

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Mary and my visit to our daughter’s home in Angel Fire New Mexico revealed a confounding conjugal of incongruent concepts; opposites do indeed, attract: the attractant agent, be it magnetite or myth, appeared to be of a profound, formidable force. Heather and Dave had purchased a home in New Mexico and Mary thought us delinquent in parental obligations, and a visit was way overdue; and besides, neither of us had ever visited New Mexico. With the precursors of love and curiosity, we flew into Albuquerque on the eve of the Christmas holidays; rented a SUV packaged with a SIRIUS XM Radio and GPS, which concomitantly engendered a lyrically lulling reverie and a robotic compliance to the episodic, punctuated monotone road directions committing us to I-25 Hwy North. The long drive in the desert imbued our optical senses to a Georgia O’keeffeian-like harmonious arrangement of line, color, and notan (the Japanese system of lights and darks) artistic appreciation of a duplicitously austere environment peppered with succulents armored with spines, random swaths of sage, and lone sentries of pion pines and junipers. The collective landscape of N.M. was of a Grecian framing with Pythagorean perpendicularity of a horizontal desert and abruptly vertical mesa edifice. The week visit in the enchanted state was to corroborate a ubiquitous Numina essence and a conspicuous converse duality: our daughter’s livelihood is of the sea, yet her residence is fortified in the mountains; geographical juxtapose Bandelier National Monument and the Department of Energy Los Alamos National Laboratory, home of the Atomic bomb, suggest a compass landscape distance that is emblematic of a science continuum with the technically enhanced northern ‘moderns’, scientists in a lab splitting atoms, and to the south, the technically deprived ‘ancients’, troglodytes, The Pueblos, were splitting rocks in their caves; and, the “high desert” in spite of its austerity and paucity of life it evokes a reverence that is generally remitted to rainforest and reefs teeming with life.

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Heather, our eldest, is a child of the currents; where her residency induces morphs of plankton- pollen archetypes, enabling her to drift and waft in two glorious realms of nature: the azure seas of the Caribbean, soup dense with microscopic crustaceans, and the blinding white powdery snow, conifer laden, mythical mountains of New Mexico. With the wind to her back, she has become the proverbial citizen of the world, where she either is landing in an airport or docking in a harbor, personifying the lyrics of Alanis Morissette’s Citizen of the Planet: I grow from a special seed…I linger in the sprouting/ Until my engine’s full/ Then I move across the sea… 

We arrived!

Heather, our eldest, is a child of the currents; where her residency induces morphs of plankton- pollen archetypes, enabling her to drift and waft in two glorious realms of nature

We were greeted by The Pritchard Company: Dave, the South African import; the metaphorical pollen grain gametophyte, Heather; and, George, the mute philosopher.   With eyes wide open, the sublime mountain landscape was blinding; the ground was blanketed with snow and breeched by the perpendicular pagoda hierarchy limbs of the diverse species of conifers.  Their home, our bed and breakfast for the following week was incredible. It had the vantage panoramic view of a light house; where— when we would position ourselves on the back deck, a promontory into a sea of snow and evergreens, we were imbued in mountainous splendor. The floor plan was open and spacious with a décor that accounted for their enthralling international travels of Africa, Caribbean, and now, the mythical mountains of New Mexico.  

 

George, The omniscient

 

I meet George for the first time. He was [still is] a three foot orangutan fashionably donning a brown Mountie Hat and sunglasses. Folklore has it, that George was Dave’s wing man when sextant navigation [the instrument was first invented in 1759 by John Bird] was in vogue. Incredulous yarns were spunned of the dynamic duo’s carousing Caribbean cantinas: presumably, in search for the perfect beer. George is a listener; epitomizing the deportment of a bartender, or maybe, a psychologist in session, which if one was to entreat his attention, one would perceive a subtle, authoritative head-nod implicit of erudition. It was his “body language” nuance that recommended Dave’s ideal Christmas gift, the wheel barrel.

We had one short week to be immersed and baptized into New Mexico’s occult. Heather, with the lofty aspirations to have us visit as many NM historic benchmarks as we possibly could endure, assumed the roles of concierge and taxi driver. With the verve of New York City taxi driver, she careened curvy mountain roads with no hint of apprehension; fearless, to Taos, Santa Fe, Chimayo, and Bandelier National Monument. Once we arrived on destination, Heather morphed into the gracious concierge fulminating with NM tidbits of esoteric facts, which held us spellbound and entertained for hours on end. One was compelled to acknowledge the religiosity that suffused the culture of NM with the ubiquity of the European Christian and Pueblo icons of Latin crucifixes and Kokopelli caricature of a hunch back flute player, the fertility deity, adorning the walls and shelves of countless retail enterprises. It confounds me that, even though, we are in the 21st century there is still the head nod of approbation towards religions of the paternalistic ancients, whose supposedly god inspired scripture condones genocide, bigotry, slavery, and chauvinistic misogyny—and, comments absolutely nothing about science; yet, it, like the ignoble weed, perseveres.  According to the Hostetter’s sages, ma and pa, the evolutionary meme, religion, mere survivability reflects its relevance. People, the parental sages, of faith wielding the bludgeon instrument of reason, with much to my chagrin, does, evoke pause: damn the perspicacity of the elders. I am philosophically conflicted, not with the questions of immortality or the existence of god/s, for I am confident and resolute in the answer to those questions; however, explicit in the First Amendment is a litigious guarantee tolerance to all religions, as it should be, but herein lays the contention. Tolerance is, with some respect a complicit condoning, and religion has become so politically vitriolic and anti-science; confusing Genesis with Evolution, the incomprehensible perplexing ignorance of a fetus anatomy and physiology with that of a new-born, and the imbecilic denial of global warming attributed to man burning fossil fuels; in that, turning a blind eye and deaf ear is no longer an option. The wall between church and state has been blatantly breached and reason has been compromised—what to do? Oh, look Mary at that colorful Kokopelli.   

Heather personifying all the attributes of Job, patiently entertained all our whimsical wishes to visit historical benchmarks that may appear on the surface antithetical to our life philosophies: Mary and I are of the atheistic persuasion, formerly of the Catholic hood, paradoxically visited with delight iconic Catholic chapels espousing its supernatural dogma defying medical science with claims of miraculous salubrious healing rights….We, the boss lady and I, had bared witness to time worn Catholic missions, cacti, and coyotes inextricably of the desert with double entendre: simple but complex; stratified with perplexity, personifying the duplicitously simple poem, The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams. 

so much depends

upon

a red wheel

barrow

glazed with rain

water

beside the white

chickens

…what can we surmised from Jesus taking refuge in the desert for forty days; George intimating to me that the perfect Christmas gift for Dave is a wheel barrow; and, an atheist referencing the bible, could it be, sirens actually do exist and entreat antipodes… 

 

 

An Intro to Ben’s Love Story

This is a love story venue in anthropomorphism; a means to humanize animals, not to be confused with inanimate personification. The cosmic black hole tugging impetuses to engage in literary metamorphosis of imbuing non sentient animals with human attributes are manifold. Then, there is, a clique of us, biologist, with fertile minds willing to empirically explore plausible scientific mechanisms to explicate these fantasies of anatomical amalgams. As the author of Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White, has written, “all writing is both a mask and an unveiling.” Let us with scalpel in hand; liberate the mask from anthropomorphism and ultimately, the allegory of this intimate animation.

Why and when is anthropomorphism appropriate? The biologist with erudite filters of objectivity implementing the scientific method, which obviates tendentiousness with the regimented formulary of hypothesizing, experimenting, and quantifying subject/s of interest; will demur that animals share comparable cognitive, social, emotional virtues. However, capitulating to empathy and elucidation, some scientists objectively falter: Renowned primatologist and ethnologist, Frans de Waal writes, “To endow animals with human emotions has long been a scientific taboo. But if we do not, we risk missing something fundamental, about both animals and us.” Even the apotheosis naturalist, Charles Darwin, coddled naïve anthropomorphism with the annotation, “Even insects play together, as has been described by that excellent observer, P. Huber, who saw ants chasing and pretending to bite each other, like so many puppies.”  There is a controversial hypothesis however, that plausibly could produce anthropomorphic chimeras, and it is called Hybridogenesis, conceived by Donald Williamson, British planktonologist and carcinologist. This Frankensteinan feat is specific to organism with external fertilization or male gamete dispersal, where the genome contribution of one distant animal would control the development of the planktonic larval anatomical stages and the co- contributor of genetic material would coordinate the development of the adult anatomical structures: voila, comingling attributes.

Regardless of whether science can empirically fortify demonstrable substantiation, the boundaries in the world of literature are predicated on the limits of the imagination. Recognizing the profound power of anthropomorphism as a literary implement that is inextricably tethered to storytelling with antediluvian roots, one’s search for its inception could lead to The Holy Scripture for the genesis. It is in the chapter of Genesis that the snake receives its anthropomorphic ignoble reputation:

Genesis 3: 1-14 …And the women said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees
of the garden…And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And
the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat…And the Lord God said unto the
serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above every beast of the field; upon thy
belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life..

The inerrant sacred text makes mention also of the willful, obstinate, and strength of the unicorn, Job 39: 9-12, which fortuitously, inertia free, segues into the other literary genres of fairy tales and fables. All the ancient cultures, Egyptians, Greeks and Roman employed this literary tool to teach life lessons, which are to include the dusty tomes: Aesop’s Fable (6th century BC, Greece), The Tale of Two Brothers (13th century BC, Egypt), and Cupid and Psyche (2nd Century AD, Rome).

In a stowaway capacity, we could hitch a ride with the time traveler of H.G. Wells, The Time Machine leaving the catacombs of the ancients to return to the Victorian era, my favorite time period of History for anthropomorphism and other iconic figures: Charles Darwin. In the 19th & 20th century children’s books were coming into their own right utilizing the paved roads of fables and fairy tales. These page worn classics are: Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland (1865), Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book (1894), Helen Beatrix Potter, illustrator, mycologist, conservations, and author of a series of stories of Peter Rabbit (1901…), Charlotte’s Web (1952) E. B. White, and a/the political satire, Animal Farm (1945) by George Orwell. This anthropomorphic motif has continued up to present with books such as Mary Manatee, Sammy Shrimp, and Harry Horseshoe Crab by Suzanne Tate—and now, contemporaneous to this list The Porcupine Dilemma, which has adult tones and the Aesop Fable’s poignant mores.

It is hard to imagine two porcupines as cuddly and romantic; but, paradoxically as it may be, Nick and Zelda are smitten with each other. There love story is Shakespearean in flavor without the dire consequences; but, physical desires are ironically abated. Nick frustrated and despaired inadvertently consults friend and stranger alike for guidance. We meet characters such as Geoff, the giraffe, married to a cat who he met in a tree, who is a patient and friend with chronic neck ailments requiring the services of Nick, his acupuncture therapist; and Poe, the bird, I envision a Raven for the obvious reason, is a factory worker who stuffs pillows with his own feathers, and is a melancholic chain smoker who readily dispenses with advice. The story hums with Nick and Zelda circumventing discussions of their forlorn predicament; but, failed to address the elephant in the room. The new up and coming author, Hostetter, enlist his trenchant wit deploying a ruse to counter the millennial old anathema of unrequited lust. Hostetter puts under the microscope the sacrificial toll repleting human love; its transformation is as stark and astonishing as the metamorphosis of the sea squirt from its tadpole-like larval stage to its adult hallow flask form tethered to the ocean floor’s substrate.

Past Is Prologue In A Letter To My Grandson

 

Dear Jackson:
You entered this natural world a touch earlier than expected; apparently, you had a pressing undisclosed agenda looming and the confinement of a uterus was impeding its initiation. Temporal prematurity aside, if by chance, you have some answers, LIFE strategic solutions to the troubles we, Homo “sapiens” (debatably wise) woe: a sagacious consult/guidance would be immensely appreciated. As you settle in and become acquainted with your parents; your assessment might very well accede to your “gobby’s”, that’s me, (you will get to know me soon enough), your mother is the spitting image of your nana, brown hair, chocolate brown eyes, an uranium isotope of energy who lights up a room when she enters, emanating scintillating venues of possibilities; your father, the complimentary harnessing nuclear plant facility to your mother’s raw energy is of a sound alloy character, who is of deliberate, resolute conversation and exudes in confidence: He has recently finished his graduate course work for a MBA. We are expecting big things from him.
Now, your gobby, me, I’m a very peculiar man; 57 YO, balding with pony-tail that sports “John Lennon glasses (a reference you will learn about latter), who revels in the perfunctory routine of a early morning visit to Starbucks for coffee, writing and reading. Euphemistically, I’m characterized as a Liberal Democrat, naturalistic[ism] (all phenomena can be explicated mechanically and devoid of purpose, human needs and desires) monist (demure the supernatural), but pejoratively as a Liberal Atheist; which defines me as what I am not, conversely to what I am: since the prefix “a” means not or without. Trust me when I admonish, that for the sake of initiating dialogue, “the conversation”, embracing Atheism as a perspective venue to sway a philosophical position is singularly anemic. A less offensive, but tolerable, sophisticated engaging tactic to challenge indoctrinated childhood convictions are an impartial study of nature and human societies, which, as I have found, would avail a vast continuum of innumerable considerations to liberate falsifiable observations that obviate the God of the gap ruse by the faithful in palatable terms, not acerbic atheistic jargon. As you will soon academically discern, the nano-cyber techno 21st century standard of living has and is ascending and advancing at light speed, its civilization enhancing successes are a putative portend pronouncement of the irrefutable testimony to the power of the scientific method as prima facie elucidator of gleaning truths from facts wrung from the natural world: no divine intervention! My political affiliation is of the New Deal-Great Society persuasion; where presidents F.D. Roosevelt and L.B. Johnson instituted policies that produced and protected a middle class; and, with my academic studies rooted in marine biology and my protracted amorous relationship with the Atlantic Ocean, have engendered a concomitant passion to embrace and politically support public policies that direct an environmentally responsible renewable energy harnessing stewardship.
I am who I am, as you will be, for the most part, because of parental protagonist tendentiousness: Your parents will have a predilection to readily share their opinions; make no mistake, this is not advice, but an edict; especially, if the counsel is coming from your mother. Refrain from your initial reflex to recoil and rebel; trust your gobby, for if you were to winnow their mentoring insight, you will be pleasantly commission with a kernel of erudition.
There has been three life junctures that have had a pronounced indelible stamping of my core “character signature”: Catholicism, Theory of Evolution, and military service. Your great grand parents have been integral in all three; your parents too, will have the same life tooling impact on you! Catholicism’s dogma of “you are your brother’s keeper” birthed fraternal twin life tactics of the humanist philosophy, where the ownership of responsibility for the welfare of children, elderly and the poor, is ultimately mitigated through community and self sacrifice; and, the Liberal Democrat politics of egalitarian pluralism, environmental sustainability of natural resources and safety, affordable schools and health care for all citizens, and a fair and equitable progressive tax system that maintains the infrastructure of this grand country. My military stint imbued empathetic leadership, integrity, comradeship, and loyalty; all sterling attributes every young man should have the good fortune and opportunity to experience, which was bequeathed to me through the regimental training of Officers in the Marine Corp. The Theory of Evolution liberated me from the shackles of sectarian doctrine that promulgated Divine creationism with the advent of the 1859 publication of the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace explicating by natural means how all species on earth could be the product of ancestor descendant relationship. To extol the Theory of Evolution as the regal scientific theory of all time would still fall short of its justly preeminence; for, it is more important than Copernicus’ heliocentric, Gamow’s big bang, and J.J. Thomson’s et.al. structure of the atom theories: it flings man back into the natural mix; where we are not supernaturally special and designed in God’s image. The recognition of biological evolution invalidated how humans think about themselves and their place in the universe————————-and yes, I have all these life experience baggages, three to be exact, because of your great grandparents. Your great grand nana was insistent that my spiritual core should be properly manicured, she sent me to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School. Your great grand pappy was concerned about my external shell and strongly advocated military service. Both great grand ps’ wanted to insure that the anatomical nexus of core and shell was properly wired, and jointly conspired to robustly promote higher education, the university life——————and there, amongst the books, there were so many books, I was taught to think critically, logically—and it was in this milieu laden with the “book” I supplanted faith with reason and was instructed on how to employ the scientific method, whereupon all life questions are addressed with a hypothesis, experiment and verification; and the solutions all reside within the natural realm.
So Jackson, I hereby bestow onto you our family doctrine of traditions [PAST], as muddled and mired in contradictory hypocrisy as it may boldly appear: Your parents love you unconditionally in spite of their judgmental admonishments and tone; you are your parents, your parents are you which is a direct reflection of genetics and parental rearing [there is a subliminal imbuing of their idiosyncrasies]; and unfortunately for you, this subliminal contagion transcends to the second generation readily [a little bit of me and nana], sorry dude; family gatherings are not optional, they are obligatory; we debate religion and politics while we imbibe coffee and beer; and the [PROLOGUE], your queue, is the Act of the Shakespearean play you are attending University and all that is you and us will be put to the test…
Good luck with that, I am sure you will do fine, lov’ Gobby

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