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September 9, 2005 [ More archived home pages here ]

The Art of Feeling, Revealing, and Healing

The 1986 song, Holding Back The Years, by Simply Red is today's song. In some ways it represents the old "me." The "old me" doesn't exist any longer, that personality evolved dramatically and along the way I changed. I continue to change, albeit much more slowly these last three-plus years. That episode is relevant to the content on this site in the following way.

Much of my art and stories are the result of a life-changing stimulus I received five years ago. Without that event, my life would surely be different, less fulfilling, less understood. I seriously doubt this particular web site would have ever been started. It is a matter of record that this site started at the end of that metamorphic process.

The initial stimulus started on September 11, 2000. I received an email that started me on the best path of my life that morning. The pathway was initially strewn with all kinds of "emotional debris" accumulated between 29 and 32 years prior, kept locked-up inside me through denial and misunderstandings of my former thoughts and feelings. There are plenty of pages on this site that cover that topic in general or detail. You'll need to look around to piece that information together. I will not rehash the topic here very deeply.

The road of my internal discovery took almost 18 months from the onset to resolve. I met many great people along the way, some via my former discussion group site, some by phone calls I placed, some in-person. I learned the answers to my own quest and it is one of my proudest personal achievements. There is an old Chinese proverb, "He who conquers himself is the greatest warrior." Whoever originated those ancient words was right on target, in my humble opinion.

Right now, there are millions of people trying to conquer their own fears, their own shortcomings, their own sad present-day situation. I think they are already their own greatest warrior just for taking on the battle instead of succumbing to the easy way out. By that I mean, "forgetting" and "denying", being the closest exit ramps to the easy way out.

In my case, I found the answers I needed. Sometimes I could contact people directly for the truth. In other cases I had to perform due diligence using public and legal research in unusual ways to obtain the information I sought. All avenues of knowledge were employed and some new techniques to do research emerged. The insights gained along the way are invaluable to me. In the years since, I have made so many new friends and helped plenty of people in a variety of ways because of my lessons learned from that experience.

I'm not looking for credit or applause. If anything, I want to remain obscure in my private life. I already received my rewards from my search. The primary reward is that I understand myself. I didn't before the quest started, I thought I did, but I was wrong.

My art became a way to tell part of the story of looking inside myself for the answers because after I accumulated the truth, that's the only place the answers were. For many people, my art won't influence them. I know that. I don't pretend to think I have a universal way to affect everyone. I know that it has helped some folks and that's a great secondary reward from my quest.

I redundantly say from time-to-time to learn from your life, the good times and the bad. Try to shake-off the bad times by understanding the situation. Don't forget the bad times anymore than you want to forget the good times. That you're still standing should be enough proof that you can withstand the challenges of life and be a good, productive, positive-thinking, caring, and loving individual.

Thank you to that person who contacted me five years ago. Neither of us knew what was in store for us then. The third-party person we wanted to find and later did find may have been indifferent, uncaring, and unresponsive to our individual requests for many reasons. That reluctance did not impede my solution; rather, that reaction was a catalyst to my true awakening Spirit and new awareness of self.

In light of the national tragedies of recent weeks and also of September 11, 2001, I hope all Americans take some time to reflect on our own strengths to persevere in the face of huge challenges. We owe ourselves at least that much.

I leave very early on Saturday morning for a ten day trip to the Chicago area. There are many friends and family anxiously waiting to see me. I await their hugs, smiles, and stories of life. :-)


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