Friday, May 11, 2012

Time To Get Up (An American Dawn)

 If you were to listen in on any conversation going on in America today, odds are that if you listened long enough you'd hear someone mention how hard times are for Americans. Turn on your television, I guarantee you will see scrolling letters and talking heads bombarding you with negativity and statistics.

 At four-thirty this morning, I awoke well-rested from my six-hour slumber to absolute silence in a dimly moonlit bedroom. It was moments like this, I thought, thank God the cable is shut off. 

 Now, that being said, I want to share something with you that I did see on television (Youtube, actually) that affected me in a positive and quite possibly inspirational manner.

 I don't care how you may feel about Dodge trucks, that is a good commercial.

Fact is, we are hurting. In an age of convenience, we have been inconvenienced. People are out of work. Homes are foreclosing, and the prices of gas, ammo and food rise and fall on the fluttering breeze of whimsical speculation. Things just plain suck.
However, there is no sense in just lying in bed feeling sorry for yourself. 

Time to get up.

As I type this, the warm orange glow of a new American dawn seeps through the window and over my shoulder. The sun rises today, with endless possibility and opportunities in store. Yes, I have bills to pay. Yes, I have taken pay cuts. Yes, I am out of work for the time being. My cupboards aren't full, nor is my gas tank or my wallet. 
However, at this moment, none of that matters.

 Where there is work to be done, there is satisfaction in a job well done. There is notice taken by others when one exhibits good work ethic. I have never been above any job in my life. As it stands, I want to be a Police Officer. Until that happens, I don't mind working on campus, going to school or selling and repairing firearms. I love these things. Not because they are particularly my favorite things to do; no, I find the greatest satisfaction in doing things right, the way I would want it if I were the one standing on the other side of the counter.

I'm not where I imagined I would be. I'm not where I truly want to be. But I have food in my stomach, my bills are paid and I can truly say that I work hard to earn every cent and praise.

Sometimes I feel we get so wrapped up in ourselves that we forget that the greatest satisfaction in the world can be found through hard work and helping others. We get so caught up in Facebook and Television, wrapping ourselves into this ideal little world full of mirrors that more or less reflect on aspects of ourselves. The greatest things in the world are bigger than ourselves and until we recognize that, we are doomed to self pity and a narcissistic shell of a lifestyle we have brought upon ourselves.

I come home filthy every night, yet my conscience is clean.

Good Morning, America. Time To Get Up. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

And We're Up! (Quarter of a Century)

Ya know, it's funny how things sneak up on you.

As of dinner time last night, I was twenty-five years old.

 Funny thing is It didn't really mean a lot to me, - I'd been getting progressively older for as long as I remember-  but as the sun set over the woodline, I ceased chopping wood, securing my Kurkri to my belt and hoisting the logs and pine branches up to my chest for the trip home. As usual, Savannah (my German Shepherd/Daughter) happily trotted alongside me keeping me safe from snakes who may ambush us. 
The crickets were out as we kicked in the wooden gate and placed the wood into the old semi truck wheel rim, stuffing the pine and paper shreds underneath, sparking and airing embers until they came ablaze on their own.

The fire burned bright and hot as I waited on my friends to come out and visit, expecting food and fire and entertainment. One by one, the would-be-guests sent via text, type or telephone their excuses as to why they couldn't attend the little fireside soiree. Alas, I squatted down next to my pup, leaned into my entrenching tool and watched the fire burn and cackle into embers under the night sky. The moon shone, the crickets sang, the birds husshedly spoke among each other. Coyotes hawlled (wolves howl, coyotes attempt to do it but fail). All in this , my Savannah never left my side. She remained, her ears up and alert. It was at that moment that all of it hit me.

You see, I knew that despite everything that had transpired in my life, I essentially had to return home and turn 25 to figure out at least an inkling of where I stand in this world. I have been brought up from nothing and nobody to life as a travelling somebody living in luxury only to throw it all away to instead scurry through the slums of third world hellholes, military barracks, a few apartments here and there and then.. this. Back to the trailer from whence I came.

I'm 25 years old now. This year will be the first year I can actually be able to vote. I received a call from a localish Police Agency that I did well on testing and will be moving on to the next round. My love for writing remains strong and while living out here might cost me a little more, it teaches me now what it taught me years ago. Clarity. Finding peace. Learning that while I always have a sidearm on my hip, that I never wish to use it, and that I have a gift for language and empathy that I would much rather utilize, resolve the issue and be on my way, possibly with a new friend.. Someday I will teach my children to have one hand open and ready to shake, and another behind your back. I used to have a saying when someone knocked on my door: "Sweet Tea or Shotgun" . Still rings true, you know. Courtesy always has Caution on his side, you just don't know it. 

Quarter of a century in, and here we are. Hang on. I don't even know where we're going.