Club Astarte

"Welcome, Friends. Welcome, Brothers. Welcome, Sisters." almost shouting, George was greeting the newest visitors in to The Church. George is a great greater, a large man, though vertically challenged, he has a presence of warmth and welcoming that works very well as a greeter slash usher. "George, Please start encouraging patrons to visit the private sessionals." comes an anonymous voice through his government issue look-alike ear piece. With a scowl, followed quickly by a smile and fake cough behind his hand, George turns away from the procession of guests to mutter into his wrist cuff. "I know, I know. I'm getting there. Now back off, Cheryl, and let me do what I do." "BEEEEEP" was the only and very loud response George got back. "Welcome, Brother, Welcome! How have you been, Brother Shawn? We have not seen you, here in The Church, for a long time. Have you been well?" George picks up, choosing a complete stranger. "I'm sorry, I'm not this 'Brother Shawn' you mention. I've never been here, before," stated the stranger. "Oh, My. Oh, uhm, Sorry about that, Brother. You could be the twin for Brother Shawn. I could have sworn to Aphrodite, herself that you were Shawn. Well, Welcome! Welcome to our House of Life and Love. Tell me, Brother, Shawn is a fighter, a Warrior Of Life. Are you a Warrior Of Life, too? Or perhaps you are a Lover Of Life? How can I guide you, today, my friend?" George starts pressing this new comer to The Church. With a wave, another Greeter takes over for George, as his other hand goes across the shoulders of the new comer, getting a grasp of physical condition, feel of the cloth of his jacket, and an opportunity to get in close and smell the man. All important aspects of judging which celebration the newcomer would be most comfortable in. "Uhm, uh, I .. uhm. I don't know. I was told be a friend to come here. He told me that I should visit here. He told me I'm too up tight. Stressed. And visiting here would do a great deal for me. Or so he said. I'm not sure what this place is. "That is great! We do have many ways to help the trodden stand taller. Relaxation is a critical part of any stress management program, and we have many programs here. What is your name, Brother, and what do you do that has you so stressed? Perhaps I can help you locate the correct Acolyte or Trainee to get started on your path to happiness? And I'm George, here. Call me Brother George, or just George, if that makes you more comfortable." George says in a silky warm and flowing manner. "I'm Alan. Alan Zimmerman. I'm a computer programmer. I spend all day in a cubicle programming ATM's for the new retinal scanners the Government has required to cut down on fraud. What is this place?", Alan says with both pride and then fearful curiosity. "This" states George with a grand sweep of his hand, "is our Church of Aphrodite. You remember how things were, just a few years ago? How the whole world was in a mess? Iran and Israel about to turn each other in glowing glass parking lots? How the Conservatives were taking the country away from the Liberals? America's Ambassador's being killed off in foreign lands? Former President Obama's plans to unify the people of our nation under a Socially Correct banner for happiness and survival? Well, that is when Aphrodite came back to us. First, here in Las Vegas, of all places. Then, she started reaching out to other cities. Now we have over 300 Member Community Churches across the nation. We are giving a focus for those who would fight, giving them a vent for their anger, aggression and even skills. And for others, like you and I, we have the love of others to help us, support us as we support others through the day to day mundane." George starts in, gently, compellingly bringing Alan into the fold. George is nothing, if not a top-rate con-man. "I remember something about you guys doing something with the old MMA and wrestling shows. Taking over and combining the two sports into one ... what? I never really understood that." Alan asks, humbly and uncomfortably. "Always the engineer, right, Alan? Always with questions for all the little queer things that just don't fit?" George says, again smiling brightly and widely. "It is questions that like that which lead to your stress and tension. I think I know just who you need to speak with. Let's see if you can find Acolyte Nicki. Though only an Acolyte, she will be taking her vows, soon, she is one of our best emoto-counselors. I'm certain talking with her will help you relax. I believe her study room is just up here and around the corner. Shall we go meet Nicki, Alan? I'm sure she will be happy to meet you." George redirects the conversation, again ...


Dreams are for children

Another realization: Dreams are for children.

My dreams of happiness and success are empty and hollow. My wishes and desires for the heart of another person, now lost to me are but ash in the wind. Gone much like the magician's flash paper.

As I have been reflecting on the changes I need to make in me, and through me to the world about me, I've come to the edge of myself, and the empty darkness is there.

And there begins the nightmare. Control the nightmare, stop the fall into nothing, and find your way. Nightmares are for adults.

Idealistic dreams are for children and those with no responsibilities.

Aspirations are based on an attainable reality. Aspirations helped man fly, made the telephone a reality and put an end to Hitler. Aspirations are the antidote to the blackness of the nightmare.



To be or not to be

“To be or not to be.” The eternal question posed by Shakespeare so many years ago is rather poignant, tonight, for me, personally.

The last few months have been a bit difficult for me. I've left a good job, left loved ones and moved halfway across the country to tend to family. No discussion, no thought to much of anyone but my own selfish desires. I don't believe I was wrong in my decision, but definitely wrong in the execution. The manner in which I did certain things left people hurt and alone and unsupported.

In one review, it was an escape from a situation quickly going askew. A relationship that was changing in a way I did not feel ready for, but needed to go into, if I stayed. A relationship I sincerely wish I had had the foresight to better protect. Because of this failure, people I care for have been hurt. And I now wish I had nurtured the situation, because I now know, one is never ready, but simply must do. I wish I was doing so, now. I feel I have a lot left to give this world, and my heart is a good place to start sharing.

In another review, I wept and wallowed is misery on how I was again alone, and on and on. All so bad for me, always so bad,my life sucks, etc. A self pity party of near colossally epic proportions. During which less than nice things were said or written. Childish temper tantrums were sent through the postal mail, and I regret every word of it.

I know it can't be done overnight, but how does an adult, finally, grow up?

And that brings us back to the beginning of this post; 'To be or not to be', that is my question to myself. One I finally understand and answer “Yes, to be. To be the grown up I should be. That is what I wish of myself.” But how to get there, from here?



Mia Culpa time

There is nothing quite as painful as having messed up, and hurt someone else in the process.

This past weekend I realized how much I cared for someone. This loving and tender person has never done me wrong, but I hurt her, repeatedly, emotionally for over two years. It was never my intent to inflict such pain on her. And because of this, she no longer trusts me. Which I can fully understand.

I have no right to request forgiveness, but I will, and I do ask it. I ask to be given a chance to fix what I have broken. I ask for the chance to make right the things I have done wrong. I ask that at some future time, I may be forgiven.

I do not know what 'love' means to me. I've never really known it, myself. I've seen it in others. I've been able to identify it there, recognize it, and wish for it. But I've never known that truly open and honest and golden warmth of welcoming someone inside my heart. I've never felt comfortable opening up that much to anyone. and so I don't know how to. I hope that someday I will understand this, because right now, I don't.

I'm not even sure I'm human, without this ability to love or to accept being loved.



My Heroes

I recently stumbled across a question on onioning.com that I felt compelled to answer. The question was: your parents are strong [or] cool people consider!!?

I thought I would share my answer here, as well. There is much more to say on the subject, but I think little more need be said than this:

I believe my father to be a strong person, because of who I am. He helped mold me into the person I am, today. He tried to teach me right versus wrong, but also gave me the freedom to make mistakes, as long as I accepted the responsibility for the mistake and learned from it.
My step mother contributed largely to this, as well. If it were not for her, probably would never have learned to read or to dream.
Yes, they are both strong people.
They are my heroes.

Thanks, Mom.
Thanks, Dad.



The Angel of Death has Come for a Friend

Last week, my mother-in-law passed. We had a memorial for her on Tuesday.

Paula was a wonderful woman, full of praises. Always with a quick, meaningful smile and a word of support. As a school teacher, she touched and supported the little town she lived in at a level politicians could only dream of. Former students (and their parents) were always speaking with her, when she was out. I swear she knew EVERYONE in that little town.

She will be missed by many, but those that knew her best, knows she was in a terrible fight with ALS (Lou Gherigs Disease). Unlike most cases, ALS started in her jaw/throat. In late January, she fell, breaking an ankle. While in he hospital, after surgery for the break, she quietly went to sleep and stopped breathing. It is believed the ALS started effecting her diaphragm and she quietly passed.

Though she and I disagreed on beliefs, we did agree there was room in the heart of her God for all persons who worked to bring peace and good to all, regardless of what paths. So, Paula, I sit here, at my desk, nearly 1000 miles from your final resting place, before a lit candle and a Holy Bible, wishing you well, wishing you peace, and hoping someday we speak, again.



Slump Fighting


Thank goodness for Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, John Jameson and our many other friends of sour mash origins!

NO, I'm not intoxicated, nor am I even tipsy. I've had a single drink, this afternoon, of normal size and proportions for an American Legion post's bar. The good of this is not from the fact that I had a drink, nor that I had a drink with a bunch of old drunk farts. Instead it is in the fact that one of my fellow legionnaires recognized I was a bit 'down' and started a conversation with me. He sincerely wanted to know what was going on. This in turn lead to other conversations about business and such. So, NOW, I have a former sales guy for an Indianapolis area technology services provider digging out his old phone book and will start making introductory phone calls, tomorrow.

This is really promising news on getting my business off the ground. I'm hoping he can pull it off.

More to follow, when I know more. As it is, I need to get some fliers, etc, together so when I do face-to-face visits with these fine people, I can leave them with something to contact me through.