Hallelujah, I’m Bound to Die

The other day I realized with a thud how few years I supposedly have left, actuarially and biologically speaking. At least there was a “thud” at first, but then I felt a big weight fall away. It may have been the past.

In terms of my personal tale and moving to New Mexico in ’99, this means I’m finally inside my skin. “My God, what have I done?” has left the building. The guilt and self-abuse that made me small is gone. There’s a wild, expectant energy. A Saturday morning of the soul.

Taos, NM

Oh, there was a little help. Besides the matter of my empty corpse—death is where it’s at, I’m telling you—I spent a morning staring at the truth about the old home town, and the little cargo cult thing in my brain burned down. That movie set of memories with no McMansions in the corn fields and all our old friends tan and fit. Green grass, lust, and simple country folk. (I’m in there, too, of course, all fresh and young and full of great potential.) A post-hippie paradise trapped in amber like a pebble in my heart, ouch-ouch-ouch. But what’s the use of such a thing? For all the transformations, I’ve often been a fearful, stubborn man. No wonder we haven’t had more fun or felt more crackle from my awesome talent! As if feeling good and making a success of who and where I am were some kind of betrayal.

But that’s not happening these days. Instead, I feel like I got away with something. You normal people must be shaking your heads, but this is fairly huge for me: always on the lookout for a cozy gig, of course, but all at once, I’m just not torn. No voluntary drawing and quartering. No leaving my entrails stretched across the landscape. Mostly, it feels so good to not be “bad.” (Try to remember that when you reach behind the seat to swat your kids!)

Finally, long-time readers of this blog know that I’ve frequently been obsessed with what is “home.” Understandable for an Air Force brat, I think. With so many places to remember and choose from, how does one proceed? I was on the right track a couple of years ago when I left my wife a note that said something like, “Wherever you and I are together is ‘home’ to me.” She kept it on her dresser for months and months. That’s still true, but now I also think that “home” may be the pot I’m dumped back into when I die. Eek. Or whoa!—I’m not sure which.

At any rate, the thing is settled, sort of. There’s 6 Mbps worth of bandwidth in the old adobe, the woodpile is high, and winter’s coming on. Let’s see what I can gin up next, and thanks for stopping by.

  • James Moore November 8, 2012, 5:04 PM

    Saturday morning of the soul is a hell of a line I wish I’d written.

    • JHF November 8, 2012, 5:11 PM

      Well, you can go ahead and steal it! And thank you, sir. That means a lot.

  • Judy Copek November 8, 2012, 9:11 PM

    Always a good thing to find something like contentment in one’s waning (?) years. I hope you still have a cat to curl up by the fire.

    • JHF November 8, 2012, 9:33 PM

      Hi Judy! Did I say contentment?!? I’m not “content.” Good Lord, no. “Less encumbered by guilt,” perhaps. What I really am is just as crazy as before, only stronger. So watch out. 🙂

      • Judy Copek November 12, 2012, 8:05 AM

        Guess I inferred “less encumbered” as content. Crazy is good.

  • CarolfromBatonRouge November 8, 2012, 10:00 PM

    Wow, I’ve been following you for 14 yrs
    Time flys when we’re having fun, aye ?

    • JHF November 8, 2012, 11:36 PM

      That’s pretty impressive! (Thank you.)

  • ken webb November 9, 2012, 6:11 AM

    “Soul” is what it’s all about, most expresses our quiddity. It’s the product of suffering as much as of joy. Money, fame, even happiness, come and go, but experience of every sort forms the soul. On sunny days and stormy days, on Saturday mornings and Monday mornings. All we poor forked critters have in the end is our precious sense of having honorably lived the life that was possible for us. Braving the storm, when it was roaring, and cavorting in the sun, when it was shining. Shakespeare’s “Ripeness is All” is the best formulation anyone has ever made of the meaning of it all. Think about how “Money is All”, or “Fame is All” or “Happiness is All” would sound. Mendacious, not what our life is. Snares and delusions. But, then, no man – except perhaps Oedipus or King Lear, who after all were fictional characters – has ever entirely succeeded in freeing himself from delusion. That too is part of the meaning of it all.

  • CK Sandberg November 10, 2012, 11:41 AM

    Vaya con Dios, Juan!

    • JHF November 12, 2012, 11:03 PM

      Thank you!

  • Marti Fenton (White Deer Song) November 10, 2012, 2:39 PM

    This is great! I was worried about you. Seems that when you’re not suffering you don’t have anything to say, but that’s a temporary problem, for sure. I too have been thinking about what is HOME. Much more difficult to define than one would think. But as age sets in there are a lot more home experiences to compare. Hey! Aging has some secret perks that nobody tells you about until you get there. Damn, you can dump the load and start over and it won’t ruin your future because all you have is now. Freedom!

    • JHF November 12, 2012, 11:12 PM

      Seems that when you’re not suffering you don’t have anything to say, but that’s a temporary problem, for sure.

      Yes, that should be temporary, though the next thing may not be so obvious on the blog.

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