|"US Military Deaths in Iraq since March 20th, 2003" 4486|
In Afghanistan since October 2001: 2214
"How many deaths will it take 'til they know that too many people have died?"
~ Bob Dylan
I'm 71 years old and the opinions and beliefs I now embrace bear little resemblance to those I held, when I was 19 or 30 or 45 or even 55. We grow and learn.
One thing good about aging is that it teaches us things. Things like don't believe everything you hear or read. It teaches us that people can and will lie to obtain their own ends. Aging also teaches us who many of those people are.
You may have heard that life gets better. Or you may have heard it gets worse. Well, that depends upon YOU. Life gets us what we make of it. If you wrap yourself in all the negative bullshit of the past (believe me, I've had much negative crap in my own past), life will not improve for you. It will only stagnate or, even worse, it will spiral downward.
For several years, now, I've had this thought on stagnation on this page. If we stay too long in one place, we will become immobile, stagnant, fixed, and unable to participate in our freedoms.
This does not only apply to our physical location, but to our state of mind and our attitudes on life and LIVING. If you wallow in the past, you will not learn, and therefore you will not grow. Aging is all about growth in Body, Mind and Spirit.
Aging is also about experiencing and APPRECIATING this beautiful planet upon which we live. I am honored and thankful to have had the opportunity to see more of it than probably 99% of the world's population. I fully intend to see more.
To grow and to learn and to appreciate.
And to LIVE my life with Trust, Honor, Understanding, Respect, Acceptance and Love.
I am a writer.
I have penned over 3800 entries here since February, 2002, most of which are now private. I've written two travel books, assembled another book of my poetry and am working on a book about my travels in the United States. Writing is therapeutic for me and I try to practice it every day.
I am a photographer.
In my lifetime, I've tripped the shutter too many times to accurately count. But to give you an idea, there are over 14,000 of my photos on my website. Conservatively, including my three years as a professional photographer, I'd guess well over 250,000 times.
I am a vagabond.
I travel where the four winds and the circle of East, South, West and North will carry me. To date those winds have taken me to 16 foreign countries, all 50 of the United States, all ten Provinces of Canada and two Canadian Territories. I have traveled by train from the North Sea in Belgium across two continents to the Sea of Japan in Russia. During that trip around the world I carried a backpack with my laptop, a few snacks and clothes and my camera, which was nearly always in my hands.
Some of where I've been
I am not done yet! Continuing to see what's over the next hill and around the next bend. Hopefully, 2013 will bring me to as many roads as 2012.
You will find that it is all very familiar...the strange and faraway places where you've never been. The wild unknown leads you to a place just around the corner. Take a picture when you get there...the road is you.
J. Bebe - R. Hammond From the film Elizabethtown
I am a person of peace.
If you read the quotes below here and at the top of each entry, you will see that many of them are anti-war. In my mind, war never solves anything. If you beat someone up for doing you a wrong, you haven't corrected the wrong. You have just made, at least, one more enemy. There are no just wars, because no matter how a nation is drawn into a war, the origin of that war was an unjust action. War is like medicine that treats symptoms, but does nothing to cure the disease.
The cost of war has never been accurately calculated, for it is too expensive after the first death.
I am a lover of nature and an environmentalist.
I believe that as much of this planet as possible should be protected and preserved for future generations. That we should use the earth's resources in a responsible way that causes no harm. That we have a right to breathe clean air and to drink clean water. That we have no right to cause the extinction of any species on this planet.
Additional beliefs: That a field of wildflowers is more beautiful than any vase of cut flowers. That animals both wild and domestic are far more intelligent than we give them credit for. That only man as a species creates an imbalance in nature. That imbalance will eventually come back to haunt us. It is already happening.
Some of my favorite quotes:
"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?" ~ Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948), "Non-Violence in Peace and War"
"Not all who wander are lost." ~ Tolkien
"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect." ~ Chief Sealth (Seattle)
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain
"The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep..." ~ Robert Frost
If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away. ~ Henry David Thoreau
The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think. ~ Gregory Bateson
Not to have known--as most men have not--either the mountain or the desert is not to have known oneself. ~ Joseph Ward Krutch
The lands of the planet call to humankind for redemption. But it is a redemption of sanity, not a supernatural reclamation project at the end of history. The planet itself calls to the other living species for relief. Religion cannot be kept within the bounds of sermons and scriptures. It is a force in and of itself and it calls for the integration of lands and peoples in harmonious unity. The land waits for those who can discern their rhythms. The peculiar genius of each continent-- each river valley, the rugged mountains, the placid lakes -- all call for relief from the constant burden of exploitation. ~ Vine Deloria Jr., Lakota, from his book God Is Red
"Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck.
Your profession is what you were put on earth to do
With such passion and such intensity that it becomes
spiritual in calling."~ Vincent Van Gogh
Dance as if no one were looking,
Sing as if no one were listening,
And live every day as if it were your last. ~ Old Irish Proverb
Visitors since October 9, 2000