Songs of the Soul

“Soul Songs Sung Softly…”

Songs of the Soul

By BR Chitwood

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[This post is dedicated to Leah Chrestien:

https://theecstaticstoryteller.wordpress.com%5D

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So many ‘mystic’ memories coalesce here in my soul, some too nightmarish and obscene on which to dwell, mentioned here only as side notes to a hitchhiking heart that would chase pellucid romantic illusions for a lifetime… Love, family, picket fence, without the negative side-scripts.

This incredible Romantic crusade brought me joy, love, and ultimate soul tremors until the inevitable ‘small things’ became too large, too cumbersome, and the sad ending would come. There, in that desolate mood of self-pity I would languish, absorb too much alcohol, settle for a lady of the evening, and awake in the mornings with hangovers and self-loathing…

This became the routine of my life. Having a college degree and good job, I worked in some sort of sloven capacity during the day, did some TV commercials and acting on the side, and it was seldom I was late for cocktail hour – party time, lady-chasing time, cocktail time.

I married, had kids, divorced in ten years. Must have liked ‘marrying’ because I did it again and again…until I found the ‘perfect lady’ for my imperfect self, NOT in a bar, but at the work-place. She is a lady of outstanding intellect and understanding, a patient person in our nuclear family.

Finally, I turned to my ‘first real love’, writing, I write novels inspired by true crimes, mysteries, thrillers, romance novels, a couple of memoirs, Science-Fic, et al. I’ve written twenty books, 400 blog posts, flash fiction, poetry, and short stories.

We live in Arizona with the Cacti family, the rattlesnake family, other homo sapiens.

I have mellowed with age, no more lady-chasing, bar-hopping, and booze. In fact, I’m a rather dull guy, care for my country, for all of the patriots who gave us freedom and liberty.

One last admission: there are at times the demons in the night, and youthful thoughts that give me hunger for that unruly past.

BR Chitwood – November 11, 2020

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Website and Blog:

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Accept and Share Your Circuitry

Metaphysics and Religions

Accept and Share Your Circuitry

By BR Chitwood

The world turns its orbits with actions and reactions that are inexplicable to understand for so many of us… Well, it does for me, for I know not what governments might have stored in ‘For Your Eyes Only’ silos, what world secrets they may know we citizens might not.

Now, don’t tune out just yet. It is likely we have stored in our super computers so much big tech knowledge that we have not figured how… to manage it all so well…

Actually, when I cannot fall asleep at night I usually the next day write a post that edifies no one, including myself, filled with southern grits and bacon bits. My good wife listens to my bacon ‘bits’, smiles, nods so sweetly her approval, and suggesting that, perhaps, I should write a more upbeat post. Of course, I should listen to a pretty and smart lady like my wife…she really is. I’m not being gratuitous.

But, hey, I have to be true to my thoughts and emotions. Otherwise, I’ll never know if I’m going to write something earth-shattering wise and erudite.

Oh, well, think what you will, but it all started early for me as an Appalachian kid with no orderly orientation time for learning about the good stuff in life, hope and understanding. Too much ugly anxiety dwelt within my little universe, a constant and confusing emotional world defined by bitter anger, divorce, crushed economy. The later post-depression and war ‘did a number’ on family and unity. Also, part of the anxiety and family disunity was Southern Baptist Church services on Sunday…the preacher painted me in his sermons as a sinner – and, I was only twelve years old. So, I was Baptized… More confusion, more restrictions on any kind of good times.

Well, that’s one hell of a preface to the real nuggets in this post – actually, gravels…

After leaving my Mom at home alone and joining the US Navy, the world opened up a bit to me. Life got a bit better, except for thinking about my Mom all alone.

Life got better. It was my goal to put as much into my new life as possible, worked many jobs, read a lot, went to a Pennsylvania college, graduated ‘cum laude’, acted in film and stage productions, modeled…uh, got married a few times… Hey, I never said I got rid of all the Appalachian bull croppy.

I read a lot.

I’ve written a lot – twenty books, over 300 blog posts, and still at it.

Okay, here’s the thing… Is it just me? Or, is the world throwing all this metaphysical madness, these super high-tech giants’ muscle, to overwhelm the populace. Is it all about power? As Metaphysics is a branch of knowledge which studies the meaning of us, humans, of life, contrasted to Christianity and the Religions of the World?

Okay, remember my opening? You can see how easy it is for an Appalachian kid connected to all that ‘Post-Depression’ anxiety crap to find it difficult NOT to write about every nutty event that comes down the pike, to question Religious and Metaphysical reasons for ‘why we are here’.

Now, I’m not going to bring up China’s Gift to the World… (crmfsotw!)

One final and important issue: I am aging, which means I can’t drink whiskey and chase girls anymore. That is most likely the very worst metaphysical menu item that irks me. If there’s a pill for getting young again, send me a sample (Wait, make that, a couple or three bottles of samples…).

Actually, as many as you can spare!

Okay, possibly sort of a nothing gibberish post, but I felt like writing it.

If anyone has some short answers to the Metaphysical menu items, I would be happy if you could share them.

BR Chitwood – October 21, 2020

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CHAT: REAL-ME & ALTER-ME

CHATREAL-ME & ALTER-ME 

by BR Chitwood

REAL-ME

My good wife allows me ‘space’ for my Romantic memories – spread across a lifetime…those loves along the way that leave a special ambience of thought…and, instances of special sadness.

Damn! It’s tough being a ‘Romantic’!

*

ALTER-ME

After all the years, the thought keeps hammering away at Alter-me: ‘So, what are you going to do with those romantic wishy-washy moments you carry in your knapsack’? Unless you’ve invented a ‘retrieval system’ or ‘Time Machine’ for periodic visits, what the hell good are those moments? Don’t you think your ‘non-romantic’ wife might get a bit sick of your ‘wine and wonder’ wanderings?

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REAL-ME

Okay, Alter-ass Ego, you’re off-base. You have no business of ruffling these old memory moments. You have cramped my thinking all these years about what a ‘bad-ass’ I am for remembering beautiful moments in my past…and, leave my wife out of this – she is comfortable in her own skin and loves the ‘loop-de-loop’ heart and mind of my vagabond life.

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ALTER-ME

Really! You’re going to ride that train? You really need to finally, once and for all, GROW-UP, aging-arse, live in the real world…

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REAL-ME

How the hell does one slay an ‘alter-ego’! You would think after all the years we would have bonded. You’re always doing this to me, using ‘the guilt-whip’! I’m in my ‘Real World’! This is who I am… (Geez, you would think better partnerships could be built between the actual ‘deed-doer’ and the ‘do-nothing alter’.) This is/was the real world I live(d) in, and I cannot close the doors of those ‘Real World’ people and events… I think about them, write books, short stories, songs about them. They were ‘Real’. Some, I loved and with whom I had tender and wonderful moments. I can’t throw those ‘realities’ into a trash can.

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ALTER-ME

Look, ‘Real Me’, you’re really getting worked up here… Maybe, just, maybe, some of us ‘alter-guys’ try to save their ‘Real Me’s’ the money they would spend on Shrinks. But, look at it this way, you’ve made it this far without Shrinks. Sure, we’ve been through some tough times, but you have ‘hung in there’ like a real trooper. Hey, there are some ‘Real Me’s’ that don’t get through it all – you know, different interior networks, and they can’t handle the stress. Hey, we have all kinds of people with their ‘programs’ set differently. You don’t stress as much as you once did before you began writing your books, putting down thoughts via your characters that you had experienced… This stuff does not happen JUST to you, ‘Real Me’.

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REAL-ME

Okay, I somehow feel better… Here’s what I’m thinking…

Who truly knows how all this life business starts? The loves, the memories, the realities we face, how we handle them… Everyone has her/his way of handling their emotions, their decisions, their memories, and, you’re right: I’ve made it this far, have a great wife and family, and I also have love memories I don’t wish to shed, but, put them into perspective with all the other realities…label them:

 FOND MEMORIES.

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BR Chitwood -August 6, 2020

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Chasen’s Restaurant and Good Memories

©Chasen’s Restaurant and Good Memories

 By BR Chitwood

I saw Ronald Reagan one time some years ago in West Hollywood as a friend and I walked some thirty feet away. Not President at the time but thick into politics. He glanced at my friend and me, and I lifted an arm and waved a hello to him. He gave us that patented smile, tip of the head, and raised his right arm in a return wave.

Not monumental, of course, but I was a young man at the time, having dinner with the stars at glittery Chasen’s Restaurant on Beverly Boulevard and at other West Hollywood haunts.

That one incident, a wave to a future US President, gave me the unique, simple pleasure to write about it these many years later and to open my aging mind to all the wonderful memories from those days in the ‘fast lane’ and neon lights of Los Angeles.

There are no earth-shattering declarations in this post, just some fond memories shared with my few blog friends and anyone else who might find these nosy tidbits of interest.

Well, maybe one declaration needs to be made, and, that is, the author of this post did live in Marina del Rey, CA, for some years, a short distance to the Pacific and Santa Monica, and I did have contact with some of the awesome people mentioned herein, but the bulk of my acting, film, stage, television commercials, modeling, took place in Phoenix, and I was represented by Bobby Ball Talent Agency who also had offices in Los Angeles.

One tidbit: Nick Nolte, a star who has so many Oscar-worthy films to date, was a Phoenix talent represented by Bobby Ball Talent Agency in Phoenix at the time, shortly before the “Rich Man Poor Man” TV series vaulted him to fame as a premier leading actor in Hollywood

Nick was living in Phoenix at the time and enjoyed being on either side of the camera. Nick did the photo shots for my Bobby Ball ‘composite’ (the pics and acting credits given to potential seekers of talent for TV commercials, film productions, still modeling, magazine cover shots, et al). Nick was also involved, as was I, in the Phoenix Little Theater live stage productions. Along with Nick and other talents, I was privileged to do some Greyhound Dog Racing Tracks film work. I was chosen for some Shell Oil training films on location in Northern California and Chicago, Cigna Insurance commercials, magazine covers, corporation business reports…plus, many TV commercials, local in the Phoenix area, also regional, and national.

Nick and I had coffee at the apartment he shared at the time with a lovely lady, and it lodged in my mind that this guy was going to make it all the way. Soon after, I moved to California. Some few years later, I learned that Nick was to make his dreams become reality. Nick earned many awards along his way to stardom…

Along my way, I was invited by Screen Actors Guild president at the time, Patty Duke, to become a member of SAG. I declined the invitation as I was full-time employed with a major ElHi textbook publishing company.

Back to Chasen’s Restaurant and the fringe benefits of an erstwhile interloper…

Chasen’s Restaurant was open some sixty-odd years before closing in April 1995. Not long after its opening, Chasen’s quickly became the lunch and dinner choice for the mega-stars of Hollywood. Think of your favorite star in that period Hollywood panoply of stars, and he/she was most likely a regular at Chasen’s. Autographed pictures of Hollywood stars covered the walls.

Chasen’s was famous for its Chili and Hobo Steaks and a ‘Flame of Love’ cocktail. It was documented that Elizabeth Taylor ordered Chasen’s Chili flown to Rome while she was shooting the film, Cleopatra. It was doubtful that Chasen’s diners were there specifically for the food – I do not remember its popularity being about the food…some would say the food was not all that good. It was most definitely a restaurant of fun and frivolity, and the stars, I can believe, loved every moment they spent in that beautiful edifice. Chasen’s was the place to be.

At my first dinner at Chasen’s , I chatted for some moments with Janet Leigh, an aging but still beautiful lady of screen…she was the star of Psycho, an Alfred Hitchcock film. While talking to Ms. Leigh on my exit, Gregory Peck stopped to chat with someone in a booth at the other end of the room…I could not see well enough to determine with whom he was talking.

I am still unsure why my lady friend and I were seated in the room where the stars sat – non-stars were normally seated in the back room. I will easily go with the idea that they considered me a up and coming star.

(Ah, let me bask in that ray for a few moments…did not happen, but in another life? Who knows?)

It was Booth #2 in Chasen’s, his favorite restaurant, where Ronald Reagan proposed to Nancy Davis. Some decades later, Reagan would bring Margaret Thatcher to the illustrious Restaurant for dinner. That Booth #2, along with the booths that seated on a regular basis Jimmy Stewart and Alfred Hitchcock would be sent to the new Ronald Reagan Library.

Jimmy Stewart had his Bachelor Party at Chasen’s in 1945.

I happily ate up the tales of the old Chasen’s historic period…

One tale was that Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre got drunk one night at Chasen’s Bar, rolled the restaurant’s large safe out the door and abandoned it on Beverly Boulevard.

Another tale, for fans of Orson Welles, Chasen’s was designated by fate to become the restaurant where Mr. Welles would fire John Houseman in a rather angry manner and threw a can of Sterno at his target…the Sterno was aflame when tossed.

The old Chasen’s closed its doors in April of 1995 and the new Chasen’s, only opened for a few years, closed in 2000. Milton Berle booked the new Chasen’s Restaurant for his ninety-years birthday party. At its beginning, the new Chasen’s began with a boom, new and old stars showing up in their Rolls Royces and Limos, but the initial charge was blunted by new and flashy restaurants opening and getting much of the Star-Business.

Perhaps it is what old men do, maybe, even, old women: reminisce and ponder the lives they have lived, not that this in any way declares a forfeit for the time I have left. I have much more to share with the twenty-one books I have on Amazon, and I would like to report are selling in the tens of thousands…the two key words in that sentence – sure, you knew all along, would like.

Remember, with the Covid-19 isolation order still in place, my time for ‘chasing ladies’ and carousing, well, it would not be a realistic scenario, I mean, where would I go? No bars, restaurants, cocktail lounges, none would be open. Brothels are no fun. Maybe a short trip to Wyoming or South Dakota or Florida would be in order – guess those states are doing some carousing and chasing… My glibness does not become me, nor does it belong in this short sweet memory post.

Chasen’s bar would be a good choice but they are no longer part of anyone’s  itinerary.

Plus, I can no longer afford a Chasen’s.

Maybe I will write a Chasen fantasy story…

I just remembered, Chasen’s had at one time a Sauna and a Barber Shop, but, in those days, I could afford the tab.

Gee Whiz, I have had a great life

Okay, enough reminiscing… I will take an Alleve and write some more tomorrow.

 A Look Back in time to:

©Chasen’s Restaurant and Good Memories

       By BR Chitwood

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THE MAN WHO ENDED ‘THE COLD WAR’

photo-1580128637392-35b81ba47467 Library of Congress

President Ronald Reagan

photo-1580128637392-35b81ba47467 Library of Congress

President Ronald Reagan

His Favorite Restaurant:

Chasen’s Restaurant

A Gray Day Mood

[Image Art by: Thomas Dils – Unsplash.com]

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(From the Archives, I give you more to add to your Covid-19 and ‘Isolation’ depression 2020…or, perhaps, to deflect or relieve your angst to some degree…)

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©A Gray Day Mood

by BR Chitwood

The mood is sullen, like the tall leafless trees outside my window. Their bare branches reach upward toward an ugly gray sky begging for new life. The fog and the gray are like cold blankets of despair.

In many ways I am like a tree. I sit on this cold gloomy day and muse about a youth that has faded with the gnarls of time and waste. It is true I spend too much time on a past that cannot be recalled, and such a day as this makes the process more morbidly cheerless and timorous in some vague way… Some of us are wired that way.

Yet I am not so unreasonable in thought that I forfeit the morrow that comes and will again bring blooming and gaiety to my disposition.

Oh, never again will I be as jubilant as when a young man I read Locksley Hall by Alfred Lord Tennyson and that English poet’s immortal lines: “…In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish’d dove; In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love…” It is quite a long poem, covering so much, and I will not include it here. If you get a chance to read it, please do.

So, my love, the fair, always calm and constant Julie, is with me in these mindful turns and twists. She gives me the needed embrace to break the somber musings that I fear too often come to visit. My lovely lady, her genetic wiring so serene and different from my own, is the bright blossom in all my seasons.

Dreary wintry days can bring not the best of thoughts, but, as bromidic as it sounds, there are always tomorrow, Spring and Summer, we can hope…until we run out of those!

Time is both the friend and enemy of all. George the cat strikes a lovely sleeping pose on the long sofa. Julie pecks away on her laptop in the loveseat across the room. Pausing, I stare at them, happy they are here in my life. Out the big window the skies are clearing and wondrous blue and sun brighten my mood. Julie, George, the Sun’s appearance in a blue sky, all brighten my mood.

Time…

Time brings change. Time brings hope. Time brings another second, minute, hour, day for me to ponder the richness and sadness of my life’s odyssey. The mirror reflects the face I have known for all the years, now with lines and sags, now with gray to the beard I shave. In that face I see the events that have shaped me. Some I cannot rinse away with the water splash. Some I wish to retrieve but are lost in memory’s fickle fancy.

Time…Time brings beauty and glaring truth with its unrelenting pendulum swings. Time is everything in life.

George is now off the long sofa wishing to be fed. Julie is no longer pecking on her laptop keys. Outside, the sky is clear and the view across the canyon is breathtaking. Time will pass and I will break from writing to watch the Winter Olympics from Sochi.

All is pleasantly as Time would have it. Here am I as Time would have it – wearing my emotions on these red, white, and blue plaid sleeves

I leave you with these bits of free verse:

©Mirror Images

 I once looked at men like you,

Old men, frail and haunted…

That was when youth declared

I would live forever…

Life was moonlight promises.

So soon there was ecstasy and joy.

How hard it was to see then…

How easy it is to see now.

 When did it get this late?

When did the tree sap harden?

Where is the gold I sought?

Where is the key I held?

Why is the day no longer long?

Why does morning come so late?

What is the mystery to solve?

What day the reckoning?

*

©Portrait in Time

 Young man, do you not see me

As once I might have been?

It is the wrinkle, the sag of cheeks,

Time put upon me that you see.

Once I stood, perhaps like you,

With noble thoughts and dreams

A new bright morn might bring.

 Time wore me down with its teasing,

Its ceaseless ubiquitous promises

And often-delicious pleasures.

Time taunted and tempted me

With its guile and deception,

With beauty beads of love.

 Time gave me its reins to  

Run wild with the wind

Sunrise through Sunset and

Deep into bacchanal nights.

 Time now leaves me here

On a mountain-top, better to

Have had those moments of joy –

Sad to have you see the

broken parts of me.

 Young man, can you not see me

As once I might have been?

 ©BR Chitwood – From the Archives – 2/15/14 – ‘Hawk’s Bluff’ in Tennessee.

*****

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No Big-Boy Pants

Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

 

No Big-Boy Pants

By BR Chitwood

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After all the years, there are no ‘Big-Boy Pants’ to wear.

After all the living, there are no ‘Big-Boy Pants’ to fit me…

All the little-boy thoughts, the wakeful dreams,

All sizes I tried, searching for that pair of ‘Big-Boy Pants’ –

On the neon-lined streets of lonely people, artists, and me,

I found meaningless toys of life, romance, the shadows of hope.

*

Now, here, in the fading light, I think of all I’ve missed, or, lost,

Crying in the deep darkness of my soul for another chance…

Perhaps another, more enlightened journey through the neon –

This time, finding that missing link to a well-spent quest…

Yet, a bold bard was right about the end’s dark veil and its tears –

Regrets, sad memories of child, man, events, with no real claim…

*

So, with sagging flesh, wrinkles, and, suddenly, no vision left,

The old man rises from his tear-stained pillow, to seek modest

Sustenance from the only constant in his remaining heart ticks…

Perhaps his words can convey some semblance to his waning and Simple existence,

Never coming close to finding a pair of Big-Boy Pants

That will fit the size of his supercilious and ghostly girth.

BR Chitwood – April 1, 2020

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Living in the Present

Image courtest of: Julien Cavonoli

Living in the Present

Some years back I read an interesting thesis on ‘Living in the Present’, or, perhaps the title was ‘Living in the Moment’. Unfortunately, I ran across my old blog post response to the thesis but not the article itself. Apparently, I was having a bad day those years ago, and I reacted to the thesis, thinking it left out some important considerations. It is likely not too courteous or fair of me to submit my response here to that intellectual document, and, in doing so, allows that my reactions could be a bit ‘over the top’, giving no space for rebuttal, building a case that does not fully understand the total significance of the thesis.

While I could understand the core issue of ‘Living in the Present’, it was a bit too ‘heady’ for me, maybe pedantic and without ‘wiggle room’, because I, too, believe that people do themselves harm by too much dwelling on their past misgivings.

So, it is with this bit of timidity that I present the following, an assumption that the past, the future, and the present all play into our personal historical records.

***

Yes, my memories (that never existed or hold no value?) haunt me and compel me to write my blog posts, my books, my poems, my songs, a round-up of moments in my life that, connected to the genetic engineering, pretty much make me who I am today…at times, euphoric and happy in love; at times, sad and sorrowful; at times, feeling the sharp and unrelenting dark cave of anxiety. How else could I write, project the agony and ecstasy of my characters, narrate a truthful set of words that maybe jump off the page and into the lives of my readers? I could not write of the good and evil had I not lived a life that took me to those places that dictate our emotions, our mistakes, our dreams.

 

It is one thing to say, ‘let go of the past and the future for they have no relevance in the here and now’. It is quite another thing to suppose that people can do that very thing, to forfeit the thoughts of any past event that came before.

 

Was Hemingway writing “The Old Man And The Sea” in his present without benefit of ‘lies/memories?’ from his past and ‘lies/thoughts?’ of his future?

 

What of all the paintings brush-stroked across canvas, all the great works of art, written, sculpted, created, all through some modicum of memory’s glory and pain? Those works of Art live today in our present. Are they lies/memories that we must not possess? It is perhaps the case that brilliant minds of Science, Sports, Business can displace their years with a sweeping brain swipe of the negative parts of their lives, or, they simply were devoted to that one ambition, that only life objective that mattered to them. To them, I give thanks, because perhaps there are enough Romantics and Vagabonds among us to write our poetry and prose of Love and Sorrow.

 

Even with the hauntings and loves of this Romantic Vagabond, these ‘lies/memories’ are the only composite picture that I carry of me. And, I surely miss the all-encompassing and equating points that must surely go beyond just telling folks not to live in the past and/or future, only in the present.

 

That is where it becomes much too ‘heady’ for me. How can it be possible to eradicate a person’s being?

 

It was a philosophical conundrum presented, a pseudo-plaything of the mind: ‘Cogito, ergo sum’; I think. Therefore, I exist’. A tree crashes in the forest – if no one is there to hear and see the tree crashing to earth, did the event occur? Surely, scientists of the Brain cannot see all that there is to see.

 

Just my pedestrian thoughts…

 

We are supposed to learn from history so as not to make the same mistakes. It seems we seldom do learn from history. But, then, history must be a lie because it is always written in the present based on written documents and memories of the past…and one must surely wonder how History  texts can differ with so many versions by College Professors and Historians with axes to grind.

 

Did Nero really fiddle while the great city of Rome burned around him?

 

Did Hitler really slaughter six million people?

 

Are the holocaust victims remembering lies? Were there no victims at all? Was it all a hoax? Does anyone truly BELIEVE the survivors and family members of those millions of lives taken by the ‘Hitler-Beast’ are altering history’s documented truth? Who can believe this ‘Hitler-Savage’ with only one ‘Present-mind’, one racial and world domination goal?

 

Did the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941?

 

Why do we celebrate events from our past? Independence Day? Thanksgiving? Christmas?

 

Yes, I know, we are asking people not to dwell on the past and on the future, to live in the present. It is at times too painful, too wasteful of our time to dwell on negative thoughts, to have our tears of memories, lost loved ones to old age, to wars, to accidents, to criminal events…too wasteful to dwell on matters of the heart.

 

I get that. It does us no good to dwell on the bad stuff of our lives. Most of us can recall a negative memory, stay for some moments, and walk away from it. Some of us dwell too long. But, are you not asking too much of people by performing some sort of intellectual lobotomy? There are many episodes in my life that I would exchange for blissful non-memory, but it is not possible. For me, it is not possible. Perhaps it can be done by the very elite minds among us.

 

That image and over-all statement wraps up lives too simply and narrowly for me, yet I’m sure there is much I am missing in the thesis, so much Science is far beyond me. I enjoyed the writing, and, even with the seeming all-inclusiveness of the statements, it made me think. Perhaps, I put a bit too much authoritarian literacy in its meaning. At least, it gave me this opportunity to espouse some personal perspective on collective experiential fall-out.

 

Yes, I’m a simple man. I ponder and write daily, as a ‘therapy’ and from a source unknown to me.

 

In writing this post, I wonder what solid context I might have missed and was meant to grasp by reading ‘Living in the Present’.

 

BR Chitwood – January 30, 2020

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I’m Back

I’m Back

*

Back to the open spaces,

Some sense of rebirth,

A yielding to memories –

Some vivid and beautiful,

Some with a winsome

Message to an old man

That softly pulses with

Echoic resonance not

To dwell too near or long…

*

Back to re-capture the

Essence of primordial beauty:

Relentless sunshine, cacti,

Sagebrush and new age

Wonders on a timeless soil

Where great cities speak

Of innovation and change –

Ah, the wonder of this

Capacious and wondrous land…

*

Back for my final days of

Wonder and impetuous desire

To capture yet what it is

I am to possess with the

Written words that come

From nascent recall and an

Errant vagabond’s whispers

Of regret, of promise, and

Of enduring Love.

*

A Poem by: BR Chitwood – December 10, 2019

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The Cracked Mirror…

THE CRACKED MIRROR – Reflections of an Appachian Son

If anyone could possibly, hopefully, be interested, this book tells MY story – at least, 90% of it is true! 

“The Cracked Mirror…” is a memoir with ‘two tracks’ – that’s where the ‘90% true’ comes into play… I’ve never spent time in a ‘Care Facility’ except to visit my Mom when she had a stroke some years ago. The ‘two tracks’ helps the narrative along, ‘track one’ dealing with me (aka, Prentice Paul Hiller) in a care center, and my life unfolding before your very own eyes in ‘track 2’. ‘Track 2’ covers me all the way from birth to moronic adult, ouch, and these two tracks alternate back and forth – well, until I got dizzy from the writing.
I’ve had some great reviews of the book, one from a Clinical Psychologist and good friend in Scottsdale, AZ… His name is Dr. Timothy Tays in case any of the three or four folks reading this live and have a jigsaw buzzing in their minds, and, of course, if you’re lucky enough to live in that delightful state of sunshine and beautiful bronze-bodied females. (Wow, talk about run-on sentences). Dr. Tim praised my writing and caused me to think about hanging out a ‘shingle’…aw, I’m just kidding, of course. In writing this book I used one of my characters, a lovely lady retired from the CP ranks. In the book, Prentice becomes her chat-mate and friend in the ‘care center’, and I can blame her for any awkward mistakes I made as a part-time amateur ‘Clinical Psychologist’. Dr. Tim’s review of the book meant a great deal to me. He is also a fan of my many fictional novels about the evil and perverted minds who inhabit our dark shadows of living.
I’m providing my ‘Forward’ and an opening poem entitled ‘Mirror Images’…I also end the book with another poem I wrote along my vagabond way. I’ll include that poem as well, but you have to read the ‘red-meat sections’ which I am promising, you will enjoy. Actually and obviously, it would delight me for you to read about this life’s journey of a ‘happy-go-lucky’ fellow who, well, who just does not wish to grow up. It would doubly please me if you would read the memoir and give an assessment, uh, a review – that’s the plea. Just by chance, there are ever loving Amazon ‘buy sites’ for you to skip over – unless, of course, you can handle some darn good literature, that being, The Cracked Mirror – Reflections of an Appalachian Son…of which I’m rather proud… Well, I’m proud of all eighteen books I’ve written that are not gathering dust, and there’s no chance of that happening. Amazon is not going to print a copy until the book is ordered. But, then, you already knew that…
FROM THE ‘FRONT MATTER’ OF “THE CRACKED MIRROR…”
FORWARD
Here’s what I think I know… It’s all for you, this stuff you’re writing here. It’s all for you, ‘cause you think writing ‘bout it is going to make it right!
The mistakes! Now’s the time to make your mistakes.
You’re an old withered bastard who can’t hurt anyone anymore. Not much, anyway.
You made your mistakes on the young…when you were young. Your mistakes affected you and all those you hurt – for a frigging lifetime. ‘Then’ was the time NOT to make your stupid mistakes! Make all the mistakes you want ‘now’. It don’t matter none now. You can write it all down, all of it, and see those mistakes you made, but all that fancy writing won’t make it right!
Guess what? You can’t change anything! There are still the people you hurt. There are still the things you did. And, God may forgive you. Past loves may forgive you. Your wife may forgive you. The kids may forgive you. Friends may forgive you. But, know this, the one person you need forgiveness from the most can’t forgive you, won’t forgive you. It’s the person you’ve hurt the most, dammit! 
It’s yourself, poor country-misty hollow boy! It’s you, poor simple sum-bitch!
(A bum on the road to nowhere…from the ghosts of Chetwode)
AND:
Mirror Images
I once looked at men like you,
old men, frail and haunted…
That was when youth declared
that I would live forever.
How hard it was to see then…
how easy it is to see now.
Life was moonlight and promises…
So soon came ecstasy and joy.
When did it get this late?
When did the tree sap harden?
Where is the gold I sought?
Where is the key I held?
Why is the day no longer long?
Why does morning come so late?
What is the mystery to solve?
What day the reckoning?

BR Chitwood

THE CRACKED MIRROR: REFLECTIONS OF AN APPALACHIAN SON

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Corrupted Memory

Corrupted Memory

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Through the worn pages of a simple Past

My slow and labored steps wander

With memorable moments no longer

Relevant or necessary to invoke,

Always to return to Now, this moment,

Passing as I breathe and wonder…

What was it all about, these cluttered,

Fanciful swipes of frivolity and time?

What Muse am I to discern follies and loves?

The mere poetic nothingness in the more

Noble distribution in years of memory?

Still, the mind continues its laborious stroll

Down through the trough of Time

Beckon me onward down these dusty paths

To the utter halls, I fear, of Madness.

*

BR Chitwood – September 12, 2019

*

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