Now, I Know

Now, I Know

Growing up you get a lot of platitudinal advice on ‘how to live your life and how to settle into Twilight, the euphemism for ‘old age’. You are  smiling while acknowledging all the bromides, like: You’ve reached the ‘Twilight Years’; like, how’s Twilight treating you; like, Ah, Twilight, no more corporate B/S; like, what’s the Tee-Time? Like, honey, can we just stay home and watch movies? (Of course, home/movies are good, inside and outside of Twilight.)

During the school years and on into the early adult years, you thought you were going to live forever.

Would age sixteen ever arrive so you could get your driver’s license? Would the beastly acne be with you for all your life? Why did time move so slowly? You wanted to get out into the adult world and make your marks…on and on, what your parents, your that your beloved aunts, cousins, uncles, grandparents, friends, told you – the ever-Doubting Thomas’ – those lovely platitudes with smiles of love on their faces.

Life’s realities could not touch you. You were invincible. You were going on to accomplish so much in your lives.

Some of you did.

Some of you did not.

So, I’m the living proof. ‘Now, I Know’ those truths.

So, maybe the biggest truth of all is our ‘Deaths’, in believing that this entire chaotic business of living and dying is the unfolding of a higher order, a Deity – God – calling the shots on this thing we humans refer to as, Life.

‘Now, I Know’ those truths?

There is a label much of the world uses for believing that ‘God Calls the Shots’.

Faith is that grand label, and there is a plethora of History, including the Bible, that backs up that label. Some of those historical documents many of us have been privy to in life.

Of course, there are naysayers: those who believe in a ‘Big Bang theory’ of how we all got here on this Planet Earth: ‘Big Bang’, apparently meaning there was a huge explosion in the Universe and/or Galaxy and that created you, me, and all the other living creatures… really, that big bang creating all the wonders that we see: day, night, week, month, year, births of humans and all forms of life?

Well, each of us can make our own decision regarding Faith. For me, there seems to me some statistical mention of probability is in order, unless those arguing against Faith in God believe the Big Bang can claim the very same mystical magic as God.

Well, the only truth that matters, or, un-truth, depending on your own belief-system, must come from the individual.

Because I’m the individual writing this post, I’ll take the gauntlet. Here’s the truth as I came up with it:

I was born in Appalachia in a sawmill camp in bad economic times…you can read all about that if there’s an interest in my two memoirs: THE CRACKED MIRROR – REFLECTIONS OF AN APPALACHIAN SON and/or WHAT HAPPENS NEXT – A LIFE’S TRUE TALE (both books are on Amazon and other ‘buy sites’).

Now, Appalachia gets its share of bromidic tease, and that’s fine with me, but, my religious indoctrination dealt with ‘fire and brimstone’ – ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’, meaning one could not reach ‘The Pearly Gates’ if he/she cursed or uttered nasty words and phrases, had thoughts of sexual encounters, danced, smoked, and other daily routines one might have which could be considered unrighteous.

 It was tough emotionally being a kid in that environment, let me tell you, being conscious every minute, every day of everything you said and did. Well, it was just a scary way to live.

The biggest ‘hitch’ I found to the Big Bang Theory was that long nine-month period it takes for a life to begin. My feeling was always: ‘Whoa, there! That nine-month period of birth had some intricacies that was difficult to explain – just think, that Big Bang debris all settling and making everything what it is today. I just find it hard to accept that the Big Bang could create a baby’s birth, with all its complicated and intricate stages over that nine-month period.

So, I found it easier to accept the idea that a Higher Intelligence brought this ‘thing’ called Life. It also became clear to me that, since no one could tell me in any factual and sensible terms I could understand, ‘how a Big Bang carried all that preciseness’, I was just going to believe, have Faith that God was calling the shots…at least, I had a chance at being correct: if I was right, maybe I go to heaven; if not right, well, I was just going to become dust to dust. So, I guess one could say: “What have you got to lose? One way or another, you’re dead and don’t have a lot to say about ‘where you go’ upon death. It did not cost anything to hang onto Faith.

My guess is that this little romp about life and death won’t have much of an audience, but I feel better about things having written it.

Enjoy your living and try a little ‘Faith’ or a lot of Faith.

Don’t see how it can hurt you.

We all must go sometime.

However, everyone should know this: I plan on being around here for a while yet. I’ve got more writing to tap out on this old laptop, say, until around 2038. I surely hope that does not displease anyone. If it does displease anyone, would you mind terribly keeping it to yourselves?

*

BR Chitwood – Feb. 9, 2020

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The World – According to Me!

The World – According to Me!

I came into this world as a ‘blue baby’. Now, I never took the time to figure out just what being a ‘blue baby’ was all about, never asked a doctor or my mom… I do remember my sister saying to me when we were adults that, “you know, Billy Ray, you were born a ‘blue baby’!” It seemed we were always arguing about this and that, so she was tagging me with that little piece of news out of spite.

. I asked her, “What’s a ‘blue baby’, Bobby Jean?”

She took a sip from her 24-ounce plastic glass of Pepsi, and said: “Hell, I don’t know, but you lived. So, guess it wasn’t lethal!”

“Well, you sound disappointed, Bobby Jean,” I responded.

“Well, I was the one that got all the beatings from our itinerant daddy, Billy Ray.”

“Well, I know, but you were the one doing the bad things, Bobby Jean. I suffered through those beatings, too, sitting there in a state of emotional paralysis.”

But, back to the ‘blue baby’ label. I finally googled ‘blue baby’, and here’s the information provided: a ‘blue baby’ is a baby  with a blue complexion from lack of oxygen in the blood due to a congenital defect of the heart or major blood vessels. That’s it, all I got from google. All I was ever told by my Mom was that it was my grandmother who took me from old Doc Brown, dangled me in the air by my feet and gave my backside a pretty good whack. That got me to crying, more importantly for me, it got me to breathing. There was a gathering of kinfolk and neighbors in that old clapboard house at the time, and my grandmother became a celebrity of sorts up and down those muddy lanes. Guess it’s pretty obvious that old Wooldridge sawmill camp didn’t have a lot to excite folks…except, maybe, some copperheads from all the sawdust.

Well, the rest is history, as they say – that is, up to a ‘passage’ point.

Most of my young life was spent in emotional confusion. Now, I didn’t know to call it ‘emotional confusion’ at the time, but it surely was that malady as I look back on it. Now, I’m not going to turn this into a sad story. Suffice it, I grew up after a lot of spent-emotion and a lot of moving about in East Tennessee, joined the Navy, met a ‘Wave’, married her, and spent ten years in another kind of emotional spell, had three beautiful kids, got a college degree, and taught school for short while.

Skipping over a lot of dumb mistakes and ‘searching’, I met Julie Anne, likely the best thing that ever happened to me. She got me to writing, and now, some eighteen books and 400+ blog posts later, I’m sitting here in ‘Twilight’ with still some ‘oats to sow’, my little euphemism for writing.

What have I learned about life in my sojourn here on this orbiting craft of conundrums? We’ve had plenty of philosophers writing, telling us about metaphysics, the branch that covers just about everything, being, time, space, knowing, a whole gunny-sack of abstract knowledge that my ‘Chitwood model’ is not equipped to appreciably handle with any great insight.

I’ve learned that most of the platitudes for living don’t really mean ‘squat’. Take, for an example, ‘one learns from her/his mistakes’. Well, ‘whopee’, I didn’t! I just kept on making those ‘goofers’. Of course, there are a couple of ways to look at that. Number one, maybe there’s just too much junk piled-up inside that keeps one from learning the good ABCs of living. Maybe, if one could just find what it is they’re good at and keep on doing it with someone who is compatible and loves her/him, then, maybe he/she could learn those ABCs. Number two, maybe the inconsistency and the wanderlust are too ingrained, too attached to one’s being that makes settling down and becoming something ‘permanent’ just near-impossible. Maybe Ralph Waldo Emerson was right in his essay on Self-Reliance: “Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

Then, what do I know?

In my humble opinion, I have one salutary talent – writing! Writing is not only a ‘love’ for me. It is a necessity. Particularly now, here in Twilight , the latter is most compelling. Perhaps, my writing creations blind me to reality. Maybe I’m not as good at writing as I think. No, not viable. I am as good as I think. What is difficult is convincing readers and publishers of that fact.

In this life I’ve known the gamut of emotions – ‘the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat’. I’ve lost, and I’ve won. I’ve walked with the ‘kings’ and with the ‘common man’. I’ve played the games that keep me living and alive. I’ve never intentionally hurt anyone through covert planning. I’ve loved and won. I’ve loved and lost.

For a kid born in a clapboard house on a rainy night in Tennessee, a ‘blue baby’ (if that scores points!), fed emotional soup that was never fully digested, all the above, I’ve had a reasonably good life and times. Perhaps, I’ve had more than I deserved. Perhaps, I’ve had less.

Either way, the journey is still on. I’m going to motor right on to my next blog post and book, enjoying the life my characters give me to live – the loves, the disappointments, the victories, the defeats, the high-life and the low-life. They are there in all that I write, the foibles and the strength.

Welcome to my world.

Won’t you come on in?

I’ll do some writing.

You do some reading.

We have a deal?

Good.

Billy Ray Chitwood – January 3, 2019

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