Dave

Dave: (n) a male given name.

 Realization: it is the goal of life.

To come to some sort of conclusion that fits both the circumstances and the purity of truth.

Sometimes a realization is a couple of steps away; sometimes so it sits on top of you.

But there are times that a realization seems so uncertain that it may take many years for the brain, the soul and the heart to have a decent meeting and come to common ground.

I knew a fellow named Dave.

Dave was four years older than me.

Dave loved music.

Dave loved gospel music.

He was one of those classically attractive men of bygone days—with long, dark, straight hair, which he wore in bangs coming down to his eyebrows, making him appear much younger than he actually was.

Even though Dave had graduated from high school, was married and had a baby, he wanted to sing so much that he lobbied to join our group of high school friends.

What helped us make the decision was that Dave had a van and went out and bought a bunch of sound equipment, causing his entrance into our organization to be much more likely.

I didn’t like Dave.

Dave didn’t like me.

I was a precocious young man, who my enemies would have called “arrogant.”

It was my group. It sure wasn’t Dave’s.

As I look back on it now, I realize that Dave was unpopular with people his own age. Dave felt trapped in a marriage and was completely uncertain of fatherhood.

Dave wanted to be a professional gospel singer, traveling around the country wearing fancy suits and new patent-leather shoes.

Well, that didn’t fit in with our group—but he was so desperate to stay in the cattle call that he just decided to be one of our steers.

I probably didn’t like him because he was good-looking.

But Dave was one of those guys who had enough insecurity that attractive women were a bit put off by his tentative nature.

So even though he didn’t want to hang around a bunch of high school punks, he needed us to have a band. We needed him to have a van and a sound system.

It was all very nasty.

But recently, as I’ve thought back on this arrangement, I’ve realized that Dave was the greater loser from interacting with us. Well, especially with me.

I had lots of friends, I talked a good game and I was fortunate enough to have plenty of musical talent.

I undercut Dave, I made him angry and was so unsure of myself that I nearly gave him a nervous breakdown.

And even after I graduated from high school and he still wanted to work with me, I treated him like my neighbor’s dog’s poop.

Eventually, at the end of a singing engagement one night, he went his way and I went mine.

I never saw Dave again.

I’ve tried to locate him but had little success.

Or maybe I know that if Dave wanted to get in contact with me, he probably would have done so by now.

Here’s the thing about realizations:

Be prepared.

Because they’re pretty damn real.

Conscious

Conscious: (adj) the state of being awake and aware

In a spirit of candor, I will tell you that it is much easier to discuss pain when it is not your own.

Speaking of it in the abstract does afford an opportunity to be philosophical instead of devastated. So I preface my comments today with that realization.

My son was hit and run by a car and suffered a severe brain trauma which left him in a coma, unconscious.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

We stayed with him, we loved him, we prayed for him–even though the doctors felt the prognosis was grim. We were about a month-and-a-half into the experience when I asked a nurse when my son would come out of the coma.

I just wanted her opinion.

She looked at me, surprised, and said, “I thought you knew. He’s been out of the coma for about a week.”

I was bewildered.

You see, the reason for my confusion was that the young fellow was not responsive, couldn’t communicate and just stared off in the distance.

I assumed there was more work to be done, but the nurse explained that the coma was over and that he was conscious–but the accident had robbed him of skills and brain-power.

After she told me this, I looked at him carefully and realized that he was exhibiting waking and sleeping periods, and that there seemed to be some presence of life–but no conscious effort to reach out of the shell of his body.

It was frightening, debilitating and agonizing.

It is a great gift–to be alive.

It is even a greater bestowal–to be able to hear and receive information.

But we must never forget how blessed we truly are–to be conscious of the world around us, and able to offer a response.

 

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Antony, Mark

dictionary with letter A

Antony, Mark: (83-30 B.C.) Roman general and triumvir. Following the assassination of Julius Caesar, he took charge and established his relationship with Cleopatra.

How shall we be remembered?

I guess it doesn’t cross your mind very much when you’re twenty-one years old. Matter of fact, in your forties, you’re still trying to gain some footing and clarify your position.

But somewhere along the line it occurs to you that you have lived more of your life than you have left to live.

Once you get over this startling realization, you can ask yourself a valuable question: “Three months after I’m dead, if someone mentions my name, what images will it conjure?”

I think about this as I consider Mark Antony.

He obviously was a very powerful fellow. When the Roman Empire went through a brief season of having three “caesars,” he was one of them. Pretty impressive.

Yet what will be his heritage is the fact that he fell helmet over sandals in love with the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra.

She had some sort of magic that allured men her way, and certainly Mark Antony was not immune. So much so that he abandoned his loyalty to Rome and began to believe that it was his mission to conquer the world with his “flower of Egypt.”

Here are the questions he did not ask himself:

  1. Just because she’s good in bed, does it mean that she knows what to do with an army?
  2. How much am I giving up to be with this woman?
  3. Can we actually pull off conquering the world together, or is it just overwrought pillow-talk?

Because bluntly, the union of these two souls who enjoyed each other in a carnal way–Mark Antony and Cleopatra–was quickly brought to nought by the Roman legions.

So how is he remembered?

As a love-sick puppy who ended up looking like a dog.

 

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