If I were born with cataracts in both my eyes and all I could see were my dreams, would life be worth living? And I were deaf and I never heard Mozart or Beethoven would my life be in vain? Who among us would trade painless breaths of fresh air for the illusion of power and contentment when that peace is laced with acrimony?
’Tis the perception of the beautiful, A fine extension of the faculties, Platonic, universal, wonderful, Drawn from the stars, and filtered through the skies, Without which life would be extremely dull. Lord Byron
So what is life all about? A collection of cars, rings or shoes? What is beauty and who is allowed to possess it? Can the simplest childhood memories be more profound than a hostile takeover of someone else’s business? Can a breathtakingly beautiful woman be more beautiful than majestic snow-capped mountain?
Well for me one of the most memorable moments was a huge letdown. As a young boy coupons from box tops was a source of fond anticipation. It was a toy model of a Studebaker. But that disappointment was one of the more gorgeous moments in my life. It gave me the knowledge that heartbreaks are going to happen as that toy never arrived. I lived for the moment and did that a lot.
Sometimes our joys are more transitory but none-the-less equally profound. In sixth grade, we used to get milk breaks in the afternoon. The milk was cold and sweet and the chocolate milk was Vitamin-D (Whole Milk). Seemingly a trivial moment or moments could be so valuable but to a young kid in love with sixth grade, those moments give me hope.
Our teacher was simply remarkable. Mr Earl Ader made school so much fun. He was tall youngish man with a love for his students and nothing that smacked of anything controversial. Kids fought to do classroom chores. The Socratic Principle was amazingly on display and when it failed we remedied our issues with decorum and class. We learned about adult life in a way that simulated the adult world.
We raised chicks from eggs and actually saw the chicks hatch. It was a hands on approach and I loved the SRA reading programs and progressed through so fast that I was reading in the top percentile. I loved the reading and grammar exercises, a task that most kids hated. The spelling tests were fun and I had a string of 100s that went from west to east.
During an autumn play and dance, I was a pumpkin that me and my parents constructed from paper machete and metal hangers as a frame. I was often called ‘Carrot Top’ though Carrots tops are green, right? But that night was awesome and a bit unsettling as every parent was wanting me to pose with their daughters as they took pictures. I remember having a unilateral love affair with what turned out to be my first girlfriend., Cheryl.
One of the best things was when Mr. Ader decided to skip a lesson and play dodge ball in the gym, the place of that same play and dance. I had so much fun at that sport and doing this was one of my favorite times in my life. I also got to be a hall monitor. I was ruthless and sick with power. Okay that part is not true but I did love the safety belt which I wore proudly.
In Junior High I was harassed in my first day of school and by the grace of God and Providence, some big boy fired back at my tormentor and most young teens would not mess with him or me. As a wrestler I stunned my coach, teammates and other wrestlers by beating a state champion in my first match. That night was magic for this shy boy when the coach made me the wrestler of the tournament.
I also made an unassisted triple play which was announced over the PA system and I had a mixture of pride and embarrassment and with the hope that the pretty girls would take note. Sadly it was until my senior year when I got one of the beautiful girls and we went to the Senior Prom. Long flowing black hair, a rather innocent beauty and my first hands-on girl and that was so cool.
From losing my one baby David who weighed sixteen ounces and the kidnapping of my daughter by her mom, I have had more good moments than those bad ones. There was a time when I felt that I was unduly burdened but time rectified my apprehensions and salted them with a bit of that thing called reality.
Now I spend my time trying to help as many people as I can and the fruit of that labor is a loving regard for the intrinsic matter of self worth and the recognition that everyone is imbued with talents and love.