Sunday, January 27, 2013

Reflection and Introspection

I drove home with the radio off; an hour by myself with only my thoughts (yeah, that can be dangerous), outside the distraction of the rain and the drivers around me…. I wanted to absorb the emotions of the day. As I sit and try to express my thoughts and emotions now I’m finding it rather difficult, even though I am certain that the day that was this day shall bring plenty of reason and understanding to my life moving forward.

I was honored to receive an invitation to attend the service today as my friend Tammy and her family lay to rest the body of her husband LuvPilot. As I left home this morning it was pouring rain, the kind of rain only seen a few times a year here in The Valley of The Sun… I must say it seemed only appropriate. The service was beautiful, touching, and at times inspirational. The stories told assured me of what I already knew even without having ever met him… the man whose life we celebrated today was a good man. Tammy has two boys of whom I know she is very proud… fine young men, by all accounts... and as she read to us words she had written to her sons earlier this week it brought tears to my eyes, just as it did the day I read it on her blog. She made the decision to speak last minute, she explained, and as she told us this and excused herself for the fact that she would be reading from her phone… and then the way she teased at her boys about the fact that she can’t understand why they don’t read her blog… it was a heartwarming moment.

We proceeded to the gravesite… it’s a natural point of introspection; the times we’re reminded that someday we and those we love shall all be in that place… it can be difficult to accept, but important to understand. It’s what we do with our time here that makes the difference…

As I pulled out of the church parking lot, Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” came on the radio. It’s a little thing… yet perhaps there are no coincidences.

In the process of attending this service, I was blessed with the opportunity to make human, face-to-face connections with a few people I’ve known for some time now, yet with whom my entire friendship and connection until today had been based only on our writings and comments on our blogs. I can’t say how grateful I am for the time I spent with these ladies today. The feeling of acceptance you all have given me over the past few years, and the opportunity to share time with you and to be there for a friend… our friend… y’all are awesome, and I can’t thank you enough.

So as I drove home, and I thought about my ‘new’ friendships for which I feel so blessed… and I thought of my friend Tammy who has a whole new world to face beginning tomorrow as much as or more than any day perhaps this past week… first I got a little choked up and tears came to my eyes… and then I came to the firm decision that it is time. It is time for me to be the change I want to see, and to truly start living life like I haven’t lived in quite some time.

In my past… a number of years past more than recently… I had allowed myself to be brought down by circumstances… some could have been within my control, and some not so much… but when given the opportunity to make a choice, I didn’t assume control and create my own destiny for the better. Over the past few years, but more specifically within the past few months, I’ve been coming out of my self-created shell, and I’ve been making better decisions… creating my destiny rather than accepting fate. But now it’s time… to break my rusty cage. A change is going to come in my life, and it’s going to be for the better. I’m not quite sure what is to come, but I’m ready… I’ll be watching for signs… little tells that indicate a path, or a reason.

I shall stand by a statement made today in the company of friends… the television needs to be turned off, and the brain needs to be turned on. I am smart enough to know the opinions of the TV personalities on the cable news channels as the news breaks, and I don’t need to have my opinion either validated or discounted by some talking head in New York City or Washington, DC. I stay informed well enough by having the radio on as background noise during the day, and if there’s truly breaking news I can make an exception.

I’ve been playing my guitar again; that’s a great thing, it feels good to strum even a few bars a night… and I need to continue working on it. Before I stopped playing consistently I was getting pretty good, and I’d like to play better. Only I can make that happen… it’s not going to happen by osmosis.

I really enjoy writing. I don’t need to be so political about things… and I don’t need to worry about being the next “big thing” in the blogosphere. A few years ago I thought maybe that was where I was… I tried to be aggressive and boisterous, and I wished and hoped for more and more readers… but if I am to live up to the name I have given this place… The Wisdom of Soloman is really more about sharing the things I learn about life that might help others, rather than shouting my political opinion and expecting everyone to agree with me.

I need to read. Based on my understanding of today’s political climate, I’ve been working on the most important book I can think of… yet for a reason I can’t explain other than the magnet that is the boob-tube, it’s taken me over a year to read Atlas Shrugged. I know exactly what my pattern is… over the Christmas season I pick up a book and read, because I am on an airplane and in airports, and because it helps me wind down when I’m visiting my family. Yet I come home, the book gets put up on a shelf, and doesn’t get picked up until the next year. It’s time for that to change.

I have been given plenty of motivation to travel… the jigsaw puzzle of the state of Arizona given to me by my parents this year offers all kinds of ideas for travel right here in my home state. My employer has been bringing me the travel section of the Arizona Republic and discussing with me some of his favorite places. I have coworkers who want to spend time in the Bradshaw Mountains, panning for gold or doing whatever… I have a 4x4 and plenty of time, a few guns to practice shooting, and an acoustic guitar that would love to travel. And today I received an incredible offer I just might accept sooner than later… I hear there’s a lot of beautiful scenery in Utah, and it’s just a day’s drive away…

Perhaps most important of all, it is time for me to delve into my faith, and to gain a greater understanding of what it is I truly believe and how it shall affect my life. During a conversation today I admitted out loud something I recognized not too long ago; there could be perceived an extreme arrogance on my part, to name my blog as I did. As I have said many times, I am not a churchgoing man, yet I consider myself a person with faith in God. I am by no means a student of The Bible; in fact I would say I am far from it. I understand The Ten Commandments, which are the basic tenants of God’s law, and I make an effort each day to live more within those guidelines than ever before. But to say I have wisdom… hmm.

Psalms 111:10 tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” I’d say I’m on my way, but there is work to be done.


Pedaling said...

thank you for writing this.
i am, currently, in a major writing slump, so i'm leaning on friends to take the lead right now, and many do it so much better, anyway.

it was a good day. really a new beginning-- not asked for, definitely not wanted, but a new beginning, it is.
but maybe for some, a new beginning is wanted. events like this are often more far reaching than we realize, many times for good.

ahhh, you touched on so many things that ring coincidences, we talked about that. you started it with something to the effect that you can't deny that certain things in your life brought you to places that have left you "feeling" something.

"what we do with our time here that makes the difference." BINGO! you are absolutely right! i think that little sentence wraps up our purpose in existence. what are we doing with our time here? who are we influencing? what do we know? why on earth are we here in the first place? what is the reason?

obviously, you are a deep thinker, and are willing to actually learn from your experiences, both good and bad and with that, my opinion is that the title of your blog is very fitting.

i can see good things on the horizon for you this year. go for it!
interestingly enough, my husband always said--(when we play these little games, we call, what it scenario's)- if his family blipped off the map-meaning me and the kids, leaving just him, what would he do? He would hit the road and travel, seeing the sights of the country!

So, Soloman, grab your guitar, pick up your camera, jump in your jeep and hit the road!

it was fun having the chance to visit together, yesterday. thanks for joining us. i know it meant a lot to tammy, and to us too. it was a good thing, i think for all of us.

tammy said...

Soloman, I am so touched that you were there. It meant a lot. And I'm glad you got to spend time with some of my most favorite people. Love those girls! It was one of the hardest days of my life, but also one of the most spiritual, and I'm glad so many got to hear a little more about my LP. I know without a doubt there is a plan for all of us, and God is aware of all of us. Sometimes we make that path by our own decisions, and sometimes that path is forced upon us, but I know He is there for each of us on our path. Thanks again.

Soloman said...

Pedaling.. thank you so much for your time, your thoughts, the compliments you have offered and continue to bring me. I truly am flattered, encouraged, and blessed... by you, MCat, Tammy, Vineyard, Hit It, Mikki, Tiburon.. all of you kind ladies who have graced me with your time, your words of encouragement, your comments and compliments along the way through these past few years.

It's not all politics, as we discussed... we're all real people with lives, and feelings, and issues... and you have all helped me become a better man since I've had the chance to get to know you. You are all a huge blessing in my life that I will always value.. you're like an extension of my family. Thank you.

Soloman said...

Tammy… I am so grateful to Pedaling for contacting me and asking me to join her and the other ladies for an opportunity to show our love and support to you... it was time well spent getting to know good people, and I’ll treasure the moments always.

You have been so very kind to me since we've come to know each other over the past few years; being there was the least I could do… I wish there were more. I know you have a good support system... your family, your church, your network of friends... but if there is ever anything I can ever do for you… anything… please, do not hesitate to ask. Like I said in my reply to Pedaling, I consider you an extension of my family… y'all are just awesome.

namaste said...

a brave, insightful and honest post. it's not always easy to embrace our changes. God bless you on this new journey, Soloman.

mCat said...

Oh Sol.....gosh how I love you!

You perfectly articulated so many of my own feelings of Saturday!

First - that was probably one of the most beautiful funerals I have ever been to, and if my respect and love for Tammy could have risen any higher, it did right there in that chapel as I watched her play the piano and then speak to her boys.

I too, have become much more thoughtful over the past couple of days and have set some own goals in my head and heart. Already being active in a church and full faith in a religion now requires more hard work and effort to live the tenets I believe. I study scripture so I am versed enough to understand God's word and what is expected of me, but now the trick is to buckle down and live the life of a disciple.

I am excited for your journey - dude, it's gonna be a heckuva year for you, I feel it!

And remember, there is ALWAYS a place at mCat's. ALWAYS

" Hit It......." said...


Thank you for writing this. The funeral and the whole experience brought out thoughts and feelings in myself that I didn't know I had.

I loved meeting you. You are an interesting person and very intellectual. I plan on learning a great deal from you.

Good luck in your journey as well.

Soloman said...

namaste… thank you for your kind words. My changes these days are easy to embrace, mostly because I have a history of making all the wrong choices and putting myself in bad situations. Addiction is a rough road I traveled much of my life…

Anyway, I’m on the right path these days… with a new and growing relationship with God, the love of my wonderful family, stability in my work life and support from good friends (many of whom you obviously know)… and it seems these days all my decisions seem to be working in my favor, and the changes seem to be for the better.

Of course I am now knocking on the wooden desk upon which my keyboard rests :)

Soloman said...

mCat, you love me… what is Splenda Daddy gonna say? lol.. I love you too, and thank you.

You know, since you mentioned it… Tammy’s playing was amazing, and the passion in that moment was overwhelming.

I mentioned to Pedaling, but I don’t know if maybe that was while we were having our super-secret, deep, profound discussion… heh… I’ve now attended only two funerals in my life. The first was my paternal grandfather, who was buried in Albuquerque in 1999. His passing and that entire experience was obviously life-altering in many ways… one of the influences of that experience was the renewal of my interest in the Southwest. That trip actually was the beginning of my big push to move here, now that I think about it.

I’ll not be moving across the country or to a new city after this experience, but to say my life won’t change for the better because of the experience… I’d be lying. If nothing else, I’ve strengthened my bond with a group of wonderful people I already believed valuable and important. Y’all are a blessing. The rest will unfold as God sees fit, and I’ll be sure to enjoy it all along the way.

I really appreciate the offer you’ve extended to me… and believe me, it may not be right away, but a trip to your neck o’ the woods is already on my mind!

Soloman said...

Hit It… I’m so glad we had the opportunity to meet. I can’t thank you enough for your honest questions, your compliments, and most of all your time. Like all these other wonderful ladies, you call me interesting and intellectual… I’m not sure where y’all get that idea… but it feels good to know you, and I look forward to learning from you as well!

I know I walked away from the time spent with the three of you Saturday afternoon a better man, and I’m proud and honored to have made your acquaintance :)

tammy said...

Thanks for your recent comment. It means a lot. And you did make me laugh. :)