As rare as a diamond, for what was not.
As rare as a diamond, for what was not.
Each man is his own, responsible for his own choices and actions accepting consequence living out his own life. Deep within one’s own body, mind and Soul are his own reasons for pursuing a warrior life. No regrets.
This picture of (Little Man) and I took place in March of 1999 as I was deploying overseas for Operation Allied Force in Kosovo. 9/11 would soon arrive, and typical of modern warrior families, this scene would be repeated many times. Many would say my choice to pursue the warrior life came at the cost of our family. We are NOT victims, we knew exactly what we were getting involved with.
Today, my son and I are resilient and strong as a family. Gratefully, Little Man is now 16 yrs old, he has grown into a remarkable young man.
Held deep within, isn’t mine.
Video: The Edge – Love is blindness
On mind, can’t shake her free.
“Well her eyes, they’re rubies and pearls. She ain’t made like those other girls.”
Video: Black Keys – She’s long gone
Remembering, belief. Longing for Jojo.
Video: Eddie Vedder – Longing to belong
“We loved with a love that was more than love”
Edgar Allen Poe
Loving her like no other, memories fade away.
Little Man, you’re now 16, officially becoming a young man.
Hold on for the ride, life gets fast, furious, frustrating, frightening and fucking incredible from here on out!
Beyond my past, finally peace…only to find you gone.
“What a wicked thing to do, to let me dream of you.’
Slipped by, onward…want again.
…aiming right at you.
Days and nights of the past, today and tomorrow, yet so fast. How could they be?
Words fail to express, how Little Man you’ve made me proud. ”Decide what to be, and go be it.”
After everything I tried, I failed to sleep with her.
Looking over my medical records, she collected hand written notes from our weekly meetings. Wiping aside her dark brunette cut shoulder length hair, she adjusted her glasses, and crossed her arms covered with tattoos hidden under her blouse. The beautiful artwork spread all over her shoulders down her back wrapped around her thin frame.
To read more, click here…The Only Exception.
“She”ll tear a whole in you, one you can’t repair…but I still love her, I don’t even care…. It’s better to feel pain then nothing at all.” Lumineers
On my mind she hangs, carried from within. Onward Jojo moved forward with her own life. Left with nothing but memories and no words exchanged. She’s on my mind, prettier and more gorgeous than ever…she’s on my mind.
Duty and Loyalty
Honesty & Clarity
Honor & Justice
To fully understand the meaning and purpose of this blog, you must understand warriors, true, genuine warriors. The culture and mindset of modern-day military special operations and intelligence set in unspoken tradition, standards and thinking handed down from generation to generation, across borders from warriors to warriors all over the world. In this small and very private community, a silent code shares dictating behaviors and expectations, internally consistent values and beliefs. Known for fierce independence and autonomy, threaded throughout devotion to duty, actions and behavior prove physical strength and mental resilience, intelligence, discipline, fearlessness, self-sacrifice, loyalty and honor to the death. To learn more, read Silent Code.
Slowly approached in the middle of the night…her footsteps. The very sounds set me ablaze.
Penetrating clicks tapping away at the late night concrete echoing about. The only kind found in a woman taking pride in how she appears. It was her again. Its been too long.
Shadows under a street light she finally appears. Bright smile, sweet scent and soft tanned skin covered ever so lightly in a thin dress split down the back. Every step reveals her legs.
She’s moved on, walking towards or away. Disappearing in mere dreams, left alone, I’m wanting more of her.
Not a day passes by she’s not wanted. With the right response, would she return?
Since Jojo, no other woman captures my attention.
She is on my mind.
This woman simply won’t allow me to break through her resistance. No matter how hard I try, my words have failed. Coming across pathetic, I’m unable to get her attention. If only she took risk.
Damn…I want to ride the bike again with Jojo. Time with her was brief yet simple, not a care in the world… just the wind in our face and roads leading nowhere. We were just alone yet together, how I want the bike and Jojo again.
Harley ride, warm Florida nights, wind in our face, silent smiles.
Blue jeans, black shirt, tanned skin, arms wrapped around pressed close.
Dark skies, stars shine white moon on high, Spectre flies by.
Bright white head light, pine trees rise in the distant.
Panhandle asphalt, parallel ocean flowed deeper into night.
Warrior life no longer a threat, more at ease I became.
Becoming closer wanting our time to be true, we’ve fallen… too far behind.
How else do I say this?
Give me the fucking woman!
She is all I ask for. Nothing else, no other demands. Not just any woman, but that woman. Her. The fucking girl who did it all to me. I’m after who she is, what she means and what she gave me. This woman wounded me nearly compromising my manhood where I beg for more of her. What does a good man have to do to get a good woman? For God’s sake, I’m a man. Patient. Resilient. Focused. Driven. Frustrated left clueless, I’m a fucking man without the fucking woman. Simple as that. Give up the resistance and come to me, life will change for the good forever. She is all I ask for.
1st collector for Linkin Park: When They Come For Me
“Yeah, I’m not a pattern to be followed, the pill I’m on is a tough one to swallow. I’m not a criminal not a role model, not a born leader I’m a tough act to follow. I am not a fortune of fame or the same person telling you to forfeit the game. I came in the ring like a dog on a chain and found out the underbelly is sicker then it seems. And it seems ugly but it can get worse. There’s even a blueprint, it’s a gift and a curse. Once you got a theory of how the thing works, everybody wants the next thing to be just like the first. And I’m not a robot I’m not a monkey I will not dance even if the beat is funky. Opposite of lazy, far from a punk, not the type to quit. Ya all better start talkin try to catch up mother fuckers!” Linkin Park, 2010
At 39, I’m at the half-way point in my life…if I’m lucky. Don’t tell me the best is behind me. There is much I want to do.
Recently I’ve been hit with reality that the youth of my days have passed, evidence in my friends and family. A once vibrant young beautiful West Virginian princess, Little Man’s mother is now heavier in weight, slower yet working harder than ever now witnessing the onset of stress related health problems. It saddens me she is not healthy, I still love her and like many others, I don’t want her to pass before me. I couldn’t stand the experience.
Not loving her in the same way, I just didn’t take time to consider how I would see life change through others. My response is sobering hesitation. It’s obvious, with my head down, I’ve been too distracted. Now, I realize 39 years have passed me by. What do I have to show for it?
What I have is my son. Friends and some family. And, my health. Finally, I have recovered my health again. I have the new business. A source of independence and perhaps a steady income.
Jojo, don’t you understand, I bet everything on you and Little Man? Don’t you know I had a plan? Almost ten years (8 yrs) of my life has been in pursuit of you following that plan. What have those years done to you? Where have you gone? Why the silence? What did I do? What didn’t I do? Starting a new improved life with you was the intent. About to turn 25, where your life has only begun, you were my reason. What we learned about each other on the Harley was enough for me to make a choice to find you again.
From the moment I chose to pursue you, resistance was all I saw, never knowing it would take me this long. My motivation was to meet you and create a new life continuing from where we left off. Not living in the past, just continuing on a path showing you all the things I had learned enjoying something new even special together. The rides on the bike may have been good, what I was about to show you, no ride could have compared.
Where did you go?
Why didn’t you let me share life with you?
You’ve been overcome by my past, now unrecognizable, you’ve forgotten what I have to give.
Just an image of something so much greater, I am not the source of what is bad in this world. Despite what the past may show, it was never me. You try walking that path.
With this second chance in life, I’m going to take it, don’t want to waste it.
Where did you go?
Did you even really love me then?
Knowing you must go, letting you go sets us both free.
Knowing that leaves me alone. Empty. Saddened. Dark. Lost. Hurt. Missing you. Wanting you. Needing you. Silence.
Not looking for a simple woman for companionship. It’s you I want. Without, I will do without.
When did you stop believing I could?
Where did you go?
Still love you now
What I write is for you to read. I write to you, show me a sign.
Bargain by The Who, 1971
Pete Townshend, lead guitarist for the Who, wrote this as an ode to Meher Baba, who was his spiritual guru. Meher Baba was from India, where he worked with the poor and served as spiritual adviser to Mahatma Gandhi. He developed a worldwide following by the ’60s, and died in 1969 at age 75.
No disrespect to Gandhi, Meher Baba or spirituality, in fact, I’ve experienced the theme of “Bargain.” Losing everything materially, to recover taking a new form. No longer living as a warrior, reluctantly even painfully walking away from the community tore at me. This song fits right with my experiences. Much from choices I made though were beyond my control. Meaning, I couldn’t sit in place and take hit after repeated hit. A choice had to be made, some were not made wisely. One of the choices was to get Jojo. It’s the way I handled that choice. Losing her when I lost everything led to new-found rage and conflict within me that knew no right from wrong. No matter how bad situations became, Jojo’s memories pushed me through the worst where I endured. That choice to leave her was only meant to find her and Little Man again. To win them, meant I had to first find myself. Unfortunately, yet fortunately, I had to lose everything I owned. Do it all over again, giving up everything for just one chance with her and Little Man, you are damn right I would. Their relationships mean that much to me. That experience and the risks are my bargain.
Just take a moment listen to the words to see what I mean. It’s all about a woman.
“I’ve got to lose me to find you. To catch you, I gotta run and never stop.”
“I’d pay any price to get you…I call that a bargain, the best I ever had”
That important, that impressive.
On the horizons I see her, on I move.
If my voice does not break through…I will raise the voices of the world.
Beauty is the quality present in a thing or person giving intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern. Beauty’s definition can apply to art or most associated with a woman even life. What is beautiful to one person is not to the other.
The sweet smell of her perfume. Her neckline leading to her shoulders, her profile or the way she carries herself. Her femininity. Her eyes, their color, shape. How she cares for the details watching her carefully address her eye lashes and brows. How she takes forever to apply her make up every morning. The way she bends her hands at her wrist. When she admires her own jewelry, a purse, hat or the most favorite to women of all ages, their shoes. Her laughter when it may not have been funny. Her love of gossip, the taste of a dessert, skinny jeans and short shorts to surprise flowers making her friends jealous. Two hour hair cuts. Failure to understand or her love of sports. How she loves romantic films, a love story, song or dramatic TV even plays at the local theater. Wearing glasses from time to time. to her spring dress and how her long legs look amazing every time.
Her character and the rare things that upset her. How success motivate her efforts. School work, house work, on the job, in the yard even rubbing elbows with the best. Her love of Ford Mustangs and motorcycles. How she dresses for our rides on the Harley. Her courage for learning how to ride the Harley and her radiating spirit of freedom. Steadfast strength in times of adversity, yet her vulnerability. Love of family and adoration of friends. Her ankles and painted toes. The color and vitality of her skin. What she hides to later be discovered unexpectedly. The ring I want on her finger. Long phone calls, texts, blood-red painted finger nails, lipstick and a glass of wine. Her secret love and obsession for chocolate. How she brushes her hair back over her ears whether to catch my attention or to see what is in front of her. How she holds a baby on her hip just right yet manages life all around her. Despite a million responsibilities, she still manages to paint the walls in renovation of the house. Her firmness and strength defending the family.
Her taste of food and amazing ability to make anything you can imagine. Or how she makes the simplest food seem like gourmet. A night on the town, a restaurant, or together at home on the couch. Her ability to speak the language and listen to adolescents and the smallest child to the baby. The mother in her. Loyalty, patience and endurance. Her tears when she silently wants to cry. The lover in her and making love as good as the first time. Her patience, intelligence and strength. Her encouragement when the chips are down. How she smiles with energy. Her humor. Silence with her eyes closed leading me home. The feeling of her slightest breath against my skin. Her beauty.
When alone I feel nothing. With Jojo, I feel life all around me.
With Jojo I felt the greatest, she brought the best in me.
Jojo felt like taking life by the horns and going for the ride of my life.
Riding for hours at a time with her holding on is like no other. Being 14 years older and going nowhere good, steering the Softail Deuce in and out of traffic or down some backwoods path leading back to the shoreline, I was the one in control.
She was too young for me or herself.
Didn’t she want me to?
Memories at night have the speedometer highlighted in orange with the needle pushing past seventy.
As Jojo held me tight, with feet floating in the air on the foot-pegs, the “V” twin-engine hummed like a fine oiled machine between my legs. Within the piercing bright white headlight, the world would approach as we made our way to no where in particular. With asphalt passing beneath our feet, we were just with each other. All night long into the early morning, riding. The past is not what I want. Not even the same motorcycle. What I want is for the light in her not to burn out.
Tell me she will respond wanting me again.
It’s been eight years since I last saw her. A year and half since we last exchanged emails. Every month an email or two, even a letter sent, never receiving a response. Refusing to quit, efforts at communicating are tireless where only hope she will respond. Faith, one of these days she will change her mind saying how well she is doing and how she will try once again.
After all this time, not a day has passed without a thought about her. She’s in thoughts when I lay to sleep throughout my dreams and when I first wake. Everywhere, her images carried through the worst of times and best of moments. She’s not a fleeting thought. The opposite. Jojo has become seared within the mind leaving a deep image guiding this course.
Needing to find her again. Everyday, simply want to hear her voice, see her eyes even receive a response telling me she hasn’t forgotten
This 2003 100th Anniversary Edition Harley Davidson Softail Deuce did it all. The very source of peace and so much conflict afterwards. My bike shared with Jojo for over nine months and 4,500 miles of riding together.
Day, night, morning or afternoon, in the surprise rain showers to blazing sun. By the Gulf Coast ocean front, to Sea Side, from Pensacola to Panama City and Destin, so many days and hours we shared on this bike. From the last ride I shared with Jojo, I sold this bike and never rode a motorcycle again. Call it grieving, call it what you want. Without this bike, Jojo and I never would have learned about each other the way we did.
The ride. When performed right, the ride becomes another level of thought. The true ride is when your motorcycle becomes the well oiled piece of industrial art it was meant to be. While on distant roads far away or near home, your bike reaches a rhythm state or pattern on the road, specifically a back road in the middle of nowhere. Much preferred over interstate or major highways, it’s here where these rides define the meaning of your bike. The experience resembles how relaxed you get near an ocean or perhaps when you play golf. Alone doing what you love. At the whim of the environment no matter what the weather is, one way or another, you find yourself immersed in what nature throws at you.
Something as simple as noise dictates how well your motorcycle ride goes. The wind. In your face, covering your eyes. Without protection, your eyes flood with tears, yet, flowing past your ears, the rush of the noise is only topped by two things. The throaty sound of it’s chrome engine combined with the hacked off split exhaust pipes without baffles. Together, they bark out orders pleading you to find more asphalt. Even the feel of the pavement moving below your feet, leaves a sensation of a steady vibration putting you at ease at one point, on a high the next moment. The smells of the sweet fuels and toxic fumes mixed with the pine forests you breach onto salt water in the air near the beaches you by-pass. It’s your sight capturing the entire ride in the roads in front of you plus catching every detail of trees passing by to your left crossing through your right side, finally those in your mirrors left behind.
Once you get the repeated patterns of traffic down, speed fluctuates with your mood. If you are at peace, you cruise. If you are filled with angst about the days gone by or she never calls, kick your bike into fourth then fifth gear going from seventy into eighty hang on for the ride. Or, simply relax and enjoy a wide open road alone crisscrossing a far off mountain pass or distant desert valley.
It’s here the ride becomes the very reason you chose to climb on the bike that day, or every day for that matter.
Rain showers and slick highways depress you. No matter if at home or work, every day you find yourself daydreaming about the next ride. It all comes down to your very source of peace. Letting the bike do the work while all you do is hold on for what’s next, steering with the chrome handle bars accelerating with your right hand.
With the twist of your grip, the bike opens up as you force more fuel into the pistons speeding the bike up faster. Your searching for that next bend in the road, hunting for the way of new beginnings. The feeling of the experience is what your motorcycle is all about. The rush of power unleashed beneath your feet is like no other. The ONLY thing making your bike better…is the beauty sitting right behind you hanging on you enjoying the same ride.
Together, the bike, the ride and this woman are the simple things in your life. It’s your experience.
Thanks to Xandimusic and the World Music blog. Here is a Melbourne, Australian band called Children Collide with their song “Loveless.” A different video leaving you hanging till the end. In their words…
When your time has come and gone, you’ll be happy when I’ve moved on.
When you’re challenged by the truth, find some friends who’ll lie to you.
You’re loveless. It’s ok, you planned it well.
There’s a feeling in your bones, you just might end up alone
Wake up! Get this day over with so we can all enjoy Super Bowl Weekend. Start off your Friday with My Chemical Romance. A band long filled with angst released in some damn good songs. A perfect welcome to a fine Friday Morning. Go ahead, the words are simple. Sing along!
I’m the same, I’m the same, I’m the same, what do you want me to be. I’m breathing in this silence like never before. Foo Fighters 2011
Separate ways with changes, no longer recognized.
One more ride is all. Sweet sounds, images alive, the simple feel.
Not alone, wander yet miss you. Want you for you.
Don’t be lost in the past, for you won’t see…0nly curiosity.
Fear not, I’ve become…that good man.
Prepare to Cross Over
Today, I think about John Chapman.
The song and it’s image listed at the end of this blog reminds me of a close brother in arms. Don’t look at the image below of a Gladiator and think of the actor. Instead, as you read this post, for a second of your time, look at the images and see a true American warrior.
The title of the song…”Not yet” means one warrior to another…I will see you on the other side, just not yet. There is more work to do and we will care for your daughters. From there, we will continue the good fight. So long brother, but, never good bye. To read John Chapman’s Air Force Cross Citation, please go to this link: Not Yet.
“And this land, means less and less to me without you, breathing through it’s trees.”
Mumford & Son’s
To get you meant, only one thing stood between…life.
Failing Little Man, meant we would have failed.
Failure in this life, was, is and will never be an option.
What once a possibility can still be…. Everything else follows simply remains …life.
Prepare to Crossover
Simple, complex and unique. Attractive. Intelligent. Silent, fragile yet strong. Mysterious. Independent.
Touch and feel of softness, the smell of spring. Sight of something new, yearned for when alone.
Warmth when cold, close when afar. Alive day or night, bright when our world is dark.
Gracefully balanced, peace of mind. Without a word, the very sound leading home.
She’s my reason to wake.
Prepare to Cross Over
A gentleman, a true gentleman isn’t only one who is well-groomed and dresses well. A true gentleman doesn’t only enjoy Johnny Walker Blue Label or poker with good friends. A true gentleman leads his household. A true gentleman loves and respects his woman…
Through hard work and discipline comes children, a house, perhaps a new car or kitchen of her dreams. Communicate, communicate, communicate your way through conflict, all will be well. Surprise flowers here, a kiss there, everywhere are smiles even tears.
While at home, it’s dinner for two or more. Away with your boys, she gives the space. All day away at the stores, whether it’s purses or shoes, she too gets her space. While at home, your time is shared
While on the town, date as if it’s the first time together. If ever she is physically disrespected, or hit on in unwanted ways even treated less than kind, in no way over react. Separate her from the conflict..address the individual and move on. If bad enough, send her home, soon enough you will both be together.
Returning to the scene…with patience, simply wait. In silence, observe for other signs and focus.
Perhaps, it was only immaturity…return home. If any other way, be aware.
If he is far, draw near. If near, drag behind far. When the moment is right, swiftly seize your opportunity…
When returning home, she is well, safe and near.
Just like your grandfather, are ways of a gentleman. Through your Dad’s good friends, are ways of a warrior. A true gentleman loves and respects…while a true warrior defends.
What is one supposed to do? Found her smiling, eager to spend more time with you. Everyday riding your motorcycle, nine months together swiftly passes by. You do it wrong. Time and responsibilities force you to leave. She stopped smiling. Was it because you approached her, or because you chose to leave? You won’t know that answer.
Without saying it face to face, you would soon return. At 16, she is too young, messages written in code encouraging her not to quit on you leaves you in limbo. On with her life she goes, yet not once did thoughts of her leave your mind. Still wanting to find her, you move on, plotting the course of a new life to intersect with hers. Obstacles soon force you off course far greater than yourself beyond your control. Sometimes six months at a time, you’re taken away farther from her. No matter what is, failing to navigate close enough showing how serious you’ve become disrupts the efforts. Months go by, years pass by no closer have you become.
Silence. For almost a year her silence is deafening. What motivates is loud and clear, the experiences of her, images play and replay reminding how good her presence is, leaving you to want more. Instantly, naming off a hundred details why you love her. Her eyes, her laughter, tears of joy and sorrow, intelligence, boundless energy, radiating attractiveness…
Memories are all you have…you drive on.
Yet to be married…she pushes you further. No matter how many storms on the horizon, still on course.
Even if alone, I move forward.
What would you do?
Growing old without Jojo and Little Man is disturbing. Time doesn’t seem the same and life isn’t the best without them. The sun does not set or rise. What was beautiful before is a passing thought today. What I valued before has little to no meaning. Without them, the day doesn’t arrive new and the night doesn’t come soon enough. Watching how fast these past eight years have passed concerns me. Why do lessons learned have to be so costly? Are all these challenges meant for a purpose where so many losses and failures happen for a reason? I ask these questions because from the very start, when forced to make a choice eight years ago, I chose to pursue a good life with Little Man and Jojo, finally new warrior responsibilities. After all that I failed at, I’ve come to believe that the unhealthy thinking I may have been pursuing the next warrior life. Fact is how I couldn’t have all three. Little Man, Jojo and that life.
Today, I seriously look at life different, but I don’t. To read more, please click this link: Spitting Teeth
I did everything I could to sleep with her.
She looked over the records where her notes collected over time from our weekly meetings. Dark brunette cut shoulder length, glasses, with tattoos hidden under her blouse. The artwork spread all over her shoulders, and down her back wrapped around her thin frame. She was strong-willed with a mind like a steel trap. It was the details she craved. With severe back problems from childhood, she pushed through her hidden pain. Every month she took injections to cut the pain, only once a month would she be forced to rely on a cane. Younger than myself, I could never understand how something so irritating could happen so soon to a woman.
Posted on the walls behind her were diplomas for a Bachelors and Masters degree in social work and medical policy, a Molly Pitcher award for leading military wives at Ft. Bliss, Texas. It wasn’t only how cute she was; some of it was her intelligence, most of it was how she rebelled against the mainstream. She was a pistol, and no one fucked with her. Being the lowest pay grade on the scale, she didn’t have high-profile responsibilities.
To read more, click on this link….The Only Exception.
For her, here is Paramore’s “The only exception.” Enjoy.
Certain there is nothing in me, she is sure I am not the one. What she won’t understand is what I possess. Ability to endure.
Never a hero, an angel, I’m only a man. Someone simple, one with something most do not have. A love far consistent, resilient, even brilliant like no other. Where she looks is not where I stand. What I want is to be that man. The man she thinks about, dreams about and wakes to ponder about.
In the end I’ll stand to move forward. Redefining my own life where it is what it is. She will arrive. It may not be her, but she will come.
Adults can manage what life throws at us and will. Children new to the experiences of extreme losses, deal real-time. Few things if any overwhelm parents more than the children. One repeated lesson I’ve learned is how our children are resilient. What was daunting as a child is forgotten as a teenager, yet it never fails to stay seared deep in the minds of the parents.
My son, waited for me to leave the military and return home. He was seven years old the day I arrived. He jumped in my arms shrieking with joy and shared all the plans he had for us. To read more, please click this link: Let me fall