Posted by: nativeiowan | December 20, 2013

Another year comes to a comfortable closure…

It is time to, once again, look forward to a new, another “calendar year”

We know it is all arbitrary, this date thing.  There has been something like a dozen major calendars used in human history. It is my belief that mankind’s need to define time is a direct result of his realised impotence when it comes to life and nature and the world at large. Mankind understands he has no control thus he exerts control to create a placebo effect. And the placebo effect works with amazing side effects such as math, science and even religion.

So I sit in my suburbian seat, watching the magical pageant rock on past. And it is a good show.

2013 has been pretty cool. Lots of changes have taken place. I feel satisfied and even pleased with what I have experienced in this calendar year.

So my thoughts go to old familiars, recent inductees and the future possibilities. I think of work left undone. I think of a possible BS present to all my faithful readers… a possible boon to those who read my posts, put up with my BS, or even show indifferent attention… So I go back and clean up my unfinished business…

My end year present to my faithful readers…

Nov 21 2013, The price of freedom: Each generation has to deal with their individual contribution, must pay their price of freedom.

It was not that long ago, only a generation or so, that life was simpler. Our grandfathers and fathers, grandmothers and mothers, and elder uncles and aunts paid reasonably clear and tradition prices for freedom. From immigrants to a new land to fighting for an ideal called Liberty. WWI and WWII, The Korean War, all offered traditional themes. To fight against fascism. To fight for personal freedoms. Though complex the basic values of each theatre were of a traditional format.

I admit Korea was the beginning of the new type of war. But we engaged in these theatres in a more than not traditional fashion. Soldiers wore uniforms and certain “rules” applied.

It was Indochina that the “rules” of WAR got confused.

I think distinctly of my generation of sadly fucked up, damaged and lost souls who “fought for Liberty” in Indochina.

Now we have the Middle East theatre. We had Serbia and Croatia. We had Sudan. The rules went from being blurred to being lost. So many sad and lost souls fought for Liberty and returned to a less than happy homecoming.

What is the Price of Freedom? Ask a Vet. Ask a Vet’s wife. Ask a Vet’s mother or father or son or daughter. The price becomes geometric when one person, making a sacrifice in the name of Liberty, inadvertently offers others who are near and dear, on the same altar.

I fear this is the price of Freedom and Liberty. And I feel it is a worthy cause and a price well paid by all who deserve nothing but honour and regard.

June 9 2013, defining our world: I am thinking that the process of defining our world, each of our own personal worlds, is what life is about. Noting that my world is mine and your world is yours and though we have overlap and interaction we each have our own distinctive world.

Some worlds become shared through ideology and training. Religion is a good example here… I was trained as a catholic. I was conditioned to respond to life in a catholic way. My definitions are largely catholic by default. My reactions, after all these years, remain and are comfortingly catholic.

But what can we do to really, really change the definitions of our world?

Are we defined by our possessions? Are we possessed by our possessions? I fear that such is possible, but those who are strong of character do not imitate but rather they emulate. So a possession is only a “thing”, a tool, a functioning distraction, an investment, or a conversation piece.

I have a “thing” for old British motorcycles. I can’t, and have no need to explain my “thing”, but it makes me happy.

Like, my mother who has a large collection of bells. She is lifted by the sound of a small bell. She knows and cherishes her bells for their sounds, looks and how they make her smile.

My bikes are the same… start the 750 3cyl trumpet and you’ll hear a strange imbalanced roar. The 3 pots give a third beat to the 2/4 measure of your average bike. Here you get a ¾ or a 5/6 measure. And it sounds great.

So what defines you?

Though not defined by any possession, I, like my mother, take great delight in the full package.

I guess it is important to not become obsessive. I, with respect, think of some  buddies who I ride with… They wear uniforms… They can’t get on the bike without the death skull scarf, or the chrome studded gloves, or the chain-laden boots. They ride for the image. And they do enjoy the package. But they accept and even welcome the definition that comes with the package.

I rebel against this in that I don’t want to be defined, pigeon–holed, or categorised.

Defining my world is not about things but rather about feelings and light and music and smiles and, you the get the picture.

In ending… I’ll define myself as simply s possible… A happy old Daddy and Granddaddy with more fun and smiles than a person really deserves.

April 14 2013, Traveling Light: Just back from a whirl wind trip of 5 countries, 6 major cities and something like 20,500 nautical miles or 23,600 statute miles or 38,000 kilometres.

Had the pups and Zai and visited and saw and walked and enjoyed a numbers of friends, family and places of interest. It was a good trip.

My main thoughts and lessons to come from this bit of gallivanting is that is best to travel as light as possible at all times.

Four of us, left Brisbane, each with a carry-on sized bag.

General logic calls for a full change of clothes and half-dozen extra undies and 3 or 4 spare socks. The boys each had a couple extra shirts. The boys had their ipads, and Grace and I had our phones. I took my sketch diary, the boys each had a couple of books. Grace of course had a number of heavy tomes.

We returned with 1 large, extra bag and a mandolin in a case. The new bag was mostly occupied by 3 nice afghans Zai Olo had made for the boys and Grace.

The funny thing about the lesson-learned here is that some of the clothes we packed did not get used so, in fact, we over packed.

When we first checked in for the Singapore-Abu Dhabi-London flight the gal at the counter was a bit shocked. How could 4 people be traveling for 2 weeks with only the bare necessities? She admitted that she’d have her full 4okg allowance and probably return over weight.

We could have travelled with 40kgs each. 160 kgs all up.

So, so much baggage.

Just like the people we met, visited and enjoyed being with… I saw so, so much baggage in their lives. I saw their wants and needs being overpowered and obscured by the un-necessaries of life, which each voluntarily collected, and carry.

I think traveling light is best…

In Ending, 2013: What a run. So much energy and commotion. So much fun and glory and tears and fears and stress and heartache and joy and smiles and love and fun and… you get, you get it… It has been a great year and I do wish everyone all the best in the coming, New Year.

More Later


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