A Conversation with Jean – November 1, 2017

“Hey, wait a minute, where’ve you been?”

“No real excuses, but I have been very busy. And, today was such a milestone that I just had to sit down and put it all together for you. Hopefully, you will forgive my taking so long, so here goes:

Today, I resigned from the New Horizons Band. Several reasons, but being busy was foremost among them. I spent, all told, over 16 years with them, and enjoyed them all, however, a number of factors led to my resignation. A sad, but necessary day. The biggest being time availability. I am older now and need more periods of rest and rejuvenation between constructive activities. Happily, my life has been filling with more and more of them. They seem to be increasing at an increasing rate. I had to cut back. Prioritizing became a factor, and I had to eliminate doing what was least rewarding and most difficult. There are a whole lot of reasons for that, and now is not the time to go into detail. So, I will move on to what I have been doing and how it is revising my ways. Maybe later, at a more appropriate time, I will fill in those details.

Let me start the background factors for my busyness by going back the early days after your departure. You know how Patty encouraged me to join the writer’s program at Osher. It has worked a miracle in my attitude. It has given me the tools to find out who I really am, and how to appreciate all those with whom I share this life. In the process, I even got to know you better than I ever did when you were here with me.

It started with my creation of a character named Skibootch. Long story, and it has been described in many of my memoirs, starting with the merciful expression of exasperation used by my grandfather when I did not fulfill expectations. It was his word, but I soon got to understand the meaning. Skibootch became my alter ego in a whole series of stories designed to be a loosely defined representation of my error-prone life. He was me, disguised as an Irish-American boy and man aimlessly traveling through a misguided life, while under the protection of a merciful and benevolent God.

Skibootch eventually finds Seanna in Ireland, and begins a process of transformation that occurs when a partnership and an acceptance is realized. Seanna is (you are) that partner. When you get the opportunity, check out the genesis of those stories and apply your sense of metaphor to extract their true meanings. Are you getting my messages?

I covered up their true flavors, sometimes offensive, with humor, just as you used to do to get your point across without causing a separation or harm. I learned that from you. Laughter goes a long way toward harmony and equilibrium. It is a vital dimension of one’s attitude. It builds a safe bridge over troubled waters.

Today is All Saint’s day, and I wrote a story wherein Skibootch (Granddaddy’s word for exasperation) becomes Slainte (Irish for health). You will surely recognize its meaning as it was a life changing moment in our relationship. Here it is:
Seanna’s Dream – Part 2 – New Jobs

Seanna goes on.’Dat letter about Mick Murphy’s hat ain’t da end of my dream. I didn’t get to da part about me new man’s job title. Dis is where you come in. Dis guy looks so much like you dat I tink he came out of dat same mirror in the Black Dog at Cork. In fact, I’m so sure about it dat I am goin to be callin you Slainte from now on. Ya hear dat, do ya?

From now on you’re Slainte an you’re schleppin instead of steppin, or we ain’t playin no more of your games. De only game we play from now on is da one I coach. Your job is to drive da bus to get us to da game. Dere will be no more wrong turns, cause I will have da map in my hands and will be makin da choices.

So, from now on you’re Slainte da bus driver and I’m Seanna the navigator. Ya know, dat I love ya, an I want us both to get to where we can turn bullshit into electricity. We ain’t getting dere wit your steerin. An furdermore, I would prefer you to refer to dat idea in more polite terms, like finding power in words. Sometin wid a little class. Sometin that has Slainte written all over it.

You know Slainte means health.

Dat’s a good place to be…’

All Saint’s day put me into a mode of spiritual understanding. We are all connected in God. God is everything. You were my gift from Him to steer me in the right direction. Our conversations are part of the sharing of ourselves with each other. You never really left my spiritual connection. You are still there, and I write to you in these conversations. Note, I said write. Writing is our connection manifested. Manifested in one form of hard substance of our earthly realm – ink on paper.

The same substance of which ancient preserved scriptures are made. Books, including the Bible and other holy works. The ultimate form of human communication. A form which allows exemplary sharing and formulation.

To be succinct – writing…

Writing is the ultimate prayer. In committing words to paper, even if in metaphor, one engages in a process of refinement. Refining the good from the mass of whatever condition the original substance is found. Skibootch’s dream of “turning bullshit into electricity” is grounded in that process. It’s his crude way of expressing “Words have power.” Lasting words have lasting power.

Contracts that are written. Gospels, recipe’s, textbooks,, on and on, have lasting power. Power in their exemplification, as well as, in their creation. As in all forms of life there is an exchange needed to validate its existence. We live in a world of constant exchange. Nothing stays the same. It is in constant evolution. Evolution is existence. No evolution, no existence. Existence is one form of how we relate to each other. Existence is achieved through experience. What we experience is a determinant of what we are. Our experience allows us to visit what we need to exist. Our satisfaction of those needs determines the quality of how we live. Sadly, we generally spend far more time achieving life skills than satisfying those needs.

All this is wrapped up in the package of why I left the band today, and now that I am free of those demands I will devote what energy I have left in this life to write and encouraging others to write. Writing to you has been a life-saving experience and I want to fulfill it with my stories for you to read on Relighting Us (relighting.us) until I can once again fully connect with you in spirit.

Until then, I’ll keep on writing – full time…”

November 2, 2017 – Conversation with Jean – an addition to Cocktail Hour 50

“I had another dream last night that I have to share. It is an important addendum to my November 1 conversation. Many of my writings will deal with its message. It is for one to be forgiving, to set the stage for sharing. The bridges over troubled waters I talked about are built with forgiveness. They enable the connections.”

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