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Archive for January, 2014

I continue to be true to the spirit. To understand what I mean, read my Honey & Quine post for January 1, 2014. I am true to the “spirit” because when I let go of the spirit, I figuratively leap into the jaws of the tiger of hopelessness, and when do that, I surrender everything.

January has been the coldest month I can remember — down to minus 14 a few nights and consistently closer to ZERO than it’s ever been. The renter upstairs continues to not pay her rent, but I tolerate her because she pays to keep the water pipes from freezing, and that’s more than I could do if I evicted her and she moved out. Nobody’s going to rent when it’s winter and kids are in school. I have been lucky. There is enough heat (thanks to a space heater) around the plumbing in the basement to have kept my pipes from bursting. And I have allowed myself to be warm, thanks to a working thermostat and furnace. I”m totally moved into the smaller bedroom that I use as my home office. I sleep in the La-Zee-Box recliner, eat at my second desk and read there. It’s cozy, and that’s okay. I haven’t had a working television since last September, and that’s okay too. I don’t miss it. I’d rather read.

My life is a routine of working (volunteering) at the AeroKnow Museum  — www.aeroknow.com  — aviation museum and work at my stone fabricator employer, The Granite Guy, where I manage the showroom floor. I am most comfortable driving in daylight, thanks to cataracts degrading my night vision, and with the employer’s full permission and understanding, I am not driving to work or to the museum when there is more than an inch of snow on the streets or the forecast for more than an inch of snow. So, I’ve missed about four days of work plus the week off during the holidays when the employer was closed. So the loss of that pay and no rent, have helped make January the coldest month.

Even so, I’ve not gone to bed hungry. Sometimes a museum visitor buys a copy of my book Springfield Aviation from Arcadia Publishing or a surplus model kit from the collection. I’m eating incredibly modestly, but I am eating consistently.

I have devoted not a minute to poetry and song writing this month. I can’t write when I am dark inside, colder than I wish I were and damn near catatonic — despite the furnace and peanut butter — because the “tiger” in his closeness, depresses me.  Why write poetry to a world that will not read it? songs to a world that will not hear them? I expect this to change when the rent gets paid and I earn a few paychecks for a full two weeks’ employment.

For awhile, I was making good progress with my book about John Thornton Walker, a Springfieldian who flew “grasshopper” spotter planes for the ground army in Italy and died in a plane crash en route home on leave. I’m not focusing on the book in the last two weeks, and I MUST. Walker’s family has been incredibly generous with donations of pictures and memorabilia of his life to the museum, and I owe them; I OWE SPRINGFIELD, I owe POSTERITY the written record of a good man’s life. I need to re-connect with local media to get the word out about my search for people still alive who knew him. I need time off from employer so I can visit Walker’s high school, the local fire department where his dad served as a chief.  Maybe, spreading all my concerns out in this blog post will help steer me toward renewed progress. Maybe starting today January 20 I will resume that process.

January is the coldest month, but there are only 12 more days of this . . . . . .month.

We shall see.

Live long . . . . . . and proper.

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Here’s To the Spirit

Considerable wrestling in my heart took place over the course of half an hour before I posted the poem/song that follows. I could tell you about my circumstance (another hummin’ bean awash in the poo of sub-nominal circumstance), or I could be “the poet” and share something I felt might move others — and my froggy self — to engage constructive recourse to prevail against said circumstance. That I find myself blessed to be capable of creating and appreciating poetry — as I was in 2005 when what follows and today when I chose to share it — moves me to this option. I hope the point of the poem/song reaches beyond my heart and circumstance to touch you and yours as well.

Here’s to the Spirit
by Job Conger
written 5:30 pm, December 21, 2005

(chorus)
Here’s to the spirit of hope in our hearts —
The spirit, the ghost or the flame —
That shows you the sun with the gift of a smile,
No matter the credo or name.
In the darkest of winter a warm breath to brighten
Horizons of those who are dear.
Yes, here’s to the spirit that moves us to love
And here’s to a happy new year.

Life is a voyage through tumbling tides
In the quest for safe harbor and land
As we seek sweet surcease from our sorrows and pain,
When the sailing’s not smooth as we planned.
Blame your dad, blame the devil, blame a deck of bad cards,
But they won’t wreck your ship on the shore.
When you stand at the helm, show the world that you care,
And you’ll reach where you’re going and more.
(chorus)
The world will be better from what burns inside,
Not from whining and running away
To a bottle or needle or palavering cult.
What you need, you should be. Show the way.
Let the glow of true passionate dreams light the world,
And the lasting rewards they will sing
As the dawn of each new day to arise to our hopes,
And we’ll know life is worth everything!

Yes, here’s to the spirit of hope in our hearts —
The spirit, the ghost or the flame —
That shows us the sun with the gift of a smile,
No matter the credo or name.
In the darkness of winter, a warm breath to brighten
Horizons of all we hold dear.
Yes, here’s to the spirit of hope in our hearts
And here’s to a happy new year.
Yes, here’s to the spirit of hope in our hearts . . . .
And here’s to a happy new year!

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Live long . . . . . . . . . . . and proper.

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