Saturday, February 9, 2013

One Tin Soldier

"Listen children to a story that was written long ago..."

(This post is inspired by the post entitled, "Arc of Angels" by Raj Sisodia @ Amid Night Suns)

I'm back.  It's been a month and 5 days since my last post...really didn't plan or expect to be away from The Deconstruction Zone for so long.  I've missed it.  The unplanned hiatus provided an unexpected bonus revelation for yours truly...

The last 5 weeks have been spent trying to line up the next 10 years of my life or so...if I'm lucky enough to experience those tomorrows.  It was actually quite easier than I anticipated to roughly outline my next 10 years.  You see, at this point in my life, age 48, I pretty much flat-out refuse to do/participate in anything I don't want to or don't believe in.  That's because...for many of you...the life-expectancy hourglass has most definitely turned.

"Time's running out my pretty!!"

 I've been thinking a lot about stories personal narrative in particular.  Actually, in my pursuit of an archaeology degree, right now, I'm living part of a story that began 38 years ago..

"As a boy, I lived in a small, rural, southern Indiana town named Clinton.  Founded by coal mining Italian immigrants, Clinton is located in south Vermillion County, alongside the muddy Wabash River.  The Wabash, the state river of Indiana, is a tributary of the Ohio River, which in turn flows into the Mississippi River.  Indiana mainly consists of flat farmland, but the woods which surround Clinton are dotted with several, seemingly out-of-place hills.

One particular hill, larger than most and remotely located, was once used by local gun enthusiasts as the background for an unofficial shooting range.   My young friends and I occasionally prowled this location to collect the brass shell casings, which shooters would leave behind.  We fantasized that perhaps they were valuable, and it was something adventurous to do. 

In the summer of 1975, following a particularly violent Indiana rainstorm, I biked out to the informal shooting range with empty pockets, paper bags, and high hopes that the rain had revealed new treasure.  As expected, the rainwater runoff had exposed several different types of shell casings on and around the hill.  I was soon busily scooping them up.  

A few feet up the hill, I made a startling discovery.  Spying a small pointed rock protruding from the slope, I pried it free.  It was a beautiful stone projectile point!  My reward for the next three hours of excited digging was twenty separate stone artifacts ranging from scrapers to intricately designed projectile points. My memory of pausing and imaginatively pondering the fact that long ago others had lived and died in exactly the spot I was standing is distinct." - drd

So...with an eye towards posterity, I spent a few hours today archiving the blog...making a back-up copy of all the posts.  Some of the old posts I reread, most of them I didn't. After I backed-up the blog, I read and commented on an exceptionally insightful post entitled, "Arc of Angels" by the prolific artist and blogger Raj Sisodia at Amid Night Suns. Reading it, I couldn't help but notice all the thoughts in Raj's post that resonate so harmoniously with my own.  Here's a few examples:

Raj Sisodia:  "... I believe that it does us no good to deny or repress our darkness.  I believe that true wisdom and self-governance can only be gained through insight - through understanding ourselves, Light and Dark combined."

Me:  "It's not an easy thing to tear your heart open and dissect the contents; to actively look, not merely passively see.  It takes guts and self-discipline (conscious effort) to look at all the good, bad, and ugly...not just to understand...and then to look upon humanity with your new eyes; no longer just smelling the roses, but reveling in a completely new rosebush each time you approach it." 

Raj Sisodia:  "In my experience there are certain oppressive, enslaving forces that pose as Keepers in the Halls of Light, when in fact these forces are anything but.  It makes sense that sadistic, predatory things would disguise themselves as their opposites."

Me:  "That, and I've noticed it's often the crusaders who 'protest too much methinks,' and that blows me away...I mean...I really feel horribly for people who fall for this stuff...Pastor Eddie Long of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church:  He's quoted as saying his church could 'deliver' people from homosexuality...just ask all those teenage boys from Georgia that he 'preyed' on how it worked...this kind of repressed psychosis gives all of humanity a bad name." 

Raj Sisodia:  "Think of yourself as a kind of figurative Nephilim, an angel-human hybrid composed of stories, and you will be much closer to the truth of your ultimate identity.  There is emancipation and creativity in this understanding.  If you can really come to know this truth, this secret, you will be made privy to the Word - and for a moment you will be blinded."   

Me:  "...The personal realization that I, and perhaps everyone else, am continually involved in my own hero’s journey, constantly creating my own myths and legends, unceasingly crafting my own story...I'm a survivor...I find that I have become much more comfortable with that notion."

So, Raj's post stirred me me thinking about stories...the many stories of my life...all come together to form the larger narrative...and every day I write the book.  In turn, each of us lives our own unique story...each individual's story again becoming part of a larger narrative...and every day we write the book...together.  Yeah, it stirred me up and reminded me:

"It's mostly cloudy, except for when I look into the past."

I'd love to show you how it ends.  When I skip to my own last page...I imagine it to look something like this:  If I may but add a brick to the wall of human knowledge, I shall pass into history satisfied.  Might sound simple to some, complicated to others...doesn't's my part of our story.  Tomorrow is another day, another blank page...another chance to rethink the entire plot line...a chance to add a new, possibly unexpected, interesting twist...every instant the possibility of a new creation... if you'll only walk away from the lies in your life.  Just because you can't imagine tomorrow being different than today, doesn't mean that it won't be...think back...

Believe me when I say that I'm not the idealist that I seem, and I've got friends in low places...but I know what I know.  I'm sober and somber tonight about what I feel are the actual future prospects for the everyday citizens of the U. S. of A.  So, I'll take tomorrow with open arms and open eyes.

"Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgement day,
On the bloody morning after....
One tin soldier rides away."

Take what you can from this, and from the words of Raj Sisodia.  I really just wrote it to remind you and to remind myself that "I love you."

Dave ~ Thanks for your time.  I hope we get to know each other better.


  1. "On the mountain was a treasure buried deep beneath a stone and the valley people swore they'd have it for their very own"

    The song still speaks volumes of the selfish, small mindedness that has become so pervasive in many of our societal communities.

    1. Thanks for this feedback Mark!! That's a big message here for sure, and I'm really happy to know it was accurately received! Be well friend and watch your topknot!

  2. How cool to have a pocket full of evidence from a turning point moment in your life! ( I'll bet this was how sacred relics got started...)Talismans for sure.

    As always I appreciate your illustrations.

    I left a comment on the journal too and they relate to both articles. Thank you for blogging about your life and adventures. It's good to read about other people's sacred paths.

    1. Yes it is. One of the first things they teach you in anthropology is that human beings differ from other animals in that we think in the narrative. We think in terms of 'the story.' Due to this, we have created symbols which allow us to communicate any concept we have, seen, unseen, real or imaginary. I agree with your idea of talismans commemorating rites of passage, i.e. use of feathers by Native Americans. Thanks for reading and I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! I have fun with the pictures :) Spring is coming...I'm getting revved up for some serious adventure time!!

  3. "Peace on Earth" was all it said. " They already had the Treasure but were ready to kill for something else! Self Effort won't buy us the gift freely given.
    We have these Treasures in Jars of clay to show the ALL SURPASSING POWER comes from God and NOT ourselves." I'm still out here reading! Love Mom

    1. Told you the next one would be nicer, just took me a while to get it out :) I can't tell you how happy I am to know that you take the time to read the posts Mom. Fires me up to write some fun stuff!!!

  4. Hey Dave,

    I'm humbled and honoured that my my work can stir you to such a degree. It's really quite touching and reinvests me with the desire to keep on pushing with my blog and videos. I can't convey in words just how grateful I am for your continual support. Not just any support though, but support from a guy who is insightful, lucid and very, very brave. I'm truly honoured to have met you and to be a part of this cutting edge online community with you. Seriously, dude.

    Your thoughts and insights in this post are awesome, as always. I really chime with your thoughts about not wanting to be a part of anything you don't want or believe in. There's a ton of wisdom in your words, Dave. We're most definitely on the same page with a ton of different viewpoints. It's a two-way relationship: your work at The D-Con Z inspires me and I feed that inspiration into Amid Night Suns.

    Narrative and story-telling is indeed incredibly powerful. It's a Holy Act and a Holy Process; to care enough to share, to attempt to think differently, to lend a hand to those who have lost their way. It's what real warriors do. And you, sir, are a Magi or the highest order.

    Thanks for this awesome post. All the true angels, figurative or otherwise, salute you. Believe it.

    Your friend and brother-in-arms,

    1. Such a great post Raj. Dave's Mom

    2. Thank you my friend for your generous words. It's an amazingly cathartic process for me as well...perhaps the closest I will ever come to giving actual birth! I know you understand...the anxiety, the impulse, the labor pains, the eureka moments, getting stuck, the release of finally getting it out of your head and into a format that you find personally acceptable...I admire your efforts and appreciate your subtle intuition. Forward once more into the great wide open!! See you on the trail Midnight!

  5. The all surpassing power? Gob? Methinks the heartbeat of a compassion thinking human rules. The light in a human's eye is. (no dogma just love) Shineforth brave souls. Dennis

    1. Great to hear from you Dennis! I believe in love. Be well my friend.

  6. 48 too...bit of a personal sync for me.
    I found Raj's clip so inspiring and synchy that I did a post including his video.

    It was a perfect puzzle piece to my own story.
    There seem to be many ripples in the pond that can effect other swimmers.
    Great post,too Dave.
    I like to think that it may have had some influence on the Pope and his decision to resign .-)

    1. I read your post a couple days ago Darren!! Spotted the link on Invisible Suns and checked it out! Looking forward to playing around in your archives. I woke up this morning and saw the Pope had resigned and couldn't believe my eyes. Definitely a moment in history there. Seems like Raj's post definitely struck a chord! Thanks for commenting Darren, great to hear from you!