This week was a significant one and hard to struggle through. I had some tests during the week, and the outcome could have been life-altering—more than what normally happens during the run-of-the-mill happenings throughout life.
We all have our little hurdles that occur along the way. That is what I wrote in I Am, Therefore I Think. You know, those little twists of fate that we all endure — the cusps that pop up when least suspected.
The difference between this week and a normal cusp was that I could see it coming. The possibility of me changing while staring at it as it approached is minuscule. The last big detour I endured, I did not see coming. It was one of those things that hit me on the back of the head like I was back in Junior High School, and someone tapped my head and then hid. Remember things like that? The most memorable of those tricks was while standing outside in sub-freezing weather. And even that was preferable to the old ear flick in frigid weather. How about those? It felt like my ear shattered and fell off, leaving only the pain. Damn.
Enough of adolescence bonding rituals. There were others I’m sure you remember fondly, some revisited with a smile, while others slither through like snakes, the kind that might make a person sob. What a fun age to be.
Let me go back to the approaching change. Some medical things are hard to stare down without flinching, but I did it. Half of the needed tests are over with a positive outcome. When I say positive, I mean they were negative.
The way we construct English can be ridiculous. Sometimes, the English language confuses those who deal with it constantly. Let me approach it as if I need a large support system to communicate. The tests of the week came and left. I know, it was quick; however, writing the half-page above has taken me the whole week. So here is the bottom line: I am healthy according to the tests I underwent. Yes, more questions need answering, but the picture right now is, I am healthy.
However, I found something within me that the above cusp addressed. There are so many things that life pounds all of us. The medical tests weren’t the cusp as I thought they were. What happened? While I was busy staring down possible bad news, the rest of me, the part that goes through life without much conscious effort, modified me in there. It tore apart segments of me that I relied on and replaced those chunks with components more suited to the direction I found myself heading.
It left me with an inner pulchritude that I hadn’t known was possible, something that feels bright and shiny and not only beams illumination within me but clarifies my thoughts and feelings. It feels right, correct, and fits so completely that I find it hard to believe I wasn’t aware of it before.
Many of my readers have felt the same way during their lives. If you are not one of them, you may recognize it when it rolls over and tumbles through you in a future event.
So, what was this thing? This experience? It was my epiphany that I am again exactly where I should be. It confirmed a whispered feeling that I needed to nurture. It waxed like the moon heading toward fullness, bringing a conditional peace of mind.
I used the word conditional because of two events that helped shape me.
The first was a tale my high school principal, Doctor Dan Kahler, related. The man was a force by himself, and you can Google him. There are several mentions of him along with YouTube videos. He once related the time when he watched Jim Thorpe stand on the fifty-yard line. Mr. Thorpe kicked a field goal, and then turned about face and did the same feat in the opposite direction. Someone asked Mr. Thorpe if he wanted something to drink, but he declined, saying, “No, Thank you. Never be satisfied.”
The other event was when I was in a running formation at Fort Hood, Texas, led by the DIVARTY Commander. The run was relatively easy, about four miles. He had all his officers in our formation. About three-quarters through the run, a Major dropped out of the formation and ran behind us. At the end of the run, the Commander had us stand at parade-rest outside of his headquarters. As we stood there, fire ants began biting our legs; most of us swatted at them to keep them at bay. The Commander did not.
After about five minutes, the major who had dropped out came huffing up to the formation and joined us. The Commander said, “Never Quit.” He brought us to attention and dismissed us. I never saw that major again, but I did see the Commander. Years later, I recognized him on a news shoot about the Second Iraqi War. The man I ran with years ago was General Tommy Franks, the Commander of all US troops in the war.
He never gave up.
The memories of these two tales made me put the word conditional in there. I know myself well enough that Peace of Mind can be fleeting. It doesn’t mean tranquil; things are as they should be on the condition that I decide to keep that state of mind; It can happen whether I’m tranquil or not.
Tranquility is fleeting, and yes, peace of mind can come and go too. The difference is me. I must decide to have peace of mind.
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