The picture is a younger me! Okay, it’s a much younger me! During the days when this picture was taken, the world for me was a rare giant oyster with many lovely pearls. Oh, sure, there were some moments of regrets and despair but, generally, life was piano bars, pretty women, and usually too much of the amber fluid. Drugs were around my life but never really in my life. It was a busy time for making fun the order of every day, impressing the girls with my wisdom and wit, and, of course, my ‘etchings.’
For the most part my friends were attorneys, textbook salesmen, and mostly anyone who answered one question correctly. That question: “Are you a turtle?” If the answer was not, “You bet your sweet ass I am!” it would take a little more time but, really, anyone could be my friend. The turtle question? Just something silly my generation thought up to keep everyone amused – as you can see, it didn’t take a whole lot to amuse us! Sort of like some of the weird words and phrases of today… There was, however, a most definite difference ‘then’ as opposed to ‘now.’
‘Then,’ there was not the subterranean build-up of world issues. There was not the economic and job worries of today. And, certainly, there was not Terrorism – oh, there was some mayhem and murder, that kind of terror, but not the kind that gets into your subconscious mind and bubbles up too consistently in the current ‘now.’ I’m not writing about ‘the good old days’ – yet, there were good days mixed with the ‘down’ days when I allowed myself to think about the mistakes I was making or the sadness that was of my own making. In the ‘then’ days there were bad governments and there were good governments, depending, of course, on political leanings. Perhaps what I remember most about the ‘then’ days was the feeling of Freedom, that sense that, even with my periodic goofs, our world was reasonably within some tolerance level of diplomatic solution.
‘Now,’ it is more a feeling, a sense, that the world is ‘stretching’ and ‘yawning’ in some peculiar and scary ways. Some say we are seeing ‘Revelations’ come to pass (for those who might not know, ‘Revelations’ is a book in the New Testament of the Bible). Some say we are on the downward slope of our Democracy, that when Freedom and Liberty are eroded by too much government control and entitlements, we are heading down the proverbial slippery slope. Some say we are just going through a generational phase where the digital world is making our lives more accessible and bringing the world together too fast. There are new ‘words’ in the ‘now’ lexicon. There are new faces appearing in the crowds, their lips speaking in different tongues and their gestures not always friendly.
I guess we have always had our calamitous moments, mass murders, our children kidnapped and killed. It just seems tougher today to know who to believe, who to trust, when and where to visit, what to do and how to act when we get there.
Of course, when I think about it, I’m in ‘Twilight,’ and perhaps my senses are losing (or, have lost) some of their acuity. Maybe those ‘then’ days are happening for someone else as I write these words. Maybe the ‘now’ is not so bad after all. Yeah, sure, and maybe 9/11 did not happen at all!
The world is stretching and yawning! A lot is happening, perhaps too much for the old brain to process, too many social networks to monitor, too many machines. If not stretching and yawning, is the world getting too tightly bound? It just seems to me we’ve lost some stability, lost some of the old standards that were so important to us once upon a time, lost some of the texture that made our part of the world so great. We write about our world and what is happening in it, but who can truly say where we stand on the timeline of history? Who has the compendium that can accurately foretell our future. Is it our government? Is it the Bible? Is it God?
Please follow me on twitter (@brchitwood)
Please preview my books at http://www.goo.gl/fuxUA (IAN1)
Please see a bio sketch at http://www.about.me/brchitwood
Please visit my main website/blog at: http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com