Archive for the ‘Old Jules’ Tag

Its Veteran’s Day, 2022   2 comments

Sgt. 1st Class Lance Amsden, platoon sergeant for the 1st Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne),
25th Infantry Division, watches as CH-47 Chinook Helicopters circle above during a dust storm at Forward Operating Base Kushamond, Afghanistan, July 17,
during preparation for an air-assault mission.
— Army Flickr Stream

On this Veteran’s Day, in honor of those who served and died, I share this song written and recorded by Tom Russell, which was also recorded by Johnny Cash.

One of the blogs I follow is So Far From Heaven.  Old Jules writes about his old running buddy, Phil:

“I hadn’t thought about my old running buddy, Phil, for a while. That last blog entry got me chewing on thoughts of him. I’ll tell you a bit more about him.

Phil went to the Marine Corps as the result of being a 17-year-old driving from Temple, Texas, to Austin with a case of beer in the car. A Williamson County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped him on a tail light violation, asked for his driver’s license, and saw the case of beer. Old Phil, being a clever youth, gave the officer a Texas Drivers License with an altered date of birth so’s to keep from being arrested as a minor in possession of alcoholic beverages.”

Veteran’s Day

Well I used to hang out down at the VFW hall
And stare at the photographs up on the wall
Of the neighborhood boys that died
in the wars we’ve been through
And the hand lettered sign that said
remember Jimmy McGrew
Well Jimmy went to Nam back in 1965
But there’s a lot of men here that think
Jimmy McGrew’s still alive
Though they carved his name
on a stone in Washington DC
His brother said that stone
don’t prove a thing to me

It’s veteran’s day and the skies are gray
Leave the uniforms home cause
there ain’t gonna be a parade
But we’ll fill up a glass for the ones
that didn’t make it through
And leave a light in the window tonight
for Jimmy McGrew

Well I used to hang out down at the VFW hall
And stare at the photographs up on the wall
Of the neighborhood boys that died
in the wars we’ve been through
And the hand lettered sign that said
remember Jimmy McGrew
Well Jimmy went to Nam back in 1965
But there’s a lot of men here that think
Jimmy McGrew’s still alive
Though they carved his name
on a stone in Washington DC
His brother said that stone
don’t prove a thing to me

It’s veteran’s day and the skies are gray
Leave the uniforms home cause
there ain’t gonna be a parade
But we’ll fill up a glass for the ones
that didn’t make it through
And leave a light in the window tonight
for Jimmy McGrew

— Tom Russell

Invoking the Full Meaning of Life   6 comments

I’m Just A Traveler In Other People’s Reality — Image by a Fellow Higher On The Trail

Invoking the Full Meaning of Life

How best to express sharing new life

when each moment deserves its face.

What seems apropos for the moment,

when the next moment fosters a unique experience.

Is it in a number?

The number of days?

The number of thoughts?

The number of heartbeats?

The number of turns?

The number of prayers?

. . . you can count the ways,

only to still not know life’s score.

Is it in a word?

Loving?

Caring?

Sharing?

Giving?

Sheltering?

Words to communicate thoughts and feelings

when manifested in knowledge and experience.

Or is it in art?

Transforming thought,

expressing feeling,

experiencing emotions and

the desire to evoke life,

even when distance 

appears to separate a lifelong bond.

I wrote this in the 1990s. Since then, retirement and moved 1,000 miles from where we had spent 25 years, putting distance between bonds. In the twelve years since moving, we have watched the bonds drift away, causing me to question the desire to evoke life, even when distance can’t separate a lifelong bond. 

We moved to the Sonoran desert with the illusion that friends and family would be beating a path to our new home in the desert southwest — not such luck. So we try staying in touch through social media, often questioning whether the bonds were ever real — confirming that we remain tourists in other people’s reality.

 I once read a posting by blogger Old Jules, “These damned ego-warts.” 

Old Jules was a 70-year-old hermit, living with three cats somewhere in the Texas Hill Country and writing a blog I enjoyed reading from time to time. Old Jules, who passed away April 21, 2020 at 74, had concluded that he has spent over a third of his life “being insignificant in the lives of others.” 

In 1992, after 25 years of marriage and a career of 20 years, he began a new career and life in Santa Fe. 

All secure in the knowledge the extended family and friends remaining behind were part of my life in which I’d been and remained important.”

Over time he concluded it was all an illusion. 

“Kids, young adult nephews, and nieces I’d coddled and bounced on my knee pealed out of my life-like layers of an onion. Most I never heard from again.”

He began to realize that he was merely tolerated, “. . . a piece of furniture in their lives.” 

Over time he rebuilt his life with a more potent dose of skepticism concerning his worth and place in the lives of others, which resulted in his becoming a hermit. 

“I no longer assume I’m important in the lives of other human beings and get my satisfaction in knowing I’m at least relevant to the cats. 

Because cats, though sometimes dishonest, aren’t capable of the depth and duration of dishonesty humans indulge regularly.”

Old Jules had come to believe “. . . that life is entirely too important and too short to be wasted in insignificance.”

His new awareness of life is now in teaspoon measurements, “. . . measured in contracts with cats not equipped to lie. A determination in the direction of significance measured in teaspoons of reality, 

as opposed to 55-gallon drums of dishonesty and self-delusion.”

“Teaspoons, I find, don’t spill away as much life in the discovery 

when they’re found to be just another ego-wart of pride and self-importance.”

Bonds, illusion or not, have difficulty being when the moments are separated by time and distance, becoming gleams of light, for an instant, in the long night.

I understand where Old Jules was coming from and feel his disillusionment. There is, however, a binding force that comes from a homesick longing to be whole, to have completion, as Plato described in the myth of the human halves passionately striving towards one. Like all mythical totalities, humans are subject to the triple dramaturgical rhythm of primal completeness, separation catastrophe, and restoration. The most significant attraction effect occurs between the second and third acts of life’s drama, which is where I find myself today — maybe this is also where Old Jules is. I am learning to understand myself from a new divide, one half experienced, the other inexperienced — in such a way that I’m learning to understand myself in new ways. 

But then, there are the darn cats!

Kika, what do you think?

Kika (She passed away December 10, 2011.)

“The More It Stays The Same.”   3 comments

Old Jules-artJack “Old Jules” Purcell — Photo-Artistry by kenne

In June of 2006 Old Jules wrote on his blog So Far From Heaven “The More It Stays The Same.”

I hadn’t watched Easy Rider (Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson, circa 1968) in three decades.

When I saw it again this past weekend I appreciated it again for the first time:

Nicholson: You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.

Hopper: Huh. Man, everybody got chicken, that’s what happened, man. Hey, we can’t even get into like, uh, second-rate hotel, I mean, a second-rate motel. You dig? They think we’re gonna cut their throat or something, man. They’re scared, man.

Nicholson: Oh, they’re not scared of you. They’re scared of what you represent to ’em.

Hopper: Hey man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody needs a haircut.

Nicholson: Oh no. What you represent to them is freedom.

Hopper: What the hell’s wrong with freedom, man? That’s what it’s all about.

Nicholson: Oh yeah, that’s right, that’s what it’s all about, all right. But talkin’ about it and bein’ it – that’s two different things.

I mean, it’s real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace.

‘Course, don’t ever tell anybody that they’re not free ’cause then they’re gonna get real busy killin’ and maimin’ to prove to you that they are.

Oh yeah, they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom, but they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare ’em.

Hopper: Mmmm, well, that don’t make ’em runnin’ scared.

Nicholson: No, it makes ’em dangerous.

Three young men searching for America who found it wasn’t what they bargained for.

Jack

I Remain A Traveler In Other People’s Reality   14 comments

Kenne Self-protrate art blogSelf-portrait 

Invoking the Full Meaning of Life

How best to express sharing new life

when each moment deserves its face.

What seems apropos for the moment,

when the next moment fosters a unique experience.

Is it in a number?

The number of days?

The number of thoughts?

The number of heartbeats?

The number of turns?

The number of prayers?

. . . you can count the ways,

only to still not know life’s score.

Is it in a word?

Loving?

Caring?

Sharing?

Giving?

Sheltering?

Words to communicate thoughts and feelings

when manifested in knowledge and experience.

Or is it in art?

Transforming thought,

expressing feeling,

experiencing emotions and

the desire to evoke life,

even when distance 

appears to separate a lifelong bond.

I wrote this in the 1990s. Since then, retirement and moved 1,000 miles from where we had spent 25 years, putting distance between bonds. In the three years since moving, we have watched the bonds drift away, causing me to question the desire to evoke life, even when distance can’t separate a lifelong bond. 

We had moved to the Sonoran desert with the illusion that friends and family would be beating a path to our new home in the desert southwest — not such luck. So we try staying in touch through social media, often questioning whether the bonds were ever real — confirming that we remain tourists in other people’s reality.

The other day I read a posting by blogger Old Jules, “These damned ego-warts.” 

Old Jules is a 70-year-old hermit, living with three cats somewhere in the Texas Hill Country and writing a blog I enjoy reading from time to time. Old Jules has concluded that he has spent over a third of his life “being insignificant in the lives of others.” 

In 1992, after 25 years of marriage and a career of 20 years, he began a new job and life in Santa Fe. 

All secure in the knowledge the extended family and friends remaining behind were part of my life in which I’d been and remained important.”

Over time he concluded it was all an illusion. 

“Kids, young adult nephews, and nieces I’d coddled and bounced on my knee pealed out of my life-like layers of an onion. Most I never heard from again.”

He began to realize that he was merely tolerated, “. . . a piece of furniture in their lives.” 

Over time he rebuilt his life with a more potent dose of skepticism concerning his worth and place in the lives of others, which resulted in his becoming a hermit. 

“I no longer assume I’m important in the lives of other human beings and get my satisfaction in knowing I’m at least relevant to the cats. 

Because cats, though sometimes dishonest, aren’t capable of the depth and duration of dishonesty humans indulge regularly.”

Old Jules has come to believe “. . . that life is entirely too important and too short to be wasted in insignificance.”

His new awareness of life is now in teaspoon measurements, “. . . measured in contracts with cats not equipped to lie. A determination in the direction of significance measured in teaspoons of reality, 

as opposed to 55-gallon drums of dishonesty and self-delusion.”

“Teaspoons, I find, don’t spill away as much life in the discovery 

when they’re found to be just another ego-wart of pride and self-importance.”

Bonds, illusion or not, have difficulty being when the moments are separated by time and distance, becoming gleams of light, for an instant, in the long night.

I understand where Old Jules is coming from and feel his disillusionment. There is, however, a binding force that comes from a homesick longing to be whole, to have completion, as Plato described in the myth of the human halves passionately striving towards one. Like all mythical totalities, humans are subject to the triple dramaturgical rhythm of primal completeness, separation catastrophe, and restoration. The most significant attraction effect occurs between the second and third acts of life’s drama, which is where I find myself today — maybe this is also where Old Jules is. I am learning to understand myself from a new divide, one half experienced, the other inexperienced — in such a way that I’m learning to understand myself in new ways. 

— kenne

“Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time!
It’s abominable! When! When!
One day,
is that not enough for you,
one day he went dumb,
one day I went blind,
one day we’ll go deaf,
one day we were born,
one day we shall die,
the same day,
the same second,
is that not enough for you?

They give birth astride of a grave,
the light gleams an instant,
then it’s night once more.”

— Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

Seattle Lummi Island & Vancouver_Stacked Rocks_0150 II art II blogImages by kenne

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Do You Know A Veteran Like, Phil? They Are Out There — Mostly Forgotten!   1 comment

US Army Flickr Photostream, “Waiting out the dust storm” 

One of the blogs I link to is SO FAR FROM HEAVEN: OLD JULES. I enjoy Old Jules’s take on life. In one of today’s post, “My Original Veteran’s Day Post,” Old Jules writes about his old running buddy, Phil:

“I hadn’t thought about my old running buddy, Phil, for a while.  That last blog entry got me chewing on thoughts of him.  I’ll tell you a bit more about him.

Phil went to the Marine Corps as the result of being a 17 year old driving from Temple, Texas, to Austin with a case of beer in the car.  A Williamson County Sheriff Deputy stopped him on a tail light violation, asked for his driver’s license and saw the case of beer.  Old Phil, being a clever youth, gave the officer a Texas Drivers License with an altered date of birth, so’s to keep from being arrested as a minor in possession of alcoholic beverages.” Read more . . .

— kenne

Posted November 12, 2011 by kenneturner in Guests, Information, Life, Peace & War

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