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I was looking through a small unpublished journal I wrote as an undergrad and liked one of the poems I read in it. So I decided to reprint it here with a few changes to reflect my current understanding. I’m so glad I’m no longer in that situation, and my heart goes out to those who are.

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A long time ago,
twenty times before,
I’ve walked the path I’m walking now.

My love is lost.

Lonliness is what that path is made of.

I’ve gone and lost another.

You,
have been stifled

by me.

 

“What can I do?” I ask myself.

I don’t know, I’ve tried so many things.
.
There is a river which travels throughout my mind.
I wish…
to cast myself upon it.
I wish to float…
so freely,
thoughtlessly.

I wish to travel on that watery grave where thoughts become meaningless.

Yea, I say,

where there is no existence of feeling.

In my sorrow,
time has no meaning beyond the moment.

Now I’m feeling, wishing,
that moments had no meaning;

that there was no undergoing, nor gleaning
of the fates which impede our progression

toward the eternal truth of love,
and understanding.

Now I’m feeling, wishing,
that there was no undergoing, nor gleaning

of the fates which beckon falsely,

trapping hopeful lovers, ensnaring us in situations

that dash our hopes,

and those of others.

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20200319_191439If I were to die tomorrow…
The thought has crossed my mind a few times today. What with Corvid-19 going around and being 65 and a hypochondriac. I have the dry cough, sore red throat, and congestion. Wifie says the virus kills the cilia lining the throat. You can’t cough stuff up so you get pneumonia and die.

So, if I were to die tomorrow. I wouldn’t be too upset. A sudden illness and quick death would be much better to me than say, a slow decline into Alzheimers. Better to rip the bandage off quickly than to peel it back slowly.

Hm. All this imagery.

I suppose I’m not too worried because I have certain expectations of death. It will be like the next horizon. The undiscovered country. When I stand there, you’ll see me, but you won’t see those whom I see on the other side of the hill. There are the people I leave behind and the people I meet: generations of family members, friends, acquaintances, and strangers for whom I’ve done so many things I don’t remember.

Life’s been good. For the past 33 years. I’ve had a better half who has kept my heart warm, life challenging, and to whose presence I’ve looked forward every morning. If it’s true that “man is, that he might have joy”, then, having “endured to the end”, I have “fulfilled the measure of my creation”.

I do have my regrets though. I wish I were more brave, and could have said those things I wanted for my family and friends, to them. I’ve partially hidden behind a facade of “live and let live”, and Zen. That if people wanted to change, wanted more, they would have pursued it.

But that’s not totally true either. People are sometimes afraid, and that fear can keep them from what they want. Just as my fear of rejection keeps me from sharing what I want for them. Perhaps if I had said something, I could have helped them with their fear.

I know there is no letting someone do something. I can’t control my family, friends, and acquaintances, but, I can influence you.

So if I were to die tomorrow, tonight I would say to you, “Be Good”. Most of the troubles we endure, we create ourselves. Live while looking forward with an eye of faith to the undiscovered country. Life is eternal.

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20200306_112700The full title reads: ” “Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, Incorporated” — BallClub, July 13-15, 1920. Benjamin Caswell, of Cass Lake, President” “and in another place “Rich” Photo –Bemidji–

I found this photo in my Grandmother’s shed. Having cleaned it out a few months after she died in 1985. “Lizzy” Elizabeth Joyce Mason is the girl with the bow in her hair on the far left. She was 14 then.

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To the left of her is my Great -Grandfather, “Neogeshig”, or Thomas Jefferson Jerome Mason. You can tell from his visage that Littlecreek men received many facial characteristics from him. 🙂

He’s holding Helen C. Mason, age 2, and I believe that little boy half hiding behind his pant leg to the left of him is either his son Vilas, age 6, or son Thomas Jr., age 7.

I figured I’d better put this photograph online somewhere so others could benefit from it–since it’s been sitting on top of my dresser all these years.

I am amazed at the amount of personal family history contained in this photograph. Who are all these people???

The expression of their genes is so strong, I think I would recognize their descendants from this picture! Let me know if you know any of them.

After uploading the whole photo,  I noticed that it was compressed so much that I couldn’t really identify anyone, so I’m adding enlarged sections of it above and below.

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I’m guessing that the man sitting apart from the others in the front bottom row, as a place of prominence, is Benjamin Caswell. Can anyone confirm this?20200306_125403

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Aren’t phone cameras great?

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I’ve been away for a while. Doing other things. Recently started to learn to play the cello. I can do one scale and can play the Christmas Carol “Silent Night” badly. I figure in ten years–if I make it that long– I might be a passable player.

I’ve also been watching Korean Romantic Comedies too.

In a world where I hear that R rated movies of today are the same as pink porn of the 70s, it is refreshing to find for the most part–a G-rated genre where the worst curse you hear is, “You punk!” Where a relationship is started by a couple holding hands; where that relationship is consummated with a kiss at the end of the series. And where saying “I like you .” is tantamount to a declaration of love. I have more to say about this topic but I’ll leave that for another day.

But, the point is, I feel like writing again and you have seen the result of that in the last couple of days.

Cheers!

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I found this picture while searching for family photos at the Minnesota Historical Society way back in ’77. (1977, not 1877)

I managed to find out where I could write to Bob Hope at the time and sent him a copy, hoping that he might have some information about it. I received this letter from him along with my returned photo.
Bob Hope Letter
Mr. Hope couldn’t provide me with any new information except to suggest it may have been taken in a studio. (I was thinking Cali-for-nii-aa) but I was pleased nonetheless to have received a personal letter back along with his autograph!

I recently signed up for a five day free trial of Newspapers.com (I needed a credit card but was told how I could easily cancel my trial before the five days were up.)
During that period, I pretty much dedicated myself to looking up as many possible Ancestor references for myself and friends who were interested. I probably looked at a thousand possible articles and was rewarded with a score or more, which I “Clipped” and then downloaded. This was one of them.
Bob Hope and Ben Littlecreek at the Nicollet Hotel
Yep, same top hat, same sport coat, same two people. BINGO!!! Mystery solved.

Part of the article reads:

“Forever a gagster, Bob Hope invaded Minneapolis Monday. He put on a two-hour stage show in Minneapolis Auditorium. Sang a duet with Mayor Eric G. Hoyer, said nasty things about Bing Crosby, and was made an honorary Indian. Most of the shenanigans took place in Nicollet Hotel, where, among other things, the ski-nosed comedian attended a dinner put on by the Theadore Peterson American Legion Post.

*   *   *

In Picture below, Hope meets Chief Ben Littlecreek of the Red Lake Chippewa Indian Tribe. Hope made the Chief an honorary “Paleface”, from the movie by the same name.”

As a side note, I like Hope’s irony here. That’s the first time I’ve heard of an Indian being made an honorary Paleface!

All kidding aside, for you genealogy buffs out there, Try the Newspaper.com free Trial. It was worth it! (And, they actually made cancelling the trial easy!) All irony aside, I will pay for a subscription–which I can get for just one month if I want–should I need to research other ancestors in the future.

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