… it’s a matter of survival when your’re born with your back against the wall

won’t somebody hand me a bible

won’t you give me that number to call –

Van Morrison, from Rough God Goes Riding

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Now that I have logged the miles and passed the years, I see so much better, more infinite detail in the horizon – all that is between me in the now and the final then – and I see so plainly what has passed and feel so deeply yesterday’s moments, large and small; feel them more deeply than I ever have before.

Yes, a matter of survival when you’re born with your back against the wall.

That true blessing was my life.  Abandonment, poverty, losses, deaths, betrayals, illness, unemployment, doubt, uncertainty – these the things that forge strength from mortal flesh and untried muscles, and teach lessons in all that is hard and unjust … and soft and tender too.  There is found love, love experienced, shared and received when given.  The grace of God.

… when Rough God Goes Riding life is alive, the soul lives and you are born full as you are meant to be … the senses engage, grow – wisdom-beyond-the-books stacked up like firewood to be burned when dark winter nights descend, all gets bone cold and death seeks like a relief – and you lay down somewhere between a good sleep and the long-expected dirt nap.

Now I am struck by how weak we have gotten … unwise, less than to be pitied.

I look about. I do not see the toughness of a Rough God – – – No, few travel life’s bad road; and, you ain’t meetin’ God travelin’ on the well-paved highway connecting hedonism to paganism, appearance to fiction.

Want to know who can lead?  Ask him or her about their road, its toughest parts, and what they learned.  Today you’ll clear a field of candidates right quick with those questions.

You better understand: life is combat and survivors alone gain wisdom. They lead – others hide, and pretend.

My life’s backdrop: the color and texture of combat, time between punctuating sufferings – and, yet all the way: the gift of rebellious laughter and defiance. Survivals come as charms hung on a bracelet … then, strength before death/love with zest/life with the Best.

Oh, the mud splattered victims/Have to pay all along the ancient highway

Torn between half truths and victimization/fighting back with counterattacks

It’s God’s rough road we’re riding …

Shalom.

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