What is Your Story, Pt. 2

So the last time we “met”, I talked about a concept of asking yourself “What is my story?”.    What are things that make you, you?  A guiding thought or emotion that steers you in the direction to become the person you are.

Well, I have thought about it, and I am not sure where to begin…!  I am not sure I can address just one piece of my story.  But I will start with one and then another, and another, and again…and again.

So at least part of my story has to do with “Emotions” or “Feelings”.  You see, I hold these close to me. Not that I do not share them, because all too often I cannot help but share them.  I just mean that my feelings and emotions are important to me.  Many times throughout my life, I have actually been told that I can be too emotional.  Or that I take things “too personal”.  No argument.  I can read something that was written to me, or something about my family and my eyes begin to well up.  An old picture can take me to a time when I was naive and through my years and lessons learned, the picture can fill my heart with a swell of feelings which are difficult to describe.  Hell, I can even watch a damn Budweiser commercial with dogs and Clydesdales and find myself feeling verklempt.  That is just meshungenah!

But, what can I say?  That’s me.  It is a part of what makes me who I am.  It is also what directs me in the direction I need to be in, most of the time.

I say most of the time because sometimes it can get in the way.  Knowing this is helpful.  Especially if I want to correct the course of that ship.  Realizing the feelings that are about to hit you like a tidal wave, and knock you off of your feet, allows you to brace yourself a bit, pause and redirect.

However, that usually only happens when they can be crippling or destructive to myself.

Other times these feelings help me.  Give me inspiration.  And often serve as a coastline, helping me navigate in shallow waters to take me where I belong.

I like to think they have given me direction in being the son I need to be.  Especially right now with my mother’s health in a territory we haven’t visited before.  My feelings move me to be there and do something…or do nothing.  Just be there.  They focus on memories I have of growing up.  And she was there for me…so it is my turn.  And I embrace those feelings and emotions.  Consciously or unconsciously.  It is me.

As I embrace the feelings that help me to be a better person…Father…Husband..Friend…

…It moves me to action.  To tears.  Feelings.  Of joy, happiness and times past.  Memories.  Voices and images from the past. That help me act on the present and the future.

My feelings and emotions.

It is my story.  At least a part of it…(to be continued)

Published in: on March 19, 2016 at 11:30 am  Comments (2)  
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With Love and Life, From Oslo, Norway, To You

Oslo, Norway.

To most it probably seems very distant, in dreams, fantasies and in reality.  I would venture many would be challenged to point it out on the map.  And some of you might even wonder what language they speak…if they drive around in cars or sleighs…and live in a castle on a snow capped mountain…

Yes, to most of “us”, it is a rather exotic place.  One that Diana and I visited last May, and will be visiting many more times to be sure.

Our “daughter” is from there…Blake’s wife, Yvonne…and for now they live there.   I could fill page upon page of ramblings about our two week journey to Norway last May.  It was more than we ever imagined it would be.  Many surprises, often at every turn.

One of the surprises that I encountered was the affect that a sculpture park had on me.  Even though I admired the Louvre, and have some cherished art pieces, most of which are from the able hands of Blake, Drew and Tyler, I was caught off guard at this “art”.

Gustav Vigeland.  Vigeland Sculpture Park.  Oslo, Norway.  Google it.


Without getting into too many details, this sculpture park is in a public area on 80 acres with over 214 sculptures and 758 figures.  And it simply took my breath away.  Left me slack jawed.  Knocked me to my knees.

Gustav Vigeland designed the entire park with a theme in mind…although not a theme park like most of us know.  This park, with all of it’s sculptures and figures embodies the theme of  the relationship between man and woman, adult and child, life’s evolving stages.  It embodies our struggles…the relationships we encounter…drama throughout our life…the laws of nature with men and women…old and wise and sometimes weak with the young and virile and sometimes foolish.


And this just scratches the surface of the feelings which I had rushing through my being.  The importance of family…of learning…growing and sharing.  A zest for living and for supporting each  other as we address life’s burdens…while we enjoy the fertility of our life…the cycle of life as we have experienced it, will experience it and are experiencing it now.


Now, I am not saying that everyone sees the park the way I did.  It is full of art.  And we each interpret art in our own way…often drawing from our personal feelings and relationships.  And that is why it affected me the way that it did.

I saw a sculpture of a man and a woman…and felt the meaning of love.

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A sculpture of a man lifting up a younger man reminded me of my own struggles and those who helped me…and of the times when I would try to help others.


It reminded me of the comfort we need to give one another…the support.


Life’s emotions rang true in my head…

Joys.  Tragedies.  Love.  Dance.  Legacies.  Being.


My father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, wife, sons, daughter and all of you in my life…were all represented.  I saw your faces too!

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All of the sculptures in the park are without clothes…Vigeland did this in order to make his work Timeless…and I think it worked amazingly beautiful.  Just like our life.

The message I received while enjoying this park with Diana, Yvonne and Blake was that there is a beginning and an end to our lives.  But we continue on through others.  It displays the cycle of our lives and our experiences with each other.  Reminds us of our virility and fragility and the importance of each and how they come into our lives.


In my humble opinion, one must view this magnificent park as a struggle and a celebration of all phases of our lives.  Good, Bad and Ugly.


While I am writing this, music is playing in the background.  “Someone to Watch Over Me”  just finished and I am now listening to Chris Botti and “What A Wonderful World”.

And it is.  Thank you for being in mine.


“Once bitten by the snake of love, there is no cure…”