Art...

..... years ago when I was just a child, I once found a terrapin lumbering across the lawn......

..... our home was a mere blip of civilization in thousands of acres of woodland, but my brother and I still sparkled with glee each time some wandering woodsy creature would make its way onto our Little Domain..... but this little terrapin was different......

.... we'd caught mud turtles, snapping turtles, and terrapins for years before we ever came across one like this little fellow.... and unlike his predecessors, he was easy to catch..... he moved slowly as he crossed the lawn....... I watched him as he exited the brush, crossed the road, and ambled under the cross-tie fence that my dad had put up years before that marked the border of our property...

..... my brother and I raced each other to see which would snatch him up first.... I remember looking back at my dad as he eyed us from his squatted position in the flower bed where he was spending his weekend grooming it for planting..... He was away from home all week working on the railroad, but when he was home on the weekends his focus was on house, lawn, and two stringy sons..... and mom, when we were outside playing.....

... my little brother caught the beast first, and he ran to me as hard as he could to show me his prize....

..... instead of closing up, like most tortoises do, this one lagged and sagged....... and even in the jangling hands of my spastic little brother, the little reptile never withdrew into its shell...... and after a few moments, my brother smelled the stench and sat the little box tortoise down by the edge of the house where the water hose connected........

..... it was only after a close inspection that I realized that the poor tortoise had a crack in the center of its shell..... and worse, there was a steady stream of piss ants making their way up and down his legs and back and then disappearing back down into the inky crater in his shell...... I was horrified...... the ants were actually living in the space between the reptile's body and its shell..... I cried for my father to come and help the poor thing, and he came to me as quick as he could..... he, too, stood there for many minutes not believing what he was seeing...... he was mesmerized and dejectedly sickened by what he was seeing..... I watched as this man who had been in War took pity on the poor creature......

..... my father snatched me up by the arm and told me to run inside and fetch the peroxide that mom kept under the bathroom cabinet.... and I did as I was told....... and as soon as I returned, he coaxed the bottle from my traumatized hands and dribbled some of the liquid into the hole in the back of the tortoise's shell....

..... the entire scene then erupted in chaos and horror...... as he held the little beast in his hand and applied the medicine, it stretched out its neck and clawed the air with its hang nailed feet........ it wanted to get away, but he held it firmly aloft..... and another pour.... and another..... and soon the ants were piling out of the cracked crevice with little while balls clamped in their jaws....... their babies....... the eggs of the ants yet to come....... they were abandoning their movable feast and seeking to survive themselves......

..... you will not believe me when I say this, but it is true....... that tortoise stayed in my front yard for three days and never moved more than two feet from the space where my father sat it down... on the morning of the fourth day, we found that it was gone...... and we spent a lot of time that year wondering if it had recovered, if it was happy, and if it appreciated what our dad had done for it.........

.... in the years that have followed, I have begun to feel more and more like that little tortoise that my brother and I found in the lawn on that long ago summer day.....

..... we all have those things that are eating at us..... figuratively or literally....... and we all need someone to step in and take care of us from time to time........ me?....... I probably need a little bit of both........ as for the blog, which has lasted almost 9 years now, I feel that it is limping along...... and it may limp for some time to come........ in a way, I think I lost the heart to blog about sunrises, sunsets, and fancy meals when The Missus was diagnosed with cancer two years ago next month......... and I found that the color of the World changed from vibrant to grey when reality set in........ the birds singing their songs didn't sound the same...... sunlight on my face and coffee on my tongue were equally repellant........

..... and this month sees me in University for the second year in a row......... Art Appreciation, no less......... hey, who would have thought that I would be writing an essay tomorrow entitled "What Is Art?"......

.... for, what is art, indeed........ is a blog art?.... is a life art?...... is love art?....... what is art, indeed........ perhaps a broken terrapin?...... fuck, I am so screwed when I finish this essay tomorrow.........

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Geography.....

.... today was the first day of Geography Class and they asked us to draw a picture of the planet - freehand - and not look at a map.......... here is my submission......... and I am sorry, in retrospect, that I forgot Hispanola.......

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..... pretty horrible, I know...... but you should have seen what the 18 year olds submitted........ it'd curl your hair........

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Waits.....

...... more music, but this time something a bit more poetic and a bit more out there...... I love the poetry of this song.......

... politics has been depressing me to the point of no return lately......... school has started back, and I am excited about that....... but, I am tired........

....... what an 18 months it has been.....

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Adak....

.... behold the view of the beach from my very first duty station as a newly minted Marine...... needless to say, there were not many bikinis being sold at the base PX....

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.... on the upside, mosquitoes were not really a problem........

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