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What I'm here to be

Blog Posted:5/25/2018 11:36:00 AM

It has occurred to me that as I grow older and use my life experiences more, everything means more than it did before. One hundred percent is now greater than it used to be. So, here I am, another year older and soliloquizing about myself, studying my life's reflection in a tarnished mirror, and realizing that, considering the alternative, old age is not the worst thing that can happen to a person.

What does it mean to be old? Seventy plus years of a life lived largely in fits and starts has brought me to the conclusion that a man truly starts to be old when regrets start to take the place of dreams. Fortunately, that hasn't happened to me, yet.

Interestingly, to me at least, my life has spanned most of one century and part of another, and has even spilled over into a new millennium. In addition to having the virtual weight of ages upon my shoulders, I can see now that growing older has accomplished for me three things: it has effectively cleared the acne of adolescent atheism; thinned the hair of middle-aged skepticism; and brought me to a semi-firm belief that there just may be, after all, a mysterious order to the universe. In another quarter century or so, I may reach another conclusion: there just may be a "divine entity", or god, if you prefer, who has a personal, if lukewarm-at-best, interest in my welfare. I'd like to believe that my life has been more than merely an amateurish and accidental exercise in futility. I do believe that until I die my life will be on the mend. It's impractical to expect a man to be good at everything, but he should be good at something. I can only be what I'm here to be. Now, in this last quarter mile, I'll do my best to take the talent I do have, work hard to make the most of it, and hope, with fingers crossed, that if I keep writing long enough I'll eventually say something interesting. And I'll try to be truthful, although, while truth has a tendency to be remarkably and at times tediously tenacious, in the long run it isn't really all that important, and oftentimes is merely a matter of circumstance. Truisms, on the other hand, are something else altogether. Universal truths such as: life is too short for oatmeal; a life is like a story; no story is a straight line; memory tends to glorify a place; no one can be a tribe of one; and hope doesn't work on wrinkles.

Realistically, I suppose I must acknowledge that as the end of this life of rhyme approaches, I can only hope I'll have the grace and courage not to be bitter because it's over, but be glad because it happened, and that I was what I was here to be. How much longer will it last? How much more is expected of me? How far do I still have to roam? All I can say at this stage of the game, dear friends, is I'm finally over the hump and happily headed for home.




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Date: 6/5/2018 11:58:00 PM
Jim, an exceptional, thought-provoking post. I appreciate your candor and courage to reveal this part of yourself. All of us who have reached the autumn and winter of our lives can relate.
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 6/6/2018 12:29:00 PM
Thanks, Mark. I guess we're all pretty "well seasoned" by now.
Date: 5/29/2018 10:23:00 AM
Thoughtful and articulate. I would have to agree.
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 6/6/2018 12:28:00 PM
Thank you, Dale.
Date: 5/26/2018 2:18:00 PM
So well said xomo
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 5/27/2018 7:34:00 AM
Thank you, Maureen.
Date: 5/26/2018 9:20:00 AM
WoW! Jim, What a deep, meaningful and thought provoking blog. I enjoyed it very much. PS, I also feel compelled to say, Happy Belated Birthday:-) Alexis
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 5/26/2018 11:03:00 AM
Thanks and thanks again, Alexis.
Date: 5/26/2018 8:33:00 AM
Awesome blog, Jim. Fabulous material for creative poetry of all forms.
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 5/26/2018 11:02:00 AM
Thank you, Line.
Date: 5/25/2018 8:22:00 PM
I enjoyed this blog very much, Jim. You have a great talent for thoughtful expression. I was always a tribe of one but since I got married the tribe has grown...which is okay but sadly I'm no longer the chief!
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 5/26/2018 6:50:00 AM
Well, that's okay, Keith. These days, even a king...or so in title only. Thanks.
Date: 5/25/2018 6:24:00 PM
Splendid expression of Texas JS truth. Heartfelt. Sincere. Genuine. Thx for caring enough about us to post. So much could be said but, hard earned wisdom renders polite affirming acknowledgement to be sufficient. Listen. That’s life ahead. :-)))
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 5/26/2018 6:47:00 AM
Thanks, Wayne, and said acknowledgement is just as politely appreciated.
Date: 5/25/2018 4:12:00 PM
I can relate to most of what you say as you are only a couple of years older and I understand the life and times we lived through.For me I came to the conclusion a very long time ago that my only reason to be on Earth was to re-populate and to supply the plants with carbon dioxide like all the rest of the creatures and in the final declaration of my independent thought enjoy the one life one journey we all have in common without laments
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Frederic Parker
Date: 5/26/2018 7:08:00 AM
you are correct...procreate...
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 5/26/2018 6:44:00 AM
Thanks, Frederic. I think you might mean "procreate". It would take many, many, many generations of zero human birth rate for there ever to be a need to "re-populate". And surely that's not the only reason. Otherwise, we'd still be wearing animal hides and living in caves.
Date: 5/25/2018 4:08:00 PM
Well said Jim, a great reflection. Enjoyed the read. Tom
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 5/26/2018 6:32:00 AM
Thank you, Tom.
Date: 5/25/2018 11:54:00 AM
Damn well stated. One is old when they can look back and see far more than they can imagine when looking forward. Tho' the past can not be changed, it does offer hope in the treasures that are there to recall when need be.. If one has truly lived, they will have regrets. The more they lived, the more the regrets. I have a great many...
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Jim Slaughter
Date: 5/26/2018 6:32:00 AM
Thanks, Robert.

My Past Blog Posts

Continuing Education
Date Posted: 12/26/2018 12:18:00 PM
The Quantum Mechanics of Writing, Part 2
Date Posted: 6/17/2018 8:17:00 AM
The Quantum Mechanics of Writing, Part 1
Date Posted: 6/17/2018 7:42:00 AM
What I'm here to be
Date Posted: 5/25/2018 11:36:00 AM
On writing poetry
Date Posted: 4/28/2018 12:18:00 PM
The wonderfully awful English language...Part 2
Date Posted: 4/20/2018 12:47:00 PM
The wonderfully awful English language and how does anyone ever learn to speak it?
Date Posted: 4/20/2018 12:31:00 PM
What dreams are made of
Date Posted: 4/16/2018 4:14:00 PM
Progress, not perfection
Date Posted: 4/7/2018 12:31:00 PM
In the details
Date Posted: 4/6/2018 12:55:00 PM
A few more words about words
Date Posted: 3/22/2018 3:51:00 PM
I love words
Date Posted: 3/18/2018 8:29:00 AM
The Two-Faced Writer
Date Posted: 3/18/2018 8:24:00 AM
Belated thank you
Date Posted: 3/15/2018 4:02:00 PM

My Recent Poems

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12/30/2018 Legacy Verseintrospection,poetry,
12/28/2018 The Reasons and the Rhymes of My Life Rhymeintrospection,
12/23/2018 A Christmas Tale: A variation on a theme by Dr Seuss Light Versechristmas,humor,
12/22/2018 That's Mrs Santa Light Versechristmas,humor,
12/19/2018 Versatility Light Versehumor,poetry,writing,
12/19/2018 The Man Behind the Words Free verseidentity,poetry,writing,
12/19/2018 Refurbished Nursery Rhymes: Little Jack Horner's Christmas Surprise Light Versechristmas,humor,nursery r
12/18/2018 Three Sisters Free versesister,wind,
12/17/2018 A Week Before Christmas Rhymechristmas,
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12/14/2018 A Sign of the Times Rhymechristmas,
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12/8/2018 Blame it on my youth Rhymeyouth,
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12/3/2018 How still the trees Rhymeautumn,spring,summer,wint
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11/24/2018 Refurbished Nursery Rhymes: A Paean for the Piper's Son Light Versehumor,nursery rhyme,
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11/14/2018 Rehashing History: The First Thanksgiving, Squanto and the Pilgrims Light Versehistory,humor,thanksgivin
11/10/2018 A Handful of Haiku: Laughter of the rain Haikusummer,
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10/18/2018 Refurbished Nursery Rhymes: Quite Contrary Mary Light Versehumor,nursery rhyme,
10/16/2018 Whys and Wherefores Free verselove,memory,
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10/10/2018 Performance Review Free verseintrospection,
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10/7/2018 The Gift of the Magus Verselove,wisdom,
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9/17/2018 History has shown Free versephilosophy,
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9/14/2018 Refurbished Fairy Tales: The real skinny on Snow White Light Versehumor,
9/9/2018 There's never been a time Versefirst love,introspection,
9/7/2018 Considering the Centipede Limerickanimal,humor,
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8/30/2018 Short Ribs Z: Yipes Stripes Light Verseanimal,humor,
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8/30/2018 Short Ribs Y: Place Your Bets Light Verseanimal,humor,
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8/28/2018 Short Ribs X: A Poetic Quandary Light Verseanimal,humor,
8/28/2018 A Talent to a Muse Free versemuse,poets,writing,
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8/26/2018 If you listen closely Free verseage,memory,
8/26/2018 Short Ribs U: The Dread Letter Office Light Versehumor,
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8/25/2018 Short Ribs S: A Fine Bromance Light Verseanimal,humor,
8/24/2018 Twenty-three, skidoo Limerickhumor,
8/23/2018 Short Ribs R: Sticks and Stones Light Verseanimal,humor,
8/23/2018 Identity Crisis Free verseidentity,
8/23/2018 Short Ribs Q: Don't hate him because he's beautiful Light Versebird,humor,
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8/18/2018 Faith Free versefaith,introspection,
8/18/2018 Short Ribs M: Of Mice and Moose Light Verseanimal,humor,
8/17/2018 Pardon My Parody: What a lovely fantasy Light Versehumor,parody,song,
8/16/2018 Short Ribs L: The Frustrated Llama Light Verseanimal,humor,
8/16/2018 Entities Free verseperspective,
8/16/2018 Short Ribs K: Pondering Down Under Light Verseanimal,humor,
8/14/2018 Refurbished Nursery Rhymes: Jack be nimble Light Versehumor,nursery rhyme,
8/12/2018 Short Ribs J: Miracles Can Happen Light Verseanimal,humor,
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