Monday, August 16, 2010

Those who live to die

Last nights sunset

8/16/10 Monday
Time is marching so fast these days. It always seems that way to me since I woke from the coma. Hard to believe it’s been nine years. So many of my old friends are dead and so is the old life I had. The new church we are attending is a blessing to us. We are meeting people who are spiritually significant. This isn’t to demean our other friends we have made in West Texas, it’s just a timing thing. Things are moving forward and augmenting that are the people we have met at the new church. Some already knew who we are because they have been following the blog. I still remember the look of amazement on the horse ladies face when I handed her one of the business cards Cherie had made for Westbrook Farms that has our blog address on it. I call her the horse lady because she raises and trains horses. She has been reading the blog for a couple or three years and was thrilled to meet us. There are others there who I suspect will be playing a role in our future.
The blackeyed peas are doing well. I still need to run irrigation to them. Something else that I haven't gotten to for several weeks now.

Linda, the former Outlaw biker lady, brought some pictures in of her former associates to see if it helped be remember any of them. None of the faces looked familiar but that doesn’t mean I never met them. Facial recognition is a big factor with Traumatic Brain Injuries and certainly one I have. What looking at the pictures did do was remind me of much of my old life. These were the kinds of people I was comfortable with, where I felt at home. Many of the pictures were from funerals and Linda told me that most of her old biker friends were dead, as many of my old friends are as well. For her it was a reminder of the grace of God, how she was not just “Saved” from the Christian sense but was literally saved from a lifestyle that certainly led to death. In this we both relate.

IN talking with Cherie about the pictures, Cherie was astounded by all the pictures of guys in caskets, with their outlaw leathers on and all the patches displayed. “I can’t believe there are so many pictures of dead people” she said, wondering why anyone would focus on that. I explained that these are people who live to die. In fact death is a central part of their thought processes. It’s like the bible says, “Eat, drink, and be merry” (Luke 12.19) but for us we always added “For tomorrow we die” though that’s not exactly how the original scripture put it. But that’s how we thought, and for the most part they still do. It was live life to the fullest extent possible, enjoy every lecherous pleasure available with no holds barred. The only morality was the biker’s code, the sense of honor that stems from the fact that many of them are war veterans. That level of closeness and camaraderie that comes when your life is on the line and the guy next to you not only is in the same boat but is depending on you just as much as you are depending on him. I’ve been shot at and stabbed and there have been times in a bar where it was just me and a couple of others against a whole crowd. Kill or be killed is quite a place to be, with a flow of adrenaline and emotion unmatched by anything else in the world. With that comes a trust and closeness that is also unmatchable. In war you have brothers in arms and on the streets, with biker gangs, gang bangers, prisons, and many other criminal enterprises you have that as well.
Here's a sinkhole that resulted as the ground caved way under my foot as I walked over it. The old cesspool my grandfather built 40 years ago is deteriorating. Eventually that will be another issue that we must deal with.

Jesus said, in John 15. 12 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” It is so strange to find such parallels in such opposable lifestyles. A closeness in evil and a closeness in good. The lifestyle of excess brings death, pain, and misery in so many ways that it’s the focus of countless books. Living as a real Christian can also bring death as evidenced by the hundreds of thousands who are killed every year for their faith, but instead of misery it brings joy and life, true fellowship and trust. Trust is a fleeting thing in the criminal world with most criminal convictions the result of someone telling on their “brother in crime”. What’s sad is that in the Christian community you find the same kind of faithlessness. Gossip and backbiting are prevalent, and we have certainly been a victim of that. At church we were talking about the many who say they will not go to church because of the hypocrites they know of. How the guy praying for you in church is in the bar picking up women and whoring around on his wife the next day. So much damage is done by these who do not practice what they preach.

For me it is a constant struggle to live what I choose to believe. Just driving down the highway is an exercise in restraint as I must resist the urges I have to be dominant, to not allow someone to cut me off. That’s where the old life still has it’s mark on me, the old way of thinking about not letting anyone disrespect me or take advantage of me. It’s hard to change that in the instant of time it comes up. This is where Jesus’ command “Love thy neighbor as yourself” becomes a contest of will against emotion. So I try and I fail, but I keep trying.

There is always lots to do. Enough talking, it’s going to be hot so I want to do the outside physical work first before it gets up there. The problem has been that once I get out there working I do so until I’m worn out and drained from the heat. Because of that so many other things don’t get done. It’s this way every day and on top of that are the headaches and seizures. But I keep pushing on.

Rats have once again moved into the garage. Here is where they chewed on my not cheap 100 foot extension cord.

These weeds I'll get with the tractor but the tall ones in the back must be done by hand as there is drip irrigation installed there.

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