Sunday, March 19, 2017

In the Beginning

Sunrise Over 7th Street, looking East from my store.

Before I begin, I would like to extend my condolences to one of my oldest friends, Steve R. in Virginia who lost his Mom this week.  She was a gentile Southern Lady who was charming, funny, gracious and compassionate.  She will be missed I know, but the circle of life will continue and memories of her will warm the hearts of all who knew her.


 When I first came to the offices of Stay The Course at the behest of the VA, I did so with not a little trepidation but a lot.  Was I ready to reveal all my deep dark secrets?  I did not know, but I did know that I had to change the course of my life and thoughts or I was going to end up in that rubber room with a straight jacket.  I had been seeing my psychiatrist, Dr Moradi, at the VA on a quarterly basis and she recommended I engage a therapist and pointed me in the direction of Stay the Course.  I placed a desperate phone call and of course got voice mail.  I left a message and Tempa called me back and set an appointment for our first session.  It was early in the establishment of her practice with just she and one other therapist.  I have watched her practice grow to several therapists and staff members.  Many of the staff there are either Veterans themselves or spouses of Veterans, all of whom have the best interests of the Veterans and First Responders who come to them for assistance foremost in their minds.  Tempa herself is married to a Veteran and knows first hand how difficult life is when transitioning from military to civilian life.  Our common experiences as Veterans or First Responders results in a shared bond which one cannot really understand without having been there, done that for yourself.

Tempa is a tall willowy red head with a heart as big as Texas with whom I found it easy to talk.  In our first session, she asked me what my goal was for my course of therapy.  I forget now what turn of phrase I used at the time but basically I wanted Clarity,  Stability and Sanity.  I am a classic bi-polar person.  It was either depression so deep as to be inconsolable or giddy happiness that knew no bounds.  I wanted to be somewhere in the middle with the ability to handle the daily stress that comes with life.  If there is anything I have learned in my lifetime, it is the fact that I can only handle so much stress (very little in fact) before having an adverse reaction to it.  Medication certainly helps, but the ability to handle stress for me is that core feeling of inner peace, and I had no such feeling when I began my sessions with Tempa.

I am prone to erratic behavior, irrational thought, extremely OCD and easily angered.  I am also the caring, compassionate, witty 'Uncle' to everyone.  I often try to provide the means to achieve that inner peace for others that I so desperately seek for myself.  Unfortunately for me, that inner peace has never been possible.  I am closer now than ever I have been.  Tempa has guided me in my journey to get as far as I have.  I have revealed to her things I have never told anyone, often not even myself.  She helped to pry open the cellar door in my mind, sweep out the corners and is helping me to discover what I need to keep and what I need to throw away.  She has helped me to see that staying in the here and now moving forward is the more preferable state of being.  The Past is full of pain, pitfalls and traps which lures me in and then destroy my mental state which has painful physical ramifications.  However, by taking past events in my life, examining them one at a time, then deciding whether it is a treasure to be kept or just plain trash which needs to be disposed of properly has not been an easy task.  I have had to remember things sometimes best forgotten and un-remember things that did not promote a healthy mental state.  I am by no means done with my journey, but before I can tell you where I am going, I must first tell you where I have been. I have hopes my story will help someone else avoid some of the pains and pitfalls life throws at one when one least expects it.

It will take a while for the whole story to come out and deciding to share my tightly bound and hidden secrets was not an easy choice.  However, I have learned to loose their bonds, deal with them face to face one at a time and move on.  Learning how to deal with my issues has helped me face life with a few more tools in the box to deal with whatever comes my way and the way of others in my life.  I have held some of these things so tightly and buried so deep for so long, I had no recollection of them.  In order to discover what has been hidden in the corners of my mind, I must first sort through the pile of crap covering them before I can see what is truly in those dark corners.  Next week I will begin the uncovering with events of my youth, which of course is long past at his point and not always on ready recall.  The past is never as really clear as what we think it is and only by a careful examination of these things can one retain as valuable or reject as unnecessary what it is one finds there.  I hope this will not be as painful for you as it has proven to be for me.


For your listening pleasure today, I have another of my favorites among the Italian Baroque composers, Luigi Boccherini, with this recording of 5 of his 6 Flute Quintets featuring Jean-Pierre Rampal, Flute; Régis Pasquier, Violin; Roland Pidoux, Violoncello; Mathilde Sternat, Violoncello and Bruno Pasquier, Viola.  You will find the play list after the video.  Also after the playlist is this week's visual treats.  This week we are sticking with the Art side of Male Art with 7 more paintings of young men.  Thank you for the visit, please do come again and as always, Enjoy!

Quintet No. 3 in C Major, G. 439 : I. Allegro vivace (Instrumental) 00:00 
Quintet No. 3 in C Major, G. 439 : II. Cantabile (Instrumental)  
Quintet No. 3 in C Major, G. 439 : III. Andante con variazioni (Instrumental) 
Quintet No. 2 in G Major, G. 438 : I. Allegro (Instrumental)15:00 
Quintet No. 2 in G Major, G. 438 : II. Adagio non tanto (Instrumental) 
Quintet No. 2 in G Major, G. 438 : III. Andante con variazioni (Instrumental) 
Quintet No. 1 in F Major, G. 437 : I. Allegro (Instrumental) 28:51 
Quintet No. 1 in F Major, G. 437 : II. Largo (Instrumental) 
Quintet No. 1 in F Major, G. 437 : III. Grazioso (Instrumental) 
Quintet No. 5 in G Major, G. 441 : I. Moderato (Instrumental 41:00 
Quintet No. 5 in G Major, G. 441 : II. Adagio (Instrumental) 
Quintet No. 5 in G Major, G. 441 : III. Grazioso (Instrumental) 
Quintet No. 6 in B-flat Major, G. 442 : I. Allegro (Instrumental) 53:45 
Quintet No. 6 in B-flat Major, G. 442 : II. Adagio (Instrumental) 
Quintet No. 6 in B-flat Major, G. 442 : III. Rondeau. Grazioso (Instrumental

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