April 29, 2007

The Iraq War failure isn’t even front page news.

It’s on the third page of the Palm Beach Post today. The water shortage and real estate disaster take up the front and 2nd pages. The Bush/Cheney oil oligarchy administration failure is secondary when put up against the problems of the wealthy members of their class in this rich county. Perhaps I’m being unfair. The water shortage is a problem for us all, even though the rich folks here use 350 times as much water as the average citizen. And, Democrats in Congress did give Bush the authority to go to war in Iraq back in 2002. Fools!

I thought I’d just remind myself about the real problem. All else is trickle down effect. It’s like a house of cards, or a row of dominos. Take one out and the rest collapses/falls with it. Frightening!

Brief Summary - Statistics

Estimates of Iraqi dead range from 50,000 to 90,000
3346 Americans dead
24,919 Americans wounded

Whether you blame the United States or the Iraqis themselves for Iraqi deaths, we started their civil war. Our simple-minded Neoconservative invasion had nothing to do with global terrorism, and everything to do with OIL and our gluttony. God forgive us! This entire affair is wrong headed, America! We're stuck with George Bush for another 631 days, and I’ll bet this country elects another Republican president in 2009.

I’ve lost all faith in Americans' ability to make intelligent decisions.

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April 26, 2007

Thinking about God, Morality, and the Iraq War

The Philosophical/ Spiritual Rational that Influences my diurnal existence including beliefs about myself and others

1. Mankind has attained the gift of intelligence, and so he is a part of the universe that knows of itself. If he/she should be truly intelligent, man/woman-kind will understand that his/her perception of the universe will be colored by the very act of his/her being within a particular culture, and his/her individual experience, and thus may not be accurate. Such alteration will also occur when perceiving the thought of other men, and/or most tragically, when perceiving God.

2. Being a moral person and believing in God do not necessarily create the same results. First, because they are two different things, and may act in conjunction with one another or independently. Second, because a belief in God does not necessarily lead to a moral life. Why is that? Most definitions of morality are based in conducting a virtuous life, and few of us would include harming others, and/or animal life or harming the earth itself as virtuous. More often than not, religion and/or God are used as an excuse to defend all of the - not so virtuous - actions listed above, including the current war in Iraq.

3. At the same time, immoral actions are similar to evil actions. Why? While I know that the universe and God exist within and without my person, I also know that evil exists within and without. Why? Because, when I misuse my perception of the universe and/or God to defend actions that will harm any part of this earth and/or any being on it, sapient or not, I am acting in a manner that most of mankind would agree is both evil and immoral.

4. Thus, I also know that evil and immorality coexist when any other person uses his/her perception of the universe and/or God in defense of harmful actions to this earth or any/ all things on it. I know that evil is just as recognizable as immorality.

5. These four thoughts seem redundant because they are connected. They may also seem to operate independently of an actual God, who exists in the universe. In part that is because I believe one cannot separate God from the universe. It is also because I am trying to think in a way that allows me to separate religion from spirituality because religion is so often used as an excuse to do damage to others, to life in general, and to the earth. I do not think religion is evil. However, I do believe that mankind uses incorrect perception of God and the universe to drive immoral religious acts and war.

6. I also know that a mortal and fallible being such as myself cannot know God completely. For, who am I, that God would choose me to be the vessel of his desires, so I will guard against immoral omnipotent thoughts concerning God’s wishes for mankind and/or this earth. However, I believe that God would have me lead a moral life. Therefore it is not difficult to know when my own behavior is ungodly.

7. As corollary to the above, I will also hold in great suspicion any man or woman who claims to speak personally with God, or who says that he/she knows exactly what God intends for us. I believe such a person to be immoral and evil. That is why the people of Judea in the Roman Empire asked Jesus of Nazareth to produce miracles to prove his claim to devine origin.

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April 22, 2007

Peter and I

We agreed to take a break, so I won’t be seeing Peter for a few weeks. He is going to play the field, look around – and be very active but safe sexually. I made him promise to explore as many young hot men as he can. I’m sure he’ll be a heart breaker. I hope he finds a hot young, brilliant, handsome man who is perfectly tuned to his person.

What am I saying?

There I go talking to myself again. Seriously, I must let go. I must allow Peter to find someone his own age. I know that it will happen – probably very fast. They will be forming a line. Damn!

I’m not upset! Really, I’m not.


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April 20, 2007

How to Stop School Shootings?

Okay, now we know that Cho was a mental mess. Of course, he had to be. However, to blame Virginia Tech as negligent for not anticipating his rampage - most of our newscasters and pundits seem to be doing just that - is wrongheaded. Why? First, even the people who lived with Cho had no idea he was capable of such horrendous behavior. Second, the law protects a student’s right to privacy; schools are not even allowed to disclose grades to the student’s family without his/her permission. Third, the same privacy legislation prevents a school from informing others of a student’s mental problems except when specifically given permission by the student, or his/her family. Fourth, some have suggested that the school should have had Cho put into a mental institution. In order to do that, he would have had to be declared mentally incompetent, and such a declaration is extremely difficult to obtain. Two Psychiatrists must sign the form, as must the patient and/or a family member.

The national news pundits have seized on the easy but incorrect answer. Virginia Tech is not to be blamed for Cho Seung Hui’s acherontic berserker behavior. Rather, we all are responsible for the over 500 documented incidents of school shootings. We have allowed our entire society to spiral downward and out of control. We all accept violence as a part of our daily existence. For instance, most of us did not notice this week that Tuesday was the worst day for death and mayhem in Iraq since President Bush’s latest plan was put into operation there. In 2002 we accepted our President’s declaration of invasion of Iraq without provocation – Saddam Hussein may have been a maniacal and evil dictator, but he had done nothing to the United States - and we didn’t bat an eye. This very week, we have denied a woman’s right to an abortion even when the developing child threatens the mother’s life. Instead, we claim the child’s right to life trumps the mother’s. We accept a type of Christian that believes God has ordained that we should kill 60,000 Iraqis and 3000 Americans. We expect that our neighbors and/or family members to own guns. Hoodlums and criminals are better armed than our police forces. Common courtesy has degenerated into road-rage. People don’t even say "excuse me" when they run carts into one another in the super market. Images of violence seem to multiply exponentially in our media. Worse still, we all seem to hang onto such images with a passion that supersedes logic.

What are we to do to begin to change this atmosphere of violence that permeates our culture? First, logic tells me that we must make it more difficult to obtain arms. Yes, we have the constitutional right to bare arms. Nevertheless, shouldn’t we have to demonstrate a logical reason for owning weapons - a hunting license for instance? Second, if each of us had to show a certain amount of intelligence (pass a test) before we were entrusted with owning a weapon, some accidents with guns might be prevented. Third, perhaps we all should be required to demonstrate a fair level of maturity and social conscience through a psychological examination before we are allowed to bare arms. Fourth, we must create a more civil society, one in which manners are the norm, not the exception. Fifth, as we do not wish to suspend the right to free speech, all students must be prepared for life in a civil society through education. For instance, there should be required courses that help students to understand the purpose of the arts, as well as signification through symbols and signs used in the arts, both high and low. Most importantly we must end poverty. If our youth and young adults know they can be successful in a society that aims to help all its citizens toward success of one kind or another they will not participate and/or perpetrate violence.

I realize these fundamental objectives will be extremely hard to achieve, and that each encompasses an entire subset of smaller goals and processes. It will be necessary to create a process that will saturate our leaders, people, and institutions with these goals. I also realize that the alternative is more of the same. Worse, the alternative can only be the escalation of student shootings, of many more lost lives and so much lost potential.

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April 18, 2007

A Culture Permeated by MALE Violence, War, and Guns

I’m taking a break from my personal life to look at problems associated with the latest mass murder of students by a single maverick male.

Last fall those innocent Amish children were murdered in their school by a berserker, and now, the horror at Virginia Tech. “Columbine” is an infamous name that needs no clarification. Today our public schools are on constant lock-down with metal detectors at the doors, and resident police. There have been over 500 incidents of school shooting recorded, all of which occurred during the past 40 years with 2 exceptions. It is time for our society to attempt to make some fundamental changes in the broad cultural conditions that encourage boys and men to kill in mass.

Yes, boys and men. There are no recorded incidents in which a woman or girl has picked up a gun or guns and mass murdered students. I believe this phenomenon is a freakish perversion of the hunter instinct, the prehistoric program to provide food for the family/tribe. Unfortunately studies dwell on other aspects of school violence. A Secret Service Study states that profiling a “type” of school shooter is dangerous because they do not fit our preconceptions. They do not typically come from broken homes. Many were “joiners” with good friends. Of course, it is possibly to early to compare the MALE responsible for this most recent event at Virginia Tech with the perpetrators of past events, though he seems to have been more of an introverted loner than many of the past perpetrators. As far as I know, there are no studies that specifically identify this as a MALE problem.

Not one of us can deny that these are violent times in which we live. Incidents of genocide abound. Global terrorism is a fact. We are fighting a war that our MALE president initiated against what he mistakenly described as a MALE dictator with WMD and connections to the MALE gang of international terrorists, Al Qaeda. MALE dominated gangs and gang warfare dominate City streets, and increasingly suburban streets. Cultural imagery is dominated by violence as well. The Hans Solo doll of Star Wars fame was, when first released a normal, well muscled MALE. Today, he is a hyper steroidal grotesque with arms bigger than a normal man’s legs. We are all familiar with this litany of violence that includes television and motion picture crashing vehicles, guns, blood and guts splashing and spilling across both big and little screen.

In a society in which criminal and terrorist alike are armed with better weapons than are our police we as a people must begin to take responsibility for this MALE dominated violence. We must begin to make fundamental changes in the way our culture thinks about and processes violent and peaceful events alike. We must target men as perpetrators of this perverted hunting instinct and attempt to understand how individuals who lead seemingly normal lives become murdering maniacs. We must do the work necessary in human psychology to understand and help MALES to know and understand the violent perversion of the hunter instinct that moves malevolently to damage us in this first decade of the Twenty-first Century. If we do not do these things mass murders of students by MALES will continue to take place on a regular basis.

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April 15, 2007

Peter Drops a Bomb! (Part III)

Continued from April 12, 2007

The Infinite Beach and the Eternal Ocean

Peter said, “Isaac, I’m falling in love with you, and that just doesn’t make sense.”

I stared out at the Atlantic, shocked! I hadn’t expected such an admission from Peter. I knew how I felt, but I didn’t think it was possible that this magnificent - in every way I could imagine - young man might feel the same as I did.

Isaac, you haven’t said anything.”

“I’m stunned,” I said.

“You’re angry with me?”

“No, Just amazed, and perplexed, I mean, I’m eighty-seven years old, Peter. You are a handsome young man, I’m tempted to say ‘beautiful,’ but I know that I’m using language that a young hunk such as yourself might find disagreeable.”

“I’m flattered, but I hope you think of me in other ways than that.”

“You know I do. You have been my intellectual companion this past winter and the fall before that. You are a mature young man of character, and these things more than your physical beauty are what make you so attractive.”

“You flatter me.”

“Yes, but I’m being honest too. I am simply describing the way I perceive you, Peter. And now, you tell me that you may be falling in love with me. I am both happy and appalled.”

“But how can you say you are appalled?”

“Precisely for the same reason as you, “ ‘it just doesn’t make sense.’ ”

“It doesn’t.”

“Any why is that?”

“We are two generations apart. I’m the same age as your grandson.”

“Exactly. I have been crazy with my feelings of love for you these past six months. I have struggled to contain them, bury them, destroy them…”

“But, why?”

“Because they are not right.”

“I was afraid you would think that I am mad.”

“We both are.” I paused, feeling caliginous, as though my world had burned to cinerescent ruins. I bent in my rickety manner to pick a shell up off the beach. I threw it a few feet into the crystal clear ocean, watching it sink below the surface in a zigzag pattern, an aqueous feather slowly floating down to the ancient reef. The reef itself appeared as a refracted serpentine image beneath each passing wave and a single gliding Pelican suddenly punched through the surface, plunging toward the reef as it chased dinner. My heart was heavy, sinking with that shell beneath the ocean’s surface because I knew the time that lay between the advent of Peter’s life and my own was like the surface of water before me, an elastic skin that stretched to the horizon separating two worlds. In fact, I have instructed Peter to read this entry on line with the intent that he might understand some of my feelings on this impossible love of ours.

“I don’t want to lose you.”

“You won’t. You will always be present here.” I touched myself on the chest and forehead purposefully, then lightly touched Peter there also.

“But you won’t always be here.” He waved his arm and hand indicating the vast ocean before us, and the beach stretching until it vanished at two points one to the north, and one to the south.

“So, you see the problem. In all likelihood, I shall leave this earth very soon, Peter, while you shall remain the span of an entire lifetime. You should find someone who is close to you in age so that the two of you may walk upon these sands for a long time.”

We both stood silently looking to the horizon. I felt tears start. They followed a devious path over my wrinkled cheeks to become drops of salty sea at the corners of my mouth.

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April 12, 2007

Peter Drops a Bomb! (Part II)

Continued from April 9, 2007

Sea Grapes

We parked the car at the Juno Beach Pavilion, an octagonal wood structure with benches and open-air beach shower at the top of the sea grape crowned dunes. A short path runs between coconut palms and expensive shorefront real estate to one of the few natural beaches left in this area. A senior citizen sat reading an Isaac Asimov science fiction novel on a bench in the pavilion as we passed on wood treads that angled down to the beach, and a limpid sea breeze tugged at the wisps of hair on the top of my head. I glanced up and down the beach as I walked, looked over the aqua water sunlight dazzling the eyes and sparkling off gentle rolling waves.

Peter said, “Let’s walk down toward the golf course.” There is a 2-mile section of beach behind a seaside golf course with no houses, condominiums or other structures on it. Sea grapes cover the dunes between the golf course and ocean creating a natural barrier between the civilized greens and beach. Occasionally a wild coconut palm peaks up through the grapes, and pelicans often fly by in lazy formation over our heads as we walk there. The ancient reef is clearly visible below the surface of the water, and portions of it peak through the beach sand. I have taken many pictures here because the light changes constantly creating a soft contrast of shadow and striking tableau as it picks out a single person walking ahead on the beach. It is one of the most tranquil spots I know. That afternoon we had taken off our shoes and were walked quietly at water’s edge, gentle waves lapping at our toes. Peter seemed about to talk several times but did not. I allowed him space because I thought it better to allow him to struggle with whatever demons possessed him, and because I enjoyed the sea-tranquility induced calm lapping quietly in my mind. It felt as though I floated through the intense sub-tropical sunlight.
“Finally, after many long minutes I decided to let Peter off the hook and said, “you seem so preoccupied.”

“Yes,” he said, followed by silence.


“I don’t know how to...”

“Just say it.”

“We’re, well, we’re…”

“What?” I asked, concern causing my voice to shake in old man fashion. After hesitating, he stopped walking and poked at a seashell with his left foot. Finally, he said.

“We’re too close.”


“I’m worried.”

“Because we’re close?”


“Why does that worry you.”

“Good God, Isaac, I’m just barely twenty-four. You’re eighty-seven!”

“I know.”


“So far, all you’re managing is to make an extremely ageist statement.”

“I think you know what I’m talking about.”

“Perhaps you should make your statement a bit more clear, Peter.” I know I sounded angry, and I know I was reacting harshly because I have been struggling with the same issue.

“Isaac, I’m falling in love with you, and that just doesn’t make sense.”

to be continued.

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April 09, 2007

Peter Drops a Bomb! (Part I)

Yesterday Peter called and asked if I wanted to go for another walk on the beach.

“Silly boy,” I said. “Of course I want to go for a walk on the beach.”

“Good,” he said. “I’ll be right over.”

“Give me fifteen minutes,”

“Sure. See you then.”


I thought the invitation was sudden, and I wondered if anything were wrong. I had no idea what was actually about to transpire. I changed clothes to an old pair of genes I’d cut off below the knees many years ago. They are about the same length as those almost pedal-pusher length baggy pants worn down below the butt crack the “wanna-bes” wear. I swear I had no idea in the 80’s when I cut them off that the baggy painter pants would be so perfect for the year 2007 – except when I wear them I look like an 87 year old “wanna-be” 25 “wanna-be.” Such irony!

Peter knocked on my door at precisely 15 minutes, and I answered the door with trusty digital camera draped around my neck, and bottle of water in my left hand. “Let’s go,” I said as I pushed him out of the entrance, pulled the door to and locked it. “I can’t wait to see that water. It’s calm today, and the sky is so blue. It should be spectacular.” Peter grabbed my arm in order to steer me to the elevator, but I pulled away and said. “I’m feeling so good today. I want to walk down the stairs.” Peter flinched a bit, and I realized I’d been a bit abrupt. “I didn’t mean to pull away so suddenly, Peter. I’m just having one of my really good days. I feel like I’m seventy again instead of one-hundred-and-ten!”

“That’s fine. You sure you don’t want some support going down those steps.”

“No. I’m absolutely perfect.” Indeed, I practically sailed down the stairs despite bones creaking and crunching in knees, ankles, and hips. After a short walk to the car, we drove to the beach in Peter’s used BMW convertible, top down, and I felt as though I were a 20 something, just like Peter, out for a joy ride with my best friend.

O-o-o-o-ps, the doorbell ringeth. I’ll continue this next time, dear Journal.

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April 06, 2007

Illegal and Legal Immigrants Strengthen Us

Two days ago Peter (once again) drove me to the beach for one of our walks. The ocean was a deep emerald green, crystal clear and lake-like. As we walked a perky young blond “highschooler” came up to us and asked, “Are you vacationing here?” I responded that we both lived in the area though I was an import from Pennsylvania. She had a slight German accent, so I added – “Actually I’m from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with a huge population of Amish, Mennonite, and other Pennsylvania Dutch 4th to 8th generation German immigrants.”*

“Do you speak German,” she said.

“No, unfortunately I don’t, but some of my family do.”

“I’ve been to Lancaster, and some of the Pennsylvania Dutch speak German that is almost indistinguishable from modern Black Forest German.”

“Amazing, isn’t it.”

We chatted on for a few minutes and I discovered that she was with a group of foreign exchange students who were on their spring/Easter break and visiting Florida in a large group. They had been to Orlando and Disney World. She was enthralled with the warm, sunny, and hot South Florida weather and wondered - “Is it sunny all the time?”

I explained that this was the dry season, and that as spring progressed into summer we would have more rain. I complimented her on her beautiful English, and she told me “everyone in Germany speaks English as well or better than she because it was taught as a second language. I made a statement to the affect that we Americans are so provincial because we don’t bother with a 2nd and / or 3rd language, and so limit ourselves in our intercourse with other peoples. The extremely precocious young lady gave me her thoughts on that subject. “Well, with all the Spanish speaking people immigrating to the United States from Latin and South America you will be forced as a nation to have a second language, Spanish. Perhaps, once you realize that has already happened, you will put more emphasis on learning a 2nd and/or 3rd language.”

That started me to thinking about the supposed illegal alien immigrant problem in a new light. For instance, it is because of legal and illegal immigration that the cities of the Northeast corridor are no longer decreasing in population. Also, we have workers willing to work for less than minimum wages – something absolutely necessary if we are to be competitive with rising third world nations. Additionally, we can take back our outsourced jobs if we are willing to create a new category of wage earners, and to make the financial investment necessary to update our failing infrastructure and factories. Yes, we have a new population of people that the middle class white / protestant and Catholic majority despise because these folks are willing to work two and three unskilled jobs, whatever it takes to be on track to the “American dream.”

The latest influx of Latino population may threaten to become the new majority according to census figures - still another reason for the middle class majority to feel threatened. However, our culture is already changing. Latin rhythms abound in popular music. Spanish is already the second language within our borders. Many second-generation first-wave Mexican Cuban, and Puerto Rican immigrants have moved up and into the middle class. These American families are often bi-lingual, hard working, church going citizens that often vote Republican.

In fact, I have often wondered – Why do so many first and second-generation Latino citizens vote Republican when that party stands against immigration, legal and illegal? Why do they vote Republican when that is the party least likely to approve and take the measures necessary to protect and help them on their journey to the American Dream? Why, indeed, to answer rhetorically, because for some reason they, as do most of us, identify the notion that hard work will automatically lead to success with standard Republican Party ideology. We forget that the Democratic Party is the party most willing to help in circumstances where the dispossessed including the new legal or illegal immigrant is unable to take advantage of upward mobility because he/she has dark skin (yes, prejudice exists!), lacks English language skills, lacks work skills in a technology based economy, has no green card, and no money.

However, this brobdingnagian Latino population has arrived and has already caused our nation to be increasingly Latin including the fact that, as I stated early on, Spanish has become our second language. If you are inclined to question this last, just look at our ubiquitous direction, construction and work signage. “WET FLOOR, PISO MOJADO.” “CLOSED SIDEWALK, LA ACERA ES CERRADA,” “ENTRANCE, ENTRADA.” “EXIST, SALIDA.”

I have one more question. Why can’t we, whatever our national origins and arrival dates, relax and help new arrivals to build constructive lives? To do so will only create new jobs, increase our national productivity, grow the economy, and make the nation stronger. To do otherwise is divisive, counterproductive, and foolish.

*I always think of a generation as 30 years because it takes that long for a person to become financially independent in the Twenty-first Century.

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April 03, 2007

Senator Harry Reid and the Democrats are Making a Mistake

The sun shines brightly on the White House Rose Garden on this beautiful spring morning. In a few minutes the President will speak with reporters concerning the fight over funding for the Iraq War between he and the Democratic leaders of both Congress and Senate.

In an effort to increase the pressure on Mr. Bush to place limits on the Iraq war, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid has now proposed a new bill that would pull the purse strings tight in March of 2008, all the while knowing he does not have enough Democratic votes to take the two-thirds majority necessary to carry his plan. The proposed bill is a mistake in strategy. It is guaranteed to backfire – at least short term because it absolutely provides both Mr. Bush and Vice President Cheney the ammunition they need, once again, to claim that Democrats do not support our troops. I know that such a statement is a stale, old and pathetic attempt to sully the patriotism of Democrats - but it works.

Unfortunately Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney are not just schoolyard bullies as so many of us picture them. They are upper crust, old money American aristocracy - yes, Virginia, there is still such a thing – with ties to the largest corporate interests in the world, and the most powerful evangelical protestant churches in the United States. Their strategist Carl Rove is the most brilliant of his kind. He and the neo-con thugs of this administration know that once again, Democrats play into their hands with this latest attempt to stall the inevitable. The Democratic majority in both houses will look foolish, and inept when they lose once again.

Right now, George Washington Bush (Ye gods, what a name!) is preparing in the oval office, surrounded by his supporters, going over notes. Someone is saying, “George, remember it’s A-may-ri-cah, not Amurca.” I can almost hear Mr. Bush gloating as he says to Mr. Cheney something like, “We are gon-na git-um.” And, I think he means all of the following - the oil, Iraq, the money and American Democrats.

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April 01, 2007

Sharks are not predators of humans, just fish.

In my last entry, Peter had just said that he had something other than going clubbing in mind, and I asked what that was…

“A visit to and walk on the beach.”

“Sounds fantastic.”

“Bring your camera. Surfs up. The water and clouds are beautiful.”

“Are you going to wear a suit so you can go in.”

“No, the wind is still blasting out of the east as it has been for a week now, and it’s bringing in the nasty man-o-war guys. There have also been shark sightings all week. Seems they’re headed north along the coast.”

Sharks aren’t dangerous.”

“Unless you happen to be in the way when they’re chasing their food – then, snap and you’ve lost a limb that the fellow may spit out because he doesn’t like your flavor.”

“Okay, I’ve got the picture. Still, I’ll bet we see people in that heavy surf because the water temperature is up to 76 degrees, and the snow birds like me think that’s incredibly warm.”

“Probably, but I plan on walking in bare feet through the surf and sand down to the ancient reef, soaking in the rays, and taking some pictures. Bring your camera.”

I did take the camera along, and I’ve included a couple of the photographs here. It was a beautiful day with puffy cumulous clouds blowing in off the aqua and green ocean. The sun is getting very strong now, like mid to late summer sun at home in Pennsylvania, but stronger because the air is cleaner here. South Florida has no industry other than taking care of us old folks the Yankee snowbirds – frisking our pockets clean is more like it - but thay's another story (see entries for 01-14-07 & 02-14-07).

There I go talking to myself again. Ah well, Peter and I had a great afternoon despite my grumpy disposition. Seems I find it impossible to be grumpy when I’m with him. We laugh a lot and the intellectual content of our conversation tends to be in the rather rarified upper troposphere.

I’ve spoken of Peter’s good looks in the past. Sunday he wore only a long pair of shorts, and walked on the beach bare foot so as to get some color. He often splashed through the edge of the boiling surf, and I had trouble appreciating the beauty of the beach, ocean, and clouds because I couldn’t help but drink in the magnificence of his extremely well made corporeal self. I think he knew that my eyes and camera constantly wondered back to him because he often struck a pose and I took many photographs of him walking, running, and playing on the beach, none of which shall appear here, dear journal.

I couldn’t help but dwell on the fleeting beauty of youth, so often compared to the bloom of a rose because of its short-lived splendor - and, I stood envying the youth, wanting it all back again. Yes, I wanted to possess him as well, another way to incorporate that golden splendor within my own ageing and failing body. Like a predatory vampire, I wanted to drink of that beauty and possess it completely, however fleetingly.

I do not glory in that desire however, recognizing its predatory implications. I love Peter because of who he is inside, the quality of his character, his sweet disposition, the way he cares for others, his intelligence. The physical body is the container for all that – fleeting God-given blessing. The young must be allowed to enjoy their physical strength and beauty thoroughly as it will be gone in an instant. An old man may envy magnificence and vigor. However, a love based on that envy is something to be spurned, and the fire must be dampened.

I’m not sure how to live with these thoughts and feelings, but I will until God sees fit to call me away from them.

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