There is a certain power in adolescent visions. A real power to forge a whole life. Whether that life has any significance to anyone else is irrelevant to the youthful vision, for it is the primal impression itself that is so ultimately significant to the dreamer alone.
The first, most profound impressions as an young man came as a morning view through the trees. From this tree house perspective, the world around me, as I would view it for the rest of my life, took shape. I will never forget it or its impact on me - the morning light filtering through the gentle mist - the brilliant, vernal sunlight, the purity of the green leaves through the wild grape and black-jack hickory, the power of height and separation from the ground and the deep satisfaction that ultimately arose from the creative act. Here I had built my own personal sanctuary in the hostile jungle and from here I was the beneficent surveyor of my own private world - the birds that sang only to me, the squirrel whose nest I patiently allowed in my tree and my dog, Max, who loved me enough to stand a faithful watch on the ground beneath. It was the ultimate fugue of boyhood, a hormonal expression of dawning manhood in its most fundamental, emotionless analysis, and yet it represented the driving power I would feel for the rest of my life. It would be that same yearning to experience the purity of that moment - of control over my world, of ownership, of the ultimate conquest of the creative act - the creation of another world of my very own making.
Alas, yes - adolescent dreams are but selfish dreams. There is no tolerance except for the owned and the controlled. Yet, the boy is not offended by this misplaced affection. It is an error he comes to be taught later. Hence, without that knowledge, there remains only the towering edifice of the innocence and his dreams. Here is represented the purity of raw genetic guidance without the blurring of the social conscience. While I would come to love the moral code I have embraced as an adult and see that it is the only hope of mankind to survive the adolescent dream itself, I still long to recapture the purest innocent moment of the dream.
Sometimes, when I am alone, I think about that platform in the tree. I wonder about the hours, days and years gone by and the innocence lost. I ponder deeply the cacophony of life's many voices, the often conflicting and confusing philosophies of the ages, of personal disappointment and the deep, confusing inconsistencies inside, of hatred and war, of fathomless pain I have encountered since the trees for which there is no half life, of pure love in the recesses of the human heart and the true peace that is possible even in the most bitter of life's storms. Yet, through the noise of life, from within the deepening pile of memories that has obscured the innocence, often I can still feel the power of the adolescent dream. And I have prayed for the wisdom to mine its depths, recover its influence and, somehow, to leave its selfishness behind.
I thought about home pages and have seen many. I have even made up a few of my own. As I considered making a page that has meaning to someone else, I decided to call it "biographical notes". It seemed to be more personal to the reader than just another home page. Because, I have written these pages for you, dear reader, whoever you are, wherever you are. I have decided to construct this set of pages so that you can use the power of the internet to stay and read every word or skim and get the highlights, as you please.
Okay, here's the purpose and warning again, one more time: I suppose it is the ultimate act of hubris to write a biographical sketch of oneself. And yet, to be understood - clearly understood, is an important need as well. And so, I shall press on and do it anyway. At least I have learned it is not selfish to ignore criticism meant to hurt and not help in life, and so I shall. If by this series of notes, you were helped, entertained or blessed, then I have done my duty to you, dear friend. Whether it is true that writing for someone else the essence of my own life will excuse the selfish transaction itself, I do not know. I just wanted to do it anyway and pray that it may somehow bless another. I have come to value one thing in life and I really strive to make it real - the deep and true love for another - family, friends and strangers - even enemies alike.
I would, nonetheless, love to hear from you, if you decide to write and share your thoughts with me. If not, then Godspeed and Godbless and have fun as you open these pages and leaf through my often cluttered attic. I am sorry that I cannot open all the doors for you, I guess ultimately that will be God's job at judgement day. Believe me, some doors are just best left closed and locked. But I hope to open the doors of memories that were kind, of things that uplifted and brought joy, laughter and part of that adolescent dream into the light of another day.
Finally, well I now confess, even as a boy in the world of my own making, I had the most fun when I invited my friends up to share it with me. But, as I reminded them, I was STILL the boss - and that, as you can guess, is where the real trouble in life began...
"...if there is anything worthy of praise, if there is any excellence, think on these things..."
(Written from a Roman Prison, 60 AD, by the Apostle Paul)
B.C - The Early Years
I was once a kid - and some say I still am. This is why...