View Full Version : 'The Swing' An Excerpt from "Letters to Ted"

06-19-2006, 08:42 PM
A collection of unpublished letters to my best friend of youth Ted

My WTF Tom tribute thread, forced me to revisit this old collection.

a preview and excerpt

For your amusement and philisophical ponderment......

Letters To Ted # 16 3-16-2002

The Swing

My Friend Ted,

Where lies indeed the contentment of heart that man so hastily pursues, likened unto the wild ass of the desert in search for water? Does the secret indeed lie in the rear view mirror of our past as we look back in fond remembrance, perhaps realizing that we left things of great value behind us, strewn about as clothes painting a child's room of youth?

Or does in fact the age old question of happiness that has depicted man’s quest from the early ages on, lie directly beneath our feet buried on the ground and terrain where we stand in today? Or does indeed the epitome and ideal of true happiness stand tall before us awaiting us with open arms, as we indeed step into the dawn of tomorrow's wonder, blazed in unsurpassed splendor?

There has been as much speculation formed throughout time passing, as there has been numerous philosophical stances taken as well as offered up to the hungry dinner guest indeed, concerning these questions of old.

Yes, can our dreams fulfilled be resurrected by dancing through the hazy mist of the past now dimmed? Yes, often a piece of ourselves has been left behind of great importance, wherein one can never walk fully clothed in today, without first retrieving that which was discarded in yesterday. But one must in well contemplated thought filled observance, be cognizant of today, before he indeed goes aimlessly stumbling through his yesterday’s doors of both wonder and horror alike!

A thinking man as well must be contemplating the ramifications of today's actions, as weighed against the journey of tomorrow! So where indeed does that leave the weary sojourner so earnestly seeking his breath’s desire of heart, and dreams not yet realized? Do we indeed straddle three differing time zones, regions and realms, in the very breath we now do inhale? I think yes! For the man on a journey into the morrow, who casts not a thought for today, is indeed a fool walking and parading in a deep state of blindness. As well as the man who lives, abides, and dwells only in yesterday’s bliss, not being aware of the wonders and magic of the present day now unfolding is equally blind in my estimation. And yes, the man solely focused on the morrow, with no reverence for the past nor present wherein he now stands, is equally dwarfed in mental alertness and perhaps cranial capacity as well.

So where indeed does that leave the sincere simple, searching soul, who truly merely desires to be fulfilled in splendor and enrichment in his life's walk and journey?

Might we intake visually if you please, the child in the park, swinging on a swing, oh yes we have all been there before? We, as we swing, look forward, as well as utilizing our peripheral vision, as well are always taking in what lies to the side of us also. And inevitably, without knowing why, we are instinctively drawn every so often to just take a big peek behind us as well. Yes, the wise child and full grown adult alike, occasionally always look back! Why you ask? Obviously the child wants to observe where his shadow has gone, as well wonders if something of value has perhaps flown out of his pocket, due to the swinging action he is presently engaged in. While the adult, deprived now of childish fearlessness looks back in order to see if his shadow as well as age is overcoming him indeed. But yes, we all look back. That is if we’re wondrous, curious, cautious, or all three.

Alas, the mystery of life itself that sweeps and carries our minds upon differing terrain daily, we yes swing forward, then backwards, and then there is a place in-between called today! When it appears, you’re not going forward nor backward. But that moment is short lived indeed. For indeed our yesterday’s always remain with us, yes lingering on the forefront of our minds as well as hearts, as well man is always equally pressed by the excitement or dread that the morrow may bring and unfold. Yes, often we are so consumed, and taken with both realms and regions, that our today slips by unnoticed in the blink of an eye, hence rendering it now yesterday.

So where indeed should the prudent man reside Doctor Rodney, you ask? One must live in today, covered in excellence, while he always remains aware and cognizant of his yesterdays! That is what our shadow is all about! To remind us from whence we came, and to remind us of whom we once were! And after we have assessed both our character and heart resting in yesterday’s sun, as well as comparing it to the heart and character we view today, riding on the landscape of the present and now. We then indeed in full heart, and in childlike anticipation, invite, welcome and look to the morrow, where the new sunrise unfolds, representing more in excellence than today or yesterday mixed together could ever have offered. Yes, my friend all that yesterday could not afford nor offer us rests in today! And all that today cheated us out of, for whatever reason, lies awaiting us in the morrow’s dawn, if only we maintain that glimmer of hope!

For indeed all of our yesterdays that started as our today’s, march in a defined sense of progressive order, intended and designed to usher us into a tomorrow laced in beauty as well as enchantment, not ever witnessed nor tasted prior in time.

So may we ride high and tall in wisdom this day my friend, with our eye intently focused on yesterday’s beauty and disappointments alike, while our feet our planted firmly in today, as our hearts planted in childlike anticipation and wonderment, in search of richer fulfillment of heart, yes roam and wander into tomorrow yet unborn.

I now bid you good day,

06-19-2006, 08:53 PM
"Letters To Ted #14" 3/15/2002

Who Indeed Is The Simple One?

My Friend Ted,

I trust this communiqué and conveyance of heart this day, finds you pinned to the best and brightest side of life's face, in addition, that all your dreams ever sought after, rest at this very moment in the palm of your hand.

Ted, one of my greatest moments of joy in my life, has been those sterling opportunities when I have had the distinct privilege to observe young kittens, puppies, children or newborn colt, frolicking, tumbling, and playing! Yes, though I never admitted it, I enjoy as well watching young children also giving it all they have, to this game of life called playing!

Yes all, will tumble, shriek, cry, and spit, while frolicking in order to perfect the art of play! There remains a virgin freshness that clings to their hearts in these moments that is unmatched by anything I have ever viewed nor spectated in life! Their freedom of heart is easily seen in these moments of youth, yes, then when finally exhausted, a contented mew results from this gleeful play of heart which is heard upon their pillow when they first go to sleep, Yes, an angelic sigh, resembling that of an Alpaca! Yes, a no more tender mew can be found among nor in the midst of the world today, than that of the Alpaca! A mew that takes one's breath away in a spiritual sense, if a man has not had this privilege to hear this mew, I highly suggest he travels the world over until his ears encounter and meet this mew of loveliness first hand.

Ted, most of this virgin playfulness has indeed been strained out of both the colt, child, puppy and kitten in early adulthood, the only animal that readily leaps to mind in dissent and defiance of this observance and rule would be that of the Otter! Yes indeed a creature after my own heart! Born to play, and carries this trait of loveliness into adulthood as well!

Yes indeed! The carefree antics and escapades revealed by the otter, when one will merely sit and observe for a serious season in time! How much indeed we could learn as people from their carefree form of heart, lived out and displayed in their acted out antics and fun filled foolishness.

Ted, all creatures were born with a carefree spirit! Given naturally to the art of play! Afterall! When viewed through a child's eyes, or when asked the question, what else is there? A child would respond, yes, except to play? Nothing! Perhaps we have missed this very important component to a life fulfilled and a restful sleep as well! Yes, have you ever seen a four year old after a full day of play that has trouble going to sleep? Hmm, I wonder indeed if we have missed something of value to be certain!

Yet the hard working construction worker in adulthood, or the office worker alike both suffers from insomnia! Where indeed is this rule found among men, that play is to be left behind in life? And was it in fact ever designed to be so I ask?

I believe of full heart this day Ted, and as well, am fully persuaded, that man was created to make a living doing that which he finds to be fun! Yes, fun! From the artist to the baseball player, those among us who have the ability to make a living doing what they enjoy in passion filled form are truly the luckiest people alive!

But hell, we were never taught that unfortunately! To seek out what we loved to, we were taught instead to approach these matters wrapped in practicality, always being cognizant of the gold coin! Yes, the gold coin, supposedly our intended prize! Well, to whoever has ever obtained or grasped it, but for a moment, within the tight grasp of their hands, realizes quickly, that the joy dwindles quickly as well! No Ted, we were rather born to play! To implement our childhood passions into adulthood, in order to make a living doing that which truly brings us joy, and excitement! As well as that in which our playful spirit find true contentment as well!

Yes, I know, many of the mindbenders among us today would merely refer to my philosophy as infantile indeed! However they are as well allowed to be excused in grace, insofar as their differing impressions and interpretations, rendering them wrong! Yes, it’s ok to be wrong guys! I have been known to be wrong once or so as well! Oh yes sorry about the mindbender term! It truly however is one of my favorites Ted, and cannot be covered due to your participation in this noble field I fear! I’m sorry is that a glare I detect? Yes, I now smile as I pray you are as well!

Ted, my faithful friend, we were designed and born to play! And that playful spirit was intended to follow us into adulthood as well, it was intended to imbue and flood our chosen profession also. We were meant to drag our playful spirits into the workplace and professional arena; we were intended to frolic daily as does the Otter so free of heart. Some would simply state that I am a hopeless idealist! Yes guys you’re absolutely correct! And may I never change! For the ideal shall never be discovered in the life of a man, as long as he settles for mediocrity! For idealism is the bar that should be set before man daily in order to hurdle and jump! Yes, landing on the other side wherein his dreams fulfilled rest, reside and reign!

All folk Ted, have a dream insofar as to how they would like to make a living, yes, as well as what would bring them pure joy! We just tell ourselves from young on, that it’s not practical, or not a realistic goal! Hell, who cares if its realistic, and furthermore who cares if it yields much monetary refreshment, for surely the poor artist is better off than the wealthy banker in fact, if being an artist is what truly stirs his heart, and yes delivers glee unto the threshold of his heart daily! Better a poor farmer than a rich statesman! Better to the humble owner of a toy store if that's where your heart is, than to be a Doctor!

Yes, I know, I can hear the sighs of the intellectual among us saying, Rodney, Rodney, Rodney, these merely are not practical ideas! Well guys, to hell with practical! I wanna play! It is my opinion Ted that what a person does for recreation insofar as a hobby or what not, is in fact what they should be doing for a living! Does this not merely make sense? Would not all folk be happier and benefit from such a vital life change?
But Rod it’s just not practical! I must insist I fear at this point in time, that that word practical be dismissed from the world! For surely then and only then shall we be able to even partially grab, grasp, or understand the importance of the words I speak this day! Ok? Agreed? Shall we then continue?

Ted, why is the last thing the child gravitates to on a sunny Saturday afternoon, the chore mowing the lawn? Because it’s no frigging fun! Aha! One may quickly retort, but the lawn indeed must be cut! Listen up my diminutive in mind and moronic fellow! Who says? If the grass were designed to be cut, it would grow no longer than one inch tall, ok! Now chew on that for a season oh ye simple of mind! Alas I hear the pews full of children now cheering me on, and shouting amen, even as we speak! Yes, I know there are some things in life requiring work per say, but much we involve ourselves in, indeed borders on the arena of ascetics and what not! Yes, we busy ourselves with numerous differing tasks in order to render us responsible in the eyes of others, when we should merely be playing in my opinion!

My, my, when will we catch a clue from our friend the Otter and our children alike? Alas, we think they are to be learning from us! And indeed we should be learning from them! I mean after all, half the stuff we do is indeed moronic, and has no practical purpose either! May I submit this as an example, if it pleases the court? All men of differing ages moan and groan as they carry the heavy bucket of water out to the car to wash it faithfully every Saturday like clockwork! Hey guys, I gotta revelation for ya! Now listen up real good ok? The car runs no better when washed than when dirty! And, it’s going to just get dirty again! So instead of this time wasting project, why not play with your children instead? Oh, and incidentally, you would be better off giving the attention to the engine rather than the outside carriage of the vehicle, for therein lies the power and wonder that vehicles us about.

Yes, no different than folk in general would be much better off, paying attention to the inside of our carriage, referring to our hearts, rather than all the time spent, sprucing up the outside carriage! For yes, the wonder of the whole mechanism lies within, not without!

Priorities, hmm, how little to we know indeed I wonder. You want to discuss practical for a brief moment? Ok, we shall! I personally find it shortsighted and furthermore moronic and shortsighted, that man works fifty weeks out of the year, in order to do what he truly desires on the other two weeks referred to and fondly termed as our vacation! Should it not be visa versa I ask? Yes, we work six days a week in order to supposedly rest and enjoy ourselves on the seventh! But instead, being the bright animals we are, we rather spend the seventh, mowing the lawn and washing the car! Geez. And we think children are simple! And animals as well, a question I now present to the pondering mind, in departure and retreat this day, on the seventh day, while your furiously doing all your chores in busy, busy fashion and form, what exactly are these simpler in mind according to us doing? Referring to of course our four-year-old boy and dog! Yes, they’re romping and frolicking in the front yard playing! Without a care in the world! And yes there looking at us and yes shaking their heads in amazement and wonder, thinking when will we ever catch on!

Your friend,

06-19-2006, 09:11 PM
" Letters To Ted" # 83 4/30/2002

My Father’s Words

My friend of old Ted,

My friend, as always I pray this communiqué of sincere heart, finds you and yours basking in regions of richness and adventure this day. For surely in your case, the richness is well deserved, and the adventure, well, all should be adorned in it as well, to my way of thinking.

Ted, recently my dearest friend Carla asked me a question most probing indeed. She asked concerning my practice of quoting my Father so often. Yes, it appears often I do stand him upon a pedestal for his many words of wisdom spoken. Carla's concern and question, was due to the fact that throughout my series and collection to her, the indifference and coldness dispensed from my Dad to me was quite apparent. Hence, why all the recall of his words seemingly wrapped in such affection?

Hmm, good question, and as always I certainly do have an answer! Did you ever doubt it? My Father’s disinterest, and seeming contempt for me throughout my entire life still does haunt and dog me in bewildering fashion to be certain. I as well admit to flashing many of these many sayings due to my insecure attempt to display some semblance of normality in my upbringing. For surely all children do adore quoting their parents in affectionate recollection.

I adored my Dad my entire lifetime, he was the only hero I ever had! This glorification of him, as well as my never-ending attempt to capture his affection, remained operative until his death! Yes, it was not until the very end that I finally had concluded that he always was disappointed in me, as well, no real sense of Fatherly love existed at all! I guess it was easier to convince myself falsely all these years, that there remained some affection. But in my final discussions with him, he made it abundantly clear and apparent, that I had brought him no joy nor satisfaction, but only pain and disappointment! Yes, I was not even welcome at his funeral service! Geez, that's a hard one to swallow, even for the worst of mankind traipsing among us this day.

Anyway, why then my often recollections of his words recalled and painted? Ted, cannot one salute the words of a man spoken, without saluting the man? If worthy words, worth recalling fall from the lips of a cruel man, are they still not worthy of recall? And should not the man in question be given proper tribute for the words dispensed and recalled?

Cannot one I ask, offer a hearty tribute to the preacher’s words with an enthusiastic ‘amen’ even if the tribute nor words reflect not the character of the man speaking them? Do not words of wisdom as well as standards set forth; remain valuable in time, no matter whose mouth they proceed from? Cannot even a moron quote a proverb and be perceived as enlightened?

Ted, do not words of power stand tall unto themselves, in spite of who launches them? Should not words of power be remembered painted in there own essence, rather than clothed in he who spoke them? For surely if the only sayings of wisdom we hope to recall rest in upon the lips of the worthy, we shall be left with little indeed to pass on to the next generation hungry indeed!

Should not wisdom itself be supported upon the very stilts and carriage of the words themselves? Rather than upon the heart of he who dispenses them? We many and all preach often good things wrapped in splendor that perhaps portray not our essence of self. Yet I say carry on! For surely words of wisdom are hungered after indeed! If we are in fact left to await the words of excellence to be spoken by a heart planted in like form, we shall perhaps wait eternally!

May we take my words as an example my esteemed friend? Surely my words clothed in innocence and tenderness alike, display not my conduct acted out! Yet shall these words painted in softness reign not? Surely this would end in tragedy! For the whole purpose of the exercise of venting one’s best side deeply hidden, is to one day attain conduct matching as well. No, those closest to me know well, that my words portray often my heart buried in hidden excellence, while my conduct remains quite different to be sure!

So then do I remain a hypocrite and fake pasted in falsehood, because my conduct matches not the aspiration of my heart’s words? I think not, although many would disagree. For the purpose of disclosing and revealing my deep-seated heart, painted in far more excellence than my conduct, is to one day have the two merge in a starburst state of climax. For my words represent the whisperings of my heart yet achieved, and my poetry upon parchment, my desire of true self to be birthed into reality!

Shall therefore my words painted often in excellence insofar as the standard hoping to be achieved then be buried, until my conduct is matching? I think not, for my words of heart exploding in excellence are the wings indeed that one day shall overcome my conduct of day. Yes, to my way of thinking, my words spoken of heart, portraying my true essence in raw form, are indeed my only chance! Shall my words and high ideals one day overcome, unite and attach wings to my body so frail and faulted? This indeed is my quest Ted! That one day the desire of my heart spawned in excellence, shall unite with my conduct of day, perhaps creating a unification painted in far more splendor than that of today.

Do I therefore paint myself as a fake by the very words that I breathe daily upon parchment, not accurately painting my steps daily taken? I think not! For it remains my hope of heart, that one day I shall become the man that my heart paints daily upon parchment daily.

Should my pleas for moral excellence, compassion, and human decency be not flown as a flag, due to the fact that I lie in such imperfection this day? I trow not! For it remains my deep conviction, that one can merely state, ‘do as I say, rather than I do’, especially if the former rides in higher ideals and standards.

Yes, we often dismiss words of wisdom a many, by stating that the speaker of these words abides by them not! Who cares? Good words are good words unto themselves! Would not and should not the pure words spoken, reflect that of the character of the man wielding them however? Yes, to be sure, in an ideal setting as well as an ideal world! However we embrace not either this day I sadly state.

So yes, I shall continue to trumpet the many sayings that my Daddy now gone left me, respecting and remembering in heart, that it took a man attempting to attain, to speak them at all! Yes, to be sure, Daddy left me indeed with moral hurdles and high standards, that perhaps no man can achieve to be certain, but yet, I reckon as well, that it wouldn't hurt any of us to try!

So let us cling and cleave unto the power of the words spoken, rather than to allow good sound words to wilt and die upon the vine, due to the imperfection of the orator. For truly, had the orator, preacher and speaker alike, had not a heart speckled with goodness, they would not have spoken good words into the mouth of time to begin with!

Yes, wisdom remains wisdom, and good words beget good words! May they reign throughout time not tainted by the speaker painted in imperfection, but rather may they fly through time upon their own wings mounted in merit indeed.

Yes Ted, my Daddy's words shall forever remain showcased upon my heart and words spoken into time so fleeing. Why? Because they were good words worthy of recalling and remembering, as well as the man also, my Dad, who I believe deep down in his heart, was a good man as well. Though his goodness perhaps never surfaced and flew in my direction, his words a many I believe reflect the heart of goodness he attempted to free and fly his entire life.

May you ride now in complete freedom Daddy, in the presence of the Angels, forevermore.