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The Great Getting-Up Morning

We all live in a world inside our own head. There’s the world we allow others in to see – what we say out loud and share willingly. And then there’s the ceaseless running narrative within our own minds which we are more than cognizant of during waking hours, but which continues on even in…

The Woods

Living in the wilds of Northern Virginia circa 1969 in a small suburban home tucked up against several hundred acres of dense woods, my childhood universe seemed, for a little boy with an endless imagination, vast unexplored virgin territory. Child molestation, serial killers, and abductions most certainly existed back then, but our parents were blissfully…

Alchemy

I’ve spent my entire life trying to spin gold from straw. Like the Miller’s daughter in one of my favorite Brothers Grimm tales, ‘Rumpelstiltskin’, the idea of transforming something ordinary into something unique and magical has fascinated me. And that urge to create has never left me. As a little boy, my urge to create…

The Gospel According to Dorothy Boyd

‘I just want to be inspired’ she said. As far as cheesy, pull-at-your-heartstrings movie dialogue goes, that single line from ‘Jerry Maguire’ says it all. As I’ve wound my way through the twisting careening career paths of adulthood, I’ve developed an intense and illogical aversion to mail from the Social Security Administration. The periodic letters…

The Storm – Part I

It was an early August evening in 1990 on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. The island had once been home to lepers and outcasts, so we Marines felt right at home training on its rugged terrain. I sat in the pitch black, ear up against a PRC-77 radio talking to one of my squad leaders…

The Storm – Part II

The flight to Saudi Arabia via commercial airlines was surreal. ‘Please place your M-16’s under your seat, muzzle facing outwards’ isn’t a stewardess instruction you’ll hear every day. We were fed every 2 hours, watched continuous onboard movies, our every whim catered to. It had just a hint of that ‘lamb being led to slaughter’…

The Storm – Part III

My memories of Desert Shield and Desert Storm are a surreal patchwork of alternately intense, funny, and bizarre moments. If war is hell, pre-war must certainly be purgatory. Waiting for George Herbert Walker Bush, the UN, and Saddam Hussein to figure out if they were going to kiss and make up, or have a little…

The Storm – Part IV ‘Line of Departure’

Sitting in the pitch black Saudi Arabian night in a reinforced fighting hole, I pulled a set of night vision goggles from their hard plastic case and strapped them on. Shivering in the surprisingly cold desert air, I looked starward and watched what seemed like an endless cloud of US and British bombers stream like…

The Storm – Part V ‘Denouement’

And so the ground war, as quickly as it had started, was ending. There was no grand pronouncement signaling hostilities were over. There was simply a subtle shift from being prepared to mow down anything that moved to resisting that impulse. We’d gone as far north as the Kuwaiti International Airport, found there was simply…

Cupid’s Bow

It’s a cliché spoken a million times a day all over the world in a hundred different languages. ‘I am so lucky’. But for me, it’s simply a fact. I have the same problems as you do. Stress. Financial challenges. Work-Life balance. Struggling to be the best husband, father, son, brother, friend, employee, and human…