Sunday, January 21, 2018

An Emerald Tree

2018 Give Way!

Tolkien's Ents come to life here!
2017 Destination England!
Avebury, Wiltshire UK
October 12, 2017

One Tree Hill by U2
Happy New Year! 2018 Give Way!

"This is not an end, my friends, but a beginning.
We've been given a second chance, and we must not waste it."

"New from old.
Order from chaos.
Cease from destruction.
It's Emerald Tree...
That's the real secret of dominion."

Now you know the Secret of Dominion...
The Secret of Dominion, The Secret Ep. 13

Happy New Year, everyone! Welcome to 2018. The dogs will be out soon, as the rooster sleeps. What are your goals? What are your resolutions? Or, how about this one? What is your new year THEME? Since 2011, I've tried to make a theme for the new year. It's been pretty consistent since then. The 2011 year theme, "Dibs," were my last spoken words of 2011. That is where the new year themes had its start actually. This year, my new year theme is "Give Way." I chose that theme for two reasons; one, my England Trip. In the US we have yield, but in England, there, it's more polite and bold: Give Way! Two, I've thought about my life when I composed my Release blog in December. Give Way. It ties into two goals I formulated last month. "Snubbed? Brushed off? Meekly stand out." and "A smile kills a thousand ills." Those two goals are an intersection.


So, who actually gives way? I've always been one about balance courtesy and fairness, so I think that needs to be reciprocated in the new year both ways. It should be followed the English way. Most times in my life, I'm brushed aside, pushed away and forgotten. Quite recently, I had to add "keeping me to succeed" also in that "snubbed" goal. I recently had to let a lot of people go -- most especially one person, who was holding my success back. Also, in the new year, give way, also has a spiritual meaning. Thank you, Michael Lawrence for pointing this out to me! So this theme goes both ways, and it's my hope this year it does as I try to make meaningful relationships. My TRIAL people ended last year. I'm not going through another year starting it with a "friendship dissolve." According to the dictionary, "give way" means to relinquish one's possessions, charity, and self-sacrifice. It has a stronger meaning than simply yield. So, those were the reasons I chose "give way" as my theme. I wanted a bold theme this year; self-sacrifice, charity, and having a balance in my life with meaningful relationships, career, life and all my goals. Looking back at the goals I came up for this year, "give way" is a commonality in all of them!



The Secret of Dominion. I used the title of this blog to illustrate the radio series. I downloaded the series this month from "Old Time Radio" downloads to enjoy listening to it again. I still own the original cassettes, that I copied from my cousin, Terry Reese. He introduced me to this series in the 90s. We even created a role-playing game called "Dominion" based on the radio series. I think the series was made in the 80s though. The series was incredible for its time I think. The plot basically has the entire galaxy enslaved to the power of a renegade force Dominion. For years, the galaxy is plunged into chaos, despair, slavery and hopelessness to the bending power of this Dominion. In that time, a rebel force rises to retake the hold of the galaxy. A Dominion turncoat learns about a project his parents worked on called "Emerald Tree," a secret which would destroy Dominion. Helping the rebels uncover the secret of this Emerald Tree, the rebels are taken through a period of searching for its meaning with the Dominion turncoat. In their quest, they uncover the power of Dominion and how the line between reality and illusion is drawn after learning how their role in all this has encompassed a big "cosmic game" being "played" by the source of Dominion's power, Igra Thor. The secret of the Emerald Tree is then realized with Igra Thor, just the same with each Spring, when trees grow their leaves back into "sparkling emeralds." It's about a change, a rebirth, and a renewing. Emerald Tree. Can this be true of my life this year? Destruction into Rebirth. Transformed energy! Oblivion into Sustenance.

"We know now what it is, but the knowledge comes too late for us.
I feel its power, an energy level beyond measuring. 
Visible forms disappear but it's still here, holding us, using us, killing our will.
Don't come unless you can destroy it....
All dead. I am the last; I had to survive to tell the story.
Horrible, unspeakable terror, and power.
And, now you know the secret of this thing.
It must be destroyed or Earth is doomed!
The entire galaxy is doomed!"
Captain Thomas Dwyer, Brewer Expedition
Secret of Dominion, Illusions Ep. 9

2018 Give Way! Last month was about Release (blog), but this year might be about an Emerald Tree, not just about Giving Way. It's sort of my hope now with all that's happened this month already. Damage then repairing and healing. Chaos into order! An Emerald Tree. Release! Renew! By the way, if you have ever listened to the radio series, I'd like to believe that Igra Thor set up Dominion General Derrick to fail. Igra Thor was in charge of the game. "I control this game, General." I control my life with God's help. God is in control. Maybe I should revisit my faith.

A rough start to the new year in Chicago
Advocate Illinois Medical Campus
Lake View, Chicago IL
January 8, 2018

Linger by The Cranberries
It's just cornflakes.

Disappointment. Once again, I started a new year with disappointment. Every year since moving here, it seems a "friendship dissolves." This last one early this month made me re-evaluate the "meaningful relationships" goal I made in December. This one was a bitter ending. I let the person go. I let this person go not because of something he did to me, but how rude and insulting he was to two of my friends that I love and still live in Cleveland! It not only hurt both of them directly; it hurt me indirectly!

"No one looked as I walked by
Just an invitation would have been just fine
Said no to him again and again
First, he took my heart, then he ran
No one knows how I feel
What I say unless you read between my lines
One man walked away from me
First, he took my hand, take me home
Stand back, stand back
In the middle of my room
I did not hear from you
It's all right, it's all right
To be standing in a line
Standing in a line
I would cry."

Dreams die hard. So once again, I sit here and watch another relationship dissolve in the new year. Where do I even start here? How rude people here are in Chicago are? How possibly deluding myself 5 years that things would get better over time and this was my dream? Or just the fact I’m completely exhausted and burnt out from people here? Completely and utterly BURNT OUT! This year was greeted with yet another goodbye in my life; I had to watch yet another “friendship” dissolve. This was the catalyst, and this guy was a real ass for what he did (and not to me even). That marks four times each new year. I guess it’s me then. I’ve had an awful trend here being brushed off, pushed aside, overlooked, snubbed, forgotten and ignored. It’s becoming a daily occurrence, and it’s starting to annoy the crap out of me. Can’t trust anyone. My patience with people is incredibly short now. I used to be patient, polite and nice. I’d be lying to say that’s how I still am here. It’s hard and it really has hit me hardest with the turning of a new year here. Why? Because you get to a point in your life where enough is enough!!! It builds and you finally crack! Do I have to become an asshole just to get by and noticed? If I were to move away now to another state, I wouldn’t be leaving much here. A few, if not a couple friends or acquaintances…

Stand Back by Stevie Nicks
Do I leave Chicago?

Am I whining? No, I’m at my breaking point! I’ve deluded myself enough. Enough is enough! So that’s where I’m now! I don’t want to repeat another year of disappointment like this. Yeah, it could be worse? Someone is thinking it; If you could really experience how I feel about all this right now, maybe you’d understand. I’m at my breaking point and it’s gotten to nights of lost sleep, sinking into depression, aloof and alone in a big city. Do I move on? I really thought this is where God wanted me. Is it? I’ve always liked Montana. I went to Great Falls one year for work with a job. San Diego is nice because there are palm trees, an ocean and nicer weather. Back to Cleveland? At least I’d be back closer to family. I give up! I’ve had enough of the shit here. So if anything, right now, my heart is saying get the hell out! I don’t want to go through another year here in a big city ALONE! Tired of dissolving relationships every year here. Tired of the bullshit here. Dating here sucks as well. I’m 44!!! I shouldn’t have to have this problem at this age. I bought a nice suit today (I never owned one) and getting some photos done. It’s something to start with…

Things were tipping over!
Chicago Riverwalk
The Loop, Chicago IL
January 5, 2018

Everything is Debatable by Hellogoodbye
Ice plunge off Wells Street Bridge

This past week, I hit my ultimate low here in Chicago; I mean ultimate low! How do I even begin to describe the darkness that festered in my mind that evening? January 18, 2018. I already once had a semicolon in my life, does January19 mean another one? The new year started off alone and what's even worse is being in a group of people that make you alone. I thought about how hard it was to fit into group dynamics, being alone and all that just intensified over the course of the day. With all the disappointment with people, fitting in, the physical pain I'm in (I started new medicine the day before), and with all the heartache, I formed a dark plan of jumping off the Wells Street Bridge after work and ending it all. The wheels were turning until, finally, I got help from a friend here. He told me to get help NOW. So, the part of me that wanted to live triumphed and thrived victoriously. I called the suicide hotline; they put me on hold. Then, I just called 911. The ambulance came to the Mart to pick me up, and the humiliation of my night was about to begin.

I arrived at Northwestern Hospital about 7pm. They brought me in by wheelchair and stripped me down to my skivvies in a hospital robe. For 6 hours, I was not allowed to get up, use the bathroom, or move. Luckily, they let me have my phone so I could tell a few people where I as at. It was very humiliating. I was there with another patient, same as I. We both waited to be treated. It wasn't until just past midnight where they moved me upstairs to the ER. There, I waited again in room 7. Soon, a medical student came to talk to me about my evening. Awkward and uncomfortable, I tried my best to explain to him the whole evening. I didn't feel any better. Soon, the actual medical doctor came in to talk to me. He made me feel even more uncomfortable and awkward. I didn't think he was qualified to talk to me actually. I can spot fakeness right away.


"I was frozen there
Paralyzed and floating in the air
Or I thought
'Cause no one really knows
I couldn't stop
So I wanted her
To feel the breeze
Just blowing through the trees
A ghost
Of something in our love we don't yet know..."

After the doctors wheeled me out of the room for another patient, again, I waited another 2 hours, not allowed to move, get up or whatever. They offered me food and drink but each time, but I declined. I was impatient, and wanted out. I'm not going to lie about that. Restless and irritable, surrounded by sick and injured people, it was starting to feel like Hell. So, if anything I learned that night, is how that factors in my faith and should I really be doing what I was going to do? After 2am, they wheeled me up to Crisis center where I put in a dark room with supervision. I was able to close my eyes and rest some. I must've dozed off because at 5am, I finally was able to meet the psychiatrist for an evaluation. Next stop psych ward?

The doctor was very cold and impersonal and this seemed more like a police interrogation and not an actual evaluation of my sanity, so I answered all the questions straight and without feeling, almost as if I were on trial for my life. "Do you think you feel better?" The doctor stated. I answered him, saying, "If there is anything I've learned about tonight is what Hell might be like, and it made me rethink my choice. I waited over 6 hours to be treated, immobile and like I was kept against my will. I learned my lesson and it made me rethink my life." His face, still cold and stoic, he clacked away at the keyboard. Would I be released?

They wheeled me back into the dark corner and soon, I could leave. It was just after 6am. They brought my things back up to me: my clothes, backpack with my camera, work laptop, wallet, keys, and other stuff. After checking out, I hailed an Uber and went home. On the way home, I had to think about how to explain this all to my boss, and my reason for being late to work.

Is this really only cornflakes, or is there something else?

"You're having a hard time and lately you don't feel so good
You're getting a bad reputation in your neighborhood
It's alright
It's alright
Sometimes that's what it takes
You're only human
You're allowed to make your share of mistakes
You better believe there will be times in your life
When you'll be feeling like a stumbling fool
So take it from me you'll learn more from your accidents
Than anything that you could ever learn at school
Don't forget your second wind
Sooner or' later you'll get your second wind."

Dead River
Chicago Riverwalk
The Loop, Chicago IL
January 5, 2018

You're only human by Billy Joel
Waiting for that second wind, January 19, 2018

It was Friday. I called my boss when I got home. My boss said use the day to get help and to talk to someone. So, I did just that. He stressed "I want you healthy." I got a list of therapists from my insurance company and got a recommendation to try Augustyn Family Services in Ravenswood. Just a short walk from the Irving Park Brown Line stop. I called them after talking to my boss and had a phone interview with Katie Augustyn. She helped me talk about my problems and open up some and she set up a time to meet with one of the counselors on Saturday the 20th. She recommended talking to someone straight away. So, on Saturday, I met with one of the counselors and she helped me talk about my problems. The meeting was just a "release" session I think because she did more listening than offering a plan. I told her that I was panicking about my employment status on Monday and if I were still to have a job. She said my manager can't fire me for mental health issues. Still unsettled, I told her about all the other things that were troubling me.

A familiar friend
Albany Park, Chicago IL
January 19, 2018
17:37

Daring to Take the Stand
Sears Tower Ledge
The Loop, Chicago IL
January 19, 2012

Sears Tower elevator drops 2 floors
Doors "open" on 101. Trapped!
Sears Tower
The Loop, Chicago IL
January 19, 2012

I also used the time to talk to my folks and my friend Rich back in Cleveland. He has been the only real friendship I return to when life crumbles down around me. There. That's the issue here in Chicago. Back to the real problem. I moved here to start a new life and at first it's where I thought I needed to be to correct an issue from 1996? Things happening in my life would seem to suggest this, even the November 15th date, and even the 1973 day (September 23, 2017). What is it though? WWWHHHYYY AAAAMMM IIII HHHEEERRREEEEEEEEEE??? Just 6 years earlier, I re-visited Chicago the first time since November 15, 1996. Why this day and why am I here? There has to be some reason! January 19, 2012 I was standing in the Sears Tower and looking out over a soon-to-be-home city. Dare to take the Stand! I even recall that very day when the elevator in the Sears Tower dropped 2 floors before the brakes halted the car from its plummeting doom. Also thinking about this, January 18, 2015 was my first Nikon d7000 shots from that same building! Yeah, sounds silly, right, but they seemed to fall on the same day. I seem to recall one blog here calling January 19 my "Me Day." I think I mentioned it here. Google and Facebook do this thing with "On this Day," and that's how I got these photos, and sometimes helpful, these features make you think about your life sometimes. Once again, I was doing just that on that January 19, 2018, after my boss told me to talk to someone.

The birth of my Nikon d7000
A death. Last shots with the Nikon d70
Sears Tower
The Loop, Chicago IL
January 18, 2015

This day 2015, The birth to my love in photography came back to me. Without making a connection to 2012, I was once again in the Sears Tower. My Nikon d70 broke! A death. Also, I had just gone through yet another start of a year watching yet another friendship dissolve. Actually, I lost 3 friendships that January. So, I thought on this. What exactly is the issue here? Can I truly be myself and accepted here? Do people finally show their true colors after time? Once I show my colors I guess I'm the problem too? When I was talking to the counselor on Saturday, I mentioned to her one of my problems here in Chicago. I'm always last in; this is even true with jobs. In novissimis...

Problem 2018: "I'm always last in!"

This is my problem here in Chicago. I explained this to her meaning with groups, crowds or cliques. Everyone before me is already well-established in their group. This problem first surfaced in 2013 even. So a lot of times, being last in, you don't truly get in, understand the group dynamic, the affinity towards each other and even the jokes. It makes you feel left out and alone. I recall that New Year's Eve 2014 at a person's apartment to celebrate the new year. That was just it. I was on the outside, looking in, and I was left out. There it is; that was recently. That was the trigger on Thursday night after work. That was why I thought the icy Chicago River jump from Wells Street Bridge was the way out. No more pain, no more being alone, no more disappointment. I'm here now though; it's Sunday, January 21. Talking to the counselor, she suggested meeting with her more than twice a week just so I can get back on track emotionally. She did a lot of listening, asking me about my current life, how I was panicking about my employment status now, asking about my childhood life and other things. She said to meet next Wednesday after work to recap and form a plan for health. I told her that my boss told me "maybe going back home [to Cleveland] is what I need to do to relieve stress." I told her this is what made me unsettled about losing my job. She said he can't do that. She said it sounds like he cares, especially when I told her he wants me to be "healthy." It also was referring to taking a leave of absence. She said not to read into it. I agreed with her, saying yes, he does care a whole lot about the entire team. So she said don't read into it then.

"Illusions... Appearance and disappearance. 
Damage then repair and healing. It's Emerald Tree!"

I told my manager on Friday that I would come back to work Monday "refreshed." Maybe this year is about harnessing a power of an "emerald tree," the transforming of my life into something new with "repair and healing." Maybe my life is being tormented and tortured by a stranglehold of chaos. It was good to listen the "Secret of Dominion" series again in my MP3 player this month and recapture the love of the series, but also using it to look at my life now. I don't know what Monday will be like but I've panicked about it. Maybe it's no mistake I recalled this radio series this month and enjoyed listening to it once again, and possibly making a connection to it and "an emerald tree."

John Hancock's Porch
Reflecting on my purpose in this City
Gold Coast, Chicago IL
February 12, 2017

Rule the World (Stardust's Theme) by Take That
Finding my balance. A star, so bright, you blind me.

2018 Give Way! Some changes have already started happening this month, including new meetups to try out, getting photos of myself, and starting eHarmony with a new profile which someone helped me with. I also started new medication for my auto-immune disease. It's Emerald Tree. I also spent a couple weekends cleaning out my apartment; I'm probably going to try one more year in the city. From there? I don't know yet. I threw 7 bags of garbage out, cleaned kitchen bedroom, and bathroom. I also tackled cleaning the living room and laundry nook. I'm going through old clothes and old electronic stuff for donating and eRecycle or eTrash. It felt good and I was proud of myself after that overhaul. It's something. It's a start somewhere with the onset of a disappointing start to a new year. Even years have never been friendly to me overall. 2014 was a tough year similar to how this one started. Oddly enough, the one meetup I came across happened this weekend after the January 19th day. The meetup name was "Don't leave Chicago!" Huh! Interesting how I got it after that. So, I signed up for it, and already connected with the organizer.

After letting a person go this month, he was a photographer that I would usually go to for advice and help. That no longer is an option as far as I'm concerned and after the incident that hurt two dear friends of me, I couldn't even look at his stuff anymore which included pictures he took of me. I deleted all those and where they were being used: work, business, and casual.  When someone who I thought was a friend attacks people very dear to me, that's a big issue that I can't ignore, and that's why I deleted the photos. I don't have that. No sir. An attack on people dear to me, is an attack on me. I lost sleep the one night because I was so upset. Sadly BUT gladly, it made me see two things which I added as goals for 2018. December I worked on goals and my blog. So, sticking with my theme -- Give Way -- for 2018, I "gave way" to assist, because I love these people and I learned recently also "give way" is sacrificial love.

1.  "Who is worth my time and effort? Who do I take with me into the New Year? Who do I let go? Find meaningful relationships."

2. "Eric R Chatham is a brand name."

Using new photos of myself
Bauwerks Studio
Jovanka Novakovic
Bucktown, Chicago IL
January 12, 2018

2018 Give Way! In an effort to get more noticed with my photography, I learned something from this falling out. Sometimes our extreme views, politics, and our attitude reflects on us and our business. I connected these people to help them both out with their networking and because the interest in his work. The attacking "friend" lost a potential customer and some networking because of what he did.  Not only did he lose out there, he lost out in taste. I couldn't stomach his photography after that incident. His extreme political views and attitude reflected on his photography and he lost. So, in the new year, my name is a brand that people buy. They're not only buying my photography; they're buying ME. My friend Rich and I discussed #shutterfest2018 and attending. I told him I wasn't sure about that yet.

Photographer: Jovanka Novakovic
Bucktown, Chicago IL
Bauwerks Studio
2475 N. Clybourn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614

At Au Bon Pain for lunch break in the Mart one day, the woman behind counter, unexpectedly says to me, "Bring those beautiful brown eyes to the front of the line." It made me feel good and it brightened my day. I didn't expect it and it was nice to here. On January 12, I went to Bauwerks Studios in Bucktown to meet with photographer, Jovanka Novakovic. She took new photos of me; they were photos I could use in business profiles like work and casual profiles like eHarmony. She took over 50 photos of me and she helped me widdle through the photos narrow down the favorites. I hate looking at pictures of myself and I most especially hate the word "selfie!" After I got two photos back from the lot, I used the one, and I had help on my eHarmony profile from a trusted woman. I put confidence into the fact that she was idyllic of a woman I was looking for in a relationship, "strong, iron-willed, stubborn, and resilient," a real woman as far as I'm concerned. I told her that there needs to be a "recommendation" section on these sites like LinkedIn, where friends can comment on the person. Why? I hate writing about myself because everyone hast their own opinion of me; I can't make that for anyone. The Chicago Water Tower has always been my favorite landmark in the city. Due to its stature of resilience after the Great Chicago Fire, it symbolizes rebirth and resilience. An Emerald Tree!


Chicago Water Tower
Chicago resilience!
Gold Coast, Chicago IL
December 29, 2017

Healing by Iona
There is healing

2018 Give Way! Here is a list of my goals for 2018. I am hoping I keep up with them.

• "Can't. Can't? Can." The power of the Cross. Dive deeper in faith. 2017 version of this goal smacked me in the face this past summer. Calm the storms in my life, Lord. 2017 was filled with a lot of anxiety and disbelief. This goal came into effect in a Small Group while diving into the book of Romans in October. Thanks Zac Coleman, Michael Lawrence and Jeff Korhorn!

• "Snubbed? Brushed off? Meekly stand out." Endeavor to find deep meaningful relationships, and people worth your time and effort. If it means eliminating a lot of people from your life, do it. This one ties in with "Identity Rescue." I've already taken measure to keeping those loved ones in my life but letting the other "clutter" go. Thanks Karen Sobolewski ... again!

• "Stop setting a goal to find love. It's out there." It's taken 11 seasons of X-Files for Mulder and Scully to get the truth and they still don't have it all. I will be signing up for the full membership on eHarmony but I need to stop making it goal. This almost sounds like a conundrum of a goal, but I know how I see it in my head lol. Thanks Shannon Kuehn!

• "A smile kills a thousand ills." Volunteer. Help. Grace. Mercy. Charity. Sometimes, even a warm smile brightens someone's day. This one speaks for itself. In my search to find my purpose and meaning in Chicago, it starts with a smile. Thanks Therie Yi-Shin Lai ... again!

• "Identity Rescue." With Identity Theft this year, this involves many things. Stop being in crowds of people that make you alone. Not only does this reflect on my own identity theft in October, but also with who I am as a person and the 2017 goal about resilience. Thanks fellow INFJs, Chris Johnson and Tim Fargo! 

• "Location. Location" Do I move back to Waterfall Glen or stay in the city? The awful neighbors I once had are not a problem now. So question now; stay or leave? Thanks New Neighbor, Steve London, Keller-Williams Realty, Silver Property Group!

• "Forgiveness. Take a chance and move on." There are still a lot of people I need to forgive, but that doesn't mean resuming a previous friendship or relationship. My Mom and I discussed this over Christmas. Thanks Mom!

• "We are VelocityEHS." This goal covers job success, health and vitality. It's a subset of my career goals with VelocityEHS. My company has very humanistic goals, the only company I've worked with that has goals that make sense as a human being and common sense, not just for a company but in everyday life! "Be humble" and "Choose simple" are two I'm pulling out of there to focus on the most. Thanks VelocityEHS!

• "In a twinkling of the shutter." Shutterfest with Rich. Photography. Continue on with landscaping and portrait shoots. Develop (no pun intended) business relationships, find ways to market, sell my photography, and start a new FB page strictly for photography contacts and clients. "Eric R. Chatham" is a brand name. Make it one! Thanks Richard Trigg. 

• "To thine own self be true." 2017 was a year of doctors and health issues. Not only continue with a healthy lifestyle of exercise, dieting, weight loss, but becoming a better coach to my health issues and autoimmune disease. Thanks Dr Kenneth Gong and Dr Jang-Mi Johnson!

Mom and Dad visit me in Chicago!
Albany Park, Chicago IL
September 27, 2014

American Pie by Don McLean
January 15, 1972. Happy 46th Anniversary.

2018 Give Way! January 15, 1972. American Pie was top on the music charts that day, but it celebrated something more special between two people I love in my life! Happy 46th anniversary Mom and Dad. I love you. I wasn't raised in a wealthy family. Both my parents worked, my Dad multiple jobs. My Mom worked to help supplement the income. Our wealth came in their love, patience and long-suffering. Though we didn't have a wealth of money, we had an abundance of love, discipline and self-sacrifice! For that, this is the family I'm proud to be part of, the family I'm thankful I was raised in. Why? Well simply because it's taught me how to be a better human being in a selfish world. It has also taught me respect, courtesy and earning it through hard work and discipline! I'm a proud Gen-Xer because of that. ❤️🎶

The day music died...
"A long long time ago
I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they'd be happy for a while..."

Finding warmth at Kimball
CTA Kimball Brown Line Station
Albany Park, Chicago IL
December 29, 2017

It's a Beautiful Day by U2
Finding an Emerald Tree in the New Year

2018 Give Way! Thank you for reading my blog this month. It's my hope that "an emerald tree" emerges from the damage in my life this year. I need "repair and healing." The past five years have been about disappointment. Damage. I've tried to make friendships and relationships here. It's not been easy at all. I'm completely burnt out, but with the passing of January 19, 2018, maybe I'll be "given a second chance not to waste." I hope I captured that in this blog for the month. I just write what happens in my life. I don't plan it. I don't know what tomorrow will be like. I'm panicking and I hope things heal with talking to a new therapist and looking for another church this month. Will things improve this year in my life? Will I be first somewhere instead of being last in? Who knows? I hope...

I hope...

See you again this year...

I was just reminded of this poem I wrote in 2013.

"...And, sitting there over a vast Lake on a cliff up so high
Amidst a grand forest of weeping willows;
"Do I fall and drown?  Do I spiral downward to my doom?"

"No. Watch the Willow Trees," the Wind speaks to me;
It blows through them and they stretch forth towards me,
Forcing me away from my terminal End;
"Now, listen to the Willows as they speak of our refreshing wind,
A breeze of a new hope and future to your ears," said the Wind;
"Listen close to their call, they whisper the name 'Chicago,'
And they remind you of your past. 'Remember of that Day long ago?
Look past it.  This now and here is your destined promise,' they tell of you.
'Do this well and to a victorious and expected End.'"
Flailing about their majestic branches of the Wind were their lively leaves,
threads of dreams and tomorrow, and they reached out to embrace me; 

Then there was I; and, only I remain."

My Chicago Poem.
And, Only I shall remain.

An Emerald Tree? A Weeping Willow? Is it the same thing? Only the year will tell...
2018 Give Way!

NOTEWORTHY OF WORTHY NOTES

Saying Farewell to a beautiful voice this year! Delores O'Riordan of The Cranberries. I will miss this beautiful voice. Let's keep Stevie Nicks longer!


January 15, 2018, TMZ. Dolores O'Riordan was mourned by hundreds this weekend in her native Ireland during an open coffin public reposal -- where bystanders said goodbye to the Cranberries singer.

Dolores' body was on display Sunday at St. Joseph's Church, where mourners flocked to pay their respects to the Irish rock star. The casket remained open, and some fans reportedly said she looked "at peace" ... according to the Irish Times.

Her mother and six siblings were in attendance, and her Cranberries bandmates left a floral tribute beside her coffin which read ... "The song has ended, but the memories linger on."



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