Unmaking of a Man

A man may not consider what makes him such. And, at least in part, is thereby made.

A man may consider what makes him such. And, at least in part, is thereby thwarted from being made man.

A man looking outward, judging what is felt inward, will be empirically disabled by lack of emotional insight into what he thinks he sees.

Men, by and large, do not consider what makes them so. Rather, innately, they behave as men.

Men are in general solitary, and congregate by happenstance. Men thrive on companionship, yet rarely look for it.

Man, like a knife’s edge, dulls in time. Unlike an edge, an aging man may not be sharpened.

When old, man is a honorary title. Man, when old, is boy-like, each being scared by experience. Man is scared due to experience, and boy is scared by lack thereof. For each, topping a tall ladder and turning loose is scary. One for what might be, and one for what has been. It is for this reason, old men should refrain from topping tall ladders, lest they be unmade.

So says Wint

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You and Me, Yin and Yang

Who is yin, and who is yang,

My protest is muted, yours is bang,

Look before leap, for this I’m renown,

You figure it out on the way down.


Is someone wrong, anyone right?

Is someone day, anyone night?

I know exactly what I said,

I didn’t ask you, before going to bed.


I’ll not be mad later this night,

Love will turn wrong to right.

This will not just go away,

And will return another day.


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Sick and Tired, One Day At a Time

While his tortured mind could not grasp the actuality of it, Lee was, in all actuality, sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, one day at a time.

Being sick and tired is devastatingly disabling. While it may seem these are awfully big words for such a short sentence, these are powerful topics due sober and insightful attention. One does not get to be “sick and tired” by being either physically sick, or tired. Being sick and tired is a combination spiritual and mental condition. Perhaps I would go even as far as to say it is a spiritual or mental disorder. No one drives another to being sick and tired and no one is capable of recovering another form this condition, excepting the person who is sick and tired. And they, of course, must first become sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Hindsight, as they say, is twenty-twenty, and Lee’s had become so over the last thirty or so years. On a day he went to an NA meeting, cognizant of the fact no one knew he was going to any meeting, he was now in hindsight able to see he had grown sick and tired of being sick and tired. At the time, he was confused as to why, he actively internalized and considered his confusion, and he went anyway. The import and significance of this step was not lost on Lee. Recognizing the inherent self-commitment in his act, he went. This was a standout, “leave a mark” kind of moment in Lee’s life.

When on a journey, with a goal in mind, a person is in constant motion, metaphorically speaking. They are either moving towards their goal , or they are moving away from it. There is no pause button as life is being recorded, which it obviously always is. It is not recorded one day, one hour, one second at a time; no, it is recorded real-time! All the time!

As Lee stepped from a borrowed car, being acutely aware of that his outward actions were reflecting of an inward commitment, he strode with confidence to the door of the “Keep It Simple Stupid” NA club and was prepared for the consequences.

Saying “we make our own luck” is an argument against luck to begin with, right? Well, for brevity’s sake, Lee claims luck that Danny was there that day. For it was Danny’s acceptance and attention that he needed, and it was what Lee got. One might say it was Lee’s six foot two, two hundred pound, body frame that drew Danny’s Excited attention, and he gave it with enthusiasm. “Do you like to play softball?” Danny asked. Having received affirmation that Lee did indeed like play, “Want to?”, he ask with a smile. So started the next leg in recovering a life, which was, up until then, being wasted.

Suddenly, I … I mean Lee, no longer felt sick and tired, but rather felt pumped and ready to run life’s bases. Over the coming months and some years, no home runs were hit, but some triples and doubles, and lots and lots of singles, were. It was only after a “chance” encounter with my future wife, that Lee, I mean Wint, hit a home run. I’ll leave that story for later.

… Wint

P.S. When I say this, for gosh sakes don’t presume I have a clue as to the reality of, well … most anything, and certainly not God. But, let us “Praise God, From Whom All Blessings Flow”! For, even in my ignorance, I know there is a God, no matter the inanity of my expression. I know well Grace when I experience it, and when I see it in, and from, others. It is by such that I have my wife, and my life.

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The blue Ford F-150 like an anchor was heling drown him in debt. An ache in his belly was real enough, though not nearly as deadly as it felt. With no prospect change, he was driven by only one thing, getting the sick off. Heroin being a stern task master would be served, and there was no substitute, excepting dilaudid. Each were dear, in both cost and desire.

Lee had always found puzzles entertaining, but this puzzle was tiresome in its routine. Finding money, perhaps the hardest, was but the first piece. Once forty dollars was managed, the price of a paper or a dilaudid, connecting was the next. Having picked up, getting fixed was near immediate and euphoric. The respite in getting fixed was, while brief at best, faciliatory to effective next steps in a meager existence. It allowed clarity of thought and grand planning. This temporal lucidity was by its nature short lived, but nonetheless nurturing. In this ephemeral state, Lee was able to effect circumstances towards actions that proceeded to the next fix. So was his life consumed by this repeated pattern, with no prospect of change.

It was in this state that Lee was drawn to an ATM location that he had been casing for some days. Having never before in his life stolen anything, today he was contemplating the only avenue seemingly left to him for acquiring the cash needed to next get the sick off. Having taken a parking place well suited for surveilling patrons as they extracted cash, he set to his task. The task at hand was to steal money for some unsuspecting easy touch of a victim. As the parade of patrons passed, his resolve and conviction to his plan ebbed. The guttural shame of what he was about became oppressive. The picture of the consequences of his actions were inescapable. The shame he would bring to his family, the accompanying scorn, the likelihood of jail, the consequence to his victim, none of these were of sufficient detriment to stop him. What stopped him dead in his tracks? He was too self-aware to be a thief. He was a son, a brother, a child of God. He was by nature a gentle loving human being and being overtly hurtful was simply not in his make-up. His emotions in that moment were emasculating. He felt a total failure. He felt incapable of successful actions, whether wholesome or crooked. So by, he became defeated by self-infliction.

It would take some years more before Lee became a sane and productive member of society, and this was but a brief moment in his life. It was however one that left its mark. For the entirety of his remaining years, this moment in time would be a beacon of hope for him, bringing light into an otherwise dark outlook for prospects. At least he could say he not a thief. While he might have caused untold damage in the lives of many, he either paid his way, or made up for it. When you have nothing, maybe because you nothing, even this is something.


Lee (Wint)

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When love was young, and yours was mine

Love was young and yours was mine, 

Nascent marriage was a well of hope,

Though many hills we’d have to climb,

Our passion was sufficient to the slope.


Passion indeed! Soon we were parents,

Though worn at the edges, we sensed we were young,

Yet youthfulness fled when the child was present,

Life’s a tasty feast, like salt on the tongue.


Though raising a child is no easy feat,

Your mothering force seemed never to tire,

By days end though you might have looked beat,

Energy soared as the crying went higher.


Grown now, challenges come with fury and pace,

Reasoned arguments abound, gone is the whine,

Cheek to cheek, each is met as though one face,

Ah, love still feels young, and yours is still mine.


– For my fair Katherine … Wint

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The Fair Drew Gets a Shot

When Wint was just a little fella, he had more friends than you can count using all the fingers and toes on both hands and feet. There were of course his four siblings, who were mostly friendly. Then there were the nine Maher kids who lived on one side, and the thirteen Markee kids living on the other. Having run out of fingers and toes to count with, that’s twenty seven kids, I think. As it were, when you have that many kids in so small an area, the little kids mostly only watch as the older kids play. This, if you were not previously aware, is how little kids learn stuff. One thing I learned watching the older kids was “playing doctor”. By all evidence, it seemed very grown up to Wint, and not like playing at all! Wint however, seemed always to be a patient in this game.

The girl closest in age to Wint was Drew Markee. She was beautiful, to Wint at least, and very accomplished. One way in which she was accomplished was in shoe tying. Wint leveraged Drew’s shoe tying talent to his own good by having Drew retie his shoes at the corner where they parted ways on their paths to kindergarten. You see, they had to part ways because Drew went to the Catholic school and Wint went to public school, his being a heathen Protestant and all. Wint would put his foot up on a brick planter box at the corner house where they parted ways, for Drew to re-tie his shoes. Wint’s request for this service was spurred by the fact he was yet unable to tie his own shoes and he felt self-conscious when they came loose during the school day. This self-consciousness was no doubt a result of embarrassment at tripping over his own shoe laces, on more than one occasion! Wint would never forget, throughout his life, the graciousness that the fair Drew showed him in this service. Without self-awareness of it, she was his girl, and his best friend. So it was, when thoughts turned to playing doctor, Drew leapt to mind immediately for Wint!

Locating a popsicle stick in the vicinity of the three aforementioned househos would never have been a drawn out ordeal, no matter the amount of “picking up” a father might do. Picking up being a “dad deal” by natural law, during those times. Thereby, in short order Wint was provisioned to treat his patient, the fair Drew, with a shot.

Wint’s heart was all a patter as he sought out the fair Drew, because as anyone would know, you get shots in the butt! Wint knew not why he was excited, but indeed excited was he! Again, this was very adult stuff.

You might be wondering how old Wint, and Drew might be. You might also wonder, with so many kids around, where would “Dr. Wint” treat his patient. Both answers lie in this one piece of information; there were very few other kids around. This places their age at pre-school, and the time of year when the older kids were in school. So, we’ll say it is late spring, or early fall. This is known because when Wint found the fair Drew, she was wearing a dress, which girls only wore in mild weather. Oh my, something in the ease of access proffered by a dress caused Wint’s pulse to quicken to near hysterical excitement!

Grabbing the fair Drew’s hand, whilst brandishing the popsicle syringe, Wint led her to her parent’s side yard. Being a dead end area where no one ever played, with bushes along the fence, the “treatment room” was quite private. Or so it seemed.

Once in the treatment room, with the patient, the fair Drew, prostrate on her stomach, with heart all a flutter and thoughts blurring his mind, Wint began treatment. After raising the dress and lowering the panties, the shot was given.

For the remainder of his years, Wint would ever carry with him the sight of the fair Drew post treatment prep. Just before giving the shot, Wint targeted the treatment site with his eye and the vision was seared in his synapses. To this day, Wint … , well … (best leave that to the readers mind).

Wint, quite satisfied with the results of his treatment administration, sat back and looked about himself. Glancing at the window, immediately adjacent to the treatment room, there stood Mrs. Markee, just inside the glass looking aghast! Dropping the “syringe”, Wint burst from the side yard on a dead run for his house! He abandoned the fair Drew to the ire of her mother!

Crying, Wint ran all the way to his house, to his room and finally to his closet, where he waited for certain trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble in which Mom tells Dad. The kind of trouble for which Dad gives spankings. The kind of spankings that hurt like the dickens. The kind of spankings with which Wint was all too familiar.

Wint lived within his fear all the rest of that day, dreading the arrival of his father. It was long after his father’s arrival home that he began to suspect he might have been spared, which in the end he indeed was.

Wint having been sparred discipline for his actions may have come by way of a silent Mrs. Markey, but in retrospect, Wint believes it was his mom who covered him. Wint’s belief was based on subsequent times in his life where his mom covered him with grace. Wint’s father was a strict disciplinarian who meted out severe punishment, with seeming relish, underserved by any boy. Or a child of any age, for that matter. No mother, well … no loving mother, would knowingly subject her baby boy to such. And that my friends is what I am. Mama’s baby boy, Wint.


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Texans Who are Women are Liberated

In my estimation women’s liberation in Texas is a non-issue. At least as far as Texas bred women are concerned. My wife, who is not Texas bred, is liberated, showing that women who come to Texas may also become liberated. She achieved, this apparent lofty perch, by simply living in Texas. Simply put, women living in Texas become liberated by living amongst Texans.

Some who live in Texas might argue the above statements are not true in practice. Texans, by and large, will agree. Take me for example. I am a born and bred Texan and I agree with everything I just wrote. I find myself unable to argument against any of it.

In all summations there exist outliers. For this exercise, we are throwing outliers out of the equation, thereby normalizing results. One might argue this skews the actual and true results. This is a fair and well-reasoned argument, and you should write your own article, no doubt to others benefit. For now, get on board and keep reading. Or, shut the “f” up and go away. “Screw You, We’re From Texas.”

Upon what basis do I aver these things as fact? Find below my assertions of why Texas women are liberated:

  • The word “Texan” is gender neutral. Texas women are Texans, as are its men.
  • Texans that are women understand that young rowdy Texans that are men, are studs at their core, and all that implies. Such as they are, they are a leaky vessel into which one might be tempted to pore their heart. They might try to break them to the post, but will likely be disappointed should they succeed. Best to get caught on occasion, but not try to ride. They know the stud will break himself on their alter, once he has tired of running. For there is nothing in this world more attractive and desired, than a Texan who is a woman.
  • Texans have no interest in being responsible for things for which they have no intrinsic responsibility.
  • Texans believe it is their responsibility to own their life and to be responsible for their freely made choices. They expect all others to do the same.
  • Texans will throw a race if a team member stumbles. Texans will leave a team member on the bench if they don’t prepare. Texas teams are made up of women and men.
  • Texans who are women are resourceful and adaptive. This is most easily seen in Texans who are women whilst they are killing, eviscerating, fixing, mowing, going to work, and other such “manly” activities. Not all Texans who are women easily fit into a mold. That’s okay by other Texans, whether they are other women from Texas or other men from Texas.
  • No matter the choices a person makes, true Texans will abide them, as long as that person owns the choice and its consequences, and especially does not require validation of the properness of said choice. If you made the bed, you may lie in it, even if it is by yourself.
  • Texas women boldly state their views, and Texas men listen when they speak. This is because everyone goes to bed at some point in the night, and this is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.
  • For many reasons, Texans are proud. While they may also be proud of themselves, this is muted by humility. For amongst those who boldly meet life head on, are many opportunities for humiliation. Humiliation has a tempering effect on self-pride.
  • Texans honor one another by bolstering one another for what each are good at. When one Texan is best suited to a job, they are left to it. Through the millennia, Texans have gone with the flow when it comes to who does what chores. It is by this manner of execution that has men doing the killing, and women doing the cooking. Evisceration comes naturally to me, by way of my upbringing, as does cooking to my wife. We spend no time, nor expend any effort or breath, in figuring out why.
  • Texans like nothing better than to help. When someone appears broke down on the side of the road, just by putting on their blinkers, raising their hood, or simply by standing there looking forlorn, someone is likely to stop and offer a jump, a tire change, or a cell phone. Results will vary, based on looks, and “yes” … on gender. I am far less likely to render aid to a young scruffy ornery looking guy, than to a woman, no matter her age or appearance.
  • Texas men love to do what they are good at. Texans love to show off. This is why we love to work and love to change flat tires. Okay, especially for women.
  • Texans that are women are rarely demure, so … “Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed!”
  • Texans that are men know how to dance for one reason – they hang with Texans that are women.
  • Texans, whether they are women, or they are men, won’t apologize for how they are any more than they could apologize for where they’re from. Were only from one place, Texas. That’s all we know how to be. Again, “Screw You, We’re From Texas.”
  • Texans who are women hold a special place in the hearts of Texans, whether they are women from Texas or men from Texas. This is because we know women to be our mothers, our sisters, our nurturers, and our healers. We don’t hold these womanly attributes to be applicable to anyone who might not be from Texas, but do hold them to be how it is in Texas.

Around here, that would be in Texas, they say there are but two kinds in this world – Texans, and those who wish they were. Anyone who disagrees with this either has not been to Texas, or they are just being disagreeable for meanness sake.


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Girls are Good, Boys are Bad

It’s a reason girl starts with “g”, and a reason boy starts with “b”. It’s because girls are good, and boys are bad. You might find that statement a wrong, or even sexist, thing to say, but hear me out. By the end, likely you’ll be convinced.

When little, what do boys do? They play “war” and are mean to small things. Especially other kids. Am I right?

When little, what do girls do? They play “dolls” and are sweet to every living thing. Am I right?

On the chance you are not yet unconvinced … I’ll further my case …

Looking back over the millennia, list some of the most tragic and evil things that have occurred in history. Those responsible for these things are nearly exclusively boys. Okay, mostly men, but you get my drift.

Looking back over the millennia, list some of the most tragic and evil things that have been done, or caused, by girls. Okay, okay, women! Having a hard time making a list? Now, take that (likely) small list and see if any of those women were somehow compelled to their cause by a man. Bet most were.

(Didn’t mean to get so dark there.)

In summation, by in large, the greatest things in this world can most likely be associated with girls, and women. It’s just a fact. My personal evidence of this comes from my wife, who blessed me with my daughter. Had she relented and given me a son, he would likely be a brut, like his dad.


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Denigrating Tradition

To some degree, each generation denigrates tradition. Without this, none would achieve enlightenment and we might all still be involved in activities that are unacceptable in most of today’s societies.

In the upcoming generation it is quite common to denigrate tradition for no other purpose than it allows an individual to stand out from the crowd. This is risky business in some situations, such as battle. Stand out in a battle an you likely we be shot!

In my youth I stood out by wearing Navy bell bottoms, allowing my hair to grow, and by putting on facial hair before my peers were even able to do so.

(Later, like in my forties, I bemoan this once treasured attribute, as my wife and daughter push me to enter the hairy back contest on board our cruise ship. Argh!)

While I was fairly rebellious in my teens, I rebelled mostly against my father’s authority. Never did I lose sight of what I felt was important in life, which was God, family, friends, living an examined life, and traditions.

Traditions may serve as guideposts as we move through this life. When confounded, we may use traditions to reconcile ourselves to choices so we might find clarity in a move forward plan. When we are uncertain what to do, we could do worse than acting in ways complimentary to how our family members behaved in similar situations. Had I been that considered in my youth, many people, including myself, might have been spared harmful consequences of the choices I made.

My brother supplanted my father as my leader quite early in my life, and had I not struck out on my own at the age of 28, I might have avoided the certain downfall in my mid-thirties. Having said that, the lessons learned during my thirties shape the man I am today, which I would not gamble on a second shot, even if I could.

Today’s youth are not unlike those of any preceding generations. They rebel because they want to be heard and to be validated. From my perspective, what is different today is the lack of value for traditions. Traditions define us. Look to any group for definition and the only measure available is its traditions. “What is this group about?”, you might ask. To answer this you may look at what values and actions they support. Those the group has supported over time are its traditions.

The American traditions are well known, and include; God, freedom, love of country, self-reliance and self-determination, love of neighbor, private ownership, unobtrusive government. These are what stand out most for me. These traditions seem lost on the American youth of today. Collectively, responsibility for this sorry state falls on ourselves, the parents of these youths.

Few amongst us care to change sans pain. Pain is the greatest of motivations. Great change is coming to America, and it will not come without great pain. To achieve greatness in this change will require great supplication to a loving and benevolent God, and the fortitude to listen and act on His command, to each of us.


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After a respite …

After a relatively short respite, I’m back … with an attitude. An attitude of gratitude.

Not including the obvious, e.g. my wife, daughter, family and friends; here are some things for which I am grateful this morning …

I am grateful for a life partner who values me more than she values the road well-traveled. For it is in my nature to judge, starting with myself, and given my humility, which borders on low self-esteem, I question my every part, and am quite inquisitive, and vocal. I fear these qualities make me a challenge.

I am grateful for my upbringing, which enables me to recognize folks who are honorable, as well as those who are not. In current cultural and political climes, this is requisite to mental clarity.

I am grateful for all the public figures that keep their opinions to themselves. Especially those I much admire. (Excepting arrogance, or more likely self-doubt, why would anyone presume the need for their unsolicited opinion when everyone already has one of their own?)

To some degree, I am grateful for my age. Given the direction our country is going, I have less time in which to witness its demise. Diminution of America’s prestige (“a shining city on a hill”) in the world saddens me greatly.

Enough … enough for today at least.


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