Another Story From My Previous Life

lost & found
Friday, September 19, 1997

just as the Yin and the Yang are opposites like day/ night, male/ female, good/ bad the concept of finding and losing are at polar extremes, yet so tightly interwoven that the gulf between them readily becomes insignificant. Finding something entails losing something to make room for that new discovery. Whether it be a trait within, a relationship or a new adventure with unexpected consequences, both losing and finding come into play. Many people never recognize the gain, appreciate the loss and spend the rest of their lives trying to recoup what they once had; yearning for and living in the past is a sure way to shortcut the present and eliminate the possibility of any future.

Appreciate The Gain.
Gain can be defined in terms of loss: to gain is to lose what you had in favor of something new. Good or bad. Likewise, loss can be defined in terms of gain; to lose is to gain something.
The change from where one was to where one is becomes the process; all else is secondary to the event of change. The resultant destination is unimportant; it's the process that's significant. For meaningful change, the process event must be unpleasant, rewarding the traveller with a pleasurable end event. Then and only then, does the journey and the struggle become permanently ingrained and learned.
Pity those who cannot or will not change. To stagnate in a position where life becomes a never ending repetition (ever see the movie, Groundhog Day?) is to condemn oneself to an earthly hell of boredom and dullness. Yet many are too comfortable (ever see the TV show, All In The Family?) and actively fight the change.
I realized back in the 60s and 70s that changing doesn't necessarily mean forever. One can go back if the need so dictates. But why? The newly occupied position should be a most desirable place to reside.
My entire perspective on life changed as the result of experimentation with new approaches to alternative thought. I voraciously read philosophy books on a daily basis. By unfocusing on a narrow course, uncharted pathways of perspective to everyday problems soon became opportunities for change. The status quo became the convenient target. I lost the establishment views I'd held for decades and willingly assumed the mantra of radical. Nothing was sacred for revision. Much enduring good came out of those powerful times.
I went through some monumental attitudinal changes as a result of the so-called Hippie Movement in the 60s and 70s; looking back now, there's nothing I'd change from that time period. Except maybe those stupid bell bottom trousers...

Understand The Loss.
There is always a bit of discomfort (a quasi-medical term) when going through personal changes. The weight of uncertainty can be very heavy and cause apprehension of the unknown, and even depression over the loss.
Losing part of oneself and subsequently finding another part can be traumatic, especially if the loss involves a person or place of comfort or familiarity. That which is new and unfamiliar can be either uncomfortable at the very least, or downright scary.
On the positive side, finding a new way of viewing and thinking about issues is the first step. Accepting the new way is the second. Recognizing the change is third. And welcoming the process is fourth.

My Zen Period.
The 70s saw me questioning many things and wondering if the questions needed to be questioned. Were the questions I asked geared to receive a worthwhile answer? In all cases, probably not.
I soon discovered the martial arts, through a friend who had studied the discipline for years, and I joined in the fray. I preferred the philosophy the Zen to the fact that I was soon at black belt rank and capable of Killing someone. It was comforting to know, but didn't solve a thing. I wanted more answers. I studied Tai Chi and still perform the daily kata; Tae Kwon Do and two disciplines of the esoteric Kung Fu. I found answers. And even more questions to deal with.
The clear dichotomy of Zen is that it answers nothing while asking about everything. Emotion plays no part. Convoluted logic pervades all segments of the philosophy and resultant religions.
To understand, one must first not understand.

Just Passing Through.
Over the years, I've met tens-of-thousands of people in both personal and business environments. Some have remained friends, others pass by like ships in the night.
With each loss of a mere acquaintance, there seems to be a corresponding gain of a friend. Of course, friends also come and go; my travels and moving from region to region in the early years saw to that. We kept in touch for a while, but gradually other responsibilities prevailed and correspondence and phone calls trailed off.
At my 20year high school reunion in 87, I saw many friends I hadn't seen since 67; the 30year reunion is this month, but I won't be going. Too busy. Though it would be nice to catch up on all that's happened since we made our collective ways out into the world. Many are still around, looking a bit more gray and worn, as I do. Some aren't here anymore. And a few, who were never really here, are still not all there. If I'm still alive in 10 more years, I'll make the time to go to the 40year reunion.

The Diana Saga.
After the sorry event two weeks ago, I had occasion to post some messages on CNN, MSNBC, ABCNews and a few other forums about my opinion of the accident. I very bluntly said it was the stupid, towel-headed Fayed's fault that she and the others died. He was in control and in charge of the scenario that evening, as long as she was with him in that car. Fayed's family is trying to shift blame away from him by pushing the greedy, lowlife photographers into the mix. But the paparazzi have been around for a long time, unfortunately, doing their unsavory act, and until now no one has been whacked. That is, until a drunk driver got behind the wheel and his handler, the Fayed scumbag, either couldn't or didn't want to control the situation as he was obliged to have.
Hundreds of people agreed; only a few pathetic morons blamed the chasing photographers. I received a several nasty pieces of mail from celebrity-blinded idiots.
Many now blame the drunk driver, an employee of old man Fayed's at The Ritz in Paris. The loss of his son, Emad (aka Dodo-head) was no loss in reality, for there must first be a gain to realize a loss. He did nothing in his lousy, pathetic, daddy-gives-you-everything-so-you-don't-have-to-work life that could ever be considered a gain. He was abject trash. The Emad scum was a worthless deadbeat and is better off dead. Unfortunately, he took out two other lives with him on his way to hell. Harsh rhetoric? Nah, just facts.
The real story of loss here is that Diana didn't know the facts about Fayed ahead of time. And if she did, it shows that she had no class at all, to be seen, let alone sleep with a degenerate pile of scum like him. We'll never know the truth now.
Here's one of the very best analyses of it that I've seen or heard yet.

New Greenhouses.
My short-term goal of three new 30' x 100' quonset greenhouses is 2/3 of the way there now.
The idea is to have two extra, large GHs, without doors, fans, louvres etc; just crushed stone floors and watering systems, to store incoming nursery stock in the unstable weather of Spring. Snow, frost and ice can rapidly whack tender plants. These two spaces will serve to harden off fresh plant material until it can be displayed in the Main Nursery Areas. Plus, they'll be able to store 20ft trees, weather-damaged trees or shrubs for recuperative periods since each will carry 65% shade cloth over the white poly. No frills, but extremely functional. Each house will also store all container nursery stock B&B stay heeled-in the ground over the Winter and is large enough to bring skidloaders and tractors pulling wagons to move the stock in and out more easily.
The two new GHs frameworks arrived last week via flatbed trailer. Our excavator is just finished clearing and grading for the siting-in, plus a new access road from the backside of the property. He moved tens-of-thousands of tons of earth to level a pad and road large enough to accommodate the new structures. Now, I'm spreading several layers of large ballast stone and top dressing with smaller crushed stone to build a base for accommodating large tractor trailers and other vehicles. Without a solid base, mud would make the area impassable during rainy times.
My Landscape Crews with the exception of Foreman Alan Miller, and myself have never constructed a greenhouses. It should be an adventure for them. Been there, did all that many times. As a company, we've installed expensive glass greenhouses and small backyard units, but nothing on this scale. Fun times ahead. Push the envelope once again.

Ask The King.
Troubled by things way over your head? When I get that way, I turn to Elvis The Psychic for spiritual guidance. This Requires ShockWave.

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