My life's been a series of miracles and wonders, even though I've put myself through hell and back to come to that conclusion. I've always loved that expression sung so poetically by Paul Simon for entirely different reasons, but as I look back over the rock and rubble-strewn roads and no roads at all at times that I've covered in my life, I marvel at how I've managed to stay alive and sane throughout the journey. To me, having grown up in a military family and traveled all my life, everything's always been a new challenge to adapt to...something more to learn from, another hurdle to leap along the way when I knew damn well there had to be a highway nearby. I've always relished those highways and freeways when I could find them and stay on them, but inevitably I'd find a way to plunge back into the rocks and rubble and jungles, perplexed and distraught at times but always glad eventually that I've seen the things I've seen and done the things I've done in my life. No way could I have predicted in my wildest dreams the paths I've trod and trails I've carved with my physical hands and with my soul's relentless drive to know more and do more with the mysteries of this Earthly journey I've somehow contracted to be on this time around.
What's it all about? I've tormented myself with that question in prison cells and courtrooms that I once thought I would make a career of on the other side of where I wound up, and yet I look back on it all and I marvel yet again how I ended up on the side I was on, and then I wonder at the ironies of my life that despite some pretty grim circumstances I now count among my most respected friends my former federal prosecutor, top-level DEA agents and law enforcement and correctional authorities who once considered me by virtue of the poor choices I've made in life a "menace to society." How is that possible, people ask me, and deep inside of me the troublemaker shrugs his shoulders as if he doesn't know, but the bigger part of me knows that it's about overcoming adversity and by demonstration rather than rhetoric I can tell you in truth that it's all about respect at the deepest levels. (More on that in the next blog...)
It hasn't been an easy discovery, by any means. It's been an ass-kicking, gut-wrenching, at times life-threatening series of "Why me's?" and "WTF's?" as I've plunged headlong into situations and circumstances that the sane one in the back seat of the Earthbound vehicle I've been riding in would never have chosen as the way to get through life, but the wild one in the driver's seat delights to see what happens next and how the sane one will get us out of it. Insane and turbulent as it's been, there has been some rhyme and reason to it but because I'm still alive and feeling a greater sense of purpose and value in having been where I've been and met the people I've met that would never have happened any other way.
The miracles and wonders of my life took place because I chose to "stick and stay," as a close friend of mine used to say, and I've "made it pay," to finish his quote that used to haunt me. It's paid off not so much in cash as in profound experiences and discoveries that have enriched my life and opened doors that I would not have been able to even knock on before because I wouldn't have even known they existed. My life's been one miracle after another...many of them small ones, but miracles nonetheless, and a few lallapaloozas that are book and movie material. And the wonders of it all never cease to amaze me. Stay tuned. I'll tell you more about that soon...