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acg

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Gender: Male
Member since: Fri May 14, 2021, 08:59 AM
Number of posts: 217

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A View of Life Beyond the Days

A VIEW OF LIFE BEYOND THE DAYS
By Al Garcia

The days go by like the ticking of a clock. Perpetual. Constant. Unending.

Our existence measured by celebrations and revelries defined by candles on a cake and the withering and fading rhythm of our beating hearts, and not by a view of life beyond the days. How sad to live a lifetime and have only burned out candles and have only fading memories of days gone by.

I learned too early in my life how quickly and deceivingly life can betray and destroy. I saw the indestructible and invincible spirit of youth and vigor extinguished on a battlefield, and then I came home to witness the waning and eroding specters of once resilient and robust souls who had guided me through the many phases of my life, fade and finally cease to be. But yet, the days keep coming – assaulting the body and the mind with reflections and echoes of all the days gone by that pain the heart and touch the soul.

I have learned one thing in the days and years reflected by the many candles on my cake. I have learned that life gives each of us a chance to feel, to touch, to taste, to think. A chance to expose the child inside of us that still believes in hopes and dreams – the pure innocence that we once were. But most of all, life has given me a view of life beyond the days, where I will not be bound by the rising sun or the setting moon, nor by the hatred or the greed of men.

And the days go by like the ticking of a clock. Perpetual. Constant. Unending. And it is the promise of a view of life beyond the days that makes each candle on my cake more meaningful and profound.

It is the passion and the grace of having lived that makes the passing of each day a priceless treasure to be savored and forever cherished – even with the imperfections and blemishes that we may possess.

Count the candles on a cake – for like stars upon the sky, they tell the story of a lifetime.

Silence of the Heart (didn't now where to post this)

SILENCE OF THE HEART
By Al Garcia

Church bells ring on silent streets, and empty pews and unused hymnals with songs of praise untouched by human hands. Words of comfort and of solace too plaintive for the fearful heart. And abandoned hope and resurrected faith laid bare upon the alter of infected minds and weeping souls, afraid to touch the hand of God.

The silence of the heart overwhelming and disquieting, but not dispiriting or disheartening. The glimmering cathedrals, spiral churches, synagogues, temples and gardens of worship of every type, filled only with the shadows of the gathering of angels, fading into the dark and becoming one with the echoes of time. Unseen, untouchable. Faith unquestioned.

Nations have conquered nations but never captured the human souls that empower the consciousness of faith in self, in country and in one another. Nature continually challenges, provokes, destroys and attempts in every way to break the human spirit, yet faith remains inside the silence of the heart, tattered and bruised, but intact and unbroken.

Today, the world faces a crisis beyond the grasp of ordinary men. We are confronted and plagued by uncertainty and doubt. The silence of the heart ignites the dreams of tomorrow and shelters the memories of all our yesterdays, and fills the emptiness within us, giving us the courage and the resolve to persevere.

Faith is not just about church bells ringing and choirs signing. Faith is about the passion for life and for living, engrained in the human psyche. And challenges to the body, the mind or the spirit only emboldens our faith and our determination to meet the tests of time that come our way.

We have endured the tests of time before. We have triumphed over evil in wars of every type. We have prevailed over nature’s force and power on land, at sea and in the air. We have overcome infestations, plagues, epidemics and pestilences of every type. So, ye of little faith, believe and have faith. For this too, we shall overcome.

Faith dwells inside the silence of the heart. It is deafening and resounding if you take the time to listen. On Sunday, you may not hear the church bells ring or choirs singing, but you will hear your soul rejoice, if only you have faith.

Touched

TOUCHED
By Al Garcia

A physical sensation, an appreciation, or simply a state of mind. Touch defines our human existence with every sense that we possess and even some we don’t even understand.

We can feel the texture and the outline of all that lives and breathes, and all that stands before or behind, above or below. We can perceive or feel that which has no outline or no form or soul. We can even take a touch of criticism or sarcasm, or we can get a touch of the flu or completely lose touch with someone you knew.

We can appreciate the touch of others as we view their creativeness or resourcefulness and commend them for having that “special touch.” We can even thank someone for “touching” on a subject or an issue that no one wanted to bring up or talk about.

But of all the touching and in all its forms, appearances or structures, the touch I will always preserve, hold and cherish most are the times during war, when a buddy would simply touch my arm, tap me on my back, place his arm on my shoulder or my back as a buddy often would, or when a buddy or a stranger in some remote and isolated post just shook my hand to say hello or goodbye. For it was during these unexpected and reassuring touching that we felt the warmth and comfort of knowing we were not alone.

And even now, when I feel alone, I recall my days of long ago, when a simple friendly touch on the shoulder, on the back, or even an ordinary handshake, could make me feel alive again.

Self-Deleted

Self-Deleted

To Feel the Passion and the Rage (posted under "Editorials and Other Articles")

Just a notice of a posting under "Editorials and Other Articles" entitled: "To Feel the Passion and the Rage" which I posted last night -- for those of you who may be interested, or who are following my original writings, but do not usually peruse that section. This was my first posting in that category.

Thanks, and have a great week!

[link:http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=edit&forum=1002&thread=15438805|

A Reawakening of Faith

A REAWAKENING OF FAITH
By Al Garcia

Faith is a very personal matter. It is something intangible, imperceptible, indefinable. You cannot explain faith, you can only show it, feel it and share it in your daily interaction with the people around you. Faith is having and sharing trust, assurance and confidence. Faith is hope, amplified and simplified.

And in this time of uncertainty and fear, I sense a reawakening of faith in our communities and in the minds and hearts of people around the world. We are rediscovering the faith that has always dwelled within each of us. We are experiencing a period of self-realization during this time of self-isolation and social distancing. We are realizing potentials and abilities that are empowering us and inspiring us.

This time in our lives is providing us with the opportunity to think, to reflect, and to better understand the world around us, and the things that matter most. We are finally stopping to smell the roses, and we are realizing how beautiful its scent can be, and how lovely and perfect a creation it is, just like you and I.

We are rediscovering ourselves and seeing our families, our neighbors, our friends, and even strangers near and far, with new insight and awareness that extends beyond reflecting on our superficial differences, and instead now glimpsing the similarities and vulnerabilities that we share and fear. It is a reawakening of faith in a world that was spinning out of control in every way.

It is as if time is standing still, and allowing us to regather, reconsolidate, and begin to cooperate and share the abundance and richness of our uniqueness and our potential, instead of separating and dividing each other with mindless and egotistical trivialities that destroys hope and faith – the very foundation of our existence.

This is a reawakening of faith – let us embrace it and begin to live it. Tomorrow is in our hands.

Covid - The World At War

THE WORLD AT WAR
By Al Garcia

I do not know the exact time or date that the first strike occurred or when the first barrage of deadly salvos were fired, or how. I do not know the name of the first casualty of the war, nor the place where they are interred, or who they left behind.

That is the horror of war – too quickly forgetting the names, the faces, the places of the fatalities, and of the aggrieved families and friends -- casualties forever affected and wounded. All that one ever remembers about war are the numbers -- increasing and ever-changing. Emotionless, cold numbers. And, of course, we have the certainty of a cold stone monument being erected in remembrance and reassurance of the supremacy of one over the other, when this war is over. Governments always seem to have time, money and people to plan and to handle such frivolities.

Wars are all the same -- an exercise in chaotic confusion, bewilderment, uncertainty, high anxiety and uneasiness. Usually confined to a designated expanse of territory or region, the vulgarity of war is usually well-defined, outlined and fought with designated rules of play. The cruelty, indecency or callousness of annihilating or obliterating human life, is left to the imagination and depravity of each participant.

On this 15th day of May, in the year 2021, we find ourselves still enmeshed in a war that has had no boundaries, no barriers, no designated regions or territories. It is a world war of epic proportions and dimensions. It is a war that has conscripted the entirety of the human race – raw, unarmed and untested individuals of every race, of every age, of every physicality – strong, weak, disabled, mentally or physically challenged, or newly born.

The days becoming weeks, and the weeks becoming months. And the enemy advances, while the absurdity of the cause and the solution continues to confound and stun the isolated and perplexed combatants across the globe. Even with the magic bullet at hand, the only defense in too many battlegrounds is still to “shelter in place” and “social distancing,” like the childish game of ducking under a desk in case of an atomic bomb. Well, we’ve been ducking, and it still killed hundreds of thousands just here in the United States, a sign that nothing was really working. The war continues still. Casualties declining, and the fear and dread subsiding with the introduction of vaccines, but nonetheless, the war, the casualties, the fear, still persists.

Wars are usually fought with well-stocked munitions and well-planned policies, plans and strategies to route the enemy and achieve a victory, however great or small, to help raise the confidence and the morale of those fighting on the front lines.

This war was, and still is, unlike other wars the world has known and fought. In this war, one side – our side – is just now getting the munitions to help defend itself after over a year of nonstop bombardment and millions of casualties around the world. We had no generals, until just recently, to seize command or control of the situation. We had no special forces, until Biden came into office, other than the brave men and women in our hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police departments, and laboratories across the world, all ill-equipped and struggling to stay alive in the middle of the enemy’s encampment.

And through the haze and maze of confusion and diffusion of conflicting information and disinformation by competing voices emanating from 151 or so governments around the world, and from a multitude of sometimes ill-informed, and too often confused local and regional authorities, including our very own leadership, only one solid thing emerged during this pandemic. That one thing was that there was no one in charge. No high command or five-star general to oversee the battles across the globe. No plan, except for daily changing strategies dictated by the advancing enemy and the casualties left behind.

Even conscripted soldiers like us could see the incompetency and apparent corruption and egotism at the very top that was bungling and mismanaging the course of the war. For far too long we seem to be simply following the enemy and picking up our wounded and our dead, instead of spearheading an advance here at home and across the globe to gather our best and our brightest minds and technicians in an effort to meet the enemy head-on and end this unsustainable war.

Too many have already suffered. Too many have already paid the ultimate price. And too many are grieving alone at this very moment, for parents, for brothers, for sisters, for husbands and wives, for sons and for daughters, and for friends and strangers, who died alone because no one took responsibility for ensuring our security and our safety.

And we waited, for the daily changing war plans to be announced. Always after the fact. Always after another skirmish or battle was lost. Always deflecting, never accepting responsibility or accountability.

The world at war – and we were left to fend for ourselves – without ammunition, without protective equipment, without a leader to lead the world, and without hope that things would change. All because of egos, greed, deceit, and incompetence – all while we watched the world burn on battlefields that were once our homes, our towns and our cities.

And now, as America once again begins to take charge and lead the world, we take a breath as the rays of light begin to infiltrate the darkness of our battlefields across main streets from sea to shining sea.

American leadership is regaining its strength and its valor. Unfortunately, too late for many innocent bystanders. Nature’s fury found, overwhelmed, and overpowered the hypocrisy, arrogance and incompetency that was supposed to support and protect us. Now, that same group of inept and bungling nit wicks are attempting to erase four years of ineptitude, and endeavoring to rebury in unmarked graves over 585,000 casualties of a war that they lost.

Broken

BROKEN
By Al Garcia

I don’t know what to feel right now. I don’t know how to accept the plight that we’re in right now. The world is in a state of chaos and madness, and I find myself in a state of denial and rejection, and wallowing in self-pity and in thoughts of what could have been or should have been.

Gone is the joy and passion that I used to know, now replaced by the slow and agonizing death of all that used to be. Sleepless nights and endless days, consumed by ways to cease and ease the misery. But still the insanity persists, as I see the empty streets, and as I hear the silence that now surrounds the bare and barren landscape of the remnants of my life.

I think about the days gone by, and about the frivolity and playfulness that used to make each day a joy. I also remember hazy moments and stark realities that jolted my life and my direction. So much time to think and to reflect. So many regrets along the way. So much left unfinished and unspoken. It is days like this, when I feel down and wretched, that I begin to see and feel the insignificance of what I once thought to be more important, and to be more valuable, than the simplicity and the humility of sharing human affection and kindness.

I find myself living in a defining moment. A time when vision, ideas and ingenuity on a global level will determine the life or death of millions, and of our humanity. It is a time of great expectations, anticipations and opportunities. A turbulent and unstable time where we must not remain oblivious to the changing attitudes, outlooks, thoughts and feelings being shared by people and by nations around the world. This is a time when a unifying world mindset is overwhelming the status quo, and a time that may be the beginning of a new chapter in our world history.

This is not the time to circle the wagons in a de facto segregation or isolation. There is no “us” versus “them” mentality involved in the crises we are experiencing. We cannot isolate ourselves inside a cultural, social or political time-warp or bubble, were an invincible virus can be kept outside our gates and out of sight. This is a cataclysmic event that will affect and change life the world over.

And through this sudden, abrupt and massive assault on the life of our humanity, I find myself unable to fully understand or accept the mental stress, anxiety, strain and trauma, or the physical restraints on my ordinary life. And I feel I am not alone. For we were not meant to live our lives hiding from one another, or afraid to touch or feel the beating heart of those that made our lives complete. Life is better than this – we know it, because we have experienced it. We have lived it, and we want to feel again the good, the bad, the laughter and the joy, and the sorrow and the tears that come with ordinary lives in ordinary times.

And to think that this is probably just a simple and mild dress rehearsal of the one and final cataclysmic event the world will see – the unleashing of the dogs of war by nuclear powers determined to obtain superiority and power over dead dreams and ashes blowing in the wind.

I don’t know what to feel right now. I don’t know how to accept the plight that we’re in right now. I just feel broken and alone. And I don’t like the thoughts that invade my mind and make me feel afraid to close my eyes and dream.

He Unleashed The Dogs of War

HE UNLEASHED THE DOGS OF WAR
By Al Garcia

Hate, bigotry, racism and prejudice was always here. It never went away. It was just hiding behind closed doors, inside ordinary houses, in All-American neighborhoods, and beneath the waving flag of liberty. Hate, bigotry, racism and prejudice gathered every Sunday across America in churches, cathedrals and houses of worship of every kind and every size. All hidden inside embittered minds and festering souls.

It may exist in your friend, your neighbor, your family member, or maybe even within a part of you. For it infects the human heart and soul like the blackness of a cancer that eats away the flesh and bone and blood that sustains and maintains the humanity and nobility of the human race. It has no bounds and feeds and grows on fear and hate. They question the authenticity of every color and religion except their own, and then begin to draw apart in every way the essence of what and who and why we are – at least those not born into the chosen race and creed.

Five years ago or so, on a Sunday afternoon, a man descended down an escalator through the pink marble and brass atrium of a looming New York tower to announce his candidacy for president of the United States. On that day he unleashed the dogs of war on the civility and the tranquility of a nation, and on the nobility, morality and character of the legacy of America.

On that day, those hiding behind closed doors, inside ordinary houses, in All-American neighborhoods throughout America, flung open their doors and their windows and let loose their rage, their anger and their bigotry. It was like the awakening of a dormant volcano, erupting and spewing all the pent-up blackness of decades of hate, evil, bias, racism and bigotry. But now it had a face, a name, a platform, and the money and the motivation to rise from the ashes of history and once again attempt to triumph over decency, dignity and honesty.

And today, even though he was removed from office, we watch and listen to the stories of hate being played out in El Paso, Dayton and across America. Shootings. Mayhem. Chaos. Fear. The dogs of war are upon us. We have become our own enemy and our own executioners. He unleashed the worst of us, upon the rest of us.

The world no longer envies America. And now, the world need not fear America and its once great might. For America has become its own worst enemy. And that enemy has a face a name, and a platform from which to continue the attack on America – the Republican Party.
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