(Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
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A listing and access link to all:
song lyrics and mp3 audio files http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/ (all of which are a part of this Web site) can be accessed simply by selecting the "htm" file for the song you want;
quotations http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations.htm; and
essays written by Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/articles_larry_blakeley.htm,
all of which are used to tell the story in this Web site, can be accessed by going to each respective link set out above.
My son, Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/larryblakeley_photos_jpeg.htm manages this Web site.
Major Roy James Blakeley (December 10, 1928 - July 22, 1965) - USAF (KIA)
When I was young my dad would say
Come on son let's go out and play
No matter how hard I try
No matter how many tears I cry
No matter how many years go by
I still can't say goodbye
- "I Still Can't Say Goodbye," Performer: Chet Atkins
MP3 audio file/lyrics http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/still_cant_say_goodbye.htm
For a larger image click on the photograph.
Where did it come from? Were we born with it? Or, did we just automatically take it on as a direct knee-jerk reaction to the proverbial "slapping of our buttocks" - our first life’s experience, our first prerequisite to life - our first breath - and emergence into this world of pain and suffering?
Or, possibly, we learned shortly thereafter in our young lives - from each other - no particular teacher of this accepted action - just a consensus amongst the group, of an acceptable consequence of entry into our distorted and false perceptions of the unknown world of manhood - all of us, just boys in play, all formed from birth to be essentially indistinguishable in spirit - the same image of ourselves - an image of association that we understood to be a prime requisite to manhood; a criteria of manhood that we thought was required - an image that we understood to be the true pictorial representation of a man.
And, so this group of boys banded together and developed some sort of unspoken "consensus of acceptability" of those things we understood to empower us to reach the pinnacle of manhood, became the necessary element of strength to play our boyhood game called, "King of the Hill" - a game that I described in my story, "Why You Can't Learn," http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/why_learn_abstract.htm.
And, we accepted this weapon of destruction, as a necessary asset of survival in our game of play - a game of boyhood youth whereby we honed and sharpened this demon of false strength and true destruction - an emotion that had served us so well in this game of ours. And, our game transformed us into what we believed to be men - if only for that one moment when we were standing upon top of the hill.
And, yet, somewhere along the way - this accepted emotion seemed to gradually disappear from acceptance by all around us. We became older and we were told that this was no longer acceptable in the "new world" that we were being forced to enter. And, if you insist upon resorting to this primitive emotion you will pay the consequences.
And, personally, I did suffer those consequences - some of which occurred early in my life that I tell about in my story, "Where Do I Start?" http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/where_to_start_abstract.htm
So, how do you reconcile the contradictions between these submissive, controlling forces and our insistence upon autonomy and control of our own lives? That really is the question that plagues each man until his death.
And, how do we prevent ourselves from instinctively reaching for this trusted childhood resource of strength in times of perceived attack - those times we feel like a coon resting its tired loins upon the bough of the tree, after being run up the tree by the pack of dogs chasing him - there trapped, just sitting there on the closest available tree branch we could climb upon - just sitting there, tired from running - just seeking refuge and safety on that tree bough of life, and looking down at our death - the dogs barking, jumping up, and nipping at us, just salivating with the unquestionable desire to taste and devour our spirit and souls - soul food for feeding their insatiable appetite for blood - our blood?
How do we bridle the use of this boyhood weapon for our counter-attacks? This weapon that stifles us and blinds us to truth, fair dealing, and compassion for our fellow humankind?
How, in the world, do we break away from this primitive, childhood emotion that we relied upon many, many years ago for both fighting back, and attacking?
And, why? Why do we forever dig down deep for, search for, and, ultimately bring forth, in times that we feel threatened - this primitive weapon of youth - to attack with - a weapon of old that served us so well in our youth, but has become useless to us as a man?
Why do we still reach for this obsolete and primitive weapon of choice that each of us knows fully well from the results of each of those final accountings we periodically perform upon our souls - moments of accounting that take place in times of solitude - times of quiet peace within our souls - alone with, and within, ourselves - times of calm contemplation - moments of reflection - moments that we try to be truthful with ourselves - moments we take notes of ourselves - sort of a synopsis of who, and what, we have become; and, who, and what, we want to be henceforth from these moments?
It’s during these quiet times of retrospection that those painful truths about ourselves become known to us - and, with the painful knowledge of our backsliding ways, we vow to our higher being of choice - from that point forward - right there on our knees - to please forgive our past transgressions - right there on the floor, there at the bottom of our hill of our life.
And, we say a simple prayer - a prayer that even the least astute practitioners of scripture memorization among us can all remember and recite - a prayer that I have known all my life, a prayer that I know in my heart that my father had time to recite in those few moments in his life, after he had handed over the reins of that “little fella” to his Lord, as I described for you in my story, "What was he thinking about?" http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/what_was_he_thinking.htm, and personal Savior - this sweet and simple prayer of forgiveness that is just as relevant to those of us on our knees, as it was to my father in his time of need, while he was sitting there in "The Belly of the Ship," on that mid-morning hour of July 22, 1965, in a remote country, far away from family, friends, and loved ones - the same simple prayer that Jesus taught to his disciples just shortly before his demise here on earth:
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
And, this short prayer helps to give us backsliding men - hope - hope that this request will be heard by our God, a request that we make in these moments of our calmness - moments that we search our soul; moments we see within us the good, the bad, and the ugly - those moments we ask for forgiveness from the one that truly counts in the end - our God.
But, why do we allow ourselves to be blind sided by this false perception of being cornered like a coon up a tree - looking down upon our deaths by the dogs below?
And, why at that moment of deception, do we search for it, reach for it, embrace it, grab it with both hands, and, out it comes, from within our soul and spirit - rising up from the dead to destroy us and all around us - our Anger?
And, why are we so fooled and duped, again, by the same weakness of our soul and our spirit; the same weakness of spirit possessed by all sinners in God's eyes; a weakness of spirit that so many parables of Jesus’ try to make us aware of, with his repeated words of goodness that just seem to drop to the floor from up above - forever, falling upon our deaf ears, our blind eyes, and our vain soul of manhood.
And, again, we find ourselves on our knees - forever left with the humility and shamefulness of our backsliding ways in His eyes.
And, why would we resort to an emotion that we no longer know how to handle and control; an emotion that we have buried; an emotion that we thought we had conquered and put into its dark cage of containment within ourselves?
I just don’t know the answer to why this happens. All I know is that when we reach for it - it comes out as a venomous snake - accompanied with its shrill hissing, wriggling, and constant twisting of its insides, while we stand there holding it in our grasp. And, we feel it moving on the inside, even though we think we have a firm grip of its exterior. And, it won’t stop as we hold that scaly, cold skin firmly in our grip; but rather it just seems to be continuously trying to escape from our grasp. And, that motion of the serpent scares everyone around us; for fear that it will somehow just emerge from within its skin of concealment - and, before we realize that we are in over our heads; past the point of reason and control of ourselves; this beast releases itself from our false grip of control, and appears before everyone.
It comes up from within the deep depths of the dark part of our soul - way down deep - down through our arms and hands, and up through our throats and mouths, bypassing our hearts, and right there in front of us - it stands - as a muniment of our failings as a person - for all to see, for all to hear, for all to feel, and for all to fear - the beast within all men.
This demon has taken haven in us, just in wait, for the right time to come forth - patient, but with one, and only one, mission - destruction. And, when released, it matters not how much good we have achieved in our lives, how faithful we have been to our Lord and Savior, or our chosen “higher authority - but, instead becomes a testament of truth to all there of our failed past, of the destruction in our own lives - to our friends, spouses, and family - that this demon leaves in its wake.
And, we forget at times it's still there - waiting patiently, in hiding for the opportunity to rise up and reveal itself to all, again - as an example of our false sense of manhood, and a direct enemy of our own decency, fairness, and gentleness to others. It breaks free, and lands on the floor, raises up, high above everyone, and attacks everyone in its path of destruction.
And, we see it, but we don't know how to put this serpent back in its cage. And, later, we sit around the bottom of the hill - sweaty, tired, and see our own destruction - in futile amazement, shame, and confusion.
And, we are left asking, again - “Why me? Why are you doing this to me?”
“Why? Why? Why, have I been forsaken?”
Where has this demon come from? For it is not from the goodness of soul that we want to live our lives with. It is not a part of this plan of living a life of goodness towards others. This demon is not us, but yet it is coming from inside of us. And, we don't know how it got there. But, we know that it is us.
How, in the world, could we have relied upon this spirit of destruction - and, many times during our youth, stroked this snake with admiration and acceptance?
I don’t know the answer to that, either.
I presume it was just some sort of perverted reconciliation that we made within ourselves that became an accepted quality of strength that would empower us to reach the top of the hill - an emotion of uncontrolled action that enabled many of us to the top of the hill - by transforming us from a weak person to one with superhuman strength - each of us boys realizing this enabler of this superman state of false possession of power that gives us the impression that we can leap over buildings in a single bound, as well as actions of destructive activity. But, we all accepted this as apropos - a sort of accepted trait of boyhood play.
But, as we grew older, the games ended. The hill became nothing more that a flat surface of earth, with no evidence whatsoever of what had taken place there before.
But, yet, this same friend of strength within us boys, remained in our heart and soul - albeit, buried, but there nonetheless. And, this demon of boyhood, I believe, has led us too many times down a path of seemingly, uncontrollable destruction.
And, many of us, that have recognized this destructive emotion within ourselves have fought back the appearance of this serpent within us all of our lives. We have done our best to bury it, so it would not rise up, anymore. But, sadly, for many of us - has risen up, and taken on a life of its own choosing; to control us, and tear down every good thing in our lives that we have struggled to achieve.
Personally, I really don't know where it comes from. I suppose the psychiatrists and studiers of the demonic mind of man have figured it out, but if they have they must be keeping it a secret - for many of us continue to be confused and duped by this demon, only to be left exhausted, and confused with questions of, "How? and Why is this happening to us? Why are you intent on destroying everything we have labored for all our lives?"
I can tell you, my friend - that my father knew this demon was in me, ever since I was a very young boy. Here’s a personal story recounted to me by my mother. The story goes like this: I was having a blast with the water hose one day in the backyard. I was possibly, 4 or 5 years old, and my father turned to my mother and said, "Watch this." He reached over and shut the water off. And, there within me emerged - the beast - the demonic exhibition of - Anger.
And, I have often wondered to myself, "Is this why we, the men among us, have to have our wars? Has someone shut the water off on us?”
And, furthermore, "Is the unleashing of this demon by America onto other peoples of other countries in the name of God somehow preventing us from seeing this demon for what it really is? And, are we, as a nation being duped into believing that killing is right, if it’s done by us - a people of true goodness towards the rest of the world?”
And, “Has America really been passed the torch by God of killing in the sacred name of Christianity, freedom, and human rights?"
These are questions that are not easy to answer. There are many amongst us that profess to know the right answers to these questions, and encourage us to follow their lead.
Personally, I just don’t see it. I just have a very, very hard time with killing. And, I suppose these feelings started upon the death of my father - because before then I remember playing “war games” all the time with my boyhood friends. And, those games stopped, immediately in the early morning hours of July 23, 1965.
I do believe these issues are extremely - emotionally charged; and, I find myself trying to grope with the “right answer” for America - as a common, ordinary American man.
So, if after all of this storytelling you still need to know why this demon is so destructive - this demon of anger, at times unbridled; and at other times bridled enough to ride it around a bit, all the while on it's back, proclaiming our victory over the beast - our sword of victory held high in the air then please read on.
But, alas, the beast doth come again, to rear up, pitch, and buck us off our cherished throne - off his back - only to unsaddle us, again - and, there we are - in familiar territory - a place we have been ever since we were young boys, just looking up again at the "king of the hill" - ourselves, our demons, those evil doers in our heart, soul, and in our minds. We see ourselves - in all our shame - possessed by this demon - only to become humbled again in the knowledge of our frailty and damaged soul of manhood.
So, how do I end this story since I don’t really have the answers to the questions arbitrarily asked by me, the author - just another sinner of mankind?
I end it with this realization:
All men are sinners. And, those that claim they are not - are nothing but damn liars. All of us men must be held accountable for our backsliding actions of destruction. And, all of us will have to accept and suffer the consequences to our soul and spirit of these weaknesses and failures within ourselves. As far as to our worldly brethren, we can only hope and pray that they will find it within themselves to overlook these weaknesses, as we find it within ourselves to overlook their weaknesses. And, hopefully, we can be successful in our personal lives to put this beast of anger back into its cage - in order that we may carry on with matters of importance much more important to our well-being than making it to the top of the hill.
We must accept ourselves for what we truly are - sinners in His eyes, for all of this life of ours - a life forever in search of the grace of God - a grace He gives to us, a grace of forgiveness and acceptance into his kingdom in Heaven - a place he has prepared for us - a place that we may someday just rest in peace, and be rid of these demons of destruction, forevermore. Amen.
And, I'm tired, again - and, need to rest my head - for I am tired from my sinning in my life.
And, now I leave you with a message of truth - no matter of what God you worship, no matter what prophets you worship, no matter whether you are a Hebrew, an Islam, a Christian - just take out the words that do not apply to your faith, and leave in there, those words of truth that are universal for all mankind - those words of praise that should never become obsolete as long as man is occupying this great earth - a poem with words that can have can have a positive impact upon each of our souls - "What a Friend," Words by Joseph Medlicott Scriven, 1855 MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/what_a_friend.htm
And, now I need to rest, a bit; another job, well done - a story of revelation by me of a weakness of myself, and many other men just like me.
And, I wish to acknowledge herein the strength that my father - Roy James Blakeley, left behind with me.
And, I also want to make mention, again of an old man - my grandfather, John Lewis Ashton - a man whom was consumed by this beast for most of his adult life; until one day, he changed for the better. He changed into the man that I knew from my childhood. He changed in the nick of time to save a lost boy - me - from the pit of death - for he reached down, picked me up from where my father had left off, and him and I both walked down that path of hope, together - just a boy and an old man - an old man that gave me the strength to carry on with the missions of my life; a man of many sins in his past, but a man that laid those to rest and made something of himself in the end - someone that meant so much to me for what he was in my life - a person that literally saved me from my own death at a time that I was just too young to die.
And, it’s these type of men and the power they can have over the youth of today, that I wrote about in my story, - "A Message to the Common, Ordinary, American Man," http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/common_ordinary_american_man.htm
.". I left the Marriott's Denver City Center hotel in a blue Super Shuttle extra long-bed van, positioned myself in a seat position next to the window, feeling a little tired, rested my head against the glass, closed my eyes, and tried to just rest there for awhile... - - "The Belly of the Ship," Larry Blakeley - Author and Publisher, September 20, 2004. http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/belly_of_ship.htm
- "Men, And Our Anger," Larry Blakeley, November 1, 2004 (yet, still, a working project - for the rest of my life).