How Did You Become Who You Are?

Dead Sea sign

Ojai, Texas, Israel and Los Angeles are on my mind because these are the places of burning importance to me.

These are the places that helped me become who I was, who I am and I am going to become.

My friend Sandi put something up on Facebook about being a 5/5 on the feistiness scale and I responded by saying I am an 8 or a 9. Don’t  know if that is good or bad, but I am who I am.

iTunes is set to shuffle and Sting’s song A Thousand Years has just come on. Is this a message or just coincidence. Beats me and I am too tired to try to figure it out.

Still staring at the picture of the sign from the Dead Sea.  There are so many stories I could tell you about the lives I have lived and the paths I have walked. Some of them are more interesting than others and some are probably just dull and devoid of meaning to most.

Twenty-Seven years ago I began making plans for a future that didn’t materialize. I was going to live ten thousand miles from home. I was going to become a soldier and raise my family in a different land from that I knew but one that always feels like home.

And then life happened. There was a shift and a change. I took a different path and became a different person. Can’t say better or worse, just different.

How Did You Become Who You Are?

Do you ever think about it. Do you ever wonder about what could have happened if you had made different choices. By now it should be obvious that I have done and still do this.

It is a part of me. I am filled with wanderlust and a desire to seek…things. It may not seem like it, but there are large periods of time in which I am settled and not interested in stoking the flames, but things happen and the shift comes.

Part of me doesn’t like the sound of it, makes me sound manic and or imbalanced. Don’t like that because I am…not.

Feisty. Sometimes impulsive and willing to dance in the flames, but I know what I am doing.

Tonight Facebook shared a face from my past. A woman I knew from my time in Ojai was shown to me. The AI on Facebook suggested that perhaps we knew each other and I laughed. We know each other, or at least we did.

There was a time when I thought perhaps we might get married. There was a time when we shared a brief scare and I wondered what it might mean to be a father at 19. It didn’t happen and I am grateful. Many years have passed and though I look back and smile I know she wasn’t for me.

In The Days of My Youth

iTunes is still speaking to me. Good Times, Bad Times by Led Zeppelin has just come on. Can’t help but smile listening to that and then I have to listen to Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You.

“Babe, baby, baby, I wanna leave you
I ain’t jokin’ woman – I’ve got to ramble
Oh, yeah, baby, baby, I will be there
I’ve really got to ramble
I can hear it callin’ me the way it used to do
I can hear it callin’ me back home”

My thoughts are back in Israel and I am remembering how it all started in Ojai.

We were evacuated from a forest fire. The entire lot of us leaving in the dead of night. Almost 30 years later I can still see the flames lighting up the sky and hear the howl of the siren.

Years later the rumble of the earth will wake me and as I listen to a hundred car alarms I’ll remember the sound of the siren and ash falling from the sky.

Time will pass and I’ll walk down a street in Jerusalem past the scene of a terrorist attack. It will have taken place days earlier, but I’ll stare at holes in the wall and remember the sounds of the siren and the rumble of the earth.

These Words I Write

You can blame Jim Murray for these words I write. He was one of the finest sportswriters ever and his writing made me fall in love with words.

There are others who I regard fondly and remember with joy, but Jim Murray is among the very few regrets of my life. I would have loved to have met him and to have talked about writing.

It would have been great to hear some of his stories. I am sorry it never happened. With some luck I may still yet have the chance to do so with Vin Scully.

How did you became who you are is a question I have asked many times. I still ask it and not just of myself.

I think if I did a better job of asking others to share their tale with me I would find myself in an entirely different place than I am now.

How did you become who you are?

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