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Recidivism Rate

Spring 2024

I like to get all my ducks lined up in a row whenever I approach a project, creative or otherwise.  During the past few years, the mere act of finding the ducks has become the project!


Granted, moving in May 2018 from the Peach House into a rental dump, and living there for two years, until July 2020 when the Dream House was completed — that free-range existence ushered Dear Writer, that would be I, into all sorts of creativity.


Not all of the imaginative endeavour was wanted or welcome, but I try my best to accept whatever My Muse sends to me.  She’s on a mission, a much higher one, than am I.


As of April, this April, of 2024, I am still finding books; photos; articles of clothing; textiles; kitchen items; mementoes; and tangible, as well as intangible, memories to help me to help my Muse.  Cause when My Muse is happy, I’m happy too!

So what if Forward Progress is a completely non-linear, happenstance, take-your-chance series of surprises and slumps and staggered steps and soaring flights?


A person, at least this person, grows in that manner.


It’s the unplanned moments in life that give it meaning, true meaning.  THE DAWN expounds upon that theme, often.


One decision that I firmly made during the past two years was to strenuously avoid the click-bait arena known as Internet News.  For the most part, I’ve been successful.  Dear Husband reminded me, yesterday, not to get tempted into thinking there is A Real Anything on those weirdo websites.


“My recidivism rate is below The Section Average,” I retorted.


What is The Section Average?

Long ago, during the ancient era of productivity in the U.S. government, I worked for Section A of the Civil Design Branch of the Engineering Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The laggard who became my supervisor, suddenly, and most unexpectedly, replaced the sharp, intelligent, efficient and decisive engineer who hired me.


And, no, I’ve not gotten over it.  At this point, I probably never will.  Maybe it’s a priceless reminder for me of how quickly chaos, for the most nefarious of reasons, can descend upon a finely tuned machine, running in pristine order.  Lubricate those smoothly running gears with the sleazy oil of corruption and the chaos moves at top speed!  The wheels then fall off the machine, the engine locks up, and the rats flee the abominable apparatus.


At the time, I asked a fellow employee, a structural engineer of Russian stock, what was happening?

Mr. Structure summarized the stinking situation:  “Oh, They’re playing musical chairs again.”


He slowly rubbed his long, flowing black mustache with an index finger, knowingly rolled his widened big brown eyes, and sighed.  He then went back to his unauthorized snooze in his swivel chair.


One lovely spring day, in the not so merry month of May, it came time for my long-awaited and long-overdue promotion.  This inept, greedy turkey in charge of Section A haughtily informed me that I wasn’t qualified [WORTHY] of the promotion because of my [inappropriate] use of sick leave.


This feckless, disorganized, incompetent fonctionnaire was, in reality, using yet another lame (WEAK) excuse not to authorize the shelling out of a few more dinero for Debra.  He could thereby allocate that funding to some worthless cost account he found invaluable, one that would, once again, help him to game the salary sweepstakes to grant him even more pay for being an administrator while concurrently spending more and more time away from his desk and all administrative duties.  His desk gathered piles of unprocessed papers while his chair remained as empty as his conscience.

The powers-that-were deemed Section A to be too perfectly organized and skillfully operated by the technical underlings to ever suffer under the selfish ineptitude of one man.  I’ll give him credit for gutting and destroying that work-unit in less than two years.


It was true that I made use of my piddly sick leave as vacation leave (which was also puny) — but so did all of the other 15 employees in this section.  I stood my ground:


“My use of sick leave is below the section average.”


And it was.


Which meant that 50% of the employees wearily wafted above that figure!


I never did get my promotion.  Three months later, I rode outta that collapsing office as I promoted myself to The General of The Home.  I’ve since made copious use of those cruddy lessons in life, and in salaried employment, to this very minute.


In a nation where We the People all need to make judicious use of our sick leave, regardless of the job, I advise prudent use of patience, fortitude, and faith whenever one goes to the grocery store, the gas station, any retail establishment.


Anxiety is the fear of not being able to get to where you need to go.  The past two or three decades have been filled with anxiety, and have proven that definition to be despicably spot-on.


The cowards, creeps, and moral cretins clogging up the arteries of liberty and life in this country DO NOT want us, We the Peons, to move forward with our lives.  They prefer a complaisant, complacent, nearly comatose crop of citizens from which to feast, to stuff themselves to the garish, ignoble gills with ill-gotten gains that We the People have no right to even question, much less act to defend and protect.

It’s one thing for a fraud to be a fraud.  It’s quite another for the spineless mountebank to act as if he were born to ascend to the almighty throne of power over We the Peons.  The command from the parasite-overlord to keep your mouth shut regarding the obscenities going on around you is demanding a bit too much of any American who loves his country.


Love overpowers hatred, particularly when that love is an instinctive desire for liberty, life, justice, perhaps equality before the law, which is an ideal that’s been squashed like a bug by the equality-fascists in America.


My instinctive and inevitable response to the arrogant parasites and equality-fascists has never been filled with anxiety.  I’m reminded of some dialogue I once heard in a vintage 1950s Western.  A card player has been accused of cheating by another card player of even greater swindling skills.  He states:


“I wish I could find my killer instinct.”


He then shoots the varmint dead.  The star of the show states:


“I think you found that instinct.”

Now that instinct of mine does not necessarily get funneled into a bloodbath, a daring act of fatality, except in the most literary of terms.

My first novel NORTHSTAR is the artistic achievement of my mastery of the art of sublimation of my baser desire to engage in a battle royal with the scoundrels who grotesquely and gloatingly stood in my way of moving on with my personal life.


In such a sickeningly shameless scenario, I typically conducted a Speedy Gonzales exit.  If looks could have killed, they would have, but they didn’t!


I subsequently looked back upon the woeful, wretched experiences for inspiration to attain a higher plane of being.  One might say that a visceral need to level the lout was refined to an aesthetic level.  My Muse has unfailingly guided me in that journey toward the sublime.


When, however, my creative self has been intentionally blocked by a selfish swine, my fury knows no bounds.  Nor should it.  The creative force is very intimately allied with the life force.  Fury pretty much wipes out that anxiety-emotion as part of the will to survive.  The mother-bear in me protects my Muse as if she were my child.

I thus assume the black horse from that oldie TV show.  It’s not quite as noble or valiant or earth- (and history-) shaking an impulse as General de Gaulle assuming France, but it’s an admirable imitation of his magnificent goal-setting.


My hands get busy while I’m assuming Fury.  Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.  I don’t want to increase my recidivism rate!


I’d planned on crafting a cross-stitch during this past month, using fine European-made AIDA fabric that I purchased last summer.  First, however, I wanted to use this material for mounting some vintage photos of Victorian houses, a 4-Seasons vignette that I’d framed and hung in my bathroom in the Peach House.


I believe those images formed catalysts, among many others, for my composing the poetry volume, The 4 Seasons.

During this past winter, I most unexpectedly discovered those photos stored in a box of sewing supplies.  In March, I set out on the kitchen island the AIDA fabric for the embroidery work.  I then placed an online order for Made-in-the-USA frames for those pix, and one for the future cross-stitch.  Two weeks ago, the frames arrived at the U.S. Post Office, in a parcel that ominously jingle-jangle-jingled as it was handled.

Back the frames went.  I’m waiting for their delivery, or re-delivery, with the most positive of hopes.  I need to clear off that granite countertop to conduct the last part of my spring cleaning!


Yesterday, I was cleaning and re-organizing my master closet.  I picked up a leather train case, dusted it, and wondered what’s in it.


I popped open the case and found, along with two hand-made cards, a poem that Dear Husband had given to me on 3 July 2012.  I wept and shouted and cried.  I felt as if a major portion of my life had been returned to me.  Indeed, it had.

I placed the folded sheet of paper into my top dresser drawer, experiencing a sense of triumph over the often impatient part of myself.  Self-discipline is a constant exercise in my life.  That reflexive training is a muscle that can all too easily become weakened through reacting to the unknown with fear.


The unknown holds more adventure and opportunity than it does awfulness.  Even the awfulness can equate to awesomeness, in the original sense of this over-used word.

In a nation where the classification, coding, zip-coding, corralling, deception, and desecration of We the People have become obscenely profitable big business for the official snoops and for the gain-of-function ghouls, the unknown in life offers us the chance to breathe again — freely, the way that our Maker intended for His divine creations to live, and love, and create.


The air is a bit thinner on top of any majestic mountain, but the climb up there prepares a body to acclimate to those celestial sights.


Rise above it all, and toss recidivism in the ditch, the way Arthur Carmichael, my hero in THE DAWN, tosses his empty SOE supply-canister over the cliff in Provence.


He’s then ready to ride — into life, to fulfill his mission, and to meet his fate, along with the love of his life.


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