some experiences need to be shared

Welcome to my modest virtual home!

Since I don't have a real home to welcome you in, let me at least invite you into my virtual home...FourWheelsandaCamera. Pull up a chair, put on some great music and then let me share with you my journey through life.

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Spinning My Wheels

Winter draws near, with it comes the beauty and effects of crystallized water. Being the season of snow and such, many will experience the frustrations of driving through it. Spinning of tires, no doubt, will cause some of us to get upset. Fortunately, the weather hasn’t gotten that bad yet, but I’ve been spinning my wheels…figuratively not literally.

I’ve been trying to keep busy with a new job, writing and just plain dreaming. As such, my photography has been put aside for the time being. Now, I seem to be going through a rut. It’s nice that I have been lucky to get some temporary housing, but the conditions are much less than ideal. If it weren’t for the spiders, cockroaches, mice and an occasional stray cat finding their way into my domain, I might say everything is okay…but it’s not. Sleeping on a cot surrounded by my totes of books and clothes, it seems that I’m living a bohemian lifestyle. That’s not bad, but I don’t feel any kind of belonging; I don’t feel needed.

My creativity seems stymied, and my hopes are not realized. I seem to be going around in circles and going nowhere, fast. Hence, Spinning My Wheels.

I’m definitely in need of a change and next Spring will be the time. I’ll be needing to unload some of the last of my personal belongings because I won’t have room for them. It will be painful to do, but required. Actually, it’s hard to believe what all I already had to let go…I still can’t fathom it. It’s been nearly 2 years since my world fell apart; it’s been nearly a year since I started as well.

Just turning 50, I have been trying to put everything in perspective. As a result, I find myself thinking about my early life, and after thinking about it, I need to return to some of it. Some would say you can’t relive the past, and I agree with them. Yet, it isn’t the experiences I’m striving for, but the simplicity…the foundation.

I’ve let my life be influenced by too many outside forces. It’s time to stoke the fire of my being with a power from the inside, and keep it burning for as long as I’m able.

Finally, I will be free. My wheels will now stop spinning, and I’m happy to say I didn’t need the chains. No one should need chains. No shackles, no binds…an unfettered spirit.

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Thoughts of Destinations

Last night, I had many thoughts of destinations…my destinations…my destination, to be precise. This place where we all want to go, to finally arrive at, has many roads. Do they all lead to Rome? I hope not…I don’t speak Italian. xD  But, I do want to find myself at a place where the  people are interesting, friendly and creative. I had such a conversation last night on Twitter with someone I follow, and she me. Over the span of a couple of hours of tweeting many things, much to other twitters, she tried to convince me not to move to where I wanted. Her brief rational, remember…only 140 characters, was sound and with merit. It wasn’t that she really didn’t want me to actually move there, but realize what I would getting myself into. For that, I consider her a friend, very much worth EVERY 140 characters! In this virtual world of social media, it’s nice to find friends, real friends…not virtual ones, not e-friends, but someone with a real heart and mind.

Unfortunately, the virtual world is populated by much that also lives within the real world: phishers, scamers, predators…it’s sick. Yet, if you can find people online who are consistently friendly with others, not just you, there’s a good chance that this person you met is genuine.  Time will tell, but on many occasions, people you physically know will really surprise you. There are no sure bets in life.

In some respects, I wear many hats. My interests are far ranging and cover many aspects of human endeavor, but alas, I’m that person who is a “jack of all trades and master of none.” I have been exposed, experienced and traveled to many places… lived through them with a curious eye and clear mind…mostly clear mind. I’ve tried and use this to my advantage in my writing. Writing…it’s a wonderful thing to do and to share. My Twitter friend is a writer too. Writers are a special kind of person, not more important than anyone else, just special. Maybe I should give her a plug, hopefully she won’t get mad. Her name is D.D. Syrdal and her blog is at: http://fillingspaces.wordpress.com/. Getting traffic through one’s blog is important, especially if you’re a writer.

Well, I guess I’ve been wandering long enough through the overgrowth of this virtual forest that is my blog. For those that have been reading it for awhile, know that I feel good. Refreshed with the warmth of creativity, I can now face any unknown with the irreverence of a writer on a mission.

I would like to share a new poem I wrote this morning, from a dawn that will continually revisit me everyday with a “sunny” disposition.

Destinations

By Jeffrey Gershom

As I drink my first

Coffee of the day,

Looking out the windows

I see cars passing

To and fro.

Off in the distance,

Busy streets hum

With acrid breath.

People are all about,

Hurrying to get

To nowhere in

Particular.

Their lives are full

Of  drama

And hopefully, belonging.

I take another sip of coffee,

Scorching the top of

My mouth, I’m

Brought back to

My reality.

Yes, my car

Is parked out there too.

Yet, I think about

My soon to-be destination,

A place nowhere on a map.

Not a secret location,

Just a place where

I’ll find myself.

Slowly the coffee cools.

Slowly the traffic

Dwindles.

With thoughtful action,

I take another sip of coffee.

Soon,

My journey to nowhere will

Begin and I will be alone.

There are an infinity of

Nowheres,

More than there are souls

In this vast universe.

Closing my eyes,

Thoughts of this immensity…

I don’t find comfort in this.

A New Poem

I wrote this late last night while lying down in my van. So much was churning around in my mind after all of the events earlier in the day. I’ll just have to swallow up this current roadblock…whole. It may take some whiskey to wash it down.

Quiet Reflection

By

Jeffrey Gershom

Now, I am truly alone.

To some, they say,

“Maybe you brought this on yourself?”

I reply with quiet dignity,

Look down and bite my lip.

My mind races with stinging

Replies, but no. I walk away

My heart pounding and my eyes closed.

I doesn’t matter where my feet

Take me, because I’ve already

Stepped into that deep abyss.

Questions always bring doubt.

Doubt peppers my being

And through a sneezing of madness

I try and find comfort

In knowing that it was only a reflex.

It wasn’t from my heart but

From the logic of response,

Of a response of wanting…

Wanting to fight for what I believe in.

But beliefs aren’t enough

When the deck is stacked against

You.

Your hand might be good, but

The dealer always wins.

Now, I fold my hand…

Lay my cards down and

Notice that they were all

Jokers.

The jokes are always on me.

A cook that finds

The yoke is always on me.

And The Magic 8 Ball Says…

For those of you out there who have read my blog, you know that I don’t post all too often. So, you might be thinking, “Wow, something must be going on.” The answer, unfortunately, is yeah.

Actually, this might be my last post. Of course, I’ve said this before and look…another post. Everything is so fluid and I don’t have a foundation to keep myself on an even keel. Hopefully soon.

The reality of the whole situation is full of despair, and I know that no one likes to keep reading one thing over and over again. I’m slowly recovering from shell shock after being let go from my employer after nearly 6 years of loyal service. I guess a person needs to be perfect to survive in this world that can eat you alive if you’re not careful. Yet, I didn’t say…a perfect “what”? That can be something anyone who wants to, meditate on.

The past 7 months or so, have been really Hell on Earth! Abandonment, divorce, homeless and now unemployed…I am at a loss as to why this is happening to me. I have to live in my own little world, so I can’t be hurt anymore from the one I loved and to those I trusted. I not sure what my future has in store for me. If just something positive, meaningful could envelop me and repair my tortured being…

Music is my saving grace. Though I can’t play my guitar very well, I always become absorbed in my listening of those musicians that mean so much to me. Sarah McLachlan, Sean Ashby, James Taylor, William Fitzsimmons and a new, upcoming band from Vancouver, BC, CA…the Niche, and others have helped me make it through it all. Of course, I can’t forget Vivaldi, Bach, Handel and Mozart…classical music is very important to me. As I mentioned in an earlier post awhile back, music should be important to everyone. It deals with rhythm, time and harmony; just like life itself.

I’ll close with a photograph I took a couple of weeks ago south of Red Cloud, NE. I was visiting the childhood home of Willa Cather. I experienced wonderful things there from times long, long ago. This particular image was at the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie along the Nebraska/Kansas border. You can close your eyes and listen to the wind blowing through the prairie grass and imagine Native American Indians camping along side of one of the many watering holes…waiting for the hunt, the endless herds of buffaloes that are now just memories.

A lonely bench in a vast prairie.

Whistling Into The Wind

Sometimes, I don’t know why I even try in keeping this blog going. My situation depresses me, my journey to find a resolution eludes me, and my documenting of it only reminds me of it each and everyday. I may get an occasional visit to the blog, but no one comments…I feel like I’m whistling into the wind.

I would go more in-depth into how I have to travel each day after work to find a place to park my van and situate the fabric I use to setup makeshift  walls, and how I rearrange my stuff so I have a place to lay down. Yet, why linger on it? Probably, because it is a daily ritual. I have come very proficient in putting up and pulling down my mobile living quarters. That is something I learned quite well during my years in the U. S. Army.

I some regards, I feel like a misfit, but I will not surrender to the seeming loss of hope. Nor, will I conform to the fabricated definition of what makes a person valuable to society. Yes, I’m homeless, but my mind and my dreams have found purpose. I can live without a lot things that so many people  take for granted, but if I am ever fortunate enough to have a home and someone to share it with, I shall cherish it. With a shaky, cheerful smile, I try and find comfort in knowing that someday all will be well, and my sharing of this journey will give someone a reason to go on, if they are faced with the same situation. My life will find meaning and my sharing of it will make my being full again.

With that, I have no idea when I will post again. I can whistle into the wind for only so long without someone hearing me….but,at least, I’m not pissing into the wind. Gotta keep that sense of humour.

Sorry. Yes, I’m still here.

I’ve been very remised in my duties of posting more often. My apologies. The past few weeks have been a mixture of good and bad. Unfortunately, the result isn’t something that looks mediocre, it’s just really good or really bad.

My current situation isn’t unique. I feel really lonely. A life like mine is a bit different than most. I work in a industry that has many young people…the hospitality field. To be more precise, food service…restaurants. I would guess for the most part, at least 75% are younger than 30 years old. This number is only a guess on my part and that is only for Nebraska. My experience is based on my employment in Bellevue, Omaha, Lincoln and Grand Island. The older folks are usually management and the backbone of a restaurant are the hourly employees, the youngsters. I’m not a youngster, but I move faster than most. However, in a couple of months, I’ll be turning 50! It is very hard and genuinely awkward trying to be the kind of friend that you could hang around with and do things together…especially, if they are female. The result is that I don’t have any “outside” friendships with my co-workers, except maybe for facebook or friendly texting. I also have to consider the hours that I work, evenings. In a “full service” restaurant, evenings can be the bread and butter of the operation….sorry, I couldn’t resist a food metaphor. This makes any social life practically non-existent.

The fact that I’m homeless doesn’t help matters. So, I’m essentially alone, physically that is. That’s why the internet with all the social media is something of a blessing for me. I can be upfront with my life and if I turn anyone off, all they have to do is disconnect from me…no bad/no harm. Yet, for those who stay and are willing to have a virtual dialogue, thank you. No, I want you to truly understand…Thank You!

So, you are probably thinking, “With all this free time you seem to have, what do you do?”

Fair enough. Other than my blogs that I try to maintain, somewhat badly I may add, I write science fiction, horror, fantasy and poetry. I’m rekindling an old hobby/profession….photography. This has helped me with my documenting my current life, verbally and visually. Right now, I looking into starting a part-time freelance photography business. Even though I have done photography for over 30 years, it has been old school: 35mm cameras, color/black&white film, darkrooms, chemicals…. Now, I’m taking a distance learning course from the New York Institute of Photography. Their Professional Photography course delves deeply into Digital Photography and Digital Post Production and that is what I need to learn, along with their Business Aspects of Photography. Since I’m currently being followed on Twitter by the National Press Photographers Association, NPPA, I feel a duty to use my photography in a journalistic way to put a face on my situation. I just wish it wasn’t my face…I’m not very photogenic.

So, after a Very Stressful 40+ hours of cooking in the restaurant I work at, I lose myself in my other interests. Funny, I would trade it all in to just have a normal life. Yeah, I know…What’s a normal life? It’s one were you’re not alone and feel needed.

Well, enough for now. It’s almost 2am central, and I need to get up tomorrow to take some photographs. Hopefully, I’ll have some to post soon!

Don’t Be Afraid of the Unknown

My life never used to be filled with many unknowns. I had a family, a home, a job, some friends and a future. Year after year, I didn’t have to worry about much of anything. I guess I’m saying that I was complacent with life…took it for granted. As quickly as I was blessed with a meaningful life, just as quickly it vanished; but maybe not forever. Yes, I have lost much and finding the ability for renewal has been a challenge, but not impossible.

Throughout a person’s life  we are faced with unknowns and it’s our character that shines when we meet them with a positive attitude. It’s true that we can’t always have that cheery demeanor…otherwise, people would think we were crazy or on something. Yet, we need to find it in ourselves to be on the mark when the chips are down. Not only to help others who need it, but to remember to be responsive to our own needs when we are sad, depressed and lose meaning in our lives. If we can’t find the answers with our unknowns, how can we help others with theirs? Thankfully, there are occasions where many of these unknowns occur at the same time, and it happens when you are surrounded by friends or people who could very easily become friends.

Such an event happened to me this evening. My life is a Big unknown right now, but it’s getting better day by day. The first unknown, was how I would cope by physically meeting a facebook friend along with some of her family and friends. I’m a “worry wort” kinda guy, but my fb friend assured me everything would be fine and not to be nervous. I guess women are right…..well, most of the time. So, Andrea…Thank You. Stand up and take a bow. She’s a class act. This past evening she hosted a get together about making our lives healthier. That is something we all need. I didn’t realize how shamelessly we abuse our own bodies with not realizing it and to top it all off, the remedies prescribed by doctors may not be any better. Mother Nature has taken care of us for many, many, many years. Maybe we need to ask Mother for her help again and “natural” seems to be the word of the day, week, month, year, decade…you get the idea.

Unknowns are what they are because we let them be. I met this unknown with a kind word from Andrea and with a new-found need to experience new things. I’m tired of always feeling stressed and worried about the future, the unknown. I have acquired a new sense of adventure, the ability to think out of the box and to start taking care of myself with a healthier life. Yeah, I’m living alone, homeless and to some extent, a wanderer. Yet, if that allows me to travel, enjoy new experiences and meet wonderful people, like Andrea….well, then I’m down with that.

Live life to its fullest, and don’t be afraid of the unknown!