Group Sex

Before you get the wrong idea, the only reason I put Sex in the title of this post is so a lots of people would get the wrong idea and read my blog. And, I just lost 75% of them right about now.

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Last week, I requested my Facebook friends to write an account of their struggles during The Great Quarantine of 2020, and email them to me. I would compile them and post my first, and only, collaborative group effort blog post. The premise wasn’t that hard to comprehend, but this is what happened:


I know Amy and Randy. We met Amy at church in Surprise, AZ. Amy is going to be the next proud owner of our Buick Encore. Once this global quarantine thing is lifted, we’re going to drive up to the Phoenix metro area, eat some Rosati’s pizza, do some shopping, transfer the title to Amy, then fly back to the Lakeside Area.

We’re hoping to be able to do that in early May.

We met Randy here in the entrance of Walmart while we were waiting for the rain to stop. If it weren’t for Randy, we wouldn’t have our two darlingpreshadorbs kit-tens. She moved back to Idaho after hooking us up with Mika and Mollie, having fulfilled her reason for being in Mexico.

Honestly, I have no idea why she moved back to Idaho, but my version sounds cool.

* * * *


Mary is a virtual friend. We’ve never met in person, and we probably never will, which is too bad. I like her more than some people I actually have met. Mary has spent  a lots of time during her quarantine putting jigsaw puzzles together, despite the intense pain of gout.

Gout is a common and complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone, but in antiquity it mostly affected royalty and kings. Like, Henry VIII of England. It’s characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in the joints, often the joint at the base of the big toe.

* * * *

Little Known Fact About Me: I also have occasional gout flare-ups. And, yes, it does hurt like unto two hells.

* * * *

A few more friends of mine offered these brief updates:


I know Mike and Laurie from the golf course. Laurie’s husband passed away about a year ago. It hasn’t been easy for her. Trisha is one of my favorite nieces. She’s a nurse, so T-Bop holds a special place in my heart.

* * * *


Two people actually wrote up detailed accounts of their experiences. Denise is my favorite sister. Geanie is an American ex-pat living in the Lakeside Area. She has a small business called The Ugly Truffle. I bought some of her chocolates and candy confections a couple of times. They are seriously to die for.

Denise submitted her story first. I edited some punctuation and grammar, but this is her story in her words.

* * * *

How has COVID-19 -19 messed with me?!

In the state of Florida, they refused to do a state wide shut down, cases were growing by the minute. When I was scheduled to work on 3/24/20, I refused to go for the safety of my health. 2 days later, Pinellas County shut down non-essential services.  I manage a hair salon part-time, my boss has been in the business for 33 years in the same location. Our stylists are employees, not sub-contractors. Pinellas County is very wealthy, our salon is a half mile from the Ferrari dealship. Our clients travel all over the world. Plus, many have been with my employer forever, and are old, doctoring for everything! No, I didn’t feel safe being at work.

Step 1: Sheltering at home. Hubby and I drank heavily the 1st week. Then it started to dawn on me that I really didn’t like him or myself after copious amounts of alcohol. We were all having happy hours on different patios, then the death toll climbed higher…

Step 2: Cut back/quit drinking. Both of us had medical appts coming up, so no drinking! Then there was dealing with residents in our condo complex. Most of our dear Canadian friends went home ahead of schedule. They would have no health coverage if they became sick in America. Once they got home they had to shelter in place for 2 weeks or be fined $1000 if a neighbor narked on them. And they do narc on their neighbors!

Some snowbirds, like our elderly neighbor, Sharon, is from NY. She couldn’t go home because her state was on lockdown, so she had to stay. Sharon is a social butterfly, wants crowds of people all day, every day, around her. She wasn’t taking this serious. I finally told her, as did my husband, either keep your butt at home to avoid bringing the virus home to the complex, or forget about us spending any time with you — you will have no one. Sharon has been keeping her butt at home, or shopping with one of us on a weekly outing.

Step 3: Douchebag Trumpites! We have many douchebags in Florida. They love The Donald. They Drank The Kool-aid! It’s a hoax!! Nobody is telling me what I can and can’t do.  They’re violating my rights as a citizen….(fill in the blanks from douchebags’ mouth).

Beaches are closed to the public in Pinellas County and many other counties in Florida. But there’s an exception most people didn’t realize: It doesn’t apply to the douchebags that jump over barricades. They think it’s a joke when the sheriff kicks them off the beach. They go back the next day to a different location. Does sheltering at home work? Only if you have a brain. One tenant in our condos is a muscle man, steroid idiot, whose dick is as big as his brain. He’s at the beach daily, jumping barricades to work out on equipment in our parks. Go back to NY, where you’re from, you ignorant pig!

Step 4: Trying to get unemployment in a state that doesn’t want to pay it. Florida has the lowest payments and fewest weeks available to collect in the nation. You lost your job? Too bad, take a flying jump off the Sky Bridge, be homeless, we don’t care, you’re not getting a dime in unemployment. At the end of March, I tried to apply for unemployment. It took me 5 days to get registered due to the system being overloaded. I was kicked out, retired out numerous times. Finally on the 5th day, there was success! Come back in 10 days to apply for your 1st week. 10 days later the website is defunct.

They’ve had every Tom, Dick, and Harry contacting the Governor about the shit website; he put a task force together. Many Florida Crackers don’t have internet, or a computer. They had to hand out paper applications and create a site that could be accessed by phones and tablets.

My 10 days are up, the website is defunct, and is now directing everyone to the new and improved site! How fun!! Back to the drawing board, you have to start from zero, creating a brand new claim. Today, I should have been requesting wages for the weeks I haven’t worked, not setting up a new claim…

I think they hope you just get fed up and commit suicide, rather than dealing with the assbackwards government.

Step 5: Finding Zen! I walk 5 miles a day 3-4 times a week. I am trying new recipes or making family favorites I haven’t made in sometime. I’m reading daily, luckily our club house has a small library in it. I’m binging on Netfix and Amazon Prime.  Go Tiger King!! I’m sheltering in place. I’m praying — daily, hourly, anytime I have anxiety knocking on my door. My son-in-law in Chicago has all the symptoms of COVID-19, and I pray for him, his family and for all of us that we see the rainbow after the storm, the light at the end of the tunnel — that we will experience some sort of normal once again.

* * * *

Again, save for some minor editing, this is Geanie’s story:

…in my particular situation, my COVID isolation actually began before COVID… so I need to start there.

On February 26, just a short time before we all began paying serious attention to COVID-19 and what was going to be expected of us, my husband passed away. I had just spent 3 weeks at his side, day and night, providing hospice care. From the very moment he was gone I had never felt aloneness of this depth before in my life. I also knew that after watching him slowly die knowing there was nothing I could do — I knew that I could not stay in the home we were renting. My first morning after losing him, as I left our bedroom to pass through the living room on my way to make coffee, all I saw was my sweet Roger still laying in the hospice bed, dying all over again. There was no way for me to stay there. There was no way for me to grieve properly and heal if I had to see that every time I walked into the living room. So I moved, immediately. 

I found a little apartment and within 4 days of losing my husband, I moved. What I didn’t realize was that I was the only tenant in this brand new apartment complex made up of 14 apartments. I also didn’t realize the apartments were in a cellphone dead zone. Looking back I understand why I didn’t know these things. It’s amazing that I was even able to function enough to actually pack and move as I did. But here I was, and still am, in a deafening silent concrete complex with no one else around. Of course I immediately ordered internet access so I could at least have noise from the TV and have access to at least have a way to stay in touch with family and friends. That took 2 full weeks. Those 2 weeks were maddening for me. For one, since I was in a cellphone dead zone, I had no choice but to always remain at the apartment so I could let the internet provider in for installation. They couldn’t call me to let me know. And neither could anyone else.

Imagine how happy and excited I was once it was installed. I wouldn’t have to stay in this concrete graveyard all the time anymore! I could spend time with my friends, my family, here. I could begin my grieving process, my healing process, with the help of others.

But, just as I was looking forward to moving forward, COVID-19 struck and we were told to isolate.

How could I grieve? How could I begin healing my soul? We all need others in our lives to help us get through the grief and help us heal. For the first time in my life, I was living in limbo. And now, in addition to having my heart lying at my feet in a million pieces, I was a prisoner to a virus.

I’ve not found a way to move on. I’ve not found a way to grieve. I know that if I were to allow myself to grieve in the midst of this isolation, in the midst of this fear of COVID-19, I’m afraid my tears and my fears will never end; that I may end up a basketcase. Why? Because grieving alone can be very harmful. Grieving alone is torturous. Human beings were built to be consoled. Here, all alone, in this concrete graveyard, isn’t consoling, it’s just a reminder, every moment of every day, of just how alone I am without my husband.

Am I coping? Sure, I’m coping. I’m coping by putting every emotion, every tear, aside. I’m waiting for my time to come, my time to grieve, my time to move on. It’s not now.

I spend my time keeping up with all that is going on in the US via television. I keep up with all that is going on here at Lakeside with my friends and others via Facebook. Oh, how I appreciate those posts that bring a little smile to me! So many have reached out to me, checking on me, offering their love and support. I do so appreciate that, too. But there is nothing that can replace an actual physical hug when you need one. So I’m warning all my friends….  Just as soon as is possible, you better be ready with those arms of yours, because I’m sure gonna use mine. And yes, I’ll cry.

I’m coping by remembering every single day that this is not what my sweet Roger wanted for me. I remember how he would support me and push me to be the best I can be. Sitting and drowning myself in sorrow would be so easy right now, but I know that is not the woman my husband knew, not the woman my husband loved. And to be less than how he thought of me would be an insult to the great love we shared for 20 years.

I’m coping by not coping. I’m coping by leaving myself in limbo. I’m coping by knowing that as each silent, isolated, lonely day goes by, I’m one more day closer to the end of this nightmare. Every night when I go to bed, I am thankful that the day is over; only because I know I’m one day closer.

And every morning I have just one thing I do to try to start the day out right. It may not last, but at least I try every morning. I sing to my little Boo. Boo is my dog. He’s a little Pekingese. Here’s what I sing:

🎼Momma’s 🎵little Boo Bear,🎶Boo Bear, Boo Bear. 🎶Momma’s 🎵little Boo Bear, I 🎶love you, Yes🎵I do, I really🎶love you.

And I give him an awesome belly rub and body massage. It starts both our days out right.

That’s how I cope. By starting the day out right and ending it happy that another day of this nightmare is over. What happens in between the two, well, is very hard. But I will just keep coping, in limbo, for now. My time will come and I want to be ready for it.

* * * *

Yeah, that was a bit of a tear-jerker, wasn’t it.

* * * *

Thank you to everyone that contributed something. Thank you to Denise and Geanie for stepping up to the plate and knocking one out of the fuckin’ park.

Until next time, stay calm, stay sane, and stay safe.

Blogger Vance

I went golfing for the first time in a decade the other day. After I had to take three swings at my ball before I finally hit it on the first tee, I knew why I could take a ten year hiatus from the game and not miss it in the least, which is probably going to sound a little weird because I love the game of golf.

There are a few of reasons why I decided to play golf again. First of all, I have an endless amount of time on my hands now that I’m retired. I have a set of golf clubs, and I already confessed my love of the game.

Most of my irons were my dad’s at one time. I bought his old clubs after he had custom made clubs built. My woods used to belong to Don Nelson. He sold them to me when he upgraded to metal woods. My woods are actually made of wood, not metal. I’ve never liked the sound a metal wood makes when it hits a ball. And I have a random assortment of clubs that I bought at Goodwill for a couple bucks a piece.

One of my former golfing buddies said he had one club in his bag that cost more than all of my clubs combined, plus the clothes I was wearing, and if I ever beat him, he’d beat me to death with his very expensive club.

Given my level of play, I doubt I was ever close to that type of death.

Another reason I took up golf again is there are no bowling alleys in Mexico, not that I’m an avid bowler. There are basically two types of bowlers, the kind who have their own balls and shoes and stuff, and the kind who don’t. Most of the latter probably love bowling. The remainder go bowling in lieu of committing suicide.

I think I’ll kill myself…  Well, I guess I could go bowling…

I probably fall into that spectrum when it comes to bowling.

Golf, on the other hand, is something I love doing even though I suck at it.

* * * *

Golf is a good walk spoiled. Mark Twain may or may not have said that about golf. And for me, the quote has no bearing on my game. I ride in golf cart. Unlike many people who play the game, I’m not interested in exercise or fitness. A guy named Merle Williams is credited with inventing the modern, motorized the golf cart, and all I have to say to Merle is, Thank you!

After some of my drives, I don’t need a cart to transport myself ten feet to hit my ball again. Other times, I need an ATV or a bulldozer, not a cart, to get to my ball. Most of the time, I don’t even bother looking for those balls. I’ve gotten very skilled at taking a stroke and hitting another ball. I have hundreds of golf balls. I’m not afraid to lose one. Or ten. Or twenty.

The game of golf was invented by the Scots back in the 1400’s apparently because living under the repressive rule of the English just wasn’t frustrating enough. And like any sport, the rules of golf have been renovated and modified over the years, not that I’ve ever read them. I’m confident if I ever tried to play golf the way it was intended, I’d never play.

I am a mostly terrible golfer. I have about five good shots a game, and they’re rarely consecutive shots. I rarely play the fairway, but not by design. I think it’d be safe to say that nothing I do on the golf course is by design. When I hit the ball, the best I can do is hope it’ll go in the general direction I want it to. If there is a tree within one hundred yards of my ball, in any direction, I will probably hit it. If there’s a water hazard on the course, I will find it.

There are three skills essential to golf: driving, chipping and putting. I’ve never been very good at any of them. If I’m having decent drives, I can’t chip. And vice versa. My putting skills are somewhere in the abysmal range. I totally suck at putting.

You might then wonder why I play? I certainly do. And the answer to that is simple. It’s my dad’s fault.

My dad was an avid golfer, and he pretty much lived on the local courses around Little Falls. That’s why I started playing. Well, that, and the fact that I could drink beer and smoke cigarettes while I played. Those two things were really the only two things I liked about golf in the beginning.

* * * *

Rannulph Junuh: Now, the question on the table is how drunk is drunk enough? And the answer is that it’s all a matter of brain cells.
Hardy Greaves: Brain cells?

Rannulph Junuh: That’s right, Hardy. You see, every drink of liquor you take kills a thousand brain cells. Now, that doesn’t much matter ’cause we got billions more. And first the sadness cells die so you smile real big. And then the quiet cells go so you just say everything real loud for no reason at all. That’s okay because the stupid cells go next, so everything you say is real smart. And finally, come the memory cells. These are tough sons of bitches to kill.

* * * *

I’m not a great golfer, but I was once a great alcoholic, if that’s an achievement that can be considered great. Like any great alcoholic, I had a plethora of reasons why I drank, and like any haunted human, I had a closet full of ghosts and skeletons and traumas that could only be kept at bay by drinking them into oblivion.

In retrospect, my ghosts had the ​power to terrify me only because I gave them that power. If I only knew then what I know now…  I could tell Rannulph Junuh that it didn’t make any difference how much you drank, you could never kill those memories. Those sons of bitches never die.

* * * *

There was another reason why I decided to start playing golf. It was the only way I could talk to my dad. I wasn’t all that keen to talk to my dad when I was in my teens and twenties. We didn’t have that much in common. And then I married my lovely supermodel wife, and if we didn’t have anything else in common, we were both married men, so there was that.

And there was golf. Golf is a beautifully​ simple, frustratingly​ complex game. Much like bowling, you either love it or hate it. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground when it comes to golf.

I love golf. Golf courses are almost always scenic, green and serene. There might be some competition between players, but it’s essentially you, the course and your skills, or lack thereof, and that’s all. You don’t need anyone to set a screen for you. You don’t need anyone to block a defender.

I know my dad loved the game of golf, but I don’t know if he actually enjoyed playing golf. You wouldn’t know by playing with him. He was intense on the golf course. He rarely displayed that level of intensity anywhere else in his life.

For example, we were golfing at the Little Falls Country Club one summer weekend. My dad hit a shot he wasn’t pleased with, and then he hit the roof.

“Jee-sus Christ! Why in the hell did I ever I ever take up this goddamn game? Son of a bitch! I should take all of my clubs and throw them in the fuckin’ river!”

“Hey, dad. It’s just a game. Lighten up, man. Have a little fun.” I said. That’s more or less my philosophy about golf, among other things.

“Who the hell asked you? Shut the fuck up!”

Clearly, that wasn’t my dad’s philosophy, nor would he ever embrace that kind of attitude. Not when it came to golf anyway.

I played many rounds of golf with my dad. There was a time when I didn’t totally suck at golf, and I merely kind of sucked. I challenged my dad a couple of times, and almost beat him once. It wasn’t until age and poor health had taken away most of his skills that I actually had a lower score than him. But I hardly count that as a win.

On the day I almost beat my dad, I was playing the best round of golf I’d ever played, and my dad was playing one of his worst. I had a two stroke lead heading to the ninth tee.

My drive was right down the middle of the fairway. I had about one hundred yards to the green. All I had to do was chip my ball onto the green, and sink a putt. Even if I two putted the green, I’d still beat my dad. His tee shot was mediocre, and his  second shot landed in a sand trap. I could almost taste victory.

If that was a day that I had temporarily found my swing, I lost it when I tried to chip my ball onto the green. I hit that ball so fat. It didn’t float through the air and drop neatly onto the green. It tore off down the fairway about a foot off the ground, moving at the speed of light.

I knew it was wrong the moment I hit it. I turned to my lovely supermodel wife, and asked if she saw where my shot landed. I knew it wasn’t going to land anywhere near the green.

“It’s still rolling across the parking lot.” she replied. The parking lot was on the far side of the ninth green. “And it just rolled down the hill. That’s where the eighteenth green is, isn’t it?”

Yes. Yes it was. And that’s where my ball ended up, and any chance of ever beating my dad ended. My dad chipped out of the bunker and sank a long putt. I left my ball sitting on the eighteenth green, and shook my dad’s hand. And then we drank a lots of beer, laughed and talked about how I almost beat him.

Almost a decade ago, I golfed with my dad for the last time. He died the following year. I hadn’t been golfing since, and when I went golfing last week, I became acutely aware of his absence, and how much I missed my dad.

And then I hit a tree with one of my many errant shots, and I smiled. My dad would’ve gotten a kick out of that.

* * * *

I talked a lots about going golfing before I retired. People asked what I was going to do after I quit working, and I figured I’d need to do something. Golf seemed like the perfect retirement activity, and a lots of retired guys spend their time on the golf course. My dad did. If he could do it…  And I secretly kind of hoped if I spent enough time hitting a golf ball, I might actually get good at it someday, many years from now. I suppose that’s still theoretically possible.

There have been many movies made about golf. Caddy Shack. Hard to find anyone my age that doesn’t love that movie. There are so many great lines from that movie, and none of them have anything to do with golf, except one.

* * * *

Ty Webb: I’m going to give you a little advice. There’s a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball.

* * * *

Billy Madison. The only thing I like about that movie is the scene where Bob Barker beats the shit out of Adam Sandler. I don’t like Adam Sandler. Or his movies.

The Legend of Bagger Vance. My personal favorite golf movie. It’s a beautifully filmed Zen movie about golf, and the most important thing about being Zen isn’t whether you win or lose, just that you look cool in the attempt.

I am just about the coolest looking golfer you’ve ever seen, until I actually play golf. I have a beautifully smooth swing. You’d think I’d be a much better golfer than I am. I have no real idea what’s wrong with my golf game, other than almost everything. I lift my head, I don’t keep my shoulders square. If I do manage to accomplish those two things, I certainly don’t do either of them consistently. Perhaps, like unto Rannulph Junuh, I just need to find my my swing.

* * * *

Bagger Vance: What I’m talkin’ about is a game… A game that can’t be won, only played…
Rannulph Junuh: You don’t understand…
Bagger Vance: I don’t need to understand… Ain’t a soul on this entire earth ain’t got a burden to carry he don’t understand, you ain’t alone in that… But you been carryin’ this one long enough… Time to go on… lay it down…
Rannulph Junuh: I don’t know how…
Bagger Vance: You got a choice… You can stop… Or you can start…
Rannulph Junuh: Start?
Bagger Vance: Walkin’…
Rannulph Junuh: Where?
Bagger Vance: Right back to where you always been… and then stand there… Still… real still… And remember…
Rannulph Junuh: It’s too long ago…
Bagger Vance: Oh no sir, it was just a moment ago… Time for you to come on out the shadows Junuh… Time for you to choose…
Rannulph Junuh: I can’t…
Bagger Vance: Yes, you can… but you ain’t alone… I”m right here with ya… I’ve been here all along… Now play the game… Your game… The one that only you was meant to play… The one that was given to you when you come into this world… You ready?… Strike that ball, Junuh, don’t hold nothin’ back, give it everything… Now’s the time… Let yourself remember… Remember YOUR swing… That’s right, Junuh, settle yourself… Let’s go… Now is the time, Junuh…
* * * *

The movie is sort of about golf, but it’s mostly a movie about redemption and restoration. Being who I am, I’m pretty much a sucker for stories like that. In my case, I wish golf was an integral part of my recovery process. It might imply some sort of personal proficiency at the game. For that to be true, I most definitely would need a Bagger Vance in my back pocket.

If you didn’t read the book, Bagger Vance, and the story of his legend, are based on the Hindu epic and scriptural poem, the Bhagavad-Gita. In the epic, Bhagavan is the Supreme Personality who helps his follower, Arjuna, understand life.

In the movie, Bagger Vance is a caddy who appears in the middle of the night to help Rannulph Junuh find his golf swing again, right after Junuh agrees to play a golf tournament sponsored by his totally hot former girlfriend. And there was that whole World War I thing, too.

Before the war, Rannulph Junuh was a very good golfer living in Savannah, Georgia. He had a beautiful girlfriend, a life of privilege, and a future that could only be described as bright. After the war, he was a drunken gambler living on the fringes of society. He had no one in his life, and his future could only be described as bleak.

Bagger takes Mr Junuh under his wing for the price of five dollars, guaranteed, and what follows is one of the most beautiful movies ever made. For a caddy, Bagger rarely spoke about golf in golfing terms. He described the game in esoteric terms. “The rhythm of the game is just like the rhythm of life,” he says, and describes the game as one that “can’t be won, only played.”

For me, that is is an undisputed truth. For my dad, it would probably be the biggest crock of shit he’d ever heard. My dad played golf like he was landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day. Perhaps life was a battle for my dad. I don’t know if anything came easily to him. My dad became a very good golfer not by talent, but by determination, and a ridiculous amount of practice.

See? I told you we didn’t have much in common.

On the other hand, I’ve become the lackadaisical duffer that I am by not applying myself to master the game to any great degree, which I’m afraid is also the way I’ve lived most of my life. Almost everything I’ve ever done came easily to me. The biggest battles in my life were the ones I created.

When I first started playing golf, I was far more interested in keeping my beer cold on the course than I was in the game, and one of the most surreal experiences for me was golfing sober for the first time.

* * * *

Rannulph Junuh: I can win Adele… I can beat both of ’em… Look into my eyes and tell me what you see…
Adele Invergordon: Determination… Pure determination…
Rannulph Junuh: Panic, Adele… Pure panic… I’m eight strokes behind two of the greatest golfers in the sport, they’ve never blown a lead in their lives and I’m gonna win… Ya know why?
Adele Invergordon: Panic?
Rannulph Junuh: That’s right…

* * * *

I’m trying to think of one thing I did once I quit drinking that didn’t evoke a sense of panic inside me. I can’t think of any. Fear can certainly be a great motivator, but it’s hard to even breathe when you’re in panic mode.

Making any great change in your life can be a terrifying prospect, even if it’s a change for the better. And for many, the greatest hurdle to overcome is that fear, that overwhelming sense of panic you feel. Rebuilding your life requires a whole lots of hard work. It’s so much easier to maintain the status quo, however much it sucks, than it is to try something different.

* * * *

Bagger Vance: You wanna quit, Mr. Junuh? You know you can just go ahead and creep off somewhere, I’ll tell folk you took sick… Truth be told, ain’t nobody gonna really object… In fact, they’d probably be happy as bugs in a bake shop to see you pack up and go home…
Rannulph Junuh: You know I can’t quit.
Bagger Vance: I know… Just makin’ sure you know it too…

* * * *

Bagger Vance wasn’t around when I decided to quit drinking. Sobriety wasn’t an easy thing for me to achieve, and I had a major relapse just before I reached one year of sobriety. That had to have been one of the lowest points in my life, and that’s when I realized the full extent of what I was doing, and that it would be a lifelong task.

That’s when I had to make a decision. Was I going to see this through to the end, or would I quit trying and settle for a life I had nothing but loathing for.

Once I was able to see quitting wasn’t a viable option, my path suddenly became clear, and I felt at peace for possibly the first time in my life since I was seven years old.

I live an incredibly idyllic life now. I am truly at peace, and generally at one with the universe. I feel the rhythm of nature, and life, and I am content on level that I never would have dreamed was possible.

* * * *

Bagger Vance: Yep… Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing… Somethin’ we was born with… Somethin’ that’s ours and ours alone… Somethin’ that can’t be taught to ya or learned… Somethin’ that got to be remembered… Over time the world can rob us of that swing… It get buried inside us under all our wouldas and couldas and shouldas… Some folk even forget what their swing was like…

Put your eyes on Bobby Jones… Look at his practice swing, almost like he’s searchin’ for something… Then he finds it… Watch how he settle hisself right into the middle of it, feel that focus… He got a lot of shots he could choose from… Duffs and tops and skulls, there’s only ONE shot that’s in perfect harmony with the field… One shot that’s his authentic shot, and that shot is gonna choose him… There’s a perfect shot out there tryin’ to find each and every one of us… All we got to do is get ourselves out of its way, to let it choose us… Can’t see that flag as some dragon you got to slay… You got to look with soft eyes… See the place where the tides and the seasons and the turnin’ of the Earth, all come together… where everything that is, becomes one… You got to seek that place with your soul Junuh… Seek it with your hands, don’t think about it… Feel it… Your hands is wiser than your head ever gonna be… Now I can’t take you there Junuh… Just hopes I can help you find a way… Just you… that ball… that flag… and all you are…

* * * *

I’m not overly anxious about improving my golf skills. I figure I’ll get better if I play more often, and even if I don’t, it won’t be the end of the world. I’ll still love playing golf as much as I ever did. And the world will still be just as beautiful.

Perhaps it will happen this year. I’ll step up to my ball. The leaves in the trees will be dancing on the wind, and laughing​ in the sunshine. The birds will be singing, and then everything will grow quiet. And still.

I will see it, and know it, and there will be no mystery.

I will find my swing, and be the ball. And great things will happen.