I am closer to college. I’ve been classified as a resident (getting the news via email today), have already been awarded my student financial aid, and my transcripts are en route from UH and UAM to UO. I’ve pleaded my case for my GPA (the last semester being less than desireable) in hopes that I will be admitted. I feel confident that I will be and I look forward to it.

I’ve also signed up for quarterly credit reports provided to me by Equifax for Capital One card holders. I’ve been able to see what my score is (just below fair) and the items that influence it. I’ve also sent another large stack of bills off to creditors. I am near caught up on everything and it could be that I will have a clear credit in a few months (save for the student loans). I want to fix my credit for several reasons, some long term such as buying a house someday (made easier due to my VA benefits thankfully), but in the short term my motivation is so that I will be approved for buying an Apple laptop with their financing plan. That is my immediate goal and I look to have one before the Summer.

Of the books that I have read tid-bits from here and there, “The Metaphysical Club” has been a joy and a dousing in historical perspective. What does it mean to us, modern men who watch football on t.v. before jumping in our 4 X 4 to cruise the dirt roads before hitting the night spots around town, to think about the Civil War which happened only a short 140 years ago? While sitting at the courthouse last week I could only gasp in disbelief and sadness at the numbers of casualties and accounts of battles during the Civil War. 4000 men dead in a battle? Hard to imagine. Our soldiers today, and the civilian populace, scream and wail horribly when the death toll reaches a dozen. It is all well and good, to say that one soldier’s life lost is one life too many. Yet soldiers are pawns and pawns are sacrificed and in the end we (they) are not cried for… or rather not cried for enough to quit the game, just cried for enough to remember. The most absurd thing I’ve ever heard in my life was during the end of Desert Storm to have Army psychologists brief us on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. What in the world had we seen to cause us such trauma? Burnt bodies? If this is such then we are a few generations behind in counseling our youth who see images such as this day in and day out on t.v., movie, games, and magazine. Since my departing the Marines I discovered psychology and began my training in such. The problem with much of psychology, as with everything else, is that it is filled with people intent on making a living instead of extending the curve of knowledge. I met an “expert” in PTSD in Houston and she was so quick to diagnose PTSD in many cases. We discussed PTSD and its existence but ours was not really a conversation on the characteristics of a theoretical disorder, but instead a debate on her usefulness and livelihood. If you have only a hammer, all the world’s problems are a nail.

I read a phrase out of the book that struck me as telling of those that I work with day to day (and most unfortunately… myself included much of the time). “Man is like any other organism, shaping himself to his environment so wholly that after he has taken the shape if you try to change it you alter his life”, as told to Einstein by Wendell Holmes. In the magazine “The Week” I read of the thousands of people who have died from leaping off of the Golden Gate Bridge. One of the few survivors told that the moment after jumping he realized that all of his problems were changeable… except having just jumped off of the bridge.

I have one great wish in my heart currently. It is true that I carry dreams with me, of going to college, of doing research, of spending more time in the wild, of writing, of owning a home, of opening a coffee shop… but one dream burns within me that I am near tempted to pray for if I had some notion of something to pray to. That wish is that Eliza find herself. It is my most honest belief that she is in an eliptical orbit from a truer self. That idea itself might warrant tomes of explanation, the question which is essentially at the core of many of my musings and readings (what is the self?). Yet however hard it might be to articulate to the satisfaction of poets and scientists a definition of the Self… it is my belief that Eliza needs to find her Self. That she needs, in Jungian terminology, progress along the road to individuation. It seems at times that she has the most curious expressions of shadow self. It is a reminder that the shadow self need not be the devil, but might indeed be an angel in wings.

I keep eyeing the Starbucks nearby, wondering if perhaps I could make near the money that I am making now working for them instead of the strip club industry. It is a cancer… no doubt about that.

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