When I was 16, Halley’s Comet appeared in the night sky in 1986. Yes, I’m 50 and I do remember this event. I have always been a space geek, so I thought this was a cool thing to see. I drove out into the desert and sat and looked up at the night sky with a pair of binoculars and just watched this bright thing in the night sky. I could not understand what I was looking at, all I knew is that all the other space geeks were excited about this, so I should be too.
This, for many people, is a once in a lifetime experience to see such an event. During my lifetime I had seen many events that filled me with joy and that drove me to tears. I got to watch the Space Shuttle not only launch, but I walked under the wing when it drove down the street from Plant 42 to Edward’s AFB when I was a kid. When I was a freshmen in high school, I was late for school when a TV announcer came on the air and told us all that the Space Shuttle Challenger had just blown up. I do remember going to school and sitting in class. I don’t know how I looked, but the teacher asked me if I was okay. Then the announcement came on over the intercom and we all started to cry.
I can remember when President Reagan got shot in 1980, I was in the 4th grade. Our class went into another classroom and watched as TV announcer after TV announcer came on the air describing how President Reagan was shot and then how he will be okay. I also remember getting board and playing some game with a friend of mine. Hey, I was 9, my attention span was not that long.
I can remember when MT. St. Helens blew up and watching it over and over in awe. For me, it was the coolest thing I had ever seen at the time. The way the side of the mountain just slid away and then, boom, the explosion that happened after was massive. When my father told me that a mountain close to where I lived, Tehachapi, was a long dormant volcano, I got scared. Then he explained to what dormant mint and I was better. I still keep an eye on Tehachapi, ya never know.
I can tell you about my experiences during and after 9-11, but I won’t. That wound will remain closed for now. I may get into it later. I will say this, it changed not only the United States, but the world.
My little sister was born in 1980, ten years after I was born, she is a force to be reckoned with now and was back then. I remember holding her and thinking now small she was. She was and is a beautiful person. We had our disagreements, much like I did with my older brother and sister. But, one thing that always stuck with me is how much she use to look up to me, no matter how much of an asshole I was to her. Oh, don’t get this innocent little sister vision in your head. She gave as much as she took. She was a little shit too. Now we laugh about it.
I can remember my first time seeing the Grand Canyon and thinking how small I was compared to the power of nature and her forces. I still think that way. I remember standing on top of Half Dome and looking out on to Yosemite Valley and just staring, my mind not registering what I was looking at, it was so magnificent. I climbed to the top of the glacier in Glacier National Park, and stood in front of Gen. Sherman’s Tree in Sequoia National Park. Both those memories are etched into my mind.
There is so much beauty in this world that it’s hard to see it sometimes when you’re down in the mud of life, slogging away trying to make it out in one piece. When my mind goes to the ‘dark side’, I hold on to these memories like a man holding onto a lifeline after falling overboard in a raging sea. Do I suffer from depression, sometimes, but not always.
The reason why I’m writing this is because today is just one of those days that I wanted to write a blog but I had no idea what I want to write. I turned on the TV and on one of the science channels, there as a show about comets. It got me thinking. The first recorded evidence of Halley’s Comet was in 467 bc. Our understanding of comets in general had pulled us back from thinking that they are the harbinger of doom to just another space travers much like we all are on this planet.
All this leads up to my one experience in life that is my motivation to put on foot in front of the next, my freak’n book. My own once in a lifetime event happened not so long ago when I finished a book and published it. I know, big buildup, but hang on, lets see how it ends. My younger sister keeps telling me that one day my book will be a best seller. I love her and I hope she is right. I worked hard on this book, it took years to bring it to life. I love my characters. I love how my editor, Jamie, steered me in the right direction to make this book one I could be proud of. I know that my blogs maybe filled with misspelled words and bad sentence structure, but I love to do blog and I love to write. That’s also me, I’m flawed, and I’ve accepted this aspect of myself.
My book, on the other hand, is not full of misspelled words and terrible sentence structure. Jamie and I worked hard on this. I wanted my once in a lifetime feat, writing and publishing my first book, to be something special. Is it the Gen. Sherman Tree, most likely not to most people, but to someone, it may be. I want someone to smile when they read my bad jokes in the book. (Listen, I’m funny!) I want to be scared, happy, sad, angry, and mostly inspired by my book. I don’t know if my book can do that, I just hope that it will someday.
Thank you reading my blog,