|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
1. I am a believer in the never ending process of learning. In that cause I would like to put out an invitation to poets living in the Ventura, California area. Wednesday nights, for the next five weeks, at 7 PM in Ventura at the Vita Art Center, 432 North Ventura Avenue, there will be an ongoing poetry workshop. This is a great opportunity to sharpen your craft and gather with other writers in the pursuit of excellence.
REMEMBER YOU'RE HUMAN.
IT'S UP TO YOU TO VALUE YOUR DOWN TIME. ESPECIALLY WHEN OTHERS DEFEND IT.
Here we are on the Memorial Day weekend. For a lot of people, it's just a three day weekend. For others, it's a somber day of remembrance. I fall into the second category. Having served for a number of years in the U.S. military, today has a stronger significance for me than barbecues and sales. It's a time to remember some whom I've lost touch with and others I've lost. It's also a time to Rest and Recuperate, those two R's that can mean so much.
So, thanks to the federal government and a day job in civil service, I have the luxury to take part in something I figure I earned anyway, a little down time. What has that meant? Well, a trip to The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens on Saturday for one thing. Yesterday was also the monthly meeting of the Oxnard Bonsai Club, which is an affiliate of the Oxnard Buddhist Temple. This garnered an invitation by one of the members to come by today and take a look at a stunning collection of plants, both in its scope and number.
Today was also groceries day. (Hey, body and soul operate better as a cohesive unit!) A trip to the library in the early afternoon was followed by a little reading and then some time piddling around with my own modest collection of bonsai trees.
Tomorrow will be some time spent with my wonderful wife in our gardens and taking care of the never ending housework. As much as I'd like to hire it out, I haven't hit the Power Ball yet. But that's okay, one of the things that has helped maintain a marriage for over thirty-three years is the sharing of the drudgery.
Amongst all that, I find myself stopping from time to time, accosted by a memory I thought had been lost forever. Men, and some women, much younger and vitally alive, proud in their service to their nation. We all shared hardship and heartache, good times and bad. Some of them were brought much closer by the possibility of death, and some, who paid that price at far too young an age, I try never to forget.
So, whether it's a day off or a day to remember, take just a moment to know, somewhere in the world, right now, some young man or woman is standing his or her shift so we might Rest and Recuperate in peace.
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis