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There is a song from the 80’s entitled “TOO MUCH TIME ON MY HANDS’ by Styx that could be sung today about me. Time to think deep thoughts. Time to reminisce, time to regret the hurts I’ve inflicted or received. Time, too, to count the blessings I received but was much too ignorant to see. Oh, how Ecclesiastes 3 of me.

I have a love/hate relationship with reading and the time I give to it and the time it takes from me. Most of what I read is fiction. It was once called Pulp Fiction (not the move Girtie)

Girtie from Perry Mason

Private Eye drama, police procedural. The stuff that on the surface seems a waste of a 64 year old mans time, well, maybe, maybe not. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Thanks Bill. Billy could write and definitely made use to the time he had on his hands and he did it all with out Google!!!

Bill, you know who

For me, it’s all about the characters, even over plot. Not a lot of new plots, the cemeteries pretty full. My taste runs to meaningful human experiences, and along the way, clothed in the reality of fiction, there is a damn good story. I read authors that not only tell a great story, but can bring the humanness, frailness, frankness, the vulnerability’ as well as the strengths of a persons soul to me, the reader/seeker, from within the story, and, in doing so, bring an enlightenment of a sorts, the seeker who never leaves his reading chair.

There are books by a few authors, when read and done, I will not give up to Half Price Books, or, the county jail library. These authors are small prophets to me. They write words that I underline or bookmark by folding whole pages for the intense meaningfulness of a phrase, a page or an entire chapter, there is something there that is full of insight. I want to hold onto to those words and the emotions they bring me. Words appear to be such little things, but when strung together in just such a way, they make mountains of significance and lead me to truths that live way down deep inside of me.

I find myself re-reading several of these author’s and there series-type books. To me these guys and their books are genuinely enlightening entertainment. I suppose I could have just said that in the beginning of this mess, still, entertainment with a message is too small a statement for what these writer/artist really do for me. I am the seeker who does not leave his reading chair.

There once was a time I entertained the idea of being a writer, (oh so brazen and brave to admit such folly) but beyond writing a song, my talent at writing is microscopic. (there as well, lately). I am not a story teller, I am not an essayist, I am just a guy with a lot of soul, and too much time on my hands, or just enough. This piece attests to that, but damn it Jim, I’m having a good time, a purpose of sorts here, don’t bust my chops.

hard to play underwater

In my reading I seek to experience that which describes the human condition beyond my four walls. I seek to know without the physical/personal investment of danger or reality of the frailty, the futility, the fierceness as in the inhumanness of man to man in Gulag by Solzhenitsyn. There is the Falkneresqe of James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux, the grit and humor of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser (as in the English poet) and the magnetism of my local hero, John Sanford and his Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers characters.

These are the top picks that I have time to list just now, because me, with too much time on my hands, suddenly find that I have not enough time to continue to play here. Before I go—here is a paragraph that touches a reminiscence within me that I recently re-read written by Robert B. Parker in a book entitled Paper Doll….

‘One of the many things about Susan was that she never made conversation. When she asked a question she was interested in the answer. Her curiosity was always genuine, and always engendering. When you got through talking with her you usually knew more about the subject than when you started. Even if was your own subject.’ I love the woman Parker describes—
Susan, a mans everywoman.

There are reasons and memories I have for enjoying that one particular paragraph. There are many of those scenes in Parker’s tales, because, he is a romantic, and because I am one too, but not a writer with the talent to write to the depths of my own feelings, let alone those of others, I, by osmosis or something like that, vicariously get to touch my life’s trueness by reading, by thinking, by falling into the depth of thought within the stillness that follows the experience of reading such writers words. Their words do so much to me and for me on a soul level. Does anybody get this Gertie?
OMG, I’ve forgotten to mention Ed McBain; a pox on my spell checker!!!

Yes, there are times when there is too much time on my hands. Time to ponder and pound on keys and harness feelings and realities that live within me. Then, there are times when there is no time is a short sort of sense. There are distractions. there are buttons to push to stop the distractions where courage is needed to hit ‘reject’ when we are infected with ‘accept.’

Now ‘too much time on my hands’ has run it’s chorus (sic) a plenty. I must dash to do the mundane and attack the to-do’s on a list magnetically (not magically) held to the fridge. Forgive me my love, but my belief is that I am better for taking this time to do this, to write about what I read and what I feel. It’s ok to nurture oneself. If the nurturing a person has need of must come from with in, then go in and get it, wholeness, wellness, fullness and completeness. Because here it comes, the time when there will be no more time. And when no-more time comes, I want no regrets for failing to do with my life’s time the best I could with what God has given me.
Today, I took the time to live.
not the end……….