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March 28, 2006 [ More archived home pages here ]

Checking Extra Baggage

Today's song is, Come And Get These Memories by Martha And The Vandellas, released in 1963.

Recently, Sherry and I had a great dinner conversation at a local restaurant. We know each other so well, and yet sometimes we see something new in each other that we didn't know previously.

At times our eyes glistened from moisture as we recounted sad recollections of the years before we met. A few minutes later we laughed together about our own self images of those memories.

Like reviewing a shopping bag of leftover tokens of life, we at times need to remind ourselves from where we came, where we are now, and most importantly, where we are headed.

We sometimes know, after deep consideration, what we might have put into another's bag. We know how to help them deal with that stuff. It's called an apology, meant from the heart. While we can only offer apologies to another, that compassionate overture may be rejected, perhaps not even acknowledged by the person so addressed.

We know better who contributed to our baggage. There are items from our bag we will discard, keep a while longer for further consideration, or treasure forever. The more complete that bag was for the ensuing inspection, the better the determination process.

We all carry some amount of extra baggage. Often the content varies and yet, it documents the way be perceive ourselves at any particular point in time during our life's journey. Whoever filled that shopping bag, they decided what to put in there for us. They transferred ownership to us perhaps without perpetual conditions. We are entitled to do with what we rediscover as we wish.

I think Sherry and I have the right amount of baggage at this point in our life together. A great marriage allows the couple to adjust the proper amount between them from time-to-time. We have a great marriage and work to keep it so. :-)

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Last Friday I went and saw the new movie, Inside Man. I've admired Denzel Washington since I first saw him in the 1984 movie, A Soldier's Story. Spike Lee did a fine job directing Inside Man. Some parts of the movie were predictable for me, yet I was kept in suspense during the final scenes. This movie leaves no excess baggage behind.

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Last night I watched the PBS Special American Experience concerning the life of the Nobel prize winning American playwright, Eugene O'Neill. His greatest plays were based on his seemingly infinite supply of extra baggage. That two-hour presentation explained a great deal of O'Neill's tortured existence as he sought relief from the inner demons that dwelled with him. When he wrote, he exposed life in its most raw form, inspired by his own sense of self-pity and misery. Millions loved him for his works. He traded his private memories for public salvation. The Pulitzers and Nobel prize he earned were well deserved.

Don


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