I have spent a great deal of my lifetime attempting to be the person that those around me have thought I should be. I have played the game and have performed the dance for far too long. Not everything is woe and for want. I have two beautiful children who are making their own way in society and live virtuous lives. They are kind, caring and talented in their music. My daughter is recording even tonight. I am so proud of them both. I have always made an honest living. I provided for my family by giving my best efforts to my customers and providing solid proven solutions to their needs. I have a solid reputation in my business community. Not too long ago I suffered a stroke that did damage to my brain on my left side. This has been a struggle to create a new life, one of patience with myself and one of determination to get better. Now, in my new state of being, I am a gardener. I teach sustainable solutions to home gardeners and landscapers. I teach hydroponic systems for vegetables and cooking herbs. I give in ways that I can and I help others by encouragement and by being a study partner in college. I'm 52, and back in school. Learning has helped provoke my brain to rewrite how to learn, how to remember and how to speak clearly. But, now, I look at the "who" that I had been and see that in some ways I remained in a very defined rut of ritual and rehearsed compassion. For as much as I thought of myself as giving I fear that I may indeed have been giving to those that I could easily relate to. As long you fit my preconceived ideals I could be your help. As I learn to relearn I am forced to go back and start in some areas anew. Mostly, this is in relation to my faith. As I rebuild what I used to know I find that it no longer fits. Those neat compartments of my thought no longer will accept that which I held blindly. I must ask myself, "why, do I think this way?" Too many times the answer is because "I have always thought this way." I never once considered my programming. I never once considered what I truly thought about that which I was taught since birth. I never questioned but more importantly I never looked behind the curtain to see who was pulling the levers. I can no longer say, "if you do not think like me ..... then you are wrong". The music has stopped. The dance has come to an end. Elvis, has left the building, and it's time to move on. Here I am, broken, in spirit, soul and body. I'd make some reference to a phoenix rising from the ashes but in truth that would be nonsensical. I'm far too tired to rise. I'm a good man, an honest man. I find beauty in everyone, and am slowed enough to see the beauty in what's around me. I give because it is in this motion that I am most fulfilled. I'll just sit here in this corner. I hope you will stop by so we can talk.