≡ Menu

Life’s Lessons by Dirk

Life’s lessons are hardly fair. While we weren’t wealthy, we didn’t know any different. I was taught even back then that the BEST things in life cost nothing.

You can’t put a price on true friendships… lifelong friendships.

You can’t put a price on discovering the merits of life; on sharing and laughing, on helping lil old ladies across the street. No price can be put on how to tie that perfect fisherman’s knot, or earning that merit badge — together.

We didn’t recognize Raymond was black, that Taco was Mexican, that Cecilia was an albino, or that Terry was pretty. Oh well!

Instead, we all feasted together in the local orchards, on God’s finest menu: Fresh pears, ripe peaches , sweet almonds, and crisp walnuts. And then we could drink our fill of freshwater cold out of the creeks.

The boys and girls ran in mixed packs. We fished, explored every point of a compass –ten …even twenty… miles from home.

From 7ish to 14ish we were truly the lords of our realm. Then we discovered that the girls in the pack were very very much different.

That screwed everything up. Feeling, odd unusual feelings, parts in our pants growing will watching Terry walk in her bathing suit.

What an odd time in life. From best friends forever to hunted pursued hoping to share in the girls wonderfulness, god-given pleasure pots. Ruined everything.

Most are gone now, no idea if they grace this wonderful planet, or have moved passed eternally.

Age didn’t seem to solve those puzzles. Earlier this past summer we gathered at the swimming hole, for our annual swim, high sierras on the Yuba River. As we shared childhood stories, memories, rarely remembered by two or more of our set. Wwe talked of “The changing times” but mostly of the learning pains. How simple life was one minute, and just how fucking complicated it got after us boys discovered the girls and visa versa. Really mucked up the club, the crew, the set.

The two specific things we ALL agreed on is, “Life has been the lesson.” — and — “Nobody gets out alive”

We are all 65 to 70 now. Yet when I look at my friends it’s strange… I still see my friends as I did at 7 to 14 yrs old. I just don’t recognize our aged-limiting issues. It’s kinda like being Peter Pan. For real.

September 20, 2021, 3:25 PM

Edited (lightly) from a comment in Strange Daze: It’s all a freak show. Change my mind.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lance de Boyle September 20, 2021, 5:03 PM

    Intimations of Immortality
    By William Wordsworth

    There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
    The earth, and every common sight
    To me did seem
    Apparelled in celestial light,
    The glory and the freshness of a dream.
    It is not now as it hath been of yore –
    Turn wheresoe’er I may,
    By night or day,
    The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

    Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
    The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
    Hath had elsewhere its setting
    And cometh from afar;
    Not in entire forgetfulness,
    And not in utter nakedness,
    But trailing clouds of glory do we come
    From God, who is our home:
    Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
    Shades of the prison-house begin to close
    Upon the growing Boy,

    O joy! that in our embers
    Is something that doth live,
    That Nature yet remembers
    What was so fugitive!
    The thought of our past years in me doth breed
    Perpetual benediction: not indeed
    For that which is most worthy to be blest,
    Delight and liberty, the simple creed
    Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,
    With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast: –

    Then, sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
    And let the young lambs bound
    As to the tabor’s sound!
    We, in thought, will join your throng
    Ye that pipe and ye that play,
    Ye that through your hearts today
    Feel the gladness of the May!
    What though the radiance which was once so bright
    Be now for ever taken from my sight,
    Though nothing can bring back the hour
    Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
    We will grieve not, rather find
    Strength in what remains behind;
    In the primal sympathy
    Which having been must ever be;
    In the soothing thoughts that spring
    Out of human suffering;
    In the faith that looks through death,
    In years that bring the philosophic mind.

    Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
    Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
    To me the meanest flower that blows can give
    Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

  • Mike Austin September 20, 2021, 5:15 PM

    Dirk has life lessons because he has lived a full life with eyes wide open. He is in his 60s now. Many men at that age know things: things sublime, things hidden, things glorious, things beautiful, things not.

    All of which must one day be presented to Christ.

    I would ask Dirk to say a good word about me then. I will need all the help I can get.

  • Casey Klahn September 21, 2021, 12:30 AM

    My compliments!

  • Amy September 21, 2021, 10:15 AM

    Like F. Scott Fitzgerald noted long before the Boomer Infestation, every generation think it invented sex and nostalgia.

    • Dirk September 21, 2021, 5:41 PM

      Hi Amy, wanted to go on record I didn’t write this with the intent of having it posted. I’m amused by your observation of invented sex, and nostalgia, I would love to here, my story, only from a girls prospective. Would “ for me, be educational”.

      How about considering “ How” from any of the gals here on AD.


    • Mike Austin September 22, 2021, 12:28 AM

      Fitzgerald was a notorious alcoholic and cuckold. His crazy-as-a-bag-of-cats wife Zelda slept with dozens of men while married to him. Fitzgerald never learned how to handle money. He attempted suicide and was often confined in hospitals. He would wander the streets in his later years asking complete strangers if they knew him or had read “The Great Gatsby”. What a guy!

      His friend Mencken said of Fitzgerald, “F. Scott Fitzgerald has become distressing. He is boozing in a wild manner and has become a nuisance. His wife, Zelda, who has been insane for years…” And so on.

      He died at 46, hardly at an age that gives much weight to social commentary.

      Thanks Amy, but I prefer Dirk’s mature reflections on life to Fitzgerald’s bizarre and whimsical alcoholic haze.