I did the original draft of this post close to two weeks ago, but decided to hold off posting it for reasons that will become clear as we go through the new version below. I want to dedicate this post to those former high school classmates who were on my Facebook “friends” list with whom I have had an interesting exchange of comments in the last week. I’m not going to name names. There is no need for that because the relevant parties will know who I am talking about, if they happen to read this.
The whole thing started over a week ago when one of my friends called me Bernard instead of Bernhard. You would think that someone that I went to school with for six years and whose brother I considered my best friend would know my name. At least he did not call me Bernie, which is the name that most people called me back in high school. That is the name I absolutely hate. Even my mother really disliked people calling me Bernie. She often asked me why I put up with it. I explained that I had tried to get people to call me Bernhard when we first moved to Willow Grove, PA, and I started attending North Willow Grove elementary school. That was an exercise in futility. Back in those days I did not enjoy banging my head against the brick wall, so I gave up and resigned myself to being Bernie. I also swore to myself that the first chance I got I would change my name to something people would have a hard time screwing up.
Continue reading A Voice Crying in The Wilderness
In my previous post I mentioned that breaking up with Alice, my high school sweetheart, was the second worst day of my life. For those of you who know about my life a bit, obviously the worst day was the day my mother was killed in an automobile accident in January 1966. I talked quite a bit about that day on other posts, so I’m not going to spend any time on it today. What I want to talk about today is the third worst day in my life – the day my marriage to my second wife, Glenna, ended on a very ugly note.
My relationship with Glenna was rather unusual even for the 70s. We had an “open” marriage, that is, no required monogamy on either side. I reluctantly agreed to this condition for us to get married because I was so totally “bewitched” by Glenna. She truly was the most captivating woman I had ever met up to that point. What I did not realize until it was far too late was that what Glenna wanted out of life was far different from what I wanted. She wanted material security along with her freedom to do as she pleased, while I wanted a stable traditional marriage with lots of love, both physical and otherwise. Material security did not mean much to me then and it still doesn’t. My interests and passions are more, for the lack of a better word, spiritual than those of most people. By spiritual, I do not necessarily mean religious in the traditional sense. Rather, I am looking for something more mystical, more esoteric. I am looking not only for a physical union and a psychological union, which is pretty much the definition of a good traditional marriage. I am looking, and apparently have found, a soulmate: my present wife Elizabeth.
Continue reading Witchy Woman
There is something special about your first love. No matter how the relationship ends, you carry a torch for that person for the rest of your life. That is certainly true about my first love, Alice, who I met back in the summer of 1964. I had just finished my sophomore year in high school. She had just finished her freshman year at a different high school. We met at a district convention for Teenage Republicans of Pennsylvania, which was held at Valley Forge.
I really don’t remember how we actually met during that can convention. All I remember is spending most of the day with her. The reason I was at that convention was because I had been elected treasurer of the local TAR chapter. The guy who had just been elected its president was a friend of mine named Jack. He was a senior. He asked me if I wanted to go with him to the convention. I said sure. I really had nothing better to do that day. It turns out Alice had been dating one of the other members of my local club who did not go to the convention. His loss, my gain. 🙂
Continue reading Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me
Today is the last day of March in the year of our Lord 2016. That means it has been five years since I had my pulmonary edema/heart attack/kidney failure. I had one foot through the veil. Nothing like a close encounter with the Grim Reaper! It makes you appreciate all the things you have, even if think only have a little. I think my last post explains how much I really had to lose.
One of the results of my near-death experience was that I quit smoking altogether. Cold turkey! No messing around! Although it has been five years since I spent two weeks in the hospital, it has not been five years since I gave up smoking altogether. In the last month or so, I have gone back to smoking my pipe occasionally. That is the backsliding I am referring to in the title to this post.
I know I will get a fair amount of criticism for my apparent weakness of character, at least from some of the fundamentalists on the Internet. So be it! I am almost 69 years old and I am fully aware of the consequences that I face for going back to smoking. I believe the consequences of smoking my pipe occasionally will be minimal. Certainly nothing like the consequences of going back to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, which I did for about 50 years. I know my doctor will give me all kinds of crap, if he finds out, as will my cardiologist. But, it is my decision and no one else’s. I accept the consequences. That is what a real adult does. Make a decision and live with your decision and its consequences. Don’t go blaming God, Satan, the tobacco company, the Marlboro man or anyone else. If you choose to smoke, like I did to some extent still do, it is no one fault but your own.
Continue reading Backsliding Away
How do you define happiness? What makes you happy? Money? A big house? A big fancy car? Maybe a lucrative career? Or something else…
What makes me happy most of all is love. I need someone to love and I need to be loved. It seems I have been looking for love my whole life. Usually in the wrong places or with the wrong person. Before any of my ex-lovers get insulted, what I mean by wrong places is that there was nothing inherently wrong or evil with that person. It is just they were not what I needed and I was not what they needed. In situations like that, the best thing you can do is move on.
I have been married four times, divorced three times and have had several other non-binding relationships. Not that I consider marriage something nonbinding. Human relationships are not written in stone. God has nothing to do with our interpersonal relationships. We manage to screw those up all on our own. Lord knows, I’ve done it enough times in my life. Nothing to be proud of, but also nothing to beat myself up about either. Relationships come and relationships go. That is human nature or nurture, whichever you choose.
Continue reading Happiness is….
The past year has been very strange. First, my heart attack got me all nostalgic and doing a lot of reminiscing about my past. Then, a couple of months ago, I started hearing from people with whom I went to High School on my Facebook page. I had not really thought much about High School and the people from back then in over forty years. In some ways I guess was avoiding my past. Why?
I guess the reason is that the person that went to Upper Moreland High School back in the sixties is not really who I am anymore and have not been that person in a very, very long time. People back there knew me as Bernie, I now go by John because Bernie, to me, is totally inappropriate.
Bernie was shy, and very socially awkward. Also, he felt he was not liked by very many people. John, on the other hand, is quite gregarious and certainly not socially awkward. In fact, he’s been accused on numerous occasions of being somewhat arrogant. John is also quite outspoken, and that has gotten “worse” with age. Lol.
Hearing from all these “phantoms” from my past has been very emotionally ambivalent. I mean, I’m glad to hear from these people, but it has made me uncomfortable, probably because it’s been so long.
Because of all these trips down memory lane, I am seriously considering using this blog as a way to talk about my past. Given that I don’t know how long I have left in this life, I want to leave my “memoirs” for my children, at least. There is much about me they do not know. And this is the easiest way for me to tell them.
As title suggest, my Christian Heresiology Blog has moved to it’s own website. This new site is going to be much more than just a blog. However, the old blog is the core of the new site, to visit the new site, click here.
I am very happy to announce the release of my “new” blog, Christian Heresiology. I used the quotation mark around “new” because this blog is a, in large part, reworking of my old Threshing Floor blog. Christian Heresiology is a heretical look at the politics and Theology of Christian Heresy from the time of the Crucifixion up to and including the Protestant Reformation. I say heretical because, in my opinion, the accepted history of the battle between Orthodoxy and Heresy in Christianity has been written by the victors in that battle, and is, therefore, quite distorted in favor of the Orthodox viewpoint. I think it is time that a more balanced view of that history needs the light of day.
I hope those of you who have some interest in the subject will take a look at my offerings. Please feel free to offer your comments, the link to the new site is in the sidebar.
Two years is a long time to have been away. Although I still have issues with my eyesight that make reading and writing on my own impossible, my youngest son, Michael, has agreed to help me by being my eyes and my fingers. Hopefully this arrangement will make it possible for me to post once a week on a fairly regular basis.
Also, if I can find my old files for The Threshing Floor, I intend to revive it as well, here on WordPress. Looking forward to talking to you all again soon.