Something Else…

Nature 1

It is so difficult to live in the moment. More and more we seem to be bombarded by conflicting stimuli that are unwarranted and often not wanted. All around us are the distractions of traffic when we are driving, drug commercials when we watch television, the interruptions of phone calls and text messages, and extraneous noise so constant that we become almost numb to its presence.

Nature 3

Of course, some people are so accustomed to constant “noise” that they cannot do without it, as though it were some kind of heartbeat without which life would lose all meaning. The illusion of being “connected” to other people via cellphones and texting constantly is a symptom of our growing addiction to ever more stimulation resulting in a terrible unexpressed fear of quiet moments of seeming inactivity, when perhaps we may feel entombed and alone. Also, because we are assaulted as never before by frequent images on television of slaughter or its aftermath from terrorist attacks and occurrences of domestic killing, we cannot always bear the silence of looking inward to process such horrors. Ultimately we are afraid of death itself, the final silence that comes to us all.

Nature 4

Many of us are healed by those moments in nature when we feel part of creation itself. There is something about the special silence in nature, in sounds of breaking ocean waves, the buzzing of bees, the whisper of a breeze, the flutter of birds’ wings, the music of their songs, the crunch underfoot of autumn leaves, or the color and fragrance of flowers that gives us humans a different perspective on our place in the grander scheme of things, a scheme of which we are only a small part.

Nature 5

Because so many of us live in a world that is both loud and intrusive in so many ways and getting louder all the time, we need as individuals and in groups too those quiet times away from the hustle bustle of modern life. Retreat through meditation, communing with nature, expression of gratitude through prayer, and escape occasionally from electronics that can otherwise turn us into unfeeling automatons can, I believe, heal wounds of which we are not always even aware.

Nature 6

The “something else” which we have forgotten in contemporary life, because it does not have a button to push or knob to turn in order to activate it, is already inside us. It is a something that can be turned on only by, at least once in a while, turning off the machine-ridden world around us.   JB

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About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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