It’s been 10 years since I wrote my first post for this Contoveros Blog and looking back I feel a little like Ken Burns, the producer of PBS specials on such things as war, music and other all-American things.
I started the Blog shortly after attending the funeral for my last surviving blood relative, Uncle Dominic Hagel, my mother’s brother who together with his wife – Aunt Frances – helped to raise me when sent from Philadelphia to Egg Harbor, NJ. My mother had postpartum depression after the birth and I was sent to my grandmother who shared her house with Uncle Dom.
Something clicked inside of me. I had just gotten help for PTSD from the Vietnam War and learned to meditate from a VA psychologist who taught veterans mindfulness meditation. I also finished a 6-week course of dream-journaling after reading about Carl Jung.
After meditating, I rose from the pew and stepped out as if I was going for Holy Communion. I walked backwards and studied the various statues. Each had a story to tell and I internalized that understanding and wanted to share my own story.
On my return home, I began to write about what I was taught in second grade as the “purpose of life.” That is “To Know, Love and Serve God,” according to the Baltimore Catechism. I wrote about all three.
In between I had a dream about Socrates and coupled it with what Jung called “active imagination.” I saw people in my life as Angels or Guides who directed me in my path to include my teenage mentor who taught me to sing Doo Wop harmony, my oldest brother who guided me into Officer’s Candidate School and eventual service in the Vietnam War, and a Scottish neighbor of my parents who suggested I study journalism when he heard I took printing courses in the high school trade school I attended.
I wrote about the war and PTSD, securing a not guilty verdict on my first jury trial and serving as a newspaper reporter covering Three Mile Island.
I shared my understanding of the Kabbalah and my journey to Jerusalem, my studies of WON Buddhism and my trip to South Korea and how I learned to dance a mean dervish whirl while learning about the Sufi and the Muslim.
My total count is now 881 posts, something I never imagined I would reach way back then. I made so many good friends from all over the world to include Russia, Great Britain, Iceland, Greece and Canada, not to mention my fellow countrymen and women.
It has been very therapeutic and enlightening particularly when receiving comments from readers who shared my view and added to the discussion.
I hope I can continue for another 10 years and use the old Al Jolson line “You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!”