“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

I guess I will have to ask for your forgiveness and apologize for that rant in the last post. I’m myself and again and once more have full and sole retention of my cognitive faculties. I’m a very passionate person. I’ve got my own goals and aspirations as well as problems and challenges. But pain, as I so eloquently put it in the last post, can be a bitch. That’s what makes torture so long-lived.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu

I’m still in the same predicament, only the agonizing, debilitating pain has become less pronounced. A good analogy might be that I’ve been thrown back into my prison cell after cruel attempts to “get me to talk”. I’m still limited in my mobility and have to really concentrate on taking it easy for a bit longer. So I try not to go anywhere unless I absolutely have to. All this past week, I left the house twice. I think I shall go visit my pals at B&C Camera and talk photography and gear with some of the regulars. It’ll be good to see Joe and the crew again. Outside of that, I’ll root myself again in my computer chair and bed.

“The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” – Rudyard Kipling

But this is still all for the best. I had this surgery because I hated dealing with the aching pain and weakness that interfered with my ability to live life to the fullest. I talked about this last April in a post, describing how I had met with a doctor who felt he could refer me to an Orthopedist with some answers to get me back on the trails and to eventually start up on the Appalachian Trail. So now, I’m at least getting started on that fix. I’ve had the surgery. Now I just need to let it heal. Plans are in place to take me abroad later this year, which will be the first of many quests that I set out on, not to “find myself”, but rather just to start living life to the fullest. That may mean different things to different people. For me, it means to experience other cultures and see new lands. As a kid, I hardly ever left a 200 mile circumference from my home in East Texas. I used to wonder what might lie beyond in other countries and relied on the TV and World Book Encyclopedia to show me. As good as those sources were, I learned from my military travels that they just didn’t do it justice.

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

My first military tour of duty was Germany. Spend 18 years with 200 miles of one place in Texas and then you find yourself on the far side of the Atlantic. It was glorious. I don’t recall exactly what church it was, but I remember looking at a building in either Mainz or Frankfurt that I could recall from pictures from school studies. And now, I was standing in front of it looking at it in full LIFE. Being a photographer now, my desire to see more things in full life has taken its toll on my future agendas. Everything I do now is in preparation for that. I hope to become a better photographer and also one who is more fulfilled in his work. Those of you who can’t, won’t, or don’t believe you too can do this can live vicariously through me. I’ll be blogging and posting pics of my experiences and escapades. I can’t wait. Its what keeps me going while I am incarcerated waiting to heal fully.