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The Journal of Tony Whitaker

The Best Definition of Love
04/14/2007 08:34 a.m.

The greatest, most comprehensive definition of love comes from the Holy Bible in Paul's writings with his first letter to the Corinthians,I Corinthians 13:1-13:

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)

This is love....

I am currently Blessed
I am listening to Absolute Quiet

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What is This Thing Called Love
01/28/2007 08:21 a.m.

What is this thing called love? Is it really this noble attempt at undying commitment to another human being or a way to get sex on a steady basis? Well, for those unmarried folk out there, let’s set the story straight.

Let me tell you a story my father told me before I got married the first time:

“Son”, he said, put a glass jar on the dresser or the headboard of your bed. Every time the two of you “get it on” (that’s what they called it in the sixties and seventies) put a penny in that jar. Do this for a year from the date of your marriage. From that date on, every time you "get it on" take a penny out. Let me warn you now, you will never empty the jar. That’s marriage!”

That’s also the reason my father was quite the wayward sole when it came to the ladies, he liked filling that jar. But he always came back to mom. If she thought he had been with another woman, as sometimes he just liked to stay out with the boys and play cards and drink, she would threaten him. Now my mom’s threats, in hindsight, were really a bluff. But I saw butcher’s knives, frying pans, or just about anything that was handy she could try to use to threaten him. The only problem was, my father was fearless and he would just laugh. He was also quite the charmer and everything would be OK by the next morning.

Well, there were a couple of exceptions.

We lived in Memphis for a little over a year in ’70 & ’71 (where I actually graduated from high school). Well late one night, as I was sleeping, the night of the terror happened.

This was about eight months after our move to Memphis. I hear my mom charging through the front door madder than a Baptist at a Beerfest. I try to settle down when I hear the knock at the garage door. No, it was more like a pounding. I jump up and my mom shouts out to me “don’t you dare let him in!”But I hear my dad so I grab the door when all of a sudden I turn to see a hand iron coming at me. As I ducked it smashed through the window of the door striking dad harmlessly as it fell to the garage floor.

They yell at each other for about ten minutes when Memphis’ finest shows up. Mom runs out the front door yelling like a banshee at the officers to take my father away. After a few words with my father, in handcuffs, they did just that, and he was smiling that sheepish grin that both my daughter and I have today. I still remember wondering oddly in that moment, "who is going to fix that window?"

Let me give you some background for the next act. We were renting this house in Memphis since we were only there for an assignment. This lady, whose name I remember but won’t say was, our landlord.

So I asked mom what happened and she told me to sit down and she started, “I followed your father tonight night. I have had this feeling for sometime he was up to his old tricks. Where does he wind up, but at the house of our landlady (such and such). So I wait about ten minutes and then, mad as hell, I walk up to the front door and, at first, just listen. What I hear, and I hate that song to this day, is Gentle on My Mind by Glen Campbell (although I still like it, sorry mom). When I heard that, I kicked in the door (my mom was a country girl and strong as an ox), and there they were kissing on the sofa. So I first picked up a metal ashtray and threw it hitting your father knocking him back. Then I punched (such and such) right in the eye, knocking her down on her ass! I then turned around and came home. Then your father came home and this all happened".

“But”, I said, “Why did they arrest dad?”

“Well”, my mom was quite the clever woman, “I told them he had just shattered the window in the garage door, breaking in and then he threw me down. I also know your father, he took his medicine and said he did just that”.

That was their love-hate marriage. They loved each other as deeply as two humans can, but my father liked the company of women and he carried on that way until one day, as 42 years old he gave up drinking and carousing for good.

Four years later he died of a massive heart attack. Those were four of the happiest years of our family's lives. I was a mere 24 and I would give anything to ahve a few more laughs with him. To this day, my mother still talks of him as though he was the most wonderful man who ever lived. My father never hit my mom, but once, and he never did it again. He more often than not would just laugh and laugh whenever she got mad, only to make her even madder until she started laughing. So many times that happened. She hated it, but she loved it and we all miss him terribly. He was one of the most charming people you would ever meet. But I am glad I did grow up to be him although I do appreciate a woman with a sweet soul, a warm heart and at least somewhat nice looking. I guess I got part of my father's genes there. I also inherited a way to charm women as I do find them more fascinating than any of God's creatures.

I am currently Bemused
I am listening to the fireplace

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The Scream of the Butterfly
12/29/2006 08:03 a.m.
Sitting here at 3:00 am.

Do I ever enjoy this time of the morning.

The day I reserve for the world, including, but not limited to, my day job.

But the early morning has my creative juices flowing and the freedom to say or do or write what strikes me. It is also when I like to meditate. I learned TM (Transcendental Meditation) in 1975. The biggest thing it gave me is energy. I am always doing something and I attribute it to my daily routine of touching my subconscious, which TM allows. The stuff that comes up still amazes me. Try it, it may shock the #$%*&^ out of you!

Greater is He that is in me than is in all the world...

Happy New Year!
I am currently Calm
I am listening to Stillness of a cool crisp night

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Life is Good
12/28/2006 02:26 p.m.
Sitting here thinking of the how fortunate I have it. It took 52 years to get this far. I am sitting in the middle of a three week vacation and enjoying every minute of it. Writing and playing my guitars, visiting old friends and family, just doesn't get any better.

I have totally relandscaped the front yard. Today I will finish mulching in the last of the natural areas. It looks great. Now the house is ready to go on the market if we get the call to leave for Switzerland. In the old days I would have 'popped a top', you youngsters won't understand, or smoked a doob, now you will.

Anyway, life is good and it doesn't get any better than this and without escaping inside a bottle or weeds in paper! Life is Good!!! :)
I am currently Excited
I am listening to Brain Damage by the Floyd

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My Prayer to My Soul
12/23/2006 03:26 p.m.
Since I picked up playing my guitar again last year after many years of inactivity, started writing songs and now poetry I ask myself why?
Why have I taken so many years to realize what really guides me in the night.
Why have I not accepted the truth of my soul and left the materialism and the attainment of self-worth through self-centered means. My wife and I do many good things and we give a lot of money to charities, more than 95% of Americans as I understand it if you look at mere numbers. But that is so passive as compared to the giving of oneself.

Here I stand at 52 and I wonder why it took me so long, so long to face what is staring at me all these years - my true self. I love people. I find them fascinating. They break my heart and let me down but we are human and that is what we do and will continue to do, often without the knowing of it.

Lord, give me the strength to stay the course and keep focused on the giving and not the taking. My life is to make this a better place for my God, my family, my friends and then, and only then, myself.

Thank you for all you have given to me and my family. We have more money and "things" than we really need. I could retire today without worry, so let me live this life by giving to those who are not so fortunate.

Into your loving arms I commend my soul. Amen!
I am currently Reflective
I am listening to Merry Christmas Baby by Elvis Presley

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My cold is gone
12/22/2006 08:48 p.m.
For three days I was fighting this horrible cold. It really took the wind out of my sails (pardon the metaphor). At the same time, we had our front yard totally relandscaped. All the shrubs and perrenials, etc. were ripped out, after 22 years and me tired of looking at it.

The contractor did a great job getting them up and tilling the soil. But I wanted to save a couple of grand by planting the 100+ plants myself.

Then I started getting this scratchy throat. My friend, Hadley, takes me to get the plants at a wholesaler, since he has his nuresry license and I like saving money. We spend a couple of hours pulling these shrubs, bulbs and trees from the nursery beds.

They deliver all the plantsto our home that afternoon, Tuesday, and I was really starting to fill like crap. So out comes the Dayquil. Now that stuff jacks me up, I'll just be honest with you, I went to digging and planting like there was no tomorrow. But after an hour I had to go pass out on the couch.

So, for the next two days I would dig and plant for 30-45 minutes and rest fo 30-45 minutes while sweating and wondering if I would ever finish this job. If not for the Dayquil, forget about it, I would still by digginng and planting, with more rest than digging.

Well, I finally finished yesterday afternoon and it looks absolutely wonderful. My cold is gone and I feel great. Now there is a soft rain falling and all of our new plants are enjoying a good drench. All is right with the world.

I also finished wrapping my wife's presents today. I love to cook and do landscape work, but I hate, I mean hate wrapping presents. But that is another story...

Kick ya' shoes off, y'all come back now, ya' hear?
I am currently Bemused
I am listening to Absolute quiet

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12/20/2006 09:17 a.m.
I am an early bird. It is 4:15 am and sitting here writing. That's what I do. In the morning I feel at my best creatively. I am either wrting or playing my guitar while my wife sleeps.

But today I have a cold and the Nyquil is making it a bit difficult to concentrate. I tried to keep sleeping, but nooooooooooo, my mind says get up, so I get up. I learned a long time ago that when I am awake, that is it. Most people can just lay there and fall in and out of sleep, but I haven't since my Army Airborne training made me get up at 4:00 am every morning to run 3-4 miles.

But I will say this, the Nyquil does take your mind off the cold you have!
I am currently Trippy
I am listening to Absolute quiet

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