Around the World in Eight Ways


Country invokes images of big belt buckles and even bigger hats.  Country is that place “over yonder”.  City folk sometimes don’t spend too much time in the country.  They have cows.


I’ve been to Vancouver, Canada.  Very metropolitan.  Very modern.  A unique blend of big city against the wilds of Mother Ocean and Mother Nature.   I was comfortable there, amongst family, like it was home.  It felt safe, familiar…even with the guy on the street yelling at me and my brother.  I was an English speaking foreigner in an English speaking country.


Tijuana.  Ensenada.  Baja California Sur.  Never in my life have I experienced the wretchedness of poverty and crime and apathy cohabitate with the serenity of a land filled with some of the most beautiful, generous and amazing people I’ve ever met.  The sun baked sands and tropical flavors.  A country mired in chaos.


It wasn’t until we had arrived in Germany that I understood the significance of the land beneath my feet.  And even then I was only a teenager, unable to grasp much of the history until years later.  In reflection.  A country in reflection.  Seeking an identity.  The most determined, prideful people I have met, but not boastful.  The Germans are a fun loving, jovial community.  They present a beautiful land that is clean and safe and full of promise.  I felt a sense of need at every turn.  Not urgent or desperate, but genuine and sincere.  A need to please and to serve.  A need to move on.  It was a glint in their eye they remember.  But they aren’t going to be defined by what was, but what will be.


The world is a new frontier.  Online.  The ideology of One World is being realized before our very eyes.  The lines are being blurred.  I’m lucky to have friends in Europe, Australia, Asia.  Far away, in lands I’ve never seen.  I have friends across the United States.  We are forming new bonds and relationships in a world where time is the only border to be crossed.


California.  The eighth largest economy in the world.  A country within a country.  Anyone who has traveled here will tell you that California is unlike any other state in the union.  Our food is different, our clothes are different, our attitude is different.  We are the true melting pot, the stir of civilizations and cultures in one kettle.  Like Rome, we are the mob, a mix of guile and excess on stage for the world to see.  Are you not entertained?  But like the origin of the name California is an enigma, so too are its people.  California is a microcosm of the world, an example of the very worst and the very best our collective societies offer.  A golden country, a self sustaining country much greater than the stars.


I often think of my brother.  And how proud of him I am.  He is a former US Army soldier.  Wore a uniform with our flag on his arm.  A symbol that he would give his life to protect mine.  But not just my life.  The lives of millions he doesn’t know.  His country…


United.  Not always in our thoughts or actions, but always in our hearts.  Always.  Like siblings we antagonize each other in the back seat of the car, willing ourselves onto the other in hopes of change.  Or at the very least a comical meltdown or reaction.  It is in our nature, the very core of our being to challenge the status quo.  To rise up to one man and take what was rightfully ours.  Freedom.  But that nature gets the better of us, and we lose sight of its power.  We abuse its power.  Like siblings in the back seat of the car.  We are still young as a Union, teenagers really, caught within the web of awkward moments and confusing emotions.  Siblings.  But like siblings who fight amongst themselves, we are fiercely loyal to each other.  To the flag.  Old Glory.  And like siblings who get picked on by another, we’ll stand up and defend our siblings without question or concern.  To defend our own.   United We Stand.


13 thoughts on “Around the World in Eight Ways”

  1. WOW. Just WOW. You always get to me with your words – so beautiful. You sir definitely were born to be a writer! 🙂 I’m so glad I found you! (thank you Mr. Exclamation Point)

  2. excellent, as always, makes me proud to be an American AND proud to be a supporter of your work!

    I love California, love the beauty of the mountains and the ocean…and of course, home of my favorite man-made place, Disneyland! I haven’t been to CA since 2008, but a trip next February for our 20th anniversary is in the works!

    1. Thanks for your comments! I haven’t been to Disneyland in over ten years. Sadly, it just costs too much for a family of four to go regularly. Growing up it was about $25 or less to get in, and so we’d spend a few days a year going. When you live this close you almost take it for granted. I’d LOVE to go again, it is an amazing place. And since I essentially grew up going there, it holds some pretty amazing memories as well. It is a special part of California, for sure.

      I hope you make it out here in February!!

  3. Again, bravo! I LOVE the way your mind works. Bringing up so many topics that I haven’t taken the time to stop & think about until now reading this blog & all of your other blogs.

    Love your take on the different definitions/descriptions of “country”. Each one unique in its own way all equal in their value.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts & giving me something to think about.

    1. You’re welcome. I mentioned in another comment how this post was actually unexpected. Funny, too, because the unexpected nature of THIS post led me to write the follow post “I Start with an Idea…”.

      Creativity has a way of fostering creativity. This is a perfect example of why I LOVE writing so much, because I can sit down with a simple thought and watch it bloom and become something amazing. I’m glad you are with me on the journey, my friend.


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