pieces of eight

The lady with the best pair of legs you can imagine, Just a Girl in short shorts, has tagged me with the pieces of eight meme. It’s been a while since I’ve done a meme, so I thought I’d give this one a go.
Rules: Each person posts the rules before their list, then they list 8 things about themselves. At the end of the post, that person tags and links to 8 other people; then visits those people’s sites and comments, letting them know that they have been tagged, and to come read the post, so they know what they have to do.

1. If I thought that I were making
Answer to one that might return to view
The world, this flame should evermore cease shaking.

But since from this abyss, if I hear true,
None ever came alive, I have no fear
Of infamy, but give thee answer due.

Dante’s Inferno (Canto XXVII, lines 61 – 66)
2. My archetypal behavior is that of the jester and the magician. On the one hand, I am an advocate of enjoying the process of life. Life is just too damn short to do otherwise. Jesters are famous for inviting everyone out to play and showing them how they can turn their work, interactions with others, and the most mundane tasks imaginable into fun. On the downside we jesters are prone to laziness and dissipation. The magician in me has it’s fair share of the stage constantly in search of the metaphysical answers to the Universe. While we have the power to transform peoples’ lives and make visions reality, we can, if not kept in check, use this influence over people in a manipulative way.

3. I sometimes miss being a combat infantryman. My days as an infantry platoon leader where pure and elemental. Living constantly with life and death decisions has a way of making you appreciate the finer points of living…of being alive. General Lee once remarked that it was good that war is so terrible, least we should grow fond of it. Where once I was wild and tame-less, I am now sedated and long to be roaming the wilds.

4. My preferred way to live is to never stop exploring. William Blake wrote that in the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors. It is these doors that I seek to find. I believe that knowledge is a worthy enough goal to pursue for its own sake. I believe that peace is found through letting go, leaving the mind free to wander and to wonder and to accept life as a gift.
Peace to me does not mean tranquility. It means freedom, a freedom to live in accord with one’s own understanding. To be set free from those who would attempt to control my mind with rules and regulations that are designed to keep me in slavery, to make me conform, to destroy my soul and become one of the walking dead. I refuse to accept this. My fate is my own

5. I am basically a happy-go-lucky kind of guy who according to my wife is insane. I prefer to think I am one of the mad ones Jack Kerouac wrote about: “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes awww!”

6. I was born in Newark, New Jersey back in 1968. We lived there for most of my early childhood. My dad was a Navy man so we didn’t stay there long. From birth to about age sixteen, we lived in various cities and towns throughout New Jersey. We lived in Newark, Irvington, Plainfield, and Eatontown. My mom and pop split when I was sixteen. Mom loaded us up in the Lincoln and we moved to Augusta, Georgia. I hated Augusta. I split as soon as could.

7. Books. I have always loved books from a very early age I fell in love with books. I love to read them. I love to look at them. I love to hold them in my hands. I love to be surrounded by them. As a kid, the library was my sanctuary. During summer holidays, I would walk the 8 miles to the library on Post and spend the whole day there wandering amongst the stacks. The subject matter was not important. I could be found anywhere in the stacks, from botany to physics, to poetry and history. I spend a lot of time in bookstores now. I can spend hours in these mega-bookshops drinking coffee and wandering the stacks and inevitably spending a small fortune. Books are like stray pets to me. I see one and I want to take it home with me.

8. I love the open road. I don’t even have to have a particular destination in my mind. Just the simple fact of being on the road going somewhere is enough for me. One of my favourite travel passions is to wander around big city streets like a ghost or a man with no name. It’s funny because one of my fears about dying is that I will die in obscurity. And yet, when I wander city streets it the very fact that I am anonymous that makes the streets exciting. I could happily give up all my possessions and walk the earth like Kane.

I am now required to tag 8 pirates: Christine’s Notes, Beaman’s World, Exskindiver, Secrete Agent Artist, CathyK, Anndi’s Luggage, Lady Banana, Serenity Unearthed.


  1. CathyK June 14, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    #6…We could have been neighbors. I was born in 1968 and moved to Plainfield NJ in 1972.
    I lived there until 1984. Some of my family is still there.

  2. Beaman June 14, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Thanks for the tag, I will do something with it in the next week or so.

    I enjoyed reading the bits about you. Your life reminds me of a good American friend I know in Berlin. He was in the army, lived in many places in the US and has a similar attitude to life. Around the same age as you too. 🙂

  3. Clay Lowe June 14, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    Hi Cath,

    The world is not is big as we imagine…we could have been playmates on the playground or passed each other in the supermarket…who knew our paths would cross 38 years later in cyberspace?


  4. Clay Lowe June 14, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    I’m looking forward to learning some more about you beaman.


  5. chesca (exskindiver) June 15, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    i have come to collect my pieces of eight.
    will deliver them next week.
    have a great weekend.
    i enjoyed reading eight things about you.


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