Reflections of Life,
Past, Present and Future

by

James Strauss

Reflecting on the outrageous fortune that has smiled down upon me with all of its travel, pain, depression, elation, danger, adventure and total lack of believability.  For a time I tried to have credibility until I discovered that my own credibility was without meaning.  The meaning of life has nothing to do with credibility or believing in anything.  It has to do with longing and thought leading to the satisfaction of a mission in pursuit and a need to understand rather than  to be understood.

I came to outwardly express my feelings and thoughts so as to constantly remain actively in search at my core.  From my core to the outside world.  From my core to the Solar system and galaxy.  From my core to the universe and finally, from my core to your core.  This site is about your core and what you might be able to take from my own.

Enjoy my reflections and share yours here. Comment freely on the posts. May we grow together on this strange journey

A Pen in Hand, a Gift of Value,

June 10, 2017 Funny how the  simple gift of a pen can inspire. The motivation to go on. Do you sometimes go in actual search of that...  Or merely sit or lay and wait for that? Let go and let it be a God kind of thing? While I was doing a bit of that, the mail came. I...

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Is the Enemy Everywhere…?

Dateline March 31, 2017 Lake Geneva, Wisconsin For some reason I cannot write well this night. I am working on another segment of the Vietnam odyssey, Thirty Days Has September,  but came to the river in the bottom of that valley and then lost my way. Not then, but...

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IN GOD’S WAY

Walking along on a street called Ke Nui in Hawaii, I found myself lost on this back road in a developed area on a small island where it’s almost impossible to get lost. But there I was. My cell would not work, and I was getting tired of walking around in shower shoes, things not meant for hiking long distances.

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Coming in From the Cold

How does one who comes in from the cold (that's what spies used to call coming home from a mission) explain to fellow Americans that they live in a perpetual state of blissful euphoria punctuated by bouts of fake fear? How does one, who's ridden the trails, bitten the...

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FAKE NEWS

Why the mass media broadcasts tons of 'fake news' and is not held accountable simply because there is no one to hold them accountable. Donald Trump has come closest to being a force to hold them accountable because of the fact that he has tweeted outside the...

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THE KING

Here's a direct quote from the two leaders of the current republican party in a communique meant to go out to the entire nation: “Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the...

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CHRISTMAS

Appreciation and reflection. That's Christmas for those who have a body of life experience and some measure of intellect. Thinking about it all. Life itself, the meaning of existence and, in particular, our place in the social order we've fashioned for ourself or that...

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BURNING BRIDGES

There are a lot of people mad at me, and some filled with disdain, because I write on here from the heart about what I believe, and it is not what they believe, and others who are simply afraid that I will complicate my life with needless enemies and those seeking my...

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THE BROWNING 410

What happened in this last election was a bit of manipulation and a whole lot of anger. And it's all about the Browning 410 shotgun that my friend in Washington keeps in his back closet. My friend is a great artist who doesn't know he's a great artist, which is great...

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THE PORSCHE

I helped a guy in Hawaii once. I was helping him run his little bitty but very upscale auto repair shop. He worked on cars I loved, like Ferrari and Porsche. I worked for free and I didn't even have a car. This guy was a seemingly great expressive and entertaining guy...

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A WHITER SHADE OF PALE

"We skipped the light fandango, turned cartwheels across the floor....I was feeling kind of seasick, and the crowd called out for more...." I have taken the election results harder than anyone in my extended family, anyone I know at work and even in my favorite coffee...

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CARRY ON

I can't sleep so well and amazingly my appetite is down like I'm on some special diet. I'm sort of a mix inside of a bit of fear, anxiety and broken hope.......but the main element of strangeness is a feeling inside my very center of instability. I lost something in...

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PETER WILSON

Peter Wilson, a local attorney and a friend of mine, died in his sleep last night. He had a magnificently bold but weak heart. He was also one of those very rare humans in that he thought I was a better person and much greater than I really am…..

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SHAVED LEMURS

The Supreme Court. Why the House of Representatives, resisting efforts to appoint anyone to fill the vacant U.S. Supreme Court role, has little to do with partisan politics. Say what? Everything is the opposite of what they are saying…..

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THE ELECTION and the Cubs

Election and the Chicago Cubs It is Sunday night, which means that we only have a week and a day of this election cycle to go. Can we hack it? What will be the next scandal or investigation, tape or audio recording? Whom will come forth to be famous or to be the...

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HIERONYMUS

Hieronymus Six a.m. comes early in Duluth, Minnesota,  when February, the coldest month of a cold winter, begins. It was the first and it was a Saturday morning. I lived in a four story home built by some important person many years earlier. There’d been enough time...

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ALPHA

Back when I had to get up in the morning. Now I get up in the morning because I can’t even remember what it was that I got out of sleeping in.
Back then my brilliant wife was in control of the stereo, a stereo capable of blowing anyone and anything out of our small one story home

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WITHOUT BARS

There will be no getting together. Of all social fears that exist on the planet, for cultural leaders, people getting together is their greatest fear. Today, with the advent of such magnificent electronic media inventions…..

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Chemical Theory

The hall outside the St. Norbert Chemistry Department classroom door saw a lot of traffic. The dark, near ebony, wood and solid stone floor that ran the length of the narrow passage exuded age and class. Student’s passing all did so in silence, carrying piles of...

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Monsignor

Fifth grade at Sacred Heart Academy in Duluth, Minnesota wasn’t much different than other Catholic Elementary Schools of its time, except for its location high atop a hill above one of the coldest developed areas in the United States. Other places in Minnesota might...

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“Thank the Living Christ”

They hadn’t told me that I was going to make it yet, when my brother came by to visit on his way home. We’d been hit only two weeks apart. The telegram came to me about his injuries, dropped in by a supply chopper late in the day on a place called Ganoi Island in Vietnam…..

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Ajinomoto

Ajinomoto To be stuck in Hawaii without any money was a horrible thing for any kid, particularly three white Haole kids, coming from a military family and living in a downtown local area on the fringe of downtown Waikiki. Kapuhulu was what the district was called. I...

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Observations of a Global Nature

Dateline: Lake Geneva, WI August 20, 2016 The Olympics are tailing down...... I will miss them. I absolutely love the shots, few as they've been of the aerial scenes of that city. Rio is stunning in location. I did't know, before these games, that the Brazilians were...

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Starfish Prime, 1962

The July of 1962, on Oahu, was oppressive in more ways than I, and my friends atop Diamond Head, could count. The Sundays came and went, Sunday being the only day of the week that our parents would let us run off and climb the crater wall above Fort Ruger…….

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It’s Only Captain Crunch…….

“The cat’s name is Pushkin,” the eight-year-old said. “He’s named after a great Russian who did something a long time ago.” The boy stroked the Russian Blue between his ears, as the cat leaned his head down to pick away at his Fancy Feast…..

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Back Dive… the 2016 Olympics Effect?

BACK DIVE...1960 With all of the focus on Olympics 2016 in Rio de Janeiro the past weeks my memory banks are rejuvenated. I reached the pinnacle of one meter diving in 1960, as a graduating sophomore at Thornton Fractional North Township High School in South Chicago....

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Paris, late 1990’s

I hate Paris. Oh, not the restaurants, the food vendors on the streets or the Louvre. Even the Eiffel Tower and the river are pretty terrific, when it’s not raining or foggy or any of that other French stuff.  No, I hate Paris because of how shitty the airport is, how...

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Coming Home, 1965

The 1965 pledge class of the ADG Fraternity at St. Norbert College rejected a young man because of a disagreement the fraternity had regarding a pyramid scheme it was conducting all over the campus. In order to prove his point, that the fraternity was doing something federally illegal….

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Flowers in Your Hair………..

"Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair......." Publishing a local weekly newspaper offers me the opportunity to write and Opinion/Editorial each week. Most  focus on very current events and we all know 2015 and 2016 have provided tons of editorial and opinion...

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