Sunday, June 22, 2008


“Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature, and in such things as these, experiment is the best test of such consistency.”

Michael Faraday, English physicist and chemist
(diary, 19 March 1849; Faraday's Diary (1934 ed.) vol. 5)

I can imagine no more beautiful words than those “Nothing is too wonderful to be true” uttered by Michael Faraday, long ago. For, if there is ever to be a defining creed for an Idealist … ‘twould certainly be this. Is this not the “carrot” that tantalizes me forward, one step following another, in my life. Following that “just beyond this” that might just be a better way of saying what my Heart senses. Reaching for that “perhaps I can illustrate it with greater clarity” that draws me to an ever-expanding library of Dictionaries and Thesauruses of several languages. Opening my Self to the vulnerabilities and potentials for misunderstandings and missteps that must accompany blazing new trails into new and uncharted worlds of revealing personal Emotions and Feelings. Thus is my moment-by-moment life as an Idealist/Romantic. I could no more live otherwise than a fish can scale mountains. (No pun intended. [smile])

And the one standard … the single common denominator that I adhere to … is Consistency. This is my life-line. That I be consistent in motive and intent … in my Heart’s focus and “compass-set.” To be steadfast and true to the leadings of my Spirits inner whisperings. This, and only this, I have complete control over. I can never guarantee my acceptance as “Right.” Nor will I permit my Self to be crippled by fears that I will be judged “Wrong” by any element of my World. For, those judgments and estimations are the exclusive purview of each individual or group of like-minded parties who weigh me on their individual sets of measures and expectations. Judgments and Opinions are things that (whilst they do bring with them their incumbent bruises, as well as smiles) are outside the narrow focus of my desire to deepen and enrichen the life experiences of those touched by my passing. I can only be, and am determined to consistently be, true to the “Who I Am” of my created Person. So, I am becoming more and more comfortable with this business of “consistency.”

And I was glad for that reality when, just this morning, I encountered one of my favorite people of my life-walk’s experience. Tony Jonaitis was my Teacher in high School back in 1962. He, more than any other individual in my life, touched, inspired, and encouraged me to be who I am today. So, when I saw him in the restaurant today, I walked up behind him … leaned my arm against his back … and waited the brief moment for his recognition. And the recognition, and spontaneity of a joyful reunion was lovely.

How sweet to be with him again! We exchanged pleasantries … fondnesses … and current event updates. Then, with him having issued an invitation (bordering on and insistence) for me to come pay a visit after his return from a trip to Massachusetts (to do some construction work on his son’s home [at age seventy nine, still, and-always, the 'man who gets things done']), three weeks hence, (he and I live less than five minutes from each other now.) And, as he made his way toward the door, I spoke up in a louder voice, “Hey, Tony … I sure do love You. Please don’t forget to give my love to your Bride.” Whereupon he waved and said, “Yeah, Brown, me too!” (he has never been comfortable with those demonstrations of emotion or feelings ... but has ALWAYS appreciated them.) And he was gone.

Consistence! The young fellow who works as one of the Assistant Managers of the restaurant watched and listened through all of this. The staff at the check-out counter watched and listened to all of this. They saw. They heard. They reflected and compared … all of the times that I have voiced similar expressions and feelings to some of them. The times that I have told that young Assistant Manager … “Hey Casey, I love you man!” And they witnessed Consistency in my life.

They wondered who this man was. So I told them of my history with Tony. How he affected my life in my youth. How he issued the Charge that, even today, motivates my Soul, when he told our History class, “If … for the short while that You are on this tiny planet … You don’t leave it a better Place for your having been here … You will have wasted your Time.” How he is a model of Consistency. How our relationship has been, for decades, consistent. And I sensed a peaceful comfort in each of these young people who live lives that have little or no Consistency or Reliability present in them. They experienced a living sample of the beautiful weaving of individual lives into the Fabric of Life. They had some insight into one of the Influences that has shaped who this Fellow (known to them, for all of these years,
as John-Michael) into who he is.

There, before them, they saw, played out, a legitimately loving relationship between two men of different generations from each other … and certainly different generations from that of these young people. And in a world of turmoil and uncertainty, they knew, through the portrayal presented before them, of an ongoing Love and Respect that is, obviously, healthy, dynamic, and even … can you imagine! … Fun! I was so glad that I have lived a life of Consistency in front of these impressionable young people. And, after some recent bruises and pains earned in my efforts to Be consistently open and Loving, I am encouraged and joyful in today’s validation.


nitebyrd said...

Having a relationship that spans the years, whether friendship or deeper, is such a wonderful thing. It offers a stronghold in a chaotic world sometimes.

Hope you had a lovely Sunday, JM!

John-Michael said...

You just gave me a smile of anticipated reminiscences and reflections, that I would sincerely hope, that You and I will share, in the decades before us, my Dear NiteByrd. What a lovely consideration that is!

Made possible, of course, in the Truth that I love You.

lime said...

thank you for going against the grain of this culture...thanks to tony also...and demonstrating that it can be completely natural for two men to be openly expressive in their mutual affection and it is not weird or perverse or any other negative thing.

thanks to you both for being unashamedly yourselves.

Anonymous said...

And you John-Michael have definitely left an impression on this tiny planet you've occupied. Never to be forgotten by many. I may not be a realist/romantic but I do admire you BEing just as you are.

John-Michael said...

Oh, Lime, my darling Friend! If I could but tell you some of the stories of how Tony has always "cut across the grain" of this world. He and Joyce (his beautiful wife of many decades [also a dear Friend]) have each, individually, and the two together, cut a swath through all things conventional and usual. Annual trips to Europe on $5/per day plans.Joyce is recovering from a fall down a mountain in Colorado where she was competing in a down-hill skiing competition (they are both listed on the seniors rankings nationwide.) But her 54 massive bruises and countless abrasions and cuts have not slowed her guiding kayak tours on rivers in this part of the state. They are amazing people!

As You, my Darling zip-line artist, are! [smile]

John-Michael said...

How very kind, and generous, are your thoughts, my Gracious Anonymous Friend. I thank you for your encouragement.


lime said...

wow! i am in awe of this couple! they certainly are wringing out every drop of fun this life could have to offer!

John-Michael said...

Oh the tales that I could tell about them! How about rounding the corner of the neighborhood Wal-Mart to see Tony's Suburban (older mosel purchased [as they always have] used and at a bargain) parked next to a huge dumpster ... with Tony in the dumpster fishing out stainless steel shelving. "This stuff will be great in the locker room at Jesuit High School" (Where Tony has been the volunteer Trainer for the athletic program for many years [he was the trainer for the Baltimore Colts when they trained in Tampa ... pre-Bucs ... pre-Indianapolis Colts era]) "Do you know how much shelving like this costs?! This is a great find for the school!" That's Tony!

Suldog said...

So nice to be able to tell the people who made a difference that you appreciate them! Even nicer to have the guts to do so, which you do, in abundance, John-Michael. Good stuff!

John-Michael said...

I remember the first time that I 'reminded' Tony of that quote of him. He listened, then said, "I said that? ... Not bad!" (with a characteristic twinkle in his devilish eye.) You and Tony would thoroughly enjoy each other, Jim. He too, is full of, and aware of, life in all of its richness.

Love You, my Friend.

Just Joni said...

I find myself to be encouraged and joyful in YOUR validation...I am grateful for your consistency and like you, I find it to be an elemental lifeline I cling to for sake of character and inner peace...consistency says a lot about the value of truth we place in ourselves, yes? I'm thrilled that you had such a joyful reunion with a teacher who made an impression on you....together you were able to demonstrate what being real is all about...I like that.

John-Michael said...

'Twas a lovely moment for me, no doubt, Dear Joni. And I further enjoyed the question of one of the high-school age counter-workers who asked "I understand what he said to you, when you were his student. But what did that have to do with the History that he was supposed to be teaching you?" This gave me opportunity to speak to a mind that was willingly open to a lesson on how the Individuals studied in history class ... were being studied because each of them had, in fact, left their world somehow different, because of their being here. So, her question reinforced the message in Tony's words that I had just quoted. Made my day!

I am so pleased that my telling of it has meaning and relevance for You, as well, my Friend.

Lovingly ...

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