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Thinking of Life and Love and the Man from Tennessee


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Dear Friends and Lovers everywhere,

I had a delightful conversation with these two good people from Tennessee a summer or two ago while I was living in St. Augustine.   Or was it Kentucky?  (I have difficulty remembering which is which.)  They were sitting on the curb behind the Village Inn.  The conversation began with a polite suggestion to the dude that he not throw his cigarette butts on the ground.  (Actually, I don’t think you call a young man from Tennessee a dude, do you?)  I care for the planet that supports my every step and I try my best to show respect and reverence to her and gently persuade others to do the same.

As a writer, I’m always interested in people’s stories. I sat on the curb with them and the conversation quickly became up close and personal.  They told me a bit of their stories.  About their work and school and families.  The young lady was still in high school.  They were thinking about getting married.  I was  impressed with these kids.  Down to earth folks.  

Valentine’s Day’s coming up.  Another day when we’re persuaded to spend money to show our love.  But here we’re just exploring  the question ~ What is love?

So, what is LOVE?  The other day, we heard what St. Paul had to say, and we’ll return to look at that further next time.   

There’s all kinds of love, you know.  There’s romance that is the kind that pervades the soaps, the news stand magazines.  There’s erotic love.  There’s brotherly (or sisterly) love, the love of friends, neighborly love.  And there’s sacrificial love.  There’s conditional and unconditional love.  There’s love that isn’t love at all.

But here’s a practical suggestion I want to make today so that you can make your own meaning.

At day’s end, reflect on the positive things — even the tiny little things in a chaotic, insane day.  Where was the LOVE?  Where was the LIFE?

Take a moment.  Reflect on your day.  Pick two incidents, however fleeting, however small that you might have missed at the time.  Savor them for a moment as you get ready for bed.  Those are the moments where love or even God has touched you.  Be ready to receive into your life and your heart the little moments of LIFE and LOVE that do happen even in the midst of the most terrible day.  

It is not the destination that’s important; life and love happen on the way.

God bless you, my two young friends from Tennessee (or Kentucky). It was an honor and a joy to talk with you.  I think of you, even a couple of years later. Maybe you’re married now ~ to each other or to someone else.  but I hope you finished high school.  Have a wonderful life — both of you and each of you.

Before you go, dear reader, if you’ve got a ramblin’/ boy in your life or in your soul,  here’s Dave Loggin’s famous song about the Man from Tennessee with beautiful images to carry your soul away, if just for a moment on love’s nostalgia and grace.  Have a great day!  Be sure to turn up your speakers and enter full screen. 

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

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