Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A life well-lived. 9/22/2010

I am sitting at my computer listening to accompanied by Skooter alternately snoring and passing gas. The only difference between us is the snoring.

In the past 24 hours I have I started and discarded half a dozen writings, not really committing to any of them. As this blank Microsoft Word page stares back at me while I wait for the combination of an energy drink and Vicodin to inspire me, I realized what I must write about today.

I just passed my fifty-eighth birthday with as little fanfare as the previous fifty-seven. It is depressing to do the math as to how many more of these events I can expect. I am not sure why I should be so inclined as I have wasted so much of my life doing nothing of consequence. I sometimes believe it is a curse being blessed with innate intelligence that has not translated into success, through my own lack of ambition and imagination. Don’t worry, in spite of my self-loathing, that is not what I am writing about. At least not today.

I am going to use this page to celebrate; who I think is one of the most amazing people who has ever blessed this cruel and beautiful planet. You have heard of this person, but unless you are a fan, as I am, you probably don’t know his whole story. I am sure I am leaving some things out, but I will give you enough information to make you say “wow.” Any of these accomplishments would fill a life for many:

World Class Athlete: Appeared in Sports Illustrated's "Faces In The Crowd" for his achievements in collegiate rugby union, football, boxing, and track and field.

Phi Beta Kappa, graduating BA, summa cum laude in Literature.

Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford, Bachelor of Philosophy in English Literature.

Army Officer, Helicopter Pilot, Ranger.

Offered and declined the position as a professor of English Literature at West Point.

Grammy Award Winning Singer/Songwriter – wrote some of the most beloved songs of all time.

Golden Globe nominated actor. Appearing in nearly 100 films.

Posed for Playgirl magazine.

In addition to these accomplishments, he somehow found the time to drink a bottle and a half of Jack Daniels daily until he quit in 1976 (no easy feat on either account), date Janis Joplin, Barbara Streisand, Carly Simon, marry 3 times, and father 8 children (no whiskey dick there) .

At this point, the more astute of you know that I am talking about Kris Kristofferson. He is now 74 years old and has led a full life for several men.

You would assume that discussing this amazing person would inspire me to action and get my own life re-energized. You would think that. Nope, I am going to join Skooter for a nap. Kris made me very tired.


Anonymous said...

Just saw Kris here, north of Toronto, in Orillia, in Gordon Lightfoot's hometown.Fabulous two hours of just Kris, his guitar and harmonica..sublime..
He's got it all.

even at 74 Kris could wear me out if he so desired....


Lena said...

He also stole and married his best friends (Leon Russell) girl, Rita Coolidge. He did it right from under neither his nose. But he is pretty amazing!

myrtle beached whale said...

Yes, even after Leon wrote the song "Delta Lady" about her. He is also one of three guys rumored to be the subject of Carly Simon's song, "You're So Vain." He once said it couldn't have been about him because he flew helicopters, not Lear jets.

Anonymous said...

Rick I loved this!!! And oh, by the way Happy Birthday, birthday Twin....cheezy huh! Kris K, who knew. I have always marveled at what some have done in their life with nonchalance, but accomplished so much. But I think it is fair to say the if you really noted your travels, experiences and accomplishments you might find that you have quite a laundry list too. I full on understand about the age thing...sometimes I find it hard that there is a 53 year old woman starring back at me from the mirror and I feel very unfulfilled. Oh well...I guess I am the only one that could ever make that story different. Take care co

orionsbow said...

Well, OK, WOW. Not knowing YOUR full story, I can't speak with complete conviction, but I would imagine that YOU are no ordinary man, having fathered three remarkable children and spent a number of years in a frequently dangerous military position that brought you to within arm's length of some of the most deadly weapons on the planet. Compared to MY life, yours has been surreal.

Kris was never one of my favorite artists but I liked his easy going style and thoughtful writing. He played characters with whom I did not know how to identify...usually misunderstood, mostly self absorbed, dark, brooding, nihilistic, in my opinion. He was great in Payback and the Blade series. I always seemed to think that he was depressed about something, he never seemed very happy to me. That's just him I suppose. I never had any idea he was such an accomplished person though. He is truly a renaissance man in his own right and I will tend to view him differently now. Thank you. Incredible piece.

myrtle beached whale said...

Mike, I am not being falsely modest. I don't do a freaking thing most days. It is a pattern of non-participation in life that I have perfected. The things you mentioned are true but they are in the distant past. The current Rick would be homeless, hanging out in Chapin Park, were it not for his military pension.

orionsbow said...

I tend to think that, were it not for some saving grace put into place by someone else, through no effort of my own, I would be in the same boat, bailing with all my might. I'm right there with ya.

Carolina Blogging said...

Hi. Greeting from Columbia, SC. I hope you are well. Carolina Blogging is a statewide luncheon that will be Oct 23. We'd like you to attend as we feel you are definitely as Carolina Blogger. If you are interested, please let me know asap and I will send you more information.

KB said...

Love the pic of Skooter. What a fun packed life Kris has had. Surely he can't be 74?

Anonymous said...

But, can he write as well as you do? Does he spend time with his grandkids like you do? Don't cut yourself short. You are important to alot of people.

Go Figure said...

Whale: Since I have no military pension would you e-mail me some map quest directions to Chapin Park? (psst...also please e-mail me that laundromat photo)