Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I Dream of Being and Discovering Who I Really Am

     When I was in the fourth grade I wanted to be a Catholic priest, or an architect, or a dentist.  I spent 4 years in a Catholic seminary and decided that I need to be a different kind of father. And I learned many things
     During the Viet Nam war, I learned to stand up to fear. I led an anti-war demonstration on my second tour in Viet Nam as our ship returned to fight in Viet Nam. 
     When I returned from the Viet Nam war, I attended Long Beach City College and earned my AA in art. And then I pursued my previous dream and attended the University of New Mexico where I earned my degree in architecture. I was an architect for 30 years. I designed the country’s largest sleep laboratory at the VA in Long Beach. I designed courtrooms, judge’s chambers, dining facilities, office buildings and more.
     I never really dreamed of being a writer, although my first declared major was English. I wanted to tell my Viet Nam story to my sister-in-law, (she has a degree in English) and have her write a book.
     What I have learned in following my dreams is that when reality hits, dreams change. When you have a family to provide for, when your children get sick, and when they die, your dream changes. Your world view changes. And new dreams are born.
     I never dreamed that I would become a public speaker and advocate for organ donation. I used to be terrified of speaking in front of people. I never imagined that my message could compel grown men to cry.
     I never dreamed that I would follow in my great grandfather’s footsteps and become a shaman. I still have so much to learn. What I have learned is that I can’t say, “Oh that can’t be real!” Our world “vibrates” on so many frequencies. We have far more power and potential than what we have told ourselves.
     My dream is to be grateful for all of my experiences, for they have all played their part in helping me evolve into the person I am today. My dream is to write well and often, while following the advice of Clam Spirit: put a pearl in every chapter.
     I had my DNA analyzed and discovered that my ancestors are far more diverse than I thought. I have a dream to travel to all the countries where I have ancestors. I’ve been to Senegal. I’ve been to Western Siberia, and the Far East: Japan, Korean, China, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Thailand and Singapore. I’ve been to Germany and France. I need to go to Spain, Italy, Greece, North Africa, Ireland.
     I circumnavigated the globe when I was a sailor aboard the USS Trippe. I wrote Viet Nam Body Count about my first three months in Viet Nam about that ship.  When we got kicked out of Viet Nam, we I sailed all around the world.
     I want to find out what Native American tribes my ancestors are from and learn what I can about those specific tribes.  I know that my Native ancestor come from New Mexico. I was born there and whenever I visit, my body is happy.
     Each year, I strive to do something new, something I haven’t done, and learn something new. 
     Each year I want to contribute in some way to the betterment of Mother Earth and her children. 
     Every day, I dream of being a blessing.

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