“Sanctuary For the Senses.”

The following are some excerpts from a autobiography I am writing about my life.

What caught my eye about this blog is the title. The title reflects the philosophy of Thomas Szasz in his book the "Myth of Mental Illness." To paraphrase Szasz people do not have to find ‘themselves’ they must create the ‘Self.’ I have a MA in Psychology and am a Vietnam veteran.

Part of my story is as follows:

Weekends I sometimes stay in a hotel near the ‘Fort Worth Botanic Gardens.’ The Gardens are described in brochures as a true “Sanctuary for the Senses.”

The park is located on 109 acres with 23 special gardens filled with native and exotic botanicals. Lush landscapes, meandering paths, and interesting sculptures provide a peaceful haven of escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I especially love the classic European design of the Rose Garden, with it’s vast variety of roses, and the Japanese Garden, with its koi-filled ponds, dramatic waterfalls, landscaped hillsides and precisely crafted stonework.

Somehow I view this garden as analogous to my past. A time when I was at first stationed in Japan and later assigned as instructor of students in Vietnam.  

I am a Vietnam vet, 63 years old now and I was tested once with my Vietnamese Ranger and Montagnard tribesmen students: tested with violent and bloody confrontations in the cities and deltas, the central highlands and mountains, and the rain forests of Vietnam.

Have my feelings about events and people changed over the years? I am not so sure they have. Deep down inside my soul, I know they have not. I always have the same feeling that I have to keep myself, my behavior, in check from my own past.

How someone feels is rarely right or wrong, unless they are lying. Even when lying they feel like maybe they are telling the truth. No, ‘you don’t feel like that you feel like this’ is a proposition difficult to logically express, even among the professionals.

When are your feelings wrong? When should you feel this way, not that way about love, life, people, or art? Feelings can be foolish, agreed? I never attempt to answer these questions for any person, other than myself. I want my friends and even just acquaintances to answer those questions for themselves.

Life deals you a hand and you have to ‘call or fold.’ Some people make the most of the hand they are dealt, many more do not.

I am still angry, in my pride-filled heart about the treatment given, by my nation, to its own returning Vietnam veterans. I am still angry about the betrayal of our Vietnamese allies and especially the betrayal of America's most loyal allies in Vietnam, the Montagnards.

This anger has not served me well. “A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if you deliver him, yet you must do it again.” Proverbs 19:19. And, I realize, at one and the same time, that as in Proverbs 16:1, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” I had destroyed much. My wrath, my pride, and my spirit had taken many blows and I had fallen from those blows. However, there is a Chinese proverb that says, “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”

I am grateful that I am not as deeply buried as my fallen brethren. My personal fall, my own destruction, had been short of death.

I am writing about my adventures or misadventures, a mirror of my life (50% fact and 50% fiction) in a novel with the working title of "Eyes of Redemption." I find writing very cathartic. I have posted part of this story on worthyofpublishing.com in the Romance section and not the biographical one because I have taken liberty with some of the "facts." The content of the book is for adults only and not for children as part of the facts of the story deal with profanity, sex, and violence. 

I have read some wonderful stories and look forward to reading more.


Thanks for sharing your stories.



rdmaddog rdmaddog
61-65, M
1 Response Jan 10, 2009

Thank you for writing from the heart, from one journeyer to another.