Early morning

Bleak midwinter
Bleak midwinter

A week ago there was a lot more snow on the ground. Now it is cold, overcast, and we’re getting a snow flurry or two.


I woke up at 3 a.m. this morning. It is 4 a.m., I’m wide awake, and I’m drafting this portion of the post. Normally when I tell Cindy that I’ve been awake for hours before her alarm goes off she will ask me, “What’s bothering you?”

Then I’ll usually say, “Finances.” Sometimes that’s true. Many times I have no idea why I woke up.

What I do know is that my first clear thoughts are seldom about the beauty in my life, but rather, those thoughts are about moments in my past that I don’t speak about to people. Nor do I write about them. But maybe today I’ll skirt around some of those events and hint at what is behind the opaque spider webs that I’ve spun around specific incidents that I’m ashamed of. Maybe.

Some of these events are truly innocuous, such as blurting out something inappropriate that is heard by a large number of people. Those embarrassments make you want to slink away when you realize what you’ve done. To a person like me, I not only want to do the slinking, but also keep my mouth closed to all conversation for days on end. I still remember one incident that happened when I was in high school. But that type of incident is minor compared to other things for which I feel guilt.

I’ve learned that some clichés haven’t completely lost their original meaning. For instance, there have been two times in my life when I actually couldn’t look at myself in a mirror because of something I had done. It happened the second time because I didn’t learn my lesson the first time. I have it in me to be dumb.

I have lied about events in order to save myself from punishment. This goes beyond the “dog eating my homework” type of lie. They are lies that I’ve told as an adult. They are lies that I have schooled myself to believe at all times except during the early morning awakenings. I could probably fool a polygraph with these lies.

I’m lucky, I guess, because there are only a few things that bother me about my past actions. A long time has passed since the last time I’ve done something for which I am ashamed. I hope that I never add another item to my list. But if I do add another item, you won’t read about it here.