Indulge me as I take a brief trip down memory lane.

I started blogging in 2003, at the time focusing on NASCAR although often chasing down rabbit holes and/or digressing. In May of 2005, for reasons I don’t recall I created a character to occasionally show up in the blog. Specifically, a polar bear named Gord.

Gord was named after Gord Downie, lead singer of iconic Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip. His manner of speaking (yes, Gord could talk), featuring frequently beginning his sentences with “why …” was patterned after Mike Myers’ character in Wayne’s World. Gord himself was a kind and gentle sort, living in a zoo and frequently chatting with his friend Cherie, a thrasher who spent most of her time at the zoo although not an official resident.

Over the next few years I fleshed out Gord’s character, introducing assorted elements such as his occasionally listening to “the night whispers,” i.e. spirits of the deceased. He was a handy bear to have around, quite useful for illustrating stories via his storytelling gift.

It occurred to me back in 2009 or thereabouts that Gord would make a nice subject for a sort-of children’s book. I say sort-of because, as I sketched out a plot centered around Gord, there were certain crucial elements a bit darker than usually considered kiddie fare. But, given how one of my earliest movie memories was watching Bambi’s mother get shot, I knew it could work. Another element keeping it from being your normal children’s book is my being anything but skilled in keeping my writing at a child’s reading level. Far too fond of the florid. Not nearly fond enough of staying within the boundaries of acceptable grammar and syntax, but that’s a whole ‘nutter story.

Anyway, in 2009 I started on the book. Plot was sketched out; and I got several chapters into the first draft before losing focus along with most all of my writing mojo during the ’10s. Things get thrown out of proper priority when you’re battling the depression monster pretty much 24/7. Ah well.

Although Gord the polar bear has frequently crossed my mind since I set the book aside, Gord Downie’s passing a couple of weeks ago has sufficiently brought him back to the fore to where I’ve actually dusted off the book and slowly started working on it again. As mentioned above I lost most all of my writing juice this decade as I’ve been too busy trying to get through things. Not that I’m through them, but sufficient balance and joy have rekindled to where the creative spark is again expressing itself through both greatly increased musical activity and again being able to write. I’ll take it.

When or if I’ll finish the Gord book I do not know, nor what I will do with it should I complete it although I suspect I’ll go the self-publishing route as I have before (coughgodsnotdeadbook.comcough). This I do know: I’ve quite missed my silly polar bear. Hopefully he’ll stick around long enough for me to finish telling the story so far.

While it may be true that when God closes one door He opens another, it doesn’t make it hurt any less when the first one smacks you full in the face. And as a cherished friend noted, afterwards sometimes you have to wait in the hallway for quite a spell.

I’ve been spending some time the past few days dusting off my blog, ruffling through various archive sites and text files, reposting one item at a time from its beginning a decade ago. It has always been a site done in fits and spurts, topics varying from politics to faith to music to sports to a talking polar bear. I rather prefer the latter.

Not entirely unintentionally, I’ve never fit in much blogging-wise. Too varied in topic and non-deferential to Kool Kidz Konservative Klub™ members in favored standing for the political world; the upcoming reposts of assorted swipes back and forth with Mary Katharine Ham should go over about as well as a Trump for President t-shirt at a GOP consultants convention. Well, if anyone actually reads them. Which I seriously doubt.

I’m at my best when I’m at my least political. To wit:

There are certain things we learn, or at least hopefully learn, as we pass through the years. A prime example of this is coming to grips with how we are best advised accepting the fact that we should not expect respect for our anger, this coming into play the first time during our tender years any of us throw a temper tantrum without reaping the hoped for reward. Unless a spanking was that for which we had a honkering.

We also learn, or should learn, to not expect respect for our tears, or reciprocation for our love. These are far more difficult to swallow. We are taught from the beginning to respect others, to honor the heralded awesome power of love, and that true love always triumphs while conquering all and overcoming all obstacles. Yet through bitter and often embittering experience we learn how love is often impotent, incapable of swaying others in any direction let alone one which we desire. Those who do not learn this, such as starry-eyed women unshakable in their pursuit of utterly undesirable men believing they can transform jerks into jewels, invariably have their ship of hopes dashed against reality’s rocks. You’d think this would be sufficient to teach us, but far too often we embody insanity by attempting the exact same thing while anticipating different results. The Biblical truism that pride goes before a fall is not exclusively reserved for the outwardly arrogant. It also applies to those of us who, while outwardly modest and/or well-intentioned, sadly overestimate our own ability.

It hurts when love isn’t returned. The illustration of a rejected Savior is hard to understand until we encounter a one-sided love of our own. The other person doesn’t look at you in a special way. He or she doesn’t soften when you’re around. He or she isn’t interested in a relationship on any level save perhaps that of casual acquaintance, one quickly forgotten the moment close proximity is no longer in effect. Perhaps the person does allow you to approach them, but even then only within his or her strictly defined and absolute, non-negotiable parameters. Held at arm’s length? Most definitely. Held in each other’s arms? Never. And yes, it makes life a living hell. An accurate description, for hell’s torment is not fire and brimstone, but rather separation from love.

The illustration in Scripture’s most misunderstood and misapplied chapter states that when I was a child, I spoke, thought, and acted like a child; in adulthood laying these childish things aside. It seems strange to think, believe, and act on the notion that there are times when laying love aside is an act of maturity. More accurately, not so much setting love itself on the shelf but learning how to be at peace with the fact others can and will disregard your love for them.

It hurts when love isn’t returned. There is no escaping, no denying the pain. If there is anything good to be drawn from these times, it is from the empathy gained for those also suffering; and how it makes more real our need to embrace — more accurately, allow ourselves to be embraced by — the nail-scarred hands belonging to the Man of Sorrows well aquainted with grief. He knows. He understands. He comforts. And He never rejects our love.


Sometimes being the misfit hurts. A lot.