A reflection on 2017

Well, 2017 is behind us, but not without leaving us with some memories. 2017 was of course the year that saw the death of my friend Chopper. It was also a year in which I would produce a record low twelve paintings and do thirty days in the “Hole”. 2017 also was the year my children put out a very successful mini- reality show on YouTube called “Hanging with los Henry’s”; in fact just this very night, Jan 2, I happened to see my daughter and her family on a show out of New York called “Daily Mail”, she was beautiful and elegant of course! It was also a year in which I swore off football, and it was the year that my friend in Switzerland, Conny, published three of my books on her website. In general, I suppose it was a year not unlike the others before it, some ups, and some downs, but all in all, a complete paradox, a year of learning experiences to build upon.

Life too, is a paradox beyond my ability to completely explain or understand. Being that I have matured enough to recognize life as a paradox, has helped me to survive it. Well, to clarify, I can tell you that I have learned to see the “out” of in, and the “in” of out; to see the hand the illusionists doesn’t want me to see. I have learned to see the bad in things I once thought good and the good in things I once thought bad. I’ve seen the criminality in our Justice System and I’ve seen honest acts of kindness in convicted criminals. I’ve seen good people lie and seen bad people turn their hearts over to God. I’ve seen privileged millionaire athletes debasing out National Anthem and I’ve seen American prisoners working for $ O.O9 ( nine cents ) an hour hand paint American flags on their plastic coffee cups.

I have seen the paradox: I have listened as Hollywood and its “Beautiful Fools” lectured the world on “Women’s Rights” and ” Gun Violence”, yet it was 2017 that brought to light the fact that their long history of sexual abuse on women and children is unparalleled in any other industry…and once again this past year of over the top violent movies demonstrates and proves their willingness to compromise their beliefs for fame and profit, and shows them for the greedy, violent, sexual predators they in reality are.

I have seen the paradox: reality has most certainly shown me, through first hand experience, that it is those who constantly holler “Racism” that are in fact, the most racist among us.

I have seen the paradox: the illusion, the trick, the work of Satan, per se, and in it I have learned that the people who depend on “Forgiveness” for their salvation, are, in fact, the least forgiving when it comes to giving people like me, a second chance. Yes, I, the leper of society, the least among you have spent this past year listening, watching and learning. Every morning without fail, I awake to watch as the sun rises through the bars of my cell, and every night I close my eyes and will myself to to imagine seeing magnificent fields full of butterfly’s in my dreams. In between on my daily walks I smell the flowers most call weeds and I hear the birds others do not. I see the faces in the trees and I feel the touch of God between my eyes. Yes, I, the leper, John’s “Fool on the Hill” have learned to find something beautiful, something to be grateful for, in this bastard life.

… Suffered, yes, I have suffered, not the slings and arrows of misfortune, but under the whip of my own decisions. Caught as I am in the snares of this life and its self-reflection I endeavor to improve myself mentally, physically and spiritually. And when one like me, can look back over the past year and see his own growth, the success and happiness of his children, make new friends and appreciate the beauty of God’s creation, what more can he ask for. 2017, a year to remember.

Peace be with you all and may this coming year be one in which your heart is true.

Three Rivers, 1-1-18