An update, and some rambling thoughts
Stephen Coleman

StephenTruckWordpress

“The Beast” – Stephen’s 1988 Ford F150 XLT Lariat

I know that it’s been awhile since I last updated this blog.  I haven’t really made that much progress on the book lately, and I have just been busy!  Sometimes life happens.  I had a few minutes this morning to blog, so I decided I would sit down and write an update.

On the last blog post, I promised that I would explain my own analysis of the video “12505 / 12507″.  I can’t believe that no one left me any comments!  I’m so shocked, haha!

For me, “12505” represents a place of deep past regrets.  It’s a place that I know I can’t ever return to, but that I would certainly return to if given the chance to re-do things.  I think that for me, “12505” is a storage place of sorts, containing past experiences that molded me, shaped me, defined me, and made me stronger so that I can be the person that I am today in “12506”.  I think that all of us have a “12505” in our lives, and some of us remain stuck there.  I know that for a long time, I was.  But life doesn’t exist in “12505”.  It exists in “12506” and will continue to exist in “12507”.  Like the guy in the video, many people would sacrifice a lot in order to be able to return to their “12505” for just a few hours.  But life goes on.  We must live for the moment in “12506” and look forward to the future we have in “12507”.  It has taken me 30+ years to finally realize this.  At times, I still find a longing in my life to return to my own “12505”, but I know that I can’t.  All I can do at this point is focus on what lies ahead and be thankful for what I’ve been blessed with in life thus far.

I have included a picture at the top of “The Beast”, my 1988 Ford F150.  I finally got it out of my garage in May and got it going again.  It hadn’t run or been driven since last October, while I decided what I wanted to do with it.  I came awfully close to selling the truck, but I have a bond with that ugly old beast that I can’t explain!  The truck came into my life quite by chance in 2011, and I wasn’t really looking to purchase a truck at that time.  I am the second owner, and the first owner and his wife had it from 1988 – 2011.  The first owner was the father of my great-aunt’s best friend.  There’s a very sad story behind the family who owned the truck.  I guess we’re just kindred spirits, and every southern guy needs an ugly old Ford truck in his life!  It only has 97,000 miles and doesn’t get driven much.  It’s my truck for hauling the dogs to vet, or going to the lake to go canoeing or fishing.

Not many people seem to be reading this blog… but that’s ok.  This blog is more of an outlet for me to express my thoughts that sometimes become a train wreck inside my head.  It gives me an method to express what I’m thinking or feeling.  I look forward to completing the book at some point early next year!

The experiences we have in our lives mold us and shape us into who we are, but sometimes life deals us such a blow that it cracks us into pieces.  Recently, my wife and I were helping a relative move out of her house.  This relative had a little ceramic box that was made in the shape of a heart.  The lid of the box, which was in the shape of a heart, had been broken right through the middle.  The box obviously meant something to my relative, and I told her that I’d take it home and attempt to glue it back together with epoxy.  As I began to glue the heart shaped lid back together, I discovered that there was a tiny chip missing…lost…and never to be found again.  While the two halves went back together and look presentable from a distance, upon closer inspection you can clearly see that there’s a chip missing that will never be found or seen again.

Our lives are like this ceramic heart shaped lid.  Sometimes we suffer injurious cracks, and sometimes we’re shattered so bad that we can never be put together in once piece again.  We can take the pieces and attempt to glue them back together so that they’re even stronger than before, but there’s always going to be that scar…that chip that’s missing from us.

There’s a saying that I came across awhile back.  It goes like this:

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow, what a ride!”  

And so when we reach the end of our lives, we will no doubt arrive with chips, nicks, dents, and scratches.  The chips hurt…for awhile…and they remind us of the traumatic experience that cracked us in the first place.  But ultimately, the chips and cracks make us stronger and show the world that we are resilient and will survive this journey called “life.”  Until next time, Godspeed.

~ Stephen Coleman, June 4th, 2014 ~

Video

A quick update, and a video challenge!
Stephen Coleman

I know that it’s been too long since I updated this blog.  8 days to be exact.  I just haven’t had much progress to report, and last week was an incredibly busy week.  I had something to do / somewhere to be every evening this past week.  I have something else going on right now that’s very pressing, and Tales may be on the back burner for awhile.  I’m still writing the book, and actively working on the manuscript, so my goal for completion remains set for the early part of 2015.

Recently, I remembered a video I shared with my students several years ago.  At the beginning of each class, I would usually start off by having them write a “response prompt.”  This prompt could be anythingthat would actively engage thinking.  I would often write something on the board that would lead them to think and compose their thoughts on paper.  We would then spend the next 10 minutes or so of class discussing their answers.  One day I came across a website for a project called the National Film Challenge.  You can find out what it’s all about by clicking on the link in blue.  Basically, amateur film makers from all over the United States submit their creations to be judged each year.  “12505 / 12507″ was a film that was created by Ben Simms in 2010 for the Film Challenge.  I came across this film several years ago, and I found it to be very thought provoking.  After watching it, I shared it with my classes for their response prompt one day.  We had some great discussion about the hidden meaning within the film.  I invite you to watch the film (It’s very short…6:45), and write comments responding to the questions I’m asking below.  For me, the film evokes a lot of emotions.  I know what “12505 / 12507″ means for me.  What is your “12505 / 12507″?  I will post my own response to the film in a couple of days.  Please comment in the box below, responding to the questions I’ve asked.  This could be fun if enough people participate.

 

“12505 / 12507″ Response Questions

  1. What does the title “12505 / 12507″ represent?  Aside from being a physical address, what is significant about the title?
  2. Pay attention to the symmetry seen in the film.  What do the symmetrical elements represent?
  3. Compare the beauty seen in some scenes to the austere setting of other scenes.  Why the contrast?  What could this represent?
  4. Where is “12506”?  What does 12506 represent for you?
  5. If you wish to make any additional remarks or comments, feel free to do so!

 

I look forward to reading your responses.

~S~

The original cover that I designed, and discoveries….

~ Original cover design that I came up with ~

~ Back side of original cover designed by me ~

I’ve promised that I would share some of the early drafts of my cover mock-ups.  Here’s the first one I ever did.  I love the old style of the parchment with the leaf in the background, but I ultimately decided against using this one.  At least for now.  Who knows.  I’ve been known to change my mind a million times.  Since the book is still quite some time from going to press, I still have the luxury of changing my mind…perhaps a million times.  I kind of liked this image, but I felt that the resolution was not high enough.  As always, I do welcome your honest (and blunt) opinions!

You will notice that the canoe photograph is more subdued in this version.  This is how it was when I acquired it from the National Archives.  This version has not been digitally enhanced.  What do you think?  I have mixed feelings either way.  I like the overly saturated version that makes the sunset colors pop out, but I also like the subdued and muted version as well.  Ideas?  Opinions?

Life is a Journey… and it takes us many places and brings us into contact with many people.  Sometimes we meet people in the most unexpected ways and through the strangest of circumstances.  Never be afraid of reaching out to others.  I was for many years, and it really cost me in many ways.  So the next time you’re on your journey and you round that next bend in the river and see new faces, wave hello, stop on that sandbar, and get out and chat for awhile.  You won’t be sorry, and you may even make a new friend.  As I look back on the last couple of years of my life, I think of all those I’ve come in contact with who have faded in and out of my life.  Some are still here, and some have gone on to continue their own journeys.  But ultimately, my life is all the richer for having known them, and it was all because I took a chance and reached out.  Progress on the book continues.  I hope that everyone has a great weekend.  Godspeed.

~S