Books, Poetry, Music and Commentary

This page will be revised from time to time (no pun intended), as I think of something an artist inspired me with, or as one of you share some art with us.

I never much cared for poetry until after Doug died, then I realized why it is so cool.  It’s one thing to be able to write and communicate ideas or feelings, and even better to write well.  But to be able to put that same communication into poetry, (whether it rhymes or not, tempo, alliteration, whatever) is like combining the challenge of figuring out a puzzle into the art of communicating.  That’s my take on it and I’m sticking to it. 

Doug wrote poems and here is one I scanned and then I’ll type it for you to read.

“They” Retrozen - Poem "They"
And the band marches on.
on and on and on
without slowing
And their leader leads
them on and on and on
without knowing
Never looking back to see
the mess that they had left behind.

The media mediates
between the masses and
the myth it creates
But it never knows the damage grows the more
it bends the truth.

They tell us what they
want us to hear
They patronize our aching ears;

It’s all too clear the wealths of violence
and sexual perversion
offer more than just some innocent
psychological diversion
They have left so many
bleeding needing help with everything.  Retrozen - Poem "They"

We don’t have to watch
what they want us to see
Yet we’ve let them bind
us hands and feet.

How can you say, “Let us all
remain unaffected,” when
no lines were drawn, the
band just marches on
And they forget you
when you fall down.

-Douglas Alan Lyle

I will put other poems here as I can.

I love books.

One of the things Jenni and I did right raising Doug was to read to him as a baby. It was my nightly ritual to read to Doug before putting him to bed. I also used to rock him in a rocking chair and sing him a lullaby that my dad used to sing. My shoulders are really bony, and as a baby, Doug used to try to find a comfortable place on my shoulder. I put a diaper on my shoulder for padding. I don’t know what that has to do with books or poetry, I just thought of it when I thought about reading to Doug.

Doug loved books.

Doug read everything Michael Crichton ever published. He is a very interesting guy. Creator of the TV show, E.R.; he wrote Jurassic Park, Timeline, The Great Train Robbery and many others.

He read science fiction (check out, mystery novels, magazines … lots … and he read many of his books several times.

Doug’s Grandma gave him a book for his birthday that turned out to be very interesting, and that’s what I wanted to rant about. Robin Cook writes medical mystery novels. Robin Cook might be a doctor.

Some of Doug’s friends told me how he liked to discuss books, philosophy and other weighty subjects with them. He liked to make you think. He REALLY liked to make you think.

After Doug read Abduction , he said I needed to read it. He didn’t share anything with me about the story line. I read it and loved it. Doug and I talked about the book, and laughed about some passages. After Doug died, I was reading another book I want to share with you, and I had some thoughts about both books. I kind of think that Doug might have spoken to my spirit from beyond … and helped me understand how I can do a better job of dealing with his death.

Abduction is a science fiction mystery novel. I really hate to ruin it for you if you haven’t read it, but I want to talk about how we (most humans) view our existence here on Earth … in relation to our concept of our eternal spirit.

Remember that Doug wouldn’t tell me anything about the book. He didn’t want to ruin it for my and I totally enjoyed reading it. Doug asked several of his friends to read it. Like I said, Doug liked to make people think and discuss ideas with them. So you might want to read Abduction now.

It has been a year since I read it. Since so much has happened and my mind ain’t what it used to be … I’m sure that my “book review” will leave much to be desired. But, I do have a point to convey.

Some travelers in Abduction find themselves in a hopeless situation and appear to be rescued by another race. If you even think you might be interested to read this book, I recommend NOT reading any further until AFTER you read Robin Cook’s book.

Imagine a race or species similar to our own, but so much more technically advanced from us that it is hard to describe or comprehend. Good science fiction builds on what we know about science and takes concepts to the next level, or several levels beyond what we might imagine.

To consider this advanced race and the proposition I want to share, we should set aside for a moment our (ingrained) concepts of birth, and death, and our eternal soul

This race has created a utopia where no one has to work. There is unlimited energy for power and food production. The ecology appears to be in balance. This alien race lived for eons and eons of time and practically knew everyone in their society. They celebrated the common experiences they shared and knew they would live in this utopia forever. Forever knowing they weren’t at all concerned with disease, poverty, war, food, natural resources … no problems … everything is taken care of. Peace and prosperity for all. There is even a race of (for lack of a better term) trained worker animals that serve the higher race.

Imagine that their doctors and scientists and computer programmers could somehow completely, totally download everything in their psyche, their mind, emotions, memories, everything we might consider their soul, everything … and electronically download it to a supercomputer storage, as one puts a movie on DVD. Heart transplants would be nothing for these doctors.

Imagine then, that their doctors and scientists could also provide them with a choice of how to be re-born (if you will). Let’s say they might want to experience life as a little boy. Or a grown woman. Imagine that when individuals of this race died, their doctors and scientists were able to download everything in their psyche, their mind, emotions, memories, and retain it on computer storage for future retrieval.

Now imagine that this advanced race was able to transfer from computer storage to a newborn a previous individual’s psyche or soul. And that the “newborn” would (after a few years) retain all of the prior, combined, life experiences.

If you’ll stop and think about that for a second, you’ll discover that this idea kind of blows a hole in our generally accepted concept of being born or created anew, without any previous experiences.

This alien race did not share our human concept of birth, life, death and the afterlife.

They celebrated the time that they had chosen for their “death”, when their psyche would be downloaded to computer storage and their body would “die”. Their closest friends would come for a “good-bye party”. And everyone knew that in about 8 or 9 years, whenever a suitable newly created body became available, the psyche would be transferred from computer storage to the “new” body. And old friendships were re-newed, and previous shared experiences were rejoiced.

While this is an alien concept, in the book it seemed to work for this race. It had worked for them for literally eons and eons. Total peace, perfect health, all the good stuff. For this alien race, there is absolutely no fear of death or sadness for a friend’s “death” or “departure”. Everyone knew (they had been doing it this way for eons) that they’d see each other in a (relatively) short time. Sort of like a cousin goes away to college and you’ll see them in a few years.

This race really liked the way they had worked out this deal I described. It was party time for everyone. Do what you want, study, eat, play games, listen to music. Peace and happiness forever, for everyone. Any having REALLY long friendships, since life-cycles didn’t affect friendships.

Let’s suppose that what these alien scientists achieved (eons ago) is possible.

Keep that thought.
I read another book.

I’ll connect the dots. A paragraph in a recent issue of Popular Science gave me a great idea. I might even share some other thoughts. But anyway….

This other book Jenni asked me to read after Doug died. It’s entitled, Embraced By The Light. The author is a Christian lady named Betty J. Eadie. Jenni read her book after Ken died in 1996 and it helped her receive some peace about Ken’s death.

Some in the Christian community scoff at Betty’s experiences and say it could lead people astray. I don’t. I could go on about how Jesus set me free, but that’s not my point here.

Embraced By The Light is a story about Betty’s near death experience. Actually it was a death experience. She begins the book describing her upbringing and her love for her Lord Jesus, her husband and her children. As Betty was being prepared for surgery, she didn’t want to leave her family. She was devoted to her family and loved being with them.

After her surgery, Betty seemed to be recovering okay, but that night she began hemorrhaging and died. She shares in the book similar “near-death” experiences that others have described of rising above her body, feeling great peace, being welcomed by loving spirits and meeting her Creator, Jesus. Betty didn’t want to return to Earth even though she was devoted to her family and didn’t want to leave them to go to the hospital.

Betty was given explanations of various things by Jesus, and her “ministering angels” and shown many wonderful things. Now I’m not saying what Betty experienced is supported by gospel, and I don’t care. One thing that Betty writes about is the understanding she gained that, since we are spirit beings and will be in Heaven eternally with God. Our lives are eternal.

I never considered that it wasn’t a one-way street. I always thought that our lives, our souls (if you will) began at a certain point in time like birth or conception. But what if we have been alive for eternity in the past as well as in the future?

Back to Betty. She was told that before we come to Earth and are born, we know what kind of life we’ll live, and that we may choose to (shall we say) grow through certain life experiences or “learn” certain lessons. Further, Betty was told that we have been close friends (in the past) with the significant people in our life today. And that our friends have also chosen (before we were born) to play supportive roles in what we are going through here now.

I am not saying that we have multiple lives on Earth, and I don’t think Betty said this either.

I believe that God is above time and space. He can “see” time in both directions like we can see both ways on a yardstick. If I am one with Christ (through the gift of His life), then I am an eternal being. If I am an eternal being, why not an eternity in the past as well as future? It is just that we are so wrapped up in this physical life on Earth that what we know does not include what we experienced before we got here. I don’t think time, space, distance are relative to God’s existence. He is above all that. We know about 3 dimensions (height, width, depth) and we kinda know about the fourth dimension (time) and we commonly know that God is above those 4 dimensions. Does that mean that God is limited to the 5th or 6th dimension? God might exist in 500 or 600 dimensions. Who’s to say? It could be.

Okay, so what’s my point?

My point is that if Betty’s story is so, then I don’t have to “buy into” the painful, despairing, sorrowful grief that is common when a close loved one dies. Remember the celebration described in Abduction when loved one’s “died”. It was like a going away party. I’m not happy that Doug died. Definitely not.

But I can choose to try to change my perspective. Maybe I can think outside the box. I think Doug might have tried to communicate that to me from beyond, that I could choose a different perspective.

Going to Peter & Annie’s house…

We have some really good friends who live in Clarkesville and we used to live in Gainesville (GA) about 45 minutes away. Doug loved going to visit them. We would laugh, have dinner, watch movies in our pajamas, just hang out with good friends.

Often after visiting (at their house or Peter and Annie at our house), we’d have that 45 minute drive late at night back home. Peter didn’t particularly care for that long ride home.

One day Peter asked me how I could stand that 45 minute drive late at night. I told Peter that I like being at my house and I like visiting him at his house. And I knew that to get from one house to the other required me to be in a metal box (my car) for 45 minutes. So, I might as well put some music on the stereo and make the best of it.

Living on Earth is like driving to Clarkesville, only better.

I want to visit Peter at his house and I like being at my house. And the 45 minute trip is well worth it. The trip I’m making here on planet Earth is just so much time I am spending in this body (like driving to Clarkesville), so I might as well make the best of it. Listen to some good music, enjoy being with friends … … like my Uncle David says … “Let the good times roll.”

A paragraph in Popular Science ??

I could never understand why God created the Earth for his good pleasure. Revelation 4:11 says that God created all things, and for His pleasure they are and were created. I couldn’t figure out what kind of pleasure God would get from the crap that happens here on Earth.

This story in Popular Science was talking about time travel. Our family has loved talking about time travel for a long time (pun intended). One of Doug’s favorite movies is “Back To The Future”. Anyway, Popular Science referred to the fact that gravity distorts time.

So I figured that gravity is part of this physical universe (you know .. galaxies, atoms, everything) but you and I are spirit beings and not really part of this physical universe. I mean we’re in it and all… but as eternal spirit beings one with God (through Christ or however you want to think about it, or Him), then we are above time and space.

I was reading this story in Popular Science and when it said that gravity distorts time, I had this idea that we (in Heaven or where-ever … with God) thought, “Hey, why not go experience distorted time.” Kind of like a ride at an amusement park.

This is like God’s amusement park (or ours).

You know how it is when you’re on a ride at Six Flags, and you’re spinning around or whatever and you just want to get off? I mean off right now, stop this thing! I want off this ride. And two minutes later, the ride ends, you walk down the ramp and you say, Whew!! Thank God that’s over! And the next day you think back and say, that wasn’t that bad. I survived. It was only a few minutes.

I think we’re on an amusement park ride, and it only seems like a long time that we’re spinning around here on this planet and we want off. But it’s really okay. It’s not that bad. We’re just experiencing distorted time in a physical world.

Let the good times roll. Rev. 4:11. It’s just for fun, even though sometimes it sure doesn’t seem like fun. It is not fun having lost both our sons. But I have a choice to consider a different perspective. And so do you.

I’m a really good procrastinator!

I want to explore other thoughts and share good music with you. But I put off writing this web site until the last minute. I’m so sorry. No music. My sons and I love Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Beatles … many artists. But I can’t take the time (heh heh) to share that with you now.

I have some really good poems to upload.

D.A. Lyle wrote a number of nice poems. I will upload more of D.A. Lyle’s poetry.

I wrote something … I don’t know if it’s a poem or not, but here it is.

What I write doesn’t matter.

I had a thought about justifying what I write.
Thoughts lead to thoughts,
We want to do things, and end up doing other things.
Maybe not what we wanted to do in the first place.

When thinking about writing, thinking about expressing the crap in my head

And then I thought, what am I doing, trying to justify expressing myself?

I thought about the button on the word processor
that is the default
left justified.
Seems like everything written in the western world is left justified.
Even conservatives, those who justify their right-leaning tendencies.
write left-justified.

What if everyone who used word processors wrote
with the justification button defaulted to their particular
political intention?

Maybe they would be understood.
Maybe, but I doubt it.

We intend to do one thing and do something else.
I didn’t want to communicate about word processor buttons or political leanings.
I wanted to write about feelings and actions.
My uncle calls this trip we’re on an “emotional shit storm”.

Everyone is neck-deep in emotional shit, so don’t make waves.

My friend’s nick name is Moe Beers.
Mine is Rastus.
Moe gave it to me ’cause I like the Blues.
And Moe called Doug Leroy.

I wanted to write about feelings I had about missing Doug.
Lots of feelings coming up about missing Doug.
The one-year anniversary of his death is approaching.

I try to focus on the moment.
Is zen like that?
The eternal now?

Is it such that when I do have waves of feelings come up from the past,
I feel ’em now.
I wonder if communicating those feelings
or exploring those feelings makes ’em stronger,
or does it help to vent them?
Release the septic gasses of my mind.
Vent my emotional shit storm.

I had an emotional shit storm today.
Dealing with shit in a storm.
We had a couple of inches of rain today.
lightning and thunder too.

I remember a real conflict of emotions
soon after Doug died that I probably will always remember.

You might read this.
Think …hmmm, that’s interesting.
Dave’s got reason to be troubled.
Keep it on your computer for a day or two then delete it.
The 1’s and 0’s.
The bits of electronic flotsam and jetsam
that I write
you delete
cyber ink
gets flushed when deleted.
My thoughts get spread out into the electronic universe
mixed with your thoughts.
So delete this if you want.

Some things I can’t delete from my mind.
Other things I can’t easily remember.
I wish I could remember more.
Then I wonder if remembering would keep me attached to the past.

When Doug died we knew we couldn’t keep the waterbed he slept in.
The last time Jenni saw Ken he was asleep in the same waterbed.
The last time she saw Doug was in the same bed.
We had to give it away.
Not only because we were moving to a smaller house, but some things you can’t hang onto.

So we took it apart.
Cleaned it up.
It was a beautiful sunny day.
Warm for November.
I was out in the driveway sweeping some dust from the waterbed liner and mattress pad.
The sun was shining on Doug’s beautiful brown hair with a trace of red highlights when seen in the sun.
His hair was in the mattress pad of course.

We do one thing but we want to do something else.
What I wanted to do was grab every single strand of hair.
Grab them altogether and hug them.
Hold them forever.
Kiss the last vestige of
Doug’s beautiful body.
His hair was really pretty.
In a fantasy one would even clone the DNA of the hair and undo what had gone wrong.

But what I was really doing was sweeping the hair away like it was so much trash or dust.
After all, I was cleaning up the bed to give it away.
And sweeping the dust and hair was part of that cleaning.
That is a conflict of emotions I will never forget.
I will always remember seeing the sunlight reflecting on the strands of Doug’s hair blowing across the driveway.
My tears enhancing the effects of the sun glistening in his hair.
Some hair still stuck to the mattress pad.

His hair may still be in the grass next to the drive.
A bird may have gotten a couple of strands for a nest.
It is certainly in the tangled nest of my mind.
I can see it now.
Glistening in the sun.
My son’s hair.
Bits of thoughts dispersed out into the universe.

Is it yin or yang?
I don’t know.
Doing one thing.
Wanting to do another.
Saying one thing.
Wanting to say something else.
The same kind of feeling although not so pretty but still the same had to do with shit.
Hair is nice and pretty.
Shit isn’t.

I hear it’s all the same.
It doesn’t really matter.
Hair and shit.

energy on a denser level
lower vibrations
still god stuff
just like you and me.

Just days.
not even a week before Doug died
we had a great time out on the sailboat.
A wonderful day in the sun, laughing
seeing dolphins, taking pictures of a blimp up above.
and the lighthouse.
A nice day with family on the sailboat.
Doug had to take a shit.
We have a porta potti on the boat.
Really convenient contraption to have on a boat.
A week later Doug is gone.
His shit remains in the porta potti.
Floating in treated blue water.

I had the same thought about cloning.
I didn’t want to hug his shit.

But the same love of Doug is still there.

I hear it’s all the same.
It doesn’t really matter.
hair and shit.
energy on a denser level
lower vibrations
still god stuff
just like you and me.

Sometimes we want to do one thing but we end up doing something else.
I guess that’s one reason why I procrastinate.
I didn’t clean out the porta potti because I noticed that feeling.
And I had never cleaned it out and wasn’t sure how to.
Am I (right or left)
justifying my procrastination?

I just stopped.
My boat is for sale now.
Time to clean the porta potti.
Where to dump it?
It’s been in the back of my pick-up for a week now.
Was in the back yard before that.

So, I thought it would be appropriate
to go to the RV park
where my mom lives and dump it down her sewer drain
where she hooks up the RV she lives in.
It’s just shit.
But a lot of emotions came up today.
I poured out the brown water.

Doesn’t matter.
It was a stormy day.
Two inches of rain.
Doug’s shit doesn’t remain.
down the drain.
We’re all neck deep in
an emotional shit storm.
Don’t make waves.

I hear it’s all the same.
It doesn’t really matter.
hair and shit.
energy on a denser level
lower vibrations
still god stuff
just like you and me.
Only we know better.
We’re One with God.
It doesn’t matter.
It’s a beautiful day.

Aug. 26 ’02

I also want to discuss other books with you, and encourage you to take part in the discussion group. Or email me.

I love you.

David Douglas Lyle

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