Monday, December 28, 2009

100th POST! What I've accomplished...Where we're going...And A Poem --Monday Journal

Various musings on my having posted for the 100th time....

On September 7, 2009, my life spun off in an exciting, agonizing, exhilarating and terrifying new direction with my Journal of Reinvention.  The process iteself has given me a new way of seeing myself, and the confidence to attempt new things...but I have only dented the surface...  To my friends who "like me the way I am"...that guy is still here, only newly shaped, and perhaps more useful...
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As personal journals go, it's entertaining, fairly revealing, covers diverse topics, and stretches my creative muscles.  I have enjoyed doing it, and am eternally grateful to all who have found it, read it, commented, and encouraged me.
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Sometimes, I wonder if my journal does any good,  and whether it's worth going on, continuing.  Is my writing important enough?  Then I ask, important enough for what?  I guess I want someone to come on here and say, "Tom, we think you have something to say that the world needs to hear, so write for us and reach our million-plus circulation of readers".

Then I remember my original intent, with a metaphor: I'm behind the wheel..with plenty of passenger space.  I know the direction I want to go, and a notion of one or two destinations, and no map.  I pick up passengers along the way, and hope for a fun and interesting ride for the long run.  My passengers become my friends, who give me as much as I could hope to give them. I may reach an unexpected destination, and decide to stay a while...Or, I may go beyond the boundaries of my imagination.

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From Kiddieland in Melrose Park, Illinois to the breakwater in Cape Cod's Province
town; from the howl of a dear basset hound to the warble of Mrs. Miller to the achingly beautiful "Vilja";  through the cinematic equivalents of Nashville and Berlin, the Florida Everglades and '60's London, American suburbia, Wyoming wilderness, Harlem, and Rome; From Christopher to Don to Joni;  All around New York, from Times Square to "Hair"; touching base from Afghanistan to Congress, writing about War and Health; contributing to the conversation about gay civil rights from Washington DC to Vermont to Maine to Uganda;  from the terrific contributions of all my commenter-visitors to the support I have received at home; ....This has been a whirlwind trip, and I'm not ready to settle just yet!   
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In the next 100 posts (which are like 100 miles in cyberspace!) I want to do the following: make some scenic visits to the world of my grandparents; travel to Iowa city again, after summoning the courage to read the letters I wrote home back then (all had been saved, and re-discovered); spend more afternoons at the movies; talk about learning languages, and new technical skills (maybe my readers can help me learn to post videos here); allow my heart to follow an animal or two and find out where it leads me; take some detours to new travel destinations; embrace unpredictability; make new friends; and learn about the world from old friends and new.

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I will post my creative writing, and will debut a few short stories . Here's a simple poem I once wrote, that seemed appropriate here...  Creativity is a lot like courtship...and when art and artist find that intimate space, it is more than rewarding, it is bliss....


Climbing and striving,
A high rocky hill
Rises in challenge;
I climb harder still,

Breathing and reaching
My being renew,
My soul, my desire,
The promise of you

High on that hilltop
Your world, your domain,
You would not notice
My struggle, my pain

To reach a fulfillment
Beyond all I knew,
Humbly in search of
My sweet reward, you.

Climbing is over!
I stand face to face
With you; I rejoice
In our fervent embrace

And joy, beyond pleasure
You tell me that you
Were climbing and striving
In search of me too.

~ ~ ~


  1. Congratulations Tom, on reaching your milestone 100 posts! You did it so quickly, so seemingly effortlessly, that you have me in a state of awe and quiet admiration. What's especially significant is that the quality of your posts has always been superb. I know some bloggers, myself included, often get complacent and "mail one in" just to put a new face on their blog. But you don't need to do that because you have such amazing talent and an endlessly creative mind which keeps coming up with fresh, interesting stories and articles. You set the bar terribly high, Mr. Samp, but that's okay. When I finally reach that milestone myself, I hope I can be as proud and gratified by a job well done and not look back on my blog as an exercise in mediocrity. Well done, my friend!

  2. Tom,
    Your loyal following is endlessly appreciated. If the bar is set high it is so I can stretch my creative self to enjoy and learn from great writers like yourself. May we continue to visit and support one another. Thank you, Tom, for all of your great commentary which is always encouraging!