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this time around…

November 17, 2014

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with the now very fastly arriving holiday season so much just isn’t the same – in the years past in every single one of them all throughout my entire life i’ve always had my wonderful mother there with me no matter where we may have been from one coast to the other – for most of those years that meant not only having her warm and always welcoming smile yet it also meant hearing that perfectly infectious laugh of hers that always led the way in every family gathering – and then to be in my mother’s house at the holidays also meant we were all the ever so fortunate guests at a temporarily never-ending holiday bakery of the truly most delectable variety – and might i add that my sister has long ago lovingly picked up in continuing this very same delightful tradition for her family and in effect the rest of us as well when we’re visiting her during the holidays – in reflecting back to a time so long ago right up until just last december mom very clearly was always very happy at the holidays – and with her happiness that made what was already such a wonderful season of the year that much the lovelier for every one of us -

in the beautiful light of that loving happiness comes to me such a grand memory i so clearly recall right along with an unending list of so many others of just the same fashion – yet this memory is of the one christmas eve in pennsylvania right after returning from midnight mass as we were all gathered around that amazing living room stereo console that was always a beloved fixture of mom’s as she loved to listen to music all of the time, in fact my father still has that original piece in his home all these decades later – and here’s what happened – the station announcer came on to give the weather report and in that very same report he also enthusiastically included that santa and his reindeer had just been seen by air traffic control as now entering into the skies over america and mom then said to me did you hear that gary? – and i did yet it even further engaged me in fully realizing this as coming from just the loving way that mom said those five little words to me – it was right there and then that my christmas for that year in 1977 was already made and for it i say thank you mom -

as for this christmas season and all of the decorations and gifts and greetings that’ll surely be happening for so many of us i’ll be forever the lesser in my heart in not having my dear and wonderful mother there with me – yet i’ll be forever thankful in a way that words will never properly exclaim in holding tightly to the eternally living memory of a christmas gift that lasted for the 44 years when she was – and that’s a gift that will surely last forever in my heart as well as far beyond this life as that’s just one of the wonderful ways in which heaven truly is all around us – i am certain there will be many more beautiful gifts to come into my life in the hopefully several more decades written for me for this time around and for that i am already most thankful – i am also just as certain in every way that not a one of them will likely ever meet let alone ever transcend that of the gift that it was to have had charlotte ann rettinger as my mother -

i have learned in recent years in the midst of so much unexpected and devastating loss of those i treasured the most in my life that we have but the one direction to set forth in from those points forward – and that is the direction of immediately deciding to see everything we can as everything of the blessing that it is from the very slightest aspects of our daily lives to the grandest gifts we’ve been so lovingly graced with in a way that can only ever come from God – i’ve also come to discover that the further grace of silver lining vision then sets in within our hearts allowing us to hear, allowing us to heal and allowing us to lift ourselves back up into the happier destinies in this life, after all that is the way of the holy spirit and what i know and embrace to be godspeed – and thank the good Lord for it as i for one will be carrying forth in just that way knowing anything the lesser will only ever lead me onto a path of sorrow and that is a path no one deserves to be on, especially at this time of the year – so as we arrive into the holidays as getting underway in just the next many days with thanksgiving i say to God thank you for the added strength to simply continue praying with the overwhelming grace that’s come into my heart in these past few years and now even far more so with the loss in the last many weeks of not only my dear wonderful mother yet now also with the loss of her golden-hearted soul of a brother my uncle chuck bloxsom – may God rest their beautiful souls and may God be with you all in every way in this very special season upon us that i will continue to always love – wishing you all the very same and God’s every blessing ~rettingerrockfiles/RRF~

a man so kind…

November 2, 2014

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like that of what my late wonderfully dear-hearted uncle chuck bloxsom was is far too often a rarity in this day and age – yet so exceptionally kind is indeed just the way he was with everyone anywhere he ever went all of the time – when it came right down to it he was truly a golden soul who really never had it in him to be anying other than very nice – he was a child of the fifties who then so suddenly lost his father right at the start of the sixties as did his brother, my beloved uncle jerry, and their sister, my most lovingly kindhearted mother charlotte – for them all it must have been simply so tragic in such an upsetting fashion that i imagine none of them could initially see how life would ever be good again – you see their father was a very sweet soul himself and when he left this life at only 48 from a sudden heart attack their mother, my nana, was already also facing her oldest, my mother, leaving the house very soon to be married to my father – so there she was facing so much loss with the two young boys just about to become teenagers and i could only wonder at the frightening thoughts nana must have had as to what would become of both chucky and jerry – yet by the grace of God my father at the ripe old age of 21 further came in to their lives in a way that of course hadn’t been planned beforehand yet in he came nonetheless – and for them dad did everything as best as he could to be an older guiding brother and a father-figure as well – and he did this all the while as he was just beginning his life with his lovely wife and my sister whom arrived in the summer of ’62 just one year after they were married in the summer of ’61 – it was quite the dynamic new family that was emerging in those early years of the sixties yet a family it was and it was a very supportive and loving one at that – and i know in all of the wonderful things uncle chuck ever had to say over the years about my father as to just how grateful he was that dad stepped in and stepped up in doing everything he could for him and jerry – in fact uncle chucky was always very thankful for every blessing he was ever given and he very well let you know that he was if you simply took the time to chat with him for a few minutes -

you see my uncle chuck was like a greatly shining light in a ballroom of the grandest design as to just how much life came out of him with the way in which he greeted you and then shook your hand and then always said how wonderful of a person you are – i’ve yet to ever meet anyone else quite like uncle chucky in the way of the tremendous vitality he had literally overflowing from that beautiful heart of his – yet right along with that wonderful vitality he also had an amazingly spirited intensity about him – and with that intensity he most often channeled it into football in the latter years of the sixties and that then led to an offer to play college football on a full scholarship and my goodness if he had i just wonder what his lifestory may have been otherwise – from what i understand he was exceptionally good on the old gridiron to the point it wouldn’t have surprised any of us to see him end up all the way into the nfl and ever so perfectly thriving on those fantastic steelers teams of the 1970s when they won those first 4 superbowls, somehow i can just see uncle chuck with a championship ring on his finger to this very day – yet that potentially storied path just wasn’t to be as it all changed on a dime when out of his lionhearted courage he decided instead that he should channel his energies into voluntarily serving his country with the marines – and in that measure when so many others his age were hitting the deck and running for the hills up into canada doing everything they could to get away from the draft uncle chuck instead set off in the other direction with the sole intent of heading all the way to the other side of the world to vietnam to fight a war against the likely over-estimated and highly misunderstood advancing threat of the reds and their ill-conceived venture in spreading totalitarian communism – in hindsight as well as what was likely foresight by my father i sure wish uncle chuck had never gone off to fight as he ended up paying dearly for it – and dearly he did pay in a small way with his hearing yet in a very bad and lasting way for many years to follow with a rather harrowing post traumatic stress disorder that likewise hiddenly plagues so many of our younger veterans of iraq and afghanistan here in the modern day - so further into the 70s uncle chuck arrived back from the war trying to find a direction that somehow made some sort of sense given the path he’d been on for so many years in leading a very physically-centered life in football and then with the marines while at war no less – and find a direction he did by the grace of God as one of the more amazing things uncle chuck next very unexpectedly accomplished was graduating with an economics degree with high honors from duquesne university in the later 70s – shortly thereafter graduating offers came yet the memories, the many disturbing visions and the cold sweats continued to come as well and a life less ordinary was the path that ultimately would unfold for uncle chucky -

i remember as a child in the 70’s my always enjoying uncle chucky being around as in most of his waking hours he was in such a good place and had so many nice things to say to us – and then there was that wonderfully off-paced signature laugh of his, a laugh unlike any other i’d ever heard before or since – you could pick uncle chucky out of a crowd at three rivers stadium with that perfectly funny yet immensely vibrant laugh he had and i loved it! – and then came the 80s and then the 90s and something so wonderful so thankfully happened in uncle chucky’s life again as the haunting memories altogether vanished for good, and what a very good thing that was in every possible way – at that point life also became so much better for my nana as they had both been under the same roof so much of the time which always had nana on the frontline of helping uncle chuck in his striving to live in the peaceful happiness he always sought to be in – and then such a dramatic change came as uncle chucky’s dear mother, my nana, passed on to heaven in the summer of 2000 and none of us knew what would become of him as they had depended on one another so intrinsically for decades at that point – yet by the grace of God something so wonderful happened once again in that right when he needed it the most and after nearly 30 years of such a frustratingly limited veterans disability benefit an angel came to his side in the v.a. and his benefits were quadrupled and back-adjusted for all of those many years of unfair suffering – and at the ripe old age of nearly 50 he set off on his own and for the first time in his life really began to enjoy his life -

he got a nice place directly across from one of the most beautiful churches anywhere in pittsburgh or for that matter in all of america and that made him very happy as he was a devout believer as one who was always quick in celebrating the good word – he got the first brand new car of his life as well and then he met a wonderfully loving woman whom he would share nearly all of the rest of his years with in happiness – he always traveled to all of the fantastic holiday gatherings my brother jimmy has been so wonderful in having in cincinnati over the years and at every one of them he certainly seemed so happy to be with all of his extended family – uncle chuck was a gigantic fan of the steelers as well as the pirates and the penguins and on a number of occasions he would come out to the games in person and that further made him quite the happy soul as well – and then there was coffee – no one in the entire world could drink as much coffee as fast and as joyfully as uncle chucky always did – in fact i am pretty well sure of it that i once watched him have 13 cups of coffee when we were all out to dinner somewhere in pittsburgh many years ago and i’m almost fallling out of my chair laughing right at the time in now remembering that spectacular feat – and uncle chuck would go on to nearly repeat that performance i imagine hundreds or maybe thousands of times thereafter – uncle chuck was half italian and half irish yet his ingredients of life clearly must have made a detour through columbia shortly before he was born!

my uncle chuck bloxsom was a very good man and he will be missed by many for a long time to come – i know he couldn’t be any happier than to now be with my also recently and completely unexpectedly departed mother, his sweet sister charlotte, as well as now being with his dear mother, my nana, as she has been in heaven for these past 14 years now – and then i cannot even imagine how sweet it must be for him to be reunited with his dear father charles as he has been gone in heaven himself these past 50+ years – so let it be said in that none of us would have ever chosen to be arriving into the holiday season now just underway this weekend without my mother and without my uncle yet God clearly had other plans for them for reasons we will all only ever truly realize when we meet them so happily once again in heaven ourselves – i have always heard to make sure to tell the ones you love that you love them every time you’re so blessed to be together with them and again by the ever-loving grace of God those were indeed the last words i said to them both and i can remember it like it was just earlier today – life is indeed far too brief in the way that we know it in the here and now and in that greater light it’s best that we always remember to live with passion as coming from the inner peace that only we can ever decide to have – and further from there may we always remember to live our life at its highest by forgiving others as well as forgiving ourselves in that we may further live our life with the greatest spirit of compassion and the waking reality of the God-given fulfillment of our dreams far greater than we can ever imagine – and when i think of my mother and her brother as i do every day at many times i remember just that and i smilegodspeed to you and may God rest your soul uncle chucky, i love you – wishing every one of you God’s every blessing ~rettingerrockfiles/RRF~

i said it…

October 21, 2014

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and so it was as it all happened in just the fashion that he said it would – and what a thrill it is to see it all come together when at once in the beginning it was just a vision – it’s all simply so beautiful and it goes all the way back to very long ago when it was said in romans 4:17 (esv) how “…God…gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.” – and indeed that is how it happens when our faith is unwavering and our conviction in our vision is with the clarity of the finest crystal – you see i was never before in life with a greater guiding vision as that of which came to me in a dream nearly one year ago – yet it did arrive and with it i became instantly affected in the way of gaining a most wonderfully indescribable new set of lenses in front of everything i’ve been given sight of in these past many months – and with these lenses i’ve seen it all in not only my mind’s eye as given by way of the holy spirit yet in the here&now of what it is that’s suddenly just appearing right in front of me – and when it happens as it has been with an ever increasing rate of frequency i cannot help but find myself laughing with a great sense of awe and a nearly thundering gusto as surely as i am laughing with the deepest feeling of grateful blessing in realizing God’s perfecting handiwork literally right as it’s happening – at times it’s nearly overwhelming as it’s all coming together unlike it ever has before – even further is the very heavy presence of an elaborate architecture at work seamlessly piecing together my very life in such a steadily unveiling design to where i know i’m literally walking my nearly every step as ordered by God himself – at the same time there’s an overriding and entirely innate understanding that it all is happening for my very best well-being – questions of even the slightest uncertainty in the heart about anything nearly disappear – and in place of them instead is an unending smile in my every greeting and a confidence in my every measure as if i’ve already been there and as if i’ve already done that if not the once then maybe even many times to the point of feeling i very well may be a master at it -

yes it definitely seems and sounds exceptionally detailed in my every description of what it is to say it and then see it arrive knowing it’s coming from faith and faith alone yet there couldn’t ever be any greater of a lesson learned than that of what it is to finally be running right at godspeed from one minute to the next – and that’s where i’m at – and i’m thankful – and i’m floored in the very best way now finding so many of the pieces arriving as well as so many of the spoken dreams coming together everything the same – just recently for the very first time i said something out loud to myself far greater and far grander than anything i’ve ever spoken of before – yet this time there was such a deep belief in those very words that i know beyond a shadow of any doubt that it was all indeed by the grace of God in that the players have now arrived and they’ve arrived with a smiling heart at that – what’s further even more wonderful is that it was for the greater collective benefit of us all – and to our benefit it certainly already is – the details in the way of the who and the what and the when and the why and so on from there truly do not even matter in the way of what it is i am hopefully sharing in all of these preceding words right up to this one – and they do not even matter because it was faith that led me there and it was faith that led me here in sharing what it is that happens when we have it and we keep it and we proclaim it in every minute where it seems so fitting – and as we do i am completely convinced his smile once again finds its way straight into that beautifully unending laughter and with him we arrive at the very same – and that’s how it all happens at godspeed – wishing you one in the very same with God’s every blessing ~rettingerrockfiles/RRF~

words are all we really ever hear…

October 15, 2014

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when they first arrive out of thin air from the voice of one as coming to another and then often times right thereafter is when we actually hear what was said – and unfortunately these words far too often arrive scraped bleeding and even burning as coming from a soul that’s been hurt by the generations – yet that’s rarely how it’s ever understood by the one listening let alone the poor soul further trapping themselves as they ever so steadily keep breathing even more life into what they very wrongly believe and then put into their words – nonetheless that’s what it is and it’s entirely toxic and it’s entirely unsustainable let alone being light years away from anything encouraging nurturing or productive for anyone involved – and for the one effectively running their life sideways in their every relationship it’s this crippling internal defeat plated up from the ones coming before them that’s the very bane of their existence – in other words they are as they say their very own worst enemy – there’s a generational curse deep from within that was handed down to them from God only knows how long ago – yet there’s no need to cast any blame anyone’s way no matter how obvious and deserving it may seem as that’ll only ever lead to an even more perilous and painful life in a fashion i’ve felt once before and wouldn’t ever wish upon anyone - rather what needs to happen and the faster the better is exactly 2 things with the one being that of forgiving once and forever anyone and everyone ever having hurt you and instead giving up that pain once and for all to the neverending and truly unlimited love that is God – and the second thing that’ll finally begin to further free you of what it is that constantly is getting the far better of you is to recognize there are countless fellow souls in this world with a guiding light at the ready to lead you into discovering why you are where you are and how to move up, through and away from there, for good – and as you arrive in this amazingly liberating and ever-strengthening position you as well will surely find yourself transcending everything you have ever known in now truly living and thriving in this precious thing we call life – yet it is all up to you to raise your hand in accepting exactly where it is that you presently are and then simply asking for help -

after all asking for help is always the winning move – asking for help is how the strong gained even greater strength – asking for help is how God knows you are ready to truly receive his blessings in a way you have never experienced ever before – asking for help will even earn another one’s newly found respect for you – and asking for help will deliver you the very help you need from just the right teacher – and then there’s not asking for help – and not asking for help will only ever further paralyze your very heart in hailing the even more distancing winds of separation from those whom love you the most yet realize for their very well-being that they must do it from afar – not asking for help is bred of the one thing in life that ultimately is only ever destructive in every way and that is having fear – and fear will kill anything good in its way all the while taking you right down with the rest of it – and that’s just the way that it is which for some of us leaves only the one question and that question is do i truly understand what it is i am saying and how it is i am sounding and why others then respond to me in the way that they do? – and as you do you’ll completely realize it’s always all been up to you – wishing you the very best with God’s every blessing in everything that you ever do ~rettingerrockfiles/RRF~

and again i return…

October 4, 2014

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in not only feeling yet in further witnessing from within every thread of who i am that God does indeed have my very best interest at heart with everything – i return in reminding myself of the presence and the promise of this far greater faith than that of what an otherwise seemingly skeptical world would rather say – and in that return i find myself celebrating as a party of one in all of the same fashion as i celebrate his loving light with all of you for the sole reason of knowing his smile’s now become even brighter – and his smile’s now become even brighter simply from my lifting myself up by way of the miracle of greater faith and then telling all about it from the top of the very biggest mountain i can find – and then i feel if not a measure then maybe many times more than that in feeling better than i did just minutes before when so much seemed so sideways and asunder as if the wheels just may end up coming completely off – and that’s what the one and only perfecting guidance of a far deeper faith does for me every single time just as i am entirely certain it will do for any and all of you as well – and what’s further so important in realizing from there is that at least for me this is an altogether new experience i find happening again and again in that the far greater promise of the deeper faith keeps delivering every single time i give in – and it’s the most beautiful giving in unlike anything i’ve ever known as this giving in isn’t what it sounds like in the way of giving up yet it truly is giving in as in giving into the faith that God and his love for and within us is completely unending as much as it’s completely unlimited and it always has been – and the only difference between me and any other fellow soul arriving at this very point in these very words feeling that i may be off on an adventure of the mind all of my own doing is simply that they have yet to see the light – they have yet to see the light in clearly never having simply decided they desire to truly see it let alone feel it and then thrive unlike ever before from there forward because of it – that’s the only separating difference – and what’s so wonderful from there is that God’s guiding light is there for us all at the ready in an instant just as soon as we turn to him in giving in to his love and giving up the distant and only ever unattainable fantasy that we can find a real and lasting happiness in this life in any other way – and when we do and as we are we find the most exceptionally elegant peace has then become the very foundation within us as our single most leading strength far more powerful than anything we can ever purchase, far more breathtaking than anywhere we can ever travel and for that matter far more meaningful than any other feeling we can ever know – and that is God – wishing you one in the same and God’s every blessing ~rettingerrockfiles/RRF~ 

what i love about music…

September 27, 2014

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to begin with is everything – and more or less it was quite so wonderfully said so many years ago in a favorite film titled almost famous – it was said at the very end of such a fascinating and entirely unpredictable ride for a teenager so uniquely coming of age as an emerging writer in the wildly entertaining scene of the traveling rock’n’roll life of a band verging on newly-found stardom in the early 1970s – the young fifteen year-old writer posed the rather simple question to the lead guitarist quite straight forwardly asking so russell what do you love about music and russell quickly and ever so peacefully said in reply to william to begin with everything – that’s how it went and that’s how it is for me as well in nearly every way and it simply always has – you see i came up in a time when to me radio was even greater than anything television or hollywood had to give regardless of just how good the giving was there in the 1970s – i imagine that’s what it is when there’s a rhythm inside of someone that feels like it’s been borne of the ages if not many a lifetime and for me that’s completely what it was and still is right to this very day – it’s an intrinsic rhythm from deep in the soul that has always had me listening for the next best thing that i’ve never heard before – it’s a rather thrilling place to be in in simply being completely open and at the ready to discover the high level and the sheer extent of brilliant composition out there in this wide and wonderful world of ours – and then entirely out of nowhere it happens and i find it again just as i did yesterday morning and altogether in an instant i get swept up and away in feeling like a kid in a candy store yet it’s far better than that -

and that’s exactly what happened when in some wonderful fashion as i was searching for material for one of my newest ventures i was also led across the path of pink floyd which further led me in discovering the upcoming release this november of their very first album in 20 years with a recording titled the endless river – and what’s even sweeter from there is that it’s a 4-sided double album that’ll surely play out to be yet another enduring classic – in finding this out it not only gave me a lift in looking forward to diving into the new music yet it also instantly sent me along on a highly gratifying trip right back to some of the fondest memories in my coming of age in being turned on to not only pink floyd yet so many other fantastic bands all thanks to my big brother jimmy – it also made me realize from there just how very excellent it was that my brother let me at the ripe old age of 11 take over the set of drums he had just gotten for himself, how cool it was for him to let me do that – and then i remembered the nearly surreal experience i had with one of my better friends greg in seeing pink floyd entirely captivate a stadium-wide audience for more than 3 hours in a driving nighttime rainstorm in orlando in 1987 – and then to cap it off i thought of how in 1994 at the very last minute so many odd pieces came together for me to see them in yet another stunning performance this time in tampa stadium – i can remember it all like it was just yesterday and what a grand feeling it is – from such an out of the clear blue experience in finding out something so simple as the news of a forthcoming record from a favorite band i was indeed and nonetheless given yet another truly lasting gift and that along with so much more is what i love about music – wishing you one in the same and God’s every blessing ~rettingerrockfiles/RRF~

the rebel is the optimist…

September 18, 2014

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in the way that i see it as it came to me as it so often does straight out of thin air by way of the holy spirit – in a slightly different manner it was said by another far more enlightened than me and then it instantly hit as to just how exceptionally valid and vital it is in drawing a greater light to living and thriving within this far better reality – it’s the way of living life in where so much more of the good the better and the far greater from there ultimately and might i add far more consistently arrives in our life – after all we live in a world where so many of us errantly and so self-detrimentally leap into the lies of a life saddled by more or less bitching our way from one minute to the next – and when that’s the way we’ve been led to live within what it is we’ve been given by the ones that made us as well as the ones we’ve decided to surround ourselves with it’s a rather sad state of affairs – it’s a rather sad state of affairs in that so often so many of us are entirely unaware we’ve been effectively suffocating ourselves in just this fashion all along – so many of us have allowed ourselves to be sold a soul-stealing lie as constantly proliferated in the greater framework of how so much of the culture and indeed the media drives the draining conversation of our daily lives – it’s a deadly negative way of living that only breeds what it is we first allow into our minds as originally and constantly fueled by the hurt we’re holding onto and adding onto within our silent hearts as then completed in what we say as traveling across our lips – and when that’s what’s happening whatever it is we’re saying typically tends to be entirely counterproductive right out of the gate, and that means we’re getting nowhere fast at a record speed having only ourself to thank -

society’s been given many a fighter from one scene to the next and sometimes that’s been a very good thing yet well more often than not it’s the needless fight within the misguided fighter that amounts to the losing move without even taking a single step – and what i mean by that is that in the spirit of picking our battles that spirit itself has been steadily corrupted and ever so skillfully twisted into the concept that life is a struggle and life is unfair and if we’re ever going to get anywhere it’s always going to come with a fight – and that fight means i win when you lose and that’s the zero sum game of the greater share of history – after all the fight leads to the triumph and the triumph is winning the game in that set-up – however and nonetheless there is an easier way and it’s called the positive sum game – and that’s the one where we all win where in some fashion or another we all end up better off in the end – and that happens when we create a traveling infection all around us in a way that’s so invading we can’t help but capture spirits from the one to the next – and that means creating what’s been seen and proven not only from scientific pursuit yet far greater than that from what’s said from one happier soul to another about what it is that happens in our lives when everything we say and everything we do comes from the love within us – and when we’re in that groove and we’re on that track with the sole intent of simply making each decision in a way that’s going to create an outcome to the greater collective benefit to everyone involved we all win – it’s said as seen from studies that a simple smile from one person to the next travels at least 4 generations deep to the degree we are positively affecting people we will likely never even know – and far further from there when we’re leading our lives in the utmost of a steadily ascending faith in God as personally witnessed within by the wonderful ways of the everpresent holy spirit it’s nearly indescribable as to what it is that so wonderfully and often times with perfecting accuracy happens for us as literally given life by our very own spoken words – bad gets bad and as they say good begets good as we’ll always typically see if and once we only open our eyes as led by a finally freed heart – it’s that simple, it’s that good and there couldn’t ever be anything more vital in understanding by far and away best how to live this wonderful thing we call life – wishing you one in the same and God’s every blessing ~rettingerrockfiles/RRF~

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