We Never Lived In the Now

We Never Lived In the Now

Your face shows your age,
though your countenance is still glowing.
Your age says grown-up,
but you’ve never decided where you’re going.

You’ve grown older.
Yes, I’m older too.
The remainder of our lives is before us,
oh, what’ll we do?

What were the dreams
you had so long ago?
What was your vision?
Where did it go?

You traveled your way.
I went mine.
A history so different,
yet lives intertwined.

The gray now shows in our locks,
showing how much we cared.
Your grin still lights my life,
my smile brightens yours when shared.

You lived for then.
I lived for when.
We never lived in the moment.
No, we never lived in the now.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Originally published in WORDS…RHYMES…POETRY & PROSE! in 2008
“We Never Lived In the Now” is included in the forthcoming book,
“Jimmie Aaron Kepler: Selected Poems 1967 – 2019” from Poetry and Prayer Press.

Photo Credit: Image by dietcheese from Pixabay

How To Be A Better Friend

How To Be A Better Friend

“As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.” – Proverbs 27:19 ESV

Six Marks of Friendship

1 – I Must Be Committed

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” – Proverbs 18:24 ESV

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” – 1 John 4:20

2 – I Must Be Considerate

“What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar.” – Proverbs 19:22 ESV

“Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do.” – Philippians 4:5 NLT

“Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.” – Proverbs 17:9

  • Friends don’t rub it in, they help rub it out!

3 – I Must Be Confidential

“Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.” – Proverbs 11:13

“Argue your case with your neighbor, And do not reveal the secret of another,” – Proverbs 25:9 ESV

4 – I Must Be Candid

“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” – Proverbs 27:5-6

“Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.” – Proverbs 24:26

  • Compliment in public, correct in private
  • Correct when they are up, not when they are down, depressed or despondent.
  • Never rebuke a friend unless you are open to allowing them to rebuke you.

5 – I Must Be Constructive

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17

“On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.” – 1 Corinthians 14:3 ESV

  • Build up each other.
  • Be a cheering section for your friends, spouse, and children.

6 – I Must Be Considerate

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” – Proverbs  17:17 ESV

“Not given to wine, not combative but gentle and considerate, not quarrelsome but forbearing and peaceable, and not a lover of money [insatiable for wealth and ready to obtain it by questionable means].” – 1 Timothy 3:3 ESV

“So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. “ – Romans 5:11 NLT


Photo Source: Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Your Best Friend


Your Best Friend

If ever you find yourself being broken apart,
Because the one you trusted has broken your heart,
And all the time you find yourself crying,
While on the inside you feel like you’re dying,

Call me if you feel lonely,
Come to me when your life needs to mend,
From time to time you need only,
Someone with love unconditional – your best friend.

One time life gave you a fright,
Existence was as black as a moonless midnight,
You were feeling so out-of-place,
With no one to hug or embrace,

Then you saw the light,
You came to me in the middle of the night,
And you ran to me to give your heart,
And that’s when your new life did start

Call me if you feel lonely,
Come to me when your life needs to mend,
From time to time you need only,
Someone with love unconditional – Jesus, your best friend.

Copyright © 2008 by Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Originally published in “WORDS…RHYMES…POETRY & PROSE!”
Also published on: “Writing After Fifty” and in the book “Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection.”


Photo Source: Image by Mabel Amber, still incognito… from Pixabay

I Started High School

Grace Slick today at age 79
Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane 1967
Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane 1967

 


Starting High School

In San Francisco, it’s the summer of love,
Long-haired hippies, peace signs, and doves.
In Vietnam, the soldiers are dying,
Back home their families are crying,
And Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play.

Jim wants to “Light My Fire,”
While Grace’s rabbit only flies higher.
The evening news shows the war isn’t cool,
This week I started high school,
And “All You Need Is Love” is what The Beatles say.

Written by Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Schertz, Texas, August 1967


The photos are of Grace Slick. She is an alumna of Finch College where she majored in art. She is an accomplished artist. The artwork is hers.


Note: This is the oldest poem I have written by me. It was in notebooks and papers my mother gave me a few months before she passed away in 2014. Aren’t parents great about keeping things and then later in life returning them?

I wrote this poem as a freshman at Samuel Clemens High School in Schertz, Texas. Samuel Clemens High School was two miles outside the main gate at Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

Impressing, my English teacher was challenging. The assignment was to write a paper on “What I did on my summer vacation.” Instead, I wrote about what was happening in popular culture. Instead of prose, I wrote a poem. I failed to follow the rules. She called me a “beatnik hippy poet weirdo.” I viewed her insult as a compliment! I gave in, complied with her orders, and wrote five pages of drivel avoiding a grade of “F” on the assignment. I wrote about hitchhiking to the west coast.

“I Started High School” is from the forthcoming book “Jimmie Aaron Kepler: Selected Poems” from Poet and Picker Press.

Comments on the Coffeehouse Culture

Are you part of the coffee house culture? I confess I am.

What Is The Coffeehouse Culture?

The coffeehouse culture describes a friendly environment of associated common practices that depend upon coffee. Coffee is used as a social lubricant much as alcohol is in a bar or pub setting.

Coffeehouse culture also relates to the dispersion and choosing of coffee as a broadly consumed stimulant by society. In the late 20th and early 21st century, particularly in the Western world and urbanized cities around the globe. Espresso has become a more favored form.

Formation of Culture Around a Coffeehouse

I am a historian and religious educator by university and seminary education with a bachelor of arts, master of religious education, master of arts, and doctor of education degrees. With my classical liberal arts education, I developed an inquisitive mind. My curiosity had me research coffeehouses. I found the formation of the culture around coffee and coffeehouses dates back to 14th century Turkey. Coffeehouses in Western Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean were traditionally social hubs, as well as artistic and intellectual centers.

Examples of famous coffee houses include Les Deux Magots in Paris. Now a popular tourist attraction, it was once associated with the intellectuals Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. In the late 17th and 18th centuries, coffeehouses in London became favorite meeting places for artists, writers, and socialites. They were also the center for much political and commercial activity.

In the United States, the New Orleans French Market tourist destination Café du Monde which is as famous for its powdered-sugar-coated beignets as it is for its chickory-flavored coffee., according to the popular social check-in app Foursquare, is the most popular coffeehouse in the Americas.

Coffeehouses Today

Elements of today’s coffee houses, the slower-paced gourmet service, tastefully decorated environments, or social outlets such as open microphone nights, have their origins in early coffee houses and continue to form part of the concept of coffee house culture.

In the United States, the term is often used to designate the everywhere presence of hundreds of espresso stands and coffee shops in the Seattle metropolitan area and the spread of franchises of businesses such as Starbucks and their clones across the United States.

Other aspects of the coffeehouse culture include the presence of free wireless Internet access for customers, many of these patrons do business in these locations for hours on a regular basis. The patrons of the coffeehouse usually do one of three things. They either are on Wi-Fi surfing the Internet with their smartphone or computer, are meeting with a business client or friends, or are reading. The location is popular for meeting someone for the first time, especially when dating is being considered.

Some countries, like Australia, have a strong existing cafe-style coffee culture. The strong cafe-style coffee culture explains the poor performance of Starbucks there.

Yes, I am part of the coffeehouse culture? Are you?

I would love you to leave in the comments section the name of and info about your favorite coffeehouse.

The picture is of the Starbucks at 1356 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, California, USA. I frequently visited this location during the summer of 2012 while working in Southern California. I was employed about 8 miles away just across the street from Howard Hughes Center, Center Dr. W, Los Angeles, California.


Source: Some material adapted from Wikipedia

Photo: Starbucks,  1356 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, California, USA

My Coffeehouse Writing Habit

Where I Write

I’m doing my morning writing at one of my favorite Starbucks. I like the location on Preston Road just north of Lorimar in Plano, Texas. I write here most mornings.

The photo is of my writing-table. I usually sit at the same table each morning. From left to right in the picture, you see my laptop bar, my personal porcelain Starbucks coffee cup. Using the cup not only helps the environment by decreasing the number of paper cups in landfills but it saves me 10 cents a purchase.

My Writing Tools

You can see the MacBook Air I use for writing. It has a 1TB solid-state hard drive as well as 16GB of RAM. It never crashes and is a high-speed computer. I have an external, wireless Bluetooth mouse that I use.

I use some writing specific software like Scrivener and Vellum as well as Microsoft Word for Macintosh.

When I Write

I’m usually at my Starbuck table between 6 to 6:30 AM. The Muse knows where to meet me. Working for years as a US Army officer and later for decades in the information technology field, I learned the power of habit and repeatable processes.
In the Army, we had standard operations procedures. It allowed us to work faster, safer, and more efficiently — and to save lives. In the IT field, we had repeatable procedures. They did the same thing.
Writing at the same place and the same time is kind of the same thing. My brain knows it is time to put fingers to the keyboard and input words into the computer. I also usually listen to the same instrumental music. When it starts, my brain says, “Time to be creative.”
Note: I am not saying you have to follow my routine. You need to find what works for you, to develop your own habit.

Photo Source: The picture was taken by the Author