Making Sense of Life

By Tommy Clarkson from the March 2014 Edition

These days, it often seems difficult to make sense of life, with much of what comprises it almost overwhelming us.. But, perhaps, we are remiss in failing to focus on the basic beauties of our existence – all the simple things on which we should more often ably apply and employ our human senses.

With that in mind, let’s pause to briefly ponder what our lives would be if we could no longer experience such as these and from such consideration take a greater appreciation of our every breath and moment of being.

Imagine if no more we could savor . . .

SMELLS, like the . . .

. . . sweet, heady and near intoxicating scent of lilacs on a spring morning.

. . . salt musky, damp and slightly dank of an ocean waterfront.

. . . amalgam of mouth watering scents filling a east coast deli.

. . . acrid, pungency of a Buddhist incense smoke filled shrine.

. . . bacon frying and mingling with the wafting aroma of freshly ground and brewed coffee.

. . . well worked and worn horse’s leather saddle and tack.

. . . fresh from the oven, home-made, apple pie.

. . . (My Love’s short, still naturally, dark hair at 67.)

SOUNDS, like the . . .

. . . relaxing, rushing splash of a mountain stream or cadenced crashing ocean waves on an open, pristine and unfettered beach.

. . . chattering chirps of a Sparrow, a Robin’s song at dawn, melodic whistle of an Oriole, jeering complaint of a perturbed Blue Jay or coarse cry of a common, country Crow.

. . . burbling delight of a baby’s first chortle.

. . . rustling rhythm of palm fronds brushed by a gentle tropical breeze.

. . . silence of a rural Kansas pasture broken only by a mournful moo of a cow and distant call of a Meadow Lark.

. . . (hearty laugh, from deep within, of my love, sharing mirth with me.)

TASTES, like a . . .

. . . pumpkin pie with real, fresh whipped cream.

. . . hot chestnuts from a street vendor on the streets of New York City in the depths of winter.

. . . country meal of home grown, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and corn on the cob.

. . . freshly picked pineapple, jackfruit, apple, watermelon or strawberries.
. . . the tangy spices of Thai Hot Shrimp Soup.

. . . bowl of chilled gazpacho

. . . “from our youth” church dinner with every woman’s proudly prepared, special dish.

. . . (unexpected kiss from My Love.)

SIGHTS, like the . . .

. . . bumbling tumbling mass of a litter of puppies.

. . . unspeakable beauty of a double rainbow following a summer storm.

. . . indescribably, brilliant, multi-colored sunrise painted in an array of tints, colors and hues non-replicable by man.

. . . unceasing undulations of the ocean spreading 360 degrees around one in all its magnificence and might.

. . . night-time sky, away from the lights of civilization, displaying the enormity of “the beyond”.

. . . (My Love’s penetrating, caring and full of love dark, blue eyes.)

TOUCH, of a . . .

. . . well worked, carefully sanded, properly smoothed, hand crafted hard wood creation.

. . . patted head of a devoted dog long loved. .

. . . quilt, hand made by a grandmother.

. . . tactile, almost sensual summer evening breeze.

. . . horse’s muzzle, kitten’s whiskers or breast of a dove.

. . . (smile creased crinkle of My Patty’s soft cheek)

Download or view The March 2014 Magazine


Tommy Clarkson is a bit of a renaissance man. He’s lived and worked in locales as disparate as the 1.2 square mile island of Kwajalein to war-torn Iraq, from aboard he and Patty’s boat berthed out of Sea Bright, NJ to Thailand, Germany, Hawaii and Viet Nam; He’s taught classes and courses on creative writing and mass communications from the elementary grades to graduate level; He’s spoken to a wide array of meetings, conferences and assemblages on topics as varied as Buddhism, strategic marketing and tropical plants; In the latter category he and Patty’s recently book, “The Civilized Jungle” – written for the lay gardener – has been heralded as “the best tropical plant book in the last ten years”; And, according to Trip Advisor, their spectacular tropical creation – Ola Brisa Gardens – is the “Number One Tour destination in Manzanillo”.

Tommy Clarkson

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Tommy Clarkson is a bit of a renaissance man. He’s lived and worked in locales as disparate as the 1.2 square mile island of Kwajalein to war-torn Iraq, from aboard he and Patty’s boat berthed out of Sea Bright, NJ to Thailand, Germany, Hawaii and Viet Nam; He’s taught classes and courses on creative writing and mass communications from the elementary grades to graduate level; He’s spoken to a wide array of meetings, conferences and assemblages on topics as varied as Buddhism, strategic marketing and tropical plants; In the latter category he and Patty’s recently book, “The Civilized Jungle” – written for the lay gardener – has been heralded as “the best tropical plant book in the last ten years”; And, according to Trip Advisor, their spectacular tropical creation - Ola Brisa Gardens – is the “Number One Tour destination in Manzanillo”.

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